Guest Post – Cami Checketts, author of THE COLONY



The Book Diva’s Reads is pleased to participate in this blog tour organized by Kathy at I Am A Reader and host a visit by Cami Checketts, author of The Colony. Ms. Checketts will be talking about an all-too important topic, “Helping Children Love to Read.” 



Helping Children Love to Read


My oldest son is addicted to reading. I started reading to him in the womb and he’s never stopped. I used to start a book with him and then he’d just take off. My second son – different story, until he was ten I read every book (except for his homework) aloud to him, but then something sparked and he is now an avid reader. My third son – struggles. I know it’ll click soon, but right now he’s in special programs at school and at the bottom of the curve. My fourth son loves listening to stories, but would rather play the iPad if given the choice.

We all know how important reading is, but how can we force (I mean encourage) our children to see the value. As those of you who have more than one child know, what worked with one will completely flop with another, so I try a lot of different techniques and sometimes one of them is effective. 


  • Read Aloud – Start reading aloud when they’re infants and don’t quit, unless they’re running away from you with fingers in their ears screaming, stop the madness. When they’re teenagers and no longer want you reading to them, maybe you could read the same novels and discuss them. 
  • Make the library and bookstore special treats. My younger boys love to ride our bikes to the library, the older boys prefer choosing an ebook to download to their iPod. They all know every holiday they’ll receive a book as a present.
  • Have books everywhere. The only room in our house that isn’t loaded with books is the kitchen and that’s only because we try not to ruin our books and because we need to actually talk to our oldest once in a while without his eyes glued to a book.
  • Be a good example. My husband isn’t a reader, but I remind him often to have the boys see him reading the newspaper or his scriptures or pretending to read one of my books (the romance is a bit hard on the tough guy). If your children see you finding joy from reading, they will usually want to explore that themselves.
  • Read age-appropriate books. I think this is one of the mistakes I made with my second son. My oldest and I were having so much fun with chapter books that I would read my second son’s books quickly and then settle down to read for hours with my oldest. My second guy would usually stay with us during story time, but I’m not sure he got much out of it. If you can, try to set aside a time to read to each child on their level. It’s also okay to read a bit above their level, but plan on explaining words or situations they don’t understand. When we read The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas it took us months, but my son still enjoyed it. We also enjoy reading below their level sometimes. Every one of my boys still laughs at Junie B. Jones, even if they won’t admit it.
  • Read what they want (most of the time) – I try to let my boys pick out their own books, but I also pick out one I want to read to them. They have to give my book forty pages. If they hate it, we quit. And sometimes I have to grit my teeth through their books (have you read Captain Underpants?), but that’s part of being a mom.
  • Keep it fun – I always ask the librarian or bookstore employee for humorous kids’ books. We also come back to some of our favorite funny series over and over again. The Fudge Series by Judy Blume and Chickens in the Headlights by Matthew Buckley make us laugh no matter how many times we read them. I would love to hear about your favorite children’s series, funny or not.


I am definitely not an expert on this subject, but with four boys I keep trying different things. Reading is such an essential part of development and success in school and beyond, I hope each of us can find the best way to instill a love of reading in each of our children. Please share what works for you and your family.


About the author:

Cami Checketts is married and the proud mother of four future WWF champions. Sometimes between being a human horse, cleaning up magic potions, and reading Berenstain Bears, she gets the chance to write fiction.

Cami graduated from Utah State University with a degree in Exercise Science. Cami teaches strength training classes at her local rec and shares healthy living tips on her fitness blog

Cami and her family live in the beautiful Cache Valley of Northern Utah. During the two months of the year it isn’t snowing, she enjoys swimming, biking, running, and water-skiing.


Connect with the author:     Website     |     Twitter     |     Facebook

Book Blast: THE COLONY by Cami Checketts



The Colony by Cami Checketts


To protect her sons from the mistakes of her past, Brinlee Trapper escapes to a secluded mountain home. But there are dangers lurking in the mountains she has never encountered. The little family is saved from injury by Jed, a mysterious hunter. Brinlee is drawn to him, but she worries about his involvement with a peaceful commune hidden deep in the mountains behind her property.

Lance, Brinlee’s attentive neighbor, has his own troubled history. Between his obvious attraction to Brinlee and his developing love for her children, Brinlee finds it more than difficult to guard her heart against this tender intrusion.

While Jed offers a life of excitement and freedom, Lance holds the key to the family Brinlee always wanted. When it comes time to choose, she learns that both men have secrets that could shatter her fledgling trust in men and the wrong decision could leave more than her heart exposed to danger.

Praise

“Cami Checketts is a genius! She writes about topics that aren’t widely discussed, in and out of books, and she does such a brilliant job of crafting these things into wonderful stories that touch your heart and remain with you for days afterwards.”  ~Myra, Reviewer, Pieces of Whimsy



Grab your copy for just $2.99!










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Download a FREE copy of The Broken Path by Cami Checketts!


From January 7th to 11th The Broken Path is available for FREE on Amazon


Author Cami Checketts


Cami Checketts is married and the proud mother of four future WWF champions. Sometimes between being a human horse, cleaning up magic potions, and reading Berenstein Bears, she gets the chance to write fiction.

Cami graduated from Utah State University with a degree in Exercise Science. Cami teaches strength training classes at her local rec and shares healthy living tips on her fitness blog: http://fitnessformom.blogspot.com/

Cami and her family live in the beautiful Cache Valley of Northern Utah. During the two months of the year it isn’t snowing, she enjoys swimming, biking, running, and water-skiing.

Connect with the author: Website    |     Twitter      |     Facebook     |     Fitness Blog


BookBlast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 1/31/14

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, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Book 106: SWEET MERCY Review


Sweet Mercy by Ann Tatlock
ISBN:  9780764210464 (paperback)
ISBN:  9781441261496 (ebook)
ASIN:  B00B85M16C (Kindle edition)
Publication date: May 1, 2013
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

When Eve Marryat’s father is laid off from the Ford Motor Company in 1931, he is forced to support his family by leaving St. Paul, Minnesota, and moving back to his Ohio roots. Eve’s uncle Cyrus has invited the family to live and work at his Marryat Island Ballroom and Lodge.

St. Paul seemed like a haven for gangsters, and Eve had grown fearful of living there. At seventeen, she considers her family to be “good people.” They aren’t lawbreakers and criminals like so many people in her old neighborhood. Thrilled to be moving to a “safe haven,” Eve is blissfully unaware that her uncle’s lodge is a transfer station for illegal liquor smuggled from Canada.

Eve settles in to work and makes new friends, including an enigmatic but affecting young man. But when the reality of her situation finally becomes clear, Eve is faced with a dilemma. How can she ignore what is happening right under their very noses? Yet can she risk everything by condemning the man whose love and generosity is keeping her and her family from ruin?


Eve Marryat is a young woman with fervent beliefs. She lives her life in black and white and has tremendous problems accepting that the world has lots of grey areas. She strongly believes that prohibition is good for everyone, criminals are always evil, and that all wrongs must be punished. After witnessing a gang-related shooting on the streets of St. Paul, Minnesota and her father’s job loss, Eve and her parents move to Mercy, Ohio. Eve’s father has been given a job working with his older brother at the Marryat Island Ballroom and Lodge. Eve and her mother are also given tasks to help in the operation of the lodge. Eve presumes that Mercy, Ohio is a long away from the societal ills she experienced in Minnesota and begins to enjoy her life at the lodge. She has a boyfriend for the first time in her life and is surrounded by family and new friends in an idyllic setting. Regrettably reality intrudes on Eve’s rosy world and she must ultimately decide if she can accept the shades of grey within the lives of her loved ones or destroy her family’s refuge.

Ms. Tatlock paints a vivid picture of rural life during the Depression era. She doesn’t sugarcoat the unpleasantness but rather presents it as is without prejudice. Eve may be a typical teenage girl in the 1930s but she seems to lack guile and have a certain naïveté about life and the real world. She has judged the gangsters in Minnesota and deemed them corrupt and evil. She has judged her older sister’s behavior and found it lacking in morality. Now she is faced with judging those she has become very close to, namely her uncle Cy. It is in small town Mercy, Ohio that Eve learns not to be so quick to judge and accept people for what they are, warts and all. Sweet Mercy is a coming of age story where the main character, Eve Marryat, learns acceptance without prejudice and the true meaning of mercy. I found Sweet Mercy to be an engrossing and fast read (my only interruptions were caused by severe migraine headaches). The characters are all easy to relate to and realistic. The setting of the lodge and Mercy, Ohio makes for an ideal backdrop for Eve’s story. If you enjoy reading uplifting historical fiction, then add Sweet Mercy to your reading list.

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher via NetGalley and Book Blasts & Blog Tours. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway – SWEET MERCY by Ann Tatlock



Sweet Mercy by Ann Tatlock
ISBN:  9780764210464 (paperback)
ISBN:  9781441261496 (ebook)
ASIN:  B00B85M16C (Kindle edition)
Publication date: May 1, 2013
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers


When Eve Marryat’s father is laid off from the Ford Motor Company in 1931, he is forced to support his family by leaving St. Paul, Minnesota, and moving back to his Ohio roots. Eve’s uncle Cyrus has invited the family to live and work at his Marryat Island Ballroom and Lodge.

St. Paul seemed like a haven for gangsters, and Eve had grown fearful of living there. At seventeen, she considers her family to be “good people.” They aren’t lawbreakers and criminals like so many people in her old neighborhood. Thrilled to be moving to a “safe haven,” Eve is blissfully unaware that her uncle’s lodge is a transfer station for illegal liquor smuggled from Canada.

Eve settles in to work and makes new friends, including an enigmatic but affecting young man. But when the reality of her situation finally becomes clear, Eve is faced with a dilemma. How can she ignore what is happening right under their very noses? Yet can she risk everything by condemning the man whose love and generosity is keeping her and her family from ruin?



The Book Diva’s Reads is pleased to host a guest post by author Ann Tatlock and provide an excerpt from Sweet Mercy.


Meet the Cast of Sweet Mercy 
by Ann Tatlock

Eve Marryat, our narrator, is a likeable 17-year-old girl who really only has one major flaw: she’s a bit smug. She’ll tell you so herself, though she’s much older than 17 when she’s willing to admit to it. She’s a loyal and loving daughter to her parents, Drew and Rose Marryat, though she’s rather critical of sister Cassandra, who was drawn to the life of speakeasies, hip flasks and illicit love affairs that catapulted her into marriage and motherhood sooner than she had hoped.

Drew is laid off from the Ford Plant in Minnesota and the family is invited by Cyrus Marryat, Drew’s brother, to return to Ohio and help him run the Marryat Island Ballroom and Lodge. Eve is happy to leave crime-ridden St. Paul (and sister Cassandra) behind to go live in idyllic Mercy, Ohio. Uncle Cy seems like a hero to Eve, but there’s more to him than meets the proverbial eye.

In Mercy, Eve befriends Marlene Quimby, who introduces Eve to her first love, Marcus Wiant. Marcus is the son of the sheriff and works with Marlene’s boyfriend, Jimmy Fludd, at the gas station across from the lodge.

Two more young men enter Eve’s life, the first being her step-cousin Jones, a reclusive albino who lives and works at the lodge. The second is a fellow she knows only by the name of Link, a drifter who lives at the shantytown up the river and comes by the lodge occasionally for a hot meal and a cold drink.

In spite of Eve’s best hopes, the island is not so idyllic, the lodge is full of secrets, and no one is quite what Eve thinks they are, including Eve herself. The summer of 1931 is a season of discovery for Eve, and a time when she comes to know the meaning of sweet mercy. 




Excerpt

From Chapter 1:

 “Well, that’s easy,” I said. “It’s easy to love Uncle Cy.” After all, he was my ticket out. He was my ticket to a new life. We were leaving the city of sin behind. No more bootleggers, brothel-keepers, gangsters, corrupt lawmen, kidnappers, or murderers. We were on our way to Marryat Island Ballroom and Lodge in Mercy, Ohio, on the Little Miami River. We were on our way to the Promised Land.

Daddy gave me one more glance in the rearview mirror before settling his eyes on the road for the long haul ahead. Mother wiped at tears one last time before resignedly stuffing her handkerchief back into her pocketbook. She turned her face to the window, her features delicate and gentle in profile, her soft brown hair pulled into its usual knot at the back of her head.

I too settled back for the ride. As the newly awakened Minnesota landscape rolled by, I noticed the morning edition of the St. Paul Pioneer Press on the seat beside me. Clear of the city limits and facing the long stretch of open road toward Wisconsin, I picked up the paper to pass the time. When I saw an advertisement on page six for Wilson Tailors, I shook my head and clicked my tongue softly. Even the tailors were making money from the fallout of St. Paul’s sleazy underworld. In bold type the proprietor, Mr. Edmund Wilson, boasted: “Bullet holes rewoven perfectly in damaged clothes.”





Ann Tatlock


Ann Tatlock is the author of the Christy-Award winning novel Promises to Keep. She has also won the Midwest Independent Publishers Association “Book of the Year” in fiction for both All the Way Home and I’ll Watch the Moon. Her novel Things We Once Held Dear received a starred review from Library Journal and Publishers Weekly calls her “one of Christian fiction’s better wordsmiths, and her lovely prose reminds readers why it is a joy to savor her stories.” Ann lives with her husband and daughter in Asheville, North Carolina.




Tour Giveaway



1 winner will receive a copy of 3 of Ann’s Books

Sweet Mercy, Travelers Rest and Promises to Keep

Open to US & Canada Only

Ends 5/21/13

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Kindle Fire Giveaway – March 2013

March AUTHOR’S Kindle Fire Giveaway

Kindle Fire HD Giveaway!


The winner will have the option of receiving a 7″ Kindle Fire HD (US Only)


Or $199 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)


Or $199 in Paypal Cash (International)

Sponsoring Authors

The Stone Guardian by Theresa McClinton

Blood Oath (Gabby Girls Adventure, #2)Return of the Dragon Riders: Book Two of the Dragon Stone Saga (Dragon Stone Saga, #2)Hidden HeartA Tale of the Other Kind (Therian, #1)AuraPrison NationFamily Magic (Hayle Coven, #1)The Conduit (Gryphon, #1)Shifting PrideFire Within (Guardian Witch #2)Fall of Sky CityReflectionThe Light of Asteria: Kailmeyra's Last Hope (Kailmeyra, #1)Kiss Me, I'm Irish (Time For Love #1)Grace DollThe Stone GuardianLegend UnleashedInnovera Yakov: The Journey of A Thousand EyesThe GiftedFor What It's WorthForbidden Temptation of a VampireOwlet (Society of Feathers, #1)Cascade Brides: The Complete SeriesTwenty-Five Years Ago TodayAlexander Drake's Extraordinary Pursuit 

Giveaway Details

1 winner will receive their choice of a Kindle Fire HD (US Only), $199 Amazon Gift Card or $199 in Paypal Cash (International).
Ends: 3/31/13

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, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Book Excerpt: RED MADRASSA




Red Madrassa (Algardis #1) by Terah Edun
ISBN:  9781479301072 (paperback)
ASIN:   B00A4152SA (Kindle Edition)
Publication Date:  November 8, 2012



A magical accident threw them together. But when Fate holds all the cards, it can be impossible to tell the difference between pure chance and Destiny… 

The Madrassa, a magical school for mage practitioners, is the stuff of legend. With selective entrance exams and quotas for only the most advanced of mage children, it’s almost impossible to attend. 

When Allorna, a guardian trainee for the royal family, ends up on the doorstep of the citadel on the eve of the final day of a recruitment ceremony, she decides it must be fate.

She was sure she knew the path her life would take before she enrolled. But sometimes life has a way of throwing in magical curveballs and strange friends, just to see if you’ll trip up. 

Oh, and one of those friends is a mage accused of murder, another is a slightly psychotic dragon, the third a healer facing an existential crisis, and the last is a female storm-caller with more hidden secrets than a thief lord.

Do they all belong at the new school they call home?



Book Excerpt:

At the bottom of a pile of books, they discovered Vedaris. Flames licked at the frayed carpeting on the floor near his still form. 

Allorna focused on the flame, urging it to behave and remove itself from the carpet. It jumped from the floor to the palm of her hand, where she carefully doused it. By then, a Library Apprentice and Research Initiate had rounded the corner. The Initiate looked from Vedaris to Allorna, and then to Maride off to the side. “How d-d-dare you!” he sputtered, “This is a place of l-learning, not a child’s playground!”

“Sorry,” Vedaris muttered, sitting up. “It…I don’t know what happened.”

“You don’t know what happened?” said the Initiate scornfully. “Are you not a dragon? Do you think that you can just set fire to anything you please?”

“That isn’t what happened!” protested Vedaris. “I wasn’t lighting!” “Hmph. You are hereby forbidden from re-entering these hallowed halls,” the Initiate sniffed. 

“But it was an accident!” shouted Vedaris.

The Initiate looked ready to breathe fire himself, and with that Allorna and Maride decided it would be best to leave. They each grabbed an arm and dragged Vedaris out of the hallowed halls. As they left the building, Maride leaned close and asked, “What was that about?”

Vedaris, rumpled and disquieted, growled, “None of your business.”

“You made it our business whether you like it or not, Master Saracen,” replied Allorna, using the polite title for his kind as she blocked his path. She felt like using something less diplomatic, but restrained herself. “I felt magic from whatever that was. And we might not be friends, but uncontrolled magic isn’t good for anyone, Vedoris.”

“Vedaris,” he corrected. He looked at them for a long moment, then admitted, “I was reading a book. I was looking for a primer on basic magic. When I sat down, I saw that some snot had left another book open on the table. It was on something called Innate magic. The book said that if I want to use magic, I had to use my feelings as fuel, trusting my instincts.” He sighed deeply. “The next thing I knew, the table blew up in my face and I was under a pile of books.”

Maride whistled. “Wow, that’s tough. Innate magic isn’t something to play around with. It’s not necessarily what you think it’s going to be.”

Vedaris turned to him with a frown. “And what’s that supposed to mean?”

“Just something my uncle mentioned when I was a kid. He once met a waterwalker with Innate magic. You know what his power was? Calling lightning. Try handling that when you live in water. He accidentally killed his entire family one night during a big storm.” 

Vedaris shuddered involuntarily, and hoped the others didn’t notice.



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Book Blast: THE UGLY STEPSISTER STRIKES BACK





The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back by Sariah Wilson 

Everyone knows how all those fairy tales go. The princess gets beautiful, nabs her prince, falls instantly in love, lives happily ever after and leaves her evil stepsisters in the dust.

But what happens when you’re the ugly stepsister and your obnoxiously perfect—read pretty, smart, and, worst of all, sickeningly nice—stepsister is dating the charming, tall, devastatingly handsome guy you’ve had a thing for since you were nine years old?

Quirky, artistic and snarky Mattie Lowe does not lead a charmed life. Her mother is constantly belittling her on Skype. Mercedes, the school mean girl, has made it her personal mission to torment Mattie. But worst of all? Her stepsister Ella is the most beautiful, popular girl in school and is dating Mattie’s secret longtime crush, Jake Kingston.

Tired of being left out and done with waiting for her own stupid fairy godmother to show up, Mattie decides to change her life. She’ll start by running for senior class president against wildly popular Jake.


Ella can keep her Prince Annoying. Mattie’s going to rule the school.

And no one, not even a cute and suddenly flirty Jake, is going to stop her.






Purchase


Amazon Kindle


Praise

“My top pick of 2012 YA… This book is just. plain. fun.”


~Jordan McCollum, author of Saints & Spies and I, Spy



“Sariah Wilson’s new book, The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back, is hilarious…What follows is a story of fun and romance with some good non-preachy life lessons thrown in.  The voice in the main character, Mattie, makes the whole thing.  I thought it was definitely a book I’d recommend to anyone with teenagers or who just want to read a good teen romance.”



~Julie Coulter Bellon, author of All Fall Down and All’s Fair



“Sariah [Wilson] has written one of the funniest stories I’ve read in such a long, long time. I literally couldn’t put it down. Yes, my poor Kindle’s battery died and I was attached to a short power cord, contorted in a very uncomfortable position while I read to the end…. Sariah Wilson captured the back-biting, insecure, hormone-driven, clique-riddled high school atmosphere so perfectly you’d think she never grew up. I dare you not to laugh as you read this witty and oh, so, romantic story.”



~Debra Erfert of Windows into Writing



“Sariah Wilson writes like the best of/most popular YA teen fiction/teen romance authors – Sarah Dessen, Jennifer Echols, Susanne Collins, Cassandra Clare.  She sucks you in and never lets you go.  I finished the ~194 novel in one night because I just couldn’t go to sleep without knowing the ending!  I hope that Sariah comes out with more novels, I know I’ll be re-reading this one all the time!  She’s extremely talented and needs to be talked about.  I highly recommend The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back! to anyone (over the age of 12) who wants a YA novel that’s a real modern-day fairy tale.”


~Hilary at Novel d’Tales



“This was such an entertaining story! I shouldn’t have started reading it so late in the evening, because I didn’t want to put it down to go to sleep…This is a book I can see myself reading several times. It’s a fast, clean read with great characters, and I highly recommend it.”



~Andrea of Literary Time Out



The book is wonderful.  It’s quirky and fun.  The story makes you laugh and you fall in love with the characters right from the beginning…This is a well-written book.  It is one that will make you smile and sigh as you remember your first love.  And it has a moral…be yourself, believe in yourself and maybe, just maybe, your fairytale will come true.  Pick up this book.”


~Ana of The Book Hookup







Author Sariah Wilson

Sariah Wilson has never jumped out of an airplane, never climbed Mt. Everest, and is not a former CIA operative. She has, however, been madly, passionately in love with her soulmate and is a fervent believer in happily ever afters—which is why she writes romance. The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back is her fourth happily ever after novel. She grew up in southern California, graduated from Brigham Young University (go Cougars!) with a semi-useless degree in history, and is the oldest of nine (yes, nine) children. She currently lives with the aforementioned soulmate and their four children in Utah, along with three tiger barb fish, a cat named Tiger, and a recently departed hamster that is buried in the backyard (and has nothing at all to do with tigers).



Website * Twitter * Facebook




Tour Schedule








Book Blast Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 3/5/13

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, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.



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Book Blast: RED MADRASSA by Terah Edun



Red Madrassa by Terah Edun


A magical accident threw them together. But when Fate holds all the cards, it can be impossible to tell the difference between pure chance and Destiny…

The Madrassa, a magical school for mage practitioners, is the stuff of legend. With selective entrance exams and quotas for only the most advanced of mage children, it’s almost impossible to attend.

When Allorna, a guardian trainee for the royal family, ends up on the doorstep of the citadel on the eve of the final day of a recruitment ceremony, she decides it must be fate.

She was sure she knew the path her life would take before she enrolled. But sometimes life has a way of throwing in magical curveballs and strange friends, just to see if you’ll trip up.

Oh, and one of those friends is a mage accused of murder, another is a slightly psychotic dragon, the third a healer facing an existential crisis, and the last is a female storm-caller with more hidden secrets than a thief lord.


Do they all belong at the new school they call home?



Amazon * Amazon Kindle




Author Terah Edun


Terah Edun is a young adult  fantasy writer born and raised in the Atlanta metropolitan area, who transplanted to the Northeast region for college, and now lives in South Sudan. She writes the stories that she always loved to read as a young girl.

She prefers tales of adventure, magic, fellowship and courtship – in other words high fantasy. But she’s not adverse to the occasional contemporary fantasy coming her way. Sometimes you’ll see cloaks, daggers, independent and strong girls, independent and strong guys, sweet and soft spoken girls, sweet and soft spoken guys, markets, cute guys, sparkly magic and irritatingly know-it-all boys. The book she’s currently working on is SWORN TO RAISE,  the first in the Courtlight series.

Outside of writing, she’s a international development professional with a penchant for Starbucks.






WebsiteGoodreads * Facebook




Tour Schedule






Book Blast Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 2/28/13

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, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.




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Author Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s Favorite Authors



The Book Diva’s Reads recently asked author Anne Elisabeth Stengl to name ten authors she admires and why. Here’s the result:

  1. C.S. Lewis — because he blends fantasy and faith so beautifully it takes my breath away.
  2. Sir Terry Pratchett — because he can make me laugh out loud and cry within a few pages.
  3. Diana Wynne Jones — because if I’m having a bad day, one her books can always cheer me up.
  4. George MacDonald — because for sheer beauty and charm, you can’t beat one of his fairy tales.
  5. Megan Whalen Turner — because . . . I have no words. Her work is just amazing, and her characters are unforgettable! But I can’t quite explain her, so you’d better read her for yourself.
  6. Robin McKinley — because no one retells fairy tales with such grace and adventure.
  7. Jasper Fforde — because no one writes like this man. Ever.  Period. TRULY unique!
  8. Susanna Clarke — because she discovered England’s true mythology . . . and made me believe it.
  9. Peter S. Beagle — because he finds the profound in the absurd and the absurd in the profound.
  10. Tolkien — because he gave us hobbits, noble elves, and Middle Earth.




About the author:

Anne Elisabeth Stengl makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Rohan, a passel of cats, and one long-suffering dog. When she’s not writing, she enjoys Shakespeare, opera, and tea, and studies piano, painting, and pastry baking. She studied illustration at Grace College and English literature at Campbell University. She is the author of Heartless, Veiled Rose, Moonblood, and Starflower. Heartless and Veiled Rose have each been honored with a Christy Award. 




About the book:

Starflower by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
ISBN: 9780764210266 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781441260475 (ebook)
ASIN:  B008B9HQ6I (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date:  November 1, 2012

The Black Dogs Are on the Hunt, But Who Is Their Prey?

When a cursed dragon-witch kidnaps fairest Lady Gleamdren, the Bard Eanrin sets boldly forth on a rescue mission… and a race against his rival for Gleamdren’s favor. Intent upon his quest, the last thing the immortal Faerie needs is to become mixed up with the troubles of an insignificant mortal.

But when he stumbles upon a maiden trapped in an enchanted sleep, he cannot leave her alone in the dangerous Wood Between. One waking kiss later, Eanrin suddenly finds his story entangled with that of young Starflower. A strange link exists between this mortal girl and the dragon-witch. Will Starflower prove the key to Lady Gleamdren’s rescue? Or will the dark power from which she flees destroy both her and her rescuer?

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Book Excerpt: HEART OF THE OCEAN

Heart of the Ocean by Heather B. Moore
ASIN: B00AVMIK8Q (Kindle ebook)
Publication date: January 2, 2013
Publisher: Mirror Press, LLC

A dark secret . . . a grieving ghost . . . a handsome stranger . . . What more could Eliza Robinson want?

Except for maybe her life.

In Heather B. Moore’s enthralling 1840’s historical romance, Heart of the Ocean, Eliza Robinson has turned down the very pretentious Mr. Thomas Beesley’s marriage proposal. As a business partner of Eliza’s father, Thomas quickly discredits the family and brings disgrace to the Robinson name.

While her father scrambles to restore his good name in New York City, Eliza flees to the remote Puritan town of Maybrook to stay with her Aunt Maeve. Although relieved to be away from all-things-male and unforgiving gossip columns, odd things start to happen to Eliza, and she is plagued by a ghostly voice. Her aunt’s explanation? That Eliza is being haunted by a woman who died of a broken heart twenty years ago.

After Aunt Maeve is tragically killed, Eliza’s life is put in danger as she tries to uncover the mystery of her aunt’s death. She encounters Jonathan Porter in Maybrook, whose presence in the town seems suspicious, yet she finds herself drawn to him. When she discovers that Jonathan’s dark secrets may be the link between the dead woman who haunts her and her aunt’s murderer, Eliza realizes that Jonathan is the one man she should never trust.

Excerpt:

Eliza and Jon are thrown into jail after the death of Maeve

Eliza stared through the dark iron bars. The cold cellar was damp, with water dripping from the ceiling in a rhythmic fashion. This crude jail is no place for a woman, she imagined her father saying. She pulled the cloak given to her by Ruth around her shoulders. Shivering, she thought of how last night she was snuggled in her warm bed; tonight she was surrounded by concrete walls.

A low curse from the next cell reached her ears. It had to be Jonny. When she arrived at the jail, she’d been led past his barred cell, feeling his eyes watching her. The constable already arrested Jonny before going to Ruth’s place.

Eliza let out a breath, gathering her courage. “Are you all right?” she called.

Silence greeted her.

She tried again. Maybe he hadn’t heard. “Are you ill?”

“I’m in jail,” he said with a scoff. His deep voice seemed to fill the small space with an echo.

Eliza bit her lip. It was her fault he was here. “I’m sorry.”

He spoke again. “Did you kill her?”

She drew a breath in sharply. “No.” How could he accuse her? Because she lived with her aunt? How did he arrive so fast at the cottage—how had he known to come? Suspicion knotted inside her. “Why were you riding by the cottage in such a storm?”