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text 2017-08-18 14:05
Feature Friday for Alex E. Carey's Fire's Love with Interview, Excerpt and Guest Post

 

Today for “Feature Friday” let us welcome the awesome Alex E. Carey with her book Fire's Love, the first book in the Elemental Series.

We will have info about the book and author. Plus we have a interview with Alex, a great excerpt from the book and a guest post from her as well.

Make sure to check everything out and go and show her some love and add her books to your TBR ;) 

Happy Reading :) 

 


 

Fire's Love

 

Kira thought she was leaving her demons behind when she left for college. She quickly discovers demons are everywhere, and can be good or evil. Not only are they real, but they’re protecting her; that is, except for the ones who want her dead. Kira's parents want to reveal things about who she is, but a strange phenomenon prevents them from explaining. Before they can try again, her mother and brother die and her father disappears. Afterward, Kira finds a mysterious book in her parents‘ belongings. Although the book confuses her, it comforts her too. She's sure it holds the answers she seeks. One of Kira’s new friends, Lowell Hew, is also an earth demon named Ulric the Wolf Thief. Lowell tries to help Kira solve the mysteries involving the book, her parents, and the elements they wanted her to know. Although Lowell has a crush on Kira, he’s not looking for a relationship, or so he keeps telling himself. Meanwhile, Lowell introduces Kira to his best friend, Pyre, a fire demon with a fiery temperament and a troubled past. Pyre closed off his heart years ago, while deep inside he yearned to belong. For Pyre, learning to love again comes with tremendous risk, especially when the girl he loves is human, and his best friend has thoughts of his own. Things go well until an eerie presence threatens Kira and her new friends, and they can only speculate as to who it may be. While her friends protect her and try to uncover the enemy’s identity, Kira must adjust to the challenges of being human with demon friends. Will she bask in the warmth, or be consumed by the flames of Fire’s Love?

 

 

 

Buy Links

 

   

Other books in the series 

 

Earth's Embrace (Elemental Series Book 2) by [Carey, Alex E]

 

 

Water's Reflection (Elemental Book 3) by [Carey, Alex E]

 

 

Hello Alex. Thank you for taking the time to stop in and chat with us, it is great to have you. 

 

 

 

Thank you.  It’s my pleasure.

 

 

 

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I’m friends with several authors who write in multiple genres.  They are a great group and many have become dear friends.  Mainly, we share each other’s work, encourage and motivate, and sometimes read for each other.

Jenny Burke writes The Dragon Dreamer series about a young dragon who makes an unlikely friend in a wise octopus named Scree.  It’s a beautiful story for all ages.  We met a couple of years ago and have been great friends since.  We bounce ideas off each other and encourage each other.

Another dear friend is Dianna Wyles.  She writes children’s books that can also be enjoyed by adults.  She is a photographer and uses her photos in her Hearts Blessings book series to complement her uplifting poetry.  She also includes a seek and find activity — find the hearts in nature.  They’re beautiful books.  I pull them out when I need some motivation.  She frequently shares my book information with others or opportunities with me.  She also helps me to stay positive and focused.

Heidi Angell is an author of paranormal/fantasy suspense, children’s books and more.  Her sons like to share bookmarks with their classmates, so I was happy to send her some along with some free books.  They fell in love with my stories and tell their friends.  Heidi has a podcast where she reveals “unboxings” when she receives mail and is an avid supporter of indie authors.

Tim Hemlin is a talented author of mysteries and a YA paranormal novel released this year, called Son of a Kitchen Witch.  He and his wife, Valerie, are very supportive of other authors and love to share our news with their readers.

I recently was fortunate to be included in an author team organized by Books Go Social.  There are eleven of us in the group and we’ve all become good friends as well.

Daccari Buchelli writes YA fantasy fiction and just released the revised edition of Phoenix, the first novel in his Peradon fantasy series.  He is so supportive of the entire group and is always offering tips and motivation for each of us.  He  came up with the idea to do an anthology of samples of some of our work called, Tales of the Fantastic.

David Gilchrist is the author of The Redemption of Wist series.  He has published three books in his series and has another releasing in September.  David is always positive and upbeat.  You can count on him for a kind word, writing tips and sharing information he knows we all want to hear, such as someone looking for a book to read and review.

Grant Leishman is a multi-genre author with several books to his credit.  He writes YA fantasy, religious humor/satire, and paranormal and romantic suspense, including his Second Coming trilogy.  He helps to keep us all motivated, is dedicated to sharing information about our books on all his social media and website, and encourages us to keep following our dreams.

Nyasia A. Maire is the author of The Heretic’s Child, a wonderful fantasy story about the Rememberers, who collect and preserve the memories of dying humans, and a menace that is killing their overseers, the Cybele.  Nyasia constantly shares information about our books, offers advice, and shares opportunities to get our books into venues, such as the Pipe & Thimble bookstore in Lomita, CA.

Caitlin Lynagh is the author of Anomaly: The Soul Prophecies with more coming in that series.  She is a biologist and a wonderful writer of YA paranormal romance.  She is sweet and kind, and always offers encouragement and praise.

Kim Ross is an author of fantasy and speculative fiction.  She’s published several short stories in a variety of publications including Novascapes, Sproutlings, and Three Drops from a Cauldron.  She is ready with a reply and humor when any of us in the group need feedback.

There are many others I haven’t mentioned here who are just as supportive.  Chris Walters, Tammy Berg, Kimberly Grell, CK Dawn, C.D. Gorri — oh gosh, I could go on.  Each of them are supportive in various ways, but all are encouraging and happy to work together to further our careers and become better writers.  We believe in supporting each other, whether by giving our opinions on a blurb or chapter, sharing writing tips, events and news, etc.  The main thing is that you have someone else who understands what you experience — whether it’s a need for motivation; dealing with writer’s block; looking for cover designers, editors, or other professionals; or commiserating over a drop in sales.  I give back to them by sharing their news, reading and proofing whenever they need an opinion on something, giving encouragement and motivation, and anything else i can do.  Together, we will succeed.

 

 

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

That’s a good question, and a bit of a tough one.  Like many writers, my budget struggles to stay in the black, so I do as much for free as I can.  i majored in English in college, but one of the best investments has been in publishing and marketing courses by Mark Dawson and Nick Stephenson.  They are great guys, very personable, and eagerly share advice in the course and in their Facebook communities.

Another excellent investment has been with my street team — Alex E. Carey’s Elemental Elite.  I have such a wonderful team of people who are friendly, encouraging and who go out of their way to share my book information with their friends, libraries, book clubs and more.  They keep after me, wanting to know when book #4 in my series will be published (coming soon in 2017 if all goes as planned), which motivates me to keep writing.  They get a free signed paperback copy of my first book, Fire’s love, with bookmarks and swag.  The members who are actively supportive — whether by sharing posts on social media, keeping me informed of events, supporting me at events I participate in online, and hopefully by leaving reviews, etc. — continue to receive free books and swag.  My team will also have the first opportunity to receive ARC’s and new releases.  The cost of print books and swag,  plus the shipping, has been a worthwhile investment to further my success.  Their support and encouragement is priceless!  They’ve all become very dear to me and like my extended family.

 

What is the most challenging thing about writing for you?

Time.  Always!  Balancing working my “day job”, writing, reading, family time, promotion, social media, and other activities is difficult.  I tend to get immersed when I write, and overlook reading and other things.  I will suddenly realize I haven’t checked email or Facebook messages in several days; or I’ll remember I promised to read a book for someone.  Yes, I have a huge stack of books I’ve promised to read.  Or I need to vacuum the carpet — but what’s one more day?  There are books to be written or read.

 

How do you select the names of your characters? 

I start by searching for names with certain meanings or significance in some way.  My three main characters are Kira, Pyre, and Lowell.  For Lowell, I looked up names that had “wolf” in their meaning.  Lowell means “wolf” and “beloved”, so I liked that.  The word pyre means “a heap of combustible material”.  That pretty much describes Pyre in a nutshell.  I got the name Kira from a Japanese anime show I used to watch.  I also try not to choose a name that has been used frequently. 

 

 

 

What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?

 

That’s an interesting question.  I think most everything boils down to time for me.  I’m about experiences in life.  If you want to become a better writer, you need to practice, or maybe you need to take a course.  That may involve money, but it definitely involves time.  Time you spend taking a course is time you don’t have for someone or something else.  I took dance for over twelve years, and I still enjoy it.  I stay in practice whenever I can, but unfortunately, I don’t have the time to spend on it as much as I used to.  I guess you could say that’s one thing I have given up or sacrificed to dedicate more of myself to my writing.  One thing I would not sacrifice is my family, and fortunately I don’t have to.  My mother and brother are completely supportive and work with me.  My mother helps with proofreading, editing, publishing and anything else I may need.  They both have come up with suggestions for scenes, and they always assist when I have a book signing event.  Spending time with them in collaboration makes up for anything I have sacrificed for my writing.

 

 

This was fun, again thank you so much for taking the time to chat. You rock! 

 

 

 

The last scene in Chapter 4 - Getting Answers and Proving One’s Self

 

The next afternoon, Lowell and I went to the library to study together. “I forgot one of my books in my room,” Lowell said after searching through his bag. “You can borrow mine.” “Thanks, but I need my notes too.” “I’ll go with you. We can study in your room instead.” “No, I don’t want to study there in case my roommates return. They’re loud and distracting. I’ll be right back. You don’t need to come with me.” “I can either go with you to your dorm or stay here and endure the glares from your jealous admirers. Frankly, they’re a little scary when they travel in packs.” When we reached Lowell’s room, he stood still outside the door, huffed, and rubbed his forehead. “What’s wrong?” I asked. He shook his head and set his jaw before opening the door. “How many times must I tell you not to enter my dorm when I’m not here?” Lowell asked. Pyre leaned against a wall with his arms crossed. The sight of him took my breath away, but then he spoke. “I don’t take orders.” “Why are you here?” “We’re supposed to train, remember?” “Oh, right, I forgot. Kira, I’m sorry.” “No problem. We can study another time.” “Why don’t you come with us?” Pyre made a rude face, and I raised my brows at him before responding to Lowell. “I don’t want to intrude.” “It’s no intrusion. Besides, my other friends will be there, so you can meet them.” “In that case, I’ll go.” “Good. Let me put my books away and change clothes, and then we’ll leave.” “Hn.” Pyre grunted and rolled his eyes. Lowell frowned at Pyre and left the room. Pyre stared at me intensely as though searing a line into my soul. My eyes wandered around the room, and I pretended he wasn’t there, but I failed. I tried not to meet his blue eyes or imagine how his smooth, black hair would feel if I ran my fingers through it. I mentally slapped myself to regain my senses. Why is he staring at me? I get it, he doesn’t like me. He doesn’t even know me, but still he doesn’t like me. So why must he stare at me? “Why does Lowell talk to you?” Pyre asked. “Um.” I studied the ceiling and walls, unaware how to respond. “You’re a weak and worthless human with no special abilities. Why does the Wolf Thief talk to a weak human?” He circled me once before facing off with me, eye to eye, only slightly taller than myself. “How should I know? Why don’t you ask him yourself?” “I did. He says he likes you, and you’re a good friend, but I bet you did something to him.” “You said there’s nothing special about me.” “Doesn’t mean you didn’t do something to him.” “Why are you talking to me if I’m such a weak and worthless human?” He frowned and grew quiet. Seems he doesn’t have a real reason. “I feel something strange toward you.” He examined me from head to toe. “What kind of strange feeling?” “I’m not sure, but I don’t like it.” “You’re the one who mentioned it.” “So?” He asked. “So if you don’t like it, you shouldn’t have said anything.” “You’re the one who asked why I was talking to you.” “Only because talking to someone who doesn’t like me is weird.” “Then maybe I’ll leave if it’s so weird.” He stepped toward the door. “Maybe you should.” “You want me to go.” Pyre squinted at me with suspicion. “That would be great, thank you.” “You manipulated me into saying I’d leave. I’m not going anywhere. You go.” He planted his feet and gestured toward the door. “I’m nothing special, but I manipulated you? How embarrassing for you. And I don’t take orders either.” I confronted him with my arms crossed and stomped my foot. “Hn.” He made a face at me and disappeared. Lowell entered the room in time for the door to slam shut behind Pyre and held up his hands in a silent question. “Don’t leave me alone with him again.” “What did he do?” Lowell groaned, convinced he wouldn’t like my answer. “He creeps me out, and he’s rude. Not to mention obnoxious.” Lowell laughed when I finished. “And here I thought you two would be such good friends.” His voice oozed with sarcasm. When I only raised an eyebrow at him, he said, “Let’s study since he’s gone.” A thunderous knock suddenly shook the door. Lowell opened it to reveal a furious Pyre. “Are you ready to train or not?” Pyre yelled. “Yea, I guess.” Lowell winced as he looked at me, and I nodded that I understood. “Then come on. Leave the human.” “The human doesn’t want to go after all.” I stuck out my chin and glared at him as I stomped past them and out the door. “The human isn’t allowed to go!” Pyre yelled. “The human doesn’t care.” I called back over my shoulder. “The human needs to keep her mouth shut.” I whirled to confront him again. “The demon needs to stay away from the human.” “The two freaks need to stop making a scene.” Lowell stepped between us and gestured with his head to the people gawking at us. “What’re you looking at?” I yelled. The people hurried away from us. I glanced back at Lowell, but Pyre already left. “Keep him away from me.” “I’ll do my best. We’re going to Caedmon’s apartment this weekend. If Pyre’s there, it’s not my fault. I better go with him now though.” “Fine. I’ll see you tomorrow.” I stomped off toward my dorm ranting in my head about demons. Infuriating, obnoxious, insane, devilishly handsome demons.

 

 

 

I am often asked if there’s a message I would like to pass on to my readers. I do have some, but for this post, I want to focus on one specific issue. I write strong female characters, probably because I’m a strong female character, and I see more women who need to be strong as well. I come from a long line of strong women. Being strong doesn’t mean being rude or arrogant. To me, it means knowing who you are and what you stand for, what you’ll accept, and what you won’t. I’m also a bit shy and quiet in a crowd, which isn’t a weakness. Actually, it’s a strength and enables me to write good characters, because I’m a good listener. Teens these days are under pressure to have sex way too soon or before they’re ready. The lead female character in my book is sixteen when she begins college, and turns seventeen in October. She’s never had a boyfriend or been worried about it. Life isn’t about getting or keeping a boyfriend, regardless what your peers say. It’s about knowing who you are. When you do, you’ll know what you have to share, and you’ll find the right person. They’ll come to you naturally without any pressure or forcing it. Yes, by all means date, and if you are ready for the next level of a relationship, that’s YOUR choice, no one else’s. If the guy pushes you into it, either way, he’ll probably be gone the next day. Yea, that’s probably something your mother would say. I’m only twenty-five, not that much older than high school teens. Know what? She’s right. (To my own mother, yes, I actually said those words.) Still, I have another issue on my mind. My mother home schooled me until college, so this issue was a bit of a shock to me. When I started working, I met people younger and older, but I was used to age differences. The part I wasn’t used to was the people, most of them female, many of them younger than myself, who had an abusive relationship with a romantic partner. I couldn’t understand why a high school girl, for example, would date a guy who physically abused them. When I asked, they replied that this is how it is in the real world and you have to accept it if you want to have a boyfriend. I was horrified, not because I believed them, but because they believed it. Before I go any further, I will say that women these days are more capable of defending themselves from an attack than in the past. We are more educated as to what to do in a scary situation. The first question is, if faced with an attack by a stranger, whether we remember the training. The second question is, if the attacker is someone we have feelings for, what will we do? Additionally, it’s important to recognize that abuse happens to men in relationships too. When I started dating, my mother told me something that stuck with me. Although we had a great bond and relationship through the teen years, I probably wouldn’t have admitted it at the time. She said our lives are open books, and we are the writers. People we meet or become close to are the characters. Some of those characters will be villains who should be defeated, or left behind. Some chapters would be happy, fun, peaceful and full of hope. Others, would be sad and have some grief, pain or disappointment. Everyone makes bad choices or has regrets, but unlike the books an author writes, those bad choices can’t simply be edited out of your life’s book. Either way, the pen belongs to you. Make sure you write your book. Don’t allow someone else to do it for you. Yes, there will be some pain in life, whether it’s losing a loved one, fighting cancer, or worrying about bills, etc. Those are inevitable, unfortunately, and part of life. Allowing someone to abuse you, whether verbally or physically - I’m talking forced sex, black eyes, broken bones, hospital visits - is not meant to be part of life. Don’t accept that from anyone or for any reason. No one was born or deserves to live that way. You aren’t a whipping post. Don’t be their tool. If someone truly loves you they will build you up, grow your confidence, and they will never intentionally hurt you. It’s your book, and the characters in it are your choice. If you find yourself with someone who only wants to hurt you or make you feel inferior, kick the loser out of your book That person doesn’t belong there. I grew up with an amazing, supportive family, not that we didn’t have our own issues. I understand a lot of people don’t have that. Many people overcome whatever isn’t perfect in their lives. People from lower income families “pull themselves up by their bootstraps”, go to college and make a good life for themselves. People with disabilities of some sort go on to achieve great things in careers and life. Some people have to overcome the people closest to them putting them down or discouraging them. Whatever you have to overcome, work for it, do it, follow your dreams. Will you fail? Who knows? You’ll be able to say you went for it, and you won’t grow old and bitter because you never gave it a shot. Moreover, you will have taken control of your life and not let someone else destroy it or you. Why give someone else control over your life when theirs is a mess? Write your own book. Make it long and full of everything a life should be. Remember, no one was born to be someone else’s tool.

 

 

 

 

 

           

Alex E. Carey was born in Texas and majored in English at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  When she started college, she planned to be a dance teacher or an archaeologist.  Kira’s story came to her during her first semester of college.  Alex scribbled stories in between classes and ideas continued to flow for more stories and characters.  She soon realized she was meant to be a writer.  She is now the author of three published novels in the Elemental Series.  She is currently working on the fourth book in the series, as well as other short stories and novels in progress.

            Alex studied dance since the age of four.  She took classes in several dance forms and enjoyed them all, but her favorite was modern/contemporary.  She still loves dance and stays in practice when not working or writing.  She believes in tolerance and acceptance and feels strongly about equal rights for all.  She is passionate about issues involving women, children, the elderly, animals and the environment.

            Alex enjoys a variety of books and genres, but her favorites are paranormal and fantasy.  She reads a variety of authors and has many favorites including Emily Dickinson, Kim Harrison, Stephen King, Rick Riordan, Edgar Allan Poe, J. K. Rowling, and William Shakespeare.

            When not at work on her latest book, she enjoys reading, walking trails, gem mining and spending time with her family and their three dogs.

 

Links

 

Website *** Facebook *** Twitter *** Bookhub 

 

Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/feature-friday-alex-e-careys-fires-love-interview-excerpt-guest-post
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text 2017-08-17 19:51
Guest Post: Kerry Adrienne (Taming the Lion) ~ Giveaway/Excerpt

 

Favorite Scene 

 

Thanks for having me guest! I appreciate it.

 

Taming the Lion was a book that went through a lot as I wrote it. My mom passed away, at 66, and that threw me for a loop. I actually stopped writing Taming the Lion and wrote Saving his Wolf to take a break and try to re-orient myself.

 

Even though I complain about first chapters, one of my favorite scenes to write was the very first one. I love how the first chapter of a new book has to set up everything that’s to come in the book, without being too heavy-handed. It’s not easy and I usually re-write the first chapter and tweak it multiple times before I can even move on to the second chapter. Even so, I end up going back to the first chapter time and again to drop in a hint, add a detail, or make sure I’m not telegraphing the ending.

 

In a romance, the hero and heroine often meet in the first chapter and that first meeting sets up everything. It’s so important. Taming the Lion is a true enemies-to-lovers book so the first meeting had an extra layer of emotion. Alicia is a bear shifter and healer and she comes across a lion wounded in battle. She’s faced with the choice of whether to kill him (which the bears expect), or heal him (which fulfills her healer oath). Suddenly, it’s not a theoretical moral decision. She has a dying lion in front of her and her actions directly impact whether he lives or dies. Add to that, he’s all tough and “I can handle myself” and she’s a little afraid he might kill her—though he can barely mouth off at her.

 

There were other fun scenes in Taming the Lion, especially after I got back on track. Any scene with Shoshannah, the ancestral spirit, is a lot of fun to write. She’s got Deep Creek in her hands and she’s evolved in the series to an integral part of the war. The final book, Claiming his Lioness, will have Shoshannah really step out of her role. I’m looking forward to that!

 

Thanks again for having me and letting me discuss a little about my writing process. I’m super happy this book is out in the world now. It was a long time coming. I hope readers enjoy it! 

 

Kerry Adrienne

 

 

Title: Taming the Lion

 

Author: Kerry Adrienne

 

Series: Shifter Wars

 

Genre: Paranormal Romance

 

Release Date: August 14, 2017

 

Publisher: Carina Press

 

For Marco, heir to the lions’ throne, seizing control of the Cave of Whispers from the bear clan is more than just a quest—it’s fulfilling the legacy of his breed. But the latest crusade has left Marco gravely wounded in enemy territory and in the hands of Alicia, healer for the bears. An irresistibly sensuous adversary, Alicia presents a serious problem. She carries the scent of a mate.

 

Drawn to this dominant master of his den, Alicia knows her allegiance has been compromised. His brooding sexuality is testing her defenses, but falling in love with Marco means falling in league with a rival shifter. And turning her back on the bears in a time of war is a lethal move.

 

Two breeds united by destiny could inspire a peaceful new future for their opposing clans—or ignite the fiercest battle yet and destroy all of Deep Creek forever.

 

 

 Amazon | GooglePlay | Kobo | iTunes | B&N 

 

 

 

An excerpt from TAMING THE LION

Copyright © Kerry Adrienne 2017

 

“Go away.” His voice barely a whisper on the thick summer air. “I’ll kill you.”

 

Alicia gripped the scalpel. She could slide it across his neck in a flash, and it’d be over. No one would have to know. A mercy killing, of sorts. Though she’d be lying to herself to categorize it as such.

 

Her grandmother’s words echoed. Alicia was a healer, not a killer.

 

From the looks of the lion’s shirt, already dark, yet now wet with blood, he might not recover even with her best efforts to save him. The scent of gunpowder and burnt flesh peppered the blood-laden air. The lions had left him to die under a bush in bear territory, shot in the shoulder.

 

She shook her head and settled to the ground on her knees. “I’m not going anywhere.” The strength of her voice hid her fear, though he might sense it anyway. His scent was that of a strong and confident shifter, even in his current state.

 

He looked at her.

 

She blinked, trying to calm the adrenaline rush that shot through her. His eyes, mesmerizing and wide, lured her in, and she couldn’t turn away. Deep green or maybe brown or even both, they were a color she’d never seen and his gaze was magnetic. Her mouth went dry.

 

He was her sworn enemy. Sexy, but injured.

 

She glanced to the sky, but didn’t see Grandmother Hawk. Typical. Recently, she’d started leaving Alicia to figure out the moral decisions on her own, trusting that she would make the right one.

 

Part of the training.

 

“Shit.” The scalpel had warmed in her hands, and the sun glinted off the blade in a flash of silvery-white. What would her grandmother do? No doubt, she’d help the lion. Maybe she wouldn’t tell the bears, who she was loyal to, but she’d never let a lion die if she could heal him. She’d never intentionally let anyone die on her watch.

 

“War is for the weak minded,” she’d always said. Alicia was beginning to think she was right. Why couldn’t shifters all get along?

 

Because the damn lions wanted the bears’ territory. If they’d stayed in their own area, none of the bloodshed would’ve happened. Even though Alicia had heard the stories of the lions and bears and wolves sharing the cave, the actuality felt as foreign as items in an ancient history book. As remote as a fairy tale.

 

Fantasy.

 

“Go.” He turned away, but she could still see the strain on his face as he winced.

 

His black hair, falling to his shoulders, was damp and matted. How early in the battle had he been wounded? He was bound to be dehydrated.

 

“I’m here to help. Like it or not.” She slid the scalpel into its sheath and back into the pocket of her pack. Her earlier assessment was correct. The lion was no threat at the moment. He could barely move. The rise and fall of his chest showed his respirations were high and labored. Blood loss was nearing the severe level.

 

He needed help before his body went into shock.

 

She looked back toward the trail to make sure she was alone. If Griff or Derek found out about him, the lion wouldn’t need help anymore and her time as medic would be over.

 

She’d worry about that another day. She had a lion to save. 

 

 

USA Today bestselling author Kerry Adrienne is repped by Marisa Corvisiero at Corvisiero Literary Agency. Kerry writes in many sub-genres of romance including paranormal, science fiction, erotic, m/m, time travel, and many more.

 

She loves history, science, music, and art and is the mom to three daughters, many cats, and various other small animals. She loves live music and traveling most anywhere. In addition to being an author, she’s a college instructor, artist, costumer, editor, and bad guitar player.

 

Connect with Kerry at: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon 

 

 

 

One (1) lucky winner a $25 Amazon Gift Card!
To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2017/08/taming-the-lion-kerry-adrienne-gpt-giveawayexcerpt
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text 2017-07-18 20:09
[Guest post] How I became a travel writer

 

Summer time means travels! Have a look at the confessions of a debut travel author, Nicholas Kontis, who encourages readers to focus more on the local experiences and local people when traveling. Maybe this read will inspire you to hit the road and explore something amazing this summer!

 

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A guest post by Nick Kontis

Follow Nicholas Kontis' blog on BookLikes HERE

Nick Kontis' author page on BookLikes is HERE

 

Being a child of Greek immigrant parents, it was important that I learned about my heritage. I was blessed to spend my childhood summers in Greece. I learned the meaning of family and of sharing. I slept on couches in spare rooms, hitched rides, and helped with the preparing of meals. I even learned to bake bread when I was 12 years old.

 

At age 24 I left my native San Francisco, and took a backpack and on what was to be a last trip to the Greek Islands before buckling down and becoming a productive American citizen.

 

On the island of Ios, I met Swen and Maria from Sweden. After many shots of the chalky Greek liquor Ouzo, I forfeited my return ticket home and traveled to Bangladesh and later all throughout the Indian subcontinent.

 

Moving on, I manage to tread lightly all throughout India, Nepal, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Bali, Australia, New Caledonia, Tahiti and then finally back to California.

 

Without a job prospect in sight, I ended up creating one. I started the first travel agency in the U.S. specializing in discount around the world airfares. I was the Lonely Planet guidebooks of travel agencies catering to backpackers. I actually sought out world travelers finding them in various locales of San Francisco. I turned them into productive sellers of around the world airfares. Productive travel agents.

 

I never left the travel industry. In a field where people scoffed and said that I wouldn’t make a dime,  I did extremely well.

 

Going Local: Experiences and Encounters on the Road - Mr. Nicholas Kontis  Now, as a travel journalist, I wrote my first book on the timely subject matter of experiential travel titled, Going Local Experiences and Encounters on the Road.

 

Ever since the birth of Airbnb, immersing into local society and the buzz word, "sharing economy," came to fruition. Today's modern day explorers seek a better understanding of people. Going Local details how to implement a local point of learning from local cultures.

 

 

With the assistance of technology, never before has it been so easy to stay in someone's home, share a meal, hitch a ride, and to be guided by a local to gain greater wisdom from a society.

 

"Going Local" delves into the rise in peer-to-peer travel and shows how to use meal sharing apps, and other ways in which a nation's food and cuisine is a glance into a nation's culture.

 

Other subject matter includes: how a trip around the world is a life-changing experience, moving out of your comfort zone and living abroad, why it is of the utmost importance to practice responsible travel, along with choosing responsible tour operators to guide you, volunteering and why we all should give at least a small portion of our journeys to help others.

 

With keynote talks with travel visionaries, icons and explorers in the field of travel, including Tony Wheeler, Richard Bangs, Rick Steves, Don George, Judith Fein, James Dorsey, Tim Leffel, Dr. Harald Goodwin, David Noyes, Andrew Zimmern, Eric Wolf, Larissa & Michael Milne, Tomislav Perko, Tamara Lowe.

 

The great Lonely Planet guidebook founder Tony Wheeler, gives the cover endorsement stating:

 

“Many people - Mark Twain included - have noted how travel is a certain cure for bigotry and narrow-mindedness. I hope Nick’s book may help persuade people to take the treatment.”

 

As some of my luminary travel author colleagues have reminded me, travel books are a breed of their own and not interesting to most readers.

 

The average American reads fewer than two books a year and a paltry 38% of Americans have passports. So there aren't many travel books that are robust blockbusters. Expect slow and steady, not a mad rush.

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Going Local: Experiences and Encounters on the Road - Mr. Nicholas Kontis You can find the book on BookLikes here: Going Local: Experiences and Encounters on the Road by Nicholas Kontis  

 

The author is also willing to e-mail a PDF copy in exchange for a review.

If you're interested, please leave a comment below.

 

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text 2017-07-13 13:27
How to do Book Clubs: 5 reasons to join book clubs + 6 book clubs for July

 

Jenn presents book club's insights and some useful tips and tricks for creating, customizing and maintaining a Book Club using BookLikes.

 

Out of many we've picked these

5 reasons why it's great to join book clubs:

 

1. You chat about books

Reviewing is great but it's refreshing to immerse into the book debate.

2. Deadlines

You know the never-ending TBR list, right? Having a deadline date is a great excuse to lock yourself in the room to actually finish up a book for the book club meeting/posting.

3. You read outside your comfort zone

You will open the books you would never read otherwise, e.g from the genres you though you wouldn't enjoy.

4. You make other people read your beloved titles

Here's your chance to introduce your faves to other readers.

5. You meet people

Who said that reading should be done solo? Book club reading is buddy reading. Let's do it together and have fun!

 

Please scroll down to find Book Clubs running at BookLikes in July. All readers wishing to join and participate in the buddy read(s) are more than welcome!

 

Let's do Book Clubs together!

 

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Post by Jenn from Murder by Death

 

Creating, customising and maintaining a Book Club using BookLikes

 

 

I’m still a novice myself at using BookLikes Book Club functionality, but I thought I’d write up something about how to set one up, make it your own and maintain it as well as share my thoughts about my experience so far.

 

I’ve created a fake group for the purposes of this post, and most of the screenshots will represent what the creator of a book club will see; I’ll try to note when there are differences, and I’ve taken a couple of screenshots from a non-admin user’s perspective as well.

 

Both as a user and creator, you can find the Book Clubs in the Dashboard menu, under, obviously enough, “Book Clubs”:

 

 

This takes you to the Book Club Discovery page, and you’ll see here a list of current book clubs:

 

 

I’ve highlighted two sections here:  the first, along the top, is useful for discovering new book clubs you might like to join, because it allows you to filter the list of clubs by the language the club is set up to use and to sort the results by club members (how many members the group has), Book number (how many books they’ve read so far), or date added.  Whichever of the three you choose to filter by you can further specify ascending or descending order - an up or down arrow is next to each choice.

 

The second section, headlined My Book Clubs, shows in the upper section the book clubs you’ve created, the link to create a new book club, and underneath, a list of those clubs you’ve already joined.  The next part of this post concerns creating a new book club, although anyone participating in a book club will find handy tips here too (I hope).

 

If you click on the Create a Book Club link you’re taken to the book club creation page:

 

 (This screenshot is a bit smaller, sorry - I had to shrink it to get it all in one shot.)

 

A lot of this is self-explanatory: Name is the name of your book club, of course.  But Picture might not be immediately apparent:  it’s the small picture that will display next to your book club name on the main club page.  Image size guidelines are listed; I definitely recommend adhering to the dimensional suggestions as the minimum size; I tried using smaller images and they didn’t look good at all.

 

Background picture is the large image that appears behind the book cover and user avatars on your bookclub page.  (An example of which is below.)

 

 

Description allows you to describe what kind of club you’re aiming at having:  non-fiction? science-fiction? mystery? romance?  All of the above?

 

Terms is the place you define the rules of your club - BookLikes has provided some basic ones there in the box, but if you want to add your own, you can.  Just be warned that when you start typing in that box, you’ll lose those suggested ones (that’s why they’re in the faded grey color).

 

Club language is the official language of the book club and BookLikes uses it to filter the clubs on the club page by language.  What you set here doesn’t have to be the only language welcome in the club, but it will be the only one the club will appear under.

 

Private allows you to make the group open to the public (No) or open to invitation only (Yes).  If you mark the club private, I believe it still shows up in the list, and people can request admission, so it’s private, but not hidden.

 

Choosing Yes for Public Voting for Next Book truly makes the club a group effort, and a democratic one.  Instead of one of the admins choosing the next group read, this allows an ongoing public submission for title suggestions and a voting function; the admin still has to set the next book and read dates, but can do so by public opinion. 

 

Once you’ve completed the form, click Create Book Club and you’re now the proud creator of a new book club:

 

 

(Clicking edit again, will allow you to edit the details of the club, or delete it - the delete club button appears in the lower right corner of the page.)

 

If you’re joining a book club, not creating one, the screen you’ll see will look like this:

 

 

Both screens have the tabs across the top:  Club, Members, Previous Books and Next Books.  The next section differs:  Admins can add next book and edit the group, while non-admin users can leave club if you find it’s not the right fit for you.  The leave club button is also located in the lower left corner.  (Creators can’t leave their own creation - Dr. Frankenstein tried that once and it didn’t end well.)

 

I’ve also highlighted one of the notification settings for book clubs - this one allows you to turn on or off the notifications for new members joining the group.  Notifications for new posts and discussions is on a different page.

 

If you chose to allow voting you’ll see, under the Next Books tab, the input fields where you can add books and vote on them (admin and non-admin members alike):

 

Add proposition is the field where you can suggest a book - it works exactly the same as the general book search - enter the title, author, or ISBN/ASIN, wait for the results, and choose your book.  If it’s a book you want from your BL shelves, wait until the search results appear, then choose the Search my shelves button at the bottom of the results.  Each book appears on the list, along with a voting button and a running tally of the number of votes each book has received so far.  If you added the book, BL assumes you’re also voting for it, so each book starts with 1 vote.

 

Admins will see a slightly different layout next to each book entry:

 

 

I believe clicking remove will remove a vote (?).  Select book will choose that book for the next month’s read (or any future read, you set the dates, so you can choose several books at once) and delete will take the book out of the voting entirely.  There is no ‘end’ date to voting, so don’t think of this function as a one-time polling as much as it is an on-going, revolving suggestion list that books can move up (or down) and off of over time. 

 

As an admin/creator, once you’ve selected the book, it appears at the bottom of the page along with fields to enter the start/stop dates:

 

 

Clicking on the Start reading date and/or Finish reading date brings up the small calendar, allowing you to click to choose your dates.  Note that BL does require a Finish date and will error out if you try to leave it blank.  These dates are just a guide, however.  Make the reading time span as long or as short as you’d like.  Just remember that BL uses the dates to send notifications of upcoming reads, and moves the book from Next Read to Previous Reads after the finish date, but that’s pretty much the extent of it.

 

If you set up your club without the option of voting, then the Admin chooses the book or books using the select book search field and setting the dates in much the same way, they just don’t see the voting list at the top.

 

 

Each book (if you’ve planned ahead and chosen several, they will all be listed) has edit, delete and  show next to it for admins; non-admins just see the show button.  Edit allows you to change the dates, delete removes the book from the list, and show takes you to the main book club page

 

Now the book club is setup, the book is chosen and you’re ready to go.  From an Admin’s point of view, the only other thing you need to know how to do is, unfortunately, block members.  Spam happens to the best of us and when it does the best thing to do is quickly delete it, block the member and move on.  To delete a discussion thread or just a post, go into the thread with the spam:

 

 

If it’s just the post, use the delete post link that’s along the top of the post; if it’s a spam thread, use delete discussion, found at the top of the page.  After you’ve cleaned up the spam, use the back to club button to go back to the book club page:  

 

 

Click the Members tab:

 

 

Not incidentally, this is where you can invite new members to join your book club, but for blocking, click the manage members link.  This takes you to the membership information page:

 

 

From here you can see a list of blocked members, if there are any, and you can set admin notification for both new members and new discussions.  At the bottom of the page is a Members list, and, I have to say, I don’t know if it’s just my browser that does this (Safari/Mac) or if it’s the same with all browsers, but the layout of the members list is kinda wonky and can be hard to read; the avatars overlap.  But if you ignore that, you can see each member’s name and there are options next to each one: you can remove the user, block the user or switch on Admin functions for that user.  Admin functions include being able to delete discussions or posts but does not, unfortunately, allow them to block or remove other users.

 

The only other facet of the book clubs I’ve not yet mentioned it their link to a discussion group.  I found this a tad confusing in the beginning because all book clubs have discussion groups, but not all discussion groups are book clubs.  Book club discussion groups work exactly like the ‘other’ discussion groups and clicking on the discussion group link from any of the book club pages will take you to the book club’s discussion group.

 

The most important tip I think I can share is regarding discussions and notifications.  Maybe it’s just me, but I love the BL dashboard so much, I find I rarely leave it to go anywhere else.  I read my friends’ posts and reading status updates, and comment right then and there and it’s just too convenient.  It’s my personal theory that if there were some way to easily and gracefully incorporate discussion threads into our dashboards they would see a lot more activity.

 

But I digress; my point is that what does help is making sure your notifications are turned on for the posts and discussions you don’t want to miss.  The easiest place to do this from is the discussion thread itself:

 

 

For new discussions, you can choose all (email and dashboard flags), notification only (dashboard flags only) or none

 

For notifications about individual posts in discussion threads, you can use yes (not choosing yes means no - no notifications at all).  If you choose yes, you can then choose manual, which means you must turn notifications on in the individual threads you want to be notified of activity in, or you can use the all / notification only / none options, which work the same way as above, and apply to all comments in all threads.

 

The last feature I want to point out is one I really think is nice:  the book club page (the fancy one) collects all the recent club discussion posts and any recent blog posts book club members have made about the book and presents them all underneath the club roster and countdown.  It’s a bit difficult to get a screenshot that does it justice, but I’ve tried to, using a currently active book club, to give you an idea:

 

 

It really makes a nice one-stop dashboard for book club activity and updates automatically.

 

Well that’s pretty much it - as I said at the beginning, I’m still a newbie with book clubs but I think BookLikes has designed them really nicely, and they have great potential (especially if we get an option to integrate them into our dashboards!).  If I missed anything, and I’m sure I did, please mention it in the comments below.

 

Hope to see you all soon in a book club!  :)

 

*

 

Take a tour and join Book Clubs this July

 

TAKE A TOUR AND JOIN BUDDY READ

 

 TAKE A TOUR AND JOIN Book to Movie Book Club

 

TAKE A TOUR AND JOIN Virtual Speculation Book Club

 

TAKE A TOUR AND JOIN Series Book Club

 

TAKE A TOUR AND JOIN More historical than Fiction Book Club

 

TAKE A TOUR AND JOIN Mindfulness Books Book Club

 

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text 2017-07-04 13:10
[Guest post] Spiritual Writing: the most read genre of all

 

We're happy to welcome Nataša Pantović Nuit, an author of 9 mindfulness books and spiritual researcher and trainer, on BookLikes blog. Nataša introduces the subject of spiritual writings, and we have to confess that we've learned a lot form this short piece. We wish you all inspiring and spiritual reading. And writings!

 

All readers are invited to join Nataša's Giveaways.

 

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A guest pos by Nataša Pantović Nuit.

Follow Nataša's on BookLikes ->

Nataša Pantović Nuit's author page ->

 

If you are into “Spiritual writings” you are probably already pre-warned and have experience more than a few expectations and accusations instantly associated with this amazing genre. To be fair, throughout the history this was the most read genre of all. Remember the “eternal” classics such as: Bible, Koran, Baghavagita, to mention just a few, that have earned the reputation of the “best sellers” of all times. Whether in English speaking countries or within the countries of the East, the books that took the attention of the millions were “Spiritual” writings, talking about eternal love, happiness, or damnation.

 

Even within the ancient marketing, it was clearly understood that if a book is written by God, it stands a much better chance to win huge audience. Paradoxically, if you are a believer, all the books are by force written by God or influenced by His or Her Majesty, cause God as an Omni-potent entity must surely encompass the world of writing, yet a claim that the words are directly channeled by Holy Spirit (a messenger of God) is quite a popular one. Yet the competition within the world of Holy Spirit followers is quite tough, surely such experiences must be unique and sacred, so the other people’s assentation of the same, was at times guarded by deathly sword.

 

Within the competition of who is more “enlightened”, and closer to God, only “the best” could possibly survive. Some tradition have decided to keep this “spot” reserved only for the karmic few, by birth given rights, some others chose a complicated hierarchical process that after the completion give their God representatives the full trust.

 

Moving a step away from the Holy Books, and mind you this was not easy, there were times when only Holy Books were readily available for folks around the fire gathered to read, the written word was once “sacred”. If it is “written” then it must be true. Pope Innocent the VIII (we are talking 15the century) embraced a book written by two German Dominican Monks, called the “Malleus Maleficarum”, the Witches' Hammer, the hunting manual and blessed it, giving to the Inquisition all the power and tools needed to act against this so-called evil, called: women, resulting in killing some-say millions.

 

The Malleus Maleficarum - Montague Summers,Jakob Sprenger,Heinrich Kramer All wickedness, is but little to the wickedness of a woman. ... It is written in the manual.

 

What else is woman but a foe to friendship, an inescapable punishment, a necessary evil, a natural temptation, a desirable calamity, domestic danger, a delectable detriment, an evil nature, painted with fair colors... Women are by nature instruments of Satan - they are by nature carnal, a structural defect rooted in the original creation.

 

A-Ma Alchemy of Love - Nataša Pantović Nuit

This book was printed and re-printed many times in the centuries to follow, “the  Witches' Hammer became the bestseller, the hit amongst different classes, and was passed from hand to hand, read aloud in Churches, and on the village squares, stored in special places, with the Bible, consulted in the dark corridors of the torture chambers. The best Hunters would know it by heart, reciting it as a deepest wisdom against poor women. Printed, reprinted and translated into German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, English, Portuguese, it outsold all other books except the Bible!” (a quote from A-Ma Alchemy of Love, my spiritual historical fiction book, that explores the 17th century China).

 

Note: Personally, I have a deep interest for this amazing time: the 16th and 17th century when the printed books became available and we finally entered the era when our ancient scripts are readily available for us to read, compare, and thoroughly research.

 

Back to the modern times, did you know that within the world of our most powerful Internet, the words that still win the most of our “human” interest are: God, sex and love. I bet this does not surprise you!

 

Writing and talking about “enlightenment”, “love” and “God”, we ought to learn our reputation either as an eligible representative of a religious structure or as a “Spirit” filled individual that allows this “Divine “ force to flow within ones life.

 

Detaching the “psychological” tools from the religious connotations is always a difficult process and it risks "charlatans" invading the space of Gurus, Philosophers, Sages, Priests, and Spiritual Researchers promising an "instant happiness", a "curse" or a "pink pill" that cure all the diseases and bring immense wealth.

 

Whether you approach your spiritual writings with the “mind” or with “heart” filled with “Divine” flow, this will not be an easy journey, yet with the "Rightful Effort", under the shade of inspiration, and within the worlds of a constant ever-expanding self-development training, working with Virtues, Creativity, Changing Habits, etc., you might be able to truly “break” into this most amazing market.

 

Giveaways!

 

ENTER TO WIN ->

 

ENTER TO WIN ->

 

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Artof4Elements (htttp://www.artof4elements.com) is a Mindfulness Training and self-help Publisher that publish books, audio, and video materials in areas of Mindfulness, Meditation, Self-Help, New Thought, Alternative Health, Nutrition, and Conscious Parenting.

 

In March 2014, Artof4Elements developed and launched the Alchemy of Love Mindfulness Training Series of 9 fiction and non-fiction books, authored by 7 authors, focusing on spiritual growth, creativity and mindfulness.

 

Nataša Pantović Nuit is a Maltese Serbian Author of 9 mindfulness books, a spiritual researcher and trainer, whose work focuses on spirituality, alchemy, conscious parenting, and self-development.

 

You can find Nataša Pantović Nuit on BookLikes:

Follow Nataša's on BookLikes ->

Nataša Pantović Nuit's author page ->

 
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