Tuesday, March 31, 2015

BLOG TOUR: The Soul Keeper Series by L.A. Starkey - Spotlight + GIVEAWAY!


About the Books



Title: Deceived, Destroyed & Descent (Full Series)
Series: The Soul Keeper Series
Author: L.A. Starkey
Publication Date: March 16, 2015

They say a soul is the immaterial essence, the animating principle, the actuating cause of an individual life.

But what if you had to share yours with the one person you hated the most?

The soul mate principle states that for every one soul there is another that will recognize its match, hence creating the perfect union.

But what if you had two soul mates, which would you choose?

What if your choices had eternal ramification?


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About the Author 


L.A. Starkey is the author of the upcoming Soul Keeper Series, a supernatural young adult series, and The Liarus Detective Series, a supernatural middle grade series.

She is a CPA by trade, a church planter and entrepreneur at heart; however, writing and reading are passions she just can't help but indulge in. With more ideas than one person should be allowed, she is blessed to have a muse that doesn't seem to take a vacation and more energy that one might consider healthy.

She writes under the following pen names:
L.A Starkey - YA/MG Paranormal
Kate Thomas - NA/Adult Paranormal
Isabella James - Sci-fi/Fantasy
Lauren Elizabeth - Adult Contemporary Romance

Author Links: Goodreads | Twitter | Website

 The Giveaway!

This tour was organized by Good Tales Book Tours.

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows - Paul's Pre Reading


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: The Orphan Queen

Author: Jodi Meadows

Recent Release Date: March 10, 2015

Synopsis: Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others

Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world.



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Why?: I really enjoyed Jodi Meadows's first series. Her worldbuilding was awesome. And I really enjoyed the characters. This book seems more high fantasy than fantasy/sci-fi blend. I have followed Meadows on social media as she has been writing this book. I'm intrigued by how calligraphy will come into play. 


I'm excited to see a new world with a new magic system. Even if this wasn't by one of my favorite current YA authors, a princess with magic going undercover as a spy sounds interesting enough.

Expectations: I'm expecting awesome world building. Awesome magic. And awesome characters.  


Judging a book by its cover: I love the cover. I like the way the O and Q intermingle. The cool colors of the cover matched with the caped figure add an air of mystique to the cover. I'm intrigued. 



--PAUL

BOOK BLITZ: Orenda by Ruth Silver - Guest Post + GIVEAWAY!


It's finally Friday again! Today, we're excited to be helping spread the word about Ruth Silver's YA Fantasy novel, Orenda. Ashley read and enjoyed this book (you can find her review here), and we're really glad that Ruth was able to take some time and write a quest post for us. 

Orenda is currently free on Amazon and iTunes, so make sure you snag a copy before the price goes up again. And don't forget to enter the giveaway for a $10 Amazon gift card by completing the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post!

About the Book

Title: Orenda (Orenda #1)
Author: Ruth Silver
Publication Date: December 5, 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Published By: Booktrope Publishing

Synopsis: Join forces with a parallel universe.

Dark forces, magical creatures, and the world Lil thought she knew collide when a dream transports her to the strange world of Orenda. Stunned and terrified, Lil comes face to face with her doppelganger, Willow, who possesses the ability to travel between the two worlds. Everything Lil knows logically says that Orenda can’t exist, but a small clue may be proof that it was more than an ordinary dream. With the threat of her sister in danger, Lil crosses dimensions but it may cost her even more than she bargained for.

A sword wielding girl, the eternal suit, and a parallel universe come together in this action-packed Young Adult fantasy adventure that will keep readers of all ages turning the pages. Orenda is the first novel in the Orenda series.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes 
(Orenda is currently FREE on Amazon and iTunes!)

  

About the Author


Ruth Silver first began writing poetry as a teenager and reading heaps of fan fiction in her free time. She has written under three unique pseudo names and penned well over a hundred stories.

She attended Northern Illinois University in 2001 and graduated with a Bachelor's in Communication. While in college she spent much of her free time writing with friends she met online and penning her first novel, "Deuces are Wild", which she self-published in 2004. Her favorite class was Creative Writing senior year where she often handed in assignments longer than the professor required because she loved to write and always wanted to finish her stories.

Her love of writing, led her on an adventure in 2007 to Melbourne, Australia. Silver enjoys reading YA novels and sharing her favorite books with other readers. She runs her own book blog and also enjoys photography and traveling.
 

Swearing in YA Novels

Teens swear. I think it’s naive to write a YA novel and use “dang”, “heck”, “shut the front door”, unless you are catering to an audience that’s twelve and you’re looking to capture that tween market. 
I don’t believe every words needs to be a swear word but I do feel like if it’s natural for the character to say, they shouldn’t avoid it either. 

Reading the Shadow Falls series, I was constantly annoyed by constant use of polite words for swearing (heck or dang). There were so many I felt pulled out of the story like I could be sitting there counting them. That series happens to be one of my favorites but I felt like the amount of “polite swear words” made the book geared towards twelve and up, instead of fourteen or fifteen and up. 

Overall, I felt like using “polite swear words” were probably overused and instead using the actual word once or twice would have been better and made the same impact.

I also feel it depends on the novel, the characters, and the situation. Are they just cursing because they’re a teenager not getting their way or are they in the middle of a post-apocalyptic war and about to die? To me the scene is important and what feels right should be expressed, to a certain degree. I don’t believe you should be needing to drop any F-bombs in YA fiction but there are other times that “dang” just doesn’t feel appropriate either.

The Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Thanks for stopping by! 

--Ashley & Paul




M9B FRIDAY REVEAL: Hunted by Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki - Chapter 3 + GIVEAWAY!

M9B-Friday-Reveal

Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!

This week, we are revealing Chapter 3 of  
Hunted (Sinners #2) by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki
presented by Month9Books!

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

Hunted
HUNTED is the electrifying sequel to the bestselling debut BRANDED, A Sinners Series, by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki.
It’s been three months since the revolt against the Commander’s fifty-year-old regime failed.
Under a new ruler, things were supposed to change. Get better.
But can anyone really be trusted?
Lexi and Cole soon find out, as life takes an unexpected turn for the worse.
In this ever-changing world, you must hunt or be hunted.
Lives will be lost.
Dreams will be crushed.
Fears will be realized.
Secrets will be exposed.
When Cole is once again faced with losing Lexi at the hands of a monster, one encounter will change everything.
Forever.
Connect with BRANDED fans on Instagram at:
#abiandmissy
#Sinnersfandom
#Sinnersseries
#Colexi
#Sinnersseriesbranded
#Brandedofficialfanpage
#Brandedfandom
#Lexihamilton
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Title: Hunted (Sinners #2)
Publication date: March 31, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki

Available for Pre-order:
amazon
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excerpt

You can read Chapter Three HERE!
Happy Reading and Enjoy!


About-the-Author


Abi and Missy 2
Abi and Missy met in the summer of 1999 at college orientation and have been best friends ever since. After college, they added jobs, husbands and kids to their lives, but they still found time for their friendship. Instead of hanging out on weekends, they went to dinner once a month and reviewed books. What started out as an enjoyable hobby has now become an incredible adventure.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr

Giveaway

Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!



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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Month9Books TWO FOR THURSDAY BLITZ: The Dragonrider Chronicles by Nicole Conway + GIVEAWAY!

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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:
Fledgling (The Dragonrider Chronicles, #1) by Nicole Conway
and
Avian (The Dragonrider Chronicles, #2) by Nicole Conway

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
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Can one boy stand between two kingdoms at war?
Jaevid Broadfeather has grown up as a wartime refugee, hiding from the world because of his mixed racial heritage. He feels his future is hopeless, until a chance encounter with a wild dragon lands him in Blybrig Academy—a place usually forbidden to anyone but the rich and royal. But Jaevid’s case is special; no dragon has voluntarily chosen a rider in decades, so the proud riders of Blybrig must begrudgingly let him join their brotherhood despite his bloodline. Lieutenant Sile Derrick, a sternly tempered man with a mysterious past, becomes his instructor and immediately takes a peculiar interest in Jaevid’s future.
While struggling through the rigorous physical demands of training, things begin to go awry. Jaevid witnesses the king’s private guards kidnapping Sile in the dead of night. When none of the elder riders are willing to help him, Jaevid begins a dangerous adventure to save his instructor.
Everything Jaevid learned at the academy will now be put to the ultimate test.
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Available for Purchase:

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What Readers are Saying:


“The author has taken the dragon concept putting her own unique spin and creating a captivating new series that spark the imagination.”Mandy, The Reading Diaries

Nicole Conway does a fantastic job creating her world and describing it in a way that the images fill my head while reading.”
Cassandra – Lost in Books

“It was a nice, fast read and I'm really hoping that we learn more about the Grey Elves, the war and the Dragons in future books because this series has the potential to be really great.”
Natalie – Book Lovers Life

Avian-Cover
What kind of power is lurking inside him? After a year of training to become a dragonrider, Jaevid Broadfeather has been sent home to rest during a three-month interlude. But when he returns to find the king drake has chosen Beckah Derrick as his new rider, Jaevid realizes something big is about to happen. Every fiber of his being is pushed to the breaking point as Jaevid battles through his avian year, preparing for the final graduation test of the battle scenario. But there is more standing in his way than a few pushups and fancy sword moves. Jaevid must face a new fear as he is tormented by a gruesome nightmare of a mysterious gray elf warrior murdering the royal family of Maldobar. It seems obvious to him that this is some kind of message about how the war started long ago—until Felix assures him the king is very much alive. With his strange powers growing stronger by the day, and that violent dream replaying in his mind every night, Jaevid no longer wonders if he will pass his avian year or not—he wonders if he will even survive it. The truth will soon be set loose.
add to goodreads
Available for Purchase:
amazon B&N

What Readers are Saying:


“I highly recommend this series to fans of Eragon and Lord of the Rings because those movies jump to mind a lot when I’m reading this series.”Cassandra – Lost in Books

“This was a very exciting book two that kept me turning the pages as fast as I could to see what would happen next.”
Jasmyn – Bitten by Romance

“This is a sequel of pure perfection!” – Nay – Nay’s Pink Bookshelf
about-the-author
NicoleConwayPhoto
Nicole is the author of the children’s fantasy series, THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES, about a young boy’s journey into manhood as he trains to become a dragonrider. She has completed the first two books in the series, and is now working on the third and final book.
Originally from a small town in North Alabama, Nicole moves frequently due to her husband’s career as a pilot for the United States Air Force. She received a B.A. in English with a concentration in Classics from Auburn University, and will soon attend graduate school.
She has previously worked as a freelance and graphic artist for promotional companies, but has now embraced writing as a full-time occupation.
Nicole enjoys hiking, camping, shopping, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. She also loves watching children’s movies and collecting books. She lives at home with her husband, two cats, and dog.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Giveaway
Complete the Rafflecopter for a chance to win!



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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Infinite (Gates of Thread and Stone #2) by Lori M. Lee - Paul's Pre Reading

*I received this book as an eARC from Amazon's Children's Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: The Infinite (Gates of Thread and Stone #2)

Author: Lori M. Lee
Recent Release Date: March 10, 2015

Paul's Review of Gates of Thread and Stone #1

Synopsis: The walls of Ninurta keep its citizens safe.

Kai always believed the only danger to the city came from within. Now, with a rebel force threatening the fragile government, the walls have become more of a prison than ever.

To make matters worse, as Avan explores his new identity as an Infinite, Kai struggles to remind him what it means to be human. And she fears her brother, Reev, is involved with the rebels. With the two people she cares about most on opposite sides of a brewing war, Kai will do whatever it takes to bring peace. But she’s lost her power to manipulate the threads of time, and she learns that a civil war might be the beginning of something far worse that will crumble not only Ninurta’s walls but also the entire city.

In this thrilling sequel to Gates of Thread and Stone, Kai must decide how much of her humanity she’s willing to lose to protect the only family she’s ever known. 



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Why?: I really enjoyed the world of the first book. It blended sci-fi and fantasy in an interesting way. Magic and technology. I found the end of the first book a little heavy on the exposition, but I think this sequel won't have that problem. I want to learn more about the world. 


Expectations:  I'm expecting to learn more about the past of this world. I want to know what the Infinites are all about. I am excited to see more of the cool blend of magic and technology. 


Judging a book by its cover: I really, really, really like this cover. The gray in the form of a cat is really cool. Kai looks more like a weathered warrior. The red eyes of the feline are so captivating. This is definitely a good cover. 



--PAUL

Swoon Romance YA Wednesday: Beautiful Curse by Jen McConnel + GIVEAWAY!

Beautiful-Curse-Banner

Welcome to this week’s
Swoon Romance YA Wednesdays!

This week features
Beautiful Curse by Jen McConnel
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Beautiful-Curse-Cover
Sixteen-year-old Mya Jones is cursed.
She is, hands down, the most beautiful creature on earth. But beauty can wound, and Mya finds herself reviled and shunned by her peers. If there is even a chance that she could start over, Mya longs to take it, no matter the risks.
So when the strange Mr. Merk offers her a new life away from home, Mya is hesitant but hopeful. Only she didn’t count on the mysterious Ross, or her feelings for him.
BEAUTIFUL CURSE is a contemporary retelling of the myth of Psyche and Cupid.
“Beautiful Curse is the perfect balance of mysterious and romantic. You’ll swoon over this imaginative retelling of Cupid and Psyche.” – Robin Constantine, author of THE PROMISE OF AMAZING
“A fun and fresh twist on a well-loved story! The Cupid and Psyche romance is my favorite myth and McConnel’s whimsical take did not disappoint. An absolute delight, I loved every moment of this love story and instantly wanted more.” – Rachel Harris, author of THE FINE ART OF PRETENDING
add to goodreads

Beautiful Curse by Jen McConnel
Publication Date: December 2014
Publisher: Swoon Romance

Available for Purchase:
amazon B&N

About-the-Author


Jen McConnel
Jen McConnel first began writing poetry as a child. Since then, her words have appeared in a variety of magazines and journals, including Sagewoman, PanGaia, and The Storyteller (where she won the people’s choice 3rd place award for her poem, “Luna”).
She is also a former reviewer for Voices of Youth Advocates (VOYA), and a proud member of SCBWI, NCWN, and SCWW.
A Michigander by birth, she now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina. She's a graduate of Western Michigan University, and she also earned her MS in Library Science at Clarion University of Pennsylvania.
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.
Follow Jen on Twitter @Jen_McConnel, and visit www.jenmcconnel.com to learn more.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!


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Friday, March 20, 2015

My Little Pony: Friends Forever Volume 3 - Paul's Review

*I received this book as an eARC from Diamond Book Distributors via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Title: 
My Little Pony: Friends Forever Volume 3
Authors:  Barbara Randall Kesel, Jay P. Fosgitt, Ted Anderson, Tony Fleecs, and Agnes Garbowska

Upcoming Release Date: March 24, 2015

Synopsis: The tales of friendship and fun continue! 

Granny visits an apple convention and is dismayed to see the Flim Flam brothers are up to their old tricks. 

Fluttershy gets an unexpected visit from the most aggressive guy around, Iron Will! 

Rainbow Dash is overjoyed when Wonderbolt Spitfire invites her to a special training camp. 

And, Pinkie Pie meets her match… in the form of delicious, irresistible snacks called PheNOMNOMenons!



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Review: Like the other My Little Pony comic books, this graphic novel is made up of a few smaller stories. Each story focuses on one of the ponies. The thing that I like about MLPFIM is the way they are able to teach good lessons in an entertaining way with subtle pop culture nods that only older folk will get. 


The first story is about Apple Con. Applejack and her family are heading to this Comic-Con-like convention to sell their apples. There are many great comparisons, especially from Granny. Orange and berry growers now attend the convention and it's just not the same as it used to be. There are also some Music Man references in this story. 

In the second story, Iron Will has come in search of Fluttershy for some help with his family. This tale shows the need of patience, kindness, and generosity. 

Rainbow Dash has a secret mission from Spitfire of the Wonderbolts. She learsn that even your heroes can have flaws. 

Pinkie Pie asks for Twilight Sparkles's help in avoiding her food nemesis, PheNOMNOMenons. This story is about breaking habits. I liked all the interesting food carts in this one. 

Overall, these tales are pretty great. They all teach lessons in fun and interesting ways. I highly recommend this to young fans of the show. If your child or relative is a fan, this or any of the other My Little Pony comics would be a great way to introduce a love for reading and/or comic books. I give this graphic novel a 4/5


--PAUL

M9B Friday Reveal: The Artisans by Julie Reece - Author Spotlight + GIVEAWAY!

M9B-Friday-Reveal

Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!

This week, we are spotlighting Julie Reece, author of The Artisans, presented by Month9Books!

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

Julie_Reece_Image_3-253x300
Get to Know Julie Reece in 10 Questions or Less!

Twitter or Facebook? -Both
Favorite Superhero? –One hero to rule them all: Thor
Favorite TV show? -Sherlock (British)
Sweet or Salty? -Ice cream is a food group.
Coke or Pepsi? -Tea (I’m a rebel)
Any Phobias? –Sharks and, ew, spiders … oh and drowning.
Song you can’t get enough of right now? –Caroline (or anything) by Kill It Kid *dies*
Who is your ultimate Book Boyfriend? ‘Weaver’ from May Webb’s, Precious Bane *swoons*
What are you reading right now or what's on your TBR? -Saving Francesca , by Melina Marchetta
Fall Movie you’re most looking forward to? –OMG! Crimson Peak and Mad Max:Fury Road
Born in Ohio, I lived next to my grandfather’s horse farm until the fourth grade. Summers were about riding, fishing and make-believe, while winter brought sledding and ice-skating on frozen ponds. Most of life was magical, but not all.
I struggled with multiple learning disabilities, did not excel in school. I spent much of my time looking out windows and daydreaming. In the fourth grade (with the help of one very nice teacher) I fought dyslexia for my right to read, like a prince fights a dragon in order to free the princess locked in a tower, and I won.
Afterwards, I read like a fiend. I invented stories where I could be the princess… or a gifted heroine from another world who kicked bad guy butt to win the heart of a charismatic hero. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? Later, I moved to Florida where I continued to fantasize about superpowers and monsters, fabricating stories (my mother called it lying) and sharing them with my friends.
Then I thought I’d write one down…
Hooked, I’ve been writing ever since. I write historical, contemporary, urban fantasy, adventure, and young adult romances. I love strong heroines, sweeping tales of mystery and epic adventure… which must include a really hot guy. My writing is proof you can work hard to overcome any obstacle. Don’t give up. I say, if you write, write on!


Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
They say death can be beautiful. But after the death of her mother, seventeen-year-old RAVEN WEATHERSBY gives up her dream of becoming a fashion designer, barely surviving life in the South Carolina lowlands.
To make ends meet, Raven works after school as a seamstress creating stunning works of fashion that often rival the great names of the day.
Instead of making things easier on the high school senior, her stepdad’s drinking leads to a run in with the highly reclusive heir to the Maddox family fortune, Gideon Maddox.
But Raven’s stepdad’s drying out and in no condition to attend the meeting with Maddox. So Raven volunteers to take his place and offers to repay the debt in order to keep the only father she’s ever known out of jail, or worse.
Gideon Maddox agrees, outlining an outrageous demand: Raven must live in his home for a year while she designs for Maddox Industries’ clothing line, signing over her creative rights.
Her handsome young captor is arrogant and infuriating to the nth degree, and Raven can’t imagine working for him, let alone sharing the same space for more than five minutes.
But nothing is ever as it seems. Is Gideon Maddox the monster the world believes him to be? And can he stand to let the young seamstress see him as he really is?
The Artisans is a delectably rich, layered and dark YA Southern Gothic inspired by Jeanne Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s classic Beauty and the Beast.
The Artisans has all the elements I love – spooky intrigue, strong friendships, and a romantic tension to be savored.” ~ Wendy Higgins, New York Times bestselling author of the Sweet Evil trilogy.
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Title: The Artisans
Publication date: May 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Julie Reece

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The book will be sent upon the titles release.



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