Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Book Blitz: The Secret Star by K.C. Finn

The Secret Star by K.C. Finn Book Blitz
Genre: Science Fiction/Time Travel
Publication Date: August 11th , 2013

In London, 1969, Jeffrey Mercier is just an ageing department store clerk with a long buried secret and a distant memory of a lost love, but when he is suddenly shanghaied by a woman who claims that she can travel in time, his dismal days in menswear are finally cut short. Jeff steps out of his timeline and into a whole new world of possibility and adventure, only to find that he is once again the automaton employee of yet another large corporation: The Time Agency. It has become his duty to protect the people of the future from the threats of their past.

Under the guidance of the struggling captain Marie-Elizabeth Giraud, Jeff learns that he has more in common with his fellow time traveller than he knows. As the adventurers exchange their tales of life and romance in times gone by, their popularity slowly grows in the media-mad atmosphere of the 27th century and Jeff discovers more about his past than he ever thought possible. But all is not well in the timeline, and these intrepid time agents are about to find themselves at the centre of a disaster that could destroy the universe, perhaps even time itself.

About the Author

Born in South Wales to Raymond and Jennifer Finn, Kimberley Charlotte Elisabeth Finn (known to readers as K.C., otherwise it'd be too much of a mouthful) was one of those corny little kids who always wanted to be a writer. She was also incredibly stubborn, and so has finally achieved that dream in 2013 with the release of her first two novellas in the four-part Caecilius Rex saga.
As a sufferer with the medical condition M.E./C.F.S., Kim works part time as a private tutor and a teacher of creative writing, devoting the remainder of her time to writing novels and studying for an MA in Education and Linguistics.

Book is available for purchase on the following online retailers: Amazon (US)/ Amazon (UK)

Follow Kimberly on GoodreadsFacebook

Additional Works from Kimberly: The Atomic Circus (Caecilius Rex #1), and it's sequel Counterclockwise (Caecilius Rex #2)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 23, 2013

Foreword, Written by Reaver 6-1, Special Operations Command


Reaver 6-1, Special Operations Command

Note from Maria: When I asked if he would write a Foreword for this book, I wasn’t expecting this type of response.  I’m not sure what I expected, but it wasn’t something that reads like a journal, like a peek into his mind and his experience.  He wrote something more than I could have ever asked for.   Thank you, Reaver 6-1, Special Operations Command.  The floor is all yours.

It's Thanksgiving Day.  Yesterday, I arrived to Fort Bragg, NC, an 18 year-old kid 3,000 miles away from home.  Needless to say I won't be partaking in any annual turkey with my kinfolk.   It's okay, though.  This guy everyone calls Sergeant Major has invited myself and another guy to his house for the celebration.  
I'm a little quiet.  I have a lot on my mind.  Before I left the building I will be working in, my boss alerted me not to unpack my gear because I would be leaving to support the invasion of Iraq in three days.  The next few days were spent eating leftovers, and calling friends and family.
Hey, what else can I do?
Six months later and I'm back home.  You really learn a lot about yourself and others when placed in that situation.  Coming from Compton, California, I wasn't too worried about a war zone; I mean, I kinda lived in one.
But this was different.
This was like being the Away Team, trying to hold on for four quarters and still keep enough in the tank to get back to the bus after the game.  But I was one of the lucky ones to make it back in one piece.  Some made it back.  Others, not so much.  Good people, too.  I'm going to miss them a lot.
But I can't dwell on that just yet.  I gotta get my mind right, because I just found out I have 16 days off, then I start training for a rapid push again.  Apparently, I impressed someone last time around.  Check me out:  Two combat missions and I can't legally have a drink yet.  I'm a bad ass.
Wow.  That was a rough one.  A constant wave of rockets and bombs come my way.  Stranded on top of a building for 3 or 4 days fighting sleep and the enemy at the same time.  Trying to explain to a woman who doesn't understand English or Spanish that her daughter's death was the result of her husband's road side bombs.
Yeah, we had our release valves.  We caught up on the many bad days of Jack Bauer on 24, educated ourselves to the mystical workings of women with Sex in the City. We even had the time to figure out why so many guys in the USA hate The Sound of Music. Personally, I think it's because they will never get a woman that hot who can sing.  Not all of us are Jay-Z.
Finding things to take your mind off the bad stuff is easy when you are around guys who suffer the suck with you.  We typically didn't address our struggles with each other.  It was an unwritten rule that you weren't allowed to bitch and moan to another guy who went through the same thing as you, and he's not bitching and moaning.  
So we just drove on.
We go out, spend some bullets, win some hearts and minds (that's what they call it now).  We come back, shower and eat, turn on a movie, get bombed, run outside, come back and go to sleep.  It becomes routine; you knew what to expect, so it became easy to deal with.
I am now the proud owner of more Combat Service Stripes than Time in Service Stripes.  Three Combat Stripes.  Eighteen months of combat service and I  receive my First Time in Service Stripe at three years.
But enough of that.  
I'm home now. Still not allowed to drink, but I can finally flaunt this war badge to the ladies in non-military towns.  Awesome! They are going to love me . . . love me as much as they want.  Yes!
Tomorrow, I leave for the airport.  That is, if tomorrow ever gets here.
I can't seem to fall asleep.  My mind is racing.  I'm thinking that something is wrong.  Something isn't secure.  Something is vulnerable.  I don't know what it is.  I thought it was jet lag at first, but it's been almost 2 weeks.
Nah, this is something different.  Something weird.
I feel really relaxed now, though.  Only if I could go to sleep. . .

What was that?

Okay, I know I heard that.  Let me check it out.  Okay, it was nothing.  Check the windows, check the doors, check every room, every corner.  Nothing.  Good.  Safe and secure.  Let me lay back down.

What was that….
My mom and dad are happy to see me.  They missed my 19th birthday,  so along with all my favorite foods, they have a cheesecake with candles; I prefer cheesecake to regular cake.
I see my uncles, aunts, cousins and siblings.  I also see a few people I don't know. My First Sergeant said, “A coming home party from war has a way of bringing new family members out."  I guess he was right; I didn't think I had Mexicans in my family. Let me watch them for a little while, make sure they don't try anything.
Yeah, I know.  But you never know.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Yeah, that's the official name for it.  You find this prominent in individuals returning home from a combat zone.  More recently, from the War on Terror.
The docs told me I have it.
Thankfully we were under doctor-patient privilege when I told him about my constant drinking and partying, my newfound knack for anger and my short temper.  He asked me about my hyper vigilance—I’m always on alert and prepared for the worst.  I told him it's a precaution to make sure things are in order.  
          He asked, "How many times?"  Six or seven throughout the night.  
          He asked, "How do you sleep?"  I'm now accustomed to about 4 hours of sleep each night.
"What brought this on?"  
          I can't answer that.
Maybe it was watching my buddy take one while he slept.  Maybe it was getting news over the wire about my boss getting halved by shrapnel.  Oh, did I mention all that happened after the President declared, “Mission accomplished?”
            Yeah, that made me mad.  Mad enough to want to go out and end the mission myself.  End it all.
Next came a friend who died in a helo crash getting back to the main base to have a severe sprain looked at because we didn't have X-Ray techs on our camp.
Oftentimes, people who don't understand, won't understand.  That's why it's so hard to treat PTSD on an individual level.  Everyone is different.  Everyone has their own demons and experience.  But one thing I can tell you:  This—whatever it is going on in my head—it doesn't do anything to me.  It takes away from me.
I never knew what it took away until I began to miss it.
I miss having a good night's sleep.  I miss being able to relax.  I miss the sound of the 4th of July.  I miss dreams; all I have these days are nightmares.  I miss being able to conduct myself in a crowd.  I miss having a drink just for fun; my mind has linked drinking to memory.  So I drink.  And I think about the guys I'm drinking to—the ones who should be drinking with me, the ones who should be drinking instead of me.  I miss the way morning used to make me feel so alive.  Now I question if today is my day.  You know, The Day.  I miss action movies; gun fire makes me a little jumpy.  I miss being able to eat steak.  Had a little incident where a bunch of people were hurt by some really hot stuff and, well . . . never mind.  I miss how making friends used to make me feel. Nowadays, if you haven't lived in my boots in some way, shape, or form, you don't belong.
But hey, it's not so bad.
I've had countless missions and one failed marriage—I think me dragging her outside to the MedEvac helo had something to do with it.  Yeah, I was dreaming.  The heavy drinking, screaming names in my sleep, and waking up to faces of baddies that got it from me . . . yeah, I think I made out good on this end.  Better than most.
Once the docs figure out how to treat this thing, though, I'll be good as new.  But for now, good enough is as good as it gets.  I still got a job to do.  Yeah, I may see some things that may make it worse, but remember:  if a 44 year-old man can do it, I damn sure can.

I'm 19 and not yet in my prime.  I still have a long way to go.

Keith Urban--For You

Friday, August 16, 2013

Blogger Spotlight: Interview with This Girl Reads A Lot & Update

Long time, no blog.  But that is changing as of this post, because I have so many new things happening.  Can I get some excitement for this, please?  

This month has been busy with finishing edits for Bottom-Feeder, sending it to my beautiful, awesome, Hulk Smash-my-commas Beta Readers, and fixing the issues they found. 

Maybe I'm biased, but my Beta Readers are pretty much amazing.

I've interviewed Indie authors here in the past, but never another blogger.  I am starting a new Spotlight section on this blog where I will feature bloggers, authors, and fellow book nerds.  I want to thank Jazmen at This Girl Reads A Lot for introducing me to this idea, which is why she will be my first interview.  

Let's do the dang thing, y'all.  

1)  Tell us about your blog:  Who, what, where, when, why, how, and everything in between you wish to share.  We're curious people around here. 

I started blogging a few months ago in early June.  I started blogging because it allows me to combine two of my greatest loves, reading and writing.  I want to be able to use my blog as a tool to connect with other readers, authors and publishers. I hope to manage to develop this into a career of some sort.  Not as a blogger, but in publishing.

2)  E-reader, hardcover, or paperback?  Why?

I love hardcover, preferably over paperback and eBook because it's sturdier and looks fantastic shelved.

3)  Top five authors and/or books?

-Hands down, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin(That book is eerily romantic, and all around amazing.

-The Maze Runner by James Dashner (made me fall in love with both science fiction and young adult literature)

-Quarantine by Lex Thomas

-Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

-Almost by Anne Elliot

Maria's Note:  The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is ah-mazing.  My feels still aren't the same.  Also, Wallbanger is hilarious!  Discretion is advised for those who are opposed to humor and schmexy time.  

4)  Do you write outside of blogging?  If so, what do you write?  Are you, or do you hope to be, published? 

 I do write outside of blogging. I'm writing a story I started on instagram, a sci-fi I started as a writing challenge with other instagrammers which slowly became completely my own. It's a work in progress but I've been told it's pretty good. :)

I do want to be published. I want at least one book on the New York Times bestseller list. That's my goal.

Maria's Note:  I started reading this with my old Instagram account, and yes, it is really good.  If you have an Instagram account, check out Jazmen's story.  (link below)

5)  Any weird habits?  Pet peeves? 

 I'm a pretty regular girl. I don't have many strange habits except I ocassionally will bust out into dance or song. I like to make people laugh but, I'm no comedian. I hate long nails on guys, and I can't stand the sound of people chewing. It's like nails on a chalkboard.

6)  Any other social media where we can find you?

I can almost always be found on Instagram: @obsessivecompulsivereader
Goodreads: jazmen_
and Twitter: @thisgirlreadsal

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Cover Reveal for Wolf Dream by M.R. Polish


The Reaping Spell has weakened her greatest enemy, but now Esmerelda faces a different threat - one that haunts her dreams. To finally defeat Nicholas and end his madness for good, she must travel back to Spain with the help of her powerful friends. 

What she doesn’t know is that in his weakness, Nicholas made a deal with the Death Keeper – his soul in exchange for Esmerelda’s life. Worse, she soon learns that the ones she trusted most have become part of her nightmares. The only one she can trust is the man who holds her heart, and together they must fight Nicholas to the death.

Fighting to stay awake so Nicholas can’t find her in sleep, Esmerelda prepares for the battle that will finish this war. One of them must die for her nightmares to end - unless the Death Keeper, with plans of his own for Esmerelda’s soul, gets to her first.

Teaser from Wolf Dream:

“Esmerelda, I need your help!” Julie yelled from the front of the plane. 
That worried me even more than dying. She never needed—let alone wanted—my help. I ran as fast as I could, jumping over the dead bodies to get to the cockpit. 
She looked at me with wide eyes. “He won’t wake up. I don’t know what’s wrong.”
Jarak was there first, grabbing Julie and pulling her out of the way. “Move, Es, I can’t let this happen, not right now. It’s not right.”
I didn’t understand what he meant but moved anyway. Ian was right behind me. “Camilla and Lauren went to take care of the other three breeds and Ailaina went to find a first aid kit to help Lauren.”
I nodded but it all felt so surreal. Was this really happening? 
“Damn it, Julie, why’d you have to put them to sleep?” Ian asked.
“Don’t yell at me. I did what I had to do.”
Jarak tried every combination to open the cockpit door but nothing worked. Ian pushed past me to Jarak. “Move over, I got this.” He slammed into the door with his shoulder, creating a small but otherwise useless dent. Turbulence jerked the plane as Ian hit it again. 
 “Hey, man, I don’t see what you’re trying to do. This door is made to withhold attacks,” Jarak said as he returned to the door. 
 “Well, wise one, the plane is going down because smarty pants over there put the pilot to sleep and can’t wake the pilot. We,” he used his finger to point at all of us in a circle, “are the only ones awake. So, we need to get in there.”
Hearing Ian confirm my fear of why the plane was descending so fast scared me even more. “Let him try, Jarak.” 
“Fine, but what are you gonna do once you get in there? None of us know how to fly a plane.”
“I’ll figure that out, right now we just need to open this door.” Ian plowed into the door again. 
“That won’t work,” Camilla said as she neared the cockpit.
Jarak raised his hands in surrender. “I’ve already tried to tell him.”
“Here, let me.” She walked up to the door with a set of keys.
Ian moved back over by me, rubbing his shoulder. “Well, now you show up.”

Other Books in the Series:

Wolf Spell by M.R. Polish
Available Now: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


With a death starts a new beginning...
Eighteen-year-old Esmerelda thinks she’s just a normal girl, but all of that changes the day of her mom’s funeral, when a warlock, intent on using her special powers, kidnaps her. Powers she didn’t know existed. Thrown in the middle of a magical battle, Es struggles to learn her magic while fleeing both vampires and warlocks, at the same time, hunting for the witches that can help defeat her adversary. The only problem is that they are dead.
Thankfully, she has the help of Jarak—her Guardian—who quickly captures her heart, but she wonders if she can win his? Just when she thinks Jarak is the one for her, Ian appears with daggers drawn to save Es from a vampire attack. Ian is cocky and rude, but there is something magnetic about him—something that attracts her to him. With her heart torn between two men, she faces the foes that are out for her blood. Can Es do the unthinkable and awaken them from their graves before time runs out?

Author Bio:

M.R. Polish was born in Idaho, a long, long, long, maybe not that long time ago.... Writing has always been there for her. Growing up, her mind was filled with stories, some she shared and others she filed away to write down later in life. It wasn't until 2011 that she decided to publish her stories for everyone to enjoy. Her first award and when writing became more than just an idea was in the 5th grade. She won the scary story contest for the school newspaper. It is one story she still has tucked away for memories. Her teacher told her she could be anything she wanted and that she had a talant for writing, being creative and drawing people into her stories. M.R. took that to heart and continued to write, although mostly in secret until recent years. 
Now you can find her enjoying life with her family - wrangling her four kids, setting traps in the house with toys for unsuspecting victims (aka, her husband) and writing down all her crazy and fun stories. 

"Life is too short to stand by and watch everyone else live your dreams. The bigger the dream, the bigger the adventure!" ~ M.R. Polish

You can Find her on her Website, Facebook, or Twitter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway