Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Cover Reveal: Concealed by Christina Bauer

Welcome to the cover reveal for Concealed! This book will be published October 25, 2016. The cover was designed by Ink Monster.
Concealed by Christina Bauer
Blurb:
As a Grand Mistress Necromancer, Elea commands the ultimate power over spirit and bone… Magick that she’ll need in order to rescue her friends from the evil Vicomte Gaspard. In a matter of days, Gaspard will kill thousands of Necromancers by draining their magick, along with their life force.

To find and free her fellow mages, Elea must venture into some of the most dangerous places in the realm. What starts off as a rescue quest could easily turn into a suicide mission. And with the handsome mage Rowan along to help, Elea may be risking more than her life. Her growing feelings for Rowan might put her heart on the line, too.
Series: Beholder, #2
Genre(s): Paranormal, Young Adult

About the Author

Christina graduated from Syracuse University's Newhouse School with BA's in English as well as Television, Radio, and Film Production. Her day job is in marketing for companies like Microsoft, Cisco, and Zerto. Back in the go-go 90′s, she founded her own software start-up, Mindful Technologies. Christina believes that, upon close examination of Tolkien's text, it's entirely possible that the Balrog was wearing fuzzy bunny slippers.




Yours,
This cover reveal was organized by Xpresso Book Tours.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Book Tour & Giveaway: Reign & Revolution by Janine A. Southard

Welcome to the Reign & Revolution blog tour!! This book was published April 12, 2016.

Reign & Revolution by Janine A. Southard
The Hive Queen Saga’s Thrilling Conclusion!

Rhiannon and her Hive have mastered space travel. Sort of. At least, they’re better at it. They’ve outsmarted kidnappers, survived severe oxygen deprivation, and heisted back their own ship engine from would-be thieves.

Since joining up, they’ve traveled further and further away from their home planet. But out on Yin He Garden Station (in Chinese-owned territory), home catches up at a physics symposium.

When Alan’s former research advisor makes an offer that’ll bring them home as respected members of society, Rhiannon knows she has to accept. But home isn’t exactly as she left it, and a hostile space fleet stands between her aging ship and her new/old life. Should she be running towards the fleet, or scurrying back into international space as fast as her craft can go?
Series: Hive Queen Saga, #3
Genre(s): Science Fiction, Young Adult
Book links: Goodreads * Amazon * B&N * Smashwords

Guest Post

Q: What was your favorite and/or funny thing about writing this novel and why?

A: I get really into my research when I’m working on a novel, and this one was no exception. Reign & Revolution has plenty of favorite learning moments to choose from. I adored describing my Chinese space station as well as adding verisimilitude to my gender-changing robot. I mashed up linguistics with sci-fi in-jokes to name the Goddess of Robots (“Saberhawen”). But my absolute favorite thing about writing this novel was the poetry contest that saves the world.

Side note: My copy editor says her favorite thing was taking out all the hyphens.

You need to know two things before we discuss the poetry contest.

  1. I am not a poet. Sure, I can write intentionally bad poetry, no problem. I did some for comic effect in a videogame I worked on once. But good poetry?
  2. The Hive Queen Saga is based in a Welsh-colonized future, so the characters appreciate good poetry more than the average reader. (There’s a lot that goes into Welsh-centric worldbuilding, about what’s realistic and what isn’t, but this segment is about poetry, okay. Poetry.)

Based on item two above, it made sense to have a very important poetry contest. Based on item one above, it did not make sense that I should actually write any poetry. Ack!

What’s more, what kind of poetry was I going to write? This is a more complex question than you might think. There’s a long history of Welsh poetry, and it’s very politicized. A quickie chronology of the politics goes something like this:

  1. Welsh people write poems about Wales and their history and their countryside. It tends to tell a story. It’s written in Welsh.
  2. England conquers Wales. (approx. 1300) If you want to be a powerful person, you have to go to English schools. If you want a good education, you go to English schools. You learn to write and appreciate English poetry, which is about feelings and Englishness. It is written in English.
  3. In the 1970s, radical poets write in Welsh about English oppression and other problems facing their nation. They’re jailed. (For writing in Welsh? Probably not, but it’s a part of what makes them so radical. Famous poets are tied to a civil-protest group that fights for Welsh-language on public signs and spaces.)
  4. “Anglo-Welsh” poetry becomes a thing, but no one is quite sure how to define it. It usually means writing in English, but with Welsh imagery and sensibility. Some poets try to stay away from inflammatory topics. Hardcore Welsh poets say these works aren’t Welsh enough; and the English think they’re too pastoral. Anglo-Welsh poetry apologizes for itself at every turn, yet it’s still a powerful poetic form.

There’s more to it than that, but these are the four basic steps. What your poem is about, how you structure it, and what language it’s in – all of these are heavily politicized.

So, about that poetry contest that saves the world.

I did a lot of research. I read a slew of poetry (radical and otherwise). I discovered my new favorite poet. (The national poet of Wales! Gillian Clarke. She is phenomenal.)

With relief, I realized that my colony planet had already solved the language issue for me: the characters speak English most of the time, so a widely accessible poem would have to be in that language. Even better, I contrived to have the necessary poem written by a character who could be competent, but not great, which took off a lot of pressure.

Finally, I made all the uber-Welsh choices in that list above. The poem that saves the world is about history and society (not feelings), and it is very politically radical in its context. It does everything a Welsh poem should do.

...it’s still never going to win a poetry award, but that wasn’t the point.
~~~

About the Author

Janine A. Southard is the IPPY award-winning author of Queen & Commander (and other books in The Hive Queen Saga). She lives in Seattle, WA, where she writes speculative fiction novels, novellas, and short stories... and reads them aloud to her cat.

All Janine’s books so far have been possible because of crowdsourced funds via Kickstarter. She owes great thanks to her many patrons of the arts who love a good science fiction adventure and believe in her ability to make that happen.

Get a free piece of fiction when you sign up for Janine A. Southard's newsletter (http://bit.ly/jasnews). The newsletter will keep you current on things like her latest release dates (and fun news like when her next Kickstarter project is coming). Usually, this is once a month or so, but sometimes goes longer or shorter. Your address will never be shared, and you can unsubscribe at any time. Plus: free ebook! (Rotating freebies mean I can’t tell you what the work is right this second.)

You can hang out with Janine online where she’s crazy about twitter (@jani_s) and periodically updates her website with free fiction and novel inspirations (www.janinesouthard.com)


By entering the giveaway, you are accepting my giveaway policy.
Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)
Paperbacks of the complete Hive Queen Saga + cover art poster
eBook copies of the complete Hive Queen Saga
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Follow the rest of the tour here.

Yours,
This book tour was organized by Xpresso Book Tours. The giveaway is sponsored and administered by the author.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Blood of the Prophet by Kat Ross

Welcome to the cover reveal for Blood of the Prophet! This book will be published September 12, 2016.
Blood of the Prophet by Kat Ross
Blurb:
Visionary. Alchemist. Savior. Saint.

The Prophet Zarathustra has been called many things. Now he spends his time drawing pictures of weird-looking goats. That’s what happens when you’ve been stuck in a prison cell for two hundred years. But the man who might be mad, and is definitely supposed to be dead, has suddenly become very valuable again…

It’s only been a few weeks since Nazafareen escaped the King’s dungeons with her daēva, Darius. She hoped never to set foot in the empire again, but the search for the Prophet has led them to the ancient city of Karnopolis. They have to find him before Alexander of Macydon burns Persepolae, and Darius’s mother with it. But they’re not the only ones looking.

The necromancer Balthazar has his own plans for the Prophet, and so does the sinister spymaster of the Numerators. As Nazafareen is drawn in to a dangerous game of cat and mouse, her newfound powers take a decidedly dark turn. Only the Prophet understands the secret of her gift, but the price of that knowledge may turn out to be more than Nazafareen is willing to pay…
Series: The Fourth Element, #2
Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy

About the Author

Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She lives in Westchester with her kid and a few sleepy cats. Kat is also the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day (Skyscape, 2014), about a world where the sea levels have risen sixty meters. She loves magic, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Preferably with mutants.

By entering the giveaway, you are accepting my giveaway policy.
Giveaway
Copy of Book 1, The Midnight Sea
Yours,
This cover reveal was organized by Xpresso Book Tours. The giveaway is sponsored and administered by the author.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Book Blitz & Giveaway: The Exiled Seven by Blake Renworth

Welcome to the The Exiled Seven book blitz! This book was published May 12, 2016.

The Exiled Seven by Blake Renworth
When Alariq is exiled from his home city-state for a crime he did not commit, only six stand by his side, convinced of his innocence and steadfast in their loyalty.

The seven dwarfs must set out from Ishtara to look for a new place to call home, but in doing so, they make a discovery that puts them all in danger. They are rescued and taken in by a mysterious and beautiful outsider, who lives alone in the depths of Loraheem Forest. What follows is Alariq’s struggle to come to terms with his exile, as those around him seek to make a place for themselves in this new life. Soon, however, it becomes clear their situation is more complex than they initially realized, and they begin to wonder if there is more behind Alariq’s exile than simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Told in a unique storyteller voice, this reversal and reimagining of the classic fairy tale explores the themes of shattering betrayal, the subsequent struggle to trust again, and the basic desire to take control of one’s own destiny.
Series: The Exiled Series, #1
Genre(s): Fantasy, New Adult
Book links: Goodreads * Amazon * B&N * Kobo

Excerpt

If you will, please imagine the tallest and most beautifully handsome man you can, the complete and perfect embodiment of classic male beauty, charm, and chivalry.

Now—cast this image far from your mind. For this tale is not about him. Many of such tales have already been told, and to tell yet another would be a great disservice to the other heroes of the world.

The hero around whom this tale revolves—and a hero I assure you he was, even if your faith may waver during the events that follow—was a hero of a different sort. Though it would be altogether unfair to say that he did not entirely look the part. He was as handsome as dwarfs come. Strong, in both physique and demeanor, and clearly one who commanded respect. But his jaw-length, dark blonde hair, the color of wet straw, and not even five-foot stature are not what you and I are accustomed to seeing in our mind’s eye when we think of the heroes of tall tales. Nor his slightly crooked nose or angular jawline, for that matter.

What about his personality, you ask? For, of course, looks are not all that matter in a champion. And I applaud your depth of character. But sadly, I must disappoint you and your commendable optimism. For this hero was not charming, or dashing, or gallant, or really very pleasant in any way at all. In fact, he could be downright unpleasant to be around when in one of his all-too-frequent foul dispositions. And unfortunately, it is in such a disposition that we find Alariq as we join his story.

As disagreeable as Alariq was, I am sure you will find his demeanor quite understandable. You see, his story is an unfortunate one. We find him, and his six loyal companions, banished from their city-state, Alariq for a crime he did not commit, and the others for their loyalty to him and their faith in his innocence.

Seven dwarfs they were, exiled and alone.
~~~

By entering the giveaway, you are accepting my giveaway policy.
Blitz-wide giveaway (US/CAN)
A Kindle e-Reader
Yours,
This book blitz was organized by Xpresso Book Tours. The giveaway is sponsored and administered by the author.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Book Blitz & Giveaway: #Kissing by Ellie Brixton

Welcome to the #Kissing book blitz! This book is was published June 14, 2016.

#Kissing by Ellie Brixton
I was always the good girl.

Then when the pressure became too much, I took off and found me a bad boy.

Niko. The hot, British rock star and frontman of the Halos.

He took my angel wings and gave me a lot of things, well, everything but the Big O.

And fidelity.

So with my #fail in hand, I did the worst thing imaginable.

I went home. The insta-nagging, criticism, and impossible expectations reminded me why my life #sucked—the reason I left in the first place.

Well, everything was the same except for JQ, my high school crush. With a snug T-shirt and jeans that fit in all of the right places, it looks like he became man and maybe it was time for me to become a woman.

#Kissing is a sexy, rock star romance for new adult, college, and contemporary romance readers who enjoy love stories with an HEA.

Author's note: #KISSING is a full-length, standalone novel. Due to strong language and content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.
Genre(s): Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Book links: Goodreads * Amazon

Excerpt

The particular frenzy of backstage morphs from last minute monitor repairs—and choking back the remnants of stage fright—to the synchronous heart-pumping anticipation of those opening chords as the music stretches from here to infinity. Instruments and amps and hundreds of voices transform what might be understood as merely sound and instead whisper their truths to our souls.

Since I can't have the dream house and dream life, I'll take this. The moment promising the transcendence of music.

Niko told me he used to puke before going on stage and then said it stopped when I came along. The blowjobs and sex help, I'm sure of it, because he's one-hundred percent swagger as the lights follow him across the stage.

Mitty appears, his bass strung low, but not for style points, rather, his long arms. Jill ghosts into position, but then the light catches her hardcore expression and if nothing else, she's a rock goddess. There's no disputing it even if there's not much else to like about her.

Kenji's last, having changed into a purple robe with a white fur collar and a gold crown studded with jewels. He throws off the robe and pounds his chest, his nightly ritual before going bananas on the drums.

My body hums as I elbow my way to the front. Hundreds of fans keep the autumn chill out of the venue. The lights dim before flaring back on.

My shoulders relax. My mind goes quiet. People all around me cheer, calling out to the band, hands already raised in the air, yearning for that thing only music provides.
~~~

About the Author

Ellie Brixton is a unicorn by day and an author by night. She's a firm believer in eating dessert first and fancies herself a cookie connoisseur. Although she runs every day, she wishes for a 1959 Cadillac convertible, in pink of course. This is her first novel.



By entering the giveaway, you are accepting my giveaway policy.
Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
$25 Amazon gift card and a digital copy of #Kissing
Yours,
This book blitz was organized by Xpresso Book Tours. The giveaway is sponsored and administered by the author.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Lavender in Bloom by Lily Velez

Welcome to the cover reveal for Lavender in Bloom! This book will be published July 25, 2016. The cover was designed by Steph’s Cover Design.
Lavender in Bloom by Lily Velez
Blurb:
It’s the year 1802 in Avignon, France…

Noah Capet has spent most of his young life living simple and unvaried days in the hushed countryside of southern France. Quiet, reserved, and diffident, his preference for existing is to do so in solitude, keeping to himself both in town and on his family’s farm—a predilection that’s altogether disrupted when a newcomer to town by the name of Jeremie Perreault begins an unremitting quest to befriend him.

Jeremie is everything Noah is not. Charismatic and gregarious, he leaves a trail of charmed admirers in his wake wherever he goes. Expressive and idealistic, he talks without end about his deep love for old books and his spirited dream to one day travel the world on a literary pilgrimage.

Over the course of a single summer, the two form an unlikely friendship, but just as quickly as it develops, it soon entirely dissolves as they’re forced to face the truth of what has unexpectedly emerged between them.

Lavender in Bloom is a tender and tragic coming-of-age story about first love and self-discovery, and a poignant reminder that time is fleeting and always takes with it the choices we’re too afraid to make.
Genre(s): Historical, Romance, Young Adult

About the Author

Lily Velez has been writing stories since she was six years old. Not much has changed since then. She still prefers the written word and her overactive imagination over the 'real world' (though to be fair, her stories no longer feature talking dinosaurs). A graduate of Rollins College and a Florida native, when she's not reading or writing, she spends most of her days wrangling up her pit bulls Noah and Luna, planning exciting travel adventures, and nursing her addiction to cheese. All this when she isn't participating in the extreme sport known as napping. You can learn more about Lily and her books at www.lilyvelezbooks.com.
By entering the giveaway, you are accepting my giveaway policy.
Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
$25 Amazon gift card
Yours,
This cover reveal was organized by Xpresso Book Tours. The giveaway is sponsored and administered by the author.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Book Review: Ash by Malinda Lo

I found out about this book on Tumblr, and as soon as I read “lesbian Cinderella,” I was hooked and bought it right away.
Ash by Malinda Lo
Cinderella retold

In the wake of her father's death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted.

The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King's Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash's capacity for love-and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.

Entrancing, empowering, and romantic, Ash is about the connection between life and love, and solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief.
Age: Young Adult; 14 years and older
Review: 5 stars
This book is so incredibly unique. I loved everything about it.

What I liked about this book, and most retellings of the classics, is that it added its own unique spin on a classical story. We all know (hopefully) the story of Cinderella. But this one is complete with the classic mischievous fairy (not the Disney kind) whose magic comes with a price and magic.

I liked the fact that the fairies were the original mischievous kind: the kind that wants to trap you in its circle and never let you go. The kind that has changelings. The kind that isn’t always nice. Another awesome part of this book was the magic and the story of how humans came to reject it. Magic was always a part of the human world, but it dwindled and humans moved on, worshipping religion over magic.

I also loved Ash. She was such a relatable character who had much spirit within her. I loved how connected she was to nature and fairy-kind, which makes sense because of her mother.

Sidhean is a fairy, and not the Tinker Bell kind. He’s dangerous and powerful, but Ash doesn’t seem to care. He is really the only fairy we got to know in the story. I originally was weary of him, but I grew to like him the more Ash interacted with him.

Kaisa was a lot of fun, and I wish we could have seen more of her. Though it is obvious that Ash and Kaisa are falling for each other, I also feel like they didn’t spend enough time together for that to be true love. However, I recognize that the author can’t put every single detail about their lives in there, because then the novel would be incredibly long. There were also points where the author skipped time a little bit, and I assume they hung out during that time as well.

I would have liked to know more about fairies and their personalities, but apart from the brief storytelling moments, we heard very little about them. Fairies were primarily generalized and we didn’t know their story—except for Sidhean. I’m sure this was on purpose, especially because the novel was about Ash, but it would have been nice to know more about fae kind.

This book is full of magic, dangerous fairies, and magic lore, and because of this I recommend it to everyone looking for a fun read. When reading this, I got the same vibe as I did with reading Fairest by Gail Carson Levine, so I recommend it to those who love her books.
Book links: Goodreads * Amazon * B&N * iTunes

Yours,

Friday, June 10, 2016

Blog Tour, Review, & Giveaway: Vanquished by S.E. Green

Welcome to the Vanquished blog tour!! This book is a New Adult Thriller! It was published November 10, 2015.

Vanquished by S.E. Green
Where society’s elite go to explore their darkest desires. And where promises of freedom are just manipulative lies.

For a price, the world’s most powerful people can have their darkest desires. On a private island hidden in the ocean, they may hunt humans for game, attend gladiator-style fights, participate in elaborate orgies, and freely indulge in all the deadly sins within the cosplay of ancient times.

Abducted from their life in Miami, Valoria and her younger sister wake up in this secret society, wherein Valoria is condemned to the fights and her sister is taken away to become a sex slave.

Now “property” of a sadistic tyrant, Valoria joins other men and women captives who are forced to fight and maim for others’ enjoyment, to run in their hunts, and participate in deviant fantasies. And she’s under the cold, watchful eye of Alexior, a hired trainer with his own agenda for being involved in the twisted decadence.

After surviving several near-death ordeals, a defiant Valoria focuses on her training and against all odds soon becomes a favorite. But she fights for one thing and one thing only—to be reunited with her sister and to be freed.

But promises of freedom are sometimes just manipulative lies . . .
Age: New Adult
Review: 4.5 stars
This book surprised me. When I read the blurb, I thought that I wasn’t going to be into it. In fact, I purposefully postponed reading this book in favor of other books that I purchased. But once I read the first few sentences of this novel, I knew I’d be hooked.

With many books, I can tell by the first few pages if I’m going to be entranced in it. This book did that in just a few lines. The author so eloquently wrote the story that I forgot I was reading a story. Many times I found myself with my Kindle a few inches from my face because I was so into what was happening. I felt for all of the characters.

Valoria is kidnapped and sent to this world called Saligia. Saligia is truly a world where society explores their darkest desires, but completely non-consensually. All of the “slaves” held there are there against their will, made to service and please the “elites.”

Valoria lives for her sister. The only reason she makes it as far as she did is for her sister—to get her out of this world, to help her, to see her alive and well. So it is for her that she does anything she has to in order to survive. Valoria is such a special character. She is incredibly strong—not just physically, but mentally. She went through so much and was able to still keep her humanity where many would have lost it. There were parts that I thought she’d die or submit to the craziness, but she never did.

Valoria made friends: Camille, Gem, and a few others. I never really thought much of Camille and Gem in the beginning, but mostly because we, as readers, were seeing Valoria develop and we needed more backstory. Once that was established, we got to see more of other characters being fleshed out. Camille and Gem were also strong, but they kept their humanity as well. It was really nice to see some kindness between these girls because this book was filled with so much horrible things happening to everyone. Camille and Gem were the kindness of this book.

I didn’t know what to think of Alexior for a very long time. He was such a mystery—being nice but then following the orders of the “elites” to train the warriors. I never really knew if he was on the “good guy” side until more towards the second half.

Sera was a curious one. I originally disliked her because of the things that she did and said to Valoria. However, I acknowledged that she was just as much a victim as everyone else was. Sera acted in ways that I did not predict, and I didn’t see her as an “ally” until more towards the end of the story, though I never saw her as evil like I saw the elites.

I really liked Ignatius’ backstory. I can’t say much more without spoiling things, but he was a great character.

Dominus is the man who oversees the people here, with a few exceptions. He is one of the elites, and I hated him with every fiber of my being, especially after we discovered what he’d done.

This book is full of surprises and always leaves you wondering if things will turn out well or not. But I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this novel. I raged, cried, hoped, and had my heart broken with Valeria. I recommend this book to people who aren’t put off by gore, but also like a relatively happy ending. It’s not what I would call a thriller—I’d call it more of a dark fiction type of novel. But all in all, this book was really good, and I recommend it to those who like action, thrill, and justice being served.

A free copy of this book was provided by the author via Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Book links: Goodreads * Amazon * B&N

About the Author

S. E. Green (aka Shannon Greenland) is the award winning author of several novels including the teen thriller, KILLER INSTINCT, and the spy series, THE SPECIALISTS. She lives off the coast of Florida with her very grouchy dog. Find her at www.segreen.net


By entering the giveaway, you are accepting my giveaway policy.
Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)
$25 Amazon gift card and 3 e-copies of Vanquished
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Follow the rest of the tour here.

Yours,
This book tour was organized by Xpresso Book Tours. The giveaway is sponsored and administered by the author.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Tempting Death by Elizabeth Holloway

Welcome to the Tempting Death book blitz! This book is a Young Adult Paranormal Romance and was published May 30, 2016!

Tempting Death by Elizabeth Holloway
The truck should have turned Libbi Piper into a Libbi pancake, but a mysterious boy named Aaron saved her life. The problem? Aaron’s the local Grim Reaper. The bigger problem? He saved Libbi’s life so she can take over his job.

Libbi has just days to choose between dying like she was supposed to or living a lonely life as Death Incarnate. The choice only gets harder when she learns Aaron’s reasons for wanting out of the whole morbid business. Basically, his job sucks.

Still, when Aaron looks at her, there’s something more in his eyes. Something dark and secret. Something he’s hiding. Libbi will be damned if she’ll die without figuring it out. And she’ll be damned if she lets him go.
Series: The Grim Trilogy, #1
Age: Young Adult
Book links: Goodreads * Amazon * B&N

Excerpt

As soon as I see her I know the old woman on the bed is the Rosie I heard in my head. She’s on her back with the blanket bunched at her feet, as if she was thrashing to wake herself from a nightmare. Her short white curls fan the pillow around her head like a halo, but the light I’ve seen on every other person since I met Aaron this afternoon is missing from her. It’s as if someone came along and flipped her light switch off. Her wide blue eyes are fixed on the young man standing beside her, holding her hand.

Aaron Shepherd’s skin is on fire, easily three times more brilliant than Max or anyone I’ve seen today. I can hardly look at him. His head snaps up at the squeak of the door, and his eyes find me.

“You’re late,” he says. “I thought I said to meet me at six.”

He drops Rosie’s hand. It flops to her chest and slowly slides across her body to dangle off the edge of the bed.

Dead. Rosie is dead.

I want to save your life. Aaron’s words to me this afternoon replay in my memory. And believe me, Libbi, saving lives is not something I do often.

I stumble back, and my butt pushes the door behind me closed. Now I know why Aaron said he doesn’t often save lives. He’s the opposite of a lifesaver. He’s a murderer.

“Oh,” is all I can say as my hand scrambles for the doorknob. A scream builds in my throat.

“No, Libbi! Don’t leave, and don’t scream. I know this looks bad, but it isn’t what you think it is.” Other than the bruise from the punch I gave him earlier, Aaron’s face is pale. I suddenly wish I’d punched him harder. Added a little more color to those white cheeks of his.

My stupid fingers scramble over the door behind me, but I can’t find the doorknob. Aaron takes a step toward me with one hand raised. I yelp and leap away from him and the door—my only means of escape—like an idiot.

Aaron takes the opportunity my stupidity creates and blocks my exit. He raises both hands to the level of his chest, palms out, like my father used to do when he tried to calm Mom during a balls-out fight.

“Look,” Aaron says, his eyes earnest. “There’s no need to be scared. I’m just doing my job. If you had been here on time, you’d know that.”

“Killing old people is your job?” I say. “What are you? Some freaky, psychic hit man to the elderly or something?” I scoot deeper into the room, moving closer to Rosie’s dead body, but farther away from her killer. My fingers close around a glass of water on Rosie’s table. He may be able to predict my death and psychically lead me around town with a headache, but I know I can hurt him if he’s surprised. The greenish-purple mark on his chin is proof. Maybe Aaron will stumble away from the door if I throw the glass at him. Then I can rush out and sprint down the hallway, yelling for help the whole way.

“What? No! I didn’t kill her,” Aaron says. “She was dying. It was her time. Didn’t you feel it? The headache? The pulling in your head?”

“Yeah, I know about the headache.” I lift the glass off the table behind me and prepare to lob it at his head. “I’m not sure how you did it, but I felt it.”

“I didn’t do it, Libbi, but I’m the reason you had it.” Aaron says this like the pounding explosion between my ears is some precious gift. “I can prove it.”

“Oh yeah? You can prove you’re the reason I had a headache? Well, I’ve pretty much had a headache since I met you.”

“Rosie told me she was ready to go. She called me Bruce. You heard that inside your head, right? How would I know that?”

I don’t know how he knows that, and I don’t care. The guy can do a lot of freaky things; he can probably read minds too.

“Now, I won’t keep you from leaving, if you want, but please don’t interrupt me anymore. It’s getting late and I need to finish this. Let me finish my job. Rosie has somewhere important to be, very soon.”

I glance over at the still form on the bed. Rosie isn’t going anywhere very soon, unless the morgue counts.

Aaron keeps his hands up in front of him as he steps away from the door, true to his word. The sleeve of his shirt brushes my arm as he returns to his place next to the bed, and chills roll over my body. It’s as if the guy has an eerie force field surrounding him.

My fingers release the rim of the glass. I don’t trust him—he totally creeps me out—but I no longer need to throw the glass at him. My escape route is clear.

And my curiosity is up to full throttle.

“Where does she have to be?” I say. “Where are you taking her?”

“Well, that’s a little advanced for you.” He scowls down at Rosie. “I’ll show you that later. But you should really watch this part closely.” His frown drifts back up to me. “I really wish you’d been here earlier. This would make more sense. But there’s no time to explain now, so let’s call this ‘Lesson One.’”
~~~

About the Author

Elizabeth Holloway is a writer of young adult fiction living in Southern Pennsylvania with her two teen children and their growing number of pets.

In addition to writing, she is a registered nurse, an avid reader, an out-of-practice artist, a karaoke singer, and a music lover. She is still trying to decide what she wants to be when she grows up.


By entering the giveaway, you are accepting my giveaway policy.
Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
$50 Amazon Gift Card
Signed Copy of Tempting Death: Book One of the Grim Series
Yours,
This book blitz was organized by Xpresso Book Tours. The giveaway is sponsored and administered by the author.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Cover Reveal: Shaman's Curse by Suzannah Daniels

Welcome to the cover reveal for Shaman's Curse! This book will be published June 2016. The cover was designed by LM Creations.
Shaman's Curse by Suzannah Daniels
Blurb:
Maylin Kavanagh is on a mission.

After escaping the Warwick Vampires, she’s sworn that the only thing that can stand between her and reaching St. Louis for the next phase of The Program is death itself.

Determined to discover her purpose, her allegiance is with the human race. But the humans aren’t the only ones who want her.

Creed’s people claim that she’s the key to their prophecy and the cure for their curse. So why did he try to kill her?

And if that weren’t enough to ponder, she fears the vampires will hunt her—not for her blood, but for revenge.

As Maylin tries to find her place in a world filled with the supernatural, she realizes it’s not always easy to recognize the lies from the truth, the friends from the enemies. And maybe the hardest thing of all is being able to reconcile her head with her heart.

But it’s a fight for survival, and Maylin intends to win.
Series: Vampire's Bane, #2
Genre(s): Dystopian, Paranormal, Young Adult

About the Author

Suzannah Daniels has had an affinity for words for as long as she can remember. She grew up in North Georgia with four brothers, so she learned at an early age to admire snakes and motorcycles. When she wasn't pestering her brothers, she could usually be found reading or writing.

She is the author of the Whiskey Nights series (new adult contemporary romance), the Dangerous Trilogy (young adult contemporary romance), Vampire's Bane (young adult paranormal), Ghostly Encounter (young adult paranormal romance), and Viking's Embrace (historical romance).

Currently, she lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee with her husband of twenty-nine years. Her children live nearby. The family pets include a Lab mix named Achilles, a Basset Hound named Annabelle, and a Shih Tzu named MooMoo.

Visit her website at www.SuzannahDaniels.com.
Yours,
This cover reveal was organized by Xpresso Book Tours.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Terrapin by A.C. Troyer

Welcome to the Terrapin book blitz! This book is a Young Adult Fantasy and was published May 30, 2016!

Terrapin by A.C. Troyer
Eighteen-year-old Charlotte (Jinx), fights her past to chase her dream of becoming an Elite Nordic Airre pilot, yet her rebellious attitude hinders her hard-earned lead status. Overcoming a string of life-altering events and the unwanted advances of Ghost Allen, a smooth talking pilot, is one thing, evading death at the hands of two comrades is another.

When Jinx comes face-to-face with an unlikely ally, she is forced to trust him in order to escape the clutches of those who want to silence her. Can a once broken girl transform her past into an iron will, or will she ultimately crumble under the destruction?
Series: Nordic Airre, #1
Age: Young Adult
Book links: Goodreads * Amazon * B&N * iBooks

Excerpt

“Hold still,” he said.

I froze. My thoughts instantly drew a large coiling snake at my feet, but then a gentle wipe of his thumb swept across my cheek. I jerked away in response. “What are you doing?” I covered his path with my hand, as if the man-germs burned me.

“Hold still. You made it worse. And don’t look at me like I’m your favorite dessert, it’s not helping the situation any.”

There was a tease in his tone. “What situation?” I asked. “And I’m not. Trust me.” I displayed the most repulsed expression I could. The hem of his shirt pulled up over his crossed arms and cleared his head. “Whoa.” My palms few up. “You’re reading the signs all wrong. Put your shirt back on,” I pleaded to him. My eyes widened, soaking up the definition of his stomach. Holy abs.

“You like what you see?” He laughed, waggling his eyebrows.

I gained my composure and mocked a laugh. “I was just thinking you’re almost as toned as I am. Close, but not quite there yet, big guy,” I said, patting his stomach.

His closed lipped dimpled smile awakened something inside of me. The same smile I saw the morning on Senders Rock, the one that sent tingles through my body. I wanted to pull my eyes away. But he was beautiful.
~~~

About the Author

A.C. grew up climbing trees and spying on her siblings. When not writing, A.C. can be found cheering on her favorite girls at a softball field or sitting in her car reading at practices and eating her hidden stash of chocolate. She enjoys family time, traveling, random road trips, watching movies, decorating, and trying new cocktails. She lives in the mitten state with her husband, two daughters, and their furbabies. Terrapin is her first novel.


By entering the giveaway, you are accepting my giveaway policy.
Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
eBook copy of Terrapin + $25 Amazon gift card
Yours,
This book blitz was organized by Xpresso Book Tours. The giveaway is sponsored and administered by the author.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Smoke and Mirrors by Jess Haines

Welcome to the Smoke and Mirrors book blitz! This book is a young adult fantasy and was published today!

Smoke and Mirrors by Jess Haines
A girl who uses her illusions to fool the world into thinking she’s just like all the other magi.

A dragon who sees through her lies.

Together they just might survive a world that wants to control or destroy them both.

Kimberly may wield ultimate cosmic power, but even a mage has to pay the rent. No one will hire her for her magic talents until she’s got the credentials, so she’s stuck in a crappy rent controlled apartment with her mother, yearning for treats she can’t afford at her part time job in a café, counting down the days until she graduates the secret Blackhollow Academy school for magi. Only then will she have the certificate she needs to land her dream job in a coven.

The problem? She needs a familiar to graduate.

As an illusionist, she doesn’t have the ability to summon or create a familiar of her own. Her only option is to convince a supernatural creature to let her bind it instead. Since having a powerful Other at her beck and call would guarantee her a place in a coven after she graduates—and legendary treasure hoards are an added bonus—she thinks binding a dragon as her familiar will solve all her problems…

Because sometimes a girl needs a dragon, not a knight.
Series:Young Adult
Book links: Goodreads * Amazon * B&N * Smashwords * Kobo * AllRomance

Excerpt

Viper made a soft hissing sound of irritation between his teeth, pulling back from her. “Cormac has no vision. I know what I want and I’m prepared to offer anything to get it. You have but to ask.”

Well. There was one thing. Her cheeks flared crimson and she squirmed a bit before stuttering out another question, swallowing back her embarrassment.

“You keep a hoard like a dragon, right? I don’t suppose you would consider loaning me a little? I swear I’d pay it back.”

His head tipped to one side, and he looked her up and down anew. She suspected he was just noticing her frayed cuffs and cheap shoes. He’d been so intent on getting whatever it was he wanted out of her that he hadn’t paid attention to the package it came in until now. When she caught the very slight curl of his lip, there and gone in a flash, embarrassed heat filled her cheeks.

Feeling both dirty and humiliated, she ducked her head. “Never mind. I shouldn’t have asked. I’m sorry, I don’t think I can do this.”

“Come now, I’m sure it’s not that hard. All it takes is a yes.”

“No,” she said, this time with a bit more vehemence. Cormac was right. There was something off about Viper, and never mind what a perfect ass she’d just made of herself. Worst of all, that flash of disgust showed he obviously had no respect for her. At least Cormac never made her feel tolerated. “Thank you for the offer, but I’ll find some other way of getting what I need.”

He slowly rose to stand, heaving a sigh as he settled back on his heels.

“That’s unfortunate. This would have been much easier if you had agreed.”

Kimberly would have asked what he meant by that, but the look in his eyes froze her in place.

His eyes burned a molten gold as he spread his arms, which were expanding and shifting at an alarming rate. Faster than she might have thought possible, he was growing, his clothing melting and skin disappearing under a layer of metallic scales. Nearby, people were noticing, shouting and screaming in fear as they stampeded in every direction to escape the shapechanging Other in their midst.

When he ceased growing, from the tip of his nose to the end of his tail, he was over thirty feet long, with a wingspan half again that size.

Kimberly sat immobile, unable to so much as squeak in terror as the beast before her lurched back to arch its neck and spread its wings, barbed tail lashing as it growled at her. One thick, talon-tipped paw lashed out, flattening her on the grass and squeezing the air out of her lungs. It gave an awkward, one-legged hop forward to catch its balance before clenching its claws to dig deep furrows in the grass and close around her waist and legs, pinning her.

Then those wide, ribbed wings began to flap, the sun playing off the tones of brass and copper and gold. The ground fell away, people scattering before the airborne monster.

And Kimberly could do nothing but pray, staring up at this great beast that had her in its claws.

She’d gotten what she’d asked for. Now she would have to pay the price.
~~~

About the Author

I'm a displaced New Yorker with a penchant for the silly, the obscure, and the fantastical. Tampa, Florida is home for the time being. I'm currently working on the H&W Investigations urban fantasy series and the Blackhollow Academy young adult contemporary fantasy series. Find out more about my books, drop me a line, or join my mailing list at www.jesshaines.com!


By entering the giveaway, you are accepting my giveaway policy.
Blitz-wide giveaway (US/CAN)
$10 Visa/MC gift card, a signed physical copy of Smoke & Mirrors, and a plush dragon
Yours,
This book blitz was organized by Xpresso Book Tours. The giveaway is sponsored and administered by the author.