Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Looking Back.... Looking Ahead

2014 is almost gone... in fact it is already gone for most of you, I however still have 1 hour and 12 minutes left until 2015 sweeps in and makes me curse writing the date. Of course by the time you read this it will be 2015 here. 

What can I say about 2014? It was a year that kicked my butt. The first half of the year was great. I was on fire with blogging, writing, teaching, everything. I actually published my first book! (Can I just take a second to let that sink in? I still can't believe I... I published a book. Like a real book. I can see it sitting on my shelf and everything.) Okay, moment is over. 

The minute I hit publish on that book everything changed. Naturally I began to doubt my decision to publish my book. But the book was out there so it was too late. Now all I could do was dwell on the fact that it was out there. Then the what if's sort of froze me. My doubts froze me. I no longer felt like I had what it took to write a second book. Oh sure, I had the second book mostly outlined, a plan for a prequel and even plans for book 3. How could I think of not continuing? That's exactly what I'm thinking now, how could I, but I did. 

Life happened. Things at work got crazy, I got promoted and took on way more responsibility than I ever had before. I took my classroom and students to heights I didn't think possible. But everything else fell short. I stopped blogging. I stopped reading. I stopped doing everything that mattered to me. I just was. I was in a funk, depressed, I don't know. I was a shadow of the person I wanted to be, but I couldn't seem to find a way to change it. In fact a part of me didn't even care. I didn't want to change it. What was wrong with not being so busy all the time. Life was busy enough without all the extras I put into it. 

But then I began to see glimmer's of myself. I began to see my old self floating to the surface again. She surfaced a few times over the past 6 months, but I was fast to shove her back under. I never let her surface for too long. Looking back now I think I was afraid. Afraid to fail? To succeed? I don't know. But again my fear froze me. Slowly but surely she fought herself to the surface more and more. Each time bringing more than glimmers. I began to see that I still wanted to do all the things I was doing before. I still desired, yearned, to be a writer and blogger and that wasn't a bad thing. 

I finally picked up a book and enjoyed it. I began thinking of my characters again, of Jo and Jasper. Of the story that lie in waiting for over 6 months now. Stories untold began to float through my mind and a fire was stoked. I picked up things for my blog, cover reveals, blasts, blitz's, small things. Nothing that really required me to think, but it was enough to make me miss it. 

And now I'm back. Or at least I think I am. Well I want to be. 2014 wasn't everything I wanted it to be. It was a good year overall, but it wasn't everything I wanted it to be and like most of you I have spent the last couple of days reflecting on exactly what I need to do to make 2015 better. To make myself happier. 

And I have come to one conclusion.... I need to just be me. I need to accept the fact that I cannot be the perfect blogger, posting everyday, I can't be the best teacher there ever was, I can't be the perfect author, and heaven knows I can't be a perfect mother or wife. But I do know that I can better.

I can be a better blogger today than I was yesterday. A better writer. Teacher. And yes a better wife and mother. Because that's all I really want. I don't want to be perfect. I just want to be better. I don't know how I will measure it, but hopefully I will feel it in the happiness of myself and those around me. 

One thing is for certain... I am going to rock the hell out of 2015!!! Who's with me???

Monday, December 29, 2014

Aurora Sky Vampire Hunter: Hunting Season {Cover Reveal}

Today is an awesome day. Not only is it my birthday, but I get to share the cover of the next book in the Aurora Sky series with you! Talk about an awesome gift! And the best part is that I get to share it with all of you. So here you go, feast your eyes on Hunting Season by Nikki Jefford (one of my favorite people)

Releases 3-3-15

Hunting Season
Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter, Vol. 4

Better to be a hunter, not prey.
 Ever since her partner was kidnapped, Aurora Sky has been on a personal mission to get him back. To do that she needs the vampire responsible for destroying her life.
 In order to have a snowball’s chance at success, she’ll have to team up with her most loyal friends—including a certain vampire in black with a provoking talent for distraction.
 Old cravings aren’t easily quenched, nor past passions. With knowledge comes danger and Aurora is at risk on all sides.
Pre-order on Amazon or sign up for a Release Alert to receive links to Nook, Kobo, Google Play and iBooks. Add at Goodreads.

Cover design: Phatpuppy Art. Photography: Teresa Yeh. Typography: Najla Qamber Designs. Models: Gabriella and Lee.

About the Author:

Nikki Jefford is a third generation Alaskan, born & raised in Anchorage, now living in northern Washington state. She loves meeting people from all walks of life, from around the globe, and wouldn't trade her French husband in for anyone--not even Spike! The dark side of humanity fascinates her, so long as it's balanced by humor and romance.

Find Her: Facebook | Twitter | Blogger | Goodreads

Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly {Nerd Blast}

They're out for your soul.
And they don't have heaven in mind...
  Willow knows she's different from other girls, and not just because she loves tinkering with cars. Willow has a gift. She can look into the future and know people's dreams and hopes, their sorrows and regrets, just by touching them. She has no idea where this power comes from.

But the assassin, Alex, does. Gorgeous, mysterious Alex knows more about Willow than Willow herself does. He knows that her powers link to dark and dangerous forces and that he's one of the few humans left who can fight them. When Alex finds himself falling in love with his sworn enemy, he discovers that nothing is as it seems; least of all good and evil.

Find It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

I have to say, I am really digging that cover! Wow! Stunning, this book is definitely going on my TBR!

Check out the book trailer...

About the Author~
Lee Weatherly was born in 1967 and grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA. She lives with her husband in Hampshire, England, where she writes, goes on walks, tries out new recipes and has a cat named Bernard.
  L.A. Weatherly is the pseudonym for Lee Weatherly. You can follow her on Twitter at @LA_Weatherly
Find Her: Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook

International... 6 winners will receive a Copy of Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Where Silence Gathers by Kelsey Sutton {Release Blast}

Well it's been a while since I've been here, but what's a better way to get back in the swing of things then by sharing a new book? And this one sounds pretty cool, so stick around and maybe grab a new book to cuddle with.

In this companion novel to the critically acclaimed Some Quiet Place, Alex must choose between Revenge and Forgiveness.
For as long as she can remember, Alexandra Tate has been able to see personified Emotions, and she's found a best friend in Revenge. He's her constant companion as she waits outside Nate Foster's house, clutching a gun. Every night since Nate's release from prison, Alex has tried to work up the courage to exact her own justice on him for the drunk driving accident that killed her family.
But there's one problem: Forgiveness. When he appears, Alex is faced with a choice—moving on or getting even. It's impossible to decide with Forgiveness whispering in one ear . . . and Revenge whispering in the other.

About the Author~
Kelsey Sutton has done everything from training dogs and making cheeseburgers to selling yellow page ads and cleaning hotel rooms. She lives in northern Minnesota and received a BA in English from Bemidji State University. When Kelsey is not writing or trying out a new career, she can be found in the park with her dogs, ordering a coconut mocha at the local coffee shop, or browsing a bookstore.

Find Her: Website | Twitter | Goodreads


2 winners will receive a copy of Where Silence Gathers by Kelsey Sutton 
Enter HERE!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Black Tower by Steven Montano {Blog Tour: Review}

Today's the day. The final day of The Black Tower Blog Tour and I get to wrap things up with a review of the last book in this trilogy. It is always honor to work with Steven Montano. He is not only an incredibly talented author, but he is also a great friend. I am definitely glad I met him on the Twitterverse some one and a half years ago. Now let's get on with it.

Please make sure you enter to win the signed paperback copy of Vampire Down at the bottom of this post. Miss the other posts on the tour? Check out the schedule here.

*Received a free copy in exchange for an honest review

War returns to Malzaria in this epic conclusion to The Skullborn Trilogy. 
Deep in the wastes called the Bonelands, rival crime guilds and renegade Bloodspeakers battle through the ruined streets of Corinth.  At the heart of the doomed city lies a magical portal which grants access to the dark citadel of Chul Gaerog, wherein lie the secrets of the long dead Blood Queen.
Armies amass to the south as powerful forces from the Jlantrian and Den'nari Empires make ready to clash with the monstrous Black Army and its frightful leader, the black giant called Ghul, agent of the Cabal and ally of the dreaded Iron Count.

And deep in the heart of the black tower, the dream witch Ijanna Taivorkan comes face-to-face with the dark angel Calladar, once guardian to the Blood Queen and self-appointed master of the citadel.  Only the fallen knight Azander Dane can help her survive her trials, but first he must face the demons of his past, as well as a merciless squad of Jlantrian hunters sent to destroy the woman he's sworn to protect...

Return to a world of dark magic, tainted heroes and dark plots in this action-packed sequel to City of Scars and Path of Bones.

My Review~

What can I say about The Black Tower? No, seriously, what can I say? Maybe shorter would be better here because there really isn't much I can say without giving something away, so let me say this.

The Black Tower was one action sequence after another. Again author Steven Montano dazzled me with his ability to weave incredible action into his well developed and complex story. There is no possible way for you to get bored in this book. The story is constantly moving forward, moving to that destination that only the author knows. That deep dark secret that you know in your gut to be true, the one that maybe you don't want to face or accept. And that's just one thing that makes this book so exciting. There are things, dark things occurring in this book. And each of these actions or events leads to the one thing that could mean the end of everything. 

Like the other books in the series we follow multiple characters and story lines as they all converge on each other. As the reader you know this is going to happen from the minute you read City of Scars and with each page of each book the tension builds, until finally it all comes together in one epic ending. Was it a satisfying ending? Well maybe, but this really isn't the end of this series, so I expected that. I didn't expect sunshine and rainbows when this book ended.

Steven Montano has incredible talent for building amazing worlds, that are easily imagined allowing his readers to become completely immersed in the story. He understands the fine art of giving the reader just enough information to build a world in their imagination. A talent that is hard to find.

The Black Tower will make you bite your nails, cringe, and maybe even wish you could unsee those things you envisioned when you devoured the words on the page. It is a non-stop thrill ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end and is a true Fantasy tale that will definitely fill your bookish appetite. 

"All the measure of his worth, all he'd done to redeem himself, and again the need for him came down to his capacity to slaughter." (kindle, loc. 4820)

This is just one example of why I love the main character Azander Dane. He is unlike most main characters. He isn't the perfect hero. He has a dark past and struggles to make amends for his crimes. He is a hero on a path to redemption, his just isn't an easy path.

About the Author:
Steven Montano is an author, geek, and accountant.  He also spends way too much time drinking wine, hiking, and watching bad 80s movies.
Steven is the author of the Blood Skies series, the Skullborn Trilogy, and something black... 
His upcoming novels are The Last Acolyte, the first novel in the military sci-fi/space opera sequence The Rike Chronicles; The Alchemist, the first in the paranormal action Tooth & Claw series; and Colder, a mystery/thriller. 
Steve and his family live in Michigan.  They’re still wondering how they got there.
Find out more at 

Stalk Him: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Vampire Down by Steven Montano

Vampire Down

by Steven Montano

Giveaway ends December 10, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win