Having grown up in the United States, certain holidays kick off the seasons. In this case, Memorial Day weekend is the start of summer for me, even if it is nearly a month earlier than the solstice. As a northern hemisphere gal, the weather is warming up and I’m planning an annual escape.
Over Memorial Day weekend, the first thing I start packing is my ereader!
Now, you can too. I managed to gather more than 80 authors with free ebooks that they think you’ll love by the pool, the beach or on the patio.
Memorial Day Grab Bag Nonfiction Giveaway
Our nonfiction giveaways have more than 20 titles. We have essays and commentary, lifestyle and mindfulness ebooks and even a healthy recipes bundle — perfect for mind, spirit and body!
Memorial Day Grab Bag Fiction Giveaway
The Memorial Day Grab Bag Giveaway is an all-genre extravaganza of ebooks. It’s perfect for those passionate about the paranormal and mysterious, those looking for some military thrills, those crazy for cozy mysteries and more!
And if summer romance is your bag… you won’t be disappointed. From mail-order bride to billionaire, shape-shifting to goth, this giveaway covers the whole range of romance reads and then some. (There’s even a small section of select erotic reads for mature 18+ audiences only. (You can’t say we didn’t warn you!))
Memorial Day Thursday, May 25 through Tuesday, May 30
Prime your index finger for some serious tapping over these five days. You can be strategic and download 18 ebooks each day for five days, or you can pick and choose your favorite reads.
Opening day for both giveaways is Thursday, May 25. So, whether you’re into fiction, nonfiction or both, there’ll be something for you.
Recent B.R.A.G. medallion awardee and indie author, Megan Haskell, alerted me to the big news that her Sanyare book series just had a makeover! Living in Cyn hosted Megan Haskell and Sanyare: The Last Descendent (Book 1) on this blog a couple months ago. I’m a visual person, so my memory of the old covers conveyed subdued and earthy greens and blue. Nice, dark, but not entirely kick-ass. The new look has fiery oranges, yellows, ochres and gold. They practically burn on the screen with kick-assery!
The unveiling of her updated covers for Sanyare: The Last Descendant (UK)and its free prequel, Pixie Tamer (UK), serves as further evidence that Haskell is about to come out with a bigger, badder Book 2, Sanyare: The Heir Apparent. (I can’t wait!)
Sanyare’s new covers: Post-Makeover!
Sanyare: The Last Descendant (Book 1) – Book Description
A woman torn between honor and survival… Raised in a realm where humans are no better than slaves, Rie Lhethannien has struggled for decades to earn a meager post in the High Court messenger service. Even training as an elite fighter isn’t enough to earn the respect she craves. Scorned by the high elves who rely on her loyalty, Rie’s closest allies are the fierce carnivorous pixies who travel by her side.
When she’s attacked on a routine delivery by assassins from the enemy Shadow Realm, Rie’s martial prowess keeps her alive…and frames her as a traitor. Facing execution at the hand of an unmerciful king, Rie must forsake her oaths and flee into enemy lands to prove her innocence. With surprising help from a bastard prince and an ambitious blood sidhe, Rie searches for the truth behind the attack. The secrets she uncovers may threaten more than her honor or even her life…for war is looming in the nine faerie realms. Sanyare: The Last Descendant is the first book in The Sanyare Chronicles, a fast-paced dark fantasy adventure. If you like kick-butt heroines and action-packed fantasy filled with mythological creatures, then you’ll love the first novel in Megan Haskell’s debut series. Start your journey across the nine faerie realms today!
Pixie Tamer (Prequel to sanyare the last descendant, A short story) – book description
It’s Nuriel “Rie” Lhethannien’s twenty-fifth nameday. She should be celebrating her rise to maturity, not sweating in the training hall. But life isn’t fair, and humans aren’t equal to the elves, at least not in the High Court. After losing a practice bout to the one man she wants to trust, Rie is thrown into the most challenging test of her life. Will the rewards outweigh the risks? Pixie Tamer is the short story prequel to Sanyare: The Last Descendant, a dark fantasy adventure with epic themes and a new adult tone. The stories are complements, but can be read independently.
** You can get your free copy of Pixie Tamer by signing up to Megan’s newsletter.
Why a makeover?
So, why the new look? The rampant rumors that Haskell is getting ready to release Book 2 were confirmed when the award-winning author wrote on her blog that she had submitted a final draft of her manuscript to her editor! It’s only a matter of weeks and months, now… And then, we get to see the new cover for Sanyare: The Heir Apparent (Book 2).
The cool thing about being an indie author is that you can make those sorts of calls. If you feel that the cover of your book isn’t fully meeting your readers’ or genre’s expectations (and therefore not selling as well as you’d like), then as an indie author, you can find a designer who can help you get it the way you want. A traditionally-published author who feels that way about their publisher’s decisions doesn’t typically have that luxury.
About the Author: Megan Haskell
Megan Haskell is the author of the dark fantasy adventure, Sanyare: The Last Descendant, and Program Director for O.C. Writers, A Network of Published and Aspiring Authors. She lives in Orange County, California with her husband, two young daughters, and one ridiculously energetic dog. You can find her on her website at www.MeganHaskell.com, www.OCWriters.Network, and Facebook.
Note: There are links on this page that will lead you to Amazon. If you decide to make a purchase on Amazon as a result of clicking the link, I receive a small commission from your purchase. Find out more about affiliate links here. Thanks for your support.
As an occasional book reviewer myself, I could instantly appreciate how Barb Taub made me run to Amazon to get my own copy of R.T. Lowe’s “Five Days in January”. I’ll admit off the bat that I’m not a science fiction/ fantasy reader but a good story set in a (scarily) realistic context will win me over. I’m looking forward to reading this (and its debut) novel.
This is a book which was written last year, and released over a month ago. It’s a dystopian science fiction tale, and yet chillingly prescient, especially for someone reading it as I did—while news reports unfolded of a mass murderer slaughtering innocent people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
How many times have you had a “What if…” moment in your life? There are smaller what ifs–the kind you can hashtag for Twitter, like, “#WhatIf I hadn’t put cream in my coffee…?” (okay, maybe that’s not so small!) or “#WhatIf I didn’t work a day job…?“—and then, there are bigger what ifs, like the one Hannah McKinnon explores in her newly released debut novel, Time After Time:
#WhatIf I could turn back the clock and do things differently?
Time after Time (US ¦ UK), Hannah McKinnon’s debut novel, recently released on June 2, 2016, explores just that question–and I am thrilled to share with you the novel’s first chapter. So, get your cup of coffee (hold back on the cream, your jeans will thank me for that…) and enjoy.
CHAPTER 1 – A Blast from the Past
It was the odd silence that woke her.
Where are the kids?
Hayley tried to burrow back into Sleepland. Fat chance. She’d become too much aware of her tongue that was stuck to the roof of her mouth. It felt like she’d been chewing on a ball of fuzzy felt rolled in a slice of Gouda.
‘Ugh,’ Hayley groaned, her eyes still tightly shut.
She remembered getting a taxi back from Ellen’s but her throbbing head didn’t make sense. They hadn’t had that much wine, surely? Hayley briefly wondered if her best friend felt equally queasy. Then her stomach rumbled, a sure indication of how late it might be.
Breakfast is going to be fun. Serves me right for getting back so late.
Hayley squinted, barely able to make anything out in the dimly lit room. She looked at her old-fashioned Mickey Mouse alarm clock that ticked loudly. Her parents had bought it for her fifteenth birthday as a joke because nothing short of a sledgehammer ever seemed to wake her. She’d used it ever since.
Mickey’s glow-in-the dark gloves showed five minutes to nine.
Where are the kids?
She couldn’t believe they weren’t up yet. It was total bliss that she’d got an extra hour and a half of much-needed sleep. As she rubbed her head again she heard Rick’s gentle breathing next to her. Her husband had always been a quiet sleeper. She was the snorer – he’d even recorded it once on his phone and played a frighteningly realistic warthog impression back to her with a grin on his face.
It’s not like him to be in bed this late on a Saturday morning.
He usually went out for a run and did push-ups at the park while she got the kids up and made breakfast. He reckoned it was the reason he could still eat Fish and Chips and not turn into a lard-arse.
Hayley thought about Rick’s firm legs and trim waist. She briefly considered slipping her hand down his boxer shorts – they hadn’t had morning sex in months, probably years, even – but that pint of water she’d downed just before she left Ellen’s had turned her bladder into a bouncy castle. She was busting for a pee and wanted to move her legs but they felt like lead-filled sausages. Slowly she started to drift off to sleep again.
God, he sounds rough. I bet he’s coming down with a cold. Oh joy. Man-flu alert.
‘In a minute,’ she mumbled, then remembered their row from the night before. At least an eight and a half on the Richter scale of arguments. Maybe even a nine. Bad enough for her to walk out, fleeing to Ellen’s for wine and moral support. It wasn’t the first time she’d speculated if Rick had found someone else. Wondered if he wanted to leave, then wondered if she wanted him to.
She sighed and decided she should take a few steps towards reconciliation. Besides, she had a brief to finish. Washing to do. Costumes to pick up. Parents to see. And with all of that on her list, it was hardly a practical day to put a bullet in her marriage.
Hayley crawled out of bed, eyes barely open, headed for the door and walked straight into a chest of drawers.
‘Ouch.’ She rubbed her leg.
‘What the bloody hell are you doing?’ Rick’s voice really was rough.
Hayley opened her eyes properly to take in her surroundings.
Hang on a second.
The bedroom seemed smaller than usual. The window was in the wrong place, surely, and she felt carpet under her feet, not hardwood floor. Instead of the door being straight ahead she could make it out to her left. Pictures hung above the chest of drawers. She squinted at them, but couldn’t see them properly in the dark room.
It all had a certain familiarity about it that she couldn’t quite place.
God, we must have got completely trolleyed. But why can’t I remember?
Hayley grabbed hold of the chest of drawers to steady herself and knocked over a vase.
‘I’m trying to sleep, keep it down.’
An alarm bell went off in Hayley’s throbbing head. She spun round faster than she intended, lost her balance and landed on the floor on her bum.
‘Ow. Fuck it,’ she said loudly.
‘What are you doing?’
Hayley popped her head up, quickly brushed her brown hair away from her face, and gasped. The person she’d thought was Rick now sat up in bed, staring down at her. She shook her head and quickly rubbed her eyes. Despite the dim light there was no mistaking him.
No … No way … It can’t be.
‘What are you playing at?’ he said. ‘I didn’t get to sleep until four.’
With wide blue eyes and her mouth forming a perfect ‘O’ of surprise, Hayley stared at the man for so long, she could practically feel the seasons change.
Hayley blinked three times thinking that she’d never, ever, cheat on Rick. Never.
And she hadn’t seen Chris – her first boyfriend, her very first love – in over twenty years.
So when … no, how had she ended up in bed with him?
Did that get you thinking about #whatif?
I don’t know how I’d react if I woke up next to my first boyfriend. I shudder to think… I’ll be hanging around Twitter intermittently today (because I’m traveling) tweeting #whatif hashtags, and I’ll be checking into comments if you have a #whatif or #timeaftertime tweet to share.
#WhatIf you could connect with Hannah McKinnon through the interwebs and find out more?
Note: There are links on this page that will lead you to Amazon.com. If you decide to make a purchase on Amazon as a result of clicking the link, I receive a small commission from your purchase. Find out more about affiliate links here. Thanks for your support.
There’s nothing like good chick lit to get you in the right mood for summer. Make sure to visit these blogs to find out more about the imminent release of Time After Time, join in the #whatif virtual book tour fun, and also to meet author Hannah McKinnon!
Check out these blogs right away, and subscribe to them, so you don’t miss out on any of the fun!
Here, on Living in Cyn, when we’re not gabbing about my own book and writing, we like to talk about the writing process and the decisions we take towards publication–specifically, whether to self publish or get representation (through an agent and/or a publisher).
Hannah McKinnon wrote a gem of a blog post regarding her own experience “going trad”. (<==Check out her website here!)