Thursday, October 25, 2012

YA Mythology Hop



I really need to be more careful about scheduling overlapping blog hops. But I just happened to have a YA mythology-themed book at hand to give away, so hopping onto the YA Mythology Hop was too good an opportunity to pass up! Thank you to For Those About To Read and I Am a Reader, Not a Writer for sponsoring this hop.

Here at JDP NEWS I'm giving away a gently used paperback copy of Black Ships Before Troy: The Story of the Iliad, by Rosemary Sutcliff. Here's the back cover blurb:

The gods and goddesses of Olympus scheme as the ancient world is thrown into turmoil. Helen, a legendary beauty and wife of the Greek King, has been abducted by her Trojan lover. The jealousy of the Greek King flames into lethal vengeance as the Greeks descend on the city of Troy aboard their black ships. In the siege that follows, history's greatest heroes--among them Ajax, Achilles, and Odysseus--are forged in combat, and the dark costs of passion, pride, and revenge must be paid. In the end, the whims of the gods, the cunning of the warriors, and a great wooden horse will decide who emerges victorious. A vivid retelling of Homer's epic tale, The Iliad.


Please enter via the Rafflecopter form below. (NOTE TO READERS OF MY BLOG ON GOODREADS. TO ENTER THIS CONTEST, PLEASE CLICK OVER TO MY BLOG AND ENTER VIA RAFFLECOPTER)

The hop ends at 11:59 EST November 4. Winner will be drawn on November 5. Since this is a print book, USA entries only, please.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Entrants must be 18 years or older. Winners will be selected on Nov 5, 2012. Winners have 48 hours to respond to an email notifying them of their win. Prizes not claimed within 48 hours will be reawarded Sponsor name and contact info: Joyce DiPastena, jdipastena@yahoo.com. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW


a Rafflecopter giveaway


All entered? Then hop along to find some more great YA mythology books below!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop



Welcome to the 2012 Spooktacular Giveaway Hop, sponsored by I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and The Diary of a Bookworm. Here at JDP NEWS I'm giving away a copy of my sweet medieval romance, Dangerous Favor. The winner may have their choice of print (USA only), Kindle, or Nook version (INT welcome as long as you can download Kindle or Nook).

Here's the back cover copy:


Mathilde needs a champion. Her father has been accused of stealing from the king, an allegation that has reduced her family to poverty. She has one chance to find and marry a man who can help her prove her father's innocence. Lord Therri, heir to a rich barony, has the wealth and connections Mathilde needs to delve into the mysteries of her father's past. Furthermore, Therri embodies all her romantic dreams.

Etienne, the younger son of a disgraced family, has neither wealth nor connections, but is smitten with Mathilde at a glance. She finds the knight intriguing, but believes he is only out to seduce her. While she seeks for a way to win Therri's attention, Etienne tricks her into granting him her favor-an embroidered white ribbon-for a tournament, setting in motion a dangerous chain reaction of events. Can Etienne save Mathilde from a nightmare from her past and prove himself the true hero of her dreams?

Please enter via the Rafflecopter form below. (NOTE TO READERS OF MY BLOG ON GOODREADS. TO ENTER THIS CONTEST, PLEASE CLICK OVER TO MY BLOG AND ENTER VIA RAFFLECOPTER)

The hop ends at midnight EST October 31. Winner will be drawn on November 1.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Entrants must be 18 years or older. Winners will be selected on Nov 1, 2012. Winners have 48 hours to respond to an email notifying them of their win. Prizes not claimed within 48 hours will be reawarded Sponsor name and contact info: Joyce DiPastena, jdipastena@yahoo.com. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW



All entered? Then hop along for some more great clean giveaways below!

Tuesday Teaser



Tuesday Teaser is a weekly bookish meme (rhymes with “cream"), hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. (I’ve borrowed it from LDS Women’s Book Review.) Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share at least two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!


I'm adapting the rules slightly. I'll be quoting some random lines from the last chapter I read before I post a teaser. I'm a slow reader, so you may get multiple teasers per book from me. Here's my second teaser from Frontier Wolf, by Rosemary Sutcliff:

Alexios, standing within arm's length of him, watched him come, taller, surely, than he had been, unless that was only that his head was held so high, and looking into his eyes that never moved to right or left, wondered what had happened to him in the Death Place of the Chieftains, and felt a little chill that was more than the mist and the coming dawn.

(From Frontier Wolf, p 90)

If you'd like to share a teaser from a book you're currently reading, I'd love you to do so in the comment section. And you don't even have to share it on a Tuesday! Be sure to include the title, author, and page number in case others would like to check out the book you're reading.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Next Big Thing - tagged

I was tagged by author Lizanne B. Sowards in "The Next Big Thing" game to share a little about my current work-in-progress. Here are the questions and my answers:


What is your working title of your book?

I nearly always refer to my WIPs by the main charracter’s or characters’ names, so for now, I’m simply calling it Acelet’s story.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Acelet was a character in my second medieval romance, Illuminations of the Heart. He was a rather silly and romantic young man at the beginning who went through a painful growing up process by the end of the book. He was still very young (20 years old) at the end of that story and I wanted to follow him further down his path and watch him grow some more.

What genre does your book fall under?

Medieval romance, although it may lean a little more towards medieval fiction with a strong romantic subplot when I’m finished. I’m not entirely sure how it will turn out yet.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I never have an actor/actress or model in mind when I write a book. None of them ever look quite the way I picture my characters in my mind. But it’s always fun to see how readers would cast my stories.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Hmm, I really haven’t thought that far, and since the story isn’t finished yet, I don’t know how accurate a one sentence synopsis would be. How about:

A young squire turns his back on knighthood to pursue his love for music, not knowing that his choice will make him the perfect catalyst in a plot against the crown.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

There won’t be an agency involved. Depending on how long the book turns out to be, it will either be published by a small publisher or I’ll self-publish it.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I’m still working on my first draft.

May we see an intro?

Well, this could easily change in revisions, but here’s the beginning of my current draft:

Gravel spit up from the pivoting heel of Acelet’s boot as he spun to meet his opponent’s steel. Metal screeched against metal as the blades locked together. The swift rotation of his body had swung one of his long flaxen ringlets into his mouth. He blew it free and tautened his muscles, feeling his sword vibrating in his mailed grasp as he sought to force the squire opposite him into a retreat. The squire resisted with a familiar strength. They had fought before. Acelet knew exactly how many seconds their swords would remain locked together before his opponent would attempt to thrust him back with a powerful shove. But first the squire’s lips drew up in a snarl, his teeth parting to issue an equally familiar jibe. Acelet barely registered it as his gaze slid over the squire’s red, perspiration-slicked face to the cap of glittering gold curls that sat, tightly crinkled with sweat, atop his head. Yes, he could use that. Just so would his hero’s hair gleam after battle on a late spring morning such as this…

“I have you this time, de Cary,” Lucas growled. “This time the Lady Lisette will see what a woolgathering fop you really are.”

Acelet’s attention snapped back. Not if you can’t learn to vary your attack better than this. Like all the other times, he was ready for the shove. He sprang back a fraction of a second before it came, sending the squire into a stagger as Acelet whipped his sword’s resistance away.

A roar erupted from the edges of the field, shouts from the other squires in support of his opponent. Lucas recovered as he always did and whirled about. Their blades fluttered together in a shower of sparks, but in the end Acelet’s blade proved fastest. The blunted tip slipped beneath Lucas’s wrist and flipped it up with a blurring speed Lucas should have been expecting, for Acelet always disarmed him in exactly the same way.

The roaring turned into a collective groan from the other squires as Lucas’s sword spun and hit the ground, all except for one happy, musical cry and excited clapping of dainty hands. Acelet de Cary turned. He looked past the fallen faces of his fellow squires, each of whom he daily disarmed in their turn, and gazed into the beaming countenance of his beloved. Someone—most likely the defeated Lucas whose angry curses now posed a shameful counterpoint to his angelic halo of hair—had provided the Lady Lisette a box to stand on, so that she could view the competition clearly over the fence that closed off the area where Duke Richard’s squires honed their battle skills. Her shining, light brown hair, fine and sleek as silk, trailed over her shoulders in the manner permitted, even encouraged in a maid of sixteen in the court of Poitiers. Her brown eyes, soft as a doe’s, glowed with pride as Acelet strode towards her.

“Oh, Acelet, that was splendid!” she cried. “You shall be the most brilliant of Duke Richard’s new knights. Do you not agree, Joslin?”

“No doubt,” a dry voice spoke from Lisette’s side, “if the duke chooses to arm his knights with staffs and blunted steel.”

Acelet felt the warmth that rose in his cheeks. His stringent code of chivalry forbade him from casting Lisette’s companion a glance he knew would be filled with dislike if he surrendered to impulse, but from the corner of his eye he could see her with her ever-present wimple, standing a head lower than Lisette. It did not surprise him that none of the squires had bothered to find a box for the tart-tongued Joslin las Vals to stand on.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

It fits neatly into the world of my loosely related previous books set in medieval France: Loyalty’s Web, Illuminations of the Heart, and Dangerous Favor.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The character of Acelet himself and a desire to explore through him the world of the medieval troubadour.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

There will be a secret code embedded in the long narrative poem Acelet is composing. A reader can try deciphering it before the characters do, if she likes.

Thank you to Lizanne B. Sowards for tagging me. Please check out her blog, Shadows of Monts├ęgur.

Now I tag five other authors to continue the game!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tuesday Teaser


Tuesday Teaser is a weekly bookish meme (rhymes with “cream"), hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. (I’ve borrowed it from LDS Women’s Book Review.) Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share at least two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title &author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!


I'm adapting the rules slightly. I'll be quoting some random lines from the last chapter I read before I post a teaser. I'm a slow reader, so you may get multiple teasers per book from me. Here's my second teaser from Frontier Wolf, by Rosemary Sutcliff:

"Morvidd, their holy man," Gavros said, without looking round.

"He doesn't seem to love us."

"The native oak priests have long memories, and few of them have much love for the forces of Rome, even now. Also, a year or two back, I had personal dealings with Morvidd after a bad harvest. He was demanding a human sacrifice, and I--reasoned with him."

"Reasoned?" Alexios said.

(From Frontier Wolf, p 47)

If you'd like to share a teaser from a book you're currently reading, I'd love you to do so in the comment section. And you don't even have to share it on a Tuesday! Be sure to include the title, author, and page number in case others would like to check out the book you're reading.