Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Monday YA Promos from Kat Ross, Kathryn Berla, & Christopher D. Morgan


The Midnight Sea
Kat Ross
(Fourth Element #1)
Publication date: May 10th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
They are the light against the darkness.
The steel against the necromancy of the Druj.
And they use demons to hunt demons….
Nazafareen lives for revenge. A girl of the isolated Four-Legs Clan, all she knows about the King’s elite Water Dogs is that they bind wicked creatures called daevas to protect the empire from the Undead. But when scouts arrive to recruit young people with the gift, she leaps at the chance to join their ranks. To hunt the monsters that killed her sister.
Scarred by grief, she’s willing to pay any price, even if it requires linking with a daeva named Darius. Human in body, he’s possessed of a terrifying power, one that Nazafareen controls. But the golden cuffs that join them have an unwanted side effect. Each experiences the other’s emotions, and human and daeva start to grow dangerously close.
As they pursue a deadly foe across the arid waste of the Great Salt Plain to the glittering capital of Persepolae, unearthing the secrets of Darius’s past along the way, Nazafareen is forced to question his slavery—and her own loyalty to the empire. But with an ancient evil stirring in the north, and a young conqueror sweeping in from the west, the fate of an entire civilization may be at stake…
EXCERPT:
My eyes flew open at the crack of dawn. I groaned and rubbed my forehead. My scalp tingled, an icy, unpleasant sensation. I knew right away where Darius was and what he was doing. It was another side effect of the bond, I’d discovered. I could feel his heart beating. I knew that one of his boots was too tight. I could shut my eyes and tell you exactly where he was, even if he was hundreds of leagues away.
Why had no one told me what it would be like? I supposed Tijah did, but this was much worse than I’d expected. Much, much worse.
I threw on my new scarlet tunic and marched down to the river. Tendrils of mist swirled through the dead reeds at the edge. It was late autumn and the air had a dank chill that promised snow.
My da─ôva stood there, stripped to the waist, pouring water over his head with his right hand. He wore a gold faravahar on a chain around his neck, its eagle wings spread wide. His left arm lay at his side, grey and dead. I stared at his shoulder, at the juncture where smooth skin met rough. His Druj curse.
It slowed me for a moment, seeing that pathetic arm, but I wasn’t yet ready to forgive him for waking me. That was my excuse, anyway. Of course, what really angered me was the terrible realization that I was burdened with a sorrow not my own, but that bled me nonetheless. What really angered me was him—everything about him.
He was calmer this morning, but I wasn’t. I stopped about twenty feet away. He didn’t turn around although he knew I was there.
“It’s nice that you’re so pious,” I said. “But don’t you think it’s a little early to be down here performing the morning rites?”
He paused, then dumped the last of the water from the bowl. I felt the cold trickle down my spine and my lips tightened.
“I was taught by the magi to come at first light,” Darius said. “Did you expect to sleep in? I’m afraid that’s not the way it works for Water Dogs.” He smiled, and we both knew it was fake. “I’m sorry if I’ve offended you in some way.”
I stared at him, at the dark hair plastered across his forehead, his stubborn mouth. He looked so human. And yet there was something in the way Darius held himself, perfectly at ease in his own skin. Still but coiled, like the wolves I’d seen in the mountains.
“You haven’t offended me in the least,” I said. “I suppose you need the blessing more than I do.”
I spun on my heel and walked away, knowing I had wounded him. A small stab to my own heart. And I felt slightly ashamed. But that wasn’t the end of it. Then I felt his satisfaction at my shame. And my own anger that he knew and was glad.
And then his amusement at my anger!
I stalked off, determined to think nothing, to feel nothing, ever again.
If only it were that easy.


Author Bio:
Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She lives in Westchester with her kid and a few sleepy cats. Kat is also the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day (Skyscape, 2014), about a world where the sea levels have risen sixty meters. She loves magic, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Preferably with mutants.

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12 Hours in Paradise
Kathryn Berla
Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: April 19th 2016
Genres: Romance, Young Adult
Twelve hours, thirty-six questions, and a chance to fall in love…
It’s the last day of Dorothy Patmont’s family vacation. Soon, she must head back to Reno, where all that waits for her is the cold and the snow. To top it all off, her brother, Chester, acted like a little jerk and ate one too many cookies from the sample jar in the cookie store. But his antics have an unexpected benefit—attracting the attention of an intriguing boy who could change her life forever.
Treats can be sweet, but love is sweeter still…
Arash Atkinson, fluent in four languages and an adventurous soul, is in Waikiki for a high school band competition. When he meets Dorothy, he realizes their time together is limited. “Come out and play,” he texts her. A night of romantic adventure ensues, and Arash discovers an app that claims it can make people fall in love after answering thirty-six questions in each other’s presence.
With each question asked, their stories and feelings continue to unfold. But with every hour that passes they’re more at risk of being found out—Dorothy, by her parents; Arash by his school chaperone. And then Arash gets the dreaded phone call—he has been discovered missing from his room, and must return immediately. Can they finish the questions before facing their consequences?
When time is running out, true love cannot wait. What Arash and Dorothy have is beyond special, something that comes along once in a lifetime, and begins with Twelve Hours In Paradise…but can it survive the trials of the real world?
EXCERPT:
We stepped into the open-air lobby, where tables had been set out with bowls of the usual happy-hour snacks. A light breeze ruffled my hair, and scarlet-headed birds darted from table to table, looking for crumbs. Pigeons strutted purposefully under the tables, scurrying away whenever a human foot got too close.
Chester made a beeline to the bar, where he ordered a virgin strawberry daiquiri. Arash and I followed him, each of us ordering guava juice. I really was going to miss Hawaii. I never got to drink guava juice in Reno. I never got to feel air this soft against my bare skin. The surf pounded in the distance. I’d miss that sound too. A constant. The heartbeat of this island.
We sat down at an open table while Chester brought back bowl after bowl of chips, popcorn, pretzels, and everything else he could get his hands on.
“So is that why you talk funny?” he asked when he finally sat down. “Because your mom is Persian?”
“I grew up in six different countries,” Arash said. “I speak four languages. So my accent is a mixture of all the places I’ve ever lived. A mongrel accent.”
“A mongrel,” Chester said. “Like Genghis Khan?”
“Oh my God.” I shook my head. “Genghis Khan was a Mongol, not a mongrel.” I turned to Arash and rolled my eyes. “Sorry about my brother.”
But he just laughed. “Mongrel. Like a mutt. A mixture of many things.”
And then we talked about Reno and what it was like to live there.
And about the town outside of San Francisco where Arash lived.
And about how he was in Hawaii for a high school band competition.
And at some point Chester got bored and went up to our room to watch TV while my parents finished packing.
And at some point Arash asked if we could trade contact info just in case.
Just in case he ever came to Reno.
Just in case I ever went to San Francisco.
And at some point I realized Arash was not like any other guy I’d ever known. But in a good way.
And at some point after that, he left and I went up to the room I shared with Granny and finished packing my own stuff.


Author Bio:
Kathryn Berla graduated from the University of California at Berkeley as an English major. She has lived in many different countries in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. She currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.



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Forestium
Christopher D. Morgan
(Portallas #1)
Publication date: February 28th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Joshua’s life is on the line, as he attempts to navigate through the magical world of Forestium to find the truth about his father. He and his companions will need to use all their cunning to stay alive and avoid the dark forces of the Goat. Will he find the magical orbs and open the Portallas, a magical gateway to other worlds, before he’s killed?
Joshua sets out to learn the truth about his father. Along the way, he finds friends, enemies, adventure, romance and himself.
Q&A with Christopher D. Morgan:
When did you first discover your love for writing?
Actually, not until quite late in life. In fact, I was never very good at English when I was in school and writing was always a chore to be avoided at all costs. Being blessed with unintelligible handwriting wasn’t helpful either. Later in life, however, articulating myself through the written word became something I really started to enjoy.
Do you have a favourite place to write?
Not really, but it does have to be in a quiet environment. I’m very easily distracted. When I’m in the zone, I tend to quietly slip off to a cosy spot and get my nose down into the keyboard. I wrote Forestium: The Mirror Never Lies entirely from the family home. Often on the sofa, but sometimes on the bed or at the computer desk. I haven’t tried going to a writer’s retreat yet. Perhaps I’ll reserve that for a special occasion.
Do you have a writing routine or process that you adhere to?
Oh yes. Typically, I’ll kick off a chapter with brief one-liners that describe the events to come sequentially. There could be anywhere up to 50 or more of these for a given chapter. I do this to map out the scene or chapter and then convert each one in turn into a paragraph or two. This process is repeated until all the one-liners are gone. That’s actually the hardest part, I think. I’ll then scour what’s written repeatedly, fixing and adjusting. Of course, that last part is never truly finished – ever.
Where did you come up with the name Portallas?
Initially, it started quite literally from the word PORTAL. This quickly led to the word Portallas and the idea of having some sort of portal that would link worlds together. An interesting aside is that Portallas actually started out life as Portallus. Unfortunately, portallus.com was already taken, but portallas.com was still available, so a hasty name change took place. Despite the master plan I have in my mind, I wrote Forestium: The Mirror Never Lies deliberately to stand on its own merits as a standalone book.
Do you have a favourite amongst all your characters?
I have a real soft spot for Sarah, as do many others. She embodies many of the characteristics I’d wish for in my own daughter. She’s a strong, independent, resourceful and brilliant young woman – not to mention absolutely beautiful. Of course, she has her flaws. She tend to ramble on a bit (much to the annoyance of Andrew).
Do you have any advice for other aspiring authors?
I’m still learning as I go but there are some things that I can advise others that may wish to follow in the path: - Go for it. Really, just do it. You may be pleasantly surprised. Even if you fail, it’s better to have tried and failed than to wonder for the rest of your life whether you could have done it or not. - If you are going to publish a book on a budget, don’t scrimp on the editing or the book cover – at least, make those your primary focus. Everything else is expendable when push comes to shove. - Don’t get conned. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done, as there will always be people looking to take advantage of someone with a need.


Author Bio:
Christopher Morgan is an author, blogger, IT Manager, graphics artist, businessman, volunteer and family man living in Melbourne, Australia. Much of his time is spent volunteering for his local community. He creates visual learning resources for primary school children, which are marketed through his company Bounce Learning Kids. He is also involved in local civics and sits on various community & council committees.
Christopher was born in the UK and grew up in England’s South East. At age 20, he moved to The Netherlands, where he married Sandy, his wife of 28 years. Christopher quickly learned Dutch and the couple spent 8 years living in the far South of that country before they moved to Florida in 1996. After spending 7 years in Florida, Christopher and Sandy sold their home and spent the next 2 years backpacking around the world. Christopher has visited around 40 countries to date.
Whilst circumnavigating the globe, Christopher wrote extensively, churning out travel journals. He and Sandy settled back in the UK at the end of their world tour, where their two children were both born. In 2009, the family moved to Melbourne, Australia, where they now live.
FORESTIUM is Christopher’s debut novel and is the first in the PORTALLAS series.

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