Tag Archive | Great Summer Reads

Great Summer Reads Countdown Blitz 2017

Day 10:
Rising Tide: Dark Innocence by Claudette Melanson

summer 17

 

RisingTideCoverMedalsWhen a cruel prank nearly claims Maura’s life, one of her classmates, Ron, rushes to her rescue. Darkly handsome & mysteriously accepting, Ron doesn’t seem to want to stay away, but Maura is reluctant to get too close, since her mother has announced she’s moving the two of them to Vancouver…nearly 3,000 miles away from their hometown of Indiana, Pennsylvania.

If life wasn’t already challenging enough, Maura begins to experience bizarre, physical changes her mother seems hell bent on ignoring, compelling Maura to fear for her own life. Vicious nightmares, blood cravings, failing health and the heart-shattering loss of Ron—as well as the discovery of a tangled web of her own mother’s lies—become obstacles in Maura’s desperate quest for the unfathomable truth she was never prepared to uncover.

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Excerpt:

Maura being pursued in a dark alley

There weren’t any doorways in which to hide down this stretch of alley, and I’d realized, once I’d started toward the restaurant, it was deceptively longer than it had seemed upon first inspection. Every time I turned around, the space behind me was empty, as it had been the last five times I’d jerked my head around, certain I’d catch a glimpse of whomever I knew had to be there. I was about halfway through the narrow, dark walkway now, my skin consumed by the cold-running chill of fear.


Maybe I should call Caelyn? *No, Maura,* I stubbornly told myself, *you’ll scare her to death. You’re probably imagining it.* I could envision the near hysterics at the other end of the line and ruled that option out completely. Besides, I was almost at the other end. If anything should happen at this point, I was sure someone would hear me scream. Wow…I really didn’t want cause to scream… I rubbed my hands over my arms in an effort to calm, comfort and warm myself.


I tried to put myself at ease by telling myself anyone who smelled as good as this guy could be no homeless drug addict. And if he meant me harm, wouldn’t he have made his move before I’d gotten this close to the crowded street? As I inched through the last quarter of the alley, I took in a deep breath, just to catch one last whiff of whatever scent this guy was wearing. I tried to store it in memory, so I could try to find some to give Ron—and myself—as a Christmas present.


“You know I’m here, don’t you, Maura?”


My legs felt like cooked spaghetti, and it was all I could do to keep from collapsing in utter fear, right there on the sidewalk. Though the deep, male voice was smooth and beautiful…it still should not carry across the night in the syllables that made up my name.


My brain fumbled around inside itself for a reasonable explanation. One of the teachers must have been at the library? A far more rational part tossed out the thought that even if one of the teachers from my school was the mysterious, sweet-smelling man in the alley, he had been lurking around, not allowing me to catch a glimpse of him. And I just couldn’t propose any way that could be a good thing.


Then, my brain tossed out the oddity that this person, whoever he might turn out to be, had stalked me, frightened me, made me doubt my own perceptions, only to let me get so close to a place of safety? He’d cruelly let me believe I’d soon be in a well-lit restaurant, only to take it away when I thought I was home free. My ever-increasingly volatile temper flared white-hot, burning away most of the fear I’d felt. I irrationally whirled to face whoever he may be, infuriated by the twisted way he’d kept me rooted to the edge of the darkness at the very last moment.

 

 

 
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ARP-5890-50Claudette Melanson writes dark fantasy in Kitchener, Ontario with four bun babies: Tegan, Pepper, Butters & Beckett. She graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a BA in English, BS in English Education and an MA in Literature. Harboring a deep admiration of vampires since the age of five left her with the desire to eventually become one, and now fuels the creation of her favorite paranormal characters. She hopes to one day work full time as an author, since there are many, many stories playing out inside her head.

In her very scant spare time, she enjoys watching Japanese Anime and reading vampire stories…along with other genres of great fiction, as well as riding every roller coaster she encounters in both her hometown and away at signings. An advocate for good health and ketogenic eating, her favorite foods are bulletproof coffee, cashew-flour crust pizza and treats made with xylitol and almond, coconut or cashew flours.

Future dreams include a cabin boasting a roaring fire, isolated inside a snow-filled wood in the Yukon—the perfect writing spot—and the completion of dozens of future novels and stories. A Rabbit Rescue fanatic and loving bunmom, she also hopes to help rescues all over the world save many innocent lives.

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Great Summer Reads Countdown Blitz 2017

Day 9:
Venators: Magic Unleashed by Devri Walls

summer 17

 

DWalls_CoverArt_ecover_title_900x1350M“Six years ago, Grey Malteer was attacked by creatures he thought couldn’t possibly exist. They repeated a word, calling him a name he’d never heard before…Venator. Since then, his life has been a hellhole of secrecy—hiding old pain alongside strange new abilities.

Rune Jenkins has an itch, as she calls it, but it’s more than that. It’s an anger that builds up like the inside of a boiler whenever she’s around anything remotely supernatural. The pressure is growing steadily worse and she can’t understand why. All she knows is—her control is slipping.

By order of an unknown council Grey and Rune are pulled through a portal in the St. Louis arch, landing them in an alternate dimension where creatures of myth and legend exist. A realm that calls them, Venators.

Made up of centuries old fae, vampires, werewolves, elves and succubi the council’s corrupt nature becomes obvious as they seek to wield the newly returned Venators as weapons. Wedged in an impossible position, Grey and Rune must decide their fate—do they go against the council’s wishes and help the innocents of this unforgiving land, or face the possibility of execution by the council.”

Amazon ~

 
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Excerpt:

      Grey breathed in the smell of books, old and new. It smelled like knowledge…and security. Books didn’t expect you to answer back. And they didn’t laugh when your response was socially unacceptable. They were perfect.
      He’d finished his schoolwork hours ago and was now working on his own personal research project, one he’d been working on for years. College had opened up shelves upon shelves of books he’d never seen. Information on every topic and era, anything you could possibly wish for, was encased in this four-story box of knowledge.
      Grey flipped a page, coming across a drawing of an ancient medieval torture practice. This particular one involved the insertion of a gruesome device called the pear of agony into the victim’s mouth.
      What he found interesting about this image was how the victim’s face was drawn in a way that was more canine than human. He scribbled a note of the time period, 1125 AD, and a small note with a question mark. “Werewolf?”
      He looked up from the book and rubbed his eyes. He’d been reading since his last class got out at two, with the exception of a quick break he’d taken to grab some dinner at the cafeteria. Looking up, he saw Rune standing next to the computer lab entrance. Her shoulders were tense, her hands hanging at her sides in tight fists.
      He tried not to stare—it was rude—despite knowing that he found it almost impossible not to. But more worrisome than his lack of manners was Rune’s brother, who’d caught him staring on several occasions. Ryker Jenkins was a bully and an absolute ass. Grey couldn’t help but take a quick look around to see if Ryker was in the vicinity.
      Rune spun hard to the side, as if she were tearing herself away from an invisible assailant. She looked directly at him, her chest rising and falling heavily.
      His stomach rolled in nervous anticipation, and he tried to keep his expression neutral. Rune was one of the very few that were genuinely nice to him, although he couldn’t figure out why. She was smart, pretty, athletic, and came from a family that…well, produced one asshat of a brother.
      She gave a little wave and crossed the library. Her body language eased with each step. By the time she plopped down across from him, she looked totally relaxed. “Hey, Grey. What are you working on?”
      He cleared his throat, worried his voice would betray him with a pubescent squeak. “Just some research for a mythology project. What are you doing here on a Friday night?”
      “Turning in some last minute homework.” She leaned in on one elbow and peeked over the top of his book. “Oh, wow. That looks brutal.”
      Realizing his notes were in clear view, Grey flipped the book shut and scooted it over to cover the notebook. “I’m sure it was.”
      “I wish I could major in mythology. That would be so cool.”
      “My major is history, actually.” Grey leaned back, evaluating her. He knew her face so well he could’ve drawn it from memory. The thing he loved most was that she wasn’t one of those girls who looked like she’d stepped out of a magazine cover. Rune had an athletic body and natural hair that had been the same chestnut color since elementary school. Her eyes were a deep brown, and a light spray of freckles kissed her nose and cheeks. “If you want to major in something different, why don’t you?”
      She snorted. “Right. When I was a sophomore in high school, my parents sat down with me, a guidance counselor, and a course book to ensure I picked something ‘practical and responsible.’ If I’d told them I wanted to major in—” she waved her hand over the books he had spread out across the table—“mythology—”
      “History.”
      “Whatever. They would’ve told me to pay for college myself.”
      He smiled. “She sat you down as a sophomore?”
      “Yep. It was the responsible thing to do.” She made air quotes. “My mother believes that perfection is not only achievable, but expected.”
      His smile fled, swallowed by a sorrow that had nestled in his heart for years.
      “What?” Rune asked.
      “I just…who decides what’s perfect?”
      Rune’s eyes widened, blinking furiously. Grey thought she’d say something, but she looked away instead, nervously brushing a piece of hair behind her ear.
      Grey shifted uncomfortably in his seat, then tried to nudge the conversation back to where it had been before he’d derailed it.

 

 
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Devri-0653Devri Walls is the best-selling author of six YA fantasy novels. She is a theater major with a flare for the dramatic and wishes more than anything for a magic wand. Devri is from Boise Idaho where she lives with her husband, two kids and the cutest mutt of a dog the world has ever seen. When she’s not writing she can be found teaching voice lessons, trying to resist the urge to sell her two beautiful children to the circus, and cooking. Because…. food. Mmmmmmm.

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Great Summer Reads Countdown Blitz 2017

Day 8:
See Me For Me by Teya Peck

summer 17

 

cover

 
One wrong step changes Jocelyn’s Prima Ballerina’s life in one step…

A single choice results in Jeremiah facing unbearable consequences… 

When these two meet, it could be catastrophic or the answer to unspoken prayers.
Can love be tested too far? Will hearts soften and hurts be forgiven?
Or will too much loss be too devastating to find hope?
One thing is for sure, lives are about to change forever…

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Snippet:

She stretched her furthest extension ever, her personal best. She felt Jason’s hand strengthen at her waist, pushing her up to his fullest lift as his right hand let go of her leg for a moment. Pure perfection. Her heart calm and running rapid, at the same time feeling the excitement of the crowd fill the air. Closing her eyes, she readied to be tossed into the air and captured in a fish dive in Jason’s arms, but the moment never came.

 

 
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AuthorHer most recent accomplishment started in the summer of 2015. Making her dad’s dream come true with publishing his works as well, as an emotional accomplishment. She is the 2016 local A.N.W.A. chapter (Snake River Writers) president, won NaNoWriMo and loves StoryMakers.

Teya has been writing for as long as she can remember. At a young age she lived on a street she affectionately named Hill Street Blues, which helped her creative writing. Her Family moved to Menan where she continued her love of writing. Her father would always be and will continue to be her inspiration, even after his untimely death in 2006.

She loves sitting in her soft chair next to the fireplace and watching out a big living room window. It gives her plenty of creative juice for stories.

She met the love of her life in the loft of a barn. Yep, that set up some teasing from her father. They have been happily married since 2003. They have four children and all are loving and supportive of her writing.  Her oldest daughter is following in her footsteps as a writer adding her own illustrations. She refuses to comment on the trolls in the closets and under the beds. She is active in her church, has compassion for others, and a love for all life brings.

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Great Summer Reads Countdown Blitz 2017

Day 7:
The Pirate and the Princess by Liz McCraine

summer 17

 

COVER.pirate.6jpeg

 
The mischievous Princess Jules of Aggadorn has been pampered and protected her entire life. More than anything, she longs to experience challenges and adventure. But with her mother’s threat to marry her off hanging over her head, Jules fears she will never have the chance. All that changes when she’s kidnapped by pirates.

Forced to labor for her passage aboard Captain Jaymes’ vessel, Jules learns more about life than she bargained for. Captain Jaymes doesn’t fit Jules’ idea of a thieving buccaneer. Beneath his rough exterior lies a man of honor desperate to save his people from a murderous sorcerer. Jules never expects to fall in love with the handsome young captain or to involve herself in the pirates’ plight, much less have the power to save an entire kingdom.

Amazon ~

 

 

 
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Snippets:

“No, the servants aren’t the only ones you play tricks on, are they? Let’s not forget the feast we had last spring. Ten visiting dignitaries, and you put salt in all their drinks!” –Queen Lissa of Aggadorn

The girl was trouble. He could feel it in his bones. –Jaymes, Captain of the Avenging Lady

The nagging feeling that the captain wasn’t as cruel as he seemed stayed with her. His silent attention didn’t go unnoticed, and she wasn’t entirely certain it was unwanted. –Princess Julianna of Aggadorn

 

 
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portrait.LizMcCraine

 

Liz McCraine is an outdoor enthusiast, military spouse, and mother. She loves to ride horses and go hiking with her family. When she isn’t writing or corralling children, Liz enjoys relaxing with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate. Her motto is: If it doesn’t have a happy ending, I don’t want to read it.

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Great Summer Reads Countdown Blitz 2017

Day 6:
Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend, Book 2 by Cheryl Carpinello

summer 17

 

Even the Goddess doesn’t know who will Live or Die

 
Guinevere Dawn of Legend Cover FINAL FB“Think before acting,” her father always warned. But Princess Guinevere is ruled by her heart. Her betrothal to King Arthur has not changed this.

When Guinevere and Cedwyn’s latest adventure takes a dangerous turn, they find themselves embroiled in a life-or-death struggle as foretold by Merlyn’s Goddess of the Stones Renegades—foiled in their attempt to kidnap the princess—steal the children of Cadbury Castle to sell as slaves.

Guinevere and Cedwyn vow to rescue the children, but a miscalculation puts them all in more danger. The plan quickly unravels, and Guinevere’s impassioned decisions come crashing down as Cedwyn chooses to turn his dream of becoming a knight into reality.

Will their courage be strong enough to survive, or will one make the ultimate sacrifice?

~ Create Space ~

Find all Cheryl Carpinello’s book here:

Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon Canada ~ Amazon Australia ~

 
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Excerpt:

1. The Goddess Speaks:

      Many trials await the two of you. Perhaps the hardest are the ones you will have to endure alone.
      “You, Guinevere, will find yourself lost. You—who are destined to be a great queen—will have to traverse a journey of immense pain and self-doubt. You must let your inner feelings guide you. The journey will be hard and painful. You must summon the courage of your soul to sustain you.
      “You, Cedwyn, faithful friend of the princess and the queen. Your journey may be the hardest of all. You will be sent far from those you serve and love. Your duty will demand that you see this most difficult journey to its end. Whether it be death or life for you will depend upon many things. Your courage must also come from deep within your soul for one so young. Your love of family and friends must be great. But greater still must be your loyalty to the knight’s duty. For your knight’s vow comes soon. You must embrace it. You must defeat the temptations to turn aside for your own safety.

 

 
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Author Picture 500x500I’m a retired high school English teacher. A devourer of books growing up, my profession introduced me to writings and authors from times long past. Through my studies and teaching, I fell in love with the Ancient and Medieval Worlds.

Now, I hope to inspire young readers and those Young-at-Heart to read more through my Tales and Legends for Reluctant Readers set in these worlds.

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Great Summer Reads Countdown Blitz 2017

Day 5:
Accidentally in Love by Shannon Guymon

summer 17

 

A funny and bittersweet look at grief, love and families who maybe love each other too much.

 
Accidentally in Love - eBook smallLetting go of the past and facing the present and future is harder said than done for Kam Matafeo. Getting over his wife’s death isn’t something on Kam’s list of things to do.  But when Grace Jackson, his new Sous Chef walks in, life is turned upside down. And not just for him either.  Anne, his mother-in-law, is not open to the idea of anyone new in Kam’s life and will do anything to stop his romance from blooming. But when the ‘Love Witches’ step in to protect him, the battle lines are drawn. Fircrest is in for some fireworks when the fight for Kam’s heart not only affects his family, but his friends’ lives too.

Things get so crazy that Grace has to make the decision to stay and fight for herself and Kam or to give up and let Kam slip back into the darkness.”

Amazon ~

 

 
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Excerpt:

      Barry gestured to the guests.  “This is Pule Matafeo and his wife, Posey. And this couple is Asher and Meredith Murphy.”
      Grace frowned and stared at Pule Matafeo.  Was the whole town nothing but Matafeos?
      “Uh, any relation to those guys?” she said gesturing over her shoulder to Tate and Tai. She looked back at the table and all four heads looked down as if they had been staring in her direction.
      Pule smiled serenely and nodded. “Those two men are my cousins and Kam is my big brother.”
      Grace smiled and reached out her hand to shake.  “It’s a privilege to meet you.  I have to say, I love working for your brother.  He is so kind and thoughtful.  I can’t even imagine what it would be like to grow up with Kam as an older brother,” she said.
      Pule snorted and was about to say something when the woman sitting next to him elbowed him in the side.  Pule smiled and nodded.  “Kam was wonderful.”
      “He is wonderful,” his wife said.  “Hi, I’m Posey, Wren Downing’s younger sister.  She’s told me about your gnocchi.”
      Grace grinned. “I love Wren! She’s my favorite.  Are you a chef too?”
      Posey shook her head.  “Oh, no. I can barely microwave food.  I write children’s books.”
      Grace shook her head. “That is so cool.  Good for you.”
      “And I’m Kam’s ex-girlfriend.”
      Grace swiveled her head to see an attractive blond with a razor sharp angled bob looking her up and down.
      “Um, okaay. That’s nice for you.”
      The man sitting next to her rolled his eyes and sighed loudly. “I’m Asher Murphy.  And since you’re new in town, we run the Match and Mingle web site for singles in the Fircrest and Tacoma area.  The first month is free.”
      Grace frowned and looked down at her hands.  “I probably should look into something like that but I have the worst luck with men.  The last guy I dated, emptied out my savings account. I think I’ll stick to what I’m good at. Cooking.”
      “Gotcha. You’re a cat lady,” Meredith said with a small, self-satisfied smile.
      Grace turned and smiled directly at the woman, not breaking eye contact. She made it a rule to never back down from a bully and she wasn’t going to start now, even if it was an ex of Kam’s.
      Meredith looked away first and blushed.  “Sorry, that was rude,” she finally said.
      Grace didn’t bother acknowledging the obvious and looked back to Pule and Posey.  “So how was dinner tonight?” she asked, changing the subject.
      Posey pointed to her almost empty plate.  “I’m about to order another meal just so I can take home some leftovers.  It was amazing, Grace.  Truly, delicious.”
      Pule stopped glaring at Meredith to smile at her.  “Let’s just say we’ll be coming back every week for dinner and twice for lunch if I have anything to say about it.”
      Asher put his fingers to his lips and make a kissing motion.  “Perfection.  Thank you for moving to Fircrest, Grace.  We’re all very happy you’re here. Right, Meredith?”
      Grace watched curiously as Meredith winced.  If she wasn’t mistaken, someone was getting kicked under the table.
      “She might be a halfway decent cook but that doesn’t mean that she’s good enough for K…” she gasped suddenly and didn’t finish her sentence. She glared across the table at Pule. “That hurt!”
      Pule ignored Meredith and smiled up at her.  “I think you are good enough for Calzones.  I’ve been after Rob forever to add them to the lunch menu.”
      Grace smiled in confusion.  “Good enough for calzones? Uh, sure.  I’ll see what I can do.  You all have a wonderful evening.  I have one more table to say hi to.”
      She walked away, motioning to Barry to show her the last table.  That was the weirdest encounter she’d had since moving to Fircrest.  She was going to stay clear of Meredith. That woman was psycho.

 
 

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I live in Rocky Mountains with my husband and children and love my home when it’s not snowing. I’m the author of 36 books so far. I also write YA Paranormal Romance under my pen name, Katie Lee O’Guinn.  I enjoy the outdoors, reading and being with my family. I’m a huge believer in happy endings. Scarlett really should have been happy with Rhett and it’s a darn shame Leo and Kate didn’t float safely into New York on the Titanic. Don’t even get me started on Romeo and Juliet.

I’m also a supporter of Operation Underground Railroad. Check out their website at ourrescue.org to learn more.

 ~ Website ~ Blog ~ Amazon ~

 
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Great Summer Reads Countdown Blitz 2017

Day 4:
The Golden Hour: A Nora Tierney English Mystery by Marni Graff

summer 17

 

coverAmerican writer Nora Tierney is house hunting in Oxford to solidify her little family that includes her almost-year old son, Sean, and her partner, Det. Insp. Declan Barnes. But why does she feel like she’s being followed?

When tracking devices confirm Nora has a stalker, it sets off a chain of events that connect to Declan’s murder investigation of a young Oxford art restorer, and will bring bioterrorism and a psychopath into their lives, while Sean’s hangs in the balance. The fourth Nora Tierney English mystery is the most tension-filled yet, a meditation on what is family and home, combined with art theft and an international conspiracy.

This book will be available soon. Make sure you read the first three books in the series first!

 

 

Find the links to the entire series here:
~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon Canada ~ Amazon Australia ~


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Snippet:

(From Chapter 1:)

In the 10 weeks he’d been following her, it became obvious that Nora Tierney was a competent mother who loved and cared for her child. It seemed they had a fairy-tale life, bouncing back and forth between the storied city and the nature-filled village.

From the overheard talks with Barnes, her friends, and phone conversations, plus the house viewings, he learned she planned to move back to Oxford. When would that happen? How long would she stay in Bowness this time?

How long could he keep following her?

As long as it took.

 

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MKGHdshotMarni Graff writes two award-winning mystery series: The Nora Tierney English Mysteries and The Trudy Genova Manhattan Mysteries. She teaches writing workshops and mentors the Writers Read program, and is Managing Editor of Bridle Path Press.

Graff also writes the crime review blog Auntie M Writes.

FacebookTwitter ~ Bridle Path Press ~

 

 

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