Saturday, December 20, 2014

Book Highlight & Giveaway: Rules For Riders By Natalie Scott

Rules for Riders, by Natalie Scott
Published in August 2014 
Genres: Young Adult / Romance

Synopsis:

Rules for Riders is a fast paced coming-of-age novel set in the competitive world of equestrian riding.

After a near fatal riding accident, Bebe Barkley is banned from riding and sent off to boarding school. There, she meets her roommate and fellow equestrian rider, Finn Foxley. The girls devise a scheme to get themselves kicked out of boarding school in order to return to the world that they love. Once back on the circuit, former friends become deadly rivals. 

Bebe's handsome trainer, Billy O'Reilly, gives her seven rules to follow in order to successfully compete. Through a series of tragic events, both girls are forced to abandon their dreams of Olympic gold. Bebe ventures down a dark road of self-destruction as she breaks every rule Billy taught her, only to be forced to relearn them in order to reclaim her life. Rules for Riders is a tale of lost dreams and the struggle to create new ones.

Available for sale on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in eBook and paperback.



Excerpt
KING
CHAPTER 1

I can still remember the first time I saw him...

He’s seventeen hands high, a dark bay, almost black, a white star on his forehead, and four white socks on his hind legs. I’m fifteen years old when I spy King bucking and rearing and giving the grooms a terrible time. I think he’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

I point straight at him, “I want that horse.”

My father (otherwise known as the Colonel) rolls his eyes. “No, he’s wild. You just want him because he’s difficult like you.”

We’re at our neighbors, the O’Rileys, on a crisp Sunday morning. Jim O’Riley owns Starlight stables and is one of the best horse trainers in Connecticut. Jim winks at me. “For God’s sake, Colonel, everyone knows you made a ton of money in the stock market. Let her have the damn horse.”

“I said no,” shrieks the Colonel, remaining unconvinced. “Besides, who’ll train her?”

“I will,” Billy O’Riley, Jim’s oldest son, steps forward. His clear green eyes stare straight at King. “He’s a warm blood, sir, from Holland. We just bought him.”

The Colonel growls at Billy. “Listen son, I don’t care if he’s from friggin’ Japan! For God’s sake you’re only a couple of years older than my daughter.”

We all stand there watching, while his face turns bright red with rage. There’s no way in hell he's going to let me have this horse now. That would be too perfect. Instead, he shocks the pants off of me!

“Fine, but if you break your neck, don’t blame me.”

First thing the next morning I race over to the O’Rileys. By the time I reach the stables, I’m out of breath. Billy’s busy brushing down his horse, Stargazer. I walk over to King and stroke his mane. Then I pull a sugar cube out of my pocket. “Hey, boy.”

Billy looks up. “That’s funny, he doesn’t usually take to people so quickly. So let me guess, you want to take a ride?”

God, I’ve been riding since I was six! Okay, I admit it— Billy’s a hottie. I’ve had a crush on him forever. But it makes me crazy the way he still treats me like a little kid. He leans closer and places his hands firmly on his hips.

“Bebe, if I’m going to train you, there are rules for riders. The first one’s commitment. Without it, none of the other rules exist. If I agree to train you, you’ve got to give me 100 percent.”

I stare right back at him, giving him my best killer smile. “I’m all yours!”

For the next few weeks, he insists I do nothing but flat work. He hardly lets me ride across the yard without making sure I am doing it properly. Unlike the Colonel, Billy brings out the best in me and plays down the worst. Whatever I lack, he teaches me with infinite slowness; guiding King and I so we both gain confidence.

“That’s right. Keep your back straight, hold your head up, shoulders back.”

I learn from Billy that difficult horses become easy once you know how to handle them. With Billy’s training, I’m right on course. The Colonel’s threats don’t scare me. Instead, they fuel me, making me even more determined to succeed.

A few days later, I get to the stables early for some quiet time with King. Billy sneaks up behind me. I can feel his breath against my neck.

When I turn around, he has an amused look on his face. “So, do you finally want to take a ride? Isn’t that what you’ve been dying to do—jump every fence this side of Connecticut?”

I have this wild urge to hug him. Instead, I saddle up King. “C’mon, boy.”

King and I take off.

“Tell me what you’ve learned when you get back!” Billy shouts.




About the Author:

Natalie Scott grew up in Melbourne, often referred as the cultural capital of Australia because of its great restaurants, trendy cafes and great shopping! Natalie developed a love of books when her fourth grade teacher read the book Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S Lewis.

In high school Natalie devoured the classics, her favorite being Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger. At University she studied English Literature and Communications, though she will openly admit to spending a lot of time at the college pub where she liked to make up outrageous stories before traveling extensively through Europe and the United States.

Throughout her travels, she fell in love with sunny California where she attended classes at UCLA Writer’s Program. Natalie also attended numerous writers’ conferences including Santa Barbara, San Diego State and Grubstreet. She was the recipient of the Outstanding Fiction award given at the Southern California Writers Conference. In her spare time, Scott worked as a spokes model for companies including the AMC Network,, We Entertainment, Hasbro, Adobe and Sony.

The Aussie gal is a foodie who loves Vegemite and currently resides in Scottsdale, Arizona where she enjoys sharing her passion for food, enjoys exploring new restaurants, happy hour, traveling, and a passion for books and fashion.

Scott’s debut novel, Rules for Riders, is a fast and furious, coming-of-age story set in the world of equestrian riding.

Connect with Natalie on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.



To learn more, go to http://www.nataliescott.com/



Giveaway Time!
-One ebook of Rules For Riders.
-Open Internationally.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Highlight: The Dreamer's Lotus by Mike Dickenson

Synopsis: 
 
In a world where everything is symbolic, a young outcast followed by crows knows that not everything is as it seems. Corvus believes the Elders have corrupted the meanings of the symbols for their own gain, but who would believe a boy followed by dark omens? A brave girl, his only friend, convinces him that his truth awaits him in the forest, for that is where the crows come from… No one enters the forest alone. It is a mysterious land of madness and illusions – a place where animals talk, a prison where banished villagers survive, and a darkness so convincing that a person’s fears can manifest without warning. A beautiful lotus, born out of a dream, has the potential to light the way to the true meaning of existence. Corvus must consume the hallucinogen not only for himself, but also for the world he belongs to. If the villagers don’t awaken from their illusion soon, the murder of crows will transform the village, and the forest, into a waking nightmare.

Purchase:   Amazon


Guest Post
 
            Can another’s love show us who we truly are?

            These days, if not always, society dictates who we must become. We are expected to fit into the molds of our culture’s identity. But what if that identity is not in alignment with the callings of our soul?

            A soul mate is one who challenges us to see our truest potential. It is a challenge not to take lightly, however, for within us all exists every aspect of our collective identity. We have the capacity to love without limits, just as we are capable of submitting to our guiltiest desires and temptations.

            It is an incredible gift to find an individual who mirrors the best aspects of our highest selves. We all know that it can be a challenge to see the positive qualities within ourselves if we have allowed ourselves to become conditioned by society’s self-deprecating tendencies (I know few, if any, who are immune to this).

            The Dreamer’s Lotus follows a boy who is followed by crows. He is an outcast, for the villagers believe that the universe speaks to people in symbols, and the crows are most certainly a bad omen - so what else could the boy be? It is not surprising, then, when the boy begins to accept society’s projections.

            There are times in our lives when we find a person who sees through the external projections of the collective, times when we are seen for who we really are, even if we don’t see it ourselves. Celina is such a person. She is beautiful, intelligent, brave, and hopelessly stubborn. She knows that a boy who can call crows has secrets to share. Besides Corvus, Celina is the only person in the village who is unafraid of the natural world. She knows that this collective conditioning is limiting the potential of everyone in the village. She also knows that Corvus is the key to redefining the community’s relationship with planet earth.

            It helps to have an ally when we arrive at the crossroads that will come to define us. It helps to be gently pushed into doing what we are afraid of doing, even though we know it must be done.

            At times, our soul mate arrives when we need them most. Other times, we are the soul mate answering the call to action. It can help to ask yourself, “Who am I willing to support and why?” Soul mates are not always lovers, but also friends, and at times, even strangers. Find the people in your life that you admire and lend them your trust. The actions we take as individuals manifest in the lives of the collective, and to lend our hearts for a pure cause, even if that cause is our own, can transform the world.



Author Bio:  

My biggest shifts in writing have come to me during times of tremendous inner-change. Most of this change has been self-induced and has almost always involved travel. After graduating with a degree in English Education at Montana State University, I left Elko, Nevada on a hitchhiking adventure which would culminate in Argentina almost two years later. This journey gave me a much needed perspective about our world and where we are going, both globally and individually. My experiences have shown me that humanity yearns for positive change, that people are inherently good, and that anything is possible. Our perception of the world can transform our reality before our eyes, and it is this message that permeates my novels and films. My writing is part satire, part literature, part humor, part parable. In an effort to change this world for the better, I strive to create works of fiction that both inspire and captivate others to find their truest potential. 

I have been a whitewater raft guide, an off-the-grid homesteader, a montessorri teacher, and currently and always, an explorer. 

I also create documentary films and lead courses in writing and storytelling with Commonlink Productions.

Author Links:   Website   |   Facebook   |   Twitter



Check out this awesome giveaway happening on Mike's website.


Friday, December 19, 2014

Author Spotlight/Interview: S. Nelson


S. Nelson grew up with a love of reading and a very active imagination, never putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, ...until just one year ago. It's been a wild ride ever since.

When she is not writing, she loves to travel and spend time with her husband, family and friends.

 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 


This isn’t your typical story about boy meets girl then they fall in love and live happily ever after. No. This is a story about deception and betrayal at its finest. This is a story about hatred and attraction which does everything in its power to destroy two people. Essie Horton is a woman who has lived through unspeakable things during her short life and when a prime opportunity presents itself, she dives right in, only concerned about herself and her objectives. Drayden Warner is a man used to living the good life, bedding every beauty in sight, masking an empty existence, and hiding from a tragedy which happened years ago. Little does he know, his life will change forever when he meets the one woman who will possibly destroy him for good.





 
Interview with S. Nelson
 
 
What was your inspiration for Stolen Fate?  
I wanted to write a book about boy meets girl, but not your typical story.  As I started writing about Essie and Drayden, they really took on a life of their own, morphing into something even greater than I had originally anticipated.  Their story certainly has some twists to keep the reader guessing.  There are some low points throughout the book as well as some very high ones.  
 
 
When you first started writing, who was the most supportive to help you with kicking this whole thing off?
When I first started this journey, just over a year ago, there wasn’t just one person in particular.  My whole family was excited and encouraged me during the entire process.  I have a very strong support system; people who will cheer you on no matter what you want to do in life.  I count my lucky stars every day I’m surrounded by such wonderful people
 
 
What was one of the weirdest things you had to research for your book?
One of the weirdest topics I had to research was how to test for the paternity of your child.  I was just thankful my husband wasn’t searching through my browser history at the time.  
 
 
Do you name your characters after anyone in your life? (Name or personality)  
Not so far. The characters in this story are a bit on the extreme side, at least for a good portion of the story.  I like drama in my books, not in real life. 
 
 
If you could have lunch with any author (past or present) who would it be?
Thankfully, I didn’t have to think too hard about this answer.  V.C. Andrews is the person I choose.  She was the first author I can remember who made me excited about reading.  I would spend all of my allowance on her books, losing myself in her stories for hours on end.  There is just nothing like getting caught up in another world, almost as if you are living the story right along with the characters you’re reading about.
 
 

What book are you reading right now?  
Right at this moment, I’m reading One Love by Lili St. Germain.  It’s the last book in her Gypsy Brothers series and I’m sad it’s ending.  They are a fantastic read.
 
 
What do you do in your spare time?  
When I’m not writing, I love to read.  I also try and spend as much quality time as I can with my husband, family and friends.  I also love to travel, mainly following my younger sister around the globe.  
 
 
Anything else we should know about you?
Stolen Fate is actually the second story I wrote.  My first story, which I’m still actively working on, will eventually be turned into a trilogy.  I’m also working on a few other stories, hopefully to be revealed in the very near future.  


 
 
 
 
Enter the Giveaway from S. Nelson! 
 
 
 
One winner will win a paperback copy of Stolen Fate and One winner will win an ecopy of Stolen Fate.
 
Both are open International!
 
 
















Book Blitz: Gilded Wings by Cameo Renae






Gilded Wings by Cameo Renae
(Hidden Wings #4)
Published by: Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing
Publication date: December 19th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult

Synopsis:
As the final battle draws near, Emma finds herself bound under an unbreakable oath. She must seal the bond with Ethon before her transformation, or risk her life and the lives of those she truly loves. Who she wants is no longer an option.
Lucian has unleashed troops of evil beasts from the Underworld, making it impossible for Emma to leave the protective barrier of Alaine’s home. War is inevitable. The Guardians will need to stay and fight their ground, hoping Lucifer keeps his end of the deal and comes to their aid.
In this epic series conclusion, burning questions will be answered, lives will be lost, and sacrifices will be made.
But who will survive, and at what cost?
Purchase:   Amazon



Excerpt 
     Things were about to change. There was someone looking out for me, and hopefully it was for my better interest. But what if it was Lucifer trying to set me up? Although, I didn’t have a feeling it was him. Maybe it was my mysterious grandfather, or God himself? He was omnipotent, right?

     These thoughts sent a rush of warmth through my veins, and the scent left in the room was of pure angel. There were no hints of smokiness. It was definitely someone from above.

     “Thank you,” I whispered, picking up and hugging the dagger and the note to my heart. The dagger was warm, sending a calmness cascading through me. I wasn’t sure if I was doing the right thing. My greatest fear would be putting those I loved at an even greater risk.

     But more than anything, I needed answers. I needed to know if I had a chance against Lucifer and Lucian.

     All I had was hope. This mission needed to happen, not only for me, but for everyone I loved. I wouldn’t risk everything on a whim, or something I wasn’t sure would make a difference. I had one burning question, and the answer could possibly change everything.

     Those around me probably had the answer I was looking for, but I would never ask them because they would have their own opinions. And I didn’t want them to try and persuade me. This question needed to be kept secret. It was to be mine, and mine alone.


AUTHOR BIO:

Voted 2013 Break Out Author by Young Adult & Teen Readers, and 2013 Book of the Year (Hidden Wings).

Cameo Renae was born in San Francisco, raised in Maui, Hawaii, and recently moved with her husband and children to Alaska.
She's a daydreamer, a caffeine and peppermint addict, loves to laugh, loves to read, and loves to escape reality. One of her greatest joys is creating fantasy worlds filled with adventure and romance, and sharing it with others.
One day she hopes to find her own magic wardrobe, and ride away on her magical unicorn. Until then...she'll keep writing!



Author links:   Website   |   Facebook   |   Twitter   |   Goodreads



***There are TWO giveaways below.***


GWB Giveaway
-One ebook of Gilded Wings.
-Open Internationally.

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)
-Two - $25 Amazon Gift Cards
-One - Signed paperback book of Hidden Wings (Book #1)
-Ten - eBook copies (Winner's choice) of any eBook in the Hidden Wings Series. (Hidden Wings, Descent, Broken Wings, Tethered Wings, and Gilded Wings)
-Ends January 5th
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz: Leon’s Way by Sunniva Dee






Leon’s Way by Sunniva Dee 
Publication date: December 19th 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Synopsis:
I’m Leon , number one object of Deepsilver’s rumor mill. Owner of student hotspot, Smother.
Since I was sixteen, the world has been mine. I do everything—
My way.
Every co-ed in town clenches her thighs over me, but most don’t fit the bill. See, I like my girls broken . Once I detect my shade of don’t-give-a-fuck damaged, I fight hard, I fight dirty, and I don’t give up until—
I conquer.
Drunk fathers and frequent beatings don’t merit attention, but when my despicable dad starts the process of croaking, I’m forced to remember. Thus, the downward spiral begins: my latest broken-girl turns the tables on me and splits. My hot-as-hell employee, Arriane, throws me the curve ball of a lifetime. And suddenly—
I’m out of control.
But at the center of my chaos, she exists. Always close, always sweet, and so beautifully fucking… wholesome. She represents everything I’ve shied from in a woman. Still—
I crave her.
I’m Leon, and I don’t deny my cravings. Just—this girl is not surrendering. So here I am, fighting harder. Fighting dirtier. And goddammit all, I will—
Conquer.
Purchase:   Amazon



Excerpt

I change immediately, even bind my hands. At the moment, gloves defeat the purpose for me, but a little tape never hurts. I’ve got my system. I know what works. Besides having kinky-ass sex, this and my bike are the only things that calm me down. Bare-chested and in black dojo pants, I rage into the heavy bag.

The music from the club thunders through the floor, but I need more, so I shove in a CD before I continue. The collision between the tunes downstairs and my own death metal make me want to break into a crazy laugh.

I don’t, though, because I’m spending my energy on this. For every punch, I visualize my father’s face when I took him down at sixteen. The shock, the bruises, the blood I left him with. The fucking cracked collarbone.

Something surges in me at the thought—I force everything else away.

I tear into the medium bag. Tear at it, tear at it—killing the damn thing like I wish I’d done to him. The mirror tosses back my glistening shape.

What evil god let him survive the stroke?

I snarl out my disappointment, joining the chorus of ugly roars from the stereo, and I don’t stop, don’t stop killing him until a hand touches my shoulder. I freeze, because not even here, in my sanctuary, am I less than one step from control.

My chest rasps with need for oxygen. I realize I have none left, and my lungs can’t pull it in fast enough. In the mirror, I see her, small, scared, watching me gulp down air. She’s smothered in this music that’s straight from hell, the opposite of anything she represents, and the baby—

Shit, the baby can’t be hearing this!

I bound to the stereo and power it off. From below, a ballad slinks into our bubble, and I stare at her, wordless.

Enormous eyes flicker with compassion. With slow, tentative steps, she narrows in cautiously, like I’m the frightened one. I cover my face with my hands. Shut her out. Move back into the corner I’m in.

“Sweetie,” she whispers.



AUTHOR BIO:
Originally from Norway, I moved to the United States twelve years ago. I hold a Master’s degree in languages and taught Spanish at college level before settling in at the Savannah College of Art and Design as an adviser.

I write New Adult fiction, sometimes with a paranormal twist—like in “Shattering Halos,” published by The Wild Rose Press in February 24th 2014 and in “Stargazer,” released November 2014. The first book I’ve self-published was the New Adult Contemporary novel “Pandora Wild Child,” which made me a proud indie author in October 28th 2014.

I specialize in impulsive heroines, bad-boys, and good-boys running amok. Then, there’s the intense love, physical and emotional attraction beyond reason—sensory overload for the reader as well as for the characters. Like in real life, I hope you’re unable to predict what comes next in my stories.

Yes, so I write what I love to read, and depending on the reader, you’ll find my books to be a fast-paced emotional rollercoaster—or disturbing because the struggles of love aren’t your thing. Here’s to hoping you have the same reading vice as me! 

Author Links:   Website   |    Facebook   |   Twitter   |   Goodreads   |   Pinterest   |   Instagram



GIVEAWAY
Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)
-$50 Amazon gift card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Release Day Blitz: Sugar and Spice Anthology


Sugar and Spice Anthology
RELEASE DAY BLITZ
December 19, 2014


Sugar & Spice and everything nice...or is it? This collection of sweet and sexy romances is sure to warm your heart *and* get it racing.

Maverick by Anna Cruise
International surf sensation Kellen Handler has it all – fame and fortune and more women than he can count – but he's riding his own personal wave toward disaster. Can PR genius Gina Bellori rescue his reputation...and his heart?

Fever by Melissa Pearl
Two showers and one song that will change their lives forever...singing in the shower will never be the same after Ella and Cole hear each other for the first time. Is it possible for two people to fall in love after one duet together? And can they find each other before life-changing decisions will set them on opposing paths?

Escaping Me by Elizabeth Lee
The last thing Cole was looking for was a girl like Whitney, and she sure didn't expect anything serious with the town's bad seed. Sometimes the one you think isn't for you turns out to be just the person you need.

Finding My Forever by Heidi McLaughlin
Women find me. I don't chase. I know what they want and they know I'll deliver. But after one look, one touch, one night...Now I'm the one doing the chasing.

Girl With Guitar by Caisey Quinn
Touring with Country Music superstar Trace Corbin is hardly a dream come true since he’s pretty much drinking his career down the drain. If Kylie can’t pull Trace out of his rut, he’ll pull her and her dreams down with him.

Draw Me In by Megan Squires
He’s a young, up and coming businessman with the keys to his family’s Italian wine enterprise. She's a fine arts student, navigating life in the Big Apple, her pencil and sketchpad in hand. They meet. They fall in love... But it’s not that story.

Begin with Goodbye by Kelly Walker
Justice is a myth, and true love is a lie. In Begin With Goodbye, Sam will go home to confront her sister's rapist, but she might find more than she bargained for.

Beautiful Collision by T.G. Ayer
Life on the run is hard enough. Gray doesn't need love to complicate her world. And the last thing she needs is to fall for the wrong guy.