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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Release Day: Excerpt and Giveaway | Stolen Art by Ruth Silver

Title: Stolen Art
Author: Ruth Silver
Publisher: Lazy Day Publishing
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi Romance

Stolen Art Sixteen-year-old Madeline has been living on the streets, biding her time until she's eighteen. With little to no money, she takes on a heist in hopes of making ends meet. What could possibly go wrong? Everything. Getting caught is just the beginning of Madeline's adventure as she meets Weston and discovers the secret of where she came from.   Fans of Orphan Black, The X-Files, and Fringe will fall head over heels for STOLEN ART. Recommended: 15+


I rush back up the dark stairwell, shoving the key into the doorknob. It takes a minute for the lock to click and I push myself inside the apartment, securing every lock and deadbolt. I can’t stay here in Hutchinson, Kansas any longer. Pulling my phone from my purse, I text Weston. Tatiana is here. It’s not safe for me. I grab the few belongings that have any value to me, sentimental or otherwise, and shove it into my shoulder bag, including the stolen silver necklace. It has value and if I’m forced on the run, I’ll need money to survive. I know. What did Weston mean he knew Tatiana is at the bar? Had he seen her? Is he there? What do you mean, you know? I type into the phone. If he saw her, why didn’t he warn me? I can’t go down out the front door and it’s only a matter of time until she finds me just a few feet away. I grow restless waiting for an answer. The  phone  buzzes  and  displays an  incoming  call  from  Weston. "Wes,  tell  me  you’re here." The only thing to do is hop in his car and drive into the night, far from Kansas. A female’s voice bubbles with laughter. "Oh he’s coming darling, but you should know he won’t get here in time. Amazing how easy it is to clone a phone number and steal his service. The advancements Stem Tech has made is encouraging."    

teaser stolen art2

About the Author

Ruth Silver Ruth Silver is the best-selling author of the Aberrant trilogy. With a passion for writing and a love of story-telling, Ruth is actively writing multiple series under her name as well as the pen name Ravyn Rayne. Her interests include traveling, reading, and photography. Her favorite vacation destination is Australia. Ruth currently resides in Plainfield, Illinois. 
Follow Ruth here Blog- 
Looking for a steamier read? 
Check her out here 
Twitter- book series   

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Book Tour: Playlist & Giveaway | Dream of Me by Quimm Loftis { @authquinnloftis }

Dream of Me (Dream Maker #1)
Release Date: 02/28/15
319 pages

Summary from Goodreads:

In the evening… [he] blows softly upon their necks, till their heads begin to droop. […] Under each arm he carries an umbrella; one of them, with pictures on the inside, he spreads over the good children, and then they dream the most beautiful stories the whole night.” ~ Hans Christian Anderson

Since the dawn of time, Brudair, otherwise known as the Sandman to the world, has faithfully lived out his purpose, faithfully performed his duties. He has never questioned his lot among the immortals, until now, until her. Sarah Serenity Tillman, a consummate beauty both inside and out, is a high school senior five months from her graduation. She has great plans, dreams of leaving the small town of her childhood behind her forever. But destiny has other plans, and it’s the Sandman’s job to make sure those plans are fulfilled.

The tall muscular Sandman, known as Dair to his friends, dressed in black, wrapped in shadows, is more than a myth. And he has a job to do. His very existence makes him a creature of the night, because dreams, (yes the legends got that part right), were indeed his specialty. But his purpose was more than just weaving dreams for sleeping children. No, his dreams were made to influence, made to ensure that certain special individuals, those individuals who would change the course of history, actually accepted their chosen destiny.

Little does Serenity know that she is Dair’s next assignment. And the dream that he weaves for her, if she follows its influence, will change the course of, not only her life, but possibly the whole of history as well. But she isn’t the only one being influenced. The beauty inside of her was weighing on the Sandman, lighting up the darkness that was his constant companion. Her light was warmth, it was life, and he didn’t understand how he had survived the previous millennia without it.

The Sandman was indeed greater than anything humans had ever imagined, and his purpose was vital to the course of history. So what happens when the weaver of dreams gets so distracted by a mere human that he ignores his own duties in the immortal realm? How can an immortal who was never meant to have a mate, join a young woman in her destiny without irrevocably changing the lives of millions and potentially altering history in a way the Creator never intended?
“Dream of me, Princess,” Dair whispered into her ear.
“Then weave me a dream, Sandman,” she said softly. “And we can dream together.”
As her eyes grew heavy, she heard Dair’s voice telling her to sleep, to open her mind to him and let him in. I’m all yours, she thought as sleep finally claimed her.

Buy links:

About the Author
Quinn is an award winning author who lives in beautiful Western Arkansas with her husband, two son (and one on the way!), Nora the Doberman, and Phoebe the Cat (who thinks she is a ninja in disguise). She is the author of twelve novels, including the USA Today bestseller, Fate and Fury.  Quinn is beyond thankful that she has been blessed to be able to write full time and hopes the readers know how much all of their support means to her. Some of her hobbies include reading, exercising, crochet, and spending time with family and friends. She gives all credit of her success to God because he gave her the creative spirit and vivid imagination it takes to write.

Author Links:

Book Tour Organized by:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Cover Reveal & Giveaway | Yours Truly by Cassie Shine ( @CassShine )

We're thrilled to take part in the cover reveal for YOURS TRULY, book 1 in Cassie Shine's brand new Pen Pal Series! 
Check out the cover below, enter the giveaway, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments.

YOURS TRULY by Cassie Shine Coming this fall!

Sixteen-year-old Laia Hawkins wonders what in the heck she’s supposed to say to Adrian Gutierrez, the name of her new pen pal—thanks to her World History teacher. How could Adrian, from Seville, Spain, possibly relate to Laia and her quiet life in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri? But, as Adrian and Laia write to each other, friendship blossoms and secrets emerge. Laia finds comfort in Adrian’s letters confessing truths she’s kept hidden—even from those closest to her—like how lost she’s felt since her father’s death, her anxiety about graduation, and her fears about leaving her family and two best friends. Adrian, determined to help Laia come out of her shell and face her fears, devises a series of challenges that she must complete and document in her letters to him. And, what started as an innocent game of twenty questions becomes more.
Add Java Man to your Goodreads TBR!

What do you think of the cover?

Cassie Shine

About Cassie Shine

Cassie Shine is the YA author of Harp’s Song and Harp’s Voice. An avid reader and lover of music, she has a weak spot for all things teenybopper, especially boy bands. She also loves classical, country, rock and well, pretty much everything.
After living in St. Louis for more than ten years, she and her husband packed up a U-Haul and headed west. They currently live in Orange County, CA with their furry kids Finnegan and Molly.


Enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card! Any contestant that uses dummy or contest only accounts to enter will be disqualified.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

{Sunday Street Team} Guest Post & Giveaway: Alice in Wonderland High- Rachel Shane

Sixteen-year-old Alice just can’t find a way to be free. Her parents are environmental activists, whose cringe-worthy public protests might involve chaining themselves to a fence and pleading  with passersby to “Save the World. Save Alice!” It’s not that Alice doesn’t believe there’s work to be done. But after a petition to start a farmer's market meets with more snickers than signatures, she figures she should shut up instead of speaking out. At least, that is, until she can find something that feels real. Then along comes Whitney Lapin, a girl who speaks in cryptic riddles and spends her free time turning abandoned warehouses into beautiful gardens. Charismatic Whitney leads Alice on a rabbit trail into the underground--aka secret society--of Wonderland High. Curiouser and curiouser.  

Alice is in wonderland! Even though Whitney's group of teenage environmental vigilantes operates on the wrong side of the law, with them, Alice is finally free to be herself. She stomps on her good girl image by completing a series of environmental pranks to impress the new group: flooding the school and disguising a pig as a baby in order to smuggle it out of a testing facility. She wants to trust them, and she especially wants to trust (or maybe kiss) Chester Katz, a boy with a killer smile, a penchant for disappearing, and a secret that will turn Alice's world backwards. But then, one of the young vigilantes tries to frame Alice for all the pranks, and she must figure out their secret before she ends up in front of a jury screaming, "Off with her head!"

Buy it Now: Amazon


Rachel Shane studied Creative Writing at Syracuse University and now works in digital publishing at in New York City. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, young daughter, and a basement full of books. This is her first novel.


Writing a retelling seems like it would eliminate a lot of the guess work involved in building a novel from scratch. You have built-in characters, scene beats to hit, and the main plot arc laid out. But in reality, I’d argue writing a retelling can be harder than dreaming up a brand new world and characters no one has ever seen before. I should know, I’ve done both! But have no fear, I’m here to give you a cheat sheet on how to write the perfect retelling. 

1. Come up with an original twist
This might sound obvious, but it’s not. My first inkling of an idea for Alice in Wonderland High was to eliminate all fantasy elements and set the story in modern day high school. Some of the elements were clear to me from the start. Alice would be the main character and I’d make her not-so-innocent this time. The Queen of Hearts would be reimagined as the Queen Bee of school. The White Rabbit would become a girl named Whitney who leads Alice into something dangerous. But what? And that question was the key to unlocking my original twist. It wasn’t enough to simply re-set the story in high school and turn it contemporary. I had to put my own spin on it, something no one else would come up with. For inspiration, I looked to the original source material. Which brings me to...

2. Read the original book. Then re-read it. Repeat. 
It was around my second read through of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland that I realized Alice’s main goal in the original is to get inside the beautiful garden she first sees through the keyhole. Certain other elements stuck out to me, like her only real companion throughout the book is the Cheshire Cat. The Mad Hatter betrays her at the end when most other adaptations make him the love interest or best friend. Alice has a cat named Dinah that she gets separated from when she falls down the rabbit hole and she spends a good portion of the story lamenting over Dinah before moving on. The King of Hearts character is devious in his own way and goes behind the Queen’s back. 

All of these elements clicked together to help me figure out my unique spin. The Cheshire Cat would become a love interest named Chester Katz with a killer smile. To keep his main character trait of disappearing, I gave my Chess a mystery that centered around a disappearance. I combined the Mad Hatter and King of Hearts characters into one because I noticed similarities in their plot arcs and personalities. I made Dinah into a best friend who Alice has a falling out with early into the novel. But I still didn’t have a plot. 

3. Translate the goals of the original characters into plot
As I mentioned in #2, Alice spends most of the original book searching for the beautiful garden. Now I had to figure out how to turn that into plot. Gardens led me to gardening, which brought me to the idea of environmentalism. Then I took that up a notch and made it extreme. Instead of getting inside a beautiful garden, I had Alice want desperately to get inside a secret society of teenage environmental vigilantes. In both the original and mine, nonsense thwarts her at every turn. In the original, the nonsense came in the form of strange characters she meets. In mine, the nonsense stems from the secrets the group keeps from her and each other. As Alice works to uncover those secrets, she finds herself deeper and deeper in the rabbit hole. 

4. Scene by scene outline in Excel
You don’t have to use Excel but I like it because I can try out several plot arcs at once. I list each original scene in the left column. Then in the next column, I start to plot out my version by re-envisioning the original scenes into something new that fits my vision and plot. Instead of rescuing a baby from people who should have Child Services called on them only to have that baby turn into a pig, my Alice could attempt to rescue a pig from a testing facility (by dressing it as a baby to smuggle it out) as part of one of the missions the group gives her. In similar ways, the Flood of Tears scene and the Painting the Roses Red from the original came to me. Character motivations helped inform other iconic scenes, such as the Caterpillar Hookah, the Drink Me keyhole scene, and the Mad Tea Party. Eventually all the scenes fell together in a way that followed the plot of the original book and hit on all the important beats. But what about the less important beats, the ones people who don’t know the original story well won’t recognize?

5. Find the right balance between what to keep and what to cut
There are scenes in the original that most people don’t know exist. Or scenes that are there but aren’t in the collective cannon people think of when they discuss Alice. For example, there’s a scene in the original where Alice’s neck grows too tall and hits a bird in a tree, who mistakes her for a serpent. This scene exists in the Disney cartoon but is often left out of other adaptations. Or how about the scene where Alice runs a race to get dry with a bunch of other animals, then demand she gives them prizes, then reward her with only a thimble?

My goal when writing was to pay homage to every scene in the book but (hopefully!) write them in a way where the average reader would enjoy my version without being jarred by the references. Yet big fans of the original book could pluck out each easter egg I dropped in and recognize the elements no one else will.

But there were scenes that didn’t have relevance to my plot and so I decided not to include them, or I only included a small part of them. In a similar way, I cut certain characters from the original like The Duchess but gave some of her lines to crazy Kingston.

6. What’s theirs is now yours
But there’s more than just finding the balance for what to retell. You also need to find the right balance between what’s theirs, what’s yours, and what has become yours that once was theirs. What I mean by this is certain elements of the retelling will always be theirs. The Mad Hatter character will always be crazy and readers will be disappointed if he doesn’t show up. The White Rabbit will always lead Alice down the path of no return. But in order to put a proper spin on the original, you need to add your own elements. I gave each character a secret and a mystery that Alice works to solve. None of those mysteries relates to the original book yet still helps inform my plot. What has become yours that once was there is a gray area. These are the scenes you twist in a way so they become something only you can write instead of something the original author would have come up with. 

7. Have fun with it
The most important aspect of writing a retelling is enjoying the process. If you don’t enjoy it, then neither will your readers. I had a blast in writing mine!