Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Guest Post ~ Infusing Fiction with Fact, Alyssa Cooper

 



Infusing Fiction with Fact

Everyone knows that fiction is an exercise in imagination - but what happens when your imaginings rely on real events? Real places? On a story that everyone already knows?

I've been writing fiction for as long as I can remember. My first short story was published in 2010, and since then, I've written three and a half novels, a novella, and more short stories than I care to count. Most of my creations take place in what we think of as the "real world" - with a few tweaks, of course - but the stories were all based on imaginary events, and relied on make-believe characters. They were set in real life places, but it could have been any real life place. The story didn't rely on the setting. To be honest, when I wasn’t creating a world completely from fantasy, I often found myself considering setting only as an after thought.

Writing the first installment of  The Witches of Armour Hill was a whole new ballgame.

The Witches of Armour Hill is a four book series - the first book, Switchwas published last summer - and it is based on a well-known legend from Peterborough, Ontario. Peterborough is considered to be one of the most haunted cities in Canada. It has a rich history, and is home to one of Ontario's most impressive landmarks, the Peterborough Hydraulic Lift Lock. The Lift Lock is the centre of the famous Peterborough hauntings, home to a number of ghosts from many points in history - I’ve been hearing about the Lift Lock ghosts since I was a kid, and I'm not even from the city. There are stories of the ghosts of workers killed during construction, and of young men and women who committed suicide leaping from the towers - but the one that always fascinated me the most predates the Lift Lock itself. It is the story of the witch who was burned at Armour Hill.

There is a legend in Peterborough about a woman tried for witchcraft in 1840. When she was found guilty, the townspeople took her to the top of Armour Hill, and they burned her alive. This spot would become the site of the Lift Lock, and to this day, her ghost still wanders the towers and the nearby forest. The Witches of Armour Hill was born of this woman's story - it tells the tale of her descendants, of the coven of witches she left behind. 

I knew from the first moment that writing this story would be a completely new experience. It was to be based on a legend that every Peterborough local already knows, and would rely on landmarks that are known not just to residents of Peterborough, but to any tourist who has ever passed through on the Otanobee River. If I missed a single detail, it would pull my readers out of the story. For those who had grown up with the story of the witch of Armour Hill, it could completely ruin the book.

I swore to myself that I wouldn't publish this story unless I had it right. And so, before I had written a word, I spent an entire summer researching a city that, until then, I had only admired from a distance. 

I was lucky - my father, who works on the waterway, had recently been transferred from a lock in Frankford to one in Peterborough, and to ease the commute, my parents bought a trailer nearby. I was able to spend every weekend that summer exploring. My partner, Andrew, who had spent a few years of his childhood living in Peterborough, took me on tours of the city, and of the walking trails by the river, and of the woods at Armour Hill. My dad took me through the Lift Lock, and the adjacent locks on the river.  I was able to discuss the legend of the witch with a number of locals, including employees at the Lift Lock who had seen or heard her for themselves. I made notes of everything I learned. I took photos of every place we went. I collected maps compulsively.

It was the most work I've ever put into researching a novel... but it was worth it. When I began writing Switch, I didn't feel restricted by the truth, as I had feared I would - instead, I felt my characters coming to life more easily than ever before, with a real world to grow into. I could envision the streets that Maggie walked with her friends, could see her sitting by the river, and wandering through the trees. I felt intimately aquatinted with her ancestor.

I think of Switch as my greatest accomplishment, and I think that the work I put into researching my inspiration was a big part of that.

It's easy to make excuses, to assume that because most of your readers may not be familiar with the location, or with the legend you're working from, that research isn't necessary. But the truth is, those true-to-life details can bring incomparable depth to a story. They can bring a book to life in a way that wouldn't be possible without them. And when local readers do find the book, the way that my loyal readers from Peterborough have, they'll be that much more engaged in the tale. It will mean so much more to them, to see their home town and their childhood stories not just represented, but represented honestly, faithfully. To have the characters they will come to love walking the streets they know so well.

And as an author, there's nothing better than satisfied fans.  


 

 

http://www.amazon.com/The-Witches-Armour-Hill-Switch-ebook/dp/B011IVD8HG/ref=redir_mobile_desktop?ie=UTF8&noEncodingTag=1&redirectFromSS=1  



Thank you so much for joining us today on the blog, Alyssa!! 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Happy Release Day Jennifer Weiser!!

Today is the release day for my critique partner's book, The Touched (The Descendants, Book One)!!!! Are you excited?? Because you definitely should be!! ;) You should go snag this book up now whichever way that you can. I've helpfully provided several buy links so that you can go right from this post to buying the book. ;) First, here's some about it. 


 

Title: The Touched (The Descendants Book One)
Author: Jennifer Weiser
Release Date: September 29 2015
Published by: Limitless Publishing 

GoodReads Blurb:
The first sixteen years of Arabella Penthallow’s life have been a lie…
In a world where deception is the key to survival, Ara has kept up the charade of being a perfect Legion Leader’s daughter. But a darkness stirs, and she discovers she is Touched, a mortal gifted by the Gods. The Touched are as rare as they are feared, and Ara is forced to leave Union City for neighboring Midnight City to protect herself and those she loves, leaving Tove Thorn, the boy who has always known her heart, behind.

Carter Decker has vowed to burn Union City to the ground…

Midnight City’s cocky, infamous bad boy always gets what he wants, and he wants Union City to pay for burning his mother alive because she was Touched. When Carter meets Ara, she is everything he’s been taught to hate. Then he learns she is Touched—just like him—he isn’t sure who he hates more…the Touched girl whose father killed his mother, or himself for being tempted by someone he’s sworn to kill.

They are told they’re fated to be soul mates…and they each wish the other never existed.

When Midnight City is attacked by Union City, Carter and Arabella will do the unthinkable…even if it means falling for the enemy. The truth lies in Arabella’s home nation, and Tove is waiting. Soul mates or not, he has an advantage Carter doesn’t, fated souls be damned.

War is coming…and Ara is the prize.

Buy Links:




Jennifer Weiser is a young adult author who has always been a book nerd and a bit chocolate obsessed. Writing has always been a favorite escape, but quickly became a passion not long after the birth of her daughter. When she isn't combing the shelves of her local book stores or blogging about newest book obsessions, you can find her nestled in her nook creating worlds she hopes that one day will inspire her daughter, who not only has given her the courage to follow her dreams--but offers the inspirations that help color their worlds together. 




Congratulations Jenn!! I'm so excited for you and so happy for and proud of you!! Eeeeep!! I am so excited!! I can't imagine how excited you are. Actually, I can. lol You have been an amazing friend and I am beyond thrilled that we got to connect. All of this wouldn't be even close to the same without you. <3 you. <3  xoxo <3 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Book Blitz ~ Have You Seen This Girl? (Flocksdale Files #1) by Carissa Ann Lynch - Interview, Prologue and Giveaway


HAVE YOU SEEN THIS GIRL? 
Author: Carissa Ann Lynch
Series: Flocksdale Files #1
Publisher: Limitless Publishing

- SYNOPSIS -
Wendi Wise is a troubled young woman who snorts her breakfast through a straw and spends more time in rehab than in the real world… 

Her life is seemingly out of control.

But now she has a plan.

That plan involves a sharp set of butcher knives. 

She's going back to where all of her troubles began…

Flocksdale.

Wendi was lured away from a local skating rink, at the age of thirteen, and held captive in a place she calls 'The House of Horrors.' Dumped off blindfolded on the side of a dirt road, Wendi soon discovered that she was addicted to the drugs they fed her while she was captive. 

Too scared to go home, and having a new habit to deal with, she hopped on a bus, vanishing from the family she loved. 

Vanishing from Flocksdale…

The town of Flocksdale is littered with fliers with a grainy image of young Wendi, and the words 'Have You Seen This Girl?' written below. 

Now, eight years later, she's on a mission—a mission to find the mysterious house from her youth and the monsters who dwell inside it.

“This is the end, beautiful friend, the end…”



- PURCHASE -
★ Paperback: http://amzn.to/1Q6FAhr
- Available for FREE with #KindleUnlimited -

- BOOK TRAILER -


Interview: 
Amanda - I was reading a bit about you on your blog. You said that when you were younger you kept a journal, do you still keep up that practice in some shape or form? I also have been into writing nearly my while life and journaling was a big way that I got into it. 
Carissa - Yes, I’ve always loved journaling! As I got older, I moved a lot of my paper journaling to livejournal.com. Nowadays, everybody blogs. Some people are afraid they won’t have enough to say, but honestly, I’m afraid of using my blog as a personal journal because I’m so used to having one! Although I mostly write on my laptop or blog these days, I still keep a personal notebook for journal entries, book ideas, and plot notes. I usually take it with me everywhere, in case I want to jot something down. I don’t know if anyone could even read it if they tried; it’s a mess.
 Amanda - Tell us three things about yourself that your readers dont know. 
 Carissa - Okay…I’ve been extremely candid in all of my author interviews but here’s a few things readers probably don’t know about me yet: 
  1. I’m a little bit obsessed with aliens. Not the fictional kind, either. Late at night, when all of my writing is done, I like to lay in bed watching those crazy alien conspiracy shows and eating snacks, all bug-eyed and scared. LOL.
  2. Although I love to write adult-themed stories, often stories that are frightening or mysterious, I love to read cheesy young adult novels more than I’d like to admit.
  3. The story of how I started writing – I’ve told this story before, but I’ll tell you a few things I’ve never told anyone about the process. I’ve always been more of a reader than a writer. My friends used to always ask, “If you like reading so much why don’t you write books?” That always seemed like a silly question. I was too busy reading books to ever want to write one. In fact, I think I once told a friend, “There’s too many good books out there already. I don’t need to write any.” LOL. So, several years ago I decided to put myself on a “book budget”. I’m a paperback kind of girl, and I don’t like borrowing from the library either. My weekly trips to the bookstore were getting ridiculous. So, I decided to try to buy less books and pace myself with the ones I had (and start going to the library some to save money). Well, a week after I got on this “budget”, I ran out of books to read (go figure). At the time, I didn’t have a kindle yet. Here’s the thing: I can’t go a day without reading and I always read – at least a few pages – before bed. It was one in the morning, and without a book, I couldn’t get to sleep. I was so irritated about not having something to read that I decided to start writing a short story of my own. I was making pancakes and randomly came up with the first few lines to my first book, This Is Not About Love. Needless to say, I was hooked. And I didn’t buy any books for a few weeks because I was too involved in writing my own, so the budget plans worked out after all!  I never planned on actually submitting it. My sister pushed me to turn it in. When I submitted my first book, I had no clue what the word “query”meant or how long a book should be, or who the different pubs out there were. I was essentially clueless, and when it comes to rookie mistakes, I’ve made them all. I still think it’s a miracle that I got into doing this at all. But now that I am, I couldn’t imagine giving it up. 
     Amanda - Do you have a favorite author or book/book series? Could you tell us about it? 
    Carissa - I have so many and it changes constantly! I love to read a little bit of everything! As far as favorite authors, I’d have to say Chuck Palahniuk because his writing is edgy and dark, and I admire his ability to evoke a wide range of emotions from his readers. Series…I LOVE series. Anytime I read a good book, I immediately start looking for the rest of the books in the series. One of my favorite series of all time is the Aurora Teagarden mysteries by Charlaine Harris. I don’t know why, but I can reread those books over and over again…
     Amanda - You say that you are a “total genre-hopper” , but do you have a favorite genre to write or read? 
    Carissa - I enjoy reading a little bit of everything, and when I’m writing a particular genre I tend to making read selections in a completely different genre. With writing, I started out trying to write everything, jumping around from young adult to fantasy, and even a little science fiction. It’s taken me a couple years to figure this out finally…but I think I’m sticking with the mystery/thriller genre. It’s the most enjoyable and natural genre for me, and I seem better at it than other genres.
     Amanda - Are there any authors that have particularly influenced you? 
    Carissa - Oh my gosh, way too many to count! I guess a few that stand out are some of the early authors I fell in love with as a teen. Carolyn Keene and R.L. Stine are a couple. I could list hundreds more...Wow, your questions are tough J.
     Amanda - I know that this is sometimes a dreaded question amongst authors - I dread it myself - but it’s one that you just have to ask. Was there anything in particular that inspired Have You Seen This Girl (The Flocksdale Files #1)? Where did the idea come from? 
    Carissa - I do sort of dread this question, about all of my books, honestly. Simply because there’s always this fear that readers –particularly, people I know – will think my main character is ME. Well, I’m here to say that my main characters are not supposed to me. BUT…a little bit of me will always be reflected in all of my characters. After all, I created them so I always see something of myself in all of them. With this story in particular, Have You Seen This Girl?, there are so many things that inspired me to write this. I have personal and professional experience dealing with addiction, sexual abuse, and sex offenders. I also live in Indiana, which has recently received nationwide attention for its heroin and HIV epidemic. So, all of the issues in this book are important me, and writing this book was emotional for me. It’s a book about dealing with demons – real demons and the ones living inside of us.
     Amanda - Is a music at all a part of your writing process? It’s a huge part of mine. I personally love hearing about other writers writing processes. Are there any “rituals” you do before or while you write? I seem to almost always have a cup of tea and my carefully selected mucis playing. 
    Carissa - Music is a huge part of my writing process. With this book in particular, it played an even bigger role than usual. Have You Seen This Girl? was inspired by the song lyrics to “The End” by The Doors. The song that Wendi hears while she’s held captive, and also the song she uses later when she seeking her revenge. The original version of this manuscript was filled with Jim Morrison lyrics, but I had to remove them. I use music to get me in the mood right before I write. My set writing time is at night after the kids go to bed. I usually listen to music, eat a snack, then get my notebook and laptop arranged perfectly on the table before I start writing.
     Amanda - Do you have any advice for aspiring authors out there and/or anything more to say before you go? 
    Carissa - I’ve said this before, but it really is true. If you want to be a good writer, then you need to read…A LOT. Reading improves vocab and helps you develop your own skills and interests in particular genres. Never give up. And try your best not to let criticism hurt you. If anything, use the negative feedback to come back ten times better and stronger on your next piece. Also, don’t be surprised if your family and friends think you’re a weirdo for wanting to be a writer. Being weird comes with the territory. J
     Thank you so much for interviewing me and participating in the tour!!! It means the world to me and I hope my answers weren’t too boring :-/
    Amanda - You're so welcome!! It's my pleasure. I don't think that your answers were boring at all. I enjoyed them very much and I'm sure that my followers will, too. :) 
- PROLOGUE -
Present Day: I lost my straw three hours ago, which sucks because it was my favorite one. Getting up to look for it seems like a painstaking, insurmountable task right now, but I pull myself up to a sitting position and swing my legs over the side of the bed. The “bed” is nothing more than a dingy, rust-colored mattress that lies on the floor of a two-room basement apartment in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The threadbare carpet that covers the floor provides no support for my feet, and frankly, it stinks. I get down on my knees and lay my face flat against the carpet, holding my breath and peering under an ancient, stained armchair and the dresser that stands beside it. Now, where the fuck is that straw?

All I can see are dust bunnies, mouse droppings, and the carcass of a cockroach. No straw. I let out a frustrated groan. I give up searching, stand back up, and pad across the hall to the tiny bathroom I share with my current boyfriend, Michael, or “Mick” when he thinks he’s cool. I plop down on the toilet, running my hands through my tangled mop of greasy black hair.

I wait for the pee to come. Then wait some more. I can remember one of my old AA mentors, telling me once why opiates interfere with bodily functions like peeing, for instance. It was something about wires in the brain getting crossed…I wish I had a stopwatch to time this affair, but then it finally comes and I let out a sigh of relief.

Mick’s clothes from the night before are strewn across the bathroom floor at my feet. Suddenly I have a thought, and begin rummaging through the pockets of a brown pair of khaki shorts that I remember him wearing last night. I find what I’m looking for: a tattered black wallet, worn out from age and being sat on all day long. I open it up and peer inside. It only contains two dollars, but that’s fine by me—all I need is one.

Pulling out the faded, crumpled bill, I smooth it flat against the round edges of the wash basin. Once flattened, I begin slowly rolling it into a perfectly cylindrical mini-version of my straw. It’s basically perfect.

The dope is in my bedroom drawer, along with my razor. Using the tiny blade, I lovingly chop the heroin until it is fine and powdery, and then use the rolled up dollar bill to suck it straight up my nose. Its taste hits the back of my throat instantly and drains down through my sinuses, a sensation I used to loathe but have grown to love.

Wiping the residue from my nose noisily with the back of my hand, I glance at Mick, who is still passed out on the bed. Getting high makes him sleepy, but it fills me with an insatiable need to do something productive.

Our bedroom is dotted with tiny land mines of crumpled t-shirts, inside-out jeans, and day-old panties. I make my way around the room, picking them up and tossing them all into a wicker laundry basket in the corner.

Besides the bedroom and bathroom, we have a small, windowless sitting area, a narrow galley kitchen, and a small extra bedroom that we use for trash and other random items. I move my cleaning to the living room, gathering up snack wrappers and empty Solo cups, and then carry them into the small silver garbage can under the kitchen sink. The sink is filled to the brim with two-day-old dishes, so I start filling the sink with water and shampoo.

I’ve been out of dish soap for weeks now, but the hair care product seems to get the job done so I don’t complain. The water from the faucet never gets hot because our gas got shut off months ago. If I want hot water, I have to boil it. This all sounds ridiculous, I know. This is the twenty-first century, but my addiction has me back in the Stone Age, because when you’re an addict, you don’t spend money on things like food, water, clothes, electricity…you spend it on drugs. At least the truly hardcore addicts like me do.

Crusty teacups, sauce-covered plates, and sour-smelling utensils permeate the water, rising steadily to the brim. I plunge my hands into the frigid, cloudy water and begin mindlessly washing.

For the past six months, our daily life can be divided into three segments: looking for money to buy heroin, finding the drug, and then getting high. Oh, I almost forgot about the fourth segment: coming down from the drug—my least favorite time of day. Our entire life revolves around heroin and our bodies rely on it to function. It’s not about getting “high” anymore because I never feel lifted or high-spirited, or overly anything these days. We wake up feeling low and we need it to feel normal. Maybe they should change the expression to “getting normal” or “avoiding feeling like shit,” instead of “getting high.”

Today will be different though. Today I have a date with my good friend rehab, and in six hours from now, my daily routine should change dramatically. Mick isn’t going, but I’m fine with that. He’ll do his own thing when he’s ready. I’ve been planning this for a month now, and finally the phone call came: a bed opened up at the local in-patient clinic and today is the day to report.

I’ve been to rehab before, and will mostly like go again after this stint, but everything is about to change. This time around, major plans have been made for when I get out of rehab.

Those plans involve me and a sharp set of butcher knives, but I’ll explain that later.

Perhaps you’re wondering how I got this way. Or perhaps you don’t give a damn. Either way, this is my story. It’s not a story about addiction. This is a story about murder.



- ABOUT THE AUTHOR -
CARISSA ANN LYNCH

Besides my family, my greatest love in life is books. Reading them, writing them, holding them, smelling them…well, you get the idea. I’ve always loved to read, and some of my earliest childhood memories are me, tucked away in my room, lost in a good book. I received a five dollar allowance each week, and I always — always — spent it on books. My love affair with writing started early, but it mostly involved journaling and writing silly poems. Several years ago, I didn’t have a book to read so I decided on a whim to write my own story, something I’d like to read. It turned out to be harder than I thought, but from that point on I was hooked. My first and second books were released by Sarah Book Publishing: This Is Not About Love and Grayson’s Ridge. I’m a total genre-hopper. Basically, I like to write what I like to read: a little bit of everything! I reside in Floyds Knobs, Indiana with my husband, three children, and massive collection of books. I have a degree in psychology and worked as a counselor.

- SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS -

- GIVEAWAY - 
Enter for a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card (INT!) or a SIGNED PAPERBACK of Have You Seen This Girl? by Carissa Ann Lynch (USA!).
ENTER HERE: http://on.fb.me/1MeqntF


Tour brought to you by:
 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Book Blitz ~ The Summer Marked (The Winter People #2) by Rebekah L. Purdy

 

 

The Summer Marked (The Winter People #2)
Release Date: 09/22/15
Entangled Teen
305 pages

Summary from Goodreads:
Salome left humankind behind to be with her boyfriend, Gareth, in the Kingdom of Summer. But now forces of darkness are rising. Her happily-ever-after is coming apart, and the Kingdom is on the brink of war. 

Newly-single Kadie Byers is on her way home for Thanksgiving, imagining a visit filled with hot chocolate, a hot guy for a little rebound action, and some girl time with her bestie, Salome. Except she receives a message from Salome with two important words: PLEASE HURRY.

When Kadie rushes to help Salome, she’s ripped from the human world and pulled into the kingdoms of Faerie, where she's shocked to learn that Salome's monsters are real, and that she's now at the mercy of one extremely vengeful Winter Queen... 

Now both Salome and Kadie must find a way to survive the deadly chaos...or lose themselves to Winter's deadly, icy grasp.


Buy Links:
Amazon : http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1633750094

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/summer­marked­rebekah­l-
purdy/1120205019?ean=9781633750098


Excerpt:
Gareth kicked himself back onto his feet. The silver of his blade glinted as he swung it once more. This time the weapon connected with the backs of the troll’s legs, severing the tendons. The troll yelped in pain and collapsed into the  ferns.

“Turn your head,” Gareth told me.

My throat thickened, and I buried my face against the horse’s side. Two more loud howls erupted, then all went silent.

“It’s okay, he’s dead now.”

I pulled away from Adaba and stared in horror at the giant head lying in the leaves, its lifeless eyes still glowed even in death. Thick black blood dripped from the foliage. I covered my mouth as nausea overtook me.

Gareth wiped his sword off and hurried to my side. He clutched me tight to his chest. “Shh…just close your eyes and count to ten.”

“I feel sick.” 

“I know. Just don’t look at the body, okay? I need you to stay right next to Adaba while I scout out the woods.”

“Wait—you’re leaving me alone?” My voice quivered. I so didn’t want to be left with the severed body. Hell to the flipping no.

“Only for a moment.” He disappeared into the undergrowth, not giving me the chance to argue.
Several minutes passed before he reappeared, breathless.

“Are you all right?” I caught his arm. His skin was slick with sweat.

“Get on your horse.”

“What?”

“Salome, you have to go.”

I swallowed the rock-like lump in my throat. “By myself?”

“Yes—this troll was only a scout. The others aren’t too far out.”

No. This isn’t happening.

“Others? But you’ll be killed. I-I can’t leave you.”

Gareth turned to Adaba. “Take her to the Ruined Court and hide. If I’m not there in two days’ time, get her to Summer.”
Adaba whinnied and shook his mane as if he understood. Gareth sheathed his sword and picked me up, his arms tightening around me. His lips crushed mine with urgency, as if he was taking his last breath. And I clung to him, absorbing his heat and his woodsy scent. When he pulled back, he set me
atop my mount.

“Gareth, please…” Tears streamed down my cheeks. I reached for him, as if that’d really keep him from going anywhere. 

He slid a dagger from beneath his tunic and slipped it into the belt of my gown. “Don’t be afraid to use this.”

“Please.”

“I love you, Salome.” He swatted Adaba’s flank, and the horse carried me into the woods.

As we rode away, I heard the distinct sound of heavy footsteps tromping through the brambles. 

I jerked on Adaba’s reins. “Turn back. We can’t leave him.”

But the horse ignored my feeble attempts and galloped deeper into the forest. A sob raked through me as I realized that I might never see Gareth alive again.

About the Author:

Rebekah Purdy grew up in Michigan, where she spent many late nights armed with a good book and a flashlight. When not hiding at her computer and getting lost in her stories, she enjoys reading, singing, soccer, swimming, football, camping, playing video games and hanging out with her kids. She loves the unexplainable like Bigfoot, the Dogman, and the Loch Ness Monster (lots of good story material)! She admits to still having all the books she bought throughout her childhood and teen years, and she may or may not have an obsession with anything chocolate…

Author Links:


Book Tour Organized by:
 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Book Blitz ~ Illuminate (The Light Key Trilogy #3) by Tracy Clark

 

 

Release Date: 10/06/15
Entangled Teen
320 pages

Summary from Goodreads:
Can one girl be the light in a world spiraling toward darkness?

Haunted by the loss of her loved ones, Cora Sandoval, one of the remaining few of an extraordinary race known as Scintilla, holds the key to disentangling the biggest conspiracy in human history...and its link to the fate of the human race. As Cora follows a trail of centuries-old clues and secrets, she collides with a truth not only shocking, but dangerous. 

With enemies both known and unknown hot on her trail, Cora must locate each of the ancient clues hidden in the art, religions, and mythologies of humankind. And through it all, she must keep her heart from being torn apart by the two boys she loves most. One is Scintilla, one is Arazzi. 

 Save herself. Save the Scintilla. Save the world.

Or die trying…



Buy Links:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1633751171/

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/illuminate­tracy-
clark/1120919448?ean=9781633751170

Entangled: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/illuminate/

 

Book One: Scintillate

 

Book Two: Deviate

About the Author:

Tracy Clark is a young-adult writer because she believes teens deserve to know how much they matter and that regardless of what they’re going through, they aren’t alone. In other words, she writes books for her teen self.

She grew up a “Valley Girl” in Southern California but now lives in her home state of Nevada, in a small town at the base of the Sierra Foothills. Her two children teach her the art of distraction and are a continuous source of great dialogue. She’s an unapologetic dog person who is currently owned by a cat.


Tracy was the recipient of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Work in Progress Grant. A two-time participant in the prestigious Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program where she was lucky enough to be mentored by bestselling author, Ellen Hopkins, who taught her so much about the art of writing and cured her of her ellipsis addiction.
Her debut novel was inspired by her enchantment with metaphysics as a teen, seeing it as the real magic in life. Tracy is a part-time college student, a private pilot, and an irredeemable dreamer.

Author Links:

GIVEAWAY:
                                                             a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Tour Organized by:

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Book Review ~ Missing Melissa by Alretha Thomas

 

Title: Missing Melissa
Author: Alretha Thomas
Release Date: May 5th 2015
Page Amount: 301 pages, Paperback

GoodReads Blurb:
Twenty-two years old with a journalism degree from UCLA and a promising entry level position at a television station, Madeline Patterson is ready to take on the Universe. Raised by two loving parents, adored by her grandmother, protected by her dog, Pepper, and supported by her best friend—Madeline has it all. There’s only one thing missing—literally missing—her identical twin, Melissa.

When Madeline and Melissa were three-years-old, their mother was carjacked in broad daylight while taking them to a doctor’s appointment. She was able to get away with Madeline in tow, but the assailants left the scene before she could rescue Melissa. A long and massive search ensued, but Melissa was never found and is believed to be dead. However, a dream Madeline has on her twenty-second birthday, wherein Melissa appears to her as a grown woman pleading for help, convinces her Melissa is still alive. Against her parents’ wishes, Madeline vows to find her twin. However, in doing so, she unknowingly stumbles upon a series of startling clues that point to her parents’ possible involvement in Melissa’s disappearance. Paralyzed by fear, Madeline doesn’t want to face what could possibly be the ugly and grim truth about her parents. However, her desire to find Melissa propels her forward—but nothing could prepare her for what she discovers.

Review:
I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I'm normally not a huge fan of reading mysteries but lately I have been getting more interested in doing so. The author of this book reached out to me. One of the things that really drew me in was that the protagonist had a journalism degree. Part of my major in college was Journalism. That was what first drew me in but the rest of it intrigued me as well. So, I decided that I wanted to give this book a chance. A little side note: I also really like this cover a lot. 

As for the story, it was a very interesting read. There were some twists throughout it, as well. It was a very good mystery story that I really enjoyed. Part of what kept me away from reading mysteries for so long was that I felt as if they were very formulaic. This book did not feel like it had that same "formula" applied to it. I was kept guessing for most of the book. I also liked that it did not end with the realization of what happened all of those years ago with Madeline and Melissa. It went on to the aftermath of it, as well. It also did touch on aspects of the day to day lives of the people. With life going on, as it would. There was also a bit of romance but I don't feel like it was so much that it distracted from the mystery part of the story. 

The thing that did sort of bother me a but was that I didn't feel as if I felt the characters emotions as strongly as I should have. For some parts where it really should have made me feel for them, I just wasn't able to. 

However, this was overall a very good read. If you are a fan of Mystery or New Adult - or both - I think that giving this one a try is definitely worth it. I would rate it 3.5 quills.