Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Blog Tour: Catch by Michelle D. Argyle


Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for the New Adult novella Catch by Michelle D. Argyle, including my review and a giveaway!  The tour is hosted by Itching for Books, and you can follow along here.


When eighteen-year-old Miranda chases a purse snatcher on the Las Vegas Strip, the last thing she expects is for the pursuit to turn into an extended game of hide-and-seek. All Miranda wants are the old black and white photographs buried at the bottom of her purse. They’re the only things she has left of the grandmother she never knew. But how much is she willing to put on the line to save them? And is it possible she’s falling in love with a thief?

Add it on Goodreads and purchase on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

MY REVIEW

Catch is a really fun, sweet novella that may not have the most believable plot in the world, but it’s so engaging and earnestly written that the far-fetched storyline doesn’t really matter.  The story is set during 18-year-old Miranda’s last family vacation before she moves across the country to attend college; her impending separation from her family is forcing her to confront her conflicting desires to take risks and explore new things, while also wanting to stick to what’s safe and familiar.  She’s forced to face this conflict head-on—and make a decision—when her purse is snatched on the Vegas strip.  Miranda’s sister gets the idea to call Miranda’s cell phone and confront the thief…and not only does he actually answer, but he turns out to be anything but your typical purse snatcher.  Ollie is actually a young, good-looking, charming guy who might be willing to give Miranda her possessions back—if she’ll play by his rules.  Of course, playing games with a thief, even a charming one, is definitely a risk…

Once the purse-snatching occurred, one thing that really kept me reading Catch was wanting to find out why Ollie took purses.  And while I wasn’t a hundred percent convinced by his reasoning, I did like Ollie more and more as we got to know him better.  However, I found I was most intrigued by Miranda’s personal struggles as she was dealing with the thought of leaving her home and family for the first time, wondering if she could become the kind of person who takes risks and embraces new experiences, both in love and in life.  The last third of the story didn’t go the way I’d expected at all, and I was glued to my kindle till the last sentence! 


Overall, Catch was a lot of fun and very well written, and I’m glad I took the time to read it!

GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michelle D. Argyle lives and writes in Utah, surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. She adores cheese, chocolate, sushi, and lots of ethnic food, and loves to read and write books in the time she grabs between her sword-wielding husband and energetic daughter. She believes a simple life is the best life. Michelle writes contemporary Young Adult and New Adult fiction (and other genres when she feels like it). 



Monday, October 28, 2013

Blog Tour: Her Love Ran Crimson by Zoey Foster


Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Zoey Foster's debut YA novel, Her Love Ran Crimson, including my review!  First, here's a little more about the book:



Maddie has been through more tragedy than most people would ever see in their life. She has given up on living, and only living to breathe. With nobody on her side, she has been marked as the cause of her mother’s death and lives with this guilt every day. She is close to giving up until she sets her eyes on the one person who doesn’t look at her with disgust.

Jase is the new guy in school, he was transferred to a new school after moving out of his fathers house into his mothers. But Jase knows about Maddie and knows about her past. He thinks he can keep this a secret and help protect her. When the truth comes out will they be able to survive their worlds being turned upside down? Will their connection be strong enough to make it through? Sometimes love isn't enough...

Add it on Goodreads and purchase on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.




MY REVIEW

Her Blood Ran Crimson is a suspenseful, romantic story that had my heart hurting for main character Maddie and desperately hoping she would find a way out of her terrible situation and into a better life.  When we meet Maddie, she’s almost eighteen and counting down the days till she graduates from high school and can finally try to escape life with an abusive stepfather.  Maddie’s stepfather Frank is a con man/criminal who forces his daughter to run “deliveries” for him, and especially since Maddie’s mother’s death three years earlier, her life has basically been a living hell.  The author effectively shows us the constant fear, inability to relax or feel safe anywhere, and feelings of low self-worth that come from living in an abusive home.  To make matters worse, Maddie is still haunted by the traumatic event that resulted in her mother’s death, which we learn about gradually through the course of the story.

Because of her situation, Maddie is isolated from most of her peers at school, but as the novel begins she meets a new student, Jase, who seems determined to get to know her.  Maddie initially shies away from Jase despite her attraction to him, but Jase is persistent and understanding, and gradually the two embark on a tentative relationship.  I loved seeing Maddie with someone who really cared about her, but at the same time, it was so painful to see her constantly doubting both Jase’s and her own feelings and, really, not believing she deserves to be in a healthy relationship at all.  Maddie feels like she’s broken and ruined because of what happened to her, and her pain is just so palpable that it’s hard to read at times, but I couldn’t stop reading either!  There’s the constant threat that either Maddie will sabotage her own happiness with Jase, or that her stepfather and his criminal connections will end up interfering, and that sense of foreboding kept me eagerly but nervously turning the pages.


Jase is an amazing, loyal, sensitive guy, and at times he seemed almost too good to be true, especially for a high-school boy.  However, he does make one major error in judgment which, while it made my heart break even more for Maddie, also made his character much more believable.  I was also very pleased that, after the dramatic events near the end of the novel, the story ended with great hope but also with realism.  Both Maddie and the reader know that life isn’t a fairy tale, and that the road to recovery after trauma isn’t a smooth or easy one; but we also know that Maddie now has the strength and support she needs to travel that road.

GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Zoey Foster lives in Southern California with her Husband and 3 Sons. When she is not writing, you can find her on Swoon Worthy Books posting updates on books and Authors, and let’s not forget about the Man-candy and just having a bunch of fun. She is taking her passion for books and making it her reality in writing her debut novel Her Love Ran Crimson. She loves interacting with others talking about great Books and Book Boyfriends. You can find her at the links below always encouraging people to have a fun time and live in the moment. She has a weakness for Sour Patch Kids and has inappropriate fun when she is having her wine at night tweeting her thoughts. She also likes to make up words. The best word to describe her is Winetastic!

Visit Zoey on her FacebookTwitterGoodreads, and blog.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Blog Tour: If Only We by Jessica Sankiewicz


Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Jessica Sakiewicz's debut novel, If Only We!  I loved this book and it's only .99 for a limited time, so you should definitely grab it now!  Today I have a guest post by Jessica to share with you, as well as my review.


They say all it takes is one wrong move and you lose the game. One false step and you’re trapped. One slip-up in your choice of words and you ruin a friendship forever. That is what they say. They say I lost.

I do not believe them.


At the end of the summer after graduation, Adrienne wonders what happened to cause her life to be in ruins. She isn’t getting along with her mom, her stepsister isn’t talking to her, and, to top it off, the boy she’s been in love with doesn’t want anything to do with her. She believes the turning point was a choice she made at graduation. When she wakes up the next day, she has been transported back three months to that moment, the one where everything started to fall apart.

Adrienne realizes she has been given a second chance—and this time she doesn’t want to mess anything up. Reliving the entire summer, though, turns out to be a lot harder than she thought. As the same days and weeks go by, she starts to see how simple decisions can make a huge impact on the world around her. Despite knowing some of what lies ahead, there are some things she didn’t anticipate. She thought she knew what mistake led her to where she ended up the first time. She was wrong.

And by the time summer is over, she discovers what was really at stake.

Add it on Goodreads.



Purchase on Amazon and Smashwords.


Guest Post: Why I Decided to Self-Publish

When I first started book blogging on 2011, it was around the time of the self-publishing boom. I read an article about Amanda Hocking's success story and thought it was amazing how far publishing had come. I never dreamed of seeing the day when someone could write a book and just publish it like that.

For years, I had browsed through magazines, websites, and a copy of the Writer's Market book I decided to invest in to see what avenues I had for publishing. I read all sorts of articles and books on it—how to query, how long publishing takes, the royalties—everything. It all just seemed so overwhelming and time-consuming and extremely difficult to even be accepted. I understand that there are a lot of manuscripts out there that editors have to look through and they don't have time for all of them. The thought that my query letter had to be eye-catching to even get their attention and keep them from tossing the first three chapters of my manuscript in the trash had me wanting to facepalm. All I could think was, “Can I write the perfect query letter and be able to get my foot in the door?”

At that point, I didn't even have anything remotely ready to publish. It was just one of those dreams I had, wanting to be an author and to see my name in print. I set that dream to the side, hoping that maybe one day I would be able to do it. So seeing this new possibility, how I could now write my story and have pretty much full control in how it turns out, was inspiring. I began to work on one story that summer, then began another, If Only We, for NaNoWriMo. Once November was over, I was determined to finish writing it and get to the point where I could publish it. It took a lot of time, and some days I thought I would never get through it, but I did.

Now that I'm here, actually publishing my first novel and becoming an author, it is beyond exhilarating. When you can finally reach a dream, it is the best feeling. I love how self-publishing has opened the doors for so many great writers out there. Can you imagine how many great books we would have missed out on if not for self-publishing? All the great indie authors we wouldn't have come to know and love? It is truly an amazing thing and I'm glad to finally be part of it myself.

My Review

If Only We is an incredibly sweet, creative debut NA novel (although YAs would like it too) that had me tearing up a few times. If Only We is the story of Adrienne’s summer after graduating high school—but it’s actually her second chance at that summer, since at the end of August, she finds herself inexplicably tossed back in time to graduation day, and given a chance to relive the summer and hopefully fix her mistakes. I love these second chance-type stories, and I thought the author did an incredible job with this one!

In her first go-round of the summer, Adrienne fled her home and friends after confessing to her friend Chevy that she liked him as more as a friend, only to find that he didn’t reciprocate her feelings. (Or, at least, he claimed not to.) Over her second-chance summer, Adrienne stays at home and finds herself facing not only the issue of her feelings for Chevy, but also the conflict between her mother’s goals for her college/career and Adrienne’s own desires; her relationship with her stepsister; and a tragic accident that, as part of her second chance, Adrienne hopes she might be able to prevent. All of these conflicts are well-developed to illustrate Adrienne’s growth in becoming her own person, being honest with herself and others, and realizing that you might not always be able to control fate, but that doesn’t mean you should give up the fight.

What I love most about this story is the way the author juxtaposes the bigger conflicts, like Adrienne’s struggle to figure out what she wants to do with her life and how to balance her mom’s expectations with her own desires, with smaller, more everyday concerns. The kind of little things that mean so much in our everyday lives, but don’t often play an important role in novels that go for big drama, are given respect and attention here. Things like watching a favorite TV show with a stepsister, or selling the first pillow you designed and sewed, are as important as the bigger moments in this book, and they made the novel feel so much more real and relatable to me. I also thought the way the book’s biggest tragedy was handled was absolutely perfect, and it definitely made me a little teary.

Overall, Adrienne and her story feel real—and for a book involving time travel, that’s quite a feat! By the end of the book, I felt like Adrienne, her friends and stepsister were people I could call up and talk to on the phone. I didn’t want to leave the world of this book by the time it ended!

About the Author


Jessica is the 28 year old author of IF ONLY WE, a YA contemporary coming out in October 2013. You can often find her either reading or marathon watching TV on DVD, her favorites being Castle and Veronica Mars. She frequently mismatches her clothes and giggles uncontrollably. She knows almost every Billy Joel song by heart. She collects books and toys, and she has an intense love of cats and lemurs. Currently in the midst of her quarter-life-crisis, she is still takin' names and getting very close to reaching an epiphany.

Visit Jessica on her blogGoodreadsFacebook, and Twitter..

Friday, October 25, 2013

Forty Days and Forty Nights of Giveaways


Welcome to my biggest giveaway yet as an indie author!  Since I've now been published for a little over a year and have finally completed the Neima's Ark story, I wanted to do something a little different for this giveaway.  So with the help of many generous and awesome authors, I am giving away not only my usual amazon gift card, but also ebooks, print books and swag for a total of 33 prizes!




Some of these books are new adult/adult, so if you don't read adult books and want to enter to win YA-appropriate prizes only, you can specify that in the rafflecopter.  And since this is the Forty Days and Nights giveaway, you can earn some extra entries by answering trivia questions about Forty Days, which is FREE on all major ebook retailers.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Blog Tour: Last Call by Michele G. Miller



Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Last Call by Michele G. Miller.  I loved Michele's first novel, and this one sounds great too!  Today I have an excerpt and an introduction to the boys of Last Call!



“You are cordially invited…” 

Four words that spark the fear of God into any gently bred, single southern woman. 

When Savannah Guthry receives an invitation to her cousin’s wedding back home in Charleston, South Carolina, her first thoughts aren’t of flowers and dresses. Instead, she's reminded of the groom: her first love and the reason she ended up at a college 500 miles away from home. 

Determined to show up and dazzle not only her ex but her spoiled cousin too, Savannah allows her friends to set her up on a series of dates looking for Mr. Right. 

Wrapped up in her memories of the past and the drama of her new romances, Savannah doesn’t see the dangerous threat to her life coming… 

She might not land her Prince Charming before her Last Call.

**This book is a New Adult Romantic Suspense. It is intended for mature (17+) audiences due to sexual situations and mild language.





Meet the Boys of Last Call:



Excerpt


Date number three in as many days. All I really wanted to do tonight was veg out in front of the television and read a good book. Two bad dates in a row was enough for one week. To make matters worse, it was seven-fifteen before my date showed up. He was forty five minutes late. Then he waved at me and pointed to the restroom. What the hell? I seriously contemplated just walking out of the bar, and went as far as to slide off the stool, when a husky male voice stopped me in my tracks.
"Tom Collins?"
Sigh. That accent could melt the panties off a girl. I was sure it had happened many times. Surprised, I met his warm brown eyes and asked, "You know my drink?"
"It's my job to know what the regulars prefer."
I shook my head immediately. "Oh, I'm not a regular."
He chuckled. That same deep chuckle I remembered hearing the night I left Mark at the bar. "My apologies, three nights in a row…I mistakenly assumed you made this a habit."
"Whoa, what do you mean this?" I asked. I felt my cheeks begin to burn. He actually thought I was trolling for men! I suppose it did look like that to the casual observer. Oh, snap. I didn't want to look easy.
"This? Picking losers for dates - that's what I meant," he stated smoothly, his arm waving about the bar. He turned his back and grabbed a glass and ice. I watched as he made his way around the bar and effortlessly poured the gin, lemon and simple syrup into the glass.
"On the house." He winked and walked away.

About the Author:


Michele is the author of the Amazon bestselling Coming of Age Fantasy- Never Let You Fall, The Prophecy of Tyalbrook Series and the New Adult Romantic Suspense, Last Call. She is currently working on the second book in The Prophecy of Tyalbrook Series, Never Let You Go.

Having grown up in both the cold, quiet town of Topsham, Maine and the steamy, southern
hospitality of Mobile, Alabama, Michele is something of a enigma.  She is an avid Yankees fan, loves New England, being outdoors and misses snow.  However she thinks southern boys are hotter, Alabama football is the only REAL football out there and sweet tea is the best thing this side of heaven and her children’s laughter! 

Her family, an amazing husband and three awesome kids, have planted their roots in the middle of Michele’s two childhood homes in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

Email: authormichelegmiller@gmail.com
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6975382.Michele_G_Miller

Monday, October 21, 2013

Trailer Reveal: Impossibly Love by Shane Morgan


Welcome to the trailer reveal for Shane Morgan's upcoming NA novel, Impossibly Love!  First, here is the book cover and a little more about it:


Release date: October 29th, 2013

All Moya Douglas wants to do is study hard, maintain her scholarship, and make her mother proud while attending college. She doesn’t have time for a boyfriend or going on dates arranged by her best friend. Moya doesn’t believe in love. And she has no intention of ever finding it.

Branden McCarthy is determined to change her views.
A selfless romantic who’s had his heart broken in the past, Branden is fascinated with Moya’s personality and hopes to develop something real with her-a connection so strong it’ll open her heart. But just when things start to work between the two, Branden’s secret threatens to get in the way.
Will Moya finally do the impossible and give love a chance with Branden, or will fear keep them apart?

Rated G for everyone. No strong language. No raunchy sex scenes throughout. This is a New Adult novel about finding love and oneself.


Add it on Goodreads.


THE TRAILER



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shane’s love for writing started the moment she picked up a Nancy Drew book. At a young age, she began writing short stories, divulging in a variety of genres; from comedy, drama, to horror and romance. She’s quite intrigued by the otherworldly or things otherwise deemed “impossible.”

Visit Shane at her blogGoodreads, and Facebook.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

How Did I End Up Writing a Biblically Inspired Story?

If you knew me in real life, you'd know that I'm one of the last people you'd expect to write a novel based on a Bible story.  I'm not religious and wasn't raised in a religious family, although my mom did take me to church a few times when I was little, since she thought that children who were never exposed to organized religion might be more susceptible to cults later in life.  My main memory of church is being upset because my mom gave me a dollar for the Sunday School donation, but then they passed around this picture board-thing that only had slots for quarters.  Where was I supposed to put my dollar?!  I felt like a square peg trying to fit in a round hole...


But anyway, back to Neima's Ark.  When my agent at the time first suggested the idea of a YA Noah's Ark retelling, it never even occurred to me that the religious aspect might be a major issue.  Which probably tells you how not-religious I am.  But Noah's Ark has become a popular children's story in our culture and doesn't seem overtly religious in the same way as, for instance, Moses receiving the Ten Commandments.

Now, this isn't to say I didn't think about religion at all while writing the book--I knew my novel would take an imaginative approach and that it wouldn't appeal to people looking for a strict Bible retelling.  But I didn't necessarily think people who aren't fans of religious fiction (which is a lot of people) would be afraid to read it.  On the other hand, I hope that people who are more traditionally religious are open to the book and can get something out of it as well.  My intent has never been to make a religious statement, but simply to retell an old story in the same manner as, for instance, a fairy tale or myth retelling.  (And the flood myth does exist in many cultures--the biblical version is simply the most well-known one.)

So, to the meat of this blog post...here are the three main reasons I was attracted to the Noah's Ark story and chose to retell it.  If you're nervous about reading a religious story, I'm hoping this might change your mind!

1. People love disaster stories, and Noah's Ark is a great one.


Apocalyptic disaster stories are incredibly popular right now, and I thought an end-of-the-world story that takes place not in the future, but in the distant past, would be a great new spin on the genre.

2. Animals!


I love to write about animals and their relationship to people, and Neima's Ark gave me a chance to do that.

3. Human Nature

When I did reread the biblical story before beginning my own, I was struck by the theme not of eradicating evil in mankind, but of accepting that the capacity for evil is an essential part of human nature.  You can read more about that here.  I thought this was a particularly powerful theme to explore in connection with all the animals present on the ark.  Animals can be vicious and violent and may symbolize evil in our minds...but are they capable of evil in the same way that a human being is?  That's one of the questions I dealt with in Neima's Ark.


Yes, there's a tiger on board the ark in my version!


Of course, these three elements weren't my only inspiration for the book, but they were a large part of it, so I hope they might interest you!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

"Crawl Between the Sheets" Release Event for Ninety Eight by Shannon Mayer!

Celebrating the release of her newest contemporary romance, Ninety Eight, Shannon Mayer is hosting a fun week long event, ‘Crawl Between the Sheets’! But first, check out Ninety Eight and don’t forget to enter our blog giveaway to win your own copy!


Release: October 17, 2013
Publisher: HiJinks Ink Publishing Ltd.
New Adult/Adult Contemporary Romance



For a limited time, Ninety Eight will be priced at JUST $0.99!

Shannon’s other contemporary romance, High Risk Love, has also been reduced to $0.99 during the release event for Ninety Eight!


Speed Limits Lottery Tickets Elevator Buttons Numbers are everywhere—they play such a vital role in our everyday lives. But what would happen if we measured love with equations just as we do our morning cup of coffee? My nana had many recipes in her cupboards, but it was her calculations for love that she insisted I live my life by; and I’ve followed her rules all these years.   One Animal One Moment One Critical Impact That’s all it took for the numbers to start flying in a jumbled mess through my brain as I stared into the violet eyes that would forever make me question my choices. In a split second, the possibilities and reality of true love are revealed and I’m questioning all I’ve ever known.   A Tree White Fences Stolen Moments I can’t ignore the storm brewing around—and within—me. Everything I am is confronted by these new numbers, and all they represent. My past, present and future will all be determined by the gambles I make right here, right now. Again, it’s all about the numbers. And what I’m learning is, one plus one doesn’t always equal two and sometimes three times isn’t always the charm.



Welcome to “Crawl Between the Sheets 2013”!
This event is a web crawl scavenger hunt and you are ALL invited! Each day, different blogs will have different events for you to crawl around the web and enter the hunt.
  • GRAND PRIZE: IPAD MINI or $350 Amazon Gift Card (all Amazon territories included) winners choice.
  • RUNNER-UP PRIZE: $150 Amazon Gift Card (all Amazon territories included)
Today’s Web Crawl Events

To participate in today's web crawl events, follow the directions below to receive your daily points. Once you have completed one of the 2-3 daily events, please return to Shannon’s website at http://www.shannonmayer.com/crawl-between-the-sheets-2013/ and enter your submissions in the Rafflecopter found there!

3 pts.  Go to CJ Ellison’s website at:  http://www.cjellisson.com/
·         Find a “Brainy Quote” – something that means something to YOU
·         Once you pick one, click on it so you will have just THAT quote on your screen.
Submit the link to THAT individual quote as your entry at http://www.shannonmayer.com/crawl-between-the-sheets-2013/ .
 While you’re at CJ’s website, check out some of her free chapters under BOOKS.

5pts TWEET THIS: @CJEllisson @TheShannonMayer #BOOKNAME is either my favorite book of yours OR #BOOKNAME sounds like a book I’d really like to read.  (What you put in will depend on whether or not you’ve read any of her books.  Substitute BOOKNAME for the title of her book please.  You MUST tag both CJ Ellison and Shannon Mayer)
Submit the link to your tweet as your entry at
http://www.shannonmayer.com/crawl-between-the-sheets-2013/ .

OR

ON FACEBOOK:  Go to CJ Ellison’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/C.J.EllissonFanPage
·         LIKE her page AND
·         enter this as a comment:  @C.J.Ellisson @Author Shannon Mayer #BOOKNAME is either my favorite book of yours OR #BOOKNAME sounds like a book I’d really like to read.  (What you put in will depend on whether or not you’ve read any of her books.  Substitute BOOKNAME for the title of her book please.  You MUST tag both CJ Ellison and Shannon Mayer)
Submit the link to your FB post as your entry at http://www.shannonmayer.com/crawl-between-the-sheets-2013/ .

10 pts.  Go to CJ Ellisons website at: http://www.cjellisson.com/
·         Sign up for her newsletter
Submit the email address you signed up with as your entry at http://www.shannonmayer.com/crawl-between-the-sheets-2013/ .
   
  ALSO, every day during this event you may do the following to earn EXTRA points: If you share this link: http://www.shannonmayer.com/crawl-between-the-sheets-2013/ on Facebook or Twitter, you can enter the URL link to your post/tweet to gain an extra point for the day. Even if you complete the other tasks for the day, you can STILL do this as well up to once a day! :)
To see other blogs and the rest of the week’s events, visit Shannon’s site and check out her News Blog!

About the Author

Shannon Mayer lives in the southwestern tip of Canada with her husband, dog, cats, horse, and cows. When not writing she spends her time staring at immense amounts of rain, herding old people (similar to herding cats) and attempting to stay out of trouble. Especially that last is difficult for her. She is the author of the The Rylee Adamson Novels, The Nevermore Trilogy, A Celtic Legacy series and several contemporary romances. Please visit her website at http://www.shannonmayer.com for more information on her novels.  


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Friday, October 18, 2013

If Neima's Ark Is a YA Version of The Red Tent...

...then why don't I mention my YA heroine, Neima, getting her period in either Forty Days or Forty Nights?  This is the kind of crazy question that keeps me awake at night, and in case it occurred to anyone else as well, I decided to address it here.


For those who aren't familiar with it, The Red Tent by Anita Diamant is one of the most well-known novels inspired by a biblical story, and probably the best-known novel to examine biblical times and characters from a female perspective.  Since Neima's Ark also focuses on what the women in Bible stories might have experienced, I like to think of my book as "the YA Red Tent."

The "red tent" of Diamant's title is a menstrual tent, where women separated themselves from the rest of their community while menstruating and giving birth.  In the book, the tent becomes a symbol of the bond between women and the strength they find in their femininity.


Even readers unfamiliar with The Red Tent might know that Jewish women traditionally bathed in the mikvah, or ritual purity bath, after each period.  That detail, I chose not to include because as I explained in my author's note, Neima's Ark takes place before the establishment of organized Judiasm.  Menstrual tents or huts, however, probably did exist in some cultures around the time of Neima's Ark.  So why didn't I include something like this, or at least mention Neima's period as something that might be significant?

Basically, it comes down to the same reason I made so many other choices about what to include and not include in my book: we really don't know what much of daily life was like during the Bronze Age, in most cultures, so my novel inevitably involved guesswork, imagination, and choices about what would or would not add to the story.  And I decided to explore Neima's role as a woman in other ways in my book.

In the tenth anniversary edition of The Red Tent, the author mentions that her own choice to include the red tent was due as much to the story she wanted to tell as to history:

"First, it’s important to note that I have never claimed that the women of the Bible actually used a menstrual tent; there is no historical evidence to support such a claim.  However, since there have been menstrual tents and huts throughout the premodern world, it seemed historically plausible to give them one."

(From a Q and A with the author added to the tenth anniversary edition.)


In case you were wondering, I did look into how women dealt with their periods in ancient times.  First, we have to remember that women wouldn't have had their periods as often back then.  Good ol' Wikipedia says:

Monthly menstruation for decades on end is not the historical norm. Women in prehistoric times, as estimated by research among contemporary hunter-gathered populations, probably had far fewer periods (about 160 ovulations over their lifetime) than modern women. Women of pre-industrial societies most likely experienced later menarche (around 16 years of age), earlier first births (19.5 years), frequent pregnancies (on average six live births), and long periods of breastfeeding between pregnancies, with births at intervals of 3 years. By contrast, the modern woman living in an industrialised country begins menstruating earlier (on average 12.5 years of age for American girls), first gives birth later (24 years), has fewer pregnancies (two or three), scarcely breastfeeds (3 months per birth, with half of American infants never breastfed at all), and undergoes menopause later. She can expect about 450 periods in her life."

When ancient women did have their periods, they dealt with it either with rags or sheep's wool, or by simply letting the blood flow unimpeded.

If you're still reading...I also considered that Neima likely wouldn't have had a period on the ark at all.  Poor nutrition and stress can often cause women (especially younger women) to temporarily stop having periods, and Neima certainly dealt with both stress and hunger on the ark.

So there you have it...the answer to all the questions you never asked!

Book Blitz: Fearsome by S.A. Wolfe


Welcome to the book blitz for Fearsome by S.A. Wolfe, organized by Xpresso Book Tours.  The cover for this book is so different and intriguing (and GORGEOUS), and I'm really looking forward to reading it soon!


Jessica Channing’s big city life should be more exciting than sixty-hour work weeks and popcorn nights with her girlfriends, but it’s not. She has worked hard fulfilling her role as a child prodigy and graduating college years before her peers. She’s the good girl, the brilliant girl.

Unfortunately, she’s also the dateless young woman.

That all changes with one phone call. Jess’s rigid, predictable life upends when she must visit a small, obscure town to deal with a relative’s death. This isn’t just any little speck of a town, though. Long lost memories come crashing down on Jess’s world when two men, the Blackard brothers, seem to lure her in. 

Dylan is cover model handsome, and pursues Jess the minute she comes to town. Then there is tall, dark and gorgeous Carson, who hides his own secrets behind his hardened reserve. 

For someone who has been governed by her own obsessive behaviors and fears, Jess lets her guard down and jumps at the opportunity to have an affair with a man she actually finds attractive for a change.

There’s just one problem. Jess discovers that she can’t have a simple romantic fling because true passion does indeed come with some very big strings attached to it. She will have to own up to her own truths about love and face the two extraordinary men; both troubled in their own ways and both determined to have her.

This novel contains graphic sexual content and strong language. It is intended for mature readers.

Add it on Goodreads and purchase on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

EXCERPT

Carson takes a couple long strides and is in my face before I can count to one. He has to lean over to be at my eye level. He places his hands on the counter on either side of me so I’m trapped. “He thinks you’re going to stay here for good. He thinks he has a chance with you. I want you to be honest with him and explain that you’ll be going back to your real life in New York.”
He moves so close to my face, I find myself staring back into his beautiful eyes that never leave mine. He is nothing like Dylan; I can see that in this moment. Carson is only three years older than his brother; however, he might as well be twenty years older. He carries a weighta burden in himthat is marked by a serious, unwavering demeanor. I think a part of me remembers this about him and another part of me remembers trying to coax the fun side out of him. I know I have seen him laugh, the memory is there, buried with all the other fuzzy images, yet right now, I only see a man who is trying to look strong because there’s something that worries him.
If he’s trying to be intimidating and rouse my anxiety, it’s working. After a short stare-off between us, he moves back. My small victory is that he seems to be at a loss for words, too.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
S. A. Wolfe lives with her wonderfully loud, opinionated children and awesome husband. She is a voracious reader and passionate about writing, and when those two activities don’t keep her locked away in her room, she loves hiking mountains as much as she adores all the thrills New York City has to offer.

Visit S.A. on FacebookTwitterGoodreads, and her website.



Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Book Blitz: Darkness Watching by Emma L. Adams


Welcome to the Book Blitz for Darkness Watching by Emma L. Adams, organized by Grapevine Book Tours.  You can visit the Darkness Watching Blitz Page for the complete list of blogs taking part in the blitz.


Title: Darkness Watching
Author: Emma L. Adams
Series: Darkworld #1
Publication: October 10th, 2013 by Curiosity Quills Press
Category: Upper Young Adult/New Adult
Genre: Paranormal | Urban Fantasy
Synopsis: 
Eighteen-year-old Ashlyn is one interview away from her future when she first sees the demons. She thinks she's losing her mind, but the truth is far more frightening: she can see into the Darkworld, the home of spirits—and the darkness is staring back.
Desperate to escape the demons, Ash accepts a place at a university in the small town of Blackstone, in the middle of nowhere—little knowing that it isn't coincidence that led her there but the pull of the Venantium, the sorcerers who maintain the barrier keeping demons from crossing from the Darkworld into our own world.
All-night parties, new friendships and a life without rules or limits are all part of the package of student life—but demons never give up, and their focus on Ash has attracted the attention of every sorcerer in the area. Ash is soon caught between her new life and a group of other students with a connection to the Darkworld, who could offer the answers she's looking for. The demons want something from her, and someone is determined to kill her before she can find out what it is.
In a world where darkness lurks beneath the surface, not everyone is what they appear to be ...

Add it on Goodreads here.



About the Author

Emma L. Adams spent her childhood creating imaginary worlds to compensate for a disappointingly average reality, so it was probably inevitable that she ended up writing fantasy and paranormal for young adults. She was born in Birmingham, UK, which she fled at the first opportunity to study English Literature at Lancaster University. In her three years at Lancaster, she hiked up mountains, skydived in Australia, and endured a traumatic episode involving a swarm of bees in the Costa Rican jungle. She also wrote various novels and short stories. These included her first publication, a rather bleak dystopian piece, and a disturbing story about a homicidal duck (which she hopes will never see the light of day).
Now a reluctant graduate, she can usually be found in front of her writing desk, creating weird and wonderful alternative worlds. Her debut novel The Puppet Spell, published in 2013 by Rowanvale Books, is a fantasy tale for young adults and the young at heart, inspired by her lifelong love of the fantastical, mythology, and video games. Emma also writes supernatural fantasy novels for older teens and adults. Her next book, Darkness Watching, is the first in the upper-YA/New Adult Darkworld series, and will be published in September 2013 by Curiosity Quills Press.


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