Tag Archives: Month9Books

That’s right, the cover reveal for Fearless (Nameless #3) by Jennifer Jenkins is finally here!@chapterxchapter @Month9Books @authorjenkins

Here it is guys, the final cover in Jennifer Jenkin’s NAMELESS trilogy. I’m so excited to share this with you today!

Congratulations, Jennifer. Can you believe the day is finally here?  !!!!

 

 

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

Fearless (Nameless #3) by Jennifer Jenkins

presented by Month9Books!

Be on the look out for this upcoming YA title!

What do you think of the cover?

 

 

 

In exactly twenty-three days, Gryphon will offer his life to Chief Barnabas in exchange for the lives of his best friend and mess brothers. Until then, he must keep his plans from Zo while avoiding the Wolves of the Allied Camp. But Gryphon is not the only one harboring secrets. To spare her own life, Zo has made a blood oath promising to help the Kodiak Clan free their families living as Nameless slaves. When Gryphon learns the truth — that the peaceful life he’d planned for Zo is not secure — he divulges a secret that will give the Allies the upper hand against the Ram.

Now, The Great Move is underway and a final battle between the Wolf, Ram, Kodiak and Raven cannot be stopped. Strength will be tested. Loyalties will be questioned. Alliances will form. In a world of uncertainty and danger, Zo and Gryphon may finally have what they’ve each always wanted.

 

Fearless (Nameless #3) by Jennifer Jenkins
Publication Date: October 2017
Publisher: Month9Books

 

 

 

With her degree in History and Secondary Education, Jennifer had every intention of teaching teens to love George Washington and appreciate the finer points of ancient battle stratagem. (Seriously, she’s obsessed with ancient warfare.) However, life had different plans in store when the writing began. As a proud member of Writers Cubed, and a co-founder of the Teen Author Boot Camp, she feels blessed to be able to fulfill both her ambition to work with teens as well as write Young Adult fiction.

Jennifer has three children who are experts at naming her characters, one loving, supportive husband, a dog with little-man syndrome, and three chickens (of whom she is secretly afraid). Visit her online at jajenkins.com

 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest |Instagram

 


Excited! Blog Tour: OF THE TREES by @ErinMFitch #YAlit @Month9Books

 

of-the-trees

 

Welcome in! I’m so excited to be a part of this blog tour for the amazing E.M. Fitch and her new book! I’ve got more tour stop dates, an excerpt and special giveaway here, so don’t forget to scroll down and enter the contest near the bottom of the post!

 

Now to get on with it. Have you seen this cool and freaky cover yet?

I love the vibe!

of-the-trees-cover

Title: OF THE TREES

Author: E.M. Fitch

Pub. Date: February 28, 2017

Publisher: Month9Books

Format: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 345

Where to get it:

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | TBD | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play Books | Indiebound

 

Watch the author’s  video about her book here:

Blurb:

Cassie and Laney fancy themselves amateur ghost hunters. When a carnival comes to town, Cassie embraces the chance to try something new.

Carnival workers watch the girls with a collective gaze that ignites in Laney a dark and dangerous fascination, leaving Cassie unnerved.

It’s not just their age or the unsettling way they stare. There is something in the shifting of their skin and the way their features seem to change in the shadows.

Cassie can’s shake this sickening feeling that there’s more to the carnival than meets the eye.

When townspeople suddenly start dying and bloody warnings appear around town, Cassie is lured into a nightmare where trees whisper and strange, shape-shifting men haunt the backwoods she once hunted for ghosts with her best friend.

Then Laney goes missing, and only Cassie can get her back. But the creatures of the trees aren’t simply going to hand Laney over to Cassie without getting something in return.

 

Here’s more about the author … 

erin-fitch

E.M. Fitch is an author who loves scary stories, chocolate, and tall trees. When not dreaming up new ways to torture characters, she is usually corralling her four children or thinking of ways to tire them out so she can get an hour of peace at night. She lives in Connecticut, surrounded by chaos, which she manages (somewhat successfully) with her husband, Marc.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Giveaway!

1 winner will receive a $25 Fandango Gift Card, US Only.

Rafflecopter:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/ZTIzODliYTI4ZTEzMGVjODBhNzA2MmFmMTU3YWM3OjU1MQ==/?

Excerpt:

Cassie’s boots crunched on the gravel, the grating noise cutting through the faint undertone of laughter and squeals that were just up ahead. Her imagination always went into overdrive during these isolated, dark moments. She knew it, and sometimes the little movements everyone saw out of the corner of their eyes took on a life of their own. So she ignored it, not wanting to give life to the fear.

Laney was different. She’d run into the shadows and flush out the monsters, which would, of course, invariably turn out to be a rabbit, or bird, or the errant flash of light cast from someone’s wristwatch. It was always explainable. Even knowing that, Cassie wasn’t one to tempt fate. She preferred to let sleeping monsters lie.

“Have a light?”

Cassie jumped, not really expecting a voice from the dark. From between two cars, a shadow solidified. A boy stepped forward, his jeans smeared with grease and his dark hood up over his head and hanging down past his brow. She could just make out the sandy hair that hovered over the piercing, blue eyes. He stared at her as he stepped closer, his gaze sharp in the darkness.

Or was it a man? Now that he drew nearer, the lines of boyhood seemed to melt. His face was older, drawn. There were creases in the folds of his skin that she hadn’t noticed at first. Somehow, it seemed like he was wearing a cheap Halloween mask, something rubber made to emulate human skin, and suddenly she was terrified, a feeling of danger rising up from her core.

“No, sorry,” she stammered, stepping back.

He stepped with her.

She jumped again when a car horn blared and turned to see her father still parked there, his outline peering at her through the dark. A chuckle echoed from the shadows, and Cassie shivered, even in the unseasonable warmth.

“Got to go, sorry,” she said. The man stared, his head tilting slightly as he regarded her. He didn’t speak, and yet Cassie got the strange impression he was trying to communicate with her anyway.

Wings black

Creepy right? The sort of creepy that’s right up my YA thriller/horror alley. I can’t wait to start reading this one, ya’ll.

Hope you enjoy and thanks so much for stopping by! 

 

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By the way … if you want to follow more of the tour, all the dates are listed below!

Week One:

2/27/2017- Lisa’s Loves(Books of Course)– Interview

2/27/2017- Never Too Many To Read– Review

2/27/2017- Julie Reece– Excerpt

 

2/28/2017- Tales of the Ravenous Reader– Guest Post

2/28/2017- Book Review Becca– Review

 

3/1/2017- Two Chicks on Books– Interview

3/1/2017- Omg Books and More Books– Review

 

3/2/2017- Always & Forever Fangirling– Excerpt

3/2/2017- Bookaholic Banter– Review

 

3/3/2017- Rockin’ Book Reviews– Guest Post

3/3/2017- Quantum– Review

 

Week Two:

3/6/2017- LILbooKlovers– Interview

3/6/2017- Don’t Judge, Read– Review

 

3/7/2017- The Book Adventures of Annelise Lestrange– Excerpt

3/7/2017- Book Lovers Life– Review

 

3/8/2017- Hidden Worlds Books– Guest Post

3/8/2017- Book-Keeping– Review

 

3/9/2017- Bibliobibuli YA– Interview

3/9/2017- StephanieCassidyBlog– Review

 

3/10/2017- So Few Books– Interview

3/10/2017- I am not a bookworm!– Review

 

 

 


Happy Book Birthday: EMBERS IN THE SEA by @JenniferMEaton @Month9Books #ReleaseDay #EmbersInTheSea #Month9Squad #Month9Books #scifi #aliens


I am so excited that EMBERS IN THE SEA by Jennifer M. Eaton releases today
and that I get to share the news! If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book,
be sure to check out all the details below.

 

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a Perfectly Posh, Posh To Meet You Set ($20 value),
and an Alien Charm Necklace US Only courtesy of Jennifer & Month9Books
.
So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
 
Title: EMBERS IN THE SEA (Fire in The Woods #3)
Author: Jennifer M. Eaton
Pub. Date: January 31, 2017
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 300
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | TBD
Alien scientist David has dealt with disappointment his entire life, but
failing to breathe life into the planet Mars is his greatest regret. Out of
options and in need of a new home for their people, the alien Caretakers
rekindle their plan to inhabit Earth. First they will have to eliminate the
human race, including Jess, the only human David holds dear.
Humanity has one final chance at survival. David needs to emulate Earth’s
precipitation on Mars. But the catalyst to make it rain lies in the fathomless
depths of Earth’s ocean.
The clock is ticking down to humanity’s last hours as Jess and David face
a world more alien than either of them can imagine. The sea hides secrets, but
some secrets don’t want to be found.
 
Excerpt:
 
We rattled, cascading and spinning. My sight blurred. My breakfast
threatened a reappearance. I closed my eyes and prayed David and Edgar could
bring us under control. The tiles rumbled beneath my cheek before we collided
to a stop.
 
My body left the floor before slamming back down once again.
 
Oww.
 
I blinked until I could focus. David lay across the side of his seat, his
head dangling near the floor.
“David!” I dragged myself from the unforgiving tiles and sat him back in
his chair. His head lolled back, his mouth slightly open. “Oh, God. David,
please wake up!”
 
Pressing my fingers against the side of his neck and his wrists, I sought
a pulse. I couldn’t find one, but relief flooded me as his chest rose and fell
in a shallow breath. I glanced over each shoulder, and toward the back of the
ship, looking for what, I didn’t know.
 
Why hadn’t the seats come to life and protected us?
 
I grabbed the edge of David’s chair, pulling him from the seat and into
my arms. “David?” I kissed him and ran my fingers along the side of his face.
“David, please … ”
 
I would have felt less empty if part of my chest had broken off and
floated away into the abyss. I didn’t care that we’d crash-landed again. I
didn’t care that the marine floor was probably more alien than the green planet
we’d been marooned on. I didn’t care that the pressure of an entire ocean
weighed down on us. And I didn’t care that he left me alone for two years.
 
He was here. Now. And hurt. I fisted my hands and pushed with my mind. If
he needed strength, maybe I could send it to him.
 
His lashes fluttered. His eyes opened, but didn’t seem to focus. “Jess?”
 
I gulped back a sob. “Yeah. I’m here.”
 
He tried to sit up, but frowned and relaxed back into my arms. “Are we okay?”
“I don’t know.”
 
 
About Jennifer: 
Jennifer M. Eaton hails from the eastern shore
of the North American Continent on planet Earth. Yes, regrettably, she is
human, but please don’t hold that against her. While not traipsing through the
galaxy looking for specimens for her space moth collection, she lives with her
wonderfully supportive husband and three energetic offspring. (And a poodle who
runs the spaceport when she’s not around.)
During infrequent excursions to her home
planet of Earth, Jennifer enjoys long hikes in the woods, bicycling, swimming,
snorkeling, and snuggling up by the fire with a great book; but great
adventures are always a short shuttle ride away.
 
Who knows where we’ll end up next?
Giveaway Details:
(1) winner will receive a Perfectly Posh, Posh To Meet You Set ($20
value), US Only.
(1) winner will receive an Alien Charm Necklace, US Only.

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Month9Books Friday Reveal: Cover and Chapter 1 for SOULMATED by @shaila_writes #yalit

Today Shaila Patel and Month9Books are revealing the cover and first chapter for SOULMATED, which releases January 24, 2017! Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to be one of the first readers to receive a eGalley!!
 
A quick note from the author:
 
When people find out that I’ve written a book, invariably the first question is, “Where did you get the idea for the story?” If I had a quick and easy answer like, “I checked http://www.BookIdeas.com,” my phone calls with the family would be so much shorter! Anyway, the truth is a bit more complicated—much like my family’s recipe for the perfect cup of chai.
 
After years of writing literary short stories, I thought I’d try my hand at a paranormal romance. Perfectly normal leap of logic, right? (I have Twilight to thank for that!) For whatever reason, I’d been thinking of how emotionally perceptive my mom was and that if there were such a thing as an EQ test (where the E stands for emotional intelligence), my mom would score through the roof. She just always had this uncanny ability to read my feelings. I’d never seen a story about empaths—people who could read emotions like psychics could read thoughts—but the idea grabbed on and wouldn’t let go. And that, my friends, was the beginning. Soulmated is finally ready to be released, and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I had fun writing it!

On to the reveal! 

Isn’t it pretty? ♥

Title: SOULMATED (Joining of Souls #1)
Author: Shaila Patel
Pub. Date: January 24, 2017
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook
Pages: 300
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | TBD
Two souls. One Fate.
Eighteen-year-old Liam Whelan, an Irish royal empath, has been searching for his elusive soulmate. The rare union will cement his family’s standing in empath politics and afford the couple legendary powers, while also making them targets of those seeking to oust them.
Laxshmi Kapadia, an Indian-American high school student from a traditional family, faces her mother’s ultimatum: Graduate early and go to medical school, or commit to an arranged marriage.
When Liam moves next door to Laxshmi, he’s immediately and inexplicably drawn to her. In Liam, Laxshmi envisions a future with the freedom to follow her heart.
Liam’s father isn’t convinced Laxshmi is “The One” and Laxshmi’s mother won’t even let her talk to their handsome new neighbor. Will Liam and Laxshmi defy expectations and embrace a shared destiny? Or is the risk of choosing one’s own fate too great a price for the soulmated?
Excerpt

CHAPTER 1 – LIAMThey’re calling this a test?

Not even a ping grazed my mind as the five Elders tried to slip past my mental blocks and into my emotions. A sheen of sweat over William’s lip proved he wasn’t faring as well. Of all the cousins now come of age, William and I were the last to be sitting before the Elders. I’d have felt guilty for his not doing so well had he ever shown an interest in leading the family. But, we all knew he’d rather have his head in a library. Now his heart was with his wife Colleen. He at least seemed to have a choice about his fate.

I sighed. Not so for me.

“Are we boring you, Prince Liam?”

I snapped my eyes up to Elder Adebayo. He wore his trademark bow tie with a traditional fila atop his head. In the fraction of a second it took me to untangle the meaning from his heavy Nigerian accent, I’d blanked my expression and sat upright. The Elders sat along one side of an antique conference table, facing William and myself. The manor staff had rearranged the study to hold both the testing and signing-over ceremonies. Gone were the leather club chairs and stained glass lamps normally dotting the large space, giving it the air of a posh library. Now it seemed more an election-night headquarters, like the sort you saw on the telly, with bright lights and a gathering of family strewn about, waiting for the results. A photographer hung out in one corner, camera in hand. Not far from him stood a team of solicitors guarding rolling briefcases that were no doubt stuffed with legal documents for the victor to sign.

My throat-clearing echoed in the now silent room, and my cheeks warmed. “No, sir, not at all. Although, uh … I’d like to know when it is you’ll begin with me.” I pasted on an oh-so-innocent smirk and watched William shake his head and smother a grin. I shrugged at him, hoping to lighten the mood.

Four of the Elders cocked an eyebrow—all except for Elder Claire Brennan, our lone Irish representative. She leaned ever so slightly forward from where she sat at the center of the group.

So much for having a bit of craic.

The familiar knocking on my brain—like the distant sound of drums—told me someone had got past my first line of defenses with their probe. The rest of my mental blocks held up though. The corner of Brennan’s lip stretched upward. Toying with me, was she? I leaned back with a matching smile and loosened my tie. Mum and I were the only ones in the family who’d mastered the skill of probing and manipulation. A handy skill that, especially when the burden of the entire clan’s financial success might well be resting on my shoulders.

As if sensing the end of the ritual, Mum whispered to the house staff and pointed toward the main doors, directing them to begin preparations, most likely. She turned and nearly ran into a Mediterranean-looking man with a grotesque mole on his left cheek. He wasn’t a relation or a solicitor, so I assumed he was a council minister. Their stances were stiff, and despite being too far for me to hear, I sensed Mum’s replies seemed short and clipped. He moved around her, and on his way out, his eyes met mine. He lifted his lips in a smirk.

Arse.

My attention darted to Mum. She was smoothing out the front of her dress, and her shoulders heaved a time or two before she turned back to face the room. I mentally sent her my curiosity, but she ignored me with a smile. She did at least send me her love before she weaved herself into the crowd.

Within a few minutes, Elder Brennan squared her shoulders and opened the portfolio in front of her. The rest of the Elders relaxed back in their seats and passed her folded slips of paper.

Jaysus Christ. Thank you. This bleedin’ muck-up was about done.

After tallying the results, she stood with the help of a finely carved cane. Rumors about her age had always been entertaining—the last one I’d heard was that Claire Brennan was well over 140 years old. Apparently, documents as to her history had disappeared. Her regal manner and piercing blue eyes—the sort that’d make a gutless gobshite piss his pants—set her apart from the rest of the Elders. She now set those sights on me.

“Prince Liam, please stand. It is our unanimous decision that the Royal Empath House of O’Connor will now be led by you, Prince Liam Joseph O’Connor-Whelan, on this day, the

sixth of June, in the year 2015.” Flashes from the camera punctuated every other word, and spots began to form in front of my eyes. “You have proven your worth to lead your clan by exhibiting the strength of your empath skills to the satisfaction of the presiding group and by extension, the Council of Ministers.”

Brennan rattled on about allegiances and legal mandates, all of which bore down on me like the weight of history, dry and inescapable, yet … a bit liberating. Now we could stop our search and stay in Ireland—better of two evils and all that. I could make that happen now.

An explosion of clapping hands, and thumps on my back from a relieved-looking William, forced me to plaster a smile on my face.

Mum hurried over with open arms. “Darling! We’re so happy for you.” Da and my older brother Ciarán, a non-empath, followed, both decked out in a suit and tie. After her hug and kiss and Da’s pat on my back, they congratulated William on his effort and made room for the Elders to come around with their well-wishing. Ciarán smirked and punched my shoulder. The strobe-light effect of the flashes had me squinting.

Elder Santiago from Spain shook my hand. He sported a thick mustache and proudly wore his Catalonian flag pin on his lapel. He’d been wooing our clan for support in Catalonia’s bid for secession from Spain. Ciarán had thought it a good cause to be getting behind—especially if we beat another royal clan from doing so first. We had several holdings in Barcelona, after all. Now that it was my call to be making, a hasty decision didn’t seem wise. Santiago always had the look about him of a tapas dish drowning in olive oil.

He sidled closer. “Your strength is most impressive. And at the age of eighteen too. It is not hard to believe you will be the next soulmated empath, in truth. Some have doubts though, eh?”

He wants to discuss this now?

Da pointed to his own temple, stabbing at an unruly black curl. “No need for doubts. If I’ve seen it, it’s as good as true.”

I resisted rolling my eyes. Admitting I had my own doubts about Da’s visions wouldn’t be wise. “Time will tell, yeah?” No point kissing Elder arse.

The other Elders came one by one, congratulating me and posing for photos. Brennan was last. The crowd dispersed enough to give us a bubble of privacy. She tipped her head back and studied my face.

Without being able to read her blocked emotions, her body language was all I had to go on. A smile like before tugged at her lips.

I leaned in. “So were you toying with me earlier?” My bold question would either be living up to the liberties given to the heads of the four remaining Irish royal houses, or it’d be taken as the yipping of a whelp learning to growl. I hoped for the former and straightened up just in case.

“The test need only be as strong as the weakest candidate.” She curved her gloved hand around the crook of my elbow and turned me to face the patio. “Come now. Walk me outside.”

Leading an Elder outside for a private conversation wasn’t as nerve-racking as I’d thought. With her hand resting on my arm, she exuded an unexpected grandmotherly warmth. The stone patio ran the length of the building on this side of our manor home. It overlooked the meadows of our property—now mine—and with the cloudless days we’d had of late, the scent of heated earth surrounded us. I inhaled deeply. Definitely better here than returning to the States.

The few who lingered outside turned and meandered back to the study once they spotted us. Elder Brennan patted my arm, then released it, flattening her palms upon the balustrade, her ever-present white gloves in sharp contrast to the weathered stone.

Her gaze floated over the view. “It seems you are to have a very interesting future ahead of you.”

“Possibly.”

Her features relaxed with another one of her enigmatic smiles. “When will you be returning to America?”

“I’m thinking to stay here,” I said.

A disapproving frown appeared, and she tapped a sole finger on the stone.

How the hell was this any of her bloody business? I forced my expression to remain neutral and unclenched the hands I’d not realized I’d fisted. If only Da had kept his mouth shut over the years.

“Choices are a funny thing, Prince Liam. We often treat them as black and white, but rarely are they.”

I pocketed my hands. What was I meant to say? Yes, Zen Master Brennan.

A breeze picked up and coaxed a few strands of her silver hair across her cheek. She tilted her face into the wind and closed her eyes. “You should return to your search.” She turned and pinned me with a stare.

“What? Why? Are you trying to boot me from Ireland? Away from the estate? Is something happening you’re hiding from me?”

She held up her hand. “The demesne will be in capable hands. Go now. Enjoy your celebration. Congratulations and happy eighteenth birthday.” With a nod, she summoned two of her gendarmes, who came to her side and escorted her down the patio.

Mum must have been watching because she rushed outside. “What did she want?” Her concerned gaze scanned my face as if to get a read on my emotions, but as usual, I had them blocked.

I rolled my shoulders and took a breath. “She wants us to go back to the States.”

Her mouth opened and closed.

I knew that look. “Just say it, Mum.”

“Your father had another vision during the night.”

I snorted. “Where now? Alaska?”

“Liam, you used to believe—”

“Do you think we’ll be seeing some actual igloos? We could even go to the North Pole and watch the ice cap melt—”

“What harm could one more year—?”

“Have you tried whale blubber, Mum? I hear it’s a right treat.”

An elderly couple came out onto the patio. With a huff, Mum crossed her arms and broadcast her emotions as clearly as any mother’s scowl would convey. Waves of her irritation registered in my mind like seaweed washing in and wrapping around my toes. I moved a few steps away and leaned over the balustrade, resting my forearms on the sunbaked stone. A good fifty yards out, a hare popped up to scan its surroundings and then chased a second one into the shrubbery.

After a few moments, Mum joined me. “We know this isn’t easy, Liam, but we’re doing it for you. We’ve sacrificed so much. Please understand.”

I ground my back teeth and straightened. So much for making it happen my way. “Fine. One more year.”

I stormed back into the study so the signing could begin, passing by several girls in long glittering dresses, tittering behind their fingers. No doubt my pain-in-the-arse brother had arranged for them to be here.

If the Elders knew about our search, so did the rest of the empath community. Speculation would be flowing like whiskey tonight, but it didn’t change the fact we’d not be finding our target in Ireland.

Want to read more? Shaila has chapter 2 on her website

 

As an unabashed lover of all things
happily-ever- after, Shaila’s younger self would finish reading Cinderella and
fling her copy across the room because it didn’t mention what happened next.
Now she writes from her home in the Carolinas and dreams up all sorts of
stories with epilogues. A member of the Romance Writers of America, she’s a
pharmacist by training, a medical office manager by day, and a writer by night.
She enjoys traveling, craft beer, and teas, and loves reading books—especially
in cozy window seats. You might find her sneaking in a few paragraphs at a red
light or connecting with other readers online at: http://www.shailapatelauthor.com
 
Find Shaila:

 

Giveaway Details:
3 winners will receive an eGalley of SOULMATED. International.

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IN THE BEGINNING : DARK RETELLINGS OF BIBLICAL TALES BLOG TOUR Guest Post @SharonLHughson @chapterxchapter @month9books

 

inthebeginningtour

 

 Tour Schedule:

http://www.chapter-by-chapter.com/blog-tour-schedule-in-the-beginning-dark-retellings-of-biblical-tales-anthology/        

In the Beginning: Dark Retellings of Biblical Tales

 

In the Beginning: Dark Retellings of Biblical Tales

Publication Date: October 25, 2016

Publisher:  Month9Books

In the Beginning (Oct. 25, 2016) –Eight authors come together to build a powerful collection of dark young adult short stories inspired by the mysteries, faith, and darkness found within the Bible. Old Testament and New Testament, iconic and obscure figures alike are illuminated, explored, and re-envisioned throughout this charity anthology from Month9Books.

 Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25946627-in-the-beginning

 

Today, we are lucky enough to have two of the spectacular authors from this new anthology with us! 

First, amazing Elle O’Neill

elle-oneill-photo-credit-satish-rege

Goodreads

Elle O’Neill loves reading and writing—from her first all-nighter as a seven-year old with autographed copies of David Adler’s Cam Jansen books to her high school and college English and creative writing classes. She believes that you can fall into the world of a book and find yourself. While she sometimes has a hard time separating fiction from reality (or is it that she prefers not to?), she likes to think that’s a whimsical asset. She enjoys reading just about anything, but treasures underdogs and bluestockings—their trials and successes feel close to home.

And 

the always lovely Sharon Hughson

avatar

Website |  Goodreads |  Twitter | Facebook

Nurtured through a troubled teenhood by Aslan in Narnia, Sharon Hughson has long appreciated the power of the written word. She has published romance and women’s fiction, but her dream is to write young adult fantasy, a genre she credits for keeping her alive during her parents’ turbulent divorce and the chaotic readjustments that followed. Sharon fuels her imagination with recollections from years of motherhood and a lifetime of experience working with young people, at church and in public school. She resides in Oregon with her husband, sons and three cats, where she spends her non-writing hours substitute teaching, reading, playing piano, enjoying the outdoors and scrapbooking her family’s memories.

Yay!! These two talented authors have graciously agreed to an interview. Welcome ladies!

Our Question: What’s the one topic you were hoping a blog host would ask you that they haven’t yet? Tell us what you’ve been dying to discuss. Here’s your chance! : )

Answer, Elle O’Neill:

Hi Julie and Readers!

Since this is my first published story and my first ever guest post for a blog, there are lots of questions I’m open to being asked and to answering! I didn’t want to scare you all away from my story by writing too much, or too much about things you might not be interested in, so I asked a good friend (thanks, Jay!) what he might want to ask the writer of a short story – what would his burning question be? Jay’s great at questions and he’s really reflective, so of course his question was, quite simply: WHY? Why this character, why this story, why this way? I’m going to do my best to talk about those questions.

My story is that of Barabbas. That may not be a name that comes readily to mind unless you’re thinking about Easter. It was actually right around Easter that I decided Barabbas would be the focus of my story. In the Bible, Pontius Pilate offers the crowd the opportunity to free one of two men. Jesus is one. Barabbas is the other.

Imagine. Even outside of Biblical stories: you are one of two people and one of you is going to die. And people – nameless, faceless, unknown-to-you people – get to decide which one of you lives.

How terrifying.

Beyond how viscerally upsetting most of us would find those circumstances, there was another element that was important to me when thinking about a Biblical “character” to focus on – Barabbas really has no backstory. We know he’s imprisoned. We know the crowd selects him to live. There were two things I really enjoyed about this. First, it gives me a lot of latitude for constructing who he is and how he gets into this situation. Secondly, we need to remember that the society that allows (in fact encourages) a crowd to spontaneously decide who lives and dies is the same society that also imprisoned both of these individuals to begin with. That’s not to say the society had no reasons, but it is to say that we have reason to question them – and that it’s okay to question them.

So I suppose I’ve tackled why this character? and why this story? but not why this way? My story begins with Barabbas being swept away into an intense reality show environment – he doesn’t quite understand where he is, why he’s there, what will be asked of him (questions we all ask ourselves at one point or another). His “crowd” is known as The Masses; they serve in the role of the crowd making the decision in the Bible, but they are also all of us. When we watch reality TV at home and decide who contestants are, what they’re about, what they deserve…we are The Masses, aren’t we? The stakes may be different but, really, who’s to say that—someday—the stakes couldn’t be exactly the same. Just the same, Barabbas is also all of us—he waivers, he spooks; he has frustration, but also resolution; he has desires, even if he doesn’t understand them; and he tries to make good decisions without hurting others, even though that isn’t always possible.

The role of Jesus is a quiet one in the story. He’s the ultimate—he’s an aspirational character for so many of us, and yet human in figure. He exists as us, and so he can be treated as an equal in the story, and yet he serves as a kind of flawless human—Who will The Masses root for? Who would you root for?

In many ways, I think I was aiming for dark satire—thinking of stories like “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson—and an exploration of what if, like Stockton’s “The Lady and the Tiger.” And those are scary stories, even though they may not have gore, ghosts, or even sinister characters. Perhaps it’s the relatability of these scenarios—places we’ve never been, situations we have never met—that creates the terrifying nature of them. There’s just enough reality to enable you to see yourself there—and to consider the possibility that maybe, just maybe, this could be real, somewhere, someday.

I hope everyone takes the opportunity to explore In the Beginning – it has a lot to offer readers. The stories come from lots of angles, cover a lot of territory that YAs face, and tackle that territory in some surprising ways. It’s a valuable collection and I’m lucky to be among these writers, lucky to have my story alongside theirs. Thanks so much for inviting me to write this post.

Happy reading!

 

Answer, Sharon Hughson:

Why demon possession? I mean seriously, of all the hundreds of cool and awesome stories in the Bible, why would anyone want to imagine being possessed by a demon?

To answer that: IN THE BEGINNING was specified as dark Biblical retellings. I had several fun ideas when I first decided to write a story for the anthology. One of them was about Naaman’s wife’s Hebrew handmaid. And it had a COOL twist at the end that was dark, dark, dark. *rubs hands together while smiling maniacally*

But when I considered all the ideas, I realized the story about a boy possessed by a demon was most compelling because it RELATES TO US. Not that I think a bunch of people are walking around possessed by demons. But on a metaphorical level we ALL have our demons. And most of the time we need help to get them exorcised. That’s what my story “The Demon was Me” is all about: finding help to get back in control of our lives when our demons take over.

Also, I knew this would be a difficult story to pull off. I’m not much for writing in first person because it limits how much information I can give a reader. But in order for this story to work, it had to be written with Scisco as the narrator. Otherwise, the reader wouldn’t experience the conflict of having a foreign entity taking control of their body. Because much of the conflict takes place INSIDE Scisco’s head. Just like most of our issues are internalized.

So this story was a challenge to my ability as a writer as well as to the idea that we are in control of our lives and destinies. And why didn’t another interviewer ask about that? Because none of them are the AMAZING Julie Reece. Thanks for having me, Julie.

 

Ha! Terrific answers, both of you! I love hearing about the creative process and getting a peek inside the imaginative mind of authors. Your stories sound amazing. I can’t wait to read them. Thanks so much  for being here today, guys. XOXO

 

Giveaway!!!

Link to enter:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c08c9e8e606/?

Contest ends November 11, 2016

One (1) winner will receive a scrabble tile book cover charm (US ONLY)

Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of In the Beginning: Dark Retellings of Biblical Stories (INT)

Good luck, everyone!

 

 in-the-beginning-cover

 

 

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks
Other authors and stories from the anthology …

Daniel and the Dragon by Stephen Clements
A troubled orphan named Habakkuk dutifully follows his master, the prophet Daniel, into temples of blood-thirsty demon-gods, battles with unspeakable horrors, and bears witnesses to mind-breaking evil until his master’s zealous defiance of the king’s law seals their fate.

Babylon by Nicole Crucial
Far above the earth, in Second Eden, where moments and eternities all blur together, young Babylon befriends Sefer, the Book of Life. As Babylon awaits the moment she’ll fulfill her destiny, she and Sefer try to understand the world in which they live.

Last Will and Testament by Mike Hays
A homeless young boy, Baz, bears the weight of humanity on his shoulders and upon his body. When dark forces test a new-found friendship, Baz’s willingness to bear the ugliness of their world will be shaken.

The Demon Was Me by Sharon Hughson
Based on the story of the demon-possessed boy healed by Jesus, this tale provides a glimpse into a post-apocalyptic world where a teenage boy seeks to journey to a better land and yearns to discover the kind of man he’s meant to be, only to be hijacked by an evil spirit intent upon chipping away at the hope, faith, and resilience of its host.

The Deluge by Marti Johnson
A non-believer shares the story of Noah’s ark-building and the deadly downpour that follows. Fear, faithlessness, and the fallibility of mankind collide in a community where second chances aren’t unlimited and a better-late-than-never attitude just might be your doom.

Condemned by Elle O’Neill
Just sixteen-years-old, Barabbas finds himself pulled out of Routlege Academy and into a reality show competition—against Jesus himself—where the reward for the winner is life.

First Wife by Lora Palmer
In a first-person retelling of the saga of Jacob, Rachel and Leah, themes of family, deception, guilt, and heartache emerge amidst the first days of Leah’s marriage to Jacob—a marriage mired in trickery a mere week before Jacob was to marry Leah’s sister Rachel.

Emmaculate by Christina Raus
Based on the story of Mary’s Immaculate Conception, we enter the troubled mind of Emma, who finds herself torn between her religious upbringing and the purity ring that binds her to her boyfriend and the pregnancy that results from her relationship with another boy.

 

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Release Day Celebration for the In the Beginning: Dark Retellings of Biblical Tales Anthology @chapterxchapter @month9books

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Hello Readers! Welcome to the Release Day Celebration for the

In the Beginning: Dark Retellings of
Biblical Tales Anthology

presented by Month9Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Happy Book Birthday!

 

in-the-beginning-cover

 

In the Beginning (Oct. 25, 2016) –Eight authors come together to build a powerful collection of dark young adult short stories inspired by the mysteries, faith, and darkness found within the Bible. Old Testament and New Testament, iconic and obscure figures alike are illuminated, explored, and re-envisioned throughout this charity anthology from Month9Books.

IN THE BEGINNING, ed. Laureen Cantwell and Georgia McBride

Daniel and the Dragon by Stephen Clements
A troubled orphan named Habakkuk dutifully follows his master, the prophet Daniel, into temples of blood-thirsty demon-gods, battles with unspeakable horrors, and bears witnesses to mind-breaking evil until his master’s zealous defiance of the king’s law seals their fate.

Babylon by Nicole Crucial
Far above the earth, in Second Eden, where moments and eternities all blur together, young Babylon befriends Sefer, the Book of Life. As Babylon awaits the moment she’ll fulfill her destiny, she and Sefer try to understand the world in which they live.

Last Will and Testament by Mike Hays
A homeless young boy, Baz, bears the weight of humanity on his shoulders and upon his body. When dark forces test a new-found friendship, Baz’s willingness to bear the ugliness of their world will be shaken.

The Demon Was Me by Sharon Hughson
Based on the story of the demon-possessed boy healed by Jesus, this tale provides a glimpse into a post-apocalyptic world where a teenage boy seeks to journey to a better land and yearns to discover the kind of man he’s meant to be, only to be hijacked by an evil spirit intent upon chipping away at the hope, faith, and resilience of its host.

The Deluge by Marti Johnson
A non-believer shares the story of Noah’s ark-building and the deadly downpour that follows. Fear, faithlessness, and the fallibility of mankind collide in a community where second chances aren’t unlimited and a better-late-than-never attitude just might be your doom.

Condemned by Elle O’Neill
Just sixteen-years-old, Barabbas finds himself pulled out of Routlege Academy and into a reality show competition—against Jesus himself—where the reward for the winner is life.

First Wife by Lora Palmer
In a first-person retelling of the saga of Jacob, Rachel and Leah, themes of family, deception, guilt, and heartache emerge amidst the first days of Leah’s marriage to Jacob—a marriage mired in trickery a mere week before Jacob was to marry Leah’s sister Rachel.

Emmaculate by Christina Raus
Based on the story of Mary’s Immaculate Conception, we enter the troubled mind of Emma, who finds herself torn between her religious upbringing and the purity ring that binds her to her boyfriend and the pregnancy that results from her relationship with another boy.

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In the Beginning: Dark Retellings of Biblical Tales
Publication Date: October 25, 2016
Publisher: Month9Books

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

 

excerpt

 

From THE DELUGE, by Marti Johnson:

The stench of mildew and mold is heavy in our nostrils, and my lungs feel as though they are on fire. My breathing is audible in the lulls between the thunderclaps. My mother huddles, shivering, propped between two rocks. She is coughing painfully, and I can hear her teeth chattering.

It is hard to breathe because the air itself is full of water.

A deeper shadow has fallen across the side of the mountain on which we are sheltering. I pull aside the brambles, and gasp in amazement when I realize what it is. “Look!” I call to the others, and point at the sight. The ark has risen with the water, and now bobs up and down. It sits high in the water. We hear nothing from it but the creaking of the wood timbers and the sound of the branches and rocks on the hillside scraping against its hull.

 

About-the-Author2

 

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Stephen Clements

Stephen Clements earned a Masters in Political Science from the University of Memphis, served a stint in the US Army with a heaping long tour in Iraq, and would never recommend Baghdad as a vacation spot. When he got out, he cornered and married a mean, beautiful woman, and they have three corgis and one murderous cat. He has three books, with a recent short story in MEMPHIS NOIR. He loves history, theology, travel, and making wine.

Goodreads

 

nicole-crucial

 

Nicole Crucial

Nicole Crucial is a creative writing student at UNC Wilmington. Her hobbies outside of reading and writing include social media, Netflix, yoga (sometimes), costuming, organizing things, and spoiling her cat. She loves writing about fantastic worlds because she is certain that she would not survive in them. You can visit her website at: http://www.nicolecrucial.com.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads

 

mike-hays

 

Mike Hays

Mike Hays is from Kansas, a tried and true flatlander by birth. He relishes the fact his adult self can now make stuff up and not be sent to the principal’s office for it. His life is built around stories—whether as a dad, a molecular microbiologist, a high school sports coach, or as an author— stories are key. He writes mainly from a boy point of view and hopes to spread ideas and stupid-funny inspiration through his books, blogs, and social media. His upper middle-grade historical fiction, THE YOUNGER DAYS, is about a family’s survival in the fallout from the violent Border War over “Bloody” Kansas. Connect with him on Twitter (@coachhays64).

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

sharon-hughson

 

Sharon Hughson

Nurtured through a troubled teenhood by Aslan in Narnia, Sharon Hughson has long appreciated the power of the written word. She has published romance and women’s fiction, but her dream is to write young adult fantasy, a genre she credits for keeping her alive during her parents’ turbulent divorce and the chaotic readjustments that followed. Sharon fuels her imagination with recollections from years of motherhood and a lifetime of experience working with young people, at church and in public school. She resides in Oregon with her husband, sons and three cats, where she spends her non-writing hours substitute teaching, reading, playing piano, enjoying the outdoors and scrapbooking her family’s memories.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

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Marti Johnson

Marti Johnson was born on an American Naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. She has lived in Massachusetts, Maine, Colorado, Nevada and California. Marti hiked and climbed mountains as a girl and young teen, and spent many years on horseback in the scenic eastern Sierras in California. She is the author (under her given name, Margaret Johnson) of DARK HORSE SPIRIT: BEYOND REDEMPTION published in 2014, and is currently working on a sequel.

Goodreads

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Elle O’Neill

Elle O’Neill loves reading and writing—from her first all-nighter as a seven-year old with autographed copies of David Adler’s Cam Jansen books to her high school and college English and creative writing classes. She believes that you can fall into the world of a book and find yourself. While she sometimes has a hard time separating fiction from reality (or is it that she prefers not to?), she likes to think that’s a whimsical asset. She enjoys reading just about anything, but treasures underdogs and bluestockings—their trials and successes feel close to home.

Goodreads

 

lora-palmer

 

Lora Palmer

Lora Palmer writes science fiction and fantasy for young adults. Her debut novel, THE MIRRORMASTERS, is forthcoming from Clean Reads. Bucks County, Pennsylvania is her home, where she resides with her wonderful husband and their mischievous cat. She has earned a graduate degree in Psychology and works at a local residential facility serving autistic children and teens. In her spare time, she also sings in a praise band, Chalice Sounds.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

 

christina-raus

 

Christina Raus

Christina Raus earned her BA in Creative Writing from Western New England University in 2015. She received the Max Y. Litman English Prize for literary analysis and written communication upon her graduation. She has written articles for Lioness Magazine, a digital publication for female entrepreneurs. Originally from Massachusetts, she currently resides in New York, where she is attending Sarah Lawrence College and working on a novel. She is expected to graduate from Sarah Lawrence’s MFA in Creative Writing Program in 2017. “Emmaculate” is her first fiction publication.

Twitter | Goodreads

LAUREEN P. CANTWELL, Editor:

Laureen grew up in eastern Long Island and eventually found her way to Memphis —“the rock ’n’ roll side of Tennessee,” where she worked as a librarian at the University of Memphis and grew to love the darkness of the city—and Elvis. While there, she proposed and co-edited an anthology of short fiction, Memphis Noir, part of Akashic Books’ renowned Noir series published in November 2015. That adventure led to a conversation with Georgia McBride at a library conference, and to the thrilling experience of working with In the Beginning and putting together a charity anthology full of complex stories suitable for a young adult audience. She currently lives in Western Colorado and works as a librarian for Colorado Mesa University.

 

 

GEORGIA McBRIDE, Editor:

Georgia lives in North Carolina with her kids and husband. She has three dogs, one bird, and a fish. She loves to read, watch movies, listen to music, and go see films. She is a publisher, producer, writer, and editor. She has never met a piece of bacon she did not eat, or a cup of coffee she did not drink.

 

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Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

 

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CLANLESS (NAMELESS #2) BY JENNIFER JENKINS BLOG TOUR Review and Giveaway @chapterxchapter @authorjenkins @Month9Books

 

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Link to Tour Schedule:

http://www.chapter-by-chapter.com/blog-tour-schedule-clanless-nameless-2-by-jennifer-jenkins/       

 

Clanless (Nameless, #2)

 

Clanless (Nameless #2) by Jennifer Jenkins

Publication Date: October 4, 2016

Publisher: Month9Books

 

Blurb:

Striker Gryphon has lost his position of honor among the Ram, and is now a hunted man. A traitor.

Zo, the object of his affection, was murdered by members of his former clan. To honor her memory, he journeys to the highly secretive Raven “Nest” to warn strangers of their impending demise—though it could cost him more than just his pride.

He doesn’t know that Zo is very much alive and in another part of the region assisting Nameless refugees over a mountain swarming with wild men known as “Clanless.”

As each struggle to make sense of what their lives have become, they fight and claw to reach the Allied Camp, their last hope in bringing peace to the region.

But the road back to one another is treacherous and uncertain. And freedom will come with a price.

Link to Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28247422-clanless

Purchase Links:

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

MY REVIEW

Hey everybody,

I had the distinct honor of reading an early draft of CLANLESS. I loved its predecessor NAMELESS and happily jumped at the chance to read the second book. In some cases, a sequel can be a let down, but not this time. I had complete confidence that Jennifer Jenkins could write a book equal to her first, and (yay!) my trust was not misplaced. CLANLESS is very simply put—awesome. Book two picks up right where book one left off—and thank goodness—because when we last heard from Gryphon, he was running for his life and convinced that Zo (the girl he cares for) was killed. The truth is, though Zo isn’t dead, she’s far from okay, or safe, or anything that’s remotely good. I kept turning pages wondering what was going to happen next … and to who … and when? I got all the plot twists, betrayal, surprises and drama in this action-packed fantasy that I hoped for. In fact, I may or may not have screamed at my computer waiting for answers the author cruelly kept from me, and/or shouted at the words typed on my screen that a certain character would get a clue! Ahhh! The anticipation was torture. And I kind of liked that.

What can I say? I’m a reading masochist. Ha ha!

If you haven’t read NAMELESS yet, I highly recommend that you read it first. So yes, do that. Then read CLANLESS (as if anyone could stop you) and come back here and give me bookish-thank you hugs for the story recommendation. Because? Trust me. You’re going to love this series. The books are flipping fantastic. 🙂

XO

Julie

Me and my cat rate this story 5 awesome paws

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Giveaway Information:  Contest ends October 21, 2016

  • One (1) winner will receive a scrabble tile book cover charm (US ONLY)
  • Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of Nameless and Clanless by Jennifer Jenkins (INT)

Enter here:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c08c9e8e593/?

Good Luck!

OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES:

Nameless (Nameless, #1)

Blurb:

Four clans have been at war for centuries: the Kodiak, the Raven, the Wolf and the Ram. Through brutal war tactics, the Ram have dominated the region, inflicting death and destruction on their neighbors.

 

Seventeen-year-old Zo is a Wolf and a Healer who volunteers to infiltrate the Ram as a spy on behalf of the allied clans. She offers herself as a Ram slave, joining the people who are called the “nameless.” Hers is a suicide mission – Zo’s despair after losing her parents in a Ram raid has left her seeking both revenge and an end to her own misery. But after her younger sister follows her into Rams Gate, Zo must find a way to survive her dangerous mission and keep her sister safe.

 

What she doesn’t expect to find is the friendship of a young Ram whose life she saves, the confusing feelings she develops for a Ram soldier, and an underground nameless insurrection. Zo learns that revenge, loyalty and love are more complicated than she ever imagined in the first installment of this two-book series.

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21843172-nameless

Amazon | B&N | BAM | Chapters | Indiebound | Kobo | TBD | Google Play | iBooks

With her degree in History and Secondary Education, Jennifer had every intention of teaching teens to love George Washington and appreciate the finer points of ancient battle stratagem. (Seriously, she’s obsessed with ancient warfare.) However, life had different plans in store when the writing began. As a proud member of Writers Cubed, and a co-founder of the Teen Author Boot Camp, she feels blessed to be able to fulfill both her ambition to work with teens as well as write Young Adult fiction.

Jennifer has three children who are experts at naming her characters, one loving, supportive husband, a dog with little-man syndrome, and three chickens (of whom she is secretly afraid).

Visit her online at jajenkins.com


Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest |Instagram

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