Friday, June 17, 2016

Exciting Cover Reveal!!!!! Daybreak Rising by @coliver_writes

So I'm super excited to be apart of this cover reveal, mainly because I read the book earlier in the year, and we've had the pleasure of hosting C.K. Oliver on our blog before.

If you don't already notice, f/f romance(stands for female/female) doesn't get as much recognition. We're always on the lookout for f/f, especially if it's inclusive(religiously, racially, disability rep, etc.).

What I liked most about Daybreak Rising is that it's an actually LGBTQ book. I know folks are wondering what I mean by that statement, and a year ago I would've argued the same, but bear with me.

Technically most folks label books LGBTQ, when they really mean a particular letter. If there isn't trans, bisexual, lesbian or other other identities in a book, I believe it should be labeled as such, because I'm often looking for all those if I see the label LGBTQ, and get mighty disappointed when all of it isn't repped.

Daybreak Rising actually has multiple identities represented, as well as racial and disability representation, and after a long awaited announcement, I've just found out it's going to be a trilogy!

Before I go on and on about how awesome this ish is, here's the cover! Add it to you TBR...now!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Xpresso Book Tours Present: Ghost Hope Book Blitz by @rippatton @XpressoReads #giveaway


Ghost Hope
Ripley Patton
(The PSS Chronicles #4)
Publication date: June 15th 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Thriller, Young Adult

Olivia Black does not feel safe. Nightmares plague her sleep and haunt her days. If she has to endure one more minute stuck in a safe house in rainy Portland, she’s going to lose it. When Mike Palmer sneaks off to find her sister Kaylee without her, it’s the last straw. She has to do something.
Then Palmer’s hackers find the Dome on a satellite feed: dark, abandoned and smack in the middle of the Oregon desert three hundred miles from where it started. If they can reach it before anyone else, they can crack the computer systems and access every piece of information on PSS the CAMFers and The Hold have ever collected.
But in order to do that, Olivia must return to the origin of her fears in a race against all the forces that have ever pitted themselves against her. She must unravel decades of deceit to reveal the true origins of Psyche Sans Soma to the world at last.
Previous books in the series: Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000037_00040]
**Grab Ghost Hand (book 1) for FREE! Plus, book 2 & 3 are on sale for 99cents – until the end of June only!**
EXCERPT:
“Olivia!” My mother’s voice jolted me awake.
I sat up in the rental van’s passenger seat, wiping drool from my cheek. Chase and T-dog’s Westfalia had stopped in front of us at a massive gate rising out of the darkness, topped with barbed wire and sporting several Danger: High Voltage and No Trespassing on Federal Land signs.
We had arrived at Umatilla, and I’d fallen asleep, like I always did in a moving vehicle, before I’d explained to my mother that I’d lied about our destination. We were not on a scenic over-nighter up the Columbia River Gorge. That had just been a cover story.
“Olivia Anne Black,” she said, pointing at the gate. “What is that?”
“Um—I don’t know,” I stammered. “We must have taken a wrong turn.”
“Is this the motel?” Grant asked groggily from the back. It sounded like I wasn’t the only one who’d taken a nap.
“No, it’s not,” my mother answered testily. “What the hell is he doing?”
She was referring to T-Dog, who had gotten out of their van carrying something bulky under his arm. When he set it down and started fiddling with a controller in his hands, I realized it was one of those personal drones. Suddenly, the little thing lit up and went whirling into the air, kicking up dust and flying over the gate. On the other side, it dipped down and stopped, a green light flashing on its undercarriage as it hovered over some kind of control panel. As I watched, a green light began flashing on the panel too, like they were communicating with one another. Because they were. T-dog was hacking into Umatilla. He was breaking into a federally-owned chemical depot.
I could feel my mother turning toward me, a question in her eyes, her lips parting to ask it.
Headlights, high and wide, flashed in the rearview mirror, blinding me. They were barreling down on us, but I only heard the rev of the engine just before the crunch of impact.
The whole van jerked forward, shoving us toward the back of the Westfalia and stopping only inches from its rear bumper.
“What the—?” Grant yelled, and I heard cries of alarm from Passion and Samantha.
My seatbelt dug into my waist and my shoulder, but the airbags hadn’t deployed, so that was good.
In front of us, T-Dog scrambled back into their van and slammed his door. The gate started to open, the drone hovering on the other side, still blinking green.
There was another crunching sound and a slight tug backwards. Then, more revving.
“Hold on. They’re coming again,” my mother said, jamming the van into drive and laying on the horn like a mad woman. We couldn’t go anywhere. The Westfalia was right in front of us and some lunatic was behind us, gearing up to rear-end us a second time.
“We have to go through,” I told my mom, gesturing at the gate.
“I know,” she said, glaring out at the windshield and revving our engine now. “Get out of my way, you two. What are you waiting for?” she mumbled under her breath, laying on the horn again and not letting up.
The vehicle behind was almost upon us. I could hear it coming.
Up ahead, T-dog glanced at me in his side view mirror, but it was too dark to read his expression. Had he and Chase set us up? Was this their doing?
The gate was open wider now, maybe wide enough for the Westfalia, but would it be enough for our bigger van?
“Hold on,” my mom said, glancing in the rearview mirror and slamming her foot on the gas.
I braced myself, this time for impact from the back and front, but it didn’t come.
We surged forward, gently kissing the back bumper of the Westfalia, both of us racing through the still opening gate. I heard a horrible sound, metal screeching against metal, and sparks flew in a shower away from us as the huge closures of the gate scraped down both sides of our van.
As soon as we were free and clear, Chase veered off to the right and pulled to a stop. As we drove past, I could see T-Dog holding the drone remote out his window, working it frantically, trying to close the gate before our attackers made it in. But he wasn’t fast enough. The pick-up truck that had rear-ended us roared forward, squeezing through just like we had. For a moment, I thought it had a really weird hood ornament, but then I realized it was the drone, flying low and toward us in front of the truck.
“Get higher,” I murmured to the little thing. As if hearing me, it did, rising above the front of the truck only to plummet a second later just as the vehicle overtook it.
And then it was gone, sucked under the huge wheel of the big truck with a soft crunch and a shower of shrapnel spraying from its undercarriage.
“Stop the van,” I told my mother, but she’d already turned and was pulling up alongside the guys.
“Who is that?” I shouted out my window at Chase, pointing at the truck as it pulled up, headlights blinding us all, the gate clanging shut behind it.
“I have no idea,” he shouted back. “But I think we’re about to find out.”
A truck door slammed.
A dark form moved, crossing the dusty swathe of its high beams, and a man emerged, tall, wrinkled, and tan, a long rifle dangling from his right hand.


Author Bio:
Ripley Patton lives in Portland, Oregon with one cat, two teenagers, and a man who wants to live on a boat. She doesn't smoke, or drink, or cuss as much as her characters. Her only real vices are writing, eating M&Ms, and watching reality television.
Ripley is an award-winning short story writer and author of The PSS Chronicles, a young adult paranormal thriller series. The first book in the series, GHOST HAND, was a semi-finalist for The Kindle Book Review 2013 Best Indie Book Awards and a Cybil Award Nominee.
The second book in the series, GHOST HOLD, was released in September 2013.
The third book in the series, GHOST HEART, was released in October 2014.
And GHOST HOPE, the final book of the series will be released in the Spring 2016.
You can find out more about Ripley and her fiction on her website at ripleypatton.com.


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Monday, April 11, 2016

Things we've been up to: Non-Bookish or Non-Writerly Related Us

Writing real life is never fun
 So real life has not been great...

Things we've been up to: Bookish Us

Oh the life of audiobooks. How did I ever think you were wastes of time?
 I remember the days when I swore I'd never pick up an ebook, because the only real books to me were hard copies. Then I won a Nook, and hard copies seem to now inconveniently take up space, where any day now, I fear being overrun by 6 full bookcases and growing I can no longer handle.

Things we've been up to: Writer Us

Excuse me while I jam to the last five seconds of Travis Garland's cover of "Dangerous Woman".
 
Oh, we're back? 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

My first time as a #Cybils judge: Part I-The Experience

I should really state that this is Guinevere's(that's me!) experience as a judge for the Cybils.

Libertad and I both had the pleasure of hosting as judge, in two separate catergories, Libby in Middle Grade Contemporary, myself in Middle Grade Speculative Fiction respectively.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Xpresso Book Tours Book Blitz: Sing Sweet Sparrow by @AngelaJTownsend @XpressoReads


Sing Sweet Sparrow
Angela J. Townsend
Publication date: January 12th 2016
Genres: Historical, Romance, Young Adult

With the odd disappearance of her parents, Gussie Gibson has lived her entire life with her granny on a peaceful pecan orchard, owned by the meanest man in all of Georgia—Mr. J.P. Combs. Granny teaches Gussie many valuable life lessons as a black woman growing up in the still-segregated south. Mr. Combs is an evil underhanded banker who takes liberties beyond his privilege. When Granny dies, Combs informs Gussie she owes him back rent—but he wants much more than money for payment—and more than Gussie can live with.
After defending herself against his sexual advances, Gussie flees to escape certain vigilante justice when she meets a charming, handsome stranger, Sam Johnson, who is just returning from World War II.
Gussie and Sam’s friendship is short-lived when Mr. Combs hunts her down and drags her back to Green Ridge, driven by his craving for revenge and a grudge too deep to comprehend. Gussie fights to return to Sam and his love, but it seems, no matter where she runs, danger follows close on her heels, in the troubled South where cruelty disfigures the human spirit and love is a dim beacon of hope.

EXCERPT:
1945

No one on this earth deserves to die more than Mister J.P. Combs.
Mister Combs is the vice president of the Green Ridge Union Bank, and the nastiest man in all of Georgia. He robs from the old, the poor, the sick, and the weak. Granny and I been working for the Combs family for as long as I can remember. Granny taught me how to wash their silver and fancy china so it comes out shiny, how to iron the tablecloths, and how to fold the napkins just how Missus Combs likes it done.
Missus is a nice woman. She treats Granny and me right. On Sunday she takes her coffee into the kitchen to visit with us after church. But not Mister. He hates colored folks. He says we don’t know our place.
Mister never takes his eyes off of me. It’s like he’s making sure I don’t stop to take an extra breath while I’m working, so he’s getting his money’s worth. Granny and I tend the Combs’ house for just sixty-nine cents an hour. That’s a lot less than most maids. The trouble is that Granny is old, tired and slow. Her feet don’t work so good no more. We got to take what work we can get.
Mister comes home early every Friday. He likes to lean against the stove while he peels an apple with a buck knife. He chews the pieces and leers at me while I polish the silver. I’d love to stuff that apple in his mouth and stick him in the stove. I gotta learn to control my temper, sometimes it’s hard, especially when Mister’s at me. Don’t know from one day to the next what’s gonna happen. Somedays I wish I could explode and blow up the whole world.
Granny knows I got a bad temper. It worries her. She takes me into Mister’s parlor and stares at me with her brow all crinkled up. “Gussie child, you keep outta Mister’s way,” she whispers. “I don’t like how he looks at you.” Granny shakes her head in disgust. “You’re only sixteen years old. Don’t you let him get close. You stay by me—you hear?”
I can’t look at Granny. My cheeks burn with shame.
Granny takes hold of my hands. “You listening to me, child?”
I nod. She leans in real close, her bottom lip quivers in a two-tone brown. I stare at the wrinkles around her mouth, and at her bottom row of teeth all worn down. I worry about how much longer she’ll live. I don’t want her to leave me. “I see the way he’s been looking at you,” Granny says. “Like you the hottest thing on the lunch menu.” Granny lifts my chin so that our eyes meet. “If he comes round, and you alone—you tell him you got chores to do.” Granny squeezes my hands tighter. “His heart ain’t nothing but a thumpin’ gizzard. He’ll hurt you if he has a chance. You stay away from him. You understand me, child?”
I nod again. “Yes, Ma’am.”
The lines around Granny’s eyes soften. She cradles my head in her knobby hands. “You the only thing I got in this world, Gussie. I done lost my boy. I don’t plan on losing you too.”
My lips tremble. “I know Granny, I’ll be careful.” I cross my heart. “I promise.”
She hugs me round the waist, but I don’t hug her back too hard. She’s so frail, I worry that she’ll break. I press my face into her chest. Her heart pounds against my ear and I feel her shaking. All this worry isn’t good for her old body. I don’t want to let go of her. I bury my head into her shirt collar. She smells like shea butter and sweet ginger. Granny runs her hand over my head. Her fingers untangle the curls in my hair, the ones she makes with the pressing comb heated on the stove every morning. Granny pulls away from me and sits down. She never sits at Mister’s house. She looks so tired.
“Granny, you okay?”
She closes her eyes for a moment, placing a hand on her chest. “Take me home, child.”
I help her up, and hold tight to her thin hand as she walks unsteady beside me. My heart twists over Granny working so hard at her age. How she worries over me.
We head outside and make our way down the path through the pecan grove. The path is uneven and it’s hard for Granny to walk. Her toes are twisted like tree roots with arthritis. I wish I could carry her home so her feet don’t have to hurt. She holds onto my arm as I help her up the front steps of the shack we rent from Mister.
We go inside but Granny won’t rest. She puts supper on the stove, and waves me away when I try to help. She lowers herself onto her rocking chair while the beans boil on the back burner. Granny releases a heavy sigh, closes her eyes and stops rocking. I touch her hand and she don’t move. I can’t breathe. My soul dissolves into darkness. I know she’s gone but I can’t face it. I run to Mister’s house. Missus lets me use their telephone and I call for help.
Half an hour later, Granny’s church ladies come and take her away while my heart rips into pieces. I sit in the dark staring at her empty chair, at her shoes, at the knitting needles sticking in the ball of yarn. I close my eyes willing it all to be gone, for the day to start over with Granny alive. I wish life could be like a chalk board where you can erase the bad parts and start over. Hours pass with nothing but the ticking of the clock. I look out the window surprised to see the world still going on even though Granny isn’t.
After the funeral, I lay up in the bed and pray that God kills me so I can be with my Granny—the only mother I’ve ever known—the only person I ever loved. I don’t sleep. I don’t eat. I don’t go to work. I just don’t care about living anymore. When Granny died, something came apart and broke inside me. Fell off a shelf and shattered to the floor. And I just can’t put all the pieces back together.
A week passes and Mister comes looking for me. He’s mad that I haven’t been to work. He yells his fool head off, saying I gotta pay the rent or get out. I don’t got no money and nowhere to go. I don’t know why God don’t come down and take me to Granny. What kind of a life do I have to look forward to anyhow. I don’t want to be stuck in some white man’s kitchen the rest of my life.
Mister comes back the next day, but I already got my bags packed. He looks at me and frowns. “Where you think you’re going?”
I just shrug.
“You come on home with me. You can have a room in exchange for looking after the house. You got that, girl?”
I nod my head. I don’t know what else to do.
I don’t got no choice.
A lonesome sparrow hatches inside of me, flies out my mouth, and pulls out my insides as it leaves, taking all my happiness with it.
*****
Missus shows me to my room. Mister follows and stands in the hallway, watching. Missus hands me a washrag and towel, shows me where to put my things, and then pulls back my bed sheets.
“I’m so sorry about your Granny. She was a good woman and I‘ll miss her,” Missus says. “Try to get some sleep, child.”
She closes the door behind her, but I hear Mister breathing through the thin wood. I get undressed and slip my nightgown on as quickly as I can, wash my face and jump into bed, hoping he’ll go away. As I close my eyes I see Granny, smiling at me. Tears fill my eyes and roll down the sides of my face into my ears.
Later that night, the feeling of being watched startles me awake. In the moonlight, Mister stands in the doorway. Clamping my eyes tight, I try to shut him out. The wood floor groans as he creeps closer. The smell of whiskey and cheap cologne fill the room. His cigar breath comes in rapid, short bursts, followed by a wheezing rattle. My heart jumps like a cricket and blood pulses in my ears. The bed shifts under Mister’s heavy frame. I lay still as death, petrified, pretending to be asleep.
Mister leans over me, dripping sweat from his forehead onto my face. I fight to keep my eyes closed. I don’t want to look at him. He flips back the thin sheet. The bedsprings squeak like a flock of birds.
“J. P., are you coming to bed?” Missus yells.
Mister lets out a grunt and curses under his breath. The bed squeaks again as he moves away. The sounds of his heavy footsteps echo across the floor and the smell of whiskey grows fainter. Springing from the covers, I close the door, lock it and slip on my clothes. I climb back into bed, pull the blankets up under my chin and try to erase what just happened from my mind. I stare at the moonlit ceiling, praying that God will keep me safe or take me to heaven so I can be with Granny.
A few hours later, the grandfather clock in the hallway strikes midnight, waking me up. Heavy footsteps shuffle outside my door again. The doorknob moves slowly from left to right then rattles fast against the lock.
I don’t sleep the rest of the night.
The next day Mister slinks up behind me in the kitchen, grabs my shoulders and yanks me backward until his big gut presses against my backside. My legs tremble when his hot breath brushes my ear. “I can get into that room anytime I like, so you better be ready” he growls. His rough tongue flicks at the base of my neck. I swing my elbows back hard and pull away. I return to my chores, paying him no mind at all. I may be his house girl, but he don’t own me. I won’t give in without a fight.


Author Bio:
Angela is a multi-published, award-winning author of young adult and middle grade books. She has a motion picture based on her award-winning novel, The Forlorned, coming out soon, and a second motion picture project in production for River of Bones.


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