Book Review – GIRL ON THE VERGE by Pintip Dunn

GIRL ON THE VERGE by Pintip Dunn

GIRL ON THE VERGE by Pintip Dunn

5 Stars

Synopsis
From the author of The Darkest Lie comes a compelling, provocative story for fans of I Was Here and Vanishing Girls, about a high school senior straddling two worlds, unsure how she fits in either—and the journey of self-discovery that leads her to surprising truths.

In her small Kansas town, at her predominantly white school, Kanchana doesn’t look like anyone else. But at home, her Thai grandmother chides her for being too westernized. Only through the clothing Kan designs in secret can she find a way to fuse both cultures into something distinctly her own.

When her mother agrees to provide a home for a teenage girl named Shelly, Kan sees a chance to prove herself useful. Making Shelly feel comfortable is easy at first—her new friend is eager to please, embraces the family’s Thai traditions, and clearly looks up to Kan. Perhaps too much. Shelly seems to want everything Kanchana has, even the blond, blue-eyed boy she has a crush on. As Kan’s growing discomfort compels her to investigate Shelly’s past, she’s shocked to find how much it intersects with her own—and just how far Shelly will go to belong…

.

.

.

 —————————————————————————-

My Review
Wow! It’s rare when a book exceeds my expectations. I was expecting more of a coming of age story, but this was pure thriller with a slice of romance. I devoured this story. After finishing, I have one thing to say — we need more young adult thrillers! Kan is a girl torn between two worlds. After her father dies, her mother becomes a workaholic, leaving Kan’s grandmother, Khun Yai to be her primary caregiver. Kan struggles to be a good Thai girl to make her grandmother happy, but she secretly wants to be like all the other girls at her American high school. Her life is turned upside down when her mother brings home a teen girl to live with them after the girl’s mother dies, and the boy she’s been crushing on for years finally makes a move. Kan has always wanted a sister, and Shelly seems like she might just be the perfect girl to fill that role. Except something isn’t quite right about Shelly.

Plot
The main plot is the mystery behind Shelly, but the romance between Kan and her crush, Ethan, is a strong subplot. Underlying it all is the Thai culture. So much of what drives the story is Kan’s search for which world she belongs in and living up to the expectations of her Thai grandmother. The author expertly weaves elements of mystery, romance, and straight up thriller into this tale, that includes far more character development than most thrillers. Told from alternating POVs, we get Kan’s in first-person present and the antagonist’s is told in third-person past. This technique is used as expertly as anything I’ve read by James Patterson. I was so impressed with myself for figuring out something early on, only to get to the end to find out I was completely wrong!

Characters
Kan and Shelly are exceptionally well-developed. I got less of a sense of Kan’s mother, grandmother, or even Ethan. The amount of growth Kan experiences more than makes up for the lesser-developed supporting characters.

What I Loved About GIRL ON THE VERGE
1. Everything.
 I’m just going to say that up front. The pacing is perfect, Kan is fascinating and easy to root for. Shelly is so complex, I have a deep need to know more about her.

2. Thai Culture. Other than the delicious food I eat on a regular basis, I admit to not knowing much about their culture. After reading this, I feel like I have a better understanding, to the point I want to learn more, because no doubt this only scratches the surface.

3. Competitive Dancing. Ethan is on the ballroom dance team, and I had no idea this even existed. It was fun to see the moves and dances through Kan’s eyes.

4. Secrets. Some are Kan’s, which the reader knows through her, but others are secrets of those around Kan which are kept from her. There are so many and they are revealed at a deliciously slow pace that only made me want to read on.

5. Young Love. This isn’t a traditional young adult romance, but I think in some ways that makes it more satisfying. There’s so much keeping these two apart, and yet they don’t respond in stereotypical fashion.

Bottom Line
One of my favorite young adult novels of 2017, a thriller, romance, mystery, and coming of age all rolled into one fantastic trope-free delight.

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

 —————————————————————————-

About the Book
Title: GIRL ON THE VERGE
Author: Pintip Dunn
Publisher: Kensington
Pages: 256
Category: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUBarnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

 —————————————————————————-

.

Author Pintip Dunn

Author Pintip Dunn

About the Author
When her first-grade teacher asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, Pintip replied, “An author.” Although she has pursued other interests over the years, this dream has never wavered.

Pintip graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL.

Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. She is a 2012 RWA Golden Heart® finalist and a 2014 double-finalist. She lives with her husband and children in Maryland.
..

.

.

.

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

 —————————————————————————-

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

.

Young Adult Book Review + Giveaway – REMEMBER ME FOREVER (The Lovely Vicious) by Sara Wolf

REMEMBER ME FOREVER Blog Tour

 

REMEMBER ME FOREVER (The Lovely Vicious #3) by Sara Wolf

REMEMBER ME FOREVER (The Lovely Vicious #3) by Sara Wolf

5 Stars

Synopsis
Isis Blake hasn’t fallen in love in three years, forty-three weeks, and two days. Or so she thinks.

The boy she maybe-sort-of-definitely loved and sort-of-maybe-definitely hated has dropped off the face of the planet in the face of tragedy, leaving a Jack Hunter–shaped hole. Determined to be happy, Isis fills it in with lies and puts on a brave smile for her new life at Ohio State University.

But the smile lasts only until he shows up. The menace from her past—her darkest secret, Nameless—is attending OSU right alongside her. And he’s whispering that he has something Isis wants—something she needs to see to move forward. To move on.

Isis has always been able to pretend everything is okay. But not anymore.

Isis Blake might be good at putting herself back together.

But Jack Hunter is better.

.

.

.

.

.

 —————————————————————————-

My Review
By far my favorite book in the series!!! While some of the plot felt contrived in the second book and it took me a while to warm up to both Jack and Isis in the first book, this one got everything right as far as I’m concerned. Isis was spunkier, which made her witty humor come across as more lovable and less defensive.

Still reeling from Sophia’s suicide, Isis leaves behind her mom and an opportunity at Stanford to got to Ohio State (THE Ohio State in case you’re from that area) University. She feels like a child in an adult world, which is exactly what she needs to grow up. she quickly befriends a couple of quirky characters before running into not one, but two ghosts from her past. Both Nameless and Jack turn her world upside down in different ways — ways that help her on her continued path to healing.

Plot
The main plot is the relationship between Jack and Isis, but Isis deals with her past with Nameless and her future. Jack has subplots involving his own demons as well as his employment with the mysterious Gregory. All of the loose ends from the previous two books are tied up neatly in a satisfying conclusion.

Characters
I love how much growth both characters experienced. They were so much easier to root for in this book. Isis is still snarky and Jack is still, well, Jack, but different. Isis’s self-deprecating humor and penchant for thinking out loud were more lighthearted and endearing than weird and dark. Jack comes into his own, and instead of being more mysterious, his actions make sense. He, too, is less dark and twisty. The new characters, Isis roommate and her girlfriend, contribute to the softer tone of this this installation that is more lovely than vicious.

What I Loved About REMEMBER ME ALWAYS
1. Isis.
 Right out of the blocks, she was hilariously eccentric in that way only Isis can be.

2. Jack. He finally has his sh*t together and has become the boy, or man, Isis deserves.

3. Revenge. Without giving anything away, there is a scene with Unnamed at the end that makes the build up through three books worth it.

4. Gregory. I didn’t know what to make of him in the second book, but his personality is revealed in REMEMBER ME FOREVER in a way that makes all of his actions understandable.

5. The Ending. I love the way the author wrapped up this book and the series. It’s completely satisfying, although I will miss Jack and Isis terribly.

Bottom Line
My favorite book in the series, it has a lighter tone and wraps up all the loose ends with characters I’ve grown to love.

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

 —————————————————————————-

About the Book
Title: REMEMBER ME FOREVER
Series: The Lovely Vicious #3
Author: Sara Wolf
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pages: 320
Category: Young Adult/New Adult Contemporary Romance
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Entangled

 —————————————————————————-

Author Sara Wolf

Author Sara Wolf

About the Author
Sara Wolf is a twenty-something author who adores baking, screaming at her cats, and screaming at herself while she types hilarious things.

When she was a kid, she was too busy eating dirt to write her first terrible book. Twenty years later, she picked up a keyboard and started mashing her fists on it and created the monster known as the Lovely Vicious series.

She lives in San Diego with two cats, a crippling-yet-refreshing sense of self-doubt, and not enough fruit tarts ever.

.

Where to Find Sara Wolf
Goodreads Website | Facebook | Twitter

 —————————————————————————-

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

.

Excerpt Reveal – ROAR (Stormheart) by Cora Carmack

ROAR Excerpt Reveal

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Cora Carmack, is revealing an excerpt to her upcoming ROAR, the first book in her young adult fantasy romance series, Stormheart, is releasing June 13, 2017. See below for information on the book, pre-order links, and the exclusive excerpt.

ROAR (Stormheart #1) by Cora Carmack

ROAR (Stormheart #1) by Cora Carmack

About the Book
Title
: ROAR
Series: Stormheart #1
Author: Cora Carmack
Publisher: Tor Teen
Category: Young Adult Fantasy Romance
Release Date: June 13, 2017
LinksGoodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUBarnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Book Depository

Synopsis
New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack’s young adult debut: Roar.

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

 —————————————————————————-

Excerpt
There was a hole in her chest, an awful, gaping hole that screamed like she wanted to. Like a cyclone, it seemed to suck up everything in its path until her knees were curled into her chest and her body hunched, and she just kept collapsing in and in and in. Suddenly unable to breathe, she clawed at the beaded fastenings that connected her headdress and necklace. One of her fingernails bent and splintered as she scrabbled for the hooks; when she could not find them, she took hold of the beaded cord and pulled until it broke, beads scattering across the stone floor around her.

The headdress tipped sideways, tugging painfully on her hair. Again and again, she pulled at the ties until her palms felt raw and beads littered the floor around her. The headdress began to sag, and she was nearly done, nearly free when someone stepped through the archway, and she froze.

Novaya.

Thank the skies. The dark-haired servant held an urn full of steaming water in her hands, and she stared in horror as if she had stumbled upon a monster rather than a crying girl. Nova had been Rora’s closest friend before she cut herself off from everyone at her mother’s command. Girls with secrets the size of Rora’s could not have friends. Nova took a step forward, paused, then knelt down, her large brown eyes carefully blank.

“Should I call for your guards? The queen?” Nova asked.

“No!” Softer, Aurora said, “No. Please don’t tell anyone.”

Once upon a time, Nova had kept all her secrets. Now the two rarely even looked at each other in the eye when their paths crossed, and it was all Aurora’s fault.

“Your Highness? What happened?”

Rora shook her head and returned to tugging at the headdress still tangled in her hair. She couldn’t say the words aloud, couldn’t let anyone see how much of a fool she was. Aurora had become accustomed to her shortcomings as a Stormling, as an heir. But she’d thought she had her mother’s strength, tenacity, and intelligence. But maybe that was wishful thinking. Maybe she was altogether…inadequate.

“Stop, Princess. You’re hurting yourself.” Nova put the water aside, crawled forward, and grabbed Rora’s wrists. “Aurora, stop.”

All the years spent missing their friendship came rushing back, and she froze at the sound of her name. Not Princess. Not Your Highness. Aurora. But the moment she stopped moving, it all came crashing down on her. Her naïve plan to kiss him, to experience something real. She should have known that her future would hold only more lies. As if she knew anything about real life, real anything. She lived in this palace, protected and pampered and put away like a doll on a shelf, too fragile for anything but appearances. And it seemed that’s all she would ever be.

Cassius wanted control of the city for himself. He thought he’d have to fool her to do it, but the moment the world found out that Rora had no magic, he’d become the ruler in truth, and she’d be the puppet at his side. He wouldn’t have to feign interest in her then. He wouldn’t need her at all.

She wound her arms about her legs and rested her forehead on her knees. Nova moved closer, and Rora sat still and silent as the girl worked to remove the headdress. Her old friend had grown into a beautiful young woman—flawless bronze skin, shiny black hair, stunning features. She’d recently begun assisting the royal seamstress in addition to her position as a maid. She probably had more friends than she could count. Aurora could not help imagining how different her life would be now fi she had never become heir.

The headdress finally gave way, and Nova slipped it off and laid it on the stone floor beside them.

“Tell me what happened.”

Rora leaned back against the wall. It was cool against her abused scalp, and she muttered, “Nothing happened.”

At least she had that much. She hadn’t kissed that beast. But what she had done felt worse. She had hoped. And hope broke more hearts than any man ever could.

“Should I get someone? A friend?”

Rora let out a bleak, cold laugh. As if she had any of those. Softer, she said, “I don’t want to see anyone. I just need this dress off. The makeup too. I need to breathe, and I can’t do it through all this mess.”

“I can do that. I came to help remove the headdress and gown. Stand up and we’ll go to your room. Everything will be fine, Your Highness.”

She didn’t tell her old friend how wrong she was, not as she peeled the dress off her and unlaced the corset. Not as she wiped away the powder that was smudged and striped on Rora’s face, thanks to falling tears. Another maid came in with more steaming water for a bath and Rora let them clean her up, wishing it was as easy to wipe away the last few hours.

She sat in the bath until the water grew cold and her skin shriveled like dying fruit. She had to face the facts. The Rage season was coming, as was this sham of a wedding. And she didn’t know how to fight it any more than she knew how to stop a storm.

But she would not give Cassius any more opportunities to see her vulnerable. Nor was she giving up. If there were no other way, she would marry Cassius.

But she had six days. Wars had been won, empires toppled, and cities leveled in less time. If there was a way out of this, Rora would find it.

 —————————————————————————-

ROAR Coming Soon

 —————————————————————————-

Author Cara Carmack

Author Cara Carmack

About the Author
Cora Carmack is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Since she was a teenager, her favorite genre to read has been fantasy, and now she’s thrilled to bring her usual compelling characters and swoon-worthy romance into worlds of magic and intrigue with her debut YA fantasy, Roar. Her previous adult romance titles include the Losing It, Rusk University, and Muse series. Her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages around the world. Cora splits her time between Austin, TX and New York City, and on any given day you might find her typing away at her computer, flying to various cities around the world, or just watching Netflix with her kitty Katniss. But she can always be found on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and her website.

.

.

.

Where to Find Cora Carmack
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | PinterestAmazon
.

Cover Reveal – EVER AFTER ( Unfinished Fairy Tales) by Aya Ling

EVER AFTER Cover Reveal

Author Aya Ling is unveiling the cover to EVER AFTER, the third book in her young adult fantasy/fairy tale romance series, Unfinished Fairy Tales, releasing May 20, 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book and series, and a pre-order link.

EVER AFTER ( Unfinished Fairy Tales #1) by Aya Ling

EVER AFTER ( Unfinished Fairy Tales #1) by Aya Ling

About the Book
Title: EVER AFTER
Series: Unfinished Fairy Tales #3
Author: Aya Ling
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Fairy Tale Romance
Release Date: May 20, 2017
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Kat has survived. She returns to Athelia as herself, Katherine Wilson. Edward, elated at learning she is alive, vows to bring her back to the palace. The obstacles, however, seem impossible to overcome. Marriage between a royal and a commoner is not recognized, not to mention that he is already legally bound to Katriona Bradshaw, who will do anything to keep her position as princess.

And there’s even more to worry about. Due to an uncommonly harsh winter, the people of Athelia have been suffering from inflated food prices, and are getting irritated at supporting the small, elite group of aristocrats. An uprising in a neighboring country only adds fuel to the fire.

Can Kat and Edward finally get a happily-ever-after?

.

.

.

.

 —————————————————————————-

UGLY STEPSISTER ( Unfinished Fairy Tales #1) by Aya Ling

UGLY STEPSISTER ( Unfinished Fairy Tales #1) by Aya Ling

About Book 1
Title: THE UGLY STEPSISTER
Series: Unfinished Fairy Tales #1
Author: Aya Ling
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Fairy Tale Romance
Release Date: June 10, 2015
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
When Kat accidentally rips apart an old picture book, she’s magically transported into the world of Cinderella–as Katriona, one of the ugly stepsisters! Life turns upside down now that she’s a highborn lady and must learn how to survive the social season, including how to get through the door in a huge metal hoop skirt. To get back, she’ll have to complete the story, right to the end of happily ever after. But the odds are huge: the other stepsister is drop-dead gorgeous, the fairy godmother is nowhere to be found, and the prince, despite being insanely hot, openly dislikes balls. Can she ever return to the modern world?

.

.

.

.

.

.

 —————————————————————————-

TWICE UPON A TIME ( Unfinished Fairy Tales #2) by Aya Ling

TWICE UPON A TIME ( Unfinished Fairy Tales #2) by Aya Ling

About Book 2
Title: TWICE UPON A TIME
Series: Unfinished Fairy Tales #2
Author: Aya Ling
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Fairy Tale Romance
Release Date: December 13, 2016
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Seven years have passed since Kat left Athelia. Through the intervention of the goblin king’s baby daughter, the book is re-opened and Kat is transported back to Story World. Upon learning she is given a second chance, Edward is determined not to let her go this time. His chance of succeeding, however, seems like nil. Kat doesn’t remember anything of their past, she loathes life at court, and she’s anxious to return to modern world. Not to mention that there’s a price to pay for tampering with the book again…

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

 —————————————————————————-

Author Aya Ling

Author Aya Ling

About the Author
Aya is from Taiwan, where she struggles daily to contain her obsession with mouthwatering and unhealthy foods. Often she will devour a good book instead. Her favorite books include martial arts romances, fairy tale retellings, high fantasy, cozy mysteries, and manga.

She is currently working on Ever After, Book 3 in the Unfinished Fairy Tales series, to be released in 2017. For exclusive bonus scenes, giveaways, and new release info, visit ayaling.com

.

Where to Find Aya Ling
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter
.

Cover Reveal – THE D.B. LIST by Rebekah L. Purdy

THE D.B. LIST Cover Reveal

Swoon Romance and author, Rebekah L. Purdy, are unveiling the cover to THE D.B. LIST, a young adult contemporary romance, releasing June 13, 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book, and a pre-order link.

THE D.B. LIST by Rebekah L. Purdy

THE D.B. LIST by Rebekah L. Purdy

About the Book
Title: THE D.B. LIST
Author: Rebekah L. Purdy
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Synopsis
Seventeen-year-old Ellie Gebhardt has spent the last three years of high school in psychotherapy, trying to fix a very broken her. And her shrink (or therapist as she likes to be called) seems to think that in order to totally heal, she needs to recognize all the good and bad things that have led her to this point. As if a trip down memory lane will suddenly make her better.

She’s given a “homework” assignment to create two lists. One with nothing but happy memories and thoughts on it (otherwise known as the ‘happy rainbow farting unicorns list’). And the other with everything negative that Ellie thinks contributed to “the” day she could no longer cope.

So begins Ellie’s Douche Bag list (or D.B. List for short). And once she gets started, it’s hard to stop remembering all the jerks, the petty crap, the times she’d been bullied or the main focus of the rumor mill.

So when nice guy, Ky Laramie, walks into her life, Ellie instantly puts her shields up. But as she gets to know him and his family, she wonders if she can dare to put herself out there again. Because as everyone knows, once a candle is lit, the wind can always blow it out. And Ellie couldn’t handle it if Ky ends up atop of the D.B. List.

—————————————————————————-

Author Rebekah L. Purdy

Author Rebekah L. Purdy

About the Author
Rebekah was born and raised in Michigan where she spent many late nights armed with a good book and a flashlight. She’s lived in Michigan most of her life other than the few years she spent in the U.S. Army. At which time she got a chance to experience Missouri, Kansas, South Carolina, and California. Rebekah has a business degree from University of Phoenix and currently works full time for the court system. In her free time she writes YA stories, anything from YA Fantasy to YA Contemporary Romance. Rebekah also has a big family (6 kids) she likes to consider her family as the modern day Brady Bunch complete with crazy road trips and game nights. When not hiding at her computer, Rebekah enjoys reading, singing, soccer, swimming, football, camping, playing video games, traveling, and hanging out with her family and gazillion pets..

.

Where to Find Rebekah L. Purdy
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter
.

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

DIGGING IN THE STARS Book Blast

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

DIGGING IN THE STARS by Katherine Blakeney

DIGGING IN THE STARS by Katherine Blakeney

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

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

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

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

 —————————————————————————-

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

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

 —————————————————————————-

Author Katherine Blakeney

Author Katherine Blakeney

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

.

.

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

  —————————————————————————-

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

.

Book Blitz + Giveaway – THE UNSEEN (Order of the Bell) by Jacob Devlin

THE UNSEEN Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for THE UNSEEN, the second book in the young adult fantasy/fairy tale retelling series, Order of the Bell, by Jacob Devlin. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on his giveaway.

THE UNSEEN (Order of the Bell #2) by Jacob Devlin

THE UNSEEN (Order of the Bell #2) by Jacob Devlin

About the Book
Title:
THE UNSEEN
Series: Order of the Bell #2
Author: Jacob Devlin
Publisher: Blaze Publishing, LLC
Release Date: May 9, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Fairy Tale Retelling
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUBarnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | !ndigo

Synopsis
Crescenzo and his friends may have survived their confounding journey to the enchanted realms of Florindale, but now they find themselves fighting for their sanity and lives while stuck on the other side of the very mirror they set out to destroy.

With their families trapped by a former ally with a crippling fear of the queen, Enzo, Rosana, and Zack must play a deadly game in Wonderland, where shadows are on the move, kings are at war, and one of them wants Rosana dead.

As darkness hovers over the world, the friends must lean on each other and stop the King of Hearts from following through on Avoria’s orders: Break them.
.

.

 —————————————————————————-

Excerpt #3
“Oh yes, boy, a true Carver can work with anything! Wood, marble, stone, diamonds, even the earth itself. Ask Michelangelo. By fortune, he came about a grand slab of marble one fateful day. It is said that he saw a man inside of it. He felt the marble’s energy and became one with it. All he had to do was carve around that man and set him free.” Geppetto paused, letting his knife rest on his lap. “I’ll have you know that, today, that block of marble is known as Davide.

Crescenzo’s jaw fell. “Seriously? The naked guy?”

“And the first to slay a giant, you might remember,” Geppetto added. “He lives on through Michelangelo’s work. Some even say they’ve seen him breathe. You see, Enzo, Carvers are very special people. We feel the living souls of the world around us. We set them free, we tell their stories, and once in a while, we have the fortune of shaping the future. Would you like to know how your father came to be?”

A cool gust of wind ruffled Crescenzo’s hair. This was a story he never thought he’d hear. He leaned closer. “Yes.”

 —————————————————————————-

THE CARVER (Order of the Bells #1) by Jacob Devlin

THE CARVER (Order of the Bells #1) by Jacob Devlin

About Book 1
Title:
 THE CARVER
Series: Order of the Bell #1
Author: Jacob Devlin
Publisher: Blaze Publishing, LLC
Release Date: July 19, 2016
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Fairy Tale Retelling
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUBarnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | !ndigo

Synopsis
THE GIRL IN THE RED HOOD has been looking for her mother for six months, searching from the depths of New York’s subways to the heights of its skyscrapers . . .

THE PRINCE looks like he’s from another time entirely, or maybe he’s just too good at his job at Ye Old Renaissance Faire . . .

THE ACTRESS is lighting up Hollywood Boulevard with her spellbinding and strikingly convincing portrayal of a famous fairy. Her name may be big, but her secrets barely fit in one world . . .

Fifteen-year-old Crescenzo never would have believed his father’s carvings were anything more than “stupid toys.” All he knows is a boring life in an ordinary Virginia suburb, from which his mother and his best friend have been missing for years. When his father disappears next, all Crescenzo has left is his goofy neighbor, Pietro, who believes he’s really Peter Pan and that Crescenzo is the son of Pinocchio. What’s more: Pietro insists that they can find their loved ones by looking to the strange collection of wooden figurines Crescenzo’s father left behind.

With Pietro’s help, Crescenzo sets off on an adventure to unite the real life counterparts to his figurines. It’s enough of a shock that they’re actually real, but the night he meets the Girl in the Red Hood, dark truths burst from the past. Suddenly, Crescenzo is tangled in a nightmare where magic mirrors and evil queens rule, and where everyone he loves is running out of time.

 —————————————————————————-

THE IVORY QUEEN (Order of the Bell #1.5) by Jacob Devlin

THE IVORY QUEEN (Order of the Bell #1.5) by Jacob Devlin

About the Book
Title:
THE IVORY QUEEN
Series: Order of the Bell #1.5
Author: Jacob Devlin
Publisher: Blaze Publishing, LLC
Release Date: January 10, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Fairy Tale Retelling
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUBarnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | !ndigo

Synopsis
Twenty-five years ago, the venomous Queen Avoria was banished from the enchanted realms of Florindale and sentenced to spend eternity inside a cursed mirror.

After a seemingly endless tumble through the mirror’s abyss, Avoria awakens in a gloomy metropolis in the darkest corner of Wonderland. There she meets the shrewd King of Hearts, Cornelius Redding, and the two strike a turbulent alliance. As Avoria helps Cornelius execute his conquest of Wonderland, she plots her own vengeance against the world that cast her out. In the city’s cold shadows, Avoria finds pawns in the souls that defied her, truth in the reflection that calls to her, and power in the past that forged her. And thus, the Ivory Queen begins carving a path to the ultimate throne.

.

.

 —————————————————————————-

Author Jacob Devlin

Author Jacob Devlin

About the Author
When Jacob Devlin was four years old, he would lounge around in Batman pajamas and make semi-autobiographical picture books about an adventurous python named Jake the Snake. Eventually, he traded his favorite blue crayon for a black pen, and he never put it down. When not reading or writing, Jacob loves practicing his Italian, watching stand-up comedy, going deaf at rock concerts, and geeking out at comic book conventions. He does most of these things in southern Arizona.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Where to Find Jacob Devlin
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

——————————————————————

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

.

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – BREAKER AND THE SUN (Paper Stars) by Lauren Nicolle Taylor

BREAKER AND THE SUN Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for BREAKER AND THE SUN, the second book in the young adult historical series, Paper Stars, by Lauren Nicolle Taylor. See below for for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt and details on her giveaway. Book 1, NORA & KETTLE, is currently available for free! See below for links.

BREAKER AND THE SUN (Paper Stars #2) by Lauren Nicolle Taylor

BREAKER AND THE SUN (Paper Stars #2) by Lauren Nicolle Taylor

About the Book
Title: BREAKER AND THE SUN
Series: Paper Stars #2
Author: Lauren Nicolle Taylor
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Release Date: March 8, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Historical
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
Times means nothing. It’s just the sun and moon changing places.

New from Lauren Nicolle Taylor, the best-selling author of Nora and Kettle, comes a fresh take on a classic tale.

Breaker Van Winkle is a recently returned Vietnam vet, struggling with PTSD and the difficulties of readjusting to civilian life with his mother. Sunny is a high-achieving eighteen-year-old Chinese-French immigrant who fled Vietnam during the war. Sunny is usually as cheerful as her name implies, but she has her struggles too. Haunted by violent memories of the bombing that killed her parents, and chafing under the rule of her eccentric grandmother, she finds solace deep in the Catskills, at a place she calls the Ugly Tree.

When Breaker stumbles upon Sunny and the Ugly Tree, things start to change. They are drawn to each other, and feel called to the tree. As they spend more time together and their relationship deepens, they notice that their time at the tree is becoming twisted somehow. Sunny’s mind yawns and her ambitions begin to slip away. Breaker feels safe and carefree, his memories finally burying themselves in the distant past. They are being lulled toward a tempting, peaceful sleep—but there is a cost to this magical serenity, and it may be more than either of them can bear…

 —————————————————————————-

Excerpt #1 – Sunny
Walking up the stairs, I pause and bend down, plucking some stubborn weeds from the hard earth. I shake the dirt from them and look at the struggling roots before tossing them in the garden bed. Is he just a jerk? Seems like there must be more to it than that. At least, that’s what I’d like to believe.

I sigh, wishing I could be like Cara sometimes. To stop searching for the reasons behind things and just accept the world for what it is and all the jerks in it.

The smell of garlic and peanut oil seeps from the front porch, luring me inside and throwing my thoughts into the frying pan. I walk up, my foot hovering over the last cracked bit of peeling concrete. I open my ears and smile wide as I listen to the cackling and coughing coming from within.

“You love my voice, eh?” Ama shouts as metal clatters in musical harmony.

“I love you to shut up!” Gung grumbles.

Ama starts humming out of tune. I can picture Gung’s surly expression. His eyes following her around the room like they’re trying to decipher one tiny particle of the code that makes her, but then he’ll give up. We always give up.

I take off my shoes and open the door.

I’m looking at my rainbow-striped socks when a white china bowl comes flying at my knees. I jump out of the way, and the bowl hits the doorframe and bounces off without breaking. “Ama! What the he…heck?” I manage to avoid saying hell before my intensely religious grandmother slaps me.

“See, George! Doesn’t break.” She throws another bowl my way like a Frisbee, and I sidestep as it skitters across the cork floor with a clanging marble kind of sound.

I giggle and step into the lounge, kissing Gung on the cheek, inhaling his sweet tobacco smell just as he runs a hand through his thinning hair and shouts at Ama, “You crazy woman!”

“It’s Corr Relle!” She says it like it’s two words, not one, and like that should explain her throwing crockery. My eyes turn to the kitchen and the dining set strewn across the floor. Ama stands on her tiptoes in the small spaces between the overlapping plates and bowls, knees bent as if she’s considering jumping out of the mess she’s created.

I put my hand up to stop her. “Ama, let me help you pick all this up.” I kneel and start stacking the plates.

“Twenty-five percent off, Sun,” she whispers, squatting down on her haunches to help me. She has the balance of a gymnast, leaning her thighs against the back of her calves with ease. Whenever I try to do that, I fall backward. But that could also be because she usually tries to knock me over with the end of a broom.

Ama grins, all red lipstick and white powder, and I smirk. She looks half like a Geisha and half like a forgotten Beatle with her died black hair and pageboy cut.

Gung coughs and strains his ears to hear us. “How much you pay for all this?”

Ama winks at me and lies, “Ten dollars the lot.”

He accepts this, although I’m sure he suspects she’s lying.

After we rise, she places a bowl in front of me at the counter, serving up some sweet corn soup. I lift the spoon to my mouth.

She asks, “How was rest of day at work. Make any tips?”

“Only from that one guy, you know, the weird one,” I mumble.

She shrugs, turning her back to me to rattle a frying pan on the hob.

I take a sip, swallow, stall…

I reach for my spoon again, and Ama grabs my wrist. “You mean the army man who gave you hating eyes because you Eurasian?” she asks, narrowing her eyes at me.

I wonder what she’ll say. I never know with her. What side she’ll pick.

“Yeah, that one,” I start, looking to Gung. He has angled his whole body my way, but he hasn’t deemed this conversation worthy of getting all the way out of his chair. I feel more comfortable addressing him. “Though I don’t think it’s because I’m Eurasian, Ama. I think it’s just because I look Asian.”

Ama snaps to attention, grasping my chin and pulling it toward her fierce eyes. “Nothing wrong with way you look. You beautiful Eurasian girl.” She traces under my eyes with her wrinkled finger. “Eyes like watermelon seeds…”

I smile and try to pull back. “He’s a Vietnam veteran. Maybe I reminded him of something bad,” I mutter, defending the guy. “Anyway, it doesn’t matter. I doubt he’ll come back in again, and I got to keep his change.”

Ama turns to Gung and says proudly, “I gave him my finger. The middle one! But then…he is soldier.” She sighs very loudly. Everything exaggerated. “Maybe we can be generous to him.”

I roll my eyes. Gung rolls his eyes too. The way she flips back and forth is exhausting.

“Are you all right, Sun?” he asks.

I shake my head. “Nothing a Douglas can’t handle,” I say proudly, sitting up straighter in my seat.

“I saw you roll the eyes at me, Sunny. Rolling around like marble in bowl.” Ama waggles her finger at me, dangerously tipping into a temper. “American soldiers save your life. You should be grateful.”

I know. I remember.

But it wasn’t this exact soldier. It wasn’t his hand that reached for me in the rubble.

“Maybe when you doctor, you fix all the soldiers,” she announces, and I bow my head to look like I’m agreeing with her.

First, I need to fix what’s wrong with me.

Gung flicks on the TV, turning up the volume and trying to stop the conversation from happening. The one about college and where I’m going to go, but Ama’s not that easily distracted tonight.

She comes around the counter to stand in front of me. I look up from where I sit on my stool. “Ama. S’il vous plaît. Please. Can we not have this conversation? I don’t have to decide just yet.”

Gung clears his throat and speaks, softly but firmly. “Annie. Leave the girl in peace. Let her enjoy her good fortunes for one day.”

Ama glares at Gung, and then her gaze settles on me. “You lucky I listen to Gung.”

Gung snorts and waves her over to watch Wheel of Fortune.

I know I’m lucky.

 —————————————————————————-

NORA & KETTLE (Paper Stars #1) by Lauren Nicolle Taylor

NORA & KETTLE (Paper Stars #1) by Lauren Nicolle Taylor

About Book 1 – FREE FOR A LIMITED TIME!
Title: NORA & KETTLE
Series: Paper Stars #1
Author: Lauren Nicolle Taylor
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Release Date: March 15, 2016
Genre: Young Adult Historical
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
What if Peter Pan was a homeless kid just trying to survive, and Wendy flew away for a really good reason?

Seventeen-year-old Kettle has had his share of adversity. As an orphaned Japanese American struggling to make a life in the aftermath of an event in history not often referred to—the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and the removal of children from orphanages for having “one drop of Japanese blood in them”—things are finally looking up. He has his hideout in an abandoned subway tunnel, a job, and his gang of Lost Boys.

Desperate to run away, the world outside her oppressive brownstone calls to naïve, eighteen-year-old Nora—the privileged daughter of a controlling and violent civil rights lawyer who is building a compensation case for the interned Japanese Americans. But she is trapped, enduring abuse to protect her younger sister Frankie and wishing on the stars every night for things to change.

For months, they’ve lived side by side, their paths crossing yet never meeting. But when Nora is nearly killed and her sister taken away, their worlds collide as Kettle, grief stricken at the loss of a friend, angrily pulls Nora from her window.

In her honeyed eyes, Kettle sees sadness and suffering. In his, Nora sees the chance to take to the window and fly away.

Set in 1953, NORA AND KETTLE explores the collision of two teenagers facing extraordinary hardship. Their meeting is inevitable, devastating, and ultimately healing. Their stories, a collection of events, are each on their own harmless. But together, one after the other, they change the world.

 —————————————————————————-

Author Lauren Nicolle Taylor

Author Lauren Nicolle Taylor

About the Author
Lauren Nicolle Taylor lives in the lush Adelaide Hills. The daughter of a Malaysian nuclear physicist and an Australian scientist, she was expected to follow a science career path, attending Adelaide University and completing a Health Science degree with Honours in obstetrics and gynaecology.

She then worked in health research for a short time before having her first child. Due to their extensive health issues, Lauren spent her twenties as a full-time mother/carer to her three children. When her family life settled down, she turned to writing.

She is a 2014 Kindle Book Awards Semi-finalist and a USA Best Book Awards Finalist.

.

.

Where to find Lauren Nicolle Taylor
Goodreads Website | Facebook Twitter

 —————————————————————————-

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

.

Book Blitz + Giveaway – FORWARD INTO DARKNESS by Marlene Perez

FORWARD INTO DARKNESS Book Blitz by Marlene Perez

Welcome to the book blitz for the FORWARD INTO DARKNESS, a stand-alone young adult dark fantasy romance/horror novel, by Marlene Perez. See below for information on the book, buy links, and details on her giveaway.

FORWARD INTO DARKNESS by Marlene Perez

FORWARD INTO DARKNESS by Marlene Perez

About Book 1
Title: FORWARD INTO DARKNESS
Author: Marlene Perez
Publisher: Paper Lantern Lit/The Studio
Release Date: April 25, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Dark Fantasy Romance/Horror
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Publisher

Synopsis
For Valencia Paine, the world is as small as her family’s estate. Confined to the grounds because of unrest from the human-animal hybrids whose labor runs the city, Valencia observes life in Sombria from the other side of a wrought-iron fence. Her father, a powerful scientist in Sombria’s popular—and oppressive—regime, claims it’s for her own protection.

But Valencia isn’t content to stay cloistered inside a cold, lonely mansion, with only books for company. When she slips away and encounters Mateo, a mysterious stranger with ties to the city’s hybrids, she finds herself drawn into a life forbidden to her—and into a resistance movement that defies everything she thinks she knows. As her father tightens his control of her by arranging a marriage to Henri, a rising star in the regime, Valencia becomes more determined to discover the truth. Will her defiance change her—and her world—forever?

With thrilling twists and romantic interludes, this fantasy is perfect for fans of Ransom Riggs and Marie Lu..

 —————————————————————————-

Author Marlene Perez

Author Marlene Perez

About the Author
Marlene Perez is the author of paranormal and urban fantasy books, including the best-selling DEAD IS series for teens. The first book in the series, DEAD IS THE NEW BLACK, was named an ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers as well as an ALA Popular Paperback. DEAD IS JUST A RUMOR was on VOYA’s 2011 Best Science Fiction, Horror, & Fantasy List. Her novels have been featured in Girl’s Life, Seventeen, and Cosmopolitan.

She grew up in Story City, Iowa and is the youngest of twelve children. She lives in Orange County, California with her husband and children. Visit Marlene at www.marleneperez.com or follow her on Twitter @MarPerez.

.

.

.

.

Where to Find Marlene Perez
Goodreads | Website | FacebookTwitter

 —————————————————————————-

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

.

Release Day + Giveaway – YOLO (Ruby Knight Chronicles) by K.M. Pyne

YOLO Release Day

Today is release day for #YOLOthe second book in the young adult mystery series, Ruby Knight Chronicles, by K.M. Pyne. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive teaser, and details on her giveaway.

#YOLO (Ruby Knight Chronicles #2) by K.M. Pyne

#YOLO (Ruby Knight Chronicles #2) by K.M. Pyne

About the Book
Title: #YOLO
Series: Ruby Knight Chronicles #2
Author: K.M. Pyne
Publisher: 2 Librans Publishing
Release Date: May 8, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | !ndigo

Synopsis
Once again Ruby Knight finds herself dragged into her Mam’s World. This time someone at her school is out for revenge!

Ruby, along with her friends, have to work out who is murdering students. Why they are murdering them? What do they ultimately want?

At the same time relationships are made and some are broken, but will Ruby find the killer in time? Or will someone else have to perish at the hands of a killer?

If you like ‘Nancy Drew’ or ‘Pretty Little Liars’, then The Ruby Knight Chronicles is the perfect mash up!

.

.

.

.

 —————————————————————————-

YOLO Teaser 1

 —————————————————————————-

#MEET (Ruby Knight Chronicles #1) by K.M. Pyne

#MEET (Ruby Knight Chronicles #1) by K.M. Pyne

About the Book
Title: #MEET
Series: Ruby Knight Chronicles #1
Author: K.M. Pyne
Publisher: 2 Librans Publishing
Release Date: February 26, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
When Ruby Knight’s best friend, Catriona Taylor disappears Ruby knows something isn’t right.

Time is ticking and the race is on to find Catriona. Has she run away? Is she really on a holiday with her parents? Has something more sinister happened to her?

These are the questions facing Ruby. Can she find Catriona? Can she ask her detective Mam for help? Or will she leave it too late?

Follow Ruby on her journey to find her best friend!

If you like ‘Nancy Drew’ or ‘Pretty Little Liars’, then The Ruby Knight Chronicles is the perfect mash up!

.

.

.

 —————————————————————————-

Author K.M. Pyne

Author K.M. Pyne

About the Author
KM Pyne lives in Dublin, Ireland and this is her first YA book. There are sequels which are already written and some paranormal YA’s in the future. She is married, has two children and works full time. Writing is a hobby, but it takes over more and more of her life. Characters and stories come into her mind all the time and she has to stop and write them down so that she can build on them at a later date.

.

.

.

Where to find K.M. Pyne
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Snapchat

 —————————————————————————-

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

.

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – FEEL ME FALL by James Morris

FEEL ME FALL Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for FEEL ME FALL, a stand-alone young adult thriller, by James Morris. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on his giveaway.

FEEL ME FALL by James Morris

FEEL ME FALL by James Morris

About the Book
Title: FEEL ME FALL
Author: James Morris
Publisher: Inkspot Imaginarium
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Genre:
 Young Adult Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Secrets and survival in the Amazon

Emily Duran is the sole survivor of a plane crash that left her and her teenage friends stranded and alone in the jungles of the Amazon. Lost and losing hope, they struggle against the elements, and each other. With their familiar pecking order no longer in place, a new order emerges, filled with power struggles, betrayals, secrets and lies. Emily must explain why she’s the last left alive.

But can she carry the burden of the past?

Discover the gripping new adventure novel that explores who we are when no one is watching, and how far we’ll go in order to survive.

.

.

.

.

 ——————————————————————————-

Excerpt #2
I was dead to the world and when I came to I was drowning. Water gushed into my mouth and I was tumbling, flailing, not knowing what end was up or down. I heard the sounds of screaming and the roaring of water and then nothingness. Coming up for air, I held something, something rectangular. The seat cushion I was holding kept me afloat. I was in a river and I didn’t know why. I kicked and kicked and it made no difference. I never believed in God, an all-powerful being that allowed so many horrible things to happen, but as I saw the rocks up ahead, I prayed.

The current sped faster, churning like boiling water and I thought I was going to die.

I was 17 and I was going to die.

All the time wasted. All the things I never got to do.

I had one thought over and over: I don’t want to die. Someone else, but not me.

I held onto that seat cushion for dear life and plunged into the rapids. I was a human rag doll. The torrent sucked me into a watery hell and I couldn’t breathe; my eyes shut, mouth shut, face tight against the murk, willing everything to stop. I couldn’t breathe. I started to panic.

Someone else, but not me.

I needed air, my body screamed for it and I opened my mouth about to take in water when I bubbled up to the surface and gasped. As quickly as I was brought above, I was taken under again. I slammed against the rocks and buried my face deeper into the cushion. I saw nothing, heard nothing, and imagined I was in a womb. I could only wait for the terror to pass. There was no outlet; my fear was so deep and tangible I couldn’t scream. It felt like an actual substance that enveloped my body, my brain, my very being. I receded further and further within myself, a dark hole, my entire body a taut muscle.

Suddenly, I took a shot to the head and saw stars. A high-pitched squeal rang in my ears. I fought the growing sensation of darkness that threatened to overcome me, but I knew to give in meant death. I was tempted. So, so tempted. I forced my eyes open and saw the water, the dark water and wondered in that emptiness if I hadn’t died already.

My prayer must’ve been heard.

The water calmed and I was spit out near a bend. I realized I had to give up the cushion, my lifeline—it was holding me back. I let go, cursing myself as it floated away and I swam, giving everything I had. My body had nothing left but I commanded it, willed it, to swim. As I approached the shore, my shoes finally touched bottom and I heaved myself onto land.

I don’t know how long I lay there catching my breath. But there is no greater feeling of security than the sensation of the earth beneath your stomach, hands grabbing dirt. The scent of decay and wet leaves smelled like a bouquet. All this time I’d taken the ground beneath me for granted. Now I was thankful for this place to rest.

I was soaked. My jeans pressed against me, my hair drenched, my socks squished against my feet. I didn’t understand. I had left on a flight from Los Angeles with a layover in Panama City and then on to Asuncion, Paraguay for a year-end class trip. We were traveling as an inter-disciplinary trip for history, international relations, foreign language and biology. We were going to have the trip of a lifetime.

Then it hit me, a delayed reaction: I almost drowned. I almost died. My body seized and I was overwhelmed. I cried; I didn’t even know why or for what, but I sobbed on that little stretch of dirt. I heaved, gasping for breath. Every inhale was a wheeze, and I caught myself hitting the ground, my hands balled into tight fists, pounding and pounding.

Moments passed and I cried myself empty. I told myself: get up. You have to get up.

 ——————————————————————————-

Author James Morris

Author James Morris

About the Author
James Morris is a former television writer who now works in digital media. When not writing, you can find him scoping out the latest sushi spot, watching ‘House Hunters Renovation’, or trying new recipes in the kitchen. He lives with his wife and dog in Los Angeles.

.

.

.

.

Where to Find James Morris
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

—————————————————————————-

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

.

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – THE BODYGUARD (Legacies of the Amazons) by Wende Dikec

THE BODYGUARD Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for THE BODYGUARD, the first book in the young adult fantasy/mythology series, Legends of the Amazons, by Wende Dikec. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THE BODYGUARD (Legacies of the Amazons #1) by Wende Dikec

THE BODYGUARD (Legacies of the Amazons #1) by Wende Dikec

About the Book
Title: THE BODYGUARD
Series: Legends of the Amazons #1
Author: Wende Dikec
Publisher: Inkspell Publishing
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Genre:
 Young Adult Fantasy/Mythology
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
Descended from a secret race of Amazon Warriors, Ana Thermadosa is not like other girls. As a student at Artemis Academy, the training grounds for a mysterious company called Cerberus Enterprises, Ana has spent her life learning what is important.

How to fight, how to win, how to kill, and, mostly importantly, how to follow orders and live up to the expectations of her powerful family.

Trained in the art of warfare since birth, now her skills are being put to the test. She’s been hired to defend Jordan Banks, the wealthy son of a nefarious businessman, from kidnappers.

She despises Jordan and all he stands for, but soon comes to realize that many things in the outside word aren’t as she’s been led to believe. She also discovers Jordan isn’t what she expected, and, against her better judgment, finds herself starting to care for him.

When disaster strikes, Ana is put in a difficult predicament. Keeping Jordan safe would mean betraying her own people and everything she believes in, but letting him die would mean betraying something even more important.

Her own heart..

 ——————————————————————————-

Excerpt #3
Ana froze in the doorway when he looked up at her, not sure what to do. She considered sneaking back to her room, but couldn’t now that Jordan had seen her. It would seem almost cowardly. Mrs. McKelvey, unaware of her dilemma, waved her in.

“There you are, Ana. I just told Mr. Jordan that I’d hoped you’d be joining us soon.”

Ana glanced at Jordan and could tell he’d been hoping for just the opposite. “It’s okay. I can take a tray up to my room.”

Mrs. McKelvey waved a hand to stop her. “Nonsense. You sit down right here and I’ll get things ready for you. Mr. Jordan would enjoy the company.”

Ana raised her eyebrows at that comment but said nothing. She sat on a bar stool, purposefully choosing the one farthest away from Jordan. He continued to eat, ignoring her completely.

Mrs. McKelvey brought her plate over. She’d made roast beef, mashed potatoes and green beans with almonds, one of Ana’s favorites. There was also a big bowl of salad and homemade dinner rolls.

“This looks wonderful.” Ana gave Mrs. McKelvey a huge smile. “Thank you.”

About to take a bite, she caught Jordan staring at her. “What?” she asked, feeling her cheeks turn pink and hating it. “Why are you looking at me like that?”

Jordan shook his head. “It was that thing you just did with your face. I didn’t know you could do that.”

“What thing?”

“Smile,” he said as he took another bite of roast beef. He seemed delighted by his own joke and gave her a little wink.

 ——————————————————————————-

Author Wende Dikec

Author Wende Dikec

About Nana Malone
Wende Dikec has spent her life traveling the world, collecting stories wherever she visited. She majored in Japanese and International Economics in college and worked in import/export and as an ESL teacher before she committed herself full time to writing. She writes in several romance genres, and her books are quirky and fun. Wende is a Trekkie, a book hoarder, the master of the Nespresso machine, and the mother of three boys (probably the main reason for her caffeine addiction). A puppy named Capone is the most recent addition to her family, and she blogs about him as a way of maintaining what little sanity she has left. She is the author of TIGER LILY and STARR VALENTINE, and writes adult romance under the name Abigail Drake.

.

.

.

.

Where to Find Wende Dikec
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

 ——————————————————————————-

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

.

Cover Reveal – TRUST by Kylie Scott

TRUST Cover Reveal

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Kylie Scott, is revealing the cover to TRUST, her first young adult and indie published novel, releasing July 18, 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book, and pre-order links.

TRUST by Kylie Scott

TRUST by Kylie Scott

About the Book
Title: TRUST
Author: Kylie Scott
Release Date: July 18, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | iBooks

Synopsis
Being young is all about the experiences: the first time you skip school, the first time you fall in love…the first time someone holds a gun to your head.

After being held hostage during a robbery at the local convenience store, seventeen year old Edie finds her attitude about life shattered. Unwilling to put up with the snobbery and bullying at her private school, she enrolls at the local public high school, crossing paths with John. The boy who risked his life to save hers. 

While Edie’s beginning to run wild, however, John’s just starting to settle down. After years of partying and dealing drugs with his older brother, he’s going straight—getting to class on time, and thinking about the future.

An unlikely bond grows between the two as John keeps Edie out of trouble and helps her broaden her horizons. But when he helps her out with another first—losing her virginity—their friendship gets complicated.

Meanwhile, Edie and John are pulled back into the dangerous world they narrowly escaped. They were lucky to survive the first time, but this time they have more to lose—each other..

 —————————————————————————-

TRUST by Kylie Scott (Full Cover)

TRUST by Kylie Scott (Full Cover)

 —————————————————————————-

Author Kylie Scott

Author Kylie Scott

About the Author
Kylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013 & 2014, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Where to Find Kylie Scott
Goodreads | Website |  Facebook | Fan PageTwitter | Instagram
.

Cover Reveal – ABOUT LAST SUMMER by Patricia B. Tighe

ABOUT LAST SUMMER Cover Reveal

Swoon Romance and author Patricia B. Tighe are unveiling the cover to ABOUT LAST SUMMER, a stand-alone young adult contemporary romance, releasing May 30, 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book, and pre-order links.

ABOUT LAST SUMMER by Patricia B. Tighe

ABOUT LAST SUMMER by Patricia B. Tighe

About the Book
Title: ABOUT LAST SUMMER
Author: Patricia B. Tighe
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Genre:
 Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Pretend to be from Spain? Act like she can barely speak English? Sure, why not? It wouldn’t be the first time Gabby Vega had agreed to a challenge from her best friend, Kenzie. Besides, it’s only for a week of vacation with Kenzie’s cousins. Gabby will prove to Kenzie she can keep up the fake identity for the whole trip—that she’s not a quitter.

There’s just one major surprise. Noah Jernigan is also staying with Kenzie’s cousins. Noah, the boy she fell in love with at drama camp last summer and the boy she had to dump when it was over. The boy who knows who she really is.

Noah can’t believe it when Gabby appears at the Bryson’s vacation home in the New Mexico mountains. He hasn’t seen her in a year. It practically took that long just to get over her. And now she’s Gabriela from Spain? All he wants is to get as far away as he can. Or maybe the exact opposite. Stick as close to her as possible and find out what the heck happened last summer. And definitely get some payback.

Now Gabby has to keep Noah at arm’s length as she pretends to be Gabriela. She doesn’t want to answer his questions or rehash last summer. Because one thing is clear—the more time she spends with Noah, the more she’s in danger of falling for him all over again...

 —————————————————————————-

Author Patricia B. Tighe

Author Patricia B. Tighe

About the Author
The mother of two grown sons, Patricia B. Tighe lives in West Texas with her husband and two dogs. Her love of the written word caused her to get a journalism degree from Texas A&M University in 1980 and an MA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in 2008. When not writing or reading, she can be found walking the dogs or yelling at the TV during an NFL game. She’s also a fan of British TV shows. Downton Abbey, anyone?
.

.

.

.

..

Where to find Patricia B. Tighe
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr

.

Cover Reveal + Giveaway – DIVING UNDER (Spark of Life) by Ginna Moran

DIVING UNDER Cover Reveal

Author Ginna Moran is unveiling the cover DIVING UNDER, the first book her young adult paranormal romance series, A Spark of Life, releasing June 27, 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book, and pre-order links.

DIVING UNDER (Spark of Life #1) by Ginna Moran

DIVING UNDER (Spark of Life #1) by Ginna Moran

About the Book
Title: DIVING UNDER
Series: A Spark of Life #1
Author: Ginna Moran
Publisher: Sunny Palms Press
Release Date: June 27, 2017
Genre:
 Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
Eight years after her older sister was swept out to sea, eighteen-year-old Ava Adair still swears off the ocean. It takes a promise of the best vacation of her life aboard the Ocean Jewel with her friends to get her even within reach of the waves. When she steps aboard the luxury yacht to sail the California coastline, the last thing she expects is to gain the attention of gorgeous Carter Stevens, the yacht’s deckhand, who becomes the perfect distraction against her fear of the open water.

On the yacht, a freak accident involving Carter reveals a secret he’s been hiding from Ava. She discovers that he’s a merman and by saving her, he changed her life. One misstep could reveal the new secret they share and ruin the life on land she’s desperate to maintain. Torn between a future on land with her family and a new life at sea, Ava must decide—is her former life worth fighting for, or can she accept that she belongs to the ocean?

.

 —————————————————————————-

DIVING UNDER (Spark of Life #1) by Ginna Moran (Full Cover)

DIVING UNDER (Spark of Life #1) by Ginna Moran (Full Cover)

 —————————————————————————-

Author Ginna Moran

Author Ginna Moran

About the Author
Ginna Moran is the author of the Falling into Fame, Demon Within, Destined for Dreams, and Finding Nate series. She lives in Austin, Texas but is originally from Southern California.

She started writing poetry as a teenager in a spiral notebook that she still has tucked away on her desk today. Her love of writing grew after she graduated high school, and she completed her first unpublished manuscript at age eighteen.

When she realized her love of writing was her life’s passion, she studied literature at Mira Costa College in Northern San Diego. Besides writing young adult novels, she was senior editor, content manager, and image coordinator for Crescent House Publishing Inc. for four years.

Aside from Ginna’s professional life, she enjoys binge watching TV shows, playing pretend with her daughter, and cuddling with her dogs. Some of her favorite things include chocolate, anything that glitters, cheesy jokes, and organizing her bookshelf.

Visit Ginna Online on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Amazon, Goodreads, Snapchat(@GinnaMoran), and subscribe to her newsletter on her website to find out more about her books, participate in subscriber-only giveaways, and hear special news first..

Where to find Ginna Moran
Goodreads | Website | NewsletterFacebook Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Amazon

 —————————————————————————-

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

.

Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – THE WATERFALL TRAVELER by S.J. Lem

THE WATERFALL TRAVELER Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for THE WATERFALL TRAVELER, the first book in the young adult fantasy romance series, The Waterfall Traveler, by S.J. Lem. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THE WATERFALL TRAVELER (The Waterfall Traveler #1) by S.J. Lem

THE WATERFALL TRAVELER (The Waterfall Traveler #1) by S.J. Lem

About the Book
Title: THE WATERFALL TRAVELER
Series: The Waterfall Traveler #1
Author: S.J. Lem
Publisher: Carpe Noctem Publishing
Release Date: April 17, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis
All eighteen-year-old Ri wants is to cure her adoptive father Samuel from his hallucination-inducing illness. Everyone in her village tells her it’s impossible. But when she meets two newcomers in the forest—a gruff rogue with a vendetta against the gods and a charming fugitive who saves her life—she’ll be torn away from Samuel and swept across the sea to an oppressive city governed by a ruthless tyrant. Once there, she’ll not only have to confront Samuel’s unlawful past, but a vicious evil that threatens all mankind.

In this tale of bravery, friendship, and unforeseen love, Ri risks it all to save those she cares for. But if she prevails, she’ll find the one thing she yearns for most—a cure for Samuel.

.

.

.

.

 —————————————————————————-

Excerpt #2
“I’m sorry, but I have to go. Now.” I threw the blanket off me.

“Did I say something wrong? Was it the rats?” He pushed Miss Meow off his lap. She flopped on the floor and rolled onto her back. “They’re more afraid of you than you are of them.”

“Doubtful.” I staggered to my feet, searching for an exit.

A white canvas sheet, each corner hooked to a peg, gleamed against the rock wall. Wind pressed against its backside, rippling the fabric. Another sheet hung on the opposite wall, bucking. Both covered tunnels.

“Which tunnel leads outside?” I asked.

He stood and braced my shoulders. “Ri, I think you should sit down.”

“No, no, I’m fine. Really.” I alternated glances between the two canvas sheets. “I need to get back to my village right away.”

“You’re worried about the older gentleman.” He maneuvered into my line of sight, blocking my view of the potential exit. “I saw you leading him out of the forest the day we met.”

I nodded. “Yes, he’s rather intrigued by you. He thinks you appear out of nowhere. Like magic.”

“Uh …” His eyes widened. “He does?”

“Yes, I know it sounds ridiculous. Wait. Did you say, the day we met? We met today.”

“No, Ri. You’ve been here for three days.”

“Three days? I’ve been lying there for three days?” I pointed at the blanket as if it stole this precious time from me. Samuel could not care for himself one day, let alone three. What if he wandered into the forest again? “I’m sorry, you’ve been very kind, and I don’t mean to run out of here after you helped me, but I really have to go.”

I hurried toward the canvas sheet to my right, and he trailed me close on my heels. Could I act anymore ungrateful? I paused and faced him. “Why don’t you come to my village? A cave is no place to live. Besides, it’s dangerous to stay here with whatever is out there in the forest.”

“Yes, about that … we don’t need to worry about the things in the forest finding us here. Please Ri, have a seat.” He guided me toward the chair. A black dart-sized object rested atop the table on a piece of cloth.

I grabbed the thing and rotated it between my fingers, examining it. “This is what struck me in the clearing.”

The object’s weight, texture, and size reminded me of a chicken leg bone. One end of the cylinder-shaped object was blunt, while the other tapered to a point. A shiver scurried up my spine like a centipede. 

“Please be careful.” Bryce eased the thing out of my hand using the cloth. “It’s poisonous.”

“Who would want to poison us?”

“I don’t know. I was hoping that you could answer that.” He set the strange thing back on the table. His forehead wrinkled with worry. “Ri, you’re not going to like this, but … I can’t take you back to your village.”

A hard weight formed in my stomach. Perhaps he was afraid to enter the forest again after being attacked.

“We can make it together if we move fast.” I hurried toward the canvas sheet on my right. The corner of the covering flopped over as I unfastened the tie from the first peg.

“No.” Bryce wedged himself between the tunnel and me. “You must never go down this tunnel. Never.”

“Fine,” I said, raising my voice to get the urgency across. “I’ll take the other tunnel.”

I spun around and rushed toward the tunnel to my left. The fire had diminished to a faint wisp, barely lighting the cavern, and I accidentally knocked over a pile of books sitting on the ground. I gasped, counting at least a dozen. I had only seen one book in my lifetime—a leather-bound collection of wilted pages that Samuel owned. He had called the book an evil thing and tossed it into the valley shortly after taking me as his ward. I always wondered if someone else had found it.

I kicked Bryce’s books out of my way and headed toward the tunnel. He had quite an assortment of the wicked things. Perhaps he wasn’t as noble as I first thought. I quickened my pace toward the tunnel, but he grabbed my arm.

“Let go,” I said. “I want to go home.”

“Ri, please calm down and listen to me. This is going to sound crazy, but … we’re no longer on your island, and we can’t return until the next dark moon.”

I stopped struggling. The effects of panic paired with my fever. Dizzy, I braced the rock wall. “We’re no longer on my island?”

He nodded. “I know it’s not ideal. But I will take you home.”

“But not until the dark moon?” I plunged my hand into my pocket and rubbed my thumb against the glass face of my compass. I struggled to calm my breaths. Inhale. Exhale. Calm. Ouch. The broken glass pricked me.

“It’s not so bad,” Bryce said through a nervous laugh. “The dark moon comes every month. It’s rather predictable that way.”

“But the dark moon just passed. You want me here for a month?”

“Well, no. Of course, I don’t want you here for a month.” His jaw dropped, and he chopped his hands back and forth. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean it like that. I’m sure you’d make pleasant enough company. There’s plenty we could do together. I mean …”

I glanced at the books. What if the evil things had affected Bryce’s mind? After all, his story made no sense. 

“Come with me.” I cupped his shoulder. “There’s a very good healer in my village who can help … um … manage your condition.”

He jerked his head. “Great, you think I’ve lost my mind.” He raised his arms and then let them flop to his side in defeat. “Well, prepare yourself, because there’s more. I walk through an underground waterfall in this cave and emerge from the one near your village. It’s exactly as the older gentleman explained it to you. Magic.”

 —————————————————————————-

Author S.J. Lem

Author S.J. Lem

About the Author
S.J. Lem is a digital art director gone writer in hopes of expanding her creative aspirations. Whether it’s introducing dimensional characters, crafting imaginative worlds, or transporting readers into high-stakes adventures, she strives to deliver an immersive experience.

She lives in Chicago with her husband and son. When not writing, she enjoys pottery, gardening, and volunteering. Connecting with readers and fellow writers is one of her greatest joys.

.

.

.

Where to Find S.J. Lem
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebookTwitter

 —————————————————————————-

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

.

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – EMPTY THREAT (The Black Pages) by Danny Bell

EMPTY THREAT Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for EMPTY THREAT, the first book in the young adult fantasy series, The Black Pages, by Danny Bell. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on his giveaway.

EMPTY THREAT (The Black Pages #1) by Danny Bell

EMPTY THREAT (The Black Pages #1) by Danny Bell

About the Book
Title: EMPTY THREAT
Series: The Black Pages #1
Author: Danny Bell
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Book one of The Black Pages

Elana Black has the power to make herself fictional. But when she decides to start saving all the people in books and TV shows who die just for the sake of advancing the plot, she quickly learns that she’s not the only one with her powers.

All Elana wants to do is save people. But these others don’t want the stories to change, and they’ll do everything they can to stop her.

If you had the power to change fate… to create a happy ending where there wasn’t one before… would you do it if it meant risking your own?

.

.

.

.

 —————————————————————————-

Excerpt
Chapter One

I was struck by the sudden idea of how absurd it would be if my life were a story somewhere and this is where it began. You never see the really boring beginnings of most literary characters. Wuthering Heights begins with Lockwood having a crap time with his new landlord, which—okay, might not be the best example to start with. I think most of us can relate to fighting with a landlord. All right then, pretty much any superhero. You get the essential small parts of their day-to-day lives before they get hit by lightning or find an artifact or get bitten by an insect and then yay! Super powers! But presumably, they lived an entire life before any of that happened. You don’t see anyone stuck in traffic or eating alone in a food court while wondering if they should take up Swing lessons. Maybe I’ll get bit by a magic spider!

I looked around. No spiders. I took a sip of my whiskey. This is terrible whiskey. Maybe it was magic whiskey, and I’d get alcohol related super powers! I took another sip, and…

… no, no powers. Unless a sore throat is a power? I became a little more aware of my surroundings then and felt just a twinge of claustrophobia.

“This was a mistake,” I said out loud to myself, sincerely and entirely by accident. It was true but that didn’t change the fact that I was hoping desperately that no one had heard me. I was usually much better at internalizing that sort of thing, so I could only assume I had truly meant it. I looked around, and if anyone had noticed, they didn’t care. Or they cared, but just didn’t want to show it. The most likely scenario was they were all too self-absorbed with whatever they had been talking about to notice me. This was preferable.

I’ve often had the problem of liking people whose idea of fun is vastly different from my own. The entire house seemed too small, and the air unnaturally humid. Vibrations came from a speaker on the other side of the living room; the sound was the lyric-less mess of incidental noise you heard at every party. I was convinced no one actually liked it but seemed to think that everyone else did. Except for this one guy who stood nearby. I’d never seen him before, but was sure of two things: he really liked this noise, and he’d hit on nearly every woman there. I feared I was next. I would have left if not for the fact that three more people I didn’t know had created an impenetrable triad between my spot in the kitchen and the salvation of the exit. To me, interrupting a conversation is worse than drinking orange juice immediately after brushing my teeth.

I wanted more than anything to be on the other side of them, but I couldn’t blame them for talking to each other. It was a party, after all, and it was my fault for being there in the first place. It’s not that I don’t like parties, it’s just that—I don’t know.

Yeah, I just don’t like parties. Not even housewarming parties for good friends. I don’t want to be the type of person who doesn’t like parties, but that doesn’t change anything. People are capable of amazing things, change being one of them, but I’ve yet to meet someone capable of explaining how change works. I wouldn’t even know who to ask, so I guess that’s a bit of a non-starter. I never know what to say, for one thing. In Los Angeles, it seems like at least half of the time, everyone wants to talk about entertainment. Which would be fantastic, except it’s never about the worlds or the people or the stories or any of the other outstanding things that make entertainment… well, entertaining. To most people here, it seems to be about video editing, being someone’s assistant, or the post production. I’m going to level with you: I don’t actually know what post production is, but I’ve heard people mention it enough times that I’m convinced it’s a real thing.

Sometimes I just want to shout the truth about me and what I’m capable of at the world. It’s not a good idea. I don’t know why it’s not a good idea, but I’m pretty sure it is. You know what? That’s a lie. I know exactly why. It is because as much as everyone claims to love individuality, there’s a limit and my life almost certainly dashes past that and wears it as a first place ribbon for weirdness, then takes a victory lap before car surfing a stolen food truck off a cliff and into—

“Elana Black! What up?”

What kind of obnoxious jerk announces someone’s first and last—Wait. I forget this guy’s name. Brett? Brad? Bard? Bard would be a pretty sweet name.

“Hey!” I replied immediately, with a smile. His name would come to me in a moment. I was spiraling anyway.

He hugged me, which I really wasn’t happy about. I’m not against hugging in general, I just… have a thing about it sometimes. He also seemed to disregard the fact that I was holding a drink, and preventing it from spilling became the full focus of my attention for the next two very precarious seconds. Like a pro, I quickly slipped into the small talk that he confused for genuine friendship. I could hear the answers coming out of me before I was able to stop and consider what I was actually saying. It wasn’t that I disliked Jeff—

Jeff! I was way off.

It’s not that I disliked him. There was nothing inherently offensive about him; he was just so uninteresting. He also stood too close, never quite smelled right, and never talked about anything other than himself. He would talk and talk, and yet never actually say anything.

You’d think with how often I’d seen him that I would have remembered his name. I suddenly felt very guilty for that. Even so, I almost didn’t notice when he finally left.

I don’t know why I feel the way that I do when I get into large social situations like this. I sincerely care about people; I guess just not as an audience. I came here to hang out with my friend Olivia, this was her party. But as is usual with Olivia, she was nowhere to be found. Neither was Logan, her boyfriend. I liked him too, which is strange because I typically don’t get too attached to the partners of close friends, but he’d passed the test (the test being whatever arbitrary and secretive test that I thought of at the time and only made sense to me, that test). My other friends Ann, Jason, and Teague had all failed to show as well, so that accounted for the five people I could relate to and felt safe talking to at a party. From my hopefully secure location in the kitchen, I could count maybe twenty people and knew none of them to varying degrees. The range was anywhere from a complete stranger to I kind of recognize them from maybe the last time I saw them and didn’t know them.

While gauging my level of intoxication, I identified trepidation at the notion of a stranger talking to me. So that meant the level was “Not Very.” I further decided to get the hell out of here. I thought about hiding in Olivia’s room, but it was locked. I made a mental note of that, what was that about? It’s almost like she didn’t want a house full of people to have access to her bedroom. Okay, mental note discarded, that actually makes perfect sense. But another room was open, and it had what I needed: Books. I walked right up to the flimsy wire frame shelving and was disappointed. I couldn’t use any of these. Books on art history, an entire book about motorcycles, some apparently heavily used textbooks. There had to be something decent here.

I spun at the sound of the door opening up wider behind me. It only just now occurred to me that I was in someone else’s room without their permission.

“See anything good?”

I didn’t recognize this man, but his appearance struck me all the same, mainly how well he dressed. Put together. All of his clothes were immaculate like they’d been purchased earlier that day. He wore white slacks, white shoes designed for some sport which was irrelevant given they would never be used for their intended purpose, and a white vest over a white dress shirt. He completed the look with a white cap, like the kind you might see on a golfer. Not the kind with the fuzzy ball on top, the regular kind, I guess. You know what I mean.

It was in stark contrast to my disaster of an outfit. Canvas high tops that I’d painted nonsense on at some point, beige slacks I had slept in the night before, a bluish, purplish and somewhat wrinkled blouse, red suspenders, an oversized vintage brown coat I’d found at a yard sale off Miracle Mile and immediately had dry cleaned, a bright multi-colored scarf I found at a dollar store, and a white straw sun hat hanging off the back of my head, which barely hid my thick head of red hair. My hair was thick, not my head. Ok, maybe also my head. I was only just now becoming aware that I was still wearing the hat indoors and at night. My finishing ensemble piece was a too large, beige canvas book bag I had made myself on my first attempt, just to see if I could. I could have fit a small child or a medium sized dog in there, but I liked it. It was also devoid of books at the moment, a rarity for me.

My mind wanted to go to its default party speak mode, but it was too late for that. I’d been surprised, and was now present.

“Not really, honestly,” I said. “I’m not sure I can exactly curl up with a glass of wine and Honors Geometry.” I could already tell that was less charming than I’d intended.

He smiled and said, “You must be Ollie’s friend.”

She hated that name. Less charming than he’d intended.

“And what makes you say that?” I asked. That was dumb. I was in her home at her party.

“I’m her new roommate. I don’t believe we’ve ever met, and you’re standing in my room, so I’m hoping you’re her friend and not a homeless woman who wandered in off the street.” He was still smiling.

The homeless crack kind of stung, but I let it go. He was joking, but I already felt uneasy about my fashion sense compared to his. I like comfort over form, and I didn’t want to apologize for it. Maybe he could swing past my home later and ask me if the neighborhood was safe, maybe come inside and point out things I should replace.

“You got me,” I said, returning the smile, not letting him see anything else.

“They say you can tell a lot about a person by what they have on their bookshelf. So what can you tell about me?”

“Who says that?” I challenged him on instinct.

“English majors, probably,” he offered. “Or maybe just people who are too proud of their bookshelves.”

“Fair enough.” I decided to go along (and that he didn’t need to know about my English Lit degree). “You’re not a big reader. I don’t even think you can call this a bookshelf, I use something like it for cleaning supplies. Some of these seem like they might be for school, but I don’t think you’re a student anymore. The textbooks seem like things you never got around to throwing away. The rest is just a bizarre compilation of topics that don’t make any sense together. It’s almost like you just bought a box of random books from a thrift store and just sort of dumped them here. Why do you even have this?”

I held up a book that offered knowledge of how to develop psychic powers through a vegan diet.

“For research,” he replied curtly, his smile fading. Catching himself, he offered an explanation. “I’m an actor.”

Of course you are, I thought sarcastically. Maybe cynically? I felt awful for thinking like that. Or at least, for judging as quickly as I did.

“Oh! Here’s a good one!” I exclaimed, reaching for another book, both due to genuine excitement and to distract from feeling like a jerk. Or was he being a jerk too? I read the title out loud. “Crome Yellow! An Aldous Huxley title that’s not Brave New World. I’m impressed!”

“Well, thank you.” His smile was returning but I had barely noticed.

“Have you read this? It’s pretty awesome.” I couldn’t contain myself and kept going. It didn’t even occur to me to wait for an answer. “The story itself is very obviously fiction, there’s a man named Mr. Barbecue-Smith, and I mean, come on. But the house in it is actually based on this real place called Garsington Manor, and all these famous literary types of the day used to hang out there and just create. So Huxley writes this book about a party that was being thrown there, and it’s honestly just the worst party ever. Everyone is pretentious and trying too hard, no one is happy by the end, and nothing really happens. I love it.”

I was beaming. I could feel the tightness in my face coming from a smile growing that full.

“You, uh, you definitely know more about the book than me,” he said, forcing the kind of small laugh that comes from being intimidated. “I didn’t even know I had it. But that’s cool though.”

“Oh.” I hadn’t expected to be this disappointed.

“Tell you what though. You keep it. My gift to you. I need to get back to the party, but it was lovely meeting you, uh…” He did that thing where he wanted my name without asking for it.

“Elana,” I answered without wanting to. He offered me a quick handshake, and I accepted out of instinct.

“Yeah, cool. My name is Jason. You take care!”

I didn’t have the chance to tell him I knew another Jason who was supposed to be here. He left in a hurry. Weird that he just left me in his room like that. I guess his only qualifier for someone being alone in his room was if they were homeless or not. Maybe I just weirded him out and he wanted to get away. I could relate to that.

I considered the book in my hands. Crome Yellow would work. It wasn’t like I had a lot of other options and now, more than ever, I wanted to get out of there. I took the book into the bathroom—sadly, not a new experience for me. I’ve spent more time pretending to go to the bathroom at parties than actually using it for its intended purpose. But I wasn’t just hiding every time and definitely not this time; I was escaping. There was a huge difference; one made me anxious and shamed, the other was adrenaline inducing.

I opened the book and started to look for an entry point. I don’t know how I know where they are, I just sort of find them.

“At least I won’t have to attend the party over there,” I muttered to myself. I locked the door and made myself as comfortable as I possibly could on a throne that was not a seat. I opened the book, careful of the glue of the paperback. This was not a book which had been handled with care. I started to read, and as always, my eyes cascaded over the words like water over a hill.

Along this particular stretch of line no express had ever passed. All the trains—the few that there were—stopped at all the stations. Denis knew the names of those stations by heart.

There it was. My way inside, much sooner than I’d expected. I wasn’t complaining.

I sat on the toilet seat, reading furiously and long enough for my butt to start numbing. I didn’t care. Not about the pins and needles in my leg, not about Jason or this party. It was happening. Words became colors. The colors danced and swirled, becoming more vivid than ever intended.

Oh, this is my favorite bit!

And that smell! Like daybreak, like clean water. The poorly lit bathroom was giving way to the luscious greens of an English Manor. Then the familiar sensation of falling, losing both the fight with, and fear of, physical gravity. The dull thuds of music against the thin door were replaced by birds and the background hum of the universe, in that order. The slight ceramic chill around me faded into the sharply refreshing feel of morning mist on my face. The very pages in my hands disintegrated into sunlight and wind.

Goodbye, Highland Park. Hello, Oxford.

 —————————————————————————-

Author Danny Bell

About the Author
My name is Danny Bell. I want to tell stories and avoid writing author profiles. I read—when I should be interacting with people, I named my cat after a cat I liked in a book, I’m pretty sure I saw a ghost one time—though I’ll never admit it publicly, I’m too tall for the earth, and I’ve never eaten a vegetable. I lied about the vegetable part. Wait… is someone going to read this?

.

.

.

Where to Find Danny Bell
Goodreads | FacebookTwitter

 —————————————————————————-

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

.

Cover Reveal – COLORLESS by Rita Stradling

COLORLESS Cover Reveal

Author Rita Stradling is unveiling the cover to COLORLESS, a young adult fantasy, releasing August, 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book, the book’s trailer, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

COLORLESS by Rita Stradling

COLORLESS by Rita Stradling

About the Book
Title:
 COLORLESS
Author: Rita Stradling
Release Date: August, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Links: Goodreads

Synopsis
In Domengrad, there are rules all must live by: Fear the Gods. Worship the Magicians. Forsake the Iconoclasts.

To Annabelle Klein, the rules laid down by the Magicians are the mere ramblings of stuffy old men. As far as she’s concerned, the historic Iconoclasts, heretics who nearly destroyed the Magicians so long ago, are nothing but myth. She has much more important matters to worry about.

Heiress to a manor mortgaged down to its candlesticks and betrothed to her loathsome, lecherous cousin, sixteen-year-old Annabelle doubts the gods could forsake her more.

Then Annabelle is informed of her parents’ sudden and simultaneous deaths, and all of the pigment drips out of her skin and hair, leaving her colorless. Within moments, Annabelle is invisible and forgotten by all who know her.

Living like a wraith in her own home, Annabelle discovers that to regain her color she must solve the mystery behind her parents’ murders and her strange transformation.

Meanwhile, hundreds of the Magicians’ monks, with their all-black eyes and conjoined minds, have usurped control of Annabelle’s family manor. An Iconoclast is rumored to be about—a person who they claim goes unseen, unheard, and lost to memory, yet is the greatest threat to all of Domengrad. For the first time in a hundred years, the monks plan to unleash the dire wolves of old.

Their only target: Annabelle.

—————————————————————————-

Trailer

—————————————————————————-

Author Rita Stradling

Author Rita Stradling

About the Author
Rita Stradling is the author of The Deception Dance series, the Dakota Kekoa series and The Fourteen Day Soul Detox Novella Serial. She has a BA in Art History and a particular love for modern and medieval art.

Rita lives with her husband and son in Northern California.

She has an insatiable novel addiction and mostly reads young adult and adult: romance, paranormal, urban fantasy and high fantasy.
.

.

.

Where to find Rita Stradling
Goodreads Website Facebook Twitter
.

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – THE KNIGHT (R. Caine High School) by Victoria Danann

THE KNIGHT Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for THE KNIGHT, the second book in the young adult paranormal romance series, R. Caine High School, by New York Times bestselling author, Victoria Danann. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THE KNIGHT (R. Caine High School #2) by Victoria Danann

THE KNIGHT (R. Caine High School #2) by Victoria Danann

About the Book
Title: THE KNIGHT
Series: R. Caine High School #2
Author: Victoria Danann
Publisher: 7th House
Release Date: April 26, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Jean Marre’s recent life has been one big surprise right after another. First his family moved to SoCal from a remote French Canadian town. Then he began feeling a strange compulsion to watch over a smart little blonde named Ever Moore. In fact he found himself restless, distracted, and uncomfortable if she wasn’t around. 

Before there was time to adjust to any of that, he was informed that his parents were going to South Africa for a few months and leaving him with his mother’s friend, who happened to be Ever’s mother. 

Life just couldn’t get stranger. 

Or could it? 

.

.

 —————————————————————————-

Excerpt
Jean Marre folded himself into the front passenger seat of Ever’s car to ride to school. For the entire fifteen minutes it took to get there, neither said one word to the other. That did not, however, mean that they didn’t dork with each other all the way there.

Jean Marre’s opening shot was to change her satellite radio to a different channel. Hair Band Nation. She gaped at him for a full four seconds when her eyes should have been on the road before punching the number one button to return to Sounds of the SuperNow. He stared at her blankly for a matching four seconds then, without taking his gaze away from her or changing expression, reached over and pushed the button to return to “last played”. Hair Band Nation.

After three more volleys, Ever turned the radio off with a snarl. When Jean Marre started to reach for it, she gave him a look that froze his hand midair. He withdrew the offending appendage, but the challenge Ever offered with her look brought a gleam of amusement to his eyes.

He did not touch the radio again.

Instead he rolled down his window which, of course, threatened to make a beachy wreck of her hair. She rolled it back up. He rolled it down. She rolled it back up and, with a sneer of victory, pushed the child lock into place before he could do it again. His bark of laughter surprised her and, if she was being perfectly honest, pleased her.

She was not being perfectly honest. He had a nice laugh, but she was not ready to give him any concession.

She pulled into her assigned parking space, which was located in the remotest region of Mongolia because she was a sophomore, got out, and started walking without looking back. It was a hike, but at least she could bring a car, unlike freshmen.

Halfway there she looked over her shoulder. Jean Marre was about twenty feet behind her. “Don’t worry about me.” He grinned. “I like the view from here.”

Understanding the implication, Ever sped up, which made Jean Marre laugh loud enough for her to hear. The boy seemed to revel in being exasperating. That realization caused Ever to think she needed to reform her approach to Jean Marre. Perhaps she needed to think in terms of opposite world, since everything she did rendered the reverse of a desired effect.

She stopped, got control of her breathing, waited for him to catch up then fell in at the same pace. She would never admit that they were walking together. Only that they were moving toward the same place at the same time at the same speed. Together.

When he said, “Excellent choice,” she knew it was his snidely quiet way of letting her know she’d been manipulated. By a boy who didn’t even want to go to college. He could not be more irritating if he tried. For all she knew, he was trying to get under her skin.

 —————————————————————————-

THE GAME BEGINS (R. Caine High School #1) by Victoria Danann

THE GAME BEGINS (R. Caine High School #1) by Victoria Danann

About Book 1
Title: THE GAME BEGINS
Series: R. Caine High School #1
Author: Victoria Danann
Publisher: 7th House
Release Date: February 28, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
When it came to the attention of the old ones that their creations, the Earth gods, had been playing games at the expense of humankind for millennia, they put a stop to it. But the rebellious gods were far too addicted to their games to give them up. After several summit meetings, they voted to use their own children as players and locate the playing field in the most treacherous environment in the known universe. High school.

To make it even more interesting, they would strip their children of their memories and withhold the rules of the game. The players believed they were ordinary kids until they were transferred to R. Caine High School. When odd things begin to happen, the players gradually realize they have special gifts or attributes. But that doesn’t mean they can’t die.

.

.

.

 —————————————————————————-

Author Victoria Danann

Author Victoria Danann

About the Author
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Victoria Danann, is the author of sixteen romances, paranormal and contemporary. 

Her Knights of Black Swan series won BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE SERIES THREE YEARS IN A ROW. 2013,2014,2015 – Reviewers Choice Awards, The Paranormal Romance Guild.

Victoria’s paranormal romances come with uniquely fresh perspectives on “imaginary” creatures, characters, and themes. She adds a dash of scifi, a flourish of fantasy, enough humor to make you laugh out loud, and enough steam to make you squirm in your chair. Her heroines are independent femmes with flaws and minds of their own whether they are aliens, witches, demonologists, psychics, past life therapists, or financial analysts from Dallas. Her heroes are hot and hunky, but they also have brains, character, and good manners – usually – whether they be elves, demons, berserkers, werewolves, or vampires.

The first book of the Knights of Black Swan Paranormal Romance Series, My Familiar Stranger, was nominated for Best Paranormal Romance of 2012 by both Reviewers’ Choice and Readers’ Choice Awards. All of her books have opened on the Amazon Best Sellers list and earned Night Owl Reviews TOP PICK awards. Many have appeared on Listopia BOOK OF THE MONTH as #1 across all genres..

Where to Find Victoria Danann
Goodreads | Website | FacebookTwitter | Pinterest | Amazon

 —————————————————————————-

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

.

Young Adult Book Review + Giveaway – NINJA GIRL by Cookie O’Gorman

NINJA GIRL Blog Tour

NINJA GIRL by Cookie O'Gorman

NINJA GIRL by Cookie O’Gorman

5 Stars

Synopsis
Seventeen-year-old Snow-Soon Lee kicks ass–literally. She teaches at her family-owned martial arts gym, The Academy, and cares more about training to be the next Bruce Lee than hooking up. In fact, Snow’s never even been kissed. But when Girls Night rolls around, Snow decides to prove to her friends (and herself) that she’s not just some boring tomboy. Impulsively, she kisses a hot stranger and even manages to escape his two security guards.

One stolen kiss…

Ash Stryker’s senior year sucks. His politician father pulled him out of Chariot High, separating him from his championship-winning soccer team. Now he’s stuck at a prissy private school with no friends, no team and no chance of being scouted. On top of that, thanks to the death threats his dad’s received, Ash has a security tail aka professional babysitters. When the mystery girl from the movies shows up at his school, rappelling from the rafters, Ash knows one thing: he won’t let her get away again.

One interesting job proposition…

After a seemingly random attack, Ash’s mother surprises everyone. She hires Snow to be Ash’s personal bodyguard until after the election. But can Snow’s kick-ass skills hold up against the rising threats to Ash’s family? More importantly, can Ash convince his ninja girl to screw ethics and kiss him again?

Opposites attract in this YA romance where a smooth talker meets his match in the tough girl who (literally) sweeps him off his feet. Moral of the story:

Sometimes even bad boys need a bodyguard...

 —————————————————————————-

My Review
So much love for this book! I fell in love with Cookie O’Gorman’s writing and characters in ADORKABLE and couldn’t wait to read Ash’s story. Ash is a soccer phenom and the nemesis of the main love interest in ADORKABLE. So of course finding out not only is he in NINJA GIRL but we also get his point of view, and I was beyond excited. NINJA GIRL does not disappoint. Told from alternating points of view, we get to meet Snow-Soon Lee, a total bad-ass at martial arts, but not so much when it comes to romance. And then there’s Ash who is more than just a talented athlete. When Ash’s dad decides to run for congress, someone else decides that’s a bad idea and is threatening the family. Enter Snow, who is hired as Ash’s bodyguard during the school day, where she can blend with the student body. Ash is immediately smitten, but to say Snow is wary would be an understatement. With equal parts romance, humor, and action, the author’s signature style, the story moves at a light-hearted pace with more than a few swoony moments. While I did figure out who was after Ash’s family, I didn’t know the motive, and it all made perfect sense in the end.

Plot
Primarily a young adult romance, there’s a bit of a mystery, some danger, and a fair amount of action, making this a really fun read. The romance is sweet and angsty with a lot of back and forth. While Ash knows what he wants, the conflict is driven from Snow’s reluctance to get involved with her client as well as her wariness of someone like Ash being interested in someone like her and her general lack of experience with romantic relationships. Where Ash is all smooth and buttery, Snow is awkward and unsure, making these two perfectly adorable opposites.

Characters
I love the characters. Not only is Ash everything I hoped for, but Snow is one of my favorite young adult protagonists. Ever. She’s intimidating and unsure all at once and pulls it off in a thoroughly believable way. I adore her loyalty to her mother, her responsibility to her job, and her very vulnerable heart. Her growth through the story is slow and not necessarily dramatic, but enough that she realizes she has more to offer the world, and Ash, than just protection. Ash has less character development. He knows who he is and what he wants from the beginning. But I still loved reading his point of view. Helping us see Snow from a different perspective helped bring her to life in a way a single point of view couldn’t.

What I Loved About NINJA GIRL
1. Snow.
 She’s so interesting; a complete jumble of tough bad-assery mixed with teen insecurities and loads of angst.

2. Ash. Getting inside his head was deliciously good fun — he’s everything I hoped he’d be and more.

3. World Building. I love the diversity of the book, mixing Snow’s Asian culture with Ash’s wealth and privilege.

4. Action. The fight scenes were great. Either the author has a black belt in martial arts or she did extensive homework.

5. Quirky Characters. Cookie O’Gorman has a way of creating lovable characters that are just slightly off-balance. They’re endearing and more real due to their flaws.

Bottom Line
Once again, author Cookie O’Gorman delivers a fun story with adorable characters and a kick-ass plot.

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

 —————————————————————————-

About the Book
Title: NINJA GIRL
Author: Cookie O’Gorman
Release Date: March 30, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

 —————————————————————————-

Author Cookie O'Gorman

Author Cookie O’Gorman

About the Author
Cookie O’Gorman writes YA romance to give readers a taste of happily-ever-after. Small towns, quirky characters, and the awkward yet beautiful moments in life make up her books. Cookie also has a soft spot for nerds and ninjas. Her debut novel ADORKABLE will be released in 2016.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Where to find Cookie O’Gorman
Goodreads | Website | Facebook Twitter

 —————————————————————————-

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

.