Monday, December 29, 2014

The Name of the Star: A Review

Goodreads (description):

Jack the Ripper is back, and he's coming for Rory next....

Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London to start a new life at boarding school just as a series of brutal murders mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper killing spree of more than a century ago has broken out across the city. The police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man believed to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him - the only one who can see him. And now Rory has become his next target...unless she can tap her previously unknown abilities to turn the tables.

My Review:

This was certainly an interesting book. I remember picking it up at the store and seeing the huge label on the back about Jack the Ripper. He was a creepy guy, so of course I was interested how someone could incorporate him into a modern day story. Figures out, Maureen Johnson did a great job.

The setting is in London, obviously. This was quite enjoyable to me. Being a native of the United States, I have always wanted to visit London, along with the rest of Europe, and since I haven't yet, reading about it is the next best thing.

Johnson did a great job with description, never giving too much, but also not holding too much back. During the intense parts of the book, her description helped create the perfect mood.

As for the story...  I liked it. I will not spoil anything, but the way Johnson incorporated Jack the Ripper into the modern day was pretty cool. Not to mention everything else that happens now that Jack is back. Like when Jack the Ripper first existed, no one could find him. No one knew who he was, or why he did what he did.

Except for now.

Rory is one of the select few who can see the man who is causing all the mess. She goes from being a slightly normal boarding school girl with regular human problems and friends, to discovering that she has an ability none of her friends have. She is forced to rethink everything she knows and find a way to deal with her new gift.

What I love about this book is that even though Rory gains a new supernatural ability and meets new friends with the same gift, she doesn't drop her friends from school. She still cares about them and hangs out with them. They are her stability, even when she cannot tell them the truth.

Overall, I thought this was a good book. Granted, the beginning was slow and didn't have much action--I felt like I was floating through the story. I thought it could have been shortened a bit, but it wasn't bad enough to the point that I got bored. I liked it enough and Rory's spunky character made for some good laughs.

I'm interested to see where this story is going. We didn't learn about Rory's new gift until really late in the book, which was slightly annoying (especially since I already guessed what was going on and wanted to know already if I was right or not), so I'm curious about what is going to happen next.

The book left with a slight cliff hanger, but from what I know, the second book is already out. I recommend this book to whoever likes a little supernatural twist to this modern world. It's been a while since I've read a book like this and it made me remember why I like these sorts of books.

I give this a 3.5 out of 5!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Shadow of Loss by Josefina Gutierrez

The Shadow of Loss
by Josefina Gutierrez
Release Date: 09/31/14



Summary from Goodreads:

Evelyn Gonzalez keeps losing people, which is always hard, but has she lost something much more? Has she lost her soul? Evelyn has a nervous breakdown and is institutionalized, after months of sorrow and pain she is thrust back into the world. The world of teenage angst and Calculus.



Can she trust people again? Especially after hurtful assumptions and judgments made her miss her junior year of high school. Evelyn is just trying to heal what she lost and graduate from high school.



Add to Goodreads


Here's An Excerpt!
I pile all the nicely golden-brown pancakes into a dish and walk them over to the table.  I can’t wait to take huge bite out of them.  They aren’t even placed on the table before she starts in on me, “So I was thinking you should get a part-time job.  You know build working relationships, make some money, handle responsibility,” she says all too fast like if she didn’t, she would lose the courage to get it all out there.
“I don’t think getting a job would be quite so easy,” I finally reply.  I really don’t want to look at her, that’s where she gets me with those little baby doll eyes.
“Sure it would!” she says with faked enthusiasm.
“I don’t have work experience.  I was committed for months.  I’m still in high school,” I read out my mental list of reasons why this is seriously a bad idea.
“So loads of kids get jobs in high school,” she argues.
“Yeah loads of normal kids get jobs.”
“Normal is overrated and boring.  You are fun and interesting,” she fiddles with her fingers.  “Well when you talk…and smile…and well you know.”
“No I really don’t.  Why am I expected to talk?  I have no interest in talking to twiddly twats all day because I want them to like me.  And why should I smile?  Do I look better smiling?  Why does it matter?”
“You need to try,” she urges.
“It seems pointless is all I’m saying,” I stab at my food with extra force.
“It’s not pointless, it’s being pleasing and approachable.”
“Exactly!  I don’t want people to approach me.”  I like being invisible.


Buy Links:

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About the Author

Josefina Gutierrez is a Young Adult eBook author and a forever student currently working towards a Masters in Bicultural-Bilingual Studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Josefina writes Young Adult Multicultural, Sci-fi, and Fantasy literature in her free time when she’s not embarking on adventures with her son and gnomes Fitzgerald and Bartholomew.



Author Links:

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Friday, December 5, 2014

Crown of Midnight: A Review

Goodreads (Description):
"A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached.
It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend."
From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.
Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.
Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena's world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie...and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

Let me begin by saying that this series is SO FLIPPING GOOD!!!!
My Review:

I love the world building in this series and how I can picture everything that is happening with perfectly clarity in my mind. Amazing.

This particular book had a slow beginning, but now that I look back on it, it was steadily building up for the crash landing ending. Seriously, there’s all this up build and then suddenly so much happens that I’m frantically waiting to pick up the next book.

In this installment, Celaena is trying to discover the dark secrets of the Glass Castle and its King. She learns some startling things that change the whole course of what she is meant to do.

There are so many things that happen in this book, I don’t know how to write a review without spoiling anything… So I’ll focus on the characters.

I came to like Dorian a lot more. Not that I didn’t in the first book, but I feel like I saw more of him in this book. He has far more honor than his father and I believe he is smarter, even though he lacks his father’s cunningness. It makes me smile that he loves books so much; it is one reason why I can connect with him. He is handsome and strong, even though he isn’t built to be a fighter. Which, I don’t mind. It is nice to have someone who relies on his book-smarts rather than brute strength as heir to the throne. I don’t believe this is a weakness of his, I believe it is a strength, especially considering who his father is.

Chaol… I really do like him, a lot. There were times where he annoyed me a bit in this book, but I still like him. Finally, finally, his eyes are opened to the evilness of the king and he begins to work more on finding out the truth rather than blindly following. I like how he is loyal to those he cares about, even when it complicates things. I believe his heart is in the right place, and in the end, I know he will make the right choices.

Celaena was a little scary is this book. I won’t say why, because it will spoil things. Also, I understand why she was the way she was. Her world, which was already surrounded by grief, was amplified in this book. What I like about her, is that even after her dark moments, we are shown that she still has a heart and feels guilty about certain things—that she isn’t a monster. She shows us that even when people go into the dark places, it’s that they can still come back into the light.

Overall, this book was full of foreshadowing and hints of what is to come. These little points make me super excited for the next book.

As for content, there’s a little more language in this book than the previous ones, and a fade to black sex scene. Other than that, there isn’t much sexual innuendo.

I give this a 4.5 out of 5!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Blood of Olympus: A Review

Goodreads (description):

Though the Greek and Roman crewmembers of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen—all of them—and they're stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood—the blood of Olympus—in order to wake.

The demigods are having more frequent visions of a terrible battle at Camp Half-Blood. The Roman legion from Camp Jupiter, led by Octavian, is almost within striking distance. Though it is tempting to take the Athena Parthenos to Athens to use as a secret weapon, the friends know that the huge statue belongs back on Long Island, where it "might" be able to stop a war between the two camps.

The Athena Parthenos will go west; the Argo II will go east. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea's army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over.


My Review:

I have kept up with this series since my eighth grade year. Now I am a freshman in college and have just finished this fantastic final book. I can’t believe it’s over! It’s been so long since Percy Jackson first came out, and it kept on getting better.

It took me a while to finish this book because the college life is demanding, but I enjoyed it every time I opened up and wanted nothing more than to keep on reading it. So last week I finally finished it! And I am so happy I did.

This book is filled with action, adventure, and the amazing humor Riordian has. I laughed my way through as Leo provided jokes that helped distract from the serious and disastrous circumstances that surrounded the seven demigods. It is always good to have one person who tries his or her best to cheer up the group when everything was falling apart.

A huge thing I love about this series is how the demigods came to unite with each other. Obviously they have problems here and there, but they accept each other’s differences and learn to work together for the bigger cause.

I came to care about all the new demigods and my love for Percy and the gang from the first five books grew even more.

Hazel is strong, funny, and I love how she sometimes compares today’s world to her previous life. I like how she doesn’t shrink from responsibility even despite her age. She is a peacemaker among the group and even though she is a daughter of Pluto, she does well at looking on the bright side of things.

Frank. He makes me laugh, if just for his awkwardness. He is like a giant teddy bear that will tear anyone down if you mess with his friends. Frank is fiercely loyal and is probably the character who grew the most. He went from being a bit of a coward, to being a fearless leader of armies. I loved seeing that growth.

Obviously Leo is the funny trickster. Though he can get annoying at times, he does his best to keep everyone’s spirits up and understands the difference between stupid and smart decisions. Though, he is really good at making smartly stupid decisions… A bit of an oxymoron, but if you read these books, I’m sure you’ll understand.

All right, who else is new in this series…

Ah yes, Jason. I really like him. Although he began as the typical blonde jock, he grew into a strong man with honor and strength. He learned to not take crap from anyone and to stand up for what’s right even with the Greek/Roman Gods staring him down. I love how he always has his friends’ backs; if anyone needs help, Jason is there for them.

Piper is cool too. I love how even though she is a daughter of Aphrodite, she isn’t like the other girls and boys in the Aphrodite cabin back in Camp Half-Blood. She is humble and a quiet kind of strong. In the beginning she doesn’t believe she can do much, but through this series we see her grow stronger to the point where you would want to be on her good side.

Reyna is pretty cool too. I like how she unites with the Greeks and casts aside the prejudice between the two camps. I would like to say more, but I will not spoil it for you.

I should re-read Percy Jackson and write about those characters too, but there are since there are so many, I only wanted to write about the new ones.

I highly recommend this series. It is definitely worth it. It is clean, funny, and full of adventure. If I had the choice, I wouldn’t have put this book down; it was SO good and had such a beautiful ending. It was perfect. And ending can make or break certain series, but this ending definitely made the series! Once again, it was perfect.

I give this a 5 out of 5!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Anomaly: Book Blitz!











Anomaly (Schrodinger's Consortium #1)
by Tonya Kuper
Release Date: 11/25/14
Entangled Teen

Summary from Goodreads:

Reality is only an illusion.
Except for those who can control it…

Worst. Birthday. Ever.
My first boyfriend dumped me – happy birthday, Josie!- my dad is who knows where, I have some weird virus that makes me want to hurl, and now my ex is licking another girl’s tonsils. Oh, and I’m officially the same age as my brother was when he died. Yeah, today is about as fun-filled as the swamps of Dagobah. But then weird things start happening…

Like I make something materialize just by thinking about it.
When hot badass Reid Wentworth shows up on a motorcycle, everything changes. Like, everything. Who I am. My family. What really happened to my brother. Existence. I am Oculi, and I have the ability to change reality with my thoughts. Now Reid, in all his hotness, is charged with guiding and protecting me as I begin learning how to bend reality. And he’s the only thing standing between me and the secret organization that wants me dead…



Buy Links:


AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo BooksThe Book DepositoryiBooks


Here is An Excerpt!


Another bell rang. I spun wildly, searching for the source, and my foot slipped out from under me. My left foot joined my right, sliding down a rocky surface.

A scream tore past my lips.

My brain fought to figure out what was happening as my hands gripped for something—anything—because I was falling. My head swiveled.

I couldn’t comprehend the giant, gaping crack I’d fallen into. A fissure in the ground at least eight feet wide. My fingers sunk into the cracked concrete, barely holding on. Sliding.

Then I looked down.

No end in sight. An abyss.

Everything around me blurred, and all I could see was black. And in that blackness was the one thing I was terrified of: death. My stomach pitched and my chest heaved, but no air moved in or out of my lungs. I was suffocating.

Ripping my eyes away from the darkness, I focused on my hands, still grasping at the gravely terrain crumbling beneath them. My right foot slipped, and my fingers dug deeper into the ground. It was a mixture of rock, and mud, and I didn’t know what. It felt like glass shards were being shoved under my fingernails.

I dug in with my toes, using the muscles in my legs to slow my descent. I slid to a halt, but the rocks and substrate continued to crumble beneath me. I searched blindly for a sturdy foothold. My foot found a rocky lip, but as soon as I thought it was safe, it gave way. My right silver flip-flop plummeted into the darkness so eager to swallow me.

Attempting to force my gaze upward, I focused on the contrast of the dark surrounding me and the bright light above, the line where they met. Technically, I’d die in broad daylight.

“Think, Josie.” The voice was strong, demanding. It took a second for it to register. “Josie, look at me.”

Reid. Reid was here. That’s where I was. I was at Reid’s place. I’d come here to train. I’m an Oculi. It all became clear as I broke free from the terror.

I wrenched my head toward his voice, my gaze meeting his. He crouched above me at the surface, his eyes my lifeline because he didn’t offer a hand. He wasn’t about to coddle me. That wasn’t his style. He said, “Breathe. Think.”

Dragging in an uneven breath, looking into his clear eyes, something clicked in the far reaches of my mind.

Stairs.

I Pushed with no effort. No headache, no nausea. I blinked, and stairs carved themselves into the side of the chasm, jutted out as if they’d always been there. With great hesitancy, I climbed the stairs on all fours, close to the wall. I could see the surface, right within my reach.

Whoosh.

The stairs were gone.

I felt myself tumbling, falling. Flailing along the wall of the abyss with nothing to stop my descent.

“React, Josie!”

Think.

I focused on the surface, on the light growing dimmer the farther I skidded. Earth. Ground beneath my feet. I Pushed. And Pushed.

Pain. Nausea. Dizziness.

Thunder sounded below, like the darkness of the chasm was rising up to swallow me whole. Something hit my feet so hard that it tossed me in the air.

Up. Up. Into the light.

My thoughts didn’t coalesce clearly, but I felt myself rising. The pain behind my eyes made my vision waver. I shot to the warehouse floor. Reid reached for me as I collapsed.

My lungs rebelled, and tears burned trails down my cheeks. Dirt covered my hands and caked beneath my fingertips. One fingernail had broken to the quick. It bled sullenly. I wasn’t about to look weak in front of him, though, so I held out my arm to ward off his offer of help. I stood tall on trembling legs.

Reid closed the gap between us, his arms extended like he would embrace me. “Josie—”

The light streaming through the warehouse windows dimmed and flickered. Darkness edged my periphery. I balled my trembling fist and slammed my knuckles into his cheek. White heat shot through my hand before everything went black.





About the Author


Tonya Kuper's debut, ANOMALY, the first in the Schrodinger's Consortium young adult scifi trilogy, releases November 2014 by Entangled Teen. She lives in Omaha, NE with her two rad boys and husband, is a music junkie, and a chocolate addict. Star Wars & Sherlock fan.






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Monday, November 24, 2014

Mistletoe Kisses Tour: GRAND FINALE BLITZ!

A themed tour through Prism Book Tours.

It's the MISTLETOE KISSES TOUR Grand Finale for
Christmas, Actually
By Anna Adams, Anna J. Stewart, and Melinda Curtis
Three Harlequin Heartwarming novellas, where a sweet kiss takes place under the mistletoe.

Did you miss any of the excerpts, guest post, or reviews on the tour?
Feel free to go back and check out all the stops now!

Launch - Intro to the Collection

Christmas, Actually – three holiday stories about three siblings living in Christmas Town, Maine, where tradition has it that a kiss on Christmas Eve in the town square gazebo will lead to wedding bells in the new year!

Christy's Cozy Corners - An Interview with Anna Adams

How was it decided that the story would take place in Christmas Town, Maine?
We were looking for a setting that spoke of the holidays, and I’d lived in Maine in a town that decorated the green for Christmas. I described it, and someone suggested Christmas Town as a name for our fictional village.

Coffee Books & Art - Excerpt
Snowflakes hit the windshield and splayed into star shapes while Bing Crosby crooned his dreams of a white Christmas. Sophie Palmer tried to sing along, but her mind was already racing up the icy interstate to Christmas Town, Maine, where the father of her unborn child now lived. 

christmasTown2
The Book Lovers' Lounge - Christmas Town by Anna Adams
And I imagined my own broken hero, Jack Banning, watching from the sidewalk, there in the town, but watching from the boundaries because he doesn’t belong any more.


Getting Your Read On - Review

"Yeah, I really loved my time in Christmas Town with the Banning family.  Each story was unique and romantic.  I loved all the characters.  They were real and identifiable.  It is the perfect book to curl up with as the days get colder and we get closer to Christmas."

Colorimetry - The Power of a First Kiss by Anna Adams

Hes at her house, killing time because he cant go home and face his brothers happiness when another friend calls to offer him an investment opportunity. Mary is leaning against George, also listening on the phone, when finally, he admits to his feelings. He takes her in his arms for a kiss he clearly doesnt want even as he desires nothing in the whole wide world more than the hometown love of his life. 

Southern Chelle - Review

"I don’t think I’ve read anything by any of these authors before, but these novellas have me falling hard for their work! I used to receive the Harlequin Heartwarming books monthly, but I didn’t have room for anymore paperback books in my house and had to give it up. I’m so glad they’ve continued these offerings!"

Kelly P's Blog - An Interview with Anna J. Stewart

5. What do you hope readers will take with them after reading your story?
There's nothing better than a happily ever after--that's why I write (and read) romance, but that's kind of the easy answer. I think at its core, the story is about learning how to be open with others, to tell them how you're really feeling about situations that are emotionally damaging them.  Dean, Callie and Eliza all have to do this at some point during the story and once they do, the happily ever after is possible.

My Love for Reading Keeps Growing - Excerpt

     “Is this a bad time?” The combination of sympathy and amusement shining in green eyes, along with the tamed Irish lilt, called to mind fields of clover dotting rolling hills. She’d spent many a night and more than a few days dreaming of traveling to the Emerald Isle. Now it seemed as if Ireland had come to her.
     Shoulder-length, golden-streaked hair brushed the worn leather of the bomber jacket he wore over snug jeans, the hint of a plain white T-shirt peeking from under the collar.

Dean Inspired PhotoThe Wonderings Of One Person - Dream Cast for The Christmas Wish

There are some actors who just “hit” from the second I lay eyes on them. When looking for images of my Dean, I did not have to look much further than Chris Hemsworth.

Callie Inspired Photo

Casting my heroines has always been problematic for me. Typically, I use another medium for inspiration (I’m a doll collector), but when I saw this picture of Nina Dobrev (Vampire Diaries), I knew that was Callie.

"The Christmas Date: The instant I started reading this story, I knew I was going to love it. There's just something about those You've Got Mail-esque stories that I love. Nick and Gina are both so likeable, and their chemistry lept off the page. This was easily my favorite of the three stories!"

Bookworm Lisa - Review

     "Each of the author's did a great job in telling their story. I liked the descriptions and the characters.
     This book is a fun way to get into the holiday season and find a little clean Christmas romance."

fundinmental - My Top Ten Christmas Traditions by Anna J. Stewart
I LOVE Christmas time. Truly, from about Halloween on, I’m all about the tinsel, the trees and the music (why do they have to stop the Xmas carols on the 26th?!). For years now it’s just been my mom and me during the holiday season, but we’ve got our traditions…and they start early…even before we carve the Thanksgiving turkey.

Beck Valley Books - An Interview with Malinda Curtis
What’s your favorite aspect of the story?

One of my favorite aspects is Gina's parents. They've tried for years to do what they thought was right and it strained their character and their relationship. This year, they rejoin the pageant and the town's festivities in a very public way. It's a small part of the story, but a set of vignettes that I love.


Mel's Shelves - Review

"I loved seeing the siblings in each other's stories and enjoyed getting to know them. These stories are quick, easy reads which are perfect to get you in the mood for Christmas. I love that they're all clean so I can recommend it to everyone! Christmas Town was a fun place to visit!"


Painted Words - Review
"But what I truly loved about this book was that it didn't feel at all repetitive which can be a big hindrance to books like this especially if written by multiple authors. It was an absolutely beautiful story, one that I look forward to reading again next year at this time and it was the perfect way to start off the season." 

jellominisI Am A Reader - Melinda Curtis’s Favorite Treat at Christmas Time (with recipe)

My mom is a fan of Jell-o salad.  At Christmas, she’d serve us a slice of Jello salad on a leaf of lettuce with a dollop of mayonnaise on top.  The first time Mr. Curtis had this dish, he happily took a big bite, expecting it to be whipped cream on top.  Kudos to him for keeping his disappointment to himself. 

Deal Sharing Aunt - Excerpt

In the wee hours of Christmas Eve morning, Gina stood at the edge of the town square and traced the deep, jagged scar that ran from her left temple to her jawline with the tip of a gloved finger, as if her touch could erase the past. The small ball of worry, the one that hadn’t let her sleep last night, expanded like bread dough in her chest, pressing against her lungs.
I should have told him.


Wishful Endings - Excerpt (4-star review here)
“Are you kidding? You’re beautiful. Why would he do that?
“You have to say that. You’re standing in my kitchen.” With me practically in your arms. Nevertheless, she hugged his words to her heart. No one had ever called her beautiful before.

JoJo's Corner - 10 Gifts Ideas for Your Teen/Young Adult & Review
I'm a little bit anal about the holidays.  I have a
basic list I work from that my kids will enjoy or find useful.  They're
all in college now, but that doesn't mean they want a package of socks for Christmas.
Here's a list of 10 suggested gift giving categories for your teen/young adult...

Review: "Christmas, Actually is the perfect collection of stories to cuddle up and enjoy on a cold wintry night!"

"Three stories in one book, a great way to start the Christmas season off! Anna Adams takes you on three separate journeys in the life of Jack, Callie, and Gina as each tells their own story. The plot is good in each one."
Katie's Clean Book Collection - Review

What a fun story! The reader is taken on a journey through Christmas Town, Maine and we get to see snippets of what makes this town special through the eyes of three different characters. 

Christmas, Actually

Christmas, Actually
by Anna Adams, Anna J. Stewart, & Melinda Curtis
Clean Contemporary Romance
Paperback & Ebook, 202 pages
November 1st 2014 by Harlequin Heartwarming


Discover the magic of Christmas Town, Maine!


Three lonely strangers come to Christmas Town, Maine, and find love with three Banning siblings in the town that celebrates the holidays by decorating its square with lights and ribbons and a holiday pageant on Christmas Eve. Tradition has it that a kiss beneath the mistletoe that night means marriage for the couple in the new year.

The Christmas Gift by Anna Adams:
Jack Banning promised to support the mother of his unborn child… But she doesn't need money, she only needs him.

The Christmas Wish by Anna J. Stewart:
Callie Banning's student has declared war on Christmas, so it's up to her to help the little girl—and her widowed father—believe again.

The Christmas Date by Melinda Curtis:
Gina Vernay is about to meet her online mystery date…and she's in for the surprise of a lifetime!




About the Authors



Photo 34

Anna Adams wrote her first romance in wet sand. The Atlantic Ocean washed it away, but Anna kept going. Her stories are of love, like the proverbial stone in a lake, making ripples that spread and contract and involve. From Iceland to Hawaii, and points in between, Anna and her own hero share with children and family and friends who’ve become family. All this living and loving gives Anna plenty of fodder for stories of love set in real life. Come along and live them with her!




Anna J. Stewart can't remember a time she didn't have a book in her hand or a story in her head and credits her mother never saying no to a book for turning her into a writer. Anna lives in Northern California with an overly attentive cat named Snickers and is happiest when setting her heroes and heroines on their road to happily ever after amidst family, fun and laughter.


Melinda Curtis

Melinda Curtis grew up on an isolated sheep ranch, where mountain lions had been seen and yet she roamed unaccompanied. Being a rather optimistic, clueless of danger, sort she took to playing "what if" games that led her to become an author. She spends days trying to figure out new ways to say "He made her heart pound." That might sound boring, but the challenge keeps her mentally ahead of her 3 kids and college sweetheart husband.







Tour-Wide Giveaway

- Gift Card Prize Pack: $20 Amazon gift card and ebook of Christmas, Actually (open
internationally)
- US Prize Pack: Paperback of Christmas, Actually and three Christmas ornaments
(US only)
- 3 ebooks of Christmas, Actually (open internationally)
Ends November 30th

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Hollowed Humusara: Cover Reveal!





Hollowed Humusara (Primortus
by J.L. Bond and
Coming Soon!!

Summary from Goodreads:

It begins again! Skylee Porter thinks the
worst is over. She has faced her greatest fear, the monstrous black-eyed
Brinfrost and survived with the help of Chrism, her shape-shifting sister. Sky
even had the courage to finally admit her true feelings to Will.

But something has changed. The three people she trusts the most are acting
strange. Will seems distant. Her talkative sister has clammed up. Even Airon is
keeping secrets.

Soon, Sky discovers the leaders of the Primortus have plans for her. Then, to
her dismay, they threaten to take away her magical book. The Humusara, the very
thing that tethers her to the world she so desperately wants to protect. And
now, the earth is trembling again. Could there be another Day of Disaster?

Dark powers are at work. Two prophecies loom on the horizon. One declares she’s
the hope of humankind. While the other proclaims she’ll destroy us all.

Sky’s destiny awaits her…







Book One:

(linked to Goodreads)




Buy Links:
Amazon




About the Author

J.L. Bond and Val Richards met in college in Clarksville Tennessee, where Val excelled in Math and J.L excelled in creative ways to talk Val out of going to class. A few years later…okay, more than a few, they found themselves living about an hour away from one another in Florida and joined forces to write the Primortus Chronicles, YA fantasy- adventure series. Nowadays, J.L. likes to remind Val that Math isn’t necessary for writing.

Author Links:





Cover Reveal Organized by:

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Lola Carlyle's 12-Step Romance: Cover Reveal!




Lola Carlyle's 12-Step Romance
Release Date: 05/05/15
Entangled Teen

Summary from Goodreads:

Lola Carlyle is lonely, out of
sorts, and in for a boring summer. So when her best friend Sydney calls to rave
about the fun she’s having at a luxurious Malibu rehab (it’s basically a spa!)
and reveals that the love of Lola’s life, Wade Miller, is being admitted, Lola
knows what she has to do. Never mind that her worst addiction is decaf
cappuccino; Lola is going to rehab.

Lola fakes her way into Sunrise Rehab, only to discover she’s actually expected
to be an addict. And get treatment. And she has insane roommates, and an
irritatingly attractive intake advisor, Adam, who’s determined to thwart her at
every turn. Worst of all is the strictly enforced NO ROMANCE rule.

Oh, and Sydney? Is gone.

Turns out Sunrise is more jail-like than spa-like, and it’s going to take more
than Lola bargained for just to get through the program.










About the Author

Danielle Younge-Ullman is a novelist, playwright and freelance writer. She studied English and Theater at McGill University, then returned to her hometown of Toronto to work as professional actor for ten years. Danielle’s short story, Reconciliation, was published in MODERN MORSELS—a McGraw-Hill Anthology for young adults—in 2012, her one-act play, 7 Acts of Intercourse, debuted at Toronto's SummerWorks Festival in 2005, and her adult novel, FALLING UNDER, was published by Penguin in 2008. Danielle lives in Toronto with her husband and two daughters.

Author Links:




Book Blitz Organized by:

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Flurry: Release Day Blitz!



We're celebrating the RELEASE of
Flury: Journey of a Snowman
By Tony Bertauski


An Introduction to Flury


     Frosty had a magic hat.

     There was no explanation, just a special hat that turned a pile of snow into a walking, talking best friend. Flury is more than that. And doesn’t smoke.

     Born on the North Pole, Flury was created by an ancient race of elven that evolved during the Ice Age and continues to live in the polar ice today. Technologically advanced, they sustain themselves with innovation and wisdom. But even the most peaceful settlements encounter danger, such as polar bears. That’s why they invented abominables.

     What we call snowmen.

     The life of an abominable doesn’t magically spring from a top hat. The heart of an abominable is a metal orb—an intricately carved sphere that generates an electromagnetic field and builds a body of snow around it. Abominables are intimidating and selfless. They run, they fly. Above all else, they protect.

     In the late 1800s, Malcolm Toye was part of an arctic voyage that ended in disaster. The survivors of the expedition never saw him again. Malcolm had wandered into the snowy landscape to be saved by a patrolling abominable he would come to know as Flury.

     His rescue, however, became more of a curse than a blessing when the elven refused to allow him safe passage back home, insisting they remain secret from humanity. Malcolm was destined to live out his days among the elven, pining for home.

     Longing for his wife.

     Malcolm escaped by stealing the metal orb of Flury. Quietly, he arrived back in the United States to settle down and resume a normal life. But there was nothing normal about it. As the years went by, his estate becomes shrouded in mystery and rumors.

     A hundred years will go by before the mystery is solved.

     Oliver Toye, a teenage type 1 diabetic, will discover the magic hidden on his grandmother’s property. He’ll read about Malcolm Toye’s journey when he finds a set of leather bound journals. He’ll see the snowman trapped on the property, and the other things that haunt the forest. Most importantly, he’ll uncover Malcolm Toye’s master plan to harm others. And why he wants to.

     Flury will come to Oliver’s rescue more than once.



Flury: Journey of a SnowmanFlury: Journey of a Snowman
(Claus #3)

by Tony Bertauski
YA Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Holiday


Life hasn’t been kind to Oliver Toye.



As if juvenile diabetes isn’t enough, he’s forced to live with his tyrannical grandmother in a snow-bound house. He spends his days doing chores and the nights listening to the forest rumble.



But when he discovers the first leather-bound journal, the family secrets begin to surface. The mystery of his great-grandfather’s voyage to the North Pole is revealed. That’s when the snowman appears.



Magical and mysterious, the snowman will save Oliver more than once. But when the time comes for Oliver to discover the truth, will he have the courage? When Flury needs him, will he have the strength? When believing isn’t enough, will he save the snowman from melting away?



Because sometimes even magic needs a little help.





About Tony Bertauski



During the day, I'm a horticulturist. While I've spent much of my career designing landscapes or diagnosing dying plants, I've always been a storyteller. My writing career began with magazine columns, landscape design textbooks, and a gardening column at the Post and Courier (Charleston, SC). However, I've always fancied fiction.



My grandpa never graduated high school. He retired from a steel mill in the mid-70s. He was uneducated, but he was a voracious reader. I remember going through his bookshelves of paperback sci-fi novels, smelling musty old paper, pulling Piers Anthony and Isaac Asimov off shelf and promising to bring them back. I was fascinated by robots that could think and act like people. What happened when they died?



I'm a cynical reader. I demand the writer sweep me into his/her story and carry me to the end. I'd rather sail a boat than climb a mountain. That's the sort of stuff I want to write, not the assigned reading we got in school. I want to create stories that kept you up late.



Having a story unfold inside your head is an experience different than reading. You connect with characters in a deeper, more meaningful way. You feel them, empathize with them, cheer for them and even mourn. The challenge is to get the reader to experience the same thing, even if it's only a fraction of what the writer feels. Not so easy.



In 2008, I won the South Carolina Fiction Open with Four Letter Words, a short story inspired by my grandfather and Alzheimer's Disease. My first step as a novelist began when I developed a story to encourage my young son to read. This story became The Socket Greeny Saga. Socket tapped into my lifetime fascination with consciousness and identity, but this character does it from a young adult's struggle with his place in the world.



After Socket, I thought I was done with fiction. But then the ideas kept coming, and I kept writing. Most of my work investigates the human condition and the meaning of life, but not in ordinary fashion. About half of my work is Young Adult (Socket Greeny, Claus, Foreverland) because it speaks to that age of indecision and the struggle with identity. But I like to venture into adult fiction (Halfskin, Drayton) so I can cuss. Either way, I like to be entertaining.



And I'm a big fan of plot twists.



Blitz Giveaway

- $25 Amazon gift card and ebook of Flury: Journey of a Snowman (open
internationally)
Ends November 22nd

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Prism Book Tours

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Arcana GRAND FINALE

A themed tour through Prism Book Tours.


It's the GRAND FINALE for
Arcana by Jessica Leake

To be released November 18th.


This was a fabulous tour! The book was set in a beautiful historical world with a little bit of magic and a good dose of romance. If you didn't get a chance to read the reviews, learn more about the author, or find out more about the setting and this book, feel free to go back and check out each stop. We've summarized them for you here as well...


Share something about you that is unique - maybe about how/where you write... or favorite snack foods... or a favorite hobby? 
Before I made writing my career, I was a psychotherapist in a psychiatric hospital. Writing was already a big part of my life, and I found a background in psychology is wonderful for characterization! I'm also a stay-at-home mom to three little ones, all preschool age and younger.

MI Bookshelf - Excerpt

The horse’s hooves thunder across the hillside, and my heart pounds with each bunching of his muscles. My hair breaks free of its pins, pale strands sweeping across my cheek. Though the wind breaks through the thin barrier of my breeches and tall boots, the smile never leaves my face. Mild discomfort is a small price to pay for a journey unhindered by the heavy skirts of my riding habit.

Coffee Books & Art - Excerpt

“It only reveals a page at a time, so it may not say anything,” I warn as I open it. For an instant, the light shines as brightly as the sun reflecting off water and then it fades away. 

Pieces of Whimsy - Review & Interview

"I love historical romance and I love fantasy, in fact these are probably my two favourite book genres, and I will read almost anything these genres have to offer. Arcana is a brilliant mix of both these genres. The setting is wonderful, as are the characters, and the magic just adds that fun, exciting element to the story."

What was the best part about writing Arcana?
The research! Endless Downton Abbey marathons, anyone? ;). I also loved all the world-building required by the Sylvan realm and Katherine’s arcana. It was so much fun to imagine what the Sylvan realm might look like—especially the spirit fox J.

Kelly P's Blog - Things Lord Thornewood Noticed about Katherine...

3. Our sharp banter was the highlight of my miserable week. It was no secret that I vastly preferred my country estate to my cold, dreary London townhouse, and the constant harassment by scheming mothers had made me consider abandoning my promise to Lord Sinclair on more than one occasion. If Katherine heard my complaints on the subject, I have no doubt she'd say, "Oh yes, how trying it must be for you to be introduced to so many beautiful young women." And that is one of the many reasons I love her.

Lilac Reviews - Review

"I liked how smoothly this author worked in things about the characters, the culture of the time and the mystery behind Arcana. . . . Between the love story, the Arcana conflict and the colorful characters there was much to keep your interest. I hope there will be a sequel."

Typical Distractions - Review

"Arcana is able to couple the fantasy with romance and history in such a way that it creates greater depth. As the reader you cannot help but be drawn into the world of the London high society and irresistible magic. This story left me smiling. Jessica Leake has raised the bar for historical fantasy fiction and I am excited to see what she has in store for us next. Arcana is an incredibly written and fascinating debut that has put Jessica on the list of authors you need to know!"

A Thousand Words A Million Books - Review

"And the book itself? If the five star rating didn't give it away- absolutely 100% BRILLIANT! . . . Needless to say, for fans of the YA genre, the Adult one, The Historical Romance one or the Paranormal one- Arcana is THE book for you!"

Colorimetry - Excerpt

    Katherine, it whispers in my mind.
    With a jerk, I take my finger from the rune, and the lovely vision fades.

My Life, Loves and Passion - Review

"Historical books are some of my favorites right along with fantasy. This story was a great mix. You felt like you were being transported back in time. It was so well explained. The magical part was there but did not overtake the book."


Wishful Endings - 10 (Mostly Random) Facts about the Edwardian Era
1. The fashion at the time? S-bend corsets

The Wonderings of One Person - Interview

How has this story touched your life?
At its core, Arcana is a story about family—something that is extremely important to me. I admire Katherine’s willingness to be self-sacrificing and do what she needs to do to protect her brother and sister.

SBM Book Obsession - The Cover Process
I've had so many compliments and interest on the cover of Arcana. It was a surprisingly hands-on process for me, which is pretty unusual in the publishing world.

My Love for Reading Keeps Growing - Review

"There are so many great characters in this book. Both main and secondary. I loved them all. Well, some were more slimy than others, but they were all great characters. I truly love it when an author makes me interested in more than just the "main" characters. It really makes the story come more alive for me."

The Book Lovers' Lounge - Review

"I really had a great time reading this book. . . . Another thing I love about Arcana is the strong personality that is Katherine, which shows even right at the very beginning of the story."

100 Pages A Day - Review

"I loved the premise of this book, a girl born with magic fueled by the sun who must be careful with how she practices her magic, or be called a witch.  Katherine, or Wren, is a great character."


The Written Adventure - Debuting in the Edwardian Era
One of the central events in Arcana is Katherine's debut into high society. During the Edwardian Era, this meant being summoned to the Court of King Edward and Queen Alexandra.

Beck Valley Books - Excerpt

Mama, lend me your grace, I think like a prayer. I close my eyes for a moment, and I can almost hear her voice, telling me, as she always did, that there was always strength within me if I would but reach for it.
The queue of debutantes moves forward until I stand at the threshold of the Throne Room. Royal guards in scarlet line one side of the room, prominent members of the Court on the other. At the end of the long room are the king and queen, seated upon their thrones, but I try not to focus on anything but the veil of the girl in front of me.

"While this is a historical fantasy novel, not all the details are thrown at you at once.  It makes it much more interesting." 

My Devotional Thoughts - Excerpt

     “My lord,” I say through clenched teeth as I tug my hand free, “I didn’t say yes.”
     “You didn’t say no, either,” he says and takes his position beside me.
     Leaving him on the dance floor, though satisfying, would only cause a bigger scene. I sigh as I go through the steps of the waltz.

Avid Reviews - Review
"I was pleasantly surprised by how easily this novel captured my attention and ignited my imagination.  Arcana is a story that both emotionally involves the reader and contains a thrilling plot.  In addition, Katherine is an incredibly sympathetic protagonist, and a refreshingly strong female character."

Into the Written Word & Welcome to Book City - Review

     "The speech is quite fantastic. It seems right for the time period. It’s proper and a bit verbose. Exactly how I imagine London all those years ago.

     I also like the magic. It was nice. A bit confusing on what arcana was exactly. But still pretty fascinating."


Book Enthralled - Review
"I enjoyed this, the magic was interesting, it was beautifully written and the characters were well drawn out. I really enjoyed the romance and I remember myself saying “now that was a make out scene!” I also really like the historical side of things, the coming out, the balls, the parties etc. I would really like to read more from Jessica Leake in the future."

Arcana

by Jessica Leake

Adult Historical Fantasy

Hardcover, 288 pages

November 18th 2014 by Talos




Amid the sumptuous backdrop of the London Season in 1905, headstrong Katherine Sinclair must join the ranks of debutantes vying for suitors. Unfortunately for Katherine, she cannot imagine anything more loathsome – or dangerous. Through her late mother’s enchanted journal, Katherine receives warning to keep hidden her otherworldly ability to perform Arcana, a magic fueled by the power of the sun. The machinations of the fashionably elite are a constant threat, but worse still are those who covet Katherine’s Arcana, seeking the power of her birthright. They could be hiding behind the fa├žade of every suitor, even the darkly handsome Earl of Thornewood. With so much danger and suspicion, can she give her heart to the one who captivates her, or is he just another after her power?


Purchase a special personalized/autographed copy of Arcana from Fiction Addiction HEREor at one of the following sellers:

About Jessica Leake


I’m a stay-at-home mom of three beautiful children (two toddlers and a newborn, in fact, so I think you can begin to see why my blog may be a bit neglected) and author of Arcana: A Novel (Skyhorse/Talos, November 4, 2014), my debut historical fantasy with a heavy dose of romance. I have a particular obsession with blending different genres, but almost everything I write has an element of fantasy and romance. I’ve been in love with historical England ever since my first literary crush: Mr. Darcy (I can’t even count the number of times I watched Pride & Prejudice–the A&E version, of course!!) I’m represented by the fabulous Brianne Johnson of Writers House, and I live in Greenville, SC.



Before I was a writer, I worked as a psychotherapist. I spent several years working at a psychiatric hospital in Birmingham, AL, but after my husband graduated as a pharmacist, we moved back to Greenville. I claim Greenville as my hometown now since I spent most of my childhood here, and I’m a proud alumna of St. Joseph’s Catholic School and Winthrop University.




Tour-Wide Giveaway



- $25 Amazon gift card & personalized hardcover of Arcana (INT)
- Two personalized hardcovers of Arcana + swag (US only)
- One ebook of Arcana (INT - Mobi or Epub)
Ends November 23rd


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Prism Book Tours