Saturday, October 21, 2017

Guest Post & Giveaway: The Spectrum of Fantasy

Fantasy and world-building can come in many different shapes and forms. One of the great things about writing fantasy is its utter infinity of possibilities. A fantasy author is free in ways no other genre writer is, because he is not restricted by any rules in the world for his/her creation. He can literally be and do whatever he wants. However, in time an accepted fantasy spectrum has been set in place, not so much to restrict as it is to organize fantasy stories and make it easier for readers to identify them.
 
At one corner of the spectrum we have Noblebright Fantasy, the typical heroic fantasy in which the world is wondrous and beautiful and the heroes actively seek to protect it or defeat the villains that threaten it. On the other corner we have Grimdark Fantasy, stories that basically depict ravaged, unsafe worlds in which hopelessness is common, and the heroes don't care to change it or improve it, or their efforts to do so are never good enough. However, the in-between is several shades of gray (bad pun, couldn't resist!) and it allows for the richness and complexity of the fantasy genre as we know it. Let's explore a bit more, shall we? Noble vs Grim: The Noble to Grim part of it refers to the actions of the characters (heroes) and how they influence their worlds. What is their motivation? Are they strong and willing to risk themselves for others? Are their actions able to change the fate of society and the world they live in?
  Image result for harry potterImage result for lord of the ringsThe Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Poster 
 In a Noble�story: The characters are strong, capable, and their actions can alter the fate of the world. Usually a single villain threatens the world, and a hero or a group of heroes appear to save it, at great peril for themselves. The heroes are successful in their quests and ultimately defeat the evil and change the world for the better, and the villains are either destroyed or redeemed within the context of the world. 
  Batman Begins PosterUnderworld PosterGame of Thrones Poster 
 In a Grim story: The characters are restricted and hopeless, they refuse to take action and whatever initiative they display never amounts to much in the big scheme of things. They cannot change the world they live in, and whatever victories they achieve are ephemeral and often temporary.� Their negative qualities are relished and their positive trait are ridiculed or mocked. Heroes are defined by their survival capabilities and not by altruistic deeds or motives, and villains are replaced with new villains in a never-ending cycle. Bight vs Dark: The�Bright�to�Dark�spectrum refers to the world in particular and the conditions it has regardless of the characters actions. How is the world as a place people live in? How is it perceived by the characters (and audience)?
  Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl PosterGalavant PosterAvatar Poster A�Bright�World: is beautiful and hopeful. It may contain villains and flaws, but the world as a whole is a place that inspires wonder and desire to explore it. In a Bright world, happiness or the possibility of it, is widely accepted and shared, and characters expect and experience good things from the environment around them.� Despite not being perfect, a bright world is a place you want to visit, and a place in which characters are not afraid to venture and get lost in.
  The Walking Dead PosterAlien: Covenant PosterResident Evil: The Final Chapter Poster A�Dark�World: has danger and hopelessness as its primary traits. It's an inhospitable environment in which people's lives is hard and death is frequent and real. A dark world does not spur characters into action, because the world itself is the enemy, where every action is dangerous and can have lethal consequences. Fantasy Complexity. 
 
In between these corner points is the Neutral, which, whether referring to character or world, describes a story that hangs in the balance between the two qualities. While each fantasy story is as unique as a single snowflake, that complexity and diversity is what makes the genre popular and beloved by its fans, and discussions about Noblebright, Grimdark, Nobledark, Grimbright and the many other spots in between are what makes the Fantasy literature world a diverse, rich universe you should definitely consider visiting

Heroes and Swords: A Noblebright Fantasy Collection.

Heroes and Swords: A Noblebright Fantasy Collection In the spirit of the classic fantasy of Tolkien, Terry Pratchett and Brandon Sanderson, authors of Noblebright Fantasy all around the world have come together in this E-book giveaway. With stories that are uplifting and full of hope, and heroes who strive for goodness and fight to save their worlds,�Heroes and Swords�will transport readers back to the glory of heroic fantasies, fabulous quests and characters full of charisma and courage.
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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Excerpt & Giveaway: Chosen by R.S. Broadhead


Chosen
R.S. Broadhead
(The Urban Legends Series)
Publication date: October 24th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Supernatural, Thriller
Black eyes. No emotion. No sympathy. Only emptiness.
Piper McAdams’s life was normal. Career? Check. Boyfriend? Check. Friends? Check. One unsettling run in with a homeless man turns everything from normal to terrifying. She begins seeing…things.
Things she can’t seem to explain or make any sense.
As if things aren’t already getting out of hand, Piper receives news that the only family member she has is dead. She thinks maybe a trip across the country to her hometown will get her away from all the strange events happening.
After a late night accident, Piper isn’t in her hometown burying her loved one. She’s in a town called Hell. All she wants to do is leave, but the people seem to be holding her there for some reason.
A reason she feels threatens her life. Around every corner things become darker and scarier.
Can she escape what is coming for her?

EXCERPT
I took the steps two at a time, not caring how unstable they appeared. At the top, I stopped dead in my tracks. The platforms were vacant. The bones had turned to an old off-white color; maggots crawled in between them and fell to the floor. Low growls from above made the hair all over my body stand on end. The creatures once standing on the platforms were poised, ready for attack, as they perched along the walls near the ceiling. A jolt of pain in my head, made me squint and take a step back. I opened my eyes to find they’d returned to the platforms. I blinked erratically, feeling confused. I wasn’t waiting around to see if they changed again. No way.
I flung the door open, hoping the birds had decided to move on. They shrieked from the branches above. But that wasn’t what worried me. Beside each grave stood a child. They didn’t move. Not a single inch. They only stood there … staring. I had nowhere to go. I was surrounded.
A bird landed at the foot of the steps, and I gasped.
Its black feathers were gone, leaving only skin. Its head cocked as beady red eyes ran the length of my body before opening its mouth. There was no beak. The mouth opened to the sides, exposing row after row of jagged teeth. All at once, the children raised an arm and pointed at me, their solid black eyes never blinking.
I tore down the steps, jumping over the hideous, deformed bird. Running was my only chance. I couldn’t stand there and wait for them or something inside that building to decide it wanted me. The ground rocked beneath my feet as another pain surged in my head. The warm liquid poured from my nose again. It dripped over my lip. I looked up, and the graveyard was empty. Swiftly, I turned toward the trees to see the birds were back to normal. I was almost out. Just a few more feet, and I would be back in the woods. The ground began to moisten, making the surface slick. I trudged through, my feet making a sloshing sound.
At the last row of graves, the ground was covered in blood. One tombstone in the middle had it dripping down the front. I stopped and dropped to my knees. I wasn’t sure why. My better judgment told me to keep running, but I couldn’t. Some invisible force wouldn’t let me.


Author Bio:
R. S. Broadhead lives in Jackson, Alabama with her husband of ten years, their two little girls, and a pug named Wednesday Love the Duchess, or Winnie for short. She has a bachelor’s in psychology and a master’s in business administration. She loves to snowboard, travel (Australia is her favorite place so far), and dance (not professionally, just whenever she feels like it). When she was sixteen-years-old, her and her friends would take pictures and make up funny stories about them. Fourteen years later, UNVEILED was born. UNVEILED, her first novel, is the first book in a four book series.

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Excerpt & Giveaway: The Girl Who Saved Ghosts by K.C. Tansley


The Girl Who Saved Ghosts
K.C. Tansley
Publication date: October 17th 2017
Genres: Mystery, Time-Travel, Young Adult
She tried to ignore them. Now she might risk everything to save them.
After a summer spent in a haunted castle—a summer in which she traveled through time to solve a murder mystery—Kat is looking forward to a totally normal senior year at McTernan Academy. Then the ghost of a little girl appears and begs Kat for help, and more unquiet apparitions follow. All of them are terrified by the Dark One, and it soon becomes clear that that this evil force wants Kat dead.
Searching for help, Kat leaves school for the ancestral home she’s only just discovered. Her friend Evan, whose family is joined to her own by an arcane history, accompanies her. With the assistance of her eccentric great aunts and a loyal family ghost, Kat soon learns that she and Evan can only fix the present by traveling into the past.
As Kat and Evan make their way through nineteenth-century Vienna, the Dark One stalks them, and Kat must decide what she’s willing to sacrifice to save a ghost.

EXCERPT
[My roommate] Morgan sat across from me on her bed. “Enough about me. I don’t know how you managed to stay with your grandparents a month without them finding out about the ghosts.”
“When you’ve lived with a secret as long as I have, keeping it is easier than sharing it.”
“Did you tell your mom?”
She was supposed to be home by August, but August was almost over and we were still video chatting because of exciting discoveries at the archaeological site where she was working. Unexpected finds. Something truly remarkable, she promised. “She’s still in Africa.”
I couldn’t bring up the topic of my dad’s family, the Langleys, over Skype. With the video freezing and voices garbling and the calls dropping, it would be a nightmare. I pictured myself screaming, “I see ghosts and it’s because I’m a Langley,” over and over again. I winced. Nope. That was a conversation we had to have in person. She promised she’d be back in September, for at least a week.
I was nervous. We never talked about my dad, and now I was going to have to tell her that I was the Langley heir. It was a weight I didn’t want to share with her because, in my bones, I knew I had more to face. Like a gathering storm on a sunny day, it wasn’t here yet, but it was coming.
I think Joshua felt it, too. He called to check in on me every week. After I saved his life, he suddenly felt responsible for mine. It was a weird twist of fate. My ring made me responsible for his safety, but the ties between our families made him worry about me, too.
“Kat?” Morgan asked in a way that sounded like it wasn’t the first time. “Where’d you go?”
“Just thinking about stuff.”
“How’s Evan doing?” She gave me a sly look.
“Happy he got to see his parents, but wishing he’d had time to go to Hong Kong and see his grandfather.” His dad is British and his mom is Chinese. She’d left her family behind to be with Evan’s father. Sometimes I think Evan wished that his dad had chosen to stay in Hong Kong instead.
“You miss him.” Morgan tilted her head and studied me.
“Of course. I missed you, too.”
Morgan smiled like she knew something I didn’t. “Yeah, it’s exactly the same thing.”
“No. I’ve known you longer. And you’re my best friend.”
She burst out laughing. “I’m not jealous. I just think you and Evan have a different kind of bond, Kat.”
“The kind that is forged in life and death scenarios.”
“The most intense kind of bond.”
“Definitely.”
I got the feeling she was laughing at me, but I let it go. It felt good to be back with Morgan. We’d been planning our senior year since we’d met at freshman orientation. Maybe I could find a way to balance the ghosts and my family inheritance and senior year. And maybe, just maybe, I might make it to graduation without having to save someone’s life or travel through time.
A girl can hope.


Author Bio:
K.C. Tansley lives with her warrior lapdog, Emerson, and two quirky golden retrievers on a hill somewhere in Connecticut. She tends to believe in the unbelievables—spells, ghosts, time travel—and writes about them.
Never one to say no to a road trip, she’s climbed the Great Wall twice, hopped on the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg, and danced the night away in the dunes of Cape Hatteras. She loves the ocean and hates the sun, which makes for interesting beach days. The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts is her award-winning and bestselling first novel in The Unbelievables series.
As Kourtney Heintz, she also writes award winning cross-genre fiction for adults.

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Cover & Blurb Reveal: Butterfly by Cambria Hebert


Butterfly
Cambria Hebert
(Public Enemy)
Publication date: November 3rd 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Drunken brawls. One-night stands.
No-show interviews. Toilet-papering my hoity-toity neighbor’s house.
Insulting my fans. Trashing hotel rooms.
What’s it take to become public enemy number one?
I just told you.
I’ve done all that and more.
My poor conduct got me on the Celebs Behaving Badly list
and ultimately ruined my career.
From the world’s number-one popstar to world’s most hated.
That’s me. Ten Stark.
Go underground, they said. Stay out of the spotlight.
Most importantly, stay out of trouble.
Everyone loves a good comeback story.
For once, I listened.
I met someone who didn’t know my name,
my face, or the bad behavior that defined me.
She taught me I wasn’t who everyone thought I was—everyone including me.
Then someone whispered my name and things got messy, as they always do.
Now I want her back.
I’m not a caterpillar, but a butterfly.
My wings are in full color, not just black and white.
But first, I have to shed my cocoon and fly.


Author Bio:
Cambria Hebert is an award winning, bestselling novelist of more than twenty books. She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair.
Besides writing, Cambria loves a caramel latte, staying up late, sleeping in, and watching movies. She considers math human torture and has an irrational fear of chickens (yes, chickens). You can often find her running on the treadmill (she’d rather be eating a donut), painting her toenails (because she bites her fingernails), or walking her chorkie (the real boss of the house).
Cambria has written within the young adult and new adult genres, penning many paranormal and contemporary titles. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense. A few of her most recognized titles are: The Hashtag Series, Text, Torch, and Tattoo.
Cambria Hebert owns and operates Cambria Hebert Books, LLC.

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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop (INT)

One winner will receive a book of their choice up to $10 from The Book Depository or a $10 Amazon gift card.


RULES
Ends October 31st, 2017 (EST)
Only one winner.
No Cheating.
All entries WILL BE VERIFIED.
If you are able to receive gift cards through Amazon.com or The Book Depository ships to your country, then you are eligible to enter this giveaway.
I am not responsible for items lost or damaged in the mail.

GOOD LUCK!

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Saturday, October 14, 2017

Blitz & Giveaway: The Nameless Land by Lazlo Rappaport


The Nameless Land
Lazlo Rappaport
Genres: Adult, Mythology
Desperate to free herself of the dream fox residing in her womb, Anastasia travels off to the shores of the Red Sea and strikes a deal with Lilith: If Anastasia will fashion three mirrors for the primordial witch, so the sorceress will exorcise the evil spirit.
A poetic parable of the modern woman, the riddle of love, and the question of meaning in a seemingly-godless world.
Nominate Lazlo Rappaport’s The Nameless Land, and you may win a free copy!
EXCERPT:
Anastasia turned upon her side, and soon she lost herself in a dream—a memory of the night journey to Arkhangelsk, a memory of that very moment the engineer applied the brake.
Once the train had stopped altogether, the young Anastasia suddenly felt the absence of any soothing vibrations. In addition, she intuited a most ineffable presence standing outside the cabin door. When she opened it just a crack, she found herself face to face with a bald-headed girl dressed in a snug fur coat boasting a silvery diadem-spider brooch pinned to the lapel. “Are you a daughter of Lilith?”
“A daughter of Lilith? No, I’m a ghost. My name’s Svetlana.” As the bald-headed girl spoke, the silvery brooch turned the color of corroded high-tin bronze.
Anastasia glanced over at Mother where she lay snoring very softly in her bed and then turned back. “What do you want?”
The ghost girl did not answer. Her delicate bare feet perfectly silent against the floorboards, she walked off down the passageway.
“Come back here!”
“No, you follow me!” Swiftly the ghost girl continued to the end of the sleeping car, vanishing through the door.
With trembling heart, Anastasia continued down one car after another until she reached the caboose where she joined the ghost girl outside upon the landing.
What a fine Arctic summer. The midnight sun bathed the tundra in a soft-orange haze, and the wildflowers emitted a sweet scent not unlike that of freshly-baked Belorussian honey cake.
The ghost girl reached into her coat pocket, removed a little wooden flute, and performed the tune to Mussorgsky’s “Hebrew Song.” Afterward she turned to Anastasia and poked her right arm with the foot end. “Do you know why the train stops here? If you were to ask the conductor, he’d tell you that we stop here so that we don’t collide with one of the trains out of Finland. But that’s not so. In truth the train stops here only because the Arctic fox compels the train to stop here, for this would be the place where the Arctic fox prefers to climb aboard and prey upon some hapless little girl. Just like he preyed upon me last summer.”
Anastasia pointed at the railway tracks. “Look around!” she blurted out. “There’s no Arctic fox anywhere! You’re a daughter of Lilith, that’s what you are! You’ve come to deceive me and—”
“No, he’s here. It’s just that he’s rendered himself invisible.” The train lurched forward, and the ghost girl smiled. “You’re lucky. But I doubt that you should be lucky a second time, so whatever you do, you should not come back this way.”
“But we must come back this way. Back at the House of FabergΓ©, the bookkeeper and everyone else, they’re waiting for Mama to bring them a box of volcanic glass.”
The train’s steam trumpet bellowed out its deafening wail, and back in Sinai, Anastasia awoke to find that the fire had almost died out.
She sat up some and thought of the dream, the heretofore repressed memory. How could I forget all that? She thought of her childhood in Russia and sought to recall the precise moment when the invisible fox spirit would have slipped inside her womb.

Author Bio:
Lazlo Rappaport is the pseudonym of a very reclusive author from Ohio. He wrote the original draft of The Nameless Land while night-clerking at a series of Palestinian youth hostels in the Old City of Jerusalem, 1996-1999. Under his proper birth name, he holds an M.F.A. in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College.

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Friday, October 13, 2017

Trick or Treat?

 

DON'T FORGET TO SEE WHAT ELSE YOU COULD WIN!
Trick or Treat | October 6th
Trick or Treat | October 11th
Trick or Treat | October 13th


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Excerpt & Giveaway: The Cresswell Plot by Eliza Wass


Title: THE CRESSWELL PLOT Paperback
Author: Eliza Wass
Pub. Date: October 10, 2017
Publisher: Disney Press
Pages: 48
Formats: Paperback
Find it: Amazon, B&N,  TBD, Goodreads

The woods were insane in the dark, terrifying and magical at the same time. But best of all were the stars, which trumpeted their light into the misty dark.Castella Cresswell and her five siblings-Hannan, Caspar, Mortimer, Delvive, and Jerusalem- know what it's like to be different. For years, their world has been confined to their ramshackle family home deep in the woods of upstate New York. They abide by the strict rule of God, whose messages come directly from their father.

Slowly, Castley and her siblings start to test the boundaries of the laws that bind them. But, at school, they're still the freaks they've always been to the outside world. Marked by their plain clothing. Unexplained bruising. Utter isolation from their classmates. That is, until Castley is forced to partner with the totally irritating, totally normal George Gray, who offers her a glimpse of a life filled with freedom and choice. 

Castley's world rapidly expands beyond the woods she knows so well and the beliefs she once thought were the only truths. There is a future waiting for her if she can escape her father's grasp, but Castley refuses to leave her siblings behind. Just as she begins to form a plan, her father makes a chilling announcement: the Cresswells will soon return to their home in heaven. With time running out on all of their lives, Castley must expose the depth of her father's lies. The forest has buried the truth in darkness for far too long. Castley might be their last hope for salvation.

EXCERPT:
Mrs. Fein turned the stage lights on, so if I unfocused my eyes, the audience became a weak and clouded blob. You’re going to die, my brain told me. It was probably a bad sign that death scared me less.
Mrs. Fein wasn’t exactly creative when it came to prompts. “Okay. You’re a husband and wife, and you’re having an argument.”
“Hi, honey, I’m home!” George called robustly. His voice echoed through the theater. I saw the orchestra pit. It seemed to open before me, wider and wider, like the void inviting me in. It made me think of Caspar, down in the Grave. Of Jerusalem, hiding her paintings.
I shuddered and forced my eyes upward. The stage lights smeared my eyes.
“Miss Cresswell, you need to participate,” Mrs. Fein’s voice boomed from the dark.
“My name is Castley.” The light feathered in my eyelashes as I looked out over the audience.
“This assignment is graded,” her voice droned. “You need to participate or I’m going to have to give you both a zero. Miss Cresswell, are you listening?”
“Her name is Castley,” George Gray said.
“Start again.”
I took a deep breath. George sniffled encouragingly at me. I shut my eyes, but in the darkness I tried to hide myself if, Baby J’s paintings rose up, bright and wild, roaring through the darkness like a howl in the night.
You will hide your true self. You will bury what you fear, in a locked chest in the cave of your heart, where you will keep the bones of the person you could have been.
And the planets spun. And the stars shot like warning signals across the fragile sky.
And why wouldn’t people see that? Mrs. Tulle said the paintings were beautiful, even if they (maybe) scared her. Why did Baby J have to hide away? Why did we all have to hide away? Why couldn’t we show our true selves, dressed in paint or hidden in pantomime?
About Eliza: 
Eliza Wass is an author, journalist and the wife of the late musician Alan Wass. Her debut novel, The Cresswell Plot, was published in 2016 to critical acclaim by Disney-Hyperion. She has contributed articles to The Guardian, Grazia, NME, Shortlist and THE FALL. 
Her second book with Disney-Hyperion, The Life and Death Parade, will be published in June 2018. 



Giveaway Details: 
3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE CRESSWELL PLOT Paperback, US Only. 



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Tour Schedule: 

Week One: 
10/2/2017- Tales of the Ravenous Reader- Interview 
10/2/2017- The Book Nut- Review 
 
10/3/2017- Novel Novice- Guest Post 
10/3/2017- Eli to nth- Review 
 
10/4/2017- Sugar Dusted Pages- Interview 
10/4/2017- Here's to Happy Endings- Review 
 
10/5/2017- The Hardcover Lover- Excerpt 
10/5/2017- Kourtni Reads- Review 
 
10/6/2017- BookHounds YA- Guest Post 
10/6/2017- Lattes & Paperbacks- Review 

Week Two: 
10/9/2017- Tez Says- Guest Post 
10/9/2017- JustAddaWord- Review 
 
10/10/2017- Rainy Days and Pajamas- Excerpt 
10/10/2017- RhiReading- Review 
 
10/11/2017- Blushing Bibliophile- Interview 
10/11/2017- Savings in Seconds- Review 
 
10/12/2017- Omg Books and More Books- Guest Post 
10/12/2017- Jena Brown Writes- Review 
 
10/13/2017- For the Love of KidLit- Interview 
10/13/2017- Bibliobakes- Review