Blitz: Dark Roses by various Authors

DarkRosesBlitzBanner1Hi, everyone! Today’s blitz is for Dark Roses, a paranormal romance box-set. I will be giving away a copy of the book so please check out the giveaway and enjoy the blitz! :D

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Publication date: September 15th 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Formats: e-book
Available at: Amazon, B&N, iTunes 

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SYNOPSIS

Eight bestselling authors. Eight stories of paranormal romance. Eight series to take your breath away. From kick-ass cheerleaders to leaders of the fae, these teenage girls are out to save their worlds, one unforgettable adventure at a time. The only thing standing in their way – love, loss & a little magic.

From NYT & USA Today Bestselling author, P.T. MICHELLE – BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS — Nara Collins is an average sixteen-year-old, with one exception: every night she dreams the events of the following day. Due to an incident in her past, Nara avoids using her special gift to change fate…until she dreams a future she can’t ignore.

From USA Today bestselling author LYLA PAYNE, writing as TRISHA LEIGH – WHISPERS IN AUTUMN — For sixteen years, Althea has been alone in her ability to feel emotion, to think for herself, and on occasion, light things on fire. The autumn brings a boy named Lucas to town, along with unwanted scrutiny from the alien race of Others that rule Earth, and if she wants to live to see winter Althea will have to stop hiding–and start fighting

From USA Today bestselling author, ANTHEA SHARP – FEYLAND: THE DARK REALM — Jennet Carter never thought hacking into her dad’s new epic-fantasy sim-game would be so exciting… or dangerous. But behind the interface, dark forces lie in wait, leading her toward a battle that will test her to her limits and cost her more than she ever imagined.

From bestselling author, LOLA ST. VIL – GUARDIANS: THE GIRL — The prophecy says “should human and angel unite, it will bring the end of the human race…” Yet Emmy & Marcus can’t fight their feelings. All they want is to be together; the only way for us to survive is to keep them apart…

From bestselling author, TERAH EDUN – WITCHES FINISH FIRST — Witch. Daughter. Queen. Katherine is second-in-line in a provincial town ruled by her coven. But she’s about to learn that the hierarchy of witches first, fae second, and humans last isn’t set in stone…at least not in high school.

From bestselling author, ERICA COPE – LARK — An ordinary girl. An ordinary life. Until her Elfin heritage comes to light. Mia Carrington discovers she’s the heir to the kingdom of Álfheimr in the most unexpected way. But it’s the Dark Elves that pursue her that have her world turned upside down, because they will let no one and nothing stop them from claiming her.

From bestselling author, CAMERON JACE – PENTIMENTO — On her seventeenth birthday she comes of age. Her seventeen birthday is also the day the Beasts come for her. After the destruction of the world these rulers of new America provide safety and services to human in exchange for one new teenage girl every week. They call them the Brides, and they never come back.

From bestselling author, SARRA CANNON – BEAUTIFUL DEMONS –
Harper Madison’s inability to control her extraordinary powers has gotten her kicked from countless foster homes. Shadowford Home for Girls and Peachville High are her last chance. But when evidence ties her to the gruesome murder of a Demons cheerleader, Harper discovers this small town has a big secret.

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Excerpt from BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS

Once we’d stowed my stuff in the back of my car, Ethan opened the car door and waited for me to get in. Even though I wanted to ask him so many questions, I was afraid to speak. It felt like we’d moved to a whole new level in our friendship, but I wasn’t sure what that level was.

Every nerve ending urged me to hug him, to show my appreciation, but I was unsure. Would he pull away? I didn’t need any more rejection in my life. “Thank you for being there,” I said in an unsteady voice.

Ethan clasped my wrist and pulled me into his arms, holding me close. “I’ll always be here for you.”

I shuddered against his chest, mumbling into his flannel shirt. “You weren’t at school and I didn’t see you after practice. I thought for sure no one would hear me scream when those guys finally got their hands on–“

Warm fingers tilted my chin up. “I had something to do today, but I’d never leave you hanging. When I saw your stuff on the field and then I heard a guy yelling, ‘She went this way,’ in the woods…” he paused, tensing. “I freaked.”

“You got to me just in time.” I tried to smile but my lips trembled. “Who knew knights wore flannel shirts and Led Zeppelin tees?” I knew I sounded like a goof, but I didn’t care. I wanted him to know how much his rescue meant to me.

Ethan leaned close and I closed my eyes as he lightly kissed my cheekbone, then my forehead. He had no idea that his gentle kiss had melted something inside me, how much I craved the physical connection. His warm lips lingered against my skin for a second before he took a step back and shoved his hands in his jean pockets.

“I’m no hero, Nara.” His gaze narrowed briefly toward the woods. “Go home. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

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GIVEAWAY

Blog only giveaway:

Thanks to the author and Xpresso Book Tours I have the opportunity to give away ONE e-book copy of Dark Roses by various authors! (Open internationally)

 Just click on the link below and it will take you to the giveaway page!

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 This blitz was brought to you by:

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Reviewing the Past

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I haven’t reviewed a book in a while. It’s not because I haven’t been reading, in fact, I’ve read more books in the past couple of months than I have in a long time. I haven’t been reviewing these books though because I am burned out!

I love this blog. It is something that I never knew I wanted to do until I just did it one day, and I am pretty proud of myself for what I have learned to do since I’ve been blogging. I’m no computer whiz, but blogging forces you to learn how to do all sorts of things with basic photo shop and Google docs. Lol

Anyway, I am getting off the subject. I love the blog and I adore my readers/followers, but I am burned out. I think the cause of my recent disenchantment with writing reviews is because I feel such a strong need to write detailed and thoughtful reviews when authors/publishers are kind enough to gift me with a copy in exchange for a review. It doesn’t feel right to just type a few sentences about the book and then slap on a “star rating”. Whether I love the book or not, I feel compelled to give the author a decent review in exchange for the book. I don’t mean I feel the need to give them a positive review because that wouldn’t be right, but I want to give some constructive criticism when I feel it is necessary instead of just saying something like “This book suuuuuuuuuuucks!”.

No, if you come to Kookie Krysp Reads for a review, I will make it clear exactly why I thought certain parts of your book were not so good, but I’ll try to do it in a respectful way. Not because I don’t want to hurt authors feelings, but because I feel it is the professional thing to do. I would never recommend a bad book to my readers because you guys always come first, but I have to give the author at least a thoughtful, if not positive, review.

But, thoughtful reviews are hard! Especially when I didn’t care that much for what I read. It’s always easier to write a review of something you either loved or hated, but the books that fall in the middle are what I run into mostly, and those as tough to review thoughtfully.

It was the constant challenge of reviewing books that I neither loved nor hated that burned me out. The reading was fun, but the reviews were something I began to dread writing. :(

So, for the past couple of months, I haven’t written a single thoughtful review. I just keep consuming books like a locust and move on to the next one without putting any thought into what I just read. But, that’s no good either! I want to share what I think about the books I read, and I want to know what you guys think about the books I read too. What’s a girl to do in this situation?! What I ask?!

Well, I decided that I am going to review books that I have already read. It’s the perfect solution really. I get to share my thoughts with you wonderful readers and hopefully help you make a decision about whether or not a certain book is worth your time or you can just see if you agree with my thoughts. We can have fun together and I don’t have to over think everything I type because no one gave me these books. I bought them all for myself and read them simply because they looked interesting.

Plus, as many wonderful books as I have read thanks to authors and publishers, let’s face it, they aren’t really that well-known yet. I could rattle off a list of about ten books right now that should be well-known and I was given them for free (blogging perk), but I’m sure if you care what I think about The Athena Effect (My favorite free book of all time) you also want to know what I thought about Perfect Chemistry (An e-book that I spent waaaaaay too much money on.).

For the next few months and beyond I am going to write reviews of some of the best and maybe some of the worst books I have ever read, and I will throw in a few reviews of books that I think might interest you guys even if I thought they were just “okay”.

I can’t guarantee that these reviews will be detailed. Some will be short others will be long, and still other will just be rants about what I loved and what I hated, but aren’t those some of the most fun reviews to read? I will still be respectful because that’s how I write, but don’t get me wrong. I love reading reviews where the writer simply says “this book sucked!” because they have the right to say that and nothing else. This post was not about how I think other people should review because I think everyone should review the way they want, and if their reviewing style is not for me, I am more than capable of scrolling down to the next review. No, I don’t want to teach people how to review, I just want to have more fun reviewing books the way I review them.

If you like the way I have always reviewed books, don’t worry, I will still do my thoughtful reviews, but give me a little time to just go hog-wild and have some fun revisiting books that I’ve read, but never reviewed and then I will get back to being more thoughtful.

If you read this entire ranting post, I thank you, and if you just skipped to the end to get the gist of what I wanted to say, I don’t blame you. I do the same thing some time. :)

Until next time…

Release Day Blitz: Pieces of Me by Kira Adams

Hi everyone! Today I have a special release day blitz for Pieces of me by Kira Adams! Enjoy!

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Publication date: 08/25/14
Genres: Young Adult Romance
Formats: e-book
Available at: Amazon

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SYNOPSIS

For sixteen year old Peyton Lane, life has never been easy. She’s not popular, overweight, and oh yeah, her sister is embarrassed of her. But over the course of a tumultuous year, everything changes for Peyton. Suddenly all eyes are on her and it’s not because she’s fat. From a pair of handsome twins to a couple of dangerously sexy rockers, Peyton will have to find out who she can trust with her heart. From the ups and downs to the twists and turns—this is Peyton’s story of finding one’s voice and growing into your own.

This is a coming of age romance that involves realistic situations and raw emotions. This is Pieces of Me.

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AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Kira Adams

Krista Pakseresht has always been a dreamer. From the first time she opened her eyes. Creating worlds through words is one thing she is truly talented at. She specializes in Young adult/New adult romance, horror, action, fantasy, and non-fiction.

*I write under the pen name Kira Adams, However my real name is Krista Pakseresht.*

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AUTHOR LINKS

Figment | GoodreadsFacebook | Wattpad

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This blitz was brought to you by the author, Kira Adams!

Blitz: Double Negative by C. Lee Mckenzie

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Hi everyone! Today’s blitz is for Double Negative by C. Lee McKenzie! I will be giving away  copy of the book so please enter and enjoy the blitz!

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Publication date: July 25th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Formats: e-book
Available at: Amazon, B&N

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SYNOPSIS

“My life was going, going, gone, and I hadn’t been laid yet. I couldn’t go into the slammer before that happened.” Hutch McQueen.

Sixteen-year-old Hutchinson McQueen is trapped between an abusive mother and an absentee father. Shackled by poor vision and poor reading skills, he squeaks through classes with his talent for eavesdropping and memorizing what he hears. After another suspension from school and suffering through one of his mother’s violent attacks, he escapes to a friend’s house that turns out to be a meth lab. The lab is raided and Hutch lands in juvenile detention. When the court sentences him to six months in a new juvenile program, he meets a teacher with Alzheimer’s who will change his life and hers.

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GUEST POST

Three Things YA Fiction Writers Should Avoid

 

If you’re not writing historical fiction, there are three things YA fiction writers should avoid.

 

Including Identifiable Technology:

 

I wrote a story a few year ago called The Princess of Las Pulgas, and by the time I’d finished it, and it was ready to submit to publishers, I had some major changes to make. One big change had to do with technology.

 

In the original story, I had a flip phone—remember those? They were the latest in cell phone technology a few years ago, but not in 2010 when Princess came out.

 

This writer can’t keep up with the changes that Intel or Apple or whoever, comes up with. They spew new software and new devices faster than a high powered automatic.

 

I now try to make my techie references as generic as possible and hope those won’t be outdated before publication.

 

Using Current Slang:

Slang comes and goes about as fast as techie stuff, so finding something fresh, but not soon to be on its way out is difficult to impossible. I often approximate slang with what I call “loosely correct” grammar, or I just stay away from it entirely. It doesn’t necessarily add to character. In fact, I sometimes think it detracts. Still I do resort to some when it suits the character and I can’t come up with another way to express something.

 

Including Well-known Celebrities:

I took a big chance in Double Negative when I mentioned Lady Gaga. I knew I shouldn’t use a well-known celebrity, but I did anyway because the scene and the elderly character of Maggie begged for it. Here’s a snippet to give you an idea of how I trapped myself and probably will date my book within a few years.

The scene takes place at Thanksgiving dinner. Dixson Wang’s mom is Chinese and doesn’t speak English well. Hutch is the pov character.

 

I look over at Wang who’s leaning close to his mother. I guess he’s telling her what people are saying because sometimes he translates what she says to him. “Mom says the peas are delicious,” or “My mom has never tasted this kind of salad, but she likes it very much.”

Moss keeps shoveling food into his mouth as if his elbow’s set to a timer, and Meeker’s already taking seconds. Like me, they don’t talk, but they look around at the others.

That’s when Maggie says, “We should talk about sex or Lady Gaga. The boys are bored.”

Heather chokes and grabs her water glass.

Maggie asks Liz, “What is it about that singer that makes her so popular in the gay community?”

Dixson Wang isn’t translating anymore.

I hope Lady Gaga stays in style for a while.

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GIVEAWAY

Blog only giveaway:

Thanks to the author and Xpresso Book Tours, I have the opportunity to give away ONE e-book copy of Double Negative by C. Lee Mckenzie! (Open internationally) Just click on the link below and it will take you to the giveaway page!

Enter Here #2

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AUTHOR INTERVIEW

1. What were you like as a kid?

I was kind of a tomboy, in spite of all that my mom and gram did to make me girly. There were mostly boys my age on our block, so that may have been what influenced my behavior.

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I was playing three flies up, tripped and fractured my kneecap. Ouch. I look happy, but that cast was an itch a minute.

2. What was your first published book?

The title was Sliding on the Edge. Like Double Negative, it was an edgy YA. That book came out in 2009 and dealt with cutting.

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These are some avid fans. No, not reallytwo friends who were kidding around.

3. Where did you write most of Double Negative?

A lot was written in the winter and spring before I could go outside, so I worked at my desk. But I also did a lot of the story in summer, and thats when I like to sit by my pond to write.

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This is a perfect place for writing and thinking about writing, especially when I cant cough up the story I want.

4. Whats your favorite holiday?

Halloween. I go all out for All Hallows Eve. Its fun. Its macabre enough to give me chills. It inspires ghostly tales, and I like to write those once in a while. I have a lot of short stories about ghosts.

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Here I am getting ready to make a chocolate graveyard cake. Yummm.

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AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

CLee

In my other life–the one before I began writing for teens and younger readers–I was a teacher and administrator at California State University, San Jose. My field of Linguistics and Inter-cultural Communication has carried me to a lot of places in the world to explore different cultures and languages. I can say, “Where’s the toilet?” and “I’m lost!” in at least five languages and two dialects. Go ahead. Pat me on the back.

My idea of a perfect day is one or all of the following: starting a new novel, finishing writing a blockbuster novel, hiking on a misty morning trail in the Santa Cruz Mountains, saying Namaste after a great yoga practice, sipping a cappuccino topped at a bustling café, reading in front of a fire with snow outside, swimming in an ocean someplace.

I’ve just set out my perfect life. Day after day after day.

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AUTHOR LINKS

Website | Goodreads Twitter 

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 This blitz was brought to you by:

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Blitz: Pandora by various authors

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Hi, guys! Today’s blitz is for Pandora, a Paranormal boxed set that includes twenty full length novels and novellas! NO CLIFFHANGERS! 

I will be giving away a copy of Pandora as a part of the blitz, but if you don’t win, don’t worry! Pandora is on sale right now for $0.99! I hope you enjoy the blitz!

Night. Woman In  Mysterious Forest Launching Handmade Paper Cranes. Origami

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Publication date: August 5th 2014
Genres: Paranormal
Formats: e-book
Available at: Amazon, B&N

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SYNOPSIS

*TWENTY COMPLETE FULL-LENGTH NOVELS AND NOVELLAS FOR $0.99! NO CLIFFHANGERS!*

Do you dare open the box?

Whether you love paranormal in the form of romance, suspense, mystery, horror, or fantasy, this box set will have something to entice your preternatural sensibilities. Supernaturally thrilling and engaging, this box set has it all: ghosts, vampires, mind-readers, shape-shifters, demons, faeries, werewolves, and more.

For a limited time, you can enjoy books from today’s New York Times, USA Today, Amazon and Barnes & Noble bestselling authors and many more. We have everything from titles that are slated for the big screen to stories from Pulitzer Prize and Bram Stoker Award Nominees! When purchased separately, these books cost over $50! But they are your’s today for less than $1.

Professionally formatted, no cliffhangers, and no short stories. Every selection in this rare, limited edition paranormal box set are full-length novels and novellas! A few are “First in Series,” but we carefully selected only those which can still be enjoyed as a standalone!

Riley J Ford, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author: INTO YOU

Rebecca Hamilton, Amazon Best-Selling and Film-Optioned Novelist: HER SWEETEST DOWNFALL

Apryl Baker, Amazon Best-Selling and Film-Optioned Novelist: THE AWAKENING

Carole Lanham, Amazon Best-Selling Author and Bram Stoker Award Nominee: CLEOPATRA’S NEEDLE

Thomas Sullivan, Pulitzer Prize Nominee: THE WATER WOLF

Rainy Kaye, Amazon Best-Selling Author: SUMMONED

Laura Howard, Amazon Best-Selling Author: THE FORGOTTEN ONES

Noree Cosper, B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree: A PRESCRIPTION FOR DELIRIUM

Louise Caiola, Amazon Best-Selling Author: WHAT TRULY KNOWS

Kelley Anne Blount, Amazon Best-Selling Author: SHADE

Susan Stec, Amazon Best-Selling Author: DEAD GIRLS NEVER SHUT UP

Christi Goddard, Amazon Best-Selling Author: FOUR IN THE MORNING

Steven Katriel, Amazon Best-Selling Author: THE PORTRAIT OF ALATIEL SALAZAR

Heather Kenealy, winner of MTV’s “Stan Lee presents the Seekers” contest and Cinescape’s Short Story Contest: THE TRAITORS’ TRILOGY

Peter Dawes, Blogger Book Fair Reader’s Choice Award winner: EYES OF THE SEER

DelSheree Gladden, Amazon Best-Selling Author: INVISIBLE

with…
Angela Fristoe: LIE TO ME

Conner Kressley: THE BREAKER’S CODE

Samantha LaFantasie: MADE TO FORGET

Rachel Walter: TRUE CONNECTION

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EXCERPT1

Warning: This excerpt is  little intense. There is no cursing, but it creeped me out a little. Lol

SHADE

by Kelly Anne Blount

Blood dripped down my forehead and blurred my vision. I swallowed hard as I wiped it out of my eyes and on to my tattered dress. Trying to control my breathing, I focused on the dark alley head of me. I knew he was out there, but I didn’t know where.

The hair stood up on the back of my neck as I pressed my body against a cool brick wall. How did this go so wrong? A door slamming caused my heart to take off like a cheetah chasing a gazelle. I crouched down and frantically looked for a makeshift weapon. Finally, my hands came across a broken metal pipe. I picked it up and clutched it to my chest. 

With my fingers trembling, I took a step into the deserted alleyway. Trying to stay close to the wall, I sprinted as quietly as possible. A mixture of blood and tears dripped down my forehead as the pavement pounded under my feet. Every inch of my being wanted to scream, but I held it in. Just make it out of this alley! Then you can scream! 

A deep rumbling voice echoed off the walls and sent chills through my core, “You can run, but I’ll always find you, Abriana.” 

I couldn’t tell which direction it originated from and I didn’t stop to find out. Instead, I propelled my legs forward faster than I thought humanly possible. I chanted a one-word mantra the entire time. Survive. Survive. Survive!

A cool breeze whipped between the buildings and sent shivers down my damp neck. I could see a street in front of me. It was late, but a few people were still out and driving around. 

My chest ached and my lungs felt like they were about to burst into flames at any moment. I sucked in as much air as they would hold and pushed my body’s limits. 

You’re almost there! Just a few more feet! 

Suddenly, I felt fingernails dig into my shoulder and pull my body backward. The change in momentum caused me to fall flat on my back, knocking the air out of my lungs in the process. 

A metallic taste in my mouth and an ache in the back of my head were the last things I remembered before everything went black… 

***

I awoke to a strange noise followed by, “Tsk, tsk, tsk.”

I tried to open my eyes, but panicked when I saw nothing but darkness. Goosebumps instantly covered my arms. Why can’t I see? Where am I? I wiggled back and forth, bumping into a low ceiling and carpeted walls.

“You shouldn’t have run away from me,” came the nefarious voice belonging to the man in the dark alleyway. He gave a wicked laugh. “You know who I am and you know what I look like. The blindfold is so you don’t know where we’re going.” 

My lips began to tremble and my eyes filled with tears, but I forced them to stay at bay. Struggling, I tried to bring my hands to my face, but couldn’t. My wrists burned as a rope rubbed against my skin. 

He let out another laugh that left me chilled to the core. “I can’t risk you trying to run away again, now, can I?” 

Fear quaked through my body and a cold sinking feeling spread through my core. “Why are you doing this to me?” 

The corners of his lips turned up into a wicked smile. “Because I love you.”

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GIVEAWAY

Blog only giveaway:

Thanks to the author and Xpresso Book Tours, I have the opportunity to give away ONE e-book copy of the Pandora boxed set! (Open internationally) Just click on the link below and it will take you to the giveaway page!

Enter Here #2

DIVIDER

 This blitz was brought to you by:

XpressoBannerTours

 

Shades of Chaos by various authors

ShadesofChaosBlitzBanner2Hi everyone! Today’s blitz is for Shades of Chaos! It is a Young Adult, Dystopian, boxed set. I have the opportunity to giveaway a copy of Shades of Chaos so check out the giveaway. I hope you enjoy the blitz!

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Publication date:  June 11th 2014 
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
Formats: e-book

 

The book is on sale at $0.99 for a limited time!  
Available at: Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Smashwords, Fido Publishing, iTunes, Google, Bookstrand, OmniLit

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SYNOPSIS

Dare yourself to enter into post-apocalyptic future with this gritty collection of first-in-a-series books by six bestselling authors! Discover unique worlds packed with non-stop action, adventure, and suspense set against a gritty, futuristic backdrop.

NOTE: Together, these books have over 320 5-star reviews on Amazon!
Over 1400 pages of stories, with *exclusive* content from Alexia Purdy, Katie Salidas, and Chrystalla Thoma!
Best for ages 16 and up~

I AM Alive: I am not my heart rate. I am not my skills. I am not how I look like. My name is Decca Tenderstone. I live in a future America where teenagers are ranked on a scale from 1 to 10 on graduation day. There has never been a 10. Those below the rank of 5 are considered Monsters, a liability to society. The system says I am a Monster. I will not let them kill me. I will survive.

Initiation: Being a Vampire is a crime punishable by eternal servitude in the arena as a Gladiator of the Iron Gate. Mira, a newly turned vampire, must prove she has what it takes to survive in the human’s world. It’s kill or be killed. Immortality is not guaranteed.

Dissension: In the aftermath of the great cataclysm, vampires are enslaved by humans and used for blood sport as gladiators in the arena. Mira is undefeated, uncompromising, and unbreakable, but when an escape attempt leads her into the path of the city’s Regent, her destiny is changed forever.

Finding Hope: After the death of the one person he called mother, Elei leaves the Trashlands of Ost for the city – looking for other people and for answers. But he soon finds out that people are complicated and answers hard to come by…

Rex Rising: In a world where parasites create new human races, Elei leads a peaceful life as aircar driver — until a mysterious attack on his boss sends him fleeing with a bullet in his side and the fleet at his heels.

Resonant: As the first days of the end of humanity tumble across the City of Las Vegas, turning everyone into vampire-like creatures, April Tate will find out what it really means to survive.

Reign of Blood: April Tate is a seventeen-year-old ferocious vampire killer who lives in the remains of Las Vegas one year after a viral epidemic has left the world decimated. After her family is abducted, her world tilts when she discovers they’re not truly alone.

Released: After a demon apocalypse kills everyone they know, 17-year old Abby Phillips, her brother and her friend Max flee their home to travel through the wastelands of America, chasing a radio transmissions of a resistance offering shelter. But soon enough Abby and her companions discover what awaits them is much worse they could have ever imagined.

Burning Bridges: In a world divided between Hunters and Warriors, where prisoners are forced to fight in the arena until death, young Princess Echo must fight to find out who she really is and to put a world that has been swallowed by lies back together again.

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Elei inhaled the humid air and tried to get his bearings, to remember something, anything. In the end, he had to admit defeat. “Which island is this? Is it Kukno?”

“Are you saying I tricked you?” The boatman’s voice was dry. “We’re right where you told me to take you. Dakru.”

Dakru! The heart of the Seven Islands, risen in their perfect center, pushed out of the depths of the sea by the gods — at the beginning, before their divine hands molded the flesh of fish and birds, and then man. Elei stared at the shore, not quite believing he was there.

Until the boatman planted a heavy hand on his shoulder and shook him. “Hey, snap out of it. Pay me my second half and jump out now, or the sea will have you.”

Looking into his hard eyes, Elei had no doubt he meant it. He reached into his pocket and took out his thin wad of bills. Blood ran in a hot line down his hip as he counted and gave over the money. The boatman counted it again, eyes darting to the remaining bills and Elei’s gun peeking out of the holster.

Not good. Grimacing, Elei climbed out of the boat, scrambling on hands and knees to keep his balance on the blocks of the pier, fumbling in the half-darkness as the sea sang and sighed all around him and cold water sprayed his face. His left wrist throbbed, felt slightly sprained. His body felt numb, uncoordinated; the pain in his side echoed in his limbs, in his head.

Like an insect, he crawled on the giant squares, skinning hands and knees, until he finally reached the pier road. He could have wept for relief. Maneuvering his heavy legs, he climbed to his feet and glanced back at the boat which was already speeding away — a speck blacker than blackness, a white line of surf. Then he turned with a knot in his stomach to face the unknown shore.

The island was Dakru, but which city was this one? A memory returned and Elei frowned. Krisia. The boatman was supposed to drop him at Krisia, a small enough seaport to avoid Gultur police control. What had possessed him to go there?

Elei staggered along the pier toward the storehouses lining the seafront and the wound hurt like a son of a bitch with every step. He should have hidden in the mountains of Ost until he figured out what happened.

Nobody in their right mind would come to Dakru. The Gultur presence was stronger there. Their capital, Dakru City, the Gultur stronghold, rose in the center of the island, dominating the plains at the feet of the rugged mountains, and the dakron mines spread around it in a spiderweb of power. The source of the Gultur wealth lay in the control of the dakron mines, where the mineral fuel, pure and invaluable, was extracted. The police presence would be stronger here as well. And he was an illegal migrant.

This is mad. Why would I…

Someone had chased him. A face he knew, a man’s hard features, surfaced in his memory. Falx? He wondered why Pelia’s head of security would go after him, though it made no difference now. Nevertheless, it explained why he’d chosen — wisely in retrospect — not to travel with legal transportation over the immense bridges between the islands. He’d still been able to think when he’d boarded the boat, body pumped full of adrenaline.

Now the images, the words, the thoughts turned hazy. He stumbled and had to stop to catch his breath, his hand clenching on his side. Just move. He licked his lips, his throat raw from thirst, knowing he couldn’t rest there — too conspicuous, too dangerous. Keep moving. He had to get to Artemisia. He knew that. And from there…

Elei grappled with the memory. Where did he have to go? An address, he had an address. Where was it? His hand dove into his pocket and drew out a crumpled scrap of paper. The letters jerked and swam in his vision.

There. He must get there. A name. And a place, an address. He wondered how far he had to go, how easy it’d be to find transportation and whether streetcars ran that stretch. He pushed the paper deep into his pocket, patted it. The knot in his gut unwound a little. He had a goal. Get there. Just do it.

Go to Aerica.

Find Kalaes Ster.

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Thanks to the author and Xpresso Book Tours, I have the opportunity to give away ONE e-book copy of Shades of Chaos, a Young adult Dystopian boxed set by various authors! (Open internationally) Just click on the link below and it will take you to the giveaway page!

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Blitz: The Silver Siren (The Iron Butterfly #3) by Chanda Hahn

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Today’s blitz is for The Silver Siren by Chanda Hahn! There are two great giveaways in the post so check them out, and thanks for visiting! :D

SilverSiren

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Publication date: 05/25/14
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Formats: e-book
Available at: Amazon, B&N
Links to previous books in series on Goodreads:

The Iron Butterfly (Iron Bu...The Steele Wolf (Iron Butte...

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SYNOPSIS

Every journey has an end.

Unable to find the answers she sought in Skyfell, Thalia, Joss, and Kael travel to Haven with a prisoner in tow. An attack on the road waylays their plans, and Thalia finds herself traveling alone with
Kael to the hidden sanctuary of the SwordBrothers.

But war is on the horizon and the Raven is amassing his army. This time, the target is not Calandry, but the Sirens of Sinnedor. When family ties are revealed, Thalia must choose sides. Desperate to break the final seal on her power and save those she loves, will Thalia willingly taste the bitter pain of the iron butterfly machine one final time?

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EXCERPT1

“Will you stay close?” It sounded crazy coming from my own mouth, but I needed him near.

“I’ll stay as close as you want,” he whispered. Then he sat near me cross-legged. “Is this good?” A small smile played at the corner of his lips.

Nodding my head, I curled up in his bedroll and immediately felt comfortable and safe. I yawned and inhaled the smell of him from his blanket. I was definitely tired.

“Thalia?” Kael leaned over and spoke into my ear.

“Hmmm?” I answered.

“Why don’t you want me to leave?”

Mmm. ’Cause you keep the bad things away,” I mumbled sleepily.

“What if I am the bad thing?” His thick voice questioned. Was that a hint of fear I heard?

“You’re not,” I answered honestly.

I was almost asleep when I heard shuffling. My eyes flew open, and I reached out to grab Kael’s arm. He looked at me in surprise.

“I’m just getting comfortable,” he smirked.

“Promise you won’t leave me,” I demanded tiredly.

Kael nodded, and I let sleep finally win. But I swore I heard him whisper under his breath. “Never.”

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 Just click on the link below and it will take you to the giveaway page!

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 Blitz wide Giveaway:

Click on the link below to enter the blitz wide giveaway for the chance to win A Kindle paperwhite!

Open to US and Canada; ends August 25th (The author/tour company is responsible for choosing the winner and supplying the prize for this giveaway)

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AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

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Chanda is a bestselling and award winning author of the UnEnchanted: An Unfortunate Fairy Tale series and the Iron Butterfly series. She’s been a bestseller in five countries and was named one of Amazon’s top 100 customer favorite author. She uses her experience as a children’s pastor, children’s librarian and bookseller to write compelling and popular fiction for teens. She was born in Seattle, WA, grew up in Nebraska and currently resides in Portland, Oregon with her husband and their twin children.

Learn more about this author visit her website www.chandahahn.com

Follow her on twitter: www.twitter.com/chandahahn

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Blitz: Stormfront by K. R. Conway

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Hi everyone! Today’s blitz is for Stormfront by K.R. Conway! There are two great giveaway opportunities in this post so please check them out, and I hope you enjoy the blitz!

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Publication date: 08/15/14
Genres: Romance, Young Adult, Paranormal
Formats: e-book, Paperback
Available at: Amazon, B&N
Links to previous books in series on Goodreads:

Undertow (Undertow, #1)

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SYNOPSIS

Not long ago Eila Walker’s choices were limited: death by a bullet to the head, or at the hands of her beloved bodyguard, Raef. Now, five weeks after Raef triggered her power and she nearly leveled a historic mansion, Eila is dealing with the fall-out of her decisions. While she doesn’t remember dying in the arms of the soul thief who loves her, she knows that Raef remembers everything about the night he nearly killed her.

Now on the mend and attempting to keep one step ahead of the FBI, Eila and her team of misfits are desperate for a bit of normal. Eila is trying to navigate high school, while her BFF Ana is cautiously hanging with past-boyfriend and soul thief, Kian. Shape-shifter, MJ, is trying not to piss off his mother, while Raef is coping with his fears that Eila will never be safe.

But just as “normal” seems within their grasp, a powerfully built newcomer arrives. Raef knows the scarred man as a Blacklist Dealer – a soul thief, who peddles the names of humans who deserve to die. Eila, however, knows him as the protective hunter from the woods, who she nicknames Thor. Before long, Raef and Eila realize they’ve met the same killer, and he has one hell of a story to tell the five friends . . . if Raef doesn’t murder him first.

STORMFRONT is the second book in the Bestselling UNDERTOW series.

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EXCERPT1

The smell of cinnamon and coffee lured me out of my warm cocoon of sleep. I blinked into the early morning sunlight filling the parlor and listened to the echoing quiet of the house.

The soft drip of Mae’s coffee maker confirmed that the power had returned and the brilliant blue outside the window revealed a crystal clear sky. I realized I must have nodded off in front of the fire last night, because I was still camped out on the floor, but somehow I had acquired what felt like a pillow. It was a bit too firm though.

I moved slightly and realized the pillow was attached to a perfectly sculpted forearm . . . and hand, which had my long hair gently woven through its fingers. Something warm and solid tightened around my waist and my eyes widened as I realized Raef was tucked against my back, one of his arms supporting my head and the other clasped around my waist.

Sweet baby dolphins everywhere, Raef was SPOONING me, pressed firmly against my back.

Now acutely aware of my surroundings, I could feel his warm breath on the back of my neck as he slept. I wanted to turn to him, but I was terrified he would wake and realize he had jumped headfirst into those revisions we had briefly mentioned last night.

Heck, he was WAY MORE than touching me. He was holding me as if I would disappear – as if I would fade into the molecules in the air. I swallowed and stayed still, taking inventory of his hard body against mine, and how we seemed to fit so perfectly together.

A metal pan scraped against something in the kitchen, breaking the silence of the house, and I felt Raef take a deep breath and stretch ever so slightly.

Then he froze.

Crap.

I stayed still, hoping he would think I was asleep. Hoping he wouldn’t suddenly shoot across the room, taking with him the warmth and safety I felt in his arms.

He didn’t move for what felt like forever, keeping his arm around my waist, but then I felt him softly spread his fingers out over my stomach. It took everything I had not to spontaneously combust.

I felt his forehead touch the back of my neck and he drew a slow, deep breath against my shoulder blade. It sent electricity fanning out from my skin and down my arm. All ability to control myself fled my body and I dragged in a shaky breath.

He loosened his grip and I rolled onto my back, his arm still behind my head and his hand just below my belly button. His fingers grazed the area of my skin that was now exposed thanks to a too-short tanktop.

God bless the discount rack at Abercrombie.

“Uh . . . Good Morning,” I said, my voice a little dry.

“Good Morning,” he replied, quietly. “I didn’t mean to wrap myself around you like that. I don’t even remember doing it.”

Pfft . . . no worries!

“You just needed a snuggle-buddy,” I replied, flashing him a knowing grin, but my face started to flush. Oh my god . . . that was so lame.

Raef’s gave a soft smile and was about to reply, but a paisley pillow shot up from behind him and wacked him in the back of his head. “HEY!” he protested.

“Will you two SHUT UP!” moaned Ana who was sprawled on the floor as well. “I think I might actually throw up in my mouth. Will you be my snuggly-swuggly pooh bear? UGH! Seriously – I’m gonna barf.”

I blushed hot and sat up as Raef’s hand fell away from my tummy. He slowly got to his

feet, tossing the pillow that attacked him onto the couch. He stretched, looking really well rested for the first time in weeks, and his black t-shirt rode up just enough to torment the heck out of me.

He looked down to where I sat on the floor, scrambled hair and silly PJs most likely making me quite the sight to see. “I’m going to go bring in some more wood and see if Mae needs anything,” he said, taking his fine self and walking into the kitchen. I heard him greet Mae, though Mae returned a clipped Hello, and then the side door closed.

I turned to Ana who was still sprawled on the floor with pillows and blankets. “What the hell woman?”

SNUGGLE BUDDY? That’s all you can come up with after not having your hands on him for how long?” laughed Ana.

“Hey – at least I could speak. I was so shocked that he was with me, I thought I was hallucinating. Did you fall asleep down here too?”

“No. I went to my room, but was freezing by one in the morning. Kian and Raef were down here talking while keeping the fire going, and you were drooling on the floor, so I figured I’d camp out too, minus the unsexy drooling of course.”

“I do not drool!” I laughed, horrified.

“Well, maybe not, but you do have a line indented on the side of your face from however you were sleeping,” she said smiling.

“I do not!” I protested, but then felt my cheek. Sure enough I had a long groove running the length of my face.

Terrific.

Mae appeared in the parlor doorway, her arms crossed over a stained plaid apron. “I

need to talk to both you girls. Now, please.”

That didn’t sound very promising. I glanced at Ana, who gave me a curious look, but we followed Mae back into the kitchen where feast preparations were in full swing.

“Sit,” Mae instructed as she poured herself a fresh cup of coffee. She added some sugar and slowly turned to face us as she stirred the caffeine. The soft clink of her spoon against the cup seemed to echo ominously in the silent room. What was she up to?

“Um – did I forget to take the trash out or something?” I asked, daring a nervous glance to Ana. Mae cleared her throat, a sure sign of whatever she was about to say was not going to be enjoyable.

“Raef and Kian are lovely young men. They’ve helped me out enormously while the two of you have been laid-up, and I am very grateful for all they have done. However, what I am about to say is non-negotiable.”

Oh please – don’t say it. Don’t go there.

“Sex should be between two people that are in love and are mature enough to understand the ramifications of such an activity.”

Yup. She went there. I bet the deed to the house it was because Raef had been curled around me, too.

The color drained entirely from Ana’s face.

“Mae – you really don’t  . . .” I started, but she raised a hand to silence me. It was very possible I would never recover from this conversation. I was sure Ana’s ears were shriveling off her head as Mae spoke.

“I am not so naïve that I do not see how you four act around each other. It’s obvious that there are feelings that go far beyond friendship between you two and the boys. All I

ask is that you girls are careful, use your head. Don’t do something you’re pressured into. And for heavens sake, if you are determined to do it, DON’T do it under this roof and always, always be protected.”

Silence descended on the room, as if a black hole had opened up on the table, sucking all gravity and sound from the kitchen. Mae stood there, glancing at the two of us. I was so mortified. I slid my eyes to the kitchen door that Raef had passed through minutes ago. If he was still anywhere near the side of the house, his supernatural hearing would have just offered him an earful. Kill. Me. Now.

Ana, no doubt ready to perform a self-inflicted mental exorcism to erase the past few moments, hopped up from her seat as if she had been scalded. “Right. Good talk. Will keep it under advisement. Gotta get dressed,” she declared, bolting from the room. I think her little feet actually left a smoke trail in their wake. Her leg was definitely all healed.

I glanced at Mae and she eyed me over her steaming cup of coffee as she took a sip.

Somebody save me.

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GIVEAWAY #1

Blog only giveaway:

Thanks to the author and Xpresso Book Tours, I have the opportunity to give away ONE e-book copy of Stormfront by K. R. Conway! (Open internationally) Just click on the link below and it will take you to the giveaway page!

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 Blitz wide Giveaway:

Click on the link below to enter the blitz wide giveaway for the chance to win a signed copy of STORMFRONT + Swag (Open to US and Canada; ends August 19th)!

The author is responsible for choosing and sending out the prize.

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AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Q: How did you come up for the idea for the series and how many books are there total?

Ah! The idea for the series . . . I get asked that a lot. UNDERTOW is a combination of the war stories of my grandfather (who was a WWII Marine and landed on Iwo Jima), my obsession with Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation of Peter Benchley’s novel, JAWS, and my love affair with Cape Cod and its “everybody knows everybody” vibe. As for the number of books, there are 4 main novels, and one novella. Only the first 2 novels are out right now – UNDERTOW and STORMFRONT (as of August 13, 2014). UNDERTOW is now on summer reading lists for high schools.

Q: The local kids from Cape Cod are saying the stuff in the books is REAL! They are messing with me, right?

The series is based on a REAL version of Cape Cod. In fact, one of the characters owns an ice cream shop named The Milk Way. While “The Milk Way” is fictitious, it is 100% based on Four Seas Ice Cream in Centerville (a REAL town, were fictional Eila lives). Four Seas knows they are in the book and they host book signings. Other things in the book that are real to Cape Cod (so you can basically visit here and do all the things that Eila and her crew do) are:

Eila’s house – The home the main character inherits, and thus sets off

the chain of events for UNDERTOW, does exist in the historic area of Centerville, not far from Four Seas Ice Cream. It used to be owned by a friend of mine and we hung out in it all the time when we were young. She now resides in Hong Kong as a pilot, so we catch up on Facebook and she gives me more secrets about how the house was built. FYI – don’t go knocking on the door, because someone else owns the house now.

Barnstable High School Totally real and totally cool public high school that does some crazy thing. The students and faculty know they are in the novels (and even decided to begin building their own book trailer based on the series), so they allow me to come in and walk the halls as needed to make sure I stay true to the story. And yes – it is so huge that I need a GPS to find my way out. 2000+ students go there. Their award winning theater department became part of a major TV network series known as High Drama a few years ago. American Idol contestant Siobhan Magnus was a student there.

The Jeep Subculture – Again, totally real. On Cape Cod, Wranglers are the most beloved vehicles of all. Most families have one, and if you drive one, other Wrangler drivers will wave to you when you pass each other – like Harley riders do. And yes – you can drive them out onto some of the beaches (MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHICH ONES!)

Witch Balls, The Crimson Moon, and Eila’s Bracelet – All real. Witch Balls are made at any one of our beautiful, glass-blowing shops (and yes – you can watch them actually blow glass, which is so cool). The Crimson Moon was based on The Lavender Moon, which is no longer in business. It was owned by a real coven of witches and when you would go in there, you could buy healing stones, herbs, crystals, oils, etc. Don’t worry – Dalca didn’t work at the real version! Eila’s bracelet is a staple of Cape Cod and there are several variations, though the original is simply called a Cape Cod Bracelet. They come in various sizes, so having a two-year-old with one is not unusual. The ball screws the bangle together, which means that sucker ain’t coming off, so don’t get it caught on anything or your arm may go with it.

Town Neck, the Bonfire party, and the infamous bridge All real, though I did take a few creative liberties. So, Town Neck beach is part of the town of Sandwich. It has the boardwalk, just as described, and the long beach at the end, AND, yes, the river. Kids can jump from the bridge (yup, I’ve done it too, and IT IS FREEZING). However, you cannot drive a car out on Town Neck and you are not supposed to bonfire there – all those things can be done on SANDY NECK or NAUSET (where Raef hunts), so I kinda sorta blended the two beaches.

Barnstable Harbor and the Ferry – Totally true and yes, you can sit and people watch. You can also catch a Cape Cod Baseball League

game in the nearby field. The Cape Cod League is famous because so many players get called up to the Majors.

More of Cape Cod appears in each new novel in the series and I do blog often about the Cape, writing, and the series on my blog at http://capecodscribe.com

Q: DUDE! I saw Raef at the mall!!! Like – REALLY HIM! I was totally fangirling!! How is that possible?

Because all the cover models are real kids from Cape Cod and none were professional models. We found them through Facebook (yes – I stalked teenagers on Facebook). They needed to match the characters that were already written and their parents needed to agree to let them become the faces of the characters. I have a fabulous, young photographer named Alex, and a full television studio that we use when we do photoshoots. Each shoot takes about seven hours. It is weird to be there during the shoots as ALL the characters are hanging out, laughing and sharing music. The kids also come to book signings and sign as their characters and pose with fans. They have been on TV, in newspapers, and on blogs. Their complete profiles and who the real kids are behind the faces can be found on my blog, CapeCodScribe.com.

Q: How can I contact you? Enter to win Swag? Find out when the next book will launch? Meet you in person?

My blog is a great place to start (CapeCodScribe.com), but I also have a Facebook Page, Instagram (K_R_Conway), and Twitter. On Amazon, you can sign up to get an email when a new book releases. Fans who post Facebook statuses about the book, tweet, Pinterest, Instagram and what not can win swag from me.

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AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

KRAuthor

K.R. Conway has been a professional writer for most of her adult life.  She has been a journalist since 1999, an editor, graphic designer, critique partner for other writers, novelist, and book reviewer. She teaches the devious art of telling lies for money to various impressionable young people (i.e. she teaches fiction craft classes for teens and adults). She is also on the Board of Directors for the Cape Cod Writers Center, a PAL member of the SCBWI, and the driver of a 16-ton school bus. She tweets her random thoughts @sharkprose and is on Facebook, because even her BFF’s dog is.
K.R. Conway is the author of the UNDERTOW series, which includes last year’s Amazon bestseller, UNDERTOW, and this August’s release, STORMFRONT.She lives on Cape Cod with her two children and husband, two weird dogs, and a cage-defiant lovebird that sleeps in a miniature tent.

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AUTHOR LINKS

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Review: Embers and Ice by Isabella Modra

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Publication date: May 11th 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Formats: e-book, paperback
Available at: Amazon

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SYNOPSIS

Everyone is wrong about hell.

Vulnerable and weak after her battle with her guardian Joshua, Hunter is snatched up by the Agents who work for a ruthless and cold institution called ICE. There, Hunter is imprisoned with other mutants of different ages and abilities, forced into a nightmare of constant experiments and brutality.

Joshua is a mess. Frantically trying to fix the mistakes he made, Joshua embarks on a quest across the country to find Hunter and rescue her. But the company he keeps is continuously distracting him, and Joshua can’t control the strange feelings of love and comfort that begin to boil inside his cold, icy heart.

Will Hunter escape and find her fire again, or will Joshua and his mistakes find her first?

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REVIEW

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

Well, that was a roller coaster ride of a story or maybe I would be better off comparing it to a house of horrors!

Lately I have been reading a lot of post apocalyptic novels and those are always emotionally draining so I thought I would get a nice break from emotional torture with this book. I read Rouge, the first book in the series, and while it had some emotional moments, for the most part it was a pretty straight forward Young Adult romance with paranormal elements. I didn’t like the main character Hunter because she was snotty and ungrateful, but I liked the book. I also got the feeling that Hunter would experience some personal growth and become a more likable person as the series progressed.

I assumed that Embers and Ice would be similar to Rouge in when it came to the overall tone and writing style of the book, but it really feels like these stories were written by two completely different people. Rouge was a 4 star read for me because it was a cute story about the origins of a potential super hero. It was light-hearted even though it dealt with some heavy subject matter. Hunter’s relationship with Eli was adorable but nothing special, and I felt like some of the mysteries, like who the villain was, were somewhat obvious.

Embers and Ice, however, was a very dark and gritty novel. I’m not sure if I can even classify this as a superhero book; in fact, I’m not sure how to classify it! I’ve never read a story that combined these elements so well. There were plenty of people with superhuman abilities, but the pain that they felt was so very human in nature. It was almost too difficult to read because I felt so much empathy for these people.

When our story left off and the end of Rouge, Hunter had just dealt with what I assumed would be the most painful and difficult fight of her life. If you haven’t read Rouge and don’t want spoilers, now would be the time for you to stop reading my review; however, I won’t spoil anything that pertains to Embers and Ice.

Hunter is trying to pick up the pieces after she finds out that Joshua, the man who has raised her since she was born, is some sort of mad villain who killed the love of her life. She is in a very raw and sensitive place emotionally, and she has no one to help her deal with the pain so she just sort of floats through life in a daze. No sooner than she decides to begin the grieving process and pick up the pieces of her shattered life, than she is kidnapped and imprisoned by the diabolical Dr, Wolfe, a man who is so evil that he makes Joshua look like a puppy! Dr. Wolfe runs an “institution” that  imprisons houses and tortures experiments on people with special abilities. While at the institute, Hunter meets a group of about 20 children and young adults who have a wide variety of amazing abilities.

I was very pleased with the way all of these different characters were introduced. I am easy to confuse when I first start reading anything so I hate it when I have to keep track of a large number of people, but for some reason that wasn’t a problem with this book. I think it is because they were all introduced in memorable ways. Everyone had their own distinct personality and look to go along with their powers, and it was very easy to keep them all straight in my head.

The most important person that Hunter meets in the institute, however, is Will. If you read my review of Rouge, then you know that I was underwhelmed with Hunter’s relationship with Eli. It felt like he was more like her pet than her soul mate. He calmed her  down and helped her feel normal, but the fact of the matter is that Hunter is far from normal. She is a teenage girl who could have an entire neighborhood engulfed in flames in a matter of minutes just because she’s in a bad mood. The girl isn’t normal, she will never be normal, and thank goodness for that, because normal make for boring reading. No, Hunter does not need to feel like a normal girl. She need to feel like the beautiful and emotionally screwed up freak of nature that she is, and that is exactly who she gets to be with Will. They have a connection that runs deep. Even Will’s power compliment’s Hunters. She would never have to worry about getting too overheated when she kisses him like she did with Eli because Will is immortal. Well, maybe not immortal because, as far as I can tell, He still ages at a normal rate, but he heals incredibly fast so he can handle it if Hunter accidentally burns him. They have amazing chemistry and it’s not based solely on a physical attraction. Hunter needs Will and Will needs Hunter, but they need each other in a healthy way. It’s a symbiotic relationship, they don’t hurt and confuse one another. Maybe it is because they had so much horror and pain to deal with on a daily basis, but the normal whiny and annoying crap that usually accompanies relationships in Young Adult novels was refreshingly missing with Hunter and Will. their relationship was absolutely beautiful to read about, and I hope it continues to grow in the upcoming installments to this series.

Joshua also experienced a lot of character development in this book. You may have noticed at the end of Rouge that he might not be quite as evil as Hunter was lead to believe and perhaps his powers have more of a control over him then he does over it. You also know that Hunter’s boyfriend Eli and her teacher Jenny aren’t as dead as we thought. It’s no big spoiler that both Eli and Jenny wake up, but I won’t tell you what condition they are in when they do. The direction the author chose to take the characters of both Jenny and Eli are just as interesting as how Joshua and Hunter grew.

I learned a lot about every single character in this book, and I truly can’t believe it was written by the same author. Rouge was good, but Embers and Ice was outstanding. This is the type of beautifully disturbing book that I rarely expect to find. I can’t imagine how the author could possibly top herself in the third installment, but I challenge her to try.

The only real complaint I have is about the ending. There is a cliffhanger, but it isn’t a particularly bad cliffhanger. You know who’s alive and who’s dead so that has nothing to do with my complaint. My complaint comes from the fact that this was a gut wrenching book to read from beginning to end! It never gives me a moment to feel like Hunter is going to truly be okay. Don’t get me wrong, she has moments of happiness and peace, some are supplied by her interactions with others, but most come from her own internal growth. I just became really attached to her while reading this and I want to be okay.

I can’t recommend this book enough to fans of well-developed superhero origins, romance, and action, but mostly,you should read this book if you like reading about the ability of the human spirit to find joy, peace, and strength even in the most horrific of circumstances.

Because of language, violence, and content, I would recommend this book for ages 15 and up. There was no explicit sexual content, but there is mention of rape.

Five Roses

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AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

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Hi, my name is Isabella. You can call me Dragon.

I’m an author. I’m also a book addict. I know, we all have problems.

I live in the land down under, but I get bored of it so I travel often.

My bedroom is my little slice of heaven, I am obsessed with frilly socks and my sister and I have decided to become Ghost Hunters (when she turns eighteen).

Want to know something else about me, like the origins of all eight of my dreamcatchers that come from different corners of the world? Send me a message or comment here on my page. Otherwise, there is a full(er) biography on my website www.isabellamodra.com

Peace X

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AUTHOR LINKS

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Blitz: Handpicked by Dani Oden

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Hi everyone! Today is the blitz for Handpicked by Dani Oden! There is a great giveaway in this post so check it out and have fun! :D

Handpicked

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Publication date: August 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
Formats: e-book
Available at: Amazon, B&N

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SYNOPSIS

College freshman Jill Holloway takes one look at the stuck-up girls going through sorority rush and nearly returns her borrowed dress and heels. Against her best judgment, she ends up falling for the prestige and parties, and snagging a bid from a top house. After moving in, she quickly grows skeptical of her too-perfect sorority sisters. She tries to ask questions, though no one will take time from their busy social calendar to give her any real answers.

Jill wastes no time digging for everything she’s not supposed to find, and soon comes face-to-face with a big and bloody secret hidden in her sorority’s basement. She knows she’s in over her head, but taking off so soon would raise the perfectly-plucked eyebrows of her suspicious new sisters. She’s stuck until she can make a smooth exit.

But the closer she gets to leaving, the more it becomes clear that it won’t be as simple as she hoped. A tempting fraternity guy, a best friend who needs her, and new details about what has really been happening in the basement have her questioning what her next move should be, and whether or not it’ll be worth the risks.

HANDPICKED is a New Adult coming of age, with elements of suspense and romance.

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EXCERPT1

Under a moonlit, starless sky, I joined the crowd of passing girls who’d just been released from preference parties at neighboring sororities. Recruitment counselors lined the sidewalks, forbidding us from talking and herding us toward the biggest lecture hall on campus to fill out our preference cards. If I wasn’t in the middle of it, I would have thought that hundreds of dressed up young women walking silently in rows might seem a little creepy, but who was I to judge? I was one of them. One of us.

At the end of the block, below a streetlight, was a line of guys in dress pants and collared shirts. A couple of them were all disheveled and wrinkly, clearly out of their element in the nice clothes, though for the most part they were a hot bunch. I tried not to stare but one in particular, with grayish pants, a light blue shirt and a face that rivaled the boyband posters that hung in my old locker, was particularly difficult to look away from.

When the wave of girls I was with passed, they handed each of us a rose with a crookedly cut tag tied on with ribbon. My cheeks burned as the one in blue held his back as a few girls went by and then handed it directly to me, smiling.

I wanted to stop and say something, but the sea of girls behind me pushed me along, forcing me to keep walking. I settled for a smile, the best one I could muster through shaky lips and soggy eyes. Once I was down the block, I peeked at the tag hoping to see his name, but all it said was, Congratulations on completing rush, from the gentlemen of Nu Mu Chi. We hope to see you at our parties this year.

I made a mental note to go to every single one of them.

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GUEST POST

Thank you so much for having me! I thought I’d offer readers a “behind-the-scenes” peek at some sections that were part of earlier drafts of HANDPICKED, and why they didn’t make the final cut.

This first one is part of an extended version of the opening scene. Our main character Jill is trying to get ready for her final night of sorority rush in her dorm bathroom…

The girl from the stall emerged, wearing a gold lacy number and looking movie-star perfect except for her red, watery eyes. She reached around me, grabbed a paper towel, and daintily dabbed her mouth. “I can’t effing handle this,” she said, squeezing into my mirror space and fluffing her wavy brown hair. “I haven’t been able to eat for days.”

Blond handed her a piece of gum. “Couple more hours, and it’ll all be worth it. And that dress looks amazing on you now.”

The brunette caught me staring at her reflection and raised her eyebrows. She sized me up, clearly not approving of how I was still in my yoga pants and a tank top, and how my long red hair was in a loose ponytail. “Where are you preffing?” she said casually, asking which sorority parties I was visiting for the final round of rush that night. Thankfully, I had just learned the jargon earlier that day.

I shrugged. “I can’t remember, my list is back in my room.”

She gaped at me. Her hand stopped not even an inch from her face, her lip gloss still pointed to her mouth. “You can’t remember?”

Blond started to laugh as if I’d been joking.

I bristled. “Well, all their names sound the same, don’t they?”

They stared at me.

“I guess some do,” the brunette said slowly, like she didn’t really think so at all.

My cell phone started buzzing from my pocket, so I quickly grabbed it and scooped up my small make-up bag. “Excuse me,” I said, glad to get away. They smelled like a Victoria’s Secret store mixed with throw-up.

Ultimately, this exchange was cut simply for pacing. I wanted to speed up the time it takes Jill to get back to her room so we can get her out the door and to the sororities faster.

This second one is from a scene when Jill dozes off next to her crush, Tad…

In my sleepy state, I was less guarded than I would have been under most circumstances. He started tugging at my sweatshirt, and instead of encouraging him to explore underneath it with his hands, I simply raised my arms up high. Obediently, he lifted it. The hood was tight over my head, but he managed to squeeze it off me, pulling out my ponytail holder. My long red hair fell loosely over my face and I imagined it looked quite sexy. Well, sexy for me, which is about as sexy as like, one of those live-action Disney movies that gets played on Sunday night cable.

This section was cut because of Jill’s reference to being

less guarded because she was tired. I was concerned that her comment it made it seem like she wasn’t that into Tad, which was not at all what I was going for – the final version of the scene makes it *pretty* clear that she’s excited to be with him

Thank you for giving me the chance to share these scenes!

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GIVEAWAY

Blog only giveaway:

Thanks to the author and (tour company), I have the opportunity to give away (giveaway)! (Open internationally) Just click on the link below and it will take you to the giveaway page!

Enter Here #2

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AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Is HANDPICKED based on events in your own life?

Yes and no. I had a sorority experience of my own in college, though it was nothing like what our main character goes through. She’s suspicious and skeptical and constantly questioning things, with good reason to. Though, I did tap into my memories of things like rush and pledge education and bid day to bring some realism to the story.

How did you come up with the title of your book or series?

I wanted to play off the exclusivity stereotype in sororities and –spoiler alert!—there is a pretty big plot point involving a hand, so it was a natural choice.

Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

I feel closest to our narrator Jill, since we see everything through her eyes. But, I have to admit I liked writing Hannah, with all her f-bombs, snark, and fraternity connections.

If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be? Why?

I would have loved to have introduced more of the members of Jill’s sorority. I had to really hold back in that area since most weren’t necessary for this particular story, but I’m excited to explore more of their personalities in future books.

Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:

Hmm, let’s see. The girls are part of the Alpha Gamma chapter of Iota Beta, and each of those are Greek letters that stands for something important to me. I, B, A, G. That’s the fun part about using the Greek system as a setting, there’s lots of room for symbols and hidden meetings…

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

I can say that Jill is still our narrator, and the story picks up just a few months after HANDPICKED ends, still in her freshman year of college. And, she has more responsibilities now so the stakes are much higher. I’m going to leave it at that! I’m also working on a prequel, which I’m pretty excited about. Readers will see that Jill mentions that she used to be a camp counselor, so I’m going to release some stories from that part of her life.

Anything else you want to add?

Thank you very much for having me!

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AUTHOR LINKS Twitter: @MsDaniOden
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8390838.Dani_Oden
Blog: www.trapperkept.com (blog on pop culture & nostalgia)

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