Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Writing Prompt Wednesday: Scorpion Swallower

Welcome to another Writing Prompt Wednesday!! 

I found this week's inspiration on Pinterest. (I might have a slight addiction.) It was such a unique prompt that I couldn't resist using it for this week. 

My Story: 

Lemon, a loud-mouthed gnome sitting in the cell next to me, was beating on the iron bars with a sharp-edged rock he found in the corner of the cell. He'd been beating the same spot on a lower bar near the left side of the cell for nearly ten minutes now. 

"What are you going to do when the guards catch you?"

"Drop the rock. For someone who is supposed to be a being of higher intelligence, you sure are stupid."

I scratched at the scabs on my wrist where Eric's fingernails scratched my skin as I had tried to get away from him. The fairy thought that I came to this world to kill him. I actually had ended up here by mistake. An accident, really.  

"You're not a very nice troll." 

"TROLL?" Lemon's eyes grew two sizes larger as he turned and screamed at me. "I'm not a frackin' troll! I'm a gnome!" 

"A roaming gnome?" 

He threw his rock at me. Evidently, Travelosity commercials were not very popular in this realm. 

"I wish the guards would let me talk to Eric. If I could just explain to him how I got here and that I'm just trying to get home, maybe he'll let me out." 

"You're going to try to reason with a man who swallows scorpions for fun? Did I mention you're stupid, already?" 

"Well, anything sounds stupid when you say it like that." 

Let's see what you've got! Send me your stories and yours could get featured next week! 

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Blog Tour Spotlight: Newbie - Jo Noelle + Excerpt + GIVEAWAY!


  Newbie by Jo Noelle 

 The housing market is crashing, and Sophie’s life is crashing with it. At twenty-four, her successful real estate career evaporates. She’s broke, can’t find a job, or pay her bills, leaving Sophie wondering how her successful lifestyle became so fragile. At the urging of her roommate, Sophie accepts a job in her fallback career—teaching six-year-olds. She hopes it’s temporary. After all, how long can a tanking economy last anyway? The best part of the new job is Liam, another employee at Rio Grande Elementary. The worst part of the new job is, well, teaching. Sophie has a surprise real estate closing from a contract she wrote months ago, leading her to a niche in the real estate market and to a new partner, Kevin. Sophie must choose between Liam or Kevin and between a lucrative career or recess duty.



We get started a little late because of the interview/photo op in the hallway for the scrapbooking moms. Good thing I look fab. I introduce myself and write my name on the board—Miss Kanakaredes.
            One girl yells, “You wrote Keslee, like my sister. See the K?” She rushes the board and jumps to point to the K. I turn her back toward her seat and begin to open my mouth, but another student quickly pipes up. “I can make a K, all by myself.” Comments popcorn from around the room.
            “Is your name really Candy?”
            “Our teacher last year gave us candy to be good when the principal came to our class.”
            “I had Mrs. Thomas last year.”
            “I didn’t go to this school last year.”
            It seems every child in the room is telling a story or calling out some random thought. Is this what the first day of school is like? Are there are thirty rooms in this building all in complete mayhem? Do the children know that they could easily mutiny and take control of the school? When I did my student teaching, the children seemed cooperative for much of the day. What is going on here?
            “Did you know my mom went to this school?”
            “My mom is a teacher too. She says she has a bum deal this year.”
            “We aren’t supposed to say ‘bum.’”
            “It’s okay to say ‘bum’. That’s not the B-word.”
            “The B-word is butt.”
            Amazed at how quickly the conversation has gone astray, I hold up my hand and “shh” the class. “If you’re listening touch your head.” I touch my head, and a couple of students follow. “If you’re listening, touch your cheeks.” I have just about everyone now. “If you’re listening, touch your elbows.” I finally have all the students looking at me again. Oh, thank goodness that worked. We’ll have to practice the hand-raising thing.
  Praise for Newbie 
Loved this story. I thought it was crisp and funny. Sophie has a great character arch as she goes from the Real Estate world to a classroom of 1st graders. Love Liam. He is a nice breath of fresh air. He and Sophie's interactions kept me laughing and wanting more. I HIGHLY recommend this novel! ~ Author Sherry Gammon In recent years I've become addicted to Sophie Kinsella's books. This book reminded me of hers, only cleaner, which I appreciated! It was sweet and witty. Definitely had me laughing out loud. Loved the ending :) ~Goodreads Review 
 I loved this book! I especially have a tender spot for books with children in them and this story about Sophie being "forced" to teach when the real estate market does so poorly captured my heart. The characters were warm and lovable, the story was fun and I enjoyed every minute of the book. ~Phyllis I loved NEWBIE. Sophie's inner thoughts are a delight. She just makes me smile. Her journey as a newbie teacher is real and touching. ~Donna Weaver  
Jo Noelle
Author Jo Noelle 
 Jo Noelle grew up in Colorado and Utah but also spent time in Idaho and California. She has two adult children and three small kids. She teaches teachers and students about reading and writing, grows freakishly large tomatoes, enjoys cooking especially for desserts, builds furniture, sews beautiful dresses, and likes to go hiking in the nearby mountains. Oh, and by the way, she’s two people— Canda Mortensen and Deanna Henderson, a mother/daughter writing team. They began writing separately several years ago but found the process much more fun when they started collaborating. They are debut authors, with Lexi’s Pathetic Fictional Love Life as their first completed work. Other titles include Newbie and Damnation. Deanna attended college before marrying and starting her family. Canda received a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, a Reading Specialist endorsement, and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. Her day job focuses on teaching teachers and children about literacy.


  Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash 
 Ends 4/6/15 
 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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Thursday, March 26, 2015

BOOK BLITZ: Royal Date - Sariah Wilson + Excerpt + TWO GIVEAWAYS!

Book & Author Details:

Royal Date by Sariah Wilson
Publication date: March 3rd 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance


This Cinderella didn’t plan on a prince . . .

Kat MacTaggart is a girl who has a plan for everything—including her holiday ski trip to Monterra with her best friend. Everything is going according to plan until she finds herself careening out of control down a mountainside and being rescued by a guy who looks like Superman’s hotter Italian cousin.

HRH Prince Nico is intrigued by the woman he saved on the slopes and her refusal to date him. He offers Kat a deal—let him show her his country and he’ll pay her to write articles that will help Monterra’s tourism industry. Kat agrees, but given her past and lingering distrust of men, she has one condition—absolutely no kissing.

Thanks to the claims of a jealous British noblewoman and the schemes of a meddling paparazzo, Kat’s rule doesn’t seem to be a problem at first. But the more Kat gets to know Nico and the people around him, the harder it is to remember her keep-your-distance plan. Should she stick to it or risk everything for a chance at happily ever after?


       The sun had just barely started to rise when I woke up. I had a small moment of disorientation, not sure where I was or what was going on. I quickly remembered because Nico had shifted at some point in the night and was lying on his side, facing me. He still had his arms wrapped around me, and our legs were intertwined. I had never been this physically close to someone. My nerves were hyperaware and sensitive at every point where our bodies made contact. And there were a lot of contact points.
            Our faces were practically touching. A low, steady thud started in the base of my stomach, and my blood sizzled and snapped.
            “I could get used to this,” he murmured, his eyes still closed.
            “What?” My voice sounded stupid.
            He opened his eyes, and his piercing blue gaze turned the thudding into drumming. “Waking up every morning with you in my arms.”
            “I thought you said you had insomnia.”
            “I do. Last night was the best night’s sleep I’ve had in I don’t know how long.” He started tracing patterns on my back with his fingers, running them up and down, making me cold and hot at the same time. “It seems I’ll just have to fall asleep with you every night if I ever want to sleep that well again.”
            “If I was with you every night, we both know there would be no sleeping going on.” It was probably one of the boldest things I’d ever said.
            He gave me a lazy grin. “That’s true.”
            Then his fingers were in my hair, and I stretched into it like a purring cat, wanting more. I closed my eyes for a second, reveling in the sensations. I tightened my hold on him, without even realizing it. I only knew I wanted to be closer to him.
            His fingers stilled, and I opened my eyes to look at him. He was staring at my face. It was more than a little disconcerting. “What are you looking at?”
            “I’m counting your freckles.”
            I put my hands over my nose. “Don’t do that.”
            “I hate my freckles.”
            “They’re adorable.” He moved my hands and kissed the bridge of my nose. He was lucky I didn’t actually spontaneously combust and set us both on fire. “You’re adorable. Beautiful.”
            I glanced off to the side, not able to endure the intensity of his gaze.. My pulse skittered wildly.
            I looked back at him, studying him in return. He hadn’t pressured me or made me feel dumb or dumped me or anything that I expected a man to do if I told him I wouldn’t kiss him. He had respected me. Spoiled me beyond belief. Wooed me with his words and his actions. Had proved himself reliable and worthy of my trust in every way.
            And my affection.
            I closed the small distance between us and said, “Thank you...”
            Then I kissed him.
            He pulled back, looking serious. “Does this mean . . . ?” His question trailed off.


This book is currently 50% off with the discount code ScoutOne!


Sariah Wilson has never jumped out of an airplane, never climbed Mt. Everest, and is not a former CIA operative. She has, however, been madly, passionately in love with her soulmate and is a fervent believer in happily ever afters--which is why she writes romance. She has published five happily ever after stories. She grew up in southern California, graduated from Brigham Young University (go Cougars!) with a semi-useless degree in history, and is the oldest of nine (yes, nine) children. She currently lives with the aforementioned soulmate and their four children in Utah, along with three tiger barb fish, a cat named Tiger, and a recently departed hamster that is buried in the backyard (and has nothing at all to do with tigers).

Author links:

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Spotlight on Contemporary

From March 20th to April 3rd, over 70 authors come together to give away hundreds of books. The YA Spring Fling is an opportunity for readers to find new books, new authors and take part in something very special. Here is a sneak peek of some of the books involved in the giveaway.

All are featured in the YA Spring Fling giveaway. Click here to win free books!

Fashion Fraud and Love Songs by Jamie Campbell

The Fashion Series revolves around Truly Winx, fashion designer wannabe. When her dreams are so close to coming true, she commits fashion fraud with her new frenemy, Jane Davis.

Sixteen year old Kaley Thorne is invisible. Or she may as well be anyway. All her emotions, thoughts, and dramas go into her secret songbook. Music is her passion, her escape, and her hidden talent. Her songbook is her diary, singing everything she is too shy to speak.

Effie’s Senior Year and Lover I Don’t Have to Love by Tracy Marchini

"Effie has a million reasons why her senior year hasn’t gone as planned — from the hideous bridesmaid dress at her older sister’s wedding, to a disastrous first kiss, to a complete lack of romantic attention from her boy-that-is-a-friend, Robbie.

In this complete collection of all six Effie Stories, Effie Green tries to turn her oh-so-average high school existence into the perfect teen movie moment. "

"Thanks to a runaway best-seller, the world thinks that Greg Hanlon fell in love with the beautiful Angeline while sailing the open seas, and lost her before they could marry on the beaches of South Africa.

Though the book started out as a bet between Greg and his best-friend Darrin, the project has taken off like neither of them expected. As Greg's mother sees the money roll in, Greg starts to see nothing but Angeline - his fictional, dead fiancé.

In this absurdist short-story, one young adult must come to terms with fame -- or infamy."

War Kids by HJ Lawson

When Jada wakes up in a hospital, the last thing she thinks is that her life has completely changed forever. But when the very real civil war forces her to flee from every open space, she must use the firearm skills her father taught her to reunite with him and protect herself.

American Girl on Saturn and Falling From the Sky by Nikki Godwin

When attempt has been made on the lives of Canadian boyband, Spaceships Around Saturn, during their USA tour, the guys have to go into hiding ASAP with a secret service agent's family, which includes two teenage daughters and a five-year-old fangirl.

Sixteen-year-old Ridge McCoy’s summer plans take a turn in an unexpected direction when he meets Micah Youngblood, the guy who runs the carousel at the local mall and has a reputation for devouring straight boys’ heterosexuality for breakfast, alongside his chocolate chip pancakes.

Watermelon Summer by Anna Hess and Aimee Easterling

A forgotten farm, an elusive father, and the blue eyes of a perfect boy are the perfect ingredients for an unforgettable watermelon summer.

The Fine Art of Holding Your Breath and The Fine Art of Keeping Quiet by Charity Tahmaseb

No one expects the girl who has mastered the art of keeping quiet to join the speech team. But Jolia does. When a crush-worthy rival offers to coach her in secret, she can't say no. But secrets have a price, and this one might cost Jolia everything . . .

When MacKenna pursues an ROTC scholarship behind her father’s back, she inadvertently uncovers the secret behind her mother’s death in the first Gulf War. And secrets, like war, have their own casualties.

The See-Through Leopard by Sibel Hodge

"The See-Through Leopard is an inspirational coming-of-age story set in the wilds of Africa.

""If I had to sum this story up into one word, I think it would be fitting to say, ""Wow!"" This story was emotionally gripping from the very first page to the very last."" -- Night Owl Teen Reviews"

Right-Hearted: Finding What...      Right-Hearted: Finding What's Right With a Wrong-Sided Heart by Daniel Wallock

"Standing before the sky I had little idea my next two weeks would be overwhelmed with wild love, lust, confusion, tears and a beautiful girl. She and I would share the stories of our hearts...our right-sided hearts.

Right-Hearted: Finding What's Right With A Wrong Sided Heart is the story of two lustful teenagers who together confront their life-threatening heart conditions and learn to embrace their broken hearts."

Gone by Stacy Claflin

Macy Mercer’s supposed to meet the boy of her dreams who she met online. But he was a fake and she finds herself with a man capable of murder.

Miss Popularity and Fallen Leaves by Rachel Elizabeth Cole

Plain and bookish Laura Wood is sure life at her new school won't be any different. Her older sister will slather on the makeup and charm and instantly become Miss Popularity while Laura will end up Loser Girl. Again. But this time she might pull off a new role: Shy New Girl. Will a chance encounter in the hallway ruin everything?

Fifteen-year-old Grace Sather can't understand why her mother would want her great-grandmother to move in with them. Great-Gran hates Mom. But before Mom can talk Gran into it, Gran has a bad fall and ends up in the hospital. Now a long buried-secret is about to reveal itself.

Idolism by Marcus Herzig

Idolism is a delightful, quirky romp for the young adult religious skeptic, taking a tongue-in-cheek look at the differences and similarities between religion and stardom.

Cross My Heart by Katie Klein

True love can blossom in unexpected places. This is Jaden pretending not to notice. . . .

The Flirting Games Trilogy by Stella Wilkinson

The Flirting Games, More Flirting Games and Further Flirting Games, now come together in a Trilogy Edition. A British boarding school romp full of hilarious moments and romance.

Q & A with the organiser – Sarah Dalton

How can readers enter the YA Spring Fling giveaway?

Head over to my website Sarahdaltonbooks.com and find the page for the YA Spring Fling (handy hint, it’s HERE). Once you’re there you can browse through the books on offer, or check out more information about the participating authors.

You should see plenty of links prompting you to enter the giveaway. Simply fill out the Google document telling us which books you’d like to win, the format you prefer, and whether you would also like to win paperbacks and swag. It’s that simple. Pick the books you want and sign off.

How will I know I’ve won?

There are so many books on offer that I’d be surprised if you didn’t win something! So you will be hearing from us. J

After April 3rd, I will collate all the entries and pass them on to the participating authors. They will then choose the winners at random and Email the winners to let them know the good news.

Will my Email or personal details be used outside the giveaway?

Absolutely not. We’re all against spam and promise not to use your Email for anything other than contacting you as a winner. If you joined up to the YA Spring Fling mailing list you will receive one Email telling you the giveaway is open, and another warning you it is about to close. That’s it!

Is the giveaway open internationally?

Yes! But there are some paperbacks on offer that are region specific. Not all of our authors are sending paperbacks and swag internationally, purely because it costs us so much money and we ain’t made of it. ;)

We will ask for your country of residence in the Google document. That’s so we can work out the winners for region specific paperbacks more easily. Everything else is open internationally.

I have a question, who can I contact?

Me! Send me a message on Facebook. My Email might be clogged by answering author queries, so Facebook might be the easiest method.

Who can I tell about the giveaway? And what can I do to help spread the word?

You can tell everyone and anyone who might like YA books. If you’d like to spread the word it would be awesome if you could follow or like some of the authors and share their posts about the giveaway. You can find a full list of the participating authors and their social media links here.


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Welcome, welcome to Writing Prompt Wednesday!! 

I don't have a cool story for last week's prompt to share so let's just get straight into this week's writing inspiration! 

Today's Prompt: 
Two people are arguing in an elevator. One of them is holding a bag of oranges. 
Write about why the bag of oranges is significant. 

My story: 
"Did you buy the biggest bag of oranges they had?" 

"Are you seriously mad at me right now because I bought a bag of oranges?" 

I turned and faced Jeremy for the first time since we had gotten on the elevator. He was so beautiful with his shaggy hair mussed from the wind outside and his three-day old stubble on his square jaw. It hurt to look him in his eyes, though. It wasn't about the oranges. It was about who he bought the oranges for. Marguerite. Marguerite Beauchamp was our new neighbor from across the hall. A gorgeous, long-legged French girl with long locks of chestnut colored hair that never seemed to move, as if it were capable of defying all laws of motion. Marguerite was sick with a cold and had mentioned to us as we were standing behind her, waiting to dump our garbage down the shoot, that she really wanted a glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice. Three hours later, my fiance is holding a bag of oranges so big that I wondered if he had stolen them from the zoo. There was no way that he purchased this enormous bag at Wal-Mart because he had a craving for orange juice. He had a craving for Marguerite Beauchamp......

Okay, there's my story for the week. Let's see what you guys come up with! Leave me your story in the comments or email me (draytonella@gmail.com)! Also, send me ideas for writing prompts! You just might get your story or your idea featured next week! 

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

COVER REVEAL: The Body Institute - Carol Riggs

The Body Institute
Release Date: 09/01/15
Entangled Teen

Summary from Goodreads:
Meet Morgan Dey, one of the top teen Reducers at The Body Institute.

Thanks to cutting-edge technology, Morgan can temporarily take over another girl’s body, get her in shape, and then return to her own body—leaving her client slimmer, more toned, and feeling great. Only there are a few catches…

For one, Morgan won’t remember what happens in her “Loaner” body. Once she’s done, she won’t recall walks with her new friend Matt, conversations with the super-cute Reducer she’s been text-flirting with, or the uneasy feeling she has that the director of The Body Institute is hiding something. Still, it’s all worth it in the name of science. Until the glitches start…

Suddenly, residual memories from her Loaner are cropping up in Morgan’s mind. She’s feeling less like herself and more like someone else. And when protests from an anti–Body Institute organization threaten her safety, she’ll have to decide if being a Reducer is worth the cost of her body and soul…

About the Author
I'm a YA writer represented by Kelly Sonnack of Andrea Brown Literary. My sci-fi novel THE BODY INSTITUTE explores the themes of society, identity, and body image. I live in the beautiful, green state of Oregon and have a Studio Arts degree; I'm an SCBWI member. 

You'll usually find me in my writing cave, surrounded by my dragon collection and the characters in my head. I also enjoy reading--mostly young adult novels--as well as drawing, painting, and quilting. I also attend writing conferences, walk with my husband, and enjoy music and dance of all kinds. 

Author Links:
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Cover Reveal Organized by:

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