Thursday, August 30, 2018

H.L. Burke Author Interview with Her New Release and a Linky!

New Release!
Spice Bringer
by H.L. Burke


Book Description:

A deadly disease. A vanishing remedy. A breathless journey. All her life, Niya's known she will die young from the fatal rasp. She survives only with the aid of vitrisar spice and a magical, curmudgeonly fire salamander named Alk. Then an ambitious princess burns down the vitrisar grove in an effort to steal Alk so she can claim her rightful throne. Joined by Jayesh, a disgraced monk, Niya and Alk must flee to the faraway Hidden Temple with the last vitrisar plant, or all who suffer from the rasp will perish. But even as Niya’s frustration and banter with Jayesh deepen to affection, the rasp is stealing away her breath and life. For a girl with limited time and a crippling quest, love may be more painful than death.

Purchase on Amazon:


Author Interview:
Heidi Lyn Burke


1. How many hours a day do you write?

Usually one. I do a lot of other author related stuff throughout the day, but concentrated writing is usually delegated to the rare “no interruptions” section of the between when my kids go to bed and when I go to bed. Sometimes I might sneak in a half hour in the morning or afternoon or write a little bit while in a waiting room or at the park with said kids, but mostly it's that hour at the end of the day. Sometimes if it is going well, I will stretch it over an hour, but I do more of “word count” than time spent. I try to do a thousand words a day. This usually takes about an hour.

2. What was the first book that you wrote and did you publish it?

Really depends on your definition of “book.” I've been writing constantly since grade school. My friend and I co-wrote an “orphaned kids going on adventures” series that we'd pass back and forth in a three-ring binder, adding to a little at a time. I kept the binder more often and it was a lot of words with a semi-coherent plot. I have a lot of finished works of various lengths from my teen years. I sometimes mine them for ideas because they had kernels of awesome in all the melodrama and bad writing, but none of them were even close to publishable.

3. How long on average does it take you to write a book?

Two months. If you add in editing maybe three. I write on average 1000 words a night, but sometimes more like 2000. I also generally don't write long books. My average is probably about 60,000 words. I used to spend double or triple the time writing that I did editing, but I've learned a lot about writing a clean first draft and easy self-editing tricks, so I've cut that down a lot (so there IS hope, writers stuck in endless editing cycles. It just takes like five or six books to get over that stage).

4. What would you like readers to know about your latest book or book project?

Spice Bringer is sadder than my other books, but it is a hopeful sad, and I PROMISE it does not have a throw-the-book ending. Plus it has a lot of cuteness, banter, and snark, just like you want. However, I kept getting deeper and deeper in this book. It wouldn't let me just “be.” It needed to say something and feel things. All the feelz. So yeah, maybe be ready for some tears.

5. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot or avatar?

Cat Dragon!!! I love cats. Cats are awesome. Cats are my favorite … but I write fantasy, so I also am really into dragons. Dragons are awesome. Dragons are my favorite.

How can I choose?

Answer, I don't choose. I combine them into one majestic creature with the awesome of both. I choose CAT DRAGON!


6. What’s the best way to market your books?

Get a cat. Cats rule the internet. The internet loves cats. I can post some deep, thoughtful, inspired post and get a few likes. Or I can take a picture of my cat sitting on my keyboard refusing to let me type and post that for sympathy and EVERYONE likes that. If they don't, they're heartless. People who don't like cats worry me.

7. What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

Falling in love with them. I try to imagine most of them look a little like my husband, at least during kissing scenes. It makes it easier. This is also why most of my guy characters tend to be really really tall. (Matt's 6'5'')

8. How do you select the names of your characters?

I'm so bad about this. I've been known to look around the room, pick an object and go “Chair... Chaira … Chara … Charita … sure, that sounds like a name.”

I've also done that, “Hey, I need to name a minor character. First person to comment under this post, I'll name them after you” on my social media a few times. I did a giveaway for the MCs name in Beggar Magic (she's named after the daughter of someone who followed my blog and won the right to name the character).

But that's just most of the time.

Other times it comes to me. Who knows from where and I'm like, “Yes, that one.”

Other times I have a meaning I really want to get across (I have a character named Jericho who is named that because he likes to build walls around himself. It just suits him).

9. Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I snark at them … in my head. I know better than to reply to reviews, but I kind of pretend I'm at a comedy roast and there's some heckler in the crowd and I'm like, “That's the best you got? My six-year-old has better insults.”

Good ones are nice. Sometimes they make me very happy, but I try not to get too caught up in what people say about my books. I write for a core group of readers at this point, and how they interact with my books means more than reviews.


Heidi and Me

Want More from H.L. Burke?
Check Out My Reviews!



A Tale in Two Parts


Dragon's Curse - Book 1

Dragon's Debt - Book 2

Steampunk Fiction

Steampunk Fiction

Apocalyptic Fiction


*********************

My Latest Book Reviews:



Dragon School: Pipe of Wings by [Wilson, Sarah K. L. ]


*********************

Welcome to my weekend blog hop -
Make My Saturday Sweet #280

Make My Saturday Sweet is a weekend blog hop for all family friendly blogs. You are welcome to link your favorite post from the past week(s) and to visit the last link before yours and leave a sweet comment. It's a really easy and fun way to make new friends and to catch up on old acquaintances.

Now on to my blog hop...

Amanda’s Books and More

It's time for another Make My Saturday Sweet blog hop!

Join me (your host) for this fun and easy hop.
All family friendly blogs are welcome!

I would love for you to follow me on

Here are the easy rules:
  • Follow Tina (your host) on one or more links listed above.
  • Link up a post from your family friendly blog.
  • Please try to add my hop button on your post or side-bar.
  • Share about this hop on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook.
  • Visit the last link before yours and leave a sweet comment.
Blog Button Code:

Amanda’s Books and More

Weekend Linky


How to use the linky widget:

Type in the name of your blog or blog post under Link Title, then type in your email under Email Address (which I don't sell to anyone), then copy your permalink to your post (most link parties ask for blog posts and not blog homepages) and paste that under URL (make sure that you use http:// or https:// only once), then click Submit Link and that's it!

Visit my Blog Hops page to see
what link-ups I take part in.

Read More

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

View from My House and a Linky


This blog is best viewed in Google Chrome.
Click on the photos to enlarge them.








***************************

Here's a peek at
my latest post
on 1camera1mom:

A Day in L.A. - Part 4




*********************

My Latest Book Reviews:


Saving Cade

Saving Cade: A Romantic Suspense by [Lieske, Victorine E.]


Dragon School Books 15 and 16

Dragon School: Pipe of Wings by [Wilson, Sarah K. L. ]


*********************

Now on to my blog hop...

Amanda’s Books and More

Come link up your Wordless Wednesday
(with or without words) or any picture post
at this Picture Perfect Party Linky.
Join me on this fun and easy blog hop!


I would love for you to follow me on
and
Follow on Bloglovin

Here are the easy rules:
  • Follow me on one or more links above or via email.
  • Link-up your post with a picture and follow as many new blogs as you like.
  • If possible, copy the button code below and add it on your linked post or blog's side-bar.
  • Tell others about this hop on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook.

The Button Code:

Amanda’s Books and More

This is a Wordless Wednesday blog hop.


How to use the linky widget:

Type in the name of your blog or blog post under Link Title, then type in your email under Email Address (which I don't sell to anyone), then copy your permalink to your post (most link parties ask for blog posts and not blog homepages) and paste that under URL (make sure that you use http:// or https:// only once), then click Submit Link and that's it!


Visit my Blog Hops page to see the hops that I often link up to.


Read More

Monday, August 27, 2018

Dragon School Books 15 and 16

Dragon School:
Pipe of Wings

Dragon School: Pipe of Wings by [Wilson, Sarah K. L. ]

About the Book:

Title: Dragon School: Pipe of Wings | Author: Sarah K. L. Wilson | Genre: Fantasy Adventure | Pages: 96 | Recommended Age: Young Adult

Book Description:

Can Amel turn old friends into new allies?

A new story from USA Today Bestselling author, Sarah K. L. Wilson

Tricked and forced to do the will of the new Prince of Baojang, Amel returns to the Dominion. But things have changed in her homeland. Will she be able to turn old friends into new allies as she continues to fight against the Dusk Covenant and the Ifrit scourge?

Fans of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragon Riders of Pern and Christopher Paolini’s Eragon will love Dragon School.

Pipe of Wings is episode fifteen of Dragon School - expect a new episode every eighteen days!

Always FREE on Kindle Unlimited

Purchase on Amazon

My Review:

Dragon School: Pipe of Wings is Book 15 in this new and exciting young adult fantasy series. Author Sarah K.L. Wilson says this is her favorite cover design and many of her fans (like me) agree! Did you know that Sarah has been doing her own covers for this series? The amount of creative talent and passion that she puts into each Dragon School episode is impressive.

Amel and her friends continue to persevere despite the impossible situations they find themselves in. Amel is now a slave and has to do the bidding of the Prince of Baojang, a woman who likes the title and authority that comes with it. Amel is sent to the Dominion on a mission and discovers the pipe of wings has been mistakenly left in her dragon's saddle bag. It makes her new mission that much more interesting. Unfortunately for her, she's not only become a slave, but she's also now addicted to the water of Baojang. Follow Amel and Raolcan into their next adventure!


Dragon School:
Dragon Piper

Dragon School: Dragon Piper by [Wilson, Sarah K. L.]

About the Book:

Title: Dragon School: Dragon Piper | Author: Sarah K. L. Wilson | Genre: Fantasy Adventure | Pages: 102 | Recommended Age: Young Adult

Book Description:

Time is running out.

A new story from USA Today Bestselling author, Sarah K. L. Wilson

Amel Leafbrought is still recovering from a grievous wound, but when a good friend offers her a chance at a risky opportunity to get Savette the support she needs, Amel chooses to take it.

But the opportunity comes with a limited time window and Amel will have to do something she never imagined would be her job.

Is she ready to take this next step?

Fans of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragon Riders of Pern and Christopher Paolini’s Eragon will love Dragon School.

DRAGON PIPER is episode sixteen of Dragon School – an Episodic Fiction series that combines the fun of reading with the fast-paced excitement of your favorite tv show. Expect a new episode every eighteen days!


Always FREE on Kindle Unlimited

Pre-Order on Amazon

My Review:

Dragon School: Dragon Piper is Book 16 in this new and exciting young adult fantasy series. Both Amel and Raolcan were seriously wounded in the last battle at the healing arches. Besides being a slave, Amel is also now the Dragon Piper. With Raolcan's help, she leads the wild dragons. Together with their band of friends and the wild dragons, they plan to take the city of Vanika, but at what cost? Amel will face her greatest trial yet. Can Raolcan help her through her despair or will she lose all hope?


More Dragon School Books:

More Books by Sarah Wilson:


About the Author:
Sarah K. L. Wilson

Sarah K L Wilson


USA Today bestselling author, Sarah K. L. Wilson, hails from the rocky Canadian Shield in Northern Ontario where she lives with her husband and two small boys. Her interests include the outdoors, history, and philosophy. Her books are always about fantastical adventures in other worlds.



Disclosure: I received an ARC for each book. These are my honest and voluntary reviews.

Read More

Friday, August 24, 2018

Saving Cade and a Linky

Brand New Release!
Saving Cade
by Victorine E. Lieske

Saving Cade: A Romantic Suspense by [Lieske, Victorine E.]

About the Book:

Title: Saving Cade | Author: Victorine E. Lieske | Pages: 110 | Genre: Romantic Suspense | Recommended Ages: Young Adult and Up

Book Description:

Fleeing from an abusive relationship, Meg takes his precious Mustang and runs. Afraid the police will be after her, the last thing she needs is a wanted man in her car. But when Cade McMillan saves her life and gets hurt, she can’t just leave him by the side of the road, bleeding. And waiting for the cops is out of the question.

Cade McMillan just wants to clear his name, but in order to do that he has to find the man who murdered his girlfriend and set him up. He doesn’t need to get tangled up in a relationship, and definitely doesn’t need to fall in love. But he can’t help feeling drawn to the sassy woman who saved him from getting picked up by the police.

As Cade realizes someone is trying to kill him, he must decide if staying with Meg is worth the danger he’s putting her in.

Saving Cade is a sweet romantic suspense.

Purchase on Amazon

My Review:

Saving Cade is a feel-good romantic suspense novel that can easily be read in one afternoon. The characters of Meg and Cade are likable and the danger is real. The story is well-edited too. My only complaint is Cade behaves out of character towards the end of the story, which is for the sole purpose of adding tension or drama between them. Overall it was lots of fun and has a sweet ending.


Here's another book by Victorine E. Lieske that
I reviewed on Amazon, but never did a blog post:
Her Big Fat Dreamy Billionaire Ex

Her Big Fat Dreamy Billionaire Ex (Clean Billionaire Romance Series Book 4) by [Lieske, Victorine E.]

About the Book:

Title: Her Big Fat Dreamy Billionaire Ex | Author: Victorine E. Lieske | Pages: 169 | Genre: Romantic Comedy | Recommended Ages: Young Adult and Up

Book Description:

Felicity should have suspected something when she got hired to take pictures at a resort in Belize, all expenses paid. When she arrives and bumps into her ex-fiancĂ©, Aiden, she realizes she’s been set up. His grandmother is playing matchmaker and every time she turns around Grams is forcing Aiden and her together. But she can’t fall for him again, it was a disaster last time, and she doesn’t want to repeat the past.

Aiden can’t believe Felicity is at his resort. She broke his heart five years ago, and he’s determined not to allow it to happen again. But one disaster after another keeps forcing them together and he’s sure Grams is behind all of it. He’s just not sure how long he can hold out without pulling Felicity into his arms and confessing that he never really got over her.

Her Big Fat Dreamy Billionaire Ex is a sweet romance, and it is a stand-alone novel.

Purchase on Amazon

My Review:

At first I didn't think that I would like this book, because I wasn't impressed with the title based on a rom-com by a similar name. However, the story was well constructed and lots of fun! I was rooting for both Felicity and Aiden. The grandma was awesome and the dog added a nice touch. This is the perfect weekend read and everything that you'd want in a clean romance.

About the Author:
Victorine E. Lieske

Victorine E. Lieske

Victorine enjoys commercial success through her writing, thanks in part to her ability to analyze and adapt to the constantly changing trends in today's publishing environment. She self-published her first book, Not What She Seems, in April of 2010. In March of 2011, Not What She Seems began its 6 week run on The New York Times best selling eBook list. By May 2011 she had sold over 100,000 copies. Victorine's first romantic comedy novel hit the USA Today Best selling books list in January 2015.

Victorine has also helped countless other authors through her involvement and outreach as immediate past president of the Nebraska Writers Guild. She is active in many writing groups and forums and has given dozens of interviews for TV, radio and print media and has been a panel member and keynote speaker at several major events, including The Business of Writing International Summit. Her candor as a blogger and guest has made her a favorite with audiences worldwide. Victorine also served as a judge for the 2015 Whitney Awards. Because of her selfless service to fellow authors through assistance with critiquing, beta reading and graphic design, she was chosen as the inaugural recipient of the CIR Strong Award, named for late Clean Indie Reads forum member Jessica Strong.

Victorine and her husband have raised their four children in Nebraska. Victorine also does graphic design work in the publishing industry.

Disclosure: I received an ARC of each book. These are my honest and voluntary reviews.


*********************

In Case You Missed It...

Steampunk Rapunzel

Golden Braids and Dragon Blades: Steampunk Rapunzel (Steampunk Fairy Tales Book 4) by [Karsak, Melanie]

*********************

Welcome to my weekend blog hop -
Make My Saturday Sweet #279

Make My Saturday Sweet is a weekend blog hop for all family friendly blogs. You are welcome to link your favorite post from the past week(s) and to visit the last link before yours and leave a sweet comment. It's a really easy and fun way to make new friends and to catch up on old acquaintances.

Now on to my blog hop...

Amanda’s Books and More

It's time for another Make My Saturday Sweet blog hop!

Join me (your host) for this fun and easy hop.
All family friendly blogs are welcome!

I would love for you to follow me on

Here are the easy rules:
  • Follow Tina (your host) on one or more links listed above.
  • Link up a post from your family friendly blog.
  • Please try to add my hop button on your post or side-bar.
  • Share about this hop on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook.
  • Visit the last link before yours and leave a sweet comment.
Blog Button Code:

Amanda’s Books and More

Weekend Linky


How to use the linky widget:

Type in the name of your blog or blog post under Link Title, then type in your email under Email Address (which I don't sell to anyone), then copy your permalink to your post (most link parties ask for blog posts and not blog homepages) and paste that under URL (make sure that you use http:// or https:// only once), then click Submit Link and that's it!

Visit my Blog Hops page to see
what link-ups I take part in.

Read More

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Golden Braids and Dragon Blades: Steampunk Rapunzel

Golden Braids and Dragon Blades:
Steampunk Rapunzel

Golden Braids and Dragon Blades: Steampunk Rapunzel (Steampunk Fairy Tales Book 4) by [Karsak, Melanie]

About the Book:

Title: Golden Braids and Dragon Blades (Steampunk Fairy Tales Book 4) | Author: Melanie Karsak | Publisher: Clockpunk Press | Genre: Steampunk Fantasy | Recommended Age: Young Adult

Book Description:

Being the heir to Camelot is a tangled mess.

Rapunzel has spent her entire life living in Merlin's cave on the coast of Cornwall. Under the protection of her faerie guardian, Gothel, she's stayed safe. Safe and bored. Dreaming of a life that looks more like a Jane Austen novel, Rapunzel fears she'll never have the chance to explore Victorian England's modern delights. Or meet a man. Or be kissed. Or anything else remotely resembling normal.

When Red Cape Society Agent Ewan Goodwin's monster-stalking device leads him to Rapunzel--and her unusual pets--the pair's destinies entwine. Together, they must solve a mystery tied to the very roots of King Arthur's Britannia.

Golden Braids and Dragon Blades is a retelling of the classic Rapunzel fairy tale set in New York Times best-selling author Melanie Karsak's steampunk universe. Journey to gaslamp London during the 19th century to see how Melanie puts a steampunk spin in this reimagined fairytale.

Purchase on Amazon

My Review:

Golden Braids and Dragon Blades is an entertaining retelling of the classic Rapunzel. There's some humor like when references to the movie Tangled are made. There's great world building and plenty of action too. The characters of Ewan and Rapunzel are likable and the dragons are adorable. Clemeny and Edwin from Karsak's edgier Steampunk Red Riding Hood series also make an appearance. This story is young adult appropriate.

Related Book Review:


About the Author:
Melanie Karsak

Melanie Karsak

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Melanie Karsak is the author of The Airship Racing Chronicles, The Harvesting Series, The Celtic Blood Series, Steampunk Red Riding Hood, and Steampunk Fairy Tales. A steampunk connoisseur, zombie whisperer, and heir to the iron throne, the author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College.

Melanie's Steampunk Fairy Tales:
Curiouser and Curiouser: Steampunk Alice in Wonderland
Ice and Embers: Steampunk Snow Queen
Beauty and Beastly: Steampunk Beauty and the Beast
Golden Braids and Dragon Blades: Steampunk Rapunzel


Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book. This is my honest and voluntary review.

Read More

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

My 1,000th Post and a Linky!


Today I'm celebrating my 1,000th blog post on Amanda's Books and More! I began blogging in 2012 and I'm still enjoying it. I've made some great blogging friends over the years too! Amanda has only done a handful of reviews with me this year, but she's still reading (although it's mostly at school) and we do still plan on doing a few more collaborations in the near future. 

These sunrise photos were taken a couple of months ago, but I'm only sharing them now. 

This blog is best viewed in Google Chrome.
Click on the photos to enlarge them.




3 More Favorite Sunrise Posts:

Prince and Sheela on Instagram


***************************

Here's a peek at
my latest post
on 1camera1mom:

A Day in L.A. - Part 3




*********************

My Latest Book Reviews:


The Lovely Deep

The Lovely Deep (The Mer Song Trilogy Book 1) by [Pennington, Michelle]


Ice and Embers

Ice and Embers: Steampunk Snow Queen (Steampunk Fairy Tales Book 2) by [Karsak, Melanie]


*********************

Now on to my blog hop...

Amanda’s Books and More

Come link up your Wordless Wednesday
(with or without words) or any picture post
at this Picture Perfect Party Linky.
Join me on this fun and easy blog hop!


I would love for you to follow me on
and
Follow on Bloglovin

Here are the easy rules:
  • Follow me on one or more links above or via email.
  • Link-up your post with a picture and follow as many new blogs as you like.
  • If possible, copy the button code below and add it on your linked post or blog's side-bar.
  • Tell others about this hop on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook.

The Button Code:

Amanda’s Books and More

This is a Wordless Wednesday blog hop.


How to use the linky widget:

Type in the name of your blog or blog post under Link Title, then type in your email under Email Address (which I don't sell to anyone), then copy your permalink to your post (most link parties ask for blog posts and not blog homepages) and paste that under URL (make sure that you use http:// or https:// only once), then click Submit Link and that's it!


Visit my Blog Hops page to see the hops that I often link up to.


Read More

Thursday, August 16, 2018

The Lovely Deep and a Linky

Brand New Release!
The Lovely Deep
by Michelle Pennington

The Lovely Deep (The Mer Song Trilogy Book 1) by [Pennington, Michelle]

About the Book:

Title: The Lovely Deep (The Mer Song Trilogy Book 1) | Author: Michelle Pennington | Pages: 287 | Genre: Urban Fantasy | Recommended Age: Young Adult and up

Book Description:

She's fallen for a human, but how can you love one man while stealing another?

Narissa's not just any mermaid. She's a siren.

She has the power to lure men into the sea, but all she wants is to live peacefully with them on land. Unfortunately, the mers are evolving and they're depending on her for human mates to keep their bloodlines pure.

Rebellion burns in Narissa's heart, especially when her mother commands her to do her duty and return to the depths. She knows a way out, but asking a favor of Poseidon is too great a risk.

When she falls for River, a man who makes her feel wanted and whole, she decides it's worth the risk. But her choice pulls River unwillingly into her world where greedy mermaids hunt, seas rage, monsters lurk...

And her enemy controls them all.

Can she save her people without losing the man she loves?

This is a clean romantic fantasy.

Purchase on Amazon

My Review:

I've been observing the new hype around mermaids, which seems to be the latest trend in fiction and wondering if it would hold my interest. I decided to give The Lovely Deep a try and found myself hooked! Michelle Pennington has written a compelling story about mermaids and humans with plenty of action, suspense, and romance. The characters were well-rounded and some moments were even scary. It's the first book in the Mer Song Trilogy, and even though the story isn't over, it still manages a sweet open-ended finish. This mermaid story is one you'll probably not want to miss!

Related Post:
The Trust of a Billionaire
Clean Romance by Michelle Pennington

About the Author:
Michelle Pennington



Michelle Pennington spends her days quoting movies with her husband and making messes faster than her four kids. She loves to make magic by stringing words together, but she also creates designer sugar cookies, sings loud in church, and kills too many house plants.



Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book. This is my honest and voluntary review.


*********************

Welcome to my weekend blog hop -
Make My Saturday Sweet #278

Make My Saturday Sweet is a weekend blog hop for all family friendly blogs. You are welcome to link your favorite post from the past week(s) and to visit the last link before yours and leave a sweet comment. It's a really easy and fun way to make new friends and to catch up on old acquaintances.

Now on to my blog hop...

Amanda’s Books and More

It's time for another Make My Saturday Sweet blog hop!

Join me (your host) for this fun and easy hop.
All family friendly blogs are welcome!

I would love for you to follow me on

Here are the easy rules:
  • Follow Tina (your host) on one or more links listed above.
  • Link up a post from your family friendly blog.
  • Please try to add my hop button on your post or side-bar.
  • Share about this hop on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook.
  • Visit the last link before yours and leave a sweet comment.
Blog Button Code:

Amanda’s Books and More

Weekend Linky


How to use the linky widget:

Type in the name of your blog or blog post under Link Title, then type in your email under Email Address (which I don't sell to anyone), then copy your permalink to your post (most link parties ask for blog posts and not blog homepages) and paste that under URL (make sure that you use http:// or https:// only once), then click Submit Link and that's it!

Visit my Blog Hops page to see
what link-ups I take part in.

Read More

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