Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Lost Knight by Candy Atkins - Excerpt & Giveaway




The Lost Knight by Candy Atkins


How am I supposed to save the world when I'm not strong, not brave, not smart, and not particularly good at most things? I ran away from home the day after my thirteenth birthday when Auntie and her weird friend attacked me. Now I'm on the run with the Grim Reaper and a scary soldier. And I'm no longer on Earth. They were expecting me to be a Knight. The savior that's supposed to stop a war and prevent the invasion of Earth. But I'm not. They grabbed the wrong girl. I just don’t know how to tell them.



Praise for the Book:

#2 on GoodReads Middle Grade Novels of 2016

5/5 Stars
“Like Harry Potter meets The Labyrinth.” -Author Adan Ramie


5/5 Stars
“Candy Atkins takes us on an epic adventure reminiscent of the novels of C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien.” –GoodReads/Amazon Reviewer

5/5 Stars
“For all you Potterheads or Harry Potter geeks, how can you not fall in love with this story and appreciate the fact that it is a female lead.” –Rising Indies United


Excerpts


Three full chapters are free online: Chapter One | Chapter Two | Chapter Three

This is a partial excerpt from Chapter One

I grab the box of midnight-purple hair dye from my book bag and squeeze my way down the narrow, overstuffed hall into the only bathroom in our apartment. The shower hasn’t worked since it was turned into a storage closet, so I clear the sink of the old cat food cans Auntie has stockpiled, turn on the cold water, and dream about the day when I’ll have my own apartment with a shower, hot water, and food.

“Agatha, are you still pouting?” Auntie yells from her recliner. ”I told you, Uncle will pick something up when he’s done with work.”

My foster parents, I call them Auntie and Uncle, are not what I would describe as parents, or even aunt and uncle, they’re more like babysitters. Uncle hasn’t been home for three days, and I doubt she believes he’ll be here tonight. She just wants me to tell her that I’m okay with her not picking up dinner. I’m not. Today is my thirteenth birthday. It’s not like I was expecting a cake, but something to eat would’ve been nice.

After I dye my hair, I take a shirt from the pile of laundry I’m standing on, wrap it around my head, and carry the remaining hair dye back to my bedroom. I love my tiny room, mostly because I’ve been sketching and painting jumbled and disjointed art on these walls since I was old enough to grip a pencil. Part of the reason I chose what the box calls boysenberry for my hair is because the extra dye is the perfect hue for the raven I’m painting on my ceiling.

Dipping the number-three flat brush into my dye calms me and all is forgiven. Auntie’s not a mean person, she’s just a bit off. Being angry with her is like being mad at one of the cats—pointless.

I wrap a blanket around my shoulders and open the window. Queens is especially chatty tonight with the noise of cars, people fighting, dogs barking, and the laughter that only I can hear. I stand on the bed and fill in the gentle face of my birdie while humming along with the chorus of voices outside.

Tonight, the singing is boldly wafting through my window. I can’t understand the words and don’t know the tune, but the music is sweet and peaceful. It’s sad that I can only hear my songs some of the time, when I’m tired and relaxed, and sadder still that no one else can listen with me.

My dye runs out long before I’m satisfied with my raven so I give up and climb into bed. The song I’m listening to now is particularly soothing, a hymn or possibly an opera. Maybe one day I’ll be a great songwriter or something.

A muffled thud near my window startles me from a sound sleep. There’s an eerie red glow casting moving shadows across my room. I blink a few times to make sure I’m not still dreaming and follow the source of the light. Just to the side of the foot of my bed kneels a tall, hooded figure with luminescent red eyes. It’s stroking the long ears of a much smaller creature that looks withered and dying.

I’m not scared, which is weird, but it might be because I’m not sure I’m awake. I turn on the lamp to make the dream disappear and end up blinding myself. When my eyes adjust, I see the sickly green skin of a long-eared frog-boy lying on the floor and the tall cloaked being that’s cradling it. The tall black monster who closely resembles the Grim Reaper appears to be even more stunned than I am. We stare at each other while my brain struggles to figure out what I’m looking at. These things don’t exist, so how can I be seeing them so clearly? The black-hooded creature never takes its red eyes off me while it stands and lifts the small sickly frog-boy off the floor.

“Agatha?” it whispers.

This monster is actually in my room! My insides seize, trapping my scream. What is this thing and how does it know my name? I want to run, but I can’t move or look away. My fluttering heart stops when my door flies open with a crash. A scream unseals my lips, amplifying my terror.

Auntie charges in, wielding a large kitchen knife. She’s yelling in her nutty made-up language, but it works. The creature jumps out my fifth-floor window, taking the frog-boy with him.

She whips around toward me, still holding the knife, and looking like she means to use it. “What did you see! What was that? What were you doing!”

Auntie has her kind moments, but she’s crazy. I mean, truly mental. Whatever just happened, she mustn’t know that I saw it too. She probably suspects I did, but if I confirm it, she’ll nail my window shut and my songs will disappear forever. “I had a nightmare. Was I yelling in my sleep? Did I wake you?” I’m trying to sound calm, but I’m failing.

She takes a few deep breaths while she sizes me up. She pauses and tilts her head to the side. “There was something here. I saw it. Did you see it?”

“What was here? What did you see? And what’s with the knife?” I want her to tell me if she saw the Grim Reaper and a dead rabbit-frog-boy at the foot of my bed. If she saw them too, then I’m not crazy. But then again, if I see the same thing as a crazy person, we’re probably both insane.








Author Candy Atkins

Candy Atkins is a full-time writer who lives with her husband and two kids in Orlando, Florida. She’s an avid reader and lover of all things fantasy and sci-fi. Her debut novel, The Lost Knight, is volume one of the six-part Lost Knight Series.

Her life’s journey has taken her from dining with the President to being on food stamps to running her own company. And since all author bios end by naming and quantifying pets... she also enjoys spending time with her boxer, Butler, and Wynona the cat.








$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 9/24/17

amazon or paypal
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.



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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Open Your Eyes – Poem



Shackled in the confines of my mind,
The pain lingers, warming itself,
In its new vessel: Me.

Shrouded in blackness, eyes stare blind,
I know there is a mirror before me,
But the reflection – likely grim – is not for me to see.

I try to move, but something holds me back,
Bound, incarcerated in my own mind,
I scream
But my screams are lost in the whirlpool of my head.

I struggle to open my eyes
What has glued them shut?
I howl as the skin tears apart

They open

But to what end…
Darkness reigns free
Stretching endlessly

Ahead, around, below, beyond,
My mind mocks me, torments me.
The morbid bastard!

I curse it
But my words are hollow
Ricocheting on the walls

I am nothing
Staring in the abyss of time.
Life wasted, useless.

I cry.

Tears stream down my face,
Warm against the frigidness,
They embrace me in a cocoon

I close my eyes,
Red and green circles cloud my vision,
I count them, arrange them; damned OCD

I wonder
Who or what has caused this…
This trauma?

Was I traumatised?
How? When?
Questions. Questions.

I cover my head with my hands
"Stop asking and rise up
Open your eyes and welcome the light"

The words ring in my ear
Who said them?
I ignore my own question

I shut my eyes. Hard.
I'm scared.
A coward.

Have I become my own victim?

I shake my head,
I hear, feel
My shackles on the floor.

I may not be strong
But I can get up

I will not be any embodiment
Of all that is good,
That crap they say.

But I will rise.
And face my demons.

I open my eyes.




Written Thursday, 24 August 2017
At 18:17

Last week I asked friends for a word bank and this is one of the word banks that came through.


Sarah AbdelBadee's word bank: Trauma, OCD, shackled, cocoon, morbid, pain, shroud, whirlpool, endless, Embodiment 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Perfectly You by Robin Daniels - Excerpt & Giveaway




Perfectly You by Robin Daniels


Ivy Nixon is the student body Vice President at Franklin High School. Each year, the school holds a date auction to raise funds for the senior class graduation party, and this year, Ivy’s in charge. Planning the event is a huge task and Ivy is determined to prove she can get the job done right. Unfortunately, she’s still one participant short and her deadline is looming.

Andy Walker, her cute but socially reclusive art class table mate, is her last resort. He may not be popular, but he’s funny, talented, and full of surprises. With a makeover and some major social marketing, Ivy is sure he could fetch a decent price at the auction.

Andy reluctantly agrees to help, but the more time Ivy spends with him, the more her feelings shift from professional to romantic in nature. To top it off, she’s done her marketing so well, that other girls are starting to notice Andy too. Come auction time, will Ivy be able to let him go to the highest bidder? Or will she find a way to keep him for herself…

Content Description: This is a stand-alone YA contemporary romance with companion novels set at the same high school. It contains minor language, innuendo, and crude humor, some steamy kissing, a party scene where underage drinking is taking place, and a brief but tasteful conversation about sex. The author has attempted to write characters who make good choices in questionable situations, in effort to keep the content appropriate for teens. This book contains no sex, written or implied, and no explicit language. Recommended for ages 14 and up.



Excerpt from Perfectly You by Robin Daniels

"Probably not," I conceded. "Looks like I can kiss my dreams of being on the PGA tour good-bye. What am I doing wrong?"


"Now you're asking?" Andy laughed. "On the last hole?"


"Better late than never." I shrugged and gave him a toothy grin.


"Hang on a second." He sank his last ball in two, then waved me over. "Ok, come here. Let Lilly and Jake go while I show you what to do." I walked to the edge of the green, club in hand. He stood close behind me, wrapping his arms around mine. Then he gently positioned my hands on the handle of the club. I'd always thought it was cheesy in movies when a guy showed a girl how to do something rather than just explaining it. The move was so obvious. But now that I was in that very situation, Andy's body pressed against mine, his yummy cologne assaulting my nose, I didn't care if it was cheesy.


"First of all, you're gripping the club too tightly. You need to relax." He leaned over my shoulder and spoke softly against my ear. His breath tickled my neck, and my brain got fuzzy. "Next, you need to stop swinging like you're trying to drive the green. You have to finesse a putter. Swing it more like a pendulum and less like a baseball bat." He chuckled, then started swaying my arms back and forth with his. "Like this, can you feel the difference?"


"Mmm-hmm," I lied. I was trying to pay attention, honestly, I was. But his closeness was making it extremely difficult. I couldn't feel anything beyond the warmth of his body and the softness of his lips grazing my ear. Was he trying to help me or distract me? My mind wandered until he pulled away and walked around to face me. "Finally, you need to aim." He smiled. "That's when you look at the ball, then look at the hole, then try to put the ball in the hole."











Author Robin Daniels

Robin Daniels is a wife, mother of five and avid consumer of books. She loves reading SO much that she was actually grounded from it as a twelve year old. No Joking! Her mom caught her reading when she was supposed to be cleaning, which was a common occurrence. At that point mom took the books and instructed her to go watch TV or play outside like a normal kid.


Robin is a sucker for home design shows and magazines, watches way too much Netflix and has a very codependent relationship with with a certain diet soda who’s brand shall not be named. (Though anyone with a similar problem could probably guess which one.)



GIVEAWAY: $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

amazon or paypal

Ends 9/15/17


Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Takhayyal writing prompt 69: Mistress of the Wolves

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.

I came across this beast of a picture and just had to use it for a writing prompt.

Muses, awaken and unleash your writing power!


 
Wolves and Woman - Mercy Thompson by Dos Dos Santos - Image found via Pinterest


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

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!


Let's IMAGINE!


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Cinderella Necromancer by F.M. Boughan - Excerpt, Giveaway & Tour

Today, I'm hosting author F.M. Boughan and her novel CINDERELLA NECROMANCER with an exclusive excerpt and a tour-wide giveaway.

The book sounds exciting and from the excerpt, I already love the author's writing.

Happy reading!

Title: CINDERELLA NECROMANCER
Author: F.M. Boughan
Pub. Date: 5 September 2017
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC
Pages: 324
Formats: Paperback, eBook

Synopsis:
CINDERELLA, NECROMANCER is CHIME meets ANNA, DRESSED IN BLOOD and was inspired by a real medieval grimoire of necromancy from 15th-century Germany.
Ellison lost her mother at an early age. But since then, her father has found love again. He’s happy and doesn’t quite notice that Ellison does not get along with his new wife or her mean daughters.
When Ellison discovers a necromantic tome while traveling the secret passages of her father’s mansion, she wonders if it could be the key to her freedom.
Until then, she must master her dark new power, even as her stepmother makes her a servant in her own home. And when her younger brother falls incurably ill, Ellison will do anything to ease his pain, including falling prey to her stepmother and stepsisters’ every whim and fancy.
Stumbling into a chance meeting of Prince William during a secret visit to her mother’s grave feels like a trick of fate when her stepmother refuses to allow Ellison to attend a palace festival.
But what if Ellison could see the kind and handsome prince once more? What if she could attend the festival? What if she could have everything she ever wanted and deserved by conjuring spirits to take revenge on her cruel stepmother?
As Ellison’s power grows, she loses control over the evil spirits meant to do her bidding. And as they begin to exert their own power over Ellison, she will have to decide whether it is she or her stepmother who is the true monster. 


Excerpt from Chapter Two: The Beginning

On the morning of my fifteenth birthday, my mother died. It was a cruel and terrible death, wrought with pain and suffering and moments of relief between the screams.
When death finally took her, the darkness hovered like a plague over our home, my father and younger brother and I only moving and breathing to survive, though if anyone had asked us why, we couldn’t have given an answer.
On the morning of my sixteenth birthday, the darkness descended in a form incarnate, though at first, we couldn’t see it.
Why should we have?
Father thought he’d brought me the best birthday gift a father could give his daughter: a new mother.
I saw nothing but a vile attempt to replace someone utterly irreplaceable.
I screamed, threw the pot I was holding at his head, and locked myself in my room for three days.
On the fourth day, six-year-old Edward knocked on my door.
“You can’t stay in there forever,” he said, his small voice wavering. “Father is threatening to call the locksmith. Mother—”
“Don’t call her that or I won’t speak to you,” I said.
He paused before continuing, an awkward pause that made me wonder—no, suspect—that she stood outside my door too.
She is threatening to take a hatchet to your door,” he whispered, so soft I could barely hear.
Was she now? I wanted to see her try. Difficult, though, being on the other side of the door.
“And ruin Father’s fine craftsmanship? She wouldn’t.”
But I didn’t know if she would or not. After all, I’d only caught one glimpse and hadn’t even seen her face. Or looked in her eyes. I’d been a fool.
One’s eyes say so much more than most people suspect. While the superstitious bustle about, trying to hide their true names—for they believe there is power in names—they should really be wearing dark glasses and learning to speak while gazing at the ground.
Names? Please. Child’s play.
To learn the state of one’s soul, find their gaze and hold it.
But I’d thrown a pot and run away.
How differently things might have turned out if I’d only followed my own rule.

Find CINDERELLA NECROMANCER on: AmazonB&N,  iBooksTBDGoodreads


As part of the blog tour for Cinderella, Necromancer, there is a tour-wide giveaway, where ONE winner will receive a finished copy of CINDERELLA NECROMANCER & a signed bookplate, International. (Wherever The Book Depository Ships)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


About the Author:

Faith Boughan
F.M. Boughan is a bibliophile, a writer, and an unabashed parrot enthusiast. She can often be found writing in local coffee shops, namely because it’s hard to concentrate with a cat lying on the keyboard and a small, colorful parrot screaming into her ear. Her work is somewhat dark, somewhat violent, somewhat hopeful, and always contains a hint of magic.

You can follow Faith on Twitter (@FaithBoughan) for plenty of flailing about food (she likes to cook!), TV shows (she watches too many), and world dance (did you know she's been performing & instructing in Bollywood-style dance for over 8 years?).

Or catch her on Facebook where she just might post pictures of her adorable cat & bird... among other things.


F.M. Boughan is represented by Bill Contardi of Brandt & Hochman

Connect with F.M. Boughan via her Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads


Keep up with the rest of the tour for interviews, reviews, and other excerpts.

Week One:
8/21/2017- Tales of the Ravenous ReaderInterview & Book BriefsReview
8/22/2017- Nadaness In Motion – Excerpt & Darque Dreamer ReadsReview 
8/23/2017- rabid readers book blogExcerpt & The Desert Bibliophile Review
8/24/2017- Up 'Til Dawn Book BlogGuest PostBooks, Boys, and Blogs Review 
8/25/2017- Tara's Book Addiction Spotlight & Bibliobibuli YAReview

Week Two:
8/28/2017- BookHounds YAGuest Post & A Dream Within A DreamReview
8/29/2017- Wandering Bark BooksGuest Post & Portrait of a BookReview 
8/30/2017- Morbid Romantic Excerpt & A Weebish Book BlogReview
8/31/2017- Arvenig.it Interview & Pandora's Books - Review
9/1/2017- Rainy Day Reviews Guest Post & The Autumn Bookshelf - Review


Monday, August 21, 2017

Crazy Crab, children's picture book by Mark Evans – Book Review


Book: Crazy Crab
Author: Mark Evans
Illustrations: Steve Page
Publication date: 25 July 2017
Number of pages: 28

Review by Nadaness In Motion

Crazy Crab is a short, fun, children's picture book by Mark Evans, with illustrations by Steve Page.

Crazy Crab is about Steve, an excellent Hermit crab marketer, who "can sell fried calamari to a squid", but who is unhappy with his life despite his success.

Steve is a crab with a dream, an ambition to become an astronaut. All his friends think he is crazy to dream such a dream, but Steve, with his hard work and strong ambition, ignores them and works hard to attain his goal.

Crazy Crab is a beautiful story with a lesson at the end. If you work for it, your dream will become a reality.

The illustrations are vibrant, interesting and exciting.

Full of hope and encouragement, Crazy Crab is a must-read for all children and parents.

Note: I received a free copy of Crazy Crab by Mark Evans in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author

Mark C. Evans was born in Perth, Australia and studied Theatre and Film and Drama Teaching at university. He has spent most of his career as a professional actor performing on TV, film and stage.

As an actor he toured schools during Book Week performing as characters from children’s literature and it was during these tours he discovered the wonderful influence that a great story can have on children.

He has been a writer and director of many short comedy films and loves to spread laughter through his words and cheeky, off the wall sense of humor. He lives with his family in Perth and has a serious addiction for finding new picture books at his locally library so he can read them to his children and be inspired by other great writers.


To learn more about Mark Evans, please visit www.mark-c-evans.com. Or connect with him via his Facebook author page and Facebook book page.