Review: Into The Light by

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Laney Pearson was shot at point blank range…

With the help of his friend and colleague, Dr. Nathan George, Josh Stone managed to save her, giving them both a new start and a second chance at love. But when Laney’s parents try to take their recovering daughter back to Missouri, Josh fears he’ll lose her…possibly forever.

A mysterious stalker and Laney’s family aren’t the only ones who want Josh and Laney apart…

Jillian Stone has struggled with her own demons, always leaning on her brother Josh for support. When she sees him doting on Laney, spending days on end by her hospital bed, Jillian grows increasingly jealous. She pictures a life where Laney is gone and she and Josh can be closer…​much closer.

A familiar shadow still threatens the light…

They thought Laney’s stalker was completely erased from their lives, arrested when he tried to kill her. But they find it wasn’t Laney’s ex-boyfriend who tormented her for weeks on end, even if he was the one who pulled the trigger. They are now on the lookout for the ​real stalker, who becomes braver with each passing day, always in shadows, never creeping into the light…

They fear he might be back to finish what he started…​sending Laney to an early grave.

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Into The Light is a romantic suspense novel published on February 28, 2017 by Limitless Publishing. This is the second book in the Dark Series so you will want to make sure to read the first book before this one. That’s why I was a bit confused in the beginning. Into The Light starts off right after the first book, with the same set of characters and suspense. The author does a great job with the characters and medical terminology, as she should being a rouge nurse herself. Even if you aren’t a surgeon or medical employee, you can still follow what’s going on in the book. I loved the flow and suspense and will definitely go back and read the first book to get the whole story. I gave this book four stars for keeping my attention throughout the whole read.

Purchase Into The Light: Amazon and Barnes & Noble

jenburrows(3)JG Sumner is a Registered Nurse who went rogue.  As good as she was at starting IV’s, she enjoys writing the down the stories in her head even more.  Most of the time the characters won’t stop pestering her until she has them down on paper.

JG can often be found with a glass of red wine or prosecco in front of her computer.  When she’s not creating, she enjoys the outdoors hiking, bike riding, snowboarding, and camping.

JG has a very dry sense of humor, and should never be taken too seriously.  She loves to hear from her fans, and even those who aren’t and would love to hear your opinion on her books.

JG writes romantic suspense/thrillers including: A Shot in the Dark, Into the Light, The Surrender Trilogy including Surrender, Shattered, and Saved which will be available through Limitless Publishing soon.

Follow your next favorite author on

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jgsumner and Twitter: @jg_sumner

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Excerpt:

Dr. Josh Stone stood helpless as Laney, seemingly in slow motion, fell to the floor. The thud of her body hitting the tiles shot goose bumps through his flesh. For a brief moment, he was paralyzed. His girlfriend, also a trauma nurse, had been shot by the patient they had been taking care of. The sight of the man sitting up and grabbing Officer Miller’s gun from his holster replayed in Josh’s brain. The man pointed it at Laney and shot her several times before anyone was able to subdue him. Now, Josh stood helplessly as she lay motionless on the floor. How could this happen in his trauma room? Why couldn’t he protect Laney? His knees seemed to buckle as he sank to Laney’s side, stethoscope dangling from his neck.

Laney’s curly blonde hair covered much of her face, but it was clear she was unconscious. Josh gently shook her, hoping for the slightest response. There was none. She had been shot in the chest.

Someone shrieked. One of the ER nurses, Dinah, looked shocked, both hands covering her mouth. She pointed to the floor. A puddle of blood oozed from under Laney. His nose wrinkled from the metallic aroma.

Josh fought the anger raging inside him. He wanted to make the son-of-a-bitch who shot Laney pay for hurting her.

For now, he had to let the cops handle it. Josh took a deep breath and struggled to regain his composure, but failed miserably.

“My God! Laney! How could this happen?” His face was hot. He swiped at it with his blood-soaked hands and realized he was crying.

“Dr. Stone! Dr. Stone!”

Josh looked up. Dinah’s lips were moving, but her words weren’t computing. A couple of techs and nurses eased Laney from his arms. Not only did he feel the emptiness, but it also plagued his heart and his soul.

Josh helped lift Laney onto a gurney. Dinah placed her hand on his shoulder. “You need to help her. She needs you now more than ever.”

Dinah put her cold hands on Josh’s flushed face. “Dr. Stone, I know you’re in shock, but you need to focus. You’re the only one who can save her.”

Josh turned his head, causing the frigid hands to fall from his face. He rubbed his swollen eyes and surveyed the room. The devastation was beyond words. Officer Miller had the man who shot Laney subdued in handcuffs. He lay on the table with his disheveled hair covering his face. Someone must have sedated him because he wasn’t moving. Equipment had been knocked over and supplies thrown everywhere. Josh’s heart rate sped up as he cast his eyes down at the pool of blood surrounding his feet.

“Where is she?”

“They’ve taken her to the OR to get her prepped. You need to get down there right now. Dr. Nessler is coming in to finish up with this guy.”

Josh darted out of the room with an urgency he never felt before. With each step he took, his pace quickened until he was in a full sprint to the OR.

When Josh arrived, the anesthesiologist already had Laney intubated and sedated and was inserting a central line. The nurses had just finished putting in peripheral IVs.

“Hang two units of O positive PRBC’s. Tell the blood bank to have more on standby. She will need them.”

“Are you sure you want O positive and not O negative?” questioned Sandra, the OR nurse.

“Yes! Laney is O positive!” Josh barked.

He rushed to Laney. He took a step back seeing her naked body lying lifeless on the table. Blood still seeped from the bullet wounds. He took a deep breath, steadied himself, and promptly got to work.

“Has anyone called the cardiothoracic surgeon?”

“Yes, he’s been called,” Sandra stated.

“Who’s on call today?” Josh mentally crossed his fingers it was his friend Nathan.

“It’s Dr. George. He should be here any minute.”

Josh sighed. “Thank God. Have chest x-rays been performed?”

“Yes, we also did a CT of her abdomen. There were two bullets that landed there. One hit the large intestine. The other looks as though it may have grazed the liver. There doesn’t appear to be any bleeding, so it may not have been hit. A bullet also went through the right lower lobe of her lung. The worst of the injuries is her heart. She took a direct hit to her left ventricle. She’s losing a lot of blood. I have everything set up when you’re ready to go, Dr. Stone.”

“Let’s get her chest cracked. We can’t waste a moment. Dr. George will start to work as soon as he gets here.”

One of the techs handed Josh a scalpel. He made an incision straight down the center of Laney’s chest to her abdomen. They would need the entire area to work. Once the incision was made, the tech handed Josh the saw. He carefully cut down the middle of the sternum. The sound of metal against bone was raw like Josh’s emotions. It was surreal to know it was Laney.

Josh pulled apart Laney’s sternum and held it open with a sternal retractor.

“Oh, Jesus.”

“Dr. Stone, what is it?” the nurse asked.

“The bullet went through her ventricle.” Oh my God, she’s not going to make it. Josh stared at Laney’s heart losing blood at an alarming rate. If something wasn’t done fast, she would bleed out.

First Four by Don Bailey

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Good morning and today we have Author D.F. Bailey with us talking about his set of psychological books!

Four thrillers that go straight to your heart. So dark. Yet so full of light.
First Four is a boxset of D. F. Bailey’s first four psychological thrillers. The collection includes his first novel — a W. H. Smith First Novel Award finalist — Fire Eyes, plus Healing The Dead, The Good Lie, and Exit From America. BONUS: his short story, “Suitcase,” the perfect epilogue to Healing the Dead.

Click HERE to buy First Four!

What inspired you to write this book?51P7Rq+mcgL
First Four is a collection of my first four thrillers—including the W. H. Smith First Novel Award finalist—Fire Eyes. Over the last three years I’ve written four books in my new crime series which begins with Bone Maker. Now I realize that the crime series is going to absorb my attention for many more years. So I wanted to package the earlier books into one collection for readers who might enjoy those books in a boxset format.
That sounds like an interesting collection! How long have you been writing?
I started to write at an early age (before my teens). Mostly poetry. When I was twenty-five I tried to write a novel (now tucked safely away in the bottom drawer of my desk). My first novel, Fire Eyes, came out when I was thirty-six.
Are you an outliner or pantser?
A bit of both. I like the first and last scenes of a new novel to “appear” in my imagination before I begin to write the first draft. Then when I’m in the groove, I tend to map out the direction in chunks of four or five chapters. I always like to reserve plenty of room for the plot and characters to find their own direction, which makes me more of a pantser, I guess. However, outlines are important to me.
I agree, outlines really help shape your books. I tend to be both though, only outlining key points to my book. Then sometimes I will get stuck because I haven’t planned it out enough. Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
I experienced a ten-year block between my second and third novels. I actually thought I was finished as a writer. Done. Then an new idea occurred to me and I decided to follow my intuition and instincts from the first word to the last (so maybe I am a true pantser). The result was The Good Lie, a novel I am very proud of.
What are your hobbies aside from writing?
I now write almost every day. It’s an obsession. However, I garden and hit the gym a few times a week. I also love music concerts and the theater. Dining with friends is always enjoyable. My family also is extremely important to me. I’d be a different person without them.
Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?
Rome, Venice, Florence. From Italy I’d like to cross the Adriatic Sea and explore Croatia.
You were just given an Island. What would you name it? And who would live there with you?
The island is called Family Island. The inhabitants would include all my relatives going back ten generations. They would have a lot of stories to share, don’t you think?
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Shamrock Pancakes from The Huffing Post

I would love to get to know some of my relatives before I was born. I even found out there’s an author in my family! So let’s have fun… What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten.

Green pancakes. My cousin made them for me when I was about 10. Delicious. His mother just about killed him.
If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would it be?
Hmmm. Some of my characters are pretty darned scary. Others are messed up but harmless. However, Teejay Flood, the young girl In Exit From America, has a remarkable personal toughness mixed with the heart of a young saint, and an emotional IQ that is through the roof. I’ve already learned a lot from her. Seeing her in reality every day would likely make me a better person in every way.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
I taught creative writing for decades at the local university. My advice is to set aside at least an hour a day to write on your own. It’s called meeting the muse. Writing novels is a long and lonely game. You need to enjoy the act of writing, so be sure to write what *you* want to write.
That’s great advise! Can you share an excerpt of your book with us?
Of course. Here are three opening paragraphs from my first novel, Fire Eyes. As you can see, it begins with a bang!
The bomb went off a little after one in the morning. It was a beautiful thing. There was blues and greens and thick yellows that blended in with the smoke to make it all look like mustard gas in some World War I movie. And the sound of it was much louder than I thought. I guess it could have been the noise alone that brought the cops. But the look of it — the colors — they were much more than I hoped for. Damn it, they were beautiful. 
But what happened to Renee, that’s something else. It was the last thing I expected. She tried to make everything so casual, carrying the bomb the way she did under her arm. First she spins around and smiles like there’s no care to the world and moves up the sidewalk in her dream of ballet. She points her toe to the ground once, twice — then, as she turns on one foot, the bomb explodes and breaks the night into a thousand smoking greens and yellows and reds, with a huge blast like a rocket burst echoing off the walls of the mountains. And then it’s all over before you can really see it and in the end she’s worse than dead because the bomb blew everything apart. There’s a crater gutted into the sidewalk and suddenly all the lights in the First City Electric building black out. A minute later there’s a flicker of light in the windows and then the power surges back to life. Only the front door has any sign of damage, two windows shattered from their steel frames. And along the sidewalk, halfway up from the road, her handkerchief rests where it fell. Except for that, there’s nothing left at all. Not even the baby.
Yes, she’s the one that didn’t come back. I remember her saying it would be like a war, and in a war there’s always some that don’t come home. I always thought she was talking about me. Specially when I put the bomb together in the lab.
•••
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D.F. Bailey is a W.H. Smith First Novel Award and a Whistler Independent Book Award finalist.
In 2015 D.F. Bailey published The Finch Trilogy — Bone Maker, Stone Eater, and Lone Hunter — three novels narrated from the point-of-view of a crime reporter in San Francisco. He is now extending the trilogy in a series of stand-alone books.
His first novel, Fire Eyes, was optioned for film. His second novel, Healing the Dead, was translated into German as Todliche Ahnungen. The Good Lie, another psychological thriller, was recorded as an audio book. A fourth novel, Exit from America, made its debut as an e-book in 2013.
Following his birth in Montreal, D.F. Bailey’s family moved around North America from rural Ontario to New York City to McComb, Mississippi to Cape May, New Jersey. He finally “landed on his feet” on Vancouver Island — where he lives next to the Salish Sea in the city of Victoria.
For twenty-two years D.F. Bailey worked at the University of Victoria where he taught creative writing and journalism and coordinated the Professional Writing Cooperative Education Program — which he co-founded. From time to time he also freelanced as a business writer and journalist. In the fall of 2010 he left the university so that he could turn “his pre-occupation with writing into a full-blown obsession.”

You can follow D.F. Bailey on  www.dfbailey.com,    Twitter,    Facebook,    Amazon Author Page

IN PRAISE OF…
Fire Eyes
“Fire Eyes is a taut psychological thriller with literary overtones, a very contemporary terrorist romance.”
—Globe and Mail
“A dynamite read. Combines a remarkable literary finesse with the tightly wound mainspring of a psychological thriller. A new writer of the very best.” 
— Andreas Schroeder, author of “Renovating Heaven”
Healing The Dead
“You start reading Healing the Dead with a gasp and never get a proper chance to exhale.”
—Globe and Mail

Click HERE to buy First Four!

Incomplete by Kadee Carder

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We humans have to be stronger than we ever imagine, love ourselves in the process, and dig in when the ground seems to sink. We not only relish adventures, we create them. That’s the basis of Saylor’s story in my young adult science fiction trilogy, Insurrection. Volume Two of the trilogy, entitled Incomplete, is now available on iTunes, Amazon Kindle, and Barnes & Noble Nook!

kBook Blurb:

Saylor started out on one adventure and ended up on another. After finding herself on a Caribbean island filled with strange noises, dazzling beaches, and a secret military base, Saylor must clutch the missing pieces of her fate. While harnessing her ability to communicate with deadly weapons of mass destruction, attending the annual gala, and fighting her growing feelings for the hunky Australian soldier, Saylor’s instincts become increasingly distressed. Tempted by greed and independence, she must determine what she stands for and on whose side she belongs. Power within in her. War without.

They wanted a warrior. They got one.

Excerpt:

Silent, smooth, and undefined, he slipped beside me, the two of us watching the horizon and the navy sky, dotted with starlight and swaying under the breeze. In the same way that chocolate nestles down slowly and sweetly on the taste buds, or like a crisp spring morning drifts dew over the dawn, he slid his right arm around me, pulling me close. Satin brushed against cotton and hope dashed against the rough breakwater of changing tides.

“Against my own rules, the other day I allowed in the thought about what losing you would feel like,” Tucker said. “Those monsters hovering over you were a greater risk than the Commander’s orders. Holding you in my arms after you fell, motionless,” he shook his head. “That was the flip of the switch.”

Several clouds meandered overhead, blocking out starlight and passing by, finally clearing out again, and I could once again accept oxygen into my lungs. Letting a smile tease my lips, a rosy glow burned across my cheeks.

“I’m terribly challenged in the area of accepting someone loving me,” I admitted. “I have buckets of love. But they’ve been boxed up, packed away, and I don’t know how to carry them.”

He turned to me, his eyes glinting in the light, probably imagining my struggle with big gray metal sand castle buckets.

“Well, that’s convenient,” he answered, somehow moving closer, arms circling, tightening around my waist, until we faced each other. “I have pretty strong arms. I’d be pleased to help you carry them.”

Somewhere, innocent lips blew the wispy seeds from a dandelion bud, somewhere passionate lips sputtered rhetoric and jargon, and somewhere else, lips dripped with lies and temptation. But his smoldered.

****

Deep in the heart of Texas, Kadee Carder resides with her husband and daughters. kkCarder earned a BA in Public Relations at Howard Payne University and an MFA in Creative Writing from National University. She teaches English courses on the university level and plans her schedule around coffee availability. When she’s not dancing around the living room with her daughters, she helps at church activities, creates encouraging blogs, and orders pizza like a boss.

Connect on social media!

Website: kadeecarder.com

Twitter: @kadeecarderink

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

Instagram: kadeecarderink

And please feel free to subscribe for encouraging blogs! Kadeecarder.com

I’m giving away a free, empowering e-book to those who subscribe to my email list at kadeecarder.com. The book is called Ignite and offers a serving of inspiration, a dash of hope, and a cup of grace.

Purchase Incomplete for only $4.99:

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Incomplete-Insurrection-Book-Kadee-Carder-ebook/dp/B01MSABMCK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1485896027&sr=8-1&keywords=incomplete+kadee+carder

Nook/Barnes&Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/incomplete-kadee-carder/1125528337?ean=2940157351953

iTunes:

https://itun.es/us/5rqpfb.l

Reviews:

“I loved this story. The characters are so witty, well developed and real. The growth Saylor goes through is touching and had me rooting for her every step of the way. The technology introduced is intriguing and frightening. Like what would happen if your favorite pastime started fighting back and you were thrown into the deadliest game of baseball you could ever imagine? In the midst of the awesome kick butt-ness are the girl giggles of a first crush that will have you swooning and wanting more.

An amazing first novel in a series that I can already tell will become one of my favorite series.

If you are looking for a unique science fiction book you need to pick this book up! You will be memorized by the story, the wonder of the strange island, the romance developing, and the unwavering friendship.”
~ Amy

***

“I loved this book. As a mom, I’m always looking for good adventure stories for my 15-year old daughter to read, and Insurrection takes the cake. The daring heroine is unafraid of adventure but also not ashamed of romance. (I have to say, though, that it was refreshing to have the focus be more on the adventure and less on the romance!)
The only negative about this book is that only the first one is available! I can’t wait for the second and third books.”
~ Laura

***

Visit http://www.kadeecarder.com/incomplete.html for book trailer, radio interviews, gift certificates, freebie codes, and more!

Writer Tag!

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My good friend tagged me on her YouTube channel for this writer tag. I will be doing mine on my blog since I’m a bit camera shy.

Writer Tag!
1. What do you eat or drink while writing? I like to stick with water while I’m writing though every now and then I prefer some mint tea or a Coke. As for food, I’m not picky. Twizzlers are good to chew on and don’t get my fingers dirty when grabbing for another one between paragraphs. tea
2. What do you listen to while writing? I don’t like listening to music when I write at home, because it distracts me, but if for some reason I’m out and about and have some time in the car to type a few things on my tablet, then music is a must. I’m strange, I know.
3. What is your biggest distraction while you’re writing? My biggest distraction is the stinkin’ internet. Why did someone have to invent the internet? If I an not in a good flow of writing, I tend to be surfing. And not the waves at the beach.
4. What is the worst thing that has happened to you while writing? I’m not sure I’ve had anything bad happen when I’m writing. So far my writing life is relatively calm. That’s not to say something absurd won’t happen in the future though!
5. What is the best thing that has ever happened to you while writing? Getting a great idea for my story or another one, or finding the perfect title. Nothing too spectacular so far. I must be the only boring writer in the world, nothing good or bad happens to me.
6. Who do you communicate with while you’re writing? Usually Alyssa, my friend in Spain. We have similar taste in books and love fangirling over something we’ve read or written. I share almost all my stories with her and she does the same, I think… and we have awesome brainstorming sessions once a week or so to knock over any walls our writing has built. We probably talk every day.

Then there’s my sister, Elena, who also writes and shares her stories with me. Which they are amazing. I only really share my fantasy stories with her because that’s what she’s interested in and I help her any way I can.
7. What is your secret to success and your biggest writing flaw? My secret to success is to never give up and don’t procrastinate. I’m a big procrastinator but when I want to accomplish something and I have a goal, I usually follow through with it.

My biggest flaw is that I skip around with stories too much. If I can focus on writing just one story or series and getting it edited then work on the next, I might be better off, but I can’t. I like to work on more than one story at a time.

music8. What is your inspiration? What makes you productive? Inspiration for me comes from many things. It may be a song I heard on the radio, or the person living down the hall. I may have seen someone walk down the street and created a whole life for them in my head or recreated a life from someone I already know. Alyssa or Elena and I will get talking and will come up with a whole story by the end of our conversation. It all depends.

As for what makes me productive; it’s about wanting to get those stories out of my head and onto paper or the computer. I want to finish these projects so readers can enjoy them. If I find an author I like, I want to be able to read more of their books, so for those that have read Bleeding Hearts and loved it, don’t worry, I’m writing more books for you!
9. What is one thing that you do or that other writers do that is super annoying? I don’t like the word ‘decide’ or any variation of it. I try my darnest not to use that word in any of my books and really can’t stand it when other writers use it. I hardly ever use it when I’m talking either. I don’t know why I don’t like the word, I just don’t. LOL
10. Are you willing to share something you’ve written? Yes, always! Here is an excerpt from a new fantasy book I’m writing called Under The Grave.

In a whisper of a breath, I pull the trigger.  

The bullet hits my target.  

Before anyone can react, I fire another bullet into Sylvia. The governor falls off her stool, blank eyes staring down her followers. Sylvia tumbles down beside her, like dominoes stacking upon another. 

“Get out!” Hart urges. My adrenaline propels my next moves. I pack up my rifle and crawl backwards out of the air vent, not caring if I make noise. A stampede of frightened partiers and voters flood the area.  

People scream. Fear is a tangible thing that slithers through the halls and grips each body, including mine.

Sentries run into the building. Tears stream down every cheek. And somehow I feel better. I smile, realizing no one will know her plans. The Revolutionaries are safe for another day.   

The halls of the conference building start to fill wall to wall with frantics and my escape plan needs to be changed. Even though I’ve chosen a desolate hallway to follow through with my orders, it’s now slammed with witnesses. Drunken people want somewhere to hide from the gunner, from me.

fallbook

Operation Prom Date by Cindi Madsen

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OPERATION PROM DATE (TACTICS IN DATING #1) BY CINDI MADSEN

Kissing practice has never been more fun.

Publication Date: March 13, 2017    Publisher: Entangled Teen Crush

Operations Prom Date Cover

Kate ships tons of fictional couples, but IRL her OTP is her and Mick, the hot quarterback she’s crushed on since, like, forever. With only one semester left of senior year, it’s now or never if she wants to land him in time for prom. Since she’s flirtationally challenged, she enlists Cooper Callihan, the guy who turned popular seemingly overnight but who used to be a good friend.

Cooper lives and breathes rowing, but his partner just broke his wrist. When he remembers Kate’s good with a set of oars, he strikes a deal: help him train, and he’ll make sure her crush notices her. Only he didn’t know how addicting spending time with her would be. Or how the more successful the Operation is, the more jealousy he experiences.

The mission has been set. The troops have their marching orders. But what if the target is the wrong guy all along?

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains stargazing, accidental swimming, and poker swindling. This kissing practice will melt your ereader…and give you a new couple to ship.   

Review:

This book was surprisingly funny and romantic! Kate sets out to snag the popular Mick guy by prom, but along the way ends up falling for someone else. The story trope is used quite a bit but every time I read a book like this I love it. And this book did not disappoint. The author has a way with words and sarcasm, something I only dream of having.

There’s a plethora of bickering, laughing, and romance to keep you busy. The characters were well thought out and complex. They all had decent backgrounds that you miss out of knowing in books. I liked that she gave every character a purpose. I even liked Kate’s mom in this story, she was just as funny as all the other characters.

I can’t say how much I loved this book without gushing too much so I will leave it like this: I will definitely read more from this author! Can’t wait to see what else she writes.

Link to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33224662-operation-prom-date

Purchase Links:  Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N| Kobo | TBD | iBooks

Link to Tour Schedule:  http://www.chapter-by-chapter.com/tour-schedule-operation-prom-date-by-cindi-madsen-presented-by-entangled-teen-crush/    

Cindi Madsen

 

Cindi Madsen is a USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance and young adult novels. She sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a new pretty pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music, dancing, and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children.

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Goodreads • Pinterest

Read below for some fun, snarky excerpts!

“That’s Klaus,” Kate said. “Don’t worry, he’s got a much better temperament than his namesake.”

“Oh? And who is he named after?”

“An original vampire. From the show The Originals? Technically he was on The Vampire Diaries first, but they did a spin off, and anyway…” She scooped up the creature as she sat on her bed. “Klaus kills for fun—the vampire. This Klaus is too lazy to do much of anything.”

I sat next to her on the bed, still taking in her collection of figurines.

“That’s my Funko Pop collection. I paired them up the way they should be on the shows.” She gestured at one in a green hood and the blonde figure next to him with the glasses. I realized it was from Arrow.

    “I ship Olicity the hardest.”

“‘Ship’ them?”

“I want them in a relationship. Like I’d put them in a ship together so they’d be forced to see they’re perfect for each other, bribe the writers to get them together, ship them. Partnership, friendship, please-God-put-them-in-a-relationship-already ship them.”

“Oh-kay.”

“It’s a common phrase. Oliver and Felicity are totally my OTP, which means one true pairing, if you haven’t somehow heard of that, either. I also ship Alexa and Clarke on The 100 a crazy amount, and I was pretty mad at the writers for a while, but something happened and…well, I won’t spoil it, but I might’ve teared up. Then of course there’s Stydia and Captain Swan”—she pointed at a blond figure wearing a red jacket and a goateed dude with a hook for a hand—“I used to be all about Damon and Elena, but there toward the end, I shipped her and a coffin. Which sounds mean, I know, but vampires don’t technically die, so a bit nicer?”

“I’m still judging you too much for saying ‘ship them the hardest’ to judge you for the vampire stuff.”

She smacked my arm and I laughed. Honestly, I was also trying to keep up with all the words she’d spouted, trying to make sense of them. We’d spent the past few afternoons on the boat, and the more time I spent with her, the more amused I was by her, even though I only understood about half of what she said.

Klaus crawled higher on her lap and she rubbed his chin. I never knew a lizard could smile, but damned if the thing didn’t grin. Kate caught my eye. “Just call me Khaleesi, mother of dragons. Or dragon, as it were. Please tell me you at least get that reference.”

Game of Thrones. I’ve only read the first book, though. Okay, half of the first book, but I meant to pick it back up. But then I sort of just watched the show instead.”

She glanced around like someone might be listening and then leaned in. “Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve never read the books.”

I leaned a few inches closer, until I could see the different shades of green in her eyes. “Your secret is safe with me.”

“You’re starting to have a lot of my secrets, so I certainly hope so.”

    Unexpected warmth swirled through my chest. I’d never thought I would want to be a secret keeper, but there was something about having Kate’s trust that made me proud to be one.

Excerpt 2!

The boat bumped the shore before I realized how close we were. I stood, planning on jumping onto the dirt and grass embankment so I could help pull the boat to shore. I nearly fell in the water but managed to land on a muddy spot instead, my shoes making a sloppy squishing sound.

When I grabbed the boat and tugged, it was heavier than I expected. My foot slipped, unable to get any traction in the slimy sludge, and I fell backward, all my momentum now working against me. As squishy as the mud was between my fingers, it sure was hard on the butt.

Cooper’s laughter came out sputtered at first, like he’d made an attempt to stop it, but then he laughed full out, the boat rocking as he folded over. I flicked mud at him, but it barely hit his legs, which was hardly satisfying.

Once he semi-recovered from his laughing fit, he took a large step and jumped onto the dry part of the shore. Show off. He tugged the boat up next to him, then extended a hand to me.

“I like how you took care of the boat first,” I grumbled as he grabbed my clean hand.

“Well, it doesn’t have feet. It’s hardly fair to expect it to climb onto the shore.” His implication was clear—he expected me to have that ability. He yanked me up, and I nearly bumped into him. My hands automatically went to his waist.

He gripped my upper arms. “Whoa. You steady?”

Suddenly, I didn’t feel steady at all. My stomach did a sommersault, and my skin tingled underneath his large, warm hands.

I must just be lightheaded from standing up so fast—that was it. I shook off the momentary dizziness, and glanced down. My muddy hand left a big smear of brown across his T-shirt and the top of his jeans. “Oh shoot, I got your clothes messy.”

He shrugged and his voice came out low. “I don’t mind getting dirty.”

My gaze shot to his. Apparently I was the one with muddy hands and dirty thoughts, but then dawning crossed his features.

“You thought I was giving you some line, didn’t you?”

I shook my head. “No. Of course not.”

“Mmm-hm. Guess you’re not quite as serious as I thought.” He tipped his head toward his truck. “C’mon. Let’s get you home before the rest of your thoughts drift into the gutter and you offend my delicate sensibilities.”

I opened my mouth to tell him he was the one who put them there, but luckily I stopped myself just in time. No way that wouldn’t come out sounding inappropriate, and then he’d get the wrong idea and think I was crushing on him or something and run in the other direction.

That’d leave me with two social disasters on my hands, because I’d never pull off my goal to land Mick without Cooper by my side.

Dating the It Guy by Krysten Lindsay Hager

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Clean Reads has published another great book by Krysten!

DatingtheItGuy453x680Emme is a sophomore in high school who starts dating, Brendon Agretti, the popular senior who happens to be a senator’s son and well-known for his good looks. Emme feels out of her comfort zone in Brendon’s world and it doesn’t help that his picture perfect ex, Lauren seems determined to get back into his life along with every other girl who wants to be the future Mrs. Agretti. Emme is already conflicted due to the fact her last boyfriend cheated on her and her whole world is off kilter with her family issues. Life suddenly seems easier keeping Brendon away and relying on her crystals and horoscopes to guide her. Emme soon starts to realize she needs to focus less on the stars and more on her senses. Can Emme get over her insecurities and make her relationship work? Life sure is complicated when you’re dating the it guy.

Pick up your copy today! Amazon Barnes & Noble iTunes Kobo Smashwords

About the author:

Besides mining her teen years and humiliating moments for her novels, Krysten is a also a10177933_630082620414159_6804951753468145375_n book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and writes young adult, middle grade, new adult, and adult fiction as well as humor essays. She is originally from Michigan and has lived in Portugal, South Dakota, and currently resides in southwestern Ohio where you can find her reading and writing when she’s not catching up on her favorite shows (she’s addicted to American Dad to the point where she quotes episodes on a daily basis and also loves Girl Meets World). She’s also a third generation Detroit Lions fan.

Krysten writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, Next Door to a Star,  Landry in Like, and Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2). Her debut novel, True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award for best preteen book. Krysten’s work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Bellbrook Times and on Living Dayton.

Follow Krysten here:  Website Instagram Facebook Pinterest Twitter Youtube

Check out the book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HdfnUqZPKU

Praise for Dating the It Guy:

“A sweet, endearing story—you’ll fall in love with Emme just like I did!” —Kimber Leigh Wheaton, YA/NA author

“Hager’s authentic characters will resonate with readers of all ages as they are immersed in the story  – complete with teen drama and angst, but also the relationships which make it all worthwhile.” —  Leslie L. McKee, book reviewer, Edits and Reviews by Leslie

What people are saying about Krysten’s work:

From Teenage Book Recommendations in the UK: “This is a fantastically relatable and real book which I feel captures all of the insecurities and troubles which haunt the modern teenage girl. It is about a young model who has to go through tough times when she is torn between a life as a model and managing her friendships. You learn which friends she can most trust and which will create the drama typical of teenage life. Follow the life of Landry and try to see if you can find out which are her true friends before their true colours are revealed. This book is all about relationships, hopes and truth. I loved this book!”

From Books & Authors Spot: “This book is such an inspiration for those who just care about their looks and are tensed about them. This thing is looks aren’t everything. This book is related to every teen’s problem. Hager has written a very inspiring novel.”

“Krysten captures the teenage girl today. The struggles are real, the issues are something children have been dealing with since before I was a teen, and oddly-Krysten captures the readers! I was prepared for another “Mean Girls” story. This is NOT that. This is the real story of teenage girls! You watch Landry flower into a young woman who finds out trust is an invaluable item to find, and friendships are hard to seek genuine realism in. You will learn about relationships with not just friends, but peers, boys, and others. The details put into the book will draw you, and make the story so much more realistic. Krysten expresses emotions beautifully through her writing, and the story flows flawlessly…” By Candice J. Conway Simpson

“True Colors, is just a dazzling story of how middle school kids show their true colors of jealousy, drama, loss and gains of friendship. However, the way Krysten wrote her story; she wrote it with passion, creativity and honesty that this story line could be placed in anyone’s life at any age.” Review by Double Decker Books

“Krysten Lindsay Hager understands what it means to be a teen today, and she writes with an authentic voice. Landry, the main character, is funny, lively, and very real. Readers will relate to her struggles with friends and family, self-esteem and self-discovery, boys and school and life in general. It’s fun to read about Landry’s blossoming modeling career and the changes it brings.” Review by Author Diana Jenkins

Blonde student worried about exams

Blonde student worried about exams

Read below for an excerpt:

He put the magazine between us, and when I moved forward to see it, he put his arm across the back of my chair. Now lots of guys did put their arms on chair backs, even Kirk did that with Rory, and he definitely wasn’t interested in her, but I couldn’t help but hope it meant something. I got this shivery feeling, and he asked if I was cold. I shook my head. I always got a feeling before something major was about to happen, and it has nothing to do with being cold, but I didn’t know why I got the feeling. Grandma used to do the same thing and always said, “Somebody just walked across my grave.” Somehow I didn’t think Brendon would understand if I told him I needed to move my future burial plot to a less high-traffic area.

“Are we still on for the art fair?” he asked.

I had only been circling it with hearts on my calendar since he asked.

“Sure, I think I’m still free,” I said.

We finished up our work, and he walked me out to meet Kylie.

“Okay, I’ll pick you up at three tomorrow,” he said, walking off.

“Can I ask a stupid question?” Kylie asked as soon as Brendon was out of earshot. “What’s he like? Because he’s so well-known, and I can’t imagine what it’d be like to grow up with your whole life under a microscope. I mean, my mom remembers his first birthday party pictures being shown on the news. And he’s hot, but he’s not like I-know-I’m-a-hottie hot, but more like a confident, ‘Yes, I am hot. Any questions?’ I mean, he has to have noticed there aren’t any guys who look like him walking around.”

“I should tell him what you said.”

“Don’t you dare,” Kylie said.

“I get what you mean—he’s grown up with everybody knowing his dad and watching him, but he’s pretty down to earth.”

“So what’s up with you two? You guys didn’t do any work last Saturday, and now you’re going to an art fair.”

“I dunno. He just asked me to go with him.”

“Asked you to go with him as his study buddy or asked you to go with him because he’s desperately in love with you?” she asked.

I said we were just friends, but she wouldn’t let it go.

“Okay, duh, obviously I like him, but let’s be honest. He’s out of my league. He’s out of most people’s league. It’s weird because normally if I like a guy then one of two things happens—either he likes me and asks for my number…or I find out he’s not into me and I cry in my pillow and listen to man-hating music for at least three days,” I said. “But this time’s different because he’s, I dunno, not just ‘some guy.’ I mean, I’m not putting up a shrine to him in my room, and I haven’t rooted though his garbage can, but I have as much chance of going out with him as Kirk does of getting an ‘A’ in this class.”

“You listen to man-hating music?” she asked, and I narrowed my eyes at her. “Whatever. Anyway, Em, he’s asked you out once already, and you are seeing him tomorrow. Plus, he’s always staring at you.”

I said he was probably just bored in class today, but she wouldn’t let it go.

“I’m not just talking about today. When we watched the movie on Monday, he watched you instead, and whenever I see you guys, he acts like there’s no one else in the room,” she said.

I couldn’t hold back the big, stupid smile spreading across my face. “He does? For real?”

She nodded. “You know, it’s weird. Here you were all upset you didn’t have a partner at the beginning of the semester, and then you ended up with like, Mr. Perfection, as your partner.”

5 Star Book Review- Damaged Goods

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Have you heard of The Genesis Girl? Well, you should have. It’s the first book in the Blank Slate series and it’s amazing. I had the chance to read the sequel, given to me by the author herself, and I was pleasantly surprised how much I loved it.
Here’s a recap of The Genesis Girl: gen

Eighteen-year-old Blanca has lived a sheltered life. Her entire childhood has been spent at Tabula Rasa School where she’s been protected from the Internet. Blanca has never been online and doesn’t even know how to text. Her lack of a virtual footprint has made her extremely valuable and upon graduation Blanca, and those like her, are sold to the highest bidders. Blanca is purchased by Cal McNeal, who uses her to achieve personal gain. But the McNeal’s are soon horrified by just how obedient and non-defiant Blanca is. All those mind-numbing years locked away from society have made her mind almost impenetrable. By the time Blanca is ready to think for herself, she is trapped. Her only chance of escape is to go online.
I gave this book a five star review and knew after I finished it, that I had to read the second book!

Now that I have finished Damaged Goods, I can easily say it was another FIVE STAR review. I couldn’t put the book down! The author does a great job with continuing the story in a way that catches the reader. She also brings subtle details from the previous book into the second one so the reader doesn’t forget. She leaves out certain information that might be revealed later in the series. I really like the rocky relationship between Blanca and Seth. It seems so real. The whole book Blanca struggles with the option of being adopted by Cal McNeal and Seth’s denial about the whole thing only shows how much he loves her. I’m so excited to read the third book, if there is one, which I want there to be!

Here’s the blurb for Damaged Goods and where you can find the book!

Blanca has everything she ever wanted, a hot boyfriend named Seth and the loving support of her foster father, Cal. She’s finally escaped the abusive control of her birth father, Barbelo Nemo, and her tortured childhood at Tabula Rasa School.

But the scars of Blanca’s Vestal upbringing run deep, especially when the FBI start asking questions. Blanca feels abandoned by Seth who is hunting for Lilith, Blanca’s only blood relative. The Defectos, a support group of Vestal-Rejects, offer Blanca comfort instead.

While the Vestal order crumbles, Chinese rivals called the Guardians rise to power and wrest control of important Tabula Rasa contacts. Now Blanca’s life is in peril once more, and this time, Blanca struggles to recognize friend from foe.damaged

You can purchase the ebook or paperback on Amazon or Barns & Noble!

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Jennifer Bardsley is the author of GENESIS GIRL and a newspaper columnist for The Everett Daily Herald. She lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband and two children. You can find Jennifer online at http://JenniferBardsley.net, or http://TeachingMyBabytoRead.com. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JennBardsley or on Facebook as TheYAGal.

Free eBook Giveaway!!

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In celebration of Valentine’s day, I am hosting a Rafflecopter giveaway of my book, Bleeding Hearts. I know you all have heard so much about my book, but this is your chance to get your free copy!

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Here are some fun facts:

  • There are two holidays and a birthday represented in the book, New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Cami’s birthday.

  • Red roses, a flower famous on Valentine’s Day is a symbol of death in the book, not love.

  • The book is set in Richmond, VA.

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Author Interview: Sara R. Turnquist

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Hey ya’ll! I have a special guest with me today and she’s talking about her book and fun facts about herself. Check it out!

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Hope In Cripple Creek

Amidst devastation and loss, can one woman find love?

Tragedy strikes Katherine Matthews and the small town of Cripple Creek, Colorado. An epidemic teams her with an old enemy, Wyatt Sullivan, the town’s doctor. In the midst of desperation and death, Katherine has decisions to make. But she has no idea to what extent they will affect her daily life and livelihood. The town is turned upside-down when the gold miners go on strike. The owners bring in outside reinforcements, ready to break the resolve of the Western Federation of Miners. Everything in an upheaval, Katherine faces a crisis of faith and hard choices. Will life ever be normal again?

What inspired you to write this book?

I have always loved this time period from shows like Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. I wanted to set it somewhere in Colorado. My husband who has lived in Colorado suggested Cripple Creek as it was a small-ish town there. When I began researching Cripple Creek, I found this story of this rather famous mine strike that took place there around this time. So, I decided to set my story during that strike and incorporate it in the story. So, part of the story is based on the true history of the strike (featuring the main character’s brother) and it’s woven in and around the love story.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve always kind of written short stories and fan fiction (surprisingly, not Dr. Quinn, but Star Trek 🙂 ) But I was in college (many moons ago) when I started the manuscript which would become my second published novel, The General’s Wife.

Are you an outliner or pantser?

I am a born pantser. But, the longer I am writing and learning, the more I am becoming a PLANTSER (plannter/pantser). I do some planning (mostly with characters) up front, and then let the story take me away. That part will never change.

hicc1-2Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?

Inspiration is not always going to be there, sometimes you have to find the muse. Your determination is up to you. I would suggest that you use google to search for “writing prompts” or just start journaling. Sometimes you have to “prime the pump” as they say. And it’s true. If you will start writing anything, even if you don’t feel it, you will be surprised how quickly your mind will get flowing again. Many writers will edit the previous days’ scene(s) to prime the pump before getting started on their day’s work.

What are your hobbies aside from writing?

I love to read, paint, scrapbook, sing, play the piano, but between my three little kiddos, the house, groceries, laundry, cooking, and whatnot, I rarely have time for anything other than writing.

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

Egypt…I’d love to see the pyramids for myself.

You were just given an Island. What would you name it? And who would live there with you?

A name…oh, I don’t know…”Peace” sounds good. My family and friends. But the kids would have their own section of the island with a barrier to the water.

Weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten.

I am NOT an adventurous eater, but I did try alligator once. Tasted like chicken. No joke. Like really chewy chicken.

If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would it be?

My mind ran through my heroines first, then the heros…best not think about that (my husband isn’t reading this is he?)…I like all of my heroines, but I really like the handmaiden of my heroine in The General’s Wife, Alonah. She was such a fun character to write. And she is enough like me that we would get along, but different enough that we wouldn’t butt heads. I think we’d be great friends.

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Do you have any advice for other writers?

Have determination. Just as I said before, no one will caretake your writing journey for you. You have to do it. And sometimes that means writing when you don’t feel like it. Sometimes that means stretching yourself in the area of marketing when you don’t want to.

Can you share an excerpt of your book with us?

Absolutely!!  EXCERPT:

“Katie!” Someone shook her, rubbing her face. “Katie!”

Her eyes opened. There was no tunnel, no Ellie Mae. Katherine was in the hotel room in Denver with Wyatt. He leaned over her, hands on her arms, shaking her awake. Ellie was dead and had been for many years. Katherine lay covered in a layer of sweat as tears flowed down her face.

“Katie, are you all right?” Wyatt asked, his voice now gentle as he pushed her hair out of her face. He sat on the edge of the bed and pulled her into his embrace. “That must have been some nightmare. But you’re safe.”

Katherine did feel safe in his arms, but the memory of what happened to Ellie was fresh in her mind, in her heart, and she couldn’t let herself remain in Wyatt Sullivan’s embrace. She pushed at him to create some distance between them.

She smacked at her face, wiping the tears away. “I’m fine,” she lied.

His eyes darkened. Who cared if he didn’t believe her?

But she would have none of his comforting. The wound was fresh. He had left Ellie Mae behind.

img_7676Sara is originally from Middle Tennessee where she currently resides with her family. She is a prolific reader and enjoys reading and writing clean Historical Romance. Her travels have also served to inspire her writing. Sara is the author of The Lady Bornekova, The General’s Wife, and Off to War. She is also a member of ACFW.

If you are as excited as I am about this book, you can purchase it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, or Kobo!

Check out the book trailer for Hope In Cripple Creek here!

The Great Siege

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A reckoning is coming…

Exiled and hunted, Aurora, the last of the Vlnndruill bloodline, leads a rebellion far from the peaceful forests of Edenhart she once called home. With the Apocrypha imminent and surrounded by enemies, the dark forces gathering in the north will stop at nothing to see her dead.

Aurora is the only one powerful enough to bring an end to this war, the only one with the strength to face the Sorcerer of the North. But will her allies and magic be enough? If she cannot find the will to accept her fate, even if that means she must die, all that she’s fought for—all those who’ve pledged to her their loyalty…

…will be destroyed.

Please find The Great Siege on Goodreads.

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Author J.N. Tomczak has published another book in the Kingdom of the Faeries series by Clean Reads.  She grew up on a small farm in central Arkansas and now lives in Tucson, Arizona with her husband. When not writing, Julianne loves playing video games, listening to music, hiking, and collecting books and Star Wars stuff.

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You can follow her on:

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14918148.J_N_Tomczak

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