Book Blitz: The King’s Sword by C.J. Brightley

Cover - The King's SwordA disillusioned soldier. A spoiled, untried prince. A coup that threatens the country they both love. When retired soldier Kemen finds the young prince Hakan fleeing an attempted assassination, he reluctantly takes the role of mentor and guardian. Keeping the prince alive is challenging enough. Making him a man is harder.

As usurper Vidar tightens his grip on power, Kemen wrestles with questions of duty and honor. What if the prince isn’t the best ruler after all?

Invasion looms, and Kemen’s decisions will shape the fate of a nation. What will he sacrifice for friendship and honor?

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You can also purchase The King’s Sword direct from the author, Barnes and Nobel, Smashwords and Kobo.

ATA

I live in Northern Virginia just outside Washington, DC, with my husband, young children, and our sheltie mix. They keep me pretty busy, but in my free time I write, read, teach karate, make jewelry, and bake. I love the smell of snow but I hate being cold. I once hugged a tiger. I love hearing from readers, so please get in touch!

You can find C.J. Brightley on her website, Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

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The Girl in Between Spotlight: Laekan Zea Kemp

As a writer, reading and writing go hand in hand. One of the awesome parts about being a writer is the cool authors I get to interact with. For this post I would like to shine a spotlight on one of these authors and their books. Yay!

laeLaekan is a writer and explorer extraordinaire who grew up in the flatlands of West Texas. She graduated from Texas Tech with a BA in Creative Writing and is the author of the multi-cultural New Adult novels The Things They Didn’t Bury, Orphans of Paradise, Breathing Ghosts, and the Young Adult novel The Girl In Between, which is the first in an upcoming paranormal romance series.

 

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giBryn Reyes is a real life sleeping beauty. Afflicted with Klein-Levin Syndrome, she suffers episodes of prolonged sleep that steal weeks, and sometimes even months, from her life. But unlike most KLS patients, she doesn’t spend each episode in a catatonic state or wake up with no recollection of the time she’s missed. Instead, Bryn spends half her life in an alternate reality made up of her memories. For Bryn, the past is a place, until one day a boy she’s never met before washes up on the illusory beach of her dreams with no memory of who he is.

But the appearance of this strange boy isn’t the only thing that’s changed. Bryn’s symptoms are worsening, her body weakening as she’s plagued by hallucinations even while awake. Her only hope of finding a cure is to undergo experimental treatment created by a German specialist. But when Dr. Banz reveals that he knows more about her strange symptoms than he originally let on, Bryn learns that the boy in her head might actually be the key to understanding what’s happening to her, and worse, that if she doesn’t find out his identity before it’s too late, they both may not survive.

Excerpt:

“Can I show you something?” she asked.

I wasn’t sure if I should follow her or even if I could but I didn’t want her to let go of me. I didn’t want her to disappear again and leave me there alone, still lost. So I nodded.

We swam to the end of the dock and she untied the small rowboat. She climbed in first, reaching for the oars and holding it steady as I sat down across from her. I watched the house recede. My eyes trailed back to the road, still waiting for someone to come down it. They didn’t.

“Where are we going?” I asked.

“Not far.”

I searched the horizon but it was empty. No land. No boats. It felt like we were headed straight for the skyline, about to fall off into nothing. The waves grew choppy and I wanted to take the oars from her but I didn’t know where we were going and for some reason I liked listening to the slow rhythm of her breathing as she fought the waves.

The boat finally grinded to a stop and when I looked over the edge the water was so clear I could see tiny creatures bedding in the sand, their thin shadows eclipsed by the girl as she climbed onto the sandbar.

“I went to the Bahamas once when I was thirteen,” she said. “The water was so blue. I strapped on a snorkel and spent the entire week just walking from sandbar to sandbar, face underwater watching the fish swim by.”

I followed her out of the boat and a school of bright yellow fish cut between us, scales glinting.

“This?” I said.

She smiled and walked around to the other side of the boat. The water was a dark grey, my legs tangled in a mess of rust colored seaweed. I could barely see my feet, their shadows disappearing beneath swirls of mud.

“This is the Gulf of Mexico near Galveston. I tagged along on one of my mom’s work trips. It was just a few weeks after Hurricane Ike.”

I stared at the muddled outline where the two oceans converged—one light, one dark. I waited for them to mix, for that invisible seam to break free but it didn’t.

We waded farther out into the clear water, another school of fish bumping against my calf, bright red coral twisting near my ankles. It was startling.

“I used to come here,” she said. “When I first got sick I would stand here and it wouldn’t feel like purgatory anymore. They’re memories.” She faced the beach. “My memories.” Then she looked at me. “I don’t know why you’re here or if you’re—”

“Real?” I asked.

She nodded and I wasn’t so sure anymore either.

“But you don’t have to be afraid,” she said. “It doesn’t have to feel like purgatory.”

I watched the sunlight reflecting off the ocean and dancing against her skin. Her eyes were lighter in the sun; green churning to a soft sea foam like the waves crashing near our feet. And standing there in that invisible seam between two oceans, two worlds, she was just as startling.

The tide swirled in her gaze and I watched it shimmer there, glinting from a soft grey to jade and then I said, “It doesn’t.”

 

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biWhen Roman wakes from a six month coma, the first thing he sees is the girl of his dreams. Except Bryn isn’t confined to the dream-state anymore and neither is he. He’s awake and alive and as the memories of how he and Bryn fell in love come rushing back, so do the memories of why he’s lying in that hospital bed in the first place.

Plagued by guilt, Roman makes a decision that alters both their fates and as Bryn fights for her life in a German hospital, Roman must fight for her forgiveness before it’s too late. Because Roman and Bryn weren’t the only things to wake out of Bryn’s dreams. The shadows seem to be hunting them both and a strange side effect of Roman’s miraculous recovery may be the only means of stopping them. That is, if he can reach Bryn before she slips too deeply into the very dreams that seem to be imposing more and more on their waking lives every day.

 

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Those covers are so cool. Some of the prettiest covers I’ve ever seen!

To order The Girl In Between visit:

Amazon

Goodreads

Barnes and Nobel

Smashwords

Google Play

To Order The Boy In Her Dreams visit:

Amazon

Goodreads

And – to stalk Laekan, hunt her down here:

Blog

Twitter

Goodreads

Wattpad

 

The Book of Phoenix: Blog Tour

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The Space Beyond, Book of Phoenix 2

The Space Beyond_ebooksmAs members of the Phoenix, Jeric and Leni are thrust into their new lives, expected to lead Earth’s Guardians. But Leni struggles with trusting her own soul, and Jeric is more concerned about keeping Leni safe than meeting others’ demands. When Darkness swarms Lake Haven, they embark on their first mission with little preparation and no idea which soul the Dark hunts.

Born and raised in Lake Haven, Bex hopes to escape her small-town life, ideally in the arms of her soul mate. She knows he exists, and her heart aches with the need to find him. When her long-lost mama calls to announce she’s knockin’ on death’s door, Bex reluctantly makes the trip to see the uncaring bitch (bless her heart), only to be knocked off her feet by the sexy and charming Dr. Mason Hayes. Is he really The One?

Leni’s soul felt an instant connection to Bex, but if Bex found her soul mate, she isn’t their mission. So who is, and why does Leni instinctively feel drawn to her? Can Leni even trust her intuition? And will Jeric step up and lead when the time comes or continue to hold them back?

If they don’t learn to trust themselves and each other quickly, Darkness will claim them all…along with the rest of Earth’s souls.

 

A Quick Note

It is no secret that I was a fan of Kristie Cook long before The Book of Phoenix series began. I have read every book in the Soul Savers series also. With this in mind, I began to read with some clear direction already firmly established – I was not going to allow my fangirling to distort my judgment – my review would be open and honest, regardless. At the same time, I made sure that I did not think that the book was rated A for Awesome before I turned the first page. So what follows is an honest review.

Review

The Space Beyond picks up from where The Space Between left off. I feel it pertinent to point out that if you have not read The Space Between, you  really should prior to reading The Space Beyond.

The Space Beyond thrusts us back into the lives and love of Leni and Jeric as they set off to reunite two lost souls in danger of growing dark. If they are to be successful in their mission not only does Leni have to learn to trust her instincts, Jeric needs to trust that Leni can guide them wherever they need to go.

We are also reintroduced to Bex (aka Bethanny) and the book largely follows her exploration of the trials she ‘s faced in her life and how they have shaped her.

Point of view switches between Jeric, Leni and Bex provide first hand insight into the thoughts and feelings of these characters.

Bex’s POV was my favorite – I love her character. She’s ballsy, sassy, and full of interesting and sometimes hilarious one liners. I felt everything she did, laughed when she laughed, cried when she cried – which for Bex, was not very often, but you see where I am going with this. The fact she pulled at my emotions is a testament to the writing. There is so much more I could say about her character but I don’t want to write anything that could (and would) be deemed a spoiler.

Kristie Cook also explores a sensitive subject and she does so beautifully. Some if it horrified me, as it should, the nature of the subject is nothing less than horrific to begin with so why write it any differently?

The Space Beyond is written so well that at times I found myself unsure of just who I should be backing. The twists blew me away, the surprises – unexpected. There were times when my jaw rested firmly on the floor and others where I wanted to scream ‘NO’!!!

If you are a lover of the genre, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It has a great plot that will have you firmly immersed in the story and invested in the outcome. Now, if you’ll excuse me…. I’m off to buy The Space Within. Before I go, drumroll please….. The Space Beyond gets…..

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Yup! 5 Stars

Links to buy The Space Between (Book 1)

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Links to buy The Space Beyond (Book 2)

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Links to but The Space Within (Book 3)

Amazon UK

Amazon US

The ‘My Writing Process: A Blog Tour’

Recently, a writer buddy of mine, Jake Devlin, asked me to participate in ‘My Writing Process: A Blog tour.’ Jake Devlin takes hilarity and interesting story telling to a whole new level with his series of books based on – the Real Jake Devlin. I cannot do justice in describing Jake’s work other than saying you must drop everything immediately and visit his page: HERE

The My Writing Process blog tour aims to direct readers and writers towards new books and friends. When you are invited to participate, you simply answer the four questions below and then pass the torch on to three fellow writers.

Below is my addition to the My Writing Process blog tour.

What am I working on?

I am working on something that I think takes a fresh look at Vampires, introducing some new species and new ways of doing things. Attempting to put a spin on a genre that has had so many stories written about it is an arduous task. Of course, I have to put up with people asking if I am recreating Twilight. I would just like to point out that no writers have asked me this, we all know better but the answer is no. My book is much darker. The first book is rather simplistic in its plot but there are some twists and turns along the way. The second is much more complex. There are many strong characters and each deserves their own moment in the spotlight. The feedback I have had has pointed out who these should be and I have to say, it came as a bit of a surprise. I have yet to publish these as I would like Books 1&2 complete with Book 3 started. I would like to write a whole series.

How does my book differ from others in its genre?

The answer to this is quite simple however actually making it like this was incredibly taxing. I have rewritten some of the popular ‘rules’ associated with vampirism. As well as introducing new species I have called upon some well-known beings too although you will not find a werewolf in my books. I toyed with the addition of demons but it just didn’t fit. I want my book to be gritty and to pull away from fantasy so it borders realism. In one way, I want to emulate the work of Bram Stoker so that people feel that, yes, these beings can exist in secrecy alongside us. I also want to keep vampires completely separate from humans. I have no plans to feature a human in my books.

Why do I write what I write?

My absolute unbreakable love of the supernatural and in particular, vampires. The complexities of their literary existence, the trials that they face. My vampires are my writing passion. The characters that I have created I am completely and irreversibly in love with. I live and breathe them. I write what I write because I want to bring the people in my head to life on a page. It just so happens that these people are vampires.
I got my first taste of vampires when I skipped school, opting to hide out at a friend’s house instead. Interview with a Vampire had just come out on VHS so it must have been 1995 or thereabouts so I was about thirteen or fourteen. I was fascinated by it. Then came Buffy the Vampire Slayer two years later, much to my delight.
I write for young adults in particular because beautiful is the mind of the young adult. Nothing is beyond the reach of their imagination. They not only read the book but they become part of the characters’ lives, they immerse themselves and fall in love. They face the same trials and tribulations – without the bloodlust.

How does my writing process work?

Completely and utterly fractured 😉 The only thing that remains a constant is playing music before I start. Most writers find that there are times when their brain runs faster than their fingers while other times their fingers run faster than their brain. My fingers ignore me, my characters take over and boss my brain around – also a common thread amongst writers.

For my first book, I wrote the whole thing off a scene that came to my mind when I was listening to a song. It was a beautiful scene and the people in it needed their tale to be told. Obviously, I had to sit in the corner with my thinking hat on and coming up with a plot. Names were the worst part. But I found their backstory and everything that led up to and happened as a result of that scene. That book has been read by a few fantastic Beta’s and it has yet to have anything negative said about it. So, that worked. The second book however. Well, it is 8.13 am and I am yet to sleep. I found this one much more challenging. I knew what I wanted but as I wrote, I found that it was becoming far more intricate than it needed to be. It was almost as if I was trying to write two books in one, so last night I made the decision to cut a character from the earlier stage of the book and bring her in later, ready for the next installment.

I used an outline for my second where my first just flowed. I continuously deviate from the outline but it has helped me form some good ideas that I have developed. Outlines are not stringent things, they do not have to be adhered to, so if my creative juices start flowing, I follow them to see where they lead.
My books are based in America, as I live in England I have to pay particularly close attention to the language and the dialogue that I use. I have my documents set up for US English so this really helps. There are so many things that are different, simple words like the trunk of a car in America is called a boot over here. Luckily I have a friend from America who often answer my silly questions like – what is a duvet called in America?

So that’s it. Now to pass the torch on to three fellow writers who I will be contacting very shortly.

Writer One: Meet Sam Mariano, the first to pick up the torch. A true book devotee, from reading to writing, Sam is a talented published author whose books will suck you in from the outset. You can find Sam’s addition the My Writing Process Blog Tour HERE

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Sam Mariano has been creating characters and telling their stories since before she could even write. A former bookseller and lifelong book-lover, she is finally able to devote her time to writing books (when her toddler allows it!) with the support of her fiancé.

Sam has written two books of the romantic variety, Beautiful Mistakes and Because of You, and is currently penning the first of her upcoming “Irreparable” books, which will be dark romance.


Second to wield the torch is Bill Cunningham, a dear friend and an excellent writer. When Bill is not busy flying here there and everywhere for work he has fingers to keys and sometimes pencil to paper, working on his mystery/thriller book. I am impatiently waiting for him to finish, I have read some of Bills work and it is exceptional. So hurry up Bill! In the meantime, have a look at his addition the The ‘My Writing Process: A Blog Tour’ HERE

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Bill Cunningham, writing under the name W.C. Cunningham is a husband, father, manufacturing engineer by day, and writer most evenings and weekends. Inspired by years of reading, many liberal art detours in college, and numerous family and friends in law enforcement, he is presently working on his first mystery/thriller.

Originally from the southwest, Bill now lives in the wooded hills of Western New York with his wife, two sons, three dogs, and three cats.


The 3rd and final writer to wield the torch is Justina Luther. Justina and I began our blogs at roughly the same time and somehow found each other and have been following our blogs since. Justina’s blog is full of examples of her amazing writing as well as her ‘Ten Questions For a Fictional Character. You must check it out HERE!

photoJLUTHERJustina Luther is a lifetime author with a passion for reading and for people. Be it a story or something she’s learned, sharing with readers is her greatest joy. With a love for trying new things she constantly finds experiences to add depth and realism to her fiction. Her short story titled GED=OMG was published in Beginnings XIV. She is currently working on a suspense titled Would You Have Believed Me?