Monday, 29 August 2016

Book Review: “This Night Sucks” by Elizabeth J. M. Walker…


Not for the fate of heart…or young ears for that matter, Elizabeth J. M. Walker’s newest book made me shoot coffee out of my nostrils (painful) with this laugh-out-loud young adult vampire read. Too funny and too short, with a dash of ‘Did she just drop the F-Bomb again?’ Filled with diverse characters and a different take on those shiny and oh-so-sexy vampires, it was a refreshing read and a great escape from the real world, which lately has been filled with bad news, chaos, and tragedies.

So what’s my take on a story that’s all about the horrors of high school and surviving vampire attacks? This is what I posted on Amazon and Goodreads…

4 Star Fangs and Fun! Elizabeth J. M. Walker had me at the first bite!

“This Night Sucks” is a gut-splitting, laugh-out-loud YA vampire read, sans the shiny, sexy ones. And that’s so refreshing. Walker’s tough-in-cheek dialogue and cast of eclectic characters made for one hilarious story. From the dynamics of high school cliques to what you think you know about vampires (and what you don’t), the reader is led on a merry chase to hunt down, and hopefully kill any bloodsucker that dares enter Lana and her high school friends’ world.

If you’re ready for something completely different in the vampire literary circuit, then “This Night Sucks” is a too funny, too short book that will keep you reading till the wee hours of the morning. Just don’t forget to pack your wooden stake and garlic spray…
  
About the Book:

Lana is a high school senior enrolled in Vampire Education – a class to teach students about the very real presence of vampires in the world. Lana and her classmates don’t really expect to meet up with any undead bloodsuckers. Vampires are a lot like other scary things that supposedly exist but you hope you’ll never come across: nudist colonies, mad cow disease, and your parents’ sex life.

What is part of Lana’s everyday reality is navigating through one last year of high school while desperately trying to be less nerdy. She still loves spaceships, fantasy novels, and cat stickers, but she also recently got her braces removed, grew boobs, and is working on the makeup thing. She never expected her crush-of-a-lifetime Pete to even notice her – let alone ask her out on a date. 

The date is going great until Pete’s ex-girlfriend Katy shows up, all bloody and pissed off. Lana quickly realizes that Katy is not just her ordinary bitchy self – she has been turned into a vampire. After a near death experience, Lana learns that she is changing into a vampire too.

Lana needs answers, and the only way to get them is to find the vampire who started the chain of events – and to find him before sunrise... 

Purchase Links:

Mirror World Publishing Link:  

Amazon Link: 

Meet the Author:

Elizabeth J. M. Walker lives in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. She has always loved books and writing. As a teen she discovered zines, which inspired her to publish her own litzine of odd fairy tales for over a decade.

She Dreamed of Dragons is her first novel.

Connect with Elizabeth J.M. Walker:

Facebook: 

Amazon US: 

Goodreads Author Page:

Publisher Website: 

Author Website: 
www.elizabethjmwalker.com

Monday, 22 August 2016

Five Truths and Three Lies: Shadow Eyes Re-Release Blog Tour and $50 Amazon Card Giveaway...


Thank you for hosting me! It’s been a long time coming, but I’m so thrilled to finally be re-releasing my young adult, urban fantasy, Shadow Eyes! It was first released in 2012 by Musa Publishing. Musa closed in 2015, and since Shadow Eyes was my first novel, I took the opportunity to revise and change a few minor things before self-publishing it this time. I am very happy with this second edition and I hope you will love it too!

(Everyone, don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win a print copy of Shadow Eyes and a $50 gift card to Amazon!)

Let’s check out the synopsis for Shadow Eyes first…

Iris thought she could ignore the shadows…until they came after everyone she loved.

Seventeen-year- old Iris Kohl has been able to see both dark and light figures ever since a tragic incident three years ago. The problem is, no one else seems to see them, and even worse…the dark figures terrorize humans, but Iris is powerless to stop them. 

Although she’s learned to deal with watching shadows harass everyone around her, Iris is soon forced to question everything she thinks she knows about her world and herself. Her sanity, strength, and will power are tested to the limits by not only the shadows, but also a handsome new teacher whose presence scares away shadows, a new friend with an awe-inspiriting aura, and a mysterious, alluring new student whom Iris has a hard time resisting despite already having a boyfriend. As the shadows invade and terrorize her own life and family, Iris must ultimately accept the guidance of an angel to revisit the most horrific event of her life and become the hero she was meant to be.

Five Truths and Three Lies

Okay, I know the original game is called 2 Truths and a Lie, but I’m going to bend the rules a little and do 5 Truths and 3 Lies. That just sounds more invasive and, therefore, more fun.

I’ll tell you which ones of mine are lies and explain the truths tomorrow in a comment (so check in tomorrow or subscribe to this post), but for Iris…you’ll just have to read the book. Cruel, I know.  

Feel free to put your vote in as to which ones you think are lies or not!

First, the author:
(5 Truths and 3 Lies)

  1. I accidentally stabbed my sister in her toe as a child.
  2. I have witnessed buffalo stampede outside my RV.
  3. I have a tattoo.
  4. I have the highest rank on Dance Central.
  5. I have been to Europe.
  6. My husband has had multiple kidney stones.
  7. I have been bungee jumping.
  8. I dressed up as Katniss for the Hunger Games premier.

Now, the main character, Iris:
(5 Truths and 3 Lies)

  1. I have a phobia of mirrors.
  2. I witnessed someone cheating on someone else.
  3. I had to be hospitalized with an unknown illness.
  4. I have an obsession with penguins.
  5. I almost crashed my car into another on an icy road.
  6. My mom has been married 3 times.
  7. I fell while ice-skating on a first date.
  8. I have a reoccurring nightmare.

Author Bio

Dusty Crabtree loves a good story, but she also loves young people. These two loves are evident in all parts of her life. She has been a high school English teacher since 2006 and a creative writing teacher since 2014. She's also been a youth sponsor at her local church for as long as she’s been teaching. She feels very blessed with the amazing opportunities she has to develop meaningful relationships with teens on a daily basis. With her love of reading in the mix, becoming an author of young adult books was just a natural development of those two passions in her life. She lives with her husband, Clayton, in Yukon, Oklahoma, where they often serve their community as foster parents.

Check out Dusty’s blog at http://dustycrabtree.wordpress.com/
Follow her on twitter at https://twitter.com/dustycrabtree
Follow her on Instagram – dustycrabtree12

Buy Shadow Eyes on Amazon or any major online bookstores like Barnes&Noble and Apple (print will also be available on Amazon by the release date – 9/2/16)



***To see other posts on this tour and to increase your chances of winning, visit Dusty’s blog for the schedule with links as they are posted:

https://dustycrabtree.wordpress.com/2016/08/21/shadow-eyes-re-release-blog-tour-and-amazon-giveaway/

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Cover Reveal: The Secret in Mossy Swamp by Rita Monette...

Nikki Landry is at it again! She's found the truth behind The Legend of Ghost Dog Island, foiled The Curse at Pirate's Cove and now, in this third installment, launching September 17th, 2016, she's going to find The Secret in Mossy Swamp. 

Rita Monette is both author and illustrator of this middle grade series about legends in the Louisiana bayou. Having lived there herself as a young girl, she captures the voice of 10-year old Nikki Landry perfectly and takes you to a world of swampy bayous, houseboats, and mysterious legends. This time, Nikki is going head to head with the legend of the dreaded Rougarou.

It's going to be an awesome adventure, but you don't need to take my word for it. Here's the cover and blurb:

   SMScoverlayoutcropped

The Secret in Mossy Swamp by Rita Monette

Things are never what they seem... in a foggy Louisiana swamp

Living in a tiny houseboat, Nikki is stuck with sharing a room with her little brother, Jesse, who does what little brothers do best…torture their sisters. Fed up, she decides to build a place of her own…a tree house where no boys are allowed. Meanwhile, something strange is happening on Bayou Platte. Things and people are coming up missing…and little stick dolls covered in moss, known locally as “signs” from the legendary Rougarou, are showing up in their place.

Is the Rougarou really to blame? Can Nikki get to the bottom of the mystery before things get worse? Find out in this third installment of the Nikki Landry Swamp Legends Series!

This Middle Grade Adventure is expected to launch September 17th, 2016! 

You can also pre-order this book in Mirror World Publishing's store:

http://www.mirror-world-publishing.myshopify.com

Monday, 15 August 2016

YA Book Release: Pirate Summer by HL Carpenter...

The creative genius of HL Carpenter shines in their latest book. Pirate Summer is the story of a sister and brother who discover the importance of each other and the consequences of lying. Enter the handsome privateer who steals Josey’s heart and commandeers her on the adventure of her life and you now have the perfect summer read for all ages.

Fifteen year old Josey is a liar. She’d like to stop. But after Mom left, the lies started popping out, like the time Josey left her little brother at the library and told Dad he’d run away.

Then Josey meets a boy who tells bigger whoppers than she does. He says he’s the son of a privateer who’s been dead two centuries. He’s so convincing Josey’s brother believes every word and sets off to find the privateer’s hidden treasure.

When her brother disappears, Josey is sure she knows where he's gone. But everyone thinks she's lying again. Everyone, that is, except the so-called privateer’s son. He knows she’s telling the truth because jeweled riches are only part of his tale. There’s also the snooperscope, a device that makes time leaps possible, like the one that brought him to the present.

The story is fantastical...and yet Josey will do anything to save her brother, including traveling back in time two hundred years with a boy she can’t trust.
EXCERPT

The basic tale hadn’t changed since the first time I’d heard it, though Gran had added a few embellishments. I wondered who she’d been practicing on, then remembered she was on call as a substitute teacher for the Sea Cove school system. Thanks to her, generations of Sea Cove residents knew the legend of Alastair Morgan, a pirate who’d haunted the Florida coast during the early 1800s. Andy jiggled on the seat. He had a vivid imagination, a by-product of his oversize I.Q., and he was caught up in the midst of the hurricane Gran was describing. The huge storm had blown the Morgan pirate ship off course and into Sea Cove.

“Alastair Morgan was familiar with Sea Cove,” Gran said. “He sought refuge in the harbor. When the skies lightened, the rain slowed. He rowed to shore with his son, some of his crew and seven trunks of gold and jewels. They had buried the treasure and were rowing back to their ship when the storm started again.”

“Didn’t he realize the calm was only the eye of the hurricane?” Andy asked.

“Good question, and no, he didn’t. He was surprised when the winds and rain picked up, only from the opposite direction.” 

“Silly of him. He should have known. Being a sailor and all.”

Gran met my gaze over Andy’s head. Her lips twitched.

I grinned, forgetting for a moment how annoyed I was. By the time I remembered, Gran had looked away, out the front windshield.

She gasped. “Brake, Josey!”

I jerked my head around. I’d only been distracted for a second—exactly enough time for the truck to drift to the right side of the road. A skinny teenage boy walked there, his back to us.

“We’re going to hit him!” Andy shouted.

I leaned on the horn, smashed the brake, and yanked the wheel to the left. The tires screeched. The seatbelt dug into my hips. Andy shouted again as an invisible force shoved him back, then forward. Gran shot out her arm to hold him in place.

In front of us, the boy whirled. He yelled and raised his palms toward us as if he could ward off the truck with his bare hands. At the last moment, he flung himself onto the dirty sand beyond the edge of the black pavement.

I lost sight of him as the pickup jolted to a shuddering, shaking stop, sideways across the highway.

 Amazon Buy Link

Florida-based mother/daughter author duo HL Carpenter write sweet, clean fiction that is suitable for everyone in your family. The Carpenters write from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, they enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit their website to enjoy gift reads and excerpts and to find out what’s happening in Carpenter Country.

Stay connected on Pinterest, Linkedin, Google+, and their Amazon Author Page.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Book Review: The Curse At Pirate’s Cove by Rita Monette…


Rita Monette has done it again with her middle grade adventure Nikki Landry Swamp Legend series! In her second instalment, The Curse At Pirate’s Cove, Monette weaves a very different tale where Nikki and her friends get into a heap of trouble via time traveling. Now that’s a genre right up my alley!

The author also includes a glossary of Cajun words at the beginning of her novel, as well as sources for further research in the “author’s notes” section at the end of her book. Monette certainly bridges the past with the present in her latest swamp romp! So what’s my take on a story set in a place that can conjure up some pretty scary images? This is what I posted on Amazon and Goodreads…

Rita Monette’s latest romp in the swamp is a 4 Star Winner!

Be careful what you wish for—it might come true! Rita Monette’s first book, The Legend of Ghost Dog Island in her Nikki Landry Swamp Legend series may have transported us back to Louisiana, circa 1956, and into Nikki Landry’s world, but Monette’s sequel The Curse At Pirate’s Cove took it to the next level of adventure by taking us time traveling in the Louisiana bayous. A carefully-crafted story about friendship, the power of belief, and finding the truth, Monette continues to serve up her unique brand of literary gumbo with a flavor of down-home Cajun dialogue, and wonderful illustrations. In this story, 11-year-old, Nikki makes a wish which starts a chain reaction that sends her, her friends, and her dog Snooper into Louisiana’s past to deal with a curse, a lost treasure, and a nasty crew of pirates. Hold onto your hat, matey, it’s gonna be a bumpy Cajun ride!

The Curse At Pirates Cove would be a great addition in any classroom setting to learn and study about the history of Louisiana, and what it was like for the Cajun people during the middle of the 20th century. My stomach is already grumbling for Ms. Monette’s next Nikki Landry Swamp Legend installment due out September 17th, 2016, through Mirror World Publishing.

Tagline and Blurb:

“When one man’s treasure is another man’s curse"

Nikki Landry is turning eleven years old, and is looking forward to riding her bike to school. That is until it falls apart. Papa can’t afford a new one. Is she doomed to ride the smelly old school bus from now on?

Hearing of an old pirate ship, and a legend about long-ago pirates burying treasure on a nearby swamp island, Nikki sees a way out. But when she makes a birthday wish for the pirate’s gold, things go terribly wrong. Did her wish trigger an ancient curse?

Join Nikki and her friends as they find themselves sailing away aboard a haunted schooner with ghostly pirates into the Gulf of Mexico … and into the year eighteen fourteen.

How will they ever find their way back home?


Meet the Author:

Rita Monette was born and raised in Southwest Louisiana. She loves to write stories set in the
beautiful, yet mysterious, bayous and swamps of her home state.

Her middle grade series, The Nikki Landry Swamp Legends, is based on tales told by her father—who made his living in those bayous—of reasons to stay out of the swamp.

She currently lives with her husband, four lap dogs, and one lap cat, in the mountains of Tennessee. Besides writing and illustrating, she loves watching the many birds that make their habitat on the Cumberland Plateau, working in the garden, and frequenting waterfalls.

Connect with Rita Monette:


Monday, 1 August 2016

Summer Holidays, Family, and the Writing Life…

Wait. You're staying how long?
We Canadians love our summer holidays, and other than major holidays such as Christmas or Thanksgiving, it’s the only time when we can get together with our families and just chill. This begs me to ask the question: Is it possible to write during the summer months? Um. Yeah. It’s a toughie, but I did manage to get some writing done. And I have been busy editing the second book in my young adult time travel series, The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret. So there’s a thumbs up for that. But when I read a recent post from Mirror World Publishing’s blog entitled It’s Okay Not to Write, I decided to put aside any guilty feelings of ‘not’ writing regularly in the summer, and just enjoy this hot, sunny season and time spent with my family.

The first Monday in August is our Civic Holiday, which is a roundabout way of saying ‘Public’ Holiday. It’s not a statutory holiday in the province where I live (Ontario), but if your employer is on the generous side, then you can probably book that long weekend away with no problem. The Civic Holiday weekend also marks the middle of summer—halfway to fall and five weeks till school starts. Sorry, kids!

When we lived at our cottage, it seemed like the busiest weekend of the summer, and since we were on a medium-sized lake, you had to take turns going out water skiing or tubing. Our kids usually ambushed visited us that weekend for food and fun-in-the-sun, and somehow they left their children behind. LOL! Thankfully, there was a lot to do around the cottage for the grandkids with swimming, fishing, boating, tubing, canoeing, reading on the beach (yes, I have a few readers), watching movies, and campfires. We found that the week just flew by! I truly miss those days, and I’m grateful for those cottage memories with our family and friends.

Now that we live in the ‘Banana’ belt of Canada (think Florida weather), and farther from some of our family, we see the kids less. Most of the grandchildren have their own lives now. Sigh. The bright spot is we do get to see our youngest grandchild (now ten), and have her for the week of the Civic Holiday. Yay! So I’ve compiled a list of things to do around in this area to keep the little minion busy, happy, and motivated. Read on…

1.      Baking with Grandpa (Grandma doesn’t do baking)
2.      A day at the beach…Holiday Beach to be precise!
3.      Movie night at Silver City in Windsor; granddaughter’s pick!
4.      Walking the Riverfront and catching a boat tour with Windsor River Cruises.
5.      Cooling down at the Toddy Jones Park Slash Pad, then heading over to the Waterfront Ice Cream Parlor.
6.      Visiting the Amherstburg Freedom Museum. This is a win-win, as I get to do some research for my next time travel book too!
7.      Heading to my brother’s pool for a swim. Thank God for relatives with pools!
8.      Catching up on Disney shows! (Grandpa is looking forward to this!)
9.      Keeping cool at the Devonshire Mall in Windsor where I’m sure someone is bound to score a gift or two.
10.  If time permits, going to Adventure Bay Family Water Park in Windsor. After a few hours there, we’ll be water-logged for the week! LOL!

Now, if we play our cards right, our granddaughter will look like this each night:

Nighty, night. Sleep tight.
I hope you have a safe and happy holiday with your family or friends, and enjoy the rest of your summer! Remember life is short, and no one who is on their death bed says that they wished they could have spent more time at work. Think about it. Relationships truly matter. Cheers and thank you for reading my blog!

Monday, 25 July 2016

My 10 Top Favorite Things…

Now that summer is in full swing in the banana belt of Canada, I’m willing to bet most kids in the northern hemisphere are enjoying their free time doing their favorite things like playing with their friends, hanging out at the beach, reading books by their favorite authors (wink), or going on vacations with their families. That said, I thought I’d compile a list and share my ten top favorite things that I enjoy whether it’s summer, fall, winter or spring.

1. Enjoying my morning coffee outside (weather permitting) on our patio. True therapy.

2. Big. Bang. Theory. Sheldon still cracks me up!

3. The original Star Wars movie. I know, I’m dating myself, but I was one of those people who went
to the movie theatre to see it again and again. Of course movies were cheaper back then!

4. My reading chair. It’s comfy and cozy. Even when I have to share it with the cat.

5. Reading...in my reading chair…with or without the cat.

6. Writing the first draft of a novel that nobody sees because that’s where the fun begins!

7. My pets. After all, I have to read my first draft to someone. Right?

8. Writing ‘THE END’ on the final draft of my novel. Trust me, it’s a BIG deal! 

9. Connecting with my readers online and offline. Trust me, it’s a HUGE deal!


10. Single. Malt. Scotch. No explanation necessary.


So, what are some your favorite things? Would love you to comment and share! Enjoy the rest of your summer, and thank you for reading my blog! Cheers!