What the Holidays Mean to Me

I am doing a super fun “12 Days of Christmas” event that Catarina’s Reading and Things is putting on!

I canNOT believe Christmas is just two days away! I’m not sure who is more excited, me or my  daughter!

Okay…maybe my husband?

ANY-WHO today’s question is “What does the holiday season mean to you?”

I actually have two answers, and both are near and dear to my heart.

First, I am a Christian, and ultimately Christmas is for celebrating the birth of Christ. Each year my husband and I go through the story of Advent with my daughter…

well, actually this year we have gone through it several times, as she has been wanting to read the whole story over and over every night.

It’s been fun.

Also, just a side-note: Jesus did not, in fact get gold, frankincense, and myrhh.

Oh no.

According to my (at the time) three year old, he got ice cream, milk, and a cool car which she still insists on to this day.

I’m not going to argue.

(Have you tried arguing with a 3-4 year old? Pointless. Utterly pointless)

*ahem* Moving on

So that’s it…that’s my primary answer: Jesus’ birth, and many years later I am still utterly in awe of the whole thing.

The second answer I would give is that this season is all about generosity, which ties in closely with my first anyway.

The older my daughter gets the more I realize how easy it is to forget to give, how hard it can be to give (especially for a child so young), and yet how IMPORTANT it is for our children to learn how to give.

Not just giving presents, but giving of ourselves joyfully.

Putting others ahead of our own wants.

This is a super hard concept for a four year old, and I don’t expect her to fully grasp that right now, but it is important to us, as blessed as we are, to give in whatever ways we can.

But we want her to learn how amazing it is to give rather than always getting.

So, it all  boils down to one word:

Generosity.

 

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Season 3 of Love & Decay!!!!!!

It’s here!!! AND the cover is GORGEOUS (as usual!)!!! This is the ONLY novella series I read, and I am surprised I read it…

there are zombies involved

and blood

and gore

and so much angsty survivor stuff it’s insane!
Regan and CO. are amazing, and the start of this season comes out with a BANG!!! (Pun intended)

Seriously.

I could NOT put it down!

Go get it (and if you haven’t read any of it before the very first 6 episodes are free!!! Links to follow!

 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1x928Iw

B&N: http://bit.ly/1yH6Rla

Smashwords:  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/501120

iBooks is not available yet…but as soon as it is we will send it out!

 

Season Three, Episode One Blurb:

Zombies- as if that wasn’t enough to ruin any girl’s dream of a happily ever after.

It’s been six months since Reagan Willow fled the Colony and Matthias Allen’s tyrannical clutches. Six months since she broke Hendrix Parker’s heart. Six months since she watched Kane Allen sacrifice his life to save hers.
Whatever was left of her already-tattered life during the Zombie Apocalypse fell apart six months ago. Now, on the cusp of crossing the Mexican border, there is hope that she might lead her friends to a better existence.

Except Zombies are only the beginning of their problems. Reagan and her friends must battle the elements, armies of Feeders and bounty hunters desperate to drag them back to the Colony to face their greatest threat.

The Colony’s power stretches wide and far. Their only hope is to outrun Matthias and get to Mexico.

Love and Decay, Episode One is the first episode in Season Three of a novella series in a Dystopian Romance about Zombies, the end of the world and finding someone to share it with.

This story takes place over multiple episodes, with a release date every two weeks. Approximately 20,000 words.

 

Giveaway

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Haven’t started the Love & Decay Series Yet?  Season One Episodes 1-6 is Free!

Free on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1sgIZTH

Free on B&N: http://bit.ly/1AlLItP

Free on iBooks: http://bit.ly/1sgJjBT

Free on Smashwords: http://bit.ly/1yEoEo4

 

Zombies- as if that wasn’t enough to ruin any girl’s dream of a happily ever after.

A vaccination gone oh so wrong and a huge portion of the world’s population was turned into Zombies. Reagan Willow is forced out of her home when her parents become casualties of the horrid Zombie Apocalypse. With the help of her best friend Haley, they’ve become somewhat of experts on surviving the dangers of a world thrust into chaos and decay.

Reagan and Haley are on a vague mission to find somewhere safe to live out the remainders of their terrifying life when they stumble upon the Parkers, a pack of brothers that seem to have the survival thing down in a much more efficient and successful way than Reagan could ever have imagined. They are also protecting their eight year old sister, Page, and will do anything to keep her safe.

The brothers decide that Reagan and Haley need help with being kept safe as well, and as a group they set off to find the Zombie-free utopia Reagan is dreaming of.

Zombies are a daily problem, constantly threatening the lives of their group, but they’re not the only peril on the journey ahead. Militia groups of power hungry men are also a constant concern. And settlements of paranoid, suspicious people turn out to be just as hazardous.

Danger looms over every inch of the way, but Reagan, Haley and the Parkers are determined to get to their goal and remain together. Soon the Parkers become more to Reagan than just traveling companions and more than friendship starts to develop between her and Hendrix, the second oldest brother.

But at the end of the world, nothing can be as simple as life and death. Now, Reagan is going to have to schedule falling in love between hunting and surviving. Hopefully she can last long enough to find out if true love can still exist when everything else has started to fall apart.

Love and Decay, Volume One, is a compilation of the first six episodes in a twelve episode season. It is a Dystopian Romance Novella Series about Zombies, the end of the world and finding someone to share it with.

This story takes place over multiple episodes, with a release date every two weeks. Each episode is approximately 20,000 words.

About Rachel Higginson 

Website     Facebook    Twitter

Rachel Higginson is the creator of The Star-Crossed Series, Love & Decay Novella Series, The Starbright Series, The Siren Series, Bet on Us and the soon to be released, The Five Stages of Falling in Love! She is also the co-creator of the podcast “Zach & Rachel Take Over the World.”

She was born and raised in Nebraska, and spent her college years traveling the world. She fell in love with Eastern Europe, Paris, Indian Food and the beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka, but came back home to marry her high school sweetheart. Now she spends her days raising four amazing kids. In the few spare moments she has to herself, she is either reading for hours on end or writing her own stories.

Cover Reveal & Giveaway!!!!

Check out the cover reveal for Kat Nichols’ Family Secretshosted by Itching for Books. This is the first in her YA Paranormal series. Continue below for the intriguing cover, teasers and giveaway.
 
 

 

Series: Secret Societies Collection
Release date: January 2015
 
SYNOPSIS VIA GOODREADS:
An orphan by the age of sixteen, Sophia Morganthal now lives with her best friend and struggles in a world with no relatives. Midway through her Senior year, Sophia finds herself flying across the country to live with a family she never knew existed. She ends up with more questions than answers when she discovers that not only does she come from a long line of witches but that she must be initiated within the year to prevent a battle for coven leadership. 
 
Feeling more alone than ever, Sophia finds her solace in books. The journals of past initiates provide her with more than she ever wanted to know and make her question the path she’s on. Amidst all of the upheaval in her life, Sophia also finds one source of happiness – Connor. The last thing she needs is more complications, but Connor is the only person who makes her feel wanted for herself and not for what she stands for. 
 
As Sophia learns more about herself, and what being initiated into Blackthorne coven really means, she must answer the ultimate question – would she give up everything for her family?
 
EXCERPT
 
   After watching Alexa blow up a precious stone, I was a little hesitant to try. She watched me, her foot tapping the floor repeatedly, until I picked out a pretty blue gemstone that matched my shirt. I held it in my right hand, placing my left hand over it just as Alexa had done. Here is where I thought my previous failed attempts would come in handy since I already knew what didn’t work. But it didn’t matter much after all. My magic, perhaps knowing it was about to be used for the first time, was waiting as impatient as a child kept inside on a rainy day. Unlike those previous attempts, I was finally able to find it, grasp a tendril and tug lightly. It, whatever it was, unspooled and began to move towards my hands. I looked up at Alexa, panic building in my chest, heart beating erratically as this energy moved through my body. It began to pool in my hands, where I should have been able to send it into the stone, but somehow it was blocked. My heart continued to race, getting faster and faster as the energy filled my hands. The pressure built until I was sure my hands would burst, when Alexa placed a hand on my wrist. 
 
   “Relax,” she said. “Let it flow.” 
 
  Something snapped in my brain, a mental block I had thrown up against magic being real, and finally, my power began to pour into the sapphire. It wasn’t long before I felt some resistance from the stone, as the energy flow slowed. I pulled back, somehow instinctively knowing how and my connection to the stone broke. In my hands, I held my very own power stone. Opening my hand, the gem sat on my palm, pulsing along with my heartbeat. I barked out a laugh, staring at the stone, then raised my head to look at Alexa. 
   It was real. It was all real. Everything they told me. I shook my head, still staring at the stone in my hand. The magic energy had retreated back into my body, but I could feel it pulsing inside my chest, refusing to be hidden again, at one time both foreign and completely natural.
 
 
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kat Nichols was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. The youngest of four children, she’d been known to play for hours with only a cardboard box for entertainment. Her imaginary friends had friends… and family… and even little cities to play in. As she grew older, she began to put some of these stories down on paper, rather than keeping them in her head. Writing a novel had always been a dream for her, perhaps an item on her bucket list, but it wasn’t until she joined a writing group with other aspiring writers that she finally got to work.When not writing, Kat is reading or driving her son to and from practices and wishing she was reading.It depends on the day. 
Kat still lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her wonderful husband, their hilarious son and their sometimes adorable and sometimes annoying cat, Ozzie.
 
GIVEAWAY
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Henge

candance_blog_tour_banner_HENGE
Henge by Realm Lovejoy is a YA Fantasy that is a modern spin-off of the Arthurian legends featuring Morgan Le Fay as the protagonist. This tour will consist of reviews, interviews & guest posts. Check out the full schedule for more information.

My Review

I am SUCH a sucker for a good paranormal series. Seriously, ever since Harry Potter I cannot get enough of magic in almost all forms and Henge is promising to be a series I will most definitely follow! This reviewer described it perfectly:

“Camelot meets Hogwarts meets Panem in this intriguing, well-written

beginning to a planned YA series.”–Kirkus Reviews

Morgan’s Dream is to became the Maven, right hand to the King. Not only is it her dream, she has actually had visions of this happening…albeit, not so clear visions. So she takes it upon herself to enter into a competition for magic users to start her journey to her dream job. Only, she is not the best there. Oh, she’s the best fire user, but a certain water user is phenomenal at what he can do!

He’s not bad to look at either.

Unfortunately, he may be trying to get rid of Morgan, and if it isn’t him, it’s someone else.

Dum dum dum….

I love that this book has mystery, suspense, magic, and yep…

You guessed it…

a strong and STUBBORN heroin.

Her adventures and her will to win make this book so exciting and I just canNOT wait for the next one! Go get it! You won’t regret it! AND! AND! Enter the giveaway below!


HENGE CoverAbout the book:

Modern-day Camelot. Where knights no longer carry swords. Magic is dangerous. And those who seek control are not to be trusted.

Sixteen-year-old Morgan le Fay is a fire user. An ordinary girl with an extraordinary skill, she has the ability to create and command fire at will. Her dream is to become the Maven—the right hand of the future King Arthur. In the chance of a lifetime, Morgan is selected to join Arthur’s Round, an elite group of young magic users from which the new Maven will be chosen.

Along with the other fire, water, and wind users in Arthur’s Round, Morgan is rigorously trained and tested. The handsome Merlin, a brilliant water user, takes a particular interest in her. Is his friendship to be trusted, or is Merlin simply trying to win the position of Maven for himself? Among the many rivals Morgan faces is the current Maven, Mordred, who seems determined to see her fail.

But Morgan has a secret—years ago, her mother was executed for using fire magic, and Morgan’s desire for justice makes her more than ready to take on the challenge before her. Can she prevail in Camelot’s tests of survival and magic? Only time—and Morgan’s powerful fire—will tell.

Realm Lovejoy’s modern Arthurian series features one of literature’s most complicated and powerful female figures. Henge is the first book in the LE FAY series, and—like Morgan le Fay’s magic—it is sure to dazzle and amaze.

About the Author:

Realm Lovejoy is an American writer and an artist. She grew up in both Washington State and the Japanese Alps of Nagano, Japan. Currently, she lives in Seattle and works as an artist in the video game industry. CLAN is her first book. You can find out more about her and her book at www.realmlovejoy.com

Find the Author:
Webpage | Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Tumblr








Giveaway:
signed paperback of Henge + swag (US)
4 paperbacks of Henge (US)
6 ebooks (INT)
1 ebook + $20 Gift Card (INT)

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Soul of Fire

Soul of Fire

by

Caris McRae

Soul of Fire (Chronicles of Quiliaris I)

Ever read a story that you just click with?

You know what I mean? You cannot put it down, and you are left with wanting more?

This is how Soul of Fire was for me. Caris is a brand new author with a bright future…at least I think so.

Let me start with a disclaimer: She is re-editing the book, though it is available for purchase now. However, there are a few editing issues, and I know that drives some people nuts.

However, I didn’t find them all that distracting from the story, and so I am going to recommend this as a great read!

Sheba…poor Sheba. She is neglected and forgotten about, and has been since birth.

She’s a twin, she has a brother, her parents, Royalty, are murdered by a disgusting excuse for a man, and she is hated and abused at her uncle’s.

In comes her other uncle, a Hashisin who recognizes her power, and her neglect. He rescues her and takes her along with him as he travels Quiliaris.

Y’all know how much I love a strong heroine, and Sheba (or Shea, as she is called in the book) is definitely one bad ass heroine.

Her powers alone are awesome, but her character…her character is my favorite thing about her.

Despite the abuse and neglect, she is compassionate. Her trust has been betrayed by every single person she thought loved her by the end of the book, and still she shows compassion.

She’s also clever, and doesn’t put up with crap from anyone.

This book follows her journey as she grows into her own. It’s full of adventure, douche-y princes, not so douche-y princes, battle, magic, god’s meddling in human affairs.

Really, it has it all and you won’t be left disappointed in the least!

Go buy it, read it, and then…AND THEN!!! Review it! Please! Reviews are VITAL to our favorite Indie authors!

Oops! Before I forget, there is also a novella: Emerald Fire, It has some background to the Sheba’s Uncle!

Check out the Rafflecopter and enter the giveaway for this book! It goes until Thursday night!

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Gathering Water & Giveaway Winner!

Gathering Water

Has anyone read this FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC book? If you haven’t you should go get it right now!

I’ll wait, you can click here and it’ll take you right to it.

Alright! First, I just want to give a shout out to Stormy Smith and Regan Claire, they are AH-MAZING (I refuse to use the word amaze-balls…I just don’t get it, but they are that too)!!!!!!! They have both been instrumental in helping me make this blog successful. Y’all, they are amazing, and have made me feel like not just a street team member (yeah, I know you are jealous), but part of a community that supports and grows together.

Just gives me warm fuzzies all over.

Alright! ENOUGH MUSHY STUFF! Let’s get right to the interview with Dove and Cash from Gathering Water shall we? It was such a blast, and the friendship these two have is just so amazing.

*WARNING*

Do not eat or drink anything prior to reading this interview, and probably you might need to go pee first too. They are that funny (at least I think so)!

Alright Dove and Cash, I am so SO excited to have you both here to chat with! I know y’all have been friends for a long time, I bet you have some good dirt on each other, care to share?

Cash: Dirt? No dirt. Nothing to share…

Dove: That’s a lie.

Cash: Of course it’s a lie, but some secrets are sacred. I guess we can tell her how we became friends. It was second grade and we were in the same class. One day at recess I was racing some of the other kids and winning by a long shot–

Dove: Because you were cheating by using your abilities.

Cash: ­I didn’t have good control of my abilities back then, and would use them by accident when things got emotional!

Dove: And Cash got emotional a lot. Anyway, he lost control of his speed and tripped, breaking his wrist in the fall. One of the other kids had run to get our teacher, and I’d just learned about joint breaks from my dad, so I figured I could help out before the grownup got there.

Cash: Well, he definitely healed my wrist, but the doofus used too much of his own energy to do it, and by the time the teacher got back, I was fine but Dove was passed out on the grass. When he came back to school the next day, I told him that I knew what he’d done for me, and he told me he knew why I always won in footraces, and a friendship was formed.

 *laughing* Oh my gosh, you both are too much! Let’s talk a bit about Della. It must have been quite the shock learning she even existed, let alone had shown up to claim your grandma’s house. Was she anything like you expected?

Cash: Considering I went into my grandma’s house that day expecting to evict a squatter, and ended up being rammed in the nads by a before unknown cousin, I’d say “shock” was an understatement. Really, it was pretty cool finding out about her. Dad was really starting to crack down on me, because of the whole responsibility to mankind thing we have as leaders in the war. I would have been representing both families by myself, where we’d always had two leaders before, so not having that hanging over my shoulders is awesome. Della, well, she’s so closed off half the time, you don’t really know what to expect. I know that Aunt Gabby was so full of life, I even remember her a little; mostly just her laugh when she used to take me for ice-cream. Mom said that she used to draw people to her, like a moth to flame. Della doesn’t realize it, but I think she has that same quality. The more she opens up, the brighter she seems to get.

Dove: Actually, that’s really accurate. Her aura literally gets brighter whenever she actually relaxes and lets loose, it’s fascinating.

Every time I picture that scene I crack up *stops giggling and clears throat* sorry Cash, I am sure that was pretty painful. Cash, her powers are pretty cool, are you even a little bit jealous of how deep her Well is?

Cash: I mean, I guess. But we all have our own strengths, you know? Really, I’m more jealous by her Shielding abilities than how much her Well can hold. I can’t Shield worth crap, and there she is, naturally Shielding her entire life. Just, er, don’t tell her I said that.

Yeah, her shielding abilities are pretty amazing. Which brings us to why she has had to develop such a strong shield. Both of you were present (unbeknownst to Della) when she had that panic attack in her room. I cannot imagine how horrifying her past has been, what has it been like for both of you when you get these glimpses into her past?

Dove: It was a total shock to me. I figured that her childhood wasn’t full of happy memories, but I had no idea the extent. She keeps everything so hidden, I’m still surprised she opened up that much. I felt pretty terrible about it, but it explained so much.

Cash: I knew she had some serious baggage from her past. Her Shielding is proof of that; you don’t create a literal defense mechanism that strong just for the hell of it. But it sucks that it was that bad. I still haven’t told dad, because I’m afraid he’d go out to California and kill every single one of her foster parents for letting something like that happen. It really floored me at first how she would say something devastating as if it were the most natural thing in the world, like having no family, and it’s clear that she’s never had anyone else to rely on or trust.

It’s so great that she has been able to discover what it’s like to have someone to trust, family and friends to rely on. I have really enjoyed that part of her journey. Dove, you are almost always present when Della has a breakdown, what is that like for you?

Cash: Yeah, Dove. Why are you always making my cousin cry?

Dove: Hey, it’s not my fault! I just have good timing. Or bad timing. Or something.

Cash: Yeah, Dove is like the crying-girl whisperer.

Dove: Well, I’ve had a ton of practice comforting the trail of tears that follows you around.

Cash: I can’t help that girls find me irresistible.

Dove: Yeah, you little heartbreaker. Anyway, It’s really humbling to see such a powerful person lose themselves in their emotion like that. She holds herself up so firmly all the time, I think that it’s getting to be too much with all that’s been happening. I’m just glad she lets me be there for her, and hope I’m never the reason she breaks down like that.

Wow…that is just…sooo…..*sigh*…ahem…Dove, it took you FOREVER to finally ask her out! Tell me, what is your favorite thing about her?

Dove: *laughs * Seriously? I don’t know. I guess those moments when she’s not guarding herself. It’s always with something so small, like when we go outside and she automatically raises her face to the sun and absorbs the warmth. It’s how she is affected by nature, I guess. Most people take it for granted, but the only time I see her really relaxed is when she’s surrounded by it.

Cash: Because she’s surrounded by her elements, dude, and elements equal power for her.

Dove: Naw, it’s different, Cash. You can’t see it. I can see Nature, and I can see how it affects her… and how she affects it. It’s like she is life. And life is beautiful…

Cash: I’m going to go throw up now.

 *hands Cash a trashcan*

Sorry, Cash, but I just have to ask Dove some more questions about him and Della. I am just dying to know, was there a specific moment you knew you wanted to date her?

Cash: Do I actually have to be here for this?

Dove: Shut your trap. I don’t know what I’m supposed to say here. Of course, I was interested as soon as I saw her. But the first time I saw her she was at the beach in a bathing suit and she’s h–

Cash: I will literally kill you if you finish that sentence.

Dove: Hah. Well, despite the fact that I found her… ahem, attractive, she was Cash’s cousin, so strictly friend-zone at first. We’d been hanging for a while, the three of us, and one day after helping out at the house she grabbed my arm when I was going to leave. It was the first time she touched me, at all. She’s really careful about that, and I hadn’t realized it until that moment. And that made me realize that I liked her touching me. After the night I healed her, and I found out why she was so resistant, the idea was pretty firmly rooted that I wanted to be more than friends.

Cash, how do you feel about their pending date?

Cash: I’m all ‘whatever’ about it.

Dove: Well, you did sucker punch me in the face when you found out.

Cash: Of course I did. You deserved it, too. But it’s all good, now. I mean, I’ll definitely kill him if he hurts her and all that jazz.

Dove: You could try. I seem to remember breaking your nose that night.

Cash: Well, so-rry I don’t have magical healing abilities that help me cheat in a fair fight.

Dove: sucker-punching is, by definition, not fighting fair. Besides, I healed you too after you calmed down.

Cash: And then we toasted to our health by sharing a couple brewskies. I don’t wanna see them playing tonsil hockey or anything, but other than that I’m okay with it.

Okay, let’s change the subject. Della’s description of the base where y’all met the Elfennol was amazing. Cash, what was your impression of the base?

Cash: Man, it was awesome! I’ve basically been waiting for that day my entire life. Dad had told me about it probably a million times when I was a kid, but nothing could have prepared me for it. We were in a cave in the ocean, a gigantic cave at that, but I would have had a hard time telling you we weren’t at the surface and under the sunshine. There was so much green, and pretty much anything that wasn’t made out of stone was made out of vines or ivy or moss or something naturish like that. Oh, and the actual stonework! Let me tell you, to look at them you’d never think any Elfennol had an ounce of artistic talent. They’re too… stiff to be artists, or that’s what I thought. Going there, and being surrounded by things they created definitely proved me wrong. I guess still waters run deep, or something.

Anything else you would like to share with my readers?

Cash: Only that the next installment in our journey will go down in November. Shiz will really hit the fan!

Well, boys it has been fun! Thanks for chatting! Can’t wait to see what you are up to in November!

THE WINNER IS……

Ginny Gallagher!!!!!! First, I LOVE the way your name is spelled! AND Congratulations and THANK YOU for “liking” Kat’s Indie Reads!

Giveaway!!!

I am so excited to do my first giveaway! My Facebook Page Kat’s Indie Reads 21 “likes” away from 50 “Likes”, and when it gets there I’ll be giving away an e-copy of “Gathering Water” by Regan Claire, (or if you already have it, another The Rebel Writers book of your choice)

AND posting an interview with two of my favorite book guys: Dove and Cash!!!!

I JUST finished the interview, and let me tell you, those two are HYSTERICAL! Seriously, I canNOT wait to share this interview with you!

Here is how you can get your name in the drawing:

1. Share my page (and let me know in the comments)

2. If you are NEW to my Facebook page “Like” it!

3. Share this post on your Facebook page (and let me know)

4. Follow my blog (but you ALSO have to “Like” my Facebook page) !

That’s it! Easy-peasy pumpkin breezy!

FOUR chances to get your name in the pot!

I’ll draw a name when we get to 50 likes, and I’ll post the winner the same day my interview with Cash and Dove post!

So, go ahead…get going and share share share, so I can share the interview!