Thursday, May 21, 2015

What to Read Next - May, 2015

I know! It's been way too long since I've done one of these posts. Since I've stepped up my writing output, though, I've been blogging less. In an attempt to make up for being a slacker, here are some fantastic books I've discovered this year. As always, a variety of genres, to please any literary palette.

Hello Love by Karen McQuestion

General/Women's Fiction

Looking for a heartwarming feel-good love story with a dog in it? This is it! McQuestion always delivers a story that anchors itself deep in your heart, touching upon topics that everyone can relate to. This one is about love lost and love found and how, when we open our hearts, anything is possible.

Andrea becomes an accidental first-time dog owner. Dan, recently widowed, has just lost his dog. What they don't know when they first cross paths is that it is the same dog.




Departureby A.G. Riddle

SciFi / Time Travel / Technothrillers

If you like fast-paced SciFi, grab this one fast! It's recently been picked up by Harper Collins and the price will increase soon. AND the movie rights have been bought by 20th Century Fox.

If that's not enough of a selling point, here are a few lines from the blurb:

"Flight 305 took off in 2014...
But it crashed in a world very different from our own...

With time running out, five strangers must unravel why they were taken...
And how to get home.
"

The Language of Hoofbeats by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Literary / Contemporary Fiction

If you read my What to Read Next posts at all, you'll know I'm a Hyde fan. This is her best book yet. Alternating view points between the curmudgeonly Clementine and her new neighbor Jackie, it centers around the fallout that occurs when Star steals Clementine's horse. As always, Hyde delivers complex characters in an easy-to-read manner and brings them full circle.

"New to a small town, Jackie and Paula envision a quiet life for their kids: a young adopted son and two teenage foster children, including the troubled Star. However, they quickly butt heads with their neighbor, Clementine, who disapproves of their lifestyle and is incensed when Star befriends her spirited horse, Comet... When Star disappears with Comet, the neighbors are thrown together—far too close together."


The Banks of Certain Riversby Jon Harrison

Contemporary / Family Life Fiction

As a runner and frequent visitor to Michigan, I found this book very enjoyable -- rich in description and sometimes heartrending.

Neil is a teacher and cross country coach raising his teenage son alone. Years prior, his wife suffered a debilitating brain injury that now requires full-time care in a nursing facility. Neil ends up falling in love with his mother-in-law's caregiver, but struggles with letting his son know about it. Meanwhile, he breaks up a fight on school grounds, but video surfaces that makes it look like he physically assaulted one of the students.

Just when you think Neil is going to survive the circumstances, something else happens to worsen his ordeal. Hang in there, though. This is definitely worth reading to its conclusion.

The Highly Sensitive Person (Urban Books)by Elaine Aron

Non-Fiction / Self-Help

This is one I'll be recommending for years. If you've ever had someone tell you you're being 'too sensitive' or know someone who is deeply emotional or creative, this self-help book will put it all in perspective. Aron explains that Highly Sensitive People aren't riddled with a fault, but actually possess a desirable trait which contributes to the empathy and ingenuity of society.

"Do you have a keen imagination and vivid dreams? Is time alone each day as essential to you as food and water? Are you "too shy" or "too sensitive" according to others? Do noise and confusion quickly overwhelm you? If your answers are yes, you may be a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)." 

Next installment -- Romance!

Happy reading,
Gemi

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

It's Release Day for Say That Again!

 IT'S FINALLY HERE!!!

Say That Again, the follow-up to Say No More, is now available as an e-book everywhere and as a paperback on Amazon.

This story is for those who want to believe we get to meet our heart-dogs more than once in a lifetime.

***

"Echo's life hasn't been easy so far. Mistreated by one owner after another, he'd rather just get by on his own. Still, he longs for his forever home. Not until he meets young Hannah McHugh does he learn to trust again. Hannah not only understands him -- she hears him.

Before the accident, Hannah already knew she was different from other kids. Now, animals are speaking to her -- and no one believes her. Even her own father, Hunter, tells her to keep it to herself.

When Hannah and Echo disappear, rumors run wild about her new neighbor Heck. Hunter wants to trust his gut, but time is ticking away..."

***

Here's where to find it:

E-book:
Amazon.com (US)
Amazon.uk (UK)
Paperback:

Happy reading,
Gemi

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Discount for Say No More

In celebration of the release of Say That Again (The Faderville Novels: Book #2), its prequel, Say No More, has been discounted to 99 cents as an e-book everywhere for a limited time.

Say No More is a story about how far a dog will go to show her loyalty and how long a dog's love will last. It has a 4.9 star rating on Amazon.com. Here's what some readers had to say about it:



  • “A very good story about love and commitment all through life and beyond whether you are a dog or people. 

  • "Everyone should read it just for the good feeling you have when you finish it."

 
***
 "A dog's love is forever.

When five-year old Hunter McHugh witnesses the farming accident that takes the life of his father, Cam, he stops talking -- to everyone except his Australian Shepherd, Halo. Unable to cope, Hunter runs away and gets lost in the Kentucky wilderness. It's up to Halo to find him. Just as she's about to give up, Halo gets help from an unlikely source -- Cam's ghost.

Halo is no ordinary dog. Not only can she see ghosts, she can talk to them, too. If only she could tell Hunter that death doesn't mean an end to being around the ones we love, maybe she could help him find his voice again. Unfortunately, she may never have the chance..."

***

Where to find it:


Happy reading,
Gemi

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Pre-order Your E-book of Say That Again



"A little girl's love. A dog's courage.

Echo's life hasn't been easy so far. Mistreated by one owner after another, he'd rather just learn to get by on his own. Still, he longs for his 'forever home'. Not until he meets young Hannah McHugh does he learn to trust again. Hannah not only understands him ― she hears him.

Before the accident, Hannah already knew she was different from other kids. Now, animals are speaking to her ― and no one believes her. Even her father, Hunter, tells her to keep it to herself.

When Hannah and Echo disappear, rumors run wild about her new neighbor, Heck. Hunter wants to trust his gut, but time is ticking away.
"


You can now pre-order your e-book copy of Say That Again (A Faderville Novel). It will appear on your Kindle on April 7th or if you own another e-reader and don't use a Kindle app, like Nook or Kobo, it will appear on your device on April 8th. 

Order here:

E-book: 
Amazon.com (US)
Amazon.uk (UK)


Happy reading,
Gemi

Monday, March 30, 2015

Goodreads Giveaway for Say That Again



Goodreads Book Giveaway

Say That Again by N. Gemini Sasson

Say That Again

by N. Gemini Sasson

Giveaway ends April 12, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win 
To win a signed paperback copy of Say That Again (The Faderville Novels: Book #2), just click on the link above. You must be a member of Goodreads to enter. Giveaway ends at midnight on April 11th.

Happy reading,
Gemi

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Say That Again - Chapter 1

Say That Again (The Faderville Novels: Book #2)




chapter 1: Hannah


Hannah McHugh placed one small foot in front of the other without knowing exactly where it was that she was going. Her purple sneakers left barely visible imprints in the damp clay of the path as the airy trilling of the bluebird beckoned her onward. To Hannah, the notes were like a song sung only for her. It filled her with happiness. Lifted her heart, all the way up to heaven.
Every now and then, she saw a flash of bright blue feathers, flittering against a glass-blue sky.
Laughing, she followed the bird. Down a steep slope littered with loose slabs of stone. Up a long incline through a towering stand of trees. Along a narrowing trail that wound between boulders bigger than her sister’s school bus.
The bird danced from limb to limb. Higher, faster. Happy, singing.
Follow me, it said. This way. Over here. Hurry!
Her steps quickened. Her breaths came in puffs, her heart pattering against her sternum as she lifted her knees and pumped her tiny arms to keep up. Her stuffed giraffe, Faustine, swung in her grip, its yarn tail tattered and one beaded eye missing. Part of the stuffing in Faustine’s neck had long since been compressed into her slender body, and so her head flopped helplessly at the end of her too long neck whenever Hannah carried her about, or leaned precariously to the right when Hannah set her on all fours, as if the little giraffe had a question she was always waiting to ask.
Just as Hannah topped a hill, the bird dove into a tangle of branches in the valley below, its song muted. Hannah stopped, peered intently at the place where it had disappeared, saw nothing.
Patiently, she stood at attention, eyes and ears keened. But there was no more sign of the bird. Nothing but silence. Deep, empty silence all around. Not even a breeze to rustle the last of autumn’s papery leaves.
Then it occurred to her that she had no idea where her family was. Or how far she had come. Or from where.
Panic constricted her ribs. She’d get in trouble for wandering off from their cabin. Her daddy would frown at her and cross his arms. Her mommy would shake a finger in her face and speak to her sternly. She wouldn’t be allowed to watch her princess movies or go to Gramma’s. Maybe for a whole week. It would be boring sitting in her room alone.
A tear squeezed from the corner of Hannah’s eye, tracing a trail of regret as it slid down her cold-kissed cheek. She shouldn’t have wandered away from the cabin before everyone else had woken up. They would be worried to find her gone. Frantic. And mad.
But she had only wanted to see what was beyond the little clearing. To search for one of them. Her older sister, Maura, had told her there were fairies in the woods and that they took naps beneath mushroom caps and bathed on leaves dappled with morning dew and made their homes in the hollowed trunks of giant oak trees. From a distance, Maura told her, they looked exactly like little white butterflies.
Yet she hadn’t seen any fairies. Or butterflies, even. Just the bluebird. And trees. Lots and lots of trees. Millions, maybe gazillions.
She had to get back. But to where? And how?
As she turned in a circle, searching for a familiar sight, fear crept up her spine. She clutched Faustine to her chest and held her tight. This place looked different, not at all like the forest clearing where their cabin was. They had come to the state park for Hannah’s fifth birthday. She hadn’t wanted a party with lots of other noisy children. Or a pile of presents. Or a fancy restaurant dinner, where waiters wearing sombreros would sing and clap for her, drawing everyone’s attention. Those things were all too much, too noisy. She had only wanted this: a weekend with her family, just the four of them, in the faraway woods of southeastern Kentucky, where she could watch the birds and look for wild animals.
What she’d really wanted, though, was a dog of her own. But they had told her she was too young for that and would have to wait, probably until she was Maura’s age. And so she’d settled for a camping trip. Now that they were here, she wasn’t sure why she’d wanted to come in the first place. It had sounded like fun, but there really wasn’t much to do.
Christmas was only a week away and although it was still cool, the weather promised to be good. So Daddy had thrown their suitcases in the truck he used for his veterinary business and put Maura and Mommy in charge of packing the food. Hannah had only been responsible for her own things. But when she went outside this morning, she’d forgotten to grab her coat off the peg by the door and now she was shivering so hard that her teeth clacked. It hadn’t felt that cold when she first stepped outside.
Far off, a sparkle caught her eye. She looked down below and noticed, amid a drifting sea of fog, a shimmering silver ribbon. A big creek. What her daddy called a river. Beyond it, the ground rose up again to more hills, bigger hills, taller and broader than those behind her. Hills embraced by wispy clouds.
Hannah started downward, toward the water. She was thirsty. And hungry. She hadn’t had breakfast yet, and although she doubted she would find food anywhere near here, she could at least get a drink of water before she tried to find her parents and Maura.
She raced downhill, her short legs wearying not halfway down. She stumbled, falling to her knees. Undeterred, she stood, brushed the dirt from her leggings, and continued on. The ground flattened out. Leaf-littered dirt gave way to winter-dead grass, anchored in the mud of a recent rain.
At water’s edge, she knelt and made a scoop with her hands. The water froze her fingers when she dipped them in. She brought the cool liquid to her mouth and sipped, then spat it out. It tasted icky. Like sand.
Farther along the bank, an animal with a black mask and a ringed tail winked at her. It waded into the shallows. Hannah recognized it as a raccoon, the same kind of animal that tipped their trashcans over and made her daddy angry. She smiled and waved. It chattered in response, then plunged its front paws into the water, up to its elbows.
Bit by bit, she scooted closer. The raccoon eyed her curiously and went back to washing its face. Careful not to get too close and scare it away, Hannah sat, crossing her legs. She would try to find her way back to the cabin in a little while. After she was done watching the raccoon. She couldn’t be that far away. Maybe if she stayed here, they would find her.
But what if they went the wrong way? What if they searched and searched and just gave up?
No, they’d look. They’d find her. They would.
Hannah kissed Faustine on the head and noticed a dab of mud there. If she dipped Faustine’s head in the river, maybe it would rinse away the dirt. Holding Faustine’s back legs, she stretched out on her tummy and leaned out from the bank, reaching toward the water.
She wiggled forward a few inches and Faustine’s head flopped into the water. She held her there awhile, giving the dirt time to wash away. As she began to pull Faustine back, a flurry of chirps sounded above her. She looked up to see the bluebird alight on a branch on the other side of the river.
You should listen more closely, it said.
“What?”
Just listen!
Hannah didn’t understand. She was sure she’d heard the bird, but what was it talking about? Listen to what? To whom?
Fast water. Bad.
“But I need to give Faustine a bath, silly bird.”
Not silly.
The bird burst skyward. Hannah tilted her head up to watch, but as she did so, she felt Faustine slip from her fingers. The stuffed animal fell with a splash, floating on the surface a few moments before an eddy engulfed it and pulled it under. Then, a surge pushed Faustine back to the top. 
Hannah flailed a hand outward, stretching far. Her body, small though it was, tipped over the edge of the bank. She gasped in shock as her hands hit the cold, cold water. Then as her head plunged beneath the surface, she captured a final gulp of air in her lungs and shut her eyes tight.

*****

Paperback on sale now: Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk
 
Pre-order the E-book (Available April 7th for Kindle and April 8th elsewhere)

Happy reading,
Gemi

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Paperback of Say No More Now Available

Psssttt... You can get the paperback of Say That Again now. Yes, now. Well, as soon as Amazon and UPS can pack it up and deliver it to you.

ORDER THE PAPERBACK OF SAY THAT AGAIN HERE.

Say That Again is Book #2 of the Faderville Novels and the sequel to Say No More, but don't worry, these books don't have to be read in any particular order. You can pre-order the Kindle version, which will be available April 7th. Here's the description for Say That Again:
 
"Echo's life hasn't been easy so far. Mistreated by one owner after another, he'd rather just learn to get by on his own. Still, he longs for his 'forever home'. Not until he meets young Hannah McHugh does he learn to trust again. Hannah not only understands him ― she hears him.

Before the accident, Hannah already knew she was different from other kids. Now, animals are speaking to her ― and no one believes her... Even her own father, Hunter, tells her she should keep it to herself.

Then, the reclusive Heck Menendez moves in next door... When Hannah and Echo disappear, rumors run wild about old Heck. Hunter wants to trust his gut, but time is ticking away."

More links and information coming soon!

Happy reading,
Gemi