Duh, duh, duh … it’s time for another secret mermaid book COVER REVEAL!


So, April 2016 brought us an entertaining mermaid tale by Tobi Easton titled, EMERGE. Here’s a pic and you can find my review here. Now, here we are, a year and a few months later and we have a new cover for the next book in the series, SUBMERGE. I can’t wait to see where this tale is going to take our fearless heroine, Lia. This is no Disney Little Mermaid story. It’s also not as dark as the original Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen, but I’m sure it’s going to be a spectacular ride.

So, without much more ado

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

Submerge (Mer Chronicles #2)
by Tobie Easton

presented by Month9Books!

Be on the look out for this upcoming YA title!

What do you think of the cover?

(I think it’s flippin’ cool! – ha ha. Don’t you love my mild attempt at humor?)

 

 

Now that Lia and Clay’s love has broken the Little Mermaid’s curse, everything has changed. Will Lia’s family remain on land, leading the only life she and her sisters have ever known, or will they move below the waves, to the sparkling new capital city? Lia is adamant about staying on land with Clay for her senior year. But at Melusine and her father’s trial, new revelations threaten what Lia holds most dear.

The verdict will shake Lia’s whole world, calling into question her future with Clay, her feelings for Caspian, and the fate of all Merkind. As she wonders who to trust, Lia sets out on a treacherous path that will lead her away from her sheltered Malibu home to a remote and mysterious school for Mermaids—Mermaids who may hold the secret to ancient magic Lia can use to either get back all she’s lost or to embark on a thrilling and dangerous journey.

Submerge (Mer Chronicles #2)
by Tobie Easton
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
Publisher: Month9Books

Google Play | Amazon | TBD | B&N

 

 

Tobie Easton was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, where she’s grown from a little girl who dreamed about magic to a twenty-something who writes about it. A summa cum laude graduate of the University of Southern California, Tobie hosts book clubs for tweens and teens. She and her very kissable husband enjoy traveling the globe and fostering packs of rescue puppies. Learn more about Tobie and her upcoming books on www.TobieEaston.com.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

 

 

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Feyre, Rhysand, Lucien, oh my! – my thoughts on A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN


****Spoiler Alert! ****

There may be some spoilers in this review. Please read at your own discretion

I have really mixed feelings on this book, especially since I’ve been waiting on pins and needles since I finished A COURT OF MIST AND FURY. Now THAT book I loved (minus the gratuitous sex scenes).

Don’t get me wrong. I liked this book, but I felt the pacing was off and it was too long. There were some exciting scenes that got me turning the pages, but seeing as it took me about 4 days to read this…

It should have never taken me that long to read this book. ACOMAF was completed in a day and I was left with my mouth open and my heart aching and “No. no no!!” spewing from my lips. I HAD to have the next book. It just couldn’t end that way.

And now that I’ve read ACOWAR…yeah, I could have waited.

I think the book could have used a bit more editing. I felt that some scenes went on far too long and others fizzled before they ever started. I got really annoyed with Rhysand and Feyre. I mean, no one has that perfect of a relationship. There were moments when there should have been angry emotions, where they really should have been totally pissed off with each other, and then it just went poof as if showing true emotion as a couple is a no-no. And let’s not get me into talking about the side characters: Elain, Nesta, Mor. I think Maas underused them. I really wanted to learn more about what happened to Nesta and Elain in the Cauldron, but it was glossed over, with minor mentions here and there. It was so ‘telling’, not ‘showing’, which really irked me. Here was this huge opportunity to share the horrors of what happened to Feyre’s sisters, and it was barely mentioned. And then we learn that Elain and Lucien are connected as mates. (actually, we learn that at the end of ACOMAF, but it’s accented more here.) But Maas never does anything with that. It felt so ho-hum. And then Lucien takes off and he’s gone 1/2 of the way through the book and when we do see him towards the end, it’s brief, glossed over and there is no closure or anything with Elain and him. Does she take off Greyson’s ring? Does she fall for Lucien? Is Lucien really going back to the Spring Court with Tamlin? After everything, he’s just going to leave Elain? He’s mated to her. Up until this part, the ‘mated’ stuff in this series is serious. You can’t just turn it off, and yet, with these two? There is no heat. There’s no trying. This “mated” thing between them is unresolved and bland and monotone. There’s not heat. There’s no try on Lucien’s part. It really irked me. I’d rather have seen Lucien try and Elain shove off his advances. Maybe even use that underdeveloped magic she gained while in the Cauldron to push him away – or bring him closer.

And what’s with Nesta and Cassian? We all know she’s hot for him, but again, it seemed like Maas was too focused on Feyre and Rhysand that she forgot to go all ninja on Nesta and Cassian. Again, an underdeveloped relationship that should have been a case of fireworks going off, but instead, it ended in a dud.

We never do really find out what the creature was under the library. Well, we kind of do, but it’s not scary, at least not what we were lead to believe.

And how does Feyre just become ‘friends’ with all these bad guys. It’s like she just walks in a room and they all will do anything for her. The Attor, the creature in the library, the Bonecarver, they’re just so willing to help her. There is no intensity, no danger. Nothing she has to really work for. I really wanted to see and feel Hybern’s goons coming into the library.  I wanted to see Feyre battle them on her own, but noooo, she was rescued once more, proving she’s not the badass she wants people to think she is.

Even though I was disappointed in this ‘final’ book in the series, it was still a decent read. I also found out at the end that there will be another book coming. I’m not waiting on the edge of my seat.  I hope this new book goes into Lucien’s relationship with Elain, Tamlin and his mother.  I want there to be explorations and resolutions with Nesta, Elain, Cassian and the whole Court of Dreams. I want Tamlin to heal and find peace. I want there to be some sort of ‘forgiveness’ between him and Lucien. I want Lucien and Elain to find their paths to one another. And I want Mor to reveal more of her secret. Yeah, that was another unexplored part that left me hanging.

I give it 4 stars – barely – mainly for the intense scenes that had me turning pages like my fingers were on fire.

This book was bought and given to me as a gift by a friend.  Thank you, TR!!  You’re the best!!

2016 – A great year for 16 debut novels (with one extra to grow on)


I am so looking forward to 2016, for it is this new year when my debut novel, IN THE SHADOW OF THE DRAGON KING, will find its way into the world.

September 6 to be exact, so mark your calendars because it’s going to be an awesome day.  I’m already planning to take that day off from work. I’m going to celebrate. I’m going to have a party and maybe even a book signing. Don’t know. Haven’t gotten that far yet, but whatever happens, it’s going to be a glorious day. After so many years and what seems like hundreds of edits, my words will be in the hands of readers everywhere!!  Maybe, if I’m lucky, maybe it will be in a bookstore here and there. Squeeee!!!! Just the thought makes me all giddy.

What’s it about you ask? Well, I suppose now would be a good time to share a bit.  Unfortunately, I can’t release the cover yet but I can give you the official blurb.

In the Shadow of the Dragon King

Seventeen-year-old, Eric, is a kick-butt squire to the most revered knight in Fallhollow. Well he would be if Sir Trogsdill allowed him to do anything even remotely awesome. Determined to prove his worth, Eric sets out to find the mythical paladin summoned to protect the realm from the evil lurking nearby.

Sixteen-year-old, David, spends his days collecting school honors, winning archery tournaments, and trying not to fall in love with his scrappy best friend, Charlotte.

Right when things start to get interesting, he is whisked away to the magical realm of Fallhollow where everyone thinks he’s some sort of paladin destined to fulfill a two-hundred-year-old prophecy. He’s supposed to help kill a dragon with some sort of magic key. The same key that happens to adorn the neck of an annoying squire who’s too wrapped up in proving himself to be much help to anyone.

With egos as big as the dragon they need to destroy, Eric and David must get over themselves, or watch everything they know and love, burn.

Doesn’t it sound awesome!!!  Nod your head. Yes.  Yes it does. You will add it to your Goodreads list and purchase one or many copies (can you feel me using my Jedi mind-trick on you?)  Trust me. This is the book you’re looking for. 🙂

I also have some tips on some other books you’ll be looking for.  15 of them are debut novels and come out in 2016. One is the 2nd book of a series that has teens and young adult fans waiting with baited breath. Are you ready? Here they are in order of release:

FIRSTS by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Thomas Dunne Books/St Martin’s Press
January 5, 2016

Laurie’s Website
Mark as to-read on Goodreads

(I’ve read an ARC of this one and it is fantabulous! Not kidding!)

 


UNDERWATER by Marisa Reichardt
Macmillan/Farrar, Straus, & Giroux
January 12, 2016

Marisa’s Website
Mark as to-read on Goodreads

 

 


THE GIRL WHO FELL by Shannon M. Parker
Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse
March 1, 2016

Shannon’s Website
Mark as to-read on Goodreads

 

 


INTO THE DIM by Janet B. Taylor
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
March 1, 2016

Janet’s Website
Mark as to-read on Goodreads

(Just finished the ARC of this. OMGosh!! Amazing!!)

 


MY SENIOR YEAR OF AWESOME
by Jennifer DiGiovanni
Georgia McBride Media Group/Swoon Romance YA
March 2016

Jennifer’s Website
Mark as to-read on Goodreads

 


ASHES IN THE SKY by Jennifer M. Eaton
Month9Books
March 15, 2016

Jennifer’s Website
Mark as to-read on Goodreads

 

 


CROSSING THE LINE by Meghan Rogers
Penguin/Philomel
April 12, 2016

Meghan’s Website
Mark as to-read on Goodreads

 

 


SUMMER OF SLOANE by Erin L. Schneider
Disney-Hyperion
May 3, 2016

Erin’s Website
Mark as to-read on Goodreads

 

 


SUFFER LOVE by Ashley Herring Blake
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
May 3, 2016

Ashley’s Website
Mark as to-read on Goodreads

(Read the ARC. It’s a must read for fans of contemporary YA)

 


THE WAY BACK TO YOU by Michelle Andreani
(co-written by Mindi Scott)
HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books
May 3, 2016

Michelle’s Website
Mark as to-read on Goodreads

 

 


SUMMER OF SUPERNOVAS by Darcy Woods
Random House/Crown BFYR
May 10, 2016

Darcy’s Website
Mark as to-read on Goodreads

 


 

 

HOW IT ENDS by Catherine Lo
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
June 7, 2016

Catherine’s Website
Mark as to-read on Goodreads

(I’ve read the ARC of this one.  Incredible YA contemporary!)

 


GEMINI by Sonya Mukherjee
Simon & Schuster
July 26, 2016

Sonya’s Website
Mark as to-read on Goodreads

 

 


POPPY MAYBERRY, THE MONDAY
by Jennie K. Brown
Month9Books/Tantrum Books
September 13, 2016

Jennie’s Website
Mark as to-read on Goodreads

 


FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP by Sarah Glenn Marsh
Skyhorse/Sky Pony
September 2016

Sarah’s Website
Mark as to-read on Goodreads

 


GENESIS GIRL by Jennifer Bardsley
Georgia McBride Media Group/Month9Books
September 27, 2016

Jennifer’s Website
Mark as to-read on Goodreads

A fictitious knight reveals 5 secrets to having honor


What does it mean to ‘have honor’? Is it something real, or is it more like an idea, a notion based on a set of beliefs? How does one obtain honor? Are we born with it, or do we learn it?

Read on to find out what Sir Trogsdill Domnall, the most revered knight in my novel, IN THE SHADOW OF THE DRAGON KING, has to say about the subject.

***

Me:  “Sir Trogsdill, thank you for sparing a few moments to talk to me. I know from talking to the other knights in the Order you do not like these sorts of interviews, but I couldn’t think of anyone else who could answer my questions with complete honesty.”

The knight leans to one side and props an elbow on the arm of the chair. His forefinger and thumb cradle the sharp angles of his face; the other three perch at his lips. Thick, brown hair falls in gentle waves to his collar. His piercing, peridot-green eyes lock onto mine, and I gulp as my stomach takes flight. I can tell he’s waiting for me to continue, but I’m incapable of speech. I am drowning in a sea of green. Part of me wants to run, but I can’t. I’m drawn to him in a way that defies explanation. He is a mystery, an enigma that commands respect. I take a deep breath to ease the pounding of my heart and then shift in my chair, ignoring the sweat pooling at the nape of my neck. Somehow I gather my thoughts and steady the tremble in my voice.

Me:  Sir Trogsdill, the word I hear most often to describe you is ‘honorable’. Would you say that is an appropriate word? How do you perceive yourself?”

Sir Trogsdill: “I believe I am honorable, at least I strive to be.” His deep voice vibrates the air. My nerves quiver. “As for how I perceive myself? I don’t waste the time thinking of it. I am who I am.”

Me:  “What does being honorable mean to you?”

The man leans forward, his hands clasped between his knees. His eyes remain fixed on mine, as if he’s trying to dive deep into my soul. I want to look away, but I can’t. I’m mesmerized. I’m a noodle. I am a victim to his captivating presence.

Sir Trogsdill:  “You ask an interesting question. Honor, to me, is not something a king or a lord bestows upon you, nor is it something you win at the end of a joust. It is solid. It is moral. We are all born with it, this capacity to be honorable. It is what we choose to do with our lives that keep us that way.”

Me:  “Would you mind elaborating a bit?”

Sir Trogsdill: “I am not sure how much clearer I can get.”

Me:  “I suppose what I want to know is if you feel honor is something we learn?”

Sir Trogsdill pressed his back into the overstuffed chair. “No, it’s not. It’s something that resides deep within us. Some of us have it. Some don’t.”

Me:  “But don’t you have a code of honor you must abide by? Aren’t many of those things learned?”

The man smiles, and my heart swells at the way it touches his eyes. He is handsome in ways I can’t pinpoint. I wonder if he knows it.

“My code? My lady, honor is more than a code. It is something intangible. Yes, knights take oaths to follow certain conventions such as serving our liege lord in faith and valor, or to protect the weak and defenseless. To refrain from wanton acts and protect a lady’s reputation, but honor goes beyond these acts.”

He looks away for a moment as if collecting his thoughts, then turns his gaze back to me. His features are strong, his eyes trusting and kind.

“Honor, my lady, is about integrity, unwavering dedication to one’s morals and standards. It means walking a difficult path, even if we must travel it alone, but we must because it is righteous and true. Honor is holding tight to your convictions when you know they are right, and letting them go when they are wrong. It is about putting another before oneself and striving for a life steeped in justice, loyalty, and fairness.”

Me:   “But who is to say what is just, loyal and fair? Your definitions of those may not be mine. Who is right and who is wrong?”

Sir Trogsdill:  “Honor is not a question of who is right and who is wrong, my lady. You asked me what it means to have honor.  If one stands and defends what they believe in with every fiber of their being, whether you agree with their cause or not, then they are honorable.”

Me:  “So by that token, you’re saying that people who are consumed by evil can also be honorable because they adhere to their convictions?”

Sir Trogsdill shakes his head. “No, that is not what I said. Honor and evil cannot exist together.”

Me:  “Why is that?”

Sir Trogsdill:  “Because having honor is to be selfless. As I said before, honor is about putting others before yourself. An honorable act is a selfless act. Evil, on the other hand, is based in self-gratification. Evil, by virtue of what it is, is not honorable. Therefore, those performing it are not honorable.”

I am touched by this man’s passion … and his wisdom. I can tell by the shifting of his legs and body, he’s getting restless, so I ask my last question.

Me:  “If you could give young people any advice about being honorable, what would you tell them?”

Sir Trogsdill counts on his fingers:  “One. Hold true to yourself. Two. Never lose faith in the spirit that guides you. Three. Do not let anyone sway you from your core beliefs. Four, turn your back on those who wish to destroy your sense of integrity, and five, stray away from those who disregard your values.”

Wow. Those are words we could all live by.  I stand and offer my hand to him.

Me:  “Thank you, Sir Trogsdill. That was an enlightening conversation. You have certainly given me plenty to think about.”

The knight stands, and I am dwarfed by his size, but instead of feeling insignificant, I am overcome by a sense of safety and compassion. He bows and kisses the back of my hand before departing the room. I watch as he leaves, noting the confidence in his walk, the strength in his demeanor, and my heart twinges again. What I would give to have half of the courage, poise, and assurance he has. I suppose it will  have to suffice knowing how honored I feel to have sat in his presence. I will never forget him. Ever.

***

So, what did you think? Do you agree with Sir Trogsdill or does ‘having honor’ mean something different to you? Please leave your comments below.

To learn more about IN THE SHADOW OF THE DRAGON KING, please visit my website at www.j-keller-ford.com and sign up for my newsletter. Once a month, I will divulge parts of my story that no one else will see unless they are signed up.  I hope to see you there.

If you are into YA epic fantasy stories of love, honor, faith, courage and sacrifice, please head over to my Goodreads page and click on that Want to Read button.

I hope you enjoyed this interview. Stay tuned for more to come.

It’s a Teen Invasion


It’s that time of year for me to take a hiatus from my blog to write, edit, and write some more. In the past, I just went silent but this summer, at least for a month, I am turning my blog over to two teens, David and Charlotte, from my soon to be released novel, IN THE SHADOW OF THE DRAGON KING.

I have to tell you up front I have no idea what will spring forth from their fingers. I can tell you that David is quite nervous about it. He’s not one to voice his opinion. Charlotte, on the other hand, is quite vocal, but she promised me she would be nice, right Charlotte?

girl with thumbs up

They also said they would answer questions, too, and take ideas as they have no idea what to talk about.

Go figure … teens with nothing to talk about. Hmm. Is that even possible?  We shall see.

With that said, I will be here through the end of the week and beginning Monday, David Heiland will be on board to start off your week with whatever 16-year-old boys talk about. I hope you tune in now and then. It will be interesting.

YA Fantasy Readers: are you ready to win??


Hi everyone.

In case you haven’t heard, I’m giving away one YA fantasy novel in either Kindle or Nook format on June 4.  All you have to do to enter for your chance to win is subscribe to my Newsletter between May 3 and June 3, 2015.

Want to see what’s up for grabs?  Take a walk to the wild side and check out my Newsletter page on my website for a list of all the goodies along with Goodreads links so you can pick early.

Good luck to all who sign up and enter. This is going to be a fantastic and fun giveaway! Oh, and don’t forget to tell all your friends!

 

YA Fantasy/Sci-fi ebook giveaway with signup to newsletter


its a giveaway rainbow text2

Happy Saturday everyone!

I’m planning a new giveaway open to subscribers of my newsletter, but I need your imput first.

On June 1st I will give away one YA fantasy/sci-fi ebook to one lucky subscriber of my newsletter, but I need a list of five books for the winner to choose from. If you could win your choice of one YA fantasy/sci fi ebooks, what would you want to win? The top 5 choices will be up for grabs for US/Canadian subscribers of my newsletter. Contest will go live tomorrow and will end May 31.

Leave your suggestions in the comments below. I will have another post tomorrow showing the top five YA fantasy/sci-fi books picked by you, along with a link to my newsletter and giveaway.

Thanks for playing along. I will take suggestion until midnight tonight, EST.

 

#MINOTAUR cover reveal and Giveaway ~ #M9BFridayReveals


Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!

This week, we are revealing the cover for

Minotaur by Phillip W. Simpson

presented by Month9Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Minotaur.v3

“Where shall I start?” asked Minotaur.

Ovid made an expansive gesture with both hands. “Where else but the beginning of course.”

Minotaur nodded his huge head. “Yes,” he said. “Yes,” his eyes already glazing over with the weight of thousand year old memories. And then he began.

So begins the story of Asterion, later known as Minotaur, the supposed half bull creature of Greek legend. Recorded by the famous Roman poet, Ovid, Asterion tells of his boyhood in Crete under the cruel hand of his stepfather Minos, his adventures with his friend, Theseus, and his growing love for the beautiful Phaedra.And of course what really happened in the labyrinth.

This is the true story of the Minotaur.

add to goodreadsMinotaur by Phillip W. Simpson
Publication Date: September 29, 2015
Publisher: Month9books

amazon

About-the-Author

Phillip W Simpson

Phillip W. Simpson is the author of many novels, chapter books and other stories for children. His publishers include Macmillan, Penguin, Pearson, Cengage, Raintree and Oxford University Press.
He received both his undergraduate degree in Ancient History and Archaeology and his Masters (Hons) degree in Archaeology from the University of Auckland.
Before embarking on his writing career, he joined the army as an officer cadet, owned a comic shop and worked in recruitment in both the UK and Australia.
His first young adult novel, Rapture (Rapture Trilogy #1), was shortlisted for the Sir Julius Vogel Awards for best Youth novel in 2012.

He is represented by Vicki Marsdon at Wordlink literary agency.

When not writing, he works as a school teacher.
Phillip lives and writes in Auckland, New Zealand with his wife Rose, their son, Jack and their two border terriers, Whiskey and Raffles. He loves fishing, reading, movies, football (soccer) and single malt Whiskeys.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Giveaway

Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
Title will be sent upon its release.

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Ready, Set … GO!!


I’m going to do something different and hopefully fun  beginning today, and judging on the response, may keep doing for several Wednesdays to come.

Have you ever wanted to help someone write a book? Maybe you are writing a book and you’ve reached spots you’re having difficulty writing, or maybe you need some help to make it better.  That’s where I am right now and I’m hoping you guys can help.  Aaand, when “Ready, Set … Go!” is over, keep your eyes peeled to my monthly newsletter ’cause I’ll be giving away something special to one awesome participant.

Ok, so here’s the deal-e-o.  I have a character in my YA epic fantasy, The Chronicles of Fallhollow trilogy, whose name is Eric. He’s an 18-year-old squire from another world. In the second installment of my trilogy, he’s been removed from his very medieval-esque environment and plunked down in the quaint, mountain town of Havendale, Tennessee.  He knows nothing of our ways here and things like refrigerators, cars and airplanes are mind-blowing.

As I’m reading through my manuscript, I’ve noticed I’m using a lot of the same ‘shock and awe’ words and it’s time to call out the big guns – you – my readers – to help strengthen the prose. To do that, I’m going to give you a scenario and I want you to describe it.  Remember, you know nothing of our world. This is the first time you’ve experienced any of this. Be Eric. Tell me what you’re thinking, what you’re hearing, etc. It can be funny, it can be serious, but in one or two lines or even a few words, describe it in the comments section below.

First scenario:   Firetruck racing off with its siren going.

Ready, set … Go!

Oh, and please share this with everyone!!  The more playing, the more fun this will be!!  And don’t forget to sign up for that monthly newsletter for your chance to win a very special prize for participating!!