Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Shadow Aspect by Melanie Karsak Release & Giveaway






About The Harvesting Series

It’s all fun and games until someone ends up undead!

When mankind fell, Layla and the residents of Hamletville fought to survive. They managed to keep the undead at bay only to be seduced by an ancient fiend: vampires. The survivors soon found themselves running for their lives. But where could they turn in a world turned to shadow?

Cricket was perfectly happy working the carnival, but the flu that swept the globe took the last of what she knew and loved. Cricket and Vella, and Cricket’s loveable mutt Puck, found safety with another group of survivors…but not for long. No one can hide when death seeks them?

How will they survive? Continue the saga in The Shadow Aspect

The Shadow Aspect Novel Description:

When Layla took the final step through the labyrinth, she thought she was saving the ones she loved. 

She couldn't have been more wrong. 

Layla and the other survivors now find themselves caught in a war for our world, the unwitting victims of a grudge seething for eons. Surviving the zombie apocalypse has become the least of their worries as they come up against vampires, shapeshifters, and fae. When she uncovers an unspeakable horror, whom can Layla trust? The carnie girl? The doctor searching for a cure? The tarot reader? The stranger with alluring gold eyes? Or the man she loves? 

The wrong choice could doom them all. 

When the world burns, mankind’s shadow side rises. Do we deserve to survive? 

Continue this award-winning zombie/dark fantasy genre mash-up series in Book 2, The Shadow Aspect.

Chapter 1 Sneak Peek:

I don’t like roller coasters. One summer, Ian convinced me to join Jaime and some girlfriend of his at the time on a road trip to “the best coaster park in the world.” It was one of those days that lives on in memory as a collage of color, laughter, and sketchy detail. What I do remember is that Ian wasted nearly twenty dollars trying to win me an over-sized teddy bear. He never won it. I also remember Jaime and his girlfriend making out in the backseat the entire ride home. We could hear the wet sounds of their kisses over the Nazareth tunes Ian had cranking on the radio.
The old wooden coasters weren’t as bad. They rattled you hard, but you never felt like you were out of control. Ian, however, coerced me into riding a sleek, modern coaster that pulled 3Gs. Of course, he didn’t tell me that before I got on the ride. I remember opening my eyes and seeing my feet and the sky all at once. The next moment, I was staring face down at the ground while my stomach lunged toward my throat. When we got off, my hands and legs shook. Ian teased me. Jaime wandered off only to return with a five-dollar bottle of Sprite for me. I’d hated feeling like I’d momentarily allowed someone else to dictate if I lived or died.
When I took the final step into the labyrinth, I felt that same massive tug, a throttling feeling like I was out of control, and an enormous heave forward. A kaleidoscope of color thundered past my eyes and a booming sound rattled in my ears. But somewhere in the middle of all that color and light, things stopped for a brief moment, and I found myself standing in a misty forest. The trees there, pink dogwoods, were in full bloom. As I inhaled, the blossoms got larger. As I exhaled, the blossoms got smaller. It was if the whole world was expanding and contracting on the command of my breath.
“Layla?” a woman’s voice called.
I paused and looked around. Thick, white vapor had enveloped nearly everything.
“Layla?” she called again. This time, I saw a tall figure moving toward me. I recognized Peryn.
“Peryn? Here! I’m here.”
The mists around us began to clear. I saw Peryn clearly. The look on her face startled me. She looked horrified. “Oh, Layla,” she called, trying to reach for me, wading through the mists as if they were pushing heavily against her, “you must not trust—” she began, but her words were drowned out by screams.
I turned toward the shouting to see figures moving toward me. It was strange. It was like I was seeing people walking around inside smoke. I was near them, but they remained hidden in shadow. Thin places. I was in one of the thin places that Grandma Petrovich had always spoken of. I could see my world, but I was not present in it. My world was like a shadow layer over the other world, the world of the spirit, where I now resided. I squinted hard. I thought I could see trees…and I could see Jaime’s silhouette. There were others around him—Summer, Ethel, Will. Their voices sounded muffled. Dark shadows ambled toward them.
“Layla,” Peryn called, her voice barely audible.
I turned to see fog engulf Peryn. She was gone. In her place, the mists began to clear. I could smell the forest. The scents of pine and the decay of earth assailed my nose. I felt that same pull again, and I was thrust forward, pitching out of the thin place with a heave. Dumped unceremoniously back into my world, I found myself lying facedown on the leaf-covered ground. The deep, loamy smell of soil filled my nose. It was dark. My head was spinning, but one thing was certain, I could hear screams.



About the author:
Melanie Karsak is the author of the Amazon best-selling steampunk series The Airship Racing Chronicles (Chasing the Star Garden and Chasing the Green Fairy) and the award-winning horror/dark fantasy Harvesting Series. She grew up in rural northwestern Pennsylvania and earned a Master's degree in English from Gannon University. A steampunk connoisseur, white elephant collector, and zombie whisperer, the author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College.

Connect with me online:

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Glass Mermaid FREE this week & Giveaway!



FREE 7/14-7/18


I'm so excited to share with you that today is the release of my novella, The Glass Mermaid. This story really ended up being close to my heart.

Though the novella was inspired by one of my loves, collecting sea glass, it turned into a story about loss and redemption. Kate and Cooper both find themselves at the edge of a painful change. It is in this strange moment that they meet. This is a relatively brief glimpse into their life, as many novellas are, is one laden with emotion.

I hope you fall in love with this tale as much as I have. I am working on two more stories set in my fictional town of Chancellor where Kate's and Cooper's story takes place. The next edition in my Chancellor Fairy Tales will release October 15th with the Cupcake Witch.

Happy Reading!

Novella Description:


I'm the last mermaid. 


I’m back on shores of Lake Erie, but the cold waters are silent. There is nothing here for me but ghosts and the beach glass that litters the rocky shore. Long ago, I lived below the waves. Now, I am the sole survivor, and at long last, my mermaid glamour is leaving me. 



Every day, I walk the beach. Every day, I wonder what happened to my people. The little pieces of colored glass that wash ashore give me simple pleasure. They are gifts from the lake, reminders of home. I fashion them into trinkets: necklaces, earrings, bracelets. They are beautiful things. The humans seem love them. 



Every day, I walk the beach. Nothing ever changes, until the day he says hello. 

Cooper 

I’m dying. 

It’s not a question, it’s a fact. The cancer is eating me alive. They told me I have six months to live, maybe less. I came home, back to Chancellor on Lake Erie, to die. The sunsets are vivid there, and I will relish every one. 

I've never seen anything more beautiful than a Lake Erie sunset until I see her. 

All life is as fragile as glass. 

What would you sacrifice to save the one you love?


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Saturday, July 11, 2015

A Sneak Peek: The Glass Mermaid



Next week is an exciting week for me. My new novella, The Glass Mermaid, releases midweek. The novella is getting some wonderful early reviews, and 4 & 5 stars! That's so exciting. I'm glad people are falling in love with Cooper and Kate as much as I have. 

I wanted my readers to be sure to have an early glimpse of the novella. So here we have a sneak peek of The Glass Mermaid!

CHAPTER 1: KATE

THE SURF LAPPED OVER MY FEET, sea foam tickling my toes. It was early summer, but the lake water was still icy. I closed my eyes and felt the cool waves. In the deep of winter, when the lake would freeze, we always sheltered on one of the small islands that dotted Lake Erie. The humans in those days had called us lumpeguin. Sighing deeply, I opened my eyes and looked down at the rocky shoreline.
“There you are,” I whispered, bending to pick up a piece of green beach glass. I lifted it and looked at it in the diming sunlight. It was tear-shaped and worn smooth from its time in the water. A soft white sheen coated the green glass. That made seven green pieces, five light blue pieces, eight white pieces, and seven amber pieces. Not a bad haul. Alas, no red. I rarely found red anymore. The lake had stopped giving up her most beautiful treasures. If I wanted, I could swim down deep to the troves of wave-kissed glass. But I hadn’t been below the surface in nearly three hundred years, and I certainly wasn’t going to ruin that stretch over some sparkly bauble, even if all my customers begged for red beach glass.
I tucked the green beach glass into my satchel, pulled my long, straw-colored hair back, and then bent to pick up my sandals. I looked out at the lake. The sun was dipping below the horizon. There was nothing more glorious than a Lake Erie sunset. Shimmering shades of rosy pink, orange, and magenta illuminated the sky and reflected on the waves. Breathing in deeply, I tried to inhale the scene. The briny scent of the fresh lake water was perfumed with the lingering smell of snow and flowers. Not for the first time, I wondered what my old home looked like now. Forgotten under the waves, the eerie sea kingdom had been left to be ruled by ghosts and memories.
I sucked in a breath and turned to go. I wouldn’t cry. Mermaids’ tears were, after all, a special and rare commodity. They carried life itself, and I didn’t have much of that magical spark left in me. A single tear could spell my end, sapping out the last of the gift from the deep. No, I’d managed to live for over three hundred years. It wouldn’t do to weep over an amazing sunset, a nearly-forgotten past, nor the realization that I was truly alone. It was what it was. I couldn’t change the fact that I was the last mermaid.

CHAPTER 2: COOPER

I dipped my brush into the purple paint. Not quite the right shade. Swiping my brush in the red, I fattened the color then spread it across the canvas. The sunset was particularly striking tonight. It was a perfect summer sunset, except for the fact that the wind still thought it was early spring. A breeze blew across the lake. It had an icy edge, like it had swept down from some far-off glacier. It chilled my fingers.
I dropped my brush into the jar of water and blew on my hands. For the love of God, would I have to wear gloves in May? I didn’t remember Mays in Chancellor being so cold. Maybe all my years in Pensacola, stretched out along those sugar-white beaches, had spoiled me. I loved the water. That’s how I’d ended up in Florida in the first place. Marrying my love of people and the sea, my degrees in marine biology and psychology had landed me at the Dolphin Key Sanctuary. I’d made my career doing research on the therapeutic relationship between dolphins and children with disabilities. I’d spent every day in the water until…well, now I was home, back in Chancellor. Lake Erie had been my first love, but she’d grown so cold in my absence.
I blew on my fingers again, picked up the brush, and looked at the fading sunset. I tried to take a mental picture, knowing the colors were about to fade. Too bad, it had been an amazing view. I played the last bit of paint across the canvas then picked up a smaller brush, dipped it in black, and scrawled a number in the bottom: forty-three. This was the forty-third sunset I’d painted. One-hundred forty, give or take, to go.
I leaned back and zipped my coat up to my chin. I told myself I was just taking in the last of the sunset, or letting the pain dry, or stretching my back, then I’d go. But the truth was, I was waiting for her. I shouldn’t have been, but I was.
She was strolling up the beach toward me. I’d seen her head out earlier. Like every night, she set off down the beach with her little satchel strung bandolier-style across her curvy body. At first I’d thought she was hunting for shells. It took me almost a week to remember that beach glass washed up on the shores of Lake Erie. She was hunting glass. Every night, she would head down the beach, returning just after sunset. I loved to watch her. It was almost like she melted into the surroundings, her yellow hair the same color as the dried grass, her eyes—the one and only time I’d yet had the courage to look into them—the same dark blue as the waves. Today she was wearing khaki cargo pants, a white T-shirt, and an aquamarine-colored scarf. She was, without a doubt, the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. But she seemed a little sad, and her sadness helped me stay away. I had no business flirting with women, at least not now, but it was still nice to look at her. And sometimes, when I felt bold, more than look.
Today, I felt bold.
Today, I had something more to say.
While I knew I had no business with her, I couldn’t quite get myself to stop looking for ways to break the ice. Today, I found one.
As she neared me, I rose, took a deep breath, and stepped down the beach toward her. “Good evening,” I called gently, hoping like hell I wasn’t going to annoy her.
She startled a little, like she’d been lost in her thoughts.
Great, scare her to death, moron.
She looked at me with those deep-blue eyes and smiled. “Hello,” she said in a voice as soothing as the deep.

If you fancy, you can pre-order the novella on Amazon for a wee 99cents!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

How to be a Mermaid by Erin Hayes, The Falling in Deep Collection, & Giveaway!!



Novel Description:


All Tara ever wanted was to be a mermaid.

So she takes a year off between high school and college to don a fake tail and tour aquariums across the country in a professional mermaid troupe.

Everything’s great until she meets a gorgeous real-life merman named Finn. Suddenly, what she thought was a dream turns out to be a nightmare — she’s turning into a mermaid herself. For real.

Yet when she returns to the sea to seek out Finn and reverse her transformation, she finds herself in the middle of an impending war between the land and sea. Tara may have always wanted to be a mermaid, but now it’s sink or swim. In order to survive, she has to learn how to be one, too.

About the Author:



Sci-fi junkie, video game nerd, and wannabe manga artist Erin Hayes writes a lot of things. Sometimes she writes books, like the fantasy mystery novel Death is but a Dream, the sci-fi middle grade book Jacob Smith is Incredibly Average, and the Her Wolf paranormal series.

She works as an advertising copywriter during the day, and she moonlights as an author. She has lived in New Zealand, Texas, and now in Birmingham, Alabama with her husband, cat, and a growing collection of geek paraphernalia.

You can reach her at erinhayesbooks@gmail.com and she'll be happy to chat. Especially if you want to debate Star Wars.

Author links:


Playlist


1.       Below is a list of songs that I listened to while writing How to be a Mermaid. Each of these songs helped to get me into the right mindset in order to pretend that I was a mermaid!
2.       Go – Grimes featuring Blood Diamonds
3.       Can’t Hold Us – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
4.       Never Let Me Go – Florence and the Machine
5.       What the Water Gave Me – Florence and the Machine
6.       Start a Riot – Jetta
7.       Believe – Mumford and Sons
8.       I Will Wait – Mumford and Sons
9.       Dirty Paws – Of Monsters and Men
10.    Anything Could Happen – Ellie Goulding
11.    Part of Your World – Jodi Benson from The Little Mermaid ß No mermaid soundtrack would be complete without that song!

Giveaway Time!





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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Just Couldn't Put it Down July


I'm really excited to participate in the Just Couldn't Put it Down July Hop. for this hop, I wanted to share some of my of my just Couldn't Put it Down reads.

For this hop, I decided to select something a little HOT. How about a little erotica suspense? My "Just couldn't put it down" pick is Hardcore by Staci Hart. Check out this beautiful cover:




Novel Description:


Cory James has never known a life where she wasn’t running. Running from the cops, her home, her past. Running from love. The only time she’s free is when she throws on her hood and takes to the roofs to become a part of New York, to climb to a place in the city where she doesn’t feel alone. 

Stealing is nothing, lying inevitable, byproducts of survival. A way for Cory to provide for herself and for her younger sister, Jill, give her the life Cory couldn’t have. For five years, Cory set up a long line of teetering dominos, one by one, choice by choice. 

Meeting Van is the first domino to fall, and once they crash into each other, it’s only a matter of time before her whole world is in danger of falling apart. She can tell herself over and again that she doesn’t care, but it’s a lie. She knows it from the first time she says his name, but she can’t let him in, not when she has a job to do, a job that could rip her life apart at the seams. One that she’ll have to betray Van to finish. 

He’ll follow however high she can climb, but she can only run for so long before she has to choose.

Who wants a copy?


Keep Hopping!