Thursday, August 28, 2014

FINDING WILLOW by Michelle Pickett

My apologies for not announcing this when the post went live this morning! Congratulations to Chris Weigand, winner of a copy of The Prophecy and to Erin (booklover22), winner of Becky Wallace's prize pack. Congratulations! Be sure to contact me at mewaibel@gmail.com by Sunday, August 31st to claim your prizes.

I'm a little late to this party, but better late than never. I'm super excited to be sharing about Finding Willow, by Michelle Pickett. Take it away Michelle!

I have another great cover reveal to share today. The novella Finding Willow is a prequel to my Unspeakable. The story is told from Brody's point of view, and did he ever get one rockin', steamy cover...





https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22921756-finding-willow-an-unspeakable-novella


Finding Willow is the prequel to Unspeakable, the touching romance between Brody and Willow that explores one girl’s quiet strength to survive the unbearable weight of a family secret alone, and the love and resolve of a boy determined to help her.
   Brody Victor lives life on the fringes. Moving from school to school with each transfer his mother’s job requires has taught Brody well: If there’s one thing harder than making friends, it’s saying goodbye to them. So he’s learned to close himself off. He’s a loner, and that’s how he likes it.
When his mother accepts a permanent position in Wisconsin, Brody begins to slowly open up. But old habits die hard and, for Brody, making friends doesn’t come easily. That is, until he meets Annabelle. Brody loses himself in her. Their connection runs deep and, for the first time, Brody truly lets someone inside. But life can be cruel. An unexpected job transfer uproots Brody from his home in Wisconsin, and Annabelle.
 Vowing not to get involved with another girl after the heartbreak of losing Annabelle, Brody returns to life on the outside looking in. A loner by choice. Until he finds Willow. Friendly and beautiful, a guy can’t help but notice her, but Brody notices more than her beauty. When she flashes her full smile, a spark is missing from her hazel eyes and for reasons unknown to him, Brody needs to find the reason.
Along the way, he stumbles across a secret bigger than both of them.

Don't forget to check out Unspeakable for more of Willow and Brody's story. 



 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22858765-unspeakable
Happy Reading!

Monday, August 25, 2014

AFTERLIFE by HK Carlton

I had a blast last week with His Royal Hotness Week, and hope you did too! If you'd like to see it again next year, let me know. Three raffles ended in the wee hours of the last two mornings, and I'm excited to announce the winners:

Congratulations to April Erwin, winner of copies of Quest of the Hart and The Mystery Prince,  to Kathy Fleming winner of a copy of Sanctuary of Nine Dragons, and to Kai Strand, winner of a copy of Woman of Honor. Be sure to contact me at mewaibel@gmail.com by Wednesday to claim your prizes!

And now, for my featured guest. As you know, I've been reading HK Carlton's family saga, Always Cambridge. (Previous posts can be found here, here, here, and here). This saga follows the life of mobster daughter Holly Cambridge, and I'm eagerly awaiting the last installment. Although I must admit, I will be sad to see the series come to an end. But, that's the beauty of books, you can always re-read them!

Afterlife is the next to last book in the series, and it takes you on an emotional roller coaster. You can read my review here. To keep things as spoiler free as possible, I tried to focus on questions that wouldn't give away what happened at the end, but were things that I was curious about when I read. So, here's my Q&A with HK.


MW: Without giving away the ending, can you tell us if when you started writing the series, is this where you saw it heading or did it change along the way?

HK: This story has had many incarnations. The first, as I think I’ve mentioned in our discussions, was a stand-alone novel. Simply Always Cambridge. Without giving away the ending, the original story ended when Randy came back into Holly’s life after their six years apart. 
Even Alex’s part was just a quick summary. And Victor’s part was even smaller than his. Witness Protection was mentioned, but they set off into WP as their happily-ever-after and it would have been up to the reader’s imagination as to how their lives panned out from there.

But once I’d finished the stand alone, I had questions that I needed the answers to, and the characters had other ideas. Especially Victor. He was the most vocal that his and Holly’s story was not finished. 

Alex’s story extended or filled in/the missing years story and evolved into Running, book two. And Victor’s story turned into Misfortune of Birth, which then snowballed into Law & Order Crime and Chaos. And when Lorenzo Mayhue reared his ugly head and took on the real face of evil in this story, I was pleased but hated his guts. 



Books 5 and 6 were not even in my realm when this idea took shape. They were a gift from some where far beyond what I thought I was capable of. 

In the beginning, I had no idea where this story would lead. The twists and turns that it took surprised me and took me on an emotional ride. And it has continued through the entire process, from submission, to editing, to publication and back again. I can honestly say this entire experience has been a saga. But that’s another story. 

Little sidebar: (not sure if I’ve mentioned this before) In the original stand-alone, Victor and Lorenzo were just one arrogant cheesy, gum-chewing, mobster type character in one. He had Victor’s charisma with the ladies but he was more interested in reaping the rewards of living the mob kind of life—doing whatever the hell he pleased with no consequences. He wasn’t a killer. But when the two characters spilt into their own beings, I was left with God-like Victor and the no-conscience Lorenzo. Which made for some interesting writing. 



MW: Oh, you hadn't mentioned that before. I'l so glad he split into two characters, as I think I'm as smitten with Victor as Holly!

I love how in Afterlife all the men in Holly's life make still make appearances, even if they weren't all with her. In fact, I thought with the postal mishap, Victor might be making an appearance, but we only saw him stateside. (not that I'm complaining, mind you!) And then there was the letter Randy sent to Victor. I'm curious. Will we find out about that in ALWAYS HOLLY?

HK: The only mention of the letter, from Randy to Victor, is in Afterlife. But some other details of the contact between Randy, Victor and Alex will be touched on in the conclusion, Always Holly.

MW: And how about that tease of Victor wanting Alex's number. Did he ever get in touch and what did he say? (So many teases here, and I'm dying to know!!)





HK: This was also the only mention. I did not really elaborate on the phone call either. I was afraid to give too many hints at this point. I think by this stage, the reader has a pretty good idea of which way it might go, and Randy‘s hopes for the future, but there are still so many unknowns. Especially, Holly’s state of mind by the end of Afterlife.

MW: I know this series is about Holly, but I can't help but wonder if you might have a spin off about Tyler and Maura? (For those of you who haven't read Afterlife yet, I'm not telling who Maura is. You'll have to read and find out. :-P)

HK: Without giving too much away, I hope all the remaining questions will be answered and all the loosed ends tied up to the reader’s satisfaction in Always Holly. That is my hope.

MW: Is it September 1st yet? Not that I want time to move quicker or anything (I don't), but you really left me hanging here, HK! 
Although I'll be sad to see the saga come to an end, I really want to see Holly find some kind of happiness (more than she had with Randy, cause while she was happy, she still wasn't totally happy.) 

HK: I’ll be sad to see the end of this series as well. This story and these characters have come to mean so much to me. Book Five was emotionally draining. Every time I had to work on edits, I was in tears and as my husband commented, in ‘a foul mood for a week‘.  [Given what happened, I totally understand this. That had to be so gut wrenching to write!]





And the road to see this entire series published has not been an easy one. There have been some rocky days and weeks with the monthly releases and some other unforeseen obstacles which had me questioning my path. But the conclusion will be bittersweet for me and perhaps Always Cambridge fans as well. 

To see The AC Series published was a dream (sometimes a nightmare). But I guess anything you have to fight for means all the more in the end. So, I will take the good with the bad and reflect on the lessons learned. But ultimately, I am extremely pleased with the series, my characters and the story itself, and I truly hope readers have come to care about Holly, Randy, Alex and Victor, each in their own way, as I have. And Maur and Ty, too. 

MW: I know I've come to care for each of these characters, and, as I've said, as much as I can't wait to read the conclusion, I'll be sad to be reaching the end. Thanks so much for stopping by to visit, HK

HK: Thank you so much, Mary, for having us back and for the amazing reviews. Only one more to go!

MW: It's my pleasure!


Always Cambridge


The Always Cambridge Series chronicles the life of Holly Cambridge through her tumultuous childhood, violent teen years into adulthood, and the consequences that stem from being the daughter of mob boss, Bill Cambridge. 

Afterlife




Dreams of second chances are only nightmares in the making.

Holly Cambridge and Randy Phillips are dead!

But they re-emerge in Witness Protection as Beth and Andy Gregory, far away from the mob life that nearly destroyed them.
Can Holly finally realize her dream and live in peace without the threat of violence shadowing her every step? Settle down in one place, put down roots with the husband and the loving family she’s always dreamed of?

Or will the Mayhue vendetta reach across the ocean and strike Holly where it hurts the most?



eXtasy Books Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon Canada

Follow the saga from the beginning… Always Cambridge

Always Cambridge

Running

Misfortune of Birth

Law & Order : Crime & Chaos

Afterlife

Friday, August 22, 2014

His Royal Hotness Week~Day Five


To round out our week of hot royal princes, I'm super thrilled to be hosting Becky Wallace and two of the hotties from her upcoming debut, The Storyspinner. I had a chance to beta on this book, and let me tell you, it's one you don't want to miss, so be sure to mark your calendar and sign up to follow Becky's blog, or stalk her, I mean follow her on Twitter and Facebook. Now, here's Becky!


Here’s a terrifyingly true fact: my type of guy was determined by a Disney prince. I was eight-years old when The Little Mermaid came out and I decided then and there that I was going to marry Prince Eric…or at least someone who looked like him. Dark hair, bright blue eyes, dreamy smile. I mean, hello! A girl couldn’t go wrong with that combination.

If you were to sort through my high school dance pictures, you would find an embarrassing amount of guys who fit that exact description. Thank goodness I grew up and realized that good looks were not a requirement for princeliness.* (It helps, but it’s not a prerequisite).

So while we’re on the subject of His Royal Hotness, I’d like to introduce you to two of my princely characters in THE STORYSPINNER.




If you’re a World Cup follower, you might recognize the ever drool-worthy Cristiano Ronaldo of the Portuguese National Team. I’ve been a CR7 fan since, well, forever. And there’s no question he inspired Lord Rafael DeSilva. Rafi, as he’s known to friends and family, has a tendency to seem a little smug and arrogant. It’s a façade he wears to disguise his fear of failure—his father died a few months before THE STORYSPINNER begins, and Rafi is certain he’s going to screw up, disgrace his family, and let down the people who are relying on him. Underneath that cocky grin is a young man who is fiercely loyal, quietly kind, and all sorts of intense.

If brown-eye and brooding, isn’t your thing, then maybe my next character will be a better fit.

Say hello to Leao.


Hel-low. 

This picture is of Brazilian model and actor, Henri Castelli. (Sidenote: I love that he’s Brazilian because THE STORYSPINNER has a decidedly South American feel. Perfeito!)

Leao could have chosen the simple life of a diplomat, he’s the heir to a kingdom of magic-wielding people, but decided to train as an Elite Guard instead. Even with his military background, he’s a little naïve and is guided by a very black-and-white sense of justice. At the beginning of THE STORYSPINNER, he makes a brave and dangerous choice that forces him out of his shelter and onto a collision course with his long-time crush—a slightly older and significantly more world-wise superior officer.

Ummm…. yes, puh-lease!

You can read Rafi and Leao’s stories in THE STORYSPINNER, available March 3, 2015 from Simon & Schuster. You can see more pretty pictures of them now on my Pinterest or Facebook pages.

*(Okay, okay. My husband could double for Prince Eric, but I swear he has a lot of qualities that have nothing to do with his looks.)

Synopsis of THE STORYSPINNER:


In a world where dukes plot their way to the throne, a Performer’s life can get tricky. And in Johanna Von Arlo’s case, it can be fatal. Expelled from her troupe after her father’s death, Johanna is forced to work for the handsome Lord Rafael DeSilva. Too bad they don’t get along. But while Johanna’s father’s death was deemed an accident, the Keepers aren’t so sure.

The Keepers, a race of people with magical abilities, are on a quest to find the princess—the same princess who is supposed to be dead and whose throne the dukes are fighting over. But they aren’t the only ones looking for her. And in the wake of their search, murdered girls keep turning up—girls who look exactly like the princess, and exactly like Johanna.

With dukes, Keepers, and a killer all after the princess, Johanna finds herself caught up in political machinations for the throne, threats on her life, and an unexpected romance that could change everything.


In second grade, Becky Wallace had to sit in the corner because she refused to write anything besides princess stories and fairy tales (and because she talked too much). Her time in isolation gave her plenty of opportunities to dream up the fantasy worlds she's been dabbling with ever since. She was lucky enough to find her own, real-life prince charming. They have four munchkins and live in a happy little town outside Houston, Texas. 

You can find Becky on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, and on her website.



Top 5 Disney Princes (in ascending order):
5) Hercules. The man goes to hell and back for his lady love. 'Nuff said.
4)  Kristoff. I love his entrepreneurial sprit. Also, have you seen the man's shoulders? I mean, of course you haven't, but I bet if Disney ever showed their princes shirtless, he'd win the prize.
3) Scar. Is it okay if I choose a villainous prince? Because if Scar was human, he’d be a perfect anti-hero. Also, according to CG Pintor’s version, Scar would be habanero hot. 



2) Prince Eric. He might not be the brightest in the pack, but those blue eyes are a double-dose of swoony. 
1) Flynn Rider. Who doesn’t love handsome with a thick slice of sarcasm?

Random Trivia about princes:
-A reigning king makes his wife a queen. A reigning queen makes her husband a prince. 

-Prince Harry is the first member of the royal family to see action—of the military variety—
since his uncle, Prince Andrew, flew helicopters in the Falklands War in 1982.


-The Beast from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast has the head of a buffalo, the eyebrows of a gorilla, body of a bear, jaws and mane of a lion, tusks of a boar, and legs and tail of a wolf. Whew! Man, that witch must have been pretty mad at how he treated her to turn him into that creature. 

-Prince Charles travels with a white leather toilet seat. 

-Queen Elizabeth’s husband was actually Prince Phillip of Greece, but he gave up that title when they married. 

Book Recommendations:
SIEGE AND STORM and RUIN AND RISING by Leigh Bardugo. The second and third installments of Grisha Triology feature a prince who is charming, rakish, brilliant, and you know, a pirate.

THE FALSE PRINCE by Jennifer Nielsen. A sort of Anastasia story that takes a hard look at how a royal should be. Great mystery and characters!

THE IRON FEY series by Julie Kagawa. If you haven’t read this series and you like faeries and princes with bad attitudes, then this is the series for you. Ash is perfect in every way.


And that brings His Royal Hotness Week to an end, folks! Thanks for all the fun times this week. I hope you had a chance to visit with April Erwin this week, too, and enjoyed all her princely choices and fun things! If not, why not swing over now and see what you missed!


To close things out with a bang, here's an amazing raffle from Becky. This is for US residents only, but don't panic! If you aren't a US resident, check out the other raffles from this week before they close!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway













Thursday, August 21, 2014

His Royal Hotness Week~Day Four


Today I welcome my fellow Muse sister, and one of my partners in crime at BookFish Books, Erin Albert. Erin is super active on Twitter and Facebook, and lots of fun. She's also very a talented author, with the second book in her series releasing soon, so be sure to keep an eye out for The Oultanders! Now, without further ado, here's Erin!


Happy Prince Week! Who doesn’t love a good prince? I think back to my childhood and to all the princes that shaped my definition of the word. Remember Prince Eric? Prince Charming? Prince Philip? I can still see Sleeping Beauty twirling in Prince Philip’s arms as the fairies change her dress from blue to pink. I think that’s my favorite part of that movie. And I look at modern princes from movies and real life (some are still swoon-worthy and some not so much): Prince William and baby Prince George, Prince Joffrey, Prince Hans, and Prince Caspian.

So with all these examples in real life, books, and movies, what makes a good prince? I’ve always thought a good prince must be honorable, courageous, selfless, and wise. Perhaps this belief spilled over into my own books as I wrote the character Prince Wilhelm of Etherea.

When I wrote my first draft of The Prophecy, my friends and beta readers (affectionately called The Dream Team) told me Wil seemed too perfect. Two Dream Team members swooned hard for him, but another said he needed more conflict within himself. So I went back to the proverbial drawing board and tried to round Wil out a little more. 



I realized his honor and selflessness, while a great attribute, could also work against him. He vowed to put the interests of his people above his own, yet he struggled when that value set got tested. When Wil’s forced to choose between his people, his family, and the woman he loves, we see the seemingly perfect prince at a crossroads. He’s torn between honor, duty, and love. Could we so easily watch the people we love perish if it meant saving a group of people to whom we felt a great responsibility? I don’t envy his choice.

In addition to being honorable, courageous, and selfless, a prince should be wise. After all, he is next in line to be king. Given an incredibly difficult set of conflicting choices where no good options are apparent, death seems inevitable, and evil and villainy are certain to rein, a wise leader chooses a path invisible in the quagmire of chaos. He is faced with a seemingly insurmountable problem. No one will be happy with the result...or so it appears. Yet a good king, or in this case future king, comes up with a resolution that is noble, conforms to his values, and solves the problem. And maybe that's it more than anything. A king and future king applies his wisdom and insight by instinct. Without an apparent path to righteousness, he blazes his own trail.

I’d like to think Wil is as noble and wise as Ned Stark (only he manages to keep his head) with the cunning, instincts, and vision of Captain Kirk.

I hope you will join Wil and his friends during their adventures in The Prophecy and its subsequent novels, The Outlanders and The Fulfillment.

Happy “His Royal Hotness Week!” Oh, did I mention Wil is sha-mokin’ hawt??

Top 5 Disney Princes (in ascending order):
5) Prince Phillip
4) Aladdin
3) Prince Eric
2) The Beast
1) Flynn Rider

Random Trivia about princes:
-Sleeping Beauty’s Prince Phillip was named after Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who is the husband of Queen Elizabeth II

-Prince Eric is the first prince to be saved by a princess

-Aladdin is modeled after Tom Cruise, and his hat feather falls forward when he lies.Book Recommendations:
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
Need series by Carrie Jones



Growing up on a small farm in the kingdom of Vanguard, seventeen-year-old Layla Givens lives a deceptively tranquil existence. But her carefully constructed life quickly falls apart when she’s abducted by a religious zealot who proclaims her The Fulfillment of an ancient peace prophecy and whisks her away to marry her greatest enemy.

Wilhelm, Prince of the Ethereals, is reluctant to meet his new bride. He's grown up believing Vanguards are evil, an enemy to fight and fear...not love. Can he set aside his prejudices and work alongside Layla to bring lasting peace after centuries of war?

Nash, a loner who has never fit in, carries a huge secret, one big enough to destroy both kingdoms. When he accidently meets Layla, he’s no longer content to live in the shadows, but he must resist his growing attraction—for her safety and for the longevity of the two kingdoms.

When Nash's secret is revealed, a firestorm sweeps through both realms, with Layla at the center. Now she must choose between duty and desire while the fate of two nations hangs in the balance.














Erin Albert is an author and fitness trainer. Since she picked up Morris the Moose Goes to School at age four, she has been infatuated with the written word. She went on to work as a grammar and writing tutor in college and is still teased by her family and friends for being a member of the "Grammar Police." In her free time, Erin enjoys acting, running, kickboxing, and, of course, reading and writing. Her favorite place to be is at home with her family and easygoing tabby cat.





Don't forget to swing by April Erwin's blog to see what she's got going on today!

And now, Raffle Time!! Be sure to check the previous couple days for other raffles!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



One more day to go. Who will our royal visitor be?? Guess you'll have to stop back and see!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

His Royal Hotness Week~Day Three


Today my friend Nicole Zoltack stops by with a prince from her Kingdom of Arnhem series. While this series is more about Aislinn, Nicole does write an awesome prince. Now here's Nicole to tell about her prince.


Who doesn't love a prince? There aren't many little girls out there who haven't dreamed of meeting one and falling in love and dancing in castles and becoming a princess. At least, I know I did. I never imagined being queen, though, just a princess.

My first hero in a published work was a prince. Prince Caelan. Tall, handsome, brave and loyal (all traits every hero should have!), Caelan was a true prince in every sense of the word. He would do anything for his kingdom, even if it meant he couldn't be with the woman he truly loved.

I know princes and princesses grow up knowing their lives aren't truly their own, but it's hard to picture a world where you can't do as you wish because you have to do what is expected of you. There's more to be a prince than just dancing with beautiful princesses.


Top 4 Disney Princes (in ascending order):
4) Prince Flynn. (He's a prince by marriage.) Fun and funny. Definitely makes life more interesting.
3) Prince Charming. But that might be more because of Once Upon a Time than Disney…
2) Prince Eric. So cute and more than just a rich guy.
1) Prince Phillip. He takes on a freakin' dragon. Obviously aces in my book.

Random Trivia about princes:
-Many princes have served or trained with their military services including Prince William & Prince Harry (Great Britain), Prince Carl-Philip (Sweden), Prince Haji' (Brunei), Prince Amedeo (Belgium), and Prince Hamdan (UAE)

-Many princes know multiple languages. Prince Felix of Luxembourg in 4 (Luxembourgish, French, English, & German) and studied 2 more (Spanish and Italian), and Prince Andrea of Monaco is fluent in 4 (English, French, Italian, and German). 


Book Recommendations:

Woman of Honor of course! The story with Prince Caelan :)

The False Prince. I haven't read this yet but I want to.

The Little Prince. A cute little book.



Aislinn of Bairbhe dreams of becoming a lady knight to 
honor the death of her fallen brother. To her mother's horror, King Patrick grants Aislinn's wish.

Despite the mockery of the other pages and the disdain of Prince Caelen, who also trains to be a knight, Aislinn commits herself to her training and embarks on a journey of self-discovery and bravery.

Through the years, Aislinn and Caelen grow from sparring classmates to good friends. Honor, bravery, and yes, love are worth fighting for even when they both know that someday Caelen will have to marry for the sake of the kingdom.






Nicole Zoltack writes fantasy/paranormal, romances, horror, historical; for adults, YA, MG, and PB; novels, short stories, and flash pieces. She's also an editor for MuseItUp Publishing and works as a freelance editor.

When she isn't writing about girls wanting to be knights, talking unicorns, and zombies, she spends time with her loving family. She loves to ride horses (pretending they're unicorns, of course!) and going to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, dressed in period garb.

To learn more about Nicole and her work, visit her blog at http://NicoleZoltack.blogspot.com or like her on FB athttp://www.facebook.com/authorNicoleZoltack.

Be sure to stop by April's blog to see what prince she's featuring today! And don't forget to enter this raffle. There's still time to enter our earlier raffles, too. Just look back at our posts from this week!



a Rafflecopter giveaway













Tuesday, August 19, 2014

His Royal Hotness Week~Day Two



Today I welcome my fellow MuseItUp sister Christina Weigand as she introduces us to some of the princes from her Palace of the Twelve Pillars series. Welcome Chris and Honored guests!



Interview with Prince Airyn and Prince Gorou:
Me: Greetings King Joachim and Brandan. I see that you have brought two young men with you. Would you like to introduce them to our readers?

Joachim: Yes. I would like to present my son and heir to the throne of Crato, Prince Airyn. And this is Brandan’s son Prince Gorou. He is heir to the throne of Grilwood if that is his desire. You’ll have to excuse the boys if they seem a little cautious. You see they both have recently become aware of the fact they are princes and are still getting used to all the attention.

Me: Welcome Prince Airyn and Prince Gorou. It appears as if the two of you have had some interesting news and adventures of late. Would you care to share any of it?

Prince Airyn: W—w—ell I g—g—uess I c—c—ould.

King Joachim: Don’t worry son. You can talk to her, after all she is the author.

Prince Airyn: But I don’t know what to say.

Me: Just tell me a little about your adventures in Sanctuary of Nine Dragons.

Prince Gorou: How long do you have? A lot of stuff happened.

Brandan: Maybe I should start since most of the story is my fault. First, I didn’t know Gorou, my son existed. I was separated from his mother, Queen Gudrun, before he was born. As for Airyn, I stole him from my brother when he was but an infant, so neither knew of his true parentage.

Prince Airyn: That’s true. I was raised by General Lukan and Lady Molly, father’s friend and leader of his personal guard.

Prince Gorou: And I lived with Derdrom, but he really wasn’t a father. I spent most of my time with Airyn’s family. General Lukan even sponsored me so I could go to Dietfried Academy when Airyn and his brother, Tomas went.

Me: How did you two discover you were princes?

Prince Airyn: I would say it was more thrust upon us than discovered. Uncle Brandan took me from the only family I had ever known and tried to use me to destroy the king, the man who was the father I had never known.

Me: Prince Gorou, how did you find out?

Prince Gorou: My discovery wasn’t nearly as dramatic as Airyn’s. Tomas and I had been purposely captured by the wizard’s guards in an effort to rescue Airyn. We were reunited in the dungeons. And after Master Adept Rupert showed up with the girls, he kind of let it slip that the wizard was my father and Princess Gudrun my mother.


Me: Which girls?

Prince Gorou: I’m sorry. Princess Enit, Airyn’s twin sister and Ciara, Tomas’s twin sister.




Me: Now that you mentioned girls, do either of you have girlfriends?

Prince Airyn: There hasn’t been much time for that with the Mantion war, finding new families and learning to be a prince. If you asked Tomas, I’m sure he’d have a different answer. Every girl on campus wanted to be with him, but he only had eyes for one. It was kind of funny when he realized it was my sister Enit.

Prince Gorou: Too bad you weren’t there to see the look on his face. Ciara and I had a good laugh before Ciara got serious. You know how she can get all grown-up and everything.

Prince Airyn: Yeah, but that’s a good thing sometimes. She’s always there lifting me up, especially when Tomas knocks me down.

Me: Sounds like there could be something brewing there, especially since you know she isn’t your sister now.

Prince Airyn: Well maybe, but I don’t have time for that right now and neither does Ciara. I don’t see her or Enit very often since they moved to Dun Dealgan.

Me: And Gorou, what about you, any girls?

Prince Gorou: No not for me. I don’t have time for that.

Me: So what are the two of you doing now and what does the future hold?

Prince Airyn: Well, for the present and the near future I am serving an apprenticeship with Master Adept Salochin and of course my father to learn how to be a king and adept. It seems like too much for me to learn, but Father and my teachers think I can do it, that I can learn to be a king. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do the job as well as Father. And when everyone feels I am ready, I suppose I will become king.

We continue to rebuild the country and build a peace with all of the peoples of Ramajadin. At least that’s what Father says. Some days I’m not so sure, especially when we hear reports of Mantion fighting in the mountains. Of course it is nothing like before, but peace still seems fleeting.

Prince Gorou: I am much in the same boat as Airyn. I am serving an apprenticeship with the Kningrad to learn to tap into magic that I didn’t even know I had and heal. Being able to heal even without magic is so satisfying, that is until Tomas stops by and tries to put me down. But I am getting better at standing up for myself and ignoring him.

As far as being the King of the Mantion, I’m still not sure about it. I am kind of hoping Mother will have another child so I don’t have to do it. I would much rather stay with Airyn in Wyrzburg. But it shall be as Asha wills it.

Me: It seems we are out of time. Thank you Prince Airyn and Prince Gorou as well as you King Joachim and Brandan. It was wonderful to talk to you and get to know the princes. I hope we can talk again soon.


Top 5 Disney Princes (in ascending order):
5) John Smith
4) Flynn Rider
3) Kristoff
2) Prince Adam/Beast
1) Prince Charming

Random Trivia about princes:
-Remember the Christmas song Good King Wenceslaus? Well, I was surprised to leanr there's a Prince Wenzeslaus (okay, so the spelling is slightly different) and he's from Liechtenstein. 

-Prince Joachim of Belgium (not to be confused with our special guest from above!) is the first female-line member of the royal family to be born a prince and have succession rights to the throne.

-Future Saudi kings will be chosen by a group of Saudi princes, rather than a line of succession.


Book Recommendations:
Quest of the Hart by Mary Waibel
Palace of the Twelve Pillars trilogy by Christina Weigand


Joachim banishes Brandan to prison island of Hyogo. His infant son, Prince Airyn disappears from his cradle. A chain of events is set in motion that will pit brother against brother, friend against friend, parents against children as Brandan and Joachim struggle for control of their sanity and their very lives.

With Brandan declared dead and his son missing Joachim sinks into despair and anger, where those close to him fear he may never return.

Is Brandan really dead and if he is, who is manipulating the Mantion and enemies of Crato?

Can Maeve save her country and her husband from the tentacles of evil pervading the land?


Christina Weigand’s a writer, wife, and mother of three grown children and a middle school daughter. She is also Nana to three granddaughters. She lives with her husband and youngest daughter in Washington State after a lifetime in Pennsylvania. Currently, she’s working on fantasy novels and inspirational writing. Through her writing she strives to share the Word of God and help people young and old to realize the love and mercy He has for everyone.When she’s not writing she’s active in her local Church as a lector, volunteering at her daughter’s school in the library as well as helping the children develop a love for reading and writing, Bible Study or with the church theater group. Jesus fills her home with love as she shares Him through her writing.





If you stopped by early yesterday, you probably missed the raffle that was posted, so head over here and see what you missed once you've checked out Christina's raffle! 



Be sure to stop back tomorrow for more prince-ly things and another raffle!



Monday, August 18, 2014

His Royal Hotness Week~Day 1



Welcome to His Royal Hotness Week, a.k.a Prince Week. After all, where would a princess be without her hot royal counterpart?

This week, I'm thrilled to be sharing with you posts from a few of my amazing author friends. Each of them have shared a post about their own princes, as well as some books they recommend you check out with more royal hotties. We'll also be sharing some princely facts (fictitious and real), our top 5 Disney princes, and of course, checking out some real royals, too.

Kicking things off, I thought I'd introduce you to one of my own princes. I have four, (thanks to Prince Rand from THE MYSTERY PRINCE), but I'm going to focus on Prince Devlin from Quest of the Hart, book one in my Princess of Valendria series.




Prince Devlin is the first prince I ever wrote. He doesn't get much page time in Quest of the Hart, as he spends most of the book sleeping thanks to his sister's spell, but, the glimpses we do get reveal a strong, handsome, romantic guy who wants to keep the girl he loves safe. And when she ends up rescuing him, he admires her strength and bravery. He knows a good thing when he sees it, and Princess Kaylee is definitely good for him.

Now, for some fun stuff!

Top 5 Disney Princes (in ascending order):
 I'm being a bit of a traditionalist and sticking with actual princes. 
5) The Prince (or Prince Florian). Haven't seen Snow White in a while, and I don't really remember Florian well, so I'm starting with him.
4) Prince Charming. What girl doesn't want to be swept off their feet by him?
3) Prince Phillip, just because he sword fights a dragon.
2) Prince Adam, better known as Beast. He's ferocious, yet so tender with Belle. Le sigh.
1) Prince Eric, mostly because he reminds me a little bit of my husband.

Random Trivia about princes:
-According to Wikipedia:

        The English word prince derives, via the French word prince, from the Latin noun princeps,         from primus (first) + capio (to seize), meaning "the chief, most distinguished, ruler, prince".

-There are 26 monarchies in the world, of these 18 use the titles king/queen and prince/princess (including 2 principalities) as opposed to sultan, emir, or emperor. These monarchies reign over 43 countries.

-The title of the King of Bhutan means Dragon King. I wonder if that makes the heir the Dragon Prince?

-Here's a link to some royal heirs. Take a look and tell us in the comments who's your favorite prince.

Book Recommendations:
The Kingdom of Arnhem series by Nicole Zoltack
The Prophecy by Erin Albert
Palace of the Twelve Pillars Dragons by Christina Weigand
The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace

Be sure to stop back tomorrow for more royal hotness and a rafflecopter giveaway!!!

And don't forget to check out April Erwin's blog for her tributes to National Prince Week. 



"A reverse Sleeping Beauty tale where the princess goes on the quest to save the prince."

Princess Kaylee has never had to fight for anything. Her entire life has been arranged, even her marriage. But when Prince Devlin falls under an enchantment, she finds she is willing to do anything to save him, even if it means fighting a dragon.

Devlin's own sister, Princess Arabella, is behind the deadly plot. She wants the throne and will use any means necessary. Her perfect plan unravels, leaving Devlin caught in a magical sleep that is slowly spreading through the kingdom of Breniera. All Arabella needs to finish her spell and claim the crown is a drop of Kaylee's blood, but obtaining the single drop is proving more difficult than expected.

To save her betrothed, Kaylee embarks on a quest to find an ancient sword and gather a drop of dragon's blood, while trying to stay out of Arabella's traps. But Arabella's traps aren't the only danger. Time is everything. For once the last inhabitant of the kingdom falls asleep, the spell will be sealed, and not even true love's kiss will break it.


a Rafflecopter giveaway





Thursday, August 14, 2014

THE BONE TREATY by TC McKee and a Contest!!!

To say I'm excited about TC McKee's release of THE BONE TREATY would be a complete understatement. See, I was privileged enough to see this work when Addie was Ember, and she met Griffin in a parking lot when he dropped a bag of dog food. (And, no, Tam, I didn't have to go look at those drafts to remember. I really remembered that!) The transformations this story has gone through are amazing, kind of like when Mia undergoes her makeover from teen-frump to gorgeous princess in THE PRINCESS DIARIES movie.  Now, here's Tammy!




Sorry guys, but Mary’s blog has been hacked by me. T.C. McKee. (Rhyming cringe) God that’s awful. Anyway, while Mare’s away (I hope she doesn’t mind me calling her Mare) I thought I’d tell everybody about my new book. My debut. Wait! Are debuts supposed to make you feel naked? 'Cause I feel totally pant-less right now. Sorry, back to my brainchild (many would have thought it to be much shorter in length), The uh…see banner due north. At least I think that’s north, unless you’re upside down or lying on your side. No, that’s definitely north. I promise there isn’t this much blathering in the book. The MC, Addie Heaton tends to say what she thinks and the world can be damned for it. Okay, so not exactly. I mean some things she keeps secret. Like, how she picks up on the auras of others without ever laying eyes on them. What? It’s a little trick she likes to call color vision. 


Here’s the Back Cover:

Addie Heaton’s not your average high school student. Orphaned at two, she’s spent most of her life reading the emotions of others. It’s a little trick she likes to call color-vision. But lately, a stranger has been trailing her, putting off shades of black and red—colors Addie hasn’t seen since the night her parents were killed—colors Addie never wanted to see again.

But when Addie comes face to face with Conal Reed, owner of the terrifying shades, she learns her stranger’s a little different too. He’s brooding hot, mysterious, and all too elusive. Conal loves to materialize, and then vanish at all the wrong times. Nice.

Not.

After years of keeping her ability a secret, Addie’s found another person with gifts, someone who may know what she really is. But Conal’s not talking. He’s having more fun showing up uninvited, teasing her senses, and disappearing at all the wrong times. Instead of finding answers, Addie finds herself reconsidering ever being alone and naked again.




Now, to celebrate this little milestone I’m giving away an ebook copy of The Bone Treaty. All you have to do is like my Facebook page to enter. I wanted to keep it simple. No hoops.

If you want to follow me elsewhere, you can find me at my blog: http://tcmckeewriter.blogspot.com

On Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard

Or on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TCMckee

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/TC-Mckee/229753570369464?ref=hl

And if you absolutely have to have a copy right this minute that’s allowed too. You can find it right here.

I would heart you forever…TO THA BONE but not in a creepy way like Conal.

Now I guess I should go and give Mare her blog back. Next time I promise to divulge one of her deepest, darkest secrets. And no! She is NOT in love with me. It’s more like a long distance crush really.

She’s gonna kill me.

Thanks for reading.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


















Monday, August 11, 2014

Prepping for a New Fridge

I know it doesn't seem like something to be all that excited about, but I'm getting a new fridge. My 20 year old one has lived a long, full life, but recently it has started freezing foods that are not meant to be frozen. So, I'm getting a new one.

In preparation for said new fridge, we moved the old one out this weekend as the cabinet above needed to be shortened to accommodate the taller model. Well, this led to needing to paint, because I couldn't stand the hideous shade of pink I'd be looking at if I didn't.



So after a trip to the store with one of my friends, I returned with the perfect color (one that will be spreading its way through the rest of my kitchen once I remove the wallpaper.)

Here's a glimpse of the work in progress after one coat, and part of the wallpaper still remaining.


And here's the final look, after a second coat, and the removal of some wallpaper I decided to get rid of (I did keep the border trim, though!)



Now, I'm all ready to welcome my new fridge into this nice and clean corner of my kitchen.

What did you spend your weekend doing?


Friday, August 8, 2014

Cover reveal: UNSPEAKABLE by Michelle K. Pickett

COVER REVEAL:
UNSPEAKABLE by Michelle K. Pickett

We are excited to share with you the official cover reveal of UNSPEAKABLE by Michelle K. Pickett. UNSPEAKABLE is a young adult contemporary romance that is scheduled to release in February of 2015. Check out more information below and make sure to add it to your TBR List! 

Summary from Good Reads:

“Breathe. No one will break me. I’m strong. Breathe. Just breathe.”

On the outside, Willow appears to have it all. She’s beautiful, smart, from an influential family, and she dates the most popular guy in school—Jaden. But she would walk away from it all in a second. Willow is tormented by lies and suffocating guilt, not the hearts and flowers people believe her life is full of. 

She carries a dark secret. Plagued by nightmares and pain, the secret dominates her life. If she hadn’t walked away. If she had just… but she didn’t. And now she has to live with her choices. But when someone uncovers her family’s past, they use it against her, crushing her spirit little by little. She tells herself she just has to make it to graduation. Then she can leave Middleton, and her secret, far behind.

When Brody transfers to Cassidy High, he turns Willow’s life upside down. He shows her what it feels like to live again, really live. And suddenly, she isn’t satisfied with just surviving until graduation. She wants a normal life—with Brody—and he wants her. But the closer they become, the more it threatens to unravel the secret she’s worked so hard to hide.

Willow finds true love with Brody. Will she let his love save her, or walk away from him to keep her secret safe?


And now for the AMAZING COVER!!!!














Genre: Mature Young Adult Contemporary Romance (Realistic Fiction)

Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing

Release Date: February 10, 2015








Goodreads Book Giveaway


Unspeakable by Michelle K. Pickett   



Unspeakable


by Michelle K. Pickett


Giveaway ends September 30, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.





Enter to win




ABOUT MICHELLE K. PICKETT:








Michelle is the bestselling author of the young adult novel “PODs.” She was born and raised in Flint, Michigan, but now lives in a sleepy suburb outside Houston with her extremely supportive husband, three school-aged children, a 125 pound “lap dog,” and a very snooty cat.




Red Bull or Monster Khaos are her coffee of choice, and she can’t write without peanut butter M&Ms and a hoodie. A hopeful romantic; she loves a swoon-worthy ending that will give her butterflies for days. She writes across genres in the young adult and new adult age groups. She loves to hear from her readers.





Michelle signed her new young adult contemporary novel— Unspeakable, with Clean Teen Publishing in 2014. 



Keep up-to-date on her current and future projects at www.michelle-pickett.com.

 






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