Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Amarok's Bite Cover Reveal

I'm very excited to bring you the cover of

 Amarok's Bite

 Urban Fantasy Short Story (previously published in the Winter Wonders Anthology)


Title: Amarok's Bite
Author: Yelena Casale
Genre: Urban Fantasy - short story (4500 words)
Release Date: December 3rd, 2014 
Cover Design: Tina Moss 
 
Add on Goodreads


Amarok's Bite

Lilly and her sexy beast of a werewolf partner Shayne make a great team working for the Peace Control Department. But when she tries to take on a rogue amarok on her own, things go terribly wrong, and she is left with an agonizing choice between dying and becoming a despised amarok herself. When Shayne makes the choice for her, she has to come to terms with what she is, and her feelings for Shayne, before facing off against the creature that changed her life forever.

About the Author

Yelena Casale is an award-winning author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Being very curious and inquisitive, she has been a devoted reader and writer since childhood. As a 2nd degree black belt and instructor in Shotokan karate, an avid traveler and history and art enthusiast, she weaves universal themes with martial arts philosophies into her stories. She lives with her amazing, super supportive husband. In her spare time, she reads, paints, watches cool shows on TV and tries to get more sleep. Like the samurai of the old, as well as the ultimate Renaissance man and Yelena's favorite historical figure, Leonardo da Vinci, she believes that nothing is greater than mastery of oneself.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Fragile Reign by Stacey O'Neale - Release Day Launch & Giveaway

Fragile Reign Release Day

I'm excited to take part in Stacey O'Neale's release day launch for FRAGILE REIGN! Check out the book below and be sure to enter the amazing giveaway!

Fragile Reign by Stacey O'Neale
It’s been a week since all hell broke loose… Rumors of King Taron’s weakened powers have left the air court vulnerable. Kalin is desperate to awaken her akasha powers, except she doesn’t know how. Tension within the court is at an all-time high. Pressure is mounting for her to ascend to the throne, but a halfling has never ruled over any court. To solidify her position, the council has advised her to marry Sebastian—a high ranking air elemental she’s never met and her betrothed. Will Kalin sacrifice her relationship with Rowan to strengthen her court? Rowan and Marcus return to a fire court in turmoil. Liana’s death has fueled the fire elementals’ distrust against the air and woodland courts. The unbalanced elements have set off natural disasters all over the mortal world. Rowan takes the throne to restore balance, promising to unite the fire court. But not all elementals are happy with his leadership. Many are secretly loyal to Valac, which means Rowan needs to find allies for his cause. Can Rowan unify the court of fire before the elements destroy the world? Goodreads | Amazon

If you haven't read Stacey's Mortal Enchantment series, you can get the first book for FREE on Amazon and Barnes & Noble! The Shadow Prince won GOLD at the 2014 Readers' Favorite Book Awards in the Short Story/Novella category!

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Excerpt from FRAGILE REIGN

Rowan
After Marcus left, the lack of sleep and overuse of my power had finally caught up to me. My lids were heavy, making it hard to keep my eyes open. I laid down on the nearest bed, sinking into the softness of the vanilla scented pillows. I could rest here until tomorrow, and then meet Kalin on the beach at sundown. As I closed my eyes, I imagined her in that sexy sundress with the ocean breeze wafting through her red curls. My lips tingled remembering the raspberry taste of her kisses. With all this craziness going on, she was the one thing that made sense. The only person who could make me forget about everything for a little while. Kalin was the one I wanted. The only one I needed. I shook my head. What was wrong with me? It was too soon to be thinking about this stuff, right? It had only been a few weeks. And what did I know about real feelings, anyway? Had it not been for Marcus, I would never even know what it felt like to care for someone. Love was never part of my life. My mother thought love was a weakness—a totally worthless emotion compared to power and control. But that still didn’t explain how I was feeling. Why everything seemed better when Kalin was around. Why my fingers ached to touch her. Why her pain shattered me to the core. I put my hands over my face. Or, maybe the lack of sleep was making me delusional. With a smirk, I gave in to the darkness that was overwhelming me and fell asleep.

Stacey O'NealeAbout the Author

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads
Stacey O'Neale lives in Annapolis, Maryland. When she's not writing, she spends her time fangirling over books, blogging, watching fantasy television shows, cheering for the Baltimore Ravens, and hanging out with her husband and daughter. Her career in publishing started as a blogger-turned-publicist for two successful small publishers. Stacey writes young adult paranormal romance and adult science fiction romance. Her books always include swoon-worthy heroes, snarky heroines, and lots of kissing. Stacey loves hearing from readers. Follow her on Twitter @StaceyONeale, look for her on Facebook, Pinterest, and GoodReads. You can also visit her blog at http://staceyoneale.com/.

Giveaway

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Quote of the Day



“Winning here is a conscious decision. Make up your mind whether you want to pass — or choose to fail. Whatever you have to do — just find an excuse to win.”

 ~ Lone Survivor

Monday, November 17, 2014

Quote of the Day




I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.

~ Walt Disney

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Quote of the Day



Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

~ Dr. Seuss 

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Visitors by Katy Newton Naas - Blitz & Giveaway

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Book & Author Details:

The Visitors by Katy Newton Naas
Publication date: September 16th 2014
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Synopsis:
Sometimes soul mates find each other in unlikely places. But is love worth it if it risks your life?
Seventeen-year-old Noah is startled when he awakes one day to find that dangerous, irrational, self-serving, and destructive visitors called “humans” are coming to visit his beautiful, perfect society. All citizens are ordered to have limited contact and share minimal information with these visitors.
Sixteen-year-old Jady is thrilled to accompany her father and his crew on a trip to a recently-discovered planet, Verdant. The United States’ crew is hopeful that they can learn from this ad-vanced yet similar species.
Despite their greatest efforts to fight it, it doesn’t take long for Jady and Noah to fall in love and begin a secret affair. But when their relationship is revealed, danger is created for everyone in-volved…



Purchase:
--B&N

AUTHOR BIO
Katy Newton Naas wears many hats: wife; mother to her young son, Aven, and her four-legged sons, Shakespeare and Poe; teacher of middle school reading and high school English; children’s church teacher; and now – her lifelong dream realized – author. Her debut novel, THE VISITORS, was released September 16, 2014. She graduated from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale with a bachelor’s degree in English Education and a master’s degree in Reading and Language Studies. She resides and teaches in a small town in southern Illinois.

From a young age, Katy was always an avid reader and writer with a big imagination. She spent much of her childhood searching for ghosts and UFOs to no avail – but she hasn’t given up her hunt just yet. Though she continues to grow older, her true literature love is and has always been young adult fiction. She loves creating both futuristic and realistic stories about teenagers, and feels so fortunate to get to work with them every day as a teacher.

Author links:
 
Giveaway:
Comment below for a chance to win one (1) ebook copy of the Visitors. Winners will be announced December 9th.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday Art & History Feature - Isabella d'Este

Isabella d'Este, a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci, possibly made for a painting
The Italian Renaissance brought us not only great men - artists and sculptors, like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, notorious and powerful princes like Cesare Borgia and men who wrote about them, like Michaevelli - but also great women who became a force in their own right.

One such woman was Isabella D'Este, Duke of Ferrara Ercole I D'Este and Eleanor of Naples. Isabella was influential in the political and cultural landscape of the Italian Renaissance, a major patron of arts and an inexhaustible letter-writer, which allows us a glimpse into the society of her time.

Young Isabella d'Este (anonymous painter)
Born in May of 1474 in Ferrara in northern Italy, Isabella was educated in the best classical manner. She was well versed in classical literature and history, could read, write and translate from Greek and Latin and easily held intellectual conversations with the brightest writers and scholars in the court, as well as ambassadors and heads of states. She was the oldest of the Duke's children, and her siblings included Beatrice D'Este, another influential woman of the Renaissance, and brothers Alfonso, Ippolito, Ferrante and Sigismondo. Alfonso would become the third husband of Lucrezia Borgia.

Although she was at first betrothed to, Gianfrancesco, the heir to the Marquis of Mantua, she married his successor ten years later, Francesco Gonzaga. The two deeply admired and respected each other and those feelings eventually grew into real love. Since her husband was often away in Venice as the Captain General of the Venetian armies, Isabella often ruled as his regent.

Isabella's husband, Franceso Gonzaga

She also developed a very close friendship with her sister-in-law, Elisabetta Gonzaga, and the two would go on to be lifelong friends, as their many letters to each other attest to. Four years after her wedding, Isabella gave birth to her first daughter. In total, she and Francesco would have eight children.

When her brother Alfonso married the notorious Lucrezia Borgia, Isabella hosted the festivities but soon turned cold towards her new sister-in-law. She had a reason - jealousy. Lucrezia went on to have a torrid and passionate affair with Isabella's husband, Francesco, which lasted quite a while and only ended at the time of his death from syphillis. During the years of the affair, however, Isabella continued to bear her husband children.

Mantua
Isabella often demonstrated courage and astute mind and competency in political affairs, to the point where some considered her a better and more competent ruler than her husband. When Francesco became a hostage in Venice in 1509, Isabella didn't hesitate to take control of Mantua's military and was able to hold off the invaders until  her husband was released in 1512. She continued to be an important and competent regent during other times her husband was absent, as well as as a regent to her son, Federico. She played a major roles in promoting Mantua to a Duchy and was a wise diplomat in her dealings with our states, and even negotiated with Cesare Borgia.

Besides her political and diplomatic acumen, Isabella was a great patron of the arts and literature, as well as a leader in fashion.  She loved music and played musical instruments herself. Among the great artists she sponsored were Titian, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci and Bellini. Through her letters we know that she repeatedly asked Leonardo da Vinci to paint her portrait. While there is a knowing drawing of her by Leonardo, the complete painting was not discovered until much later.

Isabella in her 60s, by Titian
A writer Matteo Bandello described her as "supreme among women", while diplomat Niccolo da Correggio called her "The First Lady of the world."

After becoming a widow, Isabella continued to participate in the politics of Mantua and was well loved and respected by her people. In her later years, she turned Mantua into the center of arts and culture, creating a museum and even opening a school for girls. She also collected antiquities.

She died on February 13th, 1539 in Mantua, leaving a great legacy behind her.




Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isabella_d%27Este
               http://womenshistory.about.com/od/medievalitalianwomen/a/isabella_d_este.htm
               http://italianrenaissanceresources.com/units/unit-8/essays/isabella-deste-collects/





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