Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #62: Clariel by Garth Nix

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

Clariel by Garth Nix
Expected Release: October 2014

Synopsis:Clariel is the daughter of the one of the most notable families in the Old Kingdom, with blood relations to the Abhorsen and, most importantly, to the King. When her family moves to the city of Belisaere, there are rumors that her mother is next in line for the throne. However, Clariel wants no part of it—a natural hunter, all she ever thinks about is escaping the city’s confining walls and journeying back to the quiet, green world of the Great Forest.

But many forces conspire against Clariel’s dream. A dangerous Free Magic creature is loose in the city, her parents want to marry her off to a killer, and there is a plot brewing against the old and withdrawn King Orrikan. When Clariel is drawn into the efforts to find and capture the creature, she discovers hidden sorcery within herself, yet it is magic that carries great dangers. Can she rise above the temptation of power, escape the unwanted marriage, and save the King?

What book are you looking forward to reading?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Review: Take Me On by Katie McGarry

Author: Katie McGarry
Title: Take Me On
Series: Pushing the Limits #4
Publication: May 27, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Acclaimed author Katie McGarry returns with the knockout new story of two high school seniors who are about to learn what winning really means.

Champion kickboxer Haley swore she'd never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can't stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she'd stay away from. Yet he won't last five seconds in the ring without her help.

West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it's his fault his family is falling apart. He can't change the past, but maybe he can change Haley's future.

Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they'll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.

I just can't get enough of these books! Haley's a tough character dealing with a heavy emotional situation. She's not afraid to fight, well actually she's terrified. She's holding on to a secret from her past that could mean danger for her family, if it ever gets out. West loves to get in trouble but he usually fights for a reason and his sister Rachel is number one. His last episode cost him dearly and he finds himself out on the streets and at a new school. West new life is in Haley's territory and somehow he gets tangled up in her problems. He's cocky, confident and completely unprepared for the mess he's gotten himself into but he knows she's worth the risk. Haley tries hard to fight her attraction to West but what develops between them is much more than she ever expects. I enjoyed the romance and struggle, the two main characters face together and the battles that must overcome on their own. They both have to trust that they aren't worthless and they deserve better. The characters are so real and engaging. It's was nice learning about a different atmosphere and two fighters become something more than what they believed they could be. Overall, the writing is on point, its fluid and emotional. The story is realistic and I think anyone can relate to the characters' world. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday #61: Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger

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

Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger
Expected Release: November 2014

Synopsis:Class is back in session...
Sophronia continues her second year at finishing school in style--with a steel-bladed fan secreted in the folds of her ball gown, of course. Such a fashionable choice of weapon comes in handy when Sophronia, her best friend Dimity, sweet sootie Soap, and the charming Lord Felix Mersey stowaway on a train to return their classmate Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland. No one suspected what--or who--they would find aboard that suspiciously empty train. Sophronia uncovers a plot that threatens to throw all of London into chaos and she must decide where her loyalties lie, once and for all. 

Gather your poison, steel tipped quill, and the rest of your school supplies and join Mademoiselle Geraldine's proper young killing machines in the third rousing installment in the New York Times bestselling Finishing School Series by steampunk author, Gail Carriger.

What book are you looking forward to reading?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Review: Wings by Elizabeth Richards

Author: Elizabeth Richards
Title: Wings
Series: Black City #3
Publication: June 12, 2014
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons BYR
Source: Publisher

Following the cliffhanger ending of Phoenix, Natalie finds herself separated from Ash and unexpectedly reunited with her parents, including the father she thought was dead. But she can only think of Ash. She hasn't heard a word of him since she and Elijah were brought to the underground headquarters of the Sentry Rebellion. But she vows to find him.

Ash, meanwhile is back in Black City; it's the perfect place to hide from the Sentry government. But not for long. He won't give up on Natalie or bringing an end to the terrible reign of Purian Rose.

A pulse-racing end to an exciting series.

Natalie finds herself separated from Ash, she tries her best to get a rescue mission sent out to find him but the Commander in charge doesn't want to risk his resources. The Rebellion is planning an attack on Purian Rose soon and she wants in. Natalie hopes to keep the promise she made to her sister to kill him. Ash's determined to find the weapon that truly bring Rose to his knees but it isn't exactly what he thought and he may have to make a sacrifice to make it work. I liked the fast pace of the writing for this book and how Richards gives insight into Rose's background, it makes him seem more human but still a monster. His secret was a complete surprise to me yet it makes sense, no matter how extreme his motivations have been throughout this trilogy. What he hopes to carry out is insane and the Rebellion has a fight on their hands if they want to end his madness. The characters are tough, they go through so much in these books and develop into strong people. Overall, I think this is a great end to their story. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Review: The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Title: The Vanishing Season
Publication: July 1, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher
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Girls started vanishing in the fall, and now winter's come to lay a white sheet over the horror. Door County, it seems, is swallowing the young, right into its very dirt. From beneath the house on Water Street, I've watched the danger swell.

The residents know me as the noises in the house at night, the creaking on the stairs. I'm the reflection behind them in the glass, the feeling of fear in the cellar. I'm tied—it seems—to this house, this street, this town.

I'm tied to Maggie and Pauline, though I don't know why. I think it's because death is coming for one of them, or both.

All I know is that the present and the past are piling up, and I am here to dig.I am looking for the things that are buried.

From bestselling author Jodi Lynn Anderson comes a friendship story bound in snow and starlight, a haunting mystery of love, betrayal, redemption, and the moments that we leave behind.
This is the first book I've read by Anderson, I actually own Tiger Lily but haven't gotten around to reading it. This story is an interesting mixture of paranormal, romance and mystery. Maggie's family moves to Door County after her mother loses her job and the lessened income makes living in the city more strenuous. She's accustomed to sacrificing her desires because she doesn't want her parents to feel bad for not being able to give those things for her. Pauline, her neighbor, wants for nothing. She's beautiful, popular and rich. They become fast friends and what happens next will be fun, adventure, love and heartbreak. 

There is also a ghost tethered to the girls for some reason, it's like it senses danger for one or both girls. As much as the ghost tries to interact with the world, it begins to realize that it can only be a spectator to the events. Gradually as the story unfolds the ghost starts to understand its presence. I liked Maggie as the main character; she's so sweet and pure. She's a really good and forgiving person. Pauline, initially I liked her energy but as things progress she's comes off as self-absorbed and selfish. There's this boy who has cared about her since they were younger but she never shows interest in him until he begins something with someone else. There is also a murderer on the loose as girls keep going missing. I actually felt the story didn't need the murder mystery part and that some things could have been more fluid. The ghost narration was a little distracting but once the end comes along, it was easy to understand its purpose in the story. I think anyone looking for a ghost story from a different perspective with some romance, heartache and mystery will like this book.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Blitz & Giveaway: Tortured Souls (The Orion Circle #1) Kimber Leigh Wheaton

We're spreading the word about the fabulous ebook price of Tortured Souls by Amazon Bestselling Author, Kimber Leigh Wheaton. Only $0.99 through July 20th!!! 

Tortured Souls
(The Orion Circle #1)
Kimber Leigh Wheaton
YA Paranormal Romance
June 29th 2014 by Sea Dragon Press
Kindle Edition, 227 pages

Sometimes Rest in Peace isn't an option

Kacie Ramsey sees ghosts—and it's ruining her life. Her mother left, her father blames her, and no matter how hard she tries, she can't keep the ghosts away. Now a new power has emerged. Nightly visions of grisly murders and a relentless predator draw her to the brink of insanity.

When the phantom appears at a party, Kacie's longtime crush, Logan, saves her. He invites her to join the Orion Circle, a group of supernatural hunters with chapters in schools all over the country. Through the Circle, Kacie learns to embrace her spiritual powers, and for the first time in her life she feels in control rather than a victim.

But the Foxblood Demon will not give up so easily. A demented serial killer in life who trapped the souls of the thirteen children he murdered, imprisoning them within the walls of his mansion. Now in death, he plots his return while drawing power from the pure souls of the children. He recognizes something in Kacie he's never seen before—a medium powerful enough to provide a vessel for his tainted soul.

Kacie can't ignore the tortured souls of the children crying out to her every night. With Logan at her side, she will fight the Foxblood Demon. But can they banish this powerful phantom, or will Kacie lose not only her body, but her eternal soul to the monster.

Purchase from: Amazon

Excerpt from Chapter One ~ Something Wicked

Deafening music shakes the walls, vibrates the floor, and pounds a rhythmic beat in my skull. Gyrating bodies turn every bit of space into a dance floor. Sweat breaks out on my forehead, and my heart races. Strobe lights flash, teens dance with wild abandon. Shrieking laughter bubbles around me.

“Gotta take a leak!” my dance partner shouts over the music.

He races off, weaving through the thick wall of bodies. Mike or Mick or something—I didn’t catch the name he yelled when he asked me to dance. Doesn’t matter, he wasn’t my type at all. I mean, the guy guzzled beer while dancing. After grabbing a diet soda from a nearby cooler, I’m about to search for my friends when a dark feeling washes over me. My feet refuse to move, and I stand rooted in place.

The once loud music is now hollow in my ears. I gasp for breath, choking on the lack of air around me. Tiny hairs on the nape of my neck rise to attention. Something wicked is behind me. I know I’m the only one here who feels a difference in air pressure. An oppressive weight presses against my skin, making me feel as though I’m underwater. I blink a few times, watching the people around me continue their manic dancing—oblivious to the bogeyman that just entered the room.

Afraid to turn around, I stand my ground, sipping my soda. I pretend I’m unaware of the shuffling noises behind me, sounds I shouldn’t be able to hear over the blaring music. Swaying my hips, I hum along with the music, trying to ignore the ominous presence crushing me.

Whatever it is, I can’t let it know I sense it. Evil pours off it in waves, blanketing the entire room. I close my eyes, willing the creature to go away, return to whatever mausoleum or grave it calls home. Malevolent spirits feed on fear. I must control mine at all costs.

When I open my eyes, I’m gazing into the face of an angel. Not literally, but he may as well be in my book. Logan glances behind me, and I know he sees the spirit. He doesn’t gasp or scream or faint dead away. His golden eyes narrow as though he’s in a staring contest with the specter.

“You’re not welcome here,” Logan says to the presence behind me. He meets my gaze again. “You know it’s there.”

It’s not a question but a statement. I nod, a weak bob of my head, unsure whether this intimate moment with my dream guy is a good thing or not. Meeting over a nasty phantom is not my idea of romantic. And yet I can’t stop staring at the way his blue t-shirt hugs his broad shoulders and chest—how his light brown hair curls around his earlobes. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. For six weeks I’ve wanted out of the friendship box with Logan, but I was hoping for girlfriend, not crazy girl.

“Kassandra,” a voice rasps behind me.

Kimber Leigh Wheaton is a YA/NA author with a soft spot for sweet romance. She is married to her soul mate, has a teenage son, and shares her home with three dogs, four cats, and lots of dragons. No, she doesn’t live on a farm, she just loves animals. Kimber Leigh is addicted to romance, videogames, superheroes, villains, and chocolate—not necessarily in that order. (If she has to choose, she’ll take a chocolate covered superhero!) She currently lives in San Antonio, TX but has been somewhat a rolling stone in life, having resided in several different cities and states.

Blitz Giveaway

- $25 Amazon GC
- 5 ebook copies of Tortured Souls
- Open internationally
- Ends July 17th

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Blast & Giveaway:Vortex by S.J. Kincaid

The impossible was just the beginning. Now in their second year as superhuman government weapons-in-training at the Pentagonal Spire, Tom Raines and his friends are mid-level cadets in the elite combat corps known as the Intrasolar Forces. But as training intensifies and a moment arrives that could make or break his entire career, Tom’s loyalties are again put to the test.

Encouraged to betray his ideals and friendships for the sake of his country, Tom is convinced there must be another way. And the more aware he becomes of the corruption surrounding him, the more determined he becomes to fight it, even if he sabotages his own future in the process.

Drawn into a power struggle more dramatic than he has ever faced before, Tom stays a hyperintelligent step ahead of everyone, like the exceptional gamer he is—or so he believes. But when he learns that he and his friends have unwittingly made the most grievous error imaginable, Tom must find a way to outwit an enemy so nefarious that victory seems hopeless. Will his idealism and bravado cost him everything—and everyone that matters to him?

Filled with action and intelligence, camaraderie and humor, the second book in S.J. Kincaid’s futuristic World War III Insignia trilogy continues to explore fascinating and timely questions about power, politics, technology, loyalty, and friendship.

About the Author
S.J. Kincaid was born in Alabama, grew up in California, and attended high school in New Hampshire, but it was while living beside a haunted graveyard in Scotland, that she realized that she wanted to be a writer. Her debut, Insignia, came out in July of 2012. The second book in the series, Vortex came out in July of 2013. The final book in the INSIGNIA trilogy will come out in Fall of 2014.
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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Excerpt & Giveaway: The Prophecy of Arcadia by M.H. Soars

The Prophecy of Arcadia Excerpt
“You all must be guessing why I requested a meeting this morning,” Gary said in a good mood, and I wondered why he was so cheeky at 6 a.m. He ignored the grunts he received in response.
The boys still wore their PJs and were suffering from a collective case of awful bed hair. I was the last to arrive -- not surprisingly, since I was the only one in the house who had bothered to change clothes and brush my hair. 
The need to look somewhat presentable put me in a less than comfortable situation when the only seat left in Gary’s spacious office was next to Matthew. Considering the situation between us, I might have hoped the others would be more thoughtful and not make me sit next to him. No such luck. 
I avoided making eye contact with Matthew as I took my seat on the big leather couch, putting maximum space between us. He shifted in his seat uneasily.
Gary’s office was a mix of contradictory influences. It had several pieces that could easily belong to a very conservative law firm, like the massive mahogany desk and the button tufted, classic leather sectional sofa in dark brown. His chair had a classic design too but it was in neon green leather, and the paintings hurt the eyes if you stared at them for too long. It was like two different people had decorated the office. The result would make an interior designer have a seizure.
I focused my attention on Gary sitting behind his desk, and waited for him to explain why we had been summoned for the second time in less than twenty-four hours. Alexia, our charge, was coming to Santa Barbara to spend her summer vacation with us and as usual, we had gone through a debriefing the day before. 
As the Prodigies, we had been appointed since birth to be her protectors. However, unlike the majority of our fellow Arcadians, our abilities hadn’t started to manifest until very recently. The appointment had been more symbolic than anything else. This year, however, things would change.
Sean yawned loudly and received an instant glare from his twin brother in return. Not that he cared. My own twin sister, Mia, smiled sympathetically at Zach, which prompted him to soften his countenance.
“I’m pretty sure you must have a good reason for the meeting.” Matthew replied to Gary’s earlier statement, and I looked over at him. He was impossibly good looking, even with disheveled hair.
He sensed me staring and glanced my way, eyebrows furrowed. I felt heat rush to my cheeks and looked away. 
Gary stood up and started to pace in front of us. “I just received word from the Council that Melanie must remain in Arcadia until she completes her training.”
“Why?” I asked. A sliver of dread pierced my heart. Since our abilities started to manifest we had taken turns going to Arcadia for training, but we never stayed more than a few days.
“Do you know how long it will take?” Zach asked before Gary could answer my question.
Gary stuffed his hands in his pockets and shrugged. “Who knows? But don’t worry about it. I’m sure she’ll be back in a jiff.”
A typical Gary response, I thought as I tried to hide my annoyance. Sometimes I wondered why Gary, with his carefree personality, had been appointed to be our mentor. And the Council wondered why we didn’t take our roles more seriously. It was kind of hard to relate with the tragedy of our planet when we had never lived on it, and the person who should be guiding us treated everything like a joke.

 M. H. Soars is what we like to call a United Nations child. She was born in the United States but grew up in several different countries which gave her a broader perspective of life. She has always been passionate about books and stories and at a certain point had a comic book series going.

With a background in fashion design she always thought she was going to follow that path. But the characters in her head kept begging to be set free. So she decided to write their stories. A couple of years and a baby later, the first installment of her Arcadian Wars series is finally done.

M. H. Soars currently resides in New Mexico with her husband and baby daughter. She loves to read novels in the YA, PNR, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, and Chick Lit genres. When not devouring said novels, you may find her shopping online (she's an expert), blogging about fashion, or trying to teach her daughter to walk (even though she's too young for that).

If you would like to learn more about M. H. Soars and her projects you can follow her on Facebook | Goodreads | Blog | Twitter 

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Interview with Author Jill Knapp

Tell us about yourself? I am a coffee and ice cream obsessed, writer who loved dogs and the beach 

What inspired you to write What Happens To Men When They Move To Manhattan? I wanted to write a story that reflected the way I felt while living in New York. I wanted to write something with a realistic ending and create a series of characters that people would end up loving.

What book are you reading now or the last book you've read? I just finished reading The Selection by Kiera Cass and it was absolutely fantastic. I already ordered the next two!

What do you feel is the hardest part about writing? Being sure that what you wrote isn’t terrible. It’s a constant battle between thinking you wrote something amazing and though provoking one minute, and then looking at it and thinking it’s terrible the next.

Who is your favorite character from your book and why? Amalia is my favorite character. She is so full of life. She’s a loveable mess who although makes a lot of mistakes, she has a good heart.

What is the most rewarding experience you've had since being signed by Harper Impulse? My cover reveal. It was when it all started to feel real. I am absolutely in love with my new cover.

Favorite song right now? Long Live, by Taylor Swift

Are there any upcoming projects that you'd like to tell us about? I just finished my first draft of the second installment in the “What Happens To Men?..” series. That will most likely be available this fall.

Is there a question you wish interviewers would ask and the answer to that question? Or if you'd like to, share a fun fact about yourself? I wish people would ask about my dogs more because they just mean the world to me! I have a Pekingese named Brownie and a Japanese Chin named Cupcake.

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