Friday, January 27, 2012

Rooftops, Pyramids and Boats, Oh My!

Happy Friday, everyone! Are you sick of Egypt yet? No? Good, because I have some more photos to show you! I'll give you a break on Monday (I'll be busy gallivanting around Alexandria) but I'll be with you in spirit.

Since recovering from my revolutionary activities in Tahrir Square (it must be said, I'd never make a true revolutionary -- I fainted after one hour there; I'm such a softie), we've indulged in a few other Cairene delights. Today was the best, though: we had our own tour guide through Old Cairo, climbed up rickety ladders to rooftops, and peeked into beautiful buildings normally off limits.

The rooftop of a building in Old Cairo, where merchants used to unload their wares, then stay in the accommodation. All those 'cubes' are the open-air terraces of the individual lodgings. 

A street in Old Cairo.

Me in front of a traditional window -- the women could see out, but no one could see in. 

Twin minarets. 

Feluca on the Nile!

No caption needed! 

This is my third time to the Pyramids, and I've never seen them so deserted. A handful of locals and tourists were there. but nothing like last year.
Have a great weekend, everyone! I'll see you on Wednesday. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Talking About a Revolution

I've just returned from Tahrir Square! And WOW, what an amazing experience. Despite being a writer, words fail me. So I'll show you in photos instead.

Egyptian flags clog the air in Tahrir Square.

Me! The slogan on the wall behind me says: 'You can kill me but you can't kill my voice.'

An effigy in the square.

Mr TR waves a flag.

A young revolutionary.

Students sing and dance on a wall built by the military.
Excuse me while I go take my post-revolutionary shower! Happy Wednesday, everyone. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

New Beginnings

Hello from Cairo! The title for this post seems very apt, since not only is today publication day for Rebecca Emin's New Beginnings (more on that below), but it's also the opening of Egypt's first elected parliament since the 1950s.

What a change there's been in Egypt since my last visit here in December 2011. In just one year, people who were depressed and pessimistic about the future of the country have transformed into upbeat and optimistic. Gathering around the television this morning over a takeaway breakfast of tamaya (falafel) and fool (er... not sure any description can do this dish justice), there was palpable sense of pride as we watched the first session open.

From chats last night with a man in his sixties who led a group in Tahrir Square -- and was so close to the police he even grabbed a tear-gas canister after it was lobbed his way -- to mannequins in shop windows holding up revolutionary signs, the city has come alive again. The revolution has brought with it a whole host of problems and challenges, but as the one-year anniversary approaches, Egypt's citizens are finally looking forward to their future.

Now all they need is wine. Ha!

Now on to another New Beginning! Today is publication day for Rebecca Emin's wonderful YA novel.  Hop over to Rebecca’s blog Ramblings of a Rusty Writer to find all of the details of how she is planning to celebrate today, or you can read some reviews of the book itself on or Amazon.comYou may like to visit some of the other blogs helping Rebecca to celebrate today too.

About New Beginnings
Sam Hendry is not looking forward to starting at her new school. Things go from bad to worse as the day of truth arrives and all of her fears come true... and then some.

When Sam meets a different group of people who immediately accept her as a friend, she begins to feel more positive.

With her new friends and interests, will Sam finally feel able to face the bully who taunts her, and to summon up the courage to perform on stage?

Here's to new beginnings of all sorts!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Pulling Teeth with Pliers... Or, Writing a Great Synopsis

It's Friday! *does Friday dance involving flailing of arms and awkward hip swings* Want to know something even better than Friday (no, not wine)? Tomorrow, I'm off to the sunny climes of Cairo for two weeks! Not to worry, though, I'll still be blogging as much as I can, as per usual. While my in-laws go off for hours in Arabic I haven't a hope in hell of understanding, I'll be tucked in the corner, tapping away at my lovely little laptop. We are still planning our regular outings to the Pyramids, the market, Memphis and Alexandria, so I will have plenty of photos to share.

Now. Onto more serious things: the dreaded synopsis. If you're not a writer, consider yourself very lucky that this is something you've escaped. For me, it's like pulling out my own teeth with rusty pliers while someone hammers nails into my eyeballs. Oh yes, it's just that much fun. Luckily, today I've got Crabbity Bat (her words, not mine) and absolute writing genius Nicola Morgan here to talk about her new book, Write a Great Synopsis.

Take it away, Nicola!

Hello Talli and Talli’s lovely readers!

Thank you so much for letting me visit again. I’m very honoured and in recognition of that I’ve brought some champagne. *pops cork* Cheers!

Since most or many of your readers aren’t writers, I thought I’d say something that might interest both groups.

Writers get horribly vexed about synopses.  Many of us (not me, tbh) would rather eat witchety grubs than write one, and yet quite happily sit down to write a 100,000 word novel. Thing is, making a few words work well is hard. Blaise Pascal famously apologised (in French) for writing such a long letter, saying he didn’t have time to write a short one. And there’s a real truth in that. And what writers have to do is turn a 100,000 word thing into something very short – maybe 600 words – and that’s very hard.

On the other hand, Tolstoy said, “No book should be too complex to explain to a barmaid.” (Very rude to barmaids, imo.) Indeed, Anna Karenina may be long but it’s far from complex – omit the farming, and there’s very little left to go in the synopsis.

Actually, I also think it might be easier for a reader to produce a good synopsis of a book than its writer. In fact, one of the things I recommend to writers in Write a Great Synopsis (WAGS!) is to forget your book, or forget the details. If you forget the details and sequences, what you’re left with is the core – what and who it’s about and how the story ends, bringing the memorable driving forces together.

Writers, please stop worrying! WAGS covers everything about synopsis-writing, clearly and reassuringly. At the end of it I believe you truly will say to yourself, “Don’t panic – it’s only a synopsis!

And readers, next time you pick up a new book, spare a thought for the poor writer who almost certainly had to write a sparkly synopsis before getting the deal! 

Thanks for listening, everyone. I’d be really interested to hear your thoughts. 

Would you rather write a book or a synopsis?

NB: all commenters below (by Feb 15th) will be entered into the Big WAGS Competition, with chances to win a critique of your synopsis by the Crabbit Old Bat herself! One comment per person on each blog – though you can add to your chances by commenting on the other posts on the tour. Details of all stops on the tour will appear on my blog (Help! I Need a Publisher!) as they go out.

Details about the book, including buying options, here. The link direct to Amazon UK is here; is here. And it’s stupid cheap till the end of January!

Thanks, Nicola! 

Well, I'd much rather write a book than a synopsis. A zillion times more! How about you? Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fish Out of Water

Okay, yes, I know that's a corny cartoon, but I couldn't resist!

Despite being here in London for almost eight years now, sometimes I still feel like a fish out of water (minus the scales, the gasping for breath, and the bulging eyes).

When I wrote Build A Man -- where the main character is a recent American transplant -- many of those feelings just came pouring out, surprising me. The strangeness of my new home still lingers.

Jaffa Cakes. I couldn't resist putting these in my novel, even though I'm not a fan. They're orange and chocolate cookies. . . and they're definitely not my favourite, although they're beloved by many a Brit!

Oceans of Tea. My word, these people can drink tea. From 'builder's tea' (strong with lots of sugar) to posh loose-leaf tea, you're never far from it!

Drinking Outside. Oh, I love this one. You can drink outside the pub, in the park, skipping merrily down the street . . . sadly, you can no longer drink on the Tube (not that I'd ever do that, of course). I still get a little frisson of excitement that I'm doing something wrong whenever I crack open a bottle in public.

Posh British Accents. There are several British accents I'm not so keen on, but I'm fascinated by the plummy tones of the upper-class.

Architecture. Coming from North American cities where many buildings resemble either glass boxes or a sprawling mansions, I'm still in awe of the lovely, neat terraces lining the London streets where I live.

Have you ever felt like a fish out of water? What struck you as strange? 

Have a great Wednesday, everyone!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Hunter and Gatherer

See that lovely couple, laughing merrily as they shop their way down the high street? Yeah. That will never be me and Mr TR. Why? Because, over the past eight years together, we've discovered we have very different approaches to shopping.

This past weekend, we took to High Street Kensington to buy gifts for our annual pilgrimage to Cairo, coming up this Saturday (eep!). And, like every year before, I steeled myself to spend a few hours browsing, comparing, discussing . . . thank God for hip flasks!

You see, Mr TR is a shopper at heart. He loves to trot into every shop and examine its contents, whether relevant or not. On the other hand, I prefer the 'in and out' method. Decide what you want before hand, swoop in, grab it, and get out (after paying, of course, ha!). The faster, the better. In fact, when I go shopping, sometimes I play a little game to see how fast I can pop to the shops and return home  again. Dithering drives me insane.

I'm the hunter. He's the gatherer. Can you say role reversal?

What kind of shopper are you? And do you bring your hip flask along for the ride?

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Ex-Factor

Well, well, well. Hello, Friday! How did you get here so quickly? Sleepless nights, nose-blowing days, and wine-scoffing book launches served by barmaids dressed as nurses will do that to you, I suppose. (A massive congrats to Mark and Louise, and a zillion thank yous for the invite!)

Now, I know I said I wasn't going to do much promo this year, but when you have someone as fab as Jen Daiker . . . how could I say no? Jen's celebrating the success of her first published work, and I couldn't be happier to have her here.

Take it away, Jen!

Let’s talk exes. (I keep the spicy talk for Talli because I know she can handle it).
A lot of us go through life gathering a few exes before we find the one. Some of them did the dumping, and some you dumped. Either way, they ended.

What happens with the ones that we never established? You never sat down and fully broke up… (texting, phone call, or over an email don’t count as break ups because those are just cruel <-- though sometimes necessary).

My short story, Snowbanked, is about a small town girl in search for something bigger. What she gave up was a man she truly loved, but neither of them were willing to compromise.

My hubby and I experienced something like this. We just weren’t ready to truly commit, we still lived selfish lives. It wasn’t until we reconnected we realized that we’d left love behind. I hoped one day I’d get to share this story and when Still Moments Publishing ( the Snowbound Hearts Anthology I knew it was the perfect setting to share a story of love lost until love was gained.

There are three additional stories in this fun anthology. It’s a perfect way to let love and snow stay a little longer in all of our hearts! Here’s the dirt on what you’ll find inside, Snowbound Hearts!

Sophie’s Snow Day by Jillian Chantal
A snowstorm can be a life changing event. Just ask Sophie.

Snowbanked by Jennifer Daiker
Returning home can hold the best surprises, especially when love is involved.

The White Lion by Maggie Devine
When Pub owner Sophie Ashford clashes with the new Lord of the Manor, Shane Smith, a secret past is unearthed and a new love erupts...

Winter Twilight by Shannon O'Brien
Can a secret, up and coming rock musician reawaken a young woman's passion while she fumbles her way through a strange city and new life?

This is my first published works and I’m elated! I’d love for you to add it to your TBR list over at Goodreads OR stop by Still Moments Publishing (ebook store: and buy your copy! Or just feel free to stop by Unedited  to say hello to me and my crazy antics.

Thank you, Jen! Have a great weekend, everyone. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

In 'Da Hood

I know. That doesn't really work with my voice, does it? Ah well, I tried. So . . . happy Wednesday! You'll be delighted to hear I slept well last night. I'm delighted, anyway!

As I trotted to the library last night to return my overdue library books (£30 in fines, thank you very much), I was reminded what a fantastic neighbourhood I live in -- and what a past it's had.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Sleepless in Notting Hill

Happy Monday, all! Yes, it's my first full day back at the Writing Desk after a lovely long vacation, and I'm dragging my butt to my office chair with all the enthusiasm of a child to a plate of broccoli (I'm sorry -- that's all I could come up with).

Why? Because last night was one of those nights. You know, a night when you lie, staring wide-eyed at the ceiling as your mind swirls aimlessly from one topic to another, wishing the man beside you would STOP SNORING so you'd have a hope in HELL of getting some sleep! Ahem.

Much as I'd like to, I really can't blame it on the snoring. I often go through cycles of sleeplessness, and I've devised my own little handy-dandy ways of coping.

1. Move to another location, if possible. A change is as good as a rest -- hopefully! If nothing else, at least the dragging-your-arse-to-the-sofa might tire you out. Extra bonus: the clatter and clang as you alter locales will likely awaken your significant other, so the two of you can experience sleeplessness together! Hey, it may not be quality time, but it's all about quantity. Or not.

2. This is a particular favourite of mine: if you live in an old building like me, entertain yourself by imagining all the previous inhabitants. How many people have died in this exact same room? Or even . . . been murdered here? What grisly secrets could this room hold? The aftermath of the resulting spurt of adrenaline will leave you exhausted for sure.

3. Still awake? Why not contemplate, for hours, turning on the light and reading, but never actually do it? Instead, toss and turn, simply because it's much more invigorating.

4. Count the whoosh of the night buses as they fly down the street. Similar to the sheep method, but minus cute fluffiness and with squealing brakes instead of gentle baaing.

By now, you should either be asleep -- or it should be morning. The long night is over. Now to get through the day . . .

Have a great one!

Friday, January 06, 2012

Back on Track!

Well, hello there! I'm back in sunny (!) London after my almost three-week vacation in Canada. It's great to be home -- especially after such a fabulous time away. Thanks loads to everyone who dropped by and commented on my random posts (and the guest posts) while I was away!

This year, I've decided to take my blog back to its origins of fun topics, London miscellany, and wine. Over the past few months, I fear it's become a bit too focused on promotions. Having had such tremendous support from others, I want to return the favour and help out everyone who asks. But . . . I just can't, without turning my blog into something else entirely. I'm going to try to limit guest posts to once a month, and while I'll still do shout-outs for people, I want to get this back to a more reader-centric place. So! That's one of my resolutions. I hope you all understand, and I'm sorry I can't accommodate everyone who asks.

So what did you get up to on your vacation? Here are a few snapshots of mine:

Snow! We actually had a white Christmas. 

Looking out over Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley. 

Cutting down the Christmas Tree. 

Taking a photo at Hall's Harbour (and freezing, in the process!).

Yes. A phone box in a Nova Scotia vineyard!

A lobster club sandwich. Does it get any better? I think not.

So, there you have it! Before you go, can I point you here?

Happy weekend, everyone!

Monday, January 02, 2012

The Indie Book Fair: Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone! I wish you plenty o' Twizzlers, wine and more!

I'm back on my regular blogging schedule later this week, but Susan Kaye Quinn's indie book fair was just to good of an opportunity to pass up.Take a gander, if you like... Plenty to choose from!

Did you find a new Kindle, Nook, or iPad under the Christmas tree? Browse the Indie Book Fair and find a new ebook to break in that reader! These great new books were released Nov 2011-Feb 2012 by Indie authors, priced right so that taking a chance on a new author doesn’t have to break your wallet. (Check out the previous Internet Book Fair for other great Indie finds.)

[Indie = self-published or small-publisher, for the purposes of this post, because no matter how we’re published, we’re all in this together, trying to get the word out about our books]

Note: Links are given for Amazon, but most authors publish across all e-book formats. Click on the author’s name for additional purchasing options, including paper copies.

For Your Browsing Pleasure

Contemporary (Adult)
Build a Man by Talli Roland (Chick Lit) 
Slave to the rich, rude and deluded, cosmetic surgery receptionist Serenity Holland longs for the day she's a high-flying tabloid reporter. Unfortunately, every pitch she sends out disappears like her clients' liposuctioned fat, never to be seen again. Then she meets Jeremy Ritchie -- the hang-dog man determined to be Britain's Most Eligible Bachelor by making himself over from head to toe and everything in between -- giving Serenity a story no editor could resist. With London's biggest tabloid on board and her very own column tracking Jeremy's progress from dud to dude, Serenity is determined to be a success, even going undercover to gain intimate access to Jeremy's life. But when Jeremy's surgery goes drastically wrong and Serenity is ordered to cover all the car-crash goriness, she must decide how far she really will go for her dream job. $0.99 on Amazon

The Golden Sky by Elisa Hirsch (Memoir) 
The night I met Cade I never would’ve thought that two years later, after we were homeless street musicians in Hawaii, we would have a little girl and another baby on the way.  Our son was born with the type of birth defects that make televangelists cringe. The “death home” gave him a really nice funeral, the kind I’d never wished to attend. We lost it after that, totally cemented in our grief.  Cade got into drugs, joined a rock and roll band, and I kicked him out of the house. That was how I met: Earl (an old man and unlikely best friend), the “big sag” (a middle aged woman who still flashed folks), Todda (the stripper next door), and Chris (a cowboy who fell in love with me). It wasn’t until I killed a rogue skunk, and my daughter nearly choked on a fry, that I gave my husband another chance.  But could our marriage recover from the death of our son? $2.99 onAmazon

Someone Else’s Fairytale by E.M. Tippetts (Contemporary Romance) 
Jason Vanderholt is the hottest actor under thirty with legions of screaming fans. Chloe Winters is a college student who hasn't gotten around to watching most of his movies. When they meet by chance, he is smitten, but it just isn't her fairytale. In fact, it could be her worst nightmare as her past, attracted by the bright lights of the media, comes back to haunt her. $0.99 on Amazon

Historical Romance (Adult)
The Duke’s Divorce by Anne Gallagher Available late January 2012
A simple trip to the Scottish Highlands finds the Duke of Cantin with a bride he does not want.  With her impeccable beauty and fiery disposition, Fiona takes Society by storm.  As their prearranged divorce proceedings draw near, can Fiona change his mind? Check author's website.

Literary Fiction
String Bridge by Jessica Bell 
Greek cuisine, smog and domestic drudgery was not the life Australian musician, Melody, was expecting when she married a Greek music promoter and settled in Athens, Greece. Keen to play in her new shoes, though, Melody trades her guitar for a 'proper' career and her music for motherhood. That is, until she can bear it no longer and plots a return to the stage—and the person she used to be. However, the obstacles she faces along the way are nothing compared to the tragedy that awaits ... $6.99 on Amazon ALSO:  Music Sample!

Sherwood Ltd. by Anne R. Allen
Sherwood. The name immediately conjures up images of Richard Greene, Michael Praed and Russell Crowe. Or maybe that sly fox in the Disney version. Only, in Anne R. Allen's latest rom-com mystery the fox is a coyote and there's no Robin Hood. Or is there? In her usual inimitable fashion Allen peels back the layers, one hilarious subplot after another, until you just never know what's real and what's not. Rather like the Robin Hood legend. When the Manners Doctor, Camilla Randall, flies into Robin Hood airport with a suitcase in one hand and a book contract in the other she thinks she's leaving all her problems behind and is about to start a new life. If you look very carefully you may just spot the Sheriff of Nottingham, Maid Marian and even Little John hidden away. But as for Robin Hood himself... You'll just have to read it and find out.  $2.99 on Amazon

Short Stories and Anthologies
The Initiate (Cloud Prophet Trilogy) by  Megg Jensen (YA Fantasy)
Over a thousand years ago, the gods left Eloh's people and took their magic with them. To win back their favor, her people sacrifice ten female initiates every ten years. No has ever survived. There has never been a Chosen One. Forced into becoming an initiate, Eloh will try to find a way to beat the odds, stay with her boyfriend, and survive the fires that threaten to consume her. But will her lack of faith in the gods and her disbelief in their magic doom her to a painful death? $0.99 on Amazon
Eight by Karly Kirkpatrick (YA Paranormal Short Story Collection)
Prepare to be thrilled and chilled by Kirkpatrick's eight short tales in EIGHT. These eight stories, while short, pack a big punch. There are demon spirits, zombies, and even some human baddies. Each story comes complete with author's commentary. It also includes the previously unreleased short Grenades. $0.99 on Amazon
{CoverComingSoon} In His Eyes by The Indelibles (YA Anthology) - Available February 14th

Just in time for Valentines Day, The Indelibles bring you a one-of-a-kind young adult anthology! Twenty original short stories, all from the point of view of our favorite male characters - some are old flames from our novels and some were dreamed up especially for this anthology. Let these imminently crushable, swoon-worthy guys show you what romance looks like – in his eyes. Add to Goodreads TBR
The contributors to IN HIS EYES include award winners, frequent “Top 100” placers, and hot 2011 debut authors: S.R. Wells, C.K. Bryant, Elle Strauss, Susan Kaye Quinn, Jessie Harrell, Magan Vernon, Lisa Nowak, Heather McCorkle, RaShelle Workman, Ali Cross, Karen Amanda Hooper, Cory Putman Oakes, Laura Pauling, Stacey Wallace Benefiel, Sarra Cannon, Katie Klein, Cheri Lasota

Transcendent: Tales of the Paranormal by Lani Woodland, Melonie Piper, Rita Webb, Wendy Swore, Melanie Marks, Heather McCubbin and Evan Joseph (YA Anthology)
Discover the secrets of a siren, fly with a hawk girl over the mountains of Montana, and flee supernatural party-crashers as the décor comes to life in this magical journey through paranormal stories. Along the way, watch for ghosts in a haunted house, or ride through the moonlight with a stranger. Save a comatose boy who has lost his soul, and don’t forget to bring your garlic and wolfsbane—you never know when the shadows will snag you. Transcendent includes eight stories of magic, love, death, and choice by some of the newest names in young adult fiction. $0.99 on Amazon

Young Adult
Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn (Paranormal/Science Fiction) 
When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep. Sixteen-year-old Kira Moore is a zero, someone who can’t read thoughts or be read by others. Zeros are outcasts who can’t be trusted, leaving her no chance with Raf, a regular mindreader and the best friend she secretly loves. When she accidentally controls Raf’s mind and nearly kills him, Kira tries to hide her frightening new ability from her family and an increasingly suspicious Raf. But lies tangle around her, and she’s dragged deep into a hidden world of mindjackers, where having to mind control everyone she loves is just the beginning of the deadly choices before her. $2.99 on Amazon 

Bound by C.K. Bryant (Paranormal Romance) 
When a photo shoot ends in tragedy, Kira discovers her best friend, Lydia,has been keeping a secret. Knowing the truth, and accepting it, will change Kira’s life forever and thrust her into a world of ancient curses, magical objects, and savage enemies. What happens next will challenge everything Kira knows about her world, herself and the shape-shifting warrior she’s falling in love with. No longer the timid mouse her mother accused her of being, but a woman who finds the mental and physical strength to endure and survive. $3.99 on Amazon

Become by Ali Cross (YA Urban Fantasy)
Sixteen-year old Desolation Black wants nothing more than to stay in Hell where it’s cold and lonely and totally predictable. Instead, she’s sent back to Earth where she Becomes the evil she despises and the good she always feared. When Desi is forced to embrace her inner demon, she assumes her Choice has been made—that she has no hope of being anything other than what her father, Lucifer, has created her to be. What she doesn’t count on, is a reason to want to change—something she’s never had before—a friend. $3.99 on Amazon

Exiled by RaShelle Workman (YA SF Romance) 
Worlds divided them. Chance brought them together. Only love will save them. An alien princess exiled to Earth. An arrogant boy. One week to get back to her planet or she'll die. And, her only chance for survival? She must help the boy find his soul mate. Piece of cake! $0.99 on Kindle
The Secret of Spruce Knoll by Heather McCorkle (Urban Fantasy)
Following the tragic death of her parents, Eren Donovan moves to Spruce Knoll to live with an aunt she’s never met. Little does Eren know the entire town of Spruce Knoll is filled with “channelers”—a magical group of people who immigrated to the small Colorado town when they were driven out of their own lands. Channelers are tied to the fate of the world. As the world slowly dies, so do they—and they alone have the power to stop the destruction of Earth. Soon, Eren learns she not only lives among them, but she is one. When she meets local boy Aiden, his charm convinces her that being a channeler may not be all bad though. $4.99 on Amazon 

Destined by Jessie Harrell (Retelling) 
When Psyche receives a prophecy gone horribly wrong, she learns that even the most beautiful girl in Greece can have a hideous future. Her fate? Fall in love with the one creature even the gods fear. As she feels herself slipping closer into the arms of the prophecy, Psyche must choose between the terrifyingly tender touch she feels almost powerless to resist and the one constant she's come to expect out of life: you cannot escape what is destined.  $0.99 on Amazon
Darkspell by Elizabeth Mueller (Paranormal Romance) 
Winter Sky believes she is everything ordinary . . . until she is kissed by Alex Stormhold. As seer of Stormhold Coven, Alex is sworn to be Winter’s protector against the darkness that hunts her.  Violently thrust into a magickal realm she always thought impossible, she stumbles upon a disturbing secret of her own. Will love prove thicker than magick? $3.99 on Amazon
Untraceable by S. R. Johannes (Thriller) 
Grace has lived in the Smokies all her life, patrolling with her forest ranger father who taught her about wildlife, tracking, and wilderness survival. When her dad goes missing on a routine patrol, Grace refuses to believe he’s dead and fights the town authorities, tribal officials, and nature to find him. One day, while out tracking clues, Grace is rescued from danger by Mo, a hot guy with an intoxicating accent and a secret. As her feelings between him and her ex-boyfriend get muddled, Grace travels deep into the wilderness to escape  and find her father. Along the way, Grace learns terrible secrets that sever relationships and lives. Soon she’s enmeshed in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder. And it’s going to take a lot more than a compass and a motorcycle (named Lucifer) for this kick-butting heroine to save everything she loves. $2.99 on Amazon

Rival Demons (Book 5 of the Peachville High Demons Series) by Sarra Cannon (Paranormal Romance) Available January 20th
After narrowly escaping death at the hands of the Order of Shadows, Harper finds herself thrust into the strange and beautiful world of the shadow demons. But crossing through the portal doesn't mean she is safe. The Order of Shadows is determined to bring her home and transfer the Prima line to the Harris family. They send their most vicious hunters after Harper. Hunters who will not stop until they have found their prey. Determined to keep her safe, Jackson takes her deep into an underground world filled with dangers of its own. Here, Harper will begin a journey that will teach her more about herself and her own path than she ever imagined possible. Add to Goodreads TBR

The Legend of Victor Standish: Under a Voodoo Moon by Roland D. Yeomans (Urban Fantasy/Romance) 
Can love kill? Yes ... if you love a ghoul who hungers for your flesh only slightly less than she does your heart.  Yet to the lonely street orphan Victor Standish, who has risked his life for a meal, to find love (even for one magical French Quarter night) is worth dying in the morning. $2.99 on Amazon All profits go to the Salvation Army.
Getting Sideways (Book 2 in the Full Throttle Series) by Lisa Nowak (Contemporary) 
Getting shipped off to live with his uncle Race was the best thing that ever happened to fifteen-year-old Cody. Then a wreck at the speedway nearly ruined everything. Cody’s making every effort to get his life back on track—writing for the school paper, searching for the perfect girlfriend, and counting the days until he gets his drivers’ license—but there’s no escaping the nightmares that haunt him. A chance to build his own car seems like the perfect distraction. Until Cody realizes he’ll have to live up to Race’s legendary status. But that’s the least of his worries, considering he doesn’t have his dad’s permission. All he has to do is the impossible: keep Race from discovering his lie until he can convince his dad that racing’s safe. Yeah, sure. That’ll be easy. $3.99 on Amazon

Tangled Tides by Karen Hooper (Sea Monster Memoirs) 
Yara Jones doesn’t believe in sea monsters—until she becomes one. When a hurricane hits her island home and she wakes up with fins, Yara finds herself tangled up in an underwater world of mysterious merfolk and secretive selkies. Both sides believe Yara can save them by fulfilling a broken promise and opening the sealed gateway to their realm, but they are battling over how it should be done. The selkies want to take her life. The merfolk want something far more precious. Treygan, the stormy-eyed merman who turned Yara mer, will stop at nothing and sacrifice everything to protect his people—until he falls for Yara. The tides turn as Yara fights to save herself, hundreds of sea creatures, and the merman who has her heart. She could lose her soul in the process—or she might open the gateway to a love that’s deeper than the oceans. $4.99 on Amazon

Here by Denise Grover Swank (SF Romance)
Sixteen year old Julia Phillips buries herself in guilt after killing her best friend Monica in a car accident. Julia awoke in the hospital with a broken leg, a new talent for drawing and false memories of the accident, in which she dies and Monica lives. The doctors attribute this to her head injury, but no one can explain how a bracelet engraved with her name ended up at the scene of the accident. A bracelet no one has ever seen before. Classmate Evan Whittaker paid Julia no attention before the accident, let alone after. Now suddenly he’s volunteering to tutor her and offering to drive her home. She can't ignore that his new obsession started after his two-day disappearance last week and that he wears a pendant she’s been drawing for months. When the police show up one night looking for Evan, he begs Julia to run with him, convincing her that Monica is still alive. Julia agrees to go, never guessing where he’s really from.  $2.99 on Amazon

The Veil by  Cory Putman Oakes (Paranormal Romance)
Seventeen-year-old Addison Russell is in for a shock when she discovers that she can see the invisible world of the Annorasi.  Suddenly, nothing is as it appears to be—the house she lives in, the woman who raised her, even the most beautiful boy in town all turn out to be more than what they seem.  And when this strange new world forces Addy to answer for a crime that was committed long ago, by parents she has never known, she has no choice but to trust Luc, the mysterious Annorasi who has been sent to protect her.  Or so he says . . . $7.99 on Amazon
Embrace by Cherie Colyer (Paranormal Romance)
Madison is familiar enough with change, and she hates everything about it. Change took her long-term boyfriend away from her. It caused one of her friends to suddenly hate her. It’s responsible for the death of a local along with a host of other mysterious happenings. But when Madison meets a hot new guy, she thinks her luck is about to improve. Madison is instantly drawn to the handsome and intriguing Isaac Addington. She quickly realizes he’s a guy harboring a secret, but she’s willing to risk the unknown to be with him. Her world really spins out of control, however, when her best friend becomes delusional, seeing things that aren’t there and desperately trying to escape their evil. When the doctors can’t find the answers, Madison seeks her own. Nothing can prepare her for what she is about to discover. $6.99 on Amazon

Onyx Talisman by Brenda Pandos (Paranormal Romance)
Unrest stirs deep in Scotts Valley. Filled with uncertainty, Julia anxiously awaits Nicholas’ return. Phil, holds the pieces of Julia’s fragile psyche together, secretly hoping Nicholas stays away forever. But Alora secretly conspires to reclaim her talisman and strip Julia of everything she holds dear. Little do they know, a war is coming and more than one vampire would like to see the Prince of Vampires overthrown. Can Julia bargain with fate? Find out how it all ends in this explosive grand finale of The Talisman Trilogy. $3.99 on Amazon 

How to Date an Alien by Magan Vernon (Science Fiction) 
High school senior Alex Bianchi's estranged father gets her an internship at Circe Operations Center to pad her college applications. But Circe isn't your typical military base. It's an alien-run operation center and not all of the aliens are friendly, especially the one that tries to kill Alex on her first day. When Ace, a dark-eyed Caltian, enters and saves the day, she can't help but be drawn to him. Can these star-crossed lovers survive when they're on the brink of intergalactic war? $2.99 on Amazon
Fireseed One by  Catherine Stine (Science Fiction/Thriller) 
Fireseed One is a journey into a tricked-out near-future earth where 18 year-old Varik has inherited a vast ocean farm, following the suspicious drowning of his Marine biologist father. When Marisa, a beautiful and devious terrorist, destroys the world's food source, Varik is forced to travel to a lethal hotzone, teeming with dangerous nomads and a strange cult to search for a magical hybrid plant that may not even exist. The catch? He must take Marisa along, the only person who seems to know way, way too much key information.  $2.99 on Amazon 
The Missing by M.A. Leslie (Paranormal)
Eight-year-old, Ethan Doyle is just a normal kid whose biggest problem in life was to fight for the attention of his busy parents from his older twin siblings. But, after his aunt and uncle tragically die, his family takes in his teenage cousin, Kelsey, and moves to a spooky old, manor house in a new town. At first, everything seems fine, but when he begins to see and speak to a spirit named Lucas, his biggest problem becomes, just staying alive. Lucas was ten years old when the spirits of the house came to him and asked him for help setting their spirits free. Unfortunately, he never made the deadline and as a result the spirits took him and made him a part of the house as well. As he soon finds out, the only way he can save his own soul is to save the souls of the missing boys in the house. With his own deadline in place, Ethan enlists the help of his cousin Kelsey to solve the twenty-year-old mystery of THE MISSING. $0.99 on Amazon

Princess Kandake by Stephanie Jefferson (Fantasy) Available February 1, 2012
In Nubia a woman can be whatever she chooses. At 14, Kandake knows exactly what she chooses...Prime Warrior of Nubia. But her grandmother has said that she will follow her father on the throne. Refusing to abandon her warrior dreams she continues to train. When her brother is kidnapped, Kandake learns she must be both queen and warrior to win his release! See Author's Website 

Middle Grade
Blink of a Dragon by Eisley Jacobs (Fantasy)
Discovering she’s connected to dragons is one thing, but when another dragon is caught hanging out in the fifth grade, Meia thinks things couldn’t get any worse. Is she ever wrong! Trouble is brewing in the cosmos and Deglan believes this new dragon holds the answers, but his hopes are crushed when the leader of the exiled dark dragons ambushes them. The fate of the dragons and possibly the whole world falls to Deglan and Meia as they search for the only creature powerful enough to send the dark dragons back into the abyss. What they encounter along the way makes the adventure worth fighting for. $6.99
Paperback preorder

Many thanks to Susan Kaye Quinn for organising this! Have a great week, everyone.