Friday, March 28, 2014

Signed Bookplate Giveaway!

Hey guys! I got some bookplates in recently and I thought that I would do a giveaway to celebrate! There will be three winners. Each one will get a signed bookplate sent to them. This contest is international! The Rafflecopter is below! (You can also enter through my Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAmandaLeigh/app_228910107186452)Good luck!! And thank you!! :) <3

***Giveaway***

<3 Amanda Leigh

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Cover Reveal ~ My Not So Super Sweet Life by Rachel Harris

 

BLURB:
Cat Crawford just wants to be normal—or at least as normal as a daughter of Hollywood royalty can be. And it looks like fate is granting her wish: she’s got an amazing boyfriend, Lucas; her fabulous cousin, Alessandra, living with her; and her dad planning his second marriage to a great future stepmom. That is, until her prodigal mother reveals on national television that she has something important to tell her daughter…causing a media frenzy.

Lucas Capelli knows his fate is to be with Cat, and he’s worked hard to win her over once and for all. Unfortunately, Lucas has his own issues to deal with, including a scandal that could take him away from the first place he’s truly belonged.

As secrets are revealed, rumors explode, and the world watches, Cat and Lucas discover it’s not fate they have to fight if they want to stay together…this time, it’s their own insecurities.

Well, and the stalkerazzi.


PUB DATE: April 21st, 2014

LINKS:



 

 

 

Author Bio: 
 

Rachel Harris writes humorous love stories about sassy girls-next-door and the hot guys that make them swoon. Emotion, vibrant settings, and strong families are a staple in each of her books...and kissing. Lots of kissing.

A Cajun cowgirl now living in Houston, she firmly believes life's problems can be solved with a hot, sugar-coated beignet or a thick slice of king cake, and that screaming at strangers for cheap, plastic beads is acceptable behavior in certain situations. She homeschools her two beautiful girls and watches way too much Food Network with her amazing husband.

An admitted Diet Mountain Dew addict, she gets through each day by laughing at herself, hugging her kids, and losing herself in story. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult romances, and LOVES talking with readers!

Links: 
Website  /  Twitter  /  Facebook  /  Street Team  

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Book Blitz ~ Twelve Steps by Veronica Bartles

 

 

Twelve Steps
by Veronica Bartles
Release Date: 03/25/14

Book Summary:
Sixteen-year-old Andi is tired of being a second-class sibling to perfect sister Laina. There in Laina's shadow, Andi's only noticeable feature is her pretty awesome hair. And even that is eclipsed by Laina's perfect everything else.

When Andi’s crush asks her to fix him up with Laina, Andi decides enough is enough and devises a twelve-step program to wrangle the spotlight away from Laina. After all, great hair must count for something.

Step 1: Admit she’s powerless to change her perfect sister, and accept that her life really, really sucks. OK, maybe that's two steps in one.

Step 4: Make a list of her good qualities besides great hair. There have got to be at least three good qualities, right?

Step 7: Demand attention for more than just her shortcomings, and break out of her shell. Easier said that done, but worth the effort in the long-run. 

When a stolen kiss from her crush ends in disaster, Andi finds that her prince isn’t as charming as she'd hoped, and realizes she may need a new program--perhaps with less steps!

As cracks in Laina’s flawless fa├žade begin to show, the sisters work together to find a spotlight big enough for both to shine.


Buy Links:

Also sold at B&N but the pre-order link isn’t available until March 25th.

Excerpt: 
“Great concert, guys! We rocked it!” I skip into the room and casually brush one finger along the back of Jarod’s neck as I pass the table. He shivers at my touch and glances up at me. His jaw drops when he notices my outfit, but I pretend not to notice.

I fill the kettle with water, and then I set it on the stove to boil before I grab a package of Oreos from the cupboard and pull a chair up to the table between Jarod and Laina. “I don’t see how you can eat ice cream when it’s, like, fifteen degrees outside. What’s wrong with you two?” I shiver and my knee “accidentally” brushes against Jarod’s leg. I feel his body stiffen next to me, and I bite my lower lip to stifle a smile. “Don’t you guys know ice cream makes you colder?”

Laina laughs and reaches across the table to squeeze Jarod’s hand. “We always do this,” she says. “It’s tradition.”

“Do you remember,” Jarod asks, carefully avoiding my eyes, “when we were freshmen?” They launch into a story all about how they thought the juniors and seniors were going to the Dairy Shack for ice cream after their first concert, so they came back to our house to make ice cream sundaes. They thought they could tell everyone that they went out for ice cream and pretend they were a part of the cool kids, but then it turned out that everyone was really going out for brownies and hot cocoa instead.

The kettle whistles and I jump up to make my hot cocoa. I take a careful sip and return to my seat between them. “Really?” I ask. “You guys eat ice cream when it’s freezing out because you were stupid when you were freshmen?” I lift my steaming mug and stare at Jarod over the cup as I take a sip. “I think I’d at least put a warm brownie with the ice cream.” 

“Oh, we have brownies and hot cocoa every year after the spring concert,” Laina says. She’s barely paying attention, and totally oblivious to the real conversation taking place right in front of her. 

I pull my chair closer to Jarod, close enough that our legs are touching, and I eat the last bite of ice cream out of his dish. I lick my lips slowly, and then casually dunk an Oreo in my cocoa. “So the brownies and the ice cream are both because of Laina?” 

Jarod squirms in his seat and glances at my sister, but she’s a million miles away, absently rubbing at a sticky spot on the table with that vacant look on her face. 

“It’s just our thing,” he says. “Because we’re friends.”

I give him a you-must-think-I’m-a-freaking-idiot smile and trace a figure eight with my index finger on his leg. He reaches under the table to grab my hand and looks at me with thinly veiled terror. I laugh and cock my head to one side, as if I’m only making casual conversation. “So, you would never, ever, for instance, eat brownies and ice cream together because Laina wouldn’t approve?”

He blinks, and every trace of color drains from his face. His eyes plead with me to stop, and he squeezes my hand. But if he didn’t want me to say anything in front of Laina, he shouldn’t have avoided me all week.

“Or would the brownies and ice cream combination be a dangerous declaration that you wanted something way more than friendship?” 

Jarod gulps and looks at Laina, who is still tracing hearts with her finger on the table. She nods absently.

“That’s silly,” he says. “It’s a dessert. No symbols. No hidden meanings.” He drops my hand and slides his chair away from me.

I take a deep breath and exhale slowly, folding my arms across my chest. “So when you eat them separately, the brownies and the ice cream are symbols of your enduring friendship. But when you eat them together, they mean nothing?”

“Sometimes a dessert is just a dessert,” Jarod says.

I twist open an Oreo and slowly lick the cream filling. “What about kisses?” I ask. “Do those mean anything?”

 

About the Author:
As the second of eight children and the mother of four, Veronica Bartles is no stranger to the ups and downs of sibling relationships. (She was sandwiched between the gorgeous-and-insanely-popular older sister and the too-adorable-for-words younger sister.) She uses this insight to write stories about siblings who mostly love each other, even while they’re driving one another crazy.   When she isn’t writing or getting lost in the pages of her newest favorite book, Veronica enjoys knitting fabulous bags and jewelry out of recycled plastic bags and old VHS tapes, sky diving (though she hasn’t actually tried that yet), and inventing the world’s most delectable cookie recipes.  TWELVE STEPS is Veronica Bartles's first novel.

Author Links:

***GIVEAWAY***
1 ebook of Twelve Steps & $10 Amazon gift card (INT)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour Organized by:
 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Cover Reveal ~ Collide by Melissa West

Today Melissa West and Entangled Teen are excited to reveal the cover for Collide, the thrilling conclusion to The Taking series releasing in December 2,2014! Check out the gorgeous cover, exclusive excerpt, and enter to win an eARC!



About the book:

Collide by Melissa West (The Taking #3)
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: December 2, 2014
Military legacy Ari Alexander has survived alien spies, WWIV, and a changing world order. But when the new leader of Earth uses Jackson—the only boy she's ever let herself care about—to get to her, Ari has no choice but 
to surrender. To free Jackson, she agrees to travel to the national bases to train others to fight. 

What she discovers is a land riddled with dying people. Ari has the power to heal by turning the fighters into aliens—half-breeds like her. If she succeeds, together, they have a chance at overthrowing the alien leader, Zeus. But if she fails, everyone she holds dear will be wiped away forever.

Once again, everything Ari’s come to believe is thrown into question. In a world of uncertainty, loyalties are tested, lies are uncovered, and no one can be trusted. If Ari and Jackson have any hope at survival and at preserving a life for the future, they must fight the final war with their eyes wide open.

Find Collide Online:

Exclusive Excerpt:


“Wake up!”

I feel as though someone has pinched my mind, shaken my brain around, and asked it to work again. I try to open my eyes, but they’re heavy and clouded and I begin to worry that maybe they are open. I just can’t see.

“Wake up!”

I flinch at the sound, so close to my ear, yet far away. Or maybe it’s my understanding that’s far.

“Ari. We’re out of time. Wake up!”

My mind flashes into focus, but I don’t open my eyes. I can feel, sense, everything around me. The beeping sounds that alternate in succession. The breathing in and out of the person beside me, yet I can’t make out who the person is. Even if it’s a he or she. But what I can sense is danger, danger so intense that the hairs on my arms are at full attention and the xylem in my body has sparked, causing me to instantly want the person beside me dead. If he or she—it—is dead then I am free to escape, even if I have no idea what or who I am escaping from.

“Fine. Just call this payback.”

I have one second to realize that the person is Cybil, before a gut wrenching pain slices through my left arm. My eyes snap open and she’s in front of me, so pale and rattled that she looks like a ghost of herself. I glance down at my arm to see that Cybil ripped out my IV and is now holding it in her hand like a toy.

“I warned you. Look. This likely triggered an alarm. We have to get out of here. Right now.”

I try to nod, but my body is sluggish and I’m not sure that I’ve moved at all. Cybil loops her arm under my back to help me sit up, and instantly the room begins to move in and out of focus. “What happened to me?”

“They happened. Now move.”

I start to climb off the table I’m on, when Cybil’s eyes round out and her body begins to quake. “Cybil? What is it?” I reach out for her, just as her body collapses to the ground and a metal door behind her slides open. Two men dressed in thick white suits rush in, followed by a shorter man. A man I recognize.

“Hello, Ari. Nice to see you awake,” Kelvin says. Kelvin Lancaster. I remember him from the talks with Earth, how he seemed to be in control, how everyone around him acted uneasy in his presence. Like he was more enemy than friend. I start to respond to him, when I feel a sharp pinch in my arm. I look up to see another white-suited person behind me, syringe in hand. I try to push the person away. I try to open my mouth to scream. But suddenly my lips feel tingly, my arms limp. I focus back on Kelvin, on the grin on his face, and then the world around me disappears, and I’m once again alone in the darkness.
 

About Melissa: 

Melissa West writes young adult and new adult novels for Entangled Teen and Embrace and Penguin/Intermix. She lives outside of Atlanta, GA with her husband and two daughters and spends most of her time writing, reading, or fueling her coffee addiction.

She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and a M.S. in Graphic Communication, both from Clemson University. Yeah, her blood runs orange.

 Connect with Melissa at www.melissawestauthor.com or on Twitter @MB_West.

Find Melissa Online:

Website | Twitter | Facebook 

Giveaway

 Want to win your very own eARC of Collide?  Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.  Good luck everyone! 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Book Review ~ The Productive Writer by Sage Cohen

 

Title: The Productive Writer
Author: Sage Cohen
Release Date: December 30th 2010 (first published December 21st 2010)
Published By: Writer's Digest Books
Page Amount: 208 pages. Paperback

GoodReads Blurb:
Take Control of Your Writing Life! The creative process can be treacherous, even for the most experienced writer. Facing the blank page, staying inspired, sustaining momentum, managing competing priorities and coping with rejection are just a few of the challenges writers face regularly. The Productive Writer is your guide to learning the systems, strategies and psychology that can help you transform possibilities into probabilities in your writing life. You'll sharpen your productivity pencil by learning how to: - Set clear goals-and achieve them - Create a writing schedule that really works - Discover what keeps you writing, revising, and submitting - Carve out writing time amidst the demands of work and family - Weed out habits and attitudes that are not serving you - Organize your thinking, workspace, papers and files - Increase your odds of publication and prosperity - Use social media to build an author platform - Get comfortable going public and promoting your writing - Create a sustainable writing rhythm and lifestyle - Accomplish what matters most to you Create the writing life you most desire. The Productive Writer will help take you there.

Review:
This book was part of my list of books to read before April Camp NaNoWriMo. (Find that post here: http://girlwithapenandadream.blogspot.com/2014/01/books-to-read-before-april-camp.html). 

I thought that there were some very useful tips and techniques in this book. As you can tell by the title, the point of this book is to make you a more productive writer. Well, only you can do that, but this book can help. This is not about the creative side of writing. This is about becoming more productive, whatever the situation, to give yourself more time to write, market, do events, et cetera. There are chapters on each of those things and more in this book. 

I found this easy to read and understand. I also liked the little charts and exercises that were included. Another thing that I like is that there is an Index. That way, in the future, I can reference what I want more quickly. Because I will definitely be referring to this in the future. In fact, I have to go back over and flesh out my notes from this book. That way I have tips and techniques that I can use in one place. 

In addition, inside the book there are web addresses of where you can go to find pre-made worksheets of many of the things in this book. I also want to make a point of going to them and checking out the worksheets. 

I think that this was a good book and that I got some good information, tips, techniques and exercises. I'm glad that I took the time to read this. I would definitely recommend this to any writer of any type (fiction, non-fiction, et cetera). I gave this book 4 stars! 

<3 Amanda Leigh

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Character of the Month! (#6)

 

Do you all remember a few months ago my Book of the Month was Taste the Heat by Rachel Harris? Well, I thought it only appropriate that one of these months that one of the characters from Taste the Heat should be my Character of the Month. And that character is. . . Jason Landry! 

I loved Jason while reading Taste the Heat. I thought that he was very sweet. I also love that he knew how to cook (I quite like that). Also, I just loved what a devoted father he was. Reading about his relationship with his daughter was wonderful. Seeing how crazy he was about her and how much she in turn loved her father just warmed my heart. Seeing the two of them stumble over things that normally a female figure would take care of was precious, somehow. I don't know, that's just how I think of it. Like that scene in a certain aisle of the grocery store? Oh, dear. But it was very sweet somehow. Especially when Colby (female protagonist) swooped in to save the day, so to speak. Another thing that I liked was that Jason had a story. And that he had had some awful things happen to him. Not that I like that, I just like that it was included. I'm more likely to like characters who have gone through something. 

I would definitely check out this book if you haven't already! Linked below are my review of Taste the Heat and my Book of the Month post for Taste the Heat! :)




Rachel Harris' Website: http://www.rachelharriswrites.com/ 

<3 Amanda Leigh

Monday, March 17, 2014

Book Blast & Giveaway ~ The Predatory Lies of Anorexia: A Survivor's Story by Abby Kelly

 

 

Genre: Memoir/Self Help

About The Book:
Paperback: 196 pages
Publisher: Bettie Youngs Book Publishers (March 17, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1940784174
ISBN-13: 978-1940784175

I want. I want you to want me. I want you to think I am the smartest, the thinnest, the most beautiful. I want you to want to be me. I want to be enviable. I want to be impervious. I want to need nothing. I want you to know that I am strong. I want to think I am better than everyone else. I want.

I’m willing to give up everything. I will give up mind and future. I will give up health, happiness and peace. I will give up family, friends and fun. I will give up rest and comfort. I will give up food. But please, just let me keep faith. 

In this raw telling of her long struggle with anorexia, Abby Kelly reveals the predatory lies that ran rampant in her disordered mind. She will lead readers through the fight to her final victory.

Readers will find empathy, compassion and insight in these pages. Most of all, they will find hope for recovery and a life beyond the battle.

Meet The Author:

Abby Kelly is a nomadic, military spouse writing from wherever she momentarily finds herself with her husband, their wonderful dog, Brave, and two tolerable cats.

Abby began writing in the process of recovering from a more-than-decade long eating disorder. She credits Jesus Christ for her full recovery and for filling her with a passion to encourage others to seek freedom from their own addictions and struggles.
Now, Abby writes for numerous Christian publications as well as maintains her personal blog, Predatory-Lies. In her free time, she and Brave enjoy volunteering in hospitals and schools as a pet therapy team through Pet Partners.

Buy The Book


Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/1c9tzZ7 

Links to Visit:



Twitter: https://twitter.com/predatorylies  

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

Excerpt:
“The Flight”
“You will never see me again!” I screamed. I knew I was running out of time as we approached the airport. “I’ll die there! I’m never coming home.”

“Abby, stop. You are getting yourself all worked up and we have to go inside now.” My father parked the car in the dismal parking garage. Ignoring my residual choking on tears, he got out of the car and began to extract the suitcases, careful not to get any dirt on his jeans.

Daddy always looked sharp, one more thing I hated about myself. In the last several years I had become more of a skeleton freak show than an attractive daughter he could be proud of. My face was gaunt and haggard and wore the look of an aging smoker. My breasts were flat and my waist curve-less, like a prepubescent boy. I wore sea-foam green sweat pants with the word “SPIRIT” in block letters down my right leg. The sweats hung around my thighs like a tent missing poles, but I liked them because I felt small inside them. A sloppy white t-shirt blaring “SPIRIT” as well, topped the ensemble.

“Abby, get out of the car.”

I debated for a moment, but knew that I’d never win. The wildest of my tantrums were no match for Dad’s strength, but until now, at least in the battle of wills, I had triumphed. Two days prior my parents played their trump card.

“We’ve tried everything.” My parents had me cornered in their bedroom. Mom spoke because I listened more calmly to her. “We’ve been patient while you’ve promised over and over to try. We are really, really worried about you.”

Mom’s voice broke there. Dad turned and glared at my little sisters eavesdropping from the bedroom doorway. Two sets of chocolate brown eyes and one blue pair ducked back into the hallway. Then he shut the door and stepped forward.

“You promised to gain ten pounds in two months.” Dad’s voice was taut. The six-foot-four man that I once thought invincible slouched beneath a heavy burden. “Over a month ago, you agreed to the ultimatum that you would gain eight pounds. You’re nowhere near that. You need help and this is not a discussion. Remuda Ranch agreed to admit you, and we need to be there the day after tomorrow.” Daddy turned and left the room.

I slumped to my knees on the floor. “Please, please, please, Mom! Don’t send me away. I can’t be gone for two months. You might as well disown me. I’ll die there!”

Amazon Giftcard Giveaway:


Tour Hosted by Write Now Literary Virtual Book Tour:

Author Tour Page: http://wnlbooktours.com/abby-kelly/ 

Title and Release Season for Fire & Flood #2 by Victoria Scott!

I'm a little late on this but I got this e-mail with the title and release season of Fire & Flood #2 by Victoria Scott! I'm so excited to share it with you today! 

A NOTE FROM VICTORIA SCOTT

I can’t believe how amazing these past couple of weeks have been. Fire & Flood is officially out in the world, and it’s an incredible feeling. To see it on shelves and hear readers’ reactions to some of my beloved scenes has provided me heaps of writing fuel. And this is good news since I’ve been elbow deep in revisions for book two.

Ah, the second book. What can I tell you without spoiling the ride? Well, I can say this—I believe in packing each book with more action than the one preceding it. I believe in continually raising stakes, testing characters, and strengthening relationships. There are many scenes in book two that break my heart, and others that make me laugh. There will be frostbite and avalanches, oceanic storms and twisted new rules. There will be deaths of beloved characters, and new Pandoras to adore. And there will be fierce battles between Contenders and Pandoras alike over the one thing everyone wants—the Cure. For it all comes down to this:

Who will be the one to cross the finish line first?

The answer may surprise you.

Now, let’s get on with what you’re here for—the first nugget of information about book two! The official title and release season are…

SALT & STONE

Spring 2015

<3 Amanda Leigh

Friday, March 14, 2014

Blog Tour ~ Memories With Maya by Clyde Dsouza ~ Review and Giveaway!


Today is the last day of the blog tour for Memories With Maya. I'm excited to share my review of this book with you all. 




Title: Memories With Maya
Author: Clyde Dsouza
Release Date: March 16th 2013
Published By: CreateSpace
Page Amount: 216 pages, Paperback

GoodReads Blurb:
A story of one man's determination to HACK his destiny, even if it meant challenging Divine Providence...
The story looks at how augmentation technology will affect emotions, intimate human relationships, and our very evolution as a species.

"EMOTIONS ARE LIKE A VIRUS, a common cold...disrupting the flow of logic in the mind." Daniel reminds himself.

Dan's work involves creating commercially viable AR solutions. The recession and an explosion of data-cops is drying out his streams of income. 
He turns to close friend, Krish, a researcher in Artificial Intelligence, in the hope that they can come up with ideas for the Entertainment market. His girlfriend, Maya, and her family return to their homeland after her father passes away.

Dan and Maya continue their relationship via Dirrogates (Digital Surrogates), experiencing human touch through haptics. Krish gets a job at the prestigious A.I.R.I. Using AIRI's lab, Krish and Dan, create an advanced visor with Augmented Intelligence built in. 
They dub it "Wizer". A Board member at AIRI sees potential in the Wizer other than what Dan and Krish have in mind.

At a test in a nightclub, things go wrong... 

Can the Wizer "insure memories" and be a catalyst to accelerate the journey toward eventual Singularity?
The (subtle) underlying philosophy in the story is about preparing the common man for our eventual Technological Singularity. If the goals of Transhumanism are to be embraced, they need to be explained to everyday people, in everyday language and using everyday settings. Only then can a road-map for Transhumanism be built.

Memories with Maya also poses the question: Can we transcend the Human Lifecycle?
The plausible science in the story details how AR & AI will merge to create Digital Surrogates in our own likeness - our DIRROGATES.

Review:
Science Fiction is not something that I often read but I've been wanting to get more into it. I think that this was a good Science Fiction story. While I honestly did not understand half - probably more than half - of the techno talk that was fine with me. I was able to get the basic idea of what was going on there, which was enough to let me understand the story. 

The main characters are mostly Daniel and Maya. Daniel works with Maya's brother Krish. Daniel and Maya have been having a casual relationship behind her brother's back. It seemed to me that Daniel had some commitment issues. He did not fully commit to Maya until he went to India to work on a project with her brother. Maya is in love with Daniel but is afraid that if she tells him it will scare him off. She tells him once he is in India and then they are fully committed to each other.

Then one night at a night club tragedy strikes. Maya is substantially injured that night. Daniel cannot deal with the grief of losing her and so he creates a Dirrogate of her. This is almost like a Digital copy of Maya in her likeness. 

I found it heart breaking that Daniel went to this length to 'get Maya back.' He was so overtaken with grief that he would do anything to have her back in his life. And this was the result. This story raises some interesting questions. Is it even ethical to do such a thing? Is it really the same as having the person that you lost there with you? Can it really make the grief go away? Or make it not as hard to deal with? And the biggest question of all, in my opinion, is this: If you had the opportunity to bring back someone you lost in this way, would you do it?

I do recommend this for its thought provoking story and the questions that it raises. I give Memories With Maya 3.5 stars!


About the Author:
Clyde DeSouza is a Creative Technology Evangelist. He explores technologies such as Augmented Reality, Real-time Game engines and Stereoscopic 3D and their influence on human perception. His non fiction book: "Think in 3D" has been seen on a growing number of film-locations and is used as prep reading by Directors and Cinematographers. 


His second book: "Memories With Maya" is a fiction novel in the hard science/tech-noir genre. The story explores the impact Augmented Intelligence will have in human personal relationships and in society.

Twitter: @cly3d
RealVision Knowledgebase: http://www.realvision.ae/blog

Check out the other stops on the Memories With Maya Review Tour!


March 3

March 4

March 5
Dark Novella (Promo)

March 6

March 7

March 10

March 11

March 12

March 13

March 14

Interested in getting yourself a review copy? There's a review opportunity available!

GIVEAWAY!