Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Cover Reveal...Journey to Landaran

I'm excited to reveal the cover for the YA Fantasy, Journey to Landaran by Judy Goodwin.  This book is scheduled to release February 1st, 2014.

This stunning cover was designed by  Katt Amaral.

Book Description:
Aidah and her twin brother Tavish have always had a knack for getting into trouble. From pie stealing and pranks to hunting for magical creatures, they have always escaped notice in their tiny mountain village.
Until now.
Aidah begins seeing visions through her brother’s eyes. He’s a Firestarter, gifted with the Talent to control light and heat, destined to become a Sun Mage in the great city of Landaran. But he doesn’t want to leave without his sister. As storm clouds gather, Aidah dreams of a beautiful man, a frightening man, calling to her.
She fears the truth. That she may developing a Talent of her own, one that will change their lives forever.
The power to read minds. To possess bodies. To travel inside dreams. In the world of Ernid, Spirit is the ultimate power.
Nations will go to war over them.

 Add it to your Goodreads shelf!

Aidah's movement was too sudden. The branch she stood on snapped, and she fell back, tumbling down the nest towards the brink of the ledge. Tavish reached out and caught hold of her tunic as her legs slipped over the edge.
“Grab my arm! Pull yourself up,” he commanded as the fabric in his hand began to tear.
She tried to grab for his arm, but her body was turned awkwardly. At least her predicament seemed to have one benefit. The roc, startled by her fall, wheeled away.
Aidah didn’t have time to see if there were any other flying creatures down there, such as a few frightened wyrret parents. The tunic tore. Aidah scrambled to get hold of something, anything,. She felt herself falling, and then Tavish’s fingers clamped hard around her wrist, his short nails pinching into her skin.
“Sis, don’t move. I’m not secure here. Just stay still and let me pull you up.” She looked up at her brother holding her with one hand, trying to get a foothold or any kind of handhold on the cliff to brace himself in order to pull her back up. The fact she was looking up at him alarmed her--she was truly hanging off the cliff, her shoulders rubbing the hard granite of the edge, her lower body dangling.
Tavish found a rock to hold onto and pulled, but while the cords in his neck jutted out and his arm trembled with effort, he couldn’t pull her up even a little before his feet began to slip. She very carefully grasped his arm with her other hand, but still he was not quite strong or secure enough. Aidah’s heart pounded through her rib cage, as fear began to sink in. If she fell, it would be a messy death. Death wasn’t something she ever really thought about, yet here it suddenly was, glaring at her. The two of them struggled, trying to get her up, but it was useless. She swallowed back a moan as tears burned in her eyes.
“Gods, if I knew a spell to fix this!” Tavish gasped.
His words seemed to trigger something within her. Strength, that was what he needed. If only she could somehow lend him strength . . .
A blinding pain tore at the base of her skull, and she could suddenly hear Tavish muttering to himself, although his lips were firmly pressed shut. She didn’t have time to listen to what he was saying, however, before a pressure wave suddenly went through her body, traveling from the soles of her feet up through her torso and out through her hands where she gripped Tavish’s arm. As the wave passed, strength left her, darkening her vision. She opened her mouth to scream, thinking perhaps she was dying.
With a cry, Tavish pulled hard at her, and she found herself on the cliff again, in Tavish’s arms lying at the very back of the ledge. Apparently he had pulled so hard he’d sent both of them back several paces. Even now he looked ready to do it again--there was no trace fatigue. She, on the other hand, felt pale and sickly. The world spun, and she was afraid her knees wouldn’t hold her up. Trembling, she tried to get up and failed, falling back against her brother.
He set her down and got up, brushing snow and dirt from his trousers. “Wow, where did that come from, I wonder? I feel like a fresh ox! I think I could move a mountain right now! Did you do something, Sis?” He paced around stretching out his arms and legs, as if unable to stand still.
The world was graying out to Aidah and she found it difficult to follow what Tavish was saying. Her head was pounding with one of the worst headaches she’d ever had. “I don’t . . . think so. Maybe your magic helped you. Can we go home? I’m not feeling so well . . .” The world suddenly tilted and fell into blackness.

About the Author:
Judy Goodwin developed a passion for writing at a young age, creating picture books from the time she
could read and write. She continued this passion throughout her schooling, earning her BA degree in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. In her day job, she works as a technical writer in the healthcare field. She enjoys sharing her love of books and fantasy with her daughter and partner. They live in Gilbert, Arizona, with two Shiba Inu (Japanese) dogs, one wiener dog, and four black cats.
Ms. Goodwin has published short stories in small press and online magazines including Space and Time, Dreams and Nightmares, Alienskin, and Beyond Centauri. With the advent of eBooks and indie publishing, she decided to move into the brave new world of publishing with the debut of her first novel, Heart of the Witch.
Journey to Landaran is her second full length novel, the first installment of the Spirit Mage Saga.

Author Links:
$20 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
2 e-Arc winners (INT)
2 Paperback ARC winners (US) 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cover vs Cover...You Can Help Decide!

Melanie Shawn - Snow Angel
Melanie and Shawna, the sister duo who make up Melanie Shawn, are having a cover vs. cover competition and YOU get to help decide which one they use! Choose between these two awesome covers below.
Let them know on Facebook and Twitter which one you'd like to see on the cover of their upcoming release, Snow Angel, coming this month!
He is looking towards the future... Newly appointed Chief of Police Eric Maguire is sexy, single, not ready to mingle. Tired of casual hook-ups and meaningless affairs, Eric is ready for something real. When a mysterious dark-haired beauty moves in next door, Eric knows he’s found exactly what he’s been missing. She is running from her past... Lily Sotelo just got the break of a lifetime choreographing for pop star Karina Black’s winter tour. As important as it is that she does an amazing job, it’s equally as important that she remains anonymous. Which shouldn’t be a problem. She’s spent the last ten years on the move, never letting anyone get too close. Until now. Her new neighbor is as persistent as he is sexy and is making Lily want things she knows she can’t have.
Excerpt from Snow Angel
by Melanie Shawn
Excitement and nervousness coursed through Lily’s entire being as she practically skipped down the wooden steps that led out to the café. As she reached the bottom of the staircase, the smell of coffee hit her like a slap in the face. She took a deep breath in through her nose and the delicious aroma caused her mouth to begin to water. Lily had been trying to cut caffeine out of her diet over the last year. It was part of her clean living lifestyle. Over the last six months, she had been doing pretty well. She’d only had two sodas, which, considering Dr. Pepper was like crack to her, was no small feat. She was pretty proud of the fact that she had only fallen off the no-caffeine wagon twice. It was about to be three times though because she was definitely ordering a coffee to-go. She moved between several tables and chairs as she made her way up to the counter to place her order. The moment she stepped up, Sue Ann appeared from the swinging doors that looked like they led to the kitchen like they’d choreographed it in a play. “Good morning, sunshine!” Sue Ann sing-songed cheerily. “Good morning.” Happiness filled her as she let herself soak in being on the receiving end of Sue Anne’s happy demeanor. Sue Ann was just a lovely person, and lovely people were few and far between in Lily’s life. Smiling, she pulled out her wallet. “Can I have a coffee to go?” “Sure thing, sweetie. You’re up bright and early for getting in so late last night?” Sue Ann observed, her brow arching in question. Lily nodded, trying to keep her expression open and pleasant. Inside, her heart was pounding as fear spread from the top of her head to her feet. Her first instinct when people started asking questions or taking note of her comings and goings was to shut down. Go on the defensive and erect the very necessary protective shield she stored right below the surface. But that was her old life. This was a fresh start. A new beginning. Lily hadn’t really lived in a small town but she’d hear that people noticed things and also felt the need to comment about things people in big cities didn’t notice and didn’t care about. Plus, there could not be a sweeter woman asking the questions. Sue Ann was harmless, and Lily knew that she wasn’t in any kind of danger. Still, old habits die hard. “So,” Sue Ann continued, totally oblivious to Lily’s panic, “do you have a big day planned?” Lily felt her heart rate speed as she took in a fortifying breath. Just answer her, she told herself, like a normal person would. “I’m meeting Lauren to go look at rental properties.” There. That wasn’t so hard. “Oh, well you know you’re welcome to stay upstairs as long as you like,” Sue Ann said. “Thank you so much. I wish I could take you up on that. I love the space. It’s so cozy and welcoming. Unfortunately there is just not enough room for what I need,” Lily explained. Sue Ann handed Lily a cup of heavenly, piping hot coffee. Her eyes narrowed, seemingly not convinced that space was the reason Lily couldn’t stay in the apartment above the café. “Well, I hope you slept well at least.” “Oh, I did,” Lily assured her. “I was out like a light the second my head hit the pillow. And believe me, that never happens. Usually I toss and turn for hours.” “Trouble sleeping?” a very male, very deep, very sexy voice asked from behind her. Lily not only recognized the huskiness and timbre of the voice asking about her sleep problems, but her body’s response to it felt like déjà vu. Her pulse raced. Her palms moistened. The hairs on her arms stood as goose bumps spread across her skin like lava flowing down a volcano. She knew that this time, however, it wasn’t fear causing these disproportionate physical reactions—it was arousal coursing through her veins. In her twenty-six years, she’d never, ever, had such an instantaneous visceral response to a man. It was equal parts unnerving and thrilling. Lily felt another very foreign emotion creep up inside of her. It took her a moment to identify it. Embarrassment? Yep, that was it. She hadn’t handled it all that well the first time she had experienced the overwhelming response her body had to the man standing behind her. During their first interaction she had just abruptly removed herself from the situation. Not exactly the most mature response to un-be-lieve-able explosive chemistry, but hey, it had worked. She had come away from her brief brush with fiery heat of arousal unscathed. Standing with her back to the source of said arousal, she crossed her fingers—literally—hoping that she would be just as lucky during the second round in the ring of this erotically charged bout. She swallowed hard and heard the audible gulp as she turned to face her worthy sex-on-a-stick opponent. Unlike the first time she had seen him, when he had been wearing a tux, today he was dressed in black sweats, a white shirt, and a charcoal gray zip-up hoodie. His broad chest and strong arms filled it out in a way that made Lily’s mouth water. Sweats, tux, it didn’t matter; he probably could have been wearing a garbage bag and she would have the same crazy reaction to him. He was just hot. Ridiculously, toe-curling, heart-fluttering, pulse-racing hot. A low growl escaped his throat and her eyes flew to his. She was almost rendered speechless by what she saw. Of course she remembered that he had blue eyes—how could she forget?—but looking at them now she saw that they were not your run-of-the-mill, ordinary blue eyes. No, his were deep blue with hints of green outlined by a dark ring of navy. If she had one word to describe them, it would be intoxicating. “Hi.” His captivating eyes darkened a shade and a sinful smile crossed his face. “Hi,” she squeaked out. “Feeling better?” he asked. “Huh?” She wasn’t following. “The other night, at the wedding, you said you weren’t feeling well,” he reminded her as he stepped slightly forward. “Oh, right.” She nodded. She had only said that because if she hadn’t excused herself she was scared that she would have started dry humping him on the dance floor, and call her crazy, but she didn’t think that would have been appropriate. She cleared her throat. “Yes, I’m fine.” “No more lightheadedness?” His voice dropped an octave as he asked her what should be an extremely innocent question, but her body wasn’t quite reading it as innocent. “Nope,” she answered. Which up until a few minutes ago had been the truth. At the moment, his nearness, his voice, his eyes, his smell, his self was having quite the dizzying effect on her. Lily heard the chime above the front door ding snapping her out of her lust-trance. She turned to see Lauren gracefully step into the café, phone to her ear. She wore black slacks and a plum-colored button up silk shirt that complimented her fair skin tone perfectly. Her blond hair was pulled up into a French twist and not a strand was out of place. The style and outfit would have seemed stuffy and severe on someone else, but Lauren was able to pull it off, looking classy and sophisticated. Lauren spotted Lily in the small space almost immediately and moved quickly towards her. She removed the phone from her ear and placed it in her bag. “Hi, Lily. Have you been waiting long?” “No, not at all.” Lily heard the slight tremor in her voice she was unable to mask. Oh lord. Not a good sign. At all! “Hey, Eric.” Lauren reached up and kissed the man that made Lily’s insides turn to mush on the cheek. She turned, extending her hand in introduction. “You know Lily, right?” “We met briefly at Justin and Amanda’s wedding,” Eric confirmed. His deep voice instantly caused a tingle to race down Lily’s spine. Lauren paused, her eyes alighting as though she had picked up on the chill Eric’s voice had caused. She then slowly looked back and forth between Eric and Lily. Scanning. Assessing. Searching. Finally, her lips twitched and turned up at the corners as she asked, “Am I interrupting something?” “No,” Lily said quickly. She felt her eyes widen the way they always did when she lied so she shook her head to add emphasis. Perhaps the head shaking was a little much, she realized belatedly, considering the small smirk Lauren had been sporting was now turning into a full-fledged grin of amusement. “Are you sure? I can give you two a moment,” Lauren offered faux-innocently, not even trying to disguise how amusing she found all of this. Well, at least someone is enjoying themselves.
Eric ignored the fact that Lauren was being a smartass. He didn’t blame her—if the shoe were on the other foot, he would think that this whole thing was Grade A entertainment. Unfortunately—or fortunately for him, since he couldn’t quite call it yet—he was not a spectator in this exchange. Lily looked like she wanted to run as fast as she could for the door. Her eyes kept darting towards the front of the café like she was planning a great escape. But she also kept licking her lips, and every time she looked at him, her eyes would dilate and the pulse in the base of her neck would speed up. Eric knew how to read people and their body language. It was part of what made him a good detective. The responses she was displaying only happened when you felt something strongly for someone: desire, love, hate. Since they had barely said ten words to each other, the possibility that she could be feeling either love or hate for him was slim to none. So by reasonable deduction he assumed that she must be feeling desire. He sure as hell knew he was. Since he had laid eyes on Lily three days ago, he had not been able to get the image of her swaying on the dance floor at the wedding out of his mind. Eric had never seen anyone move like she had. Her body fused with the music floating through the air like she was one with it. He had been mesmerized. The slow dance they had shared almost seemed like it had been a dream or like they’d been living out a scene in a romantic movie. He’d stepped onto the dance floor, and she’d turned as if sensing his approach. He’d asked if she would like to dance over the pulsing beat of the music. She’d nodded yes, and at that exact moment, the music had slowed. It was surreal. She’d placed her hands around his neck and he had wrapped his arms around her waist. He’d pulled her towards him and their bodies had fit like a glove. When they began moving, it hadn’t felt like either of them was leading. The second their bodies had come into contact they’d just started instinctively swaying to the beat. They’d only danced for a minute or so before she excused herself, saying she wasn’t feeling well, but it had been an extremely erotically charged sixty seconds. So much so that, looking at her now, his body was now aching for a little repeat action. The feel of her thighs pressed against his, the smell of her hair as it brushed against nose, the soft sigh that escaped her mouth as she’d melted into him all came rushing back to him and shot directly to his groin. “Well, we better get going,” Lily said as she began to move around him. Lauren turned to follow her just as her phone rang. She glanced down and then, holding up one finger, said, “I just need to grab this. It’ll just take a minute.” Without waiting for a response, Lauren moved to the hall that held the back offices and restrooms. As much as Eric truly believed that Lily was attracted to him, he also sensed that for some reason that fact made her nervous. The last thing he wanted was to make her uncomfortable, so he decided to let her off the hook. For now. “It was good seeing you again. I hope to see you around,” he said as he brushed past her to step up and grab his to-go order, and a heated desire spread through his entire body. Damn. What was it about this girl that made his body feel so…alive?
About the Author
Melanie Shawn is the writing team of sister duo Melanie and Shawna. Originally from Northern California, they now make their home in So Cal. Growing up, Melanie constantly had her head in a book and was always working on short stories, manuscripts, plays and poetry. Shawna always loved romance in any form - movie, song or literary. If it was a love story with a happy ending, Shawna was all about it! They have joined forces to create a world where true love and happily ever after always has a sexy twist!
Find Melanie Shawn
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