Friday, July 25, 2014

Coexist (Keegan's Chronicles #1)

About the book:
Sixteen-year-old Keegan is struggling to keep her huge secret from her friends--she's an elf, descended from a long line of elves that live in secrecy alongside humans.

In elfin society, mates are predetermined but not allowed to meet until they are eighteen. Against tradition, Keegan's brother Thaddeus told her Rourk's name because his visions warned him she'd need Rourk's protection, especially since Keegan will play a key role in the coming war between the dark and light elves.

Rourk finds himself drawn to Keegan's side every time she thinks his name. He wants to talk to her but remains in the shadows, silently guarding her every time she mentally beckons him. A twist of fate thrusts the two of them together when Rourk is forced to step up his protection and make his presence known.

An ancient prophecy deeply entwines Keegan's family and the future of their society. Somehow they must find a way to thwart fate and win the battle...without losing Keegan. With war brewing, and dark forces aligning, will Keegan and Rourk ever have the life together that they both desire?

Find the book: Goodreads  Barnes & Noble

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

Prophecy, and elves, and a great battle, and budding romance, and magic, and supernatural creatures, and ...

Author Julia Crane weaves a mix of many elements in her book Coexist. That mix creates a story that draws readers into her world, especially lovers of paranormal books.

What makes Crane's elfin society different from other mythical/paranormal societies such as werewolves, fae, etc? I was surprised to realize that the main difference was the life mate situation. There isn't such things as divorce in the elfin society. Your life mate is your perfect match, and you don't get to meet him/her until your 18th birthday. Other than that, Keegan could have been any other mythical creature. She could have been a witch or fae. Members of their society have various powers, but that isn't only contained to that species.

The story uses multiple points of view to move the plotline forward. Readers get a peak inside the head of Keegan, Rourk and Thaddeus (Keegan's brother). I enjoyed seeing how Keegan and Rourk connected when they had never met each other. If I were Rourk and knew every time my chosen life mate thought about me, I'd be tempted too to go spy on her!

This is Keegan's story, but half of the prophecy (and in my opinion, the more important part) is about her brother, Thaddeus. I wish that we could have seen more about what was going on inside of his head during this stressful time. The prophecy states:
 An elfin child on the side of light,
born with the gift of sight,
tells when light and dark shall meet,
but not who will face defeat.
Eldest son of warrior great,
the child will determine elfin fate.
Keegan is able to describe when the war will happen, but it is her brother that "determines elfin fate." The way he does this is by using his brain and wits. It was a fairly simple idea that took some guts to pull off. Crane's solution of ending the battle is very young adult friendly.

It seemed that for a great battle--the battle that was foretold long ago--to put it all in one book, kind dumbed down the importance of it. If the battle itself was spread out over several books, then it would have seemed more epic. My guess is that Crane did this because the story is more about Keegan's relationship(s), than about a battle. The author did a good job of describing the battle and keeping it geared to the young adult audience. It wasn't too graphic or gory.

I was confused about the importance of Keegan's and Rourk's connection. Keegan's brother saw that she would die and that she should call out for Rourk. The story focuses on keeping Keegan safe, and then when the time comes, she spontaneously runs into the battle and gets injured. Rourk actually had to be told about what happened.  If she were so important, you would think better safeguards would be in place, and that Rourk would stay by her side.

I enjoyed how Crane solved Keegan's "situation" after the battle. It was a nice surprise in the plotline. It also sets up the tension/drama for the second book in the series, Conflicted. Ha, yes, I definitely believe Keegan will be a bit "conflicted" in that book!

Readers who enjoy a good paranormal book should pick up Coexist. It is geared to teens, but older readers can enjoy it too.

About author Julia Crane:
Julia Crane is the author of the Keegan’s Chronicles, IFICS. She has a bachelors degree in criminal justice. Julia has believed in magical creatures since the day her grandmother first told her an Irish tale. Growing up her mother greatly encouraged reading and using your imagination.

Find Julia:  Website   Twitter   Goodreads

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Release Day Blitz: Witch Hunter Olivia by T.A. Kunz

About the book: 
In the town of Piedmont Pointe, where paranormal is the norm, a girl can easily get herself in over her head with a single wrong move. Unfortunately for Olivia Adams, she’s about to make several.
Starting over is never easy, but it seemed like the only option to Olivia. The decision to turn her back on the Guild of Witch Hunters, the very group she devoted her entire life to, was one of the hardest things she ever did. It meant leaving her family, her friends, and her old identity behind forever. Coming to terms with what caused her to abandon her duties in the first place was even harder.
While trying to lay low and stay off the Guild’s radar, Olivia finds herself thrust back into her old ways after unknowingly interrupting an assassination hit on a powerful witch. What follows is the last thing she ever thought she’d agree to do—protect the very thing she was groomed to hunt.
To complicate things even further, Olivia begins to develop feelings for a tattoo artist who also happens to be half warlock, and no matter how hard she tries to fight it, she can’t resist her inescapable draw to him. Olivia’s forbidden relationship isn’t her only issue though, because once the mystery behind the assassination attempt starts to unravel, she’s forced to choose sides when the loyalties still tied to her past life are tested again.
So much for the idea of a fresh start.

*A New Adult Urban Fantasy Novel*   Find it on Goodreads  

Buy it:   Amazon US   Amazon UK    Amazon AUS   iBooks   B&N   Kobo

He takes my hands in his before standing up. I feel him pull up slightly, and before I know it, I’m on my feet. My legs wobble and I stumble into his arms. Our faces float near one another and I feel his mouth break into a grin next to my forehead. I pan my eyes up to meet his, and he steadies me again by wrapping his arms underneath mine so I have a chance to catch my balance.
“Whoa, easy.” His breathy whisper has me looking up at him again. “Maybe you should sit back down.”
“No, I’m okay. Really,” I reply, finally able to stand on my own without having to brace myself with the assistance of his strong, muscular arms.
I find myself unable to take my gaze away from his baby blues, and we stand here staring at each other. It’s like I’m seeing Heath for the first time. My heart pounds within my chest, and my palms begin to moisten—both classic signs of attraction. We’re standing here chest to chest, and what I initially thought was my own heartbeat hammering furiously in my ears is actually Heath’s.
He begins to say something, but I interrupt him by bringing my hands up to his razor-sharp jawline and draw his mouth down to mine. The first contact is soft and smooth, like Heath’s lips. He seems hesitant, so I pull back to look at him.
“Something wrong?” I inquire, feeling confused by his apprehension.
“Not at all. It’s just I told myself the next time we kissed, it’d happen after an actual date.”
“Oh ... well, what do you call tonight?”
“The strangest date I've ever been on?” he replies before leaning down and locking his lips with mine again. 
Warmth caresses my mouth and works its way up through my cheeks as Heath’s tongue gently maneuvers along with the kiss. His hands travel along my arms before transitioning to the small of my back, leaving trails of heat in their wake. He deepens the kiss while tugging me closer to him. My arms wrap around his neck and prop up on his broad shoulders. I feel like I've been set ablaze as Heath’s hands get antsy and begin searching my body for another resting place.
I gently guide him toward his father’s tattoo chair while maintaining our secure lip lock. When we bump into the chair, Heath laughs softly into my mouth, which only makes me kiss him harder. He eases himself down onto the chair and allows me to straddle his lap, one leg on either side of his hips. His hands run up and down my back underneath my blouse, and the intense heat almost becomes too much to handle. It feels like the sun is beating down on my skin, leaving me slightly burned, but in the best way possible.

Heath hooks his hands around my hips and slides me closer to him as his mouth trails from the crux between my neck and shoulder across my collarbone. He ends at the plunging neckline of my blouse and runs his lips over the entire area before continuing onto the other side. A moan of pleasure seeps out from me when I can’t hold it back any longer. The girth in his pants grows as he grinds into me while never removing his lips from my skin. It inches down his pant leg and rubs against my inner thigh, making me want to strip down and have him inside me right now. The more time that passes, the more it becomes a yearning or desire than just a want to be closer.
About author T.A. Kunz:

T.A. Kunz has always had a fondness for reading thrilling mysteries and action-packed urban fantasies. So, it was no surprise when T.A. decided to write stories that they’d fall into one of those two genres. T.A. lives in Central Florida with two fur babies and a mechanical engineer who also happens to be quite the culinary badass, which there are no complaints about. Being a self-diagnosed caffeine addict, many joke that T.A.’s addiction to Starbucks coffee will likely be their downfall later in life.
Find T.A. Kuntz:   Website   FB Author Page   Twitter   Goodreads

Friday, July 11, 2014

Blood & Thunder (Thirds Series Book 2) cover reveal

About the book:
When a series of bombs go off in a Therian youth center, injuring members of THIRDS Team Destructive Delta, and causing a rift between agents Dexter J. Daley and Sloane Brodie, peace seems unattainable. Especially when a new and frightening group, the Order of Adrasteia, appears to always be a step ahead. With panic and intolerance spreading and streets becoming littered with the Order’s propaganda, hostility between Humans and Therians grows daily. Dex and Sloane, along with the rest of the team, are determined to take down the Order and restore peace, not to mention settle a personal score. But the deeper the team investigates the bombings, the more they believe there’s a more sinister motive than a desire to shed blood and spread chaos.

Discovering the frightful truth behind the Order’s intent forces Sloane to confront secrets from a past he thought he’d left behind for good, a past that could not only destroy him and his career, but also the reputation of the organization that made him all he is today. Now more than ever, Dex and Sloane need each other, and, along with trust, the strength of their bond will mean the difference between justice and all-out war.
Release date: August 4, 2014
Book Links:   Goodreads   eBook   Paperback  
About author Charlie Cochet:
Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From Historical to Fantasy, Contemporary to Science Fiction, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!
Currently residing in South Florida, Charlie looks forward to migrating to a land where the weather includes seasons other than hot, hotter, and boy, it’s hot! When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.
Find Charlie:   Website   Blog   FB Author Page   Twitter   Goodreads   Pinterest   Newsletter 
 “It is exceptionally important for you to know when your partner is playing and when he or she is irate. Agent Daley, please demonstrate.”
Dex arched an eyebrow at the instructor. “Which one?”
“You want me to piss him off?” What kind of class was this?
“In a matter of speaking. Yes.”
“Great.” Okay. How could he piss off his partner without losing a limb? What he needed to do was annoy Sloane, really annoy him. Shouldn’t be too difficult. Dex had annoying down to an art. He thrust a finger in Sloane’s face, knowing how much his Felid partner hated that. Then he started singing. Nothing annoyed his partner like Hall and Oates.
Sloane let out a fierce roar, and Dex started dancing around him, his voice going high-pitched for certain lyrics while he snapped his fingers. Sloane pawed at him, and Dex spun on his heels, avoiding getting smacked. His partner hissed, baring his fangs before he took off after Dex.
“Shit!” Dex bolted, weaving through the rows of agents who were either laughing or watching him in disbelief while their instructor narrated as if this was nothing more than some nature video. Dex could see the title now. National Geographic presents Predatory Partners.
“Understand your partner’s behavior. Why is he or she behaving in such a fashion?”
“Because I pissed him off?” Dex called out over his shoulder, dashing back toward the instructor.
“Very good. Thank you, Agent Daley. You may now soothe your partner.”
Clearly, Dr. Eldridge didn’t personally know Sloane Brodie. Dex put his hands up, walking backward slowly as he spoke to his partner.
“Hey, buddy. Just following orders, you know? You heard him. I wasn’t the one who wanted to piss you off.” Dex crouched down and held a hand out. Please don’t bite me. Please don’t bite me. Sloane blinked before jumping up on his two back paws, his front paws pushing against Dex’s shoulders and knocking him onto his back. Sloane pinned him, and Dex braced himself. When Sloane started licking his face, Dex shut his eyes tight. “Okay, I get it. Payback. Take notes people.” Dex pointed at his partner. “This is what I meant about payback.”
“Agent Brodie, if you’ll resume your place beside your partner. Agent Daley, you may return to your mat.”
Sloane did as asked, and Dex wiped at his face with his sleeve before returning to his spot. He was never more grateful not to have ended up partnered with Ash than he was at this moment.
“Once you have assessed your partner and deduced he or she is irate, you will want to give your partner space. If you feel it’s safe to approach, you will do so with caution. Deal with what’s causing the issue. For example, Agent Fuller, please approach Agent Daley. Slowly.”
The moment Agent Fuller got to his feet, Sloane’s ears twitched. “Um, I don’t know if that’s a good idea,” Dex said, watching Agent Fuller creep toward Dex, as if Sloane hadn’t noticed. The Human rookie was clearly unaccustomed to dealing with Felids. “My partner’s a little on the grumpy side and poking the sleeping jaguar with a pointy stick might not end so well.”
Agent Fuller paused, his panicked gaze going to their instructor.
“It’s all right, Agent Fuller. Proceed.”
Doing as instructed, Agent Fuller resumed his prowl, while Sloane resumed his grooming of Dex, his heavy tail thumping against the floor. Uh-oh.
“As you can see by Agent Brodie’s movements, he’s fully aware of Agent Fuller. His tail is telling Agent Fuller to be cautious, Agent Daley is his, and he will not take kindly to any aggression toward his partner.”
Dex held up a finger. “Can I just—”
“Please stand, Agent Daley.”
Dex did as asked, and Sloane released a huff at having his grooming session interrupted. This was going to end badly. Dr. Eldridge had no idea what he was about to unleash. Sloane Brodie chewed rookies for breakfast and spit them out. Dex should know.
“Agent Fuller, please advance with the intention of striking Agent Daley.”
Dex didn’t bother taking a stance or prepare for a blow that would never land. His fellow rookies looked at him as if he was crazy, but soon they’d understand. Poor Agent Fuller. The guy pulled back a fist and the moment he took a step, Sloane’s roar echoed across the field. Ears flattened, fangs bare, Sloane leapt toward Agent Fuller who screamed like a preteen at a Bieber concert and made tracks across the field, Sloane on his heels looking mighty pissed.
“Thank you, Agent Brodie,” the instructor called out.
Agent Brodie wiped his ass with their instructor’s polite orders and chased Agent Fuller down the length of the grassy pitch. Dex glanced around. “So which of you is a medic?”
A few shaky hands went up.
“Great. Get ready for the next lesson. How to patch up a Human scratching post.”
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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

How to be Manly cover reveal

We're excited to be among the first to see, and to share, the brand new book How to Be Manly by Maureen O'Leary Wanket coming September 2014 from Giant Squid Books. How to Be Manly is a Young Adult Contemporary novel. The cover art is by Jillian Blazek at 

How to be Manly Cover

"When you start this program, your whole life will change."
When Fatty Matty Sullivan finds a self-help book by former football great Tad Manly at a yard sale, he secretly starts following the old pro’s advice to turn himself into the kind of guy super hot Cassie Bale will love.
But between taking care of his grandfather, trying to pass remedial Algebra, and getting caught up in his friend Jester’s half-bakedweed-dealing schemes, Matt’s summer isn’t quite the game-changer he’d planned. And when on top of it all his dad moves back in with his own plans to get rich quick, Matt suddenly has much bigger things to worry about. It turns out that there might be more to being manly than he thought.With the humor and insight of YA favorites Judy Blume and Louis Sachar Maureen O’Leary Wanket’s debut is a sharp, comic novel about trying to do the right thing...even when you’re not sure what that is.

The cover of How to Be Manly shows snippets of Matt Sullivan's story: donuts, his favorite food; grass stains from long days on the football field; a stack of cash. In a series of cover-reveal posts, author Maureen O'Leary Wanket talks about the importance of each of these things to Matt's story.
Maureen O'Leary Wanket on food in How to Be Manly:
In How to Be Manly, fifteen year-old Matty Sullivan loves nothing more than eating his grandmother’s cooking and playing video games with his friends. It isn’t until he suffers a stinging rejection from the girl he has a crush on that he decides to get in shape...with the help of a corny book at a garage sale.
I happened upon the seed for the weight loss aspect of this novel one day when I was dropping my daughter off at a school event. In the parking lot I saw the mother of one of my kid’s classmates offering her obese son a box of donuts. I knew enough of their story to know that his dad wasn’t around and that they had a hard time of it. I saw between them a tender moment of joy they were having around these donuts, absolutely not caring who saw them or what people thought. They reminded me of how comforting food can be when the rest of the world is harsh and unloving. Giving that up is hard for Matt, but he does it because he sets his mind to it. Something I can tell you from twenty years in the classroom is that once a young person makes an internal decision to do something, that thing gets done. Kids can be very single minded about goals that are important to them. I’m inspired by my students in this way every day.
How to Be Manly is a novel for anyone who has ever found comfort in a perfect slice of red velvet cake. It's about you if you’ve ever given up what comforts you, only to learn that you were stronger than you ever thought you could be.
At dinner I said no to Grandma’s mashed potatoes.  She didn’t say anything about it until I said no to dessert.  She held the cake knife up and looked at me as if I had lost my mind and said goddamn.
“What did you say, young man?”
“No cake for me, please.”  
Grandpa had no reaction. He nodded over his own slice of chocolate fudge with rainbow sprinkles like the cake had asked him a question.
I wished she wouldn’t fight me on saying no to cake.  I was still hungry after only eating chicken and salad but Tad Manly’s directions on diet were pretty simple. Say no to desserts.  Most of your meal should be meat and vegetables with whole grains like brown rice.  This is the kind of food that will give you the Manly body you’re working for.  If Grandma was going to start fighting me about eating stuff I had a hard time saying no to in the first place, this was going to be a hard road.
About author Maureen O'Leary:
Maureen O’Leary Wanket is a writer and teacher living in Sacramento, California with her husband and two daughters. How To Be Manly is inspired by the humor and courage of the students she’s met in her classrooms over the past twenty years.
Maureen's short stories have appeared in Esopus, Xenith,Fiction at Work, Blood and Thunder, Musings on the Art of Medicine and Prick of the Spindle. How To Be Manly is her first novel. Follow her on Twitter @maureenow.

Enter to win one paperback Advanced Reading Copy of How to Be Manly (US) or one of three eARCs of How to Be Manly (INT)
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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Author Spotlight: Amy Evans

Amy Evans is a wife, mother, ocean lover and storyteller. She's created multi-platform mobile apps, social media games, and interactive story worlds for HIPnTASTY, a company she co-founded in 2001. She serves an Advisor to Immersedition and a host of the NAlitchat on Twitter. She loves dolphins, aliens and pugs, and sometimes writes for so long they all look like the same thing. Clicks is her debut novel.

Jellybean Kisses


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Uncovering Cobbogoth book blast

Uncover Cobbogoth
About the book:
Norah Lukens needs to uncover the truth about the fabled lost city of Cobbogoth. After her archaeologist uncle’s murder, Norah is asked to translate his old research journal for evidence and discovers that his murder was a cover-up for something far more sinister.

When she turns to neighbor and only friend James Riley for help, she realizes that not only is their bitter-sweet past haunting her every step, but James is keeping dangerous secrets. Can Norah discover what they are before its too late to share her own.

Find the book: Amazon   Barnes & Noble

Praise for Uncovering Cobbogoth:
“With a fascinating protagonist in Norah Lukens, a fully realized, never before seen fantasy world, and a fast paced, compelling story, Uncovering Cobbogoth establishes Hannah L. Clark as a major new voice in American fiction. The richness of the story and the scope of the world she’s created screams for a film adaptation. This is a fantasy novel for everyone, even readers not usually drawn to the genre. Highly, highly recommended!”
-Bryce Clark, author of Red Shirt Kids

“This book takes you on a wonderful ride, bringing myth and legend to life. The characters are full and flawed, with a sweet romance woven through the adventure.”
- Annette K. Larsen, author of Just Ella

“Uncovering Cobbogoth is an Icelandic tale that will appeal to many Harry Potter series fans […] For those who’ve missed the Harry Potter world, here’s a pretty good alternative!”
- Sharon Haddock, For the Deseret News

“A friend of mine recommended this book […] I checked it out and I was so pleased! I love this book. I can’t wait to read the next one [...] and I am encouraging my daughter to read it as well. If you like fantasy with a little mix of science this book is perfect. I had such a hard time putting this book down just so I could deal with real life and working on promoting my own book. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this book.”
-Pamela Hall, author

Author Hannah L. Clark
hannahHannah L. Clark lives with her husband and their son in the Rocky Mountains. She has always known she would be a storyteller. In 2006 she graduated from Utah Valley University with a bachelor’s degree in English and immediately began writing Uncovering Cobbogoth, the first book in a seven book series based on Clark’s mythological brain-child, the Icelandic Legend of the Cobbogothians.

Clark loves her family, running, mythology, laughing, soulful bluegrass music, road-trips, studying alternative medicine, retro hairdos, and growing things. Like her heroine Norah, she also kind of believes trees have souls, but must clarify (for her parents’ sakes) that she was not raised by hippies.

Find author Hannah Clark: Website   Twitter   Instagram   Facebook   Pinterest

The Legend of the Cobbogothians is really where Uncovering Cobbogoth begins. For as long as Norah can remember, her Uncle Jack has been obsessed with the mythical people. He became an archeologist and world famous Myth-chaser because of the Cobbogothian legends he heard while visiting his Granddad Aegissida’s farm in Iceland.

The Legend of the Cobbogothians
Long ago, at the beginning of time, a peculiar race ruled the earth. They found favor in the eyes of the gods and received great gifts of knowledge and power at their hands. These gifts made them elementalists—masters of earth, wind, fire, water, metal, wood and space. The elementalists thenceforth became rulers of the earth and sky.

With this power came corruption, and the elementalists soon forgot their patron gods. Instead, they turned to worshipping themselves and their own creations. This angered the gods, and in their wrath, the vowed to bring an icy end to the prideful race.

Rumors of the looming destruction were heralded throughout the land, and a final invitation was issued to the elementalists to renounce their fallen ways. Yet only a few heard and heeded. Among them was a man named Cobbogoth. Being a wise and humble servant of the gods, he believed the warnings and led all who would listen deep into the bowels of the earth to wait out the approaching storm.

When the day of destruction was come and the wrath of the gods rained down, the race of elementalists was wiped away, and then came the dawning of a violent and frigid ide age.

It is said that Cobbogoth’s posterity still lives beneath our feet, waiting to rise and rule the earth and sky once more.

Sigurd Jorgensson
Icelandic Bard, 1045 AD  

*Translated from the original Old Norse by Dr. Jack A. Lukens of Harvard University, April 1975


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