Monday, December 24, 2012

Choose Your Own Adventure



If you have arrived in the middle of the adventure, you may start at the beginning by going HERE (http://susannahill.blogspot.com)

Erik Chooses To Visit Ye Olde Cake & Candle

A well-maintained path led straight to Ye Olde Cake & Candle, a cozy-looking inn with a sign that creaked slightly in the breeze. Not surprisingly, the sign said, “Ye Olde Cake & Candle.”

Erik walked in. A man wearing a huge white apron over his equally huge stomach bustled up to him. “Welcome to Ye Olde Cake & Candle. What can I do for you this fine day?”

“Well, first, do you have some place I could feed and water my horse? We’ve been on a long journey,” Erik said.

Looking Erik over from head to toe, the man replied, “A long messy journey, by the looks of you. No, we have no place for your horse. You might as well bring him inside. That’s what most people do.”

“But the sign on the main road says you provide stabling!” Erik said.

“And indeed we do. We keep many things stable. Unmoving, you know. Firm. Steady. If you’ll check your dictionary -- I assume you travel with a dictionary? Everyone should, of course -- anyway, if you’ll check your dictionary you’ll find those listed among the definitions of stable.”

“Oh. Right,” said Erik. “But what about my horse? And we’re looking for another horse. A black horse.”

“You do go on a great deal about horses. I can’t help you there. No horses to see for miles around,” the man said, looking straight at Benton. “Not a sawhorse, a pommel horse, a...”

Erik sighed. “Well then, I guess I’ll sit down and have some refreshments. Your sign says you have cake?”

Clapping his hands together in joy (or something) the man said, “Indeed we do! We have cakes of mud, cakes of salt...”

“No chocolate cake? No red velvet cake? No spice cake with yummy caramel frosting?” Erik asked. “No birthday cake with candles?”

“Why would anyone want a cake with candles?” asked the man. “You’ll have to go back to the ancient Romans and Greeks, or forward in time to the Swiss in 1881, to get a cake with candles. Seems to me it would be a little too hot to handle, though. As for those other cakes, wouldn’t you like a nice cake of soap instead. You, er, look as though you could use one...”

Erik shook his head. “That’s not what I want at all. Well, soon I’ll need a cake of soap, but right now I want something to eat!”

“We have nothing like that here,” the man assured him.

“You have cakes, but not the sort you eat. You have stables, but not the kind you put horses in. You do have candles, right? Your sign says Cake & Candle?” Erik was grasping at straws, or at least candles, but surely something would start to make sense soon.

“Oh, if it’s candles you want, we have them in abundance!”

Erik smiled. Now they were getting somewhere. Where there were candles, there might just be birthday presents.

“We have you-can’t-hold-a-candle-to-it candles, we  have candles-in-the-wind, we have jack-jump-over-the-candle-sticks, everything you could possible wish for,” the man answered with a broad smile.

“Not quite,” Erik said, shaking his head. “What I wish for is my birthday present back, and a clue to where the black horse has gone.”

“There you go, talking about horses again. You’ll be getting quite hoarse with all your useless natter about horses. Oh well, there’s no time like the present to tell you I haven’t a clue,” the man said.

“I had sort of figured that out,” Erik said sadly, as he and Benton turned to leave.

“Well, Benton, I guess we might as well go back to the path to Mystery Mountain.”

Benton nodded, then shook his head. Erik wasn’t quite sure what that meant, but they really had no choice.

To go back and choose tackle the ooze instead, click HERE

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Guest Post with Karey White Author of For What It's Worth - Top Ten Reasons Abby Fell for Dane

Top Ten Reasons Abby Fell for Dane 


1. He was tall and handsome
2. His green eyes crinkled when he smiled (and he smiled easily)
3. He shared her faith
4. He was thoughtful & did nice things for her
5. His kisses made her breathless
6. He was encouraging
7. He and her family got along well
8. He sometimes got tongue-tied around her
9. He was smart
10. He was clean-shaved

Tour Schedule


For What It's Worth by Karey White


Twenty-four year-old, Abby Benson has dreams of owning her own wedding cake shop. An inheritance from her aunt gives her the ability to make those dreams come true. She hires Dane, a handsome contractor, to help her get the bakery up and running and soon they’re moving toward their own happy ending.

Unsure what to charge for her cakes, Abby has a crazy idea to let the customer decide what they think their cake is worth. This plan has its ups and downs, but the novelty of the idea makes her a local celebrity. When she is interviewed on television about the unusual idea, business booms and Abby has cake adventures she never dreamed possible. But as her fame grows, Abby is swept up in a whirlwind that threatens everything she values. With the challenges that face her, will she be able to determine what is worth the most?

Praise for For What It's Worth


Reading Karey White’s books, like eating chocolate cake, is always satisfying and brings a smile to my face. For What It’s Worth is light, romantic, and delicious. It’s a great pleasure read. Sit down and get lost in the charming world of wedding cakes and love. As an added bonus, each chapter  starts with a recipe, so it’s a novel and cookbook all in one. A fun read!
—Teri Harman, KSL columnist, Studio 5 contributor, and author of Blood Moon, available June 22, 2013

I just loved the book – loved it. Hated putting it down and hated finishing it. Karey White is my new Maeve Binchy, her writing as warm as the bakery her novel is set in. For What It’s Worth surprised me, made me smile, say “no” out loud in a public place. I love when a character feels like my sister. I didn’t want to finish it, so now I may try the recipes that began every chapter.
—Amanda Dickson, author and radio personality

This book oozes charm, romance, and mouth-watering recipes. If you want to escape reality and curl up with a darling story, For What It’s Worth is the perfect fit. Thank you, Karey White!
—Rachael Anderson, author

This is a book worth every penny of the price. In the business of baking wedding cakes, every detail must be perfection, but this story remembers that real life is oh-so-messy. White’s clear and honest writing left me hungry for good food, a close family, and a little romance. A beautiful marriage of food, family, and faith.
—Regina Sirois, author of On Little Wings, 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award



Purchase


Book Trailer





Author Karey White


Karey White grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, Gifted, was a Whitney Award Finalist.

She loves to travel, read, bake treats, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four great children. She teaches summer creative writing courses to young people and is currently working on her next book.







Links




Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card + A Copy of For What It's Worth
Paperback available to US only, Ebook Available Internationally


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent's permission. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Book Blast - Christmas Ever After by Elyse Douglas

Christmas Ever After by Elyse Douglas

Can 26-year-old JENNIFER TAYLOR overcome her past—the death of her fiancé that has left her bitter and angry? Will she accept the gift of an adventure from a mysterious woman before it’s too late: a trip to New York City on Christmas Eve, where she’ll meet three men who will change her life forever?

Excerpt:

Suddenly, everything seemed to happen at once, and in slow motion. Mrs. Stanton stepped in front of the shop, stabbing away at the snow with her cane.

Jennifer’s back tires slid away into chaos. It was as if the world was spinning away from her. She frantically fought for control of the car, but the steering wheel became useless. She was slipping away toward the east wall of Cards N’ Stuff.  Jennifer held her breath.

Just then, Mrs. Stanton’s left foot found an unfortunate old patch of ice beneath the newly fallen snow. She felt it give way, and her cane, which should have been a support, slipped from her hand and sailed away into a snowdrift. Jennifer watched in horror as Mrs. Stanton’s body lifted from the earth and rose like a great bird above the spread of undulating snow. She seemed suspended in time. For a brief hopeful moment, Jennifer had the irrational belief that she could somehow scramble from her car and rescue Mrs. Stanton, as one would rescue a priceless fragile vase falling from a great height.

But there was no rescue. There was no one to catch Mrs. Stanton and there was no one to stop Jennifer’s car from its collision course with the garbage cans in the alleyway, and the inevitable impact into the side of the building.

Mrs. Stanton’s body finally hit the snow, like a massive meteorite striking the earth. The impact threw up a plume of whiteness. The crater was deep and impressive. Mrs. Stanton let out an almighty howl that scattered chirping sparrows into the trees. Her yell was eclipsed by Jennifer’s car slamming into the garbage cans, and colliding into the side wall of Cards N’ Stuff.

Then there was silence. But only a brief one.

From somewhere, close by, came a low rumble. It was a foreboding sound, like the low moan of fate in the apprehension of an imminent catastrophe.

Cards N’ Stuff began to shimmy and quake. Icicles snapped and fell. Fractures formed on the roof. Sliding snow whooshed down in avalanches, crashing to the ground.

Mrs. Stanton was frozen in fear, looking bug-eyed, hearing a roar, like the sea.

Jennifer managed to shove open the jammed car door and roll out, falling into a mound of snow. She heard the frightening sound, struggled to her feet and staggered away from the building, running, stumbling and gasping.

There was a terrible, miserable groan as the roof buckled and plunged down into the shop in a storm of wood, roof-tiles, dirt and snow. In violent hammer-like blows, it shattered snow globes, jewelry boxes and porcelain figurines. It smashed glass displays and chopped through shelves, burying Christmas angels, Santa Clauses, Christmas cards and delicate earrings. The window Christmas displays were blown into oblivion; the Victorian town demolished; the electric train flicked away and buried by a powerful cascading shaft of dirt and ice. The family around the piano was pummeled and destroyed.

In a final act of destruction, sprinkler pipes ruptured, shooting streams of water into the air like geysers, flooding the place. Books, CDs and DVDs floated by, little boats navigating a chaotic space.

When it was finally over, an uneasy silence settled in, like a warning.

Purchase

Book Trailer



About the Authors


Elyse Douglas is the pen name for the husband and wife writing team of Elyse Parmentier and Douglas Pennington. Elyse's mother was a painter and her father a textile consultant. Elyse began writing poems and short stories at an early age, and graduated from Columbia University with a Master's Degree in English Literature. Douglas grew up in a family of musicians, astrologers and avid readers. His grandfather was a gifted humorist and storyteller from Kentucky.

Elyse Douglas' four novels include: The Astrologer's Daughter, Wanting Rita, The Christmas Diary and Christmas Ever After. They live in New York City.

Links



Book Blast Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 12/16/12
*You need not enter your twitter name for each entry. Simply enter it when you follow Elyse and leave the others blank.

Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent's permission. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, December 7, 2012

Book Blast - Goddess Girls #9 - Pandora the Curious


Goddess Girls #9 - Pandora the Curious

Is Pandora about to open up a box of trouble?

One of the few mortals at Mount Olympus Academy, Pandora is famous for her mega quizzical nature—not that she thinks there’s anything wrong with being curious, of course!

Her curiosity kicks into high gear when a godboy named Epimetheus brings a mysterious box to school. Epimetheus is the nephew of an MOA teacher in whose class Pandora once opened another box that sent a few weather disasters to earth. Still, Pandora can’t help but take a peek inside this new box when it unexpectedly lands in her lap. What could be the harm in that, right? Little does she know that opening the box will open up far more trouble than she ever expected!

Authors Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams put a modern spin on classic myths with the Goddess Girls series. Follow the ins and outs of divine social life at Mount Olympus Academy, where the most privileged godboys and goddessgirls in the Greek pantheon hone their mythical skills.

Purchase

Praise for The Goddess Girls
“…a clever take on Greek deities…”
~ Booklist

"Readers familiar with Greek myths should get a kick out of this plucky restaging."
~Publisher's Weekly

 “…an enchanting mythological world with middle-school woes compounded by life as a deity…”
~ School Library Journal

The Goddess Girls Series

The Goddess Girls series, by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams puts a modern spin on classic Greek myths. Follow the ins and outs of divine social life where the most privileged godboys and goddessgirls in the Greek pantheon hone their mythical skills.
  • Athena the Brain Finding out she’s a goddess and being sent to Mount Olympus brings Athena new friends, a weird dad, and the meanest girl in mythology—Medusa! 
  • Persephone the Phony Hiding her feelings works fine for Persephone until she meets a guy she can be herself with—Hades, the bad-boy of the Underworld. 
  • Aphrodite the Beauty Sure Aphrodite is beautiful, but it’s not always easy being the goddessgirl of love. 
  • Artemis the Brave She may be the goddess of the hunt, but that doesn’t mean Artemis always feels brave. 
  • Athena the Wise Zeus says Heracles has to do twelve tasks or he'll get kicked out of MOA! Although she's not sure it's wise, Athena agrees to help out. 
  • Aphrodite the Diva Isis claims she's the goddess of love? Ha! But to keep the title all to herself, Aphrodite has to find the perfect match for Pygmalion, the most annoying boy ever. 
  • Artemis the Loyal It’s time for the annual Olympic Games, and Artemis and her friends are not happy. It’s boys only. Not fair! 
  • Medusa the Mean Medusa wants to be more like her two sisters and the other kids at Mount Olympus Academy -- immortal. Is that too much to ask? 
  • The Girl Games (Goddess Girls Super Special) Listen in on what all four goddess girls are thinking as Mount Olympus Academy hosts visitors from many lands--including an adorable kitten!The first-ever standalone superspecial in the Goddess Girls series! 
  • Pandora the Curious
  • Pheme the Gossip (Apr. 3, 2013) 
  • Persephone the Daring (Aug. 7, 2013) 
The Goddess Girls

Author Suzanne Williams

Suzanne Williams is the award-winning author of nearly 40 books for children, from picture books and easy readers to chapter books and middle grade fiction series. A former elementary school librarian, she lives near Seattle. Her picture book Library Lil (illustrated by Steven Kellogg) won the New Mexico children's choice award in 2000 and was on several other state award lists. She is co-author (with Joan Holub) of the popular Goddess Girls series(for ages 8 - 12) and Heroes in Training (ages 6 - 11). Other series include Fairy Blossoms and Princess Power.






Author Joan Holub

I graduated from college in Texas with a fine arts degree, and then freelanced as an art director at a graphic design firm for eight years. I dreamed of working in children's books, so I moved to New York City and became associate art director in Scholastic trade books, where I designed books for children and worked with editors and illustrators. It was a great job.

I illustrated my first published children's book in 1992 and soon began illustrating full time. I began completing manuscripts and mailing them out to publishers in the early 1990s. In 1996, I sold my first two manuscripts -- Boo Who? A Spooky Lift-the-Flap Book (Scholastic) and Pen Pals (Grosset & Dunlap). Yippee!

Now I write full time and have written and/or illustrated over 130 children's books. Creating books that entertain, inform, and interest children (and me) is a fabulous job that I truly love.





Book Blast Giveaway
$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 12/16/12
*You need not enter your twitter name for each entry. Simply enter it when you follow Joan and leave the others blank.

Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent's permission. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Guest Blog with Cherie Reich, Author of The Nightmare Collection, Talking about Fear



Fear: What Scares Me?

Thank you for having me on your blog today, Nicole!

Nicole asked me to talk a little bit about fear and what scares me. Everyone has different things that frighten them, and as a horror writer, I try to use various fears to create the scare factor. My biggest fear is the unknown. I like to know things and be prepared for anything, but there are things out of my control, things I don’t know. I think that’s why I have a fear of the dark. The dark itself doesn’t scare me, but it’s what I can’t see that does.

I really dislike most bugs too. They are more creepy than frightening, but I don’t want them to touch me, just like I don’t want to touch them.

Even though I wrote a space fantasy novella trilogy, I have a fear of aliens. This stems back to the unknown ... and watching Signs. Dude, that’s a scary movie because it makes too much sense! Aliens can be anything, look like anyone.

And I also have a fear of talking on the phone. I think that goes back to the unknown too. Why is the person calling me? What do they want? What should I say?

Thinking about fear has made me realize all my fears tend to go back to the fear of the unknown. And I often use the unknown in my horror stories. Anything can happen out there. Are you prepared? *shivers*

What are you afraid of?


Book Description:
A legend is hungry tonight.

A child monster will get its first taste of blood in Nightmare at the Freak Show. Four friend will enter the forest on December night, but only one can survive in Once Upon a December Nightmare. Almost ten years after Cassie's December nightmare, the monster awakens to hunt again in Nightmare Ever After.

Publication Date: November 17, 2012


Cover art by Nicemonkey at Dreamstime.com. Cover design by Aubrie Dionne. Bookworm logo for Surrounded by Books Publishing created by Cherie Reich.

Purchase Links for the ebook:

Purchase Links for the print book:

Author Bio:
A self-proclaimed bookworm, Cherie Reich is a writer, freelance editor, book blogger, and library assistant living in Virginia. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies. Her e-books include the horror series Nightmare, a short story collection with authors Aubrie Dionne and Lisa Rusczyk titled The Best of Raven and the Writing Desk, the futuristic space fantasy novelette trilogy Gravity, and The Foxwick Chronicles, a series of fantasy stories. She is a member of Valley Writers and the Virginia Writers Club.

Author Links:

Rafflecopter Giveaway:
I am giving away prizes to two lucky people. The prize packages are open internationally and include: a signed copy of The Nightmare Collection, a signed copy of Gravity: The Complete Trilogy, and a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Book Blast - For What It's Worth


For What It's Worth by Karey White

Twenty-four year-old, Abby Benson has dreams of owning her own wedding cake shop. An inheritance from her aunt gives her the ability to make those dreams come true. She hires Dane, a handsome contractor, to help her get the bakery up and running and soon they’re moving toward their own happy ending.

Unsure what to charge for her cakes, Abby has a crazy idea to let the customer decide what they think their cake is worth. This plan has its ups and downs, but the novelty of the idea makes her a local celebrity. When she is interviewed on television about the unusual idea, business booms and Abby has cake adventures she never dreamed possible. But as her fame grows, Abby is swept up in a whirlwind that threatens everything she values. With the challenges that face her, will she be able to determine what is worth the most?

Praise for For What It's Worth

Reading Karey White’s books, like eating chocolate cake, is always satisfying and brings a smile to my face. For What It’s Worth is light, romantic, and delicious. It’s a great pleasure read. Sit down and get lost in the charming world of wedding cakes and love. As an added bonus, each chapter  starts with a recipe, so it’s a novel and cookbook all in one. A fun read!
—Teri Harman, KSL columnist, Studio 5 contributor, and author of Blood Moon, available June 22, 2013

I just loved the book – loved it. Hated putting it down and hated finishing it. Karey White is my new Maeve Binchy, her writing as warm as the bakery her novel is set in. For What It’s Worth surprised me, made me smile, say “no” out loud in a public place. I love when a character feels like my sister. I didn’t want to finish it, so now I may try the recipes that began every chapter.
—Amanda Dickson, author and radio personality

This book oozes charm, romance, and mouth-watering recipes. If you want to escape reality and curl up with a darling story, For What It’s Worth is the perfect fit. Thank you, Karey White!
—Rachael Anderson, author

This is a book worth every penny of the price. In the business of baking wedding cakes, every detail must be perfection, but this story remembers that real life is oh-so-messy. White’s clear and honest writing left me hungry for good food, a close family, and a little romance. A beautiful marriage of food, family, and faith.
—Regina Sirois, author of On Little Wings, 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

Purchase

Book Trailer





Author Karey White


Karey White grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, Gifted, was a Whitney Award Finalist.

She loves to travel, read, bake treats, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four great children. She teaches summer creative writing courses to young people and is currently working on her next book.





Links


Blog Tour December 2012
Tour Schedule

Book Blast Giveaway Details
$50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash from Author Karey White
Ends 12/14/12
*You need not enter your twitter name for each entry. Simply enter it when you follow Karey and leave the others blank.

Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent's permission. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway