Friday, May 31, 2013

Spotlight & Giveaway: The Ghosting of Gods by Cricket Baker

Today we have an excerpt from the supernatural dystopian The Ghosting of Gods by Cricket Baker! We've also got a giveaway of a paperback copy of the book, open to US/Canada and UK! Check out the synopsis:

Jesse is an apprentice exorcist who defies his priests when he learns his sister is in danger even though she’s dead. When he’s exiled to a haunted world, Jesse must unravel the mystery of ghosts if he is to save her. He plunges into a deadly game of hide-and-seek. The players include denizens draped in monkish robes, ghosts with matted eyes, the dead who tunnel underground in terror, and...Elspeth.

A coven scientist, Elspeth is both respected and feared for her abnormal spiritual powers. Jesse needs--craves--the knowledge of ghosts which she possesses. Elspeth tempts him in other ways...but is she a spiritual prodigy, or dangerously insane? The coven scientist begs him to trust her. He doesn’t. But he wants to.

Caught in a world on the brink of spiritual evolution, Jesse struggles to understand Elspeth even as frightening contacts from his sister force him to face the secret, shattering meaning of a verse he knows well: Blessed are the poor in ghost.

Excerpt form The Ghosting of Gods:

My secret fear is the priests are right to doubt me. 
Cemetery. Octobre winds have piled up dead leaves to cover the names of those sleeping here, like they don’t matter. The iron gate resists me. I coax it open and knock over an abandoned lantern. It jingles, and I see that tiny bells are tied to its handle with wire. No doubt Poe placed the lantern there last night, a makeshift alarm to wake him if I showed up, but last night I was sleeping. 
I ignore all the tombstones I pass so that I don’t get distracted. 
My gut tells me not to be here. But I have to act. 
A storm front seeps across the northwest sky, bruising it purple. A spiritual color. This is just the sort of weather that will entice Poe outside, to write a few lines of poetry, and then he’ll almost surely come after me. 
Sinking to my knees, I take a steadying breath before facing my task. Her name on the stone helps to strengthen my resolve. Dead leaves stir, one in particular scratching at the carved date of Emmy’s death. I set aside my hammer, place both palms down, and feel the grass on her grave. “It’s me,” I whisper. “It’s Jesse. I’m still your big brother, and you have to listen to me. You have to come, Emmy. Now.” Faint rumblings of thunder give way to a hush that falls over the graveyard. A pellet of hardened dirt strikes me on the cheek. 
This is how it begins. 
I make no move to shield myself as a bigger clod jiggles free from the earth to fling itself at my face. The sting of it sharpens my vision, helps me to focus on my sin so that I attract more of the dirt. 
Small eruptions of yellowed grass and black soil splatter my body until I’m covered in the same earth that buries my sister. This is justice. 
The tragedy, as everyone in towne calls it, happened. 
Because I didn’t protect her. 
There’s dirt in my eyes. I wipe at it. My sister’s grave is a mess; little grass remains rooted. 
The cemetery around me fades as my hands begin to tingle. There’s a heavy calm, then the earth over my sister’s grave percolates gently. I can’t wait any longer. Pawing clumsily at the ground, I seek what I need, sifting grave dirt like a demented archaeologist. 
This is day nineteen. It started with me needing to see her, but then I realized she was trapped, in need of salvation. 
I have a new plan. 
I have a hammer. 
Looking around, I make sure there are no witnesses. Other visits were late at night, to be careful, but Ava and Poe take shifts during the dark hours to make sure I’m not committing transgressions when I should be sleeping. If someone does happen along, maybe they’ll believe I have good reason to be here since I’m employed by the priests. Everyone knows what I am. 
A glimmer against the dark earth catches my eye. I swallow. Lean down to see better. It’s a sphere. An orb. A time capsule containing the past. 
A crystal ball. 
This is what inspires the priests with dread, I’m certain of it. 
The purple storm has arrived to conceal my actions. Squinting into the blur, I hesitate. A sheet of rain blowing off the caretaker’s shed resembles the flowing robe of a priest. I consider the risk I’m taking here. The church will not forgive my attempt to unravel the mystery of ghosts. I accept this risk. 
But what will do they do to my friends?



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About the Author:

In 2001, Cricket began a journey to fulfill her childhood dream of being an author. Somewhere between raising three sons, moving 3 times, pondering the mystery of life and death, and obtaining a Masters of Education, she found time to develop her writing craft. Many seminars, workshops, and book drafts later, she found her voice with The Ghosting of Gods.

Cricket’s writing combines her appreciation of strong storytelling with a passion for haunted settings and deep spiritual questions to create fiction that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. She especially loves books which are either supernatural or dystopian, so her first novel incorporates both these genres.

In addition to working as a counselor for teens, Cricket spends time developing her next writing project as well as sharing her thoughts on writing and spirituality through her author website at and on her Tumblr blog, Mystical Scribbles of the Scribe, at

For more about The Ghosting of Gods check out these sites!

AmazonB&N • Goodreads

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Spotlight: Angelstone by Hanna Peach

Today we have an excerpt from Angelstone, the second book in the Dark Angel series! Book one, Angelfire, is going to be free from May 28th - June 1st, so make sure you get your copy! And Angelstone will be on sale for $.99 from May 31st - June 1st only! Check out the synopsis:

Fans of The Mortal Instruments [by Cassandra Clare] will love this!"

After escaping from the Hollows and the Michaelea lightwarriors, Jordan takes Alyx and Israel to Aradale, a secret Rogue community, where they appear to be safe − for now. But did they bring the enemy with them? “Mini”, the strange and speechless young girl they rescued from the Hollows, is not as she seems. Why was Elder Michael keeping her locked up? What is she hiding?

Alyx and Israel are driven further apart as Israel continues to obsess over making Adere human and Alyx hides two secrets from him: that he may be part-demon and that she may be carrying his child, a tri-blood keye that can be used to unlock Hell.

Out in the mortal cities, pieces of Black Stone, the only material that can disrupt the angels’ healing abilities, continue to be stolen to make weapons for Samyara’s dark army. Alyx and her friends must stop them, but this means infiltrating holy and guarded places to steal the Black Stone − a monastery in remote China, a mosque in Saudi Arabia, an art gallery in Florence and a cathedral in Peru.

Can they win this deadly race against the Darkened?

Excerpt from Angelstone:

“So,” Israel said, “could I learn to defend myself against your magics?”

“Interesting.” Jordan made a small noise in his throat. “Could a mortal raise a defense against the magics?” Jordan began to pace. “Your only option against the elemental magics – fire, water, earth, air – is just to get the hell out of the way. But the Seraphim don’t need magics to defend themselves against mental magic attacks. DreamWalker and MemorySong can be deflected by using the defender’s own will, his or her inner power... theoretically, if a mortal’s mind was strong enough, they may be able to learn to raise their mental defenses in the same way.” 
It sounded like this Rogue was issuing a challenge. “I’ll do it.” Bring it, Rogue-boy. “What do you want me to do?” 
Jordan stopped pacing and spun so that he was facing Israel. Jordan looked at Israel in silence for long enough that Israel began to feel uncomfortable. There was almost a leer to Jordan’s stare. The side of Jordan’s lip tilted up. “Are you asking for my help, mortal?” 
This cocky prick was going to make him say it. Israel grumbled a little before acquiescing. “Yes, Rogue, I am asking for your help.” 
Jordan’s face broke out into a grin. Israel didn’t have a good feeling about this.

“On the basis that I think that this will be… an interesting experiment, I agree to help you.” 
“On one condition.” 
Of course there had to be a condition. “Which is?” 
Jordan pursed his lips and stepped up to Israel. This Rogue was a few inches shorter than Israel, but he had this thing about him that made him seem bigger, taller, than he actually was.

Israel lifted his chin higher. 
“Which is?” Israel repeated. He wasn’t intimidated by this Rogue, magics or not. 
“You’ll do exactly as I say, when I say it.” 
“And no arguing with me.” 
“You said one condition.” 
Jordan narrowed his eyes. “And no arguing with me.” 
Israel growled deep in his throat. “Fine. I accept your conditions.”

About the Author:

“I write about fantastical things, especially creatures with fangs, magic or wings.

I want to tell you tales that will rip away the glamor from your life, keep you running and fighting and gasping long past the devil’s hour and maybe, just maybe, reality will look a little bit different when you return.

Sit with me around this witchlight. Let me tell you a story.”

At the beginning of 2013, Hanna left her "respectable" career, packed up her life and sold everything except for what fit in a suitcase to be a full-time writer and go "gypsying" across Europe. Even she thinks that she is a little crazy sometimes. Hanna Peach is the author of Angelfire, book 1 of the Dark Angel series. Angelstone, (Dark Angel #2) is due for publication on 31 May 2013 and Angelsong (Dark Angel #3) is due late 2013.

Check out Angelstone on these sites!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Cover Reveal & Excerpt: The Super Spies and the Pied Piper by Lisa Orchard

Today I am so excited to reveal the cover of the third book in the Super Spies series by Lisa Orchard, The Super Spies and the Pied Piper, out today! If you love young adult mysteries then this is definitely the series for you! Check out the synopsis:

Sarah Cole and her sister Lacey are at it once again when they learn their missing parents’ cell phone has been traced to Alden, Michigan. When the FBI declines to continue the investigation, Sarah takes matters into her own hands. She calls upon the Super Spies and they delve into the situation. Suddenly, the teens find themselves immersed in small town intrigue and mystery involving a menacing stranger, who Sarah dubs “The Stalker." But when Sarah learns he’s connected to her parents’ disappearance, she’s determined to find out what that connection is.

The Super Spies embark on a journey that leads them into a web of corporate corruption at its highest level that leaves innocent victims in its wake. Can they find the proof they need to stop the greedy corporation before it’s too late?

I think this is my favorite of the covers yet for this series! I love the blue and buildings and how they relate to the plot of the book. Yes, it's definitely my favorite in the series so far!

Excerpt from The Super Spies and the Pied Piper:

“What do you mean you lost them?” Sarah Cole fidgeted as she waited for Agent Gray to answer. I can’t believe it! He lost the only clue to our parents’ location. What is wrong with this picture? Agitated, Sarah shifted in her seat and chewed on her lip. She was uncomfortable in the folding chair and rearranged her petite frame so she wouldn’t feel the cold metal against her bare legs. Shivering, she glanced around the all-too-familiar room. 
The gray cement block walls no longer gave her that creepy, closed-in feeling she’d used to get when she first came to the interrogation rooms. She remembered the first time she’d been in that tiny space. It had been the day she’d discovered the Cat Lady’s dead body. Sarah shuddered at the memory and then smiled when she remembered forming the Super Spies and bringing the Cat Lady Killer to justice. Glancing around the room again, she realized she’d been in this room quite a bit these last few weeks, not only during the Cat Lady investigation, but the High School Bomber investigation as well. Shivering again, Sarah rubbed her arms but she really wasn’t cold. Her mind filled with the image of the bomber the Super Spies had helped apprehend just a week earlier. 
Wow! Was it just last week? 
She tugged at a lock of her honey colored hair, then brushed it away with an impatient hand. She sighed and glanced at her younger sister. Lacey sat beside her with her legs crossed, jiggling her foot at such a rapid rate it seemed like her whole body was electrified.  She caught Sarah’s eye and for a moment her eyes glittered like emeralds before she shifted her gaze to Aunt June, who had placed her hand on Lacey’s leg in what appeared to be an attempt to quiet her. Sarah shifted in her chair and sighed again. Are we ever going to find Mom and Dad? 
A commotion out in the hall drew everyone’s attention. Sarah leaned forward and craned her neck to see what was happening. 
“Chief, we’ve got an OD!” An officer yelled. 
“What?” Chief Johnson yelled as he rushed by. “An OD on what? Give me the details.” 
“The parents found their son unconscious in his room this morning, and an empty bottle of prescription medication on his bedside table.” 
“What was it?” Chief Johnson asked. 
“It’s Myodine.” 
“Who makes it?” 
“Ah… Piper Drugs.” 
“Call Poison Control with the name and manufacturer and ask them what to do about an overdose. Instruct the parents to get their son to the hospital pronto,” Chief Johnson ordered. 
“They’ve brought him here.” 
“What?” Chief Johnson exclaimed. 
The sound of policemen rushing through the hall pulled Sarah and her sister out of their seats.

They hurried to the door, unable to stifle their curiosity. Peering down the corridor, Sarah caught a glimpse of a young man sagging between two officers as they desperately tried to keep him on his feet. One officer gently slapped his face while the other officers held him up. The young man blinked and then gagged, puking on the officer in front of him. 
The rancid stench of fresh vomit filled the air. While plugging her nose, Sarah ducked back inside the interrogation room, followed by her sister. Sarah closed the door, hoping it would keep the smell from penetrating the room. 
“Did you hear that, Lace? Piper Drugs! That’s the company Dad works for,” Sarah whispered in her sister’s ear before proceeding back to her seat. 
Lacey opened her mouth to speak, but closed it when Agent Gray cleared his throat and motioned for them to sit down. 
He continued his conversation as if they hadn’t been interrupted. We were on our way to the location of the ping… but before we got there it disappeared.” 
“So, what does that mean? Did you find our parents or what?” Sarah blurted out as she sat down. She stared into Agent Gray’s icy blue eyes, trying to read his mind.

About the Author:

Lisa Orchard grew up loving books. She was hooked on mysteries by the fifth grade and even wrote a few of her own. She knew she wanted to be a writer even then. "The Super Spies and the High School Bomber" is the second book in the "Super Spies" series. Her first book was published in March of 2012 and it has received rave reviews.

After graduating from Central Michigan University with a Marketing Degree she spent many years in the insurance industry, pining to express her creative side. The decision to stay home with her children gave her the opportunity to follow her dream and become a writer. She currently resides in Rockford Michigan with her husband, Steve, and two wonderful boys. Currently, she's working on the third novel that stars the same quirky teens. When she's not writing she enjoys spending time with her family, running, hiking, and reading.

Get The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer for just $.99!

Get The Super Spies and the High School Bomber for just $.99!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Review: Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris

Title: Unraveling
Author: Elizabeth Norris
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publish Date: April 24th, 2012

Sixteen-year-old Janelle Tenner is used to having a lot of responsibility. She balances working as a lifeguard in San Diego with an intense academic schedule. Janelle's mother is bipolar, and her dad is a workaholic FBI agent, which means Janelle also has to look out for her younger brother, Jared.

And that was before she died...and is brought back to life by Ben Michaels, a mysterious, alluring loner from her high school. When she discovers a strange clock that seems to be counting down to the earth's destruction, Janelle learns she has twenty-four days to figure out how to stop the clock and save the planet.

One of my all time obsessions is The X-Files. I love it. It's just the right blend of conspiracy and the supernatural. And THAT is why the moment I started reading Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris I just knew, just knew, that it was the book for me. Norris somehow achieves that perfect conspiracy theory/supernatural mix and actually had my heart pounding through my chest as I rushed to find out the fate of the characters I was growing so attached to! 

I'll admit, I haven't been reading my fair share of all of the parallel universe books that have been coming out lately. But this one just seemed so... right to me. The way Norris' characters discuss the multiverse it just seems so real. But not in a way that feels like reading a text book. It's fun and compelling and leaves you begging to know more. I've never been more interested in quantum physics in my life!

Janelle is one of those characters that I just connected with (mostly anyway). She's sarcastic and smart and tough, but not in an in-your-face sort of way. She mostly just goes about her business and tries to be nice to people. She does have a stressful home life and she complains the way any teenager would, but she never neglects her family, even if it would be easier.

Before I read Unraveling, I read the first two stories in Undone, the sort-of prequel novella. Ben Michaels, the very sweet love interest is the narrator of all three novella stories. The first one is told before he meets Janelle, the second takes place during the very beginning of the Unraveling, and the third takes place at the end. (I skipped number three until I finished the book.) Having read Ben's point of view before Janelle's I was already sort of in love with him when I started the book. He's funny and so smart, he's loyal and hardworking. Ben is the kind of guy you want in your corner if you're racing against a clock to stop the end of the world.

One of the things I liked about the story was that even though the book is about a bunch of teenagers playing FBI, it is still very obvious that the adults are involved and not stupid the way adults are portrayed sometimes in YA. Janelle's father and his team are very involved in Janelle's life and do try to keep her out of the case, but she has very logical reasons to keep sticking her nose where it might not belong. And, honestly, she's a smart character with smart friends, and they do more than just get in the way.

Unraveling was a little more emotionally intense than I was expecting. Parts of it really rattled me. It could have been because I was reading it very late at night by myself—in the dark—or it could have been because Norris is an amazing writer who's words pack a punch. Either way, the book left me with an overall sense of doom and gloom and a sad feeling somewhere in the middle of my chest.

If you enjoy science and talk of parallel dimensions, or even if you just want to flash back to the good old days of The X-Files, Unraveling is a mind-blowing start to what has the potential to be one of my favorite sci-fi series ever! So make sure to add it to your To Read List.

For more about Unraveling check out these sites!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Author Interview: Ros Jackson, author of The Secret Eater

Today I'm excited to have Ros Jackson stopping by for an interview. She tells us a little about herself and her upcoming book, The Secret Eater, which is scheduled for release July 15th, 2013! It's got a really cool concept that I can't wait to hear more about! Check out the synopsis:

Kenssie is a demon who feeds from secrets. Lately pickings have been slim, and she has grown so weak that her shield of invisibility is slipping. As the servant of a demon who eats embarrassment she already feels like she's the laughing stock of the demonic world. But the scorn of someone who thinks that Hawaiian shirts are the height of cool is the least of her worries.

A powerful fear demon is dead set on making her his slave, a position that carries seriously short life expectancy.

She has no friends.

No powers.

No clue.

Her only hope of escaping a life of terror lies in stealing a grimoire she's never seen from the clutches of a vindictive group of master demons.

Tell us a little about yourself.

Basically I'm a person of contrasts. I love cats, but I'm allergic to them. I used to be a chocolate fiend, with stashes of it hidden all round the house, but now I can't stand sugary food. And I'm a bit of a dreamer, but my plan to build a spaceship out of digestive biscuits is completely practical.

The Secret Eater focuses on Kenssie, a demon who feeds on secrets. This is such a unique idea, what inspired you to create Kenssie and the demonic world she must live in?

The concept of eating secrets appealed to me because it seems like a low-powered special ability, but it's not. Kenssie isn't some kind of fighting-fit, muscle-bound demon, so she has to think her way out of situations. She's not the most self-aware or experienced of characters, so this doesn't always come easily to her.

I chose to use demons because they're quite malleable, and the way I've conceived them they can look like anything, and stand for whatever the story requires. In my universe they feed on human emotions, which saves them from having to eat in the same way as humans. It's a world that exists alongside our own with demons, their part-demon thralls, and witches with a lesser amount of demonic blood. Because of all of these hybrids, there's a rigid hierarchical system with the demons at the top and humans at the bottom. When there's that kind of social system, it gives me lots of scope to explore how those at the top go about justifying and reinforcing their superiority.

Do you have a favorite line from The Secret Eater, and if so, why is it your favorite?

When Kenssie is just about to take on one of the story's more intimidating adversaries, the witch Permilia asks her whether she can fight. Kenssie's reply is,
I heal instantly. That's almost the same thing.
That kind of gung-ho optimism and disdain for obstacles is her in a nutshell.

If you could go back to when you first began writing The Secret Eater, do you have any advice you'd give yourself that you know now but wish you'd known then?

One thing I didn't have much appreciation for was how specific some readers are about their tastes. It wouldn't have changed anything about how I wrote the novella, but it does mean that mashing up different genres within a story is more of a risk than I realised, in that it will tend to alienate a portion of my readers. Not that I was planning to turn later Kenssie books into a gritty, blood-splashed post-apocalyptic zombie frightfest with time travel, of course.

For more about The Secret Eater check out these sites!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Spotlight & Giveaway: Born In Sin by Camelia Miron Skiba

Today we have an excerpt from Camelia Miron Skiba's Born In Sin, book two in The Dacian Legends series, which is set to be released May 30th, 2013! Cami is also giving away a set of both books one and two in the series, so make sure you enter to win! Check out the synopsis:

Loathing the thought of his beloved Oriana in the arms of another man, fearless Zyraxes delivers death upon the Roman enemy. With only the rugged land as his bed and the sky as his blanket, trouble finds him often.

Summoned to aid Oriana’s father in the war against two powerful enemies—one of them Oriana's savage husband—Zyraxes proves himself worthy of more than just noble titles and coin. But he wants none of it. What he wants is her.

When Zyraxes discovers a broken and nearly dead Oriana, though forbidden, he disregards her father's orders to leave her to her death, and instead chooses to protect and conceal her. Will saving her be enough to win her heart? Will his part royal lineage make him worthy of her love?

Excerpt from Born In Sin:

“Such a fool!” Oriana’s eyes brand me with their intense glare. “Galtys’ women don’t awake everyone with their moans. Galtys’ indiscretion doesn’t offend me, but your actions do.” With both hands Oriana covers her mouth, blinking fast and shaking her head. “I … apologies, I do not know what got into me … a proper lady does not speak about such matters. Apologies.” 
“Oriana, I …” A foreign heat burns my face. “I … the women outside this chamber do not come in for good reason … people think of me as a … if my behavior were different than what they all know me for they’d suspect I hide something. I cannot draw attention to myself without risking your discovery. My duty is to keep you safe even if I must do things you disapprove of.” 
I hold her gaze when she looks at me as if reading my mind. Long ago I gave her my heart but she was too blind to see my love. Too blind or not interested. Granted I never spoke of my feelings, but my actions prove them. It never occurred to me that my behavior causes her grief. 
Oriana sighs. “I am nothing but a burden to you … I have no right to tell you what you can or cannot do. Your life is in danger because of me and yet I demand … I behave so childish.” She smiles briefly then looks down at the cloth in her lap. “I do not know how to show my gratitude for everything you have done—” 
“By the gods, Oriana, stop it!” I get up and walk away, turning my back to her. “I do not want your gratitude.”

She comes behind me, her Oriana scent—dewy earth, freshly cut grass and gladiolus enthralling me. In a small voice she says, “There is nothing else I have to give. I have no possessions, no gold to repay you.” 
I turn and seize her arms, anger and desperation blinding me. “Who speaks of gold or ransom, woman? Have I asked for any of those? Have I?” 
She opens her mouth to say something, pain twisting her face. When it finally dawns on me how rough I am, it’s too late. Galtys pushes me away whilst Oriana leans onto Thera, barely walking to the bed.

I reach for her. “Oriana!”


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About the Author:

Who I was yesterday … I’m no longer today, nor will I be tomorrow. Each day I grow a little. I stumble, get up, and learn something. I wish and dream and want and look to the future.
Who I am is not important, but what I leave behind is.

Copyright © 2013 CAMELIA MIRON SKIBA

For more about Born In Sin check out these sites!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Review: For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

Title: For Darkness Shows the Stars
Author: Diana Peterfreund
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publish Date: June 12th, 2012

It's been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family's estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot's estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth--an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go.

But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret--one that could change their society . . . or bring it to its knees. And again, she's faced with a choice: cling to what she's been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she's ever loved, even if she's lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen's Persuasion, For Darkness Shows the Stars is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund has become one of my favorite books I've read this year. It's an odd choice, basing an extremely science fiction/dystopian novel off of Jane Austen's Persuasion, but somehow it sucked me in and kept me glued to the pages until the very end. It's been so long since I've been so addicted to a book that I had almost forgotten what that felt like!

For Darkness Shows the Stars gave me back something I lost over the passed year. It gave me back the love of reading, of getting lost in a beautiful story, that had somehow started to slip away. I've enjoyed, really truly enjoyed, the books I've read lately, but this book re-lit that fizzling spark in me.

One of the things I love about this book is the fact that, while being a dystopian, it's not a society or government that controls the people and their actions. It's not fear of jail or punishment that keeps them in their place. No, it's all about manners. Propriety and tradition are what keep people in certain stations and what keep other people from being what they want or with who they want. Instead of just being a look into the future of our world, For Darkness Shows the Stars is also a nod to the past. To the separation of classes by not only wealth, but also by lineage.

But my favorite thing about this book is how much it reads like a Jane Austen novel. I haven't read Persuasion—although now I'm considering it—but I have read a couple of her books, including Pride and Prejudice, multiple times. This book isn't an exact replica of her work, but it's quite obvious Peterfreund's writing style is a homage to Austen's. I can't say how impressed I am with the way Peterfreund has captured the essence of Jane Austen in this novel while still creating a unique, beautiful and captivating story in its own right.

The world building is slow, despite immersing you right into this strange land where the rich believe they were selected by God to own the poor. To keep the lower classes safe from themselves. It's a world where technology is looked at as an evil thing and progress has been halted by a disease the Luddites believed people brought down upon themselves by trying to become more important than God. The romance hooked me from the very first moment. First and foremost, For Darkness Shows the Stars is a romance, but it's a slow, thoughtful romance. In fact, there's not even any kissing. At all! Though, seeing as it is based off of a Jane Austen novel, that makes sense and didn't feel strange at all. It felt right for Elliot and Kai's relationship. And, even without kissing, I still swooned. Trust me.

If you're a lover of romance, you need to check out For Darkness Shows the Stars. I absolutely fell in love with this book. I will definitely be checking out its companion, Across the Star Swept Sea, a retelling of The Scarlet Pimpernel. I can't wait to see what else Peterfreund has in store for us!

For more about For Darkness Shows the Stars check out these sites!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Teaser Tuesday (48): Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

This week's teaser comes from Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts. I've been dying to read this one since I saw the cover for the first time. Plus that plot? As you can imagine, I had to start reading it immediately. And it's really good, in a quietly dire sort of way. The book's about the lives of a group of kids and how they spend what may be their final days on earth. This is a quote from the president during a speech over the radio. If you ask me, I wouldn't feel too confident after hearing this speech.

We can't guarantee that even the most successful impact will destroy the asteroid completely. And there are, of course, risks involved. But we are... very... hopeful that this course of action is the single best chance we've been given to steer Persephone in a different direction.

{Tumble & Fall, page 78}

Synopsis of Tumble & Fall:

A novel about the end of days full of surprising beginnings.

The world is living in the shadow of oncoming disaster. An asteroid is set to strike the earth in just one week’s time; catastrophe is unavoidable. The question isn’t how to save the world—the question is, what to do with the time that's left? Against this stark backdrop, three island teens wrestle with intertwining stories of love, friendship and family—all with the ultimate stakes at hand.

Alexandra Coutts's TUMBLE & FALL is a powerful story of courage, love, and hope at the end of the world.

For more about Tumble & Fall check out these sites!

*All quotes are taken from an uncorrected ARC. Quotes may not match the finished copy.*

Monday, May 20, 2013

Spotlight: The Faerie Guardian by Rachel Morgan

Today we have an excerpt from The Faerie Guardian by Rachel Morgan! Check out the synopsis:

Protecting humans from dangerous magical creatures is all in a day’s work for a faerie training to be a guardian. Seventeen-year-old Violet Fairdale knows this better than anyone—she’s about to become the best guardian the Guild has seen in years. That is, until a cute human boy who can somehow see through her faerie glamour follows her into the fae realm. Now she’s broken Guild Law, a crime that could lead to her expulsion.

The last thing Vi wants to do is spend any more time with the boy who got her into this mess, but the Guild requires that she return Nate to his home and make him forget everything he’s discovered of the fae realm. Easy, right? Not when you factor in evil faeries, long-lost family members, and inconvenient feelings of the romantic kind. Vi is about to find herself tangled up in a dangerous plot—and it’ll take all her training to get out alive.

Excerpt from The Faerie Guardian:

I tiptoe across Nate’s bedroom floor to where he’s working at his desk. The rain pattering against the window helps conceal the sound of my footsteps. I stop directly behind his chair and quickly cover his eyes with my hands. 
“What the—” He jerks in fright, leaving a line of pen across his page. He reaches up to touch my hands. “Jeez, Vi, you trying to give me a heart attack?” 
“Let’s go somewhere,” I whisper in his ear without removing my hands from his eyes. 
“Uh, sure, why not?” 
I was expecting a little more enthusiasm, but ‘why not’ will have to do. I grab Nate’s hand, quickly open a doorway to the faerie paths on the wall beside his desk, and pull him into the darkness after me. He wraps his arms around me from behind and kisses my neck.

For a second, I forget where we’re going. 
Right. Yes. The destination. I move to his side, never letting go of his hand. “Don’t freak out when we get there,” I tell him. “I’d hate for you to plummet to your death.” 
“What?” He grips my hand tighter. “What do you—Whoa!” The forest appears around us. 
He grabs hold of a tree trunk on his other side and looks down. Down, down, down all the way to the forest floor. 
“The night we met, you asked me why I’d choose to live in a place like this, and I told you that without creepy creatures I’d have no job.” Nate nods, unable to look anywhere except down. “Well, I also live here because I find it incredibly beautiful.” 
“Right. Beautiful. And it’s a really long way to the ground.” 
“So don’t look down, Nate.” I raise his hand to my lips and kiss it. “Look around.”

I take my own advice and allow myself to soak up the wonder of this forest canopy world. Colors shift like smoke within the branch beneath our feet. Sprites jump from leaf to leaf, leaving sprinklings of glittery dust in the air behind them. Droplets of water are strung like pearls from the silver strands of a spider’s web. Bluebottle glow-bugs stick to the leaves and branches, lighting up the night with their blue-green bodies. And high above us, clouds are draped like sashes of color across the sky. Amethyst, azure, jade.

About the Author:

Rachel Morgan was born in South Africa and spent a large portion of her childhood living in a fantasy land of her own making. After completing a degree in genetics, she decided science wasn’t for her—after all, they didn’t approve of made-up facts. These days she spends much of her time immersed in fantasy land once more, writing fiction for young adults.

For more about The Faerie Guardian check out these sites!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Shuffle Saturday (31): The Rest of My Life

Every Saturday I'll be posting a random song off of my iPod. Everyone can feel free to join in, just leave a link to your Shuffle Saturday post in the comments! This week's song is:

The Rest of My Life by Less Than Jake

Less Than Jake is just one of those bands that I could listen to nonstop all day everyday. Love them. And this video is sort of interesting. I always think it's funny when little kids play adults in videos!

What are you listening to?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Cover Reveal: Angelstone by Hanna Peach

Today we're excited to help reveal the cover of the second book in the Dark Angel series, Angelstone by Hanna Peach! Angelstone is set to be released May 31, 2013. Check out the synopsis:

After escaping from the Hollows and the Michaelea lightwarriors, Jordan takes Alyx and Israel to Aradale, a secret Rogue community, where they appear to be safe - for now. But did they bring the enemy with them? “Mini”, the strange and speechless young girl they rescued from the Hollows, is not as she seems. Why was Elder Michael keeping her locked up? What is she hiding?

Alyx and Israel are driven further apart as Israel continues to obsess over making Adere human and Alyx hides two secrets from him: that he may be part-demon and that she may be carrying his child, a tri-blood keye that can be used to unlock Hell.

Out in the mortal cities, pieces of Black Stone, the only material that can disrupt the angels’ healing abilities, continue to be stolen to make weapons for Samyara’s dark army. Alyx and her friends must stop them, but this means infiltrating holy and guarded places to steal the Black Stone: a monastery in remote China, a mosque in Saudi Arabia, an art gallery in Florence and a cathedral in Peru…

Can they win this deadly race against the Darkened?

I really liked the cover of Angelfire, but this cover takes it to a whole new (and sort of creepy) level! Is it just me or is anyone else getting serious Alice in Wonderland vibes from this cover? The background, the red dress (!!!), the tattoo on her face? It all just comes together into one pretty, but slightly disturbing image and I love it!

What do you think of the cover?

Check out Angelfire at these sites!

Add Angelstone on Goodreads!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Interview & Excerpt: Destiny Gift by Juliana Haygert

Today we're excited to have Juliana Haygert stopping by to answer a few of our questions! We also have an excerpt from her novel, Destiny Gift, so be sure to check that out. Here's the synopsis:

Thirty years in the future, a sinister New York City exists in permanent darkness.

A student at the secured NYU, nineteen-year-old Nadine has visions of Victor Gianni, an imaginary guy she has real feelings for. Afraid of being truly insane, she explains the visions away as simple daydreams, but she can no longer deny them when she bumps into Victor in real life. But this Victor doesn’t know her, and turns her away. After the encounter, Nadine’s visions change to those of eerie fates, gods she’s never heard of, demons with sharp claws they are not too timid to use … and instructions.

To discover if she’s losing her mind, Nadine follows the vague directions—with the real, rude and reluctant Victor—leading to a man who knows it all: Nadine can restore an ancient creed by unveiling the clues on her visions, and bring sunlight and peace to the world again. But that’s only if the demons and the other evil forces behind the darkness don’t stop her first.

Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi! I’m Juliana, a shy girl who likes to spend a lot of time into imaginary worlds.

You write NA (or New Adult). You've even co-founded NA Alley. What about NA drew you in as an author and why do you think it's the right fit for you and Destiny Gift?

When the girls and I founded NA Alley, I had been writing NA for over seven years (which is when I was in college!), though it wasn’t until 2010 that I learned the right term for it, and at that time it wasn’t a very known and accepted category.

When I first queried Destiny Gift, agents and editors asked me to lower the age of the characters and make it YA, or age them and make it adult … though, one of the agents did say that my voice sounded too mature for YA, but too immature for adult (duh!). I’ve gotten a couple of reviews that say that the NA label is misleading for Destiny Gift because there’s no sex in it. Let me just say this: NA is not defined by sex. NA can and does exist without sex. NA means age, a certain level of maturity, and the character’s reactions to certain events, not that the book contains sex. Because of those reasons, Destiny Gift is definitely NA.

Speaking of Destiny Gift, the leading man sounds like he could just turn out to be a bit of a jerk. (Just my kind of guy ;) Is there any fun little tidbit you can tell us about Victor and why he is the way he is?

Well, Victor can be kind of a jerk sometimes, though he has reasons for it (all explained in the book), HOWEVER, most readers seem to like Micah more – ha, now you want to know more about Micah, right? Let’s just say he’s my favorite character ;)

And what about Nadine? What sort of heroine is she? With all those visions it sounds like she might be in a little over her head once she meets Victor in real life.

At the beginning, she’s shy and focused on her goal: providing a better life to her family. She’s unsure, worried about her visions, and lovestruck with imaginary Victor. Though, along the story (after she meets real Victor and Micah and spends some time with them), her character grows and she learns to be more confident and stand up for what she wants to. She’ll grow even more on book #2.

Do you have a favorite line or quote from Destiny Gift? If so, what is it an why do you love it so much?

One only? Bah, you’re killing me here!

Okay, let’s try this one:
Hey, pretty boy and vision girl,” Micah shouted from above the rise, interrupting the words I was now dying to hear. “Pause the melodrama and drag your butts over here. We don't have much time.

I like it because it’s just like Micah to say this like that. Another one from him that I like too much:
All right, let’s change the question. What are you three?” 
Micah snorted. “Power Rangers, ever heard of them?

This was fun! Thanks for having me!

Excerpt from Destiny Gift:

I heard a heavy sigh and turned toward it. It was Victor. He was leaving the elevator down the hall and coming toward his grandma’s room. He had seen me and didn’t seem happy about it.

He wore faded jeans, a Tshirt, and a thin jacket. Too casual. I shook my head. The fact that my dream Victor and this real Victor were exactly the same physically, while their clothing styles and posture were the opposite of each other still boggled my mind.

He came to a stop before me. “You again.” There was disdain in his tone. I cringed.

“How are you?” I managed to ask and immediately felt silly. I had planted myself here in this hallway for over an hour waiting for him, and when he finally arrived, I didn’t know what to say. Though I really did want to know how he was. The last time I had seen him in the flesh, he’d been jerking on the floor of the hospital’s garage, in pain. “What was that … ah … before…?” I trailed off, hoping he would understand what I was referring to.

He shrugged, his sea-green eyes still staring at me with suspicion. “I don’t know. By the way, how do you know my name?”

I twirled a lock of my hair around my index finger as I considered my answer. I wanted to answer him. I wanted to be honest, but he would never believe me.

As if my answer would pop out of the walls, I scanned the hallway.

At the end of the corridor, a nurse left a room and entered another.

“The nurse,” I almost shouted, hoping he wouldn’t notice my sudden lie. I avoided his inquisitive eyes. “I heard a nurse calling you earlier that day.”

His deadpan expression hid his thoughts and didn’t let me know if he was buying it or not.

“What did you do to me last night?” he asked, crossing his arms. God, I hated how his voice and his posture were so guarded and mistrustful. I wasn’t used to it.

“What do you mean?”

“When you touched me, the shock and the pain went away. How did you do that?”

“I don’t know.” This time I wasn’t lying. I really didn’t know. He frowned, clearly still suspicious. “Seriously, I have no idea.”

His shoulders stiffened. “What are you doing here? What do you want?”

My eyes widened as I retreated a few steps, trying to avoid his toxic tone.

Yes, he looked like my Victor—the same voice, the same hair, the same face, the same mouth that had offered me smiles that had rendered me breathless many, many times. I wanted to touch him, to embrace him, to tell him everything was going to be okay. Maybe if I touched him, he would remember me and he would want to touch me too.

I came closer to him, looking deeply into those wary green eyes, my fingers itching to stroke his skin, to feel it smoldering under my caress. But I didn’t. He was like my Victor, but he wasn’t my Victor. The Victor from my visions would never speak to me like this. He would never snap at me. No, no. My Victor loved my company, loved to hear me sing, loved to embrace me and inhale my scent.

“I’m sorry,” I whispered, my voice croaking under the heavy pressure inside my chest.

Then, I walked away.

About the Author:

While Juliana Haygert dreams of being Wonder Woman, Buffy, or a blood elf shadow priest, she settles for the less exciting—but equally gratifying life of a wife, mother, and author. Thousands of miles away from her former home in Brazil, she now resides in Connecticut and spends her days writing about kick-ass heroines and the heroes who drive them crazy.

For more about Destiny Gift check out these sites!

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