Happy Release Day, @SydneyALogan! "The Little Drummer Boy" #Giveaway

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It's release day for Sydney Logan's latest holiday short story, "The Little Drummer Boy!"


 
It’s Christmas Eve, and Justin Banks is on the hunt for a last-minute gift for his wife, Megan. With the help of a homeless man and the beat of a drum, Justin stumbles upon the one thing Megan has always wanted. The one thing money can’t buy. It's amazing what we can hear if we just take a moment and really listen.
Rum pum pum pum.

It’s faint, but it’s there. A quiet, rhythmic beat that blends into the night. How this old man heard the sound is beyond me. “You hear it, don’t you?”


With a nod, I look around, hoping to find the source of the sound. The man points toward the coffee shop’s covered alleyway.


“Back there,” he says.


The carolers begin their rendition of “O Holy Night,” and once again, I hear the “rum pum pum pum” coming from the darkness.

Intrigued, I step away from the old man and walk slowly toward the alley. Each step brings me closer to the beat, until finally, I see a little boy, nestled in the corner. His only light comes from a lantern, and a snare drum rests in his lap. The drum is scarred and the strap is frayed, but it’s obviously his most prized possession.

Probably his only possession.


Does he live here? In this filthy alley? And where are his parents?  
His clothes are dirty and ragged, and the faded blue jacket he wears is about three sizes too big.

Shall I play for you? he whispers.






Sydney Logan holds a Master's degree in Elementary Education and lives in East Tennessee. With the 2012 release of her novel, Lessons Learned, she made the transition from bookworm to author. Her second book, Mountain Charm, was released in 2013. She is also the author of three short stories. When she isn't writing, Sydney enjoys playing piano and relaxing on her porch with her wonderful husband and their very spoiled cat.



 

I'm Dreaming of a Paperwhite Christmas #GIVEAWAY

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Authors T.M. Franklin and Sydney Logan love Christmas! To celebrate the season, they are giving away three awesome prize packs to get you in the holiday spirit!


*Grand Prize*
 Kindle Paperwhite (US only) OR a $100 Amazon Gift Card (Open Internationally). Prize includes 30+ classic Christmas stories that will be delivered to your Kindle.

*2nd Prize*
 (3) winners will be chosen to win a Kindle copy of "The Little Drummer Boy" by Sydney Logan. 

*3rd Prize*
 (3) winners will be chosen to win a Kindle copy of "Window" by T.M. Franklin.  

Good luck!



Cover Reveal ~ "To Be Loved" by Andrea Goodson

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It is finally time to share the cover for To Be Loved which will be available

December 26th, 2013 on Kindle!

ToBeLoved2

To Be Loved is a mature, YA novel intended for readers 16+. *Warning* Contains some strong language and realistic references relating to sexual situations, drug use, and alcohol consumption.


Avery Brooks is 16 years old and thinks she has everything she'll ever want. A nice house, a wealthy father, and a fast-paced social life complete with the best parties a girl could ask for. After her world changes when her father demands she go to live with her mother in the small town of Elkins, West Virginia, Avery finds that having it all might be something different than she originally thought.

She settles into life in Elkins fairly easily. Getting along well with her mother, making new friends, and setting her sights on the most desired boy in her new school, Graysen Bennett, seem like a pretty good plan to straighten herself out and get back at her father for making her come to the small town.

Avery quickly finds herself the center of Graysen's attention and things are working out just as she had planned, at least it seems that way. What else could she possibly need than To Be Loved?



Excerpt



Green. That’s all that laid before me, as far as the eye could see. Nothing but a long, rolling  landscape of trees that were so closely put together you could barely discern one individual trunk from a hundred, yet so individual in their own beauty you could hardly compare one to the other. It was one of the most crowded and mountainous landscapes I had ever laid my eyes on and, though I had been here before, I didn’t remember it looking this way. I suppose as a young child I had my thoughts set on other things. Excitement about seeing my mother, the adventure of being in a new place. I wouldn’t have noticed the change in my surroundings as much as I did now.

The silence deafened my ears and I shifted uncomfortably in my seat as the hum of the car’s engine continued to beckon the cozy lull of a much needed nap. But I knew I was due to arrive at my destination soon so sleep wasn’t exactly an option at this point. My father sat in the driver’s seat next to me, blankly staring at the road. Occasionally he would shoot an angry glare in my direction, yet he remained speechless. It had been this way for the past 9 hours, the longest 9 hours of my life.

My heart pounded with uncertainty and doubt. The anxiety I felt over what was happening was enough to keep anyone wide awake so I wasn’t sure exactly why I felt I could sleep anyway. I didn’t have a clue why my father chose to drive me here rather than flying. Affording a few plane tickets wouldn’t have been a stretch for him and definitely would have made the trip easier on us both. I sure would have appreciated a quick journey to my new home rather than the longest silent treatment I had ever endured. I had to figure that was probably the reason why, that he wanted it to be long, drawn out, and uncomfortable. Sort of a punishment for me and my shenanigans from the past weekend I suppose.

The interstate traffic was busy. No doubt because it was a Monday morning, just reaching the top of the hour at about 8:00am. But it seemed that even the busiest traffic atop the solitary mountain top we traveled upon wasn’t even a fraction of what the calmest part of the driving day was like back in Chicago.

We had been in the car all night with only two stops for bathroom breaks. He hadn’t even asked if I was hungry, most likely hoping I would die of starvation and put his mind at ease. He had made it abundantly clear that he was sick of ‘dealing with my crap’ and wasn’t going to do it anymore.


My weekend had been pretty wild, as most of my weekends were and this unexpected road trip that I now found myself venturing upon had been a result of, as my father had put it, ‘the last straw’. Once he had realized that I had, yet again, thrown another party at his house on Saturday night, he kind of snapped out. The normal argument ensued. Him stating how irresponsible and ungrateful I was while I defended myself and let him know exactly how much I resented him and his ridiculous rules. Though, in secret, I could understand his anger. After all, there were a few valuable items missing from the house and some drunken kid from school had broken one of my step-mother’s favorite antique vases. But I wasn’t about to let on in anyway that I felt guilty. Had he been aware of that detail he woulkd have run with it as far and fast as he could. No, I was the poor kid whose Dad was a real drag and I was sticking to it.
After all of the screaming eventually ended, he chucked my cell phone against living room wall, smashing it into a thousand pieces. Quite honestly, that upset me much more than his random lecturing. I was so pissed off that I went to my room, promising to never speak to him again but knowing it wasn’t true. I told myself that this situation would end as all of our arguments usually did. I would falsely promise to be good and follow the rules and he would pretend to believe me. He would eventually get me a new phone and all would be well again. Well, at least until the next time I got caught, which wasn’t very often. But, to my surprise, that wasn’t at all how it played out.

"Well done, Dad."


After about 3 hours of uneasy sleep, I was rudely awoken by his loud demand on Sunday morning to get up, pack my stuff, and be ready to leave by 8:00pm that night.
I don’t know why it bothered me so much that I was apparently no longer welcome to live in my father’s house. I really didn’t even want to be there anymore anyway. We hadn’t been getting along for months and although I always liked Deena, lately she had really taken on the appearance of the wicked stepmother in my eyes. It seemed she always had something to say about how I dressed, where I went, who my friends were, what my grades were. Blah, blah, blah. Deena’s favorite line was ‘I only want what’s best for you’, and she used it every chance she got. After being told countless times that I had to be respectful of my father or be careful of how I dressed because I didn’t want to attract the wrong people, her best intentions quickly became unwelcome. The wrong people? What was she even talking about? Deena had begun to seem more and more snobbish with each passing day and though I hadn’t said it, I was secretly glad to get away from her, no matter how good her intentions had been.


Dad on the other hand was another story. We used to get along pretty well until the past year or so. Then, we suddenly transitioned from about 16 years of laughter and sharing everything with each other to a relationship in which I desperately tried to avoid even being in the same room with him. He always made such a huge deal out of everything. Yes, everything. Even the smallest infraction, say a detention at school, had the ability to push him right over the edge. He would start going on and on about responsible behavior and the next thing I knew, we would be in a full blown fight with each other.
Was he never a kid himself? Did he never make any mistakes? What was the big deal anyway? My father always acted toward me as if I was throwing my life away or something. I was an honor student, I ran cross country, I did what was expected of me, usually at least. So what if I partied when I had the chance? Work hard, play hard, right? Isn’t that what kids do? So If I was doing everything I thought I had to, what was the big deal if I screwed around a bit on the weekends?  I really just didn’t get it. I understood he was peeved about me partying in the house. He went on and on about how he could lose his license to practice law and if I were to get in any legal trouble, that if we were caught by the police he could be charged with providing alcohol to minors because we were in his house. And he absolutely, under any circumstances, would not tarnish his stellar reputation just to bail me out. He had said countless times that he just wouldn’t be able to do that, as if anyone had ever even asked him to do such a thing. And my favorite, my absolute be all end all statement was "Avery, you’re 17 years old. You just don’t get it."

"No shit."

I guess he was right, I didn’t get it, I still don’t. I wasn’t a drop out, I wasn’t a drug addict, well, not as far as he knew anyway. I wasn’t pregnant, the closest I had even come to having sex was a quick rendezvous with Joe McCall in the bathroom at my friend Sarah’s house. That incident ended with him walking away from me, obviously disappointed that I wouldn’t give in to his desire and me laughing up his absolute awkwardness with Sarah on her back porch while smoking a joint.


Dad didn’t know about that. In fact, Dad didn’t know about most of the things I did. He had only ever caught me in about a quarter of my lies, so I really couldn’t understand why he seemed to think I was so bad.
He had said something to my mother yesterday when he called her. Apparaently he thought it decent to give her one day’s notice that I was moving to Elkins to live with her. His exact words were “Good luck, Melanie.”

When I had overheard him say that to her on the phone, that comment instantly set me on fire. As if this entire situation was my fault! Sure, I had a party, and an amazing one at that, and it was at his house while he and Deena were out. So what? A few things went missing which obviously wasn’t my fault. There was booze there but I hadn’t been drinking that night. I didn’t do anything wrong at all that night as a matter of fact. Not that I didn’t drink on other occasions. But in my own house? I would have been stupid to do something like that. It wasn’t as if I was aiming to get busted. A lot of my friends were drinking that night, but how was that my fault? If he wasn’t so uptight all the time about everything I did, maybe I wouldn’t have to try and sneak parties in when I could.

So when I heard that statement that he had said to my mom, I made a decision.


Call it anger, call it revenge, call it whatever you want, but I was immediately bound and determined to make sure that my Mom had all the good luck he had wished her. That same day, the day he told me I was moving to the small, rural town of Elkins, West Virginia, I decided that I wouldn’t cause any trouble for my mom. Not one bit. Not because I didn’t want to, because I think everyone knows, I like to party. But just to prove him wrong. Just to make him feel as stupid as I did for having to leave my house in Chicago. I would show him that perhaps he was the problem, not me. That his rules and anger were just as damaging as my so-called irresponsible behavior. And not once did I ever concern myself with whether or not that was the actual truth.
Truth can be a funny thing. Though my existence on this planet has been short, a mere 16 years, I’ve noticed that humans are capable of making the truth what they want it to be. Like, there is no definite…anything. Dad always said the truth was black and white. Something was either 100% true or 100% false. Though I do believe that and I see where he’s coming from, I’ve found that bending the truth is quite easy. I could tell my mom the truth, but say it in a way that made me appear practically blameless. And she’d believe me. I didn’t consider that lying. I would tell her exactly what happened, just as my father had. But once she heard it from me, once she saw the look on my face that I could so easily summon, she’d be on my side in a heartbeat. Why? Because she would want to believe it. She’d want to believe that Dad failed at his job and that she could do it better.


My mom is a good woman. She’s not manipulative or selfish, but she’s a mom. And every mom wants to be needed. Every mom wants to think that no one can do her job better than she can. That’s how my mom must feel. That’s how all of my friend’s moms were and once I arrived and explained the situation to her, I was sure I would gain her sympathy. Then Dad can deal with that. That would show him just how effective this creative punishment of his was.
As far as I was concerned I hadn’t done anything wrong at all. Dad was wrong. Dad and Deena. And they would soon see that, I was going to make sure of it.

Look for it on Kindle December 26, 2013!

Giveaway

giveawaypic

Enter for your chance to win a $10.00 Amazon Gift card and a signed paperback of To Be Loved!

Click here to enter

To find out more about Andrea Goodson's books you can visit her website, Twitter, or Facebook for exciting news, giveaways, and contests!



@LisaBilbrey celebrates The Journey Collection with a MEGA #GIVEAWAY

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The Journey Collection Mega Giveaway!!

What a better way to celebrate a release than a MEGA GIVAWAY!
In honor of the release of Author Lisa Bilbrey’s The Journey Collection, she’s hosting a huge giveaway. There are over THIRTY prizes and Dozens of ways to enter for your chance to win ebooks and prizes from authors such as R. E. Hargrave, M.B. Feeney, Sydney Logan, Harper Bentley, B.L. Wilde, Lorenz Font, Jude Ouvrard, Michele Richard, S.A. Jones, K.I. Lynn, Elizabeth M. Lawrence, Melissa Stevens, CS Patra, Jennifer Garcia, M.C. Rayne, Lindsey Gray, N Wood, Forbes Arnone, Michelle Muckley, Jennifer Theriot, Alison Bruning, and Lisa Bilbrey.

The Journey Collection Summary:
The Journey Home

The Sharks’ star quarterback, Travis McCoy has it all, until an injury ends his season early. When he receives an invitation to attend the big homecoming game from his alma mater, Travis decides it’s time to face his past. The journey home sends Travis down a path that he never expects. Will he be able to come to grips when everything around him is spiraling out of control?

The Journey of Champions

Travis McCoy thought the journey home would be the hardest choice he ever had to make. It isn’t until he finds himself walking out the door and leaving his family behind that he realizes his journey is only just beginning. Now, with only a handful of weeks until Christmas, Travis tries to find his way back home. This time, he plans on staying forever.

The Journey to Forever

Finally back in the warm embrace of his family, Travis McCoy relishes every moment he gets to spend with his wife and son. After almost losing them due to his own selfishness, he makes the decision to never let go of his family again. With his plan set in motion, Travis, Penelope, and Max start a new journey, one that leads them to forever.

The Journey to a New Life

Travis McCoy’s journey has led him down a road of changes where he found the love of his life and their child. Travis, Penelope, and Max have struggled during their time apart, found their way back home, and finally tied their lives together as a family. Now, Penelope and Travis find themselves on a new journey, one that leads them to the greatest gift of all.


Author Biography:

Obsessive, compulsive, slightly crazed, but enough about her personality. First and foremost, Lisa Bilbrey is a mom to three and a wife to one. She loves to write, and spends the majority of everyday writing. It's who she is, and what she's meant to be doing. Words are her life, the air she breathes, and the nutrients of her soul.

Finding a love in the written word, Lisa Bilbrey started writing as a way to express herself and let her voice be heard. From the first word she wrote, she'd found her heart and soul. Always willing to learn, she's spends much of her time trying to improve as a storyteller.




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Feeding My Kindle ~ November 25th, 2013

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I was super busy last week. I released my novella, Not the Same Season, on November 19th. On the 20th, we had the cover reveal for the anthology, Melting the Snow, which includes my story, Holiday Cure for the Cursed, and Michele Richard's Frozen Moments. Click on all the covers below to add them on Goodreads.

Not the Same SeasonMelting the Snow


Now on with the books!


Feather Light Dropping in December 5th for a review on an author promo tour is this gem. Parker is a massage therapist with an acute sense of touch possibly due to the loss of his sight. Kelly is the Hollywood actress who needs peace at any price. Just one touch has them drawn to each other in more ways than one.
Love Gone Mad

Heart surgeon Adrian is drifting through life after his divorce. A strange encounter with a strange man in a bar then the bar being pelted with bullets puts him on edge. He meets nurse Megan in the hospital cafeteria the next day and is instantly smitten. Megan is wary with an young daughter and an abusive ex to worry about.

The Holiday Bride (Holiday Brides #2)


The second story in the series centers around Lucy, a waitress with a work-a-holic fiance, Mitch. One a cold Christmas Eve, Lucy agrees to deliver some packages so Mitch can be home for Christmas. On her way, she falls and hits her head. She wakes up the next morning on William's couch, yet William didn't put her there and she can't remember who she is. William's daughter believes Lucy is the mother she had asked Santa for and is instantly attached to her. William can't deny the attraction, but hasn't attempted a relationship since his wife's death three years earlier.



Unexpected Gifts (Castle Mountain Lodge, #1) Andi runs away for the holiday to a remote lodge in the Canadian Rockies. A mix-up has her sharing the lodge with sexy Colin. Colin is determined to enjoy the holiday Andi is escaping from. He attempts to get her heart to the spirit of the season and maybe even love.




The Bride Wore Blue (The Brides of Bath #1)Thomas never forgot the woman who saved his life. When he finds Felicity six years later a widow with her family suffering financially, he is determined to win her affections and help any way he can. He approaches Felicity, but she doesn't remember him. He asks her to help launch his younger sister into society since they are new money and have no titles. Thomas sets out to make the young widow bloom and bring peace to their families together.


A Family Affair Christine is heartbroken when her father dies in a car accident. After the reading of his will, she learns he has left a third of his estate to a woman she has never heard of. She travels to her father's monthly retreat in the Catskills and finds her father's mistress and her son. Neither are the woman mentioned in her father's will. She soon finds her half sister is her father's other heir. For four days a month, her father lived another life away from their Chicago home. To deal with the fallout, she forms a relationship with her father's other family and the town he loved.


Take a Breath (Take, #1)Ann has dealt with men floating through her mother's life since she was a child. Now at 22, she has her criminal justice degree and a new job. Problem is that she will be working for her mother's husband, Jake, whom she has harbored a secret crush on. When her mother takes off and leaves Jake and his sixteen-year-old son, Ann and Jake can't deny their chemistry anymore. But there is a serial killer on the loose and he seems to have an obsession with Ann. Jake does his best to protect her, but will it be enough?


A little bit of everything these last two weeks. I've recently read Because this is Forever by Lena Hart, Plus One by Brighton Walsh, Kissing the Maid of Honor and Her Accidental Boyfriend by Robin Bielman, Betting on You by Jessie Evans, The Holiday Bride by Ginny Baird, Love Gone Mad by Mark Rubinstein, A Family Affair by Mary Campisi, and Christmas Kismet by Jemma Grey.

Happy Holidays to all my friends in the states. Enjoy the turkey. I know I will!


Sneak Peek Sunday ~ "The Little Drummer Boy" by @SydneyALogan

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Today's Sunday Sneak Peek is from Sydney Logan. She's back with another holiday short story that is sure to put you in the holiday spirit. Be sure to enter her giveaway for an Amazon gift card and a handcrafted Christmas bracelet!  


Coming November 29 Exclusively on Amazon Kindle


It’s Christmas Eve, and Justin Banks is on the hunt for a last-minute gift for his wife, Megan. With the help of a homeless man and the beat of a drum, Justin stumbles upon the one thing Megan has always wanted. The one thing money can’t buy. It's amazing what we can hear if we just take a moment and really listen.

 

There’s something really beautiful about my wife, and it is a quality that a lot of people never have the chance to witness. There is a certain look in her eyes and a particular expression on her face that lets you know she's made a decision, and you’re an idiot if you even try to stand in her way. I have seen her work her magic on stubborn clients, deadbeat dads, and arrogant attorneys.  

This kid doesn't stand a chance.   

Megan drops to her knees in front of the little boy, right there on the dirty ground. “Luke, I just made some homemade chili. Do you like chili?”   

He nods quickly.   

“I also made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Justin loves them, and I always make a bunch extra. Do you like peanut butter and jelly?”   

Luke licks his lips, and my heart breaks.   

“Why don't you come home with us? You can help Justin eat his sandwiches, and later, we'll try to find your parents.”  

I can see the indecision on his little face. He doesn’t want to say no. That’s another incredible thing about my wife. Telling her no is virtually impossible.   

“My mom told me to stay here.”  

“But it's so cold, Luke,” Megan murmurs, her voice breaking with emotion.  

“I'll be okay.”

Megan lowers her head, and for just a second, I worry that even my amazing wife has met her match. But then I hear her quiet sniffles, and Luke's face falls when he realizes she’s crying.   

He steps closer to her. “Why are you crying, Megan?”   

She lifts her head and gazes into the little boy's eyes. “Because I'm going to worry about you tonight. I'm afraid you'll be hungry and cold.”  

  I hold my breath as he reaches for her, pressing his dirty little hand against her face. Megan doesn’t even flinch.   

“I'll go home with you, Megan. Please don't cry.” Luke then looks up at me. “Can I bring my drum?”   

“Of course you can.”   

Megan sighs with relief and rises to her feet.  With a smile as bright as the stars, the little boy takes my wife's hand. She takes mine, and the three of us walk out of the cold alleyway.

      
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18753137-the-little-drummer-boy

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18753137-the-little-drummer-boy

Available November 29 
Exclusively on Amazon Kindle 







Sydney Logan holds a Master's degree in Elementary Education and lives in East Tennessee. With the 2012 release of her novel, Lessons Learned, she made the transition from bookworm to author. Her second book, Mountain Charm, was released in 2013. She is also the author of three short stories. When she isn't writing, Sydney enjoys playing piano and relaxing on her porch with her wonderful husband and their very spoiled cat. Visit her website at www.sydneylogan.com.