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Giveaway and a Deleted Scene from ‘Blood Moon’

Check out this deleted scene from Holly Hunt’s Blood Moon.

((Base 2669. Recording #34251. Squadron 2.

Location: Quebec, Canada.))

((Silence rings out for five seconds. High pitched squealing.))

Where did we come from? What purpose do we have? These are the questions we ask ourselves with every page we read.

((Indistinguishable male voice in background))

Charlie, do you really have to ruin my fun? Sheesh.

My name is Olivia Wolfen, also known as the Russet One.

((Indistinguishable male voice.))

Oh, shut up, Charlie, I can call myself that if I want.

This recording’s getting off on exactly the same foot as the last one. Great.

((Papers rustle.))

It says here that I have to talk to you about the origin of Blood Moon and some of the fun titbits omitted from the book. But I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’m going to offer you a small deleted scene from the latter half of the book… you know, the better half.

Enjoy!

((Recording continues for five seconds, cuts off. ))

###

Across the sunken lands of the moor came the haunting chill of the wolves’ cries. The long, echoing howls made the hair on her flesh stand and her skin crawl.

“They’re out there,” he whispered, watching the trees around them. “God, they’re out there!”

“Shh!” she hissed breathlessly, grabbing the nearest tree’s lowest branch and pulling herself up. “Are you really that desperate to die?”

The man was quiet, listening hard. He grabbed the branch of a smaller tree and pulled himself up, out of the range of the wolves below. When the wolves found their scent – and, yes, they would find it – they would follow it to this copse of trees. Then they would be surrounded, besieged by the creatures.

They’d chosen thickly-wooded forests for a reason – it would make it easier to move through the trees. But when the thick trees ran out and the wolves were on their heels, there would be trouble to come.

Mustn’t think about that, she thought, climbing higher and laying out along the branch, a sniper rifle in hand. “Are you ready over there?”

The man nodded, his movements barely visible in the full moon. The wolves howled again, a howl that made sweat break out over her forehead. The wolves had found them.

She cocked the rifle, sighting down the barrel. If she concentrated, she could hear the wolves thundering and crashing through the scrub, not worried about being quiet; they wanted to flush the prey out.

She waited with bated breath as the howl was taken up around them, on all sides. She waited, sighting down the barrel of the rifle, waiting for the first look of the wolves’ shiny fur. The crashing and breaking of nature was getting closer, making her hands shake. She took a quick, deep breath and watched in horror as the wolves emerged from the forest, sniffing the air.

There were far more here than she’d thought!

A large russet wolf stepped forward first, into the shade of the trees, keeping to the border. The wolves around her stepped forward from the moonlight-flooded game trails to the trees’ shadows, and their fur melted instantaneously. In the places where shadow touched their skin, they were human. But, in the moonlight, fur, claws and teeth ruled.

The moonlight! It’s all that keeps them in form! She looked at her partner, who was staring at the half-wolf monstrosities below with fear and sickness.

If they would turn human in full shadow, then being in a thick copse of trees was the wrong idea. They would become human, and humans could—

“Eurph!” she yelped as a clawed hand grabbed her foot, yanking her from the branches and down towards the ground. Her partner, seeing the trouble she was in, turned his guns on the monsters, but the bullets didn’t even dent the creatures’ skin.

“No, ru–argh!”

The wolf-men bit into her flesh, tearing off chunks of it and growling at each other. Blood pooled on the ground as he watched, the wolf-men fighting like rabid dogs over the kill.

He abandoned the high-powered rifle and made a run for it, through the branches of the trees. He wasn’t very quick, fear making his knees wobble on the fragile branches, but he was fast enough. By the time the wolf-men realised he was no longer above them, he was out of sight.

Wolf howls drove him on as he dropped to the ground, sprinting for the cabin in the middle of the woods. It was barred, locked for the night, but there was still a candle burning inside.

“Help me! God, for the love of all that is good, please, let me in!” He pounded on the door, on the windows, but the door remained shut. He spied an old shed around the corner and ran towards it as the first wolves emerged from the shadows and into the moonlight, becoming true wolves once again.

The russet wolf in front let out a howl and the advancing army of werewolves stopped, staring at him. He grabbed a woodcutter’s axe from the wall of the small shed, standing in the open side, watching the wolves. He hefted the axe, ready to deal the wolves a couple of blows before they ate him.

The russet wolf stalked forward. As she crossed into the shadow of the house, her pelt melted away, replaced by a small teenager with blonde hair and a single blue eye, the other a mass of scars. She looked at him with a vacant stare, as though bored or distracted.

“Come,” she called, sitting against the wall of the cottage, watching him. “Bring the axe, if you must, but come. Sit.”

He didn’t know if this was a trick. All he knew was that if he left the shed, the wolves would kill him.

Three loud bangs on the walls of the shed forced him out into the open, and the wolves who’d crashed into the flimsy wood herded him towards the one sitting in the cottage’s shadow. He took a swing at them, and they danced away from his blows, but kept herding him until he stood in the shadows, his back to the girl.

The wolves backed off. He gulped, watching them, then turned to look at the girl. The axe was heavy in his hands, having never used one before in his life. Not that it would take much for the axe to hurt something, he thought. The edge was insanely sharp!

“Sit.”

He sat, waiting. The girl looked him over, keeping a careful eye on the axe in his hands. He tightened his grip on it, glancing around at the trees. The wolves had gone, leaving him alone with their apparent leader.

“What do you want?”

The wolf-girl smiled, her blue eye grey in the moonlight shadow. He winced, looking around wildly, but there was no trap waiting for him.

“We want what all species want,” she said, her voice deceptively harmonious. The twitch in her left hand, of fingers curling into claws and back, betrayed her lie. “Peace. Peace between man and wolf.”

He looked around again, not convinced of the girl’s sincerity. “What?”

She smiled, revealing canine teeth that were just a little sharper than a normal human. “We want to end the war.”

He looked at her, not understanding. “What war?”

“Our war. The war between man and beast.” She looked over his shoulder, where a wolf stood, his jaws dripping in the moonlight. “Will you help us, Senator Kirby?”

Kirby glanced at the silver wolf, his hands shaking so badly that he could barely keep hold of the axe in his hand.

“What do you want me to do?”

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Review: ‘Towering’ (Kendra Chronicles #3) by Alex Flinn

It may look like it’s just a Rapunzel retelling, but Towering is so much more.

ARCThe story follows Wyatt, a high school senior who moves in with his mother’s best friend’s mom in a tiny town in the Adirondaks to escape a tragedy involving his friend Tyler. After a weird and freaky episode the very first night he arrives in his new home, Tyler develops a tiny obsession with Danielle Greenwood, the missing daughter of the sweet old lady he lives with. He tries to make friends with other teens in town, but is constantly distracted by singing that seems to be brought to him by the wind.

cover_loveRachel, on the other hand, lives in a tower in the middle of the woods. The only human contact she has is with Mama, who visits her every night (and gives off a majorly creepy vibe).  Her only distractions are books (she is so lonely she kind of befriends the characters) and singing. She longs to break free from her tower, but she is just waiting for the right time.

creepyBy intertwining Wyatt and Rachel’s stories, Alex Flinn has crafted a creepy, modern mystery that kept me guessing throughout the story. Rachel is no Rapunzel waiting for a prince to rescue her and Wyatt is so real it’s like Flinn was writing about a teen I know. Th plot takes a while to get moving, however, and I found the beginning a little confusing due to vague references to past events. The lack of description is to set up the air of mystery and all is revealed later, but I had a hard time loving the beginning and parts of the middle. The end kept me on the edge of my seat, however.

takeachanceEven if you have not read any other book in this series, you should check out Towering despite my 3 star rating. The Kendra Chronicles stories are independent of each other, so there is no back story to catch up on and the mystery, plus changes to the Rapunzel story make this novel worth reading.

3 stars

Genre: Young Adult, Fairy Tale, Fantasy, Romance

Release Date: May 14, 2013

About Towering

At first, I merely saw his face, his hands on the window ledge. Then, his whole body as he swung himself through the window. Only I could not see what he swung on.
Until, one day, I told my dream self to look down. And it was then that I saw. He had climbed on a rope. I knew without asking that the rope had been one of my own tying.

Rachel is trapped in a tower, held hostage by a woman she’s always called Mama. Her golden hair is growing rapidly, and to pass the time, she watches the snow fall and sings songs from her childhood, hoping someone, anyone, will hear her.

Wyatt needs time to reflect or, better yet, forget about what happened to his best friend, Tyler. That’s why he’s been shipped off to the Adirondacks in the dead of winter to live with the oldest lady in town. Either that, or no one he knows ever wants to see him again.

Dani disappeared seventeen years ago without a trace, but she left behind a journal that’s never been read, not even by her overbearing mother…until now.

A #1 New York Times bestselling author, Alex Flinn knows her fairy tales, and Towering is her most mind-bending interpretation yet. Dark and mysterious, this reimagining of Rapunzel will have readers on the edge of their seats wondering where Alex will take them next!

Goodreads

About the Author

I was born in a log cabin in the Big Woods of . . . okay, maybe not. I was born on Long Island, New York. When I was five years old, my mom said that I should be an author. I guess I must have nodded or something because, from that point on, every poem I ever wrote in school was submitted to Highlights or Cricket magazine. I was collecting rejection slips at age seven!

I learned to read early. But I compensated for this early proficiency by absolutely refusing to read the programmed readers required by the school system — workbooks where you read the story, then answered the questions. When the other kids were on Book 20, I was on Book 1! My teacher, Mrs. Zeiser, told my mother, “Alexandra marches to her own drummer.” I don’t think that was supposed to be a good thing. Now, when my daughter, Katie, brings home FCAT prep materials where you are supposed to read a passage and answer questions, I want to ask the teacher, “Does she really need to do this? She can read!!!”

My family moved to Miami when I was in middle school. I had a really hard time making friends, so I spent a lot of time reading and writing then. But unlike Christopher Paolini or Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, I never finished writing a novel. That was also when I learned to be a keen observer. By high school, I’d made some friends and gotten involved in various “gifted and talented” performing arts programs. I studied opera in college (I’m a coloratura — the really loud, high-pitched sopranos.) and then went to law school.

It was law school that probably helped with my first novel. Breathing Underwater deals with the serious and all-too-common problem of dating violence. I based the book on my experiences interning with the State Attorney’s Office and volunteering with battered women. I thought this was a really important topic, as 27 percent of teenage girls surveyed have been hit by a boyfriend. I’m happy that the book is so popular, and if you are reading this bio because the book was assigned for school, I’m happy about that too.

I started writing an early (and laughable) version of Breathing Underwater in college (I was really bored on a car trip with my parents). I didn’t get back to it until I had my first daughter, Katie. I’m self-taught. I went to the library and took out books on writing. Then, I read a lot of young-adult novels by writers I admired, particularly Richard Peck. Reading his books is like listening to Mozart — you learn the right way to write a novel. Then, you fill in your own style. I actually got to meet Richard Peck in person at a workshop of the Key West Literary Seminar. Lots of writers have been really helpful to me, especially Richard and fellow YA author, Joyce Sweeney.

I think I write for young-adults because I never quite got over being one. In my mind, I am still 13-years-old, running laps on the athletic field, wearing this really baggy white gymsuit. I’m continually amazed at the idea that I have a checking account and a mortgage. So I try to write books that gymsuit girl might enjoy. It’s a way of going back to being 13…knowing what I know now.
Right now, I live half a mile away from my old middle school, in Palmetto Bay, a suburb of Miami, with my husband, Gene, and daughters, Katie and Meredith.

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Review: ‘Life After Theft’ by Aprilynne Pike

What happens when a ghost can’t move on until she redeems herself, but no one in town can hear her? She slowly goes crazy as she anticipates a very lonely eternity. Until the new kid arrives, that is. And, that is the scene that Aprilynne Pike has set in Life After Theft.

ARCAs if transferring to a fancy private school is an upscale California town from a poor private school in the Mid-West wasn’t enough of a culture shock for Jeff, he discovers on his first day of school that he has to deal with a ghost as well. As he enters the building on his first day, he sees Kimberlee on the floor and thinks that she is nuts. He quickly learns how crazy this mean girl/kelpto is when she realizes that he can see and hear her. They develop a friendship of sorts that is constantly tested by Kimberlee’s jealousy, mean-girl tendencies, and past. Jeff is constantly left wondering whether it is worth risking the possibility of dating Sera, the girls he’s crushing on, and the friends he’s made for a ghost that treats him like crap.

hotmessOne of the greatest traits of Aprilynne Pike’s writing is her ability to develop characters. Take Kimberlee, for example. She had oodles of layers and as you learn more about her you see what a hot mess she really was. She had what many would consider “everything” but she was not a one-dimensional mean, rich, popular girl.

My only critique is that Sera’s past was built up to be this huge deal, but it seemed somewhat mild to me (or maybe it was just underplayed?). I just didn’t get the build up, especially because it seems as if she ha bounced back from what had happened.

YA para iconI haven’t read anything of Aprilynne Pike’s outside of her Wings series, which I enjoyed. The story isn’t as straight-out fantasy like that series, so it was nice to see her writing something a little different and doing it well. There is a short story called One More Day that is a prequel to this novel and is told from Kimberlee’s point of view (read about it here). I can’t wait to get into Kimberlee’s head and see what she was really thinking and whether her death was really an accident.

4 stars

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Release Date: April 30, 2013

About Life After Theft

Moving to a new high school sucks. Especially a rich-kid private school. With uniforms. But nothing is worse than finding out the first girl you meet is dead. And a klepto.

No one can see or hear Kimberlee except Jeff, so–in hopes of bringing an end to the snarkiest haunting in history–he agrees to help her complete her “unfinished business.” But when the enmity between Kimberlee and Jeff’s new crush, Sera, manages to continue posthumously, Jeff wonders if he’s made the right choice.

Clash meets sass in this uproarious modern-day retelling of Baroness Orczy’s The Scarlet Pimpernel.

Goodreads

About the Author

Aprilynne Pike has been spinning faerie stories since she was a child with a hyper-active imagination. At the age of twenty she received her BA in Creative Writing from Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. When not writing, Aprilynne can usually be found at the gym; she also enjoys singing, acting, reading, and working with pregnant moms as a childbirth educator and doula. Aprilynne currently lives with her husband and three kids in Utah, and dreams of warmer climates.

Aprilynne Pike’s #1 New York Times best-selling debut, WINGS, is the first of four books about a seemingly ordinary girl with a not-so-ordinary destiny. In this tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever…

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Ann Gimpel on Backcountry Magic

Author Ann Gimple on her personal experiences with backcountry magic and why she uses the backcountry as the setting for novels like Destiny’s Shadow.

People sometimes ask me why I use the backcountry as a setting for some of my paranormal stories. It’s easy enough to answer. I’ve spent thousands of days with a pack on my back. No, that’s not an exaggeration. I’ve climbed all over the world, though never any of the eight thousand meter peaks in the Himalaya.

I’ve had more than a few, um, unusual experiences far from other people, and often far from any sort of maintained trail. One common event is hearing someone behind me. Of course when I turn around, there’s no one there. Sometimes, if I listen carefully, whoever’s not there actually talks with me. It’s how I’ve come up with some of my more interesting story ideas.

Another thing that happens far from civilization is sort of a sixth sense. I have something—who knows, maybe it’s a guardian angel—that keeps me safe. It tells me if a snow slope is unstable or a route unsafe. I’ve learned to listen to it. Backcountry survival is a blend of luck and skill. One or the other by itself often isn’t enough.

In the modern world, it’s a treat to get away from electronics and instant availability, sort of a retreat to our roots as more primitive people. What better place to find romance? He’s not texting. He’s putting up the tent. She’s not yammering with her girlfriends, she’s mixing up freeze-dried glop for dinner. You have to rely on each other and pay attention to one another, too. I’ve seen more than one couple who couldn’t get along in the backcountry. Their relationships never lasted long in the front country, either. You learn to work together as a team and to appreciate one another’s strengths. If you can’t do that, you don’t go on many more trips together.

At least in my life, out of the way places have been a crucible to strengthen my marriage. We’ve returned from many an adventure more strongly bonded as a couple than before. And when you get right down to it, romance is looking at your partner with love shining from your eyes. Sure they have faults. We all do. But you turn a blind eye to them. It’s a glass half full phenomenon. We pick what we want to see.

There’s a reason so many people read romance. It’s a metaphor for what we want in our lives. We all want our HEA with the one person who makes us feel loved and special. Want to find out if your relationship will go the distance? Go backpacking together. Travel to a third world country. Face adversity greater than, “Aw crap, we’re out of milk.” If you can work together rather than blaming one another for why something isn’t working, I’d say you picked a winner.

Any stories you’d like to share? When did you know your current love was Mr. or Ms. Right? What tipped you off?

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Cover Reveal: ‘Her Loving Husband’s Return’ (Her Loving Husband Trilogy #3) by Meredith Allard

“I need to get home,” James said aloud.

He heard shuffling behind the wooden plank that separated his quarters from the rest of the barrack. “We all need to bloody well go home,” he heard.

What would you do to return to the only one you have ever loved?

James Wentworth’s secret is no longer a secret, and now he and his beloved wife, Sarah, have been separated. While suffering his own internment, James is reminded of his time with Japanese-Americans in the Manzanar Relocation Camp during World War II, and he cannot allow the past to repeat itself. With the help of his friends—Chandresh, Jocelyn, Timothy, even the irreverent Geoffrey—James learns what it means to return, and he is determined to return to his Sarah no matter the challenges—or the consequences. Will James and Sarah be reunited once and for all despite the madness surrounding them? Will James’s most fervent wish be granted? The changes in store for the Wentworths may be irreversible.

Genre: Historical fiction, romance, paranormal fantasy

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Interview with J. Lynn aka Jennifer Armentrout

Wait for You author Jennifer Armentrout fills us in on her latest novel.

Many of your novels feature the paranormal. Can we expect to see the otherworldly or gifted in Wait for You?

There’s nothing otherwordly about Wait for You, except for maybe Cam’s abs. But you can expect the romance readers come to enjoy in my paranormal books.

The story focuses on Avery and Cameron. Could you tell us a little about them?

Avery is looking to start over in a new town far away from her home, hoping that putting distance between her and her past, she’ll be able to move on from a traumatic event in her past. The last thing she expects is 21 year old Cameron Hamilton. He’s infuriating as he is sexy and it’s not long before their friendship becomes something more. Both of them have a good sense of humor, especially Avery. She’s a strong girl and Cam, well, if I start talking about him, then I’ll start gushing about the dude.

What was the hardest part of writing Wait for You?

Keeping the reactions real. There’s not more I can say about that without being too spoilery, but that was the part I focused on the most. 

Is it easy to transition between writing Young Adult and New Adult?

Most definitely! My YA is consider “upper YA,” so it wasn’t a big change for me at all.

When you start planning a new book, do you decide early on if it will be a series or does that come about later in your writing process?

I always know if it will be a series or not at the start of the book even though I rarely plot. I did plot on this one though! Shocker.

Is there a genre that you haven’t written, but would like to?

Historical. Would love to, but don’t have the talent for it.

How much say do you have in which models are chosen for your book covers?

I had all the say in this cover and I’m absolutely in love with it.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Right now all I do is write. I swear to you. I don’t think I do anything else except sleep and eat.

What books are in your to-be-read pile?

Too many. Way too many.

 

What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?

Laid back llama lover. I know that’s more than 3 words, but try saying that really fast.

About Wait for You

Some things are worth waiting for…

Traveling thousands of miles from home to enter college is the only way nineteen-year-old Avery Morgansten can escape what happened at the Halloween party five years ago—an event that forever changed her life. All she needs to do is make it to her classes on time, make sure the bracelet on her left wrist stays in place, not draw any attention to herself, and maybe—please God—make a few friends, because surely that would be a nice change of pace. The one thing she didn’t need and never planned on was capturing the attention of the one guy who could shatter the precarious future she’s building for herself.

Some things are worth experiencing…

Cameron Hamilton is six feet and three inches of swoon-worthy hotness, complete with a pair of striking blue eyes and a remarkable ability to make her want things she believed were irrevocably stolen from her. She knows she needs to stay away from him, but Cam is freaking everywhere, with his charm, his witty banter, and that damn dimple that’s just so… so lickable. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but when ignoring the simmering tension that sparks whenever they are around each other becomes impossible, he brings out a side of her she never knew existed.

Some things should never be kept quiet…

But when Avery starts receiving threatening emails and phone calls forcing her to face a past she wants silenced, she’s has no other choice but to acknowledge that someone is refusing to allow her to let go of that night when everything changed. When the devastating truth comes out, will she resurface this time with one less scar? And can Cam be there to help her or will he be dragged down with her?

And some things are worth fighting for…

Genre: New Adult, Romance

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About the Author

J. Lynn, also known as Jennifer L. Armentrout, is the USA TODAY Bestselling author of the adult romance Gamble Brothers’ series, the young adult Lux Series and award winning Covenant Series. She pretty much writes everything—contemporary, paranormal, and fantasy. All of her books have one thing in common no matter the name or genre: kissing… and stuff. When she’s not busy writing, which is never, she’s usually hanging out with dog Loki, watching reruns of The Walking Dead, or procrastinating on the Internet. You can find out more about Jennifer by visiting the following websites:

Twitter     Facebook     Website

Giveaway

Win this cute turtle charm from Jennifer Armentrout by using this Rafflecopter. The giveaway is US only and ends on March 21, 2013.

 

Giveaway: ‘The Chosen’ (The Legend Chronicles #3) by Theresa Meyers

The Chosen: a prophecy older than dirt and more dangerous than death. Even as they perfected steam-powered gadgetry and rounded up varmints from Hell, the Jackson brothers didn’t believe in it. But when the chips are down, three brothers named for weapons aren’t going out without a fight…

A Walk On The Wild Side

Attorney by day, demon-hunter by night, Remington Jackson is used to being on the sunny side of the law, even in the Wild West. But it’s showdown time, and Remy and his brothers are getting desperate. They don’t have the relic they need to slam the door shut on evil—so Remy is going to have to find and steal part of it.

Enter China McGee, shapeshifter, thief, beauty, and current prisoner. When Remy offers her freedom in exchange for a little light-fingered help, she’s pretty sure she’s going to end the association with a good old-fashioned seductive double cross. But there’s something about fighting through a jungle full of Aztec ruins that makes you want to settle down together. China could change. Remy might be special. But none of that matters if the devil takes them all…

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Steampunk

Amazon     Barnes and  Noble     Books-A-Million     Indiebound     Amazon Kindle     iBooks

About the Author

The progeny of a slightly mad (NASA) scientist and a tea-drinking bibliophile who turned the family dining room into a library, Theresa Meyers learned early the value of a questioning mind, books and a good china teapot.

A former journalist and public relations officer, she found far more enjoyment using her writing skills to pen paranormal novels in the turret office of her Victorian home.

She’s spent nearly a quarter of a century with the boy who took her to the Prom, drinks tea with milk and sugar, is an adamant fan of the television show Supernatural, and has an indecent love of hats.

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Giveaway

Win a $50 Amazon gift card, a signed copy of The Chosen (US only), or a signed set of The Legend Series (US only) through this Rafflecopter. The giveaway ends on March 27, 2013.

Giveaway: ‘Matt Archer: Blade’s Edge’ by Kendra C. Highley

When Matt Archer was fourteen, he discovered monsters are real. As if that wasn’t enough to go on for a few decades, Matt also found out that he’d been chosen to hunt those monsters–with a sentient, supernatural knife. Now fifteen, Matt has spent the last year working with a clandestine military unit, trying to rid the world of monsters, demons and other vicious creatures, all while keeping it a secret from nearly everyone he knows back home in Billings.

Including his mom.

Add in a new girlfriend, family secrets, sibling drama and enough homework to sink an aircraft carrier, and Matt’s life has become more complicated than he ever imagined. Worse, the knife has developed some very definite opinions about Matt’s personal life and it interferes in his business whenever it wants. More and more, Matt’s coming to realize that sharing brain-space with a spirit kind of sucks.

When stories of decimated towns and hordes of zombies start pouring into the Pentagon from Afghanistan, Matt knows he’ll be called up soon. Between the new mission and the knife’s increasing control over his mind, Matt wonders if he’ll survive long enough to take his driver’s exam.

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Action

Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Kobo     Smashwords     iTunes

“Blade’s Edge is an exciting continuation of the Matt Archer series. Kendra Highley did not fall victim to the sophomore funk. She has written an emotional and power story about Matt’s horrific journey to rid the world of monsters.” –Kinx’s Book Nook (Amazon)

“I enjoyed Matt Archer: Monster Hunter to the point I was picking it up every time I had spare moments (which are few in my home), but MA: Blade’s Edge has blown me away! Ms. Highley has crafted a story that comes to life with vivid images, exciting adventures, and thrilling mishaps that add a touch of humor (driving test, anyone?)” –Kelly C. (Amazon)

“”Matt Archer Blade’s Edge” more than delivers what a reader wants from a sequel. The tension and action are taken up a level, as are the mysteries and plot developments.
Best of all, you feel the time passing from book to book and see the characters really grow and change.” –Picky Reviewer (Amazon)

“The Matt Archer books are the best young adult books I’ve read since I was a young adult! Think Supernatural for a younger audience, but better. I’ll be ordering paper copies for my Favorites shelf. Not to be missed!” Sarah G. (Amazon)

Book 1 in the Matt Archer Series

Fourteen-year-old Matt Archer spends his days studying Algebra, hanging out with his best friend and crushing on the Goddess of Greenhill High, Ella Mitchell. To be honest, he thinks his life is pretty lame until he discovers something terrifying on a weekend camping trip at the local state park.

Monsters are real. And living in his backyard.

But that’s not the half of it. After Matt is forced to kill a strange creature to save his uncle, he finds out that the weird knife he took from his uncle’s bag has a secret, one that will change Matt’s life. The knife was designed with one purpose: to hunt monsters. And it’s chosen Matt as its wielder.

Now Matt’s part of a world he didn’t know existed, working with a covert military unit dedicated to eliminating walking nightmares. Faced with a prophecy about a looming dark war, Matt soon realizes his upcoming Algebra test is the least of his worries.

His new double life leaves Matt wondering which is tougher: hunting monsters or asking Ella Mitchell for a date?

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Action

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“Terrific page turner; I stayed up half the night reading it, and now I can’t wait for the next installment.”  –Amelia Anne (Goodreads)

“The action is quick-paced, abundant and so much fun!!! I can’t get over just how awesome of a read this book is; I can’t wait for more!!!” –Danielle S. (Goodreads)

“I can’t remember the last time I had this much fun reading a book. The eponymous narrator is a very likable and believable hero, the world is rich and detailed….
It has been a long time since I was a teenager, but I’m pretty sure that this book would appeal to an audience of all ages.” — Misha B. (Goodreads)

“The action doesn’t stop. Seriously! I was up until after 1am because I couldn’t put it down!” –Riamachia (Amazon)

“It’s funny – I thought I was too old for YA stories, and then I realised that I was just looking for the right kind of stories to hold my interest. This is one of those. If you’re looking for vampires or angels or similar things that tend to make up YA novels at the moment, you won’t find that here – you will, however, find something a bit more awesome.” –Sweartoad (Amazon)

About the Author

Kendra C. Highley lives in north Texas with her husband and two children. She also serves as staff to two self-important and high-powered cats. This, according to the cats, is her most important job. She believes chocolate is a basic human right, running a 10k is harder than it sounds, and that everyone should learn to drive a stick-shift. She loves monsters, vacations, baking and listening to bad electronica.

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Giveaway

Win a $50 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash through this Rafflecopter. The giveaway ends on March 24, 2013.

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 http://iamareader.comand sponsored by the authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Giveaway and an Interview with Mari Passananti

Author Mari Passananti discusses how an interest in large corporations and their hold over law makers led to her novel The K Street Affair.

What was the inspiration for The K Street Affair?

I’m a bit of a political junkie, and I’ve always been fascinated by the nexus of money and politics. At this point in our nation’s history, large corporations hold unprecedented sway over laws and lawmakers. Which is problematic, because as Lee Raymond, the CEO of Exxon/Mobil famously said, his multinational corporation isn’t a U.S. company, so he doesn’t make decisions based on what’s good for the United States. Think about that. These are the people with nearly bottomless resources. They employ armies of lobbyists and spend mind-boggling sums to shape the laws of the land in their shareholders’ favor. Since the Supreme Court decided Citizens United, there is no way to prevent corporations and even foreign interests (whose agendas may conflict directly with our economic and national security interests) from making enormous donations to political causes. In writing The K Street Affair, I set out to answer two questions: What if a politically wired multinational corporation set out to start a war to advance its own economic interests? And if one relatively ordinary citizen stumbled upon their plans, should she risk everything, including her life and the lives of her family members, to stop them?

The K Street Affair is very different from your debut novel, The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken. What inspired you to go in this direction?

I actually wrote a draft of the novel that would become K Street Affair before I wrote The Hazards. The most interesting rejection that manuscript received said something along the lines of “You can write, but the world isn’t ready for a female Jason Bourne. Try something less far fetched.” I shelved the project and focused on The Hazards, which is a less quirky women’s novel. Once The Hazards was published, I decided to dust off K Street Affair. It was a fascinating exercise. Plots involving secret offshore money laundering and terror finance (whether witting or unwitting) by politicians and their corporate friends somehow seem less far fetched that they did five years ago. Ultimately, both novels feature a young woman protagonist forced to find her backbone through a series of unwanted events.

Did you do extensive research into politics and corporate America while writing The K Street Affair?

Yes. I cite some of the books I devoured in the Author’s Note at the end of the book. I had extensive conversations with a private equity executive, who for obvious reasons wishes to remain anonymous. He was the first person to whisper the words “offshore money laundering” to me, and for that I am grateful. The central crimes in K Street Affair wouldn’t have been feasible without the series of blind trusts and blocker corporations the villains set up outside the reach of the IRS.

What is your typical writing day like?

Sometimes I wish I had a typical writing day. I usually write while my son, a newly minted three-year-old, is in preschool, which gives me twenty uninterrupted hours a week (if I’m lucky). I wish I could say I’m one of those people who can work late into the night, but I’m exhausted by the time my son goes to bed. Whenever I work during the wee hours, I write the most awful drivel, which I inevitably end up deleting. Once in a while, if I’m on a roll, I’ll hire a sitter. I get nothing done if I try to work while watching my kid. Because he’s three, he’s permanently set to self-destruct mode. I’m pretty sure that any parent who claims to work while minding a preschooler accomplishes very little. Small kids are wired with invisible antennae that alert them to rivals for parental attention. In our house, my work is my son’s nemesis.

Can you tell us about your writing process? Do you outline? Are you a planner?

I always know how things will end for my main characters when I start writing, but I don’t write extensive outlines. The downside of this method is that I write myself into corners every so often. I suppose that’s part of my process. If something a character does isn’t working, I go back, unravel and re-write until the scene makes sense.

What is the best writing (and/or life) advice you have ever received?

Failure isn’t an option. If you suffer a set back, you dust yourself off, maybe even lick your wounds a little, but you always get back on the metaphorical horse.

What books are on your nightstand? What are you currently reading?

THE SHOEMAKER’S WIFE — My book club’s pick this month tells the intertwined stories of two young people from the Italian Alps who emigrate to America before the First World War. A well researched novel, told in a charming voice and presented on a nearly epic scale. The Constant Gardner—John LeCarre’s best spy novel ever, in my humble opinion. I saw the movie years ago but never read the book until this summer. DRIFT—I confess I’ve been waiting to read this look at the military-industrial complex until the galleys for K Street Affair shipped, because when it released in May, I was making the last edits to my manuscript and I was terrified this critically acclaimed book would inspire another massive re-write.

What do you think is the biggest myth of being a novelist?

I think there’s a perception among many non-writers that if you publish a book, you’ll make a good living. While that certainly happens for some authors, it’s not the norm.

What advice would you give to an unpublished writer?

You need thick skin. Writing involves a staggering amount of rejection and criticism. As to process:

(1.) Write a draft.

(2.) Put it away for several weeks.

(3.) Take it out a revise ruthlessly.

(4.) Show the manuscript to an editor or writers’ workshop—people other than your mom or best friends.

(5.) Revise again.

(6.) Repeat steps 2 through 5 until satisfied.

What are you working on now?

I’ve started work on my third novel, about a woman who sacrifices her legal career in order to follow her celebrated humanitarian husband to the third world. If he works tirelessly to save countless children, but treats his own family abominably, is he still a great man? In aid to the developing world, do appearances matter more than results? Does modern marriage have room for two big, ambitious personalities, or does one partner always end up yielding? I also have an entirely different book percolating: a courtroom tale about a big firm lawyer assigned to a capital case. I want to look not only at the legal system, but at the personal toll a case with such stakes takes on the lawyer, a young wife and mother.

Read the rest of this entry

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