Tag Archives: Fiction

TORN Cover Reveal!

Here’s the awesome new cover from my writing sister, Laney McMann over at J. Taylor Publishing! 

Isn’t it cool? 

Torn

Fire Born

Release Date: September 8, 2014

Target Reader: Young Adult

Keywords: FictionParanormal RomanceUrban Fantasy

 

Back of the Book:

Find Max.

That’s all Layla cares about. Not healing from the Fomore attack. Not finding answers to how she survived a fall that nearly killed her. Nothing will stop her. She will find him. She’ll even pair up with an overbearing Fallen Angel who’s hell bent on making everything harder than it needs to be if she has to.

Protect Layla.

For Max, nothing else matters. Not the bruises covering his body. Not the pain radiating from his broken bones. Not even his hands tied behind his back. He will find a way to save Layla, and the Fomore will pay if they’ve hurt her.

Every. Single. One of them.

In the second installment of The Fire Born trilogy, a new breed of villain looms—one Layla and Max will never suspect, and this killer has nothing to lose. Better yet, with Max and Layla’s deaths, victory is in the grip of the enemy.

Will Max and Layla find each other in time, or is it already too late for them both?

Add it to your Good Reads shelf ... https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16107148-torn?from_search=true

About this author:

I write young adult dark urban fantasy mixed with a spike of paranormal romance, a touch of history, and a dash of mythology. I’m a dreamer, an over thinker, and a myths and legends believer. Nothing moves me more than writing fantastical stories. And reading them.

I’m also the author of The Fire Born Novels. TIED is the 1st book in the series (J. Taylor Publishing)

So, what do you think of the cover? Would you want  to read this one? 

Advertisements

L.S. Murphy’s REAPER swag giveaway and review:

The cover:

Reaper

About the book:

There’s no way sixteen year old Quincy Amarante will become the fifth grim reaper. None. Not over her shiny blue Mustang. Her Jimmy Choos. Or her dead body.

She’s supposed to enjoy her sophomore year, not learn about some freaky future Destiny says she has no choice but to fulfill.

It doesn’t take long for Quincy to realize the only way out of the game is to play along especially since Death can find her anyway, anywhere, anytime. And does.

Like when she’s reassuring her friends she wants nothing to do with former best friend Ben Moorland, who’s returned from god-knows-where, and fails. Miserably.

Instead of maintaining her coveted popularity status, Quincy’s goes down like the Titanic.

Maybe … just maybe … that’s okay.

It seems, perhaps, becoming a grim reaper isn’t just about the dead but more about a much needed shift in Quincy’s priorities—from who she thinks she wants to be to who she really is.

Sounds awesome, right?

Now something about the author:

L.S. Murphy lives in the Greater St. Louis area where she watches Cardinals baseball, reads every book she can find, and weaves tales for teens and adults. When not doing all of the above, she tends to The Bean (aka her daughter), her husband and a  menagerie of pets.

She is a member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and the St. Louis Writer’s Guild.

http://www.facebook.com/LSMurphyAuthor

http://www.jtaylorpublishing.com/books/19

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5046440.L_S_Murphy

https://julieareece.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.php

Want more? Of course you do. Here an excerpt from her book …

Excerpt

A spitball stops in mid-air less than an inch from my nose.
It hangs there. I assume everyone else notices the wet wad of paper too, but when I turn to my bestie Jordan, her mouth is stuck open with her eyes half closed.
She was just laughing. Now she’s … frozen?
The sudden silence is louder than a room full of gossiping teenagers.
Mini-quakes creep up my spine like a centipede hurrying toward my hair.
I’m not entirely sure my heart is beating. I wave my shaking hand in front of Jordan, hoping this will break her free of whatever happened.
No reaction.
Why am I moving?
So many times, I wished Jordan would stop talking. Now is the one time I need her high-pitched voice to pierce my ears.
Quin, relax. It’s okay. No way this is real. I pinch my arm hard, but it doesn’t change anything.
A loud pop makes me spin around in my seat. A man stands in front of the chalkboard in a bluish-white robe staring at me through blizzard white eyes. He holds a staff in front of him that looks like melting glass.
“Hello, Quincy,” he says in a deep velvet voice. “How would you like to see your future?”
I stand and stumble toward the back of the room. “Who are you supposed to be? Gandalf?” I’m unable to keep the tremor out of my voice.
“One person dresses up like me in a movie, and that’s all I hear.” He leans back on Mr. Spragg’s desk. “I’m far more attractive than him and so much more fun.” He winks and lifts his robe, revealing a pair of yellow and red striped Bermuda shorts and orange flip-flops.
My eyes pop wider at the mismatched mess, but I keep my thoughts about his sense of fashion to myself. “Who are you?”
His sigh echoes off the walls. “I’m Destiny.”
“Who?”
Rolling his eyes, he raises the staff high to his left. Like a swordsman, he stabs and swooshes it down in an arch. The air ripples as a dark slit opens. A man in a deep brown pinstripe suit steps through. His cheap sneakers don’t match the formality of the tan fedora and horn-rimmed glasses.
A pony-sized white German shepherd saunters in behind him, and I take an automatic step back. The dog turns his head, black orbs where its eyes should be.
Pinstripe man glances my way before turning toward the person who calls himself Destiny. His features contort and a maroon tint creeps over his face.
“What the f—”
Destiny flips his finger and the new guy shuts up. After a moment, he does another finger move.
“We said when she was eighteen, Des.”
“I’m aware of that, Forsyth.”
“She’s not eighteen.”
“Really? I never would have guessed.” Sarcasm fills each word as Destiny raises his eyebrows like a flag on the Fourth of July.
Forsyth glares. “Then why am I here?”
“I let you pick the date, but I never agreed to honor it.” Destiny pats the dog on the head with sneer and wipes his hands on his robe. “Now is the time. Teach her.”

Book Trailer:

http://lsmurphy.com/2012/09/26/reaper-book-trailer/

My review:

I really loved the premise of this story. Sixteen year old Quincy Amarante is in her sophomore year when she learns she’s to become the next Reaper—Reaper as in sickle and hooded cloak. Yes. That doesn’t sit too well with her self-absorbed, spoiled agenda to rein queen bee (along with her other shallow friends) over her high school body. (No, you won’t like her at first, but you’re not supposed too.)

L. S. Murphy uses the idea of death and responsibility to force her heroine to think about life a little differently, and over time, to make some changes. Like how she relates to her former best friend Ben Moorland. In my opinion, by far the most intriguing part of the entire book and worth the read just to experience him! My biggest issue was being defensive for Ben because he’s so hot and wonderful and sexy, I couldn’t understand what he saw in Quincy. But they were friends a long time ago, before she turned into a snob, and his actions proved he was looking for the girl he once knew, the one buried beneath her designer clothes and make up. He thought she was worth fighting for, worth waiting for, so I gave her another chance. I do whatever Ben tells me to do. He’s that great.

The end of the story is the best part, and the most frustrating. Murphy doesn’t take the easy way out, and I give her big kudos on that score. I loved and hated and moaned and swooned over the way the story winds up. Clear it up any for you? Awesome.

My nitpicks are that I wanted a bit more from the world building. I wanted Quincy’s redemption to come sooner, and I wanted the secondary characters fleshed out a bit more. None of that would keep me from reading this book again. I recommend Reaper to any urban fantasy lover. It’s different, well written, fun, sad, surprising, and despite those few lesser developed points, I really enjoyed it.

Fotolia_18178350_XSFotolia_18178350_XSFotolia_18178350_XSFotolia_18178350_XS

Reaper swag giveaway!!!  Tell me what you think in a comment below for a chance to win a Reaper bookmark and this cool necklace. Winner announced next Wednesday, baby!

20130108_053202

Isn’t it awesome? Good Luck and thanks for stopping by! 🙂


A Cast of Stones Blog Tour $10 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

A Cast of Stones (The Staff and the Sword, #1)

A Cast of Stones

An Epic Medieval Saga Fantasy Readers Will Love

In the backwater village of Callowford, Errol Stone’s search for a drink is interrupted by a church messenger who arrives with urgent missives for the hermit priest in the hills. Desperate for coin, Errol volunteers to deliver them but soon finds himself hunted by deadly assassins. Forced to flee with the priest and a small band of travelers, Errol soon learns he’s joined a quest that could change the fate of his kingdom.

Protected for millennia by the heirs of the first king, the kingdom’s dynasty is near an end and a new king must be selected. As tension and danger mount, Errol must leave behind his drunkenness and grief, learn to fight, and come to know his God in order to survive a journey to discover his destiny.

Purchase
 

EXCERPT

“What’s your name?”

“Errol Stone.”

The lieutenant nodded. “An orphan. Well, we’ve more than a couple of those in the watch. Why are you here, Errol?”

He looked over at Knarl. “I have a friend here in the watch. This man’s captain wouldn’t send for him, told me the only way I might get to see him was to challenge. So I did.”

Even before he’d finished, the lieutenant was shaking his head. “So you don’t want to be in the watch.”

“No, not really.”

The lieutenant’s face darkened. “Soldier, take this man and escort him firmly out of the barracks.”

Errol broke Knarl’s grip and stepped away. “I came here to see my friend.”

“I don’t care why you’re here,” the lieutenant said. “I don’t have time to spend on some peasant boy who wants to gad about the imperial grounds.” He turned pointing. “You see these men? They’ve taken the black as a pledge to give their lives to protect the king.”

“I know the story of the watch,” Errol said, “but I need to see my friend.”

The lieutenant’s eyes narrowed. “You want to see him? All you have to do is follow through on your challenge. You’ll face five men of the watch. To join our ranks, you have to defeat three of them. If you manage to beat even one of them, boy, I’ll go fetch your friend myself.”

Errol’s heart skipped a pair of beats. The best swordsmen in the kingdom came to the watch.

 

Author Patrick W. Carr

Patrick Carr was born on an Air Force base in West Germany at the height of the cold war. He has been told this was not his fault. As an Air Force brat, he experienced a change in locale every three years until his father retired to Tennessee. Patrick saw more of the world on his own through a varied and somewhat eclectic education and work history. He graduated from Georgia Tech in 1984 and has worked as a draftsman at a nuclear plant, did design work for the Air Force, worked for a printing company, and consulted as an engineer. Patrick’s day gig for the last five years has been teaching high school math in Nashville, TN. He currently makes his home in Nashville with his wonderfully patient wife, Mary, and four sons he thinks are amazing: Patrick, Connor, Daniel, and Ethan. Sometime in the future he would like to be a jazz pianist. Patrick thinks writing about himself in the third person is kind of weird.

Patrick will now answer your questions:

Q. Awesome to have you with us today. Can you tell us about your story?

It’s great to be here. A Cast of Stones has a different protagonist. His name is Errol and he’s a drunk. The one thing he does well, besides drinking, is gathering herbs for the healers in his village. This talent lands him in a whole bunch of trouble when a church messenger shows up with letters for Martin Arwitten, a former leader of the church who’s hiding out in the hills above Errol’s village. The letters are calling Martin back to the capitol to help select the next king. Rodran, the current king, is dying without an heir. His death will bring an internal war of succession and will hasten attacks from the kingdom’s enemies. Into this huge mess, walks Errol.

Q. How did you come up with the idea?

I was reading a passage from the Bible that said “God is in the lot.” It really stuck with me and I started mulling over all the times I’d read about people in the Bible who drew lots trying to discern God’s will. Then my imagination just sort of ran wild with the idea and all these “what if?” questions started going through my head.

Q. What’s your main character’s greatest strength, biggest flaw?

Errol’s greatest strength is that he never gives up. I like him because he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions. He has a healthy disrespect for authority. His greatest flaw is that he has a hard time trusting people. In the beginning he’s definitely an all-or-nothing type of guy.

Q. What is the hardest part of writing for you?

Getting the words right. Ha. Actually, I labored for a long time making my characters fully formed. I wanted each of them to have as many layers as an onion and one of the themes of the book is “everyone has secrets.” The secrets provide a lot of the hidden motivation for the characters and pull the reader along for the ride. I think it’s one of the motivations that draws us to conflicted people in real life, the desire to know what “secret” is making them act that way.
Q. What one question do you wish an interviewer would ask you but never has?

I love it when people ask me about my favorite books. I get all geeked out talking about my favorite fantasy authors of the last thirty-five years. But people ask me the “favorite author” question all the time. I’m probably not qualified to answer anything outside of my writing or Geometry (I teach high school math).

Q. What are you working on now? Do you tend to work on multiple projects or one at a time?

I am so not a multi-tasker. The only exception is I can juggle and read a book at the same time. Right now I’m working on the final installment of “The Staff and the Sword.” The working title is “A Breath of Wind” and I’m almost done with
the first draft.

Q. What is your favorite line from this book?

Wow. I have so many, but here’s a snippet that makes me laugh out loud:

“Why do I have to go? Why would you even want me to go? I can’t ride. I don’t know anything about fighting.” He waved toward Cruk who sat in his chair like a giant sack of grain. “Ask him. The only things I know how to do are gather herbs and drink.”

Cruk grunted and grimaced his imitation of a smile. “The boy’s got the right of it. He is pretty useless.”

Q. Did you always want to be a writer?

For the longest time I wanted to be a pro baseball player, but my knees had other ideas. I dabbled with writing a bit in college but the bug really hit me about ten years ago.

Q. Was there any part that you struggled with or avoided writing?

The idea of using a drunk as a protagonist, especially one who succumbs at such an early age, troubled me a bit. I didn’t want to glorify it, but I also didn’t want it to destroy my character either.

Q. What are you reading right now? Do you read a book at a time or more than one?

I can’t read when I’m writing a first draft, but I have a long list for when I’m done. Sometime in January I’ll settle into “A Memory of Light” by Brandon Sanderson. It’s the final installment of “The Wheel of Time” series by Robert Jordan.

Q. Okay, so what do you like to do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?

I like to woodwork, but my next passion, in addition to writing, is going to be piano. I took lessons for a few years a long while back, but my sons are all very musical and they’ve inspired me. I want to learn how to play jazz and improvise and all that.

Q. Who is your favorite writer now?

Wow. I have way too many to narrow it down, but I really enjoy Jim Butcher’s pacing and Brandon Sanderson’s plotting. Both of those guys are so good at what they do.

Q. Have you ever wanted to quit writing? Why? What made you keep going?

Every time I write a lousy scene. Sometimes getting the words right is such a struggle, but I’ve learned that if I just stick with it, it will get better and I can always go back and re-write it. That’s the great thing about what we do. We get a lot of second chances.

Q. If you could have a career besides being an author, what would it be?

Well, I’m too old for baseball. Ha. Actually, I love teaching. I get to teach high school math at an academic magnet school in Nashville (Martin Luther King – woohoo!) and I work with all these amazing people from our in-school administration to my fellow teachers to guidance counselors and all the staff. Teaching provides the balance I need to the solitary pursuit of writing.

Awesome answers, dude. Enjoyed learning about you and your new book!

Blog Tour Giveaway !!!!!!

$10 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 1/31/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareadernotawriter.blogspot.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


a Rafflecopter giveaway