Blog Tour: Dissension by Katie Salidas


Dissension
K.A. Salidas

Series:  Chronicles of the Uprising (#1)
Genre: Paranormal/Dystopian
Publisher:  Rising Sign Books LLC
Release Date:   Feb 3 2014


The great cataclysm wiped almost all life from the face of planet Earth, but tiny pockets of survivors crawled from the ashes, with only one thought: survival, at any cost.
But not all survivors were human.
In the dark, militant society that has risen in the aftermath, vampires, once thought to be mythical, have been assimilated and enslaved. Used for blood sport their lives are allowed to continue only for the entertainment of the masses. Reviled as savages, they are destined to serve out their immortal lives in the arena, as gladiators.
And there is no greater gladiator than Mira: undefeated, uncompromising...and seemingly unbreakable. When an escape attempt leads Mira into the path of Lucian Stavros, the city’s Regent, her destiny is changed forever.
Lucian, raised in a culture which both reviles and celebrates the savagery and inhumanity of vampires, finds Mira as intriguing as she is brash. An impulsive decision - to become Mira’s patron – changes more than just Lucian’s perception about vampire kind. The course of his life is altered in ways he could never have predicted – a life that is suddenly as expendable as hers.
Can Mira prove to Lucian that all is not as it seems? Can Lucian escape centuries of lies, bloodshed, and propaganda to see the truth? Or will the supreme power of the human overlords destroy them both?


First Sentence:
The roar of the crowd, all twenty-five-thousand people in attendance, rose to a thundering crescendo when Mira delivered a bone-crunching blow to her opponent's ribs.

Last Sentence:
So much was riding on this, she almost dared not hope that it truly existed.

  The world building, or rather destruction of the world as we know it and rebuilding, sets this book apart from others. Katie Salidas carves out a refreshing read that satiated my vampire reading needs while putting them in a new light. It's so unsettling to imagine this world as real, but you can't help but to because of the descriptions and attention to detail.

  Mira is an interesting main character. She's very tough. You can't help but root for her the entire story. Even though this book is on the short side, I feel like Salidas is able to display a lot of growth for Mira. The other characters were clearly well thought out and a mix of purely terrifying and refreshing.

  My one let down with this book is that it's so short. So much more of the story is waiting to be told, but it just stops. I'm certainly anticipating the next part of Mira's journey. Because of the wide spectrum of genres, this book can be enjoyed by so many. It throws vampires in a dystopian world with a dash of gladiators for good measure. 

**I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to K.A. Salidas and RBTL Book Tours.

Excerpt:
  The roar of the crowd, all twenty-five-thousand people in attendance, rose to a thundering crescendo when Mira delivered a bone-crunching blow to her opponent’s ribs. Standing only five feet tall, she might not have appeared a formidable warrior, but the thin, spiky-haired waif of a vampire could hold her weight and more when put to the test. Amplified by the superb acoustics, the sound of bones cracking echoed through the Superdome arena. The defeated, a red-headed male vampire staggered, punch-drunk, and then dropped to his knees. Dirt and sweat coated his face but could not mask the fear in his icy blue eyes. His was a look Mira had seen so many times before. Her opponent’s immortal life had finally come to an end, and he was ready to take the final deadly blow.

  Above her, Mira knew the fifty-foot mega screen showed her hapless victim in brilliant resolution, ensuring that all who were attending, and those watching from the comfort of their homes, could see these last gruesome moments in crystal clear high-definition.

  Mira gazed down at her opponent’s blood-soaked face. Though he was her enemy for the moment, she did not relish having to end him. No one should be forced into the arena and told to kill or be killed. It wasn’t right. But it was what was demanded of her, and given the choice between her life and someone else’s… well, there really was no choice. No matter the cost, Mira was a survivor.

  She glanced up to the large private box overlooking the arena. A well-dressed man in deep-purple robes sat, enjoying what appeared to be a dinner of filet mignon and roast potatoes. Even here, in the dusty arena below, Mira’s enhanced senses picked up the tantalizing scent of very rare, bloody steak. She could hardly believe that a human could not only watch the murder about to take place, but also sit and eat the dead flesh of a once-living being while doing it. From the smell of it, the poor beast was practically still bleeding on his plate. Who was truly the more savage creature?

  Over the crowd’s roar, an announcer introduced the well-dressed man, Lucian Stavros, Regent of the Iron Gate. Lucian gently and purposefully slowly set down his knife and fork. He took another moment to wipe his face clean and then smiled, acknowledging the roaring crowd.

  Chants of “Death, death, death,” rang out from the throng as a single unified demand.

  The Regent listened for a moment, making a show of putting his hands to his ears to hear screaming hoard’s request, and then held a hand out, with his thumb pointed to the side.

  As if the next moment were the most important, the anticipating mass hushed. Eerie silence filled the arena as everyone watched for the Regent to make his decision.

  From her vantage point below, Mira saw the steely look of determination cross the Regent’s face. If she didn’t know better, she might have thought he took this decision seriously; but then, he was human, and they never cared much if her kind lived or died. Lucian Stavros took a cursory glance down at Mira. Their eyes met. It was only a brief moment, but in that short time, Mira saw him waver.

  Could it be true, she wondered, or was it just a trick of the light? No human actually cared about the lives of vampires. The moment faded, and the fleeting thought left.

  Mira saw the Regent’s decision. He turned his thumb down. Death! 

  The crowd went wild.

  The last hope for her defeated opponent had vanished; Mira had to finish him. “Sorry,” she whispered to the half-dead vampire on his knees before her. Though her fangs tingled at the prospect of tasting his final dying moments—her reward, if you could call it that, for living through another battle— she did not enjoy what she was about to do. Like her, he was a slave, forced into servitude to the humans as they saw fit. He had not asked for this, and neither had she. But, despite what either of them wanted, it was the will of the crowd, the humans, that had to be served.


  Aiming to sever the carotid artery with her fangs, Mira dove at her opponent’s neck. His death would be quick. At least she could afford him that luxury.

About the Author:
  Katie Salidas is a Super Woman! Endowed with special powers and abilities, beyond those of mortal women, She can get the munchkins off to gymnastics, cheerleading, Girl Scouts, and swim lessons.  She can put hot food on the table for dinner while assisting with homework, baths, and bedtime… And, she still finds the time to keep the hubby happy (nudge nudge wink wink). She can do all of this and still have time to write.

  And if you can believe all of those lies, there is some beautiful swamp land in Florida for sale…

 Katie Salidas resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mother, wife, and author, she does try to do it all, often causing sleep deprivation and many nights passed out at the computer. Writing books is her passion, and she hopes that her passion will bring you hours of entertainment.



Blitz and Giveaway: All My Restless Life to Live by Dee DeTarsio

I've already signed up to review this book, so I'm really excited to share it with you guys today!


All My Restless Life to Live 
by Dee DeTarsio 


Publication date: April 29th 2013

Genres: Adult, Romance


Award-winning author Dee DeTarsio combines life’s darker side with humor and tenderness in a wonderfully charming look at love and the afterlife.

Life is a soap opera, especially for Elle Miller, who is a TV producer. (Ellen dropped the “n” in her name in hopes of finding a better ending for herself.) When her laptop crashes, she borrows her dead dad’s computer and gets way more than she bargained for.

As Elle tries to save her career with a storyline featuring a trip through Atlantis, she takes a trip to the Emmys, and finds herself in the middle of a romance between a real doctor and a hunk who just plays one on TV. Friends, family, and clues from “the other side” all help Elle figure out the difference between living the good life . . .  and living a good life.


Excerpt from All My Restless Life to Live:

  She turned her head, taking care not to sniff and get a puffy cloud of dust up her nose like when she made a pitcher of instant lemonade. She poured the chunky powder over the computer keys. Placing the heavy urn back on its base, she shoved it aside. She slammed the laptop shut, picked it up and shook it like an Etch A Sketch. There.
  “Rest in peace,” Irene told her husband. What her daughter, Ellen, didnt know wouldnt hurt her.

About the Author
Dee DeTarsio is a graduate of The Ohio State University and lives in southern California with her family. She did not teach herself to read at an early age or write stories by the time she was in kindergarten. She was still wetting the bed and playing in the can cupboard.



Giveaway
Thanks to Xpresso Book Tours, you have a chance to win an ebook copy of All My Restless Life to Live. Open internationally.

Blog Tour (Review): Holding Out for Skye by S.R. McKade


Holding Out for Skye
by S.R. McKade

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Release Date: Feb 6 2013
Edition: eBook

  Things are finally starting to look up for Skye Fletcher. She’s got a new job with a great salary, she’s finally out of the rat-trap she used to live in and into a decent apartment. She couldn’t be happier. Except for the thorn in her side, a.k.a. Cian Hunter, her arrogant and too good-looking co-worker whom she has the misfortune of being stuck with.

  In spite of himself, Cian Hunter fell hard for the surly, unfriendly woman who made no secret of her dislike for him. He knows he and Skye are meant to be. Convincing her of that fact seems like an impossible feat. However, he’s utterly confident he’s up to the task. His future and his happiness depend on it, after all.

  When Skye’s one impulsive, uncharacteristic little act changes the status-quo between them, her life gets entangled with Cian’s way more than she’s comfortable with.

That’s when her life really turns upside down…

Book Links:

 First Sentence:
Skye Fletcher twisted her fingers anxiously as she waited to be introduced to her new boss.

Last Sentence:
Yep, he was perfect for her.

  Can Skye be my best friend who comes over at midnight randomly for binging on food, gossiping, and crappy reality TV show marathons? I loved this character. S.R. McKade adds such personality to her writing that you can't help but be completely engaged by her story.

  S.R. McKade wrote a fantastic cast of characters. She's so talented at not only showcasing the romance between Skye and Cian but also devoting time to secondary characters and developing them. It really gave me a chance to fully appreciate all of the characters in Holding Out for Skye. There is enough romance in this book to satiate the needs of any romance fanatic!

  Instead of focusing on the chase, this book focuses on the budding relationship between Skye and Cian. It was a nice break from the slowburn romances that I've picked up lately. Getting to witness their bickering and growing together as a couple was very sweet and enjoyable. I felt like Cian and Skye were a perfect match, and I loved seeing their romance unfold.

  S.R. McKade has such beautiful writing. The story really leaps off of the pages and draws you into it as it goes along. All of the elements of Holding Out for Skye blend together seamlessly into a stunning piece of literature. I cannot wait to read more from this author!

Romance fans, you have to pick up Holding Out for Skye. It'll be your next favorite!

**I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to S.R. McKade and RBTL Book Tours.


About S.R. McKade

S.R. McKade has always made up stories in her mind ever since she was a child. She has her own world, where her characters live and breathe. She loves reading and will try practically any genre in either fiction or non-fiction, though she has a soft spot for funny romances and paranormal. Addicted to chocolate, she needs a constant fix to feel human. She firmly believes that being able to spin a story, the effort and love that goes into it, is a miracle in itself.

Shout-out to My Fifteen Year Old Self

  This past week has been hectic. My boyfriend and I have decided to make our living arrangement official and settle down at my house permanently. In an effort to be a good girlfriend, I've been sorting through my junk stuff. At one point, I thought we were just going to tape the bedroom in half like roommates. It's true; I have way too much stuff.

  In the midst of the massive cleaning, I found something that took me by absolute surprise. Tucked away in the corner of my desk, I found a little list from when I was fifteen years old. (Holy crap. That's ten years ago.) It was a list of all of J.R.R. Tolkien's books and all of the books on Middle Earth that seemed credible. Only four of them were marked off; The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Book of Lost Tales. Part Two, and The Silmarillion. 


  It was such a surreal moment whenever I found that list. I was transported back to ten years ago, and I remembered that exact moment that J.R.R. Tolkien left a searing imprint on my heart with his stories. Middle Earth felt so much like home that I scoured the internet to find every book I could about it. I'm not too ashamed to say that I shed a tear whenever I held that little scrap of paper in my hand.

My Tolkien Shelf.

  I wish I could give the list back to my fifteen year old self after I marked off all of my acquisitions since then. Each slash of the pen through a book on the list felt like a promise to my younger self that I had been able to keep. The list is by no means completely checked off, but the fact that I was able to mark some of the books off gives me hope that this crazy literary dream of mine to own all of these books is possible.

Review: A Different Kind by Lauryn April

A Different Kind
by Lauryn April

Genres: SciFi, Young Adult

Payton Carlson’s life is perfect – until the night she’s abducted by aliens. Now she’s plagued by pieces of memories from a night that feels as hazy as a dream, and that’s not the only strange thing that’s been happening. When Payton’s neighbor, Logan Reed, who spends every night sitting on his roof staring at the stars, starts to pay extra attention to her, Payton starts to wonder if he knows more about the night she can’t remember than she does. Suddenly finding a date to the Homecoming dance and cheering at the football games aren’t as important as they used to be - especially when the aliens return for a second time.

First Sentence:
Earlier that night I heard the shouts resounding from the stands.

Last Sentence:
This was over, and I was okay.

  I'll be honest. At the beginning of this book, I didn't like Payton at all and thought I'd struggle reading from her point of view. She reminded me a lot of Elena from The Vampire Diaries book series; blonde, bitchy, and bossy. But Lauryn April skillfully evolved her characters in a way that only added to the story. 

  A Different Kind is inviting and fast-paced. The story took off on the very first page, and I found myself engrossed immediately. Even though it deals with high school issues, this book exceeds that age as far as readers go. The paranormal elements and building suspense weave a tale that will draw in readers of all ages.

  It has been awhile since I read a more SciFi book, and A Different Kind offered an excellent story to get back into the genre. There were times during the story that I was completely, look over my shoulder frightened by the things happening. The twists and turns are placed perfectly during the book to keep you guessing. 

  Even if you're not the biggest fan of science fiction, I'd say give this book a try. It would make for a great introduction to the genre and the suspense will keep you turning pages!

**I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Lauryn April.

Find A Different Kind on: Goodreads | Amazon | Kobo
Connect with Lauryn April on: Goodreads | Website | Twitter

Blog Tour (Review and Giveaway): The Mind's Eye by K.C. Finn

THE MIND'S EYE by K.C. Finn

Release Date: April 1, 2014
Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal, Historical, Adventure and Romance)



A girl with a telepathic gift finds a boy clinging to his last hope during the war-torn climate of Europe, 1940.


At fifteen, Kit Cavendish is one the oldest evacuees to escape London at the start of the Second World War due to a long term illness that sees her stuck in a wheelchair most of the time. But Kit has an extraordinary psychic power: she can put herself into the minds of others, see through their eyes, feel their emotions, even talk to them – though she dares not speak out for fear of her secret ability being exposed.

As Kit settles into her new life in the North Wales village of Bryn Eira Bach, solitude and curiosity encourage her to gain better control of her gift. Until one day her search for information on the developing war leads her to the mind of Henri, a seventeen-year-old Norwegian boy witnessing the German occupation of his beloved city, Oslo. As Henri discovers more about the English girl occupying his mind, the psychic and emotional bonds between them strengthen and Kit guides him through an oppressive and dangerous time. 

There are secrets to be uncovered, both at home and abroad, and it’s up to Kit and Henri to come together and fight their own battles in the depths of the world’s greatest war.



 First Sentence:
"Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye..."

Last Sentence:
"I think I can do it."

  Oh, wow. I'll admit that I'm not the biggest fan of wartime based fiction. But K.C. Finn's incredible writing made me put my bias aside and step right into the stories with her fresh approach. The characters are what I enjoyed the most. The story is a beautiful rendition of overcoming obstacles and finding a sweet love.

  The characters jump off the pages and pull you into the story. I really enjoyed each of them, and K.C. Finn did an incredible job at writing realistic characters. The sweet romance that blooms between Kit and Henri is such a cute part of the story. I loved their growth during this story.

  I'm so glad I was able to put aside my aversion to wartime based fiction and enjoy this book. I've read other books by K.C. Finn, and she is such an incredible writer. She can spin a story effortlessly that pulls you into the story. I would recommend The Mind's Eye to YA fans of all ages who enjoy a sweet romance.

**I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Clean Teen Publishing and K.C. Finn.

Interview with K.C. Finn
1.       Which book do you think everyone should read at least once in their lifetime?
I think that everyone who appreciates the power of language ought to read a book written by Vladimir Nabokov during their lifetime. My personal favourite is Lolita, but that isn’t a story that everyone can understand and sympathise with! The reason I choose Nabokov is because I feel he is a writer who respected language immensely, every word is chosen with care and attention and that’s what great writing should be about.

1.       Do you have a writing ritual? What does it entail?
I can write pretty much anywhere so long as I am left alone to do it! I don’t tend to eat or drink at all when I’m writing as I find that very distracting. For The Mind’s Eye I was on a really strict deadline to finish the book before NaNoWriMo 2013, so I actually took myself away to my auntie’s house in Chester for the final week of writing to make sure it got done. I wrote about 20,000 words whilst I was there and it really helped to be away from the internet and other life stresses!

1.       If you could choose any TV show to promote your book on, which would you choose?
With me being across the pond that makes for a difficult choice! There’s a Welsh national channel here in the UK called S4C, I think it would be fun to introduce the book there as it’s so deeply rooted in the North Wales valleys and really embodies the sense of warmth, love and support that I associate with Welsh family life!

1.       Why did you choose the genre you write in?
That’s tricky because The Mind’s Eye has several genres smushed into it! First and foremost I chose to write a paranormal story because I adore anything speculative. All my books to date are sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal tales so that’s my wheelhouse where I’m most comfortable creating the plot. Then the story just had to be set during the Second World War because it’s a historical area that fascinates me, especially the tales of evacuation and occupation that happened in Europe. I’m Welsh so setting the tale in North Wales was also a cultural bonus and highly enjoyable, so that’s where the historical genre element came in. The inevitable conclusion to having those two things was to throw in adventure and romance as the sub-genres. I always knew Kit and Henri were forming a romantic connection so I wanted that to be a tender part of the tale amid the action-packed scenes of war that she witnesses.

1.       Which was your favorite chapter to write?
I don’t want to give too much away here, but there’s quite a violent scene in the last quarter of the book where something unpleasant happens to Bickerstaff. I’m going to sound like a total sadist I know, but I was so looking forward to writing that chapter and I felt a huge sense of relief when that moment had been depicted. The sense of shock and detachment you get from that moment is something I’m very proud of. It went onto the page exactly how I wanted it to, which doesn’t always happen in the world of writing!

1.       Chocolate or vanilla?
I prefer chocolate but I don’t really like either! Can I say banana flavoured things instead?

Dream Cast
Catherine ‘Kit’ Cavendish, age 15
Kit is the central character of The Mind’s Eye, a girl with secret psychic abilities who can step into other people’s heads, look through their eyes and feel their emotions. She suffers from what was known in 1939 as Still’s Disease, which is actually a form of juvenile arthritis. This means that she has suffered a period of physical deterioration, so when we see her at the start of the book she is bound to a wheelchair and wishing that her life could be very different to the situation she’s trapped in. The Mind’s Eye is just as much about Kit’s war with her body as it is about the actual war surrounding the story. My dream cast pick for Kit is Georgie Henley, famous for playing Lucy in the Chronicles of Narnia movies.

Henri Haugen, age 17
When Kit first connects her mind to Henri’s she finds him in Oslo, Norway on the day that the Nazis first arrive to take control of the city. Henri is a kind and brave soul but he can be impetuous and make snap decisions without thinking; not a clever move to make when you’re surrounded by the occupying forces. Kit takes it upon herself to counsel Henri through his troubles and eventually help him to escape the terror in Oslo so that he can do his part for the war effort. During this time the two youngsters develop a strong bond of friendship and romance. My choice for Henri is a bit of an obscure one since he’s not actually an actor, but here I present Aljaz Skorjanec, star of ballroom dancing show Strictly Come Dancing!

Blodwyn Price, age 20, and Steven Bickerstaff, age 29
Blod is not a character I expect you to like the first time you meet her, but I hope that as you read on in The Mind’s Eye you will come to understand her attitude and the life events that have shaped her into the moody, guarded young beauty that she is. Doctor Bickerstaff forms a kind of enemy for Kit at the start of the tale, his harsh words and unsmiling attitude aren’t what she needs when she’s struggling enough already… or are they? Blod and Bickerstaff are my secondary main characters and I genuinely love the way their story unfolds as Kit learns to understand why they behave the way they do and discovers secrets about them she never thought possible. My dream cast picks for them are Dominique Swain for Blod (star of the Jermey Irons version of Lolita) and Dan Stevens for Bickerstaff (whom you will all recognise as Matthew in Downton Abbey). 


Table for Two
Guest Post by K.C. Finn

  If I could invite one character from The Mind’s Eye to leap out of the pages and come to dinner with me, it would have to be my diabolical doctor Steven Bickerstaff.

  Bickerstaff initially presents himself as a hard-faced physician, the man who is determined to cause Kit as much agony as possible as he forces her to wear huge wooden splints on her ailing limbs in an effort to prevent joint contraction and eventually allow her to use her legs again. To Kit this seems like an unbearable hell with no real sign that it’s going to work and she hates him bitterly for not leaving her in peace to get on with her life in her wheelchair.

  To me, however, Steven is a man of vision, a little ahead of his time in terms of what can be done to help people with disabilities. He may not be a compassionate man, but he is highly intelligent and genuinely committed to trying new and unusual methods in order to help the people under his care. He enjoys a challenge and is dedicated to his work, so in a lot of ways I see myself in his creation (especially in his spiteful moods!).

  During the events of The Mind’s Eye Kit grows curious about her wicked young doctor, discovering more about his life and the reasons behind his temperament. Since I already know what those reasons are, I think I’d get on with him a little better over dinner than Kit would! I enjoy characters who have some depth and pain to them and Bickerstaff has that in spades. Even though I created him I am still genuinely fascinated by his guarded exterior and the wealth of despair and regret within him. He’s the kind of compelling figure that I am always drawn to finding out more about and I hope that he’ll come across that way to readers too!

  And hey, if he looks like Dan Stevens, that just sweetens the deal, doesn’t it? ;)

EXCERPT FROM THE MIND'S EYE:

We spent Henri’s birthday under a tree drinking orange pop and trying to talk about subjects that didn’t lead back to the war. The news of Clive and Ieuan had shaken Leigh out of his selfish reverie, so if one good thing had come from the darkness it was the fact that my brother had finally actually gotten to know Henri. He even sang Happy Birthday in what he called ‘The Proper English Way’, laughing so hard he could barely get the words out for lack of breath: 

“Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you; you look like a monkey and you smell like one too!” 

Henri laughed for the first time in what seemed like forever and a warmth settled in my chest, like things were finally going to get back to normal. When Leighton went to get more pop, Henri came to the tree and sat down beside me, putting a long arm around my shoulders and pulling me in. He kissed the side of my head gently, his warm breath sinking into my hair. He hadn’t tried to kiss me properly again even when there had been opportunity for it, and I was sort of grateful for that. As much as I wanted to feel that tingling, only-us-in-the-world sensation again, right now the atmosphere just wasn’t right. But we were always close to one another when we had the chance, I had gotten so used to his arms around me that it felt like some part of me was missing when he wasn’t there. 

“I’ll have to go into the village tomorrow,” he whispered, “to pass my enlistment papers to the right people.” 

An invisible blade sank slowly into my fragile heart, but I had always known this day was coming. 

“It’ll take them a while to process it,” I said hopefully, “I bet they’ve already got loads of boys waiting to go to basic training.” 

“Perhaps,” he said softly, his lips still resting against my head. 

I turned sharply to face him, searching his deep brown eyes. “I don’t want you to go,” I said, racing to find his hand to hold it tightly. 

“I won’t really be gone,” he replied, “You’ll always be able to find me.” 

“That’s not the point,” I said, my curls shaking as I trembled, “This is dangerous Henri, this is war.” 

“You forget where I’ve been already,” he said, turning his face away to focus hard on the distance. He kept a firm hold of my hand and gave it a good squeeze. “You came to my head in the quiet times, the safe times. But I’ve already seen the destruction, the danger and the death, Kit. I think there are two types of people during war: those who see the horror happening and run away, never looking back, and those who want to do something about it.” I felt his other arm pull me in closer against his strong body. “You know which type I am, so you know I have to go.” 

I couldn’t say anything, because it was all true.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Born in South Wales to Raymond and Jennifer Finn, Kimberley Charlotte Elisabeth Finn (known to readers as K.C., otherwise it'd be too much of a mouthful) was one of those corny little kids who always wanted to be a writer. She was also incredibly stubborn, and so has finally achieved that dream in 2013 with the release of her first three novellas in the four-part Caecilius Rex saga, the time travel adventure The Secret Star and her new urban fantasy epic The Book Of Shade.


As a sufferer with the medical condition M.E./C.F.S., Kim works part time as a private tutor and a teacher of creative writing, devoting the remainder of her time to writing novels and studying for an MA in Education and Linguistics.

K.C. Finn signed with Clean Teen Publishing in late 2013. Her first book published with Clean Teen Publishing: The Mind's Eye, is scheduled to release on April 1, 2014. This will be shortly followed by the sequel, Leighton's Summer.


Want to READ MORE from Clean Teen Publishing? 

Check out our huge selection of amazing reads! There's sure to be something for every reader!

Feature and Follow #8: Things That Make Me Happy

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!


Snap it Time! A picture is worth a thousand words. Anything and anything. Just give us a pic.

Because it's late, I'm taking the easy way out and raiding my Instagram (@prettylittlepages) to show off the things that make me happy!

Home Sweet Home
Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

My cat kid, Absinthe Maye.

From the last vacation Chris and I went on.
My favorite president's grave.

Thanks for stopping by Pretty Little Pages! Leave a comment below so I can check out your pics as well! Happy Friday, y'all!

Blog Tour (Review and Giveaway): Losing Logan by Sherry D. Ficklin


LOSING LOGAN by Sherry D. Ficklin

Release Date: May 2, 2014
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, Suspense

"What if the one thing you never meant to hold on to, is the one thing you can't let go of?" 



Losing_Logan_EbookNormally finding a hot guy in her bedroom wouldn’t irritate Zoe so badly, but finding her childhood friend Logan there is a big problem.


Mostly because he’s dead.


As the only person he can make contact with, he convinces Zoe to help him put together the pieces surrounding his mysterious death so he can move on. Thrust into his world of ultra popular rich kids, Zoe is out of her element and caught in the cross-hairs of Logan’s suspicious ex-girlfriend and the friends he left behind, each of whom had a reason to want him dead. The deeper they dig to find the truth, the closer Zoe gets to a killer who would do anything to protect his secrets. And that’s just the start of her problems because Zoe is falling for a dead guy.

First Sentence:
So what if Logan was dead?

Last Sentence:
"Let's not make him wait anymore."

  There are very few books that I cry after I finish them. This was one of them. I loved this story. It's so touching.

  From the dedication of this book to the last page, I enjoyed it all. Sherry has mastered writing in a way that says true to her characters and her story. Even though the characters are believable as high school students, they are enjoyable to read about even as a 25 year old. It's hard to portray YA true to their age and still have them be enjoyable by those out of the age range, and Sherry does an excellent job.

  The paranormal aspect does not overshadow the story as a whole. I got really caught up in the mystery surrounding the death of Logan. Even whenever I'd put the book down, I would still be thinking of who could have done it and why. It's a story that just sticks with you.

  As I already mentioned, the characters were written wonderfully. I adored Bruno; he came into Zoe's life at just the right time. Logan and Carlos were also such well rounded characters. You get to see more of Logan, so I felt really connected to him and sympathized with him. Zoe is a YA heroine that I'd want every high schooler to read about. She was not perfect. But she was perfect for this story, and I enjoyed her growth. The ending was so fitting, and I cried my eyes out.

  Every YA fan should give this book a read. If you're out of high school and still enjoy YA, then this is a book for you. Don't let the high school setting scare you off. It's an amazing book with a heartfelt story that can touch you at any age.

**I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Clean Teen Publishing and Sherry Ficklin.


Interview with Sherry Ficklin

Which book do you think everyone should read at least once in their lifetime?

War and Peace. #Hardcore
No, I'm kidding. I dunno, reading is such a subjective thing for me. I don't think there's any one book just because, everyone takes something different away when they read. I would say, that at least once in their lives, everyone should pick up a book that challenges the way they look at life, something so far from what they are comfortable with that it gets the wheels turning. For me that book was Flowers In the Attic back in the late 80's. It was the first book I ever read that I remember really disturbing me, challenging how I saw the world and people's motivations. In hindsight I was probably WAY too young to read that book when I did. That may or may not be a bad thing.

Do you have a writing ritual? What does it entail?
It's VERY different for each book. I try to, in some small way, climb into the head of my main character. For example right now I'm working on a historical fiction piece and when I sit down to write I put on this very lovely tiara. It's terribly silly, but it gets me in the right mindset. For some books it can be as simple as a music that plays or a scent I use in my office. Some books require more effort...and rhinestones. #PlayingDressUp  I've also noticed that when I'm really into a book, my own speech patterns/mannerisms will alter to line up with the character. For example, I find myself using words like lovely and terribly for the new WIP, and when I was writing Zoe, I was using a whole other dialect. There was a lot of douchebaggary and general swearing happening during that book creation.

If you could choose any TV show to promote your book on, which would you choose?
That's so hard for me because, I LOVE really bad teen TV. Like, Teen Wolf, Arrow, The Vampire Diaries, and Reign specifically. In my ideal fantasy, Lydia from Teen Wolf if reading it just before she makes out with Stiles. #Stidia

Why did you choose the genre you write in?
I write YA/Teen. Any subgenre. Losing Logan is paranormal but I've played with everything from Sci-fi to Contemporary. I write whatever I'm inspired by at the time I suppose, so it changes all the time. I am very into historical fiction right now, hence the tiara. I may or may not be wearing it right now.

Which was your favorite chapter to write?
That's another tough one, because overall, Losing Logan was both laugh out loud fun and emotionally crippling to write. I guess my favorite chapter is any chapter in which Zoe calls someone a douche. So...just about every chapter. As a matter of fact, Zoe insults people so much in this book, I had to create a random insult generator just to write her dialogue. #TrueThings

Chocolate or vanilla?
Chocolate, except in ice cream. Ice cream has to be vanilla with chocolate sauce. Because anything else is a crime against nature.

READ THE FIRST CHAPTER OF LOSING LOGAN NOW:

SO WHAT IF LOGAN WAS DEAD? I mean, it’s not like he owed me money or anything. I pause at
the top of the stairs, letting my mom move around me and walk inside. To my left a group of girls are holding each other and ugly crying. I try to assure myself that the display is genuine and has nothing to do with the swarm of reporters behind me, their cameras clicking like insects. 

“I bet not one of those girls even knew Logan,” I grumble. 

“Firstly, everyone knew Logan. And secondly, quit being such a judgy-Mc judge-sickle.” 

To my right, Carlos holds out his hand, which I take and allow him to lead me inside and down the hall. Leaning over he whispers in my ear. “I can’t believe you wore that.”

I look down at my dark jeans, carefully tucked into tall brown boots. My steel grey scarf hangs over my light tan sweater. I’d even taken the time to throw my long brown hair into a messy bun. “We can’t all afford to look like movie stars,” I mumble back.

Carlos, with his rich brown skin and dark hair looks like he should be on a billboard somewhere, and the dark fitted suit he’s wearing only enhances the effect. He’s gorgeous. One of those genetically gifted boys who could bat his eyelashes and have any girl he wanted. You know, if he actually wanted girls. He weaves our arms together and pulls me up to a tall pedestal with an open book laying on it. A few people in front of us are signing in like they are registering for a giveaway at the mall. I shift uncomfortably. 

“Relax, Zoe. It isn’t a funeral. Just a viewing.”

I shake my head, “That’s even worse.” I lower my voice so no one else can hear, “Who would want to look at a dead body? I mean, it’s just kinda twisted, right?” He pats my hand. “Closure, darling. It’s a chance to say goodbye.” 

“I said goodbye to Logan a long time ago,” I say while looking ahead at the room beyond the pedestal. Rows of neatly assembled chairs are nearly filled with people from our quiet little town. Some are talking, most crying. A few are just texting or playing on their phones. I feel my breathing pick up as a warmth spreads under my skin and wraps tightly around my chest. I shudder and it slices down my spine like electricity. 

“You guys were friends, right?”

I feel the frown on my face. Friends. Yeah, right. “Our parents were friends when we were little,” I say dismissively. The truth is, once we hit middle school, everything had changed between us. He got popular, and I got weird. We went our separate ways and never spoke again. Here we are, getting ready to start our senior year, and Logan would have been the reigning king of the school. I, however, am doomed to spending another year eating lunch in the drama department with Carlos while he updates his vlog, watching the school lacrosse games from under the bleachers, and spending my Friday nights reading in my bedroom. Not that there’s anything wrong with any of that. A shove from behind pushes me into the group in front of me. Kaylee Greely brushes past us. She and her entourage of well dressed clones don’t bother to wait in line, they go straight to the front and the crowd parts for them. Scribbling quickly like she’s signing an autograph she strides into the main viewing room, not even bothering to remove her large sunglasses as she takes a seat in the front row. As Logan’s girlfriend, I feel a genuine twinge of sympathy for her. Right up until she pulls out her compact and reapplies her lip gloss with a loud smack of her lips. 

Carlos tilts his head and sighs deeply. For a split second I think he’s admiring her ass, then I realize his eyes are laser fixed on her designer handbag and I chuckle out loud. Everyone in line turns to stare at me. I can actually feel the blood rush into my face. Carlos turns, blocking me from view and I can breathe again. He fiddles with my scarf, twisting it and tucking it until it’s sitting perfectly against my small chest. “I really don’t want to do this.” 

Carlos tugs on my earlobe. “Don’t worry Zoe Bowie, I’m here.” 

I shake my head. “Let me rephrase. I’m not doing this. I don’t even like half of these people. Hell, I didn’t like Logan when he was alive, and I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I miss him now that he’s gone.” I swallow. Imagining myself sitting in one of those black folding chairs, listening to crying girl after crying girl get up there and whine about what a great person he was and how he changed their lives. I throw up a little just thinking about it. “If my mom asks where I went, tell her I had a nervous breakdown and had to go home.” 

He smiles deviously. “I’ll tell her that you, being the delicate flower you are, were overcome with grief and had to excuse yourself to the fainting couch,” He says in a thick southern accent. 

“Why thank you Miss Scarlett.”

I can’t help but grin. I know it’s been his dream to play the lead in the local theater company’s production of Gone with the Wind since he was five. My remark earns me a kissy face and a wave as he turns to go inside. 

I’m all ready to make a break for it, when I get a glimpse of something out the corner of my eye. As I turn to get a better look, I see a boy walking away and into the coat closet at the other end of the hall. I don’t know why I follow him, but my feet are moving before I can fully rationalize it to myself. My boot heels clack on the stone tile floors and sounding like a heartbeat, slow and steady. I run my fingertips along the beige walls as I pass by what I hope is the casket showroom and not some sort of demented waiting room for whoever’s next in line for viewing, then a room full of comfy looking floral chairs, and finally an office. At the very end of the hall, the door to the coat room is ajar. As I reach out and push it open, an army of shivers march up my back. 

If this was a horror movie, this is the part where I would die. 

As soon as I step inside the door, the boy turns and my heart sinks into my feet. For a minute, I just stand there, staring at him like an idiot. All I can feel is icy cold air from the vent in the ceiling blowing down on me, chilling me to my core. Then the anger flows in, replacing the cold shock with a flush of heat. I reach behind me and slam the door shut. 

“What is your freaking damage, Logan?”

He stares at me, his green eyes wide. “Excuse me?” My eyes narrow. I know what’s going on here. 

“I’m being punked, aren’t I? This is some stupid reality TV show or something right?” 

He just stands there looking confused. “Does your family know you’re alive? I mean, seriously, if this is some dumb publicity stunt for the reporters out front...” I’m so angry I don’t even know what to say. Logan has always been a bit of an attention whore, but this is a new low. My hands are balled onto fists at my hips. “Say something, Logan. Please. Find the magic words to make this whole mess not be the most horrible thing a human being has ever done in their entire life, ever.” 

“Zoe?” his voice is soft and he has a dumb half grin on his face that I remember from when we were kids. I have a desperate urge to remove it with my fist. “What are you talking about?” 

Oh, sure. Like I’m the crazy one. “You are a giant douche hammer, you know that? I mean, what is this? Some idiotic attempt to get extra credit in English class? Tom Sawyer 101? I mean, those people think you’re dead! We all thought...” I trail off again, the words jumbling in my brain before I can get them out. I’m so angry I’m bordering on incoherent. My pulse is racing and my whole face feels hot. I need to calm myself before I completely lose it. I take a deep breath, hold it for a second, and then release it slowly. 

He takes a step toward me, tilting his head curiously. “You can see me?” 

“Okay, that’s it. I’m not falling for this...whatever this is. I’m going to march in there and tell your mother right now.” 

He straightens, a cocky grin spreading across his face. That’s a look I’m more used to seeing on him recently. “You’re going to go tell my mommy on me? What, are we five again?” 

I grunt and flip him off, throwing the door open. “Wait!”I hear him call behind me but I keep going. 

Inside the main room his parents have taken seats next to Kaylee in the front row. Ignoring the minister speaking from the pulpit I stride up the center aisle, stomping angrily. I’m almost to the front when I realize something. The dark brown casket is open. My pace slows and I see Logan’s face, his eyes are closed like he’s sleeping inside the white satin lined box. I spin, looking behind me, but he’s gone. I spin back around and take the final steps to the coffin, clutching the sides for support. 

Up close, I’m not sure what I’m seeing. He looks kinda puffy and waxy. Maybe that’s how he’s doing it. Maybe it’s some kind of wax dummy. I reach out to touch his face when a sob from behind me snaps me out of it. Two pairs of arms grab me from either side, Carlos on my left and my mother on my right. They quickly usher me back down the aisle to a chorus of sobs and camera snaps. I’m shaking. Around me there is a thick white fog clouding the very edges of my vision. 

“Mom?” I ask. She’s soothing me, patting my hair and rubbing my back. Outside they lead me to the car amidst more cameras clicking. I can barely walk. My knees are like Jell-O and I feel like I’m breathing through a straw. I gasp and the fog gets worse. I feel Carlos slip me into the passenger seat of mom’s old Camry then he thrusts a bottle of cold, sweaty water in my hand. 

“Are you okay Zoe?” My mother asks, kneeling in front of me. She has her nurse face on and I know if I say the wrong thing, I’m going to end up spending the night in the hospital.

“I think she’s in shock,” Carlos says, patting my hand gently. I pull it away.

“Not helping, Carlos.” I look over at my mother who is clearly on the edge of panic. “I’m fine. Just, overwhelmed. Can we just go home?” She nods, patting my knee before moving to the other side of the car. Carlos gently turns me in my seat, trying to help me buckle. Behind him, on the steps to the funeral home, Logan is standing in the sunlight. Only, the reporters are all ignoring him. 

I grab Carlos by the lapel and jerk my head towards the stairs. “Do you see that?”

He turns and looks over his shoulder. “What?” 

“Do you see anyone on the steps?”

He frowns, “No. Why?” 

I shake my head, squeezing my eyes shut. “Never mind. I think my breakfast grape juice fermented. I’m gonna go home and lay down for a bit.” 

He shuts the door and I lean out the window to give him a peck on the cheek. 

“Take care, sweetie. Call me later when you are feeling better.” 

I tug my hair out of the bun and let it fall around my shoulders. A familiar ache is growing inside my skull and I know if I leave it in, it’ll only make it worse. “I will.” 

He steps back onto the curb and we speed off. I don’t open my eyes all the way home, I just let the cool wind blow knots into my hair and try not to think of the thousands of pictures of me freaking out coffin-side that are hitting the web as we speak, or of Logan’s face in that coffin. I fail on both counts. 
Sherry's-an-Author-030Sherry D. Ficklin is a full time writer from Colorado where she lives with her husband, four kids, two dogs, and a fluctuating number of chickens and house guests. A former military brat, she loves to travel and meet new people. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.

She is the author of The Gods of Fate Trilogy now available from Dragonfly Publishing. Her previously self-published novel After Burn: Military Brats has been acquired by Harlequin and will be released in 2015 with a second book in that series to follow. Her newest YA steampunk novel, EXTRACTED: The Lost Imperials book 1, co-written with Tyler H. Jolley is now available everywhere books are sold and her newest YA novel, Losing Logan, is due for release in 2014 from Clean Teen Publishing.

  

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