INDIGO INSTINCT Blog Tour

Indigo Instinct for KindleI’m excited to participate in Jacinda Buchmann’s blog tour for her new book INDIGO INSTINCT (Book 2 in the trilogy). I got a chance to meet this talented author at UtopYA 2014 this June.

The blog tour kicks off today with a fabulous Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card and a signed paperback of Book 1 in the Indigo Trilogy: INDIGO INCITE.

Book Blurb

They thought they were safe.

Identical twins, Tyler and Toby, escaped the clutches of a covert government agency determined to exploit their extrasensory powers. Before they regained their freedom, they acquired proof of the agency’s existence, proof that was guaranteed to secure immunity not only for themselves but for their friends as well.

They took more than they bargained for.

When the brothers learn that they have unfinished business with the agency, they find themselves reunited with Indigo Children, Liliana, Grace, Eddie, and Rebecka and once again on the run.

They must rely on their instincts.

While Grace and Eddie discover that love isn’t always easy, Sarah’s life is thrown into turmoil, and her guilty conscience leads to fear and distrust of her own heart.

Intuition doesn’t lie.

There are new players in the game and it isn’t easy to know who to trust.

Sometimes the right path isn’t always the easiest.

Is there a way to give the agency what they want and still retain their freedom? Find out in Indigo Instinct, Book Two of The Indigo Trilogy.

Book Excerpt

“Mrs. Hughes, are you still there?”

“I’m here,” Sarah replied.

“Oh good. I thought I’d lost you for a second. As I was saying, we believe he’s still alive. They found the helicopter wreckage, but your husband was missing. It’s believed he’s been taken hostage.”

“Wait. What? He’s alive?”

“We don’t have confirmation, ma’am, but at the moment, that’s what we believe. Usually in circumstances like this, someone will come forward with claims to the hostages. As soon as we get additional information, we’ll contact you. In the meantime, can I get your current address so I can send someone out to you?”

“Um…my address?”

“Yes, ma’am. I can locate the closest military office to send someone out to visit with you. If you could just give me your address so I can add it to your records, I’ll see that you’re taken care of.”

“Taken care of?” Of course he referred to her mental well-being, but the first thought that crossed her mind was sending someone out to “take care of her.” She’d been in hiding for five months. She wasn’t about to give up her location now. “Um, no, I’m sorry. I’m actually traveling right now…on vacation. You’ll give me a call if you hear anything else?”

“Of course, ma’am. You’ll be the first to hear of any updates. But if I could just get your address—”

“I have to go. I’m sorry.”

She pushed “end” to discontinue the conversation and let the phone drop to the floor.

She hadn’t been aware of Ian’s presence, but sometime during the conversation, he had sat in the chair behind her. He placed both hands on her shoulders, and she leaned her back against his legs.

“Sarah, I’m sorry.”

He had known. That was why he had been on the phone all morning with Will.

She spun around with an accusing glare. “You knew, didn’t you? You knew and you didn’t tell me.”

“Sarah, I—”

“Don’t bother, Ian. There’s nothing you can say.”

She tossed her phone into her purse, pushed herself off the floor, and without another word, walked out the door.

Find the Book

Amazon   •   Goodreads

About the Author

2014 Jacinda Book_1Jacinda Buchmann lives in Arizona with her husband and three children. She graduated from Carroll College, in Helena, Montana, with a B.A. in elementary education and later received a Master’s degree from Northern Arizona University, in school counseling. After spending several years as a teacher and later a school counselor, she now spends her time writing, any free chance she can get, that is, when she’s not spending time with her family or creating a new concoction in the kitchen.

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EuphorYA Speculative Fiction Scavenger Hunt

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Welcome to the EuphorYA Speculative Fiction Scavenger Hunt!

Today, our post is about The Cat’s Eye Chronicles, a new YA Fantasy series with over 100 five-star reviews! Written in the spirit of Tamora Pierce, Maria V. Snyder, and Sarah J. Maas, The Cat’s Eye Chronicles follows the adventures of Sora Fallcrest, a young noblewoman who is kidnapped by a dangerous and mysterious assassin. If you like magic, romance, and exotic worlds then check out this series! You’re sure to fall in love. You can even read the first book, Sora’s Quest, for free (click here).

Now pull up a seat, stay a while and read an exciting, totally exclusive excerpt of Ferran’s Map, Book 4 in The Cat’s Eye Chronicles!

Exclusive Excerpt: Ferran’s Map by T. L. Shreffler (Book 4 in The Cat’s Eye Chronicles)

e96d58d68bf5515f7cf34e7487ac40ffSora flexed her injured hand, testing the wound beneath the bandages. She knew what she had to do. She stood up and dressed herself in a thick woolen shirt, belted at the waist, and snug cotton pants. She pulled her boots on one by one, stretching out her back and legs as she did so.

Finally, she strapped her daggers to her belt and slung her staff over one shoulder, then headed above deck on the Dawn Seeker, a mid-sized schooner sailing down the Little Rain river. She exited the row of cabins and walked down the side of the ship in the early morning light. Finally, she paused next to a large barrel. She knew he would be here, as he always was at this time.

Crash stood at the aft of the boat. As she watched, he finished a quick set of press-ups and crunches, then ran through a series of sprints across the deck. These simple exercises would warm his muscles in preparation for more strenuous training. His breath appeared in small bursts of vapor and he had yet to break a sweat.

He finished his sprints and removed his shirt. The sky held only a slight tinge of gray, but in the dim pre-dawn light she could see the scars that traced his powerful back. They crisscrossed every which way, some long and thin where blades had cut, or perhaps whiplashes. Others formed white, rough craters, puncture wounds from arrows or daggers. They were small but numerous and formed a fine web across his shoulders, like constellations drawn on tan parchment.

She knew his longest scar began at his jaw and cut down his chest in a jagged white line—a wound the bloodmage Volcrian had dealt him many years ago. It should have killed him, but he was not a normal man. He had another scar at the base of his neck, a new one, freshly healed from the Isles: a circle of angry, warped skin, as though someone had jammed a hot-poker straight between his collar bones. A sunstone caused it, a weapon of the Harpies used to bind and torture the Unnamed. His voice still hadn’t fully recovered. His tone sounded rougher, deeper than she remembered. As an assassin, it only made him sound more lethal when he spoke, like small rocks grinding behind his words.

Crash (Viper)

Crash (Viper)

He paused after another set of crunches, then stood to face her. Sora left the protection of the barrel and stepped into the open. He watched her quietly, appearing neither concerned nor curious.

She had prepared a little speech for this moment while lying awake in bed, but now, words failed her. She cleared her throat. “A long time ago, you called me your student,” she said.

He considered her for a moment, then nodded.

“I’d like to be that again…if I can.”

Crash observed her, then a slight smile crossed his face, a wry tug of the lips. Wordlessly, he sank into a fighting stance, his knees bent agilely and his hands held naturally before him, slightly below eye level. He beckoned her with a quick flick of his wrist.

Sora felt mildly surprised. Well that was easy. Then she mimicked his position. Her stance was not as smooth or comfortable as his. Her legs strained from the slight crouch and she hesitated before setting her left foot first. It had been some time since she last practiced hand-to-hand combat and her muscles were cold.

She first came to know Crash in the depths of Fennbog swamp, where he taught her to defend herself, to leap nimbly over roots and through tree branches, to duck and weave, block and punch, kick with enough force to break ribs. Now—after uncovering the truth of his race, the hidden darkness of his past—she would come to know him again. Their friendship needed to be rebuilt, so she would start over from the beginning.

He waited for her to make the first move. She approached him warily and decided to attack head-on, best to get it over with. She let out a swift punch to his face, which he easily blocked, sweeping it to one side with his open palm. One attack led into the next, and she tried to follow the momentum of his body, jabbing out with her elbow, bowling into him, attempting to knock him off balance. He intercepted all of her blows.

She moved faster as her muscles loosened. She caught him behind the knee with a deft kick. He fell gracefully and rolled on his shoulder, leaping immediately back to his feet, coming up from behind. She turned and blocked his punch aimed for her lower back. A quick volley of strikes and jabs ensued, and now she found herself on the defensive, relying purely on muscle memory and instinct. He moved too fast for her to watch his hands. She tried to anticipate each blow.

Finally she saw an opening. She lunged, intending to upper-cut him in the jaw, but he caught her hand at the last minute and spun her around, pulling her against his chest. He locked her arms in front of her, tightly holding her wrists. She gasped, surprised by the abrupt change of position.

“Softly,” he murmured against her ear, his breath unexpectedly hot on her cold cheek. “You’re too rigid.”

“You’re too fast,” she countered.

“You’ll be faster if you loosen up.” He held her like that for a moment too long it seemed, or maybe she became overly focused on the warmth of his skin, the tight coil of his arms. Then he abruptly released her. “You’re worse than I remember,” he mentioned.

She flushed. “I…I know,” she relented. “It’s the Cat’s Eye. Usually it helps me.”

Crash raised an eyebrow. “You’ve been cheating?” he asked with mock disapproval.

be69ae5e347ad34d4cfe7c387bc02fdf

Sora

She wrinkled her nose, resisting the urge to grin. While training with her mother, she had learned the Cat’s Eye could aid her in hand-to-hand combat. The souls of past bearers still resided somewhere deep in the stone, centuries of warriors, their skills at her fingertips if only she had the control. During battle, she could feel the old warriors stir; not as specific people, but as a source of strength, a sixth sense to guide her hand, improving her reflexes.

But now the necklace seemed stifled. It offered no hidden power, no secret help. She was just a normal girl with a few years of practice under her belt, sparring with a deadly man, more than just an assassin—one of the Named. The elite.

Of course he would put her meager experience to shame.

“Again,” Crash said, and returned to his crouch. They repeated their brief battle, except this time he critiqued. He never spoke harshly, but he called out her missteps, her inconsistent footing and lack of balance. His words offered no encouragement. Everything he said was coldly logical, without flattery or pretense. But she knew this side of him. She understood his method of instruction.

“You’re wasting energy,” he pointed out when she over-extended her reach. “You’re small. Get closer before you attack.”

“But you’ll grab me!”

“Then wait for the right moment,” he said. “Everyone lets down their guard, even a Grandmaster.”

She frowned, uncertain. What’s a Grandmaster? Obviously someone far more skilled than she. No time to ask. She came at him again, targeting under his ribs; a swift punch to the abdomen could deal a lot of damage.

He trapped her arms again and pushed her back against the railing of the ship, easily overcoming her strength. She let out a breath of frustration.

“Will you at least let me try?” she ground out, aggravated. How could she practice when he didn’t come down to her level? This seemed less like training and more like flaunting.

She tried to escape his grasp but he pinned her in place. He used his body to trap her in a living cage. She could feel the entire length of him against her. As her heart slowed and her head cleared, she found herself completely preoccupied by his closeness, his height and strength. The memory of their kiss rose in her mind, and she tried not to weaken against him. She glanced up and met his impenetrable gaze.

“What are you thinking?” she asked, hoping he didn’t notice her distraction.

A small, teasing smile touched his face. “That if I were the enemy, you’d be dead right now.”

His words broke the spell. Her lips twisted in defiance. She slipped to one side and ducked halfway under his arm before he grabbed her again. He spun her around effortlessly and locked her against the rail. “Wrong,” he murmured. “Try again.”

Read Sora’s Quest, Book 1 in The Cat’s Eye Chronicles, for free!
100+ 5-star reviews! Find out more at www.catseyechronicles.com

1_SORASQUESTGOLDSMALLSora Fallcrest always dreamed of adventure, but as a member of the nobility, she learned the ways of a Lady instead. Now seventeen, she is expected to choose a husband and marry. She plots to run away, but just as she is stepping out the door, she runs into a mysterious man—and is kidnapped.

Abducted from her manor, Sora is plunged into a world of magical races, arcane jewelry and forgotten lore. She finds herself at the mercy of a dangerous assassin, haunted by an even darker past. She yearns for freedom, but he won’t let her go—not when her Cat’s Eye necklace is the only thing that can save his life.

But the necklace itself presents a problem. It is an ancient device from the long forgotten War of the Races, and its magic has the ability to steal souls. Can Sora learn to wield its power—or will the power wield her? (Winner of the SKOW 2006 Best Fantasy Award)

About Author T. L. Shreffler

authorpic3Ms. Shreffler is an author and journalist living in Los Angeles, CA. She loves diversity, fantasy, romance, iced tea, long walks, philosophy and thrift store shopping. She currently holds a BA in Eloquence (English) and her poetry has been published consecutively in Eclipse: A Literary Journal and The Northridge Review. She is the author of two published series, The Cat’s Eye Chronicles (YA fantasy) and The Wolves of Black River. She also puts her creative talents to use as a graphic designer, painter and illustrator.

To find out more, visit her author website at www.tlshreffler.com.
Facebook: www.facebook.com/tlshreffler

Join T. L. Shreffler an many more amazing Fantasy Authors at the EuphorYA Facebook Chat! Find out more about the series, win free books, and meet new authors! Sign up for the online event today!

Find the EuphorYA Rafflecopter Giveaway here.

 

Connecting With My Target Audience

It’s been a busy few weeks around here. I know, I know. Some of you are thinking, “Really, haven’t seen you around much on the Internet.” That’s because I’ve been preparing to participate in two events which are specifically for my target readers.

BLK_ExhibitorTomorrow (Ah!), I’m flying to Nashville, TN for the UTopYA Con event which takes place every year in June. This convention is a first-of-its-kind for women writers of contemporary and supernatural YA and NA fiction, and their fans! The convention theme is aliens. I booked an exhibitor table again this year. Thanks to my consultation with Victoria Faye with Whit&Ware, I have some great ideas for my table. I’ll be doing different themed give aways each day, which highlight a specific theme in Edge of Truth. I had fun piecing together the swag and hope the attendees enjoy it.

EuphorYA banner full sizeI’m also participating in an online  event (Facebook and author blogs) called  EuphorYA: A Speculative Fiction Scavenger Hunt, which kicks off on June 20. This is your official invitation to come join in celebrating young adult speculative fiction  in all its forms! The focus is on YA Fantasy, Paranormal, Dystopian, and Sci-Fi. During the scavenger hunt, you can get a peek at exclusive content from your favorite indie and small press books, plus giveaways at each blog stop. While visiting each blog, put together the clue phrases for a shot at the Grand Prize ($75 Amazon/Nook Gift Card, plus books and swags to two additional winners).

I’ll be hosting Author T.L. T. L. Shreffler – Sora’s Quest (The Cat’s Eye Chronicles, Book 1) on my blog Friday, June 20 and Author Ali Cross will host me on her blog on Sunday, June 22.

I’m so excited about these opportunities to connect with people who share the same enthusiasm about the genres I love to write. If you’re planning to attend UTopYA, please swing by Table #14 to introduce yourself. If you’re online this weekend, please join in the #EuphorYA scavenger hunt.

What genre do you like to read or write?

Edge of Truth Book Birthday

EoT_Ebook_FinalEdge of Truth (YA Dystopian) is officially 1-year old today!

Since June 6, 2013, Edge of Truth has landed a spot on Amazon’s Teen & Young Adult Science Fiction and Dystopian Top 100 List, earned an average review rating of 4+ stars, got facelift a.k.a. new cover, and now has bonus content.

Add Edge of Truth to your GoodReads shelf.

In celebration of the first year in print, I’m hosting a big give away with book contributions from multiple authors, including book series bundles from Carrie Butler, Dana Mason, and Nancy S. Thompson. The Rafflecopter contest entry link is below.

Edge of Truth Excerpt

This is excerpt is from one of my favorite scenes. Rena and Nevan have escaped from the bad guys and have set up a hidden camp inside a cave made from a stone with diamond-like qualities.

“You’re divided,” Nevan said.

“What?” Rena asked.

“Your face.” He lightly touched her hairline, traced a path down her forehead, between her eyebrows, across the bridge of her nose, and paused slightly at her lips then continued to the tip of her chin. “Divided between shadow and light.”

“Oh.” Sweet Mother… Warmth blossomed from the tingling line down the middle of her face and swept through her body. Her breath escaped in a soft moan, which she hoped the crackling sound of the fire covered.

“Rena?” Firelight danced across his face. His bi-colored eyes drank it in, more radiant than the sparkling stone. He was too beautiful to look at, and the only thing she ever wanted to see.

“Yeah?”

“Remember the other day, at that club in the Underground?” he said in a low voice.

His strong arms wrapped around her. His soft lips pressed against hers. The delicious taste of his mouth. Heat pooled in her stomach. She hoped the shadows hid her blush. “How could I forget?”

“There’s something I need to tell you.” He sounded too serious.

A cold wave rolled over her, dousing the flames inside her with an almost audible fizzle. “Uh-huh?”

“I don’t know where to start.” He peered over her shoulder at Blaze who snored softly. “And this might not be the best time or place, but I really need to get this out.”

“What is it about?” She wasn’t sure she really wanted to know. Her tongue swelled, making it difficult to swallow. She parted her lips slightly and sipped small breaths.

“Us,” he whispered. He was quiet for a moment, a long, impossible moment.

+++

Edge of Truth Buy Links

Amazon     •     Smashwords     •      Barnes & Noble     •     BooksAMillion

Give Away

I’m so excited about the gift card and books fellow authors and friends have contributed to help celebrate. Check out my first-ever collage created using PicMonkey.com. Please be sure to enter the Rafflecopter contest for a chance to win one of these books (or one of the three book bundles). Plus, I’m tossing in a box of chocolate. Can’t have a party without chocolate. :)

EoTGiveaway Bordered

Enter contest here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’d like to give a special thanks to the peeps who’ve joined the celebration by hosting me on their blogs today. There are three never-seen-before excerpts spread throughout this awesome group of bloggers, so please be sure to visit them for more:

A Book VacationAldrea Alien, Elizabeth ArroyoJacinda Buchmann,  Melissa Maygrove, Quanie Miller, Catherine Stine, Vanessa StricklerNancy S. Thompson, SBM Book Obsession

And I’d also like to thank those who signed up to help me reach outside of my social circles via Twitter and/or Facebook:

Liz Blocker, Kathleen Nichols, Wandra Green, Chris Cannon, Suzanne Williams, Carrie Butler, Dana Mason, Victoria Perkins, Jen Gentry, Vickey Malone Kennedy, Victoria Escobar

Thanks for stopping by to check out my blog today and joining the fun. From the bottom of my heart, I appreciate your continued support and encouragement.

Happy Reading and Writing!
~ Natasha

Baton Blog Hop

I’m it! I’ve been tagged by author Susan Spess Shay. The Baton Blog Hop is basically a game of tag for writers. The idea is to answer four questions about your writing, then tag another author to do the same.

But first, hop on back to learn a little more about Susan Shay, a new friend I met at OWFI 2014. She was kind enough to volunteer to help with the agent/editor pitch sessions, and I enjoyed getting to know more about her. She’s easy to talk to and her passion for writing is clear. Find her blog here.

Now for the questions…

What are you working on?

I’m currently on submission with a YA Paranormal which is Classic Snow White meets Buffy. My pitch in 35 words: Lexi, who detests violence, is the only female to receive the Mark – binding her to a life of hunting paranormals. She wants out, but refusing the call means death for her and her loved ones.

So how does your work differ from every other book on the shelf in its genre?

As far as “books on the shelf” are concerned, I have one, EDGE OF TRUTH (YA Dystopian), which celebrates its 1-year birthday this Friday (June 6).

One thing that helps this book stand apart is multicultural characters, some of whom possess paranormal abilities. It also draws readers into a diverse dystopian world with a unique supernatural twist – a headstrong teen whose emotions trigger earthquakes.

As for my Works-In-Progress (WiPs), I draw from my environment and the people around me when I write. I take snippets of personalities and mesh them together to form interesting characters. My characters tend to be more quirky than snarky, and no matter how hard I try not to go there, there’s always romance, which leads into the next question…

Why do you write what you write?

Because my characters make me. Seriously, I can plot all I want, but my characters have been known to go off script. To be honest, I often like what they come up with better. No matter what writing prompt I start with, something paranormal or romantic or both pops up in my work, which makes sense since those are my favorite types of books to read.

How does your writing process work?

I had a routine down (two hours every Monday, Wednesday, Friday), but then summer break hit. Now, I’m trying to develop a new routine. As a mom to three active kiddos, I sometimes have to write whenever I can on whatever is available when inspiration hits.

When I do manage to score a block of writing time, it’s me, some chocolate, my laptop, Pandora.com, and dimmed lights. I keep pictures of my characters nearby for inspiration. I also have an index card with two sentences on it: one summarizes my MC’s primary goal and the other the main conflict. This helps my story stay focused no matter how far characters deviate from my plan.

Thanks for tagging me, Susan. I was both surprised and please you picked me for this hop. Now I’m tagging my long-time critique partner, Dawn Allen who blogs at Write On: Words on Craft. I have learned many things about grammar, writing, character development, and much more from Dawn, and know you’ll enjoy learning more about her.

Dawn, you’re it!