Sunday, 5 July 2015


Title: Corner of Ocean and Bay 
Author: Gina Azzi 
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Publication date: June 15th 2015 

BLURB supplied by Xpresso Book Tours
Nessa Moore has sought reliable stability since her father’s death. Now, she’s over it. Tired of always being the mature adult, constantly worrying about her alcoholic mother, stressing about being able to afford college, she wants to have one normal, carefree, fun summer. And be more like her best friend Jacie.
Jacie Hayes is struggling to overcome the recent breakup with her first love. The one that ripped out her heart and left her devastated. Frustrated and bored with her own self pity, Jacie wants nothing more than to forget about Dylan, to go back to her old ways, her old self. To be the fun loving, live-in-the-moment girl who gossips about boys and sips mojitos.
Best friends since childhood, Nessa and Jacie have been through all their ups and downs together. No matter what. Now, the summer before their senior year of high school, they accept an invitation from Jacie’s aunt to join her in Lockwood Quay, New Jersey, a summer beach getaway.
Determined to make this their best, most memorable, summer yet, both girls push their own boundaries, accept new challenges, and find themselves keeping secrets from each other.
But sometimes, stepping out of your comfort zone has consequences.
And some secrets can’t be forgiven.
Or forgotten.



Gina Azzi spent all of her childhood summers at the beach in New Jersey - it was magical! Gina is a passionate reader, frequent globetrotter, and coffee enthusiast. She currently resides in Dubai with her husband, Tony.

Gina loves meeting new people and would love to hear from you! Get in touch with her at:



When I give myself the once over in the mirror, I notice the high flush in my cheeks. I’m nervous, excited. The last time I had this look, Dylan was taking me to dinner for our one-year anniversary. I was so excited for that dinner that I changed my dress four times. Finally, my mother had convinced me to stay in my first choice.

            Is tonight a date?
            At nine fifteen, I enter The Tackle Box, relieved that I left home before Aunt B came back from her card game. Or was it bingo? It would be tough to explain where I was going without Nessa tagging along. The Tackle Box is dark and smoky.  Small lanterns flicker every few feet. There is a guy and girl duo on a small stage in the corner, playing guitar and singing. The booths have high backs, allowing customers privacy while they eat.  I scan the restaurant, looking for Dave. It’s difficult to see anyone clearly with the high, closed-off booths. Dave must have spotted me though because I see him as he stands up and starts waving at me.
            “Hey,” I say, kissing his cheek in greeting.
            “Thought you stood me up,” he jokes. So, this is a date.
            “Never. I just had to be fashionably late.”
            He laughs. “You’re so refreshing, Jacie.”
            I think I beam at him. Ugh, stop cheesing so hard.
            When I sit across from Dave in the booth, I notice he has already ordered drinks, a beer for him and a mojito for me. I raise my eyebrows at him and he winks back. Well, I’ve never been known to turn down a drink.
            “Cheers,” I say, raising my glass to him.
            “Bottoms up.”

Ten Things I Wish Someone Told Me 
Before I Wrote a Novel

Thank you so much for inviting me to share on your blog! I’m Gina Azzi and I recently self-published my first novel Corner of Ocean and Bay.

Here are ten things I wish someone told me before I wrote a novel:

It’s OK not to have all the answers. They’ll come to you in time.
Your best ideas come from the most unlikely places – and in very surprising moments.
Honest friends are more important than friends who don’t want to hurt your feelings.
Have several people read your book – before you send it to the editor.
The cover is incredibly important.  Yes, people do judge a book by its cover – it’s true!
You don’t have to accept every suggestion someone offers on how to improve your novel – the ultimate decision to accept or reject a change is yours. But you should always listen first.
Be open and receptive to criticism – you’re characters may grow a bit more, your ideas may develop, etc. – if you are open to understanding the perspectives of others.
Some days, the writing will not come. And it’s ok. (Other days, it will flow. These days are awesome!).
Your characters are not you. Or your friends. Allow them to form their own identities.
Have fun – and enjoy the process! It’s amazing how much you will learn and grow and develop.

Happy writing!

This is an International Blitz wide Giveaway
The Prize?
$50 Amazon Gift Card


Title: Pixelated
Author L.S. Murphy 
Publisher: Bloomsbury Spark
Release Date: 06/30/15

BLURB from Goodreads:
Senior Year. 

Middle of nowhere. 

What's the new girl to do?

For Piper Marks, the answer is simple. She’s determined to have her photography rock the cover of National Geographic someday, and moving to Clarkton, Iowa for her last year of high school is not going to stop her. Even if her usual subjects have changed from bright lights and skyscrapers to fields, cows…and more fields. 

But when photographer at the local paper quits in a huff, she steps into his spot. Her new job keeps Piper busy capturing tackles, and zooming in on first downs and end zone dances, not to mention putting her directly in the path of varsity football star Les Williams IV. Her new friends warn her off, but she can’t resist the pull she feels toward this mysterious country boy. But this small town is keeping a secret, and it’s one that could destroy any chance they have to be together. 

It’s up to Piper to decide what to do with the distorted truth. Can she risk exposing her heart? It might be worth it, 'cause Les is about to change her world from black and white to fully saturated color. 


Praise for Pixelated

"In Pixelated, L.S. Murphy weaves a complex web of secrets and lies with a ‘will they or won’t they’ romance that kept me turning pages and holding my breath!" 
~ Julie Reece, author of The Artisans and Crux

"Beautifully written, with a full spectrum of emotion and complex characters, Pixelated will tug at all your heartstrings. I easily lost myself in the world L.S. Murphy created and couldn't stop reading because I needed to see how the story ended." 

~ Kelly Oram, author of Cinder & Ella
"L.S. Murphy brings something for every reader with Pixelated: romance, secrets, mystery, and a main character torn between two choices. Murphy's writing is sharp and steeped in emotions, deftly hooking her readers from the first sentence to the last."

 ~ Sarah Bromley, author of A Murder Of Magpies 


L.S. Murphy obsesses about St. Louis Cardinals baseball, fangirls over her favorite authors, and watches every episode of Doctor Who like it's the first time. When she's not doing those time-consuming things, the former farm-girl turned city slicker turned suburbanite writes sweet romances for teens and adults.

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Book Blitz Organized by:

Saturday, 4 July 2015


Title: Resistance
Series:  Dolan Prophecies Series #1
Authors: Allana Kephart & Melissa Simmons
Genre: New Adult Dark Fantasy/Dystopian
Expected Publication Date:  July 27th, 2015

BLURB supplied by Girls Heart Books Blog Tours
The year 2102--the world as it was no longer exists. Ravaged by nuclear war and polluted almost to the point of no return, Earth was dying. When the faeries came and brought their healing magic, humanity was grateful at first. Centuries of damage repaired in just five years, and during the course of that rehabilitation, they invaded. Quietly overthrown, the human race is now enslaved. The majority doesn’t even realize they have no free will. Branded, herded and kept only to further the agendas of the Fae Courts, humanity could be facing extinction.

But a resistance is coming…

Fianna Dolan has spent her entire young life preparing herself for an uprising against the Fae. One scorching summer night Fi's parents leave and never return. Thrust into a position of power she never expected, Fi struggles with her new position and the responsibility it entails. When a secretive fae man known only as Flint breaches the city’s defenses claiming he can help, Fi begins to doubt everything she's ever considered truth. As betrayals and deception come to light, will Fi want the answers she’s been seeking, or will trusting Flint lead to her destruction?


Allana Kephart has been making things up and bending people to her will from a very young age.  She loves animals and reading and spends a large amount of time thinking up ways to torment her characters. She loves coffee and the color purple. She is the co-author of The Dolan Prophecies Series, Gumshoes & Grifters Series & Fractured Fairytale Standalone series with Melissa Simmons and has published two short stories on her own in the Best Thing I Never Had & Happily (N)ever After anthologies.

Melissa Simmons loves music, reading, her cat and her husband-not necessarily in that order, of course. She is obsessed with all things Disney, Supernatural (tv show) and comic book tv shows/ movies and doesn’t care who knows it. Her favorite superhero is Batman and she will defend his awesomeness to her last breath. When she isn’t writing and plotting, she loves to bake and spends her days helping other authors promote their work. She is the co-author of The Dolan Prophecies Series, Gumshoes & Grifters Series & Fractured Fairytale Standalone series with Allana Kephart and has published a short story on her own in the Best Thing I Never Had anthology. She resides in upstate NY with her husband and their adorable cat.

The Dolan Prophecies Series Blog-

Friday, 3 July 2015


Title: Darkhaven
Author: A.F.E. Smith
Publisher: Harpervoyager
Release Date: 2nd July 2015

BLURB from Goodreads
Ayla Nightshade never wanted to rule Darkhaven. But her half-brother Myrren – true heir to the throne – hasn’t inherited their family gift, forcing her to take his place.

When this gift leads to Ayla being accused of killing her father, Myrren is the only one to believe her innocent. Does something more sinister than the power to shapeshift lie at the heart of the Nightshade family line?

Now on the run, Ayla must fight to clear her name if she is ever to wear the crown she never wanted and be allowed to return to the home she has always loved.



A.F.E. Smith is an editor of academic texts by day and a fantasy writer by night. So far, she hasn’t mixed up the two. She lives with her husband and their two young children in a house that someone built to be as creaky as possible – getting to bed without waking the baby is like crossing a nightingale floor. Though she doesn’t have much spare time, she makes space for reading, mainly by not getting enough sleep (she’s powered by chocolate). Her physical bookshelves were stacked two deep long ago, so now she’s busy filling up her e-reader.

What A.F.E. stands for is a closely guarded secret, but you might get it out of her if you offer her enough snacks.


Thursday, 2 July 2015


Title: The Wonderland Effect
Author: Robert Arrington
Release Date: 15th July 2015

BLURB supplied by the author
Alice Littleton, gifted with the powers of Wonderland, draws a catastrophe down on herself when she tries to use them in aid of a kidnapped child. Now, she and her father are being pursued by a relentless paranormal intent on recruiting other supers - or eliminating potential competitors. Alice finds her way to Prometheus Academy, a new school with a truly empowered student body. When the school comes under attack, she must decide whether to run again, or take a stand against the forces threatening her and her new friends.



What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
I am Robert Arrington. I was born in Duarte, CA, and I’ve drifted slowly eastward since then. I currently live in Raleigh, NC.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I’ve toyed with the idea over the years, but it wasn’t until about 5 years ago that I developed the confidence to start writing seriously. I experimented with screenplays before settling on novels as my preferred format.

When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
January of 2014, when I set my sights on actually publishing The Wonderland Effect. In a sense, though, I think it will all become “real” to me when I get to my release date.

Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
Since I’m self-published, I did an end run around the whole agent/publisher search, so not really. There’s definitely been time invested in learning the ropes, though. It’s still an ongoing process.

Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
Yes. I still pay out more than I make in pursuit of my writing career, so a day job is essential. I’m a computer help desk technician for a major Raleigh law firm.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My latest book is The Wonderland Effect. Summary: “Professor X, meet Lewis Carroll.”

Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
I am self published.

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
The Wonderland Effect took about 18 months. I hope to cut that timeframe down significantly with the next book.

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I will continue the adventures of Alice and her friends from Prometheus Academy, perhaps with more of an emphasis on some of the other characters. I also have an idea for a dark comedy movie script that would probably be a good vehicle for an indie movie maker that I hope to start developing this year. I’m calling it The Low Road.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
I’ve got some ideas for the next Wonderland Effect book, but nothing that I would go so far as to call a story line yet. As soon as I’m done formatting this book for the various editions and get my marketing efforts moving a bit better, I’ll be working on fleshing it all out.

What genre would you place your books into?
I consider The Wonderland Effect as YA fiction. Since superheroes aren’t really a category in a lot of people’s minds yet, I guess we’ll just call it fantasy for now.

What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I came up with the first conceptualization for Alice many years ago, in my tabletop RPG days. I never really had much of an opportunity to play her, so I finally decided I would have to write stories about her if I wanted to explore her capabilities. She’s changed quite a bit from that first draft.

Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
Aside from Alice, I think Sarah and Min Ki are my favorites. Sarah’s ability is so awesome I had to add a drawback to it to keep her from using it all the time and overpowering most situations. Min Ki is just fun to write because he’s so enthusiastic about the whole powers gig. He definitely tries to mimic his comic book heroes when it comes to banter, and he tries not to take life too seriously.

If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be? and why?
Again, it would have to be Sarah or Min Ki, at least in terms of power set.

How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
I’ve been writing a couple of years now, about 18 months seriously. One of my biggest inspirations is Jim Butcher, author of The Dresden Files series of books, among others. I love both his stories, and his approach to writing. I really hope I get a chance to meet him someday.

Where do you get your book plot ideas from?What/Who is your inspiration?
Honestly, my ideas take a long time to form, and I develop plot arcs without a clear idea of where they fit into the story at first. I had the characters of Kirdja and Hector developed for a long time, without a clear idea of their motivations for getting involved with Alice and Prometheus Academy, before I realized that Julio was Hector’s nephew. Basically, plot points well up from someplace so deep inside I can’t really say what experiences or bits of knowledge came together to generate them.

Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I’d really like a more comfortable chair. Beyond that, I like quiet and time to think.

Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
I had a review group I met through linkedIn, but that’s kind of fallen apart. I also posted the Wonderland Effect as a web serial on my site,, but feedback from readers has been minimal so far. What feedback I’ve received has generally been positive, however, so I’m going ahead with publication.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
Yes, within reason. Anyone is free to make the request for an e-copy, with two caveats. First, I reserve the right to say no depending on whether or not I feel another review would be helpful (Hint: right now, it would be.) Second, don’t make the request if you won’t follow through with the review. Just be fair and honest. If you don’t like it, that’s fine, but I would like to know what didn’t work for you. Other potential readers would, too.

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
As many as I can find.

What was the toughest/best review you have ever had?
I haven’t really had a review I disagreed with yet. Even the negative comments one reader made on my site had merit. As for the best, one reviewer on said he considered Alice the third most original supers character he had come across. In this sub-genre, originality is hard, so I was very pleased with that comment.

Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
As long as it represents the reviewer’s honest opinion, no. No book ever satisfied everyone. Reviews are meant to be useful to people considering investing time in the story, so I would hope that there would be some explanation of what the reviewer didn’t like, though.

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books?
Titles just come to me. I try not to put a lot of thought into them.
For Desire of Ages, a short story I published on Amazon’s Kindle store, I created my own cover. I licensed three photos from and brought them together using GIMP and some freeware fonts I downloaded to my computer. The whole thing cost me $20 (and I’ve made just over half of that back on royalties – woo-hoo!).
The cover for The Wonderland Effect was a gift. I met Diane Gronas on a LinkedIn writer’s group, and offered her some critical advice on her book, Starseeker: Flower of Tamaroon, that went beyond the typical “I like it”. She even took some of the advice. Then, quite unexpectedly, she sent me three mock-ups of covers she had developed for me. One of them just blew me away. I did a little clean-up work in GIMP and added the tag line. I’m very grateful to her; I wouldn’t have come up with anything half as good on my own and the cost of hiring someone to do it for me would have been prohibitive at this point in my writing career.

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I generally have a title in mind when I begin writing, but the story comes first.

How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
I’m usually trying to capture some essence of the character or place in the name. It usually requires a lot of thought.

Are character names and place names decided after their creation? or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
As with titles, the thing comes before the name.

Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
I created extensive character sheets for all of the main characters in The Wonderland Effect well before I began writing. I expect I’ll probably continue this trend on future books.

Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
I am definitely a plotter. Not to the extent of mapping out several books in advance, but I need to have a goal I’m writing toward. I still try to remain open to taking things in a different direction if inspiration strikes in the middle of the process, however. It has happened.

How do you market/promote your books?
You’re reading this now, right? Seriously, I’m still trying to figure this out. I running a rafflecopter contest to try to generate reviews/visibility, as well as seeking ways to participate on various blog sites. I have a Facebook page and Twitter account, but I’m still not convinced these are effective marketing tools. At some point, I’m probably going to need to pay someone to help me out, but I haven’t settled on an approach yet.

What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller ?
If I knew that, I guess I’d already be cashing in. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s a balance between something original and something a lot of people can relate to in some way. Add to that, the writing must flow well and communicate ideas and setting clearly.

Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
Yes, but I work through it. I try to approach my writing like I did my school papers. I got those turned in on time despite a lack of interest in most of them. Why shouldn’t I be able to bring the same degree of commitment to writing about things I do care about?

What do you do to unwind and relax? Do you have a hobby?
At this moment, writing is my hobby. I dabble in Frisbee golf and my wife wants the whole family to get bikes, which we’re working on.

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
Not yet.

Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
If there is, I haven’t found it yet.

Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
Jim Butcher.

Which format of book do you prefer, ebook, hardback, or paperback?
There are advantages to hardbacks and paperbacks, but these days I’m all about not having to carry boxes of books with me when I move. I love my Kindle.

What is your favourite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?
The Anubis gates by Tim powers. It has Egyptian cultists/wizards, time travel, Lord Byron and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and a secret society of beggars plotting the overthrow of the British monarchy. What’s not to like? I’ve read it too many times to count. Last Call, also by Tim Powers, is a secret magic story set in present day (mostly Las Vegas) where professional gamblers have the inside track to enlightenment. It’s a very close second.

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst  book to movie transfer?
A lot of books make the transition quite well, although there is always a loss of detail that’s somewhat regrettable. The Harry Potter books made very entertaining movies, though we lost out on Hermione’s campaign to liberate, or at least protect, house elves, and a number of other fun moments. On the other side of the coin, The Hobbit turned into three movies where we got a lot of additional information which, while not in the original canon of Tolkien’s work, dovetailed with it fairly well. I had a hard time buying the dwarf/elf love affair, though. The worst movie adaptation I’ve ever seen, though, was Raise the Titanic, an adaptation of Clive Cussler’s book from the 1970’s.

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?(ebook, hardback or paperback)
At the moment, I’ve taken a detour into history with The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789 by Joseph J. Ellis. I’ve got a hardback copy I checked out of the local library. The author shows that in the aftermath of the War for Independence, the American colonies wanted nothing more than to go their separate ways as independent nation-states. However, four men – George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison (assisted by Robert Morris, Gouverneur Morris, and Thomas Jefferson) basically imposed their will on the confederated states and convinced them to accept a new central authority based on the Constitution and Bill of Rights. I love it when a historian can show us that our often unconsidered opinions about why things are the way they are are flawed on a fundamental level, and Joseph Ellis does a great job in showing us what was really going on in the 1780’s.

Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
No. Even the technologically-adaptive teen demographic still prefers physical books over digital copies by a wide margin. If they’re not buying into it whole-heartedly, there must be something embedded in humanity that will always seek out the comforting feel of bound paper in  hand.

Do you think children at schools these days are encouraged enough to read? and/or do Imaginative writing?
I do think that children are encouraged to read. Writing, not so much. Writing is usually approached as a technical affair for reporting knowledge or opinions.

Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a writer something newer in your life?
I have always been a reader. My writing is of a far more recent vintage.

Did you have a favourite author as a child?
Not really. I was mostly into mysteries growing up, until I discovered sci-fi and fantasy.

Do you have a treasured book from your childhood? If yes, what is it?
The Dueling Machine, by Ben Bova. It was my introduction to virtual reality before the term even existed. Treasure Island is probably a close second, though.

Do you have a favourite genre of book?
It depends on how wide you cast the genre net. I love most types of speculative fiction, including fantasy/paranormal as well as straight-up sci-fi.

Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn't finish?
Fifty Shades of Grey – I mean really, what’s the point? There’s so much better stuff out there to occupy my time.

Are there any New Authors you are interested in for us to watch out for? and Why should we watch out for them?
I am a member of the Pen and cape Society, a collection of authors specializing in supers fiction. I haven’t had the time to read samplings of all of the members’ work yet, but if you enjoy the genre, you will undoubtedly find someone here that writes stuff you’ll enjoy. Head on over to, and check us out. I particularly like the works of Drew Hayes, Marion G. Harmon, Ian Thomas Healy. R. J. Ross, Cheyanne Young, Elsie Stokes,  and Jim Zoetewey. Just be aware they all write for different audiences and not everything there will be appropriate for younger readers.

Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and what would it be?
I don’t know that there’s anything I would change at this point, but I haven’t really started receiving concentrated feedback yet. If there’s anything I’m a little concerned about, it’s language. I restricted myself to a few “damns”, “hells’ and such – in other words, nothing a typical middle-schooler hasn’t heard, used, and probably discarded in favor of more colorful phrases. But I still worry about what’s really appropriate for the YA audience.

What do you think about book trailers?
I haven’t really investigated them yet. My gut feeling is that a one-minute video promo isn’t likely to get me to pick up a book, so why should I expect mine to be any different. But I do reserve the right to change my mind later.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Just do it! Read some books on various approaches to writing, plotting, dialogue and so on, but then just get busy writing. Be prepared to throw most of your early stuff in a drawer and forget about it for now, but most people can’t develop a good “voice” without doing that initial writing. Like any skill, it takes practice to master, so get started.

Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
I do not use a pen name now. I won’t say I never would, but I’m not really sure what would drive me to do so.

If you could invite three favourite writers to dinner, who would you invite and enjoy chatting with?
I’ve already mentioned Jim Butcher and Tim Powers. They’re definitely on the guest list. Since you’re not restricting this to novel writers, the last slot goes to Joss Whedon, who has absolutely blown me away with virtually everything to ever leave his pen. I am literally getting goose-bumps just imagining this evening.

Where can readers follow you?
Facebook page:
Twitter: @MHatter57