Friday, January 31, 2014

FREE for Kindle/Sale: The Everville Series by Roy Huff

I just wanted everyone to know that Roy Huff, author of the Everville series, is hosting a free Kindle promo of The First Pillar 1/28-2/1 to coincide with the 1/23-2/1 10 day 99 cent debut launch promo of Everville: The Rise of Mallory! Make sure you go check it out! Here's the synopsis of The First Pillar:

Owen Sage is the emblematic college freshman at Easton Falls University. With all the worries about his first year in college, he was not prepared for what would happen next. His way of life was flipped upside down when he mysteriously crossed into another dimension, into the beautiful land of Everville. His excitement was abruptly halted when he discovered that there was a darkness forged against both the natural world, which he knew well, and the new land which he discovered, Everville. He must devise a plan to save both worlds while joining forces with the race of Fron and The Keepers, whom both harbor hidden secrets he must learn in order to gain power over the evil that dwells in The Other In Between. With a race against time to save both worlds, his short time at Easton Falls did not quite prepare him for the evil, dark forces he must fight in order to conquer The Other In Between.


College freshman Owen Sage has just started to understand the darkness trying to overtake Everville and the earthly realm. With the help of The Keeper and the Fron army, Owen has managed to buy some time, but new problems have already emerged, new secrets need to be revealed, and the race against time to stop Them from conquering both dimensions has only just begun. The Keeper, Owen Sage, and his friends at Easton Falls University must now battle threats from within. To do it, they must reunite with familiar creatures and join forces with new ones as they navigate their journey to the truth that awaits them in Everville.




As the epic journey continues, a victorious Owen Sage stands undefeated against his enemies. His last battle in Everville gave rise to a new insidious evil, Mallory; whose determination to defeat him opens an unexplored Pandora’s box. Owen's search for truth will unveil the mystery and surprising insights surrounding himself and his friends at Easton Falls University. New creatures will be uncovered and the true value of friendship will be tested, as Owen embarks on yet another battle in Everville.



Thursday, January 30, 2014

Spotlight: Morning Glory by Allison Blanchard

Last year I reviewed Allison Blanchard's paranormal romance, Forget Me Not, and today I'm so excited to be featuring the sequel Morning Glory! Jump back into Adeline and Cole's love story by checking out the excerpt from the prologue below!

This war is far from over. This war is only the beginning.

For Adeline Jasely, the threat of both her life and the lives of those she loves is only getting greater as she delves deeper and deeper into the mysteries of the Chippewa tribe. As she falls more in love with Cole, she must make a choice: stand up and fight for what is right or wait for the next person she loves to be taken away.

Book Two in the Forget Me Not Trilogy, Morning Glory continues the saga of Adeline and Cole, their newfound love, and the threat of those who wish to end it all.

Will Adeline grow stronger under the threat of more war and bloodshed or will she be unable to fight for those who need her?

Excerpt from Morning Glory:

PROLOGUE
I had always been afraid of death, ever since my parents died. I lived in fear that one day it would take me as well, or someone else who was more precious to me than my own life; I just never imagined that it would happen so early in my life, before I had even begun truly living. 
I watched helplessly as his body fell to the ground. In those moments, all of our memories collided and crashed inside of me, slowly suffocating me. Living without him was not an option. 
Suddenly, death seemed kind; kind, only if it was to take me as well. His body hit the ground with a sickening, bone breaking noise. I ran to him and fell next to his broken and battered body. If his heart stopped beating then, likewise, mine would as well. I closed my eyes and allowed the darkness to swallow me.

For more about Morning Glory check out these sites!


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Guest Post: Schasm by Shari J. Ryan

Today we have a guest post by Schasm author, Shari J. Ryan, who's talking about how she first began writing Schasm, what it was like and how she got the courage to share it with the world! Schasm is about a girl caught between the reality of her life and the extraordinary dreams that are becoming more and more enticing. Check out the synopsis:

Chloe Valcourt drifts between two worlds: the dark reality of her domineering mother and feeble father and the vivid fantasy of her imagination. With her condition comes the harsh observation of doctors who intend to cure her of it. But a chance encounter with a handsome and vaguely familiar young man in her dream world hints at the possibility of hidden truths—and a life she can’t remember. As her drifts become a greater escape from the cruelty of the real world, Chloe finds herself lost between what is real and what is imagined, questioning her very existence. Can she remain in the lush new imagined landscape to find happiness in a realm of her own invention? Is she doomed to return to the harsh reality of the outside world forever? Or will she become trapped somewhere between the two…unable to return to either?

Guest Post by Shari J. Ryan:

It was the middle of winter—fifteen degrees, snowing, and miserable. My New England born self stared out the window, wondering why I hadn’t taken off for a warmer climate yet. I don’t think I was meant to live in the cold; I’d be a beach bum if I could. But family comes first, and I couldn’t rip my kids away from their grandparents.

As my eyes melted into the accumulating snow, my mind began to drift to the beach. I imagined the snow turning into sand and the pine trees morphing into palm trees. When I snapped out of my daydream, I wondered if some people could control their dreams, and live their life in an alternate state? Would that make them happier, even if it were just in their dream? I did some research on it, clearly getting carried away with my crazy thought. I came across a definition of lucid dreaming. It’s when a person has control within their dream. How cool is that?

I had written short stories when I was a child, and continued writing in journals, blogs, and then for various articles after college. I always promised myself that some day I would write a book. With that thought and promise to myself, along with the idea of lucid dreaming, I considered turning my random thoughts into a fun and interesting story. Maybe it would only be twenty pages or so, but it could be fun to post a short story on my blog.

I began to write. Ideas came pouring out of me. I wrote way more than twenty pages on the first day.

It became an addiction.

I found myself eager for my rendezvous with my laptop every night. I was getting dragged into my own story. I kept writing, night after night for months. My husband began to worry about me. I’ve never invested so much time into something that I wasn’t planning to do much with when it was done. But I was fine. I was more than fine. I was onto something. I named the book Schasm, and it became a part of my life.

After six months of spending every free moment I had writing, I said, “Oh wow. Four-hundred pages. That’s nuts! How did this even happen?” It was kind of nuts. I never thought I had it in me. I sent the file over to my husband and said, “Here, read it.” I figured he’d get bored after the first chapter and find something better to do. Instead, he didn’t come to bed that night. He stayed up reading all night. He came in and woke me up around 4:00 a.m. and said, “Seriously? Who are you? That’s the best thing I’ve ever read.” I thought he was kidding at first. But the jokes never came.

I considered the fact that maybe it was good.

I sent it to a few friends, waiting to see what their reaction would be. It was similar to my husband’s. That’s when I decided to share my story with the world.

I promised myself something when I was a child, and I fulfilled that promise. I didn’t write to be seen, or heard. I wrote because it’s my passion. Now that I know I’m capable of writing four-hundred pages, I don’t want to ever stop writing books.

I lost myself within a story that developed in my own mind, and it’s still unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced. It’s simply amazing.

About the Author:

Shari J. Ryan hails from Central Massachusetts where she lives with her hubby and two lively little boys. Writing has become Shari’s great escape from the real world over the past few years. After a bout of postpartum depression with her first child, Shari was determined to occupy her brain enough to eliminate some of the blue moments in life. When she found writing to help as a newfound therapy, she started her first book. Her books brought her out of postpartum depression and helped her overcome it when her second son was born. Shari likes to think writing saves her mind. She even used one of the characters in the book (the main character’s protagonist mother), to veer away from the type of person she refuses to become. Shari has two happy little boys and the Schasm series to show for her unorthodox therapeutic method. Visit Shari at:

For more about Schasm check out these sites!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Review: Anyone But You by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes

Title: Anyone But You
Authors: Kim Askew and Amy Helmes
Publisher: Merit Press
Publish Date: January 18th, 2014
Rating:

These violent delights have violent ends...

Gigi Caputo is fed up. A vicious act of vandalism has dealt another blow to her family's proud pizza heritage, and the Montes--owners of a rival Italian restaurant--are clearly to blame. The hostility goes far beyond bragging rights for best pizza in Chicago. The Montes have been bent on destroying Cap's for four generations. Even if it means putting herself in harm's way, Gigi's determined to get to the bottom of the feud. Instead, in a secret encounter with Roman Monte, the very boy whose relatives have brought her family such grief, she finds both danger and love at first sight. If the daughter and son of these two warring families fall for each other, can it be anything but a recipe for disaster? Slowly, Gigi and Roman learn that their story is fatefully linked to the summer of 1933, when two twelve-year-olds, Benny and Nick, hop the turnstile at the Chicago World's Fair. The most stunning wonder of the fair is Stella, who innocently causes a lasting rift between the two boyhood. Wending its way through past and present day, this modern take on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is bittersweet, funny, and intensely exciting. It's classic romance--a tale of hate and the only force that can ever defeat it: love.

Anyone But You by Kim Askew and Amy Helmes (book 3 in the Twisted Lit series) was an emotional roller coaster I was not prepared for when I first heard about this retelling of Romeo and Juliet.

I'm not, and never have been, a fan of Shakespeare's story of love at first sight. No matter how many times I hear the story, I just can't connect to the characters because they seem so stupid and selfish to me. But Gigi and Roman's love, while still impossibly cheesy love at first sight, felt a little more grounded in reality then their 15th century counterparts. The romance, while obviously the centerpiece of the story, wasn't overpowering. And, actually, the romance sort of felt like it was brushed to the side compared to other parts of the storyline. But it was just enough for me to enjoy without wanting to roll my eyes.

Unbeknownst to me going into Anyone But You (probably because I only skimmed the synopsis before reading), there are actually two points of view as you flip between chapters. Gigi's, of course, but we also get to see the point of view of Roman's great-grandfather, Nick Monte, when he was young. Nick's point of view caught me off guard but his story was one that needed telling, or else Gigi and Roman's story would have never come about in the first place. The story of Nick Monte and Gigi's great-grandfather, Benny Caputo, plays a vital role in why the families have been feuding for almost a century, but it was also, to me at least, the most emotion part of the novel. Their friendship, and inevitable falling out, tugged at my heart strings and I'm not embarrassed to say I cried (publicly) while reading the last few chapters.

At first I wasn't sure I liked the way each chapter flipped back and forth between the two different stories and time periods. It's cool that you get to see the two different time periods and the history of the families, but was a bit of a headache going back and forth at first. But then the paced picked up in Nick and Benny's story and that was it. I fell in love with those boys and their friendship and struggles. And that just made me respect the story of Gigi and Roman so much more.

If you're a lover of Romeo and Juliet, or just love in general, I urge you to give Anyone But You a read. And if you enjoy it make sure you check out the rest of the Twisted Lit series for more contemporary retellings of Shakespeare's famous works!

For more about Anyone But You check out these sites!


Monday, January 27, 2014

Spotlight: Act of Will by AJ Hartley

Today we're spotlighting Act of Will, a young adult fantasy adventure, by AJ Hartley! Act of Will was first published by Tor Books in 2009, but was marketed to an adult audience. Now, AJ Hartley is republishing his medieval adventure to the audience it was originally intended for, young adults! Check out the synopsis:

Will Hawthorne is in trouble. He had been looking forward to his 18th birthday because that meant he’d finally be a professional actor, but Will has a knack for screwing things up royally. He winds up on the run from the authorities and into the arms of a party of principled adventurers who represent everything Will doesn’t believe in—principle, self-sacrifice, maybe even magic—but they seem to be his best chance of staying alive and free for a few more days.

But when his new “friends” take a job investigating a band of ruthless and mysterious horsemen who have been devastating a land far from all Will has known, he encounters an altogether different level of danger. Soon it is not clear which is more likely to get him killed, the party’s nobility, the enemy’s merciless efficiency, or his own special talent for fiasco.

Can Will get used to this world of vanishing adversaries and magic swords? He will have to if he’s going to survive it. And to wind up rich and in the good graces of the beautiful Renthrette, he’s going to have to do rather more than that…

About the Author:

A.J. Hartley is the international bestselling author of 10 novels including the archaeological thrillers The Mask of Atreus and Tears of the Jaguar, the Darwen Arkwright children’s series, the Will Hawthorne fantasy adventure series, and Macbeth, a Novel. He is also the Robinson professor of Shakespeare Studies at UNC Charlotte.

For more about Act of Will check out these sites!


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Press Release: Glamour by Andrea Janes

Alpena, MI (January 24, 2014) – World Weaver Press (Eileen Wiedbrauk, Editor-in-Chief) has announced Glamour by Andrea Janes, a new paranormal YA novel, will be available in trade paperback and ebook Tuesday, March 18, 2014.

Townie. That’s what eighteen-year-old Christina Sundy is. All year round she lives in a one-stoplight town on Cape Cod and when summer comes she spends her days scooping ice cream for rich tourists, who she hates. So when one of them takes a job in the ice cream shop alongside her, she’s pissed. Why does a blonde and perky Harvard-bound rich girl like Reese Manning want to scoop ice cream anyway?

Something else weird is happening to Christina: tiny blue sparks seem to be shooting off her fingers. It isn’t long before she realizes the truth about herself — she’s actually a powerful hereditary witch. But her newfound powers are too intense for her to handle and, in a moment of rage, she accidentally zaps Reese into another dimension.

So that no one will notice that the rich girl has disappeared, Christina casts a disguising spell, or “glamour,” and lives Reese’s life while she tries to find a retrieval spell. But as the retrieval spell proves harder than anticipated, and as she goes about living Reese’s life without anyone on the outside noticing the switch, Christina realizes that there’s nothing to stop her from making the glamour permanent… except, of course, her fellow witches, a 16th century demon, and, just maybe, her own conscience.

Glamour will be available in trade paperback and ebook via Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, Kobo.com, and other online retailers.

Andrea Janes writes horror, dark comedy, thrillers, and historical slapstick. She is the author of Boroughs of the Dead: New York City Ghost Stories. She is also a licensed NYC tour guide, and offers a variety of ghostly tours around the city. Her many obsessions include New York City history, old photographs, Mabel Normand, all things nautical, and beer. She maintains a personal blog over at Spinster Aunt, where she discusses these obsessions in more detail than is probably healthy.

World Weaver Press is a publisher of fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction, dedicated to producing quality works. As a small press, World Weaver seeks to publish books that engage the mind and ensnare the story-loving soul.

For more about Glamour add it on Goodreads!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Shuffle Saturday (53): Alone Together

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:

Alone Together by Fall Out Boy

Fall Out Boy has pretty much been a centerpiece of my music collection since like 2005. I love them and their new album is great! I especially love this song. The video is a little weird, but it's part of a bigger story that the videos for each of the songs on the album tell. I haven't watched them all yet, so I have no idea what that story is, but it's kind of cool!

What are you listening to?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Spotlight and Giveaway: Guardian of Auzeria by J.T. Swenson

Today we have an excerpt from Guardian of Auzeria by Jennifer Trias Swenson. We also have a giveaway so make sure you enter down below! Check out the synopsis:

It was one hundred years until another quartz crystal arose to another Auzerian, Rayna, making her a Guardian and leader and protector of her people. Struggling with her own powers and expectations of what it means to be a Guardian, Rayna disobeys the rule to never leave the Wall of Auzeria, and explores the unpredictable world beyond the crystal forest, the only home she has ever known.

But soon Rayna faces what her ancestors were trying to protect the Auzerians from all these years and is hunted for her crystal by men who seek to steal its power. With the help of a stranger, Rayna is left to use what the Guardians taught her and to trust her own intuition to find her way home.

Excerpt from Guardian of Auzeria:

Prologue 
“Rayna, you are more powerful than you can imagine,” the Guardians said to me. But they expected too much of this seventeen-year-old girl. I barely knew how to take care of myself. I was not ready to be a leader and protector of a whole civilization. And I did not know if I ever would be. I should have never run away, but it was all too much. I needed a moment, a place where no one knew who I was or even knew I existed. 
The year was 2039, and for thousands of years, my people, the Auzerians, stayed hidden, forgotten on this continent far from human civilization, a lesson learned from a time when we once walked among humans in harmony as brothers and sisters. For we were all children of the earth, made of the same flesh and bone. And aside from the crystals that the Auzerians adorned themselves with, there was no telling us apart; we were inseparable. 
Humankind’s dangerous need for power consumed them, and their technological advances finally reached their peak in 2020. Quickly devouring energy, they soon found their resources dwindling. A once-thriving society now barely eked along in “their continual search for new ways to sustain it. 
A wall was created to protect us and the crystal forest of Auzeria, my home. Auzeria was a land filled with glimmering crystals and roaring waterfalls, with stone and crystal homes nestled in fields of green grass and wildflowers, surrounded by the majestic colorful trees of the forest. It was a land we were now forbidden to leave. After all this time, I never imagined I would run into anyone outside the Wall of Auzeria, and I never imagined anyone would know my true identity. 
Of all the teachings the Guardians gave me, I do not think they could have anticipated preparing me to relive what our ancestors sought so hard to protect us from—to be hunted for my crystal. But now in the eerie silence of the night, within the lurking shadows of the forest, I had to rely on my own intuition to get back home.

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more about Guardian of Auzeria check out these sites!


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Cover Reveal: Of Sea and Stone by Kate Avery Ellison

The week of the cover reveals continues today with the reveal of Kate Avery Ellison's Of Sea and Stone! Of Sea and Stone releases February 2014, so keep an eye out!

All her life, clever Aemi has been a slave in the Village of the Rocks, a place where the sea and sky meet. She’s heard the stories about the fabled People of the Sea, a people who possess unimaginable technology who live below the waves in the dark, secret places of the ocean. But she never dreamed those stories were true.

When a ship emerges from the ocean and men burn her village, Aemi is captured, and enslaved below the waves in Itlantis, a world filled with ancient cities of glass and metal, floating gardens, and wondrous devices that seem to work magic. To make matters worse, her village nemesis, the stuck-up mayor’s son Nol, was captured with her, and they are made servants in the same household beneath the sea.

Desperate to be free, Aemi plots her escape, even going so far as to work with Nol. But the sea holds more secrets than she realizes, and escape might not be as simple as leaving…


How gorgeous is this dress? – I mean cover! Cover, yeah. So pretty! 

About the Author:

I've been making up stories since I was five years old, and now I'm thrilled to be able to do it as a full-time job. I have an obsession with dark fantasy, dystopian futures, and Pride and Prejudice-style love stories full of witty banter and sizzling, unspoken feelings. When I'm not writing, I'm creating digital art, reading funny blogs, or watching my favorite shows (which include TVD and BSG). I live with my geeky husband and our two bad cats in Atlanta, GA.

Add Of Sea and Stone on Goodreads!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cover Reveal: Sacrifice by Jennifer Quintenz

Today I'm thrilled to be sharing the cover of Jennifer Quintenz's Sacrifice, the third novel in  her Daughters of Lilith series, which releases on January 31st, 2014! Check out the cover and synopsis:

Just when Braedyn Murphy thought she understood the danger descending on Puerto Escondido, a new threat arrives. A cult devoted to Lilith has taken up residence in the little town, and when Cassie gets tangled up its intrigue, Braedyn realizes she might have to chose between protecting her friends and stopping Lilith from reclaiming this earth.

With her duties to the Guard wearing on her, Braedyn turns to Lucas for solace. Together they wonder if now is the time to claim their one night together—knowing that one night is all they may ever have.

Darker forces have their own plans for Braedyn and the Guard. Braedyn knew this fight could be brutal—but how much can one girl be asked to sacrifice in order to save the world?


How beautiful is this cover?! I mean, really. The model is gorgeous and she looks so badass with that sword and the wings behind her! So cool! The covers for the first two books are gorgeous too, though. Just look at them all together. I want to pet them!



About the Author:

Jennifer Quintenz is an award-winning film and television writer, author, and graphic novelist. She has written for Twentieth Television, Intrepid Pictures, and Archaia Studios Press. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son.

For more about the Daughters of Lilith series check out these sites:

Thrall (Book 1) at AmazonGoodreads!

Incubus (Book 2) at AmazonGoodreads!

Sacrifice (Book 3) at Goodreads!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Review: Phoenix Island by John Dixon

Title: Phoenix Island
Author: John Dixon
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publish Date: January 7th, 2014
Rating:

The judge told Carl that one day he'd have to decide exactly what kind of person he would become. But on Phoenix Island, the choice will be made for him.

A champion boxer with a sharp hook and a short temper, sixteen-year-old Carl Freeman has been shuffled from foster home to foster home. He can't seem to stay out of trouble, using his fists to defend weaker classmates from bullies. His latest incident sends his opponent to the emergency room, and now the court is sending Carl to the worst place on earth: Phoenix Island.

Classified as a terminal facility, it's the end of the line for delinquents who have no home, no family, and no future. Located somewhere far off the coast of the United States and immune to its laws, the island is a grueling Spartan-style boot camp run by sadistic drill sergeants who show no mercy to their young, orphan trainees. Sentenced to stay until his eighteenth birthday, Carl plans to play by the rules, so he makes friends with his wisecracking bunkmate, Ross, and a mysterious gray-eyed girl named Octavia. But he makes enemies, too, and after a few rough scrapes, he earns himself the nickname "Hollywood" as well as a string of punishments, including a brutal night in the sweatbox. But that's nothing compared to what awaits him in the Chop Shop: a secret government lab where Carl is given something he never dreamed of.

A new life. . . .

A new body. A new brain.

Gifts from the fatherly Old Man, who wants to transform Carl into something he's not sure he wants to become.

For this is no ordinary government project. Phoenix Island is ground zero for the future of combat intelligence.

And for Carl, it's just the beginning. . .

Phoenix Island by John Dixon is the terrifying story of what happens when sixteen year old boxing champion Carl Freeman gets sent away to a camp for juvenile delinquents. Unfortunately for him, the camp is run by a bunch of psychotic soldiers planning on taking over the world, and they'll do anything, including murdering the teenagers in their care, to accomplish their goals!

Phoenix Island reminds me of a movie I watched once, Boot Camp, with Mila Kunis and Gregory Smith. That movie has stuck with me since I watched it because of its sheer brutality. It's what made me have to read Phoenix Island after reading the synopsis. And Phoenix Island pulls no punches when it comes to brutality. The kids on Phoenix Island are abused and beaten and brainwashed to become killing machines. They are taught not to think and are threatened if they don't follow a command. They're threatened if they do follow a command. Phoenix Island is full of nothing but pain, torture, and injustice and it's really hard to read about at times. The novel is full of abuse and death and horrible acts of violence, and not one of the adults sees any of it as wrong. But that's what makes you have to keep reading. You have to see how these teenagers, these children, will survive when the whole world is against them.

Carl, despite being a fighter who is sent away to a reform camp for bad kids, is sort of the opposite of a bad kid. He's a kid who's had a hard life, a kid who could whine about how unfair it all is, but doesn't. A kid who's got enough training behind his punches to do all sorts of damage, but instead only uses his fists on bullies. He's a kid who only wants to help people, and he's sent to a place that only wants to hurt people. He's a true hero in a land of villains and someone you can root for.

Octavia surprised me in this novel. Usually the girls in these sorts of stories come across hard and bitter, but Octavia, for all her strength and courage, was never bitter or hard. Sure, she had times when she felt like she was slipping in that direction, but she never gave in. Never let her circumstances get her down. I loved that we got to see her point of view in this story. I wasn't expecting it, but I loved reading her chapters just as much as I loved Carl's.

There were many other side characters throughout Phoenix Island that I came to like, even love. There was Ross, Carl's friend who was more comedian than soldier. The older boy, Cambell, who was only in the book for a short time, but was a great friend and ally. Especially since they were in a place where allies were few and far between and sticking your neck out for someone else might just get it chopped off. Medicaid, a poor boy who was bullied to the brink of insanity. I felt so bad for poor Medicaid. He wasn't brave or strong or fierce, but he deserved to not be tormented the way he was. A lot of the focus in Phoenix Island is put on bullying and the effects it can have when left unchecked and it is severely disturbing. Medicaid's character was a great example of how bad bullying is and what can happen when adults look the other way.

Phoenix Island is actually the inspiration behind CBS's new hit drama Intelligence, starring that other guy who was once trapped on an island, Josh Holloway. Love him, but haven't seen the show yet. I've heard it's really great, but has been reworked so much that it has little to do with the novel anymore. I will be watching it at some point, just to see if anything from Phoenix Island remains in the series.

Inspirational, yet terrifying, Phoenix Island is not for the faint of heart. It's full of non-stop cruelty and violence from the very beginning. But, if you can stomach brutal beatings, torture, giant insects, shark attacks and many other things I won't be listing for fear of spoilers, then, at its heart, Phoenix Island is about a bunch of teenagers trying to survive an impossible situation and I highly recommend it.

For more about Phoenix Island check out these sites!


Cover Reveal: Orenda by Ruth Silver

Today I'm excited to help reveal the cover of Orenda, Ruth Silver's new fantasy coming Spring 2014 from Patchwork Press! Check out the synopsis:

A sword wielding girl, an eternal suit and an alternate universe.

Lil has a gift, one she never thought possible as she finds herself awake after a strange dream with the tell-tale sign that what she dreamt was in fact real. The dreamscape, was more than just a premonition it happened. She’d been momentarily tossed into another dimension. Where most would consider her crazy, not her best friend Bray.

In another reality, one similar and yet slightly different Willow has been kidnapped by the sorceress turned demon, Eilith. Rawlie, Willow’s friend and companion crosses to our universe for help and brings Lil into his world. Filled with frightening creatures and magical elements, Lil demands to go home, until she discovers Bray has been taken by Eilith as well. Unable to watch her best friend die, she joins forces with Rawlie, Jamie and the others to hunt down Eilith and rescue those they care about.


I love how whimsical this cover is! It's such a beautiful cover. The colors, the models dress and pose. It all just catches my eye and makes me want to know who this girl is and what she's doing!

About the Author:

Ruth Silver attended Northern Illinois University and graduated with a Bachelor's in Communication in the spring of 2005. While in college, she spent much of her free time writing with friends she met online and penning her first novel, Deuces are Wild, which she self-published in 2004. Her favorite class was Creative Writing senior year where she often handed in assignments longer than the professor required because she loved to write and always wanted to finish her stories. Her love of writing led her on an adventure in 2007 to Melbourne, Australia. Silver enjoys reading, photography, traveling and most of all writing. She loves dystopian and fantasy young adult stories. Her debut novel published by Lazy Day Publishing and Patchwork Press, ABERRANT, was released April 2013. The second novel in the series, MOIRAI, continues the saga. ISAURA, is the final installment in the ABERRANT trilogy. Ruth has been actively writing since she was a teenager. Her current writing projects include a YA science-fiction fantasy series, ORENDA, and a YA/NA paranormal series, DEAD GIRL WALKING. Both novels are due for release in 2014. She currently resides in Plainfield, Illinois.

For more about Orenda check it out on Goodreads!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Spotlight: Beyond New Eden by H.S. Stone

Today we're spotlighting Beyond New Eden by H.S. Stone! Beyond New Eden is a science fiction story of a utopian society living in a dome after a war. Check out the synopsis:

Eve 142 has lived her entire life in the domed city of New Eden, home to the only surviving humans after the War. Like all of the inhabitants of New Eden, Eve 142 is a clone. Together with the other clones, dubbed the Adams and the Eves, she leads a safe, predictable existence. However, Eve’s life changes when she causes a tragic accident to befall one of the Adams. As retribution, she and her counterpart, Adam 142, are banished from New Eden. At first, Eve 142 considers their punishment a death sentence because she grew up believing the world outside the dome was uninhabitable. She is wrong. Forced to live in the Wastelands, Eve and Adam discover many new truths about the outside world and, more importantly, the truths about themselves.

Excerpt from Beyond New Eden:

Having never been in direct sunlight before, my first thought upon entering the greenhouse was whether its artificial lights felt the same as the real thing. The heat from rows of electric lamps overhead lapped my exposed skin in waves of warmth, and I imagined that was how the sun really felt. 
I had seen pictures of the sun before, of course, and I knew the astronomical facts about the star that the Earth orbited, but I had never seen the glowing yellow orb with my own eyes. None of us had. 
The pictures I’d seen were taken before The War. The War, which obliterated the planet and left it uninhabitable except for the domed city named New Eden where I was born and lived my entire life. The War, which wiped out all of mankind except for the hundred and fifty inhabitants of New Eden. The War, which defined the most significant milestone in human history. There was the time before The War and the time after it. 
Once my eyes adjusted to the brightness, I saw my destination. I walked toward an apple tree, one of three in the greenhouse. A woman in her mid-twenties inspected the tree’s bark with a handheld instrument, her back turned towards me. The woman was a few years older than me, but she shared the same build, the same amber hair, and, although I couldn’t see them at the moment, the same light brown eyes as I had. If not for the age difference, the people before The War would have thought we were twins. 
“Hello, One Thirty-Five,” I called out.

The older woman turned around, put her instrument away, and smiled. “Hi, One Forty-Two.” One Forty-Two was what most of the citizens of New Eden called me, short for Eve 142.

“I didn’t hear you. You’re early.” 
“I finished classes early today.” I returned her smile in a way that I believed resembled hers. 
Eve 135 and I weren’t twins. We were clones. 
At any time in New Eden, seventy-five clones of Adam Zero and seventy-five clones of Eve Zero lived under its domed roof. Like our human originators, we clones grew old and died. Each of us lived for seventy-five years exactly, prompting the creation of a new pair of clones every year to replace the pair that passed on. I came into existence almost eighteen years ago. 
My counterpart, Adam 142, who was born on the same day that I was, still hadn’t arrived at the greenhouse. When I left school, he was in the middle of his last assignment, but I expected him here within minutes. 
A man with a fit build, brown hair, and dark brown eyes approached, holding two baskets in his left hand and a ladder slung across his right shoulder. 
My pulse quickened upon seeing the baskets, and I asked my older companion, “Are we picking apples?” I had seen other Adams and Eves pick apples on previous visits to the greenhouse, but I had never been allowed to go near the trees. 
“That’s right,” Eve 135 replied, adding, “as soon as Adam 142 arrives.” 
I found myself looking in the direction of the greenhouse doors every few seconds, wondering what was taking the boy so long. 
Adam 135 set down the ladder and baskets next to the apple tree. I noticed that the baskets had straps attached, two loops that slipped over the shoulders and another belt to cinch around the waist. I couldn’t wait to try it on. 
Finally, Adam 142 entered, glanced around until he spotted us, and jogged toward us, huffing and puffing. Judging from his heavy breathing, I guessed that he had run all the way here from school. 
“What took you so long?” I asked. 
“Sorry, I’m not as fast as you in finishing my work.” He made it sound like a complaint rather than a compliment. 
With a smirk aimed at the older Adam, Eve 135 remarked, “That sounds familiar, doesn’t it?" 
The two Adams shared a silent exchange that, if I wasn’t mistaken, meant, Here we go again. But Eve 135 didn’t comment any further. 
Adam 135 picked up one of the baskets and showed us how to slip our arms through the straps so that our hands were free for climbing and picking. Then he demonstrated how to secure the belt around our waist. 
Next, he and Eve 135 taught us what to look for in picking apples. We wanted firm fruits that were free of bruises, ideally yellow or orange in color with splashes of red. The green ones weren’t ripe yet, they told us. 
The older Adam raised the ladder and propped it against the apple tree. Eve 135 held onto the base with both hands while he climbed up to the nearest fruit-bearing branch. Adam 135’s fingers closed around an apple, and he deftly twisted and pulled it from the branch so that the stem remained intact. Without looking behind him, Adam 135 tossed the fruit into the basket on his back. After picking two more apples, he climbed down. 
“Any questions?” Eve 135 asked.

We shook our heads. “Looks easy,” I answered, but I immediately regretted those words. 
“Is that so? Then I want each of you to fill your basket with fifteen apples. However, to make the task a little more challenging, once you go up the ladder, you can’t come back down until you’ve collected all fifteen, so carefully choose where you want to climb.” 
Adam 142 glared at me, but he volunteered to go first. He sure-footedly ascended the ladder while I held onto it from the ground. I felt the vibrations travel through my hands and up my arms with each step he took, and I suddenly grew nervous about providing stability for my partner. He didn’t notice my tenseness and plucked ten apples that were easily within reach.

Adam had to lean and stretch to grab the remaining five. On the last fruit, he leaned so far out that the basket on his back almost tipped over. I held my breath, afraid that if I opened my mouth, it would cause the swaying ladder to topple over with him atop it. After nabbing the last apple without incident, Adam returned to the ground. 
It was my turn to strap the basket onto my back. The wood and plastic container was lighter than it looked and didn’t hinder my movement in the least. I walked around the tree until I found a spot with a cluster of apples. With Adam 142’s help, I leaned the ladder against the trunk near my destination. 
Watching Adam accomplish the task gave me more confidence. With quick steps, I climbed the ladder, eager to show that I was as good as my partner. Thanks to my genes, I wasn’t afraid of heights, and neither were any of the other Adams or Eves. Near the top, I held onto a rung with one hand and began pulling apples with the other. Eight apples were within easy reach, but after I plucked them, I discovered that the others were farther away than they appeared from the ground. 
I took two more steps up to the top of the ladder. Grasping the top rung with my left hand, I reached for another three apples. Then I shifted my position, now using my right hand to hold onto the ladder, and I was able to pick two more. 
I looked around, gauging the distance to my next target. There were two apples next to each other just beyond my reach, which would make fifteen. I tried to stretch out with my left arm, then with my right, but the fruits lay inches from my fingertips. 
Taking my supporting hand off the ladder, I leaned out and grabbed a branch. Eve 135 said that we couldn’t go back down the ladder, but she didn’t mention anything about climbing along the branches. 
“Be careful!” I heard Adam 142 caution from under my position. 
Mindful of letting my basket of apples tip too far, I inched my body along the branch. The first apple was finally within reach. I held onto the red and golden globe and yanked. The apple popped free from its stem. I forgot to twist and pull. Not ideal, but I still got the apple. 
In my awkward position, I found it difficult to reach behind me to put the apple in the basket. I couldn’t just drop it behind my back because the basket’s opening had shifted to the side. I twisted around to locate the basket, and that’s when my grip faltered. 
Suddenly, I found myself in freefall. I heard three voices shout “Eve!” and “One Forty-Two!” and then the ground knocked the breath from my lungs. I struggled to keep my eyes open, but the image from my prone position kept spinning. 
Disorientation was quickly followed by pain as my arm and back screamed in agony, my nerves finally sending their report of the impact to my brain. I feared that I had broken my arm or worse. The sensation was foreign to me. I couldn’t think of a time when my body hurt so much. I clenched my teeth and felt awareness slip away as my body tried to protect itself from the pain. 
Curiously, my thoughts turned from my own well-being. I tried to remember if a clone had ever suffered a life-threatening injury or died prematurely. I didn’t want to be the first. 
Before I lost consciousness, I told myself, Clones always live to age seventy-five.

For more about Beyond New Eden check out these sites!


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Cover Reveal: Grimm Legacy by Janna Jennings

Today I'm happy to be posting about Janna Jennings' cover redesign for her novel, A Grimm Legacy! As you'd expect, it's all about fairy tales, but with a modern twist. Check out the synopsis:

Enchanted castles and charming princes thought to exist only in stories come to life in this classically twisted fairy tale that combines the timeless quality of generations old folktales with the challenges of the modern world.

The woods of Elorium appear ordinary to Andi Grace, until birds start talking and elves answer doors. Along with three others, Andi has been whisked out of her world and finds herself the reluctant guest of the perplexing millionaire, Mr. Jackson—a stranger willing to help get them home, but who’s keeping secrets of his own.

Discovering unexpected family connections to this fairy tale land, the group must rely on each other as they dodge evil fairies and battle giants, intent on keeping them in Elorium. Faced with characters short on whimsy and bent towards treachery, Andi, Quinn, Fredrick and Dylan are forced into fairy tale roles to find the way home. But in Elorium, happily ever after is never guaranteed.


I love the fairy tale feel of this cover! The way the trees form a tunnel draws me in and makes me wonder what's on the other side! Elorium, maybe?

About the Author:

Janna is a Colorado based YA author who loves a good fairy tale. She’s married to her own real life Prince Charming, and will usually admit to being mom of three, including her incorrigible middle child, Benny. Besides wrangling her kids she can be found doing some therapeutic baking, dreaming of the ocean, and of course, curling up with a good book.

For more about A Grimm Legacy check out these sites!


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Shuffle Saturday (52): Pompeii

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:

Pompeii by Bastille

I fell in love with this song and this band the first time I heard it. It's just so pretty and catchy!

What are you listening to?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Spotlight: Out of the Cave by Cotton E. Davis

Today we have an excerpt from Out of the Cave (A Timewarp Inc Novel) by Cotton E. Davis! Out of the Cave is a unique fantasy about a neanderthal boy who grows up in the future after being transported out of the past! Check out the synopsis:

A neanderthal boy is time transported to the 21st century and eventually mainstreamed into a public high school.

The year is 2036. Fifteen-year-old-Kelly Tracer moves to Rivertown, Missouri, population 1900, where she enrolls in the local high school to begin her sophomore year. Imagine Kelly's surprise when she learns of another newcomer to Rivertown High, a sophomore like herself: a boy from 40,000 years in the past. A Neanderthal.

Further imagine Kelly's shock when she learns Neanderthals were not fellow Homo sapiens but were instead a separate species of humans unto themselves. She remembers the boy being time transported to the twenty-first century from watching the news when she was six years old. Now, nine years later, he is being mainstreamed.

Kelly is further surprised when she sees Adam (the name humans have given him) in the flesh. Like his long-extinct people, he is heavily muscled with thick brow ridges above his eyes and possessed of a protruding muzzle of a mouth and only a slight chin. Then there is his humongous, spreading nose. More thuggish than simian-looking, Adam's primitive looks put Kelly off. Scare her even.

Kelly gets another surprise. Adam speaks English like an American. Raised by scientists since his sixth year, he sounds just like any other American kid, except for a touch of bass in his voice's timbre. Also, Adam is nothing like the dully fierce caveman stereotype Kelly expected. Aside from being shy, he is mild and thoughtful and quite considerate of the feelings of others. Adam is also very mature for his few years; an evolutionary response, according to his paleoanthropologist adoptive father, to living in the harsh conditions of a major Ice Age.

Not surprisingly, Kelly finds herself liking him.

You guessed it, Kelly and Adam will eventually become an item. But, before that, they'll go through enough tribulations to try the patience of a saint. After-all, the world is no more perfect in the year 2036 than it was in Adam's time.

Excerpt from Out of the Cave:

Together we watched a picture projected onto the suspended halo-screen floating in the air a few inches away. Aloud, Diane read that it was a color-enhanced painting done by Charles R. Knight more than a century ago, depicting a clan of Neanderthals standing outside the mouth of a dark cave. There were five adults, three powerfully muscled males, a hoary old man, plus an incredibly ugly woman with a naked child. One of the males, thick with sinew and holding a crude spear, nodded toward a herd of wooly rhinos in the distance. His muzzle-like face and slanting forehead made me think of movie monsters or some creature from a Tolkien fantasy. 
"One of those things is coming here!" I said, a little put off. 
Diane nodded. "Isn't it exciting?" 

About the Author:

Cotton E. Davis was born in Washington, Missouri in 1946. He graduated high school there in 1964 and later joined the U.S Air Force, where he eventually became part of an air reconnaissance flight crew that flew missions over Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Subsequent to discharge, he earned a Journalism Degree from the University of Missouri. He has worked on newspapers, was a stringer on two magazines, managed restaurants, free-lanced magazine articles and written several novels. Davis is currently retired and lives in mid-Missouri.

For more about Out of the Cave check out these sites!


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