Thursday, March 04, 2021

Advice for Aspiring Writers with Allie McCormack #PNR #AuthorAdvice

 




There Is no one right way to write. Let me repeat that: THERE IS NO ONE RIGHT WAY TO WRITE. If you want to write with pen and paper, or dictate into your phone, or peck at a manual typewriter, then do it if that’s what works for you. You may be a “plotter” who outlines your book then sits down to write it from start to finish; or you may be a “panters” who writes “ by the seat of your pants,” that is, you write scenes as they occur to you, regardless of their placement in the story, and connect everything in between as you go. You may need absolute quiet to write; you may do your best writing in a busy mall (hey, I do!). There is no right or wrong, there is only what is right for you… and don’t let anyone tell you different!

I’d suggest investing in a few good reference books. There are plenty out there, but if you need grounding in punctuation, for instance, or grammar, get a good grammar book. A good thesaurus is also a good investment, although thesaurus.com is my preferred go-to. Some of my favorite books are:

The Emotional Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi

Master Lists for Writers by Bryn Donovan

Heroes & Heroines: Sixteen Master Archetypes by Tami Cowden, Caro LaFever& Sue Viders

Don’t over-think things. Don’t get bogged down in trying to learn everything about the publishing industry at once. There’s plenty of time for that. First, you have to get your book written, because everything else hinges on having a finished manuscript. Keep in mind this: While writing is an art form, publishing is a professional industry. When you get to the point where you are looking at publication, whether you’re talking agent and traditional publishing, or self publishing, you have to approach it as a professional. But again.. time enough for that later. Write!

Critique partners versus beta readers. In the early stages, what you want is a critique partner; someone who will read your work as it’s in progress and give you feedback. Usually you swap chapters at a time. A beta reader comes after you have finished your manuscript, and revised and polished it, until you *think* it’s about ready. Then you send it to beta readers, who read it with an eye to content, characterization, plot continuity. They are usually volunteers, and it’s a good idea to have them be readers of the genre in which you’re writing.

All other advice aside, it always comes back to this: Just write. There’s no easy way, it doesn’t happen on its own. So sit down and start writing!

A Cat for Troy
Wishes and Dreams 
Book Three
Allie McCormack

Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Date of Publication:  March 4, 2021
ISBN: 9798580580678
ASIN: B08P2SMY52 
Number of pages: 400 
Word Count: 107,000
Cover Artist:  Dar Albert

Tagline:  Troy’s new roommate was loving, demanding ,possessive, sometimes even bad tempered. But he loved her anyway. After all, she was just a cat. Wasn’t she?

Book Description:  

Veterinarian Troy Shelton has no idea what he's letting himself in for when he rescues a friend's cat from the shelter after a dog attack. The friendly but demanding calico soon has Troy and his pregnant collie wrapped around her furry paw. But strange things begin happening in Troy's home when he’s away, and he could almost think someone else was living there besides him.

Torn and hurting, Katerina appreciates Troy's gentle care. She also appreciates his strong form and handsome face as much as the way he cuddles her. She's trapped in her cat form until her wounds heal, but once she's well again she finds herself oddly reluctant to resume her human form and life away from Troy. But someone else is interested in Troy, and that someone else has already tried to kill Cat once.




EXCERPT #1

“You did that on purpose,” Troy accused, looking up from where he knelt on hands and knees to look under the sofa for more cardboard.

She gave him her best wide-eyed “who, me?” look, and blinked lovingly at him.

“I know you like to play,” he told her. “I saw you in the yard that day. There’s got to be something you’ll play with.”

Ho-hum. She stretched, and yawned in his face.

Finally one day Troy came into the house with a satisfied grin on his face. “I’ve got it!” He dug in his pocket, and pulled out a slim cylinder. “You’re a tough nut to crack, but I bet this one does it.”

He held the gizmo in his hand, and suddenly a small red light appeared on the floor by her paws. Oh, no! Not one of those laser pointers. Like she was going to chase a dumb spot of light all over the place and wear herself out. He didn’t really expect her to chase that, did he?

Troy pointed it around the floor, back and forth, the light dancing about her feet. She watched it. Back and forth. Back and forth. Her tail twitched. Oops, nope! She was so not going to chase that thing. But it danced closer. Closer. Suddenly it bounced onto her paw and then off again. Okay, that was it! She pounced on the little red thing, then darted here and there after it. It disappeared into dark recesses of the hallway and she crept forward on her belly, every sense alert. It was there somewhere, hiding. There it was! She pounced, with a scrabble of paws on the wood floor. Ah-hah!! She’d show it!

Up onto the sofa she chased the tiny red light, then watched, whiskers a-quiver, as it traveled up the wall, just out of her reach. It came down, slowly, slowly, then suddenly flashed to the side. She was halfway across the living room after it when she suddenly remembered... oh, wait! She was chasing a stupid light!

She sat herself down firmly in the middle of the floor and turned to glare at Troy. This was all his fault!

 


About the Author:

A former career medical transcriptionist and disabled Veteran, Allie McCormack is now writing from home full-time. Allie has traveled quite a bit and lived many places all over the U.S., and also a year in Cairo, Egypt as an exchange student, and a year in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia under contract to a hospital there, plus a short stint with NATO while she was in the Army. Allie now lives in the beautiful southern California with her family and her two rescue cats.

Allie says: "A writer is who and what I am... a romance writer. I write what I know, and what I know is romance. Dozens of story lines and literally hundreds of characters live and breathe within the not-so-narrow confines of my imagination, and it is my joy and privilege to bring them to life, to share them with others by writing their stories." 

Website: http://www.alliemccormack.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AllieMcCormackK

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/alliemccormack






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Shifting Silence by Laura Bickle #UrbanFantasy


Shifting Silence 
Mane Shift
Book One
Laura Bickle 

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Fantasy

ASIN: B08X51X1RQ

Publisher: Syrenka Publishing LLC

Publication Date: February 21, 2021

Book Description:

This witch takes in strays. Stray animals, not stray ex-boyfriends, magical cultists, or shifters.

At least, that used to be the rule…

Luna Summerwood has always taken in strays. As a witch who runs a veterinary clinic, she’s healed creatures that fly, swim, and crawl. She’s not the most powerful Summerwood witch; her only magic is the ability to communicate with animals. But when an exotic maned wolf is brought to her in the dead of night, Luna is plunged into the shadowy underground world of shifter trafficking.

With the help of her ex-boyfriend—who also happens to be a local deputy and someone who pushes all her buttons—she investigates a series of occult crimesinvolving missing farm animals. After her ex is nearly killed, Luna discovers thatthe Casimir, a cult of magical collectors, plans to steal the maned wolf.

This beautiful maned wolf is more than he seems—he’s a shapeshifting man named Renan.He was once captured by the Casimir and forced to do their dark bidding. Luna is his last chance at finding sanctuary…and perhaps love.

But the Casimir want more than just Renan. Centuries ago, the Summerwoods warred with the Casimir. Now, these sorcerers will stop at nothing to possess the Summerwood land and theburied magic of the witches themselves.

Amazon


Excerpt 2

            “Oh, hell,” I murmured.

            A flat area had been swept clean of pine needles, revealing soft black dirt. In the dirt, a circle of glittering salt had been created. The circle was splashed in blood, with sigils carved into the ground. Those symbols were filled with congealed blood. I recognized them as alchemical symbols—symbols for the cardinal elements, mercury, and sulfur. Bones were scattered around the interior of the circle and beyond, in the shade of trees. The whole place stank like an abattoir.

            I heard Dalton come up behind me and exhale.

            “What the hell is this?” he said.

            “Black magic.” I could feel it, cold and silent, seeping into the earth.

            Something rustled to my left, and before I could react, a dark shape launched itself at us. I swung the shotgun barrel down to my hip, but too late. I was knocked off my feet, sprawling in the pine needles. I twisted around, dragging the shotgun out from under me, staring…

            …at Dalton wrestling with a grey wolf. All the wolves I’d seen before were the size of large dogs, but this one was much bigger, taller than a man’s waist. The wolf had Dalton rolled over on his back, snarling and snapping at his neck.

            “Get off him!” I yelled, pumping the shotgun for effect. I didn’t want to shoot the wolf, but if it came down to him or Dalton, I was picking my ex-boyfriend. He owed me a few beers over time, and I was not about to let that debt go unrepaid.

            The wolf turned its head toward me, as if it knew what that shotgun pump signified. It paused, its giant paw pressing on Dalton’s chest.

            Dalton had gotten his sidearm free. A bang echoed in the forest, loud enough to rattle birds and pine needles from the trees.

            The wolf yelped, and my heart lurched into my throat. Red blood splashed on his flank. The wolf tore away from Dalton, limping, and ran away into the forest.

            “Dalton.” I came to my knees beside him. “Are you hurt?”

            “Nggh,” he said. His uniform shirt was stained red. I ripped open the buttons, running my fingers over his intact bulletproof vest. The wolf’s nails had torn open his shirt and scarred the ballistic material, but it looked as if it held.

            What worried me was the bite in his neck. I pressed my hands over it, feeling his warm blood pulsing against my palm.

            “You’re going to be all right,” I told him, trying to sound reassuring.

            But I didn’t believe it.

 

About the Author:

Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs and sometimes reads them to her cats. Her books have earned starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus. Laura’s work has also been included in the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer Project 2013 reading list and the State Library of Ohio’s Choose to Read Ohio reading list for 2015-2016. The latest updates on her work can be found at authorlaurabickle.com.

Newsletter: https://bit.ly/3078uLT 

Website: https://www.authorlaurabickle.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Laura_Bickle

Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/Author.Laura.Bickle/ 

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



Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Trials of a Witch by Maghen Connolly #Fantasy


Trials of a Witch
The Gifted Series 
Book Two
Maghen Connolly

Genre: Fantasy
Date of Publication: July 31st 2021
ISBN: 979-8670985482
ASIN: B08DZVMTZ6
Number of pages: 471
Word Count: 125,955
Cover Artist: Michael Weick

Book Description: 

She needed answers, in the town of East Brooke Maine, she got them. 

Now the question is no longer who she is, but what will she become? Can she be the savior they all need, or will her own fears and darkness that is beginning to brew take over?

Follow Kyra on her continued journey of magic and mayhem. She left East Brooke to keep the ones she loves safe, but in her exit, she opens a door for terror, blood, and vengeance to enter her home, her family, and her very life. 

It turns out being a witch is even more dangerous than she thought; soon she will face a foe older and stronger than she has ever faced before. Trials of a Witch, let’s see if she survives them.

About the Author:

Maghen Connolly is a writer from New York born and raised in Manhattan’s West Village with her mother, father, and a very cute cat.

She has always been an avid reader. She loves to read anything she can get her hands on, but her favorite genre is mystery. She’s also a huge horror fan having grown up on all the classics. The love of the scare has helped her create some of her most interesting and complex characters over the years.

She now lives in Queens with her fiancĂ© and 2 rescue cats, Shadow and Shade.  She spends her days writing, over analyzing, watching horror movies, spending time with family, and eating some of the best food New York City has to offer.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/maghen.connolly

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/meggaboo0823/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47888073-blake-manor

Amazon Author   https://www.amazon.com/Maghen-Connolly/e/B0813XLK14/

 


                 


Friday, February 26, 2021

A Demon's Embrace by Celia Breslin #CupidDatingAgency #PNR #Giveaway


A Demon's Embrace
Cupid Dating Agency 
Book Four
Celia Breslin

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Celia Breslin
Date of Publication: December 2020
ISBN: 9781393692881
ASIN: B08Q8JRLWN
Number of pages: 124
Word Count: 30K
Cover Artist: Brantwijn Serrah

Tagline: She believes him the enemy. He's determined to prove her wrong.

Book Description:

Former relic-hunter and soldier for Hell, Stryker spends his days of redemption running a holiday store in a cheery little town in the California wine country. He’s not complaining. The gig puts him across the street from his one and only heart’s desire—a blue-eyed angel with a clever brain, a hot bod, and the wickedest right hook this side of Heaven. Too bad his delectable Angel Cake won’t give him the time of day.

Warrior-class angel and restaurateur, Zara keeps busy designing interesting foods and beverages for the eateries and gym she owns with her celestial teammates. She certainly has zero time or interest in the annoyingly sexy, darkly bronzed demon who drove her bonkers for eons while working for the other side.

But then a freak storm complete with hell beasties rampages their hometown, and God and the cupids order the pair to team up to investigate. Frustrating news for Zara. Fantastic for Stryker. His new mission? Show his feisty angel their partnership is meant to extend far beyond this one job for Heaven...

Amazon US       Angus and Robertson       Apple Books

BN      Kobo       Scribd      Vivlio

Excerpt

Stryker and Zara's First Kiss...

Location: Charon's boat, River Styx, the Underworld...

...The boat heaved upward as if struck from below, sending her airborne. Before she could conjure her wings, Stryker shot up and snatched her around the waist, hauling them both to the deck.

Flat on his back with her sprawled atop his hard body, he grinned, much too pleased with himself for her liking. “Told you it gets rough,” he shouted over the rush of water. “I never lie to you, Angel Face.”

“That in itself is a lie,” she shot back, wedging her fingers in the gaps between the bone flooring and gripping tight while the chopping river tossed their ride. She could list thousands of his deceptions. Fine, they were revisiting his loathsome past behavior. “What about the time you stole the Ark of the Covenant? Or the Holy Chalice? The Vatican heist? Or when you took Joan’s sword and—”

“Aw, c’mon, she deserved it. She cut off the tip of my wing.”

“It regenerated, and you had no right to bother her in the first place when she was busy saving—

“Hey, I gave it back.”

“I made you give it back, demon.”

He laughed but the sound was lost in the great roar of the river. Its turmoil increased, waves thrashing over the bow as if their presence angered the river.

“Buckle up, baby.” Stryker held her tight to his chest. The boat bucked upward and bashed down, again and again. Freezing water sprayed everywhere, drenching them in seconds. Zara shuddered, chilled to the bone, half expecting ice to form on her frame.

Cheek to cheek, Stryker clutched her close with a hand cupping her head and one massive arm banded around her torso. “Hang on Angel Cake, I’ve got you.” Warmth slid into her quivering body, a soothing heat wafting from the demon. “Nice trick, right?” he murmured into her ear, lips grazing her skin.

Teeth chattering, she didn’t reply, too caught up in the sensation of his surprisingly soft lips on the shell of her ear, and his spicy scent, an intriguing blend of cardamom, cinnamon, and earthy, masculine musk.

Desire danced through her, followed fast by denial. No. Please, no. Eternal enemy. Archnemesis. He’s the bad guy. But her libido didn’t seem to care one bit about their battle-filled past, or even their more recent clashes. Her treacherous body relaxed against his, basking in the continued warmth emanating from him.

“Yes, baby. That’s it.” His hand slid to her nape, and he exhaled against the sensitive skin of her neck, setting off a flurry of butterflies in her stomach.

Trap. This had to be a trap, right? Nothing good could come of a tryst with a demon. It didn’t matter how loudly the hum chimed in her, or how wonderful his hard body felt under hers, they couldn’t possibly—

Oh, no, now his clever fingers kneaded the knots in her muscles, massaging the tension from her neck and shoulders, making her melt.

His warm lips brushed her ear once again. “Angel…”

She should stop him. Really, she should. Then he nuzzled the hollow of her shoulder, and his soft kisses eroded her superego’s usual iron will. […] Maybe, if she explored the cosmic hum trying to call them together instead of running from it, she would discover it meant nothing at all. Maybe, she could simply kiss him and move on.

She turned her head. He stilled, one hot palm planted between her shoulder blades, the other lounging on her lower back, his mouth so close their breath mingled. Goose bumps tracked over her and not from the cold since she had Stryker as her personal space heater.

Zara didn’t dare look into his eyes, instead digging deep one last time to stop this insanity, dredging up reasons this was a bad idea. Demon. D’uh. Longtime foe. Brash, blunt, devious, conniving, opinionated, manipulative, flirtatious, and yes, flirting was bad, so very, very ba—

[...] Lord help her, she wanted him too. Her gaze clashed with his. Such pretty eyes for a demon, like black onyx flecked with amber. He went statue-still beneath her, seemed to be holding his breath now, waiting for her to…

Make a move?

She wrapped a lock of his shoulder-length hair around her finger. Damp from the crashing river. Shiny, deepest black. Silky, and as warm as his body. She tugged on it.

A groan escaped him, and he kissed her.

About the Author:

Celia lives in California with her husband, daughter, and two feisty cats. She writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance, and has a particular fondness for werewolves, vampires, the Fae, and warrior-class angels. Her stories are action-packed and typically include one of the many varieties of romantic entanglements: fated mates, second chance, rescue romance, opposites attract, friends to lovers, enemies to lovers, and more.

When not writing, you’ll find Celia exercising, reading a good book, hanging with her family, or indulging her addiction to Joss Whedon’s TV shows and movies, as well as everything in the Marvel Universe franchise.

Website: http://www.celiabreslin.com   

Blog: http://www.celiabreslin.com/blog/   

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

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

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/CeliaBreslin  

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/celiabreslin/  

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/celiabreslin/

Newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/bxqwRL




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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Cursed by Athena Floras #PNR #YA #Giveaway

 

Cursed
Dark Kindred Spirits 
Book 2
Athena Floras

Genre: YA PNR
Date of Publication: January 4th, 2021
ASIN: B08P21DRQM
Number of pages: 104
Word Count: 25 299
Cover Artist: Nicholas Mallet

Tagline: Happiness and true love can come from sacrifice and the deepest sorrow.

Book Description:

All hail the Misfits and the Cursed…

There is a sanctuary for anyone who needs refuge. It’s called Beyond the Horizon. When a group of teens are invited to spend their summer vacation at the sanctuary, they think they just got lucky. But little do they know that things are too good to be true. Not everyone is who they seem to be at Beyond the Horizon. There are enemies amongst them waiting for the perfect time to strike.

For her entire life, Brianna Meadows has been misunderstood. Everything she does and says is wrong. She’s a klutz and always getting in people’s way. All she ever wished for is to be accepted, liked, and normal. When she gets an invitation to spend her summer vacation at Beyond the Horizon, she thinks her wish may come true. But she must be very careful what she wishes for, because it can turn into her worst nightmare.

Chase Hamell doesn’t have much time left. The family curse has started to take its toll on him. The first-born male in the Hamell clan will turn into a monster when he turns eighteen, which is just months away. When he hears that the sanctuary is owned by witches who can undo the curse, he seeks them out. But to break the curse involves making a huge sacrifice, one that Chase might not be able to commit to, because in order to end the curse, someone he loves must die.

Can Brianna and Chase find what they both need and desire before their enemies succeed in snuffing them out?

Amazon      Amazon.co.uk     Amazon.ca


Excerpt:

The blood moon set high in the sky was the Earth’s guardian angel tonight. It stood watch while all the Earth’s blessed and damned creatures roamed freely. It guided them to their redemption or eternal damnation.

The enchantress took a deep, channeling breath while she absorbed the magic and the energy this night brought forth. It was the perfect time to seek the answers she’d long sought.

If the omnipotent transcendental powers would not reveal them to her tonight, then all hope was lost.

She perched the silver chalice engraved with defined runes on the altar in the garden. She poured the spellbinding liquid into it and began to chant the spell she’d memorized.

At first, nothing happened, but like everything else in life, she needed to be patient and persistent. She continued on with the ritual until the potion started to twirl, then churn. It soon glowed a celestial blue.

Peering into the aquatic abyss, she asked, “Reveal to me the means to restore the harmony. The balance must be brought back to the line.”

An image gradually morphed in the chalice. It appeared to be a tall, thin girl with unruly shoulder length red hair who knelt on the floor. She seemed to have fallen and had scraped her knees because blood trickled onto the uneven concrete.

The enchantress cocked a brow while she curiously observed the scene. Why was the Voyeur Chalice showing her this teenager? The girl was no older than seventeen. How did she fit into the whole scheme?

Knowing that she wouldn’t get more answers until she performed the next part of the ritual, the enchantress raised the chalice and languidly sipped the elixir. The bitterness made her shudder until a transcendent voice spoke to her in her mind.

The enchantress’s eyes glazed over and she remained perfectly still paying acute attention to what was said.

Once the answer and all its details were divulged to her, she lit the candle ending the liturgy.

With leaden legs, she walked back into the building. The ritual had taken its toll on her. She’d need to rest to fully recover. But before she could, she had to send a message.

The kindle needed to be laid down so that the catalyst could catch fire and set off the next chain of events.

Unprecedented things would soon begin to happen.

 

* * * *

 

Brianna Meadows thought that this would be her lucky day. She’d felt it the moment she’d awoken this morning. The uplifting energy surrounded her and urged her on. She could move mountains if the feat were physically possible.

So when her mother had asked her to pick up her facial cream at the department store, Brianna had jumped at the chance to go.

She’d been planning to apply for the stock clerk’s job she’d seen posted on the store’s door earlier this week.

She made sure to hold her head high and strut with confidence as she walked up to the customer service counter. A cashier standing there, wearing a white and red striped uniform, greeted her with a smile.

“Good morning. How can I help you?”

Brianna cleared her voice. “Umm, yeah. I’m here to apply for the stock clerk’s job you have posted on the door.”

The cashier frowned. “Hmm, they didn’t get rid of that yet?” Her expression switched into an apologetic one. “I’m so sorry, but the job has already been filled.”

“Oh.” Brianna spun on the heel of her ballerina shoes, ready to head toward the cosmetics aisle when the cashier asked, “Did you bring your CV with you?”

“Yes, I did.” Brianna held up the manilla envelope she carried it in.

“Why don’t you give it to me. I’ll give it to the manager. Maybe he’ll keep you in mind when another job opening comes up.” She smiled brightly.

“That’s very kind of you. Thanks.” Brianna slid it to her on the sloping counter.

As she walked away, she felt her heart stir. The cashier didn’t have to go out of her way to accommodate Brianna like she did. Brianna was touched by her kind gesture even though she had a strong hunch the store manager would most probably chuck her CV into the recycling bin.

Casting her discouraging thoughts out of her mind, she moseyed over to get her mom’s cream. Her mother had given her a fifty-dollar bill and told her to buy herself something with the change.

The cream cost only twenty-three dollars and thirty-nine cents, which left her with twenty-five dollars and sixty-one cents to splurge on herself. She pressed the tips of her wild curls between her index finger and thumb. She wished she could tame them somewhat so it didn’t look like she’d just been electrocuted.

She glided her hand along the edge of the shelf, perusing the selection of hair conditioners that would straighten her hair when she accidentally tipped a plastic bottle that rested close to the edge. Multiple bottles toppled to the floor.

Laughter burst out behind her. She spun around to find Cynthia Doyle and Seraphina Peck, two of the popular girls in her school, covering their mouths, trying to muffle their chuckles.

Cynthia leaned in to whisper something into Seraphina’s ear, which made her bend over in hysterics.

They obviously were making fun of Brianna. What else was new? Brianna had been the object of their ridicule all of the school year. Why would they stop now even though the school year had ended and summer had begun? Ignoring their cruel behavior, she crouched to gather the fallen bottles. One by one, she placed them back where they belonged.

The sound of stiletto heels clicking on the tiled floor reverberated in Brianna’s ears. She cursed under her breath. She knew who approached. It was Seraphina. She had a unique rhythm to her gait. What did she want? Hadn’t she tormented her enough in school?

“Is there something you’re looking for?” Seraphina asked as she came to stand next to her.

“I was just looking?” she mumbled.

“It was hard not to notice you after you made everything fall. If you’re looking for a special conditioner, maybe I can help you search, so you won’t make anything else fall.”

Brianna wished the jab had just slid off of her, instead of cutting deep.

Glancing at the shelf, she replied, “I was looking for something that could straighten my curls.”

Seraphina snorted. “Well, you’re looking in the wrong place for that. There isn’t any over the counter product to tame your wild hair. You need super concentrated industrial products. You should go to a professional hairdresser who uses strong chemicals to straighten it. She would be your only hope.”

“Yeah, right,” Brianna grumbled as she walked away.

She huffed, trying to rein in her frustrations and anger. Sometimes bad news was good news. The fact the job had already been filled was a blessing in disguise. She wouldn’t have been able to work in the same store those two bullies worked. She wouldn’t have survived more than a day in that toxic environment.

She made a mental note to avoid this department store from now on. Her mother would have to come herself to get her facial cream.

As she reached the exit, she rested her left foot awkwardly on the cracked concrete and she fell hard forward. Her knees adsorbed the full brunt of the forceful hit as they made contact with the concrete.

Pain shot through her legs and she gasped, trying to resist the discomfort.

She’d been completely wrong about this day. It hadn’t been her lucky day. It was the unluckiest one she’d had in a while. It couldn’t possibly get worse, she thought.

But she was so very wrong, because from twenty feet away, she heard giggling. Cynthia and Seraphina were at it again.

 

About the Author: 

Athena Floras is a wife and proud mother of three who loves to read and write suspenseful and romantic stories. When she isn't busy being a mom, she spends her spare time in her den, totally immersing herself into the whimsical, fantastical world of fiction. She hopes the stories and characters she creates will bring readers as much pleasure and entertainment as they have her.

Website/Blog: https://athenafloras.blogspot.com/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FlorasAthena 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Athena-Floras/e/B018N7U26S 






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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Release Day Blitz Replaced Parts by Stephanie Hansen #ReleaseDayBlitz #SciFi




Helpful Hints for Facebook, Bookbub, and Google Ads

- Test different approaches before investing more $ (if reaching out to a large audience, it's better to spend $5 in one day instead of spreading it out over 5 days)

- FB Ads do better with little text on an image (if there's too much the ad will get buried) sometimes it's best to include an image used in the cover or just an image that evokes the feeling of your book rather than the cover itself)

- Target like authors (in Bookbub you're able to see the click through rate per targeted author, so test and find the ones that work best before investing more)

- Google Ads require attention grabbing words with minimal space, also good to test search key words to see what works best (these ads appear to have more of a snowball effect...so you may want to test over at least a week to judge whether it's working)

- There are many tutorials online too but thought I'd share these helpful things (what works today might not work tomorrow so it's good to stay informed)


Replaced Part
Transformed Nexus 
Book One
Stephanie Hansen

Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Publisher: Fire and Ice YA and Tantor Audio
Date of Publication: 02/23/21
ISBN: 9781953735027
ASIN: B08RZB9PXL
Number of pages: 232
Word Count: 67,770
Cover Artist: Caroline Andrus

Tagline: When a clopil named Vex warns you of danger…Listen!

Book Description:

In the year 2163 a corrupt World Government controls everything on our planet and beyond. 

Sixteen year-old Sierra has been so caught up in her own world of saving animal test subjects and her father’s disappearance, she hasn’t paid much attention. When she finally finds his location, she and her friend set off on a covert interplanetary mission to rescue him, she begins to see the corruption first hand. 

Discovering that her father has been on the front lines secretly trying to save human test subjects inspires her to join a revolution. But she is afraid of the collateral damage of hurting the people she loves. Will she find the strength to make a deal with the mad scientist Cromwell to save not just her friends and family but everyone?

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/xOmzBgWfIN8

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Excerpt:

To make a smoke bomb all you need is potassium nitrate, sugar, water and a fuse. Programming holograph messaging to be ‘smoke screen projection only’ is much more difficult. It’s a digital version of invisible ink and completely security cam resistant. I pull up Yesha’s incoming call. The smoke allows her image to take shape and it almost feels like she’s in the room with me.

“I can’t believe you talked me into this, you little gomer.”

Yesha frequently begins conversations in the middle, no introduction or formal interrogation into my life. I think that’s why I like her.

“It didn’t take much to convince you.”

“Did you receive the package?”

I hold up the box addressed to me, Sierra, but I’ve removed the contents.

“Yep, right here, see.”

Yesha’s laugh is like a chorus of toads with hiccups. Her image vibrates on the smoke.

“That’s only the box, you drone bug!”

“I know.”

I hold up the syringes that had been inside the box.

“Be careful with those. Check the labels.”

I roll a syringe in my hands like Kitchen, one of our home bots, does with pretzel dough.

“One says healing serum, which I asked for. Why does the other say anti?”

“Backup. You always need an emergency abort mission option.”

“All right. Thanks!”

Yesha interrupts before I collapse the projection.

“Just be sure not to give the anti if you haven’t given the original serum.”

After she’s gone, I look at my subject.

I shouldn’t be doing this, but I find the koala’s eyes drawing me in like a poli-magno crash about to happen. It’s impossible to turn away.

The Science Olympiad team’s going to put me on probation again, which stinks since they’re the only local, human friends I have.

Following protocol gets us nowhere, however.

Mom’s going to be agitated because this isn’t the first time I’ve broken the rules.

I guide the koala out of the cage, leaving her brothers inside. I have to shake off feelings of jealousy. I don’t have any siblings.

“Why ya look so sad?”

Uplifting experiments have given us animals who speak. “Why do you look so sad, Eucarpo?”

The koala glances back at her brothers and then her eyes look up at me past her round, stub nose, and adorable ears. The sensation of an infant wrapping tiny fingers around mine envelops me. I can’t let them endure more unethical testing just so we can have the best DNA combination. I was okay with the testing when the purpose was to help those that were sick and it was beneficial to the koala species, but I can’t stomach testing these sweet things just for superficial reasons.

“Hate leaving ‘em behind.”

“They’re going after you if this works.”

“What ya mean, if?”

“Healing adaptation experiments have just begun.”

“But ya aced the test?”

“Well, yeah, but that was just practice. This is the first time I’ve used it on a living being. Don’t worry, it should all go as planned. I’m just being paranoid.”

It would be nice if I could stop blabbering when I’m nervous. Sometimes you just have to go for it and see where the cards fall. That was something my dad used to say. Before he disappeared, he used to tell me lots of things. He’s been gone almost a decade, but I might as well as have “Missing Dad” tattooed on my forehead.

“Ya paranoid?Ne’er!”

As she raises the fur above her eyes, I scratch behind her ear, and she leans into it like a bear scratching its back on a tree trunk. Her fur is soft as manufactured silk charmeuse.

“Ah yeah, right dere.”

“You sure you’re ready for this?”

“It gets us closer to freedom, so I been ready a long time.”

She takes another glance at her brothers, and I pick up the syringe with self-healing serum. I begin the sedation process as no one wants to be awake when artery lining fortifies, muscles pull with new agility, and brain tissue encases itself with a biting, thin metal sheet. Another reason I’m jealous of Eucarpo is that she responds to sedation, and I don’t.

As Eucarpo drifts into a peaceful sleep, I look out the school windows and see only the steel and glass of surrounding buildings. Their reflections mirror the sky. Today the unending blue gives the impression of being in the middle of the sea. On gray days, it’s as if I’ve been swallowed by thunderclouds. I can only imagine how green fields would look. People used to love the smell of fresh-cut grass. That was before an asteroid broke through the atmosphere damaging our ecosystem and killing all plants, causing our world to work together to save Earth and its remaining, limited vegetation. The only vegetation left is kept in guarded areas and labs.

I think I can hear the machines used to keep the atmosphere from collapsing but the sound isn’t right. Instead of a hum, I hear iron clanging. The serum glides through the syringe into Eucarpo and her breathing intensifies as the cells within her body multiply. No, that isn’t the machines. It’s locker doors slamming, followed by footsteps of someone coming down the hall. No one should be here now. They should all be at the assembly that I’m skipping. I must finish before anyone else arrives. I look at the oxygen and pulse readings, cringing with every spike. It feels like an hour passes as I look at the screens, but I know it’s only been seconds. I count breaths and clock ticks, staring at Eucarpo’s oxygen and platelet numbers rising.

“Come on, the science minds keep refreshments in here.”

I think I recognize the voice coming down the hall. Every muscle in my body wants to stiffen, but I can’t freeze now.

Luckily, the serum is fast acting and Eucarpo’s readings are settling. I inject the awakening treatment and then I throw the syringes and all remaining evidence into the incinerator. The burning and sanitizing process will turn these things into energy or something else useful. Eucarpo stirs a little when I hear the door sensor click.

As the voltball captain and visual arts queen walk in, I step in front of Eucarpo.

“Look, we found someone avoiding the assembly,” Milcah says as she nudges Danver in the ribs with her elbow.

 

About the Author:

Stephanie Hansen is a PenCraft Award Winning Author. Her novella series, Altered Helix, released 2020. Her short story, Break Time, and poetry has been featured in Mind's Eye literary magazine. The Kansas Writers Association published her short story, Existing Forces, appointing her as a noted author. She has held a deep passion for writing since early childhood, but a brush with death caused her to allow it to grow. She's part of an SCBWI critique group in Lawrence, KS and two local book clubs. She attends many writers' conferences including the Writing Day Workshops, New York Pitch, Penned Con, New Letters, All Write Now, Show Me Writers Master Class, BEA, and Nebraska Writers Guild conference as well as Book Fairs and Comic-Cons. 

She is a member of the deaf and hard of hearing community.

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Join the Live Release Day Celebration for Replaced Parts by Stephanie Hansen at 10am EST on Facebook with special guest USA Today bestselling author Scarlett Kol.  https://www.facebook.com/events/2533205153651500