Monday, July 30, 2012

Dark Sentinels – Book One: Sable By Dariel Raye

Dark Sentinels – Book One: Sable

Sable, a sentinel wolf shifter, is captured and locked in his wolf form until Akila, a veterinarian, tries to tame him and unleashes a 6'5" baby blue-eyed surprise.

Dr. Akila Marshall is a veterinarian with a calling – save as many stray animals as possible. The only child of wealthy, yet distant parents, she’s convinced that love is not for her. Until…

Sable’s search for his twin sister leads him to Akila. Born into a rare species of wolf shifters whose main purpose is protecting others, he has always been forced to fend for himself, but Akila’s loving, protective nature draws him – and not a moment too soon. Together, they must learn to trust each other enough to overcome a new, deadly enemy.

Who Are The Dark Sentinels?

They lived millions of years ago, fatalities of fear and prejudice. Now, answers to a prayer for survival, they are among us again. Other shifters were nearly extinct, murdered by the thousands at mostly human hands. Capable of shifting at will, without the aid of the moon’s phases, they were born to protect them. Bigger, stronger, faster, and longer living, with highly developed preternatural abilities, they are prized outsiders among their packs. Prized for their ability to protect, yet destined to live as outsiders because of the very differences necessary to prevent the pack’s extinction.

Born to stand at the crossroads between pack-members and their slaughterers, Sentinels quickly learn that they are on their own – a different species. Born human, only two are born to each pack, male and female alphas, brother and sister. Pack members deny them mating privileges within the pack based on fear. No female wants to bear a sentinel because their lives are constantly at risk. When danger comes to the pack, they are on the front line, considered expendable.


When they reach mating age, they leave the pack for a time to find a mate – another sentinel. What happens when a sentinel develops feelings for a human? What happens when malevolent scientists learn how to strengthen humans by using sentinel blood?  As you can imagine, with their feral nature barely beneath the surface, Dark Sentinel passions run high. Touch, affection, and loyalty are necessary for their survival, and they are willing to go to extraordinary measures, risk everything, and break every rule for love.


Visit Dariel's site at http://www.pendarielraye.blogspot.com to find information about her books and music!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1) [Kindle Edition] By George RR Martin is up for grabs - enter to win!

Calling Game Of Thrones Fans - If you haven't read the book yet - here is your opportunity to win an ebook copy from Amazon or a gift voucher to the same value.

Tweet/facebook and follow this blog to win. Place your tweet/facebook post in the comments box below with your name and a contact email to go in the draw.

Competition drawn 31st August 2012. Winner will be notified by email and listed on this blog post.

Competition Facebook page - 

HBO’s hit series A GAME OF THRONES is based on George R. R. Martin’s internationally bestselling series A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age. 

A GAME OF THRONES is the first volume in the series.
Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must … and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty.

The old gods have no power in the south, Stark’s family is split and there is treachery at court. Worse, the vengeance-mad heir of the deposed Dragon King has grown to maturity in exile in the Free Cities. He claims the Iron Throne.

I don't know about you, but I am a huge Game Of Thrones fan - TV series and books.


Will You Be The Next Best Selling Author on Amazon? Advice For New Writers From Published Authors - Comments Welcome

You have to know how to accept rejection and reject acceptance. ~Ray Bradbury

Some writing advice from some wonderful Indie Authors who have been there and done that. 

If you have some helpful advice, please enter it in the comments box below. 

Mel Comley  I'd say don't EVER upload a book until it's been before a PROPER editor and at least 3-4 proof readers. If you're serious about your work prove it. Trad pubbed authors don't or can't release their work without an editor looking it over. :-)


Selso Xisto Get an editor, don't think you'll ever spot all the problems and mistakes by yourself... Also, get a good cover artist; EVERYONE judges a book by it's cover

Julia Crane Don't worry about the first draft just get it on paper and go back to revise. (Several times)


Bryden Lloyd Definitely to read, especially in the genre's you know and wish to write in.
Find like minded individuals and get your name known through their blogs (reciprocating for them, of course).
Above all, I was always told to write for myself. If I don't love and appreciate my work, I shouldn't expect anyone else to.


 Trinity Wise Do your research and know as much as you can about the journey that you are undertaking. Hone your craft, read & write as much as possible..and support others, too.

Deborah Louise Richardson The best advice I ever heard was nobody asked me to do this. I write because I love it, and because I am compelled to do it. So if publishers or editors or ever readers give me feedback - positive or negative - I accept that feedback with good grace and learn from it.
 
Nicole Brooks Try to write everyday, even if it's just a few sentences. The more you write, the more you grow your craft. It's like watering your plants to give them the nutrients they need to grow.

Jonathan Gould Expectations - don't expect things to take off. Knuckle down and keep writing.

Saul Tanpepper Never publish something until it has been read and edited thoroughly by someone looking for spelling and grammatical errors. A good story well told will always be ruined by these kinds of mistakes. Weak dialogue, poor character or plot development can usually be compensated for, but mispellings and poor sentence structure are like spotlights showing your lack of professionalism.

Michelle Hughes Agree with Saul, hire an editor. Don't even think about publishing without one. Seriously it will come back to haunt you.

Writing is far easier than promoting the book. If it's something you really, really want to do, don't let anyone tell you not to. Don't let anyone tell you it's a pointless dream or that it isn't a "real" job. If a potential promoter says they can't help you, don't let that stop you. You may have to do everything yourself, with only the help of friends and others here, but it can still be done.

As I'm also a new writer, I would love any advice on how to promote my book on a budget of $0, who to contact for endorsements, etc.


Philip V. Truman I would echo Jonathan. It's like a preacher once said to me about marriage, and the same would apply here - Lower your expectations, raise your commitment.
 

Nicole Brooks I was told if you can't afford to hire an editor then don't put the book out. LOL.

Kim Northrop Allow yourself to write whatever and however you want. Don't try to follow rigid rules, they just stifle creativity. Try to learn as much grammar and punctuation as you can to save on editing costs. 

Adona Pierre The best advice I received was to re-read, edit and let your words have a voice. Also, not to rush and make it enjoyable for all readers.

Catherine Stovall The best advice I can give is write from the heart and avoid the band wagon and second invest in an editing program. Seriously, it can save your career. You don't have to pay 400.00 for one. The cheap ones work well enough.

Glenn Starkey Before you worry about all the publishing and reviews, first write a work worthy of being read. (that's what I would advise.)

Shiri W Sondheimer Can't be a writer if you don't write.

Robert J. Oliver Be certain, whatever you do, that at the end of the day, writing is still fun for you. If it loses the joy, then it is time to let it go.

Jay Deb Visualize and be close to your characters.

Mark Alan Shaffer I was told to write what I like. And never let anyone tell you you are not good enough!



JT Lewis Author Don't rush your first book before it's ready...I mean REALLY ready.


Michael J Ploof Contact EVERY website that promotes free books and tell them about your free days. Give away at least 500 books and you should see numbers soar. Also category placement is key. But most importantly, write a great book. You can market the hell out of a turd, but it is still a turd.

     

Join active writing/author groups on Facebook that will support you on your journey:
 
Substitute “damn” every time you’re inclined to write “very;” your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain 

Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. ~Anton Chekhov 

Write without pay until somebody offers to pay. ~Mark Twain 

Learn as much by writing as by reading. ~Lord Acton 

I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite. ~G.K. Chesterton 

Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative. ~Oscar Wilde 

Zest. Gusto. How rarely one hears these words used. How rarely do we see people living, or for that matter, creating by them. Yet if I were asked to name the most important items in a writer’s make-up, the things that shape his material and rush him along the road to where he wants to go, I could only warn him to look to his zest, see to his gusto. ~Ray Bradbury 

Stephen King's final piece of advice echoes the wisdom of the ancients: "If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There's no way around these two things that I'm aware of, no shortcut." 


 
Questions you may like to answer in the comments box below: 
Helen Howell I'm a new Indie Author with my release of Jumping At Shadows - I'm doing my best to promote, sent out review copies, gave a couple away in a comp, tweeted and talk about it here. Have already had two 5 star reviews, but what else can I do to promote and get it out there?  



My advice would be - 

Set yourself a daily word count goal. Start with around 300 and slowly increase it until you are writing 1000+ words a day.

Set yourself a realistic release date so you have a reason to write everyday. Writers need a deadline to work towards!

I like to design a cover and pin it on my work board where I write.  This gives me fresh incentive everyday to fill the pages and have the finished book published.

Try not to spend too much time on Facebook - I really need to heed my own advice with this one. Every hour you spend on Facebook is an hour lost to your writing.  Set limits... that is what I try to do - but have also been known to fail many times....


Read tons - great homework for writers.


Find an editor! You can not successfully edit your own writing - no mater how good you are. A lesson usually learned the hard way.

But most of all, the most important advice I can offer is - support you indie friends. You will never want for a better, more supportive group of friends! And I should know, I have the best!  Patti Roberts
   


Kindle Queen - Amanda Hocking's writing tips - HERE

If you have enjoyed this post please Tweet or share on Facebook. Many thanks, Patti


Hacienda Moon By Kassondra Leigh - Paranormal Romance


Hacienda Moon
A Pathseekers Novel

Love, obsession, and betrayal, the most powerful human emotions, are spun together in this gothic novel. 

Tandie Harrison is a police medium who has just suffered a divorce after losing both her psychic visions and her daughter in a car accident. When she leaves New York City to start a new life near her hometown, she moves into the alluring plantation house, Chelby Rose, and falls for its enigmatic caretaker, Eric Fontalvo. Their burgeoning affair ignites a century old curse, ensnaring them in a web of danger, deceit, and intrigue. Soon Tandie learns that in placid Bolivia, the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected.

Hacienda Moon is a seductive tale of one woman’s journey to confront the demons of her past and find the courage to face her future. It is a mesmerizing novel that explores the deepest depths of human nature, and the characters will hold and haunt you long after you have read the final chapter.

Praise for When Copper Suns Fall
“The author's style was fluid and there were lovely passages and lines throughout that I simply loved. The pacing flowed so well I felt like I was on a boat ride, grabbing onto the railings at times when the waves got too rocky until I was able to settle back and begin the ride all over again.”
—The Reader Girls Blog spot

About the Author
KaSonndra Leigh lives in the City of Alchemy, North Carolina. She recently completed her Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and is now looking forward to playing CLUE with her two sons more often. She lives in an L-shaped house with a garden dedicated to her grandmother and where she has also created a secret library complete with fairies, Venetian plastered walls, and a desk made out of clear blue glass.

Publication Date:
July 28, 2012

List Price: $2.99/$12.99

Specs:  ebook, paperback 284 pps.

Wholesale Orders:
Direct from the author

Retail Orders:
Direct from the author
Smashwords

Contact: 
kleigh@kasonndraleigh.com


Facebook: kasonndraleighbookspage

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Kristen Stewart - Give the girl a break!

Give the girl a break. 
Kristen Stewart is just a kid. She is only 22 years old. 
Has she even experience enough love in her short life to know what the real thing is??? 
We have no idea what her relationship with Robert is like.... obviously something was missing...? 
Perhaps what she has done is the biggest mistake of her life... to date. I am sure there are a few more mistakes she is yet to make. 
And everyone should be okay with that. After all, I'm sure we all made a few mistakes ourselves at that age. 
Of course I feel for Robert. I imagine his heart is breaking. Betrayal at any age still hurts.
Kate Coyne, Dr. Logan Levkoff discuss reaction to "Twilight" actress' controversy.  YouTube link
Please feel free to express your own thoughts. 
What now for Robert?
Was the betrayal a blessing in discussed?

I can't imagine how horrible it must feel to have your relationship open to public debate. But I guess that is one of the downsides to fame. You have to take the highs with the lows.

 

 
 

A look at Author Shobhan Bantwal - contemporary Indian-American culture with an unconventional romance

In her thought-provoking, uplifting new novel, Shobhan Bantwal vividly blends the nuances of contemporary Indian-American culture with an unconventional romance...



A Glimpse of India for American Readers
by Shobhan Bantwal - author of The Reluctant Matchmaker


In the American fiction market brimming with Caucasian, African-American, even Latino characters, there are few that are Indian. Despite the rising popularity of ethnic fiction, particularly from Asia, it is still a mere fraction of the thousands of fiction books churned out by American publishing houses each year. So when I decided to step into the difficult-to-penetrate realm of fiction, especially mainstream fiction, I knew it was going to be a serious challenge.

Do American readers and moviegoers know anything at all about the life of an average middle-class Indian man or woman? Not many know a lot about Indian culture. It is not because they choose not to learn; it is because Indian writers and moviemakers have not been effective in portraying the true face of India to American audiences.

The real India lies somewhere between the glitz and glamour of Bollywood movies and the poverty and despair of serious literary novels and documentaries. That is the India I try to capture in my stories, albeit peppered with some romantic drama and high emotional content.

The road to creating shy yet sociable, timid yet sufficiently bold women clad in saris and lehengas, and making them likeable has been a rocky one. Presenting sensitive, soft-hearted males as real men and not wimps, and authoritative males as essentially good at heart to a non-Asian readership is even harder.

I often struggle with the fine balance between explaining and over-explaining an Indian word, custom, tradition or adage. Indians are not prone to emotional displays, so I often have to get into the character’s mind and explicate the finer emotions. My heroes rarely go on angry rampages and my heroines are not likely to have childish tantrums and hurl things at people, therefore descriptive verbs may not suit their actions.

In the end, what I try to portray is an interesting story with a different slant. When elements of an exotic foreign culture are woven into a story that would otherwise have been bland, it turns into a multicultural fiction book. My brand of fiction is what I call “Bollywood in a Book.”





Full Title of the book - THE RELUCTANT MATCHMAKER
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp.
ISBN: 978-0-7582-5885-4
Release date: July 1, 2012

Amazon - HERE


Advance Praise for The Reluctant Matchmaker:
"Bantwal pairs romance with her trademark taste of how Indian expatriates live in New Jersey, complete with family dynamics and tensions between different ethnic groups." -- Publisher's Weekly
"The Reluctant Matchmaker is a very entertaining and easy read. A real page turner!" -- Book Pleasures
"This was a thoroughly enjoyable novel . . . a perfectly absorbing and engaging read." -- Coffee Time Romance

"Bantwal’s latest is a fun romance. Meena’s American modernity clashes with her Indian upbringing in a rebellious manner that will leave readers smiling." -- Romantic Times


Author bio - Shobhan Bantwal is an award-winning author of six multicultural women's fiction books with romantic elements and numerous short stories, branded as "Bollywood in a Book." Her articles have appeared in The Writer magazine, Romantic Times, India Abroad, India Currents, and New Woman. The Reluctant Matchmaker is her latest novel. Shobhan lives with her husband in Arizona. Visit her online at www.shobhanbantwal.com to learn about her books, trailers, contests, photos, recipes, and more. 

Visit my website www.shobhanbantwal.com to learn about my books, contests, videos, recipes, photos, author events, book clubs, and contact information.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Amanda Hocking Fans - The new Watersong series (Win a copy of the ebook - Wake. The first in the series)

To enter the comp, all you have to do is follow this blog, tweet and facebook this post and add your name and contact email below with your tweet and facebook post.

Winner of the ebook will be drawn 31st August. 

Competition Facebook page - 



From Amazon:

Fall under the spell of Wake—the first book in an achingly beautiful new series by celebrated author Amanda Hocking—and lose yourself to the Watersong.
 
Gorgeous. Fearless. Dangerous. They're the kind of girls you envy; the kind of girls you want to hate. Strangers in town for the summer, Penn, Lexi and Thea have caught everyone's attention—but it’s Gemma who’s attracted theirs.  She’s the one they’ve chosen to be part of their group. 

Gemma seems to have it all—she’s carefree, pretty, and falling in love with Alex, the boy next door.  He’s always been just a friend, but this summer they’ve taken their relationship to the next level, and now there’s no going back.  Then one night, Gemma’s ordinary life changes forever.  She’s taking a late night swim under the stars when she finds Penn, Lexi and Thea partying on the cove.  They invite her to join them, and the next morning she wakes up on the beach feeling groggy and sick, knowing something is different. 

Suddenly Gemma is stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever. But her new powers come with a terrifying price.  And as she uncovers the truth, she’s is forced to choose between staying with those she loves—or entering a new world brimming with dark hungers and unimaginable secrets.

Excerpt:

PROLOGUE
Ours
 
Even over the sea, Thea could smell the blood on her. When she breathed in, it filled her with a familiar hunger that haunted her dreams. Except now it disgusted her, leaving a horrible taste in her mouth, because she knew where it came from.
“Is it done?” she asked. She stood on the rocky shore, staring over the sea, her back to her sister.
“You know it is,” Penn said. Although Penn was angry, her voice still kept its seductive edge, that alluring texture she could never completely erase. “No thanks to you.”
Thea glanced back over her shoulder at Penn. Even in the dull light of the moon, Penn’s black hair glistened, and her tanned skin seemed to glow. Fresh from eating, she looked even more beautiful than she had a few hours before.
A few droplets of blood splattered Thea’s clothes, but Penn had mostly been spared from it, except for her right hand. It was stained crimson up to her elbow.
Thea’s stomach rolled with both hunger and disgust, and she turned away again.
“Thea.” Penn sighed and walked over to her. “You know it had to be done.”
Thea didn’t say anything for a moment. She just listened to the way the ocean sang to her, the watersong calling for her.
“I know,” Thea said finally, hoping her words didn’t betray her true feelings. “But the timing is awful. We should’ve waited.”
“I couldn’t wait anymore,” Penn insisted, and Thea wasn’t sure if that was true or not. But Penn had made a decision, and Penn always got what she wanted.
“We don’t have much time.” Thea gestured to the moon, nearly full above them, then looked over at Penn.
“I know. But I already told you, I’ve had my eye on someone.” Penn smiled widely at her, showing her razor-sharp teeth. “And it won’t be long before she’s ours.”



ONE
Midnight Swim

The engine made a bizarre chugging sound, like a dying robot llama, followed by an ominous click-click. Then silence. Gemma turned the key harder, hoping that would somehow breathe life into the old Chevy, but it wouldn’t even chug anymore. The llama had died.
“You have got to be kidding me,” Gemma said, and cursed under her breath.
She’d worked her butt off to pay for this car. Between the long hours she spent training at the pool and keeping up on her schoolwork, she had little time for a steady job. That had left her stuck babysitting the horrible Tennenmeyer boys. They put gum in her hair and poured bleach on her favorite sweater.
But she’d toughed it out. Gemma had been determined to get a car when she turned sixteen, even if that meant dealing with the Tennenmeyers. Her older sister, Harper, had gotten their father’s old car as a hand-me-down. Harper had offered to let Gemma drive it, but she had declined.
Mainly, Gemma needed her own car because neither Harper nor her father readily approved of her late-night swims at Anthemusa Bay. They didn’t live far from the bay, but the distance wasn’t what bothered her family. It was the late-night part—and that was the thing that Gemma craved most.
Out there, under the stars, the water seemed like it went on forever. The bay met the sea, which in turn met the sky, and it all blended together like she was floating in an eternal loop. There was something magical about the bay at night, something that her family couldn’t seem to understand.
Gemma tried the key one more time, but it only elicited the same empty clicking sound from her car. Sighing, she leaned forward and stared out at the moonlit sky through the cracked windshield. It was getting late, and even if she left on foot right now, she wouldn’t get back from her swim until almost midnight.
That wouldn’t be a huge problem, but her curfew was eleven. Starting off the summer being grounded on top of having a dead car was the last thing she wanted. Her swim would have to wait for another night.
She got out of the car. When she tried to slam the door shut in frustration, it only groaned, and a chunk of rust fell off the bottom.
“This is by far the worst three hundred dollars I ever spent,” Gemma muttered.
“Car trouble?” Alex asked from behind her, startling her so much she nearly screamed. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you.”
She turned around to face him. “No, it’s okay,” she said, waving it off. “I didn’t hear you come out.”
Alex had lived next door to them for the past ten years, and there was nothing scary about him. As he got older, he’d tried to smooth out his unruly dark hair, but a lock near the front always stood up, a cowlick he could never tame. It made him look younger than eighteen, and when he smiled, he looked younger still.
There was something innocent about him, and that was probably why Harper had never thought of him as anything more than a friend. Even Gemma had dismissed him as uncrushworthy until recently. She’d seen the subtle changes in him, his youthfulness giving way to broad shoulders and strong arms.
It was that new thing, the new manliness he was beginning to grow into, that made her stomach flutter when Alex smiled at her. She still wasn’t used to feeling that way around him, so she pushed it down and tried to ignore it.
“The stupid piece of junk won’t run.” Gemma gestured to the rusty compact and stepped over to where Alex stood on his lawn. “I’ve only had it for three months, and it’s dead already.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” Alex said. “Do you need help?”
“You know something about cars?” Gemma raised an eyebrow. She had seen him spend plenty of time playing video games or with his nose stuck in a book, but she’d never once seen him under the hood of a car.
Alex smiled sheepishly and lowered his eyes. He had been blessed with tan skin, which made it easier for him to hide his embarrassment, but Gemma knew him well enough to understand that he blushed at almost anything.
“No,” he admitted with a small laugh and motioned back to the driveway where his blue Mercury Cougar sat. “But I do have a car of my own.”
He pulled his keys out of his pocket and swung them around his finger. For a moment he managed to look slick before the keys flew off his hand and hit him in the chin. Gemma stifled a laugh as he scrambled to pick them up.
“You okay?”
“Uh, yeah, I’m fine.” He rubbed his chin and shrugged it off. “So, do you want a ride?”
“Are you sure? It’s pretty late. I don’t want to bother you.”
“Nah, it’s no bother.” He stepped back toward his car, waiting for Gemma to follow. “Where are you headed?”
“Just to the bay.”
“I should’ve known.” He grinned. “Your nightly swim?”
“It’s not nightly,” Gemma said, though he wasn’t too far off base.
“Come on.” Alex walked over to the Cougar and opened his door. “Hop in.”
“All right, if you insist.”
Gemma didn’t like imposing on people, but she didn’t want to pass up a chance at swimming. A car ride alone with Alex wouldn’t hurt, either. Usually she only got to spend time with him when he was hanging out with her sister.
“So what is it about these swims that you find so entrancing?” Alex asked after she’d gotten in the car.
“I don’t think I’d ever describe them as entrancing.” She buckled her seat belt, then leaned back. “I don’t know what it is exactly. There’s just . . . nothing else like it.”
“What do you mean?” Alex asked. He’d started the car but stayed parked in the driveway, watching her as she tried to explain.
“During the day there are so many people at the bay, especially during the summer, but at night . . . it’s just you and the water and the stars. And it’s dark, so it all feels like one thing, and you’re part of it all.” She furrowed her brow, but her smile was wistful. “I guess it is kind of entrancing,” she admitted. She shook her head, clearing it of the thought. “I don’t know. Maybe I’m just a freak who likes swimming at night.”
That was when Gemma realized Alex was staring at her, and she glanced over at him. He had a strange expression on his face, almost like he was dumbfounded.
“What?” Gemma asked, beginning to feel embarrassed at the way he looked at her. She fidgeted with her hair, tucking it behind her ears, and shifted in her seat.
“Nothing. Sorry.” Alex shook his head and put the car in drive. “You probably want to get out to the water.”
“I’m not in a huge rush or anything,” Gemma said, but that was sort of a lie. She wanted to get as much time in the water as she could before her curfew.
“Are you still training?” Alex asked. “Or did you stop for summer vacation?”
“Nope, I still train.” She rolled down the car window, letting the salty air blow in. “I swim every day at the pool with the coach. He says my times are getting really good.”
“At the pool you swim all day, and then you want to sneak out and swim all night?” Alex smirked. “How does that work?”
“It’s different.” She stuck her arm out the open window, holding it straight like the wing of a plane. “Swimming at the pool, it’s all laps and time. It’s work. Out in the bay, it’s just floating and splashing around.”
“But don’t you ever get sick of being wet?” Alex asked.
“Nope. That’s like asking you, Don’t you ever get sick of breathing air?
“As a matter of fact, I do. Sometimes I think, Wouldn’t it be grand if I didn’t need to breathe?
“Why?” Gemma laughed. “Why would that ever be grand?”
“I don’t know.” He looked self-conscious for a minute, his smile twisting nervously. “I guess I mostly thought it when I was in gym class and they’d make me run or something. I was always so out of breath.”
Alex glanced over at her, as if checking to see if she thought he was a complete loser for that admission. But she only smiled at him in response.
“You should’ve spent more time swimming with me,” Gemma said. “Then you wouldn’t have been so out of shape.”
“I know, but I’m a geek.” He sighed. “At least I’m done with all that gym stuff now that I’ve graduated.”
“Soon you’ll be so busy at college, you won’t even remember the horrors of high school,” Gemma said, her tone turning curiously despondent.
“Yeah, I guess.” Alex furrowed his brow.
Gemma leaned closer to the window, hanging her elbow down the side and resting her chin on her hand as she stared out at houses and trees passing by. In their neighborhood, the houses were all cheap and run-down, but as soon as they passed Capri Lane, everything was clean and modern.
Since it was tourist season, all the buildings and trees were lit up brightly. Music from the bars and the sounds of people talking and laughing wafted through the air.
“Are you excited to get away from all this?” Gemma asked with a wry smile and pointed to a drunken couple arguing on the boulevard.
“There is some stuff I’ll be glad to get away from,” he admitted, but when he looked over at her, his expression softened. “But there will definitely be some things that I miss.”
The beach was mostly deserted, other than a few teenagers having a bonfire, and Gemma directed Alex to drive a little farther. The soft sand gave way to more jagged rocks lining the shore, and the paved parking lots were replaced by a forest of bald cypress trees. He parked on a dirt road as close to the water as he could get.
This far away from the tourist attractions, there were no people or trails leading to the water. When Alex cut the lights on the Cougar, they were submerged in darkness. The only light came from the moon above them, and from some light pollution cast off by the town.
“Is this really where you swim?” Alex asked.
“Yeah. It’s the best place to do it.” She shrugged and opened the door.
“But it’s all rocky.” Alex got out of the car and scanned the mossy stones that covered the ground. “It seems dangerous.”
“That’s the point.” Gemma grinned. “Nobody else would swim here.”
As soon as she got out of the car, she slipped off her sundress, revealing the bathing suit she wore underneath. Her dark hair had been in a ponytail, but she pulled it down and shook it loose. She kicked off her flip-flops and tossed them in the car, along with her dress.
Alex stood next to the car, shoving his hands deep in his pockets, and tried not to look at her. He knew she was wearing a bathing suit, one he’d seen her in a hundred times before. Gemma practically lived in swimwear. But alone with her like this, he felt acutely aware of how she looked in the bikini.
Of the two Fisher sisters, Gemma was definitely the prettier. She had a lithe swimmer’s body, petite and slender, but curved in all the right places. Her skin was bronze from the sun, and her dark hair had golden highlights running through it from all the chlorine and sunlight. Her eyes were honey, not that he could really see the color in the dim light, but they sparkled when she smiled at him.
“Aren’t you going swimming?” Gemma asked.
“Uh, no.” He shook his head and deliberately stared off at the bay to avoid looking at her. “I’m good. I’ll wait in the car until you’re done.”
“No, you drove me all the way down here. You can’t just wait in the car. You have to come swimming with me.”
“Nah, I think I’m okay.” He scratched his arm and lowered his eyes. “You go have fun.”
“Alex, come on.” Gemma pretended to pout. “I bet you’ve never even gone for a swim in the moonlight. And you’re leaving for college at the end of the summer. You have to do this at least once, or you haven’t really lived.”
“I don’t have swim trunks,” Alex said, but his resistance was already waning.
“Just wear your boxers.”
He thought about protesting further, but Gemma had a point. She was always doing stuff like this, but he’d spent most of his high school career in his bedroom.
Besides, swimming would be better than waiting. And when he thought about it, it was much less creepy joining her swimming than watching her from the shore.
“Fine, but I better not cut my feet on any of the rocks,” Alex said as he slipped off his shoes.
“I promise to keep you safe and sound.” She crossed her hand over her heart to prove it.
“I’ll hold you to that.”
He pulled his shirt up over his head, and it was exactly as Gemma had imagined. His gangly frame had filled out with toned muscles that she didn’t completely understand, since he was a self-professed geek.
When he started to undo his pants, Gemma turned away to be polite. Even though she would see him in his boxers in a few seconds, it felt strange watching him take off his jeans. As if it were dirty.
“So how do we get down to the water?” Alex asked.
“Very carefully.”
She went first, stepping delicately onto the rocks, and he knew he wouldn’t stand a chance of copying her grace. She moved like a ballerina, stepping on the balls of her feet from one smooth rock to the next until she reached the water.
“There are a few sharp stones when you step in the water,” Gemma warned him.
“Thanks for the heads-up,” he mumbled and moved with as much caution as he could. Following her path, which she’d made look so easy, proved to be rather treacherous, and he stumbled several times.
“Don’t rush it! You’ll be fine if you go slow.”
“I’m trying.”
To his own surprise, he managed to make it to the water without slicing open his foot. Gemma smiled proudly at him as she waded out deeper into the bay.
“Aren’t you scared?” Alex asked.
“Of what?” She’d gone far enough into the water to lean back and swim, kicking her legs out in front of her.
“I don’t know. Sea monsters or something. The water is so dark. You can’t see anything.” Alex was now in a little over waist-deep, and truthfully, he didn’t want to go any farther.
“There’s no sea monsters.” Gemma laughed and splashed water at him. To encourage him to have fun, she decided to challenge him. “I’ll race you to the rock over there.”
“What rock?”
“That one.” She pointed to a giant gray spike of a rock that stuck out of the water a few yards from where they swam.
“You’ll beat me to it,” he said.
“I’ll give you a head start,” Gemma offered.
“How much?”
“Um . . . five seconds.”
“Five seconds?” Alex seemed to weigh this. “I guess maybe I could—” Instead of finishing his thought, he dove into the water, swimming fast.
“I’m already giving you a head start!” Gemma called after him, laughing. “You don’t need to cheat!”
Alex swam as furiously as he could, but it wasn’t long before Gemma was flying past him. She was unstoppable in the water, and he’d honestly never seen anything faster than her. In the past, he’d gone with Harper to swim meets at the school, and there had rarely been one where Gemma didn’t win.
“I won!” Gemma declared when she reached the rock.
“As if there was ever any doubt.” Alex swam up next to her and hung on to the rock to support himself. His breath was still short, and he wiped the salty water from his eyes. “That was hardly a fair fight.”
“Sorry.” She smiled. Gemma wasn’t anywhere near as winded as Alex was, but she leaned onto the rock next to him.
“For some reason, I don’t think you really mean that,” Alex said in mock offense.
His hand slipped off the rock, and when he reached out to steady himself again, he accidentally put his hand over Gemma’s. His first instinct was to pull it back in some kind of hasty embarrassment, but the second before he did, he changed his mind.
Alex let his hand linger over hers, both of them cool and wet. Her smile had changed, turning into something fonder, and for a moment neither of them said anything. They hung on to the rock like that for a moment longer, the only sound the water lapping around them.
Gemma would’ve been content to sit with Alex like that, but light exploded in the cove behind him, distracting her. The small cove was at the mouth of the bay, just before it met the ocean, about a quarter mile from where Gemma and Alex floated.
Alex followed her gaze. A moment later, laughter sounded over the water and he pulled his hand away from hers.
A fire flared inside the cove, the light flickering across the three dancing figures that fanned it. From this far away, it was difficult to get a clear view of what they were doing, but it was obvious who they were by the way they moved. Everyone in town knew of them, even if nobody really seemed to know them personally.
“It’s those girls,” Alex said—softly, as if the girls would overhear him from the cove.
The three girls were dancing with elegance and grace. Even their shadows, looming on the rock walls around them, seemed sensual in their movements.
“What are they doing out here?” Alex asked.
“I don’t know.” Gemma shrugged, continuing to stare at them, unabashed. “They’ve been coming out here more and more. They seem to like hanging out in that cove.”
“Huh,” Alex said. She looked back at him and saw his brow furrowed in thought.
“I don’t even know what they’re doing in town.”
“Me neither.” He looked over his shoulder to watch them again. “Somebody told me they were Canadian movie stars.”
“Maybe. But they don’t have accents.”
“You’ve heard them talk?” Alex asked, sounding impressed.
“Yeah, I’ve seen them at Pearl’s Diner across from the library. They always order milk shakes.”
“Didn’t there used to be four of them?”
“Yeah, I think so.” Gemma squinted, trying to be sure she was counting right. “Last time I saw them out here, there were four. But now there’s only three.”
“I wonder where the other one went.” Gemma and Alex were too far away to understand them clearly, but they were talking and laughing, their voices floating over the bay. One of the girls began singing—her voice as clear as crystal, and so sweet it almost hurt to hear. The melody pulled at Gemma’s heart.
Alex’s jaw dropped, and he gaped at them. He moved away from the rock, floating slowly toward them, but Gemma barely even noticed. Her focus was on the girls. Or, more accurately, on the one girl who wasn’t singing.
Penn. Gemma was sure of it, just by the way Penn moved away from the two girls. Her long black hair hung down behind her, and the wind blew it back. She walked with startling grace and purpose, her eyes straight ahead.
From this distance in the dark, Penn shouldn’t have noticed her, but Gemma could feel her eyes boring straight through her, sending chills down her spine.
“Alex,” Gemma said in a voice that barely sounded like her own. “I think we should go.”
“What?” Alex replied dazedly, and that was when Gemma realized how far he’d swum away from her.
“Alex, come on. I think we’re bothering them. We should go.”
“Go?” He turned back to her, sounding confused by the idea.
“Alex!” Gemma said, nearly shouting now, but at least that seemed to get through to him. “We need to get back. It’s late.”
“Oh, right.” He shook his head, clearing it, and then swam back toward the shore.
When Gemma was convinced he was back to normal, she followed him.
Penn, Thea, Lexi, and Arista had been in town since the weather started warming up, and people assumed they were the first tourists of the season. But nobody really knew exactly who they were or what they were doing here.
All Gemma knew was that she hated it when they came out here. It disrupted her night swims. She didn’t feel comfortable being in the water, not when they were out in the cove, dancing and singing and doing whatever it was they did.

Wake © Amanda Hocking 2012


Check it out on Amazon HERE 

From the Authors Blog:

Beautiful. Fearless. Dangerous. They're the kind of girls you envy; the kind of girls you want to hate. Strangers in town for the summer, Penn, Thea, and Lexi have caught everyone's attention, including the eye of practical Harper. But it's her sister, Gemma, they've chosen to be part of their group.

Suddenly Gemma is stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever. As she uncovers the truth about her new mythical powers, Gemma is forced to choose between staying with those she loves or entering a dark world brimming with unimaginable secrets. 





  1. Wake - is available in stores on August 7th!
  2. Lullaby (coming November 2012)
  3. Tidal (coming 2013)
  4. Elegy (coming 2013)


Do you have a favorite Amanda Hocking Book or a review you would like to share?
 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ella Medler Author Interview with guest blogger CeCe

About the Author - Ella Medler


I live in Cornwall with my husband and our two teenage daughters who regularly threaten to never leave home (must be my cooking).

Together, we care for a large assortment of pets, some small enough to fit in a fish tank, and some capable of causing you significant injury on impact.

I was born in Transylvania but got chucked out due to my inability to grow fangs and reluctance to sleep in coffins. I studied economics to masters level, and qualified with 93.5% (damn good, considering I really wasn't interested). I wanted to be an archaeologist, travel the world, scrape around in mud and live in squalor. Unfortunately, my mother won that argument, and so, after refusing a teaching post (I never did like school), I started work in business development consultancy roles, where I met my husband, the lucky so and so. The rest is history. If you’re reading this, you’ already know the end of the story.


Martin Little, Resurrected is a quirky and original novel which seamlessly blends the daily irritations of contemporary life in Britain with an unusual and unexpected setting. The storyline is action-packed, moderately thought-provoking and relentlessly funny. In order to rescue the girl with whom he has fallen in love despite his better judgement, Martin has to set aside his snobbish hang-ups and inhibitions and work together with his newly acquired friends, a gang of lawless misfits whom he despises. The plot thickens and picks up pace as the loop of officialdom trips them up and the law threatens to catch up with them. Through all this, Martin has to stay one step ahead and find help where it doesn’t seem possible in order to earn his friends’ and his own freedom. Essentially a light-hearted journey of discovery and self-improvement, the many dizzying twists and heady surprises make this story an engaging read and a real crowd pleaser with universal appeal.

Hi Ella, It's great to have you here with us. Please tell us a little about yourself.

I live in Cornwall with my husband and daughters. I like to smile, laugh and talk a lot, and that is reflected in my writing style: I prefer to put fun into my stories, and all of them tend to turn into full-length novels.

Martin Little, Resurrected. Which genre does it belong to? 

It’s a contemporary fantasy, a lighthearted social satire. I have purposefully kept away from the all-too-common wizards, vampires and werewolves and chose to make fun instead of our current lifestyle, customs, behavior and silly society habits such as excessive bureaucracy and extremes in general.


Do you plot a story or just write as the story comes to you?

It depends on the genre. When I write fantasy, I prefer to trust my characters to carry the story forward. They do a brilliant job, and I am only too happy to provide the necessary twists – my brain is never idle. When I write suspense/thrillers I have a well-determined plot. I think the genre requires it. The new genre I’m trying out this year is paranormal romance – yes, it does have vampires in it – and I’m finding this one completely different; I’m still adjusting to it, though my co-author, Kristie Drennin Haigwood is doing a fine job of showing me the way.
What book title are you currently promoting? Blood is Heavier – a thriller about a man who is trying to protect his family. This is part one of a trilogy. The second one in the series is due out in December and the last one in 2013. I am making it free to download until the next book is out, so if I were you, I’d get it now.

Martin Little sounds like a fun character.. How did you come up with his character  and his name?

I’m a people-watcher. I created the character by gathering together a lot of my observations about men. It’s quite uncommon for a female author to write in first person from a male point of view, but I think being different is a good thing. Judging by the reviews I received from male reviewers especially, I got it right. Once I had the character, I looked for a name that would suit him best: Martin because it’s not a particularly ‘hip’ modern name, and Little because he imagines himself as being ‘of little importance’ in the universe in general.

Are you working on any other project at the moment?

 Yes. I am co-writing a series of paranormal romance books in collaboration with Kristie Drennin Haigwood, the first of which we hope to release this year. I am also working on the second in the Martin Little series, Martin Little Takes Epic Action, and the sequel for Blood is Heavier. And I plan to release a non-fiction Author Resources book in September. Apart from that, most of my work is going into my daily blog which is getting a little overcrowded – I am planning to split it into several strands so that the many Author Spotlights I organize and the book reviews can have a dedicated page, and the book series I work on can each have their own ‘home’, too.

What book are you currently reading?

In the last week I have read two: Cemetery Street by John Zunski, and Unauthorized Access, by Andrew McAllister, which I’ve finished about an hour ago. They were both good reads; both got five star reviews from me.

What do you do when you are not writing?

I edit, or read, or play with my dogs. Or I murder a keyboard. I left it a bit late in life, I know, but I started piano lessons this spring. It was something I’ve always wished I could do, and I got tangled into a half-bet discussion with an old piano teacher who insisted anyone could learn, at any age. Not sure who’s winning the bet at the moment, but I’m not giving up. She’s not wearing earplugs, so I’m taking that as a good sign.

Where can readers and fans find you online?

You can reach me by simply leaving a message on my blog http://ellamedler.wordpress.com/
I’m on facebook and twitter, too, with links from my author website  http://www.ellamedler.com/

Blood is Heavier is free to download from:



Kobo 

and (soon) Barnes & Noble.

Amazon hasn’t price-matched yet, but it’s there, too. 

Here’s a link to my author page on Amazon, where you can see all my books 

Martin Little, Resurrected is available from

Amazon (paperback and Kindle) 


Kobo 



And in pretty much every other format you can think of.

Thanks, Ella!


Cece's Reading&Writing Safari
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