Tag: guest post

2016 Holiday Giveaway Extravaganza – Day 12

E.D. Martin's 2016 Holiday Giveaway Extravaganza!

It’s Christmas time; there’s no need to be afraid – that I’d forgotten about the giveaway! It’s finals week, so I’ve been super busy the past few days with tests and papers, and I didn’t have a chance to post yesterday. So, to make up for it, today I’m giving away TWO books!

Every day from now until Christmas, I’ll be giving away copies of my books (digital AND print), Amazon gift cards, and book-related stuff. A new chance to win, every day!

December 1st: ebook of “Not My Thing” short story
December 2nd: ebook of “Tim and Sara” short story
December 3rd: $5 Amazon gift card
December 4th: signed paperback copy of The Futility of Loving a Soldier (available exclusively through this contest!)
December 5th: prize carried over from the 4th because no one entered that day. C’mon people – it’s free stuff!
December 6th: paperback of Shadow on the Wall by P.K. Tyler
December 7th: three ebook copies of my novel, Yours to Keep or Throw Aside
December 8th: three ebook copies of my short story collection, Us, Together
December 9th: $5 Amazon gift card
December 10th: signed paperback of my novel, Yours to Keep or Throw Aside
December 12th: print copies of Frendyl Krune and the Blood of the Sun and Frendyl Krune and the Snake Across the Sea by Kira A. McFadden

When Frendyl’s family – and his whole race – is threatened, he embarks on a journey through the skies to recover a gemstone with magical properties. But that’s not the end of his troubles, as his father and cousin vanish in the mysterious Catacombs. Can Frendyl find them before an escaped prisoner does? These two books continue McFadden’s Amuli Chronicles, branching off in a YA format.

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2016 Holiday Giveaway Extravaganza – Day 6

E.D. Martin's 2016 Holiday Giveaway Extravaganza!

Said the writer to all her readers, Do you want what I give? A book, a book, desperate for a home, and that home could be yours!

Every day from now until Christmas, I’ll be giving away copies of my books (digital AND print), Amazon gift cards, and book-related stuff. A new chance to win, every day!

December 1st: ebook of “Not My Thing” short story
December 2nd: ebook of “Tim and Sara” short story
December 3rd: $5 Amazon gift card
December 4th: signed paperback copy of The Futility of Loving a Soldier (available exclusively through this contest!)
December 5th: prize carried over from the 4th because no one entered that day. C’mon people – it’s free stuff!
December 6th: paperback of Shadow on the Wall by P.K. Tyler

Forced to witness the cruelty of the Morality Police in his home city of Elih, Turkey, Recai is called upon by the power of the desert to be the vehicle of change. Does he have the strength to answer Allah’s call or will his dark past and self-doubt stand in his way?

Pulling on his faith in Allah, the friendship of a Jewish father-figure and a deeply held belief that his people deserve better, Recai Osman must become The SandStorm.

In the tradition of magical realism books by Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie, Shadow on the Wall tackles issues of religion, gender, corruption and the basic human condition wrapped in a beautiful and challenging page-turner not to be missed.

Plus, each entry in the daily contests will be carried over to a big prize at the end (I haven’t decided what that will be yet, but it’s definitely something you want to win – more details coming soon)!

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Anyone? by Angela Scott

anyone coverMonday was a big launch day at Evolved Publishing. In addition to my own The Futility of Loving a Soldier short story collection, fellow author Angela Scott released Anyone?, a YA post-apocalyptic novel.

The end of the world? That’s the stuff of Hollywood blockbusters and deep philosophical exercises in school. No need to sweat it. So when sixteen-year-old Tess’s doomsday-dad builds a bomb shelter in their suburban backyard, everyone thinks he’s gone crazy….

…Until fire rains down from the sky, sinking whole cities into colossal craters and setting much of the world ablaze.

Tess’s dad gives her a few short minutes to gather her emergency bag and her freaked-out kitten, then leads her outside and into the underground shelter. Terrified, the last thing she expects is for him to leave her there all alone, but he has no choice—he must find her missing brother.

Before leaving, he makes Tess promise to keep the hatch door shut, not to open it for anyone but him, and to stay put until he returns.

But he forgot to tell her one thing: What is she supposed to do if he never comes back?

Anyone? is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Kobo.
Plus, Angela is giving away prizes!

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FREE Writing Feedback During the WHW Amazing Race

Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi at Writers Helping Writers (formerly The Bookshelf Muse) have added two more books to their Descriptive Thesaurus Collection: The Positive Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Attributes and The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Flaws. To celebrate, they are hosting a race, and not just any old race, either. It’s the…

Writing is hard, isn’t it? Create the perfect hook. Make your first page compelling. Craft an amazing 25 word pitch. Knock out a query that will blow an agent’s mind. On and on it goes. And sometimes, well, you just wish someone would help.

WISH NO MORE!

From October 21st until October 27th, Writers Helping Writers is posting an OPEN CALL for writers. Fill out a form to request help with critiques, book visibility, social media sharing, blog diagnostics, advice, and more.

An army of Amazing Racers are standing by (me included), waiting to help with your submissions. How many people can we help in a week? Let’s find out! Did I mention there are Celebrity Racers too–amazing authors and editors who know their way around a first page. Maybe one of them will pick your submission to help with!

Each day this week, there’s an AMAZING giveaway, too. So stop in at Angela & Becca’s new Writers Helping Writers website and find out how to take advantage of this unique, pay-it-forward event for writers.

The Ones – Night Goes Neighbors: guest story by Alisia Faust

The Ones is a writing blog game in which participants receive a story title and a little wrinkle to up the challenge factor, and then must create a single draft story in no more than one hour from the prompt. They then trade stories and post someone else’s entry on their website. My guest this week is writer Alisia Faust.

Night Goes Neighbors

The jumbled mix of voices pulled me from my dream back to reality. I wasn’t ready to leave the comforting embrace of sleep, and kept my eyes shut tight, hoping to drift back to wonderland.

“How could you be so stupid?” A deep baritone boomed. That was Mr. Mann—I’d recognize that threatening voice anywhere—which meant his daughter Jessica must be nearby.

“What are we going to tell his parents?” Jessica spoke quietly, so I leaned forward to hear her.

“We have to tell them the truth. Damn it, Jessica, what were you thinking?”

She fell silent. Or did she? Jessica had always been soft-spoken. I strained my ears to listen, and my foot knocked something to the ground. The sharp clatter rang in my ears. I hastily laid back and pulled the thin blankets over my chest, feeling a gentle pressure tug on my arm. Was there a needle in my arm?

I could feel the weight of their eyes smothering me, and beads of sweat formed at my temples. Although my heart pounded wildly in my chest, I tried to keep my breathing deep and steady. In my effort to stay calm, I noticed the slight chill in the air. My limbs were uncomfortably free of clothing, and I missed my favourite hoodie. The room smelled unfamiliar too—too clean with a lingering scent of antiseptics. How long had I been in the hospital?

Mr. Mann’s deep voice cut through my thoughts. “He could have been killed!”

“But he wasn’t,” Jessica said. Although her voice became unusually strong, her words waivered a little.

“Thank god for that. But that’s not the point. You’re the responsible one. You were supposed to keep him out of trouble.”

“I didn’t think he’d jump off the roof!”

“That’s right, you didn’t think. What were you two doing on the roof in the first place?”

Jessica hesitated. I knew what she was thinking. We’d been hanging out on the roof ever since I learned how to climb a tree. Our bedroom windows faced each other. At first we would flash lights to grab each other’s attention and hold up notes against the window. Then I noticed the rogue bough. A sturdy apple tree separated our property. One of the higher branches hung right below her window sill. My room was on the second floor and over looked the garage. If I hopped onto the slanted roof of the garage, then I could easily pull myself onto the nearest branch of the apple tree.

The first time I stuck my leg out of my window Jessica cried out in warning and surprise. I was almost caught by my parents and urged her to keep quiet. She continued to chide me with fierce whispers, but after a few times it didn’t bother her anymore.

I don’t know why I tried to jump. I know it’s stupid. I just wanted Jessica to see me as fearless, but all I accomplished was make another mess for her to clean up.

“You’re lucky, Jessica. He’s lucky. But after something like this he’ll never be the same.”

I frowned. I could hear Jessica’s sniffles and sporadic gasps. It was time to wake up.

“I’m okay,” I said. I opened my eyes expecting to see their shocked faces—Jessica’s nose would be red and her eyes puffy but somehow she’d still look so pretty. Instead, my world remained dark.

*****



Alisia began writing when she was between jobs with too much time on her hands. Now she’s juggling three different writing projects at once. She is primarily a flash fiction writer, partially because it caters to her ever shortening attention span. More of her work can be found on her blog, or follow her on twitter: @eurasianflavour.

To read the next entry in the circle, click here. To go straight to my story from this prompt, go to Kishan Paul‘s blog.

The five guys you’ll meet in YA fiction: a guest post by author Stephanie Fleshman

As someone frequently working with high school students, I’m always on the lookout for books that’ll resonate with the kids. Stephanie Fleshman, author of YA book Render, writes about what kind of male protagonists are frequently found in YA.

According to GalleyCat, YA eBook revenues increased 120.9% last year.  The great news is whatever YA male character types keep you reading, it’s unlikely you’ll run out of books anytime soon. After a while contemplating my favorite YA reads, I noticed a pattern when it came to the male heroes in these stories. Without further ado, here’s a run-down of the 5 guys you’re likely to meet when reading a Young Adult novel…

Guy #1:  The Broken and Vulnerable

When I think of broken, I think of Josh from Barry Lyga’s Boy Toy.  The sad thing about Josh is that he knows he’s broken but blames himself instead of the person at fault.

When I think of vulnerable, two characters come to mind:   Sam from Maggie Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls series and Cabel from Lisa McMann’s Wake series.  Cabel is doused with gasoline, then set on fire by his alcoholic father.  He wants to be loved, yet is scared. What makes him strong in a not-in-your-face kind of way is that he wants to love.  His lack of resentment and hate is what makes him attractive.

Guy #2:  The Abusive

In Jennifer Brown’s Bitter End, Cole is the product of “like father, like son.”  In Swati Avasthi’s YA novel Split, however, Jace is the product of being victimized by his own abuser.  Unlike Cole, Jace is capable of remorse and guilt.  He not only owns up to his actions, but he wants to pay for them.  By comparison, Jace makes Cole look like a sociopath.

Guy #3:  The Obsessive

It’s no secret that Edward from Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga is borderline stalker when it comes to Bella.  She is his world entirely.  In his mind, though, he is only being protective.  So, is Edward protective, overprotective, or obsessive?  You decide:

  • Protective:  Capable of or intended to protect someone or something.
  • Overprotective:  Having a tendency to protect someone, esp. a child, excessively.
  • Obsessive:  Of, relating to, characteristic of, or causing an obsession; Excessive in degree or nature.
 Guy #4:  The Dominant

A good example of this type of YA male lead character is Patch from Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush series.  Patch is 100% boy.  He’s self-confident, strong, and stands his ground against Nora.  Though he is dominating, I don’t believe it’s in a harmful or abusive manner.
In the second book, you get to see more into his heart as he begins to really care for Nora’s well-being.
By the third book, he’s thinking of Nora’s safety and how he can stay with her.  He sacrifices what he wants in order to protect her and their relationship, which seems non-existent to Nora by this stage.  Not everything is what it seems, though.
Other good examples are Alex from Simone Elkeles’s Perfect Chemistry and Avi from the same author’s How to Ruin series.

Guy #5:  The Lovable

I’m going to start with Koldan from my own YA novel, Render.  Koldan is firm but not so dominating that he feels the need to control.  He’s confident and strong, but recognizes his weaknesses.  He’s romantic in the sense that he will do whatever it takes to keep Raya safe, even if it means risking his own life.  And he’s not afraid to show his feelings for Raya.
Now, I cannot move forward without mentioning Holder from Hopeless by Colleen Hoover.  Thirteen years!  Thirteen!!!  That’s all I’m going to say.  Those of you who have read Hopeless know exactly what I’m talking about.  For those of you who haven’t, there’s nothing about this guy not to love.

Now I’ve got a question for you:  What’s your favorite YA male character type? 
***** 

 
Render Tour BadgeAs part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, Render, the debut YA Paranormal novel by Stephanie Fleshman, is on sale for just 99 cents! What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes.

The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $550 in Amazon gift cards, and 5 autographed copies of the book.
All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:

  1. Get Render at its discounted price of 99 cents
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest below
  3. Visit the featured social media events
  4. Leave a comment on my blog for a chance at a $100 prize.

About Render:  A betrayal born of blood. A curse for a gift. A love worth saving… Seventeen-year-old Raya Whitney thought she knew Koldan–until a sudden turn of events threatens both their lives. Get it on AmazonBarnes & Noble, or iTunes.

Stephanie Fleshman graduated with a degree in psychology and has family throughout the United States as well as in Thessaloniki and Athens, Greece. Visit Stephanie on her websiteTwitterFacebook, or GoodReads.

The virtual world of gaming and the plight of war veterans: a guest post by David Litwack

I recently read a great book, Along the Watchtower by David Litwack, that takes an interesting approach to the problems injured veterans face, and today’s post is written by him about his book and vets’ situations.

Gaming and war would seem to be as far apart from each other as you can get. But while you’re in the midst of them, they share one thing in common—a sense of being in an alternate reality.

I’ve always been fascinated by how much of what we consider to be reality is subjective, how each of us bring our own experiences and biases into play. But when we’re ripped from our normal lives and placed in extreme circumstances, our reality becomes totally fragmented. Such is the case with hospitals and war.

A couple of years ago, I became engrossed in the online game, World of Warcraft, thanks to my son. I’m on the east coast and he’s on the west, so we’d meet every Wednesday evening in the virtual world of Azeroth, where our avatars would go on quests together. I was struck by how immersed I became in the mood of the game as we wandered through castles and crypts, solving riddles and vanquishing demons, how for a short period of time, I could totally buy in to the alternate reality.

The fantasy gaming experience has a dream-like quality to it, which led me to wonder: how would this experience affect the dreams of someone whose reality has been fragmented by the trauma of war? These concepts—war, hospitals, and the fantasy world of online gaming—came together in Along the Watchtower.

I began to research the effects of war on returning veterans. I learned that 30% are diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress. That means after six months they’re still dealing with flashbacks, disturbing dreams, depression and difficulty re-assimilating into their former lives. And that doesn’t account for the many others who are seemingly able to adjust but continue to deal with inner turmoil. The war experience changes all forever. Many have suicidal thoughts (the suicide rate among veterans is triple that of the general population. More soldiers have died by their own hand than in the war itself). Many struggle with dark thoughts and have difficulty forming relationships, unable to “turn off” the normal flight or fight syndrome, leaving them suspicious in crowds and always on alert.

And then, there are the physical injuries. One of the ironic successes of these recent wars is the advance in battlefield medicine. The result is that far fewer die of wounds than in prior wars. The ratio of wounded to dead in WWII was 1.1/1, in Vietnam 1.7/1. In Iraq, it’s 7/1. More are saved, but more come home with debilitating, lifelong injuries. And 68% of the wounded have some form or brain trauma, penetrating injuries from shrapnel or non-penetrating concussions from the blasts of IEDs.

To learn more about brain injuries, I read In an Instant, the story of Bob Woodruff. The brilliant Woodruff had just been named co-anchor of ABC’s World News Tonight. Then, while embedded with the military in Iraq, an improvised explosive device went off near the tank he was riding in. Bob suffered a traumatic brain injury that nearly killed him. The book describes his recovery and recounts how fragile the human brain can be. At one point, the erudite Woodruff could rattle off the names of all prior U.S. presidents but couldn’t remember the names of his own children.

And I read about post traumatic stress. One of the best books is Achilles in Vietnam. Written by Jonathan Shay, a Vietnam War era PTSD counselor, it compares his clinical notes from patients to the text from Homer’s Odyssey, showing how we as human beings have dealt with war trauma across the millennia. He shows how war disrupts our moral compass, leaving re-entry into normal life as a brutal and agonizing experience.

Playing a make-believe fantasy game and going to war both have a surreal quality that takes us out of our normal reality. But for war veterans, the sense of normality doesn’t return without a struggle.
The Wounded Warrior Project is a wonderful organization, dedicated to helping veterans adjust. Their stated mission is: “To foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history.” How successful we’ll be at achieving that goal will tell a lot about who we are. It’s one of the most important stories of our time.

*****

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, both Along the Watchtower and There Comes a Prophet by David Litwack are on sale this week. What’s more, by purchasing either or both of these fantastic books at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes.

The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $650 in Amazon gift cards, and 5 autographed copies of each book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE.

Along the Watchtower tells of a tragic warrior lost in two worlds; a woman who may be his only way back from Hell. Get it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes.

There Comes a Prophet A thousand years ago the Darkness came—a time of violence and social collapse. Nathaniel has grown up in their world of limits, longing for something more. For what are we without dreams? Get it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes.

David Litwack, the once and future writer, explores the blurry line between reality and the fantastic. Visit David on his website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

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