Monday, 22 August 2016

Five Truths and Three Lies: Shadow Eyes Re-Release Blog Tour and $50 Amazon Card Giveaway...


Thank you for hosting me! It’s been a long time coming, but I’m so thrilled to finally be re-releasing my young adult, urban fantasy, Shadow Eyes! It was first released in 2012 by Musa Publishing. Musa closed in 2015, and since Shadow Eyes was my first novel, I took the opportunity to revise and change a few minor things before self-publishing it this time. I am very happy with this second edition and I hope you will love it too!

(Everyone, don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win a print copy of Shadow Eyes and a $50 gift card to Amazon!)

Let’s check out the synopsis for Shadow Eyes first…

Iris thought she could ignore the shadows…until they came after everyone she loved.

Seventeen-year- old Iris Kohl has been able to see both dark and light figures ever since a tragic incident three years ago. The problem is, no one else seems to see them, and even worse…the dark figures terrorize humans, but Iris is powerless to stop them. 

Although she’s learned to deal with watching shadows harass everyone around her, Iris is soon forced to question everything she thinks she knows about her world and herself. Her sanity, strength, and will power are tested to the limits by not only the shadows, but also a handsome new teacher whose presence scares away shadows, a new friend with an awe-inspiriting aura, and a mysterious, alluring new student whom Iris has a hard time resisting despite already having a boyfriend. As the shadows invade and terrorize her own life and family, Iris must ultimately accept the guidance of an angel to revisit the most horrific event of her life and become the hero she was meant to be.

Five Truths and Three Lies

Okay, I know the original game is called 2 Truths and a Lie, but I’m going to bend the rules a little and do 5 Truths and 3 Lies. That just sounds more invasive and, therefore, more fun.

I’ll tell you which ones of mine are lies and explain the truths tomorrow in a comment (so check in tomorrow or subscribe to this post), but for Iris…you’ll just have to read the book. Cruel, I know.  

Feel free to put your vote in as to which ones you think are lies or not!

First, the author:
(5 Truths and 3 Lies)

  1. I accidentally stabbed my sister in her toe as a child.
  2. I have witnessed buffalo stampede outside my RV.
  3. I have a tattoo.
  4. I have the highest rank on Dance Central.
  5. I have been to Europe.
  6. My husband has had multiple kidney stones.
  7. I have been bungee jumping.
  8. I dressed up as Katniss for the Hunger Games premier.

Now, the main character, Iris:
(5 Truths and 3 Lies)

  1. I have a phobia of mirrors.
  2. I witnessed someone cheating on someone else.
  3. I had to be hospitalized with an unknown illness.
  4. I have an obsession with penguins.
  5. I almost crashed my car into another on an icy road.
  6. My mom has been married 3 times.
  7. I fell while ice-skating on a first date.
  8. I have a reoccurring nightmare.

Author Bio

Dusty Crabtree loves a good story, but she also loves young people. These two loves are evident in all parts of her life. She has been a high school English teacher since 2006 and a creative writing teacher since 2014. She's also been a youth sponsor at her local church for as long as she’s been teaching. She feels very blessed with the amazing opportunities she has to develop meaningful relationships with teens on a daily basis. With her love of reading in the mix, becoming an author of young adult books was just a natural development of those two passions in her life. She lives with her husband, Clayton, in Yukon, Oklahoma, where they often serve their community as foster parents.

Check out Dusty’s blog at http://dustycrabtree.wordpress.com/
Follow her on twitter at https://twitter.com/dustycrabtree
Follow her on Instagram – dustycrabtree12

Buy Shadow Eyes on Amazon or any major online bookstores like Barnes&Noble and Apple (print will also be available on Amazon by the release date – 9/2/16)



***To see other posts on this tour and to increase your chances of winning, visit Dusty’s blog for the schedule with links as they are posted:

https://dustycrabtree.wordpress.com/2016/08/21/shadow-eyes-re-release-blog-tour-and-amazon-giveaway/

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Cover Reveal: The Secret in Mossy Swamp by Rita Monette...

Nikki Landry is at it again! She's found the truth behind The Legend of Ghost Dog Island, foiled The Curse at Pirate's Cove and now, in this third installment, launching September 17th, 2016, she's going to find The Secret in Mossy Swamp. 

Rita Monette is both author and illustrator of this middle grade series about legends in the Louisiana bayou. Having lived there herself as a young girl, she captures the voice of 10-year old Nikki Landry perfectly and takes you to a world of swampy bayous, houseboats, and mysterious legends. This time, Nikki is going head to head with the legend of the dreaded Rougarou.

It's going to be an awesome adventure, but you don't need to take my word for it. Here's the cover and blurb:

   SMScoverlayoutcropped

The Secret in Mossy Swamp by Rita Monette

Things are never what they seem... in a foggy Louisiana swamp

Living in a tiny houseboat, Nikki is stuck with sharing a room with her little brother, Jesse, who does what little brothers do best…torture their sisters. Fed up, she decides to build a place of her own…a tree house where no boys are allowed. Meanwhile, something strange is happening on Bayou Platte. Things and people are coming up missing…and little stick dolls covered in moss, known locally as “signs” from the legendary Rougarou, are showing up in their place.

Is the Rougarou really to blame? Can Nikki get to the bottom of the mystery before things get worse? Find out in this third installment of the Nikki Landry Swamp Legends Series!

This Middle Grade Adventure is expected to launch September 17th, 2016! 

You can also pre-order this book in Mirror World Publishing's store:

http://www.mirror-world-publishing.myshopify.com

Monday, 15 August 2016

YA Book Release: Pirate Summer by HL Carpenter...

The creative genius of HL Carpenter shines in their latest book. Pirate Summer is the story of a sister and brother who discover the importance of each other and the consequences of lying. Enter the handsome privateer who steals Josey’s heart and commandeers her on the adventure of her life and you now have the perfect summer read for all ages.

Fifteen year old Josey is a liar. She’d like to stop. But after Mom left, the lies started popping out, like the time Josey left her little brother at the library and told Dad he’d run away.

Then Josey meets a boy who tells bigger whoppers than she does. He says he’s the son of a privateer who’s been dead two centuries. He’s so convincing Josey’s brother believes every word and sets off to find the privateer’s hidden treasure.

When her brother disappears, Josey is sure she knows where he's gone. But everyone thinks she's lying again. Everyone, that is, except the so-called privateer’s son. He knows she’s telling the truth because jeweled riches are only part of his tale. There’s also the snooperscope, a device that makes time leaps possible, like the one that brought him to the present.

The story is fantastical...and yet Josey will do anything to save her brother, including traveling back in time two hundred years with a boy she can’t trust.
EXCERPT

The basic tale hadn’t changed since the first time I’d heard it, though Gran had added a few embellishments. I wondered who she’d been practicing on, then remembered she was on call as a substitute teacher for the Sea Cove school system. Thanks to her, generations of Sea Cove residents knew the legend of Alastair Morgan, a pirate who’d haunted the Florida coast during the early 1800s. Andy jiggled on the seat. He had a vivid imagination, a by-product of his oversize I.Q., and he was caught up in the midst of the hurricane Gran was describing. The huge storm had blown the Morgan pirate ship off course and into Sea Cove.

“Alastair Morgan was familiar with Sea Cove,” Gran said. “He sought refuge in the harbor. When the skies lightened, the rain slowed. He rowed to shore with his son, some of his crew and seven trunks of gold and jewels. They had buried the treasure and were rowing back to their ship when the storm started again.”

“Didn’t he realize the calm was only the eye of the hurricane?” Andy asked.

“Good question, and no, he didn’t. He was surprised when the winds and rain picked up, only from the opposite direction.” 

“Silly of him. He should have known. Being a sailor and all.”

Gran met my gaze over Andy’s head. Her lips twitched.

I grinned, forgetting for a moment how annoyed I was. By the time I remembered, Gran had looked away, out the front windshield.

She gasped. “Brake, Josey!”

I jerked my head around. I’d only been distracted for a second—exactly enough time for the truck to drift to the right side of the road. A skinny teenage boy walked there, his back to us.

“We’re going to hit him!” Andy shouted.

I leaned on the horn, smashed the brake, and yanked the wheel to the left. The tires screeched. The seatbelt dug into my hips. Andy shouted again as an invisible force shoved him back, then forward. Gran shot out her arm to hold him in place.

In front of us, the boy whirled. He yelled and raised his palms toward us as if he could ward off the truck with his bare hands. At the last moment, he flung himself onto the dirty sand beyond the edge of the black pavement.

I lost sight of him as the pickup jolted to a shuddering, shaking stop, sideways across the highway.

 Amazon Buy Link

Florida-based mother/daughter author duo HL Carpenter write sweet, clean fiction that is suitable for everyone in your family. The Carpenters write from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, they enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit their website to enjoy gift reads and excerpts and to find out what’s happening in Carpenter Country.

Stay connected on Pinterest, Linkedin, Google+, and their Amazon Author Page.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Book Review: The Curse At Pirate’s Cove by Rita Monette…


Rita Monette has done it again with her middle grade adventure Nikki Landry Swamp Legend series! In her second instalment, The Curse At Pirate’s Cove, Monette weaves a very different tale where Nikki and her friends get into a heap of trouble via time traveling. Now that’s a genre right up my alley!

The author also includes a glossary of Cajun words at the beginning of her novel, as well as sources for further research in the “author’s notes” section at the end of her book. Monette certainly bridges the past with the present in her latest swamp romp! So what’s my take on a story set in a place that can conjure up some pretty scary images? This is what I posted on Amazon and Goodreads…

Rita Monette’s latest romp in the swamp is a 4 Star Winner!

Be careful what you wish for—it might come true! Rita Monette’s first book, The Legend of Ghost Dog Island in her Nikki Landry Swamp Legend series may have transported us back to Louisiana, circa 1956, and into Nikki Landry’s world, but Monette’s sequel The Curse At Pirate’s Cove took it to the next level of adventure by taking us time traveling in the Louisiana bayous. A carefully-crafted story about friendship, the power of belief, and finding the truth, Monette continues to serve up her unique brand of literary gumbo with a flavor of down-home Cajun dialogue, and wonderful illustrations. In this story, 11-year-old, Nikki makes a wish which starts a chain reaction that sends her, her friends, and her dog Snooper into Louisiana’s past to deal with a curse, a lost treasure, and a nasty crew of pirates. Hold onto your hat, matey, it’s gonna be a bumpy Cajun ride!

The Curse At Pirates Cove would be a great addition in any classroom setting to learn and study about the history of Louisiana, and what it was like for the Cajun people during the middle of the 20th century. My stomach is already grumbling for Ms. Monette’s next Nikki Landry Swamp Legend installment due out September 17th, 2016, through Mirror World Publishing.

Tagline and Blurb:

“When one man’s treasure is another man’s curse"

Nikki Landry is turning eleven years old, and is looking forward to riding her bike to school. That is until it falls apart. Papa can’t afford a new one. Is she doomed to ride the smelly old school bus from now on?

Hearing of an old pirate ship, and a legend about long-ago pirates burying treasure on a nearby swamp island, Nikki sees a way out. But when she makes a birthday wish for the pirate’s gold, things go terribly wrong. Did her wish trigger an ancient curse?

Join Nikki and her friends as they find themselves sailing away aboard a haunted schooner with ghostly pirates into the Gulf of Mexico … and into the year eighteen fourteen.

How will they ever find their way back home?


Meet the Author:

Rita Monette was born and raised in Southwest Louisiana. She loves to write stories set in the
beautiful, yet mysterious, bayous and swamps of her home state.

Her middle grade series, The Nikki Landry Swamp Legends, is based on tales told by her father—who made his living in those bayous—of reasons to stay out of the swamp.

She currently lives with her husband, four lap dogs, and one lap cat, in the mountains of Tennessee. Besides writing and illustrating, she loves watching the many birds that make their habitat on the Cumberland Plateau, working in the garden, and frequenting waterfalls.

Connect with Rita Monette:


Monday, 1 August 2016

Summer Holidays, Family, and the Writing Life…

Wait. You're staying how long?
We Canadians love our summer holidays, and other than major holidays such as Christmas or Thanksgiving, it’s the only time when we can get together with our families and just chill. This begs me to ask the question: Is it possible to write during the summer months? Um. Yeah. It’s a toughie, but I did manage to get some writing done. And I have been busy editing the second book in my young adult time travel series, The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret. So there’s a thumbs up for that. But when I read a recent post from Mirror World Publishing’s blog entitled It’s Okay Not to Write, I decided to put aside any guilty feelings of ‘not’ writing regularly in the summer, and just enjoy this hot, sunny season and time spent with my family.

The first Monday in August is our Civic Holiday, which is a roundabout way of saying ‘Public’ Holiday. It’s not a statutory holiday in the province where I live (Ontario), but if your employer is on the generous side, then you can probably book that long weekend away with no problem. The Civic Holiday weekend also marks the middle of summer—halfway to fall and five weeks till school starts. Sorry, kids!

When we lived at our cottage, it seemed like the busiest weekend of the summer, and since we were on a medium-sized lake, you had to take turns going out water skiing or tubing. Our kids usually ambushed visited us that weekend for food and fun-in-the-sun, and somehow they left their children behind. LOL! Thankfully, there was a lot to do around the cottage for the grandkids with swimming, fishing, boating, tubing, canoeing, reading on the beach (yes, I have a few readers), watching movies, and campfires. We found that the week just flew by! I truly miss those days, and I’m grateful for those cottage memories with our family and friends.

Now that we live in the ‘Banana’ belt of Canada (think Florida weather), and farther from some of our family, we see the kids less. Most of the grandchildren have their own lives now. Sigh. The bright spot is we do get to see our youngest grandchild (now ten), and have her for the week of the Civic Holiday. Yay! So I’ve compiled a list of things to do around in this area to keep the little minion busy, happy, and motivated. Read on…

1.      Baking with Grandpa (Grandma doesn’t do baking)
2.      A day at the beach…Holiday Beach to be precise!
3.      Movie night at Silver City in Windsor; granddaughter’s pick!
4.      Walking the Riverfront and catching a boat tour with Windsor River Cruises.
5.      Cooling down at the Toddy Jones Park Slash Pad, then heading over to the Waterfront Ice Cream Parlor.
6.      Visiting the Amherstburg Freedom Museum. This is a win-win, as I get to do some research for my next time travel book too!
7.      Heading to my brother’s pool for a swim. Thank God for relatives with pools!
8.      Catching up on Disney shows! (Grandpa is looking forward to this!)
9.      Keeping cool at the Devonshire Mall in Windsor where I’m sure someone is bound to score a gift or two.
10.  If time permits, going to Adventure Bay Family Water Park in Windsor. After a few hours there, we’ll be water-logged for the week! LOL!

Now, if we play our cards right, our granddaughter will look like this each night:

Nighty, night. Sleep tight.
I hope you have a safe and happy holiday with your family or friends, and enjoy the rest of your summer! Remember life is short, and no one who is on their death bed says that they wished they could have spent more time at work. Think about it. Relationships truly matter. Cheers and thank you for reading my blog!

Monday, 25 July 2016

My 10 Top Favorite Things…

Now that summer is in full swing in the banana belt of Canada, I’m willing to bet most kids in the northern hemisphere are enjoying their free time doing their favorite things like playing with their friends, hanging out at the beach, reading books by their favorite authors (wink), or going on vacations with their families. That said, I thought I’d compile a list and share my ten top favorite things that I enjoy whether it’s summer, fall, winter or spring.

1. Enjoying my morning coffee outside (weather permitting) on our patio. True therapy.

2. Big. Bang. Theory. Sheldon still cracks me up!

3. The original Star Wars movie. I know, I’m dating myself, but I was one of those people who went
to the movie theatre to see it again and again. Of course movies were cheaper back then!

4. My reading chair. It’s comfy and cozy. Even when I have to share it with the cat.

5. Reading...in my reading chair…with or without the cat.

6. Writing the first draft of a novel that nobody sees because that’s where the fun begins!

7. My pets. After all, I have to read my first draft to someone. Right?

8. Writing ‘THE END’ on the final draft of my novel. Trust me, it’s a BIG deal! 

9. Connecting with my readers online and offline. Trust me, it’s a HUGE deal!


10. Single. Malt. Scotch. No explanation necessary.


So, what are some your favorite things? Would love you to comment and share! Enjoy the rest of your summer, and thank you for reading my blog! Cheers! 

Monday, 18 July 2016

Book Review: Black Lightning by K.S. Jones…

I absolutely love Arizona! I’ve been lucky enough to visit twice (Phoenix, Tempe, and Scottsdale areas), and would love to go back and see the Grand Canyon, since I never got a chance to go there. K.S. Jones paints a vibrant and beautiful picture with her words, that allows me to feel my skin sizzle under the Arizona heat, and make my mouth water for buttery cornbread. So what’s my take on a story set in a place that can conjure up Geronimo’s ghost and make you sweat with every page you turn? This is what I posted on Amazon and Goodreads…



Lightning does indeed strike twice with this 5 Star Winner!

K.S. Jones combines a mixture of Apache folklore, natural phenomenon, and science fiction in a dessert setting to create her middle grade sci-fy adventure about 10 year-old Samuel Baker and his incredible journey into another dimension. Fast-paced from beginning to end, Jones weaves a fantastic and emotional tale wrought with love, death, magic, and hope.

Jones’s imaginative story is a must for any bookshelf (or ereader), and though geared for tween boys, there’s plenty of action to get the girls cheering for Samuel and his friend Isabelle to get them back home to the families they love. High fives for K.S. Jones and her electrifying tale!

Tagline and Blurb:

Life moves on — no matter what...

Following his father’s puzzling disappearance and his mother’s death, ten-year-old Samuel Baker goes through the motions of living in a world turned upside down. He wears an Apache talisman, a long ago gift from his father, in hopes its promise of strength and guidance is true. But what he truly wants is the power to bring his parents back. 

Heartless Aunt Janis is elated at the prospect of becoming Samuel’s legal guardian. She is sure an orphan boy will elicit such an outpouring of public sympathy that her husband will win his Senate bid by a landslide. But when Grandpa Tate arrives, things don’t go as expected, especially when black lightning strikes!

Read an Excerpt:

Samuel stood beside his mother’s rain-speckled casket. He had cried his tears dry, so there was no point in trying to find more.

“Chin up, young man,” Aunt Janis said as her fingers nudged Samuel’s jaw upward. “Death is just part of life, and our photographer needs a good picture of you for the newspapers.”

A camera flashed, leaving Samuel’s red and swollen eyes burning as if stung by the sun instead of grief.

So many important days had come and gone without his father, but surely he would come home today, wouldn’t he? Samuel closed his eyes. He pretended his father was beside him holding his hand. They had a right to hold hands, he told himself. Not because he was ten, but because it was his mother’s funeral. Two years had passed since his father left, never to be seen again. Vanished, was the word his mother had used. Into thin air, she’d said.

“Take that silly thing off.” Aunt Janis flicked Samuel’s wood and bead necklace.

“No,” he said and shook his head. “My dad gave it to me.” It was a pinewood tile, the size of a domino shaved nickel-thin, which hung from a leather cord around his neck. Burned onto the front side of the wood was a lightning bolt. Its flipside bore the blackened imprint of a tribal dancer. It had a turquoise nugget and a shiny black hematite bead strung together on each side. His father had given the talisman to him with a promise: It will guide you and give you strength when you need it most.

Today, dressed in a black suit and starchy white shirt, Samuel wore it in hopes the promise was true.

As mourners gathered, Samuel’s friend Brian came to stand beside him. “Hey,” he said.

“Hey,” Samuel answered without taking his eyes off the casket.

“Is that the necklace your dad gave you? You don’t usually wear it.” Brian’s wire-rimmed glasses slid down his straight arrow nose. He pushed them back up the bridge with one finger until they encircled his eyes again. “Can I see it? I promise I’ll give it right back.”

“It’s not a necklace.” Samuel pulled the leather cord off over his head, mussing his overgrown blond hair. “It’s a talisman.” He handed it to Brian. “My dad said it would help me, but it hasn’t done anything yet. I think it was just one of his stories. It’s probably just an old piece of scrap wood with a couple rocks tied to it.”

Brian shrugged after examining the piece then he handed it back to Samuel. “I think it’s cool. You should keep wearing it anyway.”

Nodding, Samuel hung the talisman around his neck again, but this time he dropped it down beneath his shirt where it was no longer visible. It felt warm against his skin.

“Has anybody told you where you’re going to live now?” Brian asked.

“Probably with Aunt Janis and Uncle Jack.”

Brian frowned. He kicked the tip of his shoe into the muddy soil. “They live so far away. Why can’t you just stay here and live with Mrs. Abel? She doesn’t have any kids.”

Mrs. Abel was their fourth grade teacher. She had plainly stated to all who would listen that her job was to teach the proper use of the English language to children who behaved properly. A babysitter, she had said, she was not. Today, she stood in the rain with the other mourners, eyeing the ground where the hem of her long, gray dress lay caked in mud. Tufts of brown hair jutted out from under her pink plaid scarf. Even though she stood a few feet from him, she had not spoken to Samuel since his mother’s death. Few people had. Everyone had words for Aunt Janis and they talked to Uncle Jack, but no one but Brian and a few classmates had spoken to him. Maybe talking to an orphan was harder than talking to a normal kid.

Purchase Links:

Mirror World Publishing

Amazon 

Barnes & Noble

Meet the Author:

Karen (K.S.) Jones grew up in California, but now lives in the beautiful Texas Hill Country northwest of San Antonio with her husband, Richard, and their dogs Jack Black, Libby Loo, and Red Bleu. Black Lightning is her first middle-grade novel. She credits her love of fantasy to the early influences of authors J.R.R. Tolkien, Jules Verne, and H.G. Wells. Her award-winning first novel, Shadow of the Hawk, a Young Adult Historical, released in 2015.

Connect with K.S. Jones: