Friday, March 31, 2017

March Wrap-Up

Hello everyone. This year I've decided to update you guys with a monthly wrap-up, where I let you know everything that has been happening on Angelic Book Reviews this past month.

What Happened This Month
The snow is melting, grass is sprouting, and it's finally bearable to walk my dog again. While I'm not too happy about all the dirt my dog tracks into the house, I'm really excited to see the grass again and finally be able to spend some time outside.
March was a good month, I finished all my midterms, wrote a 13 page paper on Lassa Virus, and finished up all my lab work. March was the nice break I had from crazy studying, which is about to start up again as I head into the final exam period. Wish me luck with April.

Books Reviewed This Month
Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake | Rating: 5/5 stars
Rose Petal Graves by Olivia Wildenstein | Rating: 4/5 stars
Curse of Stars by Donna Compositor | Rating: 3/5 stars
Perfect by Cecelia Ahern | Rating: 4/5 stars
Freeks by Amanda Hocking | Rating: 4/5 stars
Duels and Deception by Cindy Anstey | 3.5/5 stars
Give Me a K-I-L-L by R.L. Stine | Rating 5/5 stars
Angelbound by Christina Bauer | Rating 5/5 stars

Reading Challenge Progress
Goodreads Reading Challenge: 21/40 books read
Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge: 8/25 books read
Audiobook Challenge: 4/10 audiobooks

Current Giveaways:
Perfect Release Blitz, Enter to win Book 1 & 2 (US only) | Ends April 18th
A Strange Companion Blast, Enter to win a $100 gift card | Ends April 28th
Shifters & Glyphs, Enter to win Jewellery | Ends April 29th
Cinderella: A Real Life Fairytale Blast, Enter to win $50 gift card | Ends May 3rd

How was your March? 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Altercation by Mignon Mykel


Altercation
Mignon Mykel
Series: Playmaker Duet #1
Publication date: March 1st 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Sports

Synopsis: Sometimes it’s the fight that proves your worth.
Porter Prescott spent years fighting to be his own person.
His goal of playing for a hockey club not associated with the Prescott name finally comes true.
But just as he’s leaving for the next chapter in his life, he meets her.
Asher Spence spent a lifetime learning she was worthless and unwanted.
She learned that sometimes the only person you can count on is youself, and even then, you can fail.
What starts out as picture perfect can only come crumbling down.
No one listened to her pleas before,
Why should they listen to them now that she’s found a place to finally call home?
But sometimes, it’s the fight that takes you out of the game.
Note: This is book 1 of 2 in the Porter and Asher story. This does end with a cliffhanger that will be resolved in book 2, Holding.
You can also grab book 2 – Holding – that is OUT NOW!
EXCERPT:
I moved to stand where she’d be able to see me, not really caring if I was blocking the view for some other person waiting. I widened my stance and with my arms crossed over my chest, I kept my eyes trained as far back as I could see. My gaze shifted over the different travelers coming in; the only person I wanted to see was a brunette with crazy colored eyes.
And then I saw her.
The feeling that overtook me was like a drowning man getting his first breath of air. A starving man getting a fucking full-course meal.
She didn’t see me yet, but she would in time. There were maybe eighty people between us and she was nearing.
Her hair was braided over her shoulder, wisps of hair falling out and framing her face. She was wearing leggings and those damned boots of hers, but I was surprised to see her shirt was the girly type, long with cuts up the sides, nearly to her waist, and lacy sleeves that played peek-a-boo with the colors adorning her arm. She didn’t carry a bag, just her phone in one hand.
I licked my bottom lip before biting it gently, trying to stop the smile from spreading on my face. Didn’t want to look like a complete moron.
Forty feet.
Her gaze was down at the floor, no doubt watching where she was walking. It didn’t surprise me she was careful like that.
Thirty feet.
Look up, Asher…Look up.
Twenty feet.
Her face lifted and, like a magnet, her eyes locked on mine instantly.
And the smile on her face?
God damn.
There was no sense stopping my full-ass smile now, not with the one she just shot my way.
If you would have told me, four months ago, I would be the most celibate man in the history of earth, all for the glimpses of smiles from that girl there with more secrets behind her eyes than I could ever hope to uncover, I probably would have laughed in your face.
Four months ago, I was gearing up for my rookie season in South Carolina.
Four months ago, I was a kid with a big name, going to a team that had nothing to do with said big name.
Four months ago, it was rumored I would be the new hot shot in town. Nico certainly didn’t fail to show me the gossip sites, seemingly run by a bunch of puck bunnies.
But four months ago, I walked into Starbucks for a goodbye coffee with my sister, and met the girl with secrets.
And four months ago, I became addicted without so much as a taste.
Now that I’ve had that taste? Shit, I couldn’t wait for more.


Author Bio:
Mignon Mykel is the author of the Prescott Family series, as well as the short-novella erotic romance series, O'Gallagher Nights. When not sitting at Starbucks writing whatever her characters tell her to, you can find her hiking in the mountains of her new home in Arizona.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Digging in the Stars by Katherine Blakeney


Digging in the Stars
Katherine Blakeney
Published by: Blaze Publishing
Publication date: March 28th 2017
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

Synopsis: A lost ancient civilization and the tomb of a legendary king lie buried beneath centuries of ash on the volcanic planet Thror, but that’s not the only reason sixteen-year-old Carter has tricked her Archaeology of Outer Space class into coming here. Her best friend Conrad has just disappeared on a trip to Thror, leaving behind little more than a broken vintage camera. The strange and disturbing photographs she manages to extract make her suspect Conrad’s disappearance is somehow connected to the hidden tomb of the last king of Thror.
Unfortunately, the ludicrously over-friendly ‘Furry Giants’ who have taken over the planet’s barren surface would rather offer her cheap souvenirs than answers, and the local officials insist they have no record of Conrad’s existence. Inspired by fear for Conrad’s life and the chance to make the greatest archaeological discovery of the century, Carter and her friends follow Conrad’s footsteps deep into the mountains of Thror’s forbidden Black Zone and launch an illicit excavation.
Coded messages, stunning ancient ruins, and clues left by Conrad himself begin to surface as the young archaeologists fall victim to an alarming series of accidents staged by the increasingly hostile Furry Giants. Piecing together a history of dictatorship, terrorism and disguise, Carter glimpses the horrors beyond Thror’s flamboyant fa├žade and startling revelations about the friend she thought she knew. The masks of Thror hide devastating secrets, and the golden tomb buried deep in the frozen core may claim the lives of everyone she loves.
TEASERS:
“Please remain seated as we begin our descent into Thror. Welcome, and enjoy your stay.”
The time for action was at hand, and she still didn’t feel ready. The flight felt much shorter than she’d expected.
The girls exchanged bewildered looks across the aisles. Stunned silence. They couldn’t have missed that final announcement. Avoiding Professor P’s gaze, Carter still felt the look of shock the professor shot across the cabin. Once, Carter had seen herself arriving on Thror as a great explorer. Instead, she would be remembered as a half-baked deceiver and kidnapper. The Throrians would have called her a scent-changer.
* * *
Carter had been so close to her goal. She saw that crack with her own eyes, a portal into a lost ancient world, chambers filed with carvings, images that had never been recorded or reproduced. The greatest discovery of this or any other century, waiting less than twenty feet away. Waiting for her. And Conrad had been there first. The moment she thought it, she felt guilty. She was allowing herself to get carried away by archaeological fervor, mentally competing with Conrad, when he might have paid a terrible price for his discovery.


Author Bio:
I am an author and independent filmmaker/stop motion animator with a BFA in Stop Motion Animation from the School of Visual Arts in New York and a PhD in Film Studies from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland, UK). My thesis focuses on silent film adaptations of late nineteenth and early twentieth century Gothic novels, with a special emphasis on psychological and aesthetic representations of the Monster figure. My debut novel, a YA Sci-Fi adventure called Digging in the Stars, is forthcoming with Blaze Publishing on March 28, 2017.
Raised by an Egyptologist mother, I grew up among museums and excavation sites, where I developed an unhealthy fascination with ancient art and mythology. I divide my time between bringing 12”-tall people to life in my studio in Edinburgh, excavating ancient tombs in the Egyptian desert, and researching Gothic literary monsters in silent film. I have worked for more than 10 years as photographer and videographer for the South Asasif Conservation Project, an archaeological expedition in Egypt and I have published numerous articles on film and archaeology.
I write, direct, design, and animate short films and commissioned projects in my studio in Edinburgh, Scotland and have been employed as an animator, screenwriter, modelmaker and art director for studios in Edinburgh, South Korea and Qatar. I have produced commissioned projects for IdeasTap in London, the Arts Trust Scotland and the British Library. My shorts have won competitions and screened at various international festivals including the Edinburgh Fringe. In 2015, my short film The Burglar With the Yellow Hand was nominated for an Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK) Research in Film Award.
You can find out more about all aspects of my work on my website, http://yorwickcastle.com
My new blog http://KatherineBlakeneyStardigger.blogspot.com is all about Digging in the Stars and my references and inspirations as a writer.

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Waiting on Wednesday: Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.
Series: Spindle Fire #1
Publication Date: April 11th 2017
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: YA, Fantasy 
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ B&N

Synopsis: It all started with the burning of the spindles.
No.
It all started with a curse...

Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king's headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and her voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.

And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora's blood--and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken.

As the faerie queen and her army of Vultures prepare to march, Isabelle must race to find a prince who can awaken her sister with the kiss of true love and seal their two kingdoms in an alliance against the queen.

Isabelle crosses land and sea; unearthly, thorny vines rise up the palace walls; and whispers of revolt travel in the ashes on the wind. The kingdom falls to ruin under layers of snow. Meanwhile, Aurora wakes up in a strange and enchanted world, where a mysterious hunter may be the secret to her escape . . . or the reason for her to stay.

Spindle Fire is the first book in a lush fantasy duology set in the dwindling, deliciously corrupt world of the fae and featuring two truly unforgettable heroines.
 

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Marked by D. Laine


Marked
D. Laine
Series: Apocalypse Assassins Trilogy #1
Publication date: March 28th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Post-Apocalyptic

Synopsis: For trained assassin Dylan Romero, business is good. As the agency’s top warriors, he and partner Jake Walker are the last two people evil wants to see on the other side of a gun.
When a mission takes them to the college town of Bozeman, Montana, they discover that there is more than just another mark in another town to keep them there. With a heavy concentration of vessels doing their demon masters’ dirty work and flesh-craving monsters lurking around every corner, the secluded Midwest town is set to become the first battleground of the apocalypse.
The last thing Dylan needs is a distraction. With the fate of the world at stake, the life of one girl shouldn’t matter – until the day she changes everything.
EXCERPT:
Seconds later, the bartender set two matching drinks on the counter in front of the guy from the parking lot.
He wordlessly slid one of the glasses toward me. My eyes darted to his in surprise, and he shrugged. “You look thirsty.”
I picked up the glass with a grateful smile, and helped myself to a sip of the cool liquid. Jack and Coke—exactly what I wanted. He was observant. “Thank you.”
As he nodded, his eyes moved over my shoulder, in the general vicinity of Vivian. A small grin tugged at the corner of his lips. He glanced up at me briefly before giving undivided attention to his drink. “How’s your boyfriend?”
“Who? You mean the guy from earlier?”
“Well, I’m not talking about him.” His head nodded across the bar, where David was doing his best to catch the waitress’s attention. “That poor fucker doesn’t stand a chance, does he?”
“David is my friend,” I responded defensively. “And Kyle isn’t my boyfriend. You’re wrong on both counts.”
His eyes snapped to mine, then slowly lowered. Heat followed his gaze as it swept across my lips before settling on my neck. I was forced to sweep the hair off my shoulders in an attempt to cool off. It didn’t help.
He squinted at my neck like he considered devouring me right then and there. With the hot ball of lava tumbling through me, and ultimately settling in my core, I considered letting him. One look. That was all it took.
No guy had ever . . .
Oh, God. Vivian was totally right.
His mouth curved like he had read my thoughts. Then his hand shot out to mine as he stated, “Dylan.”
I accepted his hand with a smile. “Thea.”
His head angled closer to mine. “Thea?” When I nodded, he leaned back with a smirk. “Are you a librarian, or something?”
“What?” I demanded, suddenly on edge.
“Hot librarian,” he corrected with a lazy shrug, as if that somehow made his comment less insulting. At my unamused glare, he used his hand to cover the smile spreading across his face, and muttered, “I’m sorry. I don’t think I’ve ever met a Thea before. It’s, uh . . .”
“A librarian’s name, apparently,” I finished for him sourly.
He chuckled. “I like it, alright? I do. In fact, you’ve given me a new standard to associate with the name Thea. Next time I hear it, I won’t imagine a ninety-year-old librarian. I’ll picture you instead.”
He somehow made me like the sound of him thinking about me, despite the example he used. Some small, gullible part of me liked it. The rest of me reared back with revulsion.
“Need to picture me to get you through the night, huh?” I quipped.
His lips pursed as he considered my question. Then a broad grin turned his lips up. “Never really gone for a good girl before. Unless it’s an act . . .” His eyes swept down the length of me with obvious interest, and I folded my arms over my chest to interrupt his uncensored gaze. When he finally made it back to my eyes, he hooked an inquisitive brow.
“It’s not an act,” I stated firmly, “and I don’t play games.”
He shook his head at the counter, and muttered, “I didn’t think so.”
“Not like it would matter anyway.” My eyes lowered to his lap in mock consideration, then to the drink in front of him. “You’ve had so many of those, I doubt you could even play your part at this point.”
Dylan’s head rolled back as a deep laugh rumbled through him. I refused to acknowledge how sexy it sounded.
“First of all . . .” He lifted a finger in the air. “I’m always up to playing my part. Got it?” I kept my arms folded, my face unreadable, as he lifted another finger. “Secondly . . . I find it interesting that you know how much I’ve had to drink tonight.”
My arms slowly uncrossed under his amused and knowing gaze. His eyebrows shot up in silent inquiry, and when I offered no explanation, his grin broadened.
“I thought so.” With a flirty wink, he turned in his seat to face the bar.


Author Bio:
I write relationships. Whether contemporary or fantasy, they are always real and never easy.
When I'm not writing, you can usually find me with my nose in my Kindle - reading romance of course - or running around after my three little boys, or catching up on an episode of Supernatural or This Is Us.



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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Book Tour: Review & Giveaway: Angelbound by Christina Bauer


Angelbound
Christina Bauer
Series: Angelbound Origins #1
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: December 30th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult

Synopsis: *Now an audio book!*
Eighteen-year-old Myla Lewis is a girl who loves two things: kicking ass and kicking ass. She’s not your everyday quasi-demon, half-demon, and half-human, girl. For the past five years, Myla has lived for the days she gets to fight in Purgatory’s arena. When souls want a trial by combat for their right to enter heaven or hell, they go up against her, and she has not lost a battle yet.
But as she starts her senior year at Purgatory High, the arena fights are not enough to keep her spirits up anymore. When the demons start to act weird, even for demons, and the King of the Demons, Armageddon, shows up at Myla’s school, she knows that things are changing and it is not looking good for the quasi-demons. Myla starts to question everything, and does not like the answers she finds. What happened 17 years ago that turned the quasi-demons into slave labor? Why was her mom always so sad? And why won’t anyone tell her who her father is?
Things heat up when Myla meets Lincoln, the High Prince of the Thrax, a super sexy half-human and half-angel demon hunter. But what does a quasi-demon girl to do when she falls for a demon hunter? It’s a good thing that Myla is not afraid of breaking a few rules. With a love worth fighting for, Myla is going to shake up Purgatory.

Monster House Books is celebrating the launch of the audiobook version of the best seller Angelbound, both on iTunes & Audible! As a result, every launched book in the series is only $1.99, aka more than 50% off…And that includes Angelbound ACCA, which was only released a few months ago!

My Rating
5/5 stars

Audiobook Review
The audiobook was absolutely perfect. Christina Bauer did an amazing job, not only writing this story but also narrating it.

I read this book when it first came out, which was in 2013. Listening to this story again gave me the exact same feels as when I was reading it the first time around. I fell in love all over again with Myla, Lincoln and the rest of the characters. 

The audiobook is narrated by Christina Bauer, who is also the author of the book. I absolutely love it when authors read their own book, I feel like I'm in the author's head of how each character sounds and how they say each line. 
Christina's voice was perfect for this book. She had enthusiasm in her voice, she was able to change her voice slightly for all the characters so you can tell the difference, and she really kept you engaged in the story. 

The one thing I would have changed throughout the audiobook, is the voice Christina was doing for Myla's mother. While it sounded cute, it seemed a bit like an old grandma voice, rather than a middle-aged mom. It made me laugh at first, but eventually I got slightly annoyed by it. Other than that, everything else was perfect. 

Book Review
"His eyes almost glow with intensity. "I like this. Feeling like I have a peer, a partner." He cups my face in his hands. "I like you, Myla." 

Christian Bauer created a fantastic new world, filled with beautiful and dark creatures. With amazing kick-ass characters, Angelbound is a perfect YA novel.

Myla Lewis is a kick-ass type of girl that doesn't take crap from anyone. But who would dare fight her anyways? Myla is a quasi-demon, half demon, half human. She looks just like you and me, with an addition of an awesome tail that's meant for killing. Myla spends her time ditching school and fighting souls in the Purgatory arena. 
But then things start to get crazy! The demons and angels are acting weird, and her land is filled with incoming Thrax (half angel, half human demon hunters). It looks like everyone is preparing for battle, but who's side will Myla chose? Either way, Purgatory will never be the same.

This book is so wonderful. It's filled with action, mystery, and a forbidden romance. Who doesn't love that? 
I absolutely loved Myla as a character, shes beautiful, witty, smart, and she has a license to kill. I absolutely loved reading about her fighting, the author definitely did a good job with making me feel like I was in the book.

The world that she created is also pretty amazing. Angels and Demons are pretty common in books nowadays, same with the half angel half human species. But I've never read a book where the half demon half human species were actually considered good, it was so awesome seeing their demon emotions come out during specific parts of the book. And the whole idea of Ghouls was pretty brilliant as well. I'm impressed.

Definitely recommending this book to all the fans of other Demon/Angel books, and all the fans of kick-ass girl characters. You will definitely love this.

I'd like to thank Netgalley and Ink Monster publishing for giving me this amazing opportunity to read this book. And a huge thanks to Christian Bauer for writing this beautiful masterpiece. And thanks to everyone who reads this. You're all awesome!

Happy Reading!



Author Bio:
Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers. It is now available as an audiobook on Audible and iTunes.
Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.
Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.
Be the first to know about new releases from Christina by signing up for her newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/CBupdates
Stalk Christina on Social Media – She Loves It!

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Monday, March 27, 2017

Review: Give Me A K-I-L-L by R.L. Stine

Series: Fear Street Relaunch #6
Publication Date: April 4th 2017
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Book for St. Martin's Griffin 
Genre: YA, Fantasy 
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ B&N

Synopsis: The sixth new book in the re-launch of R.L. Stine’s bestselling Fear Street series, which has sold more than 80 million copies around the world.

At Shadyside High, cheerleading can be a scream!

For the first time since the original series, R.L. Stine brings back his most beloved characters—the cheerleaders of Shadyside High.

The cheerleading squad at Shadyside has always been strong, but now there are rumors that lack of funds may mean the end of cheerleading at Shadyside. That would be a shame for Heather Wyatt, who has just transferred from her old school, where she was a star, and is eager to join the squad. There’s only one other girl who stands in her way—rich, spoiled Devra Dalby, who is also trying out for the one open slot. The competition to join the squad is anything but friendly—and it ends in murder. Will Heather make the squad—if there's even a squad anymore—or will she end up dead?

Packed with screams and guaranteed to send a shiver up your spine, this is a terrifying installment in Stine's bestselling Fear Street series.

My Rating
5/5 stars

My Review
If you’re a fan of this series, a fan of R.L. Stine, or are just looking for a good mystery to read, then look no further. You need to pick up a copy of Give Me a K-I-L-L right away!

Gretchen has just moved to Fear Street and is the new kid at Shadyside High. Her mother’s messy divorce has moved them far away from her best friend and cheerleading co-captain. Settling into a new school can be hard, especially when everyone’s known each other for years. Gretchen’s best chance is to put the past behind her to try out for Shadyside’s cheerleading team. While Gretchen manages to score a tryout, she also makes an enemy, Devra, a spoiled rich girl who's used to getting her way, and will stop at nothing to win the tryout. Can Gretchen get out of this without making any enemies? Or getting herself killed in the process?

If you’ve read my review of the previous Fear Street Relaunch book called The Dead Boyfriend, you would know how much I obsess over this series. I haven't read all the books (yet), and fyi you don't need to read the books in order, so feel free to start off with this one.

Give Me a K-I-L-L was absolutely fantastic. I had to start reading the book right away, and when I started it, I finished the book in one sitting. That’s how good it was. No joke. There is tons of action and suspense throughout the whole book, and the one thing I love about the way that R.L. Stine writes books, is that no matter what theory I have about who the bad guy is, it is never who I think it is, I never come close. I’m always pleasantly surprised, and this book was no exception. 

It’s very hard to talk about this book without spoiling anything, because like I said, the action starts right from the beginning. I do want to say, that the characters are absolutely amazing, the storyline is very creative, and it definitely has enough action and suspense to keep the reader engaged. You wont know what’s coming next. The only thing about this book that I would change, is the length, because I did not want this book to end. I need more!!

I highly recommend this book to all readers, whether you love young adult or adult books, I feel like everyone could find something they love about this book.

Happy Reading,
Aneta

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Of Glitter and Gold Anthology by Sherry D. Ficklin


Of Glitter and Gold: A Canary Club Anthology
Sherry D. Ficklin
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: March 27th 2017
Genres: Historical, Young Adult

Synopsis: Set during the flamboyant anything-goes era of 1920’s America, these three tales are filled with intriguing characters and rich imagery from the time period—with flappers, jazz music, gangsters, and lavish wealth. Escape to a different decade today with the compelling stories of the Canary Club Anthology.
Novelette 1- Gilded Cage
Masie, the flaxen-haired daughter of notorious bootlegger Dutch Schultz, returns home from boarding school to find her family in crisis. Her mother is dangerously unstable, her father’s empire is on the brink of ruin, and the boy she once loved has become a ruthless killer for hire. To keep her family’s dangerous secrets, Masie is forced into a lie that will change the course of her future—and leave her trapped in a gilded cage of her own making.
Novelette 2- All That Glitters
A dame with brains, moxie, and killer curves, June West isn’t your average flapper. She’s managed to endear herself to the son of one of the most powerful gangsters in New York, earning herself a spot in the limelight that she’s always longed for. With the infamous playboy at her side, June has become accustomed to living the high life. Lavish parties, expensive clothes, sparkling jewels—nothing is beyond her reach. But when her carefully woven web of lies finally catches up with her, she must make an impossible choice… come clean about her past and risk losing everything, or find a way to bury her demons—once and for all.
Novelette 3 – Nothing Gold
Dickey has been down on his luck since the day he was born. Flat broke and sick of being looked down on, he meets young socialite Lillian at a wild party. The connection is like a strike of lightning. From a wealthy New York family, this debutante is everything he’s been told he can never have—and the only thing he wants. Determined to win her, he knows the only way to get her parents approval is with cold hard cash. So when a shot at the biggest score of his life comes around, he just can’t refuse…
NOTHING GOLD EXCERPT:
It’s easier than I imagined to sneak into the party. The music is so loud and the crowd so enormous that no one sees me wind my way through the shrubs on the outskirts. The massive estate is far enough away from the city that I had to hitch a ride to get here, and I’ll have to time my exit just right to make the train back to Manhattan.
Brushing off my secondhand suit coat, I enter the party via the back patio. A wide pool is filled with people, most still in their fancy evening wear. My eyes slide past them, searching for the one person at this shindig that I know. I scan past butlers with white gloves holding silver trays covered in champagne glasses, past gleeful dames in short skirts with blood-red lips, and past gents in their glad rags I can tell with one glance cost more dough than I make in a year working at the mill.
When I finally see him, his pinstripe suit, matching fedora, and red pocket square, he’s standing atop the massive staircase on the ledge overlooking the party. Deacon Brewer, the reason I’m here tonight. His hands are stuffed in the pockets of his trousers as he chats up a fella I don’t recognize, along with the dame hanging off his arm. Plastering on an easy grin, I wind my way through the people, helping myself to a glass of bubbly as I head for the stairs. The stone steps are covered in gold confetti, the whole place practically dripping with it. Long, red velvet drapes hang from arched windows, and leafless branches painted gold and draped with crystal beads sit in tall vases in every corner. Nothing has been left un-gilded.
I shake my head at the audacity. Might as well have a neon sign—someone, please rob the joint.
Deacon sees me coming and dismisses himself from his conversation, welcoming me with an open hand.
“Dickey Lewis, glad you could make it, boy,” he offers warmly.
As if I had a choice.
“Of course, Mr. Brewer,” I respond with more warmth than I feel. Truth is that I’m in deep to Deacon after a few bad bets at his club last month, and he opted to make me work it off rather than take it outta my hide. I suppose that makes him clever, but I can’t help the gnawing feeling that this is a debt I may never fully repay. “What’s the score?” I ask, lowering my voice.
Draping an arm across my shoulders, he walks me through the glass doors and into the house. Still crammed with people drinking, dancing, and generally wrecking the joint, he pulls a cigar from his vest pocket with his free hand.
“Upstairs in the den is a lovely Monet, behind which is a very large safe. Cash, some baubles, and a bankbook are inside. I don’t care about the rest; you take what you need. But the bankbook needs to find its way into my hands tomorrow morning by eight am.”
I take a deep breath, rolling my tongue over my teeth before answering, “How am I supposed to get into the safe?”
He barks a deep laugh, slapping me on the back. “Guess you’ll have to get a little creative. Just get in, get out, and don’t let nobody see ya, got it?”
All I can do is nod and watch him swagger away. Sure, I’ve boosted loot before, but always simple jobs, smash and grabs. Nothing like this. What have I gotten myself into this time?
Still, whatever else is in there is mine for the taking, I tell myself. Could be a big pay day, judging by the looks of the place.
I wander casually through the house, trying to look as if I belong while also counting the number of cops and guards watching the area. It’s not as many as I expected. I grab a dark-haired dame by the waist, offering her a charming smile and asking for a dance. We Charleston together for two songs, finally stopping to imbibe more champagne. When I ‘accidently’ stumble into her, she spills the contents of her glass on my jacket, fumbling a wide-eyed apology.
Waving her off with a smile, I hand her my glass, “You take this, and I’ll go find a place to wash up.”
“You could always take a dip in the pool, honey,” she says, batting her eyelashes.
Beside her, a gentleman points up a secondary set of stairs near the front door. “Washroom is up there, I think.”
I mutter a thanks and a promise to return, then make my way up the stairs, continuing to stumble around as if drunk, occasionally opening a door to find a couple necking or a room full of folks smoking the Indian hop in long pipes.
Finally, the thumping of the music fading below me, I make my way to the library. Beyond that, I find the only locked door on the entire floor. Digging into my pocket, I pull out my lock kit, a simple flattened iron jimmy and a hooked pick. Sliding both in the lock, I slide them back and forth, listening for the mechanism inside to release. It doesn’t take long and the door springs open, allowing me to step inside and close it quickly behind me. It’s dark except for the glow of a single lamp atop a massive oak desk, behind which is a tall arched window overlooking the front of the estate. From this spot, I can see the cars lined up along the circular drive, partygoers coming and going in wild abandon. Pulling the pocket watch from my vest, I wipe my fingers across the cracked glass face, checking the time. Only thirty minutes until the train. If I miss it, it’ll be two hours before the next one. Not the end of the world, unless someone notices the lift before I’m gone. That’s a long time to stick around with a pocket fulla stolen goods.
I glance around me, the blood chilling in my veins. Every wall except the one with the window is covered in framed paintings. And I have no idea which one is a Monet.
Scrambling, I begin lifting each, checking the wall behind for any sign of the safe. Finally, on the opposite wall from where I started, I find it. Carefully lifting the heavy canvas free, I set it on the floor and turn my attention to the wall safe. It’s not large, about the size of a bread box with a spinning combination dial in the center. Unsure what else to do, I pull the pocket knife free from my trousers and flick it open, trying to wedge it between the door and the frame. As soon as I do, I know it’s going to be futile. The thing is heavy steel; no way my knife is gonna bust it open. Putting it away, I begin spinning the dial at random, praying I’ll get lucky.
I’m so flustered I don’t hear the door open or the footsteps from behind me until it’s too late.
“It’s my birthday,” a voice offers, making me spin, hands balled into fists to fight my way free from the room.
The dame is tall, her garnet-red hair rolled into bouncy curls and pinned in a messy heap at the back of her neck. Her dress is green, almost the same color as her eyes, and it hugs her slender frame as if it were a second skin. Even the long strings of pearls twined around her neck seems completely natural, not just a decoration but an extension of her. I take a breath, blinking, momentarily stunned. She drapes one hand on her hip, her entire body listing to the side as she points to the safe.
“The combination,” she repeats. “It’s my birthday.”
Finally recovering my voice, I stammer. “I was, uh, just…”
The corners of her mouth turn upward. “Breaking into my father’s safe?”
I don’t know what to say. I feel her in the room, the way one might feel the air change right before a storm, a heaviness that settles in, leaving my soul with a sense of foreboding. My instincts battle inside me. Do I grab her and tie her to a chair, or do I flee? The weight of her gaze makes it impossible to think clearly.
“Relax,” she says, raising a glass I hadn’t noticed her holding to her lips and taking a slow drink. “I’m not calling the guards if that’s what you’re worried about.”
“Oh? You’re just gonna let me crack this safe and walk away with whatever’s inside?”
She shrugs. “It’s not my money. What do I care?”
I lick my lips, sizing her up. A spoiled little rich girl who wants to stick it to Daddy. I’ve seen a few of those in my day. I can work with this—if I can get my head back on straight. It’s not like me to get so flustered by a dame, not even a high-quality one like this.
“Besides…” She sets the glass on the desk and saunters toward me. “It’s not like we don’t have enough.”
I catch a hint of her perfume in the air when she brushes by me, lavender and something else I can’t quite place. Taking the dial in her hand, she spins the knob until the door finally clicks, then she steps back, giving me a go-ahead gesture.
I hesitate, flicking glances at the bare skin where her neck meets her shoulder, at the creamy whiteness of her skin, before settling my eyes on her face. “What’s your name, doll?”
She looks down, sheepishly at first, but then raises just her eyes to look at me with an expression of bold defiance. “I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours.”
I swallow, considering her offer. She’s already gotten a good look at me, enough to rat me out to the cops. The look on her face is one of challenge, I realize. She’s daring me to trust her.
“Dickey,” I say, pulling the flat cap off my head and holding it over my heart as I bow to her. “Dickey Lewis, at your service, Miss?”
“Lillian Rose Duke,” she answers. “But my friends call me Lilly.”
Replacing my hat, I grab the safe handle and twist, pulling open the heavy door. Grabbing a large wooden box first, I hold it out to her. Moving back, I grab two stacks of fresh bills and stuff them in the pockets of my suitcoat. Finding the bankbook last, I tuck it into the back of my pants before pulling my shirt and jacket over it.
I spin to Lilly, watching as she upends the box, spilling jewelry onto the desk in a pile. She picks through it, finally just scooping it all into her hand and sauntering over to me. Getting so close I feel the warmth of her, she grabs the lapel of my jacket, sliding the gold and stones into the inside pocket.
“Give these to your girl, Dickey Lewis.”
She releases my lapel, but doesn’t step away. Instead, she leans forward. Thinking she’s going to kiss me, I straighten in anticipation, but she just trails her fingers along my collar until she’s cupping the back of my neck.
“I ain’t got no girl,” I admit, my heart pounding behind my ribs.
“Well, isn’t that a shame?” she says, her lips a hair’s breadth from mine.
Unable to resist, I close the final distance between us, clutching her by the waist as I urge her lips to mine. I’ve never tasted gold before, but I imagine this is what it would be like—champagne, honey, and nerves of steel. When she finally pulls away, I’m gasping. Tugging tugs the white linen handkerchief from my pocket, she wipes my face, then hers, of her smeared lipstick before returning the hankie to its place.
“I hope to see you around, Dickey Lewis.”
With that, she spins on her heel and heads for the door, listening for a moment before pulling it open and stepping out. The room is instantly colder, the air thinner. I can finally breathe, can think.
As I slink from the party and disappear into the shadows, making my way down the street to the train station, I can’t force the sight of her from my mind, or the taste of her from my lips.
Even if it takes every penny in my pocket and every breath in my body, I will see Lillian Rose Duke again.


Author Bio:
Sherry D. Ficklin is a full time writer from Colorado where she lives with her husband, four kids, two dogs, and a fluctuating number of chickens and house guests. A former military brat, she loves to travel and meet new people. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Cover Reveal: Claimed by Power by Zoey Ellis


Claimed By Power
Zoey Ellis
Publication date: April 3rd 2017
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Synopsis: Not all angels are angelic…
Thea Robinson has never needed anyone’s charity. Sure, her impoverished existence isn’t desired by most, but her ability to manipulate people’s emotions helps her to blend into the shadows of an unforgiving city. When hideous creatures threaten her life, a surly but gorgeous stranger shows up revealing a world she didn’t know existed. She refuses to put up with his rude, arrogant attitude, but how do you dismiss a warrior angel? And does she really want to when his stormy gaze sends delicious thrills straight to her core?
Cam is one of the most ruthless Power angels in the fight against evil. His devotion to kill demons has made him a celebrated warrior in the Angel Realm, even though his motivation stems from grief. When he is assigned to train and protect a half-angel just coming into her abilities, his rage is unparalleled. Until he realizes Thea isn’t like any others. She stirs a carnal passion in him that he can’t shake. He never counted on her being so beautiful… so fierce… so most definitely his.
Claimed by Power is the first book in the Empire of Angels series, a paranormal alpha angel romance series. If you’re a fan of alpha heroes, powerful heroines, paranormal worlds and falling in love, Zoey Ellis’ riveting, sexy tale is perfect for you.
About the end: Although this book can be read as a standalone, Cam and Thea’s story does continue over the next two books.
Sexual scenes and strong language included. Not suitable for readers under 18.
EXCERPT:
“What exactly are my powers?” Thea asked
The angel stood up. “Not now. It’s time to go. You have your answers.”
Frustrated, she exhaled loudly. She went to her wardrobe and grabbed a bra, top, and another pair of jeans. The angel turned away, allowing her to dress. She eyed him from behind. So angels were real. And they were handsome and powerful and stern. Nothing like she would have ever imagined them to be. He couldn’t even crack a smile and yet mocked her like a child. Were all angels like that? Maybe he didn’t like humans.
“At least tell me why they sent you,” she said, smoothing down her top. “Why you?”
“Why not me?” he said, almost in a growl. “Who would you prefer?”
“I don’t know,” Thea said, lifting her shoulders. “Someone able to smile once in a while?”
He turned to face her, his plain expression flavored with annoyance. “I’m not here to entertain you. You need someone to train you and help you learn how to control your abilities. I’m the best there is. You should be honored.”
Thea shook her head, annoyed. Trained? Like a puppy? Not happening. Especially not by this man, who’d been abrupt with her from the start, despite his careful treatment of her wounds. “I should be honored? Honored that I was attacked by those creatures? Honored that I almost got ripped apart? Honored that you had to come and save me, a poor damsel in distress?”
His face hardened with each word she said, but she couldn’t give a fuck.
“I don’t need to be saved by a warrior who can’t stop the horrors happening in this city every day. Or by a God that keeps himself hidden from those he’s supposed to inspire? People are raped and drugged and killed every day; where are you then? Where is He then? I’ve gotten this far without the help of you or God, and I’ll be fine to continue without you.”
The angel’s stance didn’t change. The only indication of his agitation was in the grounding of his jaw. “You’re being irrational. If I was able to find you here, the demons will find you here. You cannot escape them. Pack. Now.”
“No.” She grabbed her phone. “You go. Thanks very much, but I’ll be fine.”
With a low grunt of frustration, the angel grabbed her around the waist quicker than she would have thought possible. He flew up to the ceiling, his rock-like arm digging into her stomach, pressing her against his chest. He swept his free hand over the length of the room. The room began to glow and then burst into flames, smoke eating up the remaining air.
“No!” She struggled to get out of his arms while her home and everything she owned burned.
He leapt out of the window, holding onto her as he flew over the city.


Author Bio:
Zoey Ellis spends her most of her time thinking up stories that explore how love and romance can be tested by the darker side of our personalities and the heart-wrenching challenges that must be overcome for love to win, even if two people belong together.
A lover of the fantastical, Zoey enjoys how intense and vast the challenges can be for couples in the paranormal romance genre. Her goal is to build a body of work depicting thrilling, fantastical romances between demanding alpha heroes and fiery heroines hoping the love they make will scorch ereaders and melt hearts. With a soft spot for angels, dragons and alpha shifters, Zoey blends her love of a Happy Ever After with strangely unique worlds and complex plots.
If you're interested in hearing about Zoey's new releases first, as well as her bonuses and giveaways, sign up to her newsletter.

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Review: Duels and Deception by Cindy Anstey

Publication Date: April 11, 2017
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction 
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ Book Depository 

Synopsis: Miss Lydia Whitfield, heiress to the family fortune, has her future entirely planned out. She will run the family estate until she marries the man of her late father's choosing, and then she will spend the rest of her days as a devoted wife. Confident in those arrangements, Lydia has tasked her young law clerk, Mr. Robert Newton, to begin drawing up the marriage contracts. Everything is going according to plan.

Until Lydia—and Robert along with her—is kidnapped. Someone is after her fortune and won't hesitate to destroy her reputation to get it. With Robert's help, Lydia strives to keep her family's good name intact and expose whoever is behind the devious plot. But as their investigation delves deeper and their affections for each other grow, Lydia starts to wonder whether her carefully planned future is in fact what she truly wants…

My Rating
3.5/5 stars

My Review
Duels and Deception was a great read. The main characters are amazing, the world building is great and the plot line will keep you entertained.

Lydia Whitfield must do everything she can to keep her father's land from her greedy uncle, who will plummet the profit of the family. When Lydia devises a plan, along with a lawyer called Robert Newton, to finalize Lydia's marriage early to Lord Aldershot, in order to inherit her estate faster. But on her way to meet Robert to sign the marriage papers, Lydia and Robert are kidnapped, and barely escape. But when someone starts threatening Lydia's status and Robert's job, they must work together to solve the mystery of who is trying to blackmail them.

I absolutely loved the two main characters. Lydia is the type of fierce woman that I love to read about, especially in the time period that she is in. Usually in the 1800s, all women cared about are looking pretty and attracting a man, but not Lydia, she cares about her family's well being, earning money and her education. I was extremely impressed with Lydia, words cannot describe it. She is selfless and such a well rounded character.
Robert was also a fantastic character, he is focused on his career, he is a very kind man that knows how to outwit anyone when he needs to. He and Lydia make the most perfect pair, they are very similar, but when their differences do arise, they compliment each other so well. I definitely ship them.

The characters that I had a problem with, were basically all the side characters. Lydia's whole family is just crazy, and annoying. I definitely give props to Lydia for surviving with them for so long, because I don't think I could. Lydia's best friend Cora was okay, but she didn't do anything that made me really like her as a character, I found her romance to be a bit annoying. Robert's boss Mr. Lynch was just crazy and didn't help the story whatsoever, and Robert's best friend Cassidy was stupid and a pig... The only side characters I liked was the couple that took Lydia in after being kidnapped, and unfortunately they were only in the story for two chapters. 

The world-building in this book was very well done. The author must have done a lot of research because her descriptions on the land, the attire, the way people talk and the norms of society were so well explained, it really felt like I was transported back in time. I loved it.

The plot line of this story was very good. The action starts at around 30% in, and theres definitely enough action to keep you interested. While the book itself doesn't get boring, I did find the plot to be a little predictable. I was able to guess who was behind the blackmail early on, and a bunch of other little things, before they were revealed in the story. 

Overall, I would definitely recommend the book to all historical fiction lovers, especially if you love books set in the early 1800s period. It is perfect for romance and action fans, as long as you're okay with it being a tad predictable. 

Happy Reading,
Aneta

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.
Publication Date: April 11th 2017
Publisher: Putnam's Children's
Genre: YA,  Fantasy 
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ B&N

Synopsis: Khosa is Given to the Sea, a girl born to be fed to the water, her flesh preventing a wave like the one that destroyed the Kingdom of Stille in days of old. But before she’s allowed to dance – an uncontrollable twitching of the limbs that will carry her to the shore in a frenzy – she must produce an heir. Yet the thought of human touch sends shudders down her spine that not even the sound of the tide can match.

Vincent is third in line to inherit his throne, royalty in a kingdom where the old linger and the young inherit only boredom. When Khosa arrives without an heir he knows his father will ensure she fulfills her duty, at whatever cost. Torn between protecting the throne he will someday fill, and the girl whose fate is tied to its very existence, Vincent’s loyalty is at odds with his heart.

Dara and Donil are the last of the Indiri, a native race whose dwindling magic grows weaker as the island country fades. Animals cease to bear young, creatures of the sea take to the land, and the Pietra – fierce fighters who destroyed the Indiri a generation before – are now marching from their stony shores for the twin’s adopted homeland, Stille.

Witt leads the Pietra, their army the only family he has ever known. The stone shores harbor a secret, a growing threat that will envelop the entire land – and he will conquer every speck of soil to ensure the survival of his people.

The tides are turning in Stille, where royals scheme, Pietrans march, and the rising sea calls for its Given.
 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Book Blitz & Giveaway: A Star to Steer Her By, by Beth Anne Miller


A Star to Steer Her By
Beth Anne Miller
Published by: Entangled Embrace
Publication date: March 20th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Synopsis: I’m scarred. Broken. I’ll never be the same.
But I will take this journey.
Ever since my last dive ended in bloodshed, I’ve been terrified to go back into the water. But the opportunity to spend a semester at sea is too good to pass up. I need to get my life back.
I never expected to love it this much. And I never expected Tristan MacDougall.
Rugged, strong, and with demons of his own, Tristan helps me find the courage I thought I had lost and heals me with every stolen moment we share. But the rules of the ship mean we can’t be together.
When a dive excursion goes terribly wrong, our only hope for survival is each other.
EXCERPT:
I was standing alone at the helm, under full sails and a glittering sky, guiding the ship unerringly across the endless black sea with only the stars to guide me, like the sailors of old. It was amazing. This was why I was here, why I’d gone ahead with this semester at sea, even after everything that had happened. Because I loved the sea, and wanted it to be a part of my life.
I returned my gaze upward, focusing on my guide star.
“‘And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.’”
The low voice came out of nowhere. I spun to the right, where I could just make out the vague outline of someone leaning against the stanchion that held Speedy the motorboat suspended at the stern.
“Tristan?” As soon as the question left my mouth, I rolled my eyes in the darkness. Of course it was him.
“Aye, it’s me.”
“How long have you been standing there?” I hissed. “And where the hell did you come from?” I’d been at the helm for at least half an hour, and I knew he hadn’t been there the whole time.
There was a flash of white in the darkness as he grinned. “I’ve been here for about five minutes. You were so focused on staring up at the stars that you didn’t see me. I didn’t want to disturb you.”
“So instead, you just lurked in the dark until you could scare the hell out of me. Makes sense,” I muttered, trying not to be too thrilled that he’d chosen to hang out up here with me. “What was it that you said, anyway?”
“It’s from a poem. The full verse is:
“‘I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.’”
His lilting accent gave the lines a musical quality, and a shiver ran down my spine. “It’s beautiful,” I said, “and perfectly describes the way I feel. You didn’t write that, did you?” Because it would be supremely unfair for him to be kind, gorgeous, athletic, musically brilliant, and a poet, too.


Author Bio:
My first book, written in elementary school, was bound in pink fabric and was about—what else?—a girl and her horse. I soon began cheating on horses with the sea, becoming an open water scuba diver at age 14. That love of the sea led me to a college semester aboard a schooner. I returned with fond memories of the exhilaration of being on a ship under full sail, less fond memories of hurling over the leeward rail on a daily basis, and a sailing bug I couldn’t quite shake.
In addition to horses and the sea, I have a fascination for all things Scottish (including, but not limited to, men in kilts), which I explored with my first novel, INTO THE SCOTTISH MIST (The Wild Rose Press, 2011), and carried into my new novel, A STAR TO STEER HER BY (Entangled Embrace, 2017). A native New Yorker, I work in the publishing industry and am always looking ahead to my next voyage, whether a short one on a dive boat or whale watch, or, with luck, a longer one on a tall ship. You can find me on the web at www.bethannemiller.com

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