Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Release Day Launch + Giveaway: Three Broken Promises by Monica Murphy



Blurb:

Breakout New Adult sensation Monica Murphy returns with a hot new contemporary romance—a heartfelt story of second chances, forgiveness, and redemption.

Commitment. That’s what I really want from Colin. Ever since my brother, Danny, died in Iraq, Colin’s done so much to help me, including giving me a job at his popular restaurant so I can leave my crappy waitressing job at the strip joint. But lying in bed with him every night to comfort him from his horrible nightmares isn’t enough anymore. I know he feels guilty about Danny’s death, about not going to Iraq, but I can’t keep living this double life.

I love him desperately, but he’s got so many demons, and if he can’t open up to me now, then he’ll never be the real partner I need him to be. I gave him a month, and now I’m out of here. If he truly loves me like he says, he knows where to find me.

Get it here:


Excerpt:

“You’re going to turn me away yet again, aren’t you?” she asks when I don’t say anything. The irritation in her voice rings clear as her entire body goes tense. “I can’t believe it. I offer myself up to you with no strings attached and you’re trying to figure out how to let me down easy. God, I am such a moron.”

Unable to hold myself back, I rush toward her, angry that she would insult herself. Panicked that she really is going to walk away and I’m going to lose my chance. Thinking too much sucks. I need to just let it happen. Take this opportunity that she’s presenting me.

And let her go when our time is up.

“You’re not a moron,” I murmur, reaching for her. I cup her face in my hands and position her so she has no choice but to meet my gaze. I skim my thumbs across her cheeks, feel her shudder at my touch. “You make an offer like that and a man needs to process it first.”

The unshed tears still glimmer in her eyes and one escapes, leaving a damp trail across her skin. Leaning in, I stop its descent with my lips, tasting the salt, hearing the catch in her breath. “We do this and it’s not going to be some half-assed thing, you know,” I whisper.

She closes her eyes, her tears tangled in her long, thick lashes. “What’s it going to be, then?”

“A discovery.” I nuzzle her nose with my own, breathing in her scent, her very essence. God, I could devour her! It’s taking everything within me to keep calm and not unleash all over her. “An exploration.”

“That sounds like . . . research.” Her breath hitches in her throat when I drop a tender kiss on the tip of her nose.

Chuckling, I shake my head. “It’s the farthest thing from research.” I drift my lips across her cheek, blazing a hot path on her petal-soft skin. “You’re right when you said I don’t do commitment. The closest thing I’ve ever been to commitment is . . . what I share with you.”

She tentatively places her hands on my hips, her fingers curling into the waistband of my jeans. Having her hands on me sends little darts of fire throughout my insides, making me harden in an instant. She has no idea what sort of effect she has on me. How much restraint I’m using at this very moment not to throw her over my shoulder like an oversexed caveman and cart her off to my bedroom.

“But it can be no more than friendship with added . . . benefits.” I lift my head so I can look into her troubled gaze. She doesn’t like what I have to say and I don’t like it either, but I have to be honest. Stringing her along and making her believe this is something more is a mistake.

The two of us together would never work. I’m too damn selfish. I’d disappoint her. I’d hold her back when she needs her freedom. I’m not worthy of her. She’s everything sweet and good in my life, where there’s little sweet and good remaining.

I’ve kept her—and our relationship—as pure as possible even after all of these years. With the realization that she’s leaving me, that we’ll never be together again, I need to take my opportunities where I can.
Jen bites her lip and drops her gaze. “I can handle that.”

Her body language is more than telling me she doesn’t really want to handle that, but I can’t worry about it now.

I want her too damn much.


About the author: 
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Monica Murphy is a native Californian who lives in the foothills below Yosemite. A wife and mother of three, she writes New Adult and contemporary romance for Bantam and Avon. She is the author of One Week Girlfriend and Second Chance Boyfriend.

Check her out:
Website: http://www.monicamurphyauthor.com/#
Blog: http://missmonicamurphy.blogspot.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MsMonicaMurphy
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MonicaMurphyauthor
Author Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5934418.Monica_Murphy
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Monica-Murphy/e/B00AVPYIGG
THREE BROKEN PROMISES Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17969384-three-broken-promises?ac=1

GIVEAWAY!


Monday, December 30, 2013

Blog Tour + Giveaway: A Little Broken by Juli Valenti

A Little Broken
By- Juli Valenti
Genre- Contemporary Romance

Blurb:
Jessie Braden thought she had it all. A husband, a new baby – her life was on course, exactly what she always wanted…Until one day, she loses everything.

Ruined and broken, she’s left alone to pick up the pieces of her life. Unable to cope, she spontaneously packs up and moves across the country, hoping that new scenery will help.

Once in sunny Florida, she finds an apartment and a job but while Jessie is surviving, she isn’t living…until one night she meets someone. Dominick.

Desperate for an escape from the pain of her memories, she relents to his unerring determination and agrees to spend time with him.

Through his patience and understanding, she will learn that she’s not ruined…she’s just a little broken.

Get it here:

Excerpt:

The sun shining through the window woke Jessie. According to the bedside clock, iit was six in the morning. She’d only been asleep for about three hours since the nightmare episode that Dominick rescued her from. His arms were still around her, his face buried in her hair as he slept. She became aware that he was aroused, hard, and pressing into her backside. She squirmed a bit, and he groaned, shifting to pull her tighter against him.
            She lifted one of his arms so she could turn in his embrace. He looked so lovely to her, his hair rumpled with sleep, mouth open slightly as he breathed. Stretching, she reached up to kiss him softly on the lips. He stirred then, and opened his eyes. He closed them again, but captured her lips with his. His kiss was gentle at first, a mere brush of lips. His hand came up to cradle her face, holding her, and he deepened it. She opened without any prompting and his tongue brushed hers, reigniting the flames that had only dimmed inside her the night before.
            Dominick moved abruptly, rolling her flat, holding himself above her. His hand moved through her hair, caressing it as he continued to kiss her, his body molding against hers. As his erection brushed her, she arched into him, a moan escaping her lips only to be eaten by his mouth. He groaned, his hand releasing her hair, trailing her neck, her shoulder, and finding her breast. He squeezed, finding her nipple and rolling it with his fingers.
            Breaking the kiss, he said, “Jessie, tell me to stop. I want you, God, I do, but you’re not ready.” His voice was pained, pleading with her to say no. The problem was, she didn’t want to say no. His hand on her, his body against hers, was amazing.
            “Don’t. I don’t want you to stop. Please, make me forget,” her words came out breathless as he kissed her neck.
            “Damn, Jessie.” Only two words, but Jessie felt them to her core. She’d known that he’d wanted her, the evidence was plain to see, and feel, but those uttered words told her more than his body ever could have.
            Pushing up on her arms, she pulled her borrowed tank top off, throwing it carelessly on the floor. She fought the urge to cover her breasts as she lowered herself back down, instead choosing to wrap her arms around his neck, dragging him back down with her. She locked her mouth to his, taking the lead this time: her tongue explored his mouth, ran across his teeth. They became all mouths and lips, tongues and teeth. He nibbled her lip as he pressed his erection against her, rubbing against her. She couldn’t help arching her hips up, meeting his, grinding into him. A small gasp escaped her throat, unbidden.
            His hand trailed a path down her side, grazing her pronounced ribcage. She winced inwardly, hoping that he wouldn’t notice how badly her bones protruded, but he didn’t stop in his quest. His hand continued its path, past her hip, and down to her leg. As he brought his hand back up, it slipped under the light cotton of her boxers. He raised his hips off her, allowing room for his fingers to graze her folds softly, teasing her. As his hand reached her wet warmth, he groaned.



About the author:
Juli Valenti grew up in Arkansas and currently resides in Florida with her husband and two boys. Working a full time job, as well as owning her own editing company, along with a full time family, her life is crazy but she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Juli is currently working on several other true-life inspired novels.

Check her out:
Facebook- www.facebook.com/authorjulivalenti
Twitter- www.twitter.com/thejulivalenti
Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7214633.Juli_Valenti

GIVEAWAY!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Blog Tour: Nothing Personal by Rosalind James


Contemporary Romance
Date Published: 10/18/2013

The Kincaids Book #2
By the author of the bestselling Escape to New Zealand series--

When you wish upon a star . . . 

Blurb:
Alec Kincaid has never met the obstacle he couldn’t overcome—or the woman who could resist him. And it’s not going to happen now, not with his star shining more brightly than ever in the high-stakes arena of San Francisco’s software industry.



Desiree Harlin doesn’t believe in fairy tales, and she doesn’t waste time wishing. She’s learned the hard way that dreams don’t come true. And with her reputation and hard-won security on the line, succumbing to temptation isn’t an option. 



But things aren’t always what they seem. And even stars sometimes fall.

Get it here: Amazon


Excerpt:
She’d spooned up every bit of the rich broth, the chunks of beef and vegetables, had dipped a second and then a third piece of bread in olive oil. Alec had watched it all without comment, while dispatching his own dinner with an alacrity that confirmed to Desiree that he really hadn’t had dinner yet tonight. 

And when they’d finished, he’d insisted, together with Giuseppe—of course the waiter’s name was Giuseppe, because this wasn’t romantic enough, the white tablecloth and the single red rose and the candle and the worn brick against her shoulder—he’d insisted that she order cannoli for dessert.

“Just one,” he coaxed. “If you don’t want it, you don’t have to eat a single bite. But I think you need to taste whipped cream tonight.”

“Don’t you think she needs some whipped cream?” he demanded of the waiter, who smiled back at him, sensing, Desiree thought through a satisfied haze of red wine, succulent beef, and way too much potent testosterone, a truly magnificent tip. 

“Definitely, the signorina needs whipped cream,” Giuseppe agreed. “And we have the best.”

She wasn’t sure how you had better whipped cream than anyone else, but when the dessert arrived, she had to concede that this was the best.

Amaretto, one still-sane corner of her practical brain suggested, but that sensible voice was drowned out, oh so rapidly, by the sensation on her tongue, the silky smoothness of cream, the almond sweetness of the liqueur, the delicate drift of pastry and the deep dark pleasure of chocolate. And Alec, watching her as she allowed the rich concoction to drift between her lips, over her tongue, down her throat. Watching her, enjoying the sight of her enjoying herself, as if it were his tongue. His throat. 

By the time he’d slapped a hand against the door of the cab that had again been waiting when they’d stepped out of the restaurant’s front door, leaped back onto the sidewalk and raised that same hand in farewell, she’d been so lost in fatigue, wine, and lust that she could only sit back against the scarred leather and thank heaven that she hadn’t actually kissed him. Or begged him. 


About the author:
Rosalind James is the author of the Kindle-bestselling "Escape to New Zealand" series (currently five titles strong), as well as the new U.S.-based "Kincaids" series. Her first book,"Just This Once," has sold tens of thousands of copies in the year since it was published, eventually reaching #85 in the Amazon store. A marketing professional and publishing industry veteran, Rosalind has lived all over the United States and in a number of other countries, traveling with her civil engineer husband. Most recently, she spent several years in Australia and New Zealand, where she fell in love with the people, the landscape, and the culture of both countries. She loves trying new things in her writing, most recently the mystery and suspense in "Nothing Personal."

Rosalind credits her rapid success to the fact that “lots of people would like to escape to New Zealand! I know I did!” 

Check her out:
Website: http://www.rosalindjames.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rosalindjamesbooks

Twitter: @rosalindjames5

Friday, December 27, 2013

Review + Blog Tour: Skin Deep by Megan D. Martin



Title:  Skin Deep
Author:  Megan D. Martin
Series:  #1 of The Eternal Forces
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
Publisher:  Dragonfairy Press
Expected Release Date:   November 2013
Blurb:

What would you do to have the body of your dreams?

Kiera hates being overweight and hides behind thick layers of clothing. One night, her friends present an opportunity that seems impossible to believe. With a single spell, she can have the thin physique she's always coveted.

But all magic comes with a price: no sex or she'll revert back to her old body. Kiera accepts the cost. It's not like she has men lined up at her door. Obeying this one tiny rule isn't difficult at all—until the night she meets Cain, a were-tiger and a soldier with the Eternal Forces.

When a slew of unexplained murders forces Kiera and Cain together, they'll have to face the horrors of their pasts. Will Kiera realize she is worth more than her outward appearance? Or will she make the wrong the choice and lose everything—including her life?




Review:

Kiera is a young but overweight hairdresser in the coastal town of Kittery, ME. After running from a horrible past that almost killed her she ended up here by literally picking a flight and just leaving. Her friends, in an attempt to make her happy, come up with an idea to give her what she has always wanted, a new body. Bettina, a Gypsy, will give her the hot and sexy body with only one catch. She can't have sex or her body goes back to the way she has before the spell. Seems like a perfect scenario for Kiera, considering the way she feels about men in general after everything that she has gone through. However, life doesn't always play it fair. After being introduced to Cain and all the paranormal creatures that are walking around that humans like her don't know about, can she resist him and keep her new body? Or is it worth losing it for something bigger?

First off, I loved Kiera. She has self-esteem issues, but I challenge anyone who has survived all the ebs and flows her life has taken her on in her short life to not have issues. She was stronger than she gave herself credit for and I think at the end of the story started to realize what she has inside of her. She is kind and loyal, even the Weres saw that from the very beginning. I was a little confused by her attraction to Cain. Of course he is gorgeous and at times extremely kind to her, however he was all male. His Were-tiger tendencies should have scared more. He was dominant and Alpha, something that should have triggered way more fear because it was the same thing Roth did to her. I did get the fact that he wasn't Roth and he had a gentle and kind side to him that showed through more than her ex did, but I thought it was a little weird that she accepted him much more than I expected and was more concerned with her body than what he would do to her heart.

That being said, their romance was hot and heavy from the beginning and you could feel the heat coming off the page between these two. The world that the supernaturals lived in was fascinating and diverse. There were so many races and people and social structure going on that it was obviously going to be difficult packing everything into one story so I was left wanting to know more about all of them and the world they lived in. Bitten vs. Born, Gypsy Vs. Witches, different types of Weres, plus a whole monarchy and people that were millenniums old? I want to know more about this world so much that I hope this story continues and we get to know the characters here more personally. Cain and Kiera was a hot start to something I'm really looking forward to taking off into something amazing!- My Opinion- Buy it!


About the Author
Megan D. Martin is a multi-published author, mother, student and editor. In her spare time she enjoys decorating her house with strange things that do not match, playing her old school Nintendo Entertainment System, and buying fish for her many fish tanks.

You can find Megan on pretty much every social networking site that exists.

Vine: Meeegann
 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Blog Tour + Giveaway: The Blood Crave Series by Christina Channelle


Dahlia
Series-Blood Crave Book # 1
By- Christina Channelle
Publication Date- December 21,2012 
Genre- YA Paranormal 

Blurb:
What would you do if your dreams were more than just dreams?

When you knew in the depths of your soul that you were unlike the rest?

For seventeen-year-old Dahlia Winters, this is her truth. Her coping mechanism is to simply forget and deny the strangeness that is her life. Orphaned, her past remains a mystery. Now residing with a foster family, she finally feels normal--or attempts to. Yet, dreams continue to torment her. Not only consumed by visions of miraculously healing wounds, but of a lust for something she should never naturally crave.

Then a green-eyed stranger enters her life echoing her inner thoughts and voicing warnings about others wanting to harm her. He knows things about her that no one should possibly know, and he awakens her in ways she never expected.

This leads Dahlia to discover who she really is, for she is more than justhuman. With this newfound knowledge, and the elements suddenly fighting against her, she finds it hard to trust anyone. And as she finally awakens and comes to grips with the power she possesses, she fights to stay alive.

Before the world, as she knows it, ceases to exist.
Dahlia will be on sale for 99 cents all month long!!
Get it here:



Fallen Tears
Series-Blood Crave # 1.5 
By- Christina Channelle
Genre- YA Paranormal 
Publication Date- January 25, 2013

Blurb:
We left off from DAHLIA with only a name--a name that is the next piece to the puzzle. A name that will eventually, "lead us to him." But before we delve into the continuation of the Blood Crave Series, let's answer the question that's been on all our minds.

Who is Rowan?

This 21,000 word novella answers that question, and of how Rowan has come to know the vampire with pitch-black eyes.

Get it here:


Rowan
Series- Blood Crave Series # 2 
By- Christina Channelle
Publication Date- April 1, 2013
Genre- YA Paranormal

Blurb:
Dark. Night. Death.

Things Rowan has been trying to avoid for the many years since she was first turned. Her choice: to sleep away the darkness; it beats having to deal with the craziness of life. Or rather, death. However soon after awakening, she stumbles upon a lone figure whose presence is shrouded with mystery.

She assists him in his search for answers making it even more difficult for Rowan to forget her past. She realizes she can’t hide forever as she is literally being sucked back into her chaotic world: a world where both fallen angels and vampires exist, manifested on earth as lapsus and lamia.

Not particularly … friendly with one another.

Rowan struggles to resist her hunger as a demon vampire while dealing with unwanted desires for a fallen angel from the past: a relationship that could only spell trouble. Not to mention the unresolved feelings she still has for a loved one from long ago.

While all of this is happening, they must all seek the hidden evil that hunts them—for there’s an ancient fighting to wake up and destroy everything Rowan holds dear.

Get it here:


About the author:
A dreamer, Christina Channelle holds two degrees in health sciences but has always had a passion for writing. You will find her reading other young adult novels, or typing up a new story on her computer. When not writing, Christina spends her free time at the movies, listening to music, or eating sushi. She’s a reality TV junkie and has a close relationship with many characters on TV that have been a topic of many heated discussions among friends. She resides in Ontario, Canada.

Check her out:
Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6862036.Christina_Channelle
Twitter- https://twitter.com/channellewrites
Website- http://channellewrites.wordpress.com/
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/ChristinaChannelle

Christina was also kind of enough to answer a quick top ten list for me just for my little blog! 
This is her Top Ten Books of All Time:
That’s a difficult list to come up with as I’ve read and loved so many books since childhood. Here’s a list of some books I’ve read lately and have fallen in love with.

1) Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

2) Escapism by Maria Dee

3) American Girl on Saturn by Nikki Godwin

4) Fire Country by David Estes

5) Being Plumville by Savannah J. Frierson

6) The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

7) The Edge of Never by J. A. Redmerski

8) Mutilate My Heart by Emily Godwin

9) POWERED by Cheyanne Young

10) Progress by Amy Queau

GIVEAWAY!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Review: A Christmas Fling: A Magical Tale of Romance and Adventure by Beth Barany


Blurb:
What if falling in love put the life you cherished in jeopardy?

Dahlia, a Santa’s Elf, has 21 days left before Christmas to create the best toy in the world without using magic or revealing her true identity. Stuck on how to complete the prototype, and working as a temp in San Francisco’s financial district with no time for love, will her innocent Christmas fling get her unstuck, or will she turn her back on her beloved career for her heart?

Liam, an up-and-coming financial analyst, swore off women after getting dumped by the love of his life. He just found out his ex is going to the company Christmas party with his rival Michael Hendricks. Up for promotion against Hendricks, Liam has to win the favor of his boss. His best bet is to invite the vivacious secretary Dahlia to the party. Will Dahlia be a welcome distraction, or will she turn his life upside down? What if falling in love put the life you cherished in jeopardy?

Dahlia, a Santa’s Elf, has 21 days left before Christmas to create the best toy in the world without using magic or revealing her true identity. Stuck on how to complete the prototype, and working as a temp in San Francisco’s financial district with no time for love, will her innocent Christmas fling get her unstuck, or will she turn her back on her beloved career for her heart?

Liam, an up-and-coming financial analyst, swore off women after getting dumped by the love of his life. He just found out his ex is going to the company Christmas party with his rival Michael Hendricks. Up for promotion against Hendricks, Liam has to win the favor of his boss. His best bet is to invite the vivacious secretary Dahlia to the party. Will Dahlia be a welcome distraction, or will she turn his life upside down? What if falling in love put the life you cherished in jeopardy?

Dahlia, a Santa’s Elf, has 21 days left before Christmas to create the best toy in the world without using magic or revealing her true identity. Stuck on how to complete the prototype, and working as a temp in San Francisco’s financial district with no time for love, will her innocent Christmas fling get her unstuck, or will she turn her back on her beloved career for her heart?

Liam, an up-and-coming financial analyst, swore off women after getting dumped by the love of his life. He just found out his ex is going to the company Christmas party with his rival Michael Hendricks. Up for promotion against Hendricks, Liam has to win the favor of his boss. His best bet is to invite the vivacious secretary Dahlia to the party. Will Dahlia be a welcome distraction, or will she turn his life upside down?


Review:

I can't resist an adorable love story that is Christmas themed this time of year. Dahlia and Liam's fascinating Christmas fling turns into something neither one of the expect, or for that matter, wanted. However these two worked-consumed individuals learn what true love feels like and how seeing isn't always believing. Dahlia, for instance, is an elf. That's right an elf. She is in San Francisco for her year abroad, the time where an elf spends around humans to learn their culture and inspiration for their personal toy they create to become a Master Elf and be a part of Santa's creative team.

Now, before I lose you thinking this is a weird tale of elves, Santa and reindeer, it isn't. In fact the whole story seemed very grounded and easy to believe throughout. For me, that's always a concern when you are talking about something as incredibly niche like Santa's elves because a lot of stories are incredibly corny and more towards the comical side so when you are talking about a romance novella, I had my doubts. However the author does a wonderful job of creating a character who is someone normal which extraordinary details, rather than a character that is outrageous and falls in love. Dahlia was quirky and adorable and very convincing as a young girl falling in love for the first time but still has her own dreams.

To Dahlia's quirkiness, Liam is the serious and anti-love kind of guy. It was refreshing to see the man in the pair being the one that has had his heart broken and isn't interested in love instead of the girl being that way. Not to ramble on about a novella, this story made me smile in this most wonderful time of year. If you're looking for a quick but love filled story to read this Christmas, pick up A Christmas Fling: A Magical Tale of Romance and Adventure .- My Opinion- Buy it! 

Get it here:

Check out the author too! Website / Email- Beth@BethBarany.com


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Blog Tour + Giveaway: Platform 21 by T.R. Patrick

*Best Debut Author of 2013" award from the Bookworm Best Awards*

Blurb:
Luke’s life is about to take a dangerous turn. 
But first he has to die. 

In the year 2052, high school sophomore Luke Gibson considers himself an average teenager in a world on the brink of monumental change. Joining his parents and sister, Laura, at the first World Energy Initiative Conference, he is among thousands gathered in a Denver arena to celebrate free renewable energy when a massive earthquake strikes killing everyone in the stadium. The last thing Luke sees before his death is a girl reaching out to him—a stranger whose face he remembers from his dreams. 

The end, however, is not the end. Suddenly, inexplicably, Luke is back home in Ohio and everything is different. His sister is gone, the victim in an unsolved homicide years before. Angela, his mysterious dream girl, is here also, and the only person besides Luke who recalls the previous reality. And now their determination to uncover the truth about Laura’s murder and their transformed world is making them targets—forced to flee for their lives from a nameless shadow organization and a government seeking vengeance for an unthinkable act of terror—as they stand on the threshold of a dark conspiracy that threatens all humankind. 


With Platform 21, a brilliantly inventive and unrelentingly exciting excursion to a troubled near-future, author T.R. Patrick joins the ranks of Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games), Veronica Roth (Divergent), Pittacus Lore (I Am Number Four) and other masters of YA speculative suspense fiction. The first book in the “Beyond the Veil” series, Platform 21 follows teenager Luke Gibson up to and beyond his death in a horrific terrorist attack in Denver in the year 2052. Reawakening in a world strangely transformed, Luke sets out to uncover the truth about his new reality—joining forces with Angela, a girl he had seen previously in his dreams, in a desperate race for survival that will propel them across the threshold of an insidious global conspiracy that threatens the future of all humanity.


Get it here:

Excerpt:

One portrait in particular stopped me dead in my tracks. Abandoning the directions flashing across my plexi, I examined the textured canvas of the portrait. There she was, eleven years old, sweet, na├»ve, and innocent. She sat in a swing, her head turned to the side.  Eyes closed, not a blemish or flaw distorted her perfect face. It was probably a picture of her shortly before she died. A portrait made for her unfortunate and untimely death. Guilt overwhelmed me. Why did it take her death for me to see her true beauty?

To the right of the portrait stood a door drenched with a thick layer of dust. By the look of it, the door hadn’t been opened for years. A touch of the ceramic handle sent chills down my spine. It must have gone without the warm touch of human hands for quite some time. With a bit of force, I managed to twist it. The door cracked open. Moonlight filtered through the old glass of the bedroom window which penetrated the darkness. Thin white curtains floated in the still air. There she was, perched on a bed with white sheets, the figure of my sister sat with her back turned to me. My heart jumped at the sight, as excitement filled my soul.

“Laura!” I called out to her, but she didn’t move from where she sat. I paused a moment, and called for her again, stepping into the room. “Laura, is it you?” Her figure appeared to be shorter, thinner, and younger than what I remember. It was the ghost of her eleven year old self. An empty transparent shell of what she once was. Her fiery spirit had been extinguished. This form of my sister was nothing like the ghost of the girl who met me in the cemetery.

“Why did he do this to me?” Laura’s voice came plainly, echoing through my being. Despite her calm and distant tone, I felt pain in her voice. There was a desperate sense of sadness. A tingling sensation trailed down my spine, the hairs on my back stood up. Her emotion cut to my core, echoing the incredible pain and misery she was feeling. “Why, Luke? Why did he do this me?” Her voice trailed off into silence.

Somehow I managed to find words, “What do you mean? I don’t even know what happened, Laura.” My mind raced for answers. What was causing her to grieve this way? How did she die?

“Why did he do this to me?” Her voice grew louder as her figure turned to face me. Tears streamed down her face. Then, her eyes took on a strange blue light. The way the light rotated captivated me. Her gaze drew me into her. The door slammed shut behind me. Hypnotized, I continued to step towards her. She caught me in her gaze, which soon engulfed the entirety of my vision.

The sound of rustling leaves, the feel of the wind brushing against my cheeks. The timid light of the autumn sun eased through the brown, auburn foliage of the maple and buckeye trees above. My gaze shifted from side to side without my control. It was like watching a movie through the eyes of someone else, but I could feel everything from the cool fall air, to the pavement under my feet. Children laughed, and played as they were led through the dusty streets of East Liverpool. An assortment of new and restored buildings made up the cityscape. Electric vehicles of all kinds silently breezed by from my right, as an old storefront stood to my left. 

The old building hadn’t been restored like the others. Strangely, it stood ominously by the side of the road. The windows were boarded up, and where there once stood an entrance, a large wooden warehouse door was placed over it. The hinges of the gate were rusted, as an assortment of weeds grew from under it. For whatever reason, I stopped to look at the door. My hand, no a girl’s hand, extended towards the chilled brick surface of the building. Strangely, a cool tingling sensation crawled up the back of my neck. The hand retracted as my feet stumbled backwards. I quickly rubbed at the sensation, finding nothing but cold skin.

“Hey, Laura,” a girl’s voice called out from behind the other side of the old building. A figure emerged from around the old corner store. “Are you coming? Ms. Perkins is getting ready to do a head count!” The girl’s brown complexion gave a soft reflection of the fall sun. Her dark lips revealed a bright ivory smile, a subtle giggle escaped her. Her tight crimped hair bounced as she turned back around the corner. 

I quickly followed after her, but something startled me. A sound, like a whisper left me stunned. Suddenly, something took hold of me. My weight fell out from under me. My kicking feet were left dragging across the sidewalk as something carried me away. My arms flailed from left to right but found nothing of my attacker. It was as if I were being carried by the wind. There was nothing I could do to free myself, nothing I could grab on to, nothing I could strike.

“Laura, where are you?” The girl’s voice cried out from behind the other side of the building. She came out to find me, but when she spun to see me, her face turned pale.

The terrified voice of my sister escaped my lips, “Run, Chloe! Get out of here!” Her warnings were too late. Chloe was thrown violently to the ground from some unseen force. Her young delicate skin dragged over the rough concrete. Her screams pierced the thin autumn air, as my own cries joined hers.  Panic consumed my being. My heart violently throbbed against my thin physique. My agonizing shriek burned the back of my throat. Air escaped my lungs. A hollow ache filled my chest as the sinking feeling of dread settled to the bottom of my stomach.


About the author: 


Author Timothy R. Patrick, born in 1985, started writing when he was only nine, delivering his first short story to his Mom for her birthday. Since then, writing has been an incredible passion. Every chance he could write, he took it. He even scratched out a few stories in Naval Boot Camp at Great Lakes, Illinois.

Tim spent four years in the Navy achieving the rank of Petty Officer 2nd class. He served three years aboard USS Chosin and was deployed twice in support of the Global War on Terror, and Iraqi Freedom. However, he would always be remembered as the guy who sat in the corner of the mess decks writing a book he would never release. He said it wasn't good enough.

After his time in the Navy, Tim became a Test Engineer working for companies like Scientific Research Corporation and Hewlett Packard. During this phase of his life he moved to Charleston, South Carolina where he bought a home and tried to settle into the American Dream. But Tim wasn't content with that, he wanted to do something more than work the 9 to 5. So, he tried his hand at politics and ran for Dorchester County Council as an Independent. They said he was too young and verbose. After losing the election, he decided to try his hand at writing instead.

Today, Timothy Patrick is the author of, Platform 21 - the first installment of the "Beyond the Veil" series. Platform 21 is a novel set in the near future which follows a young man on a journey to solve his sister's murder in the midst of global conspiracy. His current project is, The Vorago Initiative - which picks up right where Platform 21 left off..


GIVEAWAY!

Blog Tour: Silent Echo: A Siren's Tale by Elisa Freilich

Silent Echo: A Siren’s Tale
Series- Silent Echo Trilogy # 1 
By- Elisa Freilich
Publication Date- September 2013 
Published By- Diversion Books
Genre- YA Fantasy/Paranormal

Blurb:
Silence was Portia Griffin’s nemesis. In a world where teens never cease to speak their minds, the sixteen year old Portia, rendered mysteriously mute at birth, has opted out of the mainstream conversation.   Instead, this silent sophomore at Ridgewood Preparatory Academy finds solace in her keen love of music and bizarre obsession with birds.  And it doesn’t hurt that her best friend, Felix Fein, deaf at the age of eight, couldn’t care less whether or not she is able to execute the spoken word.

But Portia’s world is about to change – and not necessarily for the better.

After sixteen silent years, Portia is suddenly gifted with a voice unparalleled in its purity and powers. Her new ability to persuade, to seduce and to destroy with her voice alone sends Portia on a search for answers she never imagined she’d have to accept.

Get it here:


Excerpt:
Prologue

The fluttering of the birds’ wings against the windshield produced a steady noise not unlike the whirring of a fan.

He looked over at the pained face of his wife. She was at the peak of labor, her contractions only two minutes apart. Her water had broken several hours ago, and despite his demands to leave immediately for the hospital, Helena had insisted on waiting it out, determined to relish the birth of their first child in the comfort of their own home.

Joshua had only conceded knowing that in Ridgewood there wasn’t likely to be much traffic. Their worst delay might be having to wave to a familiar pedestrian.

But this roadblock could never have been foreseen. They were everywhere — the feathers, the flapping wings. When the first one had landed, a snowy white creature with clouded jade eyes, he had thought nothing of it. Swerving gently, Joshua was surprised that the bird held its ground, welcoming its identical twin, who swooped down and landed firmly on the hood of the car.

And then an avalanche.

Identical white birds streaming down in droves, their verdigris eyes boring curiously beyond the windshield.
She cried out in pain.

“Please,” she pleaded with her husband — her voice was barely above a whisper. “Please get me some help.”
\
Joshua looked over at his wife. Her milky complexion, now blue as a flame, had taken on an unnatural translucence, revealing the frenetic pumping of blood through her veins.
But trapped inside the chrysalis of feathers and beak, there was no way to maneuver the car forward. Or in any direction, for that matter.

“I’m so sorry, baby, I can’t see a thing…”

He tried prompting the flock to leave with a few angry bursts of the horn. But the sound only propelled the beating of their wings. And with each new unwelcome visitor, a sterile Labor and Delivery room became a fantasy reserved for another universe.

Dialing 911, Joshua tried maintaining his composure. He could sense the operator’s skepticism until Helena let out a fortuitous moan, lending an undeniable truth to his tale. He tried pinpointing their location. Where were they anyway?

While he attempted to gain his bearings, Helena became entranced by the thumping of the giant wings. The percussion was a sponge, soaking up her anxiety at being trapped. The vibration of the wings made its way down her spine, relieving the immense pressure in her belly.

With a burst of sudden clarity Helena knew that this was going to be the birthplace of her child. Right here, on Thornton Road. There would be no hospital and no Dr. Schein. Joshua would have to deliver this baby and she felt it coming. Fast.

The birds continued to flock to the car, forming a layer three deep. Nestling their heads into one another, they hastened the rhythm of their wings, their movements in perfect unison. She stared them down and, as they returned her gaze, the balloon that was her swollen body was untied, her pain released in a slow and steady stream, replaced by an utter sense of calm.

There were only the birds now.

Never mind the fruitless attempts of her husband to open the car door against the impenetrable suction. No recognition of his own panic, his own understanding that if she didn’t make it through this, there would be no tomorrow for either one of them.

And still, the birds remained.

The creatures lifted their heads up, one by one, revealing their aged green eyes. Helena basked in the comfort of the winged voyeurs, grateful for the way they had reversed the current of her pain.

“It’s coming,” she whispered to Joshua.

Joshua surrendered any vestiges of calm to which he had been clinging, his face a mosaic of horror and shock.

“What? You mean now?”

And before Helena could even answer, the child emerged. Joshua caught the tiny creature in the bath towel they had grabbed as an afterthought just before leaving the house.

“Oh my god, Helena, it’s a girl!” His voice trembled, unable to find solid ground. “She seems perfect! Oh my god—“

Helena looked down at the child. She was perfect. A small silken tuft of brown hair sat like a crown atop her delicate skull. Her fingers were long and graceful, tiny papery nails topping each one. Her lips were full, forming a perfect ruby heart.

Joshua started wiping the child clean, offering his wife words of endearment and praying that the paramedics would arrive soon. But his words floated away like particles of dust. There was no room for them in the air that had become filled with the cries of the newborn.

The thumping of the birds’ wings began to fade, offering center stage to the cries of the baby. Gradually, one by one, they flew away forming a perfect arrow as they soared into the dusky sky.

When the last one was gone, the baby’s cries became a tornado sucking away all other sounds and sights. The storm of the infant’s tears held within it a somnolent melody, every sob the next movement in the tearful symphony.

Joshua and Helena struggled to keep their eyes open despite the deep sleep that was suddenly beckoning them. The sounds of the child were a quicksand. And they were being pulled under.

Just as they were about to be submerged completely, the arrival of the paramedics jolted Helena, awakening her maternal instincts. She drew her new daughter to her breast, amazed at her ability to nourish the child from her own body. The baby fell silent as she began to suckle, breaking the dreamy spell that had been wielded by her tears.

Sleepily, Helena ran a gentle fingertip over the velvety cheeks of her new daughter. They would call her Portia, just like they had talked about.

“I will never grow tired of hearing your voice, little Portia,” whispered the proud mother to her new daughter.
She could never have known then that for the next sixteen years the child would not make another sound.


About the author:
Elisa Freilich has enjoyed a love affair with language from her earliest days. Raised in rural Monsey, New York, Elisa spent her days reading whatever crossed her path and developing a keen appreciation for the ever-present music in her home – from classical to rock. French lessons and creative writing workshops complemented her adolescence, which was also greatly enhanced by a summer spent abroad at Cambridge University. From the time she could read and write, Elisa could often be found composing poems, song lyrics and satirical newspapers.
After her college years at Boston University, Elisa continued her creative pursuits, working as a junior VP of Marketing at a corporate graphic design agency and, later, as an interior decorator. Eventually, Elisa left the workforce to raise her family, in her now hometown of Englewood, NJ.

Throughout the years, Elisa has retained her devotion to all genres of books and music and was determined to synthesize her passions into one refreshing and original platform. The result is her debut novel, SILENT ECHO: A Siren’s Tale, which will be published by Diversion Books in Summer 2013. With her own lyrical style, Elisa has created a world that young adults around the globe will find intensely gripping and refreshingly original.

When Elisa is not writing, her creative outlets still abound. She is fierce with a set of knitting needles, a hot glue gun and any ingredients that can somehow be fashioned into a sinful and highly caloric babka.

Check her out:
Pinterest- http://pinterest.com/elisafreilich 
Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/16931118-elisa-freilich 
Twitter- https://twitter.com/Elisafreilich 
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/elisa.f.freilich 
Website- http://www.elisafreilich.com/ 
Blog- http://www.elisafreilich.com/blog/ 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Review + Blog Tour: Heart-Shaped Emblor by Alaina Wring

 Young Adult Paranormal Romance/ Sci-Fi
Date Published: 10/11/2013
 
Blurb:
Hidden powers. Otherworldly boyfriends. FORBIDDEN SECRETS. 

For Aislinn Moore, attending college at seventeen isn’t a big deal. Not when compared to the difficulties associated with seeing ethereal beings and having prophetic dreams. 

As Aislinn learns to surmount the obstacles of her talents, she awakens something inside herself—an ancient memory, long forgotten. She senses there are reasons for her gifts, but remains unable to understand them. 

When Alexander Welch enters her life, she learns of the Ewlishash—the hope bringers—and thinks she may have found her answer. Alexander is sexy, sweet, and his talents are like something straight out of a Sci-Fi flick. Aislinn wonders if she may be like him, but the more she tries to fit his mold, the more her instincts scream that her destiny holds something even greater.
 


Review:
Aislinn Moore is starting college at 17, and that can be quite a challenge in it's own right, but add in the fact that she has supernatural powers and sometimes has some super weird paranormal moments, and life gets a little bit skewed. I was immediately grabbed by the uniqueness of her powers from the touching of physical things and being able to know things about the owner and the visions of the future, it was a great combination that led to some great story telling. She has to deal with a lot in this book and Aislinn did a very good job at keeping together even when everything blew up in her face.

As a character I found it refreshing that Aislinn seemed to be, well, normal. Of course her powers are anything but normal, however as a teenage kid she doesn't seem out of place. I liked that is this case because it brought the character down to Earth, instead of being an outrageously fantistical superhero, she was like you and I. It felt like even I could overcome all the obstacles that Aislinn faced, and that is not ofter something you read with in books like Heart-Shaped Emblor. She was going through the process of growing up right along side with cosmic beings and it seemed natural. Aislinn is strong enough for you to believe she is capable of all the feats that she pulls off, but normal enough that you could picture her walking down the side walk in college.

The supernatural aspect of this read was really great too. It was a unique story that I felt I never really read before and that is always something to be commended, because I do feel like I'm reading the same reprocessed stories a lot. Not in Heart-Shaped Emblor. Aislinn and her romantic ties could have been flushed a little further but I thought her love interest her really had an organic feeling to it and never felt forced. If you like supernatural stories with twists that are grounded in the real world, I think you'll love this book just as much as I did!- My Opinion- Buy it!

Get it here:

About the author:
Alaina Ewing lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two boys. She holds a degree in Multimedia Production and is the Assistant Chair for Cascade Writers, a nonprofit Milford-style workshop. She also makes jewelry, dream catchers, and enjoys working with herbs and essential oils. 


Her first novel, The Heart-Shaped Emblor, releases October 11, 2013 with Evil Girlfriend Media. The novel is the first in the Ewlishash Series. Read more about Alaina at www.alainayewing.com.

Check her out:
 



Twitter: Trinity1226 and/or EvilGMedia 


Friday, December 20, 2013

Review + Blog Tour + Giveaway: The Courlight Series by Terah Edun


Sworn to Raise
Series- Courtlight Series #1
By- Terah Edun
Genre- Young Adult, Fantasy, Coming of Age

Blurb:
Seventeen-year-old Ciardis has grown up in poverty, a cleaner in a small vale on the outskirts of the empire. But beneath her empire’s seemingly idyllic surface lies a hidden secret. Whispers of an inept crown Prince are growing ever louder—intensified by the five year anniversary of the soulbond initiations.



Amidst scandalous whispers, Ciardis finds herself chosen to train for the Companion’s Guild. She leaves her home and sets off on a personal journey to become a Court Companion. A position she’d never thought possible for a lowly servant to obtain, she must prove that she has the skills to attract a Patron.



But she must master those skills quickly. If the legends are true, only Ciardis can harness the power to raise a Prince in an Imperial Court sworn to bring him down.

This sensational series debut melds intricate storylines with remarkable characters and unforgettable magic. Sworn To Raise is ideal for fans of Kristin Cashore, Michelle Sagara, and Maria Snyder.


Review:

I'm sure you've seen this series up on my blog quite a few times lately and I am so glad I finally get a chance to read it because it really has intrigued me from all the posts about it. This is a High Fantasy piece at heart and as such the story to be told here is rather large. You have Royals and social structure to magic and other skills that really draw you into this fantastical world. Ciardis is a 17 year-old girl who has done nothing but launder her entire life. She is an orphan and from a very early age learned to take care of herself by working hard and long hours. However, that all changes when she meets Serena, a women of status known as a companion, and she takes Ciardis under her wing to become a companion herself. Sworn to Raise takes you on a poor orphan's journey through the court life of tricks and deception on her way to finding out more about herself than she thought possible.

Ciardis is a great female lead in my eyes. She comes from literally nothing, no family or stature and has made a living for herself no matter how meager, through hard work. You have to love a character that knows that a little elbow grease is required in life and she flourishes into a real woman by the end of the book. Her growth is visible and not all of it is because she is suddenly in the middle of the highest class of people, but of her own qualities that get to shine because of the opportunity present to her. Plus, between her own accomplishments and problems cleverly solved , such as her reading problem, this story balances overcoming odds with getting some much needed help along the way. Pair her with the cast of characters around her in Sworn to Raise and they really lead you on this great journey around a fantasy kingdom with a lot of drama going down!

That world is what my favorite part of the story comes from. Fantasy is a tough genre to write, I've said this before, simply because of all the world building that has to be done in order for a story to work. You can't be too vague because the reader can't understand what the environment that these characters are in is suppose to look like and if you just ramble on and on about scenery and other things around said characters, people find it boring. Sworn to Raise does this perfectly. I have to give the author huge props for showing me what this world looks like versus telling me. Little things like letting me know the carriages that Serena and Ciardis are traveling in away from her home are actually sleds let me know she comes from a where it is wintery or when they arrive at the Companions Guild, the fact that she mistakes it for the Imperial Castle makes you understand how high these woman are regarded. Subtle hints in a fantasy world without losing the enormity of it are what takes this story from being really good to great. These women are not to be trifled with and reminded me so much of the similar named companions of Sci-Fi fixtures like Dr. Who that I had a hard time finding this book anything but enjoyable to read! Sworn to raise will take you on a unique journey of a strong female character and show you a world you have never seen before. - My Opinion- Buy it!


Get it here:





Sworn to Transfer
Series- Courtlight Series # 2
By- Terah Edun
Genre- Young Adult, Fantasy, Coming of Age 
Blurb:
Eighteen-year-old companion trainee Ciardis Weathervane has won the friendship of the royal heir and saved his claim to the throne. Yet her interference in the inheritance rights leaves more harm done than good. The Ameles Forest lies unprotected and its inhabitants are dying.



As humans begin to die in gruesome deaths, the Emperor dispatches the royal heir to the forests with the solution to the kith concerns.



With enemies closing ranks in Sandrin, Ciardis can little afford to leave the city’s nest of vipers to take on a new task. But she’s given no choice when her loyalty to the crown and courts are called into question.



To keep the Companions’ Guild happy and the favor of the Imperial Court, Ciardis will be tested in frightening new ways, especially when she’s faced with an obstacle that could risk the lives of her friends and the family she never thought she had.

This second novel continues the story of Ciardis Weathervane from Sworn To Raise.
Get it here:
Amazon 
Barnes and Noble 





Sworn to Conflict
Series- Courtlight Series # 3
By- Terah Edun
Genre- Young Adult, Fantasy, Coming of Age
Expected Publication Date- December 6, 2013
Blurb:
Ciardis Weathervane fought for the living dead and won. But worse than taking on a mass murderer, was her discovery that she had been deceived by her friends. Now she needs to not only fight a war in the North and survive, but also decide where she stands in the midst of competing sides.



A threat to all she holds dear lies in the North and her heart is not the only thing she might lose. A massive army awaits in the mountain pass, surging closer to the gates of the southern lands. Nothing the Algardis army has done so far has dissuaded their march forward and Ciardis finds out that her powers to enhance are needed now more than ever.



As she faces her greatest fears on the battlefields and her heart is torn between her love of Sebastian and loyalty to her family, Ciardis must choose her fate carefully. For in her path, lies the destiny of the empire.

This third novel continues the story of Ciardis Weathervane from Sworn To Transfer.
Get it here:
About the author:
Terah Edun is a young adult  fantasy writer born and raised in the Atlanta metropolitan area, who transplanted to the Northeast region for college, and has spent years living abroad in South Sudan and Morocco. She writes the stories that she always loved to read as a young girl.
Check her out:
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