March 28, 2017

Paperback Release Day Blitz + Giveaway: The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead



THE GLITTERING COURT SUMMARY:
Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and then when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands…
RICHELLE MEAD is the #1 New York TimesUSA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Vampire Academy series and its spin-off series, Bloodlines. Originally from Michigan, she now lives in Seattle, Washington.

Enter for a chance to win one (1) of ten (10) copies of The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead (ARV: $10.99 each).


NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on March 28, 2017 and 12:00 AM on April 5, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about April 7, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Digging in the Stars by Katherine Blakeney


 

Digging in the Stars
Author: Katherine Blakeney
Genre: YA Science Fiction 
Publication Date: March 28, 2017

Publisher: Blaze Publishing

Description:


A lost ancient civilization and the tomb of a legendary king lie buried beneath centuries of ash on the volcanic planet Thror, but that’s not the only reason sixteen-year-old Carter has tricked her Archaeology of Outer Space class into coming here. Her best friend Conrad has just disappeared on a trip to Thror, leaving behind little more than a broken vintage camera. The strange and disturbing photographs she manages to extract make her suspect Conrad’s disappearance is somehow connected to the hidden tomb of the last king of Thror.

Unfortunately, the ludicrously over-friendly ‘Furry Giants’ who have taken over the planet’s barren surface would rather offer her cheap souvenirs than answers, and the local officials insist they have no record of Conrad’s existence. Inspired by fear for Conrad’s life and the chance to make the greatest archaeological discovery of the century, Carter and her friends follow Conrad’s footsteps deep into the mountains of Thror’s forbidden Black Zone and launch an illicit excavation.

Coded messages, stunning ancient ruins, and clues left by Conrad himself begin to surface as the young archaeologists fall victim to an alarming series of accidents staged by the increasingly hostile Furry Giants. Piecing together a history of dictatorship, terrorism and disguise, Carter glimpses the horrors beyond Thror’s flamboyant fa├žade and startling revelations about the friend she thought she knew. The masks of Thror hide devastating secrets, and the golden tomb buried deep in the frozen core may claim the lives of everyone she loves.

TEASERS:

“Please remain seated as we begin our descent into Thror. Welcome, and enjoy your stay.”
The time for action was at hand, and she still didn’t feel ready. The flight felt much shorter than she’d expected.

The girls exchanged bewildered looks across the aisles. Stunned silence. They couldn’t have missed that final announcement. Avoiding Professor P’s gaze, Carter still felt the look of shock the professor shot across the cabin. Once, Carter had seen herself arriving on Thror as a great explorer. Instead, she would be remembered as a half-baked deceiver and kidnapper. 

The Throrians would have called her a scent-changer.

* * *
Carter had been so close to her goal. She saw that crack with her own eyes, a portal into a lost ancient world, chambers filed with carvings, images that had never been recorded or reproduced. The greatest discovery of this or any other century, waiting less than twenty feet away. Waiting for her. And Conrad had been there first. The moment she thought it, she felt guilty. She was allowing herself to get carried away by archaeological fervor, mentally competing with Conrad, when he might have paid a terrible price for his discovery.
I am an author and independent filmmaker/stop motion animator with a BFA in Stop Motion Animation from the School of Visual Arts in New York and a PhD in Film Studies from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland, UK). My thesis focuses on silent film adaptations of late nineteenth and early twentieth century Gothic novels, with a special emphasis on psychological and aesthetic representations of the Monster figure. My debut novel, a YA Sci-Fi adventure called Digging in the Stars, is forthcoming with Blaze Publishing on March 28, 2017.

Raised by an Egyptologist mother, I grew up among museums and excavation sites, where I developed an unhealthy fascination with ancient art and mythology. I divide my time between bringing 12”-tall people to life in my studio in Edinburgh, excavating ancient tombs in the Egyptian desert, and researching Gothic literary monsters in silent film. I have worked for more than 10 years as photographer and videographer for the South Asasif Conservation Project, an archaeological expedition in Egypt and I have published numerous articles on film and archaeology.

I write, direct, design, and animate short films and commissioned projects in my studio in Edinburgh, Scotland and have been employed as an animator, screenwriter, modelmaker and art director for studios in Edinburgh, South Korea and Qatar. I have produced commissioned projects for IdeasTap in London, the Arts Trust Scotland and the British Library. My shorts have won competitions and screened at various international festivals including the Edinburgh Fringe. In 2015, my short film The Burglar With the Yellow Hand was nominated for an Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK) Research in Film Award.

You can find out more about all aspects of my work on my website, http://yorwickcastle.com
 

My new blog http://KatherineBlakeneyStardigger.blogspot.com is all about Digging in the Stars and my references and inspirations as a writer.




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March 27, 2017

Book Blast + Giveaway: The Courage Test by James Preller



The Courage Test

Author: James Preller
Release Date: September 13, 2016
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends



Description:

Will has no choice. His father drags him along on a wilderness adventure in the footsteps of legendary explorers Lewis and Clark--whether he likes it or not. All the while, Will senses that something about this trip isn't quite right.

Along the journey, Will meets fascinating strangers and experiences new thrills, including mountain cliffs, whitewater rapids, and a heart-hammering bear encounter.

It is a journey into the soul of America's past, and the meaning of family in the future. In the end, Will must face his own, life-changing test of courage.

A father-and-son journey along the Lewis and Clark Trail--from Fort Mandan to the shining sea--offers readers a genre-bending blend of American history, thrilling action, and personal discovery. 


Praise for THE COURAGE TEST:

"Preller stirs doses of American history into a first-rate road trip that does traditional double-duty as plot device and coming-of-age metaphor. Will is initially baffled and furious at being abruptly forced to accompany his divorced father, a history professor, on a long journey retracing much of the trail of Lewis and Clark. ...Will survives a meeting with a bear and a spill into dangerous rapids—tests of courage that will help him weather the bad news that awaits him at home." --Booklist

"Whatever young explorers look for on their literary road trips, they’ll find it here."--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"The lively narrative is interspersed with Will’s entries for a school writing assignment, which contain lots of facts about the original journey, as well as postcards to his mother. Despite the emotional heft, there is plenty of action, including white-water rafting and a close encounter with a bear. A middle grade winner to hand to fans of history, adventure, and family drama."--School Library Journal

My mother pushes me out the door, and I don’t know why.

“I don’t want to go,” I tell her.

“I know,” she says.

“But why now?” I ask again. “All-Stars starts this week. I don’t want to miss it.”

“We’ve been over this,” she says.

She might as well say what every parent resorts to when they run out of good answers: Because I said so. There’s no explanation, no more discussion. It’s time for me to go.

I feel ridiculously, stupidly, helplessly annoyed, and there’s nothing I can do about it. I see in that instant my mother is getting old. Stray gray hairs, wrinkles around the down-turned corners of her mouth. She looks tired and thin, sick of arguing with me. I carry a fully loaded metal-frame backpack on my shoulders and a smaller gym bag in my right hand—stuff for the long drive, all my technology’s in there. I don’t want to go, but I can’t stand here forever. So come on, Mom, let’s do this.

“You’ll have fun,” she says. “It’s good for you and your father to spend time together.”

“Please, Mom.”

“He’s the only father you’ve got,” she says.

I give her nothing in return. Not a nod. I’m not even listening. I turn my back to her.

“Bye,” she says, and adds, “I love you, Will.”

I walk away like I don’t hear.

“Will?”

I raise my hand in good-bye without looking back.

My father waits in the car. He steps out as I approach. I nod to him, hey. None of this is my idea. I have no say, no choice. I refuse to be happy about it. I’m not going to make this easy.

“Here, um, let me help you with that.” He reaches to take my backpack.

“No, I got it,” I say, leaning away.

“Oh, okay, sure,” he says.

He stands there, not knowing what to do.

“Are you going to pop the trunk?” I ask. Because: obviously.

Flustered, my father moves to the driver’s side door. He fumbles in the front pocket of his water-resistant khakis, drops the keys on the road, stoops to the ground. I glance sideways, slyly, to check how this is playing from the front window. But my mother is no longer watching.

She’s gone.

 
James Preller (born 1961) is the children's book author of the Jigsaw Jones Mysteries, which are published by Scholastic Corporation. He grew up in Wantagh, New York and went to college in Oneonta, New York. After graduating from college in 1983, James Preller was employed as a waiter for one year before being hired as a copywriter by Scholastic Corporation, where he was introduced (through their books) to many noatable children's authors. This inspired James Preller to try writing his own books. James Preller published his first book, entitled MAXX TRAX: Avalanche Rescue, in 1986. Since that time, James Preller has written a variety of books, and has written under a number of pen names, including Mitzy Kafka, James Patrick, and Izzy Bonkers. James Preller lives in Delmar, New York with his wife Lisa and their three children.

   
You can purchase The Courage Test at the following Retailers:
 
(3) Winners will receive a Copy of The Courage Test by James Preller
Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter
 







 

March 26, 2017

Review: Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley

Our Own Private Universe
Author: Robin Talley
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance/LGBTQ
Release Date: January 31, 2017
Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Description:

Fifteen-year-old Aki Simon has a theory. And it's mostly about sex.

No, it isn't that kind of theory. Aki already knows she's bisexual—even if, until now, it's mostly been in the hypothetical sense. Aki has dated only guys so far, and her best friend, Lori, is the only person who knows she likes girls, too.

Actually, Aki's theory is that she's got only one shot at living an interesting life—and that means she's got to stop sitting around and thinking so much. It's time for her to actually do something. Or at least try.

So when Aki and Lori set off on a church youth-group trip to a small Mexican town for the summer and Aki meets Christa—slightly older, far more experienced—it seems her theory is prime for the testing.

But it's not going to be easy. For one thing, how exactly do two girls have sex, anyway? And more important, how can you tell if you're in love? It's going to be a summer of testing theories—and the result may just be love.
  


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22082082-our-own-private-universe
 
Our Own Private Universe is a new young adult contemporary romance that focuses on love, friendship, learning who you are, and accepting yourself. It's a great read for fans of the genre along with readers who enjoy LGBTQ issues, coming of age tales, and those wanting to diversify their shelves. Here are my pros and cons for the book:

Pros:
- Realistic and likeable main character in Aki
- Easy to empathize with the characters and what they're going through
- Universal issues along with topics dealing with LGBTQ
- Appeals to a wide audience
- First person point of view

Cons:
- I couldn't fully identify with Aki because we're so different. Even though the story is told from her perspective, I couldn't connect with her as much as I wanted to.
- I'm personally not a huge fan of contemporary fiction, especially romance, so this wasn't exactly my cup of tea. I definitely recommend it to fans of contemporary fiction, romance, young adult fiction, and coming of age stories.









 

March 25, 2017

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Moments of Beauty by J.B. Heller


 

Moments of Beauty
Author: J.B. Heller
Publication Date: March 23, 2017
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance


Description:

Ugly. It the only word to describe my upbringing.

It drove my need to capture every moment of beauty I could find. A glimpse of a mother’s love. A feather floating in the breeze. A ray of sunshine emerging on a rainy day.

And then there was her, Eliza Quinn, she signified everything I didn’t deserve. She showed me more beauty than I ever thought possible. And I took it all, despite knowing I was going to leave her, and never come back.

Leaving her five years ago was my biggest mistake, and my greatest regret. Now I need to make amends. I thought leaving her was the hardest thing I’d ever have to do, but that was before I knew I had to win her back.


ELIZA

It’s him.

Huxley Haynes.

The boy who thinks he’s invisible, but I see him.

I didn’t know anyone else knew about this spot. Well, not exactly, I know I’m not the first person to ever find it, but I’ve never run into anybody else here.

The expression on his face is comical. Something between terrified and busted. I watch him as he watches me, and I wait for him to say something. But he doesn’t. He just stands there gripping a camera in his hands like it’s a life raft.

“I won’t bite.” I say, in an attempt to break the ice.

He frowns for a moment then says, “I know.”

“So why haven’t you said anything?” I ask.

His Adams apple bobs as he swallows, “Ah, I’m not sure what you want me to say?”

I shrug, “I don’t mind. You could say something like, ‘Hi Eliza, nice running into you.’” I do my best to imitate his deeper voice and he cracks a small grin.

“Hi Eliza, nice running into you.”

It sounds so much better when he says it. His voice is deep and husky, it sends a shiver through my body and I grin back. “Hey Hux, what are you doing here? I haven’t seen you here before.”

He scratches his temple before answering me. “You know who I am?” he asks.

“Of course I do. What, have I been living under a rock for the last seventeen years?” I ask incredulous. I’m actually a little offended he doesn’t think I know who he is. We’ve lived in the same town since we were born.

The corner of his lips lift slightly at the sass in my tone. “No, but I’m not exactly your kind of crowd.”

I raise a brow, “Are you trying to offend me?”

He shakes his head, just slightly, “No.”

“So what’s with the line of questions?” I shoot back.

He scratches his temple again, “We don’t, I mean, I’m not,” he sighs and looks at his feet, “I just didn’t think you knew who I was.”

My hands have moved to my hips now, “Why wouldn’t I? We’ve lived in the same town and gone to the same schools since forever.” Then I realise what he means, “Oh, you think I’m one of those conceited bitches who doesn’t acknowledge people I deem as beneath me. How nice of you to judge me when you don’t even know me.”

His head shoots up and there’s panic in his grey eyes, “No, I don’t think that.”

I snort, “Really? Cause that’s the vibe you’re giving off right now.”

He shifts his backpack around and puts his camera inside the open pocket then zips it back up. “This is a really strange conversation,” he supplies.

“You’re the one making it that way. I was being friendly,” I snark at him. And I don’t know why I’m acting like this. I’m not normally so defensive. But his short answers and the fact that he clearly thinks I’m one of those people annoys me. I don’t care if other people think I’m like that, but not him.

Swinging his pack back over his shoulder he chews the corner of his bottom lip for a second and nods, “Yeah okay. Sorry. Guess I’m not a great conversationalist.”

“Do-over?” I suggest, and when he nods I continue, “Hey Hux, fancy seeing you here.”

He hooks his thumbs into the belt loops of his dirt covered jeans, “Hi Eliza, nice running into you.”

I can’t help the smile that takes over my face, “So, what are you doing here? And why are you so dirty?”

Looking down at his jeans he gives me a sheepish grin, “I was de-rocking a garden bed this afternoon, it’s dirty work.”

I snicker because my mind goes to naughty places when he says that. And the twinkle in his eyes says he knows exactly what I’m thinking, so I don’t hold back. “Dirty work for a dirty boy, huh.”

He chuckles, “Something like that.”

Oh my…I’ve never heard him laugh before, it sounds so good. But that’s when I notice a big blackish-blue bruise on his upper arm, “What’s with the bruise? Did the rocks object to being de-rocked?”

He glances at his bicep and grimaces, then clears his throat, “Something like that.”

Right, doesn’t want to talk about the bruise. I change the subject, “Nice spot huh?” I say looking around at the moss covered boulders and the crystal clear water around my ankles.

“Yeah, I take pictures here sometimes.”

And I’m shocked he gave me that much of an answer. But before I have a chance to ask him about it he says he has to go. I can’t deny I’m disappointed, I’ve wanted to talk to him for ages. But he’s not exactly approachable.

“Oh, okay. It was nice to see you Hux.” I say as he begins walking away from me.

He looks back at me over his shoulder, “Yeah, you too.”

Then he disappears into the trees.

JB Heller is an average Aussie housewife in her late 20’s with a wicked sexy imagination. She and her super sexy husband are the parents of three minions, two Great Danes and a Cat who thinks she’s a person.
 

She spends her days running around after her wildling children and jotting down stories in her flower embossed leather notebook (She is very particular about her stationary.). She’s a self-confessed Stationary Junky who’s constantly on the lookout for more.
 

Most day’s JB can be found glued to her laptop, taking advantage of school hours- writing as fast as she can while she can. Or trolling Pinterest for her next potential muse. And when she needs a break from the voices in her head she indulges in her favourite past time, reading.
 

Want to know more about JB? Check her out, you’ll be guaranteed a good laugh if nothing else.





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March 24, 2017

Spotlight + Giveaway: The Fire Child by S.K. Tremayne



The Fire Child
Author: S.K. Tremayne
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Release Date: March 28, 2017
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Description:

THE PERFECT HUSBAND. THE PERFECT STEPSON. THE PERFECT LIE?

When Rachel marries dark, handsome David, everything seems to fall into place. Swept from single life in London to the beautiful Carnhallow House in Cornwall, she gains wealth, love, and an affectionate stepson, Jamie.

But then Jamie's behavior changes, and Rachel's perfect life begins to unravel. He makes disturbing predictions, claiming to be haunted by the specter of his late mother - David's previous wife. Is this Jamie's way of punishing Rachel, or is he far more traumatized than she thought?

As Rachel starts digging into the past, she begins to grow suspicious of her husband. Why is he so reluctant to discuss Jamie's outbursts? And what exactly happened to cause his ex-wife's untimely death, less than two years ago? As summer slips away and December looms, Rachel begins to fear there might be truth in Jamie's words:

"You will be dead by Christmas."
  


"Tremayne...does a terrific job of building suspense until events reach their climax in the midst of a violent storm." - Library Journal  

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31742940-the-fire-child

S. K. Tremayne is a bestselling novelist and award-winning travel writer, and a regular contributor to newspapers and magazines around the world. Tremayne has two daughters, and lives in London.
 Thanks to the publisher, I have (2) Paperback copies of THE FIRE CHILD to give away! Open to US/CAN only!








 

Cover Reveal: Claimed By Power by Zoey Ellis


 

Claimed By Power
Author: Zoey Ellis
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
 Publication Date: April 3, 2017


Description:

Not all angels are angelic…

Thea Robinson has never needed anyone’s charity. Sure, her impoverished existence isn’t desired by most, but her ability to manipulate people’s emotions helps her to blend into the shadows of an unforgiving city. When hideous creatures threaten her life, a surly but gorgeous stranger shows up revealing a world she didn’t know existed. She refuses to put up with his rude, arrogant attitude, but how do you dismiss a warrior angel? And does she really want to when his stormy gaze sends delicious thrills straight to her core?

Cam is one of the most ruthless Power angels in the fight against evil. His devotion to kill demons has made him a celebrated warrior in the Angel Realm, even though his motivation stems from grief. When he is assigned to train and protect a half-angel just coming into her abilities, his rage is unparalleled. Until he realizes Thea isn’t like any others. She stirs a carnal passion in him that he can’t shake. He never counted on her being so beautiful… so fierce… so most definitely his.

Claimed by Power is the first book in the Empire of Angels series, a paranormal alpha angel romance series. If you’re a fan of alpha heroes, powerful heroines, paranormal worlds and falling in love, Zoey Ellis’ riveting, sexy tale is perfect for you.

About the end: Although this book can be read as a standalone, Cam and Thea’s story does continue over the next two books.

Sexual scenes and strong language included. Not suitable for readers under 18.


“What exactly are my powers?” Thea asked

The angel stood up. “Not now. It’s time to go. You have your answers.”

Frustrated, she exhaled loudly. She went to her wardrobe and grabbed a bra, top, and another pair of jeans. The angel turned away, allowing her to dress. She eyed him from behind. So angels were real. And they were handsome and powerful and stern. Nothing like she would have ever imagined them to be. He couldn’t even crack a smile and yet mocked her like a child. Were all angels like that? Maybe he didn’t like humans.

“At least tell me why they sent you,” she said, smoothing down her top. “Why you?”

“Why not me?” he said, almost in a growl. “Who would you prefer?”

“I don’t know,” Thea said, lifting her shoulders. “Someone able to smile once in a while?”

He turned to face her, his plain expression flavored with annoyance. “I’m not here to entertain you. You need someone to train you and help you learn how to control your abilities. I’m the best there is. You should be honored.”

Thea shook her head, annoyed. Trained? Like a puppy? Not happening. Especially not by this man, who’d been abrupt with her from the start, despite his careful treatment of her wounds. “I should be honored? Honored that I was attacked by those creatures? Honored that I almost got ripped apart? Honored that you had to come and save me, a poor damsel in distress?”

His face hardened with each word she said, but she couldn’t give a fuck.

“I don’t need to be saved by a warrior who can’t stop the horrors happening in this city every day. Or by a God that keeps himself hidden from those he’s supposed to inspire? People are raped and drugged and killed every day; where are you then? Where is He then? I’ve gotten this far without the help of you or God, and I’ll be fine to continue without you.”

The angel’s stance didn’t change. The only indication of his agitation was in the grounding of his jaw. “You’re being irrational. If I was able to find you here, the demons will find you here. You cannot escape them. Pack. Now.”

“No.” She grabbed her phone. “You go. Thanks very much, but I’ll be fine.”

With a low grunt of frustration, the angel grabbed her around the waist quicker than she would have thought possible. He flew up to the ceiling, his rock-like arm digging into her stomach, pressing her against his chest. He swept his free hand over the length of the room. The room began to glow and then burst into flames, smoke eating up the remaining air.

“No!” She struggled to get out of his arms while her home and everything she owned burned.

He leapt out of the window, holding onto her as he flew over the city.


Zoey Ellis spends her most of her time thinking up stories that explore how love and romance can be tested by the darker side of our personalities and the heart-wrenching challenges that must be overcome for love to win, even if two people belong together.

A lover of the fantastical, Zoey enjoys how intense and vast the challenges can be for couples in the paranormal romance genre. Her goal is to build a body of work depicting thrilling, fantastical romances between demanding alpha heroes and fiery heroines hoping the love they make will scorch ereaders and melt hearts. With a soft spot for angels, dragons and alpha shifters, Zoey blends her love of a Happy Ever After with strangely unique worlds and complex plots.

If you're interested in hearing about Zoey's new releases first, as well as her bonuses and giveaways, sign up to her newsletter.





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