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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Cover Reveal: The Collar and the Cavvarch

Today I'm happy to host Annie Douglass Lima and her cover reveal for her next YA Action and Adventure book. Take it away, Annie!

I'm excited to announce that my young adult action and adventure novel, The Collar and the Cavvarach, is scheduled to be released next month!  Here is the cover, created by the talented Jack Lin:

About the Story:

Bensin, a teenage slave and martial artist, is desperate to see his little sister freed. But only victory in the Krillonian Empire's most prestigious tournament will allow him to secretly arrange for Ellie's escape. Dangerous people are closing in on her, however, and Bensin is running out of time.  With his one hope fading quickly away, how can Bensin save Ellie from a life of slavery and abuse?

What is the Collar for, and What is a Cavvarach?

The story is set in a world very much like our own, with just a few major differences.  One is that slavery is legal there.  Slaves must wear metal collars that lock around their neck, making their enslaved status obvious to everyone.  Any slave attempting to escape faces the dilemma of how and where to illegally get their collar removed (a crime punishable by enslavement for the remover).  

Another difference is the popularity of a martial art called cavvara shil.  It is fought with a cavvarach, an unsharpened weapon similar to a sword but with a steel hook protruding from partway down its top edge.  Competitors can strike at each other with their feet as well as with the blades.  You win in one of two ways: disarming your opponent (hooking or knocking their cavvarach out of their hands) or pinning their shoulders to the mat for five seconds.

Connect with the Author Online:

Monday, April 27, 2015

Lands of Ash: Chapter One Tease

First off, no, that's not my cover art. Not really. It's the cover art my daughter made for me, but it seemed appropriate as I haven't done my official cover reveal yet (stay tuned for that). Anyway, it's time to tease my first chapter! This book is due out June 18th, so keep your eyes open for more updates and maybe even a chance to win a copy!

This is my first chapter. It hasn't been proofed or edited yet, but this is basically what you're going to get when you read my book in a few months (you know you want to!). 

Chapter One
The Burnt Ring

Ketyl tightened his grip on the pack-ram's leather bridle. The large beast rubbed its head against its owner’s shoulder, and he patted its curled horns and clicked his tongue.

I’ll be right back.” He looped the reins around a low branch. The ram would stay until he returned . . . though if he didn’t return, it would at least have the opportunity to free itself rather than starve. Not returning was always a possibility.

He took a few steps from the musky smell of the ram’s gray wool, into a shaft of sunlight falling between the tall pines. He inhaled.


It overpowered the fresh scent of the growing trees and the chill of the morning air.

Too close,” he muttered. “They’ve never come this close before.”

He was less than two days’ slow ride from the Haven and a good three days' walk into the Mountains’ Feet, the great forests between the Valley and the impassible Sky Finger mountain range.

For a moment he allowed himself to hope it was only a passing traveler or a refugee with a campfire, not the Elementals. However, he knew the sulfurous taint of their destruction all too well. He checked his quiver: twenty arrows, all icestone tipped. That wouldn’t be enough against an invasion, but he could easily take down a scouting group. The trick was to do so before they realized they were being stalked.

Ketyl wore sturdy trousers, a long-sleeved shirt of flame-resistant brown canvas, and a leather jerkin almost the same color as his olive skin. He'd stained his face and hands with green leaves and kept his hair close cropped, so there’d be less to burn if a spark settled on his head.

He crept from tree to tree. A bird sang in the distance, and another answered. The tight muscles between his shoulders eased. If the Elementals were close, the animals would have fled. Still he proceeded with caution, ears attentive to the slightest sound.

Pine needles crackled underfoot. The dry months were drawing to a close. Soon the rains and ice would bar the fire folk from their world.

Flames flickered through the trees and licked along the branches. Not a large force then. Maybe some Charred or a solitary Flare, but not more than that, or the fires would be stronger. Or perhaps they had already gone.

Hopeful but with his eyes wide open, he drew his bow. Whatever awaited him, he’d be ready. He took a forest-green bandanna from his pocket, dampened it with a splash of water from his canteen, and tied it over his mouth. The lower branches smoldered, but he ducked under them and stepped into a perfect circle of blackened earth. He touched the ground. It was cold, but the signs were clear. A portal had opened here.
The Elementals wouldn’t risk staying in the area with their escape route gone. A sudden rainstorm or even a heavy fog could extinguish their fire, and they’d have nowhere to shelter.
Ketyl took a map from his pack and examined it, marking this new entry point with a charred stick. This was the third in less than two days. If he added in the rumored sightings from earlier that week, it brought the total to six. They weren’t staying long. If it hadn’t been for the black circles left by openings to the Fire Realm, no one would’ve been aware of them at all. Scouting parties then? But why so many and why here, so far from human settlements?

He pulled the bandanna from his mouth and traced his finger from one sighting to the next. They formed a definite line. He continued across the map along that trajectory and froze when his finger touched Fork Vale Fortress.  

It couldn’t be. They couldn’t know about that. They always kept to the edges of the valley, not the forests, and definitely not the Fortress.

Ketyl swallowed. There were many human settlements scattered about the Mountains’ Feet and along the sea coast, but the Fortress was the largest, home to almost a thousand refugees and a garrison of men at arms. It was the survivors’ last stronghold.

He couldn’t reach it in time, but if he could get to the Haven, he could send a warning by carrier pigeon. He shoved the unfolded map back into his satchel.

Ketyl strode the perimeter of the portal scar. Other than full-on raids, there were two reasons the Elementals entered this realm: to scout in preparation for raids and to gather fuel. Since there were no settlements nearby, this couldn’t have been a scouting mission. They must’ve been gathering fuel. Two trails of burned branches and charred grass led away from the scar. If he could see how much they had gathered, he could get an approximate idea of their numbers. The smaller Elementals didn’t need much more than oxygen. The big ones, however, craved wood as a man might red meat.

Smoke wafted through the trees, causing his eyes to water and sting. He replaced the bandanna and nocked an arrow. Gray wisps surrounded him as he crested the hill.

The blackened, skeletal remains of a forest stretched before him, almost to the top of the next hill. Heat rose off of the trees, but the ground was cold. Only a few hot spots remained. He leaned against the singed pine at the edge of the burnout and heaved a sigh. A large party then. Flares at least, if not an Inferno lord. He needed to get back to the Haven and send that message.

A twig cracked, and Ketyl froze. The sound came again, from behind him. Whirling about, arrow ready, he squinted through the haze. Flashes of hot red, like dying coals, moved low to the ground. A Charred.
The Charred resembled a blackened corpse, its skin great flakes of ash and charcoal. Fire glowed through the cracks in its skin, and it crawled along the ground. Its belly scraped the grass like a lizard’s, leaving a scorched trail behind it.

The Charred’s lazy pace was deceptive. In battle they could charge like a ram. One shot could kill it–they were by far the weakest of the Elemental beings–but Ketyl knew better than to underestimate his foe. Unfortunately, for a clear shot, he’d have to leave his cover.

He darted out. The Charred’s head snapped up, its chest and neck elevating, and its eyes, two points of red in a formless face, flared. Ketyl’s arrow sang from the bow, impacting against the Charred’s shoulder, not the instantly fatal headshot he’d intended. Ketyl cursed.

The icestone arrowhead radiated waves of blue light from the wound. The veins touched the Charred’s shoulder, and its arm broke from its body, shattering upon the forest floor. Lurching to its feet, the Charred gave a cry like roaring flames and stampeded towards Ketyl.

The Elemental was on him before he could draw another arrow. He fumbled for his knife as the Charred grabbed at his pant leg. Ketyl kicked out, sending sparks and ash flying from the Charred. The blue veins pulsed up the monster’s neck, towards its head.

He drew his knife, not icestone, just good, sturdy steel, and slashed through the weakened neck. The head rolled away, dissipating like mist. Its body crumbled into ash before him. Managing to calm his nerves, he reclaimed the arrow from the disintegrated Charred. Icestone was too precious to waste.

Ketyl glanced about the clearing, but saw no signs of other Elementals. The Charred were expendable to them, mindless grunts acting upon instincts and orders. This one must’ve been left behind.

How many of them are there? I've never seen a fuel burn this big outside the Burnt Lands. He shuddered, remembering that forsaken place with its blackened earth and tree-less hills.

He rushed to his pack-ram. The animal looked up at him as he unbound it. “Sorry, boy, but you’re not bred for speed. I can get there quicker on foot.” He took a single sack filled with provisions and extra arrowheads from the creature’s back. “I hope you find your way home, but if not, these woods will suit you.”

The ram bleated as Ketyl relieved him of his load and saddle. With the ram in tow, the journey would take two days. If he walked non-stop, Ketyl hoped to make it in one. The Fortress needed to be warned.

Most of the gear would be left behind. Ketyl gathered only the essentials. He hung the rest of the bags from a limb. Perhaps another traveler would find and use them, but if not, at least they wouldn’t burden his pack-ram any longer.

Ash still clung to his clothes from his encounter with the Charred, and he stank of sulfur. Well, the fresh air of a quick walk would fix that.

He needed to hurry. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Chronicles of Chadwick

If you missed the first installment you can read it here.

The story continues on Parker's blog this week. Click here to read

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Free Book for You!

I don't think I've ever put this one free before . . . well, it is now. Click the link below to pick up your copy of Dragon's Bride, the fourth and final book in the Dragon and the Scholar Saga, for FREE!

Dragon's Bride (The Dragon and the Scholar Book 4)

The promo  dates are April 23rd through 27th, so grab your copy fast and then share it with some friends!
(for buyers outside the US click here)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Versatile Blogger Award

I was nominated for this award by Sylvia Heike. You can check out her blog here and her updates on her writing process: http://sylviaheike.com/2015/04/versatile-blogger-award/ 
You can also see the other awesome blogs she nominated. 

The rules of nomination:
1) thank the person who awarded you
2) include a link to their blog
3) select & nominate 15 blogs/bloggers you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly and
4) tell 7 things about yourself

Versatile Blogger Award

I nominate the following bloggers/blogs for the Versatile Blogger Award:

Fifteen seems a lot, a lot. . . like way too many. . . I might tweak the rules a bit because I am evil that way.
  1. Carolynn at http://www.kitty-ears.com/ This is a fun blog about crafting, creating, and everything in between. I've been following the blog for a while because it is fun, but I think it (and the author) deserve a Versatile Award because I never know what to expect when I click on a post. It covers a wide range of topics that I enjoy. 
  2. Clarice at http://claricesbooknook.blogspot.com/, Clarice is a book blogger. I follow a lot of book bloggers, but Clarice is one of the ones who posts regularly and goes out of her way to be helpful to authors, which I appreciate. Plus she's got a cool logo. Isn't that a cool logo?
  3. Paige at http://electivelypaige.com/ is another blogger who goes out of her way to support authors (you'll see a theme with these in this post, probably.). Her blog is full of honest book reviews and cover reveals, and she's also extremely active on Facebook.
  4. Kelsey at http://kelseypaigeart.blogspot.com/, this one will probably come as a surprise to this blogger because unlike the last three blogs which I openly follow and interact with, I basically just lurk on this one and wait for new pretty drawings to pop up, and there are so many and they are all so pretty. I JUST WANT TO HAVE ALL THE DRAWINGS!!! 
  5. Gillian at http://ofbattlesdragonsandswordsofadamant.blogspot.com/ is an author of fantasy (which makes her my direct competition), but I really started hanging out on her blog because of the awesome question prompts and her serial "readers choose what happens next" stories. I recently got pulled into a blog hop with authors who are going to be doing a serial story, and almost all of them referred to hers as something that inspired them. 
  6. If I'm just looking for a "pick me up" or something to boost my mood, I go straight to http://travelling-cats.blogspot.com/. Why? Because cats! Awesome cats! From all over the world. It never fails to brighten my day. 
  7. Christina at http://abooksandmore.blogspot.com/ has great linky parties, book reviews, and color posts of her family and their life in South Africa. 
  8. Elizabeth at http://elizabethdaviesbooks.blogspot.com/ has a great blog about writing, promoting, and the ins and outs of indie authorhood.
  9. Susan at http://susan-stuckey.storytellersinn.com/ is another Indie Writer with a series of fantasy novellas. Her blog also includes book reviews and awesomeness (fantasy world maps, anyone?
  10. Bethany at http://simmeringmind.com/, she has questions, writing prompts, and thoughts on fantasy, writing, and Christianity.
You know, I'm stopping here! Those who I've tagged/nominated, I hope you get a chance to share your posts with me as well.

So now, 7 things about me. . .hmm. . . 7 . . .

  1. One of my long term goals is to write for computer or video games. I'm working on it. I think I just really appreciated the story telling that went into Myst, and it has always been in the back of my head as something I've wanted to do. 
  2. I worked at a pizza parlor for a bit and had pizza multiple times a week, but still think I could probably eat it every day without getting sick of it. 
  3. I like to write about character relationships. That's what interest me. Once I find the defining relationship in a book (be it a friendship, a romantic relationship, or a familial one), that's when the writing really takes off.
  4. I currently have 5 novels, 1 novella, and three short stories published, all self-published. (view them here). I never seriously considered traditional publishing with these. I just like the speed of self-publishing and how it enables me to get my work out faster to my readers. I also have a pair of novellas combined into one volume. It was the first thing I put out when I was a noob and it needs to be reformatted and edited (things I didn't know much about when I first started). I love the story so I don't take it down, but I don't promote it because my other books are just so much better.
  5. I love ASMR videos on youtube and follow a ton of awesome artist. I would like to someday make my own. 
  6. I don't usually use celebrity inspiration for my characters (though sometimes after the fact I'll google search until I find actors who look enough like them to be passable), but I've made a few exceptions. In the book I'm currently editing Lands of Ash, I have a character I wrote specifically so Nathan Fillion will play him in the movie. It's a convoluted way to get his autograph.
  7. Does seven seem like an oddly arbitrary number to anyone else? Especially when paired with the number 15 for how many people they want you to nominate. Like those numbers don't really match. 7 and 14 would make more sense. . .or 10 and 15 . . . Where was I? Oh, about me. Well, I once owned a cat named Nathaniel Pawthorne. Also another named Ivanhoe. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Unexpected Peril: Cover Reveal

Unexpected Peril: Cover Reveal 

Savage beasts kidnap Alissia Roswell as she is traveling to meet a separate group of Lamians than the ones that saved her life and physically changed her in the process—gifting her with many special abilities. Just when she was beginning to get accustomed to the bond she and Luke Harrison share, she awakes alone and trapped deep within an eerie bog to find she can no longer feel his presence or reach out to him with her mind.

Unexpected Peril, the third book in the Alissia Roswell Series, will take you to magical lands filled with strange and mysterious creatures. Will Alissia have a chance to adapt to her new life in this alternate reality, or will everything and everyone she has come to love be destroyed by an intense hatred for humanity? 

Book 1, Unexpected Metamorphosis Blurb: (The eBook version of this one is free at all major online bookstores.)

Alissia Roswell had worked hard to overcome her past, and she took immense pride in her independence. Just when she thought she was truly satisfied with her life, she wakes up to find herself in another reality. As she searches for answers, her body begins to change in mysterious ways, and for the first time in her life, she is forced to rely upon others. As everything spins out of her control and danger lurks around every corner, her heart begins to betray her, and her mind haunts her with memories of her past.

Join Alissia on her perilous quest full of adventure, magic, and romance as she travels the challenging road of finding one self, maybe even love along the way.

Book 2, Unexpected Entrapment:

Alissia Roswell is far, far from home, and she won't be going back any time soon. After having been sucked through a wormhole, spat out half-dead in an alternate reality, and revived by Lamians-an ancient, magical people who trigger a profound metamorphosis in Alissia, giving her powers she never thought possible-Alissia becomes the subject of Alrik Durst's manipulation. Alrik has already usurped power in the city of Pallen, and with Alissia's arrival, he sees his opportunity to exploit the power of the Lamians to his bidding as well, driving the land ever closer to civil war. Held prisoner in the luxurious confines of the Eldership castle in Pallen, Alissia is forced to feign memory loss to protect herself and her friends while fending off the romantic overtures of Ian Durst-Alrik's all-too-charming son. Will the loves of her life, Grady Bolair and Luke Harrison, be able to help her escape? When she finally chooses between the two-Grady, the statesman, or Luke, the assassin-will it rip her alliances to shreds, casting uncertainty on her future? 

Join Alissia as she learns to reign in her fiery personality, tries to accept her past, and struggles with the one thing that scares her most: vulnerability. Unexpected Entrapment: Alissia Roswell: Book Two will whisk you away to a world of mystical, menacing creatures and fantastic environs, where secrets abound and nothing is quite as it appears.

Author Bio:

Tianna Holley lives outside of Atlanta with her husband and children and has always been an avid reader of fantasy novels. She began writing poetry and short stories in her youth but did not pursue her passion for writing until later in life. 

Although her books tend to contain violence and romance, she considers herself a PG-13 author. Her novels do not contain curse words, and her sexual content is limited to heated kissing. 

She enjoys talking to her readers and offers free Skype chats to book clubs that have read her writing. You can learn more about Tianna and sign up for her monthly newsletter to receive exclusive insights into her current work in progress by going to http://www.tiannaholley.com

Tianna Holley
Writer of passionate, fantasy romance without the guilt.
Amazon author page

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Release Date Announcement: June 18th, LANDS OF ASH!

I'm biting the bullet and promising you to have Lands of Ash available in two months. June 18th, my longest book so far rolls out, with smoke monsters, Elementals, betrayal, drama, and world saving heroes ready to sacrifice all to save humanity and one very special child.

Pre-release links are not yet live, but you can sign up for email alerts at www.hlburkeauthor.com or follow me on Amazon here for new release alerts.

Also watch out for cover reveal posts, first chapter teases, and all sorts of fun in the near future. 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Chronicles of Chadwick: Episode One, a #hotpotatostory

This is the first official episode of the Chronicles of Chadwick. You can view the character post link up here. Every week a different blog will be carrying the story, but don't worry, we'll all link up so you can find it. Also look out for the hashtags #hotpotatostory and #chroniclesofchadwick on Twitter!

Episode One: In which Bea Brightbolt meets Chadwick and Sends him on a "Mission."

Image By AshesDust

Bea Brightbolt stroked the russet fur of her pet fox, Ginger, then stood on her tiptoes so they could rub noses. The fox licked Bea's broad forehead between her wide green eyes. Bea giggled.

“I'll be back again before you know it, Ginge. I can't go dragging you into town with me. Too many chickens mean too much temptation.”

Bea carefully secured the doors to her gypsy wagon and watched as Ginger took up watch on the seat. Her goats were tethered nearby, stripping a small tree of its branches. All was right. Just a quick walk into town to find her latest patsy . . . er . . . employee.

The sun was already low in the sky as she strode into town. She adjusted her knapsack across her shoulders and searched out the local tavern, a bustling place that she could smell from across the street.

“Sweat and ale.” She wrinkled her turned up nose. “I'll definitely want a bath after this.”
Crossing the street at a run, she put one foot over the threshold only to feel a strong hand hold her back.

“Where do you think you're going, little one? Does your mother know you're out so late?” a deep voice asked.

Bea turned to him with a glare she hoped would make his head hurt.

His fingers fell from her shoulder. “Beg your pardon, miss. I didn't realize . . . we don't get many gnomes in these parts.”

“How sad for you.” She looked the man up and down. “Perhaps you could help me. I'm looking for a very particular sort of man, someone down on his luck. Does that make you think of anyone?”

“There's old Sam the beggar. He never has a penny to his name.”

“No, no, I mean someone who has recently broken a magic mirror? Crossed too many black cats? That sort of thing. Who do people laugh at when stories are told around the fire?”

The man's eyes widened. “Well . . .there is Sir Chadwick.”

Bea's large ears wiggled. “Sir? A knight? Even better.”

“Well, he was a knight, of sorts, but early last year, he got suckered into a game of knuckle bones with the town gremlin.”

Bea snorted. “Never wise. What did he lose? His first born son?”

“Nothing that tragic. Just his voice. They local knights' guild had to let him go, since he's mute and can no longer taunt his enemies or sing of his victories. There is a condition to his muteness, though. The Gremlin sends his voice back for an hour or so at sunset. He lives out behind the castle now, in a shack between the stables and the kennels. If you hurry you might catch him while he can talk to you.”

Bea bolted through the streets, down a dark alley, and around the great stone wall of the local castle.
There, sitting on a stump, humming a wordless tune, sat a handsome young man of around twenty. His sad blue eyes concentrated downward.

“Well, hello there, Chaddie my Laddie!” Bea grinned, climbing onto his lap. “Do I have a deal for you!”

Chadwick recoiled. His mouth quirked, and he cleared his throat. “What . . . who . . .?” his voice was husky from disuse.

“Look here, I heard about your difficulty, losing your voice to a Gremlin, that's rotten luck, simply rotten.” Bea patted his golden locks. “Ooh, you're fluffy. I like it. A nice fluffy knight like you, you shouldn't be stuck moping around a dull dead end town like this. How about a noble quest?”

“You do know I can only talk for an hour a day, don't you?” Chadwick frowned.

“I like my men quiet. You see, I have a problem. There's a princess who has gotten herself captured by dragons. Isn't that sad?”

“I suppose . . .”

“And if you rescued her, I'm sure there will be a handsome reward. After all princesses usually have fairy godmothers or something. With the help of a fairy, your voice will pop right back so you can make all sorts of pretty promises you don't intend to keep.”

Chadwick turned red. “A princess? Held by dragons? That is terrible, but why are you sending me after her? Shouldn't her parents, I don't know, send a prince or something?”

Bea stuck out her bottom lip and force it to shake. “That's the sad part. She has no family.” She sniffled. “All alone, poor dear, stuck with a bunch of cold blooded monsters, no one to rescue her . . . or the beautiful golden necklace she wears . . . I'd do it myself, but you see, the dragons have sentries and sort of know what I look like. We . . . got into it a couple of years ago, over a misunderstanding about some borrowed items. They'll see me coming a mile a way and get all flustered. A clever man like you should be able to sneak right on by!" She glanced at the sky. The last rays of sunlight were already dying. Not much time left to chat. "What do you say?" 

Chadwick scratched the back of his neck. "I suppose I can't very well let a princess remain in the clutches of dragons. How do I proceed?" 

Bea slipped off her knapsack and began to rummage. She leaned all the way into it until only her legs were sticking out, kicked a few times, felt about in the darkest corners, and emerged with a sword big enough for a full sized knight. Chadwick's jaw dropped. 

"Magic bag, bottomless. I once lost a goat in there for a week, but he came out of it all right." Bea shrugged. "That should handle equipment." She took a roll of parchment out of her back pocket. "This map will guide you all along the way, and I won't be far behind, if you really need me. Though it is best if we aren't seen together in daylight, you know. I have . . . protective lovers. Yes, might make all sorts of folk jealous. Think you can handle it?"

Chadwick's Adam's apple bobbed. "I think so."

"Oh, and one more thing, the poor princess, she may be a touch enchanted, might not know what's best for her, might object to being rescued, poor confused thing." Bea sighed sadly. "Don't let that bother you. You know what's right. You're a knight after all. Knight makes right! Or was that might . . . I get so confused about rhymes sometimes. . ." 

Chadwick opened his mouth but nothing came out.

"Ah." Bea patted his cheek. "Gremlin got your voice again? No matter. You can get started first thing in the morning, and remember, Chaddie, I'll be watching you."

Read the next installment on Parker's Blog

Friday, April 17, 2015

More free books . . .

I have a cute little short story that will be free this week.
From April 17th through April 21st, The Princess and the Soldier is a free download. I hope you get a chance to pick it up and enjoy it! Click the link below to download from Amazon.

The Princess and the Soldier: A New Fairy Tale

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Review: The Riddle of Prague


The Riddle of Prague
by Laura De Bruce

This story actually overcame a personal pet peeve (first person present tense. . .it annoys me 90% of the time. I know it is trendy, but my head just kind of can't wrap around it.), but the story was so good that after a bit I didn't notice the tense (which to clarify, I know the tense isn't "wrong," it's just not my favorite narrative style).
I think what drew me in the most was the setting. Post Cold War Prague has a great mix of familiarity (this is history I have enough knowledge of without to read without feeling lost) and newness (I've never read a fantasy with this setting before and it was fun to explore.
The story introduces a lot of mythology without becoming confusing and even though there are a lot of characters (with multiple identities and all with secrets) it manages to be mysterious rather than confusing where it needs to be.
I has some well thought out twits and magic. Over all a fun read.

You can purchase it on Amazon through the link below:

The Riddle of Prague (QuickSilver Legacy Series Book 1)

When 18-year-old Hana Silna travels to Prague to reclaim her family's ancestral home, she finds herself on an adventure in a city brimming with secrets. She discovers a riddle by alchemist Edward Kelley that leads to a hidden flask containing an extraordinary elixir. When a ruthless enemy kidnaps her family, Hana has to find the flask to rescue them. On her quest she meets a mysterious man with a penchant for poetry, a Gypsy girl with a haunting past, and Alex, the motorcycle-riding son of a U.S. diplomat. Alex -- who's trying to save his sister from a crippling disease -- joins Hana on her race across Bohemia to find the flask. It's hard to trust anyone when the stakes are this high -- especially when surrounded by experts at deception. There's only one flask and Hana desperately needs to find it.
 The Riddle of Prague is the first of the Quicksilver Legacy Trilogy. Kirkus Reviews describes Laura DeBruce's debut novel as "[a]n exciting...thriller with supernatural elements and a brave, enterprising heroine." Clarion Reviews gives The Riddle of Prague five-stars and calls it "[a] fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat mystery-adventure."

Sunday, April 12, 2015

YA Book Bundle Giveaway!

book bundle giveaway
What would you do if you won six great young adult books to add to your Kindle library? If you'd grow giddy with excitement, then you're in the right place. In celebration of National Library Week, 24 indie authors have teamed together to share their books with four winners, one winner for each bundle of six books. Check out the books below, and then enter the Rafflecopter giveaway to win one of these incredible deals.

Book Bundle #1

Read Me Dead by Emerald Barnes

read me deadAlexia Wheaton’s problems go far beyond picking a dress and a date for the homecoming dance. For seven years, Alex has lived with a painful memory - the memory of her parents' horrific murder. As the sole witness, she has kept quiet about the identity of the murderer to protect herself and her family and friends, but when a journalist over hears her secret and writes about it in the local newspaper, Alex is plagued with fear that her parents' murderer will soon find her - and silence her forever. Alex is catapulted into a race against time to save her own life and bring her parents' murderer to justice. She will face many secrets, lies, and betrayals before the truth about their murder is revealed. Read Me Dead on Amazon

Into the Light by Amy Manemann

into the lightNineteen-year-old Willa Devries is no ordinary witch. Born to a sacred race known as the lightkeepers, for centuries her lineage has been charged to carry out their time honored duty of holding the light of the world against the darkness. Willa’s twentieth birthday will mark the day when she comes into her full powers, a day she’s been anticipating forever. Only the rising darkness has become more powerful than anyone has ever seen, and with her birthday only a week away, Willa begins to question if she’s ready to feel the weight of the world on her shoulders. Braeden Mathiesen is a Guardian sworn and trained to protect the keepers of light. His life has been spent preparing for the day when he would be sent to aid Willa in her lightkeeper training. Yet upon his arrival to the sleepy town of Salem, Massachusetts, he quickly realizes he is unprepared for the extent of her incredible power--or for the woman who will steal his heart. The fate of the world lies in Braeden and Willa's ability to push past their feelings and learn to harness her powers, before the dark underworld rises up and covers the world under a blanket of darkness. Failure isn’t an option; the world depends on it. Into the Light on Amazon

Shadows of Things to Come by Mishael Austin Witty

shadow of things to come Starting a new relationship is always hard, but it's not often dangerous. College first year Megan McCleod feels bad about breaking up with her boyfriend, Keith. After all, they've been together for years. But now they're going in two different directions, and she just doesn't see how things can work out between them. Too bad the day she picked to break up with him was the same day he'd picked to ask her to marry him. Sophomore Tony Driscoll is all for the break-up, however, because he wants Megan all to himself. He's convinced, from the first moment he sees her in that coffee shop when she's breaking up with Keith, that they belong together. Now all he has to do is make her feel the same way about him. Megan is charmed by him from the very first moment their eyes meet. Then she starts hearing things - about how Tony killed his mother and kidnapped one of his ex-girlfriends. But Tony seems so nice. She just can't believe he would hurt a fly. ...Until he asks her to marry him on their third date, and then he storms out in a rage when she refuses him. And it's doubly suspicious that Megan gets attacked on the street as she's trying to get back to the dorm that night. Is Tony trying to hurt her? Has his love for her taken an obsessive, psychopathic turn? Can she discover the truth before it's too late? Shadows of Things to Come on Amazon

The Unforgiving Truths

unforgiving truths She thought she was safe in the shadows. When the light was banished, the dark became her home. After the Transformation, the dark was all that there was. Coming from a World covered in fire, young Mrsorri Hall seeks the safety of a new land where she doesn't have to hide from her abilities. After arriving in a strange new place designed to make one's wildest dreams come to life, her humanity returns to her. She recognizes fear like she never has before. It seems she has finally found a place where she can be at peace with her dark past. As the secrets unfold, though, she realizes that even the ones she loves the most cannot be trusted. Whisked into a battle that she didn't even know she was a part of it, Mrsorri must undertake a legacy that could mean life or death. On this quest, failure is not an option, for once she starts, she cannot go back. There is nowhere to go. They are coming for her. The Unforgiving Truths on Amazon

Girl Incredible by Patti Larsen

girl incredible
Her CIA bosses think she’s the bomb. Kitalia Ore is positive of that fact.
Okay, fine. Kitten MacLean. And they’re her parents, but it’s so much more fun to imagine them the other way around. And J.J., her MI6 contact? He’s in love with her. Doesn’t matter that her closest confidant, Jimmy Jones, hasn’t spoken a word to her since first grade. Everyone at school adores her, too. Sure, they might not know it yet, but every single student at Rimtree High is her best friend. Naturally. She’s just that incredible. When a new girl is being bullied, it’s time for Kit MacLean to take charge and leave her fantasy world of fearless bravado and easy victories behind. The world outside her CIA missions is far different than she’s used to, and her usual happy-go lucky heart is about to take the beating of a lifetime. But Kit has never backed down from anything in her life and she’s not about to start now. Time to find out what she’s really made of. Before the bad guys ruin everything.

What Dreams May Come: In Dreams Book 1 by Beth M. Honeycutt

what dreams may comeReality is overrated. Or so Ellie Cross has always believed. Ellie is an ordinary, nothing-special girl who feels invisible most of the time. She’s the kind of girl who would loan her lunch money to anyone, but she’s definitely not the kind of girl to get noticed. Well, except by her mom, who constantly nags her not to be such a dreamer, and the class bully who makes her life miserable. It’s kinda grim for a girl who’s already painfully shy and all-too-aware that she “takes work.” But Ellie has a best friend, someone she can turn to whenever she has a problem. Well, some might call him an imaginary friend, since they’ve never actually met outside of dreams. And, sure, Ellie knows it’s kinda weird to have a friend no one else can see, but since her real-world friends currently number one, she figures an imaginary friend can only improve her social life. Even better, since he isn’t real, she can tell dream-guy-Gabe anything, without ever worrying that he’ll ditch her for someone cooler or embarrass her by blabbing her secrets. And so what if she happens to have an itsy-bitsy crush on her reality-challenged friend? Who’s it hurting, really? But things are about to get complicated, because there’s a new guy in school—a guy with hauntingly familiar eyes. A guy who knows things about Ellie that he shouldn’t have any way of knowing… What Dreams May Come on Amazon

Book Bundle #2

Fire in Frost by Alicia Rades

fire in frostCrystal Frost has spent her whole life believing she's ordinary, and her mother has long held the secret of her heritage. When Crystal begins seeing the ghost of a dead classmate, her life spirals out of control. She’s faced with the threat that everyone will find out she’s a freak, as if the struggle to figure out her new-found abilities wasn’t enough pressure. Crystal has to find some way to save the people who have come to her for help all while trying to keep her abilities a secret. Will she be able to fulfill these overwhelming demands while solving the mystery that is the ghost of Olivia Owen? Fire in Frost on Amazon

The Broken Destiny by Carlyle Labuschagne

the broken destiny
"You cannot know what light is if you have not experienced darkness."
Ava and her people have been exiled to the planet Poseidon for reasons she can't fathom. Upon meeting a boy from a different sector, her life turns into a beautiful chaos. She begins to feel things she isn't allowed to, thus motivating her to find out the truth about why her kind are so different, and why the Council are so interested in her.
Once her mind is freed, with it comes a terrible power that could either save her kind, or destroy them all. But Ava is not the perfect heroine. She will become what she hates to save the ones she loves, and the cost of such a burden is deadly at best.

First Impression by Pauleen Creeden

first impression
Chira Kelly thought she didn’t need anyone…until she met Ben.
Because of one ugly rumor, Chira lives as an outcast at her school. Which is fine with her, because she works better alone. Always has, always will. And at least she has her one and only true friend, Tasha. When Tasha insists that they join a group to visit a possibly haunted abandoned old schoolhouse, she's wary, but joins her friend. Because of that decision, their lives are in jeopardy as a malevolent spirit targets the group.
Tragedies and accidents pick them off one by one, and Chira finds herself drawn to the one person who can see the truth. But can he protect her?

Beggar Magic by H.L. Burke

beggar magicIn Gelia City, magic is music: a constant ever-changing melody known as the Strains. Hereditary ability to use the Strains divides the city into two classes: the wealthy Highmost, who can access the full potential of the Strains, and the Common tradesmen, who are limited to mundane spells, known as beggar magic. With the help of the Strains, Common teen Leilani rescues and befriends a gifted Highmost girl, Zebedy. The girls’ friendship opens Leilani’s eyes to the world of the Highmost. She’s intrigued by Zeb’s close relationship with the Strains, and longs to know them as she does. Zeb, in turn, comes to depend on Leilani’s strength and intelligence, making them an inseparable team, ready to take on anything with the Strains at their back. As their unlikely friendship strengthens and endures, Zeb draws Leilani further into the Highmosts’ intrigues. Beneath the polished, academic facade of the Highmost manors lurks a threat to the Strains. An unknown force consumes their music, leaving only heart-rending silence behind. Leilani and Zeb will do anything to save their beloved Strains, but as the silence grows, they face danger their previously sheltered lives could never prepare them for. Whoever is behind the death of the Strains is willing to kill to keep their secret safe. To preserve the Strains, the girls may have to sacrifice their friendship, or even their lives. Beggar Magic on Amazon

Short story collection - Celebrations from New Pangaea by Brenda Duffey

celebrations from new pangea"Celebrations from New Pangaea" is a collection of four short stories designed for adolescents ages 13-18. The main characters are male or female adolescents facing the challenges of adolescence involving separation from home and family as they try to make sense of historical and cultural events that have impacted their ability to do so successfully. "Springtime Comes to New Pangaea" introduces a young female of Iranian birth and culture violently forced from her home at age five and her coming of age in Albuquerque, New Mexico during the Iranian Nowruz (spring) celebration. "Juneteeth" is the story of a young man living in the Portland neighborhood of Louisville, Kentucky. The story revolves around the African-American emancipation celebration known as "Juneteeth." In the summer before Devon Alcorn's senior year at Shawnee High School, he comes to terms with the roots of his slave ancestry at a family reunion held at My Old Kentucky Home State Park in Bardstown, Kentucky. "A Thanksgiving Story" is an account of a 16 year old indentured servant brought to North America by the Pilgrims in 1621. Dorothy tells the story of the journey across the Atlantic on the Mayflower and the struggle to survive the first winter at Plymouth Colony. After her Pilgrim family turns against the gentle Abenaki who had been so instrumental in her survival as well as that of the entire colony, Dorothy runs away to live with the Abenaki and finds her female voice and place in society. "The Season" takes the reader on a fantasy through Middle Earth at a time when gun violence and climate change are threatening the very existence of the inhabitants who have forgotten "the reason for the season." A sensitive fifteen year old violinist journeys to the top of the mountain to learn from an old priest, Friar Assalam, the story of the season written on ancient tablets long since lost to the citizens of Newkirk. It is then that Gavril brings the sweet music of the robin's song to restore the peace and good will long ago lost to the inhabitants of the village. This collection of stories is highly suitable as reading material for adolescents in their high school English or history classes. The intent is to bring awareness of a coming together of all the diverse groups in the United States to begin the process of finding unity instead of polarization and the building of a New Pangaea. Celebrations of New Pangea on Amazon

Beyond Vica by T.C. Booth

beyond vica Gabby and her two best friends share a constellation in the sky named VICA. The trio named the constellation that tells the tale of their childhood friendship. Now that Gabby is fifteen, this tale written in the stars means more than ever. Gabby finds herself facing the threat of losing her best friend, Sam to cancer. On top of that, she develops a crush on the other friend, Brody. She fears the friendship will fall apart and feels alone. To complicate matters, Sam's condition brings back memories that Gabby has not allowed to surface since she was five. As Gabby's world crashes down on her, she's forced to face the realities of life, death, grief, and love. How will she survive without the friendship that's written in the stars? Beyond Vica on Amazon

Book Bundle #3

Chasing Clarity by Sylvia Stein

chasing clarity
What happens when you lose the love of your life tragically and are left to pick up the pieces? Mia Gerard is about to find out. Mia has just lost Leo Dancy, her best friend and soul mate. His absence seems unbearable, but suddenly, an opportunity that she can’t turn down arises. She’s offered a teaching position in The New York Dance Academy of Performing Arts. At first, she’s overwhelmed, still dealing with the loss of Leo. But eventually, she allows herself to heal when she meets Henry Watson, a painter with aspirations of having his own exhibit one day, or does she?
As Mia and Henry become closer, Henry develops feelings for Mia, but she’s still unable to love. When Henry can’t have what he wants, he decides to move back to London with his agent and friend, Trina Michaels. Mia may lose him forever, and she’s faced with having the clarity to chase after Henry or let him walk away. Which will she choose?
Note: Winners will receive an ARC of Chasing Clarity.

Eden: The Complete Series by Janelle Stalder

This edition is the complete collection of the Eden Series, including all four books:
Eden Eden-West Eden-South Eden-East
PLUS an exclusive preview of the upcoming spin-off series, Elysium. Individual books still sold separately.
Eden is an epic Fantasy ride, following a young boy who is thrown into a world on the brink of war. Along with an ensemble cast of captivating characters, he begins a journey that will change his life and make him question everything he’s ever known.

Destiny: New Avalon Book 1 by Andrea Buginsky

destiny Constantly teased and taunted by the popular girls, Elena Baxter desperately wants to fit in. On her sweet sixteenth, she receives two shocking gifts: telekinesis and the surprising truth about her heritage. With high hopes that things will be different now, Elena returns to school to find that nothing has changed. Only this time her hurt feelings and frustration boil into something even she cannot understand. When her powers explode, chaos ensues and she learns that her new ability is greater than she ever desired. As she learns to control her powers, Elena discovers there’s so much more to her heritage than she ever imagined. Destiny on Amazon

A Mighty Fortress by Faith Blum

a mighty fortress
Joshua and Ruth Brookings are traveling by stagecoach to finally join their parents in Montana. Attacked by murderous outlaws, the teens barely escape with their lives and must survive in the barren Wyoming and Montana territories and escape the man who's hunting them.
Seven years ago, Jed Stuart ran away from home and joined Tom's gang. Jed is tired of the lawlessness and wants out. The only problem? He is the boss's right-hand man and will never be able to leave. And what's one more stagecoach robbery, anyway? Can Joshua lean on God's strength to keep himself and his sister alive until they find a town? Will Jed be able to face his anger or will it consume him completely? All three are running--the hunter and hunted. What will happen when they meet?

True Colors by Melissa Pearl

true colors
Caitlyn Davis always cruised through life, not being the type to ruffle feathers or involve herself in high school drama. That is, until a chance encounter with a strange, homeless man changes everything.
Suddenly, Caitlyn has the ability to see behind people's masks. She discovers that her life isn't as simple as she imagined and high school is filled with secrets...some very sinister ones.
Unable to ignore her new gift, Caitlyn embarks on a mission to learn why one of her friends suddenly appears terrified, but masks her fear with a bright, smiling veneer. Will Caitlyn's new ability lead her into hot water? Or is her new found vision a blessing that will expose her friends' true colors? Her quest will lead Caitlyn to lose friends, stand up for those in need, and even find love. At Palisades High School every face tells a story...

Amanda Moonstone: The Missing Prince by Dan Wright

amanda moonstone One mistake can haunt a person forever and no one knows that more than Amanda Moonstone. In a time when people shun and fear magic, Amanda chooses to practice it. Her powers stem from the Dragon gems–mysterious jewels that allow her to manipulate and wield various elements. And one of them—the Blood gem—is the most powerful of them all and comes with a high price. After losing everything, Amanda stumbles across a lost boy, who happens to be a Prince, of whom there is a large reward for his safe return. His reward will solve everything. But will it? Or is there more to life than just magic and money? Amanda Moonstone: The Missing Prince on Amazon

Book Bundle #4

Savage Run by E.J. Squires

savabe run
Seventeen-year-old Heidi Cruise has one chance at freedom, but it involves breaking the law and completing Savage Run, a life-threatening, male-only obstacle course program.
Nicholas Volkov has one goal: to make sure when he becomes president over the hierarchical society of Newland that he doesn't follow in his tyrannical father's footsteps. After Heidi registers for Savage Run, Nicholas discovers that she's a girl. Being a rebel in his own right, Nicholas doesn't turn her in, but decides to help in any way possible. Heidi struggles through the obstacle courses in Savage Run. Physically and emotionally drained, it is only during downtime between events that she's able to make sense of her world and get a little closer to the secretive Nicholas. But with the threat of death constantly barreling down on her, and with menacing contestants looming around every obstacle, she realizes that the chances of her getting killed are far greater than winning her freedom.

The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw by Suzy Turner

the ghost of josiah grimshaw Adopted sisters Lana Beth and Emma Jane are polar opposites, but when the same strange 'tattoo' suddenly appears and winds its way up their bodies within days of each other, they soon realize there's more to their relationship than they could ever have imagined. Sent off to London for two weeks of 'work experience', the Morgan Sisters soon find themselves being initiated into the ancient Praxos Foundation, one that protects the innocent while fighting evil, both human and supernatural. At the same time, Lana Beth and Emma Jane must also investigate why the sweet but sometimes pesky ghost of Josiah Grimshaw just won't leave them alone. The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw on Amazon

Worlds Apart: Ruination by Amanda Thome

ruination What if everything came down to a single test? If your life was defined at seventeen, could you handle it? Could you accept your fate leaving the ones you love, or would you risk it all and stay? One test stands between Vanessa and Central. One chance to make the leap across the walls to a better life. At seventeen, Central considers Vanessa an adult. Her labor role, marriage, and housing divisions will be dictated by her performance on the leap. Dedication and unfaltering friendship has bonded Vanessa to Garrett as they fight for their chance to leap into Central. But what happens when love overtakes reason? When defiance in the name of love creates an unintentional fracture in their nation. Without warning Vanessa is at the mercy of the nation that’s supposed to protect her. Exiled and abandoned she must fight but she find’s she’s not alone. With her heart divided she seeks her revenge, but will her stand be enough? Ruination on Amazon

Ashlynn's Dreams by Julie C. Gilbert

ashlynn's dreams
Twelve-year-old Jillian Blairington is just an ordinary girl — bright, brave, and sometimes a bit too headstrong for her own good. She never thought she was particularly special or different than anybody else.
She was wrong. Everything changes the day she and her babysitter, Danielle, are kidnapped and taken to a secret scientific facility. There Jillian learns she has a new name, Ashlynn, and a strange connection to the other children at the lab. They each have powerful abilities, Gifts that Jillian doesn’t quite understand. As if that wasn’t enough to absorb, Jillian discovers she has a Gift of her own — the power to enter other people’s dreams. Jillian’s task seems simple enough: the scientists want her to use her ability to find another Gifted child who has disappeared. But the longer Jillian stays in the facility, the more she realizes that nothing is as it seems ... and everybody has secrets. Besides, the boy's life is not the only one at stake. The scientists will stop at nothing to force Jillian's cooperation, even if that means threatening Danielle. Jillian knows they have to get free. But after all they’ve seen, will they ever truly escape?

Finding Me by Dawn Brazil

finding meSixteen-year-old Chloe Carmichael’s perfect world is in chaos. It’s not because she has a vision of her boyfriend murdered. And then he’s found dead exactly as she saw. It’s not because she suddenly has the ability to move objects when she’s upset. It’s kinda cool to close a door without touching it. It’s not her overbearing mother who only cares about appearances. Chloe’s grown accustomed to her families distance. So what has Chloe cringing in fear? It’s a love that defies reason. It’s a love that speaks to the heart. It demands attention. But Chloe struggles with a love that exposes the soul. What will her family think? What will her friends think? And is she worthy of his love. It’s having to become another person for a new group of people. Chloe knows she’s not perfect but apparently she was when she was Amanda in another life. Her new friends won’t let her forget. It’s the stench of death that hoovers over her every move. It’s the threat of finality as she tries to acclimate to a life of super human proportions. It’s an enemy she can’t see, doesn’t remember, and can be anyone she’s ever known. But her enemy knows her well. She’s the lone person with the ability to destroy him. But she doesn’t remember. And it’s never discovering who she really is before finality meets reality. Finding Me on Amazon

Spirit Vision by Morgan Straughan Comnick

spirit vision If God gave you a mission, would you answer His call? The Lord has given Stary, a high school freshman, a mission: extinguish the evil residing in the murderer of two teens—Maren and Umbra. Stary never imagined that her strange visions meant that she was the Spirit Warrior for God and now with her powers activated, she must train to use them and try not to get caught by the murderer who has the ability to hide and conjure up the dark powers from the fallen angel himself—Lucifer. If Stary fails, not only will she lose her life, but Maren and Umbra will lose their entry into heaven and the world will be exposed to the madness of the murderer for the next forty years until the new Spirit Warrior is born. Spirit Vision on Amazon