Book Blitz & GIVEAWAY — Nomad by J.L. Bryan

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Today’s Book Blitz features Nomad by J.L. Bryan.  Nomad is a new adult time travel/dystopian novel. (How cool is that!?)  The book will be released on July 26, 2013.  I’m reading this one now, so watch out for my review soon!

About the Book

NomadBlitzBannerA new dystopian novel from the author of Jenny Pox – coming July 26.

They took everything: her family, her home, her childhood.

By the age of nineteen, Raven has spent most of her life in the sprawling slums of America, fighting as a rebel against the dictatorship. When the rebellion steals an experimental time-travel device, she travels back five decades to the year 2013. Her plan: assassinate the future dictator when he is still young and vulnerable, long before he comes to power. She must move fast to reshape history, because agents from her own time are on her trail, ready to execute her on sight.

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Excerpt

NomadHer hands were red with blood, but the cold rain washed it away.  Whose blood?  She couldn’t remember.

She became aware of pain throughout her body.  Freezing water and tiny hailstones lashed her face as she stumbled through a storm.  Dying thunder echoed in her ears, and crackles of lightning faded in the night around her.

A pair of lights rushed toward her through the darkness, but her brain couldn’t interpret what her eyes saw.  A long screech ripped through her ears, followed by shrill bleats.

Car horns, she realized as the lights loomed closer.  Through her thick, fuzzy brain, it dawned on her that she was staggering along a multi-lane road, seconds away from getting splattered across the oncoming grill of an eighteen-wheeled truck.

She discerned a dark space off to her left and moved into it, stepping from hard pavement into squishy wet earth.  The truck that had nearly killed her squealed past as the driver braked, dousing her with a wave of cold mud.  Horns blew at the stopped truck blocking up the left lane.

She rubbed her eyes and tried to grasp her surroundings—a grass median dividing an interstate highway, up to her ankles in frigid mud.

She couldn’t remember where she was, or how she’d come to be there.  After a moment’s reflection, she realized she wasn’t entirely sure who she was, either.

Raven, she remembered.  She clung to that word like a lifeline. My name is Raven.  It is now, anyway.  She’d once had a different name, but that original, scribbled-on-the-birth-certificate name no longer mattered.

She wore black boots and a long black jacket.  A backpack weighed down her shoulders, but she didn’t know what it contained.  She trudged on weak, trembling legs toward an overpass bridge ahead.  Once she was out of the downpour, she could gather her brains and figure things out.  She didn’t seem to be bleeding, so the blood on her hands must not have been her own.

“Hey!  Hey there, girl!  You all right?” shouted the truck driver who had almost flattened her.  More cars honked and swerved to avoid crashing into the back of his trailer, which was decorated with puffy pink sheep.

Raven squinted up at him.  The man was in his forties, severely overweight, with a handlebar mustache and scratchy, graying beard stubble.  His blue and white cap read: MoonPie: The Original Marshmallow Sandwich!

“I’m fine!” she shouted through the downpour. “Keep going!”

“You got a car?” he asked.

“No,” she told him. “I don’t think so.”

“Where you headed?”

“I don’t know.”

“The troopers gonna lock you up if they see you!  You drunk or what?”

“I don’t think so.” She raised a hand to her mouth to check her breath.  Not drunk.

The trucker eyed her up and down, a soaking wet girl stumbling along the interstate alone at night, and then he swung open the passenger door.

“Best climb on up in here with me,” he said. “Gonna freeze your pants off out there.”

Raven looked at the gruff, obese man and the warm, sheltered transport he was offering, and then at the overpass bridge in the distance.  Her legs were rubbery.  She might not make it to the overpass before she collapsed.

“Lady, I got to get moving,” he said. “You want a ride to the exit or what?”

“Yeah,” Raven said.  She had no reason to trust him, but he seemed soft-bodied and slow.  If he tried to get rough, she would break his wrists.   Even in her current state, she knew she could take him if he pushed her to it.

Raven stumbled around to the passenger side and struggled to climb with her weakened limbs until he took her arms and pulled her up.

“Thanks,” she whispered, still shivering.  She was almost too weak to pull the door closed.

“Just glad you ain’t tore in half.” He settled back into the driver’s seat, and it groaned under his weight. “You musta been one, two, three, four inches from me.  Or less.  Just popped up outta nowhere when that lightning hit.” He drove cautiously through the storm. “Didn’t seem like no normal lightning, you ask me.  What was you doing out there?   That big flash hit the road, then you come stumbling out….Did the lightning get you?”

“I don’t know,” she said.  The interior of the cab smelled like cigarette smoke and old hamburgers.  A collage of small objects was glued to the dashboard—action figures, an old watch face, postcards, salt and pepper shakers.  Hail clattered on the cab’s roof.

“You don’t know?” he asked.

“Sorry.” Raven shrugged off her backpack and set it on the floor between her wet boots.  She wanted to see what was inside it, but not while he was watching.

“It’s Jebbie, by the way.” He offered his calloused hand, and she hesitated a moment before taking it. “Jebbie Walters.  From Yazoo City, Mississippi.  You got a name, darling?”

“Angela.  That’s my name,” Raven said.  She knew not to trust a stranger with data about herself.  He might be the enemy, and she felt informants and spies were everywhere, looking to report those who resisted.

“Huh.  Where you from, Angela?”

She tried to remember, but finally shrugged.

“You ain’t gotta tell me,” he said. “You going north?  Cause that’s where I’m going, way up north of here.  You might want to hop out quick if that ain’t your plan.”

“I’m not sure.”

“You ain’t sure about much of nothing, are you?”

“Not right now,” Raven said.

“I guess I ought to drop you up at the exit.”

“You can.” Raven shrugged. “I think I’m lost.”

He looked her over again. “Tell you what.  About three, four, five miles from here’s a good spot, the Big Porcupine Travel Plaza.  Got showers, motel rooms, an all-night-you-can-eat place.  We could stop there, get you a place to sleep.  Maybe in the morning you’ll start to remembering things.  I figure you just need to sleep it off.  You’re on drugs or something, ain’t you?”

“Maybe,” Raven said.

He laughed. “It’s okay by me.  I don’t do drugs, myself.  Just pills and booze.  Well, you think about what you want to do.”

He turned up the radio, where a woman sang a slow, gentle song that Raven gradually recognized.  Someone—her mother?—had once played it on the piano.  It was an old song called “The Rose.”

“Uh, sorry.” Jebbie blushed pink and spun the radio knob. “I, uh, usually find a good honky-tonk or country gold station.  Don’t know how my radio ended up on that soft-rock junk, or whatever that was.  Yeah, here we go.” He found a song with a steel guitar and a man singing about his wife leaving him for his boss.

Raven looked at herself in the rain-streaked side mirror.  She was about twenty years old, maybe nineteen.  That felt right.  Her black hair was pulled into a short ponytail with a rubber band.  She wore all black: boots, fatigues, blouse, backpack, jacket.  The knee-length jacket was made of a stretchy artificial material with a texture like a crocodile’s back.  She felt a web of metallic fibers between the layers of leathery fabric. That’s armor, she realized, and she wondered why she might need armor.  Her only jewelry was on her left wrist, a thin silver bracelet with a large moonstone.

She tried to reach back in time with her mind.  She’d been stumbling along the highway.  The moment before that: what?  It was a solid blank slate, as though a giant magnet had wiped her brain clean.  Perhaps the trucker was right, and she’d been struck by lightning.

Raven, she reminded herself. I know my name.

Guest Post

What Not to Wear When Traveling Through Time
by J.L. Bryan

When the conversation turns to time travel, as it so often does, you’ll hear a lot of blather about the risks and dangers.  Everyone talks about the risk of universe-destroying paradoxes, but little attention is giving to the risk of universe-destroying fashion decisions.

Don’t fear!  We’ve put together this handy guide to what to wear (and not wear!) on your next time-travel escapade.

DON’T wear high heels.  If you’re traveling into the past, you may have to escape Nazis or rabid cavemen.  In the future, watch out for killer cyborgs and radioactive mutants!  Whatever your destination, be prepared to run for your life.  We recommend comfortable, well-worn running shoes, with combat boots as a useful second option.  If you’re attending a formal event in another century, simply pack those high heels in your carry-on luggage.  If you must have high heels, pick the stilettos, as they can double as a handy weapon.

DON’T dress in a silver bodysuit with a clear bubble helmet, especially with antennae on top.  People will mistake you for a 1950s-era space alien rather than a time traveler, leading to a variety of potential problems: quarantine, imprisonment, military attack, being a guest on The Today Show, and other horrific outcomes.  Dress in a low-key fashion, and save the aluminum-foil outfit for another occasion…or, actually, just throw it away.  That silver bodysuit doesn’t go well with your hair.

DON’T wear ankle-length dresses, tight corsets, or other binding clothes.  Again, you may need to fight or flee for survival, so jeans or slacks might be your best bet.  Short skirts are both alluring and provide ample kicking radius, in case you need to kick in a face or two.

DON’T clash with the time and place you’re visiting.  Skinny jeans, for instance, are huge no-no in the Puritan era.  That cute cami top may be both comfortable and casually sexy, but if you wear it in Victorian England, you’ll stick out like a sore thumb from another century…a thumb full of licentiousness and sin.

Learn before you get burned!  Always study the correct attire and customs of your destination before you travel in time.  For help, contact your local vintage thrift shop and/or Halloween store.  Remember: the right look at the right time is the right way to go.  And you can quote us on that.

If you have additional fashion tips for time travelers, please share in the comments below!

About the Author

JLJ.L. Bryan studied English literature at the University of Georgia and at Oxford, with a focus on English Renaissance and Romantic literature. He also studied screenwriting at UCLA. He lives in the metro Atlanta sprawl with his wife Christina, where he spends most of his day servings the toddler and animal community inside his house. He is the author of the Paranormals series and the Songs of Magic series.

His novel Jenny Pox is currently free on KindleSmashwordsAppleSonyKobo, and Nook!

Connect with J.L.

Inside the Author’s Head

First, tell us about yourself—where you live, your family, and those sorts of details.

I live in Georgia, where it’s rainy and warm and little green plants grow on top of everything.  I’ve even found them growing on my car.  I live with my wife, our ridiculously active two-year-old son, a Boston terrier, another dog that looks sort of like a kangaroo crossed with a dingo, and two cats that aren’t any specific breed, either.  I am not very good at keeping up my lawn.  I’d rather be reading a book.

How long have you been writing?

My elementary school had a “publishing company” where volunteer moms would bind up your poetry or stories into little books with colorful cardboard covers.  I started writing stories then, in first or second grade.  I wrote my first novel when I was twelve—it was called Dogboy and concerned a boy who dressed in a dog costume and mistakenly believed he was a superhero.  I continued writing books (very bad, amateur books) for years and studied English literature and screenwriting in college.  I published Jenny Pox in July 2010 and became a full-time novelist in November 2011.

Do you have a favorite place to write?

I know it’s strange, but I like to write at my desktop computer in my office.  They haven’t yet invented a portable computer on which I enjoy writing; I think it has something to do with the keyboard.  I like the keys to clack.  When I’m editing, I like to print out a copy and take it somewhere else, like a coffee shop or a not-very-crowded bar.  Being in a different environment helps me focus on reading the book, since I don’t have the whirlwind of distractions that I do at home (I mentioned the toddler, right?).

You’ve written the Jenny Pox books, which are sort of horror/paranormal, and the Songs of Magic series, which are silly stories about fairies.  Your newest book, Nomad, is a “time-travel dystopian.” Why don’t you settle down and pick a genre?

I should, but I get distracted by shiny new ideas all the time.  I don’t like to confine myself to just one kind of story.  I think that if I keep exploring the story ideas that excite me, regardless of whether they fit what I’ve done before or whether they’re even marketable, I’m more likely to write something unique for readers to enjoy.

Why did you decide to write Nomad?

At first, I was testing out a certain unusual idea about time travel and what could happen if you create a paradox.  As I began writing the story, I grew very interested in the main character.  She grew up in a destroyed, war-torn future America, and I was interested in how such a hard childhood among rubble and ruins had shaped her.  She had to scavenge to survive.  When she travels back to 2013, she’s shocked at how plentiful and cheap everything is.  She’s driven by her mission, but under all her scars, she has a strong heart.  She’s intelligent.  She’s a battle-hardened fighter.  I really enjoyed writing that character.

What’s next for you?

I’m looking at a couple of horror/supernatural story ideas.  My next book will be something darker, like Jenny Pox or Nomad, and then eventually I’ll write more of my fairy series.  I don’t keep a very strict plan, I just write whichever story seems ready at the time.

Thanks so much for having me on your blog for the Book Blitz celebrating the release of Nomad!

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Now comes the fun part!  Today’s giveaway is an individual e-book copy of Nomad, thanks to the author exclusive to my blog.  Please be sure to complete each item on the list BEFORE you click it, as they will be checked prior to giving out the prizes.  Good luck!

Click HERE to win a copy of Nomad(ebook)
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My contest will run July 22 through August 4 (12 a.m. Eastern Time).  There is no purchase necessary and the contest is void where prohibited.  Open to & US/Int!  A big thanks to J.L. Bryan and Xpresso Book Tours for this gift!  

This promotional post is affiliated with Xpresso Book Tours

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Book Blitz & GIVEAWAY — Visted by Janine Caldwell

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Visited by Janine Caldwell 
Publication date: May 25th 2013
Genre: YA coming-of-age fantasy

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Joanna Murphy has lost faith in her life. Vying for her mom’s attention, she’s resentful of her stepdad’s intrusion to their family. Her best friend, Tommy, has no clue she’s in love with him as he dates girl after girl without noticing how it tortures her. The final kicker, though, is God’s sick joke to make her freakishly tall when everyone knows boys prefer petite girls.

Then in a bizarre accident Joanna meets James, a breathtaking teen who appears to her after an unusual falling star sighting. Suddenly, her dream for an alien encounter becomes all too real. But when she finds her life has been made unrecognizable, she’s forced into an explosive study of the original design for her life that just may have her regretting every wish she ever made.

Buy Visted on Amazon
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About the Author

Jan 08-Mars08 023 (1)Janine Caldwell was born in Concord, CA and raised in the small San Francisco Bay Area town of Clayton. Four days after her high school graduation, Janine attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and graduated with a degree in English.

Janine now lives in Anthem, AZ with her husband and two sons. As a lifelong literature fanatic, she knew it was only a matter of time before she would become obsessed with writing her own work. With relatives like the Brothers Grimm and Anita Loos (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), she figured fantasy writing had to be in her DNA.

Books published by Janine include Visited, a YA coming-of-age fantasy, Rematch and Double Fault—the first two books of The Vortex Series. The final book in this YA fantasy romance, Deuce, will be released fall 2013.

Connect with Janine

Inside the Author’s Head

Are your characters based on anyone you know?

There are elements of friends of mine, famous musicians (Brandon Boyd and Dave Grohl for example), students I’ve known over the years in my time as a youth group leader, and a little of myself in all the characters. In the end, though, each character becomes their own person by the time I’m done writing the story.

Do you have a favorite place you love to write?

I’m the most productive in my office at home, butt in chair, and complete quiet in the house.

Do you have any suggestions to help aspiring writers better themselves and their craft? If so, what are they?

My best advice is to continue reading as much as possible, and not just the genre they write in, but in all genres. Don’t let too long a stretch of time unfold without doing some sort of writing while you’re plotting your masterpiece in your head.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I have to admit, I just don’t remember. Is that terrible? Besides being a track star, I really had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Glad to have finally figured it out. Remember, late bloomer here.

What are your favorite books and which authors inspire you?

Oh, so many to list! J.K. Rowling is a goddess. Her genius still gets to me. What she and Stephenie Meyer accomplished is absolutely stunning. Both their series will forever remain in my top favorites. Other YA books I love are The Hunger Games series (of course!), Divergent series, Matched series, Uglies series, Under the Never Sky series, The Selection series, and The Giver series. Classically speaking I have to go with J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher In The Rye, Charlette Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, Charles Dickens’s The Tale of Two Cities, and Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.

Excerpt

I gape up at him, the fear beginning to course through my veins. “Who are you?”

“A friend.” He answers in an even enough tone, but at the same time, his face begins to glow the color of amber, making him look warm and unusually vibrant. I’ve never known any being able to radiate such a glow. Any being from Earth, that is.

“A friend?” I manage to whisper back before swallowing a gulp. “Are-are you human?” I’m half kidding, but after years of watching realistic science fiction movies and reading a library of fantasy novels, I think I mean the question more than I want to admit. However, he doesn’t answer me. He averts his eyes, blinking rapidly like he’s unsure of the situation.

Again, I’m at a loss of what to think. I thought I asked a pretty straightforward question and he can’t even answer that. By his omission, I have to assume he’s trying to tell me he isn’t human!

Is this really happening? And, more importantly, if he’s not human, then what is he?

My brain pores through a dozen images at once, my chest heaving from the excitement. I flash to movies, T.V. shows, graphic novels, and to my own imagination as I consider what life form James could be. While I try to convince myself I’m jumping to conclusions, that of course this is all a misunderstanding or perhaps an elaborate hoax, something else itches in the back of my mind. That something whispers: Haven’t you always considered the existence of other worlds? Discussed the possibility a hundred times with Tommy?

The answer to both questions is an emphatic yes. I decide right then, despite all reason, I know what James is.

“I think I know what you are,” I remark feebly.

He turns to me with a spark of expectation in his eyes, still glowing, still warm.

“You came to Earth with that star last night, didn’t you?”

Blood rushes to his cheeks, giving him an even brighter supernatural glow, and then I know I have my answer.

“That’s it, isn’t it?” I sit upright, gripping the sheet into my fists. “You’re from another planet. That’s how you have the power to heal.”

He pales for a second, but amazingly, he doesn’t deny it. He flickers his lashes upward like he’s searching the ceiling for his reply. After a moment, he shakes his head of soft curls that brush his neck before redirecting his intense expression back on me. He licks his lips and smiles pensively, but I feel the same need as before to shy away; whether it’s from shock or from a loss of focus I don’t know, but holding his gaze is next to impossible.

My mind is all aflutter trying to come to grips with what I’m being confronted to believe.

“Incredible. I was right all along,” I murmur, commenting to myself. “Aliens do exist.”

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Now comes the fun part!  Today’s giveaway is for a copy of Visted, thanks to the author and Xpresso Book Tours.  Please be sure to complete each item on the list BEFORE you click it, as they will be checked prior to giving out the prizes.  Good luck!

Click HERE to win
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This contest will be open June 22 through July 8 (12 a.m. eastern time).  There is no purchase necessary and the contest is void where prohibited.  Open to & US/Int!  

This promotional post is affiliated with Xpresso Book Tours

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