Cover Reveal: Burned by Liz Long

Thank you to the amazing authors and bloggers who volunteered to help with today’s cover reveal. I am so excited to show off the cover for my new book – I’ve been dying to show it off! Made by the talented Caroline McKean, I hope you love it as much as I do (plus gets you a little worried about what’s to come).

Gifted, A Donovan Circus Novel is the first title in the series. Available at Amazon on Kindle and paperback, the ebook is currently on sale for only 99 cents to celebrate the upcoming release!

(Where’s Sheffield’s ringmaster voice when I need it?) Now here it is, the cover reveal for Burned, A Donovan Circus Novel!

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Burned, A Donovan Circus Novel Synopsis:

“Tell Sheffield that Medved is hunting him…the Bear is coming.”

Nearly a month after Lucy Sullivan saved the Donovan Circus from certain death, she discovers that Dr. Felix Hardy wasn’t the only bad guy around. When Lucy is attacked on home ground, Sheffield Donovan reveals that there are bigger foes in their world, gifted that use their powers to kill others – including her own family, as she learns from her ringmaster mentor. Medved, a Russian thug and powerful Shapeshifter, is intent on outing the gifted world and will stop at nothing to succeed.

In order to survive, Lucy and her friends must travel to another show, the Grayson Circus, for help. The uneasy alliance with owner Albert Grayson comes with potential new friends and dark secrets about their competition, including a troublemaker named Mel and an old flame of Lucy’s father. Lucy must also contend with her feelings about Keegan and Gabriel, as well as learn how to contain her rampant emotions or risk setting the entire place ablaze.

Will Lucy be able to save the Donovan Circus again? Or will Medved and his men slaughter everyone in their path on the way to gifted domination?

About the Author:

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Liz Long is a ridiculously proud graduate of Longwood University with a BA in English. Her inspiration comes from action and thriller genres and she spends entirely too much time watching superhero movies. Her fabulous day job as a social media editor includes writing for a publishing company in Roanoke, VA.

Her first book, Gifted, is the first book in the Donovan Circus series. Her second book Witch Hearts, a story about a serial killer hunting witches for their powers, is available at Amazon on Kindle and paperback.

To learn more about Liz, visit her website: http://lizclong.com.

Welcome KC Blake–vampire fighter, werewolf hunter and creature of the night stalker (in a good way, not in that creepy way everyone else stalks creatures of the night)

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This Fun Friday The Society of YA Storyteller authors are all interviewing fellow authors! I’m the lucky one who hosts KC Blake today. Interested in stories that will keep you up long into the night? Just read one of KC’s books and you’ll see why you’ll want to read them all. When you get to the end of the interview and want to read more, there’s links to all the author interviews. Stop by each of the blogs and read about one of your favorite or future favorite authors. Click here to check out the The YA Society of Storytellers website and check out the game zone, online book club, trailers and giveaways too.

Any works in process that you are passionate about?  I am working on Warrior right now.  It is the third in the Order of the Spirit Realm Series, and I’m having a blast because I know these characters so well.  It will be hard when I finish and have to say goodbye.

Werewolf or Vampire? Vampire or Zombie? Aliens or Mole People?  Werewolf (pasty white boys don’t do it for me).  Vampire (easier to kill).  Aliens (the other is too weird).

Which of your characters is most like you?  Bay-Lee Van Helsing from Bait.  I don’t give up no matter what (I’m just stubborn that way), and I keep going no matter what life throws at me.  I’m also driven (to write, not to kill werewolves).

Which of your characters is least like you?  Lily from Witch Hunt. The girl never knows when to shut her mouth. She is constantly talking about stupid things and doesn’t notice when her friends want to slap her.

Which of your characters would you like to be friends with?  Kristen from Crushed because she is a witch with crazy powers, but she isn’t irresponsible so I don’t have to worry about her turning me into anything weird.  She would use her magic to help me out.

Which of your characters do you like writing about most?  Nick Gallos from Bait because he was an undercover rock star slash vampire slayer.  He’s angry and bitter, until he falls for Bay-Lee.  Definitely my favorite.

Tell us about your favorite Christmas tradition.  On Christmas Eve we drink hot cocoa and open up one present.  We also watch a Christmas movie.  Then on Christmas morning we eat breakfast before opening presents.  The rest of the day is spent visiting family, maybe watching another Christmas movie, and playing in the snow if we are lucky enough to have some.

Paperback or eBook?  Depends.  I love my Kindle, but I want my books in print if they are keepers.

Future plans?  After I finish up the Order of the Spirit Realm series, I am going to finish my vampire series.  Then I would like to move on to a series about other worlds and dragons.

Check out the other YA Storyteller interviews:

K.C. Blake
Bryna Butler
Heather Hildenbrand
Patti Larsen
Quinn Loftis
Liz Long
Melissa Pearl
L.M. Preston
Stacey Rourke
Christy Sloat
Heather Sutherlin
Suzy Turner

Christmas Lites III Cover Reveal!

Releases Dec. 3! All proceeds donated to

Releases Dec. 3! All proceeds donated to NCADV

The Christmas season is upon us yet again. Yes, my friends, it is a time of giving, loving, and sharing. Within these pages is a way you can help many people desperately in need of love, support, and goodness: the victims of domestic crime. By purchasing this anthology, you are sending every last dime made off this book to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The NCADV is an amazing charity that saves these people and lets them know there is still hope, still goodness, and still a reason to carry on.
Twenty-one authors have joined in this year, giving their time and their stories to these people – and to you. We all hope you enjoy our holiday tales captured in bite-size pieces. Whether you read this on the bus, before bed, or snuggled by the fire, please, do read – and share.

Authors in this anthology:

Addison Moore
A.F. Stewart
Amy Eye
Angela Yuriko Smith
Ben Warden
Cassie McCown
Elizabeth Evans
J.A. Clement
JG Faherty
Jonathan Tidball
M.L. Sherwood
Monica La Porta
Ottilie Weber
Patrick Freivald
Phil Cantrill
Robert Gray
Ron C. Neito
S. Patrick Pothier
Tricia Kristufek
Vered Ehsani
*Brandon Eye bonus story

Editor/compiler: Amy Eye of The Eyes for Editing
Cover Design Kyra Smith

Moon Killers (Shadow Series #3) : episode 1

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Happy Halloween! To celebrate I’m releasing a portion of Moon Killers in installments to thank you. So on this All Hallow’s Eve, come sit by the fire with me. Here’s a hot cup of apple cider. Are you all set? Let’s read the first episode of book three of The Shadow Series together…

When something feels wrong, it usually is.

My boyfriend Drew places his hand on my cheek. We’re lying next to each other in the end zone at the high school’s dark, empty football stadium. Blades of grass tickle a warning all along my spine––Drew and I aren’t alone. I rustle in place, trying to shake the feeling that someone is out there in the dark, watching us. Instead, I lose myself in Drew’s gaze, caring and not caring that he’s picked tonight to tell me everything––finally. When he leans in close, I close my eyes, feel his lips on mine and melt in his arms. He kisses me as if he’s lived a thousand lifetimes and discovered only love matters. But he will die. And I will not. Not for a very long time.

Nothing about Drew says he’s just begun his Last Life. Nothing about Drew has changed at all since I took his place as the Shadow Slayer. Girls still swoon over him, especially under the Friday night lights––where he can be found pulling off winning plays week after week. Most girls would die to just talk to him. I can’t believe he’s my boyfriend.

There are two main ways girls like to stalk Drew. After a game, they flock in his wake when he and the other football players make a pit stop at the Snack Shack on their way to the locker room. The girls smile with their hot dogs or hot chocolate hot in their hands, and flip their hair ready for Drew––all dripping with Gatorade––to turn around and instantly fall in love with one of them. And when this fails, their backup plan is keeping a vigil in the football field parking lot with an eye on the locker room door. The boys, fresh from their showers, punch and joke their way to their cars. Said swooning girls walk around in circles, searching for rides they never missed. Most end up lingering by Drew’s baby blue Beemer with a can-you-help-me, I-missed-my-ride bat of their eyes, which can have the affect of bonding opportunistic girls to oblivious guys. Sometimes after a game, I stare at all the hair-flipping, eye-batting, stranded girls and wonder which one will become Drew’s girlfriend now that I’m the Shadow Slayer. Which of them will be the mortal girl he’ll date after me.

I know I don’t have a shot at being Drew’s girlfriend for very much longer anyway, even without the whole have-to-save-the-world-from-the-Shadows thing that will pretty much eat up all my free time for the next five hundred years. I mean it’s inevitable that he’ll wake up one day and be like, oh, ick what was I thinking. It’s not like he’s made me feel he’s doing me a favor by dating me or anything, in spite of our obvious violation of the Hot Factor Doctrine––Drew being a ten and me being a six. It’s way more complicated than the fact that doctrine dictates he should date up at least a few factors especially since there are plenty of female tens here at Oakdale Central High School. No, the reason I won’t be Drew’s girlfriend for long is that he’s mortal now. He’ll want, no make that need, a mortal girlfriend. He’ll need to live a real life. The life he’s dreamed about for centuries. The life he fought for. The life he slayed for. We can’t be together now that I’m the Shadow Slayer. One day soon, we’ll be separated forever. I shiver.

“Roxie, what’s going on?”

“What?”

“I’ve asked you over and over and you…I don’t know…it’s like you’re not even here.”

“I’m here. Now.” I manage a smile even though my heart’s breaking.

His smile fades and he pulls me in close to his chest.

“Will you wear my jersey to school tomorrow for luck?”

I nod. I like wearing his number. Eighteen is my new favorite number. “Sure, you know I will.”

“LT is double tough this year because their backup quarterback Anderson got a shot at starting and even though he’s just a sophomore he’s blowing every other quarterback away. If we’re going to win our division, we have to beat LT.”

It’s strange to hear Drew talking about division finals and beating LT as intensely as he once did about my destiny as Shadow Slayer and how I’d have to battle them. This mortal life is his now. So very different than mine. Being the best quarterback is what matters most to him now. I wish it could matter more to me. But my old life is sort of hollow. I’m in between worlds, not quite here.

The only thing that matters to me is moon killing. It’s the only way I’ll ever be able to gain an advantage over the Shadows. It’s the only way I’ll have a shot at my own Last Life. It’s the only way I’ll be able to save the world.

But, tomorrow’s game against LT is epic. It’s kind of cool how everyone at school, make that everyone in town, wants to beat them. We hate LT. I still don’t know why, it just is. Last year when I was a freshman, I had no idea exactly why we hated LT––Lyons Township High School, the high school a few towns over. And apparently, just being a few towns over is the only reason we need to hate them. It’s weird and doesn’t make sense but our hatred really just boils down to geography.

When you’re in high school you sort of have to accept things like archrivals. Before I met Drew last year, before I found out that I’m the Shadow Slayer, I thought freshman was tattooed on my forehead. Back then it seemed everyone around me knew I didn’t know anything about anything especially stuff I was supposed to automatically know, like LT being the enemy. It took me a long time to figure stuff out freshman year. Most of the reason I wasn’t a total loser freshman year was because Drew was my boyfriend.

to be continued….

Book 1, 13 on Halloween (free)

Book 2, Shadow Slayer

Want to know more about the series? Click here for playlists, dreamcasts, and book trailers

Shadow Slayer, book 2

The Seven Caves & Other Spine-tingling Short Stories

 

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The Seven Caves

Lucia is a small seaside town perched on the cliffs of central California. Discovered by Don Gaspar de Portola and his soldiers late in the 18th century, the town is named after the day of its discovery––December 14, Santa Lucia Day.

On a day not too long ago, a local caretaker of an estate just to the south of Lucia, known only as Point 16, received a visitor. The stranger said he was from The Vatican and inquired as to seven caves that The Vatican had listed in its archives from the manifest of the town’s discovery centuries ago. As he further stated that the caves were sure to be located off the coast of Point 16, the caretaker dismissed the man’s strange way of talking but became obsessed by his manner of dress which included a spectacular sword with rubies inlaid in its handle.

The caretaker scratched his head. He’d kayaked up to the caves a time or two and had paddled inside a little ways. The only person the caretaker knew that ever sailed inside the caves any distance at all, and at that only a quarter of a mile, was long dead. Rumor was that the seven caves all met up in the very center of The Santa Lucia Mountains. The mysterious visitor surprised the caretaker when he knew that the caves were the color of blood and shocked him when he spoke of a great temple with treasure inside.

The caretaker told the stranger that the caves were real enough, but that no one he knew had ever been able to sail deep into the caves to discover any temples or treasure.

The stranger thanked the caretaker and went on his way. The caretaker, uneasy about the stranger, decided to follow. The stranger rode his horse to the beach beside the caves and climbed into a simple dugout canoe. Primitive by any standards. Its oars like branches.

The stranger paddled and paddled. The caretaker could only watch from shore. As the surf drew out to sea more of the cave entrances became exposed. When the great swells crashed into the cliffs the waves churned powerfully in the caves and splashed back out to the open sea. Yet, the stranger didn’t veer from his course, one that would soon place him inside the nearest cave.

The caretaker began to sweat. The stranger had paddled his small canoe in an angry sea yet his navigation, indeed the boat itself, seemed unaffected by it. The caretaker searched the coast close by for a kayak sometimes hidden in the brush by the owner of Point 16.

He longed to paddle into the caves. Make that discovery. For, he knew the sea better than most around these parts. Certainly, he would be able to keep up with the stranger. As luck would have it, he found an abandoned canoe. And so he too paddled out to sea.

The sun disappeared behind a cloud and the chill of the fog invaded the caretaker’s bones. A great cloud river of fog moved from north to south over the Pacific, inching to shore. Upon a great break of an early evening wave the stranger disappeared into the first cave.

The caretaker followed.

The next thing the caretaker remembered was fading in and out of consciousness as Search and Rescue revived him. The caretaker asked about the stranger but was told no other body and no other boat was found, not unusual in the rugged depths of the central coast.

The caretaker’s dreams were filled with the stranger and endless trips into the caves, alive with treasure.

 

When the caretaker came to he was quite inconsolable. Gone mad with a fear of the sea. He tossed back and forth in the sandy soil trying to get away from those that had saved him when he spotted the stranger’s sword, stuck in the sagebrush. The caretaker wrapped his hands around the rubies and pulled the sword out of the brush. Don Gaspar de Portola was engraved in the silver blade, dripping with blood.

 

Get the anthology free for The Nook here.

Happy Halloween!

 

 

Goliath’s Skinny Latte battles David’s Jamaican-Me-Crazy: a tale of coffee, wine and survival

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Last night I went out and drank wine with old friends, and made some new ones along the way. Two of my favorite things to do.

A lot has changed since I’ve lived in this part of LA. Happily there are many more places to hang out with friends and drink wine and microbrews :) What does this have to do with a local coffee house, you ask? Well, survival.

One of the best parts about where I live now is that my church, a great little bakery, a coffee house, a spa and a cheap little, very bustling breakfast place are all within walking distance. There are some great hiking trails too. I told Sue, the owner of my local coffee house, that if it wasn’t for her croissants and tuna salad sandwiches, I wouldn’t be alive today. She smiled and said she really appreciated the compliment. Her place is as charming as she is. The people on the sun-drenched patio all engage in the news of the day. But there was trouble brewing. You see, even though Starbucks has a store a mall over, they felt the need to place an additional drive-through satellite Starbucks about thirty yards away from Sue’s place. Petitions were circulated, but by the time I’d come to town construction was just about complete.

So, what did Sue do? She decided to turn her place into a wine bar at night. Last night was the soft opening of her “after dark” business. I had a wonderful Pinot Noir from Oregon which I enjoy, called Acrobat. The place was packed . My friends and I had parted ways earlier that night, so I was just stopping by to show my support on my way home. The small plates she served looked great. Next time I’ll have to try one.

Two days ago the Starbucks drive-thru opened. I’d gotten a coffee earlier in the day yesterday, my favorite Jamaican-Me-Crazy, and watched the cars pull up to the drive-thru one after the other, there was quite a line of cars. The people around me were all very friendly. It was as if we were all answering the silent question, why? One lady said, well it’s easier for moms with small children to get drive-thru coffee. True. One lady just shrugged and threw up her hands. Sue has expanded her business and now works double time to survive. If you are in the area and want to get out of your car to meet one charming business woman, with an almost biblical sense of grace under pressure, check out Sue’s place.

Moon Killers Comes Alive! + Podcast giveaway

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What’s the scariest thing you’ve done so far this Halloween season? **knees knock** My scariest thing? My first ever podcast. EEEP! In it, I talk about how Moon Killers is being released in a totally new way. But, I can’t do this alone. I’ll need your help! I reveal all the scoops at YAPodcasts hosted by the fabulous Amy Maurer Jones. (I also talk about how I got to meet and interview Quentin Tarantino and Christian Bale too, hee-hee) Click here to listen, if you dare :D I’ll be posting the details of the Moon Killers release here sometime over the weekend. Get ready to help Moon Killers come alive, in this new kind of storytelling. So let’s get started! (GIVEAWAY AT THE END OF THE POST!)

MOON KILLERS by Laura A. H. Elliott

“When something feels wrong, it usually is.”

My boyfriend Drew places his hand on my cheek. We’re lying next to each other in the end zone at the high school’s dark, empty football stadium. Blades of grass tickle a warning all along my spine––Drew and I aren’t alone. I rustle in place, trying to shake the feeling that someone is out there in the dark, watching us. Instead, I lose myself in Drew’s gaze, caring and not caring that he’s picked tonight to tell me everything––finally. When he leans in close, I close my eyes, feel his lips on mine and melt in his arms. He kisses me as if he’s lived a thousand lifetimes and discovered only love matters. But he will die. And I will not. Not for a very long time.

What’s your high school football stadium look like? Post your pic or link to a video of your stadium here and I’ll send you a kindle copy of Shadow Slayer:D If we get more than ten football stadiums posted, then I’ll throw in a surprise bonus too.

© Laura A. H. Elliott 2013

Monday Muse

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Come into the garden with me, and we can talk of what might be…

Who’s your favorite YA Monster?

Ah! what a GREAT Halloween topic, and y’all know how much I LURVE Halloween:D

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Click here to take a peek at the LA Times feature I produced called L.A. RIP which has clips of movies that haunted my YA heart. The classics, yaknow, like Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, Dracula, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. Even though these stories aren’t YA, they terrified me as a teenager and inspire my writing.

So, what’s at the heart of a great monster? Um, the really scary answer? What we fear about ourselves. Take Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. We all have good and bad inside of us. There’s a wonderful Cherokee tale about an elder Chief telling his grandson about life. He tells his son that every man has two wolves living inside of him. There’s a good wolf–full of gratitude, joy, reverence, respect, truth, happiness, and love. But there’s a bad wolf to–full of betrayal, manipulation, deceit, selfishness, secrecy and calculation. The young grandson went wide-eyed and asked his grandfather which wolf would win. To this his grandfather replied, whichever wolf you feed, my son. The Shadow Series explores this duality. In the series, during the 13th year, a teenager must decide what kind of person they will become. The person they choose to leave behind, their alter ego, populates a shadow world of beings who want nothing more than to become human and invade earth. These shadows are the monsters in the series. Some are good, some are bad and all of them are desperate to become human.

The monsters in YA fiction feed the bad wolf. And they don’t have to have fangs or green or furry or sparkling skin. The truly scary ones are the ones that seem just like you and me. And what makes every great YA monster so intriguing? Most of them are vulnerable to something or someone. They aren’t all bad, some even want to end their battle with the dark side but can’t or are unwilling or don’t know how.

Here’s some of my recent favorite YA Monster titles, what are yours?

From Bad to Cursed by Katie Alexander

From Bad to Cursed by Katie Alexander

Bad Girls Don’t Die

The Haunting Season by Michelle Muto

The Haunting Season by Michelle Muto

Be careful what you let in…

The Existence Series by Abbi Glines

The Existence Series by Abbi Glines

 

What happens when you’re stalked by death?

Eeep, did I tell you I’m a part of this new super cool group of 11 other writers! I’m really excited to have been asked to join the YA Society of Storytellers. I’ve been honored to know these authors over the years and respect and admire their work so much. Check out these amazing authors here and get in on the book club here! We post every other Friday. And our next topic is Cover Love!

 

Teaser Tuesday: wonder-filled words

A wonderful lady sent this to me in an email this morning and it inspired me, and so I want to share it with you too. Have a wonder-filled week!

“We lay there and looked up at the night sky

and he told me about stars called blue squares and red swirls. 

I told him I’d never heard of them.Of course not, he said,

the really important stuff they never tell you.

You have to imagine it on your own.”

-Brian Andreas, Traveling Light, Stories & Drawing for a Quiet Mind

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