Fang Girl Promo Blitz : Guest Post + Giveaway!

Fang Girl Promo Blitz : Guest Post + Giveaway!

Three Things Vampires Don’t Want You To Know
Guest Post by Helen Keeble

Vampires aren’t real. If they were, they couldn’t stay hidden for long, right? Thanks to the endless books, films, and TV shows filled with vampiric lore, we all know how to recognise a bloodsucker. And we all know their weaknesses – sunlight, beheading, fire, stakes, athletic teenage girls, holy water, garlic…
Or maybe that’s just what the vampires want you to think are their weaknesses.
Delve a little deeper into traditional vampiric folklore, and there are a lot of weird things that don’t appear in our modern vampire fiction. Things that maybe the vampires want to keep quiet…

1) They’re just like unicorns

No, not because vampires are also beautiful and sparkly. Because, like unicorns, vampires are terrified of virgins. In fact, while unicorns are irresistibly drawn to virgins, according to Romanian folklore virgins are irresistibly drawn to vampires.
Actually, this is true in a lot of paranormal romances too, now that I come to think of it.
Anyway, all you have to do is stick a virgin on a white (or possibly black – sources vary) horse, and they’ll be able to lead you straight to the grave of the nearest vampire. And if you use a woman older than 25, she’ll even be able to kill the vampire for you as well. Just get her to whip the vampire’s grave with a hazel twig, and the bloodsucker will never be able to rise again.
Basically, older female virgins are homing missiles of mass vampire destruction. No wonder literature is full of vampires desperately trying to romance young girls. They have to neutralize them!

2) They float

“Big deal,” I hear you say, rolling your eyes. “Ducks float. Boats float. What’s so special about vampires floating?”
Because, according to our friend Romanian folklore again, vampires always float. They literally can’t sink.
Folklore boringly suggests using this trait to determine if someone is a vampire by tossing them in a river, but just think of the many other uses for this peculiar property…
“This is the captain speaking. Unfortunately we have hit an iceberg and water is now pouring through the hull, but there is no need to be alarmed! The vampires strapped under the Titanic’s hull make this ship literally unsinkable. While we repair the hole, please enjoy complimentary cocktails on the aft deck, and ignore the muffled screams of the tormented undead underneath your feet.”
Vampires would definitely want to keep this one quiet. No bloodsucker wants to spend eternity stuffed under an airplane chair as an emergency flotation device.

3) You’re probably always carrying the means to defeat one

Check your pockets or purse. Got some spare change? Maybe a half-eaten packet of breath mints? A tissue?
Congratulations! You can stop a charging vampire in his tracks.
All you have to do is fling a handful of small objects at him, and he’ll be compelled to stop in order to count them all. No, really. The technical term for this behaviour is arithmomania, and it crops up everywhere in vampire folklore, all around the globe.   Poland, Romania, China, India, pretty much everywhere has legends about obsessive-compulsive vampires. Though curiously, it seems to have fallen out of favour in modern vampire fiction.
Apart, of course, from one famous case:
There you go. Incontrovertible proof that Sesame Street is written by vampire hunters, who are determined to make sure children everywhere know vampires’ real weakness.
And now you do too.

P.S. Yes, I really do use one of these pieces of vampire folklore in my novel FANG GIRL. And no, I’m not going to tell you which one…

Things That Are Destroying Jane Greene’s Undead Social Life Before It Can Even Begin:
1) A twelve-year-old brother who’s convinced she’s a zombie.
2) Parents who are begging her to turn them into vampires.
3) The pet goldfish she accidentally turns instead.
4) Weird superpowers that let her rip the heads off of every other vampire she meets.(Sounds cool, but it doesn’t win you many friends.)
5) A psychotic vampire creator who’s using her to carry out a plan for world domination.
And finally:
6) A seriously ripped vampire hunter who either wants to stake her or make out with her. Not sure which.

Being an undead, eternally pasty fifteen-year-old isn’t quite the sexy, brooding, angst-fest Jane always imagined….


Helen Keeble is not, and never has been, a vampire. She has however been a teenager. She grew up partly in America and partly in England, which has left her with an unidentifiable accent and a fondness for peanut butter crackers washed   down with a nice cup of tea. She now lives in West Sussex, England, with her husband, daughter, two cats, and a variable number of fish. To the best of her knowledge, none of the fish are undead.

Her first novel, a YA vampire comedy called FANG GIRL, is out 11th Sept 2012, from HarperTeen. She also has another YA paranormal comedy novel (provisionally titled NO ANGEL) scheduled for Sept 2013.


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Guest Post: The Girl In The Wall + Giveaway!

Guest Post: The Girl In The Wall + Giveaway!

Top Ten People You Wouldn’t Invite to a Birthday Party
by Daphne Benedis-Grab

10- The creepy guy who lives on the fourth floor of our building and always tells me my hair smells good, even when it hasn’t been washed for like 3 days.  What is he doing smelling my hair anyway? 

9- Anyone who hogs the karaoke play list- especially if they go on a Lady Gaga kick because my vocals are not up to the challenge of her music.

8- My cousin Ray who never knows when the party is over and it’s time to go home- there are few things worse than that person hanging out on your sofa telling bad jokes when all you want to do is a quick clean up and head to bed. 

7- Anyone who bites (I’ve been to one too many toddler parties lately but I still think this is a good guideline).

6- Reverend Shaw Moore from Footloose (maybe at the end when he doesn’t stand in the way of the dance but before that, when he bans dancing, he is off the list)

5- Anyone mean because that is just not celebratory or fun.

4- My yoga teacher who is an intense vegan, very anti-sugar and whose presence would make it impossible to enjoy a second slice of cake.  She can come after the food part though.

3- Anyone who is going to insist on the birthday song where you have to own up to your age- that stopped being fun somewhere around 28.

2- The guy who flashed me this summer when I was on a walk at the beach- no one needs to see that, especially at a birthday party (unless it’s a Dick in a Box kind of situation because that is funny, not gross). 

1- Anyone who is going to take the party hostage- please see THE GIRL IN THE WALL for all the ways that this totally ruins a party.  

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Ariel’s birthday weekend looks to be the event of the season, with a private concert by rock star Hudson Winters on the grounds of her family’s east coast estate, and all of Ariel’s elite prep school friends in attendance. The only person who’s dreading the party is Sera, Ariel’s former best friend, whose father is forcing her to go. Sera has been the school pariah since she betrayed Ariel, and she now avoids Ariel and their former friends. Thrown together, Ariel and Sera can agree on one thing: this could be one very long night.

They have no idea just how right they are.

Only moments after the concert begins and the lights go down, thugs open fire on parents and schoolmates alike, in a plot against Ariel’s father that quickly spins out of control. As the entire party is taken hostage, the girls are forced apart. Ariel escapes into the hidden tunnels in the family mansion, where she and Sera played as children. Only Sera, who forges an unlikely alliance with Hudson Winters, knows where her friend could be. As the industrial terrorist plot unravels and the death toll climbs, Ariel and Sera must recall the sisterhood that once sustained them as they try to save themselves and each other on the longest night of their lives.

Daphne Benedis-Grab is the author of two novels for teenagers, Alive and Well in Prague New York (HarperCollins 2008) and The Girl in the Wall (Merit Press, to be released December 18, 2012).  Alive and Well in Prague, New York was praised by Booklist for its “strong, clear voice and heartbreaking vulnerability”and by Kirkus for its “excellent narrative voice and touching emotional connection”.  It was selected as one of Bank Street College’s Best Children’s Books of 2008.  Daphne has also ghostwritten a teen novel for Sourcebooks and reviewed children’s books for Publishers Weekly.  She lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

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Something Wicked Comes: Blackbrooke: Guest Post and Giveaway!

Something Wicked Comes: Blackbrooke: Guest Post and Giveaway!

Something Wicked Comes….bringing Zombies, Werewolves, Vampires, Ghosts, Witches and more Oh My!  What is this wicked thing?  Why a month long blogging event celebrating all books paranormal/supernatural or Halloween related.  Every day during the
month of October there will be several stops.  Each blogger will be featuring a favorite paranormal book and offering it for a giveaway.  Think of it as a month long Blog Trick or Treating Event…
Rainy Day Ramblings and Babbling About Books are hosting this event, so be sure and check the full schedule so you can follow along! 

Today, I am featuring Blackbrooke by Emma Silver. I read this book for a blog tour and absolutely loved it. I hope you enjoy it too. 

The residents of Blackbrooke share their town with the Creatures, or Crits as they are known. Grotesque, roaming the streets at night looking for food, their presence means humans have to live by the Rules, keeping them indoors and forbidding them of basic desires.
The most important Rule? Don’t be a ‘walk out’!
Straight-A student, Liberty Connor, hates the Crits and the endless Rules she and her tight knit group of friends have to live by. Planning her new life on the Outside with her boyfriend, Gabriel, Liberty whiles away her days waiting to turn 18, so they can leave and be free. That is, until the world she thinks she knows begins to unravel. Her friends start to walk out. So she’s told. However, something’s not right. Things don’t add up. Liberty faces a race against time to discover what’s going on with the Creatures of Blackbrooke.
Is it them she has to fear, or something much closer to home?

You can read my review and an interview with the author here. I have Author Emma Silver with a Guest post and an absolutely awesome giveaway!

Before Blackbrooke, I wrote a women’s fiction novel that I was perpetually unhappy with and abandoned (after getting twenty full manuscripts printed, I hasten to add…). At the time, my life was loud and manic so I explained to my then boyfriend that I’d be taking myself away from it all to concentrate on my writing.

Armed with limited funds, I booked a hotel at a popular English seaside resort and set off for a few days of uninterrupted scribbling. What happened when I got there was interesting…
I inadvertently created my own prison. Because the nightlife in this particular town was rather…crazy to say the least, I’d venture out during the day but as soon as the sun went down, I dashed back to the safety of the cramped room, complete with stained bedspread and peeling floral wallpaper.
There was an old man staying in the room opposite who had lived in the hotel for years and whenever I returned, he’d open the door a little bit and stare at me through the crack while I fumbled with the key. He never said a word, just stared while blowing out rings of smoke from his stinking cigar.
Once in the room, that was it. I didn’t dare to venture out and could hear the shouts and screams of drunk revellers throughout the night. Plus, I didn’t want to come face to face with the old man again…
At around one in the morning (I’m a night writer), I started to pace the room. By two, I was blasting music through my headphones and come three AM, I’d abandoned the writing and decided to watch a film. And then another.
It was a strange sensation to feel trapped. I could of course have left whenever I wanted but my brain started to play silly tricks on me and I became truly convinced I would be harmed if I left the room. It made me think about prison and how some inmates must lose their minds and feel like the walls are closing in on them.
Emma Silver
It was an extreme reaction to what was effectively just little old me staying in a cosy B&B, but it stayed with me and that’s when ideas started to form for Blackbrooke. Imagine a town where you had to stay locked indoors every night? What would you do to entertain yourself?
I’ve purposely made a lot of movie references in the book as I imagine they would be good tools to help the residents pass the time on those long dark winter nights. One of the first scenes that popped into my head was my little pocket rocket, Gemma Jones holding up the DVD cases and referring to Twilight as a comedy, given the horrible reality of the Crits in Blackbrooke.
So, my little trip to the seaside to write a book that will never see the light of day resulted in Blackbrooke. Made all the more amusing because that particular place was the charming town of Blackpool. So, does that mean inspiration for the Crits came from the party people of Blackpool? Not really, although Blackpool at night is a scary place. Definitely lock your doors and close the blinds…
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Now it’s time for the Giveaway. Don’t forget thank Emma for her generous donation. The Giveaway is International and will end on 19th October with the release of the paperback copy of the book. 

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Blog Tour: Maybe Too Good To Be True!

Blog Tour: Maybe Too Good To Be True!

Welcome to my stop on “Maybe Too Good To be True” Blog Tour hosted by Goddess Fish.
Today, I have the author Christy McKee with a guest post.  Read on and don’t forget to comment as Christy will be awarding a digital copy of Maybe Too Good To Be True to a randomly drawn commenter at every stop and a $30 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour [Contest Closed: Winner: J Q Rose Follow the tour here

Qualities of a swoon worthy hero.
Let’s begin with a six foot four inch nicely filled out thirty something male who exudes confidence and swagger. His muscle groups, from his abs to his biceps all rate a 10 plus. All the women at the party watch him hoping he will look their way, but he pays them no mind because his ice blue eyes are fixed on me—after all I am the heroine in this story.
The hero is Colby McQueen and I think I’m already falling in love with him. My four year old daughter, Ella, wants him to be her daddy, but we are keeping that a secret between the two of us. We don’t want to scare the man off after a month of dating. I was so nervous the first time he came over to the house for dinner and to meet Stella. She and I had changed our outfits three times before finding the right one. When Colby came to the front door, he had a bouquet of flowers for me and a smaller nosegay for Stella. As if he understood that his size could intimidate a four year old, Colby crouched down until he was eye to eye with Stella. She walked into his arms like she belonged there.
As life would have it, I know a little about imperfect heroes. For now, these are some of the qualities, I think a perfect hero must have. First, a hero shouldbe strong mentally and physically—these qualities are non-negotiable. No matter where Stella and I go with Colby, we feel perfectly safe with him at our back.
I know the world is changing and along with it many social pleasantries have fallen by the way side, but show me a man who opens doors for women or helps them on with her coat, like my Colby, and I’ll bet his mama taught him everything about being a gentlemaneven if he only uses twenty-five per cent of what he knows. At least if we are ever invited to the White House for dinner, Colby will probably know which silverware to use with each course.
It is as important for our heroes to listen as it is for them to speak. Men often run rough shod over women; interrupting so they can voice their opinion which they feel is more important. Colby hasn’t always been a good listener, but he listens attentively now and asks me thought provoking questions. Everyone likes to feel that what they say is important. Getting my hero’s respect makes me feel worthy and valuable.
Heroes know they must make a commitment to help the environment. Whether it’s putting home heating and cooling systems on timers, or recycling bottles, glass and plastic, or driving a smart car, heroes will carry through and inspire others to do the same. Colby does all of these things except for the smart car.
Probably the most important quality a hero must possess is honor. If a man is honorable, he is a man you can trust. If he makes a promise to you, he will keep it. Knowing that if I need him, that Colby will always be there for me has given me the courage to try new things and take risks of my own. 
Kindness is important in our lives today. We all need to experience the gift of human kindness; it needn’t be anything more than a small gesture, but even a simple gesture can have a meaningful impact on the recipient.  There is nothing that warms me more than seeing a man walking down busy Michigan Avenue, who comes across an elderly female who needs assistance. When I see him tuck her hand over his arm and walk her across the street, I know I’ve seen my first “kindness” of the day. More than likely my hero will score a few more before day’s end.
There are many more qualities that could make the “swoon worthy” list, but for now I’ll stick with these and my hero, Colby.
·         Kind    
·         Honorable 
·         Listen
·         Polite
·         Mentally strong
·         Physically strong
·         Sensitive to other’s feelings
·         Help the environment
Gabrielle March is summoned to an oceanfront estate in Massachusetts by the matriarch of Atlantic-Hastings International where she is presented with a hefty block of shares as amends for a crime committed against her family. The stock—worth several million dollars—can give her the means to make her dream come true if only she can muster the courage to break free from her past and believe in her unique creative talent.
Pierce Hastings, son of Gabrielle’s benefactress, grudgingly agrees to take her under his wing and acclimate her to Atlantic-Hastings.  Never one to mix business with pleasure, Pierce stuns himself when he ignores his own self imposed rule. Gabrielle’s complete lack of artifice, unvarnished honesty and quirky sense of humor are intoxicating to him―and he’s rapidly becoming addicted. He’s blindsided when Gabrielle confesses that, in spite of her growing feelings for him, she will never fit into his world of power and privilege and has no desire to try.


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