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Thursday, 30 April 2015
The Black Swans
A Tale of the Antrim Cycle
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Sunday Morning Publishing
Date of Publication: March 1, 2015
Number of pages: 277
Word Count: 96,003
Cover Artist: N.W.Moors
Taisie MacDonnell loves Celtic music and when a traditional Irish group moves to her small town of Antrim, Maine, she's thrilled. She has no idea that becoming involved with Conn McLaren, the handsome pipe player will enmesh her in magic, a centuries-old enchantment and pursuit by the Fae.
This is a modern retelling of the Irish story "The Children of Lir".
Each book in the series can be read as a standalone.
“Maybe I should put some lime green color on the other side, to contrast with the magenta.” Nola had pulled the rear view mirror over to the passenger side, her long black hair pulled down in front of her face. She was peeking through the strands over her eyes, studying herself in the dim light of the dashboard.
She tilted her head to the side, then pulled hair from each side of her head and held it out in front of her. The hair on the right side of her head had swathes of purple. “What do you think?” she asked, studying him from under her hair.
Owen had been driving the van for five hours without any breaks. The way from Montreal was mostly highway, but once he crossed into the United States, he was on two lane roads that climbed up and down mountains and were lined by thick brush and trees, occasionally marked by small towns and farms. He was mostly following the white line marking the middle of the road at this point, just trying to make it to his destination, and wasn’t paying all that much attention to what Nola was saying to him.
Nola squinted and frowned at Owen, then tried again. “Hmm, I wonder if I cut my hair like Finn’s….” This time she got his attention. He looked over at her, just in time to catch the grin as she swept her hair back behind her ears.
“I don’t believe it would look as good on you as that haircut does on Finn, but, hey, if it’s what you want, go for it,” Owen played along. Nola grunted and pushed the rear view mirror back over to an approximation of where it should be.
Owen reached up and positioned the mirror in place again. He used it to look in the back seat to where Finn sat, headset in his ears, listening to his iPod, his head bouncing to the music. His hair was a mess of colors and stuck up in short spikes. While it was a hairstyle that worked for Finn, Nola would definitely not be cutting her hair like her brother, not if Owen had anything to say about it. He liked her hair long and silky way too much.
There was a street light blinking up ahead and Owen braked, gradually slowing the van. They were approaching another small town or maybe it was just a crossroads. This one looked like it was a gas station combined with a dilapidated general store. Owen glanced down at the dashboard. There was about half a tank of gasoline left according to the gauge. And it was a good thing he didn’t need gas because the station was closed up tight. No one seemed to be around, just a dim light in the store and a crooked “Closed” sign on the front door. The only thing in the parking lot was a rusty pickup truck, parked over on the edge of the asphalt. He wheeled in anyway and stopped the van in front of the pump.
“I need to stretch a minute,” he announced and turned off the key.
Heads popped up in the back seat. “What are we doing?” said Finn who couldn’t hear Owen over the music from his iPod. Conn, who was sitting next to his twin in the middle seat, pulled his earphones off, mussing his long hair, and waited patiently, looking around the dimly lit parking area. He had been working on his laptop, probably on an arrangement for one of their songs, Owen guessed. There was no sign of Hugh who had been stretched out sleeping in the bench seat in the very back of the van.
“I need to get out and walk around a little,” Owen restated. “And I want to check the trailer.” Nola had already opened her door and was standing on the pavement, stretching her arms over her head, getting the kinks out of her back.
Owen got out, headed around the back of the building and stepped back into the trees. He was joined by the rest of the lads, Hugh wandering back last. He must have woken up with the slamming of the doors. It had been a long ride with no stops and Owen had drunk at least three cups of coffee out of the thermos jug that Nola kept in the front seat for him.
Once they had finished their business, Conn and Owen went back out front to check on the trailer. Owen crouched down and looked under the frame while Conn pushed on the tires. The rig looked fine. The trailer wasn’t very heavy, loaded mostly with sound equipment and camping supplies. Their instruments and personal items were in the way back of the van. Nola wandered out from the other side of the garage where she had gone to find a bit of privacy away from the guys.
“How much further is it to the pub?” Conn asked.
“I think that we have a couple more hours to go. It’s going to be late when we get there,” Owen answered. Nola came over and wrapped her arms around Owen’s waist, snuggling under the denim jean jacket he wore. He stood there, resting his chin on her head, while she rubbed the lower part of his back, pulling up his tee shirt to get at his stiff muscles.
About the Author:
N.W. Moors lives in Portland, Maine, land of lobster and pine trees. She is a voracious reader and avid traveler. She loves visiting Great Britain and Ireland especially. Researching trips meant that she tries to learn as much about the area as possible and uses those tidbits in her books. She enjoys interacting with readers.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/blackswansantrim
Posted by Hywela Lyn at 08:00:00
Wednesday, 29 April 2015
This is my stop during the book blitz for Suspected (#2) by Rori Shay. This book blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 20 April till 3 May, you can view the complete blitz schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours.
So far this series contains 2 books: Elected (The Elected series #1) and Suspected (The Elected series #2). The Elected series is about the environment and environmental change and what can happen after climate change. It’s about a girl pretending to be a boy for the good of her country. Fans of Mulan will love this series.
Suspected (The Elected series #2)
By Rori Shay
Age category: Young Adult
East Country upheld the laws. Mid destroyed them.
In the year 2185 Earth is rebuilding after a global eco-crisis. Countries maintain complete isolation so there is no warfare over scarce resources. One Elected family is chosen to lead each country for 100 years to ensure stability. Women aren't allowed to take office and must reproduce at all costs. Technology use of any kind is banned to preserve what's left of the environment.
And yet, I'm my country's Elected. I've just sanctioned technology use to ready us for war. I'm about to cross the border to spy on our neighbor. And...I'm a girl. Shhhhhh.....
You can find Suspected on Goodreads
You can buy Suspected here:
- Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Suspected-Elected-Book-Rori-Shay-ebook/dp/B00UUIRE0Q/
- Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/suspected-rori-shay/1121727075
- Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/suspected-1
- Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/536776
- Silence in the Library: http://www.silenceinthelibrarypublishing.com/product/suspected-by-rori-shay/
First book in the series:
Elected (The Elected series #1)
By Rori Shay
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: April 8, 2014
It’s the year 2185, and in two weeks, Aloy will turn eighteen and take her father’s place as president of the country. But to do so, she must masquerade as a boy to avoid violating the Eco-Accords, four treaties designed to bring the world back from the brink of environmental extinction. Aloy hopes to govern like her father, but she is inheriting a different country. The long concealed Technology Faction is stepping out of the shadows, and as turmoil grows within her country, cryptic threats also arrive from beyond their borders.
As she struggles to lead, Aloy maintains her cover by marrying a woman, meanwhile battling feelings for the boy who knows her secret—the boy who is somehow connected to her country’s recent upheaval. When assassination attempts add to the turmoil, Aloy doesn’t know whom to trust. She understood leadership required sacrifice. She just didn’t realize the sacrifice might be her life.
First time the two main characters meet
I fall into a fitful sleep, but when I hear a noise in my room, it jars me awake. The mid-morning sun is high in the sky, which must mean I slept straight through to the next day. I don’t make a movement, trying to assess the sound. It’s footsteps coming from across my bedroom near the window. I expect to see my mother or a maid, but the figure is a man. It’s too slender to be my father and too tall to be Tomlin.
My hand instinctively juts out from under my bed covers and finds the small whittling knife on my nightstand. I use it merely to carve wood, but it’s the closest weapon I have. I close my fist around its small handle, ready to plunge it into my attacker should he step forward. I lie in wait, at the defense. But then I think, if he has a weapon, he could strike me from afar. So, I gently lift the sheets off my body and step out of bed, now on the offensive.
His back is to me, and since my footsteps are light as a feather, he doesn’t turn.
I wonder why the guards at my door didn’t stop him, but I have little time to ponder because I’m now inches from the man’s back. He still doesn’t move. He’s got something in his hands at waist level. It must be an intricate weapon. One he’s getting ready to use.
I lift the knife higher in the air, ready to advance on him, when the thing in the man’s hand lets out a loud “Squawk!”
I falter for a second, the tip of my foot catching against a raised floorboard, and it’s in that brief moment the man hears me and abruptly turns.
“Hey!” he says, stepping backward against my window when he sees me so close.
“Get back!” Still, I don’t hear guards ready to storm in and rescue me. So I stand my ground, knife raised, ready to inflict damage against this man myself if I need to.
I look at him closer. He’s not even a man. He’s my age.
“Watch what you’re doing with that thing!” The boy’s voice sounds familiar, but I can’t think where I’ve heard it before. I concentrate only on keeping my ground. Keeping him in place.
“Don’t move,” I say. “If you do, I’ll advance. And show me your hands!”
“I’m not moving!” He raises both hands in the air, palms open so I can see they’re empty. I want to trust this boy. I don’t want to have to harm him with my knife. But it is
n’t until I see one of my pet parrots fly off the boy’s shoulder and onto mine that I realize I know him.
I’ve never spent more than a second up close to the bird keeper, but over the years I’ve made a personal pastime of watching him from afar. The boy’s name is Griffin. He’s the son of my father’s veterinarian. Griffin is the apprentice, administering to the smaller animals around our house. He’s fixed the wing of my parrot before.
I step back but don’t lower the knife.
“What are you doing in here?” My voice is gruff. I might know this boy, but he could still be here to do harm.
“I didn’t know you were in here. If I’d known, obviously, I wouldn’t have come in to look after your birds.”
The parrot gives another shrill squawk. I study the boy for a moment. Close to me now, for only the second time in my life, I stare at him openly. The dark hair I’ve seen from afar falls forward over his brow but ends in sharp points around the sides of his ears, like he’s cut it himself without a mirror. His eyes are a deep amber too. Like fresh gingerbread cookies straight out of the oven, glowing and bright. He’s lean but relatively tall.
The one thing I know about him for sure is his gait. Since before I can remember, Griffin was the only male my age allowed into our house. He followed his father around, watching him work and then taking over some of the veterinary duties himself. I made an art of subtly watching Griffin to learn how a male my age moved and talked. It was one thing studying the masculine characteristics of my father, but it was altogether another to study someone my own age.
And then there’s the one time I did see Griffin up close, just for a brief second when I was thirteen, but the memory stayed with me for years.
I realize we’re staring each other down.
“Well, are you going to lower the knife, or do I have to knock it from your hand?”
You can buy Elected here:
- Barnes & Noble
About the Author: Rori Shay is a strategic management consultant living in the Seattle area with her family, black lab, and cat. In the writing world, Rori is primarily know for her science fiction trilogy, The Elected Series. She enjoys running, reading, snow-shoeing, pumpkin-picking, and right now…writing the third ELECTED novel! Rori is also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).
You can find and contact Rori here:
There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Suspected. This giveaway is US and Canada only. These are the prizes you can win:
- a kindle ereader and a signed copy of Elected by Rori Shay
For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway