Thursday, September 8, 2016

Blog Tour, Guest Post & Giveaway: Tales of a Redheaded Sea-Witch (Black Depths #1) by J.E. Hunter

Tales of a Redheaded Sea-Witch (Black Depths #1)

by J.E. Hunter

Genre: YA Paranormal

Release Date: April 2014


Death, power, transformation....

When Nessa's dad dies, the last thing she's expecting is to lose everything else too. But when her hair suddenly turns electric red, and her estranged grandma turns up on her doorstep ready to haul her off to an isolated island, that's exactly what happens. In one day, Nessa losses her mother and her friends, and learns that she's a redheaded sea-witch with magical powers. She's one of many Neptunians—magical beings blessed by the sea, including selkies, mermaids, pirates, and sea nymphs. Nessa doesn't want to live on an island, she doesn't want to be a sea-witch, and she certainly doesn't want to be hunted by humans who harvest Neptunians for their magical powers. But if Nessa wants to live, she'll have to accept her new life and everything that comes with it including a witty pirate named Caesar, who just might break her heart.

Challenges arise at home and at school. Nessa struggles with her lessons, her friendships, and her burgeoning romance. She has no idea who she is, where she belongs, or that the danger lurking in the shadows is about to tear apart her world all over again...

Tales of a Redheaded Sea-Witch is the first book of the Black Depths series. This stunning series of books follow Nessa, a sea-witch. The second and third books, Broken Tide and Dark Shores, are also available on Amazon, as well a Black Depths novella, Windbound, which features the siren, Amynta, from the Black Depths series.

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Hi, everyone! Of course I had to sign up for this blog tour, it has a redhead :) Unfortunately, though, I am not a sea-witch! ~Kara

Guest Post

So Why Are Sea-Witches Redheaded, Anyway?
by J. E. Hunter

When I first came up with the idea to write about sea-witches, a single girl with bright red hair popped up in my mind. I didn't see the woman so much as the fiery hair—the only hint that someone—or possibly something—was under the water. But Neptunians (creatures gifted by the sea), would know what she was, and what power she possessed. The sea-witch was visible, powerful, and courageous. Anyone who might need the help of the sea-witch would know that she was there. This is how my sea-witches were born.

In the Black Depths Universe, sea-witches are born with hair of any colour, be it brown, blonde, black, red, or somewhere in between. Once a sea-witch comes into her powers, between the ages of five and eight (though occasionally much later), the hair colour and eye colour of the sea-witch changes. The hair, however, doesn't always turn bright red. Some sea-witches will have hair that is only slightly tinged red, while others (like Nessa in Tales of a Redhead Sea-Witch) will end up with hair the colour of a ripe tomato. Others may have reddish black or reddish brown hair, or even a light strawberry blonde. As a sea-witch ages, her hair will turn grey (though it will always maintain a reddish undertone), but the greying of hair isn't likely to happen until the sea-witch is at least one hundred and sixty years old (the advent of old age in the sea-witch universe).

While there's no reason for the differentiation in the red colour of sea-witch hair, some Neptunian scientist posit that it is directly related to the amount of power a sea-witch can channel. They propose that those with more dominantly red hair can channel more power, but this, however, has not been proven.

There is a spell that sea-witches can use to mask the colour of their hair, but the hair cannot be coloured through chemical means. If you want to learn more about this, or about sea-witches in general, you can find out all about them in Tales of Redheaded Sea-Witch.

About the Author

J. E. Hunter lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, and began writing at a young age as an excuse to stay indoors during the cold winters. Several trips to the Pacific coast brought the inspiration for the Black Depths series. Tales of a Redheaded Sea-Witch, book 1, was published in 2014. Book 2, Broken Tide, was released in November 2015. Book 3 will be released in March 2016. J. E. Hunter has spent many years working in the field of environmental engineering and protection, a common theme in her works. When not reading, writing, or working, J. E. Hunter is often planning future adventures or busy living them.

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Blog Tour, Guest Post & Giveaway: Petrified by Olaf Moriarty Solstrand


by Olaf Moriarty Solstrand

Genre: YA Fantasy/Sci-fi

Release Date: September 2016

Summary from Goodreads:

Gunhild is a private in the Royal Army. She’s headstrong and reckless, but she’s also the best troll hunter in the country, and when a troll gets away with a national treasure, she’s the only person with any chance of getting it back.

Kirabo was on his way home to Aberash after a fulfilled research mission, but he managed to enter the wrong coordinates into his spaceship. Now he and his PA robot are stranded on a far-off planet, and they don’t have enough fuel to get back home.

As genres collide on Troll Island, Earth, the troll hunter and the space explorer have to overcome their differences and work together if they want to survive this fairytale.

Buy Link (FREE this week!): Amazon

Guest post: Six great Scandinavian fantasy books

Scandinavians love reading. In Norway alone, where we’re roughly 5.2 million people, we buy 23 million books every year. Granted, that includes non-fiction, school curriculum, et cetera, but still, we read a lot, and this means we write a lot of books, too. Books of all genres that hold an extremely high quality, but that you may not have heard about if you didn’t grow up in Scandinavia.
Fortunately, some of them get translated into English, and that includes books in the genre I’m writing about today: fantasy/YA.
So if you want to get a glimpse of what Scandinavian fantasy writers have to offer, and you haven’t read these fantasy books, presented here in no particular order, I strongly recommend checking them out!

Tone Almhjell: The Twistrose Key
Tone Almhjell is something as interesting as a Norwegian author that was first published in English and then translated back into Norwegian after she became a best-seller.
Lin’s family has rented a house, and Lin’s certain that there’s something wrong there: The clocks tick too slowly, frost always covers the flower bed, and eventually, Lin gets a secret key marked “Twistrose” and finds a gate to another world - the world of Sylver, home of every dead animal who ever loved a child. Here, she must find the missing Winter Prince to save Sylver from destruction.
The Twistrose Key was published in 2013, and the long-awaited companion novel, Thornghost, was finally released this summer.

Sara B. Elfgren and Mats Strandberg: The Engelsfors Trilogy
The Engelsfors Trilogy - The Circle, Fire and The Key - was an international sensation that was quickly sold to 26 countries. Some describe it as a cross between Twilight and Fucking Åmål. Others say this is “My So-Called Life meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer in Twin Peaks”.
Engelsfors is a beautiful name for a godforsaken town, surrounded by deep forests. On the night of a mysterious suicide, six high school students - Minnoo, Vanessa, Linnéa, Anna-Karin, Rebecka, and Ida, six girls with nothing in common - are drawn to an abandoned fairground where they must understand their mysterious powers and work past their differences to survive the battle between good and evil.

Jostein Gaarder: The Solitaire Mystery
The Solitaire Mystery was first released in 1990 and was the breakthrough book of Jostein Gaarder, well-known for his philosophy novel Sophie’s World.
Hans Thomas and his father are driving from Arendal to Athens, hoping to find Hans Thomas’s mother. In Switzerland, a mysterious baker gives Hans Thomas a bun containing a miniature book, a book that tells the story of an island where fifty-three people, who’d given themselves names after playing cards, were living. Soon, however, the book and real world start overlapping...
Gaarder has written many amazing books, and I’d also recommend that you have a look at Sophie’s World and The Christmas Mystery, but The Solitaire Mystery is my Gaarder favorite. Oh, and don’t be surprised if the book gives you a sudden urge to start collecting jokers!

Johan Harstad: 172 Hours on the Moon
Do yourself a favor and read this book. Please. You won’t regret it.
It’s been forty years since man first walked on the moon, and in order to fund a new trip, NASA organizes a worldwide lottery where three teenagers get a chance to travel to the moon and visit the secret DARLAH 2 base. Mia from Stavanger, Midori from Tokyo and Antoine from Paris are selected for the trip. Meanwhile, on a retirement home in Miami, we meet an old man so senile he can barely remember his own name. He does remember one thing, however: If mankind goes back to the moon, the outcome will be horrible and could mean the end of us all.
172 Hours on the Moon has won a ton of awards, including being appointed the best Norwegian YA book of all time, and has been published in at least eighteen countries. It’s Harstad’s only YA novel, but he has also written acclaimed novels and short stories for adults, many of which are translated to English.

Lene Kaaberbøl: The Shamer Chronicles
Starting with The Shamer’s Daughter, Lene Kaaberbøl’s Shamer Chronicles is one of the most popular series Scandinavian fantasy has to offer.
Dina’s mother is the Shamer; she has the ability to elicit shamed confessions by looking into someone’s eyes. Dina has inherited her power, but with great powers comes fear and hostility, and it is as much a curse as it is a gift. But when her mother is called to Dunark Castle, Dina must come to terms with her power to be able to come to her mother’s aid.
Kaaberbøl is also the author of the Wildwitch series, and she’s also written the Nina Borg crime thrillers.

Astrid Lindgren: The Brothers Lionheart
This is the only book on the list that does not seem to be available in the Kindle store, but I had to put it on the list anyway.
This children’s book, from the author of Pippi Longstocking, tells the tale of brothers Karl and Jonathan. Karl is dying from sickness, so Jonathan tells him stories about the wonderful land of Nangiyala, where he’ll go when he dies, and they agree to meet up there. As cruel fate would have it, Jonathan dies first, and Karl doesn’t see him again before he dies and ends up in Nangiyala, which is as beautiful as he’d imagined it. But Nangiyala is under attack from a vicious tyrant, and Karl must help his brother prepare for battle…

(A few restrictions I put on myself when making this list: I only list works that are translated to English, which sadly excluded Siri Pettersen’s Raven rings, but make a mental note of that name, because it can only be a matter of time before she’s published in English, too, and you are going to love her. I made sure that all of these books are available on Amazon, and with one exception they’re available for Kindle. I couldn’t resist putting one book from 1973 on the list, but since the purpose of the list is to make you aware of amazing books you probably don’t know, I tried to steer clear of the classics, including Henrik Ibsen’s Peer Gynt and Selma Lagerlöf’s The Wonderful Adventures of Nils. They’re still definitely worth reading, though. And finally, I tried to show some common courtesy by not putting my own book on the list!)

About the Author

Olaf Moriarty Solstrand (1982-) is a Norwegian writer and librarian, currently living in Ski, Akershus with two lovebirds, one wife and a hyperactive Twitter account.

Since 2001, he has written scripts for more than sixty Donald Duck comics, and his stories have been published in 29 countries. His first novel, Trolløya, was self-published in 2013.

In 2010 he received the Raptus Award for the work he's done for Norwegian comics.

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Book Blitz & Giveaway: The Reader by M.K. Harkins

The Reader

by M.K. Harkins

Genre: YA Paranormal

Release Date: August 25th 2016

Summary from Goodreads:

Preorder is live! .99 cents for a limited time :)

Hunted, shot, and without her memory, eighteen-year-old Ann Baker wakes in shallow water on a deserted Pacific Northwest island. She is soon approached by two young men claiming to be her friends. Something isn’t right, but when gunshots sound, Ann is left with little choice but to allow Devon and Archer to help her escape. Soon she finds herself in their North Bend mountain compound, where the higher evolved humans claim to be mind-readers. While Ann heals, she realizes they believe her to be one of the last and most powerful of all – The Lost One.

She’s welcomed by most with opened arms, but not everyone is happy about her arrival. A jealous adversary has plans for Ann, which spirals the entire Reader community into chaos.

As lies, murder, and betrayal threaten to rip apart the once harmonious mountain dwellers, Ann is thrust into making a decision that could save or devastate not only The Readers, but all of mankind. But there’s just one glitch: by doing so it may require her to make the ultimate sacrifice.

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1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I know the exact date – February 3rd, 2013. I ran out of reading material on my Kindle. I stared at the wall, for what seemed like hours. It was then that I had a light bulb moment. I thought “Well, if I can’t find anything to read, I’ll just write something!” The “something” became my first novel, Intentional.

2. Do you have a routine that you use to get into the right frame of mind to write?

Yes and no. I need uninterrupted time (I’m not one of those authors who can write for an hour per day) Give me four hours, and I’m good to go. I do my best writing in the parking lot waiting for my daughter to finish her basketball practice.

3. Where did you get the idea or inspiration for The Reader?

I have absolutely no idea! When I sat down to write it, the words, plot, dialogue literally flew from my fingers to the keyboard.

4. What books have most influenced your life?

The first book I remember reading was Exodus. I was in the 7th grade and I couldn’t put it down. Although I can’t remember all the details, I’m sure it has made me more compassionate.

The next book would have to be Slammed by Colleen Hoover. I know these two books are polar opposites, but nonetheless they both left their mark. With Slammed, I was introduced to a simple, yet complex love story. It brought out all my dormant feelings of first love. My heart raced, my palms became sweaty – all of those feelings came back in a rush. If it were not for Colleen Hoover, and her wonderful writing, I would not have written my first book. That’s a pretty big influence!

5. What do you like to do when you are not writing?

When I’m not writing, I like to think about writing. When my fingers are not on my keyboard, my brain is batting around dialogue. I think it’s called “Voices in my Head” but for writers, it means creativity, not craziness (I think - lol)

6. Any future writing news you would like to share?

Yes! I am currently working on Famous by Default (another YA book). Also, if I get enough requests, I’ll continue with The Reader Series J (So email me!)

About the Author

MK has always been a voracious reader. After hitting a dry spell of reading material, she decided to write the kind of book she'd like to read. This resulted in the creation of her debut novel, Intentional. (Award for Best Sweet Romance - eFestival of Words- August 2014)

Unintentional, her second book, is based on the life of one of the characters in Intentional. Unintentional was written as a stand-alone book.

Breaking Braydon and Taking Tiffany have both been released. Available on Amazon.

The Reader is MK's latest project, due out 2016.

When she's not writing novels, she likes to spend her free time traveling the world, splashing in mud puddles (She lives in Seattle, what can she say?), watching movies and reading (!)

MK also runs her own business in her current hometown of Mercer Island, Washington.

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