Category Archives: reading

SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: Love, Lucy by April Lindner

I am so excited that LOVE, LUCY by April Lindner releases today and that I get to share the news, along with an awesome guest post from the author in which she shares “Some Rules of the Road” for traveling abroad, as Lucy did in the book.

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful new book by Author April Linder, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blast also includes a giveaway for a copy of the book courtesy of Rockstar Book Tours and 3 signed JANE posters courtesy of the author. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.


About LOVE, LUCY

Title: LOVE, LUCY

Author: April Lindner

Release date: January 27, 2015

Publisher: Poppy

Pages: 304

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Description:

While backpacking through Florence, Italy, during the summer before she heads off to college, Lucy Sommersworth finds herself falling in love with the culture, the architecture, the food…and Jesse Palladino, a handsome street musician. After a whirlwind romance, Lucy returns home, determined to move on from her “vacation flirtation.” But just because summer is over doesn’t mean Lucy and Jesse are over, too.

In this coming-of-age romance, April Lindner perfectly captures the highs and lows of a summer love that might just be meant to last beyond the season.

Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


About April Lindner

April Lindner is the author of three novels: Catherine, a modernization of Wuthering Heights; Jane, an update of Jane Eyre; and Love, Lucy, releasing January 27, 2015. She also has published two poetry collections, Skin and This Bed Our Bodies Shaped. She plays acoustic guitar badly, sees more rock concerts than she’d care to admit, travels whenever she can, cooks Italian food, and lavishes attention on her pets—two Labrador retriever mixes and two excitable guinea pigs. A professor of English at Saint Joseph’s University, April lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons.

 


The Guest Post

SOME RULES OF THE ROAD

Like Lucy Sommersworth, the heroine of Love, Lucy, my parents gave me the gift of a lifetime: a backpacking trip to Europe. I was a bit older than Lucy—22, and just out of
college—but when I arrived in Milan, Italy with a Eurail pass, a copy of Let’s Go: Europe, and a seventy-pound backpack I could barely lift, I was a wee bit terrified. Like Lucy, I spoke only a little bit of Italian, just barely enough to get by, and I wasn’t particularly good at
reading maps or train schedules. Unlike Lucy, I was travelling solo.

Luckily, my journey began with training wheels. I’d just taken a college Italian class, and my professor had offered a safe crash pad for the first few days of my trip—in
her family home in the Alps. Less luckily, when I reached Malpensa airport, nobody was there to pick me up. Giddy with excitement and jet lag, I wandered around the airport, eavesdropping on Italians as they hugged each other hello and goodbye, and had noisy arguments. I’d never felt more alone in
my life. Where would I sleep that night if my ride didn’t show up?

Luckily, my professor’s brother arrived at last to whisk me away to the family home in Domodossola. The extended family welcomed and fed me, gave me tours of their city
with its charming medieval center, helped me practice my Italian, and, when the time was right, brought me to the train station where my solo travels began for
real. It was time to take off the training wheels.

If I’d felt alone back in the airport, I was even more so on that train to Verona, a city where I didn’t know a soul. In those pre-internet days, I could disappear
into thin air and nobody would even notice I was gone. The thought was chilling, but oddly exciting.

By nightfall, I’d made it to Verona. I’d figured out the public transportation, found a youth hostel, and booked myself a bed. Best of all, I had introduced myself to a handful of other backpackers. We hung out together in the hostel’s common area, sharing bread and cheese, exchanging stories, discussing the rules of the road—those bits of practical wisdom our travels were teaching us. Here are a few.

Time passes differently on the road.  Spend a few very intense hours seeing the sites with strangers and by the end of the day, those strangers have become a part of your story. Years later you’ll see their faces in your photo album and still remember stray details of the adventures you shared together, even if you can’t quite recall their names.

Spontaneity is key.  There are few things as magical as showing up at a train station with no idea where you’re headed next, picking a random
train, and hopping on.

Janis Joplin said it best: Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.  When you’re carrying all your possessions on
your back in a city where you don’t know a soul, you’re absolutely free. You can go anywhere, do anything. That freedom has its lonely moments—but it
can be the doorway to all kinds of adventures.

Embrace misadventure.  As carefully as you plan there will be crazy mistakes: wrong turns, slept-through train stops, multilingual misunderstandings, and all kinds of other blunders—and these will make the best stories. My misadventures are some of my favorite memories. The time I missed curfew and had to climb into my hostel through a second-story window. The morning when, hanging out my recently washed clothes to dry, I dropped my wet underthings out the window, onto a
stranger’s head. The night when, with no room to stay in, I slept on Venice’s train station steps with about a hundred other backpackers, the stars above us and the Grand Canal stretched out before us.

Would I trade that last memory for a safe, comfy night in an actual bed?  Not on your life.


The Giveaway

There is a blast-wide giveaway, ending February 6th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific, for:

  • 1 copy of LOVE, LUCY to be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository – Int’l
  • 3 JANE posters (signed) – US only

Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

SPOTLIGHT: Bridges Burned by Chris Cannon

BRIDGES_BURNED
Bridges Burned
By Chris Cannon
Going Down in Flames Series, Book Two
Don’t just fight the system…burn it. Since discovering she is a shape-shifting, fire-breathing dragon on her sixteenth birthday (surprise!), Bryn McKenna’s world has been thrown into chaos. Being a “crossbreed”—part Red dragon and part Blue—means Bryn will never fit in. Not with dragon society. Not with the archaic and controlling Directorate. And definitely not when she has striped hair and a not-so-popular affection for rule-breaking…But sneaking around
with her secret boyfriend, Zavien, gets a whole lot harder when he’s betrothed to someone else. Someone who isn’t a mixed breed and totally forbidden. And for an added complication, it turns out Bryn’s former archnemesis Jaxon Westgate isn’t quite the evil asshat she thought. Now she’s caught between her desire to fit in and a need to set things on fire. Literally. Because if Bryn can’t adapt to the status quo…well, then maybe it’s time for her to change it.
BUY IT ON AMAZON, ITUNES, BARNES AND NOBLE, & KOBO:
~*~ABOUT CHRIS CANNON~*~
Chris Cannon lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and her three dogs, Pete the shih tzu who sleeps on her desk while she writes, Molly the ever-shedding yellow lab, and Tyson the sandwich-stealing German Shepherd Beagle. She believes coffee is the Elixir of Life. Most evenings after work, you can find her sucking down caffeine and writing fire-breathing paranormal adventures. Going Down In Flames is the first book in Chris Cannon’s shape-shifting dragon series.

 

SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: Stupid Boy by Cindy Miles

Title: Stupid Boy

Author: Cindy Miles

Series: Stupid in Love #2

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

From Cindy Miles, bestselling new adult author of STUPID GIRL, comes the next installment of her blockbuster Stupid in Love series – STUPID BOY. 

Brax Jenkins and Olivia Beaumont are the most envied couple at Winston University—but the so-called “virginity dare,” orchestrated by Brax’s old fraternity, almost tore them apart. Now, a new dare is taking shape, and it’s sure to set emotions ablaze–more than ever before.

Winston’s “It Girl” Harper Belle isn’t just president of the Deltas–she’s also a master at keeping her ugly past a secret. So, when the Kappas’ dare hits closer to home for her more than anyone realizes, she devises a competition of her own as payback. Three sorority sisters will seek out a notorious womanizer on campus and–unbeknownst their “mark”–secretly train him to be the perfect boyfriend. Always up for a challenge, Harper targets the biggest player she can find: Brax’s wickedly handsome foster brother Kane McCarthy.

But, Harper discovers there’s much more to Kane than girls, games, and partying. His easy smile belies the quiet, old soul reflected in his deep brown eyes. All it takes is one night, one secret laid bare, and one kiss from Kane to shift Harper’s world on its axis. Suddenly, the girl who’s always walked a straight and narrow path can’t think of anything else except losing control.

Pre-order:
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Excerpt
 
By the time I’d finished a very poor attempt at studying for an Art test and exited the library, the tell-tale signs of pending dusk had crept onto Winston’s manicured campus. The early November air felt crisp against my cheeks as it whisked through, rustling the leaves and sending several pirouetting to the ground to land in scattered colors on the grass like some strange abstract stained glass. Knowing darkness would soon swallow everything, I hurried to the campus coffee house and café that stayed open until midnight. Inside, students sat at tables studying, their laptops open, the light illuminating their faces and coffee cups by their sides. As I took my place in line I selected my usual pre-packaged turkey sandwich and a bottle of lemonade and stood, waiting to pay.
    “That’s all you’re eating?”
    I jumped at the voice behind me and turned to find Kane there. Instantly, my insides froze. He gazed down at me, his hands shoved into his pockets, those broad shoulders sort of hunching toward me, almost…cornering me; his eyes as worn and soft as the leather jacket he wore.
    “Um, yes,” I answered. I gave a hesitant smile. “Not very hungry, I guess.” What was he doing here? Suddenly I felt closed in—a feeling I avoided at all costs.
    “So what’s good here?” he asked. His Boston accent was heavy and void of the letter r, just like Brax’s, only…softer. Quiet. The kind of voice that you had to pay close attention to or else you’d miss what they were saying completely.
    I couldn’t believe he was talking to me. I shrugged, pretended he didn’t bother me, and held up my sandwich. “Turkey?”
    He said nothing as he lifted three turkey sandwiches from the cooler; his smoky gaze remained riveted to mine. Then, he bent his head close. “Kane McCarthy.”
    I looked at him then, taken back by how his voice washed over me and made my skin tingle. I forced myself to breathe; I wasn’t used to being in this kind of situation. Guys just didn’t go out of their way to talk
to me. I made sure of it. But I didn’t balk. I mean, after all—Kane was my potential reformation Dare. Right? Murphy’s words rushed back to me. Reform the barmy beast! I breathed. Smiled. Pretended. “Harper Belle.”
    Again, his eyes softened, and as we stepped up to the cashier he gave her a nod and inclined his head toward me. Before I could say a word, the cashier had rung our orders up together, and Kane handed her a twenty.
    I looked at him, embarrassed. “Oh no, really, that’s okay, you don’t have to—”
    Kane’s eyes moved over me. “Yeah,” he said quietly. “I do.”
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About Cindy

 

National bestselling author Cindy Miles writes edgy romance, ranging from contemporary love stories to sexy paranormals. A native of southern coastal Georgia, she loves reading (naturally), baking swoon-worthy desserts, traveling abroad, yoga, and classic rock. The cover for her upcoming New Adult romance, STUPID GIRL, was featured on USA Today’s Happily Ever After blog. In the novel, a volatile mix of bad boys, sassy smart girls, dark secrets, and red-hot romance add up to one wild ride through college.
Hang out with Cindy on her Facebook fan page at: https://www.facebook.com/officialcindymilesfanpage
Or check out her website: http://www.cindy-miles.com/

 

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Giveaway

Enter to win a bracelet and a digital copy of the book!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

GIVEAWAY: An Appetite for Violets by Martine Bailey

An Appetite for Violets

by Martine Bailey

Historical Fiction

Book Description

That’s how it is for us servants. No one pays you much heed; mostly you’re invisible as furniture. Yet you overhear a conversation here, and add a little gossip there. A writing desk lies open and you cannot help but read a paper. Then you find something, something you should not have found.

Irrepressible Biddy Leigh, under-cook at the forbidding Mawton Hall, can’t wait to settle down with her sweetheart and set up her own tavern. But when her elderly master marries the young, enigmatic Lady Carinna, Biddy is unwittingly swept up into a world of scheming, secrets, and lies.

Forced to accompany her new mistress to Italy, Biddy takes with her an old household book of recipes, The Cook’s Jewel, in which she records her observations. When she finds herself embroiled in a murderous conspiracy, Biddy realises that the secrets she holds could be the key to her survival – or her downfall . . .

AN APPETITE FOR VIOLETS is an utterly compelling story of food, obsession and mystery, introducing a brilliant new voice in historical fiction.

About the Author

An amateur cook, MARTINE BAILEY won the Merchant Gourmet Recipe Challenge and was a former UK Dessert Champion, cooking at Le Meurice in Paris. Her recipes have appeared in many publications including Good Housekeeping, Olive Magazine and Green and Black’s Chocolate Recipes. Martine lives in Cheshire, England. This is her first novel.

sshgiveaway

One reader will win a copy of the book, thanks to St. Martin’s Press! US ONLY please.

To enter, simply leave a comment letting me know your favorite flower. Winner will be chosen 2/1/15.

BOOK TOUR REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Hellhole by Gina Damico

 Hellhole

by Gina Damico

YA Supernatural/Humor

Book Description

A devil is a bad influence . . .

There was a time when geeky, squeaky-clean Max Kilgore would never lie or steal or even think about murder. Then he accidentally unearths a devil, and Max’s choices are no longer his own. The big red guy has a penchant for couch surfing and junk food—and you should never underestimate evil on a sugar high. With the help of Lore, a former goth girl who knows a thing or two about the dark side, Max is racing against the clock to get rid of the houseguest from hell before time, and all the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos this side of the fiery abyss, run out. Gina Damico, author of the Croak series, once again delivers all the horror, hilarity, and high-stakes drama that any kid in high school or hell could ever handle.

 

 

MY THOUGHTS:

4 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS

 

Hellhole by Gina Damico

It’s my opinion that Gina Damico is one of the best modern YA authors in the biz right now. Her series Croak was hilarious, and I knew by the description that this book would be in the same vein of dark humor.

Max Kilgore is a dorky dude with a cool name. When he’s not working at the local convenience store, playing with his model dinosaurs, or hanging out with his one friend, he’s taking care of his ailing mother. Max would do anything to see her get better…and he gets his chance when he somehow frees a devil from hell.

First off, I really love novels written from a male’s point of view. They are so rarely done that I often seek them out. I like to get inside the mind of a guy and see how they are feeling in certain situations. Often I have found that they seem just as neurotic as women when it comes to some things.

Max isn’t exactly a loser, but he is a loner. He just doesn’t have the time or the interest to make friends. His best friend is actually his mom, which is sweet but also sad because the is on the verge of dying any day.

The devil in this story, Burg, is definitely one heck of a character. he has a penchant for video games, booze, unhealthy snacks, and hot tubs. The author does a nice job of making you feel that maybe he’s not too bad…and then hitting you with something heinous.

There is romance in this story, but don’t expect it to be sappy or saccharine sweet. Max knows he likes Lore, but often tells her to shut it or puts his foot in his mouth in other ridiculous ways. I’m not really sure why Lore stuck with him, actually, expect maybe that she saw through all his awkwardness and didn’t take his curtness personally.

I found the end to this novel pretty funny and unexpected, though it was very abrupt. I am on the fence about a couple of things, because it seems a lot of bad things had to happen for one good thing. But, maybe I have a little devil in me, because I think it was all worth it in the end.

View all my reviews

About the Author

Gina Damico is the author of Croak, Scorch, and Rogue, the grim-reapers-gone-wild books of the Croak trilogy. She has also dabbled as a tour guide, transcriptionist, theater house manager, scenic artist, movie extra, office troll, retail monkey, yarn hawker and breadmonger. A native of Syracuse, New York, she now lives outside Boston with her husband, two cats, and one dog, and while she has never visited hell in person, she has spent countless waking hours at the Albany Regional Bus Terminal, which is pretty darn close. Visit her website at www.ginadami.co.

WEBSITE | TUMBLR | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

| INSTAGRAM | YOUTUBE | GOODREADS

sshgiveaway

We are giving away a Hardcover copy of HELLHOLE to TWO WINNERS
Giveaway is open to anywhere The Book Depository ships.
Giveaway ends on January 21st at 11:59 p.m. Pacific.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

ALSO–A SPECIAL GIVEAWAY FROM GINA DAMICO!

Hey there book fans! I’m running a Follow Frenzy giveaway over the course of this blog tour, and the prize is pretty neato: a signed copy of HELLHOLE wherein each chapter will have a little bit of trivia and/or a doodle handwritten by yours truly. (Gina) (Damico) To enter, all you have to do is follow me on one or more of my various social media outlets (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Youtube), then fill out this adorable little form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1MbfSsZCiALw_I_C7WpI0d71hPNe0b94Ot89sxFesUzM/viewform . That’s it! The more things you follow, the more chances you will earn to win. Good luck!

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The Tour Schedule

Week One

Jan. 5 – Xpresso Reads – Guest Post

Jan. 5 – Fiction Fare – Spotlight

Jan. 6 – Paranormal Book Club – Guest Post

Jan. 6 – Two Chicks on Books – Spotlight

Jan. 7 – A Dream Within A Dream – Review

Jan. 7 – Book Jems – Guest Post

Jan. 8 – BookHounds YA – Interview

Jan. 8 – YA Midnight Reads – Dual Review

Jan. 9 – Novel Novice – Guest Post

Jan. 9 – Consuming Worlds – Interview

Week Two

Jan. 12 – Once Upon a Twilight – Review

Jan. 12 – Book Sniffers Anonymous – Interview

Jan. 13 – No BS Book Reviews – Interview

Jan. 13 – The Best Books Ever – Review

Jan. 14 – Teen Readers’ Diary – Guest Post

Jan. 14 – The Book Bratz – Review

Jan. 15 – Sweet Southern Home – Review

Jan. 15 – Eli to the nth – Review

Jan. 16 – Bad Bird Reads – Guest Post

Jan. 16 – Crossroad Reviews – Review

 

SPOTLIGHT: A Dark Road by Amanda Lance

Dark Road Banner
A Dark Road by Amanda Lance

BLOG TOUR

January 12-16, 2015

ADRCover

Not every friendship is as harmless as it seems.
Loner James McKay wants nothing to do with Hadley Grayson. After all, the last
thing a drug dealer needs is the pretty, new girl trying to be friends. Walking
distractions like her lead to trouble, the kind that can get you 10 to 15 behind bars.
Likewise, fencing champion Hadley Grayson isn’t thrilled about her family uprooting
her during her senior year of high school. At least there’s James McKay, the quiet,
mad scientist who is as adorable as he is mysterious.
Though McKay may reject the idea of friendship, he gets one whether he wants it or
not. But once the lies are told and the rumors spread, the dangers of meth making
and dealing are impossible to avoid. Between secrets and overdosing classmates,
McKay and Hadley will learn that loneliness can be a two-way street, changing both
of their lives forever.

BUY IT FOR ONLY 99 CENTS ON
AMAZON:

http://bit.ly/ADRAL

~*~ABOUT AMANDA~*~

Amanda

A native of New Jersey and lifelong nerd, Amanda
Lance recently completed her Master in Liberal Arts at Thomas Edison State College
after her BA in English Literature and AFA in creative writing.
She currently resides in Easton Pennsylvania with her boyfriend and their spoiled
hound dog. She is a cliché booknerd who is terrible at math, clinically obsessive, and
prone to addictive behavior. She may or may not be a recluse.

SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: The International School Series by Chanel Cleeton

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.

 

 

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Giveaway

You could win an Amazon gift card!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: The Zoe & Zak Adventures by Lars Guignard

BOOK SALE: You can grab a copy of Book 1, “Ghost Leopard” for 99 cents from Amazon between December 18 and 24, 2014. PURCHASE NOW!

Zoe and Zak Collage

About the Books

Move over Percy Jackson. Find out what everybody is talking about!

Have you ever gotten hopelessly lost in a strange land?
Talked to an elephant?
Ridden a magic carpet?
Been jailed by an angry parrot?
And discovered that you have the power to change the world?

Zoe & Zak hadn’t either. But that was before their lives were turned upside down by a mysterious creature called the Ghost Leopard. Now, they find themselves attending a strange school high in the Himalayan foothills, where nothing is what it seems and anything is possible.

The Zoe & Zak Adventures contains the first three full books of the middle grade fantasy adventure series, where two semi-normal kids begin to live absolutely extraordinary lives.

In Book One, The Ghost Leopard, Zoe & Zak take their first trip to India where they learn that they’ve been chosen to protect a mythical creature from a terrible fate.

In Book Two, The Yogi’s Curse, Zoe & Zak are back in India, this time to attend Moonstock Academy, a strange and sometimes frightening boarding school where weird events seem to occur on a regular basis.

And in Book Three, The Tiger Temple, Zoe & Zak take on their second semester at Moonstock and their most terrifying challenge yet.

If you love to laugh out loud, if you like adventure, and if you’re dying to go on the wildest ride on this side of the Himalayas, pick up the Zoe & Zak Adventures today.

Now Available as a Compendium: The three book collection contains the complete text of first three books in the Zoe & Zak series. Together, these books are guaranteed to bring you to a magical world unlike any you’ve experienced before. Find out what everybody is talking about.

 

Book 1: Zoe and Zak and The Ghost Leopard

Ghost Leopard by Lars Guignard

The Buzz

Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard BLOG TOUR

“Love Love Love! This book had me from the first chapter. This book overflows with top-notch character development, culture, adventure, and FUN!” ~ Sunshine, Bubbles and Books

This is adventure with a capital ‘A’ and the kind that middle grade readers will love.~ Word Magic: All About Books

“Once Zoe and Zak are off on their adventure, the pace never lets up. There are constant dangers lurking all around them and they are pretty much constantly fighting for their lives. Throw in some really interesting mystical creatures and you have a recipe for a great MG novel!!” ~ Best Kids’ Reads

Amazon (Print) | Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Audiobook) | iTunes (Audiobook)

 

Book 2: Zoe & Zak and the Yogi’s Curse

Yogi's Curse by Lars Guignard

The Buzz

Zoe & Zak and the Yogi’s Curse BLOG TOUR

“Lars Guignard keeps up the pace with this second installment in the Zoe and Zak Adventure series. I recommend this series to tweens and teens who love a great adventure steeped with magic and mysticism. Ages 8+.” ~ Mother Daughter Book Reviews

“Fantasy, action, adventure, wonderful characters and some fun mysteries has me hooked… 5 Stars!” ~ Brooke Blogs

I loved the faster pace of this second book. Zoe & Zak’s adventures kept me turning pages to see what was happening next.
~ Carpinello’s Writing Pages

Amazon (Print) | Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Audiobook) | iTunes (Audiobook)

 

Book 3: Zoe & Zak and the Tiger Temple

Tiger Temple by Lars Guignard

The Buzz

Zoe & Zak and the Tiger Temple BLOG TOUR

“Zoe and Zak’s adventure in the Tiger’s Temple nerve-wracking and enjoyable all at the same time! Magic flies high in this story. Guignard continues not only to entertain his young readers but also to educate them on the exotic culture of India. Readers learn about everything from food to mythology. I love all the magic and mystery in his books, and you can’t help but love Zoe and Zak with their self-destructive behavior.” ~ Jump Into a Book

“The great thing about this book, besides the fun adventure, is the exposure kids will get to different cultures, mythologies, and ways of life.” ~ Nik’s Picks

“Lars Guignard’s writing is easy to read and the story flows well and he has a great sense of humor. Zoe & Zak and the Tiger Temple is another must read for readers of all ages. I can’t wait for more books in the Zoe & Zak series! ” ~ Bound 4 Escape

Amazon (Print) | Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Audiobook) | iTunes (Audiobook)

 

Purchase all Three!

The Heroes of the Himalayas Book Set by Lars Guignard

PURCHASE: Amazon (Kindle)

 

About The Author: Lars Guignard

Lars Guignard

Lars Guignard

Prior to writing novels, Lars Guignard wrote for film and television. As a teenager he attended boarding school in the Indian Himalayas and his experiences there provided the inspiration for the “Heroes of the Himalayas” series which now include: Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard, Zoe & Zak and the Yogi’s Curse, and Zoe & Zak and the Tiger Temple.

He lives in the Pacific Northwest where he dodges bears and cougars while hiking & skiing the magnificent Coast Mountain Range.

For news about new releases, please join his email list by contacting the author: Zoe&ZakAdventures@gmail.com

Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest closes: January 1, 11:59 pm, 2015

Open to: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Lars Guignard and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

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BOOK TOUR REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Dead Jed by Scott Craven

Dead Jed/Dead Jed 2: Dawn of the Jed

by Scott Craven

Middle Grade Supernatural/Humor

Book Description

Jed’s not your typical junior high geek. He is, to use the politically-correct term, cardiovascularly-challenged. And while his parents have attempted to shield him from the implications of being ‘different’ for as long as they could (Jed was 8 and at a friend’s sister’s birthday party when he blew his lips off onto the cake in front of everyone, finally prompting the “Big Talk” from his parents and an emergency SuperGlue repair by his dad), 7th grade at Pine Hollow Middle School as a target of Robbie the supreme school bully and his pack of moronic toadies is rapidly becoming unbearable.
From being stuffed in a filled trash can as “dead meat” and into a trophy case as the bully’s “prize,” to literally having his hand pulled off in the boys’ room (Jed’s always losing body parts. Luckily, a good stapler and some duct tape and he’s back in the action) and a cigarette put in it and try to frame him for the recent reports of smoking in the school, Jed’s had enough and is ready to plan his revenge. Besides, it’s awesome what you can do when you’re already dead!

Book Description

The first part of seventh grade was rough on Jed, but things are looking up now that Christmas is almost here. As with past Christmases, Jed asks for the one thing he’s always wanted–a dog–and again, his parents tell him they’re not ready. But fate has a different plan when Jed sees a dog get run over by a car. Then, it happens. Jed suddenly has a pet, Tread, a zombie dog bearing his namesake–a tire tread down his back. Jed may have gained a dog, but he loses his best friend Luke, who fears the way Jed created his undead pet.

When Jed returns to school, he finds a mysterious group called the No Zombies Now Network spreading rumors of the dangers the undead pose to normal people. Forced to disprove Hollywood stereotypes, Jed has his work cut out for him as stories of a zombie dog begin to circulate. Jed could be expelled if he can’t expose the NZN Network as a fraud. Jed needs help from his kind of girlfriend Anna, especially after he discovers Luke has joined the shadowy group.

Once again navigating the treacherous waters of middle school, Jed does his best to stay in one piece. Only this time he’ll need even more duct tape and staples than usual.

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NOTE: My thoughts are for both books in the series!

4fleur

4 out of 5 fleurs de lis

Dead Jed was a pretty fun addition to the zombie genre! In this series, our main character Jed is a 12 year old boy who was born as a zombie.  In this world, zombieism is considered a disease not unlike albinism…very rare but something that is generally accepted in society.  Of course there are those who fear what they don’t understand, and as a result Jed’s seventh grade days are sometimes very difficult indeed.

Although Jed has a condition that means he regularly loses body parts and leaks Ooze, he mostly has a positive attitude about it.  Like any 12 year old, he does have his mood swings though.  I liked that he didn’t let his zombie status define him or keep him down; in fact, when he needs to, he uses it to his advantage!

I have to say, for a middle grade novel sometimes the language and situations are a bit abrasive.  I’d almost recommend this for ninth grade and above.  There is a scene where Jed is teased and called gay, among a few other awkward situations.

The addition of a dog to the second book made Jed a different person! The zombie dog does some hilarious things.  Though he’s no longer tormented by overgrown bully Robbie, there is a new faction that’s out to get zombiekind.  Jed much once again use his cunning to dispel all those old zombie myths!

I think the author has created a fun world and a fantastically spirited main character who readers of all ages will love.

 

About the Author

Proud graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, have one son who will turn 18 in March 2013, now a features writer for The Arizona Republic.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter 

Purchase Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | TBD | IndieBound

sshgiveaway

Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of Dead Jed 2: Dawn of the Jed by Scott Craven (INT)

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

Chapter by Chapter

INTERVIEW & SPOTLIGHT: Catch Us if You Can by Marc Feinstein

Catch us if You Can

by Marc Feinstein

YA Coming of Age

Book Description

A small town, a family, a tragedy and the saving power of Rock & Roll…
It is 1967. Gene Gennaro is sailing through his freshman year in Oldbrook, blown along by the steady prevailing innocent winds of the time—sports, girls and Rock & Roll. On the Ides of March, a tragedy thrusts him into a new world forever rocked by that fateful day.

The next three frenetic years of high school are a lifeline for Gene as unbreakable as the fidelity of his friendships with five basketball teammates; most of all Reuben, his best friend since before kindergarten, whose lifeline at times turns into the rope for a tug-of-war between fate and will, testing their classically loyal friendship.
CATCH US IF YOU CAN is a coming-of-age tale of small town but urban youth growing up in the late 1960’s trying to untangle the answer to life’s tragedies as well as answer Bruce Springsteen’s haunting question: Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true or is it something worse?

sshinterview

 

1.  Tell us a little about yourself.

Okay, just a peek, but it’s an inner glimpse that I don’t often share. Took the steady, expected path of the more staid strivers (college, law degree, career, wife and 2 boys). Mysteriously to most (and some would say, foolishly), I abruptly shifted direction into this writing project while always trying to stay true to myself. Aware that writing legal thrillers or suspense would likely gain me easier admission into the traditional publishing industry, and cognizant of those questioning why I would leave a rewarding legal career to write fiction, I couldn’t help but do and write what I wanted to rather than what “they” wanted me to.

2.  What made you want to become a writer?

Not an easy one to describe—maybe it will come out in some future piece. I’ve always respected storytelling that resonates and sticks with you in a meaningful way—whether it be through songs, poems, or stories. Lacking the musical chops for song-writing, it was the writing of novels or screenplays that I knew I would one day try to tackle.

3.  Who or what gives you inspiration?

Following up on my prior response, anything that stays with you in a meaningful way. My wife. My sons. Some movies and well-written dramatic television. Great books. My imagination.

4.  Tell us about Catch Us if You Can.

My book is a lot of things—different things to different people. And it was designed to be that. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to synthesize it for agents, publishers and marketers—not an easy task. Everyone seems to want a pitch or tagline that encapsulates what took more than 400 pages to write. If it was that easy to do, trust me, I wouldn’t have put in the years.

So, I’ll steal some of what’s already been created to talk about the novel: As a coming-of-age tale, it is about loss—of life, of innocence, of dreams. Set in the late Sixties, it is an homage to a unique time—historically and culturally. Portraying the ardors of youth, it sends out a high school basketball team as a search party to answer Springsteen’s haunting question: Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true or is it something worse? The rest can be gotten from the book synopsis on the cover, at the booksellers, and on my website: http://www.marcfeinstein.com.

5.  What’s the hardest part of being a writer?

I hate to be modest or sound trite, but I don’t yet consider myself a writer. I don’t know why, but I have trouble saying it when asked what I do. I’ve written my first novel and learned a great deal from the experience—about the craft and about myself. The writing and the learning was enjoyable. But I don’t think I will call myself a writer until I’ve reached my audience. So, to me, the difficult part is getting the book out there. Far and away, the hardest part is the business end of things.

6.  What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?

Nothing superstitious or even comforting out of habit. Mostly what I need is the environment and resources to transport me into the world I am writing about. In the instance of Catch Us If You Can, music from the era had an uncanny ability to take me back and feel—not just remember or imagine, but truly feel—what it felt like. Of course, as with anything to do with the brain, your mind sometimes plays tricks on you, so that it is difficult to separate real from imaginary when you start to inhabit the world you’re writing about.

7.  What are some of your favorite books?

Perhaps stemming from my competitive side, I’ve always made lists for fun (sometimes just mentally, other times committed to writing) of top 10’s—music, movies, TV shows, even vacations. Curiously, I’ve never done it for books. But I can say, without reservation, that there are lots of novels that have, for myriad reasons, stayed with me (among them, but in no particular order):
Samaritan—Richard Price
American Pastoral—Philip Roth
A Prayer for Owen Meany—John Irving
A Separate Peace—John Knowles
Brewster—Mark Slouka

8.  Are your characters based on anyone you know?

To the extent that I know myself (or have learned things about myself in the writing process), all my characters have some part of me in them. Of course, some more so than others. From a physical feature standpoint, even character traits or personalities, it is of obvious benefit to see what you’re trying to describe; so, it’s easy to pattern someone’s looks and quirks off of someone you know, or a mix of people you know, so you can visualize.

I am sure this happens to authors of fiction all the time—a guessing game of who in real life is portrayed fictionally in the novel. There is a veritable secondary marketplace for literary criticism and even books devoted to such conjecture, so much so that I am sure there is an element of intentional guile on the part of some authors. Since, for Catch Us If You Can, I chose a subject matter (a high school basketball team in the late 1960’s) that in some ways paralleled my own high school experience, the natural tendency for those who grew up with me will understandably be such a guessing game. But let me go on record as saying I am not yet that crafty.

9.  What, if anything, are you working on right now?

I have already started work on 2 novels, yet unsure which one will take off first. One is a mystery surrounding the disappearance of a wife in an otherwise enviously happy family, whose teen children have to reconcile what happens when their father is the prime suspect in her murder. The other, a saga of a man permanently scarred by a lost high school romance, whose unmoored life through five decades and across the country, shockingly takes root when an unknown daughter shows up.

10.  Why do you love writing?

It’s a question that, astonishingly, I have yet to have been asked; and now that I have, I think I have to admit that it’s not the writing that I love, as much as it is the storytelling. Writing is a craft that I believe is always being honed, that is solitary and lonely and takes a lot of discipline and work and a thick skin—not necessarily something to fall in love with. The ideal of a writing life, of inhabiting an imagined world that you create for whatever period of time it takes to complete, and that takes you—the author—along for the ride, and that hopefully connects you with an appreciative audience, well, that’s what my Italian friends call amore.

About the Author

Born in the Bronx and raised in Ridgefield, New Jersey, Marc Feinstein is a child of the 60’s unbound with stories to tell.
Feinstein is a graduate from the University of Pennsylvania where he received his Bachelor’s in Economics. He went on to law school at the Mc George School of Law at University of the Pacific and then began long career in law as a Litigation Attorney and Mediator.
He spent over 30 years of his life in Orange County, California with his wife and two children and now retired resides in Maui with his wife.
He is an avid basketball enthusiast –from playing it, to coaching it, to the study of its history and evolution as a game.
Feinstein is having the time of his life writing and creating stories that connect and resonate with a broad audience and hopes to one day crossover his books to film.

Visit him on his website at www.marcfeinstein.com
Like him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MarcFeinsteinAuthor
Follow him on Goodreads www.goodreads.com/goodreadscommarcfeinstein

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