SACRED by Elana K. Arnold


Alex Bledsoe


Summer Chastant


Helen Scheuerer


Jennifer Morrison


Rebecca Ross


Chandler Baker


Brendan Reichs


Cass Morris


Sherrilyn Kenyon


Monday, July 30, 2012

Excerpt with Peter Leonard

Book Nerd Excerpt

Peter Leonard’s debut novel, QUIVER was published to international acclaim in 2008, and was followed by TRUST ME in 2009, and VOICES OF THE DEAD in 2012. You can visit Peter at his websitehere.

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Sharon was thinking, who was this guy lived in a five-thousand-square-foot house – not that his taste was any good – on Lake St. Clair, had nothing but leisure time or so it seemed?

He called her four, five times a day, said, “How you doing?”

And Sharon would say, “Same as I was when you called fifteen minutes ago.”

“Baby, I miss you. Tell them you’re sick, we’ll go to the casino.” Or he’d be at the track or a Tigers day game, he’d say, “I gotta see you. Take the afternoon off, I’ll send a car.”

She’d been going out with him for three weeks and it was getting serious. They’d meet at noon, check into a hotel a couple times a week and spend two hours in bed, screwing and drinking champagne. It was something, best sex she’d ever had in her life. He did things to her nobody had ever done before. She’d say, where’d you learn that? And he’d say, you inspire me, beautiful. The only bad thing, he called her Sharona, or my Sharona. Everything else was great so she let it go.

They’d take his boat out on Lake St. Clair and she’d sunbathe topless. Something she’d never done in her life and never imagined herself doing. She felt invigorated, liberated. He always told her she looked good, complimented her outfit. Showered her with gifts, bought her clothes and jewelry. She felt like a teenager again. They’d meet and talk and touch each other and kiss. She was happy for the first time in years. She had to be careful. Ray, the next time he came home, might notice something and get suspicious.Why’re you so happy? she could hear him saying – like there was something wrong with it.

But this relationship with Joey also made her nervous. Things were happening too fast. She was falling for him and she barely knew him, and she was married.

McCabe and Chip, two American exchange students, are about to become embroiled with a violent street gang, a beautiful Italian girl, and a flawed kidnapping plan.

Sharon Vanelli’s affair with Joey Palermo, a Mafia enforcer, is about to be discovered by her husband, Ray, a secret service agent.

Brilliantly plotted and shot through with wry humor, ALL HE SAW WAS THE GIRL sees these two narratives collide in the backstreets of Italy’s oldest city. 

You can purchase All He Saw Was the Girl at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Peter for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a copy of All He Saw Was the Girl by Peter Leonard.
Thank you Partners in Crime for making this Tour possible.
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Friday, July 27, 2012

Erica O'Rourke Author Interview

Book Nerd Interview

I write books about girls who make their own fate and fall for boys they shouldn't.

I live outside Chicago. I like to travel but I'll never really leave this city.

I prefer cookies to cake (even cupcakes), television to movies, and autumn to all the other seasons.

I like sushi, naps, coffee, and driving stick shift.

I hate fish, emoticons, bridges, and talking about myself.

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Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre?

My all-time favorite? I couldn’t choose just one! Neverwhere by Neil Gamain is definitely one. And A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle. And Phillip Pullman’s Dark Materials trilogy. All of them deal with my favorite theme: Outsiders finding their place in a world that is much bigger than they realized. My favorite books outside my genre are probably Pride and Prejudice, because it’s a master class in character study, and Richard Powers Goldbug Variations, which does amazing things with story structure and theme – and whose protagonist is a librarian. Love that. And anything by Libba Bray, because she’s a genius.

How would you describe yourself in three words?

Determined, snarky, caffeinated.

Tell us your latest news.

BOUND, the third book in the Torn Trilogy, comes out on June 26th, 2012. It’s a bittersweet feeling to wrap up a series, but I’m very excited about my next project…which I can’t talk about just yet, alas.

What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?

The short answer is self-discipline and community.

The long answer is that I’m always leery of telling people what they MUST do. There are many roads to Oz, so write your books in the way that works for you, whether it’s longhand or on the computer. Drink whatever beverage you need to, whether it’s coffee or Coke. Be a plotter or a pantser or whatever gets the job done, so long as the job gets done. Writing is an insanely wonderful job, but it is, in fact, a job, and I have to treat it like one. There are people depending on me to make my deadlines when I’d rather be watching Doctor Who, to behave in a professional manner when in public or on the internet, to honor my commitments. I am lazy in many, many areas of my life: laundry, yardwork, going to the dentist. And I have a generous, patient, tireless husband who makes sure our kids are not neglected when I am on deadline. But writing is the one area where I HAVE to be disciplined, because no one else can pick up the slack. It took me a while to develop that self-discipline, but it wasn’t until I did that my career took off.

I also think having a community is vital. Writing is so solitary, but publishing is very public, and it’s essential to have friends who help you transition between the two. Critique partners, of course, and author friends, so you can talk shop, and friends who are NOT authors but will listen to you complain and give you a cookie to cheer you up or reward you. Professional organizations like RWA and SCBWI and whatever other resources you can muster. It’s not good for anyone to spend one hundred percent of their time in their own head, and a community, cobbled together from all the parts of your life, will give you balance and perspective and friendship – and vastly improved mental health.

Did it take a long time to get your first book published?

It probably felt long at the time, but looking back it went quickly. I had about a year of querying, revising, querying again – and then one of the judges in a contest I had finaled in offered to buy the book. I feel very fortunate about how it worked out, because I’m the world’s worst querier.

For those who are unfamiliar with your novel; Bound, how would you introduce it?

Bound is the last book in a trilogy about a girl trying to figure out where she belongs: the magical society she swore to protect after her best friend’s murder, or the mortal world, where her family’s ties to the Chicago Outfit are threatening her dreams for the future. There’s magic and the mob and cute boys.

Aside from Mo, which of your characters do you feel has grown the most since book one and in what way have they changed?

Probably Luc -- at the start of the series, he was very clear about his role in Arc society, and he had no compunction about endangering Mo or asking her to give up her own plans in order to ensure the future of his people. He knew what fate was demanding of him and he was happy to fall in line with it, and it frustrated him that Mo wouldn’t do the same. But he’s come to care about her as her own person, not just part of a prophecy, and it’s making him question his own beliefs about destiny and responsibility, and what it means to love someone.

What part of Colin did you enjoy writing the most?

Colin was a ridiculous amount of fun to write, with the exception of his backstory. I love writing scenes where he goes toe-to-toe with Luc. He genuinely can’t stand Luc, because he knows what a threat Luc represents to his relationship with Mo, not to mention Mo’s safety. At the same time, he’s acutely aware that he can’t protect Mo from the dangers of life with the Arcs, so Luc becomes a necessary evil, in Colin’s eyes, and the resulting tension between them is so much fun to play around with.

I also enjoy the kissing scenes, of course. Again, there’s so much tension – Colin’s obligations and his sense of morality are in direct opposition to his feelings for Mo, and all that conflict is a writer’s dream. Plus, I’m very smitten with him.

What was your inspiration for the series?

I was reading a lot of books about girls with magical powers who were destined to save the world and watching a lot of Buffy, and I started wondering what would happen if the “chosen one” died, and the sidekick had to save the world: If Ron Weasley had to defeat Voldemort, or Xander Harris had to fight the Big Bad on his own. Because they’re both great guys, but let’s face it – they’re not your first choice when it comes to fending off The Forces of Darkness. But…what if that’s who you had? The sidekick, with no powers, no weapons, no secret knowledge? What kind of sidekick would even take on that job? And the more I thought about that sidekick, the more I was fascinated by the idea…and Mo Fitzgerald was born.

What chapter was the most memorable to write and why?

In Bound, I’d have to say the faceoff with Anton in the alley. Anton is creepy. He is a creepy, creepy dude, mostly because he looks so normal, and then inside he’s just a festering pit of madness and evil and cruelty, and he would cheerfully slit Mo’s throat if he thought it would accomplish his goals. It’s unsettling to write about that kind of malevolence close-up.

There’s also a kissing scene that is memorable, mostly because of my agent’s reaction to it, which involved a lot of exclamation points and capital letters. But I don’t want to spoil anything. Suffice it to say that the kissy bits are fun to write. 

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?

I’d love to introduce Mo to Door, from Neverwhere. Mo is very book smart, but Door would teach her a lot about street smarts and navigating a society where the rules don’t make sense to outsiders.

Why do you feel you had to tell this story?

Learning how to define yourself is one of the most difficult, most exhilarating parts of growing up, and it’s work that’s never entirely finished. I loved the idea of taking a character who spent her entire life defining herself in relation to other people’s thoughts or expectations and forcing her to decide who she wanted to be. I also liked exploring how different concepts: truth, love, justice, responsibility – could be noble and destructive, sometimes simultaneously.

Which author would you love to co-author a book with?

I’d never be smart enough to co-author a book with Libba Bray, but I would love to watch her work on a story from start to finish. It would be a master class in storytelling. I think she’s one of the smartest, most interesting, most talented people alive.

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?

“Did I wake you up?” (I love naps, but I never like to admit to people who call that I’ve been napping. So instead I pretend that I just have a bit of a sore throat. They’re completely not fooled, but it doesn’t stop me from trying.)

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?

I don’t read reviews unless my agent or my publicist sends them to me, or the reviewer @messages me on twitter. Even nice reviews make me kind of sweaty and uncomfortable. I’m really grateful that people take the time to read my books – and even more grateful that they review them, because it’s not an easy job – but I know myself well enough to know I would become freakishly obsessive about it pretty fast. Reading reviews, checking my Amazon numbers, looking at my Goodreads page are all rabbit holes I don’t want to go down, so I prefer to focus on whatever’s next.

If I came to your house and looked in your closet/attic/basement, what’s the one thing that would surprise me the most?

How many unused toiletries I have – lotions and perfumes and creams and cosmetics. I have, no lie, four or five boxes of this sort of thing, most of which have never been opened, or only used once. The sad truth is, I am too lazy for such things. Most days I stick to moisturizer, Carmex, and Neutrogena hand cream.

What book are you reading now?

For research, The Harmonic Dimension, by Gary White

For pleasure, I just picked up Saundra Mitchell’s The Springsweet, which I’ve been aching to read since the minute I finished The Vespertine.

Where can readers stalk you?

Confession: I am a terrible Facebooker, so if you want to reach me, that’s about the least effective way to do so. You’ll have much better luck at any of the other three places, or by using a carrier pigeon.
Twitter: @erica_orourke
My blog:
Facebook: EricaORourkeBooks

Mo Fitzgerald has made her choice—a life and future in Chicago with Colin, leaving behind magic, the enigmatic Luc and the world of the Arcs—but every decision she has made, from avenging her best friend's death to protecting the people she loves, has come at a terrible price, and the more she struggles to keep her magic and mortal lives separate, the deadlier the consequences. Original.

Erica O’Rourke’s Bound is the grand conclusion to a great trilogy. It picks up right after the events of Tangled as Maura “Mo” Fitzgerald is torn between two worlds. With forces from each end pulling her in, Mo has to decide which path is the right one for her and the guy that is best for her. Although each side offers a desire, they also have something that is trying to overcome her. Something big is on the horizon for Mo since this is the last book. All of the pressures are closing in as Mo tries to protect everyone, knowing that she will not be able to save everyone. When the collision between the worlds comes, it pits Mo in a chaotic dilemma.

Erica made certain that Bound would possess all the elements needed to close a fantastic trilogy. It was truly epic with an all out action-packed finish. Exciting and greatly appealing, Erica keeps readers on the edge of their seats with plot twists that come from all angles. The side plots that were uncovered during the first two books are entirely filled and everything goes into one direction that makes the Torn Trilogy a satisfying one. Bound is absolutely amazing, unique and thrilling. Although it is sad to see the series end, it fills in a sense of eagerness for the next book on Erica’s agenda. 

You can purchase Bound at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Erica for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a copy of Bound by Erica O'Rourke.

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Vlog Post with D.J. MacHale

Photo Content from D.J. MacHale

D.J. MacHale is a writer, director, executive producer and creator of several popular television series and movies. As an author, his ten-volume book series: Pendragon: Journal of an Adventure Through Time and Space became a New York Times #1 bestseller.

He was raised in Greenwich, CT where he had several jobs including collecting eggs at a poultry farm; engraving trophies and washing dishes in a steakhouse…in between playing football and running track. D.J. graduated from New York University where he received a BFA in film production.

His film-making career began in New York where he worked as a freelance writer/director making corporate videos and television commercials.

D.J. broke into the entertainment business by writing several ABC Afterschool Specials. As co-creator of the popular Nickelodeon series: Are You Afraid of the Dark?, he produced all 91 episodes. D.J. also wrote and directed the movie Tower of Terror for ABC’s Wonderful World of Disney. The Showtime series Chris Cross was co-created, written and produced by D.J. It received the CableAce award for Best Youth Series.

D.J. created and produced the Discovery Kids/NBC television series Flight 29 Down. He wrote every episode and directed several. His work on Flight 29 Down earned him the Writers Guild of America award for Outstanding Children’s Script and a Directors Guild of America award nomination.

Other notable television writing credits include the ABC Afterschool Special titled Seasonal Differences; the pilot for the long-running PBS/CBS series Ghostwriter; and the HBO series Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective for which he received a CableAce nomination for writing.

In print, D.J. also authored the supernatural Morpheus Road trilogy; a whimsical picture book The Monster Princess; and The SYLO Chronicles, a thrilling sci-fi trilogy. He also wrote Voyagers: Project Alpha, the first of a six book science fiction adventure.

D.J.’s newest book series is The Library, a spooky middle-grade anthology about a mysterious library filled with unfinished supernatural tales, and the daring young people who must complete them.

D.J. lives in Southern California with his wife Evangeline and daughter Keaton. They are avid backpackers, scuba divers and skiers. Rounding out the household is a spoiled golden retriever named Casey and an equally spoiled tuxedo cat named Jinx.


"Boiger's pastel paintings play up the contrast between the princesses' charmed existence and Lala's comfy borrow, and [MacHale] . . . delivers his message about handling mean girls with sincerity." —Publishers Weekly

"Lala's fluffy green hair, eager grin accented by two delicate fangs, and irrepressible spirit make her a creature kids will root for, even before she uses her monstery skills to save the princesses from a scary beast." —Booklist

Lala dwells in a cave that lies deep below the ground, worlds away from the castle where three beautiful princesses live. She is the best krinkle-nut digger by far, but she longs for more: the dresses, the parties, the royal life. Up, up, up Lala climbs and sneaks into the castle. She tries on the princesses’ gowns…and is caught. But the princesses dress Lala up and let her attend a ball. She stumbles. She bumbles. She is laughed at. Can Lala find it in her heart to forgive the girls who tricked her? Will Lala find out what it means to be a real princess?

D.J. MacHale’s The Monster Princess is a well-written poetic story about a heroine that children can learn from. It has a strong theme about being happy with the way you are. Filled with gorgeous illustrations, parents and children will equally enjoy reading this aloud. With a cast of colorful characters and written in beautifully flowed rhymes, it provides perfect opportunities for parents to give the characters silly voices and act out a wonderful story that will maintain children’s attention throughout. Although the theme of the book is traditional, D.J. manages to devise an imaginative and innovative approach. Families will enjoy reading The Monster Princess for it is the best Children's Book of 2012.

You can purchase The Monster Princess at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you D.J. MACHALE for making this giveaway possible.
5 Winners will receive one Signed The Monster Princess Postcard and 2 Tattoo's by D.J. MacHale.

Beyond by Mary Ting Cover Reveal

Cover Reveal at Jean BookNerd

Mary Ting resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing Crossroads was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother. It was inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl.

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Torn between the past she can't remember and a future she isn’t ready for, Claudia feels at a loss. With unanswered questions, she is certain there is more to her past than just being a venator. Finding the missing pieces in her life won’t be easy because duty calls. When mysterious dark shadows get released, an apocalypse sets in motion. The venators and the alkins must work together once again. Knowing Claudia would be the key to destroying the demons that were released, a familiar stranger appears to protect her. Drawn to the beautiful angel, Claudia finds she must unravel the mysteries of her past in order to help save the world. Who is the angel assisting her and why does she feel a strong connection to him? Time is running out. Will she discover all the secrets before it’s too late?


Shaking her head, she looked at Davin. Her heart was hammering out of control. Even with angelic powers, she was deathly scared of heights. Building up her courage and the willingness to face the consequences of what she was about to do would be worth it all if she could find the answers. Without any further thought, she lit up a sly smile. “See you when I see you.” She took a perfect dive, right into the alley, landing on her two feet as her hand touched the ground to steady her. Wow! That was awesome.

Claudia looked up and saw Austin and Davin looking down on her.

“Stay right there, we’re coming down,” Austin demanded as his body was half way out the window.

Claudia stood up in a hurry. “No! Forgive me, Austin and Davin, but I need to do something for myself. Don’t worry about me and don’t follow me.” Claudia darted out of there at lightning bolt speed. There was no way they would know which way to go or how to find her. Claudia ran so fast she felt like she was going through a wind tunnel. Her hair flowed behind her while the air brushed against her skin made her feel free and alive. She sped her way to the highway, occasionally stopping to figure out which way to proceed. The only place she truly felt a sense of belongingness was at Gamma’s house, where she left her purse and that is where she would go.

Crossroads Series

The Wounded King Excerpt by Jonathan Winn

Book Nerd Excerpt

Jonathan Winn was born in Seattle and raised in a small town in Western Washington State. After graduating high school and then living in Los Angeles for the better part of a decade, he moved to New York City where he lived in Greenwich Village with his two dogs. Â But after almost twenty years, the pull of family led him back to the Northwest where he now lives. Again.

Like most writers, every word Jonathan writes -- whether it be screenplay, play or book -- is accompanied by endless cups of coffee with lots of milk and sugar (the ratio changing depending on whether he slept five hours or six hours the night before). Â He's also regarded as politely relentless by his friends, unbearably annoying by his enemies, and recently discovered he makes a mean fried chicken, often used to placate those aforementioned annoyed ones.

The full-length novel "Martuk ... The Holy" and "The Wounded King", the first in "The Martuk Series", a collection of Short Fiction based on characters introduced in "Martuk ... " are just two books in Jonathan's rapidly expanding bibliography.

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Hours ago she had stretched out on fine linen and bright cotton, her form plump under thin fabric, the flesh healthy, the skin shining as the wounded girl trimmed her toenails. She had laughed. She had teased me. She had calmly and wordlessly exerted her power over the hapless slave who cradled her feet.

Now something exerted its power over her.

Under the rays of the rising sun she climbed the gentle slope of the small hill, her steps heavy, Uruk waking to a new day below us, the waterways busy as dawn broke.

Offering my hand, she gripped it and pulled herself close.

The red of her eyes looked painful, though no blood fell to stain her cheeks. And the black of her hair was now dusty and dry, the thin, lifeless strands lifted by the breeze, the patches of bald scalp pale beneath.

She watched me, her face close to mine.

“What do you see?” she asked, her breath rancid, the teeth rotting, the now blackened nubs split in two.

I paused, not sure what to say.

“Tell me,” she urged. “What do you see?”

“Mother …” I began, my heart too kind to share the truth.

“You see a God,” she breathed.

I reluctantly nodded.

“A Dark God.”

“How?” I asked.

“There is no ‘how’,” she answered, her grip tightening. “There is only this.”

“And what is this?”

“The coming of perfection. The body broken and dying under the weight of what’s being born. Under that which will be, of that which is. The Dark God that is who I am, what I’ve become. All that greatness freeing itself from this mortal mediocrity.”

“But how? It was only yesterday, hours ago, you were healthy. You were happy. You were --”

She raised her finger, the digit on my lips, shushing me quiet.

Stopping, she smiled as I fell silent, her fingertip toying with me. She drew closer, easing it into my mouth, the finger rubbing my teeth and the inside of my cheek before it wormed its way past my tongue and down my throat.

I pulled away, gagging.

She laughed, sticking the wet finger in her mouth to suck it.

“You’re not well,” I said as I wiped away the rancid taste of her.

“I am more powerful than the Ancient Gods,” she responded, her smile disappearing.

“You met her, the Old Woman,” she then said. “The one the Elder speaks of.”

“The one he hates?” I asked in return.

She giggled.

“Yes,” she agreed, “the one he hates. You know her?”

“No, I don’t know her. We met in the Temple --”

“In the dark of night,” she interrupted. “I know. What did she say? What, tell me, did she tell you?”

“About you?”

“She spoke of me.”

Her smile had again disappeared, her gaze steady.

“What did she say?”

I hesitated, reluctant to repeat the Old Woman’s words about the flesh.

“What did this dangerous woman, this sorceress, this Priestess of Old have to say about me, the Queen, the God?”

“She’s dangerous?” I asked.

She grew quiet, distracted by the breeze. And then she smiled.

“I eat,” Mother suddenly said.

“The flesh --”

She interrupted me with a nod.

“It’s hungry,” she said, her voice low, the words almost a whisper. “Its stomach desperate for the meat, the muscle, the skin. If I don’t feed It, there’s pain.”

Her hand on her stomach, she continued.

“I am powerless, my son. I don’t want to. I don’t want this. It’s disgusting, it sickens me, it’s something I cannot stop, and it’s destroyed me. The taste, the feel of it in my mouth, the smell on my hands, my fingers --”

She stopped, this brief moment of lucidity gone as quickly as it began.

Closing her eyes, she cocked her head, distracted by something only she could hear.

The morning had grown dark, the sun shadowed by a rare cloud.

I looked up to see a clear blue sky.

The shadows grew.

“A God is being born,” she finally said. “The pain, the anguish I endure, is this body dying so that this God, this Dark God, can be born. And I, as that God, will rule.”

The dark grew darker.

I moved closer to her.

“Mother …” I began, “the shadows, they’re moving.”

A sacrifice. A dying King. Bones in the stone, blood in the wine. A Queen consumed by the Darkness.

From ancient Uruk, The Almost King tells his tale. Of The Elder and his cunning Priests in their robes of red and gold. Of an Old Woman who can call the power of the Dark Gods. Of his mother, the Queen, and his dying brother, the King.

And of the Darkness, an evil from before the Time of the Moon. Inescapable, its hunger never-ending, its shadow fed by the Priests, slowly overwhelming his family.

Drowning in a sea of red and gold, the Almost King battles an unwinnable war as he navigates the wreckage towards his fate as … The Wounded King.


The Wounded King is the first in The Martuk Series, a collection of Short Fiction based on characters from the full-length novel Martuk … The Holy.

You can pre-order The Wounded King at the following Retailers: