Book Promo Feature–Every Move I Have Made by Phillippa Cameron

YAPC would like to welcome Phillippa Cameron to the blog today. She is here to share some info and an excerpt from her book Every Move I Have Made. If this looks like a book you would enjoy reading, please go get a copy!

Book Description:

Every Move I Have MadeWhen the phone rings in the middle of the night, Hayley knows it not good news, and she’s right: her boyfriend, Jesse, is missing after a night of fun at the local quarry, and she might have been the last one to see him alive… 17-year-old Hayley is counting down the days to when she can escape from her parents and the life she feels sure she will inherit from them. Her father’s simmering anger at the impotence of his world threatens daily to boil over, while her mother has retreated into herself, never leaving the house. In Hayley’s home, darkness always lurks just below the surface. Hayley has a plan, though, and is determined not to let anyone stop her, and her courage is fueled by the kindness of her two best friends, although not even they know all her secrets. But when the most popular boy in school suddenly turns his attentions to her, she finds herself questioning exactly what it is she wants, until she learns that danger can be found everywhere, not only at home, and even within the boy you love.

 

Content Warning: Brief, implied rape scene.

Buy Every Move I Have Made:

Amazon

Excerpt:

NOW
When the phone rings in the middle of the night, you know it’s not good news. No one’s calling to say you’ve won the lottery. Or you’ve got into that Ivy-League college. Calls in the middle of the night mean only one thing.
So when I hear a phone ring and my eyes flash open to find darkness, when I hear footsteps in the hallway and my bedroom door opening, and when I see the outline of my mother appear in my doorway, I know what it means.
“Halina, wake up.”
I push myself into a sitting position. My breathing is shallow, as if I’ve been running.
“Some woman was on the phone looking for her son,” my mother says. “She says you know him. Says it’s your boyfriend.”
“Jesse?” My voice breaks on the second syllable.
Her figure in the darkness shifts, and her voice is flat. “Woke your father up.”
I fumble in the dark for my phone, saying with a dry mouth, “I don’t know where Jesse is.”
My hand finds the phone and I switch it on. The screen lights up my room but doesn’t reach my mother who hasn’t even crossed the threshold.
I look towards her squat shape nearly filling the doorframe.
“We were at the quarry,” I say. “All of us. The boys were swimming. Jesse’s at the quarry.”
“He’s not. His mother says his clothes are still there. But he’s not. And Halina, it’s four in morning. No one’s at the quarry.”
I am wide awake now.
“What do you mean?”
“What?”
“What do you mean, his clothes are still there?”
A sigh moves through the darkness. “I don’t know, Halina. That woman was pretty upset. Just call her.”
“But what does that mean?” I sort of spit this out, and I feel my mother back off.
“Call her,” she says, and her voice is swallowed up by the darkness as she fades away. My phone vibrates in my hand, then beeps. Half a dozen missed calls flash up, and a text message, and then another, and another. I wince at every flash. Abruptly, the screen darkens and all that is left is a perfectly round light at the top of the phone puncturing the night in intervals. I sit in the dark for a moment. I know I need to call Jesse’s mom but I am paralyzed.
I close my eyes, tightly, until they sting, and I scream – silently – until everything inside me is emptied out and I’m hollow once more.

THEN
On the day Jesse Randall spoke to me, he was sitting on the low wall that trails down the front steps of my school. He was wearing a chocolate brown sweater with the hood pulled up over his head, which is why I didn’t realize at first who he was or that he was watching me. When I was four steps above him, he pulled back his hoodie and stared straight at me. My heart fired balls of heat through my chest and up my neck onto my face. And then Jesse Randall said, “Hey, Hayley.”
Before I could stop myself, I turned around. Turned to see who the other Hayley was that Jesse Randall was talking to.
Because it couldn’t be me.
I had been working late in the library again because I didn’t want to go home, and I was the last one to leave but still, it couldn’t be me.
But it was only me there on the steps.
Hayley.
As in, Hey, Hayley.
I whipped back my head so quickly that my hair, plaited down my back, struck me painfully across the face, and I only managed to get out, “Hey,” in return but I hadn’t stopped walking so in a second I was beyond him and then the steps were gone and I was on the sidewalk that led away from the school and away from him, and right before the path turned a sharp left to follow the road, I looked back.
He was still there.
And he was still looking at me.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

About the Author: By night, I’m a ferocious reader and writer, knocking out words at every available moment and Phillipa Camerondevouring every book in sight. Luckily for me, by day, I’m a meek and mild librarian with shelves and shelves of gorgeous novels to choose from, and when I’m not selecting the next fantastic book to buy, I’m dispensing books and advice to a giggle of high-school girls.

I love Young Adult novels. And books from other genres too. Any of them. All of them.

The Day We Are Born is the first novel in my Elements series. Every Move I Have Made is the second book, and was published this year. Each novel is a stand-alone book, linked by its connection to one or more of the elements – earth, wind, fire and water. My third book in the Elements series will be out in 2017, entitled One Great Fear In My Heart.

Connect with Phillippa:

Website * Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads

Interview with Ieda Herman Author of The Silver Arrow

YAPC would like to welcome Ieda Herman to the blog today. She is here to answer some of our questions and share some info about her book The Silver Arrow. If this looks like a book you would like to read, please go get a copy!

YAPC: How would you describe your book in 20 words or less without using the blurb?

Ieda: The Silver Arrow is an adventure story set in Iceland with an undercurrent of dealing with and accepting loss.

YAPC: What’s your current guilty pleasure?

Ieda: Coffee and cookies, definitely.  I’m also a big fan of dark chocolate and if I can get that in a cookie, so much the better.

YAPC: Aside from writing, what do you enjoy doing on your spare time?

Ieda: I love to do anything active and adventurous – paragliding, river rafting, rock climbing are some of my favorites.  When I was ten years old, I wanted to fly like the seagulls in Iceland and even tried to jump off the barn roof with a flour sack tied around my neck – that didn’t work by the way.  I finally got to fly when I was 88 years old and went paragliding for the first time.

YAPC: What started you on your journey to be a writer?

Ieda: I have always jotted down thoughts and ideas for stories.  I have piles of them everywhere.  I got serious when I wanted to write down my memories of growing up in Iceland to share them with my friends and family.  My first book was basically a memoir of my childhood. 

YAPC: What do you love about writing?

Ieda: I like being able to share stories about Iceland.  I had such a great childhood of adventures growing up in Iceland and it’s such fun to share that experience through books.

YAPC: What’s the hardest part of writing a book?

Ieda: As English is a second language for me, I dislike the constant correction of my English.  Like most writers, I think the whole editing process is pretty tedious – I would much rather be writing new stories.. 

YAPC: How did you come up with your premise for your books?

Ieda: When I read Jules Verne Journey to the Center of the Earth, it caught my attention that the guide was Icelandic.  Which made sense, because the cave the entered was in Iceland.  When I finished the book, I kept thinking about the guide and wondered what his life after that might have been and how adventurous things were for him after that.  The Silver Arrow follows his grandchildren and their adventures following his journal. 

YAPC: Your favorite books and author?

Ieda: Sagas, author Snorri Sturluson

YAPC: Where can your fans find you?

Ieda: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ieda-Jonasdottir-Herman-Author-1546391422332964/

Blog:  www.iedaherman.blogspot.com 

YAPC: Favorite place in the world?

Ieda: Iceland, of course!  I love going back to explore, travel the country and have fun.  This past year, I went fishing and caught three fish at the same time – all over 25 pounds and boy were they heavy! 

YAPC: Are you working on anything new and if so when can we expect to see it? 

Ieda: Yes, I have several projects in the works.  One is a sequel to The Silver Arrow, called Inner Space Aliens.  I expect it to be published in the Spring 2017.  I am very excited about it and have had so much fun with the characters of Finna, Kali and Erik in their continued adventures.

Book Description

The Silver ArrowA young Icelandic girl, Finna, lost her father in a shipwreck and now her Great-grandfather is missing. The police believe he drowned, but Finna isn’t convinced. Using clues from hidden papers written with a secret code, Finna and her twin brother Erik along with their best friend Kalli set out to solve the mystery.

They follow the trail from Iceland’s Snæfell Mountain to a cavern under the Icelandic glacier. They are guided by Great-grandfather’s mysterious journal and Finna’s friend Odin, one of the Hidden. They find themselves pulled through a mysterious vortex to another planet. Along the way, they encounter strange and terrifying creatures, Nordic gods and an alien civilization. After her brother and best friend are kidnapped, Finna finds she must use her archery expertise, an ancient artifact and all her courage to save them and an entire planet.

The fate of the alien world and the future of Earth depend on her true aim!

Buy The Silver Arrow:

Amazon

About the Author: At 91, Ieda Herman has finally accepted that she may be unusual. For years, she has heard Ieda Hermancomments about how adventurous she is, how active and that she is an inspiration. She responds that growing old is not a choice but how you do it is up to you. Getting up in the morning should never be an accomplishment. There are things that must be done, things that are good to do, and other thing you enjoy doing.
She credits her vitality to her Scandinavian heritage, or Viking blood as she is fond of saying, a natural curiosity, and constant movement.

The release of her newest book, The Silver Arrow (IBSN: 978-1535203623) is the result of her most recent efforts. The Silver Arrow, is a Young Adult Adventure story, where Ieda shares the Icelandic experience using the landscape, culture, and Nordic mythology to weave an entertaining tale. Ieda uses her books to promote education and interest in Iceland and the culture.

Since turning 90, she has scaled 60 feet of an indoor climbing wall, practicing for her exploration of the Icelandic cave that inspired Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth. She has gone paragliding off the southern cliffs of Vik in Iceland, appeared with her daughter giving presentations on Iceland, and enjoys local festivals and events. A family BBQ in Texas afforded her first opportunity to sit in the driver’s seat of a fire engine, an impromptu fishing trip gave her the thrill of snagging THREE 25+ pound fish on the same line, all at the same time!

Connect with Ieda:

Website * Goodreads

Interview with Carla Trueheart Author of The Ritual of the Four

YAPC would like to welcome Carla Trueheart to the blog today. She is here to share some info about her book The Ritual of the Four as well as answer some of our questions. If this looks like something you would like to read, please go get a copy!

YAPC: How would you describe your book in 20 words or less without using the blurb?

Carla: A teenage boy has a dark and magical connection to an ancient gold dagger left behind by his father. 

YAPC: When did you decide to become a writer?

Carla: After reading the Harry Potter series. I loved reading as a child, but I’d forgotten my love of books in my adult years. Harry Potter helped me remember the joy and magic of reading.

YAPC: When you made your first sale, how did you celebrate and with whom?

Carla: I woke up on Christmas Eve morning to an email from my publisher, offering me a contract. I actually thought I was still dreaming, so I hopped out of bed and tossed my phone to my family for confirmation! Then I told my entire family at Christmas Eve dinner. It was a Christmas I will never forget.

YAPC: Do you listen to music while writing?

Carla: Yes! I have specific playlists for each of my writing projects. I don’t feel I can write a character well until I know their favorite song, so I make sure to add that to my playlist. The music I write to is normally new age without lyrics to distract me, but sometimes it’s period music. The music keeps me focused and in the right mindset and mood.

YAPC: Did you know the title before you started writing?

Carla: My working title was Slicer but that had more of a horror story feel, so I changed it to The Dagger of the Four.  When the story was complete, I ended up changing the title to The Ritual of the Four and that seemed the best fit.

YAPC: What was your favorite scene?

Carla: The snowy mountains scene toward the end of the book, when Shaw and Melody work on finding the final map clue and the gravesite. This was just before the climax, when both Shaw and Melody knew they had to face whatever came next, and that it was all going to end one way or another. I also enjoyed writing the scenes with Fraser when he explained the Ritual of the Four to Shaw and Melody and gave them the first clue to the map.

YAPC: How did you come up with your premise for your book?

Carla: Initially, it was just a loose idea I jotted down in a notebook about a boy who could slice things using only the power of his mind. Looking back, it probably stemmed, subconsciously, from the sectumsempra spell in Harry Potter. I was also reading Dan Brown at the time, which led me to add in the puzzles, clues, and connections to the magic elements fire, water, earth, and air. I ended up making connections with the Ritual of the Four objects, fire/dagger, goblet/water, earth/pentacle, and air/wand. I especially loved the wand with the crystal quartz and blue diamond.

YAPC: Your favorite books and authors?

Carla: The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling is my favorite. Some of my other favorite authors include Stephen King, Katherine Howe, Jennifer Egan, Dan Brown, Amanda Stevens, and Suzanne Collins. My favorite classic stories include A Christmas Carol by Dickens, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

YAPC: Where can readers find your book?

Carla: My book is available at all major bookstores, including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iBooks, and smaller online retailers. You may also order the Silver Seal Edition exclusively through my Facebook page or contact me through my website: carlatrueheart.com.

YAPC: If I give you a time machine, what time period and in what place would you travel to?

Carla: I would make a few stops, if possible! I would love to visit Colonial America or be present at the Salem Witch Trials. I would then hop to The Civil War era and meet Abraham Lincoln, then off to the 1920s around Prohibition. I’m a huge fan of history and even minored in it at Southern New Hampshire University.

YAPC: What projects are you currently working on right now?

Carla: I just signed a contract for an adult contemporary novel called Back to Blueberry Pond, about three friends who grew up in the 80s and placed their most valuable possession inside a Tupperware bowl as part of a friendship pact. I’m hoping for a 2017 release for that book. I’m also halfway finished with another YA novel with elements of sci-fi, which is a bit of a challenge as I have not written the genre before. I’m excited to see where it goes!

Thank you for these questions! I appreciate the opportunity to talk about my writing projects and connect with readers!

Book Description:

The Ritual of the Four2016 International Book Awards Finalist
Silver Seal Winner

For sixteen-year-old Shaw Huntley, a normal day includes running from two men who want to kill him. Shaw has a dark ability: using only the power of his mind, and visualizing a specific gold and jeweled dagger, he can telekinetically cut or slice objects. If he gets angry enough, he can even cut people. Unfortunately, the two men chasing him murdered his father in search of the physical gold dagger currently in Shaw’s possession—and they will stop at nothing to track him down and obtain it.

When Shaw ends up in Rockpoint, New York, he meets Melody Tufts, a gamer who finds a mysterious triangular symbol on the hilt of Shaw’s dagger. After some investigation, Shaw learns his connection with the dagger and his dark ability were the results of a secret ritual—The Ritual of the Four—performed centuries ago by his ancestors. His dagger is number one in a group of four unique items, each one representative of the four magic elements: fire, water, air, and earth. He also learns there’s a way to reverse the Ritual of the Four forever so he can stop running, settle into a school, and perhaps even begin a romance with Melody. But after the two embark on a dangerous quest to reverse the ritual, decoding clues and unearthing maps, Shaw questions if he wants to toss away his ability—or finally face his foes.

Buy The Ritual of the Four:

Amazon * B&N * Kobo * iTunes

Excerpt:

Chapter One
I’m not sure when it will happen. It could be one minute or one month, and when it happens, it won’t be pretty. Not in the particular way they are going to kill me.
Right now, I’m hiding out in one of the few places a guy of sixteen can disappear from the eyes of the world—the top of a Ferris wheel. When I jumped on board, a couple of teenagers were getting a lift in the cart just behind me. A guy and a girl, laughing and snuggling. I’m sure they were hoping to get stuck on top, where I am now, so they could disappear from the world just like I’m trying to do. For once, I was the lucky one this time. I’m stuck up here, hidden, but with a pretty good view of the carnival below.
The autumn carnival in Fairchester, Massachusetts, is a pretty big deal. It’s not like I know this town all that great, because I just got here a month ago, but I did hear from some guys at school that most of the town shows up at the carnival at one point or another. From up here, at the top of the world, I can see why people in Fairchester like their autumn carnival so much. The air is icy, the leaves brown and dying, but smack in the middle are all these neon flashing lights and laughing kids. Game booths with huge stuffed animals. Fat clowns with balloons. The scent of fried dough and cotton candy.
I came here alone but soon had the feeling I wasn’t alone. That’s why I’m hiding out. It’s calm now—they can’t reach me up here if they did follow me to the carnival. And I’m pretty sure they found me, because I can smell the blood laced into the breeze. It comes along with them. It probably comes along with me, too. That’s how they always find me, even when my mother and I change our names and move around the coast. America is not the great hiding place it seems.
The Ferris wheel shifts and vibrates, and I start my decline. My hand shakes on the bar. On the ground, shadowy figures move around, but I don’t freak out because they could be anyone. Maybe some kid’s parents watching the wheel. Maybe some girls making a decision whether to board or try something a little scarier. But the scent of blood grows stronger, and as soon as my cart lands on the bottom, I hop off onto the metal platform, then dash through the back gates. I don’t stop until I’m hidden in a patch of black, between two old trailers.
A thick red hose rests on the ground before me, running toward the giant slide ride. Electricity hums in my ears as I pull out my cell and text my mother: “Come get me.” And then our code word: “lightsaber.” (Quick backstory: Star Wars fan, but please don’t tell anyone). I’m just about to find my way to the street when the smell of blood overpowers me, and my stomach pitches.
“Shaw Huntley,” a familiar male voice says. “We always seem to find each other in the strangest places.”

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

About the Author: Carla Trueheart is a New England-based writer who holds certificates in poetry, romance Carla Trueheartwriting, copyediting, forensic science writing, historical fiction writing, and writing for young adults. She has studied writing at Gotham Writers’ Workshop and The Writers Studio and is currently working toward completion of her BA in Creative Writing and English through Southern New Hampshire University. She has worked as submissions editor for various online publications, and her poetry and short stories have been featured in The Litchfield Literary Review. Her first novel, The Ritual of the Four, won the Silver Seal from Readers’ Favorite and was a Finalist in the 2016 International Book Awards.

Carla currently works as a novelist with World Castle Publishing and as a professional book reviewer. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, listening to music, reading, and collecting books and candles.

Connect with Carla:

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest * G+ * Goodreads

Book Promo Feature–The Good Witch’s Weapon by S Dayton

YAPC would like to welcome S. Dayton to the blog today. She is here to share some info and an excerpt of her book The Good Witch’s Weapon. If this looks like something you would like to read, please go grab a copy!

Book Description:

The Good Witch's WeaponThe Prophecy Of A Good Witch: Book One : The Good Witchs Weapon

After the mysterious death of her parents 23 year old Violet Quinn arrives in smog filled 1950’s London. In a vast dark forest along her enigmatic Uncle’s mansion a war of Fairies, Witches and unknown creatures is unfolding. Violet finds herself in the middle. Armed with charm, an uneasy magical temperament and new friends Violet sets out to find out the truth behind the war, and her family’s secret past.

Book Two: A League and a Dragon
Book Three: The Light and Dark of Violet

Content Warning: Mild violence and mild romance

Buy The Good Witch’s Weapon:

Amazon

Excerpt:

Chapter One:

The train station was crowded, bustling with people and steam from the trains. I was looking for a familiar face, but only seeing my Uncle as a child made it hard to recognize him now as an old man. I’m not sure he if would even pick me up. A rich man of his status might not be bothered. He just wrote in his letter to buy the tickets and send word of my arrival. I had, and arrived on time.
Getting off the train most people looked down and away from me. It was unusual to say the least. In Rye, people made eye contact, smiled and often stared. Especially to someone as unusually colored as me. My light green eyes and fair skin made me stick out compared to the tanned skin of the farmers and dark haired women of Rye. My mother’s hair was littered with red, streaks of blonde and strawberry. She was the only one in town who gained as much attention as I did. If we went to town for a meal, or to shop, it seemed half of Rye would be there to greet us. Father preferred the outdoors, and his tanned skin blended in with the others. They thought our porcelain complexions were sickly in comparison. Mother knew we were different, and she often said she “wouldn’t have it any other way!”

I was always uncomfortable with the attention. It was a happy relief to be ignored, to blend into the scenery as if I belonged. It was troubling to me somehow. London was unfriendly and seemed to be filled with smog. The grey sky overhead made good on an unspoken promise, and started to rain. My bright red hair was pinned neatly in a bun, but curls broke loose in the rain. In the dim light of the train station pieces of hair turned from red to deep crimson as I grew nervous. Carrying my bag I looked for a place to wait in the rain. My anxiety grew, my palms getting sweaty and fingers tingle. I looked frantically around for someone to help her. Everyone was looking past. As if she was just an image and not there at all. I closed my eyes to calm myself. I remembered mother’s words and repeated them silently. Calm yourself, breathe. Control yourself, breathe. Center your energy, breathe. I opened my eyes and felt composed.

A tall man wearing a black hat and jacket was staring at me from across the platform. I looked but tried not to make eye contact. I could see him staring without a word as trains rushed passed, people hopping on and off. The station was buzzing with complaints of rain and the chill in the air. As the minutes passed, I sat on the bench with bag tightly on my lap. I could call my Uncle.. I had written of the day and time of arrival. I looked again at the man until he suddenly disappeared. I wiped my eyes with my hand and blinked. Looking around there was no one that seemed to notice. I laughed to myself and realized how hungry I was. The hunger had caused delirium certainly. A grumble in my stomach, mixed with the chill of the air made me miss the green fields and warm pastures of home. I remembered an apple, and dug into my bag looking for it.

“Excuse me, Miss?” Inearly jumped to see the tall man from across the platform, now standing in front of me. His voice was deep, and he was even taller than I had noticed. His broad shoulders made his jacket tight as he bowed towards me and repeated his question.
“Excuse Me, Miss?
“Yes?”.
I felt afraid to speak my voice. The enormous tanned man was talking to me? Surely I was about to be attacked and sold into some sort of underground London girl trade. I tightened the grip on my bag in case I needed to run.
“You are Miss violet? I am Sampson: Edward Clarke’s personal assistant.”
“Oh yes. I am. Hello.”
I held my hand out to greet him. His expressionless face looked at my bag and grabbed the handles from my grip.
“Follow Me, the car is waiting.”
And with that he was gone hustling through the crowd with the ease of a nearly seven foot man. Under the roof of the train station his long stride carried him past people walking at a normal pace. He breezed past the trains, through the lobby and out the front doors without a single person impeding his speed. He was casually parting the crowds.

I was sweating trying to keep up. I had worn my most comfortable outfit of a long skirt and flat boots only to be chasing a man on slick wet floors in a crowd. I was breathless and cursing myself when we got to the car. A pain in my side had me buckled over behind Sampson as he paused and let me catch up. In a crowd of people darting into dark black cars avoiding the rain, the car stood glimmering. The rain was pouring down, and a black umbrella appeared over my head to keep me dry. All of London seemed to be a dull gray color compared to my Uncle’s car. Catching every bit of light and casting it off the car was glowing. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

The run had caused my hair to fall completely out of the bun and was flowing around like a glow of soft red. I pointed and gasped at the sight of the car. It was completely unlike the rusted old black car my parents owned. The car was a shiny mahogany red, with cream wheels and delicate cream accents on the doors. Painted black lines ran the length of the car, curving and twirling up and over every windows edge. Silver handles to open the three doors on the side. One up front for the driver and two back to back so all the passengers were facing each other. Samson walked to the car and held one of the doors open and motioned I climb inside. I slid on the warm seats; they were soft to the touch yet hard and sturdy. Warm air flowing around me, the plush backs of the seats was nicer than on the train and lined with silver braided edges. I leaned back and smiled to myself. Imagine his house, if this is his car.

Sampson climbed in the front seat, shaking the umbrella gently and laying it on the open seat and drove away without another word. I watched as the streets turned and the car weaved along them. Other cars and busses were on the road, and parked on the sides, but nothing like the one I rode in. I was warm and happy, and couldn’t help but smile out the tinted windows at the people on the streets. It seemed as if no one turned to look at us certainly they could see the car? It was twice the size of a normal car, and they were mostly black and rusted like the one her parents owned. I had a feeling that London wasn’t very fond of visitors and I was clearly from out of town. But Uncle made his life here, and perhaps the way their gaze avoided her was a reflection on him. Was he a good man? A honest man? I was hoping he wasn’t a bad man. There was a glass window between Sampson and myself, but I could see it was half open. I inched closer slowly, keeping in mind the bumps in the London streets. I tied my hair back neatly and cleared my throat. Sampson made a “Humph?” sound to acknowledge my closeness to the open window.

.
“Mr. Sampson.” , “how much longer?” they had only been driving 20 minutes or so but days of traveling without anyone to talk to had left me anxious for conversation. Unfortunately, Sampson probably wasn’t the best choice.

“Just Sampson, Miss, and we are arriving shortly.”

I couldn’t help but smile, what an adventure! My back to Sampson I sat and watched out the window. A wave of heat rippled through my hair and down my neck. I flushed with delight and excitement. Watching the buildings turn from city to a smaller town, from tall buildings to small businesses. Marbles Books, Hobbins Grocery, Kendal Square Market. The signs were painted in gold letters on faded black slabs of wood. The windows were dirty but you could make out the chocolates in the window of F.H Confections. People were hidden under their umbrellas, faces shielded and jacket collars pulled high as to not let the cold air sink in.

I felt my energy spike. My fingers were tingling like they often did when I was upset. I wasn’t upset however, I was excited. It was a familiar feeling, that had been happening more and more since my parents were gone. I could feel a change within me. It was a feeling my mother had as well. My heart pounding and my fingers feeling the need to move. We passed a hat shop, a bank, a few taverns and I felt the car start to slow down. The engine of the car roared and hummed over the road avoiding bumps and pedestrians with ease.

I felt a pang of sadness for enjoying myself in the wake of everything. But I knew my parents would be happy Uncle had so generously taken me in. At my age without a husband It would be hard to keep up the house alone. Let alone make money on the small herb farm they had. It had produced less and less over the years. The car slowed and turned down a dirt driveway in between two buildings. To me, it looked like an ordinary ally, not nearly wide enough for two cars to pass. They drove up to a cast iron gate where Sampson got out of the car and eased it open. The rain had briefly stopped but the clouds still hung in the air. I warmed with anticipation and felt my hair darken and deepen in color. You could still not see the house yet. I found myself sitting very close the partition window that separated my area from Sampson’s. I was leaning left and right, trying to catch a glimpse of something, and when I did, I was not disappointed.

To say this house was a Manor, would be an understatement. I thought it a castle. Like the pictures in my books. A thick row of hedges shadowed a gray and red brick house with black gilded windows. They seemed a bit dark and dirty, but I attributed that to the weather. It was at least three stories tall, with a balcony off the right side two stories up. On the right were a row of hedges fenced in and an overgrown garden. Half dead and half beautiful ivy climbed over a fence and up the side of the house. A field was surrounding the whole property, with a thick forest behind it. A small chicken coop and wooden building was set back along the edge of the trees. Looking back towards the city, I could only see more trees. A long dirt driveway separated us from the rest of the world.

My mouth was wide open and I was counting windows then Sampson slowed the car to a stop. On the roof I could see windows in the slanted ceiling for gazing at the stars. Uncle’s name was etched in a large stone to the right of a covered entrance. “Dr. Edward Clarke,” I read aloud. Sampson had opened the car door and was now standing, waiting. I couldn’t help but smile as she looked up at him.

“My Uncle is a Doctor?” I asked. Gathering my skirt and avoiding the puddles of the driveway as I climbed out.
“Yes, Miss. A Veterinary Surgeon.. Please follow me in now.”
He shut the car door behind me but I was staring at the house. It was large and beautiful and mysterious. Unlike the humble wooden house without curtains or grand hedges I have at home. HAD at home, I corrected myself in my thoughts. There is no home in Rye anymore, this is home now. And as I followed Sampson in, I was warming up to the idea.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

About the Author: S Dayton is a New Englander with English roots. Her style is quirky, witty and full of adventure. She lives in Maine and spends afternoons hiking, entertaining family and drinking cheap wine.

Connect with S. Dayton:

Facebook * Goodreads

Book Promo Featre–Fire Mage by Trudi Jaye

YAPC would like to welcome Trudi Jaye to the blog today. She is here to share some info and an excerpt of her book Fire Mage. If this looks like something you would be interested in, please go buy a copy! It is only 99 cents for a limited time!

Book Description:

Fire MageIn a land of strange beasts, haunted forests and fiery magic the Fire Mage is a legend no one believes in any more.

Especially not Jena, an orphaned ex-slave who’s finally found a safe haven with her master and mentor, the Great Mage Thornal. When royal assassins murder Thornal while trying to steal his powerful Book of Spells, Jena vows revenge on the man responsible—Prince Lothar, the next king of Ignisia.

It’s a dangerous quest that will likely mean her life, but Jena has help in the form of her master’s familiar, an enormous raven, and also her own—completely forbidden—mage skills. If she can keep her secrets hidden, she might just get close enough to Lothar to obtain justice for Thornal’s death.

Meanwhile failed mage Nate is a salt collector in the notoriously dangerous volcano mines, using his unique ability to call demons to keep himself alive. He emerges from his latest run to find everyone at the outpost dead, and royal assassins waiting to finish him off. He barely escapes with his life, but his elation is short-lived—Prince Lothar is convinced Nate is a threat to his claim to the Flame Throne of Ignisia, and will stop at nothing to eliminate him.

When Nate and Jena meet, they’re literally heading in different directions. But destiny—and the prophecies of the last Fire Mage—throws them onto the same path. They must work together if they are to save the kingdom—and themselves—from the machinations of a ruthless royal prince.

Two unlikely heroes, one unscrupulous prince, and a swathe of dark and mysterious beasts—who will survive this encounter?

Buy Fire Mage:

Amazon

Excerpt:

Jena felt as if someone had reached inside her body and wrenched out her heart. Bright sparks of pain lanced through her insides, and she cried out. Beside her, the first Hashishin drew in a startled breath.
Something heavy settled around Jena’s shoulders and in the pit of her stomach. Waves of pain crawled up and down her body. She sucked in air with short, panicked gasps, as light flashed in front of her eyes. A sound like rushing water filled her ears, and for a moment, she forgot where she was. The world became nothing more than a terrible overwhelming pain that she couldn’t control.
Falling, flying, upside down, and right side up. She was everything and nothing, white and black, every color all at once; she was inside the dark room of the cottage, and she was flying in the skies above; she was smaller than a speck of dust, and bigger than the world.
Jena opened her mouth to scream, and no sound came out.
Then, just as suddenly, she was back. She felt a hundred pounds heavier, and her vision was strange. Everything was brighter in the room, and she saw even more of the detail around her. The pain was still there, but muted and under control. She could again focus on what was happening outside her head. The knife pricking at her skin hurt, and Thornal was still sitting just across from her. He watched her closely, and when she sucked in a deep breath, some of the tension in his face relaxed. He even sent her a quick smile.
Jena breathed in and out, trying to still the pounding of her heart. There was a new tightness in her chest, but she was able to draw in another deep breath and stay calm. She needed to concentrate on their attackers. They might be trained Flame Hashishin, raised from birth to kill and to withstand most mage spells, but her master was Thornal, the most powerful mage in the kingdom. He was the Guardian of the Book of Spells, and he wouldn’t be easily killed.
“There is your book, Hashishin. Your master will not be pleased that you allowed me to destroy it,” Thornal spoke in a soft voice, almost a whisper.
Jena heard him as clearly as if he spoke directly into her ear. What was he doing?
“Your assistant seems to understand what a mistake that was, mage. If it really was the book?” The Hashishin’s voice was flat and calm as he dug his knife deeper into Thornal’s neck. Thornal grunted in pain and blood spurted below the knife. The large red jewel at the base of the hilt glinted in the firelight.
“You have failed in your mission.” There was a small smile on Thornal’s face, but it worried Jena rather than relieved her to see it. The face of the Hashishin holding her master hostage was impassive, but there was something about the way he held his mouth that said he knew Thornal was right.
The hairs on the back of Jena’s neck stood on end.
Thornal coughed, and more blood pumped out of the wound on his neck. Again, Jena struggled against the man behind her; the knife at her own throat pressed harder against her skin. She stilled, unable to bear the feeling of sharp steel against her raw uneven burns.
“You lie, old man. You would never destroy the Book of Spells. You are the Guardian, bound by your oath. Tell me where it is or the girl dies.” The Hashishin’s voice was neutral, his training ensuring he didn’t panic, or at least let his panic show.
Silently Jena prayed for them. She prayed to the Flames as she had never prayed before, not even in the darkest moments of her life; not even when she had to endure the raw festering burns that had covered a quarter of her upper body. That pain seemed like nothing now, when Thornal’s life was at stake.
The muted throbbing that still coursed through her body danced alongside the fear that was rising from her churning stomach. She stared without blinking at Thornal, but he didn’t look at her. He was concentrating on the Hashishin.
“I would never lie,” said Thornal. “I have burned the Book of Spells, so your master will never have it. I would rather break my oath and see it gone than in his hands.”
He grunted as the knife was thrust deeper into his neck.
Jena gasped, pushing forward off her chair. The arm jerked her back down, and the knife pierced her skin, drawing blood. The sharp pinpoint of pain focused her mind, and in that moment, she realized they were in trouble. Her vision blurred as tears threatened to fall. She frowned and pushed them back, making herself focus on what was happening around her. She had to find a way to save them both.
“This is your last chance, old man. Where is the Book? Your lives depend upon it.” The assassin’s voice shook and Jena stopped breathing. The break in the Hashishin’s emotionless mask was more terrifying than any of the physical threats were.
Thornal motioned his eyes toward her, his lips forming a word. Talk.
“He does not lie,” she said abruptly, trying to understand what Thornal was doing. “It’s an old mage tradition. It makes them stronger if they never lie; their power is enhanced by the very act of truth. It cancels out the excess emotion, the one thing that all mages strive to avoid. Excess emotion destroys a good spell, as they say.” Jena heard her voice as if from a distance, the higher pitch making it sound like someone else talking.
She watched as Thornal whispered a spell under the cover of her voice. It was a simple spell, but cast by a powerful mage.
The hands of the Hashishin behind her fell slack and became nothing more than smoke and dust. Even before he was fully gone, Jena surged out of her chair toward the other Hashishin, grabbing the fire poker next to her chair as she went.
The remaining Hashishin gave a grunt of surprise as the knife he was holding turned to smoke and ash. The spell sped through his body, turning him to dust as well. He tried to jerk his second knife, hidden in his sleeve, toward Thornal. It turned to a dirty powder before it left his hand. Jena’s poker smashed through dust, throwing the particles harmlessly around the room.
She breathed a sigh of relief. Thornal had done it. He had saved them.
As he stood up from his chair, she turned to Thornal—smiling to show she knew he’d been in command the whole time—and felt the brush of steel fly past her arm. The knife from a third Hashishin hit Thornal in the chest with a solid thud. Thornal crumpled to the floor without a sound, the knife hilt standing grotesquely to attention in the middle of his torso.
Jena screamed, taking a step toward Thornal before turning toward his attacker who stood frozen beside the entrance to the room. With a blast of anger and pain surging through her body, she uttered the first spell that came to her head, a feral fireball spell from deep in the Book of Spells. It shouldn’t have worked; she wasn’t in control of her emotions, and she hadn’t grabbed enough earth’s energy. But she was flying on instinct, and she flicked her arms toward the Hashishin before she even thought it through. A painfully white ball of flames came flying out through her fingertips. Heat burned through her and surged into the body of the third assassin.
The Hashishin crumpled to the floor, dead before he hit the ground.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

About the Author: Trudi Jaye lives in Auckland, New Zealand, in a secluded haven amongst the trees with her Trudi Jayelovely husband and cheeky young daughter. Trudi enjoys yoga, although she’s not very bendy, and karate, although she doesn’t like the idea of hitting anyone.

For the last ten years she’s been a magazine writer and editor, most recently writing about innovative and cutting-edge research. It’s a great place to get ideas for her books!

Connect with Trudi:

Website * Twitter * Facebook * Pinterest

Book Promo Feature–M.I.N.D. by Elissa Harris

YAPC would like to welcome Elissa Harris to the blog today. She is here to share some info and an excerpt of her book M.I.N.D. If this looks like something you would enjoy reading, please go pick up a copy!

Book Description:

M.I.N.D.THINK YOU’RE ALONE? THINK AGAIN.
Imagine skydiving or bungee jumping or snowboarding off a glacier, and you never have to leave your room. Imagine hooking up with the crush-of-your-life, and you never even have to put on lip gloss. Sixteen-year-old Cassie Stewart can project her mind into other people, and she does it at will. She sees what they see, feels what they feel, but she can’t read their thoughts. It’s a wild ride, but harmless. Or so she thinks. Sure, hanging out in someone else’s body might be a trip, but what if you can’t get back to yourself? What if the body you’re trapped in is committing murder — and the person he’s murdering is you?

Buy M.I.N.D.:

Amazon * Kobo * iTunes * Indiebound

Excerpt:

FROM CHAPTER 4

Something is wrong with Mrs. Snyder, and I’m not talking about a few cracked ribs. According to her last email, my social studies paper is due any minute now, which is totally nonsensical, since she won’t be back at school for at least another week. Plus, why do we have to write this stupid essay anyway? We’re not going to Hartford after all, and wasn’t that the point? If it’s supposed to be about our impressions, shouldn’t we, like, be there?

Even if I were inclined to work on it, which I’m not, I can’t concentrate. I look around. Only a handful of kids were rounded up in the sweeps. Brendan isn’t among them. At the table in front of me, Zack and Stephanie are sitting so close together they could be sharing deodorant.

How can I focus when the back of Zack’s head is taunting me with its extreme adorableness? Even his ears are adorable. I write in my notebook, “Zack heart Cassie.” Yeah, right. Not in this life. I put down my pen.

How dumb is sweeps anyway? If you’re found in the hallway after the bell, you get to miss first period. And the problem is…?

I glance at the poster on the wall. On it are the rules for hallway offenders:

1. No talking. (Who would I to talk to, Zack? Just saunter over there, la-la-la, all nonchalant? What would I say to him? So how’ve you been, and by the way, why are you with that skank?)

2. No eating or drinking. (Ridiculous. Is this not a cafeteria? Just thinking about food makes my stomach growl. Hopefully no one hears. I probably shouldn’t have skipped breakfast, but I wasn’t in the mood for scrambled tofu. There’s a Hershey bar in my backpack. I could sneak my hand in, pull out the bar, chew it softly… Not a good plan. The foil would sound all crackly, like at the movies. Funny how I always end up sitting next to someone unwrapping something complicated.)

3. No cell phones, laptops, or tablets. (More ridiculousness. No laptop? How am I supposed to do any work? No snickering, please.)

4. No reading other than school material. (Forget Cosmo.)

5. No chair rocking. (Huh?)

6. No sleeping. (After the first five rules, this one’s hard.)

Since there’s nothing else to do, I try to work on my essay, but I’m having a brain drain. How can I write about the Connecticut government without the Internet? (See Rule #3.) I raise my hand. Mr. Greene is busy fiddling with his phone, so I clear my throat. Obviously, Rule #3 doesn’t apply to vice principals.

He looks up. “Yes?”

“Can I go to the library?”

He stares at me like my nose is a pimple. Stephanie snorts, and Zack twists his head all the way around like he’s possessed by a demon. I feel my neck redden. Apparently it was a dumb idea. Can you tell this is my first time in sweeps?

Stephanie whispers something in Zack’s ear. He laughs and whispers back. “Stop it,” she says in a voice that says the opposite. She’s so obvious she could be a billboard.

Mr. Greene glares at her. “One more time, and I’m sending you to the principal.” He lowers his head and goes back to his fiddling.

A moment later, Mrs. Cramdon from the office comes into the cafeteria and hands him a note. Mr. Greene frowns and takes off his glasses. “I’ll be back in a few minutes. Cassie, you’re in charge.”

What? Why me? Is my middle name Snitch? As he’s leaving, Zack makes a gun with his fist, aims at him, and shoots. Then I hear a rumbling. This time it’s his stomach, and it’s really loud. Stephanie giggles.

Maybe I should offer him my chocolate bar. It would be the perfect excuse for me to go over there and talk to him, except for three things:

1. See Rule #1 for hallway offenders. Except who would report me? Me?

2. I’m a coward.

3. His hand is on Stephanie’s knee. Obviously it’s not chocolate he’s hankering for.

She turns around and gives me a long, smug look, like she knows I like him. Oh, God. If she knows, does Zack know?

Her eyes don’t leave my face as she grabs his head and smacks her lips to his, and the next thing I know they’re kissing like they’re trying to crawl into each other’s mouths. He gropes at her waist; she closes her eyes. My wounded heart can’t take it, so I close my eyes too, and as much as I despise her, as much as I fervently wish that a house will fly by and land on her overly hormoned body, at that moment there’s no other person in the world I’d rather be.

The scent of lilac swirls around me.

This time I’m ready for it. This time, despite my aching heart, despite my supreme jealousy, not only am I not terrified, I’m thinking, Yeah, baby, bring it on!

Zack probes his tongue deeper, so deep I fear for her tonsils. I can’t believe it’s finally happening. Not just me and Zack kissing, but me kissing, period. It’s true, I admit it. I’ve never been kissed, I’m embarrassed to say. I’m totally jazzed that he’s my first tongue. Too bad it’s really Stephanie he’s kissing.

Except his lips feel limp, like she’s kissing cream cheese. Plus, he tastes like sour milk and she’s trying not to gag. “Oh, Zack,” she purrs, her mouth glued to his. “Don’t stop. Don’t ever stop.” She’s saying the words, but her throat feels constricted. He reaches under her T, his hand cold and clammy as it inches its way up, sliding under her bra. His free hand glides down her painted-on jeans. She moans, except it feels forced, like she’s trying to swallow a hiccup. She grabs his neck and pulls him practically on top of her, right there on the chair.

No way, I’m thinking. How much farther can they go? What about decorum? What about Rule #5?

She freezes.

Seriously? If I’m supposed to feel everything she feels, could she at least not feel like a zombie? Maybe hearing bells is a little optimistic, but where are the tingles? Where’s the heat that’s supposed to course through your veins? Why isn’t her heart bursting through her ribcage? Were all those romance novels lying?

He squeezes her left boob and she gets an uneasy feeling in the pit of her stomach. It’s like I’m seven years old again and I’m playing doctor with Jordan Weatherfield. Then suddenly I hear a whoosh! and the door swings open. Zack bounces off Stephanie faster than a trampoline gymnast. She smooths down her shirt, but Mr. Greene isn’t looking at either of them. He’s too busy stalking over to my table where I’m out cold, head in my hands. Everyone is staring at me, waiting to see what happens next.

I need to get back to my body pronto, but I don’t know how this works. What did I do the last two times? I remember wanting to get out, but that can’t be all there is to it. Can it? I concentrate as hard as I can, but nothing happens.

Oh. My. God. What if I’m stuck in Skankville forever?

“Rule Number Six,” Mr. Greene says, tapping my shoulder. “No sleeping allowed.”

Stephanie pulls out her lipstick and puckers her mouth, and all at once, as quick as one of her fake-passion hiccups, I’m back in myself.

All right! Except I’m busted again, and there’s a tsunami in my head.

“I want a five-hundred-word essay on why you shouldn’t break the rules,” Mr. Greene says, “and I want it on my desk tomorrow morning.”

Great. On top of my regular homework, my social studies paper, and that psychology presentation I have to make next Monday but still have no clue what to do it on, now this. I have a life, you know. Okay, not really, but how am I supposed to get one with all this work? Seriously, I get penalized for literally doing nothing while Casanova and the skank get off scot-free. Where’s the justice in that?

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

About the Author: Originally from Montreal, Canada, Elissa has been a donut maker, a librarian, a programmer Elissa Harrisand an editor — but always a writer. When not obsessing over commas and clauses, Elissa enjoys binge-watching, people-watching, photography and bluegrass. She now lives in Arizona, where she continues to suffer from an overactive imagination.

Connect with Elissa:

Website * Goodreads * Facebook * Instagram

Book Promo Feature–Legacy by Hugo Jackson

YAPC would like to welcome Hugo Jackson to the blog today. He is here to share some info and an excerpt of his book Legacy. If this looks like a book you would enjoy reading, please go buy a copy! It’s 99 cents until the end of October!

Book Description:

LegacyHer power is unmeasured. Her abilities untested. Her destiny inescapable.

Faria Phiraco is a resonator, a manipulator of the elements via rare crystals. It is an extraordinary and secret power which she and her father, the Emperor of Xayall, guard with their lives.

The Dhraka, malicious red-scaled dragons, have discovered an ancient artefact; a mysterious relic from the mythical, aeons-lost city of Nazreal. With their plan already set in motion, they besiege Xayall, pummelling the city to find Faria and rip more of Nazreal’s secrets from her.

When her father goes missing, Faria has to rely on her own strength to brave the world that attacks her at every turn. Friends and guardians rally by her to help save her father and reveal the mysteries of the ruined city, while the dark legacy of an ancient cataclysm wraps its claws around her fate… and her past. She soon realises that this is not the beginning, nor anywhere near the end. A titanic war spanning thousands of years unfolds around her, one that could yet cost the lives of everyone on Eeres.

Legacy is character-driven epic fantasy action forged in an exciting and intricate plot that reaches deep into the Resonance world’s history.

Buy Legacy:

Amazon * B&N

Excerpt:

Restlessness had plagued her all evening. Unpleasant thoughts about her father, Nazreal and the Dhraka swirled through her mind. His staff, although resting across the room, buzzed with an energy that forbade her to relax. She looked at it accusingly, studied it for a minute or so, then pulled on her cloak and marched out to the gardens.
The stave held a beautiful blue-green hue in the moonlight. She turned it over in her hand and watched the light play through the crystal winding along the haft.
Standing in the same spot as earlier, Faria took a deep breath and readied herself, the staff pulsing in her hand. She held it aloft and, as she had that afternoon, tried to draw water out of the air to the staff’s tip. Instantly, far quicker than before, a light spiralled up the shaft’s crystal web and burst into the spearhead above her. A cloud of mist appeared and shrank back to the tip; milliseconds later an orb of water quivered over the end of the staff, still growing as more mist swirled into it. Able to ignore for now the creeping burn in her hands, she watched in awe as a power she never thought she could wield coursed through the weapon. The waves of tingling heat intensified, running through her veins in hot stabs.
She pointed the stave towards a tree, the ball of water becoming so big that it could hardly support its own weight, rippling and quaking. With another shift of her fingers and pulse of energy the ball froze instantly around the staff’s head. Suddenly it became too heavy for her and she dropped it forwards, hitting the grass with a dull thud. She couldn’t lift it up. Instead, she grabbed the haft with both hands and sent a small, sustained energy through it that heated the crystal and melted the ice around it, letting it slip free.
She observed the frozen ball with a mild sense of accomplishment, albeit veiled by new frustrations that she still lacked the control her father had. The pain in her hands wouldn’t subside– it felt as though someone was plucking her fur with red-hot tweezers. She dropped the staff and loosened her gloves, massaging her hands while holding them to the cool night air to try and calm the prickling burn. As she blew on her palms, she sensed something in the darkness behind her.
She jumped round. “Who’s there?”
A familiar shadow emerged from under the tree. “It’s me, Your Highness,” Bayer said, wearing his armour as comfortably as if he slept in it.
She turned away and gave a silent, impatient sigh, picking up her staff. She held her hands to the ball of ice to see if that was a more effective treatment for the resonance’s feedback. It wasn’t.
“Well, at least I know I can use it,” Faria said idly, tapping the staff against the ice.
Bayer was silent. Her frustration at his presence knotted in her stomach.
“Did you want something?” she asked, feeling impertinent.
Bayer bowed his head. “It’s my duty to protect you, Your Imperial Highness. I was concerned when I saw you heading outside.”
She folded her arms. For her to be wandering around by herself at night with no guard given her father’s worries was, admittedly, a little irresponsible. Although irritated by his common sense, she was grateful for his protection. “Yes, well… thank you. But I’m all right.”
“Are you sure? It’s not like you to be awake this late, Your Highness,” he said softly.
It wasn’t true – Faria often didn’t sleep at night. She would just read or talk with her father instead of wandering around outside by herself. She sighed. “I know. I’m just… I’ve never seen Father look so worried.”
“He has great concerns about Nazreal. All of Eeres is unsettled by it.”
“Yes, but…” She knew that. This time there was something different. It had scared her to the core. The deep, almost infinite apprehension in her father’s eyes…
She shook her head to try and rid herself of her doubts. Drawing a tired hand over her ears, she looked into the sky wistfully. “Xayall’s never the same without him. I hate having to make these decisions by myself. I’m worried I’ll do something wrong.” There had never been such a long stretch of time where he wasn’t present at the daily government meetings. He and the Councillors made the major decisions and she was always there to watch their recommendations, but, for the moment at least, she was now the higher authority they would report to. Holding the reins of an entire sovereign wasn’t a role she enjoyed. She likened it to driving a heavy Theriasaur down a gravelled slope.
Bayer looked up at the Tor. “Your Highness shouldn’t worry about the city. For the most part it governs itself.”
She didn’t listen. “And then the Dhrakans… I know they’re aggressive, but do you think Father’s right? Would they really try attacking us?”
There was a tense pause. The night’s heavy air pressed in around them.
“You will be protected, Your Highness.”
She looked uneasily to the grass. “I see…”

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

About the Author:Hugo lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. He was born in Chichester, UK, and lived there until theHugo Jackson age of 26, moving to the USA to live with his wife.

Along with writing, Hugo has a passion for stage acting, voice acting, stage combat, and anime. He has performed in several professional theatre productions, as well as a few documentaries, and was an extra in The Young Victoria. Intermittently he has led stage combat workshops for the Chichester Festival Youth Theatre, Chichester College and The Point Youth Theatre in Eastleigh.

He constructs his own anime, fandom, and Steampunk costumes and regularly attends any conventions he can.

Connect with Hugo:

Website * Facebook * Twitter 

Book Promo Feature–Evangeline and the Alchemist by Madeleine D’Este

YAPC would like to welcome Madeleine D’Este to the blog today. She is here to share an except and some info about her book Evangeline and the Alchemist. If this looks like something you would enjoy, please go get a copy for two!

Book Description:

Evangeline and the AlchemistCream cakes and inventions. Fake gold and kung-fu. Meet Evangeline.

In 1882, “Marvellous” Melbourne was flush with gold-rush cash and the British Empire’s second biggest city.

Evangeline, a seventeen year old reformed urchin and acrobat, is settling into a new comfortable life in Melbourne with her long lost father, Professor Caldicott. But learning to be a lady is awfully dull. Then one day, the police arrive, seeking the Professor’s expertise in catching an Alchemist.

Is this a chance for Evangeline to test out her new invention and save the day? With regular breaks for tea and cream buns, of course.

Evangeline & the Alchemist is a steampunk mystery-adventure novella and the first in The Antics of Evangeline series.

Buy Evangeline and the Alchemist:

Amazon * B&N * Kobo * iTunes

Excerpt:

Chapter 1

It all started with a rat-a-tat-tat on the Professor’s laboratory-workshop door. Evangeline and the Professor looked up from their inventing to see Miss Plockton in the doorway.

“Chief Inspector Pensnett ta see you, sir?” she said.

Evangeline perked up on her stool. A policeman here at 56 Collins Street? Something exciting was surely about to happen.

“Ah, yes. I plum forgot.”

Evangeline’s father stopped adjusting his new, improved auto-chariot and walked over to the wooden bench, placing his trusty brass screwdriver with the ivory handle down beside neat stacks of brass cogs, wheels and pins. Her father, Professor Montague Caldicott, the pre-eminent horological-engineer in all the Colonies, smoothed down his humongous moustache with his real hand.

“Your lesson is over for today, m’dear. Follow Miss Plockton upstairs and continue with your embroidery.”

“But Father…” Evangeline groaned. “I could be of some assistance.”

“Police matters are not for the ears of impressionable young ladies. All those dead bodies and smugglers and swarthy criminals. Far too sordid.”

“I never get to do anything interesting,” Evangeline grumbled as she stowed away her rosewood-handled screwdriver in the pocket of her dress, along with a handful of brass pins. The smaller and more delicate screwdriver was a recent gift from her father, an encouragement to pursue her own inventions.

Evangeline’s plain bottle-green day dress, buttoned to the neck, was not the latest fashion but it was better than she had ever imagined in her previous life on the grey foggy streets of London, when her toes poked through holes in her boots. Cold was something she had yet to worry about since she arrived three months ago on the dirigible from Singapore. She wondered whether Melbourne could be anything less than sweltering.

“Out. Out.”

The Professor shooed Evangeline and Miss Plockton from the laboratory-workshop, before carefully locking the door behind him.

There was a time when a visit from the police would have frightened Evangeline. She would have hurried to hide her loot, but not today. Today she was a reformed character, setting aside her urchin ways and learning to be a proper young lady. But being good all the time was a bit dull.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

About the Author: Growing up in Tasmania, Madeleine now lives in inner city Melbourne surrounded by books. Madeleine D'EsteAfter studying law (and never practising) and travelling the world, Madeleine now lives a double life, immersed in the corporate world by day and writing female-led science fiction by night.

When not writing, Madeleine enjoys podcasts, knitting, forteana, indie films, kettle bells and long blacks.

Connect with Madeleine:

Website * Twitter * Goodreads

Book Promo Feature–Unexpected Rewards by Jane McGarry

YAPC would like to welcome back Jane McGarry to the blog. She is here to share some info and an excerpt of her latest release Unexpected Rewards. If this looks like something you would like to enjoy, please go get a copy!

Book Description:

Unexpected RewardsOlivia Davenport is looking forward to her future. After all, Prince Liam has professed his love and King William has promised her a reward for her role on a recent mission. She fully expects to continue her knightly training while enjoying a blossoming romance with her Prince. The King, however, has other ideas, appointing her as a lady-in-waiting to Queen Helen.

Thrust into unfamiliar territory and left to fend against the malicious women of court, Olivia feels awkward and confused. With the help of her new friend, Kat, and her sister, Anne, she tries to find her footing among the courtiers, their protocol, and the added complication of Jocelyn Crawford, a lady who has her eyes set on becoming Liam’s bride.

When, a disturbing prophecy puts the safety of the King in question, fear spreads through kingdom. Intrigue abounds at the palace with an enigmatic witch and a strict Friar at the center of the controversy. Olivia must use her training and instincts to unravel what is truly going on in order to protect the King. Through it all, she questions if she will ever be able to fit into Liam’s life and if, in the end, their love can prevail.

Buy Unexpected Rewards:

Amazon * B&N * Kobo * Smashwords

Excerpt:

“Excuse me, Sir Davenport, Lady Davenport,” says a voice, and suddenly Liam stands beside us. “But I would very much like to have a dance with your daughter.”

“Of course, Your Highness,” Mother replies in awe, dipping into a curtsey.

My acknowledgement is a much stiffer bow of the head. The moments with my family had briefly smothered my worry, but now it hurtles back full force. He takes my hand and I follow him onto the floor, silently praying my knees don’t give out from the terror that rises in me like the tide. One hand fits on the small of my back, the other grasps mine. His palms are uncharacteristically sweaty.

Something is definitely wrong.

I look into his beautiful, blue eyes. They swim with misery. Now that I am going to find out the reason, I am not sure I want to anymore.

He clears his throat. “I didn’t want to have to tell you in public, but I can’t let the night pass and deceive you.”

Not good.

At my silence, he continues, “Somehow Jocelyn has influenced my father. He wants me to court her, to give her a fair chance, because he considers her a more suitable match.”

There she sits now, right next to King William, her usual smug expression in place. Our monarch absently surveys the room. The monarch I saved—who praised me for it—stabs me in the back without a second thought. I should have left him to die in that escape tunnel.

“And what do you think of that?” I ask pointedly.

“Naturally, I protested…abundantly, but…” He stops, won’t meet my eyes.

But? But cannot be good. But can only be disastrous.

I stop moving and we stand looking at each other like mannequins while
couples rotate around us.

“But what?” I whisper, the cacophony of music and chatter turning into an otherworldly buzz while my senses brace for the impact of his answer.

“But…my father told me if I did not give Jocelyn a fair chance, he would not only send you from the palace, but ship you down to Prescott and arrange a marriage for you there. I don’t know what to do, Olivia. I don’t know how to fix this.”

A barrage of thoughts leap to mind, none of them in any way accepting of this information. Send me away? Ship me to Prescott? As if I were livestock? And arrange a marriage? So many protests, I hardly know where to begin.

The music ends and couples saunter off the floor. Liam and I stand alone in the center.
Eyes will be upon us soon if we remain here like statues.

With every ounce of composure I can muster, I curtsey and hear my voice say, “Thank you for the dance, Your Highness. I hope you enjoy the rest of your evening.”

Then, I walk away.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

About the Author: Reading was always a big part of Jane’s life. Over the years, creating stories developed out of this love. Unexpected Rewards is the sequel to her debut novel, Not Every Girl, released in May 2015.

She lives in New Jersey in a house full of boys, including one over-indulged cat. When she is not running around with her family or writing, she can be found curled up with a good book and said cat
You can visit her online at: www.janemcgarrybooks.com.

Connect with Jane:

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Book Promo Feature–Neiko’s Five Land Adventure by A.K. Taylor

YAPC would like to welcome A.K. Taylor to the blog today. She is here to share some info about the new edition of her book Neiko’s Five Land Adventure. If this looks like a book you would enjoy reading, please go pick up a copy!

Book Description:

Neiko's Five Land AdventureWhat if the fate of two worlds were in the hands of one person: you?

The childhood secret of a troubled teen warrior is used against her by her enemies. It turns out what Neiko imagined is real, and she becomes trapped in the same world she imagined by an otherworldly evil that is worse than the devil. Getting home is the least of her problems.

The Indians and the Crackedskulls are locked in the turmoil of a war that has raged for centuries, and it is presently in a stalemate. Her enemies, Raven and Bloodhawk, have come up with a scheme to take her down, but in doing so they inadvertently open the door to another universe and to an otherwordly evil. Neiko later finds out that a land she thought she had only imagined is actually real, and the dark being is not a figment of her childhood imagination–he is terrifyingly real, and she faces him for the first time. To make matters worse, it is now in her world, and he has evil plans especially for her.

After several standoffs with the malevolent Ramses the Dark Pharaoh in Hawote, she is trapped in Qari by his strange and powerful magic. Trapped in another universe and in a place that is not exactly the way she imagined it. She must somehow find a way to teleport home. That is easier said than done; the odds are overwhelmingly against her and her scorpion-cobra companion as they must travel to find the answer and help, but at the same time avoid Ramses’ allies, traps, and tricks. Can she come back home and turn the tables on her enemies?

If you love the hidden worlds and magic of Percy Jackson and Harry Potter, travel to other worlds like Warriors of Virtue and The Neverending Story, and a strong female protagonist with a bow like the Hunger Games, and the comic relief of the Big Bang Theory, you will love Neiko’s Five Land Adventure!

Buy Neiko’s Five Land Adventure:

Paperback * Kindle * B&N * Kobo * Apple * Google Play * Books2Read

Excerpt:

Neiko shoved the remaining bit of honey bun into her mouth and carried another into her room, but on her way she ran into her mom. “What are you doing with that?” she asked.

“I’m so hungry I thought I might have seconds, and I’ve got a drawing to finish,” Neiko replied.

“Alright,” she said. Neiko walked into her room and closed the door. “Well, I got you a honey bun, and I hope you like it,” Neiko said as she unwrapped it and laid it down on top of the wrapper. Quickstrike scurried over and looked at it doubtfully.

“I want bugs or something,” complained Quickstrike.

“I’m sorry, but that’s all I have. I can’t really find bugs here because there are no woods. Will you at least try it?”

Quickstrike grabbed a claw full and shoved it into his mouth. “Mmm, not bad. Your food is kind of strange, but it tastes good. Just wait till you try ours.”

“What do you mean? I’m not going to Qari. What type of food are you talking about anyway?”

“Oh, I didn’t mean you were coming; I was just saying maybe I’ll make a dish or something. Well, like barbecued velociraptor, marinated beetles, wild cherry muffins, and Lydia’s famous slug casserole, fried snails, and my favorite, parched rollie pollies. We have much more selection, but we would be here all day if I have to name them all.”

Neiko grimaced. “Yuck! The only thing that sounds good is wild cherry muffins. Do you ever eat deer?”

“Oh yeah, we do a lot. Is that something you like?”

“Yeah, barbecued deer is my favorite, and I like it hot and spicy.” Neiko said as she dreamed of a steaming bowl of the stuff.

“You eat hot stuff? I’m not particularly fond of hot and spicy food, but you can try some of our food, and you wouldn’t die if you eat it. Maybe you can try something like snake, frog legs, alligator, or crawfish.”

“Mmm, I’ve always wanted to try snake and that other stuff, but do you eat fish?”

“Oh yes, we eat every kind—catfish, bream, bass, and even pirhana.”

“What does pirhana taste like?”

“I’ll surprise you, you’ll know when you try some, believe me. It’s good. I like it with a side dish of worm pasta with katydid dices.”

“Eww! What’s for dessert?”

“Cricket cobbler, chocolate covered fire ants, or any type of fruit cobbler or pie.”

“Sick! I’ll just stick with just plain chocolate. Can you put almonds or nuts in chocolate?”

“Yes, I prefer plain chocolate too because fire ants give me gas,” Quickstrike said groaning.

“Oh, did they give you a stomachache?” Neiko said laughing.

“Yes, you bet! I also wondered why Buzzclaw and Torca kicked me out of the tent.”

Neiko laughed so hard her side started hurting. “That bad, huh?”

“Yes, hee, hee, they said I was making too much noise because they were trying to sleep, and need I say more? Glacier, Darkclaw, and Rip Rat said I could stay with them because I can’t possibly bother them, and I believe you know why.”

“Yeah, well—” Neiko started saying, but her mom called.

“Amanda, I’m going to the bank and to the post office; I’ll be back in about forty-five minutes!”

“Alright, mom!” Neiko called back. “You want to play video games?”

“What? What are those?”

“Oh, uh, they’re games you play on the TV, do you want to watch?”

“Yeah, can I get on your shoulder?”

“Sure, I’ll pick you up, and you can hop on.” Neiko laid her hand on the bed, Quickstrike crawled onto her hand, and Neiko carefully placed him on her shoulder. “Hang on, sitting down may be rough.” Neiko sat on the floor, but Quickstrike held on with no trouble. “Very good! You had no problem hanging on?”

“Nope, I have eight legs and two claws to hang on with. Give me a real challenge,” said Quickstrike. “And all I needed was my legs.”

“Which one do you want to see?” Neiko asked as she laid them out.

“Hmm, I don’t know. They all look interesting. How ‘bout that one with the guy that looks like Ramses on it?”

“Oh, you mean Killer Instinct? Fulgore does look like Ramses, kind of. You know, I never thought about it till you mentioned it, but I don’t think he acts anything like him.”

“Yeah, he probably doesn’t, and Ramses has lied so much that he wouldn’t know what the truth was if it came and bit him in the nose,” said Quickstrike in a scathing manner.

Neiko laughed and put the game in and grabbed the controller.

“Is that so?” asked an angry, cold voice.

Neiko was so startled she threw the controller in the air, and Quickstrike landed on the bed because he was so startled that he jumped. Neiko looked, and Ramses stood leaning on the inside of her door with his feet crossed and his arms folded over his chest; he was glaring at Quickstrike.

Neiko stood up and gathered her composure. “Well, speak o’ the devil,” she said moodily.

Quickstrike hissed at him. “I heard about you coming and harassing my friend; what do you want here, Pharaoh?” he asked angrily.

“That’s none of your business, bug brain,” he snapped coldly.

“You know, you lied to her when you asked what this place is when you knew exactly where you were, liar and cheat!” Quickstrike yelled fiercely.

“Watch your mouth and hold your tongue, or I’ll remove it for you. I did not lie,” Ramses retorted.

Neiko folded her arms and stared at him sternly. “Yeah, where did you hear the word ‘Hawote’ then, hmm?”

“That voice that I heard summon me told me to come to Hawote, and it was the voice of Raven. So this is the place you call home? Then I cast a spell to come to this ‘Hawote’, and I find it exists. I have noticed you know who I am.”

“Yeah, what’s your point? Well, it’s seems you found out everything you wanted to know, so I guess you will be returning to Qari then. Besides, there’s nothing here you could possibly want except to pick a fight with Raven and Bloodhawk, but they’ll cream your butt. Well, this is it then, huh?” Neiko said, shrugging.

“Yes, I will return to Qari, but I won’t leave empty handed; I wish to take a souvenir with me,” Ramses said mischievously.

“Well, if you’re looking for the Eye of Mohica, I don’t know where it is. You can find it yourself,” Neiko snapped sarcastically.

“I am not interested in that worthless talisman. Maybe I should’ve said I won’t leave alone,” he replied in a soft tone.

“Oh, you want to take Raven and Bloodhawk with you? Go ahead be my guest; we’ve been waiting a long time to be rid of those two. You’re welcome to it,” Neiko replied ushering toward the northwest.

“I have no use for those two overgrown idiots! Oh, they are no match for me, and I’ll cream them.”

“You sound just like Arnold Schwarzeneggar,” Neiko muttered. “Well, there’s nothing else I can think of, so what do you want?” Neiko asked aggravated, but Quickstrike stared at Ramses nervously.

Ramses said nothing, and his eyes shimmered with a terrible red light, and they had a sinister look in them. Then he took a step toward Neiko.

Cold fear gripped her stomach, and her mind started racing. “Oh no! I’m not going anywhere with you! I’m staying right here in Hawote where I belong! You won’t get me without a fight! If you want me, come and get me, but you have to take me down first!”

Ramses laughed evilly. “You want to fight against me? Why don’t you just come quietly—for old time’s sake. What are you trying to prove? If you insist on this stupid last stand, so be it. I haven’t had one this brave for some time, and I’ll enjoy this even though this will not take long. Enjoy your freedom and the last look at your land because it will be the last time you see it! Where is your weapon, dear?”

Neiko jumped on the bed and grabbed her stick from the corner; it had a club-like end on it, and she held it on the slender end. “Right here, Monster Gas! I’m not trying to prove anything! Neiko Kidd surrenders to no one, and when I get done, you’re gonna wish you never wanted to take Admiral Kidd!” Neiko said as she expertly spun her stick.

Ramses laughed even harder. “Oh, you’ll eat those words once I have you. You’ll wish you hadn’t resisted me. When we return, Hawote will be destroyed! You are going to fight me with a stick? It doesn’t matter to me what weapon you use because I will win. I don’t need a weapon. I am going to take you down with my bare hands. So prepare to be captured!”

Neiko bared her teeth and hissed. “Ooooh, come and give me your best shot, Chrome Scum!” she said as she beckoned him with her hand and then replaced it on the grip of her stick.

Ramses angrily stuck with lightning speed as he tried to grab her ankle. Neiko jumped and just barely dodged his sweeping hand and landed at the head of the bed. Seeing an opportunity to attack, Neiko swung the stick over her head and sent the head of it crashing down on the end of his middle finger with every ounce of her strength, and the pain rushed through his glove into all of his hand.

“Owww! I’ll get you for this, Neiko!” he growled as he rubbed his injured finger to ease the pain. It lingered, causing him to get angrier.

“Ha! Ha!” Neiko said jeeringly. “How do you like fighting Indians now, hmm? I guess it’s not like it’s cracked up to be, huh?” she punned, laughing. “Oh, by the way, you need to get your eyes checked, Ramsneeze. It doesn’t profit much in trying to catch air!”

Quivering with rage, Ramses shouted, “Oh, you’ll see, I’ll get the last laugh; you won’t think your loss and your captivity are a bit funny! Consider that miss a gift, and I will not grant you any more!”

Seeing an opportunity, Quickstrike shouted, “Attack Pack!” as he ran and jumped on his face blocking his view. Ramses growled fiercely, and he tried to get him off.

“I forgot my manners. I forgot to welcome you to Hawote, and this is how we greet uninvited, evil guests—Quickstrike, watch out!” Heeding the warning, Quickstrike jumped off, and landed on the bed beside Neiko. “Eat stick!” she yelled and hit Ramses right in the face with the stick, but the end snapped off because of the force of the blow and the hardness of his helmet; the hit didn’t faze him. Neiko looked at it surprised because she had used it against titanium Crackedskull armor, and it didn’t break. Seeing his opportunity, Ramses hit Neiko in the back of the legs with his arm in a sweep, sending her falling on her back onto the bed, and the fall caused her head to spin. Ramses stood over her, but Neiko still had her stick and she attempted to hit him in the top of the head. Knowing her move, he stopped her in midswing by seizing her wrists, and with his free hand, ripped it from her grasp and threw it on the floor. Quickstrike scurried over to help his fallen friend. He jumped onto Ramses’ face again, but this time he grabbed Quickstrike and threw him against the wall. Quickstrike groaned and lay still.

“Quickstrike!” Neiko yelled as she tried to crawl to him, but Ramses grabbed her ankle and yanked her to him. He turned her over and seized her by her wrists; Neiko tried to free herself by struggling, but Neiko had no idea of his strength, and he laughed at her puny attempts to free herself. “Quickstrike, say something, help! Somebody help me!” Neiko saw some of her neighbors in the yard. “Help!” she screamed at the top of her lungs, but they didn’t hear her.

“Be quiet. No one can hear you, and there is no one to rescue you. Let’s go.”

“No! Please! I won’t call you names again; please let me go!” Neiko begged.

“No, it’s not about name-calling! I decided this long ago, the day I saw you. Don’t fight me, or I’ll tie you up. I suggest you relax.”

“Let go of me, Chrome Breath, or I’ll—”

“ Shut up! You’ll what? You are at my mercy. I am not releasing you, so don’t ask again.” Neiko started to sob, and then she saw her mom’s red car pull up. Ramses showed a great deal of annoyance, and he let go of Neiko. “Well, you get your wish this time because I let you win, and since I don’t want to be seen by anyone here. Next time you won’t be so lucky, and your mommy won’t be around to save you, so be warned. I’ll be back, and you’ll be mine!” He laughed wickedly and all of him disappeared but his eyes. “I’ve been watching you, and I’ll keep watching!” he said then his eyes disappeared, but she could still hear his terrible laugh. Neiko sighed with the utmost relief as her mom came in. Neiko rushed in and hugged her. “Mom, I love you,” she said squeezing her eyes shut to keep the tears from coming.

“I love you too, honey,” she replied. Neiko then ran to her room to check on Quickstrike.

*~*~*~*~*~*~

About the Author: A.K. Taylor grew up in the backwoods of Georgia where she learned about nature. She enjoysA.K. Taylor hunting and fishing, beekeeping, gardening, archery, shooting, hiking, and has various collections. She also has interest in music, Native American history and heritage, Egyptian history, and the natural sciences. A.K. Taylor has been writing and drawing since the age of 16. A.K. Taylor has graduated from the University of Georgia with a biology degree, and she shares an interest in herpetology with her husband.

A.K. Taylor can be found: 

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