Wednesday, April 22, 2015

In the Spotlight...Katy Newton Naas

Please join me in welcoming Katy Newton Naas and her newest release, Healing Rain. 

Be sure to check out the buy links!


Blurb:

Some people just naturally seem to have it all. Until five months ago, sixteen-year-old Rain Sawyer was one of those people. She had the perfect life, with a loving, wealthy family and a strong Christian faith, complete with popularity, sports, clubs, and good grades.
When one tragic incident shatters everything Rain thought she knew, she finds herself five hours away, starting over in a small town very different from her glamorous big-city life.

Armed with a different outlook on life – one that no longer includes her faith – she struggles to create a new identity for herself.  Determined to keep her dark past as secret, she navigates through a new school year, a new town, and new relationships while trying to figure out who she wants to be.





Excerpt:

Prologue
            The smell of blood – sickeningly thick, fresh blood – filled my nostrils before I ever opened the door. I didn’t recognize that smell at first; I had never encountered that much blood in one place before. But I knew that the smell was off, somehow. The room
usually smelled just like my dad – a mixture of pine trees and cologne, a combination of aromas that I had never quite understood but they belonged to him. I knocked, but no one answered. Cautiously, I pushed open the door. “Dad?” I whispered as I entered.
            That’s when I saw his legs. His signature khaki pants and brown loafers stuck out from behind his desk. He was on the ground and didn’t move when I said his name, didn’t even twitch as I opened the door and walked inside. “Dad!” I called again,
louder this time.
            Oh no, he’s had a heart attack, I thought. I rushed over to the desk to see his face. But what I saw stopped me in my tracks like a deer in headlights.
            I was frozen. My brain screamed at my body to move, to get away from the sight, but my feet were glued to the floor. My arms and legs suddenly felt like sandbags, and I collapsed.
            This is not my dad. There was no face, no way to identify him for sure. But it was him. I knew the shape of his body, the clothes he wore. But the pool of blood under his neck took my breath away.
            Who did this? Who did this to my father? I heard violent, blood-curdling screams, which I quickly realized were coming from me. I pleaded for help, still unable to get up off the ground, but it was useless. No one else was home.
            Or was someone else in the house? My heart stopped beating as I considered this. Someone had broken in, had murdered my father in cold blood. Maybe I was next. Maybe my whole family was next. At that point, I almost wished for it. Death would be a
welcome release from the idea of losing my dad, the man I admired most in the world. My funny, loving, attentive, adoring father. My best friend. And now he was gone.
            And that’s when I saw it. The gun. The murder weapon that was used to kill my father was still lying on the scene. I stared at it, too shocked to cry or get scared or have any of the other normal reactions I should have had.
            My mind was racing but remained blank. I had to get up, had to call for help. Move, I commanded my feet. Get up and go call 911. Tell them there’s been a murder, get the police to catch whoever did this and make them pay.
            And that’s when my brain began to truly process the scene. The gun – the murder weapon – was in my dad’s own hand. Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.     And then the tears came, slowly at first before gushing out of my eyes until I couldn’t see straight anymore. I curled my legs up to my chest and hugged them, putting my head down on my knees as my shoulders shook uncontrollably. Oh, no,
no, no, no, no, no, no, no.
            I forced myself to look back at my dad one last time, just to make sure my mind wasn’t playing tricks on me. He couldn’t have done this. He couldn’t have.
            I looked up toward the sky and asked one simple question: Why?

TRAILOR LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQuIpAf5G88&feature=youtu.be


About the Author:
Katy Newton Naas currently teaches middle school reading and high school English in southern Illinois, as well as children's church. She graduated from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale with a bachelor's degree in English Education and a master's degree in Reading and Language Studies. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, including her husband, her young son, Aven, and her four-legged sons, Shakespeare and Poe.

From a young age, Katy was always an avid reader and writer with a big imagination. Though she continues to grow older, her true literature love is and has always been young adult fiction. She loves creating both realistic and futuristic stories about teenagers, and feels so fortunate to get to work with them every day as a teacher.







Connect with Katy Newton Naas:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katynewtonnaasauthor
Twitter: @KatyNewtonNaas
Instagram: https://instagram.com/katynewtonnaas/
Blog:
https://katynewtonnaas.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

In the Spotlight...Nancy S. Brandt

Please join me in welcoming author Nancy S. Brandt and her latest release, Pigsty Princess!

Be sure to check out the buy links.



Back Cover Blurb:

In a country where Elemental Sensitivities determine a person's place in society, Mariana, fourth child of King Jonathan and Queen Alexandria, was born an Insensitive. She is given the made up title of Progenna, because she can't be in line for the throne and therefore, can't be a Princess. All her life, she is reminded that she isn't quite good enough. When her father decides she is to marry Pir Leo Valentine, an eighty-four year old man with a scar across his face that took his eye and only one hand, she runs away from the palace.

Orlando of Talla is a pig farmer and former soldier who served the King until he watched his Sovereign burn an entire harbor town rather than lose a battle. Now he tries to live a quiet life while leading a band of rebels who steal from the nobility to bring prisoners home from that war.

Orlando is also the bastard son of a nobleman, and therefore, he has a Sensitivity, one of Blood that allows him to feel the Sensitivities of others.

He finds the injured Progenna in the forest and immediately realizes that the stories about Mariana aren't true. Rather than being an Insensitive, Mariana may be the most powerful Sensitive in Valborough.

Excerpt:

Mariana sniffled. “He said I was a commoner, and that I’m not Father’s daughter by blood.”

Ramone sighed and shook his head. “Gossip only. Not even worthy of the servants, and for it to come out of the mouth of a Rieravo and a Presumptive…I am surprised he would suggest that out loud to you.”

She adjusted herself so she was off her brother’s lap and faced him. “Ramone, what if what Darius said is right? What if Father isn’t…my father? No nobleman will ever want to marry me if that’s true.”

“First of all, it’s not true, and second, even if it were, Father has claimed you as his daughter. He will take care of you.”
It didn’t make her feel any better.

“You mean he’ll force someone into marrying me.” She got off the loveseat and went over to sit at her mother’s writing desk. Picking up one of the quills, she glanced at her brother in the mirror.

“It might not be like that,” he said after a moment of silence. “There must be some man who doesn’t care about bonding. Someone who will be content with having only his own magic.”

She spun around to stare at him. “Name one person you have ever heard of, male or female, who was willing to throw away the potential power of their Sensitivities to bond to someone with nothing. What do your history and peerage books say about that?”

He said nothing, but he didn’t meet her eyes.

Mariana nodded. “Just as I thought. I was stupid to think being a Proge…the daughter of the King would be enough. No one with any Sensitivities wants to wed someone they can’t bond with.

I wish Mother and Father would have prepared me for this.”

“What could they have done, Mariana?” He walked over to her and, taking her hands, brought her to her feet. “You are special, one of a kind. You are my beautiful baby sister.”

“But I’m not like the rest of you. Father and Mother are strong Sensitives. By definition, Father is the strongest in the kingdom. You, Liliana, and Ursula have sensitivities in three areas.. Me? You know what the Abilities Master said when I finished my testing.”

“It doesn’t matter.”

“Do you remember? Father came out of his meeting with Kylan and said, ‘It is as we thought.’ Mother cried.”

He took her in his arms. “She loves you. She was crying because she knew your life would be harder because of this.”

“Was that it?” she asked. “Did Mother cry because I don’t have any Sensitivities or because Father found out about my true parentage? I have to know if I am a Princess in truth or just the result of some mistake Mother made.”


Author Bio:

Nancy S. Brandt is a stay-at-home mother of two children, a daughter, 25, who is an appointment's clerk at an orthopedic clinic and an editor and book reviewer; and a son, 12, who studies karate, and wants to be either an historian or an artist. Nancy's husband, Steven, is also an author and an adjunct professor of computer science at Louisiana State University.

In about sixth grade, an English teacher gave an assignment to write a descriptive essay. Nancy's was all about a wonderful cave filled with diamonds, emeralds and other precious gems. From that experience, she walked into every English class hoping to get to write something, and she learned three things:

1. The difference between stalactite and stalagmite,
2. That fantasy was probably the genre she should concentrate on, and
3. Never end a story with "It was all a dream."

Nancy is a kidney transplant recipient (her husband was her living donor), a thyroid cancer survivor, and an Army veteran. She is currently working on the sequel to Pigsty Princess, called Questionable Queen.

Social Media Links:
Website:  www.nancysbrandt.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/NancySBrandtfantasyauthor
Twitter:  @NancySBrandt
Instagram: nancysbrandt
Pinterest:  nancy_s_brandt
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/NancySBrandt

Buy Links:
CleanReads: http://cleanreads.com/index.php/pigsty-princess.html

Itunes - http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/pigsty-princess/id957929093