Join me for the book tour barrage of the Y.A Fantasy Book ‘Design Series’ by Dale Mayer, including a chance to win one of 15 e-Books, extracts, reviews and covers.
Dangerous Designs (Designs #1)
by Dale Mayer
Published by Valley Publishing (Indie)
Length: 200 pages (eBook format)
YA Fantasy Romance
Contains elements of action and adventure
Heat Level: Sweet
Drawing is her world…but when her new pencil comes alive, it’s his world too.
Her… Storey Dalton is seventeen and now boyfriendless after being dumped via Facebook. Drawing is her escape. It’s like as soon as she gets down one image, a dozen more are pressing in on her. Then she realizes her pictures are almost drawing themselves…or is it that her new pencil is alive?
Him… Eric Jordan is a new Ranger and the only son of the Councilman to his world. He’s crossed the veil between dimensions to retrieve a lost stylus. But Storey is already experimenting with her new pencil and what her drawings can do – like open portals.
It… The stylus is a soul-bound intelligence from Eric’s dimension on Earth and uses Storey’s unsuspecting mind to seek its way home, giving her an unbelievable power. She unwittingly opens a third dimension, one that held a dangerous predatory species banished from Eric’s world centuries ago, releasing these animals into both dimensions.
Them… Once in Eric’s homeland, Storey is blamed for the calamity sentenced to death. When she escapes, Eric is ordered to bring her back or face that same death penalty. With nothing to lose, can they work together across dimensions to save both their worlds?
“Storey, is that you, honey?”
Her mother knocked on the door and pushed it open, the light from the hallway lighting the few silver strands in her otherwise brown hair. “Can’t you sleep?”
“Sorry if I woke you.” Storey sat up, brushing her own jet black hair back off her face. “Just a bad dream.”
“That’s because you didn’t have any dinner. I checked up on you after the meeting finished. You’d fallen asleep.” Her mother’s fingers twisted around a dangling lock of hair as she stepped into the room. She bit her lip. “Storey, you have to eat. You’re already skinny enough.”
Bone rack is what a jock had called her last month. Looking down, Storey realized they could be right. Her hip bones stuck out to match her big elbows. And her body had developed to the point where she barely missed the skinny scarecrow look. Too bad. She might have been able to make that work.
“I’m eating, Mom. They had pizza in class today, so I didn’t need my lunch. Ate that on the way home.” That was a lie. Still, she had more important things to worry about than food.
Relief washed over her mom’s pretty face. “Oh, I’m so glad to hear that. Sometimes I worry about you.”
Sometimes? Didn’t she mean all the time? Was that normal for moms? Then again, there was a world of difference between normal and her mother.
“What time is it?” Storey looked out the window. Blackness stared back.
“It’s just a little after midnight. Please get into your pajamas. You don’t want to be sleeping in those jeans.” She backed up to the open door. “If you’re all right, I’ll say good night. It is witching hour, after all.” With a carefree grin, her mom closed the door.
Witching hour. Right. Only in her house. Sighing at her mother’s antics, Storey collapsed down on her covers and fell into a light, troubled sleep.
She sighed. “What now, Mom?”
No answer. She sat up and glanced at the closed door. Weird. She could’ve sworn she’d heard someone calling her. Lying down again, she pulled her blankets over top, not bothering to get changed into her nightclothes.
She bolted upright. That’s it. Who the hell was playing games with her?
Throwing back the blankets, Storey knelt on her bed. “Who said that?” she hissed into the early morning air. Not trusting the gloomy light, she flicked her bedside lamp on, quickly scanning the room. Empty. “I am so losing it. This is nuts.”
Her gaze landed on the backpack on her floor. Her eyes widened. Oh no.
“No, no. Hell, no.” She shook her head, slowly at first then more wildly. “This can’t be happening. It’s a picture. Nothing more. Nothing less. I created you. I can destroy you.”
That’s exactly what she was going to do. She dragged the backpack onto her bed and opened it. The knot defied her first and second attempts, before she managed to pull the laces apart and yank out her sketchpad. “I don’t know what’s going on here, but enough is enough.”
She flipped to the last page she’d been working on and grabbed it at the top left and pulled. It wouldn’t tear off. She tightened her grip and tried again. It refused to budge. Scared now, she threw it on the floor and in a fit of defiance, she jumped on it.
And fell through the picture, through the floor even.
She went right through the doorway in her picture.
5.0 out of 5 stars – “A Wonderful Read!”
“From beginning to end, Dale Mayer drags the reader on a journey that ends on a cliff! From the beginning, the reader is immediately engaged in the life of Storey Dalton, a teen aged girl who finds herself boyfriend-less and back on the fringes of the social ladder after her boyfriend moves away. Storey’s passion is drawing and when she stumbles up a strange pencil in the woods, Storey’s life is transformed as she comes to realize the pencil is not ordinary and is leading her to draw things she has never drawn or seen before.
Eric Jordan is sent from another dimension to retrieve the stylus (the pencil), left behind by a scientist. After discovering Storey has the stylus and is quickly bonding with it, Eric has to figure out a way to retrieve the object with hurting her. They soon find themselves in the middle of a dimensional war and a struggle to save both of their worlds.
The novel is a reflection of our modern society and it’s treatment of those who are different without being a moral brick to the head. Storey’s compassion and tenacity are wonderful to see and I loved the way she influenced others to open their eyes and see their world. The cliffhanger the author placed at the end left me stunned! My understanding is the next novel picks up where this one leaves off. I’m ready to pick up the next one (Book 2) to see what happens next!”–Kmoaton
5.0 out of 5 stars – “Fabulous start to a new series!”
“Holy Hannah! Are you trying to kill me, Dale Mayer? Are you?!? You must delight in putting your heroines into horribly taxing situations and then leaving them there like so much baggage! I have to admit that I liked the story before but leaving poor Storey in the lurch she was left in made me gasp and jump online to hunt down when the next book would be available. *curls into a little fetal ball and rocks*
So, in case you couldn’t figure it out, this book ends on a pretty hefty cliffhanger. I mean, there are cliffhangers and then there are cliffhangers. This one is the second. This is one that blindsided me. I thought everything was working out and we’d get some happy time before jumping into the next part of the story. Alas, no. Am I salivating to know what happens? Indeed I am.
*deep breath* I liked this book. I liked it quite a lot. I thought Storey was an interesting character. I liked that she thought outside the box. I liked that her questioning of things made Eric begin to question things. I liked that the bad guys aren’t all black and white. I have no clue how things are going to play out in the next book and that’s kind of a neat feeling. On top of the imminent peril our heroine is in, there are a lot of things that Storey unwittingly did as she was learning to use the stylus that she’ll have to figure out how to undo.
Needless to say, I’m looking forward to the next book.”–Kelly Rubidoux
5.0 out of 5 stars – “A unique, wonderful book in a new amazing YA series!”
“I think the main character, Storey, may be one of my favorite female leads ever. This girl showed almost no weakness; she was strong, determined, and remained calm in the face of danger. Instead of acting helpless and uncertain, she took charge of pretty much every situation, not afraid of her abilities with the stylus. She only yearned to learn more about what she could do with it. I think Eric was a great match for her – even when things seemed hopeless and the council members in his dimension wanted her dead, he stayed by her side and believed in her. When the book starts out, Eric insists that his world is so much more superior and simply believes in everything he’s been told. He really shows growth when he stands up to his father and the rest of the council on Storey’s behalf, arguing that she didn’t know the repercussions of picking up the stylus (which she thought was just an old pencil).
I absolutely loved the characters, they were multi-dimensional and it was easy to see them grow as the story progressed. I really enjoyed the entire story line, it felt really fresh and unique and the entire book flowed extremely well. I literally could not put it down!
I don’t have much bad to say about this book. I would have liked to know more about Eric and his world. From what I can gather it is much like our world, only more advanced since they studied us for many years and learned from our technology. I would have just liked more descriptions about the other dimension (both Eric’s and the one where the enemies, Louer’s, exist).
Romance Sizzle or Fizzle? : I would have to say sizzle! It was a slow moving relationship, with Storey more wary of Eric in the beginning than anything, wondering why he was so interested in her and her “pencil”. As she learns about the stylus and the other dimensions, she realizes she needs Eric in order to survive and decides to work with him to try and fix everything. The more time they spend together, the more they are drawn to each other. Their first kiss caught Storey completely off-guard, but that’s all it took for her to realize that maybe she has more feelings for Eric than she thought.
I found this book to be extremely unique. It involved different dimensions, a stylus that is capable of almost anything, and an enemy that, although terrifying, has a tortured past. It was definitely a very refreshing, new YA read.
This book was so different than any I’ve read lately and it had me hooked from the beginning. There was a nice balance of action, discovery, and mystery, with a nice bit of romance in there as well. The ending will leave you reeling and I guarantee you’ll be saying “I need book two NOW!”–Jamie (Bookerella)
Deadly Designs (Designs #2)
by Dale Mayer
Published by Valley Publishing (Indie)
Length: 200 pages (eBook format)
YA Fantasy Romance
Contains elements of action and adventure
Heat Level: Sweet
Book Available at:
Drawing is her world…but when she’s banished to a deadly new world and needs help, it’s his world too.
Her… Storey Dalton wants to go home – but something goes terrifyingly wrong and she ends up in her worst nightmare. There’s no escape…not without Eric or her stylus. Then she finds someone who needs rescuing even more than she does…
Him… Eric Jordan races to save Storey, only to realize a close family member has betrayed them both. Now the enemy is closing in on him. When he meets up with Storey, he knows her plans are a bad idea, but she won’t be dissuaded…and it could be their only way of staying alive.
It… The stylus, now bonded to Storey’s artistic soul, is determined to survive this new chaos – against all odds. But damaged from a prolonged separation, he can’t help Story or Eric – without making things worse.
Them… Storey is determined to make things right. Eric is determined to help her. Neither counts the personal cost, until their very lives are in danger.
Book Excerpt #1:
Panic sat on the edge of her consciousness, waiting for a moment of weakness to pounce. She’d come to rely on the stylus and sketchbook so much that she found herself at a loss as to what to do now. Her simple codex, not like the high-tech one that Eric wore, didn’t appear to be functioning either. She’d tried pushing the buttons, hoping to recreate the same musical combination Eric had used, but the instrument made no sounds.
Had the Councilman managed to switch codexes so Paxton gave her a broken one, too? Or was it the prison walls preventing the codex from functioning? Or her being in an altogether different dimension?
She wished she’d taken the time to learn more about how to use these travel machines. She’d figured she had time to study it at her leisure once she got home. Have Eric give her some one-on-one training time this coming weekend, maybe.
Now she was imprisoned with only the codex, which she had no idea how to use, to help her escape. Damn it.
She could excuse her lack of foresight. It had been a hellish couple of days. Her emotions had been all over the place.
Yeah. Hindsight gave her a different perspective. If she couldn’t draw her way out of here, or portal her way back through the codex’s abilities, she was literally stuck here with only old fashioned methods of escape. Now if only she knew what they were.
She had yet to see her captors. She also had no weapons or anything to make a weapon from. For all intents and purposes, she’d been dumped into a hole in the ground and forgotten.
A horrible thought and one she really didn’t want to dwell on.
She couldn’t believe how much she missed her stylus. She could only hope whoever had it was taking care of it. There were souls in there. Souls that needed care.
She had been able to communicate verbally with her stylus, at least while she’d been holding it. She’d still had to write the answers down, but…what if she scratched a message in the dirt? Would the stylus be able to talk to her? They were still bonded and according to it, would eventually be able to communicate both ways telepathically. Only she had to develop her skills for that to happen.
It was worth a try. But what did she have to scratch in the dirt with? She studied the tab on her jacket zipper. Made from hard metal, it had ripped half off already.
With a hard tug, she pulled the tab off and took several steps forward, looking for where the ground might be softest. Everything that she’d seen so far had been damn near rock. Back where she’d first regained consciousness, she squatted down and scratched, Stylus, can you hear me?
She scratched again. Stylus, I’m in trouble. Can you help?
Damn it. She didn’t want to admit it, but fear was starting an insidious slide inside her mind. She tried again, harder, almost making her fingers bleed from trying to scratch an impression into the ground with such a small tool. Stylus. I need help. Contact Paxton. I need Eric to escape.
She bowed her head. What had she expected?
She’d been tossed into a hell hole and no one knew. Except…maybe, the Councilman. The man was a power hungry toad. Remembering the look of satisfaction in his beady eyes as she disappeared to God knew where sent more shivers down her spine. It also had another effect.
Anger and pride rose to battle the loneliness and fear. She would not let him win.
5.0 out of 5 stars – “Wow!”
“Dale has done it again with this adventure. I really liked that she inserted the last chapter of the previous book ‘Dangerous Designs’ to bring you back into the story. The world she built, the characters, the motives, all ring true. She has a fantastic imagination. I can’t wait for the next book to come out.”–Donna Caubarreaux
About Dale Mayer
Dale Mayer is a prolific multi-published writer. She’s best known for her Psychic Visions series. Besides her romantic suspense/thrillers, Dale also writes paranormal romance and crossover young adult books in several different genres. To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series . All her books are available in print format as well.
Prize is 15 eBook copies of “Dangerous Designs (Book #1)” and ”Deadly Designs (Book #2)” (1 set each to 15 winners). Contest is tour-wide, open internationally and ends Dec 9.
Visit Dale online at:
Website – http://www.dalemayer.com
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/dalemayer
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/dalemayer.author
BOOKS BY DALE MAYER
Psychic Vision Series
Hide’n Go Seek
Garden of Sorrow – Out December 1, 2012
Single Title Romantic Suspense/thrillers
Touched by Death – out now!
It’s a Dog’s Life- romantic comedy
Young Adult Books
In Cassie’s Corner
Dangerous Designs – Book I
Deadly Designs – Book 2 – out now!
Vampire in Denial – Book I of Blood Ties
Vampire in Distress – Book 2!
Gem Stone Mystery Series- out now!
Career Essentials: The Resume
Career Essentials: The Cover Letter
Career Essentials: The Interview
Career Essentials: 3 in 1