Calling All YA Readers – The Darkening (Shrilugh Saga) by Myndi Shafer is Now Available!

The Ooo Factor is thrilled to participate in Myndi Shafer’s book launch party today!!

The Darkening is the second book of the Shrilugh Saga, and is available now for purchase at Amazon and Smashwords… and will be available via iTunes, Barnes & Noble and other platforms soon!

the darkening cover (83)

The Darkening (Book Two of the Shrilugh Saga)

As Aydan Fulbert settles into her new life in a new world, she realizes a few things. She’s healing from losing Brig. She’s coming to terms with her new home. And she’s lonely.

Rein Torvald’s return from his long absence helps alleviate her loneliness, but a darkness comes with him. Unsettling news about her father and the Sovereign has the potential to make her a fugitive all over again – from his world and hers.

Will Aydan allow her heart to be taken places she’s never been brave enough to go? Or will the threat of danger – of the Sovereign’s rage, and her father’s vengeful grudge, send her running?

*****

Author Myndi Shafer currently makes her home in Kansas with her husband and four children. Her bestselling book, Shrilugh, was released in August of 2012.

Congratulations on the new release, Myndi!  And I can’t wait to grab a copy!

Must Read Recent Releases!

Winter is here…  For the most part, I’m usually looking for any excuse to stay in out of the cold.  While I love wearing sweaters and scarves, they still don’t keep me warm enough when the Texas winds blow and the wind chills remain below forty degrees.  This is why there’s nothing much better than curling up in my comfy chair, throwing a blanket over my legs, lighting a candle, and reading a great book on those frigid winter nights.

So today, I’ve decided to share five recent releases that are must reads on my bookshelf.  If you’re looking for the next bestseller in the young adult, mystery, suspense, fantasy, and thriller genres, check these out and help support five fabOoolous authors!

*****

Fifteen years ago, Darcy Walker’s parents thought it was a good idea to give her a unique name: Darcy, meaning “dark walker.” Whether that was a stroke of genius or stroke of stupid, they definitely nailed the irony. She lacks direction, her grades stink despite a high IQ, she’s boringly average–although flirting admirers claim otherwise–and God help her, she’s infatuated with a bad-boy.

A bad-boy that her hottie best friend, Dylan, wishes would get acquainted with his fist.

And, oh yeah, there’s that tattoo that was a royally stupid idea.

With her life spiraling out of control, everything changes when she skips class and finds a dead body…in fact, it gets worse. It jump-starts Darcy’s inner-verb, and her AD/HD mind gets caught up in a situation she can’t let go.

Set in the fictional Cincinnati town of Valley, Ohio, Darcy falls into a world of threats, violence, and gangland exploits, chasing down every clue to finger the murderer. When a fellow misfit is arrested for the crime, Darcy goes from zero-to-sixty trying to clear his name—constructing aliases, breaking the law, everything that makes perfect sense to her, but reeks of Grade A Stupid to everyone else.

Trouble is…will she live to see 16?

*****

IT’S THE MOMENTS FROM OUR PAST THAT BIND US.

Branch Manager Emilie Davis is having a day like any other–until two masked men storm into WestOne Bank demanding cash.  Her hopes of a quick end to her terror are dashed when she realizes one of the men has no interest in the bank’s money. Emilie is his prize, and he’s come to claim her.

When hostage negotiator Nathan Madigan and Las Vegas SWAT enter the bank on a rescue mission, Emilie’s captor makes a shocking escape into the abyss that lies beneath the city: the Las Vegas storm drains, a refuge for the downtrodden and the desperate.

HOW WILL IT END?

Who is the man the media has dubbed the “Taker?” Why is he after Emilie, and what is the connection he’s convinced they share?

Emilie can’t run from the Taker, and she can’t escape her own past. As her life closes in on her, she has nowhere to turn but to Nathan. The lines of professionalism blur as Nathan becomes determined to save Emilie. Together they venture into the depths beneath Las Vegas and discover a shocking piece of the puzzle.

But the Taker remains one step ahead. Desperate for the threat to emerge from the shadows, Emilie makes a bold move to reclaim her life, and it may cost her everything.

*****

Nita Young doesn’t know if she has a future with college sweetheart Keenan Donovan—two star-crossed lovers of opposing elements—but she invites him up to Alaska to see if Earth and Water can rekindle their old flame.

When a series of wild animal attacks strike the inhabitants of Yakutat, Nita has to put her romantic plans on hold. Mangled bodies are turning up, and a mysterious black panther has been spotted in the woods. Fur, scales, and a venomous bite suggest the cat is supernatural in origin—and evidence indicates that someone not only summoned it, but is using it to target those Nita cares about. It’s the perfect murder weapon: no fingerprints, no evidence. And in a town this small, the killer is someone she knows.

Nita’s strength will be put to the test as she faces losing her friends, her town, and the man she loves.

*****

Mary Nelson’s murder shocked the small town of Jackson. The vibrant, young college student disappeared on her way home. A week later her body was found in the trunk of a burning car. No suspects. No evidence. No case.

Ella Reynolds’ life had finally turned around. With a new book released, the past safely tucked away, and a burgeoning romance, she begins to live again. Then a plea from a woman whose daughter’s murder remains unsolved ignites Ella’s curiosity—and drags her back into the dark world she fought so desperately to escape.

Curiosity turns to obsession as Ella inches closer to the truth—and the murderer begins to claim new victims.

*****

One woman locked in a basement, nearing death and longing for escape. Another baffled by the inexplicable symptoms wreaking havoc on her life. Both are lost and alone, yet somehow connected. And time is running out…

Near the tenth anniversary of her parents’ unexpected death, Claire Fiksen, a lovely young Harvard-grad and gifted psychologist in Minnesota, develops bizarre symptoms of an eating disorder that threaten her fledgling career, her relationship with a handsome young medical student, her grasp on reality and, soon, her life.

When her beloved grandfather reveals that there may be more to her parents’ death than she’s realized, Claire’s pursuit of healing becomes a desperate search for answers as she delves into her family’s sordid past. Meanwhile, someone is watching her every move, plotting to draw her into her own twisted web of misery.

Claire has something he needs, and he’ll stop at nothing to obtain it. Every step Claire takes brings her closer to the truth and danger. And her life, she discovers, isn’t the only one at stake.

AND August has a special announcement… In Her Shadow is now available in paperback!  Stop by her blog for details on how you can win something fun—giveaway ends February 2nd!

*****

Don’t these books sound fabOoolous!!  I’ve met all of these authors, either in person or online in writing communities, and I can’t wait to read their latest releases.  I hope you do too!

Have you read any of these books?  If so, please share your thoughts…  Do you have any other new releases that you think the rest of us should read or that you can’t wait to crack open?  I’d love to hear from you!

And, remember to check out my YA Mystery novel, Football Sweetheart… now available on Kindle and Nook!  Reviewers agree that FS is perfect for teens and adults alike!

FootballSweetheart_Digital

Here are some of the most recent reviews…

five stars“Exciting mystery! Appropriate read for the young adult, the older ones too 🙂 Very hard to put down! Can’t wait for the next one!!” ~ Stacy K.

five stars“I really enjoyed reading Football Sweetheart! There’s always a reason to keep turning the page. I find that some books tend to be hard for me to get into, but not this one! I read it all in one day because I literally couldn’t stop. The plot and character development is fantastic- I felt like I could have been friends with these people in high school, which made it even more interesting. I highly recommend it!” ~ Nikki M.

Lisette Brodey on Writing and Hollywood

Like most of the other writers I adore today, I first met Lisette Brodey on Twitter last year.  Whoever says social media is a waste of time, obviously hasn’t been hanging in the right hashtags and groups…

LisetteBrodeyHeadshot
Author and Actress Lisette Brodey

Lisette is like a ray of sunshine.  She always sends the sweetest notes and makes me smile.  Not only do I enjoy chatting with her about her writing, but I also love hearing all about her recent adventures in Hollywood.  That’s right—I said Hollywood.

Originally from Philadelphia, Lisette moved to New York City where she studied drama.  Ten years later, she moved to Los Angeles where she held various positions at Paramount Studios in Hollywood and CBS Studio Center in Studio City.  Back in Philadelphia for several years, Lisette worked as a freelance writer, with clients both in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and other cities.  In 2010, she finally moved back to Los Angeles permanently.  She has freelanced for the entertainment industry and published three books: Crooked Moon, a story about childhood best friends whose lives come crashing back together after twenty-three years apart; Squalor, New Mexico, a coming-of-age story shrouded in a family mystery; and Molly Hacker is Too Picky!, a romantic comedy.

Before we jump into the interview, check out Lisette’s blurb for her romantic comedy, Molly Hacker is Too Picky!.

Molly Hacker Is Too Picky!:

At thirty-two, newspaper reporter Molly Hacker vows to never attend another wedding until she has had her own. And that’s a problem because Molly’s younger sister, Hannah, is going to be married in one year. Armed with snark, wit, and fabulous good looks, “Picky Molly Hacker is Too Picky! by Lisette BrodeyMolly” embarks on a quest to find Mr. Right in her hometown.

Things get complicated fast. In no time at all, Molly has four “men of interest” and the memories of a lost love to send her overanalytic, befuddled mind into serious overdrive. Determined not to let her “helpful” girlfriends help her right out of another relationship, Molly tries to keep mum on the state of her love life. Her BFF male coworker, Randy, becomes her closest confidant as he stumbles over romantic issues with his new Mr. Right, Kyle. Meanwhile, Molly’s gal pals aren’t too happy about being left out of the loop.

Tweaking Molly’s last nerve is the town’s most visible socialite, Naomi Hall-Benchley, who, for self-serving reasons, is hell-bent on setting up “Picky Molly Hacker,” and she doesn’t care who she has to manipulate or hurt to do it. Just how far will she go?

“Molly Hacker Is Too Picky!” takes the reader on a yearlong romp through Molly’s mind and a joyride through her life. Her dating life, town secrets, a group of quirky, crazy characters, and Naomi’s machinations collide head-on at a holiday gala that will change the social landscape of her hometown, Swansea, forever. As the New Year rolls in, Molly gets earth-shattering news. Can she go on? Will life ever return to abnormal again?

*****

When you were a little girl, did you dream of one day writing a bestseller, or did you have something else in mind?

When I was a little girl, even a teenager, I dreamed of being an actress. But that didn’t take away from my love for writing.

Where do you find the inspiration for your stories?

I write character-driven, multilayered novels, so I’d have to say that people are my number one inspiration. I usually find a character and develop a story around him or her, but sometimes it is the other way around.

Knowing that I’m a writer, people often say to me, “I’ve got a great story for you.” It’s usually a great story for them, not for me. We all have to write about what we feel passionate about in our own lives, not someone else’s.

Who are a few of your favorite authors?

I love Charles Dickens, F. Scott Fitzgerald and many writers of the classics. These days, however, I mostly read novels by my fellow indie authors.

Charles Dickens…  Great Expectations is one of my all-time favorites. 

My Charles Dickens Complete Works with my other favorite book, Football Sweetheart.
My Charles Dickens Collection standing on my other favorite book, Football Sweetheart.

The cover art for Molly Hacker is Too Picky! is adorable.  Did you design it yourself?

No. The cover was created by artist Megan Hansen. I gave her a great deal of information about the character of Molly, and she worked with me to develop her visually.

Many writers imagine a celebrity or familiar face when developing their characters.  Did you have anyone particular in mind when writing Molly and why?

I didn’t have anybody in mind when I wrote the character, but I often do picture someone famous when I’m writing. Doing so helps to develop a character in the initial stages.

Speaking of celebrities, who are you thinking of at this very moment?

Actually, I’m thinking about you, Tiffany!

Hahaha, Lisette.  Flattery will get you… everywhere with me!  🙂

I wouldn’t be myself without asking about television – what are your four favorite television programs airing today? 

Scandal, Castle, Grey’s Anatomy, and American Idol.

Now, let’s go to the movies… what is your favorite film of all-time?

Gone with the Wind

My mom loves you already!!

Scarlett. Rhett. It doesn’t get much better than this classic!

What snacks do you order when at a movie theater? 

Always a soda and popcorn. I LOVE my popcorn. I think I eat it differently than everyone else. Sometimes I take several bites out of one popped kernel. I make it last throughout the entire film. 🙂

Besides writing, I know you have landed a few “extra” roles in some Hollywood films.  Where can we watch for you? 

No big deal, really! I’m in the wedding dance scene in End of Watch. I’m a green-faced witch in Fun Size, but if you blink, I’m afraid you’ll miss me. I worked several days on a film called The Incredible Burt Wonderstone with Steve Carrell, Steve Buscemi, and Jim Carrey. It’s going to be a fabulous movie! I’m sitting in the fourth row of the audience. You might see me cheering for the two Steves, who portray a team of magicians during their 1980s Vegas heyday. I think I’ll keep the rest of the roles/films secret, especially the one in which I’m wearing a bathing suit! Ha ha.

This movie is on my “To Be Watched” list. And now that I know Lisette is in the wedding scene, I REALLY want to check it out!

What’s next on the horizon for you?

I’m currently close to publishing a book of poetry written by my mother about 60 years ago. She wrote beautiful poetry as a young woman (had a few poems published), then went on to get her master’s and doctorate and become a university professor.  She’s now retired and looking forward to the publication of her book within the next couple of months.

As for me, I’m approximately 25% into my next novel, which will be in the YA Paranormal genre. I’m eager to pick up the pace on this novel and publish it in mid-2013.

I’m also eager to move on to novel #5. I will be novelizing a play that I wrote many years ago, which actually began as a short story when I was 17. So, these characters have been itching to make themselves known for a very long time.

*****

Isn’t Lisette adorable?  I am totally going to watch for her in those movies… maybe if we beg enough, she’ll tell us the title of the film where she wears a bathing suit!

Need more Lisette?  Catch up with her at her website, or follow her via her Twitter, Goodreads, and Facebook accounts.

Do you have a question for Lisette?  Have you read Molly Hacker is Too Picky!?  If so, share your thoughts here!  We’d love to hear from you! 

Friday, December 21st Only! 99 Authors, 99 Books, 99 Cents…

These prices are available on Amazon only.

For a listing of books offered & a chance to win one of the prizes, click here!!

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Included with these fabOoolous authors and titles is my YA mystery, Football Sweetheart!

FootballSweetheart_Digital

High School Football can be MURDER…

Aimee Freeman is looking forward to the start of her senior year. She knows her best friend Ella has been keeping secrets from her all summer long, but with football season right around the corner, the student trainer decides not to worry about it-they’ll have plenty of time to catch up on the field.

Then Ella goes missing, and Aimee realizes those secrets might be the key to finding her. As the case unfolds, Aimee discovers more than one person may have wanted to harm Ella. Was it Ella’s current boyfriend, a social outcast the entire city seems intent on blaming for her disappearance? Or her ex-boyfriend, the beloved star quarterback who has harassed Ella since their breakup? The list of potential suspects continues to grow after Aimee reads Ella’s journal, but she must break her best friend’s secret code to reveal their identities.

Unbeknownst to Aimee, her investigation has not gone unnoticed. Ella’s abductor is watching and waiting. Will he decide Aimee needs to be silenced-making her the next target?

*****

Readers agree that Football Sweetheart is perfect reading for adults and teens alike!  Take advantage of today’s sale spectacular and buy a copy for under a dollar!

And remember, gifting an e-book on Amazon is easy and today’s sale would be a great time to get some last-minute holiday shopping done!

Friday FabOoolousness – Amber West on Smuggling, Scotch, Home Remedies, and The Ruth Valley Missing

Like most of the other writers I adore today, I first met Amber West on social media last year.  We hit it off… talking about writing, watching television, and sharing general life experiences with each other.  Then, one day, Amber contacted me with one of her brilliant ideas—we should start a weekly blog series where we review television shows to help busy people know what is worth a watch and what is not.  With that, Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday was born.

Author, Photographer, Blogger, Mother, And All-Around Awesome Amber West
(photo courtesy of Jonas West Photography)

Amber and I have grown so close over the last year and a half that it seems almost impossible that we’ve never met in person.  My parents are her friends on Facebook… and they also adore her.  Her sister and I chat on Twitter… and hopefully everyone meets her soon as I’ve asked her to use her fabOoolous fashion sense to do a guest post covering my Football Sweetheart characters… but that’s later; today is all about Amber.

I cannot express how much Amber means to me.  There have been days where I have wanted to bang my head against the wall, throw my laptop out the window, and quit writing altogether.  In these moments, Amber jumps in and talks me down off the ledge.  She makes me laugh; she makes me cry (tears of joy); she makes me feel loved.  One day, we will meet face to face.  And, when we do, I will hug her like there’s no tomorrow.  Heck, I hope she’s a hugger…

For those who are unfamiliar with Amber, here is a brief bio:

Amber West is a Northeastern transplant dodging rodent sized bugs and sweltering heat in the jungles of Central Florida. When she isn’t battling the urge to pass out, she’s busy being a wife, mother, geek, photographer, and writer, in no particular order. You can read her ramblings at her website or find her on Twitter where she abuses hashtags and makes people laugh. Or at least, makes herself laugh.

The bio is in Amber’s words, but I will concur that she makes people laugh.  A lot.  Just look at this video she built for our WatchWed series:

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Before we jump into the interview, check out Amber’s blurb for her debut mystery novel, The Ruth Valley Missing.

Enjoy!

The Ruth Valley Missing:

Jameson Quinn is sick of trying to find herself in the big city. After a gallery opening ends in a trip to the ER and an argument with her self-involved boyfriend, she decides to take off for the peace and quiet of a small town — Ruth Valley.

The small town has everything Brooklyn lacked: simple people, peaceful surroundings, and a feeling of safety. Jameson even finds the perfect house to rent from the town’s most eligible bachelor, Sheriff Jack. Life is finally headed in a promising direction.

But something isn’t right. A young man is mysteriously injured, then disappears — and Jameson finds he isn’t the only person to suddenly vanish. The suspicious behavior of an abrasive nun and a creepy priest set her off on an investigation of what’s really happening. Will she figure out the secrets of Ruth Valley before she’s the next to go missing?

*****

When you were a little girl, did you dream of one day writing a bestseller, or did you have something else in mind?

I don’t think being a bestseller was ever something I dreamed of, little or not so little. I was never the kid who had grand ideas of being rich and famous. I loved writing and acting, but never entertained either of those as a career. They were just something to do for entertainment.

Little did Toddler Amber know that her days of thievery would pay off in the end… as research for her books!
(photo courtesy of Jonas West Photography)

But, in fifth grade, the school I went to did one of those “slam books” for the entire fifth grade class. One of the questions was “what do you want to be when you grow up?” My answer: a writer. I guess that means that I just didn’t care if I made money being one.

Fifth grade was also the first time I had a work of mine published. A short story I wrote about an orphaned tiger was accepted for a Young Writers’ Anthology.

Really?  Why haven’t I read this short story, Amber?  You know I want to!

I don’t have it anywhere!  I may have to go on a little expedition in my mom’s closets…

Where do you find the inspiration for your stories?

I remember being on the monorail at Disney with my family when I was a kid and seeing a man looking out the window. He looked sad and alone, which seemed odd given where we were. For the rest of that day (and days after) I kept trying to work out his story.

Basically, I’ve always been a bit of a watcher. Well, that sounds creepy…like I’m some kind of peeping tom! I have a habit of watching how people interact, or the expressions on their faces, the way they stand, etc… If I see something that doesn’t quite fit, stories start popping into my head.

It’s not just people watching, though. I can be inspired by a place, too. I love photography, so even when I don’t have a camera with me, I’m always taking mental snapshots. Some of those snapshots turn into stories.

I also have really vivid dreams. Every once in a while, I wake up thinking, “That would make a great scene in a movie/story!”

Who are a few of your favorite authors?

I’m so incredibly behind in current reading, so I feel like my author list is completely antiquated. I’m a dorky Shakespeare girl, and I’ve read Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead about a million times. If it’s witty, even in the darker moments, then chances are I’ll enjoy it.

As a kid, Roald Dahl was one of my favorites, but I was a pretty voracious reader very early on, so the more I sit here and think, the more the list will grow.

Shakespeare likes to help Amber in the kitchen…
(photo courtesy of Jonas West Photography)

The cover art for your book is amazing.  Did you design it yourself?

Oh, thank you! I did, actually. I wanted something that would capture the mood of the book without really giving anything away; but being broke as all-get-out, I needed to design the cover myself. As I’ve mentioned, I love photography, so I used an original image of my own and built on that.

Many writers imagine a celebrity or familiar face when developing their characters.  Did you have anyone particular in mind when writing Jameson and why?

Oddly enough, no celebs in mind for Jameson. There aren’t too many redheaded American actresses that fit her, and I didn’t want to have the voice of an actress with an accent in my head while I wrote, so I didn’t try to have anyone in mind.

I’ve since explored someone who would fit, but still haven’t found the exact woman right for the role. When I write in first person, there’s a bit of me that feels like I’m method acting, so in some ways, I imagine myself in the role.

Granted, Jameson would be a red-haired, green-eyed, fitter version of me, but still.

I DID picture specific celebs for two other characters in the book. Taking a note from you, I may have to do a blog post on that in the future. 😉

I know exactly who you are talking about AND I can’t wait to see The Ruth Valley Missing dream cast! 

Speaking of celebrities, who are you thinking of at this very moment?

David Tennant. He might be occupying the role of a future character in another novel starring Jameson. Yes, after some really great feedback from readers who want more, I am considering making a series…

And I just watched The Decoy Bride, some episodes of Doctor Who, and an episode of the BBC’s QI on which he guest starred.

Personally, I loved Mr. Tennant in Fright Night. His portrayal of Peter Vincent was absolutely fabOoolous!

I wouldn’t be myself without asking about television – what are your four favorite television programs airing today? 

Oh…that is a tough one. The Good Wife used to be high on the list, but now that I am without cable, I haven’t been keeping up (CBS doesn’t have a great iPad viewing option). Parenthood, Grimm, Castle, and I’ll say Downton Abbey, since here in the states we are between seasons.

Now, let’s go to the movies… what is your favorite film of all-time?

Oh, that’s a terrible question. I can’t possibly answer it. But I’ll tell you three movies I own: Emma, Ever After, and Serenity. My movie collection is nearly non-existent, so the fact that I own these speaks volumes.

What snacks do you order when at a movie theater? 

Generally, I stick to stealing a little popcorn from my neighbor (so long as I know them, of course) and either water or Cherry Coke. I can’t handle a lot of sugar, so candy snacks don’t happen often, and most movie chocolate isn’t the kind I like.

If we are being honest, I’m more likely to bring snacks in my purse than buy any. When we were kids, we rarely got to go to the movies (five kids meant a lot of creative free outings), so when we did, we were total snack smugglers.

Amber and her group of smugglers… scheming their next job.
(photo courtesy of Jonas West Photography)

Besides writing, I’ve noticed you’re quite the photographer and you love to share tons of fun home remedies and recipes…

First, name one place that you’d like to visit with your camera and why…

Right now I am on a major Scotland/Ireland kick. I know. That’s two, not one, I know. So if you are going to twist my arm, Scotland. It would be the ultimate retreat for me. I’d do nothing but take photos and write.

And eat. And drink proper beer and scotch.

It’s a good thing I plan on walking a lot on this imaginary trip.

Now, share with us the craziest home remedy that everyone should know about…

Well, for any of your readers that didn’t read about me shoving a garlic clove in my ear, that probably sounds pretty crazy.

Also, dipping your feet in raw egg yolks to bring down a fever…

WHAT??!!??  Dipping your feet in raw egg yolks will bring down a fever??  That’s nuts!  But, I’ll try it next time.  Why not?

That’s pretty much how I approach most home remedies.  If they can’t hurt me, why not try them?

And, lastly, do you have a tasty, quick, and easy recipe you’d like to share with us today? 

My parents gave me a waffle iron sometime back. It is a very cool tool to have, but I was curious to find more uses for it than just making waffles. So, I took a can of biscuits, split the biscuits open and filled them with whatever I was craving – jalapeños and cream cheese – and stuck them in the iron.

In minutes, you get stuffed biscuits. A yummy quick and easy snack!

Another quick treat that is surprisingly delicious – roasted cauliflower. Chop it up, toss it in olive oil and some salt, crumble goat cheese and crushed walnuts over the top, then toss it in the oven to roast at about 375 degrees. When it gets nice golden edges, it’s done!

Roasted Cauliflower… I may have to try this, minus the goat cheese of course.  No cheese for me!

*****

Isn’t Amber amazing AND adorable?

Need more Amber?  Catch up with her at her website, or follow her via her Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Loveit accounts.

Do you have a question for Amber?  Have you read The Ruth Valley Missing yet?  If so, share your thoughts here!  We’d love to hear from you! 

And, because Amber is so fabOoolous, she’s kept her Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales price live just for the Ooo Factor readers!  Be sure to click over to Amazon and buy The Ruth Valley Missing today if you haven’t already.  It’s worth it!

Cyber Monday – Last Day for These Discounted Young Adult Indie Reads!

It’s Cyber Monday!!  Let’s keep the holiday shopping madness going by buying these latest YA Indie Reads for the fantasy, paranormal, and mystery lovers in our lives!!

Help support these small businesses, also known as independent authors, and purchase these fabOoolous discounted titles today.  Sales end at midnight, so grab ’em while you can!

*****

TIFFANY A. WHITE

If you shop on Amazon.com, click HERE  *  If you shop on Amazon UK, click HERE *  Or if you prefer Barnes and Noble, click HERE

*****

MYNDI SHAFER

If you shop on Amazon.com, click HERE  *  If you shop on Amazon UK, click HERE

*****

HEATHER McCORKLE

If you shop on Amazon.com, click HERE  *  If you shop on Amazon UK, click HERE  *  Or if you prefer Barnes and Noble, click HERE

*****

GWEN GARDNER

If you shop on Amazon.com, click HERE  *  If you shop on Amazon UK, click HERE

*****

ANGELA BROWN

If you shop on Amazon.com, click HERE  *  If you shop on Amazon UK, click HERE

*****

JULIE CASSAR

If you shop on Amazon.com, click HERE  *  If you shop on Amazon UK, click HERE

*****

DIANA MURDOCK

If you shop on Amazon.com, click HERE  *  If you shop on Amazon UK, click HERE

*****

ANGELA ORLOWSKI-PEART

If you shop on Amazon.com, click HERE  *  If you shop on Amazon UK, click HERE

Fantastic YA Indie Reads – On Sale Now Through Cyber Monday!

Enjoying the holiday shopping madness? Keep it going and check out these fabOoolous independent authors! Their titles are discounted now through Cyber Monday – which means anyone can buy and give with just a couple clicks. Simple, right?

Follow these links for some Fantastic YA Indie Reads!

*****

ANGELA ORLOWSKI-PEART

If you shop on Amazon.com, click HERE  *  If you shop on Amazon UK, click HERE

*****

DIANA MURDOCK

If you shop on Amazon.com, click HERE  *  If you shop on Amazon UK, click HERE

*****

JULIE CASSAR

If you shop on Amazon.com, click HERE  *  If you shop on Amazon UK, click HERE

*****

ANGELA BROWN

If you shop on Amazon.com, click HERE  *  If you shop on Amazon UK, click HERE

*****

GWEN GARDNER

If you shop on Amazon.com, click HERE  *  If you shop on Amazon UK, click HERE

*****

HEATHER McCORKLE

If you shop on Amazon.com, click HERE  *  If you shop on Amazon UK, click HERE  *  Or if you prefer Barnes and Noble, click HERE

*****

MYNDI SHAFER

If you shop on Amazon.com, click HERE  *  If you shop on Amazon UK, click HERE

*****

TIFFANY A. WHITE

If you shop on Amazon.com, click HERE  *  If you shop on Amazon UK, click HERE *  Or if you prefer Barnes and Noble, click HERE

The Reveal of Amber West’s The Ruth Valley Missing

On my first ever Monday blog post, I am pleased to participate in the big REVEAL event for my Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday partner-in-crime, Amber West.  Shortly, the multi-talented author will publish her debut mystery novel, The Ruth Valley Missing.

Take a look!

*****

Jameson Quinn is sick of trying to find herself in the big city. After a gallery opening ends in a trip to the ER and an argument with her self-involved boyfriend, she decides to take off for the peace and quiet of a small town — Ruth Valley.

The small town has everything Brooklyn lacked: simple people, peaceful surroundings, and a feeling of safety. Jameson even finds the perfect house to rent from the town’s most eligible bachelor, Sheriff Jack. Life is finally headed in a promising direction.

But something isn’t right. A young man is mysteriously injured, then disappears — and Jameson finds he isn’t the only person to suddenly vanish. The suspicious behavior of an abrasive nun and a creepy priest set her off on an investigation of what’s really happening. Will she figure out the secrets of Ruth Valley before she’s the next to go missing?

*****

Did she hook you? She sure as heck hooked me!

Please join us in celebrating Amber’s BIG news!  Share on Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media outlet you desire.  And, Goodreads users… we can add it to our bookshelves here!

Amber West – wife, mother, friend, photographer, blogger, and now author!!

Congratulations, Amber!!

Friday FabOoolousness – Skulls, Time Travel, and YA Author Claudia Lefeve

Like most of the other writers I adore today, I first met Claudia Lefeve on social media last year.  Whoever says social medial is a waste of time, obviously hasn’t been hanging in the right hashtags and groups…

The adorable and talented Claudia Lefeve…

Anyway…

Claudia and I hit it off immediately!  Not only do we have writing in common, but we’re also both Texas girls, love football, enjoy the same television shows, and have crushes on some of the same TV stars.  Speaking of those crushes… our men even have the same belt buckle, an idea Claudia and I both borrowed from Fox’s Bones.

Yeah… it’s pretty awesome!

Born and raised in the Gulf Coast border town of Brownsville, Texas, Claudia noticed her hometown was a very curious place where folks see curanderas in lieu of shrinks, tortillas are served at every meal, and even gringos speak Spanish.  She currently resides in Northern Virginia with her husband and precocious pug.

Before we jump right into the interview, check out these blurbs from Parallel, Paradox, and Paradigm, the three YA fantasy books in Claudia’s Traveler Series.

Enjoy!

*****

Parallel

Destiny has a way of catching up.

Saddled with powers she doesn’t understand, Etta Fleming’s world is turned upside-down the day she meets Cooper Everett, the man who transports her to an alternate reality. A reality she was meant to be a part of. One minute, she’s an orphan living at Dominion House for Girls, an institution for delinquent foster kids, then finds herself attending the exclusive Dominion Hall Academy.

Plucked from the only world she’s ever known, Etta now has to deal with an aunt she never knew, a boyfriend she doesn’t know, and a best friend who can’t know.

Paradox

Everything is predestined.

Etta is slowly readjusting to life in her new reality, while still recovering from the shock over the news regarding her relationship with Cooper.

While learning more about her role as leader of the Council, she soon discovers that her future is linked to the five extraordinary individuals she must recruit in order to ensure her destiny.

Nothing is as it seems, as rivals become allies and friends become the enemy.

Paradigm

Take hold of your destiny.

Etta Fleming doesn’t know she was meant to return to her true reality four years ago. After years of being the “orphan girl” in the alternate world she grew up in, she’s finally carved a niche for herself with a great job, a steady boyfriend, and a best friend by her side.

Undeterred by the shift in the timeline, it is up to Cooper Everett and his friends to convince Etta that she is still destined to become their leader, fighting against their post-apocalyptic future.

Will meeting the ghosts of her past convince Etta that she’s part of a grander destiny? Or will her past, present, and future worlds collide?

*****

When you were a little girl, did you dream of one day writing a bestseller, or did you have something else in mind?

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d be a writer! Even as a child, I always pictured myself as an attorney (I would doodle names of law schools on my notebooks)! Now, I write full-time and teach criminal justice at the local community college on the side. I do, however, daydream about one day being like Joan Wilder in Romancing the Stone and being recognized by a Columbian drug lord as I traipse around Columbia with Michael Douglas! How cool would that be?

Oh, to be Joan Wilder… I still love this movie!

Who are a few of your favorite authors?

The usual suspects…Stephen King, Kurt Vonnegut, Shirley Jackson, Ray Bradbury, Ernest Hemingway, and Anne Rice.

Where do you find the inspiration for your stories?

I take my cue from stories that haven’t been told yet. I read a lot of books, and I love them all, but I wanted to write stories I hadn’t read yet. For my Travelers Series, I’d always been fascinated by alternate realities, so I went with that idea and ran with it.

The cover art for your books is beautiful.  Did you design them yourself?

There’s no way I could design the wonderful covers for my Travelers Series. Robin Ludwig Design deserves all the credit! I do, however, do a few of my covers (short stories, novelettes, etc.), but I leave the rest to the professionals!

Many writers imagine a celebrity or familiar face when developing their characters.  Did you have anyone particular in mind when writing your protagonist Etta Fleming and why?

Normally, when I read, I can always picture a particular actress. With Etta, I kind of draw a blank. But if I had to choose, she’d look a lot like Jennifer Lawrence (Hunger Games), but with darker hair.

Speaking of celebrities, who are you thinking of at this very moment?

David Boreanaz! Of course, it’s probably because I’m watching Bones on TNT right now!

I don’t care if he’s a vampire or working for the FBI, Mr. Boreanaz is pretty easy on the eyes…

How do you research for your books?

I had to read several physics books in order to somewhat explain the theories pertaining to parallel universes and time-travel. I also picked my father’s brain, as he teaches high school physics. But the fun of writing speculative fiction is the “what if?” component…I don’t have to do a whole lot of research!

Besides writing, I’ve noticed you’re infatuated with skulls.  How did this come about?

To be honest, I have no idea! But a lot of it has to do with my heritage. Growing up in South Texas (on the Mexican border), you kind of develop a morbid fascination with death and skulls. In fact, I named my book imprint, Sugar Skull Books, in honor of Day of the Dead. And for my birthday last week, my husband’s aunt made me the most fabulous Day of the Dead purse…looks like Vera Bradley, but with skulls!

What other hobbies do you enjoy?

The hubby and I are big into camping, so we try to go whenever we can. And I’m a tv-holic (see response below).

Claudia and her man out camping… I love how real and adorable this picture is. Thank you for sharing with us!

I wouldn’t be myself without asking about television –what are your four favorite television programs airing today? 

OMG! I don’t think I could list just four! In no particular order: American Horror Story, Fringe, Bones, 666 Park Avenue, Glee (just started watching and I’m hooked), and Gossip Girl. Oh, and Dexter!

Let’s go to the movies now… what is your favorite movie of all-time?

That’s an easy one. Sixteen Candles. I can watch it all day, every day. When I got married, I even inscribed a quote from the movie on my hubby’s wedding band!

You had your husband’s wedding band engraved with a line from Sixteen Candles?  Please share…

::laughs::  The inside of my hubby’s wedding band says, “Married? Yeah, Married!”

That’s great!  Classic Long Duck Dong…

What snacks do you order when at a movie theater?

Popcorn and Kit-Kats (and if there are no Kit-Kats, then M&M’s). I like to eat them together and pretend it’s chocolate covered popcorn!

Before we go, I’ve decided to throw in a completely random question… saying you’re infatuated with skulls made me think immediately of the movie Skulls with our Fringe hunk Joshua Jackson.  Have you seen it?  Do you believe in the secret societies as depicted in this movie?  Why or why not?

Joshua Jackson (yum). I totally believe there are secret societies hidden among universities, although I’m not sure if there are any truly completely secret. I mean, we know the names of many of them (i.e. Skull and Bones, Gridiron Secret Society, Cadaver Society, etc.), but its membership list is usually kept a secret. As for me, I’m a member of the first secret society for women!

Oh, Mr. Jackson… another great choice!

*****

Isn’t Claudia adorable?

Need more Claudia?  Catch up with her at her website, email her at claudia.lefeve@hotmail.com, or follow her via her Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Do you have a question for Claudia?  Have you read any of the books in the Traveler Series?  If so, share your thoughts here!  We’d love to hear from you! 

AND, because Claudia is such a fabOoolous person, she’d like to offer a giveaway to one lucky commenter…

The first person who can correctly comment with the name of the society/sorority that Claudia is a member of wins an e-book copy of all three books in the Travelers Series!

Ready…

Set…

Go!

 

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