A #YA novel – Merrett’s Gift #crime

by Ian Mitchell-Gill When six “criminally gifted” teens are caught misapplying their talents, each is given an offer they can’t refuse: to train at a secret school and put their skills to work for their country, or face the most … Continue reading

Alison Neuman on how social media is important to her

For us authors, social media is important.
Not only are we able to keep readers and friends up-to-date with our writing but also with the life events of others. Currently, it is impossible for
me to travel so social media allows me to reach my destinations from the
comfort of home, and I love that opportunity it’s given me.
In the past few years, there has been a huge
shift to the Internet. Blog tours are a great example of this and an excellent way
to promote your books.
How it works is that the author visits several blogs and
they are introduced to a new audience.
I have heard of authors who have been made into bestsellers
just because of social media.
It’s a tool in the authors’ promotional
toolkit that should not be overlooked.
Although, we have to be careful. When I
get continuing posts from individuals trying to sell me products, I must admit, I tune out. When that happens, we are losing a potential relationship. For
myself, I plug Ice Rose during the holiday buying season and for blog tours or
events. Just enough to keep my book out there, but not enough to cause offence.
Like most authors worldwide, I like to share activities and
events that are going on with my career, but my
 blog isn’t only focused on writing, it’s also about the arts and crafts. A writer once advised me
to post a new blog every two weeks,
but I find this challenging. Finding fresh
topics can be difficult and I wonder how other bloggers manage it.
And, I admit, when I write my posts, I do
not always focus on how worldwide social media can reach. So when, few years ago,
I posted a blog on a cookie bouquet that I was making, and received a comment
from a reader in Germany I was very shocked and pleased.

Ice Rose 
Amazon.UK
Amazon.com
A teenager’s world is turned upside down when an explosion steals her dad and her identity. Entering an exclusive academy that immerses her in the world of secret agents, she must overcome her fears and disabilities to discover the truth about her dad’s mission, his software, and the mystery man stalking her before she ends up like her father — lost.
Alison Neuman 
Alison Neuman lives in
Alberta, Canada, where she is a freelance writer and lyricist. Nearing the end
of her studies for the Bachelor of Applied Communications Degree program at
Grant MacEwan College, she was inspired to complete the first draft
of  Ice Rose. The pace of secret agent books and movies gave her an
unlimited playground for  imagination. Music and performing are passions
she was able to bring into her writing and build into her characters.




Alison’s writing has appeared in “MacEwan Today”, “Westword”, and the “Edmonton
Journal” along with three tracks on the CD release Outside The Window.
Co-writing the screenplay adaptation of the book Whale Songwith author
Cheryl Kaye Tardif exposed her to the world of screenwriting, which she hopes
to continue to examine further in the future. Alison also has been writing
shorter pieces of non-fiction, one entitled Establishing Roots, that
earned a top ten ranking in the Edmonton Stories contest. This past spring she
was a winner in The Expressions of Hunger Contest in the Emotional Poetry
category. Her piece Undeniable Craving was on display in June and
July in various artistic locations across the city of Edmonton.  She has
completed a final edit of her memoir “Searching For Normal” and is currently
writing her next young adult manuscript.



When not writing creatively, Alison  is editing or writing for her
business, Sandy Tree
Communications
.

Win a copy of YA novel Life and Times of the Heir and the Keeper

by 
Etta King 
Ah the guest blog! My time to shine!
What shall I share? This is rather like a “Show and Tell” isn’t it? Hmmm…well I
think I’ll go back in time a bit – not too far – and take a peek at a little
episode in dear Jonathan’s life. Now Jon is sort of the quintessential prodigal
son; he just loves doing whatever he wants, bucking convention (why should he
join the legacy of Reinhardt men inducted into the Keepers?) and breaking
hearts (didn’t an ex call him Delish? Yum!), yet he always finds his way home
(figuratively, of course, since he can’t wait to leave his grandfather’s
mansion…hey! I never said he was sane!). But don’t the daring ones always have
the most fun? Go to the best parties? Kiss the cutest girls? Perhaps there’s a
method to this madness? Let’s see…the year was…I’m blanking…the grade? 11th!
Oh high school, the wonder years…
Jon
I
was exhausted. But in a good way. A sated way. That was pretty much the only
reason I was smiling at the gentle nudging that was bringing me out of my coma.
I didn’t even have the blinding headache I associated with any and all brands
of Tequila. I was in an Aybee-trance. AB Baby, my sort-of, maybe, probably
girlfriend. Angelica B. McCarthy, to anyone who wasn’t a ‘close and personal
friend.’ Which was a grand total of probably five people. Yeah, AB was very
popular. She was also insanely cute. No, not hot, cute. She was a Blake Lively,
not a Megan Fox; you never could bring yourself to hate her, you just wanted
her to notice you. She had that effect, a subtle glow that made even teachers
curry her favor. And I was lying in her bed. How I’d gotten up here, I couldn’t
remember. What we’d done? Well I remembered that. That brought a second smile
to my lips.
“I
know what you’re thinking.” She whispered in my ear.
I
had to laugh. Somehow, I didn’t doubt that; she had a way of guessing people’s
thoughts.
“You
need to get up; I’m riding with Kit this morning.”
I
opened my eyes and raised a brow at that. Christopher, who insisted everyone
call him Kit, was her British “cousin.” The air quotes were unimagined; I was
pretty sure Kit and I were as related as he was to AB. I couldn’t mentally
reconcile what I knew was a lie, but I consoled myself with the fact that at
least I knew.

“Why
are you riding with him, you could be riding with me,” I replied with a crooked
smile. It was corny and I knew it, but she laughed.

“I
promised,” she said, brushing her hair out of her face. “Besides, Cassidy needs
the exercise, and you haven’t ridden since…” She paused and chewed her lip
before continuing. “Anyway, you know it doesn’t mean anything.”

Yes,
I hadn’t been near a horse since my father’s accident. That was what she’d
stopped herself from saying. But she ignored it and bypassed the awkward
moment. There were no awkward moments around AB. Did I know it didn’t mean
anything? Probably.
“Right.
So why do I need to get up, again? You’re not riding up here.”
“Haha,
hilarious. I need to get ready and my mom might stop by.” She rolled out of the
bed, automatically adjusting the Alice and Olivia tank dress she’d fallen
asleep in.
“Oh
right, and she hates me.” I couldn’t even say it with a straight face. She bit
back a smile herself.
“She
doesn’t hate you…what you did at the club…honestly; I don’t know how you dare.”
I
shrugged; I hadn’t exactly been in a great mood on that eventful day and I’d
forced her party of bird lovers into a smaller room with my ‘reservation.’ Yes,
I’d used my family’s name to outrank her. No, I wasn’t contrite. She’d made a
point of mentioning my spiked loafers one too many times. I couldn’t understand
how that was her problem.
AB
tossed my shirt at me and I sat up slowly, stretching in the process.
She
was looking around the room with a small frown.
“This
place needs a makeover.” I looked around too; It was an art piece, called AB;
from birth to seventeen.
“Less
Marilyn, more Audrey,” I made the observation more to myself, but she looked up
with a wide smile.
“Yes!
You totally get it!” She made a running leap for the bed and practically landed
on top of me.
“Really?
Necessary?” I asked, laughing.
“And
that’s why I love you.”
I
blinked. We hadn’t said that yet. Were we saying that now?
“That’s
why?” I asked, playing it cool.
“Yes,
because you act like you don’t care, but I know you do.”
“Maybe
I don’t really care.”
“No…you
care, you just hide it so well.”
Hide
what?
“Hide
what?”
“All
your secrets…why you’re so jaded…”
She was staring right into my eyes, hers so blue they were almost violet. I
felt like she was looking right into my soul. I blinked.
 
Life and
Times of the Heir and the Keeper
Amazon
 
Amazon Kindle  BarnesandNoble
They say college is a
lot of things; a haven, a four-year party, the place you met the girl – or guy
– of your dreams. What they don’t tell you is, the best part of college is the
drama YOU bring to the table! After all, that dirty little secret, that
not-so-little white lie, and those texts you wish you could erase from
cyberspace can’t stay hidden forever. At CU, someone’s always watching, and you
better hope there isn’t a camera phone on hand when you get caught.
It’s the Spring Semester, but it’s not all fun in the budding
sun for Jon and Franz. Follow them as they delve through the politics of secret
societies, the inevitable drama of the F-word (that’s FAMILY, for the
uninitiated), creepy Resident Advisors, creepier residents and girls who don’t
always say what they mean. Who wouldn’t need two months to recuperate?
Cheers! And GL!



Comment, share and join the tour and you could win a $30 Amazon Gift Card PLUS a Signed Paperback of Life and Times of the Heir and the Keeper:



Etta King is the author of the Caspian University novels, a series chronicling the life and times of a group of wealthy teens who inevitably discover the various flavors of college drama. Etta writes from her personal experiences as a college co-ed and as the product of an all-girls prep school. Here she witnessed the very eccentricities and foibles which she depicts in her novels.

In a home filled with books, it was no surprise that Etta grew to be an avid reader, and that translated into writing when she was thirteen. She wrote simply for the fun of it, whatever would come to mind, from fantasy to thriller to romance, and shared her stories with her friends.

In 2010, at twenty-one and just as she was about to graduate from college, Etta began writing “The Life and Times of Elizabeth and the Duchess.” This was a story which had first taken shape in 2008, after her freshman year, but had been put on hold. With graduation looming, Etta recalled the characters, and the events which had inspired them, and took pen to paper. Literally, as Etta enjoys writing out her stories before typing them out. Soon the first book had been completed and the series was born.

“The Life and Times of the Heir and the Keeper,” comes as the sequel to “Elizabeth and the Duchess,” and serves as the second semester of these teens’ college saga. Etta is currently working on the third book, in what will be an eight-part series.

Etta King lives with her family in Westchester, New York.





Excerpt from 
Life and Times of the Heir and the Keeper
I woke up to the sound of my phone
vibrating on the floor. I scooted out of bed, trying not to wake Elizabeth as I
went to pick it up. I missed it and I saw four missed calls. All from Chadwick.
Crap, it was six thirty-seven. I called him back and made my way to my bathroom,
while it rang.
“Hey,” I said when he picked up.
“Sorry, about that; you were on the phone when we went
upstairs.”
“Yeah, that’s okay, I’m home. Look,
Jon, I’m going to say this just this once and then I won’t say it again.” I got
an ominous feeling and leaned against the sink, ignoring the cold marble.
“Okay…”
“Judith,” he began and I bit down on
my groan. If ever I was tired of hearing one person’s name in a day.
“I don’t care what it is you did, I
really don’t.”
“I didn’t do anything.”
“Whatever. Just don’t do anything
else.”
“What?” I couldn’t help the irritation
creeping into my voice.
“Nothing else, okay? Just don’t lead
her on, don’t mess with her.”
“What the hell do you think I did?”
“Honestly? I think you hooked up with
her and never called her back. Or maybe you did and she didn’t understand how
you worked.” How I worked??
“Jesus, Chad, seriously?”
“Look, I’m not judging you.”
“Are you drunk?”
“I’m not judging you, I just want you to leave her alone, okay?”
I was silent; what the absolute fuck
had Judith said to Chad? What was her problem anyway? Three weeks was all it
had been, for God’s sake.
“I didn’t do anything to her, Chad.”
“So why is she calling me and crying?”
I massaged my temple and shook my
head.
“Because she’s Judith, Chad. Because I
haven’t told her about Elizabeth and I, and I don’t feel like calling her and
skipping that conversation, so I’d rather just not. Because yes, she called me,
called my house, sent me messages, but all I want is for her to calm down and
stop acting like I’m Judas. Because yeah, we’re friends and she feels that
means she has exclusive rights to my number. Because…” My God, I could go on
and on.
“Not because you hooked up with her?”
“She told you that?”
“You’re not saying you didn’t.”
“This is not about hooking up. I don’t
understand why she’s so anxious to talk to me, but that’s pretty much it. I’m
just not ready.”
“You’re an ass, Jon. You’re my friend,
but you’re an ass.”