Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Key of Kilenya by Andrea Pearson FREE

One Teenage Boy
Two Magical Keys 
Endless Worlds to Save 

Two monstrous wolves drive fourteen-year-old Jacob Clark down a path to a different world near his small-town home. The inhabitants of this new world are peculiar, and he is surprised to learn that they know everything about him.

Even the evil, immortal Lorkon, who stole the Key of Kilenya. They are jealous of Jacob and wish to control powers he doesn't know he possesses.

The Kilenya Series by Andrea Pearson: The Key of Kilenya (June, '11) The Ember Gods (Kilenya, 2. Sep, '11) August Fortress (Kilenya, 3. Jun, '12) Rise of Keitus (Kilenya, 4. Feb, '13) Eyes of the Sun (Kilenya, 5. Summer '13) Book six title coming soon (Winter '13-'14) 

Praise and reviews for The Key of Kilenya:

"The Key of Kilenya is full of adventure and wonderful, mythical-type creatures--totally unique. This book is like Fablehaven meets Harry Potter with a sprinkling of Lord of the Rings. A good, fun, clean read for the whole family." - Jennifer Hurst

"As a mother, it's refreshing to know there are authors writing fantasy, like The Key of Kilenya, that is not dark and depressing." - Kimberly Job

"Andrea balances excitement with thought, external conflict with inner, and adds just the right mix of mystery and realism." - Karen Hoover

"This is the beginning of a middle grade series that is sure to be great. Both youths and adults will enjoy The Key of Kilenya." - Jewel Adams

"To be quite honest, I don't usually read books in this genre. However, I loved Harry Potter so I took a chance and I have to admit, I liked it! A lot!" - Mandi Slack

"The fantastical elements really feel original. In fact, reading this put me in mind of the creatures you would come across in Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis, because the creatures really aren't the norm." - Lisa

"I love the Harry Potter references, as a typical teen has most definitely become familiar with those books." Heidi - Goodreads Reviewer

"As in Percy Jackson, Heroes of Olympus, and the Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan, Harry Potter by JK Rowling, Fablehaven by Brandon Mull and other great books, a teenage boy lives an ordinary life while another world thinks he's something special... It's gripping all the way through." - Patricia

"Get this book. You won't be disappointed unless you have no imagination and don't like books such as the Harry Potter series (JK Rowling), Fablehaven (Brandon Mull), Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus (Rick Riordan) or movies like Stardust, etc." - Karl, Reviewer

"Similar to Rick Riordan's Heroes of Olympus and the Percy Jackson series, this is just a very fun, creative, exciting adventure!" - Debra Smith

Andrea Pearson, has just had the fourth book in her young adult fantasy series published. In celebration, the first book, The Key of Kilenya, is available for free as an eBook, and the second book, The Ember Gods, is available as a $0.99 Kindle eBook until March 3rd.

YA Paranormal Giveaway Hop Winner!

Thanks to everyone who hopped on over to my blog and entered to win Aura. I appreciate your support and hope you enjoyed the YA Paranormal Giveaway Hop! Thanks to I am a Reader Not a Writer for sponsoring these awesome hops and allowing us to find new books and enter to win such great prizes!

The winner is . . . . drum roll, please . . . . come on, drum roll . . . . I can't hear you . . . . The winner is: Meghan! I will email you, Meghan.

 Thank you for participating!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Young Adult Paranormal Giveaway Hop

Young Adult Paranormal Giveaway Hop

February 21st - 27th

Co - hosted by YA Between the Lines

Featuring Young Adult Books with Paranormal elements.

Welcome to the Young Adult Paranormal Giveaway Blog Hop. I will be giving away a copy of my YA paranormal, Aura. The winner may choose a print copy or the ebook
"I half-turned to her and shrugged, still processing what I'd seen, or at least what I thought I'd seen, in Ms. Neal's eyes—like they weren't hers. Obviously, they were her eyes, but it looked like she'd plucked them from someone else's head. A dead someone else's head."

In the fight between good and evil, Light is your only weapon.

Crystal Scott finally feels like a normal teenager. She has a lead in the high school play, a best friend, and a gorgeous boyfriend. With prom only a few days away, Crystal’s ordinary life seems perfect.

Endowed with great Light because of her virtuous choices and her inherent gifts, Crystal’s aura has become visible to those with the ability to see auras. Unfortunately, her power has also attracted the attention of demons intent on destroying all Light.

When Vincent Crandall, the human host for a powerful demon, discovers that Crystal’s Light is strong enough to disrupt the connection between demons and their hosts, he realizes she may be able to sever the connection altogether. Determined to stop her from interfering with his plans to rule the world, he sends operatives to neutralize her.

Crystal is thrust into battle against a demon army she didn’t even know existed. With the help of a mysterious young man and his mother, Crystal must learn to use the power within her before the demons kill her parents and Vincent harnesses her Light for himself.

To enter the giveaway you can:

1. Follow this blog
2. Like my Facebook page
3. Follow me on Twitter: rebeccatalley
4. Join my newsletter
5. Add Aura on Goodreads.

Each one is worth one entry. If you do all five, you have five entries :). I will pick a winner using on February 28th.

Please leave a comment and let me know what you've done or email me: rebecca(AT)rebeccatalley(DOT)com.

Good luck and thanks for hopping with us. Please hop on over to the following blogs for a chance to win some fantastic prizes!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Happy Birthday Daddy

My dad would've been 70 years old today. That's very hard for me to imagine because he was only 25 when he died. In my mind, he will always be the handsome young man he was when he died back in 1968.

My dad was very handsome. I think he was quiet and a little shy. I think I was a "Daddy's Girl." I have a few memories of him. He used to take me for a walk along the breakwater in Santa Barbara. It's a man-made wall between the harbor and the ocean and during certain times, the sea spray can drench you. I used to laugh when we'd get sprayed.

I also remember him coming to my birthday parties. We had them at a park near where he was an assistant manager at Jordano's grocery store. He'd walk to the park during his lunch break and spend a little time with me. Thankfully, my mom and dad had purchased a Super 8 movie camera and filmed my birthday parties, among other events, so I can now view them and see my dad and that helps with my memories.

He loved my mother. He wanted to make our lives wonderful and he was ambitious and that's why he took another job in a town about an hour away. Unfortunately, I also remember that he used to get speeding tickets. And it was that speeding that got him late one night, just before Christmas.

I used to wish I could go back in time and change things, that I could stop him from speeding or stop him from leaving that morning. I've missed having a dad. I missed out on getting to really know him. I have few memories of him. But it does no good to dwell on what happened or what might have been. All I can do is look forward and to live my life so that someday I can see him again. Someday, I will be able to know him and spend time with him.

Someday, I hope to lose myself in his hug and spend eternity with my daddy.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Happy Birthday to My Little Man

Seven years ago I had my youngest son. I went into the birth expecting it to be much like the previous nine. I expected to bring my healthy baby home the day after the birth for that very important family bonding time.

The doctor had decided to induce me since we live 30 miles from town and I have quick deliveries. I thought the induction date was early but it worked well with my other kids' schedules and it was convenient. Besides, I was old and tired of being pregnant.

The induction took much longer than others had taken and I knew the baby wasn't ready, but once you start an induction you're committed to it. Finally, it was time and I only had to push once and he came flying out. I was both elated and relieved.

While I was holding my baby, my doctor came in the room and pulled him out of my arms, examined him and said, "He has some characteristics of Down syndrome You should have him checked." And then he was gone. Just like that.

I was still stunned when the nurses came to get him to take him to the nursery and clean him up. Not long after, I was stunned again when the nurse returned to tell us his lips were blue and he needed oxygen. Not long after that, we were told that since he probably had Down syndrome he was going to be be life-flighted to another hospital. I was so stunned I could hardly talk or even catch my breath. The flight team arrived with what looked like a glass coffin and the nurse told us he probably had the heart defect and/or lung defect and he may not even live through the flight. Talk about conflicting emotions in the matter of just a couple of hours.

Long story short, he ended up in the NICU in another hospital for basically no reason. They could never tell us why he was there. His heart was perfectly normal. His lungs were fine. His other organs were all normal. He didn't have newborn pneumonia or any other illness. I'm sure it happened for a reason and I learned a lot from it, but it was an emotional roller coaster. We did have the karyotype test done and although the geneticist thought he might have Mosaic Down syndrome, he was diagnosed with Trisomy 21 or Down syndrome.

And thus we started on a journey that has both been painful and joyful. It is painful to realize that many people will never see my son for who he really is. They will judge him because of the way he looks, the way he speaks, the way he acts. They will make assumptions about him that aren't true. They will think they know more about him than they do. And they will treat him accordingly.

But it has also been filled with joy and wonderment. It is amazing to me that even with the extra genetic material in his chromosomes he can still grow, learn, laugh, love. He has likes and dislikes. He can program the DVD player, find any site he likes on the internet, use features on my phone I didn't know existed. He is his own person with his own definite personality. He loves to watch SpongeBob, eat corn dogs, and play in the iPad. He is such a light to me. And he has taught me to be patient, to trust that all will be well, and that life isn't a race to rush through to the end. It's meant to be enjoyed.

Sometimes he makes me crazy. But he also he makes me laugh. He makes me smile. Most of all, he makes me grateful. He is exactly who he is and I am honored to be his mother.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

From my adorable granddaughter because everyone needs a heart butt.

And from my cute little SpongeBob with his special treat bag.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Are We Any Better Than Hitler?

For the book club reading this month, I was reading, Sarah's Key. It is an absorbing novel about July 1942 when French citizens, who happened to be Jews, were rounded up and sent to their deaths. 13,000 French Jews, mostly women and children, were exterminated by order of Adolf Hitler.

The author alternates between the story of a young Jewish girl living in Paris in 1942 and the story of a middle-aged woman in modern times who is assigned to write a story about this event in French history. An event the French prefer to forget.

While the story is well-written, I admit that I stopped reading it. I'm not a fan of profanity and when I began a passage with the F-word I stopped reading the book.

Up to that point, I was riveted by the story and thought about the cruelty extended to a group of people simply because they were Jews. Hitler decided that they did not deserve to live simply because he thought Jews were inferior. Who gave him that right? And why on earth did so many people follow him? Why were so many willing to kill people--children especially? How could anyone do something like this? Why did so many turn their backs on the Jews and refuse to stop the insanity surrounding the Holocaust?

Then I have to ask myself, how are we, in our society, any different than Hitler? We have laws that protect the practice of killing innocent children every day. Over 3000 babies are aborted in this country every day. Yes, every day. Why? The majority are aborted because they are an inconvenience, because their mothers have decided they don't have the right to live. And we have groups like Planned PArenthood that applaud this so-called right.

For anyone who's read my blog before, you know that I have a son with Down syndrome. 9 out of 10 women whose pregnancies are diagnosed with Down syndrome choose to terminate the pregnancy. They choose to kill that growing baby simply because it has too many chromosomes. So I ask you, how is that any different than what Hitler did? We are outraged that he thought Jews were inferior. We say he was the devil himself to have killed so many innocent people, so many innocent children who didn't deserve to die. Yet, we consistently protect the right of women to do the same thing. Over and over and over again.

We like to see ourselves as advanced and pretend that our society is nothing like Hitler's. And yet, we are no different. Our politicians fight to protect a woman's right to kill her baby, as if that baby has no rights. Why? Because it is inside its mother's womb? Because it can't care for itself? If we were to apply that reasoning across the board then we'd have to say that all children fall into that category.

I cannot understand why any human being would do what Hitler did. I cannot see how he could justify any of his actions. I do not understand killing others because they seem to be inferior. I also do not understand how women's hearts can fail them and they can justify killing their own babies. In our country, women use abortion as birth control and our government wants to force businesses to allow women to do so through the healthcare they provide to employees, even if that business has strongly held religious beliefs (which is a violation of the business owner's rights). We are on the same road as Hitler once was. We are deciding who has the right to live and who does not. We pretend that we are better than Hitler, but we are not. Today we decide unborn babies can die at the whim of their mothers. What will tomorrow bring? When we disrespect the life of anyone, we disrespect the lives of everyone. How can we ever hope to teach people to stop killing innocent people in theaters and schools when we allow, and even advocate, the killing of our most innocent?

I think Mother Theresa said it best, "But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child - a direct killing of the innocent child - murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love, and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even his life to love us. So the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love - that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts. By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching the people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. That is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion. "

And, "It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish."

If we want society to respect life, if we want to stop the violence, we must first protect all human life.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Aura Winner

Thank you to all of you who participated in the YA Giveaway Hop. Thanks for supporting me and my book, Aura.

I used to choose a winner. And the winner is . . . . Jenny Newton. Congratulations!! I'll contact you to see if you prefer a print copy or an ebook copy of Aura.

I love contests! I'll be doing some more hops in the next month, so please check back.

I will also have a blog tour for Aura beginning on March 4th.