Queen of Corona by Esterhazy

Queen of Corona book cover Title: Queen of Corona by Esterhazy
Publication date: December 15th, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

Synopsis:

Queen of a Corona delves into the mind of a young American adult growing up in today’s multicultural society. It is a human look at contemporary existence “from the bottom of the barrel.”

It tells the story of a high school senior who is running after a student protest ends in tragedy. She is ushered onto an airplane by her mother, headed back to the land of her ancestors for the first time in her life.

Her journey is both a way of escaping a seemingly dead-end existence and a chance at rediscovering herself by stepping outside the confines of societal standards.

Queen of Corona is a coming-of-age novel in a dangerous age, in the age of Trump and all the forces stirring with and against the American president. Continue reading

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A simple approach to writing with Justine Avery

Justine Avery One ApartDescribe your writing style

My process is very simple: start with a tiny story idea, the simpler and less-detailed, the better.  Then, I start writing the story from the beginning. I never know how my stories are going to end up—and for me, that’s the whole fun of it. That’s why I write!

Every story’s an adventure, a mystery, an experience waiting to unfold. That’s the whole appeal for me. If I’m not having fun writing a story, I imagine no one else is going to enjoy reading it.

No outlines exist for my stories. My stories aren’t planned; they’re dreamed. At most, I may get flooded with ideas for a story while writing it, then have to keep up by jotting them all down and maybe needing to put them in chronological order to refer to them later. But I’ve found I’m not happiest with even “fun ideas” in a little list to write into the story; that’s when creative writing turns into academic writing, for me, with a pre-determined end goal, and all the fun is sucked out of it.

Describe yourself in 5 words

Optimistic, driven, curious, adventurous, smiley! Continue reading

From Horseback Riding to Honky-Tonking with Mikel J Wilson

Mikel J Wilson blog tourMystery and science fiction author Mikel J. Wilson shares his top ten things to do when you visit Tennessee.

  1.  Go honky-tonking in Nashville. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve stumbled down Broadway in Downtown Nashville, barhopping. Okay, I haven’t really stumbled, but no one could blame me if I did have too much to drink in this incredibly fun center of Music City. Any night of the week, you can enter bar after bar, playing wonderful live music from established artists and up-and-comers.
  2. Rent a cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains. I love waking up in one of the many cabins that abut the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and looking out the inevitable picture window to see the eponymous mist snaking around the mountains. Of course, anyone on the other side of that window is probably wondering why I’m standing there naked. It’s no wonder that this is America’s most visited national park.
  3. Visit Dollywood in Pigeon Forge. I love [the] artist and humanitarian Dolly Parton. She is the Smoky Mountains, and her theme park is a tribute to her legacy and the heritage of the region where her story began. The park has the wonderful Dolly museum, artisans demonstrating their crafts and exciting rides, including the Lightning Rod wooden rollercoaster, which I did not throw up on. (That picture was totally PhotoShopped.)
  4. Barhop on Beale Street in Memphis. The historic two-block Home of the Blues offers great food, drinks, and live music. Okay, I’ve never actually been to Memphis, unless you count riding through on a Greyhound bus, but I had to get the state’s most populous city into the mix. This activity is on my list to do the next time I’m in Tennessee.
  5. Take a helicopter ride over Gatlinburg. Now, this I have done. My father and stepmom took me and my brother to Gatlinburg when I was 12 or thereabouts and gave us our first helicopter ride. I loved being so high in the air, which is why I took up skydiving years later.
  6. Visit Reelfoot Lake State Park in Tiptonville. Formed in the 1800’s, when massive tremors in the earthquake hot zones of Arkansas and Missouri (?!) caused the Mighty Mississippi to run backward. Reelfoot Lake is the state’s most unique ecosystem and the surest place to spot bald eagles in the wild.
  7. Raft the whitewater rapids on the Pigeon River. This excursion is a super-fun way to see the Smokies. You will definitely get wet, which is great because if you really, really have to pee, no one will notice.
  8. Hike up Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga. Second only to the Smoky Mountains, the views from this vantage point are incredible. It’s a great place to hike, visit a Civil War museum or make out with your date – although the people shouting, “Eww!” when I went the last time weren’t enjoying it so much.
  9. Eat some genuine Nashville hot chicken and dry-rub barbecue. You can’t visit Nashville without sampling some of the city’s now-iconic dishes – hot chicken and dry-rub barbecue. Several restaurants in the area serve them, but my favorites are Hattie B’s for the chicken and Peg Leg Porker for the barbecue. FYI, wiping your tongue with a paper napkin doesn’t seem to cool it down at all.
  10. Go horseback riding through Cedars of Lebanon State Park. I had to get my hometown on this list, and riding horses through the cedar forest that inspired the town’s name is a perfect way to spend an afternoon in Lebanon. When you’re done, head over to Snow White for the best banana shakes you’ll ever strain to suck through a straw.

Continue reading

Ken La Salle Presents, Work of Art: An Intention of Flowers

An Intention of Flowers is the first book in a 5-book series, modestly titled Work of Art, about growing into the person you always wanted to be, making the most of what you have to give and not just what you have, and the power in each of us when we chose to be ourselves.

Work of Art coverTitle: Work of Art: An Intention of Flowers by Ken La Salle
Genre: YA / Contemporary Fiction

Synopsis

Oily pavement.

Thick tempera paint.

A parking lot filled with history, fear, and regret.

A young man named Joseph Arillo sits in the parking lot and paints the pavement with flowers.

And Andy Hollis steps in it.

As the new art teacher at Santa Ana High School, he’s too curious about Joseph’s Flowers and unravels both of their lives in his pursuit for answers.

He learns that it’s all part of a rite of passage, an absurd test started by Joseph Arillo’s father, the suspiciously world-renowned artist named only Tom. Which also connects to the drama teacher at Santa Ana High, Katie Bustos. Whose daughter, Desiree, may or may not be dating Joseph. Who is putting himself in danger from a local gang, the lot’s mysterious history, and the police.

Andy puts himself in danger of losing his job, his home, and his freedom. If he can’t solve the riddle of Joseph’s Flowers, both of their lives will go up in smoke – despite any help from Winny, the old, Slovakian bureaucrat at school, or his students, or Tom himself.

But is Tom trying to help? And is Joseph really up to his father’s test?

And is Andy really fit to be a teacher? He doesn’t understand kids, can’t get to school on time, and… doesn’t appear to care about art or families or anything. But Joseph’s Flowers will challenge everything Andy believes: about himself, about the world, and most importantly of all about art.

Before Andy and Joseph are finished, they will witness the power art has to provide inspiration, to waken our hearts, and to shatter everything you ever believed about humanity. Continue reading

Writing what you know with Erica Kiefer

Erica Kiefer iconInside my closet sits a large storage bin. It’s heavy enough that I claimed my work-out for the day after hauling it up a flight of stairs, completing squats and bicep curls as I transferred it from one location to another.

I’m no packrat by any means, but some of those items inside that bin have been hauled around since I was nine-years-old, traveling with me from country to country as I lived the “military brat” lifestyle of moving every two to four years while my dad served as a diplomat in the foreign service.

From Thailand to Indonesia, back to Thailand, and eventually returning to the United States, I’ve hauled these personal journals with me all over the world, accumulating a new one every year until I reached my mid-twenties and began capturing memories through a family blog.

The backaches and muscle burn of relocating those books has proved its worth though. Utilizing my plethora of journals, I’ve followed the advice to write what you know, turning reality into relatable fiction. Continue reading

Christmas in Atlantis, Novel by Alyssa Day

Book cover Christmas in AtlantisTitle: Christmas in Atlantis (Poseidon’s Warriors) by Alyssa Day
Publication date: December 4th 2017
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Synopsis

A tortured warrior…

Warrior-turned-pirate Dare is the black sheep of all Atlantis. He enraged Poseidon, the sea god, so much that Dare had to forfeit his ship and the water spirit who inhabits it. For Dare, being denied the ocean is worse than death…until he comes home to a woman who drowns him in waves of hunger more powerful than the sea.  But black sheep and scoundrels can never deserve love, even during the magic of the first Christmas in Atlantis.

An artist who sees the world through song…

After the accident that killed her parents and blinded her, Lyric discovered she had a special gift—that of song sight. She now sees the world in her own unique way, and her paintings are full of light and magic. When the Atlantean warrior she’s fallen in love with takes her to his home in Atlantis, she finds a rare magical artifact that could change her world forever.  Or it could deliver to Dare the thing he most desires.

Atlantis’s first Christmas is coming…

It’s the season of miracles in Atlantis. A chance to make wishes come true.  And when Lyric tells her new Atlantean friends O Henry’s story The Gift of the Magi, the world—and Lyric and Dare—may never be the same.

*Warning: This book contains magic, song sight, Atlantis, Poseidon, the gift of the magi, pirates, a king and queen, sibling rivalry, a black sheep, bad boys, warriors, paranormal romance, fantasy, Christmas decorations, holiday spiked eggnog, smugglers, ancient artifacts, romance, kisses, and a happily ever after. Read at your own risk! Continue reading

The Upside of Falling Down by Rebekah Crane

Novel by Rebekah CraneTitle: The Upside of Falling Down by Rebekah Crane
Published by: Skyscape
Publication date: January 30th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Synopsis

For Clementine Haas, finding herself is more than a nice idea. Ever since she woke up in an Irish hospital with complete amnesia, self-discovery has become her mission.

They tell her she’s the lone survivor of a plane crash. They tell her she’s lucky to be alive. But she doesn’t feel lucky. She feels…lost.

With the relentless Irish press bearing down on her, and a father she may not even recognize on his way from America to take her home, Clementine assumes a new identity and enlists a blue-eyed Irish stranger, Kieran O’Connell, to help her escape her forgotten life…and start a new one.

Hiding out in the sleepy town of Waterville, Ireland, Clementine discovers there’s an upside to a life that’s fallen apart. But as her lies grow, so does her affection for Kieran, and the truth about her identity becomes harder and harder to reveal, forcing Clementine to decide: Can she leave her past behind for a new love she’ll never forget? Continue reading

I Burned Down His House by Jessica Frances

Jessica Frances Burned down houseTitle: I Burned Down His House (Love at First Crime #3) by Jessica Frances
Publication date: November 28th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

Synopsis

She burned his house down, so he lit a fire between them that she could never extinguish.

So, I burned his house down.

It was an accident.

I mean, technically, the dog did it.

Well, the dog helped me to do it.

Did I mention it was an accident?

When circumstances mean I suddenly have a new housemate,

A man who is my ultimate fantasy,

And my entire world is turned upside down by new friends,

And a dog who likes to get me into trouble,

I have to wonder how my life got so crazy.

Add in my neighbor, who is under investigation;

Some unfinished business from the past, which just won’t go away;

Interfering family, who don’t know when to stop;

And mixed signals, making me wonder if fantasies really can come true,

And you have my new, hectic, crazy life.

But, when things take a dangerous turn,

And lives are on the line,

Will we all make it through in one piece?

Or is everything destined to crumble down around us?

Who would have thought that burning down a house would change everything so much?

Then again, as some people say: there is nothing quite like love at first … crime. Continue reading

Noelle Adams Presents, Christmas with a Prince

Christmas with a Prince Noelle AdamsChristmas with a Prince (Rothman Royals, Book 4) by Noelle Adams
Publication date: November 29th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance

Synopsis

I might be a former party girl and the over-indulged daughter of a multi-millionaire, but for the last few years I’ve been trying to be work hard and be good. I have enough right now to deal with–graduate school, my community literacy program, preparations for Christmas, and my dad’s constant attempts to find me a husband. I definitely don’t want to put up with Henry always hanging around, acting obnoxious and looking far too sexy.

My boss forced me to take on Henry as a literacy volunteer for the month of December. I don’t know anything about him except he’s from somewhere in Europe, and he’s spoiled, entitled, arrogant, stubborn… and incredibly hot. He’s the kind of guy I’ve been trying to stay away from. Plus he’s got a secret–something he’s hiding from me.

Now I can’t think of anything but him, and I’m stuck with him until Christmas is over. Continue reading

Introducing Author, Carla Rehse

Carla RehseWhere did you grow up?

I’m an Army brat, so I traveled the world. I consider Texas my home.

How many books have you written? Published?

I’ve written 5 books, but Pink Lock Picks and Sequined Witch Hats is the first to be published.

What kind of writer are you?

I’m very much a plotter. I have a “storyboard” wall in my office with three chalkboards for outlines, plot threads, and characters. It helps me to be visual.

Tell us a little about your main character

Gracie is rather complicated. She’s trying to figure out what she wants in life, like a lot of seventeen-year-olds. She also has a strong sense of loyalty and a fuzzy moral compass.

Gracie is the person you’d want in the foxhole with you, as she’d do anything to get everyone out alive. Continue reading