Friday, January 19, 2018

Sneak Peek: Midlight by Autumn Grace



 MIDLIGHT
Book One
by Autumn Grace
Nightlark Publishing
YA Science Fiction
214 pages




If the daylight doesn't kill you, the diurnal ones will. But when death is the one requirement to be transitioned into a mechanized Hybrid, why spend another night lost in the dark?

Five years ago, Bain woke up on the side of the road with no prior memories. Deadly radiation has forced the population to become nocturnal in an effort to avoid the mutilating effects of daylight. While this helped for a time, rogue groups began neglecting these practices, increasing the death rate and the need to finalize a procedure to bring the dead back to life. This controversial advancement becomes means for prosperity to President Umber as he takes over the growing city of Umber Heights.

After three years of serving as a brutal Corsair for Ailand's ruthless leader, Beckett, Bain is prompted to cut ties with his current life. He must revisit his estranged friend in his safe coastal town with the proposal to join him in Umber Heights--the only place Beckett and Umber's feud prohibits Beckett from entering. Bain and Argon struggle to get their relationship back, cautiously diving deeper into their romantic feelings while trying to balance conflicting personalities and Bain's lack of readiness to open up.

Now in Heights seemingly for good, Bain must determine if the lines of right and wrong really do gray when it comes to protecting human life over man-made creation.



SNEAK PEEK


I know I should be nocturnal, and I've tried, but I hate the dark and I hate the cold. I can handle the sunburn and the heat, even the radiation. Glowers aren't that bad if you get in with the right group. They're good to have on your side when things get bad.


I look up at the sky when I hear something, but as I take a step, there's a clamp down around my foot, and I’m pulled back, pulled down. A terrible pain shoots up from my ankle, through my leg, and up to my hip. I cry out, my knees hitting the dirt. Leaning back, I pull my leg a little closer to me. My ankle is snagged between two rusted metal pieces that shut down on my leg like teeth.
The trap has snapped on me at an awkward angle. One half is stuck in the leather of my boot, but the other is up a little higher and tearing through my skin at least an inch. I try to pry them apart, but the metal is flaking away and leaving my gloved hands orange. I stand up, trying to pull my leg out of it, but that is just a horrible idea. I’m chained to the ground, and the chain is wound around a fallen tree.
I take one of my handguns out of my bag, thankful I'd forgotten about them when I ditched my rifle, and shoot a couple times in the dark. I miss the chain, but when I finally do hit, a loud clang comes, and there are yellow sparks that flicker out right as they appear. I’m able to get free from the chain, but the throbbing in my leg is so painful that I think I might black out.
I manage to get out of the forest and out onto the rocky barrens ahead of me right as the burning sun shimmers through the trees to my left. There is a cold sweat on my forehead as I limp on. The heat waves on the horizon play with my eyes, and I keep flinching like there's something there. There's not much south of Hork, but I just keep getting spooked.
I walk a mile and a half until I see the infamous town itself. Well, it's mostly there and swaying. I never thought I could bring myself to return, until I find myself falling to my knees in a place I used to call home. I collapse there in the middle of the road from heat exhaustion, the fever, a little mix of both. It’s late, after midlight, and my head hits the gravel, my arm stretching out in front of me. The heavy sound of my own breath in my mask lulls me into darkness, and the bright day fogs away from me as my eyes roll back.


And here she is. . .

Autumn Grace grew up in New England with her mom, older brother, younger sister, and her identical twin. Her aim is to bring diverse characters outside of genres they have identified with to promote equality and acceptance. she's drawn to retro-futuristic concepts and is obsessed with robots and aliens.

Sneak Peek: A Girl Called Monster by Paige Lavoie with Giveaway




A Girl Called Monster
by Paige Lavoie
YA Urban Fantasy
250 pages









Where she came from there were no windows. The sounds of buzzing equipment and the doctor's shouting rang through her ears daily. It was too uncomfortable to call home and too familiar not to be. Like it or not, she was an experiment.


Filled with childlike wonder and innocence, she took pleasure in stories, imagining what it would be like to live in those pages. A longing growing deep inside her.

She knew she'd never have that life... Not in the lab. Not with them studying her every move. So she decided to do something terrifying.






SNEAK PEEK


I put on a dress with polka dots on it that reached the floor and borrowed a sweater,
covering up as much of my body as possible. She told me we were going for Thai food
and, after following her down the stairs, I was greeted by the same people who’d been in the
shop when I arrived. They had uncertainty in their expressions, but still introduced
themselves warmly before we were on our way.

Rhonda, Katie, and Linda all had hair in the colors of a rainbow when they stood together,
and tattoos that covered their skin. It made me smile and I thought, Among them, maybe
I won’t stick out so badly. The restaurant was overwhelming, but welcomingly lively.
Everyone was talking, and the smells were like nothing I could’ve imagined.
Ordering seemed confusing, and when we sat down, I was reminded of my experience
at the diner, worried I’d do something wrong and be told to leave again. The menu
shook in my hands. I didn’t know many of the words. “Just order whatever from the
menu. Everything here is good,” Sam promised. A bubbly girl came to take our
order, and everyone laughed when I said,

“I-I’ll have the ‘List of Sides.’” They were some of the only words I knew, and by
the girls’ reaction, I knew I’d messed up already.

“All of them?” the waitress asked, looking surprised.

“Why not? It’s a party!” Sam encouraged, throwing her arm around my shoulders.

“I’ll share with her for my order.” The drink they recommended to me was bright orange
and sweet, and when our food arrived, there were so many small plates in front of myself
and Sam I was worried they would take up the whole table. Beside me, Sam was effortles
s with her wooden “chopsticks.” But a few others

“Gave up,” as they put it, and used their forks. I wanted to learn, and struggled to get
it right. I noticed the waitress looming over the table. “I have a trick if you’d like
to see,” she said, catching my attention. She produced a plain rubber band from her
pocket and looped it around the ends, showing me how to use the altered tool.

“I’m still going to use a fork…don’t judge,” Rhonda whispered quietly to Katie, but
I was thankful for the help. Some of the dishes burned the back of my throat, but it
was good…different. The girls talked about work, clients, and other things I didn’t
understand, but I nodded along as best I could and tried to laugh when they all
started laughing. But when they asked me to tell them about myself, all I could think
to say was that I liked to read.


Paige Lavoie is a writer, comic artist and self-proclaimed queen of silly faces, with a passion for bring her characters to life with the power of storytelling (including the undead ones) Paige spends her days hiding underneath a parasol in sunny Orlando FL. and frolicking through bustling convention centers, theme parks and farmers markets with her husband and their fluffy dog named Oliver.



Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!




Thursday, January 18, 2018

Review: Cathadeus by Jeff J. Peters with Giveaway



Cathadeus
Book One of the Walking Gates
by Jeff J. Peters
Wise Ink Creative Publishing
YA Fantasy
December 8th, 2017
344 pages


Jan 15 to Feb 2, 2018
Content Rating: PG-13 (fighting scenes)



It has been six hundred years since the Alchemists fused together men and beasts to form strong, mindless slaves. Now, their most vicious creations have attacked the mystical Walking Gates, slaughtering their Keepers and isolating their cities. Wounded in the brutal attack, Braxton Prinn’s mother is on the verge of death and he makes a desperate journey to find the reclusive elven master who can save her. But when he discovers an ancient magic, Brax is caught up in an even greater struggle and soon finds himself hunted for his power. Drawn into the chaos of an impending war and pursued by enemies on all sides, Brax must fight to save his mother and her race from slipping into darkness. Though his untamed magic may be the greatest threat of all . . .




MY TIDBITS

This is a rich fantasy with never ending adventure, vivid scenes and characters which dig in and don't let go.

Braxton's life gets turned upside down when long-forgotten monsters, Minotaurs, attack the Walking Gate and leave his mother with life-threatening injuries. In a quest to save her, he travels with several friends in search of her tree and an elven master. He soon discovers that there's so much more than he knew going on, and finds himself in the middle of a war and battling the discovery of his own powers.

This is a fantasy tale, which holds everything it should. The world is rich, exciting and comes to life as Braxton journeys through the realm. It's easy to sink into the world and envision the surroundings (especially with a lovely drawn map in the beginning of the book). Although it takes a couple of pages to sink into the situation, by the second chapter the story hooks in. One adventure leads to another, each one with unexpected twists and mounds of tension. A lot happens, making this a read hard to put down. The smooth writing draws in and makes the pages flip by.

There is a large palette of characters, as a fantasy should have, and each one has their own quirks, history and intriguing qualities. While Braxton himself is a hero worthy to root for, he has his rough edges as well. Although he's an engaging character, it's his friends who stand at is side and help him through which truly make this an interesting read. The characters come across realistic, their decisions sound and their determination inspiring.

Fantasy friends are sure to enjoy this one. Although there are several violent scenes, it's never over the top and makes for an exciting read.


BOOK BUZZ. . .

“Jeff J. Peters’ strong cinematic writing style allowed me to easily visualize the story and feel that I was right there alongside the characters.”
- Alison W.

“Jeff J. Peters’ writing is so smooth and easy to read – I can’t tell you how much of a pleasure it was…and how quickly you end up being drawn into the story because of it.”
- Amanda R.

“Cathadeus is the best kind of fantasy story - you get to learn along with a flawed main character while you get lost in a richly designed world. You can’t help but keep reading. A cleanly written pairing of characters you wish you could spend more time with and an enthralling world built around them. Cathadeus is the kind of story that plays perfectly off of your imagination, with characters grounded in reality to make it feel like you could really be there.”
- Ryan N.

“Jeff J. Peters definitely has storytelling skills...The story stayed on my mind when I wasn’t reading it. Young readers will be drawn in this imaginative story, while they relate to Braxton’s struggles with temper, insecurity, and young love. Cathadeus is dramatic, with an anxious tone—at times bleak, as the story keeps you wondering until the final battle if good will prevail.”
- Elizabeth C.






And here he is. . .



JEFF J. PETERS was born in South Africa and immigrated to the United States as a teenager, where he fell in love with all things fantasy. He obtained degrees in digital electronics and computer science and worked as an IT professional for more than twenty years. In 2014, he left his corporate position to focus full-time on writing. Cathadeus is his debut novel. He is currently working on the sequel.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Facebook






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Cover Reveal: A Song Of Summer Lost by Sarah Negovetich


A Song of Summer Lost
by Sarah Negovetich
 YA Urban Fantasy
Cover Designer: Jasmine at Glamma X Graphics
Editor: Tia Bach at Indie Books Gone Wild
Proofreader: Krystal Wade at Indie Books Gone Wild

COMING. . .
FEBRUARY 26th, 2018!!!

Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

Princess Caolainn of the Summer Court has her entire future planned out for her: assume the throne, marry the man her father selects, and produce an heir. A life that promises more isolation inside the stone walls of her castle and none of the passion she yearns for.
When the King does an about-face and approves her request to travel to the human realm, Caolainn is granted a few short months to taste freedom and live the life she’s only ever dreamed about. But when an ancient enemy threatens both realms, will Caolainn choose the life planned for her or the one written in her heart?





Sarah Negovetich knows you don't know how to pronounce her name and she's okay with that.
Her first love is Young Adult novels, because at seventeen the world is your oyster. Only oysters are slimy and more than a little salty; it's accurate if not exactly motivational. We should come up with a better cliché.
Sarah divides her time between writing books that her husband won’t read and performing on stage at BE Theatre. Her goal in life is to never grow up.
Author Links:
“I’m going to hurt you,” I choked out. “Hurt both of us.” The words pumped out of me in between great gulps of breath and choking cries.
“I know,” he said softly, holding me even tighter.
“Then why aren’t you running for the door?” I asked into his chest, his damp shirt sticking to my face.
“Because that’s not how life works. I didn’t fall in love with you because it would guarantee me a future of sunshine and rainbows. I don’t even think I made a conscious decision to do it. It just happened. And if that means I get hurt in the end, then that will just happen too.” He rubbed at my back and planted a soft kiss on top of my head. “Our lives don’t get perfectly composed endings with a fancy coda like a classical piece of music. They are messy and complicated and sometimes they don’t make any sense.”
I used a dry inch of his shirt to wipe at my eyes and looked up at him. “Then why do we bother?”
            David let out a sad huff of laughter. “Because the alternative isn’t really living at all.”




Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Review: Incense and Peppermint by Cathrina Constantine


INCENSE AND PEPPERMINT
by Cathrina Constantine
YA Historical
226 pages







Peace demonstrations, sit-ins, and burning the U.S. flag following the escalation of the Vietnam War are leading to a catalyst known to the world as the Sixties. A musical revolution, hippies, marijuana, and drugs are carrying the generations—young and old—into a new decade. All the while sixteen-year-old Mary Monroe is caught between being an innocent good girl and an autumn of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.

When her brother offers a solution to her dilemma in the form of a little pill, Mary ignores the rumba in her brain and takes a walk on the wild side. Plunged into popularity and a life she’s only imagined, she meets Michael Covington, the hot newcomer, and she’s instantly drawn in by his less than flawless exterior and bad boy sex appeal. Caught up in the danger and excitement as they drift from party to party, into underground fight clubs, and through a series of drug and alcohol fueled adventures. Mary follows her new crush into a world where young girls are never truly safe from predators lurking in the shadows and where young men are hiding from the harsh reality of war.

Feeling buzzed and as if her life is spinning out of control, Mary is assaulted by an unknown man at a party, and she’s left questioning if the enigmatic Michael is truly her hero or if he is the face behind the terrible attack. With every piece of information Mary learns about Michael, her doubts grow deeper, but with every minute she spends in his presence, so does her love.

With the war and her fear threatening to separate Mary and Michael forever, only the death of a friend, a crushing confession, and her own sensibilities can carry her over the threshold between adolescence and adulthood.



MY TIDBITS

This tale lures into the free-spirit  during the late 1960's, glancing over the war and protests, while hitting much closer to home as it sinks in.

Mary, the good-girl and nerd of her family, is about to sixteen but is drawn into her brother's world thanks to his constant persistence and a little pill. Pulled into the circle of popularity, parties, beer and drugs, the freedom spirals out of her control. Finding herself in a bad situation, she's rescued by the hottest guy at school, but that introduces a whole new level of chaos.

This is the first piece of fiction I've read about this era, and although I wasn't sure what to expect, I was immediately drawn in and enjoyed the ride. Mary Monroe is in an awkward place like many girls of that age are. Her desire to have fun and get away from family troubles (and her family has their share) is understandable. That she doesn't make the best decisions is believable and totally understandable. She has a lot to learn and tries her best to balance her conscious with her desire to have fun—not an easy task.

The book hits hard on the partying end, letting Mary sink into the free life of that time with all of its joy and pain. While telling of Mary's experience through this period, this book also shows glimpses into the other characters' lives and lets them grab hold with their own tales. In some ways, it's a coming of age and the story of how Mary finds herself.

There is romance, and while it does carry a bit of instant love, there's enough build up and uncertainties to make it sit. The hero is all a hero should be but not without his own demons, and fits the setting nicely.

Summed up, it's a nice dive into this time period and opens up some questions not only from that time, but ones that also relate to today. It's an intriguing read, and the characters stay long after that last page is read.

I received a complimentary copy and was so engaged in these pages that I wanted to leave my honest thoughts.

You can find her at her website here


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Happy Book Birthday, Deadly Sweet by Lola Dodge!


DEADLY SWEET
The Spellwork Syndicate, Book One
by Lola Dodge
Ink Monster, LLC
YA Fantasy
265 pages





Anise Wise loves three things: baking, potion making, and reading her spellbooks in blissful silence. She might not be the most powerful witch, but enchantment is a rare skill, and her ability to bake with magic is even rarer. Too bad one wants witchcraft on their campus. Anise’s dream of attending pastry school crumbles with rejection letter after rejection letter.

Desperate to escape her dead-end future, Anise contacts the long-lost relative she’s not supposed to know about. Great Aunt Agatha owns the only magic bakery in the US, and she suddenly needs a new apprentice. Anise is so excited she books it to New Mexico without thinking to ask what happened to the last girl.

The Spellwork Syndicate rules the local witches in Taos, but as “accidents” turn into full-out attacks on Anise’s life, their promises to keep her safe are less and less reassuring. Her cranky bodyguard is doing his best, but it’s hard to fight back when she has no idea who’s the enemy. Or why she became their target.

If Anise can’t find and stop whoever wants her dead, she’ll be more toasted than a crème brûlée.

Who knew baking cakes could be so life or death?
 



MY TIDBITS

Mix delicious cakes and frosting with spell-binding magic and adventure, add a pinch of intrigue and this is a treat readers won't want to miss.

Anise carries the perfect name—she wants nothing more than to be a baker with her own shop. Too bad, she's a witch and is shunned by anyone who notices. Colleges won't accept her, bakers don't want her. . .the only place she finds a job is decorating sheet cakes. When her silly magic gets the best of her, and she's about to end up in jail, a long silent aunt comes to her rescue. Anise escapes to an all witch area and finds her dream job as an apprentice in the town's most successful cake shop. But things aren't all sweets and dreamy spells as death knocks on her door and someone wants to kill her.

This author is slowly becoming one of my favorites as she adds yet another terrific tale to her list. Unlike the last one I read from her, a compelling science fiction series, this dive into flour and whisks has an entirely new flare. . .and sits. It's a delight to be submerged into a baking world and experience Anise's enthusiasm for cakes. (Who can blame her?) Her disappointments and mistakes make her human, while her excitement and determination make her easy to root for. She does make sometimes bad, gut decisions which aren't always thought out, but then, this is a YA novel.

Although there is action and scenes full of tension when Anise's life really is on the line, it's balanced out with a playful spirit of fun. There's never a boring moment and Anise has to fight for every success, big or small. Her group of friends is a little odd, and it's fitting to the scene. The witches are strange to Anise and presented that way to the reader. Trust isn't instant, but friendship is true and blue. It's just a matter of figuring out whose intentions are good and whose are not, which is not an easy task.

There's a special spice with Anise's bodyguard, and the relationship is refreshingly different. Lots of secrets still need to be exposed in this area as well as many others. In other words, book two promises to be just as intriguing.


Cover Reveal: Touch by Camille Picott





TOUCH
by Camille Picott
Sulan, Episode 4
YA Cyberpunk, Dystopian


COMING. . .
FEBRAURY 1st, 2018!!!






From a young age, Gun has trained in the way of Anderson Arms. He learns to manipulate, steal, blackmail, and kill—whatever it takes to accomplish the mission set by his father. But Gun despises the work he does and the wreckage it leaves behind.
His newest assignment is to befriend a Virtual High student and infiltrate Global Arms. His target is Sulan Hom, the daughter of a renowned Global scientist. Gun approaches the mission with detached coldness, the same method he uses for every assignment.
But it isn’t long before he finds a budding friendship with Sulan. The more time he spends with her, the more he begins to care for her. Soon, Gun avows that Sulan will not become one more mission casualty.
The more he delves into Global Arms, the more Gun realizes the true danger that awaits Sulan. Determined to keep her safe, Gun works behind the scenes to protect her. Will it be enough to keep Sulan safe? And will he ever be able to win her trust after deceiving her?
Only 99¢ during pre-order!

Previous books in the series:

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And here she is. . .
 
Camille Picott is a fifth-generation Chinese American. She writes science fiction and fantasy books with Asian characters and/or Asian settings. Camille grew up reading speculative fiction stories largely devoid of Asian characters and culture. This, coupled with a passion for her heritage, is the reason she strives to bring some aspect of Eastern myth, legend, culture, and ethnicity to all of her writings. 




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