Saturday, April 29, 2017

Book Blitz: Grand Finale: Crossing in Time by D.L. Orton (Giveaway)

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.


Book Tour Grand Finale for

Crossing in Time
By D.L. Orton

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops, go back and
check them out and grab ebook copies of the series on SALE while you can...



Launch - Note from the Author


Love is the most powerful force known to mankind. It wrecks kings, destroys barriers, makes us risk everything for a few stolen moments. . . . And all of this makes for a great story.



Reading for the Stars and Moon - What are your favorite sci-fi books and movies?



I can never seem to remember book titles, and I struggle to recall all the plot twists, but the good characters stick with you. They teach you, change you, become a part of you. I aspire to that with my own writing.



Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin' - Crossing In Time (Excerpt #1)


The chubby gun trader shifts his weight and looks up at me, one eye squeezed shut. “What sort of rearm you lookin’ to purchase, ma’am?” He’s enthroned on a maroon chintz armchair in front of a burned-out Walmart.


“Handgun,” I say. “Something easy to aim and shoot.”



Hearts & Scribbles - Ask the Characters: How Difficult Is It to Be a Character in D.L. Orton’s Book?


Isabel: There were times when I wasn't sure I wanted to trust a writer with my life. Still, Ms. Orton cares about the same things I do, and I’m dying to see how things turn out. In the end, I wasn't keen on some of the scarier scenes (and I'm still sad about all those animals), but the author assures me that everything will work out in the end. Right, Diego?



I Love Books - The Journey Is the Reward



What's the moral of the story? Don't take the ones you love for granted. They could disappear at any moment—and time machines are pretty hard to come by. Put your arms around someone you care about and just enjoy the moment. The journey is the reward.





"This is a steadily progressing story of love gone awry, reconciliation, commitment, sacrifice for love and mankind, and time travel. The novel begins with a “interest-catching Prologue, then quickly begins to formulate the story on a solid foundation, constantly building in momentum until it ends in a solid climax, leaving the reader anxious for the next sequel in the story! It is complete with romance, suspense, adventure and life’s lessons."



Kindle and Me - Review


"If you like other universes with the same people, nuclear bombs, physics, emergency preparedness, giving up your life for someone you love, dogs, cats, jokes, finding that one special person, biodomes, peeing on a handkerchief with smoke everywhere, and maybe a way to save us all from our mistakes then this might be for you!"



Wishful Endings - Crossing In Time (Excerpt #2)

“Still...” The gun trader waits for me to meet his eyes. “I s’pose I could use some fancy flavorings on my venison.”


I regard the only overweight man in a sea of famine, disgusted with the whole human race and embarrassed by my own full stomach.



Zerina Blossom's Books - Author Interview


Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or is it purely all imagination?



Who hasn’t looked back at a turning point in his or her life and wondered how things might have played out differently?



I met and fell in love with the man I’m married to when we were twenty-eight, and one of the first trips we took together was to attend the wedding of his best buddy from college. At the reception, I ended up seated next to my husband’s ex-girlfriend! Despite an awkward introduction, she and I hit if off, and we ended up comparing notes. (You should have seen his face when he realized we were talking about him.) At the end of the evening, she said something that stuck with me: I wish I would have met him at a different time in my life.



Celticlady's Reviews - How Does Time Travel Work in the Between Two Evils Multiverse?



Take a shower curtain, some ants, and a bowling ball.



Start with the shower curtain. It’s a two-dimensional object in a 3-dimensional world. Imagine, now, that you are an ant, walking, talking, and shagging other ants on this thin, flexible membrane (or a "brane" in physics-speak). Layered above and below you are a million other shower curtains, all of them with their own allotment of ants (some of which get paid 78 cents on the dollar due to slight differences in their copulatory organs).





"I enjoy a good time travel and that is what this book is. It has a great romance and a second chance at love. I enjoyed the world the author created and thought that the author did a great job traveling in time."



Colorimetry - Lost Time (Excerpt #1)


I lie in the greenish half-light, my lungs on fire, panic forcing out any rational thought.

And then I remember where I am—or rather where I should be.


I pound my fists against the translucent coffin lid until I manage to hit the release lever. The top pops open and frigid air rushes in, smelling of damp earth and evergreens.


I gasp for breath, my heart pounding.


The last thing I remember is a panicked voice shouting to abort the mission. Stop the countdown because…



fuonlyknew - Review


"The beginning swiftly pulls you in. The plot deepens and the characters emerge. And as you draw near to the conclusion, you’re gripped in a vise of suspense that brings tears to your eyes, fearing and hoping for what comes last."



Angels With Attitude Book Reviews - Dead Time (Excerpt #1)


I’m trying to be brave, Mom, but it’s harder than I thought.


All the jeeps and other equipment are gone now, and I count four dingy biosuits slogging toward me through the downpour. I gaze up at the sloped wall of the massive biodome, wishing it didn’t look so… alien.


What would Madders do?


He’d be collecting data, not blubbering like a D-2 who fell off a swing and scraped her knee. Identify the problem, engineer a solution, and Bob’s your uncle.



Bookworm Lisa - Review


"The book involves time travel, an orb with a message, seashells, love, and secret government projects. It is a fascinating book."



Booklove - Review


"The book, Crossing In Time was a one sit read for me with intriguing and captivating characters, unique, thrilling and original plot and a hooking prose . A perfect read for every Sci-Fi and romance lover."



And don't forget to enter the giveaway, if you haven't already...


Crossing in Time
(Between Two Evils #1)

D.L. Orton
Adult Sci-Fi Romance, Dystopian
Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 374 pages
April 7th 2015 by Rocky Mountain Press


A Publishers Weekly Starred Review
“Best Sci-Fi Love Story of the Year”

Remember How It Feels to Fall in Love?



Race against the clock through a dystopian nightmare. Climb naked into an untested time machine (carrying only a seashell and a promise). Wake up twenty years younger on a tropical beach, buck naked and mortally wounded, with your heart in your throat.



This is a journey of love, loss, and redemption that will make your pulse gallop and your palms sweat, have you laughing out loud through your tears, and leave you flush with the sublime pleasure of falling in love.


GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleBook DepositoryPowell's



Other Books in the Series


Lost Time
(Between Two Evils #2)

D.L. Orton
Adult Sci-Fi Romance, Dystopian
Hardcover, Paperback & ebook, 222 pages
July 1st 2016 by Rocky Mountain Press


If someone took everything you live for, how far would you go to get it back?



When a faulty time machine deposits Diego at the top of a pine tree, he knows he's in the wrong place--but has no idea he's in the wrong time. Naked and shivering in the chilly mountain air, he attempts to climb down, but slips, whacks his head, and falls into oblivion.



He wakes up inside a darkened room, crippled and disheartened, and must come to grips with the realization that he is marooned in a bleak alternate future. In this universe, what remains of the human race is trapped inside a handful of aging biodomes. With his mission failed, his world destroyed, and the one woman he loves, dead, he can find no reason to go on living.



But Lani, the emotionally scarred doctor who finds him, refuses to let him die, and as Diego heals, their relationship becomes... complicated. He struggles to let go of the past but is unable to get Isabel out of his head--or his heart. Just when it seems he may be able to find some measure of happiness in a world teetering on the edge of extinction...



Another note arrives from the future: Isabel is alive--but not for long...


Dead Time
(Between Two Evils  #3)

D.L. Orton
Adult Sci-Fi Romance, Dystopian
Paperback & ebook, 414 pages
April 15th 2017 by Rocky Mountain Press


If someone took everything you live for, how far would you go to get it back?



From award-winning author D. L. ORTON comes book three in the Between Two Evils series...



Shannon fights to stay alive inside a rogue biodome and discovers something totally unexpected... Peter. Lani is forced into the role of the reluctant heroine but rediscovers her street-kid mojo and sets out to find everything she's lost. Diego receives another dirty sock (and a note) from the poorly aimed fireball express: "The window between universes is closing." If Diego has any hope of getting back to Iz, he must get to the Magic Kingdom and power up the time machine before it's too late.



What could possibly go wrong?


About the Author

D.L. ORTON is the BEST-SELLING author of the BETWEEN TWO EVILS book series. She lives in the Rocky Mountains where she and her husband are raising three boys, a golden retriever, two Siberian cats, and an extremely long-lived Triops. In her spare time, she's building a time machine so that someone can go back and do the laundry.

Ms. Orton is a graduate of Stanford University's Writers Workshop and a past editor of "Top of the Western Staircase," a literary publication of the University of Colorado at Boulder. The author has a number of short stories published in traditional and online literary magazines, including Literotica, Melusine, Cosmoetica, The Ranfurly Review, and Catalyst Press.



Tour Giveaway

- 1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon eGift Card (open internationally)
- 1 winner will receive the Between Two Evils series, which includes Crossing in Time, Lost Time, and Dead Time (print if US, Kindle copies if international)
- Ends March 28th

Stacking The Shelves (59)

The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews

Books:

The Servant Boy by Reesha Goral
Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman
Black Moon by Romina Russell
The End of Oz by Danielle Paige

TV/Movies:

Riverdale S1 Ep11
Pretty Little Liars S7 Ep12
Thirteen Reasons Why S1 Ep1-3
The 100 S2 Ep5-7
Gossip Girl S3 Ep12-13

Friday, April 28, 2017

Cover Reveal: Rebel Cause by Cassandra Giovanni (Teaser Images + Excerpt + Giveaway)

Today is the cover reveal for Rebel Cause by Cassandra Giovanni. This cover reveal is organized by Lola's Blog Tours.

Rebel CauseRebel Cause (Boys of Fallout #3) By Cassandra Giovanni
Genre: Young Adult/ New Adult
Age category: Coming of Age
Release Date: July 11, 2017
Blurb: Reese White has spent her whole life trying so hard to be perfect, that when she looks in the mirror, she doesn't know the person staring back at her. Sure, she's always gotten high grades and excelled academically, but she's never put much time into herself. Now, as she heads off to college, Reese realizes she's remained so hidden inside a book that she's invisible to everyone, including herself.
Kellin Lake has always seen Reese, his little sister's best friend, the beautiful girl hidden behind baggy clothes and good grades--but he's hiding, too-- even from her. Tattoos, lip piercing and lead singer in a metal band, he's a rebel without a cause. But that's just to the people at school. At home, he covers it all up, and he's the boy with the angel's voice, and a 4.0 only his parents know about.

When Reese flips the switch and takes control of her looks, they make an arrangement-- pretend to be in a relationship to elevate Reese's social status. It's simple. Kellin helps his sister's best friend, and Reese isn't invisible anymore. No one falls in love. No one gets hurt. But what Reese doesn't realize is Kellin is already in love with her.

And now things get a hell of a lot more complicated.
You can find Rebel Cause on Goodreads

You can pre-order Rebel Cause on Amazon

Rebel Cause Teaser 1
Excerpt:

Lindy narrows her eyes at me, and I shake my head.

Maybe it's a good thing. I don't need her to think I'm developing something for her brother...or that I've always had something for him. I squeeze my fists together until my nails bit into my palms. I look up at Kellin.

I don't feel anything different than I've ever felt around him.

He gives me a smile and comes forward to pull me into his arms, tucking his head into my hair. "I missed you, Ree."

I smile as I hug him back, the happiness I always feel around him overtaking any of the odd thoughts I'm having away. He pulls away, looking down at me, and I feel like me.

Just me.

"So why haven't you packed anything?" he asks as he looks around my room, hands in his pockets. He's wearing the heather blue Henley with the hood I bought him for his birthday. He has the sleeves pushed up, and the buttons undone so his tattoos show in all their glory, but he'll be able to hide them if my parents come home.

"I don't know what to bring," I admit.

"You can bring everything if you want," Kellin replies, crossing his arms. "It's our home indefinitely. We don't have to come back for breaks unless we want to."

"Good point...I just don't know where to start," I reply with a shrug.

Kellin gives me a grin, and my skin heats up as our eyes remain locked on each other. I can't look away or stop smiling. I finally turn around, grabbing a box as I chastise myself. This is Kellin-- KELLIN, my best friend's brother. My good friend for four years. He's older. Sexy as hell-- damn it! Off limits, Reese!

I take a deep breath as I feel Kellin behind me.

"Let me give you a hand?" he asks, giving me one of those infectious, crooked-kid-like grins.

"It's an empty box, Kell. I think I can handle it," I reply, nudging him out of the way.

"You sure about that?" he teases, raising an eyebrow at me.

"Ree? You up there?" Mom calls my name, and I look at Kellin frozen as her hand turns the knob to my door.

I jump on his back, pulling down his sleeves as I do and wrapping my arms around his neck to cover his collarbone. Kellin catches my legs and holds me there just as Mom opens the door.

She blinks a few times at us, and I give her a smile.

"Kellin and Lindy came over to help me pack," I say.

"I can see that...but why are you on Kellin's back?" she asks, and I hear Lindy stifle a giggle as Kellin's arms tighten around my legs in panic.

"I was betting him that he couldn't pick me up," I say as I slip one hand under my arm and button the shirt. I slide down his back. "I guess I was wrong!"

Mom looks between Kellin and me before shaking her head. "Well, Reese could really use your help. As you can tell she hasn't even started thinking about moving yet."

"I've been thinking about it. I just haven't done anything yet," I reply.

She rolls her eyes in response. "So I should order a pizza for dinner?"

"That'd be great," Kellin replies as he opens one of my drawers and immediately closes it, placing his hands behind his head as he purses his lips together.

"Found the underwear drawer?" Mom asks as she smirks at him before shutting the door.

Kellin taps his thumbs against his jeans as he looks around the room. "Uh...thanks for that."

I nod as I step past him and open the same drawer and start dropping my bras and underwear into the box in front of him. His eyes find the ceiling as his face turns red. "Really, Ree? You couldn't like wear, I don't know...normal stuff?"

I look up at him as I drop a pair of black lace boy shorts into the box. "What's not normal about them?"

He rubs his face. "You practically wear bags as clothing--and then you wear that underneath?"

I pop my hip out as I lock eyes with him. "Do you like it or something?"

Lindy makes a gagging noise behind him. "Could you guys save the flirting for when I'm not around?"

It's my turn to be embarrassed. I drop the last item into the box and start piling my pajamas, which were pretty close to what I wear every day, on top. Kellin doesn't respond but grabs another empty box and heads to my closet. He pauses, hand on the knob before looking over his shoulder at me.

"Is there anything I need to be cautious of in here?"

I shake my head. "You found the only thing you really wouldn't want to see the first drawer you opened."

Lindy coughs, muttering under her breath, "Who says he didn't want to see it?"

I watch as Kellin's eyebrows twitch, his eyes narrowing on his sister. She shoots him a similar look, and I stand in the middle puzzled.
Rebel Cause Teaser 2

Get the first two books in this series!

Out of Beat

Book one in this series Out of Beat is available! You can buy a copy on Amazon

Behind the Lens

Book two in this series Behind the Lens is available now! You can buy a copy on Amazon

Cassandra GiovanniAbout the Author: Cassandra doesn’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing. In fact, the first time she was published was when she was seven years old and won a contest to be published in an American Girl Doll novel. Since then Cassandra has written more novels than she can count and put just as many in the circular bin. Her personal goal with her writing is to show the reader the character’s stories through their dialogue and actions instead of just telling the reader what is happening. Besides being a writer, Cassandra is a professional photographer known for her automotive, nature and architectural shots. She is happily married to the man of her dreams, and they live in the rolling hills of New England with their daughter, Hope and dogs, Bubski and Kanga. For regular updates visit Cassandra’s website www.cgiovanniauthor.com and sign up for her newsletter.

You can find and contact Cassandra here:

- Website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads
- Instagram
- Newsletter

Giveaway

There is a cover reveal wide giveaway for the cover reveal of Rebel Cause. One winner will win a paperback copy of Out of Beat and Behind the Lens by Cassandra Giovanni (US Only).

For a chance to win, enter the giveaway here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1) by Kendare Blake
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Goodreads Summary: Three sisters. One crown. A fight to the death.


In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn't solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it's not just a game of win or lose . . . it's life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.
Rating: 4 Stars
Review: 
On the island of Fennbirn, a Queen and King-consort rule. Every generation a set of triplets are born, three queens with equal rights to the throne. On their sixteenth birthday, the battle begins; a fight to the death deciding who the next queen will be. Arsinoe is a naturalist, her gift horticultural in nature. Katharine is a poisoner, able to withstand even the deadliest poisons while Mirabella is an Elemental, controller of the elements.

First of all, I have to say I really love the idea Three Dark Crowns is based on. The fantasy elements are imminent and you have to put cynicism aside and believe, but there is also a huge element of trust embedded in it. The settings are described in detail, but not an overbearing amount at a time.

Three Dark Crowns discusses five possible gifts the islanders can have besides no gift. Poisoners, Naturalists and Elementals are described in detail; those with the gifts of war and sight are mentioned a few times but we haven't met any characters with those gifts yet. This provides a good setup for further world development in book two, something which I'm sure will happen.

Each of the girls is different from their assigned stereotypes. They aren't equals and don't follow history's predictions. By comparing them to their alter egos, Kendare Blake gets to write from the "what if" side of things but is also able to compare this side to the "normal" ways. I can't wait to see how these characters develop and change in the next book. If you enjoy fantasy, definitely read this.
Purchase Location: Borrowed From Library
Edition:
Paperback
Buy the book:
Book Depository
Recommended for: Think of this as a fantasy version of The Hunger Games, with a few modifications.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Book Blitz: Painting Sky (Excerpt + Giveaway)



Painting Sky
Rita Branches
(Painting Sky #1)
Publication date: April 25th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Nobody ever said life was easy…
People pleaser, Jane Skylar wants nothing more than to earn her art degree, start her life, and bask in the bliss of living with her boyfriend.
But things don’t always go as planned…
Struggling with her creative side, Jane finds herself in turmoil, often confiding in her roommate – another, more talented art student, Keith Hale. Keith just so happens to be her boyfriend’s older, brooding brother. After a devastating breakup, Jane turns to Keith for comfort. But when the lines blur between roommate and lover, Jane’s life becomes more complicated than ever before.
When Keith’s past comes back to haunt him, their lives all get turned upside down, forcing the truth to surface. Now Jane must fight for what she wants–even if it hurts everyone she loves.
*It’s a Stand-alone*
EXCERPT:
The next towels were easier. I was getting colder and so tired that my eyes started to shut and I dozed off. When the towel on my stomach was removed, the breeze on my skin made me shiver and woke me up.
“Just one more time, and then we’ll check if the fever has lowered.” He changed the towels again. I had stopped feeling awkward about the lack of clothes a long time ago: maybe between the cold towel or the scared look on Keith’s face.
My shivering never stopped. After Keith took all the towels from my body, I just wanted to curl up and sleep. The sheets were wet, though, as well as my clothes. Keith left for a minute and I opened one eye to see him standing at the door, frowning.
“What is it now?”
“I can’t find any clean sheets,” he answered. I wasn’t feeling good enough today to do laundry, so the other set was dirty.
“Come on. Try sitting up.” Keith opened one of my drawers.
“What are you doing?” It was where I kept my underwear. He ignored my protests and took some black cotton panties and a matching tank top and placed them on the bed.
“I’ll be in the hallway. Call me when you’re done—unless you want my help.” His smirk was weak, but I knew he was trying to make me smile. I shooed him out of my room with a wave of my hand and took my time changing out of my clothes. My body hurt, especially my ribs.
“I’m coming in,” Keith warned, as soon as I pulled the tank top down. “Can you get up?” I obeyed him, unsure of why he wanted me to get up if I didn’t have any clean sheets to change the bed with. My bedroom swung around me and I had to sit back down again. I was too weak to stand. Keith sighed and put his arms under me. I stiffened instantly, not just at the gesture, but also at my lack of clothing. He picked me up and left my room.
“What are you doing?”
“What do you think? I’m taking you to my room. The sheets are clean, I haven’t slept there this week, and they are dry, at least.” He winked while pushing open his bedroom door with his shoulder. I had been in his room once or twice to bring him his clean clothes, but I’d never taken the time to look around. I wouldn’t do so this time, either, as the only light on was from the lamp on his bedside table.
The space was clean and tidy. I imagined all his clutter was in the attic, where he spent most of his time.
I whimpered against his cold sheets. “Come on, scoot over,” he said, as soon as he laid me down. I did what he asked and the next thing I felt was his warm body against mine. I gasped at the contact, but scooted back against his chest. I tried to ignore the chuckle that came from him, which shook my body slightly.
His hand came to rest on my stomach for a second before he pulled my tank top up. I was prepared to turn and punch him in the face when I realized what he was trying to do. He lifted his own shirt and hugged my bare back. I sighed, trying not to moan. For the second time tonight, I wasn’t cold, as his body was warmer than mine.
“Just so we’re clear, in the morning, we go back to not caring much for the other, right?” I asked, more to try and clear the air. I felt him tense before answering me with a weird shrug.
“I guess,” he mumbled.
“Why do you hate me?” I whispered.


Author Bio:
Rita Branches is an independent YA (young adult) author who enjoys spending every free moment (when she´s not reading) writing emotional stories. Visit: http://ritabranches.wordpress.com/

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Release Day Blitz: Deathbringer by Tamara Grantham (Excerpt + Teaser Image + Giveaway)



Deathbringer
Tamara Grantham
(Fairy World M.D., Olive Kennedy)
Published by: Crimson Tree Publishing
Publication date: April 25th 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Some heroes are fated to save the world. Others are meant to destroy it…
Olive Kennedy is all about positive thinking. She’s been stuck on Earth for the past four months, waiting for the spring equinox to arrive so she can return to Fairy World — but she’s staying positive. She’s hopeful she’ll once again see her handsome Viking fiancĂ© who’s waiting for her. She’s optimistic that her mission to reclaim the sword of Dracon — a sword of King Arthur fame and the only weapon capable of killing Theht — won’t result in death and destruction. And then there’s the small matter of an asteroid that’s been ripped out of its orbit and is hurtling toward Earth…no biggie.
One last thing — she’s fated to destroy the world. To stop that prophecy from being fulfilled, she may have to sacrifice the one person she loves the most.
Good thing she’s staying positive.
EXCERPT:
I stood and crossed to my bedroom, then grabbed my backpack and slung it over my shoulder. After grabbing my temporary mirror case out of a drawer, I placed it on top of my dresser.
I wasn’t sure if I should cringe or laugh as I scanned my new mirror. I’d found it at the dollar store after a frustrating day of trying to create a new mirror box with no success. I’d bought it because it was absurd and to remind myself that it was temporary.
The plastic box was pink with the name BARBIE scrolled on the top. Inside was a foam liner that had once held five nail polish bottles. I’d cut the foam to make larger slots. Now, it held my five figurines that represented the races of Faythander: Dragon, elf, Wult, pixie, and goblin.
After unlocking the latch, I opened the lid. “You’re fabulous! Inside and out!” sang to me in a bubble-gum voice as I propped the lid open.
As I said, temporary solution. Extremely temporary. It had a mirror under the lid and was the perfect size for my figurines, so it worked. For now.
Scanning my figurines, I found the Wult and removed it from the foam, then propped it upright against the mirror. I needed to get to the Wultlands, and this would be the easiest way to do so.
I ignored the glittery scrolling along the edges of the mirror and focused on the glass. Taking a deep breath, I paused before touching my fingers to the mirror.
Months ago, the portals had started acting erratically. I’d thought the problem had been solved after we’d restored the fairies’ stone, but when I’d returned to Earth four months ago, the portal had almost torn me apart. I’d gotten several stitches in my abdomen because the crossing had been so violent. Since then, I hadn’t once been able to open a portal, but tonight, I had no choice. I needed to return to Faythander before the equinox, and I had one thing in my favor—I hadn’t tried opening a portal with my new Barbie box yet.
Here’s to hoping my luck improved, I thought. Then again, this was my luck we were talking about. Yeah, probably not.
Carefully, I placed my fingertips to the screen, inhaled a deep breath, and then conjured the word to open the portal.
Magic flowed from my heart, through my arms and hands, and into the mirror. Gold and amber swirls licked like fire over my skin as the magic interacted with the mirror, mingling with the blue glow coming from the plastic case.
The power grew inside me as the portal opened. Wind swirled around me until the room disappeared and I floated in a void. Voices came from somewhere. Soft whispers. Among them was a familiar one. The cold, detached voice of Theht.
I am here. I am waiting.
I’d gotten better at tuning her out, but being in a place like this, between worlds, made it almost impossible to keep her away.
Soon, we shall destroy the world together. Deathbringer.
The wind grew stronger and faster, wrapping around me, squeezing the air from my lungs. It compressed me until I couldn’t breathe. Pain coursed through my nerve endings as the pressure weighed me down. I felt as if I’d been buried under millions of tons of sand.
I cried out, but couldn’t hear my voice over the wind. Tears leaked from my eyes. I felt their warmth on my cheeks. In a desperate attempt to survive, I focused on the magic within me, unleashing every ounce, pouring it into the portal to keep it steady.
I thought for sure I was dead when I hit the ground. I landed awkwardly, my shoulder and hips taking the brunt of the impact. My mirror, on the other hand, made a graceful landing in a pile of leaves beside me.
I lay on the ground, panting for air, staring at the faded blue sky through the patchwork of branches with budding green shoots.
“Never again,” I muttered between gasps. Next time, I would find a Viking ship and cross through an underground ocean filled with man-eating sea-snakes before using a portal. “Never. Again.”
On the bright side, at least I’d finally made it back to Faythander. The $.99 investment into the Barbie mirror wasn’t such a bad buy after all.


Author Bio:
Tamara Grantham is the award-winning author of more than half a dozen books and novellas, including the Olive Kennedy: Fairy World MD series and the Shine novellas. Dreamthief, the first book of her Fairy World MD series, won first place for fantasy in INDIEFAB’S Book of the Year Awards, a RONE award for best New Adult Romance of 2016, and is a #1 bestseller on Amazon in both the Mythology and Fairy Tales categories with over 100 reviews.
Tamara holds a Bachelor’s degree in English. She has been a featured speaker at the Rose State Writing Conference and has been a panelist at Comic Con Wizard World speaking on the topic of female leads. For her first published project, she collaborated with New York-Times bestselling author, William Bernhardt, in writing the Shine series.
Born and raised in Texas, Tamara now lives with her husband and five children in Wichita, Kansas. She rarely has any free time, but when the stars align and she gets a moment to relax, she enjoys reading fantasy novels, taking nature walks, which fuel her inspiration for creating fantastical worlds, and watching every Star Wars or Star Trek movie ever made. You can find her online at www.TamaraGranthamBooks.com.

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Monday, April 24, 2017

Review: The Midnight Assassin by Skip Hollandsworth

The Midnight Assassin by Skip Hollandsworth
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Goodreads Summary: A sweeping narrative history of a terrifying serial killer--America's first--who stalked Austin, Texas in 1885


In the late 1800s, the city of Austin, Texas was on the cusp of emerging from an isolated western outpost into a truly cosmopolitan metropolis. But beginning in December 1884, Austin was terrorized by someone equally as vicious and, in some ways, far more diabolical than London's infamous Jack the Ripper. For almost exactly one year, the Midnight Assassin crisscrossed the entire city, striking on moonlit nights, using axes, knives, and long steel rods to rip apart women from every race and class. At the time the concept of a serial killer was unthinkable, but the murders continued, the killer became more brazen, and the citizens' panic reached a fever pitch.

Before it was all over, at least a dozen men would be arrested in connection with the murders, and the crimes would expose what a newspaper described as "the most extensive and profound scandal ever known in Austin." And yes, when Jack the Ripper began his attacks in 1888, London police investigators did wonder if the killer from Austin had crossed the ocean to terrorize their own city.

With vivid historical detail and novelistic flair, Texas Monthly journalist Skip Hollandsworth brings this terrifying saga to life.
Rating: 3 Stars
Review: 
A mysterious killer slipping around murdering women at night, scandalous arrests and gossiping neighbours? A story which has been buried, all traces removed from the histories of Austin, Texas. The Midnight Assassin brings this tale back to life through extensive research and some imagination, telling us of Austin citizens' lives in these turbulent times.

The beginning is good, but it just went downhill after that. More and more characters were introduced, eventually becoming a difficult feat to remember every character and his/her role in this society. The style in which this book is crafted is not what I expected and a huge contrast from my normal reading material. It's a book about a mystery, but not written in the way of a mystery/thriller novel, rather the style you'd find in a historian's novel.

After finishing the book I finally realised that all these characters I was having trouble remembering, they all had a part to play and Skip Hollandsworth only introduces the ones that have something write about them, though there are many such characters. All of this said, I still believe The Midnight Assassin could've been written in a much more exciting and upbeat way, and can't help wondering how different the same book could be if written more like a modern mystery/thriller.

One thing this book did tell me is what customs and thoughts of people in 1800s, Austin. Quick to blame the blacks for any crime, trusting bloodhounds to sniff after trails with such bewilderment when they found none, and of course the rather childish legal courts and detectives. A time when there was nowhere near as much forensic equipment to aid police in solving murders.

The sheer mystery of this tale never ceases to amaze me, the question of who did it marks a gap not even writing can fill. I think the main reason I didn't enjoy The Midnight Assassin more is because the story is because the story itself isn't set in stone, it's predominantly speculation and a retelling of lives, guessing at the murder using evidence.
Purchase Location: Borrowed From Library
Edition:
 Hardcover
Buy the book:
Book Depository
Recommended for: Fans of history books.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Book Blitz: Debutante by Marie Silk (Teaser Image + Giveaway)



Davenport House Prequel: Debutante
Marie Silk
Publication date: April 21st 2017
Genres: Historical, Young Adult
The family saga begins in Debutante, a prequel to the best-selling Davenport House series. A life of luxury for the Davenports means drudgery for the servants on the grand country estate. This is their story in 1909 America, six years prior to the events of book one.
While her father is away on business, sixteen-year-old Mary Davenport feels confined and alone, despite her privileged life at the family’s mansion. As the day of Mary’s debutante ball draws near, the servants are conflicted by instructions from Mary’s mother to starve her until she fits into a gown that was made too small. Mary is also under pressure to act the part of society while being forbidden from seeing her only friend, the servant boy who works in the stable.
In a shantytown hours away, a young girl called Abigail is hired to sew a gown for a dressmaker’s wealthy patron. Abigail gives up her education in order to provide for her impoverished family. Neither she nor Mary is aware of how connected their futures are destined to become.
Special release price of 99¢!
AND: Each book in the series will be on sale for 99¢ between April 22-27!


Author Bio:
Marie Silk has enjoyed writing stories and plays since childhood. She lives with her family in the United States and travels the globe as often as life permits. She is an admirer of history, antiques, and architecture. Marie is the author of the best selling Davenport House family saga.
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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Stacking The Shelves (58)

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews

Books:

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

TV/Movies:

Gossip Girl S3 Ep7-11
The 100 S2 E2-4
Pretty Little Liars S7 Ep11

Friday, April 21, 2017

How much should book characters go through? (Forum Friday #6)

Many books see characters suffering through trauma, violent battles, or something negative. As writers and students we are often taught to build to a 'climax', and never make it too easy for our characters, that it is good to make readers worry about characters, which forms a bond between them. But I bring this question to you: how far is too far?

I've read books where this 'tormenting' reaches extremely varied levels. The general guideline seems to be that in books for younger readers the level of 'torment' is much lower, e.g. the hero gets stopped and almost killed by a super villain (sometimes, only captured/temporarily stopped from completing their mission). This contrasts from the extremities of adult fiction, the worst I've seen is where a character's body parts begin to get cut off as they are tortured by antagonists.

What, you're spoiling my fun! No, I'm not saying at all that anything stated above is 'not acceptable'. I'm simply wondering, is there a point where it goes 'too far' and we begin to question the morales of writing such a story? Violence is such a major part of our world as well as the book universe, I really don't think it should be removed from book world, but would not writing about violence decrease levels of violence in our world?