Cover Reveal: Steadfast by Michelle Hauck

I’m so excited to share the cover of this amazing book! But first, let’s have a few words from the author herself:

It all starts, of course, with getting hit with the writing bug. You have an idea for a story. You bravely sit down and write it. You learn that you don’t know how to write quite yet and you begin to gather experience plucked from other writers farther down the road.

A manuscript or four later your craft has improved enough to land an agent. Your brilliant story goes out to the scary land of editors and may or may not sell. But you persist. You write other stories if the first one fails. And eventually you make your first sale for, say, three books.

Now you are faced with the scary fact that you need to write your first sequel and carry on a story line. You get the wonderful news that the characters you adore will live on. At the same time, you are full of anxiety that a sequel is a daunting thing and you’ve never tried one before. Bravely you forge forward and write a sequel that meets your editor’s approval.

A new first appears now that you conquered the other challenge. You now have to write the ending book of a series. You have to take all the characters and all the obstacles you created and bring them to, not just an end, but a highly exciting end. Once again you doubt your talent and ability. You plunge forward nonetheless. And you succeed.

Cover reveals. Release days. Publishers Marketplace announcements. All those days are great days, but they are blips on the actual journey. The true test is the challenge you meet everyday to go out and do what scares you because you might fail– and see yourself instead succeed.

So a cover reveal is not so much a celebration of art as it is a celebration of spirit. Another test passed. Another doubt proved groundless. A forging forward on the journey of you, whether you are a writer or something else.

Proof I climb this mountain in the form of a third cover for my Birth of Saints series. Thank you for being a witness and may you climb your mountains.

Do what scares you my friends and face those challenges.

Against an angry god whose only desire is to wipe out all life, what hope is there to survive?

The army from the north has left a trail of burned and captured cities. In trying to stop them, Claire and Ramiro unleashed the northern god, Dal, but now they face two monstrosities and no amount of honor or hope can stop the killing as Dal grows in power.

Searching for a miracle, Claire finds the elders of the Women of the Song, who might teach her a thing or two about using her voice magic to fight back—if they can put aside their own problems first—while Ramiro searches for truth in his dreams, leading him to the northern priestess Santabe, the only one who could share her knowledge of Dal and the mysterious magical Diviners.

Claire must unite the Women of the Song in the face of utter destruction, and Ramiro must decide how far he will go to get the answers he needs to defeat the rampaging god.

It will take nothing less than a saint to rise and face the leviathan before they all become martyrs. (unofficial blurb)

Steadfast releases December 5, 2017

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Goodreads

Enter Giveaways to Win Signed Copies of the First Two Books in the Series:

A world of chivalry and witchcraft…and the invaders who would destroy everything.

The North has invaded, bringing a cruel religion and no mercy. The ciudades-estados who have stood in their way have been razed to nothing, and now the horde is before the gates of Colina Hermosa…demanding blood.

On a mission of desperation, a small group escapes the besieged city in search of the one thing that might stem the tide of Northerners: the witches of the southern swamps.

The Women of the Song.

But when tragedy strikes their negotiations, all that is left is a single untried knight and a witch who has never given voice to her power. And time is running out.

A lyrical tale of honor and magic, Grudging is the opening salvo in the Book of Saints trilogy.

Enter to Win a Signed Copy of Book One, Grudging, Here.

 

A world of Fear and death…and those trying to save it.

Colina Hermosa has burned to the ground. The Northern invaders continue their assault on the ciudades-estados. Terror has taken hold, and those that should be allies betray each other in hopes of their own survival. As the realities of this devastating and unprovoked war settles in, what can they do to fight back?

On a mission of hope, an unlikely group sets out to find a teacher for Claire, and a new weapon to use against the Northerners and their swelling army.

What they find instead is an old woman.

But she’s not a random crone—she’s Claire’s grandmother. She’s also a Woman of the Song, and her music is both strong and horrible. And while Claire has already seen the power of her own Song, she is scared of her inability to control it, having seen how her magic has brought evil to the world, killing without reason or remorse. To preserve a life of honor and light, Ramiro and Claire will need to convince the old woman to teach them a way so that the power of the Song can be used for good. Otherwise, they’ll just be destroyers themselves, no better than the Northerners and their false god, Dal. With the annihilation their enemy has planned, though, they may not have a choice.

A tale of fear and tragedy, hope and redemption, Faithful is the harrowing second entry in the Birth of Saints trilogy.

Enter to Win a Signed Copy of Book Two, Faithful, Here.

About the Author:

Michelle Hauck lives in the bustling metropolis of northern Indiana with her hubby and two college-going kids. Besides working with special needs children by day, she writes all sorts of fantasy, giving her imagination free range. She is a co-host of the yearly contests Query Kombat, Nightmare on Query Street, Picture Book Party, and Sun versus Snow. Her Birth of Saints trilogy, starting with Grudging (November 17, 2015) and Faithful (November 15, 2016) and Steadfast (December 2017)  is published by Harper Voyager. Another epic fantasy, Kindar’s Cure, is published by Divertir Publishing. Find her on twitter at @Michelle4Laughs or at her blog.

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An Interview of Sorts with Hayley Stone

Today I have Hayley Stone (author of MACHINATIONS and its sequel, COUNTERPART) on the blog, delving into the dragon’s den to answer some questions that may or may not be a little random and/or crazy.

Let’s get into the guts of it, shall we?

What’s the weirdest place you’ve written about?

In a trunked zombie YA novel, I wrote about a hedonistic club for the infected (those who would transform into zombies shortly) where entry required showing your bite mark. Inside, there were also zombies in dancer cages suspended from the ceiling and a lot of nasty stuff going on.

It sounds bizarre, but it was supposed to be based off of the crazy parties European nobility had during the black death, their one last huzzah before the end. In hindsight, I’m not even sure that actually happened, historically speaking. I think I was confusing history with an Edgar Allen Poe story, but anyway. It was pretty weird.

What’s your favorite word?

This is going to sound weird, but I really like the word blood. There is something visceral about it that I think calls back to its very definition, as being something intrinsic to the human body. It’s also amenable to metaphor, and always stands out in a sentence. Kind of like the word sex. (I bet your eyes sprang to it just now, right?)

Favorite writing snack?

Honestly, I don’t typically snack and write at the same time. I’m more likely to be drinking something—water, chai tea, or Coke.

If you could have lunch with one of your characters, which one, where would you go, and what would you order?

Oh, I’d definitely have lunch with Rhona. Probably somewhere casual with burgers, because it’s been years since she’s had fast food and would probably appreciate that. I think I’d also like to take her somewhere bustling with people—a reminder of the world she’s fighting to return to in her universe.

If you got sucked into a wormhole through time and space, what time/place would you HOPE to end up on the other side?

As tempting as it would be to go into the past, the idea of being stranded there is not appealing in the slightest. I’d hope the wormhole would deposit me in a bright, exciting future where mankind has colonized

What (artificially intelligent) kitchen appliance would you most want as your sidekick during a robot apocalypse?

My instinct was to say a KitchenAid, because you could probably fit all sorts of weapon attachments onto it, and it could also bludgeon someone to death. But I’m not sure how it would get around its lack of mobility—the thing is so heavy!

So maybe a hand mixer instead? A hand mixer of death!!!

If you were a dragon, what would you collect and guard in your hoard?

Books. Oh, wait… *glances at huge TBR collection*

Leaving aside all forms of literature, I’d probably collect Funko Pops. Those things are adorable.

What kind of apocalypse would you MOST want to see/experience end the world?

Zombie apocalypse, no question. First, I think The Walking Dead’s portrayal is entirely too cynical; I believe people would band together fairly quickly, reestablishing society to protect themselves. Second, I already judge buildings for their ability to withstand a zombie horde, so I think I’d do all right.

This may come as a surprise, but robot apocalypse actually comes in third on my list, right after alien invasion. Because ALIENS.

What kind of apocalypse would you LEAST want to see/experience end the world?

A global epidemic of some kind. I hate being sick—plus I’m a slight hypochondriac—so even if I wasn’t infected, I would probably worry about it 24/7 and complain that I’m dying at least once a day.

 

HAYLEY STONE

hayley-stone_author-photo_1-resizeHayley Stone has lived her entire life in sunny California, where the weather is usually perfect and nothing as exciting as a robot apocalypse ever happens. When not reading or writing, she freelances as a graphic designer, falls in love with videogame characters, and analyzes buildings for velociraptor entry points. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in German from California State University, Sacramento. Counterpart is her second novel, and a choice for Amazon’s Best Sci-fi and Fantasy Books of the Month for October.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Pinterest

 

COUNTERPART

counterpart_stoneThe high-intensity sci-fi thriller series that began with Machinations continues as reincarnated insurgent Rhona Long faces off against the one enemy she can’t outwit: her own clone.

The machines believed their extermination of the human race would be over as quickly as it began. They were wrong. As the war against extinction intensifies, people are beginning to gain the upper hand.

Commander Rhona Long understands survival better than most. Killed in combat, she was brought back to life using her DNA, and she’s forged a new, even more powerful identity. Now the leader of the resistance, she’s determined to ensure the machines are shut down for good.

But victory is elusive. The machines have a new technology designed to overcome humanity’s most advanced weaponry. Despite Rhona’s peacekeeping efforts, former nations are feuding over resources as old power struggles resurface. Worse, someone inside the resistance is sabotaging the human cause—someone who, from all appearances, seems to be Rhona . . . or her exact replica.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

 

There you have it! Awesome words from an awesome author. Now go check out her impossibly more awesome books.

Bacon, out.

Bus

 

 

Cover Reveal: My Perfect Mistake by Kelly Siskind!

I’m so excited to be sharing the cover of Kelly Siskind’s MY PERFECT MISTAKE today! Kelly’s a freaking fantastic author, which you can see for yourself with the excerpt below (and a giveaway, too)!

Siskind_MyPerfectMistake_2

About MY PERFECT MISTAKE

What happens in Aspen is definitely not staying in Aspen . . .

A girls’ trip to Aspen was exactly what Shay needed to forget about her toxic ex-boyfriend. She’s got her girls, pristine slopes for skiing, and hot guys everywhere. Of course, her epic self-rediscovery goes completely to hell when a wild (and deliciously hot) skier knocks Shay on her ass . . . and war is declared.

Kolton doesn’t know what it is about Shay that makes him lose it. Not just his cool—although she does have an unholy gift for that—but his restraint. When anger gives way to explosive chemistry, they’re both shaken with the intensity of it. But somewhere between lust and hate, Kolton and Shay realize they could have something real . . . if they don’t kill each other first.

MY PERFECT MISTAKE releases April 5, 2016 – add it to your Goodreads list here!

Preorder MY PERFECT MISTAKE now: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Excerpt

He tosses me my anti-sexy helmet. “We should take another run before we head down.”

I catch it and shake my head, unsure I heard him right. “Sorry, we? Shouldn’t you be skiing with your buddies? It’s bad enough you hijacked my lunch and I have to sit at a table with you again tonight. Now you want to ski together? Thanks but no thanks.”

He lifts his arms over his head and stretches from side to side. A sliver of skin peeks out below his jacket. “The guys called it quits early. Worried you can’t keep up?”

As fucking if. The dude’s obviously egging me on, but he snaps my self-control. Everything between us is action, reaction. Spark and flame. What’s his deal, anyway? Why sit with me and ski with me when we’re worse than cats and dogs? If he thinks firing me up means he’s getting a replay of last night, he’s mistaken. Still, I need to beat his ass on the slopes. “Fine. I’ll take that run. It’s about time I put you in your place. But let’s be clear. We can have lunch and ski together, but there will be no sex.” A teen walking by stops midstride and doubles over in a fit of giggles.

“I didn’t catch that.” Kolton leans forward and cups a hand around his helmeted ear. “Do you mind speaking up?”

What a total douche.

“Everyone is wise until he speaks,” I mumble, recalling my granddad’s words.

Kolton straightens, a question passing across his face. “Are you Irish? My granddad used to say that all the time. Along with, ‘Shut your mouth and eat your dinner.’”

I laugh, abrupt and maniacal, the sharp sound catching me off guard. The energy shifts between us, like the first time I understood my Spanish teacher—the foreign becoming familiar. I frown, unsure I want Kolton to feel familiar. “Yeah, I am. The first curse I learned was feckin’ arse, and I’d kind of like to use it now.”

He smiles to himself, as though we’re friends who would sit and talk and laugh about our shared upbringing. Ruffled, I cram my helmet on, get geared up, and try to stomp out of the lodge all look out, buddy, but with the boots and Martian head, it’s a fail.

Skis on and goggles down, we race to the lift. He arrives first, making like he’s been waiting forever with a dramatic yawn. I roll my eyes and push past him. The lift line is empty, so it’s just him and me on the four-person chair.

“Mind not doing that?” he says partway up as I swing my skis.

The chair sways in response, and I rock my legs harder. “This?”

His olive skin grays. “Yeah. That.” He leans his elbows on the safety bar and closes his eyes.

If he pukes, I’ll likely toss my cookies, too. When my brother got food poisoning from China House’s all-you-can-eat buffet, it wasn’t pretty. I hadn’t eaten a thing there, but the second he threw up, I proceeded to reenact that pie eating scene from Stand by Me: projectile vomit, solid stream, fire hydrant force.

I still my skis and stop bouncing.

We pass one supporting tower, then another, before he opens his eyes.

“You regretting that lunch?” I ask, smirking.

He flexes his hands, and the poles dangling from his wrists knock around. “No. I’m regretting getting on this chair with you.”

Such a charmer.

Giveaway

Want to win a digital ARC of MY PERFECT MISTAKE? You can enter to win on the Rafflecopter below!

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About Kelly Siskind

A small-town girl at heart, Kelly moved from the city to open a cheese shop with her husband in Northern Ontario. When she’s not neck deep in cheese or out hiking, you can find her, notepad in hand, scribbling down one of the many plot bunnies bouncing around in her head.

She laughs at her own jokes and has been known to eat her feelings—Gummy Bears heal all. She’s also an incurable romantic, devouring romance novels into the wee hours of the morning.

She is represented by Stacey Donaghy of the Donaghy Literary Group.

2015 Golden Heart® Finalist

Connect with Kelly Siskind

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

Bacon, out.

Bus

Cover Reveal: Machinations by Hayley Stone

I’m THRILLED to be a part of the cover reveal for this novel! Hayley is a fellow Pitch Wars allum,  and I happen to know she’s an amazing person AND author. Here’s the blurb about her book:

Perfect for fans of Robopocalypse, this action-packed science-fiction debut introduces a chilling future and an unforgettable heroine with a powerful role to play in the battle for humanity’s survival.

The machines have risen, but not out of malice. They were simply following a command: to stop the endless wars that have plagued the world throughout history. Their solution was perfectly logical. To end the fighting, they decided to end the human race.

A potent symbol of the resistance, Rhona Long has served on the front lines of the conflict since the first Machinations began—until she is killed during a rescue mission gone wrong. Now Rhona awakens to find herself transported to a new body, complete with her DNA, her personality, even her memories. She is a clone . . . of herself.

Trapped in the shadow of the life she once knew, the reincarnated Rhona must find her place among old friends and newfound enemies—and quickly. For the machines are inching closer to exterminating humans for good. And only Rhona, whoever she is now, can save them.

AND NOW… THE AMAZING COVER!

Machinations Final Cover

Pre-order Machinations today!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

And don’t forget to add it to your list on Goodreads!

hayley stone author photoHayley Stone has lived her entire life in sunny California, where the weather is usually perfect and nothing as exciting as a robot apocalypse ever happens. When not reading or writing, she freelances as a graphic designer, falls in love with videogame characters, and analyzes buildings for velociraptor entry points. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in German from California State University, Sacramento.
Machinations is her debut novel, releasing June 14th, 2016 from Hydra/Random House.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Pinterest

Bacon, out

Bus

I’m ridiculously stoked to be a part of my amazing fellow writer Erin Latimer’s blog tour for her debut book, FROST! Shes an amazingly talented author, and though I haven’t finished the whole book yet, what I have read is freaking amazing. But who am I kidding? This blog is known for stories, so let’s […]