Category Archives: Giveaways

Giveaway Alert!

Giveaway Alert!

Do you like books? Do you like mysteries? Well, now you can have both!

Here’s how it works:

Our 140+ participating authors will sign and wrap a book. You enter by following the instructions below. You can enter on as many author’s pages as you want, so be sure to hit all of their pages for more chance to win!

If you’re one of our lucky winners, you’ll receive a book, but you won’t know what you’ve won until you unwrap it.

To enter:

*your task (either signing up for a mailing list, following a Blog, Twitter or Facebook account)

Then fill out this form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeQmnuadU70ZfdNLA8iqcWAxZth1QKQniWRVM_2XLRtm2gNsw/viewform, checking off which actions you’ve completed and enter your email and mailing addresses. For more entries, click on the link for each author. You must complete the task AND fill out the form for your entry to count. All entries will be verified.

That’s it!

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Identity, spectrums, and labels

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Even after I discovered the asexual spectrum in 2014, it took me over a year and a half to call myself asexual. I changed my identifiers at least three times in that period, and each change was one notch further from the point where the asexual and allosexual spectrums meet.

I have incredibly mixed feelings about labels. As an author and a lover of books, I believe words have power, and I believe finding a word to describe you—or simply some small aspect of you—can be a life-changing moment.

Labels can help us clarify our own thoughts, they can validate our feelings and/or experiences, and they help us find others like us. However, labels tend to be seen as rigid, fixed, either/or definitions of a person. According to the wider consensus, you’re this or that, but rarely both. Labels come with sets of expectations, stigmas, and qualifications, and it’s these plus the seeming rigidity of it all, that makes accepting a label—even an accurate one—a struggle sometimes.

Which is exactly what happened to me.

As I’ve mentioned several other places, I was married. It ended for a lot of reasons, but a major factor was our sexualities. I didn’t have the language I needed to have this conversation with him at the time, but I’m almost certain my ex-husband was about as far on the libido and sexuality spectrums as he could be from me. Bi-hypersexual if I had to guess. Being found sexually attractive and desirable by his partner (i.e. me) was crucial to his happiness. I loved him, but I didn’t want him. Or anyone. Not naked and in bed.

Despite knowing I’d never even been sexually attracted to the man I married—and did love; for a while, at least—when I placed myself on the ace spectrum several years later, I still chose heteromantic and demisexual as my identifiers. They felt safer. More “normal.” It was as though all I needed was to meet “the right person” and then I’d be able have a “normal” relationship one day. I wasn’t admitting it to myself, but there was a strong fear of deviating too far from social expectations, and so I picked the identity closest to what everyone else seemed to experience and told myself it was right.

But it wasn’t.

Like a healing wound or a loose tooth, I couldn’t stop poking at the label. Slowly, I accepted the difference between romantic and sexual attraction, and I admitted the truth of my feelings for my ex to myself: I’d loved him once, but I’d wanted to jump his bones never. The times I did initiate sexual intimacy were about an emotional pull—or the emotional blackmail he was fond of using.

Graysexual, then. Maybe I was heteromantic graysexual. It still left the door open for “normal” one day, even if I couldn’t begin to guess what random set of circumstances would have to occur for me to finally and suddenly feel sexual desire for the first time.

Still, I couldn’t stop poking. I thought back on my life and honestly looked at my history with crushes and attraction and romance.

In elementary school, everyone carried around Teen Beat to pour over. They crushed hard on Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Devon Sawa. I barely knew who these people were and stared in utter confusion as another girl in my class repeatedly kissed a picture of JTT. Why? What was the point?

Through elementary and the end of middle school, I knew people had crushes, so I said I did too, but mine never felt the way they talked about theirs. Watching people kiss in movies made me uncomfortable to the point of squirmy. Sex scenes? I closed my eyes until they ended. There were no posters of bands or celebrities on my walls. I didn’t fantasize about kissing the boy I liked during recess, I just wanted someone to like me best. When someone did make it clear they liked me, though, I had no idea how to react or what to do. I became awkward and panicky until they went away.

I started dating in high school, but every relationship I had was because of someone else’s persistence. Especially the one with my future ex-husband. I discovered cuddling with someone I liked was phenomenal. Kissing was pretty great. Beyond that? Everything was only okay. I didn’t mind it, but I never wanted it. Never.

Finally, more than a year and a half after first discovering the term, I claimed asexual.

It’s not an easy label to claim in a society with such harsh double standards for sex. Especially for women. We’re not supposed to be sexually independent or promiscuous, but when a person expresses interest in us sexually, we’re expected to respond. Enthusiastically. To not want sex (of any type) at all? It’s seen as more deviant and unnatural than almost any kink or fetish I have ever heard of. Asexuality is dismissed as a nonexistent orientation. It’s seen as a smokescreen for past trauma and lingering fear. It’s laughed off as religious fundamentalism. It’s treated with cloying concern and proof of some kind medical or psychological problem that can be fixed. And needs to be fixed.

I knew all of this, which is why it took me so long to espouse the label most suited for my identity. I knew claiming asexual would come with all of these judgments and social expectations, and it took me a long time to be ready for that. Because we view labels (and not solely ones for orientation) as fixed, defining points of focus, they’re often the first thing to fall back on when describing someone, so claiming a label often means accepting the culture and ideology surrounding it. Or accepting the constant battle against them.

For me, identifying as asexual meant stepping up to protest the dismissal and misperception of the orientation. I use the stories I create and the characters I populate them with. I use the essays I write. I use the panels I have the chance to speak on. I educate and spread awareness of the truth—or, rather, of the idea that there is no “truth.” All there can be is experience in its infinite variety, and all we share are moments of overlap where we can look at someone else with wide eyes and say “You too?”

There’s no one way someone is as an asexual, and there’s no one path to embracing the label. Mine was long and had a lot of stops and wrong turns. Others might be able to jump in and immediately attach to the term closest to their heart. The point is how important it is for the community at large to allow for this exploration.

As we become more educated and aware of how different our experiences and perceptions of the world can be, giving each other safe spaces to work through their identities and figure out their brains is crucial. What I hope initiatives like Ace Awareness Week will do is give people the language they need to have this conversation—either with themselves or their family and community—and allow them the space they need to set aside the expectations of the label and look at its core. That’s where the comfort lies, and that’s where the rest of us who’ve already made this journey are waiting to welcome them.

 


In honor of Ace Awareness Week, I’m hosting a giveaway!

Entries are simple, and you can enter daily. To win the grand prize, you must live in the US, however, both second and third prize are open internationally. The caveat for international winners is these books won’t be signed; I’ll be ordering them through Book Depository or sending you an ebook through Amazon.

Another note? This is the FIRST time I’ve ever given away one of my incredibly limited paper ARCs of Island of Exiles! Very few of these printed copies exist, so enter to win a signed, limited edition copy of my upcoming fantasy novel.

To enter, check out the form below! One of the entries is to leave a comment on this post answering a question: When and how did you first hear learn about asexuality?

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The 2016 YA Scavenger Hunt is almost here!

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Fun posts, giddy authors, puzzles to solve, giveaways, and tons of awesome books. What’s not to love about the YA Scavenger Hunt?! This season’s Hunt goes live on Tuesday, Oct 4th at 12 pm Pacific Time and comes down on Sunday, Oct 9th at noon Pacific time. For more information, check out the links below:

How to HuntHunting GuidePrize ListEnter Here

I am a massive dork.


Will I be carrying my swag for the Barnes & Noble events this weekend in a Civil War lunchbox? You bet I am. ?

If you’re in South Florida, come see me!

On Friday evening at 7pm and Sunday afternoon at 2pm I’ll be at the Fort Lauderdale store on Federal Highway (http://stores.barnesandnoble.com/store/2047).

On Saturday I’ll be in Plantation at the store near Broward Mall (http://stores.barnesandnoble.com/event/9780061792537-0).

If you’re in the area, stop by and see me at one of these events! I’ll have one copy of my upcoming book ASSASSINS: DISCORD to give away each day, but you have to be present to win.

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During the Slumber Party…


I happened to be sitting next to the winner of my book! Happy reading, Cyndi!

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A Reviewer Appreciation Giveaway!


Have you posted a review of one of my books online anywhere? If so, I want to say thank you! Until 5.31.16, I’m hosting a reviewer appreciation giveaway! It’s open internationally and all you have to do to enter is submit links to your reviews. The grand prize is everything pictured here! So go enter! Http://byericacameron.com/wp/contests/

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Giveaways coming soon!


Coming soon I’ll be running some giveaways for replicas of Nadette’s necklace in Deadly Sweet Lies! I’ll have one to give away at each of my events in March and April, too! Stay tuned for details!

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Brittney Dussault’s Howl

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Not too long ago, I connected with a wonderful girl on Tumblr. Lo and behold, my new friend is also a fantastic author! Probably why we got along so well. At least, one of the reasons. Now I get the opportunity to help her introduce you all to her latest release!

About the book:

Howl Cover

After an archaeology expedition gone wrong, Lis Santiago is assigned a desk job at The Library, an underground archive dedicated to the history and study of supernatural creatures. Run by humans, the joke about The Library is that it’s operated by people who know everything about magic… except how to use it. Lis is no exception, and after three years, she’s finally accepted her new, albeit lackluster, career.

Then a request is made: Supernatural creatures in the area have gone missing, and the Alpha from the local werewolf pack wants a Librarian to aid in the investigation. But he doesn’t want just any Librarian, he wants Lis. Accepting means time away from her desk, but it also means having to be paired up with old partner Jonas Highet, who left her waiting for him in Italy five years ago. This isn’t the reunion she had in mind, but when the Alpha calls, it’s hard to say no.

Lis quickly wishes she had.

The Alpha already has a suspect, he just needs Lis to convict him… even if there’s no proof he’s guilty. But the Alpha’s sister thinks her brother’s scapegoat- a wolf named Mickey Kaiser- is innocent, and she wants Lis to prove it.

Caught between a pair of siblings known for their cunning ways, Lis is going to have to find out what’s so special about Mickey Kaiser, while simultaneously keeping Jonas from killing the man. And just when Lis starts dreaming about her desk job, the first body is found.

It’s unlike anything Lis has seen before.

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Excerpt:

“That sly fox,” Lis said appreciatively. She tossed the file back to Jonas who caught it with a grimace when he accidentally brushed up against some unidentifiable thing. It was blue and furry and that seemed enough to get Jonas’ stomach rolling.

“Care to explain your brilliant theory?” Jonas asked.

Lis smiled.

“Nice to know you haven’t forgotten how brilliant I am,” she said and then gestured to the apartment again. “The smell is covering his scent. If it weren’t for the god awful stench, you’d have known this was a fox den the second you walked in. Ken was keeping his home safe.”

“Safe from what?” Jonas said and Lis fought the urge to punch him. Beautiful he was, but he was also prone to bouts of obliviousness, courtesy of his upbringing at the top of the heap in the pack. It was hard to pay attention to the real world when your life was nothing but golden spoons and the belief you’d one day be Alpha.

“Safe from wolves, dumbass,” Lis said. She slipped between the televisions, having to climb over an old dresser, before landing in the narrow pathway before Jonas. “The local wolves have been getting into fights and hunting foxes for years now. Looks like Ken Mori found a way to stay safe on his own.”

“Then why is he missing?” Jonas ignored Lis’ glare and shook his head. “It doesn’t matter. You’re not here to investigate, you’re here to prove Mickey Kaiser is guilty.”

“Guilty of what?” A key piece of information floated to the forefront of Lis’ mind and she fixed Jonas with her best glare. “Guilty of taking down a fox? Where’s the crime in that?”

Before Jonas could retreat, she caught him around the collar of his jacket and with a well placed kick to the back of the knee, he hit the ground with a thud before Lis curled herself around him, her arms circling around his neck. She applied just enough pressure to get his attention.

“Why is the Alpha having me investigate the disappearance of a fox?” Jonas made a show of struggling, but they both knew if he wanted to, he could have her heart outside her body within seconds. Which meant he didn’t want her dead. Or at the very least, he had orders not to kill her.

“The Alpha didn’t want you on this case,” he said. “He’s not the reason you’re here.”

Lis released Jonas and stepped back, almost hopeful he’d been the one to send for her. But then her brain caught up to her idealistic naivety and squashed her hopes, reminding her that although her and Jonas had had a good time once before, that time was long passed.

“Then who sent for me?” she asked. “Why am I here?”

Jonas looked over his shoulder at her, one hand rubbing his neck idly.

“The Alpha’s sister,” he said. And then, “My mother.”

About the author:

AUTHOR PHOTOBrittney Dussault is the author of over a dozen titles, including Howl and The Banewood Chronicles. When she’s not churning out a new book every 2-3 months, she’s helping others realize their dreams of being published authors. Cupcakes keep her going and she’s determined to put herself on a Best Sellers list one day.

Contact Brittney:

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Buy the book:

Howl Cover

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Or, win the book:

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For reviews and more chances to win, follow the tour:

November 10th

Author Sandra Love | Book Groupies | jeannie zelos book reviews | Loves All Things Books | MrsLeif’s Two Fangs About It Book Reviews

November 11th

By Erica Cameron | Essence Write | My Life, Loves and Passion | Undercover Book Reviews | Whispered Thoughts | Wicked Women Book Blog | Breezy Book Blog

November 12th

Coffee Talk Writers | Mommy’s Late Night Book-up | Twin Opinions | Between The Lines | Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

November 13th

Deal Sharing Aunt | Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock | Those Crazy Book Chicks | The Naughty Vixen | Ashley’s Paranormal Book Blog

November 14th

A British Bookworm’s Blog | Booklover Sue | Rustys Reading | Up All Night Read All Day | BookJunkyGirls

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Here There Be Spoilers

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I’ve known since about this time last year that there would be a lot of deleted material from Sing Sweet Nightingale that I wanted to post online and share with readers. The only thing I wasn’t sure of was how and where to post it. Finally I decided to have a little fun with it and create a blog tour specifically for the extraordinary amount of material I wanted to post.

Really. It’s a lot. Word-count-wise, it’s basically a novella’s worth of material.

The sections come from all over the book–old beginnings, old endings, and moments in the middle that no longer exist. Some of these scenes still contain canon information while others involve sub-plots and story elements that no longer apply to the Dream War Saga as a whole. You will also have the chance to win one of three prizes including a signed copy of the book and some jewelry I made!

Lucky for me, a group of fantastic bloggers also thought this would be a wonderfully fun idea and agreed to help me make this happen! Below is the schedule for the next two weeks so that you know where to find each day’s scene:

November 3 – A Backwards Story

November 4 – Kissed by Ink

November 5 – Queekie Girl Reads

November 6 – Chasm of Books

November 7 – Bumbles and Fairy-Tales

November 10 – Books Complete Me

November 11 – KellyVision

November 12 – Falling For YA

November 13 – WhoRU Blog

November 14 – Pandora’s Books

In December, these scenes will all be arranged chronologically and posted on The Dream War Saga’s official site. For now, head over to these blogs on the dates listed and get a behind-the-scenes look at the editing process of Sing Sweet Nightingale.

Halloween Book Trail

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Welcome to the next stop on The Woods trail of Zoraida Córdova’s Halloween Book Trail! I got to answer some fun questions about Halloween and desert islands and fear and all sorts of things. Check it out here and then continue on your journey through The Woods!

201410-HBT14-The-WoodsIf your MC went trick or treating, what would they dress up as and why?

The last time Mariella went trick or treating it was in sixth grade. She and K.T. teamed up and they went as Antony (Mariella) and Cleopatra (K.T.). They made pretty much everyone treat them like royalty all week and everyone called them Tony and Cleo for the rest of the year.

Hudson didn’t go trick or treating much as a kid, but J.R. thought Halloween was amazing. The October before J.R. died, Hudson took him trick or treating for the first time. J.R. dressed up like Hulk—Hudson even painted the kid entirely green for the occasion—and he picked out Thor for Hudson. Since Hudson’s hair is so short, J.R. insisted on a wig. This insistence came in at the last minute so the only one Hudson could get was meant for young girls and was therefore too small for his head, too long, and had bangs. It looked ridiculous on him but it made J.R. happy and that was pretty much all that mattered anyway.

 

What scares the pants out of you?

Honestly, the intangible is more frightening to me than the tangible. And I’m not talking about ghosts. Spiders and heights and small, dark places are all less frightening to me than betrayal and abandonment. Those concepts and actions can do much longer lasting damage than a lot of other things worth being afraid of.

 

Do you legit believe in ghosts and things that bump in the night? (We won’t think you’re cray)

I’ve never seen anything, but yes! The universe is too vast and complex for there not to be things that we haven’t seen or can’t understand. What I don’t think is that any of it exists in the forms we have stories about. Vampires, werewolves, quasi-corporeal ghosts, etc. all may be based in something real, but most of that probably comes from the collective imaginations of humanity. Speaking of the human collective, the theory of universal consciousness is something I’m pretty much 100% sure is real.

 

If you were stranded on a deserted island or haunted house, what number are you to die and how?

Probably first. And it would be some stupid accident on my part or the fact that I exercise, like, never and am incapable of pulling myself up should I fall through broken floorboards or over a cliff or off a roof or something. Or, since I know nothing about shooting guns, I’ll misfire and hurt myself. Really, don’t trust me when things go to hell. I am not the person you want with you in a horror movie or zombie apocalypse or even on a deserted island.

 

What magical/supernatural creature do you secretly want to be?

I’ve never had an extremely strong desire to be a magical/supernatural/mythological creature (it seems like the cons really outweigh the pros most of the time; I would possibly make an exception for having the Gift out of Tamora Pierce’s Tortall world), but there are a few I would have loved to meet and/or have. Pegasus has always fascinated me as have fairies (the tiny, spritely ones, not the evil, manipulative ones). What I’ve really always wanted, though, is a dæmon out of The Golden Compass. I would jump on a chance to visit that world and meet my dæmon in a heartbeat!

 Want to continue on the trail? Next up is our fantastic hostess Zoraida Córdova! Visit her blog and study up! There will be a quiz. 😉