Cover Reveal: The Lovely Dark by K.A. Last

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Title: The Lovely Dark
Author: K.A. Last
Designer: KILA Designs

Publication Date: October 2017
Genres: Dark Fantasy/Horror, Young Adult

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Synopsis

Three teenagers.
One witch.
Twelve souls.

Harvey Anderson always knew the universe was against him, but
there’s a lot of stuff he never expected to happen, like having a crush
on the most popular girl at school, and then falling into a giant hole
in the middle of nowhere with her. And if that wasn’t enough,
somehow they managed to release a soul-sucking, ancient witch
as well. So yeah, there’s that. You’d think it’d be pretty hard to
beat, but knowing Harvey’s luck, it’s about to get a whole lot worse.

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Pre-order Links

Barnes & Noble // Kobo // iBooks US
iBooks Aus // Amazon US // Amazon AU
(Amazon links to come)

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An Excerpt from The Lovely Dark

I shine my torch beam across the floor, then up the walls and back to the floor. An uneasy feeling settles into the pit of my stomach. I don’t want to ask the question I’m about to ask, but I can’t help myself.

“Are those human bones?”

Lian tenses beside me. “I hope not.”

Toni takes a few steps into the cave, moving to the left and skirting around the wall. I follow, and Lian comes close behind. I feel her grab the back of my T-shirt. I don’t mind the contact. I’m creeped out and glad I’m not down here by myself.

As we move farther into the cave, it becomes clear that something terrible must have happened here. Toni stops, and the light from her head torch shines on a human skull. I jump and a funny noise comes out of my mouth. Black, gaping holes stare at us. A huge spider slowly crawls out of one of the eye sockets, and an invisible finger traces my spine. Bile rises into my throat, and I supress the urge to vomit.

Lian grips my arm and presses against me. We crowd in behind Toni, neither of us prepared to have any space between us. For some reason, I feel safer huddled together when it’s probably not the best idea if we need to run away screaming.

“Yep. Definitely human,” Toni says.

She runs her torch around again and more skulls shine white in the darkness. Some of them are still attached to skeletons, which are sitting on rocks with their backs against the wall, bits of clothing draped off them. Other skulls lie on the ground, detached and without bodies. I keep my torchlight on the spider. I do not want it creeping up on me in the dark.

“Who are they?” Lian asks.

“Something tells me we won’t find a driver’s licence in their pockets,” I say.

“Can anyone see the wand?” Toni takes another step forward.

Lian and I shuffle with her, and I grab her arm with my free hand. The three of us search the cave with our torches, and my stomach rolls again. Our lights bounce around, and then I catch something that glimmers.

“There!” I point and realise neither of the girls can see me because all our light is in front of us. “I think … oh God.” I train my light where I saw the shiny thing. “It’s … is that a hand?”

Finger bones curl around a stick with a stone at the end. The stone is black but shiny enough to reflect our torchlight. Twine binds the stone to the head of the wand in a twisted mass. It’s not very pretty.

“I don’t want it to be a hand,” Lian says. “Bags not getting it.”

Toni snorts. “Seriously?”

“What?” Lian says. “I said it first.”

“You can stay calm when a spider runs up your arm,” I say, “but you can’t pluck a stick from a dead person’s fingers?”

“You do it then. I have no trouble admitting I don’t want to touch dead people.”

Toni hasn’t offered to get it either, even after questioning Lian. She’s as scared as us, which makes this a whole lot worse. Up until now, Toni has been the level-headed one. The one with all the answers. Now, her arm shakes beneath my hand.

I take a breath. “Get ready to … I don’t know. Kill the dead people if they attack me.”

I let go of Toni and take a step around her. Lian lets go of my arm, and fear rushes through me as I lose physical contact with both the girls. I take a few measured steps towards the hand holding the wand, careful not to step on any bones along the way.

Until now, I haven’t considered that the hand might be attached to an arm, attached to a body. I shine my torch around and wish I hadn’t. It is attached to someone, or at least, a skeleton that used to be someone. Strips of fabric fall in tatters around the form. With every step, I get more scared.

“They’re all dead,” I mumble under my breath. “They can’t hurt me.”

Only we’re dealing with witches and magic here, and I don’t actually know that these bones will leave me alone. Especially since I’m about to take something from them. I edge forward and stretch out my free hand, clutching my torch tightly with the other. I stop and lean forward, not wanting to get any closer, and use the length of my arm to get the wand.

My fingers brush the bones as I grab the stick and I yelp, pulling my hand back.

“What?” Toni asks. “What is it?”

“Nothing,” I say.

I flex my fingers and try again, telling myself that it’s no big deal, they’re just bones. Finger bones, but just bones, nonetheless. I manage to grip the wand, and I pull to free it from the dead skeleton’s grasp. At first it doesn’t move, and then it comes away with a snap.

I jump back with the wand in my hand, the bony fingers still gripping to it.

“Oh my god!” Toni says. “You broke the hand off!”

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About the Author

K. A. Last was born in Subiaco, Western Australia, and moved to Sydney when she was eight. Artistic and creative by nature, she studied Graphic Design and graduated with an Advanced Diploma. After marrying her high school sweetheart, she concentrated on her career before settling into family life. Blessed with a vivid imagination, she began writing to let off creative steam, and fell in love with it. K. A. Last is currently studying her Bachelor of Arts at Charles Sturt University, with a major in English, and minors in Children’s Literature, Art History, and Visual Culture. She now resides in the countryside on the mid-north coast of NSW.

Author Links:

Website // Twitter // Facebook // Goodreads
Pinterest // Instagram // Amazon

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Cover Reveal: S’more to Lose by Beth Merlin

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Title: S’more to Lose
Series: The Campfire Series #2
Author: Beth Merlin
Publisher: Ink Monster LLC
Publication Date: December 5, 2017
Genres: General Fiction, Women’s Fiction

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Synopsis

Four years after her life-changing summer at Camp Chinooka, Gigi Goldstein has a second chance at her dream career. As her design house takes the fashion world by storm, it attracts the notice of Victoria Ellicott, the fashionable British socialite who just happens to be engaged to the future king of England. When Gigi is chosen to design the royal wedding dress, she’s forced to confront her ex-fiancé, Perry Gillman, now a successful composer with a hit show on the West End of London.

When Gigi learns Perry’s been dating Victoria’s sister—who rivals her in looks, style and sophistication—Gigi can’t help but feel inadequate. Her world crumbles as she develops a creative block so debilitating she fears a wedding dress of royal proportions is never going to happen. Not even her budding relationship with the handsome and wealthy Viscount of Satterley can make her forget Perry. While the world gears up for the wedding of the century, Gigi is on the brink of buckling under the immense pressure of the uncertainties of her future and the failures of her past.

Can Gigi overcome her creative paralysis and design the dress of Victoria’s dreams? Or will everything slip through her fingers now that she has even s’more to lose?

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Pre-order Links:

Barnes & Noble // Kobo // iBooks // Amazon

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About the Author

Beth Merlin has a BA from The George Washington University where she minored in Creative Writing and a JD from New York Law School. She’s a native New Yorker who loves anything Broadway, rom-coms, her daughter Hadley, and a good maxi dress. She was introduced to her husband through a friend she met at sleepaway camp and considers the eight summers she spent there to be some of the most formative of her life. One S’more Summer is Beth’s debut novel.

 

Author links:

Website // Twitter // Facebook

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Cover Reveal: Revolutions by Carissa Andrews

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Title: Revolutions
Series: Pendomus Chronicles Book 3
Author: Carissa Andrews
Publication Date: November 21, 2017
Genres: Science Fiction, Dystopian, Young Adult

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Synopsis

Revolutions is the third and final conclusion of the Pendomus
Chronicles Series. To see where it all began, be sure to check out
Carissa’s first novel, Pendomus: Book 1 of the Pendomus Chronicles.

As the timelines of Pendomus fray, one girl born with
power has the ability to set things right.

Forcing her way into Videus’ vassalage may be the last thing Runa
will ever do, but she knows she has to try. Not only are there others
like her—others with powers—but they’re directly tied to her by blood.
With Trae’s mental stability in question, and Kani missing, Runa can
only rely on herself and the aid of her brother to fulfill her destiny. If she
can embrace her role as the Daughter of Five, hopefully she can set
things right and free Trae from whatever madness is taking over his mind.

There’s more than meets the eye to Videus’ obsession with Runa and
her bloodlines. The only problem is, unraveling the mystery could unleash
catastrophe on everything she holds dear, if she’s not careful. Can Runa
stop Videus once and for all—or will the fate of Pendomus
be locked forever my one man’s madness?

Step into Pendomus—a world that meshes mystery, magical
creatures, and destiny—with science and technology.

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Pre-order Links:

Barnes & Noble // Kobo // iBooks // Amazon

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About the Author

“An author emerges from the depths of Minnesotan waters. Sci-fi/Fantasy is my pen of choice.”

Carissa Andrews is a Minnesota-based genre bending author who writes a combination of science fiction, fantasy, and dystopia. When not writing her own books, she’s busy reading them.

Her first novel, Pendomus, was the first of a three-part series and was published in 2013. Now, four years later, Polarities (Book 2) of the Pendomus Chronicles, and Revolutions (Book 3) will be released at the end of 2017.

For more information on their release, visit Carissa Andrews’ author website: www.carissaandrews.com and sign up for her newsletter notifications.

Carissa is also a freelance graphic designer, writer and content creator, social media manager, and marketing professional. She writes consistently on topics of science, technology, art, writing, photography, graphic design, health, self improvement, and more. Her articles can be found published across the interwebs.

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Cover Reveal: Polarities by Carissa Andrews

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Title: Polarities
Series: Pendomus Chronicles Book 2

Author: Carissa Andrews
Publication Date: October 10, 2017
Genres: Science Fiction, Dystopian, Young Adult

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Synopsis

Polarities is the second novel in the Pendomus Chronicles Series.
To see where it all began, be sure to check out Carissa‘s first
novel, Pendomus: Book 1 of the Pendomus Chronicles.
 

With Runa separated from the only people who’ve had her
back, she must go on a quest alone to uncover what it really
means to be the Daughter of Five. Dropped in an unknown
location, presumably still on the planet, she only has a monolithic
book — the Caudex — as her guide, but it’s not giving up its
answers easily. Will she be able to uncover the mysteries?

In the meantime, Trae and Kani are on a mission of their own,
which may turn out to be disastrous. With Fenton dead and Runa
gone, their next course of action is to strike Videus back where he’ll
hurt most. Will their plan succeed to bring down the mysterious
man behind the Helix? Will Runa be able to find her way back to
her friends? Or is the planet doomed to destruction after all?

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Purchase Book 1
Pendomus

Barnes & Noble // Amazon

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About the Author

“An author emerges from the depths of Minnesotan waters. Sci-fi/Fantasy is my pen of choice.”

Carissa Andrews is a Minnesota-based genre bending author who writes a combination of science fiction, fantasy, and dystopia. When not writing her own books, she’s busy reading them.

Her first novel, Pendomus, was the first of a three-part series and was published in 2013. Now, four years later, Polarities (Book 2) of the Pendomus Chronicles, and Revolutions (Book 3) will be released at the end of 2017.

For more information on their release, visit Carissa Andrews’ author website: www.carissaandrews.com and sign up for her newsletter notifications.

Carissa is also a freelance graphic designer, writer and content creator, social media manager, and marketing professional. She writes consistently on topics of science, technology, art, writing, photography, graphic design, health, self improvement, and more. Her articles can be found published across the interwebs. Carissa is also a Top Rated Freelancer on Upwork, and can be contacted for freelancing opportunities: https://www.upwork.com/o/profiles/users/_~011fb5962824326eaa/

Cover Reveal: Pitcher Plant by Melissa Eskue Ousley

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Title: Pitcher Plant
Series: A Pacific Northwest Suspense

Author: Melissa Eskue Ousley
Publisher: Filles Vertes Publishing

Publication Date: May 12, 2017
Genres: Mystery, Suspense

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Synopsis

When Tawny Ellis spots a run-down fixer-upper on the Oregon coast, she and her husband jump at the chance to own a cottage near the beach. But as the expensive repairs turn their dream home into a nightmare, their marriage unravels. And worse… something is lurking in the house’s dark past.

Tawny’s daughter has a new imaginary friend that bears a striking resemblance to a little girl who squatted in the house with her drug-addicted mother. These illegal tenants have been missing for years.

The house’s previous owner is enraged with Tawny, the same way he was with the squatters. As he stalks her family, Tawny suspects that she knows what happened to the last people who slept in the house. Her family might be next.

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About the Author

Melissa Eskue Ousley is the award-winning author of The Solas Beir Trilogy, a young adult fantasy series. Her first book, Sign of the Throne, won a 2014 Eric Hoffer Book Award and a 2014 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award. Her third book, The Sower Comes, won a 2016 Eric Hoffer Book Award. Her fourth book, Sunset Empire, was released as a single book and is also included in the bestselling Secrets and Shadows box set, a young adult collection. Melissa lives on the Oregon coast with her family, a neurotic dog, and a piranha. When she’s not writing, she can be found walking along the beach, poking dead things with a stick.

Author links:

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Get Your Ticket to Ride!—and a Cover Reveal!

Lauren Carr is the best-selling author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. Killer in the Band is the third installment in the Lovers in Crime Mystery series.

In addition to her series set in the northern panhandle of West Virginia, Lauren Carr has also written the Mac Faraday Mysteries, set on Deep Creek Lake in western Maryland, and the Thorny Rose Mysteries, set in Washington DC. The second installment in the Thorny Rose Mysteries, which features Joshua Thornton’s son Murphy and Jessica Faraday, Mac’s daughter, A Fine Year for Murder, was released in January 2017.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.

She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV. Visit Lauren Carr’s website at http://www.mysterylady.net to learn more about Lauren and her upcoming mysteries.

After working more than thirty years to make it to best-selling status and having consistent sales and fabulous reviews from readers and book reviewers, I can understand the fear that some successful authors may have about changing anything in their books, especially if it is a series, for fear of losing devoted readers.

Most likely, this may explain why I have heard many readers say about some of their favorite, or rather one-time favorite authors, “All of her/his books are the same. Each one has the same general plot. All she/he does is change the names.”

These authors are afraid of messing with success. “Why fix what isn’t broken?”

That’s not me. When I was nineteen years old, I went up in an airplane for the first time and jumped out. Fortunately, I was wearing a parachute. Even more fortunately, it opened. I didn’t go up in a plane and land in it until I went to Washington, D.C. four years later.

If I wasn’t fearless I would never have struck out on my own to be an independent author and tried to make my way without the benefit of a literary agent or traditional publisher. Since I am not dependent on either, I am free to strike out to challenge writing skills with every new work-in-progress.

Authors are like athletes. We need to write every day or our writing muscles lose their strength. Also, like athletes, we need to push ourselves harder in order to reach bigger goals in our craft. This means writing outside our comfort zones—refusing to get stuck writing what our readers can come to view as formula.

When authors get content to write at the same level, without pushing themselves (and even their characters), then their writing becomes stale, not only for the writer penning it, but for their readers.

Despite the risk, in my heart, I’m still the same girl who jumped out of an airplane at nineteen.

I admit, I do keep my readers in mind when I pen my mysteries. With them in mind, I don’t expect my readers to have any more fun reading the same book over and over again than I would have writing it over and over again. So, it is not only for my own selfish reasons that I am currently writing—

Twofer Murder!

I can hear you saying, “Twofer murder? What’s a twofer murder?”

Twofer Murder will be a treat for mystery lovers because it is two mysteries in one novel. This book will contain all of the characters from the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose mysteries. The guys go fishing and get embroiled in a murder mystery. Meanwhile, the ladies go off to a murder mystery writers conference and end up wrapped up in their own mystery when an up and coming mystery writer ends up dead! Can’t beat that! Two mysteries for the price of one!

Is it a challenge writing two murder mysteries with two sets of characters in the same novel? Yes, very much so! That’s why I am having so much fun with this work in progress.

What if your readers don’t like it? What if it ends up being a flop? I look at it this way. Sometimes, when you jump out of an airplane, your chute doesn’t open. But when it does, you get to enjoy a wonderful ride that others can only wish they could experience.

So far, Twofer Murder is proving to be just such a ride!

Dear readers, look for your ticket for this ride later this summer! If you’re open to adventures, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the wild ride reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!