February 26, 2016

Building Character with Xander from Xander's Tangled Web by Susan A. Royal

Yay – it’s Friday! Friday’s begin the weekend and weekends offer all sorts of READING time! So to help you make your reading decisions, I’d like to introduce you to Xander from his book Xander’s Tangled Web by Susan A. Royal. Welcome to Strands of Thoughts, Xander. Can you tell us a little about you, please?

     Good day to you! Can you see me? (waves arms) I’m down here. My name is Xander, and I’m descended from a race of little people called Mipins. I’m easy-going and laid back, and I love the hustle and bustle of city living.
     Not so my wife. Suse grew up in the country. She’s a pretty little thing with big, blue eyes and a wide smile that still melts my heart. My looks aren’t what won her heart, that’s for sure. Not with my hooked nose, crooked smile and large, uneven teeth.
     Up until last year I was constable for the city of Battington.  Located in Seren Valley in the Kingdom of Regal, it is cradled on three sides by the Heliotrope Mountains and to the south by the Azure Sea. I had a pretty wife and a good job. Things couldn’t have been better.
     That is until Cymon, the mayor, decided to make my life difficult. He has the knack of telling people exactly what they want to hear and leaving out the details. I’m certain this ability is how he managed to win the election. Of course, following through with his promises is another matter entirely.
     I know. As constable, I was forced to deal with Cymon on a regular basis. It didn’t take long for me to learn he wasn’t always as good as his word. Things went from bad to worse until I finally resigned. Suse and I moved to the country so I could try my hand at farming. Unfortunately I’m not very good at it.    

It’s difficult to work with people you know you can’t depend on. It sounds like you have a lot on your plate with your new adventure. Is trying to make a go at farming the only conflict in your life now that you’re in the country?

Cymon has hired me to investigate Princess Mena’s disappearance. Spring Festival is right around the corner, and King Leary has already imposed a curfew on the town. When the news of Battington’s trouble spreads,  (and it most certainly will) people are going to stay away in droves. If I don’t find out what happened to her and fast, it’s going to spell trouble for all the merchants.

Oh no, the poor princess! What are some of the biggest stumbling blocks you’ve encountered trying to find her? 

The princess came to the market for a love potion. That complicates things. When romance is involved folks who are normally very sensible tend to lose all reason. Tempers flare to the brink of violence and sometimes beyond. Past experiences dealing with people in this kind of situation have taught me there is nothing worse than what might happen when a romance cools, particularly when it’s one-sided. Worse yet, the situation might be a triangle.

Other than your lovely wife, do you have anyone else you can rely on?

I’ve known Phineas, Battington’s miller, since before Suse and I were married. Although he lays claim to being a confirmed bachelor, he’d marry in a minute if he could find someone who would put up with him.

I can always count on my old friend whenever I need help. His thickly muscled torso does much to deter potential troublemakers and he’s more than willing to assist me with some of the less appealing jobs.  He’s keen on things most people would balk at doing. Especially when it involves a ruckus.

We’d love to know you a little better. How about you tell us about your strongest personality trait?

My demeanor seems to indicate an answer is beyond my grasp and those who don’t bother to get to know me mistakenly assume I’m a little slow-witted.

To be honest, a casual observer would never venture to guess I was a constable.  I could easily be mistaken for a tavern keeper or some other occupation requiring a good listener. This homely face of mine seems to draw everyone. Before they realize it, people share things they would normally never divulge. I pay close attention while my mind processes everything they say.

Lovely to talk with you Xander. Best of luck finding the princess! Readers, here is a little more about Xander’s book, Xander’s Tangled Web.

     After a late night visit to Battington’s marketplace, Princess Mena vanishes without a trace. Merchants are frantic, because King Leander has called for a curfew and postponed the spring festival. Certain his former constable is the man for the job, the mayor hires Xander to investigate, hoping he can solve the mystery in a hurry so things can go back to normal.
     But Xander’s not so sure that’s possible, because there’s romance involved, and he knows when that happens folks who are normally very sensible seem to lose all reason. In addition to sorting out truths, half-truths and outright lies, he must deal with gypsies, love potions and an illegal moonshine operation before he gets to the bottom of things.

Now let’s learn a little about Xander’s author, Susan A. Royal:

Susan A. Royal takes her readers on adventures to other worlds where anything can happen and frequently does. She and her husband share a 100 year old house in east Texas with a ghost who likes to harmonize with her son when he plays guitar. She writes SciFi/Fantasy with action, adventure and liberal doses of romance. She is currently working on the third in her time travel series, It’s About Time. Look for her books at MuseItUp/Amazon/B&N. Want to know more? Visit susanaroyal.wordpress.com or susanaroyal.moonfruit.com for a peek inside this writer’s mind. You never know what you’ll discover.

Readers, you can find Xander and his author, Susan, at the following online haunts:

Xander’s Tangled Web (fantasy, mystery)
In My Own Shadow (fantasy, adventure, romance)
Not Long Ago (time travel, adventure, romance)
Not Long Ago book trailer
All books available at MuseItUp, Amazon, B&N, Goodreads

BTW's I'm over on Susan's blog also. After you've left her a nice hello in the comments, hop on over to visit us there to! Susan A. Royal.

February 23, 2016

Spotlight on Fable Ranger: Summons by A.L. Brown

There just never seems to be enough exciting new middle grade, but A.L. Brown's got us covered. Happy release day, Ms. Brown!


Take care of what you wish for. You just might get it.

Twelve-year-old Casey doesn’t think life could get anymore unfair. Plans for her special basketball tournament are tossed aside by her sister’s change in wedding plans. She even has to be a bridesmaid now, with all the lace and silk and - oh the horror! All she wants is an escape, but she never imagined she’d be swept away to a world of Mother Goose rhymes, fairy tales, stories of Arabian Nights, and oh, by the way, all but one fairy godmother is kidnapped.

Casey learns she’s been summoned as the Fable Ranger to lead the search and rescue of the missing wish-makers. She also discovers she isn’t the hero they would accept. In the world of fairy tales, damsels aren't meant to swoop in to save the day.

Now all Casey wants is to go home, a wish easy to grant if the veil between worlds weren’t on lockdown. Taking fate into her own hands, she embarks on an airship flight to find the phoenix tears that can help open her way home. Her journey would’ve gone as smooth as the perfect layup if it weren’t for that pesky bounty the evil Dovetail placed on her head. Casey refuses to fail knowing it would allow the legends of Arabian Nights to disappear forever and leave her trapped in a world unraveling one fairy tale at a time.

Buy link: Amazon

Author Bio

Born and raised in Little Rock, AR, A.L. Brown now calls Central Texas home. She's a lover of Wild Cherry Pepsi and chocolate/chocolate covered delicious-ness. Steampunk, fantasy, and paranormal to contemporary — mostly young adult — fill her growing library of books. Mother to a rambunctious darling girl aptly nicknamed Chipmunk, her life stays busy. Her favorite quote keeps her moving: “You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

She is the author of the upper young adult paranormal Neverlove and its new adult follow up They All Fall Down of the Shadow Jumpers series, Frailties of the Bond and Atone of the NEO Chronicles: Characters Revealed series, andBeacon, the first action-packed title in the young adult urban fantasy series, Ripped Ties. Her debut MG (middle grade) title is coming soon from Dingbat Publishing: FABLE RANGER: SUMMONS.

You can find her on her
blog, Dingbat author page, and Facebook.

February 22, 2016

Spotlight on Into the Fire by Kelly Hashway

I am so excited to help show off Into the Fire by Kelly Hashway. This book is most definitely on my list of things to do. Pick up your own copy today and maybe we can read together! Congrats, Kelly!

INTO THE FIRE by Kelly Hashway
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
In one month’s time, seventeen-year-old Cara Tillman will die and be reborn from her own ashes…

Her life of secrecy has never been easy. She’s watched her younger brother, Jeremy, burn and rise again in a coming-of-age process called rebirth. And just like her brother, when her time comes, she won’t remember anything from her first life other than she’s a Phoenix—a member of a small group of people descended from the mythical Phoenix bird.

The last thing she needs to worry about is falling for the new guy in town—Logan Schmidt.

Cara is drawn to Logan in a way she can’t explain, but she’s not exactly complaining. Everything is perfect…except it’s not. Once she’s reborn, she’ll forget Logan. And to make things worse, a Phoenix Hunter is on the loose, and Cara’s involvement with Logan is bringing out her Phoenix qualities—the very qualities that will draw the Hunter right to her.

Desperate times call for desperate measures…

Afraid of hurting Logan, Cara breaks it off for good. But her attraction to him runs deeper than a typical high school crush. She wants him—needs him. And if he proves willing to stay by her side, their love might destroy them both.

Can Cara hide from the Phoenix Hunters long enough to survive her rebirth? And if so, will it mean a new beginning with Logan—or the beginning of the end?


Kelly Hashway grew up reading R.L. Stein’s Fear Street novels and writing stories of her own, so it was no surprise to her family when she majored in English and later obtained a masters degree in English Secondary Education from East Stroudsburg University. After teaching middle school language arts for seven years, Hashway went back to school and focused specifically on writing. She is now the author of three young adult series, one middle grade series, and several picture books. She also writes contemporary romance under the pen name Ashelyn Drake. When she isn’t writing, Hashway works as a freelance editor for small presses as well as for her own list of clients. In her spare time, she enjoys running, traveling, and volunteering with the PTO. Hashway currently resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and two pets.

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February 17, 2016

Cover Reveal - A Shot of Bourbon by AC Land

Today, I have the pleasure of revealing the cover for BookFish Books' latest young adult contemporary novel, A Shot of Bourbon by A.C. Land!

Before we get to the goodies, let's take a look at what the story is about!

Back Cover

In the little highway town of Bourbon, Missouri, deadly secrets lurk behind Southern charm. 

Seventeen year old Charli Valentine didn’t expect to spend the last few weeks of summer break nursing a broken heart, icing a black eye, and watching her ex kiss another girl. Since being a good girl has gotten her nothing but heartache, Charli decides to give rebellion a try. She pigs out, drinks, and hangs with Luke Parker, the son of the infamous Bourbon Butcher. 

But there’s more to Luke than meets the eye. His tough exterior and terrible dialect hide a good person despite his bad boy reputation. No matter how hard he tries to fight it, Luke is drawn to Charli’s innocence and finds her clumsiness too charming to resist. Though they’re from opposite sides of the tracks, neither can resist the magnetism drawing them together. 

When Charli discovers a box in her mother’s closet, she pieces together the truth about Bourbon’s past and uncovers a deadly secret about her family. And once Luke learns of it, he vows to protect Charli no matter the cost. 

From the real Bourbon, Missouri
Photo Credit: BGI Photography

Sounds like an intriguing tale. Love, murder, and a mystery in small town America. 

And who wrote this engaging tale? A.C. Land!

About The Author

Author of the Bourbon series, A. C. Land has been a lover of stories since she first read about Peter Pan giving Wendy an acorn and teaching her to fly. She always dreamed of telling big stories about small towns.

Residing on a cattle farm in Missouri, A. C. loves playing with her rambunctious Jack Russell, Riley, making decorative cakes, taking pictures, drinking pumpkin spice coffee, and hanging out with her nephews.

Find A.C. online: 

And now, for the moment you've been waiting for...the cover!

Cover Reveal

Cover Design: Anita at Racepoint

add A Shot of Bourbon to your Goodreads shelf
Be on the lookout for A Shot of Bourbon
available March 2016!

February 8, 2016

King of Bad Book Blitz Hosted by YA Reads

Don't miss the book blast for King of Bad. I'm celebrating the 2nd edition of the Amazon bestseller with a week long blast hosted by YA Reads. Be sure to stop by, thank the bloggers for participating and help me spread the word about King of Bad to new readers around the world. Oh - and enter to win an Amazon gift card and a pack of Super Villain Academy playing cards, too!

Here's our blog line up for the week:

Author Eric Pricehttp://authorericprice.com/blog2/8
Crossroad Reviewhttp://www.crossroadreviews.com2/8
Elizabeth Delana Rosahttps://elizabethdrosa.wordpress.com/2/9
The Story of a Writerhttp://beverlystowemcclure.blogspot.com2/10
The Book Beaconhttp://thebookbeacon.com2/10
Book Lovers Life http://bookloverslife.blogspot.ie/2/10
Roxy's Reviewshttp://roxykade.blogspot.com 2/10
Adventures in Writinghttp://thhernandez.com/blog-32/11
Mythical Bookshttp://mythicalbooks.blogspot.ro/2/11
Fiction Dreamshttp://www.fictiondreams.com2/12
Jody's Book Reviewshttp://www.jodysbookreview.com2/13
Around the World in Bookshttp://www.aroundtheworldinbooks.ca/2/14
Around the World in Bookshttp://www.aroundtheworldinbooks.ca/2/14

Thanks to the participating bloggers and YA Reads for helping me share the new shiny version of King of Bad!

February 1, 2016

February #InkRipples #Giveaway - Chocolate!

Happy February. Thanks to St. Valentine, this is a month often associated with love. And what better way to show your love than with chocolate. Sweets for the sweet, right?

I'm afraid to admit this out loud for fear it might change your opinion of me, but I'm not a chocolate fanatic. I go through short bursts of chocoholic phases where I can't get enough of the stuff, but then I come out of it and will turn my nose up at it for months on end. Even I think my Jekyl & Hyde treatment of chocolate is strange, but it is as much a part of me as is my intense love of Triscuits and squeeze cheese.

When my taste buds are tuned into the creamy delight, I tend to prefer dark chocolate. I'm even more pleased if it's smothering caramel and nuts or if maybe it's in the form of a peppermint patty. But usually by the time my tasters come back around to letting chocolate in, I'm not too picky - brownie, hot fudge sundae, hot chocolate - it's all chocolate to me and will satisfy that rare craving.

Are you a chocoholic? In which form does chocolate make your tongue do a happy dance?

Selection may vary
To honor the popular addiction people have with chocolate, I'm offering a bit of indulgence. Plus, I'm keeping things local. I'm giving away a signed print copy of my romantic suspense Finding Thor, set in my hometown of Bend, Oregon, and a box of truffles from Goody's Chocolates - a chocolate and ice cream maker here in Central Oregon. I've tasted their candy and their stores are aptly named, because their candy is good(y's). Plus, it's preservative, wax and gluten free. Read more about Goody's chocolate here.

Enter to win before midnight on Valentine's Day. Come back and share both tweets daily to increase your chances of winning. Because - CHOCOLATE! Open to US addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

#InkRipples is a themed meme hosted by Mary WaibelKatie L. Carroll, and me,Kai Strand. We post on the first Monday of every month. If you would like to participate compose your own post regarding the theme of the month, include any of the images displayed on this page, and link back to our three blogs. Feel free to post whenever you want during the month, but be sure to include #inkripples when you promote so readers can find you. The idea is that we toss a word or idea into the inkwell and each post is a new ripple. There is no wrong interpretation.