Friday, December 12, 2014

Faery Marked: Guest Post by Mary Waibel


Not Your Typical Faeries
Guest Post by Mary Waibel
marywaibel.blogspot.com





Thank you so much, Judith, for hosting me today as part of my Faery Marked blog tour.

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word Faeries? Come on, admit it. You thought of tiny, winged creatures that scatter dust around when the fly. Or, maybe you thought of something more in line with Titania, from Shakespeare’s A MidSummer Night’s Dream.

John Anster Fitzgerald [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons 


These are not the type of faeries you’ll find in Faery Marked.

I wanted to take the traditional Seelie Court (ones who enjoy a good prank, but are relatively harmless) and Unseelie Court (those who’ve been known to take a prank too far, and can cause harm) and give them my own twist. So, I created the Adhair and Ebon Fae.

What’s the difference, you ask?

The Adhair Fae, ruled by Prince Lorcan, are easily identified by their white or light colored wings. In addition to the human-sized faeries, you will also find dryads, naiads, and other creatures that dwell in the open air and the light are part of the Adhair Fae.






The Ebon Fae are ruled by Queen Nissa, and the faeries have black or dark colored wings. Naiads, dryads, and other creatures, especially those who dwell in caves or dark places, are part of Ebon Fae.






As you can see, there’s a bit of crossover on some of the creatures, as the location of their tree or body of water determines which kingdom they live in.

Given the descriptions of these Fae, you’d probably assume that the Adhair Fae are the good guys, and the Ebon Fae the bad guys. But, you’d be wrong.

I like to play word games, and I found it amusing to take a name that is similar to the word for dark and make that be the good side. Kind of like the hero in a western wearing a black hat.

In reality, there are good and bad in both the Ebon and Adhair Fae realms. As with all wars, the victor writes the history, and the history of Faery has been written by the Ebon Fae. Queen Nissa is the beloved leader who saved Faery by refusing to wed the evil Prince Lorcan. And while that history is truthful, it is also one sided. Fortunately, I’ll get to explore the other side when I write book 2 in the trilogy.






Book Blurb:

When Callie Rycroft wakes to find purple flames flickering on the ceiling, she believes she’s still dreaming. But soon she’s forced to accept that she has magic―a special magic that grants her entrance into the Faery Realm.

For centuries humans have been banned from Faery, but dangerous times call for dangerous measures. Declared Champion by the Faery Queen, Callie is assigned a Guardian, and tasked with finding the Cordial―a magical elixir needed to keep the portal to the Faery realm a secret from humans.

The upside? Reece Michaels, the boy she's been crushing on for years, is her Guardian. Callie hopes that, by spending time with Reece, he'll start to see her as more than just his best friend's sister.

The downside? She's in a race not only against time, but against another Champion, and a rogue Guardian―a Guardian who stands to threaten her developing relationship with Reece.

Magic, mistaken identities, and hidden agendas are the least of Callie's worries when she learns that the Cordial requires a sacrifice. Will Callie be willing to risk everything―even Reece―to complete her task as Champion? Or will she let the portal open, and doom both realms?

Available at AMAZON




Win a signed copy of Faery Marked and other swag. Details HERE. Don’t miss out on this LIMITED TIME OFFER!!!



About the Author:
YA author Mary Waibel’s love for fairytales and happy-ever fill the pages of her works. Whether penning stories in a medieval setting or a modern day school, magic and romance weave their way inside every tale.

Strong female characters use both brain and brawn to save the day and win the heart of their men. Mary enjoys connecting with her readers through her website: marywaibel.blogspot.com

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Review & Rant: American Born Chinese/ Graphic Novels

American Born Chinese
Author: Gene Luen Yang
Date Published: September 5th, 2006
Publisher: First Second
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 235

I ended up picking up this graphic novel for several reasons:

(1) I've been trying to give graphic novels a fair chance.
(2) As an Asian Studies Major I am always interested in anything related to that particular region.
(3) The name caught my interest since I am an American born Cuban and thought I might be able to relate.
(4) I had heard lovely things about it.

I ended up reading this in one sitting after unboxing it and quite enjoyed it but not as much as I was hoping to (but more on why later). I enjoyed the four different character stories and thought it was really neat how all four came together at the end. I really wasn't expecting it to happen the way it did and so I give the author a lot of props for keeping me on my toes. The individual characters were interesting and funny at times. I didn't end up relating as much as I had wanted to because our environments had been different. Whereas they were growing up in a town that had a very low population of Asian students, I was born and raised in Miami, Florida where the majority of the population is Cuban or Hispanic in general. Thus, I didn't feel the alienation nor the inclination to be anything other than what I was. I did however go through a phase where I only wanted to speak English but that's a topic for another day! :)

Overall, I enjoyed the story for what it was while I was reading it. But here is where my issues start and it is not particularly with the story itself. I am NOT the biggest fan of graphic novels for various reasons. For one, I don't enjoy the length. I know many people love the brevity of a graphic novel but I personally think it goes by way too fast. I feel like I make no connection to these characters whatsoever and character connection is one of my favorite parts about reading. As soon as I am done reading a graphic novel I forget the characters and why they matter. I know that it would probably be a bit different if I read a long series and had more time with the characters but part of what makes me pick up a second book in a series is my interest in what happens to those characters. If I don't feel like I know the characters then I am less likely to care or be interested.

Another issue I have is the lack of back story or internal thoughts. Again, this is a personal preference and I am sure there are some graphic novels out there that have more of this, I just haven't found them. I love seeing a characters thoughts before and after a situation but the graphic novels I've read tend to be more about the present and in the moment. I also love the set up of a world, its history and its ins and outs and I don't get that very often in graphic novels.

Regardless, I haven't given up on graphic novels or my quest to find one that blows me away and changes my mind. I will continue to read them because there are good stories within their pages and it would be a disservice to myself not to read them just because of a few issues.

If you guys have read any great graphic novels you think I just HAVE to read, let me know! :)

Also, let me know if you feel the same way or if you LOVE them!

~Judith

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Review: Keeper by Ingrid Seymour


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Keeper_eBook_cover
Keeper by Ingrid Seymour
400 pages

For them, free will is a luxury . . .

Greg Papilio both wants and dreads his impending metamorphosis. He's tired of being an ugly runt--always picked last on the basketball court--when he could be strong and what girls call "drop dead gorgeous." But as much as he looks forward to the transformation, he also fears the caste it will inevitably assign to him. He doesn't want a common caste. He wants a powerful one, a cool one.

Samantha Gibson is average. She's short and a little full around the hips--a terribly cute look for a future chef. She's two years away from culinary school, from her uncaring parents, and from carving a perfectly Human future. She wants independence, a career and a quiet life of her own.

Except fate couldn't care less about what Greg and Samantha want and gives them exactly the opposite. Greg's metamorphosis assigns him a caste that enslaves him, while Samantha's chance to attend Le Cordon Bleu is taken away. But things are never as interesting as when Ashby--an intriguing blonde with a hidden identity--enters her life with a splash.

Greg's fate is to be Samantha's Keeper, to protect her at a time when someone wants her dead. He will stop at nothing to ensure her safety, even if her secret past proves deadly, even if he's keeping her safe for someone else.
 

Goodreads

Grab Keeper Vol. One (first part of the story) for .99 cents on Amazon.


My Review: 

I had not read a fantasy novel in quite a bit. Fantasy tends to be the genre that I read in small chunks. I think this is because a lot of fantasy tends to throw so much at you at once. But while I was reading Keeper I didn't feel overwhelmed at all. We do have three main POV's but the way it was broken up made it easy to keep up. I felt that the author didn't just write from a characters POV to fill up space. There is one character we hear from less during the essential parts, and I appreciated that. 

The premise of the novel itself is very interesting and unique. We have this species of beings called Morphids who are somewhat integrated into human society. The concept of the metamorphosis and going from ugly to beautiful was very interesting because in my opinion it illustrated the idea that society as a whole and those with power are the ones who set the standards of beauty and those ideals morph into our own over time. The inclusion of a caste system was very interesting as well. There are many societies today that still have caste systems, some more obvious that others. It gives you a lot to think about. The idea of free will vs. "fate" comes to mind a lot when thinking about this book. While I do believe in fate to some extent I also believe in having the free will to change it if you see fit. In all honesty, a lot of the ideas involving the caste system reminded me of Japan. As a Asian Studies major I have read a lot about the "invisible"caste system and just how hard it is to move up the chain. It is even discouraged. 

The characters were really funny and interesting and I thoroughly enjoyed all three characters and the voices they brought to the story. Warning: there is a bit of language, though mostly at the beginning of the story. I personally don't have a problem with it at all but I know some people are uncomfortable with it. Overall, I really enjoyed Keeper. It was a great story on it's own but on a deeper level it really made me think about our own society, our standards and ideals, and the implications of losing free will. I would recommend this book to anyone, especially those who normally are a bit intimidated by fantasy. 


     
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AUTHOR BIO: Ingrid Seymour loves, loves, loves to write. She’s a young and new adult author. She writes in a variety of genres including romance, urban fantasy, paranormal and horror. She loves pizza and sushi, Sunkist and gum. She believes in vampires, witches, but not zombies (uh-uh, never!) She writes to loud music, daydreams constantly and spends too much time in twitter!! Find her there? ;) Ingrid has incredible fun doing what she does, but more than anything she enjoys hearing from her readers. It’s a dream come true.

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Giveaway:
$25 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
signed paperback of Keeper & Bracelet (US)
Prizing provided by the author
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Impervious by Heather Letto: An (Almost) Agora Tour with Pete


Impervious
Author: Heather Letto
Date Published: April 29th, 2014
Publisher: Bookfish Books
Format: Paperback 
Page Count: 302

The residents of Impervious are the remnant—the survivors of the War of Annihilation. And though the city is chock-full of pleasures to tantalize and entertain, a beast lurks in the corners, haunting the residents with its presence. 

The Beast—a mysterious and terminal illness killed off most of Generations One, Two, and Three. And as Gen-Four prepares to take the stage, a provocative, yet questionable, new method to avoid an untimely death incites a cultural rage. 

But Fran lives counter-culture, off the grid in true rebel fashion. With a life far from opulent, she scurries through dark tunnels, searching for hot meals with Pete while ditching the holographic security team. To her, it’s a healthy trade-off. Unaccountability means The Council can’t steal her sliver of hope―a belief that she’ll see The Epoch arrive before The Beast can pull her into its fetid embrace. 

After losing her mother and then her Rebel mentor, Fran stumbles upon a miraculous discovery that may save the residents of Impervious. That is, if she can outrun The Beast…




An (Almost) Agora Tour with Pete
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Hey, thanks, Pete, for agreeing to take us on a tour of the Agora. What an interesting place this is, can you tell me where we’re standing (and thus where our tour begins?)”

No problem-o. My old stomping grounds, right?” Pete waggles a brow before opening his arms in a grand gesture. “Welcome to The Agora, where the food is plenty and the entertainment never sleeps!”

 “Wow, this certainly is fascinating.”

I laugh at his grandeur and then turn in a slow circle to pan the landscape. Gaming stands are dotted here and there and crowds of teens in spandex and glitter cheer on various avatars. The air is charged with techy-sounding music (with way too much bass in my humble opinion.)

Wow, and loud! How do you hear anything over the music and all the craziness?”

Pete shrugs. “I’dunno. I just do. Come on, follow me.”

He pushes his way through a small crowd and I follow--although rather tentatively, as I notice several pairs of thick-lined-eyes scanning me up and down. Apparently, this crowd isn’t too impressed by my mom-jeans. Pete sidles up to a low counter and places his elbows on the smooth acrylic surface. A holograph pixelates behind the bar and greets us – the first welcoming face besides Pete’s I’ve since arriving in the Agora.

“Welcome to the lunch hut! What can I serve you today?!”

While recoiling from the extreme-pleasantness oozing from the eyes and mouth of the ghostly figure, I gaze up at a translucent screen with menu items scrolling past. Unfortunately, it moves too fast and all I catch is ‘coffee’… which works just for me.

I would like a coffee pl--.”  

Before I finish my sentence, a bright light flashes, nearly blinding me, followed by a computer-sounding voice. 

Unidentified resident.”

Oh, Man. I hadn’t thought of that. Come on.”  Pete grabs my hand. We plow through a throng of residents and get caught up in a people-current. I squeal and then hold my breath as I feel a prickly sensation move up and down my body. Pete gives me a yank and finally we’re spit from the flow of pedestrians into an area lined with potted palm-trees.

“Come on, we’re going to have hit the air vents.”

My heart screeches to a halt. I designed these vents. I know what awaits. And I’m sure they’re no place for my fresh mani/pedi. I back up a little.

“Hey, I think I’ll just go now.”  I smile and a small twitch erupts on the upper left side of my mouth.

Pete scrambles inside the vent. “Are you sure? I could show you The Ranch.”

I place a hand over my twitchy lip.

“No that’s fine. But thank you, Pete. I think I’ll just hang out on the other side of this story.”

Pete gives me a thumbs-up. “Suit yourself and Sayonara!”

Pete disappears as the vent hums to a close. 


I stand up a little straighter and wonder who would design such a horrid place, as I step back through the portal and land safely at my keyboard.


About the Author
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Heather considers herself but a worker in the field with a desire to share truth through the art of good story.  In real life, she’s the proud mother of two grown sons and lives part-time in Northern Illinois with her husband, but scurries off to warmer climates when the mercury takes a dive on the thermometer. As well as The Ascension Series, Heather contributes to WHOAwomen magazine, The Fit Christian, Tween Girls and God, Devotion Magazine as well as Swagga for Christ Ministry.
                   Website Twitter Bookfish Books
 

Inkheart Authors Presents: Summertime Beach Reads! (Giveaway)


InkHeart Boxed Set Graphic
InkHeart Authors presents two boxed sets for your summer reading pleasure!
Make sure to download both the Sexy and Sweet AND the Steamy and Sizzling Set - 21 books for $5.98!
***Available for ONE MONTH ONLY***
Sexy&Sweet_Box (1)
Sexy and Sweet Summer Reads 
Available for only $2.99 at:
Amazon | B&N | Kobo, and iBooks coming soon!

​​​ Falling Into Forever by Elena Aitken  
Secrets cause Kari to run, Rhys is determined to catch her, can she find the courage to trust again?  

A Daughter’s Place by CJ Carmichael  
For the sake of her child, a single mother must face the father who disowned her, the ex-boyfriend who hurt her and the neighbor she's always loved in... 

Tempt Me Cowboy by Megan Crane  
Chelsea Collier is a good girl schoolteacher who’s never done a bad thing in her life, but bad boy newcomer Jasper Flint is definitely a bad thing worth doing…  

His for the Weekend by Janelle Denison  
After nine years apart, one forbidden kiss between past lovers leads to one hot weekend, but when their time together is over, will Rachel walk away from Luke again, or can he convince her to stay and be his forever?  

Unspoken by Lauren Hawkeye  
Once, Ellie Kendrick was the only thing that Dominic Gabriel wanted... now she’s back and her version of what happened between them so long ago makes him question everything he knows about himself as a man...  

Weekend with the Tycoon by Kaira Rouda  
When wealthy tycoon Blake Putnam invites employee Samantha Jones to a family wedding on Indigo island with no strings attached he knows it’s risky business, but neither of them expects what happens next. 

Sweet Reunion by Melanie Shawn   
Sometimes first love deserves a second chance.  

The Start of Something Good by Renee Vincent writing as Gracie Lee Rose 
Who knew Mr. Right lived right next door? 

Where Their Hearts Collide by Zoe York  
When the girl next door meets the man of her dreams...at exactly the wrong time. 
Steamy&Sizzling_Box (1)
Steamy and Sizzling Summer Reads
Available for only $2.99 at:
Amazon | B&N | Kobo, and iBooks coming soon!


The CEO's Fantasy by RG Alexander 
Dean and Sara agree to a month of indulging their most forbidden fantasies--but when reality is better than his wildest dreams, will the CEO break his own rules to keep her?

Wicked All The Way by Shayla Black 
When a gruff military man with a desire to control seduces a skittish divorcee bent on finding her independence, will she give in to more than their sizzling chemistry?

The Dom Who Loved Me by Lexi Blake 
Sent to steal her secrets, he soon craved her submission. 

The Male Stripper by Opal Carew 
Her ultimate sexual fantasy brought to life....not one, but two sexy male strippers for one night of torrid passion she'll never forget. 

Elemental Pleasure by Mari Carr and Lila Dubois
There is passion and power in three.

Grif by Bianca D’Arc 
Grif is far from home when he meets a sexy, magical woman in desperate need of his help. 

Web of Desire by Cathryn Fox 
When the captive suddenly becomes the captor, Ally finds herself tangled in a web of desire—of her own making. 

Allure by Nina Lane 
In Book Two of the sexy Spiral of Bliss trilogy, Liv and Dean West's passionate romance is put to the test as they struggle with an unexpected family crisis. 

One Hot Fall Term by Sharon Page 
College freshman Mia fights to make a long distance relationship work with her gorgeous hometown boyfriend Ryan--but billionaire's son Jonathon plans to seduce her away. 

Dare to Love by Carly Phillips 
When a man who requires dominance falls for a woman who needs independence, can they survive the fallout? 

The Great Escape by Suzanne Rock 
Gianni loves dominating Sienna during her sessions at the Ecstasy Spa, but when his ex-lover returns and wants in on the action, all three of them uncover a bond that forces them change their views about love.

Through My Window by Jayne Rylon
What happens when a sex worker fall in love with a client but doesn't plan to quit her job?

Rocked by Cari Quinn and Taryn Elliott 
Love definitely wasn't on the setlist.
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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Wishlist Spotlight: The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian 
Author: Andy Weir 
Date Published: February 11th, 2014
Publisher: Crown
Format: Hardback
Page Count: 384

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first men to walk on the surface of Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first man to die there.

It started with the dust storm that holed his suit and nearly killed him, and that forced his crew to leave him behind, sure he was already dead. Now he's stranded millions of miles from the nearest human being, with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive--and even if he could get word out, his food would be gone years before a rescue mission could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to get him first.

But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills--and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit--he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. But will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?


Grabby Hands Because
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I am beyond excited and impatient to get my hands on this book! For one, it takes place in SPACE and I have been obsessed with all things space/alien recently! Not only that but it is also a survival story and I am a huge fan of those as well. My boyfriend's grandma was the first one to recommend this book to me and I fell in love with the synopsis from the moment I read it. Since then I have seen several people recommending it and it has made me even more anxious to pick up this book! My only concern is whether or not I'll have to read this book during the day. I get easily creeped out and if it is anything like 172 Hours on the Moon I will be paranoid a couple chapters in. The thing is, I LOVE reading about space but it TERRIFIES me! If I ever had the chance to go to the moon or Mars my answer would probably be "Over my dead body!" Even so, I am really looking forward to purchasing and reading this book as soon as I get the chance! 

What books are at the top of your wishlist? 

~Judith

Spotlight & Deleted Scene: This is Sarah by Ally Malinenko



                                                       
This Is Sarah
Author: Ally Malinenko
Release Date: Summer 2014
Publisher: Bookfish Books
Format: Paperback

When Colin Leventhal leaned out his bedroom window on the night of May 12th and said goodbye to his girlfriend, he never expected it would be forever. But when Sarah Evans goes missing that night, Colin's world unravels as he transforms from the boyfriend next door to the main police suspect. Then one year later, at her memorial service, Colin makes a phone call that could change everything. Is it possible that Sarah is still alive? And if so, how far will he go to bring her back? 


As Colin struggles with this possibility, across the street, Sarah’s little sister, Claire learns how to navigate the strange new landscape of life without her sister. While her parents fall apart, Claire remains determined to keep going, even if it kills her. 


THIS IS SARAH serves as a meditation on loss, love, and what it means to say goodbye.



Excerpt
___________________________________________________________

From the Journal of Claire Evans
High School Sophomore


I quit the band today.

Mr. Denshaw didn’t even try to stop me… like it didn’t even matter. And I guess it doesn’t. I wasn’t first chair or anything. I was just another lone clarinet adding to all that noise. It’s not like anyone could hear anything I did. It’s not like it mattered. I told him that I wouldn’t be able to play anymore and that I was sorry but he just sort of nodded his head and adjusted his glasses. He looked everywhere but at me. People do that a lot now. Like if they look me in the eye they’re going to catch my family’s bad luck.

Bad luck. That’s a way to put it, Claire. Your whole family has exploded and you call it Bad Luck.

Anyway, I quit band and had to hand in my clarinet because it was on loan and my parent’s hadn’t paid the whole thing off yet. If I’m gonna be totally honest (and why not? It is my stupid journal) I guess I was sort glad to get rid of it because every time that case was in my hand, I just thought about that moment sitting in Colin’s mom’s car and her telling me that Sarah was gone.

That my sister got in her car and drove off and no one knows what happened next.

It was like I couldn’t separate the instrument from my sister.

That last night, at dinner, before she went to meet Jenna, that was when she told me band was for dorks.

You were right, Sarah. I don’t want to be a dork anymore. I want to be whatever it was that you were going to be before…whatever happened.

There’s a party at the lake tomorrow. I keep wondering if Colin is going to be there. I want to see him so badly.

My parents are fighting again. All they ever do is fight. Like they have to keep attacking each other to keep the pain of missing Sarah away.

Man, keeping a journal is hard. It’s like I don’t even know what to say. I even feel self-conscious writing a journal. How sad is that?  Sarah kept a journal for years. It probably holds every single secret about her. My mother read it when she went missing. They had to give it to the police in case there was anything in there that would help them find her.

Sarah wouldn’t have been self-conscious. I bet her whole journal is about her and Colin and acting and stuff. I bet it’s funny and smart like Sarah.

Basically the opposite of me. If awkward had a baby, it would be me.

About the Author
_______________________________________________________________________________

Ally Malinenko is the author of the poetry collection The Wanting Bone (Six Gallery Press) and the children's fantasy Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb (Antenna Books). She lives in Brooklyn with her husband. 

                          Website | Twitter | Bookfish Books 

Cover Reveal: Storms of Lazarus by Karen Kincy (Giveaway)


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Today we're bringing you the cover reveal for Storms of Lazarus by Karen Kincy.  This is the second book in the Shadows of Asphodel series.  This is a new adult dieselpunk romance and releases in July.  Check out this stunning cover and then enter the giveaway!
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Storms of Lazarus (Shadows of Asphodel #2)
Sometimes escape is impossible. Sometimes love isn't enough.
1913. Christmas Eve. Ardis hardly expects a quiet holiday with Wendel, between fleeing Constantinople and hiding from an ancient society of assassins. And they owe a debt to a certain archmage.

In K√∂nigsberg, Prussia, they work with Konstantin on the next evolution of Project Lazarus. Wendel once called K√∂nigsberg home, the city now besieged by the Russians and their clockwork engines of war. This may be Wendel’s last chance to save his family and find redemption, but he's tormented by nightmares and tempted by laudanum. Ardis fears her love isn’t enough to save Wendel. Her hands are full piloting the automatons, and she's terrified to tell him a secret of her own. Will they—and their love—survive the storms of war?

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Shadows of Asphodel Cover
Shadows of Asphodel (Shadows of Asphodel #1)
She never asked for the undying loyalty of a necromancer.
1913. Austria-Hungary. Ardis knows better than to save a man on the battlefield. Even if he manages to be a charming bastard while bleeding out in the snow. She hasn’t survived this long as a mercenary without some common sense.
When she rescues Wendel, it isn’t because he's devilishly handsome, but because he's a necromancer. His touch can revive the dead, and Ardis worries he will return from the grave to hunt her down. Besides, a necromancer can be useful in this world on the brink of war.
A gentleman of questionable morals, Wendel drops to one knee and pledges his undying loyalty to Ardis. She resists falling for him, no matter how hot the tension smolders between them. Especially when she discovers Wendel's scars run much deeper than his skin, and it might be too late to truly save him from himself.

Goodreads | Amazon

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About the Author: 
Karen Kincy (Kirkland, Washington) can be found lurking in her writing cave, though sunshine will lure her outside. When not writing, she stays busy gardening, tinkering with aquariums, or running just one more mile. Karen has a BA in Linguistics and Literature from The Evergreen State College.

Find the author: Website | Twitter | Facebook 
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Giveaway:
Prize one:  signed paperbacks of Shadows of Asphodel and Storms of Lazarus. US only
Prize two: ebooks of Shadows of Asphodel and Storms of Lazarus. Open worldwide
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions
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Monday, June 30, 2014

Cover Reveal: Smolder by Kelbian Noel (Giveaway)


smolder
I'm excited to share the cover for Smolder, book three in The Witchbound series by Kelbian Noel.  This is a YA urban fantasy series and the first two books are Roots and Sprung.  Check out the gorgeous cover and then enter to win a $25 gift card!
Smolder Book Cover
Smolder (Witchbound #3) by Kelbian Noel
About Smolder:
Calida Cevallos has never been special. In fact, as far as she’s concerned, there isn’t an exceptional bone in her body. But, this summer, she’ll discover extraordinary literally runs through her veins.
I’ve always been a burden. The girl people put up with, the one they tolerated. When I finally found someone who actually wanted me around, I couldn’t have be happier. But lately something’s been bubbling at the surface. Something wants to break free…and I’m afraid it’s me.
I love him. And, for a time, I thought I needed him. Now I’m not so sure. These days, I get the feeling I’m the one who’s needed. By whom? I’m about to find out.

Goodreads 




Roots (Witchbound Book One) by Kelbian Noel

288 pages

Seventeen-year-old Baltimore Land just wants to be normal, but magic has other plans.

I don’t consider myself a witch, that’s my parents’ thing. I’ve never really believed in magic either. Sure, I tried it a few times. Fell for the whole “magic happens” thing. But it didn’t happen to me. No amount of rhyming stopped my parents from moving me halfway across the country. Not one spell stopped me from being labeled the town freak.

And worst of all, no matter how many times I begged the Universe to bring my twin back, I was ignored. Until now.

He’s back all right. And in a magical bind of his own. Not the magic-won’t-work-for-me kind either. In fact, it’s working a little too well. Too dark. Too deep.

It turns out our entire family’s magical roots run just as deep and my brother didn’t end up where he is by accident. So I’m going to help him. But magic isn’t really on my side. Nope. Once I finally get the craft under control, I’m expected to abandon the one person in the world who’s closest to me, just to save myself.




Sprung (Witchbound Book Two) by Kelbian Noel

336 pages

Since she discovered magic, seventeen-year-old Skye Jackson’s life is almost perfect. Almost. Even perfect has its glitches.

What happens when the one with all the power makes the biggest mistakes? Welcome to my life.

Four months ago, I couldn’t have been happier. When my parents got divorced, I wasn’t exactly thrilled. Especially when Mom married a guy half her age. But then I found out I wasn’t the average Joana. Discovering magic existed and, best of all, I could use it, made everything easier to deal with. That is until I got a little too spell happy. But what girl wouldn’t defend her best friend against a world-class creep? Now I’m stuck in a nightmare, forced to make life and death decisions I never dreamed I’d face.

Love the magic, hate the responsibility.




KelbianNoel
About the Author:
Kelbian Noel was born on a warm June night in Moncton, New Brunswick. From a very young age, she loved to read. She found herself engulfed in novels by Janette Oke and L.M. Montgomery, but never seemed to find herself in the pages. At the age of 11 she declared she would simply have to rewrite them, and become the youngest author in history. But life was full of baseball, homework, BFFs and boys. Decades later, having studied writing in college and pursued it as a career, she rediscovered her hobby. She is excited to introduce The Witchbound Series to the world with hopes someone will love this story as much as she does. Kelbian lives in Toronto, Ontario with her two children (where, thanks to a thick layer of smog, Junes are much warmer than they used to be).

She is the founder of www.diverse-pages.com and blogs there often, in the company of some pretty cool people.


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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Review/Interview: Ex-Factor by Elisa Dane (Giveaway)



Ex-Factor: Book One in The Diamond Girls Series 
Author: Elisa Dane 
Date Published: April 14th, 2014
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Format: e-book 

Nevaeh Evan’s life is uprooted after her father’s death, when she moves in with her aunt and cousin, Livvie. Her plan to lay low at her new high school isn't working. Her friend’s jerky boyfriend keeps asking her out, the guy she likes treats her like garbage, and the thought of tumbling again makes her want to hurl. 

So when her aunt pushes her into joining the elite X-FACTOR cheer leading squad, Navaeh goes along with it. 

But Nev feels she doesn't deserve to be happy. Not after what happened the night her father died. 

Bodie Scott knows about grief all too well. Critically injured in an alcohol related accident the year before, Bodie struggles with the fact that he’ll never play football again, and he’s so far behind in credits he can’t see straight. That is, until he meets Nev. Haunted by their bloody pasts and wary of a shared future, Nev and Bodie turn to one another for comfort and support, and realize they’re not so alone after all. And when the party scene at school threatens the life of a loved one, the two stop at nothing to keep the past from repeating itself.


Goodreads | Amazon B&N 

My Review
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Let me start off by saying that this book was AMAZING! I am a big fan of contemporaries so I read quite a bit of them and I know that often times they tend to be somewhat similar. Ex-Factor by Elisa Dane definitely broke the mold for me. For one, it dealt with the sport of All Star Cheer-leading, which I didn't know much about. Several contemporaries I've read dealt with cheer-leading but more along the lines of the kind done at football games. It gave me a whole new respect for these young ladies (and men) who go through such rigorous training. I even found myself looking up videos of competitions after I was done reading! 

Another reason why Ex-Factor stood out to me was its incorporation of the topic of drinking and driving. We all know so many YA books bring up the topic of teen drinking but rarely do we ever see the disastrous consequences that such actions can lead to. There were definitely some heart breaking scenes in this book but they drive home the point well and make you value those you have in your life. There were many sad scenes but also many happy and funny scenes. I loved the characters together. I know some people might label their relationship "insta-love" but I hate that term because in my opinion there is no set time limit on when you are allowed to fall for someone. I personally loved the relationship and thought they really helped each other out. 

This was a fantastic book and also an important one. I think we all need to read this and be reminded that even though it is about teens, this lesson applies to all of us no matter the age. I think a lot of times adults think they know best and they are in control when in reality we are just as susceptible to mistakes and consequences. I can't wait to pick up the second book in the series! Everyone please go check out this amazing book! 

Author Interview
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Q: I love watching your book tube channel and you are always so full of life. How do you manage to stay in such high spirits even with your very busy schedule?

A: Awww, thank you! I'm so glad to hear you enjoy my channel. I love books, and I tend to get excited when talking about them. It's tough some days to find time to shoot videos, but so worth it when I meet someone online who loves the same book as me and wants to talk about it.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for Ex Factor?

A: I was lucky enough to attend the Every 15 Minutes program when my oldest daughter was a senior. The mock crash and assembly were both extremely moving and inspired Nev and Bodie's story.

Q: What inspired you to write Ex Factor? Your daughters are All- Star cheerleaders, are they your main inspiration when it comes to writing your YA books, especially Ex Factor? Did they have any input in the book?

A: The loss I witnessed while watching the Every 15 Minutes program inspired the theme for Ex Factor. That being said, I've been wanting to write a story about All Star cheerleaders for years. My girls have been cheering for ten years now. It's a HUGE part of our lives. Their teammates are their closest friends, and in a sense, extended family. They sweat, bleed, win, and lose together, and it's that special team bond that is so inspirational. Not to mention, the things those athletes do on the mat are nothing short of incredible. My oldest daughter gave me a lot of input while I was writing, for which I'm very grateful.

Q: Which character was your favorite to write and which did you have the most trouble with?

A: Oh gosh! That's a tough question. I love my Diamond Girls. I'm not sure I can pick a favorite. I'm going to take the easy way out and go with Mr. Keltar, the Foods instructor. He's in all three books, and is as crabby, crotchey, and sour in the third book as he is in the first. He takes great delight in needling his students and it was a ton of fun to write his character.

Q: How does the writing process differ when it comes to writing and coming up with ideas for your YA novels versus writing your adult novels?

A: Honestly, I found it much easier to write contemporary YA. I think because my girls are so rooted in the sport of cheerleading, and because I've got three girls, things just seemed to come easier. One of my girls always has some sort of drama going on, which gives me plenty of inspiration to draw from lol!

Q: What is your favorite genre to write about? I know that you enjoy writing paranormal romances, so what got you into writing YA books?

A: I definitely think I found my niche in contemporary YA. My girls live in their cheer gym, and I'm surrounded by teenage girls all the time. It makes sense for me to write what I know.

Q: I understand that you write adult novels with your real name. What made you use a pen name for your YA books? How did you come up with your pen name?

A: I wanted to keep my YA books separate from my steamier adult stuff. My YA stories are geared toward ages 15 and up, and though they include foul language and reference adult themes and situations, there is no sex in them. I wanted to keep them separate from my other work. Elisa Dane was created from the letters of my first and middle names: Lisa, and Deanne.

Q: Are you writing anything new at the moment? If so, can we have a little sneak peak?

A: I just finished up the third and final book in the Diamond Girls trilogy. It's currently titled, Defenseless and features Claire and a new character, Ryker as the leads. Much like Ex Factor, Defenseless is a story of loss and learning to live again. That's all I'm saying.

Q: What main message would you like readers to take away from Ex Factor?

A: I'd love for readers to come away with the knowledge that although you can't change the past, you can change your behavior and actions and become a better person. Drinking and driving is never a good decision. It's my hope that teenagers and adults alike will make the wise choice to call a cab, phone a friend, or parent and ask for a ride home from wherever they're at if they've been drinking and need a ride.

Q: What are some of books you feel made an impact in your life and influenced you as a person or as a writer?

A: A Knight In Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux was the first romance I fell in love with when I was a teen and sparked my love affair with the romance genre in general. Jamie Fraser from Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series was my first fictional crush, and paved the way for many book boyfriends to come. Then, of course, there is Colleen Hoover. Pretty much everything she writes is gold and I'm in awe of her.


About the Author 
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I'm a lover of books (YA & Adult romance), chocolate, reality television, and am a proud mother to three All Star cheerleaders. Woot! I write Contemporary YA romance with cheerleaders. Yep. I write what I know, and it's my hope that my stories will not only take you on a romantic journey that will warm your heart, but that you'll find a new respect and interest in the sport of Cheerleading you may not have had before.


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