Review + Spotlight: Labyrinth Lost

NER REVIEWS (labyrinthlost)

Author: Zoraida Córdova
Release Date: September 6th, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 336 (Hardcover)
Format: PDF
Genre:
 YA | Magic | Witches
Idiom: English
Series: Brooklyn Brujas #1
Read: from August 19 to 23
Source & Shelf: NetGalley | Kobo
ISBN: 9781492620945
(Hardcover)
Cups:
4 Cups
GoodreadsTBDAmazon

Synopsis

“Enchanting and complex. Every page is filled with magic.”-Danielle Paige, New York Times best-selling author of Dorothy Must Die

Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…

My Opinion

Disclaimer: Thank you NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Let me begin by just saying that I never read anything like this before. At first I thought this was a different kind of witchcraft, of religion and when I finally picked it up and submerged in the story, I realised I was wrong. And I loved it because it made me enjoy the story even more.

Labyrinth Lost is about Alex who is a Bruja – a specific kind of witch based on the Latin witchcraft. On her Deathday (in celebration of her powers finally appearing), she casts a spell to eliminate her powers but instead she sends her family, dead and alive, to Los Lagos, a parallel dimension where Gods, spirits, strange beings and much more dwell. With the help of a strange boy, Alex embarks in an adventure that will surely change her.

Alex was a great character to read about. Her past helps build her trepidation when it comes to her abilities but the way she develops throughout the story made up for her fears. When we first met her she’s a scared teenager who kept her powers hidden from her sisters because she’s scared of them. What she doesn’t know is that her powers are special and she’ll need them later on the book in order to save her whole family. In Los Lagos we see this other side of Alex that was hidden behind her fears and I adored watching her grow, watching her develop not only this amazing magic she has but also herself as a person.

I have to admit that I’m super curious about Nova, the boy Alex meets and tells her about what to do to block her power during her Deathday. He’s a lost soul who is trying to find himself in the world and what we find towards the end of the book was, for me at least, completely unexpected. I’m pretty sure there’s much more to his character than meets the eye and I hope he’ll be able to redeem all his wrong-doing in the upcoming books.

The romance in this book wasn’t your typical boy-meets-girl love. This book explores a romance that grew from friendship and tries to break boundaries. It wasn’t the romance I was expecting but I was so happy with what I got. I’m trying not to spoil you because I found it refreshing to discover it by myself instead of instantly knowing what it was about. Zoraida Córdova really broke some lines writing this romance and I can only respect her for doing so and doing it amazingly well.

The magic, as I mentioned right in the beginning of the review, wasn’t what I was expecting nor was it something I knew in details. This particular kind of witchcraft, more based on the Latins beliefs and religions, centred in Gods and spirits, was a gulf of fresh air. There are so many kinds of magic in the world and being able to emerge myself in a different felt amazing. At times I would be slightly lost since I am not accustomed to this particular kind of witches. But then Alex would explain it and as soon as I found the flow, it was easy to be mesmerised by it.

I dare say that even though I enjoyed this book, only when Alex and Nova enter Los Lagos did I became completely hooked in it. Los Lagos sounded like such a thrilling rollercoaster of fantasy. This parallel world was filled from top to bottom with everything fantastical. It reminded me of the movie Book of Life minus the songs.

The book ended in a cliffhanger that had me gasping for more. It ended with a figure from the past that I’m pretty sure will have a huge impact in Alex’s life. This might sound a little bit unfair but one of the reasons I couldn’t rate this book higher than 4 cups/stars was the cliffhanger. So many questions! So many theories! So little answers and I have no idea when the sequel comes out.

Zoraida Córdova‘s writing was easy and it flew with the story. The author managed to give Alex a voice that some of us could relate to and at times her sarcasm was a delight to read. The little bits of excerpt from songs, prayers and others at the beginning of each chapter was a nice touch since it connected really well with what was going to happen.

Overall I think Labyrinth Lost was a great read set in a different spectrum of magic. There is loads of fantastic elements to the story, some creepy moments, characters that are unique since they are so different and a lesson at the end that I think pretty much everyone will relate to. I recommend this book if you want something magical yet different and if you like pure and raw fantastical adventure in a completely different universe.  

Book Spotlight

NetGalley and Sourcebooks were kind enough to send me material to host a Spotlight for Labyrinth Lost and I’m super excited to share an excerpt of the book and a giveaway. There’s also the booktrailer to present you to this creepy and magical world 😀

In the meantime, if you guys like colouring like I do, check out the amazing colouring page that Sourcebooks has available for Labyrinth Lost here. Need to print my own so I can colour it! If, or when, you have coloured it, leave me a link down below on the comments so I can see it 😉

Praise for Labyrinth Lost:

“This work is a magical journey from start to finish… A compelling must-have for teens” –School Library Journal, STARRED review

Córdova’s (the Vicious Deep series) magic-infused, delightfully dark story introduces readers to an engrossing, Latin American–inspired fantasy setting and an irresistible heroine” –Publishers Weekly

A brilliant brown-girl-in-Brooklyn update on Alice in Wonderland and Dante’s Inferno.Very creepy, very magical, very necessary.” Daniel José Older, New York Times bestselling author of Shadowshaper

 “Labyrinth Lost is more like reading Paradise Found. Zoraida Córdova brings us a new generation of witches, enchanting and complex. And every page is filled with magic.” Danielle Page, New York Times bestselling author of Dorothy Must Die

Córdova’s world will leave you breathless, and her magic will ignite an envy so green you’ll wish you were born a bruja. Delightfully dark and enchanting. An un-putdownable book.” -Dhonielle Clayton, author of The Belles and Shiny Broken Pieces

“Córdova’s rich exploration of Latin American culture, her healthy portrayal of bisexuality and her unique voice allow this novel to stand out among its many peers.” –RT Book Reviews

“Cordova draws inspiration from Ecuadorian, Spanish, African, Mexican, and Caribbean folklore and mythology to craft a page-turning tale about a young bruja unsure of her place in the world.”Bustle.com

“Córdova pulls elements from Greek mythology and Spanish and Latin American legends to craft a memorable world in Los Lagos, a supernatural realm that is as fascinating as it is threatening. The history and customs of Alex’s family’s type of witchery are also carefully constructed, giving readers a complete world to sink into with satisfaction and wonder.” -Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“This succeeds with its lush use of Latin American mythologies, an unexpected love story, and, above all, in Alex’s complicated relationship with her family. Alex is a necessary heroine, and this dark fantasy nicely” -Booklist

Excerpt:

1

Follow our voices, sister.
Tell us the secret of your death.
—-Resurrection Canto,
Book of Cantos

The second time I saw my dead aunt Rosaria, she was dancing.

Earlier that day, my mom had warned me, pressing a long, red fingernail on the tip of my nose, “Alejandra, don’t go downstairs when the Circle arrives.”

But I was seven and asked too many questions. Every Sunday, cars piled up in our driveway, down the street, and around the corner of our old, narrow house in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Mom’s Circle usually brought cellophane–wrapped dishes and jars of dirt and tubs of brackish water that made the Hudson River look clean. This time, they carried something more.

When my sisters started snoring, I threw off my covers and crept down the stairs. The floorboards were uneven and creaky, but I was good at not being seen. Fuzzy, yellow streetlight shone through our attic window and followed me down every flight until I reached the basement.

A soft hum made its way through the thin walls. I remember thinking I should listen to my mom’s warning and go back upstairs. But our house had been restless all week, and Lula, Rose, and I were shoved into the attic, out of the way while the grown–ups prepared the funeral. I wanted out. I wanted to see.

The night was moonless and cold one week after the Witch’s New Year, when Aunt Rosaria died of a sickness that made her skin yellow like hundred–year–old paper and her nails turn black as coal. We tried to make her beautiful again. My sisters and I spent all day weaving good luck charms from peonies, corn husks, and string—-one loop over, under, two loops over, under. Not even the morticians, the Magos de Muerte, could fix her once–lovely face.

Aunt Rosaria was dead. I was there when we mourned her. I was there when we buried her. Then, I watched my father and two others shoulder a dirty cloth bundle into the house, and I knew I couldn’t stay in bed, no matter what my mother said.

So I opened the basement door.

Red light bathed the steep stairs. I leaned my head toward the light, toward the beating sound of drums and sharp plucks of fat, nylon guitar strings.

A soft mew followed by whiskers against my arm made my heart jump to the back of my rib cage. I bit my tongue to stop the scream. It was just my cat, Miluna. She stared at me with her white, glowing eyes and hissed a warning, as if telling me to turn back. But Aunt Rosaria was my godmother, my family, my friend. And I wanted to see her again.

“Sh!” I brushed the cat’s head back.

Miluna nudged my leg, then ran away as the singing started.

I took my first step down, into the warm, red light. Raspy voices called out to our gods, the Deos, asking for blessings beyond the veil of our worlds. Their melody pulled me step by step until I was crouched at the bottom of the landing.

They were dancing.

Brujas and brujos were dressed in mourning white, their faces painted in the aspects of the dead, white clay and black coal to trace the bones. They danced in two circles—-the outer ring going clockwise, the inner counterclockwise—hands clasped tight, voices vibrating to the pulsing drums.

And in the middle was Aunt Rosaria.

Her body jerked upward. Her black hair pooled in the air like she was suspended in water. There was still dirt on her skin. The white skirt we buried her in billowed around her slender legs. Black smoke slithered out of her open mouth. It weaved in and out of the circle—-one loop over, under, two loops over, under. It tugged Aunt Rosaria higher and higher, matching the rhythm of the canto.

Then, the black smoke perked up and changed its target. It could smell me. I tried to backpedal, but the tiles were slick, and I slid toward the circle. My head smacked the tiles. Pain splintered my skull, and a broken scream lodged in my throat.

The music stopped. Heavy, tired breaths filled the silence of the pulsing red dark. The enchantment was broken. Aunt Rosaria’s reanimated corpse turned to me. Her body purged black smoke, lowering her back to the ground. Her ankles cracked where the bone was brittle, but still she took a step. Her dead eyes gaped at me. Her wrinkled mouth growled my name:Alejandra.

She took another step. Her ankle turned and broke at the joint, sending her flying forward. She landed on top of me. The rot of her skin filled my nose, and grave dirt fell into my eyes.

Tongues clucked against crooked teeth. The voices of the circle hissed, “What’s the girl doing out of bed?”

There was the scent of extinguished candles and melting wax. Decay and perfume oil smothered me until they pulled the body away.

My mother jerked me up by the ear, pulling me up two flights of stairs until I was back in my bed, the scream stuck in my throat like a stone.

Never,” she said. “You hear me, Alejandra? Never break a Circle.”

I lay still. So still that after a while, she brushed my hair, thinking I had fallen asleep.

I wasn’t. How could I ever sleep again? Blood and rot and smoke and whispers filled my head.

“One day you’ll learn,” she whispered.

Then she went back down the street–lit stairs, down into the warm red light and to Aunt Rosaria’s body. My mother clapped her hands, drums beat, strings plucked, and she said, “Again.”

Book Trailer:


About the Author:

zoraida-head-shotZoraida Córdova was born in Ecuador and raised in Queens, New York.

She is the author of the Vicious Deep trilogy, the On the Verge series, and the Brooklyn Brujas series.

She loves black coffee, snark, and still believes in magic. Send her a tweet @Zlikeinzorro or visit her at zoraidacordova.com.

Author Website | Labyrinth Lost Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Author Tumblr | Labyrinth Lost Tumblr | YouTube

Giveaway:

  • 2 (two) copies of Labyrinth Lost with signed Labyrinth Lost bookmarks (ends September 19th – US & Canada only)

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Ner

Book Blitz: Heartborn by Terry Maggert {Excerpt + Giveaway}

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Book Blitz
Excerpt  + Giveaway

Heartborn

Author: Terry Maggert
Publication Date: September 1st, 12th, 2016
Genre: Fantasy | YA
Buy Book: Amazon | Barnes & Nobels

Synopsis:
Her guardian angel was pushed.

Keiron was never meant to be anything other than a hero. Born high above in a place of war and deception, he is Heartborn, a being of purity and goodness in a place where there violence and deceit are just around every corner.

His disappearance will spark a war he cannot see, for Keiron has pierced the light of days to save a girl he has never met, for reasons he cannot understand. Livvy Foster is seventeen, brave, and broken. With half a heart, she bears the scars of a lifetime of pain and little hope of survival.

Until Keiron arrives.

In the middle of a brewing war and Livvy’s failing heart, Keiron will risk everything for Livvy, because a Heartborn’s life can only end in one way: Sacrifice.

Fall with Livvy and Keiron as they seek the truth about her heart, and his power, and what it means to love someone who will give their very life to save you.

Excerpt – Chapter 1:

The Leap

The relentless wind cooled his skin as he mustered the courage to jump. It was a long way to fall, and he’d been poised on the edge for nearly an hour. It wasn’t fear that kept him rooted to the spot, but the effort of reaching through time to see what consequences his action might bring. To think of leaving was akin to dropping a boulder in the pool of his own history; there was no way to foresee what the ripples might cause. Or the waves, since this would make waves, not ripples. It was all an undiscovered thing.

No one had done what he meant to do; at least not in the memory of his House.

Under the points of his boots, featureless mist curled away to reveal an enticing glimpse of color and life so unlike his own home. Gray, he thought. I am so very tired of all the gray in these clouds. The longer he looked at the myriad of colors below, the more acute his hunger to see what mysteries rolled beneath him, unknown and vibrant. The land looked like a fairy tale made real, its hills and rivers gleaming like a promise in the early morning light. The sheer distance and appeal of it all clutched at his chest like a physical thing, making him cover his heart. His body fizzed with excitement and fear, and he liked it.

“You won’t go, you know.” His brother’s voice was bored to the point of insolence, a tone he’d perfected from years of practice. Like others who kept their face an impassable mask, he’d lost much of the joy in his life, if ever he knew it. Brother Garrick appeared from the sullen gray mist that hid the secret columns and towers of their home. Walking toward Keiron, a smile quirked at the cruel lips, so unlike his own. “We’ve already been to the edge of the scrying pool. You won’t go. It is known to us.” A look flickered across the impassive face, something ugly and hot. His control was slipping. That was new, as was his belief that he was equal to their parents. Or older siblings, at that.

“Yes. I will.” Keiron’s voice sounded small in the silence. Even the wind died out of respect for what he was about to say, and if his resolve held, what he would then do.

A sad shake of the perfect head said that was a lie. Garrick was beautiful to the point of distraction. His pupils were nearly colorless in a face framed with fine blonde hair that called sunlight to mind, so different from his brother. Garrick was light, while Keiron was dark, with skin golden from the sun and eyes the black of a starless night. A long, aquiline nose gave him a regal quality that Garrick, for all his perfection, could not possess. His hair was curled and ebony to the point of being liquid, a black mass that he pushed back with irritation at Garrick’s verbal assault. Keiron was lean and tall, and in the stages of bloom where men first leave boyhood behind when they are no longer concerned with a young man’s things.

Garrick spoke again, substituting arrogance for wisdom. “No. There is no escaping that which has passed. Even if you were to—”

A swift cut of Keiron’s hand broke the thought. His brother looked shocked, then amused, and then angry.

He didn’t like being spoken to that way. “I can, and I will. I know how to shift the light of days, and I know when to do it, too.”

“Really? A secret of that size, and you, a minor son, have figured it out? Do tell, fledgling.” He loved using Keiron’s youth as an insult, even though he was barely a year older.

“If you paid attention to anything other than yourself, you’d know that there is logic behind the Moondivers. There have been others, you know.” A hint of smugness colored Keiron’s defense, but his brother had it coming.

The reaction was volcanic.

Real anger spat forth from Garrick now, contorting his features into something crude and ugly. It was, Keiron thought, the first honest thing he’d seen of his brother in all these years. It was the face of fear and rage, and he knew why. This entire outburst was about power, or the lack of it. To control time was the province of elders, not some child who thought that he could move the forces of worlds to right a wrong. It was arrogance of a kind unlike anything he’d ever embraced, and his brother’s hate for him grew by the second because he knew that for all his perfection, the younger of them was more pure. The elder boy was ambition personified, but without courage and purity he would never control the clocks. For that matter, Garrick would not even control himself, a fact that dawned on him as he sputtered with rage.

Keiron squared his feet and repeated his intentions like a prayer. “The days will bend for me. I can feel it, and your anger will not change the truth.” His words rang with a kind of surety that made his legs shake, if only briefly.

It was something Garrick would say, and for that he was frightened and proud, since unlike his brother, Kieron meant every word of it and aimed to see it through.

In two long strides, his brother came close enough that he could smell the wind herbs on his breath. They were sour with hate, just like the expression contorting his face. “She’s already dead.”

Keiron went rigid, but fought mightily to gain control of the anger that bloomed in his chest. Heat spread like sunlight, and he took three long breaths to contain his next words. “She is now, but she won’t be when I get there. I told you. I can do it.”

“You think falling through time and distance can save her? Landing in that mud-spattered wallow that they crawl about in like feral swine? You don’t even know why they were driven from the land, let alone if death awaits you. What about you? Who can save you?” His brother barked with laughter, a short noise of jealousy and fear. “What if she doesn’t want to be saved? You’re a child. A favored pet who is loved because of his youth. You’re nothing but an amusement to this family.”

The wind blew harder as spots filled Keiron’s vision. He could not lose control, not now. He worked his jaw to let the words out. The sounds followed each other, chastened by the force of his will. “I have watched. I have learned. And I tell you, I am going, and she is worth saving.”

Garrick shrugged as the boredom returned to his face, now a mask of beautiful disinterest. “You actually care about them, don’t you? Those things down there? Those glorified cattle? Do you think they’re even capable of understanding us? We are not the benign, soft creatures that have been reshaped by their pitiful legends. We were born for war, not love. We are made to hurt, not heal.” He shook his head with a mocking grin. “You’ve always been weak, but this is beyond anything the family expected. It’s practically—”

“It’s decent, that’s the word you’re looking for.” Keiron’s voice was like iron, despite a small quiver at the end of his words. His jaw set again, and for an instant Garrick saw their grandfather’s stern profile there, lurking like a boulder under the surface of a still pool.

“You’re not even worth saving, let alone one of them.” Garrick’s eyes flicked down to the vista that unspooled under their feet, or perhaps it was above. It was difficult to tell with the curving horizon and shifting light. Part of what he saw was green, unlike their home. There were blue rivers, brown and green fields, and stony places worn by wind and weather. It was alien, but enticing. He let a woven cord of animal hide fall into his hand. On either end, a heavy molar prized from the jaw of a Windbeast acted as a weight. The teeth were well worn, and tied in with strands of fine leather. It had been a mature beast, killed to make things that the people of the wind needed. Like teeth. And rope.

“Then I belong with them, don’t I?” Keiron’s question was rhetorical.

Again, Garrick shrugged, this time with one shoulder. His lips peeled back to reveal perfect teeth, but there was no kindness in the gesture. “Fine, but you’ll need to know something first.” The cord spun outward from Garrick’s hand in a blur, spinning around Keiron’s wings with brutal efficiency. The weight of the heavy teeth spun the strand tight to bind him, flightless, as Garrick drew his sword and cut downward in a wicked blow that sent Keiron’s wings spinning away into the clouds below.

Paralyzed by pain and betrayal, Keiron stood swaying as Garrick stepped calmly forward, placing both hands on his brother and pushing him into a chaotic tumble from the ledge of House Windhook. Spatters of blood swept up and away in the swirling winds, the last sign of a boy who had been bound, and cut, and sent into the sky in less time than he had to register the sensation of being flightless and wounded.

Keiron’s stomach raged upward as glare and shadow coursed around him in a never-ending circle of dizzying light, and he began the long, cold fall through layers of sky and time that tore the scream from his throat even as it began.

From above, he heard Garrick’s last words, mocking and fat with poisonous joy. “Let us see if you can truly fly.”

About the Author – Terry Maggert:

Left-handed. Father of an apparent nudist. Husband to a half-Norwegian. Herder of cats and dogs. Lover of pie. I write books. 

I’ve had an unhealthy fascination with dragons since the age of– well, for a while.

Native Floridian. Current Tennessean. Location subject to change based on insurrection, upheaval, or availability of coffee. 

Nine books and counting, with no end in sight. You’ve been warned.

Website | Facebook | TwitterGoodreads

Giveaway:

Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)
  • $25 Amazon gift card

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Good luck everyone 😉


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Ner

Blog Tour Stop: Guest Post + Excerpt: Zaria Fierce and the Dragon Keeper’s Golden Shoes by Keira Gillett (+ Giveaway)

Blog Tour Stop:
Guest Post + Excerpt + Giveaway

Zaria Fierce and the Dragon Keeper’s Golden Shoes

Hi guys! Today I’m bringing you a stop for Keira Gillett‘s Blog Tour for Zaria Fierce and the Dragon Keeper’s Golden Shoes. If you don’t know, I’ve been following Keira’s adventure of Zaria and her friends throughout Norway and I love this trilogy. So when Keira asked me if I wanted to be part of this tour, I immediately accepted!

There’s a guest-post where Keira shares with us some fun facts about the third book in the Zaria Fierce series, an excerpt and a giveaway at the end – keep an eye out on that!

My review for the book can be read here if you want to know what I thought about this last adventure. To be honest, I just highly recommend you pick up these books if you like fantasy, Norwegian folklore (or would like to know), friendship, adventure and magic! And you can download the first book – Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest – on Kindle for FREE till August 9th. Go get your copy here (you won’t regret it, trust me :D)

Zaria3Author: Keira Gillett
Illustrator: Eoghan Kerrigan
Narrator (aubiobook): Michele Carpenter
Release Date: July 1st, 2016
Publisher: Keira Gillett
Pages: 300 (Kindle)
Format: 
Epub
Genre:
 MG | Fantasy | Adventure
Idiom: English
Series: Zaria Fierce #3
Get the Book:

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Synopsis

“Nothing can save you now, Princess.”

How can anyone be tricked twice? Isn’t there even a saying about that? Zaria Fierce is determined to get things right this time and with the Drakeland Sword in her possession she’s ready to take on trolls, dragons, and whatever else may come… but first she and her friends are going to have to figure out just how much trouble they’re in at home.

Praise for Zaria Fierce and the Dragon Keeper’s Golden Shoes (Book #3):

“That’s the great thing about the Zaria Fierce trilogy: adventure is fast, furious, and loaded with Norse mythology, but the friendship between Zaria and her group of friends is the heart that drives this story.” Rosemary, Mom Read It

“I think the Zaria Fierce series mixes together all the things that I love about reading fantasy books, there is a sense of good versus evil, strong friendships, dragons, gorgeous illustrations, a captivating world, a perfect middle-grade book for someone looking for an action packed story filled with Norse mythology.” – Brenda, Log Cabin Library

“Zaria Fierce and the Dragon Keeper’s Golden Shoes was a spectacular conclusion to a great trilogy (though the ending left the door open for more adventures). Filled with magic, a great story line, amazing and real characters, wonderful settings and beautifully explored themes, Keira Gillett created a trilogy that I will always cherish and will visit anytime. If you like The Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit, The Spiderwick Chronicles or simply love a book filled with Norwegian folklore and fantasy, then this is the ultimate series for you to read, devour and lose yourselves in.” – Ner, A Cup of Coffee and a Book (that’s me guys ^_^)

Guest Post:

10 Fun Facts About Zaria Fierce and the Dragon Keeper’s Shoes:

Good day everyone! My name is Keira Gillett and I’m so glad to be invited back to talk more about the Zaria Fierce Trilogy. Briefly, the trilogy is about a young girl who moves to Norway, meets a troll, and goes on a quest to save her friend. Ner’s asked me to share some facts with you about the final instalment, Zaria Fierce and the Dragon Keeper’s Golden Shoes. I hope you enjoy this behind the scenes look. Let’s dive in!

1. The first draft of Zaria Fierce and the Dragon Keeper’s Golden Shoes was completed in eight months on 2/5/2016. According to the document information I spent a total of 3 days 3 hours 3 minutes writing time on the book. How funny is that? I couldn’t have planned that. LOL;

2. The ending sequence in the epilogue is there purely because I have amazing beta readers who demanded more from me and the books than where I had originally left it. They wanted more and on reread I agreed, so I gave it to them. The final result? They were so right!! The book is so much better;

3. The Gjallarbrú Bridge in folklore is a covered bridge with a gold roof. If you’ve been to Lake Lucerne in Lucerne, Switzerland the bridge will feel familiar to you. Crossing the water is a beautiful covered bridge and it was my inspiration for the bridge in the book.

4. I wrote Hector’s scene down in the Under Realm before anything else in book three. About halfway through the book I jumped ahead again and wrote half of Zaria’s encounter with Koll. These scenes just demanded to be written and wouldn’t wait their turn!;

5. The palace grounds for the Under Realm are based on a real place, called Uranienborg Castle. The grounds are shaped like a quatrefoil, which coincidentally is also one of my sorority’s symbols. It’s super fancy looking with four circles and a large central diamond. It was a no-brainer to add it into the books;

6. I’ve actually tried cloudberry preserves. The description Zaria applies to them in the book is exactly how I think they taste. I’m glad I didn’t go with the flavors others were ascribing to them on the web, because I didn’t think it tasted that way at all. Of course, maybe that’s the difference between eating them fresh in the field and eating a preserve. I found that they’re very mild for a berry. I’m also told that it’s great served warm on vanilla ice cream. Have you tried it?

7. My dog Oskar was a big help although we both didn’t know it at the time. His behavior and personality inspired pint-sized Vingar’s behavior and personality. If you knew my dog, you would agree. I saw it clearly during the edits and added a few more antics to seal the deal. He’s a cheeky fellow – playful and mischievous.

8. 16 gorgeous illustrations are in the third book, just like the first two books. Eoghan actually did 18 drawings, two each of Granny and Hector. I thought all four drawings were great! I had a tough time choosing the version for each character that would be in the book. The Granny I picked reminds me of my cousin’s grandma with her apple cheeks and sweet smile. I absolutely adore them both.

9. Michele Carpenter is finishing her narration of the third book. I got to hear a preview with Granny. LOVED IT. Her voice is perfect and cracks me up every time I hear it;

10. Michele also told me she started a new process to keep track of all the voices she’s using for the series so she’d be able to draw upon them again quickly for this book and the next books in the series. I think that’s so cool, and yes, that does mean there are more books coming! Yay! The next books focus on Aleks Mickelsen, but all our favorite characters will be back.

Thanks for having me! This was great! If you stick around there’s giveaway information at the end! One lucky person has a chance to win a Zaria Fierce audiobook package.

Thank you so much Keira. I loved knowing all these facts about book 3; it makes the reading experience far more interesting when knowing certain details about how the author wrote it. Am I right fellow readers?!

Also, the bridge in Lake Lucerne looks so beautiful – adding it to my endless list of places to visit. And your dog is the cutest; can I adopt him?! 😉

Excerpt:

Hector was right that the group wasn’t far from Malmdor. They reached the entrance before night fell, and in the gloomy dusk that slipped around them like a cloak, they reached the edge of the forest and stopped. Below them in a wide clearing was an abandoned quarry filled with water.

The lake was nestled at the bottom of a deep, steep pit. Its deep blue water was smooth and glassy, protected from wind by the rocky walls and surrounding forest. Zaria could see the lakebed in the shallower areas. Something large swam in the center, too deep to see clearly.

“What is that?” asked Filip, having spotted the creature at the same time.

Hector said, “It’s a water-wyvern.”

“Is that like the Loch Ness Monster?” asked Christoffer. “Cool. No wonder they can’t find it in Scotland.”

“You haven’t seen a winter-wyvern,” Zaria said. “I bet it’s more like Norwick.”

“The flying snow leopard-bear-bat thing you told me about? Even better,” Christoffer said, rubbing his hands together in glee. “Do we get to meet it?”

“Is it friendly?” worried Geirr.

“The beastie is not friendly,” said Hector, grimly. “And yes, we will be meeting it. Water-wyverns are wild, unpredictable creatures. This one is particularly nasty. It was captured and transported to this quarry lake over a century ago. It can’t escape – water-wyverns aren’t able to live out of water for very long. This makes it very angry. The lake is too small for him.”

“That’s what I was afraid of,” Geirr said, stuffing his hands into his pockets. “So, can it eat us?”

Hector nodded. “It once devoured an entire legion of dwarf handlers because they smelled bad. They’ve showered regularly ever since.”

Geirr looked at Zaria. “Why?” he moaned. “Why do we have to meet it?”

“Look on the bright side, mate,” Filip said, clapping Geirr on the back. “Maybe we get to ride it.”

Hector shook his head. “The water-wyvern is the guardian of Malmdor. Its job is to keep out all trespassers.”

Christoffer sighed, disappointed. “Too bad. I would have loved to ride him.”

“Will we have to feed it to get by it? What does a water-wyvern eat?” Aleks asked, readjusting his backpack and bow.

“It eats whatever it can catch,” Hector said forebodingly. “We’ll have to be careful as we near the shoreline. A water-wyvern might not have much in the way of limbs, being adapted to the water, but it has enough leg-power to propel itself onto the shore and attack.”

“At least it can’t fly,” said Geirr, relieved. “Small favors.”

Zaria and her friends gasped as it breached the surface, blowing out a large stream of air. The water-wyvern was magnificent with a gray-and-white pattern. It had a seahorse face, with a long snout, and no ears. The top of its head bore a wavy crest that trailed down its neck.

As the creature dove beneath the water, it flipped its body into the air. There were no scales anywhere on it, as far as she could see. Zaria half-expected a whale fluke, but its tail looked like an eel’s. The thing was massive, at least four times bigger than Norwick, and hideous.

They stood there, watching the shifting, undulating, shadow in the water. Aleks wore a pensive frown, his brown eyes narrowed. “Does it have a name?”

“The dwarves call it Vingar.”

Giveaway:

One lucky winner will win a Zaria Fierce Audible Package (codes for the first two books) – INT (Ends: 14th August)

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Good luck everyone 🙂

About:

Keira Gillett (Author):

Keira_Gillett_Author_2Keira Gillett is a technical publications librarian, book blogger, world traveler, artist, and now author.

She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Drawing and Painting.

From an early age her mother instilled a love of the written word, as such she has always been a big reader.

Her first book, Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest, is about a young girl who must complete a quest to save her friend from a nasty river-troll.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest 

Eoghan Kerrigan (Illustrator):

Eoghan_Kerrigan_Illustrator_1Eoghan Kerrigan is an illustrator from Kildare, Ireland who draws primarily fantasy characters and creatures.

He studied illustration in Ballyfermot College of Further Education and has produced work for various independent projects.

He has two cats and a soft spot for trolls.

Website Twitter | Facebook

Michele Carpenter (Narrator):

Michele_Carpenter_Narrator_2Michele Carpenter is an artist at heart, with a passion for acting.

She and her husband (also a voice actor) often work on projects together and help one another through the journey.

Together, they have three kids. Michele’s children love to hear her read stories and beg her to edit her narrations in the same room with them so they can listen too.

It’s partially for this reason that Michele has come to feel a personal responsibility to only record books that aren’t inappropriate for children or young adults–at their respective age levels and according to the maturity levels of the books they’re able to read.

“We never know how long we have on this earth and I’d rather leave behind a legacy of books that I’m not ashamed to have my friends, family and even future grandchildren, listen to forever.”

Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube
Ner

UNITED Launch Day Blitz (+ Giveaway)

UNITED Launch Day Blitz!

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Hey there, booklovers!

I’m author Melissa Landers, and I’m thrilled to announce the release of UNITED, the final book in the Alienated trilogy. Our star-crossed lovers Aelyx and Cara have overcome some heavy obstacles to be together—riotous mobs, alien hybrids, and worst of all, high school on two planets. Now to stay together they’ll have to unite their people against a common enemy, a threat more deadly than they ever imagined. (NBD, right?) I’ve written an ending to this trilogy that makes my heart happy, and I hope you’ll love the conclusion as much as I do!

What do reviewers have to say? 

“The author’s storyline is out of this world.” –VOYA on Alienated

“The unusual plot and world building are ingenious.” –Library Media Connection on Alienated

“If [the third novel] is as entertaining as this tale, it can’t come soon enough.” –Kirkus Reviews on Invaded

“A fun genre-blending series that will only gain traction as it continues.” –Booklist on Invaded

If you love hot aliens, snarky humans, and wild sci-fi adventure, make sure to pick up a copy of UNITED today. It’s now available in stores and online.

Amazon | iBooksBarnes & Noble | TBDIndie Bound

To celebrate my book birthday, I’m offering one lucky winner a set of all 3 mini-posters in the Alienated series—signed by me! The giveaway is open internationally.

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Best of luck, and happy reading 🙂

About the Book:

UnitedFinal

Title: UNITED
Series: Alienated #3
Author: Melissa Landers
Release Date: August 2nd, 2016
Publisher: EverAfter
ISBN: 9780997086805
Add Goodreads

Synopsis:

*Might contain spoilers Alienated and Invaded*

After thwarting a deadly coup and saving the alliance between their worlds, Cara and Aelyx have finally earned a break. Their tiny island colony is everything they dreamed it would be―days spent gathering shells on the beach and nights in each other’s arms.

But the vacation is short-lived.

The treaty between Earth and L’eihr has awakened an ancient force that threatens to destroy them all. The Aribol, mysterious guardians charged with maintaining interstellar peace, deem the alliance a threat to the galaxy. They order a separation of the races, decreeing humans and L’eihrs must return to their own planets within the month or face extinction. In fact, they already have agents in place on Earth, ready to begin.

With the clock ticking, Aelyx and Cara assemble a team of colonists and race back to Earth, where they unite with old friends to solve the mystery of who the Aribol are, what they want, and the real reason the alliance has provoked them. As tensions build to a full-scale war, Aelyx and Cara must fight harder than ever―not just for their future, but for the survival of both their worlds.

About the Author:

Melissa1

Melissa Landers is a former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds.

A proud sci-fi geek, she isn’t afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public—just ask her husband and three kids.

She lives outside Cincinnati in the small town of Loveland, “Sweetheart of Ohio.”

For more information, or just to say hello, visit http://www.melissa-landers.com.

Ner

Twilight Visitor Giveaway Update

Hello everyone. 

Today I’m bringing you the exciting news that my Twilight Visitor Review Giveaway will be extended till November 15th

If you want to try your luck to win one of the ten (five paperbacks and five ebooks) available copies that Réal Laplaine is offering, now’s your chance. All you have to do is go the rafflecopter below – or go to my review here to get all the info – and participate.

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And may the odds be ever in your favour 🙂

Ner

 

Cover Reveal: Eclipse The Flame by Ingrid Seymour {Giveaway}

Cover Reveal:
Eclipse the Flame

About the Book:

Title: Eclipse the Flame
Series: Ignite the Shadows #2
Author: Ingrid Seymour
Published By: HarperVoyager

Genre: Young Adult | Sci-Fi | Urban Fantasy
Goodreads

In the new world of The Takeover nothing and no one will be safe. Marci must choose: love or vengeance. 

One night she secretly follows her lover to a club. To her horror she discovers those closest to her, mingling freely with parasitic creatures which have secretly possessed human minds. A bloody ambush follows, leaving Marci a shadow of her former self.
 
Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious attacks. Ignite, the only resistance group, is disintegrating. As the world catches fire, Marci struggles to control the buzzing spectres in her own head.
 
Her hardest battle is between the forces of good and evil within herself. For Marci must fight. She was meant to burn


About the Author:

DSC_5226Ingrid Seymour is the author of IGNITE THE SHADOWS (Harper Voyager). When she’s not writing books, she spends her time working as a software engineer, cooking exotic recipes, hanging out with her family and working out. She writes young adult and new adult fiction in a variety of genres, including Sci-Fi and urban fantasy.

Her favorite outings involve a trip to the library or bookstore where she immediately gravitates toward the YA section. She’s an avid reader and fangirl of many amazing books. She is a dreamer and a fighter who believes perseverance and hard work can make dreams come true.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


Giveaway Time:

In celebration of the cover reveal, Ingrid Seymour is hosting a giveaway where you can win a paperback copy of Ignite the Shadows [Ignite the Shadows #1].

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Good luck everyone 🙂


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Ner

Cover Reveal Blitz: The Darkest Torment by Gena Showalter {Giveaway}

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Get ready for the 12th and most epic book in the Lords of the Underworld series yet, THE DARKEST TORMENT, available May 31, 2016! I think we can all agree on one thing: #BadenIsHot!

Click here to read a note from Gena on why she chose to write about Baden: http://www.rtbookreviews.com/blog/86044/cover-reveal-week-gena-showalters-darkest-torment

Here is your first glimpse at what THE DARKEST TORMENT is all about: 

About the Book:

THE DARKEST TORMENT
Author: Gena Showalter
Pub. Date: May 31st, 2016
Publisher: HQN Books
Pages: 448
Series: Lords of the Underworld #13
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Price: $26.99 U.S. | $29.99 CAN.
ISBN: 9780373779741

Find it: Amazon | IndieBound
Add Goodreads

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter returns with her most explosive Lords of the Underworld tale to date, about a fierce warrior on the brink of sanity who will stop at nothing to claim the exquisite human with the power to soothe the beast inside him… 

Driven to his death by the demon of Distrust, Baden spent centuries in purgatory. Now he’s back, but at what cost? Bound to the king of the underworld, an even darker force, he’s unable to withstand the touch of another…and he’s quickly devolving into a heartless assassin with an uncontrollable temper. Things only get worse when a mission goes awry and he finds himself saddled with a bride—just not his own.

Famed dog trainer Katarina Joelle is forced to marry a monster to protect her loved ones. When she’s taken hostage by the ruthless, beautiful Baden immediately after the ceremony, she’s plunged into a war between two evils—with a protector more dangerous than the monsters he hunts. They are meant to be enemies, but neither can resist the passion burning between them…and all too soon the biggest threat is to her heart.

But as Baden slips deeper into the abyss, she’ll have to teach him to love…or lose him forever.

Other Books in the Series:

11 GShowalter LORD Series SPINE

The series on Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/series/46385-lords-of-the-underworld

• The Darkest Night (Lords of the Underworld #1) – Goodreads
• The Darkest Kiss (Lords of the Underworld #2) – Goodreads
• The Darkest Pleasure (Lords of the Underworld #3) – Goodreads
• The Darkest Whisper (Lords of the Underworld #4) – Goodreads
• The Darkest Passion (Lords of the Underworld #5) – Goodreads
• The Darkest Lie (Lords of the Underworld #6) – Goodreads
• The Darkest Secret (Lords of the Underworld #7) – Goodreads
• The Darkest Surrender (Lords of the Underworld #8) – Goodreads
• The Darkest Seduction (Lords of the Underworld #9) – Goodreads
• The Darkest Craving  (Lords of the Underworld #10) – Goodreads
• The Darkest Touch (Lords of the Underworld #11) – Goodreads

About the Author:

Gena_ShowalterShowalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the spellbinding Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, two young adult series–Everlife and the White Rabbit Chronicles–and the highly addictive Original Heartbreakers series.

In addition to being a National Reader’s Choice and two time RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan (Red Hot Read) and Seventeen magazine, she’s appeared on Nightline and been mentioned in Orange is the New Black–if you ask her about it, she’ll talk for hours…hours!  Her books have been translated in multiple languages.

She’s hard at work on her next novel, a tale featuring an alpha male with a dark side and the strong woman who brings him to his knees. You can learn more about Gena, her menagerie of rescue dogs, and all her upcoming books at genashowalter.com or Facebook.com/genashowalterfan

Website | Twitter Facebook Goodreads

Giveaway:

1 winner will receive a complete set of all 11 books in the Lords of the Underworld series. Prize will be sent by the publisher. US/Canada Only. Ends on October 25th at Midnight EST!

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Good luck everyone 🙂



Ner

M9B Two for Thursday Book Blitz: Red Magic Series by Jen McConnel {Giveaway} #T4T

Welcome to this week’s Two for Thursday Book Blitz #T4T presented by Month9books/Tantrum Books!

Today, we will be showcasing s fantasy series that may tickle your fancy, and we’ll share what readers have to say about these titles!

You just might find your next read!

This week, #T4T presents to you:

Red Magic Series by Jen McConnel

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Daughter of Chaos (#1):

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Witches must choose the path they will follow, and Darlena Agara is no exception. She’s been putting it off long enough, and in her case, ignoring it has not made it go away. In a moment of frustration, Darlena chooses to follow Red Magic, figuring she had outsmarted the powers that be, since there’s no such thing as Red Magic. But alas, Darlena’s wrong (again) and she becomes a newly declared Red Witch.

Her friends are shocked and her parents horrified by the choice Darlena has made. As a Red Witch, she now governs one third of the world’s chaos. She is the walking personification of pandemonium, turmoil, and bedlam, just as the patrons of Red Magic would have it to be.

But Darlena believes there must be more to Red Magic than chaos and destruction, and she sets out on a journey to achieve balance. Only doing so puts her at odds with the dark goddess Hecate, who simply will not allow Darlena to quit.

She encourages Darlena to embrace who and what she is and to leave good magic to the good witches. If only Darlena could, life would be simple, and she would not be the Daughter of Chaos.

DAUGHTER OF CHAOS is the first in a YA paranormal trilogy.

add to goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Chapters | TBD | IndieBound | iBooks | Google Play | BAM

What the Readers are Saying:

“At the beginning, this novel is reminiscent of other popular fantasy novels like the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling and the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, but it quickly takes on a life of its own that will appeal to science fiction, fantasy, and young adult fans alike. Darlena’s struggles mirror issues that many teens face, making her a relate-able and likable main character. This is a title with wide appeal that will fly off the shelves.” – Voya Magazine

“Daughter of Chaos by Jen McConnel is a refreshing twist to the YA paranormal genre!” – Dianne, Tome Tender

“Witches and Greek gods! This seriously couldn’t get any better.” – Kelly Hashway, Author

Gods of Chaos (#2):

Gods of Chaos

The gods of chaos cannot be trusted.

Since battling her best friend, Darlena’s grip on Red Magic has been shaky. She heads to Scotland after the Winter Solstice in search of another Red Witch.

On a sightseeing excursion with girls from her hostel, Darlena arrives at The Vaults, a mysterious underground city beneath Edinburgh. But there is something there that make Darlena’s instincts go haywire, as she lets loose a defensive burst of Red Magic, putting everyone around her in danger.

If there was ever a time when Darlena needed the help of another Red witch, it was now. But beware the witch who wields Red Magic.

add to goodreads

Chapters | Amazon | Barnes & Nobles | Kobo | TBD | Indiebound | Google Play | BAM | iBooks

What the Readers are Saying:

“I think I’m in love. This book had a totally different ending than what i thought it was. I was honestly surprised.”  Goodreads Reviewer

“Gods of Chaos’ is the phenomenal second installment in a young adult paranormal series.” – Stephanie, A Dream Within A Dream

“There are many twists and turns in this book. The ending was totally unexpected and completely epic.” Intellectual Vixens

about-the-author

Jen McConnel

Jen McConnel now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina.

When she isn’t crafting worlds of fiction, she teaches writing composition at a community college.

Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Giveaway

Complete the Rafflecopter for your chance to win!

  • Two (2) winners will receive a digital copy of the Red Magic series by Jen McConnel (INT – ends October 22nd)

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Ner

Review: Twilight Visitor [+ Giveaway]

NER REVIEWS (TwilightVisitor)

TwilightVisitor

Author: Réal Laplaine
Release Date: August 27th, 2014
Publisher: Netherworld Books
Pages: 216 (Paperback)
Format: Papaerback
Genre:
 Thriller | Sci-Fi
Idiom: English
Series: —
Read: from September 3 to 8, 2015
Source & Shelf: Sent by Author | Own
ISBN: 9781910105238
(Paperback)
Cups:
35 Cups
Amazon

Synopsis

On a secluded stretch of beach girding the idyllic coastal town of Afife, Portugal, sits a lonely man enduring the harsh and blustery winds, hoping to escape the tragic reality of his mediocre life. His solitude is broken by the appearance of a strangely beautiful and mysterious woman who engages him in a bizarre dialogue. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, a global crisis erupts, quickly mushrooming in just 24-hours into a worldwide event which threatens the very survival of all mankind. Mateus Cordozo has no idea that his dysfunctional life is about to radically change, and that this woman is in fact leading him down a road which will challenge his core values as he faces the crisis – one which he has the power to prevent, if he chooses to.

“Twilight Visitor is an international thriller, with a complicated, intense plot and colourful characters. Its elegant prose, rich with original metaphors and succinct descriptions, creates an illusion of dazzling sceneries, almost palpable components of reality, and suspense, deftly mixed with philosophical and political dilemmas of contemporary life. The excitement of reading it ends only on the last page.” Alex Markman Author of Contra-ODESSA

My Opinion

Disclaimer: Thank you Réal Laplaine for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Twilight Visitor was a rather surprising book. I was sent this book by the author himself and one of the main reasons I accepted it was the fact that part of the book is set in Portugal AND that one of the main characters is indeed Portuguese. I was rather curious to read a geopolitical thriller with a Portuguese character since this sort of books normally focus on the American hero.

Twilight Visitor is a thriller, a geopolitical book with a sci-fi twist. Yes, I know, not my normal genre of book to read but sometimes it feels rather enlightening to step out of our comfort zone and read something different. Though politics and myself don’t get along that well, I found the way that Réal Laplaine explained it simply beautiful and very simple, easy to understand.

The best way to resume this book is simply to say that this deals with the human worry of a possible World War Three happening due to the lack of natural resources. Let’s be honest, I think we all are terrified of a possible nuclear war in the future, a war that might happen for different reasons but all connected to the same thing. At least I know I am.

The Portuguese character is called Mateus and is spending time in Afife, in the Portuguese coast. I myself admit never having been there before but now I am slightly curious. He is an important piece of the puzzle to solve the worldwide crises and China from attacking further and to stop the incoming war. 

The writing style of Twilight Visitor was really well done. I found that the prose fluid smoothly and Laplaine has a way of explaining things that are quite, as I mentioned, simple yet with this beauty to yet that is almost hypnotic. I admit that one of main reasons I enjoyed this book that much was the writing.

This book is not centred on Mateus though but on all the political people involved in this war theatre happening. We can read the struggle of an American President with the decision to whether help Iran or to let China attack innocent people; of China’s leader cruel intentions of rescuing resources for his own country; of important figures worldwide trying to decide what to do in this moment of darkness. And there were also chapters which presented us innocent people in the middle of all of this who can’t escape fate. The countdown to the inevitable end was told like this, switching from one point-of-view to the other and that had me on the edge.  

I dare say that I was only slightly disappointed with Mateus role in all of this. I guess I was expecting him to have one of those super-heroes roles where he travels the world to stop the war. Instead he spends most of the book in Afife contemplating what to do since he was told that only him could save Earth.

Also, I have to be honest and say that despite the fact that Mateus is the great hero in the end (despite it all), he didn’t do it all alone and that small detail kind of disappointed me slightly. Even though that sci-fi twist gave this book an element of intensity and explained a few things, I found it slightly far-stretched. The fact that Mateus needed the help of a certain character (seriously, I was surprised about this twist and I’m not spilling the beans) kind of erased his credibility as an engineer. Still, I really enjoyed that character quite a lot and I think that together they could be a nice duo in future stories.  

Overall Twilight Visitor was a captivating book that deals with a current fear that the whole world feels with a slice of sci-fi thrown into it. The writing style, the characters that were strong and human enough to make the story believable and the heart-pounding thriller countdown to know how is the world to stop an upcoming war was the best thing about this book. If you like books with politics, the constant survival of the human race then this book is for you.

Giveaway Time:

Réal Laplaine was kind enough to provide a giveaway to accompany this review. There are five (5) paperback copies and five (5) ebook copies of this book up for grabs here on A Cup of Coffee & a Book. All you have to do is fill the Rafflecopter and fingers crossed you win it.
INT – ends October 31st.

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Good luck everyone 😉

Ner

Release Day Celebration: Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson {Excerpt & Giveaway}

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I am so excited that WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER by Rae Carson releases today and that I get to share the news, along with an awesome giveaway!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful new series by Rae Carson, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a set of the GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS series (in paperback format). US only. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

About the Book:

WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER
Author: Rae Carson
Pub. Date: September 22, 2015
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 448
Find it:
 Amazon | B&N | iBooks

Add Goodreads

Synopsis:
The first book in a new trilogy from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Rae Carson. A young woman with the magical ability to sense the presence of gold must flee her home, taking her on a sweeping and dangerous journey across Gold Rush–era America.

Lee Westfall has a secret. She can sense the presence of gold in the world around her. Veins deep beneath the earth, pebbles in the river, nuggets dug up from the forest floor. The buzz of gold means warmth and life and home—until everything is ripped away by a man who wants to control her. Left with nothing, Lee disguises herself as a boy and takes to the trail across the country. Gold was discovered in California, and where else could such a magical girl find herself, find safety? Rae Carson, author of the acclaimed Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, dazzles with this new fantasy that subverts both our own history and familiar fantasy tropes.

Walk on Earth a Stranger, the first book in this new trilogy, introduces—as only Rae Carson can—a strong heroine, a perilous road, a fantastical twist, and a slow-burning romance. Includes a map and author’s note on historical research. 

Excerpt:

I hear the deer before I see him, though he makes less noise than a squirrel – the gentle crunch of snow, a snapping twig, the soft whuff as he roots around the dead grass. I can hardly believe my luck.

As quietly as falling snow, I raise the butt of my daddy’s Hawken rifle to my shoulder and peer down the muzzle. A crisscross of branches narrows my view. The deer must be allowed to wander into my sights, but that’s all right. I am patient. I am a ghost.

I’ve tucked myself into a deadfall, the result of an ancient, dying oak looming above me. Snow fills the cracks between branches, creating a barrier to the wind. I can barely see out, but I’m almost warm. The snow around me clinks and tinkles like bells, melting in the early morning warm snap. The hem of my skirt and the petticoats underneath are ragged and soaked. If the girls at school saw me now, I’d hear no end of it, but it doesn’t matter. We have to eat.

You can read the rest of the first chapter annotated by Rae Carson on the original excerpt here.

About the Author:

raecarsonRae Carson is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the acclaimed Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy.

Her next book, Walk On Earth A Stranger, will be available September 22, 2015.

She lives in Arizona with her husband.

Website | Twitter Facebook Goodreads

Giveaway:

1 (one) winner will receive a set of the 3 GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS series (in paperback). US Only. Ends on September 30th at Midnight EST!

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Good luck everyone 🙂



Ner

Book Blitz: Fractured Suns by Theresa Kay {Guest-Post & Giveaway}

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Book Blitz
Guest-Post + Giveaways

Fractured Suns

Author: Theresa Kay
Series: Broken Skies #2
Publication Date: September 18th, 2015
Genre: Post Apocalyptic YA
Buy Book: Amazon

Synopsis:
We came in peace. Lie.
We had no role in the Collapse. Lie.
I have always been honest. Lie.
I never lied to her. Truth.

Reunited with her brother, and surrounded by Flint, Peter and her new-found grandfather, Jax Mitchell has still never felt more alone. The choice to follow Rym back to the city to find answers and see Lir is an easy one, but their reunion is cut short and Jax is forced to leave Lir behind. She finds herself traveling with some unexpected companions and heading back toward a place she’d hoped to never see again.

After being imprisoned—and tortured—on the orders of his uncle, Lir hasn’t seen daylight or linked to anyone in weeks. After a lifetime of connection, the pain and loneliness is almost too much to bear. Elated that Jax actually came, Lir finds renewed hope and strength to continue fighting his uncle’s influence over the E’rikon, even when things look hopeless and Lir’s been branded a traitor by the very people he’s trying to save.

While Jax and Lir fight separate battles, their missions have more in common than they realize. It’s a race against time to stop men driven only by greed and power. But the people they trust the most might be the very people working against them—and “family” doesn’t mean what it used to. Will they recognize their friends from their enemies in time to save the people they love or will they lose each other in the process?


Guest-Post:

| Writer’s Block and Self-Doubt by Theresa Kay:

For me, the most discouraging part of the writing process is self-doubt, something that goes hand in hand with every writer’s foe– writer’s block. I struggled with both when I was writing Broken Skies, and there were two things that got me through it: the support of my amazing writer friends and giving myself permission to write garbage.

I had no problem cranking out the first draft of Broken Skies. I wrote it during a session of Camp NaNoWriMo (the summer extension of the regular November challenge to write 50k words in thirty days). It was my fourth time doing a NaNo challenge, so I knew it didn’t have to be pretty. For the most part, I did fine with meeting my daily word counts and rarely got too far behind. So, at the end of the month, I had a book. Well…sort of.

Broken Skies as it is now is very different from what I had on July 1, 2013. There were very few things I liked about my first draft, but there were some. I had the bones of the story and characters who wanted to talk, so I decided to rip it apart and rewrite it.

I got about two chapters into the rewrite when I hit my first wall. That sneaky little voice in my head (the one I’d managed to block out when all I had to concentrate on was word count) spoke up and said my writing wasn’t good enough, my story wasn’t good enough, and I might as well give up.

I listened. I closed the file I was working in and didn’t open it again for almost two months.

Thankfully, the main character, Jax, is a stubborn one and she refused to shut up until I got back to work. This time, I made it to about the halfway point before the doubt crept in again and laid down another roadblock for me.

It was the same old chorus of ‘not good enough’ but this one hit me much harder. Already frustrated because I was having trouble fitting the pieces of the story back together, I just wanted to wipe my hands of the whole thing. But my crit partner talked me down and rescued Broken Skies from the recycling bin. Soon after that, I joined a writing group that went on to become The Rebel Writers.

The rewrite was coming along nicely. There were still places where I stumbled, but the support system I had in place was invaluable.

And then along came writer’s block. I was confident enough with the story and my writing, but only four or five thousand words from the end I became completely stuck. I knew what needed to happen, but I just couldn’t get there. Nothing was right. Nothing was good enough. I’d write a few sentences and then immediately delete them.

Writer’s block is a vicious self-feeding monster. The more blocked I was, the more stressed I got. The more stressed I got, the less I wrote. The less I wrote, the more guilty I felt. The more guilty I felt, the more stressed I got…and so on.

It was awful.

And this time I had no idea what to do about it.

I went back and forth for about a week. A sentence here. A paragraph there. But no real progress. Then, I came across an article posted by Rachel Higginson on her Facebook page.

I won’t repeat the entire article, but the premise was just writing and giving yourself permission for it to be garbage. It’s one of the main tenets of NaNoWriMo too, but I’d never heard it worded in that way and it was just the shift in mindset I needed.

So I did it. I gave myself to write whatever came to mind even if it was awful. I started about an hour after I finished reading the article and banged out the last four thousand or so words of Broken Skies over the course of a couple hours.

It wasn’t perfect, but I had something I could work with. There were still two months of read-throughs and revisions ahead of me, but it was still an amazing feeling.

I still struggle with both self-doubt and writer’s block, but I know I can get past them with the support of my writer friends and by learning to let go of perfection and just get the words down on paper.


About the Author – Theresa Kay:

TheresaThe only person she knows who had a subscription to Writer’s Digest at eleven and was always excited to write research papers, Theresa has been putting words to paper since a young age.

Living in the mountains of central Virginia with her husband and two kids, she works as a paralegal by day, binges on Netflix at night and finds bits of time in between reading almost everything she can get her hands on and laundry to craft stories that tend to feature broken characters in sci-fi or paranormal worlds, with a touch of romance thrown in for good measure.

She’s constantly lost in one fictional universe or another and is a self-proclaimed “fangirl” who loves being sucked in to new books or TV shows. Theresa originally wanted to write horror novels as an ode to her childhood passion for Stephen King novels, but between her internal Muse’s ramblings and the constant praise for her sci-fi pieces from her writer’s group – The Rebel Writers – she knew she should stick with what was working.

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Giveaways Time:

1 (one) ebook copy of Broken Skies (Book #1) OR Fractured Suns (Book #2) by Theresa Kay – winner’s choice  (INT – ends October 10th):

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Cover Reveal: The Fallen Prince by Amalie Howard {Giveaway}

*This cover reveal is one day late. I am very sorry for not being able to post it yesterday, September 14th! But since I really wanted to be part of the reveal, I am sharing it today, September 15th*

Cover Reveal:
The Fallen Prince

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About the Book:

Title: The Fallen Prince
Series: The Riven Chronicles #2
Author: Amalie Howard
Publication date: April 5th, 2016
Genre: Young Adult | Sci-Fi
Pre-Orders are now live at: Amazon | B&N 

Goodreads
Riven has fought for a hard-won peace in her world, and has come to shaky terms with who and what she is—a human with cyborg DNA. Now that the rightful ruler of Neospes has been reinstated, Riven is on the hunt for her father in the Otherworld to bring him to justice for his crimes against her people.

But when she receives an unwelcome visit from two former allies, she knows that trouble is brewing once again in Neospes. The army has been decimated and there are precious few left to fight this mysterious new threat.

To muster a first line of defense, her people need help from the one person Riven loathes most—her father. But what he wants in return is her complete surrender.

And now Riven must choose: save Neospes or save herself.


The Almost Girl:

AlmostGirl_cover


About the Author:

amaliehowardSeventeen Magazine Summer Club author Amalie Howard grew up on a small Caribbean island where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or being a tomboy running around barefoot, shimmying up mango trees and dreaming of adventure.

22 countries, surfing with sharks and several tattoos later, she has traded in bungee jumping in China for writing the adventures she imagines instead. She isn’t entirely convinced which takes more guts. She currently resides in New York with her husband and three children.

She is the author of The Aquarathi series from Harlequin TEEN (Waterfell and Oceanborn), The Almost Girl from Strange Chemistry, Alpha Goddess from Sky Pony Press, and Bloodspell from Langdon Street Press. She is represented by the Liza Royce Agency. Visit her at www.amaliehoward.com or on Twitter (@AmalieHoward).

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


Giveaway Time:

  • $25 Gift Card (INT – ends September 17th);

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Good luck everyone 😉


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Book Spotlight: Daughter of Dusk by Livia Blackburne {Awesome Giveaway}

I am very honoured to be part of Daughter of Dusk, the sequel to Midnight Thief, book spotlight. Livia Blackburne herself has provided an amazing giveaway where you can win awesome prizes and become (if you are not already) a new fan of this astounding fantasy universe.

Unfortunately we had to post-pone this post due to some problems but we finally have it LIVE.

Book Spotlight + Giveaway:
Daughter of Dusk

Author: Livia Blackburne
Series: Midnight Thief #2
Publication Date: August 4th, 2015
Genre: YA | Fantasy
The ebook of Midnight Thief will be available for 99 cents from September 10 to 13th.
Buy Midnight Thief:
amazon | B&N | TBD
Buy Daughter of Dusk: amazon | B&N | TBD
Add Goodreads

Synopsis:

*It might contain spoilers to Midnight Thief*

After learning the truth about her bloodlines, Kyra can’t help but feel like a monster.

Though she’s formed a tentative alliance with the Palace, Kyra must keep her identity a secret or risk being hunted like the rest of her Demon Rider kin. Tristam and the imprisoned assassin James are among the few who know about her heritage, but when Tristam reveals a heartbreaking secret of his own, Kyra’s not sure she can trust him. And with James’s fate in the hands of the palace, Kyra fears that he will give her away to save himself.

As tensions rise within Forge’s Council, and vicious Demon Rider attacks continue in surrounding villages, Kyra knows she must do something to save her city. But she walks a dangerous line between opposing armies: will she be able to use her link to the Demon Riders for good, or will her Makvani blood prove to be deadly?

In this spellbinding sequel to Midnight Thief, Kyra and Tristam face their biggest battle yet as they grapple with changing allegiances, shocking deceit, and vengeful opponents.


Midnight Thief:

Midnight Thief was such an astounding book filled with remarkable characters and a world that will slowly conquer your heart. A fantasy story that I’m sure will be massive for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Trudi Canavan and Kristin Cashore and will endure for years.”
Read my review here


About the Author –  Livia Blackburne:

Livia Blackburne wrote her first novel while researching the neuroscience of reading at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Since then, she’s switched to full time writing, which also involves getting into people’s heads but without the help of a three tesla MRI scanner. 

Her novel MIDNIGHT THIEF debuted with Disney-Hyperion in July 2014, and its sequel DAUGHTER OF DUSK came out in August 2015.

Website Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Wattpad


Giveaway Time:

We are all very pleased to share with you this amazing giveaway provided by Livia Blackburne herself. All you have to do is fill the Rafflecopter on the Raff pic below and fingers crossed you’re the lucky winner. Check out what you can win (INT – ends September 13th):

  • Audiobook of Midnight Thief;
  • An annotated paperback of Poison Dance;
  • An early draft of Daughter of Dusk with the author’s editorial notes
  • Assorted signed swag (bookplates, bookmarks);

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Good luck everyone 😉
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Release Week Blitz: Sweet Temptation by Wendy Higgins {Excerpt + Giveaway]

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I am so excited that SWEET TEMPTATION by Wendy Higgins releases today and that I get to share the news, along with an awesome giveaway!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful series by Wendy Higgins, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a a paperback of the book with a signed bookplate and bookmarks! US only. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

About the Book:

SWEET TEMPTATION
Author: Wendy Higgins
Pub. Date: September 8, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 485
Format: Paperback | ebook | audiobook 
Find it:
 Amazon | B&N | iBooks

Add Goodreads

Synopsis:
Bad boy Kaidan Rowe has never wanted for anything – money, popularity, musical talent… hot girls – but seducing them is part of his duty as a Nephilim, slave to the demon Dukes. As the son of the Duke of Lust, Kaidan has learned his father’s ways, becoming a master of passion, a manipulator of chemistry. Disobeying his father would mean certain death. Thankfully for Kaidan, he’s good at his job. And he enjoys it.

Until he meets Anna Whitt – sweet, smart, feisty, and inexplicably good – the one girl seemingly immune to his charms. The daughter of a guardian angel and a fallen one, she has a certain power over him, one that makes him wish for more than he could ever deserve.

Determined to save all the Neph from their dark lives as the influencers of sin, Anna joins forces with Kaidan to overcome the demons’ oppressive ways. In the light of her affections, Kaidan must undergo his toughest test of all, a battle of the heart.

Sensual and swoon worthy, this companion volume to the acclaimed Sweet Evil series from New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins, told from the perspective of the irresistibly sexy and mysterious Kaidan Rowe, gives readers revealing insights into his struggle, his intense connection to Anna, and most of all, the true emotions that drive him.

Author Note:

Sweet Temptation will encompass the entire trilogy in a condensed version, beginning with Kai’s life before he met Anna, and taking readers through the epilogue of Sweet Reckoning. Sweet Temptation is a companion novel, not meant to be a stand alone story. It will definitely be a richer experience for those who have read the original trilogy.

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Excerpt:

“I wanna hate every part of you in me…
You say that I’m privileged but my gift is my curse.”
– “Bite My Tongue” by You Me At Six

“Sit down, son!”

Young Kaidan did as his father asked, obediently sitting in the oversized leather chair beside him in the sitting room of their London home. Kai’s stomach buzzed with nervousness. He rarely had his father’s full attention, so he felt heavy and exposed under his intense stare. Kaidan savored Pharzuph’s eyes on him, and for a moment let himself pretend this meeting was something more than business – he let himself imagine his father’s smile was born of concern for him, rather then the glee of malice. He wanted to tap out a beat on his leg to soothe himself, but his father couldn’t stand fidgeting of any kind so remained still.

Original excerpt from Epic Reads – click here to read the whole excerpt which consists of 103 pages of the book!

About the Author:

WendyWendy Higgins is the USA Today and NYT bestselling author of the Sweet Evil series from HarperTeen and her independently published Irish fantasy, See Me. She is a former high school English teacher who now writes full time, and lives on the Eastern Shore of Virginia with her veterinarian husband, daughter, son, and doggie Rue. 

Wendy earned a bachelor’s in Creative Writing from George Mason University and a master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from Radford. Writing Young Adult (YA) stories gives her the opportunity to delve into the ambiguities of those pivotal, daunting, and exciting years before adulthood.

Website | Twitter Facebook Tumblr | Pinterest | Instagram | Goodreads

Giveaway:

1 (one) Paperback of SWEET TEMPTATION and a signed bookplate and bookmarks. US Only. Ends on September 18th at Midnight EST!

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Good luck everyone 🙂



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Release Day Blitz: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas {Giveaway}

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I am so excited that QUEEN OF SHADOWS by Sarah J. Maas releases today and that I get to share the news, along with an awesome giveaway!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful series by Sarah J. Maas, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a set of the first 3 books in the series (in paperback format). US only. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

About the Book:

QUEEN OF SHADOWS
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Pub. Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Pages: 656
Find it: Amazon | B&N | iBooks
Add Goodreads

Synopsis:
Sarah J. Maas‘s New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series reaches new heights in this sweeping fourth volume.

 Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.

Read Chapters 1-5:

Chapters 1-5 of QUEEN OF SHADOWS HERE!

About the Author:

Sarah1Sarah J. Maas is the author of the New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling Throne of Glass series – Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, and Heir of Fire, and the series’ prequel, The Assassin’s Blade – as well as the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Court of Thorns and Roses. She wrote the first incarnation of the Throne of Glass series when she was just sixteen, and it has now sold in twenty-three languages. Queen of Shadows, the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series, will release worldwide on September 1st, 2015.

A New York native, Sarah currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and dog. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Hamilton College in 2008 with a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in Religious Studies.

Website | Twitter Facebook Tumblr | Pinterest | Instagram | Goodreads

Giveaway:

1 winner will receive the first 3 books (in paperback) in the THRONE OF GLASS Series. US Only. Ends on September 11th at Midnight EST!

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Good luck everyone 🙂



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Book Blitz: The Viper and the Urchin y Celine Jeanjean {Excerpt & Giveaway}

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Book Blitz
Excerpt+ Giveaway

The Viper and the Urchin

Author: Celine Jeanjean
Publication Date: July 27th, 2015
Genre: Steampunk | Sci-fi
Buy Book: Amazon | Barnes & Nobels

Synopsis:
Being Damsport’s most elegant assassin is hard work. There’s tailoring to consider, devilish poisons to concoct, secret identities to maintain… But most importantly, Longinus must keep his fear of blood hidden or his reputation will be ruined. So when Rory, a scrawny urchin girl, threatens to expose his phobia unless he teaches her swordsmanship, he has no choice but to comply.

As if being saddled with a dirty, grammatically incorrect girl isn’t bad enough, a copycat assassin begins to imitate Longinus’ kills and threatens both his and Rory’s lives. Arguments have to be set aside, and Longinus and Rory are forced to work together to unmask and stop the copycat. But darker forces than they realise are at play, and with time running out, the unlikely duo find themselves the last line of defence against a powerful enemy who seeks to bring the city of Damsport to its knees.


Excerpt:

Rory congratulated herself on her timing. She and Jake had just reached the end of the lane and, peering around the corner, she could see the mark a few yards away. He was a trader with a belly that hung over his belt and a self-satisfied air. She could already tell how pleased with himself he would look when he stepped in to save the poor, scrawny urchin girl from a beating.

Moron.

She counted down silently with her fingers. Three, two, one.

Rory launched herself into the trader’s path with a shriek. Startled, the man jumped back just as Jake burst into the street, his face contorted into a perfectly fearsome mask. He grabbed Rory with his paddle-sized hands, lifting her off the ground.

“Help!” she screamed, kicking her legs in the air, careful to miss Jake.

Jake drew back a meaty hand as though to strike her. She screeched again, waiting for the mark to react. Any moment now, he would step forward, his face a sneer, his rapier drawn, and he would tell Jake to ‘let the girl go.’

Jake snarled, and raised his hand further behind him. Rory cowered in his grasp.

“Please not again, please no, please…” she gabbled.

The target stood aside, gawking, as though seagulls had pecked out his brains.

“Teach you to try and run away,” Jake grunted.

Still nothing.

Crap.

Rory had picked a dud.

Nothing for it, Jake was going to have to follow through and hit her or the game would be up.

Jake’s hand came down in a wide arc, just catching her cheek. Rory let her head snap to one side, howling out to make it seem more painful than it was. Still the merchant stood watching.

She cursed under her breath. If he was going to be cowardly, the least he could do was leave and be cowardly somewhere else so they could end this charade.

Jake raised his hand again.

“Not so fast now.”

At last, the melodious sound of a rapier being pulled out of its scabbard. The trader pointed his blade at Jake.

“Put the girl down.”

“Not your gods-damned business,” Jake grunted.

“I’ve just made it my business. Put her down.”

Jake glowered ever so convincingly at the man, and let Rory drop to the ground. She made a show of collapsing onto the cobblestones before scrambling up towards the trader.

“Now go.” The man raised his chin haughtily behind his rapier.

Jake grunted again, and skulked off down the lane from which they had come, making it look all the more narrow as he squeezed his massive frame through it.

“Thank you, sir, oh thank you!” Rory grabbed the trader’s distended waistcoat as she pulled herself up. “I been trying to escape for months sir, months!” She squeezed out a few tears for good measure and sniffled loudly. The mark she could feel on her cheek no doubt made it look all the more realistic. Maybe having Jake hit her wasn’t such a disaster after all.

“Now see here —”

“I got no one, sir,” Rory continued, still clinging to him as though she was drowning and he was the last plank of wood left in the world. “I’m an orphan and all alone, my family died.” At this she began to wail loudly.

The trader extricated himself from her clutching fingers, his philanthropic aspirations rapidly vanishing.

“There, there…I’m sorry but, er, I can’t do anything for you. I’m only passing through Damsport, you see.”

That was a lie, he was clearly a Damsian.

“Please, sir!” She wailed louder, clutching at him faster than he could remove her hands. Her fingers felt his purse, and she was delighted to find that it was as fat as he was.

“Now see here,” said the trader. “I have to leave, my ship… Will you just…get off!”

He gave her a shove and she staggered back, the purse vanishing into one of her pockets. She gave the trader a forlorn look, cutting a pathetic figure in her rags, mess of rope-like hair, and snotty nose — the gods be thanked for her ability to sniffle on demand.

The trader hurried away without looking back.

When he had turned the corner, Rory spat once on the cobblestones.

“Hypocrite.”

Saving the girl always worked, but no one wanted to actually save the girl. They only wanted that brief moment of glory when they pointed their rapier at Jake. That was fine by Rory, they just had to pay the price of their purse for the privilege of feeling like a hero for a few minutes.

She hurried after Jake, grinning. He was waiting for her at the rendezvous point.


About the Author – Celine Jeanjean:

Celine Jeanjean







Author Links:
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook


Giveaway Time:

Blitz giveaway:
  • Two (1) ebook copies of The Viper and the Urchin (INT);
  • A paperback copy of The Viper and the Urchin (US);

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Good luck everyone 😉


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Book Blitz: Harriet Wolf’s Seventh Book of Wonders by Julianna Baggott {Excerpt & Giveaway}

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Book Blitz
Exclusive Excerpt + Giveaway

Harriet Wolf’s Seventh Book of Wonders

I am so excited that HARRIET WOLF’S SEVENTH BOOK OF WONDERS by Julianna Baggott releases today and that I get to share the news, along with an exclusive excerpt! 

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Julianna Baggott, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for 5 hardcovers of the book courtesy of Little Brown, and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

Author: Julianna Baggott
Publication Date: August 18th, 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Pages: 336
Find Book: Amazon | Barnes & Nobels | iBooks

Synopsis:
A brilliantly crafted saga about three generations of women and their secrets, including the discovery of a final unpublished book by the family matriarch, a revered and reclusive author.

Harriet Wolf has a final confession. It can be found only in the final book of the series that made her a famous writer. But does that book exist?

This absorbing novel spans the entire twentieth century, telling the moving story of a mother, her daughter, and two granddaughters, one of whom is the only person alive who knows the whereabouts of Harriet’s final book. When a hospitalization brings the family back together, the mystery not only of Harriet’s last book, but also of her life, hangs in the balance. Will the truth ever be known, or is Harriet’s story gone forever?

A multi-generational tale of long-lost love, motherhood, and family secrets, this is Baggott’s most sweeping and mesmerizing novel yet.


Exclusive Excerpt:

Chapter One
The Baby, Twice Born
Harriet

This is how the story goes: I was born dead—or so my mother was told.

According to the physician, good old Dr. Brumus, I didn’t cry. I wasn’t capable of even this innate reflex. I was mute and sallow and already a bleeder, one red bead poised at each nostril. Imagine my exhausted mother—the saint, Irish and Catholic—her legs sagging wide beneath the bloody sheet like two pale, bony wings.

The year was 1900. The world was taking a new shape: the Paris Exposition’s moving sidewalks, Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams, and a tunnel being dug for the subway at Borough Hall, Manhattan. But in our house near the Chesapeake, not far from bustling Baltimore—with its canneries and foundries, its harbor of moaning steamboats, its tenements teeming with typhoid—there was little to do for either my mother or me, medically. Science had come only so far.

But given that Dr. Brumus—winded, permanently overwhelmed—had delivered three stillborn babies from my mother already, it seemed, for the moment, he’d finally won something. He was always watchful, however, always squinting as if in bright sun, even at dusk, the hour I was born, mosquitoes whining past an ear. And Brumus knew, what with my bleeding nose and my pallid, lightly furred skin, that something wasn’t right. He wrapped me in a blanket—though the summer hung wet and steaming outside. Like an aging football captain, he shuttled me down the stairs to the porch, where my father, the banker, was pacing. Dr. Brumus presented me to my father and gave the news: “It isn’t fit.” I wasn’t a girl yet. I was still dangling before my father, midair, a lost pronoun, and it would take years before I would become a child in any real form in my father’s eyes.

“No, it isn’t fit,” my father agreed, perhaps expecting as much, given the three lost before me.

“It may only live long enough for her to get attached,” Dr. Brumus said, teary now.

“The baby’s mother isn’t fit either,” my father said. “Mary has those dark moods. You’ve seen them. She couldn’t withstand that kind of attachment and loss.”

Dr. Brumus tried to hand me to my father, whose face was poised above mine, his nose fat and squat, a boxy fender, though he was youngish and handsome in his taut pink skin and glossy hair. He didn’t like what he saw. “Take it with you,” he said.

Dr. Brumus oversaw the Maryland School for Feeble Minded Children in Owings Mills, long before Baltimore started spilling into it with such ferocity. My father was betting that I wouldn’t make it—but what if I did? Was he asking Dr. Brumus to be my father, or at least my warden? The two men had known each other since they were boys.

“Jackie,” Dr. Brumus said, using the pet name normally reserved for times when he’d drunk a Scotch and soda and was looking slack and heavy-lidded. But that wasn’t his mood now. His eyes raced. “I can’t take the baby with me—”

“You said it’s going to die. You said so!” And my father became a little boy, his face plump and sweaty.

“Where’s the baby?” my mother called, her voice carrying from the open bedroom window above, her Irish accent heavier because she was too tired to fight it. She could have been calling to them from reeds, a marsh with a fog rolling in.

My father shook his head. “No,” he whispered to the doctor, fiercely.

And then my father marched upstairs, past the water stains on the wallpaper and into the bedroom. “No,” he said to his wife in a lilting voice of his own. Was he going to sing to her? “Darling, no.”

And so, for my mother, I was dead.

But still there was a baby. And this other baby with its dim pulse was bundled and taken away to start its other life at the Maryland School for Feeble Minded Children.

In just over a decade’s time, this child would become a supposed Girl Genius, and, more important, she would find Eppitt in the laundry and love him too much. (You don’t know Eppitt yet, dear ones, but you will.) And then this same child would make her way back here again—to this very porch, to her mother’s bed.

Some of us are born dead, some never really born at all, and others are born fresh every day—as if they’ve had new eyes stitched on overnight—which is the best way to live.

I hope you will understand eventually why I’ve denied all of this for so long. Are you reading this, my Eleanor? My Ruthie? My dear Tilton? Are your eyes catching on these words, fastening one to the next, aware of my life collecting on the page? Are you here with me?

I still desire the veil of fiction, the means to monkey and fidget with the details so I can convince myself that I’m writing about another baby, another mother, another life. If not that, then I wish it were lovely. But what did I learn in writing out the lives of my characters Weldon and Daisy? You can’t have love without knowing sorrow; you can’t have miracles without desperation.

Here, then. My desperation.

Excerpted from Harriet Wolf’s Seventh Book of Wonders by Julianna Baggott. Copyright © 2015 by Julianna Baggott. Reprinted by permission of Little, Brown and Company, New York, NY. All rights reserved.


About the Author – Julianna Baggott:

JuliannaCritically acclaimed, bestselling author, Julianna Baggott — who also writes under the pen names Bridget Asher (The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted) and N.E. Bode (The Anybodies)  – has published 17 books, including novels for adults, younger readers, and collections of poetry.

Her latest novel, PURE, is the first of a trilogy; film rights have sold to Fox2000 — www.pure-book.com. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Best American Poetry, Best Creative Nonfiction, Real Simple, on NPR.org, as well as read on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” and “Here and Now.”

Her novels have been book-pick selections by People Magazine’s summer reading, Washington Post book-of-the-week, a Booksense selection, a Boston Herald Book Club selection, and a Kirkus Best Books of the Year list. Her novels have been published in over 50 overseas editions.

She’s a professor in the Creative Writing Program at Florida State University and the founder of the nonprofit Kids in Need – Books in Deed. For more, visit www.juliannabaggott.com.

Connect with the Author:
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook


Giveaways Time:

  • 5 (five) copies of Harriet Wolf’s Seventh Book of Wonders (US Only – ends August 24th):

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M9B Two for Thursday Book Blitz: Boneseeker by Brynn Chapman and Endless by Amanda Gray {Giveaway} #T4T

Welcome to this week’s Two for Thursday Book Blitz #T4T presented by Month9books/Tantrum Books!

Today, we will be showcasing two titles that may tickle your fancy,
and we’ll share what readers have to say about these titles!

You just might find your next read!

This week, #T4T presents to you:

Boneseeker by Brynn Chapman
and
Endless by Amanda Grey

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Boneseeker:

Boneseeker

Arabella Holmes was born different and raised different. After it became apparent she wouldn’t fit the role of a proper 1900′s lady, her father, Sherlock, called in some lingering favors, and landed her a position at the Mutter Museum. The museum was Arabella’s dream; she was to become a purveyor of abnormal science. What her father called a BoneSeeker.

Henry Watson arrives at the Mutter Museum with a double assignment–to become a finder of abnormal antiquities and to watch over and keep Arabella Holmes. An easy ask, if he could only get her to speak to him instead of throwing knives in his general direction.

But this is no time for child’s play. The two teens are assigned to a most secret exploration, when the hand of a Nephilim is unearthed in upstate New York. Soon, Arabella and Henry are caught in a fight for their lives as scientific debate swirls around them. Are the bones from a Neanderthal … or are they living proof of fallen angels, who supposedly mated with humans according to ancient scrolls?

Sent to recover the skeleton, they discover they are the second team to have been deployed and the entire first team is dead. And now they must trust their instincts and rely on one another in order to survive and uncover the truth.

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Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Chapters | TBD | IndieBound | iBooks | Google Play | BAM

What the Readers are Saying:

For the love of all things Sherlock! I loved this book to bits. I felt like I was seeing old friends.”Kristie @Lost in Ever After

“Boneseeker is one that fans of historical mysteries and a little bit romance along the way will enjoy.”Jenea, Reviewer

“A fab idea to take Holmes and Watson to the next generation and to have them on a kind of steampunk/ science adventure” – Nicky Peacock, Author

about-the-author

Brynn Chapman

Born and raised in western Pennsylvania, Brynn Chapman is the daughter of two teachers. Her writing reflects her passions: science, history and love—not necessarily in that order.

In real life, the geek gene runs strong in her family, as does the Asperger’s syndrome. Her writing reflects her experience as a pediatric therapist and her interactions with society’s downtrodden. In fiction, she’s a strong believer in underdogs and happily-ever-afters.

She also writes non-fiction and lectures on the subjects of autism and sensory integration and is a medical contributor to online journal The Age of Autism.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest

Endless:

Endless

IN A RACE AGAINST TIME, HOW DO YOU KEEP THOSE YOU LOVE SAFE?

Jenny Kramer knows she isn’t normal. After all, not everybody can see the past lives of people around them. When she befriends Ben Daulton, resident new boy, the pair stumbles on an old music box with instructions for “mesmerization” and discover they may have more in common than they thought.

Like a past life.

Using the instructions in the music box, Ben and Jenny share a dream that transports them to Romanov Russia and leads them to believe they have been there together before. But they weren’t alone. Nikolai, the mysterious young man Jenny has been seeing in her own dreams was there, too. When Nikolai appears next door, Jenny is forced to acknowledge that he has traveled through time and space to find her. Doing so means he has defied the laws of time, and the Order, an ominous organization tasked with keeping people in the correct time, is determined to send him back. While Ben, Jenny and Nikolai race against the clock — and the Order — the trio discovers a link that joins them in life — and beyond death.

add to goodreads

Chapters | Amazon | Barnes & Nobles | Kobo | TBD | Indiebound | Google Play | BAM | iBooks

What the Readers are Saying:

“I thought this book was pretty amazing – the characters, the setting and the adventure all came together to create this romantic yet ultimately dangerous story with a perfect time travel twist!”Hannah @Lemonade Library

“I started reading this not knowing completely what the story was about but there’s an amazing love story as well as a bit of history thrown into the mix along with some time travel and a soul mate and reincarnation!” – Anna @Bound in Ink Books

“This book is a very interesting twist on time travel, history and romance, something I would love to see adapted on the big screen in the future.” Lyn @Reading Tsinoy

about-the-author

Amanda Gray believes in magic and fantasy and possibilities. She is a team of two bestselling authors who live only miles apart but have never met in person. They talk on the phone and are the best of friends and between them have written more than a dozen novels and novellas and have had their work appear on television.

Giveaway

Complete the Rafflecopter for your chance to win!

  • Two (2) winners will receive a digital copy of Boneseeker by Brynn Chapman and Endless by Amanda Gray (INT – ends August 7th)

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Blog Tour Stop: Review & Giveaway: Awakened by Patricia Vanasse

Awakened_Banner

Blog Tour Stop:
Review + Giveaway

Awakened

AwakenedAuthor: Patricia Vanasse
Release Date: July 2015
Publisher: Pants on Fire Press
Pages: 317 (Paperback)
Format: 
ebook
Genre:
 YA | Sci-Fi | Romance
Idiom: English
Series: Resilient #2
Read: from June 21 to 27, 2015
Source: Author | Kobo
ISBN: 9780692444153
Rating:
45cups1

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Synopsis:

In an attempt to protect their families, Livia and Adam set out in a search for answers that would change their lives forever. While on the run, Livia and Adam crossed paths with Daniel, who had been searching for them and the five other genetically enhanced teens Daniel knew existed. But getting out from under The Agency’s radar has not been easy. After being ambushed by the leader of The Agency that created them—a desperate attempt to claim what they lost just over a decade earlier—Livia was forced to leave an injured Adam behind, barely escaping to safety with Daniel.  Now under the control of The Agency, Adam is serving the purpose for which he was created. Manipulated to forget his love for Livia and his past, he lives a life crafted by fake memories that enslave him to a life of following the orders of The Agency. Adam battles with vivid “dreams” of a life he does not remember and the strong connection he feels to the girl with familiar blue eyes.  The desire for vengeance propels Livia and Daniel into a dangerous race to disrupt the destructive string of events that The Agency initiated seventeen years earlier. As they travel across parts of North America in search of other teens who are just like them, Livia will face an ethical battle over genetics, loyalty, and love. The race is on, and it is up to Livia to destroy The Agency and rescue Adam, but even if she succeeds at saving him, there are no guarantees she’ll able to save the deep connection they once shared.

Ner Reviews - Awakened

Disclaimer: Thank you CBB Book Promotions and Patricia Vanasse for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Awakened if the sequel to Resilient, a book I simply adored. It’s no surprise that as soon as I found out about this Blog Tour, I immediately signed-up. An opportunity like this couldn’t be missed.

In this book we continue following Livia and Adam, now separated from each other and with a small introduction to Daniel’s and Brooklyn’s point-of-view. Livia is training and running away with Daniel, trying to find out the rest of the GES while at the same time trying to save Adam and, consequently, destroying The Agency.

Adam is now a member of said Agency since Brooklyn wiped his memory of Livia – though he dreams of a blue eyed girl he doesn’t know. He’s working as a trainer and is sent to several missions where his abilities are put to test and use.

Basically, nothing is the same and what it seems. Everything is upside-down and nothing will ever go back to normal. Especially when we are introduced to the rest of the GES and to a sinister plot by The Agency.

I admit that even though I really enjoyed the action and the pace of this book, Awakened sounds so different from the first book I had a hard time getting used to it. But the plot and the characters  especially the characters – make up to that: they are strong, smart and very well develop with so many deep thoughts and feelings I can’t really pick one as a favourite. Well, maybe Daniel. I found out that I have a soft spot for Daniel. The whole group is so different, with so many different personalities and ideas and I loved meeting them all. And their abilities fitted the action whenever they needed to use it. Patricia Vanasse is a master when it comes to create and develop characters. She really understands the mechanism of writing really good and human characters and I bow down to her talent.

We really get to know The Agency’s role a little bit better in this book and see it from the inside. We also get an insight on the whole operation to create more GES and what such a thing would do to the world. That insight to what The Agency is creating and what it would achieve made the plot sound terrifying and intriguing. It was also one of the major positive points that made up for the fact that Awakened suffered slightly from SBS (Second Book Syndrome).

The reason I say this suffers from SBS has to do with the love-triangle (or square!) and all those angst moments between Livia, Daniel, Adam and Brooklyn. It was natural for Livia and Daniel to have a deeper connection since they have been together for such a long time. And now with Adam’s memories “erased”, I was beginning to root for Daniel (hence the soft spot) which is a total shock. I feel that the romance that I adored so much and that was so important in Resilient lost its interest and spark. I know that everything is different since Adam was kidnapped, but I missed that connection between Livia and Adam. And even when they were together, there was something amiss, something not right. What made me so much in love with Resilient was lost in this book which was a disappointment.

Now, can we talk about the ending? I liked the ending since it gave us a new thrilling excitement towards the continuation. Though I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting what happened since the whole group spent half of the book trying to get inside The Agency to destroy it. They ended up going quite the opposite of what I had expected. I guess that was what made the ending so unexpected and so shocking. But it made sense what happened and it was a positive way to get us hooked to know what’s going to happen. I’m pretty sure that Patricia Vanasse is going to blow us away with the third book with more twists and turns we are not going to see coming. 

Overall Awakened is a good and entertaining sequel to Resilient. The characters are the best in this book and the action is another strong point. It simply flows with the plot and teaches us the basis to what this universe is all about. The plot on itself has you hook to know more about the GES and The Agency. But don’t expect this book to be like Resilient. It’s not… it’s more like a bridge between the past and the future and an introduction to what we might expect in book three. Still, despite it all I really enjoyed this book and I’m eager to read more and know what’s going to happen now.

About the Author – Patricia Vanasse:

tissa author

Patricia Vanasse was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Now she lives on a beautiful island in the Pacific Northwest.

She has been through Culinary Arts, Psychology, Law School, and now has finally found her passion in creative writing.

She also loves traveling, cooking, and is an avid reader. Her strength- believes that everything is possible.  Her weakness- an obsessive relationship with caffeine.

Website Facebook | Twitter Goodreads

Giveaway Time:

  • One (1) $50 Amazon Gift (INT),
  • Two (2) signed copies of Resilient (US),
  • One (1) e-arc of Against All Odds (INT);
  • The giveaway ends July 28th.

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Blog Tour Stop: Review & Giveaway: Incite by Erica Crouch

BANNER Incite Blog Tour

Blog Tour Stop:
Review + Giveaway

Incite

INCITEAuthor: Erica Crouch
Release Date: February 17th, 2015
Publisher: Patchwork Press
Pages: 367 (Paperback)
Format: 
ebook
Genre:
 YA | Fantasy | Romance
Idiom: English
Series: Ignite #2
Read: from January 21 to 27, 2015
Source: NetGalley/Author | Kobo
ISBN: 9781927940266
Rating:
45cups1

Get the Book:
Amazon | Barnes & Nobles | Apple iBookKobo
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Synopsis:

Earth is in ruins, and the war of Heaven and Hell has spilled over into the mortal world. In the frozen wasteland of the apocalypse, Azael and his band of cohorts search for Pen and Michael with orders to kill. Little does he know that his sister has incited a rebel army of her own.

Angels and demons alike stand side by side, ready and willing to fight for a future they didn’t realize they could have. Change doesn’t come easy, though. Pen is wary of joining New Genesis’s revolution, but when Azael shows his hand and Pen learns all that he holds over them, she chooses to fight back, no matter the risk. She only has to survive, one hour at a time.

Ner Reviews - Incite

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author, Erica Crouch, in exchange for an honest review.

When I was sort of “invited” to be part of Incite Blog Tour – I received Erica Crouch’s newsletter with the sign-up to it so, yah, I wasn’t directly invited as being invited by the author if you know what I mean – I couldn’t help myself but sign-up immediately. I mean, you all know I’m a fan of Erica Crouch, right? So, of course I had to be part of the Blog Tour. What kind of a fan would I be if I wasn’t part of it?

There are so many things I want to talk about… I don’t even know where to start!

Incite is told by two different points-of-view: Pen and Azazel. The fact that both twins are in different poles of the war makes the experience of reading this book much profound. They live opposite lives, each with their own idea of what is right and wrong. Whereas Pen is trying to absolve her evil deeds and live her life with the love of her life, Michael, Azazel is a dark soul whose solemn desire is to destruct Michael and try to regain his sister back. Being inside Azazel’s mind helped understand his own feelings. Thought in the other books you get a small glimpse at who he is, in Incite you get the whole picture. And in a way it’s both terrifying and amazing. He’s a character that despite the fact that he’s almost pure evil, you find yourself sympathizing with him.

The war settled down on earth and both sides – angels and demons – are not safe. Pen and Michael have to run and hide from heaven and hell, not safe anywhere and with fear of being captured. And that is when we meet Kala, an angel that is not quite what you would expect an angel to be. She’s quirky and perky and full of energy it was contagious. She has this foul mouth that is one of her best characteristics – she knows how to throw an F-bomb in the right moment. Her relationship with Ana brought a new light to the story – just because they are angels, it doesn’t mean that the LGBT side of the world should be neglected.

Ana and Kala are members of the rebellion group entitled New Genesis. These rebels are angels and demons alike, both sides trying to fight and defend a world that Pen always envisioned, the world she always wanted and fought for. Thankfully Pen and Michael have allies and friends to rely on.

One of the things that astonished me in Incite was how Erica managed to add both Jack the Ripper and Mulan within the story as a demon and an angel respectively. I mean, how freaking amazing is that?

Lilith is a character I can’t put my finger on. I never fully trusted her but in this book, with everything that we saw/heard through Azazel and then her epilogue at the end, I’m pretty sure that in the next book we will have a huge surprise. If that surprise will be good or bad, I think we all have to wait and see, right?

As always Erica’s writing is beautiful and intense. I can never get enough of her writing. Even in the most painful moments of the book, her writing captivates and draws you to the story you cannot step out of it without feeling like you severed something. You have this connection to all characters – Azazel included – that is unfathomable and powerful. She hypnotises you with words and that, ladies and gentlemen, is a true and pure gift.

Incite is one of the best sequels I’ve read in a while, a great continuation to an already amazing book. There is romance, gore, pain, death, friendship, a taste of everything you could ask for in a paranormal book with angels and demons. However, I must warn you that the cliffhanger and Lilith’s epilogue will leave you desperate to get the next book.

Ignite Series:

B1 IGNITEB1.5 ENTICE
INCITE-FULL

About the Author:

Author Pic option 1

Erica Crouch is a young adult and new adult author from Baltimore, Maryland. She has a strange blended aesthetic of cute and spooky, and her books reflect her ever changing mood. (You may find romance, you may find gore—sometimes both in the same book, but probably not at the same time. Probably.)

Erica is the co-founder of Patchwork Press, an author-powered publisher of middle grade, young adult, and new adult titles. She is the head of editorial services and design, with nearly fifty projects to her name. Find a complete list of Erica’s books at ericacrouch.com.

Giveaway Time:

Prizesends March 2nd:
* Incite paperback (US only);
* 3 Incite ebook copies (INT);
* 2 Ignite Series ebook Bundle (INT);

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