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Have any of you ever tried something new that seemed a little risky? I feel like that’s been my life the last 8 months with work, writing, adopting a new fur-baby and a few other areas.
I fully admit to being a little scattered in my loves, but when I love, I go all in, especially with my pastries and my writing worlds!
Then there’s the addition of my little Wilykit to my family of me and Sir Tigra 🙂 It’s been an interesting challenge to get them to get along. We’ve still got a ways to go but they are not trying to go for each other’s throats at least =^_^=
I can’t deny I seem to have a love for cats with stripes and adorably feisty personalities.
Then there’s the chances I am taking in the book world, the biggest of which is posting the first book of my newest series, Venators of Orion, on Swoon Reads.
For those who don’t know, Swoon reads is a part of Macmillan publishing and is an open format where authors go to post their polished manuscripts for the Swoon Reads community to read and leave feed back and ratings on. Then a few times a year the Swoon reads staff go through the posted books and select what books they wan to publish. (I have personally found a half dozen book from there I LOVE!) Anyone can sign up to be apart of the community, both as authors and readers!
CHASING THE ORION STARS is now up for readers to find and enjoy and I’d love to see what my readers think of this new chapter of YA Urban Fantasy fun 🙂
Aurora Milos has fallen in love with a sixteenth century boy in her dreams of all places. When her mom moves them to Rome, Italy she’ll not only discover Alexander “Lex” Borgia is real, but that he’s found a way to defy time and to be with her in the twenty-first century—just as he vowed he would.
The only problem is that keeping that vow will drive Aurora and Lex into the center of an ancient war between the Venators of Orion, the immortal army that protect our world, the mysterious and unseen phantom beasts that roam the earth, and those who use those monsters to get their revenge.
Aurora’s new life may have everything she’s ever wanted, but it’s not what she thought it would be; and if she and Lex fail to stop the evil Pleiades sisters and their followers the modern world will never be the same.
I hope some of you will go over and check it out before I make a decision on what to do with my newest literary baby.
There is one last thing that I’ve been working on, when I have had the time, and that’s pulling together a fun Instagram scavenger hunt that will pair up a bunch of amazing YA authors for some pic prompting fun with some really great prizes thrown in!! More information and the event dates will come as I get author confirmation, so until then stay tuned for the follow up!!!!!
<3 always LH
Welcome to another great YA Scavenger Hunt! This blog hop of fun-ness is designed to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to find new favorite authors and win some great prizes! I’m on #TeamGold this time and I’m thrilled! As per usual I have an extra giveaway going on that you can only enter here on this page. $30 in gift cards and s very special prize basket filled with so many things us book lovers live off of ;P The rafflecopter is below so don’t miss it.
There is more to this hunt than access to exclusive content. If you want any of the grand prizes you need to find and add up all the number clues from each author for the team hunt. Get that total number and you can enter for our prizes–one lucky winner will receive ONE SIGNED BOOK from each author on the hunt team!
But you have to play fast. This contest will only be open for 5 days, APRIL 4-9! Each author on my #TeamGold have listed a certain number; collect the numbers of all the authors and add them up. Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.
Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt, the rules, the other teams, and all the prizes up for grabs!
For this hunt I am hosting LISA VOISON and her fantasy book THE WARRIOR PROPHET
How far would you go to save the one you love?
Mia Crawford is a prophet.
She can see angels. She also sees demons. Everywhere.
The angels are preparing for war to get her fallen angel boyfriend, Michael, back.
A war that could take years.
Haunted by visions of Michael’s soul being tortured, Mia can’t rest until she knows he’s safe.
To save him, she must make an impossible journey through Hell with the one person she prayed she’d never see again.
SPECIAL CONTENT: Deleted prologue from The Warrior Prophet
This is an old character sketch I did of Damiel, the villain from The Watcher. Since he returns in The Warrior Prophet, I wrote this to help me find his voice. I was considering using it as a prologue, but it was never fleshed out into a real scene. It’s pretty rough, but that’s what deleted scenes are all about.
I hope you enjoy it. I had a lot of fun writing him!
There’s a special place in Heaven for the fallen Watchers. A secured quarantine they keep stark and constantly lit. No room for shadows in Heaven. Not even my own. Whoever designed this place must have figured we’d had enough of the dark. Perhaps they didn’t trust what one of us would do with only shadows for company.
Nobody comes to see me. There’s nothing left but me and my shattered conscience.
You’d think being near Heaven would be welcoming, but it’s so much colder than I remember. Cold enough to make me miss the fires of Hell, or at least a body to possess. Heaven’s warmth comes from the constant presence of the Divine. But that brings me no comfort. Not when I haven’t been able to feel it for millennia. Hell burned it right out of me, an anti-purification, or corruption, on a different scale.
Speaking of Hell, someone once said it was so beautiful it would torment an angel to insanity. That’s the part of Hell I know. The breeding ground of sin.
And where did this infection of sin come from, you ask?
You know that in the beginning was darkness. But when God said ‘let there be light’ where do you think the darkness went?
It hid, waiting in every shadow, craving its revenge. And despite all of God’s mighty warriors, it cannot be vanquished. Not one of us, no human nor angel, is completely free of its grasp.
Lisa Voisin is an author of young adult and fantasy fiction, and a graduate of SFU’s The Writer’s Studio. In her spare time, Lisa leads a writing group for teens and teaches meditation in her hometown of North Vancouver, B.C.
Sounds like an interesting series! Take the time to check it out after you enter the extra giveaway I’m running! To be eligible for the grand prize on #TeamGold you need to remember the number 32 before you jump to AMY CHRISTINE PARKER‘s page to continue the hunt!
Happy sleuthing 🙂
Ben Pryor grew up as an average kid in Camden, Maine, unaware of the supernatural storm brewing in his Celtic blood. However, at nineteen, as the last born in the royal line of the beings that once ruled Atlantis, Ben has eagerly embraced his newfound abilities and birthright.
When Caleb, his sister’s mate, goes missing under suspicious circumstances, the prime suspect is the last remaining member of the overthrown corrupt Guardian Council.
With the discovery that an old acquaintance has been keeping secrets and the future Ben was so sure of shifting before his eyes, the situation becomes more complicated, the ransom for Caleb too high.
In the sequel to Shades of Atlantis, Ben will delve deeper than he ever imagined into the magical old ways of the Guardians, the secrets of Excalibur, and the truth behind the legend of King Arthur.
Emma lifted her arm and pointed, bringing our attention to the water. Her eyebrows arched in astonishment. “We still have company.”
Guinevere’s fingers tightened and her entire body appeared to go ridged to the point of breaking. Her eyes locked mine with a strange little twitch in the corner of the one on the left. She swallowed. I was the only thing blocking her view from the water. I wanted to look, but it seemed like a needless cruelty to tear my eyes away and leave her hanging.
“Guinevere?” The voice was male and unsure. It had to be to Arthur.
The startled gasp that escaped Guinevere’s throat confirmed it. She closed her eyes, breaking our connection, and her cheeks flushed, a smile tugging at her quivering lips.
Her grip intensified when he called her name again. “Is this real?” She whispered, hopefully.
“If real means I can hear him too.”
She smiled and tilted her head sideways to look around me. Guinevere’s hand slipped out of my grasp and she moved away slowly, over the sodden ground.
The man by the water had to be Arthur Pendragon. At first sight, he appeared little older than the rest of us and as though stepped from the pages of a history book…or a renaissance fair. He wore a tunic with the emblem of a red dragon and boots that came up to his knees. Unlike the rest of us, he was clean and dry, as though he had materialized from air. His hands suddenly jerked to his stomach and clutched at the fabric. One swiped through his hair before he examined it, perhaps searching for evidence of his previous injuries.
Guinevere approached him tentatively, mud squelching up around her feet.
“Ben, look,” Amanda leaned into my side a whispered. She inclined her head to the nearby farmhouse where the lights were coming on one by one. “We have to leave, now.”
“It’s been centuries for them, we can spare thirty seconds,” I replied, keeping my voice low too.
Amanda’s lip pressed together in surprise. I couldn’t help it. I remembered when it was me seeing her again for the first time after I’d thought she was lost to me at Tara. They needed a moment to process…but, a moment was all we could spare. The Fáidh were nothing, if not dramatic and their little ground-shaker stunt would probably bring unwanted attention soon.
“I was gone a long time,” Arthur said, taking in the group before him.
Guinevere stopped about a foot away. She nodded.
He shook his head and raked both hands through his hair in anguish. “I confess, I am at a loss to understand much of what has transpired, Guinevere.”
“Guys,” Emma joined us. “This reunion needs a change of location.”
“Guinevere,” I called reluctantly. “We can do this back at the house.”
She raised a hand to hush me and addressed Arthur. “There is much to talk about, but right now we have to leave this place.” The same hand inched toward his chest. She hesitated a beat before touching the red dragon. Her shoulders drooped as though her entire body deflated. Guinevere’s fingers slid up and around his neck. She pulled Arthur forward into a quick, passionate kiss before grabbing his hand and smiling. “You, my love, were made for the 21st century.”
Don’t miss book 1 of the Shades series: SHADES OF ATLANTIS
About the Author
Carol Oates came into the world on Christmas morning, in an elevator. Raised just across the street from the childhood home of Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, it was only a matter of time before Carol’s love of all things supernatural would emerge.
She began experimenting with fiction at school and keeps the notebook containing her first unpublished novel in her desk drawer. Over three decades later, all her stories still begin life scrawled on paper.
When not writing, Carol can be found exploring history with her son. Luckily, he shares her love of old buildings, castles, and tombs.
Now, I’ve still got my big giveaway going, and the first two books in Carol’s SHADES series are up for grabs along with my books, a $15 gift card and many other cool prizes! That’s it for this one lovelies! We will see you next week for our final #ATO!
<3 always LH
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Okay, okay….sheesh, maybe I’m not the star of Claiming Excalibur but I dare you to not like me. Who wouldn’t like me? I’m a half Imp half Fae trickster who is going to give you two new peaks at Claiming Excalibur right here today. Of course there’s also a giveaway (I swear she’s obsessed with them) that includes a $15 gift card, signed copies of both Legendary and Claiming Excalibur and another eBook pack!
PLUS I’ve had my fun with Amazon and the other online booksellers and put Legendary (Legendary Saga #1) on sale for $0.99! That’s right…you can get all caught up on the adventure, romance and magic of it all before moving on to book 2!
Excited yet? Good
But first things first:
Aliana Fagan has done what many thought impossible: she’s awakened King Arthur from his fifteen-hundred-year sleep, reunited the Knights of the Round Table, and even beaten Mordrid and Morgana LeFay in battle.
But the Destined One’s quest has only begun.
Before the knights can “unearth and reclaim their lost relics” they must survive the trip to Charleston, South Carolina and meet the newest member of the Round Table. If King Arthur’s men thought Aliana and Lacy were tenacious, they’ll be even more surprised by Dawn, the third member of the fem-trio.
Deadly secrets, unexpected allies, and a traitor lurking in the shadows await Aliana and the new Round Table as they continue their search for Excalibur. Their only clue is a beyond confusing poem from a mysterious book that speaks of a terrifying creature guarding the legendary sword. Trying to build a somewhat normal relationship with Sir Galahad adds a whole new level of complexity to Aliana’s task, especially when several among them suspect the White Knight may not be wholly himself. Her friendship with King Arthur grows closer, and when circumstances become intense, he may finally get the chance with Aliana that he’s been pining for.
Mysteries, legendary quests, and haunting memories will either unite the members of the New Round Table or fracture their bonds. Aliana and her crew only have seven months before the planets align and Mordrid can seize the power he needs to conquer the seven realms. Can the Destined One keep her new family together and lead Arthur to his destiny of saving the realms? Or will a centuries-old plot for revenge finally spell the king’s end?
Add Claiming Excalibur to your Goodreads shelves OR buy it here and many other fine places
Now, me being the crafty and outrageously devilish trickster that I am, I got into the early copy of Claiming Excalibur and pulled two, well….interesting scenes that have not yet been seen! I’ve borrowed one of the first fight scenes in Claiming Excalibur that includes a good look at the mysterious book Aliana dreamed of in the end of Legendary and a chance to get to know our newest lady of the Round Table: Dawn. That girl is going to be trouble, I like her already
Arthur crouched and pulled the volume free. The edges of the wrapping and spine were well worn, as if the book had been opened often. He handed the book to Aliana.
It looked about the right size. After an unsure glance at the others, she slipped her index finger under one of the torn edges and pulled.
The paper ripped easily away, like unwrapping a present. Turning the book over, she studied the brown casing and yellowed pages, her gaze going to the cracked spine. On it was a faded red shield with a dull yellow Dragon rearing back, wings spread to take flight.
“That’s my family’s crest,” Arthur confirmed.
“And this is the book from my dream.” Aliana’s astonishment turned to concern and confusion. “Why would Uncle Joe keep it wrapped in crappy paper to hide it?”
“We’ll have to discuss that later,” Arthur decreed. “We have what we came for; we should go.”
Aliana asked Dawn to hide the book in her messenger bag, and Wade led the way out of the office and down the hall. Dagg locked the door before returning to Aliana’s wrist. Galahad and Arthur flanked the girls, their eyes scanning the nearly empty hall.
“Why do I feel like I’m in the middle of an honor guard?” Dawn whispered loudly enough for the knights to hear.
“I’d like to know why we’re freaking out so much,” Aliana fake- whispered back. “I’d think we’d look much less conspicuous pretending to be normal students.”
Galahad took Aliana’s hand. “We’re just being cautious,” he said, but his stance relaxed and the pace Wade set slowed.
Aliana was used to seeing this part of the college more crowded. Now it felt more like a creepy movie ghost town minus the rolling ball of tumbleweed. She shook her head, dispelling the paranoid thought. The school was always a lot less crowded during summer.
They made it out of the building without incident and were halfway across a small, deserted quad. Wade pulled out the car keys, chirping off the alarm system as they neared the SUV.
“When we get back we need to —” Arthur was cut off when an unnaturally bluish-gray cloud swooped down from the sky, wrap- ping around the group and trapping them in a smoky wreath. A gray, fox-like creature with matted fur and three tales jumped from a tree and stared at them with glowing red eyes. Its tales twitched as it hunkered down, like it was waiting to pounce. Yellow ooze dripped from its sharp teeth.
“Get behind us!” the three guys ordered together. Dagg leaped from Aliana’s wrist, taking his true form. The guys pulled their swords from out of nowhere, getting into fighting position. The jewels on Arthur’s fire Elf sword gleamed.
“Where the hell did your weapons come from?” Aliana gasped. The scabbards that had held the swords were now visible, strapped to the guys’ backs.
“Merlin’s idea,” Galahad answered, studying the cloud.
“Didn’t think the old timer had it in him,” Wade joked, but he didn’t smile.
As quickly as the cloud came, it vanished, leaving behind a dozen disfigured monsters. Their black, tattered clothes showed gray, cracked skin, and their claw-like hands held long sticks with dozens of sharpened barbs. They had Frankenstein-ish, lightning-struck spiked hair and lidless, dead eyes circled with black like raccoons. Their mouths gaped, revealing sharpened, yellowed teeth, as they lumbered around their trapped prisoners.
The girls stood back to back behind the knights. Aliana kept an eye on the monstrous little TreTale. Dawn gripped her bag, holding the book tightly to her side.
“I feel like I just landed in the middle of a Power Rangers fight scene,” Dawn said, trying to hide the tremor of fear in her voice. “What’s next, a flying monkey in gold armor saying ‘Attack them.
Bring me the book’?”
“Not the time, Dawn,” Wade warned as Dagg growled.
I told you she’d be my kind of trouble! Though I’ve got to question her for quoting the Power Rangers, even if she did at least have the good sense to reference the original series. Originals are always the best aren’t they?
But I promised you more than this one look, so click the link below to be taken to the prologue of Claiming Excalibur, and that part does star me! You’ll need a password to read it though, so here it is: Puck
But wait, there’s more! Including the new and improved playlist for Claiming Excalibur. And let me just say, Queen Titania’s got the whole Dark Horse thing covered.
I’ve also gone ahead and made LH’s Pintrest board for Claiming Excalibur open for public consumption. I have to have a chat with that girl….I’m no where in there yet. but have no fear, dear readers, I will be there soon!
I think that’s enough for today, I hear LH coming back from work….wait until she sees what I’ve done! Hehe. She’ll thank me in the end. I’ll see you readers soon.
Today is another very special #ATO for me because the fantastical Colleen Houck is taking over with an interview and more about the novella for her A-maz-ing Tigers Curse series: TIGERS PROMISE. I was so excited to read this story and I loved it, just like this entire series! If you haven’t heard about, or read this series–you so should! I was actually reading TIGERS QUEST (book 2 of the series) as I started pulling together and planning everything for my Legendary Saga. Just another reason I love this series so much. But enough from me, time to hear Colleen’s answers to some of my interview questions and learn more about her wonderful series.
Take it away Colleen!
- As a writer, we have to do a lot of research to make sure our stories are rooted in facts. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever researched?
I had to research a place called The Body Farm. It’s a site, I can’t remember where exactly where they dump bodies that have been donated to science and they place them in various locations such as a swamp, a forest, in a woodshed, etc. Then they study the rate of decay. The reason I was researching it was so that I would understand how zombies would look for a chapter in Tiger’s Destiny called The Cave of Sleep and Death.
- Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Battle scenes are tough for me. My little brother actually acts them out and explains to me how when you swing a sword a certain way there has to be follow though and you can’t have it coming down on the bad guy’s head in the next move.
- Tell us about a unique or quirky writing habit of yours.
I always light a candle as I write. It reminds me to add the five senses into my book. If the character doesn’t see, smell, taste, touch, or hear something, then neither does my reader.
- If you were attending a Halloween party, what would your costume be and why?
I’ve always wanted to be the Queen of Hearts. The dress is fun and I’ve been ordering people around since I was a kid so I’d be a natural at it.
- What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? And how did you handle it?
The toughest criticism comes from ordinary people leaving reviews. At some point every author needs to learn to turn a blind eye to it. I once got a very detailed email from someone with pages full of bullet points explaining why I was a terrible author. I was crying by the middle and then, when I got to the end, the person said, “By the way, I’m 13.” I wiped my eyes and vowed never to take that stuff seriously again. Ultimately, the person we are writing for is ourselves and all you can do at the end of the day is your best. If you end up with lots of readers who love to read your story then fantastic! But you’ll always have a group who want to cut you up in little pieces and throw you to the wolves. It comes with the territory.
- If I wasn’t afraid I would _________ (What?)
- If you could eliminate one thing from your daily schedule, what would it be and why?
Social Media. There’s an aspect about it that I love and it’s great to interact with fans but it takes up so much of my time that I often feel chained to it. The expectations that come with it are very high. There are some people who will poke, prod, and pester you, demanding that you acknowledge them in some way. A fan wrote me a long letter that I actually took the time to read and at the end I responded with a, “Thank you so much!” The next day they cursed at me saying I should have written them back something equally as long. That was one of 200 emails I looked at in one day. Social media draws us closer than ever to the people we admire but I think it also creates pseudo relationships that can be damaging in a way, too. And it definitely shrinks or makes invisible the boundaries of where you have a personal space.
- Your books all take place in many different countries; did you travel to any of these places for your book?
No. I wish I had and have plans to go visit at some point.
- If you could change ONE thing about your Tigers Curse Series, what would it be? Why?
I wish that I’d been able to write Tiger’s Dream immediately following Tiger’s Destiny. It’s hard for me to put that on hold while I write my new Egypt series. Retaining the details of an entire series while adding a new one is not an easy thing for my brain to do.
Before the curse, there was a promise. A prequel to the bestselling Tiger’s Curse series, this much anticipated novella recalls the beginning of Ren and Kishan’s story. Before Kelsey there was a girl, raised by a villain, whose love for a hero changed the course of history.
Trapped under the thumb of her abusive and powerful father Lokesh, Yesubai struggles to keep her own magical abilities secret while evading his dark powers. When Lokesh promises Yesubai to the prince of a neighboring kingdom, she becomes the central pawn in his plot to destroy the ruling family and take power for himself. Yesubai is trapped by her father’s threats and desperate to protect the man she comes to love, but she knows that any decision she makes will have dire consequences. As dark forces gather around her, Yesubai must decide if she’s willing to reveal that somewhere deep within her she has the power to change everything.
New York Times Bestselling Author Colleen Houck is a lifelong reader whose literary interests include action, adventure, science fiction, and romance. Her first four novels, Tiger’s Curse, Tiger’s Quest, Tiger’s Voyage, and Tiger’s Destiny were New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestsellers. Formerly a student at the University of Arizona, she worked as a nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter for seventeen years before switching careers to become an author. Colleen lives in Salem, Oregon, with her husband and a huge assortment of plush tigers. TWITTER FACEBOOK WEBSITE
I am so happy Colleen was able to stop by and take over today, and I hope you all enjoyed her interview! I’m serious, her Tiger series ROCKS! I am also super excited because next week’s #ATO will be me and the release of CLAIMING EXCALIBUR!!!!! Just wait until you see what I’ve got for the release 😀
<3 always LH