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January 16, 2015


Thunderstone by Barbara Pietron
Genre: YA paranormal romance
Published: November 12, 2013

Sneaking out at night, driving without a license, and falling for a guy weren’t things fifteen-year-old Jeni expected to do while visiting Lake Itasca, Minnesota.  Then she meets Ice, the local medicine man's apprentice.  Suddenly, her simple family gathering becomes an exciting – and terrifying – week of self-discovery.  At first Jeni doesn't believe Ice's claim that she can touch the spirit world and has somehow released a mythical underwater monster. However, she's forced to reconsider when a teen swears a monster killed his father while fishing on the lake. Just as she comes to accept truth, Jeni finds she is the only one who can imprison the monster, making her the creature's next target.  She'll need immense faith in her newfound ability to put herself in harm's way and face down the monster.  And even if she succeeds in delivering the local population – and Ice – from the creature's wrath, there is no guarantee Jeni will escape with her own life.


Purchase:

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The Prequel:


Heart of Ice by Barbara Pietron

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Excerpts

Heart of Ice Excerpt:

Ice's ankle was held fast in a large leg-hold trap. He groaned as the metal teeth seemed to press deeper into his skin and grate on his bones. Stooping, he attempted to pull the jaws of the trap open and release his foot, but was unable to get the right leverage. Teeth gritted against the pain radiating up his leg, Ice dug his phone from his pocket then heard the crunching sound of footsteps. "I'm here," he shouted, relieved that the medicine man had heard his cry.
He waited as the footsteps drew near, calling out again.
But the figure that emerged from the forest wasn't the medicine man.
It was Nesbitt.
            And he carried an axe.
Horror engulfed Ice and he froze momentarily, his thoughts scrambling for a means of defense. He had no weapon. No bear spray. Nothing. Then he realized he still held his phone in his hand and fumbled it in his numbed, shaking fingers.
Nesbitt was making his way through the trees quickly. Humming.
Ice thumbed to the contacts in his phone and found his favorites. He glanced up and realized Nesbitt's eyes glowed with an odd, yellowish hue from out of his emaciated skull. He managed to get his thumb on Nik's name before the demented man smashed into him.
Dropping the phone to free his hands, Ice grabbed Nesbitt's arm that held the axe and shoved it away from him as he fell. Before the man could topple onto him, Ice scurried backward, yowling in pain as the trap bit harder into his ankle bone. He'd reached the end of the chain fastened to a tree and the more he jerked against it, the tighter the jaws clamped down on his leg.
Nesbitt rose first to his knees and then to his feet, in no hurry since he knew his prey was tethered.
Ice crawled sideways using his elbows and feet, although he realized if he wrapped the chain around the tree, it would only grow shorter. His hands clawed the ground around him, searching for a branch or stick, anything he might be able to swing at Nesbitt.
The madman moved forward, breathing heavily and drooling. Ice found a stick and wrapped his fingers around it, yanking it from the dead foliage. He jabbed at the man as he came forward and yelled in despair as the stick snapped easily.
A foot rammed into Ice's chest and he hit the ground hard, gasping for breath. Before he could rise to his elbows, the foot pressed down with force, pinning him. "Don't do this," Ice begged, his voice ragged. "Mr. Nesbitt!" he shouted."Please don't do this!" He hoped somewhere inside the crazed man a person still resided: a teacher, a human who wouldn't kill another human.
Nesbitt paused for a second, his face blank, eyes distant. Then he rasped, "Hungry," and swung the axe.

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Thunderstone Excerpt:

     Ice sat motionless, staring at his knees. How had he managed to make such a mess of things?  He'd felt comfortable with Jeni and her family too; thought the evening had progressed smoothly.
     Then he'd looked down into Jeni's upturned face and lost it. Despite the smoky bonfire, he could smell her; the fragrance of an apple orchard in the fall. Then his gaze fell to her glossy, ripe lips and the reasonable explanation he had in mind vanished. Instead he'd just blurted something out and completely blew it.
     With a heavy sigh, Ice stood. His footsteps dragged as he headed between the cottages to the resort drive.
     "Ice."
     Engulfed in despair, Ice didn't register the whisper until it came the second time. He turned to see Jeni's head poked out the side door. She edged outside when she saw him stop. She took a step toward the porch rail. "I'm sorry. I overreacted." She hugged her arms around her torso.  "I…I do that sometimes. I should've at least given you a chance to explain why you wanted my statue."
     Ice moved closer. "Yeah…well, I didn't mean to say…ask…not like that." Jeni watched him, waiting.  Ice took a deep breath. "Thing is, you're not going to like the explanation anyway."
     "Well," she contemplated the toe of her shoe as she bounced it on the rail. "I can't promise I'll like it, but I'll listen." When she looked up she wore the ghost of a smile.
     Ice searched her face and thought for a long moment. No more lies; time to lay the cards on the table.  He wasn't hopeful for any particular outcome, only resigned to do what he felt was right. "I owe you a story about the monster your statue represents, don't I?"
     She nodded slowly, wearing a puzzled expression.
     "Let's start there then." So he told her how long ago, when the underwater monster swam freely, the people were plagued by bad fishing, overturned canoes, and children drawn under by whirlpools when they went swimming. "Eventually," Ice explained, "the medicine men of neighboring tribes joined together to lure the creature here. They trapped him in a cavern near the sacred burial mounds of Lake Itasca and charmed him to sleep." Ice paused, and then finished his story with the events of the past two days. "Then, about a hundred years later, a priestess…” He stopped to look at her, “…buys an artifact and falls into the water with it in her pocket. Her connection to the spirits combined with the power of the statue wakes the underwater monster. So the local medicine man sends his apprentice to find the girl and get the statue back. If he fails, the monster will likely escape and people will start disappearing."
     Jeni narrowed her eyes at him for a moment and then laughed. "I get it. Cute. You made it sound like I was part of the story."
     Ice maintained a level stare. "You are part of the story."


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About the Author


After years in the corporate world, Barbara found herself with a second chance to decide what she wanted to be when she grew up.  Her lifetime love of books and the written word returned one answer: writer.  Drawing from her experience with technical writing, she began by writing non-fiction magazine pieces and achieved both regional and national publication.  Her success encouraged her to complete a novel.  She learned much from her first manuscript, critiques, books, contests, and blogs.  In 2012, her novel Thunderstone, was a quarterfinalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest and won a critique by Publisher's Weekly.  A few months later, she was offered publication by Scribe Publishing Company.

 Barbara has a few other novels in the works, including a Thunderstone sequel. If she's not reading or writing, Barbara likes to walk, garden, and sew.  She works in a library and lives in Royal Oak, Michigan with her husband, daughter, and their cat – who often acts like a dog.

Find Barbara online:

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GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Win a new young adult novel!
(Before it's in stores!)

Barbara Pietron, author of Thunderstone, is running a contest to title her next novel.
If your title idea is chosen as one of the top four suggestions, you will win the book!

Here's how it works:

Based on the cover summary below, you think of an amazing title. You know, the kind of title that compels a potential reader to take the book off the shelf.

Then go to www.barbarapietron.com and click on the News/Events page. You can make your suggestion in the comment section of the post about the contest, or click on the link which will take you to the Scribe Publishing website suggestion form. Your email will be added to Barbara's list so she can keep you in the loop about the contest and the book.

If your suggestion is chosen as a top four, you will win the new novel! Those top four entries will be posted for readers to vote on their favorite. If your suggestion becomes the book title, you'll be mentioned in the book!

Summary:
Sixteen-year-old Jack Ironwood knew exactly what he wanted. Until he got it.
Jack was content to stay unnoticed by pretty and popular track-star, Natalie Segetich, until her best friend Emma disappears. Natalie swears something took Emma, and though most people write Natalie off as traumatized and confused, Jack is a soulshifter and he knows the human-stealing Enuuki—hell's messengers—are real.

As a soulshifter, Jack can cross into the underworld so he sees Emma's rescue as an opportunity to prove himself a valuable member of his transcendental sect—and a way to secure a future otherwise out of his reach. Although he needs Natalie's help to prepare for the mission, Jack intends to go to the underworld alone. But as a viable plan takes shape, it's clear the best chance of success means Natalie must accompany him.

On the eve of the quest, when Jack is promised the hand of a respected elder's daughter—a dream come true—he realizes he's no longer sure what he wants. But it's too late to back out, not with the sect and Natalie counting on him. Pursued by the dark lord's henchmen and ghastly mutant creatures, Jack and Natalie struggle to come out ahead in a battle and barter for souls. In the end, Jack will have to decide his own fate, because nothing short of a deal with the devil will get all three of them out of hell alive.


Part one of the contest will run through January 31st, 2015 and the voting will take place in February.


January 08, 2015

Title: I See London
Author: Chanel Cleeton
Series: International School Book #1
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Maggie Carpenter is ready for a change— and to leave her ordinary life in South Carolina behind. But when she accepts a scholarship to the International School in London, a university attended by the privileged offspring of diplomats and world leaders, Maggie might get more than she bargained for.

When Maggie meets Hugh, a twentysomething British guy, she finds herself living the life she always wanted. Suddenly she’s riding around the city in a Ferrari, wearing borrowed designer clothes and going to the hottest clubs. The only problem? Another guy, the one she can’t seem to keep her hands off of.

Half French, half Lebanese, and ridiculously wealthy, Samir Khouri has made it clear he doesn’t do relationships. He’s the opposite of everything Maggie thought she wanted…and he’s everything she can’t resist. Torn between her dream guy and the boy haunting her dreams, Maggie has to fight for her own happy ending. In a city like London, you never know where you stand, and everything can change in the blink of an eye.


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Title: London Falling
Author: Chanel Cleeton
Series: International School Book #2
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

We weren't a relationship, we were a ticking time bomb...

Maggie Carpenter walked away from the hottest encounter of her life when she left the seductive glitz of England for summer break in her South Carolina hometown. Now that she’s returned to the International School in London—and sexy, privileged Samir Khouri is once again close enough to touch—she can’t help but remember the attraction, the drama … the heartbreak.

She can’t help but want him even more.

Samir can’t afford to fall for someone so far removed from his world, not when his time in London is running out. It's his senior year—his last chance at freedom before he returns home to Lebanon. There, he’ll be expected to follow in his father’s footsteps—not follow his heart to Maggie. But when a scorching secret hookup becomes a temptation neither can resist, they’ll both have to fight to survive the consequences … and find a future together.
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Title: French Kissed
Author: Chanel Cleeton
Series: International School Book #3
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

On the surface, Fleur Marceaux has it all. If only the facade matched reality. With one year left at the International School in London, Fleur’s struggling to graduate, her love life is a mess, and she can’t stop thinking about Max, her ex-boyfriend’s best friend. But all that pales compared to the blackmailer determined to destroy her.

There’s a social hierarchy at the International School and Max Tucker is outside the velvet ropes. After watching Fleur break his friend’s heart, Max knows to stay away from trouble, despite the crush he’s had on her since freshman year. But when they’re partnered on a project, Max learns there’s more to Fleur than meets the eye, and she just might be worth the wild ride.

The more time they spend together, the further Max falls. And when a kiss awakens a passion Fleur never imagined, she’s unable to resist Max, who she had thought was all wrong for her but might be the only thing that’s right. But will he stand by her when her secrets are revealed?


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About Chanel

Originally a Florida girl, CHANEL CLEETON moved to London where she received a bachelor’s degree from Richmond, The American International University in London and a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Chanel fell in love with London and planned to stay there forever, until fate intervened on a Caribbean cruise and a fighter pilot with smooth dance moves swept her off her feet. Now, a happily ever after later, Chanel is living her next adventure in Asia.

Law school made Chanel realize she’d rather spend her days writing sexy stories than in a courtroom, and she hasn’t looked back since. An avid reader and hopeless romantic, she’s happiest curled up with a book. She has a weakness for handbags, her three pups, and her fighter pilot husband.

She is the author of I SEE LONDON and LONDON FALLING, published by Harlequin HQN, FRENCH KISSED, and FLIRTING WITH SCANDAL, the first book in a new three-book series to be released by Penguin/Intermix in 2015.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Newsletter 

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Giveaway


a Rafflecopter giveaway

December 10, 2014
Title: Beautiful Collision
Author: T.G. Ayer
Release Date: Dec 10, 2014
Published by: Infinite Ink Books
Genre: Contemporary
Eighteen year old Gray McAllister is on the run. Leaving her dangerous past behind her is easier said than done, even when she finds herself at last able to forge a new life for herself.
But then the planets align and Gray finds herself bumping into super-hot Thane Blackwell. Drooling over him from afar is safe but that's only until she is forced to look after Thane while he recovers from surgery.
Being holed up in her apartment is a bad bad idea. Can Gray control the fire that Thane seems light inside her, or will she give in to her deepest desires. Can Thane achieve his goal without hurting Gray in the process?
The stakes are impossibly high, but love and lies don't play nice with each other. Will Gray's past catch up with her first? Or will Thane's own secrets explode and tear them apart?
I have been a writer from the time I was old enough to recognize that reading was a doorway into my imagination. Poetry was my first foray into the art of the written word. Books were my best friends, my escape, my haven. I am essentially a recluse but this part of my personality is impossible to practice given I have two teenage daughters, who are actually my friends, my tea-makers, my confidantes... I am blessed with a husband who has left me for golf. It's a fair trade as I have left him for writing. We are both passionate supporters of each others loves - it works wonderfully...
My heart is currently broken in two. One half resides in South Africa where my old roots still remain, and my heart still longs for the endless beaches and the smell of moist soil after a summer downpour. My love for Ma Afrika will never fade. The other half of me has been transplanted to the Land of the Long White Cloud. The land of the Taniwha, beautiful Maraes, and volcanoes. The land of green, pure beauty that truly inspires. And because I am so torn between these two lands - I shall forever remain cross-eyed.
I love talking to my readers so email me if you have any questions or even if you just want to chat...
Keep up to date with news, release dates and giveaways by subscribing to Tee's newsletter HERE.

December 04, 2014

Title: Inside Out
Author: Lia Riley
Series: Off the Map #3
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publication: December 2nd, 2014

When Talia first moved from California to Australia to study abroad, she never dreamed she'd find the love of her life. Bran understands her like no one ever has before. And despite the numerous challenges they've faced, they've always managed to figure out how to stay together. But this time they'll face their toughest hurdle yet. Is their love strong enough to keep them together?


Purchase
Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

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Excerpt

       “Show me the way back to you.” He buries his face in my neck, drags his lips to the place behind my ear, the headwaters for all delicious shivers.
       “I want that so much.”
       “I’ll do whatever it takes, go off the map.”
       “You will?”
       “We’re already there.”
       He’s right. We’ve been explorers for some time. During the last little while it’s as if a blizzard descended, we were stuck in a whiteout, so close, but the snow made everything indistinguishable. At last, the storm’s abating and he’s right there, and I’m over here. Suddenly, we can see each other.
       Within us is the way forward. We each possess half of the compass and must join together to find the right direction.
       “You’ve got to know how much I need you.” A lock of his wet hair twists in a boyish curl.
       I go to smooth it down, but my fingers tangle in the thick waves, and instead draw him closer.
       He bows his head, still panting a little. “You can’t check out on me like that again. I can’t live this bloody life devoid of you—”
       I brush my mouth over his lower lip, that reddening mark where his teeth left imprints. “I won’t. I’m so sorry. I-I’m ready to try. Thank you for believing in me.”
       “I’ll never stop.”
       We rest our foreheads together, holding one another upright. Droplets fall from his hairline onto my cheeks, joining fresh tears. He’s water, I’m water, and our flotsam and jetsam fit in a way that’s strange, yet familiar. I have no idea where we’re going, only that the way out is lined with broken feathers, bloodstains, marrow ash, and the serrated teeth of sharks.
       This journey will take all I’ve got, a small price to have everything.
       And that’s exactly what this guy in my arms is.


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About Lia

Lia Riley writes offbeat New Adult Romance. After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, she scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. She counts shooting vodka with a Ukranian mechanic in Antarctica, sipping yerba mate with gauchos in Chile and swilling XXXX with stationhands in Outback Australia among her accomplishments. When not torturing heroes (because c'mon, who doesn't love a good tortured hero?), Lia herds unruly chickens, camps, beach combs, daydreams about as-of-yet unwritten books, wades through a mile-high TBR pile and schemes yet another trip. She and her family live in Northern California.



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Giveaway


a Rafflecopter giveaway

December 03, 2014


Title: Daughter of Isis
Author: Kelsey Ketch
Series:  Descendants of Isis #1
Release Date: October 26nd, 2013
Genre: Upper Young Adult Fantasy

“Her mouth parted slightly, waiting for Seth to breathe life into her own body, just like in the story. She wanted him to awaken her senses.”

Their worlds collide in California’s high desert.

The last thing Natara “Natti” Stone wants to do is to start anew at Setemple High School. She wished she had never left London. Yet the brutal murder of her maternal grandmother has made her life very complicated. The only clue related to her murder is an ancient, encrypted necklace Natti discovered after her grandmother’s death. And if trying to adjust to American life is not enough, Natti is being stalked by a mysterious, charming high school senior, Seth O’Keefe, who is annoyingly persistent in his attempts at seduction.

Seth O’Keefe is secretly a member of the Sons of Set, an order that worships the Egyptian god of chaos. Seth’s blessing from Set, his “charm,” never failed, except with one person: Natti Stone. Her ability to elude him infatuates and infuriates him, and he becomes obsessed with the chase. But the closer he gets to her, the more his emotions take a dangerous turn, and he risks breaking one of the most valued covenants of his order. The punishment for which is a fate worse than death.

The adventure this unlikely couple becomes engulfed in could cost them their lives and their souls.

*Note: Content for Upper YA*


Purchase for just 99¢
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Smashwords


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•Excerpt•


Seth let out a deep breath as Natti waited, hoping. He ran his fingers through his hair before his face came inches from her.
“The traditional story told to me began during the days before Ra had left Earth. His council told him that if the goddess, Nut, bore any children one would end his reign. So, to protect his power, he placed a curse on Nut, one where she would not be able to bear children on any day of the year.
“Desperate, Nut went to Thoth, the god of wisdom, for help. Thoth knew that once spoken, the curse could not be recalled. However, he discovered a loop hole, went to the moon god, Khonsu, and tricked him into giving up some of his light. From it, Thoth created five extra days which were set between the end of the old year and the beginning of the new.
“On the first of these days, Osiris was born. The second day was set aside for the later birth of Horus, Osiris’s son. On the third day, the second son of Nut was born, Set. Isis, Nut’s first daughter, was born on the fourth day, and her second daughter, Nephthys, was born on the fifth. And when they finally grew up, Osiris married his sister, Isis—”
“Ugh, gods.” Natti rolled her eyes. “Why do they always have to marry their siblings?”
“Well, who else were they supposed to marry?” Seth asked.
“I don’t know. Maybe a mortal for a change.”
Seth crinkled his brow. “The gods are too great to marry a mortal.”
“And how would they know? Have they ever dated one?” Natti trailed off when Seth placed his finger gently on her lips, letting them tingle under his touch. Oh, how she was beginning to love that feeling. She let it consume her.
Seth smiled. “Do you want to hear the story or not?”
Natti focused on his eyes. “You have my full attention.”
“Good. . . . As I was saying, Osiris married Isis, and together they traveled the land. Now before Osiris, the people of ancient Egypt were considered barbarians. Chaos reigned through wars and cannibalism. But when Osiris and Isis spread their knowledge, the people learned to plant grains like wheat and barley; how to tend and water the crops; how to cut the corn when ripe and thresh grain; and then how to dry the crop, grind it, and make bread. They even taught the people how to plant vines, and turn grapes into wine. For his teachings, Osiris became the ruler of all Egypt.
“Set, however, was not pleased by his older brother’s rise to power. So he laid out a plan to kill Osiris and rule in his place. Aided by seventy-two of his most loyal worshipers, Set obtained the exact measurements of Osiris’s body and carved a beautiful box that would only fix to his exact size. Set then threw Osiris a grand feast, the greatest feast Egypt had ever known. He called for only the best food the realm could provide and for the strongest wine to be served. And the dancing girls, they were the most beautiful creatures anyone had ever seen as their bodies swayed to the hypnotic music—”
“That part of the story would get your attention, wouldn’t it?” Natti teased.
Seth’s cheeks turned a slight pink, and the corners of his lips pulled into a smile. He let his finger slide across Natti’s lip again. A delightful shiver silenced her thoughts.
“As the festivities continued, and Osiris drank, Set commanded that the box would be brought to the grand hall. Osiris marveled at the rare cedar inlaid with ivory, gold, silver, and painted figures of the gods and their creations. Using his charm and deception, Set made a grand gesture. He offered the box to whoever could fit inside. A few people tried and failed. When Osiris finally took his turn, though, it fit perfectly, and the lid slammed shut, locking him inside to die. Later, Set returned, dismembered the body into fourteen pieces, and scattered them across the desert.”
The imagery that crossed Natti’s mind caused her whole body to cringe. Seth took her wrist and rubbed his thumb over her hand. The soft tingling sensation soothed her nerves, making her feel all warm and gooey inside.
“When Isis heard what happened, she and Nephthys set out to look for the pieces, gathered each one, and carefully wrapped Osiris in strips of cloth. Unfortunately, this was not enough. The manner in which he had died had prevented his entry into Amenti, the place for those who have passed judgment. So, ultimately, Osiris would not be able to rest in peace.
“However, Isis was clever. She crafted a magical serpent out of dust and Ra’s spittle and placed it in the sun god’s path. The serpent bit him, and Ra—being the most powerful god of all—commanded the poison to leave his body. Yet his magic would not work, for the serpent was made from Ra’s spittle, and therefore, he was unable to cure himself of the poison running through his veins. He called upon Isis, a great healer herself, to withdraw the poison. Isis, though, told him she could only heal him if she knew his secret name. A large request, considering. You see, knowing a god’s true name gives the other person their power. In this case, Isis would gain the power of creation itself.”
Natti thought back her first day at Setemple High when Seth had “stolen” her name in gym class. She understood exactly how the Egyptians felt. It left her feeling violated and betrayed.
“As the pain of the poison spread, Ra finally submitted. He gave her his name in secret and in confidence that no one other than herself shall ever know. Isis agreed and cured Ra of her serpent’s poison.” Seth’s voice became soft and slow. “When she returned to her husband’s side, she took him into her arms, called on the power of Ra, and breathed life back into his body.”
Focused on Seth’s words and his eyes, Natti hardly realized how close his lips had come to hers. They brushed up against her mouth, sending sparks across her flesh. Her heart galloped with excitement. Her mouth parted slightly, waiting for Seth to breathe life into her own body, just like in the story. She wanted him to awaken her senses.



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•About the Author•


During her high school years, Kelsey Ketch could always be found tucked away in a little corner of the hall or classroom, writing her fantasy worlds and creating illustrations and maps. Today is no different, except now she’s writing in the break room at her office building or at the tables of the Barnes and Noble Café in Cary, North Carolina. She is also an avid reader, a part-time book blogger at Ketch’s Book Nook, and lives with her two orange tabbies and awesome and humorous flat-mate.
For more information, please visit her site at kelseyketch.com.






December 02, 2014
 photo Burnt-Edges-Banner.png
 
 
 photo Burnt-Edges.jpg
Title: Burnt Edges  
Author:  Dana Leipold
Published:  October 21st, 2014
Word Count:  56,000
Genre:  Women’s Fiction
Content Warning:  contains sexual abuse and domestic violence
Recommended Age:  18+
Synopsis:
Abuse or an uncertain future. This is Laurel Lee Page’s choice when she is faced with an unplanned pregnancy at 18. Born into a broken family, all she has ever known is guilt and shame. No matter what she does or who she meets, Laurel appears to be living a condemned life but she is determined to find independence and freedom in spite of her family’s legacy of hatred and self-contempt. Can Laurel see that she is in a powerful position, poised to break the cycle of abuse? Set in Southern California during the tumultuous 1960s era, Burnt Edges is based on true events and proves that strength can be found even in the most horrific situations.
 
Excerpt:
Laurel decided that Rusty was Mother’s favorite child. The afternoon in the garage had been proof. But because he often took the brunt of Father’s anger, she felt a bizarre kinship with him. She also loved the stories he would tell when they had nothing to do. He would make up tall tales like the one about spacemen who came to Earth to taste hamburgers because they had none on Mars. He described them as little green men with antennae. “Whenever they come to visit, people find their hats missing, because the Martians steal them to conceal their antennae,” Rusty said. “That’s just silly,” Laurel said. Gerry sat in the dirt, playing with rocks and half-listening. Laurel thought he’d rather be playing football or punching some kid, so he sometimes got bored of the stories. “No, it’s true, really.” “What did they do to hide their green skin?” Laurel asked. “They also steal women’s pancake makeup and put it all over their faces. Helps them blend in.” “Ew, they wear girl’s makeup?” Gerry said, sticking out his tongue. Laurel giggled, imagining Martians wearing makeup and hats just to get a taste of a hamburger. “Why don’t they just steal the recipe and learn how to make hamburgers on Mars?” Laurel thought she’d caught Rusty off guard with this question. “They tried that once, and it was a disaster,” he said, picking up rocks and throwing them against the fence in their backyard. “Yeah, it almost wiped out the whole Martian race.”
“What’d they do, get all sick and throw up?” Gerry laughed at his answer. Rusty threw a rock at Gerry but missed him. “No, moron.” He kept throwing rocks without saying anything. Laurel thought he was trying to come up with a good story. She waited another moment. “Well, what happened?” she asked. “I’ll tell ya! Don’t rush me!” He stopped throwing rocks and sat Indian style, his elbows resting on his legs, hands clasped together so he was leaning forward a bit. “The explorer Martians who had just come back from Earth brought the hamburger recipe to the King of Mars. They told him about the most delicious food they’d ever tasted and that they had brought the secret to it. The king was excited and told his royal cook to make up a batch, but they don’t have meat on Mars.” Rusty paused, and Gerry rolled his eyes, waved his hand, and climbed the rope up to the tree house. Rusty watched him, but Laurel was listening, waiting for Rusty to tell the rest of the story. “Go on,” she said. “Nah, no one cares about the dumb old story,” he said. “I do! Tell me!” “All right, but it’s horrible!” “I don’t care. Tell me!” “Okay, don’t say I didn’t warn you.” Rusty paused and then he began again. “So the cooks tried to figure out what to do. They didn’t want to tell the king that there was no meat. Once a cook had told the king he was all out of Martian mush-rooms and the king executed him. They thought and thought about what to do, and then they called in the royal jester.” “The jester? What does he know about cooking?” Laurel asked. “Exactly.” Laurel looked confused. “So the jester came in, and the cooks smashed him on the head and put him in a boiling pot. Once the Jester was done cooking, they ground him up into bits and fed him to the king.” “Yuck!” Gerry must have heard about the cannibalism. He peeked his head through the hole in the tree house. “That’s disgusting,” he said, loud enough for Rusty and Laurel to hear. “The king loved it and ordered the cooks to make more. So they did. This time they called in the royal guard, bopped him on the head, boiled him up, and fed him to the king. The king couldn’t get enough of those hamburgers, so he made a royal decree stating that the official food of Mars was hamburgers.” Gerry had the tree house door open and was sitting on the floor with his legs hanging out. Laurel shook her head. “The cooks went through the whole Martian Royal Army, the royal court, and most of the Martian population before the king caught on. He ended up executing the cooks, but now the King of Mars comes to visit Earth himself, because he loves hamburgers.” “That’s the dumbest story I ever heard,” Gerry said. “If it’s so dumb why did you listen to it?” Rusty answered back. “Hamburgers aren’t that good,” Laurel said. “Not as good as pizza.”
 
 
 photo Dana-Leipold.jpg
About the Author:
Dana Leipold is a freelance writer, author, and member of the Association of Independent Authors and Creativity Coaching Association. She has self-published two books: a collection of limericks in Dr. Seuss-style for adults entitled, Stupid Poetry: The Ultimate Collection of Sublime and Ridiculous Poems, and a non-fiction book entitled, The Power of Writing Well: Write Well. Change the World, to help writers get their message heard, create stories that connect, and leverage the power of writing well. In addition, she coaches other writers on story structure, messaging, and writing skills so they can achieve their dreams to become published authors. Leipold lives with her husband and two children in the San Francisco Bay Area.
 
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November 07, 2014
Title: Life of a Fool
Author: CM Hutton
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Honest Love Spin-off

Jason

I was a fool…
- for letting Lori Ann convince me that we were wrong for each other.

- for watching her walk away from me fifteen years ago and not stopping her.

- for not realizing she was in trouble.

- for thinking her nightmare, our nightmare was over.
I was a fool for letting my guard down.

And now, I’d do just about anything to keep her safe, including the most reckless, foolish thing a man — a cop, in fact — could do.
___________________________________

Lori Ann

Jason saved me, only to nearly lose me forever.

We’d been fools to think Antonio wouldn't come after me. I was still his wife, after all. He’d hurt me, broken my arm and left me in pieces, but he wasn’t finished. He’d fooled me for years, made me believe he was a great man. Now that I knew the truth, I was going to fight like hell to save myself and Jason, to save the love we’d finally confessed.

I prayed that what I was about to do would be enough.

I was done being someone’s fool.



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Excerpt

Prologue


My life had been a nightmare.

My younger brother, the former NFL player turned firefighter, had been severely injured and on deaths door, as a matter of fact.  Wed been held hostage at the hospital for weeks.  His bride-to-be, Claire,was one of the strongest women Id ever knownaside from my mom and Lori Ann.  Actually, they were probably all about equal in their feminine strength.

DamnLori Ann.  I needed to return her call.

Thankfully, Derek pulled through, married the love of his life, and they were expecting a baby.  I was really happy for him.  My little brother had seen more hard times than I cared to mention, and hed finally found happiness with a woman that was pretty incredible.  Claire had been through her own share of shit and had risen above it.  I was in awe of the woman and loved her as fiercely as I did one of my blood family members. 

Truthfully, seeing Derek find his soul mate, at the age of thirty-five, made me jealous.  I was his older brother.  And although thirty-seven wasnt that old, I felt ancient.  Perhaps, it was due to the stress of holding us all together these last few weeks while we watched Derek struggle for his life.  Maybe it was the ache I felt seeing him so happy. 

Id dated plenty of girls.  They were nice, kindsome a little kinky, but not one of them held my heartheld my soul in their hands. 

Only one had that privilege, and she was already taken.  


_________________________________________________________

About Honest Love

Starting over was never easy for anyone.
I’d heard the stories over and over.
But after the hell my ex-husband had put me through over the last year, over the last twenty years…well, I was ready to move on, repair what was left of my shattered heart and find someone to share my life with—someone who would put me first.
I deserved it. I’d done my time being in her shadow, being a cheap understudy, always second. For. All. Those. Years.
Never again.
Our move to San Diego provided a fresh start, a new place away from all the hurt and memories. Life as a single mom to three teenagers had its' challenges, but we were adjusting and my kids were doing well.
It was time to focus on my happiness, for once. I had a huge capacity to love and I wanted to share my love with a man that respected it, accepted it and gave it in return.
It was just a matter of time before he found me and showed me what true, honest love was all about.

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Excerpts

Claire

Every now and then, during his session, Id notice an odd glance or two from him, but ignored it. I didnt want his negative shit adding to my own. This was my job. I was his physical therapist, not his friend or counselor, and this job was what would keep me going while I learned to wrap my head around my new life. 

Derek didnt say much. He grunted a few times when I pushed him harder, but other than that, nothing.

It wasnt until we were just about done and I was giving him our customary mini relaxation massage, that I took the opportunity to really take a good look at him. Derek removed his shirt as he laid face down on the massage table in my therapy room and an involuntary gasp escaped from me. 

Wasnt expecting that.  

Most patients didnt remove their clothing as these massages were only meant to relieve the tension built up in the body as a result of the stress from working an injury.  Hed apparently heard me because a small, stupid grin turned up on one corner of his mouth. I ignored him.

He was tall and lean, not too bulky, and his skin was tan and smoothdefined. I noticed a few tattoos on his ribs. Id never been much on body ink, but it was sexy on Derek and I couldnt stop staring at it as I slowly rubbed the tension from his neck and shoulders. 

Yeah, you could say I was attracted to him. 

___________________________________________

Derek

Claire seemed nice. Actually she seemed like she probably wouldnt take any crap from me. And I didnt think she knew who I wasalways a good thing. 

She was good at her job. I had a feeling Id be back on the truck soon. My life as a firefighter was about all I had to keep my mind occupied. Football used to do that for me. 

Nothing but tainted memories now.

I shook my head, brushed off my thoughts and focused more on my new therapist. Id asked her a few questions, which she answered willingly. I was curious about Claire, but my pissy mood made my questions come out way too harsh and nasty.

I just hoped I could stop staring at her. She was shorter than me. Maybe 55 with beautiful blonde hair and amazing brown eyes. Not who I would typically pay attention to, but what the hell did I know? The only girl Id ever loved was Claires complete opposite with dark brown hair, blue eyes and really tall.  Shed also ripped my heart out and practically ate the damn thing right in front of me. 

Maybe Claire was just what I needed. 

But first, I had to find out more about her past and what lead her to San Diego.

_________________________________________________________

About the Author

Im a wife, a mom of three, a friend, an aunt, a sister, a daughter and a teacher.  Now, I can add writer to my list!  Ive always wanted to write and finally found inspiration and support to do it.  
I live near Austin, Texas with my family and love to read and travel.  Put me on a beach with a good book and the world just disappears around me.
Paradise Taken was my first novel and is a highly emotional book based on true events.  Its sequel (Saving Us) was released February 2014. 
I love that you are willing to take a chance on a new writer and promise to keep striving to put out great books!  Be sure to check out my newest releases, including Honest Love, which was released in June 2014 and Life of a Fool, the second London Brothers novel, will be available November 6, 2014.

I'd love to chat with you, so look me up on any of my social pages.  
Happy Reading.  :)
CM Hutton


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