Tuesday, December 16, 2014

US/Canada only Giveaway | Win a Chandrea – The Return of the Avatar Queen Prize Pack


Chandrea – The Return of the Avatar Queen

by Marlene Wynn

Publication date: September 22nd 2014
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult

Chandrea Averill thinks she’s just like any other normal young woman. But, on the day of her 23rd birthday, her life changes forever.


Surrounded by magical creatures, dangerous sorcery, and insidious political intrigue, Chandrea desperately wants to return to Earth and the only life she’s ever known. But, the longer she stays, the more she realizes that she may be the only one with the power – both magical and political – to save the people of Lyrunia. Will she find the courage to remain and fight for her home world?















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Exclusive excerpt



Chandrea leapt to her feet and began to run. Sharp rocks and roots sliced her bare feet, but she paid them no heed as she ran. Dodging left and right, Chandrea ran in a state of instinctual panic. She had no idea were she was going, she just ran as fast as she could. Jumping. Gasping. Ducking. Over. Under. Stumbling through the dark. Hearing the sounds of the dragon growing ever louder.

The mother Grifton wasn’t quite so nimble, but what she lacked in speed and agility she more than made up for in sheer mass and muscle. With her low center of gravity, she simply crashed through the jungle trees, snapping them in half like toothpicks.

Faster than Chandrea could fathom, the Grifton was right behind her. Chandrea could feel her hot, foul breath on her back. Bellowing with insane rage, the Grifton used the large sturdy horns on her head and her massive weight to plow through the dense forest.

Chandrea felt quick, tearing pains along her skin as some of the falling debris grazed her. The roar of snapping trees and branches echoed through the jungle, drowning out the sounds of the terror-stricken creatures being flushed out by the juggernaut.

Chandrea felt a tingling underneath her skin. Something was warning her that the beast was about to use fire. She realized her magic had sensed the potential threat of the other’s magic. Running strictly now on instinct, Chandrea allowed her own magic to surface to her defense. And rise it did, one second absent, the next, all-encompassing. With a scream, she shoved her magic out of her. As she ran, a glowing ball of energy formed around her. White hot in its intensity, it burned anything that came in contact with it, and left a smoldering trail of ruin behind her as she fled.

Not a second later, the mother Grifton released a massive jet of fire that arced out hundreds of feet in front of her.

Chandrea screamed as the world surrounding her flared into a bright yellow-red haze. Trees, bushes, animals, anything in its path was incinerated by the intense conflagration. The protective bubble around her turned a deep red.

As the fire died out, the dragon roared her displeasure that Chandrea still lived.
Safe within her ball of protective energy, Chandrea looked around in amazement as she ran. She was astonished that she has survived. Her skin prickled uneasily again, and Chandrea knew intuitively that the dragon was going to release lightning. In some distant corner of her mind, she recognized that her magic shifted its form somewhat, the white-hot surface changing and gaining a faintly metallic sheen to it instead.

Thunder cracked as the energy of the lightning struck her ball of defensive matter. Her world turned white this time, blocking her vision of the forest surrounding her and leaving her temporarily blinded. Trees exploded with explosive force as the sap was superheated, and deadly missiles of wood flew in all directions. Chandrea’s ears rang with the concussion of sound, and she screamed in fearful reflex.

But, as before, when the attack ended, Chandrea ran on, unscathed.

The female dragon went berserk with rage. Roaring her anger, she doubled her efforts and sped forward. Chandrea’s feet were torn and in agony, she was desperately out of breath, and she knew she couldn’t run forever. Though Chandrea’s magical defenses seemed to be working just fine, her physical resources were becoming sorely pressed. If she didn’t find a way to end this soon, the mother dragon would end it for her.

Gasping, each breath a burning brand in her overworked chest, Chandrea pressed on. Blood dripped from dozens of small cuts and wounds. The glow from her defensive shield actually served a dual purpose by shedding light on the surrounding area, making it a bit easier to run.

To her horror, she began to see glimpses of open space between the trees. The ground swiftly became sandier and she realized with a rush of panic that she was approaching a beach. Once she was out in the open, there would be nothing between her and the revenge-seeking Grifton hunting her.

With very few options open, she sprinted for the tree line. Maybe she could get to the water before the Grifton and, once submerged, swim away from the island. Maybe she’d get lucky and the Grifton wouldn’t be able to swim.

Yeah, and maybe she’d spontaneously sprout wings and fly away.




About the author


Marlene Wynn is a Utah native – fondly referred to as “Utonian” by a friend.  She transplanted herself in 1992 from the majestic Rocky Mountains to the beachy shores of sunny Virginia Beach, Virginia and has been there ever since.  Though she has worked in the Benefits field for several years, she finally worked up the courage to chase her dream as an author.









Giveaway



US/Canada only
Ends 5th Jan. 2015
  • A print copy of Chandrea – The Return of the Avatar Queen, 
  • A handmade fairy, 
  • A set of character trading cards.

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Review | The Nine Lives of Christmas by Sheila Roberts *7/10 Stars*

The Nine Lives of Christmas

by Sheila Roberts


Page Count: 242
Published: December 2nd, 2014
Publisher: 
Piatkus

Source: I received a paperback in exchange of an honest review from the publisher (Thanks Clara!)
My Rating: 7/10 Stars

Summary


When a guy is in trouble, he starts making deals with his Creator . . . 

Ambrose the cat is no exception. In danger of losing his ninth and final life, Ambrose makes a desperate plea to the universe. He'll do anything if he can just survive and enjoy a nice long, final life. His prayer is answered when a stranger comes along and saves him-and now it looks like he has to hold up his end of the bargain.

The stranger turns out to be a firefighter named Zach, who's in need of some serious romantic help. If Ambrose can just bring Zach together with Merilee, the nice lady who works at Pet Palace, it's bound to earn him a healthy ninth life. Unfortunately for Ambrose, his mission is a lot harder than he ever thought. Merriliee is way too shy to make the first move on a ladies man like Zach, and Zach thinks he's all wrong for a nice girl like Merrilee. Now it's going to take all of Ambrose's feline wiles-and maybe even a good old fashioned Christmas miracle-to make them both realize that what they're looking for is right in front of their eyes.



The verdict


So lately I have been too much into books and movies about the apocalypse, dystopian worlds, superheroes, sci-fi generations, zombies, vampires, shape-shifters, monsters  and all that is heavily unreal or fantastical or supernatural... Phew. I really needed a breather. 

I was looking for something different and light and happy to read when I was offered a copy of The Nine Lives of Christmas. I don't read contemporary romance much, but this Sheila Roberts title was something that made me say yes. The cat had a big paw in it actually. Ambrose made me smile and laugh (okay, not out loud, just a few smirks). I especially loved the cat's musings to himself and his match-making antics. The characters were likable enough to make me care about them and where the story was going. 

Overall, this was a sweet, quick and sort of cute Christmas themed read, definitely suited for the holiday season. My personal advice would be to read it snuggled in bed, on a weekend, with a big mug of steaming hot chocolate in your hand. Perfect, if you need to relax and cheer up after a hectic week. I did.

Happy reading!


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Thursday, December 11, 2014

$50 Amazon GiftCard Giveaway | Runaway Clothes and The Royal Palm by Mrs. D

Mrs D - Book Blast Dec 2014 - collage


Book 1: Runaway Clothes

Runaway Clothes by Mrs. D


Runaway Clothes by Mrs. D

Publication Date: May 1, 2014
Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing
Page count: 44
Recommended age: 6 to 10

An enlightening story about a little girl named Nika who didn't want to take care of her clothes and toys. One hazy morning when Nika opened her closet, she discovered that it was empty. Her clothes had disappeared! What had happened to her shirts and pants? Where did her favorite dresses, coats, and socks go? Why did they leave her with just her pajamas on this misty morning? Will they come back? Taking a closer look at her room, Nika starts thinking about her attitude toward her clothes and toys. "How easy it is to lose something you love so much." She learns an important lesson at the end of this story. Watch your children have a blast reading this story while learning valuable lessons.


Book Preview




Book 2: The Royal Palm

The Royal Palm by Mrs. D

The Royal Palm by Mrs. D

Publication Date: October 21, 2014
Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing
Page count: 40
Recommended age: 6 to 10

A thought-provoking tale of the journey of a royal palm born on a tiny island surrounded by mysterious waters. This tender story explores the world of someone wrapped up in herself. Protected by her cousins, the short plain palms, the royal palm grew up beautiful, but very self-centered. Dreaming about life outside the island, she did not bother with her friends, who lived as one big family. Immersed in her own beauty, she only cared for herself, until one day a hurricane struck the tiny island. Then the royal p lam discovered the true meaning of family and real friendship. Inspiring story with valuable lessons to be learned and shared.



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The Buzz

Runaway Clothes: "Runaway Clothes by Mrs. D is full of delightful imagery. The words flow in such a fanciful way that children are sure to be immediately engaged and pulled into the story. Its endearing quality teaches young ones the importance of taking care of their valued belongings in such a way that they will not realize they are learning a lesson in the proper care of one's possessions. Excellently executed!" ~ 5 Star Review, HopefulSerenity, Amazon

Runaway Clothes: "Runaway Clothes is a whimsical and charming tale that educates children on the importance of taking care of their belongings... The delightful illustrations add to the enjoyment of the story... I highly recommend picking up Runaway Clothes." ~ 5 Star Review, Stacie T. BeachBoundBooks, Amazon

The Royal Palm: "As is the case with Mrs D's other books, the language is lyrical and colorful... Mrs. D effectively employs the techniques of alliteration, personification and analogy to communicate her message... Mrs D addresses many of the difficult issues children face in dealing with their peers in a whimsical, charming tale. Highly recommended." ~ 5 Star Review, Barbara M., Amazon

The Royal Palm: "A meaningful children's book by a fantastic writer Mrs. D! An unforgettable story that provides life lessons for our children! Mrs. D. is a very talented storyteller who knows how to convey magic into each of her stories. So far her magical books, full of delightful illustrations, never disappointed my children or I. " ~ 5 Star Review, Olga G., Amazon


About the Author


Mrs. D, AuthorOlga D’Agostino (aka Mrs. D.), an award-winning children’s author, was born in western Ukraine. She lived in the historical city of Lviv, where she studied business in Lviv Business College. In 1992 she immigrated to the United States with her two small daughters and for years worked in her own business. In 2011 she began her career as a writer, focusing on writing children’s books that have meaning and provide valuable lessons. Two of her children’s books, The Trees Have Hearts and Good Morning, World, won Mom’s Choice Awards in 2013, and three are winners in the 2014 Readers’ Favorite contest. She is a member of SCBWI and speaks a few languages fluently. She lives in the famous town of Smithville, N.J., with her husband Patrick and a meticulous old cat named Nyda.

Published children's books by Mrs. D. include Carlo the Mouse on Vacation, The Trees Have Hearts, The City Kittens and the Old House Cat, Good Morning, World!, Runaway Clothes, The Royal Palm, The Little Girl Praying on the Hill (short story) and Carlo the Mouse, Book 1: Too Many Rules for One Little Mouse.

The full series of Carlo the Mouse and her new books The Mysterious Life Inside a Closet, That Is How Things Are (two connected stories: The Autumn Wind and The Kitten and the Sparrow), and her new book, The Cat Who Wonders, by Itself, and three rhyming stories in Who Is Most Important in the Fridge? will be published in the near future. Her books are available in print on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and as e-books for most popular e-devices.

She is presently working on her first novel, The Chinese Princess, and a short story, “A Taste of Bread.” For updates on Mrs. D.’s books, please visit her website: www.mrsdbooks.net.




Book Blast Giveaway



Prize: One winner will receive a $50 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash prize (winner's choice)
Contest ends: January 9, 11:59 pm, 2015
Open: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. The winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If a winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Mrs. D and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions - feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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