Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey - Paul's Pre-Reading

*I received this book as an eARC from Random House via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: The Girl at Midnight

Author: Melissa Grey
Recent Release Date: April 28, 2015

Synopsis: Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she's ever known.

Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she's fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it's time to act.

Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, though if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it's how to hunt down what she wants . . . and how to take it.

But some jobs aren't as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.


Why?: This cover is stunning and I've heard amazing things about it. I've been getting into contemporary fantasy YA novels recently. Magonia was excellent. Melissa Grey also seems very awesome based on her social media. You should totally follow her on twitter: @meligrey

Expectations: I'm expecting an fantastic story. An ancient race with feathers for hair. A mythical entity. An orphan thief. This sounds like it's going to be epic. 

Judging a book by its cover: I love this cover. The font is great. The color is beautiful. The dragon and swan both draw me in and lead to so many questions. 


Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Cage by Megan Shepherd - Paul's Pre-Reading

*I received this book as an eARC from Balzer+Bray via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: The Cage

Author: Megan Shepherd
Recent Release Date: May 26, 2015

Synopsis: When Cora Mason wakes in a desert, she doesn't know where she is or who put her there. As she explores, she finds an impossible mix of environments—tundra next to desert, farm next to jungle, and a strangely empty town cobbled together from different cultures—all watched over by eerie black windows. And she isn't alone.

Four other teenagers have also been taken: a beautiful model, a tattooed smuggler, a secretive genius, and an army brat who seems to know too much about Cora's past. None of them have a clue as to what happened, and all of them have secrets. As the unlikely group struggles for leadership, they slowly start to trust each other. But when their mysterious jailer—a handsome young guard called Cassian—appears, they realize that their captivity is more terrifying than they could ever imagine: Their captors aren't from Earth. And they have taken the five teenagers for an otherworldly zoo—where the exhibits are humans.

As a forbidden attraction develops between Cora and Cassian, she realizes that her best chance of escape might be in the arms of her own jailer—though that would mean leaving the others behind. Can Cora manage to save herself and her companions? And if so . . . what world lies beyond the walls of their cage?


Why?: This cover is beautiful. The story sounds so interesting as well. A group of teenagers waking up not knowing where they are or why they're there. 

Expectations: I'm expecting an interesting mystery with some sci-fi mixed in. I'd love a big twist that makes me flip out. 

Judging a book by its cover: This cover is gorgeous. I love the colors. The cage and vines surrounding the girl in a plane dress in a desert. I am so intrigued. 


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Star Wars: Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir (graphic novel) - Paul's Review

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Star Wars: Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir
Author: Jeremy Barlow
Artist: Juan Frigeri 
Publication Year: 2014

Synopsis: Getting cut in half by Obi-Wan Kenobi and being rejected by his former Sith master Darth Sidious isn't going to defeat Darth Maul. In fact, it only makes him mad enough to take on the galaxy--with an army of Mandalorians!

After forming the Shadow Collective--a criminal organization composed of the Hutts, Black Sun, the Mandalorians, and the fearsome Nightbrothers--Maul wages war against Darth Sidious and his generals, Count Dooku and General Grievous! 

Adapted from unproduced screenplays for Season 6 of The Clone Wars television show, this is the final chapter planned for Darth Maul's saga!


Review: I have really taken advantage of this new revamp of the Star Wars expanded universe. This comic was one of the first published media in the new canon. This graphic novel is based off of unproduced scripts from the 6th season of The Clone Wars

Darth Maul starts this story escaping from Sidious and Dooku with the help of his Death Watch friends. General Grevious and more of Maul's Shadow Collective allies make appearances in this book. 

I really enjoyed this book. It felt just like the tv show. I'm looking forward to more books following the storylines that were left open. I can't wait for Dark Disciple

I give this graphic novel a 5/5! A must read for all Star Wars fans, especially those of the animated series. 


Friday, June 26, 2015

BLOG TOUR: Cities & Thrones (Recoletta #2) by Carrie Patel - Guest Post

Happy Saturday! Today we're super excited to be participating in the blog tour for Carrie Patel's newest book, Cities and Thrones, which also happens to be the second book in her Recoletta series. Carrie stopped by to talk about how her travels have inspired and influenced her writing, and we hope you enjoy reading about it as much as we did!

Before we get to Carrie's guest post though, here's a little bit about Cities and Thrones and Carrie! Also, don't forget to check out the interview we did with Carrie last year for the first book in the Recoletta series, The Buried Life.

About the Book

Title: Cities and Thrones (Recoletta #2)
Author: Carrie Patel
Publication Dates: 2 July 2015 (UK)
July 7, 2015 (US/CAN)

Synopsis: In the fantastical, gaslit underground city of Recolleta, Oligarchs from foreign states and revolutionaries from the farming communes vie for power in the wake of the city’s coup. The dark, forbidden knowledge of how the city came to be founded has been released into the world for all to read, and now someone must pay.

Inspector Liesl Malone is on her toes, trying to keep the peace, and Arnault’s spy ring is more active than ever. Has the city’s increased access to knowledge put the citizens in even more danger? Allegiances change, long-held beliefs are adjusted, and things are about to get messy.

Purchase Links:
UK Print & Ebook

North American Print & Ebook

Global DRM-Free Epub Ebook
On-sale 2 July 2015 from the Robot Trading Company

About the Author

Carrie Patel was born and raised in Houston, Texas. An avid traveller, she studied abroad in Granada, Spain and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

She completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Texas A&M University and worked in transfer pricing at Ernst & Young for two years.

She now works as a narrative designer at Obsidian Entertainment in Irvine, California, where the only season is Always Perfect.
You can find Carrie online at www.electronicinkblog.com and@Carrie_Patel on Twitter.

There and Back Again: Travel and Cities and Thrones

 Writers get inspiration from a lot of sources, and travel is often chief among them. New places spark our imaginations and awaken our minds to many of the details we often overlook in everyday life. They enchant and intrigue us, and we can come to see new patterns in their shadows and skylines.

This kind of stimulation is especially important for speculative fiction, which often features cities and cultures made from scratch.

The Buried Life was a book about an insular, isolationist city called Recoletta. The people who live there rarely (if ever) leave it, and they spend much of their time in a complex social dance designed to maintain the city’s strict hierarchy and its stagnant sense of self.

With that in mind, it should not come as a surprise that the city of Recoletta was largely inspired by a cemetery.

The Cementerio de la Recoleta in Buenos Aires is beautiful in a grand, sober kind of way. Walking through its narrow, cobbled lanes and admiring its stately mausoleums got my imagination cranking about lamplit streets and underground cities, but that wasn’t quite enough. The ideas needed more time to marinate.

That’s where the rest of my trip to Argentina came in handy. The downtime of bus rides and plane trips gave me the time that I don’t often set aside from my normal routine. Meanwhile, the Pampas of the countryside and the streets of Buenos Aires provided more enriching and less distracting surroundings while I spun daydreams into stories.

While The Buried Life centers on Recoletta, Cities and Thrones draws in other locations, too. In fact, much of the story takes place in Madina, a city northwest of Recoletta. Yet even though the two cities are only a few hundred miles away, they feel like different countries. Technically, they are.

Cities in the world of The Buried Life and Cities and Thrones originate from extensive underground bunkers that sheltered humanity during a global catastrophe many centuries before the events in the books. They develop in isolation over their first few hundred years, which gives minor differences time to develop into deep cultural gulfs.

From a world building perspective, this creates the need and opportunity to establish different civilizations side by side.

Readers may note that Madina is located roughly in the area of modern-day Detroit, a city with a large Arab-American population. The culture of Madina reflects that to a limited degree. Most residents have recognizably Arabic first names. The city is led not by a council, but by a (secular) judge known as the “Qadi.” Local customs reflect the importance of hospitality, which contrasts with Recoletta’s preoccupation with distance and privacy.

Of course, Madina isn’t supposed to represent a real, present-day culture any more than Recoletta is; both cities are “what-if” scenarios of societies grown in a Petri dish. But just as Recoletta took some inspiration from Buenos Aires, Madina was partially influenced by a trip to Jordan.

I visited Jordan a few years ago when one of my sisters was living there. It was a beautiful country, and what struck me most was the warmth of the locals. People were gracious and seemed genuinely pleased to see foreigners visiting their country. The phrase we heard more often than any other—from shopkeepers and traffic cops alike—was, “You are welcome in Jordan.” Jane has a similar experience in Madina and finds it easier to get along as a foreigner there than as a low-caste domestic worker in her home city of Recoletta.

In a broader sense, travel becomes important to the characters and story of Cities and Thrones. Travel forces people (happily or otherwise) to confront new possibilities and to see themselves and the places they come from in a new light. One of the most poignant experiences of travel is returning home to appreciate (or not) things you’d barely noticed before. Most of the characters of Cities and Thrones have lived their entire lives in one place. When they venture beyond it, it’s either to flee and survive or to wrangle and bargain with people they barely understand, let alone trust.

Travel changes the characters, and it shows them how the places they’ve come from have changed, too. In that sense, it’s a vital catalyst for the key arcs and developments in Cities and Thrones.

What are some of your places to travel? Let us know in the comments! 

Thanks to Carrie for taking the time out of her busy schedule to write this post for us, and thanks to you for stopping by! 

--Ashley & Paul

The Hidden Prince (The Orphan Queen #0.1 novella) by Jodi Meadows - Paul's REVIEW

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: The Hidden Prince (The Orphan Queen #0.1)

Author: Jodi Meadows

Paul's Review of THE ORPHAN QUEEN

Recent Release Date: June 2, 2015

Synopsis: The city of Skyvale is in trouble. Magic use is rampant. Crime is spreading. Told from the perspective of Tobiah, the crown prince with a dangerous secret, and set two years before the heart-racing action of The Orphan Queen, this 100-page digital novella brings to life one of Jodi Meadows's most beloved characters.

Tobiah Pierce knows he is a spoiled, sheltered prince, and he's tired of it. His only chance for freedom is if his cousin, James Rayner, passes the trials to be one of his bodyguards. But when Tobiah takes a rare opportunity to escape a courtly celebration and he witnesses a horrible—and magical—crime, he must make a momentous decision: return to the ignorance and comfort of the palace, or risk everything to discover the truth?

The Hidden Prince is the first of four prequel novellas that offer existing fans a deeper insight into a favorite character and the complex city of Skyvale, while new readers will find a stunning introduction to this rich world and the heart-pounding fantasy of the Orphan Queen series.


Review: I am a big fan of Jodi Meadows and both of her series. This is the first novella that accompanies this duology. It is from Tobiah's perspective and takes place two years before The Orphan Queen. Tobiah is not the confident prince with a certain perception of him known throughout the kingdom. Other characters from Skyvale also obviously are featured. I'm really interested in the character of James, especially after the ending of The Orphan Queen. I'm hoping to find hints in these novellas about what he's hiding. 

Since this is only the first of the 4 novellas, the prequel story has only started. It seems like these novellas all put together is a prequel book itself. 

I read this novella in one sitting. I loved being back in the world. I also enjoyed seeing more of the everyday happenings of the royals in Skyvale. 

I give this novella a 5/5 and can't wait for the next one! If you haven't read any of Meadows's books, what is wrong with you!!?!??!?!?! Go buy Incarnate right now!


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Month9Books FRIDAY REVEAL: Into the Dark by Caroline Patti - Cover Reveal + Chapter One + GIVEAWAY!

M9B-Friday-Reveal Banner 

Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!

This week, we are revealing the cover AND Chapter One of
Into The Dark by Caroline Patti!

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

A girl’s sweet sixteen party is supposed to be among the most memorable events of her life. But on the night of hers, Mercy Clare wakes in the waiting room of a hospital with no memory of how she got there. To make matters worse, she’s wearing something she’d never be caught dead in: her best friend Lyla’s clothes.

Mercy’s nightmare is just beginning. The doctor arrives to tell her that it’s she who lies in the hospital bed waiting to die. A trip to the bathroom confirms Mercy’s fears, as Lyla’s face stares back at her and Lyla’s curvy figure pokes through her tight clothes.

But finding out what’s really going on won’t be easy. Because if Mercy wants her body back, it might just cost her Lyla’s life.

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Title: Into the Dark
Publication date: August 18, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Caroline Patti

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play


Chapter One
A TV, bolted high on the wall, buzzes in the background, the faint sound of the local news reporter’s voice robotically reciting the events of the evening. “One dead and another in critical condition … ”
The waiting room is empty of people. Plastic chairs line the walls. Magazines are strewn about. How did I get here?
The news reporter continues to speak. “What appears to be a suicide occurred tonight in the alley behind local watering hole, Wally’s Pub. Closed for a private party, owner Kate McCrimons had no comment on tonight’s event. Relatives of the victim, high school teacher Matteo Andreas, were not available for comment.”
It’s all coming back to me now. The party. The alley. Seeing Mr. Andreas with the gun in his mouth. Oh God.
“Hey, you’re awake.” Jay stands before me holding two coffee cups.
“Did you bring me here?” I rub my temples with the palm of my hand. My head is pounding.
“You don’t remember?” Jay’s eyes narrow and tiny creases indent his furrowed brow. He doesn’t look at all like his normal goofy self. His brown eyes are concerned and focused intently on me.
I close my eyes and hold my head in my hands. “I feel sick.”
“Kate is on her way,” Jay continues. He sits down next to me and sets the cups on the table. “Just a warning, she’s pretty freaked out.”
Tiny waves of nausea roll in my stomach. My mouth is dry and parched. “I’m gonna throw up.”
“Shit.” Jay jumps from the chair. I can hear him scrambling around the room. The noise is making me feel worse.
Something bangs into my legs. I open my eyes just a little to see a garbage can. Jay sits back down next to me and holds my hair back as the contents of my stomach empty. My stomach clenches as I grip the sides of the can. I hate throwing up. I hate the convulsions, the acid taste that fills my mouth, and the way a single strand of spittle dangles from my lip like I’m a drooling dog. Luckily, this is happening in front of Jay so it’s only moderately mortifying. Having known him all my life, he’s seen all sides of me: the good, the bad, and the worse.
“Here.” Jay slips a napkin into my hands. He rubs my back lightly. “Should I get a doctor?”
Jay kisses the top of my head and I flinch. My head snaps up too quickly and I stare at him while the room around me sways. “What are you doing?” I have to close my eyes again as another wave of sick crashes over me.
He takes his hands off me. “What?”
“Why’d you kiss me?” I peer at him sideways.
“I’m sorry.” He says it like a question, and then he looks at me like I’m nuts. “I was just trying to make you feel better, Ly.”
“Okay, but … ”
He called me Ly. As in Lyla. My best friend Lyla. “Why are you calling me Ly?” My pounding head cannot take this conversation.
“That’s what I always call you.” Jay shakes his head. His mop of curls swishes along his forehead. He brushes it out of his eyes by raking his hands through his hair. “How much did you drink tonight?”
I’m not quite sure.
The smell of my own sick is singeing my nostrils so even though it makes the room spin, I raise my head to look at him. A few strands of long, dark hair fall across my face. Hesitantly, I reach up and pull a clump around so I can see it better. My eyes cross as I stare at the nearly black hair. What the hell? Frantically, I pick at it, like an addict with a fixation.
“Lyla, what are you doing?” Jay asks.
I drop the pieces of hair and smooth them back. “Nothing.”
“You’re acting really weird.”
I’m acting weird? He’s the one who keeps calling me Lyla for God’s sake!
“Here you guys are!” Lyla’s older sister, Kate, speaks with an exasperated tone. “I’ve been looking everywhere for you. There’s like sixty waiting rooms in this place.” She takes one look at the garbage in front of me and exhales, annoyed. Being a bar owner means Kate has plenty of experience with vomit.
“You okay?”
Slowly, I nod as I slide the can away from me with my feet. She sits in a chair just across from us. “I brought you some clothes.” She holds out a brown paper bag to me and waits for me take it.
“Don’t give me any grief about what I picked. I was in a hurry.” Kate’s appearance is frazzled. Deep brown curls spill forth from the messy bun of hair piled on top of her head. Her feet jiggle up and down. Kate always fidgets when she’s nervous.
In the bag I find Lyla’s “Crazy for Cupcakes” tee, a pair of jeans, and some flip-flops. Why did Kate bring me Lyla’s clothes?
“Do we know anything?” Kate asks.
“No,” Jay tells her. “We’re still waiting for the doctor.”
“Is Eric here yet?” Kate asks about my dad.
“Not yet,” Jay answers.
My dad is on his way. Relief sinks in knowing that in a few minutes I’ll be able to hug him and he’ll make everything okay again.
“You want some coffee?” Jay reaches for the cup and holds it out to Kate. He gestures toward me as he says, “I got it for Ly, but I don’t think she wants it.”
I do not. I hate coffee.
“Sure.” Kate takes the cup and sips slowly. She gives me a reproachful look when she says, “You drink too much coffee as it is.”
I start to protest, to tell them both that it’s Lyla, not me, who insists on stopping every morning at Peet’s, but Kate quickly adds, “Well, go change. This isn’t exactly the place for heels and cleavage.”
Cleavage? I look down and see what she means. I’m busting out of the seams! This isn’t my dress. This is Lyla’s dress. I would never wear a dress like this. For one thing, it’s pink. And it looks like dip-dyed ace bandages wrapped around my body. I hold the bag close to my chest hoping to conceal my heaving flesh. Wait. I don’t have heaving flesh. And I don’t have raven hair. Something is very, very wrong.
“Okay.” As I stand to go, I teeter on Lyla’s five-inch stilettos. Jay catches my elbow and steadies me.
“You need some help?” he offers.
“I got it.” I think. I cannot get away from them fast enough.
Not only do I feel like I’m going to vomit again, but I also feel like I’m having a mental breakdown. My hair is a different color. My breasts are like cantaloupes. I’m not wearing my own clothes. I swallow hard to push down the panic and a touch of bile.
Kate eyes me suspiciously. “Do you want me to come with you, just in case? You don’t look so good.”
“I’ll be fine,” I say, hoping to reassure both her and myself. I don’t have much confidence that I can walk far in Lyla’s shoes. For a split second I think about going barefoot, but decide against it. Luckily, it turns out the bathroom is just across the hall.
Lyla’s dress clings to me like Saran Wrap. I must look like Bambi learning to walk as I concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other. The carpet of the waiting room isn’t that treacherous, but the slick, overly polished hallway isn’t as forgiving. My left ankle rolls and I stumble just as I reached the bathroom door. Damn!
The bathroom is dark. I flip the wall switch and the light flickers, groans, and burns nearly out, casting a ghoulish yellow glow of light over the room. “Great.”
I grope my way toward the sink. It is then that my eyes adjust to the dark, and for the first time I see my reflection. Only it isn’t my face peering back at me. It’s Lyla’s, my best friend since the third grade. Leaning in closer, I stare, mouth agape, into the mirror. Her blue eyes are rimmed with multiple coats of black eyeliner. The red of her lipstick is faded, leaving her lips with only a hint of berry stain. My hands explore, skimming the sides of her cheek, hoping, praying that at any second the illusion will shatter. Despite my desperate hopes, the reflection never morphs from Lyla’s into mine.
I rack my brain trying to piece together everything that happened tonight. It’s my birthday I suddenly remember. We were having a party at Kate’s bar. A party I didn’t want. Lyla had talked Gage into being my date. Well, more like forced. But we were having a good time. He’s really nice. I went outside; I remember that part. And my teacher was there, that letch Mr. Andreas, and he grabbed me. He kept saying all this weird stuff to me and I tried to get away and that’s when Gage came out and started yelling at him. Mr. Andreas had a gun. And he … and he …
I remember the sound of the gun going off, and the brief second of relief I felt when I realized he hadn’t shot Gage. But then I saw all the blood. There was so much blood.
I stagger backward knocking into the stall door. It swings open and I drop to my knees over the toilet. I heave and heave, but nothing comes up. I curl into a sitting position. My fingers knot into my hair.
When I finally stand up, I expect—okay hope—that everything will have returned to normal, that I’ll be me again, and that seeing Lyla was just some sort of weird post-traumatic stress thing. But when I look in the mirror, I don’t see me. I see her.
This isn’t possible. There’s no way. I must be dreaming.
That’s the only explanation. This is just a dream. A very strange, twisted dream.
But it isn’t a dream. I press my hand to the mirror. It’s solid. It’s real. This is really happening.
“Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit!” I curse as the mother of all freak-outs rumbles inside me. What am I supposed to do now?


Caroline T Patti is the author of The World Spins Madly On and Too Late To Apologize. When she’s not writing, she’s a school librarian, mother of two, wife, avid reader and Green Bay Packer fan. You can chat with her on Twitter @carepatti or find her on Facebook.
Connect with the Author: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

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Title(s) will be sent upon their release.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

M9B/Tantrum Books TWO FOR THURSDAY BLITZ #T4T: Horror Business by Ryan Craig Bradford & Fingers in the Mist by O'Dell Hutchison + GIVEAWAY!


Hello and 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:
Horror Business by Ryan Craig Bradford and
Fingers in the Mist by O'Dell Hutchison

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

Armed with a passion for classic B-grade horror movies, a script co-written by his twin brother, and a wicked crush on his death-obsessed neighbor; hardcore horror fan Jason Nightshade must finish his student film.
But his plans are derailed when the children of suburban Silver Creek start disappearing – his twin brother among them. Battling a possessed video camera, a crazy zombie dog, a monstrous bully, and a frighteningly broken down family life, Jason embarks on a mission to find his lost brother so the two can write an ending for his story.
As any horror fan knows, saving the day won’t be easy, as Jason finds himself forced to face the real world where death isn’t just a splash of fake blood on a camera lens.
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Horror Business is, more than anything, an old-school horror story, digging deep into King's meticulous nostalgia, processed through the postmodernism ofScream, filtered at turns through the nerdiness of Dawson's Creek and Super 8, and then drenched in the blackness of a teenage boy's brain.” – Keith McLeary, Author

“What the author really captures here is not just a skin-crawling tale of monsters. He shows us where the real horror lies, in the awkward development of children into teens, the fearful uncertainty.”Matt E. Lewis, The Radvocate

“Horror Business combines intelligence and entertainment into a particularly creepy read.” – Jennifer Bardsley, Author

Ryan grew up in Park City, Utah. His fiction has appeared in Quarterly West, Paper Darts, Vice, Monkeybicycle and [PANK]. He currently lives in San Diego where he acts as Creative Director for the nonprofit literary arts organization So Say We All. He’s the co-editor of the anthology Last Night on Earth and founder of the literary horror journal, Black Candies.
Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | YouTube


Sixteen-year-old Caitlyn Foster never believed in the legend of the Redeemers. That was before the trees started to whisper her name. Before a murder of crows attacked the town. Before she and her family came home to find a bloody handprint on their front door, marking one of them as a sacrifice. As Caitlyn’s friends are ripped from their homes, she knows it’s only a matter of time before the Redeemers come for her. Caitlyn has the power to stop the terror, but she’ll have to decide if she’s willing to sacrifice herself to save those she loves.
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“Hutchison does a fine job crafting a creepy tale that will leave many readers sleeping with a light on, or at least reading with an extra one on.”Jenn, Book Reviews and Giveaways

“Fingers in the Mist created an eerie atmosphere that pervaded the entire story. The town, the legend, the characters-- everything was downright creepy.”Kimber Leigh Wheaton, Author

“I LOVED every single second of this book, and cannot wait to see what he comes up with next!” – Jaime, The Best Books Ever


O’Dell was born in a small rural town in Idaho. There were no Redeemers living there (that he knows of). After attending college in the Pacific Northwest, he found his way to the Houston area. By day, he is a Business Systems Analyst and at night you can either find him sitting at home, dreaming of random super powers he wishes he had, or directing plays and musicals at various theaters around Houston.

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

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

BLOG TOUR: Infinite (Ignite #3) by Erica Crouch - Ashley's Review + Excerpt + GIVEAWAY!

It's been a while since we've posted (June has been super busy for both of us), but hopefully this coming month will be better! To kickstart us getting back into blogging on a regular basis, we're really excited to be participating in the blog tour for Erica Crouch's most recent release, and the last book in her Ignite series, Infinite!

We've got Ashley's review for you, as well as an excerpt (so that you can see exactly what all of the (much deserved) hype is all about), and a giveaway that you should definitely enter!

So before we get to the review and the excerpt, how about a little bit more about the book and Erica?

About the Book

Cover Reveal: Infinite, by Erica CrouchInfinite by Erica Crouch
Series: Ignite #3
Published by Patchwork Press on June 16, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult

Synopsis: There are infinite ways to die, and the fates are calling for blood. After evading Azael since her betrayal, it’s finally time for Pen to stop running and face her desperate brother. But she won’t have to challenge him alone: the rebel army of New Genesis is ready to stand strong and fight to secure the future they believe in.

As Azael spirals deeper and deeper into darkness, and Pen grapples with her new leadership role, a familiar name rises to power whose decisions have the potential to rewrite everyone’s future. Dangerous secrets, silent traitors, and unraveling fates means that time is running out. There’s no telling who will survive the final battle.

In this thrilling conclusion to the Ignite series, Pen and Azael return to finish what they started over a millennia ago.

Add Infinite on Goodreads, and order it on AmazonB&N, or Kobo. Or, start from the beginning of the series with Ignite and buy the ebook bundle of the series for just $6.99 from AmazonB&N, or Kobo.

Ignite Series Full

Let us know what you think of the cover — and what you’re most excited to see in Infinite — in the comments!

About Erica Crouch

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 cofounder of Patchwork Press — an indie publishing collective that produces middle grade, young adult, and new adult titles in all genres — and Weapenry — a resource for writers. She is the head of editorial services and design, with over fifty projects to her name.

Read an Excerpt!

Descending the stone stairs of the tower, I shove all thoughts of Jeremy aside. When I crash out into the courtyard, I see her. It’s like running into a wall. It stops me dead in my tracks, seeing my sister for the first time since she betrayed me.

She’s dressed in dark, sturdy leather, and her skin is the color of the spidering ice beneath her. Her shoulders are back—the slump she’d held herself in over so many years ironed away by defiance. There’s a new strength about her that I can’t quite pin, and when Michael reaches out to touch her, a roaring begins in my ears. I’ll cut his fingers off one by one. Then maybe I’ll feed them to the birds.

The wind tosses Pen’s hair across her face for a moment before I can see her more clearly. She’s dark and deadly, her eyes bright and her weapons at the ready. All of her muscles are poised to strike at anything that comes near her, and I drink in the picture of my warrior sister. This is who I always wanted her to be: a fighter, forged from iron and bathed in blood. She could rule Hell by my side. If others saw this version of her, they’d understand.

But no one’s seen this rendering of Pen. They saw the weak girl splashed with ink. The small demon who ducked her head and spoke to herself too often. They see a traitor, a coward, an angel-lover.

I want to kill her. I want to save her.

I don’t know which one will win out tonight.

Ashley's Review

Ashley's reviews of Ignite, Entice, and Incite

You guys. THIS BOOK. I mean, I loved the rest of this series. Everything about the story and Erica's gorgeous way with words made Pen, Azael, Michael, and the other characters come alive and jump out of the pages. I always felt like I was right in the middle of their world and the battle, and I often feared for their lives as if I had known these characters all my life. I am SO sad this series is over, although I'm content with where things are now. 

I went into this book pretty much knowing that Erica was going to basically just break my heart in every single way possible. I mean, it wouldn't be right if I read one of her books and didn't cry big, ugly tears at least once (see Madly, Deeply). There's Gus' prophecy hanging around, that Pen and Azael will destroy each other. And then there's crazy Lilith, who keeps throwing a wrench in the bucket and making things so, so strange and weird and wonderful. I really enjoyed reading sections from Lilith's point of view, especially knowing things she knows that Pen and Azael don't yet. I love having more information than the characters and watching things unfold. 

Don't get me wrong - I love seeing things from the conflicting viewpoints of Pen and Azael. I mean, Pen just wants everyone to have the option to make their own choices and Azael just wants to be the king of Hell and rescue his sister from the crazy angels. But there's so much more beneath all of that, and it was such a thrill to be along for the ride on both sides. And Lilith... she's all over the place and doesn't give two craps about what anyone else does as long as it benefits her. I thought Pen was a great female lead - smart and strong-willed and always looking for the good in people, yet still with her vices and weaknesses and just so very real. But Lilith is power-hungry and willing to do whatever it takes to claw her way to the top. I mean, you go girl! But maybe slow down a little bit, you crazy woman.

Although I have wanted a happy ending for Pen and Michael, and even Az, from the very beginning, I kind of always figured in the back of my mind that things were not going to work out for everyone and someone was going to get screwed in this whole war and my heart would be in a bazillion pieces all over the floor. I don't want to give anything away, but I ended up in an okay place by the end of the epilogue. It wasn't what I was hoping for, and it wasn't what I was expecting at all, but Erica made it work. And I was able to put myself back together a little bit, so that was a bonus. 

All of the supporting cast is fantastic too, and I never felt like anyone was superfluous or just there to be killed off or anything. Erica somehow manages to give every single character a well-rounded story and makes them important to Pen, Az, and Michael. Kala and Ana and Eligor, and all of the other angels and demons in New Genesis, and even Az's group of demons all had their purposes and their places, and were all very true to themselves throughout the entire book (actually, the whole series). 

So, TL;DR, you need this book in your life. Now. If you haven't read Ignite or Incite yet, or either of the novellas, go get them ASAP so that you can read Infinite. I'd say that anyone who loves paranormal books with a romance that's important but not overwhelming should definitely read these books, but really anyone who enjoys a great story with amazing characters and absolutely wonderful world building should pick up this series RIGHT NOW. Erica is incredible, and I can't wait to find out what she's got up her sleeves next! 5/5, but I'd give it higher if I could!  

Enter the giveaway, and tune into the live chat 6/30 at 7:30PM EST!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

BLOG TOUR: Connected by Kat Stiles EXCERPT

Title: Connected
Author: Kat Stiles
Publisher: Wild Child Publishing
Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Heat Rating: NA
Release date: 6/3/15
Author website:
Author blog: katstiles.com


High school is hard enough, Em knows. Her freshman year introduced her to all the cliques, annoying teachers, and tough homework assignments. But discovering you have super powers and not knowing how to control them is a whole new level of complicated.

Thankfully, Em isn’t alone. Her best friend Roz starts having unusual dreams that come true, and Tommy, Em’s secret crush, can hear the softest whispers in class.

A romance blossoms with Tommy. But just as things are looking up, people start dropping like flies. A telepathic serial killer is on the loose and only Em and her friends have a hope of stopping him.

Or do they? If they don’t figure out the killer’s identity soon, one of them could be next.

Purchase links:


Somehow I thought I would know when my life was in mortal danger. I’m not talking spidey sense or anything, just some kind of clue something bad is about to happen. I guess I got the idea from the movies. Real life, I found, is very different.
Here’s the thing: my hometown of Cannondale is as far from interesting as it comes. The picture of central Texas suburbia, it’s a quiet little city, where nothing happens, apart from an occasional trampling at the outlet mall when the Coach store has a clearance sale. The kind of place that feels safe to walk around at night, especially in the cookie cutter middle-class subdivision that was my neighborhood. My walk went undisturbed until I heard the sound of a thump, thump, thump, followed by a long buzz… It took me a second to figure out the noise was rap music, trying to escape out a car window. Another joyride, I thought.
Then the tires screeched. I whipped my head around out of instinct, but all I could see were two headlights headed straight for me. Frozen to the spot, my eyes snapped shut. As if that would in some way stop it. And in the three seconds before the car rammed into me, my only thought was whether or not it would hit me hard enough to get me out of school tomorrow.
A sick, crunching noise sounded when my feet left the ground, and I caught some air before falling back down with a thud. The strange thing was the absence of any pain. What did register was the pounding of my heart, more from surprise than the impact of the car. As I lay on the ground, motionless, I heard a car door slam, followed by footsteps.
“I think you killed her. Dude, you are so screwed…”
I couldn’t get my eyes to open. God, am I really hurt?
“She’s fine, she’s not even bleeding,” a different voice said, right when the other guy heaved. The smell of beer mixed with half-digested food filled my nose.
A barely discernible whisper repeated over and over, “Oh God, what am I going to do?”
“Who is she?”
The voices grew closer.
With all my might, I tried to lift my arm. Nothing. Why can’t I feel anything? My heart began to race.
“I don’t know her.” A shaking hand pushed the hair away from my face, but still my eyes refused to open.
“I thought you knew all the girls at school.”
“Wasn’t she a freshman last year? Amy…Em…uh, Emily.”
“Good. Now you know who you killed.”
“Don’t be stupid. She can’t be dead.” The voice was louder now—one of them had come closer. “Look, her chest, I saw it. She’s breathing.”
“Are you delusional? She’s not moving.”
It was then the pain set in. My thighs burned, a fire consuming my legs. I tried to scream, but my lips wouldn’t budge. Am I paralyzed?
“Wait a minute… Something’s wrong.”
“No shit, Sherlock. You killed a pedestrian.”
“No, I mean with me. I…I can’t feel―”
“You’re right, she is breathing.” One of them shook my shoulders. “Hello? You okay?”
And then it got really weird.
A wave of heat flashed through me like a current, awakening every little nerve ending. My body convulsed while it passed through, but it didn’t hurt—it was sorta like the prickly feeling of a foot falling asleep, before the tingling turns to pain. Then a glimmer of the richest purple I’d ever seen appeared, spiraling beneath my closed eyelids.
“If she’s breathing, she’s fine. Someone’ll find her.”
“We can’t leave her… What if she’s paralyzed? Or brain dead?” Footsteps paced back and forth in front of me.
The tingling concentrated in my legs, amplifying the warmth. What’s happening to me? Am I…dying?
“Uh…uh, 911. Let’s call 911.”
“And tell them what? You know we’re both screwed if the cops catch us. I’m not going to juvie for you. I’m outta here.”
What do I do now? I still couldn’t move or speak. My legs grew hotter while at the same time the pain started to subside. Is this what it feels like to die? No, it can’t be… I’m not ready. A lump formed in my throat as I waited for that ominous white light all those near-death survivors talk about. But it never came.
A car door opened, just as a dog barked in the distance. Then the engine fired to life: a throaty, guttural outburst. The dog barked even louder, as if to answer it.
“Someone’s coming. Dude, get in!”
The heat surged through my body a final time, and my temperature returned to normal. At first, only a couple of fingers moved, and then my control returned back all at once. My eyes slowly flickered open.
“I’m sorry,” whispered the boy who I assumed was the driver. It was all so hazy, his face was nothing but two black holes against a white mask.
Even after rubbing my eyes, everything still appeared blurry. Was that a red car? Definitely something sporty from the sound of the engine.
They peeled out, leaving behind the smell of burnt rubber and a horrible screeching sound ringing in my ears again. My eyes finally adjusted, and I saw an older woman approaching. Her beagle trotted up and licked my hand.
“Sweetie, are you all right? Did you fall down?”
“I’m fine,” I answered without thinking. But when I made it to my feet and brushed myself off, I discovered it wasn’t a lie.

The pain was completely gone.

Author Bio

Kat Stiles is a super hero geek at heart. She grew up watching Spiderman, X-men and Superfriends cartoons, and she loved the idea of having super powers. The superhero movies that came out delighted her; even the bad ones were still so much fun. And she remembers wishing the series, “Heroes” would go on forever. With Connected, she tried to keep the abilities as organic as possible – something just a little beyond what a normal human can do. She’s met some pretty incredible people in her life, and her experiences greatly influenced the writing of Connected.