Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy New Year 2013 Giveaway Hop

Announcing the
Happy New Year 2013
Giveaway Hop

Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Babs Book Bistro

January 1st - 7th 2013
To kick start 2013 I am going to be giving away a $10.00 Amazon gift card. Good luck! and Happy New Years!
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Kate & Henry’s Sleigh Ride

Kate & Henry’s Sleigh Ride

Characters from Heart on a Chain by Cindy C Bennett

“Where are we going, Henry?” Kate bounces up and down in excitement in the passenger seat. I grin at her, threading my fingers through hers and bringing her hand up to my mouth for a kiss.

“It’s a surprise,” I say. “You’ll just have to wait.”

“I hate surprises,” she says, her shining eyes and wide smile belying her words.

When we get close, I pull over. She glances out the window at the snow covered trees in confusion. “Where are we?”

“Not there yet,” I say, leaning over to kiss her. Her enthusiastic response has me wanting to laugh aloud.

Man, I love this girl. I reluctantly pull back and hold up a scarf. “This is a total surprise. You get to wear this so you can’t see until I say.”

“Okay,” she agrees.

Anyone who doesn’t know Kate, with her history of abuse at the hands of her mother and severe bullying at the hands of her previous classmates, wouldn’t think anything of her easy capitulation. However, I know the story too well and understand how momentous it is for her to trust me so implicitly. I almost decide not to blindfold her based on that alone. She makes the decision for me by taking the scarf and tying it around her eyes.

“Let’s go then,” she commands happily. I laugh and comply.

When we arrive, I lead her from the car across the snow packed ground, holding her tightly to keep her from slipping. Well, that and just for the purpose of holding her tightly. We stop and I say, “Ready?”

She nods and I remove the scarf, standing in front of her to watch her reaction. Her eyes take in the scene in front of her and widen. She turns her gaze to me, questioning.

“You did this for me?”

“I did,” I say proudly. I hoped she’d like it. I should have known that, as usual, I underestimated how much she loved every new experience that she’d previously been deprived of.

“Henry, it’s a sleigh,” she says in awe. “A real, live sleigh . . . with real, live horses. And bells!” She walks up to the horse, reaching out to jingle the bells and nuzzle the nearest horse.

“Wanna go for a ride?” I ask.

She turns to me, pressing against me, wrapping her arms tightly around my waist. “Thank you, Henry. I love you.”

Deciding that deserves a kiss, I oblige her.

We climb into the sleigh, tucking a heavy blanket around us. As the sleigh begins to move, Kate laughs happily. Even the snow kicked up by the horse doesn’t dim her joy. I wrap an arm around her and hold her close, wanting to keep her warm. My thoughts flash back to the time I found her outside my house, bloodied and broken, and nearly frozen in the red stained snow. I push the thought away. I won’t let anything like that happen to her again. I’ll always keep her safe and warm.

We ride in the sleigh for half an hour before our designated stop. My nerves kick in. I didn’t think I’d be nervous when the time came, but I am. Almost as nervous as the first time I kissed Kate when we were twelve. Or when I took her on our first date to the football game—I’d had to talk hard to convince her to go with me. Or when I went to the college she attended to beg her to take me back.

“We’re stopping here?” she asks.

“Just for a little while,” I say, climbing out of the sleigh and helping her down.

I lead her up the incline which is steep and slippery. We laugh as we make slow progress from our continual slips down the icy hill. As we near the top, the light becomes obvious.

“What is this?” she asks, hearing the music.

We step through the copse of trees into the opening. Kate gasps at the sight of the trees all wrapped in twinkling, colorful lights. The music plays from a battery powered stereo. In the center of the clearing a fire burns, warming the area. A small table holds the makings of hot cocoa and Kate’s favorite, s’mores.

“Henry, this is too much. How in the world did you arrange everything?”

“I had help.” My family loves Kate almost as much as I do. It wasn’t hard to convince them to help me.

We sit next to the fire, roasting marshmallows and sipping our cocoa.

“Remember Christmas two years ago when we were in Florida?” she asks. How could I forget? That was the year Kate first told me she loved me. It was also the year she was nearly killed by her own mother.

“Of course I do,” I say, pushing the bad memories away and holding onto the good. “Your first time seeing the ocean.”

“I’ll never forget that Christmas as long as I live, Henry. You showed me what a family is supposed to be. You taught me that I was loveable. When you told me you had a surprise for me tonight, I didn’t think you could top that. But this . . . this is pretty amazing.”

“Have I topped two years ago?”

She smiles at me. “Close.”

“Give me a minute, and maybe I’ll change your mind.”

Her eyebrows lift in question. I swallow nervously. Now is the time. I set down my cocoa, and take hers from her hand, setting it next to mine. Then I move to kneel in front of her.

“Henry?” she asks quietly.

“Kate, I love you. I’ve loved you most of my life. I don’t deserve you, I know that. But I’m going to try to keep you anyway, for the rest of my life.” I repeat the very thing I was thinking in the sleigh. “I promise I’ll always keep you safe and warm.” I pull the little square box from my pocket, and Kate squeaks, covering her mouth with her hand. I open the box and hold it up to her. “Would you consider marrying me? Spending the next several years living like paupers while I become a doctor, and listening to my sappy declarations of love every day?”

Tears spill down her cheeks, glistening like diamonds in the firelight. The song changes and plays, Baby, It’s Cold Outside. I grin at Kate and she laughs, dropping her hand from her mouth.

“Yes, Henry, I’ll marry you.” She laughs again. “I can’t believe you’re asking me. I never thought I’d be lucky enough to have someone like you in my life. I love you so much.”

She throws her arms around my neck and I pull her close, pressing my mouth to hers as we kneel together on the snow. I don’t notice the cold. Kissing Kate is unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced in my life.

She manages to pour every ounce of love and passion she has into even the simplest of kisses.

When I pull back, I take the ring from the box and slip it on her finger. She admires it in the firelight, a soft smile on her lips. She glances up at me from beneath her lashes and I’m struck by the beauty of this amazing girl who loves me, of all people.

“You win,” she says.

“I win?”

“This Christmas is better.”

Later, as we ride back in the sleigh, Kate nestled happily against my side, I look up to the sky. A bright star twinkles in the dark sky. I give thanks for whatever powers brought Kate and I together, and that will keep us together as long as I have any say in it.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Teen Author Boot Camp

Shine those combat boots and sharpen your pencils. Teen Author Boot Camp is approaching—only three more months until one of the largest teen writing conferences in the nation takes place in Orem, Utah.

Utah Valley University and Writers Cubed will host a slew of amazing authors—including me (haha)—at its third annual conference coming up March 16, 2013. To see what I’m going to teach and everyone else who will present, check out “Drill Sergeants” on TABC’s website.

In conjunction with the conference is a writing contest. Teens who register are  encouraged to submit the first chapter of a novel they’ve written (up to ten pages) to Writers Cubed. Two prizes valued at $100 will be awarded to the first place winner in both the junior high and high school division.

For those interested, here is the information:

When: Saturday, March 16, 2013
From: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (registration begins at 8 a.m.)
Where: Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah
Who: Teens ages 13-19, no adults allowed :)
Cost: $49 before February 16th, 2013, $59 after
Includes: tuition, lunch, t-shirt, backpack, unlimited drinks, snacks, entrance to the writing contest, and more.

The class that I am going to be teaching is...

Marketing ~ A Necessary Evil That You Start NOW – The word “Marketing” brings a shudder to even the hardiest of souls. However, it’s a necessary evil if you want to actually sell any of the books you write or have written. If you are under the mistaken impression that you’ll submit to a publisher who will then market for you, you’re in for a surprise. If you think your book is so good it doesn’t need to be marketed to sell a million copies in its first year, guess again.

In this course, I’ll teach you what you should be doing right now, before you’ve ever written your first word. Already finished? I’ll show you where to go from here. I’ll teach you the most effective ways I know to market your book both before and after publication. If you have a good basis in place before publication, it will make post-publication marketing that much easier. This class is designed to give you the tools you need to be successful and to learn to embrace – rather than fear – marketing your books. (I promise the topic is not as boring as it sounds.)

For more details and to register go to: Space is limited.

If you’re from out of state, don’t worry. This year there will be a Live Broadcast of the conference you can watch and participate in real time via the internet. Get more details at TABC’s website under “Live Stream.”

See you there!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Best of 2012 Giveaway Hop

Best of 2012 Giveaway Hop

December 27th to 31st

For the Best of 2012 Giveaway I decided to give away a copy of Slammed by Colleen Hoover, Insight by Jolene Perry, or if you prefer an inspirational book, Rebecca's World of Inspirational Poems.

While I can't say any one is my absolute favorite book of all-time, they're really good ones. In Slammed, Lake is a cool chick, and the poetry was really interesting. I fell head-over-heels with Kel and Caulder, the younger brothers of Lake and Will. They were the most interesting aspect of the book in my opinion. 
In Insight, I found the concept of being unable to touch people without getting a vision about them, their future, their past, or whatever it is Micah gets from the person, fascinating to say the least. The book quickly surprised me by turning in an unexpected (by me, at least< direction). 
Rebecca's World of Inspirational Poems is just a really beautiful book of amazing photographs and inspirational poems inspired by the author's life.

I spend so much time writing that I rarely have time to read anymore so whenever I do get a chance to read, it needs to be something to make it worth my time to stop writing long enough to enjoy someone else's work. 

All three of these fit into that category for me.

The winner can choose any one of the books. I'll gift Slammed or Insight to the winner via Amazon or Barnes & Noble (your choice, depending on your reader) and Rebecca's World of Inspirational Poems will be via Smashwords.

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End of the World Winner

Congrats to Tiffany Renee Sill for winning the End of the World Giveaway Hop.  
She has won a digital copy of  

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Book Lovers Holiday Hop Winner

Congrats to Alina for winning the Book Lovers Holiday Hop!
She won digital copies from my Enchanted Fairytale series:

Better luck next time to all!

Midwinter's Eve Hop

It's time for the....
Third Annual - Mid-Winter's Eve Giveaway Hop

December 21st to 27th

Co-hosted by Oasis for YA

For the Mid-Winters Eve I am giving away your choice of one of my eBooks to put on one lucky person's new eReader that I hope you are getting for Christmas:

Merry Christmas!

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dissidence SpotLight

In dystopian America, sixteen-year-old Kaleigh finds out quickly what having a big mouth and not enough brains to keep it shut can earn you. A one-way ticket to the work camps that no one even knows exists.

Nuclear war has ravished the nation, and a century later, the survivors are living in an entirely new world.  In a society where everything is decided for you, from where you work to who you marry, dissidence is not taken lightly.

But, even inside the camps, Kaleigh’s fiery spirit refuses to be extinguished. In a single moment of defiance, she manages to spark a riot that ignites into a full-blown rebellion.

With growing numbers counting on her, not just for their freedom, but for their very lives, two different boys vying for her heart, and trouble brewing from within the camp itself, can Kaleigh find a way to step up and become the leader everyone is counting on her to be, or will even the most carefully laid plans come crashing down around her?

My Dissidence Review

Disclaimer: Dissidence is published by Prose by Design, which I happen to co-own. It might seem self-serving to promote and give the book a good review, but I want you to know I gave it the review I’d have given it no matter who published it. I just happen to be lucky enough to have read the novel before anyone else and snap it up before another publisher. 

So, without further ado, here’s my review:

I’m a huge fan of dystopian novels. That being said, it can sometimes be difficult to find one that’s so good it sucks me in.

Dissidence is definitely one of those books. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed Jamie’s book. I couldn’t stop reading it. In fact, as one of the editors, I kept forgetting to edit because I was so entranced by the story. I’d have to go back and re-read what I’d already read to do my job.
Jamie has weaved a tale in the vein of Hunger Games or Divergent, but with a completely unique story and heroine. Kaleigh doesn’t ever intend to be a hero, but she can’t stand by and watch someone else abused by a system that the general population isn’t even aware exists. Her instinctive action begins a revolution. Aided by the hunky Connor, she sneaks back into a work camp—in spite of the fact that everyone else is trying to get out—to rescue her lifelong friend Peter.

You’ll fall completely in love with all three main characters. Kaleigh in particular holds a special place in my heart because of her beautiful sarcasm and humor. Jamie wrote her in such a way that half the time you don’t know whether to laugh, cry, or jump into the pages and help her kick some butt.

The story is fast paced and ends far too soon, only because I wanted to stay in Kaleigh, Peter, and Connor’s world a little longer. Dissidence is an absolutely brilliant book.

If you like Jamie’s writing, I also highly recommend Our Own Worst Enemies, her short story in Screams in the Night: Tales of Terror(where I also happen to have a story, but hers is far better than mine). That’s honestly my all-time favorite zombie story—and that’s saying a lot considering I’m a fan of them (The Walking Dead, anyone?)

I not only highly recommend this book, I strongly encourage you to immediately get a copy and read it!

 A few reviews:

"A thrill ride! Fans of Divergent will love this fast-paced dystopian that will leave you breathless and begging for more."
-Cyndi Tefft, author of Between and Hell Transporter

"An amazingly snarky protagonist, two hot boys, a mass rebellion, and an ending that will blow your mind are the perfect ingredients that make Dissidence the next big thing in YA.  Ms. Canosa brilliantly blends duty, honor, and love in this unforgettable story making it a "must read" for 2013."
-Beth, YA Sisterhood

“I thoroughly enjoyed Dissidence by Jamie Canosa. It was fast paced, well written, and kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved the main character’s quirkiness and the way the story flowed. The cliffhanger at the end left me eagerly waiting the next installment. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a great Dystopian Read.”
-Jessica Sorensen, author of the Darkness Falls series

“I see this amazing dystopian as the next big thing. Fans of Divergent and Hunger Games will fall in love with this book!”
-Michelle, Michelle’s Paranormal Vault of Books

 “Jamie Canosa is a debut author to watch. Dissidence is a fast paced, engaging read that will leave you gasping for more long after the final page.”
-Cambria Hebert, author of the Heaven and Hell series

"Dissidence is now one of my favorite dystopian books! I loved everything about it! It had great characters, an amazing plot and also it was original!"
-Kendall, Book Crazy

“The book had me hooked from page 2, literally, I started and finished the book in a two hour marathon reading session where I was mentally complaining that it takes THAT long for a page to turn on my Kindle, and I needed to know. Surprising with such a fast paced novel, the build-up to the climaxes were still clear, well defined and progressed at break neck speed. The book is expertly formatted and edited, the story line has some unique twists and turns, and the voice of the author is all her own.”
-Wanda, Authors Allies, The Books Debut, and Tattle Tale

“Jamie Canosa's newest work Dissidence grabbed me from page one and would not let me go! Her depictions, from the emotions to the settings, were rich so detail that I could almost feel, see, and taste everything that she described. I fully enjoyed the heroine Kaleigh from her sassiness to her strength. She just jumped from the book and felt like a live person to me. If you love flavorful characters and looking for a good read, this is the book for you!”
-Jenn, Indie Supporter

"Ms. Canosa brilliantly guides us through an epic journey of bravery, trust, humanity and friendship.  Reminding us how a voice can never be too small, nor a person too slight to make a huge difference in the world."
-Lisa, Lisa’s Reads

Jamie has done an outstanding job. The writing style is brilliant, which helps the story plot flow nicely. From the first page your interests are held.”
-Sam, Flipping Pages for All Ages

“Jamie did a wonderful job with this book and I seriously loved it. It touched me in so many ways. This was a must read! I highly recommend!”
-Shanora Williams, author of The Story of Jackson Haddock
“I couldn’t believe the action and thrills this book game me!”
-Cassie, Sassy Cassie’s Reviews
 About Jamie:

Jamie Canosa is a full time author of YA literature, which she absolutely loves. When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. She currently resides in Ravena, NY with her husband, and their three crazy kids . . . plus the dog, the bird, and the rabbit.

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