Tara West

YA paranormal/fantasy and New Adult author


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Cover Reveal! Life Was Cool Until You Got Popular

My friend, Sarah Billington, has a new book out and I think my Whispers fans will enjoy it! Please show Sarah some love, friends, and check it out!

BLURB

Thirteen year old Kaley’s best friend Jules is an alien clone. That has to be it. Because Jules wouldn’t dress like that or act like that…and she definitely wouldn’t be friends with Meg-a-bitch.

Kaley can’t wait to start at her new school with her best friend Jules. Jules was away in Europe all summer (worst summer of Kaley’s life!) But it’s cool, now school is starting and everything is going to be awesome. However as the school bus pulls up on that first day, Kaley barely recognizes the silky hair and glossy lips as Jules gets off with the cool kids and with their arch-nemesis Meg, the popular girl (God only knows why) who made Kaley and Jules’s lives miserable in elementary school. In Europe, Meg had somehow won over Kaley’s best friend and Kaley finds herself frozen out.

LIFE WAS COOL UNTIL YOU GOT POPULAR is told through Kaley’s eyes, chronicling the initial pain and incomprehension of what happened to destroy their friendship. But that doesn’t last long. Kaley decides that underneath the bleached blond clone with the personality transplant, Jules is still in there. Somewhere. And she is going to get her best friend back!

AUTHOR BIO

Sarah Billington is an Australian writer and editor who likes to write stories with love, laughs, suspense and zombies. Sometimes all in the same story. Her favouritest thing to write about are those horrendously awkward moments that come with being a teenager. Or a human being. Sarah was extremely accident-prone and klutzy as a kid and teen, so her cup runneth over with experiences of horrendously awkward moments to draw from in her writing. Thankfully, she has grown out of her klutziness. Mostly. She is, however, still an embarrassment.

She loves a variety of random things, which include Swing Dancing, Ice Hockey, Roller Derby and is a bit obsessive about paranormal investigation shows and channel E!.

 SOCIAL MEDIA LINKITY LINKS!

Sarah Billington

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Official Website

Official Blog

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Smashwords

Barnes & Noble
Add Life Was Cool Until You Got Popular to your Goodreads!
Print book available December 1.

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New YA paranormal release, Betwixt by Melissa Pearl

It’s finally here! The new haunting paranormal YA by Melissa Pearl! Don’t you just love that cover?

Beautiful, wild-chid Nicole Tepper is hit by a car and left for dead. But when she wakes the next morning, Nicole finds herself in bed without a scratch. Perhaps she was more intoxicated than usual, as her mother is giving her the silent treatment and her friends are ignoring her as well. 
Things take a turn for the weird when Nicole soon discovers she is actually hovering between life and death. Her body is lying in the forest while her spirit is searching for anyone who can hear her. Unfortunately the only person who can is Dale Finnigan, the guy she publicly humiliated with a sharp-tongued insult that has left him branded.
Desperate, Nicole has no choice but to haunt Dale and convince the freaked-out senior to help her. Will he find her body before it’s too late? Or will the guy who tried to kill her with his car, beat him there and finish her off before anyone finds out?
Buy Betwixt on Amazon US and UK.
Soon to be available at Barnes and Noble, iTunes and other ebook retailers.

“Penny. Amber.” I walk next to my friends. “Why aren’t you guys worried? What if Trent’s lying? How did I end up in the forest? Please, someone, hear me.”

“What if she’s not shopping?” Penny drops her books on the big library table. At least she looks a little worried.

Thank you. Finally.

“Maybe she’s run away. She’s been threatening to do it for months.” Amber pulls out a chair. “Trent did say she was acting weird last night. Maybe when he dropped her off she collected her stuff and left?”

“What’s the bet some studly picked her up and they’re now getting married in Vegas.”

Everyone laughs at Matt’s joke.

“Maybe some trucker kidnapped her and she’s locked in the back with a trailer load of livestock.” Amber giggles.

“Why would that be funny?” My voice punches out in harsh syllables.

“Maybe she’s on a bus to New York. Hashtag, Nicole makes a break for it.” Penny smiles.

“Penny, not you too. I haven’t run away.” I throw my bag on the table. “You guys!”

“Maybe she’s dead.” The table goes silent at Lauren’s casual statement. They all look at her then at each other… then all start cracking up.

“Why are you guys laughing? I’m not dead. I’M NOT DEAD.” I scream.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see a head pop up from a book and look around the room as if he just heard something.

“I’m not dead.” I yell across the room.

He flinches, lowers his book and looks straight at me.

I wince.

Dale Finnigan.

Un-freaking-believable.

In other news, the Curse of the Ice Dragon GoodReads book giveaway ends in less than 24 hours! Click here to enter to win one of six signed books!  

The Hunter’s Curse…

To the hunter who reaps his fill of kill

And nary none from need

Beware the beast who wakens to feast

On avarice and greed



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Witch Flame is here!

I’m very excited to announce the release of my novelette, Witch Flame, the prelude to my Keepers of the Stones saga. This dark romantic fantasy might not be suitable for younger teens.  Get your copy on Kindle now! Nook, iTunes and Smashwords versions coming soon. Links will be posted as they become available.  The book is currently .99 on Kindle. Blurb and excerpt posted below.

Witch Flame by Tara West
From the bestselling author of the paranormal Whispers series, comes a new fantasy saga…

Feira, a fledgling witch just discovering her own powers, must battle warriors and monsters before she and her true love can find a safe haven away from the vengeful eye of a jealous goddess.

Bonus origin myth included: The Beginning of Time

This short story is a prelude to Curse of the Ice Dragon, Keepers of the Stones, Book One.

Witch Flame Chapter Two

Feira was just sixteen summers when a booming knock shook the door of her foster mother’s small hut.  She knew it wasn’t her foster mother, as Akahi had left just moments ago to pick berries and would not be back until evening. Feira quickly dropped the wooden spoon into the cauldron of Akahi’s special healing brew and rushed to the door. 

                What she saw before her nearly made her knees buckle—her beloved Tumì, draped over his brother’s shoulder, with a cracked and bloodied skull.

                Tumì’s mother, Katriana stood beside her sons. She looked at Feira with keen eyes and a twisted scowl. “He calls your name, but says nothing else,” she said in a voice that was surprisingly devoid of emotion.   

                “Bring him inside,” Feira beckoned. “What has happened?”

                “He was struck by a palma. Foolish boy,” Katriana growled as she followed them inside. She looked around the modest room with derision in her cold eyes before plopping down on a nearby stool and helping herself to a cup of Akahi’s wine. “I told him to be careful around those heavy fruits. Now who will take care of me if he is dead?”

                Feira pulled back the furs of her own small cot. “Lie him down here,” Fiera said to Tumì’s brother, while trying her best to stifle her rage at Tumì’s heartless mother.

                Tumì’s beefy brother, Nuk, who had been born a mute, answered with a grunt. He dropped Tumì onto the cot without care and stepped back, a vacant expression in his hooded gaze.

                Feira often marveled at the differences between Tumì and his family. His mother and brother had rich, golden skin and flowing chestnut hair like many inhabitants of the nearby seaside village of Aloa-Shay. Tumì’s skin was dark, and his hair an unruly mess of black straw that he had to weave in a tight braid, else it would spring wildly from his head.  

                Feira leaned over Tumì and brushed her hand across his brow. His eyelids fluttered open, but his pupils had receded somewhere in the back of his skull. Sticky blood clung to his matted hair and skin. One corner of his temple had been crushed. Feira shook her head as silent tears cascaded down her face. Most likely, he’d been trying to chop down a palma pod so that he could add more coin to his greedy mother’s purse. The large palma pods that hung from tall trees could yield hundreds of small, sweet fruits. But the pods were heavy, and falling palmas had killed more than one hapless villager. Feira wondered how Tumì had managed to speak her name, or anything at all with such an injury.

                She bit her bottom lip while stifling a sob. Tumì would die without her care, but if Feira healed him, she knew she would be marked a as witch. No mere doctoring could bring someone back from the brink of death.

                Her gaze shot to Tumì’s mother, who was looking at her expectantly with that serpent cold gleam in her eyes. More than once, Katriana had accused Feira of bewitching her son. Now the cold bitch would have proof that Feira was a witch, for Feira knew she could not take another breath if her true love was gone from this world.

                Feira was only glad her foster mother wasn’t here to see what she was about to do. The Elements save she and her mother, once Katriana knew the full extent of Feira’s powers.

 

 

 


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Author Behaving Badly!

It is with sadness and disgust that I am writing this post today. I have heard examples of authors doing this to other authors, but I never expected it to happen to me.  Last week a fellow YA author gave Sophie’s Secret a so-so, three star review on Amazon. She did list some positives, but complained that my book didn’t deliver. Fair enough. She’s got a right to her opinion, and I totally respect that.

What I don’t respect is the fact that she then listed her author name and purchase links to her YA series at the bottom of the review. 

This in the author world is known as trolling or spamming, and it is frowned upon by many of my fellow writers, because it gives the appearance that she is trying to drive sales away from my books to hers. It is also against Amazon reviewing rules for a reason–it’s unethical!!! Read their terms and conditions.

After scrolling through this author’s reviews, I noted that she left her purchase links in several other book reviews as well. I then notified Amazon. Her links were removed earlier this week, and a few days later, so were her reviews.I also took a chance and went public with this on FB. I received a lot of positive feedback and support from fellow authors on this, but of course, I also ran the risk of alerting this author that it was me who reported her. I certainly don’t want any enemies in this business, but what’s done is done, and I do not regret my decision.

Then, today, all of her reviews are back up. Her links are not there, but information about her books is still at the bottom of each review.  And, yes, that’s also against Amazon’s ToC.

Will this author ever learn?

Oh, and Sophie’s Secret has a brand new one star review, titled BOOOOOO!,  from someone who joined Amazon yesterday. The review is not a verified purchase, it tells nothing about the book, and it’s written using British slang, yet it’s on my Amazon US page. Did I mention the troll author is from England and her review is also on my Amazon US page? So I guess my coming out against author trolls is now having negative consequences against my book. This is a shame. Like I said before, I do not mind honest negative reviews, but giving authors false reviews out of spite is a new low.

Authors, if you want to promote yourself, try making friends with other authors. This will take you much further in selling your books. I’m happy to welcome other YA authors on this site, and promote their book releases, etc. You can also see me promoting other authors regularly on FB and twitter, and other authors do the same for me. THIS is the ethical way to increase your reader base.

If you are a new author, I hope you can learn something from this lesson. I just hope that troll author doesn’t sink any lower. Troll author, if you are out there reading this, please know that I will not write bad reviews (or any reviews) of your books. I will also not ask my friends to write your books negative reviews. I am kindly asking you to please find a way to make that spiteful one-star review disappear. I wish you all the best in your writing career.  I hope that in the future, your business decisions are made with better moral judgment.