Monday, March 31, 2014

Afterparty by @AnnStampler

Author: Ann Redisch Stampler
Title: Afterparty
Publication: January 7th 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Author/Publisher

Emma is tired of being good. Always the dutiful daughter to an overprotective father, she is the antithesis of her mother -- whose name her dad won't even say out loud. That's why meeting Siobhan is the best thing that ever happened to her...and the most dangerous. Because Siobhan is fun and alluring and experienced and lives on the edge. In other words, she's everything Emma is not.

And it may be more than Emma can handle. 

Because as intoxicating as her secret life may be, when Emma begins to make her own decisions, Siobhan starts to unravel. It's more than just Dylan, the boy who comes between them. Their high-stakes pacts are spinning out of control. Elaborate lies become second nature. Loyalties and boundaries are blurred. And it all comes to a head at the infamous Afterparty, where debauchery rages and an intense, inescapable confrontation ends in a plummet from the rooftop... 

This explosive, sexy, and harrowing follow-up to Ann Redisch Stampler's spectacular teen debut, Where It Began, reveals how those who know us best can hurt us most.

I love the cover for this book and I think it ties in well with the story. The story begins when Emma and her over protective father move to California. Emma hopes that this will finally be her chance to live and experience being a teenager. She meets Siobhan, who is also a new student at school and they become instant friends. Emma never expects the wild roller coaster ride that her new bestie Siobhan has planned for her. Siobhan is a train wreck, completely uncontrolled and dysfunctional young woman. She never really grasps true friendship because everything is extreme for her. There is no balance to her levels of chaos. She's manipulative and cruel but Emma's still drawn to her, no matter the hurt or the embarrassment. Emma's tired of being a good girl and Siobhan is the key to adventure. This makes her the perfect puppet for Siobhan, who loves to have control of her relationship with Emma.  

Both girls have strenuous relationships with their parents. Emma's father has her wound so tight because in a sense he's transferring his fears of her becoming like her mother. He also let his family treat her unkindly. Siobhan's mom seems to think only of herself and her behavior influences how her daughter exhibits herself. She lives by her own set of rules and regulates them as she pleases, which usually isn't good for the recipient. While reading this book, I had several moments where I just couldn't understand why she stayed friends with Siobhan, especially after a situation with a boy Emma likes named Dylan. 

Overall, this book is as addictive as reality TV. I don't think Siobhan ever really grows from the situation because she believes her way is right. Emma gradually becomes a different person, which changes her relationship with her father.  I couldn't stop reading it because Siobhan's actions are just so out there. The fact that she made a pact with Emma to commit suicide, if they didn't have the best year ever by Afterparty is insane. The pace is fast, the relationships chaotic but loaded with setups, backstabbing, and lies. I think readers that enjoyed books that remind them of movies such as Mean Girls and Clueless will like this one. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Blitz & Giveaway: The Golden Apple by Michelle Diener

We're celebrating the release of Michelle Diener's second fairy tale retelling:
The Golden Apple
An Adult Fantasy Romance based loosely on the Princess on the Glass Hill

The Golden AppleThe Golden Apple
by Michelle Diener
Adult Fantasy/SciFi
March 24, 2014

Kayla's world has been turned upside-down...

Her father has made her the prize in a deadly, impossible tournament, and Kayla has retaliated in the only way she knows how; by choosing her champion beforehand. But taking control of the outcome changes the game completely, and when the real reason behind the strange test becomes apparent, Kayla realizes not just her life, but her entire kingdom is at stake.

Rane's honor is torn in two...

In order to save his brother, Rane will do whatever he has to--including deceive and betray a princess. He knew nothing about this tournament would be easy, but when it turns into a deeper, far more sinister game, Rane is forced to see it through to the end, or leave his brother at the mercy of their enemy.

Now their fates are entwined, and they must venture into the deep, dark forest together...

Kayla and Rane are bound to one another by an enchantment and Kayla's actions. But the sorcerer forcing them to do his will may have miscalculated, because no-one comes out of the Great Forest unchanged. No-one.

The inspiration for The Golden Apple

The Golden Apple is loosely based on the Norwegian fairy tale The Princess on the Glass Hill. The original tale is more about the hero than the heroine, and it is a very straightforward quest story, with the hero becoming more and more accomplished, until at last he succeeds against the odds. But there were a few things in this fairy tale that stood out for me and made me take notice. The first is the very unusual situation of the king holding a contest for his daughter’s hand by putting her on top of a glass hill with a golden apple in her lap. Knights from all over are invited to race a horse up the smooth glass sides of the mountain and the one who can pluck the golden apple from the princess's lap wins her hand and is heir to the kingdom. As usual in fairy tales, there is no explanation as to how the king came by a glass mountain, but I wondered where he got it, and that sparked the starting point of the story. It is really the inciting incident that starts the story off, rather than the focus of the story, as it was in the fairy tale.

Secondly, the crux of the tale, for me, is that the hero cannot win the princess's hand without help from the princess herself. That part of the original tale is one or two lines long, but for me, it's fascinating. The feminine power determining and choosing which masculine power will prevail. This really made me interested, because the princess doesn't just sit there and take whoever it is manages to accomplish the (impossible) task set by her father, but actively chooses who it is she wants to win and helps them. I wanted to write a story about the consequences of her taking that power and using it and The Golden Apple was the result -- far, far more heroine-centric than the original, and I really had fun with it.
- Michelle Diener

Are you interested in fantasy romance?
Do you love fairy tale retellings?
Have you read Michelle Diener and enjoyed her work in the past?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you can request a review copy of The Golden Apple! The Golden Apple is up for review by invitation only on NetGalley. Reviewers with book review sites can apply for a limited number of pre-approved copies. Book reviewers who post their review on their review site, Amazon, and Goodreads can enter a Rafflecopter draw to win one of ten copies of any Michelle Diener book of their choice, or a $10 Amazon gift card. (Instructions in sign-up form.)

Sign up HERE

Image of Michelle DienerMichelle Diener writes historical fiction. Her Susanna Horenbout & John Parker series, set in the court of Henry VIII, includes In a Treacherous Court, Keeper of the King's Secrets and In Defense of the Queen.

Michelle's other historical novels include Daughter of the Sky, The Emperor's Conspiracy and Banquet of Lies (loosely connected to The Emperor's Conspiracy).

Michelle's first fantasy novel, Mistress of the Wind, is set for a December 23, 2013, release.

Michelle was born in London, grew up in South Africa and currently lives in Australia with her husband and two children.

Blitz-Wide Giveaways:

1 - Enter to WIN one of ten ebooks of The Golden Apple.
- March 30 - April 7.
See Rafflecopter for restrictions.

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2 - For book bloggers: Review The Golden Apple by April 1, 2014 and enter to WIN one of 10 prizes:
- Choose any one of Michelle Diener's books or $10 Gift Card!
- March 24 - April 7

Request an early review copy using the form. Instructions on entering the second giveaway are included!

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Are you an author or publisher and would like to have us organize a tour event? Go HERE.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Giveaway + Teaser: The Prophecy by S.P. Cervantes

Young Adult Romantic Fantasy
Date Published: 11/19/2013

Ava Fox has spent the past year acclimating to her new life as a wizard of Shadow Hill. Over the past year, her connection with Dalton has only grown stronger. They share a bond she has never known before and can't explain.

The danger is still there, even after the Sabatino coven was defeated, and Ava's future is anything but sure. Her powerful relationship with Dalton continues to make others wonder about the Prophecy, and their place in it. Time and again Ava's loyalty and strength will be put to the test as she fights for those she loves.

There are many more secrets of Shadow Hill that will be revealed in The Prophecy

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

About the Author
S.P Cervantes lives in Orange County, California with her husband and three children,  where she is a teacher. She enjoys spending time with her family, writing, reading, and  running, but is always thinking of an idea for her next novel. 

S.P. Cervantes is currently working on a new contemporary romance, while finishing the  final novel of the Secrets of Shadow Hill series. 

S.P. Cervantes has a B.S. in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Cross Cultural Education.

Website| Facebook | Twitter | Blog

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Interview: Author Danielle Jensen of Stolen Songbird

Describe yourself in three words?
Quiet, stubborn, ambitious.

Tell us about Stolen Songbird and it's main character Cécile?
Here is what is on the back cover of the book sitting next to me!
For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the mountain. When Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she realizes that the trolls are relying on her to break the curse.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind: escape. But the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time…

But the more time she spends with the trolls, the more she understands their plight. There is a rebellion brewing. And she just might be the one the trolls were looking for…

Cécile’s an ordinary girl who finds herself in an extraordinary situation. She’s feisty and determined, and she goes after what she wants.

What do you feel is the most important aspect of story development; setting, characters, plot...? What makes a good story?
Character development. If you don’t care about the characters, it won’t matter how great everything else is.

What do you believe are the key elements to writing realistic love interests/romance in young adult fiction?
Hmmm, I’m not sure Tristan is a realistic love interest – he is quite fantastical!
I’m going to limit my answer to romance in YA fantasy, because I think contemporary novels are quite different. In my humble opinion, the relationships of YA fantasy are quite idealized – everything is better and worse than real life. The idea is not to make them realistic by our standards, but to make them compelling and believable in the world the author has created.

If you could be any animal, what would you be? Why?
A tiger, because I would strike fear into the hearts of all who crossed my path. Alternatively, a house cat.

If you could be a character in a book, which book and what character?
I would be Isabelle in The Mortal Instruments.

Any new projects in the works?
The sequel to Stolen Songbird. It is a time-sucking vortex.

What is the question that you wish interviewers would ask, and the answer to that question? 
Are you really excited to see the Divergent movie? Hell ya! I will probably have seen it by the time this interview is posted. So excited for Four.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #54: The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa
Expected Release: April 2014

Goodreads Synopsis

Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster? 

With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer. 


Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions—her creator, Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost—the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie. 

In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, triumph is short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.

What book are you looking forward to reading?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Book Review: Panic by Lauren Oliver

Author: Lauren Oliver
Title: Panic
Publication: March 4, 2014
Publisher: Harper Collins
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It's told from the perspectives of Heather and Dodge, who both have their own agendas for entering the game. Heather after being crushed by someone she cares for decides to jump and enter the game. She was initially there to support her friend Natalie, who wanted to win the money to pursue a career in acting. Dodge is participating because of his sister and hopes to make her proud with a plan that could end terribly. This game is different, dangerous and definitely personal. It's an emotionally charged thrill ride and the challenges they face to get to the end will be memorable. 

I liked Heather and her home situation feels real. Her mother is a drug addict that doesn't necessarily see her children as a priority. One scene that involves Heather's younger sister made me want to strangle the mother. This moment is also a breaking point for Heather and it opens her eyes about the game and her reasoning for joining in the madness. Dodge's motive makes no sense, well only to him. He feels justified in his decision, no matter how crazy it is. I felt his desperation and his feeling of being invisible at times. Natalie, the best friend, comes off as self-centered and ditzy. There appears deep down that she has a problem that hasn't been acknowledged yet. I don't understand her being in the game, she's afraid of everything. Bishop, the other best friend, has his own secrets but one thing he made clear he hates Panic. He's only there with Heather to support Natalie, who initially was the only entrant from their group but when Heather dives in, he begins to act weird. As they get closer to the end, the game becomes more dangerous and people begin to get hurt. Heather, Dodge and Natalie have many obstacles to face before the last test, the Joust. Can they survive the game or will one of them "panic"?  Overall, the book is well written and fast-paced read. The characters will draw you into this emotional, edge of your seat battle of fear. This is a good read that I think anyone looking for action, danger and little romance will enjoy. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Review: Lost Covenant by Ari Marmell

Author: Ari Marmell
Title: Lost Covenant
Series: Widdershins Adventures #3
Publication:  December 3rd 2013 
Publisher: PYR 
Source: Publisher
Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook
This third YA novel starring the young thief Widdershins combines the angst and vulnerability of any teenage girl with the high action of the best fantasy adventures.

It’s been six months since Widdershins and her own “personal god” Olgun fled the city of Davillon. During their travels, Widdershins unwittingly discovers that a noble house is preparing to move against the last surviving bastion of the Delacroix family.

Determined to help the distant relatives of her deceased adopted father, Alexandre Delacroix, she travels to a small town at the edge of the nation. There, she works at unraveling a plot involving this rival house and a local criminal organization, all while under intense suspicion from the very people she’s trying to rescue.

Along the way she’ll have to deal with a traitor inside the Delacroix family, a mad alchemist, and an infatuated young nobleman who won’t take no for an answer.

I still love Widdershins as a character but this was not my favorite book in the series. The pace was much slower and things actually started to get good at the end. This book seemed more like a getaway for her where she just so happens to try to solve a mystery and get into more trouble. There is of course lots of action and witty banter between Widdershins and the other characters. The story begins when she gets word that someone is trying to sabotage the House of Delacroix, which belongs to the family of her adopted father. In her efforts to help, she ends up in a big mess and bloodshed follows. She does her best to convince them she's only attempting help them but she succeeds in making herself look like the culprit. Meanwhile, back home someone is targeting Widdershins friends unbeknownst to her and I'm intrigued by this story line, I was hoping for more but I can't wait to see what will happen in the next book. She also has a love interest in this one, who falls instantly in love with her. It's so funny to read how she interacts with her male companions and that she's uninterested seems to baffle them all. However, I have to agree with her on this one, though he is adorably ridiculous, I wouldn't want to be bothered with him. Overall, the story was okay, I liked that the main character learns that running is not always the best solution. Looking forward to how she handles the chaos that awaits her in Davillon.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Spotlight & Giveaway: The Cruelty by S. Bergstrom

When her diplomat father is kidnapped and the U.S. Government is unable to help, 17 year-old Gwendolyn Bloom sets off across the sordid underbelly of Europe to rescue him. Following the only lead she has—the name of a Palestinian informer living in France—she plunges into a brutal world of arms smuggling and human trafficking. As she journeys from the slums of Paris, to the nightclubs of Berlin, to the heart of the most feared crime family in Prague, Gwendolyn discovers that to survive in this new world she must become every bit as cruel as the men she’s hunting.

 Website | Twitter  |Facebook 
 Instagram | Goodreads
Scott Bergstrom is a writer and traveler fascinated by the darker, unloved corners of the world’s great cities. His books and articles on architecture and urbanism have been widely published both in the United States and Europe. The Cruelty is his first novel.
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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Interview: Liv, Forever by @amytalkington @soho_teen

Click the Banner to view the Liv, Forever trailer!
About the Author
Amy Talkington is an award-winning screenwriter and director living in Los Angeles. Before all that she wrote about music for magazines like Spin, Ray Gun, Interview, and Seventeen (mostly just as a way to get to hang out with rock stars). As a teenager in Dallas, Texas, Amy painted lots of angsty self-portraits, listened to The Velvet Underground and was difficult enough that her parents finally let her go to boarding school on the East Coast. Liv, Forever is her first novel.

Twitter | Tumblr | Website |Facebook

Chat with Author Amy Talkington

What was your inspiration for Liv, Forever?
Thinking about my emotional state in high school. Thinking about ghosts. And, Occupy Wall Street. Those were my main three things that inspired me.

Tell us about the character Liv Bloom?
Liv is an artist and sees the world through art. She’s pretty wry and tough on the outside  but vulnerable on the inside. She has spent her life rejecting love and, sadly, doesn’t realize that until she is dead. Ultimately her journey is about learning to love herself, her art, and others.

Which do you prefer? Screenplays or novels? What are the pros and cons of each?
I love writing both. I’ve been writing scripts pretty consistently for about ten years and I love it. It’s a fantastic job. That said, writing a novel was just so exhilarating. The screenplay format is very prescriptive and lean so I felt incredibly free writing Liv, Forever. I loved every minute of it (well, most minutes. Some minutes were very frustrating.)

What's your favorite quote or moment from Liv, Forever?
Trying not to give anything away here but… my favorite moment is probably when Liv makes the “smoke angel.” So many things culminate in that moment. She’s expressing her love to Malcolm, she’s giving Malcolm a crucial sign that helps conclude the mystery story, and she’s finally showing her art to the world. It’s beautiful and it doesn’t matter that it just lasts mere moments. Moments matter.

Invisibility or flight?Why?
Invisibility, without a doubt. Flying would be awesome (Liv has flight in moments!) but I think it’d get old. Invisibility could provide endless intrigue.

Who is your favorite literary character of all time?
There are too many. I’m pretty immersed in YA at the moment so I have to go with a YA character I was recently obsessed with: Lennie from The Sky Is Everywhere. Lennie is a clarinetist and a poet (I love characters that make art, obviously!). She’s funny, even in her mourning. She is flawed and complex and deeply feeling. She is smart. Her poetry is incredible. She has a deep and messy awakening. She is written with utter perfection by Jandy Nelson.

If you could be any tree, what would you be? Why?
I’d say a weeping willow (which is heavily featured in Liv, Forever) but they’re kind of sad. So a pine tree, I think. I grew up around pines in East Texas and I love them. They grow fast and live long lives. They’re very adaptable. They’re evergreen (I don’t think I’d like to lose my leaves every year!) and, they might seem prickly but they’re actually kind and warm.

Any new projects in the works?
As a screenwriter, I always have a bunch of projects in the works. You have to because they’re completely unpredictable—they fall apart (and sometimes come together) in an instant. At present, I’m writing a feature script for Liv, Forever. I’m also developing a TV show I’m really excited about based on Eve and Leonora Epstein’s book X vs. Y: A Culture War a Love Story. Bookwise, I have a pretty clear  idea of a book two for Liv. I hope to start it soon.

Is there a question you wished interviewers would ask you? And the answer to that question?
You were a music journalist in the 90s. What’s the most fun interview you ever did?

Well, there were a bunch of fun ones. I got flown to London to interview Bjork over poached eggs. I got to go on the road for three days with The Reverend Horton Heat (and the Smashing Pumpkins). But probably the most fun single interview I did was with Damon Albarn of Blur. I met him at his hotel and, as we were talking, I asked him what he thought about New York City. He told me that he hadn’t really seen it because he’d been stuck at the hotel doing interviews all day. So, I said, “Let’s go see it.” We hopped into a cab, went downtown, and walked all over. (Check it out! It’s posted on my website and on my tumblr here).

If you want to know all the latest on Liv, Forever follow me on Twitter @amytalkington and Tumblr 

Goodreads Synopsis
When Liv Bloom lands an art scholarship at Wickham Hall, it’s her ticket out of the foster system. Liv isn’t sure what to make of the school’s weird traditions and rituals, but she couldn’t be happier. For the first time ever, she has her own studio, her own supply of paints. Everything she could want. 

Then she meets Malcolm Astor, a legacy student, a fellow artist, and the one person who’s ever been able to melt her defenses. Liv’s only friend at Wickham, fellow scholarship kid Gabe Nichols, warns her not to get involved, but life is finally going Liv’s way, and all she wants to do is enjoy the ride. 

But Liv’s bliss is doomed. Weeks after arriving, she is viciously murdered and, in death, she discovers that she’s the latest victim of a dark conspiracy that has claimed many lives. Cursed with the ability to see the many ghosts on Wickham’s campus, Gabe is now Liv’s only link to the world of the living. To Malcolm.

Together, Liv, Gabe, and Malcolm fight to expose the terrible truth that haunts the halls of Wickham. But Liv must fight alone to come to grips with the ultimate star-crossed love.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #53: Reap the Wind by Karen Chance

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Reap the Wind by Karen Chance
Expected Release: November 2014

Goodreads Synopsis
You’d think that being Chief Seer for the supernatural world would come with a few perks. But as Cassie Palmer has learned, being Pythia doesn’t mean you don’t have to do things the hard way. That’s why she finds herself on a rescue mission skipping through time—even though she doesn’t entirely understand her dimension-bending new power. 

Rescuing her friend John Pritkin should have been an in and out kind of deal, but with the near-immortal mage’s soul lost in time, Cassie has to hunt for it through the ages—with Pritkin’s demon dad in tow. He’s the only one who can reverse Pritkin’s curse, but with the guardians of the time-line dead set on stopping anyone from mucking about, Cassie will have to figure out how to get her friend back without ruffling too many feathers—or causing a world-ending paradox or two...

What book are you looking forward to reading?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Interview & Giveaway: Transformed by E.V. Fairfall

Interview with Author E.V. Fairfall
Author Bio
I love to write just as much as I love to read. I try to read a book per week, which doesn't always work out, but it's the thought that counts. Aside from all that I am a huge animal person.

Transformed is my first novel, but it isn't my first publication; I've had several short stories published over the last two years. My main goal as a writer is to explore humanity and to give people something fun to read.
Author links

What makes Transformed a unique story? 
Well, let me first ask you this: how often have you read a book in which God and Mother Earth are siblings? Or a book in which Earth itself is an entity of its own, and prevents God from doing anything he wants? How often have you read a book in which Mother Earth is able to take any form except for that of a human because it is forbidden? Though Transformed is a story about finding one's self, it also explores the foibles of being human and the value of all life. It is about making mistakes and finding a solution, even if that solution isn’t what was originally intend

Where does the story take place? 
Transformed takes place in a small mountain town in Colorado. This fictitious town resides next to a forest and is green and lush (Colorado can get very dry), and because of its high elevation, it has strange weather patterns. 

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on the way they sound or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend? 

Names! Names are so important to me, mostly because I can’t actually write a character without first knowing their name. I can have the perfect scene in my head but until I find a name that I know fits the character, I just can’t write them in. I don’t pick names based on the sounds, but sometimes I pick a name because of its meaning. Mostly I just know when a name works for my character. As for resources, I tend to use lots of baby naming websites.

Who is your favorite character from Transformed and why? 
Oh gosh, I’m going to say Cricket. I love Chamber of course, but Cricket is just so fun. Cricket is a girl who Thea turned into a squirrel because she needed to borrow her apartment while she was human. Even though Cricket is now a squirrel, she insists on taking special care of the clothes that she reluctantly let Thea borrow—more like take. Thea, who doesn’t understand why Cricket cares about the clothes, tends to leave them wherever she might drop them. Here is a quick excerpt from the book: 

“'You have a squirrel in your sweater.' Brice cocked his head to the side. 'Actually, I think it’s stealing it.' 

Thea looked over her shoulder to see the little squirrel dragging the sweater across the floor toward the closet. If Brice saw a squirrel put a sweater on a hanger, she would never hear the end of it. She shook her head toward the squirrel, causing the ball of fur to stop and glare before continuing to drag the sweater out of sight. If Thea didn’t start hanging up the squirrel’s clothes, she had a feeling the little rod
ent would attempt to kick her out."

Give us some insight into your main character. What does she do that is so special? 
Thea is God's sister and has spent her life filling the role of Mother Earth, creating the plants and animals and serving as their guardian. Alongside her brother God, the two siblings used their light to create for hundreds of years. She doesn’t understand humans, and she likes them even less. It isn’t until she takes a human form that she begins to understand what she has been missing out on, and ultimately she gains a deeper understanding of her brother and what it means to be a part of a family. 
Did you have a specific song or playlist that you listened to when you were writing Transformed?

I actually can’t listen to music when I write. I wish I could. Sometimes a song will inspire me or motivate me, but while writing I need quiet. Of course, that never really happens because I live in an apartment with paper thin walls—but that is part of the adventure. 

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
Never give up, and go to writers conferences! I wish I had gone to a writers conference earlier. They open your mind to a side of book writing that you normally wouldn't consider. You can meet people who love what you love, and it is a great chance to break out of your shell and read some of your work out loud. Not only that but you will meet other writers who will help you through the hard times. 

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful? 
Reviews! Social media posts on Facebook, Tumblr, Goodreads and so on. Word of mouth is huge for any author. There are so many great books in the world that people haven't discovered, but they only need to be pointed in the right direction. 

Transformed by E.V. Fairfall 
Publication date: January 1st 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Since the beginning, two entities have had complete, unquestioned control over Thea: the Earth and God.

But when Thea suddenly figures out that the Earth has  trapped her within a forest, she discovers that the only way to set herself free is to break God’s one rule; she must forsake her animal form and become human.

The result is nothing she could ever have expected. Lost within the torrent of human emotions, Thea starts to lose who she is and even begins to fall in love with the one thing she always hated: a hunter.

As her act against God proves more problematic than anticipated, it is only a matter of time before her punishment may prove to be worse than Earth’s entrapment.

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Monday, March 10, 2014

Tour Excerpt & Giveaway: Blood Crown by Ali Cross

About the book: 
Androids have claimed power over what remains of the human race. They rule without remorse. They are the Mind and humans exist only to serve them. 

But it wasn't always so.

Before the android uprising, select droids, called Servants, were pivotal in engineering a new human race with nanotechnology enhanced DNA. The Blood Crown theorum was to be humanity's crowning glory and the key to their survival in deep space.

But Serantha, Daughter of the West, was the last female to receive Gifts from her Servant and when the Mind mutinied, she was hidden away, and presumed dead. 

Without Serantha there is no hope of the Blood Crown being realized so Nicolai, Son of the East, abandons his crown to join the rebel forces. He might not provide the future for his people he had once dreamed of, but he will not go down without a fight.

When Nicolai discovers Sera among a small compliment of kitchen staff, everything changes--but Sera's Gifts were never completed and she is ill-equipped to face a legion of androids determined to wipe her, and every other human, out of existence.

Their only hope is the Blood Crown--but even if Serantha and Nicolai can realize their potential it may be too late to save mankind.

Release date: February 28, 2014
Buy links:
AmazonB&N | Kobo

Man will not evolve. A thousand years of Gifts, of infusing the royal lines with organic technology woven into their DNA, has ended. Will end with me. Without Serantha, there’s no point to any of it.
And my father sits on his ass entertaining petty complaints while the Mind devour the West and build their forces. He thinks we are beyond their reach, that our navy is superior and simply will not fall as the West did.
I am not quite so foolish.
Or perhaps, I am just foolish enough to think there’s still a reason for fighting back.

About the Author:

Ali Cross is the sensei of Novel Ninjutsu where she holds a black belt in awesome. She lives in Utah with her kickin' husband, two sparring sons, one ninja cat, one sumo dog and four zen turtles.

Ali is the award-winning author of young and new adult fiction and moonlights as Alex Cross when she can write wild middle grade adventures set in the faraway places of her imagination.

Social media links:
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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Review: Dawn of Arcana #12 by Rei Toma

Author & Illustrator: Rei Toma
Title: Dawn of Arcana #11
Series:  Dawn of Arcana
Publication: April 2014
Publisher: Viz Media LLC
Genre: Graphic Novel, Manga
Pages: 184 pp.
Source: Edelweiss

Princess Nakaba of Senan is forced to marry Prince Caesar of the enemy country Belquat, tantamount to becoming a hostage. While Caesar is pleasing to the eye, he is also selfish and possessive, telling Nakaba outright: “You are my property.” With only her attendant Loki at her side, Nakaba must find a way to cope with her hostile surroundings, her fake marriage...and a mysterious power!

Princess Nakaba of Senan and Prince Caesar of Belquat only married each other for the sake of peace between their two warring countries, yet the two develop feelings for each other while political forces threaten to tear their world apart. With Caesar’s departure to Belquat, the couple separates. Meanwhile, Nakaba manages to take control of Senan as ruler! But once Caesar’s father, King Guran, decides to break the peace treaty and invade Senan, what will Caesar do when he’s caught between his father and the woman he loves?

Caesar and Nakaba will finally see each other again in this one but as enemies in war. Caesar's sent out by the King to attack Senan but can he truly follow that path, when all he wants is peace and Nakaba. Both have separated for the better of their people and now remarried to people they may not love, out of duty. However, I think they still yearn for one another. They make a plan to change the King's heart and Nakaba decides to use her Arcana to learn more about him, what she discovers is a beautiful love story with a tragic ending. It was interesting to uncover the reasoning for the King's distrust and hatred of Senan. Even though, it seems extreme, I guess that how he dealt with his pain. Now, what I want to know is what's Loki's motive in all this and what he hopes to gain. He's been a mystery so far and I'd really like to dive into his past for sure. Overall, I love the depth of the characters, their journey is relatable. The story's written and illustrated beautifully and I look forward to seeing how it unfolds in the next book. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Blitz & Giveaway: Flawed Perfection by Cassandra Giovanni

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Flawed Perfection CoverBobby Beckerson was the American All-Star hockey player--he was the spitting image of perfection to his family. Goofy, sweet and undeniably gorgeous, he had everything but the one girl he wanted: River Ahlers.
River Ahlers is successful in everything but love. She's been in love with Adam Beckerson since they were kids. Worst of all she's stuck right in the middle of the brother's dueling over everything and anything, and she doesn't even know she's the ultimate prize.
Adam Beckerson was a boy with a guitar, a smile that sunk girl's hearts and a stone wall around his own. He was anything but perfect, and no matter how hard he tried he was nothing compared to Bobby. Sweet, damaged, with boyish good-looks, nobody thought Adam loved anyone but himself.
Bobby loved River, River loved Adam and Adam only loved himself--or so everyone thought. Then one night everything changes, and as it threatens to destroy everyone involved a tragedy strikes that will break them all...

GENRE: New Adult Contemporary Romance
available now

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I nodded my head and watched as Adam’s hand lingered on the neck of the Ibanez™ before he picked it back up and slipped the strap over his shoulder.
I sat on the edge of the bed as he began to play without an amplifier.
The noise was tinny without the electric part hooked up but that didn’t matter. Adam’s fingers moved effortlessly from fret to fret as he strummed the guitar. His head nodded ever so slightly to the beat and his bare foot tapped the floor as he closed his eyes and a smile formed on his lips.
I stood and placed my hands around his neck, yet he continued to play, nod his head and tap his foot with eyes closed. The only change was on his lips as they crept into the seductive grin.
I leaned into him, letting my hands comb through the hair on the back of his head as my breath washed over his lips.
Still nothing. The guitar continued to hum with his talent.
I let my lips hover over his, then let them wander over the soft skin of his neck and up the stubble of his chin. The beat remained smooth, undisturbed as the strings squealed and he deepened the riff.
I paused as my lips reached his again, lingering at the corner of his mouth where the cold metal of his lip ring teased me just as much as his fingers on the guitar.
I let my mouth run over the metal until it caught in my teeth and I sucked it in.
Finally, his body reacted tensing as he groaned—but his playing didn’t cease, didn’t change. He still resisted, hand strumming a tease over the strings next to the skin of my belly.
His mouth responded to mine as I let the ring and his lip slowly slip away from me. That was it— the guitar spun to his back and he yanked my hips to his own.
“I need you to play me like that guitar,” I gasped as his hand tilted my head and his tongue ran over my trembling neck.
His other hand drifted down my torso.
“Good, because I wasn’t done with my song,” he growled into my ear.

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twitter picabout the author

Cassandra doesn't remember a time when she wasn't writing. In fact, the first time she was published was when she was seven years old and won a contest to be published in an American Girl Doll novel. Since then Cassandra has written more novels than she can count and put just as many in the circular bin. Her personal goal with her writing is to show the reader the character's stories through their dialogue and actions instead of just telling the reader what is happening. In 2012 she became a published Young Adult author, releasing In Between Seasons (The Fall, #1) and the Amazon bestselling thriller, Walking in the Shadows. In 2013 she branched out by using her artistic illustrating talents to publish her first Children's novel, The Adventures of Skippy Von Flippy: Tales of Friendship (Skippy Tales, #1). Cassandra released her first New Adult novel, Love Exactly, which became an Amazon Bestseller overnight in June of 2013. She's currently working on her new New Adult Contemporary Romance, Beautifully Flawed. The first novel in the series, Flawed Perfection is scheduled to be published on March 7, 2014.

Besides being a writer, Cassandra is a professional photographer known for her automotive, nature and architectural shots. She is the owner of Gio Design Studios Photography and Gio Design Studios Publication Marketing . She is currently studying to receive a degree in Marketing. Cassandra is happily married to the man of her dreams and they live in the rolling hills of New England with the other loves of her life their dogs, Bubski and Kanga.

Cassandra can be found on:
Facebook ~ Goodreads ~ @cgiovanniauthor

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