Free Books! Publisher’s New Year’s Book Giveaway Extravaganza!

Visit http://melange-books.com/2015NYGiveaway.html for Melange LLC’s book giveaway extravaganza  – anthologies, chick lit, romance, general fiction, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Paranormal & Horror, Mystery, Historical and a grand prize ~

This announcement provided by Beth Fowler, author of the beloved coming-of-age novel “Ken’s War.”

Visit https://www.facebook.com/kenswar.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQjZBjqFNzs&feature=youtu.be

 ken's war coverWhen teen rebellion & culture shock collide. Shop here: Ken’s War

Ken’s War is vibrant with authority … Fowler’s elegantly written novel risks exploring the full range of teenage behavior and emotion.” Nancy Springer, award- winning author of YA books.

 

 

 

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Find ice, magic and romance in Frozen

11 all-new short stories to inspire holiday romance

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This season, keep warm with a collection of winter themed love stories from Satin Romance, a Mélange Books imprint. Frozen, A Winter Anthology showcases eleven tales of romantic magic. Ranging from contemporary and young adult to fantasy and paranormal, this book will keep you turning the pages from one unique happy ending to the next.

Eleven authors each contributed a story true to their niche. Meet winter spirit Jack Frost who falls in love with a mortal, go on a journey with Jess and her commitment-phobe boyfriend to Sweden, and see what time traveller Drew is getting up to around Christmas. Freelance photographer Lizbeth meets fate when she gets snowed in in her car, Tiffany is reluctant to join her progressive grandmother at Lake Superior, the sheik’s daughter Nila’s has a difficult decision to make, Cara discovers miracles, and the magical couple Alaric and Cassandra are thrown into turmoil by thriving in different seasons. Read what happens when a single mother meets an old friend, and the consequences of falling off a ladder for ice sculptor Sam.

Here’s a peek at what to expect…

The Ice Hotel Wedding Test by Charmaine Pauls
Jess and Derrick have been together for twelve years. When Jess finally gives Derrick an ultimatum, tie the knot or set her free, he proposes a bizarre test to decide their destiny.

Love Thaws a Frozen Heart by Valerie J. Clarizio
Casey is hell bent on getting Noah to sign divorce papers. Hiding out at his camp, Noah is hell bent on not signing. Procuring a snowmobile, Casey sets out in a blinding snowstorm to find him. After crashing, she is near death when Noah finds her. Will a few cabin-bound days cause either of them to change their mind?

Lord of Ice by April Marcom
Jack Frost gave his heart to Lilly the day she was born, making her the perfect leverage for a fire spirit whose heart is set on becoming Lord of Ice.

Frozen Moments by Nancy Pennick (‘A Waiting For Dusk’ story)
Drew keeps proposing. Kate keeps saying no. It’s their little game. Can the holiday season change that? Kate has lost her best friend, and Drew does his best to cheer her up in this delightful story of love and memories.

Frozen In Time by Christina Kirby
Lizbeth travels the world as a freelance photographer and answers to no one. After her last relationship, that’s exactly how she wants her life to be, easy and all her own. Jonas is staying at his family’s cabin while he deals with the loss of a fellow fallen solider. He wants nothing more than to be left alone and to avoid Christmas. Neither plan on spending Christmas with a stranger or finding the person who’s exactly what each other needs.

Frozen With Possibilities by Rhonda Brutt
A resort on the shores of Lake Superior in the middle of December was not exactly what Tiffany had in mind for a mid-winter vacation. But when she agreed to accompany her progressive grandmother on this frozen trip, she discovered that life is filled with possibilities, if you only go after them.

Frozen Heart Thawing by Nicole Angeleen
In the depths of winter, Thomas Everett grudgingly meets his betrothed, Nila Sarvani, the daughter of a powerful sheikh. The passion they share takes them both by surprise, but the ruthlessness of American business threatens to tear them apart. Nila must decide if her dreams can be realized if she allows herself to fall in love.

Frozen Dreams by Elena Kane
In a world surrounded by snow and magic, Cara finds herself grossly out of place. Ridiculed by all, she lives her life in terror from perpetual bullies until she runs into a stranger in town. Ben is everything she always wanted, but never expected. Better yet, he sees past her differences. Could Ben be her dream come true?

Her Frozen Heart by Tara Fox Hall
Alaric has always loved the winter season, second only to his love of spells and sorcery. When his beautiful neighbor Cassandra reveals she’s a natural witch, he’s instantly smitten, even as he despairs of attracting her interest. Is there hope for a magical couple who thrive in different seasons?

The Thawing of Holly’s Heart by Marilyn Gardiner
What happens when a single mother meets an old friend and, despite the conviction that she will never again open her heart to another man, finds herself falling in love?

Falling On Ice by Bess Kingsley
After the horrible year ice sculptor Sam McLeod has had, falling off a ladder at Nationals into the arms of her nemesis is the absolute last thing she needs. Or is it?

Frozen, A Winter Anthology is now available in electronic format from Satin Romance and all major internet providers. The printed version will become available soon.

 

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Fantasy Well-Crafted for Middle-Grade Readers

Co-authors Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks launch into “Things Are Not What They Seem” without wasting time on background and descriptive junk readers of any age group dislike.The authors masterfully set the fantasy in present-day New York City, featuring regular, relatable kids.

 

This middle-grade fantasy adventure starts with, “When the pigeon first spoke to Jennifer that morning in the playground, she responded by pretending to examine something absolutely fascinating at the top of a nearby tree.” The pigeon speaks in precise British English, which adds humor to the situation, at least for my inner tween who found something grin-worthy on nearly every page.

 

Jennifer, who’s almost 13, is smart but not smart-alecky. She has a sense of humor, but never makes others the butt of her wit. She can be sarcastic, yet possesses a strong sense of right and wrong, compassion and a well-developed altruism. Like girls her age, she’s concerned about her appearance and what peers think of her. Being trustworthy is important to the tween. She’s a likeable and engaging protagonist. Her brother, James, provides some of the comic relief, often while bantering with the pigeon. Then there’s Sleepy, the sidekick with allergies. And of course, there are bad guys.

 

(Sometimes young characters use phrases – “come down on them like a ton of bricks,” – that I have trouble picturing anyone other than adults saying.) Chapter ends are written with page-turning finesse. The story keeps adults in their place, that is, the kids shine in the limelight. They face challenges, push the plot arc to the climax and back down to the satisfying and appropriate end.

 

Jennifer learns that the pigeon is actually a man named Arthur Whitehair, a 19th-century Englishman who’d been turned into a pigeon that will live forever by misreading an ancient spell meant to give him eternal life as a human. Likewise, an devious colleague of his, Malman, had been turned into a hawk by Whitehair’s mis-incantation. Jennifer, et al search for the manuscript of the spell so they can reverse it, turning Whitehair the pigeon back into a man.

 

Without becoming pedantic, the authors weave in Shakespearean quotes and Latin phrases, and there’s a nod to the Harry Potter stories, too. One senses a depth of history and tradition, without the burden of boredom.

 

Some scenes are reminiscent of classic Disney antics. Others remind us that the stakes are high. What young fantasy reader doesn’t love sentences like this one spoken by the aptly named Malman? “Mind me! I’ll rip out your throats and peck the eyeballs from your heads—dainty morsels that they are. Even your mothers won’t recognize you.”

 

With more than 63,000 words, “Things Are Not What They Seem” is longer than typical middle-grade books. Even though every scene has its purpose, I wonder if some could have been written more economically.

 

Things Are Not What They Seem unobtrusively incorporates important values, while never losing sight of the plot and always maintaining readers’ trust and interest. It’s a well-crafted fantasy for younger readers and their adult cohort.

Review by the author of Ken’s War.