New book alert: Spirited narrator introduces kids to genealogy

Gianna just wants to know about her ancestors, but she has to join an after school history club (yuck!) to do it. Now, she’s about to embark on a journey that will change everything she thinks she knows about her family.

Amazonadd to goodreadsReview

With Giana, a spunky fourth grader, author Becky Villareal has created an instantly likeable and sympathetic heroine. I was immediately charmed by Giana’s zest for learning about her heritage and her original–and often funny–approach to life. Combine these elements with the mystery of Giana’s family and her mother’s reluctance to discuss her background and you have an instant page-turner, keeping readers of all ages entertained. My one complaint is that the book ended on a cliffhanger; however, that only adds to the fun of seeing how the story will conclude. Highly recommended!

Copy of GIANNA THE GREAT - author bio picAbout the author

As a missionary’s kid Becky Villareal grew up all over the state of Texas learning that each person is special in the Lord’s eyes. As a twenty year veteran teacher she learned how to bring out those gifts in children. As a ten year genealogist she learned how wonderful finding out about the family background can be especially when the knowledge is shared with others.

Blog * Twitter * Pinterest * Facebook

 $25 Blog Tour giveaway

$25 Blog Tour Giveaway

Enter to win an Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 4/30/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by readinglight.com. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Gianna the Great
Tour Schedule

A Yarn Weaver’s Legacy: Guest posting again on Hobby Reads

“I knit a story about light and fresh air, yes? Warmth and survival.”

These words guide Gabby, the nineteen-year-old protagonist in my novella, Blood Stitches, through the labyrinthine Mayan underworld in which she finds herself trapped. The refrain becomes Gabby’s light, illuminating her escape and filling her with hope.

Originally spoken by her abuela, grandmother in Spanish, the phrase alludes to the magical DNA weaving in and out of their genes. They form an intricate history, a gift from the Mayan moon goddess, Ix Chel, that allows Gabby’s family to knit complex patterns, a story of sorts, complete with plot twists and turns.

“Yarn weaving,” Abuela calls it.

It’s a history not unique to Gabby’s family. Mayan women for centuries have told stories through their weaving, a tradition that continues today… Visit Hobby Reads to view the rest of the posting.

From Journalist to Romance Writer: Vina Arno’s new book is a knock out

InHisCorner-Cover-smallAuthor Vina Arno’s journey from reporter to novelist is as fascinating as the books she writes. So I’m excited to have her on my blog today and discover more about her path to publication and new novel.

Q: How did you come up with the title?

A: My debut romance, In His Corner, is about an Olympic gold-medalist boxer known as the Juggernaut who goes to the ER for stitches and falls head over heels with the beautiful doctor who treats him. I originally called it Taming the Juggernaut, but Martin Biro, Kensington Publishing associate editor, didn’t like it. I submitted 17 alternative titles and he chose In His Corner because he said it immediately tells you the book is about a boxer and it’s more suitable as a romance title. I’m very grateful for his choice. Admittedly it’s a more accessible title than the original.

Q: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

A: Everything about this book is enjoyable. It’s my first romance book and the first story I’ve written with a happy ending. I started writing this book in July 2013, just two months after finishing another manuscript (a historical novel) about Douglas MacArthur, the iconic World War II general. It was a heavy experience that took me 10 years to finish, from research to writing and rewriting. In His Corner was a real treat for me.

Q: What makes your book stand out from the crowd?

A: The book’s unique selling point is the Juggernaut. The market is saturated with mixed martial arts and other sports heroes, but there’s not much out there about a boxer.

Q: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

A: I’m a late bloomer. I was already a professional journalist working for the Associated Press when I realized I wanted to have a voice as a writer. As a journalist, I have little choice about what I write and how I write it. There are rules I have to follow and the stories I cover are assigned to me. I don’t have a voice. When you read my news story, it reads like an AP story because that’s what I was trained to do. Fiction writing gives me the privilege to develop my own voice.

Q: Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

A: Two places—Japan and Australia. I’m originally from the Philippines, a stone’s throw away from both countries. I always thought I can go anytime because they’re so close. I had no idea I would immigrate halfway across the world. I don’t want to have any regrets, so I would like to travel to those two places one of these days.

In His Corner 

Coming from Lyrical Press/Kensington Publishing on April 14, 2015.

Pre-Order: Amazon.com ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Kobo Books ~ Kensington Books ~ iTunes ~ Google

Blurb

WORK OUT
No sex for almost a year could kill a guy, but when you’re the boxer known as the Juggernaut, it’s the price you pay for turning pro. Tommy’s fully dedicated to his craft, until he meets the incredibly gorgeous Dr. Siena Carr. Now he’s looking forward to taking on this prim and proper lady in a wet and wild workout…

KNOCK OUT
Siena has seen many patients come through the ER, but none as sexy as Tommy Raines. With a nasty cut over his eye, she knows he needs stitches, but after he takes off his shirt, she needs some air. With rock-hard abs and taut biceps, it’s clear this man takes care of his body. And all Siena can think about is letting him take care of hers…

Excerpt

Dr. Siena Carr dropped the clipboard on the counter and washed her hands. When she turned around, she gasped. “What are you doing?”

The Juggernaut was undressing. Before she could say another word, he was naked. A glorious sight that sent her heart racing and her face burning. Did he know that he looked like a sculpture by Michelangelo? Except for the tattoo on his right shoulder, this man was David incarnate.

She looked away abruptly, grabbing the clipboard. She didn’t even know his name! She looked at his paperwork. Tommy Raines. “Mr. Raines, please put on your clothes.”

She continued scanning his form. Occupation: boxer. Age: twenty-two. Weight: 160 pounds. Height: six feet. Blood type: O positive. No pre-existing health conditions. His temperature and blood pressure were normal. Reason for ER visit: a cut sustained from sparring.

She faced him. Thank God, he was clothed again.

“Sorry about that,” he said. “I thought you’re supposed to check me out.”

Did he just say check him out? “Mr. Raines, this is an ER, not a bar. I don’t check out patients. Do you mean to say check up?”

He smiled. “Yeah, check up.”

“I’m going to take care of your cut, but I’m not doing a checkup. If you need one, you should go to your primary care doctor.”

“I don’t like doctors. I avoid hospitals and clinics as much as possible, but my cut kept bleeding even after I showered. So here I am.”

CindyFazziakaVinaArno-smallMore about the author

Vina Arno is a pen name used by Cindy Fazzi, a Philippine-born American writer who has worked as a journalist in the Philippines, Taiwan, and the United States. Her short stories have been published in the Snake Nation Review, Copperfield Review, and SN Review.

Read this Forbes article about Vina Arno: 3 Career Reinvention Tips From A Reporter Turned Romance Writer 

Find her online

Web site ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads ~ Google

Author Krysten Hager Reveals Her True Colors: Interview and New Book

BestFriendsForever453x680It’s wonderful to head into the weekend thinking about new books, so it’s fitting that today I’m hosting author Krysten Hager as she introduces her brand-new novel, Best Friends… Forever? (Landry’s True Colors Series), and shares tidbits about her background and writing style.

What books have most influenced your life?

I was a big reader in grade school and middle school. There are so many YA and MG books that influenced me such as The Great Mom Swap, Good-bye Glamour Girl, Invisible Lissa, and My Mother was Never a Kid. In college, I was introduced to so many great writers and books. One that stands out was May Sarton’s Journal of Solitude, which is about May’s life as a writer. Reading that and then finding biographies of the authors Paul a Danzinger and Lois Lowry made me realize writing was my calling.

Tell me about your writing style?

I would say is that I write with humor, honesty, and vulnerability. I feel there’s no point in creating a story that doesn’t have truth and honesty behind it and makes someone feel something.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I’d say F. Scott Fitzgerald or May Sarton. With Fitzgerald, I feel like I understand what was behind his essays and feel like I could have really gotten along with him. I only wish he had left more work behind—such an amazing mind. May Sarton’s journals feel like those great conversations you have with someone you respect and admire who you’re getting great advice from over tea.

What are you reading now?

I just finished The Paris Wife about Ernest Hemingway’s wife, which I really enjoyed. I’m about to start my book club’s next book, The Goldfinch. And someone gave me a book on clutter…which is here somewhere…oh mystery solved on why they gave it to me!

bestfriendforevertimelinefacebook_1Buy
Amazon ~   Barnes & Noble ~ Kobo ~ itunes

Landry Albright hopes the new year will start off in an amazing way—instead she has to deal with more frenemy issues, boy drama, and having most of her best friends make the cheerleading squad without her. Suddenly, it seems like all anyone can talk about is starting high school next year—something she finds terrifying.

Landry gets her first boyfriend, but then gets dumped just as things come to a head with her friends. She feels lost and left out, but finds good advice about dealing with frenemies from what she considers an unlikely source. Landry faces having to speak up for what’s right, tell the truth (even when it hurts), and how to get past the fear of failure as she gets another shot at competing in the American Ingénue modeling competition.

Excerpt

I got ready for bed and then stopped to check my social media page one more time and that’s when I saw it — another picture of Peyton, India, and Devon hanging out. They were sitting on the couch with their heads scrunched close together and laughing. It was a cute picture, but then I saw the caption: So glad we could all be together for the holidays. Love these guys soooo much! Best friends forever. #Alltogether #Threemusketeers #BestFriendsForever #ThreeBestFriends #ThreesCompany.

My heart sank. It was India’s caption and anyone who read it would think what a close‑knit group of friends and not realize anyone was missing from that photo. Sure, I was in another state, so naturally I couldn’t be there for it, but the way India wrote that made me feel so left out. I mean, what did she mean by the “ʺThree’s Company”ʺ hashtag? And sometimes people tagged friends who weren’t there in pictures and added, “ʺWish you were here,”ʺ but there was no mention of a fourth member of the group.

“Ready for bed, hon?” Mom asked coming into my room.

“Yeah, just signing off.”

“Okay, sleep well.”

I got into bed and hoped I was reading into things, but the knot in my stomach wouldn’t go away.

Book Trailer

What people are saying about True Colors (Landry’s True Colors Series Book One)

From Teenage Book Recommendations in the UK: “This is a fantastically relatable and real book which I feel captures all of the insecurities and troubles which haunt the modern teenage girl. It is about a young model who has to go through tough times when she is torn between a life as a model and managing her friendships. You learn which friends she can most trust and which will create the drama typical of teenage life. Follow the life of Landry and try to see if you can find out which are her true friends before their true colours are revealed. This book is all about relationships, hopes and truth. I loved this book!”

From Books & Authors Spot: “This book is such an inspiration for those who just care about their looks and are tensed about them. This thing is looks aren’t everything. This book is related to every teen’s problem. Hager has written a very inspiring novel.”

Krysten Lindsay HagerMore about the author

Krysten Lindsay Hager is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series, a clean reads young adult series. Krysten writes about  friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, middle school and high school, frenemies, modeling, crushes, values, and self-image in both True Colors and Best Friends…Forever?

Krysten is an Amazon international bestselling author and book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and writes middle grade, YA, humor essays, and adult fiction. She is originally from Michigan and has lived in Portugal, South Dakota, and currently resides in Southern Ohio where you can find her reading and writing when she’s not catching up on her favorite shows. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.

Find her online: Website ~Instagram Facebook ~ Twitter

Surviving Stitch by Stitch: Guest blogging at HobbyReads This Week

The earthquake hit L’Aquila, Italy on April 6, 2009. Maria D’Antuono, a resourceful 98-year-old, grabbed her knitting supplies and crawled under her bed. The stone house crumbled around her, yet, when firefighters found Maria 30 hours later, she was not only unhurt but continued to knit.

“At least let me comb my hair,” she said to her rescuers as they helped her to safety.

Read the rest of my guest post at http://sites.kensingtonbooks.com/hobbyreads/surviving-stitch-by-stitch.html .

The Griffin’s Secret: Risking everything to escape an invisible prison

It’s wonderful to once again host Cate Masters on my blog and participate in her most recent cover reveal, which are always spectacular.

Griffin'sSecret-MD

The Griffin’s Secret by Cate Masters
Reimagined fairy tale/fantasy romance novella

Coming May 12, 2015

Preorder: Amazon  | Barnes and Noble  | Kensington

In this contemporary re-telling of Grimm’s classic fairy tale The Griffin, two people must risk everything to free themselves from the invisible prisons that keep them from love…

Jackson Grant had it all—the girl he loved, his Harley, and his guitar. Until a tragic accident stole it all away. Now, more than scars and a tattoo remain. Jackson has a secret. Cursed by his dead girlfriend’s mother, he can never fall in love again or his beloved will die. With his heart on lockdown, he keeps to himself—until a roadie gig with Malcontent, the world’s most popular band, entwines his fate with sweet, wounded Layla’s…

Music is what Layla lives for. She has no choice. She’s bound by magic to serve Malcontent, cursed to propel them to stardom with her musical powers. Then Jackson appears and gives her hope that he’s the hero who will save her. A reluctant hero, yet one she can’t resist. But freedom will come at price—and who will pay…?

Excerpt

The faint scent of an exotic flower on an ocean breeze hit him the second the girl walked in. Every part of his body stood at attention, taking in the way she moved. The curve of her slender hips. Those long legs…they’d wrap around the back seat of his Harley perfectly. Wrap around him perfectly, too.

A flip of her onyx-silk hair sent it behind her shoulder as she sat opposite. “Who are you?”

Good question. He’d been seeking the same answer for too long. “Jackson Grant.”

Her eyes darkened, deep brown to charcoal diamonds. “Why are you here?”

“For the roadie job.” Was she the first gatekeeper? A gate she kept locked, he’d bet. Or maybe she was another test. Kev had warned him there’d be tricky questions and to answer straight. Something told him she asked out of curiosity.

“You think you’re up for such a demanding job?”

Again, the impression hit him she was making these questions up as she went along, ad-libbing off his replies.

He’d play. “I’m strong. Dependable. I follow orders, keep my head down, and stay out of trouble.” And he liked his privacy.

Her features smoothed, hard as porcelain. “Do you.” Not a question.

He’d answer anyway. “Yes.”

Did disappointment curl her lip? Or boredom? Why did he care? If he could, he’d blast out of there before his own curiosity got the better of him. Already, she’d gotten under his skin. Crazy how the tat no longer singed him, but now twisted like a trapped animal.

With a plastic smile, she batted her eyes, and the false flirtation didn’t suit her. “So. You’re a yes-man.”

The way she said it, he’d be no different than any other roadie serving the great rock star, Malcolm Fetterman. Fine by Jackson. The less he stood out, the better. Except for her. He hated to think of her glossing over his presence, but that would be better, too.

He drummed his fingers on the table. “I need the job.” Where the hell was Malcolm anyway? The longer he stayed with her, the more he wanted to. Definitely couldn’t afford that kind of trouble. He glanced at the open door, hoping he wouldn’t have to go through the same interrogation again.

She tapped the table. “You’d have to travel constantly.”

Perfect.” No different than his usual way of life. Except this time, his paycheck would remain steady.

“You wouldn’t miss your family?” She dipped her head. “Your girlfriend?”

He curled his lip this time. No one’s business but his. He shifted in his seat. “They’re better off.”

Her brows knit, and then her expression became unreadable as the Sphinx. “The hours are long, and the equipment’s heavy. Everything has to be exactly as Mal orders.”

Did he imagine it, or had she winced at her own words?

He shrugged. “It’s his show.” Someday, Jackson would have his own roadies. And would treat them much better than Malcolm Fetterman did, if the stories proved true.

Her steely focus cut into him. “Mal doesn’t hire musicians except for those in the band. And there aren’t any openings in Malcontent.”

He didn’t allow himself to blink. “No problem.”

“But you play, don’t you?” Her gaze dropped to his callused fingertips drumming the tabletop.

He drew his hand down. “No.” A necessary lie. She might suspect, but couldn’t possibly know the truth. Almost like leaving one of his limbs behind, he’d locked his Fender in storage in New Jersey with his paltry possessions for six months. By then, he’d know whether this gig worked out.

About the Author

Cate Masters has made beautiful central Pennsylvania her home, but she’ll always be a Jersey girl at heart. When not spending time with her dear hubby, she can be found in her lair, concocting a magical brew of contemporary, historical, and fantasy/paranormal stories with her cat Chairman Maiow and dog Lily as company. Look for her at http://catemasters.blogspot.com and in strange nooks and far-flung corners of the web.

Email: cate.masters@gmail.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cate-Masters/89969413736?ref=ts
Twitter:  @CateMasters

Blood Stitches Steps onto the Dance Floor

It’s official: my novella, Blood Stitches, has joined the spring debutantes patiently waiting to strut their stuff on the dance floor. And at a $1.99, she’s not only an inexpensive date but will also keep you mesmerized until the wee hours of the morning.

BloodStitchesLyricalPage

Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card.

And an enormous thank you to my Facebook friends and the following blogs for helping with her big reveal:

http://catemasters.blogspot.com/
http://calisarhose.com/chit-chat-blog/
http://christamaurice.com/
http://desiremeonly.com/
http://www.danilynalexander.com/blog.html
http://maeclair.net/blog/
http://tracybilen.com/blog/
http://sandracox.blogspot.com/
http://jencolly.weebly.com/
http://www.krystenlindsay.com/
http://ninacrespo.com/category/nocturnal-nina/
http://asfenichel.net/blog/
http://daisybanks.wordpress.com/
http://www.kristirose.net/
http://www.aniserae.com/journal/
http://www.pamela-turner.com/
http://www.sundaewithnuts.com
http://pattigail1.com
http://aprilvineauthor.blogspot.com
http://cindyfazzi.com
http://www.itchingforbooks.com
http://addictreaders.blogspot.com/
http://www.dinagiven.com
http://desertrosereviews.blogspot.com
http://thereadingchameleon.blogspot.com
http://readingadd.blogspot.ro/
http://bitchesnprose.blogspot.com/
http://www.starangelsreviews.com
http://iheartyabooks.blogspot.com/
http://www.thephantomparagrapher.blogspot.com
http://crasyabout.blogspot.com
http://rockinbookreviews.com
http://www.mythicalbooks.blogspot.ro/
http://bookclubsisters84.blogspot.com
http://www.pumpupyourbook.com

Sapphyria’s Book Blog

Bibliophilia, Please

Confessions of a Reader

Urban Girl Reader

Book Liasion

RhiReading

Crazy Four Books

What is That Book About

Carti Cu Colti

I Smell Sheep

Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews

The Gal in the Blue Mask

Review From Here

Literal Exposure

The Literary Nook

The Writer’s Life

The Dark Phantom

The Revolving Bookshelf

The Book Refuge

Bent Over Bookwords