Friday, May 29, 2015

Book Blitz: Ara







Ara
by B.R. Eddy
Release
Date: Fall 2014
339
pages

Summary
from Goodreads:


Ara Vertrees is an advisor to the King
in Jimalia, a thriving island nation in the middle of a vast ocean. Her macaws
are trained to fly home to the palace to repeat confidential information. When
their messages become more and more troubling, she finds herself in the middle
of a crisis she never expected. Ara's story is full of adventure, friendship,
mystery, love and loss. Join Ara and her companions as they fight pirates,
uncover deception, find love and fight for Jimalia.






Buy Links:


Print EditionKindle Edition



Here's an Excerpt!


She paused mid-sentence. Captain Upshaw and the mate seemed to focus off in the distance and an unease settled across the helm. Ara glanced over her shoulder in the direction of their attention and saw a schooner.

The vessel wasn’t very large, perhaps large enough for a crew of forty or fifty and equipped for short trips. It was beautiful, its size and sharply angled sails gave it a fleetness only a schooner could boast. It had appeared seemingly out of nowhere very close to the Prestige.

It was not unusual to see another vessel in these busy waters. Ara stole another quick glance at the captain, they were still eyeing it suspiciously. Now the helmsman had sweat on his brow with his eyes darting back and forth between Upshaw and Lowery, desperate for direction.

Beginning to feel very unsettled, Ara stepped closer to them and looked back at the ship. She couldn’t pick out what was so suspicious about it. The sails were bright white, the King’s flag snapped in the wind against the bright cloudless sky, sailors milled busily on deck. The name Undertow was painted brightly high on the hull.

She turned to them again, “Do you recognize it?”

Upshaw nodded, “Looks like the Wavebreaker. Pirates took her a few winters ago from the Larkman Company.”

“Captain?” Elliott stood aggressively as he saw the King’s flag slowly being lowered. Ara jumped, she had never seen him posture that way. Her heart leapt to her throat. Pirates? They couldn’t possibly dare challenging a ship like this.

Upshaw growled, “Hard to port. Man the guns. Passengers below.”

The helmsman twisted the wheel hard as Elliott bellowed out orders. At the same time, the sailor on watch shouted alarm and rang a bell loudly as he pointed. Terror set into her as she watched the black flag hoisted.

Women screamed, crew shouted as they manned guns, herded passengers and scurried up the rigging to respond to the helm. The great ship whipped around bravely. The captain had furious eyes. Livid that anyone would dare try to raise a challenge for the ship.

Ara darted down the staircase. She made straight for the stalls, Trekker was startled by the commotion and flew off into the sky.

She leaned up against Fellow’s stall door and reached over to touch his face. Unlike the other animals that were bucking and spinning and clearly disrupted by the uproar, Fellow looked around tensely, swiveling his ears at the noise.

Rivan rounded the corner, “Ara, what’s happening?”

She didn’t even notice how he called her by her first name, “Pirates are approaching us.”

A gun went off and the sound of it rocked her body with fear. She dropped to the deck trembling violently. This couldn’t possibly be happening. Surely the captain wouldn’t allow the ship to be boarded, surely they outmatched the other vessel, surely they wouldn’t be able to board a ship with forty guns, surely the pirates would realize their error and sail away.

Ara had never experienced fear like this before. In all her life she had control, confidence and influence. It was all happening so suddenly. “My birds!” She wailed like a child.

Rivan took her shoulders firmly and she looked up at him with tears in her eyes. His hands were steady and strong, his eyes clear and focused, “Let’s go.” He said simply. He heaved her up onto her feet just as pirates began climbing grappling lines they had thrown over the port rail. Prestige crew rushed up with axes to cut the lines but the first few arm lengths were made of chain.

Ara stopped breathing as she watched the pirates cut them down.

Blood splattered the deck.

Rivan jerked her arm and drew her away from the melee. He rushed her up the staircase towards her cabin. She got a hold of herself, got her feet under her and ran with him as she pulled out her key. She jammed the key in the door just as another gun went off. It wasn’t a ship’s gun, it was one of the fearsome Cinlandian hand guns that pirates were so feared for. Jimalians didn’t have the technology to make a cannon small enough to carry. A sword was no protection from a pirate with a hand held gun that he could point directly at you without having to maneuver an entire ship to do so.

She threw herself into her cabin and Rivan slammed the door behind them. She rushed over to the bird cages, trying to decide what to do. She decided that she had to let them fly. Hopefully they would manage to find their way back to Capital. If not… well… there was certainly no hope for them here.

She threw the window open and stepped up to Seven’s cage, they were on his route home and he had the best chance of gaining his bearings and leading the others back to Capital. He stepped up on her arm nicely but she lost his cooperation at the window and had to force him out as he shrieked in protest. With worry and regret in her heart she thrust them out one by one, willing them to fly home.

Tears streamed down her eyes, would she ever see them again? The door to her cabin was smashed open. She screamed deliriously and covered her ears. Rivan grabbed her shoulder and rushed them back outside. Gunshots were going off left and right. Fear coursed through her body. There was chaos and blood everywhere. Screaming and shouting filled her senses. Was this how it ended for her? She clung desperately to Rivan. Her instinct was to climb, but she didn’t dare leave Rivan. They darted across the waist and up the staircase towards the bow.







About the Author

My name is Brit and I was born and raised in Santa Cruz, California. My work with

animals brought macaws into my life. They frightened me, moved me, hurt

me, loved me and made me grow. I hope that my novel will help people

understand these birds better! They are breathtaking and intelligent, but do

not make good pets for most families. They require a lot of space and

attention, can be very destructive and can easily outlive you.

They can be incredible companions to the right people. Please keep all these

things in mind when considering a macaw as a pet!"


Author Links:





GIVEAWAY:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Thirteen Reasons Why: A Review

Goodreads (Description):

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.





My Review:

This was an incredible read. A tad depressing, but quite impactful.

Clay is an average kid, trying to get good grades and eventually become valedictorian. Everything is right and good in life until he receives a shoebox full of cassettes. And on those tapes, is Hannah Baker's voice. It's just that ... Hannah had killed herself.

Through seven tapes, Clay hears thirteen reasons why Hannah killed herself.

The tapes are not only sad, but they are chock full of emotion. Seeing Hannah's life through her eyes. Seeing how one tiny rumor, one tiny, stupid joke can unravel a person's life. It definitely made me think. Our actions matter, no matter how small they are. We may not think they affect anyone, but in some small way, they do.

Seeing Clay's reaction to Hannah's tapes is heartbreaking at times. The pain he goes through while trying to cope with what he's hearing. His actions prove to me that he is a genuinely good guy. Especially since he is surrounded by kids to need to reevaluate themselves. Poor Hannah never got a break from them.

This book definitely brought out the consequences of bullying and careless actions. It is impossible to like everyone you meet, but it is possible to be nice. This book reinforced my belief that under no circumstances does anyone have the right to belittle or ridicule someone else--to make them feel less and inferior. That was all Hannah got from people, and uts horrible.

Suicide is a touchy subject, but this book helps show how people need to recognize the signs, and help in any they can. If only Hannah's counselor had not given her a sort of ultimatum, but rather got her some real help... If only someone saw her pain, if only she shared it...

Like I said, it's a touchy subject and it got me thinking. This is definitely a book everyone should read. Maybe it will help us all to be a little bit kinder, and little bit more caring.

I give this a 5 out of 5!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Excerpt: Hope in Every Raindrop

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.


Hope In Every RaindropHope In Every Raindrop
by Wesley Banks
NA Contemporary
ebook, 202 pages
May 26th 2015


“Small towns have big stories.” That was a lesson Katie’s father taught her years ago. A lesson she’s taken to heart. And right now, Katie is desperate for a big story. Reeling from the recent loss of her father and with her agent breathing down her neck for the next book, the twenty-one-year-old writer picks a spot on the map and finds herself bound for a middle-of-nowhere town called Bishopville, South Carolina.

Taking a chance on the words of a local grocer, Katie stumbles upon a rare breed of dogs raised by the town doctor and his nephew Kyle. The only problem? Kyle isn’t interested in telling stories—especially not to a big-city girl who can’t seem to sit still. In an attempt to win him over as the clock winds down, Katie finds herself immersed in Kyle’s world, doing everything but writing.

When inspiration finally strikes, Katie is faced with an unforeseen catastrophe and a truth she can no longer ignore. While she has come to love the dogs, the real story may be about Kyle Walker.




Here's An Excerpt!


Katie moved her hands across the cover and binding, feeling the granular canvas cover and depressions that had been created by folding the cover back on itself over time. Her fingers moved slowly, as if she were searching for a trap door or secret chamber that would unlock another world.

She opened the book hesitantly, bending the cover back and angling the pages towards the light that crept in through a crack in the roof.

As she started to read, she heard the barn door creak open.

Shit. Kyle is back.

She slammed the book shut and shoved it into the drawer without thinking, almost knocking the lamp over as she quickly stood. The boards creaked again as she moved across the loft and towards the ladder. Too late, she realized her error.

Was the book inside the drawer, or on the table when I found it? He’s going to kill me.

Katie took the steps two at a time as she nearly slid down the ladder and out of the loft. But when she reached the barn floor, she was alone. The barn door wasn’t open any more than when she’d first arrived, and neither Kyle nor Doc were anywhere in sight. The dogs weren’t stirring, but they were still alert, eyes fixed on her movement.

She brushed some timber debris off her hands and bent over halfway to sweep off her jeans. That’s when she saw him.

Standing just inside the door where his black fur blended in with the morning shadows, was King.

He knew. She could see it in his eyes. But maybe he didn’t care, because once he saw her he came trotting up to her. He opened his mouth and his tongue fell out to the side, panting as he rubbed his shoulder against her leg like a cat.

Katie held her finger up to her lips. “This will be our little secret.”

She turned sideways and slipped back through the barn door the same way she had come in. The rising sun had just peaked the horizon. At the same time that she looked to the east, Kyle came jogging around the corner. Shirtless.

Sweat dripped down his chest and arms. His shoulders were wider than she had realized, accentuated by the v-shaped taper of his torso. His stomach was taut and her eyes followed it down to the line of his jeans, hanging just below his waist.

It occurred to Katie suddenly that maybe Sam wasn’t so far off base after all. Because…wow.

He wasn’t wearing a hat, either. It was the first time she’d seen him without one. His hair was dark brown, almost black. Short on the sides, and just enough to run her fingers through on the top. Katie moved to take a step towards him—except it wasn’t a step at all, because her foot caught on a small rock embedded in a patch of clay and she tripped. She tried to break the fall with her arms, but she had been too distracted to recover quickly enough. As she hit the ground she let out a soft whimper, her shoulder driving hard into the dirt.

Kyle paused and looked down at her, stopping several feet away.

"There's a storm coming in," he said, walking past her and towards Doc’s house.

"Don't worry, I'm fine," Katie remarked sarcastically as she stood up, brushing herself off for the second time that morning.



Or maybe Sam doesn’t know what the hell she’s talking about.




wesley-bio-300x460Wesley Banks was born in 1983 and grew up on the west coast of Florida. He graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Civil Engineering. After spending over 7 years building movable bridges from Florida to Washington he decided to focus on his true passion: writing.

Wesley recently moved from Florida to Oregon to get back to the great outdoors that he’s love so much. He lives with my wife Lindsey, and his two dogs Linkin and Story. Most of his time these days is spent writing, with as much rock climbing, hiking, or skiing as they can fit in.

Wesley’s debut novel, “Hope In Every Raindrop,” is set to be released May of 2015.

Follow the Tour

Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card
3 ebook copies of Hope In Every Raindrop
Open internationally
Ends June 8th

a Rafflecopter giveaway





Saturday, May 23, 2015

Guest Post: The Occasional Diamond Thief






YA Bound Book Tours is organizing a Blog Tour for: The Occasional Diamond Thief by J.A. McLachlan. This tour will run from May 18th to May 29th. Check out the full blog tour schedule below:




The
Occasional Diamond Thief
by J.A.
McLachlan


Release
Date: 05/15/15
EDGE Publishing

Summary
from Goodreads:


What if you learned your father was a thief? Would you follow
in his footsteps, learn his "trade"? If you were the only one who knew,
would you keep his secret?



When 16-yr-old Kia is training to be a universal translator, she is co-opted into traveling as a translator to Malem. This is the last place in the universe that Kia wants to be—it’s the planet where her father caught the terrible illness that killed him—but it’s also where he got the magnificent diamond that only she knows about. Kia is convinced he stole it, as it is illegal for any off-worlder to possess a Malemese diamond.



Using her skill in languages – and another skill she picked up, the skill of picking locks - Kia unravels the secret of the mysterious gem and learns what she must do to set things right: return the diamond to its original owner.



But how will she find out who that is when no one can know that she, an off-worlder, has a Malemese diamond? Can she trust the new friends she’s made on Malem, especially handsome but mysterious 17-year-old Jumal, to help her? And will she solve the puzzle in time to save Agatha, the last person she would have expected to become her closest friend?



Kia is quirky, with an ironic sense of humor, and a loner. Her sidekick, Agatha, is hopeless in languages and naive to the point of idiocy in Kia's opinion, but possesses the wisdom and compassion Kia needs.












Guest Post!



Hello, I’m J. A. McLachlan, the author of The Occasional Diamond Thief. I’m so pleased to be meeting you, and I’d like to thank Natalie for having me here on The Written Adventure today. This blog tour is part of my online launch of The Occasional Diamond Thief, and I’ll have something different at each stop – book excerpts, author and character reveals, vlogs, reviews and blog posts – for you to enjoy. You can find The Occasional Diamond Thief at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NF9NYJM And you can find me at: http://www.janeannmclachlan.com


Check here for the other places I’ll be from May 18th until May 29th: http://yaboundbooktours.blogspot.ca/2015/03/blog-tour-sign-up-occasional-diamond.html




Excerpt:
(in this excerpt, Kia discovers what’s inside the little pouch her father gave her on his deathbed.)

I shift sideways and feel something hard pinching my hip. Half-rising, I dig down into my pocket. When I touch the soft leather of the pouch, I remember what it is.

I sit up and examine it. In the daylight it no longer looks so ominous. It’s just a commonplace little sack with a small, hard object inside it.

I have to use my teeth to untie the leather cords that hold it shut. The thin cords are dry and tough in my mouth, and when I finally work them loose they still hold the shape of the knot. Reaching inside with my thumb and forefinger, I feel a jagged stone the size of a marble. I pull it out and drop it onto my palm. The sun hits it, and I gasp in disbelief. It is stunningly, frighteningly beautiful.

The stone is clear and brilliant, like the diamond in my mother’s wedding band, except that this one is ten times the size of my mother’s. It has a brilliant circle of darkness at the core, as though I am staring straight into the sun. Light shimmers across this dark center like lightning in the night sky, and shoots out through the surrounding diamond in a rainbow of colors. I stare at it, mesmerized.

And quickly close my fingers tight around it. I stare down at my closed fist for a while, before I pick up the pouch and slip the stone back inside. How did my father come by such a thing? And why didn’t he tell anyone about it?
…Then I think: no one knows my father had it, or that he gave it to me. They’ll think I stole it.

My hand tightens around the pouch. Not if they don’t know.

Buy Links:



EDGE Publishing has a Thank you Gift for anyone who
buys the print version of the book. If they send an email to events@hadespublications.com
with their Amazon receipt, they will receive a copy of a short story that
features Kia.

Praise for The Occasional Diamond Thief by J. A. McLachlan


***
"J. A. McLachlan is a terrific writer -- wry and witty, with a keen eye

for detail. I've been following her work with interest and delight since

2003. In a world where young-adult fiction is booming, The Occasional

Diamond Thief propels McLachlan to the front of the pack." -- Robert J.

Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of FlashForward



"The story is full of humor, danger, fun, and adventure. This is Science

Fiction anyone would love." -- J. Jones, VINE VOICE



"Flawless--The Occasional Diamond Thief was one of those rare stories

where I found myself hanging onto every word. McLachlan delivers a

fast-paced, unpredictable story with perfectly-executed twists.

Descriptions were succinct and epigrammatic with no room for boredom. It

felt so real, it was almost like being in the theater with a surprise

treat at the end. Much like the theater, once the credits have started to

roll and the crowd starts to thin, there was a snippet at the end that you

do not want to miss." -- BittenbyBooks.com



"Loved it! I haven't read a heroine I loved this much since Katniss

Everdeen. McLachlan's Kia is smart, tough and hilarious, and pairing her

with serene, forgiving Agatha left me laughing long after I finished the

story. The settings were vivid, the plot raced along, and the themes kept

me turning pages. McLachlan combines her love of science fiction, ethics

and good, old-fashioned storytelling in The Occasional Diamond Thief, and

the results couldn't be better. I loved every page." -- Amanda Darling,

Screenwriter



"J. A. McLachlan is a remarkable creator of worlds, a remarkable creator

of character, a master of suspense. In short, a remarkable storyteller.

You don’t have to be a young adult to love this book." -- Sheryl Loeffler,

Writer, A Land in the Storytelling Sea





About
the Author


J. A. McLachlan was born in Toronto, Canada. She is the
author of a short

story collection, CONNECTIONS, and two College textbooks on Professional

Ethics. But speculative fiction is her first love, a genre she has been

reading all her life, and The Occasional Diamond Thief is her second in

that genre, a young adult science fiction novel, published by EDGE Science

Fiction and Fantasy Publishing. After over a decade as a college teacher,

she is happy to work from home as a full-time author now.



Author Links:




GIVEAWAY:




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Launch: Hope in Every Raindrop

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

We're launching the Book Tour for
Hope In Every Raindrop
By Wesley Banks

Best-selling author Katie Price struggles to find her next story until she happens upon America's rarest dog breed and the man that raises them.

Tour Schedule:
May 21st - Launch
May 22nd - Getting Your Read On & The Written Adventure
May 24th - Writing Pearls
May 25th - Words for the Journey & Story Broads
May 26th - View from the Birdhouse
May 27th - Mommabears Book Blog
May 28th - Underneath the Covers & Min Reads and Reviews
May 29th - Katie's Clean Book Collection
May 31st - Zerina Blossom's Books
June 1st - My Love for Reading Keeps Growing
June 2nd - A Novel Kind of Bliss
June 3rd - Grand Finale


More About Hope In Every Raindrop and Author Wesley Banks

What is your motivation behind Hope In Every Raindrop? Why did you want to write it? 


In 2009, my dog (and best friend) Pace, escaped from a boarding facility and was hit by a car. At the time I had been working on my first novel that involved the details about her rare breed. I stopped writing shortly after I lost her. A few years later I found the courage and inspiration to finish the story.


What do you hope readers take with them after they’ve read it? 


While the entire plot of Hope In Every Raindrop is fiction, the world of Carolina Dogs is based on my own experiences with the breed in Bishopville. I wanted to share this world with others, while at the same time conveying how precious life can be.


Do you have a favorite scene? 


There is a scene in the book where Kyle and Katie watch King run through the rain. I used to take Pace to a local baseball field and we'd race around the bases. It's hard to explain, but watching a dog run free is a very magical experience.


What is something about you that is unique - maybe about how/where you write? 

I actually have never told anybody this, but I do a lot my brainstorming at the movie theater. There's always a song playing in the background, or a line in the movie that will inspire a scene for me. I take notes on my phone and then write the scene as soon as I get home.





Hope In Every RaindropHope In Every Raindrop
by Wesley Banks
NA Contemporary
ebook, 202 pages
May 26th 2015


“Small towns have big stories.” That was a lesson Katie’s father taught her years ago. A lesson she’s taken to heart. And right now, Katie is desperate for a big story. Reeling from the recent loss of her father and with her agent breathing down her neck for the next book, the twenty-one-year-old writer picks a spot on the map and finds herself bound for a middle-of-nowhere town called Bishopville, South Carolina.

Taking a chance on the words of a local grocer, Katie stumbles upon a rare breed of dogs raised by the town doctor and his nephew Kyle. The only problem? Kyle isn’t interested in telling stories—especially not to a big-city girl who can’t seem to sit still. In an attempt to win him over as the clock winds down, Katie finds herself immersed in Kyle’s world, doing everything but writing.

When inspiration finally strikes, Katie is faced with an unforeseen catastrophe and a truth she can no longer ignore. While she has come to love the dogs, the real story may be about Kyle Walker.
wesley-bio-300x460Wesley Banks was born in 1983 and grew up on the west coast of Florida. He graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Civil Engineering. After spending over 7 years building movable bridges from Florida to Washington he decided to focus on his true passion: writing.

Wesley recently moved from Florida to Oregon to get back to the great outdoors that he’s love so much. He lives with my wife Lindsey, and his two dogs Linkin and Story. Most of his time these days is spent writing, with as much rock climbing, hiking, or skiing as they can fit in.

Wesley’s debut novel, “Hope In Every Raindrop,” is set to be released May of 2015.

Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card
3 ebook copies of Hope In Every Raindrop
Open internationally
Ends June 8th

a Rafflecopter giveaway





Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Fallen: A Review

Goodreads (Description)

First the sickness rotted the adults' minds. Then their bodies. Now they stalk the streets, hunting human flesh.

The Holloway crew are survivors. They've fought their way across London and made it to the Natural History Museum alive - just. But the fight will never end while the Enemy lives, unless there's another way. . .

The kids at the museum are looking for a cure. All they need are medical supplies. To get them means a journey down unknown roads. Roads where not only crazed, hungry sickos hide in the shadows.

SUDDENLY IT'S NOT SO CLEAR WHO - OR WHAT - THEY'RE FIGHTING.


My Review:

The fifth book in the enemy saga definitely threw a curve ball at me.

I mean, obviously there's a lot we don't know about the disease, but what I expected wasn't this.

In this book, the Holloway kids discover the Twisted kids. Blue befriends them and brings some back to the Natural History museum where the nerd, Justin, and his crew reside.

From the Twisted Kids, we discover that the disease came from humans themselves. I won't give away more than that--just that it wasn't what I was expecting.

This book scared me even more than the last. It was also far more intense. More battles against the adults and more ambushes. The adults are getting smarter and more organized than ever, and all the kids can see it now.

Not only that, but there is intrigue among the kids too. His name is Paul. And he scared me more than the sick adults have from the beginning. Why? Because he is clever and sick. So even though we've seen talking adults, Paul is a sick kid and able to function better. *Shiver* I can't even explain how scary he is.

The books are getting more gruesome too. The descriptions of the adults are more vivid. Gag. This is not a series for the lighthearted. It is gory and creepy. And yet, I have been looking for books to scare me--this one definitely fit the bill.

I'm anxious to see what more we will learn about the disease.

I give this a 4.5 out of 5!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Blog Tour: Through Fire & Sea




Through Fire & Sea
by Nicole Luiken
Release Date: 05/05/15
Entangled Teen

Summary from Goodreads:

Mirror mirror, hear my call…

In the Fire world, seventeen-year-old Leah is the illegitimate daughter of one of the realm's most powerful lords. She's hot-blooded—able to communicate with the tempestuous volcano gods that either bless a civilization or destroy it. But then Leah discovers she's a Caller, gifted with the unique—and dangerous—ability to “call” her Otherselves in mirror worlds. And her father will do anything to use her powers for his own purposes.

In the Water world, Holly nearly drowns when she sees—and interacts with—Leah, a mirror image of herself. She’s rescued by Ryan, a boy from school with a secret he’d die to protect. Little do they know, his Otherself is the son of a powerful volcano god at war in the Fire world…and he’s about to fall.

As Leah and Holly's lives intersect, the Fire and Water worlds descend into darkness. The only way to protect the mirror worlds is to break every rule they've ever known. If they don’t, the evil seeping through the mirrors will destroy everything—and everyone—they love…

Add to Goodreads

Buy Links:

AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo BooksiBooks











About the Author


Nicole Luiken wrote her first book at age 13 and never stopped.

She is the author of nine published books for young adults, including Violet Eyes and its sequels Silver Eyes and Angels Eyes, Frost, Unlocking the Doors, The Catalyst, Escape to the Overworld, Dreamfire and the sequel Dreamline. She also has an adult thriller, Running on Instinct, under the name N.M. Luiken and a fantasy romance series, Gate to Kandrith and Soul of Kandrith.

Nicole lives with her family in Edmonton, AB. It is physically impossible for her to go more than three days in a row without writing.

Author Links:

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

Book Tour Organized by:

YA Bound Book Tours

Monday, May 11, 2015

GRAND FINALE: The Truth About Hope!

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

We're blitzing the tour GRAND FINALE for
The Truth About Hope
By Kate James

Did you miss any of the reviews, interviews, guest posts, or excerpts for the tour? If so, go back and check them out now!



Launch - More About the Book & Author
What do you hope readers take with them when they read your book?

I would like readers to feel good about the story’s conclusion, and believe that no matter what hardships we may face, we can overcome them with faith, perseverance and—of course—love!

Word Wranglers - Interview
123When did you first consider yourself a writer?

It still surprises me sometimes, especially considering that I haven’t been at it very long. If someone else were to ask me, I would say that if they are passionate about it and have started writing, they are a writer. For me, it was when I finished my first manuscript.

Write & Rewrite - Kate Talks About Making Revisions
Author Kate James stops by today on the first leg of her blog tour for her new romance novel The Truth About Hope. Her revision story is one of the most charming ones I've come across, and I hope you enjoy it.

Underneath the Covers - Luke Carter
Luke and Hope were born in the same small town in Texas, had been best friends since grade school and were high-school sweethearts, until Hope was forced to move to San Jose to live with her father. Luke had never gotten entirely over Hope...



Letters from Annie (Douglass) Lima - Canyon Creek, Part 1
During one of our stays with our friends in Texas, we visited a breathtaking promontory close to their home. I’ve fictionalized it for The Truth About Hope. It is an important setting in the story as the event that precipitates the circumstances related to her departure and her reconnection with her high-school sweetheart, Luke, occur there.



Zerina Blossom's Books - Hope Wilson
We first meet Hope as a seventeen-year-old girl, just having lost her mother, and learning that she has to leave Canyon Creek, the small town in Texas where she was born, to live with her father in San Jose. Most devastating for her is that she has to say goodbye to all the people she knows and loves, including Luke Carter.


I Am A Reader - Excerpt
The buoyancy she’d felt as she’d driven toward the rising sun faded, and she felt a ripple of apprehension. In tune with her mood as always, Einstein ambled over and nuzzled her hand. She automatically stroked the top of his head. “Well, we might as well get this over with,” she murmured.



"I loved the way the characters value each other and aren't afraid to admit their mistakes. The story flows well and leaves a reader feeling satisfied. With a blend of mild suspense, hard work and values, and a sweet romance, this one is a hit!"



Copyright1985 - Excerpt
She lowered her head. “Great. Just great,” she muttered. Those mischievous fates just had to have another go at her today, didn’t they? Of all the people they could’ve thrown in her path, it had to be Luke. Probably served her right for not being able to keep her mind off him.



My Love for Reading Keeps Growing - Canyon Creek, Part 2
I remember vividly the spot where my husband and I stood on a brilliant May morning, and I knew I’d have to write that setting in a book at some point. The Truth About Hope gave me the perfect opportunity! I hope you enjoy this wonderful slice of Texas!



Story Broads - Excerpt
LUKE DIDN’T KNOW what had compelled him to go for his Saturday-morning run along Yardley Drive and up to Promontory Park. As he turned onto the gravel path from the sidewalk, he came to an abrupt halt. Sitting on the bench with her back to him was Hope. There was no mistaking that long, mahogany hair, even in a ponytail and under a ball cap.


i blog 4 books - Review
"Overall, this was a pleasant read. Animal lovers, in particular, will enjoy reading about Hope and Noah's efforts to rescue animals."



Rockin' Book Reviews - Review & Interview
"The story of love, family struggles, faith, hope and forgiveness had me captivated from the beginning. The story of Hope sent a sense of reality and a real desire for her to have true happiness."


You speak five languages. Which languages and what were the greatest challenges in learning each one?

The languages are English, Spanish, French, Hungarian and German, but sadly I did not remain fluent in the ones I did not use. I can still understand Spanish and French, but it would be a struggle to try to speak coherently.As a child, I found the languages easy to learn, especially being immersed in them. While not a challenge but an interesting consequence, probably into my early twenties my English was slightly accented, but no one could place the accent as it was an amalgam of the other languages I had spoken.



The Written Adventure - Canyon Creek, Part 3
Hope builds a fulfilling life of her own in the years since she’s left Canyon Creek. Yet, more than ten years after her departure, the emotional tug is still there when she returns . . .



"What I enjoyed most about The Truth About Hope, was the refreshing honesty of the characters. Hope and Luke still carry a flame for each other after all those years, and the reader gets the pleasure of following them on their journey toward forgiveness and a rekindled love."



Bookworm Lisa - Review
"The book is told in a narrative style. It's normally not my favorite writing style, but Kate James does a great job of making it work. She was able to keep my interest in the story and characters."



"I enjoyed following Hope through her life events. I really got a good sense of who Hope was and why she did what she did. . . . This was a good book, so easy to settle in with. The characters were all so likable. Yay for another sweet, clean romance!"


How do develop your characters? Do you use outlines, story boards, sketches?

KATE: Interestingly I’ve never thought about using sketches, despite the fact that I’ve always enjoyed drawing and painting. Thank you for the idea, though. I might have to try it! To answer the question, I have a general idea of what my characters look like, their traits and beliefs, when I start the book, but they evolve and grow as my writing progresses. The only guide I use for my writing is the book proposal or synopsis, but I can always visualize quite clearly what my characters look like, and have a good appreciation of how they will behave in specific circumstances.

The Truth About Hope
by Kate James
Adult Contemporary Romance
May 1st 2015 by Harlequin Heartwarming



Who is Hope Wilson?



Is she the girl her former hometown thinks she is? Or the girl Luke Carter once loved—and maybe still does?



When Hope returns to Canyon Creek, Texas, to honor her

father’s last wishes, there’s only one person on her mind: her high school sweetheart, Luke. The boy she lied to when she had to leave Canyon Creek as a teen, finding it easier to hide what she really felt than deal with the grief of loss. Her father’s fortune could make a big difference to Canyon Creek—but Hope finds that the townspeople have a long memory about his misdeeds. With a plan to make amends on his behalf, Hope learns the truth about herself. And the truth about love.




Kate James 2.jpgKate James spent eight years of her childhood living in foreign countries as her professional parents travelled on business. She lived in four countries and spoke five languages before settling down in Canada again to attend university. After graduating with a degree in civil engineering, she held a variety of positions in the field of real estate development and operations, and ran three substantial organizations. While her writing during this period was mostly business related, including presentations and speeches she delivered both nationally and internationally, her passion is and always has been fiction.



Kate's business and personal experiences enable her to write fiction with a deep, often first-hand knowledge of what she is writing about. This approach makes Kate's stories richer and more vivid.



Kate’s goal is to entertain you with well-written, engaging stories, set in intriguing places and with strong, likeable characters. “I hope my stories bring you pleasure and entertain you. Nothing pleases me more than receiving feedback from people who have chosen to spend their valuable leisure time with one of my books,” notes Kate.



Kate married her husband, Ken, in an elegant, ocean-front wedding on a tropical island. When they are not traveling, they split their time between their properties in southern and central Ontario in Canada.





Tour Giveaway


$30 Amazon Gift Card (INT)

5 Print Copies of The Truth About Hope (US/CAN Only)

1 ebook of The Truth About Hope (INT)
Ends May 15th


a Rafflecopter giveaway





Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Guest Post: The Truth About Hope


On Tour with Prism Book Tours.


The Truth About Hope
by Kate James
Adult Contemporary Romance
May 1st 2015 by Harlequin Heartwarming


Who is Hope Wilson?

Is she the girl her former hometown thinks she is? Or the girl Luke Carter once loved—and maybe still does?

When Hope returns to Canyon Creek, Texas, to honor her

father’s last wishes, there’s only one person on her mind: her high school sweetheart, Luke. The boy she lied to when she had to leave Canyon Creek as a teen, finding it easier to hide what she really felt than deal with the grief of loss. Her father’s fortune could make a big difference to Canyon Creek—but Hope finds that the townspeople have a long memory about his misdeeds. With a plan to make amends on his behalf, Hope learns the truth about herself. And the truth about love.



Guest Post!

Canyon Creek, Part 3

Hope builds a fulfilling life of her own in the years since she’s left Canyon Creek. Yet, more than ten years after her departure, the emotional tug is still there when she returns . . .

Hope stretched her legs, then her back. The final portion of the trip had been five hours of non-stop driving. They’d started out before sunrise. What a glorious vision it had been when the bright orange globe rose on the eastern horizon, shrouding them in the warmth of its glow. Stifling a yawn, she opened the passenger door for Einstein. He wasn’t as agile as he used to be, but he was still healthy and jumped out without hesitation. Once she’d led him to the grassy area, where he sauntered off, nose to the ground, Hope turned back toward the town.

Had it really been more than a decade since she’d last seen Canyon Creek?

From where she stood, it looked so familiar. The slow-flowing Gulch River that snaked its way along the town’s eastern periphery. She could just make out the red roof on the stone church. The board-and-batten Elenore Hotel. Center Street with its quaint shops, restaurants and bars. And outside the town the patchwork of ranches.

The buoyancy she’d felt as she’d driven toward the rising sun faded, and she felt a ripple of apprehension. In tune with her mood as always, Einstein ambled over and nuzzled her hand. She automatically stroked the top of his head. “Well, we might as well get this over with,” she stated.

She feels the tug again, as she drives into town . . .

As they approached the town, she slowed. Part of her yearned to drive down Center Street. To see close-up how much had changed, and how much had stayed the same. But that would have to wait. They’d been on the road for three days; they needed some rest.

At the first set of lights—one of only three in town—she took a sharp right.

She’d booked a room at a motel on County Road 93, twenty minutes from downtown Canyon Creek. Hope had chosen to stay at the motel rather than the Elenore Hotel—mainly to avoid being noticed as much as possible. At the motel, she was close enough to do what she needed to, but far enough to keep a low profile.

A half mile down, the road changed to gravel and she reduced her speed further to avoid kicking up too much dust. She had a vague recollection of where the motel was. She and Luke used to ride a couple of his neighbor’s horses along this road when they were kids. Unexpectedly, her eyes stung and her throat constricted.

It shocked her that after all these years, she’d still feel the pain and regret of losing Luke. Being back unearthed all the memories and feelings she’d tried to bury.

I hope you enjoyed the excerpts from The Truth About Hope revolving around Canyon Creek.






Kate James spent much of her childhood abroad before attending university in Canada. She built a successful business career, but her passion has always been literature. As a result Kate turned her energy to her love of the written word. Her writing has been recognized with a number of awards, including first place honors for Silver Linings in both the First Coast Romance Writers' Published Beacon Contest and ACRA's Heart of Excellence Readers’ Choice Award. Her November Harlequin Heartwarming release, A Child's Christmas, received first-place honors from Southern Magic, the Birmingham Chapter of the Romance Writers of America, for the 2015 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence!

Kate married her husband, Ken, in an elegant, ocean-front wedding on a tropical island. When they are not traveling, they split their time between their properties in southern and central Ontario in Canada, with their beloved black Labs, Harley and Logan.

Kate’s next novel is the first book in her K-9 Squad Trilogy, and is scheduled for release on October 1, 2015.

Follow the Tour:

Tour Giveaway


$30 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
5 Print Copies of The Truth About Hope (US/CAN Only)
1 ebook of The Truth About Hope (INT)

Ends May 15th

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Sunday, May 3, 2015

Grand Finale Blitz: Katia's Promise



On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

We're blitzing the GRAND FINALE for:
Katia's Promise
By Catherine Lanigan


Did you miss any of the tour? There's still time to go back and check out each stop...



Launch - More About the Book and the Author
1. What is your motivation behind this book? Why did you want to write it?

Katia’s story goes all the way back to the night that I woke up at three in the morning with my dream still in my head about this auburn haired, beautiful woman standing under a street lamp, around midnight, looking up at a single burning bedroom lamp in the mansion across the street. In my “vision” the woman turned to me and stared. She told me that I was to write her story.



Bookworm Lisa - Excerpt

She thought her heart would hammer a hole right through her chest, but she didn’t dare let him know how much he affected her. She couldn’t decide whether to smile at him, rush to him and hold his hand or ask his forgiveness on the spot. She felt as if she’d turned to stone. She couldn’t think or move.



Deal Sharing Aunt - Setting of the Book

The area is surrounded by farm land, a few vineyards, blueberry farms, apple orchards, Amish farmland and yet is only an hour away from Chicago. Beach weddings are highly popular.




He would never forget standing at LaGuardia, waiting excitedly with a bouquet of flowers. But Katia hadn’t walked off the plane. He’d waited for over half an hour. He’d gone to the ticket counter and asked if they were sure all the passengers had disembarked. The woman had assured him that the plane was not only cleared and cleaned, but ready for a new boarding.

Katia's Promise Hero PictI Am A Reader - Leading Man Austin McCreary
Austin’s character is actually taken from a real-life person I knew who has passed away. This man was my English teacher in high school and he encouraged me a great deal. He was a bachelor and once told our class that he’d been in love once and was literally left standing on the altar, alone—the bride abandoned him. He never got over her.


Was he remembering that fateful day when she had left him standing at LaGuardia? She knew he’d waited for her there, but she hadn’t been on the plane. Now she was here, literally on his doorstep, trying to apologize. Her heart was still in her throat, and she found she was just as speechless as he was.


LeahSay's Views - Leading Lady Katia Stanislaus

unnamedOnce I “saw” Katria in my dream or alpha state muddle, I realized she looked a Lot like Stana Katic, who plays Kate Beckett on “Castle” television show. I know, my character’s name looks like Stana’s name. However, I have always loved the name Katia, and over the years, friends have dubbed me, Katia-along with every other ethnic derivative of Catherine. It’s been five years or more since that dream and Katia’s story is just coming out now.



"[T]here were enough twists in the story to make it interesting. . . . The pace was well written and there was enough external conflict that helped the plot develop. I think that “heartwarming” is another way of saying that this was a clean romance."




I have always been fascinated with old cars and old coaches when I read about them in books. In Indian Lake (as well as my hometown) is an antique car museum. I wanted my hero, Austin McCreary, to have a long family history with cars. I devised a backstory of Austin’s great grandfather who was a pioneer in the auto industry around WWI.




"I adored this book! It is just so cute and so sweet! I love love love the Harlequin Heartwarming books! . . . This book is definitely one for you clean, sweet romance readers to add to your TBR piles! I know I’ll be adding the others in the series to mine! 5 Stars!"



Wishful Endings - Excerpt
Austin’s lips were soft when they first met hers. His hands cupped her face and slowly his fingers moved up to her temples, then into her mounds of auburn hair. Her arms were around his neck in a split second, and everything she’d felt for him as at sixteen came whirling back to her with as much force as a tornado.

"This is a clean romance with no content to disclose. (yay!!) I will be keeping this author and the rest of the books in this series in my sights for future reading!"


Mel's Shelves - Review
"I was in the mood for this kind of book. I love second chances and this one didn't disappoint! Once I picked this up, I just couldn't put it down. This is the fourth book in the Shores of Indian Lake series, and I haven't read the first three. While I'm sure I would have enjoyed reading about some of the couples from the previous books, I didn't feel like I was missing anything so this is great as a stand alone read. After having read it, though, I want to go back and read the other books in this series!"



i blog 4 books - Spotlight/Partial Review
"[T]he beginning is definitely intriguing. I typically enjoy stories where the characters reunite after some time apart, which is the case for the main characters."
"When a startling discover about the past is made, Austin has a hard time dealing with it, but Katia wants to be there for him...if he'll let her. This is an emotionally tender story with powerful characters in an interesting setting and it stands alone, even though it is the fourth book in the series."




Katia's Promise
(Shores of Indian Lake #4)

by Catherine Lanigan
Adult Contemporary Romance
May 1st 2015 by Harlequin Heartwarming


Katia Stanislaus is a top insurance agent in Chicago, but her company is about to fold if she can't pull off a miracle. She convinces her boss to relocate to Indian Lake where she lived as a child and broke the heart of the one man whose account would be enough to save her job and her company. The only problem is that Austin McCreary has been a near recluse since the day Katia left him. Austin won't take her calls and appears set on revenge for the pain Katia has caused him. Just seeing Austin, catapaults Katia back to the time when she was 16 and so very much in love. But it was just a teenage crush, wasn't it?


Other Books in the Series


Links for Love Shadows
(Shores of Indian Lake #1)


Links for Heart's Desire
(Shores of Indian Lake #2)
Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Harlequin


Links for A Fine Year for Love
(Shores of Indian Lake #3)

Catherine Lanigan is the bestselling author of over thirty published titles in both fiction and non-fiction, including the novelizations of Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile, as well as over half a dozen anthologies, including “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living your Dream”, “Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul”, “Chocolate for a Woman’s Heart”, Chocolate for a Woman’s Spirit”. Ms. Lanigan’s novels have been translated into over a dozen languages including German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese. Ms. Lanigan’s novels are also available on audio-cassette, CD and on electronic format. A prolific writer, she is always writing wonderful stories. She has several titles only available in ebook format on Amazon.com Several of her titles have been chosen for The Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Clubs. Her novel, The Christmas Star, won the Gold Medal Award Top Pick from Romantic Times Magazine for December, 2002, and has also won Book of the Year Romance Gold Award from ForeWord Magazine as well as Book of the Year Romance from Reader’s Preference. In March, 2006 Divine Nudges: Tales of Angelic Intervention and the second in Lanigan’s Angel Watch series of books, was published by HCI, the Chicken Soup for the Soul publisher.



Cover Reveal & Tour Giveaway


$100 Amazon Gift Card

3 ebooks of Katia's Promise by Catherine Lanigan
Open internationally.

Ends May 8th


a Rafflecopter giveaway