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Young Adult Book Review + Giveaway – THE SPONSORED by Caroline T. Patti

THE SPONSORED Blog Tour

THE SPONSORED by Caroline T. Patti

THE SPONSORED by Caroline T. Patti

Synopsis
Don’t break the rules…

Max Winter is a janitor at a ritzy boarding school. He’s supposed to keep to himself, mind his business, stay quiet about the things he sees, sweep the floors, and under no circumstances is he to have any contact with the residents. Now, Max will break every last one of those rules when he meets Ace Valentine.

Don’t follow your heart…

Ace Sloane finds out she’s on the wrong side of a war she no longer believes in fighting. Now, she’ll risk everything to get her life back from the people who stole it, including getting too close to exactly the wrong boy.

Don’t get caught…

Grey Winter lost both parents in a fire that should’ve killed her as well. A “miracle baby,” Grey is sent to live with her Nana who should have told her the truth about who and what she really is. Now she’s at the forefront of a cover-up, all-out manhunt, and the object of one boy’s interest she doesn’t want or need. It’s up to Grey to connect the dots and bring an end to the secrets and lies that have caused so much pain and suffering for so long.

 

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My Review
This is a great scifi/dystopian told from two points of view, a generation apart. First person present is Grey Winter, a teen girl with the ability to self heal. Through a series of flashbacks, we get the third-person point of view of Max Winter, Grey’s father. The two stories run in parallel through most of the book, but it’s clear they will end up converging. This is a unique twist on young adult romance. Both characters are teens at the time their stories are told and both include romances, making this a two for one if teen romance is your thing. But it’s so much more than that. There’s plenty of action, a huge mystery, and enough secrets and revelations to keep me turning the pages. The story starts off with a bang as Grey intervenes in a robbery, putting herself between a bullet and the owner of the bodega. Unfortunately, this also exposes  her ability to the boy at her school she likes the least. But there is so much more to Grey and Julian than one unfortunate incident.

Max Winter is the janitor at a prestigious school for The Sponsored, a group of kids who get the best education available in exchange for giving up their life choices to the government. Lowly janitors and Sponsored are not allowed to mingle, but with any good dystopian romance, rules are made to be broken. As both stories unfold, we learn everything is both more and less than it seems and secrets and lies run deep.

Plot
A two-forked tale, the plotting of both are expertly intertwined. As Grey attempts to keep her abilities a secret, live her life, and fight a budding, but dangerous, attraction to Julian, we see Max and Grey’s mom meet and fall in love. It’s more than just a romantic backstory, though. We learn all the secrets of The Sponsored through his eyes. A captivating storytelling approach that I absolutely loved!

The Characters
While it took me a bit to warm up to Grey, I loved her. Her penchant for keeping everyone at arms’ length initially seemed to include the reader as well, but over the course of the book, she lets us in. She’s wounded, damaged, and so incredibly easy to root for. The rest of the characters, Nana, Max, Ace, and Julian are well-developed.

Top Five Things I Loved About THE SPONSORED
1. The plot. Well told and kept me engaged from the opening scene.

2. Grey. She is a complex heroine with so much heart, I just adored her.

3. Dystopia. One of my favorite genres and the author’s take on a near-future society was utterly plausible, making it all the more terrifying.

4. Action. From the opening pages, there is just the right amount of action to keep the story moving.

5. Romance. Two separate romances means twice the angsty love!

Bottom Line
Wonderful dystopian romance with a storytelling twist.

Disclaimer
I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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About the Book
Title: THE SPONSORED
Author: Caroline T. Patti
Publisher: Month9Books
Release Date: September 12, 2018
Pages: 330
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian SciFi Adventure
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | GooglePlay | BAM! | IndieBound | !ndigo | The Book Depository

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Author Caroline T. Patti

Author Caroline T. Patti

About the Author
Caroline T Patti is the author of The World Spins Madly On and Too Late To Apologize. When she’s not writing, she’s a school librarian, mother of two, wife, avid reader and Green Bay Packer fan.

 

 

 

 

 

Where to find Caroline T. Patti
Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Young Adult Book Review + Giveaway – OUT OF SIGHT (Progenitor) by Matthew S. Cox

OUT OF SIGHT Blog Tour

OUT OF SIGHT (Progenitor #1) by Matthew S. Cox

OUT OF SIGHT (Progenitor #1) by Matthew S. Cox

Synopsis
Most Citizens hold Outcasts in dim regard, but Sima never expected they’d throw her off the planet.

In 2411, overpopulation has spread a plaque of filthy, congested city to the corners of the Earth. Government has raised corruption to an art form, and no one hears the cries of those left to die in the dark passageways of civilization. Following the End of Nations, people cling to the only division left: social status.

Since running away from home four years ago, she’s managed to stay a step ahead of death―or worse. At sixteen, she’s getting too old to survive from begging, despite her best effort to pretend she’s younger. Worse, the sidewalks teem with little kids edging in on her turf, monopolizing Citizens’ charity with their wide, pleading eyes and genuine innocence.

A chance meeting with suspiciously nice cops leaves her more confused than ever. Between deadly gangs, unforgiving security forces, and a terrifying madam eager to exploit a girl her age, merely getting older is the biggest threat to her life. With no good choice to make, she risks the least of three evils.

Sima thought her life on Earth had been dangerous…

She hasn’t seen anything yet..

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My Review
Traces of DIVERGENT blend with PASSENGERS and LOST for a dark, action-packed scifi dystopian adventure. Sixteen-year-old Sima is an Outcast on future Earth where Citizens live an easy life and Outcasts struggle for daily survival. Sima begs for enough food to be able to live another day, but at sixteen, she’s no longer a cute waif, and is envious of the younger kids who still tug at the heartstrings of the more fortunate. The first third of the book is devoted to her day-to-day survival, until she’s wrongly associated with anti-government forces and arrested. Instead of prison time, she’s offered a chance to participate in the Progenitor program, although the details of what that means to her are a bit murky. With more trepidation than excitement, she agrees, which thrusts her into another world, where survival means something else entirely.

The writing is fantastic. Cox’s descriptive style conjures vivid imagery that stimulates the imagination. The world’s he conjures are fully developed and filled with environments and characters that bring the reader deep into the story. The technology and world building is superb and kept me rooted in Sima’s story.

Plot
The story takes a while to get going. However, there is enough action to keep the reader invested. We’re nearly 30% in when the inciting incident takes Sima from her “normal” life and thrusts her on her journey. She spends an inordinate amount of time musing over her choices for survival. Over and over again like a merry-go-round of the same three options, until finally a fourth option is presented to her. But instead of making a decision for herself, the choice is made for her, so she enters her new life kicking and screaming (and sobbing and whimpering).

The Characters
The story is about Sima. We spend the majority of the book inside her head. As a street rat, she pushes others away, preferring to go it alone. A whole host of minor characters interact with her, some superficial, but most with as much depth as Sima herself. Sima has a rich backstory and complex character. She annoyed me at times with her constant whimpering and sobbing. I can certainly understand her emotions, but I was hoping for more of a Katniss or Tris type character. She does transform, but it’s definitely a three steps forward, two steps back type of journey.

Top Five Things I Enjoyed About OUT OF SIGHT
1. The writing. Vivid and unique, peppered with analogies that create stunning mental images.

2. Dystopia. I love a good story about a fallen civilization, and the dark future Cox envisions is layered and intense.

3. SciFi. While not strictly a science fiction, there is so much futuristic technology that it transcends genres.

4. Character development. Yes, it’s slow to come about, but Sima evolves into a young woman who learns what it means to care for someone other than herself.

5. Action. There’s no shortage of action and adventure throughout the story.

Bottom Line
A dystopian adventure with science fiction elements packed with action.

Disclaimer
I was provided a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: OUT OF SIGHT
Series: Progenitor #1
Author: Matthew S. Cox
Publisher: Division Zero Press
Release Date: August 13, 2018
Pages: 395
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian SciFi Adventure
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

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Author Matthew S. Cox

Author Matthew S. Cox

About the Author
Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.

Hobbies and Interests:
Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- deliberate), and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it. He is also fond of cats. Awards: Prophet of the Badlands (excerpt) – Honorable Mention – Writers of the Future.

Where to find Matthew S. Cox
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

An Excerpt from SUPERHERO HIGH (Heroes and Zeroes)

SUPERHERO HIGHI’m happy to be able to share an excerpt from SUPERHERO HIGH, the first book in my young adult urban scifi series, Heroes & Zeros, about teenage superheroes. See below for an exclusive excerpt, and links where you can find the book. You can read it for free with Kindle Unlimited or buy the ebook for just $3.99.

Ren hands me the syllabus and we go through them together, with me highlighting some he should read and letting him choose some others. When I’m done, I hand the paper back to him and catch him staring at me, or more accurately, staring at my mouth.

Oh my God, is he . . .? No, he wouldn’t. My throat goes dry and I swallow hard. I should get up, but the thought of Ren’s lips pressed to mine keeps me from moving. My breathing escalates to the point that he must notice, and my hands curl and relax at my sides.

His gaze lifts to mine, and the vulnerability in his eyes steals my breath. I’ve never seen this side of him. Not really. He’s been unsure, or nervous, but not this. Ren searches my face for something, and I’m pretty sure all he’s going to see is pure fear. Because if I kiss this boy, nothing between us will be the same.

My tongue darts out and moistens my lips before I can acknowledge that probably wasn’t the best idea. His pupils dilate before his eyelids drift closed. He leans closer, tilting his head.

Holy crap, this is happening, and I’m not doing anything to stop it. Which means I must want this. My breath catches as my eyes close, and I wait for the soft brush of his lips. The mattress dips next to me, and the heat from his body’s proximity radiates to my arm and chest.

His warm breath, minty and clean, dances close to my lips. I part mine slightly as he gets closer, waiting, wondering for a brief second if he’s about to tell me this is all a big joke or make fun of me. The scent of sandalwood and soap fills my senses, and rough whiskers rasp against my chin. I take in a sharp breath and . . .

“Ren, I need—oh, oh, I’m so sorry. Mom said you were studying, and . . .”

Ren pulls back from me so fast, he creates a breeze that ruffles my hair. When I open my eyes, he’s standing beside the bed, his hand on top of his head. “Hey, M, what’s up?”

Mattea’s eyes dart between us. She’s clearly agitated about something, whether from what she walked in on or something else isn’t apparent. “It’s Ian. He’s missing.”
Okay, something else. Good.

“What do you mean he’s missing?” Ren asks.

“I mean he was supposed to meet me an hour ago, but he never showed. No text, no call, nothing. That’s never happened. I called his mom and she hasn’t heard from him, either. She says he’s not at home and his phone’s offline.”

Ren glances at me, then back to his sister. “I’m sure it’s nothing, Mattea. His battery’s probably dead.”

“He’s never disappeared like this without calling. Something’s wrong. I know it.”

“Okay, I get it. What do you want me to do?”

I stand and grab my bag off the floor. “I should go.”

“Wait . . .” Ren’s lips part, as if he’s going to say something more, but he doesn’t.

“I’ll see you on Thursday.” Before I can say or do something stupid, I rush from the room. “Bye, Mrs. Gonzalez,” I call as I fly out the front door, not waiting for her response.

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SUPERHERO HIGH Teaser

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About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited!
Title: SUPERHERO HIGH
Author: T.H. Hernandez
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Release Date: 2018
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary/Science Fiction Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU 

Synopsis
Sixteen-year-old Annarenee Stevens is the sole member of her family without a super power. The only time she feels powerful is in the pool. With her sights set on swimming for U.C. Berkeley, she’s ready to win it all at the State championship and secure her future.

When the government unexpectedly ends the secret Genetically Enhanced Asset (GEA) program, Annarenee is uprooted from Dayton, the only home she’s ever known, and relocated to San Diego with all of the other GEA families. Queen of her public school, Annarenee is just another zero at Superhero High, a school without any sports teams.

With the end of the program, her hero older brother now needs a college education, too, meaning the only way Annarenee is getting into Berkeley is on a scholarship. Her dream is slipping through her fingers, no matter how tightly she clings to it. To make matters worse, super hot superhero, Ren Gonzalez, is paying too much attention to her. The kind of attention that has Ren’s ex-girlfriend intent on making Annarenee’s life even more miserable.

But when heroes begin disappearing, zeros and heroes will be forced to team up in order to solve the mystery. If they don’t kill each other first.

 

Cover Reveal – JACK JETSTARK’S INTERGALACTIC FREAKSHOW by Jennifer Lee Rossman

JACK JETSTARK'S INTERGALACTIC FREAKSHOW Cover Reveal

World Weaver Press and author Jennifer Lee Rossman are revealing the cover to JACK JETSTARK’S INTERGALACTIC FREAKSHOW, an adult science fiction/fantasy, releasing December 4, 2018. See below for the cover, information on the book, preorder links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

JACK JETSTARK'S INTERGALACTIC FREAKSHOW by Jennifer Lee Rossman

JACK JETSTARK’S INTERGALACTIC FREAKSHOW by Jennifer Lee Rossman

About the Book
Title:
JACK JETSTARK’S INTERGALACTIC FREAKSHOW
Author: Jennifer Lee Rossman
Publisher: World Weaver Press
Release Date: December 4, 2018
Genre: Adult Science Fiction/Fantasy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU 

Synopsis
Jack Jetstark travels the universe to seek out the descendants of superpowered freaks created long ago by VesCorp scientists. The vibrations encoded in a particular song transform the members of Jack’s crew into a firebreather and an angel, a wildman and telepathic conjoined triplets, so they hide the truth of who they really are with the theatrics of a carnival.

The song plays every night through the receptor Jack carries with them, but when one night it has a different ending and their temporary powers become permanent, Jack believes the change is a signal from the woman who sent him on this quest in the first place. He and his freaks must navigate a universe at war to protect the love of his life.

But does the ruler of VesCorp really need protecting?

 

 

 

 

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Author Jennifer Lee Rossman

Author Jennifer Lee Rossman

About the Author
ennifer Lee Rossman is a science fiction geek from Oneonta, New York, where she cross stitches, watches Doctor Who, and threatens to run over people with her wheelchair. Her work has been featured in several anthologies and her time travel novella Anachronism will be available in June 2018. Her debut novel, Jack Jetstark’s Intergalactic Freakshow, will be published by World Weaver Press in 2018.

 

 

 

 

Where to Find Jennifer Lee Rossman
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

Cover Reveal – MALICE by Pintip Dunn

Entangled Publishing and New York Times bestselling author, Pintip Dunn are revealing the cover to MALICE, a young scifi/paranormal thriller, releasing February 5, 2019. See below for the cover, information on the book, and pre-order links.

MALICE by Pintip Dunn

MALICE by Pintip Dunn

About the Book
Title: MALICE
Author: Pintip Dunn
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: February 5, 2019
Category: Young Adult Science Fiction/Paranormal Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUBarnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Entangled

Synopsis
What I know:
a boy in my class will one day wipe out two-thirds of the population with a virus.

What I don’t know: who he is.

In a race against the clock, I not only have to figure out his identity, but I’ll have to outwit a voice from the future telling me to kill him. Because I’m starting to realize no one is telling the truth. But how can I play chess with someone who already knows the outcome of my every move? Someone so filled with malice they’ve lost all hope in humanity? Well, I’ll just have to find a way—because now they’ve drawn a target on the only boy I’ve ever loved.

 

 

 

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Author Pintip Dunn

Author Pintip Dunn

About the Author
Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of young adult fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B., and received her J.D. at Yale Law School.

Pintip’s novel FORGET TOMORROW won the 2016 RWA RITA® for Best First Book, and SEIZE TODAY won the 2018 RITA for Best Young Adult Romance. Her books have been translated into four languages, and they have been nominated for the following awards: the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire; the Japanese Sakura Medal; the MASL Truman Award; the Tome Society It list; and the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her other titles include REMEMBER YESTERDAY, THE DARKEST LIE, GIRL ON THE VERGE, and the upcoming STAR-CROSSED and

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Where to Find Pintip Dunn
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Amazon | Entangled

 

Dream Cast – SUPERHERO HIGH (Heroes and Zeros Series) by T.H. Hernandez

In case you haven’t heard, SUPERHERO HIGH  is now available exclusively at Amazon. You can read for free with Kindle Unlimited, or buy the ebook for just $3.99! SUPERHERO HIGH is a young adult contemporary/science fiction romance about the teenage offspring of the country’s superheroes. Find out what happens when superpowers and hormones collide. See below for information on the book, buy links, and my ideal cast to play these characters.

SUPERHERO HIGH by T.H. Hernandez

SUPERHERO HIGH by T.H. Hernandez

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited!
Title: SUPERHERO HIGH
Author: T.H. Hernandez
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Release Date: 2018
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary/Science Fiction Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU 

Synopsis
Sixteen-year-old Annarenee Stevens is the sole member of her family without a super power. The only time she feels powerful is in the pool. With her sights set on swimming for U.C. Berkeley, she’s ready to win it all at the State championship and secure her future.

When the government unexpectedly ends the secret Genetically Enhanced Asset (GEA) program, Annarenee is uprooted from Dayton, the only home she’s ever known, and relocated to San Diego with all of the other GEA families. Queen of her public school, Annarenee is just another zero at Superhero High, a school without any sports teams.

With the end of the program, her hero older brother now needs a college education, too, meaning the only way Annarenee is getting into Berkeley is on a scholarship. Her dream is slipping through her fingers, no matter how tightly she clings to it. To make matters worse, super hot superhero, Ren Gonzalez, is paying too much attention to her. The kind of attention that has Ren’s ex-girlfriend intent on making Annarenee’s life even more miserable.

But when heroes begin disappearing, zeros and heroes will be forced to team up in order to solve the mystery. If they don’t kill each other first.

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Superhero High Dream Cast

Cover Reveal – TOXIC by Lydia Kang

Entangled Teen and author Lydia Kang are unveiling the cover to TOXIC, a stand-alone young adult science fiction romance, releasing November 6, 2018. See below for the cover, information on the book, and preorder links.

TOXIC by Lydia Kang

TOXIC by Lydia Kang

About the Book
Title: TOXIC
Author: Lydia Kang
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre:
 Young Adult Science Fiction/Romance
Release Date: November 6, 2018
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & NobleiBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
Hana isn’t supposed to exist. She’s grown up hidden by her mother in a secret room of the bioship Cyclo until the day her mother is simply gone. Along with the entire crew. Cyclo tells her she was abandoned, but she’s certain her mother wouldn’t leave her there to die. And Hana isn’t ready to die yet—she’s never really gotten to live.

Fenn is supposed to die. He and a crew of hired mercenaries are there to monitor Cyclo as she expires, and the payment for the suicide mission will mean Fenn’s sister is able to live. But when he meets Hana, he’s not sure how to save them both.

Because Hana knows the ship’s secret—and Hana and Fenn falling for each other may be what ultimately kills them.

 

 

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Author Lydia Kang

Author Lydia Kang

About the Author
Lydia Kang is an author of young adult fiction, poetry, and narrative non-fiction. She graduated from Columbia University and New York University School of Medicine, completing her residency and chief residency at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. She is a practicing physician who has gained a reputation for helping fellow writers achieve medical accuracy in fiction. Her poetry and non-fiction have been published in JAMA, The Annals of Internal Medicine, Canadian Medical Association Journal, Journal of General Internal Medicine, and Great Weather for Media. She believes in science and knocking on wood, and currently lives in Omaha with her husband and three children.

 

 

Where to Find Lydia Kang
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

Young Adult Book Review – THE SUPERVILLAIN AND ME (Morriston Superheroes) by Danielle Banas

THE SUPERVILLAIN AND ME Blog Tour

THE SUPERVILLAIN AND ME (Morriston Superheroes #1) by Danielle Banas

THE SUPERVILLAIN AND ME (Morriston Superheroes #1) by Danielle Banas

Synopsis
As witty as it is heartpounding, this fresh take on the beloved superhero genre is all about finding your own way to shine even when it seems everyone else around you is, well… super.

Never trust a guy in spandex.

In Abby Hamilton’s world, superheroes do more than just stop crime and save cats stuck in trees―they also drink milk straight from the carton and hog the television remote. Abby’s older brother moonlights as the famous Red Comet, but without powers of her own, following in his footsteps has never crossed her mind.

That is, until the city’s newest vigilante comes bursting into her life.

After saving Abby from an attempted mugging, Morriston’s fledgling supervillain Iron Phantom convinces her that he’s not as evil as everyone says, and that their city is under a vicious new threat. As Abby follows him deeper into their city’s darkest secrets, she comes to learn that heroes can’t always be trusted, and sometimes it’s the good guys who wear black.

Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, The Supervillain and Me is a hilarious, sweet, and action-packed novel by debut author Danielle Banas that proves no one is perfect, not even superheroes..

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My Review
I absolutely loved THE SUPERVILLAIN AND ME! What a great twist on the teenage superhero genre. Seventeen-year-old Abby is the daughter of the town mayor and sister of Morriston’s superstar superhero, Red Comet. Still reeling from the death of her mother three years ago, she struggles with life in general, but also keeping her brother’s secret and accepting that her father has withdrawn himself over the death of his wife. Morriston is a crime-ridden town that even Red Comet can’t clean up. At least not on his own. With the help of Fish Boy, he does what he can. However, a new super has arrived, known as Iron Phantom. He’s captured on video destroying City Hall, and the level of crime only escalates from that point, making him the city’s first supervillain. But everything is not as it seems. After Iron Phantom saves Abby from a mugger, he visits her regularly and the two build a tenuous friendship at first, before sparks ignite. Seeking Abby’s help, he hopes to figure out who is framing him for the crime wave and what those funny little chips are he found in the mayor’s office.

Plot
The plot centers around the mysterious chips, but there’s a strong romance subplot between Abby and the Iron Phantom as well as the real identity of Iron Phantom. All three are incredibly well done. I waffled a lot on  Iron Phantom’s alter ego, going back and forth between a couple of characters, before wondering if it was someone else entirely. The romance was cute and I was rooting for these two the entire time. There weren’t any major plot twists and nothing that really made me go, “no way,” but it was a fun story that moves at a solid pace.

The Characters
The characters are the star of this story. Abby is infinitely likeable as is Iron Phantom. Both have solid backstories that bring their characters to life in colorful ways. Connor is the perfect older brother/foil to his sister, and the rest of the cast is a mix that seemed almost stereotypical at first, only to surprise me a little more every time they showed up on the page.

Top Five Things I Loved About THE SUPERVILLAIN AND ME
1. Iron Phantom. He’s witty, charming, and oh yeah, he has super powers!

2. Abby. She’s fiercely loyal, deeply wounded, and brave as hell.

3. Superheroes. What can I say — when you mix super powers with hormones, things are bound to go just about anywhere.

4. SciFi Lite. I love the use of science fiction throughout the book without it consuming the story. I was able to appreciate the technology and science without leaving Earth.

5. Humor. While there were no laugh-out-loud moments, humor was woven throughout the story, which kept what could have been a dark tale, much lighter.

Bottom Line
A wonderful debut by Danielle Banas! I’ll be reading more by this author.

Disclaimer
I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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About the Book
Title: THE SUPERVILLAIN AND ME
Series: Morriston Superheroes #1
Author: Danielle Banas
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: July 10, 2018
Pages: 320
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction Romance
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | AmazonAmazon UKAmazon CABarnes & NobleiTunesKobo

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Author Danielle Banas

Author Danielle Banas

About the Author
Danielle Banas, a Pittsburgh native, earned a degree in communication from Robert Morris University. After years spent dreaming up characters instead of paying attention in class, Danielle joined the storytelling platform Wattpad, where her work has received millions of views online. When she isn’t writing, she can be found loudly singing show tunes, spouting off Walt Disney World trivia, and snuggling with her puppy. THE SUPERVILLAIN AND ME is her debut novel.

Follow her on Twitter or Instagram @daniellebanas

 

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Where to find Danielle Banas
Goodreads Website | Facebook Twitter

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Blog Tour – Guest Post + Giveaway – STRICKEN by C.K. Kelly Martin

STRICKEN Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for STRICKEN, a stand-alone middle grade/young adult dystopian adventure with a scifi twist, by C.K. Kelly Martin. See below for information the book, buy links, an exclusive guest post by the author, and details on her giveaway.

STRICKEN by C.K. Kelly Martin

STRICKEN by C.K. Kelly Martin

About the Book
Title: STRICKEN
Author: C.K. Kelly Martin
Publisher: CBD
Release Date: January 27, 2018
Genre: Middle Grade/Young Adult Dystopian Adventure/SciFi
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | !ndigo | BAM! | IndieBound | The Book Depository

Synopsis
Naomi doesn’t expect anything unusual from her annual family trip to visit her grandparents in Ireland. What she expects is to celebrate her thirteenth birthday, hang out with her friends Ciara and Shehan, and deal with her gran’s Alzheimer’s. What she finds is a country hit by an unexpected virus that rapidly infects the majority of the Irish population over the age of twenty-one.

Amnestic-Delirium Syndrome (ADS) starts off with memory loss, but the virus soon turns its victims aggravated, blank, or violent. Naomi and her friends must survive on their own, without lucid adults, cut off from the rest of the world, until a cure is found.

But there are whispers that ADS is not terrestrial, and soon Naomi and her friends learn the frightening truth: we are not alone.

 

 

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Guest Post – Cover Love
Seeing a new book cover for the first time is always exciting for an author– it’s a visual representation of your work that will (hopefully!) have an immediate impact on whoever sees it.  Stricken is my first middle grade book and my first book cover that wasn’t a photograph. Those things alone made me giddy. An original cover illustration!

The first I saw of the Stricken cover art was a black and white sketch that I instantly fell head over heels in love with. Canadian visual artist Nick Craine adapted Bruce McDonald’s, Dance Me Outside and Hard Core Logo into graphic novels and his illustrations have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The New Republic.

To me it’s no small thing that Nick Craine also designed the best book cover I’ve ever had. I’m in absolute awe of main character Naomi’s defiant posture atop an overturned car. Seeing Dublin’s main thoroughfare, O’Connell Street (a place central to the Easter Rising of 1916 and the Irish Civil War of 1922) pictured behind her gives me a thrill every time I see Stricken. If you ever go to Dublin, there’s no way you’ll visit the place without seeing O’Connell Street and O’Connell Bridge, which spans the River Liffey. The Stricken cover vividly portrays more than a familiar city street though; it shows a place in trouble, a place where life has been turned upside down.  It makes me want to snatch up the book and find out what happens within the pages, even though I’ve already read it. It’s a cover that sets up delicious expectations, which I dearly hope I meet.

I was twenty-one the first time I landed in Dublin, but there was something about it that nearly instantly felt like home. That makes this book and its fabulous cover very special to me.   I can’t thank Nick Craine enough.

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Author C.K. Kelly Martin

Author C.K. Kelly Martin

About the Author
Long before I was an author I was a fan of books about Winnie the Pooh, Babar, Madeline, Anne Shirley and anything by Judy Blume. Throughout high school my favourite class was English. No surprise, then, that most of my time spent at York University in Toronto was as an English major—not the traditional way to graduate with a B.A. (Hons) in film studies but a fine way to get a general arts education.

After getting my film studies degree I headed for Dublin, Ireland and spent the majority of the nineties there in forgettable jobs meeting unforgettable people and enjoying the buzz. I always believed I’d get around to writing in earnest eventually, and I began writing my first novel in a flat in Dublin and finished it in a Toronto suburb. By then I’d discovered that fiction about young people felt the freshest and most exciting to me. You have most of your life to be an adult but you only grow up once.

Currently residing near Toronto with my Dub husband, I’m an aunt to twenty-one nieces and nephews, and a great-aunt to two great-nephews. I became an Irish citizen in 2001 and continue to visit Dublin as often as I can while working on novels about young people.

My first young adult book, I Know It’s Over, came out with Random House in September 2008, and was followed by One Lonely Degree, The Lighter Side of Life and Death, My Beating Teenage Heart and sci-fi thriller Yesterday. I released Yesterday’s sequel, Tomorrow, in 2013 and put out my first adult novel, Come See About Me, as an ebook in June 2012. My most recent contemporary YA books, The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing and Delicate, were published by Cormorant Books’ Dancing Cat Books imprint in 2014 and 2015.

Where to Find C.K. Kelly Martin
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – THE SAME TIME (Time Series) by Brona Mills

THE SAME TIME Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for THE SAME TIME, the second book in the adult science fiction/time travelling series, Time, by Brona Mills. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THE SAME TIME (Time Series #2) by Brona Mills

THE SAME TIME (Time Series #2) by Brona Mills

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title:
THE SAME TIME
Series: Time Series #2
Author:
Brona Mills
Release Date: April 23, 2018
Genre: Adult Science Fiction/Time Travel
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
How much of the past do you need to change to keep everyone you love alive?

Twenty-one-year-old Stella, faces some tough life battles, and in her moments of need, she is visited and aided by a stranger, David. She doesn’t know it yet, but she’ll meet him again and again—always when her life is in danger—until one day, she meets him as a much younger man and this time, he doesn’t disappear.

He doesn’t remember her or the many times he’s saved her life, but when Stella learns that his life is in danger, can she do what she must to return the favour? Can she keep secrets from the man she loves in her own timeline, knowing it might destroy their relationship? Or change the biggest mistake in her life she has yet to make? What good is having a time traveller as your best friend, if nothing ever really changes?

 

 

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Excerpt #1
I see David across the street through the boutique window. Even from a distance, and despite the annoying reflection off the glass, I recognise his walk. He commands attention in the way he carries himself, from the sway of his hips and the confidence of what he must carry between them.

Shit, don’t look at his junk, Stella.

His head is high, not intimidated walking down one of the richest streets in America. The expensive clothes he wears are more subtle than other guys our age. He’s not wearing designer labels to show off his money. He focuses on the store and he doesn’t react when two girls pause behind him and giggle, staring at his ass as he crosses the street to the store. He’s coming to see me. Please, be coming to see me.

I wait at the door, ready to greet him, like I would any customer. Hell, if the store were empty, I’d probably dart outside, shake him, and scream at him for not remembering me, for not being my David. I pull the door open gently as he pushes from the other side.

He grins when he sees me. He’s probably flashed that pantie-dropping expression at a million girls, but this smile doesn’t have any bullshit about it—I can spot the bull shitters—he looks happy to see me, or to be here—I’m not sure which.

‘Hi.’ He slides his sunglasses on top of his head.

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Author Brona Mills

Author Brona Mills

About the Author
Brona Mills has defied the odds of overcoming dyslexia and failing High School English to become an author. Her first book, A Time for Everything, has been met with great reviews from both the romance readers and the sci-fi time travel lovers, that Brona kept the series going. Book two in the connected series, The Same Time is out 23rd April, and Brona’s not stopping there. She is currently working on two other projects, a novella in the connected Time Series, and a new stand alone time travel novel with a dystopian element.

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Where to find Brona Mills
Goodreads | Facebook | Amazon

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – HANDS OF THE COLOSSUS (Holly Drake Job) by Nicole Grotepas

HANDS OF THE COLOSSUS Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for HANDS OF THE COLOSSUS, the second book in the adult science fiction/steampunk series, Holly Drake Job, by Nicole Grotepas. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

HANDS OF THE COLOSSUS (Holly Drake Job #2) by Nicole Grotepas

HANDS OF THE COLOSSUS (Holly Drake Job #2) by Nicole Grotepas

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: HANDS OF THE COLOSSUS
Series: Holly Drake Job #2
Author: Nicole Grotepas
Release Date: May 31, 2018
Genre: Adult Science Fiction/Steampunk
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
One massive shadow organization. One bad ass heroine.

Holly Drake just wants a simple thing–to destroy the Shadow Coalition and the evil at the heart of their business. Using tip-offs from the secretive government official pulling her strings, Holly and her crew swoop in, break up the cash drops and steal the money. If one or two baddies die on accident, no big loss. Right? Holly could do this forever, picking the Coalition apart till not even bones remain.

Until someone goes missing. In that moment, everything changes.

To save the victim, Holly and her team will put everything on the line to penetrate the mysterious Shadow Coalition and stab at their enigmatic leadership: the Hands who protect the Heart. Treacherous journeys across the 6-moon system in space-zeppelins, dangerous infiltrations of the Coalition, bartering with thieves, and relying on the seedy underbelly of the 6-moons. Anything it takes.

But … is the whole set up a trap? How many snares will Holly and her crew have to spring to the save just one victim?

This is Holly Drake and her crew of thieves. If they have to, they’ll go into the hornet’s nest to get the job done. But will it be their final job? 

The Hands of the Colossus features a snarky, strong, bad ass heroine fighting against the odds to save the helpless.

If you don’t like seeing a woman experience self-doubt, overcome obstacles, and then dominate, this book is not for you.

Love strong female leads, an entertaining cast of characters, and adventure? Then grab your copy today!

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Excerpt #2
They’d been planning for a trap. It was something Holly thought would always be wise—knowing that your plan might come up against a carefully executed snare that was so subtle, it couldn’t be seen.

And still, her guts roiled and boiled as they waited for the drop to begin. Charly and Odeon had scouted the exterior of the warehouse, which was carved from the rock just like everything else. But unlike the hotels and the canyon towers of commerce, the warehouse had multiple entries along the tall building where flying ships landed and loaded cargo in or out. The drop was set to happen on the top level of the tower. Charly and Odeon had set up two entry points for them, one from the north side and the other from the south side. The thought was that the suppliers who were coming for their money would enter through the canyon facing entrance.

Shiro and Holly crouched out of sight on the balcony of the tower top facing the warehouse. Their timer counted down to the moment the drop was scheduled.

“Should be happening now,” Charly’s scratchy voice said in Holly’s ear. “You guys all ready for this? It’s gonna be a fucking party.”

“Get on your ziplines now,” Odeon said. They’d set the system up to cross the gap between the buildings.

“Ok, Shiro, you go first,” Holly muttered, feeling her stomach plummet at the thought of crossing the gap.

“Ladies first,” Shiro said. “You’re not afraid are you, Ms. Drake?”

Those were the magic words. She had been afraid. But now that Shiro caught her, she couldn’t very well admit that.

“Hardly. I wanted to make sure you got across without a problem. It’s fine. I’ll go first.”

“When a lady says, ‘it’s fine,’ it never is.”

“But it is. Look I’m going.”

“Masks on,” Shiro said.

Holly yanked hers down over her eyes, nose, and mouth, and then jumped onto the zipline, taking it in one movement so that she couldn’t change her mind. The winds ripped through her hair. She lifted her legs and traversed the distance. Though it was rather narrow, it seemed to take forever. Her abdomen muscles burned. Her shoulders ached, and then she was there, on the platform. She dropped and pulled the zip tool off. Shiro landed beside her, holding his cane between his teeth.

“Ow.” He pulled it out as he landed. “This cane was not made to hold in my mouth.”

He flexed his jaw repeatedly.

“Oh believe me, I know what you mean,” Holly said drily. There it was—his blush. She’d wanted that. Had worked hard for it. She laughed.

“Lead the way, Ms. Drake.”

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Get caught up on the series:

Book 1: EYE OF COLOSSUS
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

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Author Nicole Grotepas

Author Nicole Grotepas

About the Author
I’m passionate about human rights, animal rights, and living life with no regrets. I love how becoming a parent has deepened my devotion to making the world a better place. I do that best by crafting stories that attempt to answer hard questions–the ones I think about most–while also being entertaining and fun. I live in a landscape that reminds me of my place in the universe, under an endless sky and towering mountains that are older than human memory, and I love it here.

 

 

 

Where to Find Nicole Grotepas
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebook | Twitter

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Blog Tour – Excerpt – THE CROSSOVER (Crossover) by Heather Horst

THE CROSSOVER Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for THE CROSSOVER, the first book in the new adult science fiction romance series, Crossover, by Heather HorstSee below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt. For a limited time, you can pick up the eBook for just $0.99.

THE CROSSOVER (Crossover #1) by Heather Horst

THE CROSSOVER (Crossover #1) by Heather Horst

About the Book – $0.99 for a Limited Time
Title: THE CROSSOVER (Crossover #1) by Heather Horst
Series: Crossover #1
Author: Heather Horst
Release Date: March 3, 2018
Genre:
 New Adult Science Fiction Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
It’s been 12 years since Ella has buried her brother Weston, today she buries her Father. Tomorrow she begins her life as an average University student. Unfortunately, much like Ella’s childhood, things do not go as expected. Before the semester can even begin Ella finds herself intertwined with eccentric peers, family ties, and an alternate universe.

Now Ella is thrust into the responsibility of keeping her personal life in order while saving another Earth from their impending doom, and potentially her own.

 

 

 

 

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Excerpt
The creature is pinned to the ground. The seven harpoons are plunged into its body, but I can still see it squirming.

“Is it dead?” I whimper.

The boy approaches it, his blade pointed forward. I stay behind, I don’t want to get anywhere near that thing. The creature flails trying to free itself. The boy stands over top of it and slashes his sword right into the mid-section of the creature. It lets out one final cry and stops moving. The boy pulls out a harpoon, it’s made of the same material as his sword, and he plunges it into the creature’s skull.

“What the hell was that?” I see the same black liquid I saw before leaking from its limp body. I realize its blood. Black blood is dripping from the creature and onto the ground. A team of people in biohazard suits crash through the door and push toward the creature. Before I can see what they are doing the boy gently places his hands on my shoulders and turns me around.

“You won’t want to see this.” He says.

“Tell me what’s going on.” I demand.

“I wish I could but I’m really not the right person for that.”

“Who the hell are you anyways? What is this place? What was-”

I gasp for air and my eyes begin to grow blurry. There’s the same feeling in my chest and stomach as before when I left the lecture hall. My legs crumple like tissue paper beneath me. I tumble to the ground. I see the boy crouch down and he’s saying something, but my ears fail to work. I can see that the he is trying to hold me up but I can’t feel him. My ears start to pick up some noise.

“It’s going to be okay. I’m sorry that you had to do this.” He tries to comfort me, but he sounds like he’s so far away.

“Was this real?” My breath is faint.

“Yes.” I look into his sea blue eyes and try to focus. They look so familiar to me.

“My name is Weston by the way, Weston Brandt.”

CLAP

I feel like I am being pushed to the point of breaking. My stomach is being stretched out like elastic, letting go and snapping back into place, over and over. But then it stops.

I swallow the air like I might never be able to do it again and my eyes snap open. I paw around my surroundings. The sheets of the nurses bed soothe my fear. The stupid cat poster is a welcomed sight. I am back.

Was that a dream? Did I die and come back to life? Weston… my brother was there. That’s impossible. He’s dead.

I sit up on the bed, my head is pounding. That must have been a dream. I haven’t gone anywhere. I’ve been in this room the whole time… I think. My black dress is still covered in dirt.

“No, no, no.” This must just be from today. There’s dirt everywhere but it could’ve gotten on me from walking or taking the bus or something. This doesn’t mean anything. I try wiping off the dirt stuck to my dress and I notice my hand. I turn it over and see the black smudges on my fingers. I smell my hands hoping that it’s not what I think it is.

It’s spray paint. The same spray paint from the message that was sprawled on the ground from wherever I was. That means that whole thing was real. That means my brother is alive.

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Author Heather Horst

Author Heather Horst

About the Author

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Where to find Heather Horst
Goodreads | Twitter

 

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – EVOLVED by N.R. Walker

EVOLVED Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for EVOLVED, a stand-alone adult science fiction LGBTQ romance, by N.R. Walker. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

EVOLVED by N.R. Walker

EVOLVED by N.R. Walker

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: EVOLVED
Author: N.R. Walker
Release Date: April 23, 2018
Genre: Adult Science Fiction LGBTQ Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
In 2068, androids are an integrated part of human life. Big Brother no longer just watches from the shadows. It’s in every household.

Lloyd Salter has OCD issues with noise, mess, and he’s uncomfortable with human interaction. When his ex claimed the only thing perfect enough to live up to his standards was an android, Lloyd dismissed it. But two years later, after much self-assessment, Lloyd thinks he may have been right.

SATinc is the largest manufacturer of androids in Australia, including the Fully Compatible Units known as an A-Class 10. Their latest design is the Synthetic Human Android UNit, otherwise known as SHAUN.

Shaun is compatible with Lloyd’s every need; the perfect fit on an intellectual and physical basis. But Lloyd soon realises Shaun’s not like other A-Class androids. He learns. He adapts. Sure that SATinc is aware Shaun functions outside of his programmed parameters, Lloyd must find a way to keep Shaun safe.

No one can know how special Shaun is. No one can know he’s evolved..

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Excerpt #2
I studied Shaun for a second. He was completely still, powered down, and he looked peaceful. I reached out and almost touched his cheek, but it felt wrong to do so without his consent.

I took a step back, took a deep breath, and let it out slowly. “Shaun, Power Up.”

He opened his eyes and lifted his head. When his gaze met mine, he smiled. “Hello, Lloyd.”

“Hello, Shaun.” I wasn’t sure what to say next. I looked around the room.

“Are you nervous?” Shaun asked. “Your heart rate is elevated and your pupils are dilated.”

“You can see that?”

“Of course. I am designed to be attuned to you.”

Oh boy. Breathe Lloyd. “Uh, yes. I’m a little nervous. I’ve been waiting for you for a while, and I’m very happy you’re here.”

Shaun smiled. “I am happy to be here.”

He was happy? Was he really happy, as in emotionally uplifted, or was it just a phrase?

I realised then I was still holding the control panel. I walked over to the cabinet and slid it on top. When I turned around, Shaun had turned and was watching me. “Would you like me to show you your new home?”

“Yes, please.”

“This is the main living area,” I said. Waving my hand at the sofas and the dining table. “Kitchen is through there.” The truth was, the kitchen was sleek and state of the art with views overlooking the Yarra River and Southbank, Melbourne, but would he appreciate that? I didn’t think so. “This way is the private quarters.” I slid back a recessed door to reveal a hall. I didn’t often close the door, but given I was expecting the delivery people, I didn’t want them seeing my personal space. Not that I had anything to hide. I just liked my privacy. I needed it. It was my sanctuary, my peace of mind from the chaos, mess, and noise of the outside world. I opened the first door. “This is your room.”

He moved fluidly, humanly. God, he looked so real. “Will I not be staying in your room with you?”

I blinked. “Oh, um. Well, uh… I just thought you might like your own space.”

“If you do not wish me to join you in your room, you only have to say.”

I studied him for a second. God, did he look sad or was that just my imagination?

I opened the door to the walk-in robe. “I bought you some clothes,” I said. “I thought you might like to choose what you wear each day.”

He looked at the clothes hanging, neat rows of sweaters, shirts, and pants. “You bought these for me?”

I hadn’t anticipated he would stand so close to me so he could see inside the closet. It made my heart rate take off. “Yes.”

He shot me a look. “Your heart rate is elevated.” Then he straightened, but he didn’t move back an inch. His voice was deep but quiet, soothing even. “You like me being close to you.”

Oh boy. I stepped away and ignored his statement. If he was going to voice my every reaction… “There’s an en suite bathroom also,” I said, opening the other door. “You can use anything in this house at any time. You don’t need to ask.”

Then I walked back to the hall and showed him the main bathroom. “This is the bathroom guests use,” I explained.

“Do we have guests often?”

We. He said we.

My heart galloped again, but he thankfully didn’t comment. I could only assume he picked up on my earlier discomfort. God, it was bad enough I was awkward with humans, but now I was awkward with androids as well.

“Uh, no. I haven’t had many guests in the past, and not for some time. I like my privacy, and I like things… a certain way.” That was probably putting my OCD mildly. “I prefer things in order and I enjoy quiet.”

I’d said that line a hundred times in my life. To work associates, friends, therapists, and my ex-boyfriend, and they all judged or responded as if I was broken and they could offer advice to fix me. But Shaun smiled at me. “I like those things too.”

My heart raced again, but this time it was from relief, gratitude, fondness even. His quiet, peaceful demeanour was so utterly perfect for me. I blinked a few times to clear my thoughts and showed him to my bedroom. I opened the door and almost reluctantly stepped inside. “This is my room.”

He walked in, taking in his surroundings. My room was quite large, with polished concrete floors, white walls, and white bedding, and charcoal grey artworks above the bed. Shaun did a slow 360, then stopped when he was facing me.

“Do you like it?” I asked, perplexed by his reaction. Did the white and grey bother one of his sensors? Or did he think it was cold and detached.

“It’s very peaceful,” he said.

It felt like the air was sucked out of the room, and I struggled to catch my breath, in a head-rush, remarkable kind of way. No one had understood that. Certainly not Ian. My ex had hated this room. I’d always said it made me calm, but he said he felt like he was in a museum, and that was not a compliment. But Shaun got it. Programmed to like what I liked or not, the relief I felt was unprecedented.

“Thank you,” I whispered.

Shaun studied me for a moment, tilting his head just so. Then, in two very humanlike steps, he stood in front of me. “Do you wish to have sex with me?” he asked.

I blinked in shock and dry swallowed. It took me a few attempts at speaking, but I finally managed to get my answer out.

“No.”

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Author N.R. Walker

Author N.R. Walker

About the Author
N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance. She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is many things: a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words. She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things… but likes it even more when they fall in love.

She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.

She’s been writing ever since…

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Where to Find N.R. Walker
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – THE SAME TIME (Time Series) by Brona Mills

THE SAME TIME Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for THE SAME TIME, the second book in the adult science fiction/time travelling series, Time, by Brona Mills. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THE SAME TIME (Time Series #2) by Brona Mills

THE SAME TIME (Time Series #2) by Brona Mills

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title:
THE SAME TIME
Series: Time Series #2
Author:
Brona Mills
Release Date: April 23, 2018
Genre: Adult Science Fiction/Time Travel
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
How much of the past do you need to change to keep everyone you love alive?

Twenty-one-year-old Stella, faces some tough life battles, and in her moments of need, she is visited and aided by a stranger, David. She doesn’t know it yet, but she’ll meet him again and again—always when her life is in danger—until one day, she meets him as a much younger man and this time, he doesn’t disappear.

He doesn’t remember her or the many times he’s saved her life, but when Stella learns that his life is in danger, can she do what she must to return the favour? Can she keep secrets from the man she loves in her own timeline, knowing it might destroy their relationship? Or change the biggest mistake in her life she has yet to make? What good is having a time traveller as your best friend, if nothing ever really changes?

 

 

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Excerpt #3
‘I did all I could for now. One day we’re going to make him leave for good.’ He runs his thumb under my eye and wipes away a tear. ‘I keep going farther into your past, but you’re safe now. I think I got them all.’

‘All of what?’

‘The times you died.’ The light surrounding him gets brighter and a shrill noise fills the space between us. ‘Don’t be scared. You’re an awesome mom, and the strongest little mouse I’ve ever met.’

The light and the noise evaporate, sucking him inside. The contrast with the regular lighting makes the room appear dark until my eyes adjust.

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Author Brona Mills

Author Brona Mills

About the Author
Brona Mills has defied the odds of overcoming dyslexia and failing High School English to become an author. Her first book, A Time for Everything, has been met with great reviews from both the romance readers and the sci-fi time travel lovers, that Brona kept the series going. Book two in the connected series, The Same Time is out 23rd April, and Brona’s not stopping there. She is currently working on two other projects, a novella in the connected Time Series, and a new stand alone time travel novel with a dystopian element.

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Where to find Brona Mills
Goodreads | Facebook | Amazon

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – EYE OF THE COLOSSUS (Holly Drake Job) by Nicole Grotepas

EYE OF THE COLOSSUS Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for EYE OF THE COLOSSUS, the first book in the adult science fiction/steampunk series, Holly Drake Job, by Nicole Grotepas. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

EYE OF THE COLOSSUS (Holly Drake Job #1) by Nicole Grotepas

EYE OF THE COLOSSUS (Holly Drake Job #1) by Nicole Grotepas

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: EYE OF THE COLOSSUS
Series: Holly Drake Job #1
Author: Nicole Grotepas
Release Date: April 19, 2018
Genre: Adult Science Fiction/Steampunk
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
The City of Jade Spires, the biggest in the 6-moons, is a breathtaking symbol of hope and unity for the four races. But it’s also a hub of corruption. Holly Drake is proof of that. Fresh out of prison for a mistake framed to look like cold murder, she’s broke, jobless, and branded with a prison record.

When she lands a gig stealing back the Eye of the Colossus jewels, the chance for a big payout means she won’t have to depend on anyone else. She’s never had that kind of freedom. She’ll do it. Even if the work is only a shade lighter than outright crime.

But soon she finds herself pursued by thugs from the Shadow Coalition, an underworld government that wants her dead. Pulling off the heist without getting killed means putting trust in recruits she hardly knows. The clock is ticking to get the jewels, but a mistake now could be fatal. Chasing across the 6-moons to complete the job will test her grit and determination to succeed when everything is stacked against her. More than that, finding out just what secrets the 6-moons hold will either turn her into the hero the moon system needs, or destroy her…

 

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Excerpt #3
“Come watch the ship unmooring,” Odeon said in that gentle song-like voice. “It’s a magnificent vision.”

“I’ll head to the dining room now. I’d like to get a read on it before Holly arrives. Don’t want any Shadow Coalition thugs surprising us.”

“Great idea. Keep me apprised, Shiro” Holly said, feeling better than ever.

She stood next to Odeon and gazed out the window. Kota was off to one side, while the space port took up much of the other side of the view. Above them, fat Ixion hovered, the borders of its famous stripes a bit less defined. Through the translucent windows of the space platform, she could see the colors of the different races and the bazaar type colors of the tents of the shops. Around the curved edge of the port, another ship loomed, waiting to depart. But departure was imminent for the Emerald Pioneer. The metal arm moorings detached and retracted toward the space-port. Soon, Holly caught sight of the solar sails as they unfurled in the storm of solar radiation and aetheric energy. She sensed a slight movement in the ship as the ground beneath her creaked and shifted. But it was very near the threshold of her ability to sense it, and she suspected that if she hadn’t been watching through the window, she’d not have even noticed. The ship retreated from the port and then caught the current and began to move at a steady clip away from Kota and the port, bound for Itzcap, the true paradise of the 6-moons.

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EYE OF THE COLOSSUS Teaser

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Author Nicole Grotepas

Author Nicole Grotepas

About the Author
I’m passionate about human rights, animal rights, and living life with no regrets. I love how becoming a parent has deepened my devotion to making the world a better place. I do that best by crafting stories that attempt to answer hard questions–the ones I think about most–while also being entertaining and fun. I live in a landscape that reminds me of my place in the universe, under an endless sky and towering mountains that are older than human memory, and I love it here.

 

 

 

Where to Find Nicole Grotepas
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Cover Reveal – WORLD SHIFT (The Eurynome Code) by K. Gorman

WORLD SHIFT Cover Reveal

Author K. Gorman is revealing the cover to WORLD SHIFT, the fourth book in her adult science fiction series, The Eurynome Code, releasing May 30, 2018. See below for the cover, information on the book and series, and buy links.

WORLD SHIFT (The Eurynome Code #4) by K. Gorman

WORLD SHIFT (The Eurynome Code #4) by K. Gorman

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: WORLD SHIFT
Series: The Eurynome Code #4
Author: K. Gorman
Release Date: May 30, 2018
Genre: Adult Science Fiction
Links:
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Some dreams can’t be ignored.

Over a month has passed since Karin Makos settled on Chamak. Together with her sister and the rest of the crew from the Nemina, she is finally able to do something useful in this war—heal the Lost that the Shadows have taken.

But time is not on their side, and more than the Shadow enemy lurks in the wings. Soon Karin finds herself fighting for her life in the forests of Nova Earth, plagued by strange, vivid dreams of her past, and racing hard to prevent the catastrophe that threatens to swallow the planet—because if she fails, it will be more than the planet that is lost.

Made for fans of Firefly, Stargate, and Battlestar Galactica, this fast-paced novel series contains some strong language, a lot of action, and more than its share of snark.

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WORLD SHIFT (The Eurynome Code #4) by K. Gorman (Full Cover)

WORLD SHIFT (The Eurynome Code #4) by K. Gorman (Full Cover)

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The Eurynome Code Series

Get caught up on the series:

Book 1: BLACK DAWN
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Book 2: RENEGADES
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Book 2: BLOOD TIES
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

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Author K. Gorman

Author K. Gorman

About the Author
An author from western Canada transplanted into western Taiwan, K. Gorman writes a mix of Science Fiction and Fantasy. When not writing or working her day job, one can find her wandering the neighborhoods with her camera, waiting for the next series of Killjoys to drop on Netflix, and scheming with other author friends for bigger, broader, bolder horizons.

 

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Where to find K. Gorman
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Amazon
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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – THE TRAITOR’S BRIDE (Keepers of Xereill Hente Cycle) by Alix Nichols

THE TRAITOR’S BRIDE Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for THE TRAITOR’S BRIDE, the first book in the adult science fiction romance series, Keepers of Xereill, Hente Cycle, by USA Today bestselling author, Alix Nichols. See below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.

THE TRAITOR'S BRIDE (Keepers of Xereill Hente Cycle #1) by Alix Nichols

THE TRAITOR’S BRIDE (Keepers of Xereill Hente Cycle #1) by Alix Nichols

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: THE TRAITOR’S BRIDE
Series: Keepers of Xereill, Hente Cycle #1
Author: Alix Nichols
Release Date: March 26, 2018
Genre: Adult Science Fiction Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
On her untamed gift hinges the future of a planet—and her lover’s life…

A month ago, ex-army Major Areg Sebi was thrown into prison. Now he’s on the scaffold, laying his head on the block.  No public trial for the disgraced war hero. No cyborgs from the League of Realms to whisk him away. No help. No escape.

A priestess chants a prayer for the major’s soul, even as a judge cries out, “Death to the traitor!”

In the crowd below, laundry maid Etana Tidryn stares into Areg’s eyes. His lips were hot against hers last night. His hands roamed her body, worshipped her, pleasured her. 

She’s falling for him, hard and fast. She’s still hoping, even if he’s given up…

Can Etana transcend everything she knows—transcend life itself—to save him?

Can she rise to meet her destiny?

 

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THE TRAITOR’S BRIDE Teaser 3

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Excerpt #2
She put her glass down. “Remember what you said about noble blood?”

Areg furrowed his brow.

“You said it didn’t mean much to you.” Etana gave him a sidelong look. “Is that true?”

His face brightened. “Absolutely. I’d say more—it shouldn’t mean much to anyone.”

“How so?”

“Two weeks ago, you found a loophole in Eia’s laws that none of my noble-born, learned friends had seen.”

She blushed, ridiculously pleased with his praise.

“And then a week later,” he continued, “you showed how strong the Ra was in your blood by transfixing thousands of people.”

The heat in Etana’s cheeks reached her ears, setting them on fire.

“And my blood?” Areg shrugged. “For all I know the Sebis are noble because one of our forefathers knew how to please Queen Glendra III.”

Etana giggled. “Why Queen Glendra III in particular?”

“Because she was… erm, voracious.” He gave her a wink. “She rewarded her most talented lovers by giving them titles and lands.”

Her eyes crinkled with mirth. “Are you saying that the first Lord Sebi was a very talented lover?”

He gave her a lopsided smile that made her want to remove all her clothes right there. It struck Etana that Areg was feeling as elated as she was. Gone was the constant crease between his eyebrows and the sadness that tinted his eyes. He looked carefree, happy to be alive, happy to be with her.

He was flirting with her, for Aheya’s sake.

Etana squinted at him. “Um… Are you saying the lovemaking talent runs in the Sebi blood?”

“As we just established, I don’t believe the Sebi blood is special,” Areg said. “So no, I’m not saying that.”

“Right.” She was unable to hide the disappointment in her voice.

“My talents are mine and mine alone. I don’t owe them to my ancestors. I owe them to years of training and arduous practice.”

“Training?” She bunched her brows, confused. “Arduous practice?”

“I was referring to my marksmanship.”

“Oh.”

His lips twitched as he struggled not to laugh. “Why? What were you imagining, Dame Tidryn?”

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THE TRAITOR’S BRIDE Teaser 2

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Author Alix Nichols

Author Alix Nichols

About the Author
Alix Nichols is an unapologetic caffeine addict and a longtime fan of Mr. Darcy, especially in his Colin Firth incarnation. 

She is a USA Today bestselling (April and June 2017) and Kindle Scout winning (December 2015) author of sexy romance novels that readers describe as yummylicious. According to Romantic Times, her books “will keep you hanging off the edge of your seat”. Kirkus Reviews claims they “deliver pure pleasure”. 

At the age of six, Alix released her first romance. It featured highly creative spelling on a dozen pages stitched together and bound in velvet paper. 

Decades later, she still writes. Her spelling has improved (somewhat), and her books have topped the Amazon charts around the world. She lives in France with her family and their almost-human dog.

Sign up for her newsletter to get a free bundle!

Where to Find Alix Nichols
Goodreads | Website | NewsleterFacebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Amazon | BookBub

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Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Traitor's Bride by Alix Nichols

The Traitor’s Bride

by Alix Nichols

Giveaway ends April 03, 2018.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Excerpt Reveal + Giveaway – TRUE STORM (True Born Trilogy) by L.E. Sterling

True Storm Excerpt Reveal

Entangled Teen and author L.E. Sterling are revealing an excerpt from TRUE STORM, the third book in the young adult science fiction/dystopian trilogy, True Born, releasing May 1, 2018. See below for information on the book and series, pre-order links, and an exclusive excerpt.

TRUE STORM (True Born Trilogy #3) by L.E. Sterling

TRUE STORM (True Born Trilogy #3) by L.E. Sterling

About the Book
Title: TRUE STORM
Series: True Born Trilogy #3
Author: L.E. Sterling
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: May 1, 2018
Genre:
Young Adult Science Fiction/Dystopian Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CABarnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Entangled Teen

Synopsis
Lucy’s twin sister, Margot, may be safely back with her―but all is not well in Plague-ravaged Dominion City. The Watchers have come out of hiding, spreading chaos and death throughout the city, and suddenly Lucy finds herself under pressure to choose her future: does it lie with her handsome new friend, Alastair; her guardian, the enigmatic True Born leader Nolan Storm; or the man who makes her heart trip, her savage True Born bodyguard Jared Price?

But while Lucy ponders her path, fate has other plans. Betrayal is a cruel lesson, and the Fox sisters can hardly believe who is behind the plot against them. To survive this deadly game of politics, Lucy is forced to agree to a marriage of convenience. But is the DNA of her will stronger than the forces opposing her? Can she turn the tide against the oncoming storm??

As they say in Dominion, can rogue genes ever have a happy ending?

 

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Excerpt
His hands still on my face. “I’m sorry,” I manage to say, trying to control a nervous need to giggle like a hyena. “Are we fighting? Maybe I didn’t notice because it’s all we ever seem to do.”

A wicked grin lights his features. “That’s not all we seem to do,” he whispers, seconds before he replaces his thumb with his lips.

It’s a soft kiss at first, tentative. Like someone asking your name. But it lights me up, sending fire shooting through my body, heat curling through my belly. I must sigh because Jared pulls back for just a moment, a question in his eyes and hunger written all over him. Then he claims my lips again, holding my face in his hands as the earth spins away from me.

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Get caught up on the series:

Book 1: TRUE BORN
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CABarnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Entangled Teen

Book 2: TRUE NORTH
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CABarnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Entangled Teen

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Author L.E. Sterling

Author L.E. Sterling

About the Author
L.E. Sterling had an early obsession with sci-fi, fantasy and romance to which she remained faithful even through an M.A. in Creative Writing and a PhD in English Literature – where she completed a thesis on magical representation. She is the author of two previous novels, the cult hit Y/A novel The Originals (under pen name L.E. Vollick), dubbed “the Catcher in the Rye of a new generation” by one reviewer, and the urban fantasy Pluto’s Gate.

Originally hailing from Parry Sound, Ontario, L.E. spent most of her summers roaming across Canada in a van with her father, a hippie musician, her brothers and an occasional stray mutt – inspiring her writing career. She currently lives in Toronto, Ontario. .

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Where to Find L.E. Sterling
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – OATH FORGER (Oath Forger ) by Nia Mars

OATH FORGER Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for OATH FORGER, the first book in the adult science fiction romance series, Oath Forger, by Nia MarsSee below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway. You can currently pick up the first book for just $0.99.

OATH FORGER (Oath Forger #1 ) by Nia Mars

OATH FORGER (Oath Forger #1 ) by Nia Mars

About the Book
Title: OATH FORGER
Series: Oath Forger #1
Author: Nia Mars
Release Date: February 27, 2018
Genre:
 Adult Science Fiction Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
I’m a scavenger. So what? With society’s collapse on Earth, I do what I have to for survival. Especially after I’m kidnapped by space pirates. I have no idea why the five most powerful rulers in the universe decide that I’m the Oath Forger, the one foretold to fuse their royal houses together and bring peace. But I’m going to play along. Because, hey, it’s better than probes in uncomfortable places. Now let’s just hope they don’t find out I’m lying.

 

 

 

 

 

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Excerpt #2
I’m learning to read!

When I look at him, his smile is one of encouragement, but the hunger in his gaze says he’d rather be doing other things with me in bed. I snap my gaze back to the screen.

“Moah,” he says.

“Moo.”

He sighs and puts an index finger on each corner of my mouth to tug it wider. “Moah.”

His fingers are on my lips, and he’s incredibly close. I think my heart stops beating. “Meh.”

He laughs, and I laugh with him. He’s shown not one flicker of impatience. His entire demeanor says he wants nothing more in this world than to help me learn his alphabet. I want him to kiss me so much it hurts.

Bad idea. Can’t happen. It simply can’t happen.

“Moah,” I say. “Does it have meaning beyond the name of the letter?”

“It means mine in the old language. It’s a word of claiming.”

Then his lips are on my lips. And then his arms are around me, and I’m somehow straddling him the next second as he’s kissing me, the lesson forgotten.

So this is kissing.

I have never been kissed like this before. I’ve only had a man’s tongue in my mouth. But this is not a let’s-see-what-it-feels-like kind of deal. Kissing Koah is mutual annihilation. My body is burning up with heat and need.

He is not taking this slowly. He is not taking his time. He is not giving me a chance to get used to the idea that he’s somehow the master of my body.

His large hands cover my hips and he’s holding me in place, pressed against his iron rod between my legs. He only stops the ravaging of my lips to say, “Moah,” in a ragged voice, then he is back to kissing me once again.

An elemental connection pounds to life between us, and I forget everything else. I forget where I am. I forget Earth.

His hands slide down to cup my butt cheeks and he drags me along his thick shaft.

Oh. Ah.

I want this. I want him. I want to give in.

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OATH FORGER Series

 —————————————————————————–

Author Nia Mars

Author Nia Mars

About the Author
Books. Reading. Writing. Playing with the dog. That’s my life, in a nutshell. I love discovering new authors and new trends. Hello Reverse Harem novels!!!! Where have you been all my life? I love everything sci-fi, paranormal, and fantasy. I eat enough chocolate that at this point, I’m probably made of chocolate. OK, chocolate and coffee.

WHAT’S NEW: I’ve just published OATH FORGER, a soon-to-be bestselling, post-apocalyptic, reverse harem, sci-fi romance serial. Ha! Say that three times fast. J

WHAT ELSE: If you’d rather try a standalone sci-fi romance from me, grab WARLORD. And make sure you don’t sit near anything flammable while reading it. Because it’s HOT. Whatever level of heat you’re thinking right now? Double it. (Not recommended if you don’t have AC, or at least a ceiling fan.) You’ve been warned.

IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A DRAGON: Check out DRAGON LORD, my dragon-shifter romance. And be prepared to lose your heart to a sexy, grumpy dragon. The best kind!

MY WISH LIST: (In case my fairy grandmother is reading this.)

For the OATH FORGER series to find readers who love these stories as much as I do. Finishing my Master’s Degree in (what else) Writing Creative Fiction. (When I’m not writing books, I’m doing homework.)

WARRANTY: Your satisfaction is very important to me. If you have a complaint, please write it on a box of 50-piece Assorted Godiva Chocolate Truffles, and mail it to my office. I promise to personally see to all complaints..

Where to Find Nia Mars
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Release Day – THE TRAITOR’S BRIDE (Keepers of Xereill Hente Cycle) by Alix Nichols

THE TRAITOR’S BRIDE Release Day

Today is release day for THE TRAITOR’S BRIDE, the first book in the adult science fiction romance series, Keepers of Xereill, Hente Cycle, by USA Today bestselling author, Alix Nichols. See below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.

THE TRAITOR'S BRIDE (Keepers of Xereill Hente Cycle #1) by Alix Nichols

THE TRAITOR’S BRIDE (Keepers of Xereill Hente Cycle #1) by Alix Nichols

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: THE TRAITOR’S BRIDE
Series: Keepers of Xereill, Hente Cycle #1
Author: Alix Nichols
Release Date: March 26, 2018
Genre: Adult Science Fiction Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
On her untamed gift hinges the future of a planet—and her lover’s life…

A month ago, ex-army Major Areg Sebi was thrown into prison. Now he’s on the scaffold, laying his head on the block.  No public trial for the disgraced war hero. No cyborgs from the League of Realms to whisk him away. No help. No escape.

A priestess chants a prayer for the major’s soul, even as a judge cries out, “Death to the traitor!”

In the crowd below, laundry maid Etana Tidryn stares into Areg’s eyes. His lips were hot against hers last night. His hands roamed her body, worshipped her, pleasured her. 

She’s falling for him, hard and fast. She’s still hoping, even if he’s given up…

Can Etana transcend everything she knows—transcend life itself—to save him?

Can she rise to meet her destiny?

 

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Excerpt
The massive lash hit Areg Sebi’s bared back anew.

A gasp rippled through the crowd.

Etana Tidryn had never seen a whip like that before. It had multiple tails with knots at each end.

She looked closer, and gulped. The knots had claws. Every single knot was woven with small shards of glass and metal barbs to make it even nastier than it already was.

Raising his arm high above his head, the flogger struck again, hard.

The man on Etana’s left cheered.

The two women on her right unwrapped their bread rolls, bit into them, and began to chew with a single-minded keenness. Their faces reflected a mixture of horror and fascination.

“Still regret skipping breakfast?” the older of the two asked the younger one.

“You joking?” The younger woman smiled. “This show is absolutely worth it!”

Their gazes never left the scaffold while they talked.

Etana turned away from them.

To her relief, few people in the crowd seemed to share her neighbors’ enthusiasm. Many averted their heads, cringing with pity for Lord Sebi. A few brave souls even dared to hum and drone in defiance, risking jail time if the cops found them out. Clearly, they didn’t believe the charges leveled against their hero.

Everything had happened so fast!

Lord Sebi’s reputation had always been unmarred, as clean as the springs on Mount Crog. An heir to a long line of noble-bloods famous for their integrity, he was destined for a great future in Eia.

Then Teteum invaded the realm.

Lord Sebi joined the army and rose to major. His bravery on the battlefield earned him several decorations, including a Golden Double Serpent Wand—Eia’s highest honor. When his parents and younger sister died in a tragic accident, there was no end to letters of sympathy people sent him from all four corners of the realm. Everyone in Eia looked up to him, hung on his every word, admired, and even worshipped him.

And then, a month ago, Police Chief Zorom Ultek arrested him.

The Orogate Daily revealed “the truth” about Areg Sebi, which Etana didn’t believe for a second. Neither did her parents, or her brother and sister. Nor, apparently, many others here in Iltaqa.

The flogger brandished his freak whip again. It laid a long, ragged line of red into Lord Sebi’s broad back. Etana’s cheeks flamed the instant she realized she was ogling the distinctly masculine shape of his back, despite the grim reason it had been exposed.

Divine Aheya, the shame!

But what with Pa being so straitlaced, and her brother Rhori so hopelessly shy, she’d never seen a grown man’s bare upper body before. And Areg Sebi’s was something to behold.

Once more, the whip cracked against Lord Sebi’s back. The knots bit into his flayed skin, peeling strips of it off.

Etana shuddered and gripped Rhori’s arm.

But she didn’t avert her eyes.

The town of Iltaqa hadn’t seen a public punishment in over a year, ever since the “space conmen” floggings.

In the early months of the Teteum invasion, when things looked bad for Eia, four enterprising individuals set up a daring scam. Over several weeks, they sold hundreds of tickets to a bogus rescue transport. The transport was supposed to arrive from Norbal in the neighboring solar system and take the ticket-holding refugees off Hente. Norbal’s booming economy needed the extra workforce and talent, the conmen had explained.

When no transport materialized, the swindled ticket holders—most of them proficients and noble-bloods—reported the scammers to the police. The authorities caught them, confiscated their booty for the war effort, and had them flogged in Town Hall Square.

In retrospect, that punishment looked like a mother’s spanking next to Lord Sebi’s treatment. The whip came down again on the bloody ruin of his back, making him arch and grunt in pain.

Letting go of Rhori’s arm, Etana scrabbled at her chest through the layers of her work apron, dress and underwear until her fingers found her Serpent Coil pendant. She began to stroke the ouroboros, her lips moving in a silent prayer.

Suddenly, a buzz-like sound invaded her ears.

She scanned her surroundings for its source before realizing it was coming from inside her. There were other sounds, too—sounds she hadn’t noticed until that moment. Sparrows chirped in the distance, squirrels scampered up and down the old oak trees across the square, bugs hummed in the lush flowerbeds, and a dog growled in a yard.

Etana felt dizzy.

The air around her, the very air she breathed, acquired a strangely sticky quality. Something invisible wheeled and eddied in the sky over her head.

Divine Aheya only knew why, a childhood memory flashed in Etana’s mind. She saw herself, her parents and Rhori standing around Mayka’s high chair, watching stern-looking vestals examine her baby sister. But the memory was blurry and, for the life of her, Etana couldn’t recall what had gone down that day or why she was recollecting it now.

Could it have something to do with the sultry, fog-like substance condensing above her?

Whatever it was, it spun faster and faster, the whirlpool descending toward her, inexorable.

Suddenly, she was trembling in its eye.

When it burst into her chest like a gale-force wind, she gasped and fought for breath. Except, there was no room in her lungs for air. They were filled to the brim with the mysterious fog.

Etana coughed, desperately trying to rid herself of it. No luck. Her knees wobbled, and just as she was about to faint, the substance left her body, and dissipated without a trace.

A flurry of lash strokes descended on Lord Sebi’s back in quick succession, the whip leaving deep welts rimmed with blood.

Etana swayed and leaned against Rhori, who wrapped an arm around her shoulders.

“Only a couple dozen more,” he whispered in her ear. “It’ll be over soon.”

A couple dozen more.

Etana dug her nails into her palms when the next stroke landed, adding another crimson groove to Lord Sebi’s back.

A man in gold-rimmed black robes stepped forward from the box on the side of the scaffold where notables sat during major events. He raised his hand, commanding everyone’s attention.

Etana had never seen him before. She gave her brother a quizzical look.

“It’s Lord Mahabmet, the high judge,” Rhori said, surveying the man. “I’ve seen his picture in the Gazette. He almost never leaves the capital.”

Etana knitted her brows. “Haven’t you wondered why Lord Sebi is being flogged here and not in Orogate?”

Rhori nodded. “I have, as have all my friends.”

“Orogate is only an hour’s ride from Iltaqa,” Etana went on. “No more than twenty minutes in a motorized vehicle. Why didn’t they transfer Lord Sebi to Old Kingdom Prison? Why isn’t he being flogged in Republic Square?”

On the scaffold, the high judge cleared his throat. “Silence!”

“It simply doesn’t follow,” Etana said, looking up at Rhori.

He pressed his index finger to his mouth. “Shush. Lord Mahabmet is about to say something.”

Etana dutifully shut her mouth. She was a Tidryn, after all. A menial. Shutting up was what menials did every time a noble-born, a priestess, or a proficient opened their mouth.

Etana never understood why the likes of her were considered so vastly inferior to everyone else. It was said that menials had no Ra spark left in them. Not a drop of the ancient Original Race of Xereill. Their blood was thin, all imported, all human.

Except, where was the proof of that?

Not a single book in the Temple Library supported that belief. Menials, just like everyone else on Hente, were cut from the same Ra-human cloth. True, they had no Ra abilities, or “gifts.” Then again, no one on the entire planet did. But it was menials who’d been pushed to the bottom and told they belonged there.

It bothered her.

What bothered her even more was how pliantly other menials—including her family—accepted their fate. Mother and Father believed that the rigid makeup of Hente’s society was what kept things together, what had saved their civilization from falling apart in the wake of the Cataclysm. Rhori believed that, too. Everyone she knew did…

Except for Lord Sebi.

“Townsfolk of Iltaqa!” the high judge bellowed. “I’ve interrupted Areg Sebi’s punishment because I’ve just received a transmission from Governor Boggond!”

He held up a small device in his hand that Etana had never seen before.

Her breath hitched.

Could it be…?

Could it be that the governor’s transmission exonerated Lord Sebi of the terrible accusations that sleazy Chief Ultek had mounted against him?

She tightened her grip on her ouroboros pendant, her body tensing as if her own fate hung in the balance.

“Governor Boggond, who couldn’t be present due to matters of state,” Judge Mahabmet said, “is asking me to recap Areg Sebi’s charges so that all of you present understand their gravity.”

Etana’s heart sank.

The high judge pointed at Lord Sebi. “The man in front of you is not who you thought he was. He is no hero. He’s a traitor. He had colluded with Teteum at the end of the war in a conspiracy to discredit Eia’s legitimate government and Lord Boggond himself.”

“Prove it!” someone shouted from the middle of the crowd.

“Did he confess?” a second voice joined in.

Chief Ultek jumped up from his seat in the box and shouted to his men, “Find those whoresons! Bring them to me!”

“There’s no need, Chief Ultek,” Judge Mahabmet said, gesturing to the cops to stay put. “Those are legitimate questions.”

The crowd grew quiet.

The high judge forced a smile. “I don’t blame those young men. They only voiced what many in Eia are thinking.”

The silence grew laden.

Judge Mahabmet firmed his jaw. “I am not going to lie to you. We don’t have a confession.”

An “ah” tore through the crowd.

“But we don’t need one.” Judge Mahabmet pointed to Ultek. “Chief Ultek’s investigation has uncovered evidence which proves Areg Sebi’s guilt beyond doubt. We will present it to the citizens of Eia shortly, as soon as it is properly cataloged and recorded.”

Rhori gave Etana a disconcerted look as if he didn’t know what to think after that revelation.

She crossed her arms. No, honestly.

Her deferential brother was prepared to believe empty words just because a high-ranking lord had uttered them. Um… all right, a lord who happened to be a respected judge. And not just any judge, but the high judge of the Realm himself, a paragon of fairness and wisdom.

But then why did she, a laundry maid, doubt his words?

Oh, she knew why. Because of the other words spoken by Lord Sebi a few weeks ago in her employer’s house.

Those words had given her wings.

“Remember Lord Sebi’s talk at the Gokk House?” she whispered to Rhori.

He nodded.

“The wonders he described, the possibilities…”

“The amazing level-two tech,” Rhori said, his expression dreamy.

“Remember how harshly he spoke of the caretaker governor?”

Rhori knitted his brows. “What are you saying? You can’t possibly—”

“Resume the flogging!” Judge Mahabmet cried without taking his eyes off the crowd.

The flogger struck with renewed ferocity. Once, twice, three times… Red stripes erupted on either side of Areg Sebi’s spine, blood oozing down their length. His face became a grimace of pain as he groaned, but kept his jaws pressed together.

On the next stroke, his body surged and then fell limp, his head lolling.

Etana turned to her brother. “This is so wrong! I can’t just stand here and watch.”

“What can we do, Etti?” Rhori whispered softly. “What can anyone do to help the poor soul?”

She surveyed the scaffold. Dozens of heavily armed cops stood all around it. Rhori was right. There was nothing anyone—even the strongest and most agile of men—could do to help Areg Sebi.

Nothing at all.

Then why that feeling that she should do something? That she must do something? Because she could.

She screwed up her eyes. It was ridiculous.

Fancying herself a rich-blood endowed with a gift she could harness to rescue Lord Sebi was a folly. For starters, no gift she could conceive of would overpower the town’s entire police force. Besides, she had no gift. No one on Hente had them anymore.

After the Cataclysm, the air of the planet changed, and the radiation emanating from it suppressed all the existing gifts in the survivors. No rich-bloods were ever recorded since then, not even among noble-borns, with ostensibly more Ra blood than the others.

The loss of gifts was how Divine Aheya had punished Hente for its arrogance.

Everyone knew that.

As did Etana.

And that whirlwind she’d felt earlier? It had been just a panic attack. Or, worse—a figment of her imagination, a childish fantasy that she was special. Like the Gokks’ youngest, Benty, who would cover his eyes with his plump little hands and declare he was invisible.

The grown-ups and his older siblings would humor him. “Where is Benty?” they’d ask. “He’s gone. I can’t see him. Where did he disappear to?” The boy would squeal and clap his hands in delight before opening his eyes. “Bam! I’m back!”

That kind of delusion of power could be forgiven in a young child, even encouraged to an extent. But it was unpardonable in someone like her.

The flogger’s final blow shook Lord Sebi’s dangling body without drawing so much as a twitch from it.

He was unconscious.

The high judge stepped forward once again. “We are done for today. Areg Sebi will receive fifty more lashes here in Town Hall Square in exactly one week, next Firstday, the twenty-sixth of Mid-Summer, Xer-year 701 of the New Ra-human Era.”

The crowd rumbled, appalled.

“The man needs to recover!” someone shouted.

“You can’t do that!” Etana heard herself yell.

Several heads turned toward her, and Rhori gave her a round-eyed look.

“Oh, but we can and, given the gravity of his crime, we certainly will,” Judge Mahabmet said. “Unless he confesses between now and next Firstday.”

He wouldn’t. Etana was sure of it.

“But, confession or no,” the judge added, raising his voice, “my colleagues and I will return with a verdict on Areg Sebi by then. It will be announced here, next Firstday.”

“What do you think it would be?” Etana whispered to Rhori.

“For high treason?” He gave her an apologetic look as if to say, you know what.

“Death,” she said on an exhale.

“They never move this fast.” Rhori knitted his brows. “Even court-martials during the war didn’t move this fast.”

Etana hardly heard him.

Her mind was on fire, scrambling for options, for something, for anything she could do for Areg Sebi.

Perhaps…

She clenched her jaws, determined. 

Tonight, as soon as she finished work at the Gokk House, she’d go to the temple. She’d beg the vestals to let her spend the night, and every night between now and the twenty-sixth, in their library. She’d read every code and custom book, every law, every compilation of decrees and edicts they had in there.

Since rescuing Lord Sebi through an imaginary gift was a nonstarter, perhaps there was a doable way to ease his suffering.

Maybe she’d find a law which forbade convicting a citizen of Eia, no matter his crime, without a proper trial and without a chance to defend himself. Failing that, she might uncover a ruling which prohibited giving anyone—even a convicted traitor—more lashes than the Ra-human body could endure.

Or maybe something else, completely unexpected.

If there was anything at all that could help Lord Areg Sebi, even in a tiny way, she’d find it.

She had to.

 —————————————————————————-

Author Alix Nichols

Author Alix Nichols

About the Author
Alix Nichols is an unapologetic caffeine addict and a longtime fan of Mr. Darcy, especially in his Colin Firth incarnation. 

She is a USA Today bestselling (April and June 2017) and Kindle Scout winning (December 2015) author of sexy romance novels that readers describe as yummylicious. According to Romantic Times, her books “will keep you hanging off the edge of your seat”. Kirkus Reviews claims they “deliver pure pleasure”. 

At the age of six, Alix released her first romance. It featured highly creative spelling on a dozen pages stitched together and bound in velvet paper. 

Decades later, she still writes. Her spelling has improved (somewhat), and her books have topped the Amazon charts around the world. She lives in France with her family and their almost-human dog.

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Where to Find Alix Nichols
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