Category Archives: book tour
by Michael Omer
Narrowdale Series, Book One
Don’t fall asleep. Don’t dream. Don’t get caught.
Amy knew she’d hate Narrowdale, a boring suburban town. How could it possibly compare to L.A., where she lived her entire life? Being a high school freshman in a new place made things even worse.
And that was before she started having the same nightmare over and over again. Before she woke up every night to a shrill whistle outside her window. Before she met a homeless man who seemed to know way too much.
Some things seem to happen only in Narrowdale, where dark secrets are hiding beneath the surface…
MY THOUGHTS: 3.5 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
14 year old Amy isn’t too thrilled when she has to leave LA to move to a small town called Narrowdale right before her freshman year. Not only is it bad enough that it’s taking her a while to make friends, but she’s starting to learn that this own is hiding more than a few secrets. Like the homeless man who seems to be able to read minds and see the future. Like the terrifying dreams that are haunting Amy’s every night.
When Amy decides she can’t take any more sleepless nights, she begins to dig into the truth about what is going on in Narrowdale. And a nearly ten year old crime catches up with her in a life threatening way.
To be honest, this story starts out very very slowly, with Amy overexplaining the mundane details of her day. But the book is only 160 pages so it was a very quick read…although it took nearly to the halfway point for any action to be going on.
I guess you could say Narrowdale is a kind of supernatural town, with things going on no one can explain and that no one really tries to. The citizens just accept that the town’s “quirks” are a way of life. There’s really no explanation given about why the town is the way it is, so I suppose we are going to accept this fact as well.
Amy is just OK as a main character, though at times it seems she can’t make up her mind about what type of person she wants to be. Sometimes she’s shy, others snarky, others a class-skipping rebel. Her constant narration of every little detail became annoying quickly.
Once the story hit its’ stride about the reason Amy was having her dreams/visions, things moved very quickly. Amy and her partners investigate, pry, and just plain get lucky breaks, but they find out the truth. This truth puts them in danger, of course.
I truly appreciated that this story didn’t have some budding romance or awkward meet cutes with its characters. Amy got by with help from her friends, but she didn’t need a boyfriend, and that was great.
The end moved very, very fast in comparison to the beginning, and I wish the climactic moment had been fleshed out more. It’s also interesting to note that Sleepless is the first book in a series set in the town of Narrowdale. Maybe we’ll learn more about this place after all.
About the Author
My name is Michael Omer, and I’m a writer, journalist and game designer. I wrote and published my first novel when I was sixteen, and figured I’d keep at it. Since then, I have published two more novels, and wrote… who can even count how many? I’m happily married to a woman who keeps pushing me to write more, and have three kids who insist I should stop writing and come play with them. I also have two dogs.
by Adam Cesare
Harriet Laurel notices the odor at Mercy House as soon as she sets foot inside, brought there against her will by her son, Don, and his wife, Nikki. In the early stages of dementia, Harriet has grown resentful of Nikki, blaming her daughter-in-law for failing to supply grandchildren. Yet even Harriet must admit that her mind becomes clearer as soon as she crosses the threshold. If it wasn’t for that annoying smell.
Arnold Piper is an eighty-five-year-old ex-Marine, a proud man who has cared for himself his whole life. But no longer. Betrayed by his aging body, Arnold is learning that the trials he survived long ago in war-torn Korea pale beside the daily indignities of growing old. Little does he know that his greatest nightmares are still ahead of him.
Sarah Campbell is an idealistic nurse whose compassion has been stretched to the breaking point at the chronically understaffed facility that is Mercy House. But now Sarah’s list of unpleasant duties is about to take a terrifying turn. For something wicked is brewing in Mercy House. Something dark and rotten . . . and deadly.
MY THOUGHTS: 2.5 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
The book started out in a promising way, but quickly became a gore fest….it was gore just for the sake of having gore, in my opinion.
In this tale, some sort of change comes over the residents of a nursing home so that they’re not only growing stronger and overpowering the staff and visitors, they are in fact thirsting for their blood! I wouldn’t call this a zombie book, though.
We learn just enough about the main characters so that we care what happens to them; even though some are stereotypes, we still want them to survive. The book is pretty fast paced, with action happening within the first 20%, and ramping up quickly after that.
While I like the author’s writing style and originality, I had a hard time taking this story seriously sometimes. It’s not that the blood and gore turned my stomach, it’s that it seemed it was at times just put into the plot for shock value, not to add anything. I would recommend this book only for strict horror fans who want a different, but still familiar feeling, book about survival horror.
About the Author
Adam Cesare is a New Yorker who lives in Philadelphia. He studied English and film at Boston University. His books include Video Night, The Summer Job, Zero Lives Remaining, and Tribesmen. His nonfiction has appeared in Paracinema, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and other venues.
One reader will win a copy of MERCY HOUSE by Adam Cesare + a Hydra mug
by Heather Herrman
For fans of Stephen King, Joe Hill, and Sarah Langan comes a thrilling new vision of American horror. In Heather Herrman’s heart-pounding debut novel, evil is ready to feed—and it’s got one hell of an appetite.
In the wake of tragedy, John and Erma Scott are heading west in search of a new life. So when car trouble strands them in sleepy Cavus, Montana, they decide to stay for a while, charmed by the friendly residents and the surrounding ambiance. Here, they hope, is the healing balm that their marriage needs.
Then John and Erma find themselves in a fight not just to save their marriage, but their very lives. For this is no ordinary town. Its quiet streets conceal a dark and bloody secret that has slumbered for centuries. Now, that secret is awake . . . and it’s hungry.
Like a slow infection, evil is spreading through Cavus. Soon John and Erma—along with the local sheriff, an undocumented immigrant, a traumatized teenage girl, and an old man with terrible secrets of his own—must join together to battle an all-consuming force that has set its sights on its prey: the entire human race.
“Both the evil that suffuses the pages of Consumption and the motley gang of innocents who defend against it are much more interesting than those usually found in your average scare fare. Solid writing elevates this imaginative fright-fest from an invigorating new voice.”—Sophie Littlefield, bestselling author of the Aftertime series
About the Author
Heather Herrman explores American society through horror fiction. She holds an MFA from New Mexico State University, and her work has appeared in such publications as Alaska Quarterly Review, The South Carolina Review, and Snake Nation Review. Herrman’s fiction has also been honored with a Frank Waters Fiction Prize and a scholarship to the Prague Summer Program for Writers.
Connect with Heather
PRIZE: $25.00 eGift Card to the eBook Retailer of the Winner’s Choice + an eBook copy of CONSUMPTION by Heather Herrman
Dark Screams, Volume 3
Short Story Collection
Peter Straub, Jack Ketchum, Darynda Jones, Jacquelyn Frank, and Brian Hodge contribute five gloomy, disturbing tales of madness and horror to Dark Screams: Volume Three, edited by Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar of the celebrated Cemetery Dance Publications.
THE COLLECTED SHORT STORIES OF FREDDIE PROTHERO by Peter Straub
A mere child yet a precocious writer, young Freddie records a series of terrifying encounters with an inhuman being that haunts his life . . . and seems to predict his death.
GROUP OF THIRTY by Jack Ketchum
When an award-winning horror writer on the downward slope of a long career receives an invitation to address the Essex County Science Fiction Group, he figures he’s got nothing to lose. He couldn’t be more wrong.
NANCY by Darynda Jones
Though she’s adopted by the cool kids, the new girl at Renfield High School is most drawn to Nancy Wilhoit, who claims to be haunted. But it soon becomes apparent that poltergeists—and people—are seldom what they seem.
I LOVE YOU, CHARLIE PEARSON by Jacquelyn Frank
Charlie Pearson has a crush on Stacey Wheeler. She has no idea. Charlie will make Stacey see that he loves her, and that she loves him—even if he has to kill her to make her say it.
THE LONE AND LEVEL SANDS STRETCH FAR AWAY by Brian Hodge
When Marni moves in next door, the stale marriage of Tara and Aidan gets a jolt of adrenaline. Whether it’s tonic or toxic is another matter.
MY THOUGHTS: 4 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
This is a fine collection of scary short stories. While some offer more chills than others ( I wouldn’t read Nancy alone at night), they all had great twists and led to pretty cool conclusions.
My favorite story is probably Nancy by Darynda Jones. It’s the story of a high school girl who seems to be tormented by a poltergeist–but when a new girl in town tries to help her, she discovers a shocking secret. This story was rather scary…I DID read it late into the night and kept looking over my should to make sure nothing was there!
Another great one is I Love You, Charlie Pearson by Jacqueline Frank. As the story of a young boy who seems to have a very creepy crush on an older girl unfolds, you get squirmy and by the end you have your mouth open in shock…because the ending was definitely unexpected!
Dark Screams Volume 3 is a gathering of perfect little bites of fiction, and as you finish one story you’ll definitely be ready to move on to the next one. Reader beware!
The giveaway is for a $25 e-gift card to the e-retailer of your choice,
plus a copy of Dark Screams, Volume 3.
Let Me Die in His Footsteps
by Lori Ray
On a dark Kentucky night in 1952 exactly halfway between her fifteenth and sixteenth birthdays, Annie Holleran crosses into forbidden territory. Everyone knows Hollerans don’t go near Baines, not since Joseph Carl was buried two decades before, but, armed with a silver-handled flashlight, Annie runs through her family’s lavender fields toward the well on the Baines’ place. At the stroke of midnight, she gazes into the water in search of her future. Not finding what she had hoped for, she turns from the well and when the body she sees there in the moonlight is discovered come morning, Annie will have much to explain and a past to account for.
It was 1936, and there were seven Baine boys. That year, Annie’s aunt, Juna Crowley, with her black eyes and her long blond hair, came of age. Before Juna, Joseph Carl had been the best of all the Baine brothers. But then he looked into Juna’s eyes and they made him do things that cost innocent people their lives. Sheriff Irlene Fulkerson saw justice served–or did she?
As the lavender harvest approaches and she comes of age as Aunt Juna did in her own time, Annie’s dread mounts. Juna will come home now, to finish what she started. If Annie is to save herself, her family, and this small Kentucky town, she must prepare for Juna’s return, and the revelation of what really happened all those years ago.
4 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
This book is set in the South in the early to middle 1900’s, and it moves at about the same pace as I expected life did back then: slowly, taking time for things to happen, but they are oh so delicious when they do.
The girls in this rural Kentucky town have abilities called the “know how”; some are both with the gift of being able to predict when things will happen, or just strong feelings about certain things, and some are born without gifts. The book tells the story of two sets of sisters, a generation apart, in which one sister has strong abilities and the other has none.
Our main character is Annie Holleran. On the verge of becoming a woman, she and her sister go down to a forbidden property one night to perform the tradition of seeing one’s future husband in the well. But instead of seeing a boy, Annie sees a body. Events only get more sinister from there, as we begin to learn the story of Annie’s mother and her sister, and how events from the past can affect the present in ways we never expected.
I definitely liked Annie as a character. Because of who her mother was, some people in their tiny town were wary of her and what her abilities might hold. Annie is like her mother in some ways, but she’s her own person in the most important ones. She abides by tradition but doesn’t focus her life around it. She has her own thoughts on who she should marry and how he should treat her.
The story has a slight supernatural touch, just enough to give the plot a darkly mysterious edge but never fully explained. The entire town is affected by “the know how”, whether a girl has it or does not, and the townsfolk all believe in the powers and hold them in high reverence.
As I said, the plot moves slowly, but watching it unfold in the way it did was a fantastic plot device within itself. You find yourself feeling many different things about the characters as you learn more about them, and you will change your mind completely on some things by the time all is revealed.
This is a great summer read for anyone who likes their mystery with a bit of the unknown.
About the Author
Lori Roy was born and raised in Manhattan, Kansas where she graduated from Kansas State University. Her debut novel, BENT ROAD, published in 2011, was awarded the Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best First Novel by an American Author, named a 2011 New York Times Notable Crime Book and named a 2012 notable book by the state of Kansas. BENT ROAD has been optioned for film. Her second novel, UNTIL SHE COMES HOME, was named a New York Times Editors’ Choice, and was nominated for an Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best Novel. Her upcoming novel, LET ME DIE IN HIS FOOTSTEPS, will be published June 2nd. Lori also serves as treasure for the Sisters in Crime organization and is a liaison to the Author Coalition. She currently lives with her family in west central Florida.
One reader will win a copy of LET ME DIE IN HIS FOOTSTEPS. US/CAN ONLY PLEASE.
To enter, please leave a comment on what your favorite flower is!
Winner will be drawn June 13.
by Krys Fenner
Bella has lived a rather boring life, but that all quickly changes. A new position in school forces her to take charge. A new boyfriend (her first), Jeremiah, hands her a confidence she has never known before. A new role in her church’s Fall Production makes her a leader. But that all gets destroyed when an attack by her father’s enemy turns her into the center of attention. Bella believes things couldn’t get worse, but they do. Can she survive the road of destruction and emerge stronger? Or has all that she gained been destroyed forever?
Using Psychology in Writing
by Krys Fenner
There are two ways to use psychology in writing. One gets very technical, while the other is more descriptive and action-oriented. There are two questions I would ask. Whose perspective is the story being told? And who is your audience? Once those are answered, then you’ll know how much terminology should be included in the manuscript.
Theoretically a work of non-fiction directed at a psychology student, psychologists, psychiatrist, or any counselor will be filled with more terminology than say a work of fiction intended for a young adult (12-18), new adult (18-25), or adult (25+) audience. Pieces of fiction are more likely to be action-based than using terminology. However, this again depends on the point of view character and your audience.
If the novel is written from the perspective of a counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist then the use of technical terms is highly probable. But if the book is written from a character suffering a particular psychosis, the character isn’t going to think “I have an adjustment disorder with a depressed mood.” Instead, actions and words of that character will display the psychological issue. If I was an author writing this character, then I would take into consideration how to demonstrate their problem.
Let’s say Jane has just gotten divorced. To describe an adjustment disorder with depression, I would reference her problems sleeping or lack of appetite. I would write about Jane’s refusal to spend time with friends. Or how she misses time from work. I could show her crying a lot or getting frequent headaches. All of these things would be symptoms of the psychological issue without verbally giving it a name. So, what if the point of view were changed?
With all that is going on, Jane recognizes she has a problem and decides to go see a psychologist. The doctor Jane chooses consults with another psychologist in their practice. We’ll call Jane’s psychologist, Dr. Tracy. If I were writing the scene from Dr. Tracy’s point of view, then I am more likely going to use technical terms, especially if she is speaking to a colleague. However, as a writer I will take into consideration my audience. Who am I writing the story for? Do I expect people who read the novel to understand these terms? If not, I have two options: define the terms in the book or dumb the terminology down.
It isn’t hard to write a book using psychological issues without technological terms. You just have to know who your audience is and whose perspective the story should be told from. The difficulty is in making sure the actions and feelings the character displays are accurate and appropriate for the situation. If you can do that successfully, the terminology won’t matter; the story will.
About the Author
At the age of 16, Krys Fenner fell in love with Psychology and Creative Writing. At that time she wrote her first short story dealing with sexual abuse and forgiveness. Psychological issues in her family filled her with the desire to help others using her own experiences. So in 2004, she earned an Associate of Arts in Psychology. And while her sister is the one with dreams of becoming a Psychologist, Krys Fenner returned to Creative Writing. She is currently working on a Bachelor of Arts and plans to continue on to a Masters degree, where she can major in her first love (Creative Writing) and minor in her second (Psychology).
by Jennifer Latham
Expected Publication: May 19, 2015
Meet Scarlett, a smart, sarcastic fifteen-year-old, ready to take on crime in her hometown. When Scarlett agrees to investigate a local boy’s suicide, she figures she’s in for an easy case and a quick buck. But it doesn’t take long for suicide to start looking a lot like murder.
As Scarlett finds herself deep in a world of cults, curses, and the seemingly supernatural, she discovers that her own family secrets may have more to do with the situation than she thinks…and that cracking the case could lead to solving her father’s murder.
Jennifer Latham delivers a compelling story and a character to remember in this one-of-a-kind debut novel.
About the Author
I write because it’s the only job I’ve been able to stick to for more than two years. Seriously.
I’ve lived lots of different places. Here’s the list: New York City; San Francisco; Augusta, GA; Buffalo, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Madrid; Providence, RI; and now…Tulsa, OK.
I’ve had some really weird and really normal jobs. The weirdest was helping out with autopsies. The one I’d go back to if I couldn’t write is being a school psychologist. The one I still do sometimes is teach yoga.
I live with my two daughters, two dogs, a cat, three turtles, three hermit crabs, a bunch of fish, and a husband (mine, of course).
I love watching people.
And I love writing about the people who live inside my head, even when they don’t play nice.
PURCHASE THE BOOK:
10 winners will receive a finished copy of SCARLETT UNDERCOVER. US Only.
by Bobbie Pyron
Nate Harlow has never had a lucky day in his life. He’s never won a prize, he’s never been picked first, he’s never even won a coin toss. His best friend, Genesis Beam (aka Gen), believes in science and logic, and she doesn’t think for one second that there’s such a thing as luck, good or bad. But only an extremely unlucky person could be struck by lightning on his birthday… and that person is Nate Harlow. By some miracle, though, Nate survives, and the strike seems to have changed his luck.
Suddenly, Nate’s grandpa is the busiest fisherman in their small, beachside town. And Nate finds himself the center of attention, the most popular kid at school, the one who hits a game-winning home run! This lucky streak can’t last forever, though, and as a hurricane draws close to the shores of Paradise Beach, Nate and Gen may need more than just good luck to save their friendship and their town: They need a miracle.
MY THOUGHTS: 4 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
Nate is so unlucky, that he gets hit by lightning on his 11th birthday! He does survive it though, and it seems that somehow, it has had an effect on him–everything he does now turns out right. It even appears he can affect the luck of others!
But Nate soon learns that just because a wish comes true, doesn’t mean it solves every problem in your life–in a lot of instances, it can create more.
Nate and his best friend Gen are kind of the outcast kids of their small town, but they have each other and their families, at least. When Nate gets struck by lightning, his luck changes, and he finds himself a very popular person all of a sudden. It doesn’t take him long to learn that popularity comes with a price, and his “blessing” of good luck is more like a curse, at least when it comes to the relationships he has with the people closest to him.
I think this is a pretty good middle grade offering that 5th-7th graders would like. Gen and Nate have a pretty good friendship, and I think a lot of kids would relate to the way they are outsiders.
Lucky Strike had plenty of humorous parts, which I think young readers will enjoy as well. There are also moments of sadness and suspense that will keep readers quite engaged.
I liked the writing, though everything seemed to move very fast, even for a 250-plus page book! As I said, this is more geared toward middle grade readers, and they will love learning Nate’s story.
About the Author
Bobbie Pyron was born in Hollywood, Florida and spent her growing up years up in the panhandle, swimming in the Gulf of Mexico and dreaming of being a mermaid. She has degrees in Psychology and Anthropology, and a Masters degree in Library Science, and has worked as a librarian for over twenty-five years.
Her first book, a novel for teens titled The Ring (WestSide Books), was published in October of 2009. Her second book, A Dog’s Way Home (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books), was published to starred reviews in March of 2011. The Dog Writers Association of America recently awarded Bobbie the Maxwell Medal of Excellence and the Merial Human-Animal Bond Award. It was also named a Banks Street Best Books of the Year.
Bobbie Pyron’s book, The Dogs of Winter (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic), came out October of 2012. The Dogs of Winter is a Junior Library Guild Selection and a Kirkus Best 100 Children’s Books of the Year. Bobbie lives in Park City, Utah with her husband, two dogs, and two cats.
Bobbie Pyron’s Website.
Buy ‘Lucky Strike’:
Follow the Tour:
Teddy Rose Book Reviews Apr 2 Spotlight & Giveaway
Rockin’ Book Reviews Apr 7 Interview & Giveaway
Hott Books Apr 8 Review
Always Reiding Apr 9 Review & Excerpt
Geo Librarian Apr 10 Review
Curling Up With A Good Book Apr 13 Interview & Excerpt
fuonlyknew Apr 14 Review & Giveaway
Once Upon A Story Apr 15 Review & Excerpt
Beneath the Jacket Reviews Apr 16 Review
Indie Review Behind the Scenes Apr 17 Live I 6 pm cst
Cassandra M’s Place Apr 20 Review & Giveaway
In Bed With Books Apr 22 Review & Excerpt
In Bed With Books Apr 22 Interview
Allison’s Book Bag April 24 Interview
Allison’s Book Bag April 24 Review
Mary’s Cup of Tea Apr 27 Review & Giveaway
Deal Sharing Aunt Apr 28 Review, Excerpt & Giveaway
Bound for Escape Apr 30 Review
What U Talking Bout Willis? May 1 Review
Lisa’s Writopia May 4 Review
Books, Books, and More Books May 5 Review & Excerpt
Beth’s Book-Nook Blog May 8 Review
Sweet Southern Home May 11 Review
The Crypto-Caper Review May 12 Review
One Frugal Girl May 15 Review
by Aviva Bel’Harold
Grief changes people.
Brittany used to be a normal teen. She ate like one, slept like one, and had typical teenage mood swings. But after she found her best friend dead, everything changed.
Grief might explain her loss of appetite and her lack of sleep. It might even explain why she sees her dead friend everywhere she goes. But it certainly won’t explain why everyone she touches develops bruises or why she’s attracted to the smell of blood.
And, she’s pretty sure grief dosen’t make you want to rip apart your boyfriend just to get closer to his beating heart.
But what happens when it’s the choices we make, not the creature inside, that proves the monster is in us all?
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I love people. I love being around them. Listening to their life stories. Talking to them. Entertaining them with my life stories. I love doing this so much that for a long time I figured I should have been an actress. But I had kids before I could pursue a career in acting.
I never wanted to be a writer… No, actually, that’s not entirely true. I never thought I could be one. You see, I’ve always had stories — huge epic fantasies in my head. But I’m dyslexic so I never thought I could become an author. I always figured I’d just be a good story teller — you know, the kind of person who’s good to have at parties.
No, not in this book. I did however borrow names for it but not because the characters represented anyone, I just liked the names.
Right now I am working on a space adventure that takes place in a solar system ruled by magic that’s being misused. It’s a YA that’s a dystopian space opera with magic. It’s going to be amazing!
Writing makes me feel like I’ve lived more lives than the one I’ve been given. Also, I like meeting new people and when I write I feel like I do that with each new character. And lastly, even if I wasn’t writing I’d still be making all these things up — so being a writer helps me justify all my daydreaming.
Aviva Bel’Harold writes young adult fiction: Horror, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, etc. — as long as the characters are young, full of life, and out for adventure. When she’s writing, you’ll find her curled up on a sofa with a pen and a pad of paper, surrounded by her adorable puppies.Born in Winnipeg and raised in Vancouver, Aviva Bel’Harold currently resides in Calgary with her husband, four children, and six dachshunds.
PURCHASE BLOOD MATTERS:
Believers: Truth in Deception
by Tamara D. Taylor
New Adult Dystopian/Romance
Mary lives in a world of the future where an anti aging drug has torn society apart, creating an insurmountable divide between the wealthy and the poor. Her life is thrown sideways after she receives an unsolicited promotion at work, which leaves her as assistant to one of the most notorious playboys of the wealthy elite.
Mary struggles to find solid footing in a world that drastically conflicts with her humble upbringing. Her moral compass is tested as she finds herself falling in love with a man she knows she should not trust, compromising her relationship with her childhood sweetheart.
After her life is threatened, she fears for her safety and that of her family. Will she be able to guard her own secrets to prevent even further danger? Will death be the consequence of falling in love with the wrong man?
About the Author
Tamara D. Taylor was born and raised in the East Bay of California until she moved to Omaha, Nebraska to attend Creighton University. Today, Tamara still resides in Nebraska where she and her husband, John, are raising their five young children.
A life long lover of all forms of the written word, Tamara is an avid reader, and has been writing short stories and poetry since elementary school. After watching her son struggle with succeeding in school, she decided to finally write the novel she had been thinking about for years in an effort to show her son that no dream is too big to achieve.
Her latest book is the YA, Believers: Truth in Deception.
For More Information
Find out more about Tamara at Goodreads.
Believers: Truth in Deception is available at Amazon.