Sunday, March 31, 2013

Blog Tour: Blue Hearts of Mars (Nicole Grotepas)

Blue Hearts of Mars by Nicole Grotepas

Retta Heikkinen knows the unspoken rule of society: love between androids and humans is forbidden. A simple enough edict until Hemingway Koskinen spends an evening charming her with his intense gaze, bewitching smile, and sparkling conversation that hints at so much more than the usual obsessions of high school boys. Rules were meant to be cast aside, especially when love beckons.

If only it were as simple as being in love.

Trouble is brewing, not just for Hemingway--for all androids. Secrets have been kept, lies propagated, and Retta soon discovers that a frightening future awaits thousands of androids if she doesn’t do something to stop it. Worse yet, she will lose the one love she’s ever endangered herself for: Hemingway.

Book praise: 

"I love how the author populated Mars . . . so descriptive and comprehensive . . . I could clearly picture everything as if I was seeing the movie &/or was along for the ride. . . . Retta, the main character, is strong, opinionated, and a great champion for her cause." Amazon reviewer

"The main character, Retta, has a wry, funny sense of humor and is very entertaining. . . . I thoroughly enjoyed the images that the descriptions of the cities, the landscapes, moons, trains and other vehicles brought to life for me, they seemed so real to me that I could really visualize them. The book was hard for me to put down so much of the time, and I was sad when I knew it was ending." Goodreads Reviewer

Author Nicole Grotepas

Author Bio:
Nicole wrote her first fantasy novel in 7th grade on her mother's old Brother typewriter. It was never finished but it strongly resembled a Dragonlance plot and she's forever wondered what happened to the manuscript and Tonathan--the handsome elven protagonist. After living in Nashville where she worked as an editor, she returned to the Utah desert where she was raised. Nicole now lives near the Wasatch mountains with her husband. She writes and raises her son and three cats full time.

Top Ten Favorite Books of All Time:

I will probably forget one, but here goes. Oh, I know, you're thinking, if you forget one, is it really a favorite?
Yes. Yes it is.

1. The Eye of the World, Robert Jordan. I've read it several times and I'm always blown away with how dense the story is, but by how quick the read is because of Jordan's skill with words.
2. The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss. After eight years in college studying English literature and getting full of myself and my opinions, I couldn't read fantasy anymore. Patrick's humor and skillful writing pulled me back to the genre. I'm so, so, so thankful for that.
3. We, Eugene Zamiatin. One of the first dystopian stories ever written (the other is The Iron Heel by Jack London), this story hit me on so many levels. I fell in love with a man who is just a number! D-503 spoke to me.
4. Crossing to Safety, Wallace Stegner. A story about two couples that have known each other their whole lives, somehow it's completely beautiful. The writing is effortless and the lyrical, unpretentious quality of his prose can make me weep.
5. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte. The greatest love story ever written. Jane has so such honor and courage. Her moral fortitude is completely inspiring.
6. Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger (really, on some of these books I don't know why I'm putting in the author too). Some people hate Holden, some people love him. I love him. He's basically too beautiful for the world. That's his problem. He's trying to be what he should be, not who he is. That's what I think, anyway.
7. The Hero of Ages, Brandon Sanderson. I love fantasy. Brandon redefines it. His endings are always mind-blowing. He entertains you until the very last word and he just keeps getting better. I loved Elantris as well. There's only room for ten on this list, though.
8. The Hobbit, by . . . um . . . Tolkien? Something like that. Everyone loves the Lord of the Rings. I like those books too. They're good. But I love The Hobbit. I love that Bilbo is small but his character is big, and I love that Gandalf sees the truth about him and finds comfort in it. We all need a Gandalf to see what lies beyond our exterior.
9. Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card. This is the first science fiction book I ever read, when I was twelve or something. It was the first book that showed me how the actions of young people can have worldwide consequences. I feel like Card was the first person to depict kids that way (don't know if it's true). It made me feel like we could be important too. I'm also a really big fan of The Speaker for the Dead.
10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury. I love Montag. There's so much about this story that moves me. One of the things is how books and ideas make us real. Montag lives in a cocoon until he meets Clarisse and I love how she begins to help him wake up. I also love the 1960s film version of this book by Francois Truffaut.  

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Tour Schedule

March 28th
I Am A Reader, Not A Writer - Interview
Magical Manuscripts - Guest Post
Brooke Blogs - Spotlight

March 29th
Word to Dreams - Review
Joyous Reads - Review
Book Bliss - Spotlight
Good Choice Reading - Interview

March 30th
Geolibrarian - Review
Pieces of Whimsy - Spotlight
Crafty Zoo - Guest Post
Cici's Theories - Excerpt

March 31st
Izz "Pingle" Bookish Place - Spotlight
Cuzinlogic - Interview
Curling Up With a Good Book - Guest Post or Tens List
Peace From Pieces - Interview

April 1st
Jess Resides Here - Tens List
Mom with a Kindle - Guest Post
WTF Are You Reading? - Review
Rebecca Talley - Guest Post

April 2nd
Zara Alexis @ The Bibliotaphe Closet - Spotlight
Heather's Book Chatter - Excerpt
Mythical Reads - Review
Julie Antonovich Reece - Excerpt

April 3rd
SMIBookClub - Review
Author Cheri Schmidt - Spotlight
3PsinaPod - Review & Tens List
Books4Tomorrow - Excerpt

April 4th
Lori's Reading Corner - Guest Post
Getting Your Read On - Review
Jenni Merritt - Review & Interview
Blkosiner's Book Blog - Interview

April 5th
Frankie Blooding's Bookshelf - Review
Nazish Reads - Excerpt
LovLivLife Reviews - Guest Post
Books Complete Me - Review & Guest Post

April 6th
Once Upon a Book - Excerpt
From the Bootheel Cotton Patch - Spotlight
Me & Reading - Review

April 7th
Read-A-holicZ - Review
Reader Girls - Tens List
Sweeping Me - Spotlight

April 8th
A Writer's Dream - Guest Post
Books and Needlepoint - Tens List
A Blog Hop Place for Books - Excerpt

April 9th
Simply Infatuated - Guest Post
In Libris Veritas - Review
Book- Marks The Spot - Review

April 10th
Books Beside My Bed - Spotlight
Sher A Hart: Writing Art - Excerpt (post tour review)
Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews - Review & Character Interview

April 11th
Books, Books, the Magical Fruit - Excerpt
Paperback Princess - Review
Books and their Wordly Realm - Spotlight
Fantasy Books - Review

April 12th
Sarah Ballance - Guest Post or Tens List
Recent Reads - Review
Clean Teen Reads - Review

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Blog Tour & Interview: Starseed (Liz Gruder)

Kaila Guidry has always known she is different. When she meets Jordyn Stryker at school, she finds out just how different.
Jordyn was born and raised far from Earth, a starseed, one of six new students sent to Louisiana's Bush High to learn human ways. But Jordyn didn't count on meeting someone like Kaila.
When Kaila is pushed to her limit by high school bullying and cruelty, Jordyn awakens her to a new reality—and to love. But to prove herself, Kaila must look the other way as the real purposes of the starseeds unfold.
As the horrific plan behind the starseed visit to Earth moves inexorably forward, Kaila and Jordan, caught in an impossible love, must determine where their true loyalties lie.

Author: Liz Gruder
ISBN: 978-1937178291
Publisher: WiDo Publishing
Published: February 2013

Starseed Praise:

"You know from the opening paragraph that something very strange is going on… We see Kaila try to live the life of a normal teen, and we see her "otherness" pull her back into an increasingly tangled web of questions, deceit, and hidden intentions. Liz really shines as a writer, lining the closets and drawers of everyday life with spine-chilling suspense that springs out at you when you least expect it. Starseed is an entertaining read. I highly recommend."
--Patricia B. Smith. Author “What the Animals Tell Me” and “Fifty Shades of Santa” (clean romance fiction)

"Liz Gruder’s characters come alive through youthful, spunky narrative, and her headstrong heroine, Kaila Guidry, elicits a reader’s encouragement from the first page. Fans of Amanda Hocking will find themselves similarly transported into Gruder’s exploration of the dark sides of faith, love, higher dimensions, and, of course, high school." --Jadie Jones, young-adult fantasy author

1.     What gave you the inspiration to write Starseed?
I broke my wrist and had surgery with an external fixator device attached to the bones. The slightest movement caused excruciating pain and I couldn’t do anything. Being an active person, I started getting really depressed. So I started mentally writing Starseed (because I couldn’t type) to keep my mind engaged. I’d seen UFOs as a youth and researched everything I could find on ETs. After a few months I could type and dived into Starseed, alien hybrids … and lovers born of different worlds.

  2.  What YA books does yours resemble?
Starseed belongs in the same galaxy as Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Obsidian, Stephenie Meyer’s The Host and Melinda Metz’ Roswell. Same galaxy, but different constellation.

 3. Who is your favorite character in StarseedJust as a mother loves all her children, I love Kaila and Jordyn, the half-human, half-extraterrestrial lovers, one born on Earth and the other of the stars, as well as the “hive” – the alien-hybrid students invading a Louisiana high school, even though most humans might perceive the hive's motives as sinister.

      4. Which came first, the title or the novel?
Titles usually come last in anything I write. The situation and characters come first. The working title I had for this novel while writing it absolutely reeked! “Awakening the Alien Inside.” Eeech.

    5. What scene in Starseed are you most proud of, and why?
I was too freaked out to write the scene where Kaila defects from humans to join the aliens and is indoctrinated to alien ways. On the mothership, she is commanded to take part in abducting students from the high school during a mass abduction of the entire town. I wrote this scene last. Most interesting to write from the alien POV.

   6. Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?
To see a project through from beginning to end. That means not only writing through the initial flushes of inspiration, but to let the project cool so you can see it through fresh eyes. Then, cut, revise, and cut and revise some more. Also, be receptive to critique groups. If you hear a criticism from several people, don’t get defensive. Listen and analyze what they’re saying. The real writing is the re-writing.

  7.  What do you like most about the cover of Starseed?
The cover of Starseed has elicited strong “I like it “or “I hate it” reactions. It’s different so I like that. The characters on the cover were graphically generated because it would be difficult to find alien-hybrid models with huge eyes willing to pose. ;-) I’m attracted to anything to do with the stars, so I like the craft at the top of the cover with the beam transporting someone upward . . . .

8.     What new release books are you looking most forward to in 2013?
Moonlit by Jadie Jones and Deadly Kisses by Kerri Cuevas (both fellow Wido Publishing forthcoming releases).

9.     What was your favorite book in 2012?
The Fault of Our Stars by John Green. Well written with undeniable warmth though we know from the beginning we are in for a boo hoo.

10.  What’s up next for you?
To think positively and work on another YA novel.

 --Liz Gruder

Liz GruderAs a youth, Liz Gruder saw a series of UFOs with her best friend while riding bikes. Ever since, she’s held a fascination for the stars. An avid reader, she used to hide under her covers and read with a flashlight. She has degrees in English and Psychology from Tulane University, a nursing license and a yoga certification. After going through Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Liz realized how short life is and is now slowly fulfilling her bucket list: she’s been to the Egyptian pyramids (totally awesome and thought provoking) and is now teaching yoga and writing speculative fiction. Starseed is her debut novel.

Liz Gruder on goodreads:

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WiDo Publishing:

Amazon link to Starseed:
(note: Starseed will be released on Feb. 5, 2013)

Cover Reveal: Skeleton Key (M.J. Fletcher)

Title: Skeleton Key Guild by M.J. Fletcher Cover reveal & Giveaway!

Release: May 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Steampunk, Paranormal

Her parents dead, her sister missing, and those she loves branded traitors to the Old Kind... Chloe Masters is on the run.

To fulfill a parent’s dying wish she will do anything to save the sister she has never met. Can she learn the secrets of the Artifacts before it’s too late? Surrounded by her friends; Slade, Edgar, Jess, Val and the man she loves James Nightshade, Chloe has never had so much to live for... but will her enemies let her?

Reviews about The Doorknob Society

I am SO GLAD that I said I’d review the 
book!! It had me interested from the first 
chapter, and HOOKED shortly after that!” 

Let me start by saying that I'm a pretty picky 
reader. I have to be captured by a story almost 
immediately in order to continue reading. Well, I 
was captured by The Doorknob Society...and I 
am hooked!” Amazon 

I couldn't put it down and read straight 
through and was so mad at myself for finishing 
BOOK!” Goodreads 

Other books in the series...

About M.J. Fletcher
MJ Fletcher is the creator of the comic book series Adam Zero: The Last Man of Earth published by Ronin Studios. He’s also been published in Hope: The Hero Initiative and Digital Webbing Presents. The Doorknob Society series is his first book series and he’s thrilled about it. He lives near the beach with his wife, daughter, and dog.

The Doorknob Society Book Trailer

Win an ebook copy of the first in the series, The Doorknob Society! Open International! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, March 29, 2013

Blog Tour: A Scholar's Journey: The Divine Tempest (Herrick Erickson-Brigl)

A Scholar’s Journey: The Divine Tempest is a no-holds-barred fantasy brawl. It begins when the God of Justice and Retribution opens The Abyss and unleashes a vengeful demon upon the mortal realm of Therra. Now it is up to scholar Penndarius Greyson and his tormented protector, martial artist Soren Luna Mortalitas, to stop a crisis that would send shockwaves through the very fabric of creation. In addition, Penndarius is waging an internal battle with a disembodied presence attempting to possess his mind. The two heroes must avoid death or capture, but there is a catch: They have only one day to solve a riddle older than history before a dark host of unstoppable demons is released into the world. The Divine Tempest includes warring factions, betrayal and redemption, and of course, Herrick Erickson-Brigl's trademark: epic fight scenes. This is the lean, hard-hitting first installment in a series that follows Penndarius’s growth as the avatar of the God of Creation and Soren’s reclamation of his lethal family’s humanity. Purchase A Scholar's Journey: The Divine Tempest on Amazon.

Herrick Erickson-Brigl has been reading fantasy since he first learned to read and writing it nearly as long. While in college, Herrick's passion for writing culminated in his first novel, entitled *A Scholar’s Journey: The Divine Tempest*. He is currently completing his second book in that series.

Follow the Author: Website | Twitter

Kickstarter Campaign

Herrick is also kickstarting the editing for his second book "A War of Lies" View Herrick's Kickstarter Page here!

The author is giving away a Kindle, a $20 Amazon GC, and an ebook. Fill out the form below: