Tuesday, May 29, 2012

 Bancroft Press
Giveaway Opprtunity

If Bancroft Press can get 100 entries in their contest on www.facebook.com/bancroft.press by the June 1 release of THE UNDERSTORY (and all the official rules are there), they’ll give a winner four free Bancroft Press eBooks.

Of course, one of those is The Understory, and one is The Sinful Life of Lucy Burns, author Elizabeth Leiknes’s first book. But two more are whatever the winner chooses—and that can be The Atomic Weight of Secrets, or any of their YA and middle grade titles.

They are trying to do a grassroots, support-indie-publishing sort of thing, which is awesome, and they would really appreciate our help!

Goodreads Blurb:
Story Easton knows the first line of every book, but never the last.

She never cries, but she fakes it beautifully.

And at night, she escapes from the failure of her own life by breaking into the homes of others, and feeling, for a short while, like a different, better person.

But one night, as an uninvited guest in someone's empty room, she discovers a story sadder than her own: a boy named Cooper Payne, whose dream of visiting the Amazon rainforest and discovering the moonflower from his favorite book, Once Upon a Moonflower, died alongside his father.

For reasons even she doesn't entirely understand, Story decides that she will help Cooper and his mother. She will make his dream come true.

When the decision is made, the lives of other broken people start to come together: Hans Turner, the door-making magician who can't shut the door on his past; Martin Baxter, the author of Cooper's beloved book, who wrote it with the daughter he misses every day; and Claire Payne, Cooper's mother, struggling to keep her son sheltered from the anger that threatens to consume her.

The Understory is a magical, moving, funny, and poignant story of failure and success; of falling apart and rebuilding; and of coincidences that never really are. Part comedy, part drama, and part fairy tale, Elizabeth Leiknes's second novel is a wonder you won't soon forget.

They need a bit of a push to the finish line . . .
Go check it out!
The winner just  might be you!! 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Happy Book Birthday!!

Grasping at Eternity
by Karen Amanda Hooper

Published May 25th 2012 by Starry Sky Publishing

Goodreads Blurb:
Leave it to Maryah Woodsen to break the one rule that will screw up eternity: Never erase your memories.

Before entering this life, Maryah did the unthinkable—she erased. Now, at seventeen years old, she’s clueless that her new adoptive family has known her for centuries, that they are perpetually reincarnated souls, and that they have supernatural abilities. Oh, and she's supposed to love (not despise) Nathan, the green-eyed daredevil who saved her life.

Nathan is convinced his family’s plan to spark Maryah's memory is hopeless, but his love for her is undying. After spending (and remembering) so many lifetimes together, being around an empty version of his soulmate is heart shattering. He hates acting like a stalker, but has no choice because the evil outcast who murdered Maryah in their last lifetime is still after her.

While Maryah’s hunter inches closer, she and Nathan make assumptions and hide secrets that rip them further apart. Maryah has to believe in the magic within her, Nathan must have faith in the power of their love, and both need to grasp onto the truth before they lose each other forever—and discover just how lonely eternity can be. 
Karen is also the author of Tangled Tides, my  very favorite book of 2011--yes, I said VERY favorite, as in ahead of Divergent. It's really THAT good! I even bought a copy for my father-in-law and made him read it. He liked it! So, it isn't hard to imagine how I drooled for a copy of Grasping at Eternity

It's  every bit as wonderful as Tangled Tides. Karen is a FANTASTIC writer, and I am an over-the-top fan-girl. Oh, how I love her books!!  And you will too. I promise. My advice to you today is this: race to Amazon, or B&N or somewhere--anywhere--and get yourself a copy TODAY. Then drop everything and start reading. That's what I did.

You can find Karen at:
twitter: @Karen_Hooper

 Available for purchase on AMAZON, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords.

Happy book birthday, Karen!! 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Susan Kaye Quinn's Bonus Content CLOSED HEARTS launch!

The launch of Closed Hearts is here!! To celebrate and generate excitement, Susan has organized an awesome festival of flash-fiction bonus content! Enjoy!!

The CONTEST OFFICIALLY BEGINS TONIGHT AT MIDNIGHT, so come back tomorrow for active links. I'm a bit early. Don't worry, though, my post will be up all day Wednesday.  :)

Mindjack Flash Fiction - 
Leaving Gurnee

by Susan Kaye Quinn

[Ed. Note: In celebration of the release of my novel Closed Hearts, I've created bonus content that relates to the Mindjack Trilogy. This bonus content arises from the story time between Open Minds (Bk#1) and Closed Hearts (Bk#2) - it's not terribly spoiler-ish, but you'll enjoy it more if you've read Open Minds already.]

For those who don't know, flash fiction is just a really short story - meant to be read in a flash (although it takes considerably longer to write). Hemingway's famous flash fiction (which may be an urban myth) tells (or evokes) an entire story in just six words: Baby Shoes. Never Worn. For Sale.

There are few (if any) rules about flash fiction. Generally, it's supposed to be shorter than a short story, which is usually 2,000-10,000 words, making flash the king of the 6-1,999 word domain. And generally speaking, it should tell a story, rather than be a vignette (a scene or possibly a mood piece where there is much literary feeling but not so much a plot).

This bit of Mindjack Flash Fiction (Leaving Gurnee) is arguably a vignette: it represents a scene that occurs between books in the trilogy. But it's told from a different POV (Xander, the 12-year-old changeling that Kira rescues), and I think it encapsulates the story of his character. Plus it has a beginning, middle, and end. I guess you can judge for yourself ... :)

* Leaving Gurnee weighs in at 1155 words

by Susan Kaye Quinn

Xander didn’t sense the clan of mindjackers until it was too late.

Their minds plunged into his, making him fall to his knees. They jacked further into his head, and the soft living room carpet rushed up to meet his face. Through the ragged strands that tangled with his eyelashes, he saw Mrs. Moore hovering over her husband, who had slumped on the couch. The sim-cast Mr. Moore had been watching—Famous American Mindreaders of the 21st Century—still played soundlessly on the wall screen.

The jackers were in control of Xander’s body, but it still jerked involuntarily with the crack-slam sound echoing up the stairs from the first level of the house. Under the circumstances, crashing down the front door seemed a little dramatic. After all, they could have jacked someone to open the door for them and saved the Moore’s home from being damaged.

But Xander had a feeling that inflicting damage was why they were here, just like the haters who had trampled their lawn last week.

From his vantage point on the floor, he couldn’t see the boots stomping up the stairs, but they must have arrived at the top, judging by the way that Mrs. Moore jerked up from crying over her husband.

Run! Xander thought, but the jackers who had disabled his body—he could feel two of them firmly in his head—kept him from reaching out with his mind to link his thoughts to her. And his mouth was busy spilling drool on the carpet. He mentally pushed as hard as he could on the two mindjackers in his head, but they weren’t going anywhere.

Why hadn’t they jacked Mrs. Moore? She was just a mindreader, which meant she was easier to jack than him—Xander at least had some ability to push back. Three bulky figures in long, dark trench coats strode into his field of vision. They didn’t touch her, but Mrs. Moore dropped to the floor all the same, writhing in some kind of pain. Maybe it was only mental pain, not physical, but his wimpy twelve-year-old muscles wouldn’t do much good against them, even if he wasn’t paralyzed on the carpet and mentally locked inside his own head. Two of the clan members bent over Mr. Moore, and blue sparks arced from a small metallic device they held against his neck: tasing him, as if knocking him out wasn’t enough. The third jacker crossed his arms and watched Mrs. Moore’s dance of pain on the floor. A tear slid down to the carpet, blurring Xander’s vision.

At least Kira wasn’t home.

One of the jackers in his head seized on that thought, wrenching it up to the forefront of Xander’s mind.

No, no, no, Xander thought. Don’t think about her. Don’t think about her. He fought against the rock-hard presence of the jackers embedded in his brain, but it was like beating a boulder with a feather. Then Xander realized, with a sick hollowing out of his stomach, why they hadn’t just knocked him out. They must be looking for her: Kira, the world famous jacker that had rescued him and the other changelings from Agent Kestrel’s experimental lab. She had literally saved his life. She was the big sister he never had, and now was his chance to repay her. Protect her.

Only he couldn’t keep the jackers out of his head.

Boots stepped in front of his face, just inches from his nose, the leather tips smelling of spring rain from outside. Xander almost wished they would kick him in the face, rather than whatever they planned to do to his mind. Rough hands grasped him by the shoulder, and a thick muscular arm lurked under the sleeve of the jacker’s trench coat. Xander couldn’t see his face, not that he wanted to.

Where is she? Where is Kira Moore? The thoughts rang like commands in his head, but he resisted the compulsion that rippled through his mind to answer them. Tell them.

Xander mustered a focused thought and threw it at them. Why don’t you jack yourself?

Both jackers pressed deeper, and Xander gagged on their bitter mind-scents—the normal flavor of each jacker’s mind was overwhelmed with a sour bite of anger. A slithering feeling, like a snake crawling down his throat, made his insides twist as they probed through his memories. Searching, searching, replaying his memories like sim-casts on the screen of his mind. He tried throwing up old memories and deflecting the jackers into thoughts about Kira in other places. Not where she is now. Not where she is now.

But it was no use. He knew that. He could try to fight them, but they would get whatever answers they wanted out of him. There were five of them, and only two were in his head. The other three were menacing Mrs. Moore, probably searching for the same information. Being a mindreader, she was even less able to hold them off than he was. Xander’s body convulsed, and he heard a pathetic-sounding moan escape from his paralyzed lips as they tunneled deeper.


The command forced an image up from the depths of his memories. Gurnee’s Warren Township High School. Kira at band practice. The band room was crisp and clear in his head: Kira had taken him there, after she had brought him back to live with her family. After she had opened her home to him when his own mother didn’t want him back, once she found out he was a mindjacker. Kira’s family had welcomed him like he was their own son, and here he was, his thoughts betraying Kira with her own kindness.

Xander dry heaved as they pulled back, leaving him panting on the floor. Feeling slowly seeped back into his limbs. They had what they needed and quickly stomped down the stairs.

He rolled over on his side, his hands shaking, his fingers barely under his control. He thrust his hand in his pants pocket, the one now free from the floor, and painfully curled his fingers around his phone. Pulling it out, he used both hands to find the power button to switch it on. He didn’t bother using his hands after that, just jacked into the mindware interface on the phone and sent a scrit message as fast as the software would take it.

Jacker clan. Coming for you. Leave school. Don’t come home.

He dropped the phone on the carpet and rolled back to look at Kira’s parents. Mr. Moore was still passed out, and Mrs. Moore was crying over his body, probably wondering if he was dead or not. Xander didn’t know if his scrit would arrive in time to save Kira. But if nothing else, he would get her parents out of the house and make sure they were safely hidden away.

In case the jacker clan decided to come back for more.


Closed Hearts (Mindjack #2)
$2.99 at AmazonBarnes and Noble (ebook and print)

When you control minds,
only your heart can be used against you.

Bestselling YA novel Open Minds, Book One of the Mindjack Trilogy, is available on AmazonBarnes and Noble, and iTunes. The sequel Closed Hearts has just been released. Susan Kaye Quinn's business card says "Author and Rocket Scientist," but she mostly plays on TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest.
Mind GamesOpen MindsClosed HeartsIn His EyesLife, Liberty, and PursuitFull Speed Ahead

CLICK HERE to join the Closed Hearts Virtual Launch Party
(with more bonus Mindjack Trilogy content and guest posts)



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

news Flash!

I'm still alive!!!! Really. I've been out of town and out-of-control busy. 

But . . . I'm back and will have a real post up later today.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Random Act of Kindness BLITZ!

A smile. An encouraging word. A thoughtful gesture. Each day people interact with us, help, and make our day a bit brighter and full. This is especially true in the Writing Community

Take a second to think about writers you know, like the critique partner who works with you to improve your manuscript. The writing friend who listens, supports and keeps you strong when times are tough. The author who generously offers council, advice and inspiration when asked.

So many people take the time to make us feel special, don't they? They comment on our blogs, re-tweet our posts, chat with us on forums and wish us Happy Birthday on Facebook.

Kindness ROCKS!

To commemorate the release of their book The Emotion Thesaurus, Becca and Angela at The Bookshelf Muse are hosting a TITANIC Random Act Of Kindness BLITZ. And because I think KINDNESS is contagious, I'm participating too!

I am randomly choosing Natalie Aguirre. Natalie is one of the best out there at author interviews--she's amazing! AND she is uber-generous with her giveaways! Almost every interview she does--and there are A LOT of them--she gives away the book. I adore her for SO MANY reasons

Natalie, for my RAOK gift, I'm offering any book or pre-order of your choice, including the Emotion Thesaurus! 

I really appreciate Natalie, who blogs  at Literary Rambles. If you have a minute, please stop in and tell her how awesome she is!

Do you know someone special that you'd like to randomly acknowledge? Don't be shy--come join us and celebrate! Send them an email, give them a shout out, or show your appreciation in another way. Kindness makes the world go round. :)

Becca and Angela have a special RAOK gift waiting for you as well, so hop on over to The Bookshelf Muse to pick it up.

Have you ever participated in or been the recipient of a Random Act Of Kindness?  Let me know in the comments!

Monday, May 7, 2012

MMGM - The Color of Bones

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

Shannon Whitney Messenger decided it was time to give middle grade stories the attention they deserve, and "Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays" was born. 

The Color of Bones
by Tracy Edward Wymer

 Publication: May 8, 2012

Blog circle friend, Tracy Edward Wymer, releases his first MG book tomorrow. He's a fellow English teacher, very funny, and utterly brilliant (even though he roots for the wrong baseball team), so I knew I'd love his book before I read it. And I was right. Just the blurb should be enough to suck you in:

Goodreads Blurb:
Twelve year-old Derby Shrewd lives in a divided town. Lights live on the Northside of the Line, Darks live on the Southside. Hillside has been that way ever since the Line appeared naturally from the ground, much like a spring welling up from deep inside the earth.

Now the Line controls the town, keeping Hillside separated, zapping those who come near it and killing those who dare cross it.

But when Derby, a Northsider, finds a pile of bones stacked on the Line, he sets out to uncover the person's identity. While doing so, he befriends a Southside girl and soon begins to challenge the Line and the town's rules. And then, before he can turn back, Derby goes too far.
The Line through the middle of town is a force to be reckoned with. Tracy Wymer does an incredible job of actually making The Line a powerful--and believable--main character. I especially love the story's prose--so wonderful. The words and the story flow like water, and the originality will keep you spellbound. Derby and Zora completely captured my heart.

It's a fast read, and one I'm sure you'll enjoy.

*** Don't miss Tracy and The Color of Bones: ***
Goodreads Giveaway: HERE
On Twitter: @TracyEWymer
Amazon Page: HERE

** Others who can be counted on for MMGM: **

 Happy Monday!

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Techno ABC's

I wrote this silly alphabet book as a distraction a while ago. I posted it on my blog in 2010 and recently re-discovered it. I'd forgotten about it, actually. I thought it would be fun to share it again.

The Techno A B C’s

The A B C’s… they used to be just apples, cats and bows.
Not today, ‘cause kids all know the alphabet’s gone techno!

Now, A is still for Apple, but not the sweet, red fruit.
Today it’s for the company that makes computer loot.

B is what begins such words as Bluetooth, blog and bling,
And B is for your Blackberry – the newest, coolest thing!

C is for the cell phone you just can’t seem to put down,
And for a world called cyberspace, where all things can be found.

D performs the downloads to your database and more.
It’s DVD’s and desktops and digitals galore.

E begins so many things like emails and e-books,
Ezines, ear buds, and eBay (where shoppers go to look).

F is for the flat screen we all beg our parents for
The flash drive for our file folders, the Facebook we adore.

G brings Dad the GPS that helps him find his way
It’s Google and the Guitar Hero we play every day.

H today is for HD, which means High Definition
HTML computer talk and handhelds with precision.

Ipods, Iphones, Ipets, Itunes … they all start with I.
And now there’s Instant Messaging for telling friends goodbye.

J is for the Jpegs that become graphics or pictures
And for the JavaScript that’s used to program website features.

K is for the keyboard used for typing words and numbers
And those “Kajeet for Kids” cell phones we use for calling mothers.

L always lets us login to our laptops and accounts
And links us to more places than we ever dreamed about.

M is for our favorites, like MySpace and MP3’s
It’s all those megapixels and the media we receive.

N is for Nintendo – both the GameCube and DS
It’s also for the networking we now do “wireless”.

O takes each of us online to surf the internet
And runs our operating systems for our benefit.

Without P there’d be no Podcasts, PDA’s or PSP’s
And how could we survive today without our own PC’s?

Q is rather quirky, but begins the word QuickTime
Quicktime is used with software and fun Disney games online.

R stands for the roaming and the ringtones of cell phones
For the memories of RAM and ROM; for Refresh and Reload.

We use S to surf the internet for smartboards and smartphones
And S is for the songs we hear on satellite radios.

The technology of touchscreens and of texting start with T
So does the TiVo we all want on our big screen TV’s.

U is for the ultrasound to see inside our bodies
And the ports on our computers that we call USB’s.

V is for the viruses that make computers crash
For virtual reality and video that lasts.

W is the Worldwide Web, wireless and Wii
Webcams, Wikipedia, and Windows technology.

X of course is XBOX, a favorite gaming system
Don’t forget it’s also Xerox and the XM music system.

Y today is Yahoo! for news and entertainment.
It’s yellowbook.com online and all those YouTube segments.

Z is for the zip drive that stores your information,
The zoom on your new camera and the Zune for your vacation.

While Mommy reads, you just might wonder, “What are all of these?”
Listen closely and you’ll learn your Techno A B C’s.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Secret Words

"I am a writer: I am a magician, conjuring something into being where nothing was before. Studying my art, learning the secret words to bring forth a world from the hat of my imagination. The hand is quicker than the eye. Did you see the trick behind my words? Or did I do it well enough that it all seems like magic? May I become better and better so that my craft does not show and my stories amaze and entertain."
~K.L. Oberst

May your day be filled with writing magic. 
May the hat of your imagination overflow with secret words.
Go ahead . . . amaze and entertain!
How is your magic lately? 
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