Friday, December 27, 2013

How to Ditch Your Fairy

By Justine Larbalestier

From Goodreads:
Welcome to New Avalon, where everyone has a personal fairy. Though invisible to the naked eye, a personal fairy, like a specialized good luck charm, is vital to success. And in the case of the students at New Avalon Sports High, it might just determine whether you make the team, pass a class, or find that perfect outfit.

For 14-year-old Charlie, having a Parking Fairy is worse than having nothing at all—especially when the school bully carts her around like his own personal parking pass. Enter: The Plan. At first, teaming up with arch-enemy Fiorenza (who has an All-The-Boys-Like-You Fairy) seems like a great idea. But when Charlie unexpectedly gets her heart’s desire, it isn’t at all what she thought it would be like, and she’ll have resort to extraordinary measures to ditch her fairy. The question is: will Charlie herself survive the fairy ditching experiment?

From the author of the acclaimed Magic or Madness trilogy, this is a delightful story of fairies, friendships, and figuring out how to make your own magic.

Is the grass really greener on the other side? In How to Ditch Your Fairy, Larbalestier shows readers that although what others have may seem perfect, once you take a walk in their shoes, things aren’t always as they appear.

For 14 year-old Charlotte “Charlie” Steele, having a parking fairy isn’t all that great—especially when people want to borrow (or kidnap) you just so they can have great parking spots.  What Charlie really wants is Fiorenze Burnham-Stone’s “all the boys like you fairy.” When Charlie finds out that Fiorenze wants to swap fairies, she jumps at the chance, after all, what could be worse than a parking fairy?! Both girls soon learn that the other’s fairy also has a downside. Now Charlie and Fiorenze want to get rid of both fairies.

Since Larbalestier’s world is set in a fantasy world that mixes US and Australian culture and vocabulary, readers will need to quickly adapt to the blend of dialogue. Thankfully Larbalestier adds a mini dictionary at the back of the book to define common words such as spoffs, doos, torpid, etc. Too bad I found it after I finished the story.  You can easily use the context clues to figure out their meanings though.

Because Charlie’s school is strict about demerits, she is constantly racking them up.  She gets so many that she must do public service work in order to receive merits to cancel out the demerits. Larbalestier keeps a tally at the beginning of each chapter listing demerits, public service hours worked, and other important info for readers.  This really helps to keep up with the action in the book and clues readers in when the author skips forward in time.

Larbalestier does a decent job thinking through her fairy world and tackles the issue of characters who do not believe in fairies. She also thoroughly thinks through ways to ditch/switch/or get rid of a fairy—as expected seeing as that’s the name of the book.  She also does a god job explaining New Avalon Sports High’s schedule, beliefs and demerit system.  I’m glad I don’t have to go to school there!

For readers who enjoy easy, fun reads without having to analyze the plot, then I would recommend How to Ditch Your Fairy to you.  It’s teen, paranormal, chicklit that’s perfect to read at the beach, mountains, or you favorite chair!

About author Justine Larbalestier:
Justine Larbalestier is an Australian young-adult fiction author. She is best known for the Magic or Madness trilogy: Magic or Madness, Magic Lessons and the newly released Magic's Child. She also wrote one adult non-fiction book, the Hugo-nominated The Battle of the Sexes in Science Fiction (Best Related Book, 2003), and edited another, Daughters of Earth: Feminist Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century.

Her surname has been pronounced in several different ways, but the FAQ on her website says that Lar-bal-est-ee-air is correct:

Q: How do you pronounce your surname? A: Lar-bal-est-ee-air. It can also be pronounced Lar-bal-est-ee-ay or Lar-bal-est-ee-er. Those are all fine by me. Friends at school used to pronounce it: Lavaworm. I have to...more Justine Larbalestier is an Australian young-adult fiction author. She is best known for the Magic or Madness trilogy: Magic or Madness, Magic Lessons and the newly released Magic's Child. She also wrote one adult non-fiction book, the Hugo-nominated The Battle of the Sexes in Science Fiction (Best Related Book, 2003), and edited another, Daughters of Earth: Feminist Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century.

Her surname has been pronounced in several different ways, but the FAQ on her website says that Lar-bal-est-ee-air is correct:

Q: How do you pronounce your surname? A: Lar-bal-est-ee-air. It can also be pronounced Lar-bal-est-ee-ay or Lar-bal-est-ee-er. Those are all fine by me. Friends at school used to pronounce it: Lavaworm. I have to really like you to let you get away with that one, but.

Larbalestier was born and raised in Sydney, Australia. She now alternates living between Sydney and New York City.

In 2001, Justine married fellow author Scott Westerfeld

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Windgate (The School of Ministry #1)

About the book:

A young man named Ziv struggles to find his place in life after both of his parents are murdered. Orphaned and alone by the age of six, he bounces in and out of foster homes hopeless and afraid, wondering if he will ever find a path to happiness. He resolves to accept a life of depravity, until one day he discovers he possesses the gift of sight: to see creatures from the afterlife, but not angels...demons!

Ziv is recruited by The School of Ministry, a secret society that promises to help him find his best friend Stephanie, who has gone missing. But there is one catch: he must agree to join them in their quest to eradicate evil and protect the weak. Ziv learns that he is a "Conduit," which allow him to cross over into the spirit world and transcend time itself. When he is partnered with two other young men who have similar gifts, the unlikely trio is trained in the mastery of weapons and the art of Shouting, during treacherous challenges of the tortuous Quad in preparation for their mission: to secure the Windgate. Ziv becomes entrenched in a quest of identity, love, and will, until comes face to face with pure evil itself--Akabod, the spiritual prodigal son to the School of Ministry and a master of talents.

Find it:   Barnes & Noble   Amazon

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I love how this book mixes the paranormal aspect with christian faith. Some Christian books don't mix well with the paranormal and fantasy type stories that I enjoy, but this one does. It has a good plot line that's original and is filled with lots of obstacles that the main characters must face.

There were a few scenes in the book that needed a little polishing. Some of the transitions from one bit of action to another wasn't smooth. I'd have to flip back and check how they got from point A to point B. For example, they were out of the country on a mission in one scene, then they are entering the facility a couple sentences later. Hardly a mention of the journey back. Luckily, this only happens a handful of times throughout the book.

I enjoyed reading the Quad scenes. (The quad is sort of like a fear landscape that's in the Divergent books, but not quite as taylored to each individual.) The initiates must enter the Quad and go through a series of tests. Some tests range from choosing a weapon (easy) to getting out of a flame filled room (much harder). The tests get more difficult each time an initiate enters the Quad. I enjoyed seeing Cosby's creativity come through during these scenes.

The book has a lot of action mixed all throughout it. The initiates must pass many tests. Some are on location at the facility (like the Quad), but others are off location. The initiates travel quite a bit, and come face to face with various demons. Cosby doesn't go into much detail about what the demons look like, but focuses more on their abilities. I like this because it lets my imagination fill in the blanks.

The main character, Ziv, has a lot of anger in him. Many of his actions (or reactions)stem from his anger. I liked how the author allows Ziv to recognize this and try to do something about it. He has several chances to let go of his anger, but he chooses to hang on to it because his anger is part of him. It's what he relies on to get him through tough times. However, he learns that his anger can be a bit of a distraction that could get him killed. He has to decide if it is worth keeping or if he can finally let it go.

This book is told from Ziv's point of view. Readers will be able to really get to know what motivates him and how he deals with this transition in his life. Ziv interacts with Francis, Jaythan, Mr. C, and Miss Evans, but I want to know more about what's in their heads too. This isn't a criticism at all. Those chatacters all seem to have a little something that they are hiding, and I want to know what they are thinking instead of waiting on when/if their secerets are revealed.

If you want a paranormal book with Christian undertones, then I would recommend this book to you. There's a lot of action and adventure and just a touch of romance that is perfect for teens and adults.

About author Braxton Cosby:
Multi-Award-Wining Author Braxton A. Cosby is a dreamer who evolved from concepts on pen and paper to pixels and keyboards. He tells stories that evoke emotions and stimulate thought. Protostar: Book 1 The Star-Crossed Saga and The School of Ministry: The Windgate are currently two Young Adult series he created. Braxton lives in Georgia with his wife, three children and a troop of crazy African Cichlids

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Mr. C. takes a deep breath and spits it out. "It is Stephanie. She's here. We found her."
Time seems to stand still as Stephanie's name rang through my eardrums. My heart rate increases.

"She…Stephanie's here? Well, where is she? When can I see her?" I head toward the door.

"She's safe." Maxwell halts me. "She's being detained in one of the fifth floor containment units where she will be under close surveillance. She is not to come out until we have assured our own safety."

My voice cracks. "What do you mean detained? Is Stephanie considered a threat?"

"She was picked up by one of our scout teams in the northeast. We think she may be involved in witchcraft."

I lean back in my chair, snickering. "Witchcraft? Come on. You've got to be kidding me, right?"

"We would certainly hope not," he warns, not sounding the least bit confident. "But there is only one way to be sure. We have to put her through the Purge."

"No," I scream, as my heart pounds against my chest wall.

"It's the only way to be sure, son." Mr. C. places his hand on my shoulder.

I drop my head, struggling to hold back the tears welling up in my eyelids. "Can I see her?"

"No!" Maxwell's tone scorches my ears. "Unequivocally—no! Not under any circumstances. She must go through the Purge first. Then there will be time to visit her. If she survives, that is."

I storm to the window and look down at the cross. My mind drifts to thoughts of freedom, away from this place: just me and Stephanie, all alone. This is what I came here for—to free her. My hands fist at my sides. She can't go through the Purge. All I want is for things to go right for once in my life. But it hasn't and never will if I don't start dictating back. I didn't want any of this for her. I didn't ask for my family to be torn apart. I didn't ask to be born an orphan. Yet, for some reason, I continue to be a doormat.

I want more than this!

"Ziv," Mr. C. says.

If only I could see her again. Her eyes would tell me the truth.

"Dr. Ethridge will be conducting the interrogation. She will be in the best care. You have my word on that."

A surge of heat pours through my stomach and I ask, "Is that the complete truth?"

"Yes," Maxwell warns, "and don't question the authority at hand. Be mindful to stay in your place."

"Fifth floor, huh?" The words spill from my mouth.

I face Mr. C. and Maxwell, who stand blocking the door. A heap of air gusts from my mouth and I shout, "Sit Down!"
My voice, covered in thunder, explodes throughout the room and bounces off the walls. A small vase on the table shatters, sending ceramic shards everywhere. Mr. C. and Maxwell tremble and collapse to the floor, landing on their backsides before crossing their legs.

I storm past them.

Maxwell reaches out a hand and sarcastically utters, "Nice…technique!"

Breaking to the back corridors, I run to avoid guards. I know I only have a few seconds to spare before Maxwell and Mr. C. are back on their feet. The elevators would be too slow, so I take the stairs, skipping multiple steps as I float down, using the handrails to propel me. The jolts of my knee joints are barely noticeable as I land and quickly pounce to the next level below. As I reach level five, the alarm blares overhead, along with an unfamiliar announcement about some code that I haven't invested enough time in to recognize. I race past a crowd of onlookers before they can identify me, bumping a young man off his feet as I turn the corner and head toward the detainment room.

I fling the doors open, where a pack of burly built men stand waiting for me. They are unarmed, but more than husky enough to take me out with one or two well-placed punches.

Then I would not see her again, wasting this adrenaline filled romp.

"Stand down sir," one of the men yells, pointing a weighty fist at me.

The air is pregnant with potential. I bite down on my bottom lip, straining to hide a smile.

Steady, the words pour out, "Don't you mean," and I shout, "Sit Down!"

All five men stagger and fall to the ground, one at a time like dominoes. I step over them, lifting the set of keys from one of their hands, while I whistle. Pressing forward, I reach the room and insert the key. The swooshes in my chest have suddenly merged, creating one large rhythmic pulsation as I anticipate seeing Stephanie again. I open the door and there she sits, alone on a bench with her head in her hands.

She looks up at me and asks, "Ziv, is that you?"

Her mouth seems to move in slow motion and her voice travels through the air in asynchronous fashion.

"Yes, it's me!" I slam the door behind me.

Thoughts of hugging her transform my brisk walk into a run as I pull her close. The softness of her body is pure kryptonite to me and I melt away like ice. Time stands still as my heart stops and my emotions freeze. I'm not quite sure if it's the safe or something else at work, but my fear and doubt have completely left me. Nothing else matters at this moment—nothing but Stephanie. All those words of truth and trust have been cast aside as well. And it's going to take a miracle to bring them back.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Kirby Puckernut and the Christmas Surprise

I normally don't post about kid picture books on the blog, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to help with this one. Afterall, Christmas is about kids. So today I'm helping to spotlight Kirby Puckernut and the Christmas Surprise. Check out the synopsis and book trailer below. Oh, and don't forget to enter the giveaways. Merry Christmas!

kirby puckernutAbout the book:
Kirby Puckernut is Santa’s cleverest little elf. While dreaming up marvelous toys for good girls and boys, Kirby has his best idea yet – a real elf in every home, all through the holidays, spreading Christmas Magic Santa finds the perfect family and allows Kirby to serve as the test elf for the first momentous visit. Fun and adventure are at every turn, but not everything goes as planned…

Will Kirby’s idea be a success?

AliciaAbout  author Alicia Richardson
Author Alicia Richardson has created a new Christmas classic with her children’s book, Kirby Puckernut and the Christmas Surprise.

Alicia Richardson resides in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and four children. She has always had a flair for storytelling, and has given life to a special little elf named Kirby Puckernut.

Find Alicia Richardson: Website   Twitter   Facebook

Book Trailer

5 winners will each recieve a copy of Kirby Puckernut and the Christmas Suprise + Kirby Elf. This giveaway is open to US Only and ends on 12/31/13.

Kirby Elf
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Giveaway #2
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash. Contest ends on 12/31/13.

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Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Wolf's Cry cover reveal

I'm excited to help reveal the cover of The Wolf's Cry by Natalie Crown. This is a YA Fantasy/Alternate World book that releases January 2014. This is the first book in the The Semei Trilogy.

About the Book:
She is his weakness.

And she will ruin everything.

Kammy Helseth's idea of adventure never amounted to more than getting a boat across to the mainland and finally escaping to London. That was until she stumbled through the mouth of the forest into a world beneath our own, the world of the Semei.

Her only wish is to find her way home but when Jamie, her best friend, is taken into this new world of shapeshifters and Crystals she has no choice but to stand up to her fear and to remain beneath the surface. Hunted by Bagor, King of Alashdial, and those that are loyal to him, Kammy finds herself in the company of a group of outlaws led by Jad, a Prince with a bitter past and a similarly bitter demeanour.

They overcome age-old prejudice to find a way to work together. But Bagor knows a secret about the Crystals that threatens to change everything. Kammy and Jad must find a way to thwart the king and to save Jamie, but that is just the beginning. For Kammy is in possession of a Key and the fate of countless lives, both human and Semei, may rest in her hands.

Find the book on Goodreads 

About author Natalie Crown:
I grew up in a village called Swilland, in the countryside of Suffolk, England. There wasn't much around, other than farms and fields, but for the most part I loved it, and I still do. I’m a passionate person by nature. I don’t just LIKE things, I LOVE things. Whether it’s a book, a film, or a sports team. Once I decide to enjoy something, I enjoy it to the MAX.

I’m a terrible cook. I prioritise essential social media work over keeping my flat tidy, because I know best.

Onto my love of reading and, consequently, writing - it was my dad that played a big role in encouraging me to read. He didn't push me towards books necessarily; he simply read a lot himself. Then I would pick up his books and read them after him. I was reading high and epic fantasy from a very young age. I guess that might explain why I have always loved adventure stories with magic and intrigue and princes and princesses in.

I was aware that I wanted to ‘be a writer’ from a very young age. I was convinced I would be the first best seller that hadn't reached double figures in age yet! I wrote about the Danshees, furry creatures that lived through a mirror. I wrote about a Sand Bottle that transported a boy into a world of magic. I wrote about a sick girl finding a music boy that healed her, but transported her back in time. (Wow, I always have loved alternate universes…)

When I was eight I wrote my first novel called The Land of No Return. Despite the title, I am determined to return to it one day. I feel like I owe it to my past self. So, as you can see, I have always been writing. There have been times when I have gone weeks without scratching down a word. Then there are days where I churn out multiple chapters and only my body’s silly desire for sleep and/or food can stop me.

I write because I enjoy it. I write fantasy because I enjoy it. I try my hardest to put something of myself into my writing. I like to think my characters have depth, I like to think that my fantasy worlds reflect upon the real world in some way. You guys will be the judge of that but even if you don't agree I know that I at least try and I can do no more than that.

These days I live in North London and I love it. I work full time and London is a hectic city. Juggling work, writing and a social life is tough but nobody is forcing me to do it so I can't complain. The dream is that writing will be my career one day but it doesn't matter if I never quite make it. I love writing too much to ever pack it in.

I am desperate to get a dog. My mum suspects I miss my cats at home more than I miss her. I am a devout Arsenal/Ferrari/Rafael Nadal fan. I get all mad when confronted with a case of social injustice and then I get all mad when people take the fight for social justice too far. I mostly keep those thoughts to myself and simmer with rage. I watch good TV and bad TV, because I can. What I can’t do is enjoy bad books (subjective opinion of course). I just can’t.

Find Natalie Crown:  Website/Blog    Tumblr   Facebook   Twitter   Goodreads

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This cover reveal was organized by CBB Book Promotions.  

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Saving of Benjamin Chambers Excerpt and Giveaway

I'm excited to help announce the release of The Saving of Benjamin Chambers, a Uni Files novella by Anna Bloom. This tells the story of Ben and when he meets Lilah. You can read it before or after reading The Art of Letting Go.

The Uni-Files novels are NA/Adult British romantic comedies that will make you swoon, laugh and sigh. The first book, The Art of Letting Go is now available. The Saving of Benjamin Chambers releases December 4th.

About the Book:
Benjamin Chambers needs saving, he just does not know it yet. Bored of his life of repetitive gigs with a band going nowhere fast and one night stands with girls who are only interested in his role as a lead singer, something has got to change. It’s just what do you do when the only life you know involves messing around with guitars and attempting to run away from any female attention that comes your way. Ben has a New Year’s resolution and one that he is determined to keep, quit the band and get a life of his own. Little does Ben realise that on his last night with his band Sound Box he is going to meet a girl who will turn everything he knows upside down. As Ben sets himself the challenge to find ‘The Girl’ again, he may be about to learn that in an effort to rescue her, he himself will be the one to be saved.

 Find the book: Goodreads 

Find The Art of Letting Go:  Goodreads | Amazon US Amazon UK

About Author Anna Bloom:
Anna Bloom is a contemporary romance writer who writes about life as it happens.

Combining a busy schedule of looking after two small children whilst working in a local school and completing The Uni Files series she also spends a lot of time imagining kissing hot guys – all in the name of her art.

Find the author: Website/Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


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Delilah, Lilah or whatever she is called is, standing over on the far side of the room, her back against the wall wearing a figure-hugging red, floor-length dress. Her dark hair and eyes stand out in contrast. She looks like a Forties movie star, all curves and perfect poise, watching everyone with a critical eye. She hates this place and she hates the people that are here, that is clear to me straight away.

I want to jump off the stage to get to her. I can’t tear my eyes away, even though Dave has picked up my guitar and shoved it back into my hands, hissing, “play, you idiot.”

I am walking to the front of the stage still staring when I notice that I am being watched but not by her.
Some guy who looks like a pretentious arsehole is watching me watch her and then he starts to move across the floor to get to her before I can leave the stage. I am stuck like a rabbit in headlights, rooted to the spot as I watch him clearly move towards her like he is proving he has ownership.

When he gets to her he pulls her in close and winds his hands around her waist. I have to physically restrain myself from leaping off the stage and punching him. That’s what I want to do, a deep urge burning inside me. Jump from the stage, bop him on the nose, hopefully causing significant blood loss, and then throw her over my shoulder and march her off with her someplace. Someplace where I can kiss her and talk to her, in no particular order. Then I may well ask her to marry me because I am pretty sure that I want to.

I don’t though, I don’t move from my spot on the edge of the stage. I start to play my guitar instead but not the song the rest of the band are expecting. Luckily it has a long intro so they are able to catch up.

As I start to sing ‘Wonderwall’ I watch as the banker wanker twirls her onto the dance floor.

It’s not a song for twirling, what is he doing the bloody arse?

She has her hands on his shoulders and her back to me but I can clearly see an enormous diamond ring sitting on her left hand from my spot quite a distance away on stage.

Damn it to hell.

I nearly stop singing, but I hold it together and as I head into the second verse my choice of song becomes even more appropriate.

The banker wanker pulls her in even tighter and I get a nasty taste in the back of my mouth. I am just in the middle of the chorus when they take a turn and I catch a glimpse of her face.

That’s what does it. That very moment gives me something completely different to live for.


She is biting her lower lip and the beautiful eyes are staring far away in the distance, framed by a frown. She looks like she would rather be anywhere then where she is right now. She looks lost, but on top of that she looks lonely and I feel a bubble of something well up inside me, something like joy. Joy at the fact that this guy holding her, who’s obviously bought her the ring, has no idea what she is feeling. I don’t think he has looked at her face once, not to read it the way that I am. This is good. It means that if I can get to talk to her again then I can make sure my words are the right ones, the ones to make her notice me, the ones to make her want to at least talk to me. And, well, if that fails then I will just crinkle my freckles at her, pick her up and throw her over my shoulder and march off with her hoping for the best.

I know that I will do anything to save her from whatever is causing her sadness and by doing that I have a feeling she will save me.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Shine (Mageri Series #5) Cover Reveal

Today I am excited to be helping reveal the cover for Shine by Dannika Dark. This is the fifth and final book in her Mageri series that releases on December 20, 2013. Check it out!

About Shine:
In the short span of a year, Silver has gone from becoming a Mage to discovering the truth about her unique genetics. Logan Cross went from her mortal enemy to her immortal lover, but a threat is fast approaching like an inevitable storm. Attacks are underway against the Mageri and one man is behind it—an elusive foe who is an unstoppable force. Nero is not Silver’s only concern as someone close to her is arrested for treason. In the midst of chaos, Silver discovers she cannot protect everyone from the wrath of fate, including her own Ghuardian.

Justus finally opens his heart, but an unexpected turn of events could darken his soul forever. Secrets are revealed that will leave you reeling from one twist after the next. Would you sacrifice everything for love?

Destiny has set sail and once she alters her course, no one’s life will ever be the same in this explosive conclusion to the Mageri Series.

Find the book   Goodreads

Release Date: December 20, 2013

About author Dannika Dark:
This is the segment where you learn a little more about who I am, so here's what I can tell you: I drink copious amounts of vitamin water placed precariously close to my laptop while writing. These are two healthy habits I have no intention of breaking. I'm a transplant living in the south, but I was born in the 70's to a military dad who moved us around the world.

When I'm not writing (which is all the time), I'm hunting down Indie music, watching movies, reading, eating Tex-Mex, discovering new ways to humiliate myself bowling, and burning up my laptop battery on the Internet. I have a relaxed, easy-going personality and don't like drama. I live with a cat who thinks she is a dog, or a goat (she eats plastic, so I'm not sure which).

Throughout my life, I've had insomnia. Counting sheep never worked and eventually I would imagine those sheep were the sole source of food after an apocalyptic battle where only thousands survived. I made up stories in a futile attempt to bore myself to sleep. The problem was, I got so wrapped up in my "head stories" that I would continue them through the following nights, changing it up each time to make it more exciting. Eventually, I started writing my ideas down - creating short stories, and then I discovered my love for poetry.

It's almost embarrassing how many spiral notebooks and stacks of paper I have of poetry and lyrics.
Another passion: digital art. I design all my book covers, marketing, and series art. I'm a very visual person and pursued photography as an avid hobby for many years.

I am not a YA author (I feel like I have to state this only because I've had a few people ask), but I think it's wonderful there are so many books available to teens in Urban Fantasy and Paranormal.

I am finally doing what I have always wanted to do: giving my characters a pulse through writing full time. I focus on adult urban fantasy romance, but I don't like labels and I enjoy blending genres to break out of the confines of predictability.

But it's what I love to do.

Find Dannika:   Website/Blog   Twitter   Facebook   Goodreads

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Friday, November 29, 2013

Dark Prince (Dark Carpathian #1)

About Dark Prince (from Goodreads):
Enter the enchanting world of the Carpathians, where dark adventure, mystery, and love await, and the desires of two daring hearts unite in one irresistible passion.

A telepathic hunter of serial killers, Raven Whitney helps to catch some of the most depraved criminals. But her work keeps her from getting close to others, and has drained her body and spirit. In need of rest and rejuvenation, she embarks for a vacation far from home.

Mikhail Dubrinsky is the prince of the Carpathians, the powerful leader of a wise and secret ancient race that thrives in the night. Engulfed by despair, fearful of never finding the mate who can save him from the encroaching darkness, his soul cries out in loneliness—until the day that a beautiful voice full of light and love responds, softly soothing his pain and yearning.

From the moment they meet, Raven and Mikhail are helpless to resist the desire that sparks between them. But just as fate unexpectedly brings these life mates together, malevolent forces threaten to destroy them and their fragile love. Yet even if they survive, how can these two lovers—Carpathian and human—build a future together? And how can Mikhail bring Raven into his dark world without extinguishing her beautiful goodness and light?

I want to like this series. The first one I read was Dark Symphony.  It was alright.  Then I tried Dark Challenge and couldn't finish it because of the repetitiveness of the book. Dark Prince is the first book in the series and I had to force myself to finish it.  It is overly cliched (Man tries to control woman. Woman tries to resist, but falls for man's good looks) and repetitive. Here's how it goes:

Carpathian man meets beautiful human woman.  They have sex.  She's vulnerable and gets in trouble.  Man saves her.  They get into an argument.  They have makeup sex.  Next day he gets in trouble.  They get into an argument.  They have makeup sex.  Next day she gets in trouble again.  He has to turn her into a Carpathian (good thing they exchanged blood during their sex-capades--cause that's so very normal).  She wakes up turned and is upset because she isn't human.  They get into a disagreement. Guess what, they have makeup sex again. etc.  Do you agree that it is a bit repetitive?  Oh yes, very!

This book could easily be made into a drinking game.  It is so repetitive that you can take a drink every time any of the following are mentioned (Careful, it won't take long to feel your drink's effects):

  • little one
  • you are the light to my darkness
  • true lifemate
  • other half
  • velvet voice (sometimes black velvet)
  • white-hot
  • mind touch

Needless to say, I didn't truly enjoy this book. My eyes did get a workout from rolling every time something cliched happened.  Feehan's plot line was weak and the characters were a bit stereotypical.

The thing is, this series has all of the elements to be great. Are you tired of shifters, vampires, weres, or fae yet? Carpathians are a new paranormal being, and their abilities are like a mix of all of the paranormal creatures. They could be the king of all paranormal creatures.  If the plot lines were original, and not repetitive, then it could be a series I would recommend. Unfortunately this isn't the case.

I admit that this series has been out a while and has earned lots of awards. Although I didn't like it, there are some that will enjoy it. For me, this will be the last time I try this series. I think it is time to try something else.

About author Christine Feehan:
#1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan has over 40 novels published, including four series. Each of her four series has hit #1 on the NY Times. Her debut novel Dark Prince received 3 of the 9 Paranormal Excellence Awards in Romantic Literature for 1999. Since then she has been published by Leisure Books, Pocket Books, and currently is writing for Berkley/Jove. She also has earned 7 more PEARL awards.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Insurgent (Divergent #2)

By Veronica Roth

After telling several of my friends about Divergent and how amazing it was/is (you can see my Divergent review here), one of them loaned me the second book, Insurgent, to read.  Too bad it was given during a time when I had several blog tours going on.  Sadly, I had to move it to the back burner.  As soon as I was caught up with my reading, I cracked open the book.  OMG, why did I wait so long? I'm kicking myself in the rear.  If you've read the first book, go ahead and continue on with the second book. I promise you won't regret it!

After Tris' initiation day turned into something nightmares are made of, she and her group must decide which faction(s) they can turn to for help.  With war looming on the horizon, every action counts, especially when the Erudite want to control everyone in each faction. When Tris learns that there is a secret about the reason for the Erudites attacking the Abegnations, Tris will stop at nothing to find out what that information is--even at the risk of betraying those that she loves.

Readers are thrust back into the action and chaos that they left in book 1, only this time it is a much darker world.  Tris and Tobias know that they must stick together in order to get through this ordeal, but learning who they can trust is a bit of trial and error. They also learn how true the mantra "faction before blood" is.

There is less romance in the second book than there was in the first book.  Tris and Tobias' relationship is tested.  Secrets are kept from each other and that means they question how much the other trusts them. Tris repeatedly defies Tobias and puts herself in harms way. It is only when she is near death that she learns to value her own life. It will be interesting to see how that plays out in the third book.

Insurgent is the type of book where you want to speed read to find out what will happen, and at the same time you want to read it as slowly as possible so you can hang on to the story and savor it. I kept thinking YES, only X amount of pages left while at the same time thinking NO, only X amount of pages left.  The reason is that Ross' writing style sucks readers in and her plot keeps them glued to the pages.  It is very difficult to put the book down.

Readers beware though, the ending will make you want to pull your hair out. You find out what the Erudites were hiding and it is definitely a bombshell. Just like the end of Catching Fire (Hunger Games #2), you will need the third book ASAP. I recommend getting the third book, Allegiant, at the same time you get Insurgent. You will thank me for this advice.

About author Veronica Roth:
Veronica Roth is from a Chicago suburb. She studied creative writing at Northwestern University, and wrote DIVERGENT (Katherine Tegen Books, May 2011) and INSURGENT (May 2012). The third and final book in The Divergent Trilogy, ALLEGIANT, came out on October 22, 2013. She  spends endless hours browsing Wikipedia in her pajamas as she eats corn flakes. (Or some other kind of bland breakfast cereal.)

Want more info about insurgent? Check out the book trailer below

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Dead Dreams Giveaway and Extra Content

Eighteen-year-old Brie O’Mara has so much going for her: a loving family in the sidelines, an heiress for a roommate, and dreamsthat might just come true. Big dreams--of going to acting school, finishing college and making a name for herself. She is about to be the envy of everyone she knew. What more could she hope for? Except her dreams are about to lead her down the road to nightmares. Nightmares that could turn into a deadly reality.

Dead Dreams, Book 1, a young adult psychological thriller and contemporary mystery.

Genre: YA for ages 13 AND UP
Published AUG 2013

Find it on Amazon

Book Trailer:

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About author Emma Right:
Emma Right is a happy wife and home school mother of five living in the Pacific West Coast of the USA. Besides running a busy home, and looking after their five pets, which includes two cats, two bunnies and a long-haired dachshund, she also writes stories for her children. When she doesn't have her nose in a book, she is telling her kids to get theirs in one.

Right worked as a copywriter for two major advertising agencies and won several awards, including the prestigious Clio Award for her ads, before she settled down to have children.

Find Emma:   Website   Blog   Twitter   Dead Dream Facebook Page   Facebook Page   Goodreads    Pinterest   Google+

Dead Dreams official music video: 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Let me introduce... Audio books

I've had several friends ask about audio books. Some have never listened to one, and others might have tried but didn't like it. For audio books, the narrator is extremely important and can make or break an author's work. I advise listeners to listen to at least the first CD before deciding if a book isn't for you. Sometimes it takes that long to get acclimated to a narrator's voice/style/tone. For those of you who would like to try one out (Check out your local library!), here are some I  recommend:

For kids and family:

Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan  (Narrator: Jesse Bernstein)
Fans of Greek mythology will enjoy this series about demigods. Even if you've seen the movies, still listen to the books, because they have completely different plots. Narrator Jesse Bernstein has a lot of enthusiasm and will be able to capture and keep your attention.
#Action #Adventure #Quests

Kane Chronicles series by Rick Riordan (Narrators: Kevin R. Free & Katherine Kellgren)
This series has the same author as the Percy Jackson series, but this time readers learn about Egyptian gods and the magicians that call on the gods. The main characters are a brother and sister, so there are two narrators. Both do a phenomenal job. They have tons of enthusiasm and give various dialects for the different characters.
#Action #Adventure #Magic

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (Narrator: Jim Dale)
This would be a perfect series for your first audio book especially if you are a fan of the original books and/or movies. Narrator Jim Dale does a phenomenal job giving voices to all the different characters. (I love when he does Delores Umbridge in book 5!)
#Magic #Adventure

For teens and young adults:

The Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld (Narrator: Carine Montbertrand)
Westerfeld creates a futuristic dystopian society. It was my first dystopian novel that I read (or well, um, listened to), so it took me a while to accept the world and narrator. Now, I think she is the perfect voice for Westerfeld's main character, Tally. Carine Montbertrand does a great job channeling her inner teen. She gets Westerfeld's lingo down that is introduced in the second book. By the end of the series, I felt sad that I wouldn't get to hear her read any more for this character/series.
 #Post Apocalyptic #dramatic #dystopian

The Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness (Narrator: Nick Podehl)
I have a confession. The only reason I lasted so long in this series was because of narrator Nick Podehl. The story was unique, but Nick Podehl's animated narration made it much better. I love the twang to his voice too. Now, when I hear him narrate any other story, all I can think of is him yelling "Viola"! (Listen to the book, and you'll be thinking the same thing!)
#New Planet #dramatic

For adults:

The Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich  (Narrator: Lorelei King)
This is another series I highly recommend for new audio book listeners. I actually got my husband hooked on this series. You don't have to read the series in order, so make sure you get the ones narrated by Lorelei King. The first few books in the series had a different narrator, but Loreli King does a better job with the different character voices.  I love how she voices the characters of Lula and Ranger!
#comedic #romantic #mystery

The Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones (Narrator: Lorelei King)
For fans who love the Stephanie Plum series and also love paranormal  elements, then the Charley Davidson series is perfect for you. The narrator is the same as the Stephanie Plum series. (Yeah, Lorelei King is that good. She makes the list twice!) She has the enthusiasm and energy to make a great story even better. Plus, Darynda Jones' characters and plot are fun to read/listen to.
#comedic #romantic #mystery #paranormal

The Cheshire Red Reports series by Cherie Priest  (Narrator: Natalie Ross)
I love narrator Natalie Ross in this series. Her voice is a bit deeper than some narrators, and it totally fits Cherie Priest's main character. It's low and can be seductive in the right situations. Only bad thing, there are only two books so far. Hopefully there will be more. There were enough items left undone in the plot to warrant more books.
#Vampire #mystery

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Earthman Jack vs. The Ghost Planet (The Earthman Jack Space Saga #1)

About the book (from Goodreads):
Jack Finnegan only has to worry about dealing with school bullies, suffering through detention with his homeroom teacher, and getting noticed by the girl of his dreams... at least until an army of evil aliens invade Earth. Suddenly, this teenage slacker finds himself at the center of a galaxy-spanning conflict - where the lives of everyone on the planet are in jeopardy, soldiers use Quantum Physics to become superheroes, and the enemy uses some mysterious form of magic to make themselves practically unstoppable.

The secret to ending the conflict and saving the universe may lie in a powerful ancient spaceship, which it seems can only be flown by Earthmen. Now, Jack and a rag-tag group of allies must overcome impossible odds, defeat an unkillable enemy, rescue the princess of the galaxy, and save the universe from a threat more terrifying than any it has ever faced.

Can this underachiever rise to the occasion and become the hero Earth needs? The fate of all life in the galaxy may rest in his hands.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I'll be honest, after reading the blurb, I was interested in the story, but reading the author bio, I knew I had to read this book (see bio below).  I mean, if you're that creative in you bio, then I know you should have loads of goodies in your book. In Earthman Jack vs the Ghost Planet, author Mathew Kadish didn't disappoint. It is an original story and is edited very well.

The story is told through multiple points of views. Thank goodness because many characters are split up from each other. They must overcome their own obstacles then meet back up as a group. I loved the multiple points of views-- especially the deathlord supreme's. The multiple points of views add depth to Kadish's story and really move the plot along.

The plot is well thought out. It is loaded with impossible situations that characters must overcome. As you read, you are constantly wondering how Kadish will allow his characters to escape. Many of his solutions are imaginative. They are not obvious solutions. (I mean, is there an obvious solution to escaping an alien death pit with no doors?) It is interesting to read.

The story reminds me of Men in Black meets Star Wars, but a different plot of course.  There's no "force" and there isn't much space fighting (although there is some space fighting). A lot of the story takes place on Earth, on the deathlord mothership or Ghost Planet.

This is basically a space opera, so it has lots of melodramatic adventure, while travelling (or jumping) through space. There are a lot of elements, so make sure you have plenty of time to sit down and read. The chapters are long, and it's about 564 pages. I thought I could read it in a few days, but it took me much longer than anticipated. It's worth the time, but just be prepared.

This is the first book in a series, so although this main story is resolved, there are still elements left unfinished. I think Kadish is holding Earth hostage. We have to read the rest of the series to get our planet back!

Wise advice in Earthman Jack (quotes from the book):
Kadish gives readers (and his character's) useful advice. Here are some that are noteworthy...

"Family is what you make of it. You don't have to be related to people for them to be family. They just need to love you, and you just need to love them back. It's that simple."

"There are people out there that believe life is just something that happens to them. That they have no control over the events and circumstances they find themselves in. But the truth is, we are the ones who shape the lives we live. We are the ones that allow good things and bad things happen to us. By taking responsibility for our actions, we are able to make our lives better. When we play the victim, we allow out lives to be miserable. If you can take responsibility for yourself, decide to make your life better - and take action to that effect - then you are the master of your own destiny. And when that happens, you are capable of great things."

"...Live life in fear, running away- or live fighting for something greater than self."

About author Matthew Kadish:
Matthew Kadish is an independent author and world-recognized evil genius. When he isn't writing or being evil, he enjoys relaxing at the beach and videos of puppies. Much like Scottish cuisine, most of his literary works have been based on dares. He currently lives in Las Vegas and always bets on black, because Westley Snipes has yet to steer him wrong in life. He is the most talented author ever. His mother tells him so every day.

Find Matthew  Website   Twitter  Facebook

Monday, November 4, 2013

Blast of the Dragon's Fury (Andy Smithson #1)

By L.R.W. Lee

About the Book:
From the After Life, ten-year-old Andy Smithson’s relatives initiated a curse 500 years ago. Now they no longer agree it should continue and one is willing to sacrifice Andy’s life to end it. Unaware of the disagreement and with no say in the matter, Andy is unexpectedly and magically transported from his home. He finds himself in the Land of Oomaldee, facing mortal danger at every turn as he seeks to find a scale from a rare red dragon, the most ferocious of dragon species, to break the curse and save his life.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I absolutely love a good fantasy story, especially when it is set in a new world/realm/dimension. It takes an imaginative author with strong world building skills to even tackle a fantasy story. In Blast of the Dragon's Fury, author L.R.W. Lee's imagination creates a realistic fantasy world that middle graders and adults alike can enjoy.

Though the main city is cursed with fog, Lee uses a bit of potty humor to assist with clearing the air. I literally had to reread the paragraph explaining how they cleared the air. I thought surely I didn't just read that. Yup, I did. I burst out laughing. This is perfect for middle graders, and I have to admit adults will smile too.

I loved how Lee subtly entwined morals and ethics in the plot line of her book. The book begins with a ghost princess seeking revenge. The revenge lesson doesn't come full circle in the book-- because it's the basis of the series--but readers see how a bad guy can actually turn into a good guy and regret his previous actions. I wonder if Lee will add a plot twist so that the revenge seeking ghost learns to forgive and let go of grudges. Lee also sneaks other lessons in her story such as tell the truth, even if you think it will cause more trouble for yourself, and do the right thing, even if you don't feel like it. These are good lessons for kids, teens and adults.

My one push back would be that Andy didn't question getting home to his family. He accepted the new world and quickly acclimated himself to his situation and surroundings. I liked that he had a go with the flow attitude because it allowed the action to happen quicker. As an adult reader though, if I were in his shoes, I would be trying to figure out how I was able to come to Oomaldee and what my exit strategy would be to get back to my family.

Lee sets the pace of the story to capture middle grade reader's attention spans. There are spurts of adventure/danger/action/etc. followed by a brief down time before the characters are thrown back into more adventure/danger/action/etc. This is perfect for readers (of any age), who don't want to read a book in one sitting, but only have time (or attention spans) to read through one or two thrilling scene at a time. It makes reading fun.

One thing readers will notice (because Andy surely did), is that the story ends abruptly. Andy is pulled back into the real world as quickly as he left it. This just allows readers to eagerly await the release of the next book in the series to see if the curse can be broken. It isn't a bad cliffhanger because Andy's quest was completed, but it's not the entire tale either.

I would definitely recommend this to readers who enjoy a good fantasy adventure story. There's no romance and only mild violence  (Andy has to battle dragons, after all). This is perfect for middle graders, but teens and adults can easily enjoy it as well.

About author L.R.W. Lee:

Since the age of eight, L. R. W. Lee wanted to write a children’s book, but felt she did not have anything significant to share; she sought to change lives while entertaining. A degree in Accounting did not provide riveting fodder for a best seller, so she waited. Over a decade, she founded and grew a company, during which, she worked closely with a mentor from whom she learned uncommon thinking that changed her life. After selling her business in early 2012, she had time to write and, more importantly, something significant to share.

L. R. W. Lee lives in scenic Austin, TX with her husband, daughter and son.

Find her on Twitter    Website   Goodreads

Monday, October 28, 2013

Changling (Curse of Kin #2)

Synopsis via Goodreads:
Each of the three friends has a place in the curse. This book follows Sully as he finds out more about his history and his skills.

Nera's best friend Sully knows there is something special about him. After all, he is related to her uncle and Jasper is a witch.
Stands to reason that something would have been passed down.
They just have to find what powers Sully has been bestowed with.
But when they do, is it as simple as he thinks?
To be able to change into his animal and run wild is one thing. To be hunted for the beast that he is, is another. And when they find out who wants him dead, they realize that life isn't as simple as they thought.

Release date: October 30th 2013
Publisher: Lycaon Press

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I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

After enjoying Witchling (you can find the review here), I was looking forward to reading the sequel. I knew it would be about Sully, and I assumed it would be from his point of view. I was surprised to see it was Sully's story from Nera's point of view. Harper was smart to do it that way because Nera knew the danger that Sully would be facing. She, Jasper, and Bones decided to keep the secret from Sully. Had the story been told from Sully's point of view, then Nera's actions and words would have seemed a little extreme.

This book keeps up many of the elements from the first book. There teens still enjoy swordplay. Nera works with her powers to control the elements, and also uses her telepathic powers. Also, Nera's relationship with Bones doesn't progress much. They are still at each other's throats most of the time. However, we see Sully's personal emotions evolve to wanting something more with Nera, and Brie's crush on Bones grows. This creates a bit of tension between all the characters in the book.

Harper adds new characters to this story in the form of a new family moving to town. It seems that at least one of them might have some powers that they might not be aware of yet. It will be interesting to see what Harper decides to do with Peter, Gemma, and Nat in the next book(s). I really liked that Nat is around Rowan's age. Now he can have someone to relate to in Harper's world.

One thing that really bothered me in this book was Nera and her attitude. I just want to shout at her "Stop being such a baby!" In the first book she was moody, but I would be too if I found out that I was a witch, was part of a prophecy, and that supernatural beings were out to get me and my friends. In the second book, she flies off the handle if anyone gives her ANY criticism. It's funny because she basically yells at Gemma to deal with her situation and accept where she is now, but Nera doesn't do the same in her own situation. Every day she storms off from her parents, friends, and Bones. Bones gives her praise sometimes, but Nera doesn't acknowledge that. She assumes he has ulterior motives for it. Then when she is given constructive criticism, she has a snappy or rude remark and storms off. Deal with it Nera! One character summed it up by saying that she's overwhelmed and cranky. I agree.

Readers who enjoy a good paranormal story with shifters and swordplay should check out this series!

To find out what other readers thought about the book, check out the rest of the Changling Tour.

About author Ari Harper:
Ari Harper never wanted to grow up.

To offset the limitations of aging ungracefully, she created her own set of unique worlds where she can be and do whatever she wants.

Gods, witches and demons surround Ari while she spins her magic, doing mainly what they tell her to do. Given a chance, she prefers to work amongst chaos, which is good because she is constantly surrounded by children, all clamoring for attention. Some of them end up in her stories, some of them even get to die grisly deaths or be cast away to another realm. Her favorite pet is a big black dog called Hugo. You will find him as himself in the Curse of Kin series as Nera's faithful hound.

Enter to win an electronic copy of Witchling and Changling. This giveaway is open internationally!

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Garden of Eden (The Legend of Eden #1)

About Garden of Eden
It has been four years.
Four years since the day the Catchers found her family.
Four years since she escaped capture.
And four years since the day her mother locked her and Will, a boy she hardly knew, in an attic, 'for their own protection'.

Now, Eden White is fifteen, and sick of being a prisoner of parents who all but abandoned her. It was as simple as one walk down a beautiful, foggy beach, but it ended with Eden and Will face to face with Catchers - and this time, there is no escape.

When Eden wakes, she finds herself on an island, surrounded by hundreds of stolen children. Enrolled in the island school, Jordan Hall, Eden quickly learns that the island is not what it seems.
And, in the woods surrounding the school, she discovers a wild, beautiful magic inside of herself - one she has no idea how to control. With three unlikely new friends, Eden begins to realize that the headmistress is hiding much more than the stolen children - and what they learn in the laboratories below the school could cost Eden her life.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What made me want to read this book was the dystopian elements the blurb hinted at. Yes, it does have those elements, but there is fantasy, magic, mystery, and many more elements that I didn't even realize. Kate Cowan used these elements to create her own unique world based in our version of reality.

I really like Will. I hated that he melted into the background when they came to the school. I wonder if "Will" is his real name or if he gave Eden a false name. I have a feeling (or I hope) that Will is going to play a more prominent role in the second book.  He seems like he could be a really strong character if given the chance. I also wonder if he knows Eden's secret. If Eden is destined for some cosmic role, then Will could have been strategically placed. Then again, I could be completely over analyzing his role in Eden's story.

This story will make you hate Eden's parents. I mean, what loving parents would really locks their kids up and has no interaction with them? Then to top it off, they leave for days at a time. I know that's their character flaw, but I'd like to know what really went through their minds.

I do like how Eden transformed after she left the attic. She became a stronger character. I loved that she didn't play the victim. She took control of her actions and sought to improve herself. She stood up for those that couldn't stand up for themselves and is trying to help everyone on the island by discovering its big secret. She's turning into a leader, and that makes her interesting.

After the Catchers capture Will and Eden, they take them to the mysterious island/school. There are lots of secrets to uncover here.  Readers don't know who to trust, especially since everyone seems to have a secret. I kept trying to decide who was "good" and who was "bad". Cowan does a good job of keeping readers guessing.

This is the first book in Eden's tale. If you're expecting a full story, you're going to be disappointed. You find out only one of the many mysteries of the island. You will discover one secret that doesn't bode well for people. You will definitely need to pick up the next book in the series to find out more because so many questions are left unanswered.

Readers who enjoy a good mystery with magic should give Garden of Eden a try.

Find it on Amazon   Goodreads

To see what others thought about Garden of Eden, check out the rest of the blog tour here.

About author Kate Cowan:
Kate is an artist, an animation student, a black belt in karate and now, an author. She didn't discover writing
until mid-high school, when she began writing an (unintentionally) hilarious novel involving a teenage girl and a magic necklace. Her current novel series, The Legend of Eden, began as a story of Arthurian magic, but quickly transformed into something much different.

Kate currently lives in Ontario, Canada, in a zoo of a house. When she isn't writing, she's drawing, cooking, or browsing the Internet for new music.

Find Kate  Website   Twitter  Goodreads

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Friday, October 18, 2013

Night of the Fallen (Dark Tides #2) Cover Reveal

Today I'm excited to help reveal the second book in the Dark Tides series. After helping with the first book (you can find my review here), I jumped at the chance to help with Diana Bocco's second book. So, without further adieu, let me present Night of the Fallen!

About Night of the Fallen:
Isabelle’s mission seemed so clear: kill the king of the vampires to give humanity a fighting chance. Except she didn’t count on falling in love with him. And she didn't realize he held secrets that could actually end up saving the human race.

As the kingdom falls and Isabelle’s heart is torn between two worlds, everything changes. There’s something more dangerous out there, a plague that might destroy both humans and vampires alike. The only way to survive it might be to find a truce between species.

Peace will require the ultimate sacrifice.

And change the future of the world forever.

Buy City of the Fallen (Dark Tides #1):   Amazon   Nook

About Author Diana Bocco:

I've been a fan of all kinds of dark creatures since I was a kid (even before I discovered Stephen King at the age of 10). If it crawls in the night and tugs at your covers while you're sleeping, chances are I've written about it. It's probably no surprise that I'm a big fan of old buildings, urban exploring and things that go bump in the night. Oh, and Halloween, of course -- but that should go without saying.

Growing up, I wanted to be Indiana Jones. I ended up not pursuing a degree in Archaeology (although I toyed with the idea for a while) but I did become a huge lover of travel and history. Aside from traveling to all corners of the world, I've also lived in five countries in three continents -- including three years in Siberia and two in Vietnam. I'm currently living in Thailand.

I have a soft spot for animals (which is why you can be sure that in my stories, the dog will always make it) and right now have three wonderful -- but slightly crazy -- dogs in my life. And yes, they move with me from country to country. Too bad dogs can't accumulate frequent flyer miles!

In my other life, I also write nonfiction: articles, books, and even quizzes for the Discovery Channel website. I really can't help it -- I'm a nerd at heart and love research and discovering new things. Could be the Indiana Jones in me pushing me along.

When it comes to life, I'm pretty fearless. I figure life is too short to live it too safely -- so I take risks and I try to have fun, whether that means snowshoeing in the middle of Siberia or going ghost-hunting in an abandoned asylum. And yes, I've done both.

Find Diana:  Goodreads   Website