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Young Adult Book Review – MIRACLE GIRL by Jennifer DiGiovanni

MIRACLE GIRL by Jennifer DiGiovanni

MIRACLE GIRL by Jennifer DiGiovanni

5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
Leanne Strong hates June eighth even though it’s supposed to a day for celebration. Fifteen years ago on that date, baby Leanne was purported to be miraculously healed of a spinal cord defect after her mother prayed to a religious mystic who was later elevated to sainthood. Since Leanne’s unexplained cure, thousands of people gather in her small town every year to celebrate her miracle–a miracle she doesn’t remember but still accepts as real–most of the time.

When teen pitching phenom Braeden Dalisay moves into the house across the street from Leanne, he harbors a chip on his shoulder even larger than his athletic talent. Forced to spend the summer in the same law office, he and Leanne carry on a working relationship that vacillates between stormy and silent. After Leanne finds out that Braeden’s sister, Emeline, recently passed away, the reason for his behavior becomes clear. Emeline Dalisay was a girl who didn’t get a miracle.

Time softens Braeden’s anger, and he and Leanne eventually draw closer. But when he and his family are hit with another traumatic event, he pulls away, the unfairness of life a deep wound. Leanne wants to help Braeden and his family heal as much as she wants a relationship with him. More than that, she wants a miracle for Braeden.

 

 

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My Review
Leanne Strong is the recipient of a verified miracle that she has zero recollection of. And while she’s grateful for the life she has, she hates being “Miracle Girl” and all the celebrity that goes with it. For that reason, she’s sworn off dating until she’s in college, far away from where anyone knows who she is or her miracle status. But when the Dalisay’s move in across the street, Braeden and and his sister, Sami, challenge everything Leanne believes about herself and her miracle. She wonders if she’s been ungrateful, even as she struggles to be what everyone expects her to, someone she doesn’t believe she is. Spending the summer working in her dad’s law firm, she spends more time with Braeden, who is also making a few extra bucks between baseball games. What starts off as a tense relationship soon blossoms into more, until Sami gets sick and threatens everything Leanne understands about herself, faith, and what it means to believe in something more than yourself.

Plot
The main plot revolves around Leanne’s relationship with her miracle girl status. She initially wants nothing to do with it. She’s just a regular girl with no recollection of what happened that night 15 years before. In fact, she can’t recall a time when she wasn’t the way she is now. She knows she’s expected to be so much more to others looking for their own miracles, but she feels inadequate when it comes to providing them with the inspiration they feel they so desperately need. With the help of Sami, Braeden, her family, and a priest, she comes to realize that memories aren’t required to appreciate the life she’s been given. There are also strong subplots involving her relationship with Braeden and her own faith.

Characters
Leanne is so relatable as an ordinary girl with extraordinary expectations. She knows that the world wants more from her than she’s able to give and struggles with this burden through much of the book. Braeden is the perfect, somewhat brooding, foil for Leanne’s positivity, but they have more in common than either of them realizes. These two navigate a tenuous romance amidst all the drama, providing some of the most heartwarming moments. The rest of the characters wonderfully round out the cast, particularly Leanne’s dad’s office staff.

Top things I LOVED About MIRACLE GIRL
1. Sami. Even after everything she’s lost, Sami is a perpetually positive force and impossible to ignore.

2. Faith. It’s an underlying theme centered around hope and gratitude, so perfectly incorporated that even those who don’t profess any faith will enjoy this book.

3. Leanne. She’s one of my favorite young adult protagonists of 2019. She’s grounded in a way that is both because of and in conflict with her miracle status.

4. Braeden. The pitching phenom is as sweet as he is hot, but with a brooding undertone that adds to his swooniness.

5. Miracles. Always there, and a main part of the plot, it’s really not about the miracle itself, but how the recipient copes with her worthiness.

Bottom Line
An inspirational story about faith, first love, and refusing to allow others to define you.

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

About the Book
Title: MIRACLE GIRL
Author: Jennifer DiGiovanni
Publisher: Vinspire Publishing
Release Date: November 30, 2019
Pages: 242
Category:
Young Adult Contemporary Romance/Spiritual
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

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Author Jennifer DiGiovanni

Author Jennifer DiGiovanni

About the Author
Jennifer DiGiovanni is the author of contemporary and light fantasy novels for teens. When she’s not reading or writing, she likes to try new sports and activities, from archery to ballroom dancing, all in the name of book research.

 

 

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Where to find Jennifer DiGiovanni
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

 

Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – WE ARE THE GHOSTS by Vicky Skinner

WE ARE THE GHOSTS Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for WE ARE THE GHOSTS, a stand-alone young adult contemporary romance, by Vicky Skinner.  See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

WE ARE THE GHOSTS by Vicky Skinner

WE ARE THE GHOSTS by Vicky Skinner

About the Book
Title: WE ARE THE GHOSTS
Author: Vicky Skinner
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: August 13, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Link: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
After her estranged brother suddenly dies, a girl embarks on a road trip to rediscover who her brother really was in Vicky Skinner’s contemporary YA novel, We Are the Ghosts.

When Ellie’s estranged brother, Luke, dies in a car accident, she’s not sure whether to be devastated that she lost the person who was once her best friend or enraged, still, that he left without a word a year ago. Now, the only people who seem to understand what she’s going through are Luke’s best friend and his ex-girlfriend, who she bonds with over their desire to figure out where Luke went when he walked out of their lives.

As she gets closer to them, and closer to Cade, a boy who seems determined to get to know her better, she realizes that she’s not the only one with reasons to be angry at Luke. And when Ellie makes a discovery that changes everything, she and her new friends hit the road, hoping that following Luke’s trail will bring them answers about the life Luke was living away from them.

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Excerpt #2
My hands tremble as I rip open the envelope and pull out the contents. I stare at the folded map in my hand, seeing just fragments of highways and state lines and blue bodies of water before I unfold it. 

I recognize it immediately, and it’s my first instinct to drop it, my heart beating loud in my ears. Because it’s like having Luke’s ghost in the room with me. I press my hands to my stomach and look down at it, lying sprawled open on my carpet. I can’t really be looking at this map. That map can’t really be on my floor. That map has been lost for ages. 

“These are all the places we have to visit before we die,” Luke said when he brought the map home. It was the summer before my freshman year of high school, before his junior year, and he spread the map across the dining room table like we were about to discuss war strategy. “If you want to add anything to it, just put X’s over the places, but I’ve already got most of the big stuff. Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, Times Square . . .” 

For months, we took turns researching new places to add to the map, and eventually we brought Wes into it. We picked big cities, ghost towns, weird attractions along the side of the highway. It was a whole summer of daydreaming about adventures in the mountains, relaxing on the beach, soaking up history and culture and sunshine. 

I slowly reach down and pick it back up. All the X’s, in different color marker, his and mine and Wes’s, are so plentiful, I almost can’t see the city names beneath them. Notes in the margins about gas mileage and hotels and entrance fees. It’s been folded and refolded and laid out flat so many times that the original creases are gone. It was just a stupid thing he got excited about, the way he got excited about things and then didn’t usually follow through on them. The map was our world for a few months and then it was forgotten about, and that was that. 

That was three years ago. Three years ago, and here it is, in my hands, and I feel dizzy with confusion and disbelief and maybe even a little fear. Where the hell did it come from?

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Author Vicky Skinner

Author Vicky Skinner

About the Author
Born and raised in Texas, I don’t act like much of a Texan. I like cold weather and hate country music. I have a gorgeous husband, two dogs, and a Literature degree from the University of Texas at Dallas. If I’m not at home reading a book or doing laundry, I’m probably at the bookstore, nannying three rambunctious boys, or stuck on the side of the road with car trouble. I’m a reader, a writer, and a bit of a crazy person.

 

 

 

 

 

Where to Find Vicky Skinner
Goodreads | Twitter

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Giveaway
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Cover Reveal + Giveaway – THE WOLF OF BASKERVILLES (The Adventures of Marisol Holmes) by Majanka Verstraete

THE WOLF OF BASKERVILLES Cover Reveal

Monster House Books and author Majanka Verstraete are revealing the cover for THE WOLF OF BASKERVILLES, the third book in the young adult paranormal romance series, The Adventures of Marisol Holmes, releasing November 12, 2019. See below for the cover, information on the book and series, preorder links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

THE WOLF OF BASKERVILLES (The Adventures of Marisol Holmes #3) by Majanka Verstraete

THE WOLF OF BASKERVILLES (The Adventures of Marisol Holmes #3) by Majanka Verstraete

About the Book
Title: THE WOLF OF BASKERVILLES
Series: The Adventures of Marisol Holmes #3
Author: Majanka Verstraete
Publisher: Monster House Books
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Release Date: November 12, 2019
Links: Goodreads  | Amazon  | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
Who is Marisol Holmes?

She’s a teenager.

Detective.

Jaguar shifter.

And don’t forget, she’s also the descendant of the great Sherlock Holmes.

Our heroine had been in some pretty tight spots before, but now? She’s about to face her biggest challenge yet: a powerful shifter with a taste for blood. No one has faced down the deadly wolf of the Baskervilles and lived to tell the tale.

Even so, Marisol Holmes plans to do just that.

 

 

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THE WOLF OF BASKERVILLES Teaser

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: A STUDY IN SHIFTERS
Goodreads  | Amazon  | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Book 2: THE SIGN OF THE SERPENT
Goodreads  | Amazon  | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

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THE WOLF OF BASKERVILLES Teaser

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Author Majanka Verstraete

Author Majanka Verstraete

About the Author
Author Majanka Verstraete has written more than twenty unique works of fiction. A native of Belgium, Majanka’s novels explore the true nature of monsters: the good, the bad, and just about every species in between. Her young adult books include the acclaimed Mirrorland (YA Dark Fantasy) and Angel of Death (YA Paranormal) series of novels.

When she’s not writing, Majanka is probably playing World of Warcraft or catching up with the dozens of TV series she’s addicted to.

Want the latest news about Majanka Verstraete? Sign up for our newsletter!

 

Where to Find Majanka Verstraete
Goodreads │Website │NewsletterFacebook │Twitter | Instagram

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Giveaway
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Young Adult Book Review + Giveaway – EVERYTHING I KNEW TO BE TRUE by Rayna York

EVERYTHING I KNEW TO BE TRUE Blog Tour

EVERYTHING I KNEW TO BE TRUE by Rayna York

EVERYTHING I KNEW TO BE TRUE by Rayna York

4 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
It was never easy for Cassie and her mother, struggling to make ends meet in their tiny apartment in The Bronx, but they had each other and that was enough. When her mother dies suddenly from an aggressive form of cancer, Cassie is forced to finish high school in California while living with the wealthy family of her mother’s closest friend—a women she never knew existed.

Living with the Stantons is the complete opposite of what she’s used to—the massive house, a father figure, and Cody, the spoiled, insanely good-looking son with the bedroom across the hall.

Broken with grief and struggling to fit in, Cassie meets Mila, a female powerhouse that helps her cope with a hidden past, the overwhelming present, and a shared experience no one should have to endure—a nightmare they both thought was over.

Warning: Although this book is classified as Young Adult, I recommended it for mature readers due to explicit language.

 

 

 

 

 

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My Review
EVERYTHING I KNEW TO BE TRUE is a powerful story about finding your inner strength even when everything around you seems to be falling apart. When Cassie’s mom dies of cancer, she moves from New York, the only home she knows, to the west coast to live with a family she barely remembers, a family that is not her own. Barely scraping by in New York, Cassie’s new life in Northern California couldn’t be more different, from the large sprawling homes to the intact nuclear family she comes to live with, including Cody, a boy from her childhood who has blossomed into a serious heartthrob with a room across the hall from hers. As she adjusts to a new life that does not involve wondering how they’re going to pay the bills, she is also thrust into high school drama she is totally unprepared to handle. Her east coast upbringing has given her a hard outer shell and the wit to hold her own, but only on the outside. Inside she’s crumbling from grief and feeling like a fish out of water. With the help of Cody, his parents, and new friends, she tenuously navigates her new world until secrets from her past and a cruel event at a party turn her world upside down once again, leaving her wondering if everything she thought was true is really just one more lie.

Plot
The story is about Cassie learning who she is and coming to terms with the truths she discovers about herself, her family, and life itself. But it’s also about friendship, family, revenge and romance. The author weaves everything together in a well-plotted tale with a few surprises.

Characters
I love Cassie. She’s snarky thanks to her childhood in the Bronx, strong, but not immune to the crap high school throws at you. Mila is hysterical as the new friend with a verbal stream of consciousness, and Cody is adorable as the quasi step-brother/love interest that creates a lot of the best conflict in the story. Cody’s parents and Cassie’s guardians are everything she needs and what we hope all parents would be. The antagonists are bit more stereotypical, but also different enough that I wasn’t always sure what to expect from them.

What I Enjoyed About EVERYTHING I KNEW TO BE TRUE
1. Mila.
 She is the vibrant colorful yin to Cassie’s dark and withdrawn yang

2. Cassie. It took me a little bit to warm up to her, but once I did, I absolutely loved her spunk.

3. Cody. Completely swoonworthy.

4. Surprises. There were a few twists I didn’t see coming that helped keep my interest when I felt the story was slowing down a bit.

5. Revenge. A dish best served deliciously cold.

Bottom Line
A sold young adult tale with interesting characters who are easy to root for.

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

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About the Book
Title: EVERYTHING I KNEW TO BE TRUE
Author: Rayna York
Publisher: Toad Tree Press
Release Date: May 12, 2019
Pages: 364
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUBarnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

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Author Rayna York

Author Rayna York

About the Author
Rayna York grew up with hippie parents that liked to adventure, so being the new kid was always a challenge. Where change was the norm, books were her constant–a way to escape. As an adult, many careers came and went, but writing has always been her passion. Everything I knew to be true is her first published novel.

 

 

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Where to find Rayna York
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Instagram

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Giveaway
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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – PERFECT PITCH (The Chameleon Effect) by Alex Hayes

PERFECT PITCH Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog Tour for PERFECT PITCH, the second book in the young adult paranormal romance series, The Chameleon Effect, by Alex Hayes. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

PERFECT PITCH (The Chameleon Effect #2) by Alex Hayes

PERFECT PITCH (The Chameleon Effect #2) by Alex Hayes

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: PERFECT PITCH
Series: The Chameleon Effect #2
Author: Alex Hayes
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Genre:
 Young Adult/New Adult Paranormal Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
All Dean wants is to escape…

But he can’t leave his younger brother, Ty, in the care of their alcoholic mother. And when their abusive father shows up, Dean has to get Ty out. Which means joining Shri — his best and only friend — in taking a job out of state and breaking the law by stealing his brother away.

Cadi’s life is almost back together after Dean blew it into a million pieces. She’s come to terms with her life as a shape-shifter — well, almost. She’s still trying to wrap her head around the fact that a vicious enemy is out to destroy the remnants of her people.

As if Cadi doesn’t have enough to deal with, Dean’s about to land on her front doorstep, forcing her to decide whether to let him into her secret world or  slam the door in his face.

The Chameleon Effect series, starring shape-shifter teens with extraordinary superpowers, is sure to appeal to Young Adult and New Adult readers who enjoy romance with a paranormal twist.

 

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Excerpt #3
At three, I text Ty and get no answer. After fifteen minutes of silence, I head home.

Dad’s truck is gone, so I park my car in its place—my space—as if that will somehow keep him from coming back. I kill the engine.

Pepper’s continuous barking from over the backyard fence makes me stiffen. Why would Ty leave him outside making such a ruckus?

The answer is, he wouldn’t.

I jog to the front door, trying to convince myself nothing’s wrong. Ty’s wearing his earbuds, that’s all. Or he’s in the shower.

“Ty?” I shout as I burst through the door.

No answer.

“Mom? Ty?”

Still nothing. The parents must have taken him out to an early dinner is all, but I hurry to his bedroom door, anyway, heartbeat racing.

Closed.

I knock. “Ty?”

A faint sob.

Shit! I thrust open the door and face total devastation.

Broken pieces of wood and wire lay scattered across the floor. The shattered remains of Ty’s guitar.

Stifling a gasp, I turn toward the bed. Ty lies curled in a ball, his face hidden in the pillow, crying.

“Ty?” I bend over him, rub his shoulders and gently peel his fingers from a death grip on the bedding.

He twists in my arms and buries his face into my chest.

“What happened?” I whisper, trying to keep some semblance of calm in my voice. “Did he hit you?”

When he doesn’t answer, I push Ty far enough away to see his face. Blotches of red mar his features, but no swelling or bruising.

I swallow. “Tell me if he touched you.”

“He pu-pu-pushed me.” Ty’s slender frame trembles as I pull him close. “And b-b-broke my guitar.”

I squeeze my eyes shut, wrapping a tourniquet around the fury building in my chest, and take a deep breath. “Don’t worry about your guitar, okay? We’ll get you a new one. But I need to know if Dad hurt you in any other way. Where did he push you?”

The events come out in as many broken pieces as the guitar strewn across the floor. I reassemble them into a story that starts with Ty practicing his guitar with his earbuds in, and not hearing Dad yelling at him to stop making noise. It ended with our father bursting into Ty’s bedroom, shoving him into the wall and smashing his guitar across the floor, then stamping on it.

Once Ty has calmed down, I snap photos of the mangled guitar, for what it’s worth. Once I’ve confirmed neither Mom nor Dad are on the property, I let Pepper inside and tell Ty to pack a bag, because we’re leaving.

Ty throws a sports duffel on his bed and turns to me. “We have to take Pepper.”

Part of me wants to argue, but Ty’s right. Pepper’s no less prone to abuse than either of us. I throw clothes, toiletries and my most valuable belongings into a bag, including the graduation gift for Shri.

This whole situation reminds me too much of the past, of how powerless I was at Ty’s age. I grip the zipper tab and swipe it across the bag. History can’t be repeated. I won’t let it.

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: SILKEN SCALES
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

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Author Alex Hayes

Author Alex Hayes

About the Author
Alex Hayes wrote her first fiction story when she was twelve. Inspired by her mother’s storytelling, she began work on her first novel, Ice Cracks, at eighteen.

She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. In her twenties, she moved from Marin County, California to Boston, Massachusetts, where she built a career as an IT professional in database engineering. In 2004, she self-published Ice Cracks, which became a semi-finalist in the 2005 IPPY Awards.

Alex splits her time between Grand Junction, Colorado and Guanajuato, Mexico. When she isn’t writing, she’s helping her partner, Lee, renovate a 450 year old hacienda. She is mother to one beautiful daughter and many wonderful cats..

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Where to Find Alex Hayes
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – BEASTS OF THE FROZEN SUN (Frozen Sun Saga) by Jill Criswell

BEASTS OF THE FROZEN SUN Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for BEASTS OF THE FROZEN SUN, the first book in the young adult fantasy series, Frozen Sun Saga, by Jill Criswell. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

BEASTS OF THE FROZEN SUN (Frozen Sun Saga #1) by Jill Criswell

BEASTS OF THE FROZEN SUN (Frozen Sun Saga #1) by Jill Criswell

About the Book
Title: BEASTS OF THE FROZEN SUN
Series: Frozen Sun Saga #1
Author: Jill Criswell
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | GooglePlay

Synopsis
Burn brightly. Love fiercely. For all else is dust.

Every child of Glasnith learns the last words of Aillira, the god-gifted mortal whose doomed love affair sparked a war of gods and men, and Lira of clan Stone knows the story better than most. As a descendant of Aillira and god-gifted in her own right, she has the power to read people’s souls, to see someone’s true essence with only a touch of her hand.

When a golden-haired warrior washes up on the shores of her homeland–one of the fearful marauders from the land of the Frozen Sun–Lira helps the wounded man instead of turning him in. After reading his soul, she realizes Reyker is different than his brethren who attack the coasts of Glasnith. He confides in her that he’s been cursed with what his people call battle-madness, forced to fight for the warlord known as the Dragon, a powerful tyrant determined to reignite the ancient war that Aillira started.

As Lira and Reyker form a bond forbidden by both their clans, the wrath of the Dragon falls upon them and all of Glasnith, and Lira finds herself facing the same tragic fate as her ancestor. The battle for Lira’s life, for Reyker’s soul, and for their peoples’ freedom has only just begun. 

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BEASTS OF THE FROZEN SUN Teaser

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Excerpt
Something made me stop. 

There, sitting atop my father’s black warhorse, was a Westlander unlike any other. Long ashen hair trailed behind him. He was bare chested, as if he didn’t fear the threat of blades on his skin, and he radiated a sleek, savage sort of beauty. 

His gaze locked on me.

Beautiful. Savage.

The Savage prodded his mount. Leaning to one side, he brought his axe crashing down into the Sons of Stone who ran at him, wielding his weapon like an extension of himself. My clan’s warriors fell. Blood splashed in waves across his skin.

His eyes never left mine. My limbs were heavy as boulders, stiff as plaster.

A voice called my name. Rhys rushed toward me, sword in hand. His eyes darted from me to the Savage, trying to reach me first.  

The horse was coming. My legs wouldn’t move. 

The Savage veered at the last second, passing between Rhys and me, so close his calf brushed my arm, and I shivered. He circled his horse back in our direction, and Rhys grabbed me, yanking me forward. The warhorse’s hooves pounded, nearly on top of us. We only made it a few steps before Rhys stumbled and choked, eyes widening. His hand slipped from my arm. His sword fell into the grass. 

A battle-axe was buried between his shoulders.

My scream was the raw, wrenching keen of an animal. I caught Rhys as he collapsed, lowering him to the ground. I looked around wildly, calling for Father and Garreth. 

The Savage leaped off his horse.

“Stay away!” I let go of Rhys and picked up his sword. 

With a swift kick, the Savage knocked the weapon from my grip. I drew the dagger, and he slapped it away too. He pulled me to him, smelling my hair, running his fingers through it. I hammered my fists against him, but it did nothing. This close, I saw every detail of his face, his body. I absorbed them through a haze of shock. 

Older than Garreth, younger than Father. Tall, muscled, with thick hair hanging down his back in braided ropes of silvery-white. Eyes a shade of greenish-gold, like a cat’s. Black ink crawling across one entire side of his body: up his stomach, chest, and neck, then back down the length of his arm to his fingertips, coiling along one jaw and cheek, to his forehead, disappearing into his scalp. Knotted patterns, with intricately etched claws and tails and reptilian heads interwoven between the twisted links. 

If the other Westlanders were frost giants, he was a leviathan; if they were beasts, he was their king. 

I struggled feebly, my palms smacking his chest. Anguish had torn my mind wide open, left my abilities untethered; my consciousness plunged into the depths of his soul. Except what I dove into was nothing. Colorless, shapeless, void of sensation. The space was starkly, infinitely empty. A barren abyss.

The Savage had no soul. 

I pulled my hands free, snapping back into my body as the Savage grasped my chin. “What you see, soul-reader?” The words sounded cumbersome to his mouth. He took hold of my wrist, bending it to expose the scar of flame Reyker had marked me with, laughing like my scar was a joke meant to offend him. “He is here.” 

The Savage thrust one of his hands into my hair, holding my head still, and the other tightened around my waist, crushing me against him. He pulled a delicate knife from his belt, pushing my hair back and sliding the stiletto behind my ear. The blade bit into my flesh in short, deep cuts. He was carving me. Marking me, just as Reyker had, only this felt far more violent. I whimpered as blood dripped down my neck. “Mine,” he said. 

A threat and a promise.

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BEASTS OF THE FROZEN SUN Teaser

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Author Jill Criswell

Author Jill Criswell

About the Author
Jill Criswell is a writer of Young Adult Historical Fantasy. She was born and raised in the swamps of northeastern Florida. She earned degrees in English and Psychology and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida. Her greatest passion, besides reading and writing, is traveling the world; she’s visited fifty countries across six continents, falling in love with places like Iceland, Namibia, and Cambodia. She works as a university English teacher and lives in South Carolina, near the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with her husband and daughter (who is named after a volcano in Iceland).

 

 

 

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Where to Find Jill Criswell
Goodreads | Website | FacebookTwitter | Instagram

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Young Adult Book Review + Giveaway – T-MINUS by Shannon Greenland

T-MINUS Blog Tour

T-MINUS by Shannon Greenland

T-MINUS by Shannon Greenland

5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
I am the daughter of the first female POTUS, and today is about to become the longest day of my life… 

24 hours—that’s how much time I have to save my mother before terrorists assassinate her. But now my father and brother are missing, too. This goes deeper than anyone thinks. Only someone on the inside would know how to pull this off—how to make the entire First Family disappear. 

I can’t trust anyone, so it’s up to me to uncover the conspiracy and stop these madmen. Because little do they know, they picked the wrong person to terrorize. 

My name is Sophie Washington, and I will not be a victim. No one, I repeat no one, is taking me or my family down. But the clock is ticking…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Review
Chasing Liberty meets 24, as the daughter of the country’s first female president finds herself embroiled in a terrorist plot to take down the administration. On her seventeenth birthday, Sophie Washington is doing anything but having the time of her life. Her brother is missing, her family is separated, and she has been told she cannot trust anyone, not even Frank, her secret service detail who has been with her much of her life. With minimal training in a teen CIA program for the offspring of operatives, she stumbles her way through an ever-changing game. Recruiting her best friends from the program, Jackson, Zeke, and Callie, she attempts to do what she believes no one else will, only to become a pawn in the biggest conspiracy to ever target the United States. Without knowing who is working against her mother, Sophie is isolated and terrified, but finds something within herself to rise to the challenge in this pulse-pounding young adult thriller.

Plot
T-MINUS is a plot-driven tale, and the plotting is near perfect. The pacing provides plenty of page-turning action and just enough breaks to allow us to catch our breath before careening into the next big moment. The author keeps us guessing the entire time, allowing us to feel like Sophie, unable to trust anyone. One twist follows another, and layer upon layer of intrigue is expertly woven to create a story worthy of the big screen. In fact, I’ll be shocked if this isn’t turned into a blockbuster movie at some point.

Characters
The characters are great, but pretty much in line with the story. There is no new ground broken here, but I love Sophie as the somewhat risk-averse teen who is forced to step so far outside her comfort zone, she hardly recognizes herself. The cast surrounding her provide just the right balance, and because I don’t want to give anything away, i won’t say anything more about them.

What I Loved About T-MINUS
1. The Pacing.
 The story unfolds at the perfect pace and I devoured it.

2. Twists. So many twists and turns, I never knew what was going to happen next, but all of it was perfectly foreshadowed.

3. Sophie. The reader gets to see her in a way she never envisions herself, making her both sympathetic and someone to root for and a kick-ass heroine.

4. Intrigue. I’m a political-thriller junkie, and this book has all the same elements that made No Way Out one of my favorite movies of all time.

5. Zeke. Her fellow TIA member and secret crush, he’s completely swoon-worthy.

Bottom Line
A page-turning thriller with a strong female lead who also happens to be utterly relatable.

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: T-MINUS
Author: Shannon Greenland
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: July 31, 2019
Pages: 320
Genre: Young Adult Thriller
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUBarnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

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Author Shannon Greenland

Author Shannon Greenland

About the Author
Shannon Greenland, or S. E. Green, is the award winning author of the teen thriller, Killer Instinct, a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers; the teen spy series, The Specialists, an ALA Popular Paperback and a National Reader’s Choice recipient; and the YA romance, The Summer My Life Began, winner of the Beverly Hills Book Award. Her books have been translated into several languages and are currently on numerous state reading lists. Shadow of a Girl is her latest novel and due out 9.19.16. Shannon has participated in and served as a guest speaker at festivals and conferences around the country to include but not limited to the LA Times Book Festival, American Library Association, Book Expo of America, Bouchercon, Romance Writers of America, RT Book Convention, Young Adult Keller Book Festival, Southern Festival of Books, and many more. Shannon grew up in Tennessee where she dreaded all things reading and writing. She didn’t even read her first book for enjoyment until she was twenty-five. After that she was hooked! When she’s not writing, she works as an adjunct math professor and lives on the coast in Florida with her very grouchy dog. Find her online everywhere @segreenauthor...

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Where to find Shannon Greenland
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Cover Reveal – DOROTHY IN THE LAND OF MONSTERS (Oz ReVamped) by Garten Gevedon

DOROTHY IN THE LAND OF MONSTERS Cover Reveal

Author Garten Gevedon is revealing the cover to DOROTHY IN THE LAND OF MONSTERS, the first book in her young adult paranormal fantasy series, Oz ReVamped, releasing October 11, 2019. See below for information on the book, preorder links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

DOROTHY IN THE LAND OF MONSTERS (Oz ReVamped #1) by Garten Gevedon

DOROTHY IN THE LAND OF MONSTERS (Oz ReVamped #1) by Garten Gevedon

About the Book
Title: DOROTHY IN THE LAND OF MONSTERS
Series: Oz ReVamped #1
Author: Garten Gevedon
Release Date: October 11, 2019
Genre:
 Young Adult Paranormal Fantasy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo 

Synopsis
Shifters, Zombies, and Vampires? Oh my!

My name is Dorothy Gale, and I think I might be dead.

When my dog Toto and I got swept up in a twister, we landed in hell. A very colorful hell. Like a rainbow dripping in blood. Now it looks as though this dreadful underworld plagued with vampires, zombies, and shifters will be the site of my eternal damnation.

They say this terrifying land called Oz isn’t hell or purgatory and escape is possible, but first I must survive the journey down the blood-soaked yellow brick road to the only place in Oz where vampires dare not tread—The City of Emeralds.

With enchanted footwear and the help of my three new friends—a friendly zombie, a massive shifter lion, and a heartless axe murderer of evil night creatures (who also happens to be the hottest guy I’ve ever seen)—Toto and I have a chance to make it to the Vampire Free Zone. When we get there, I must convince the most powerful wizard in this magical land of monstersto send us out of this radiant nightmare and back to the world of the living. They say he’s just as frightening as this monstrous land, that he detests visitors, and even the most horrifying creatures cower in his presence. But I must seek him out. And when I find him, I’ll do whatever it takes to make him send me home.

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Author Garten Gevedon

Author Garten Gevedon

About the Author
Garten Gevedon lives in New York City with her family. She’s a sci-fi, fantasy, and paranormal author who loves taking fairy tales and turning them inside out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to Find Garten Gevedon
Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Instagram | BookBub

 

Cover Reveal – MIA (A Hart Twins Novel Rx) by Charyse Allan

MIA Cover Reveal

Author Charyse Allan is revealing the cover to MIA, the second book in her young adult thriller series, Hart Twins Rx, releasing August 13, 2019. See below for information on the book and series, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

MIA (A Hart Twins Novel Rx #2) by Charyse Allan

MIA (A Hart Twins Novel Rx #2) by Charyse Allan

About the Book
Title: MIA
Series: Hart Twins Rx #2
Author: Charyse Allan
Release Date: August 13, 2019
Genre:
 Young Adult Thriller
Links: Goodreads

Synopsis
Growing up in the picture-perfect family with wonderful parents, an outstanding brother, and a sickeningly flawless twin is impeccable groundwork for a screw-up.

Mia didn’t realize what she was getting into with her first drug deal. The adrenaline rush, her immorality, made it all the more appealing. When she realizes what she’s done, how badly she screwed up this time, she wants out, wants to run away from the problems she caused. But the moment she tries to disentangle herself from the operation, they hound her twin sister, showing her just how stuck she is.

An unlikely friendship presents itself in the form of her brother’s best friend, who happens to be the investigating detective of the very drug operation she’s caught up in. Even knowing she supersedes the things he swore an oath to protect, she grasps this alliance with everything she has. No matter what she does, the threats become more and more violent, forcing her to choose between the truth and her family’s safety. She’s not sure whether she’ll ever be able to escape the grave she dug.

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: AVA
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

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Author Charyse Allan

Author Charyse Allan

About the Author
Charyse Allan is an avid reader, but didn’t become one until high school. This is also when she realized her passion for writing, however it wasn’t until a couple years into her marriage that she tried her hand at writing a novel.

She grew up in Arizona, dancing at her mom’s studio and riding horses at her dad’s house. She’s a jack of many trades, having been a pastry chef, line cook, server and secretary, but is now living her dream as a writer.

When she isn’t writing or reading, she can be found in Northern Arizona, tending her garden with her husband and best friend, while their two kids and two crazy dogs run around the yard. Charyse is also a big fan of yoga, juicing and being a vegetarian–she misses bacon like nobody’s business.

 

 

Where to Find Charyse Allan
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

Release Blitz + Giveaway – T-MINUS by Shannon Greenland

T-MINUS Release Blitz

Welcome to the release blitz for T-MINUS, a stand-alone young adult thriller, by Shannon Greenland. See below for information on the book, buy links, and details on her giveaway.

T-MINUS by Shannon Greenland

T-MINUS by Shannon Greenland

About the Book
Title:
 T-MINUS
Author: Shannon Greenland
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: July 31, 2018
Genre: Young Adult Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUBarnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
I am the daughter of the first female POTUS, and today is about to become the longest day of my life… 

24 hours—that’s how much time I have to save my mother before terrorists assassinate her. But now my father and brother are missing, too. This goes deeper than anyone thinks. Only someone on the inside would know how to pull this off—how to make the entire First Family disappear. 

I can’t trust anyone, so it’s up to me to uncover the conspiracy and stop these madmen. Because little do they know, they picked the wrong person to terrorize. 

My name is Sophie Washington, and I will not be a victim. No one, I repeat no one, is taking me or my family down. But the clock is ticking…

 

 

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Author Shannon Greenland

Author Shannon Greenland

About the Author
Shannon Greenland, or S. E. Green, is the award winning author of the teen thriller, Killer Instinct, a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers; the teen spy series, The Specialists, an ALA Popular Paperback and a National Reader’s Choice recipient; and the YA romance, The Summer My Life Began, winner of the Beverly Hills Book Award. Her books have been translated into several languages and are currently on numerous state reading lists. Shadow of a Girl is her latest novel and due out 9.19.16. Shannon has participated in and served as a guest speaker at festivals and conferences around the country to include but not limited to the LA Times Book Festival, American Library Association, Book Expo of America, Bouchercon, Romance Writers of America, RT Book Convention, Young Adult Keller Book Festival, Southern Festival of Books, and many more. Shannon grew up in Tennessee where she dreaded all things reading and writing. She didn’t even read her first book for enjoyment until she was twenty-five. After that she was hooked! When she’s not writing, she works as an adjunct math professor and lives on the coast in Florida with her very grouchy dog. Find her online everywhere @segreenauthor...

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Where to find Shannon Greenland
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – THE SIN SOLDIER (Fragments) by Tracy Auerbach

THE SIN SOLDIER Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for THE SIN SOLDIER the first book in the young adult fantasy scifi series, Fragments, by Tracy Auerbach. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THE SIN SOLDIER (Fragments #1) by Tracy Auerbach

THE SIN SOLDIER (Fragments #1) by Tracy Auerbach

About the Book
Title: THE SIN SOLDIER
Series: Fragments #1
Author: Tracy Auerbach
Release Date: July 23, 2019
Genre:
 Young Adult Fantasy/Science Fiction
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooksKobo

Synopsis
Red compound makes them angry. Yellow exhausts them. Blue drives them into a state of ravenous addiction. The thief Kai knows about the chemically controlled soldiers of the Eastern forces and their savage, deadly nature. When a robbery attempt at Club Seven goes wrong, Kai is captured by a handler and his bestial soldier-boy. She wakes up inside the military base with no idea what happened to her twin brother, Dex.

Things go from bad to worse when Kai is started on a drug and training regimen, and forced to take injections of blue compound. The scientists in charge plan to make her into a working soldier who will mine the mysterious power crystals beneath the desert. Kai becomes a victim of the bully Finn, a handsome but nasty soldier whose years on red compound seem to have erased his humanity. Still, she begins to pity the Seven Soldiers, including the monstrous boy who tried to rip her to shreds at the club. They appear to be nothing more than genetically enhanced, drug-controlled teenagers.

On the outside, Dex and his tech-savvy boyfriend try to crack the soldiers’ chemical code to find a weakness that will break the system. But Kai has already been drawn deep into her new world. Strong feelings for the soldiers she’s come to know have started to cloud her judgment. Can she escape and find Dex without becoming a monster herself?

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Excerpt
Chapter One

The strobe lights and blaring music made Kai’s pulse beat along to their frantic rhythms. She and Dex had worked for Leo before, but never on a hit this big. To steal the night’s earnings from Club Seven took more than the kind of finesse that she and her brother were famous for; it took balls. She looked over at Dex, who squatted in a small patch of shadow by the three steps leading up to the club’s first marble floor. Only he could make squatting look graceful. She strained to see him clearly while the blue-white lights flashed like a detonated bomb with a pause button. The strobes were replaced by a dim red glow, and she held up two fingers to signal the all-clear.

Dex responded instantly, their timing down to an art form. He hoisted himself onto the cold marble and did a quick military crawl to where she was lying flat on her stomach beside the liquor bar, propped on her elbows. His long, spiky hair brushed against her. He smelled like hair gel, but his closeness brought her comfort. No matter what sort of situation Kai found herself in, Dex made her feel safe. He looked up and smiled broadly, showing off teeth so bleached, they nearly glowed in the dark. She narrowed her eyes in warning, and he quickly closed his mouth. He could always tell what she was thinking. Twin power or something like that.

It was important to stay out of sight until they had scoped out the whole scene and gotten a lay of the land. The small service entrance they had used to access the club was situated directly across from the longer of two bars, which ran the length of the club on one side. This bar wrapped neatly along the perimeter, hugging the large entryway’s shiny black walls. It slunk down two steps and kept going all the way across the dance floor. With its white, rounded stone finish and polished glass casings to hold bottles upon bottles of alcohol, it looked pristine. But where Kai was lying at floor level, its façade was shattered by thick patches of dust and some unpleasant-looking stains. 

The crystals that powered the club, bringing it to life in all its pulsing, deafening glory, were housed in a nest of wires under the polished stone. They glowed through a transparent square in the bar’s surface with a soft, pale light that somehow stood out even in the midst of the chaotic strobes. Those crystals were the reason this club existed. The ongoing campaign for power over those precious fragments had made Seven Soldiers necessary. Sevens were the front line of the Eastern Forces; the heavy hand that held the public in place and kept all opposition at bay. At Club Seven they were paraded around as spectacles for citizens to gawk at. Kai glanced up toward the enormous body of a soldier walking by the bar, held tightly by his handler as they shoved through the raucous crowd of inebriated revelers. He was so large, he obscured the light from reaching down to where she lay in wait.

Kai shoved herself closer to the bar as a group of giggling women approached the protruding marble above her hiding spot. They surrounded the soldier and his handler, and she squinted up to see them running their hands all over the Seven’s body before leaning close to the bartender to shout for drinks. Kai pulled her hands out of the way of their high heels as they swayed and stepped in rhythm to the hypnotic movement, gyrating against the zombie-like Seven.

Dex reached a hand into his pocket and brought out the tiny camera he treasured. The crystal shard within it was no larger than a pebble, but it had worked for years. He edged his body along the floor away from the people around them and waited for the strobes to give way to red darkness again. When they did, he launched himself from the ground to his feet, fired off a round of pictures, and sunk back down. His movements were so quick, and so well-timed with the lights, that unless one of the clubgoers or bartenders who stood mere feet away were staring straight at him, they would miss his presence completely. Kai knew that from his vantage point, the arc of his leap gave him a clear shot of the club’s raised central stage. On the dance floor, a mass of writhing bodies clamored for a better view of the soldiers above them. 

Kai glanced around to make sure nobody had noticed. In the clear, she gave him a thumbs-up to take another round, this time to the left of the club stage where a smaller bar wrapped around a mirrored pole. Lastly, he took some quick shots of the right side’s wooden buffet tables and then crawled back to the shadows of the entryway steps. Kai joined him, and they opened the heavy stone door just a crack before slipping back out into the night.

“I think you got some good ones,” Kai whispered when they were safely outside the club and leaning against the exterior wall. She could feel the vibrations of the music through the stone, and her hearing seemed to have taken a beating as her ears throbbed. But her pulse relaxed as the cool night air and sky of the desert took the place of the stifling sights and smells of the club’s interior. 

“Let me have a look first.”

She studied the open plains before them while she waited for him to check out the shots he had taken. The halo of light that surrounded the throbbing stone edifice grew dimmer and dimmer until it faded into total darkness. The silhouettes of desert plants near the light’s border looked like shadowy sentries guarding the empty expanse of sand. Huge saguaros and short, thickly clumped agave cast a parade of midnight black shadows onto the scarcely-lit areas of sand beyond. Further in the distance, Kai could just make out the dimly twinkling lights of Eastern Pless. It was a few miles away, and night lights were a luxury that most couldn’t afford, but being the only other light for miles gave it the illusion of closeness. Above them, millions of stars blinked in and out of existence; only the small red moon and large orange moon remained constant. She shivered—a mixture of the cold air drying the sweat on her skin, and the thought of what could be lurking in all that darkness.

“Hold on a second,” said Dex, keeping the camera out of her reach as she tried to take it. Only a few inches taller, he was still skilled at taunting her by holding things just out of grabbing distance. He continued casually going through the pictures, one by one.

“I’m serious,” she said with a frown. “Give it to me.”

“Not yet,” he snapped. “I’m in man-candy heaven.”

She rolled her eyes.

“You disapprove, sister?”

“They’re Seven Soldiers, Dex. Barely even human.”

“That doesn’t mean they’re not fun to look at,” he protested. “I’m not going to date one. Just having a nice, long stare.”

She tried to glare disapprovingly at him, but he gave her the innocent grin that had always managed to keep him out of trouble. His big, dark eyes seemed to glow in the reflection of the moonlight, and the spikes of his hair cast a funny-looking shadow over his brow. Although they both bore the darker coloring of Northerners, their hair and eyes were so close to true black that their skin paled in comparison. Dex finally relinquished the camera, and she peeked. He wasn’t joking that the soldiers were hot. He nudged her, seeing her expression, and wiggled his eyebrows. She laughed. The two of them very rarely had the same taste in men, thank the Lord, but this was one of those times that it was hard to argue.

“Yeah, well I think the really attractive part of the scene is all the money being thrown at said man-candy,” she retorted. “It looks like the timing will work out in about five minutes. The collection crew should come through to get most of the crystal money out of the way of the dance floor. Clear enough path, right? And dark, so we should be able to blend.”

“Sure,” he agreed.

It was ladies’ night, and the whole thing was super creepy. Kai had known about the club scene forever, but she preferred to stay away. Not that poor-looking thieves like her were allowed in by the bouncers anyway, but it would’ve been easy to pass as a wealthy citizen and have a night out. Dex had done it often, and offered to give her a ‘Club Seven makeover,’ but the whole concept gave her the shivers. Her experience tonight served to confirm her instincts. There was a disturbing aspect to the pictures that sent chills up her spine. She couldn’t decide if it was the predatory, animalistic glare on the faces of the soldiers themselves, or the indifferent smirks of their handlers that unnerved her more. 

“Let’s just get this over with,” she sighed. “I don’t like it here.”

“Alright,” agreed Dex, getting serious. He was a great thief because, in the end, he easily shed his usual air of arrogance and got down to business. “Just like we planned with Leo. I’ll go around the side of the smaller liquor bar, and you sneak around to the other wall by the food. That’s likely where a lot of the swept crystals will accumulate since the collection crew hovers around there.”

“Got it,” she said as they slid back through the side door and into the awaiting sensory overload.

This time, Dex walked casually across the stone floor and down the two steps to the dance area. Upon reaching the back of the dance floor, he waited for the strobe lights to give way to dim redness, and ducked into a crouch. He skittered across the last few feet of polished wood, situating himself between the club’s back wall and the smaller, circular bar. Kai watched him disappear behind the smooth rock before she ducked and ran along the nearest wall, cutting close to the guarded front entryway on the right. She slithered through the undulating crowd of eager ladies, and toward the stage. 

She paused for a second to look at the young men being held there like circus animals. She had never seen actual Seven Soldiers this close before, and her curiosity got the best of her. Yes, they were attractive; perfectly built and handsome as hell. But they were dauntingly huge, and their eyes were empty; unseeing and unfeeling. Each one had a thick collar around his neck, buzzing with pale blue electrical energy. They were powered by a different sort of crystal, she assumed. Those collars were supposedly the only thing that could keep them docile. She shivered again.

Their handlers, who ranged in appearance from mildly attractive to downright ugly, had a wider range of facial expressions; some attentive and at-the-ready while others were apathetic and bored. The huge throng of screaming women threw small, flat crystals at the performing soldiers on stage, doling out more money than Kai had ever seen just for the chance to interact with a monster. The money they spent allowed them to climb up and pour a glass of liquor down a soldier’s throat or feed him food from the long table to the right of the stage. They could also have a dance with a chained, brain-dampened soldier, or do even less savory things in private rooms upstairs.

Supposedly the young men couldn’t resist the offerings. They were Seven Soldiers, which meant they were sinners, and this was a place to witness their unleashed gluttony. They opened their mouths each time, indifferent but accepting of the food and drink that gorged them through the course of the evening. Their rage, too dangerous to be put on display, was kept in check by the handlers, so supposedly they were as complacent as puppies in this state only. No sex, though. That was too much of a liability. That was the club’s cover story at least, but Kai knew that handlers could be paid off. She had even heard of women scoring tickets for backstage passes to the Eastern Fortress where the soldiers were kept. 

She shimmied along the perimeter of the club beside the stage, shaking her hips to the music’s frantic beat, trying to blend in. She darted under the long, beautifully decorated food table once the strobe lights started up again. With quick, fluid movements, she settled herself centrally under the table, where a hanging silvery cloth obscured her from view. She saw Dex across the way, sweeping up handfuls of the crystals that had fallen to the floor, putting them into his cloth sack. Perfect timing was critical, because there had to be enough money to be worth Leo’s while, but not so much that the club collectors noticed something wrong when they came through to bag it up. She pulled out her own sack and started brushing in money that had fallen or been swept under the table by the collectors. Simple. 

As she was shoveling the crystals into her take-away bag, the smell of the food on the table above hit her nostrils and her mouth began to water. The soldiers really did get the good stuff. What a waste. There was fresh fruit, cakes and chocolates, and platters of meat and cheese. She couldn’t remember the last time she had eaten something besides dry bread, and even that had been scarce lately. She continued to absentmindedly shovel money into the sack, but now her eyes were focused on a spot where the tablecloth had accidentally gotten tucked up in the corner, affording her a crooked view of the tabletop. There sat a huge piece of cake that hung precariously over the side, shaking as dancing women jostled by. Her breath caught in her throat as it slid off and landed on the floor about a foot to her left.

As her hand seemed to instinctively reach out and grab for the fallen treasure, she saw Dex shaking his head frantically out of the corner of her eye. She felt a boot-clad foot slam down hard on her hand seconds later, and a wave of pain shot through her body. Her head hit the underside of the table and food spilled all around her. Terror gripped her insides like a live wire, and she froze. Quickly, she shook herself out of it and tried to reclaim her hand, but it was too late. The black boot held tight, and she saw a hand reach under the tablecloth, getting ready to lift it and expose her completely. She had to think fast.

Kai shoved herself sideways, toward whoever was standing on her left hand, and bit into the person’s calf, right above where the boot ended. Her teeth sunk easily through the thin cotton uniform into skin and flesh. She didn’t hear any scream over the blasting music, but the booted foot slid sideways just enough as a hand clasped it defensively. That was all she needed. She saw the face of the person who had caught her for only a second. He was young and gaunt, with pasty skin and pointy features. A handler. He must’ve been in the process of escorting his soldier past the front of the stage when he had spotted her fool attempt to grab the damn cake. She could beat herself up later. Now, she had to run.

She darted past the table and away from the stage, choosing the back door across the dance floor as an exit point. She shoved around several club-goers, knocking a few to the floor as she fled through the crowd. She didn’t dare to glance at Dex as she practically jumped over him on her way out. The last thing she needed was the guilt of getting him busted, too. They could reunite back at the rendezvous point. She slammed into the door in her panic, frantically felt around, grabbed the exit bar and pushed, then bolted out into the night.

She was at least twenty yards from the building, sand rising to resist in slow, messy heaps with each crunch of her shoes, when she stole a glance behind herself. Her heart jumped into her throat. Not only was the handler chasing her; he had brought his soldier, too. The man-beast couldn’t have been more than seventeen or eighteen years old, but he was huge. He had to be at least seven feet tall and almost as wide, with muscles popping out everywhere as he bounded soundlessly after her. Taut muscles rippled over his entire body, highlighting the contrast of his distended stomach, and making him appear even more savage as he darted across the sand in his bare feet. He was clothed only in the gold loincloth that was his club outfit, but the blankness in his eyes had given way to something far more primal, his snarling face letting her know that the party was definitely over. Whatever the mental switch was that kept him calm—it had been flipped.

“Get back here, you biting little bitch!” yelled the handler. 

She froze for a second, hoping his limping from her bite would slow both him and his monstrous soldier-boy down, but to her horror, the glowing chain slipped out of his hand. He cursed and made a grab for it as Kai screamed. She picked up speed as she headed across the desert sand in the direction of the outer wall of the city. Eastern Pless would hide her in its cesspool of overcrowded streets. She could go back to Leo’s place. The soldier might get his hands on a citizen or two, but he would be stopped. They were always taken down if they got loose inside the city’s walls.

Kai still had her heart and eyes set on the safety of the city’s distant lights when the snarling soldier dove and grabbed her around the legs. She screamed as she fell, and tried to claw at his arms, but he didn’t seem to notice. His fingernails ripped her skin as he flipped her over and dragged her toward his waiting mouth. 

He’s going to eat me alive.

His face was very close to her now, and even in this dim light, she could see that he had the pale skin of a southerner, and ear-length blond hair. She was surprised again by how very young he looked. Then she saw his eyes. There was no humanity in the heavily dilated pupils; only death. His open-mouthed roar exposed a straight line of teeth, with four unnaturally sharp, piercing incisors. Now face to face, she saw that the tiny rings of iris around his pupils were light brown, but the pupils themselves weren’t black the way they were supposed to be. The spot in the middle of the brown glowed with an odd blue tinge that lit his face. 

Flinching, she prepared to be ripped apart. Instead, a huge jolt that rattled through her body, from the base of her spine to the top of her head, making her teeth clamp down on a shriek. Her eyes flew open, and she saw that the handler had regained control. He grabbed the chain leash around his charge’s neck and pressed a button. Waves of electricity rocked the giant, sending his body into spasms. Kai breathed a sigh of relief, even as she felt the power surge pass through him and into her own body. The last thing she thought before she lost consciousness was that it was far better to be electrocuted than to be torn to shreds by that monster.

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Author Tracy Auerbach

Author Tracy Auerbach

About the Author
Tracy Auerbach is an author of science fiction and fantasy for teens and adults. As an avid reader with a vivid imagination, she chose to study film, English, and education, and went on to teach and write STEM curriculum for the New York Department of Education. This helped to polish her writing skills and ignite her passion for science fiction and fantasy.

Her first scholarly article, published in Language Magazine, was about the value of active, creative learning in science. On the fiction side, Tracy’s work has been featured in the online literary journal Micro-horror, The Writing Disorder fiction anthology, and the “(Dis)ability” short story anthology, in addition to her novels.

When she is not teaching or writing, Tracy is usually reading or spending time with her family. She lives in New York with her husband and sons.

 

 

Where to Find Tracy Auerbach
Goodreads | Website Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – SUMMER BUCKET LIST by T.K. Rapp

SUMMER BUCKET LIST Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for the SUMMER BUCKET LIST, a stand-alone young adult contemporary romance, by T.K. Rapp.  See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

SUMMER BUCKET LIST by T.K. Rapp

SUMMER BUCKET LIST by T.K. Rapp

About the Book
Title: SUMMER BUCKET LIST
Author: T.K. Rapp
Release Date: July 15, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Link: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
Recently graduated from high school, Holland Monroe had no expectations for her last summer before heading off to college to be anything but ordinary.

Until she got a job as a waitress at the local country club to make extra money for school.

Milo Davis was smart, cute, and absolutely not interested in Holland. At least that was what she believed. But the day she started working at the restaurant, everything changed.

Finally together, they were left with only three months to spend time together before she moved away.

Good thing they decided to make their time as memorable as possible.

But will they remain friends? Or will checking off items on their summer bucket list lead them to something they didn’t expect — Falling in love.

 

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Excerpt #2
“Have you ever gone swimming at night?” he asked.

Slowly I shook my head and looked over at him. All my fears, real and completely irrational, were beginning to choke me.

“No.” It was the only thing I was able to eke out.

“You don’t like it,” he questioned, but it was more of an observation.

“I’m terrified,” I admitted.

“But you can swim, right?”

I laughed, thankful he had lightened the mood. I nodded and turned my attention toward the dark abyss in front of me.

“What scares you?”

“Whatever might be in the water. Like the Loch Ness Monster.”

Milo laughed and reached for my hand. “Not real.”

“I know that,” I scoffed. “Doesn’t make me any less scared.”

“I’ll protect you.”

Milo opened his door, and reluctantly I opened my own. As I stepped out of the car I felt the fear travel up my spine, but I wanted to overcome it. He stood at the front of his car and waited for me to join him. Every step I took toward Milo felt heavier than the last until I finally reached him. He took my hand in his and carried a large backpack over his other shoulder.

“What’s the bag for? Are you going to kill me?”

Milo threw his head back and laughed hard. “You’re awesome. And no. It’s towels and some snacks.”

“Why night swimming? Isn’t it dangerous?”

“Well yeah…that’s why it’s the perfect date,” he answered.

My stomach flipped, and not because he was holding my hand. I found my nerves were working overtime and a flood of possibilities came to mind.

“Doesn’t sound so perfect.”

“Trust me,” he said as we continued to walk.

When we got to the shore, the water looked like glass, barely a breeze to make the surface move. Milo spread out a large blanket and set the backpack on top of it while I looked out at the horizon. In the distance, I could see the lights shining from homes across the way. The lake had few public spots that were accessible, and the park always closed at ten. I glanced at my watch and sighed because it was only eight. We had plenty of time to drown before anyone found us.

Milo pulled off his T-shirt and tossed it to the side by the bag. I tried not to look, but when I was caught staring at his stomach, I was thankful for the moonlit darkness.

“Are you going to get in?” he asked.

“I’m not sure.”

I figured he would be frustrated or that he would sulk because I didn’t jump at the chance to go with him. Instead, he walked over and kissed my cheek before walking toward the water.

As he took his first steps into the inky darkness, I watched his figure, admiring the way the moon illuminated his physique. Milo was not one to show off the muscles that he wore beneath his clothing, but they were on full display for me. I wanted so badly to follow him and let go of my fears, but all I could think of were the wild creatures that I saw in movies.

“It’s a little chilly,” he said as he stood waist deep, looking back at me.

“Not helping,” I laughed.

“Not trying to,” he answered with a chuckle.

I grabbed one of the towels that he had set out and opened it up so I could sit down. The warm air covered my body and I started to sweat. Maybe I was sweating because I was nervous, but whatever the reason I began to grow increasingly warm. Milo was still walking deeper into the water when I took off my cover-up, revealing my black bikini.

“Grow up,” I muttered to myself, hoping to gain some courage.

“How you doin’ over there?” Milo asked from the water.

“Great,” I said unconvincingly before laughing softly. “How ‘bout you?”

“Not too bad.”

His body disappeared beneath the water and I watched, waiting for him to come to the surface. When he didn’t come up right away, I sat up a little taller to see if there were any ripples in the water. Panic began to course through my veins and I started to get up as I searched for him in the darkness.

“Milo?” I called out, trying to contain my fear.

I walked toward the shoreline, the water lapping at my feet. Just as I started to take a step in, he surfaced with a loud splash.

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Author T.K. Rapp

Author T.K. Rapp

About the Author
T.K. Rapp is a Texas girl born and raised. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from Texas A&M and it was there that she met the love of her life. He had a contract with the U.S. Navy that would take them across both coasts, and ultimately land them back home in Texas.

Upon finally settling in Texas, T.K. worked as a graphic designer and photographer for the family business that her mom started years earlier. She was able to infuse her creativity and passion, into something she enjoyed, but something was still missing. There was a voice in the back of her head that told her to write, so write, she did. And, somewhere on an external hard drive, are several stories she started and never finished.

Now at home, raising her two daughters, T.K. has more time to do the things she loves, which includes photography and writing. When she’s not doing one of those, she can be found with her family, which keeps her busy, hanging with family and friends, and mostly relaxing. She is a lover of raunchy humor, gossip blogs and a good books.

Where to Find T.K. Rapp
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebook | TwitterInstagram

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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – MAGIC HEIST (Fairy Trafficking) by Mary Karlik

MAGIC HEIST Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for MAGIC HEIST, the second book in the young adult fantasy series, Fairy Trafficking, by Mary Karlik. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

MAGIC HEIST (Fairy Trafficking #2) by Mary Karlik

MAGIC HEIST (Fairy Trafficking #2) by Mary Karlik

About the Book
Title:
MAGIC HEIST
Series: Fairy Trafficking #2
Author: Mary Karlik
Publisher: Ink Monster Books
Release Date: July 9, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
Layla rescued fairies that had been kidnapped and brought the human world. But now they can’t find their way back to the magic realm and time is running out.

Layla is a powerful fairy with magical ability that stretches beyond throwing spells. But with all that power, she still doesn’t know how to get over one-hundred fairies back to the magic realm. With their magic gone, the rescued fairies have no immunity to protect them from the toxins of the human world, and they’re slowly dying.

To find the path home, Layla knows she must team up with the one man who can make her insides quiver with an accidental brush of his fingertips. The same man who’s alter ego dragon is the natural predator of fairies. The man she knows will give his life to keep the fairies safe—Scotland’s finest Specialist Crime Division leader, Ian Cameron.

Ian has only been a dragon shifter for a few days. He struggles to control the dragon spirit locked inside his human form, doesn’t know what magical powers he may or may not have, and has never been to a magical world. But none of those things frighten him as much as the little spark that ignites in his soul when the half – human fairy is around.

But this little fairy is no Tinkerbell. She is brave, powerful, and can wield a sword like a medieval knight.

With growing feelings toward Layla, he couldn’t refuse to help her get the fairies back to the magic realm if he wanted to. The problem is the dragon who lives inside him would like nothing more than to feed his appetite with all of those little fairies—especially the half human one who killed its leader.

“Mary Karlik, is truly a hidden gem of a writer.” – I Am the Bookworm

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Excerpt #3
Layla’s breaths came sharp and fast. Her heart dropped to her stomach and her blood to her feet. 

So many fairies.

Her knees dipped. She held her breath. 

Killing Fauth. Saving all those fairies hadn’t made a dent in the fairy trafficking scheme. 

Ian tightened his hold and peered at the woman in red. “She’s been waiting for this moment for so long.” He turned to Layla and looked directly in her eyes. She got the message loud and clear—get a hold of yourself before you blow our cover. He spoke to her in a soft coaxing voice. “Take your time, love. We don’t have to make a decision right away.”

Layla’s hands trembled so hard she was afraid the woman would get suspicious. She wrapped her arm around Ian’s waist and drew in a sharp breath. “Full fey.” She said the words with wonder in her voice as if she’d never seen them before. “Can you tell me about the one in orange?”

The woman glided to the fairy. “Isn’t she lovely? She’s from the Paeonia flower clan. Their magic is specifically known for creativity. Our aspiring writers and artists have great success with them.” 

The woman swept her arm toward a blue poppy fairy. “Aren’t her wings beautiful? The darker the blue, the stronger the magic. She is a premium model. Her magic is a powerful broad spectrum. Money, fame, intelligence. This fey can deliver your greatest desires.” 

Layla’s stomach knotted, and her throat was so dry she wasn’t sure she could speak. She swallowed and tried to look awestruck and not sickened by what she saw. “What do you think? I can’t decide between the two.”

Ian smiled. “Why not both?”

The elf-woman’s eyes glowed, and she flashed a broad smile. “If you’re interested in our male fairies, we have a special on the Thistle variety.”

Layla’s heart went to her chest, and she took a step back. She couldn’t help it. Thistle was her clan.

The woman led them to the opposite side of the room. “Don’t let the name put you off. The lads have good strong magic.” 

Layla stared at the lads who’d been placed side by side. She knew them. Robbie and Fergus. They were schoolmates of Esme—and they’d bullied Layla for being half-human. 

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: MAGIC HARVEST
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

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Author Mary Karlik

Author Mary Karlik

About the Author
Mary Karlik has always been a dreamer. When she was a teen, she read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, and then sat in every wardrobe in her Nanna’s home, trying to open the door to Narnia. She didn’t find it, but she did discover her voice as an author: one filled with her young adult self, and grounded in her roots as a Texan and her Scottish heritage, nourished by obscure Scottish folklore.

You can find her Texas roots in her YA contemporary romance Hickville series , which has been described as “100% solid storytelling,” and begins with Welcome to Hickville High, a “lovely story about growing up.”

She digs deep into her Scottish roots – there is magic there, she just knows it – for the forthcoming YA epic fantasy Fairy Trafficking series, beginning with Magic Harvest.

She makes her home in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains of Northern New Mexico where she is a certified professional ski instructor, but she also loves visiting Scotland where she is currently studying Scottish Gaelic at the University of Highlands and Islands in Skye. Mary also earned her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, has a B.S. degree from Texas A&M University, and is a Registered Nurse.

Mary currently serves as the President of the Young Adult Chapter of Romance Writers of America and looks forward to raising a glass or two of gin and tonic with her fellow writers every year at RWA’s national convention.

Where to find Mary Karlik
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Young Adult Book Review + Giveaway – THE LAST WORD by Samantha Hastings

THE LAST WORD Blog Tour

THE LAST WORD by Samantha Hastings

THE LAST WORD by Samantha Hastings

5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
Set against the smoky, gaslit allure of Victorian London, this sweetly romantic historical debut is full of humor and stars a whip-smart female heroine ahead of her time.

Where one story ends, another begins.

1861. Miss Lucinda Leavitt is shocked when she learns the author of her favorite serialized novel has died before completing the story. Determined to learn how it ends, Lucinda reluctantly enlists the help of her father’s young business partner, Mr. David Randall, to track down the reclusive author’s former whereabouts.

David is a successful young businessman, but is overwhelmed by his workload. He wants to prove himself to his late father, as well as to himself. He doesn’t have the time, nor the interest, for this endeavor, but Lucinda is not the type to take no for an answer.

Their search for the elusive Mrs. Smith and the rightful ending to her novel leads Lucinda and David around the country, but the truths they discover about themselves—and each other—are anything but fictional.

Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, The Last Word by debut author Samantha Hastings is a fun yet intellectual romp through Victorian London—the perfect book for book-lovers.

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My Review
Reminiscent of Jane Austen, THE LAST WORD combines neoclassicism and romanticism along with a healthy dose of humor and wit to bring Lucinda’s and David’s story to life. The two are childhood friends who meet again after a four-year separation to find the other both the same and yet infinitely different than the person they remember. Throw in a big misunderstanding and a young woman ahead of her time, constricted by the customs of 19th century England, and sparks fly higher than between Emma and Knightley or Elizabeth and Darcy, but with the underlying warmth of Elinor and Edward. The two dance around a mutual attraction while Lucinda fights against society’s dictates for her. Fresh out of finishing school, she wants nothing to do with being a proper lady, but rather to use the brain that God gave her to work in her father’s counting house. A natural talent with numbers, she helped him when she was younger but now is expected to do needlepoint instead of auditing.

If there’s anything Lucinda hates more than sitting around and waiting for someone to call on her, I don’t know what it is. Not having been born to a high-class family, her social standing comes from the wealth her father has amassed. His goal is to marry her to a man of higher social standing. Lucinda has less than zero interest in that plan. She managed to get through the long boring hours by reading. But her favorite author died before finishing her last novel, leaving Lucinda desperate to find out how it ends, as if her own ending will somehow reveal itself in those final pages. With the help of her father’s business partner and her longtime friend, David, she sets out to find anyone who may know how the story ends. But the more they dig, the more she’s left wondering, before a tragedy forces both of them to reevaluate what really matters. And what doesn’t.

Plot
The main plot focuses on the budding romance between Lucinda and David, but Lucinda’s desires to work in business and find out the ending of her beloved novel are strong subplots that drive most of the action. The conflict derives for the social norms of the time, status and who is allowed to associate with whom. Women’s options and their carefully guarded reputations only further bind Lucinda in a world she finds too restrictive. Her father withdrew into himself after her mother’s death years before and their strained relationship underlies everything. The author does a phenomenal job of keeping the reader in Victorian England through scene setting, language, fashion, and customs. There is both a whimsical and sweeping cinematic feel to the places Hastings sets her characters in, drawing the reader right along with them.

Characters
If you love any of Jane Austen’s characters, you will love these! From the narcoleptic Mrs. Patton to the eccentric woman in the half-built estate they visit in their quest, the characters are a delight. Lucinda is utterly relatable as a young woman who wants so much more from life than the world wishes to allow her and David is a man after my own heart, both seeing Lucinda as an equal, and treating her with that respect. The American girl, Persephone, who befriends Lucinda, is a delightful, although often inappropriate, breath of fresh air.

What I Loved About THE LAST WORD
1. Everything.
 Seriously, the entire book was just amazing. It was a joy to read.

2. Lucinda. I love that she’s independent and strong and refuses to be confined by rules of society.

3. David. He is also a man ahead of his time with his ability to see Lucinda as more than just an accessory.

4. Language. I love the way they speak and the words the author chooses to tell the story as if it were written as a contemporary in 1861.

5. Romance. It isn’t angsty or intense, even though Lucinda and David are both teens, but it’s perfect for the time.

Bottom Line
A stunning coming of age story in a time long gone with amazing characters and beautiful storytelling.

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: THE LAST WORD
Author: Samantha Hastings
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: July 9, 2019
Pages: 261
Genre: Young Adult Historical Romance
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

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Author Samantha Hastings

Author Samantha Hastings

About the Author
Samantha Hastings has degrees from Brigham Young University, the University of Reading (Berkshire, England), and the University of North Texas. She met her husband in a turkey sandwich line. They live in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she spends most of her time reading, eating popcorn, and chasing her kids. The Last Word is her debut novel.

 

 

 

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Where to find Samantha Hastings
Goodreads | Website | FacebookTwitter 

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Cover Reveal + Giveaway – THORN by Intisar Khanani

THORN Cover Reveal

HarperTeen and author Intisar Khanani are unveiling the cover to THORN, a stand-alone young adult fantasy, releasing March 24, 2020. See below for the cover, information on the book, pre-order links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THORN by Intisar Khanani

THORN by Intisar Khanani

About the Book
Title: THORN
Author: Intisar Khanani
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: March 24, 2020
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
A princess with two futures. A destiny all her own. 

Between her cruel family and the contempt she faces at court, Princess Alyrra has always longed to escape the confines of her royal life. But when she’s betrothed to the powerful prince Kestrin, Alyrra embarks on a journey to his land with little hope for a better future.

When a mysterious and terrifying sorceress robs Alyrra of both her identity and her role as princess, Alyrra seizes the opportunity to start a new life for herself as a goose girl.

But Alyrra soon finds that Kestrin is not what she expected. The more Alyrra learns of this new kingdom, the pain and suffering its people endure, as well as the danger facing Kestrin from the sorceress herself, the more she knows she can’t remain the goose girl forever.

With the fate of the kingdom at stake, Alyrra is caught between two worlds and ultimately must decide who she is, and what she stands for.

Advance Praise
Thorn is a lovely atmospheric fairytale fantasy about a girl and her found family. I loved it!” – Gail Carriger, New York Times-bestselling author of the Parasol Protectorate series

“Intisar Khanani is in my top five favorite authors writing today. A stunningly talented storyteller whose lyrical writing just blows my socks off every time I read her.” – Grace Draven, USA Today bestselling author Eidolon

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Excerpt #2
I lead the king down to the back entrance to the gardens, and we walk along between plots of dill, thyme, and chives. I wait, knowing he will speak when he is ready.

“How much does your mother confide in you?” he asks as we near the middle of the gardens.

I slide a look at him from the corner of my eye. “Enough. My lord.”

His lips quirk, the first true smile I have seen from him. “Is that honest?”

I pause beside a bed of borage. “How much do I need to know, my lord? You are here seeking a wife for your son.”

“I am,” he agrees. “How often do you participate in the discussions between your mother and the council?”

“I don’t, my lord. You should know I am not . . .” I hesitate, aware that I have no place telling this king what he should or should not know. Or jeopardizing such an alliance for my land.

“Not what?”

I struggle to find an appropriate way to finish. “Not—it is not thought my place to attend such meetings.”

“You would never inherit the throne?”

I could inherit, it is true, but I doubt the council would allow it given my history—and certainly not now that I might marry into another royal family, one that would be happy to add our lands to their own. Either way, should my brother die, the council would certainly pass over me in favor of our nearest cousin. “It is unlikely,” I say finally.

“I doubt that,” the king says. “It has been my experience that even young men die. What you mean to say is your council would not accept you should your brother die without issue and you were yet unwed. Why?”

If he knows all the answers, why is he asking? I look him in the eye and quip, “Perhaps I am too honest, my lord.”

He laughs. “And too straightforward. You will have to learn to play with your words more.” He reaches out, his fingertips brushing my arm where my brother held me. I flinch back reflexively, as if the bruises have already darkened—as if he could see them through my sleeve. He watches me, his eyes glinting in the sunlight. “Once you are Menaiya’s,” he says, “your brother will never hurt you again.”

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Author Intisar Khanani

Author Intisar Khanani

About the Author
Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. She has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. She is the author of The Sunbolt Chronicles and Thorn (HarperTeen 2020). 

 

 

 

Where to Find Intisar Khanani
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Cover Reveal – MIRROR BOUND (The Witchling Academy) by Monica Sanz

Entangled Teen and author Monica Sanz are revealing the cover to MIRROR BOUND, the second book in the young adult paranormal romance/mystery suspense series, The Witchling Academy, releasing September 2019. See below for the cover, information on the book and series, and preorder links.

MIRROR BOUND (The Witchling Academy #2) by Monica Sanz

MIRROR BOUND (The Witchling Academy #2) by Monica Sanz

About the Book
Title: MIRROR BOUND
Series: The Witchling Academy #2
Author: Monica Sanz
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: September 2019
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance/Mystery Suspense
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Entangled

Synopsis
Conspirator. Failure. Murderer.

Seraphina Dovetail is used to being called all these things. As the seventh-born daughter to a witch, and the cause of her mother losing both her powers and her life, Sera has always felt isolated. Until Nikolai Barrington.

The young professor not only took an interest in Sera—he took her into his home, hired her for his moonlighting detective agency, and gave her the one thing she’d always dreamed of: a chance. Under Barrington’s tutelage, Sera can finally take the School of Continuing Magic entrance exam to become an inspector and find her family. Now if only she could stop her growing attraction to her maddening boss—which is about as easy as this fiery elementalist quitting setting things on fire.

But when ghosts start dragging Sera into possessions so deep she can barely escape, and then the souls of lost witches and wizards appear trapped in mirrors, these two opposites will have to work together to uncover a much deeper secret that could destroy the Witchling world…

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: SEVENTH BORN
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Entangled

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Author Monica Sanz

Author Monica Sanz

About the Author
Monica Sanz has been writing from the moment she could string together a sentence. Her stories have come a long way from mysterious portals opening in the school cafeteria, transporting classmates to distant worlds. A classic by the name Wuthering Heights is responsible for that. She’s been lost to dark romances and brooding fictional men ever sense. Now she writes about grumpy professors, cursed ringmaster, tortured soul collectors, and the girls they fall in love with. Monica’s books have received many accolades on the social writing website Wattpad. She’s accumulated over six million reads, eighty thousand votes, and fifteen thousand comments since posting her books on the website. She is also a member of the Wattpad4, a group of writers who host weekly Twitter chats on the subjects of writing and publishing.

 

 

Where to find Monica Sanz
Goodreads Website | Facebook | Twitter

Cover Reveal – QUASI REDUX (Angelbound Origins) by Christina Bauer

QUASI REDUX Cover Reveal

Monster House Books and author Christina Bauer are revealing the cover to QUASI REDUX, eighth book in the young adult fantasy/paranormal romance series, Angelbound Origins, releasing the Fall of 2020. See below for the cover, information on the book and series, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

QUASI REDUX (Angelbound Origins #8) by Christina Bauer

QUASI REDUX (Angelbound Origins #8) by Christina Bauer

About the Book
Title:
QUASI REDUX
Series: Angelbound Origins #8
Author: Christina Bauer
Publisher: Monster House Books
Release Date: Fall 2020
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Links: Goodreads

Synopsis
Myla Lewis has her life back. Wife. Mother. Queen. Great Scala. Queen of the Thrax. Yay! Then one day, Myla runs across a supernatural waterfall that makes her igni screech like crazy. Our heroine speaks the fateful words: some days, I wish I weren’t the Great Scala.

The waterfall grants her wish.

A moment later, Myla is back at Purgatory High. No husband. No child. No powers beyond her old quasi days. And without Myla around as the Great Scala, all quasis now live under Armageddon’s rule. That sucks. Hard. So Myla sneaks into Antrum—she simply must find Lincoln and figure this out. Once she arrives, two problems arise.

First, her husband doesn’t know her. At all.

Second, Lincoln is married to someone else.

Fuuuuuuu…

Angelbound Origins

About a quasi (part demon and part human) girl who loves kicking butt in Purgatory’s Arena

1. Angelbound
2. Scala
3. Acca
4. Thrax
5. The Dark Lands
6. The Brutal Time (2019)
7. Armageddon (already here, long story!)
8. Quasi Redux (2020)
Angelbound Offspring

The next generation takes on Heaven, Hell, and everything in between

1. Maxon
2. Portia
3. Zinnia (forthcoming)
4. Kaps (forthcoming)

5. Huntress (forthcoming)
Angelbound Lincoln

The Angelbound experience as told by Prince Lincoln

1. Duty Bound
2. Lincoln
3. Trickster (forthcoming)

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 0.5: DUTY BOUND
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Book 1: ANGELBOUND
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Book 1.5: BETROTHED
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Book 2: SCALA
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Book 3: ACCA
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Book 4: THRAX
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Book 5: THE DARK LANDS
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Book 6: ARMAGEDDON
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Book 7: THE BRUTAL TIME
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Author Christina Bauer

Author Christina Bauer

About the Author
Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers.

Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby..

Where to Find Christina Bauer
Goodreads | Website | BlogFacebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn

 

Book Blitz – Teaser + Giveaway – SKIN HUNTER (Skin Hunter Series) by Tania Hutley

SKIN HUNTER Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for SKIN HUNTER, the first book in the young new adult dystopian science fiction series, Skin Hunter, by USA Today bestselling author Tania Hutley.  See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive teaser, and details on her giveaway.

SKIN HUNTER (Skin Hunter #1) by Tania Hutley

SKIN HUNTER (Skin Hunter #1) by Tania Hutley

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: SKIN HUNTER
Series: Skin Hunter #1
Author: Tania Hutley
Release Date: June 18, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian Science Fiction
Link: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
She didn’t want to do it… But she was desperate.

Trying to escape the dangerous streets of Old Triton, the buried city, Milla takes the ultimate risk. Could a dead girl’s identity be her way out? A ticket to a richer, brighter world high above the muck and gloom of her old life?

Now she’s part of a high tech contest, with a prize beyond money, fame and everything she has ever known. A chance to become something… new. But if anyone finds out who Milla really is, she’s dead.

The other competitors come from privilege, their faces and bodies tweaked to perfection. Rich and handsome Cale could be the most dangerous of all. Why is he so interested in a scarred, ugly “sinker” like Milla?

To survive, she needs to be brave. To win, she needs to evolve.

Just try and stop her.

Skin Hunter is an upper YA science fiction novel – a futuristic, dystopian thrill-ride with a spark of romance.

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SKIN HUNTER Teaser

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SKIN HUNTER Teaser

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Author Tania Hutley

Author Tania Hutley

About the Author
Tania Hutley is a USA Today bestselling author who loves sci fi movies and wishes she lived in the Whedon-verse.

Tania also writes sexy contemporary romance using a top-secret pen name. She could tell you what that pen name is, but then she’d have to turn you into a chicken.

 

 

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Where to Find Tania Hutley
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebook 

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Giveaway
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – CRUSH (Sea Crest High Series) by Carrie Banks

CRUSH Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for CRUSH, the first book in the young adult contemporary romance series, Sea Crest High, by Carrie Banks.  See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive teaser, and details on her giveaway.

CRUSH (Sea Crest High Series #1) by Carrie Banks

CRUSH (Sea Crest High Series #1) by Carrie Banks

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: CRUSH
Series: Sea Crest High #1
Author: Carrie Banks
Release Date: June 18, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Link: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Ry…
My world was black. I was living bottle to bottle. Only waking up for a new one. I was burning through girls. Loving them and leaving them. I swore that I’d never love again. The pain of losing it was too much. I was shutting that shit down. But then one summer night, I saw her standing there on the beach. The last rays of the sun glinted off her hair. Her shy smile captured me. She stole the heart I thought was dead.

And there wasn’t a damn thing I could do, but let her take it and run.

Tess…
Sea Crest is a popular tourist town, but to me it’s just home. I’m an average girl who rarely strays from the middle of the road. But then… we collided. Me the local good girl and him… the damaged, mysterious new bad boy in town. My friends told me to stay away. My gut told me to run. But my heart’s a traitor that burned for him.

This is more than a summer crush… this could be everything. But in this seaside town, image is the name of the game. Either you are in or you’re out. The local good girl catching the eye of the hottest bad-boy who ever graced the halls of Pine Point Academy won’t go over well. Time to up my game and fight for what I want.

But by summer’s end, will I be the one left crushed?

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CRUSH Teaser

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CRUSH Teaser

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Author Carrie Banks

Author Carrie Banks

About the Author
Carrie Banks writes new adult and teen fiction coming of age and romance books.

She loves chocolate, coffee and dogs!

In addition to writing, Carrie enjoys riding her favorite horse, Sienna, camping in Cape Cod and hanging out with her six nephews!

 

 

 

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Where to Find Carrie Banks
Goodreads | NewsletterFacebook | TwitterInstagram

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – LOST HORIZON (Oz in Space) by Michelle Hercules

LOST HORIZON Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for LOST HORIZON, the first book in the young adult fantasy romance series, Oz in Space, by USA Today bestselling author, Michelle Hercules. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

LOST HORIZON (Oz in Space #1) by Michelle Hercules

LOST HORIZON (Oz in Space #1) by Michelle Hercules

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: LOST HORIZON
Series: Oz in Space #1
Author: Michelle Hercules
Release Date: June 14, 2019
Genre:
 Young Adult Fantasy Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
A magical planet torn apart by war. A defiant space pilot cadet determined to save the ones she loves. The adventure of a lifetime.

Oz like you have never seen before.

Space Academy prodigy Dorothy Hanson doesn’t have time for love nonsense. She has one goal, complete the mission her parents started before their untimely death.

When a cosmic disturbance hits the Kansas Space Station, Dorothy seizes that opportunity to go on her first space voyage. She didn’t expect to be sucked into a vortex nor land on a strange planet ravaged by war.

Stranded, she must embark on a perilous mission to the Land of Oz, the only nation that possesses the technology to send her home. Three strangers join Dorothy in her quest, all carrying reasons of their own for reaching Emerald City. A man without memories marked with a strange symbol on his face. A cyborg with a chip on his shoulder and a mysterious past. And a scarred hellioncat plagued by nightmares in the dark.

Dorothy doesn’t know if she can trust them, but as their journey progresses, their bond becomes stronger and Dorothy’s feelings evolve from suspicion to caring too much. Torn between contradicting emotions, she must find the strength to fight the evil forces that stack up against them along the way. Surviving the trip on the yellow road is priority number one, but can she survive losing her heart?

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LOST HORIZON Teaser

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Excerpt #2
The sky is midnight blue with no stars or any moons in sight. I feel so strange, staring at the alien canvas. It’s almost like there’s something wrong with it. There’s no sign of Mirus, which makes me worried the celestial being has left the orbit of Oz. The last time it appeared in our solar system, it only stayed for a few weeks.

Toto becomes restless in my arms, as if he’s picking up on my somber mood. His movements remind me that my wrists are still bound.

“Hey, Metal Pants. Can we stop now?”

The cyborg whirls around. The shadows across the planes of his face make the sharp edges even more pronounced. His robotic eye shines blue for a moment before the light dims.

“Do you need to pee?”

Heat rushes to my cheeks. I’m glad it’s dark and he can’t see how his simple question made me mortified for no reason.

“Why are you getting all flustered? Are you one of those girls who gets embarrassed about everything?”

My jaw drops. “How did you know … ugh, never mind. That special eye of yours has an infrared sensor, doesn’t it?”

Even in the gloom, I catch the slight upturn of his lips. “Among other things.”

“Dorothy’s wrists are still bound. Do you have anything that can cut through the bindings?” the sorcerer pipes in.

“Right.” The cyborg approaches, stopping only one step away from invading my personal space.

Involuntarily, tension spreads through my body, and I clutch Toto tighter.

“Relax,” he continues. “I’m not going to hurt you.”

“Are you implying I’m afraid of you?”

He cocks his head to the side, his long bangs covering a portion of his face. “Your heartbeat says so.”

“Stop reading my vitals with your freakish eye,” I snap.

The cyborg’s chest expands right before he releases a loud gale of air through his mouth. “Put your robo-dog down if you don’t want his body damaged.”

Still glaring at him, I set Toto on the ground. The poor dog runs to the sorcerer, hiding between his legs with a whine.

To show I’m not scared of the cyborg like Toto is, I lift my chin and raise my bound hands. “All right. Do your thing.” When the cyborg arches one eyebrow, I amend. “Please?”

He lifts his mechanical hand. From his index finger, a small knife slides out. In one swift move, he cuts the leather bindings from my wrists as if they were made out of butter.

“That’s a sharp blade you have there. Planning on scalping anyone?” I rub my wrists.

The cyborg grins again. “Not today.”

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LOST HORIZON Teaser

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Author Michelle Hercules

Author Michelle Hercules

About the Author
USA Today bestselling author Michelle Hercules always knew creative arts were her calling but not in a million years did she think she would write a novel. With a background in fashion design she thought she would follow that path. But one day, out of the blue, she had an idea for a book. One page turned into ten pages, ten pages turned into a hundred, and before she knew, her first book, The Prophecy of Arcadia, was born.

Michelle Hercules resides in The Netherlands with her husband and daughter. She is currently working on the Legends of Gattica series.

 

 

Where to Find Michelle Hercules
Goodreads | Website Facebook 

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Giveaway
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