Teshelle Combs Is Here! (And my book playlist)

 

Today I’m switching blogs with another YA Author, Teshelle Combs. You can check out my post about the songs I chose for my 18 Thoughts playlist here.

Before Teshelle takes over, some introductions are in order:

Teshelle

Teshelle Combs is the YA author of the Core series and The System. She’s one of those crazies who majored in English in college and works as a full-time writer. She grew up in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, and currently lives with her composer and voice actor hubby, Nate Combs, and their new baby boy, Jaxter, in Cape Coral, FL. Their house is generally filled with epic film themes, video game scores, and the sound of chattering keyboards.

Hi to all Jamie’s wonderful followers and fans! First of all, congratulations to Jamie on finishing her awesome series with her final book, 18 Thoughts! I feel very privileged to know such a cool, warm, and colorful person. If you haven’t read her work, you should!

 

Today, I’m going to talk to you about my Core Series! It’s about dragon shifters, it’s YA, and it’s filled with thrilling and emotional character development.

core-new-ebook-cover-page-001

But just as important as who my character are…is what my characters are wearing! Let’s have some fun! I want all of you to pick your favorite outfit. Who would you want to look like if you were going out for a night of partying at the best dragon hangout spot, the Cave?

 

Onna – It’s all about bold colors and sophisticated fashion for this red dragon. She’s in a skintight red dress with killer heels. Literally. Right inside her heels are six-inch dragonblades. No one, not even a siren, dares pick a fight with Onna.

 

Ava – Ava could not care less about what people think of her. She wears a white tank top that just happens to show off her chiseled arms, and a tattered pair of skinny jeans with her faithful pair of black and white chucks. Ava is always ready to throw down, human…or not. Don’t cross her.

 

Myra – Dark and edgy. Myra is quiet red dragon, but she’s fierce. She wears leather skinnies and a matching top and heeled combat boots that could put someone’s eye out. Her platinum blonde hair is pulled into a high bun and her makeup is smoky to the max.

 

Juliette – A sweet and sophisticated red dragon. Juliette wears hand-carved beaded jewelry and a summery white dress that’s cut to show off some of her soft back. She wears dragon-forged brown leather boots. Her hair is in a simple side braid. She seems innocent, but she’ll do anything for the people she loves.

 

Ima – Luxury and elegance is all Ima cares about. Her long shimmering dress is slit high enough to reveal perfect thighs. The back swoops low and the fabric of the dress is infused with diamond and ruby dust. She powdered her silver hair and pale skin with the same dust. Her heels are made of real crystal and her jewelry is twisted from marbled rose thorns. Think Elsa, if Elsa was cold-hearted grey dragon.

 

So, tell me who you’d rather be! And please take a look at my Core Series! Book 4, LACE, comes out in just a few weeks!

 

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What’s Your System?

Today I have my good buddy, Teshelle Combs, guest posting. She is the award winning author of the YA action/romance novel, The System, and YA contemporary fantasy novel, Core. Take it away, T!!

Tessa's photo

Hey everyone! I’ve launched a brand new series! ‘The System’ is YA, action/adventure, sci-fi/romance. And it’s gooood.
I wanted to share with you what it’s like to release an indie title, just in case you’re curious about seeing the inside of my brain.

6:30 am – Wake up way too early so you can make sure your book is actually up on amazon, even though you checked it 12 times the night before.
7:00 am – Refresh the page and check one more time.
7:15 am – Start tweeting about it for all your UK and EU fans who are probably on their lunch breaks. Freak out when they interact with you because you still can’t believe people think the virtual “you” is cool enough to talk to.
8:00 am – Check on your sales. They’re trickling in now.
9:00 am – Start annoying everyone who was dumb enough to sign up for your book release event on facebook. Tell them obvious things about how you’re ‘so excited.’ What you don’t tell them is that you’re having a series of small panic attacks. ‘What if no one buys anything? What if no one cares? What if they buy my book and they HATE it?!?!’
10:00 am – Eat breakfast, feed your baby, and juggle your phone in one hand so you can refresh you sales page every 30 seconds and see each sale as it rolls in because about now you’re manic and obsessing and you can’t stop checking.
11:00 am – Thank God your baby is napping and now you can get onto your lap and tweet and annoy more facebook and goodreads fans and thank people who are kind enough to retweet and share your book. Check on all the sites that agreed to promote you.
11:15 am – Freak out because you forgot to check your sales and OH MY GOD, some more people bought ‘The System’ and you may not end up being a failure after all!
12:00 pm – Eat before you pass out. Remember to blink. Remember to swallow the food in your mouth. Remember to breathe. Because by now you can see how well you’re ranking well on amazon.com and it’s giving you an aneurism.
1:00 pm – Post too many screenshots of your amazon ranking and beg people to get more copies because you’re DOING IT!
2:00 pm – Scheduled nervous breakdown. Because there’s no way someone can bottle up so many firework emotions for a whole day. Cry a little in the bathroom.
3:00 pm – Text your best friend and have her tell you to stop crying in the bathroom because you’re being ridiculous now.
4:00 pm – Call your mom and have her tell you to stop crying in the bathroom. But she tells you that you’re an inspiring, perfect human being in her eyes and she’s so proud and now she’s crying and you’re crying and everyone’s crying.
5:00 pm – You forgot that most people don’t sit on their phones all day while they’re at work. So now everyone is at home and on twitter and facebook and they’re being sweet and amazing and sales are picking up and you’re ranking number one in a few things.
6-9:00 pm – Keep yelling to your husband that you’re selling more books until he gets sick of hearing it. But you can’t stop yourself. For better or for worse, right??
9:30 pm – Gasp! Remember you’re doing a free promo of your first book alongside your launch of ‘The System.’ Check on the free stats for ‘Core.’ And realize that you’re KILLING IT. Then you start crying because OH MY GOD!
10-11:00 pm – It dawns on you. You’re indie. Which means you did this all on your own. And if it wasn’t for great friends and fans, you’d be nowhere doing nothing. And you go to bed with a smile. This is all you’ve ever wanted to do, and you’re doing it. You’re doing your dream.

The System cover art large

The System

1 + 1 = Dead.

That’s the only math that adds up when you’re in the System.

Everywhere Nick turns, he’s surrounded by the inevitability of his own demise at the hands of the people who stole his life from him. That is, until those hands deliver the bleeding, feisty, eye-rolling Nessa Parker. Tasked with keeping his new partner alive, Nick must face all the ways he’s died and all the things he’s forgotten.

Nessa might as well give up. The moment she gets into that car, the moment she lays her hazel eyes on her new partner, her end begins. It doesn’t matter that Nick Masters can slip through time by computing mathematical algorithms in his mind. It doesn’t matter how dark and handsome and irresistibly cold he is. Nessa has to defeat her own shadows.

Together and alone, Nick and Nessa make sense of their senseless fates and fight for the courage to change it all. Even if it means the System wins and they end up…well…dead.

Find the ebook for only 99 cents on Amazon!

Side note from Jamie: I got to Beta Read the first 5 chapters of The System and it’s AWESOME!
core-paperback

 

Cale can’t lie.

If only he could lie to the girl with the hard eyes and clenched fists, if only he could twist the truth, maybe he’d win her trust. But Cale can’t lie. And the only way to get ‘her’ is to tell her exactly what he is.

Journey through fight clubs, sky dungeons, and the perils of a forbidden world. Join Cale–an eighteen year old with one impossible secret–as he tears through the calloused blockade that is Ava Johnson.

And fearless Ava, buried in secrets of her own, faces the most frightening truth of her dark life.

She must learn to need someone.

Amazon: Also 99 cents right now!!
Another side note: Teshelle did an author visit at my middle school with this book (her debut novel) and the kids went nuts for it! Had to skip over some of the steamier parts when reading it to my class though.

You can connect with Teshelle at any of these places:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/teshellecombsbooks

Website: http://teshellecombs.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TeshelleCombs

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7038103.Teshelle_Combs

Email: teshellecombs@gmail.com

Thanks for stopping by Teshelle! And to everyone else, thanks for reading 🙂 Did you relate to Teshelle’s experience? I know I went through the same thing when publishing 18 Things and 18 Truths, even with the help of a publisher. If you’re still waiting patiently (HA!) to be published, don’t give up! Everything happens in God’s perfect timing.

My Thoughts Aren’t Divided Over This One!

Sometimes when you read a friend’s book and want to review it, you’re divided because you didn’t love it. Just ask Jennifer Eaton . . . she hated my first novel, 18 Things. But she’ll tell you it wasn’t because the writing that sucked *wipes forehead* . . . it just wasn’t her thing.

When Jessa Russo sent out an email to organize her blog tour for her new release, Divide, I signed up to review the book right away. I KNEW loving her story wouldn’t be a problem because she’s A*M*A*Z*I*N*G! She could publish a grocery list and I’d buy it 🙂

The Book Blurb:

Divide cover

From senior class president to dejected social outcast, with just the flick of a match.

After accusations of torching her ex-boyfriend’s home are followed by the mysterious poisoning of her ex-best friend, seventeen-year-old Holland Briggs assumes her life is over. And it is. But not in the way she thinks.

As Holland learns the truth about her cursed fate—that she is descended from the Beast most have only ever heard of in fairytales—she unites with an unlikely ally, good-looking newcomer Mick Stevenson.

Mick knows more about Holland’s twisted history than she does, and enlightening as it is to learn about, his suggestion for a cure is unsettling at best. Holland must fall in love with Mick in order to break the spell, and save their future generations from repeating her cursed fate. Having sworn off love after the betrayals of her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend, this may be difficult to accomplish.

Complicating things further for Holland and Mick, time runs out, and Holland’s change begins way before schedule. With Holland quickly morphing into a dangerous mythical creature, Mick struggles to save her.

Should they fail, Holland will be lost to the beast inside her forever.

My Thoughts:

Jessa didn’t disappoint! She really knows how to get a story under way.  I immediately feel in love with Holland and Mick and cared about their happily ever after. There’s the triple D factor: desire, danger, and decision. Jessa nails them all with Divide.

Holland is a girl fighting for her identity, seeking truths about what’s happening to her. She wants Mick, but she’s conflicted because of the beast living inside her. At the same time, she’s recovering from a major heartbreak and betrayal (who isn’t in high school, right?). She’s trying to be good, but she’s lost control of herself. Other issues pop up that create plot twists I never saw coming. The whole time, you’re LIVING each moment as the characters experience it because of Jessa’s flawless writing. It’s a character-driven story and an action-driven plot, and it’s darn hard to pull off both but this book does! I loved the tension woven throughout this YA fantasy/fairytale redux. Every scene is manipulated for maximum impact.

The only thing I didn’t like was the ending. It came too soon, and I wanted to see MORE of Holland and Mick.

book hangover

If you want to find out more about Jessa, go here to visit her website (she also offers a full line of editing services! My publisher uses her for freelance & as my editor, I can vouch for her!)

DIVIDE: Amazon | Kobo | Barnes&Noble | Goodreads

What else has everyone been up to? I have to say I saw two great movies this past weekend. Friday I rented The Spectacular Now from the Redbox, starring Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller, a coming of age film based on the novel by Tim Tharp. Lovely indie film. Then Saturday the fam and I saw Rio 2. I must admit I wasn’t too excited to see this one, but I laughed more than the 3 kids with us (okay, 4 if you include hubs, hahaha).

Also, now that 18 Thoughts is written, I’ve had time to exercise again! YAY! I met two girlfriends for a six-mile walk on Saturday morning and was able to show them the door I’m convinced leads to Narnia. I’ve never tried to open it, but how cool is this door?!

Narnia

I’ll be back next week with my IWSG post. Huge hugs to Alex who mentioned me in his A to Z blog post on Monday! Until we meet again, LONG LIVE ASLAN!

3 Books Sooo AWESOME You Won’t Believe It!!!

Two years ago in May, I entered a contest on a blog that changed my life forever. The blog was Sharon Bayliss, and the result was a publishing contract for my trilogy! On Sharon’s blog, I read about another success story from her contest. Her name was Jessa Russo, and I remember falling in love with her voice on her celebration post and wishing she lived in Florida instead of California because I knew we’d be great friends if she did. Who knew that a year later, she would be my new editor for the second and third installments of my trilogy! And by publishing my books, who knew I’d help inspire a dear friend named Tiffany Pastor who I met in college a long time ago in a galaxy far away (okay, not that far away, but the year 2000 does seem like forever ago) to write and publish her own book!

I owe these three ladies sooo much, so I wanted to highlight their new releases on my blog today!

First up is Sharon’s book, Destruction.

Destruction-Sharon Bayliss

David Vandergraff wants to be a good man. He goes to church every Sunday, keeps his lawn trim and green, and loves his wife and kids more than anything. Unfortunately, being a dark wizard isn’t a choice.

Eleven years ago, David’s secret second family went missing. When his two lost children are finally found, he learns they suffered years of unthinkable abuse. Ready to make things right, David brings the kids home even though it could mean losing the wife he can’t imagine living without. 
 
Keeping his life together becomes harder when the new children claim to be dark wizards. David believes they use this fantasy to cope with their trauma. Until, David’s wife admits a secret of her own—she is a dark wizard too, as is David, and all of their children.  

Now, David must parent two hurting children from a dark world he doesn’t understand and keep his family from falling apart. All while dealing with the realization that everyone he loves, including himself, may be evil.

She had me at wizard!

Next up is the wonderfully talented Jessa with DIVIDE!

Divide cover

From senior class president to dejected social outcast, with just the flick of a match.

After accusations of torching her ex-boyfriend’s home are followed by the mysterious poisoning of her ex-best friend, seventeen-year-old Holland Briggs assumes her life is over. And it is. But not in the way she thinks.

As Holland learns the truth about her cursed fate—that she is descended from the Beast most have only ever heard of in fairytales—she unites with an unlikely ally, good-looking newcomer Mick Stevenson. 


Mick knows more about Holland’s twisted history than she does, and enlightening as it is to learn about, his suggestion for a cure is unsettling at best. Holland must fall in love with Mick in order to break the spell, and save their future generations from repeating her cursed fate. Having sworn off love after the betrayals of her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend, this may be difficult to accomplish. 

Complicating things further for Holland and Mick, time runs out, and Holland’s change begins way before schedule. With Holland quickly morphing into a dangerous mythical creature, Mick struggles to save her. 

Should they fail, Holland will be lost to the beast inside her forever.
Who doesn’t love a YA Fantasy/Fairytale Redux?!?

DIVIDE: Goodreads | Amazon 

And last but not least is Tiffany Pastor, who really is a pastor! She married one of my good buddies in college & nobody wears that last name better (my daughter was even a flower girl in their wedding . . . didn’t use all her petals by the time she reached the alter, so she dumped her basket right there, lol). Her book, CHILDREN of the CITY, is a novel about child trafficking in America.

COTC cover
COTC tells the story of suffering through fictional characters and introduces the reality of darkness that so many people face every day. Research and statistics of atrocity are now given a face, given a name.BUT EVEN MORE IMPORTANT than the nuts and bolts of the plot is the “WHY” behind the story. This is MORE than just book sales and bestselling lists! This is an opportunity for people to UNITE and make a difference since 40% of her proceeds go back to freedom fighting organizations!COTC empowers people like you and me to rise up and partner with freedom fighters all over the world.

DON’T THESE BOOKS LOOK AWESOME!!! I hope you’ll check them out, and I hope you’ll forgive me for neglecting to visit your blogs the past month while I finished 18 Thoughts. Good news is I sent it to my CP’s last night! It is finished . . . until they rip the manuscript to pieces. A little warning: the series didn’t end the way I planned. My characters changed their minds with 3 chapters left. Don’t you just love it when they do that?!?

 

The 12 Books of Christmas! Holiday Buyers Guide for YA Book Lovers!

 

holiday pic

My two favorite young people

Sometime during the Christmas season, you’ll probably be shopping for a young adult in your life (or if you’re like my husband, shopping for your wife who still acts like a young adult). You might be scratching your head at what to get someone between the ages of 13-19, but have no fear, Jamie is here! I scanned my Goodreads log and picked out 12 YA books I read across the genres this year, ones that I would for sure recommend to anyone age 13 and up!

On the 12th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . A Fractured Fairy Tale.

Alice in Zombieland and Through the Zombie Glass

This is a great modern-day twist on a beloved story! You can’t buy one without buying the other because you’ll want to read the sequel right away!

On the 11th, 10th, and 9th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . Historical Fiction.

A few picks on this one:

The Book Thief (World War II-era story . . . yeah, you’ve heard the story, but not from Death’s POV)

The Red Umbrella (Cuban politics and history . . . I know it sounds boring, but it’s totally not! EVERYONE should read this!)

The Infernal Devices (England during the Victorian era–this is an admixture of the real history and the unreal since it features paranormal elements. This trilogy is a prequel to The Mortal Instruments books, which if you didn’t read, you might’ve seen the movie this year!)

On the 8th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . Paranormal Romance.

Ever and Evade are another two-for-one deal in the same series. Get your pot of coffee ready when reading this one because you’ll want to pull an all nighter, but so much more fun than studying for exams!

On the 7th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . Inspirational Romance.

KIYA: Hope of the Pharaoh. This book was put out by my publisher this year, and it was one of my favorite reads. It could also fall under historical fiction. What a fun way to learn! Book #2, KIYA: Mother of a King is sitting on my Kindle, waiting to be read over my Christmas vacation!

On the 6th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . Mythological Fiction.

Tangled Tides. Love the tag line: Yara Jones doesn’t believe in sea monsters–until she becomes one. This book is so good, seriously one of my 13yo favs!

On the 5th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . Magical Realism/Adventure Fiction.

Kingdom Keepers V: Shell Game. Of course, if you’re feeling like winning the title, “Aunt of the Year” then go ahead and buy all 5 books in the series for your tween/teen, but all of the stories can also stand alone. Who doesn’t love the idea of Disney characters coming to life, no matter what age you are!

One the 4th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . Fantasy Fiction.

Core. This is the debut novel by a talented writer and friend who attends the same church as me. I have one word for ya: Dragons. Really, what more do you need?

On the 3rd Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me. . . Sci-Fi/Dystopian Fiction.

Under the Never Sky and Through the Ever Night. Yep, another two-for-one deal here. Can’t recommend these books enough. Out of 5 stars, I’d give them 10! If you enjoyed The Hunger Games, this is a must read! And since it’s told through dual narrative, the hero and heroine’s POV, it offers broad appeal.

On the 2nd and 1st Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . Contemporary Coming of Age Fiction.

The Moon and More. I’m in love with Sarah Dessen. She is my literary girl crush. I could read nothing but her books for the rest of my life, and I’d be in heaven!

18 Things.  I may be biased here, but this is one heck of a book! Hahaha . . . could also fit under Inspirational and Paranormal Romance, but the overall arc of the series is definitely first and foremost a coming of age tale.

I could go on and on . . . why did the song have to be the 12 Days of Christmas?! So many books, so little time. Some other honorable mentions are the 4 novels I’m reading with my Language Arts classes right now: The Girl Who Threw Butterflies, Legend, Janitors, and Cinder.

*What about you? What books would you recommend buying as gifts for the holiday season, YA or otherwise? Read any of these books? Yay or Nay to my picks?

Catching Fire, Truckin’ It, & Butterbeer Goodness!!!

To celebrate the release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Lionsgate announced that some of the supporting cast members would embark on a National ‘Victory  Tour.’  The tour included a stop in Miami, which featured special Q&As with fans and autograph signings. Since Miami is only a two-hour drive from where we live and because hubby works for our local Fox news station, he was able to attend the event with one person. He didn’t bring me . . . he brought our 13-year-old daughter. Don’t worry, I’m not bitter or anything. I figure with the direction America is headed, we’re not far off from The Hunger Games becoming a reality, and I plan to offer up my daughter as a tribute. Yeah, paybacks are a . . .

Kidding! Here are some pics from the event . . . .

Catching Fire

Alan Ritchson (middle) is also playing Raphael in the new TMNT!

Now if you’re worried about the state of affairs in America like I am, I have great news! My dad has a plan to save us all. He’s a truck driver, and I write that with extreme pride. It’s a demanding profession, and he’s the hardest working man I know. Since he spends his time traveling all across the fifty states, he has a perspective most of us don’t. He also has a lot of time to think, a luxury many of us don’t have. We have so many things pulling us in different directions, always GO-GO-GO, and we’re hard-pressed to stay informed on the important matters concerning our beloved country and what we should be doing to help. Anyway, as the proud daughter of a truck driver, I kinda think an average Joe like my dad just might be the person we need to save America 🙂 And I was so blessed that he passed through our neck of the woods on Sunday! Here are some pics of Ashley and I running out to greet him!

Truck

And last but not least, some of you may have seen this around the web last week, but just incase you missed it . . . you don’t have to travel allll the way to my state anymore to try the popular wizarding beverage at the Harry Potter area in Islands of Adventure. Because according to Foodbeast, Starbucks has collected the potion recipe for any Muggle to try a Butterbeer at one of their locations.

Here’s what you’ll need to order to achieve frothy butterscotch goodness, in either cold or warm variations:

Cold Version:

• A Crème Frappuccino base, made with whole milk (not skim or 2%, which will mess up the consistency) • 3 pumps of caramel syrup • 3 pumps of toffee nut syrup • Top with caramel drizzle

Butterbeer

CHEERS!

Warm Version:

• Whole milk steamer Caramel syrup (2 pumps for a tall, 3 for grande, 4 for venti) • Toffee nut syrup (2 pumps for a tall, 3 for grande, 4 for venti) • Cinnamon Dolce syrup (2 pumps for a tall, 3 for grande, 4 for venti) • Top with whipped cream and salted caramel bits • Optional: 1 shot of espresso (2 for a grande or venti)

WARNING: NOT SAFE FOR HOUSE-ELVES!

Starbucks’ Butterbeers will only be available during the next few months, as the coffee chain cuts off the flow of toffee nut syrup after the holiday season. Guess they aren’t the wizards that I thought they were! Still, I plan on hopping on my Nimbus 2000 this weekend and pairing this magical concoction with a chocolate cauldron (cupcake). As a fan and writer of geek-friendly romance, I think this has “perfect date night” written all over it *winks at hubs across the couch*

*Thanks for stopping by! Tell me, are you going to see Catching Fire at the theatre this weekend? Think a truck driver can save America? Do the think the baristas have any idea of the Bombtastic Bomb Starbucks has unleashed with this new recipe?

My Review: Broken Forest by Eliza Tilton

Broken Forest Ebook CoverPublisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Release Date: May 1, 2013

Paperback, 236 pages

Intended Audience: Young Adult

Blurb: Hopeless he’ll never be more than the boy who didn’t save his brother, 17-year-old Avikar accepts his life as the family stable boy, trying to forget the past. But when his sister, Jeslyn, is kidnapped, the thought of losing another sibling catapults him on a desperate quest. With his best friend by his side, and using the tracking skills he learned from his father, he discovers Jeslyn has been taken, kidnapped by one Lucino, the young lord of Daath, a mystical place thought only to exist in fables. And Lucino has plans for Jeslyn.His shape-shifting brethren feed off the auras of humans, and Jeslyn’s golden hue is exactly what Lucino needs to increase his power. The longer it takes Avikar to reach her, the more entranced she becomes with Lucino’s world, and the harder it will be for Avikar to set her free.

He failed his family once. He won’t fail again.

Review: I want to say in full disclosure that Eliza and I share the same publisher. I was given her book in exchange for an honest review. I wouldn’t have accepted the offer if I didn’t think it sounded like a book I’d enjoy, and I wasn’t disappointed! It had my four favorite things in a book: love, adventure, fantasy, and a twisted ending!

The opening page immediately drew me in and from the very start, I could tell Tilton had a gift for storytelling. There’s danger, there’s desire, and there’s decision. You won’t read the first few chapters of this book asking yourself, “Who gives a crap?” I’m a middle school Language Arts teacher, so I can testify that kids have short attention spans. They inhale violent video games. They think life can be encapsulated in a text message. I can say with conviction that my students would enjoy this book because there’s something for everyone here and because the story moved along at a good pace. Her plot and characterization were spot on. Every scene was manipulated for maximum impact. This was Tilton’s fantasy world, but I felt like I was a part of it (and who wouldn’t want to be . . . did you see that beautiful cover? Seriously one of my favorite book covers of the year!)

The *BONUS* is the characters are inspiring. My favorite character remained Avikar throughout the book, but the other secondary characters were enjoyable too. As the plot unfolded, I was interested in what happened next for everybody. Needless to say, I can’t wait for Book Two in The Daath Chronicles, and I’ll be purchasing the print copy for my classroom!

Kudos to Eliza Tilton. Here’s more on the author if you want to stalk learn more about her:

Eliza author pic (345x640)

Eliza Tilton is the author of the YA Fantasy, Broken Forest, published by Curiosity Quills Press. You can find her blogging about video games and writing on her blog and doing bi-weekly posts on author media over at YAStands.

She graduated from Dowling College with a BS in Visual Communications. When she’s not arguing with excel at her day job, or playing Dragon Age 2, again, she’s writing. Her stories hold a bit of the fantastical and there’s always a romance. She resides on Long Island with her husband, two kids and one very snuggly pit bull.

Twitter / Tumblr / Website  / Pinterest / Facebook

BUY LINKS: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / KOBO Goodreads

*How about you? Read any good books lately?

The Lure of Fools . . . Oh, How I Pity Them!!!

Today I’m pleased to welcome another CQ Author to my blog, Jason King! Who is Jason King and what does he write? I’m glad you asked!

????????

BLURB:

“Adventure is the lure of fools, and excitement glamour to the gullible. The siren song of the world is as music to the wanderer’s feet, but that dance leads only to the soul-less grave.” So Jekaran’s uncle has warned him. But that doesn’t stop him from leaping at the exhilarating chance to single-handedly rescue a beautiful woman from a gang of lecherous thieves.

But the bored farm boy quickly finds that he is no match for the group of angry street thugs, and only escapes death by bonding a magical sword that grants him the strength and skill of a master swordsman.  Unfortunately, a peasant wielding such magic is forbidden and punishable by death.

Thus Jekaran finds himself a fugitive with his fate tied to that of the exotic and mysterious, Kairah; a fey woman who must deliver a dire warning to the king that, if heeded, could prevent the very extinction of humanity.

Lure of Fools Cover

ENDORSEMENT:

“A deep and intriguing magic brings a fresh feel to fantasy in this visually stunning journey.  Jason King weaves powerful stories that grip the reader to the last word with a perfect blend of amazement, fear, love, and destiny.  Anybody drawn to dangerous adventure won’t be able to resist The Lure of Fools.  It’s Lloyd Alexander for a new millennium.”  -James Wymore

HA! Toooo funny he mentions Lloyd Alexander . . . I just read his short story, The Stone, with my class today!

And now, a word from our sponsor (or Jason giving a short introduction;-)

This is a promotional reading of the first chapter of my new book, THE LURE OF FOOLS, from Curiosity Quills Press. It’s an action/fantasy adventure in the same vein as books by Brandon Sanderson, Robert Jordan, or Jim Butcher.

My friend Mark Hanson is an actor and was a great sport doing the reading with next to no prior notice. Right now Lure of Fools is available for Kindle, Nook, and Kobo, but the paperback will be available before the end of the month. I will also be signing at Salt Lake Comic Con in September, so if you’re in the area come say hello. Enjoy!

Anyone can read the first three chapters by going here.

The rest of the book’s info can be found on Curiosity Quill’s website. And please share! If you’ve ever been a debut author, you know the exciting feeling of sharing your baby novel with your millions of rabid fans . . . but we can’t deliver to those fans if they don’t know we exist yet!

Congratulations on your debut, Jason, and I hope your release is as magical as your book:-) I pity the fool who doesn’t check out this great story! (Sorry, was I the only one hearing Mr. T’s voice through this entire post because of the title? Hmm, probably!)

Are Ya Looking For the Next Summer Read? Introducing Debut Novelist Teshelle Combs!!!

Tessie, Tess, Tessa, T . . . no matter what you call her, Teshelle Combs is just one huge batch of awesomesauce! She’s a UCF graduate like me (except she wasn’t afraid to take a chance and actually majored in English/Creative Writing), a soul singer with goosebump inducing abilities, a brutally honest Beta reader, a super nanny, and frequent volunteer for all things at our local church.

Now she can add published author at the ripe old age of 24! Add having a baby to the midst of all this, and well, you can see why I named one of my new characters in 18 Truths after her! Not even sure if she knows this, since it’s after page 100 where she left off in Beta reading. She might totally be creeped out now while reading this, but too late! I already got my interview *shakes fist in the air* Haha, sucker! Oh, and you can stalk her too at her new official FB author page!

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Thanks for joining us today, T! Help me introduce you to my 5 fans (heehee, inside joke from last week’s blog). Give us 3 words to describe your personality

T: Happy. Loving. Kind. –I actually just cheated and asked my husband for the answer for this one. Apparently, he likes me or something.

*mutters*Not as much as I like you!

T: What’s that Jaim-O?

Oh, nothing! Nothing at all *coughs* Can you give us a sneak peek into what it’s like to be a debut novelist? Any insights about self-publishing?

T: I am very, very new at authorship. My debut novel, Core, was just released on June 1st. So far, my favorite part is being able to hold it in my hands. That tied with my very first sale. I did my crazyhappy dance for about ten minutes, which is pretty impressive at 7 months pregnant.

Self-publishing –or indie publishing, which is what I call it because it makes feel all cool –is a lot of fun and a lot of work. The fun part is designing everything, choosing exactly what I want to say, setting my own royalty prices, and involving a team of people I love to help me. The hard work part is the marketing, the ordering of three proof copies because you can’t figure out how to set the margins just right, the hiccups that you have to figure out to fix everything all on your own.

I was afraid I wouldn’t feel like a “real” author if I indie published, but honestly, I was wrong. I feel accomplished, like I worked hard for what I have.

You should! The world of publishing is constantly changing, and wise is the author who changes with it!  Tell us about what you write.

T: I write contemporary YA fantasy and sci-fi. Core falls into the fantasy genre. The story is about an emotionally calloused boxer, Ava, who is catapulted into the world of dragons, sirens (nightfolk and werefolk), and danger. She’s chosen to be the rider of an honest, caring red dragon, and life-wrecking mayhem ensues.

Besides boxing, there are a slew of combat scenes, utilizing dragon abilities and swordplay, which makes for action-packed reading. (I like to run these scenes by my brother, who’s great at all things action).

I love bad guys, so I have quite a few villains in my novel, and–rather disturbingly–they are some of my favorite characters. The more twisted, the better.

What else? I also like to travel to places (even if it’s through research and imagination), so my characters start out in Miami, and get to visit Peru and Ireland in this story.

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Oh, I’ve been to Ireland! One of my top 5 moments on my life list! *Shameless plug: If you like life lists, you should check out my debut novel too, 18 Things* Speaking of books, what’s your favorite craft book? Favorite fiction book?

T: My favorite craft book is probably Research in Writing. I love to include interesting facts in my work and before I wrote Core, I probably typed up about 30 pages of research on dragons, Chimbote, Peru, Ireland, sirens, and some other secret little tidbits.

My favorite fiction book? If we’re going fancy-pancy literary, it’d be Beloved by Toni Morrison. But if I’m thinking all-time favorite, changed-my-literary-life, pee-my-pants-it’s-so-good? THE HUNGER GAMES. I love kick-butt female protagonists, I love dystopias, and I love the dryness of it all, the reality woven through the make believe.

I also have a problem peeing my pants while reading books. Started 13 years ago . . . well, you’ll see after you give childbirth! Oh, I see you’re doing the potty dance yourself, so I’ll just ask one closing questions. Tell us anything FUN about yourself, related or unrelated to writing.

T: I have these special powers: my toes can swell to remarkable sizes in just a few minutes. I can smell anything unpleasant, even if it’s miles away. I can go to the bathroom 15 times a day. I can use my belly as a portable reading desk. I’ve evolved past the need to remember anything, even details that would be significant to other people, like what the current month or where we parked the car.

Jealous yet? Well go incubate your own baby! This one’s mine!

Hahaha! You’re a hoot, T! I love you . . . in a completely sisterly way, I promise! *watches T bolt from the room and shrugs*

Well now that it’s just the eight of us (last week proved I have at least 7 fans!), I want to thank you all for your encouraging comments after sharing my pity party publicly. If you missed the blog, you can find it here. My family cheered me up by taking me to Disney. We hit Hollywood Studios the first half of the day for Star Wars weekend, then moved on to Magic Kingdom!

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Also, thanks for giving me some easy questions! Cheryl wanted to know what kind of coffee she should drink. I’m still scratching my head at the fact she’s never drank a cup! If you invest in a Keurig machine,

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which you should because it’ll allow to try hundreds of flavors any time of the day whenever you want within seconds with just the press of a button . . . even though it may cause you to be all hyper and write really long-winded sentences, you could also drink tea and hot chocolate if you end up not liking coffee, but I think you will love it. I have a sweet tooth, so I love the Cape Escapes, especially the caramel. So sweet you don’t even need cream and sugar! When I’m not using the Keurig, I’m slightly less squirrely and like Barnie’s Santa’s White Christmas with some Baileys coffee creamer. But I’m a coffee snob and Barnie’s can be damn hard to find, so Dunkin’ Donuts French Vanilla will also do the trick. I do love Starbucks, but their coffee is rather bold, so you may need to ease yourself into it.

Now for Marisa’s question . . . what movie should she rent? This is sooo easy since Oz the Great and Powerful just released today on DVD! Saw this one in the theatre and it quickly became a family favorite 🙂

What about you guys? Any good picks for coffee virgins? Any other movies we should rent from that big red box? Interested in reading Core? Hope you’ll all join me next Wednesday for the tale of one amazing squirrel–it’s gonna be nuts!!!

Introducing A Fabulous Scribbler of YA Fantasy Tales

J. (Jenny) Keller Ford is a quirky mother of four, grand-mother and scribbler of young adult fantasy tales. She has an insatiable appetite for magic, dragons, knights and faeries, and tries to weave at least one into every story she conceives. Her muse follows her everywhere and talks incessantly, feeding her ideas for stories 24/7.

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When she’s not torturing her characters mercilessly, J. Keller enjoys living in sunny Florida, listening to smooth jazz, collecting seashells, swimming, bowling, riding roller coasters and reading. Her most loyal fans (beside her family) consist of two Australian Shepherds, a mixed-breed hippy dog, and a precocious orange cat, all of whom believe J. Keller is their slave. She thinks they might be right.

Tell us about what you write.

I write YA fantasy, mostly, though I do stray into the fantasy New Adult genre. I love fantasy because I enjoy the freedom the genre provides. I can make up any kind of world I want, create my own rules, laws, limitations, settings, and no one can say it can’t happen like that. Sure there are some standards like unicorns and gnomes and dragons, werewolves, vampires, pixies, etc. As an author, though, I can elaborate or change any of the standard ideas, so long as I can make the audience suspend belief. I mean, whoever heard of glittering vampires but Stephanie Meyer did it with her Twilight series and her fans didn’t mind at all that Edward glittered, appeared in photographs, and didn’t sleep in a coffin.

Can you give us a sneak peek into your typical day?

My day starts pretty early. I’m up with my youngest son at 6:00 a.m. He’s a senior in high school and it’s our quiet time together to chat before he heads off for school. After he leaves and I get back from my 30-minute walk, I hop in the shower, get some coffee and food in me, then sit down at the computer. As I’m currently (and desperately) looking for a job, I hit up all the job sites as well as send e-mails to all the employment agencies I’ve signed with. I spend about 2 – 3 hours popping out resumes and job networking before I settle into a day of writing. And yes, I write every day. Hours upon hours I tap away at my keyboard on any one of the multiple projects I have going. I exercise throughout the day to keep my mind active. I make dinner almost every night. Sadly, I don’t have much of a life outside of walking or riding my bike (a lack of money tends to put a damper on other activities). My hubby is disabled so I tend to write and read all day. When my sons are up to it, we’ll play games like Taboo, Scrabble, Backgammon, Othello, or Pictionary, but they are usually off in their own world as a teen and 20ish year old should be. I usually go to bed around midnight.

What’s your favorite craft book? Favorite fiction book?

I have several excellent books I keep around me all the time. I would be lost with my dictionary and massive thesaurus, but I also have The Copy-editor’s Handbook, Writing Fiction, by Janet Burroway, and Characters & Viewpoint, a Writer’s Digest book. I need to get the 2013 copy of Writer’s Market. It’s a MUST HAVE for every writer.

As for a favorite fiction book? Lordy, you might as well ask me to pick a favorite star in the sky. There are so many I love. I have to say the ones I cling to the most are usually fantasy-related in some way, Young Adult, and the story sucks me in like metal to a magnet.

Describe your personality in 5 words or less.

Loving, faithful, stubborn, prideful, passionate

Tell us anything fun about yourself, related or unrelated to writing.

I LOVE collecting seashells. I could spend hours searching the sand for that ‘perfect’ shell. When I say perfect, I don’t mean without flaws, but it has to have character. Sometimes I look for color. Other times I look for unusual. Sometimes I look for broken. My favorite shells are olives. I love their polished shine from being tumbled in the surf and they always appear as if they have hieroglyphics written on them. I would love to travel around the globe to different beaches and collect seashells. Right now I have Ziploc bags full of all kinds of shells and when the mood strikes me, I make things out of them (picture frames, jewelry boxes, mirror frames, etc.) and give them away. I love making gifts for people from my personal collection of hand-picked shells.

Peeps can stalk Jenny here:
 
 
Links to where they can purchase Make Believe MakeBelieve-eBook-Cover-web-500px
 
 
Blurb about The Amulet of Ormisez, my story in Make Believe:
 
The Amulet of Ormisez by J. Keller FordThere is only one way to save Elton Fletcher’s brother from an insanity-ridden death.After years away from home, fighting for his people, Elton returns to discover his only sibling, Cayden, possessed by greed and malice, and responsible for malicious, unthinkable deeds. Cayden, though, isn’t the only one afflicted by the Amulet of Ormisez, and Elton finds himself in yet another battle, where the price of failure could be his own life.
 
*Don’t you just LOVE that cover? Okay, so have you purchased Make Believe yet? Read it? If not, it makes a wonderful Christmas gift . . . just saying:-) It’s sitting on my Kindle right now and I can’t wait to read it over Christmas Break . . . only 2 more days. Thank God! The same alien who sucked out my students brains this week stole mine as well ~Cheers!