Friday, November 27, 2015

Steamborn - YA Steampunk with 2 giveaways + excerpt

Today I'm featuring a book blitz for Steamborn by Eric Asher along with an excerpt, a giveaway (or two) and short author Q&A.

Steamborn by Eric Asher
(Steamborn, #1)
Publication date: 1 December, 2015
Genres: Steampunk, Young Adult


Jacob, a tinker’s apprentice and sometime thief, has lived his entire life in the mountain city of Ancora, protected by the city walls. These towering barriers keep the Deadlands creatures at bay, but the monsters move higher into the peaks every year. More and more, they breach the defenses of the Lowlands while the Highlands rest easy.

A swarm overruns the walls and wreaks utter devastation on the Lowlands. Charles, the old tinker, suspects the attack may not be natural. With help from Jacob’s closest friend, Alice, and Samuel, one of the city’s elite spider knights, Jacob and Charles will uncover a terrible darkness at the heart of their city.

An excerpt from Steamborn:

They waited a minute in the wind and silence at the top of the wall. Another gust of wind caught the old man’s beard, and the largest grin Jacob had ever seen on Charles’s face lifted his beard even higher.
Jacob nodded. He put one foot up on the rampart and then stepped backwards, shaking his head. He took a deep breath.
“Go, go, go!” Charles said.
Jacob hopped up onto the ramparts and shouted, “Cock-a-doodle-doo!” He launched himself into the air before he could decide it might not be such a good idea. Jacob tilted forward slightly as the earth fell away beneath him. The cold, solid stone no longer held his weight, and he screamed in pure joy as his heart dropped into his stomach.
“Now!” he heard Charles shout from above him.
Jacob pulled the lever. He felt the backpack shift when the leathery wings snapped out and stretched to their full span. The brackets shook as they locked into place, and a gust of wind caused Jacob to tilt to the north when he meant to go south. He slid his arms up into the loops on the wings and carefully tilted them, changing his flight path over the streets below.
Jacob turned his arms, and the next gust of wind took him higher. He heard his name, only a distant shout. Far below him someone waved, and then the faces on the street all turned up to see what Samuel was yelling at. Jacob laughed and pulled the wings in, diving closer to the astonished crowd below. He spread his arms and twisted, soaring around the chimney of one of the highest roofs in the Highlands as he angled for the gatehouse.
“Come down farther!”
Jacob barely heard the words over the howl of the wind, but he saw Samuel running along the ground beneath him, diving and weaving through the crowds. The switches in Jacob’s wings whirred and clicked as he dropped his altitude low enough that he could touch the roof of every home he soared past. Jacob streaked into the courtyard.
“Clear the way!” Samuel shouted.

As part of the book blitz, there are two giveaways. There first is exclusive to Nadaness In Motion (which gives you a bigger chance of winning), while the second is a blitz-wide giveaway.
For this one, I have one ebook copy up for grabs of Eric Asher's Steamborn. The giveaway is open internationally and the winner will receive their book after 16 December.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway no. 2: Blitz-wide giveaway for 5 paperback copies of Steamborn (open internationally)

A quick Q&A with Eric Asher about his books and writing in general

Q: What is your favorite book that you wrote and why?
Eric Asher: It seems the latest book I write is always my “favorite.” Hazards of our creative minds, I suppose. Steamborn is definitely near the top of the list. I love the balance between plot, characters, and … umm, stuff I can’t mention without spoilers.

Q: Who or what inspired you to be a writer?
EA: I’ve always enjoyed making up stories. I had some fantastic teachers in high school that always urged me to pursue writing. I wasn’t really into the idea at the time, as I was still convinced I’d be a rock star. Let me tell you how well that worked out … ;)  It wasn’t until about 2005 when I realized I really wanted to sit down and write an entire novel.

Q: What books have most influenced your life?
EA: I will always owe thanks to Robert Asprin for his Myth Adventures series. They are such a wonderful blend of humor and adventure that I loved when I was a kid. Northworld by David Drake single handedly turned me into a huge fan of military science fiction.

Q: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
EA: Right now, at this moment, my favorite author is Neil Gaiman. What has always struck me about his work, ever since The Sandman, is the flow of the story and the flow of the prose. Everything is clean and the visuals are stunning.

Buy the book at 99¢ pre-order price for a limited time!

About the Author:
Eric is a former bookseller, guitarist, and comic seller currently living in Saint Louis, Missouri. A lifelong enthusiast of books, music, toys, and games, he discovered a love for the written word after being dragged to the library by his parents at a young age. When he is not writing, you can usually find him reading, gaming, or buried beneath a small avalanche of Transformers.

Author links:

Monday, November 23, 2015

Struggling with life & the need to breathe and be happy

I keep asking myself if I'm happy and the answer that keeps coming back is  "No".
I keep reading these quotes saying if you're unhappy about your current situation change it. But what they don't say is what if I change it and it turns out to be worse than before-which is in fact my current situation.

I took a decision, changed something  and now I'm unhappier than I used to be. I no longer have a life-even my weekends are divided between sleeping to make up for the past week and one outing, neither of which are sufficient but seem to weigh me down even more. 

Around 10 days ago I always well I was almost 90% decided on leaving  my new job, which I hadn't even completed a month in. 
Even after the pressures have lessened and the weird attitude has calmed, but still narcissistic, I still feel.... Like I traded bad for worse, which ignites the fear of change that may result in changing worse for worst.

There is also this thing about having a blank stage in my CV, that's grating on worries for future job searches-but I feel I will soon say: to hell with it.

Again I go back to the "Am I happy" question.

I feel like I'm trying hard to keep myself busy to forget about it, but when the sun sets and the work ends-or barely -the question awakens in my head all over again.

I know I'm also suffering from a burnout, but taking a day off or even two-much to the displeasure of my managers and I don't even want to think about the conversation I'll have to have with one or both or one of specific of them-I doubt those two days would make a difference. I'm not being pessimistic, just realistic in that it is a temporary break and I'll be back to the ground-not to mention a mild sense of guilt and impending sense of going back to pressure would result in an unhappy couple of days.

Are you happy? My brain asks.
I try to avoid the question. It's my brain, who am I kidding?!
It already knows the answer, but wants to give my heart it's fair time to "think", before they both agree on what needs to be done.

I was thinking of "trying" to make it till the summer, but again the burnout, among other things, is making it hard for me to put myself through this.
I sometimes feel that I was driven by bit of agreement, the others have told me that I'm not a greedy. Read in Karma-that's what I feel/felt.

People often tell you "It will pass." Well of course it will, but what do I do to make it pass. Besides, I want "it" to pass not me.

I want to keep my sanity and be happy. I realise you can't be happy every day, but on a comparison scale, I don't think you should be sad and down every day either.

I actually considered leaving the working field temporarily comment to live a bit and possibly get back to studying. The thing is, I wanted to do the "quit job temporarily part" in the summer so I could enjoy life more with the beach, waves and the sun + books, pens and paper.

As I write this, my brain asks do you feel relieved?
And my answer, just like a novel I was reading something like: No, I don't feel relieved after spitting out the truth. I just feel like I'm failing myself.

Are you happy? My brain asks.
And I get the feeling I want to blow my brains out but I hold back because there is so much I still want to write.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Takhayyal #writing prompt 24: Breathe

Welcome back Ladies and Gentlemen, Artists, Poets, Writers, Authors, Dreamers, Friends and Family; Welcome EVERYONE to Nadaness In Motion's bi-weekly picture-prompt writing challenge Takhayyal.

Photo taken by Karim Hossam. Watson's Bay, Sydney, Australia

Arabic for Imagine, Takhayyal is a challenge for writers of all ages and genres; a place to spark creativity.
Your post can be in English or Arabic, prose, poetry, short story, flash fiction; you name it and write it.

Feel free to use the picture on your blog/space but credit its owner.

General rules:
·        No nudity, violence, and/or abuse.
·        Leave the link to your post in comments below OR post your piece as REPLY to this post
·        Your piece MUST be inspired in some way or other by the above picture
·        Multiple entries allowed
·        It is not required but it is a nice and encouraging gesture to comment on others' pieces.
·        Feel free to add your Twitter handle (@....) so I can tag you in my tweets!


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Soon-to-end Exclusive Giveaways

I have several EXCLUSIVE ongoing GIVEAWAYS on the blog. All open Internationally. 

I figured I better have them all compiled here. 

I've extended their deadlines to give you a better chance to explore them.

Author Darren Gallagher is kindly giving away FIVE copies of each of his two books STRINGS and LOVE'S CURSE.

Also, author Rebecca Chastain is offering TWO copies of elemental fantasy novella MAGIC OF THE GARGOYLES.

(Click on the hyperlinks above to be directed to the info about the books and the Rafflecopter)

Happy reading! :)

Friday, November 13, 2015

Home - Poem

The magic of a single word

Warmth in the coldest of days,
A light in the dark
And darkness when the world is too bright it hurts your eyes

My personal space:
A reading corner,
A cup of hot chocolate or mocha

Where no prying eyes seek you out of the crowd,
Where you can shut the door and let silence reign

Here I stand,
A lone soul in a vast expanse with no colour,
A destiny that seems to have left me,
Looking right and left
My eyes see nothing.
I stand here,
A person with the no name and soon to be eternally forgotten,

A person longing for home.

This poem was inspired by this picture:

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The prophecy unveiled in the latest instalment of the Bound series

Welcome to the Release Day blitz for Stormy Smith's Bound by Prophecy!

Purchase on Amazon:
Purchase on B&N:
Purchase on iBooks:
Purchase on Kobo:
Amelia Bradbury is finally free from Queen Julia and Cresthaven, but she isn’t safe yet. The Keeper power runs rampant inside her and it will take an ultimate act of selflessness to contain the darkness that threatens Amelia’s sanity and the future of the Immortal race.

Aidan Montgomery refuses to give up on Amelia. Once she’s rescued from the Keeper’s hold, he intends to prove his love is more than a side effect of the prophecy, even if doing so leads him away from his pack and on a journey that will irrevocably change them both.

When the past and the present collide and the shocking origin of the Immortals is revealed, Amelia and Aidan are forced back to Cresthaven to end a war that never should have started.

Have you read the first book in the Bound Series? Bound by Duty is FREE!
Free on Amazon:
Free on B&N:
Free on iBooks:
Free on Kobo:
Amelia grew up in a world of half-truths. She knows she's an Elder, but has no idea what that means. Her father reminds her daily that she must maintain control, but he refuses to explain why. Even worse, she's betrothed to the prince of the Immortals and doesn't even know his name.

Finally breaking free to live a few normal years at a community college, the last thing Amelia expects is to find her best friend in a cheeky southern girl, or fall for a self-assured human who sees her for who she is, not what she will become.

As she learns more about herself, Amelia realizes the line between love and duty is a thin one. As her power continues to increase exponentially and her questions are slowly answered, Amelia must make the ultimate choice. The question is, will her head win the battle, or her heart?

Join Stormy Smith and Alys Arden for a LIVE Google Hangout to celebrate their latest releases! Here’s the Facebook event link. They will have ten guest authors, tons of book chat and lots of giveaways!

About Stormy Smith

A word nerd from the very beginning, Stormy Smith has always had her nose in a book or a pen in her hand. From a journalism degree to a public relations career, manipulating words has always been her forte. She never expected her love of stories to translate into writing them, but one day the words were there and couldn’t be stopped.
Stormy lives in Iowa’s capital with her husband and two crazy cats. When she isn’t working on, or thinking about, her books, Stormy’s favorite places include bar patios, live music shows, her yoga mat or anywhere she can relax with her husband or girlfriends.

Last but not least. I have personally had the pleasure to review the first two books in the series - and almost there with the third. So, check out my five star reviews of Bound by Prophecy and Bound by Spells.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Memory Chair: A deep, emotional book

The Memory Chair by Susan White is short emotional novel with lots of deep characters and a little magic.

Narrated from thirteen-year-old Betony's point of view, the story begins with Betony telling the reader how going to her great-grandmother is a sort of punishment she has to endure, until one day she sits on her grandmother's large brown chair.
"It was always the smell that hit me when I walked into the back porch of Gram's house. It was an overpowering smell, musty and stale, a smell that hung heavy in the air of the small, cluttered, windowless room."

Betony gets a vivid dream of a family that resembles her own but decades before she is born. She is surprised by this dream and tries the chair during a second visit. She soon realises that these aren't dreams but are in fact memories of her great-grandmother when she was very young.

The memories unfold a strange secret of a man – or young boy – called Warren, whom nobody speaks of or seems to remember.
Betony is intrigued and keeps trying the chair to discover more about her great-grandmother and this Warren person.
"The memory of that day was Gram's. How did it become mine?"

The memories also kindle a connection between Betony and her great-grandmother, Ida, bringing them closer. Betony also discovers the art of quilting and her great-grandmother, previously portrayed as a scary old hag, gets excited about it.

"In just a week I had gone from totally dreading spending any time with Gram to the point where I eagerly rushed back into the living room so that I could hear more of what she had to tell me."

One of the things I truly liked about The Memory Chair is the character development, not only for the protagonist, Betony, but for her entire family. I like how the author made both young and old characters develop.

My only objection was that there were a lot of characters and names that often got confused. I felt like I needed a family tree.
The novel is narrated by Betony but goes back to when her great-grandmother was a child, which makes the novel span four generations – all still living. Also, Betony calls her great-grandmother "Gram" and her grandparents "Grampie" and "Grammie" so it gets a bit confusing at first or when they are all in the same room.
"Gram is my Grampie's mother, my mom's grandmother, and my great-grandmother." – I had to read this sentence a couple of times to let it sink in.

The pace is good, neither too quick nor too slow. There isn't significant "action" but the shifts and progress are nicely done.
I think it's a middle grade book but I'd definitely recommend it for all ages.

"Each memory I had seen had brought me closer to Gram, and now I cared about her in a way I had never imagined possible."

The Memory Chair brought me to tears and I liked Betony's narration. Although there isn't a lot of imagery, the book has many memorable quotes.
"The way I see it, Grampie, being a family is like sewing this quilt together…Each little piece starts out separate. You choose two pieces to put together and keep adding to make on side of the first section. Then, the second part comes together, then the third, then the fourth. Then you sew them around the middle piece and then you join them to another similar section. You start to see the connecting rings. Each little piece becomes part of the whole thing before it becomes a quilt."

Note: I received a free copy of The Memory Chair by Susan White in exchange for an honest review and as part of a blog tour with Worldwind Virtual Book Tours.


Susan's  Website / Goodreads /  Facebook

About the author:
Sue White was born in New Brunswick and moved from one New Brunswick city to another. As a teenager her family moved to the Kingston Peninsula and she only left long enough to earn her BA and BEd at St. Thomas University in Fredericton. Settling on the peninsula, she and her husband raised four children and ran a small farm while she taught elementary school. Since retiring she is grateful to now have the time to work on her writing and the freedom to regularly visit her new granddaughter in Alberta.

Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children.

Brought to you by Worldwind VBT

Friday, November 6, 2015

Beyond the Words anthology - Review

Beyond the Words is an anthology of poetry and short stories collected and compiled by Scripting Change. The theme of this edition is education and literacy.
Some of the authors in this anthology appeared in the previous one titled Seeing Past Sickness. Profits from the sale of both books goes to charity organisations for each theme.
The short collection comprises 13 pieces alternating between poetry and short stories. I have a poem in here called Words.

The anthology opens with Faith Breisblatt's nostalgic poem "Writing Letters".
"To Keep You" by Kristyn F. Brunson, the second piece in this collection and the first short story is a cosy, heart-warming and loving piece about two sisters reading to each other and connecting through reading and writing no matter the hardships of time. I cried reading this five-star piece.

"Poetic Process" by Celena McDonnell is a beautiful poem with smooth and fresh imagery. Five stars to this one as well.
"Snagged in careful fingers,
I release them from their cage,
the poetic words begin to form
as I print them on the page."

"Common Groundless" by Kathy DeFlane is a short story about the difficulties of communication and understanding between languages and species! I felt it stretched out a bit, but it is nonetheless a very suitable piece for this edition and theme.

Aaron Jackson's poem "Undocumented Tutor" is an interesting piece, easily imagined and makes me think of all the 'undocumented tutors', the people you meet in life, learn things from them and take them for granted.

"Immortalised in Ink" by Aria Glazki, a regular contributor, is a short story every reader and bookworm can relate to. I absolutely loved it. A must read.
"Opening Worlds" by Seker Solis, is a poem with several interesting lines. My only comment is that the piece begins with a rhyme then shifts to free verse.
"And each word that is as a rocket rising,
Blends in subtle harmony with one that is as a ribbon falling."

"I Don't Read So Good" by Austin D. Nichols is another five-star beautiful and powerful short story in Beyond the Words. Definitely one of my favourites in this anthology about a man and woman meeting at a reading group. She writes beautifully but stammers in speech and "He knew he could write. He'd done it before, but never got the itch. Had it once, perhaps, a long, long time ago, before everything… The words darted out of his mouth. Succinctly sharp. Perfect in form only. But the meaning was lost."
Meanwhile, when it's the woman's turn to read, she stutters. "The words, metal prongs through a symphony of story, hindered every rhyme in her rhythm."

"Chasing Rainbows" by Margit Sage is a strong but painful short story on what stops writers from pursuing their passion. I enjoyed the strong sense of restlessness, which emanated from the piece. A must-read.

Finally, I'd like to quote a verse from my poem "Words", which was included in the anthology.
"Soon you'll be one
Woman and words,
Stronger than a thousand swords"