Author Archives: D.C.C. Mealy

Review: THE PUNCH ESCROW

The Punch EscrowHello readers! I received a copy of this exciting new book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks, INKSHARES!

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In the future, Joel Byram is a somewhat average guy. Advancements in technology have given humans just about every gift imaginable: youth, virtual reality, a clean atmosphere and teleportation. Run by International Transport, teleportation is the world’s biggest and most influential business. And Joel happens to be married to an engineer for IT.

One day, when Joel is running late and teleports to meet his wife, he is accidentally duplicated. IT immediately reigns him in and tries to convince him that he needs to clear himself — that his wife has a copy of him with her, and that two Joel Byrams will destroy everything, and break her heart. Luckily, Joel is quick on his feet and makes a masterful escape, only to be thrown in to a worldwide manhunt. Can Joel get to his wife before IT finds him, and clears him from existence for good?

A thrilling, fast-paced sci-fi novel with plenty of twists and turns, THE PUNCH ESCROW is a fantastic addition to the sci-fi genre. Author Tal Klein paints a riveting and sympathetic man in Joel Byram (both Joel Byram’s, to be fair). Heartfelt and existential, this story can be enjoyed by many types of readers. It is a great example of sci-fi, but it really captures the human beating heart of characters affected by technology. With a surprise ending and gripping writing, you won’t want to put this down.

Highly recommended.

Giveaway! Adventures of Little Yaga and Her Friends

Adventures of Little Yaga Header

Adventures of Little Yaga and Her Friends Giveaway!

Welcome to the exciting giveaway for Little Yaga here on Prologue! Thanks to THE CHILDREN’S BOOK REVIEW and L.B. O’Milla for the opportunity to share this exciting book with our readers.

Now, let’s get to the book! And be sure to enter the rafflecopter giveaway at the end of the post. You can win a signed copy of the book (and who doesn’t love signed copies?) or a $25 Visa Gift Card.

What is Little Yaga and her Friends all about?

Little Yaga is a teenage forest dweller. She is unhappy because, unlike other foresters, she cannot howl or roar, and both of her legs are human-like. There have been rumors that Scraggard the Immortal, a powerful and ruthless Ruler of The Forest, is not exactly immortal. He is sustained on the energy of humans.

When he lures Ashley, a human teenager, into The Forest, Little Yaga, feeling sorry for this weird creature, helps her escape. Infuriated, Scraggard sends Little Yaga and her best friend Kikimra to the human town to bring Ashley back. The forest girls, stunned by technological “miracles” of humans, believe them to be as powerful as the Immortal himself. Unwillingly, Little Yaga and Kikimra become instrumental in Scraggard’s pursuit to recapture Ashley. Distressed by her disappearance, Ashley’s boyfriend and her brother manage to sneak into The Forest. Combining their efforts with Little Yaga and her forest friends, the teenagers embark on a perilous journey to rescue Ashley and save The Forest from Scraggard’s malevolent reign. As Little Yaga discovers the secrets of her forest home and her own origins, she comes into contact with creatures and settings straight out of Russian fables and mythology.

Buy it now!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

L.B. O’Milla was born in Kiev, Ukraine, and loved to read and write from an early age. When she was 26 years old, she with her husband and daughter fled the country escaping the ethnic and religious persecution. She arrived to America as a refugee. In the US, O’Milla graduated from NYU and worked as a physical therapist while raising her family, but she never gave up her love of writing. Having grown up in a family that exposed her to the arts, literature, and music, O’Milla enjoyed Russian folklore and its characters.

She studied and mastered English, so that her first book could be written in the language of her new country. O’Milla’s novel, Adventures of Little Yaga and Her Friends, mixes Russian folklore with the American tech that her own children love. In her spare time, O’Milla enjoys reading, writing, attending Metropolitan Opera performances and off Broadway shows, spending time with friends and family, and participating in outdoor activities. She lives in New Jersey. Now widowed, her biggest supporters are her children and her sister. O’Milla is at work on a sequel containing more adventures of Little Yaga.

Enter to win an autographed copy of  Adventures of Little Yaga and Her Friends, by L.B. O’Milla, and a $25 Visa gift card.

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

  • A copy of Adventures of Little Yaga and Her Friends, signed by L.B. O’Milla

  • A $25 Visa gift card

Two (2) winners receive:

  • A copy of Adventures of Little Yaga and Her Friends, signed by L.B. O’Milla

Giveaway begins September 9, 2017, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends October 9, 2017, at 11:59 P.M. MTGiveaway open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Prizes provided by Mila Svetnikov.

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Looking for new CPs!

Hi all!

I’m on the hunt.

raptor

Okay. Not for food (well, a little bit for food), but for new crit partners! DING! DING! DING! I’m going to be finished editing my latest manuscript, DOCKSIDE soon, and I need fresh eyes. My wonderful and long-suffering crit partners MA, JD and JH are fabulous, obviously, but I need MORE.

Kind of like chocolate. Never enough.

WonkaFalls

Okay if you don’t know what this image is of, we can’t be friends. Anyway, DOCKSIDE is a dark, NYGoodHealth upper YA (or adult, let’s talk after you read it) thriller or dystopic manuscript. My last manuscript, HEART OF ASH, is still out in the query realm. Feel free to read the first chapter here. But this new one is fresh and shiny and ready for you to tear apart!

If you, or anyone you know, is interested, please leave a comment! Of course, I’d be happy to trade and read chapters/whole manuscripts from new partners.

Thanks!

Cover Reveal and Giveaway for BODY PARTS!

BODY PARTS

by Jessica Kapp
Coming 15 August 2017
from Diversion Books
Genres: YA Suspense, SciFi, Dystopian
People would kill for her body.”

Preorder Now :-)

BODY PARTS
by Jessica Kapp
Teen/Young Adult SciFi Dystopian

Publisher: Diversion books
Release Date: August 15, 2017


People would kill for her body.

Raised in an elite foster center off the California coast, sixteen-year-old Tabitha’s been sculpted into a world-class athlete. Her trainers have told her she’ll need to be in top physical condition to be matched with a loving family, even though personal health has taken a backseat outside the training facility. While Tabitha swims laps and shaves seconds off her mile time, hoping to find a permanent home, the rest of the community takes pills produced by pharmaceutical giant PharmPerfect to erase their wrinkles, grow hair, and develop superhuman strength.

When Tabitha’s finally paired, instead of being taken to meet her new parents, she wakes up immobile on a hospital bed. Moments before she’s sliced open, a group of renegade teenagers rescues her, and she learns the real reason for her perfect health: PharmPerfect is using her foster program as a replacement factory for their pill-addicted clients’ failing organs. And her friends from the center, the only family she’s ever known, are next in line to be harvested.

Determined to save them, Tabitha joins forces with her rescuers, led by moody and mysterious Gavin Stiles. As they race to infiltrate the hospital and uncover the rest of PharmPerfect’s secrets, though, Tabitha finds herself with more questions than answers. Will trusting the enigmatic group of rebels lead her back to the slaughterhouse?

Pre-order Links:

Amazon US | Barnes & Noble


About the Author


Jessica always thought her penmanship would improve with age. She even wished for it on her eleventh birthday. To improve her legibility and speed, she hijacked her grandma’s typewriter—a really cool one with white correction tape—and started creating fictional worlds. That same grandma took Jessica to her first writers’ group meeting where she shared a story about fairies. The writing sucked, but with time, her craft began to improve. Sadly, her penmanship has not.

Today she writes Contemporary and Speculative Fiction for Young Adults. Story ideas often strike at inopportune times, and she’s been known to text herself reminders from under the covers.

website | twitter | facebook | goodreads


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Interview with debut author, Jessica Kapp!

Jessica Kapp

Hello and welcome! Today on the blog we’re talking to Jessica Kapp, debut author of BODY PARTS coming soon from Diversion Books. Pre-order your copy now! And remember, tomorrow I’ll be posting the awesome cover for BODY PARTS. So stay tuned for that exciting reveal!

And now for the interview!

  1. Tell us a bit about the book.

BODY PARTS is about an orphaned teen in line for adoption who learns she’s been raised for parts by her elite foster center. She must take down the organ-harvesting pharmaceutical empire before her friends are next to go under the knife.

  1. What inspired you to write BODY PARTS?

When I was six months pregnant with our son, my husband was rushed to the emergency room. A vein had burst in his stomach and two more—one in his esophagus and another in his liver—were on the brink of erupting. Doctors were stumped as to the cause of his sudden liver failure, and I was told he might need a transplant to survive.

Luckily, his liver stabilized, but the fear from that experience stayed with me. It got me thinking about the need for organ donors—and voila. A crazy world started building in my head, one where kids are sold for their body parts.

  1. Do you outline, and if so, how?

I try to outline, but my characters never want to listen. They make unexpected choices that skew the storyline. They say things that change the tone, scene, or plot, and the ripple effect from one character can throw my entire outline out the window.

I’d definitely consider myself a pantser. I love that the story surprises me in unexpected ways, but the pain of revising because I’ve created serious plot holes is like coming down from a high. Each time I start a new novel, I tell myself to plot better. To stick to the outline. I have yet to do so.

  1. How many words do you write on average per day?

On a good day, I write about fifteen hundred to two thousand words. My average is much lower though because, well, life gets in the way.

  1. What’s your favorite part about writing?

Everything.

I love stepping into new worlds and moving around in a character’s head—seeing what they’re seeing, feeling what they’re feeling. It’s the only job in the world where you can be anything, go anywhere, and do anything without leaving your office.

  1. What’s the worst part about writing?

A year ago, I would have said revising. But I’ve actually come to enjoy the process. Okay, so maybe enjoy isn’t the best word…because, let’s be honest, revising can be grueling. I have never cried over a manuscript like I have with the WIP I’m currently revising.

I know it will be better when I’m done with it, that the characters will be fuller and the storyline will be stronger, but there’s not enough chocolate in the world to ease the pain of revisions. Still, I would have to say the worst part about writing isn’t revising, it’s worrying about whether or not someone will love your story enough. It takes a lot of time and tears to write a novel. And then all you can do is wait to see if anyone else loves it as much as you do. That’s incredibly hard.

  1. What’s your favorite book series or author?

Oh man, there’s so many to choose from!!!

Some of my favorites include but are not limited to: The Rose Society and Legend series by Marie Lu, the Unwind series and Skinjackers trilogy by Neal Shusterman, the Quarantine series by Lex Thomas, The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon, Candor by Pam Bachorz, Spin and Arranged by Catherine McKenzie, A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini—I could go on forever!

  1. What books influenced you and your writing growing up?

I would have to say Christopher Pike influenced me the most. His books always had a bit of science fiction in them. I wanted to draw readers into my stories the way his writing did, and I wanted to create fictional worlds with that ‘what if’ element as his plots often had.

  1. What books are in your TBR pile right now?

The list is long…but here are a few:

THE HATE YOU GIVE by Angie Thomas

EERIE by C.M. McCoy

HOTEL RUBY by Suzanne Young

  1. What kind of writing community do you have? Do you find it helpful?

I have an amazing group of writer friends!! People who include me in their blogs and give me more support than I deserve! 😉

Unfortunately, none of them live close enough to pop in for coffee (my closest writer friend is about 45 minutes away) so I catch up with most of them online, whether it’s through Twitter or email.

The writing community in general is so amazing and supportive—and the friends you make will keep you sane as you navigate through your draft and revisions. I love that I can shoot an email to a friend and get their feedback—even if it’s not all roses and sunshine—because they know how important it is to find the holes in the story in order to make it better.

  1. What’s your biggest piece of advice for aspiring authors?

Don’t give up. Push through. Keep writing. Keep creating.

It took me two years to write my first novel, and it’ll never see the light of day. That propelled me to write my next novel, which only took a few months. You have to carve out time everyday to write. And you have to be consistent.

But the biggest piece of advice, I’d say, would be don’t wait. Writing takes time. Revising adds on even more time. Don’t wait until life slows down, because there will always be an excuse—a reason—to delay writing. If you want to do it, get your butt in the chair and write.

  1. What are you working on next?

Usually my novels have a bit of speculative fiction to them, but I’m working on a contemporary story this time. It’s my first time writing in dual POV, and my first time writing in third-person. It follows the story of a boy who feels he has no other choice than to embrace his bad-boy image and how one of the choices he makes impacts the life of a girl and her family. That’s all I can say about it for now…

 

 

 

Book Review: This is my Dollhouse

This Is My Dollhouse

This beautifully illustrated children’s book has a fun surprise on the inside cover – instructions to make your own dollhouse!

A little girl has a dollhouse. But not a fancy store-bought dollhouse. Hers is made from a box that she painted with bricks. Inside is a fun stove she made from a block, a television made from a tiny silver box, spaghetti made of cut yarn, and even a fun mixed family! Grandma’s a mouse, Mommy is a doll, Daddy is a teddy bear, and the twins are little girl dolls…

Read more at TCBR!

Book Review: Bunny’s Book Club

Title: Bunny's Book Club, Author: Annie Silvestro

“Bunny loved books.” Bunny loves to hide in the bushes and listen to the nice lady with the red glasses read to the children on the front steps of the library. He can close his eyes and imagine that he is scaling treacherous mountains, captaining a pirate ship, or ruling an exotic country on the other side of the world. Bunny learns that through the world of books, you can live a thousand lives.

When Fall comes, story time moves inside. Bunny peers through windows to glean a story or two, but he desperately misses those wonderful books. One night he can’t sleep, and he creeps to the library hoping to find a way in. Unfortunately, every window and door is locked tight.

But Bunny is a resourceful critter, and he finds the book drop. With a hop and a squish, Bunny squeezes through, and he’s inside his beloved library at last. There are hundreds of books, and Bunny races from one section of the library to the next. He grabs as many as he can carry and drags them through the forest to his cozy burrow. Soon Bunny is bringing his friends along, including Mole, Bear, Frog and Squirrel. They all love the library, and sneak books out to read at home.

One evening the librarian shows up. “Follow me,” she says sternly. Heads low, the animals follow her for a punishment. But the nice librarian surprises them, and gives them each their own library cards. From now on, Bunny and his friends can borrow books (and bring them back!) whenever they want. The story ends with Bunny selecting a book for his very own book club. Now the forest friends can sit and read together in Bunny’s snuggly burrow.

These forest critters are ready to read, and adore exploring the world of books just like children. What an excellent message about reading and friendship, as well as returning the books you borrowed on time. Annie Silvestro’s debut picture book is adorably sweet and perfectly paced. There’s a bit of adventure – will Bunny get in trouble? But overall the story is low-stress and comforting for reading just before bed. Silvestro has an ear for lyrical prose, pulling young readers in to a fantastical world of literate and very sneaky animals.

Tatjana Mai-Wyss’ water color illustrations are as warm and inviting as the story. Each page is full of detail that children will love to point out. The animals are artfully rendered with a loving hand. Bunny’s enormous doe eyes and stylishly long ears make him an instant favorite.

The human characters are perfectly diverse. The librarian is African American, and the children are a mix of races and genders. Silvestro and Mai-Wyss pay careful attention to representation, and pull it off well.

The pages are classically matte, and the cover features a bold matte and spot-gloss finish that really pops on the shelf. My favorite detail was the retro touch of an old-fashioned library book-pocket on the inside cover.

 

Book Review: WE FOUND A HAT

We Found a Hat

In this hilarious third installment of Jon Klassen’s award-winning trilogy, a hat could potentially tear two turtle friends apart.

Jon Klassen is the author and illustrator behind the very popular I WANT MY HAT BACK and THIS IS NOT MY HAT. WE FOUND A HAT continues the journey of cute animals finding or stealing hats. In this book two little turtles, clearly best friends who do everything from sleep to watch sunsets together, find a hat. It is beautiful. It looks great on both of them. It fits well. But, alas, there is but one…

Read more at TCBR!

Book Review: HEIR OF FIRE

 

Title: Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass Series #3), Author: Sarah J. Maas

In Sarah J. Maas’ epic third installment of the THRONE OF GLASS series, readers are treated to agonizing stakes, blossoming friendships and more of the of the thrilling action her readers have come to expect.

Celaena has been sent to Wendlyn to assassinate the royal family on the King of Adarlan’s orders. But Celaena is now two people: the King’s indentured assassin, and the missing Queen of Terrasen. It’s an internal struggle, and Celaena wallows in pity and liquor. Queen Maeve, her Fae aunt, sends Fae Prince Rowan to fetch her. The shadowy Queen offers her a bargain – learn to harness her latent magic with Rowan, and she will give Celaena the key to defeat the evil King of Adarlan. Celaena begrudgingly agrees, and begins her grueling, sometimes torturous training to seize her power and become who she was always meant to be: Aelin, Queen of Terrasen. But can Celaena embrace who she really is to fight the demons the King of Adarlan is breeding?

This twisted, remarkable story is told through multiple perspectives, including the new intriguing storyline of Manon Blackbeak and the Ironteeth Witches. The witch plotline is fascinating and a wonderfully unique take on the witch canon. It adds a fantastic new level of depth to the THRONE OF GLASS series, and readers will enjoy sinking their teeth into Manon’s alluring and terrifying life.

This installment is a bit less steamy than previous books, but the romantic tension off page between Celaena and Chaol still burns bright. Readers will be too busy learning about Celaena’s fiery magic to miss the romance.

As always, Maas delivers epic fantasy at a break-neck pace, deftly weaving multiple storylines into one gorgeous and lushly imagined saga. Possibly the best book so far in the series, fans will adore HEIR OF FIRE.