Archive for book reviews

New Releases! Awesome Summer Reading Material!

Posted in book reviews, indie, urban fantasy, young adult fiction with tags , , , , , on July 3, 2013 by rachelcoles

YA_Indie_CarnivalHi fellow indies!

Been gone for a little while, but now I’m back with more fun reading recommendations, from a few of our very cool YA Indie Carnival authors, Heather Sutherlin, Cindy Bennett, and Jeffrey Moore!

Check out Wandering! I love even the name. Author Heather Sutherlin transports you to another world rich with vivid images and even recollections of song, reminding me of nostalgia, of getting a whiff of scent during spring, or remembering a snatch of melody that instantly drops me full-force into a memory. Her images evoke visceral reactions, which make her writing very engaging.

Here’s a teaser synopsis and excerpt:

Wandering front only

When you’ve travelled between worlds, there’s nowhere left to go but home.

Rory has never been so cold in her life. But the biting wind only reminds her of another pain that grows more intense with each passing day. Each night Jaron’s beautiful voice sings in her dreams, and each day her footsteps draw her closer to his side. Danger and intrigue at every turn, no distance is too far when you’re returning for true love.


Rin has spent the last five years searching for Rory across two worlds. Now a series of visions have him convinced he’s growing closer to finding her. But when Rory slips through another portal, taking his visions with her, he finds himself back at square one. To find her now he’ll need the help of an old friend and a little otherworldly magic.  This time he intends to bring The Wanderer home for good.


Available on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iTunes

June 25th, 2013


Links for purchase:





An Excerpt from Wandering:


Sometimes I think I’ve seen her face more times than my own.


Tonight she stands on top of a snow- covered mountain with the wind in her hair.  Her eyes crinkle at the corners as she squints into the distance. She shifts her stance, leaning, her body reaching forward and I can almost feel the racing of her heart as the wind billows around her, lifting her cloak and whipping her hair into her eyes. It reminds her of something she once felt, something powerful.  Blood pounds in my ears and for a moment we are connected, The Wanderer and I. Her pain, her longing, they choke me. She holds her breath as the wind grows stronger. It pushes against her so that her footing slips. I want to shout to her, warn her that she might fall, but I can almost hear her thoughts. She hopes it will carry her away. To bring her back.


The wind whips around her, swirling ice and snow at her feet and she begins to cry. Her tears freeze as they slide down her cheeks.  She doesn’t cry from fear or pain.  Not even the bitter, endless cold could cause her tears.  No, she cries because it is only the wind.



 I woke up, panting, covered in sweat.  Turning over, I clenched my eyes shut in a desperate attempt to bring the images back into focus.


“It’s no use,” I groaned.  I knew it wouldn’t work.  It never did.  She was gone.  That one little glimpse was all I would get –for now.


The visions began the very day we returned home from Rutahn, the world beyond the portal. I fell asleep on my aunt’s couch and probably hadn’t even started snoring when her face filled my mind. She was lying in the corner of a little hut, bundled in blankets and furs. I remember how she shivered, like she was trying to shake off her own skin. Her cheeks were flushed a bright red and she gasped for air, tossing in her makeshift little bed. An arm with skin the color of caramel reached toward her and wiped her face with a wet cloth. That’s when I realized she was sick. I woke up in a panic, my heart racing. I had fallen asleep afraid she might be dead and now instead of feeling relieved that she was alive, I was more afraid than ever. We still didn’t know where Rory was, but now I knew she was very sick. I worried incessantly about her after that. I dreamed of her nearly every night, gathering bits and pieces of information, clues as to where she might be.  After that, the dreams gradually increased in frequency, and then grew more intense.  Now, instead of just seeing Rory, I could feel a little of her thoughts, her emotions.  Most of the time it was a relief.  I saw her safe. I watched her grow strong again. I even saw her smile once or twice.


Then, there were nights like this one.  Nights where I could sense her terror, her despair, the aching loneliness or desperate longing for those she had lost. I would lie there helpless, watching her cry deep, heart wrenching sobs and I would wake up with my pillow wet, my face covered in sympathetic tears. Those were the nights that weighed on me.  Visions like this one often forced me out of bed and back into my research. It was impossible to sleep knowing she was out there somewhere in pain and longing to find a way home. That’s why I keep searching. For five endless years I’ve searched and I’ll keep searching until I find her and bring the Wanderer home.

Wandering is the sequel to Seen by Heather Sutherlin.


Another terrific book for your summer reading list is Whispers of Razari by authors Cindy Bennett and Jeffrey Moore!  So, I’m a sucker for stories that explore the ‘final frontier’, death. And this book dives right in and buries you, so you don’t want to put the book down and dig yourself back into the regular boring world. Another teaser…because I’m evil:



When sixteen year old Olivia Adams wakes from a horrible car accident that killed her parents, she knows she’s something different. Olivia died, and now the soul inhabiting her body needs to find out who – and what – she is. A glimpse of a world called Razari burning is the only clue to her previous existence—a tragic memory, sparking events that endanger the people helping her.


Jacobi McKenzie has lived in Crescent, Montana for more years than he can remember, even though he’s only seventeen. He’s been waiting, but for what he isn’t sure. Jacobi recognizes Olivia for what she is before she’s even aware of it herself and the effect she has on him threatens to expose his true identity–a thing he’s worked hard to conceal.


They come together in an explosion of emotion that neither of them is supposed to feel. As Jacobi fights for Olivia’s life, protecting her from those who would use her for their own selfish purposes, together they unravel the mystery surrounding the destruction of their race.


Sales links: ISBN 9781301306619




The smell of blood, iodine, peppermint, and ammonia blending with sweat is my first sense of awareness. These are scents I recognize. A dozen other foreign smells seem to be a mix of different elements. If I could concentrate and study the odors, I’m certain I’d be able to break them down into their base elements, but the noise is too distracting. I’m not as good with sound as I am with smell. I can make out several distinct voices and artificial sounds that are probably machines. If I could open my eyes, I’d be able to connect the noises with the smells. I think my eyes are fastened shut.


Slowly, I begin to explore the body of the host I’m in. I come upon damaged areas that cause intense pain and I quickly retreat from these areas. The body is broken in several places. I sense voices come from those repairing the host body. A name comes to me: Olivia. With effort, I crack open my eyes. Gauzy images of people work on me. A tall man has his hands in Olivia’s body and he speaks softly, as if afraid of startling anyone. I retreat and turn to exploring Olivia’s memories.


Reliving Olivia’s life from her earliest memory is instinctual for me. I think I’ve existed for a long time. Parasite. I find the word while searching through Olivia’s memories—a parasite is what these people would think of me if they knew what I was. But a parasite by definition lives in or on a host and steals everything, giving nothing in return. I’m not really like that. I entered Olivia shortly after her soul departed. Her body’s not the ideal place for me to be, being only sixteen earth years old and badly broken, but I was drawn to her. What made me choose her? I can’t remember. Typically I acquire a host much younger and definitely less broken—at least, that feels like the thing I’d do.


As I’m learning about Olivia, her culture, and the society in which she lives, it sparks the knowledge that I don’t remember where I came from. I know I’m not human, and I know what I need to do to exist in Olivia, but why I’m here eludes me. With that comes the idea that my kind only moves to a different world as a last resort, so I figure something terrible must have happened not only to me—or actually my former host—but the world from which I came.

Cindy C Bennett


Bennett is the YA author of several books. She lives in Utah with her husband and two daughters. Both of her sons have married, giving her two more daughters (in-law). She loves gooey cookies, dark chocolate, and cheese popcorn. She hates housework and cooking, and has no plans to become a domestic goddess. She occasionally co-hosts a geek podcast with her son, called Geek Revolution Radio. Her favorite pastime is riding her Harley.


Find more about Cindy at

Geek Revolution Radio


Jeffery Moore


Moore was born in Germany. As a military brat, much of his childhood was spent abroad, growing up in Germany on military installations. He subsequently enlisted in the military and served for ten years as an army pilot. While in the military, he lived in Italy and South Korea and deployed to many European countries. He has traveled to Australia, Japan, Singapore and most European countries. His experiences and contact with many different cultures helps form some of the elements in his stories. He currently works for a global IT company and lives in Massachusetts.


Find more about Jeffery and his work at


1. Laura A. H. Elliott 2. Bryna Butler, author Midnight Guardian series
3. T. R. Graves, Author of The Warrior Series 4. Suzy Turner, author of The Raven Saga
5. Rachel Coles, author of Into The Ruins, geek mom blog 6. K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed
7. Gwenn Wright, author of Filter 8. Liz Long | Just another writer on the loose.
9. Ella James 10. Maureen Murrish
11. YA Sci Fi Author’s Ramblings 12. A Little Bit of R&R
13. Melissa Pearl 14. Terah Edun – YA Fantasy
15. Heather Sutherlin – YA Fantasy 16. Melika Dannese Lux, author of Corcitura and City of Lights
17. Author Cindy C Bennett

See what other authors from the YA Indie Carnival are doing this summer!



New Book Release: Bait by K.C. Blake, and Author Spotlight: Heather Sutherlin

Posted in book reviews, indie, urban fantasy, writing, young adult fiction with tags , , , , , , on May 29, 2013 by rachelcoles

Hi all,

Been absent for a while, frenziedly doing the yardwork for spring now that the snow is finally gone, and simultaneously trying to get our costumes ready for Comicon next weekend. Where the hell did the time go? I am going as Benegesserit Reverend Mother Helen Mohaim from Dune. My husband is going as a Fremen. And our daughter is going as a Weeping Angel from Dr. Who. We have to make all of the costumes, mostly from scratch. My husband’s is the most complicated, a still suit. But the Reverend Mother’s turned out to be more complicated than I thought with the little headpiece thingee. And we’ve been working on making our daughter’s dress and wings to look like stone. She’ll be the cutest…I mean scariest Weeping Angel ever.  But now, I have an exciting action-packed post today! We have two features, a new book release by K.C. Blake for her new novel Bait! Very exciting! And we have an author spotlight for another page-turner fantasy author: Heather Sutherlin!



Bait (Order of the Spirit Realm #1) by K.C. Blake

Ghosts, a reaper, and a rock star.

At sixteen Bay-Lee is not your typical girl. She doesn’t even try to fit in at school. What’s the point when she’ll be moving to a new place within a few months?

She’s lived her whole life on the run, hiding from monsters.

Then a reaper uses her closet to cross over from the Spirit Realm. It has a message for her. Just when she’s about to join her father at his school for hunters she finds out they are dying on their birthdays. Something is killing them, slipping past locked doors, never leaving a trace of evidence, and her birthday is only two months away.

Becoming a hunter isn’t exactly her dream come true. She’s doing it for her mother, for revenge, for justice. Nothing is going to get in her way, least of all love. Then she looks up into a pair of jungle green eyes and everything changes.

Author Bio:

Born and raised in sunny California, K.C. Blake fell in love with books at a young age and decided to pursue writing as a career.  Her favorite authors include Stephen King, John Saul, Cassandra Clare, J.K. Rowling, and Carrie Jones.  In her spare time she enjoys shopping (and when I say shopping I mean go to the mall early in the day, eat lunch, and then keep going until you don’t have any strength left), reading great books, taking care of animals (she lives on a farm), and searching for creative ideas to improve her home.  A former writer for Harlequin, she now publishes her books her way and loves every second of it.  Okay, she’s a bit of a control freak.

Bait links:

Amazon link:

Amazon UK:

B&N link:


(also available in print)

K.C. Blake‘s Social Links:



Goodreads Book Club Discussion on Bait:

Facebook Fan Page:

Twitter:  @kasiblake

Oooh! I love stories about ghosts and reapers. This very promising novel is on top of my list for summer! K.C. Blake is an intricate fantasy writer that draws people into the story with quirky twists that really rocket you into the story and kick around in your brain after you put the book down. I have my Kindle charged and ready!


All About Heather Sutherlin:

Here are some cool dates from her timeline.

1999 – B.A. in Elementary Education from Harding University

2011 – 1st Place White County Creative Writers’ Conference First Chapter Contest
2012 – Debut novel, A Light in the Darkness, is released along with its sequel, To Light the Path.
2013 – Seen and Wandering, two books in a new YA fantasy series, will be released in the spring.
President – Fiction Writers of Central Arkansas
Featured Author – Arkansas Literary Festival

Something that I didn’t know about Heather is that she got her degree in teaching. I cannot think of a better elementary school teacher to have than one who writes fun and exciting books. While I love my daughter’s teachers, I think it would be great to be able to have Heather to come in and talk to kids about literacy and writing. Too bad she lives in Arkansas instead of Denver. Maybe if we could set up an internet feed into the school classroom…

Other neat things about Heather:

Heather Sutherlin lives in Arkansas with her husband and three children. She is the author of A Light In The Darkness and Seen  both fantasy adventures for young adults. She loves all things creative and enjoys the worlds she dreams up, longing to live the adventure alongside her characters. When she’s not at her writing desk, she is busy exploring and learning with her children or cooking big, elaborate meals in the kitchen with her husband.

You can see more of Heather at her website,

Or, email her at

See behind the scenes of her indie life by following her on Facebook.

You can also follow Heather on Twitter and see what inspires her on Pinterest.

Ok, I really need to learn to use Pinterest.

Books by Heather Sutherlin:


A Light In The Darkness

Merrilyn’s life is quiet and predictable. An apprentice to the royal healer, she spends her days helping in the village or up to mischief with her best friend who happens to be the handsome younger son of the king. But when a mysterious archer shows up in the forest and shoots their escort, Merrilyn’s life is forever changed. Caught in a battle between two forgotten gods, she must embrace her destiny and fight the very powers of darkness before it’s too late.


To Light The Path

Prince Jarrod and his men have been missing for months and still Merrilyn has no idea where they are hidden. Now the king of Zinder is missing, too, and his children seem to think Merrilyn’s the key to finding him. Along with Aiden and Prince Justan, she travels to Zinder looking for clues in the king’s journals. When a mysterious man begins whispering in her dreams, tempting her to reconsider all that she believes, she must face both her fears and her desires. Merrilyn may be a light in the darkness, but she’ll have to trust Loian to light their path as they travel through foreign lands and face new enemies in their search for the missing men.



Rory has no idea what’s going on in the woods behind her house, but it’s driving her crazy. On the last day of her senior year she finds herself caught up once again in the curious happenings of the forest and walks away without any of the answers she was hoping to find. To make matters worse, she is sent to visit a sick neighbor and instead finds the hottest guy she’s ever seen. When she discovers his brother’s incredible secret she falls further into her own chaos and into a fate she never could have imagined.

Jaron is just counting the days until the summer is over and he can get back to his real life. Stuck with his little brother on a tiny farm in rural Oklahoma is not exactly his idea of fun. But when Rory shows up on his doorstep with an armload of pie, he knows his summer has just taken a sharp turn into new territory. He never expected the adventure they would discover next or the quest that would change their lives forever.

I look forward to these page turners as the days get longer and the weather gets nicer, and I finally have a couple evenings to sit lazily on the front patio. Check out Heather and her novels this summer!

To see what our other YA Indie Carnival Authors are up to visit their websites:

1. Laura A. H. Elliott 2. Bryna Butler, author Midnight Guardian series
3. T. R. Graves, Author of The Warrior Series 4. Suzy Turner, author of The Raven Saga
5. Rachel Coles, author of Into The Ruins, geek mom blog 6. K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed
7. Gwenn Wright, author of Filter 8. Liz Long | Just another writer on the loose.
9. Ella James 10. Maureen Murrish
11. YA Sci Fi Author’s Ramblings 12. A Little Bit of R&R
13. Melissa Pearl 14. Terah Edun – YA Fantasy
15. Heather Sutherlin – YA Fantasy 16. Melika Dannese Lux, author of Corcitura and City of Lights

And What’s New at the Author Club?

YA Indie Carnival–Author Spotlight: Melissa Pearl!

Posted in book reviews, indie, publishing, urban fantasy, writing, young adult fiction with tags , , , , , , , , on April 18, 2013 by rachelcoles

Melissa Pearl is an exciting YA indie author with a very worldly flavor, which is probably an amalgam of the rich experiences she has had in her travels. Her books are interesting and complex, but easy to read and fun. And I’m very jealous because she’s lived in New Zealand, and China. I visited China once. We climbed one of the mountains in the Zhang Zha Zhe province, I’m sure I just butchered and misspelled that all in one. I wound up needing to get shoes because I’d gotten a new pair of hiking boots that had refused to break in even though I ran over them with my car, and discovered, stupidly, that hiking a mountain in China wasn’t a good place to keep trying to break them in. So I stopped in one of the villages to get a pair of sneakers. Seriously, they had to go to the men’s section to find shoes for me, giggling all the way at the Western woman’s giant boat feet. I’m 5’1″. But they were very polite and nice.  It was really a wonderful experience. The people were friendly and warm, the landscape was breathtakingly majestic. The different cultures we saw, since China is not, as many people think, ethnically homogenous at all, were fascinating. We got to meet and see some of the mountain villages of the Tujia people, the ethnic descendants of the ancient Ba people. Their history is incredibly rich, and I’d never known or heard anything about them before. It was an amazing trip. We’d initially gone with the kung fu school I was part of at the time, so we got to do some really nifty things, like perform in other schools there, and meet and exchange arts with Shaolin monks.

I can see how her wide experiences and the places she’s been are firing her imagination! In her own words, here’s Melissa!


Melissa Pearl was born in Auckland, New Zealand, but has spent much of her life abroad, living in countries such as Jordan, Cyprus and Pakistan… not to mention a nine month road trip around North America with her husband. “Best. Year. Ever!!” She now lives in China with her husband and two sons. She is a trained elementary teacher, but writing is her passion. Since becoming a full time mother she has had the opportunity to pursue this dream and her debut novel hit the internet in November 2011. Since then she has produced four more books and has a YA fantasy trilogy coming out this year.

“I am passionate about writing. It stirs a fire in my soul that I never knew I had. I want to be the best writer I can possibly be and transport my readers into another world where they can laugh, cry and fall in love.”

Facebook Author Page:


Blogs: and

Amazon Author Page:

Goodreads Author Page:

Smashwords Author Page:

Newsletter subscription:




1) What is your all-time favorite book and why?

Man – that is such a tough questions. One? I’m only allowed one? LOL.

One series that I have read over and over in my time is the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers. Those books have it all – awesome romance, excellent action and tension, amazing descriptions, plus a deep message running through the books (if you’re into that kinda thing – which I am). They made me laugh, cry and fall in love. Haha 🙂 Just my type of story.

2) Is there an author you could be compared to or popular fictional characters your book’s characters could relate to and why?

Hmmm – how do you answer that question without coming across as pretentious? My Time Spirit Trilogy has been compared to Twilight in the sense of an intense love story. I wouldn’t say my writing is super fancy, but I know how to tell a fast paced story with lots of emotion and tension.

3) Can you give us your favorite quote from one of your books and explain it?

Ooo – I have so many. Little moments between my characters are so precious to me. I can feel everything they are feeling and I love it. Here is a favourite of mine, which has also received some highlights. It’s a quote from Golden Blood (Book 1 in the Time Spirit Trilogy).

“How are you okay with this?” Gemma took a step back. “I can travel through time!”

Harrison shrugged and closed the distance between them. “Hey, I was cool with alien, this isn’t much different.”

“I’m a total freak!”

“Yeah.” He grinned as he threaded his fingers through her belt loops and pulled her towards him. “But you’re my freak.” His breath tickled her skin as he leaned towards her and whispered, “Face it, Hart, you’re stuck with me. I knew the second I touched you my life had changed…and you knew it too.”

It always makes me smile. Harrison’s reaction to Gemma’s revelation is perfect in my mind. Those two are made for each other and I love that he figures it out so early on.

4) What types of things/people/music inspires you and makes you want to keep writing?

I get my inspiration from all over the place. Movies are huge for me. I would love to see my stories on the big screen one day. I picture them that way in my head. I always get a tingle running through my body when I watch a movie with a really great kissing scene or an excellent action sequence… anything that makes my emotions start to bubble.

I am inspired by music as well – everything from movie scores to punk rock to country to alternative. I love it all! I even love my toddler’s music, although it’s not that inspiring, just fun to sing along to 🙂

5) Describe your typical writing day or week.

I get up an hour before my family each morning to work on my social media stuff. It takes that long to clear my e-mail, do any blog post stuff I want to do, work through my Facebook notifications and my Twitter news. Time zon wise, it’s the best time for me to do this as there is more traffic around the sites I use.

As soon as my son goes down for his midday nap, I race to my computer. Four out of five days, I spend my time working on my writing and usually one day a week or at least half of one of those sessions is used on admin type things – numbers, blogging, extra marketing stuff. I also get a two-hour sleep in every Sunday morning, so I use that time to write as well. If my husband ever goes out in the evenings, I write once the kids are in bed.

It takes every spare moment I have to keep up with my writing. Thankfully I adore doing it, so it doesn’t feel like hard work.

6) Is there a food or drink do you have to have when you’re writing?

I never eat when I’m writing. It would slow me down too much. I drink a lot of water, but if I’m really tired, I allow myself a small Coca Cola. The caffine boost can be useful sometimes.

7) Can you tell us what you’re working on right now (& possibly provide an excerpt & cover)?

I am working on a Young Adult Fantasy Trilogy. This is my first attempt into this foray and I’m having SO much fun. The first book has been edited, the second book has been written and the third book is in the planning stage. I’m aiming for June, July and August releases for the three books.

Here’s the cover and blurb for the first one:

Darkness is covering the land. As the city of Mezrah grows with power and greed, the rest of the world can only stand by and wait for their inevitable destruction. The only hope against this growing power is an ancient prophecy that people have stopped believing in.

Then a star begins to fall.

Princess Kyla of Taramon stopped believing in the power of light the day her father died. Trapped in a city she does not care for, under the watchful glare of her mother, the queen, she struggles to accept her fate.

Then a star begins to fall.

Jethro has loved Kyla for as long as he can remember. Learning that she was to marry his cousin drove a wedge between him and the feisty princess. Watching her from a distance is a torture he is unable to free himself from.

Then a star begins to fall, sparking an ember of hope and sending two seekers on a treacherous journey into the unknown.

Excerpt from Unknown (The Elements Trilogy: Book 1): 


“Jethro!” Kyla slapped him on the arm and leaned against the grate, patting her chest. With narrowed eyes, she shot him a glare. “So this is how it is now? You don’t have the decency to talk to me in public, but you do take time out of your precious day to come scare the life out of me down in this foul-smelling tunnel.”

A slow, easy smile lit Jethro’s face. “Where have you been?”

“Why do you even care?”

Jethro’s brawny frame leaned against the stone wall behind him. His eyes glimmered with a knowing smile. “Let’s see, a bow slung over your shoulder, a quiver full of arrows… so not hunting then. I’m guessing target practice,” he clicked his fingers, “in the clearing by the waterhole.”

Kyla bit back a smile.

“How’d you do?”

She raised her chin. “I would have split your arrow in two.”

Jethro’s dark eyebrows jumped up with approval as he nodded his head. “Is that all you got up to?”

“Jethro, what are you doing here?” Kyla snapped.

“I just came to warn you.”

“Of what?”

Jethro frowned, making Kyla’s stomach clench.

“Queen Elaina is wondering why she saw her daughter being chased out of the forest by a guard of Ashan when she should have been studying world history with her tutor.”

Kyla stood up straight and swallowed. “My mother did not see. She’s always at prayers this time of day.”

“She was delayed.” Jethro winced.

The blood drained from Kyla’s face. Biting her lips together, she pulled the bow over her head and cleared her throat.

“You might want to present yourself to her before she has every man in the castle looking for you.”

With a child-like groan, Kyla gripped the end of her bow and rolled her eyes. “Fine.” Slumping her shoulders, she spun away from freedom and started stomping towards the dungeons.

“You may want to go past your chambers on the way. Perhaps tidy up a little?”

She came to an abrupt stop and slowly spun back to face the boy she’d known since birth. “Excuse me?”

Jethro’s lips fought with a grin as he pushed himself off the wall and sauntered towards her. “Just because you hate wearing dresses doesn’t mean she won’t expect to see you in one.” He pointed at the attire she had stolen from her brother years ago. She kept it hidden in a trunk at the end of her bed and only pulled it out when she was sneaking from the castle. If only her mother knew how comfortable they were, she wouldn’t insist on mountains of material that were impossible to run in.

“You’re already in for her wrath.” Jethro tipped his head. “You will only antagonise her more by appearing like this.”

Kyla pushed her tongue against the side of her mouth then huffed. “You know I hate you.”

“With the fire a thousand suns?”

Laughter burst from her mouth before she could stop it. “And more!” She punched him on the arm, missing the familiar banter they used to share as children. The amount of times he had driven her to screams of rage with his playful teasing, but a few punches later and they had been best friends again. She often wondered what had happened between them and wished they could return to past days.

As if Jethro could read her mind, he stepped back from her, the playful smile replaced with a new seriousness she did not care for. “You should get moving.”


Golden Blood:  FREE

Gemma Hart never knows when her father is going to whisk her back in time. Her toes start tingling and she has a few minutes to find a secret haven where she can disintegrate and appear in another time and place. While “across the line,” her training and skills are put to the test as she completes a mission that will change history for the lucky few her father has selected.

Gemma’s parents are adamant that secrecy is paramount to her family’s safety. If people knew what they were capable of, they could be “used and abused”, as her mother always says. Afraid she might accidentally utter the truth and break the ancient oath of her people, Gemma spends her school days as a loner. Only one thing can throw her sheltered life askew… Harrison Granger.

Harrison never expected to talk to the strange Hart girl, but after a brief encounter he can’t stop thinking about her. He begins a campaign to chisel away her icy veneer and is met with unexpected consequences. As he slowly wins this girl over, he enters a surreal world that has him fighting to keep his newfound love and his life.




Barnes & Noble:





Black Blood

The second book in the Time Spirit Trilogy




Barnes & Noble:





Pure Blood

Third book in the Time Spirit Trilogy




Barnes & Noble:




FT front

Forbidden Territory (co-authored with Brenda Howson)

Mica and Lexy have been best friends and next door neighbours since they were eight years old. They share everything and have no secrets from each other until… Tom arrives on Mica’s doorstep – a gorgeous exchange student from England. And Lexy is smitten.

Suddenly both girls are keeping secrets. Mica is hiding news about Tom’s English girlfriend and Lexy hasn’t got the heart to tell her best friend that her brother Eli, the guy Mica is mad on, thinks of her as only a friend.

After a massive fight, the girls decide the best way to mend their friendship is to spend some quality time together. And what better way than to go camping away from their parents and why not invite along the guys they are crushing on.

So the four teenagers embark on a geo-caching expedition into New Zealand’s native bush expecting a long weekend filled with flirtatious fun; instead secrets are exposed as they stumble across a hidden marijuana crop and its gun-wielding watchmen. Forced apart they spend the next forty-eight hours racing blindly in opposite directions as they fight to find each other before the hunters do.




Barnes & Noble:






Beautiful, wild-child Nicole Tepper is hit by a car and left for dead. But when she wakes the next morning, Nicole finds herself in bed without a scratch. Perhaps she was more intoxicated than usual, as her mother is giving her the silent treatment and her friends are ignoring her as well.

Things take a turn for the weird when Nicole soon discovers she is actually hovering between life and death. Her body is lying in the forest while her spirit is searching for anyone who can hear her. Unfortunately the only person who can is Dale Finnigan, the guy she publicly humiliated with a sharp-tongued insult that has left him branded.

Desperate, Nicole has no choice but to haunt Dale and convince the freaked-out senior to help her. Will he find her body before it’s too late? Or will the guy who tried to kill her with his car, beat him there and finish her off before anyone finds out?




Barnes & Noble:



So now that you have some great new books to add to your reading list, check out the other author blogs on the YA Indie Carnival for some peeks into other author reading lists, author interviews, writing tips, or just chatting about your favorite YA novels!

1. Laura A. H. Elliott 2. Bryna Butler, author Midnight Guardian series
3. T. R. Graves, Author of The Warrior Series 4. Suzy Turner, author of The Raven Saga
5. Rachel Coles, author of Into The Ruins, geek mom blog 6. K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed
7. Gwenn Wright, author of Filter 8. Liz Long | Just another writer on the loose.
9. Ella James 10. Maureen Murrish
11. YA Sci Fi Author’s Ramblings 12. A Little Bit of R&R
13. Melissa Pearl 14. Terah Edun – YA Fantasy
15. Heather Sutherlin – YA Fantasy

And see What’s New at the YA Author Club for up and coming new novels, cover reveals, new releases, and book events!

YA Indie Carnival–Goodreads: What’s Good and What’s Not

Posted in book reviews, indie, publishing, urban fantasy, writing, young adult fiction with tags , , , , on March 21, 2013 by rachelcoles

YA_Indie_CarnivalHi all,

This week’s post is about Goodreads. For people who haven’t heard of it, it’s a database/bloggersite for books. That’s the closest I can come to describing it. Pretty much any book, anywhere in the world can be found on Goodreads. And it’s more than that. Here are the goodies available for people to take advantage of on Goodreads:

Reader’s groups where people can discuss books they’ve read, sometimes book clubs

Author Dashboard where authors can manage their books, reviews, ads, etc

Reading list where readers can add books they’ve heard of to their lists that they want to read, and receive recommendations from other readers

Review areas where readers can write reviews and post them

These are among some of the cool features of Goodreads. I’ve found a great resource for the things I want to read, though I tend to forget about that one. I am notorious for making lists of all kinds and then ignoring the lists, including in my house, at the grocery store, and at work. So why would that change for anything else…

As an author, I tend to use the author dashboard quite a bit. I recently posted an ad on Goodreads, as an experiment. I’m not good at advertising and such, and Goodreads, unlike Amazon is dummy-friendly, and wallet-friendly. The feature is that you create a simple click ad with a small caption, and send it out to either authors you like or genres or both. The Goodreads team recommends both simultaneously. And from there you add the amount of money you want to spend. It is $.x per click. So you can manage how much you spend and who views it. Views are not the same as clicks. Hundreds of people can view it, but you only pay if they click on it to see more.

Another function I use a lot on Goodreads is the review section. I like to be able to write reviews and post them, about something I’ve read. Admittedly, I am spotty about this because there just aren’t enough hours in the day, but it is a great avenue to post reviews. And you can link these reviews to your Facebook page, your website, Twitter, etc., so that it shows up in multiple places. And people can friend you on Goodreads too so that they are notified any time you publish a review of a book. That being said, if you prefer publishing reviews on your website, you can also link it that way too, so that your Goodreads friends will get a notification by email whenever you’ve published a post on your website, if they click that they want to receive notifications from you.

These are all pretty user-friendly, and in my opinion, good things about Goodreads.

I don’t think there are too many problems with Goodreads. The only issue I have encountered is that they do not seem to have a very user-friendly option for giveaways. Their giveaways are structured rather specifically, it seems. It’s possible that I’m reading it wrong, but mostly, I have only been able to find where you can do a giveaway if your book is about to come out (new). I like doing giveaways sometimes, and don’t want to limit myself to one period in time. I also recall reading, for a past YA Indie Carnival Giveaway, that they only accept giveaways for paper books. I have paper books, but sometimes people want e-books. Though I love the smell and feel of paper pages. I also love being able to carry a library with me on a plane.

Please share your experience with Goodreads, things you liked, things you didn’t! And check out what other folks have said on their websites, below.

1. Laura A. H. Elliott 2. Bryna Butler, author Midnight Guardian series
3. T. R. Graves, Author of The Warrior Series 4. Suzy Turner, author of The Raven Saga
5. Rachel Coles, author of Into The Ruins, geek mom blog 6. K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed
7. Gwenn Wright, author of Filter 8. Liz Long | Just another writer on the loose.
9. Ella James 10. Maureen Murrish
11. YA Sci Fi Author’s Ramblings 12. A Little Bit of R&R
13. Melissa Pearl 14. Terah Edun – YA Fantasy
15. Heather Sutherlin – YA Fantasy

What’s New in the world of YA at the YA Author Club? Cover reveals, new releases, giveaways?

And check out Ina Grujic’s awesome book blog for a plethora of interesting new indie authors, like Bella Forrest, Imogen Rose, Claudia Lefeve, and James Lyon! There’s a new author interview posted for Pazuzu’s Girl there also.

YA Indie Carnival Author Spotlight: T.R. Graves!

Posted in book reviews, indie, publishing, romance fantasy, urban fantasy, writing, young adult fiction with tags , , , , , on March 1, 2013 by rachelcoles

Happy Friday fellow indies!

I know it is for me! Heading into Denver Restaurant Week and some fun activities this weekend, making our yearly nerd costumes for upcoming Comicon. I’m going as Reverend Mother Helen Mohaim from Dune, my husband’s going as a Fremen, making his own still-suit. I swear, by the time this Comicon is over, I’m going to have had a heart attack for every time I turn around and forget that the black-suited mannequin he needs to work from, standing in the corner of our living room for lack of any other place to put it,  isn’t a burglar. On the upside, that and the Legos scattered across the floor most of the time, will probably deter any real burglars.  And our daughter is going as a Weeping Angel from Dr. Who. That’ll be entertaining all by itself. She made up a ‘weeping angel game’, which mainly involves waiting until her parents aren’t looking at her, and then sneaking up and scaring the crap out of us. More heart attack material…But she’ll be the cutest Weeping Angel at the Con.

Enough about our Nerd Fest weekend. I want to introduce to you a terrific and prolific young-adult fantasy writer, T.R. Graves. She writes the Warriors of the Cross series, a series with potent female characters and interesting villains. I like that her stories aren’t simple, or black and white. I think you’ll enjoy her work, and thankfully, she’s got a lot of the series out, so I won’t have to have a screaming mimi fit when I’ve finished reading the last one written and go into withdrawal for my book series addiction, like I did after finishing Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan. I think I had as big of a fit as my daughter did. She literally yelled, ‘It’s not fair! When is the next one coming! NOT FAIR!” And Ms. Graves does all this while being a registered nurse. I know a few nurses, since I work in public health, and…Wow. Huge kudos for just the one more-than-full-time job, and a thought-provoking author on top of that…just…Wow.

Without further ado: T.R. Graves

T. R. Graves, Author of Warrior and Secrets Series

T. R. Graves lives along the Texas coast with her husband. Together, they raise T. R.’s beta-reading daughter and their football-loving son. Besides being blessed with a supportive family, she counts her career as a registered nurse in not-for-profit hospitals high on her list of fulfilling accomplishments.


Social Media Sites:






Amazon Author Page

Spotlight Interview Questions:

What is your all-time favorite book and why?

I have a – very eclectic – three-way tie that includes The Mortal Instruments Series, The Tiger Saga, and the Fifty Shades Trilogy.

All three of these series have strong female leading characters, and they are written by authors who are amazing enough to write romance into the story in a way where it actually becomes tangible for the reader. I can’t help but love stories that make me fall in love with the characters or admire the authors who are talented enough to just that.

Is there an author you could be compared to or popular fictional characters your book’s characters could relate to and why?

My beta-reader claims I could be compared to Colleen Houck (separated at birth were his exact words). Our similarities may be the reason I love her and her books so much. He believes we both have the ability to turn situations that could easily be unrealistic into scenes that seem absolutely real.

Can you give us your favorite quote from one of your books and explain it?

In Grave Bound (Secrets), Levi Bryson journals. His writing is not traditional, perfect, or by the book, but it sweetly shows Emily how he feels about her. Something about it is charming. Below, I’ve included one of his many doodles:


Her words… sweeter than any book written, poem recited, or song recorded.

Her intentions… pure as the driven snow; a wholesome schoolgirl, and a naive child.

Her beauty… perfect as an emerald’s cut; stunning as a ruby’s color; and timeless as a diamond’s clarity.

Her essence… struck me with the force of a bolt of lightning, the power of a sledgehammer, and the command of the chosen one.

Her love… engulfed my life the way the dawn’s rays swallow the darkness, the tsunami’s waves ravage the coast, and the tornado’s funnel plows its way through a forest.

– Levi Ian Bryson

What types of things/people/music inspires you and makes you want to keep writing?

Books inspire me. Not just any book. It has to have strong characters, a mission filled with action and romance, and unfathomable consequences attached to failure.

Music inspires me. There is nothing fad-like about the artists I appreciate most. The music I listen to is embedded with so much emotion that it is palpable all the way through the song(s): Kings of Leon, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Alanis Morissette, Adele, Diana Birch, Audra Mae & The Forest Rangers, Black Eyed Peas, Eminem,….

People inspire me: My nineteen-year-old daughter worked hard through high school, graduated with both a high school degree and an associate’s degree, and she’s now trying to get into medical school. She did all of this while working and saving almost every penny of her money so she’d have a nest egg when she went away to school. That is inspiring. My eight-year-old son practices (baseball& football) four to six days a week (depending on the time of year) and turns all of that training into winning championships. He does this while maintaining A’s & B’s on his report card and without the first complaint. I can’t help but be inspired by their dedication and commitment and work ethics.

Describe your typical writing day or week.

Monday thru Friday, I’m up at 5:30, writing/reading/socializing from 6:30 – 7:30, commuting from 7:30-8:30 (or 8:45), working from 8:30-5:30 (or 6:30 or 7:30), commuting from 5:30-6:45, supper/homework/miscellaneous from 7:00-8:30, and writing from 8:30-10:00.

On Saturday/Sunday from 5:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., I have family, errands, reading, writing, socializing, etc.

I put in the hours I do because I’m fortunate enough to have two jobs that I’m passionate about. First, I work within a hospital system where the patients (not their ability to pay) are our priority. The nurse in me… the humanitarian in me is thankful there are still healthcare systems where curing illnesses and saving lives are the focus. Second, I’m an author. If I’m not writing, I’m planning and plotting in my mind. My goal with each new book I write is to create a great story that is thrilling, suspenseful, and romantic enough to take the reader away from their own problems/lives for a few hours. Nothing more. Nothing less.

One thing is for sure. I’d never be able to do all of this if it weren’t for my husband. He does everything around our house I can’t do, and he never says a word. He’s supports me, loves me, and cares for me. I absolutely adore him.

Is there a food or drink do you have to have when you’re writing?

Diet Dr. Pepper (preferably) or Diet Mountain Dew. I work, write, and drive so many hours a week that caffeine is a basic necessity.

Can you tell us what you’re working on right now (& possibly provide an excerpt & cover)?

I’m working on my first adult contemporary, Grave Bound (Secrets)(tentative release date of 3/1/13). At the same time, I’m writing book four of my original young adult paranormal series Dark Angels of the Cross (Warrior, #4).

Grave Bound (Secrets)

Some Secrets follow you to the grave. Others send you there.

Emily Riddle has lived her entire life inside a patriarchal commune led by her father. There are many rules, but the most important one, ‘keep it in the commune’, is the most difficult for her to follow… especially since the only people willing to champion her cause live on the outside.

When Emily learns her father has promised her to Lorenzo, a perverted man who has plans for her that extend well beyond marriage and kids, she rebels. Regardless of the consequences, she refuses to marry someone who’d rather beat her than caress her.

A day of hooky that starts out as a tiny act of defiance -sneaking out of the commune for a swim – turns into a day filled with hope. After spending time with Levi, a man camping near the lake, she finds what true romance looks like and catches a glimpse into a future that’s filled with love and admiration rather than hate and submission.

That tiny peek is enough to change the course of Emily’s existence and makes it nearly impossible for her to go back to the commune and pretend she’ll ever be able to tolerate the life chosen for her instead of the life she longs for. One that includes Levi.

Fighting to escape the commune, its leaders, and her fiancé proves to be more dangerous than Emily expected. The secrets she knows, as the leader’s daughter, will either follow her to the grave or send her – and Levi -there.

T. R. Graves’s YA Books:

Warriors of the Cross (Warrior #1)


Allison La Crosse, beginning a challenging family medicine residency, leaves the protection of her family. With the transfer, her worst nightmares come true. Her closely guarded mystical talents – those which seldom appeared before the move – unleash themselves from her confinement and reveal their presence with very little provocation.

Allison’s most terrifying power is her compulsion to cure the dying with her touch. Given her career, this gift would be valuable if she were not drawn like a magnet to the ailing person’s every symptom. Some of which are fatal.

At the hospital and surrounded by life-and-death emergencies, Allison’s inability to manage her impulse turns deadly. When it does, her mentor, Brody, rescues her from her own demise. His resuscitation ignites an exciting and tempestuous bond between them.

Desperate for a cure, they join forces and embark upon a journey to uncover the origins of Allison’s lethal curse. In the midst of their adventure, Allison exposes a secret pursued by many…known by few.

Guardians of the Cross (Warrior #2)

GOC - 911

Allison La Crosse discovers she has several powers, including a spiritual gift to heal the dying with her touch. With the newfound awareness, she uncovers mind-boggling truths about a world, which has been hidden her whole life, thanks to her mother’s selfless actions.

The most important revelation pertains to her ordained place within The Disciples of the Cross as one of their Warriors. This position moves her even closer to her mentor, Brody Kennedy, who ends up being the only other Warrior.

Just as suddenly, it catapults her into the middle of a war between The Sect and The Disciples. Allison’s appointment to Warrior—alongside Brody—exacerbates the leader of The Sect’s malicious hunt for her.

As a result, everything about her existence is altered. With the modification of her life, she prepares to do anything necessary to save everyone loved by her… including Brody and Clark.

Enemies of the Cross (Warrior #3)

EOC 911

Allison La Crosse’s picture perfect world quickly becomes more of a nightmare than the fairytale she’d been expecting when she married Brody.

With enemies leading and destiny in control, she embarks upon a journey of the soul where she unearths an underwater realm that is beyond believable…beyond fantastical…beyond comprehension.

Deep within this undiscovered world, Allison is forced to battle a new breed of adversaries. Ones willing to do whatever necessary to capture her — dead or alive. While fighting for her life, she joins forces with an exceptional team of protectors. Because they are unconditionally loyal, she sees firsthand that they are prepared to sacrifice their lives in order to guard her existence and defend the purity of their world.

Love, friendships, and unforgivable actions have Allison wondering if going home will ever be an option even if home is the only place where she can have a life with Brody.

Check them out on Amazon, or on T.R. Graves blog, listed below in our indie author list!

1. Laura A. H. Elliott 2. Bryna Butler, author Midnight Guardian series
3. T. R. Graves, Author of The Warrior Series 4. Suzy Turner, author of The Raven Saga
5. Rachel Coles, author of Into The Ruins, geek mom blog 6. K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed
7. Gwenn Wright, author of Filter 8. Liz Long | Just another writer on the loose.
9. Ella James 10. Maureen Murrish
11. YA Sci Fi Author’s Ramblings 12. A Little Bit of R&R
13. Melissa Pearl 14. Terah Edun – YA Fantasy
15. Heather Sutherlin – YA Fantasy

And see What’s New this week in the YA Author Club?

Congratulations to Heather Sutherlin on her very fun Book Scavenger Hunt! And congratulations to the winners!

YA Indie Carnival: Author Spotlight–Bryna Butler

Posted in book reviews, indie, publishing, romance fantasy, urban fantasy, young adult fiction with tags , , , , , on February 1, 2013 by rachelcoles

Oi Fellow Indie Lovers,

This week, we are excited to present Bryna Butler, the author of the Guardian series, a series of young adult paranormal novels, and a fun set of books. I just can’t get enough paranormal. Call it urban fantasy, fantasy, weird fiction, speculative fiction, pretty much anything but normal. I like anything but normal. I live normal. If I want normal, I just wake up. I want to read about things I can’t do, like shoot lasers out my eyes, fight like a superhero, move things with my mind. That’s the whole point of nice juicy fantasies, right? And to quote the Ranger Marcus Cole from Babylon 5, “If you’re going to have a delusion of grandeur, you might as well make it a really satisfying one!”

So without further ado, here’s Bryna, fellow fantasy author and fellow Neil Gaiman fan! (*Whispering behind hand*) There’s a teaser excerpt, too, that you can’t find except on YA Indie Carnival sites! Enjoy! At the bottom, I’ve provided covers which are links to her books that you can click through and peruse to feed the fantasy in your soul!

WP_20130115_041 (1)

Spotlight Interview Questions:

1)     What is your all-time favorite book and why?

I adore The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Its style is like nothing else I’ve ever read. I found it to be almost hypnotic with its imagery and near poetic cadence.

2)     Is there an author you could be compared to or popular fictional characters your book’s characters could relate to and why?

Because I tend to write about strong female characters, I think that one could draw a comparison with Charlaine Harris.  I had the opportunity to meet her this summer and, to my surprise, she is a down-to-earth hillbilly just like me.

3) Can you give us your favorite quote from one of your books and explain it?

One of my favorite quotes comes from my newest book, Shadows Rising. In this scene, Keira faces off against the leader of a group of extremists that believe her charge is keeping her from her destiny. I think this quote is a great mix of Keira’s courage and her youth.

“You keep yapping about my charge being a distraction, but here I am dealing with you again. Leave us and my charge alone or die tonight at my hand. I mean it, jerk wad.”


4) What types of things/people/music inspires you and makes you want to keep writing?

I’m very inspired by my favorite authors. I often name characters, places and things in my stories in homage to these authors and their work. For instance, in the Midnight Guardian series there is a goth girl named Mikayla Collins whom everyone calls Mikey. Mikey is clearly named in honor of Michael Glass and Shane Collins, two of my favorite characters from Rachel Caine’s Morganville series. Her goth look comes from another beloved character in that series. Also, I’m a huge Joss Whedon fan (who isn’t?). If you look hard enough, you will find several subtle references to Buffy and Firefly sprinkled throughout my books.

5) Describe your typical writing day or week.

Just call me the “Night Writer”, not because it sounds like an insanely cool superhero, but because it is true. For me, writing typically begins after the kids are tucked into bed somewhere around 9 p.m. I grab a soda from the fridge and settle in with my laptop. Typically, I first re-read and edit the last thing I wrote before I start writing anything new. That refreshes it in my mind and allows me to move forward.


6) Is there a food or drink do you have to have when you’re writing?

I can’t eat while I write. Sounds good in theory, but it never works in practical application. BBQ sauce on the keys…melted cheese on the screen…a whole chapter about brownies.


7) Can you tell us what you’re working on right now (& possibly provide an excerpt & cover)?

Shadows Rising was released on January 18th. In this 4th installment in the Midnight Guardian series, Keira and her friends race to rescue her charge before The Harvest and the rise of a new form of evil, the shadows.

Book 5 is well underway with the working title of Book of the Lost and an anticipated late spring release. I’ve also begun work on a young adult werewolf trilogy set in Alaska. The story centers on a girl that walks the line between two feuding werewolf packs.

2)     Author Bio

After graduating with the honor of Outstanding Communications Student from the University of Rio Grande, Bryna Butler settled down with her high school sweetheart on their family farm along the banks of the Ohio River. She put her bachelor’s degree in mass communication to use, working in radio and for civic groups before starting her career as an accomplished financial public relations and corporate communications professional. Over the years, she has authored hundreds of publications and press releases.

Butler’s young adult paranormal novels feature strong female leads and are woven from elements of horror, suspense, comedy, and mystery, all in a modern, small town setting.

Butler is inspired by authors like Rachel Caine, Charlaine Harris, Lauren Kate, Cassandra Clare, Stephenie Meyer, and MaryJanice Davidson. Her work contains no profanity or explicit scenes, making it appropriate for pre-teen as well as teen readers.


Book Summaries 

OF SUN & MOON (Midnight Guardian #1)

Teens are disappearing in a small river town in southern Ohio as Keira Ryan begins her freshman year. Kidnappings aside, her worries mount as she crushes on an older guy, her best friend starts dating a spoiled cheerleader, and the parents that abandoned her at birth arrive at her doorstep. And, oh yeah, she’s a tooth fairy destined to kick some butt and bring about the end of a royal line of vicious, blood-sucking tyrants. Over the years, humans have pieced together sightings and assumptions to create the myth of the tooth fairy. As it turns out, they were pretty much wrong.

WHISPERING EVIL (Midnight Guardian #2)

Keira Ryan has moved on. It’s the start of her sophomore year at Valley View High School. This means big changes like a new guardian mentor, taking (and passing) her driver’s test, dating her best friend, and figuring out how to stop the new Empress Gammen and her reign of terror. Will she survive it all or will she fall victim to the whispering evil that surrounds her?

MIDNIGHT CHILD (Midnight Guardian #3)

Join Keira Ryan as she chases her destiny in this exciting third installment in the Midnight Guardian Series. While Keira searches, her enemies draw closer. A history of trust is tested. A promise of passion turns deadly. A surviving evil creates doubt and there’s only one way to stop it…Find the Gift. Just what do you get the spoiled gremlin queen that has everything?

SHADOWS RISING (Midnight Guardian #4)

Senior year has begun. Keira Ryan should be worrying about the two boys that are vying for her heart. She should be worrying about Prom. She should be worrying about graduation. But instead of a dress, she’s choosing which dagger to carry. In this fourth installment in the series, Keira and her friends race against time to rescue her charge before The Harvest. They must hurry. Their enemies are bringing forth a new evil to sway the balance. The shadows are rising.

And now here (drumroll, please) is the exclusive excerpt!

The night was warm, even though a slight breeze stirred. Keira made her way through the soybean field. She knew the way over the uneven path, even if she couldn’t see. That was nearly the case as clouds worked to block out the moon and stars. The air was thick; the kind that always preceded the summer rain.

As the dirt started to dimple here and there, her steps came quicker. Cool drops chilled her shoulders left bare by her tank top. Steps turned into a jog as the two-story farmhouse came into sight. If she ran hard enough, she could reach his porch before the downpour.

In seconds, she covered the yard. Just a few strides more would land her on the steps where she could wait out the rain on the porch.

Maybe that’s why it happened. Keira was so focused on escaping the rain. Her sneaker slid on the wet grass. Arms circled wildly over her head, eager to find balance or support. They landed on clean, soft cloth. Her feet skittered beneath her as the man under the white robe grabbed her hair and pulled her head back.

“The guardian,” a whisper rose and echoed among the small group. “The guardian,” their murmurs above the tumbles of the strengthening rain. “The guardian.”

Hands flew to her sides and held her arms out. She pulled against them, but there were too many. “Let me go,” she screamed.

Immediately, they let go. She hadn’t expected it and fell on her knees.

“We wish you no harm, guardian. We have come for the midnight child. Trust that this is for the best,” a tall man said. His mouth barely moved, unmarked by expression or emotion of any kind.

Rain began to pour over them. Keira scanned the group to etch every face into her memory; two eager young men, perhaps twins, with strong chins and light coloring; a plump, young woman with red curls falling out of her hooded cloak; a buxom brunette with a permanent sneer; and a mustached brute with a nasty scar through his left eyebrow.

Then, her eyes flickered back to the leader, a bald man with soulless black eyes. Him she knew. It had taken her only a moment to realize he was the one that crashed Jumper’s last Halloween party. He had come for her charge that night too.

“You know that I will never allow you to take him.”

“Your loyalty is misplaced with the Hayes family,” the bald man answered with a voice that chilled her to the bone. “Allow us to remove the distraction so that you may fulfill your true destiny.”

“He is not a midnight child. He is my charge.”

“He is of no consequence.”

A crack sounded, causing everyone to look up. A dark figure stood on the edge of the roof. He stepped forward and landed softly on the ground. He stood tall beside Keira.

Brun’s voice was heavy with anger. “You heard her. The child is not to be touched.”

“But…” the leader of the group started.

His dispute was not heard because Brun was behind him in the next second. The shine of Brun’s short sword glistened at the man’s ear.

“If you will not listen, perhaps you do not need this ear,” Brun growled. “From this day forward, let it be known that the guardian and I both protect this child. Whoever dares to approach him will succumb to the full wrath of the Empire and Elsted. You will leave now…ahhh!”

The leader wrenched his dagger out of Brun’s side. Blood dripped from the dagger’s edge. Brun stumbled back, his face a mixture of disbelief and horror.

End Excerpt



Social Media Sites






Click on this to access her books!


See what the other YA Carnies are up to this week!

1. Laura A. H. Elliott 2. Bryna Butler, author Midnight Guardian series
3. T. R. Graves, Author of The Warrior Series 4. Suzy Turner, author of The Raven Saga
5. Rachel Coles, author of Into The Ruins, geek mom blog 6. K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed
7. Gwenn Wright, author of Filter 8. Liz Long | Just another writer on the loose.
9. Ella James 10. Maureen Murrish
11. YA Sci Fi Author’s Ramblings 12. A Little Bit of R&R
13. Melissa Pearl 14. Terah Edun – YA Fantasy
15. Heather Sutherlin – YA Fantasy

And now, see what’s new here. There are lots of exciting books coming out soon!

YA Indie Carnival: Where Do You Escape?

Posted in book reviews, mythology, urban fantasy, writing, young adult fiction with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2013 by rachelcoles

YA_Indie_CarnivalHi fellow indie book-lovers! In this day and age of a million kinds of crazy, writers, and people in general love to escape for a while, out of life, out of bills, out of work, out of the house or the world, and into someone else’s world for a while. Some things we read because they are recommended and something important that we ‘should’ read because they have an interesting thought pertinent to the world today. Other books we read simply because they are somewhere we can duck out of the fray for a while. Sometimes those two kinds of reading experiences are in the same books but not always, or at least they don’t have to be.

Lately, I have favored books that are like a bag of movie popcorn. I might get some nutritional value from it if you count popcorn as a vegetable and butter-flavored product as dairy. But I’m not eating it for nutrition. I’m eating it and reveling in the sheer artery-clogging joy of stuffing my face with something that tastes good. Likewise, the books I seek out lately I’m not reading for the intellectual content, whether it has those qualities or not. Some do. They’re like those tasty fruit juices that actually have veggies in them, or broccoli cheese soup. It’s a bowl of molten-lava cheese that happens to have some florets of superfood snuck in, that don’t taste like vegetables because they’re drowned in cheese. What’s not to love?

Books I am reading/have read lately:

Cold Rain (Harry Dresden series) by Jim Butcher

Mark of Athena (read to daughter) by Rick Riordan

Glory Days by David Brin

I devoured Cold Rain in a day and a half. It was like your bag of Halloween candy that you try to space out over the course of weeks, or even a single week, but if you have zero self-restraint like me, you wind up sitting down on the couch and before you know it have wolfed down the entire bag and are left sitting there with a ring of chocolate around your mouth and a guilty look when you realize it’s  3 in the morning and you have to get up for work in 3 hours. It was constantly entertaining, witty banter the whole way, which I can’t get enough of. It was picturesque and fascinating, with his descriptions of faery and the Wild Hunt that were visual and tactile. It was so action-packed that when Harry never catches a break, neither do you. I finished it feeling like I had run the Tough Mudder. But it was also thoughtful, portraying a hostile force in a different light that just re-enforces the sense that there is no black and white, no pure evil or good, that things just aren’t that simple. Those kind of stories are like crack to me. I love reading them and I love writing them.

I am currently reading Mark of Athena to my daughter, having just finished Son of Neptune. We’ve been having fun with the whole Heroes of Olympus and Percy Jackson series’. It revitalizes a mythology that had previously been done to death. I liked his explanations and how he fit everything into the modern world. I am highly entertained by anachronistic writing, taking something from the past and sticking it in the modern world. It’s just fun. The only thing I didn’t like was his portrayal of the god Hades. I don’t know why. Maybe I was too much of a gothy chick in high school, but Hades was one of my favorite Greek gods, and portraying him as a psychotic megalomaniac who spawned the leaders of the Nazis struck a bad chord with me, being Jewish. From my recollection of myth, Hades was relentless and grim, even cruel, but not evil. And I know that he wasn’t really portrayed as evil in the series either. But the comparison was too jarring for me. Perhaps that is my cultural perception of the cadre in charge of the Holocaust which makes me twitch, though I’m sure it wasn’t the first time someone has referred to such people as sons of Hades figuratively. I do like Riordan’s way of writing from different points of view in the Heroes of Olympus series, using different chapters. I have always written from different points of view and have looked for better ways of doing it. So he is influencing my writing as well, in that I am working on breaking things like that into separate chapters, or on being able to portray action for another character better through a different character’s eyes, so that I can keep the same perspective for a while.

From all of these candy and popcorn munching sessions, I get dual benefit: I get to disappear for a while into a world where I can be a fairy or a wizard or a demi-god, instead of a grown-up who has to pay the mortgage and make sure that this or that mundane detail of life gets done. And I get inspiration and tips on how to do things better for my own novels.

Where do you like to escape to, what kind of books do you devour? And what do you get out of it, in your life or in your writing? How do they inspire you?

For other ideas or other reviews of authors, visit the other carnies at the following links!

1. Laura A. H. Elliott 2. Bryna Butler, author Midnight Guardian series
3. T. R. Graves, Author of The Warrior Series 4. Suzy Turner, author of The Raven Saga
5. Rachel Coles, author of Into The Ruins, geek mom blog 6. K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed
7. Gwenn Wright, author of Filter 8. Liz Long | Just another writer on the loose.
9. Ella James 10. Maureen Murrish
11. YA Sci Fi Author’s Ramblings 12. A Little Bit of R&R
13. Melissa Pearl 14. Terah Edun – YA Fantasy
15. Heather Sutherlin – YA Fantasy


And see what’s new and upcoming from the YA Indie Carnival!

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