Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Book Review :: Lissa Bryan's The End Of All Things

The End of All Things
After a terrible virus ravages the planet, Carly Daniels, one of the few survivors, hides in her apartment in Juneau trying to survive the best she can with only occasional forays to gather food. With her is Sam, a wolf puppy she found starving on the streets. He becomes her companion and a reason to continue when giving up sometimes seems like the more attractive option. Still dazed with shock and grief, she hopes for the world to go back to normal soon.

She is discovered by Justin, an ex-soldier who is intent on making his way to Florida before the winter sets in. Justin coaxes her out of her hiding place and convinces her to join him on his journey, because a warmer climate will be their best chance against the extremes of Mother Nature.

Together, they begin a perilous journey through a nation laid to waste by the disaster. Challenges abound along the way. The weather, injury, and shortage of supplies all help to slow them down. In time, they discover that they aren’t the only survivors. Some are friendly but some have had their minds destroyed by the high fever. Then there are those who simply take what they want, leaving Carly and Justin with no choice but to defend what is theirs.

But their journey is not without joy and love. Together, they face every struggle, including an unplanned pregnancy. Despite the perils of bringing a child into a world of chaos, their baby is a new beginning for themselves and a symbol of hope for the other survivors they find along the way.

This is the story of their journey to find a place to begin a new life, and a home in each other.

I’ve been reading a lot of dystopian novels lately. With the world in the state it is in today, it’s easy to see how this society can quickly end up in an “Apocalyptic” type scenario. For me, it’s more realistic than many of the other types of genres I like to read, yet fantasy at the same time.

That being said, it is very hard to pull off a well thought out plot line that is both believable and logical in reality, yet has that aspect of fantasy that keeps the readers guessing at what will happen next. Lissa Bryan’s The End Of All Things has this key aspect and has nailed it down perfectly. More importantly, I can actually picture myself in the same scenario as the characters, which is paramount to making any dystopian novel plausible.
I truly enjoyed this novel. In fact, I couldn’t put it down! Every page left me wanting to find out what happened next. I’ve been a big fan of Lissa’s for a while now, but this story let me see a new side of her imagination that left me wanting more.

Lissa BryanLissa Bryan is an astronaut, renowned Kabuki actress, Olympic pole vault gold medalist, Iron Chef champion, and scientist who recently discovered the cure for athlete's foot.... though only in her head. Real life isn't so interesting, which is why she spends most of her time writing.

Her first novel, Ghostwriter was released October 11, 2012, and her second, The End of All Things, was released on January 24, 2013. Her third, tentatively titled Daughter of the Wind and Waves is scheduled for spring of 2014.
For more information, visit http://lissabryan.blogspot.com/ 
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Remember, The End of All Things is on SALE in Celebration for Memorial Day Weekend!

Pick up your copy today!!!



Sunday, May 19, 2013

All-American Ebook Sale! All Books Under Three Bucks!

The Memorial Day Weekend is Coming

Before you take off on your long weekend, load up your eReader with some great books on sale this week! Different books are on sale each day - so be sure and check back!

Window by T.M. Franklin

Price: FREE
Regular Price: $.99
Chloe Blake has a unique gift, an odd connection to her house that results in glimpses of the past, present, and future via the picture window in her living room. Unfortunately, it's a gift that sometimes proves to be more of a curse. Especially when she tries to help out Ethan Reynolds, the gorgeous boy who lives across the street - an endeavor that, for some reason, always seems to backfire. Or leave her covered in mud. But the house is convinced Ethan's life is in danger and Chloe's the only one who can save him. The problem is, he thinks she's more than a little crazy.

Talented by Sophie Davis

Price: FREE
Regular Price:
When Talia Lyons was just a child, her parents were murdered before her eyes. Unable to accept their fate, Talia trains to become one of the country’s deadliest assassins in order to kill the man responsible. Luckily, she was born with a gift- the ability to read and influence the minds of others. At sixteen, Talia’s poised to graduate from a school for the Talented, where she learned to control her abilities. Now there is only one obstacle standing between her and the retribution she craves... the feelings and distractions of a normal teenage girl.
If Sookie and 007 had a love child with a yearning for vengeance, her story would be TALENTED.

Éire's Captive Moon by Sandi Layne

Price $2.99
Regular Price $4.99
Éire’s Captive Moon, the first book of Sandi Layne’s Éire’s Viking Trilogy, brings you to the unsettled era of the early Viking raids along the coast of Éire – today’s Ireland.
A wounded refugee from the violent Viking raids on Éire’s coast is healed so well by Charis of Ragor that Agnarr captures the moon-pale woman for his own and takes her home to Nordweg to be his slave. Also captured is Cowan, a warrior gifted with languages. He is drawn to the healer of Ragor and finds himself helpless before her. In more ways than one!
Through the winter, Charis plans a fitting vengenance upon her captor for the men he killed. She also prepares to return to Éire and the children she left behind. But will her changing feelings interfere with these plans? When two men vie for her heart, will she give way before either – or both?

Ghostwriter by Lissa Bryan

Price: $2.99
Regular Price: $7.99
Unemployed, with her savings dwindling, Sara Howell thinks things are looking up when she lands a ghostwriting job and rents the affordable island home of her favorite author, Seth Fortner, who mysteriously disappeared in 1925. Strange things happen, making Sara wonder if Seth ever left. When she finds an old trunk of Seth's letters, she delves into a world she never imagined, filled with love and a family curse it seems only she can break.

The End of All Things by Lissa Bryan

Price: $2.99
Regular Price: $7.99
After a terrible virus ravages the planet, Carly, one of the few survivors, hides in her apartment in Juneau trying to survive the best she can, with occasional forays to gather food. She is discovered by Justin, an ex-soldier intent on making his way to Florida before winter. He convinces her to join him, and together they begin a journey through a nation laid to waste by the disaster. Challenges abound along the way, from the changing seasons to injury and shortage of supplies. And other survivors. Some are friendly, some are malicious, and some have minds destroyed by the virus. They can only depend on each other, and Carly finds her perceptions challenged by what it takes to live in this brutal new world. This is the story of their journey to find a place to begin a new life, and a home in each other.

Vigilant by Angel Lawson

Price: $.99
Regular Price: $3.99
Ari Grant spends her days helping the troubled youth of Glory City, and her nights trying to feel something other than the cold numbness that has settled in her bones. For years, she satisfies this urge with trips to the tattoo parlor or late night clubbing, but everything changes when she becomes a victim of an armed robbery.
She manages to escape notice from the gunman, a former client, but only because she’s saved by Glory City’s own Vigilante. A hooded man who has impeccable timing when it comes to those in need.It seems Ari isn’t the only one trying to save lost souls or looking for a life outside their job. She’s caught the attention of Nick Sanders, a handsome attorney at juvenile court. Solid and steady, he seems the perfect fit, but Ari has developed an obsession with Davis, the mysterious and sexy director of a local fight club that rehabilitates delinquent boys.
Each of these men fight for the less fortunate, but not everyone has altruistic motives. When Ari’s female clients begin to disappear, she can’t figure out who to trust. Soon enough it becomes obvious that while Ari watches over the kids of Glory City, someone else has taken to watching over her.

Hidden Threat by Sherri Hayes

Price: $2.99
Regular Price: $5.99
Cali Stanton has one goal in life, being a doctor. She does not intend to run the family business. But when her father gets injured and tells her that she’s the only one he trusts, Cali finds herself behind his desk at Stanton Enterprises.
Matthew Andersen and his brother Jason have spent the last two years managing security at Stanton Enterprises. But when someone threatens the company and its CEO, challenging Matthew’s abilities, what seems like an easy task, becomes a big problem.
Cali and Matthew must fight their growing attraction for each other to avoid a potentially damaging office romance. As the threats continue, they must work together to keep the company running and discover who is behind the threats. But when things escalate to violence and Cali becomes the latest target, things get personal. Can Matthew find the Hidden Threat before it’s too late?

Legacy of a Dreamer by Allie Jean

Price: $2.99
Regular Price: $4.99
Chantal Breelan has spent most of her childhood as a ward of the state. She has a mysterious past and the foster system provided her with no answers. At the age of fifteen, she begins to have horrifying dreams: images of violence and death that haunt her during her waking hours. Anxious and afraid, and with no one else to confide in, she finds comfort in her imaginary friend, a shadow in the shape of a man who stands sentinel over her. She tells him of her dreams and her fear of an unknown future.
On her eighteenth birthday, she’s forced out of her foster home, but the stress and demands drive her to the edge, making her see things. A boy from her nightmares appears in a subway station, sending her life in twists of truth and lies, and darkness surrounds her from all sides. But is it only evil that hides in the shadows, or are the answers to her past lingering just beyond?

My Only by N.K. Smith

Price: $2.99
Regular Price: $5.99
Shy, awkward Adam is resigned to sit on the sidelines of life, overshadowed by his outgoing and popular twin brother, Aaron. But when a free spirited new girl with a troubled past moves in across the street, Adam's eyes are opened to a new world of possibilities. But why would ever anyone choose him when a better version exists? It seems Adam has a lot to learn about love....and life.

Ghosts of Our Pasts by N.K. Smith

Price: $2.99
Regular Price: $5.99
A love beyond understanding. A loss unfathomable. A grief unbearable.
He was her anchor. Her hero. And in the blink of an eye he was gone. Emily Martin has spent the past ten years creating a life of comfort. As a successful owner of a small gourmet food store in SoHo, her fierce independence is a brutal lesson learned as the result of a tragic loss in her youth. After years of giving away only pieces of her heart, Emily realizes that this leaves her with nothing in the end. While love is fraught with risk, turning away from love may be the biggest risk of all...
Will Darcy once held the world and his future in the palm of his hand. Engaged to marry the love of his life and on the cusp of a brilliant financial career, he loses everything in a horrifying act of violence that still ripples through his life almost ten years later. Frozen in grief and a shell of the man he once was, he surrounds himself with the beautiful things she loved. But that only reminds him of all he’s lost. As life tumbles forward around him, Will has to make a decision—live in the pain of the past or reach out to grasp a new chance at life and love.
Thrown together by fate, two wounded souls in the heart of a wounded city must do what neither of them have done in years: open up and learn to love.

The Riverbend Trilogy by Andrea Goodson

Price: $0.99 each
Regular Price: $2.99 each
Nestled deep in Northwest Pennsylvania, in the thick forest of the Allegheny Mountains, is a quiet community named Kennerdell. Rich in Native American and European settlement history with few inhabitants and a charming culture, growing up there was simple for Lena. But when grief stepped in and darkened her life-everything changed. After years of escape, Lena is forced to come home. A web of mystery and danger that dates back to America’s earliest days, quickly weaves around her.When a longtime friend, one who knows the tragedy that plagues Lena's heart, comes back into her life - things get complicated. Will she be able to unfold the truth around this mystery - and herself - or will it be easier to run away?Love, danger, and history collide in all three books of The Riverbend Trilogy.

Lessons Learned by Sydney Logan

Price: $2.99
Regular Price: $5.99
Sarah Bray never planned to return to teach in Sycamore Falls, but a traumatic event leaves her desperate for the sanctuary of home. She discovers a kindred spirit in Lucas Miller, a teacher from New York with demons of his own. Their newfound love is put to the test when a student's secret sends shockwaves through the community, and Sarah and Lucas - along with the town - are schooled in the lessons of acceptance, tolerance, and love.

MORE by T.M. Franklin

Price: $2.99
Regular Price: $4.99
Haunted by terrifying nightmares and certain she's being watched, college student Ava Michaels finds an unlikely ally in Physics tutor Caleb Foster. But Caleb isn't quite what he seems. In fact, he's not entirely human, and he's not the only one. Together, the duo faces a threat from an ancient race bent on Ava's capture, and possible extinction. As Ava fights to survive, she learns the world's not what she thought.
It's a little bit more.

Lies Inside by Lindsey Gray

Price: $2.99
Regular Price: $4.99
How do you say goodbye to the love of your life when you are only twelve years old? Finn O'Malley and Lucy Butler had to figure out how to do just that as Finn left his home in Clarkstown, New York for Two Roads School of Music in California. Being a young talented musician, Finn thought it best for his future but wasn't sure about leaving Lucy behind.
Now, just one semester short of graduation and a promising future at UCLA, he throws it all away to return home. This leaves his family and friends questioning why. The Finn that has returned home is not the same boy who left. He's broken and withdrawn. Lucy and his sister Rylan want nothing more than to bring back the Finn they know and love. From the moment Finn reconnects with Lucy, he feels the one thing he hasn't felt in years-hope.
As Lucy starts to bring him out of his shell, Finn begins to realize what real love really is. When his past collides with his future, how will Finn deal with the love he needs and the love he despises? Can Lucy help heal what lies inside?

Redemption by Lindsey Gray

Price: $2.99
Regular Price: $4.99
Lily is one of only three vampires in known existence. After falling in love with a human, sexy and talented musician Ian, she realizes their love is putting him in mortal danger. She flees from her life in Boston to the solace of her frozen waste land. As her past continues to haunt her, Ian seeks out the only family Lily has ever known. Becca introduces Ian to a world he never thought possible as they embark on a search for Lily, starting in the bowels of a mysterious company called The Manchester Group. Will Ian and Becca find her? Or will the reemergence of a long lost love take a hold of their future?

Revisted by Lindsey Gray

Price: $2.99
Regular Price: $4.99
As the Redemption series continues in Revisited, everyone's path leads into one.
Lily Edwards, the last remaining female vampire, is facing a daunting task. She has to find Liam Caldwell, the vampire she was forced to create, and change him back to his human state. But Lily's task will not be an easy one as fellow remaining vampires, Filipp and Debir, have been secretly plotting her demise for decades and were the ones responsible for Liam being turned. While Liam is grateful for Filipp and Debir's guidance during his transformation into the vampire he felt destined to be, he's having second thoughts as he learns their whole plan is not what it seems. A handpicked army of humans waits for Liam to change them into vampires at Filipp's instruction.
Adding to the mix is Valentina Pavel, the last member of a Romanian witch coven, who brings forth new challenges of her own. Together, they all have Liam doing the unthinkable, pleading for a way out. Lily's adopted daughter, Becca, is also preoccupied with a few dilemmas of her own. Discovering that the angel, Sam Fleming, is her biological father presents her with a choice to accept the powers of her birthright, or continue her human existence.
She must find the answer while continuing to fight the feelings she has for fellow angel, Abe North, and her missing new love, Ian Holt. Ian's world has been turned upside down now that the body-stealing demon, Gideon, is controlling him. Ian struggles as Gideon's decisions cause them both mental and physical pain. The only thing they agree on is their insatiable need to be with Becca at all costs.
Friends-now-turned-enemies struggle for their eternity, while enemies-turned-friends fight side by side. Will Lily's past give her the answers she needs to reach the future?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sneak Peek with Allie Jean

In anticipation for the release of Book #2 in the Dreamer Series, Allie Jean has released her book trailer of
Legacy of a Dreamer
Chantal Breelan is a ward of the state, living under the care of a woman who is cold and heartless. Her past is a mystery, and her future is even more uncertain. She can’t recall why she had been taken from her parents and so she’s left with nothing but an empty hole where her childhood should have been. When she awakens from her nightmares, she’s left with terrible, violent images, as well as a boy whose face is oddly familiar, yet can’t be placed.
Scared and alone, Chantal begins to confide in an imaginary friend – a shadow in the shape of a man who stands in the corner of her room. She is comforted when she believes he listens to her.
On her eighteenth birthday, Chantal is forced to leave her foster home. She moves to New York City, but the start of her new life doesn’t begin as smoothly as she’d hoped. One night at a subway station, Chantal meets a young boy who runs away from her, and she’s compelled to follow him down into the tunnels. But this Rabbit Hole reveals a world where reality is a nightmare.
Mathias is a descendant of a Fallen Angel and beholden to wage an unfathomable war against an ancient evil, spawned by greed and spite. A powerful fighter, he and his brethren of Warriors vow to pay recompense for the sins of their fathers by guarding the most precious, piercing light against the darkness – the females of their kind. The Warriors' pledge to find and protect the Oracles, their sisters and kin. Long have they fought, shedding sweat and blood, hoping that their struggles are not in vain. Yet in his sacrifice and service he may find lif'es ulitimate reward - a love to suprass all time. .
To contact Allie Jean, visit http://alliejean.net

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Be You

As a writer, I find it difficult to not interject pieces of my personality into my stories. While my first novel, Lessons Learned, is definitely a work of fiction, I can’t deny that there are aspects of my heroine's personality that intersect with mine.

Like Sarah, I grew up in a traditional town in the South (but not quite as conservative as the fictional community of Sycamore Falls). Growing up, I preferred record players to Barbie dolls, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is still my favorite 80s movie. I also struggled with certain aspects of religion. I have always been a Christian, but it took many years (and several churches) until I found a comfortable pew. Luckily, I was raised by two parents who didn’t “force” me to believe in anything – religious, political, or otherwise. They taught me to be an honest person and encouraged me to think for myself.

They also taught me that I don’t have to necessarily agree with someone in order to be kind to them, which is the heart of Lessons Learned.

I love free-thinkers. I love people who don’t conform. I love people who formulate their own opinions. And a person doesn’t have to be militant about it. I’m a firm believer that you can have traditional values and beliefs (whatever your traditions are) and still be kind to another human being.

In a world full of labels, it’s sometimes hard to march to the beat of your own drum.

Are you Republican? Democrat? Catholic? Baptist?

Do you like country music?  Heavy metal? Opera? Rap?

Does it matter?

It shouldn’t.

Be you.

*Originally posted September 2, 2012 on Lori's Book Blog.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Lissa Bryan's review of "Mountain Charm" by Sydney Logan

I was so delighted to get my hands on Sydney Logan's latest book. She's quickly becoming my favorite romance novelist. Her stories are heartfelt and sweet, framed around the redeeming power of love. So, when I learned Mountain Charm would be released soon, I pleaded for an ARC. I hoped it would captivate me (dare I say charm) me as her other stories have done.

Mountain Charm certainly didn't disappoint. The story started with a tender little scene of a mother and daughter casting a blessing spell, asking that the daughter grow up to be a beautiful, strong woman, who would find her true love at age twenty-one. It's a ritual that has long been performed in Angelina's Gifted family, and from all appearances, it seems to work; her lovely mother found true love with Angelina's father on her the very day she turned twenty-one.

Next, we find Angelina on her own birthday, but something has changed. Angelina is prickly and skeptical. She's had far too much pain and loss in her short life. Angelina essentially rolls her eyes at her friend, Maddie's excitement and belief that Angelina is about to meet her destiny. Angelina decides to go home from work early and says she supposes she'll miss out on meeting her true love today unless he's on her front porch.

There's a man waiting on her front porch.

He's Dylan Thomas, a reporter who has come to town seeking information for a story he's doing on the region's magical folklore. He's a sweet, charming man, kind enough to forgive the hostile Angelina when she chases him from the porch at the end of a shotgun barrel. "This is a Remington," she declares in one of my favorite lines, "... Also known as a Appalachian magic wand. Just watch. It's going to make you disappear."

Dylan isn't sure he believes in magic, himself, but it breaks his heart Angelina doesn't.

"This is the bud of a balsam fir tree. Mom says they have magical qualities and supposedly mend a broken heart. I’ve carried it since the day my father passed.”
Dylan gazed at the blossom in her palm. “Do you believe in magic, Angelina?”
She wrapped her fingers around the tiny bud and tossed it into the pond. They watched as the dead flower crumbled and scattered in the water. “Not anymore,” she said.
Dylan is intrigued by the beautiful, fiery, woman and gently coaxes her into letting him in. In this, he's assisted by her mother, who clearly likes him, and Angelina's traitorous dog, Cash. He starts to court her, but the course of true love in the making doesn't run smoothly. Dylan has to carefully work his way through Angelina's thorns and navigate some bumps in the road. And I laughed out loud when one of them involved bail money!

Aside from the magical elements, Angelina has a problem many women can identify with: trust that the feelings between Dylan and she are real, and being able to give a wounded heart into the keeping of another.

This is a novel which will make you sigh, laugh, and maybe just make you believe in magic again.


About the Author:
Sydney Logan is an Amazon bestselling author and holds a Master’s degree in Elementary Education. With the 2012 release of her first novel, Lessons Learned, she made the transition from bookworm to author. Sydney has a very unhealthy obsession with music, and her iPod is filled with everything from Johnny Cash to Eminem. She is also the author of two short stories: “Mistletoe Magic,” available exclusively on Amazon Kindle, and “Stupid Cupid,” which is featured in the Romantic Interludes compilation. When she isn't reading or writing, she enjoys playing piano and relaxing on her front porch at her home in East Tennessee with her wonderful husband and their very spoiled cat.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Ongoing Debate: New Adult

*I originally posted this article on my blog on January 20, 2013. This week Publishers Marketplace decided to add a New Adult category to it's book sections and everyone started talking about it again. Here's what I had to say about it 5 months ago. I still think the same things.)

Honestly, I just don't get it. The discussion that is. People tend to want to make it into this, "issue" or something and to me it is what is it is. I think I've blogged about this before but it was a while back. I couldn't find it in my history over the last 9 months or so.

What is New Adult? Well, it's this category of books that falls into the ages of 18-25. Older than Young Adult, younger than Adult. Part of the problem I think is that New Adult isn't really a genre, more a category. This is true but when I go to say...Target, the bookshelf is for young adult and it merges left to right from contemporary to paranormal. So yeah, stick all the New Adults on a book shelf and divide them by color cover. Doesn't matter to me. Just give me options.

Despite all the technical/industry discussion about New Adult, I think it really comes down to a couple of basic reasons why this category is being pushed so hard.

1. The readers want it.

2. The writers want it.

Everyone else is sitting around trying to figure out how to make a new "shelf" in the bookstore, library or whatever and writers and readers are moving on without them. Interestingly enough, I read an article the other day about how our early 20's hold strong memories for us as humans. We can vividly recall much of that period and hold a fondness for it.  This comes as no surprise to authors, who desperately want to delve into this area for material but are consistently told that it's too "old for young adult" and it's too young for adult.

Hence, New Adult.

(See, this seems so logical I'm not sure why we're talking about it.)

Our late teens early 20's are the time when we experience so many new things. School, jobs, relationships, independence, travel, marriage, childbirth, etc...yet for some reason so often it seems like authors are discouraged from writing about this.  An 18 year old girl dating a 20 year old man is to big of an age difference for YA. But what if it's plot oriented (my book FanGirl was like this) But the book isn't necessarily adult content, yet it could push the limits if the characters chose to. They're "adults" they can have sex. Drink.  Even smoke or use drugs. Is it a good idea? I don't know. Depends on the characters and what the writer wants to convey. Young people do stupid things *raises hand* and you learn from those stupid moments and either go on to do further stupid things or you figure it out.

See? That's a book right there.

Ultimately, what I think will happen is that the traditional publishing industry will allow self-publishers and indies to feel this territory out, until best sellers emerge from the over-loaded Amazon pool. They've already started and will most likely continue, which is a topic for another day...should authors even query agents anymore? Should we just stick our books on amazon to see what happens? Will we get notice? It's happening more and more, making the slush pile irrelevant.

We can talk about that next time.

Until then go find a good New Adult book and give it a shot. I count my book Serial Summer as a New Adult because Paige, the protagonist, is 19. Plus, it's about the beach and summer and today would be a great day to feel the sand between your toes.