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Currently Browsing: YA

Opening Lines: Finding Destiny by Katrina Hart

Our final Opening Lines before Christmas come from Katrina Hart. I’m delighted to introduce the first 500 words of Katrina’s magical adventure, Finding Destiny.

Finding Destiny’s blurb:

When eighteen year old Alex’s little sister’s pony goes missing, he sets out to look for her and finds himself in a strange gypsy camp in the middle of a forest. The pony is being cared for by a young girl called Faith. When Alex accepts a drink from Faith’s grandmother, he wakes up later to find himself transported into 2038 to a technologically-advanced, very colourful world inhabited by humans and robots. Alex soon discovers that he is now twenty, married and has a magical little baby girl. A magic he only seems to notice. He soon finds out that he will have to defend his little girl from the half-breeds with everything he has. He travels back through the magic pages of books to try and save her before it is too late and she is lost from him forever.

First 500 words

Chapter 1: Finding Destiny

“Destiny! Destiny!” I yelled, walking the dark forest alone.

Broken branches crunched beneath my feet. Black, shadowing trees loomed over me, following my every move. Owls hooted and flapped in every direction. I proceeded, calling the girlie-named pony.

I walked till my feet burned. It had been hours with no sign of Destiny, when the forest seemed to come alive before my eyes! Classical music hummed around a circle of purple gypsy tents, which surrounded a huge pink camp fire. I rubbed my tired eyes in disbelief. I opened them again and saw Destiny being cuddled lovingly by a pale girl with black hair flowing like a never-ending river. I walked over to the girl and Destiny.

“Hey miss, you found my sister’s pony.” I looked down at them both.

“Mister, she is my pony!” She held Destiny closer in a protective grip.

I was about to argue my point, but a cold hand pushed on my shoulder, stopping me.

“Grandma! He wants my pony.” The girl pointed in my direction.

“Faith, don’t point it’s rude!” The old woman scolded her like she was a child.

“Where the hell did you come from!” I shouted and jumped to look her in the face.

“My tent, just this way,” the grandma said as she walked inside her purple tent.

I followed, outraged. I just wanted my sister’s pony back.

“Enter,” the old woman croaked, coughing.

“Are you okay!” I whispered.

“Yes! Yes! Don’t worry yourself, now what can I do for you, sir?” She coughed again.

“I need my sister’s pony back. It’s her everything,” I pleaded.

“My Faith loves her too,” the old lady coughed again.

“I will do anything, I need that pony!” I tried again, staring into the old lady’s purple eyes.

Her wrinkled, transparent face and white long hair, tied in a bun tight above her head, made her look frail. She sat down behind a crystal ball. “Anything?”

I nodded.

“Let me see your future,” she coughed, rubbing her crystal ball and looking inside its clear dome.

The silence dragged on like an unspoken question in a crowded room. Sadness crossed her face.

“It’s done!” she shouted; her eyes seemed to turn black.

“Thank you.” I smiled, a little confused.

“My pleasure.” She coughed, handing me a blue drink in a clear glass. “Please drink, it will bring you good luck on your way home. It’s a tradition, you know,” she said.

I didn’t want to seem rude, so I drained the glass. My head spun and everything became unfocused.

 

I fought to see through the darkness. Crying, and the smell of hay surrounded me.

“Hello! Who’s there? Where am I?” I whispered, following the cries of what sounded like a girl being murdered.

“Hello!” I yelled over her cries. I feared for us both. A light danced on of its own accord. Straw was everywhere. Pink, blue and red horses wandered about, leaving their stalls empty. The barn looked steel, unlike anything I had seen…

***

Buy Links

Amazon Ebook link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Finding-Destiny-Katrina-Hart-ebook/dp/B00U1WUFSE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1520346362&sr=8-2&keywords=Finding+Destiny

Amazon Paperback Link : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Finding-Destiny-Katrina-Hart/dp/1543052487/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1520346362&sr=8-2

Bio

My name is Katrina Hart but my friends call me Katie. I live in the East of England with my family, my two cats–Holly and Smokey–and our dog, Jessie. They are a nutty bunch but I love them all the same.

I have always had a passion for reading. I could easily spend a whole lifetime engrossed in a good book. In my twenties I joined an online writing class where I fell in love with writing my own stories.

Since I started writing I have discovered a new love for quotes. A quote that really inspired me was from Toni Morrison. Toni said: “If there’s a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

I came across this quote whilst I was studying. It was one of the many things that inspired me to begin writing Finding Destiny, my first novel.

In addition to Finding Destiny, I’ve written a number of other stories, including Love in Little Snow, The Flower Angel and The Naked Sleepwalker’s Christmas.

Social Media

I also have a blog, where I talk about books I’ve enjoyed, my writing–including the occasional free short story–and anything else that interests me. I’d love it if you visited! The address is: http://katrinamarie25.wordpress.com.

I’m also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Katrina-Hart-1785712648319624/

Twitter @KatrinaHart2015

***

Many thanks for coming by today Katrina.

Happy reading everyone,

Jenny x


Opening Lines: Just Sam by Kristy Brown

This week I’m sharing the opening lines from the YA romance, Just Sam.

Many thanks to Kristy Brown for visiting today with her first 500 words.

Over to you Kristy…

“Just Sam.” Is A YA Contemporary romance about a girl who dreams of becoming the next big tennis champion. She suffers a huge loss at a young age, which totally knocks her confidence. We follow Sam on her journey to  believing in herself again. Although she’s into tennis, the reader doesn’t have to be. Sam thinks life is out to get her and her heart is broken, so she feels like she’s in an epic tennis match against life itself. She has to trust in love again and open up her heart.

Blurb – Just Sam

All Sam dreams of is being the next big tennis champion.

But when she suffers a great loss at such a young age, she finds it hard to believe in herself.

She becomes so scared of losing people that she hides her feelings to protect her heart.

Will she ever let anyone close enough to truly love her?

She never realised, her toughest match would be against life itself.

The first 500 words…

1: The Secret Club

I remember watching my first Wimbledon grand slam with mum. I could only have been around four or five, but I knew it was something special. The look on her face was one of pure joy as she sat on the edge of her chair, completely engrossed. Of course, I didn’t understand any of the rules or the weird scoring system, thirty- love and what on earth was a deuce? But as I watched my mother becoming bright red in the face, yelling at the TV and jumping up and down, I knew I wanted to join in with her happiness. I understood that this game was something that she loved.  I remember it like it was yesterday. The way she turned from the screen and smiled at me so widely, that I knew right then, that I too wanted a piece of this special thing called ‘tennis’.

For the next few years we’d sit together and watch the magic of Wimbledon. I waited for it, like I waited for Christmas. Two weeks in a year when my mum became almost giddy and more importantly for me, it was ‘our’ time, our unbreakable thing that no one could ever intrude upon, our little club for two.

Each year, she’d try to explain the rules and stuff to me and as I got a few tournaments under my belt, I finally started to get it. The game took on a whole new meaning when I knew that ‘love’ equalled zero and ‘deuce’ meant forty – all. It was like I’d cracked long division; I’d finally got the tennis code. I became a member of a very elite club and in my head, I was as clever as my mum, cleverer than my perfect sister.

I asked if I could join a tennis club, which seemed to please mum no end. After some ringing around, she found a suitable one just twenty minutes away by car. She asked my sister Claire if she’d also like to come along. I recall holding my breath for the entire thirty seconds that it took her to decide. She, to my utter delight, decided she’d rather hang out at the shops with her friends, which was what she did whenever she wasn’t in school or in bed. Mum told me that teens needed a lot of sleep, but to me, she was just lazy. This meant I got to keep Mum all to myself, at least on a Saturday morning anyway. After every visit, we’d stop at Maccies for a sneaky cheeseburger — another secret for just us.

I was nervous at first. I was eight years old and all the kids there seemed to already know each other and play amazingly well. I never thought I’d match up to any of them.

After my first session, I ran off the court in floods of tears. In my head, I’d believed myself to be the best player ever, because I’d played a few games in…

***

Buy links

https://www.amazon.com/Just-Sam-Kristy-Brown-ebook/dp/B079WYMBQ8

https://www.amazon.com/Just-Sam-Kristy-Brown/dp/1980337527/ref=la_B079YTT7Q2_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1520339617&sr=1-1

Bio

Kristy Brown lives in England with her husband and two sons. She trained as an actress and has a degree in Contemporary Arts. After her first child was born she began writing a short story whilst he took a nap. That was the beginning of the “Kiera’s Quest” teen fantasy series, which is published by ‘Muse It Up Publishing.’
Kristy then went on to write “Summer’s End,” a YA Paranormal romance series, which will also be published with Muse It Up Publishing.
“Just Sam,” is a YA/ Teen contemporary romance book set loosely in the world of tennis.
Kristy is currently editing her YA modern retelling of Cinderella, “Cinderfella.” She is also writing the third book in the “Summer’s End” series and has many more stories in mind, yet not enough time in the day!

Amazon author page –https://www.amazon.com/Kristy-Brown/e/B079YTT7Q2/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1 

Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5290332.Kristy_Brown

Twitter- https://twitter.com/KBrownauthor 

***

Thanks ever so much Kristy.

Happy reading everyone,

Come back next week for some more opening lines.

Jenny xx


Blog Tour: Dakota Son

I’m delighted to welcome Mary Ramsey to my place today, as part of the blog tour for her YA novel, “Dakota Son.” 

Over to you Mary…

Dakota Sun is a novel that will make readers, laugh, cry, and encouraged to do more for the people they love.“- Ella Vincent, Pacific Book Review.

Although, throughout Dakota Son, there are many instances one of people standing up the ones they love, my favorites is the friendship and compassion displayed by London Sharp. The idea of a reality star turned supermodel was inspired by Kendall Jenner, with the name ‘London’ coming from London Breed, San Francisco’s first female African-American mayor.

London is a role model by virtue of her family’s wealth, and her hard earned fame.  But  it is by choice that she is also the kind of person that is everyone’s best friend.

When North Dakota native Sean Foster makes it to California he is convinced by his wife Jen, to try for the LA dream. He is signed by a small time agent and sent on a once in a life time casting call. But despite his strong, sexy features Sean has been living with the struggles of cystic fibrosis all of his life.

His confidence is put to the test, as his body is scrutinized by the panel of judges.  But despite this being their first meeting London takes on the role of the mentor, older sister- the kind of person who can make the worst situation a little less stressful- The type of person who makes the world a better place.

Excerpt

I wasn’t even sure how to dress. I simply threw on a tank top and dark jeans, assuming I needed to look like a veteran model that didn’t care what people thought.

Nineteen-year-old London looked like a ballerina with her long black hair in a tight bun. She sat on a panel with her mother Linda, a middle-aged Italian woman with blonde hair and a fake looking tan, and Sofia, a marketing representative from the company launching the makeup line. When it was my turn, I made the sign of the cross before approaching. I handed over my envelope of Jen’s photos.

“Oh look, we have mail,” Linda laughed. “I know Angelina sent you, but at least have the professionalism to invest in an actual portfolio.”

I figured she meant a book, or at least a binder. Or maybe a binder would have looked just as amateur. “I’m sorry, Ms. Sharp.”

I need to cough. Dear Lord, if you can hear me, please calm my lungs.

Linda looked me up and down. “What is that girl trying to pull? You’re not eighteen. You have the look of someone at least twenty-five.”

I wasn’t sure what to say. Linda reminded me of Jen’s mother, so easily able to knock the chatter out of me. “I’ve always looked old for my age.”

“Tell us something about you,” London said, looking at my headshot.

Her smile was kind. Before the audition I’d done a quick internet search on her, since I don’t exactly follow fashion. I knew her four sisters married celebrities and built their stardom on tabloid rumors. London was different. She was an artist in her own right—a model, but also, according to Vogue magazine, a creative visionary of her generation.

I looked at London’s face, focusing on her kindness. “I’m originally from North Dakota.”

“Is that a PICC line?” Linda cut in.

Here it comes. I went into a coughing attack in front of London Sharp. This is so humiliating! I wanted to run, but my chest hurt so badly

I needed to find somewhere to sit.

Linda snorted. “Please exit to the right.”

“Are you okay, do you need water?” It was London.

“You want to… know something about me? I’ve battled cystic fibrosis my entire life.”

She helped me to my feet. “Sean, you’re stunning. You have a beauty that will inspire.”

Linda’s expression suddenly turned sickly sweet. “Do you have a girlfriend?”

I nodded. “I’m making plans to marry the mother of my child.”

Linda rolled her eyes, looking to her daughter. “That’s the end of it, right? The sexy sick boy is not available to be your arm candy. Let’s move on.”

London flipped her mother off. Linda blinked in shock and Sofia suddenly felt the need to busy herself with a bunch of papers, twisting her chair around to sift them on her lap. I thought she did a good job keeping her laughter totally silent.

London turned back to me. “Come back on the sixth, bring a swimsuit.”

“Seriously?” I was damn near ready to cry—it was just about the first time ever that the coughing hadn’t screwed things up for me. “Thanks… for the opportunity.”

Blurb

Sean Foster has lived with cystic fibrosis his entire life. He falls in love with Jen, a girl with a dark, emotionally painful past. Living with chronic illness, Sean knows a little something about overcoming pain. But when he meets her family, his courage will be put to the test.

Jen’s father, Diego, is a disabled military veteran. He is being mentally and physically abused by his wife, due to his role in the death of Jen’s brother.

Sean must find a way to save Diego, to help him see that there are people who truly care. From Sean’s sister Sara, who views Diego as a heroic father figure. To Remy, Sean’s holistic nurse with a talent for healing wounded souls.

Accompanied by a mysterious, supernatural, presence, it will fall to Sean to play the hero. All while navigating a life with chronic illness, and chasing his dreams in California.

Available from:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Dakota-Son-Mary-Ramsey-ebook/dp/B07DR9YNBH/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dakota-Son-Mary-Ramsey-ebook/dp/B07DR9YNBH/

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dakota-son-mary-ramsey/1128896239?ean=9781546233077

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Mary_Ramsey_Dakota_Son?id=BFtgDwAAQBAJ

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dakota-son

Author bio

Mary Ramsey is a blogger, artist, and writer. She served in the United States Air Force and has a BA degree in Cinema. Although she was born in California, her work in the military took her all over the world including the diverse Midwest, from the beautiful landscapes of the Dakotas to the small towns of Wisconsin.

She has always had a fondness for unique superheroes; underrepresented minorities, LGBTQ, abuse victims, and so on. She loves an inspiring story that will make her cry.  Her favorite movie will always be 13th Warrior.

https://dourdan.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/pisforpearl

https://www.deviantart.com/dourdan

 

*****

DON’T MISS THE GIVEAWAY!

Make sure to follow the whole tour—the more posts you visit throughout, the more chances you’ll get to enter the giveaway. The tour dates are here: http://writermarketing.co.uk/prpromotion/blog-tours/currently-on-tour/mary-ramsey/

Use the Rafflecopter to enter for your chance to win one of two Amazon or iTunes gift cards.

Here’s the link-  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/8b9ec5be187/?

GOOD LUCK!!

***

Happy reading everyone.

Jenny x


Blog Tour: Proof Positive

I love having guests visit. I especially enjoy it when those guests are not just people I respect greatly, but friends as well. Lucy V Hay falls into both those categories. Her YA book, Proof Positive, has recently been released into the world via Littwitz Press. 

Proof Positive (Intersection Series Book 1)

On the eve of her eighteenth birthday, Lizzie finds herself pregnant: she’s literally days away from her exam results and university beckons around the corner. The bright Lizzie has big plans, but can she have the life she wanted, with a baby in tow? What will her family and friends say? And what will the baby’s father choose to do: stay out of it, or stand by her?

An exciting “What if…” journey in the style of “Run Lola Run” and “Sliding Doors”.

Purchase Link – http://mybook.to/ProofPositive

Author Bio – Lucy V. Hay is a novelist, script editor and blogger who helps writers via her Bang2write consultancy. Lucy is the producer of two Brit Thrillers, DEVIATION (2012) and ASSASSIN (2015), as well as the script editor and advisor on numerous other features and shorts.  Lucy’s also the author of WRITING AND SELLING THRILLER SCREENPLAYS for Kamera Books’ “Creative Essentials” range, as well as its follow ups on DRAMA SCREENPLAYS and DIVERSE CHARACTERS. Her debut crime novel, THE OTHER TWIN, is now out with Orenda Books and has been featured in The Sun and Sunday Express Newspapers, plus Heatworld and Closer Magazine. Check out all her books, HERE.

Social Media Links –

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If you enjoy teen fiction then you need to read this book. If you don’t enjoy teen fiction- you still need to read this book. I have – and felt every frustrated, tense, joyous, heart rending, angry, gleeful moment along with Lizzie and her parents, family and friends.

Happy reading,

Jenny x


Opening Lines: A Spell in the Country by Heide Goody and Iain Grant

We’re off into the world of comedy fantasy and cosy crime for this week’s Opening Lines.

With thanks to Heide Goody and Iain Grant for sharing the first 500 words from A Spell in the Country.

Blurb

Dee is a Good Witch but she wonders if she could be a better witch. 
She wonders if there’s more to life than Disney movie marathons, eating a whole box of chocolates for dinner and brewing up potions in her bathtub. So when she’s offered a chance to go on a personal development course in the English countryside, she packs her bags, says goodbye to the Shelter for Unloved Animals charity shop and sets a course for self-improvement.

Caroline isn’t just a Good Witch, she’s a fricking awesome witch.
She likes to find the easy path through life: what her good looks can’t get for her, a few magic charms can. But she’s bored of being a waitress and needs something different in her life. So when a one night stand offers her a place on an all-expenses-paid residential course in a big old country house, she figures she’s got nothing to lose.

Jenny is a Wicked Witch. She just wishes she wasn’t.
On her fifteenth birthday, she got her first wart, her own imp and a Celine Dion CD. She still has the imp. She also has a barely controllable urge to eat human children which is socially awkward to say the least and not made any easier when a teenager on the run turns to her for help. With gangsters and bent cops on their trail, Jenny needs to find a place outside the city where they can lay low for a while.

For very different reasons, three very different witches end up on the same training course and land in a whole lot of trouble when they discover that there’s a reason why their free country break sounds too good to be true. Foul-mouthed imps, wererats, naked gardeners, tree monsters, ghosts and stampeding donkeys abound in a tale about discovering your inner witch.”

First 500 words…

Chapter 1 – The Three Witches

The Good Witch of Northfield

Dee Finch didn’t consider herself to be just a good witch. Of course she was a good witch. That kind of thing was in the blood. No, Dee wasn’t just a good witch; she was a good witch, and that meant being good and doing good; whenever and wherever, whatever people might think. So Dee felt compelled to tell the young man in the shopping precinct that his hat was on fire.

“Your hat is on fire, poppet,” she said.

Surprisingly, the young man responded with a delighted smile. “Well, that’s the final question answered.”

Not the reaction Dee expected. It wasn’t as if it was the kind of hat one could set on fire without being instantly aware of it. If, say, he had been wearing a bowler hat, one might imagine a small fire on the crown might go unnoticed for a minute or two. But this was a woolly hat with a minor conflagration where a bobble might be.

Dee imagined that the young man had absent-mindedly put a roll-up behind his ear, and forgotten that it was already lit. It was the only immediately obvious explanation.

“Your hat is on fire,” she said again.

“Indeed,” he said. “Let me just—” He flipped through the papers on the clipboard in his hand.

“On fire,” she repeated.

“Yep.” He clicked his pen and put a tick in a box. “Now, would you have a few minutes to complete the rest of the survey?”

“Survey?”

Dee felt she had lost her grip on the situation. The man’s hat was on fire and, on a fundamental level, she wanted it dealt with. But now he was talking about a survey and had a look in his eye which suggested his day had been a long struggle to get people to participate.

“What kind of survey?” asked Dee. “I can’t be too long, sweetness. I was only popping out for some safety pins and a bottle of linctus for Mrs Binder.”

“It’s all about trying to become a better you,” said the young man.

“And you do understand what I mean when I say your hat is on fire?” she said.

“I do. Now, can I take your name?”

“Yes. It’s Dee Finch. Miss.”

 

Dee returned to the Shelter for Unloved Animals charity shop with a brochure from the young survey-taker and a great deal to think about.

“Thank God you’re here,” said Mr Tilbury. “It’s been bedlam since you left.”

Dee looked up from the brochure. The shop was empty, apart from Mr Tilbury who was manning the till. Clothes hung unregarded on their racks. Books gathered dust on the shelves. The poster of the charity mascot, Terry the Boss-Eyed Tortoise, with the slogan of ‘Ugly Animals Need Love Too’ still hung slightly askew on the wall. It was so quiet that one could almost hear the creak of time passing.

“Bedlam?” repeated Dee.

“A man came in and wanted to know if we had a book,” said Mr…

***

Buy Links

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Spell-Country-Heide-Goody-ebook/dp/B078NRFL93

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Spell-Country-Heide-Goody-ebook/dp/B078NRFL93 

***

I hope you enjoyed that. Another fabulous book introduction.

Come back next week for the first 500 words from a book by Jane pollard.

Happy reading,

Jenny xx


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