Monday, February 29, 2016

YA Guy Participates in... The Leap into Books Giveaway!

YA Guy's excited to participate in the Leap into Books $250 Giveaway, organized by the blog "I Am a Reader" and sponsored by all the fine authors/bloggers listed below. Entering is easy, and you can win a $250 Amazon gift card or $250 in PayPal cash!

Leap Into Cash $250 

I Am A Reader
Author Theresa DaLayne
Jennfer Bardsley
Aubrey Wynne: Romantasy Through the Ages
Melanie McFarlane Books
Lonna @ FLYLēF Book Reviews
Krysten Lindsay Hager author
Kelly Hashway
Leora Krygier YA Author
Lori's Reading Corner
Rick Starkey Writes
Bella Street Time Travel Romance
Bonnie Blythe Faith-Based Romance
Joshua David Bellin
Suzi Love
Glistering Bs Blog
Katy Haye
Elisa Dane
Helen Smith
Simple Wyrdings
The Cottage Bookshelf
Author D.E. Haggerty
Erin Richards
Coupons and Freebies Mom
Inger Iversen

Giveaway Details: $250 in Paypal Cash or a $250 eGift Card. Contest ends 3/20/16. Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or who can redeem an Gift Code. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter; winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the authors, bloggers and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

YA Guy Announces... The Official SCAVENGER OF SOULS Cover Reveal (plus a giveaway)!

YA Guy's over the moon about today's SCAVENGER OF SOULS cover reveal on YA Books Central. If you bop on over there, you'll not only have a chance to see the drop-dead awesome cover the folks at Margaret K. McElderry Books designed, but you'll be able to enter a giveaway to win the complete Survival Colony series! What could be better than that?

Well, other than world peace, I mean....

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

YA Guy Reveals... THE MIDNIGHT SEA by Kat Ross!

The Midnight Sea

One of YA Guy's very favorite people in the whole interverse is Kat Ross, author of SOME FINE DAY and, now, THE MIDNIGHT SEA. The first book in a series, THE MIDNIGHT SEA is available right now for preorder. And when you see its gorgeous cover and read its amazing blurb and excerpt, you're going to want to preorder it right away!
Preorder Blitz
The Midnight Sea - Ebook

Book Title: The Midnight Sea (The Fourth Element) Author: Kat Ross Genre: Fantasy Release Date: May 10, 2016 Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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book blurb
They are the light against the darkness.

The steel against the necromancy of the Druj.

And they use demons to hunt demons….

Nazafareen lives only for revenge. A girl of the isolated Four-Legs Clan, all she knows about the King's elite Water Dogs is that they bind wicked creatures called daevas to protect the empire from the Undead. But when scouts arrive to recruit young people with the gift, she leaps at the chance to join their ranks. To hunt the monsters that killed her sister.

Scarred by grief, she's willing to pay any price, even if it requires linking with a daeva named Darius. Human in body, he's possessed of a terrifying power, one that Nazafareen controls. But the golden cuffs that join them have an unwanted side effect. Each experiences the other's emotions—and human and daeva start to grow dangerously close.

As they pursue a deadly foe across the arid waste of the Great Salt Plain to the glittering capital of Persepolae, unearthing the secrets of Darius's past along the way, Nazafareen is forced to question his slavery—and her own loyalty to the empire. But with an ancient evil stirring in the north, and a young conqueror sweeping in from the west, the fate of an entire civilization may be at stake…
On my seventeenth birthday, the magus summoned me to his study.

I sat down and waited while he shuffled through a stack of papers. Finally, he looked up.

"I've found you a daēva," he said.

I sat very still, hardly breathing.

"His name is Darius. He was raised by the magi in Karnopolis. By all accounts, obedient and devout. And powerful." The magus held my eyes. "Very powerful. The strongest in generations, if his keepers are to be believed. You were chosen because your gift is so great." He sighed. "And because I can't leave either of you unbonded much longer. You're nearing the time when your mind will become too rigid to accept him, Nazafareen. And so that is my present to you. Are you happy?"

"Yes, magus. Very happy." I was happy. I was also nervous

"Do you wish to meet him?"

My heart lurched. "He's here?"

"In the yard, waiting for us. Oh yes, and his curse is a withered left arm. I thought the fact that you are left-handed would be a nice complement."

I let out a long breath as we walked outside. Bonding my daēva meant I could hunt Druj. Go on patrol with Ilyas and the others. I'd been waiting for this moment for three years. And yet part of me still wanted to run in the other direction as fast as I could.

We came around the corner of the barracks and there he was. A boy still, although not for much longer. I took in the close-cropped brown hair and pale, serious face. His sky-blue tunic matched his eyes, which were not particularly warm. More along the lines of one of the glacial lakes I'd bathed in as a child.

I walked right up to him, refusing to be cowed. It seemed prudent to let him know who was in charge immediately.

"I'm Nazafareen," I said.

Darius nodded. His face was perfectly impassive, but did I see a spark in those eyes? Of fear? Contempt? It came and went too fast to tell.

I had no idea what to say next, so we just stood there in awkward silence for what felt like an eternity. Finally, the magus spoke.

"Come. Satrap Jaagos and the other Water Dogs are waiting."

The bonding ceremony took place in the audience chamber of the satrap. It was a cavernous room, with vaulted ceilings of gilded tile and three marble pillars. The walls were carved with bas-reliefs of horses, their arched necks and braided manes rendered in exquisite detail.

Jaagos sat on his throne, his Water Dogs arrayed to either side. Half of them wore tunics of sky blue, the other half of a deep, bloody red.

I'd seen Jaagos from afar a few times, but this was the closest I'd ever been to him. In the moment before I prostrated myself, I saw a chubby man dressed in a rich gown of silver thread. He was bald as an egg, with thick lips and sloping shoulders. A housecat among lions.

I pressed my forehead to the stone. To my right, Darius did the same.

I was keenly aware of the eyes of the Water Dogs on me. They were the ones I wanted to impress, especially Ilyas. I didn't give a fig about the satrap, except that I knew I didn't want to make him angry. His authority was absolute, the hand of the King in Tel Khalujah, and if he wanted me dead, he had only to make the slightest gesture and it would be done.

"Get on with it," Jaagos said after an appropriate amount of time had passed for the obeisance. The magus stepped forward. "You are Water Dogs, the holiest of all dogs," he said. "Without water there is no life, yet water has the power to destroy as well as to create. May your impurities be washed away." The magus slowly poured the contents of a silver bowl over our heads.

"May the Holy Father keep you and guide your actions," he intoned. "May the bond bestowed this day be true and pure. May you always serve the cause of light and shun the darkness."

He set the bowl aside and pulled on a pair of leather gloves. Then he took out a gold cuff, thick and worked with snarling lions. Had he touched it with his bare hands, he would have bonded Darius himself instantly.

The magus's face swam in my vision as he knelt before us. Darius had gone a deathly pale, but he looked at the cuff—the twin of one already encircling his right arm—without wavering. I resolved not to show him how afraid I was. Not to give him that victory.

"You will fight as one, live as one," the magus said. "You will carry out the will of the Holy Father, as directed by your King and satrap. Good words, good thoughts, good deeds. By the Prophet and the Holy Father are you bonded."

Then he snapped the cuff around my wrist and locked it with a tiny golden key. I may have cried out. I probably did. Because I wasn't alone anymore. Floodgates opened in my mind, releasing a torrent of alien emotions. Next to me, Darius drew a sharp breath as the same thing happened to him, although I barely heard it.

Panic surged through me, followed by an aching loss so deep it tore a hole in my heart. I didn't know if it was mine or his, or both feeding off the other. And I felt his power, a deep, churning pool of it, held tight in my fist.

"It is done," the magus said.

My knees trembled as I stood. Darius offered me his hand but I was afraid to touch him so Ilyas took charge of me, leading me from the audience chamber to the fire temple. We knelt there together. I tried to pray, but my teeth were chattering.

"It gets easier with time," Ilyas said in a soothing tone, as if he was talking to a small child. "You'll learn to tell the difference between your own feelings and his. To separate them. To hold onto yourself."

I nodded but I didn't believe him. I just wanted to tear the cuff from my wrist. To get Darius and his bottomless despair out of my head. But that was impossible. It was locked in place.

"Look into the flames," Ilyas said. "Imagine them burning your fear away. Scouring your mind clean of thought. Feed it all to the holy fire. You have the gift, Nazafareen. Now you must learn to control it, or it will destroy you."

I tried to do as he instructed. For a moment, I felt as though I'd broken the surface, that the torrent was easing a little, but then it came back stronger than ever.

I jumped to my feet and just made it to the courtyard before I threw up.

They let me go to my bed after that for the rest of the day. Everyone left me alone. They understood that I couldn't bear to be near even a single other person. I had enough of them in my head already.
meet the author
Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She lives in Westchester with her kid and a few sleepy cats. Kat is also the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day (Skyscape, 2014), about a world where the sea levels have risen sixty meters. She loves magic, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Preferably with mutants.
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Monday, February 15, 2016

YA Guy Says... Don't be a Taker!

In all walks of life, there are givers, and there are takers.

You know what I mean. There are people who are generous with their time and talents, and there are people who take advantage of that generosity.

In YA Guy's experience, it's no different with authors. There are some amazingly generous authors out there, people who are all too happy to help out their fellow authors in any way they reasonably can. And then there are those authors who take, take, take and give very little, if anything, in return.

So you have authors who happily read manuscripts, write blurbs, tweet about their fellows' books, attend launches, post reviews, and do everything they can--once again, within reason--for other members of their profession. And then you have authors who do . . . none of the above.

Note here that I'm talking about reasonable acts. We're all busy--some of us more so than others. We can't possibly write every blurb, read and review every book, tweet about every event we'd like to. For those authors who are on the bestseller lists, requests for their time, expertise, and brand far exceed what they can reasonably provide. For those of us who work full-time jobs while simultaneously maintaining a writing career, the requests are likely to be fewer but the time crunch every bit as great.

So no, I'm not saying that if you don't leap to fulfill every request, there's something wrong with you.

But I am saying there's something wrong with the author who NEVER reviews a peer's book, NEVER offers or agrees to read a manuscript-in-progress, NEVER celebrates in word or deed the accomplishments of others. Those are the authors who tweet incessantly and exclusively about their own books, who DM you to death about the books of theirs you should buy but never offer to provide anything for you, who would sooner fling themselves into a vat of crocodiles than read or review a fellow human being's words. There's something very wrong with those authors, and we as a community shouldn't tolerate them.

So YA Guy's here to say to you: don't be a taker. Be a giver. And be a giver for the right reasons--because it's the nice thing to do--and not for the wrong reasons--because you expect something in return. Chances are, if you're a sincere giver, you'll get the return anyway, so no worries there.

And when you meet a taker, pay them no heed. Spurn them. Have nothing to do with them. You might think, if you give enough, they'll come around. But they won't. It's not in their nature.

Seek out givers like yourself instead. They're a lot nicer to be around, and you'll feel a lot better about yourself when you share your giving nature with them.