Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A COLD LEGACY Release Day Blast+Giveaway

I am so excited that A COLD LEGACY by Megan Shepherd releases today and that I get to share the news, along with an excerpt from the book!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Megan Shepherd, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blast also includes a giveaway for a signed copy of the book and swag courtesy of Megan and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

by Megan Shepherd
Pub. Date: January 27, 2015
Publisher: Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins
Pages: 400
Find it: AmazonBarnes & Noble
After killing the men who tried to steal her father’s research, Juliet—along with Montgomery, Lucy, Balthazar, and a deathly ill Edward—has escaped to a remote estate on the Scottish moors. Owned by the enigmatic Elizabeth von Stein, the mansion is full of mysteries and unexplained oddities: dead bodies in the basement, secret passages, and fortune-tellers who seem to know Juliet’s secrets. Though it appears to be a safe haven, Juliet fears new dangers may be present within the manor’s own walls.

Then Juliet uncovers the truth about the manor’s long history of scientific experimentation—and her own intended role in it—forcing her to determine where the line falls between right and wrong, life and death, magic and science, and promises and secrets. And she must decide if she’ll follow her father’s dark footsteps or her mother’s tragic ones, or whether she’ll make her own.

With inspiration from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, this breathless conclusion to the Madman’s Daughter trilogy is about the things we’ll sacrifice to save those we love—even our own humanity. 

Montgomery stopped the horses outside a tavern. He came to the carriage door, opening it just a crack to keep the rain from drenching us. “I’m going to ask directions. We can’t be far now.”

We watched him saunter over the muddy street as though he didn’t even feel the bite of freezing rain. A face appeared in the tavern window. The door opened and he spoke to a woman in a wool dress for a few moments, then stomped back through the mud. “This village is called Quick,” he told us. “The manor’s only five miles from here.”

“Did you hear that?” Lucy murmured to Edward, still stroking his hair. “We’re almost there. Just hold on. Everything will be all right once we arrive.”

Montgomery’s eyes shifted to me. Neither of us wanted to remind Lucy that the prospect of Edward’s fever breaking—and the Beast’s reappearance—was almost more frightening than the fever itself. Delirious, he was less of a threat.

“Let’s go then,” I whispered to Montgomery. “And quickly.”

He closed the door and in another moment we were moving again, passing through the rest of Quick. Then all too soon the village was nothing but fading lights. The storm grew and the road became rougher, and all the while Edward’s eyes rolled back and forth beneath shuttered lids.

Thunder struck close by, and Lucy shrieked. Montgomery whipped the horses harder, pulling us along the uneven road impossibly fast, trying to outrun the storm. I twisted in the seat to look out the back window at the pelting rain. A stone fence ran alongside us.

“We must be getting close,” I said.

“Not soon enough,” Lucy breathed. “We’re going to crash if he keeps driving like this!”

The road widened, straightening, letting us travel even faster. Lightning struck close by, blinding me. The horses bolted. Lucy screamed and covered her eyes, but I couldn’t tear mine away. The lightning had struck an enormous oak tree, twisted from centuries of wind. The oak took flame, blazing despite the rain. A smoking gash ran down the trunk—the lightning’s death mark. I watched until the rain put out most of the flames, but it still smoldered, billowing hot ash into the night.

The horses pawed the earth, and I grabbed the window to steady myself. At this wild speed, just hitting a single rock at the wrong angle would send the carriage shattering to the ground. It was madness to go so fast. Couldn’t Montgomery calm the horses?

Just when I feared the carriage would careen out of control, it stopped short, throwing me against the opposite wall. I tangled in Lucy’s limbs as the chains around Edward’s body clinked. Balthazar grunted, jerking awake at last. We scrambled in the bottom of the carriage until the door flew open.
Montgomery stood in the pelting rain. I feared he’d say we’d broken another strut or the horses had gone lame or we’d have to spend the night in the harsh storm.

But then I saw the lights behind him, and the night took shape into a turreted stone manor with bright lamps blazing and gargoyles on the roof vomiting rain into a stone courtyard.

Montgomery’s eyes met mine beneath the low brim of his hat.

“We’ve arrived,” he said.

About the Author 


I’ve been many things, like a professional exchange student, park ranger in Montana, and LOST enthusiast, but what I am now is a writer.

I think it’s fair to say I was born into it. I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina, raised behind the counter of my parents’ independent bookstore, Highland Books in Brevard. Ah, so many free books. But I never thought being a writer could be a real career. After college I thought I’d end up as a foreign service officer somewhere dashing and exotic, like Canada. I studied French, Spanish, German, and Russian and still speak a few of those. Then I joined the Peace Corps and spent two years in Senegal, where I learned a few more languages I’ll never speak again and lived in a mud hut with no electricity or running water. You can probably imagine how that experience went, but if you’re curious, here are the dirty details

It wasn't until a chance aquaintance read something I wrote and said, "have you ever considered being a writer?" that something clicked and I realized it was possible. My husband encouraged me, and I quickly fell head-over-heels in love with writing and children's literature in particular. I started out writing articles, which have appeared in Faces, Appleseeds, and Calliope magazines, and stories for younger children. I soon realized I wasn’t sweet enough to write fiction for that age and found myself writing young adult literature instead, which doesn’t require nearly as many tender moments and includes a lot more cursing.

When I'm not writing, I can usually be found horseback riding, day dreaming at coffee shops, or hiking in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. I love to hear from readers, so please drop me a line!

I am represented by Josh Adams of Adams Literary.
Author Photo by Kristi Hedberg Photography

Follow her on these sites:

1 winner will receive a signed copy of A COLD LEGACY and swag! US Only.
Ends on February 6th at Midnight EST!

There will also be a Twitter Chat hosted by Veronica Rossi on Jan.27, 8-9pm EST with Megan Shepherd. Join in the chat for a chance to win prizes! Don't forget to use #ACOLDLEGACYCHAT in your tweets.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Guest Post&Review: Only a Kiss by Ines Bautista-Yao + Giveaway

Hello everyone! It is Monday again and here in the Philippines we just had our long weekend. Last Thursday Pope Francis visited us and even though I wasn't able to see him in person, I can feel the holiness he brings upon his arrival to all the Filipinos. And just what I've said earlier we had a long vacation and this will not be completed without some reading *waggle eyebrows* So yesterday I read Only a Kiss by Ines Bautista-Yao, a very cute story, for its blog tour which starts now! Below is my review of the book and 10 things that we probably don't know about Ines. Don't forget to add the book on your tbr and join the giveaway! :)

When Katie was nine yrs. old she knew that Chris would be her first kiss, not because she was in love with him but because he’s the only one who really knows her and could make him do anything she wanted.  But then things started to change, they met other people and parted ways.  When one particular boy came into the picture, their lives were suddenly thrown upside down. Will these two best friends find their way back to each other or they’ll have to live without the other one?

Only a Kiss is indeed a cute story that will have you treasure those little things. I was hooked from the very first page I get to know these two characters, there were only hundred pages in this book but their story was told thoughtfully. I adore Katie and Chris protectiveness with each other, their relationship from being friends to lovers was showed seamless. In the first part of the story I could see that Katie was the outspoken one, she doesn’t back down and a tough girl for her age. But with these strong personalities hides a soft heart that is evidently when it comes to Chris. While Chris is also the rock to Katie’s life, he stands up with her and guards her in every way he can. But then as the story goes these two lovable characters started to grow and met other people. They experienced feelings and changes that affects to their friendship throughout the story. 

The story was written with different scenarios of Katie and Chris life with their point of views. Some of these incidents were brief because of the few pages the book requires and I have no problem with that until I came in to the conclusion. I felt that there should have been more pages in this part, yes I got the happy ending I hope for but it was told hastily and the kilig moment that I felt were short-lived because of this. 

To sum it up, Only a Kiss was a good book to star this year. A book that is not just a book but a story that tells an enjoyable and humble relationship with friends turns lovers with just the right amount of sweetness. 

Only a Kiss
by Ines Bautista-Yao
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher:  Chamber Shell Publishing
Release Date:  November 29, 2014
When she was nine-years-old, Katie knew she wanted Chris to give her her first kiss. It wasn’t because she was in love with him (no way, he was her best friend! Besides, she was in love with his fourteen-year-old big brother), it was because she could make him do anything she wanted.

Besides, it didn't really mean anything. It was only a kiss after all.

But then things started to change. They grew up. They parted ways and went to different high schools. And other girls and boys—well, just one particular boy—came into the picture, throwing their lives upside down.

Told from the alternating points of view of Katie and Chris, this love story between two best friends will tug at your heartstrings and leave you thinking how the simplest things can mean so much.

You can purchase Only a Kiss at the following Retailers:
 Amazon | Buqo.ph
The book is on sale for ONLY $0.99 until February 14!

There isn't a lot that people don’t know about me. I’m very open about my writing life plus I have a blog where I write about my mommy life. These are the two seemingly separate sides to me and since I’m quite transparent about both, I actually bump into people who tell me they feel as if they know so much about me (and my kids)!

But they really don’t. Here are 10 things I’m pretty sure only a handful know.

I love animals. When I was in my second year of high school, I owned two dogs, two rabbits, a mongoose, and a Myna bird. A classmate actually drew a picture of me surrounded by all my animals, wearing a zookeeper’s uniform. Today, however, I see what my sister-in-law goes through (she’s a real vet, and an awesome one at that), and I know for a fact that it is definitely not something I can (or want to) do anymore.

I spent a month in England studying English and touring the country. It was one of the most memorable experiences I have ever had. And I remember crying because I was turning 17 without my family. Then a kind Filipina who spotted my group walking along some quaint shops in Tunbridge Wells invited us over to her house and baked me a birthday cake!

I’m not a diehard fan. There are many out there, apparently. But I am a fan nonetheless. I religiously watched Voyager while it was airing and when I was in second grade, I played Luke while my classmates and I did our daily Star Wars role play!

I love the coconut ones (macaroons), but I’ll pass on the pretty, Parisian kind. I know. Horrible. I really wish I did. Just because they’re so pretty.

It’s my husband’s biggest frustration because he’s a neat freak, but books and papers have overtaken our home. I’m trying to fix it though. But between writing my next book and tidying up… well, it’s a tough call.

So everyone calls me Manang.

I even won a best actress award in my freshman year and played the lead when we staged The Glass Menagerie. But I can’t imagine acting in anything today!

I wanted to do something fun so I wrote a “ransom note” from some aliens saying they had kidnapped their English teacher (me!) and would only return me if the students answered the exam questions correctly. Now that I think about it, what if the students had said, “We don’t want her back. We don’t need to answer this!”? Thank goodness no one did. And they even wrote me notes saying they totally enjoyed it!

This explains why I’m confused! I was born in between the zodiac signs Aries and Taurus. So when people ask me what my sign is, I tell them both. And I get to read both signs when I read my horoscope. The problem? They’re usually never aligned. Oh well. Who says you should listen to signs anyway?

My first job included going to different preschools with a Hershey’s Kiss mascot and giving away chocolates to the kids. At one of the schools, the dancer who was supposed to wear the costume didn’t show up! The costume was there, but the dancer was nowhere in sight. With the kids clamoring for the Hershey’s Kiss they had been promised, I wondered if I could do it. I put on the costume and did a silly dance. What made it all worthwhile was when one of the kids hugged me and said, “I love you.” 

Thank you so much for such a candid post, Ines!  

About the Author 
Ines Bautista-Yao is the author of One Crazy Summer, What’s in your Heart, and Only a Kiss. She has also written two short stories, “Flashbacks and Echoes,” which is part of a compilation called All This Wanting and “A Captured Dream,” one of the four short stories in Sola Musica: Love Notes from a Festival.

She is the former editor-in-chief of Candy and K-Zone magazines and a former high school and college English and Literature teacher.  She is also a wife and mom and blogs about the many challenges and joys of motherhood at theeverydayprojectblog.com. She has recently launched The Author Project, a section in her current blog devoted to the stories in her head: http://theeverydayprojectblog.com/inesbyao-author-project/

She posts on Instagram and tweets @inesbyao and her author page is facebook.com/inesbautistayao.

Follow her on these sites:


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Guest Post: Hellhole by Gina Damico+Giveaway(INT)

In HELLHOLE, Max commits a tiny little, insignificant-in-the-grand-scope-of-things sin. A sinlet, if you will. Yet even this teensy transgression is big enough to summon a devil, and if this were really the way things worked around Hell, I’ve got news for you: I’d have popped up a satanic being loooong ago.

Specifically, at the end of sophomore year.

Before I begin, I would like to point out that overall I was a very good kid. I never got in trouble. Much like Max, the protagonist in HELLHOLE, I was terrified of getting into trouble. I was the goodiest of goodie-two-shoes, which makes the following story all the more scandalous.

My high school drama club had just finished up a rousing production of Oklahoma. We’d had a successful run and we were ready to party the night away at the cast party. It was being held at one of the senior’s houses, plus the director was there, a few teachers were there, and we generally had a nice, clean, fun time.

But the night wore on. The teachers went home. And by the time midnight rolled around, there was only a handful of us left. So we took the only sane, logical next step: we decided to play truth or dare.

I won’t go into too many specifics of what a bunch of unsupervised, slightly horny theater geeks got up to in the suburbs in the middle of the night. Let’s just say that there was chocolate sauce licked off of someone’s stomach, there were pretzels mischievously placed on someone’s car (ooh, we were bad!) there was some making out, a plastic cup was seduced, and a whole bunch of other weird things happened that I can’t remember. But I do remember when the night took a Turn.

The setup at this house was like so: there was a back porch with a pool set into it, and the outdoor lights were pointed directly at the pool, so that the small edge of porch that surrounded it was lit up like a stage. (Am I describing this well? Whatever, it’s not like I’m a writer or anything.) One of the senior guys was dared to moon everyone, so he went to that well-lit area and promptly dropped trou. And then the inevitable next dare came: the girls were to flash the boys.

At this point in the night, there were only four of us girls, one of whom was the host of the party. We somehow came to a consensus that yes, we would do this (why? why?) so we lined up on the “stage”, lifted our shirts, and completed our dare.

And right on cue, a disembodied voice from within the house declared: “PARTY. OVER.”

Yep. Her parents had been watching us the entire time.

Thanks for having me!

Release date: January 6, 2015
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Pages: 368
There was a time when geeky, squeaky-clean Max Kilgore would never lie or steal or even think about murder. Then he accidentally unearths a devil, and Max’s choices are no longer his own. The big red guy has a penchant for couch surfing and junk food—and you should never underestimate evil on a sugar high.

With the help of Lore, a former goth girl who knows a thing or two about the dark side, Max is racing against the clock to get rid of the houseguest from hell before time, and all the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos this side of the fiery abyss, run out.

You can purchase Hellhole at the following Retailers:

About the Author 

Gina Damico is the author of Croak, Scorch, and Rogue, the grim-reapers-gone-wild books of the Croak trilogy. She has also dabbled as a tour guide, transcriptionist, theater house manager, scenic artist, movie extra, office troll, retail monkey, yarn hawker and breadmonger. A native of Syracuse, New York, she now lives outside Boston with her husband, two cats, and one dog, and while she has never visited hell in person, she has spent countless waking hours at the Albany Regional Bus Terminal, which is pretty darn close. Visit her website at www.ginadami.co.

Follow her on these sites

The Hellhole Book Trailer 

The Giveaway

We are giving away a Hardcover copy of HELLHOLE to TWO WINNERS
Giveaway is open to anywhere The Book Depository ships.
Giveaway ends on January 21st at 11:59 p.m. Pacific.

Gina’s Giveaway

Hey there book fans! I'm running a Follow Frenzy giveaway over the course of this blog tour, and the prize is pretty neato: a signed copy of HELLHOLE wherein each chapter will have a little bit of trivia and/or a doodle handwritten by yours truly. (Gina) (Damico) To enter, all you have to do is follow me on one or more of my various social media outlets (TwitterFacebookTumblrInstagramYoutube), then fill out this adorable little form

 That's it! The more things you follow, the more chances you will earn to win. Good luck!

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