Thursday, January 29, 2015

Guest Post: Ryan Graudin of All That Burns+Giveaway


All That Burns (All That Glows #2)
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: February 10th 2015
Blurb:
In this thrilling sequel to All That Glows, the worlds of magic and mortal are colliding as London celebrates its new king, marking an era of unity between the Faery realm and the human one. Emrys, the Faery guard to the British royal family, sacrificed her powers to be with King Richard, choosing love over immortality. But now, as Emrys struggles to navigate her place between the Faery queen’s court and London’s lavish galas, danger looms beyond the Thames.When a prisoner with dark, strange magic breaks out of Queen Titania’s labyrinthine prison, endangering Emrys's king and sparking an uprising, Emrys must make the hardest decision of all.

Will she reclaim her magic to save Richard’s life and lose him forever? Or stay powerless as the kingdom goes down in flames?




1. I was a competitive synchronized swimmer as a teenager. I belonged to the only synchronized swimming team in South Carolina and we would travel out of state to Georgia, Florida and Virginia for competitions. We made our own costumes (with LOTS of sequins) and wore tons of waterproof makeup for our routines. It took at least 5 thorough washes to get all of the Knox gelatin out of our hair.

2. My part time job in college was as a waitress at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. I had to memorize trivia games about the movie to ask every table I served. My younger brother worked at the same restaurant and had to wear a full sized “Shrimp Louie” costume while hula-hooping on the sidewalk.

3. If I get my hands on a box of Cheddar Jack Cheez Its, I will inhale it.

4. At five years old I was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson White Syndrome. A condition where an abnormal electrical pathway develops in a person’s heart. The problem was solved by a heart catheter, and hasn’t affected me since.

5. I had dreadlocks in college.

6. I got married at twenty-one. A lot of people thought I was too young. I regret nothing. My husband is my best friend, someone who share all of my adventures and constantly challenges me to be the best version of myself.

7. I had a lot of extra-curricular activities as an adolescent, including singing in a choir. This afforded me the opportunity to see Europe at a younger age (travels which eventually inspired ALL THAT GLOWS and ALL THAT BURNS). One of the most amazing things I got to do with them was sing for Sunday morning mass at Notre Dame in Paris. A breathtaking experience, to be sure.

8. If I could shop at only one store for the rest of my life it would be Anthropologie.

9. I occasionally moonlight as a wedding photographer to earn money to buy clothes at said store.

10. One of my most life-changing experiences (and the inspiration for my second novel THE WALLED CITY) was a trip I took to Phnom Penh, Cambodia when I was twenty years old. I was with a program called Global Urban Trek, which exposes people to third world poverty through incarnational living. I lived with a family in the slums for six weeks.



by Ryan Graudin



Ryan Graudin is doing a preorder special through her local indie Blue Bicycle Books. You can pre-order a signed copy of All That Burns and get a free ALL THAT BURNS tea (a ginger plum flavored black tea). Don’t miss this special offer! Click here to pre-order a signed copy of All That Burns.
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Follow the All That Burns by Ryan Graudin Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.


About the Author 
My name is Ryan and I've been writing ever since I grabbed one of my dad's old tax ledgers and created this masterpiece: see image.

My writing has since improved, though my obsession with wolves has remained relatively the same (I even own a wolf-hybrid pup.) My childhood was a happy, sunny thing. I grew up on a steady diet of fairytales, salt-marshes, music and brothers who would re-enact Redwall battles with me in the back yard. I went to an artsy sort of high-school that allowed cello recitals in the hallways and impromptu poetry slams in the cafeteria. It was there I decided that writing was what I wanted to do more than anything.

I'm officially a grownup now (I suppose one must admit that once they turn 26). My diet still includes fairytales, salt-marshes and art, but there are a few new loves thrown in. A big one is travel. Pieces of my heart are scattered like breadcrumbs all over the globe--I've bartered them off for writing inspiration, so I suppose it's a fair trade.

When I'm not cramming my earthly belongings into a backpack and waiting in airport security lines, I'm doing one of the following: Writing YA novels, Photographing weddings with my husband, Making our little white cottage more homey, Playing with my wolf pup, Trying out Korean r├ęcipes, Haunting local coffee shops with my friends.
Follow her on these sites:



Win (1) of (2) signed copies of All That Burns by Ryan Graudin (US Only)


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.

A COLD LEGACY
by Megan Shepherd
Pub. Date: January 27, 2015
Publisher: Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins
Pages: 400
Find it: AmazonBarnes & Noble
Blurb:
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 


Hello! 

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
Blurb:
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:





(Philippines+International)



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