Release Day + Giveaway – SUPERHERO SYNDROME (Solstice Survivors) by Caryn Larrinaga

SUPERHERO SYNDROME Release Day

Today is release day for SUPERHERO SYNDROME, the first book in the new adult scifi/urban fantasy/superhero series, Solstice Survivors, by Caryn Larrinaga. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

SUPERHERO SYNDROME (Solstice Survivors #1) by Caryn Larrinaga

SUPERHERO SYNDROME (Solstice Survivors #1) by Caryn Larrinaga

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited!
Title: SUPERHERO SYNDROME
Series: Solstice Survivors #1
Author: Caryn Larrinaga
Publisher: Twisted Tree Press
Genre: New Adult Science Fiction/Urban Fantasy/Superhero
Release Date: September 12, 2017
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU 

Synopsis
Tess McBray was dying. The Solstice Syndrome had no cure, and she resigned herself to an early grave. But just when she gave up on survival, all her symptoms mysteriously disappeared.

All but one symptom, anyway. Something is wrong with Tess’s hands. They absorb any material they touch, and her skin turns to wood, or steel, or concrete. It doesn’t take this comic-book obsessed 21-year-old long to figure out what’s going on: somehow, she’s developed super powers. And she’s not the only one; across the country, people are coming forward and sharing their gifts with the world. In her own city, where the police are battling a human trafficking operation, a masked vigilante called The Fox is saving lives and stopping criminals.

Tess doesn’t know where she fits into this new, super-powered world. But when people around her start disappearing, she can’t just sit on the sidelines. Teaming up with The Fox might be the only way to rid her city of evil and save the people she loves most.

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Excerpt
I felt someone’s eyes on me but ignored them. I knew what I looked like. I knew how my hazel eyes had started to look too big for their sockets and how my swollen joints looked wildly out of proportion with my thin limbs. I snuggled into the blankets and pulled out my sketch pad, drawing the people around me to keep my fingers warm. In front of me, a short woman with poofy red curls was digging around in a picnic basket, handing sandwiches to the two small children who sat beside her. To my right, a middle-aged guy with glasses was cringing as he tried to pop the cork on a champagne bottle. I flinched when he finally succeeded. The cork shot off into the trees, and the people around him laughed nervously, probably as happy as I was that they hadn’t lost an eye.

A lump formed in my throat, and I gripped my pencil tighter as I sketched. Everyone here had a future. They had something to look forward to tomorrow… and the day after that. Once the meteor shower was over, they’d go home to warm kitchens and cups of hot cocoa and talk about how perfect and beautiful the night had been.

And I… well, I’d be here until someone found me, I supposed.

The sky above us was rapidly darkening. Millions of stars shone, and everyone in the clearing stared upward, waiting for the show to begin.

The universe did not disappoint.

Sometime around midnight, a streak of light appeared above me. I gasped as it bolted partway across my field of vision before vanishing. A few minutes later, another appeared. Then another. It was unlike any meteor shower I’d ever seen, and from the gasps and oohs around me, I could tell I wasn’t alone in my awe.

I tasted salt. When did I start crying?

The cold seeped through my jacket and Davies’ blanket, stinging my skin, but it didn’t bother me. My tears could freeze right on my face for all I cared. I could melt into the ground beneath me and not even feel it. There was no looking away; I was riveted by the magic above me.

Three lights appeared in the sky at once. They were much brighter than the streaks that had preceded them, and they tore through the stars like soldiers rushing into battle. My eyes went wide. I knew it had to be an optical illusion, but they appeared to be coming right at me.

As the meteors sped toward the clearing, a rushing sound filled my ears, growing louder with each breath. A wave of nausea hit me, and I realized I was about to pass out. It’d been happening a lot lately. The edges of my vision fuzzed into blackness, but the cluster of meteors shone in the center, still appearing to speed directly at me.

This is it, I thought.

This was no ordinary fainting spell. It was different; I could feel it. The skin from the top of my head down to the soles of my feet began to tingle and burn, and my heart pounded in my ears.

These were my last moments.

A face, so much like my own, swam in front of my eyes. My sister smiled at me, but her eyes were filled with sadness.

“Goodbye, Bethany,” I whispered.

And the world went dark.

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Author Caryn Larrinaga

Author Caryn Larrinaga

About the Author
Caryn Larrinaga is a Basque-American mystery, horror, and urban fantasy writer living in Utah with her husband and cats. Her debut novel Donn’s Hill (March 2017, Immortal Works Press) garnered rave reviews from fans of the cozy mystery and paranormal genres, and her new urban fantasy Superhero Syndrome (September 2017, Twisted Tree Press) will be out this fall. Watching scary movies through split fingers terrified Caryn as a child, and those nightmares inspire her to write now. She lives in a 90-year-old house with a colorful history, and the creaking walls and narrow hallways send her running (never walking) up the stairs from her basement. Exploring her fears through writing makes Caryn feel a little less foolish for wanting a buddy to accompany her into the tool shed.

When her fingers aren’t glued to her laptop keyboard, Caryn also enjoys binge-watching Netflix with her husband, reading, playing video games, and filling up her phone’s flash memory with pictures of her cats. She loves music and plays the bass guitar. Caryn is an active member of the League of Utah Writers and the Utah Chapter of the Horror Writers Association.

Where to Find Caryn Larrinaga
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Twisted Tree Press

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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – REWIRED by S.R. Johannes

REWIRED Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for REWIRED, a stand-alone young cyber thriller, by S.R. Johannes. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway. You can purchase the ebook for just $3.99 or read for free with Kindle Unlimited.

REWIRED by S.R. Johannes

REWIRED by S.R. Johannes

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited.
Title:
 REWIRED
Author: S.R. Johannes
Publisher: Coleman & Stott
Release Date: August 27, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Cyber Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU 

Synopsis
YA cyber thriller, ReWIRED, by Shelli Johannes-Wells (writing as S.R. Johannes), which offers a fresh and exciting new take on the genre, and could be described as Ally Carter’s HEIST SOCIETY meets THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO for teens.

Sixteen-year-old Ada Lovelace is never more alive and sure of herself than when she’s hacking into a “secure” network as her alter ego, the Dark Angel. In the real world, Ada is broken, reeling from her best friend Simone’s recent suicide. But online, the reclusive daughter of Senator Lovelace (champion of the new Online Privacy Bill) is a daring white hat hacker and the only female member of the Orwellians, an elite group responsible for a string of high-profile hacks against major corporations, with a mission to protect the little guy. Ada is swiftly proving she’s a force to be reckoned with, when a fellow Orwellian betrays her to the FBI. To protect her father’s career, Ada is sent to ReBoot, a technology rehab facility for teens…the same rehab Simone attended right before killing herself.

It’s bad enough that the ReBoot facility is creepy in an Overlook-Hotel-meets-Winchester-Mansion way, but when Ada realizes Simone’s suicide is just one in an increasingly suspicious string of “accidental” deaths and “suicides” occurring just after kids leave ReBoot, Ada knows she can’t leave without figuring out what really happened to her best friend. The massive cyber conspiracy she uncovers will threaten everything she cares about–her dad’s career, her new relationship with a wry, handsome, reformed hacker who gets under her skin, and most of all–the version of herself Ada likes best–the Dark Angel.

With a deliciously twisty plot, the topical bite of Cory Doctorow’s LITTLE BROTHER, ReWIRED delves into technology addiction, internet privacy, and corporate/government collection of data, as it vividly illuminates the universally human questions about ethics, privacy, and self-definition that both underpin these socio-political issues and dovetail with classic coming-of-age themes. Ultimately, ReWIRED is about the daily choices we all make about who we want to be, how much of ourselves we choose to share with others, and the terrifying risks and exhilarating rewards of being ourselves, online and off..

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Excerpt #3
The lab smells like burned toast.

Fisher races back in the room. “Ada, I think this place is on fire. We gotta go.” When I finish uploading the files, he grabs my hand and yanks me out of the room.

We race down the hall and push through a door that leads us to an empty stale room with nothing but a mahogany fireplace in one corner. The small space is already filling with thick, black smoke, and the heat is unbearable. When I glance back, the steel door starts to turn red from the intense temperatures.

This must be what hell feels like.

Fisher tugs on my sleeve. “This place is going to torch quickly. It’s a freakin’ tinderbox.”

And he’s right, the place is already blazing with fire. My eyes burn as I cover my mouth with my shirt, coughing. “Which way?”

“There.” He points in the opposite direction.

As we weave through the labyrinth of suffocating rooms and tiny hallways, neither of us speaks. The air is heavy with soot, burning my throat. Thick gray spirals of smoke crawl out of the cracks in the walls, curling finger-like tendrils around my throat.

I try to control my smoke intake. “Now what?” I choke out.

“Breathe shallow, stay low, and keep moving.” He hands me his handkerchief. “Keep this over your mouth.”

We wind through the twisting hall until we reach a stairway. Flames nip at our heels like a pack of seething dogs. The searing air singes the tiny hairs on my face. I panic and gulp in dirty air, igniting a fit of hacking. The fire alarm remains silent, so I’m guessing help is out of the question. It’s possible that no one at ReBoot is aware of the danger stewing behind the main house.

I holler into the rag, muffling the rising panic in my voice. “We’re trapped!”

Fisher dashes around, frantically opening and slamming cupboards, searching for a hidden escape route. In this place, you never know. The fire prowls across the floor, roaring at anything in its path. The flames chase us, rolling in from all sides.

Fisher steps on a trapdoor in the floor. “Here!” He dusts off the opening with his shoes and jerks the round latch. The wood planks squeak open, revealing a kitchen on the floor below us. He drops through the hole and lands in a kneeling position on the rusted stove.

A beam in the ceiling splits and comes crashing down behind me. I scream and lower myself through the opening, hanging by my hands.

“Drop!” Fisher screams.

I release my grip and hit the counter.

This time, he breaks my fall by grabbing my waist, but pain sears through my sore leg. I crumple to the floor. Without missing a beat, Fisher scoops me up and races toward an exit, half carrying me.

Somewhere in the maze, a door slams. Clunky footsteps cross the floor moving closer and closer.

“Someone’s chasing us,” I hiss under my breath.

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Author S.R. Johannes

Author S.R. Johannes

About the Author
S.R. Johannes is the award-winning author of the Amazon bestselling Nature of Grace thriller series (Untraceable, Uncontrollable, and Unstoppable). She is a winner of the IndieReader Discovery Award in YA, an IPPY a Silver Medalist for YA Fiction, a Finalist in The Kindle Book Review’s Best Young Adult Fiction, and a Finalist in US Book News Best YA Book.

Since leaving Corporate America, she has followed her passion for writing and conservation by working with The Dolphin Project, the Atlanta Zoo, other animal rescue organizations, and by weaving conservation themes into her books.

Currently, she lives in Atlanta, GA with her English-accented husband and the huge imaginations of their prince and princess, which she hopes- someday- will change the world.

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Where to Find S.R. Johannes
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – IVAR’S PRIZE by Amy Pennza

IVAR'S PRIZE Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for IVAR’S PRIZE, a stand-alone adult science fiction romance series, by Amy Pennza. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

IVAR'S PRIZE by Amy Pennza

IVAR’S PRIZE by Amy Pennza

About the Book
Title: IVAR’S PRIZE
Author: Amy Pennza
Publisher: Loose ID, LLC
Release Date: July 10, 2017
Genre:
Adult Science Fiction Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Synopsis
Nadia Green has everything–power, prestige, and a fiancé. That all ends when she’s sentenced to life on the prison planet Tolbos. Within hours of landing, Nadia finds herself captured, stripped, and placed on an auction block, where she’s purchased by Ivar Holok, a brutal warlord with golden eyes and an ability to wield kaptum with a mastery unlike anyone she’s ever seen.

Ivar is instantly attracted to the beautiful slave, but he suspects her presence on Tolbos has sinister implications. The Council wants him dead, and what better way to achieve its goal than by planting an irresistible assassin in his bed? No matter how much he wants to trust her, Ivar has to protect his people–even if it means denying Nadia her freedom. He vows to keep her enslaved and at his mercy until she confesses her involvement in the Council’s schemes, but he didn’t count on the slave enthralling her master.

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Excerpt #3
Nadia seethed as her new captor pulled her down the platform steps. What an ass! He could have at least given her his shirt.

She was acutely aware of her nudity as he tugged her through the crowd, which had barely thinned since he’d freed her from the manacles. Men stared openly at her breasts, her legs, and the juncture of her thighs. Something brushed her backside, making her spurt forward—an action she immediately regretted when her breasts bounced, drawing more stares.

The warlord seemed unaware of her discomfort as he pulled her through the sea of bodies, her fingers tight around her biceps. She struggled to match his long strides. She stepped on a rock, the sharp edge like a nail in her foot. She swore under her breath. She’d had enough of being dragged around.

She tugged at his grip. “I can walk just fine on my own.”

He hauled her against his side, and she gasped. He put his mouth next to her ear. “You want to get out of this place alive? Be mindful of our audience.”

She’d avoided meeting the gazes of the men around them, but now she glanced at the hard faces following their progress. The avid, hungry expressions they’d worn during the auction had been replaced by something else…something more sinister. Hundreds of dull, flat stares met hers. She swallowed.

“You see?” the warlord said, his breath ruffling the fine hairs around her temple.

She nodded.

“Good. Now keep your head down and try to act docile.”

Something in his tone made her glance up. He’d sounded almost…amused. She searched his face, but his eyes were hard, his mouth a straight slash. She must have imagined it. She lowered her head and allowed him to continue leading her through the crowd.

He halted them beside the man who’d accompanied him to the platform. The man’s kind, brown-eyed gaze stayed firmly on her face when he said, “I have your boots here.” He lifted them from a bundle on the ground.

Nadia never thought she’d feel weepy over a pair of ugly prison-issue boots, but tears smarted in her eyes. “Thank you,” she said, taking them. She stood awkwardly between the two men, wondering if she should put them on.

“I’m Porter, by the way,” the man said.

She hugged the boots to her chest, grateful to have some covering, no matter how meager. “I’m Nadia.” Her gaze drifted to the warlord, who stared over her head at the men around them. The tattoo on his forearm had retreated to its original position on his bicep. She wondered if she’d hallucinated it moving. She’d hit her head on the pole when Axos slammed her against it. Maybe she’d been delirious.

“My name is Ivar,” he said, still focused on the crowd. “You may use it, unless I tell you otherwise.”

“And if you tell me otherwise? What do I call you then?”

He looked at her. “Master.”

She had to bite the insides of her cheeks to keep from spitting something hateful back at him. She’d been captured, enslaved, stripped, and sold—all in one day. Now she stood naked and humiliated on a strange planet, the property of a man who’d traded a few liters of water for the right to have sex with her.

Porter pulled a shirt from the bundle and held it out. “Ah, here. It’s the best I could do.” He gestured to the ground. “Unfortunately, your other clothes are torn, but they can be mended.”

She dropped the boots so she could pull the shirt over her head. It was missing most of its sleeves, and it had several small holes, but it covered everything. She tugged the hem down her thighs.

“It’s too big,” he said.

Big was good. After today, she was switching her clothes to the full-length variety. “No, it’s fine.”

“Sorry about the sleeves.”

“I like sleeveless.”

“That’s exactly what the guy I just took it from said.”

He’d literally taken the shirt off someone’s back? She pictured a big, pouting man, arms folded over a bare chest after losing his favorite sleeveless shirt. She smiled tentatively. “Thank you.”

His eyes warmed as he smiled back, his teeth white and even.

“Put on the boots so we can go,” Ivar said, cutting through the moment.

Worried he’d take the shirt back if she disobeyed, she bent and did as he ordered. Her socks were missing, but she didn’t dare complain. She had a feeling he wouldn’t respond well to a request for socks.

“Raddoc won’t forget today,” Porter said over her head.

Ivar grunted. “I’m counting on it.”

He reclaimed her wrist and resumed tugging her through the crowd, Porter falling into step beside him. They hadn’t gone far when Axos and his one-eyed sidekick appeared in front of them.

Ivar released her. “Be forewarned, Axos. My patience is wearing thin.”

Although Nadia could have gone several lifetimes without seeing Axos again, she took pleasure in watching him look up to address Ivar. It was also satisfying to see him eye the serrated sword Porter slid casually from its sheath.

“I don’t want no trouble,” Axos said without taking his gaze off the deadly-looking weapon. “But Dario and me agreed to split her eighty-twenty, and I don’t trust him.”

“You shouldn’t,” Porter said, running a thumb down his blade.

Axos swallowed. “I just want what’s coming to me. Fair and square.”

Ivar’s smile held no humor. “I have no doubt you’ll get it…one day.”

The one-eyed man shook his blond dreadlocks over his shoulders and stepped forward. “We found her. If we go back to our master empty-handed, he’ll kill us.”

“That would be a shame.”

Axos growled. “We had a deal. We’re owed.

Ivar glanced at Porter. Some unspoken exchange passed between them—so subtle Nadia would have missed it if she hadn’t been watching them closely. Porter tugged her gently backward, away from the other men. Ivar turned back to Axos. “Your deal was with Dario. Take it up with him.”

They weren’t particularly threatening words, but Axos and his man paled under their tanned skin and left without another word.

Nadia sent a questioning look to Porter, but his eyes were on Ivar, who rolled his head slowly on his neck before stalking away.

Porter took her wrist. “Let’s go.”

Apparently, no one on Tolbos trusted her to walk unaided. His hold was much gentler than Ivar’s, although she knew instinctively he would be just as difficult to escape if she tried. The friendly look he’d given her when he’d offered her the shirt and boots was gone, replaced with the same expressionless mask his leader wore.

Something about these men had caused both Raddoc and Axos to back down. That meant they were dangerous—the sort of biggest and baddest that made others want to please them. The one-eyed man had even been willing to risk the wrath of his master rather than face off with Ivar.

Master. That had to mean he and Axos were slaves, didn’t it? Yet Axos had called her slave. She trotted to match Porter’s strides. Just how fucked up was this planet’s social structure? Ivar had told her to ask questions later. Well, she was racking up quite the tally. Unfortunately, the only thing she could do at the moment was stumble alongside her taciturn companion.

As they left the crowd and the platform behind, she wondered where they were taking her. They were both convicts; everyone on Tolbos had been sentenced for something. Whatever these men had done, it had been bad enough to land them on a barren mining planet for life. For all she knew, they were rapists or murderers. Maybe both. Tolbos was home to all manner of criminals.

“Including you,” said a little voice in her head. Her boot caught the edge of a rock. She tripped forward.

Porter grabbed her elbow. “You all right?”

“Yes. Sorry.”

“I’m probably walking too fast.” He lifted his head and whistled.

Ahead of them, Ivar stopped and looked over his shoulder.

“Slow it down a little. She can’t keep up.”

Ivar glanced at her. He grunted and kept walking. But he modified his strides.

The slower pace gave her a chance to think. As outraged as she felt about her sentence, she had to accept it. She’d known the penalties for breaking the law. She’d done it anyway. That made her a criminal. According to the Council’s rules, she was exactly where she belonged.

After the fourth Great Conflict had decimated Earth’s population, the Council had worried humanity would never fully recover. Life was simply too precious to waste, so they had created a strict behavior code that abhorred violence of any kind. If the human race was to survive, the Council needed everyone to do their part.

Unless, of course, it decided you were irredeemable.

That’s what the head magistrate had called her when he’d read her sentence. His face, a pale moon in the shadows of his hooded robe, had been emotionless. Except for his eyes. His eyes had found her all the way across the hearing room, and they’d burned with scorn when he said, “Prisoner 757, the Council does not tolerate crime. I deem you unfit for habitation in the common populace and declare you an irredeemable. I sentence you to hard labor on Tolbos for life. No possibility of parole.”

The last part had been a formality. No one ever left Tolbos.

Their boots crunched against the rocks, and the heat of the suns beat down, making sweat trickle between her shoulder blades. Tolbos was locked in close orbit with its twin red dwarf stars, and the hazy suns hung heavy in the sky, creating a claustrophobic atmosphere.

The heat reminded her she’d had nothing to drink or eat since before she’d launched, and her tongue stuck to the roof of her mouth. To distract herself from her discomfort, she studied Ivar’s broad back as he stalked ahead, his long legs easily eating up the terrain.

For such a big man, he moved gracefully. His shoulders were crisscrossed by a harness that held the long broadsword. Her gaze strayed lower. His loose black pants were tucked in the tops of his boots and rode low on his narrow hips. He wore a knife strapped to his thigh, and the hilt of another stuck out of his boot. It flashed in the sun as he leaped over a small boulder, the muscles in his ass flexing.

She stumbled but recovered quickly. She had not just been admiring his ass.

“You okay?”

She glanced at Porter. “Yeah. Just clumsy.” She trained her gaze on the horizon—safely away from any part of Ivar’s anatomy.

They continued trudging across the rocky surface. Sweat trickled down her forehead, burning her eyes. Her muscles twitched—a sign of dehydration, she knew. She scowled. Ivar had made his intentions toward her quite clear. She’d be no good to him as a sex slave if she died of thirst.

She peered at the back of his neck, where a dark tattoo—much like the one she’d glimpsed on his arm—peeked above his collar. The thing was, she could have sworn it hadn’t been there when she’d watched him confront Axos. Similar in color and design to the ones Raddoc and his men wore, it didn’t look like any tattoo she’d seen back home. There were no words or symbols—just thick whorls of brown so dark they appeared almost black.

Porter glanced down. “Almost there.”

They crested a small hill dotted with Tolbos trees. Her boots skidded against the rocks, but Porter steadied her. He pointed ahead, to where an empty vehicle sat baking in the heat. Like the others she’d seen, it was a jumble of scrap parts affixed to mismatched wheels. Ivar was shrugging out of his sword harness as she and Porter approached.

Ivar tossed her a canteen across the vehicle’s hood. “Drink.”

She caught it and fumbled the cap open. Water splashed out of the opening as she jerked it to her mouth and drank. She closed her eyes on a groan. The canteen was almost too hot to touch, and the water was warm, but nothing had ever tasted so good.

“Don’t gulp it,” Ivar said. “You’ll get sick.”

She lowered the canteen. He was probably right. The water sloshed in her empty stomach. She leaned across the vehicle and held out the canteen, but he gestured for her to keep it. His gaze dipped to a point below her chin. She glanced down. The oversized shirt gaped open, giving him a full view of her breasts.

She jerked upright and folded her arms over her chest.

Gold eyes snapped up to hers. She stiffened, expecting to see anger there, but was surprised when she detected a glimmer of something that looked suspiciously like amusement. It softened his jaw. Her gaze drifted to his mouth. His lips were full and expressive—a sharp contrast to the hard, unforgiving planes of his face. He turned to Porter, leaving her to wonder whether she’d imagined the fleeting emotion.

“Anything?” he asked Porter.

Porter shook his head. “No sign of them. Still,” he said, casting a slow, watchful look around the terrain, “I’ll feel better when we put some distance between us and this place.”

Ivar nodded. “If we leave now, we’ll be home by nightfall.”

* * * *

For the second time in less than twenty-four hours, Nadia raced across Tolbos’s rocky surface toward an unknown destination. At least they’d left her hands and feet untied. She wiped grit from her eyes. Never taking that ability for granted again.

She rubbed her wrists, where angry red welts marred her skin. The manacles had tightened every time she’d moved, almost as if they’d adjusted in response to her struggles. She’d never heard of kaptum behaving that way.

She gazed at the hilt of the broadsword that stuck up between the two men seated in front. Ivar had planted it point-first into the vehicle’s floor, where it had promptly melted into the metal. The blade now shimmered a dull red in the fading sunlight.

By her reckoning, they’d been traveling for nearly three hours. Her stomach rumbled continuously, and her back ached from the constant jolting of the vehicle over the rocks.

Neither man had so much as glanced back at her since they’d started their journey. They obviously weren’t worried about her trying to escape while their backs were turned—not that she’d had an opportunity to try it. The terrain had changed, the hills growing taller until they resembled small mountains. Still, Ivar maintained the same breakneck pace, driving up and down the slopes at a speed that made Nadia cling to her seat.

A jump from the rapidly moving vehicle would almost definitely leave her with serious injuries, assuming she survived it. Even if she did, there was little chance she’d make it through the night without food or shelter. With its thin atmosphere, Tolbos lost heat rapidly after sunset, and temperatures plunged low enough to cause hypothermia. Her options boiled down to jumping from the vehicle and possibly freezing to death or staying put and living out her days as a warlord’s personal sex toy.

She sighed and studied the backs of the men’s heads. Her options sucked. As if voicing its agreement, her stomach growled loudly.

Porter twisted in his seat and grinned at her. “Hungry?”

“I haven’t eaten since I landed.”

“Don’t worry. We’re almost there. Just over this ridge.”

Her breath caught when they reached the top. The “ridge” was actually the lip of a giant crater that stretched so wide she couldn’t see the other side. But that wasn’t even the most impressive part. In the center rose a mountain so tall it blotted out the descending suns, which created a hazy reddish-brown halo around the peak.

“Impressive, isn’t it?” Porter asked, as Nadia threw up a hand to shield her eyes.

For someone who had spent the majority of her twenty-five years aboard a starship, it certainly was. There might have been taller mountains on Earth and other planets, but Nadia had never seen one in person. She gripped the back of Porter’s seat as Ivar took the vehicle down the crater’s steep slope. The mountain loomed over them, casting a black shadow that swallowed the vehicle and raised goose bumps on her exposed skin.

They hurtled down the side of the crater, and her stomach dropped as they headed straight toward the mountain. It was even more massive from this angle. Nadia stared up at it. Did they expect her to climb that thing? As they neared the base, two structures appeared. She squinted, struggling to make them out in the suns’ dying light.

The vehicle sped closer, bringing them into view. They were guard towers, she realized, spotting a handful of men on platforms at the top. Tall and white, the two identical towers stood like giant, lonely sentinels at the foot of the mountain. She wondered how many Tolbos trees it had taken to build them. She’d been taught they were scarce, but her teachers at the Academy had got it wrong. The stunted trees were everywhere. Fascinating. She’d love to get her hands on one. Maybe run a few experiments.

She tightened her grip on the seat. Remember where you are, idiot. Her heart sank. She’d just been sold at a slave auction. No one on Tolbos cared about science or experiments.

The men in the towers saluted as the vehicle passed between them. For a moment, it looked like Ivar would drive the vehicle smack into the side of the mountain, but the road dipped and curved at the last second, revealing an opening big enough for the vehicle. At last, he slowed down, and they entered a yawning tunnel. It was dark, but a blaze of light beckoned. After a few soft curves, they emerged from another wide opening and into the light.

Nadia gaped at the world that opened before her. They drove through an enormous cavern ringed with a network of caves that soared as high as the eye could see. There had to be hundreds of them. She craned her head to search for a ceiling. Each level of caves was set back from a wide path that climbed up and around smooth walls. Lights flickered in most of the openings, and she caught glimpses of people and furnishings. The inside of the mountain was practically hollow—an intricate honeycomb of caves dug from solid rock. She was counting the levels when Ivar stopped the vehicle.

The sound of the engine shutting off brought her crashing back to reality. They’d stopped in the middle of the cavern’s smooth stone floor, near half a dozen empty vehicles. Twisting around, she realized no daylight reached the inside of the mountain. The entire cavern was illuminated by dozens of torches set in hooks on the walls.

She was in the belly of the beast now—literally. Her heart beat hard against her ribs as Porter and Ivar climbed out of the vehicle and gathered their weapons. Despite the water she’d sipped during the long drive, her throat felt suddenly dry.

Porter stretched and ran his fingers through his wavy brown hair, grimacing when they came away coated with dust. “I’m in serious need of a bath, not to mention food. You headed to the dining hall?”

Ivar shook his head. “Nadia and I will eat upstairs. We need some time to get acquainted.” The way he said her name put the emphasis on the second syllable, so it came out sounding more like Na-dee-ya.

Still seated, she took deep breaths in an effort to slow her heart rate. Get acquainted was an interesting euphemism for nonconsensual sex. Just her luck. She’d landed a warlord with manners. Great.

“Right,” Porter said, tossing her a quick smile. “It’s been a pleasure, Nadia. I’m sure I’ll see you around.” He swept her a courtly bow, adjusted his sword, and strode off.

She felt abandoned as she watched him go. He wasn’t exactly a friend, but he’d been kind to her. A small sound snapped her attention back to Ivar, who watched her with his odd-colored eyes.

“If you’ll follow me, I’ll get you something to eat.” It was couched politely enough, but they both knew it wasn’t a request.

She got out of the vehicle on stiff legs and stood before him, her gaze darting to the kaptum sword in his brown hand and traveling almost against her will up the muscular arm, across his shoulder, to his face.

He wasn’t classically handsome. His face was far too cruel and hard for that. But she had to admit he was pleasing to look at. Golden skin stretched taut over deep cheekbones and a square jaw. His blade of a nose had a scar across the bridge. He had another scar on his forehead, where his black hair formed a prominent widow’s peak. It was buzzed so close to his head she could see his scalp, which sported several more scars. Either he was especially clumsy or someone had tried to kill him multiple times. Considering how she felt about him after less than a day in his presence, her bet was on the latter.

“Like what you see?” his deep voice rumbled.

Her cheeks heated at being caught staring. “Does it matter?” she dared to ask.

In reply, his gaze dropped to her legs, then traveled upward with an agonizing slowness that made her breath hitch. By the time his gaze settled on her face, she was certain her cheeks could have started a fire. She could hardly complain about his scrutiny, considering she’d just subjected him to the same.

He flipped the broadsword up so the flat of the blade rested on his shoulder and his wrist draped over the hilt. “Come,” he said and then turned and walked away.

She opened her mouth to tell him that, slave or no, she had no intention of sleeping with him, but he kept walking, the sword bouncing in sync with his stride. Clearly, he expected her to follow him like an obedient dog.

Screw him.

She spun in a slow circle. The cavern’s smooth floor was shiny, almost polished, and it showed no tracks from the vehicle’s tires. There were openings at various points along the walls. She could walk right out. Goodbye, asshole! She looked back the way Ivar had gone just in time to see him disappear through an arched doorway carved into the stone.

She stared after him, wondering what sort of game he was playing. Although she could hear the faint sounds of movement and voices drifting from the caves along the walls, the cavern floor was deserted. As far as she could see, there was no one to stop her from leaving. He probably assumed she was too terrified to make a run for it. His arrogance galled her, even if it was closer to the truth than she cared to admit.

She smoothed her sweaty palms down the tattered shirt. The chill she’d felt in the mountain’s shadow had been a strong reminder of how dangerous night was on Tolbos—especially for someone with no food or supplies. She glanced around at the various openings and muttered, “Pick a door, any door.” Even if she managed to make it out of the mountain, she’d still have to get past the guards on the towers. And what then? A quick, miserable death in subzero temperatures? Another run-in with Axos or Raddoc?

With a last, lingering look at the nearest opening, she headed toward the doorway Ivar had entered. Before she stepped through it, she stopped to stare at the torches blazing on either side. They glowed with an odd blue-tinged light unlike anything she’d seen before. The flames also behaved strangely, undulating so slowly they seemed to move as though underwater. She watched, mesmerized, as one twisted in midair and dipped toward her. Heat bloomed against her chest as a long tendril of flame crept closer. Nadia extended her hand.

“I wouldn’t,” a deep voice said from the shadow of the archway.

She jumped and let out a muffled yelp. The flame shivered in the air and retreated to the top of the torch. She glared at Ivar. “You scared me!”

He leaned against the doorway. “Don’t touch the flames. They’re infused with kaptum.”

“Are they?” She glanced at them. “I thought kaptum exploded when heated.”

“Not trace amounts.”

“You put it in the fire? Why?”

“Everything on Tolbos contains kaptum. The soil. The air.” His eyes gleamed in the torchlight, which now leaned in his direction. “It’s all around you.”

The light played over his face. Not for the first time, she felt small and fragile standing next to him. At nearly six feet, she was tall for a woman, but he dwarfed her. “You can’t force me to sleep with you,” she said in a low voice.

One black eyebrow lifted. “I bought you. The word ‘force’ doesn’t apply to slaves.”

She gritted her teeth. “I’m not your slave. A person can’t own another person. The Council—”

“As you might have noticed, the Earth-Space Intergalactic Council does not maintain a presence here. This is a prison planet, and you’re a prisoner, which means you’re no longer entitled to the Council’s protection. As it happens, however, I have no interest in forcing anyone to sleep with me.”

“But you—” She glared at him. She’d almost said ‘bought.’

His smile was slow and wicked. Oh, yes. He knew exactly what she’d been about to say. He gestured toward the cavern. “You decided to follow me rather than escape—a wise decision, I might add—and you’ll decide to share my bed. Force won’t be necessary.”

“Don’t count on it.”

To her consternation, he winked at her before turning and walking through the arch once more. “As you say, Na-dee-ya,” he said over his shoulder. “Come.”

The command set her teeth on edge. She was getting awfully tired of being ordered about like an animal. She followed him down a narrow corridor lit with torches set high in the walls. His broad shoulders almost touched either side. The memory of being flung over the one-eyed giant’s back sent a phantom ache through her middle.

At least Ivar hadn’t done that. Compared to Axos and his men, he’d been downright courteous.

His words from the auction came back to her. “You want to get out of this place alive?” He’d gripped her arm as he’d pulled her through the crowd, but he hadn’t hurt her. Unlike Axos, he hadn’t tied or threatened to maim her. Most people were more honest in their actions than their words. Ahead of her, the bluish light of the kaptum torches glinted in the broadsword he still carried.

He’d said he wouldn’t force her to sleep with him. So far, he’d given her no reason to doubt him.

With the threat of rape off the table, she was free to indulge her curiosity about his home. Although crude by Earth or starship standards, the network of caves was an amazing feat of engineering. The walls bore chisel marks here and there, and she marveled at how long it must have taken the prisoners on Tolbos to dig this place out of the mountain.

The corridor ended in a spiral staircase carved into the cavern wall. Ivar grabbed a torch and, holding it aloft, began to climb. Nadia followed, wondering just how high it went. Her stomach was rumbling again, and her temples throbbed. She propelled her body up stair after stair.

Every fifteen steps or so, they passed a landing that led down another corridor. Her side pinched. Another landing. Maybe this time he’d stop and say, “We’re here!”

Nope. He kept climbing.

She stared blearily at the bobbing light from Ivar’s torch. Did he intend to summit the stupid mountain?

Just as she was about to sink onto the step in front of her and beg him to leave her for dead, the stairs leveled out into a broad passageway. Ivar tucked the torch into an empty holder and watched her drag herself up the last few steps.

“You get used to the stairs,” he said.

She sagged against the wall, her shaking legs threatening to collapse under her.

Without warning, he scooped her into his arms. She squawked and struggled to tug her shirt back down her thighs. The hard arm under her legs skirted dangerously close to her bare backside.

“Stop wiggling.” He hefted her higher up on his chest. The movement further dislodged her shirt, making it puddle around her stomach. Her entire lower half was bared to his gaze. Before she could protest, he carried her through another doorway and set her down in a large room dominated by the biggest bed she’d ever seen.

In the middle of it, a beautiful blonde sat on her knees brushing another woman’s hair. Nadia gasped. So that was what he kept in his mountain hideaway? A harem?

The woman with the brush stopped mid-stroke and nudged the other, who glanced over her shoulder. They regarded Nadia with identical curious expressions.

Apparently unfazed by the scene, Ivar moved around her and crossed to a big desk made of Tolbos wood. He lay his sword on the surface and settled himself behind it. “Eleni, Annika, this is Nadia. Nadia, meet Eleni and Annika.”

The women smiled. They could have been sisters with their long, wavy hair and clear blue eyes. Although they weren’t dressed provocatively, their clothes couldn’t hide the fact that they both possessed lovely figures.

Nadia looked at Ivar. “You have a harem?”

He shrugged.

“You…have a harem.”

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Author Amy Pennza

Author Amy Pennza

About the Author
Amy Pennza is an author of romantic fiction that’s not afraid to turn up the heat. A lawyer-turned-copywriter, she’s much happier behind a keyboard than she was in the courtroom. A mom of four, including a set of twins, she always has a granola bar and a package of baby wipes handy. After years in Tornado Alley, she now makes her home in the Great Lakes region with her husband, kids, and one very persnickety cat.

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Where to Find Amy Pennza
Goodreads |Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – H.A.L.F. ORIGINS (H.A.L.F. Series) by Natalie Wright

H.A.L.F. ORIGINS Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for H.A.L.F. ORIGINS, the third book in the young adult science fiction romance series, H.A.L.F., by Natalie Wright. See below for information on the book, buy links for all three books in the series, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

H.A.L.F. ORIGINS (H.A.L.F. Series #3) by Natalie Wright

H.A.L.F. ORIGINS (H.A.L.F. Series #3) by Natalie Wright

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title:
H.A.L.F. ORIGINS
Series: H.A.L.F. Series #3
Author:
Natalie Wright
Release Date: August 24, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE
Book 1 Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE
Book 2 Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE

Synopsis
Alien predators attack Europe. A deadly virus spawns an epidemic. And a clandestine organization conspires to profit from chaos and forge a New World Order.

In this heart-pounding finale of the H.A.L.F. series, Tex, Erika and the rest are in a race against time. In books one and two they fought for their lives. Now they battle to save us all.

Tex and Erika are again fugitives and running for their lives. But when Tex falls gravely ill, a Navajo healer is his only hope for survival. Tex emerges changed in mind and body but with vital information: how to stop the predatory M’Uktah from destroying those he has come to love.

Erika Holt seeks a respite from the threats to her life but hasn’t given up. As she and Tex launch a mission to shut down the galactic highway used by the invaders, she grows closer to her troubled human-alien hybrid companion. But what about her on-again, off-again boyfriend Jack?

Jack Wilson, along with his new friend Anna Sturgis, is determined to put an end to the Makers’ schemes for world domination. Complicating matters, the valuable medicine to counter the alien virus has been stolen.

As both alien and human forces line up against them, the destiny of all mankind is hand the hands of these young warriors. And time is running out.

“The latest satisfying addition to the H.A.L.F. series has something for everyone: exciting action scenes; great love stories; fascinating new aliens; and relatable characters fighting to save the world and find their places in it.” ~Alyssa H., Red Adept.

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H.A.L.F. ORIGINS Teaser 1

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Excerpt
Erika

Raindrops pelted the windshield of the rust-bucket truck Erika had borrowed from Ian’s dad. Nearly an hour had passed since she’d seen the lights of the last police car recede in her rearview mirror, but her fingers still shook as she turned on the windshield wipers. They were little help. The spittle of rain turned the dusty windshield into a muddy mess, and the sun-rotted rubber of the wipers streaked the glass.

The jacked-up truck tackled the harsh terrain of the desert like a pro. The police cars were no match for barrel cacti and creosote bushes as large as small cars. The local Ajo police that had tried to stop them likely didn’t know that they were chasing a human-alien hybrid that had escaped, again, from a secret underground lab controlled by the clandestine organization known as The Makers. The Makers had surely spun the lies necessary to convince local law enforcement that Tex was a dangerous fugitive. Ironic. The lie had become the truth. Erika and Tex were, in fact, fugitives on the run and again fighting for their lives. It was like déjà vu all over again.

Erika’s bottom was bruised from bouncing on the seat. Her wrists ached from gripping the wheel. After nearly an hour of rough riding, they hit a two-lane road going east. Erika was heading to New Mexico, where her Aunt Dana, her father’s sister, lived. Without complications, they would get to Aunt Dana’s in about eight hours. If she’ll have us.

Tex had been quiet but awake as Erika navigated the bumpy ground. Once they reached the smooth pavement, he tucked his knees to his chest, hugged his arms around his legs, and became a silent egg-shaped blob on the seat next to her. Erika had seen him withdraw into himself before, but he was even more quiet and still than usual.

Erika wished he’d have stayed awake longer. She wanted to pry answers out of him. She had questions about his time with the Conexus, when he had been linked directly to their hive-mind collective. Ever since Dr. Randall had unhooked Tex from the Conexus, he was acting distant and short-tempered. Erika wondered what had really happened to him during his time with the Conexus. And what did he mean when he spoke of struggles for humans to come and the knowledge he got from the Conexus? She hoped he would answer these questions and more when they got to Aunt Dana’s.

The dribble of rain became a hailstorm. Peanut-sized ice balls pinged the metal roof of the truck. Within minutes, the hail turned into a deluge. Erika turned the wipers to full blast, but that only smeared the windshield faster. The Tex blob remained eerily quiet and unperturbed.

Erika’s swollen right eye, a gift from one of the Makers’ guards during their escape from the school, made it difficult to see. Both eyes were heavy with fatigue. She blinked rapidly and shook her head, trying to clear the drowsiness. She switched on the radio, and raucous Tejano music blasted. She wasn’t a fan of the accordion-heavy genre. The ancient truck speakers distorted the sound, making it nothing but noise to her ears, but at least the booming music helped keep her awake.

Erika had never been much of a life planner. Her current situation of living day-to-day did not bother her as much as it might have irritated some people. She was focused on her current task, getting Tex safely to a location where he could heal. She’d help him find a place to stay hidden from the Makers and Sturgis. She wasn’t sure what came after that. Just stay awake. And alive.

Tex didn’t stir or acknowledge the radio. Is he dead? She poked at him with a finger. “Tex? You okay?”

With his head still to his knees, his voice was muffled but cool and even. “I am alive if that is what you mean.”

“You’ve been so quiet. With the escape back there at the school, the dogs, and now the rain… I was just hoping that you’re all right.”

Tex raised his head slightly and turned toward her, his large eyes peeking over his arm. “I have been through worse.”

The understatement of the century. She’d been through worse, too: the days of fever she endured after the Conexus gave her the virus, the long hours of watching Ian wracked with pain when she could do nothing but watch him inch toward death, weeks of hunger and thirst. She had been forced to take the lives of others or lose her own, and she had watched her mom breathe her last breath. They’d all been through hell and back.

Tex’s indifference was still better than silence between them. The tinny horns and the beat of the music stopped abruptly.

The radio announcer broke in, speaking in Spanish. “There has been a massive terrorist attack in Europe. The entire continent is without power. Communication systems are down. Though reports are sketchy, US authorities state that the attacks appear to be focused on London and Paris.”

Erika’s chest tightened. For a moment, she forgot to breathe. “He said that communication systems are down in Europe and there’s been a massive terrorist attack. The terrorists hit London and Paris.”

Tex unwound his arms from around his legs. “I understood what he said.” He sounded condescending, as though everyone could understand Spanish as well as English.

“Oh. I just assumed that—”

“You assume a great many things.”

Erika didn’t know what he meant, but she was more worried about what the heck was going on in Europe than her traveling companion’s surly attitude. The radio announcer spoke of the apparent sophistication and coordination of the attacks. He stated that the terrorists had clearly used an advanced technology that took out the power grid across Europe. Terrorists with advanced technology? Could the Makers be behind this?

Continuing in Spanish, the announcer said, “The US has raised the terrorist alert level to high and has closed all borders, effective immediately. There are reports of disruption to GPS and cellular service in the United States, indicating possible destruction or interference with multiple satellites.”

“Just what we don’t need. First the virus to deal with, now terrorists run amok.”

“It is not a terrorist attack,” Tex said with total conviction.

“You just heard the guy say it’s a terrorist attack. He said the report came from NORAD.”

“Then this NORAD fellow is wrong… or lying.”

During her time at Casa Sturgis, Erika had lost most of her faith in the authorities. Getting locked up in an underground city run by crazy government scientists and black-budget military would do that to you. Even if The Makers were behind AHDNA, that didn’t negate the fact that, somewhere along the line, some important people were very corrupt. Maybe even a lot of people.

 

Even after all she’d seen, though, she still believed most of the people working for the government weren’t crooked, self-serving traitors who would sell out the lives of millions just for their own little piece of the post-virus pie. People like Dr. Montoya worked for the government. Dr. Montoya had risked her life to help them to keep the antivirus out of the hands of the Makers so it could be synthesized to help the masses rather than the elite few chosen by William Croft and company.

“Why would the military lie about terrorists?” she asked. “And if it’s not terrorists, then who would cause a massive power failure?”

“Something far worse than extremists with a vendetta. Pull over. I will drive now.”

“Have you ever driven before?”

Tex shook his head. “Pull over,” he repeated.

“And what do you mean ‘worse’?”

“Erika, I tire of questions every time I ask something of you. There is a helicopter on its way. You did not think that the Makers would send only a few local law-enforcement vehicles after me, did you? Shall we argue further? Or shall I attempt to lose those that tail us?”

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H.A.L.F. ORIGINS Teaser 2

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Trailer

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Author Natalie Wright

Author Natalie Wright

About the Author
Natalie writes adventurous fantasy and science fiction for teens and adults including her award-winning H.A.L.F. series and The Akasha Chronicles. Her first novel, Emily’s House, has been read over 2 Million times on Wattpad!

When not writing, reading or questing in Skyrim, Natalie meets readers and appears on writer panels at comic cons and book festivals throughout the western U.S. She and her mascot baby alien traveled over 10,000 miles in the past year!

Natalie lives in Tucson, Arizona with her husband, teen daughter and two cat overlords.

Sign up to my email list and receive a FREE PDF copy of book 1: http://bit.ly/SUBSCRIBE_Natalie

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Where to find Natalie Wright
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube | Wattpad | BookBub

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Giveaway
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – BODY PARTS by Jessica Kapp

BODY PARTS Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for BODY PARTS, a stand-alone young adult science fiction thriller, by Jessica Kapp. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, the book’s trailer, and details on her giveaway.

BODY PARTS by Jessica Kapp

BODY PARTS by Jessica Kapp

About the Book
Title: BODY PARTS
Author: Jessica Kapp
Publisher: Diversion Publishing
Release Date: August 15, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | IndieBound | Audible

Synopsis
People would kill for her body.

Raised in an elite foster center off the California coast, sixteen-year-old Tabitha’s been sculpted into a world-class athlete. Her trainers have told her she’ll need to be in top physical condition to be matched with a loving family, even though personal health has taken a backseat outside the training facility. While Tabitha swims laps and shaves seconds off her mile time, hoping to find a permanent home, the rest of the community takes pills produced by pharmaceutical giant PharmPerfect to erase their wrinkles, grow hair, and develop superhuman strength.

When Tabitha’s finally paired, instead of being taken to meet her new parents, she wakes up immobile on a hospital bed. Moments before she’s sliced open, a group of renegade teenagers rescues her, and she learns the real reason for her perfect health: PharmPerfect is using her foster program as a replacement factory for their pill-addicted clients’ failing organs. And her friends from the center, the only family she’s ever known, are next in line to be harvested.

Determined to save them, Tabitha joins forces with her rescuers, led by moody and mysterious Gavin Stiles. As they race to infiltrate the hospital and uncover the rest of PharmPerfect’s secrets, though, Tabitha finds herself with more questions than answers. Will trusting the enigmatic group of rebels lead her back to the slaughterhouse?

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Trailer

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Excerpt
The exit door buzzes. My breath catches when I notice it’s not a trainer—it’s Ms. Preen. And, she’s holding a red file, which can only mean one thing.

One of us is getting out.

Her heels make quick, light clicks as she crosses the floor past the weight equipment and yoga mats. She crinkles her nose as she moves through the thick cloud of sweat. By the time she reaches us, Meghan’s out of the pool. We stand, two-dozen bodies huddled together, anxious to hear the news. I scan my friends’ faces, wondering whose turn it is to go. Parker wraps his free arm around me. I imagine this is how a gymnast feels after a routine, waiting for her scores. Did I perform well enough? Could I have done more?

Will I win the ultimate prize: a family?

Ms. Preen presses through to the pool area, but stands far from our group, as if she thinks we’ll throw her in.

It’s crossed our minds before.

The light shines off her blonde bob, and her face is flawless. Freeze-dried, we like to say.

“Where is she?” Ms. Preen looks at our group as if she can’t tell us apart, which is probably true. Even though she pops in at least once a month to check on our vitals, she isn’t interested in getting to know us. She’s the one in charge of pairing us with families, but all she knows is what we’re good at. Meghan is the fast one; Paige climbs like she’s part monkey; Parker’s built like a brick house; and me, I have the lungs.

“The redhead, where is she?”

All eyes turn to me.

“We have names, you know,” Paige says, her voice curt. “Hers is Tabitha. T-A-B…”

Ms. Preen pulls a piece of paper out of the file, holding it up toward the row of skylights to read it. “Yes. She’s the one.”

Parker tightens his hold on me and I clasp my hands together to stop them from shaking. Ms. Preen doesn’t need to know I’m nervous. I’m supposed to be elated, ready to go. Maybe I’ve been fooling myself.

I wiggle out of Parker’s grip to step forward. “That’s me.”

Ms. Preen shoves the paper back into the file. “Get dressed. I’m taking you for your final screening. If you pass, you’ll be out tomorrow.” Her voice is hard and she turns to walk away.

I glance back at the group, at the faces I’ve known since childhood. They’re excited for me, but I can see the disappointment in their eyes. I know the look, because up until today I’ve watched friends leave, waiting for my turn.

Now that it is, I can’t move.

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Author Jessica Kapp

Author Jessica Kapp

About the Author
Jessica Kapp enjoys writing Young Adult Contemporary and Speculative Fiction. Story ideas often strike at inopportune times, and she’s been known to text herself reminders from under the covers.

She lives on a small farm in Washington with far too many goats and an occasional cow.

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Where to Find Jessica Kapp
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Trailer Reveal – H.A.L.F. ORIGINS (H.A.L.F. Series) by Natalie Wright

H.A.L.F. ORIGINS Trailer Reveal

H.A.L.F. ORIGINS Trailer Reveal

Author Natalie Wright is revealing the trailer to H.A.L.F. ORIGINS, the third book in her young adult science fiction romance series, H.A.L.F., releasing August 24, 2017. See below for information on the book, pre-order links, and the trailer.

H.A.L.F. ORIGINS (H.A.L.F. Series #3) by Natalie Wright

H.A.L.F. ORIGINS (H.A.L.F. Series #3) by Natalie Wright

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title:
H.A.L.F. ORIGINS
Series: H.A.L.F. Series #3
Author:
Natalie Wright
Release Date: August 24, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE
Book 1 Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE
Book 2 Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE

Synopsis
Alien predators attack Europe. A deadly virus spawns an epidemic. And a clandestine organization conspires to profit from chaos and forge a New World Order.

In this heart-pounding finale of the H.A.L.F. series, Tex, Erika and the rest are in a race against time. In books one and two they fought for their lives. Now they battle to save us all.

Tex and Erika are again fugitives and running for their lives. But when Tex falls gravely ill, a Navajo healer is his only hope for survival. Tex emerges changed in mind and body but with vital information: how to stop the predatory M’Uktah from destroying those he has come to love.

Erika Holt seeks a respite from the threats to her life but hasn’t given up. As she and Tex launch a mission to shut down the galactic highway used by the invaders, she grows closer to her troubled human-alien hybrid companion. But what about her on-again, off-again boyfriend Jack?

Jack Wilson, along with his new friend Anna Sturgis, is determined to put an end to the Makers’ schemes for world domination. Complicating matters, the valuable medicine to counter the alien virus has been stolen.

As both alien and human forces line up against them, the destiny of all mankind is hand the hands of these young warriors. And time is running out.

“The latest satisfying addition to the H.A.L.F. series has something for everyone: exciting action scenes; great love stories; fascinating new aliens; and relatable characters fighting to save the world and find their places in it.” ~Alyssa H., Red Adept.

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Trailer

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Author Natalie Wright

Author Natalie Wright

About the Author
Natalie writes adventurous fantasy and science fiction for teens and adults including her award-winning H.A.L.F. series and The Akasha Chronicles. Her first novel, Emily’s House, has been read over 2 Million times on Wattpad!

When not writing, reading or questing in Skyrim, Natalie meets readers and appears on writer panels at comic cons and book festivals throughout the western U.S. She and her mascot baby alien traveled over 10,000 miles in the past year!

Natalie lives in Tucson, Arizona with her husband, teen daughter and two cat overlords.

Sign up to my email list and receive a FREE PDF copy of book 1: http://bit.ly/SUBSCRIBE_Natalie

.

Where to find Natalie Wright
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube | Wattpad | BookBub

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Pre-Order Giveaway

In celebration of the release of ORIGINS, the third and final book in the H.A.L.F. series, all pre-order customers have the opportunity to receive the following exclusive goodies:

  • A full-color, digital book extra, Lost Chapter and Cut Scenes. This book contains the author’s commentary on cut scenes as well as photos illustrations. This book is only available to pre-order customers.
  • A video retrospective of the H.A.L.F. series, complete with “soundtrack” for the series, an author interview, and tons of photos and illustrations documenting the series.

INSTRUCTIONS:
It’s simple to obtain the goods. All a customer has to do is:

  • Buy the book in any format. Digital, paperback, hardcover, or audiobook, and at any retailer.
  • Email a copy of the receipt (again, in any format—photo, screenshot, email receipt, etc.). Email the receipt to: half.origins.book@gmail.com

That’s it. The author or her representative will follow-up and send the customer the awesome goodness of free gifts!

Additionally, every pre-order customer that avails themselves of the pre-order giveaway will automatically be entered into the ORIGINS Launch Mega Giveaway and have the chance to win the following:

  • GRAND PRIZE: 1 Winner will receive the following: $100 Amazon Giftcard + Signed, Hardcover copies of the entire 3-book H.A.L.F. series + branded book swag, including metal bookmarks, complete set of H.A.L.F. Character Trading Cards®, keychain, and buttons + non-branded, retail swag themed to the book. Retail value of this prize is $240+
  • FIRST PRIZE: 1 Winner will receive: $25 Amazon Giftcard + Signed, Paperback copies of the entire 3-book H.A.L.F. series + branded swag (as listed above) + non-branded swag. Retail value of this prize is $75+
  • 10 Runner-Up Prizes: 10 Winners will receive: A gifted copy of Amazon Kindle version of an eBook of the reader’s choice from among Natalie Wright’s published, single-book works (Emily’s House, Emily’s Trial, Emily’s Heart, The Deep Beneath, The Makers, or ORIGINS). Retail value of this prize if between 99¢ to $3.99 (depending on book chosen and price at the time gifted).

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

RENEGADES Cover Reveal

Author K. Gorman is revealing the cover to RENEGADES, the second book in her adult science fiction series, The Eurynome Code, releasing September 30, 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book, and an exclusive teaser.

RENEGADES (The Eurynome Code #2) by K. Gorman

RENEGADES (The Eurynome Code #2) by K. Gorman

About the Book
Title: RENEGADES
Series: The Eurynome Code #2
Author: K. Gorman
Release Date: September 30, 2017
Genre: Adult Science Fiction
Links:
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
The Shadows have taken over, and she is the only one who can fight back.

Genetically engineered from birth, Karin Makos’s powers have made her the Alliance’s most wanted person. With her sister still missing, and only a cryptic notebook left behind for clues, the mystery of her past is going to take a lot more time and resources than they have to unravel it.

And there’s a bigger problem looming. Keeping their promise to heal Ethan’s stepfather and the rest of the people on the Ozark puts them right past Caishen station and its Alliance allies—and there might be another force on their tail.

After the crew split apart on a wild chase that puts Karin in the hot seat, it’ll take all of their strength and ingenuity to bring them back together. With enemies gathering in the wings, a desperate, heavy-handed station commander hard on their tail, and the Shadows an ever-present threat, they must race against the odds and scramble to fight their way out.

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RENEGADES Teaser

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Author K. Gorman

Author K. Gorman

About the Author
Originally from the west coast of Canada, K. Gorman has switched to the west coast of Taiwan, where she broadcasts a steady stream of Science Fiction and Fantasy stories. When not writing, she enjoys long rides through Taichung on U-Bikes, marathons Twin Peaks and Battlestar Galactica, and is slowly turning Final Fantasy VIII’s Squall into a card-playing god before she runs through the rest of the game.

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Where to find K. Gorman
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Instafreebie | Amazon
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Cover Reveal – ISAN by Mary Ting

ISAN Cover Reveal

Author Mary Ting is unveiling the cover to ISAN, a young adult science fiction/dystopian tale, releasing May 1, 2018. See below for the cover, information on the book, and pre-order links.

ISAN by Mary TingISAN by Mary Ting

ISAN by Mary Ting

About the Book
Title:
ISAN
Author: Mary Ting
Release Date: May 1, 2018
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction/Dystopian
Links: Goodr’eads | Amazon

Synopsis
The world has changed.

Scientists warned it would happen.

Meteors devastated the Earth. World Governments developed plans to help surviving citizens. The United States disbanded and salvageable land was divided into four quadrants—North, South, East, and West—governed by The Remnant Council.

Struggling to survive, seventeen-year-old Ava ends up in juvenile detention, until she is selected for a new life—with a catch. She must be injected with an experimental serum. The results will be life changing. The serum will make her better. To receive the serum Ava agrees to join a program controlled by ISAN, the International Sensory Assassin Network.

While on a training mission, she is abducted by a rebel group led by Rhett and told that not only does she have a history with him, but her entire past is a lie perpetuated by ISAN to ensure her compliance. Unsure of who to trust, Ava must decide if her strangely familiar and handsome captor is her enemy or her savior—and time is running out.

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Author Mary Ting

Author Mary Ting

About the Author
International Bestselling Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.

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Where to find Mary Ting
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – BEACON (Lantern) by Chess Desalls

BEACON Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for BEACON, the second book in the young adult fantasy/scifi series, Lantern, by Chess Desalls. See below for information on the book, buy links for both books, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway. Book 1, LANTERN, is now available for free.

BEACON (Lantern #2) by Chess Desalls

BEACON (Lantern #2) by Chess Desalls

About the Book
Title: BEACON
Series:  Lantern #2
Author: Chess Desalls
Publisher:
Czidor Lore, LLC
Release Date: January 9, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Science Fiction
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
Book 1 Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iTunes

Synopsis
When Serah’s life in Havenbrim becomes unbearable, she accepts an apprenticeship with a celestial mechanic and glazier. Her master assigns her the task of opening a globe framed in copper. But the glass and seal are unbreakable. The solution to the puzzle traps Serah inside the globe, and transports her to a world where she longs for home.

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Excerpt #2
Machin turned around and pointed the tongs at the shelf. “Which of the two bulbs do you prefer, Serah Kettel?”

She rubbed her chin. I wonder if this is a test. What do I say? If I choose the wrong one, will he turn me away?

“It’s not a difficult question, child. There is no wrong answer. I’m merely asking for an opinion, your preference.”

The flesh on Serah’s back and arms crawled with a spidery, tingly feeling. “May I take a closer look?”

Machin shrugged and stepped out of her way. The clink of metal hitting metal rang from somewhere behind her. She guessed he’d dropped the tongs back inside the bucket. Flame from the furnace reflected off the glass objects before her, both crystal clear and hollow. Though she found the diamond-shaped bulb more pleasing to look at, there was something about the round bulb—the first of the two Machin had pulled from the furnace. Her knees shook.

Serah pointed a finger at the round bulb.

“Are you sure?” Machin called from behind her.

She stepped forward. Her knees knocked together. Yes. No. I don’t know.

“Yes?”

The tip of her finger kissed the glass.

The bulb filled with smoke. A blue spark formed in its center, and then stretched to a finger-sized lightning bolt that crackled and reached out to her. When it zapped her finger, she fell back.

Serah stared at the ceiling, her finger still pointing—not to the lanterns, but to the round bulb on the shelf.

She lifted her head. Her mouth opened wide in horror. The bulb was empty, as if she’d imagined everything.

Warmth surrounded her outstretched hand and pointed finger. Large eyes blinked down at her from behind goggles.

“Serah Kettel,” Machin said, pulling her to her feet. “You must go now. If you wish to accept the position, return here in two weeks’ time.”

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Author Chess Desalls

Author Chess Desalls

About the Author
Chess Desalls is the author of award-winning young adult fiction. Her nonfiction writing has been included in academic and industry publications, with a focus on law and technology. She’s also a contributing editor for WritersTalk, South Bay Writers’ monthly newsletter. When she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys traveling and trying to stay in tune on her flute.

Sign up for Chess’s newsletter to receive updates on giveaways and new releases.

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Where to Find Chess Desalls
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Blog Tour – Book Review + Giveaway – DREAM ME by Kathryn Berla

DREAM ME Blog Tour

DREAM ME by Kathryn Berla

DREAM ME by Kathryn Berla

4 Stars

Synopsis
Zat is a dreamer from the distant future—a time when humans no longer dream and Earth is a desolate wasteland. He dreams of the beautiful Earth of the past, and a fiery-haired beauty named Babe. Against the wisdom of his peers, Zat decides to risk everything to travel back in time and live in Babe’s dreams…

Babe is the perpetual new girl in town. Her father’s job frequently moves the family around the country, and Babe just longs for a place to call home. As she settles into the sleepy town of Sugar Dunes, Florida, Babe begins to have strange dreams of a green-eyed boy named Zat. Night after night, Babe shows Zat her world. But the dreams come at the cost of nearly crippling migraines every morning. Babe’s life outside of her dreams pales in comparison to her growing love for Zat and their time spent together.

But the more time Babe and Zat spend together in her dreams, the more Babe’s pain increases, and Zat begins to question the reality of his existence. How can he live a life with Babe, when all they have is her dreams?

Can a dream become a reality?

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My Review
At times, DREAM ME felt like two different tales, but woven together, they tell the story of Babe and Zat, an unusual couple in an impossible situation. Babe’s father is a golf pro, and she and her family move around for his job. The latest move takes them to the Florida coast where she meets the locals over the summer before her senior year of high school. Included are the queen bee, Mattie Lynn and her minions, LeGrand, the poor little rich boy who only comes on his yacht for the summer with his parents, and Mai, the daughter of the owners of the local fish market who befriends Babe. An avid tennis player, Babe takes a job in the tennis pro shop where she helps Mattie Lynn with her charity program, throwing her in the path of other local kids. The move also triggers vibrant dreams where Babe continually meets with a boy named Zat. She’s inexplicably drawn to Zat and during the day, longs for sleep so she can be with him.

Throughout the summer, Babe navigates the waters of new friendships, unusual dreams, and corporate politics when the chairman of the board of the club where she and her parents work has designs on an underage Babe. The majority of the story takes place during waking hours and reads like a typical contemporary novel. The dream sequences are written as blog posts by Babe.What it’s missing, for me anyway, is more time travel. Billed as a young-adult time-traveling romance, I expected more time traveling. Yes, Zat is from the future, but it’s Babe’s story for the most part. Zat’s point of view is told in third-person and is sparse and too brief in my opinion.

Plot
The plot is two-pronged. The first centers on Babe’s dream world and her relationship with Zat. The other is her relationships with the people in her waking world. Even as Babe grows closer to Zat in her subconscious, her friendships with new friends develop and grow. There isn’t much overlap, which is why it feels like two separate stories sometimes. There are some things I would have liked to see more of, though. For one, with something this sci-fi-y, I would have liked to see a little more world building. I didn’t understand how the time travel worked or what the rules were. This became particularly muddled at the end. The other is that I felt like Babe’s relationship with Zat wasn’t nearly as well developed as her relationships with Mai or LeGrand. Even her relationship with Mattie Lynn seemed to have more depth. As a result, I was a little ambivalent about them being together.

Characters
I loved Babe. She’s spunky, fierce, but still believable as a seventeen-year-old girl. LeGrand, Mai and the rest of Babe’s friends are exactly the kind of friends anyone would wish for. But I never got a strong sense of who Zat is, even though we get bits and pieces of his point of view.

What I Enjoyed About DREAM ME
1. Babe.
She’s a fantastic young adult protagonist with the right balance of burgeoning independence and insecurities to make her completely relateable.

2. Settings. The author has the ability to bring her settings vividly to life. While I’m not all that familiar with Florida, it was easy to visualize the scenes.

3. Friendship. As the new girl in town, Babe’s blossoming relationships were depicted as organic and authentic.

4. The Concept. I really liked the idea behind DREAM ME, but I felt like it left a lot on the table.

5. Twists. There were a few of unexpected twists toward the end that left me smiling.

Bottom Line
A scifi wrapped up in a contemporary with a few of unexpected twists.

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

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About the Book
Title: DREAM ME
Author: Kathryn Berla
Publisher: Amberjack Publishing
Pages: 175
Category: Young Adult Contemporary Romance/SciFi/Time Travel
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUBarnes & Noble

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Author Kathryn Berla

Author Kathryn Berla

About the Author
Kathryn Berla graduated from the University of California at Berkeley as an English major. She has lived in many different countries in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. She currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Where to Find Kathryn Berla
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Young Adult Book Review – UNDER SUNLESS SKIES (Starlight Saga) by Sherry Soule

UNDER SUNLESS SKIES (Starlight Saga #2) by Sherry Soule

UNDER SUNLESS SKIES (Starlight Saga #2) by Sherry Soule

4 Stars

Synopsis
True love is hard. And a doomed relationship with epic trust issues and shady secrets? Even harder.

For Sloane Masterson, her forbidden love with Hayden Lancaster has been a series of highs and lows, which is overly complicated by those annoying interstellar dating laws.

But once Sloane discovers a shocking family secret, she won’t let those lame rules get in her way—she’s on a mission to win back her hybrid!

Too bad convincing her stubborn ex that they belong together isn’t Sloane’s only problem. . .

After receiving creeptastic blackmail messages, Sloane’s life becomes a real-life horror movie. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, Hayden slimes her with smelly ectoplasm and freaky mutants start tracking her every move. Insert one more major disaster. . .the unexpected arrival of Sector Thirteen.

If she hopes to survive all the crazy with Hayden at her side, Sloane needs to expose the blackmailer and get that potent residue off her skin—fast. Because with Sector Thirteen’s monsters hunting her, Sloane’s not going down without a fight, even if that means trusting the one boy who broke her heart.

*This series is intended for upper-YA readers, has lots of steamy romance and campy humor, and is not considered hardcore science fiction.

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My Review
Book two in the series picks up where the first one ended. Sloane is reeling from being dumped by Hayden, but oh yeah, she’s got a secret, apparently she’s part alien, too. Hoping this will convince Hayden their relationship isn’t doomed after all, she sets her sights on winning him back. This was the first time I disliked her. Her singular focus on getting a boy to like her made her seem very un-Sloane like, the girl I loved in book 1. She spends a fair amount of the book pining over him, but since he’s equally lost without her, it’s mutually pathetic. That said, the angst is well-done, the snarky dialogue is as good as ever, and other than being a lovesick puppy half the time, Sloane is as kick-ass as ever. My biggest problem with this book is that it feels oh so familiar. Anyone who has read the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout will notice many, many similarities. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, Armentrout’s own Covenant series borrows heavily from the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. My issue is that too much of it was predictable as a result. However, if you haven’t read the Lux series, you’re in for a real treat with this.

Plot
Primarily a romance, this main plot centers around the Sloane/Hayden will-they-or-won’t they dance. But there are subplots involving Sloane’s alien dad, Sector Thirteen, Hayden’s missing adopted sister, and the mystery surrounding who is blackmailing Sloane. Underlying all of that is Sloane’s obsession with all things horror, including her love of hanging out in her town’s cemetery.

Characters
I still adore Sloane. She’s tough, witty, and so secure in who she is. She’s a great young adult role model except when she obsesses over Hayden. Don’t get me wrong, this is young adult fiction, and teens definitely obsess over the opposite sex. I just felt that in this case, it sas of out of character. With her newfound alien blood, she’s even a little tougher in some respects. Hayden seems to have lost some of his umph from the first book. He had that dark, brooding alpha male thing going on, but he came across as more…I’m not even sure what the right word is. Just less Hayden-esque.  The supporting characters are all there to prop up Sloane and Hayden, but Sloane’s BFF seems to accept her huge secret a little too easily. That didn’t ring true. I think she’d want some proof or something. There was also something about Sloane’s mom that felt off, like she didn’t come across as authentically parental, even a parent married to an alien.

What I Enjoyed About UNDER SUNLESS SKIES
1. Dialogue.
 Once again, the author excels at witty repartee that deliciously moves the story along.

2. Blog Posts. I love how Sloane’s horror film blog posts help the reader grasp what Sloane’s going through without extensive internal monologue or exposition.

3. Sloane. She’s simply one of my favorite young adult protagonists. She embraces her plus-size self and doesn’t fret over her body image at all.

4. Hot Make-Out Sessions. Soule knows how to bring the heat without crossing a line.

5. The Mystery. I have to admit, I was never sure who the blackmailer was. The author does a great job of creating a pool of plausible suspects.

Bottom Line
A fun, fast read that’s light on sci-fi and heavy on teen angst.

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

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About the Book
Title: UNDER SUNLESS SKIES
Series: Starlight Saga #2
Author: Sherry Soule
Pages: 335
Category: Young Adult Paranormal/SciFi Romance
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

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Author Sherry Soule

Author Sherry Soule

About the Author
Sherry Soule lives with her family and two black rescue cats in Northern California. She’s always wanted to live in a world where sweatpants are sexy, cupcakes don’t make you fat, and she could adopt every homeless animal.

She writes young adult, new adult, and adult in urban fantasy, romantic comedy, and paranormal romance genres set in fictional places within the SF Bay Area that feature independent females and sexy alpha males.

Many of Sherry’s books have spent time on the Kindle bestseller lists and have been nominated as top picks in the “Best Paranormal Romance” categories.

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Where to Find Sherry Soule
Goodreads | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – SHARDS (The Prospero Chronicles) by F.J.R. Titchenell and Matt Carter

SHARDS Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for SHARD, the second book in the young adult horror/science fiction series, The Prospero Chronicles, by F.J.R. Titchenell and Mat Carter. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on their giveaway.

SHARDS (The Prospero Chronicles #2) by F.J.R. Titchenell and Matt Carter

SHARDS (The Prospero Chronicles #2) by F.J.R. Titchenell and Matt Carter

About the Book
Title:
SHARDS
Series: The Prospero Chronicles #2
Authors: F.J.R. Titchenell and Matt Carter
Release Date: June 20, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Horror/Science Fiction
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | BAM! | !ndigo | IndieBound | Smashwords

Synopsis
When autumn descends on Prospero, California, Ben hopes the normality of the new school year may offer a reprieve from the town’s paranormal horrors. Mina knows all too well that there are no reprieves and no normality to be had in Prospero, but even she can’t prepare for what the coming year holds.

On top of the vivid hallucinations that have plagued Mina since the attack on the Warehouse, and the brewing Splinter civil war that threatens all of humanity, inside the walls of Prospero High, Ben, Mina, and their expanding Network face a vicious campaign to destroy their friendship, and a mysterious assassin picking off human rebels – an assassin with powers like no Splinter they’ve fought before.

Ben and Mina’s one hope rests with a mysterious old man hiding in the woods outside of town; a living legend who may be able to teach them how to fight this dangerous new breed of Splinter. That is, assuming he doesn’t kill the pair of them himself..

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Excerpt #1 – Mina
Marian Kelly died in a one-car accident near her home in Turtle Lake, Montana, on August twentieth, at the age of forty-two. Marian is predeceased by her parents, Rand and Millicent “Millie” Kelly, and her brother, Christopher. Marian was born in Prospero, California, and studied Psychology at the University of California, San Francisco. She held black belts in multiple martial arts and was an accomplished member of the Turtle Lake Hunting Club.

I skipped the details of Marian’s perfunctory funeral service, put the newspaper clipping back in the plain, unstamped envelope it had arrived in, and filed it out of sight; not that this did anything to clear the smudged print from my vision. Alone, it was unsettling. In a stack of six other recent obituaries of other Splinter hunters, in six other anonymous envelopes with my name stamped on the front, it sent a very clear message.

I’m no stranger to death threats. At the time of Marian’s death, it had been less than a month since the Splinter posing as my father told me to my face that if Ben or I fought back again, if we even tried to run, the humans would be wiped out of my infested little town of Prospero completely.

I’d fact-checked each obituary as it came in.

Every one of the hunters had died under circumstances that looked very much like suicide. Most of the obituaries didn’t say so, exactly, but after the few that did, omissions of the cause of death and euphemisms like “one-car accident” and “chemical overdose” were easy enough to decipher. Sometimes, when the deaths had been a little more bizarre or had occurred on slow news days, there were more details to be found when I looked up the rest of the news sources in the area.

These weren’t suicidal people. They weren’t quitters. Wondering how someone could possibly have made it appear as if Drake Tymon had slit his wrists and throat alone in an industrial freezer that was later found barricaded from the inside was filling my head quite effectively with distractingly disturbing scenarios.

But the thing bothering me most about the obituaries was the fact that all seven of their subjects were currently loitering around my bedroom.

Sometimes, if I stared directly at them for long enough, they seemed to remember that they were supposed to be dead and vanish accordingly, albeit temporarily. Otherwise I could see them, silently and blankly watching me work, as clearly as I could see my bookshelves, my bed, and the stark beige walls and end tables that, until recently, had held my very large and very useless anti-Splinter amulet collection.

Nightmares are no more new to me than death threats. That’s not what these were. A hunter would die and join the rest of the hallucinations in my room the day after the obituary arrived, and then another one would die and join him without fail. If things carried on this way, my room was going to become unmanageably crowded quite soon.

It wasn’t even as if I were going to miss the hunters. A few of them, like Drake, I’d known pretty well years ago, but I’d stopped assuming they were still alive—never mind still human—long before they’d turned up dead. Others, like Marian, I only knew by reputation in the first place.

Not knowing them well only made it stranger that they were here, after everything I’d lived through and lost without having suffered from any sensory distortions before.

Ready? The text scrolled across my phone’s screen after Ben’s name.

Almost, I texted back.

I wasn’t looking forward to conducting the upcoming meeting for my entire Network, a roomful of people who had nothing in common other than their knowledge of Splinters and their confidence in my judgment and clarity of perception. Ben had insisted, though. A lot had changed, and people needed to be brought up to speed.

Billy was gone, lost to the Splinters, if we had ever even had him. Whatever had been passing for my absentminded ally had been manipulating us to breach the peace, such as it was, for no one knew how long.

Ben hadn’t even met some of the others yet. Our discovery of portals to other parts of the world in the Splinter Warehouse had put an end to the Effectively Certain Non-Splinters list, or had reduced it to a uselessly small number of people. The only people in town I could really be effectively certain of anymore were myself and Haley, since we’d both recently been ripped directly out of replication pods. That wasn’t enough to work with, so I’d had to downgrade my entire Network to Extremely Probable Non-Splinters and start training myself to live with that, because the alternative was not getting anything done at all.

Ben was stubbornly under the impression that Haley’s presence on the list alone qualified her as a Network member. I disagreed.

Most important, we now knew more terms of the Splinter-Human treaty and exactly how precarious our position was. Two human-on-humanoid Splinter kills by the same human would mean all-out war, and Ben and I each had one strike already. And no matter how careful we were, Billy and any like-minded Splinters would find a way to incite that war sooner or later. We were counting on an unforeseen miracle to make the human side a significant power before then.

As someone who doesn’t believe in miracles, this wasn’t news I would enjoy delivering, even on my best day.

I finished up some new touches on the map over my desk—the new world map I’d posted under the map of Prospero to track probable Splinter activity at the other portals—and blinked hard, hoping the illusion of the hunters would fade out at the usual time. Their faces were already getting blurry around the edges, right on schedule.

That was something, at least. I was going to be able to function for another day. If my Network, the few humans invested in finding or building that miracle, found out what was happening to me, it would probably be the end of what hope we had. They would give up on the one thing they all agreed on, my reliability, and maybe they’d be right to do it. I’d probably do the same in their position.

But even if I couldn’t see a difference between the walls and furniture that constituted my room and the dead people that my brain had decided to superimpose in front of them, at least I still knew the difference. I still knew what was rational and what wasn’t. Before the first hunter had appeared, the evidence of my senses had been the basis for almost everything I thought and did. It was going to be difficult to get used their new fallibility, just like the fallibility of the ECNS list. But as long as the inner workings of my mind were in working order, it was worth at least trying to do my job.

Or that’s what I told myself, for the thirty-seventh time, when I recognized Ben’s knock on the front door above.

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SPLINTERS (The Prospero Chronicles #1) by F.J.R. Titchenell and Matt Carter

SPLINTERS (The Prospero Chronicles #1) by F.J.R. Titchenell and Matt Carter

About Book 1
Title:
 SPLINTERS
Series: The Prospero Chronicles #1
Authors: F.J.R. Titchenell and Matt Carter
Release Date: June 6, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Horror/Science Fiction
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | BAM! | !ndigo | IndieBound | Smashwords

Synopsis
Under normal circumstances, Ben and Mina would never have had reason to speak to each other. He’s an easy-going people person with a healthy skepticism about the paranormal; she’s a dangerously obsessive monster-hunter with a crippling fear of betrayal. But the small Northern California town of Prospero, with its rich history of cryptid sightings, miracles, and mysterious disappearances, has no normal circumstances to offer.

When Ben’s missing childhood friend, Haley Perkins, stumbles out of Prospero’s surrounding woods and right into her own funeral, Ben and Mina are forced to work together to uncover what happened to her. Different as they are, their unlikely friendship may be the only thing that can save the town, and possibly the world, from its insidious invaders.

“A snapping, crackling, popping homage to classic horror.” —Kirkus Reviews.

“Whip-smart dialogue… genuinely terrifying Splinters, the descriptions of which will have fans of monster films utterly enthralled… A promising series opener, this will satisfy those readers who like their scary stories to be as clever as they are chilling.” —KQG, the Bulletin of The Center for Children’s Books.

“The stakes are high. The action is intense.” —Washington Independent Review of Books..

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Authors F.J.R. Titchenell and Matt Carter

Authors F.J.R. Titchenell and Matt Carter

About the Authors
F.J.R. TITCHENELL is an author of young adult, sci-fi, and horror fiction, including Confessions of the Very First Zombie Slayer (That I Know of). She graduated from Cal State University Los Angeles with a B. A. in English in 2009 at the age of twenty. She currently lives in San Gabriel, California, with her husband, coauthor, and amazing partner in all things, Matt Carter, and their pet king snake, Mica..

Where to Find F.J.R. Titchenell
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

MATT CARTER is an author of horror, sci-fi, and yes, even a little bit of young adult fiction. He earned his degree in history from Cal State University Los Angeles, and lives in the usually sunny town of San Gabriel, California, with his wife, best friend, and awesome co-writer, F.J.R. Titchenell. Check out his first solo novel, Almost Infamous.

Where to Find Matt Carter
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter 

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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – ROOK (Bridge and Sword ~ Awakenings) by J.C. Andrijeski

ROOK Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for ROOK, the first book in the adult post-apocalyptic science fiction romance series, Bridge and Sword: Awakenings, by USA Today bestselling author, J.C. Andrijeski. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

ROOK (Bridge and Sword ~ Awakenings #1) by J.C. Andrijeski

ROOK (Bridge and Sword ~ Awakenings #1) by J.C. Andrijeski

About the Book
Title: ROOK
Series: Bridge and Sword: Awakenings #1
Author: J.C. Andrijeski
Publisher: White Sun Press
Release Date: April 22, 2017
Genre: Adult Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
From USA TODAY bestselling author, a psychic warfare alternative history set in a gritty version of Earth. Contains strong romantic elements – a book in the Bridge & Sword World. Apocalyptic. Psychic Romance.

“You are the Bridge…”

Allie Taylor lives in a world populated by seers, a second race discovered on Earth at the beginning of the 20th Century. Psychic, hyper-sexual and enslaved by governments, corporations and wealthy humans, seers are an exotic fascination to Allie, but one she knows she’ll likely never encounter, given how rich you have to be to get near one.

Then a strange man shows up at her work –– then another –– and pretty soon Allie finds herself on the run from the law, labeled a terrorist and in the middle of a race war she didn’t even know existed. Yanked out of her life by the mysterious and uncommunicative Revik, Allie discovers her blood may not be as “human” as she always thought, and the world of seers might not be quite as distant as she always imagined.

When Revik tells her she’s the Bridge, a mystical being meant to usher in the evolution of humanity––or possibly its extinction––Allie must choose between the race that raised her and the one where she might truly belong..

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ROOK Teaser 1

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Excerpt #1
The new man was handsome, startlingly so.

Auburn hair fell on either side of perfect bone structure, large eyes of pale amber, dark brows, a well-formed jaw, and full, beautifully-shaped lips quirked in a faint smirk. His eyes never left the man holding the gun to my head.

The smirk definitely seemed aimed at him.

“Now, now, Revi’,” the auburn-haired man said. “Let’s not get overexcited.”

Mr. Monochrome jammed the gun tighter to my head. “You can’t possibly think I won’t do it.” The German-accented voice was cold as ice. “Turn around. Leave. Now, Terry. Or this ends here.”

My jaw loosened. I looked at my brother, Jon, who was staring between the man holding a gun to my head and the one he’d called “Terry.”

I began to feel like I’d walked into the middle of a movie set. Jon and I felt almost superfluous to whatever was unfolding. I could tell Jon was struggling to make sense of that same thing, of how he’d been shunted aside even as things escalated. Even so, Jon recovered faster than I did. After a bare breath, held up a hand to Mr. Monochrome.

“Put the gun down, man,” he said, his voice shaken. “Please. Don’t hurt her.”

Mr. Monochrome’s eyes never left the auburn-haired man.

“Leave, Terry,” he growled. “Right now. My orders are fucking clear. I will kill her.”

“No, you won’t.”

The man holding me gripped me tighter, his hand on my shoulder now, his fingers digging into muscle, practically holding me by my collar bone.

“The fuck I won’t. Walk out of here. Now.”

Jon turned, staring at the auburn-haired man without lowering the hand he held up towards Mr. Monochrome. “Are you a cop?” he snapped. “What the fuck are you doing, man? Leave! Don’t you see he means it?”

The auburn-haired man didn’t glance at Jon, either.

“This is so childish, Revi’,” he said, clicking his tongue in an oddly expressive way as he shook his head. “We both know you will not kill her.”

“Terry––”

“The police are already on their way, my friend.” The auburn-haired man smiled. He shook his head, that smile still playing around his full lips. “So is SCARB. Are you really so willing to wear a collar again? Do you miss Asia so much, you’d be happy to return there to live on a work camp?” Clicking his tongue again, he sighed, holding out his hand. “Give me the gun, Revi’. Give it to me, and release her. I will let you leave before they get here.”

When he took a step towards us, Mr. Monochrome stepped back.

Gripping me tighter, Mr. Monochrome angled himself behind me, still holding the gun to my temple. He began moving us in a circle, taking a sideways step in the direction of the door, as if he meant to angle us around Jon and the auburn-haired man. Jon turned with us, his hand still up. He was pale now, and I saw his eyes dart towards the door, then back to the gun still pressed hard to my temple. He glanced at the auburn-haired man, without taking his eyes off the gun for more than a millisecond.

“You a cop?” Jon said again.

The auburn-haired man smiled, his eyes still following the man who held me. “In a manner of speaking. Yes.”

“He’s not a fucking cop,” the man holding me said. His voice was hard as metal, still tinged with that German accent. “Jon, you don’t want her to go with him. Trust me.”

Jon gave him a hard look, then looked back at the auburn-haired man.

For some reason, I found myself thinking that Jon actually believed him.

I believed him, too.

It was entirely irrational, but I would rather leave there with Mr. Monochrome than with the handsome man who said he was a cop.

Mr. Monochrome continued to maneuver us towards the door.

The auburn-haired man took a step towards us. Then another. He walked cautiously, his eyes on the man holding me, as if he was approaching a tiger.

“Revi’,” he said. “Be reasonable.”

Like Jon, he held up a hand, as if to calm a wild animal–-one that was cornered, snarling at him. His voice turned soothing, matter-of-fact. “You’ve lost this round, old friend. You waited too long. Let her go. If your people want to negotiate getting her back––”

The man holding me let out a humorless laugh.

“Go fuck yourself, Terry,” he growled.

The man with the auburn hair smiled faintly, then shifted his gaze until he was looking solely at me. His eyes and expression grew solemn as he studied my face.

I found I couldn’t look away from those amber, light-filled irises. They seemed to glow with their own internal light as he watched me seriously.

“Has he told you, little sister?” he said. “Has he told you who you are?”

When I just stared at him blankly, the man broke out in a disarming smile.

“Of course he didn’t,” he mused. “Classic Dehgoies. Why would he tell you anything when it’s easier to simply club you over the head and drag you with him by force?” Clucking his tongue lightly in amusement, the man shook his head, still focusing on me. “We have been looking for you longer than you’ve been alive, Alyson dear––”

“Shut up,” the man holding me growled. “Quit with the fucking head-games, Terry.”

The man ignored him, looking only at me. “Do you have any idea how important you are, Alyson?” he said gently. “How the elders managed to hide you here, after all this time, allowing you to play human… well. Let’s just say, it’s upped my respect for their abilities a fair bit. I would never have guessed they’d be capable of such a thing.”

“Terry––”

The auburn-haired man held up a hand. “You are the Bridge, Alyson May Taylor. Do you know what that means?” His smile turned faintly predatory, conspiratorial. “Do you?”

I didn’t answer, swallowing as I glanced sideways at the man holding the gun to my head. It occurred to me again that somehow I was less afraid of him than I was of the man with the auburn hair. The thought made no sense. It was borderline nuts, like the fastest form of Stockholm Syndrome imaginable, but somehow the feeling persisted.

The auburn-haired man seemed to take my silence as an answer.

“The Bridge is sent here to save us, Alyson,” he said, his voice lulling, seductive. “You’re going to save us all. You’re going to return your people to their rightful place––burning the human world, and all of its cruel, empty, child-like bullshit to the ground. You’re going to set us free. You’re going to force them to evolve, Bridge Alyson.”

I stared at him, unable to respond.

Somehow, I could feel he meant what he said.

I saw it in him, like one can see the fervor of a religious fanatic. It reminded me of that sheen in the eyes of people who’d knocked on my front door, there to sell me on their God, prophets and churches. He believed his words. He pinned hope on that belief. Some part of him maybe even lived for it, in a sense.

He truly believed he’d been waiting for me.

I found myself concentrating on him harder.

Silver lights flickered at me, out of time, out of joint. Above him, I glimpsed a pyramid made of light, rotating in the darkness over his head. Something about that vision brought a spike of pain to my temples. It was white-hot, blinding.

I gasped, leaning against the man holding me.

He clutched me tighter. Concern bled through his fingers, a near longing. For the barest instant, I really felt him behind me, like a beating heart. The feeling was familiar––so familiar it brought a rush of something akin to relief. He breathed with me, holding the gun to my head, but we felt almost like a single being, a single heart and set of lungs. Pain twisted through me at the thought, but not like the pain that struck my temples.

Truthfully, it wasn’t like any pain I’d ever felt before. Longing wound into that pain, too, along with another rush of that familiarity.

The man holding me turned his head, looking at me.

I felt that pain on him, too. I felt it intensify––

––when the man with the auburn hair lunged at us both. He leapt towards me, moving without a sound, the instant the man holding me turned his head.

He moved fast––so fast I barely saw the shift.

I saw his attack unfold in the abstract, a blurred motion of aggression and animal-like violence. It was coming straight at me, so fast my heart leapt to my throat. It was too fast for thought, too fast for my mind to make sense of the exact threat.

I just knew I was under attack.

It terrified me more than the threat of the gun. More than the man holding me.

This man coming at me was danger. That’s all my mind fully understood.

DANGER. DANGER.

Maybe that’s why it happened.

Time slowed to a standstill. I felt every inch of expanding heat as adrenaline shot through my veins, every millimeter of those iron-like fingers gripping my shoulder, my heart hammering, the man holding me breathing hard enough I could feel each breath as it vibrated my body. I saw my brother’s face as he watched, terrified, from a few feet away, his hand still up as he stared at me, his expression full of fear.

I don’t really know how to explain what happened after that.

Something in me just… let go.

That’s how it felt.

It was as if a fist I’d held clenched, somewhere in the middle of my chest, suddenly loosened. Whatever it was, I’d held it for so long, I hadn’t known I held it at all. It was just how it was, to be clenched in that part of me.

When I let go of that tightness I’d carried since birth, it started a chain reaction in some distant part of me. A folding sensation, like a telescope being collapsed in segments, only lightning fast, a ticking film in the background of my mind with an oddly mechanical, almost beautiful precision.

A rush of power hit me somewhere in the middle of the chest.

That time, it didn’t come from outside of me.

I breathed it out, and it was as natural as… well, breathing.

That force slammed out of me like a hard exhale, like if I held it in, even a second longer, it might burn me apart from the inside.

Then it was gone.

It left me. I watched it go, fascinated, in that space of no-time. A slow-motion millisecond unfolded with the same precision as that part of my mind that had collapsed, folding within itself just a fraction of that same second before.

It hit the man who’d lunged for me first.

Jon was blown back after him, around the same time the first man’s feet left the ground, as he’d begun to fly backwards through the air, reaching the place where Jon was.

Then Jon’s feet left the ground, too.

I watched in that moment of timeless silence, seeing their bodies fly through the air, going in the opposite direction from where I stood. I saw that same force that came from my chest, only now it looked like a pale green light in the darkened spaces behind my eyes.

My own eyes were light––only light.

Somehow, I saw through that light anyway, for those few seconds at least.

Even though the force hit Jon second, he slammed into something first.

I watched him fly partway over a tabletop where two college-aged kids were eating pie and drinking coffee. They’d been watching the exchange between the four of us, I realized––everyone in the diner had been staring, riveted, the instant Jon showed up at the door, demanding Mr. Monochrome let me go.

Now I saw the two college kids’ faces alter in slow-motion, eyes widening as they saw my brother heading straight for them and their table.

His back slid over their pie and coffee, only an inch or two above the surface. His legs and tennis shoes hit the edge of the chrome tabletop, knocking their plates and glasses sideways and back, causing the girl sitting there to throw up her arms, also in slow-motion. Jon kept going, not stopping until he landed on a second table behind them, which had a tray covered in dirty soda glasses and coffee cups that the other waiter, Corey, must have left there when he went on his smoke break.

Those glasses and coffee cups flew towards the floor even as Jon’s tennis shoes scraped over the edge of the first tabletop, then he was heading for the floor.

The auburn-haired man flew further, since no table stood directly behind him from the direction of that onslaught of pale green light.

My attention shifted to him somewhere in that fraction of a second.

I watched him fly through the air, his amber eyes wide, the handsome face contorted in disbelief even as his arms pinwheeled, his hands and fingers actively looking for purchase. One of his hands was looking for something else, too. It dug into his jacket, reaching for the gun there, fighting to get it free of the holster he wore under the suit. I watched him struggle with it as he flew all the way to the wall.

Then, both struggles abruptly ended. He crashed into a row of glass shelves covered in fifties knick-knacks––an old radio, metal lunch boxes, Elvis Presley records, a letterman’s jacket.

It wasn’t until he hit into all of that, smashing the shelves with his shoulders, head and arms, that the sound seemed to come back in the diner.

Screams were the first thing that penetrated my awareness.

Then gunshots.

I flinched, violently, sure I was dead.

Something whizzed by me. I felt it pass, but didn’t move.

Then the man holding me grunted, half of his body jerking back, to both of our right.

More gunshots broke the quiet. That time, it was the man holding me who was firing. For the first time, it hit me that he was left-handed.

He wasn’t firing at me.

Instead, when I looked up in shock, I saw the end of his gun smoking. He’d aimed it past me, over my shoulder, at the man with the auburn hair.

I gaped from the gun back to the wall.

The man there held a gun as well. He’d somehow managed to unholster it while he’d been flying through the air. He’d been the one shooting at us, at least until the man holding me ended him. He’d shot the auburn-haired man right in the middle of the forehead. The shot was so precise it shocked me.

My vision slanted out.

Light took its place. That light blocked my view of the surrounding room.

Gasping in panic at my sudden blindness, I found myself acutely aware of everything else happening around us.

I heard people scrambling to their feet, knocking over chairs, moving tables. Screams followed. I felt fear––of the guns, yes, but not only the guns. Some of that fear felt aimed at me. Loud speech and frightened gasps confused me. I felt their panic like a physical force. It made me wince, then grimace from the pain of it––but I couldn’t see them, or anything else.

My eyes wouldn’t work. Everything was light––just light.

Green light, like what my mind conjured around that force in my chest, just before Jon and that other man flew across the room. I blinked, panicking at my seeming blindness.

I blinked, over and over, but the light wouldn’t dim.

Then the fingers holding me tightened so much I let out a gasp.

“Jurekil’a u’hatre davos!” The man was breathing hard, almost as hard as the people panicking around us. He gasped, speaking right near my ear. I couldn’t see him through the light, but his own panic slammed into me, making me nauseous. Was he afraid of me? “Gaosdi’lanlente a’guete… you’re a fucking manipulator! Gaos! Gaos!”

I couldn’t make sense of anything he said.

All I knew was, he sounded afraid. Shocked to the point of paralysis.

I kept blinking, fighting to see.

I felt dizzy, light-headed. Truthfully, I felt like I might be sick.

I leaned against the man where he held me against him, not thinking about the gun anymore, only wanting to see, to know what happened, where I was, why everyone was screaming. Did I really see this man shoot another man in the head?

Then, another thought brought panic back to my throat.

Had I hurt Jon? What happened to Jon?

Terror hit me, along with a surge of dread that nearly overwhelmed me.

“Where’s Jon?” I managed, my words blurred, groggy. “Where is he? Is he all right?

Something in my words seemed to snap the man holding me out of his stupor.

The fingers released me, but for barely a second.

An arm wrapped roughly around my waist, wrenching me against a hard, muscular body. I gripped that arm in my hands, still fighting to see, to think, to move my mind beyond that nausea and dread. I couldn’t budge the arm off me.

Truthfully, I could barely make myself try.

I couldn’t remember ever being so drained, scared or exhausted.

Before I could wrap my head around what he was doing, the feelings coming off him, he was carrying me. Half-carrying me, at least, dragging me with him.

I couldn’t see, but I knew we were heading towards the door.

That’s when I first heard the sirens.

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ROOK Teaser 2

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Author J.C. Andrijeski

Author J.C. Andrijeski

About the Author
JC Andrijeski is a USA TODAY bestselling author who writes paranormal mysteries and apocalyptic fiction, often with a sexy, romantic and metaphysical bent. JC has a background in journalism, history and politics, and loves martial arts, yoga, meditation, hiking, swimming, horseback riding, painting… and of course reading and writing. She grew up in the Bay Area of California, but travels extensively and has lived abroad in Europe, Australia and Asia, and from coast to coast in the continental United States. She currently lives and writes full-time in Bangkok, Thailand.

To learn more about JC and her writing, please visit jcandrijeski.com.

If you want an email when JC’s next book is released, as well as special giveaways, offers to read books early and other prizes, join her newsletter, THE REBEL ARMY, at: http://hyperurl.co/JCA-Newsletter

JOIN NOW and you’ll get a FREE BOOK!

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Where to Find J.C. Andrijeski
Goodreads Website | NewsletterFacebook | Twitter 

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Book Blast + Giveaway – DIGGING IN THE STARS by Katherine Blakeney

DIGGING IN THE STARS Book Blast

Welcome to the book blast for DIGGING IN THE STARS, a young adult science fiction adventure, by Katherine Blakeney. See below for information the book, buy links, and details on her giveaway.

DIGGING IN THE STARS by Katherine Blakeney

DIGGING IN THE STARS by Katherine Blakeney

About the Book
Title: DIGGING IN THE STARS
Author: Katherine Blakeney
Publisher: Blaze Publishing
Release Date: March 28, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Links: GoodreadsAmazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUBarnes & Noble | Kobo

Synopsis
A lost ancient civilization and the tomb of a legendary king lie buried beneath centuries of ash on the volcanic planet Thror, but that’s not the only reason sixteen-year-old Carter has tricked her Archaeology of Outer Space class into coming here. Her best friend Conrad has just disappeared on a trip to Thror, leaving behind little more than a broken vintage camera. The strange and disturbing photographs she manages to extract make her suspect Conrad’s disappearance is somehow connected to the hidden tomb of the last king of Thror.

Unfortunately, the ludicrously over-friendly ‘Furry Giants’ who have taken over the planet’s barren surface would rather offer her cheap souvenirs than answers, and the local officials insist they have no record of Conrad’s existence. Inspired by fear for Conrad’s life and the chance to make the greatest archaeological discovery of the century, Carter and her friends follow Conrad’s footsteps deep into the mountains of Thror’s forbidden Black Zone and launch an illicit excavation.

Coded messages, stunning ancient ruins, and clues left by Conrad himself begin to surface as the young archaeologists fall victim to an alarming series of accidents staged by the increasingly hostile Furry Giants. Piecing together a history of dictatorship, terrorism and disguise, Carter glimpses the horrors beyond Thror’s flamboyant façade and startling revelations about the friend she thought she knew. The masks of Thror hide devastating secrets, and the golden tomb buried deep in the frozen core may claim the lives of everyone she loves.

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What Readers are Saying
“I had a lot of fun reading this unique book!” – Carla, Goodreads Reviewer

“a refreshing twist on a lot of modern sci-fi that can be too dark or aloof” – Samantha, Goodreads Reviewer

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Author Katherine Blakeney

Author Katherine Blakeney

About the Author
Katherine Blakeney is an author and filmmaker with a BFA in Stop Motion Animation from the School of Visual Arts in New York and a PhD in Film Studies from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland, UK). Raised by an Egyptologist mother, she grew up among museums and excavation sites, where she developed an unhealthy fascination with ancient art and mythology. She divides her time between bringing 12”-tall people to life in her studio in Edinburgh, excavating ancient tombs in the Egyptian desert, and researching Gothic literary monsters in silent film. She has published numerous articles on film and archaeology and her independent short films have screened at various international film festivals including the Edinburgh Fringe.

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Where to Find Katherine Blakeney
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

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Giveaway
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Cover Reveal – LUX AND LIES (Whitebird) by Meg Collett

LUX AND LIES Cover Reveal

Author Meg Collett is unveiling the cover to LUX AND LIES, the first book in her young adult science fiction thriller series, Whitebird, releasing May, 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

LUX AND LIES (Whitebird #1) by Meg Collett

LUX AND LIES (Whitebird #1) by Meg Collett

About the Book
Title:
 LUX AND LIES
Series: Whitebird
Author: Meg Collett
Release Date: May, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction Thriller
Links: Goodreads

Synopsis
Mr. Robot meets UnReal in a story of celebrities and anarchists, reality shows and evil corporations, romance and self-discovery.

Nineteen-year-old Wren Iver is nothing more than a dying girl with cancer, but when megastar Sloan Lux dies right before filming starts on the year’s most anticipated reality show, producers scramble to secretly replace her—with Wren. She’s swept into Hollywood and promised a cure by VidaCorp, the nation’s richest bioengineering corporation, for simply replacing Lux. It’s a deal Wren can’t refuse.

The decision could get her killed, because she isn’t the only cast member with ulterior motives

The Whitebirds, a social anarchist group, has infiltrated the show, and they’ll stop at nothing to use Sloane Lux’s fame to derail VidaCorp’s efforts to legalize their controversial, life-changing drug—a drug that might kill more people than it saves. Caught in the middle of a game between a powerful corporation and ruthless anarchist group, Wren will do anything to survive.

Will Wren secure the drug she needs to survive, or will she become another casualty in the anarchists’ fight against VidaCorp?

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LUX AND LIES (Whitebird #1) by Meg Collett (Full Cover)

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Author Meg Collett

Author Meg Collett

About the Author
Meg Collett is from the hills of Tennessee where the cell phone service is a blessing and functioning internet is a myth of epic proportions. She and her husband live in a tiny house with three dogs and not enough couches. She’s the author of the bestselling Fear University series, the End of Days trilogy, and the Canaan Island novels.

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Where to Find Meg Collett
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – GROND (The Raven High) by Yuri Hamaganov

GROND Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for GRON: THE RAVEN HIGH, a young science fiction novel, Yuri Hamaganou. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on his giveaway.

GROND (The Raven High) by Yuri Hamaganov

GROND (The Raven High) by Yuri Hamaganov

About the Book – NOW FREE!
Title: GRON: THE RAVEN HIGH
Author: Yuri Hamaganou
Release Date: February 28, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Synopsis
In the year 2086, Earth is exhausted. The seas have been emptied, the bedrock and soil stripped of their resources, and the superheated atmosphere churns with terrible storms. Those who can afford to do so live in the limbo of virtual reality, and the billions who suffer in poverty have no work, no clean water, and no security from the chaos.

The only hope for those trapped on a dying Earth are the Changed—the seven bioengineered post-humans who work in their separate manufacturing facilities orbiting high above the planet. Raised from birth for their work and fully matured at ten years old, their genius provides the nanomaterials that have begun to cleanse Earth of the pollutants that have wiped out almost the entire ecosphere.

But for Olga Voronov, youngest of the Changed, the isolation and endless toil are not the greatest of her challenges. Down on Earth there are those who resent and fear her talents—and would prefer that humanity not be given the second chance that only she could make possible ….

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Excerpt #7
…The stage under Olga’s feet disappeared. Now she was balancing on thin steel rope stretched between the two skyscrapers. The girl kept her balance, clasping the guitar. Somewhere not far her rivals balanced on similar ropes, but she didn’t think about them. She fully concentrated on the music. It was an old and familiar standard—Jimi Hendrix’s cover of “All Along the Watchtower.” Olga struck the first chords and trotted over the rope toward the roof of the far skyscraper.

Thousands of eyes in the auditorium watched the contestants swaying on their tightropes with guitars in their hands. The audience commented on the proceedings, made bets, and enjoyed themselves. However, Olga didn’t see or hear that. The all-important thing for her now was to move forward, step by step, and to play with the proper cadence and precision.

Hendrix was followed by Metallica’s “Master of Puppets.” And that was when a drawn-out howl broke loose. The Mohawk had bungled a chord, received several strong electric shocks, and fallen screaming from the tightrope.

Olga had made it halfway across her tightrope when Metallica was replaced by ZZ-Top. She missed a note at the beginning of “Concrete and Steel” and the pain very nearly sent her down. Bending backward at her waist to shift her center of gravity and regain her, Olga cursed herself. How could she mess up such a simple riff?

In five minutes she reached the end of the rope and stood on the roof of the skyscraper. The black man in the military uniform and the cyborg with a striped torso were waiting for her there. The last to come across was the Japanese girl. On the final portion of the rope she came close to falling as she butchered the guitar solo from the Beatles’ “Let It Be.”

After a second’s pause, the skyscraper disappeared. Now they stood on an emerald green lawn dotted with purple wildflowers. In the distance a large stop road sign with a finish inscription stuck up from the grass. What was the catch? Olga’s eyes magnified by tenfold. Ah, there it was! Thin steel wires stretched here and there fifteen centimeters above the grass.

Olga advanced across the grass, now playing Pink Floyd’s “Сomfortably Numb.” She spotted small clumps of raised turf here and there. Obviously the grass had been dug up with a spade and put back again, though not very neatly. More mines. Olga clenched her teeth and walked on. Her intense search for mines partially distracted her from Gilmore’s solo and cost her several shocks, but she continued her progress.

The Japanese girl in front of her vanished in a flash and clouds of gray smoke. The shockwave tore at Olga’s internal organs; she lost her balance and fell to the grass. Electric shocks pierced her body, but she didn’t hurry to recover her guitar. It was vital not to trip a wire—the shock of the exploding mine could kill her in real life as well as the Matrix.

The electric shops intensified, but she stoically withstood them. The guitar’s neck was entangled in a wire. Olga kneeled and with utter caution lowered the guitar just a little to free the neck out. The striped cyborg stood at the finish line, hoping to see another blast.

“You won’t get it from me!” Olga said through her teeth.

But her rival got her wish when a mine erupted on her left. Olga didn’t look back. Slowly and cautiously, stepping over suspicious places, she advanced until her hand touched the finish sign, the mined meadow disappeared, and she was again in the club arena. Olga and the striped girl sized up each other with incinerating stares.

“The two strongest remain!” the master of ceremonies said. “Now our beautiful winners are ready for the final round!”…

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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – DIGGING IN THE STARS by Katherine Blakeney

DIGGING IN THE STARS Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for DIGGING IN THE STARS, a young adult science fiction adventure, by Katherine Blakeney. See below for information the book, buy links, an exclusive teaser excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

DIGGING IN THE STARS by Katherine Blakeney

DIGGING IN THE STARS by Katherine Blakeney

About the Book
Title: DIGGING IN THE STARS
Author: Katherine Blakeney
Publisher: Blaze Publishing
Release Date: March 28, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Links: GoodreadsAmazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUBarnes & Noble | Kobo

Synopsis
A lost ancient civilization and the tomb of a legendary king lie buried beneath centuries of ash on the volcanic planet Thror, but that’s not the only reason sixteen-year-old Carter has tricked her Archaeology of Outer Space class into coming here. Her best friend Conrad has just disappeared on a trip to Thror, leaving behind little more than a broken vintage camera. The strange and disturbing photographs she manages to extract make her suspect Conrad’s disappearance is somehow connected to the hidden tomb of the last king of Thror.

Unfortunately, the ludicrously over-friendly ‘Furry Giants’ who have taken over the planet’s barren surface would rather offer her cheap souvenirs than answers, and the local officials insist they have no record of Conrad’s existence. Inspired by fear for Conrad’s life and the chance to make the greatest archaeological discovery of the century, Carter and her friends follow Conrad’s footsteps deep into the mountains of Thror’s forbidden Black Zone and launch an illicit excavation.

Coded messages, stunning ancient ruins, and clues left by Conrad himself begin to surface as the young archaeologists fall victim to an alarming series of accidents staged by the increasingly hostile Furry Giants. Piecing together a history of dictatorship, terrorism and disguise, Carter glimpses the horrors beyond Thror’s flamboyant façade and startling revelations about the friend she thought she knew. The masks of Thror hide devastating secrets, and the golden tomb buried deep in the frozen core may claim the lives of everyone she loves.

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Teaser Excerpt
“Please remain seated as we begin our descent into Thror. Welcome, and enjoy your stay.”

The time for action was at hand, and she still didn’t feel ready. The flight felt much shorter than she’d expected.

The girls exchanged bewildered looks across the aisles. Stunned silence. They couldn’t have missed that final announcement. Avoiding Professor P’s gaze, Carter still felt the look of shock the professor shot across the cabin. Once, Carter had seen herself arriving on Thror as a great explorer. Instead, she would be remembered as a half-baked deceiver and kidnapper. The Throrians would have called her a scent-changer.

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Author Katherine Blakeney

Author Katherine Blakeney

About the Author
I am an author and independent filmmaker/stop motion animator with a BFA in Stop Motion Animation from the School of Visual Arts in New York and a PhD in Film Studies from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland, UK). My thesis focuses on silent film adaptations of late nineteenth and early twentieth century Gothic novels, with a special emphasis on psychological and aesthetic representations of the Monster figure. My debut novel, a YA Sci-Fi adventure called Digging in the Stars, is forthcoming with Blaze Publishing on March 28, 2017.

Raised by an Egyptologist mother, I grew up among museums and excavation sites, where I developed an unhealthy fascination with ancient art and mythology. I divide my time between bringing 12”-tall people to life in my studio in Edinburgh, excavating ancient tombs in the Egyptian desert, and researching Gothic literary monsters in silent film. I have worked for more than 10 years as photographer and videographer for the South Asasif Conservation Project, an archaeological expedition in Egypt and I have published numerous articles on film and archaeology.

I write, direct, design, and animate short films and commissioned projects in my studio in Edinburgh, Scotland and have been employed as an animator, screenwriter, modelmaker and art director for studios in Edinburgh, South Korea and Qatar. I have produced commissioned projects for IdeasTap in London, the Arts Trust Scotland and the British Library. My shorts have won competitions and screened at various international festivals including the Edinburgh Fringe. In 2015, my short film The Burglar With the Yellow Hand was nominated for an Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK) Research in Film Award..

Where to Find Katherine Blakeney
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Young Adult Book Review + Giveaway – NEXIS (Tricksters #1) by A.L. Devore

NEXIS (Tricksters #1) by A.L. Davroe

NEXIS (Tricksters #1) by A.L. Davroe

4 Stars

Synopsis
In the domed city of Evanescence, appearance is everything. A Natural Born amongst genetically-altered Aristocrats, all Ella ever wanted was to be like everyone else. Augmented, sparkling, and perfect. Then…the crash. Devastated by her father’s death and struggling with her new physical limitations, Ella is terrified to learn she is not just alone, but little more than a prisoner.

Her only escape is to lose herself in Nexis, the hugely popular virtual reality game her father created. In Nexis she meets Guster, a senior player who guides Ella through the strange and compelling new world she now inhabits. He offers Ella guidance, friendship…and something more. Something that allows her to forget about the “real” world, and makes her feel whole again.

But Nexis isn’t quite the game everyone thinks it is.

And it’s been waiting for Ella.

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My Review
NEXIS is a rollercoaster ride in only the best of amusement parks. A soup pot of adventure, virtual reality, science fiction, romance, in a utopian/dystopian setting, it’s a delicious read. Ella is the daughter of the creator of Nexis, a virtual reality game that is taking her world by storm. After a tragic accident leaves Ella with a life she barely recognizes, she escapes into Nexis. Inside the game, she meets Gus and his merry band of friends and gets sucked into their quest. In Nexis, nothing is as it appears, setting up a fantastic adventure full of action, drama, and intrigue.

Plot
The plot centers around the quest, but there’s more to it, including Ella’s budding romance with Gus and a number of mysteries that I won’t spoil. Some I had figured out from the beginning, others not so much. I think that’s what makes this so much fun to read. It’s part story, part game, part story within a story.

Characters
Ella is annoying at times, but given how she was raised, I could overlook most of it. Gus is an enigma who becomes less so through the story. The rest of the characters play minor roles for the most part. This is probably one of the areas that I least liked about the story. The characters seem to only be there to support the plot, so it’s a good thing the plot is so amazing.

World Building
This is where the story shines like the midday summer sun. Author, A.L. Davroe has created a fascinating world that is layered, detailed, and full of rules that drive everything. What makes this world building so interesting is that there are multiple worlds, each just as detailed as the previous. At times it can be tough to keep it all straight, but the author does most of the hard work for you.

What I Enjoyed About NEXIS
1. World building.
 Absolutely top notch. Complex, detailed, and vibrant.

2. Plot. The plot is layered and brilliant. I love the whole concept behind this and can’t wait to dig into the second book in the series.

3. Gus. He’s the one character I felt had the most development. Guster is infinitely captivating, and while I was pretty sure I figured out who he was from the beginning, his character unfolded through the pages like a flower blooming in spring.

4. Nexis. Why is this not a real thing? If it was, I’d have a hard time not going into Nexis every day.

5. Technology. The author’s imagination comes alive, creating technology that would make Steve Jobs salivate.

Bottom Line
Nexis is a plot-driven story that delivers with plenty of action and lots of twists.

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

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About the Book
Title: NEXIS
Series: Tricksters #1
Author: A.L. Davroe
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: December 1, 2015
Pages: 304
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction/Dystopian Romance
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | Entangled

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Author A.L. Davroe

About the Author
I write both YA and adult speculative fiction. I prefer revisionist tales in paranormal, romance, Steampunk, and fantasy. I’m the author of Salvation Station (adult psych horror), The City Steam Collection (adult psych horror), For Your Heart (YA Paranormal Romance) and my YA Sci-Fi novel, Nexis, is coming out with Entangled Publishing in 2015!

By day, I live in Connecticut with my two feline hench-creatures.  I’m a terrible blusher, have a weak spot for cuddly animals, love Laffy Taffy and Cadbury MiniEggs, and I’m a huge advocate of alternative healing methods.  I also wear Vibram five-finger toe shoes and corsets…Though not always in the same ensemble.  I’m a Capricorn, a Hufflepuff, and a few nuggets short of a Happy Meal.  I also suffer from Resting Bitchface Syndrome (RBS), so even though I might look like I’ll tie you in a knot if you come near me, I’m more afraid of you than you are of me (see blushing problem above).

Where to Find A.L. Davroe
GoodreadsWebsite | NewsletterFacebookTwitter

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Young Adult Book Review – WHEN PLANETS FALL (Stars Fall Circle) by Abby J. Reed

WHEN PLANETS FALL (Stars Fall Circle #1) by Abby J. Reed

WHEN PLANETS FALL (Stars Fall Circle #1) by Abby J. Reed

4.5 Stars

Synopsis
Breaker’s home is cleaved by blood. The three tribes on the planet Scarlatti, whose only difference is their blood color, each want to exploit Breaker’s valley for themselves. The feudal tension has already claimed red-blood Breaker’s leg and his older brother. Now all this 18-year old wants is to maintain the tenuous peace in order to keep his little ‘stroid of a brother alive. Malani, a red-blood raised blue, is a kidnapped POW and only wants to return to her adoptive home with her dangerous blue secrets. Luka, a red-blood stewing for trouble, wants to right wrongs done to his family and bathe his home in justice.

All three intersect when Breaker discovers a wrecked starship and is given seven days by the green-bloods to fix and hand it over as a weapon. Breaker must decide if aiding his enemies is worth the home he knows and his family’s life. War is coming. And war respects no boundaries. And war leaves no survivors.

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My Review
WHEN PLANETS FALL is unlike any other book I’ve read. Mixing equal parts science fiction, dystopian, and romantic elements, it weaves a tale of complex characters in an even more complex world. Told from three different first-person points-of-view, I initially thought it was one POV too many, but about halfway in, it becomes apparent that third POV is necessary for the story the author wants to tell. Breaker is a fix-it guy, able to make just about anything with the parts at hand. Malani is a red blood, raised by the blue bloods after the green bloods kidnapped and tortured her. To save her life, they infused her with living metal, which creates whatever the person needs most. In Malani’s case, it’s a set of metal wings. Luka is in the militia with dreams of advancement. When the war between the red, green, and blue bloods comes to a head, their three worlds collide in unexpected ways and no one is exactly as they seem. The author has a unique voice that I immediately fell in love with. This is her debut novel, so I’m looking forward to so much more from her. She paints a brilliant picture of her settings and characters. There were several twists I never saw coming, particularly one near the end.

Plot
Breaker stumbles upon a wrecked starship while out scouting, which triggers the green bloods to kidnap him. Their king holds the lives of his red-blooded community over his head unless he fixes starship. While in custody, he meets Malani and the two of them form an unlikely alliance in order to escape. With the safety of his home hanging in the balance, Breaker has no choice but to repair the ship for the green blood s. Between Melani, his family, and a very suspicious Luka, Breaker struggles with where his loyalties lie, but underneath it all, is a driving need to protect those he loves.

Characters
The three main characters were all extremely well developed, with sufficient growth through the first book in the series. Even secondary characters came across fairly well developed. I found Breaker’s parents to be somewhat two-dimensional as well as the red-blooded leader, but overall, I think the character development was great.

What I Loved About WHEN PLANTES FALL
1. World building.
 This is among the best I’ve read in young adult fiction. The author has created a vibrant world with stunning technology that feels both exotic and familiar.Everything from the red trees to the way blue bloods reproduce is not only unique, but contributes to the plot. Even the language was great. It took a bit to pick up the lingo, but now I use “banging” as one of my favorite swear words.

2. Breaker. This tough teen with an artificial leg named Circuit is tough, independent, cunning, and charming. He has a solid moral compass, even if his means are questionable.

3. Malani. The girl who belongs nowhere with the metallic wings is a one-of-a-kind protagonist. Because she’s human and not some paranormal being, everything she does is flawed and imperfect, but she’s so easy to root for.

4. The cover. When I first saw the cover, I was drawn to it, but once I was deep into the story, I kept going back to the cover to look at it. It truly encapsulates the story within.

5. Luka. I’m still on the fence about him, but I cannot deny he’s one of the most complex characters in the story. I can’t wait to see where the journey takes him next.

Bottom Line
I loved this story and all of the characters. Can’t wait for the next book in the series!

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

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About the Book
Title: WHEN PLANETS FALL
Series: Stars Fall Circle #1
Author: Abby J. Reed
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Release Date: May 10, 2017
Pages: 420
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction/Dystopian Romance
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

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Author Abby J. Reed

Author Abby J. Reed

About the Author
Abby J. Reed writes young adult science fiction and fantasy novels that ask what if. She has a degree in English Writing and is drawn to characters with physical limitations due to her own neurological disorder called Chronic Migraine. Her debut novel, When Planets Fall, will be published in April 2017 by Soul Mate Publishing.

Abby lives in Colorado with her husband and two fluffy pups. If her hands aren’t on the keyboard, they are stained purple and blue with paint.

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Where to Find Abby J. Reed
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Tumblr
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Release Day – RISING FLAMES by Kennedy Layne

Today is release day for RISING FLAMES, the fifth book in her adult dystopian scifi series, Surviving Ashes, by USA Today bestselling author, Kennedy Layne. See below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.

RISING FLAMES (Surviving Ashes #5) by Kennedy Layne

RISING FLAMES (Surviving Ashes #5) by Kennedy Layne

About the Book
Title: RISING FLAMES
Series: Surviving Ashes #5
Author: Kennedy Layne
Release Date: March 21, 2017
Genre:
Adult Dystopian Science Fiction/Military Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
USA Today bestselling author Kennedy Layne concludes the Surviving Ashes series with an explosive story where the strength of love rises against the loss of humanity…

Van Overton had given years of service to his country.  He’d paid his dues and he no longer needed to put his life on the line.  He could live out the rest of his days doing what he did best—making money from inside the heart of the world’s fastest paced financial system.  

Allie James had wished time and again for something—anything—to happen just so she didn’t have to open another eviction notice.  She adored the hustle and bustle of the city, her cozy apartment in a good neighborhood, and the rugged looking man across the hall wasn’t half bad to look at either. Regrettably, she’d been thinking more along the lines of winning the lottery than an approaching apocalypse.  

Van should have known his luck wouldn’t hold out, but a supervolcano eruption?  It was a good thing his time in the military had taught him to be ready for just about anything.  Unfortunately, his next-door neighbor didn’t fit into anyone’s idea of a survival plan.  Allie was everything he tried to avoid in a woman, but she was definitely the one who had the ability to steal his heart.

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RISING FLAMES Teaser 1

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Excerpt
Allie was a fighter too. Van might not think that right now, considering he’d just witnessed her run for her life when bullets started to fly overhead. But that didn’t change the fact that she’d worked her own way through college, had held two jobs to pay her student loans, and would have done her damnedest to find a third shift at the cafe to pay her rent. She wasn’t a quitter and she sure as hell wasn’t ready to give up this time around.

“I guess we shouldn’t keep them waiting any longer then,” Allie said with a small smile of agreement, letting Van know that she’d come to terms with her decision. She would keep trying to reach Karen while they got underway, but staying here would only delay the inevitable. It was time to go, but she held up his cell phone before taking another step. “Do you mind if I keep trying to reach Karen? We were cut off and I—”

“Your friend can’t come with us, if that’s what you’re going to suggest.” Van had already turned toward the lot of abandoned vehicles, not even hearing her out. The previous compassion she’d thought she’d witnessed had taken a hike and she could feel her frustration building the more he went into detail about why it wouldn’t be possible to take anyone else with them. “I have a limited amount of supplies and taking anyone other than you will only guarantee their deaths.”

Allie refrained from saying something sarcastic, given that their safety was far from certain themselves. She still had a point to make.

“Wouldn’t it be safer to travel in numbers?”

“Is your friend willing to leave her parents behind? You said she was at her family’s farm, so I’m assuming she’s close with them. How old are they? Can they walk long distances? Do they have gasmasks and extra filters? Do they have the strength to do what is necessary to accomplish the mission?” Van stopped and turned so fast that Allie literally ran into him, resting her hand on his chest. He was angry, but he didn’t get to have that right. He was the one who’d chosen to take her along…not that she wasn’t grateful. The choice to stay here and die wasn’t a viable option. “This is a natural disaster of epic proportions, even apocalyptic. Difficult decisions have to be made and I won’t be responsible for more innocent deaths because we made a decision to do what was right for us.”

“Then why take me on as a responsibility when you could have just left me back there?” Allie countered, tilting her head so she couldn’t miss his expression. She’d told herself she wasn’t going to ask, but she sincerely wanted to know what had changed his mind and why he was willing to risk her life, but no others. “Why save me, Van?”

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RISING FLAMES Teaser 2

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Author Kennedy Layne

Author Kennedy Layne

About the Author
Kennedy Layne is a USA Today bestselling author. She draws inspiration for her military romantic suspense novels in part from her not-so-secret second life as a wife of a retired Marine Master Sergeant. He doubles as her critique partner, beta reader, and military consultant. They live in the Midwest with their teenage son and menagerie of pets. The loyal dogs and mischievous cats appreciate her writing days as much as she does, usually curled up in front of the fireplace. She loves hearing from readers–find out how to connect with her at www.kennedylayne.com.

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Where to find Kennedy Layne
Goodreads | Website | NewsletterFacebook Twitter | Instagram
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