Friday, January 31, 2014

Retribution (The Artemis series #1) by Virginia Brasch Cover Revel!

Today is the cover reveal for Retribution (The Artemis series #1)
by Virginia Brasch!

Retribution (The Artemis series #1)
by Virginia Brasch

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: February 10

An eye for an eye. Bailey Russell is an assassin on an Artemis Agency assignment that is both business and personal: take out Amir Fahad, the arms dealer, who killed her partner. She’s put together an ideal plan that includes using herself as bait. Grieving the loss of her former partner and her team’s faith in her she vows the only way this mission ends is in death: hers or Fahad’s.

A dangerous web they weave. British Intelligence Operative, Ben Ambrose, is married to his job. And for the past three months that has meant living undercover as part of Fahad’s crew. Three month’s work blown when he feels compelled to risk his life to protect Bailey and her friends from Fahad’s men.

The best laid plans. Bailey’s plan ruined. Ben’s cover blown. Their entire professional lives consist of lies and subterfuge, but there’s one thing Bailey and Ben can’t hide from each other, their growing attraction. Still, each wants to complete their mission at all costs: personal and professional.

Payback’s a bitch and this time her name is Bailey.

You can add Retribution to your to-read list on Goodreads

"Well," Bailey smacked her hands down on her thighs. "I'm beat." She looked around the plain room and avoided meeting his eyes.
Ben stood from his chair and scooped up his bag as he moved toward her. "Me, too." He dropped the bag next to the bed, pulled one gun out, and sat next to her on the cot.
Bailey shot him an odd look. "What are you doing?"
He leaned back, brushing her arm as he did so, and pulled his long legs up, maneuvering them around her until he lay flat on the cot. He moved close to the wall.
"We should sleep if we have the time, and apparently, with your team running things, we have the time," he teased.
He was practically taking up the entire bed, leaving only the space where Bailey was currently sitting. Her face looked so furious he wanted to laugh.
She turned on him. "Well, since I did all the heavy lifting this evening I think I should get the bed," she said.
Ben let out a snort. "I carried that guy, too." He patted the small space next to him. "But I can share if it means that much to you," he said with a grin.
She shot off the bed lightning fast, standing straight up, and staring down at him with her mouth slightly agape. She got his full meaning all right.
He still didn't trust her at all, that was the truth, but he was game for getting some things out of the way and off his mind once and for all.
She was a distraction. He found himself thinking about her, looking at her, when his thoughts should be elsewhere. If he could have her now, satiate his growing need of her and be done with it, then he’d be able to focus. He’d be able to take a step back and see something other than her.
He slid his gun under his pillow and caught her eyes again. She looked hot when she was angry. Her face was flushed, her eyes were wide, and she was breathing hard, trying to regain some composure. She was fuming mad.
She was strong; she dragged a buck seventy-five of dead weight over sand. But Ben couldn't shake the idea that she'd feel warm and soft anyway. She was lean but curved in all the right places just the same. He locked eyes with her, and his slow perusal of her body only seemed to infuriate her more.
"Get out of my bed," she bit out.
Ben lay on his back, but his eyes were very much on Bailey, the gun under his pillow still held firmly in his grasp. He looked casual as if his head was resting on his bicep, but he was still at the ready. "I'm tired and going to sleep now."
"That's it." Bailey stood and grabbed up the second gun from his bag.
Ben never turned. "Drop it now." His deep voice was quiet.
"Absolutely not." Bailey moved to sit in the chair he had abandoned. Her finger pointed accusingly at him. "You've got one on me, and I figure it's only fair."
"I don't believe in fair," Ben said with deadpan honesty.
She loudly slid the table closer to her, scraping the floor, and propped her legs up on it trying to find a comfortable position. She waved his gun back at him with a smile. "Neither do I."
He turned only his head to look at her. "You pinch my gun and expect me to be okay with it?" His quiet voice and narrow eyes pinned her. "Fuckin' hell."
Everything had to be a fight with her! She even had his accent slipping he was so fed up. Princess is too good to share a damn bed? Or more specifically too good to share his bed? Then she took one of his guns. She probably can't even hold the thing more than a few minutes. He was sure she was used to her little toy weapons and not that big piece of steel, dwarfing her hand.
She lounged back awkwardly on the chair with the table under her feet. It looked uncomfortable. Yet, that stubborn arse was sitting there practically smiling, pretending to be happy as a pig in shit.
She cracked one eye at him. "Cheers mate," she shouted mockingly.
He moved his calloused thumb silently up, sliding the safety of his gun up with a soft metallic click. The quiet yet distinctive sound surprised him from his thoughts. Thoughts of regret. He should have shot her when he had the chance, free and clean. Done. His hand and mind were of an accord before he was even aware of thinking it.
And he was right; the gun was far too big for her hand. He watched her reach for the safety with her thumb and fall short before having to do it two handed. "Oh, my God." Ben spoke the words in genuine disbelief.
"What?" She yelled across the small space.
He wasn't sure what to make of this, but he had an increasing urge to laugh at her. "First time you've ever had anything that big in your hands, eh?" She dropped her head down on the back of the chair as if going to sleep now. "You're disgusting," she mumbled. Ben let out a contented sigh from the bed. "I wouldn't feel too bad, sweetheart. It's a lot to handle. You just need practice." "One more word, English, and I'll shoot you."

About the Author:
Virginia Brasch, author of Retribution, the first book in the Artemis Series is making her writing debut. The married Pennsylvania native has an inherited love of books. Virginia was tired of reading stories about helpless damsels in distress and started writing about her own kind of heroine.

She snorts when she laughs, has an unfortunate fondness for karaoke, a growing collection of books, and is drawn always to the sea. She was also once hit in the head by a small sailboat’s boom and tossed overboard. This taught her the importance of expecting the unexpected. She enjoys dirty jokes and swears like a sailor though claims to be “****ing working on it.”

Virginia is an adventurer who lives a wildly exciting life. Afraid to fly, she travels infrequently. She gets excited to spend a night in reading or snuggle up watching a movie with her husband. She likes hanging out with her mom or tentatively venturing out with girlfriends, lured by promises of wine and laughing until it hurts.

“Life is short. Have fun while you’re here.”

She writes suspense with a romantic kick and fully believes heroines should be a bit brash. For more romantic suspense fun, or just for a chat, you can find Virginia on twitter (@Virginia_Brasch), Facebook(, and her website ( She encourages readers to go ahead and be a little bit Brasch.

You can find and contact Virginia here:
- Website
- Facebook
- Twitter

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Feature & Follow Friday-Book Spine Poetry!

Check out Parajunkee & Alison Can Read for more information on this Friday blog hop and to sign up and join the fun.

This week an activity.
Time for Book Spine Poetry again! Take a picture of your book spines spelling out something epic.

My Poem:

Pretty Amy
First Days
After Eden
Friends Vs. Family


How to Break Up with an Alien by Magan Vernon-Review

How to Break Up with an Alien
Magan Vernon
Release Date: May 15, 2012

From Goodreads:

Face it, long distance relationships in high school are hard, especially when the other one in the relationship is an alien. Alex Bianchi may have survived an intergalactic battle, but that still doesn't excuse her from her senior year of high school, or qualify her for any sort of scholarship. To make up for college tuition costs, she takes a job at a local coffee shop. If only coffee could solve all of her problems. As Alex's senior year progresses, everything changes and she can't figure out if it is interstellar or if it is just time to break up with an alien.

Meredith's Review:

So now that Alex and Ace have avoided an alien invasion by agreeing to get married, what’s a girl to do? Well, she goes back to high school to finish her senior year of course. Alex still has to graduate and finish college according to the peace treaty that betroths her to her hottie alien boyfriend.

Now that Alex is back in the land of boring humans, she’s once again the goofy geek instead of the kick ass extra-terrestrial fighter. So she endures the usual torture from mean girl Gemma at school, but finds some solace at her new barista job when she meets her co-worker Simone. Finally a BFF!

Things are good: she’s still on her way to be valedictorian, she’s enjoying some female bonding, her old crush Brody is suddenly giving her a lot of attention (a girl can enjoy a little male attention even if she’s technically engaged right?), and the best perk of all? Ace can beam into her bedroom any time he wants!

I mean how AWESOME is that? Ace can so beam into my room anytime. Did I say that out loud? Ok, so anyway Alex’s life is all happy and wonderful.

Until Ace starts “running late” all the time. And Brody wants to be more than just friends. And maybe Alex doesn’t want to give up on her dream of going to Columbia. What’s a girl to do? I don’t know, maybe break up with an alien?

WHAT!?! I said maybe. Could it be possible that there is some sleep creep involved here? I mean, Brody is getting a bit obsessive. And why on earth is Alex suddenly questioning her feelings for Ace? She loves Ace! And who wouldn’t want to be the next Princess of Calta? There is the whole future mother-in-law from hell that is totally against the alien/human marriage. Could she really stoop so low as to use her sleep creepiness to try to break the treaty?

No worries, Ace is coming to town to help. And to meet Mom! And Grandpa! And wow, Ace sure looks a lot like one of Grandpa’s old war buddies. Eeeep!

Top moments in this book (besides the awesome beaming thing) include:

1. Dreams involving the world’s worst white rapper (and Alex being his ho, yo)
2. Monte’s totally inappropriate (but strangely appropriate) crudeness
3. The whole beaming thing (did I already say that?)
4. Mom meeting Ace
5. Ace’s preppy boy wardrobe
6. The whole beaming thing

As much as I loved this book, I have to admit that I really missed the aliens. There are a few here and there, but no one floats in goo, no purple people eater gets to duke it out with an invisible octohippo, and there is no phoning home. We do get to meet Monte (who needs his own book), but How to Break Up with an Alien reads slightly more YA contemporary. It’s still fun and quirky, and the whole beaming thing is just hot, but I hope we get to see some more E.T.s in the next installment.

So will they make it? Or will Alex find out that breaking up with an alien is hard to do? You’ll have to read it to find out.

Magan Vernon is a Young Adult and New Adult writer who lives with her family in the insurance capital of the world. She is in a very serious, fake relationship with Adam Lambert and constantly asks her husband to wear guyliner. He still refuses. She also believes her husband is secretly an alien, disguised as a southern gentleman.

Author Links:

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

How to Date an Alien by Magan Vernon Review

How to Date and Alien
By Magan Vernon
Release Date:  December 6, 2011

From Goodreads:
High school senior Alex Bianchi's estranged father gets her an internship at Circe Operations Center to pad her college applications. But Circe isn't your typical military base. It's an alien-run operation center and not all of the aliens are friendly, especially the one that tries to kill Alex on her first day. When Ace, a dark-eyed Caltian, enters and saves the day, she can't help but be drawn to him. Can these star-crossed lovers survive when they're on the brink of intergalactic war?

Meredith's Review:
Gorgeous Alien, Green Goo, and Guyliner!

I’m on a total alien binge, so when I heard about this book I couldn’t wait to read it. I wasn’t disappointed. It is funny, sweet, full of aliens, and Ace is just YUM! 

I have to say, the day before I started reading this I went to see the movie Monsters Vs. Aliens, so I couldn’t stop picturing B.O.B, Dr. Cockroach and crew hanging around and giving a few high fives. I love how this story drips in sci-fi, but doesn’t take itself too seriously. Some of the aliens are bizarre and the interaction between the different species is fun. 

Meet Alex Bianchi, a somewhat geeky over achiever that needs something on her Columbia application to help her stand out. Extra curricular activities aren’t her thing, so thank goodness her dad works for the ultra-secretive government compound called Circe. Just mentioning an internship there gets the Columbia recruiter to perk up. One call to Alex’s estranged father and a summer at Circe awaits.

Only Circe isn’t the military base Alex expected. It’s actually a huge compound, hidden in a mountain where aliens are housed. What the what? (Sorry, I’ve been dying to use that.) Leave it to poor Alex to give her dad the thumbs up the moment she steps inside the foreign little world, a sign that one should apparently never give in front of an alien. Just ask Alex as she’s nearly strangled to death by some slimy creature. But something or someone with gorgeous black eyes rescues her. The next thing she knows, she’s being treated by the Bug Man-a.k.a. an alien doc who I imagine looking like an orange roach (see Dr. Cockroach above). 

Alex struggles to fit in with the rest of the interns. While she’s still in high school, they’re all in college and one in particular is angry that Alex only got the much sought after position thanks to her well-respected dad. Whatever, Alex has more important things to do, like report to her assignment in online security! 

Hello Ace! Best. Internship. Ever. Alex can’t help but notice her gorgeous supervisor, I mean hello guyliner! What is guyliner you ask? 

But those eyes, she’s seen those eyes before. And boy do those eyes follow her everywhere. Such as into the cafeteria where Alex almost become a punching bag for an alien smackdown. But thankfully those black orbs swoop in and save her. Wait! That isn’t the first time! Those black eyes that swallow her up saved her once before, the first day she arrived at Circe. Coincidence? I think not.

Alex and Ace dance around their growing attraction, after all humans and aliens don’t mix. But what if they do? Well, there’s a few things about Ace Alex isn’t aware of and let’s just say falling in love with him could lead to the total annihilation of Earth. WHAT?!?  Bring on the mother ship, mix in some green goo I want to dive in to, and let the shenanigans begin. 

My only gripe with the story is it’s too short. I wanted more! 

I wanted more interaction with Alex and the other interns. By the end of the book we’re supposed to believe that a few of these guys are willing to go way out on a limb for her. I just didn’t see it. It was like the friendship developed some behind the scenes. 

I also had a hard time believing Alex could just jump into a spaceship and pilot it into outer space all by herself. I know, I realize the whole bug aliens and green goo I had no problem with, but seriously how can the chick just jump inside a flying saucer and become an instant Maverick? I still remember the first time I attempted to drive a stick shift. Let’s just say rolling half a mile down a hill backwards, into a ditch, with a screaming mother trying to jerk the steering wheel were involved. Maybe it’s just jealousy talking, but still. She was a computer nerd, it would have been more believable if she cracked some secret code and beamed herself aboard the mother ship. Just sayin.

Overall this is a fun, quirky read. If you love aliens I’m sure you will enjoy the humorous sci-fi elements and the swoon-worthy Ace. I read this book in a day and quickly jumped into the next two in the series. It’s addicting. 

On a side note, as I’m writing this the news is reporting of a possible UFO landing in Boca Raton. Ace? I’m here! Beam me up baby!

Magan Vernon is a Young Adult and New Adult writer who lives with her family in the insurance capital of the world. She is in a very serious, fake relationship with Adam Lambert and constantly asks her husband to wear guyliner. He still refuses. She also believes her husband is secretly an alien, disguised as a southern gentleman.

Author Links:

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Academy: Drop of Doubt by C.L. Stone Review #2

The Academy Drop of Doubt
By C.L. Stone
Release Date: January 22, 2014

Sang Sorenson and the Academy boys return to Ashley Waters High School but before they get a chance to even settle in, Sang’s life is threatened by an anonymous caller.

They retreat to the protective walls of the Morgan estate, a safe house for when the boys are under fire. But when new threats can break through those barriers that once kept them secure, it leaves Kota, Victor, Silas, Nathan, Gabriel, Luke and North rushing to figure out who is hunting them. 

But when you’re fighting a ghost who seems to know all your secrets, retreating is no longer an option.

The Academy, Deceptively Strategic.

Author Links:

Meredith's Review:
Ok, so I realize Jen already reviewed this one. BUT...I just had to say something too. I mean, just OMG. I love this series! And oh my #TeamVictor, #TeamGabriel....I'm so at a loss. I've always been a die-hard North girl, but I don't know even Dr. Green is sneaking in there with such ease. 

The story keeps getting more intense with each book, and I found Drop of Doubt to be edge-of-your-seat great. I HATED having to put it down to you, take care of the kiddos, all those real world things that totally get in the way. I needed to know what happened and waiting nearly killed me.

I won't go into any details because doing so just ruins the fun. But I will say there are some fantabulous Victor moments, some OMG Gabriel moments, and even a few Wha...hahahawt Dr. Green moments. My #TeamNorth self is jumping on board several teams at this point. 

I can't forget our leading lady Sang. She is just Ah-MAZ-ing! This girl has spunk and is loyal to the end. For someone so damaged, so confused, and so alone (although not anymore), this girl has got fight in her. I'm going to have to say the word failure is not in her dictionary because the girl never gives up and never gives in. You will be cheering her on in this book.

So, since I can't spoil my favorite moments that I SO want to talk about...I will gif them instead (well, a few anyway. There are too many to count)!

Moment #1-Sang and Victor

Moment #2-Sang and Gabriel

Moment #3-Bathtub

Followed by

Moment #4 Dr Green

Moment #5 Sang and Luke

Moment #6 The Twist Ending

How I felt after reading this book:

And a little:

That is all!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Starcrossed by Brenda Hiatt Release Event & Giveaway!

Starcrossed, a Starstruck novel by Brenda Hiatt, is out now!  To celebrate the release we are happy to share an interview with Princess Emileia and Rigel Stuart as well as an excerpt from the book.  Be sure to stay tuned to the end where there's a giveaway as well!

 The Starstruck adventure continues…

 Marsha spent the first fifteen years of her life as a nerdy nobody before discovering her true identity as the long lost princess of a secret civilization. Now M is dodging extraterrestrial paparazzi while trying to keep the truth from her adoptive aunt and uncle and everyone at school. At least she can be herself with her boyfriend and literal soulmate, Rigel. Whenever they’re together, it’s easy to forget the responsibilities that will eventually come with her new status. But when a new boy arrives at Jewel High, everything M thought she knew about herself and her future is turned upside down. Now the very destiny that lifted her from obscurity threatens to tear her away from Rigel and their happy ever after. But when two planets conspire against you, where is there to run?

Recently Discovered Princess Grants Exclusive Interview
with Gwendolyn Gannett, Echtran Enquirer

I’m sitting here in a charming little ice cream shop in Jewel, Indiana, to chat with our newfound Princess Emileia and Rigel Stuart, the boy who recently saved her life when she was attacked by the dictator Faxon’s minions here on Earth.

Tell me, Princess, how did it feel to discover your true identity after being raises as a Duchas?

With great presence of mind, the Princess immediately shushes me. “Not so loud! And please, stick to English. I don’t want everyone in Dream Cream to freak out the way I did when Rigel first told me there are . . . people like us…living on Earth!”

Given the pains our Nuathan Ministry of Terran Obfuscation has taken to keep that secret, I suppose she has a point. I lower my voice as I continue.

Is that true, Rigel? Did the Princess ‘freak out?’

“Only for a day or so,” he replies. “Really, she handled the news like a champ—way better than I did when my parents first told me.”

So you were raised Duch I catch myself. Like a regular Earthling, too?

“Until I was ten, yeah.”

Back to my original question, Princess—

Please don’t call me that!” she interrupts me. “Not here. Just Marsha is fine, or M—that’s what my friends call me.”

Though it seems terribly disrespectful, far be it from me to disobey. M, then. How has your life changed since learning the truth?

“If you don’t count people trying to kill me, mostly for the better. I mean, back in August I was a complete nobody on the very bottom rung of the social ladder. Now I hardly get picked on at all—well, except by Trina, but that’ll never change. I even get invited to parties and stuff. Not that my aunt ever lets me go, but it’s still cool to be invited. But that’s not because of being, you know, who I am. Nobody at school knows about that.”

Unfortunately, this coincides with the rumors of her being mistreated by her adoptive Duchas family and the surrounding townsfolk.

Then why the change?

“Mostly because of Rigel. He’s pretty popular, what with being quarterback of our football team and just generally awesome. I’m just kind of along for the ride.”
“Not true!” Rigel interjects. “You’re the awesome one. It just took people a while to figure it out.”
The Princess laughs at this and claims, “Nobody would ever have called me awesome before—” She breaks off when Rigel raises his eyebrows at her.

Not wishing to pry, I move on. You must be dying to tell everyone the truth about yourself. Is it hard living with such a huge secret?

“Sometimes,” she confesses, “but when I think about what could happen if people found out, I’m a lot less tempted to say anything.”

And what was your life like, growing up as a—you used the word ‘nobody’ in a non-Echtran household? Was it difficult living in such primitive conditions?

She laughs again. “Since I never knew anything else, I never thought of my conditions as primitive. And it’s not like my aunt was ever actually cruel or anything, even if she isn’t always easy to get along with.”

All right, then, next question. Once a certain dictator falls, how do you see your future unfolding? Are you excited at the prospect of someday returning to the place you were born?

The Princess shrugs. “I guess so, though I have an awful lot to learn before I’ll be ready for that! All the stuff people will expect of me, I mean. Besides, I’m pretty happy right here in Jewel for now. For instance, I went to my very first Homecoming dance last week and it was amazing.”

Oh? With Rigel here as your date?

“Well, yes. He and I—”
“Went with a bunch of our friends,” Rigel butts in, cutting her off for the second time, something he’d never dare to do in Nuath, I’m sure.

This makes me very curious. You two have shared a few harrowing experiences since meeting and I’m sure that’s created a bond of sorts. (I notice they exchange a glance when I say that.) Tell me, just how close have you two become?

At this point, Rigel stands up, then the Princess stands, too. “We said we’d give you five minutes,” Rigel says, “and we’ve been here longer than that. You have your story. And please tell your readers she’s tired of being stalked, okay?”
The Princess is much more polite, but it’s clear she’s ready to leave, too, so I don’t detain them.

Overall, I’d say our Princess seems surprisingly content with her new identity and especially with her knight in shining armor, Rigel Stuart. It will be interesting to see how things progress there once she’s called upon to take up the position she was born to—but I’ll leave that story to my colleagues in Nuath, who will be on the spot to witness it firsthand. 


 “Hey, did you hear there’s a new transfer?” Debbi Andrews asked the moment I sat next to her in Geometry class.

Petite and blond, Deb was my second-best friend after Brianna Morrison, though lately it seemed like the two of them were closer to each other than to me. Not that I could blame them, between the time I spent with Rigel and all the secrets I couldn’t tell them.

“Really? Two in one semester must be a record.” I grinned over at Rigel, who’d been the new kid at the start of the school year. “Boy or girl?”

“Boy. I haven’t seen him yet. I think he’s a junior or senior. Natalie said—”

The teacher cleared his throat then and Deb had to shut up. I was sure I’d hear more later, from Bri if not from Deb. New students were a huge deal at our little rural school.

Sure enough, the new guy was the first thing Bri talked about when we met up with her in the lunchroom a couple hours later.

“Hey, Rigel, looks like you’re off the hook for the basketball team.” Bri had been pestering Rigel for days to try out, egged on by her father, who was on the coaching staff. “This new guy, Sean, is just what our sucky team needs, according to my dad.”

“Sean?” Deb asked eagerly. “So that’s his name?”
I glanced at Rigel, who looked more relieved than curious. I, meanwhile, was having a mild deja vu moment, remembering when Bri had been all excited about the wonderful new quarterback we were getting—Rigel.
“Yeah, Sean O’Gara,” Bri told Deb.
“So, is it true he’s from Ireland? That’s what Natalie told me this morning.”
Bri nodded, her long, dark curls bouncing. “That’s what Dad said, too. I didn’t even know they played basketball in Ireland! But apparently it’s huge there.”
“Ireland? Really?” I glanced at Rigel again, remembering something he’d told me a while back, and saw he looked a little more interested. 
“Yeah, he and his family just moved here last— Ooh, that must be him!” Bri broke off to point.
Of course, we all looked. The new guy was definitely tall enough to play basketball, maybe three or four inches taller than Rigel. He was fair bordering on pale, with bright, copper-colored hair. Very good looking, though of course he couldn’t compete with Rigel in that department. Who could?
“Let’s go say hi,” Bri suggested, already heading his way. “You know, welcome him to Jewel.”
It looked to me like plenty of people—mainly girls—were already doing just that. Again I was reminded of Rigel’s first day, especially when I saw Trina Squires—cheerleader, flirt and bitch extraordinaire—saunter up to to the newcomer. Rigel and I followed Bri and Deb, since it seemed the nice thing to do. We were maybe halfway across the lunchroom when both of us stopped cold to stare at each other.
“Do you—?” Rigel asked.
I nodded. “I feel it, too.” It was the brath—the weird, almost electric vibe Martians sense when other Martians are nearby. Like what I’d felt from those two tourist women yesterday.
Sean O’Gara was one of us.

Don't miss the first book, Starstruck, only .99 cents for a limited time!

Brenda Hiatt is the author of nearly twenty novels (so far), including traditional Regency romance, time travel romance, historical romance, and humorous mystery. She is as excited about her new STARSTRUCK series as she's ever been about any of her books. In addition to writing, Brenda is passionate about embracing life to the fullest, to include scuba diving (she has over 60 dives to her credit), Taekwondo (where she recently achieved her 2nd degree black belt), hiking, traveling, and pursuing new experiences and skills. She is an active member of Romance Writers of America, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and Novelists, Inc, an international organization of multipublished novelists, where she served as President in 2006. For the past dozen years, Brenda has also collected data on writers' earnings, which she shares at her website, http://brendahiatt.comYou can also find Brenda on FacebookTwitter (@Brenda_Hiatt), Tumblr, Goodreadsand Wattpad.


This promo was put together by CBB Book Promotions.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Spiral Arm by Peter Boland Interview & Giveaway!

The Spiral Arm Episode 1
by Peter Boland
Release Date:  May 21, 2013

From Goodreads:
Wren Harper lives on an overcrowded Earth on the brink of apocalypse. There are just too many people. The answer lies 600 light-years away on Kepler; a planet more than double the size of Earth. For decades humans have been fighting another race for its control. Earth’s armies are depleted, so now 15-year-old cadets are sent to fight, trained along the way in vast combat ships. But why has Wren been chosen? She's small and geeky and not a fighter. Will she survive Kepler? Or will the training kill her first?

The Spiral Arm Episode 2
By Peter Boland
Release Date: December 3, 2013

From Goodreads:
Wren is in the most dangerous place imaginable - a training ship full of fledgling killers heading to a war-torn planet. She’s struggling to keep up, and the other cadets aren't impressed. But Wren’s not done for yet. She’s a survivor and uses the one thing she’s got to even the odds - her super-smart brain. But will that be enough?

I am so excited to have the author of the Spiral Arm series, Peter Boland, here on the blog today. My head has been burning with questions for him on his story, desire to write in episodes, and about the character of Wren. Check out what he has to and then enjoy an excerpt of this story you want to add to your TBR list now. Plus, he's even giving away a copy of one of his books to a lucky winner! 

What inspired the idea to write this series in novella length episodes? And how many episodes do you think it will include?
It suits my writing style. I like plot-driven stories - I guess this comes from my advertising background where you have to get to the point quickly. I've planned the series out for at least 16 episodes, we'll see how it goes.

Will each episode end with a major cliffhanger, and if so about how long will we have to wait between books?
Yes, hopefully. I'd like to get one out every couple of months - trouble is, life gets in the way, best laid plans and all that.

What are you currently reading?
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova - it's beautifully written and impeccably researched - it's about a historian trying to find the tomb of Vlad the Impaler (Dracula). 

Do you have a playlist for the series? Can you share a song or two and how you "hear" it in the story?
Yes, music really inspires me to write. Here's a few:
Blackout by Anna Calvi - when Wren steps out into the darkened streets of futuristic Chicago.
Strong by London Grammar - Wren creeping around the ship on her own at night.

Did you make any New Year's resolutions this year? What are some and have you broken any yet? :)
I kind of did it in reverse this year, I gave up drinking for 3 months before Christmas!

Do you think you will continue writing in this episode idea for future books? I have to admit, with my busy scheduling I think it's incredibly appealing by the way.
That's great to hear. Yes, I will if it suits the story and feels natural to do so.

If you could go anywhere in the world to write, where would you go?
Ravello in Italy - it's a small village on the side of a mountain - breathtakingly beautiful - actually, it would probably be the worst place as I wouldn't get any work done.

What is your favorite movie or TV show (just curious if it's sci-fi)?
That's easy - Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Lord of the Rings, Aliens, Battle Star Galactica

What inspired Wren's story?
I wanted a strong female lead, but I wanted her to be vulnerable and smart, and to use her brain to solve problems, rather than her fists. She likes the quiet life and just wants to be left alone, but I've placed her in her worst nightmare!  

I'd definitely have to agree with that! Thanks for stopping by today Peter and we can't wait to see more episodes of The Spiral Arm!

Excerpt from The Spiral Arm, Episode 1:

Tuss pushes open the doors, the noise level leaps and the heavy beat of trance music slaps me in the ears. The place is full of ridiculously tall muscular cadets, over-excited and oozing with self-confidence. I walk amongst them as if I’m in the land of the giants.

There’s a line of booths like you get in a diner along one wall. Each one is stuffed with cadets and some are sitting on the tables. In front of the booths are a handful of pool tables, but nobody’s playing. They’re leaning on them, busy chatting and getting acquainted. An arm-wresting competition is taking place on one of them. Cadets crowd round, violently screaming encouragement. On the other side of the room, a cadet grins manically while others queue up to hit him in the stomach, to prove how rock hard his abs are. Brightly lit vending machines line the opposite wall, serving protein shakes and little energy snacks. Some cadets are having drinking competitions to see who can down theirs the fastest.

I am a fish out of water. Forget that, I’m a not even a fish. I’m the tiniest tadpole that’s as far from water as it’s possible to be.  

Weird stares greet me as we move through the crowd. People look at me as though I’m a lost child who’s wandered into the grown-ups area. I stick close to Tuss, hoping she’ll shield me like a parent, but I quickly realize Tuss is popular. She seems to know everyone already and flits from one group to another, fist-bumping people and calling them by their first names. Meanwhile, I stand around like a piece of very small furniture.

One ecopy of either The Spiral Arm season 1 episode 1 or 2

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