Monday, March 26, 2018

SPOTLIGHT I AM ME - KAI STRAND

I am so excited to start the new week off with  a spotlight for  Kai Strand's latest novel, I AM ME. So sit back, relax, and enjoy a peek at this talented author's novel.


What a fascinating cover.

Blurb

I Am Me by Kai Strand
#YA #Contemporary

Despite—or perhaps because of—her fancy car, private school education, and life of privilege, Lola Renaldi has become a volunteer junkie. Feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, visiting the elderly—if it’s a good cause, she’s done it.

Lola’s favorite stint, building affordable houses, puts her directly in the path of Rodney. He refuses to discuss why he’s doing community service, but it’s clear he’s hiding something dark about his past. As their friendship grows, Lola begins to question the true reasons for her obsessive volunteerism and her view of those she has pledged to help.

She is only beginning to understand how lucky she truly is when her life falls apart. After losing friends, her boyfriend, even Rodney, Lola finally recognizes which parts of her life she wants to hang on to and what specifically she wants to go after. But with all she’s been through, will she be able to hang onto who she wants to be? Or will she lose all that defines her?
Get your copy:


From Kai Strand.


My best friend is a volunteer junkie. She’s received several presidential awards for her dedication. Plus, I used to work for Habitat for Humanity. So, volunteerism makes it into my stories on a regular basis, but this time is plays a big role. In I Am Me, our heroine is a volunteer junkie. Lola lives a privileged life and wants to spread her advantage around. But as life so often does, she meets new people and has new experiences and soon she’s questioning herself and her motivation for giving back. Is she selfless or selfish? You’ll have to read the book to find out.


Excerpt:

I Am Me by Kai Strand
#YA #Contemporary

Ah, Saturday. I love my Saturday volunteer gig best of all.
“Is that car ever dirty, Lola?” Hank asks as I leap over the open trench where they’ve run all the electrical from the house to the road. I glance back toward my BMW, parallel-parked and gleaming in the watery sunshine. I got it a year and a half ago, for my sixteenth birthday, but I still love the heck out it.
“Not if I can help it, Hank. The blue isn’t nearly as sexy when it’s all dusty.” I strap a tool belt on and sign my name on the clipboard. “What are we working on today?”
“Caulking.” Hank looks away, but not before I see his smile.
I groan, dramatically. “Again? How much caulk can one house need?”
“A lot.”
Hank is called away by one of his actual employees. Not that he treats us volunteers any different than the paid people. Actually, I think he might treat us a little better. Of all the places I volunteer—community kitchen, teen transitional housing, book mobile, to name a few—Hank is by far my favorite boss to work with. He’s exactly what I want to be when I grow up. The perfect balance of professional and compassionate.
I swap out my tool belt for an apron and grab the supplies I’ll need. An image of my mother, frowning—no, glowering—fills my mind.
When I grow up. That’s a laugh. According to my mom that’s in six months and eighteen days. Personally, I hope I don’t have to grow up for a few more years. Twenty-two sounds like a good age to officially grow up. But eighteen? That seems way too young.
I pull my hair through a ponytail holder, twirl it into a bun, and wrap the elastic around it a couple of times. I feel lumps where the hair should be smooth and strands sticking out in all directions, but it won’t end up in the caulking, so I leave it alone. I scan the volunteers to see who showed up today.
Regular Jan sees me and waves. “Hey there Lola. You here to help with forms?”
The “Regulars” are a group of retired men and women who volunteer Monday through Wednesday of each week. The only reason they’re here on a Saturday is because they love to set the forms for the concrete footings.
I shake my head. “Hank’s got me on caulking. I must have done something to tick him off.”
Regular Larry straightens. “Where’s he at? I’ll talk to him.”
“Nah, that’s okay, Lare. You know I don’t really like going home smelling like that oil-soaked wood. I’ll stick to caulking.”
I wave as I head toward the home I’ll be working on. This house is being built for a single mom and her two kids. The mom, Talia, is a new hero of mine. She’s a nurse. Works nights. But she’s been here more hours than the non-profit’s home buying plan requires of her, working all the way up until she has to leave to shower for work. I have no idea how she does it. I hope to someday be the head of a non-profit that helps people like Talia realize their dreams. Though my powerhouse mother makes a degree in social work sound like I’ll be digging latrines, which if it’s for impoverished people I’m all for doing.


About the author:

When her children were young and the electricity winked out, Kai Strand gathered her family around the fireplace and they told stories, one sentence at a time. Her boys were rather fond of the ending, “And then everybody died. The end.” Now an award winning children’s author, Kai crafts fiction for kids and teens to provide an escape hatch from their reality. With a selection of novels for young adult and middle grade readers Kai entertains children of all ages, and their adults. Learn more about Kai and her books on her website, www.kaistrand.com.






Congratulations, Kai Strand. 

Happy Reading! Watch for a review in a couple of weeks.

Monday, March 19, 2018

MY KIDS ARE GROWING UP!

Quote for the Week:

My human kids have grown up, for sure, but today I'm talking about my kids in my books. I decided to wish them all a happy birthday, month by month, going back to February, since I did not think of this sooner. 


UNDER A PURPLE MOON

March 15, 2016
Happy second birthday, Eden and friends.
I cannot believe you're two years old.



Eden Rose has learned to deal with her mother's criticism that she can do nothing right. What she can't deal with are the arguments between her parents. To escape their angry words, she finds refuge in an old abandoned house.  Available at AMAZON and other places. YA Contemporary

LIFE ON HOLD

Feb. 21, 2012
Happy sixth birthday, Myra and friends.
I hope your family is doing well.




A paper found
A secret revealed
A girl's life changed forever.

AMAZON and other places.

YA Contemporary coming-of-age


WEIRD NOISES IN THE NIGHT
Feb. 22, 2015
Happy third birthday, girls. Hope you haven't encountered any weird creatures lately.



Weird noises in the night send the imaginations of three young girls soaring. Is it the rain, a dragon, an alien from outer space, or a ghost?

AMAZON  and elsewhere.

Picture Book for ages 6-9


Hope you enjoyed the birthday wishes.

Books make great gifts for the young people in your life.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

COVER REVEAL

Cover Reveal: UNSEEN EVIL and EVIL UNLEASHED are both coming your way April 3rd! Check out these awesome covers and preorder your copies today! 

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About UNSEEN EVIL:

How can you fight what you can’t see?

Seventeen-year-old Kaylan Bradford has no idea what she wants to do with her future, but dying sure as hell isn’t on top of her list. Yet everywhere she goes, strange accidents happen, each one nearly taking her life. Someone or something is after her.

Reese, the sexy new guy in town, immediately takes an interest in Kaylan, and something about him makes Kaylan feel more alive than ever. Reese isn’t the only new face in Kaylan’s life, though. Riley is beyond gorgeous, and he saves Kaylan’s life more than once.

But Reese and Riley are both keeping secrets—secrets about Kaylan’s future. The more Kaylan discovers about herself, the more the attempts on her life begin to make sense.

Kaylan is desperate to change her fate, but when she discovers the identity of the one who’s trying to kill her, she may not have a future at all.

→Amazon: http://amzn.to/2D7mdDG

→iBooks: http://bit.ly/UnseenEviliBooks

→B&N: http://bit.ly/UnseenEvilBN

→Kobo: http://bit.ly/UnseenEvilKobo

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About EVIL UNLEASHED:

Kaylan Bradford thought having her boyfriend decide her future for her was the worst thing ever. She couldn’t have been more wrong. Discovering the truth about her past sets in motion a slew of events that unleash evil on the world.

Determined to fix her mistakes, Kaylan resorts to traveling through time, but every move she makes only creates new problems for her to deal with. People are dying, and she’s to blame.

She’ll need to figure out how to battle the ultimate evil...even if it means battling herself.

→Amazon:  http://amzn.to/2D7Kppy

→iBooks: http://bit.ly/EvilUnleashediBooks

→BN: http://bit.ly/EvilUnleashedBN

→Kobo: http://bit.ly/EvilUnleashedKobo

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Sign up for Kelly's newsletter to stay up to date: http://bit.ly/2pvYT07

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Join Kelly's VIP Reader Group, Kelly's Coven: https://www.facebook.com/groups/KellysCoven

AUTHOR BIO:

Kelly Hashway fully admits to being one of the most accident-prone people on the planet, but that didn’t stop her from jumping out of an airplane at ten thousand feet one Halloween. Maybe it was growing up reading R.L. Stine’s Fear Street books that instilled a love of all things scary and a desire to live in a world filled with supernatural creatures, but she spends her days writing speculative fiction and is a USA Today bestselling author. Kelly is also USA Today bestselling romance author Ashelyn Drake. When she’s not writing, Kelly works as an editor and also as Mom, which she believes is a job title that deserves to be capitalized.

AUTHOR LINKS:

Website: www.kellyhashway.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kellyhashway/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/KellyHashway

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/khashway

Newsletter: http://forms.sendpulse.com/323115810a

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/AshelynDrake & http://www.goodreads.com/KellyHashway

Amazon: http://bit.ly/AshelynDrake & http://bit.ly/KellyHashway

Ashelyn’s BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/ashelyn-drake

Kelly’s BookBub:

https://www.bookbub.com

Monday, March 12, 2018

CORNERS REVIEW

Monday! Did everyone remember the time change? We're starting this week off with a new book that I think you'll enjoy. Even though it's for middle-grade readers, older folks should like it, as well. I do. So, may I introduce you to CORNERS by Corrina Austin



The cover attracts your attention, doesn't it?

Here are my thoughts.


CORNERS

By

Corrina Austin


Ah, the ‘60s, the Roadrunner and Coyote, Elvis, the Beatles, Connie Frances, polio. If you’re too young to remember those exciting years then cheer up. You can travel back to 1969, along with spending time in the present, in the middle-grade novel CORNERS by Author Corinna Austin. 


Told in alternating chapters by the young Davy and the grown David, we meet ten-year-old Davy in 1969. Davy’s life is not easy. He’s different from the other kids. For one thing, he has no friends. Also, in the ‘60s most families had a mother and a father; Davy never met his father. There’s still another thing that makes him different: he can’t swim in the deep water. All he does is sink and nearly drown. 


The day thirteen-year-old Ellis, who is spending the summer with her grandmother, saves his life changes everything. She becomes not only his first friend, but his baby sitter while his mother is at work. They also make “corners,” which adds a beautiful touch to the story. I don’t want to give anything away so I won’t explain about “corners.” But I do believe that one day I’d like to make a “corner” of my own. You may want to as well, after reading the book.


Corrina Austin also shows us Davy’s story from the point-of-view of the grown-up Davy (David). In those chapters David is talking to his youngest son, Will, telling him about his early life. I love the relationship between father and son. Their conversation sounds so real it places the reader in the scene with the characters. And the ending is just right, kind of what I expected, or at least hoped for. 


Davy’s story will make you laugh. It will make you cry. It will also make you thankful for your family, at least it did me. 


CORNERS would be a great addition to school classrooms and libraries, and also would be good for a study of the 1960's in history. Recommended.

### 


AMAZON              DANCING LEMUR PRESS


And other places where books are sold.


Happy Reading!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

INSECURE WRITER'S SUPPORT GROUP

It's the First Wednesday in March! You Know What That Means!



Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!


Awesome Alex J. Cavanaugh is the founder of the IWSG. 

His awesome co-hosts for the March 7 posting of the IWSG are Mary Aalgaard, Bish Denham, Jennifer Hawes, Diane Burton, and Gwen Gardner!

Visit the Insecure Writer's Support Group here.

The March 7 question is  How do you celebrate when you achieve a writing goal/finish a story?

Mmm, interesting question. I can't think of anything in particular I do. I am happy and relieved that I achieved my goal. When I finish a story, I'm excited. No partying or going to the movies or anything special, though. Gee. My life sounds boring, doesn't it? Really, it's not. Finishing a story is a great accomplishment for me. Usually, because I've worked on it for so long. I'm a sloooww writer. I have trouble going forward and tend to make corrections as I go. Even when I finish my work, I know there will be more changes. I've already jotted down notes of things to add or change for my WIP, when it's finished. I'm only on chapter 14, but I've been researching to get the lifestyle of my main character correct. That's very important in this story.

So, I'm rambling. Basically, all I do is smile, sigh in relief, maybe drink a glass of tea and eat chocolate. Then go back and start again. Achieving my goal gives me courage to keep going and do it for the next goal.

How about you?

Happy Reading and Writing.








Monday, March 5, 2018

CASSASTAR REVIEW and READ AN EBOOK WEEK

What an exciting way to start March., 2018. 

First, I'd like to share the latest book I've read with you, CASSASTAR by Author Alex J. Cavanaugh. 


I love the colors in this cover, and the ships promise adventure and excitement, at least to me.

Here are my thoughts.



CASSASTAR


By Alex J. Cavanaugh



Imagine flying through the air, zeroing in on your target. The pilot of the other craft also has you in his sights. The tension builds. You fire. The opponent fires. What happens next? If you enjoy space stories, action, and unforgettable characters, take a look at CassaStar by Author Alex J. Cavanaugh.


The characters are what draw me to a story. In CassaStar, we meet Byron, a young pilot with an attitude. Byron is an excellent pilot, better than most, but his life has left him with wounds that don’t seem to heal. Bassa is an older, experienced senior officer in charge of training pilots and navigators. He’s also a navigator who has unpleasant memories of his own.


When Byron and Bassa meet, and Bassa becomes Bryon’s navigator, both of their lives change. But is it too late for the two men to overcome the disappointments of their past lives and find the peace, love, and family they’ve always wanted?


In addition to the gentle touch of friendship and family in the story, the author’s descriptions of the battle scenes are so realistic I felt like I was there, holding my breath that Byron and his navigator would win each battle. Even though I seldom read sci-fi, CassaStar held my attention. There was never a dull moment and the nice mix of action, characters and their goals, and suspense kept my attention until the last page.


Alex J. Cavanaugh has written a story that should appeal to readers, young and old. CassaStar would make a nice addition to high school libraries, your own library, and to public libraries, as well. 



Happy Reading!

Next, did you know that March 4th through the 10th is Read An EBook Week? It is.


Artwork copywrited Tamian Wood 


I've heard that several publishers are offering free books. Smashwords is supposed to have hundreds of freebies too. I haven't checked these out, but I do know that Twilight Times has free ebooks. The publisher is the one who told me about eBook week. http://twilighttimesbooks.com/freebies.html

Just thought I'd let you know. That's it for today.