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  1. My guest author today is Kyrsten Lindsay Hagar, US author of YA fiction. A regular guest on my blog, Krysten has dropped by to tell us about her latest YA novel, Competing With The Stars.

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    About Krysen

    Krysten Lindsay Hager is an obsessive reader and has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and humor essayist, and writes for teens, tweens, and adults. She is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series and her work has been featured in USA Today and named as Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values and Virtues Fiction and Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Children’s Books on Values. She’s originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and southwestern Ohio. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.

    WEBSITE: http://www.krystenlindsay.com/

    INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/krystenlindsay/

    TWITTER: https://twitter.com/KrystenLindsay

    FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/KrystenLindsayHagerAuthorPINTEREST: https://www.pinterest.com/krystenlindsay/

     

     

    Welcome back, Krysten. :)

     

    About Competing With The Stars.

     Love the cover!

    competing with the star front

                           teaser 2

    SYNOPSIS – Hadley Daniels’s life seems perfect…

    Before the beginning of sophomore year of high school, Hadley and her family move to a beautiful beach town, where she makes amazing new friends and lands the boyfriend of her dreams—Nick Jenkins. He’s the kind of guy every girl swoons over, and it isn’t long until Hadley discovers some are still swooning.

    A famous ex-girlfriend makes matters more complicated…

    After some time dating, Hadley and Nick form a deep bond. But insecurity sets in when Hadley discovers her boyfriend once had a huge crush on her friend—who just happens to be the beautiful former teen TV star, Simone Hendrickson.

    The past is the past—or so they say…

    Hadley confronts Nick, who confesses about his history with Simone. Though he claims to only have eyes for Hadley now, it’s hard to believe—especially when she’s blindsided with the news that Nick and Simone kissed after school.

    Now Hadley must determine who is telling the truth. Love, betrayal, friendship…who needs soap opera drama when you’re busy competing with a star?

    SHORT BLURB:

    Two days passed and Nick hadn’t called again. I couldn’t blame him. After all, I had pushed for him to be honest and then had bailed on him. I’m sure he was mad at me for telling him he could tell me the truth and then I punished him for it—and he would be right. I couldn’t handle the icky feelings, and instead of being a big girl and dealing with them, I came home from school and retreated into the world of books. A world where people were kidnapped, jewels were stolen, but nobody’s heart ever got broken because in my favorite series, The Raven Chronicles, Raven’s boyfriend, Fernando, was ever faithful and loyal and would never even look at another girl. He was the perfect book boyfriend. In other words, he was fictional and didn’t exist.  

    Sounds a great story, doesn't it? Here's what some readers say about it. 

    From Reader’s Favorite:

    Competing With The Star is the continuation of Krysten Lindsay Hager's epic YA drama series, The Star Series. Through a captivating plot, amazing character development, and Krysten's flawless writing, the story captures the true essence of the drama, confusion, and emotional high that is teenage romance. It brings to life the beauty of YA romance with all its uncertainties and possibilities. In the midst of all the drama, confusion, and romance, the story also gives off a beautiful and serene sense of family. I especially loved how the book dived into the story right away, and captured the genuine feeling of the story down to details, language, and interaction between the characters. Lovers of YA romance will definitely love The Star Series.

    From Katie’s Clean Book Collection:

    Oh, the feels! Krysten Lindsay Hager has a way of drawing me right back to my high school days with her writing--feelings and all. This book is a continuation of Next Door to a Star. Hadley is now settling in and a new boyfriend, Nick, really helps her feel like she belongs. What girl hasn't felt insecure at one time or another when trying to figure out if "he loves me, he loves me not?" Hadley is real. She has real struggles, real strengths, real reactions, and real emotions. Nick once had a crush on former TV star, Simone, and although Simone swears her friendship with Hadley means more to than anything, but oftentimes, actions speak louder than words and Simone is an actress...

    Nick is a great boyfriend, especially for a first relationship, as he and Hadley have a lot in common. Many assumptions lead to drama and realizations as Hadley, Nick, and their friends try and navigate the confusing roads of teenage life. I love how this story seems to unfold like a TV show--easy to picture and imagine. The characters and situations are vibrant, almost leaping off the pages and I felt like I was either a fly on the wall or a silent friend, sitting smack in the thick of it. I love the dynamics and can't wait for more to the story!

    Buy Links

    Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.com/B01CQ47Z2S

    Amazon Paperback: http://amzn.com/1680585495

    Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0149HTAK0

    Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/competing-with-the-star-krysten-lindsay-hager/1123539654?ean=9781680585490

     Thanks for dropping buy, Krysten. Good luck with the book.

  2. My guest author this week is Marie Lavender. Marie is a bestselling multi-genre author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 21 other books. She lives in the Midwest, USA, with her family and three cats and has been writing for over twenty years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands.

     

     

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    Bio

    Since 2010, Marie has published 22 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series and The Blood at First Sight Series. Her novel SECOND CHANCE HEART and A LITTLE MAGICK was placed in the TOP 10 on the 2015 P&E Readers' Poll and she has achieved the following credits: nominated in the TRR Readers' Choice Awards for Winter 2015. Poetry winner of the 2015 PnPAuthors Contest. Honorable Mention in the 2014 BTS Red Carpet Book Awards. Finalist and Runner-up in the 2014 MARSocial's Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader's Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013 and 2014. Top 50 Authors on AuthorsDB.com. Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.

    Wow! Congratulations, Marie!

    I asked Marie to tell us a bit more about herself

    How did you get started writing?

    Actually, I started writing stories when I was about nine years old. I had a vivid imagination as a child. Before that point, I had these worlds playing out in my head, full of characters and dialogue, events happening, and once I could form a sentence on paper, it just made sense to write them all down

    What was the first thing you had published?

    Technically, the first thing I published was a couple of stories in a university publication. With regards to books, the first one I published was a literary fiction/poetry anthology, back in 2010. It was titled Express Café and Other Ramblings.

    Why did you choose to write for children?

    I stumbled into it. I’ve learned to open up my mind quite a bit during my author journey. Ideas from different genres flood my imagination. It was awhile after the release of Magick & Moonlight, and suddenly one day the character of Rosanna came to me, demanding for her story to be told. And so I went for it! It was a very fun experience.

    What’s your favorite movie?

    My favorite fantasy movie has to be the Chronicles of Narnia series. What I wouldn’t give to live in Narnia! It’s so beautiful.

    What do you like to do to relax?

    I love reading! But, I also like cooking, and inventing new recipes! And shopping. I love shopping. :)

     

    Find out more about Marie here: 

    http://marielavender.com/

    http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com/ttps://www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender

    https://twitter.com/marielavender1

    https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MarieLavender/posts

    Amazon author page: Author.to/MarieLavender

    https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938764.Marie_Lavender

    Marie's latest book

     

     

    a little magick - final cover

     

    Blurb for A Little Magick

    Little Rosie goes to stay with her uncle. There she meets some new friends…and some enemies. She doesn’t know that her emotions will trigger something unusual. So far from home, suddenly Rosie has become a full witch like her mother. For a time, it is great fun to use her powers the way she wants, but can Rosie figure out how to use these newfound powers for good or will she be lost to the dark side forever?

     

    Purchase Links

    Amazon link:  myBook.to/ALM

    Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/547154

    Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-little-magick-marie-lavender/1122044476

    Kobo:  https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/a-little-magick-magick-series-book-2

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     Click on the picture above to watch the trailer.

     

    Thanks for dropping by to tell us about your books, Marie. :)

     

  3. This week, I'm delighted to welcome guest author, Darby Karchut, author of THE ADVENTURES OF FINN MacCULLEN series, the GRIFFIN RISING series, and many other books.

     

       

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    Bio

    Darby Karchut is a best-selling author, dreamer, and compulsive dawn greeter. She's been known to run in blizzards and bike in lightning storms. A former middle school teacher, she now divides her time between dodging death by Colorado and writing urban fantasy for tweens, teens, and adults. Darby has also recently dipped the toes of her running shoes into contemporary fiction. Her next book, FINN’S CHOICE, will release August 2016 from Spencer Hill Press.

    I asked Darby to tell us a bit more about herself:

    What was the first thing you had published?

    The first book I had published was my debut YA novel, GRIFFIN RISING (Copper Square Books, 2011). It’s an urban fantasy adventure with warrior angels, some father/son head-butting, and a lot of cheeky humor. Last year, GRIFFIN RISING was optioned for film by producer Carmella Casinelli and actor/producer Geoff Stults.  

    What piece of writing/work are you most proud of? 

    The book I’m most proud of is THE HOUND AT THE GATE (Spencer Hill Press, 2015). HOUND is the third book in my ADVENTURES OF FINN MacCULLEN series. It’s the book that came closest to the vision I had for the story. It also features a bloody (literally) hurling match between two teams of immortal Irish warriors

    What's your favourite movie?

    My favorite movie is The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings #3). I saw it nine times in a row at the movie theater. Wept every stinking time at the end.

    What do you like to do to relax? 

    To relax, I like to run, bike, ski (Alpine and Nordic), hike, and do a bit of mountaineering. I’m a champion avoider of housework.

    What do you like to read? 

    Anything and everything, please.

     

    Author Links

    Website:   http://www.darbykarchut.com/

    Blog: http://darbykarchut.blogspot.com/

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/darby.karchut

    Twitter:  https://twitter.com/DarbyKarchut

    Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4558016.Darby_Karchut

     

     

     Darby's latest release is THE HOUND AT THE GATE  (Spencer Hill Press 2015)

     

     

    hound cover

     

    Jacket Copy:

    Autumn: the season of endings. And beginnings. Especially for one young apprentice.

    At the annual Festival of the Hunt, thirteen-year-old apprentice goblin hunter Finn MacCullen and his master, Gideon Lir, join other Tuatha De Danaan to honor their people’s heritage. But he soon realizes that there are some who denounce his right to attend due to his half-human bloodline.

    While Finn struggles to keep his place by his master’s side, he finds himself embroiled in a decades-old grudge between Gideon and another Knight, bewildered (and beguiled) by a female apprentice with a temper as explosive as his own, and battling a pack of goblins determined to wipe out the entire camp in a surprise attack.

    It’s going to take some fancy knife work, the help of a female Knight with a lethal bow, and one old pick up truck to defeat the goblins and prove to his people that Finn’s blood runs true-blue Tuatha De Danaan.

     

    Buy Links:

    Amazon

    Barnes & Noble

     

    Thanks for dropping by to tell us about your work, Darby. :)

     

  4. A warm welcome to my guest author, Alison Gardiner. Alison's debut YA novel, The Serpent of Eridor is now out and her second book, Alchemy, is out in August. Alison is a doctor, broadcaster and author with four children, so feels she's a full time juggler. She enjoys writing fantasy fiction for children and young adults, and enjoys every second of alone time to pursue her creative interests.

     

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    Bio

    Alison is a doctor (General Practitioner) when not writing, but wears many hats, usually theoretically. She has four children who each feel they are entirely responsible for her being an author by virtue of their gracing the school run with their presence. The kids are invaluable for dialogue or concepts: it’s like having a team of in-house critics; how terrific that is. The main challenge is to find time to write, so she’s trying to get the kids to help with the environmental clutter. This is working so well that some of them occasionally put their washing into the laundry basket; it’s a start.

    I asked Alison to tell us a bit more about herself

    How did you get started writing?

    In self-defence, using my voice as a sonic shield against rising anarchy whilst on the school runs. If I could keep the kids amused, the car space became less like a small volcano of sound erupting, reaching almost an environmentally friendly decibel level. I never quite achieved Japanese water garden level of calm, but at least I only had to contend with the sound of my own voice. It was a little like Scheherazade and the Arabian nights, as no story ended with the drop off. Some wild short stories came out until I began to tell what ultimately became The Serpent of Eridor; I got caught up in the characters, layers and depth of the story, then had to write the story down as I was itching to know what happened at the end.

    Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself?

    I was brought up in Jamaica which was a fabulous existence, running barefoot, swimming in the old pirates’ haven of Port Royal Harbour, drinking coconut water fresh from the tree.

    What was your favourite book as a child?

    Anansi the Spider Man, a character brought across from Africa, depicted as being cunning, wise; sometimes a man, at others a spider. He wasn’t entirely ethical, which made him fun (as well as the subject of most interesting discussions with my parents…sigh…)

     What’s your top writing tip for new writers?

    Write with passion but little or no editing for the first draft. It's easy to get caught up in points of grammar, gummed up with a scene or minor plot anomalies, destroying the most precious of writing tools, momentum. As I am absolutely the worst typist in the world (recently achieving use of two fingers on a keyboard, doubling my digital input), I rely on voice recognition software. Thus I can get the bulk of the first draft on paper at the speed of machine-gun fire; free flow is how to go.

    Great tip, Alison!

    Author Links

    Website

    Blog

    Twitter

     

    Alison's book

     serpent

     

    Blurb

    Attacked by an assassin, positive that the next attack will be fatal, 14-year-old Alex Weston grabs a slim chance of survival, abandoning ship in a tropical typhoon. Shipwrecked onto the tropical island of Eridor with his hamster Skoodle, he unwittingly crosses the barrier into a world of enchantment. Alex finds that Skoodle is funny, opinionated, a reluctant hero, intermittently brave and regularly takes advice from his dead uncle.

    They befriend a brilliant, ebullient monkey, a warrior bear and a sarcastic snake. Alex possesses no magic, so is armed only with bravery, loyalty, sheer cussedness and wit as he fights save his life and his friends. Alex must also wrestle with the suspicion that a few ounces of added rodent doesn't make him the strongest fighting unit on the island.

    On Alex's journey, he is pursued by murderous crocodiles, engulfed by a man-eating mud swamp, attacked by wizards, a goblin band and a creature who is half lizard, half wizard, battles his way through a blizzard to a mountain with a living granite brain and wrestles with cannibalistic snakes. But all of this feels like only the warm-up when he meets his final challenge.

    Extract

     

    Thanks for dropping by to tell us about your book, Alison.