Thursday, December 31, 2015

Good-bye 2015...Hello 2016

Year in Review
WOW…2015 was one hell of a year! My 40th year…10th year of marriage…10th year teaching…TONS of family time and #meaningfulmoments, a new house, a new book and LOTS of writing!

On the writing front, Write More Publications was gracious enough to publish the second Ruby Hood, The Twistedly True Guardian Tale. I also wrote more this year, than I’ve written in previous years and finished the next in the Precious Gems Series, which I hope to have out in 2016. AND I’m currently working on something new, a futuristic fiction set in 2035 after enzymes in GMOs have MODIFIED the people of the world. It’s incredibly fun to create and write!

Clearly, the writing part is great. However convincing people to read a book, and then tell others about it or write a review is MUCH more difficult! Plus, I’m not especially good at promoting myself, but I’m adapting and trying some new things.

There is an upcoming BOOK BLITZ for The Twistedly True Tale of Ruby Hood via YA BOUND BOOK TOURS. If you are a reader, writer, blogger, fan, etc… I hope you’ll consider signing up! 

And, I’ve made my first book trailer for The Twistedly True Tale of Ruby Hood. Check it out…

All in all, 2015 was utterly amazing and I am grateful beyond belief!

Upcoming in 2016
What’s next? GOALS! I don’t make resolutions, but I do LOVE to set goals. Is goal setting about mastering or perfection? Not usually…okay never. I’ll be honest, I’m in it for the journey. Sure the accomplishment or destination is nice, but I have an affection for the trip. Sometimes I make it to my destination, other times I end up someplace completely unexpected. However, I usually have a good time and ALWAYS learn a thing or two. Plus, most journeys are riddled with those #meaningfulmoments I love so dearly.

I do set some very specific goals, but they are always fluid and subject to change at a moment’s notice. However, some are every day constants, meant to provide general directions…purposes…destinations. Here are a few of my absolutes for the upcoming year…
  • Write: as often as possible...if there’s no time, make some
  • Read: at least once a day
  • Live: daily
  • Laugh: hourly
  • Love: every second
  • Learn: every time the opportunity arises

Wishing you and yours a lovely, delightful and wonderful New Year!
Happy 2016!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Holiday Blog with a Splash of Book Blitz

Holiday Blog…You Know…Instead of Nog

With the holidays fast, I am pleased to announce my Christmas spirit is intact and I’m not going to lie, I am super excited to get my holiday on…some festivities, family, good will, down time from work…I can dig it all! And can’t wait! This year, the husband and I wanted original so we went with repurposed recycled gifts from the local and very cool Blu Marble (seriously, check their stuff out)! In between the merriment, I hope to score some very serious writing time! Here’s the latest…

Precious Gems
I am so fortunate to have had the opportunity to co-author this series with the lovely and talented Jennifer Paquette! And it has been a blast working on the next installment!

The first one, “If the Silver Slippers Fit”, released in 2014 and contains two stories, each surrounding the same pair of diamond encrusted Silver Slippers. In the first story, Glinda falls through a portal from Oz and lands in New York City. She has to hone her witchy powers and NYC savviness with a quickness to retrieve her sister’s favorite shoes and get back home. In the second story, Glinda’s youngest daughter, Giselle, finds herself exiled to Vegas and her troubles only continue to mount. With her back up against a wall, she’s left with only one choice: accept a huge burden to protect her family, no matter the cost to herself.

In the second one, “If the Sapphire Slippers Fit”, my story picks up right where the first one ended. Giselle encounters even more problems in Vegas until one day she disappears, but not before she sends a cryptic message to her sister, the Chanceloress of Oz. Grace immediately heeds the advice of Glinda, their mother, and their Aunt Elle. Before long she is transported to Vegas to rescue her sister. Grace struggles to decipher the clues Giselle left behind, especially when she finds herself powerless after a teenager winds up dead. Will she figure out the clues and find her sister before another teenager dies?

****I’ve also complicated matters by throwing in a few gurus, a Greek goddess, a Mesopotamian goddess and a sexy demon hunter. It has been so much fun to write, but I’ll admit I’m only halfway through, so any and all, is subject to change.

Ruby Hood
The first two in the series are completed and on the market. I hope to work on the third and final installment soon. All books are available in ebook and paperback. I even have free review copies! If you are interested in reviewing either or book, please get a hold of me, I’d be happy to send a copy your way. In January, I will be running some promo through YA Bound Book Tours. Are you a reader, blogger, reviewer, writer??? Sign up to join the Ruby Hood Book Blitz!

Haven’t read them yet? Need a last minute Christmas gift?

In case I don’t get another post out for a while…
 Wishing you and yours the very best and brightest holiday season!
Happy reading, writing, and holiday celebrating!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Fall 2015...and Books

As much as I despise daylight savings time and the ever shortening days, I do have a certain affection for fall. I love the changing leaves (even in the desert), fuzzy socks, the fireplace, hot totties and the holidays, especially when family is involved. Recently, life has been a whirlwind of family, friends, work, home, writing/books…so many good things to be thankful for every day!

Does that mean every day’s perfect? Of course not, that would be a fictional tale, and a boring one at that. However finding my own peace every day is essential! No matter how many challenges or roadblocks I may meet in any given day, I have to find a piece…a slice…just a smidgeon…of happiness, harmony, peace, gratefulness…whatever I can grab. And some days that peace is the first five seconds of the day when my subconscious is still technically asleep.

But that’s the day-to-day chaos, not the big picture…the grand scheme…the reasons for it all: family, friends, happiness, harmony, love, kindness, health, beauty…the very core of the lovely and delightful #meaningfulmoments. So with the arrival of the Thanksgiving holiday and some of my favorite people, I am feeling extremely blessed and thankful this season.

May your life be filled with #meaningfulmoments now and always.
Happy Thanksgiving!

AND I think we all know…no matter how nuts life gets, there is always time to read. Even if it’s the last few moments before your eyes drift closed. Here are my latest reads…

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Great read! Anderson weaves a page-turner told from the perspective of a young freshmen girl, Melinda. The girl who called the cops at the big summer party. Needless to say, the start to her high school career was rough. She lost her friends and withdrew from her parents. It was through art she was able to find her voice and face her demons. The inner dialogue of this tormented teen is incredible. Highly recommend!

Midnight Raven by Becca Boucher
As a sequel in the Moon Series, this book shifts to the point of view of Kat, the angry loner. That is, until the good Dr. Cace Matthews shows up at her hospital. An instant connection is made, and it turns out they have more in common than the natural ways of the world. Before long they are neck deep in a harrowing nightmare. The story flowed and Boucher writes with great creative detail. I wasn't a fan of the way things ended for the characters, but it definitely has me thinking about where the next book will go.

Splintered by A.G. Howard
This modern Wonderland fractured fairy tale kept me guessing. Nothing is as it seems, but everything is familiar. A very creative spin/explanation/continuation of a classic tale. It was a little slow at the beginning, but near the end it was hard to put down. This book has some of the most impressive detail/description I’ve ever read, almost to a fault. There were points where I would get lost in details. But the ending was fantastic!

Afterburn by Silva Day
It’s hot. It’s heavy. It’s a quick read.

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful holiday!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

BOOK BLITZ: A Horse Named Dog

A Horse Named Dog
Theresa Oliver
Release Date: October 21st 2015
Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary
Write More Publications

Summary from Goodreads:

Sam is a typical twelve-year-old boy who works on his parent’s farm, but is not as interested in horses as his horse-training family. However, he does his best to help out until an incident when he is riding with his mother. After saving her from becoming nearly trampled, his viewpoint changes … until a strange horse comes to their farm with quirks, earning him the name Dog.

Dog likes Sam right away, but Sam wants nothing to do with him, as he is the son of Trumpeter, the horse that nearly maimed his mother for life. Sam has a hard time dealing with not only the memory of the accident, but the extra chores and responsibilities suddenly thrust upon him, one of which is training Dog.

Because his mother is out of work and people are canceling orders, money is scarce. With the Indiana Classic coming up—a local horse race with a huge purse—will Sam be able to befriend Dog and save their farm, or will Dog go back to his present owner, never to be seen again?

Find out in Theresa Oliver’s first pre-teen novel, A Horse Named Dog.  

Buy Links:

Book Trailer

About the Author
Theresa Oliver grew up in southern Indiana, across from Louisville, Kentucky, in Clarksville, Indiana. In her childhood, she fell in love with the power of the written word, a love affair that has continued her whole life. She moved to Florida, where she has lived much of her adult life. She attended the University of Tennessee at Martin, Martin, Tenn., and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communications degree, News Editorial sequence. She also earned a Master of Arts in Teaching degree, Early Childhood Education sequence, from Armstrong Atlantic State University, Savannah, Ga. She is currently a writer, a full-time teacher, and the owner of Write More Publications and TNT Author Services. However, her greatest adventure is as a mother of three beautiful boys. Oliver currently resides in Kissimmee, Florida, with her husband and children. 

Author Links

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz Organized by:

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Contract Killer Cover Reveal

The Killer Contract Agency
Release Date: November 30th 2015

Summary from Goodreads:

Salina Sinclair hunts Malians, an alien species that preys on weak teenagers, making them crazy enough to kill themselves. But after being nearly burned alive by one, Salina is contacted by The Killer Contract Agency. Wielding the powers of The Bracelet and with her mentor, Carter, by her side, she exacts her revenge by taking out the Malians responsible for her near death.

But something big is happening with the Agency and operatives are dying. Will she find out what it is before it's too late, or will the Agency be destroyed?

About the Author
My name is Jessica Samuels. I am an author addicted to caffeine, and I have imaginary friends that keep me up at night begging for me to tell their story. I love writing in my spare time a long with reading books since I have been an avid reader since elementary school.

Author Links:

Cover Reveal Organized by: YA Bound Book Tours

Monday, July 6, 2015

Latest Reads: Summer 2015

Latest Reads: Summer 2015

Wow! It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything for this blog. My last post was 3.5 months ago to promote my dear friend Becca Boucher’s latest release, Midnight Raven. Well, by now, I’m reading it and it’s got me very intrigued!

After wrapping up another school year, my alter ego, Summer Stephanie, is quite content with the bliss that is summer.  A little traveling has been done. Some fun has been had. And laughs have been abundant. SO I can’t complain in the slightest. Plus, some good things are happening with the writing. The second Ruby Hood book, “The Twistedly True Guardian Tale”, is at the publisher and getting ready to release. I’m thrilled to be working with Write More Publications again. I’ve also started the third and final book in the #rubyhoodseries. It’s exciting and sad at the same time. For now, it’s still more exciting than sad. However I suspect, the further I get into it, the sadder it will be. BUT a new series will spin off from this one. As for Ruby’s future? You never know where she may pop up! Summer has also provided me a little time to get some reading in. In fact, I have a whole slew of books for this edition of LATEST READS (How on Earth did I ever publish these once a month?!?!). Check out what I’ve been reading…

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
This was okay. I LOVED the storyline and the idea of evolution of the supernaturals, BUT I didn’t connect with either of the main characters. However, I did really like the supporting characters. I have the other ones downloaded and will probably read them, when I find some time.

Bared to You by Sylvia Day
Gideon Cross and Eva Tramell are quite an interesting pair. There is the basic boy likes girl, girl likes boy, boy can’t let girl know, girl pretends he doesn’t make her heart race but then there’s also a lot of sex. Set in the face paced Manhattan, NY, it’s a quick read. There is always something happening with multiple storylines all intermingled together.

The Giver by Lois Lowry
One of the first dystopian novels and a classic. I reread to see if it was appropriate for my students. And while it would have prompted some amazing discussions the idea of having to explain ‘the Stirrings’ deterred me. That being said, it may not have been my choice to teach to 5th graders, but is a great book. Lois Lowery has an amazing storytelling ability.

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
EXCELLENT! I couldn’t put this on down. One of the best books I’ve read in a long time. This heart-breaking twisted novel sucks you right in.

Benjamin McTish and the Grandfather Tree
In this fantasy fun, Benjamin and his two best mates venture out on the adventure of a lifetime. The story is filled with interesting characters and plot twists. At the end, the reader can’t help but root for Benjamin. And while one problem is solved, there is more ahead for the main characters in their journey. Book two is on my wishlist.

Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren
A quick fun read. Bennett Ryan is a beautiful bastard, but Chloe Mills can hold her own. At first I thought he was an absolute ass, but he’s just all twisted up over a girl. They have a sultry fun relationship, even though they’re both a touch needy.

A Dance with Dragons by George RR Martin
Holy Moly…FINALLY! I think this sucker took me a year to read. Only in George RR Martin’s 5th book do you get a barrage of new character introductions 65% in. Why??? Because he keeps killing all his characters…it’s maddening!!! If you read the books or watch the series, you know he killed a whole slew of folks in the fifth book, so of course, I am throughly intrigued and canNOT wait for the release of the 6th book!

American Sniper by Chris Kyle
This is a tragic and heartbreaking story of courage and bravery. I enjoyed the book, but I liked the movie better, which I don’t usually say. In the book, we see Chris Kyle’s perspective and snippets from his wife, but in the movie we see how his entire existence benefited others. He was entirely to humble to brag about this aspect of his life in the book. He was an amazing human being and American. The world is so much darker without his presence, but at least the story of his bravery and humanity is out there for the world to see. May you rest in peace, Chris “Legend” Kyle.

Currently Reading

The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larson
Midnight Raven by Becca Boucher
Afterburn by Sylvia Day

Thank you for reading! May your summer be filled with books, laughter and love!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Midnight Raven

New Release

There are always books to add to the ever growing, ridiculously long TBR list, and I’m a bit dismayed to report I have not made a dent in mine as of late. First, there is the general chaos of life, but there is also The Walking Dead. Binge watching this show has been fueling my creative, and it took me by total surprise. I never EVER thought TWD would hold my interest, but the writing...the characters...the twists and turns...sucked me right in! Plus, it’s great research for my next novel. But all good things must come to an end, or go on hiatus. As I await a marathon of five, I have turned back to my favorite pastime to fuel the creative.  One of the latest books added to my TBR list is the newly released Midnight Raven by Becca Boucher.  I pre-ordered it, so it was on my kindle the day of the release, and it is near the top of my paranormal/magic TBR list. Hunting the Moon, the first in the series, was intriguing and nicely paced. As a big fan mystical tales, I’m interested to see where the author takes these characters.

Book Blurb

Kat Brennan was a loner. Trust no one, and don’t let anyone in, was the mantra she lived her life by. The few times she had, it ended badly. Now alone and bitter she’s facing the consequences of her actions. Until one night a chance encounter with a raven sets into motion a range of events, and desires, she thought she had buried long ago.

Cace Matthews was a successful doctor to the outside world. He seemingly had it all, good looks, a fast paced career, and a prestigious new job. But no one knew the real Cace. The shifter who searched for the truth, the end to the curse that had been placed on his family. 
When the two cross paths it leads to discovery and passion.

Can Kat accept her true lineage and the magic that surrounds her? More importantly, can she let go of decades old resentments and let herself find true love? Can Cace bridge the gap between family commitments, and the desire to be himself, all while navigating his true feelings for Kat? And will they both live to see midnight?

Rebecca Boucher was born and raised in Worcester Massachusetts. Her father instilled an early love of reading and encouraged her when she started to write. Rebecca earned a degree in Criminal Justice from Quinsigamond Community College, but her love has always been writing. After the birth of her first child, she moved to a quiet little town on the edge of Worcester County, in the heart of Central Massachusetts. Living there has inspired her to write most of her current projects. In fact, local readers might recognize some of her locations.

Currently, Rebecca is a freelance writer and blogger. Her first novel, Hunting The Moon (The Moon Series) debuted December 2013 from Write More Publications. She has also authored three short stories and one novella, The Shadow Soldier.

When she is not writing, Rebecca is the mother to two boys, ages 12 and 14. Two of Rebecca’s favorite causes are Autism Awareness and Veteran’s causes.  All proceeds of her book, The Shadow Soldier, have been donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Wishing Becca tremendous success, not only with this project, but with all future endeavors! Looking forward to reading Midnight Raven!