Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Soul Thief by Majanka Verstraete

The Soul Thief (The Angel of Death Series #1)
by Majanka Verstraete
Publisher: Booktrope
Published: November 11, 2014
Genre: YA, Paranormal
9781620155585_front   When sixteen-year-old Riley is injured in a car crash and sees a girl stealing a boy’s soul, she’s convinced she’s hallucinating. But when she sees the same girl at the hospital later, she knows she wasn’t dreaming. That’s when Riley learns her secret heritage and who she really is: a halfling Angel of Death. Riley must come to terms with her new reality and supernatural abilities, but before she can do this, girls her age start dying in mysterious circumstances. It’s up to Riley to figure out why, what the innocent victims have in common, and what she can do to stop them.

Excerpt

  THE WORLD EXPLODED IN a chaos of fire, debris, and noise. Sirens screamed and low voices mumbled in the background. I lifted up my head and groaned. My head weighed about a thousand pounds and throbbed as if someone had hit me with a hammer. The interior of the car swayed from left to right. A dark fog rose up in front of the car. Vague specters moved back and forth in the mist. I squinted and the specters turned into paramedics dressed in white clothes with stains all over them, who ran from one patient to another. Four or more cars had collided and mine was the last in line. Two cars burned with tall, flickering flames. A woman crawled out of one of the burning cars, half of her face blackened. My stomach twisted and bile rose up in my throat. I searched for the door handle without turning away from the apocalypse happening in front of me. The woman with the burnt face started screaming. The sound shattered my eardrums. A paramedic rushed toward her and pulled her away from the searing car wreck. My fingers found the door handle and I pushed the car door open. A gush of fresh air entered the car and I took a deep breath. The air filled my lungs, and even though my surroundings still swirled around as if on a carousel, they started to slow down. I fiddled with the lock of my seatbelt, trembling like a leaf. Eventually the lock clicked and I tumbled out of the car. I gripped the door handle so hard my knuckles turned white while I pulled myself up, leaning on the car. “Are you okay?” Someone grabbed my arm and helped me to stand up. My savior was a forty-something woman with a round face, large eyes, and a red flush on her cheeks as if she’d just run a mile. She was tall and chubby, and while she appeared friendly enough, she stared at me wide-eyed, the chaos of burning car wrecks and wounded people reflected in her irises. “I don’t know,” I said. “My head hurts and the world is spinning.” She nodded and helped me to the nearest ambulance. “Sit down.” She waited until I’d sat down and then looked at my injuries. She dabbed a wet cloth on my forehead and when she pulled it back the cloth was stained red. My gaze fixed on the scene unfolding behind her. Two paramedics took turns performing heart massage on a young boy, whose broken body was spread out on the ground. His skin was the color of a bridal gown and his lips had turned a faint blue. He couldn’t be older than eight or nine. Broken glasses lay next to his body. Right when the paramedics switched places, a girl appeared behind them. She popped up out of nowhere. One second there was no trace of her, the next she stood there, as if she’d been there all along. My heart raced in my chest. I wanted to say something but the words got stuck in my throat. The girl’s red hair with black extensions reached to her shoulders. She wore a short checkered skirt, black combat boots, a venom-green tank top, and black stockings. A chain dangled from her skirt. She chewed bubblegum with her mouth open. Everything about her screamed wrong; from the way she’d suddenly appeared to how she carried herself, as if she was strolling around in the park on a summer’s day, not standing at the scene of a gruesome accident in the middle of autumn. Even her clothes didn’t match the weather. She knelt down and put her hand on the chest of the injured boy. For a while, nothing happened. But then a see-through, shiny form rose above the boy’s body. The specter looked exactly like the boy — same age, same height, same clothes, but it shone like a diamond.  

Author Interview

 
  • What is your favorite genre to write?
I write a mix of genres – children’s books, middle grade, young adult, and sometimes even horror or paranormal books for adults. My favorite genre however is young adult paranormal. There’s that great mix of young adult protagonists and a paranormal threat lingering above their heads.
  • Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?
I’d like to try out epic fantasy. I got my love for reading from reading epic fantasy series like the books by Robin Hobb, Raymond E. Feist, and the Lord of the Rings series. Nowadays I’m totally addicted to the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin. So I’d love to give epic fantasy a try.
  • Please tell us about your book.
In The Soul Thief, we meet sixteen-year-old Riley, who witnessed a girl her age stealing a younger boy’s soul at the scene of an accident. Of course she thinks she’s hallucinating, but once she wakes up at the hospital and sees the girl again, she realizes she wasn’t dreaming. So she chases the girl, who reveals she’s an Angel of Death, and the only reason why Riley can see her, is because she’s an Angel of Death as well. Riley must then come to terms with her new life, with belonging to the world of angels and the rules she must obey now. But while she’s trying to control her brand new abilities, girls her age start dying in mysterious circumstances and Riley has to figure out who is behind it, and stop them before any more girls get hurt.
  • Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why?
Riley would be my favorite character. I love her – everything about her. She’s the kind of heroine I’ve always wanted to read about. She’s independent and strong, would do anything for her friends, and she’s not afraid to stand up for things she believes in. Of course she has flaws too, but I’d love to be her friend, and I love writing about her. My least favorite character, that’s a difficult question though. All of the characters are quite likeable, and even if they’re not, they tend to have their reasons. At this point, it would be Seraphyn, one of the minor characters.
  • What was the hardest part about writing your book?
Trying to balance the romance. At first, I didn’t want to include any romance at all, not even a hint of attraction between any of the characters. But then I decided to add some of it anyway, but I didn’t want the focus to be on the romance. I wanted the book to focus on the characters, on Riley and her friends in particular.
  • What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?
I usually write on the train, so I don’t need anything but my laptop. I try to write regularly, about 2,000 words a day, and when I have a train ride to and from university (which is about four hours) then I tend to go above and beyond that goal. But some days I’m at home, and then it’s trickier to read my word count goal.
  • How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?
I wrote a first draft for The Soul Thief in 2012. Then I planned more books in the series, read a lot more YA books, worked on improving my craft, reworked the plot and characters, and wrote a second but completely different draft in January of 2014. Then I didn’t look at it again until during the summer holidays, when I edited the book, and then I submitted it to a publisher. So, if you look at the general timeline, it took over two years. But in terms of actual writing time, when I was actually focusing on this manuscript, three to four months.
  • Can you tell us about your editing process?
I’ve worked with a few editors before who edited my books, so I’m starting to grasp what I need to look for when editing. I work on my manuscript, typically one or two chapters a day depending on the chapter length. My first drafts tend to be pretty clean, so I only need one or two rounds of edits tops before the book is ready for beta readers.
  • Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?
The Soul Thief is the first book in the Angel of Death series. At the moment, I have six installments planned, but the world of this book continues expanding, so there might be more. But those six books I’m quite certain of – they’re planned and outlined, so now all I have to do is write them.
  • Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?
I’m working on a new adult paranormal romance “Ghostslayer”, which is my NaNoWriMo project for this year. I’m at 32k words, and I estimate the final project will be 70-75k words. At the same time, I’m working on edits for the first part in the Allegro Academy series, a novel I wrote back in 2012 as well, but I never got around to editing it. At this point, it’s more of a rewrite than actual editing. Then I’m also waiting to hear back on edits for two of my chapter books, which should be this month, and on the edits for another one of my young adult novels, “Reflected”. That book releases in summer 2015, and I should get the edits about now. Of course, I’m also working on the sequel to The Soul Thief, “Demonic Pact”. I’m still working on tightening the outline before I can start writing, but once I finish my NaNoWriMo project, this is next on my list.

About the Author

majanka

  Majanka Verstraete begged her Mom to teach her how to read while she was still in kindergarten. By the time she finished fifth grade, she had read through the entire children’s section of her hometown library. She wrote her first story when she was seven years old, and hasn’t stopped writing since. With an imagination that never sleeps, and hundreds of possible book characters screaming for her attention, writing is more than a passion for her. She writes about all things supernatural for children of all ages. She’s tried to write contemporary novels before, but something paranormal always manages to crawl in. Majanka is currently studying for her Master of Laws degree, and hopes one day to be able to combine her passions for law and writing. When she’s not writing, reading or studying, she likes watching “The Vampire Diaries” and “Game of Thrones,” spending time with her friends, or playing “World of Warcraft.”

Revival by MK Gilher

 
Revival Blog Tour Banner Feb 9-17

 
Presented by:Sparkle Book Tours
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REVIVAL Book One of the Return to Us Trilogy by M.K. Gilher 
It's complicated. My Italian-shoed stranger captures my mind and body yet only allows glimpses into the depth of the secrets he holds. He's a surgeon, he's a cage fighter, he's possibly a murderer. He's not a good boy. I feel as if I know him, yet I'm sure I don't. Dr. Jacade J. Jordan, my enigmatic sex god on a stick.
 
Damn, she's delectable. My sweet Ivy. I want to eat her alive. But how can I possess her when she doesn't even know me? When the deception runs too deep? When I've killed for her and would do it again in a heartbeat? How can I watch her submit so perfectly when I am the one at her feet?
 
Enjoy the ride in the Windy City as Ivy and Jacade's timeless love story unfolds in the Return To Us Trilogy by M.K. Gilher.
 
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clip_image001[5]Electric Hot Mystery By Holly Wood
Dr. Jacade Jordan is incredibly sexy and his attraction to Ivy really heats the story up. The chemistry between these two was crazy, intense, hot, mouthwatering, scorching, sheet burning, panty melting; eyes rolling back of your head total freckin hot!!!
This story was fantastic! Ivy and Jacade are so much fun and absolutely perfect for each other- together they manage to get up to some pretty outrageous and highly entertaining romantic escapades which will keep you completely absorbed, and their spirited, high-energy dynamic is fast-paced, upbeat and super sweet!
clip_image001[7]The sex god has entered the room! By K.Lee
"His tight possessive grip on my hipbones... his warm and sweaty palm splayed across my abdomen..." Super sexy, down to earth and very funny Ivy is a force to be reckoned with…I especially liked getting to know "Feminist Ivy" and "Slut Ivy."
clip_image001[8]Mystery, intrigue, sex and war! By TygerTygre
Great start for what could be an awesome series! Ivy and Jacade are two people that are destined to be together and when it happens, sparks fly. I really enjoyed this story and can’t wait to see what happens next.
 
excerpt "Ivy, you and I are going to play a little game." His voice strips me down until I feel naked. I'll play any fucking game you want me to, just as long as you're playing with me.
 
Without thinking I blurt out, "What kind of game?" Once the words leave my mouth, I wish I could rewind to about five seconds earlier. The way he's standing and speaking to me, I know this is no time for questions. He's going to blast through all the barriers and forts I've erected to keep men like him out. This is a game I'm going to play because he's already decided it for me.
 
He chuckles, and for a moment, I see a playful boy peeking through. But he swiftly recovers and locks his stoic mask back into place. His stern voice answers my blurted question. "A game in which you don't speak unless you're instructed to do so." He raises his eyebrows and wrinkles appear on his forehead.
 
Well, that shut me up. Read more
 
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Slut Ivy and Fem Ivy have got Dr. Jordan in the hot seat.
SI= Slut Ivy
FI= Feminist Ivy
J= Jacade
***
SI= (sauntering up to J at the party) Well hello there...
FI= Oh stop it. (slapping SI in the arm)
J= (chuckling) Hello, ladies. I was wondering when you’d track me down. How are you both this evening?
SI= (racking eyes over J) Much better now.
FI= (glaring at SI then whispering to her) Can you hold it together for this interview or not? We have a job to do.
SI= (whispering back to FI) He can hold me together...
FI= (rolling eyes) Can we ask you a few questions for the fans?
J= (grinning) Of course. Anything for you ladies.
Read more of this interview
 
giveaway
5 x ebook copies of REVIVAL
$10 Amazon gift card REVIVAL Trivia Game
  about the authorlogo 120pxw I've always adored writing and won several poetry contests in high school. I was coasting along in my healthcare career in Chicago, when I had a dream I was resuscitated from near death by a mysterious physician. Jacade's enigmatic character sprouted from that dream. As I wrote, I made sure Ivy's character was laced with qualities of the everyday woman; beauty, intelligence, insecurities, and vulnerabilities. I truly hope you relish your time with Dr. Jordan and Ivy in the Return to Us Trilogy. I know I do every time I’m drawn into their lives.
 
Join the MKG Street Team and win free stuff! http://bit.ly/MKGStreetTeam
 
 
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follow the tour
REVIVAL by M.K. Gilher
Feb 9 - Feb 17
 
Feb 9
Fictional Rendezvous Book Blog
Feb 10
Angels with Attitude Book Reviews
Melissa M Wolff
Feb 11
The Avid Reader
Books Books Books Blog - Promo
Feb 12
Indy Book Fairy
Feb 13
Booky Ramblings of a Neurotic Mom
Darkest Cravings
Feb 16
Eclipse Reviews
Feb 17
Portals to New Worlds 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Magic Love by Gail Hamilton




Is There a Formula for True Love?

When two people fall in love it’s magical…but sometimes the magic needs a little nudging… Or so biochemist, Jason Lucas, thought when he developed a formula to help love-challenged people like himself find true love. Ironically, in "Will He Be Mine," the millionaire scientist unwittingly begins a searing relationship with one of his test subjects and comes to question the feasibility of any love-enhancer formula.

Determined to stop all testing on his love enhancer, Jason elicits the help of his assistant, Lydia, to collect the last samples from nerdish test subject, Damone Reid. This quest propels the curvaceous, African-American woman into a wild adventure in "Man on The Run," fueled by a rejuvenated, romantic Damone, who sweeps her away and off her feet.

Unfortunately, Damone’s samples go astray, and end up in Penny Clark’s perfume. In "Animal Magnetism," Penny is thrilled to find she has unusual skills around wild animals. Intrigued by her abilities, rugged veterinarian, Garth Snowdon, soon falls under her spell. But after one night of explosive passion their love is put to the test when Garth discovers Penny’s heartbreaking secret.

"Magical Love" tells the stories of three couples whose lives change drastically after using the love enhancer formula. Yet despite the heated romances, the emotional intimacies, doubt creeps into the relationships—is it true love or is it the formula?


The door sported a sign that said "Danger. Do Not Enter" in big red letters
Smoothing her hair, straightening her clothes, determined to put her best foot forward, Penny grasped the door handle.  Pulling it open, she stepped decisively inside.
And froze!
She was in a bare concrete corridor with barred cage doors on one side.  All were closed except the one opposite Penny, which stood wide open.  Only feet away, a man was backed up against the wall. 
 Backed up for good reason.
An enormous Siberian tiger, loose in the corridor, was fixed on him, lips pulled back in an ominous snarl.
Without moving a muscle, the man hissed urgently at her out of the side of his mouth.
"Whoever you are, get out before the tiger sees you!"
No part of Penny's body would move.  No part of her brain was able to give a command.
Not when the great cat's head swiveled around and fixed Penny with its terrible yellow eyes.
Slowly, it lifted its head, cocked it to one side, and then took a step in Penny's direction.  
Penny found out what it meant to die a thousand deaths inside of an eye blink.  She actually felt her heart slow down, beating in huge, lolloping thuds as though struggling in heavy molasses.  The tiger took a second step toward her.  Then another, until it was near enough for her to feel the heat of its breath as it sniffed at her harshly.  Its fierce yellow gaze burned into her.  The striped head, up close, was massive.
"N-n-n-nice k-kitty," she heard herself croaking out idiotically.  "Why don’t you go back into your c-c-c-cage?"
The huge cat’s lips quivered, again revealing a terrifying flash of fangs.   But the tiger’s tail, which had been lashing the whole time, suddenly slowed. The menace seemed to die quietly away.  With a final, assessing stare at Penny, the animal turned away and padded through the open cage door into the dimness inside.
Instantly, the man sprang away from the wall and clanged the cage door shut.   Next, he clamped an arm around Penny’s waist and swept her out through the metal door into the sunshine and the normal world where loose tigers did not roam.
It was a good thing the man’s arm was strong.  Once outside, Penny’s knees gave way.  She would have sunk to the ground had not the fellow held her upright. Instead, she collapsed against him.
For an endless moment, they stood leaning together.  Penny could feel the man’s heart thumping like a steam hammer. When her own heart started to remember how to beat like it wasn’t going to explode any time soon, Penny came to herself enough to stand on her own and peel herself off the man’s chest.
“I…oh goodness…I’m s-sorry s-so s-sorry—tiger big—s-sorry—”
She was incoherent.  And felt as though the man’s shirt buttons were imprinted on her flesh.  
“You should be,” the tall, broad-shouldered man suddenly roared in her ear.  “Don’t you know not to walk through a door that says, ‘Danger. Do Not Enter?’  What part of that don’t you understand?”
Penny jumped and stared.  The face next her was volcanic.  Two pale blue eyes blazed out at her. Muscles stood out in ridges all along the man’s jaw.
“You could have been killed!” he sputtered.  “Killed with one swipe of that cat’s claws.”
“I thought you saw me on a camera and were asking me to come in,” Penny cried.
That, at least, stopped the next hot burst.  The angry mouth opened and then shut again.  The jaw muscles smoothed down a bit.  The man ran rigid fingers through a wavy, dark windblown hair and struggled visibly to get a hold of himself.
“The…the tiger didn’t hurt me.  It went back inside the cage.”
Two male brows slid together thoughtfully.  A great deal of the volcanic heat in his face subsided.  The man began to look Penny over closely.
“No,” he said with a tone of incredulity, “she didn’t.  That tiger was badly abused and came to us pregnant.  She’s usually ready to maul anything within reach.  But when you…well, I’ve never seen her calm down so quickly. Who are you anyway?"
“Penny Clark.  Here about the job.  I came through the fence looking for Dr. Snowdon.”
“That’s me.” The man seemed to shake himself. “Sorry about the yelling but you gave me one helluva scare.  With the animals we keep, we can’t afford a single security breach.”
Yeah, right.  So just how had Dr.  Snowdon himself managed to get cornered in there with no means of escape in sight? 
As the man motioned for her to follow and set out toward the house, Penny knew this wasn’t the time to ask.  Inwardly she debated just making a dash for her car.  How badly did she need a job that involved near death by tiger?
“Call me Garth,” the fellow said over his shoulder. 
As they approached the house, Garth’s hand slipped lightly to Penny’s waist to guide her into the rear garden.  Just as he was thinking the waist was nicely trim and supple, he got a full whiff of her perfume, Lucky Love. He had to stop himself from wheezing.
Migawd, what is that perfume!  It could knock over a horse!
Quickly, he stepped out of range, and seated Penny on a stone bench. This woman had recklessly walked straight through an off-limits door and almost into a tiger’s jaws.  He couldn’t afford anybody careless enough to make a possibly fatal mistake. 

On the other hand, she hadn’t screamed or done anything stupid when Sabir approached her. Also, his chest still throbbed with the memory of her body collapsing against him.  She had made an impression on him.  A very strong impression.


Gail Hamilton has been creating novels since the great romance boom of the eighties, writing for Harlequin and other publishers. She has been a farm hand, English teacher, ad copywriter, and once rode a British Bedford truck across the Sahara and back to see Timbuctu. All of it is fodder for her fiction. She is drawn to action, romance, adventure and characters with a distinctly odd twist. These show up in her many romance novels and her fast-moving historical novel, The Tomorrow Country.
After trying urban life in Europe and Toronto, Gail returned to live on the family farm where she grew up. In this rural corner hugging the north shore of Lake Ontario, Gail digs into the rich, raucous local history. She cherishes a secret passion for animated movies and loves snapping photos of nature all around her, reading the constant changes like a newspaper every morning. What better place to hatch brand new tales for everyone’s enjoyment
Visit Gail’s website at www.gailhamiltonwriter.com.

Monday, June 23, 2014

B.Berry Author Interview & Top Ten




1.         Where do you get your writing inspiration from?
Any situation can be inspiring to me. I take note of things around me wherever I happen to be.
2.         Did you have to do any research for your books? If so what?
Lots of research goes into writing many books. I look for things that make my stories feel more authentic, landmarks, restaurants and other places of business in cities or towns that are portrayed in my books. I research protocol, trends as well history. Just about anything that goes into my books has to be researched.
3.         What are you working on now?
I’m working on a contemporary fiction for the first time. I’m writing in first person, which is a twist for me. So far, I’m enjoying writing this book.
4.         What is the hardest part of writing for you?
I guess, the times that I hit a mental block because of one of life’s distractions. Sometimes it’s difficult to get back on track and into the flow.
5.         What can readers expect next?
I’m hoping to have two of my previous works revamped and republished as second editions later this year. Look for COLD CRAZY and COLD SERIAL. Two murder mysteries featuring Detective Barnes.
6.         What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview and how would you answer that question?
I’m not sure how to answer this question without getting into trouble. Lol!! Readers always ask who got me started and I don’t always get where they’re coming from. I think to have success in this world; people want to know who put you there, or who helped you get to where you are. How’d you get ‘the hook up?” Well I want them to know, it does take help, but most of all it takes some pretty hard work and perserverence.
7.         If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
BECOMING VISIBLE by B. Berry
8.         Who is your favorite author?
Mary Monroe
9.         What is your guilty pleasure?
Comfort foods! Give me some mashed potatoes and gravy and then leave the room!
10.     Highest point of your writing career?
I have to say my first published work…EVEN NUMBERS by Barbara Grovner
11.     Advice for aspiring authors?
Just do it! Stick to it till it’s done! Do your research and do not edit as you write…it’ll mess with your flow!
12.     Last song that was stuck in your head?
Theme song from the STEVE HARVEY SHOW.




Authors Top Ten songs/artists:


Songs:  Blackbird by Diana Krall, Weeping Willow by Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Boney James, Taylor Swift, Adele, Amy Winehouse, Nora Jones, Corrine Baily Rae.