LS Murphy Reaper Blog Tour ~ Making Connections


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Bio: L.S. Murphy lives in the Greater St. Louis area where she watches Cardinals baseball, reads every book she can find, and weaves tales for teens and adults. When not doing all of the above, she tends to The Bean (aka her daughter), her husband and a menagerie of pets. “A Reason to Stay”, a contemporary romance novella, is available as of November 2, 2012. Reaper is her debut young adult novel and will be released on January 7th, 2013.

She is a co-rep for the Southern Illinois region of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and a member of the St. Louis Writer’s Guild.

Links:

Blog: http://lsmurphy.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LSMurphy

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LSMurphyAuthor

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5046440.L_S_Murphy

Publisher: http://www.jtaylorpublishing.com/

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Reaper Blurb: There’s no way sixteen year old Quincy Amarante will become the fifth grim reaper. None. Not over her shiny blue Mustang. Her Jimmy Choos. Or her dead body.

She’s supposed to enjoy her sophomore year, not learn about some freaky future Destiny says she has no choice but to fulfill.

It doesn’t take long for Quincy to realize the only way out of the game is to play along especially since Death can find her anyway, anywhere, anytime. And does.

Like when she’s reassuring her friends she wants nothing to do with former best friend Ben Moorland, who’s returned from god-knows-where, and fails. Miserably.

Instead of maintaining her coveted popularity status, Quincy’s goes down like the Titanic.

Maybe … just maybe … that’s okay.

It seems, perhaps, becoming a grim reaper isn’t just about the dead but more about a much needed shift in Quincy’s priorities—from who she thinks she wants to be to who she really is.

Excerpt

A spitball stops in mid-air less than an inch from my nose.

It hangs there. I assume everyone else notices the wet wad of paper too, but when I turn to my bestie Jordan, her mouth is stuck open with her eyes half closed.

She was just laughing. Now she’s … frozen?

The sudden silence is louder than a room full of gossiping teenagers.

Mini-quakes creep up my spine like a centipede hurrying toward my hair.

I’m not entirely sure my heart is beating. I wave my shaking hand in front of Jordan, hoping this will break her free of whatever happened.

No reaction.

Why am I moving?

So many times, I wished Jordan would stop talking. Now is the one time I need her high-pitched voice to pierce my ears.

Quin, relax. It’s okay. No way this is real. I pinch my arm hard, but it doesn’t change anything.

A loud pop makes me spin around in my seat. A man stands in front of the chalkboard in a bluish-white robe staring at me through blizzard white eyes. He holds a staff in front of him that looks like melting glass.

“Hello, Quincy,” he says in a deep velvet voice. “How would you like to see your future?”

I stand and stumble toward the back of the room. “Who are you supposed to be? Gandalf?” I’m unable to keep the tremor out of my voice.

“One person dresses up like me in a movie, and that’s all I hear.” He leans back on Mr. Spragg’s desk. “I’m far more attractive than him and so much more fun.” He winks and lifts his robe, revealing a pair of yellow and red striped Bermuda shorts and orange flip-flops.

My eyes pop wider at the mismatched mess, but I keep my thoughts about his sense of fashion to myself. “Who are you?”

His sigh echoes off the walls. “I’m Destiny.”

“Who?”

Rolling his eyes, he raises the staff high to his left. Like a swordsman, he stabs and swooshes it down in an arch. The air ripples as a dark slit opens. A man in a deep brown pinstripe suit steps through. His cheap sneakers don’t match the formality of the tan fedora and horn-rimmed glasses.

A pony-sized white German shepherd saunters in behind him, and I take an automatic step back. The dog turns his head, black orbs where its eyes should be.
Pinstripe man glances my way before turning toward the person who calls himself Destiny. His features contort and a maroon tint creeps over his face.

“What the f—”

Destiny flips his finger and the new guy shuts up. After a moment, he does another finger move.

“We said when she was eighteen, Des.”

“I’m aware of that, Forsyth.”

“She’s not eighteen.”

“Really? I never would have guessed.” Sarcasm fills each word as Destiny raises his eyebrows like a flag on the Fourth of July.

Forsyth glares. “Then why am I here?”

“I let you pick the date, but I never agreed to honor it.” Destiny pats the dog on the head with sneer and wipes his hands on his robe. “Now is the time. Teach her.”

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Looking forward to the Taste of Edmonds


Looking forward to the Taste of Edmonds today. It’s also my youngest daughters 30th birthday. Happy Birthday to my beautiful baby girl.

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1st in series young adult fantasy. http:


1st in series young adult fantasy. http://ow.ly/nJ6hZ

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A first in series, young adult, new adul


A first in series, young adult, new adult, fantasy/paranormal romance

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Day 5 of The All Author Book Fair – T. M. Franklin ~ MORE


Thank you Ms. Franklin for being here today. Please tell us a little about The Mythology of MORE!

 

The Mythology of MORE

By T.M. Franklin

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I’m often asked about the inspiration for MORE, and where the idea of the First Race and the Half-Breeds came from. Well, the mythology of MORE was inspired by a number of real-life myths and legends you might be familiar with, and a few that might be new to you.

The Nephilim

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The original inspiration actually came from the first book of the Bible, Genesis, and a reference to the mysterious creatures known as the Nephilim.

“When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. Then the LORD said, ‘My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years.’

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.” – Genesis 6:1-4 (NIV)

Now, there’s a lot of debate over who the Nephilim were—we’re not even sure if they were actually the “sons of God” or perhaps the offspring of the “sons of God” and the “daughters of men.” Some say they were the children of fallen angels and human women. The Nephilim are only mentioned twice in the Bible. The other place is in the book of Numbers, where they are described as giants. (Goliath, of David & Goliath fame, is believed by some to have been a descendant of the Nephilim.)

The idea intrigued me—the existence of a group of people who were bigger and stronger than normal humans. What if they were superior in other ways as well? What if they were more developed mentally as well as physically, giving them superhuman abilities? The “heroes of old, men of renown” phrase led me to think of similar creatures in myth and legend.

Titans, Gods, and other Mythological Creatures

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Medusa, by Alice Pike Barney, 1892

There are a ton of them—the Titans, the gods of Greek or Roman mythology, giants, creatures in fairy tales or even comic books. What if they were merely exaggerations of people who really existed? Members of an ancient race—the First Race—who were a little more than human? (Heh. Yeah, that’s where the title came from.)

What if Medusa was really a member of this Race, who had the ability to paralyze nerves, and the snake-hair was just added in by a creative storyteller? What if the Hydra was based on a real-life person who could regenerate body parts? People who could hypnotize and manipulate others with their beautiful voices could have given rise the legends about the Sirens. Perhaps Zeus was a man who could manipulate electricity, giving him the ability to throw lightning bolts. In MORE, Ava describes some of the Race members who are so unusual-looking, they can’t go out into the human world.

“They stared at her curiously, and Ava couldn’t help staring back. Some were so tall—so incredibly beautiful—that they took her breath away. They glowed brighter than Caleb without the Veil, their eyes shimmering with light, their every movement poetic and graceful.”

-MORE, Chapter 13

What would you call a creature like that if you met him? An angel, perhaps? A fairy or witch?

But if these people existed, why wouldn’t they be in charge? Well, because they had a moral code, of course—a mission to help humans along in their development. And, because they were fewer in number than the ever-multiplying humans, they were in some danger if they were ever exposed. Everybody knows humans fear what they do not understand, and even a member of a superior race might fear being burned at the stake!

The Demigods

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Hercules Kills the Nemean Lion, 5th Century B.C.

Now, back to Genesis for a moment—apparently this relationship between the “sons of God” and “daughters of men” was a bad thing, because the next verses in Genesis talk about the wickedness of the human race and God’s decision to wipe it out with the Great Flood—you know, Noah and the Ark?

So, the idea that this relationship was forbidden got me thinking. Why would that be? Well, perhaps it was because their children would be potentially dangerous and unpredictable. Maybe they’d be like the demigods of mythology—human, but with power and strength superior to ordinary mortals, or perhaps even with gifts of their own. But if these people didn’t know how to control their gifts or use them properly, they could pose a danger to others, and also a risk of exposure. This is what led to the idea of the Half-Breeds, and why the Race would be so worried about them.

Of course, all of this helped to set up the relationship between Caleb and Ava in MORE. What happens when a member of this Race gets a little too close to a human? Talk about coming from two different worlds! His job is to get close to her, but loyalty to his people is tested when he gets to know her.

How they deal with that, and the people who want Ava captured—or possibly killed—is what MORE is all about.

So what are your favorite myths and legends? Let me know in the comments!

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About T.M. Franklin

T.M. Franklin started out her career writing non-fiction in a television newsroom. Graduating with a B.A. in Communications specializing in broadcast journalism and production, she worked for nine years as a major market television news producer, and garnered two regional Emmy Awards, before she resigned to be a full-time mom and part-time freelance writer. After writing and unsuccessfully querying a novel that she now admits, “is not that great,” she decided to follow the advice of one of the agents who turned her down—write some more and get better at it. Her first published novel, MORE, was born during National Novel Writing month, a challenge to write a novel in thirty days.

She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Mike, is mom to two boys, Justin and Ryan, and has an enormous black dog named Rocky who’s always lying nearby while she’s writing. Whether he’s soothed by the clicking of the computer keys or just waiting for someone to rub his belly is up for debate.

In addition to MORE, Franklin penned the Amazon best-selling short story, Window, as well as another short story, A Piece of Cake, which appears in the Romantic Interludes anthology. The sequel to MORE, The Guardians, will be released in the fall of 2013.

Connect with T.M. Franklin

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

About MORE

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Ava Michaels used to think she was special.

As a child, she fantasized about having magical powers . . . making things happen. But Ava grew up and eventually accepted the fact that her childish dreams were just that, and maybe a normal life wasn’t so bad after all.

Now a young college student, Ava meets Caleb Foster, a brilliant and mysterious man who’s supposed to help her pass physics, but in reality has another mission in mind. What he shows Ava challenges her view of the world, shaking it to its very core.

Because Caleb isn’t quite what he seems. In fact, he’s not entirely human, and he’s not the only one.

Together, the duo faces a threat from an ancient race bound to protect humans, but only after protecting their own secrets—secrets they fear Ava may expose. Fighting to survive, Ava soon learns she’s not actually normal . . . she’s not even just special.

She’s a little bit more.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TWCS | Kobo | iBooks | Goodreads

FREE for the Blogger Book Fair!

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About Window

Chloe Blake has a unique gift, an odd connection to her house that results in glimpses of the past, present, and future via the picture window in her living room. Unfortunately, it’s a gift that sometimes proves to be more of a curse. Especially when she tries to help out Ethan Reynolds, the gorgeous boy who lives across the street – an endeavor that, for some reason, always seems to backfire. Or leave her covered in mud.

But the house is convinced Ethan’s life is in danger and Chloe’s the only one who can save him. The problem is, he thinks she’s more than a little crazy.

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Day 4 of The Book Fair with author, Juli Caldwell, and her exciting novel Psyched. Plus a special bonus!


Day 4 of The Book Fair with author, Juli Caldwell, and her exciting novel Psyched. Plus a special bonus!.

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Day 4 of The Book Fair with author, Juli Caldwell, and her exciting novel Psyched. Plus a special bonus!


Juli Caldwell

My review for PSYCHED

I have to say that I absolutely loved this novel, from the moment I picked it up until the very last page was turned. There are so many twists and turns around each and every corner, and I mean the unbelievable type, from ghosts to demons, this novel has it all.  I literally couldn’t put this novel down, it kept me riveted.

Every one of Ms. Caldwells characters were believable and I absolutely adored Aisi Turay, she is such a remarkable character. She is a very tough girl who can see and speak with ghosts, and then helps them on their way into the light.  And, she takes it all in stride.

The only downfall in this novel is that the ending is not what you expect. Not in a bad way, but in a way that you can’t wait until you are flipping the pages of her next novel.

Juli Caldwell has done an amazing job with Psyched  in every aspect, I cannot wait until her next novel, Freaked, hits the stands.

I give Ms. Caldwell a whopping 5 stars for her novel, Psyched.

five stars

Cover Art by Morteque

You can find it on Amazon, Smashwords, and in paperback at CreateSpace

So far, great reviews for Psyched!

This is one of those books you just can’t put down. What I
love about Psyched in addition to a great, spooky story is strong characters
and narrative voice. Aisi is the most awesome chick, strong-willed, sassy, and
deals with some crazy stuff happening with a spunkiness that I loved…
Psyched is well-written, riveting,
surprising and genre-busting. Teens will love this book, but it definitely has
a more wide-ranging appeal
.”
and…
Aisi Turay is one awesome girl. She
has power to see the dead…as in their souls…This is a great read, filled
with suspense. I NEVER knew from one chapter to the next what was happening. It
is well written and a very enjoyable…and a bit scary!

Psyched is part ghost story, part suspense, part demon-hunting thriller, part budding romance.It’s the story of a girl named Aisi who’s doing her best to keep it together for her wreck of a family. She is smart, sassy, and sarcastic enough to keep things interesting. When she meets Vance on the single worst day of her life, she finds a guy who just might be the first person ever to get her, to believe in her, and to out-random her with bizarre observations at the worst possible moment. There’s just something about him that she knows she can trust.

Together, Aisi and Vance wander through the memories of others to unlock the secrets of her past while battling a demon who wants to ensure she never finds what she’s looking for. Aisi vanquishes demons all the time, but Malus Indolus is too strong. And he has plans for her…and her family.

Psyched is Juli’s second novel, the first as an indie writer,
and her first experiment with her true love as a reader: paranormal
fiction. Her debut novel Beyond Perfection is also available.

You can find Juli on Twitter, Facebook,  and her blog.

About the author

Juli Caldwell believes in ghosts, and paranormal fiction is her first love as a reader. She lives on the shores of the Great Salt Lake with her two daughters and husband, whom you may call the big hairy man, and a little black dog named Sirius whose hobby is shedding on her couch.

She holds a degree in English from Weber State University with a minor in psychology, which means she is watching you from afar and putting you in her next book. And that’s totally not stalking. She is hard at work on the sequel to Psyched, entitled Freaked.

Speaking of…here’s a sneak peek at Freaked, exclusively for Megan Johnston’s readers!

Her world went black for a moment as icy tingles shot down her spine and beads of sweat burst forth to dot her forehead. The image which came next was grainy and dark, almost too dim to see. Aisi could hear desperate voices, and she rushed through a doorway covered with a filthy sheet when she heard screams of pain and shrieks of terror.

“You took what was mine, and I have come to collect,” hissed an all-too familiar voice.

“No, brother, please! Not my daughter!” gasped another man. “She is all I have.” Aisi cautiously reached the door, afraid to peer around the corner. A gaunt man faced her. He knelt on the ground before a tall creature whose back was to the door. This man wore a long leather trench coat with a matching fedora, and he held a long black walking stick in his gloved hand. Aisi couldn’t see his face, but she could almost feel those red eyes boring into her once more.

Malus laughed. “You foolish, trusting, caring human. I have seen such idiocy in you since you gave up my ways. Do you think I care about your child? You have what should have been mine. I will reclaim what rightfully belongs to me. You had a chance to share in my power and glory, but you gave it away for this bloated, simpering sack of fat and flesh you so feebly try to protect. Do you think covering her with your weak human body will protect her from me? ”

“Jola,” the man’s voice wheezed as the laughter deepened to a malicious growl. “Run! He comes for me. You must go.”

“No!” sobbed a girl trembling behind the man on the floor. “You can’t take my father!”

“Again with all the love garbage,” Malus said in a tone of amused derision. “I do not care.”

The man’s voice howled in agony, and gleeful demonic laughter filled the room before the two sounds came from the same voice.

The girl rushed out of the dark room and down the hall to a small kitchen. The room didn’t hold much. A few dirty pots lay scattered around the counter tops. A sink filled with more dirty dishes lay beneath a window, the shack’s only source of light, which was covered in partially open blackout curtains. The girl rushed to a drawer in the kitchen which already hung open a bit and drooped toward the floor. She yanked it open the rest of the way and rummaged through it wildly as the laughter from the other room grew louder.

Aisi stared hard at the frightened girl with silver eyes like those gazing upon her, and ebony skin as deep as her father’s. Aisi focused intently, trying to get into the girl’s head as her shaking hands fumbled. She needed to find something.

He told me to find the knife. I must use the knife if the bad spirit returns to him. Where is the knife?

Somehow those frantic hands found what they were looking for in the jumble of utensils and the girl rushed down the hall, the long shaft of a carving knife gleaming even in the hall’s dim light. She raised it with shaky hands, ready to strike as she barreled back into the room she had just left.

Julie, thank you so much for sharing the sneak peak with us today. I can’t wait until, Freaked, comes out.

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Day 3 of The Book Fair with author, Kate Lutter, with an awesome give-a-way!


Day 3 of The Book Fair with author, Kate Lutter, with an awesome give-a-way!.

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Day 3 of The Book Fair with author, Kate Lutter, with an awesome give-a-way!


For day 3 of the book fair we have with us today, author, Kate Lutter and her debut novel, Wild Point Island.  Let’s give her a warm welcome!

Hi Kate, tell us a little about yourself and your new novel.

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Hi. My name is Kate Lutter, and I’m super excited to be a part of Blogger Book Fair 2013 and to showcase my debut novel Wild Point Island, and a fabulous Give-away:

Give-Away during Blogger Book Fair on July 22-26, 2013

To be eligible to win a $25.00 Amazon gift card

Go to www.katelutter.com.

Scroll down the right hand column.

Send me a comment.  Include NAME, EMAIL, SUBJECT: BOOK FAIR GIVE-AWAY, and COMMENT: NAME of FAVORITE FILM OR CURRENT SERIES.

I write a blog called Black and White (how the fictional world impacts the real world and your comment will be part of a survey I’m currently conducting.)

 I never would have published Wild Point Island if I hadn’t broken a few rules along the way.

 I was never one for breaking the rules.  I was the kid in school who always did her homework.  Who always arrived on time for school. Who took notes.  Studied for tests.  I was that kind of person.

When I became a writer, I still followed the rules.  Why wouldn’t I? I believed that rules prevent chaos, make the world a better place.  One of the most important rules was—never pitch a book that you’re writing to an editor until you’re finished writing it.  NEVER.

But after writing four novels and not selling them, I grew suspicious that the ideas I was writing about were not marketable. And then one day . . . last year . . . I did the unthinkable.

I was at a writing conference and I signed up for an appointment with a top New York editor of a publishing house I respected even though I was only 100 pages into writing my current novel.

Now this isn’t a good idea on many levels, but I convinced myself that I needed to know whether the idea of the story was marketable.

I had the title: Wild Point Island.

I had the genre: paranormal romance

And I had the story idea—a love story where two people want to be together but they can’t because it’s physically impossible.

Yes, I’ll admit it—I was addicted to True Blood—HBO’s hot drama and was a Sookie and Bill fan.  I loved the idea of Bill (a vampire) falling for Sookie (a half human, half fairy). It was a relationship doomed from the start.  Bittersweet.  And I’d drafted a romance modeled on a similar concept.

My hero, a revenant, who was once human, was now a different life form.  He’d returned from the dead.  He was 420 years old and was condemned to live his very long life on Wild Point Island.  My heroine was half human/half revenant.  She lived on the mainland, in North Carolina.

They were both descendants of the Lost Colony of Roanoke, an original English colony that was settled in 1592, but then disappeared when the mother ship returned to England for supplies. This was my hook, and I wanted to see if it was hook enough to sell a book.

If the editor were interested, she would request at most a partial—the first three chapters—if she requested anything at all–and that would give me time to finish the book, and then I would know that I had a marketable idea.

So I marched into my appointment to do a very wrong thing. I pitched the story I hadn’t finished and waited for her reaction.  In a pitch session with an editor at a conference you have ten minutes to sell your story. Some writers crack under the pressure.  They become tongue-tied.  They stare down at their notes, and the words swim before their eyes.

To my shock and amazement, the editor responded immediately.  She knew all about the Lost Colony of Roanoke.  She’d vacationed down in North Carolina as a child.  She loved the idea.  And then she lowered the boom. The good news. What every writer who pitches wants to hear—She requested the entire manuscript.

She referred, of course, to the story I hadn’t yet finished.

I smiled and said, “Of course.  No problem.” I was doomed.

Back home, my husband said, “Just finish it then.”

Two hundred pages in a month?  I would have to write ten pages a day straight for twenty days which would give me roughly two hundred pages and then, I would need ten days to edit. Already I was sweating.

The next day I signed up online for Book In A Month.  I set myself a schedule. I grew determined to finish the book.

It was ugly and beautiful at the same time, and I learned two things from the experience.  One—I could write incredibly fast when I wanted to.  For the first time in my life, I entered into what writers call “the zone.”  When you write intently everyday for long periods of time, you know your story so well, you do enter into the special world of your story, and it does get easier.  Two—I never broke that rule again. I finished. I edited. And I submitted.

And it was rejected.

It wasn’t until months later when I had a chance to rewrite the story that I was able to sell it.

WildPointIsland_FrontCover

As for Wild Point Island, the back cover blurb reads: 

 Banished from Wild Point Island as a child, Ella Pattenson, a half human-half revenant, has managed to hide her true identity as a descendent of the Lost Colony of Roanoke.  Thought to have perished, the settlers survived but were transformed into revenants–immortal beings who live forever as long as they remain on the island.

Now, Ella must return to the place of her birth to rescue her father from imprisonment and a soon to be unspeakable death.  Her only hope is to trust a seductive revenant who seems to have ties to the corrupt High Council.  Simon Viccars is sexy and like no man she’s ever met. But he’s been trapped on the island for 400 years and is willing to do almost anything for his freedom.

With the forces of the island conspiring against her, Ella must risk her father, her heart, and her life on love.

Don’t forget to participate in the survey and become eligible for the Give-Away.

Wild Point Island was published by Crescent Moon Press in 2012.          It’s now available from Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com in print and e book formats.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=wild+point+island

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wild-point-island-kate-lutter/1110947513?ean=9781937254254

 

You can find me at www.katelutter.com.

         

 

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Day 2 of the All Author Book Fair and review with author, Danielle E. Shipley


Day 2 of the All Author Book Fair and review with author, Danielle E. Shipley.

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