Darkhaven Out Today

Jul 2, 2015 by

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Darkhaven cover

About the Book: 
Book title: DARKHAVEN
Author: A.F.E. Smith
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release date: 2 July 2015 (ebook), 14 January 2016 (paperback)
Price: £1.99/$3.99 (ebook)


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Book description:
Ayla Nightshade never wanted to rule Darkhaven. But her half-brother Myrren – true heir to the throne – hasn’t inherited their family gift, forcing her to take his place.

When this gift leads to Ayla being accused of killing her father, Myrren is the only one to believe her innocent. Does something more sinister than the power to shapeshift lie at the heart of the Nightshade family line?

Now on the run, Ayla must fight to clear her name if she is ever to wear the crown she never wanted and be allowed to return to the home she has always loved.




Buy links 
HarperCollins
Amazon (global link)
Barnes & Noble
Google play
iBooks
Kobo


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A.F.E. Smith photo

About the Author:
A.F.E. Smith is an editor of academic texts by day and a fantasy writer by night. So far, she hasn’t mixed up the two. She lives with her husband and their two young children in a house that someone built to be as creaky as possible – getting to bed without waking the baby is like crossing a nightingale floor. Though she doesn’t have much spare time, she makes space for reading, mainly by not getting enough sleep (she’s powered by chocolate). Her physical bookshelves were stacked two deep long ago, so now she’s busy filling up her e-reader.

What A.F.E. stands for is a closely guarded secret, but you might get it out of her if you offer her enough snacks.


Author social media links
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DARKHAVEN on Goodreads


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Book Pet Peeves

Nov 2, 2014 by

books

Do you have pet peeves that will cause you not to read a book? The more I talk to readers, the more I realize that this is the case for many of them. We have to come with ways to rule out books, after all. It would be nice if we could read them all, but alas! So it got me thinking, do I have pet peeves? And if so, what are they? Well, it didn’t take me long to come up with a list.

By the way, this also gave the idea of starting a book review vlog focusing on common pet peeves. You should check it out :)

Turn-ons

Yummy prose
Just this past week I opened a book I’d been eager to get my hands on for a while. I read the first chapter and, after that . . . I had to stop. I just couldn’t keep on reading. The story line wasn’t terrible, but combined with the bland prose, it just fell flat. It doesn’t have to be poetry, but the prose has to be engaging. It needs to have a little something, a cleverness with the words, something that lets me know the author didn’t write the first flat sentence that came to mind, but one that came from a deeper place within their creative brain. If that kind of yummy prose isn’t there, then the plot better get me by the throat—otherwise, I will set the book down.

Humor
This isn’t a requirement either. I can read serious topics, no problem. However, a little effective humor can get me rooting for the characters very quickly.

Non-jerk hero
Is this too much to ask? Maybe it is the feminist in me, but I’ve read enough “bad boy” books. I guess it wouldn’t be so bad if the female protagonists paired up against these guys weren’t so willing to put up with the abuse. I understand the appeal in “taming the badass,” but, personally, I wouldn’t hang out long enough to put up with it. I would say Adios very quickly. Instead, give a hero that knows how to treat a woman, and I’m in!

Original concepts
Vampire, werewolf, dystopia books . . . anyone? I’ve enjoyed a few novels in all of these categories (in dystopia more than any other) but my tolerance for reading the same types of books is low, now. Give me a book with a fresh concept (i.e. a being of the author’s creation—such as Morphids in KEEPER) and I’m hooked. I want to visit worlds no one else has imagined before.

Turn-offs

Protagonist moving to a new town/school
I write YA and, as everyone knows, the concept of the poor protagonist in a new town and school is overused in the genre. Maybe it is due to everyone trying to copy Twilight. Who knows? Whatever the case, it has become a huge turn-off for me.

Dreams
If dreams is an big ploy device in a book, forget it! I’m not reading it. Nope. I’m already in a book so, to me, a dream is like fiction within fiction. I think dreams are an easy way out. I use them sparingly in my writing, if I must—never more than a couple of paragraphs.

Flimsy plot logic
The plot HAS to make sense. I won’t lose interest in a book any quicker than if a flimsy explanation is offered to support big plot points. No, just no!

Cocky characters – much talk, no action
You know those characters that just talk about how mean they are and all they are going to do to kick butt, yet they don’t do much of anything? Yeah, those guys. I can’t stand them.

[Image attribution: Photo by Brenda Clarke, used under CC/No changes]

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KEEPER Cover Reveal

Feb 20, 2014 by

Official Cover Reveal
KEEPER

By Ingrid Seymour
Release Date: March 5th, 2014 (Volume 1)
Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy

 

Keeper

Keeper

 


Get notified when KEEPER hits stores: click here to SUBSCRIBE!

 

For them, freewill is a luxury . . .

Greg Papilio both wants and dreads his impending metamorphosis. He’s tired of being a runt—always picked last on the basketball court—and tired of being ugly, like a caterpillar, when he could be what girls call “drop dead gorgeous.” But as much as he looks forward to the transformation, he also fears the caste it will inevitably assign to him. He doesn’t want a common caste, or one that will obliterate his freewill and make him a slave. He wants a powerful one, a cool one.

Samantha Gibson is average. She’s short and a little full around the hips—a terribly cute look for a future chef. À-la-Rachael-Ray in her old days. She’s two years away from culinary school, from her uncaring parents, and from carving a perfectly Human future. She wants independence, a career and a quiet life of her own.

Except fate couldn’t care less about what Greg and Samantha want and gives them exactly the opposite. Greg’s metamorphosis assigns him a caste that enslaves him to Samantha, while her chance to attend Le Cordon Bleu is taken away when her parents get a divorce. And fate’s cruelty doesn’t stop there. Not content with shattering their dreams, it also makes them fall in love, just to tear them apart when Samantha morphs, losing her freewill and developing a compulsion for a guy she barely knows.

Still, these misfortunes are just the tip of the iceberg, because Greg’s fate is to protect Samantha at a time when someone wants her dead. He is her Keeper and will stop at nothing to ensure her safety, even if her secret past proves deadly, even if she belongs to someone else.

 



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Soul Stone Cover Reveal

Feb 19, 2014 by

Official Cover Reveal

Soul Stone (Escaping Fate #2)

By DelSheree Gladden
Release Date: February 26th, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy
Length: 230 pages
Soul Stone (Escaping Fate, #2)



 

Arrabella thought she was done with dreams, done with curses and the threat of death.
After surviving the ancient Aztec curse that had plagued her family for centuries, Arra was more than ready for her new life in the boring little town of Grainer, Maine. Boring and small sounded perfect…but she should have known better than to think it would last. 
The dream was odd, but Arra passed it off as nerves about starting school in Grainer. Her boyfriend, Tanner, was there to distract her…and get her into a little trouble as well. He pushes the dream out of her mind until they walk onto the school campus and see her. The lonely girl from Arra’s dream. 
Tanner’s reaction is fierce. He won’t risk losing Arra again and demands she stay away from Sibeal, but Arra can’t stop thinking about her haunted expression. What if she can help her? Arra can’t just walk away and let whatever curse has a hold of Sibeal claim her without trying to stop it. But what if Sibeal deserves the punishment? 
Arra’s battle to make the right choice about Sibeal only gets harder when she is forced to turn to the person in town she likes least for help. Sebastian Wallace is arrogant and irritating, but he’s seems to be the only one who can help her. As Arra tries to determine what the right choice is, she finds out saving Sibeal may be the least of her problems.

 

 

Get the first book in the series “Escaping Fate” FREE on Amazon February 19th-20th! 

Turning sixteen should mean driving, dating, and breaking curfew. It should never mean certain death. Arrabella’s excitement for her upcoming birthday is swallowed up by not only her dismay at being moved to a tiny little town in the middle of nowhere, but by the terror of the dreams that assault her every night. 
Stalking her dreams, the raven haired beauty warns her, taunts her, as she is paraded toward her death. Desperate for answers, Arrabella turns to her grandfather, the only one willing to delve into her family’s dark past. Warning her that once she takes the first step, there is no going back, Arrabella’s grandfather begins to unwind their awful heritage. The only joy she finds in the week leading up to her death is meeting Tanner Wheeler, a young man she barely knows but is immediately drawn to. A story of selfish betrayal reaching back to an age of merciless gods and blood sacrifice, Arrabella’s world is sent into a deadly spiral.
Get Escaping Fate FREE on Amazon!

 

About DelSheree Gladden

DelSheree Gladden lives in New Mexico with her husband and two children. The Southwest is a big influence in her writing because of its culture, beauty, and mythology. Local folk lore is strongly rooted in her writing, particularly ideas of prophecy, destiny, and talents born from natural abilities. When she is not writing, DelSheree is usually reading, painting, sewing, or working as a Dental Hygienist. Her works include Escaping Fate, Twin Souls Saga, The Destroyer Trilogy, and Invisible. Look for, Wicked Power, the next book in the Someone Wicked This Way Comes Series, and Soul Stone, book two in the Escaping Fate Series, coming 2014.

 
 

Connect with DelSheree Online


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The Stars Lie

Jan 12, 2014 by

Stars

Yep, those Amazon and Goodreads review stars don’t tell the whole truth!

I hate to say it, but several of the books I read last year were awful. This gets me upset. If I invest my most precious commodity—a.k.a. time—in reading a book, I want need it to be good—or possibly GREAT! Unreasonable?

No! It’s like going to the movies. If you pay $10 for a ticket, you’d be outraged if in the first 20 minutes they have the characters getting up, taking a shower, getting dressed, cooking breakfast, eating said breakfast, washing their plate, on and on, before getting to the real plot, right? And what if on top of that the $15 popcorn was stale and the Coke flat? Wouldn’t you wish you’d picked the bloody thriller that was playing next door and had bought the nachos instead? I know I would.

So, yeah. I want the books I read to have a certain level of quality. I want them to be well edited, for one. But past the elemental details, I want a storyline, characters that grow/learn something, dialogue that isn’t stilted, maybe a twist or a surprise. I want the author to do her homework, to tie the loose ends, to clearly describe the setting, and, if all of that is taken care of, maybe wow me with words by pushing her imagination beyond clichés.

The question is: how do I find these authors and their awesome books? I sometimes feel at a loss with this. Even when I think I’ve picked a winner, sometimes the book turns out to be a dud that evolves into melodrama, and I end up skimming it to a very unsatisfying ending.

I’ve thought about all this A LOT! And one day—while perusing the web—I realized one crucial thing. Maybe I’m slow and should have known this, but alas I didn’t. THE STARS LIE. Yep, those Amazon and Goodreads 1.0 to 5.0 stars, they’re not very reliable, and sadly I’ve been putting too much emphasis on them. I used to think that if a book had 4.0+ stars, it had to be pretty good. WRONG! This isn’t necessarily true. After a closer look, I realized it isn’t the starts I should be looking at, but at the percentage of people who actually liked the book. For clarity, let me give an example:

Take for instance Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi:

As I write this, the book has 4.07 stars in Goodreads. Now, if you click on “rating details” (right next to the stars,) a small box will pop up which looks like the image below. I’ve circled the number I’m interested in. For Under the Never Sky, the percentage of people who liked the book was 94%. Pretty good, huh?

Under The Never Sky

Now let’s look at Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick:

The Goodreads star rating for this book is 4.01 stars—not much different than 4.07 in Rossi’s book. However, by taking a look at the rating details, you discover that the percentage of people who liked this book is lower: 89%.

Hush, Hush

In my opinion—please Hush, Hush fans don’t get mad at me :)—Under the Never Sky is a much better book as the rating details show me (I’ve read both.)

Based on this, I’ve gone through all the books I’ve read and looked at the percentages. What I found was that the ones I’ve enjoyed the most have percentages between 91% and 96%. Books with percentages lower than 91% were definitely not my cup of tea, but what’s more interesting is that books with percentages higher than 96% weren’t either! Not sure why, but I proved it again and again by going over all the books I’ve read and seeing their percentages. So it seems I need to read books that fall within the 91% to 96% range!

I do realize I can’t use this factor in isolation. But I can combine it with others and sometimes even make exceptions, lest I miss reading a good book due to a flawed system. Still, I feel it is a strong marker and I’ve already started using it with success. I guess there really aren’t formulas for what books we’d like, but when I can’t decided whether I should read a book or not, this certainly helps tip the balance. Do beware that sometimes the Goodreads percentages are off (maybe some issue with their algorithm) but it is easy to calculate. Here is an example with my book “The Guys Are Props Club”:

★★★★★ = It was amazing
★★★★    = Really liked it
★★★        = I liked it
★★           = It was OK
★              = Didn’t like it

Based on the chart above, a review from 3 to 5 stars means the reader liked the book. So all you have to do to figure out the percentage of people who liked GAP#1, you add the 3 to 5 star reviews. That means 65 reviews out of 68 as of this post. Then you simply divide the two numbers 65/68=0.955. That means 95% of the people who’ve read “The Guys Are Props Club” enjoyed it. Yay! There you have it. Now you can forget those lying stars!

GAP1_ratings

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“The Guys Are Props Club” Book#2 Available Now!

Dec 8, 2013 by

Girls Are Players release was this week and, I must say,  it went great. Yay! I’m delighted and super grateful to all my readers for their support. Thank you, thank you! Yep, my readers are the best. To prove it here are some quotes from reviews they’ve written in Amazon and quotes they’ve highlighted inside the book :)

 

Reader Reviews

“The love story between the two main characters felt raw and real, and I connected so much with (them). I felt like they encompassed the beautifully broken nature of humanity.”

 

“I definitely recommend Girls Are Players, especially if you are looking for a romance that doesn’t follow such a direct path with an obvious outcomes and conflicts. It was well written, addictive, and unique.”

 

“Ingrid Seymour has once again captured us with her writing. Girls Are Players is a great story of love lost and regained, infused with humor and genuine life lessons.”

 

“Jessica is a great character who faces a myriad of situational and personal struggles that make her story a hard one to put down. I also enjoyed the secondary characters and I loved seeing had each one impacted Jessica’s life.”

 

Book Highlights

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