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Book Release: The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

Today is the release in America of The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry. 

It was such an incredible book and I highly recommend it as a read or if you’re looking for a gift for someone. It’s absolutely gorgeous and it has such an elegant story!

If you are looking for a newer book that has an older style writing feel, then this is the book for you! Check out my review for my full opinion on the book!

Book Release: The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

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Riven: My Myth Trilogy, Book 1 [BOOK SPOTLIGHT and INTERVIEW!]

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Imaginative Heroine Uses Fantasy as
Salvation from Abuse in Issue-Driven
YA Psychological Thriller, Riven

Coppell, TX – In Jane Alvey Harris’s award-winning debut psychological thriller, Riven (ISBN 978-1944244163), readers are swept inside the fantasy world created by a teenager who finds the trauma and abuse she has endured to be vastly more than she can handle. The novel is the recipient of the 2016 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards Gold Medal for Best E Book, Young Adult Fiction and the 2016 BookLife Prize in Fiction in the Young Adult category.

Told in the first person, Riven opens with seventeen-year-old Emily in the unenviable position of parenting herself and her younger brothers and sister. Her father is in prison for securities fraud, and her mother is strung out on pain meds. Emily thinks she has her life under control until a few weeks before her dad’s release, when she begins hearing voices. Then Gabe, the attractive lifeguard at the pool, notices strange markings engraved on her arm. Emily doesn’t know what these symbols mean or how they got there. All she knows is that they appeared overnight and are becoming infected.

Filled with anxiety, unable to sleep and driven to self-medicate, Emily’s childhood nightmares begin resurfacing. They are commandeering her consciousness even when she’s awake. The fairytale creatures she created as a little girl insist they need her help.

Triggered by the return of her childhood abuser, unable to cope with reality and desperately in need of refuge, Emily slips completely inside her elaborate fantasy world. She wants to stay here, to lose herself in enchantment and romance, but something sinister lurks in the forest shadows. Before long, Emily discovers her demons have followed her inside her beloved fairytale. They are hunting her.

“I wrote this story to document how victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse often use fantasy as a coping mechanism for their trauma,” said Harris. “I also wanted to show that the essential first step taken by those who wish to thrive in spite of their abuse is self-acceptance.”

Jane Alvey Harris has a humanities degree from Brigham Young University with emphases in art history, Italian, and studio art. She is fascinated with the visual and performing arts and enjoys playing classical piano, painting, sketching, singing, acting, and writing poetry and prose. Nonetheless, her real passion is people; she loves to watch and study human beings. An unabashed dreamer, her favorite activity is to weave together sublime settings and stories for characters to live and learn in, herself included. Jane currently lives in an enchanted fairy-princess castle in Dallas, Texas, with her three often-adorable children and their three seldom-adorable cats.

For more information on the author or Riven, please visit www.JaneAlveyHarris.com.


Q&A with Jane Alvey Harris

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  1. What inspired you to create Riven and the My Myth Trilogy series?

Honestly, when I began writing Riven, I was just looking for relief. I was struggling through a really dark time in my life and was doing therapy with an amazing counselor who encouraged me to write. I didn’t have a synopsis or even an outline; I was just writing scenes from my head and connecting them together. It took me a couple years to get the first draft out and even longer to realize what the story was really about.

Somewhere in the middle of undoing myself in therapy, the narrative in my writing transformed. It matured from a pretty fairytale to a hard-hitting, issue-driven documentation of a survivor’s journey to make peace with her wounded egos and achieve self-acceptance. It was dark, but it felt important. More than that, in the act of weaving my tale I realized I was laying my hands directly on the tattered pieces of a buried map leading to rich interior landscapes I’d never acknowledged or explored before, because I considered them ugly, worthless, and humiliating.

It was about this time that other people in my life began sharing their long-guarded accounts of abuse with me. I was overwhelmed by sorrow at their suffering, but also inspired by their confidence in me, which helped me understand I wasn’t alone. With the help of my therapist and my editor, who both prompted me to dig deep and tell the real story, I gained new purpose, new confidence. I learned that I was brave, that I was strong. I realized that my writing might actually help others who struggled.

  1. Your main character, Emily, is a seventeen-year-old who finds herself in difficult circumstances. What is her situation in the story and how did she get there?

The story opens at the end of July, the summer before Emily has to repeat junior year of high school. Her dad’s been in prison for ten years, and her mom, a school teacher, becomes increasingly dependent on prescription pain meds. She loses her job and basically stays in bed all day, relying on Emily to parent her two younger brothers and younger sister. Still, Emily thinks she’s got things mostly under control. But as the date for her dad’s release from prison gets closer, Emily’s stress levels increase exponentially. She finds herself unable to cope with her reality and slips into a fantasy world she created as a little girl.

  1. What are the main themes in Riven and how are they developed in the story?

Riven is all about hard hitting social issues, including mental illness, feminism, and rape culture, to name a few. But the main theme is one of self-acceptance. My goals were to illustrate the damage that buried guilt and shame have on the psyche and demonstrate how acknowledging personal truth is the first step in healing from trauma.

  1. There are a number of fantastical elements to Riven, including the imaginary world of the First Realm. What role does fantasy play in the story, and how is important to the development of the book’s characters?

Okay, this is juicy stuff. First, like Emily, many victims of childhood abuse use fantasy to escape a reality they can’t cope with. Not only is it key in the backstory, as a plot device, and in Emily’s growth throughout the book, it also adds layers of depth which engage readers on different levels.

Fantasy keeps the readers on their toes, too. Emily is an unreliable narrator, to say the least. She questions her own sanity, and as her stress increases throughout the first half of the book, she starts to self-medicate. At times, she’s unable to distinguish between fantasy and reality. The reader experiences this fracturing along with her, catching glimpses of the past, and is sometimes plunged into the fantasy First Realm without warning. Ultimately, it’s up to each reader to decide what is really real.

Mixing fantasy elements with gritty contemporary realism also adds action, adventure, and gave me the perfect opportunity to play with some really gorgeous settings. I’m a huge fan of Guillermo Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth. On one hand, fantasy is whimsical and innocent. It lightens some of the darker themes of Riven. On the other hand, juxtaposing the ethereal with horror heightens poignancy of tragedy and psychological distress.

Most importantly, it is through the world of imagination that Emily is able to envision herself as a powerful individual. She creates a Realm where she’s able to accept and forgive herself.

  1. Much of Riven is based on your own real-life experiences. How does your personal story inform the novel and, more-specifically, Emily’s character?

Well, Emily basically has my personality. The book began as a love story to my three children, (Jacob, Aidan, and Claire, who you’ll meet in the book) at a time I was very vulnerable in my life. So, if the strength of the sibling relationships seems super-real, it’s because that’s really them, and Emily is really me. Lots of the dialogue I’ve taken directly from real life. While I don’t claim all of Emily’s experiences, I will say they are true, a combination of stories and experiences which have been shared with me, along with a healthy dose of my dreams and imagination.

  1. Riven deals with serious issues for teens, including abandonment, drug use, cutting, and sexual abuse. How do novels like yours help survivors and supporters with awareness and solutions for these issues?

Issues like these continue to be such a huge problem, because they make people uncomfortable and because they’re difficult to talk about. It’s easy to sweep the topic of childhood sexual abuse, and the many destructive behaviors which result from it, under the rug, because it just isn’t comfortable. The vast majority of survivors never reveal their experiences because of guilt and shame. How can we heal if we hide? My hope is that telling this story will help to normalize people. Not just victims of abuse, but anyone who struggles with negative self-image.

While I wrote Riven to be as entertaining and immersive as possible, my main purpose was to shed light on darkness and ugliness that don’t have to be life sentences of suffering. There is hope. There are resources. There are networks of supporters waiting to help. My dream is that Riven and the My Myth Trilogy will spark discussion and help people heal, while calling the rest of us to action as supporters. If we educate ourselves and abolish buried guilt and shame, we can end the cycle of abuse.

  1. Are you working on the next novel in the series and, if so, what can you tell us about it?

Yes, and I’m SO EXCITED! The second book in the trilogy is called Secret Keeper. While Riven deals with the nature of legitimate victimhood, Secret Keeper is all about what comes next. Self-acceptance is just the very first step in recovery; Emily still has to do all the work of telling her truth in the real world if she wants to protect her siblings. And what happens when you speak that kind of truth? How do people react? How do you stop being a victim? How do you protect yourself from repeating the cycle of abuse? The pendulum swings in the completely opposite direction from victim in Secret Keeper, though not necessarily in a healthy way. There’s a lot of bad-assery afoot. I’m having a blast writing and meeting new characters, and I know readers will love them!

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Continue Online (Part 5, Together) [Book Spotlight!!!]

Continue Online Title: Continue Online (Part 5, Together)
Genre: LitRPG/Fantasy/Sci Fi

Synopsis
 

Since stepping through the gateway to Continue, Grant has been many things: a dying hero, a malevolent imp, a robotic space explorer, and felon seeking redemption. Now he’s added a new role to the list—married man to a virtual woman. In his mind, nothing could be more perfect, but his newlywedded bliss is in jeopardy.

Trillium pulled the trigger on a digital Armageddon and the games have changed. Virtual people are being hunted down then deleted forever. Players’ characters are removed if they die three times. The AIs have a plan to fight back and protect their citizens by storing as much data as possible into a haven, including Xin’s.

To help secure the survival of his friends and wife, Grant will seek the secrets to salvation left behind from the game’s first heroes and programming team. Along the way, Grant reunites with old companions, sets aside past grudges, and pulls out every trick he’s eer been taught to help him in the race against digital death.

Failure means Grant will lose Xin a second time, but success may cost him even more.


Bio

Stephan Morse was born the year 1983 in San Diego. The next fifteen years were spent slowly escaping California and surviving a public education system. Thus far he’s made it to the Seattle (WA) region with little desire to go further. When not trying to shove words together into sentences Stephan spends time reading, catching up on sleep, and otherwise living a mundane life.

Continue Online Series

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COVER REVEAL!!! Chasing What’s Already Gone by Michael Ross

COVER REVEAL! – Chasing What’s Already Gone – Michael Ross

Chasing What’s Already Gone is available on Amazon now!

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Blurb:

Danny Pearson is cruising through life on the edge of contentment—even in his marriage…

His wife seems distant, yet perfectly happy. They work on different schedules and pass like ships in the night. But that’s how marriage is after so many years, right?

When Danny meets a mysterious girl, his idea of the meaning of love shatters at his feet…

She’s not extraordinary, but somehow she’s so much more than just another girl. When he catches her gaze, he knows deep in his gut that she’s the one—the love of his life. But being a decent guy, he holds his feelings in check, and there is no ulterior motive when he shares a coffee with her. As she leaves, she gives him a business card. That’s all there is to it.

Her name is Ella. And after that, she is nothing more than a fond memory.

Danny puts Ella out of his mind and moves on with his life—until his world falls apart…When his wife confesses to having an affair and demands a divorce, his life is thrown into chaos. It’s a challenge adjusting to the single life, but it’s not impossible. As time passes, he continues to reminisce of his brief encounter with the woman he’s sure was his chance at true happiness.

How far is Danny willing to go in the pursuit of love? How far would you when, in all probability, you are only…

Chasing what’s already gone?

Purchase Links:

Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/2a1TMi9

Amazon.co.uk: http://amzn.to/2a5XJNq

 

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Book Cover full wrap

About The Author.

It was a strange and twisting road that led to the publishing of my second novel.

Born and raised in Bristol, England. I spent my adult life in business, the majority of that time marketing cars. I eventually owned the largest Saab specialist in the world, before a divorce put an end to that part of my life.

This led me to leave Bristol to live halfway up a mountain in the Welsh valleys, start a part time six year English Literature course at Bristol University, and attend creative writing classes in Cardiff.

My interest in English literature flourished and I have won several prizes for my short stories. My first book, ‘Twenty Short Stories – Settling a score,” reached No 6 in the Short Stories Best Sellers and is still available. My second novel, a romantic thriller entitled Hand Over Fist was released earlier this year

Chasing What’s Already Gone evolved from a short story Carpe Diem in my second anthology Twenty One Short Stories. I could not get the two main characters out of my head and I had to find out what happened to them after the end of the short story.

I now live very happily halfway up that mountain in the Welsh Valleys with my wonderful partner, Mari, and our rescue dog, Wolfie.

Facebook www.facebook.com/michaelross.writer

Twitter https://twitter.com/mikerosswriter

Website http://www.michaelrosswriter.com

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FANCY A FREE EBOOK OF ‘CHASING WHAT’S ALREADY GONE’ & A $5 AMAZON GIFT CARD?

All you have to do is like the below Facebook pages & a winner will be picked on July 29th.

www.facebook.com/Michaelrosswriter-1424178217825031/?fref=ts

www.facebook.com/LifestyleAndLiterature

 

Blog Tour Banner.

 

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COVER REVEAL!!! The Braille Club Undone by J.A Kerr

COVER REVEAL! The Braille Club Undone – J.A Kerr

Book 3.

The Braille Club Undone is the third book in The Braille Club series!

Blurb:

The Braille Club fulfils desires and fantasies. It guarantees members—sensory overload. Pleasure comes in many forms. Some playful and exciting, others…twisted by evil. Would you risk pain in exchange for pleasure?

Benedict and Sienna Harrison are left reeling…

Siena and Benedict—newlyweds and owners of the exclusive Braille Club—are determined more than ever to protect their family. “Knox,” their new home seems safe; but a presence lurks in the shadows. Watching, waiting. When the weak link is identified, their whole world will be blown apart.

Simon Lawrence will stop at nothing to satisfy his desires…

But his wife, Tess, has other plans. Tired of her husband’s infidelity, she resorts to desperate measures. However, Simon won’t let this new woman slip through his fingers. Distraught, Tess will stop at nothing to protect them and her secret. How far will she go to save her husband…from himself?

Virinder Bashir desires the freedom of the club…

Forced to marry Noor Chaudry, a beautiful, ruthless, and desperate woman, Virinder rejects their arranged marriage, seeing through her façade. During his sensual Braille lessons however, Noor becomes the center of his fantasies. After tragedy comes a blooming love, but not everyone wants them to live happily ever after.

A new client tempts Anna Dunbar down a dangerous, yet exciting path…

Manager of Harrison’s and the Braille Club, Guy Walker’s relationship with Anna Dunbar is failing. Feeling neglected, Anna’s flirting ignites Guy’s determination to win her back. Their mutual development of a new Braille Club Zone reawakens their dark desires, but will these desires unite…or destroy them?

Cords and ropes aren’t the only strings being pulled at the Braille Club. Danger lurks beneath deadly desires and obsessive fantasies… Will you indulge your desires and enter the Braille Club once again?

The Braille Club Undone Cover

The Braille Club Undone: COMING 31st July!

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Author Bio

I was born in the spring of 1967 at Paisley’s Ross Hospital in Scotland and grew up in Glasgow. I was an office administrator and latterly a recruitment consultant before marrying and relocating to The Netherlands with her husband. After two years, I moved to Cheshire where my first child was born and returned to work part-time. My final relocation took me back to my home town of Glasgow where I welcomed the arrival of my second child. I raised my family whilst harbouring dreams of becoming a writer. In September 2013, I took the plunge and started my first book.
When I set out to write these books, I wanted to create something that mirrored exactly the kind of books I like to read. My top picks are always originals featuring strong male and female protagonists with attitude. The Braille Club Series books are a great mix of genres. Although sensuality plays a big part, there is also intrigue and a touch of thriller.
I love to connect.

Never miss a thing sign up to my fun monthly newsletter http://bit.ly/21qmxVA Keeping up with a KERRdashion…for all my book gossip, giveaways and updates 🙂

Facebook Author Fan Page:http://on.fb.me/1DyZ8sZ
Facebook: http://facebook.com/JAKerrBRAILLE
Twitter:https://twitter.com/ AuthorJAKerr
Website:https://www.thebrailleclub.com
Goodreads:http://bit.ly/1UneIMS
Amazon Page http://amzn.to/1fHNdxO

The Braille Club series!

The Braille Club 1

The Braille Club is available at:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/29F4jzq

The Braille Club Unbound 2

The Braille Club Unbound is available at:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/29uUPXP

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WIN AN EBOOK, BOOK SWAG & $5 AMAZON GIFTCARD!

All you have to do is like the below Facebook page:

http://facebook.com/JAKerrBRAILLE

A winner will be selected on the 3rd August.