Saturday, June 30, 2012

YA Indie Carnival - Fiction Fireworks

This week's YA Indie Carnival topic is Fiction Fireworks.  There were so many options when I scanned Warriors, Guardians, Enemies, and Dark Angels that I had a difficult time deciding which excerpt to share.  In the end, I've elected to post a scene from Enemies, the third book in the series which will be released within the next month.  

This particular excerpt is one between Brody and Allie from their highly anticipated wedding.

Fans enjoy the (still in draft) sneak peak!  When finished, visit my fellow author's sites and enjoy the passages they've elected to share.

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Without regard for my mindset - my reality - and as if magically possessed, Brody stared into my eyes.  He was so close I could see my reflection's every feature mirrored from deep within the black taking over his beautiful teal irises.  The intensity of his passion was consuming, and his intimacy made me flush. 

"My desire for you will be constant.  Unchanging.  Never ending.  This I swear," he said, leaning into my ear.  The warm moisture from his breath...his emphatic promise...made me shiver.

Ignoring the baby I had cradled in one arm and the deep red rose bouquet I had gripped in the other, Brody's hands, ones previously resting on my shoulders, sank to my lower back and pulled me into him.  He squeezed me into his every crevasse in such a way that I fleetingly wondered if he was attempting to meld our bodies together physically.   

With the thought of us melding together and becoming one, something inside me clicked.  I convulsed with its force.  My concentration was so focused on Brody and the way his wonderful ocean scent mixed with the roses' rich melon fragrance that it was a miracle Gillian did not drop to the floor next to the bouquet I'd just accidently released.   

Coming to my rescue and realizing a sacred ritual, something none of us had expected, was taking place, John carefully slipped Gillian from me and mindlessly bounced her while we finished our ceremony.  From the corner of my eye, I saw the way John watched us.  Based on his infatuation, Brody and I might as well have become extinct animals in the Houston Zoo, ones who were about to mate publically for the first time. 

Without regard for my irritation at not having the privacy that I craved for our pledges, I involuntary and poetically sang words which were as innate to me as my need to save people.  "As the water nourishes the earth.  As the sun feeds the plants.  My love will sustain you.  This I swear."

As soon as the words (the truest ones I'd ever spoken) fell from my lips, Brody bent down and kissed me.  This lingering kiss was more desirous and passionate than the symbolic one he'd given me after our earlier marriage ceremony.  Because our feelings were mutual, there was no way for me to pull myself from him.  Instead, I wrapped my arms around the back of his neck and pulled him closer to me.

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1.Laura A. H. Elliott 2.Bryna Butler, author Midnight Guardian series
3.Heather Self4.T. R. Graves, Author of The Warrior Series
5.Suzy Turner, author of The Raven Saga6.Cheri Schmidt, author of the Fateful Trilogy
7.Rachel Coles, author of Into The Ruins, geek mom blog 8.K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed
9.Patti Larsen, The Hunted series and The Hayle Coven series10.Amy Maurer Jones, Author of The Soul Quest Trilogy
11.Fisher Amelie, author of The Understorey12.Gwenn Wright, author of Filter
13.Melissa Pearl, Author of The Time Spirit Trilogy14.Heather M. White, author of The Destiny Saga
15.Liz Long | Just another writer on the loose.16.Ella James
17.Maureen Murrish18.Valerie Sloan
19.YA Sci Fi Author's Ramblings20.LM Preston

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Dark Angels of the Cross (The Warrior Series, #4)

I have the best book cover designer ever.  All I have to do is tell Claudia Lucia McKinney my vision, and as if by magic, she has examples to me.  Then, she eagerly awaits my suggestions.  As soon as I make them, she updates the design and sends the final copy to me.  She makes a very, very difficult job look like child's play when I know it's not.  She is AMAZING!

I'm wrapping up Enemies of the Cross (The Warrior Series, #3) which meant it was time to look forward to the next book in the series.  After a few hours of working with Claudia, I have the finished product ready to share.  Here is the cover for Dark Angels of the Cross (The Warrior Series, #4).  This should be released spring of 2013.

Visit Claudia's website, Phatpuppy Art, and you will quickly see how wonderfully talented she is.

 THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT & ENJOY!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tiger's Voyage (The Tiger Saga #3) by Colleen Houck




Tiger's Voyage (The Tiger Saga #3) is another wonderful book within one of my favorite series to date.   is a phenomenal author who has done a great job writing a story filled with heart-squeezing romance, unbelievably believable fantasy worlds, and spine-tingling adventures.  Honestly, I can't say enough positive things about this timeless saga.

The characters.  From the main ones to the supporting ones, they are created and molded until they are perfect.  Their every action and reaction believable...frustrating...and amazing.  Kelsey, Ren, Kishan, and Mr. Kadam have come to feel like old friends. 

The settings.  Each and every one of the fantasy worlds traveled to during this version of the quest are described in a manner where I can easily visualize its traits, its magnificence, and its dangers.




I love this series so much, I've spent several weeks reading and re-reading it.  This is important to mention because I almost never re-read a book.  I have so little leisure time that going back over a book where I already know the final outcome is rare.  I've made the exception with The Tiger Saga because of all the great details that I missed the first time.  The excitement and anticipation prevented me from appreciating the lengths 

I won't give anything away, but Tiger's Voyage (The Tiger Saga #3) ends in such a surprising manner that fans like me will be rabidly awaiting Tiger's Destiny (The Tiger Saga #4)'s release.  I for one...I can not wait!



Thursday, June 7, 2012

YA Indie Carnival - Round Robin of Original Stories

Fans are going to have a great time with this week's YA Indie Carnival topic.  Several of the authors pulled the first paragraph from one of their books or works in progress and passed it along to the other authors for them to write the next 1-3 paragraphs.  It's amazing how different a story can become with the input...talent...vision of others.  I have to admit I really enjoyed this exercise and hope everyone appreciates our efforts.

For my submission, I used the first paragraph from Guardians of the Cross.  Below, I've started off with the Round Robin's version which includes the unique and exciting additions from the YA Indie Carnival authors.  Underneath that, you'll see the second version or the actual - and very different - Prologue from Guardians of the Cross.  At the bottom of the page, you will find other authors who participated in the Round Robin.  Take a few minutes to visit these authors' sites and watch their stories' amazing transformations.

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ROUND ROBIN VERSION FOR THE PROLOGUE OF 

Julia strolled along the beach with James, enjoying the beautiful orange and yellow shades of the sunset. The way the scene mirrored off the ocean’s glass horizon made for a spectacular sight. The serenity of the setting - along with the calming, salt-infused breeze - camouflaged the danger speeding toward her and her unborn baby faster than a just fired bullet.
Before she could even comprehend what was going on, the impact of hitting the sand sapped the air from her lungs. As Julia struggled to get her breath back, her gaze touched on James’ before darting past his shoulder to see if it was still there. As the aromas of cologne and shaving cream joined the tang of salt surrounding her, she wondered if they were alone again and how James knew to shove her to safety. Biting her lip now, Julia again met his concerned expression. Sensing the many questions likely consuming his thoughts, Julia couldn’t stop her gaze from escaping to the sunset. She pinched her eyes shut and swallowed hard—it wasn’t as comforting to look at now.
"How did they find us?" Julia's throat tightened, her words emerging thick and unnatural.
"They must have a lock on your biopulse after all." James crouched and offered her his hand, gently guiding her back to her feet. Her eyes found the crushed and twisted metal object smoking at his feet, then the stripped flesh of his fingers where his shell was damaged destroying it. His steel bones were the same shade as the fallen seeker.
When she looked up and caught his gaze, Julia could clearly see his fear, her hands curving protectively around her swollen belly as he spoke. "I'm sorry," he said. "I don't think I was fast enough. There's a good chance the seeker sent a signal back to the tracker and they know exactly where you are."
Julia didn't hesitate. She couldn't even if she wanted to. Her unborn son and their small corner of the galaxy depended on it. Hands moving with practiced perfection opened a bubble of protection around them.
"I'll make sure they don't follow," James whispered. Julia nodded, clenching her betraying, quivering lips. She would stay and argue with him for all time, but it would be of no use. Only she could make this journey. His body of steel was not built for time travel.
After a last lingering look at the man she would always love, she took a few steps forward and was gone.
Time travel didn't exactly feel good when you were pregnant. Under the best of circumstances, it made her feel pulled apart and reassembled. Now, it also made her feel like she was going to puke. Tears pricked the backs of her eyes as she thought about James. If only she could have taken him with her. Within seconds, the trip ended. The bright light of the Traveling Corridor died. She was plunged into complete darkness.
She gasped. Where was she? Somehow, she'd ended up in the wrong place.
But Julia wouldn’t know for quite some time because the seekers were just that good at setting their traps. As Julia had never been tracked before, she was unfamiliar with the seekers’cunning ways. Legend boasts how the trackers would in fact be Julia’s champions. But first she would suffer unlike any Prefect before or since. The seekers would do anything to capture the baby.
Stumbling in the darkness, she found her balance and moved forward with slow, cautious steps.
"Hello?"
A distant echo mirrored her words.
Inching forward, she stretched her hands in front of her and found her palms meeting ice cold, stone. She ran her fingers over the bumpy surface and felt her womb jolt. Her son could feel her fear. She rubbed her belly and murmured words of comfort as she kept her hand on the wall and continued her arduous journey.
"Julia." The word bounced around her and she turned back to try and find its origin. "Ju-li-a." Her name came out in a song this time followed by an evil cackle.
She gripped her belly and tried to slow her breathing.
"I see you." The laugh continued. "I know where you are." She felt the words whispered into her ear, the breath tickling her earlobe. Letting out a scream, she held her belly and ran.

ACTUAL VERSION FOR THE PROLOGUE OF
Julia strolled along the beach with James, enjoying the beautiful orange and yellow shades of the sunset. The way the scene mirrored off the ocean’s glass horizon made for a spectacular sight. The serenity of the setting - along with the calming, salt-infused breeze-camouflaged the danger speeding toward her and her unborn baby faster than a just fired bullet.
To Julia’s surprise and as if they had not been married for ten years, James pulled her to his chest and gave her a memorable kiss. When he finally released her, she, breathless, asked, “What was that for?”
Pleased with himself, he chuckled. “I don’t need an excuse to kiss the mother of my child.” With his reminder, he reached down and stroked her protruding belly. She, watching him and the way he admired her pregnant tummy, felt a warm squeeze of her heart.
For a second, she thought about telling him she knew of his nightly ritual. It had become routine for him to lay awake and talk to their unborn child. During those private moments, he would stare at her stomach like he had x-ray vision and mumble promises to guard over them for his entire life. Remembering how he waited until he thought she was asleep, she decided his secrets were best left unspoken.
No matter what, James’ innocent secrets would never be compared to Julia’s frightening ones. At most, James’ would stir up a little embarrassment. Hers, on the other hand, were life threatening.
James was intimately familiar with Julia’s power to save the dying. Her gift was almost too powerful to be hidden. It would have been impossible to conceal from the man she loved more than anyone…except her unborn baby. James did not know that her debilitating episodes were now being controlled by their bundle of joy who apparently exhibited abilities from the womb.
After the first episode, Julia researched The Warriors’ heritage. She was desperate to find another soul who exhibited the talent before birth. There were no documented cases. Not even with the most powerful of The Warriors. Julia shivered, wondering what this could possibly mean for her baby.
Shocked out of her world of worry, she heard the anxious and frightened calls of a woman running down the almost deserted beach.
“CLARK…CLARK…CLARK,” the stranger bellowed, using her hands as a horn right before her knees buckled and she fell to the ground.
The lady was only down seconds before she popped back up onto her feet and began calling the boy’s name again.
Realizing the ocean’s strong currents and their danger for small children, James and Julia’s instincts were to join in the search. They scanned the surface of the gulf. The body of water appearing beautiful and benign just minutes ago now felt violent and malignant.
“Oh my God,” James shouted.
Before Julia knew what was happening, he bolted toward the waves as if running for his own life. Staring in the direction of his sprinting and then his swimming, Julia noticed a lifeless toddler floating with his face down. The tiny boy’s body made an ominous five-point star, and he passively swayed with each wave carrying him farther out to sea.
The woman saw what Julia saw and instantly fell back onto her knees. She began crying and praying in such an agonizing manner that her suffering brought tears to Julia’s eyes.
“God, please take me instead! God, save my precious grand baby! God, give me the power to heal him,” the woman next to Julia wailed.
James’ water rescue was going fast, but the passing of time flipped into a movie-like slow motion which almost drove Julia insane. Feeling useless, she knelt at the edge of the waves with the woman whose horrified focus never strayed from the child in James’ arms.
The intensity of the grandmother’s grief caused the familiar stirring of Julia’s belly. The first time, Julia had been blind-sided by the baby’s abilities. This time, she reminded herself to stay in control of the situation.
‘I got this, sweetie. I’ll save him,’Julia telepathically assured her baby.
‘They told me I had to save him, Mommy. Not you,’ the infant debated using her special means of communication while working hard to take over Julia’s free will.
‘Don’t you do anything, and I mean it,’ Julia mentally responded.
‘Dammit!’Julia thought when without intending to, she grabbed the grandmother’s hand.
“I’ve been blessed by God. I’ll take care of him,” Julia said with a confidence she did not feel.
The words and feelings of assurance were the baby’s and not her own. The boy being cradled by James was dead and looked worse than any other drowning victim Julia had ever seen. Since she worked as one of the island’s emergency room physicians, this observation was significant.
The second the toddler’s grey and lifeless body came to rest on the beach, Julia’s examination began. On cue, the compassionate baby inside of her sprang into action. The infant’s hands and feet were visibly protruding and rolling underneath her balloon-like belly. Julia tried to hide the baby’s actions from James, who focused solely on the boy. Soon, the battle was more than Julia could manage.
Last time, Julia’s fetus had allowed her to place her hand on the dying boy while performing the miraculous save. It was as if Julia was the vessel through which the infant’s gift traveled. This time, the baby commanded that Julia put the boy’s hand to her stomach…directly over the infant’s hand. Julia recognized the look of pure horror on James’ face when he realized what was happening and who was in charge.
Unable to do anything more than obey the fetus’ demands, Julia lifted the boy’s cold, wet hand to her tumultuous and shifting stomach. It was the exact spot of a jutting appendage. A hand.
The second their hands met, the boy violently convulsed up and off the ground. Then, he crashed back down and began coughing and spewing water. The sight of him reminded Julia of an air-filled water hose spewing air pockets along with the flowing water.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Tiger's Quest (The Tiger Saga #2) by Colleen Houck




Tiger's Quest (The Tiger Saga #2) had so many parts to it that I literally felt as if I'd read three seperate books once it was over...all equally amazing.  I said with Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga #1) that



Without adding spoilers, Tiger's Quest (The Tiger Saga #2) will make you feel like your heart has been ripped from its cavity, and it's done in such a way and at such an unexpected moment that you are all the more shocked when it happens.

Stay tuned for my review of Tiger's Voyage (The Tiger Saga #3)



Friday, June 1, 2012

Heven or Hell Tour - Charade by Cambria Hebert

Event:  Heven or Hell Tour for Charade (Heven and Hell, #2) by








Charade (Heven and Hell, #2) by

Dying at the hands of a psycho was a shock. Having my life returned to me by an angel was incredible. Being named a Supernatural Treasure and being given Sam as my guard was pretty darn awesome. Acquiring a debt for it all—well, I should have seen it coming.

Now here we are, fighting demons from Hell, caring for a boy that I just don’t trust, and traveling to faraway places to return a treasure to its rightful place. Nothing is as it seems. Everyone wears a mask; everyone puts on a charade. It’s up to us to separate the truth from the lies and reality from fiction. A hard task when my new reality involves fallen angels, witches and dragons… and did I mention Hell?

Anchoring me down through it all is Sam. Sam, who must face tragedies of his own and is put to the test again and again.

If we fail in our task, life as we know it—life as you know it—will end. Forever.