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?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Book Blitz: Grand Finale: The Matchmaking Game by Donna Hatch (Giveaway)

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Review & Excerpt Book Tour Grand Finale for

The Matchmaking Game
By Donna Hatch


We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the reviews
or reading the first chapter of the book, go back and do so now...


Launch - Excerpt, Chapter One, Part 1

England 1814


Rowena Emerson studied her longtime friend, Evan Barnes, and tried to judge by his expression if he’d be game for a new scheme. It was hard to tell; he had come home from the war a mysterious stranger, with only glimpses of his former playful self who had always been ready for a new lark.



"I loved reading this book. I have read several Donna Hatch’s books and loved everyone of them. . . . I would definitely recommend this book to other readers, especially those who enjoy a good clean romantic novel."


Hearts & Scribbles - Excerpt, Chapter One, Part 2


“Semantics. Come.” She stood. “Let’s go out for some air, and I’ll tell you all about it. There is a terrace outside,” she added in case he didn’t remember the layout of their host’s home.

He rose, his posture straight as a tin soldier. The lamplight shone on his dark hair, regulation-short rather than stylish, but it suited his new military bearing. “I have a feeling I’m going to regret even listening to your idea.”


Bookworm Nation - Review


"... I was quickly sucked into the story and didn't want to leave. I loved the slow buildup of the romance between these two, and how everything works out. Like I said, its a charming regency that will warm your heart. Very enjoyable."




Q: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

A: Wow, that’s a tough question. The first chapter was effortless; it practically wrote itself. I loved the chapter where they really see each other as attractive adults, and not as the childhood friends they used to be. The big kissing scene was also super fun, and, ahem, very much put me in the mood when my husband came home.


Wishful Endings - Excerpt, Chapter One, Part 3


She laughed at his indignation, then put a hand over her mouth to muffle the sound. “I’m only quizzing you, Evan. I haven’t done that sort of thing for at least a month.”


She chuckled at his raised brows. His departure for the war had put an end to most of her pranks. Losing her friend and cohort, not to mention her heartbreak at his absence, had taken the joy out of many of her favorite pastimes. She’d settled for more mundane activities in his absence. Now that he was back, she could finally breathe easy.

Hardcover Feedback - Review


"The ending was great and I enjoyed every minute of reading this book. I think anyone who enjoys reading stories set in this period will love The Matchmaking Game too."


The Silver Dagger Scriptorium - Excerpt, Chapter One, Part 4


Rowena pointed her chin at the couple. “Look at her. Look at my papa. I think they have always been fond of one another—they are often near each other. It probably wouldn’t take much on our part to help them realize they would make a perfect match.”


Evan lifted a dark brow. “You want my mother to marry your papa?”


Christy's Cozy Corners - Review



"You will love Rowena and Evan. They are very fun characters! I really enjoy when a novella can make a romance believable in such a short few pages. The Matchmaking Game is another one to add to your lists!"




"The progression of the storyline is sweet and natural, causing the reader (me included) to feel swept up in the events and to feel a part of the story, as it's very believable."



"The Matchmaking Game by Donna Hatch is a delightful treat for the heart! With sizzling kisses, charming humor, and a tender friendship, it’s the perfect choice for a quick weekend read. You will fall in love with the characters and be sad to bid them farewell. And did I mention the kisses?!?!"


Heidi Reads... - Review


"Such a great story! The characters are vivid, the setting is awesome, the conflict is angsty, and the romance is... so romantic! . . . I loved this Regency romance and could not put it down until I was finished!"




"I would call this a regency read for sure, but I appreciate the love story, the story line itself and the loving romance. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and I am sure most every other reader will too."


deal sharing aunt - Interview & Excerpt, Chapter One, Part 5


Q: What do you think makes a good story?

A: Good stories stem from unforgettable, complex characters who overcome obstacles, find new strength they didn’t know they had, and learn to place others’ happiness above their own. I love it when the hero is strong and yet has a vulnerable side to him—I find that very endearing. And of course, the happily-ever-after!

Rowena gave his arm a little shake. “I adore your mother, and I think she’d make my papa very happy. He needs the influence of a wife and companion, as I’m sure your mother would welcome a man to love and care for her.”


“Ro, this isn’t our place.”


Mel's Shelves - Review


"It's a great story of childhood friends whose feelings evolve as they get older. They are perfect for each other, but there's an obstacle to overcome to get to a happy ending. I enjoyed how it all played out. This is a great pick if you're looking for a quick, clean Regency romance to keep you entertained for an afternoon!"




"Donna Hatch does such a good job of creating characters that feel real and sincere. I love that. . . . This book was just fun. It made me smile and left me feeling happy."


Bookworm Lisa - Review


This book has some cute twists and turns. All is not as it seems. There are counter plots in the making. The book is a short and fun book to read for the pleasure of reading. I enjoyed my time engaged in the story.


Celticlady's Reviews - Excerpt, Chapter One, Part 6


She heaved a sigh. “Very well, then. What else can we do?”


“Stay out of their business?”


She smacked his arm with her fan. “Don’t be a wet blanket. This is just what they both need. Think of how devious and clever we’ll have to be to make them each realize that the other is interested.”


Booklove - Spotlight


Nicole's Book Musings - Excerpt, Chapter One, Part 7


Perhaps Evan’s reluctance sprang from a new source. Rowena softened her voice. “She can still love and honor your father’s memory even if she remarries.”


He murmured, “I know.”


Beck Valley Books - Excerpt, Chapter One, Part 8


Rowena opened her mouth and then closed it with a snap. The last thing Evan needed was a husband-hunter like Cynthia Pritchard dogging him. Evan had only been home from war a short time and had much more pressing issues—like helping match her papa with his mother.




"From page one readers will be pulled into the story and not want to put it down until the end. It is a sweet romance that will fill the heart with happiness and warmth."


Don't forget to enter the giveaway below, if you haven't already...


The Matchmaking Game
(Timeless Romance Single)

Donna Hatch
Adult Historical Romance
ebook, 126 pages
April 18th 2017 by Mirror Press


From the publisher of the USA TODAY bestselling & #1 Amazon bestselling Timeless Romance Anthology series in Clean & Wholesome Romance, comes the Timeless Romance Singles line.



THE MATCHMAKING GAME: A brand new historical romance novella from bestselling author Donna Hatch.



Rowena’s childhood friend, Evan, has returned home from war a handsome, but mysterious stranger. In an effort to bring happiness to her father, not to mention uncover the Evan she remembers from their youth, Rowena seeks to unite their parents. Who better to match a lonely widow and widower together than their adoring children? Her matchmaking game could help their parents find happiness and draw out her childhood friend buried beneath Evan’s new reserve … or it could break more than one heart.


GoodreadsAmazon



About the Author


Donna Hatch is the author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series,” and a winner of writing awards such as The Golden Quill and the International Digital Award. A hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, she discovered her writing passion at the tender age of 8 and has been listening to those voices ever since. She has become a sought-after workshop presenter, and also juggles freelance editing, multiple volunteer positions, and most of all, her six children (seven, counting her husband). A native of Arizona who recently transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty five years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.


Tour Giveaway


- 1 winner will receive a print copy of Heart Strings by Donna Hatch (US only)

- 1 winner will receive an ebook of Heart Strings by Donna Hatch (open internationally)
- Ends April 22nd



a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Release Day Blitz: Beautiful Sacrifice by Ember Raine Winters (Excerpt + Giveaway)



Beautiful Sacrifice
Ember Raine Winters
(Pride and Honor, #2)
Publication date: April 20th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
Tasha

Being a cop, I didn’t have any choice, but I really wish I hadn’t got mixed up in this case. My dark past is catching up to me ever since he barreled into my life without a care. It terrifies me that he sees right through me. He could be the one to save me . . . or break me.

Twitch

It was just a job. Until it wasn’t. By then the sexy little redhead had her claws in me. Now, she’s in my life and I’m lost. How am I supposed to keep the demons from her past from eating her alive? I don’t know, but I will do whatever it takes to make her mine.
EXCERPT:
It happened again. I didn’t think a person could dream when they were that drunk. I was wrong. She let out a blood-curdling scream, and I jumped from my spot on the couch and ran into the bedroom. I was looking around wildly for any possible threat, when I noticed Tasha thrashing and whimpering in the bed.
“Tasha? Tasha!” I bellowed.
I walked over to the bed and brushed the hair from her face and watched as she settled. Walking around the bed, I figured I’d stay and make sure another nightmare didn’t come back. I leaned up against the headboard and watched her sleep for a bit. I was drowning.
I couldn’t believe how much this woman had gotten under my skin. I didn’t like it, but as I sat there looking at her sleep, her scarlet locks framing the pillow, I knew I was done for. I would do anything to protect her, even from herself.
Everyone joked and talked crap about how I reacted in times of stress, but I learned that from living in foster care and on the streets. I became that way after having to not only watch my back, but also watch Kelly’s as well. It did me a great deal of good in the military. I just wished I knew what to do to help Tasha.
“GO, go, go!” I screamed at Kelly as we ran down an alley.
We had a really big ugly dude on our tail. I was pretty sure he was after Kelly. She was a cute little thing, and we had our fair share of big guys trying to take advantage of her.
We ran down the alley and came to a busy street. There were people everywhere so we slowed our pace.
“Do you think we lost him?” she asked with a tremor in her voice.
I wrapped an arm around her and continued down the street. I could tell she was scared. I hated that she came with me. She actually had a decent family this time. Mine had sucked and the guy had tried to hurt me several times.
When I told Kelly what was happening, she insisted that we take off again—she was a persistent little thing. Finally I agreed after the guy punched me in the face, blackening my eye.
“I don’t know, Tink,” I sighed and hugged her closer.
A moment later she was ripped from my arm and I turned around to see Big Ugly with his meaty paw wrapped around her biceps. She squealed in pain and was thrashing against him. I saw red.
“Let her go!” I raged and stepped forward.
He laughed then. The sound grated on my already fried nerves. I was looking around. It wasn’t good to cause a scene in the middle of a busy street. If someone called the cops, we would be going back to foster care.
It didn’t matter that the guy was roughly pulling Kelly down a sidestreet, struggling all the while. I walked up behind him and punched him in the back of the head as hard as I could.
“What the fuck?” he yelled and swung around with a right cross, but I ducked under his arm and plowed into his middle. He got me from behind, and each blow he delivered to my back felt like I was getting hit by a truck, but I refused to let go. Once he had me on the ground, he flipped me over and straddled my waist as he rained blow after blow on my head and chest. I vaguely heard Kelly’s panicked screams. I was covering my face in an attempt to ward off his punches when everything went black.
My eyes shot open as I looked around wildly. I didn’t recognize anything in the room I was sleeping in. After a few minutes, I relaxed when I noticed Tasha asleep in the bed next to me.
I hadn’t even realized that I had fallen asleep sitting up, until Tasha rolled over and moaned.
“Twitch? What are you doing here?” She yawned.
“Sorry, you had a nightmare. I came in to try to calm you. I must have fallen asleep.” I put my legs over the bed and stood up.
“It’s okay, just stop screaming at me,” she groaned.
I chuckled and then I went to the bathroom. Grabbing a bottle of water and aspirin, I walked back to the bed and handed them to her.
“Thanks.” She popped the aspirin in her mouth and downed the bottle of water. “I don’t really remember much of last night. I hope I didn’t make you uncomfortable,” she said shyly.
“No worries. I have dealt with many drunk people before. You were fine,” I laughed.
“Ugh,” she groaned. “I let her get to me.”
“I figured that. You okay?” I asked, making sure to lower my voice.
“Yup, I’m here to do a job. That’s all!” She was getting fired up. “I’m not going to let her and her selfish need for my forgiveness get to me.”
“Okay, well, you feeling good enough to get this show on the road then?” I asked.
“Absolutely,” she said sitting up, stopping for a second as if noticing something for the first time and looked at me accusingly.
“Did you undress me?”
“Nope, that was all you,” I chuckled. “Carried you to the bed after you passed out on the sofa, but you woke up and started stripping. I hightailed it out of here as soon as I realized what was happening. I only came back in when I heard your nightmare.”
She looked around, seemingly for the first time, and saw her clothes and shoes sprawled across the floor and shook her head.
“This is why I never drink whiskey,” she sighed dramatically.
“You drank whiskey?” I asked flabbergasted.
“Yeah, and a lot of it.” she replied. “Can you leave so I can get dressed, please?”
“Sure thing.”


Author Bio:
Ember Raine Winters is a new author who just self published her first book. She went to community college to study political science and philosophy. She is currently taking classes to get her BS in business majoring in Sports management. She is an avid reader mostly fantasy and science fiction with a little romance thrown in as well. She loves writing Science Fiction mainly dystopian but is trying her hand in Fantasy as well.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Book Blitz: The Gentleman's Promise by Frances Fowlkes (Teaser Image + Giveaway)


The Gentleman’s Promise
Frances Fowlkes
(Daughters of Amhurst, #3)
Published by: Entangled Publishing
Publication date: April 17th 2017
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance
A social pariah due to her scandalous activities, Lady Sarah Beauchamp yearns for redemption to obtain a husband. The assistance of Society darling Mr. Jonathon Annesley gives her hope of success. However, the more effort he puts into helping her, the more she realizes the only esteem she wishes to earn is that of the handsome Jonathon. However, her reputation would potentially ruin his political aspirations.
Offering a gentleman’s promise to help his sister’s friend regain the favor of the ton should be easy for son of a viscount, Jonathon Annesley. After all, he’s well liked and considered a rising star in Parliament. Until he learns Sarah’s ultimate goal is a husband. No man is good enough and could ever appreciate her for all she is. But she is not for him—his focus rests solely on gaining reforms for society’s weakest members. Yet, a promise made cannot be broken…

Author Bio: After viewing her all-time favorite love story, "Anne of Green Gables", at the impressionable age of ten, Frances Fowlkes has been obsessed with affable boy-next door heroes, red-heads, and romance stories with lots of "highfaluting mumbo jumbo" written within their pages. It only seems natural then that she married the boy who used to pull on her curls in her high school English class, had not one, but THREE red-headed boys, and penned multiple love stories with bits of flowery prose.
When not writing, Frances loves spending time with her family, fangirling, and planning her next vacation.
Frances Fowlkes, originally a northern mid-westerner, now lives in the southeast with her ardent hero of a husband, three playful and rambunctious boys, and one spoiled standard poodle.
A self-professed Anglophile and summa cum laude graduate of LeTourneau University, Frances Fowlkes combines her passion for happily-ever-afters with her interests in both American and English histories.
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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Book Blitz: Myths and Legends

Myths & Legends banner
Today is the release day for the Myths & Legends boxed set! Get 20 books from 20 different authors in one boxed set for only 0.99$!

This is my stop during the book blitz for the Myths & Legends Boxed Set. This is the sixth and final post during this tour. This book blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours.

Myths & Legends is a compilation of 20 Full-Length Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy reads currently available to buy for only 99c, including works from New York Times, USA Today, Bestselling, and various Award-Winning authors!

Myths & LegendsMyths & Legends by Margo Bond Collins, N.R. Larry, Joanne Wadsworth, J.H. Croix, Madisyn Ashmore, Michelle Madow, Amber Lynn Natusch, Chrissy Peebles, Genevieve Jack, Siobhan Davis, S.L. Morgan, J.L. Hendricks, Lisa Manifold, Corinne O’Flynn, Andrea Pearson, Emily Martha Sorensen, Ever Coming, Sarah M Cradit, Rachael Slate, Olivia Wildenstein and Cael Percy
Genre: Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy
Age category: Young Adult, New Adult and Adult
Release Date: 18 April, 2017
Blurb: The MYTHS & LEGENDS Boxed Set is a compilation of 20 Full-Length Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy reads, including works from USA Today bestsellers, Bestselling Harlequin authors, and various Award-Winning authors!
Gear up for a collection packed with an exciting mix of undiscovered existing titles and brand new content! The pages inside are packed with everything from vampires, faeries, witches, and shifters to romantic quests, cities brimming with paranormal activity, secret societies, and ruthless villains.

With over a million words of fiction, this is your one stop shop for vampire and witch romance, urban fantasy, shifter romance, and spellbinding myths from more than twenty bestselling authors!

*Estimated Total Page Count: 5,000+
You can find Myths & Legends on Goodreads

20 books in one boxed set for only 0.99$!

Buy the Myths & Legends boxed set for only 0.99$ here:

- Amazon
- Barnes & Noble
- Kobo
- iBooks
Myths & Legends boxed set cover
The Authors:

Margo Bond Collins
N.R. Larry
Joanne Wadsworth
J.H. Croix
Madisyn Ashmore
Michelle Madow
Amber Lynn Natusch
Chrissy Peebles
Genevieve Jack
Siobhan Davis
S.L. Morgan
J.L. Hendricks
Lisa Manifold
Corinne O’Flynn
Andrea Pearson
Emily Martha Sorensen
Ever Coming
Sarah M Cradit
Rachael Slate
Olivia Wildenstein
Cael Percy

Release Day Giveaway
Myths & Legends Giveaway banner

The authors of this box set are hosting a big giveaway to celebrate the release of the Myths & Legends box set! One winner will win a $100 Amazon gift card!

For a chance to win enter the giveaway here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Tour Wide Giveaway


During the book blitz for Myths & Legends there’s a tour wide giveaway! These are the prizes you can win:

- 5 Myths & Legends Boxsets
- 3 $10 Amazon Gift Cards
- Various signed paperbacks by the participating authors

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 17, 2017

Book Tour: Issaura's Claws by Katharine E Wibell (Interview + Giveaway)

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This is my stop during the blog tour for Issaura’s Claws by Katharine E Wibell. This blog tour is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 10 till 23 April. You can see the tour schedule here
Issaura's ClawsIssaura's Claws (The Incarn Saga #1) By Katharine E Wibell
Genre: Fantasy
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: 29 November, 2016
Blurb: According to legend, when the world was young, the goddess Issaura appeared among men. Those who treated her with kindness received the gift of the gods—the ability to transform into an animal form. This was a great honor but one that separated this race from other humans. Before Issaura departed the mortal realm, she promised to return if her people were ever at the point of destruction.
“Now a threat is rising from a land across the mists of the ocean, a threat that will push this race to the brink of extinction. Responding to the call to war, seventeen-year-old Lluava heads off to find her destiny, one that will carve her name in history.”

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Review: Flawed by Cecelia Ahern

Flawed by Cecelia AhernFlawed (Flawed #1) by Cecelia Ahern
Publisher: HarperCollins
Goodreads Summary: 
Celestine North lives a perfect life. She's a model daughter and sister, she's well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she's dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan.

But then Celestine encounters a situation in which she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule and now faces life-changing repercussions. She could be imprisoned. She could be branded. She could be found Flawed.
Rating: 4 Stars
Review: 

It was the most perfect moment in my life. 
It was the last perfect moment in my life.

Celestine North lives in a society of perfection; no errors of judgement, no compassion, and perhaps no humanity. When she makes a decision out of love, she finds herself thrust into a world she hasn't seen before. Even her connections can't save her from this one, and she must fight for her rights and navigate through turbulent, dangerous waters. But who can she really trust when everyone has motives?

I really want to give this book more stars, I really do. But it's too much like some other young adult books for me to feel like I can do so, but I tell you as a fellow reader that this is a 5/5 book. Celestine and Art's relationship ends when I expect it to, and I can easily guess many of the 'mystery' parts of the book, though some took me completely by surprise which I love. A few leads were left open to the next book.

When you see something, it can't be unseen. I know, deep down, that this evening I have learned something that can never be unlearned. And the part of my world that is altered will never be the same.

Some parts of the story, I absolutely adore. Events, quotes, actions... They're nothing short of truly amazing. The ending leaves you wanting more, and although I believe I know where the things they want to find are, we won't find out for sure until Perfect. While reading Flawed I thought a lot about instant love in Young Adult books. Flawed has a slight touch of it, but the second part completely swung it around.

You're a child who has found herself in a situation that is so much bigger than she is, and has no idea what to do.

Every character in Flawed has at least two sides, and to almost all, Celestine is just a pawn in their power game. But then there is Carrick, the silver prince whose intentions are never a given and disappears/reappears as fast as lightning. I can't help but be intrigued by him, curious as to who he really is and what he wants with Celestine. Juniper is also a mysterious character to me, there's more about her that needs to be revealed. Flawed is a true Young Adult masterpiece, yet another beautiful dystopian tale.
Purchase Location: ~I received a copy from HarperCollins NZ and willingly reviewed it~
Edition: Paperback
Buy the book:
Book Depository
Recommended for: Fans of Matched by Ally Condie.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Stacking The Shelves (57)

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews

Books:

Flawed by Cecelia Ahern

TV/Movies:

Gossip Girl S3 Ep3-6
Riverdale S1 Ep10

Friday, April 14, 2017

The process of reading a book (Forum Friday #5)

Surely everyone has heard of "binge watching", the process of watching a tv series or movie series in a succession for many hours at a time. Simply thinking about this made me wonder: how should we read a book? One chapter at a time, one book at time, or?...

My personal preference is to read until I have to stop, whether it's because dinner's ready, I have to leave the house, etc. I'll always stall and finish the end of two pages at the least. I try and end on two pages with a full stop at the end, and if I'm feeling super ambitious (especially if they're short chapters) I'll finish the chapter. This method always works for me, but I wanted to know how you guys read books. Please tell me below!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Book Blitz: Dating The It Guy by Krysten Lindsay Hager (Teaser Image + Trailer + Excerpt + Giveaway)



Dating the It Guy
Krysten Lindsay Hager
Publication date: March 21st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Emme is a sophomore in high school who starts dating, Brendon Agretti, the popular senior who happens to be a senator’s son and well-known for his good looks. Emme feels out of her comfort zone in Brendon’s world and it doesn’t help that his picture perfect ex, Lauren, seems determined to get back into his life, along with every other girl who wants to be the future Mrs. Agretti. Emme is already conflicted due to the fact her last boyfriend cheated on her and her whole world is off kilter with her family issues. Life suddenly seems easier keeping Brendon away and relying on her crystals and horoscopes to guide her. Emme soon starts to realize she needs to focus less on the stars and more on her senses. Can Emme get over her insecurities and make her relationship work? Life sure is complicated when you’re dating the it guy.
EXCERPT:
“By the way, did you hear Lauren got into Senator Agretti’s old school?”
“Seriously? I wonder if she applied there because Brendon did,” I said.
Margaux snorted. “Duh, of course. Seriously, she might as well just pee on him to mark her territory.”
“Margaux, shut up,” Kylie said.
“Whatever. Anyway, the important thing is if Brendon knew she was applying there,” Margaux said. “Em, do you think he knew?”
I hoped Lauren was just trying to follow Brendon, but what if they had planned this whole thing while they were dating? What if he convinced her to apply there so they could go to college together, wear matching American flag sweaters with big scarves while drinking hot chocolate, and jump into leaf piles just like a preppy clothing catalog. At least now I didn’t have to worry about them reciting poetry to one another in South Bend, but still, what if they had made plans to go to school together?
“Don’t worry about it,” Kylie said. “She was probably trying to follow him—like she always does. She’s so pathetic.”
Kylie was trying to make me feel better, but Lauren was far from pathetic. After all, she was pretty much the “Most Likely to Succeed” poster girl. While she was out overachieving and saving the world without messing up her perfect, bouncy hair, I was trying to get through each day. I tried to push away the image of Lauren and Brendon holding hands and drinking hot chocolate under a stadium blanket.


Author Bio:
Besides mining her teen years and humiliating moments for her novels, Krysten is also a book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. Krysten writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends...Forever?, Next Door to a Star, Landry in Like, and Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2). Her debut novel, True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award for best preteen book. Krysten's work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Bellbrook Times and on Living Dayton.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Book Blitz: Immortal Fire by Annette Marie (Teaser Image + Excerpt + Giveaway)



Immortal Fire
Annette Marie
(Red Winter Trilogy #3)
Publication date: April 11th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Once, Emi believed the heavenly gods were righteous and wise, while the earthly yokai spirits were bloodthirsty and evil. But with a traitorous deity poised to destroy her world, and the yokai standing as humanity’s only defense, the lies of her upbringing have toppled to reveal a far more terrifying reality.

Despite the looming threat, Emi can’t escape her greatest distraction: Shiro, the fox yokai who has so deftly claimed her heart for his own. Soon—too soon—she will have to break the curse that binds his magic and memories. And once the ancient power inside him awakens, the yokai she loves will be changed forever.
As the earthly gods gather to wage war against the heavens, Emi and Shiro must gamble everything to turn the tide against their immortal, all-powerful foes. Together, they will find a way to save her world—even if it means losing each other.


Each book in the Red Winter Trilogy includes ten stunning illustrations by award-winning artist Brittany Jackson.
This is an exclusive preview of one illustration featured in Immortal Fire.
EXCERPT:
Violent shivers pulled Emi from the depths of sleep. The chill in the room cut right through the layers of blanket and kimono, and her toes ached from the cold. Curled in a tight ball beneath her blankets, she exhaled harshly, half expecting her breath to fog the air.
Beyond the thin partition that separated her sleeping quarters from the rest of the room, the windows rattled in a fierce wind. A winter storm? A feverish ache throbbed in her muscles, though she didn’t think she had slept for more than a few hours.
Yawning, she forced her tired body off the futon. Cold hit her like a splash of frigid water but even that wasn’t enough to dispel her drowsy daze. A short, fumbling search uncovered no extra blankets in the closet within her small alcove. Wrapping an arm around herself for warmth, she slid a panel open and peeked into the main room.
The remains of Shiro and Yumei’s late dinner had been cleared from the table, and the unlit brazier was devoid of light or warmth. Across the room, a second futon had been laid out near Shiro’s, and dark shapes filled both.
Trust the yokai to sleep right through the freezing cold. Behind their futons was a larger closet where bedding was stored. Surely there would be an extra blanket in there. She stumbled toward it in exhaustion. Her chest felt hollow and empty, and some of the chill that plagued her emanated from within.
As she crossed the room, an icy breeze rushed across her. Jerking back a step, she turned toward the sliding garden doors. A six-inch gap revealed the night-swathed garden beyond, where snow flew almost horizontally in the wind.
Why on earth had they left the door open? With a tired scowl, she yanked it shut. The room immediately felt warmer. Shaking her head, she stopped at the foot of Shiro’s futon, the light from the window glimmering on his white hair. Not that long ago, she had woken him from a nightmare, and he had thrown her into a wall before rousing enough to realize he was about to rip her throat out. Attempting to sneak between their futons to reach the closet was probably unwise.
“Shiro?” she whispered. “Are you awake?”
He didn’t stir. Neither did Yumei, who slept on his back with his head turned away, his hair splayed untidily across his face in a way that was very unlike the usually reserved yokai. He rarely slept when anyone else was nearby, at least as far as she’d seen. Maybe her ki had tired him.
“Shiro?” she tried again more loudly.

When he again didn’t move, not even a twitch of his ears, a nervous prickle climbed her spine. Shiro
wasn’t that deep of a sleeper. And why hadn’t her clumsy banging of the garden door woken them? A spike of adrenaline cut through her drowsiness as she realized how unlikely it was that Shiro and
Yumei would go to sleep with a door ajar. Had the wind blown it open? Or … something else?
She scoured the room, but it was clearly empty. Biting the inside of her cheek, she stepped between the futons and crouched.
“Shiro,” she called. “Wake up!”
No reaction. Hoping he wouldn’t attack her, she touched his shoulder. He slept on, eyes closed, face slack. Her apprehension intensified into real fear.
“Shiro!” She gripped his shoulder and shook it, but he still didn’t wake or so much as stir. Was she dreaming? Was this a nightmare? She spun around and reached for Yumei.
“Yumei, wake up! Please wake up!” She shook him but he was as unresponsive as Shiro. In desperation, she hit his shoulder with her open palm, yelling his name. “What’s wrong with you? Wake up!”
As she turned, intending to grab a handful of snow from outside to shove in Shiro’s face, the air above him shimmered strangely. She went rigid, squinting into the darkness.
A shadow took form. A small body, thin limbs, ragged black hair. The ghostly child crouched on Shiro’s chest, her blank, bottomless stare fixed on Emi.
Her heart thudded in her ears. A kanashibari, the dream-weaving yokai that had been watching Emi in the bath. That was what she’d forgotten to warn Shiro about! And now it was sitting on him, and he wouldn’t wake up.
She lurched back to Yumei. A second kanashibari appeared before her, perched on his torso. The new one, another little girl with short, stringy hair and a pale kimono, looked up at Emi with empty black eyes.
The child’s lips pulled up in a rictal grin, and her tiny arm shot out.
Emi shoved the yokai away, but her hands passed right through the spectral body, feeling nothing but frosty air.
The yokai reached for her face and a small, frigid, solid palm pressed against her forehead. A wave of burning ice surged into Emi’s skull, blanketing her thoughts. Impossible, unyielding drowsiness crashed through her.
Before she could react, before she could even think about resisting, she collapsed on top of Yumei’s unconscious body and slid into darkness.

The complete trilogy:
Available now on Amazon!

Author Bio: Annette Marie is the author of the Amazon best-selling Steel & Stone series, which includes Goodreads Choice Award nominee Yield the Night, and fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast- paced urban fantasy and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it's not quite that bad) with her comparatively sensible husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.

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