DISCOVERY: Book Hangover

You’re an escape artist in reverse. You dive into the printed words on a page and POOF! the world around you disappears. Fiction becomes reality, the impossible becomes possible, and while mere hours pass between the words It was a dark and stormy night and The End, you’ve lived an entire lifetime’s worth of adventure and heartache and romance and fear and laughter and relief and…

and…

Well, and then it’s over. The dishes need done and the dog needs fed and the kids wonder what’s for dinner and nobody knows that just moments ago you were living in the world of an Amazonian queen fighting not only for her true love but for her entire tribe and quite possibly the fate of the universe.

Book hangovers are brutal.

Know what you need? Another book. Check these out:

MULTIPLE MOTIVES by Kassandra Lamb

12669863_733474386789911_1217681277_oPsychotherapist Kate Huntington helps other people cope with the horrible things that have happened to them, but she herself has led a charmed life… until now. When a series of what seem like random events–a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time–takes a sinister twist, it becomes apparent that she and her lawyer friend, Rob Franklin, have a common enemy. But the lead police detective has a different theory. He’s convinced Kate and Rob are lovers attempting to eliminate their spouses. And he seems determined to build a case against them.

As the attacks escalate, Kate and Rob are forced to investigate on their own. Who hates them enough to want them both dead? And doesn’t seem to mind if others get caught in the crossfire!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

71iMJzLzpTLIn her youth, Kassandra Lamb had to decide which of her two greatest passions, writing or psychology, she would pursue as a career. Being partial to food, heat and electricity, she opted for psychology. Now that she’s retired from her career as a psychotherapist, she can focus on creating an alternate universe in which her protagonist, Kate Huntington, is always the kind, generous and insightful person that Kassandra wishes she was herself.

When she’s not at her computer, transported in mind and spirit into the world of her characters, Kassandra physically lives in Florida and Maryland, with her husband and her Alaskan Husky, Amelia.

Kassandra was born in Baltimore and lived in Maryland for the first 50 years of her life. Like Kate Huntington, she was a specialist in trauma recovery for two decades. She also taught psychology at Towson University and still teaches part-time in Florida.

You can grab MULTIPLE MOTIVES for free here (click away, darlings)!

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BECOMING (The Balance Bringer Chronicles Book 1) by Debra Kristi

515AdNeyBcL._UY250_(2015 Indie Excellence Award Finalist, 2015 IAN Book of the Year Award Finalist, 2015 Best Indie Book Award Finalist, 2015 Writer’s Digest Honorable Mention)

Ana’s world is falling apart. What she thought were dreams start entering her waking life. Eerie shadows hunt her. Her dream guy becomes reality. And strange new abilities begin developing. Ana is becoming something other.

She is determined to find answers, but where to turn? Her mom and best friend are keeping secrets. Her older sister is dead and exists only in her dreams. And her younger sister thinks they are goddesses.

Above all else, dark forces will stop at nothing to crush Ana – to keep her from restoring balance. To keep her from… becoming.

Is love and blood and sisterhood enough to stop the dark secrets and power from destroying her?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

71czC2iGIgL._UX250_Debra Kristi lives in sunny California with her husband, two kids, and four schizophrenic cats. Her love for the fantastical began at a very young age, when her imagination magically transformed the backyard swing set into the U.S.S. Enterprise. Since then she’s had a lifelong love of science fiction, fantasy, and creative storytelling. Unlike the characters she often writes, Debra is not immortal and her only superpower is letting the dishes and laundry pile up. When not writing, she is usually creating memories with her family, geeking out to sci-fi and fantasy television, and tossing out movie quotes.

Click here to pick up BECOMING: The Balance Bringer!

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PHOENIX CHILD (Book One of the Children of Fire Series) by Alica McKenna-Johnson

51Bd4t+Wz-L._UY250_There should be a law, a Universal Rule, as to how much weirdness can happen to a person.

Fifteen-year-old Sara walks into the San Francisco Center for the Circus Arts determined to ignore the freaky things happening to her. As powers she doesn’t want and can’t control overwhelm her, Sara must decide if she can trust the strangers who say they are her family … descended from a common ancestor four thousand years ago.

Sara clings to her contented and well-planned life as a foster kid, successfully working the system, as dreams, powers, and magical creatures drag her towards her destiny.
When the ancient evil that killed her parents comes to San Francisco, Sara is forced to choose between her fears and her desire to protect those she loves.

Sometimes great things are thrust upon us. Sara wishes this supposed ‘greatness’ didn’t include a new name, unicorns, and catching on fire.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

31jDvVkWZ-L._UX250_Being told she was a horrible speller and would never learn to use a comma correctly, Alica never thought to write down the stories she constantly had running through her head. Doesn’t everyone daydream about flying on a spaceship while walking to school?
Not until she was thirty did Alica dare to write down any of the people living exciting lives in her head. The relief was instantaneous. By giving them life on the page they could be released from her mind and given greater adventures.

As her books grew in size and the voices in her head learned to wait their turn, Alica found a loyal group to journey with. Women who would help her slay her commas, and use their magical gifts to traverse plot holes, transform words into their proper spelling, and release characters from any Mary Sue spells they might be under.

In-between magical adventures, Alica is mom to two personal kids, five foster kids, has one exceptional hubby, a bunny she knows is plotting her death, and some fish, aka her daughter’s minions.

You can pick up PHOENIX CHILD here for free!

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As always, loads of love,

teal

DISCOVERY

You’re a reader. You devour books like warm-out-of-the-oven brownies, and are always on the hunt for the Next Great Thing to lay those hungry eyes upon.

Maybe your TBR pile is dwindling. Maybe it’s taller than Everest, but nothing there seems to suit your current literary craving. Maybe it’s time to discover a NEW TO YOU INDIE AUTHOR.

Today’s selection includes an ongoing New Adult story (and spoiler alert–it’s free!), a non-fiction memoir on women’s sexuality, and a spicy fantasy series (the first book is also free!).

Behold:

REBUILDING LEX by Amber Medina West

12650507_10154564121181562_1962489812_nAlexandra Greene has had a tough year. A major loss turned into a public scandal has made her the subject of whispers and speculation. All she wants to do is get through the rest of her Senior year and somehow figure out what’s next for her.

But how do you manage a loss that leaves you estranged from nearly everyone you ever cared about?

And what happens when you find the one person who understands isn’t quite who you expect?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR12660207_10154564121186562_581059364_n

I’m a Northeastern transplant dodging rodent sized bugs and sweltering heat in the jungles of Central Florida.

When I’m not battling the urge to pass out, I’m busy being a maker of spreadsheets, geek, photographer, and writer, in no particular order.

You can read my ramblings at http://www.withoutsushi.com or find me on Twitter (@amberwest) where I abuse hashtags and make people laugh.

Or at least, I make myself laugh.

You can have a look at REBUILDING LEX for FREE at Wattpad (click here). It’s an ongoing work, so expect new words from Amber on a regular basis!

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EMBRACEABLE by August McLaughlin

41cplfBW3gL._UY250_A provocative blend of memoir, anthology and inspiration, EMBRACEABLE is a celebration of women’s sexual empowerment. Learn how August McLaughlin, creator and host of Girl Boner®, found her way out of the sexual repression to which too many girls and women are prone. She then weaves research and inspiring facts around stories contributed by women who’ve cultivated sexual empowerment in their own lives–on topics ranging from asexuality, kink and burlesque dancing to religion, “slut”-shaming and surviving sexual assault. Learn what girls do (and don’t) learn in sex ed, the truth behind widespread damaging messages, the role body image plays in embracing our sexual selves and more.

Check out the book trailer:

Please note: This book contains sexually explicit material and brief descriptions of sexual violence.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

71ieSmacnhLAugust McLaughlin is a nationally recognized health and sexuality writer, author and host and creator of Girl Boner® and Girl Boner® Radio. Her work appears in DAME Magazine, the Huffington Post, LIVESTRONG.com and more. Known for melding personal passion, artistry and activism, August uses her skills as a public speaker and journalist to inspire other women to embrace their bodies and selves, making way for fuller, more authentic lives. http://www.augustmclaughlin.com

Click here to pick up August’s book at Amazon! 

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UNINTENDED GUARDIAN by Jami Gold

12659662_1247434348605108_280803667_nCursed to darkness, he makes a wish for freedom. She shows up instead…

A shapeshifting gryphon cursed to eternal darkness…

Sunlight shouldn’t be deadly to Griff Cyrus. Determined to break his curse, he follows an oracle’s bizarre instructions to have a magical package shipped to his apartment. Since when do brown trucks deliver mystical cures?

A lonely woman craving the spice of life…

Kala Kaneko’s social life couldn’t be more bland. When a strange parcel arrives at her door by mistake, she seizes the excuse to introduce herself to the intended recipient, her mysterious neighbor.

Fate has a twisted sense of humor…

Griff expects the package to free him from the curse, but opening the box unleashes a mythical creature bent on Kala’s death. Yet if Griff follows his instincts to protect her, he could sacrifice his last chance at freedom.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

91WPnb+BjRL._UX250_After an allergic reaction thwarted her attempt to find Atlantis, Jami Gold moved to Arizona and decided to become a writer, where she could put her talent for making up stuff to good use. Fortunately, her muse, an arrogant male who delights in causing her to sound as insane as possible, rewards her with unique and rich story ideas.

Fueled by chocolate, she writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy tales that range from dark to humorous, but one thing remains the same: Normal need not apply. Just ask her family–and zombie cat.

Visit Jami at jamigold.com for more information and to connect with her on social media!

You can grab UNINTENDED GUARDIAN for FREE! at Amazon. Be sure to check out the subsequent books in the series, TREASURED CLAIM, PURE SACRIFICE, and IRONCLAD DEVOTION while you’re there!

Happy Friday, and as always, loads of love,

teal

TRUE STORY: The Business End of My Pillow

I decided to take a 5 AM Barre class with my cousin.

Let’s stop a minute and analyze that sentence. I mean, there is so much wrong with it. 5 AM? Exercise? In a group?

5 AM???

I’m already a pretty early riser. We have to get up before the sun rises to get the kids to school, and I’m usually the first one up (that’s the only way to guarantee there’s enough hot water for a decent shower). But in order for me to get up and get ready to head out the door sans bed-head (which, if you have short hair, you totally understand my plight) and with enough presence of mind to operate a motor vehicle, I was looking at a 4 AM wake up call.

SWEET LORD WHERE ARE THE PEOPLE IN MY LIFE WHO SHOULD HAVE BEEN TALKING SENSE TO ME?

Four o’clock arrived with the sweet sounds of an iPhone harp (which by the way, at four AM sounds pretty much like fingernails on a chalkboard). I clumsily told it to f*ck off for ten minutes. After the second alarm I managed to stumble into the bathroom and have a come-to-Jesus meeting with my hair. Then I went downstairs and started my car and remembered that I was still in my pajamas. So I climbed back up the stairs (we live in a quad and have somewhere in the range of nine-hundred to a kergillion stairs in our house) and tried to get dressed as quietly as I could so I wouldn’t wake the Hubster (pretty sure I failed. Sorry, T).

You know what? By the time I got into the car I was feeling pretty good. Delusional optimism had set in: Do you know what kind of productivity I could have if I could wake up at four AM every morning?  I could publish, like, forty-five books this year! I could run a marathon! I could cure cancer and win a Pulitzer and discover solid evidence of extraterrestrial life!

So, my cousin and I are sitting on our yoga mats, barefooted and optimistic with a couple of hand weights and a cute little rubber ball, when the class instructor walks in. She’s little and perky and I like her immediately.

We get started. Techno music is playing in the background. I hate techno, but I try not to blame the instructor. I’m sure it’s not her fault–they probably make her play that music. It feels sort of like a bad omen, though.

The first fifteen minutes of class are no problem. Lots of squats, and I’m totally pro-squat, so I’m into it. But then we go to the barre, little rubber balls in hand. I’m wondering what they’re for, and find out soon enough.

Have you ever tried to squat while keeping a ball safely tucked be-twix your thighs? Yeah, I hadn’t either. Have you ever tried hold a ball in the crook of your knee while lifting your leg around like a clumsy ballerina with a giant tumor? Yeah, me neither. Have you ever tried doing either of those things while a petite brunette keeps telling you–in ever increasing tones–to keep your toes pointed!!? Have you ever chased a little, sweat-covered rubber ball around a room full of people who seem to have magically perfected the art of ball-squatting within a matter of minutes?

Yeah, me neither.

“Did you used to do dance?” the instructor calls out. My cousin and I snigger because both know without looking that she’s not addressing the question to either of us. My cousin is a runner and yogi, but bless her heart, her ball seemed to be popping out of place as much as mine. This was the only thing that was keeping me from spewing expletives as I chased my hateful ball around the room…again.

Anyway, contrary to what I was beginning to believe, it turned out that little bit of hell wasn’t eternal. The time had come to go back to our mats. The brochure for the class promised that Barre was a combination of yoga, pilates, and ballet. Oh, goody! I thought. It’s time for shavasana! 

Oh, how wrong I was.

It wasn’t time for shavasana. It was time for killer crunches with the now sweaty little rubber ball tucked into the small of my back. Then it was time for killer crunches with weights. Then it was time for killer crunches with weights and leg lifts. Then it was time for killer crunches with weights and leg lifts and twisting.

“POINT THOSE TOES!” our instructor shouts out in gleeful tones. I’m liking her less and less. “Only one more!” Which is a hateful lie because one more really means two more, and one twisty crunch mean two pulses on each side plus the leg lifting, so really, if we’re doing the math here, it’s like forty-nine different movements all at once. Now I’m re-thinking all the life choices that have brought me to this point, and wonder if my cousin is doing the same.

“Now it’s time to lay back,” the instructor says and I’m nearly squealing with delight because I’m finally going to get my much-earned shavasana. But then she adds, “and beat our legs.”

It is at this point that someone else in the room hollers out, “I’m going to beat you.” I don’t know who you are, person in the 5 AM Barre class, but I’m pretty sure we’re soul mates.

So there we are, a classroom full of people with legs in the air, sweaty rubber balls under our butts, waving our legs around in the air while Perky Ms. Perkyton is shouting at us to POINT THOSE TOES! POINT THEM TO THE SKY! POINT THEM UNTIL YOUR LEGS CRAMP! and all I can think is (a) this chick had better never meet me in a dark alley, and (b) I’m soooo eating donuts today.

It ends abruptly. One minute we’re doing things that I know I’ll be feeling for the next six weeks, and the next we’re done–the techno music is turned off, yoga mats are being put away, and people are filing out. There was no gentle easing of motion. No lying on our backs letting all the hard work settle on our bones. Just a perky instructor telling everybody she hopes to see us again on Thursday.

I stifle a half-crazed laugh.

TRUE STORY: The only thing that’s going to be seeing me at 5 AM on Thursday is the business end of my pillow.

pink

p.s. Enunciation is important.