Monday, March 31, 2014

First Impression Book Blitz!!!




First Impression 
A Shadow Maven Paranormal
by Pauline Creeden
Published on March 22, 2014

Now on sale for only .99cents for a limited time! Pick up your copy now!


Chira Kelly thought she didn’t need anyone…until she met Ben.

Because of one ugly rumor, Chira lives as an outcast at her school. Which is fine with her, because she works better alone. Always has, always will. And at least she has her one and only true friend, Tasha. When Tasha insists that they join a group to visit a possibly haunted abandoned old schoolhouse, she's wary, but joins her friend. Because of that decision, their lives are in jeopardy as a malevolent spirit targets the group. Tragedies and accidents pick them off one by one, and Chira finds herself drawn to the one person who can see the truth. But can he protect her?




EXCERPT


 She rips my hall pass from her pad and points it toward the young man sitting across from her desk. “Chira Kelley, meet Ben Oscuro. He’s new here and needs someone to show him around. It just so happens he’s also a member of class 18B.”
I finally lay my eyes on the boy. He doesn’t look up at me, and his disheveled dark hair is just long enough that it hides his eyes. But he pushes himself up from his chair and his slim form towers over me. He’s at least six feet two and his uniform is almost as crumpled as his hair. He swings his backpack onto a strong, square shoulder and nibbles his full bottom lip. His smooth olive skin and dark hair make him look like a foreign rocker, and there’s something about him that seems vaguely familiar.
“Here’s a copy of his class schedule. When you’re not in the same class, I want you to leave a few minutes early and help him find the next class room. That’s your job for today. Got it?”
I swallow back and resist sniffling again. Taking the hall pass and the copy of the schedule from her, I say, “Um…sure.”
“Excellent. Robin, you’re off the hook.”
The office aide pumps a fist in the air before returning to file more papers in the cabinet. The secretary’s chair squeals a dismissal, and Mrs. Campbell picks up her phone, returning to her duties without another word.
Ben pulls open the office door and stands to the side to allow me to go first. The hallway that was empty only a short while ago is now full of students and their incessant conversations. With a shrug, I eye his class schedule quickly. Except for second and sixth period, we have exactly the same schedule. He’s in all of the advanced classes, too. Only he has gym for second period and Latin for sixth – opposite of my schedule, except I take French.
Piece of cake.
I glance up at him again, and his eyes meet mine. My breath hitches. His intense gaze makes me feel like he’s measuring me. The dark pools of his eyes seem deep and bottomless, but there’s something strange about them. They’re brown, but he has colored contacts. Why would anyone color their eyes brown?
My heart flutters. A sniffle escapes me before I can stop it. Ugh. I clear my throat and start in the direction of first period. “Follow me.”
We elbow our way down the freshman hall toward the second floor, but before we start up I point down the way. “Do you know what your locker number is?”
Ben nods and pushes his backpack up on his shoulder further.
I wait for a second and then smile. “What is it?”
“706.” He has a slight accent and his voice is deeper than I expect. I suppress a shiver at the jolt that the musical timbre of his voice sends through my body. I’m resonating like a tuning fork. II really want him to speak again with every fiber of my being. What’s with me?
“Uh…okay.” I swallow, trying to regain composure. And take him to the general area of the locker. “Here it is.”
He looks at it, nods, and returns his hard gaze to me. Is he always so stiff? Probably just nerves from being new.
“I know you don’t have any books to put in it, but do you want to try out the combination?”
He lifts one shoulder in a shrug and spins the combo quickly through the three numbers. I purposefully avert my eyes so he knows I’m not peeking. He opens the locker wide, nods toward me and then closes it again.
“Great. We have first period over here.”
“You and I have the same first period?”
My body vibrates again, and I blink hard. So glad my back was to him so he couldn’t see the effect his voice has on me. I swallow and face him. “Actually, yeah. Our schedules are very similar. It’s a smallish school so there’re only a few tracks that juniors can be on.”
He nods, and his eyes are half lidded as if he’s bored already.
I lead him toward our class room. “We don’t really have assigned seats, so you can pretty much sit anywhere you want. I’ll show you to the gym at the end of class. I have French next, but it’s not too far from there.”
I lead him to the front of the class, and my friend, Tasha, gives me a wan smile and raises her eyebrows, looking back and forth between me and Ben. She mouths, Who’s that?
I roll my eyes and put up one finger toward her to let her know I’ll tell her in a minute. Then I turn to the teacher. I hand him the schedule from the office. “Hi, Mr. Scott, this is Ben Oscuro, a transfer.”
Mr. Scott sets down the Mountain Dew he was drinking and offers Ben a wide grin. He puts a hand out for him to shake. Ben hesitates but takes the hand in what looks like a firm grip. Mr. Scott shakes his hand afterward. “That’s some grip you’ve got there.” He laughs and leans down to the bottom drawer of his desk and hands Ben a Geography text book.
With a nod, I return to Tasha and squeeze into the desk next to hers. Because I’m at Jackson Hall partially on scholarship and partially on my father’s insurance money, I’m somewhat of a social pariah. My only real friend is Tasha Brown, a pariah herself, being one of the few African-American kids in the school. Still she tends to be more popular than me, because at least her family has the money they’ve made in the night club and music business. But then there’s that rumor…
“So who is the new hottie?” Tasha hops up and down in her seat.
I shake my head at her. “You are one big hormone, you know that? Sure, he’s cute, but is there any guy in the room you don’t consider a hottie?”
Tasha scans the room, considering for a moment with her hand on her chin and a very serious expression on her face. Her hair is in the typical pigtail braids she usually uses to play up the uniform. She has on no sweater, and her shirt is one size too small, causing the buttons at the front to bow and expose part of her red bra. Finally she returns her gaze to me. “There’s only one guy in here that doesn’t rank hottie.”
“Really? Who?”
She leans in conspiratorially and whispers, “Mr. Scott.”
I nearly choke on a laugh as I eye the middle aged, balding teacher at the front of the room. But I have to admit, Jackson Hall is a prep school. And no one can afford to make their children look their best more than the wealthy. I guess if I take my father’s words to heart, it’s better to be the poor kid in the rich kids’ school…than the other way around. Right?
Tasha’s smile returns and I follow her gaze to figure out why. Ben Oscuro walks down the aisle between us and takes the desk right behind mine. The hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. I close my eyes and take a deep breath. He smells like pine and mint, and it reminds me of the outdoors. When I open them again, Tasha’s smile has grown impossibly wider. She leans towards me and whispers, “What was that you said about hormones again?”
I shove my elbow toward her but she dodges me with a giggle.

About the author

In simple language, Pauline Creeden creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long. Pauline is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy. Her books have hit #1 on the Amazon Bestseller List and Armored Hearts won the 2013 Book Junkie’s Choice Award in Historical Fiction. First Impression: A Shadow Maven Paranormal is her first mystery. It’s a dark urban fantasy and will be released March 31, 2014.





A Shadow Maven tin full of jellybeans!


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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Street Team Sign Ups Now Open!!!!


Sign up to join us on Emily's street team!!! There will be plenty of first looks at her future work, incentives, and lots of pimping!!!




Thanks for everything you do for Emily! She really appreciates it!!!! 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Cover Reveal: Stay

Title: Stay
Author: Emily Goodwin
Release Date: TBD

Blurb: 

“I felt like I was walking to the end of a plank precariously hanging over shark-infested water. When I jumped, sharp teeth would rip into me and the cold water would steal my breath away. The monsters would take everything from me, leaving me shivering and naked in the water. The only difference was that tonight I would be pulled from the icy darkness and forced to do it again. There would be no release from death, only pain.” 

Home after her first year of college, Adeline Miller is looking forward to a stress free summer filled with reading, working on her blog, and spending time with friends. But all that changes in an instant when she is witness to something terrible, something she wasn't supposed to see. 

Beaten, drugged, kidnapped.


Adeline Miller is ripped from her innocent and carefree life and thrust into darkness, into a world full of pain and horror. As a sex slave, she is forced to do horrible things, and have horrible things done to her. One of her captors has a past as dark as the world she is now living in. Will getting close to him mean freedom? Or will he pull her deeper into the shadows?


Add it to: 













Thursday, February 13, 2014

Women in Horror

I've been a book junkie since I could read. As a kid, I went to the library on a weekly basis, bringing home as many books as I was able to check out. I would read a book every day or two and move on to the next then go back to the library and start again.

Then we got a Barns and Noble in our town. Watch out. My book addiction suddenly became expensive. Like other normal teenage kids (cough cough) I would have my mom take me to B&N, drop me off, and pick me up before they closed. If my evenings weren't spent at the barn, you can bet you'd find me at Barns and Noble sitting in the back of the cafe with books about ghosts or witchcraft. Like I said, totally normal for a 15 year old.

When I would pick out armloads of books, I never paid attention to the author's name, let along gender. My book picking out process goes like this: find books in genre I like, pick out something with a cover that catches my attention (the font and color a title is written in can be the deciding factor on this many times), flip to blurb and either take it or put it down. Checking to see if a woman or man wrote the book never crossed my mind. Why would that matter? A book is a book, right? Men and women BOTH write and they BOTH can be really good and really bad.

Call me crazy but I assumed other people functioned this way.

Now I am involved in the book world in an entirely different way. I am an author. I've written 8 books in the last 3 years. Four are published through Permuted Press (releasing this summer) and the rest are Indie published. In some ways I feel that I have lost my innocence when it comes to books. I see things on an entirely different side than I did before. I know how all the blood and sweat it takes to write a book and that's not to mention editing, proofing, and promoting!

By far, the most shocking thing I've discovered is that there are people out there who will NOT read certain books in certain genres if they are written by women!


I know, right? WHY in the world would you NOT read a book just because it was written by a woman? Sadly, this prejudice is most prevalent in the horror genre. And it's there on both sides…men not reading women and women not reading women. I'm not going to get into they 'why'. How can I explain something so totally asinine as that? I'll just say that the general reasonings behind not reading women horror writers is that women are not 'as good' as male writers. 

Right. Women don't think, feel emotions, or know what's gross, gory, or scary. No, never. Women never feel pain or deal with issues that force them to remain strong and silent. We women can't write horror. Women don't go through childbirth or any other horribly painful event in their lives…more than once. Women never feel fear and definitely can't describe it in written words. We can write about fluffy love stories and puppies and rainbows and…seriously? The minds of women are no less than the minds of men. 


I've been told (more times than I can count now) that it is surprising to hear that I write horror. My newest book is about human trafficking and is way darker than any 'traditional' horror (and by that I mean the gore/slasher/zombie stuff). It's gritty and raw and emotional. It's terrifying and real.

I've been told that I'm 'such a nice, quiet girl' and horror doesn't 'fit my personality'. Say what?? How…*shakes head* I don't even know where to start with that one. 

I've been told that my books are too scary, too dark, that they deal with too many real issues. It's hard for me to think of anything I write as scary or suspenseful since I write it and know what will happen, but that is a compliment to me. Honest.

Being in the minority of female horror writers, I make a point to be proud of who I am and my work. I don't use initials like E.K. Goodwin which leaves gender too ambiguous to figure out. I do not wish to hide the fact that I am a female because it never once crossed my mind that being female was something to hide.

I'm going to close this post now before the turns into a endless rant. Women in horror are awesome. I've gotten to know a few female authors who really stand out to me. Not only do the write kickass books, but they are genuinely nice people who have helped me as a new author. I admire them not only for their literary skills but for their willingness to help others and for sticking up for women in horror.

February is Women in Horror Recognition month, and the focus is on promoting female authors. There is so much we can do to help each other out and end this sexist nonsense. We still have a long way to go, but each step (no matter how little that step is) is a small victory. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

STAY COVER REVEAL Sign ups!!!

Sign ups are open Stay. Stay is a New Adult romance with Thriller, and Crime aspects to it.

http://malleni-stock.deviantart.com/

To Sign up for the reveal please use this FORM.

About the Book:
I felt like I was walking to the end of a plank precariously hanging over shark-infested water. When I jumped, sharp teeth would rip into me and the cold water would steal my breath away. The monsters would take everything from me, leaving me shivering and naked in the water. The only difference was that tonight I would be pulled from the icy darkness and forced to do it again. There would be no release from death, only pain.”

Home after her first year of college, Adeline Miller is looking forward to a stress free summer filled with reading, working on her blog, and spending time with friends. But all that changes in an instant when she is witness to something terrible, something she wasn't supposed to see.

Beaten, drugged, kidnapped.

Adeline Miller is ripped from her innocent and carefree life and thrust into darkness, into a world full of pain and horror. As a sex slave, she is forced to do horrible things, and have horrible things done to her. One of her captors has a past as dark as the world she is now living in. Will getting close to him mean freedom? Or will he pull her deeper into the shadows?


**Stay includes intense scenes that are not suitable to all readers. 

Add it to your TBR list on GOODREADS 


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Want to be in my book?

Do you want to be a character in The Truth is Contagious, the epic finale to the Contagium Series? If you do, here is your chance! You get to pick who you want to be: crazy/zombie, a good guy, or a bad guy. The character will have your name, physical description, and personality traits if applicable. If you want to be infected or bad, you can even pick who kills you! So fun, right?

All you have to do is make some sort of fan art for the series and post it on my Facebook fan page (link). Then I will randomly pick a winner to be in the book! Pretty easy if you ask me :)


This contest will run for two weeks. I will post the winner on Valentine's day.


Examples of fan art:





Friday, January 3, 2014

A note on Beyond the Sea




Several years ago, I had a crazy dream about a boy in a boat waking up to see a mermaid (in human form) running along the beach while playing with an Irish Wolf Hound. From there, I came up with the idea for my novel Beyond the Sea. Now, it's really hard for me to put my books in any sort of rank or say one is my favorite (I've mentioned this before but whatever I'm currently working on somehow manages to become my 'favorite' for the time being.). One thing I can easily say was that the research for Beyond the Sea (BtS) was probably the most fun and interesting (and educational!).

I researched a slew of mythological creatures and myths from different religions. I spent hours watching videos of the ocean, listened to whale calls so I knew how to describe them, learned more about dolphins and sharks than I really needed to, and had a friend who lived on the west coast send me tons of pictures of the beach that the story took place at. Hell, I even came up with my own freaking mermaid language! I spent a few hours at my local library going through Welsh, Latin, French, and Greek dictionaries to come up with the perfect combination of languages to make up Mermish.

That being said, a LOT went into Beyond the Sea. It is (so far) the only book I've written in 3rd person and it is the only book (so far) that I've written with more than one main character. The POV changes between Peter, Melia, and Jamie throughout the book. It was really, really fun to write.

When I started the book, I had one goal in mind: start a book that seems like an innocent human-mermaid love story and then throw in as many creepy-ass underwater creatures as possible. The idea unfolded beautifully and I ended the book feeling the novel was dark and creepy. I wanted it to throw readers for a loop. Anything that can live underwater just kinda creeps me out anyway. I have a fear of being pulled underwater by something-anything-if I'm in a body of water large enough to inhibit me from seeing the bottom. So thinking of demonic underwater creatures really freaks me out. *shudders*

NA wasn't really a thing when I wrote this book. Books were either adult or YA. The middle ground hadn't been explored too much yet. As a total noobie author, that scared me. What would people think of this book I had spent so much time writing? Would anyone even like it? It wasn't adult but it wasn't really YA. There was sex and murder and lots of violence.  And I ended up taking out a lot of the darker parts of BtS to make it more readable to a YA crowd. Yes, I regret that now. And yes, it's more work going back and adding things. Again.

I'm staying positive by having the attitude that I've become a better writer now and can make the book stronger anyway, so a change was coming regardless. I really love everything about this book from the setting (both on land and off) and the characters. I've been thinking about it a lot again lately thanks to another dream and a BtS revamp is happening. Soon. I just need to finish a few other books first LOL.

And I've been asked (many times) if I plan on writing more in this series. The answer is YES. I already have a rough outline for the second book Red Skies at Night and I am very excited because this book will have mermaid zombie. Yes, I said it.

Freaking mermaid zombies.

It is much, much cooler than it sounds, I promise. This book will also have the dark, creepy-ness to it that I loved so much from the start. It picks up a couple months after the BtS ended, with the main characters just starting college. But that is still a long time off…I have many other books lined up before I can even think about RSaN!

I've become slightly obsessed with creating Pinterest boards for my novels. This one is for Beyond the Sea :)