Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Review: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Series: The Dark Artifices #1
Publication Date: March 28th 2016
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ B&N

Synopsis: In a kingdom by the sea…

In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word.

parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other—but they can never fall in love.

Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries—the most powerful of supernatural creatures—teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge—and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks…and before the murderer targets them.

Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents—and can she bear to know the truth?

The darkly magical world of Shadowhunters has captured the imaginations of millions of readers across the globe. Join the adventure in Lady Midnight, the long-awaited first volume of a new trilogy from Cassandra Clare.

My Rating
5/5 stars

My Review
“There was beauty in the idea of freedom, but it was an illusion. Every human heart was chained by love.” 

I don't think I'll ever outgrow the shadow hunter world.

After the events of City of Heavenly Fire, Emma Carstairs has grown up in the Los Angeles Institue, alongside her parabatai Julian Blackthorn and his family. While out patrolling the streets with fellow shadow hunter Christina, the two girls find a body. Bodies of humans and fairies are being found similar markings that Emma found on her parent's bodies after the war. Emma was certain it wasn't Sebastian who murdered her parents, and the new trail of dead bodies could lead to her finding the real killer. But the mysteries of Los Angeles are more dangerous and twisted than Emma and Julian could have ever known.

I walked into this book with low expectations. Cassandra Clare has written some amazing books, but in all honesty, I didn't think she could write another fantastic book in the shadow hunter series. But I was slightly wrong.

While I do think this book was absolutely amazing, and still deserves 5 stars for the writing, it just wasn't as good as City of Bones or Clockwork Angel. With those two series, we had brand new characters and exciting settings. Yet with this release, we already knew Emma and Julian from City of Heavenly fire, and Los Angeles isn't the most creative setting to pick from.

It was wonderful to see the characters from both series again. We do get to find out what has happened to Jace and Clary as well as Tessa and Jem, as they are featured in the book multiple times. But I personally found it a tad annoying, I wanted to read about the characters from this book. It just felt like Cassy was trying to drag on the original stories way longer than they should have been. I will always stand by the quote "A good author knows when to finish a book," and I just don't think Cassy knows how.

The action and storyline of this book were absolutely amazing. Cassy threw in twists and I didn't see coming, and had me loving characters I never thought I would like. 

Even though this book had such a good storyline and romance, it just felt a little bit too long. There definitely could have been parts of the book that could have been skimmed and shortened. While I don't want to think badly of the author, I'm worried she just made the book a little longer to try and make more money out of it.

Either way, it was am amazing book compared to other series. As for Cassie's books, this series isn't one of her best. 

I still highly recommend giving this one a read, especially if you wanna find out what has happened to Clary, Jace, Tessa and Jem since the last book.

Happy Reading,

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Concealed by Christina Bauer

Christina Bauer
Series: Beholder #2
Publication date: October 25th 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Synopsis: As a Grand Mistress Necromancer, Elea’s a witch who commands the ultimate power over spirit and bone. It’s magic that she’ll need in order to stop the Vicomte Gaspard from killing her Sisters by draining their magic along with their life force.
To find and free her fellow witches, Elea must venture into some of the most dangerous places in the realm. What starts off as a rescue quest could easily turn into a suicide mission. And with the handsome warlock Rowan along to help, Elea may be risking more than her life. Her growing feelings for Rowan might put her heart on the line, too.
Rowan stepped into my path, forcing me to stop. “We can’t worry about the Tsar just now.”
“How can I not? This is the Tsar we’re talking about. The man killed off thousands of my people. If he comes back, I’m his top target.”
“No one is getting anywhere near you, Elea.” Rowan’s voice was a rough rasp. “You have my word. I know what you care about, and it’s your Sisters. That’s all you need to think about. At least, for the next two days. Promise me?”
Rowan’s words helped to center my thoughts. “You’re right. Little time remains to save Ada and the others. I need to stay the course. Thank you, Rowan.”
“I’ll always be here for you.” Rowan stared at me for a long moment. I thought he might have more to say. Instead, he shook his head, stepped across the cave floor, and picked up the loops of rope. “Any ideas on where your Sisters are imprisoned?”
“Amelia wants to check the Havilland mansion first.”
“I can send in someone from my team. They’re experts at subterfuge.”
“No. These are my people. I have to go.”
Once again, Rowan moved to stand so close our bodies were only inches apart. “Trust me on this. My people can handle the Royals.” He brushed the backs of his fingertips up my cheek and I melted into the touch. “I want you safe, Elea.” He leaned in until his mouth was only a breath away from mine.
This wasn’t the time for emotion. I couldn’t seem to stop my zuchtlos feelings, though. My heart thumped with such force I thought it might burst from my chest. Rowan’s voice became low and gentle. “Return to Braddock Farm. Stay safe. I will end this. Once it’s done, I’ll find you there. I swear it.”
My legs felt wobbly beneath me. In my mind’s eye, it all appeared so easy and clear. Rowan could handle this. I’d return to my farm and help the faithful servants who’d kept it thriving. Then one day, Rowan would arrive and we’d be together. How wonderful would that be?
I closed my eyes and stepped away from his touch. This was impossible. My people were my responsibility. No one else’s. And the idea that Rowan and I could be together? That was an illusion.
“It’s a sweet dream. We both know it isn’t the truth. You’re part of the Caster Imperial family. Your uncle is none other than Genesis Rex. You can’t have a life with me as a farmer, can you?”
Rowan’s gaze intensified. “No.” He stepped closer once again. “I’ll still find you, though.”
“And when you do, what will I be?” I wanted to touch him and to be with him. I knew that now. But not at any cost. “Your mistress? Your absentee wife?”
“You’ll be mine.” He pulled me into his arms. Every ridge of his hard body pressed against my soft curves. I’d never craved anything more in my life than I wanted to kiss Rowan right now. He leaned in closer than ever before. His warm breath cascaded over my lips. “Don’t fight this. Please.”
My control snapped, and I pressed my mouth to his. Yes. Our first few tastes were tentative. Gentle. Rowan was as delicious as I’d imagined, a flavor that was somewhere between musk and desire. Every touch of his lips sent spasms of want through my core.
Our kiss quickly turned rough. Rowan nipped my bottom lip, and I let out a rough groan. This kiss could go on forever. Still, some small part of my brain shouted for me to stop.
I didn’t know how I found the strength, but I pushed Rowan away. “I want you too. That’s not enough for me. We’re from different worlds. Your place is with your people. I need to save mine. Once this is over, we’ll never see each other again. I can’t afford to feel more for you than I already do.”
Rowan’s eyes took on that intense look I knew so well. A muscle worked in his jaw for a long moment. “I understand. We both have work to do.”
I exhaled. “I’m glad you can accept the truth.”
“I didn’t say that.” He scooped up the ropes and offered them to me. “This isn’t over.”
I stared at the green cords coiled around his palm. I wanted real ties between us as well. Yet wanting a thing wasn’t the same as having it. I pulled the rope from his hand and looped it around my shoulders. “We better get back.”

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


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Book Blitz & Giveaway: The Harvesting by Melanie Karsak

The Harvesting
Melanie Karsak
Series: The Harvesting, #1
Publication date: January 8th 2014
Genres: Horror, Young Adult, Zombies

Synopsis: It’s all fun and games until someone ends up undead.
Layla Petrovich has spent her whole life running away from her hometown of Hamletville. Raised by the town’s medium, and dubbed the “weird” girl for her fascination with swords, the last thing Layla wants is to go home.
But when she receives a desperate call to return just as a mysterious outbreak sweeps the country, Layla’s instincts urge her to go. Good thing, because the dead are rising.Layla, however, isn’t entirely on her own. With her psychic powers growing, surely everything will turn out okay, right?
Not so fast. Just when Layla believes she might survive the apocalypse, a sinister and ancient force rises from the shadows to finish mankind for good.Because the truth is, we were never alone in this world.
Begin The Harvesting Series with The Harvesting, Book 1.
“If you ever need to slice someone’s head off, this is the blade you want,” I said as I lifted a curved sword off the table in front of me. “We’ve been practicing épée and foil so far, but tonight I want to introduce you to the sabre.” The practice sabre’s curved blade reflected the orange streetlight shining in through the window. A grant from the Smithsonian where I worked allowed me to teach my two passions: ancient weapons and their arts. “The sabre is a slashing weapon,” I continued and then lunged, showing the wide-eyed and excited students a few moves. “And in general, it’s my favorite,” I admitted with a grin.
The students laughed.
“Is that why you have it tattooed on your arm?” Tyler, one of my best fencers, asked.
My hand went unconsciously toward the tattoo. The ink was a sword interlaced with other once-meaningful symbols. “That’s not just any sabre,” I said, mildly embarrassed. “Here, let me show you. I brought something special tonight.” Setting the training sabre down, I lifted a rolled bundle. I laid it down on the table and unrolled it to reveal weapons in various elaborate scabbards.
“Some are épée, foils—you can tell by the hilt—a broadsword, a claymore, a katana, a scimitar, throwing daggers,” I said, pointing, “but this, this is a Russian shashka.” I pulled the shashka from the bundle. “It’s like a traditional sabre, but has no guard. She’s light, single-edged, wielded with one hand, and good for stabbing or slashing. Not awkward in close quarters like a Scottish claymore, but it will kill you just as dead,” I said with a smile. I unsheathed the weapon and gave it an under-and over-hand spin around my head, shoulders, and back.
The students grinned from ear to ear.
I put it back in its scabbard and handed the shashka to them. “Pass it around, but keep in mind it is sharp enough to cut a blade of hair in half.” I then turned my attention to Tyler. “Now, since you’re so interested, let’s see how you do with the sabre.” I tossed one of the training swords to him.
Tyler, already in his gear, jumped up and lowered his fencing mask. “But you’re not in gear,” he said.
I shrugged. “Hit me, if you can.”
We stood at the ready, made the ceremonial bow, and began. Tyler was not overly aggressive, which is partially why he was so successful. He waited for me, moving slowly. He was smart, quick, and often tried to over-tire his opponent.
I waited, dropped my sword a bit, and let him make the lunge. He took the bait.
The swords clanged together, and we clashed back and forth across the strip. He lunged and slashed while I dodged and blocked. He was fast. I was faster. When he lunged again, I ducked. With an upward movement, I went in.
“A hit,” Kasey called.
They clapped.
“Man, that’s what you get for taking on a former state champ—and the teacher,” Trey told Tyler with a laugh.
Tyler pulled off the mask and smiled at me.
Just then, my cell rang. I would usually ignore it, but something told me to answer.
“Everyone pair up and start working with the training sabers,” I said and pointed to the sword rack. I went to my bag and grabbed my cell.
Before I could say hello, she spoke.
“Layla, Grandma needs you to come home,” my grandmother’s voice, thick with Russian accent, came across through static. I was silent for a moment. My grandmother lived 500 miles away, and she never used her telephone. With the exception of her T.V., she hated technology. She’d cried and begged me to take away the microwave I’d purchased for her one Mother’s Day.
“Grandma? What’s wrong?”
“Come home now. Be here tomorrow,” she said. She hung up.
I lowered my cell and stared at it. Confused and worried, I dialed her back. The phone rang, but she did not answer. I had obligations: practice, bills to pay, groceries to buy, tons of work to do, and a date for god-sakes. But my grandmother was the only one I had left in the world.
“Sorry, guys. Emergency,” I called to my students.
Disappointed, they groaned.
“Sorry. Let’s pack it up for the night.” My hands shaking, I slid the shashka back into the bundle and rolled up the weapons. What had happened? Maybe Grandma was sick. Maybe she had some problem. Or maybe she had seen something.

Author Bio:
Melanie Karsak is the author of The Airship Racing Chronicles, The Harvesting Series, and The Celtic Blood Series. A steampunk connoisseur, zombie whisperer, and heir to the iron throne, the author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: The Amateurs by Sara Shepard

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.
Series: The Amateurs #1
Publication Date: November 1st 2016
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Genre: YA, Mystery 
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ B&N

Synopsis: As soon as Seneca Frazier sees the post on the Case Not Closed website about Helena Kelly, she’s hooked. Helena’s high-profile disappearance five years earlier is the one that originally got Seneca addicted to true crime. It’s the reason she’s a member of the site in the first place.

So when Maddy Wright, her best friend from the CNC site, invites Seneca to spend spring break in Connecticut looking into the cold case, she immediately packs her bag. But the moment she steps off the train in trendy, glamorous Dexby, things begin to go wrong. Maddy is nothing like she expected, and Helena’s sister, Aerin Kelly, seems completely hostile and totally uninterested in helping with their murder investigation.

But when Brett, another super user from the site, joins Seneca and Maddy in Dexby, Aerin starts to come around. The police must have missed something, and someone in Dexby definitely has information they’ve been keeping quiet.

As Seneca, Brett, Maddy, and Aerin begin to unravel dark secrets and shocking betrayals about the people closest to them, they seem to be on the murderer’s trail at last. But somewhere nearby the killer is watching . . . ready to do whatever it takes to make sure the truth stays buried.

Book Blast & $100 Giveaway: Coffee, Tea or Me

Coffee, Tea or Me by Rich Amooi Susie opens a tea shop next to Jack’s coffee shop and the war begins. Jack Robbins has a booming coffee business, an eighty-year old customer who can’t keep his clothes on, and a rescue Chihuahua named Chimichanga that likes to kiss on the mouth. Life is good until the new business next door takes a bite out of his sales. Susie McKenna has the new tea shop everyone is talking about, an over-protective brother, and a stubborn, good-looking neighbor who is trying to steal her customers. Things really start to percolate when Jack and Susie both volunteer to help plan the downtown festival. They have to work together and soon Jack won't be able to get by without his daily fix of Susie. But can a coffee lover and a tea devotee put their competition aside to get their happily ever after?
  amazon add to goodreads
rich  Praise for Coffee, Tea or Me "Fun, fun, and more fun!" "Sweet, heartwarming and good for the soul!" "Always funny, always entertaining." "A sweet romantic comedy."

 Author Rich Amooi Rich Amooi is a former Silicon Valley radio personality and wedding DJ who now writes romantic comedies full-time. He is happily married to a kiss monster imported from Spain. Rich believes in public displays of affection, silliness, infinite possibilities, donuts, gratitude, laughter, and happily ever after.
amazon or paypal

$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway Ends 11/10/16 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Review: Blood Red Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick

Publication Date: October 25th 2016
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ B&N

Synopsis: Russia wakes from a long sleep and marches to St Petersburg to claim her birthright. Her awakening will mark the end for the Romanovs, and the dawn of a new era that changed the world. Arthur Ransome, a journalist and writer, was part of it all. He left his family in England and fell in love with Russia and a Russian woman. This is his story.

My Rating:
2/5 stars

My Review: 
“There never was a story that was happy through and through.” 

If you're expecting a cute fairytale story, this is not the book for you.

I was really disappointed with myself after starting this book. Based on the cover and the short synopsis provided, I really did think that this book was about Russian fairytales. And I was right about the first 25% ish about the book. After the original beginning, the story dives into the history of Russia during World War I.

Usually I find the first part of books extremely boring, but this book was the exact opposite. The fist few chapters are filled with fun Russian stories, there's a story about a grandfather in a cabin with two little kids, the story of Rasputin, and the story of the Russian Bear. I really enjoyed the first part, I couldn't put my book down at this point. But once you hit part two, the story shifts into basically a history lesson on Arthur Ransome, and what was happening to Russia at the time.

I am a huge fan of Historical Fiction, but based on my past I tend to be a little biased with Russian history, so you can imagine how 'ecstatic' I was once the book started getting into the history lesson. I won't comment further on the history, just know that if you are Russian, or enjoy Russian history, then this is the book for you, if not then don't bother opening it.

I was so happy with the beginning of this book, if it continued in that style I would have loved to continue reading, but unfortunately it turned into something I despised. I really do recommend it to all historical fiction fans, especially if you like Russian history. If you do decide to give this book a chance, I hope that you enjoy it.

Happy Reading,

Book Blitz & Giveaway: The Destined by E.J. Mellow

The Destined
E.J. Mellow
Series: Dreamland #3
Publication date: October 17th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult
I searched for you in the stars tonight.
But I found none
that burned as bright as you.

—Part of a letter from Dev to Molly
With the loss of Terra’s greatest weapon, the war against darkness escalates rapidly, and time is on no one’s side. While Dev struggles to keep his home and hope alive, Molly and Rae find themselves forced to confront a desperately kept secret and quickly learn that a life-altering sacrifice is the asking price to restore order.
Nightmares, betrayal, the fate of two worlds, and one man’s hunger for vengeance lead Molly down a twisted and dark path she fears she might never come back from. Cornered into making a heart-wrenching decision, Molly teeters between deliverance and damnation. Who is worth saving most—a nation or the one she loves?
From Award Winning author, E.J. Mellow, comes the breathtaking conclusion of The Dreamland Series. A story that will take you on a spine-tingling and gripping ride through self-sacrifice, the true power of love, and the importance of friendship.
fb_dreamlandseries_graphic_1 the-destined_released-graphic_1

Author Bio:
E.J. Mellow is the Award Winning author behind the NA Contemporary Fantasy trilogy The Dreamland Series. With a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts, E.J. Mellow splits her time between her two loves – visual design and writing. Residing in NYC, E.J. is a member of Romance Writers of America and their Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Chapter. She has no animals but loves those who do.


Monday, October 17, 2016

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Book Party

Welcome to the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Book Party!

Welcome to the genreCRAVE Science Fiction and Fantasy $1200 Giveaway! We have something really exciting set up for you. First, some KILLER Science Fiction and Fantasy books at a steal, and after that, a chance to enter our $1200 Gift Card Giveaway! Read on for more information, but first, check out the books from our sponsors at the link below!


Here are a couple of sneak peeks!
Ambassador 1: Seeing Red
I had never been on first-name terms with the president, but while I sat there trying hard not to succumb to jet-lag, he chatted about my father, whom I had just visited, and who had finally retired from Lunar Base to his native New Zealand. Sirkonen opened the drawer of his desk and took something out, which he flipped across the gleaming wooden surface. I could do nothing but catch it. A datastick. I turned it over. The black plastic cover reflected the sunlight.
“What’s on it?”
“You might find it useful. Think of it as some . . . personal advice, from me to you. We’ll talk about it later, when you return for your first briefing.” He shut the drawer with a thud as if closing the subject.
This was highly irregular. “Mr President, can I ask—”
He shook his head, and offered me a drink—Finnish vodka, best in the world, he said. While he poured, his hands trembled.
I should have insisted that he tell me what was wrong, but who was I? An unimportant, sending-out-our-feelers type of diplomat, expendable and twenty years his junior. Not the type of person to draw attention to his problems—with alcohol or otherwise.
We made a toast. The heavy scent of the vodka did nothing to improve my alertness.
“Mr Wilson, when you come back in six month’s time, you must present your report to the general assembly. We need to know in detail what sort of regimes we’re dealing with.”
I didn’t understand why he spoke in such empty generalities; I wondered when he was going to open that folder on his desk and sign the contract. Nicha, my Coldi assistant, was waiting in the foyer. We had a whole heap of work to catch up on. I was annoyed that Sirkonen had changed our meeting time at the last minute—the original meeting had been scheduled for tomorrow morning.
Sirkonen stopped speaking.
I stared at him, realising with embarrassment that I’d been off with the fairies. Was I meant to have said something? Was I breaking rule number one of the diplomatic circle: never show any sign of sleep deprivation?
An attack of dizziness overtook me. My vision wavered, as if the world were painted on a silk flag that flapped in the wind, and all the furniture was rimmed in a red aura. “Mr President, I’m—”
I just managed to put my vodka down. The glass hit the wood with a soft clunk, the only sound in the frozen silence.
There was a small sound from outside, a click.
As if stung, Sirkonen turned to the window; his eyes widened.
The president opened his mouth, but a sharp crack interrupted his words.
Releasing Rage
She stepped into the firewall square. The door behind her closed and she authorized the interior door to open.
A buzz swept over her. No, not simply over her. Into her. She gasped, her inhalation of air drawing more of this unknown presence inside her.
It was too much, almost suffocating. Joan swayed, lightheaded. “Do not faint. Do not faint,” she repeated to herself, closing her eyes.
The rolling under her feet gradually stopped. She opened her eyes and wished she hadn’t. Crimson spray covered everywhere she looked. Gore was splattered into the farthest corners, hanging from the ceiling. Cleaner bots scrubbed the walls and floor.
This was why she felt dizzy, she reasoned. She smelled and sensed this butchery.
C899321, the being she had been told was responsible, stood in his uploading dock, a cable inserted into his nape, his towering form naked, covered with blood, his long black hair dripping with it.
He turned his head, locked his gaze with hers and she sucked in her breath. There were worlds of agony, of rage, in those bright blue eyes. This was no rational, logic-driven cyborg. This was a man, an animal, crazed by bloodlust and pain.
“They thought to pacify me with the use of a human female?” he thundered, his deep gravelly voice clawing across her skin, awakening parts in her she didn’t realize slept. “I’d kill you before I allowed you to touch me.”
This insult didn’t hurt her the way he’d intended. Joan knew she wasn’t the slim tiny female males desired. She was solidly built, good breeding stock, as her mother had once said.
She discarded his words and focused on the torment in his tones. He hurt. Horrifically. Her fingers twitched, the urge to reach out to him, to comfort him, tremendous. Judging by the flex of his powerful biceps and thigh muscles, by the anger radiating from him, he wouldn’t appreciate that response.
He also wouldn’t listen to any command she issued. A reprimand, verbal or physical, would add to his hostility. Some being had already tried to restrain him and failed. The reportedly unbreakable wrist and ankle cuffs attached to the frame of the uploading dock had been shattered, rendered useless.
Joan discarded four solar cycles’ worth of theory on how to handle malfunctioning cyborgs, realizing now that the academy experts knew nothing.
Her late father, however, had taught her how to deal with wild beasts.
“I would never touch you without your permission.” She lowered her gaze, showing submission, recognizing C899321 as the dominant male he was. He’d seek to harm any aggressor, to protect himself and his territory. If she wasn’t female, she suspected she’d already be dead.
“I also would never hurt you.” Joan stuffed a couple of cleaning cloths into her pockets and dropped to her knees, into a puddle of red. The moisture soaked through her flight suit. “I’m here to serve you, to clean you.”

Entering is easy! Directions are on the Rafflecopter, but as an overview:
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Friday, October 14, 2016

Book Blitz & Giveaway: A Bond of Venom and Magic

A Bond Of Venom and Magic
Karen Tomlinson
Series: The Goddess and the Guardians #1
Publication date: October 14th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis: The Wraith Lord is hunting; his prize, the key to unleashing darkness and Chaos upon the eight Kingdoms.
For Diamond Gillon the war raging in the south seems a remote danger until her home is brutally attacked. Having lost everything she holds dear, Diamond is catapulted into a terrifying new world in which legendary beasts arise, magic is condemned and half blood fae, like her, have no rights. Despite her growing feelings for her saviour, Commander Hugo Casimir, he remains a paradox – not only is he a heartless killer, he is owned by the cruel immortal fae queen; a queen who will murder her own people for magic.
As Diamond’s circumstances become ever more perilous she is drawn deeper into Hugo’s world and discovers the lengths to which he will go to save what he holds dear. Will Hugo become her friend, her protector, or – an enemy not worthy of her trust?
A Bond of Venom and Magic is a tale of two people bound by magic and secrets, but trapped in the complexities of love and betrayal. It is the beginning of an epic journey, one that will test Diamond’s resolve and determination to battle an evil that threatens not only her world but that of Eternity, the land of The Guardians and The Goddess.
You can get the first 5 chapters for FREE if you sign-up for Karen’s newsletter!
The window warrior spun swiftly in front of the door, facing Hugo with his sword drawn. Clearly he wanted to give his lord time to escape, even if that meant his own death. Before the door banged shut downstairs, Hugo stormed forward. The warrior flicked his wrist. Diamond gasped. Red magic. No Avalonian had red magic anymore. It ripple across the room like a wave of shimmering heat. Hugo roared, but not in pain.
Leaning into the onslaught of power he grinned with fiendish delight, darkness rippling around him. A shroud of silver-flamed shadow devoured the red wave, even as his powerful body charged forwards.
The warrior swore, desperately raising his sword in defence. Clearly he had expected a different reaction to his magical attack. Hugo’s wrathful bellow filled the room as he drove his sword down. Metal jarred and sparked.
“You took her from me! I can smell her blood. Now you will die!” he promised, his voice nothing like his own. It was more animalistic than Diamond had ever heard.
The warrior blocked Hugo’s blade with skill and precision. Red magic meant the ability to control heat and fire. Hugo’s blade began to glow as the other fae heated it like it had come out of a furnace. Hugo grunted but did not let go. The white-hot metal did not burn him through the glove of darkness rippling around his hand.
“Stop this, commander! We are not your enemy,” the warrior panted, blocking and spinning away from Hugo’s blades with utter confidence and no small amount of skill.
Hugo did not answer, his only response was to blast the red magic away with a veil of darkness, parrying a strike and bringing his other blade down with such force the window warrior stumbled, almost driven to his knees. Hugo blocked the warrior’s sweeping sword strike and stabbed him through the shoulder, before mercilessly slashing across the male’s thigh. A move meant to incapacitate. The warrior dropped to one knee but somehow still managed to block Hugo’s killing blow.
“Commander! Stop! She will be safer with us. If you take her back to the palace, the Queen will kill her! You know she will! We need Diamond to live! All of us do!” he panted, desperation in his voice now.
Diamond gasped as she saw the warrior’s hand drop to his boot and grasp the handle of a small concealed knife.
“Hugo!” she yelled, fighting her bonds with all her might. Pain screeched through Diamond’s wrists as the silk tightened. She screamed. It was going to cut off her hands!
Instead of killing the warrior, Hugo kicked his assailant in the chest sending him sprawling. There was a solid thud as the warrior’s head smacked into the wall and he stilled. Hugo immediately twisted to Diamond, dropping to his knees in front of her. Blood ran from her wounds, dripping down the chair arms.
“Keep still,” he ordered, pulling a dagger and slicing through the silken rope.
Sobbing with relief, she sagged against him before the pain started in earnest. Her fingers burned as blood rushed back in. Diamond whimpered, not sure what to do with herself.
Thoughts of the window warrior escaped them both. Hugo quickly slashed strips of material off his tunic. Dropping his blades he firmly bound her wrists, trying to staunch the heavy flow of blood. For a moment he leaned his forehead against hers and gripped each wrist as she fought to control her panicked sobs.
“Shh. It’s alright. You’ll be fine now. Breathe, Diamond. In…out…with me. That’s it.” Slowly her mind returned to her. With her head leaning against Hugo’s, they shared the same warm breath. She closed her eyes, her body responding to his. Her breathing slowed until it mirrored his own and she could swear she heard the distant beat of his heart.
The scuff of boots on the wooden floor had Hugo on his feet in front of her, blades ready. Diamond looked on as he faced the bleeding warrior, his face icy and calm.
“We are not your enemy,” the warrior panted. Equally calm and with slow intent he sheathed his own blades.
“Kill me if you must. But you know if you take her back to the palace, the Queen will destroy her. Let her come with me, commander. Please. I give you my word I will keep her safe,” the warrior appealed, holding his bloodied hands out to Diamond.
Hugo looked down at her, his brow bunched. Diamond shook her head frantically and grabbed at his tunic. He couldn’t be considering it.

Author Bio:
Karen Tomlinson is the author of The Goddess and the Guardians series of Young Adult fantasy books. Book one A Bond of Venom and Magic will be released October 14th 2016.
Karen has always been an avid reader. Her taste in books is eclectic but she likes nothing better than an exciting fantasy, set in a new and magical world. She lives in Derbyshire, England, with her husband, twin girls and her dalmatian, Poppy. Karen trained as a nurse and currently works as a resuscitation and clinical skills trainer, this involves training a wide variety of health care professionals and medical students in acute patient care. In addition to writing, and reading whenever she can, Karen likes to keep active. She has been training at Shotokan karate since being thirteen, likes walking, mountain biking and (for something completely different) cake decorating. She is currently working on book two in The Goddess and the Guardians series.
About me!
As soon as I could read I spent hours getting lost in the new worlds books could give me. Spending my pocket money had to be done (obviously) but not on sweets, well, not many…I spent my money on books. Back then it was Enid Blyton’s Famous Five which sparked my young mind. I didn’t rest until I had the whole set, then I migrated to the secret seven…(there was no Harry Potter then) As a teenager I would trawl through all my mum and dad’s discarded books. It was probably highly inappropriate for a thirteen year old to be reading swoony Mills and Boon romances followed by Ian Flemming, Alistair Maclean and Wilbur Smith!
Because I read anything and everything I could get my hands on back then, I now have an eclectic taste in books. I will read anything that catches my eye and absolutely love illustrated book covers! In my late teens I discovered fantasy and that genre has stayed my firm favourite. I am and will always remain a complete sucker for a fantasy with kick ass characters and worlds steeped in magic and romance!


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Review: Fragile by Nikki Grahame

Publication Date: January 1st 2012
Publisher: John Blake
Genre: Biography
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ B&N

Synopsis: From the age of eight until she was nineteen, Nikki battled anorexia nervosa—but few cases have been quite as extreme as hers. At just seven years old, Nikki began feeling that she was overweight. A remark about her being fat from a fellow pupil at a gymnastics class along with insecurity brought about by her parents' separation and he beloved grandfather's death, were the catalysts for Nikki's long-term eating disorder. Aged just eight and weighing just under three stone, she was diagnosed as anorexic. For the next eight years, Nikki was in and out of institutions—seven in total—during which time she attempted suicide twice and had to be sedated up to four times a day so that she could be force-fed. At one point, she was sedated for fourteen days while doctors sewed a tube into her stomach, through which she was fed in order to get her weight out of the critical range. Nikki admits that she knew every anorexic's trick in the book: from breaking into hospital kitchens to water down full-fat milk, altering her diet sheet and switching name tags on food to ensure that she received smaller amounts, to even stuffing a door-stop down her trousers before a weigh-in. The extremes that she went to in order to avoid eating and find ways to exercise excessively shocked doctors who have worked in the field for years. As Nikki says, “I've always wanted to be the best at everything I do, so I had to be the best anorexic—and I was.” This is the heart-rending and powerful story of a girl who lost her childhood but was brave enough to finally admit that she wanted to live again.

My Rating
4/5 stars

My Review

After watching Nikki on Big Brother Canada, I fell in love with her silly nature and her freakouts. When I found out that she had written a book, I was expecting it to be a silly story or something, I never even guessed she had an eating disorder, especially a severe one.

I very rarely step out of my comfort zone and read a book like this, but I found myself curious of Nikki's history and decided to give her book a try.

This book is very well written and goes into lots of detail. Included in the book are pictures of Nikki when she was growing up, and the moments after she was released and trying to get healthy. The pictures really help you visualize how she looked exactly during her struggle with her weight, and her detail to the story makes you realize just how sick she really was.

My favourite part of the book, was once she got released. I loved reading about how different she felt and how she could never really shake her disease. Especially in the epilogue when we realize that she has checked herself in for help multiple times after her release, it just made her seem like a real person who has issues and not just the silly girl on TV.

While I do recommend this book to everyone who is interested in such a story, I would advise you not to read it if you've had eating disorders in the past or you see someone reading it who could have the potential of having an eating disorder. For the average person, we would read it and feel sad for Nikki and her past, but someone who could easily succumb to an eating disorder, I feel like this book might be a bit a challenge. The way its written is almost as if the character was bragging and challenging you to being skinnier than her (which is what Nikki was thinking at the age), so it might not be the safest read.

Hopefully you enjoy the book, and if you've watched and loved Nikki, you will definitely find her biography interesting.

Happy Reading,

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Darkness Savage by Rachel A. Marks

Darkness Savage
Rachel A. Marks
Series: The Dark Cycle #3
Published by: Skyscape
Publication date: October 11th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis: The fate of humanity hangs in the balance as Aidan faces a crushing choice: give in to the demands of the forces of Darkness in order to save his sister, Ava, or fight on the side of good and risk losing her forever. With so much at stake and so little time, Aidan embarks on a mission to finish assembling a team of “Lights,” other teens whose special abilities are linked to his own.
Meanwhile, Rebecca discovers that she’s more than just a normal teen, and that the power awakening inside her may be stronger than she ever could have imagined. As the city plunges into chaos and Aidan doubts his plan of attack, Rebecca’s newfound gift may tip the balance in the wrong direction.
In this thrilling final installment of The Dark Cycle trilogy, will Aidan find the help he needs to release the world from Darkness’s grip? Or will he lose everything he’s been desperately trying to save, including his soul?
**Book 1 & 2 are on sale all month on Amazon: Kindle for $1.99 and paperback for $5.99**

Author Bio:
Rachel A. Marks is an award-winning author and professional artist, a SoCal girl, cancer survivor, a surfer and dirt-bike rider, chocolate lover and keeper of faerie secrets. She was voted: Most Likely to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse, but hopes she'll never have to test the theory. Her debut series The Dark Cycle, described as Dickens' Oliver Twist meets TV's Supernatural, is now out through Skyscape, beginning with DARKNESS BRUTAL.


Cover Reveal: Succubus by Brandon Varnell

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy/Romance (16+)
Release Date: December 1st 2016


Christian is the Catholic Church’s best executioner. Dedicated. Devout. Deadly. Ever since the Church saved him from the decimated ruins of his hometown, his commitment to their cause has been unshakable.

Then he’s sent to execute Lilith, who lives in Seal Beach, California. He’s baffled. Lilith is afraid of men. The Church believes she’s a succubus, but he just can’t see it. Yet the way men—both human and monster alike—act as if they’ve been possessed whenever she’s near is disturbing.

With lustful men attacking Lilith and monsters attacking him for being near Lilith, Christian must uncover what’s really going on, and soon, or innocent blood will run through the streets—as will his own.

Love. It can kill a man.

About the Author

Brandon Varnell is a writer... the end.

... Just kidding.

Brandon Varnell is the writer of the American Kitsune series. He has absolutely no skill at anything aside from writing and looking half-baked. He used to play guitar, but due to laziness, he never went anywhere with it. He also used to play a lot of video games, but after suffering this terrible affliction called book addiction, he only plays occasionally these days. Brandon lives mostly within his own imagination, but can occasionally be found in Phoenix, Arizona.

For several years now - at least three - Brandon has dreamed of becoming a full-time author. He would love it if the time came when he could wake up, write several thousand words, and then call it a day. To reach this goal, he tends to write. A lot. He writes fan fiction, he writes original fiction, he writes Erotic fiction... oh, wait. No, he doesn't. He just writes stories with a lot of fan service.

Aside from being an avid writer, Brandon also likes to cosplay. You can generally find him at the local Comicon dressed as various characters from movies, video games and anime. It's also not all that unusual to find him walking around town in a red trench coat, no shirt and carrying a large sword on his back. Kudos to those of you who get the reference. His current favorite people to cosplay are Han Solo (who doesn't want to be a roguish smuggler?), Cloud Strife (he likes the big ass sword), Dante, and Squall Leonhart. He has also thought of trying to cosplay as Darth Vader or Zero (Lelouch Lamperouge from Code Geass), but has decided to stay away from all black cosplay since he lives in Arizona - it's really hot in that state, you know.

He also loves anime, which makes a lot of sense, seeing how the entire American Kitsune series is basically just one big anime parody.

Author Links: 

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