Sunday, March 16, 2014

The second Book Riot Quarterly subscription box arrived at my house earlier this week, and I must say, while I wasn't too happy with the first box, I found that I was much happier with this one! First off, it included a really cool poster as an extra, which I will be putting up on my wall ASAP:

Next up, of course, were the books. Book Riot had teased on their website that some lucky subscribers would be receiving one of five possible ARCs, and I was one of them! The ARC I received was Gemini by Carol Cassella, which actually came out March 4th (the Goodreads ratings are high on this one, so I'm looking forward to starting it!) The main feature of the box was a copy of Judging A Book By Its Lover by Lauren Leto, which features some separate bonus pages from the author (exclusive to subscribers of Book Riot Quarterly!) Finally, there was also a novella, Parnassus On Wheels by Christopher Morley, which I thought looked fantastic - I've never had a stand-alone novella in print format before (usually they're either dispersed as eBooks, or in anthologies), so this was a nice surprise.

While I admit, the books are the main part of this box, I still think that it's the bookish extras that are what make or break the purchase - anyone can go out and buy copies of the included books at their local bookstore, but it's the hand-picked goodies that really make things special. I know that I complained about the calendar in the first box (which I stopped using after January 7th, by the way), but opening this second box actually put me in a much better mood. This box included a coffee mug featuring the titles of some banned books, a tin container filled with place-markers for your books, a "Yay! Books!" magnet, and a USB flash drive that introduces the idea of Short Story Thursdays.

I've been using the mug everyday at work - I think it looks great! I haven't used the book-markers yet, but the book I'm reading right now is on the Kindle, so they aren't necessary just yet. Overall, I was pretty satisfied with this box, but I've decided to call it quits for now - $50 is just too much for me right now, and since I really need a car, this expense just isn't worth it to me right now. Let me know if you've subscribed, that way I know where to find out what's in box #3 when it's out!

What's New On My Kindle


Monday, March 10, 2014

Finding Monsters (Guardians of Esurack 1)
Released: 10/16/13
Monsters are real but they're not what we'd expect. Their realm lays hidden only to be found in darkness. They watch their humans and keep them from the dark portals leading to their world. To touch is forbidden... but not all follow the rules.

Missy has been fighting to live her entire life, but when she finds herself in a realm of unique and sometimes deadly monsters, she discovers just how much of a survivor she really is. Accidentally transferred to this mysterious realm by her monster and only friend, Charlie, he finds himself weak and unable to protect her. The only way she can defend herself and him, is to become a monster herself. But an unknown dark stalker watches her progress and if he steals her power, he will unleash a scourge on both his world and the world she left behind.

Chapter 1 - The Human

I knew I was dying. It’s weird the doctor felt the need to explain that to me. I hear him outside my bedroom talking to my mother, encouraging her to move me to a hospice. My mother refuses with hot indignation. I picture her flailing her arms and insisting I stay with the family ‘during this difficult time’. Truth is I’ve never really lived. I look around my bedroom, and where most teens have a stereo, sits a monitor for all the little gizmos attached to my body. No cool friendship beads or Hawaiian leis decorate the posts of my bed, just two IV drips with drug cocktails potent enough to subdue a lumberjack. Of course, it’s the drugs that make the disease bearable. Not completely free from pain, but the numbness helps. I hear my mother at the door again. She sneaks in silently just in case I’m asleep. I’m not.

“You’re still awake, Missy?” she asks, brushing her fingertips across my brow.

“Yes, Mom, I’m not really tired right now.” But I’m always tired and I sleep most of the day. I just enjoy looking out the window when the sun is bright and the clouds are scarce. I love watching the birds perch on the feeder that hangs from my window. They are my entertainment, and currently there is a rose finch noshing my seeds. I can’t sleep through this.

“Do you need anything, sweetheart?”

“No. I’m fine. I know you have things to do. Don’t worry about me, Mom.” I try to sound cheerful so she won’t worry, but I know she’s in a constant state of worry. Flashing my bravest smile, I reach for her hand. I don’t wince, even though it is painful to move my stiff limbs. She holds my hand and kisses it before releasing her grip and retreating from the room. I can tell she’s going to cry again. I blow out a huge sigh.

A cool rush of air blows across my face. It feels good. The antiquated osculating fan was my idea. The ceiling fan kept me too cool but the floor fan blows air every few minutes making the air pleasant. The gust is strong enough to lift papers from the bedside table. The whoosh and crackle they produce bring back a memory, making me wince. Funny what you think of at times like this. The sound sends me back to my earlier childhood. I’m gripping the covers and stifling sobs into my pillow as I hear the other children playing outside my window, knowing I could never join them. Sometimes I would hear another sound coming from under the bed. As a child, I thought it was a monster. I was right. He’d softly call my name and ask if I could play with him. Once, I had the courage to look under the bed with a flashlight. Only the dust bunnies and missing socks greeted me, but I still heard his voice.

“Missy, come to me; let’s play.”

Sometimes I would answer him. “I can’t today; I’m sick.” He would grow silent but I felt sure he never left. I laugh to myself thinking back on those memories and I swear I hear the monster calling me again.

“Missy, come to me. Let’s play,” he calls from his hiding place.

My muscles strain and it’s getting harder to breathe but I wheeze out, “I can’t today. I’m sick.” This time I’m startled to hear the monster laugh at me.

“Please come play,” he says.

I love writing fantasy fiction and especially for young adults. Many of my stories contain real life issues that teens face and although there’s a fantasy element to the solution, my job is to provide hope that things will get better. I’ve seen too many articles about teens who end their lives over bullying. I’m working on a spin off series from The Guardians of Esurack and hope to use this subject throughout each book. Life is too short to give in to bullies. I hope I can make that clear through my writings.

Author Links

(2) $25 Amazon or Paypal gift card (INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz Hosted By: