Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Talisman of El ~ ~ Blog Blast, Excerpt, & Giveaway!


Talisman Of El by Al Stone
Series: T.O.E. Trilogy, Book 1
Author: Al Stone
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Centrinian

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WHAT IF YOUR WHOLE LIFE WAS A LIE?

One Planet..

Two Worlds.

Population: Human … 7 billion.
Others … unknown.

When 14-year-old Charlie Blake wakes up sweating and gasping for air in the middle of the night, he knows it is happening again. This time he witnesses a brutal murder. He’s afraid to tell anyone. No one would believe him… because it was a dream. Just like the one he had four years ago – the day before his dad died.

Charlie doesn’t know why this is happening. He would give anything to have an ordinary life. The problem: he doesn’t belong in the world he knows as home.

He belongs with the others.


On Sale for $0.99 for a limited time on Amazon!



PRAISE FOR THE BOOK:

"If there was ever a book series to rival Harry Potter, then Talisman Of El is definitely the one." - The Queen Of Teen Fiction

"This is a one of a kind novel." - Reflections Of A Bookworm

"All I have to say is that it has been a long time since I read a book in just one day." - Myth, Goodreads

"Talisman Of El is part fantasy, part mythology and pure adventure." - Tina, Winter Haven Books


EXCERPT:
They had traveled two-thirds of the way across the lake, a good twenty metres, when a splashing sound reached their ears, and they stopped.

They looked to the right but saw nothing. Another sound reached them from the left, and they shifted their gazes.

‘Keep moving,’ Derkein instructed.

As soon as they took off, Richmond screamed and jumped back, colliding with Charlie. ‘Something touched my leg,’ he cried.

‘That’s not funny,’ Alex said in a strained voice.

‘I’m not joking,’ Richmond said, his expression serious and scared.

A flicker of movement at the edge of Charlie’s vision caught his attention, and he looked to his right. He saw the dark silhouette of a figure rising out of the water. Its top half was huge and hunched over with spikes arched around its head.

‘There’s something in the water,’ he whispered.

‘That’s what I said,’ Richmond muttered.

‘No, look.’

From the gasps that followed, Charlie supposed he wasn’t the only one who could see the creature.

‘I want you to move towards me slowly,’ Derkein whispered.

The trio began to move. At that same moment, the creature plunged into the lake, and all they saw were water ripples heading towards them.

‘Run!’ Derkein shouted.


CHECK OUT THE BOOK TRAILER!




Other Books in the Series
Blackout (T.O.E. Trilogy, Book 2 )
Ground Zero (T.O.E. Trilogy, Book 3)

ABOUT AUTHOR AL STONE:
Al Stone is the author of the YA fantasy trilogy T.O.E. After graduating with a BA in Film & Television, Al had worked in the television industry for a short period before a disabling injury caused her to turn her hand to storytelling. Talisman Of El is her debut novel. The sequels Blackout and Ground Zero are currently available for sale. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys going to the movies, listening to music and travelling. At present, she lives in England, United Kingdom with her family.



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$$ FIFTY DOLLARS! $$
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway
Ends 11/20/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Monday, October 30, 2017

Vengeance: The Transcend Time Saga, Book 1.5 ~ ~ Audio Book Tour, Narrator Interview, Audio Clip, & Giveaway!

Author: Michelle Madow
Narrator: Andrea Emmes
Series: The Transcend Time Saga, Book 1.5
Length: 1 hour 8 minutes
Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing
Released: Jul. 31, 2017
Genre: Clean Romance


How far would you go to get revenge?

When Chelsea Givens discovered that her ex-boyfriend Drew dumped her to be with her former best friend Lizzie, she'd never felt so betrayed in her life. Then her new friend Shannon tells her she can help set things right. Chelsea's willing to listen, but what Shannon wants her to believe - that she shared a past life with Drew - is impossible. And what she wants her to do to get him back ... well, it's downright crazy.

Could Shannon be telling the truth? And if she is, what lengths will Chelsea go if it means making Lizzie pay?





Michelle Madow is a USA Today bestselling author of fast paced fantasy novels that will leave you turning the pages wanting more!
She grew up in Maryland and now lives in Florida. Some of her favorite things are: reading, traveling, pizza, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.
WebsiteFacebookTwitterGoodreadsAmazon
Narrator Bio

Audible Best Selling Narrator, Andrea Emmes was born in Hollywood, FL and grew up in both Tennessee and Rhode Island, started her career in musical theater. Cutting her teeth at The Trinity Arts Center in Rhode Island, Andrea eventually made her way to Orlando and began her eclectic career singing/dancing in various shows at Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Pirates' Dinner Adventure, performing as a magician's assistant, headlining on the Las Vegas Strip and touring Los Angeles as an L.A. Award winning artist with her album, "I'm On My Way".

Having worked in tv, film and video games, Andrea, a total Book Nerd, now enjoys narrating audiobooks at her home studio in San Jose, California.

Her wide range of character voices and dynamic/emotionally invested performances has reviewers and listeners alike commenting on how she effortlessly pulls listeners in, and has versatility and charisma.
WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagram

CLICK TO LISTEN!


 Hall Ways didn't review the audio book, but scroll to the bottom of this page for links to reviews of all three books in the Transcend Time Saga!


Q&A with Narrator Andrea Emmes
  • What about this title compelled you to audition as narrator?
    • Well first, I LOVE Michelle Madow’s work. That was a definite first draw for me as I’ve been a fan of hers for a while and have read some of her books already. What I love about the Transcend Time Saga Series is not just some fun characters and the love story, but I was intrigued by the time travel aspect of it and I’m a huge Jane Austen and Regency Era fan so to be able to be a part of that world and bring those scenarios and characters to life was really fun and fulfilling. I also love anything that has a mystical, supernatural or paranormal slant to it and I loved how Michelle merged the normalcy of teenage issues – boys, relationships, school – and beautifully worked in this fun mythos of time travel and reincarnation.
  • How closely do you prefer to work with authors?
    • Before I being recording the book, I like to work very close with the authors if they are available. After I read the book, I’ll send any questions I might have to the author if I need clarification and then I’ll also ask them to provide me with a character sheet that describes all of the characters that are most important to them so I can get an idea of what they were thinking about for them. Their quirks, age, vocal preferences, etc. However, since my job as the narrator is to be the producer and director, after the first fifteen minutes has been approved, I will not take acting or directing notes. So it’s important for me to make sure that I have as much as I can beforehand and hopefully leave a lasting impression with the author that their book, their “baby” is in good hands and that I will give it the best that I have to make sure the audiobook, which is now “our baby” is excite the listeners.
  • Who are your “accent inspirations”?
    • When I’m going to be doing accents, I don’t really have a person I’m inspired by. I just try to do as much research as I can to get the accent correct. If it’s RP British in the Regency Era, then I’ll watch a lot of Jane Austen or Downton Abbey. It’s it needs to be really Cockney like someone from Essex, then I’ll find shows like “The Only Way is Essex”. I’ve looked a lot on YouTube, but I also work with some amazing coaches to help me get the accent just right. (PJ Ochlan and Joel Froomkin are amazing!)
  • How did you decide how each character should sound in this title?
    • A lot depends on the character. Who they are? What they are about? I have about 20 “go to” character voices that I’ve use. Kind of a character rolodex if you will that I cast from. For instance, if I have an antagonist that’s a young male, then I’ll cast him as “Blake”; lower, slightly scratchy voice. The Main Character is usually always my voice but again, that might change depending on the book. Perfect example is this series. For Lizzie, the main character in the Transcend Time Saga Series, I didn’t use my natural voice, but a softer, slightly higher pitched voice because of her nature and qualities and then used my natural voice for Chelsea because if just felt right. Especially in Vengeance, the novella that is after Remembrance and before Timeless. Also, if the author gives me notes in the character sheet like, “Sara should sound like Reese Witherspoon” then I’ll work on that. I won’t do a mimic/impersonation of Reese, but I’ll try to capture her qualities, accents, speaking pace and incorporate that into the character voice.
  • What types of things are harmful to your voice?
    • Yelling and whispering are really bad for your voice as is speaking too low and gravelly. It’s important when your doing anything with your voice that you understand how to maintain it and hydrate it. Learning how to breath correctly and choose voices that you can sustain over a long period of time.

The Transcend Time Saga Giveaway: $20 Amazon Gift Card


Vengeance, Book 1.5

Oct. 29th:
The Audiobookworm

Haddie's Haven
Lisa Loves Literature
Lilly's Book World
Jazzy Book Reviews

Oct. 30th:
AudioSpy
The Writing Train
Chapter Break
Here's to Happy Endings
The Book Junkie Reads . . .
Hall Ways Blog

Oct. 31st:
The Book Addict's Reviews
Literature Approved
Ginger Mom & the Kindle Quest
My Creatively Random Life
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Thursday, October 26, 2017

A Good Girl ~ ~ Blog Tour, Excerpt, & Giveaway!


A GOOD GIRL
by
JOHNNIE BERNHARD
  Genre: Southern Historical Fiction
Publisher: Texas Review Press
Website    Facebook
Date of Publication: March 7, 2017
Number of Pages: 288

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A Bible’s family tree and an embroidered handkerchief hold the key to understanding the past as six generation Texan, Gracey Reiter, prepares to say goodbye to her dying father, the last surviving member of the Walsh-Mueller family. The present holds the answer and the last opportunity for Gracey to understand her father’s anger, her mother’s guilt, and her siblings’ version of the truth.


The Walsh-Mueller family begins in Texas when Patricia Walsh leaves the famine of nineteenth century Ireland, losing her parents and siblings along the way.  She finds a home, love, and security with Emil Mueller in a German settlement near Indianola on the Texas Gulf Coast.  They begin their lives on a small cotton farm, raising six sons. From the coastal plains of Texas, five generations survive hurricanes, wars, The Great Depression, and life, itself.  

An all-encompassing novel that penetrates the core being of all who read it, A Good Girl pulls back the skin to reveal the raw actualities of life, love and relationships.  It is the ageless story of family. 

CHECK OUT THE BOOK TRAILER!



PRAISE FOR A GOOD GIRL:

*2017 Kindle Book Award Finalist*
*Over 50 5 Star Reviews*
One of 2017’s best will surely be A Good Girl by author Johnnie Bernhard, who as much as any writer since Flannery O’Connor and Walker Percy, offers a breathtaking tour of the human heart in conflict with itself, desperately searching for grace and redemption in the face of unremitting loss.  Bernhard’s sentences are filled with the stuff of what blues and country music singers refer to as “soul” and “high lonesome.” 
--Jim Fraiser, The Sun Herald Newspaper

Relatable and real, A Good Girl speaks to the heart of what it means to be human and that generations come and go, but love binds us together.
--Kathleen M. Rodgers, author of The Final Salute, Johnnie Come Lately, & Seven Wings to Glory

A Good Girl is a raw, real, and relatable gift to the soul on every level. Ms. Bernhard’s writing is so descriptive, reading this book is truly a visceral experience. One cannot help but reflect on their own family legacy and life journey. Prepare to be riveted by this heartbreaking, yet healing story about family, self-discovery and learning how to love.  
--Eva Steortz, SVP, Brand Development, 20th Century Fox

A beautiful debut novel across oceans and time, with a clear, objective yet poignant Southern voice. A timeless voice much like Doctorow's Ragtime, A Good Girl is a true Southern American story. A story of one family spanning generations, dealing with love and loss, despair, and redemption, that leaves its readers with a timeless lesson.   
-Kathryn Brown Ramsperger, Author of The Shores of Our Souls and Moments on the Edge. 

I have found Johnnie Bernhard's book to touch a powerful chord in my heart.  Masterfully written with deep insight into the journey of family and forgiveness, I'm a better person for having read this book.

-Cynthia Garrett,  The London Sessions & The Mini Sessions (airing regularly on TBN Network),  Author of The Prodigal Daughter

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Sales benefit Port Lavaca, Texas! Much of the setting of A Good Girl, a six generation Texas saga, is set in Port Lavaca, Calhoun County. During the Lone Star Book Blog Tour, all author's royalties will be donated to the Calhoun County Museum of Port Lavaca in its recovery effort after Hurricane Harvey. Texas Proud! Port Lavaca Strong!
CLICK TO PURCHASE
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Excerpt from A Good Girl
The white head stone of Ana Grace was never meant to last, nor was the town of Indianola. The bones of the little Irish girl were washed to sea on August 20, 1886, when a 150 mph hurricane made landfall. What the howling winds did not blow away, a fifteen-foot storm surge from Matagorda Bay drowned. To ensure all traces of man were swept clean from the port city forever, a fire roared through the remaining buildings, trapping citizens in two story structures and burning them alive. The recently built school by the Sisters of Mercy of New Orleans disappeared in a frenzy of wind and water. All that remained of the town were snakes and bloated bodies hanging from broken trees.
             In 1938 the state of Texas erected a granite monument on the sands of the lost city of Indianola. The French explorer La Salle stands forever on the beach he called Fort St. Louis in 1685. Absent from the monument are the dead of Indianola, the founding pioneers and immigrants who forged a brief life in the port town. Gone forever are the names of Mary Elizabeth Ott and Ana Grace Walsh.

             Johnnie Bernhard, a former AP English teacher and journalist, is passionate about reading and writing. Her works have appeared in the following publications: University of Michigan Graduate Studies Publications, Heart of Ann Arbor Magazine, Houston Style Magazine, World Oil Magazine, The Suburban Reporter of Houston, The Mississippi Press, University of South Florida Area Health Education Magazine, the international Word Among Us, Southern Writers Magazine, Gulf Coast Writers Association Anthologies, The Texas Review, and the Cowbird-NPR production on small town America. Her entry, “The Last Mayberry,” received over 7,500 views, nationally and internationally.  
            A Good Girl received top ten finalist recognition in the 2015 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, as well as featured novel for panel discussion at the 2017 Mississippi and Louisiana Book Festivals.  It is a finalist in the 2017 national Kindle Book Award for literary fiction and a nominee for the 2018 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize.
            Her second novel, How We Came to Be, is set for publication in spring 2018. It is a finalist in the 2017 Faulkner-Wisdom Competition.   
Johnnie is the owner of Bernhard Editorial Services, LLC, where she writes book reviews for Southern Literary Review, as well as assists writers in honing their craft.  Johnnie and her husband reside in a nineteenth century cottage surrounded by ancient oak trees and a salt water marsh near the Mississippi Sound. They share that delightful space with their dog, Lily, and cat, Poncho. 
WEBSITE   GOODREADS
FACEBOOK   TWITTER   LINKEDIN

Johnnie will be on the road with A Good Girl at the following locations: 
October 26         Southern Bound Book Store, Biloxi, MS, 5 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., http://southernboundblog.net/index.html
October 27-28     Louisiana Book Festival, Baton Rouge, LA, state capitol, http://www.louisianabookfestival.org/
November 4      Peter Anderson Festival, Ocean Springs, MS, Poppy's on Porter, Washington Avenue, http://www.peterandersonfestival.com/
November 13     Live on KSHU Radio 1430 AM, Houston, Texas, 8 a.m. 
November 16     Calhoun County Historical Museum, Port Lavaca, Texas, 5 p.m. http://calhouncountymuseum.org/
November 18    River Oaks Book Store, Houston, Texas, 3 - 5 p.m., www.riveroaksbookstore.com
December 6 – 8    Words & Music Literary Feast, New Orleans, LA, www.wordsandmusic.org
December 10        Barnes & Noble, New Orleans, noon - 2 p.m.
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One lucky winner gets a signed copy!
October 26-November 4, 2017
(U.S. Only)
CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
26-Oct
Excerpt 1
27-Oct
Review
28-Oct
Author Interview
29-Oct
Guest Post
30-Oct
Review
31-Oct
Notable Quotable
1-Nov
Review
2-Nov
Scrapbook Page
3-Nov
Excerpt 2
4-Nov
Review

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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Death in D Minor ~ ~ Blog Tour, Review, & Giveaway!

DEATH IN D MINOR
by
ALEXIA GORDON
  Genre: Paranormal Mystery / African American Sleuth
Publisher: Henery Press
Date of Publication: July 11, 2017
Number of Pages: 236

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Gethsemane Brown, African-American musician and expatriate to an Irish village, solved a string of murders and got used to living with a snarky ghost. She can rest easy now. Right? Wrong. The ghost has disappeared, her landlord's about to sell to a developer, and her brother-in-law's come to visit. She scrambles to call her spectral roomie back from beyond and find a way to save the cottage from destruction. But real estate takes a backseat when her brother-in-law is accused of stealing a valuable antique. Gethsemane strikes a deal with an investigator to go undercover at a charity ball and snoop for evidence of a forgery/theft ring in exchange for the woman's help clearing him. At the party, she accidentally conjures the ghost of an eighteenth-century sea captain, then ends up the prime suspect in the party host’s murder. She races to untangle a web of phony art and stolen antiques to exonerate herself, then the killer targets her. Will she bring a murderer to justice, or will her encore investigation become her swan song?


PRAISE FOR DEATH IN D MINOR:
Gethsemane Brown is everything an amateur sleuth should be: smart, sassy, talented, and witty even when her back is against the wall. In her latest adventure, she's surrounded by a delightful cast, some of whom readers will remember from Gordon's award-winning debut and all of whom they won't forget. Gordon writes characters we want resurrected.
n  Cate Holahan, author of The Widower's
Wife and Lies She Told

Erstwhile ghost conjurer and gifted concert violinist Gethsemane Brown returns in this thoroughly enjoyable follow-up to last year’s Murder in G Major. Facing eviction from the historic seaside cottage she calls home, Gethsemane must clear her brother-in-law’s name - as well as her own - when a priceless artifact goes missing and the wealthy dowager to whom it belonged is “helped” over a high balcony railing.  With the help of a spectral sea captain she accidentally summoned, Gethsemane tries to unravel the mystery as the murderer places her squarely in the crosshairs.

n  Daniel J. Hale, Agatha Award-winning author

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CLICK TO PURCHASE

HALL WAYS REVIEW

“Sitting still and letting events run their course wasn't in her nature."

Talk about an understatement! Gethsemane Brown doesn’t ever slow down or wait for answers – she goes out and gets them. The result is a high-energy, non-stop, entertaining mystery from start to finish.  Though Death in D Minor is the second book of the Gethsemane Brown Mysteries series, it is the first I have read, and it works just fine as a stand-alone. (Not that it will stand alone; I already have book one, Murder in G Major, queued-up!)

There are so many things I love about main character Gethsemane, but it is her quirkiness that I enjoy the most. From her internal warning system (strains of Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique play in her head when something is amiss) to her internal monologue (what she thinks and what she says are laugh-out-loud different), Gethsemane amuses to no end. Throw in her tendency to swear like a sailor, drink whisky, and do things like loudly singing “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” to get attention in a police (oops, garda) station, and I have all I need to be a super-fan. She’s plucky, she’s spunky, and she’s smart as a whip with a brain always going full throttle. The only element missing is a clear visual of how she looks, which is important to me. I gather Gethsemane is short, and she is black, but I am not sure about much more than that. Perhaps more description is provided in the first book. . . I will find out soon enough.

With description and characterization, author Alexia Gordon does a fantastic job with her cast of characters and setting. There is a huge cast of characters, but the ones who count are well-defined and fleshed-out, generally with one characteristic that keeps each distinct. My favorite is Frankie:

Most days he went about in a curmudgeonly funk, swaddled in an oversized tweed jacket and wrinkled khakis, perpetually miffed at the world.
Don’t confuse well-defined characters with clearly defined characters; Gordon keeps readers guessing as to who is and is not to be taken at face value. The story takes place in a few small Irish towns, and the Irish words, places, and names help immerse the readers into the setting. There are many words I didn’t know, but they are easily worked out contextually. Out of curiosity, I looked up definitions of a few and even listened to a few audio files to hear pronunciations (Taoiseach! Wow! I was not even close.) I think the audio book would be a hoot!

Death in D Minor is a delight to read. The writing is intelligent, and the book is cleanly edited. Gordon shares plenty of details about a variety of subjects (art, forgery, music, embroidery, grimoires, history) and even draws some parallels between Irish and Black oppression. But the points made are done so in a subtle manner, and they add to the story instead of detracting. There are several plot lines going on, and admittedly, as the big reveals unfolded, I had to re-read some to understand who did what and how – it is complicated! Though it felt a bit rushed, each mystery is satisfactorily and surprisingly resolved by the book’s conclusion, and readers are left with a teaser for what may be coming in a next installment.  I will be there when it happens, and meanwhile, I recommend readers get up-to-speed with books one and two.

Thank you to Lone Star Book Blog Tours and the author for providing me a print copy in exchange for my honest opinion – the only kind I give.


A writer since childhood, I put literary endeavors on hold to finish medical school and Family Medicine residency training. Medical career established, I returned to writing fiction. I completed SMU's Writer’s Path program in Dallas, Texas. Henery Press published my first novel, Murder in G Major, book one of the Gethsemane Brown mysteries, in September 2016. Book two, Death in D Minor, releases July 11, 2017.

Murder in G Major won the Lefty Award for Best Debut Novel, was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best New Novel, and was selected one of Suspense Magazine's Best Debuts. I listen to classical music, drink whiskey, and blog at www.missdemeanors.com, voted one of Writers' Digest magazine's 101 best websites for writers, and featured on Femmes Fatales.            

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GRAND PRIZE: Signed Copy of Death in D Minor + Whisky Field Guide, Sea Salt & Bay Rum soy candle, Notepad, $20 Starbucks Gift Card
2ND PRIZE: Signed Copy of Death in D Minor, Ceramic Skull Coffee Mug, $20 Amazon Gift Card
October 25-November 3, 2017
(U.S. Only)
CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
25-Oct
Review
25-Oct
Notable Quotable
26-Oct
Top 5 List
27-Oct
Review
27-Oct
Playlist 1
28-Oct
Review
29-Oct
Excerpt
30-Oct
Review
31-Oct
Playlist 2
31-Oct
Author Interview
1-Nov
Review
1-Nov
Top 5 List
2-Nov
Notable Quotable
2-Nov
Notable Quotable
3-Nov
Review
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