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Friday, April 27, 2012

Guest Post and Giveaway with A.M. Hargrove, author of The Guardians of Vesturan Series

Hi, everyone!

I am pleased to participate in A.M. Hargrove's Survival Blog Tour hosted by What's Your Story Book Tours.

About A.M.:

One day on her way home from work as a sales manager, A. M. Hargrove realized her life was on fast forward and if she didn’t do something soon, it would quickly be too late to write that work of fiction she had been dreaming of her whole life. So, she rolled down the passenger window of her fabulous (not) company car and tossed out her leather briefcase. Luckily, the pedestrian in the direct line of fire was a dodgeball pro and had ├╝ber quick reflexes enabling him to avoid getting bashed in the head. Feeling a tad guilty about the near miss, A. M. made a speedy turn down a deserted side street before tossing her crummy, outdated piece-of-you-know-what laptop out the window. She breathed a liberating sigh of relief, picked up her cell phone and hit #4 on her speed dial.
“Boss, is that you?”
“Why yes A. M., who else would be answering my phone?”
“Er… right. Well, I’m calling to let you know you can pick up my luxury Ford Focus at Starbucks near the interstate because I quit.”
A. M. hit the end button and speed dialed her husband.
“Hi yummy hubby, can you pick me up at Starbucks?”
“Sure honey bunny… having some car trouble?”
“Not at all. I need a ride because I just quit my job.”
“You WHAT?!”
“It’s time for a new career and I am going to be a very famous novelist.”
So began A. M. Hargrove’s career as a young adult paranormal romance author of self-published ebooks.

Well, it didn’t happen exactly like that. The real story is that after years as a successful sales manager in the world of pharmaceuticals, her company was gobbled up by a larger one and her career came to a screeching halt. Always one to look at the glass as being half full, she took the job loss as an opportunity to forge down the path of her life-long dream– that of becoming a writer. Her series, The Guardians of Vesturon, centers around a family of six siblings and is a mix of humor, mystery, suspense and of course, love. Survival is her first book in the series and her second, Resurrection was released in January 2012.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook Goodreads

Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, A.M.! 

A.M. has written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to her.

The Best Moment In My Career As An Author
by A.M. Hargrove

When I was invited to do this blog post, I decided to let someone else come up with a topic. I didn’t want to blather on about something in which no one had any interest. So it was suggested I write about the above, and I quickly thought, “Yeah, that’s a great idea!” What I didn’t count on was how difficult that simple question was.

My initial thoughts were, well of course it would have to be when I finished writing my very first novel. But then I thought that maybe it was when I got the first book cover back from my graphic artist and I realized my dream of self-publishing was truly about to happen. As my thoughts delved deeper into the question, I wondered if perhaps it could have been when I received the first book back from my editor.

The truth of it is there have been SOOOOO many best moments that it’s impossible to nail down one. So, after thinking about this for hours, I have come to the conclusion that it boils down to a couple of moments. The one that sticks in my mind is my decision to actually give this author thing a go.

I had worked as a district sales manager for years and believed that I would stay in that position until the ripe old age of retirement—whenever that would be. I was fortunate to work for an awesome pharmaceutical company filled with talented people and the sales reps on my team were the best. We consistently won awards and I literally had no turnover for years. In other words, we were a well-oiled machine. That plan, however, came to a screeching halt when my former company was taken over by a larger one, which chewed us up and spit us out in tiny, unrecognizable pieces.

I was suddenly forced into a game change. I spent hours thinking about what I wanted to do. Working for another big pharma company was an option, but I honestly didn’t think any company could compare to the one I had been employed with for so long.

Then it hit me. I had minored in journalism in college (and actually was one class short of a double major in it) and had always dreamed of writing romantic fiction. Why not take this forced change and make it into something I have always wanted to do, but never thought I could? So I was off and running but I didn’t really think in the back of my mind that it would ever happen. When I finished writing Survival, I had enlisted friends as beta readers and they encouraged me to publish it. And so it happened and here I am!

But, the greatest thing about making that decision has been the incredible support of readers everywhere. So to get back to the original question, the best moments in my career as a writer have been hearing from fans via Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, my website, and my blog about how much they love my series and begging to know when my next book will be out. I’ve received awesome emails from fans all over the world and it has been quite humbling to know how much they enjoy The Guardians of Vesturon. They are the ones making it truly happen for me!

Thanks so much for joining us today, A.M.! 

Freebie alert! Everyone can download Survival, which is Book #1 of The Guardians of Vesturan Series.

Synopsis: A normal backpacking trip turns deadly for nineteen-year-old- Maddie. Her boring life suddenly takes a turn down a dark and twisted path. Will it lead her to her dream come true, or end up in tragedy? Follow Maddie as she discovers places unknown and a love that will defy all odds.

And there's more! Another freebie! Everyone can download Beginnings, which is the Prequel to The Guardians of Vesturan Series.

Synopsis: You met the Guardians of Vesturon in Survival and Resurrection. Now read about how their parents, Rowan and Annalise met in Beginnings, the novella prequel to The Guardians of Vesturon. Learn more about Rowan and how Annalise unwittingly captured his heart and how his chance meeting of her took him on a journey of forbidden love. 

FREE at Smashwords

Now, after you download the freebies, you can enter to win Resurrection, which is Book #2 of The Guardians of Vesturan Series.

"Maddie knew she was dying. Her life started to flash before her. She had visions of running down the soccer field, scoring a goal, eating her mother’s yummy, homemade, sticky cinnamon rolls, standing in her foyer listening to the police tell her father that her mother had been killed in a car accident. Each vision was disturbingly clear—as if it was happening again."

Rayn Yarrister, the first-born son and Leader of The Guardians, has been imprisoned on Vesturon for breaking their most sacred of covenants. He is suddenly jolted by Maddie's telepathic pleas for help, as her life hangs in the balance. Can he alert The Guardians in time to save his soulmate? Or will he face his trial alone and broken without his one true love?

In Resurrection (Book 2), The Guardians of Vesturon are facing their biggest challenges as Earth is threatened by an invading species from a distant planet intent on destroying it for its resources. The Guardians, as protectors of the universe, have been assembled to defend not only Earth, but other vulnerable worlds as well. The Yarrister family is threatened by an unknown entity intent on discrediting them. Will they uncover this plot in time to save themselves from ruin? Will The Guardians succeed in stopping the Xanthians, or will Earth be invaded and ravaged by this marauding species?

To enter the giveaway, please fill out the Rafflecopter entry form below.

This giveaway is open worldwide until 12:01 AM EST on May 4, 2012.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Tour Participants

April 21st- Books With Bite
April 22nd- Owl Read It
April 23rd- The Reading Housewives
April 24th- Kindle & Me
April 26th- Thoughts at One in the Morning
April 27th- Darlene's Book Nook
April 27th- The Reader's Antidote
April 28th- Cesya MaRae Cuono
April 29th- What's Your Story?


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