Thursday, July 31, 2014

Spotlight: At the Edge of the World by L.C. Spoering

Today we're spotlighting At the Edge of the World by L.C. Spoering. At the Edge of the World will be available on August 26th, so make sure to mark your calendars!  Check out the synopsis below:

Lost in the chaos of Venice Beach, among the homegrown freaks and weirdos, the tourists and life’s forgotten people, one runaway is just another face in the crowd—and this is just how Shane likes it. Torn between the home he left behind and lure of the ocean he ran to, something has tied his fates to the beach, and he is not the only one.

She is a famous mystery: the Venice Skater Chick. Shane has loved her since his first night on the beach. Others are watching her, too—and at least one wants her dead.

A mystery unfolds between the famed boardwalk, a dusty record store, a cramped apartment and a hidden cave. Under the gathering storms, Shane makes a desperate attempt to protect the girl he loves, and the life waiting for him on the other side.

Excerpt from At the Edge of the World:

“Hey!” 
The voice came from far off, and right behind him at once. Shane startled, stumbling back so he landed on his butt, the damp earth seeping through the abused fabric almost instantly. He would be upset about that later, but, for the moment, he was feverishly scanning the canal for whatever neighbor had finally noticed his encroachment. 
No one. 
His gaze lit on something silvery on the other side of the canal, crouched behind a paddle boat, glossy fingers clutching at the side, hair a wild mess over her shoulders. 
“What are you doing?” he demanded before he could think of something else to say. 
Her eyes darted from side to side, and then her focus retuned to him. “What are you doing?” was her return, like an echo. 
That was a better question, maybe. Maybe she lived there, and it was Shane sneaking around where he didn’t belong. 
“I’ve never really looked at them,” he said, finally, shifting his legs closer and tucking his feet under him; his ass was already wet, there was nothing to do about that. 
“The canals?” Again her gaze swept up and down the expanse of water and then — then — she smiled. It was the first smile he’d ever seen on her face, and it made his heart stop cold in his chest, painful and swollen. 
“They’re not really for… people like me,” he finished, gesturing down at his long body, the jeans that were a permanent shade of grey, the frayed and stained hoodie. 
She studied him from across the water. The sun glinted off it at crazy angles, moving stars in front of his eyes even as he squinted against the glare. 
“You never come back here because you don’t belong?” She sounded surprised by this, as if the words sounded strange in her own mouth. 
“I guess you could put it that way,” he agreed, scratching at the back of his neck, the sweat gathering there, making his fingertips sticky. 
“Oh.” Her fingers curled against the hard plastic of the paddle boat and, for a moment, he thought he glimpsed gloves on her hands, the usual, but in some kind of shimmering green.
They disappeared behind the boat. “Turn around,” she commanded him. 
There was no reason for him to obey, but he did anyway, shifting up on his knees, moving in the mud and moss, so that he was facing the house on the side of the canal. It was larger than anything he’d ever lived in, thousands of dollars of real estate filled with furniture that, from his vantage point, looked un-sat-upon, perfect and magazine ready. He counted his breaths, each one in and out, ten, and then twenty, and at thirty, he vowed to turn at fifty, sure he was being had, and at forty-two, he felt a tap on his shoulder. 
With his knees on the ground, she stood above him like a sentry, more so than she had on the beach. He saw her feet were bare again, and the jeans she wore were soaked to the knees, clinging to her skin like a second layer. She was wearing a tank-top, blue, and gloves, but yellow, knit and odd against the wet of her skin. 
“How’d you get across?” he asked, struggling to his feet, slipping in the moss. 
She looked over the water with a sort of casual disinterest, even as her hand shot out to catch his arm and bring him up to his full height, taller than her, but only just. 
“I just did.”

For more about At the Edge of the World check out these sites!

Lilt LiteraryPinterestGoodreads


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Review: Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

Title: Silver Shadows
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razorbill
Publish Date: July 29th, 2014
Rating: I gotta figure out how to put more stars on this chart...

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.

Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive.

For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .

Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off.

Let me get this out there, right off the bat. This will never, not ever, be a sensible "review". This, right here, is a squeaky fangirl rant and I can't possibly hope for it to ever be anything else because I CAN'T with Sydrian. I just can't.

My poor Sydney! And Adrian! Ugh. They've been through so much already, but this is their crucible. They're alone and hopeless and have to figure out how to survive long enough to find each other. Sydney's dealing with psychopathic Alchemists at every turn, but Adrian's spirit darkness is not making things any easier for him even though he's still got his freedom. But, that's not to say that Silver Shadows is a sad or mopey addition to the Bloodlines series. I found it to be almost exactly the opposite. I thought Sydney and Adrian were finally who they were always meant to be in this one. Sydney, always the level headed logical one, was still very much level headed and logical. But she was also sensitive and brave and funny, cracking jokes worthy of Adrian Ivashkov. And Adrian, irreverent, needy and sometimes not so reliable, was brave, strong, and did what needed to be done to save the woman he loved. He was Sydney's hero and if it's possible, I fell in love with him all over again. Richelle Mead wasn't kidding when she said this book was romantic on a while different level from the previous books.

I felt like there was always a nice undercurrent of dread throughout Silver Shadows. Just enough to make you feel completely paranoid while trying to hold out hope that both Sydney and Adrian would get lucky and something would finally go right for them. Of course, things rarely go right for these two, despite their tireless efforts. But that's why their romance is so incredible in the first place. They have to fight for every moment together, so you know it's not just some fickle infatuation. These two are in it for the long haul.

The ending, for me, was predictable and Mead drops big glaring hints from the very first few chapters, but that didn't make it any less exciting or remarkable. It also could be because I'd long theorized that it would end in a very similar way. I was definitely excited when it did, in fact, end the way I'd hoped and prayed for. And what made it even better was that the ending was not cheesy, or overly dramatic or glowingly romantic just because it could be. It felt like this was a natural progression to the story and even though there's a pretty big cliffhanger, I'm still very pleased with the way it left off. Though I definitely wouldn't have minded another chapter or two, just because.

Silver Shadows is the shortest and most plot specific book in the series. Reading it is like being on a roller coaster and looking out at things as they whip by you. You can see side plots coming and going, but you're hurtling towards the end and can't stop long enough to really take them in. At around the seventy-five percent mark of the book, all of a sudden things get rolling and the already breakneck pace shifts to a blink-and-you'll-miss-it sort of thing. And it's also my favorite part in possibly the entire series. I could shriek and flail and fall all over myself gushing about this time in the book, but that would turn this review into a huge spoilery mess so I'm just going to finish up and then quietly flail by myself over here. (You can flail too in the comments if you want, but try to vague and non-spoilery if you feel the need!)

With the way Silver Shadows ended, I can only imagine what sorts of trouble my favorite romantic couple will get themselves into, and what sorts of pain, heartache, and ultimately crazy amazey displays of big romance The Ruby Circle will have in store for us. For anyone who has not yet read Bloodlines and the rest of this amazing series—it astonishes me that there are actually still people holding out on this series—I can only say, you have no idea what you're missing.

For more about Silver Shadows check out these sites!

AmazonB&NGoodreads


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Teaser Tuesday (85): Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

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

Happy release day to Richelle Mead and Silver Shadows! I'm so psyched for this book that I had to do a teaser from it. I'm literally rushing through this post so I can get back to reading! Just try to read this teaser and not squee! :)

And I refuse to believe this is the best anyone can hope for in love. There's more to it than this. I will have more than this.

{Silver Shadows, Chapter 6}

Synopsis of Silver Shadows:

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.

Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive.

For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .

Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off.

For more about Silver Shadows check out these sites!

AmazonB&NGoodreads


Monday, July 28, 2014

Spotlight: Manroot by Anne Steinberg

Today we're spotlighting Manroot by Anne Steinberg. Lovers of paranormal romance should check out the excerpt below!

In the spring of 1939, Katherine Sheahan and her father, Jesse, are looking for work in the isolated tourist town of Castlewood. Jesse gets a job as handyman and Katherine as a maid at a small hotel. Jesse drinks and neglects his work and eventually disappears, abandoning his daughter. Frieda Broom, the hotel Manager, takes Katherine under her wing, and teaches her about ginseng, the manroot, and other secrets of the foothills. Katherine discovers that she is a natural healer and has the ability to communicate with spirits, a gift she inherited from her Navajo Indian mother.

Among the hotels regular clientele is Judge William Reardon. Escaping his sterile marriage, he becomes captivated by Katherine. As the pair bond over astrology and gardening, Katherine becomes convinced they belong together, despite him being much older than her and married. As they begin to fall in love, the violence of dark magic threatens to annihilate all Katherine knows and holds dear. Can their love survive?

Excerpt from Manroot:

Working alone in the kitchen, Katherine scrubbed it clean. Looking up at the calendar, she knew tomorrow was Friday. The Judge was one of the few people who stopped here regularly, even now, in late autumn. Perhaps it was telling Sally that had started it all, for now her thoughts of the Judge were like a fever that stayed with her. Last

Friday when she took him his bourbon and spring water, she noticed it for the first time, the birthmark. It was on his right hand, so clear and vivid that she had almost dropped the tray. He had smiled at her nervousness, called her ‘my dear,’ and given her a silver dollar for a tip. 
Katherine slept restlessly; she dreamed of the Oh mu and heard its moan of agony echoing in her sleep. She dreamed of Papa floating in the muddy river, caught and held under by a treacherous branch, his eyes vacant pools staring upward through the water.

It was so real that in the morning when the siren from the firehouse once again split the air, she rushed into the kitchen where Frieda was telling Bruce, “You be careful...another one’s gone and gave herself to the river. It was a suicide, a painted woman from the

Eagle’s nest...” Frieda shivered as she told the story the way that she had heard it from the postman. The woman in the night had cut her wrists, but the dying was too slow, so she ran from the clubhouse, perched only for a moment on the railing, then jumped headlong into the cold water. 
Katherine moved slowly this morning. Frieda fussed at her, but knowing the girl had never been lazy, she thought the drowning must have upset her or maybe she was coming down with something. 
The guests were all gone. They only expected one tonight – Judge Reardon. They’d have time to go into the woods today, hunting for herbs and the manroot. But Frieda went alone as the girl looked a bit too peaked. 
Alone, Katherine cleaned the rooms again; it took no time, for they were already clean. She lingered in Number 8, The Judge’s room. 
She knew a lot about him now, and she felt a very real presence that he left in the room. She knew intimate things about him – like the size of his shirts, the smell of his aftershave, which side of the bed he slept on, how he preferred his coffee, the brand of cigarettes that he smoked...numerous details about him that she had collected bit by bit, saving them in her mind and in her dreams, like pennies to be spent at a later date. 
He knew nothing of her dusting his dresser, straightening the bed after he had risen.

He was not aware that while he was out, she pressed his shirts to her lips, inhaling his aroma, and sat on the bed in the same crevices his body had made over the years that he had slept here. Now she knew with the wisdom and instinct of centuries, she knew that what would be, would be. 
Last week for the first time she had seen it, the birthmark, on his right hand. It was paler than the surrounding skin, crescent-shaped like a slice of the moon, and within its outline, unmistakable, a perfect five-pointed star. She knew its shape by heart, as just above her right breast she had its identical replica. 
The Navajo blood flowed strongly in her veins, with all its beliefs in the signs, even though her father had tried vainly to smother these strange alien traits. Since her childhood she had believed that she could speak to animals, and she could find herbs hiding under any rock and knew exactly what they would cure. 
She stayed dreaming in the Judge’s room until she heard Frieda calling her. The woman had returned from the woods, carrying a full burlap sack. 
“You should have come today...I found it...the time is ripe, and you’re much quicker than I. You would have climbed the higher spots where it grows.” 
Placing the sack on the table, she pulled out one root. “It’s perfect...it’s prime, probably ten or fifteen years old.” She held the root up to the light. Its torso similar but lighter in color than a carrot, with no hint of orange, just tannish-brown, the root seemed to have two arms, two legs, and a fine network of tendrils. It appeared to be a miniature figure of a headless man. 
“What is it?” Katherine questioned as she stared at the unusual root. 
“It’s a manroot!” 
“The manroot,” Katherine repeated, liking the sound of the word and feeling it described the plant perfectly. “It seems as if it could contain magic?” she said, as she gingerly touched it with a timid finger. 
“Oh, they say it does. It works wonders. The Orientals prize its properties – to them it is also the love root. It does many things, cures most anything that ails you. For me it lines my pockets – Bailey’s general store pays about four dollars a pound.” Emptying the sack on the counter, Frieda explained, “You can’t let it get damp – it ruins the root.” She began taking them out, examining and inspecting and drying each root with a clean dish-towel. 
“They’re not all like this one, that’s special. Some don’t come with the likeness of arms and legs, some just look like a pale carrot...but the old ones, the very special ones do. Here, Katherine – take it, it’s yours.” 
They sat at the table and by habit Katherine helped her. 
“If you weren’t such a lazy girl, you could have come with me today. When these are dry, I’m sure Bailey’s will be paying twenty dollars or so for the batch.” 
“Twenty dollars?” 
“Yes, ma’am!” She knew the girl wasn’t lazy; it was her way of trying to shake her out of the listlessness. “Put on the kettle, Katherine. I’ll slip a little of the root in it. That will perk you up.” 
They drank the tea, and Frieda continued drying the root. She did a rare thing: she hummed as she dried the fine tendrils. 
“It takes time for the manroot to grow. You shouldn’t harvest a root less than seven years old, and you must always plant the seed when you harvest – each red berry has two seeds – not deep, just under the leaves. It’s a sin...to harvest and not plant the seed,” she said solemnly. 
Katherine watched the clock. “I better put on my uniform. The Judge...” 
“No need to. When I was coming in, he was headed for the Eagle’s Nest. He told me he wouldn’t be wanting any supper.” 
Katherine’s face fell with disappointment. 
In previous gossip from Frieda, Katherine had learned that the Judge lived twenty miles up the road with a wife who was said to be fragile since the births of her two stillborn sons. There was not much in these parts that the Judge did not own; he was rich, well-liked, respected, and known to be a fair man. Remarkably young to be a judge, no one faulted him for his tendencies to card-playing, drinking whiskey, and relieving himself with the local women. A lesser man with these leanings would be called no account, but he was, after all, the Judge, and this title brought with it a tendency to look at vices as virtues. 
It was just another Friday. Destiny waited for her; she felt it close, closer than it had ever been. 
The hotel was quiet. There were no guests and the only person staying was the

Judge, who would be out late. 
Katherine played the radio softly, dancing about the room, pretending she was at Castlewood waltzing under the lanterns with him. She put the perfect manroot in the Valentine box with her other things. After midnight when he rang, Katherine shook the sleep from herself when she realized the bell from Room 8 was ringing. 
She owned no robe, and the persistent ringing threatened to wake Mr. Taylor. She flew up to the Judge’s room and knocked timidly, aware that her hair was down, and she was in her nightgown. It was plain enough – white cotton, sturdy and sensible.
He opened the door to her. He seemed surprised. 
“I’m sorry, sir, everyone is asleep,” she said, not really knowing how to apologize for her attire. 
He blinked at her, his hair ruffled, his shirt-tail out; she had never seen him like this.
“You’re new?” 
“No, sir I’m Katherine. It was late; I didn’t have time to put on the uniform.” 
He nodded and leaned forward studying her face. “Come in.” She did so, but left the door open. 
“Sit down,” he said. She could tell he was very drunk. She sat timidly in the vanity chair. He paced the floor unsteadily, running his fingers through his hair. “It’s my head...

I have a headache that won’t stop. I thought maybe you had something in the kitchen.”
He kept pacing. “I went out tonight, trying to forget. I’ve drunk a lot...it doesn’t stop...my head hurts so.” 
“Sir, I could go look, or...” She wondered if she should chance it – maybe he would laugh. “My grandmother had a remedy that always worked.”
He stopped pacing. “Yes? What is it?” 
“Well,” she said, “if you rub your thumbs vigorously for a few minutes, it has something to do with the blood flow...if that didn’t work, then a leaf of boiled cabbage on the forehead never failed.” 
He smiled and stopped. “Well, try it.” He pulled up a chair in front of her and held out his thumbs. 
She blushed. She hadn’t meant that she should rub his thumbs, but he was there across from her, waiting. 
She reached forward, and with a firm grip clasped his thumbs and rubbed vigorously, while he leaned back and shut his eyes. She alternated between each thumb. It seemed natural to her to be touching him. 
“Do you know what it’s like to play God?” he asked abruptly. 
Startled, she didn’t know if he was really talking to her, but she replied, “No, sir, I don’t.”
“Well, I do, and it’s not pleasant, not pleasant at all... Today I’ve sent a man to the gas chamber – well, not me personally, but the jury.” 
“I’m sorry, sir,” she said quietly. 
“Stop saying ‘sir’ – my name’s William. The Judge...sir...that’s somebody else. I don’t feel like a judge right now. I never wanted to be a judge.” He opened his eyes and she drew back. 
“Do you know what it feels like to judge other people?” 
“No, si–” She stopped herself. “No, I don’t.” 
He looked down at her hands. “Don’t stop. By god, I think it helps!” He closed his eyes once more and held out his thumbs to her. The house was quiet. Somewhere a nightbird called; the ticking of the clock in the hall kept time in its steady rhythm, and Katherine felt the sound of their breathing in tune.

About the Author:

While living in England, Anne Steinberg’s first novel, Manroot was published by Headline Review in London. Manroot was heralded as an important first novel in 1994 and included in the Headline Review’s prestigious “Fiction without Frontiers,” a new wave of contemporary fiction that knows no limits. Eight modern storytellers were featured: Anne Steinberg, Margaret Atwood, Iain Banks, William Gibson, Peter Hoeg, Roddy Doyle, and E. Annie Proulx. It was an auspicious beginning to a long and varied career for Anne Steinberg, who went on to write several acclaimed novels, Every Town Needs A Russian Tea Room, the story of a wealthy socialite who falls in love with a penniless young Russian immigrant who is haunted by a bizarre shameful secret, The Cuckoos Gift, First Hands, and An Eye For An Ear. She is also coauthor of The Fence, written with her grandson Nicholas Reuel Tolkien, the great grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien. Nicholas is a filmmaker, director, and published poet. The Fence is a chilling story of a magnificent Gothic fence forged by a despicable blacksmith and infused with evil.

Anne was a partner in the world famous vintage clothing store, Steinberg & Tolkien, on Kings Road in Chelsea. After a successful run for over 20 years, the shop closed, and she returned to the US. Approaching her eighty-second birthday, she now writes, reads, and studies antiques, American Indian history, animal welfare, mythology, and folklore legends.

For more about Manroot check out these sites!

AmazonGoodreads


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Shuffle Saturday (71): Rude

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:

Rude by MAGIC!

This song is just so, so catchy! Plus I have a theory about a certain book coming out this Tuesday that this song sort of reminds me of, so... Yeah, it's probably just wishful thinking. Still, great song!

What are you listening to?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

On Sale: Six Strings by Jen Sanya Williamson

Today I wanted to let you know that Six Strings by Jen Sanya Williamson will be on sale for just $0.99 until tomorrow! Six Strings is a YA/NA novel that features the fantasy aspect of time-traveling, and is the first in a six-part series. Get it now while it's on sale!

Riley Witt is running out of time.

Battling Alzheimer’s disease, Riley’s grandmother Mary suffers from memory loss, mood swings, and a tendency to wander off. When she moves in the summer before senior year, Riley has to face the reality that the one person she depends on most is slowly fading. Making matters worse, when Mary does remember the past, she tells tales of time travel and visions. As Mary’s version of the past gets more confused, Riley knows they are running out of time together.

But when Riley discovers a guitar belonging to a famous rock star in the back of her grandmother’s closet, the truth behind Mary’s tales finally comes out.

First, Riley learns that her dad is not her real dad. Her real father is the late music legend, Jonah Wolff. This revelation is almost more than Riley can handle. But then an even bigger secret is revealed.

Riley is also a sixth generation time traveler. She has the power to open six portals to the past, lines to her own life, which will answer questions she never thought to ask, and influence her future in the most unexpected ways.

SIX STRINGS tells the story of Riley’s first leap—the leap back to 1973—where she enters a world of music, long-lost family, and first love. Her adventure is all about discovering her past, understanding her present, and figuring out how to step into her future.

About the Author:

Jen Sanya Williamson is a graduate of the University of Arizona where she received a BA in creative writing. She spends most of her time with her junior high students, teaching and talking books. When not in a classroom, Jen is writing, watching TV shows from the ‘90s, or cheering on the Wildcats with her husband and children in her adopted hometown of Tucson, Arizona.

For more about Six Strings check out these sites!

AmazonB&NGoodreads


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

On Sale: Songs of Love and Death by George R.R. Martin

Just in time for Comic Con, the Songs of Love and Death anthology is on sale for just $1.99. The anthology, edited by George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones), features stories from some of the biggest names in sci-fi, fantasy, and romance, including Neil Gaiman, Jim Butcher, Diana Gabaldon, and more! This one's got something for everyone and plenty of new genres to try all for only $1.99!

Songs of Love and Death: All-Original Tales of Star-Crossed Love

In this star-studded cross-genre anthology, seventeen of the greatest modern authors of fantasy, science fiction, and romance explore the borderlands of their genres with brand-new tales of ill-fated love. From zombie-infested woods in a post-apocalyptic America to faery-haunted rural fields in eighteenth- century England, from the kingdoms of high fantasy to the alien world of a galaxy-spanning empire, these are stories of lovers who must struggle against the forces of magic and fate.


Award-winning, bestselling author Neil Gaiman demonstrates why he’s one of the hottest stars in literature today with “The Thing About Cassandra,” a subtle but chilling story of a man who meets an old girlfriend he had never expected to see.

International blockbuster bestselling author Diana Gabaldon sends a World War II RAF pilot through a stone circle to the time of her Outlander series in “A Leaf on the Winds of All Hallows.” Torn from all he knows, Jerry MacKenzie determinedly survives hardship and danger, intent on his goal of returning home to his wife and baby—no matter the cost.

New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher presents “Love Hurts,” in which Harry Dresden takes on one of his deadliest adversaries and in the process is forced to confront the secret desires of his own heart.

Just the smallest sampling promises unearthly delights, but look also for stories by New York Times bestselling romance authors Jo Beverley and Mary Jo Putney, and by such legends of the fantasy genre as Peter S. Beagle and Tanith Lee, as well as many other popular and beloved writers, including Marjorie M. Liu, Jacqueline Carey, Carrie Vaughn, and Robin Hobb. This exquisite anthology, crafted by the peerless editing team of George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, is sure to leave you under its spell.

Discover the many realms of the heart with this extraordinary cast of acclaimed authors:

PETER S. BEAGLE

JO BEVERLEY

JIM BUTCHER

JACQUELINE CAREY

DIANA GABALDON

NEIL GAIMAN

YASMINE GALENORN

M.L.N. HANOVER

ROBIN HOBB

CECELIA HOLLAND

TANITH LEE

MARJORIE M. LIU

MARY JO PUTNEY

LINNEA SINCLAIR

MELINDA SNODGRASS

LISA TUTTLE

CARRIE VAUGHN

For more about Songs of Love and Death check these sites!

AmazonB&NGoodreads


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Teaser Tuesday (84): Rebel Nation by Shaunta Grimes

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

This week's teaser comes from Rebel Nation by Shaunta Grimes. Viral Nation was one of my favorite books of last year, so it's no surprise I've been dying to read the sequel. I haven't gotten too far in yet, but I love Clover and the rest of her gang of Freaks so much, that I'll be ripping through this book in no time! Also, this book cover is absolutely gorgeous in person. Just a very important fact I thought I'd share with you ;)

Jude picked up Clover's hand. Not here, he thought, and hoped she could read his mind. She threaded her fingers through his instead of letting go, which made him smile.

{Rebel Nation, pg. 44}

Synopsis of Rebel Nation:

Sixteen years ago, a plague wiped out nearly all of humanity. The Company’s vaccine stopped the virus’s spread, but society was irrevocably changed. Those remaining live behind impenetrable city walls, taking daily doses of virus suppressant and relying on The Company for continued protection. They don’t realize that everything they’ve been told is a lie…

Clover Donovan didn’t set out to start a revolution—quiet, autistic, and brilliant, she’s always followed the rules. But that was before they forced her into service for the Time Mariners. Before they condemned her brother to death, compelling him to flee the city to survive. Before she discovered terrifying secrets about The Company.

Clover and the Freaks, her ragtag resistance group, are doing their best to spread the rebellion and stay under The Company’s radar. But when their hideout is discovered, they are forced, once again, to run. Only this time, The Company has special plans for Clover, plans that could risk her life and stop the uprising in its tracks…

For more about Rebel Nation check out these sites!

AmazonB&N • Goodreads


Monday, July 21, 2014

Get It Now: Rise Up Volumes One & Two: Indie Authors Against Cancer – A Benefit Collection

Today I'm honored to be helping spread the word for a wonderful cause and an amazing collection of stories. A group of indie authors have come together and created the Rise Up anthology to help a fellow blogger who has been diagnosed with cancer. To help out during this stressful time, these authors are donating all of the proceeds from Rise Up Volumes 1 & 2 to Stephanie and her family. 

Check out the anthology below and, whether you decide to purchase the collection or not, keep Stephanie and her family in your thoughts, along with the amazing group of authors who put all of this together.

Rise Up Volumes One & Two: Indie Authors Against Cancer–A Benefit Collection:

“We all know how fragile life is, especially when faced with a life threatening illness.” ~ Nic, Flirty and Dirty Book Blog.

Fiction introduced us. Reality binds us together.

Stephanie Thomas—co-founder of The Indie Bookshelf—has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer called glioblastoma. Stephanie isn’t only a blogger; she’s a loving wife, and mother to three young boys.

In the independent author community, we have an extraordinary network of fellow authors, and readers. A special group of people who bridge this gap—helping authors connect with readers—is book bloggers. These men and women dedicate hours upon hours to reading and reviewing our works, and spreading the word to help us reach new readers.

Now, one of these women needs our help. 100% of the proceeds of the Rise Up anthology (volumes one and two) will go directly to Stephanie and her family to help them on this unexpected leg of their journey together.

Inside the pages of this collection, you’ll find amazing works of fiction. But please remember the reality, and help support Stephanie and her family.



Included in Volume One of this collection are the following novels:


* 1. What Happens Tomorrow - Elle Michaels

* 2. Insipid - Christine Brae

* 3. Bouquet Toss - Melissa Brown

* 4. Can't Go Home - Angelisa Stone

* 5. Point of Submission - Remy Landon

* 6. Breakaway - Lindsay Paige and Mary Smith

* 7. A Love by Any Measure - Killian McRae

* 8. Discovering Lucy - Laura Dunaway

* 9. Something's Come Up - Andrea Randall and Michelle Pace

* 10. By A Thread - RL Griffin

* 11. Honest Love - CM Hutton

* 12. Serendipity - Stacey Bentley

* 13. Haven from the Storm - Sarah Dosher

* 14. Damaged - Nina D'Angelo



Included in Volume Two of this collection are the following novels:


* 1. Always There - Carol Ann Albright-Eastman

* 2. Republic - Charles Sheehan-Miles

* 3. Seeds of Hate - Melissa Perea

* 4. In The Fields - Willow Aster

* 5. Bar Crawl - Andrea Randall

* 6. Totaled - Stacey Grice

* 7. Running from Forever - Ashley Wilcox

* 8. Crossing Paths - Melanie Stinnet

* 9. Going Home - Rhonda Dennis

* 10. Never Goodbye - Kerri Williams

* 11. Without Boundaries - CJ Azevedo

* 12. Binds - Rebecca Espinoza

* 13. The Forgotten Ones - Laura Howard

Rise Up Trailer:


For more about the Rise Up collection check out these sites!

Volume One: AmazonKoboGoogle PlayiBooksGoodreads

Volume Two: AmazonKobo • Google Play • iBooks • Goodreads


Friday, July 18, 2014

Review: Come Back to Me by Mila Gray

Title: Come Back to Me
Author: Mila Gray
Publisher: Pan Macmillion
Publish Date: June, 19th, 2014
Rating:

Home on leave in sunny California, Marine and local lothario Kit Ryan finds himself dangerously drawn to his best friend's sister, Jessa - the one girl he can't have.

But Kit's not about to let a few obstacles stand in his way and soon Jessa's falling for his irresistible charms.

What starts out as a summer romance of secret hook-ups and magical first times quickly develops into a passionate love affair that turns both their worlds upside down.

When summer's over and it's time for Kit to redeploy, neither Kit nor Jessa are ready to say goodbye. Jessa's finally following her dreams and Kit's discovered there's someone he'd sacrifice everything for.

Jessa's prepared to wait for Kit no matter what. But when something more than distance and time rips them apart they're forced to decide whether what they have is really worth fighting for.

A breathtaking, scorchingly hot story about love, friendship, family and finding your way back from the edge of heartbreak.

Come Back To Me by Mila Gray—pen name of Sarah Alderson, author of Hunting Lila—is a fast read, mostly because it's impossible to put down. It's addictive, and may also cause tears, lots and lots of tears. It's told through the alternating points of view of Jessa, a recent high school graduate, and Kit, her brother's best friend. Kit and Jessa's romance is the kind of bittersweet tale I've come to except from good New Adult novels and if crying into the pages of a book because "it's just not fair!" is something you enjoy–Don't lie. We all do it and we all love it–then Come Back to Me is a must read.

The story starts off quickly enough with Jessa and Kit admitting to having feelings for each other and deciding to enter into a secret romance so as not to anger her overbearing father or her overprotective brother, Riley, who also happens to be Kit's best friend. I really loved how Jessa and Kit falling in love with one another takes up a great deal of the book. No insta-love here. You could feel the tension coming off of these two from the get-go, but it morphs and evolves into something so much more than that. Jessa and Kit's romance is the starry eyed kind, all sparkly and innocent. And, while that's not usually my cup of tea, it's sweet. Until things happen and we see their adorable romance turn into a total tearjerker. It's probably easier to list the chapters I didn't cry during, but that was just part of Come Back to Me's charm.

One of my favorite parts about Come Back to Me was that Kit, while being a Marine with some very heavy stuff weighing on him, never becomes the angry, possessive bastard hero of so many New Adult novels. He's a hurt, lost, young man who is going through something awful, something palpable and real. And I loved the way people rallied around him—even people he never would have expected—to help him get through such a devastating experience. I have to give Jessa some love here too. Though she's docile and obedient around her father, when she's with Kit it's like someone lit a fire under her. That's what I loved the most, how Kit came into Jessa's world and fundamentally helped her in a way no one else could, just by loving her. There was only one moment I can recall that made me a little angry with Jessa, and while she was totally within her rights to feel the way she did, I just couldn't get behind her decision to react the way she did. Vague, I know, but I don't want to give anything away. Let's just say Kit and Jessa have quite a few obstacles to leap before they're finally able to make it back to each other.

If you're like me and like your New Adult romances to be gritty and real, while still being sweet and not just tamed down erotica, then Come Back to Me is the book you've been waiting for. That being said, there is still sex in this book. So if that's not your thing, then be warned. But Gray does somehow manage to keep things in hand while still serving up the heat with her first foray into New Adult. I could list so many other reasons to read Come Back to Me, but instead I'm just going to point you below to the but links and give you a meaningful wink. (*wink, wink*)

For more about Come Back to Me check out these sites!

Amazon • Goodreads


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Review: Child of a Hidden Sea by A.M. Dellamonica

Title: Child of a Hidden Sea
Author: A.M. Dellamonica
Publisher: Tor Books
Publish Date: June 24th, 2014
Rating:

One minute, twenty-four-year-old Sophie Hansa is in a San Francisco alley trying to save the life of the aunt she has never known. The next, she finds herself flung into the warm and salty waters of an unfamiliar world. Glowing moths fall to the waves around her, and the sleek bodies of unseen fish glide against her submerged ankles.

The world is Stormwrack, a series of island nations with a variety of cultures and economies—and a language different from any Sophie has heard.

Sophie doesn't know it yet, but she has just stepped into the middle of a political firestorm, and a conspiracy that could destroy a world she has just discovered… her world, where everyone seems to know who she is, and where she is forbidden to stay.

But Sophie is stubborn, and smart, and refuses to be cast adrift by people who don't know her and yet wish her gone. With the help of a sister she has never known, and a ship captain who would rather she had never arrived, she must navigate the shoals of the highly charged politics of Stormwrack, and win the right to decide for herself whether she stays in this wondrous world . . . or is doomed to exile.

Child of a Hidden Sea by A.M. Dellamonica is an adult fantasy set in both the fantasy world of Stormwrack and modern day San Francisco. Sophie, the main character, is a twenty four year old videographer who suddenly—mysteriously—finds herself in a place that may or may not be earth with a long lost aunt who wants nothing to do with her. I don't usually read adult fantasy, but this one caught my eye and I'm so glad it did. Child of a Hidden Sea was an amazing fantasy filled with pirates, tall ships, and magic. And I couldn't get enough!

I was worried at first that I might not enjoy Child of a Hidden Sea as much as I wanted to. I liked the first chapter, and it left me dying to know more, but things seemed to happen fast and there wasn't much description to the action scenes. There was plenty of world building, but I felt there wasn't a lot of time to get to know the characters. Thankfully that changed pretty quickly and the story took off.

Sophie didn't have much personality at first despite being insatiably curious, which was initially part of the problem for me not being able to get into the story. She just seemed a little blah. But as the story progresses it's easy to see how fiercely loyal she is, and brave, and just an all around nice person. I really enjoyed how her personality really came out once her foster brother Bram and long lost half sister Verena entered the picture. I especially loved Sophie's developing relationship with Verena because it feels so real. The two don't know each other, and Verena is jealous of Sophie, but not unfriendly. And Sophie does everything she can to curb Verena's obvious jealousy. Sophie is also pretty great with all of the side characters. She's sweet and caring when she wants to be, brazen when she sees fit. I also loved how Dellamonica manages to let Sophie be insecure without making her come off too whiny. She's a strong female character, but she's not a perfect character. She is, however, a character you can't help but root for.

Then there's Parrish. This guy is a captain, you guys. A captain! With a pig plumed hat and everything! He's honorable and intelligent and kind. He's also completely loyal, just like Sophie. I really loved him and how slowly the romance between him and Sophie was taken (there's some major chemistry going on there, but not a whole lot of action, unfortunately). I felt he sort of got the short end of the stick at the end of the book, which is why I'm hoping there's a sequel in which we see a whole lot more of Parrish.

I really enjoyed the murder mystery/political agenda parts of the book, even though I wasn't sure it would hold my attention. A world in which honor and reputation is more important than, I don't know, evidence in a murder investigation? Not exactly the most intelligent or reliable legal system, but it did make for some interesting challenges for Sophie and her friends. It wasn't too hard to see which direction the story was headed, but there were a few obstacles that I didn't exactly see coming. Still, the story kept me entertained from beginning to end and I'd read a sequel in an instant. Which I hope will happen sooner rather than later since this book felt like an introduction to a series.

Fans of fantasy or just anyone who loves a good pirate... ahem, story, should read Child of a Hidden Sea. I really hope that there will be a sequel, because by the end of the book I'd fallen in love with all of the characters. I can't wait to see what comes next for Sophie and the others!

For more about Child of a Hidden Sea check out these sites!

AmazonB&NGoodreads


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Teaser Tuesday (83): Come Back to Me by Mila Gray

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

This week's teaser is from Come Back to Me by Mila Gray (a.k.a. Sarah Alderson , author of Hunting Lila). This is her first New Adult novel and I'm really enjoying it so far. I'm about halfway through this one and it's difficult to put down. The pages are turning fast and furious and I'm barely even aware because Kit and Jessa are just too cute. But I know the other shoe's about to drop any time now and I'm so nervous. Just read the synopsis and you'll understand. Or, better yet, check out the teasers below!

Memories, images, words flicker through my mind like scratched fragments of film: Kit's arms around my waist drawing me closer, our first kiss under the cover of darkness just by the back door, the smile on his face the first time we slept together, the blue of his eyes lit up by the sparks from a Chinese lantern, the fierceness in his voice when he told me he was going to love me forever.

Come back to me. That was the very last thing I said to him. Come back to me.

{Come Back to Me, pg. 3}

Kit," I say, licking my fingers. "You're going to make someone a great husband one day."

He smiles and rolls me onto my back, holding me by the wrists.

"How about boyfriend?" he asks.

{Come Back to Me, pg. 129}

Synopsis of Come Back to Me:

Home on leave in sunny California, Marine and local lothario Kit Ryan finds himself dangerously drawn to his best friend's sister, Jessa - the one girl he can't have.

But Kit's not about to let a few obstacles stand in his way and soon Jessa's falling for his irresistible charms.

What starts out as a summer romance of secret hook-ups and magical first times quickly develops into a passionate love affair that turns both their worlds upside down.

When summer's over and it's time for Kit to redeploy, neither Kit nor Jessa are ready to say goodbye. Jessa's finally following her dreams and Kit's discovered there's someone he'd sacrifice everything for.

Jessa's prepared to wait for Kit no matter what. But when something more than distance and time rips them apart they're forced to decide whether what they have is really worth fighting for.

A breathtaking, scorchingly hot story about love, friendship, family and finding your way back from the edge of heartbreak.

For more about Come Back to Me check out these sites!

AmazonGoodreads


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

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Shuffle Saturday (70): Jungle

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:

Jungle by Jamie N Commons & X Ambassadors

I got this song free a couple of weeks ago on iTunes and I just really like it. It's a song you can't help but nod along to while it's on.

What are you listening to?

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