Friday, June 29, 2012

Kindle Freebies and Bargains - June 29, 2012



So I thought I'd do a feature showing some of the Kindle Freebies and Bargains I've located today.  I'm really picky about even free books (lol) so I stick to pretty much safe bets, authors I've already read, books that have been reviewed by other reviewers I trust or books published by established publishers.  I hope you enjoy!


Free Kindle Books



         

$.99 Cent Bargains

        



$2.99 Bargains

        


$3.99 Bargains

       

Some Kindle Books - More Expensive- I Couldn't Pass Up

        


Enjoy!


Book Beginnings, Friday 56 and A Giveaway - Gone Missing by Linda Castillo



Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader. To play along, please do the following:


  • Share the first line (or two or three ) of the book you are currently reading on your blog or in the comments. 
  • Make sure to share the name of the book and the author so we know what you're reading. 
  • Feel free to share your first impressions with us based on the first line. 
  • Link your post at Rose City Reader, or if you don't have a blog, leave it in the comments below.

My choice this week for Book Beginnings and Friday 56 is Gone Missing (Kate Burkholder, Book 4) by Linda Castillo:


Prologue:
  
Becca had always known her life would end in tragedy.  As a child, she couldn't speak to her certainty of her fate or explain how she could forsee such a thing.  She believed in providence, and it came as no surprise when she realized she would also die young. 



My Thoughts:  You always know the mystery is going to be good when it begins with the beginning that one of the characters knows she's going to have a tragic end at a young age.









The Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda at Freda's Voice. To play along:

  • Grab the book closest to you, any book will do.
  • Turn to page 56.
  • Choose the fifth (5th) sentence, or a few more (just don't spoil it too much).
  • Post it on your blog, or if you don't have a blog, post it in the comments below.
  • Link your post to Freda's Voice.

My Friday 56 is also from Gone Missing:



"When did you become worried?"
She looks at her husband, as if the answer is too much for her to bear, and he answers for her.  "We began to when she didn't make it home in time for the before-meal prayer," he says.

My Thoughts:  The mystery is afoot!  

So what are you Friday Book Beginnings and Friday 56? Please play along and if you decide to follow my blog, let me know in the comments and I'll return the favor.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Susan Mallery - Isn't It Romantic


Susan Mallery Speaks to Librarians about the Appeal of Romance
New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery was asked to speak this summer at the American Library Association national conference in Anaheim, California, on a panel called “Isn’t It Romantic?” Mallery’s latest book, SUMMER NIGHTS (Fool’s Gold book 8) is dedicated to librarians who have done so much to introduce readers to her books. This is the speech she prepared.


The appeal in romance is that our books offer readers a celebration of community. Romances are all about connecting. Sure the boy-meets-girl part is fun and exciting, but often what really brings a reader back again and again are the connections made within the novel.

Most romances happen in a larger context of relationships. Families and friends play an important role. We want to experience falling in love with a hunky guy, but we also want a sense of belonging. The most popular books feature a cast of usually like able, sometimes annoying, generally realistic characters who are amazingly like people we know. Or people we get on an emotional level.

These other characters, sometimes seemingly unimportant, can be the glue that holds our books together. Our hero and heroine are revealed through their relationships with secondary characters. The gruff solitary man who unexpectedly cares for a wounded puppy wins our heart forever. The exhausted single mother staying up until midnight to frost cupcakes for her son's first grade class reminds us of ourselves. While the romance is central to the story and the reason we think we read "those kind of books" I believe the real truth is we love the sense of community a romance brings to the table. The sexy guy on the cover draws us in, but the heroine's relationship with her sarcastic best friend turns out to be just as satisfying and meaningful.

The majority of romance readers are women. Women are usually the keepers of relationships in their lives and the lives of those around them. We are the ones who maintain the friendships, remember birthdays, make sure each of our children has a moment to feel special. We can spend a weekend with our girlfriends and when we get home, still think of something we could have told them. When I travel to a writers’ conference and hang out with my writer friends for days, then return home and get a call from one of them, my husband can't believe there's anything left to say. I've tried to explain there's always more to talk about but he just shakes his head.

In our lives we want friends and family. We want connection. Romances offer that in our fiction. We can meet women we want to have lunch with and men we want to fall in love with. Romance isn't man against nature or man against himself. It's man and woman falling in love in a much bigger context. One or both of them have a family, there are friends, coworkers, pets. It's a real world populated by the funny and the strange and if done well, it's a world we want to return to again and again.

For years now, romances have been written in groups. Trilogies, sisters, brothers, a band of warriors. Sherrilyn Kenyon gives us her immortal warriors. Debbie Macomber gives us Cedar Cove. In between lie stories only limited by the imaginations of the writers who create them. It is the combination of the familiar and the unknown that draws us back.

I started writing in category romance. I wrote about 80 books for Silhouette. I wrote about sisters and cousins and brothers and even neighboring sheik kingdoms. The longer a series went on, the more readers responded. When I moved into writing single title, I continued with families. One day a very successful writer friend sat me down and said, "Write about a town. It's limitless."

From that very intelligent advice, my Fool's Gold series was born. www.foolsgoldca.com It's a small town set in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. I started with the idea of a town suffering a man shortage, which gave me the chance to put women in non-traditional jobs. I decided to write the books in trilogies, with the idea each trilogy would stand on its own, allowing readers to join at any point. By the second Fool's Gold trilogy I'd realized the man shortage wasn't that interesting, but the non-traditional jobs were, so modifications were made.

Reader response has been terrific. They love the town. Mayor Marsha, California's longest serving mayor, is a fan favorite. I keep track of previous heroes and heroines using a data base and often feature births in subsequent books. I use social media to increase the level of connection with my readers. We have the usual interactions, but there is another level on my Facebook page, www.facebook.com/susanmallery. Readers help me name characters, pick careers and suggest new businesses for the towns. When a former heroine is due to give birth, readers usually vote on the gender of the baby and offer name suggestions. Next year three new businesses will open in Fool's Gold and each one of them is the result of something a reader said to me.

A romance can take place nearly anywhere, in any time. We have smart ass heroines who rescue themselves, timid virgins and librarians who dance on bars in our books. Every romance writer has a specific vision for what she wants to write, but what we all have in common is connection. Sisters who are drawn together because of a dying parent. Vampires fighting enemies while protecting the women they love. Handsome dukes who marry the most unlikely of spinsters, drawn to her against all odds, in part because she takes care of her younger siblings.

In romances we find the relationships that matter most to us personally. Those who adore babies in books can be endless entertained by the antics of newborns. If you prefer sexy, sassy heroines, there are dozens of writers to give you exactly that. The appeal of romance is how the stories speak to us so personally. They show us women who are brave, who overcome odds, who always have a snappy comeback and in the end find not just love, but also a place to belong. Romances celebrate the very best of us, and that ideal state is often illustrated in the connections our characters make with each other.

Romances are a reading escape that also touches the heart. Romances affirm what is most important to each of us—the people we love, who love us back.

I want to Thank both Susan and her assistant Jenel for making this speech available to me and my followers.  


 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - Tin Swift by Devon Monk





"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine which highlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.


This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is Tin Swift by Devon Monk.



Tin Swift by Devon Monk
Release Date: July 3, 2012

In steam age America, men, monsters, machines and magic battle to claim the same scrap of earth and sky. In this chaos, one man fights to hold on to his humanity—and his honor. . .

Life on the frontier is full of deceit and danger, but bounty hunter Cedar Hunt is a man whose word is his bond. Cursed with becoming a beast every full moon, Cedar once believed his destiny was to be alone. But now, Cedar finds himself saddled with a group of refugees, including the brother he once thought lost.

Keeping his companions alive is proving to be no easy task, in part because of the promise he made to the unpredictable Madder brothers—three miners who know the secret mechanisms of the Strange. To fulfill his pledge, Cedar must hunt a powerful weapon known as the Holder—a search that takes him deep into the savage underbelly of the young country and high into the killing glim-field skies defended by desperate men and deadly ships.

But the battles he faces are just a glimmer of a growing war stirring the country. To keep his word Cedar must navigate betrayal, lies, and treacherous alliances, risking everything to save the lives of those he has come to hold dear…



Why I'm waiting on Tin Swift:

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, Dead Iron: The Age of Steam (Cedar Hunt), and I'm looking forward to reading the further adventures of Cedar, Rose, Will and Mae.  I want to see the introduction of the dirigibles and hopefully see where the romance angle in this book goes.  



What's your "waiting on" pick this week?

Want to play along? Just post your WoW entry on your blog and leave your link at Breaking the Spine and below.






Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Virtual Book Tour - This Tangled Thing Called Love by Marie Astor




Please join me in welcoming Marie Astor on her Virtual Book Tour for her newest release, "This Tangled Thing Called Love".  On this stop, Marie has provided an exclusive excerpt for us.  Please make sure to comment below as Marie will be giving away three prizes of custom made jewelry to three randomly drawn commenters during the tour (Continental US only).





This Tangled Thing Called Love 
by Marie Astor 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 


BLURB:

Twenty-eight-year-old Claire Chatfield has everything a girl could possibly wish for: looks, a promising career at New York’s top architectural firm, and an engagement ring from one of New York’s most eligible heir-bachelors! Life should be a dream, but when Alec Brunell, a sexy tango dancer, moves into the apartment one floor above from Claire’s, he unwittingly awakens Claire’s old insecurities, making her question her life choices. Will Claire brave her fears and allow herself to take a chance on Alec, or will she continue to play it safe?

In order to secure his place as his father’s successor, thirty-three-year-old David Lawson must settle down with a wife befitting the future head of Lawson Enterprises - and who could fit the prerequisite better than the stunningly beautiful and incredibly bright Claire Chatfield? There is just one glitch – David Lawson is in love with another woman – a Hollywood Legend Claudia Block.

A successful tango instructor, Alec Brunell has never lacked for women’s attention, but he finds himself at a loss when faced with his downstairs neighbor, Claire Chatfield. Upon hearing of his occupation, most women swoon with desire, but Claire runs for the door. Still, her iciness only adds fuel to his fire, as Alec is determined to change Claire’s view of him.

Dance Me to the Stars is a love story about finding one’s perfect match - sometimes following one’s heart is as convoluted as learning the steps of tango.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Exclusive Excerpt:



     “Are you sure you don’t want me to drop you off at your apartment?” David asked while his chauffeur held the black Mercedes door open for him.

     “Positive. I’ve got a few errands to run on the way.”

     “Oh?” David arched an eyebrow and Claire sensed his eyes lingering on her neckline. “Is this blouse supposed to be open like this?” David buttoned the top button Claire had purposely left undone. “Oh, and let me know if that new neighbor of yours gives you any trouble.”

     “I don’t think he will be bothering me anymore.” Claire stammered, wondering what on earth prompted David to bring this up.

     After David’s car pulled away, Claire considered her options – she had planned to spend the day with David, but as it had unexpectedly turned out, she now had the entire Sunday to herself. Well, truth be told, these occurrences were becoming disconcertingly frequent: lately, she noticed David spending a far greater number of weekends at the office than Claire would have liked to admit. Of course, she could have taken David up on his offer and hung around to spend a few precious evening hours with him, but as much as she had been tempted to, she knew that she had been right to resist - she was not about to manifest her growing attachment to David by sitting around and moping for him. Claire smiled with self-satisfaction remembering the protective way David had buttoned up her blouse – men, even a man like David Lawson, were highly predictable. The minute you let them think they knew everything about you, they were liable to take you for granted, but as long as you left some mystique, they would keep coming back for more.





AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Marie Astor is a die-hard romantic who wholeheartedly believes in true love, which is why she writes in the contemporary romance genre. Marie is the author of contemporary romance novels This Tangled Thing Called Love, Lucky Charm, On the Rim of Love, and a short story collection, A Dress in a Window.

If you would like to learn more about Marie’s writing, please stop by her website: www.marieastor.com to sign up for book release updates and events or visit her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/marieastorcollection


Books by Marie Astor:

This Tangled Thing Called Love – a contemporary romance about overcoming one’s inhibitions, learning to tango, and finding one’s true match.
http://www.amazon.com/Dance-Me-Stars-Contemporary-ebook/dp/B0078IPNCW/ref=pd_sim_kstore_3?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

Lucky Charm – a humorous contemporary romance about love, luck and friendship.

http://www.amazon.com/Lucky-Charm-Contemporary-Romance-ebook/dp/B005BZL3L4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1336842915&sr=8-1

On the Rim of Love – a contemporary romance about the unexpected power of love.

http://www.amazon.com/On-Rim-Love-Contemporary-ebook/dp/B005TOWI7K/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

A Dress in a Window – a collection of short stories about love, coincidences, and fate.

http://www.amazon.com/Chance-Encounter-Other-Stories-ebook/dp/B004E112TO/ref=pd_sim_kstore_5?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2

Marie's Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.marieastor.com/ 

Please be sure to leave a comment below as  Marie will be giving away three prizes of custom made jewelry (pictured below -- Prize #1: Coral necklace sterling silver chandelier coral earrings set, Prize #2 Blue opal sterling silver plated necklace and Prize #3 Sterling silver chandelier earrings with green aventurine, rose quartz and amethyst) to three randomly drawn commenters during the tour (Continental US only).  




Saturday, June 23, 2012

SHARING MY FAVORITE BOOK GIVEAWAY HOP - JUNE 24-30,2012



Sharing My Favorite Read Giveaway Hop is being hosted by Nat at Reading-Romances.com.  A big Thank you to her, my fellow bloggers, authors and publishers who signed up to host a giveaway for this event.  Thank you for participating and being super ready to HOP! I hope you’re as excited as I am today. Because this is taking place during my birthday week - I will be giving away two of my favorite eBooks from this year.  Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below.



Prize 1: Timeless by Gail Carriger


Alexia Tarabotti, Lady Maccon, has settled into domestic bliss. Of course, being Alexia, such bliss involves integrating werewolves into London High society, living in a vampire's second best closet, and coping with a precocious toddler who is prone to turning supernatural willy-nilly. Even Ivy Tunstell's acting troupe's latest play, disastrous to say the least, cannot put a damper on Alexia's enjoyment of her new London lifestyle.

Until, that is, she receives a summons from Alexandria that cannot be ignored. With husband, child, and Tunstells in tow, Alexia boards a steamer to cross the Mediterranean. But Egypt may hold more mysteries than even the indomitable Lady Maccon can handle. What does the vampire Queen of the Alexandria Hive really want from her? Why is the God-Breaker Plague suddenly expanding? And how has Ivy Tunstell suddenly become the most popular actress in all the British Empire?





Prize 2: Blood Guilt by Marie Treanor


The first of a vampire romance series, a sequel to the Awakened by Blood trilogy.

Mihaela, a fearless vampire hunter secretly haunted by loneliness and childhood tragedy, finds it difficult to adjust to the new world order where vampires are not always the bad guys. She's taking a much needed vacation in Scotland when she sees a little boy being chased through the streets of Edinburgh. Rescuing him brings bigger problems - two vampires from her past: Gavril, who killed her family; and the reclusive and troubled Maximilian, gifted Renaissance artist and one-time overlord of the most powerful undead community in the world. Maximilian once saved her life and now needs that favor returned.

The earth moves for Mihaela in more ways than one. From Scotland to Budapest and Malta, she races against time to prevent a disastrous, vampire-induced earthquake and save an innocent yet powerful child – all while fighting a dreadful attraction to Maximilian, her only ally, whom she can’t afford to trust. For Maximilian, the hunter becomes a symbol of renewed existence, as he struggles to accept his past and rediscovers his appetite for blood and sex - and maybe even happiness.




a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can follow the other participating blogs here

Friday, June 22, 2012

Virtual Book Tour - Summoned by Susan Leigh Noble




Please join me in welcoming Susan Leigh Noble on her virtual blog tour for her new book "Summoned, Book 1 of the Elemental".  Susan was kind enough to answer my questions.  Please make sure to leave a comment or question for her below as she will be awarding a $15 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during her tour.

Interview

Me: According to your website, you are a mother, wife and now an author. Please tell us about your average day.


Susan: That’s tough because when you’re a mom of young kids, there is no typical or average day. During the school year, my day starts with getting my son up and ready for school. After walking him to school, it is time to get my daughter up and ready for school. She only goes three mornings a week but will start going five mornings a week in September. On my drive home after dropping her off, I usually began thinking about the next scene I am working on. Then I get about two hours of writing done. The rest of the day is spent taking care of the house and kids. Usually at night or maybe when I have taken my son to one of his activities, I get some time to jot down story lines or scenes in my notebook. Frankly, I am usually too tired to write after they are in bed so if I want to squeeze in any extra writing time I do it by getting up early in the morning while everyone else is still asleep.


Me: Are you a plotter or more of a panster (fly by the seat of your pants)?


Susan: In regard to writing, I guess it is a little of both. I usually have an idea of a few major scenes and most likely know what I think the climactic scene will be, but I don’t outline the whole novel. I like to write and let things develop and change as the story progresses. Of course, in my daily life, I am the exact opposite. I am very much a planner.


Me: Why “fantasy” instead of another genre?


Susan: I love to read mysteries and romances in additions to fantasy novels but haven’t had any inclination to write one of those. I am not sure why that is. I guess I choose fantasy because I have always loved magic and mythical creatures such as unicorns and dragons. It is much easier to write about something you love.


Me: What does “fantasy” allow you to do with your story and characters that another genre would not allow you to do?


Susan: Writing fantasy allows you to create a whole new world. You can imagine just about any place (on Earth or another world) and set your story there. You get to develop the rules on religion and society. You can create creatures that have never existed. Of course, world building becomes complex since you still have to make things believable to your reader. This is especially true with magic. You have to define some rules for the magic in your story otherwise magic would be used to solve everything. You can make it where using magic is “heard” by others with that talent or that the amount of magic someone can use is dependent on how strong they are.


Me: “Summoned ” is your first published work, can you tell us what you’ve learned since you published your first book?


Susan: I have learned that there is a lot more marketing that has to be done then I realized. And since I did this as an independent, there isn’t anyone to guide me into what are the best marketing strategies. A lot of what I have done has been trial and error, but I sometimes feel I spend a lot of time marketing and have little to show for it.


Me: Things you’ll definitely do again and things you won’t?


Susan: I am definitely glad that I decided to self-publish, but I think next time I will work on having a marketing plan set up BEFORE my novel is released. I think there are a lot of great free marketing opportunities out there, but I have paid for a few and next time I will at least have an idea of which ones worked and are worth doing again.


Me: What kind of research did you do for “Summoned”?


Susan: Since “Summoned” is a fantasy, and I created the world where it takes place, there wasn’t much research to be done. But as things come up such as when one of the characters gets poisoned, I did research on poisons and symptoms that he could exhibit and how he could be cured. I of course was at liberty to mix the information I discovered and create my own unique poison and antidote. While I use the internet for some of my research, I do have two books that I have found helpful - Deadly Doses: a writer’s guide to poisons and Body Trauma: a writer’s guide to wounds and injuries.


Me: Are any of the characters in “Summoned” based on family/friends or yourself?


Susan:  No. I am sure bits of myself and people I know are woven into my characters, but I didn’t do any of that on purpose. I did base two minor characters in the second book, “Quietus," off my brother and his best friend, but I don’t even think they would recognize themselves.


Me: I know the second book in “The Elemental” series was recently published (Quietus). Can you tell us how many books you are planning for this series?


Susan: “The Elemental” is a trilogy. I am currently about half way through writing book 3.


Me: I noticed that you are a member of The Independent Author Network, can you tell us a little bit about that and why you are a member?


Susan: Independent Author Network is a group of self-published authors that support and promote each other online through Facebook and Twitter (hash tag #IAN1). The website lets each author have their own author page with links to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and other online vendors. They also feature a bookstore on Amazon and the Avid Reader’s CafĂ© to help promote your novel. I found it a great value. It is a nominal fee to join, but you get a huge amount of support.


Me: Are you currently working on a new project? Can you tell us a little bit about it or share a small sneak peek?


Susan: I am currently working on Book 3 of “The Elemental” trilogy. I still haven’t named this novel, but it will conclude Lina and Val’s story. Here is a sneak peak of a scene where Lina and Val (the main characters) find the renegade dragon (Kset), and a dragon battle ensues as well as an attack from a Cognovot (a creature the size of a dragon). Zoot, Gre and Tre are all dragons and communicate telepathically.


A loud roar sounded below them. Kset rose up on his haunches. The blood from the horse covered his jaws and chest. He roared again, issuing a challenge. He leapt into the air, flying straight at Zoot.


Out of the corner of her eye, Lina caught the sight of another streaking red dragon and turned her head. Tre flew after Kset, sinking his teeth into Kset’s tail. Kset screamed in pain as he whirled around. Lina momentarily lost sight of both dragons as Zoot landed. She quickly slid to the ground, landing beside Val. The instant her feet hit the ground Zoot was back in the air. Kset had freed himself from Tre and now flew straight toward the black dragon. Zoot dove suddenly for the ground with the red dragon only a length behind him. Tre barreled into Kset, and the two red dragons became intertwined. They spun through the air. Lina couldn’t tell where one began and the other ended.


A loud roar from nearby caused her to turn. She saw the golden dragon, Gre, battling the Cognovot. The creature had swelled in size until it was as large as the dragon it fought. Two long horns curved away from its broad face. It snarled at the golden dragon, kicking its feet toward her. Gre snapped her massive jaws and caught one of the beast’s front legs. The Cognovot shrieked. It butted at the golden dragon with its horns and then rose up to sink its teeth into her exposed back. Gre cried out.


“Lina, do something,” Taylor shouted as he and Ty came running toward her.


Lina snapped out of her momentary trance from watching the battle. She ran forward. She raised one hand and unleashed a fire ball at the Cognovot. The beast reared back, releasing Gre.


Tre, help Gre, Zoot called as he made a quick turn with Kset right behind him. I will try to get Kset closer to Val, so he can perform the magic.


Tre veered off from following Kset and Lina watched as he flew straight for the Cognovot. She blasted the creature with another fireball but as with many of the Learner’s creations, the fire had no effect except to distract the beast. Gre leapt forward, her claw digging into the beast’s side. Her sharp claws dug into the Cognovot’s back leaving streaks of red on its white hide. The Cognovot turned, smashing its tail into her. Gre roared in pain.


Tre barreled into the white creature, knocking it to the ground. The red dragon rolled to his feet as the Cognovot scrambled to right itself. Lina quickly shot off a series of fireballs directly at the creature’s face. The beast reared back. Tre leapt forward and his teeth sunk into the beast’s exposed neck. The Cognovot struggled to break free but Tre’s jaws remained locked on the creature’s neck. Blood poured out of the wound staining the white hide.


A screech from above caused Lina to turn. Kset’s claws tore into Zoot’s flank. The black dragon turned to snap at him. Then he folded his wings and dove for the ground, increasing his speed faster than Lina had ever seen him do before. Kset folded his wings and followed. Just before he reached the ground, Zoot pulled up sharply. His underside skimmed over the grass. As Kset neared the ground, he didn’t see Tre coming toward him. The red dragon barreled into Kset. Entwined, the two dragons hit the ground, rolling over and over. When they stopped, one dragon had pinned the other to the ground. Lina couldn’t tell who was who. And then Zoot was there, helping to hold down Kset to the ground.


Val, now, Zoot cried.


But before Val could even move, Kset threw his weight backward, hitting Tre hard enough to cause him to stumble. Kset twisted his body until he was on his back. He lashed out with his hind feet, knocking Zoot off of him. He rolled to his feet and before either Tre or Zoot could move, Kset rocketed into the sky.


5 Quick Get To Know You Questions:


1. Coffee or Tea? Neither
2. Chocolate or Vanilla ice cream? Vanilla
3. Kindle, Nook or IPad? Kindle
4. Walking on the beach or hiking in the mountains? Beach
5. Movies: Action, Thriller or Romance? Action








Summoned
by Susan Leigh Noble

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Lina wants an ordinary life in the Grasslands of Zena. But she isn’t ordinary at all. At the age of four, she discovered she could start fires with a mere thought - an ability believed to have died out long ago. Cautioned by her telepathic cat, Tosh, she keeps this Elemental power a secret in fear of how the outside world would react. There is something else different about Lina - she feels a strange force compelling her to go north.
 
Before she can decide whether to give into this mysterious urge, she is kidnapped by gypsies and wakes in a foreign land. The desire to travel north is as strong as ever. When a strange raging fire prevents her return home, Lina realizes she must find out once and for all what or who is summoning her.

On her journey, she befriends an odd assortment of allies including the son of a High Council member, a thief, a former guardsman and a large sarcastic black dragon. Together they battle mystical creatures and unnatural forces, although such magic had ceased to exist over 800 years ago.  During each battle, Lina must use her innate Elemental power as she becomes more certain that someone is using magic against her. When she discovers the shocking truth, it will change her life in ways she could never imagine.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~





Excerpt # 1 - Stern Prison 

The cold surrounded her, chilling her bones. She woke slowly, rubbing the sand from her eyes. Only a thin sliver of light from the narrow window barely illuminated the small room. Lina sat up, her boots scraping across the stone floor. Where was she? She glanced around; her fingers reaching out to brush the damp stonewall. She wrinkled her nose at the musty odor. A scratching sound came from the far corner of the small room. She thought of rats and quickly pulled her feet back onto the narrow cot. 

As her eyes grew accustomed to the darkness, she saw the door on the other side of the cell. She pushed the thoughts of rats out of her mind and stood up. The room spun. She grasped the wall. Her body felt weird as if it was not fully hers. She vaguely remembered a man knocking her to the ground and the sweet smell of the cloth over her face. She had a faint memory of being thrown on the back of a horse and being forced to drink something with a strange aftertaste. 

She leaned against the wall until the room stopped moving and then hesitantly, Lina shuffled toward the door, her arms outstretched until she felt the cold metal door. She pushed and pulled at the handle but the door did not budge. 

“Tosh?” she called. Her voice echoed in the stone cell. She pounded on the door. “Val? Anyone?” She pounded on the door again but no sounds came from the other side. “Tosh? Tosh where are you?” 

There was no answer. She glanced around the tiny room. It was bare save the cot. She edged away from the dark corner where she had heard the scratching. The lone window was too high for her to reach, and even if she could, it was barely a slit. Her only exit was the door. But even as she turned to consider it, she knew that her Elemental powers couldn’t help her. Maybe if the door had been wood, then she could burn her way out, but not metal. She would incinerate herself before the door would begin to melt. The walls were made of thick stone. There was nothing she could do. Wearily, she climbed back onto the cot. Cold and hungry, she curled into a ball. She wondered where her friends were and if they had survived the battle. 




~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Susan Leigh Noble has always loved dragons and magic so it is no wonder that she became an author of fantasy novels. As a cat lover, she also threw a telepathic cat into the mix for her The Elemental Series. The first two books, Summoned and Quietus, have already been released in e-book format. She is currently working on the third and final chapter of the trilogy.

When she isn’t writing, Susan is an active volunteer in her neighborhood and at her children’s schools. She lives with her husband, two children and three cats in Texas.


She loves to hear from readers: susannoble@satx.rr.com
Check out her Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Susan-Leigh-Noble/200225396700412
Follow her on Twitter: @SusanLeighNoble

Author website: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/susan-leigh-noble.html




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I want to thank Susan for answering my questions and making a stop on my blog today.  Please remember to leave a comment or question below as Susan will be awarding a $15 Amazon GC to one random commenter during her tour.  

You can follow all of her tour stops here.  The more you comment the better your chances.