Tag Archives: new release

Blog Tour and Giveaway: White Light by Anna Simpson @emaginette @missyshirley2 @gina_wynn

Hi everyone! I’m SO excited to have friend and talented writer Anna Simpson take over the blog today.

Blog Tour Schedule:
https://emaginette.wordpress.com/white-light-blog-tour-schedule

White Light

About the book:
Emma never dreamed of being a super-sleuth. In her mind, she’s more Scooby Doo than Nancy Drew and when her nosy neighbor, Mrs. Perkins, drags her to an anniversary party to solve a mystery, she rolls her eyes, buys a box of chocolates and hops in the car.
What’s a party without an attack on its host—or more accurately on the host’s grandson, sparking an allergic reaction and moving the party to the hospital waiting room. Suddenly, everyone is a suspect. Emma and Mrs. Perkins, along with Great Aunt Alice (a spirit with boundary issues who keeps stepping into Emma’s body like a new dress and playing matchmaker), dive into an investigation that almost gets Emma killed along with the man they are trying to protect. With so many reasons to kill him and so much to be gained if he died, Emma and Mrs. Perkins must unravel the tenuous ties that point to every member of his family as potential killers.
Even if it means going back to the psych ward, Emma will protect her friend and this innocent man. What good is freedom if it’s haunted with guilt?

Anna’s got some things to tell us about her new paranormal mystery White Light, available now from Three Worlds Press. ***…and don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post. Welcome Anna!

Why Mysteries?

Thanks for hosting me today, Julie. It means a lot.

I like layers.

Multilayers, in fact.

And mysteries have them. They start off rather simple at first. In fact, I might even say they are so straight forward that anyone can predict what will happen next. But it isn’t always the case.

Because the basic story isn’t so straight forward. It holds hidden gems—vague comments or random clues—that have the power to change everything.

That’s what a mystery is to me. An obvious story transformed into a curtain of lacework—delicate, yet intricate. The gaps don’t leave holes so much as reveal what’s behind it. Little glimpses of more story, more layers, which may or may not be important or skewed.

The question then becomes: Can I figure it out before I’m told the answer?

Have you read anything like that before? If not, try a mystery. Something by Agatha Christie or Ruth Rendell. They were masters at letting the reader think one thing is going on when actually it’s something completely different.

I dare you to try to figure it out. But before you pick up the remote, let me warn you watching Poirot and Marple it isn’t the same as reading about them.

If you accept the challenge, let me know what you think. Julie always knows where to find me.

True. Hi, it’s me again, Julie. I’m popping in to tell you where you can get more information on Anna’s new story …

Goodreads link:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28245754-white-light
Purchase links:
https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-whitelight-1949539-152.html
http://www.amazon.com/White-Light-Anna-Simpson-ebook/dp/B019DHODC6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1450190342&sr=8-1&keywords=white+light+anna+simpson
https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/white-light-6
Excerpt:
To stay free, I perform a ritual every morning. It begins with stepping outside, where dawn streams through the leafy branches of my maple tree, landing, shifting, and dancing on the flowerbeds at my bare feet. A steaming cup of coffee warms my hands. The fragrant air fills my lungs. I sip, leaving the liquid on my tongue to capture a moment of rich goodness.
My name is Emma, and I need to stay grounded and calm. It’s important for my health, so I walk along the fence and let the cool blades of grass tickle my toes and dewdrops cling to my skin. For fun, I kick a ball of dandelion fluff. Little parachutes take flight catching the same breeze moving the leaves above my head. The seeds float up, and up, over the fence to land on Mrs. Perkins’ perfectly tended lawn. Not a dandelion or mat of moss to be seen.
In a half acre of green sits one flowerbed, brimming with Lily of the Valley. I remember the first time I saw them over fifteen years ago. The delicate white bells could only be fairy hats. Today, the round base of cemented river stone is still full of waxy green spear tips. I don’t see fairy hats anymore. No, now I enjoy the effects of nature—its simple perfection.
Mrs. Perkins does it best. In fact, everything around Mrs. Perkins is perfectly cared for—her home, her yard, her car—all perfect.
But not today. A dark line sits between the jamb and the edge of the door.
A few inches of shadow drives my calm away and prickles the long blonde hairs at the nape of my neck. Butterflies in my stomach tell, no scratch that, demand I find my phone and go next door.
Don’t get the wrong idea. I’m not a snoop.
Mrs. Perkins, a wiry old bird, did everything herself. I’m not sure if it is because she’s the independent sort or if she has no one else to help her. Either way, when she suggested we watch out for one another, I agreed.
I’m also alone. It doesn’t bother me unless I catch the flu or something. Then I wonder if I will die and no one will notice. It’s a thought, or fear, I can’t shake. Mrs. Perkins’ house has my full attention, and within it sits the same worry. I’ll check on her because she would do the same for me.
I crash into my kitchen, slopping my coffee onto the counter as I slam the mug down. My phone could be anywhere. My gaze travels from the pine tabletop to the gray marble counter. It’s not here. I push through the swinging door to the living area, run my fingertips between the couch and chair cushions, scan the smoked-glass coffee table through my veil of long blonde hair, and sneak a peek under my overturned book on the throw rug. Desperate, I check around the bowl by the door where I toss my keys as I pass the spiral staircase to the loft. Still nothing.
Down the short hallway, I rush to my bedroom. I tug the midnight blue duvet off the bed and shake it. My pulse speeds up as something thuds on to the carpet. I pick up my smartphone and check the battery. Half power.
Excellent. I dash through my front door, across the lawn and unlatch Mrs. Perkins’ white picket gate. Her shiny yellow front door looks as solid as stone. I follow her path to the back wondering if danger lurks.
I gasp as I near the door. It’s like living a moment in a crime drama. I mimic what I have watched on television and bring up my phone to take a picture. Inching forward, heart pounding, I wonder if poor Mrs. Perkins is sprawled out on the bathroom floor, from a stroke, heart attack, or a butcher knife.
Don’t worry, Mrs. Perkins. I’m coming.
I pull my cotton sleeve over my hand and push the door wider. Her kitchen looks untouched as if it’s sterilized or newly installed. Tiles cool my bare feet with each step. Fear scratches at my nerves, “Mrs. Perkins? It’s Emma from next door. Are you okay?”
Silence.
I raise the phone to call for help.
A small sound carries from deeper in the house. I should stop, leave, and make the call.
Following the sound might be dangerous or, worse, plain stupid. And I’m scared. So scared, my breathing is all I hear over the pounding of my heart.
I’d look stupid if I’m wrong. Ravenglass Lake is so small-townsville, and Benny the bully is like no cop I’ve ever met. He would be no help. Worst of all, they’d call me crazy for sure. I slip the phone back into my denim pocket, quietly open her knife drawer, and pull out a meat cleaver. Armed, I creep forward.
Thank goodness Mrs. Perkins likes an open airy room. Evil housebreakers have nowhere to hide in the dining room.
A small thump like a cat landing on carpet makes me jump. But Mrs. Perkins doesn’t have a cat…or carpet—only allergies.
I tighten my grip on the cleaver as I stick my head into the living room. All is quiet and undisturbed. I enter the corridor to the front door. To my right are stairs to the upper floor. Farther ahead is a hall closet and nook where she keeps a desk and a small bookcase. Nothing seems touched.
I glance up at the glittery ceiling, swallow, and pull my phone from my pocket. The sensible thing is to dial 911. I sidestep for the front door, but in my mind’s eye Mrs. Perkins, wiry but frail, shakes her head. Her arm outstretched urging me not to leave.
Thump, I freeze. The noise is right beside me coming from the hall closet.
Without thinking, I open the door and find Mrs. Perkins tied up with duct tape across her lips. Her green eyes, round and unblinking, grow wide, and her usual perfect curls are mussed. I drop the cleaver. It clatters on the floor, and I pull the tape free.

Links:
https://emaginette.wordpress.com
https://twitter.com/emaginette
https://www.facebook.com/ShoutWithEmaginette

Want to know more about Anna? Well, we got more …
Bio:
Anna Simpson lives near the Canadian-US border with her family. Even though she’s lived in several places in British Columbia, her free spirit wasn’t able to settle down until she moved back to her hometown.
She is easy to find though, if you know the magic word — emaginette. Do an internet search using it and you’ll see what I mean. 🙂

GIVEAWAY!!

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Cover Reveal and Giveaway: FEAR MY MORTALITY by @EverlyFrost @Month9Books

Today Everly Frost and Month9Books are
revealing the cover and first chapter for FEAR MY MORTALITY, which releases April
5, 2016! Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to be one of the first readers
to receive a eGalley!!
A quick note from the author:

Hi there! I’m so excited to share this cover with you. I love the dark, intense
colors and the girl who shows the determination, heart, and resilience that my
main character needs to survive in her world. (Do you see the gold scorpion?
Keep an eye out for that in the book.) Thanks so much for stopping by!
On to the reveal!
 
 
Title: FEAR MY MORTALITY
Author: Everly Frost
Pub. Date: April 5, 2016
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Paperback & eBook
Find it: Amazon
|
Goodreads

 

In a world where people are invulnerable
to illness and death, with lives spanning hundreds of years, a sixteen-year-old
becomes witness to the impossible – her brother’s failure to regenerate after
death after which she suspects that she too may be mortal.

Chapter Reveal HTML

Exclusive Excerpt

But Eve turned from the serpent

and did not eat of the fruit.

And for her obedience,

she was allowed to reach out her hand,

take from the tree of life and eat,

and live forever.

Evereach Origins, Second EditionChapter One

I never could watch anyone die.

Tricycle wheels flipped through the air. Brakes shrieked and metal crunched. The kid’s trike rattled all the way across the road and hit my foot. I froze at the curb in front of my house, school bag sliding off my shoulder, vision filled with the spinning wheels. I told myself to walk away, pretend I hadn’t heard the smash or seen the boy go under the vehicle. I should shrug it off, like I was supposed to.

I should ignore the impulse to help.

I bounded around the broken bike and sprinted to the car in the middle of the road. A little arm extended from underneath the front fender, palm up, motionless. Biting my lip, I sank to my heels, wishing his fingers would twitch, fighting the tears that welled behind my eyes.

First death.

The silence was heavy after the squeal and crash. I hovered, not sure if I should pull him out. I hated my brother for leaving me behind. If Josh had driven me to dance class like he was supposed to, I wouldn’t be here now, staring at first death and not knowing what to do. I’d be going about my day like normal. No, I reminded myself. Today was not an ordinary day. Today was Implosion.

The driver emerged from the car with annoyance on her face. I flinched as she slammed the car door. Another woman ran from a nearby house, screaming into a phone. She raced to the driver and gave her a shove. “That’s my son! I’m calling the Hazard Police. You’d better be insured!”

The driver threw up her hands and backed off, slumping against the side of her car, clicking her fingernails together, and tapping her heels against the pavement.

I knelt down to the boy as his mother continued to yell into the phone. She paced up and down the road, her voice shrill. “How long will it take to get a recovery dome here? What—you’ve got to be kidding me. I’m already late for work.”

Wisps of his blond hair touched the side of the wheel like yellow cotton candy, all floating and soft. I wondered if his soul floated there too, inches above the hot road, waiting to get back to his body. I was glad I couldn’t see the rest of his head.

Before I touched him, something zipped past my shoulder.

The drone circled up and back, swinging close to my ear. Shaped like a metal cross no bigger than my hand, it skimmed the air in front of the car. Beneath the hum of its four miniature rotor blades came the chatter of shutters. It was taking shots of the damage: the boy’s hand, the wheel, a piece of tricycle jammed under there with him. Assessing the situation and relaying the information twenty miles west to the nearest Hazard Police station.

The information drone flitted from spot to spot, whirring around the car straight toward the driver, hovering and clicking, transmitting her image back to the police. The kid’s mother was next, before the drone flew to me. A pinprick of light struck my eyes, and I stopped still, waiting for it to take the shot and move on, but the clicking stopped.

I frowned as the mechanical chattering died. Instead of taking my picture, the drone floated, paused for the first time. I stared back at it, waiting, a feeling of unease spreading through my chest.

Someone grabbed my arm.

My elderly neighbor, Mrs. Hubert, wrenched me to my feet, a pair of pruning shears wavering in her other hand. The camera clicked behind me—just once—and I imagined the blur of my body captured in the image. Before I drew breath, Mrs. Hubert’s strong grip propelled me several feet from the car. Her long braid—a sign of her age—slapped against her thigh as she strode away from the accident, taking me with her.

“Come away, Ava. You don’t need to get caught up in that.” She flicked her head in the direction of the scowling driver who looked like she wanted to strangle someone. I guessed she didn’t have insurance, after all.

“But, he’s still under there … ” I threw a confused look at the boy’s mother. She still hadn’t checked him.

“Everyone deals with first death differently. You need to get used to it, if you want to get through Implosion tonight.”

Implosion. When I get to see the color of my own blood.

She tugged on my arm again. “Besides, the Hazard Police will be here soon. They’ll take care of him.”

Behind us, the info drone returned to the crash as Mrs. Hubert urged me further away from the accident. I picked up my bag and tried to forget about the child. I guessed it would be at least half an hour before he regenerated and was fully conscious again—faster if the Hazards brought a recovery dome.

Mrs. Hubert opened her gate and went back to pruning her rose bushes like nothing had happened. The shears snapped. Petals floated to newly mulched earth, bright red on brown. “Go on. There’s nothing more to do here.”

I forced myself to focus. If I didn’t hurry, I’d miss dance class completely.

It took me twenty minutes to rush to the dance studio downtown, which made me ten minutes late. Dance was part of my schooling and counted as the first two classes of my day. Luckily, the studio was located just a few blocks up from the school. As I puffed toward the café below the studio, I slowed for a moment to breathe in the normality of people drinking coffee, the crackle of open newspapers, and the soft jumble of conversation. No more broken bike and tiny hand.

Approaching the corner of the building, I gave Lucy, the owner of the café, a quick wave. She’d offered me a waitressing job over summer holidays, which was perfect because I could head upstairs to dance practice after my shift. She returned the wave with a bright smile. With her olive skin and dark brown hair, Lucy had the kind of complexion that hinted at what some people called an ‘unfortunate’ Seversandian heritage. Not that my own features were far off: brown hair, brown eyes, and skin that was a shade darker than pale. A very long time ago, there was free movement between our country, Evereach, and the country across the sea, Seversand, but not anymore.

I took the stairs two at a time, raced past the poster I normally drooled over—an ad for the Conservatorium, the most prestigious dance academy in all of Evereach—and launched myself through the door.

Inside the studio, students were moving away from the warm-up bar into the center of the room. Ms. White towered at the head of the dance floor, her reflection tall and straight in the mirror behind her. “Hurry up, class! Selections for the Conservatorium are only six months away and I won’t accept dawdling because summer’s here.”

I ran to put my bag down, searching the group for my best friend, Hannah. I caught sight of her pale blond head among the other students, shining like the first ray of sunlight that morning. She threw me a questioning look as Ms. White pointed me to the warm up bar. I rushed through my stretches and positioned myself at the back of the room, focusing on the new routine, until Hannah maneuvered her way over to me.

“Where were you?”

“There was a car accident. One of my neighbor’s kids got hit.”

Her eyes glazed over. The boy’s death wouldn’t matter to her. It shouldn’t matter to me.

“And Josh hates me, but what’s new.” I leaped, twisting my body mid-air and landing on my feet, to spring upward again.

Hannah dipped away, and when she moved back, she edged closer so we could talk. “Are you ready for Implosion tonight? My Mom was all mushy about it this morning, it was embarrassing.”

I forced a laugh. “Yeah, my parents not so much.” Mom had taken me shopping for a new dress in all black so it didn’t show the blood. Black wasn’t compulsory and Josh had told me that some kids at his Implosion ceremony the previous year wore white, but those were mostly the religious kids, and they framed their Implosion clothes afterward to remind themselves about faith. I only had Josh’s word for it, since only adult members of the family were allowed to attend the ceremony and it wasn’t televised. Other than the dress shopping, my parents hadn’t talked about Implosion much, like it wasn’t important that I was becoming an adult.

After tonight, I’d be allowed to grow my hair past my shoulders—but only about half an inch, since the length of our hair had to match our age. And I’d be allowed to drink. And move out of home, except only the really fast healers did that since they were offered paid Hazard training while they completed their last year of school. I figured I’d be stuck at home for the next year, but Josh was heading to college after summer holidays.

“So, what about Josh? He’s going to the Terminal tonight? I heard it’s going to be a massive fight.”

My stomach clenched and I missed the move Ms. White was demonstrating. Josh had begged to go to his graduation party, but our parents insisted he come to Implosion with me. “Dad said no.”

“But all the graduates are going. It’s the last time they’ll get to kill each other.” The lightness was gone from her voice. “He has to be there.”

I shrugged, but the nonchalant gesture was a lie. How could I tell her that the very idea of the Terminal made me sick? That my heart hurt every time I remembered the little boy under the car. That the thought of Implosion—of being killed—made me shudder so hard I couldn’t breathe. Hannah hadn’t died before either, but I knew she didn’t feel the same way.

I said none of those things as Ms. White’s voice drowned out my thoughts, beating out a warning with a finger pointed firmly in my direction. “Concentrate, Miss Holland. Or I’ll have to send you to school without your Extra-Curricular Pass.”

Hannah flicked me a quick, apologetic glance and I ducked my head and willed my body to obey the music, to turn when it should and leap when it should. Finally, I lost myself in rhythm and movement and the quiet that always fell over me when I danced.

When we arrived at school, it was morning break and students crowded the halls. I pushed on the doors just in time for someone to release a wash of red flyers advertising the Terminal.
A familiar giggle told me that Sarah Watson posed against the nearby wall. Her nail scissors glinted as she tilted her bleeding ear, showing off how her blood didn’t even drip before her skin healed.

Fast healer.

I rolled my eyes and turned away before the inevitable face sucking with her latest conquest, but I was surprised when it was Michael Bradley. He had Sarah hanging off his arm like she was an extension of his elbow.

“Remember when we said we’d never be some guy’s accessory?” Hannah grabbed my hand with her eyebrows way up in her hair. “That’s the one guy I’d make an exception for. Do you know he’s never lost a fight at the Terminal?”

Josh didn’t say how fast Michael healed at Implosion the previous year, but I’d heard he turned down Hazard training. I guessed, if my Dad were part owner of the Terminal, I wouldn’t bother with a job either.

Sarah caught my eye before I could pretend to look somewhere else. “Hey, Ava,” she said, looking me up and down from my regulation-length short ponytail to my leggings. “Been to dance class? Seems like a waste of time to me.”

She turned away before I could reply, but Michael gave me a nod, a strangely serious acknowledgement of my presence, and I wasn’t sure how to respond. I frowned at him as Hannah pulled me along. “Pfft. She’s just jealous. Besides, did you know she’s a third child?”

“Truly?” When I turned twelve, Mom had given me ‘the talk.’ At the end of it, she’d told me that our bodies were only designed to have one child, maybe two, and that was a good thing given how long people lived. Otherwise the world would be overpopulated.

Hannah drew me into the swarm of students. “Did you see how fast she heals? She’s probably a Basher.”

I glanced back at Sarah and Michael as they disappeared into the milling students. Members of the Basher gang were always fast healers. There were images of them on the news, always slightly blurry and concealed in full camouflage gear, and I’d heard stories about them, whispers of espionage and subterfuge, talk of theft and threats, hatred of slow healers, but they were always far away, somewhere else. They went to extremes to keep their identities secret and nobody knew who their leader was, but their message appeared in graffiti sprawled on the corners of billboards or across the sides of buildings: Bury the weak.

“Do you think it’s true what they say about the Basher cells underground?”

“That they bury slow healers alive.” She screwed up her face in disgust. “The police seem to take it seriously, but I don’t know. Sounds like a scary story.”

“I don’t understand why they hate people who don’t heal fast.” I struggled to say the words ‘slow healer.’ It was insulting to label someone that way.

Hannah shrugged. “I heard they think slow healers make us look weak, vulnerable; everything we use Implosion to prove we aren’t.” She smiled and bumped my shoulder, trying to lighten the mood. “Hey, if I turn out to be a slow healer tonight, you’ve got my back, right?”

I attempted a smile as she pulled me down the hallway. Heading to class, I checked the steady stream of students for my brother. School was finishing early in honor of Implosion—I had only two classes left—and I didn’t trust him to wait to give me a lift home.

As soon as the final bell rang, I raided my locker, hugged Hannah, and raced out to the parking lot.

Josh was already opening the driver side door as I ran up. “Hey.”

He didn’t answer, settling behind the wheel with his hair blending into the cracked black leather seat. He pointed at me and then to the passenger seat.

I raced around to the side and dropped into the seat, just as his best friend, Aaron Reid, appeared, his red hair tousled and full of gel. He drummed his fists on the hood of the car and shouted at Josh through the windscreen. “See you at the Terminal, buddy!”

He signaled to Josh, put a finger to the underside of his chin, and pretended to pull the trigger. Josh mocked a slit throat in return. A ghost of a smile crept onto my brother’s face as he revved the engine and slammed the car into reverse. Josh drove faster than the speed limit, but I picked my battles.

I chose my words carefully. “Aaron seems to think you’re going to the Terminal tonight.”

His jaw flexed and there were murky stains under his eyes that made him look hollow. “So what if I am?”

I took a deep breath. It wasn’t because I didn’t want him to go to the Terminal—as much as I couldn’t stand the idea of people killing each other with swords or guns or drones, or whatever new thrill the Terminal came up with. I didn’t want him to miss his graduation party either. But he’d been through Implosion before. He knew what was coming.

“Josh, it’s my Implosion. You’re my brother. I need … ”

I don’t want to be alone when I die.

I swallowed the words I couldn’t say. I’d be surrounded by hundreds of kids. My parents would be there. But, somehow, the thought of my brother standing beside me gave me courage. Even if I regenerated straight away. Even if there was a chance I was a fast healer, I didn’t want to lose myself to that moment of darkness. That moment of death.

The words tumbled out of my mouth. “I need you to be there.”

He didn’t look at me, his expression hooded and unreadable, as his hands tightened on the wheel. He was quiet for so long that exasperation bubbled up inside me.

“How can playing at the Terminal be more important than my first death?”

“Because I’d rather kill than watch you be killed.” He glared at me as we stopped at an intersection, a deep darkness behind his eyes.

I struggled to understand. “Implosion’s important … ”

“You’re a freak, Ava. It’s a stupid ceremony that lets people sleep at night. Seversand isn’t coming to kill us. Because we can’t die. Nobody can.”

He tapped his temple and pressed his finger there, his eyes boring holes into me. “The only war we fight is the one in here.”

I struggled against the burn of tears behind my eyes. At school, we’d learned about the old world war that began when Seversand attacked Evereach and was fought over control of Evereach’s rich soil and water supplies. It lasted a hundred years while both countries raced to create a nuclear bomb. In the end, when Seversand dropped the bomb on Dell city—the city where I now lived—it didn’t kill anybody. After that, they drew up an international treaty: as long as each country’s children regenerated at Implosion each year, no country would try to conquer another again. There was no point in wasting resources on a war that couldn’t be won.

But it wasn’t the past that bothered me. It was the look in my brother’s eyes. I’d practically said aloud that I was scared to die and now he knew my deepest fear.

I didn’t understand why I felt this way, why death bothered me so much.

Why am I like this?

It was a question I’d asked myself a thousand times and I still didn’t have any answers. All I knew for sure was that I was alone. Alone and different. I couldn’t stand to see the pity in Josh’s expression. I slumped in the seat for the rest of the trip, until we pulled into the driveway.

Josh was out of the car before I had time to gather my things. I dragged myself toward the front door as the local neighborhood-watch drone coasted by the house. There was a happy shout behind me and the little boy pedaled past on a shiny, new tricycle, his fine hair puffed up and wafting as he picked up speed. His mom gave me a wave. I tried to smile as I headed inside, down the corridor, past the connecting door to the garage, and around the corner to the bottom of the stairs.

Mom was sitting at the computer, visible through the open door opposite the stairwell. She jumped out of her seat as soon as she saw me. “Ava?”

I was already part way up the stairs. “Yeah?”

“Get ready, sweetie. We’ll have a bite to eat and then we’ll go.”

I dragged myself to the landing halfway up, pausing as the air screen in Mom’s study blared after me, the excitement in the female newsreader’s voice palpable.

“Sixteen-year-olds all around Evereach are preparing for Implosion tonight. At exactly 6:00 p.m. in each time zone, young people of every nation have proven their ability to regenerate, including teens in Seversand.” A hint of derision crept into the newsreader’s voice as she mentioned Seversand, but she continued without pause. “In other news, Starsgard has refused to extradite the computer hacker known as Arachne … ”

Starsgard. It was the only country that didn’t take part in the world war or Implosion and its borders were heavily-protected. On a map, the three countries reminded me of a set of lungs. Evereach and Seversand formed the lungs on either side, a wide sea between them, but they were joined at the top by a backbone of impassable mountains. Starsgard was those mountains.

The newsreader’s voice faded as I made it to the top of the stairs, turned left, and headed to my room, passing Josh’s closed door on the way. Farther down the hall was the upstairs lounge. I wanted to run through it to the deck beyond, push the sliding doors open, and gulp fresh air. Instead, I turned into my room where I found the black dress, pressed and clean, lying on my bed next to a pair of dark stockings. Shiny black heels waited on the floor.

Next door, Mrs. Hubert’s lights weren’t on. Normally, her flickering television turned my bedroom into a disco, a kaleidoscope of moving lights. I peered out to see that her blinds were drawn and shuttered, and at the side of her house the garbage can was overturned, spilling white plastic bags across the side path. I frowned as I headed to the bathroom across the hall to wash up.

Too soon, I was dressed and ready and Mom was calling. “Ava? Josh? Time to go.”

Dad met me at the bottom of the stairs, dressed in a new black suit and Mom in a dress similar to mine. Dad held out his hands for me.

I didn’t know what to say, so I blurted. “I don’t feel like eating.”

“That’s okay, honey, let’s just go. There’s been a change of venue, so we have further to travel.”

I followed Mom and Dad to the car and seconds later Josh thumped down the stairs behind us. Climbing into the car, I tried not to crush my dress, smoothing it out in my lap.

Dad spoke to the navigation system and the serene female voice confirmed: The Terminal. I started, glanced at Josh, and he smirked back at me.

As the car passed the darkness shrouding our neighbor’s house, I said, “Mrs. Hubert’s place is dark tonight. Is she out?”

In the front seat, Mom tilted toward me. “I’m sorry, sweetie. Mrs. Hubert had her final death today.”

I stared at the window, frowning at my own reflection, as Mom said, “We mustn’t be sad. She had a wonderful life. I’m sure all her descendents will come to the wake.”

“She just didn’t seem that old. I mean, her hair was longer than anybody’s, but … ” I remembered her braid slapping her thigh. Halfway down the back meant fifty years old. To the waist was one hundred. To the top of the thigh was two hundred and after that people stopped measuring as long as it stayed long.

Dad said, “There isn’t always warning. Our bodies just stop regenerating. She must have been at least 350 years old.”

Mom gave me a calming smile as the car continued out onto the main street. “I’m sure we’ll be invited to the wake. Come on now, it’s time to enjoy the evening.”

Thirty minutes later, the entertainment precinct glowed ahead. Movie theaters, malls, and restaurants surrounded the massive Terminal skyscraper like ants swarming around a dirt mound. Once there, we pulled into a multi-level parking lot and followed the complicated neon signs to the entrance. The glass walkway opened into what looked like a living room, lined with plush leather couches and fine wooden coffee tables. A security camera drone floated in each corner of the room and on the opposite side, a big mahogany door advertised the entrance, with a touch screen in the middle.

There was a short line, with other people dressed like us, all in black. Mom tapped in a code and tugged me through with Dad and Josh close behind. Moving across a walkway, we entered an enormous, dimly-lit room, with people already milling about—500 kids and their parents—all of the sixteen-year-olds in Dell city. The room was flat across the floor, but the sides curved up and over like a dome around us.

Surveillance drones hummed across the ceiling, recording what was happening for the eyes only of each country’s highest authorities: Presidents, Prime Ministers, and monarchs. Somewhere in the heart of Evereach, President Scott would be watching, flanked by the Head of the Hazards and the High Justice. The Seversandian President would be watching too. I’d seen pictures of her, standing at the head of an army amassed across shimmering sand dunes, her dark brown hair tied into a high ponytail and a row of jewels strung across her cheek from a ring in the side of her nose.

To one side of the room, a group of kids stood praying, heads bowed, all wearing identical white cloaks that made them stand out like glow-in-the-dark figurines. I wished I could see the world the way they did—that our fate was decided by a woman in a garden who told a serpent to get lost and was rewarded for her faith with eternal life. Implosion for the faith community was a part of remembering and giving thanks. But the drones hummed and the room was like a crypt and it was impossible to think about new beginnings when the whole world waited for us to die.

“Hey, buddy!” Josh’s friend, Aaron, appeared out of nowhere, fist thumping with my brother.

Dad looked surprised. “Aaron, I didn’t know you had a sibling here tonight.”

Aaron pointed over his shoulder and I noticed for the first time the Hazard officers standing at intervals around the room. They were covered from neck to foot in fitted green uniform, designed to allow them to move fast. Each wore a pair of drone-control visors, so transparent I could barely see them from that distance.

The man Aaron pointed to had the same color red hair as Aaron and a drone hovering at his shoulder. “My brother’s with the Hazards, so I got to help set up.”

As Aaron spoke, his brother’s drone drifted toward us, and mom wasn’t the only one pointing at it. “That’s new.”

Smooth and sleek, the drone was striped gold and black and was bigger than any I’d seen before. Silver protrusions dotted its underbelly, tranquilizer darts masquerading as decorative studs. Its movements were calm, wafting close to the ceiling.

Aaron’s response was indifferent. “It’s a wasp.”

I’d heard about them on the news. They were Weapons to Apprehend Suspect Persons—the latest police response to the Bashers. This one was the same black and gold as the other wasps, but it had narrow stripes all around its body, and I realized that each wasp was decorated differently.

Aaron winked at me. “I’ll be taking off now.” He shook my father’s hand. “Have a good evening, Mr. Holland. Mrs. Holland.” A quick glance at Josh and Aaron was gone.

My skin prickled as Mom and Dad gave me a gentle push forward. Other kids were separating from their families and moving into the center of the room. Somehow, I ended up close to the front as we formed rows in rough arrow shapes across the floor. I hadn’t even had the chance to look for Hannah. What was already dim lighting darkened so I could barely see.

I looked back for my family, frowning as Josh slid away from my parents, carefully angling his way toward the back of the room. He was taking his chance to leave and part of me sank to the floor. He could have stayed just this once.

The lights went off and the sudden silence crashed over me.

I flinched as sound boomed around the curved walls, an explosion in the air. A giant, orange mushroom billowed up around us: an air screen of projected images engulfing us in pictures of an inferno, as though we’d been dropped into the heart of a fireball. I gasped as the shape of the first exploding nuclear bomb splashed color across the height of the walls, swelling around us, a reminder to the world’s authorities that it was our city on which the bomb had fallen hundreds of years ago.

The image of a woman appeared in front of me, kneeling inside the flames, her body cracking and roiling, separating and pulling together, trembling as she resisted the force of the explosion around her. I shuddered at the realization that I was looking at real footage of the day the bomb exploded.

The woman opened her eyes as words etched the air around us.

We are Evereach. We are invincible.

She struggled to her feet, her voice a whisper that may as well have been a shout. “We aren’t dead. You didn’t hurt us.” Her braid swished around her body, flicking into the air under a force that I could only imagine, lit up by flame and heat.

She reached to the ground and for the first time I noticed there was someone at her feet: a teenage girl, her eyes big and dark, fissions forming across her skin and healing all at once like her body was a jigsaw puzzle fighting to stay whole.

The woman’s voice rose. She threw back her head and shouted into the air, shouting at Seversand and all the countries allied with it. “Look at us! Our children are alive. You cannot hurt us!”

She grit her teeth against flame and heat. There was an echo of her words as others appeared, others who’d fallen. They clambered to their feet and joined in her shout against the wind and fire, the dust of exploded buildings, shards of glass and wood whirling around them.

The people of Evereach roared. “Our children do not die.”

Suddenly, my parents were beside me, each of them holding one of my wrists. I tried to pull away from them, and they shot me alarmed looks. Nobody else was trying to run. Nobody else was afraid.

They each held a knife in one hand, gripped one of my wrists in the other, pulling me close. I tried to wrench myself away from them, but the image of the woman and her daughter ghosted through me, leaving me cold and frozen. Above us, the drones swarmed, buzzing like a thousand insects, capturing the flash of steel, exposed skin, determined eyes.

When I died, I’d find out whether my soul floated or whether it left me or whether there was no such thing as a soul at all. I tried to take deep breaths, tried to stop shaking. We were strong, and we had to show the world that we could never be broken.

The woman’s voice whispered into the silent dark. “You will never defeat us, for our children do not die.”

Blades bit my wrists.

 

 
 
 

 

Everly Frost is a writer. If she doesn’t
have her laptop handy, then she has a pen and paper stashed nearby. She writes
young adult and middle grade fiction set in worlds like ours with unexpected
differences. She lives in Brisbane, Australia.


Her debut YA fantasy FEAR MY MORTALITY is coming in early 2016!


For updates on FEAR MY MORTALITY and the
Mortal Eternity Series, and more, please follow Everly on
Facebook
 and on Twitter.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Giveaway Details:
1 winner will receive the FIRST eGalley
of FEAR MY MORTALITY. International.

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Woot! Enter to WIN a stack of fab YA books! #HolidayBookBash @2000_words

Get ready….#HolidayBookBash begins today!!

The wonderful Jodie Andrefski will be featuring interviews with some of your favorite authors, as well as the chance to win a book lovers prize pack just in time for a holiday gift for YOU!

Scheduled authors include:
Ann Noser
Amy McNulty
Courtney Sloane
Heidi R Kling
Julia Ember
Julie Reece
Kira Archer
Megan O’Russel
Nina Rossing
Pat Esden
Pintip Dunn
Suzanne van Rooyen
Vicki Weavil

Interviews will run daily beginning today through Christmas Eve, with the prize pack drawing, of books/swag from me as well as each of the authors, to be held on Christmas Day.

Enter daily as you read about some amazing authors and get behind the scenes peeks at their books and what they are working on now.

And for the really good part…..enter to win an awesome holiday prize pack for YOU!

PRIZE PACK INCLUDES:

signed hardcover copy of FORGET TOMORROW by Pintip Dunn
signed paperback of SUMMER OF HOPE by Jodie Andrefski
paperback copy of CROWN OF ICE by Vicki Weavil
paperback of DEAD GIRL RUNNING by Ann Noser
Swag pack for UNICORN TRACKS by Julia Ember
*eARC of Not Okay Cupid by Heidi R Kling
*eARC of THE GIRLFRIEND REQUEST by Jodie Andrefski
*eARC of SCARDUST by Suzanne van Rooyen
ebook of DRIVING HER CRAZY by Kira Archer, along with a travel mug filled with swag chocolates!
ebook copy of THE ARTISANS by Julie Reece
ebook copy of CRUX by Julie Reece
ebook of NOBODY’S GODDESS by Amy McNulty
ebook of SUPERMASSIVE by Nina Rossing
ebook of THE TETHERING by Megan O’Russell
ebook of the holiday novella,  NUTTYCRACKER SWEET by Megan O’Russell
*eARC =  electronic Advanced Reader Copy. You get to read it before it even hits the shelves!

ENTER HERE:

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Please Note*Print books/swag may be US only at author discretion since some participating authors live outside of the United States. Winner will be randomly selected 12/25/15. Once selected, we will notify the winner and if the winner lives outside of the US, it will be at author discretion to ship overseas. The decision is up to each author. We apologize for any inconvenience, and we still love and appreciate all of our readers!!
You don’t want to miss it! Happy holidays, and happy reading!!

M9B Friday Reveal: Redesigned Series Cover Reveal – Dragonrider Chronicles by Nicole Conway with Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals

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Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!

This week, we are reveal the cover for

Traitor (Dragonrider Chronicles #3)
by Nicole Conway

an upcoming Month9Books title!

Not only are we revealing this gorgeous new cover,
we are also reveal the redesigned cover for the series!

You guys are in for a treat!

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

 

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Can anyone survive being lost in Luntharda?

No amount of training has prepared Jaevid Broadfeather for the frontlines of battle. Now facing the true horrors of war, with Luntharda looming on the horizon, Jaevid has begun to question everything he thought about his heritage. The only thing keeping him going is his oath to protect his dragonrider brothers. But in an instant, even that slips through Jaevid’s fingers as he steps from the safety of his dragon’s saddle into the depths of his mother’s wild homeland—the kingdom of the gray elves.

Stranded in Luntharda with his partner, Lieutenant Jace Rordin, Jaevid must finally confront the demons of his own past as he uncovers the truth about a war that began before he was ever born. Armed with a new appreciation for destiny, and flanked by his trusted friends, Jaevid moves to make the final strike against an enemy that has hidden in plain sight for far too long.

One kingdom’s traitor will become the world’s last hope.

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Available for Pre-Order:
Chapters | Amazon | B&N | TBD

 

AND NOW HERE ARE THE REDESIGNED COVERS
FOR BOOKS 1 AND 2!

 

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When Jaevid Broadfeather is given the rare opportunity to become a dragonrider for the king’s army, the 15-year-old boy has no idea that he is part of a conspiracy that will rock the very foundations of the kingdom.

Jaevid Broadfeather has grown up as a wartime refugee, hiding from the world because of his mixed racial heritage. He feels his future is hopeless, until a chance encounter with a wild dragon lands him in Blybrig Academy—a place usually forbidden to anyone but the rich and royal. But Jaevid’s case is special; no dragon has voluntarily chosen a rider in decades, so the proud riders of Blybrig must begrudgingly let him join their brotherhood despite his bloodline. Lieutenant Sile Derrick, a sternly tempered man with a mysterious past, becomes his instructor and immediately takes a peculiar interest in Jaevid’s future.

While struggling through the rigorous physical demands of training, things begin to go awry. Jaevid witnesses the king’s private guards kidnapping Sile in the dead of night. When none of the elder riders are willing to help him, Jaevid begins a dangerous adventure to save his instructor.

Everything Jaevid learned at the academy will now be put to the ultimate test.

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Jaevid wants to pass his Avian year of training . . . but will he even survive it?

What kind of power is lurking inside him? After a year of training to become a dragonrider, Jaevid Broadfeather has been sent home to rest during a three-month interlude. But when he returns to find the king drake has chosen Beckah Derrick as his new rider, Jaevid realizes something big is about to happen. Every fiber of his being is pushed to the breaking point as Jaevid battles through his avian year, preparing for the final graduation test of the battle scenario. But there is more standing in his way than a few pushups and fancy sword moves. Jaevid must face a new fear as he is tormented by a gruesome nightmare of a mysterious gray elf warrior murdering the royal family of Maldobar. It seems obvious to him that this is some kind of message about how the war started long ago—until Felix assures him the king is very much alive. With his strange powers growing stronger by the day, and that violent dream replaying in his mind every night, Jaevid no longer wonders if he will pass his avian year or not—he wonders if he will even survive it.

The truth will soon be set loose.

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NicoleConwayPhoto

Nicole is the author of the children’s fantasy series, THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES, about a young boy’s journey into manhood as he trains to become a dragonrider. She has completed the first two books in the series, and is now working on the third and final book.

Originally from a small town in North Alabama, Nicole moves frequently due to her husband’s career as a pilot for the United States Air Force. She received a B.A. in English with a concentration in Classics from Auburn University, and will soon attend graduate school.

She has previously worked as a freelance and graphic artist for promotional companies, but has now embraced writing as a full-time occupation.

Nicole enjoys hiking, camping, shopping, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. She also loves watching children’s movies and collecting books. She lives at home with her husband, two cats, and dog.

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

 

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Super Middle Grade Mondays: Author Spotlight – Jennie K. Brown with Giveaway #SuperMGMondays

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Welcome to this week’s Super Middle Grade Mondays
presented by Tantrum Books/Month9books!

Today, we get up close and personal with

Jennie K. Brown

author of Poppy Mayberry, The Monday
a 2016 title coming from Tantrum Books!

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

 

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Jennie K. Brown is a high school English teacher by day, freelance magazine writer by night, and middlegrade/young adult author by late-night and weekend. When she isn’t teaching or writing, Jennie can be found reading a good book, traveling, or spending time with her awesome husband, amazing son and super-spoiled yorkie.In 2010, the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) named Jennie the Pennsylvania English teacher of excellence, and she currently serves as President of the Pennsylvania Council for Teachers of English and Language Arts (PCTELA). She is also an active member of SCBWI, NCTE and ALAN.

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

 

Inspiration with Jennie K. Brown

 

Many people have asked me where I got the big idea about having magical powers based on the day of the week you’re born for my MG novel POPPY MAYBERRY, THE MONDAY. So, I’ve written a bit about my inspiration below!

The idea actually came to me when I was stopped at a red light in my hometown. I glanced up at the Starbucks on the corner across the street to see a young girl tossing a ball into the air. From the angle I watched, it looked as if the girl was controlling the ball with her mind. At pretty much the same time I asked myself, What day of the week is it? (I have a tendency to lose track of the days over the summer!) And then I put those thoughts together – What if a person had certain powers depending on the day of the week? Or what if a person had a special power specific to the day of the week in which they were born? And that’s where I got the concept for Poppy’s town of Nova. Then I took that a step further and gave certain powers to certain days of the week. If you check out this link, you can see what day of the week you were born and the power behind that day!

Monday – telekinetic powers (controlling things with your mind)
Tuesday – teleportation
Wednesday – energy/electricity manipulation
Thursday – mind reading (So cool!)
Friday – invisibility (disappearing!)
Saturday and Sunday – powerless  (This is funny, because I was actually born on a Saturday myself!)

In POPPY MAYBERRY, THE MONDAY, the main character (Poppy Mayberry) is struggling with her telekinetic Monday power. Because of this she is sent to a remedial summer camp for the powerless – Power Academy – where she gets teamed up with her archrival, a mind reading Thursday, and a few other weekday hopefuls to combat the awful headmistress Clothes-too-tight Larriby and her equally awful sidekick. The novel is set to release in April 2016 with a sequel in December! Find out more and Jennie and her writing inspiration on her website jenniekbrown.com

🙂 Jennie

 

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What if your teacher could read your mind just because she was born on a Thursday? Or the kid next to you in class could turn back the clock just because he was a ‘Wednesday”? In the quirky town of Nova, all of this is normal, but one thing is not—Poppy Mayberry. As an almost-eleven-year-old Monday, she should be able to pass notes in class or brush her dog, Pickle, without lifting a finger. But her Monday telekinesis still has some kinks, and that plate of spaghetti she’s passing may just end up on someone’s head. And if that’s not hard enough, practically perfect Ellie Preston is out to get her, and Principal Wible wants to send her to remedial summer school to work on her powers! It’s enough to make a girl want to disappear…if only she were a Friday.

“Whimsical, imaginative, and fun. Poppy Mayberry is a modern Annie – immediately likable, charming and spunky. Kids will be rooting for this wonderful heroine from page one.”
— Robert Beatty, New York Times Bestselling Author of SERAFINA AND THE BLACK CLOAK

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Poppy Mayberry, The Monday
by Jennie K. Brown
Publication Date: September 2016
Publisher: Month9Books

 

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M9B Friday Reveal: Cover Reveal – Facsimile by @VickiLWeavil with Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals

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Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!

This week, we are revealing the cover for

Facsimile by Vicki L. Weavil

an upcoming Month9Books Title!

Author, Vicki L. Weavil, also shares her thoughts on the cover.

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

 

I love this cover because it reflects the book so well. The image of a girl standing alone on a desolate world is a perfect depiction of my protagonist, Ann, as well as her “sand over stone” world, Eco. But it’s also symbolic, because although Ann isn’t really alone, she often feels isolated on her frontier planet. The addition of the image of the Earth is also appropriately symbolic. Ann can’t actually see the Earth from Eco, but since her goal is to live on Earth it’s always on her mind, so the inclusion of the Earth image is a wonderful metaphor for her hopes and dreams.

 

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For a ticket to Earth, seventeen-year-old Anna-Maria “Ann” Solano is willing to jettison her birth planet, best friend, and the boy who loves her. Especially since all she’s required to do is escort Dace Keeling, a young naturalist, through the wilderness of the partially terraformed planet Eco. Ann‘s determination to escape the limitations of her small, frontier colony never falters, until Dace’s expeditions uncover three secrets. One offers riches, one shatters Ann’s perceptions of herself, and one reveals that the humans stranded on Eco are not its only inhabitants.

Ann’s willing to sacrifice friendship and love for a new life on Earth. But when an entire species is placed in jeopardy by her actions, she must make a choice – fulfill the dream that’s always sustained her, or save the planet she’s never considered home.

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Facsimile (Facsimile #1)
by Vicki L. Weavil
Publication Date: March 8, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books

Available for Pre-order:
Amazon | B&N

 

About-the-Author

 

Vicki Weavil 11

Vicki L. Weavil is represented by Fran Black of Literary Counsel. Her Young Adult Fantasy, CROWN OF ICE — a dark YA retelling of H.C. Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” — is published by Month9Books. Two companion books to CROWN OF ICE — SCEPTER OF FIRE and ORB OF LIGHT — will be published in 2016 and 2017.
Her YA SciFi — FACSIMILE — will be published by Month9Books in 2016, with a sequel, DERIVATION, to follow.
A new YA Fantasy, THE DIAMOND THIMBLE, will be published by Month9Books in 2018.
She also writes adult SciFi.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Tumbler

 

Giveaway

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$300 Holiday Cash Giveaway! #authors #bloggers #YAlit

Holiday Cash Giveaway

$300 Holiday Cash Giveaway – December 1st to 21st

An Awesome Group of Authors & Bloggers have joined with me to bring you 1 fabulous prize!!

We’re giving away $300 in Paypal Cash! Or alternately you can choose a $300 Amazon.com eGift Code!

Thanks to these awesome bloggers & authors for sponsoring this giveaway!!

I Am A Reader
eBooks for Review
Lori’s Reading Corner
Kimber Leigh Wheaton
Author Inger Iversen
D.E. Haggerty – author
Author Ednah Walters
Leisure Reads
Glistering Bs Blog
Jennifer Bardsley
Rockin’ Book Reviews
Suzi Love
B. Kristin McMichael
Laurie Here – Contemporary Fiction and More – Book Reviews
Raven Haired Girl
Rae Lori
Here We Go Again…Ready?
Author Dorothy Dreyer
Julie Antonovich Reece
Pat Esden, paranormal romance author
Author Melissa Wright
Coupons and Freebies Mom
Melissa Giorgio
Cynthia Luhrs Author
Author Deb Atwood
Melissa A. Hanson, Author
Lisa Orchard
Nicole Tone
Kathryn Purdie
Y.A. Chit Chat
Kelsey Ketch
Simple Wyrdings
Pintip Dunn
Aubrey Wynne: Romantasy Through the Ages
My Reading Spot
Every Free Chance Books
Spiced Latte Reads
Megan Tayte (YA author)
Hannah Fielding ~ Romance Novelist
Lorca Damon
Charnell @ Reviews from a Bookworm
Book Nerd Addict
HOT LSITENS
YA author Nina Rossing
Auggie @ AuggieTalk
Amy McNulty
Everly Frost
Heather Gray, Author
Literary Winner
Bex @ Aurelia {lit}{geek}{chic}

 

Giveaway Details

$300 in Paypal Cash or a $300 Amazon.com eGift Card

Ends 12/21/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or who can redeem an Amazon.com Gift Code. 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 and sponsored by the authors, bloggers and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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