Love and Longing in the Bright Lights of London — Swan Song by @BookishLotte #YA #books


Swan Song cover art

 

Title

Swan Song

 

Author

Charlotte Wilson

 

Genre

Young Adult

 

 

Book Blurb

LOVE AND LONGING IN THE BRIGHT LIGHTS OF LONDON

 

When iconic ballerina Beatrice Duvall died, a nation mourned – and a legacy was born. Sixteen years later, her daughter Ava comes to London to take part in a high-profile tribute to Beatrice, and to learn about the mother she never knew.

 

There’s just one snag: the tribute is a ballet, Swan Lake. Which is infinitely painful for Ava, because she can’t dance. Won’t dance. Not since she quit the Royal Ballet School last year and walked away from everything that defined her.

 

But this is London, colourful and crazy, and with actor Seb at her side, there’s so much to discover. Like Theatreland razzmatazz and rooftop picnics and flamingo parties. And a whole load of truths Ava never knew about her mother – and herself.

 

When the time comes to take the stage, will Ava step out of the shadow cast by her mother’s pedestal? And who will be waiting for her there, in the bright lights?

 

A coming-of-age novel about family and first love, in the city of hopes and dreams.

 

Excerpt

The Tube from Turnham Green is quiet, until we reach Earl’s Court, where it starts filling up. By the time we get to Victoria I’m in a scrum spilling out onto the platform. I find the Victoria Line platform and shoe-horn myself into a carriage; Seb would be proud of my elbow action.

 

At Oxford Circus I’m carried by a sea of shoppers up the escalators, across the foyer and up some steps to the street level. I’ve managed to come out the right exit, opposite the flagship Topshop. The massive store calls to me. Now that’s where to buy a dress for the tribute. Simple and trendy. I dread to think what Thisbe’s wardrobe department contact is going to make me. Something showbiz, I guess: long and loud and sparkly. Ugh.

 

But I don’t want to offend Thisbe, who’s called in a favour, apparently, to get me a dress sewn so quickly. So, with a sigh, I turn my back on Topshop and trudge down Argyll Street. When I see the Palladium, like a classical temple with massive columns, my mood lifts. At least I’m getting to visit one of London’s most historic theatres, where anyone who’s anyone has performed over the years, from Elvis Presley to Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra to Ella Fitzgerald, Elton to Adele – even The Muppets have taken to this stage. I wonder: will I get to stand on the stage?

 

Nope, is the answer. I don’t even see the auditorium. A security guard shows me from the foyer down into the underbelly of the theatre, to a small, windowless room made even smaller by its many contents: two dressmaker’s dummies, a hanging rail of costumes, shelves of fabric and haberdashery, and a desk for the sewing machine. I barely have time to make a mental comparison of this room and the wardrobe department at the Royal Opera House – in a big room overlooking the Piazza and flooded with light – before a girl springs out from behind one of the dummies and hugs me.

 

Hugs me?

 

Thankfully, it’s brief. She steps back and beams. I smile back automatically, and in a second I take her in: round, rosy face, electric-blue eyes, dark wavy hair. She’s a little older than me, maybe twenty, and wearing stylish jeans and a really unusual shirt covered with little embroidered seahorses.

 

“You’re Cara Cavendish?” I say, daring to hope that maybe my dress won’t end up being horrendously glitzy after all.

 

“The one and only,” she says cheerfully. “And you’re Ava-who-needs-a-dress. Thisbe explained. Sit, sit…” She pulls out a little stool from under the desk and I perch on it.

 

Cara walks around me in a circle, eying me up and down. “Easy-peasy,” she declares. “Dancers’ forms are so simple to dress.”

 

“Oh,” I say. “I’m not a dancer.”

 

She completes her circuit and leans on the desk, looking curiously at me. “But you’re Beatrice Duvall’s daughter,” she says.

 

The name gives me a jolt, but I manage to reply evenly: “That doesn’t make me a dancer.”

 

“’Course not,” says Cara. “I mean, my mum was an architect, and look at me! But I heard you were training to be a dancer like your mother. With the Royal Ballet.”

 

“I was. I… stopped.”

 

“Oh. Why was that then?”

 

I frown at Cara. She smiles back at me.

 

“Did Thisbe put you up to this?” I ask.

 

“Up to what?”

 

“All the questions.”

 

“Oh, no. That’s just me. My brother’s always telling me I’m blunt, because I don’t go in for all that evasive British crap – ignoring the elephant in the room. Better to lay it all out there and say, ‘My mum’s dead, and it sucks.’ You know?”

 

“Not really,” I reply honestly. I’ve never said those words in my life.

 

Cara nods like I’ve said something profound. Then, to my relief, she claps her hands and says, “Let’s talk dresses.”

 

After a quick-fire round of questions designed to establish my style, Cara hands me a scrapbook in which she’s pasted cuttings, photos and drawings of formal dresses, and she talks me through cuts, lengths, necks, sleeves and fabrics. Somewhere around the midi dress page I begin to come undone.

 

“What is it?” she says.

 

“Nothing,” I say.

 

“Something,” she says. “You look like you’re about to have a panic attack. Is it claustrophobia? This room is a little dinky.”

 

“It’s not that. It’s…”

 

She waits expectantly. I gesture to the scrapbook.

 

“It’s just all a bit real, suddenly, looking at these dresses. I mean, I’ve got to wear one and stand on a stage at the Royal Opera House in front of people. Lots of people.”

 

“Ah,” she says. “Yeah, I’d be a wreck doing that. But you’ve performed on stage before, right?”

 

“Sure. Plenty of times. But this isn’t a performance. I have to be myself. I mean…”

 

“You mean you have to be your mother’s daughter. And your mother was the legendary Beatrice Duvall.”

 

Startled, I nod. She gets it. I don’t even know this girl, but she gets it.

 

“So,” Cara says, plucking the scrapbook off my lap and leafing through the pages, “what you need, besides the strength to get on that stage, is a really kick-ass dress. A dress that makes you feel tall and powerful and goddam beautiful, like nothing can touch you while you’re wearing it. Ah-ha. Here. This one. What do you think?”

 

The dress illustration jumps right off the page. It’s bold, it’s simple, it’s glamorous, it shouts “designer”: a strapless bodice with criss-crossing satin ribbons and a flowing skirt with chiffon overskirt ending just on the knee.

 

“Wow,” I say. “You can make that? In time?”

 

She grins. “Hell yeah.”

 

“And you think I can pull that off?”

 

Her grin widens. “Hell yeah.”

 

Buy Links

https://www.amazon.com/Swan-Song-Charlotte-Wilson-ebook/dp/B075D4XH1V/

 

Charlotte Wilson

 

Author Biography

Once upon a time a little girl told her grandmother that when she grew up she wanted to be a writer. Or a lollipop lady. Or a fairy princess. ‘Write, Charlotte,’ her grandmother advised. So that’s what she did.

Thirty-odd years later, Charlotte writes the kind of books she loves to read: romances. She lives in a village of Greater Manchester with her husband and two children, and when she’s not reading or writing, you’ll find her walking someplace green, baking up a storm or embarking on a DIY project. She recently achieved a lifetime ambition of creating a home library for her ever-increasing collection of books. She pretends not to notice that the shelves are rather wonky.

 

Social Media Links

Website: http://bookishcharlotte.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bookishcharlotte/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BookishLotte

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bookishcharlotte/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15932269.Charlotte_Wilson

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Charlotte-Wilson/e/B00TDH4XLS/

 

 

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One Strike Will Bring Them Together – Thunderstruck by @brendadrake #YA #Mythology #Romance




 

Thunderstruck
Brenda Drake
Published by: Entangled Crave
Publication date: September 11th 2017
Genres: Mystery, Mythology, Romance

 

Stevie Moon is famous…at least to the subscribers on her comic review vlog. At school, she’s as plain as the gray painted walls in the cafeteria. So when Blake, the hot new guy at school, shows an interest in her, she knows trouble when she sees it. Been there. And never doing it again.

 

As the son of the god Thor, Blake Foster’s been given an important mission—to recover the Norse god Heimdall’s sacred and powerful horn before someone uses it to herald in the destruction of the entire universe. But while Blake is great in a fight, the battlefield that is a high school’s social scene is another matter.

 

Blake knows his only choice is to team up with the adorable Stevie, but she’s not willing to give him even the time of day. He’ll need to woo the girl and find the horn if he hopes to win this war. Who better to tackle Stevie’s defenses than the demi-god of thunder?

 

“Every page brims with captivating Norse mythology and deliciously creative worldbuilding.” Pintip Dunn, New York Times bestselling author.

 

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

EXCERPT:

After disposing of the troll, Blake rushed to May’s house and showered. His thoughts kept going to Stevie. After hearing what Jörd said to him, he wanted to see her. The pull to go to her was too strong. He had no choice but to give in to it.

He climbed the tree outside Stevie’s room and sat on the branch. A blue light blinked on and off inside the room. He lightly tapped on the window. Muffled voices from within the room hummed against the glassed pane.

The curtain pushed aside. Amira was close to Stevie’s back when the curtain slid to the side. Stevie said something to Amira that Blake couldn’t hear through the thick glass. Amira turned away and dropped onto the bed. Stevie flipped the locks and opened the window.

“You scared the shit out of us,” Stevie snapped.

Amira crossed her arms. “Yeah, we’re watching scary movies here.”

Blake tried not to laugh, but he couldn’t hold it in. “My apologies. Can I have a moment alone with you, Stevie?”

“With me?” She glanced back.

“No.” Amira heaved a sigh. “With the other Stevie in the room.”

“Where do you want to go?”

He reached his hand out to her. “Out here is fine.”

She narrowed her gaze on him. “I don’t think so.”

“Come on,” he said. “It’s perfectly safe. This branch is thick. Trust me.”

“Stop being a chicken and go already. I have to pee.” Amira shuffled off.

Stevie hesitated before grabbing his hand and letting him guide her out the window and onto the branch. “This is crazy, you know that?”

“If you never throw caution to the wind, you’ll never be rewarded.” He sat on the branch and held her hand as she came down beside him. Her hand was warm and soft in his, and he wanted to hold it forever.

The loose pajama bottoms she wore had cats on them. Her pink tank top rode up a little and exposed a bit of her midriff. Her light-brown hair, the color of the acorns he’d gathered with his grandmother when he was a boy, rose in the wind behind her. Wide, dark eyes met his, her full lips parted in a smile.

“What did you want?” She glanced at the ground. “Wow, this is pretty high.”

“Don’t worry. I won’t let you fall.” He slid his hand across her lower back and held her waist. She shivered. “Are you cold?”

“A little,” she said.

“Hold on.” He let her go, shrugged off his hoodie, and draped it around her shoulders.

“Thank you.”

She held it closed at the zipper. He returned his arm around her, grasping her waist. She shuddered, and he smiled at her response to his touch.

“You didn’t answer me,” she said. “What did you want to talk to me about?”

“Actually, I’m not here to talk,” he said. “Have you ever had an urge to do something, and once it’s in your head, you can’t sleep or think until you do the thing?”

“I guess.” When she looked over at him, they locked eyes and an intensity passed between them like the energy he felt in the handle of his hammer after catching lightning with it. He noticed a faint scar just above her cupid’s bow.

“How did you get the scar?” he asked.

“Scar?” She glanced down at her chest.

“Not there,” he whispered, lifting her chin to look into her eyes. “On your lip.”

She touched it. “Oh this? It’s an embarrassing story. Let’s just say, I learned to watch where I’m walking, especially when poles are around.”

He chuckled. “I can imagine what happened.”

She lowered her head again, her feet kicking back and forth.

He decided to take his chance and cupped her face in his hands, bringing her face to his and kissing her. It was a gentle, wanting kiss. Her lips were soft and warm against his. She tasted like May’s brownies. When Stevie hadn’t responded to his kiss, he was about to release her, but then her lips began moving with his. He cradled her in his arms and they balanced together on the branch.

 

Author Bio:

 

Brenda Drake is a New York Times bestselling author of young adult fiction. She grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical. When she’s not writing or hanging out with her family, she haunts libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or reads someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

 

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Original Soundtrack Reveal — A French Girl in New York by @ADAMSANNA1 #YA #books


Continue reading Original Soundtrack Reveal — A French Girl in New York by @ADAMSANNA1 #YA #books

Masked by J. D. Wright @everealmbyjdw Spotlight + #Giveaway! #superheroes #YA


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Masked
by J.D. Wright
Genre: Upper YA Paranormal/Superheroes
Release Date: August 15th 2017
Limitless Publishing

MASKED Ebook

Summary:
Vada’s To-Do List:

  • Turn 18 (check!)

  • Register super name

  • Order supersuit

  • Attend superhero indoctrination

  • Graduate high school

  • Start kicking criminal tail

Vada Lawson can’t wait to be a superhero. Born into a family with special powers, she’s been training to fight criminals and villains her whole life. But her indoctrination into the underground super community is derailed when normals start breaking out in superpowers themselves.

Not trained to control their new abilities, the normals are frightened and vulnerable. Then their mutilated corpses begin turning up all over town. What the heck?

Somehow, with the help—and hindrance—of an annoying newly-minted super named Orion, Vada has to stop the chaos before it destroys her and everything she holds dear…and ruins her superhero debut.

No one ever said that being a superhero was easy…

Character Bio - VadaCharacter Bio - VictorCharacter Bio - Nick

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Buy Links:

Amazon – http://a.co/9P0AvL8

Barnes & Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/masked-jd-wright/1126934525?ean=9781640341791

JDWright

About the Author
J.D. Wright is a military wife, mother of four, and author of paranormal and fantasy romance books filled with strong-willed heroines, swoon-worthy heroes, and sprinkled with humor and adventure. J.D. creates artistry in many ways, as a baker and cake artist by day and author by night. You can usually find her typing away at the computer or covered in frosting.
Since discovering she has a knack for writing, J.D. has so far written and self-published eight books of the Everealm and Songs of Everealm Series and is now venturing into the world of paranormal with her new superhero-themed series. She is an avid reader and lover of all things romance so she always includes a good love story in her paranormal and fantasy novels.

Author Links:

Website – http://www.authorjdwright.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/authorjdwright/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/everealmbyjdw

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/authorjdwright/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9327703.J_D_W_

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/everealmbyjdw/

Google+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JDWrightAuthor

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Peculiar County by @StuartRWest is Anything But Ordinary! #YAParanormal #YA #Paranormal


Continue reading Peculiar County by @StuartRWest is Anything But Ordinary! #YAParanormal #YA #Paranormal

One boy, One rite… The Rite of Wands by @MackenzieFlohr #fantasy #OurAuthorGang #YA


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Title The Rite of Wands

Author Mackenzie Flohr

Genre YA Fantasy

Publisher BHC Press

 

Book Blurb

One boy…one Rite… And a world of deadly secrets that could change the course of history—forever.

And so begins the tale of Mierta McKinnon. When a horrible fate reveals itself during his Rite of Wands ceremony, he must find a way to change not only his destiny but also the land of Iverna’s.

Forbidden from revealing the future he foresees to anyone, he is granted a wand and his magical powers, but still must master the realm of magic in order to save himself and those he loves.

But Mierta is not the only one with secrets…especially when it’s impossible to know who to trust.

 

Giveaway through Rafflecopter

Enter to win one of two signed copies of The Rite of Wands by Mackenzie Flohr

 

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e6e9c2d31/?

 

Excerpt

DRACONIERA MOUNTAIN-
THE KINGDOM OF ARACELLY
1238 CE

 

“Mierta McKinnon.”

 

The twelve–year–old warlock gave a start, hearing his name announced telepathically. Mierta stood up on shaky legs and brushed his brown bangs out of his green eyes. The room inside Draconiera Mountain was suffocating. Hot springs bubbling up from deep beneath the ground created a dense fog, which pushed down on Mierta’s shoulders. Sweat was already dripping from his brow onto his long dark royal blue robe. His heart raced as he approached a large wooden door. He occasionally glanced over at others who were anxiously waiting their turn, wondering which of those he made eye contact with would succeed.

 

No matter what happens. No matter what I see. I cannot allow my fears to overcome me, Mierta told himself. I will achieve what I have come to do. I cannot fail. I won’t. I will make Mother and Father proud.

 

A loud creaking echoed across the room, and the ground shook underneath his feet. Two tall wooden doors opened up to a pathway of complete darkness.

 

“Step inside,” he heard the dragon say. Mierta swallowed hard and expelled air through his mouth.

 

Upon entering the pathway, a warm mist rose from below. Water splashed against rocks, and occasional water droplets hit his skin. A faint glow shined in the near distance. He walked towards the glow until he found himself in a large circular cavern. In the centre of this cavern was a short round pedestal. An opening off towards the right appeared as if it was open–aired, and off to the left side was another doorway, which was currently closed.

 

Mierta gazed up at the source of the glow and caught a glimpse of the magnificent creature standing on a rocky ledge. He could hear his pulse beating in his ears. He felt like his body was paralysed, yet he felt unsteady. His own rapid breathing masked the sound of Lord Kaeto stepping into the light.

 

Mierta gasped, shielding his eyes against the bright yellow light from Lord Kaeto’s wings, trying to conquer his fear. When his eyes adjusted, he noted the ebony veins that traced a pattern like the rivers in the valley. The veins seemed to pulse with power.

 

“Lord Kaeto,” Mierta uttered, bowing, keeping his eyes averted to the ground.

 

Lord Kaeto was the last of his kind—an omniscient ancient breed of telepathic dragons that had been around for longer than any could remember. The residents of the kingdom looked at him as if he were a God, straight from the stories of old.

 

“Mierta McKinnon. Rise,” he spoke. “It is your time to partici- pate in the Rite of Wands in which your soul shall face the ultimate analysis. You will be taken on a journey of your lifetime, viewing por- tions of your past, present, and future. Do you concede?”

 

“Yes,” Mierta answered, his voice breaking.

 

Buy Links

Amazon: https://t.co/ftq6hGnAee

 

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2neguFt

 

Books-A-Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Rite-Wands/MacKenzie-Flohr/9781946006431?id=6822639925501

 

IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781946006431

 

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1212546091

 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-rite-of-wands

 

Waterstones: http://bit.ly/2ng09AK

 

Mackenzie Flohr

 

Author Biography

Mackenzie is the author of The Rite of Wands, a young adult fantasy series. Her debut novel was released on March 10, 2017, and has already gathered hype and received some incredible reviews.

Mackenzie Flohr grew up in Ohio, chasing leprechauns and rainbows and dreaming of angels. Her parents nurtured a love of fantasy and make-believe by introducing her at a very young age to the artistic and cultural opportunities that the state of Ohio had to offer.

She wanted to write a fantasy of her own, one that could inspire imagination in others and lead them into a magical world of their own making.

Wherever we live and wherever we come from is our individual heartland. Anything is possible and everything can happen. Pure imagination is in all of us—we only need to discover it, and sometimes story telling helps.

 

Social Media Links

Website: http://www.mackenzieflohr.com

 

Publisher’s Page: http://www.bhcpress.com/Author_Mackenzie_Flohr.html
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/mackenzieflohr

 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MackenzieFlohrAuthor/

 

Twitter: http://www.twitter/MackenzieFlohr

 

The Ghost Chronicles, Book 1 by @MarloBerliner #YA #Paranormal #bookreview


TGCCover

 

Title: The Ghost Chronicles, Book 1

Author: Marlo Berliner

Genre: Upper YA Paranormal with Adult Crossover Appeal

 

Book Blurb:

Can Michael get to heaven before the devil gets him first, and if it means leaving Sarah is he sure he still wants to go?

 

Michael Andrews had everything – a loving family, a great girlfriend and a promising basketball career. That was before the accident that took his life. Now, he’s a ghost, wandering among the living, struggling to understand why he’s stuck. All he wants is to move on.

 

That is until he meets Sarah, an attractive young girl who died just as tragically as he did. The only trouble is falling in love and binding oneself to another soul is forbidden, for it may keep one or both of the souls bound to earth for longer than they should be.

 

To make matters worse, there’s also a danger in going too far with Sarah, because the “joining” of two souls in the afterlife is also strictly forbidden and they don’t know what will happen if they do go that far. Each time they touch they can feel the boundaries of their energies slipping perilously into one another.

 

Things get even more complicated as Michael learns he’s being pursued. Demons are after him because he’s a marked soul, a soul the devil wants very badly for some unknown reason.

 

So, maybe falling in love in the afterlife isn’t such a good idea.

 

 

My Review:

Michael Andrews has a charmed life, that is, until his young life is cut short due to an accident. But contrary to popular belief, he doesn’t move on to Heaven or Hell; he’s roaming haplessly among the living. Not sure what to do or how to feel, he clings to the past and pines for the future he’ll never get. But then he meets Tom who becomes like a mentor to him. He discovers he’s got the Devil on his tail, hunting him down to drag him into Hell. Just when the afterlife was getting interesting…

 

Michael on the run when he bumps into Sarah, a ghost just like him, and they instantly connect. Can two spirits fall in love? Anything is possible but it’s against the ghostly rules. Is their love affair over before it starts and why does the Devil want his soul so badly?

 

I’m a huge paranormal fan and this ghostly tale, while not scary in any way, sheds light on what the afterlife might be like. Confusing, sad, overwhelming, happy, are some of the emotions portrayed which made me think long after I finished the book.

 

I took a full star off my rating for the abrupt ending. I know that this is book one in the series but for me to read the next one, there needs to be some kind of conclusion, a plot arc closed, something. Disappointing.

 

I loved the backdrop of New Jersey and the author’s descriptive narration transported me. The world-building in The Ghost Chronicles, while not 100% original, suspended my disbelief completely. I was completely taken into Michael’s head through his POV and his reactions made it an excellent read. The romance, while sweet, made me smile. Michael and Sarah are so cute together, exploring love and desire as ghosts.

 

If you love paranormal with a touching romance, pick this up today. I look forward to reading book two and seeing what happens next.

 

Favorite Character/Quote: “To be warm again, to tingle again, to feel again, these sensations were so familiar, yet already so forgotten.”

 

My Rating: 4 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon –

US – https://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Chronicles-Marlo-Berliner-ebook/dp/B017DWXPTA/

 

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ghost-Chronicles-Marlo-Berliner-ebook/dp/B017DWXPTA/

 

Barnes & Noble –

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-ghost-chronicles-marlo-berliner/1123052689?ean=9780996972413

 

Walmart –

https://www.walmart.com/ip/The-Ghost-Chronicles/54934980

 

marloheadshot

 

Author Biography:

Marlo Berliner is the award-winning author of THE GHOST CHRONICLES, her debut book which was released in November 2015 to critical acclaim. The book won the 2016 NJRW Golden Leaf Award for Best First Book, was named a FINALIST in the National Indie Excellence Awards for Young Adult Fiction, received the Literary Classics Seal of Approval, and was awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion. Marlo is represented by Eric Ruben of the Ruben Agency and she writes young adult, women’s fiction, and short stories. Marlo is also a freelance editor with Chimera Editing. Her second book, THE GHOST CHRONICLES BOOK 2, will be released in August 2017.

 

When she’s not writing or editing, Marlo loves reading, relaxing at the beach, watching movies, and rooting for the Penn State Nittany Lions. After having spent some wonderful time in Pittsburgh and Houston, she’s now back in her home state of New Jersey where she resides with her husband, two sons, and a rambunctious puppy named Max.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: www.marloberliner.com

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Marlo-Berliner/e/B017EVF4AS
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarloBerliner
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marloberliner
Instagram: https://instagram.com/marloberliner
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14560514.Marlo_Berliner

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

 

Right Text, Wrong Number by Natalie Decker @AuthorNatDecker #romance #YA #giveaway




 

Right Text Wrong Number
Natalie Decker
(Offsides, #1)
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: July 11th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

High school juniors, Layla and Tyler, are complete opposites. Sure she’s a cheerleader and he’s a football player, but she thinks he’s the biggest jerk in the school and he thinks she is too high on her horse to even be worth of a second glance from him. And when the two of them are near one another, sparks fly in all the wrong directions. They are NOT interested in speaking to one another, let alone date.

 

But when Layla unknowingly sends Tyler a smack-down text meant for the girl sending naked photos to her then-boyfriend, Adam, Tyler has no idea it’s Layla and decides to play along. After all, Tyler cannot resist messing with the pissed off girl firing off texts about junk pictures, cheating, and girl code.

 

As the fallout from Adam’s sexting scandal plays out in front of the entire school, Tyler and Layla secretly continue to text one another using fake names. But as days and weeks pass, things take a turn for the serious between them, and suddenly, their texts mean more. They both begin to consider revealing their true identity to the other and taking the relationship from texts to dates, then kissing and maybe more.

 

They say there’s a thin line between love and hate. Can reality live up to the fantasy, or will Layla and Tyler be forever offsides?

 

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Beep! Beeeeeeeeep! “Stop screwing with your phone and pay attention to the road!” I blow my horn some more. The light is green, has been for a good forty seconds. I glance over at my best friend for some support for my general crabbiness this morning. She’s not giving it though, she’s too busy tapping away on her own cellphone.

 

“You believe this guy? Same to you, Buddy!” I yell as I catch his middle finger pop up in front of his rearview mirror.

 

Rachel doesn’t say anything. She’s still engrossed in messages from whomever is texting her. Possibly the latest gossip, or party happening. Who knows?

 

I’m usually a perky, non-violent person. All of this has seemed to change recently. I saw an episode on the news about how much society is turning into walking mutants because they’re so absorbed in their phones. You won’t catch me searching for the perfect snap shot of yourself, only to be mauled by a huge mountain lion ready to pounce from behind. I don’t want to be mauled by some crazy animal in a park. I mean how awful would that be, death-by-selfie. So, I gave up on taking poses in the cute outfits I wear and selfies altogether.

 

And don’t get me started on texting. I loathe it. I know what you’re thinking. What kind of weirdo hates texting? The kind who’s dyslexic. And when everything looks like absolute gibberish anyway, and now I have to read words on a small screen just to find out who made out with whom; no thanks. If it weren’t for my text-to-voice app, I’d be screwed. People would think I’m a complete airhead because I couldn’t decipher a silly text.

 

“Sorry; what were you having a beyotch fit about?” Rachel asks drawing my eyes from the road and landing on her. “Austin was telling me what happened to Jared during football practice yesterday. Plus, I guess there is this monster party after the game Friday. You in or out?” She looks up from her phone.

 

“In,” I answer reverting my attention to the line of cars turning into the school’s parking lot. I know my boyfriend Adam will want to go hang out with his team so it’s a given that I’ll be tagging along. Although I really would rather it just be him and me this weekend. Lately we’re either in group functions, at parties, on double dates at the movies, or hanging out with his friends. I just want some me-time with him. No disgusting belching contests happening in the background or listening to other couples make out next to me. Gross.

 

“Austin wants to know if your sister’s coming?”

 

This question shakes me from my miserable funk, and I snort laugh. My twin sister at a party? HA-HA-HA. OMG; I think I peed my pants a little. “That’s not happening. Unless the words ‘book,’ ‘ComicCon,’ or ‘mud’ were in front of the word ‘party.’ Then she’d probably go. But yeah; no. Why’s does he want to know? Is he crushing on my sister?” That could be news I could get down with.

 

“He said one of the guys was asking.”

 

Raising a brow, I inquire, “Which one?” It’s probably Chase, but that would be weird considering he’s her best friend and knows her daily schedule.

She’s tapping away again as I pull up to the school parking lot. “He won’t say.”

 

“Why not?”

 

“Do you really care or are you just morbidly interested that someone might actually like your super wacked out sister?”

 

“She’s not … wacked out.”

 

Rachel is my best friend, but she’s not a fan of my sister, Juliet. In fact, she pretty much despises her. My twin isn’t mean or anything, she’s just … super smart. And sometimes tends to let her geekiness fly. She can recite the first five chapters of each Harry Potter book. She knows all the lines word-for-word in every Star Wars movie. Every stinkin’ one.

 

Speaking of my awesome twin, she pulls up next to me and slams her Jeep door. “You did it again! You know you only have one simple chore. One. And every time I get stuck with it.”

 

I roll my eyes at her. “Calm down, sis. I’ll get it next time.”

 

She smiles wickedly at me. It’s like looking in a mirror since our physical features are almost exactly the same. The only one small difference isn’t something most people notice just from looking at our faces: she has a small birthmark on her neck just below her ear, shaped like a heart, whereas I do not. Everything else is definitely the same, from the dark, rich brown hair to the mossy-green eyes, right down to the height of a whopping 5’6”. I’ve thought about cutting my waist-length hair to my shoulders just so people can tell us apart.

 

“You say that every time! I’m done helping you out Layla. Maybe next time instead of rushing off to get Starbucks, see Adam, or pick up your BFF you’ll do your chores and stop putting them on me. I have a life too you know.”

 

Rachel cuts in. “You have a life, since when?”

 

“Butt out Rach.” I shift my attention back to my sister who is currently glaring at my bestie. “Juliet, I’m sorry,” I say.

 

Her eyes cut to me. She shakes her head and walks away. I call out, “Juliet.” She doesn’t look back. Instead, she flips me off—and okay this time —I rightly deserve it.

 

I totally thought she’d take out the recycling for me again. “Dang it. Mom’s going to kill me.”

 

“This is why your sister is a freak,” Rachel says as we head into the school. Once we’re inside, she ditches me for Austin and I head to my destination, Adam.

 

 

Author Bio:

 

Natalie Decker is the author of RIVAL LOVE series and the Scandalous Boys series. She loves oceans, sunsets, sand between her toes, and carefree days. Her imagination is always going, which some find odd. But she believes in seeing the world in a different light at all times. Her first passion for writing started at age twelve when she had to write a poem for English class. However, seventh grade wasn’t her favorite time and books were her source of comfort. She took all college prep classes in High school, and attended the University of Akron. Although she studied Mathematics she never lost her passion for writing or her comfort in books. She’s a mean cook in the kitchen, loves her family and friends and her awesome dog infinity times infinity. If she’s not writing, reading, traveling, hanging out with her family and friends, then she’s off having an adventure. Because Natalie believes in a saying: Your life is your own journey, so make it amazing!

Find out more visit: http://www.authornataliedecker.com

 

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Treasure of Gwenlais by Award-Winning @Mtmagee1013M #bookreview #YA #romanticfantasy


The Treasure of Gwenlais

 

Title: The Treasure of Gwenlais: The Rienfield Chronicles Book 1

Author: M. T. Magee

Genre: Historical Fantasy, Celtic Fantasy, Fantasy Romance

 

Book Blurb:

Multi Award Winning International Amazon Bestseller #1 Best Fantasy Romance (not urban) On Listopia “An enchanting love story wrapped in an epic fantasy” -Amazon Reviewer

 

Can a reluctant Princess fulfill her destiny to heal the torn Kingdoms and the heart of a battle-hardened warrior Prince? Join Laurel on an extraordinary journey of discovery, danger, wonder, and finding a love she only dared dream of. Come with her to find the truth of who she is, and those who will do anything to stop her from making the words of the Olden Scribes a reality. A love story that will leave you breathless and believing in the wonder of Scottish and Irish folklore and fairy tales.

 

Come and experience the beauty, danger, and romance of an epic historical medieval fantasy that whispers of Celtic legend.

 

My Review:

I’m a huge romantic fantasy fan and if you throw in Celtic/Scottish folklore within a medieval historical time period, I’m in pure heaven! This is such a book.

 

Princess Laurel of Gwenlais is out with her mother (the queen) when The Rabkins attack, killing Laurel’s mother and many other women and children. Fleeing for her life and almost killed herself, she escapes death thanks to the quick-thinking Prince Caleb of Heathwin. When Laurel realizes it was Caleb who’s saved her life, she is awe-struck, as she’s had a crush on him for as long as she can remember. But she knows it’s not meant to be, not when their kingdoms continue to feud.

 

Prince Caleb is tired of war and wants peace for himself and his kingdom. When he rescues Princess Laurel from execution, he realizes she’s special, though he can’t put his finger on it. Maybe it’s the way she treats him, like a god or something, with love in her eyes. He starts falling for her and wonders if she might be the instrument of peace he so craves. Can he let down his guard and give Laurel his heart or will he die trying?

 

A beautiful, moving fantasy gem with colorful characters, plenty of action and a core message anyone can relate to. Life deals Laurel a tough hand and she’s got to figure out who to trust and whether to follow her destiny. Along the way, she falls in love and while that’s wonderful, she must learn how to grow with Caleb if peace is to happen. The romance was slow-burning and it made my heart swell with emotion.

 

I loved the Celtic and Scottish folklore in this book. It brought a mystical depth to the story and I was plunged into Magee’s world. I couldn’t put it down and was sad when it ended. I can’t wait to read the next installment in the series. A must read!

 

Favorite Character/Quote: Laurel. I love a strong yet feminine female protagonist and Laurel has such strength for someone so young. She’s dealt a life-changing blow and while she’s trying to figure out what it all means, she meets Caleb. Torn between duty and love, she must find her purpose in life and save her kingdom.

 

My Rating:  5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Treasure-Gwenlais-Rienfield-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B015IQ0LW2/

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Treasure-Gwenlais-Rienfield-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B015IQ0LW2/

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Treasure-Gwenlais-Rienfield-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B015IQ0LW2/

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34939837-the-treasure-of-gwenlais-the-rienfield-chronicles-book-1

 

MT Magee

 

Author Biography:

I am an international #1 bestselling author of #YA historical medieval epic fantasy, that is beautifully romantic and whispers of Gaelic legend. I am very honored to also be listed as Listopia’s #1 Fantasy Romance (not urban) as well as #1Best First Book in a Fantasy or Sci-fi series.

 
I live in New England on a small farm with my husband Francis Magee, and son Charles. My oldest son Tyler just moved to North Carolina where he is a very busy restaurant manager.

 
My favorite authors are Tolkien, Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, and the earlier works of Terry Brooks.

 
I have always loved fantasy especially that in the epic scope. It has to be romantic, because what is epic fantasy without an epic romance.

 

 

Social Media Links:

https://www.facebook.com/therienfieldchronicles/

https://therienfieldchronicles.com/

https://twitter.com/Mtmagee1013M

https://www.pinterest.com/frumpyfarmer/the-treasure-of-gwenlais-the-rienfield-chronicles-/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14389603.M_T_Magee

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

 

#CHRISTMASINJULY FETE: Aaden BlueStar by @authorGaughan #SCIFI #BOOKS #GIVEAWAY


Christmas in July Book Square - ABTA

 

Title: Aaden BlueStar – The Awakening

 

Author: David Gaughan

 

Genre: Space Adventure

 

Book Blurb:

Never feeling quite at home in this world, an ordinary boy discovers his extraterrestrial heritage and superhuman powers when he is confronted by an alien foe. Discovering he is here on a time travel mission, his grip on reality is stretched when he realizes his father, who is running for President, is also not of this world. His best friend Fleur and his sister Tiffany are the only two he can confide in. Together with their extraterrestrial friends, they not only have to combat their alien foe, they also have to convince humanity to change their ways to prevent destroying their home through an environmental disaster. With climate change and extreme weather issues increasing in frequency and intensity, the clock is ticking!

 

Excerpt:

Ben’s image appeared before him.

Startled, Aaden immediately opened his eyes and the image disappeared. He hadn’t expected that. He wasn’t sure what he’d see, but he was shocked to get such a clear image – it was as though he was actually looking at the person standing right in front of him. He composed himself and shut his eyes again.

Almost immediately, Ben’s form appeared before him again.

“Hi!” said Ben.

“Wow!” said Aaden, taken aback. “I’ve never done this before.”

Ben smiled. “I knew there was something unusual the moment I saw you. There’s something special about you.”

“I had the same feeling about you,” said Aaden, still coming to terms with this surreal experience. “But how come we can do this?”

“I’m not sure,” said Ben. “But this is the safest way to communicate without those goons in black intercepting our messages. We need to meet up and discuss. Where and when? You name it.”

“It’ll have to be near here,” said Aaden. “Can you meet me at my school at four, tomorrow afternoon? Sorry, but I don’t have the freedom to get to you.”

“That’s okay,” said Ben. “I was expecting that. I can get a cheap flight.”

Aaden gave him brief instructions how to get to his school and then Ben’s image faded. Aaden opened his eyes and stared at the ceiling, wondering how de was going to explain this experience to Tiffany and Fleur.

The next afternoon, the three of them ran expectantly from their classes to the school entrance gates. Tiffany and Fleur were amazed to see Ben standing there, waiting for them.

“How do you guys do that?” said Tiffany, gaping at Ben and then at Aaden. “How do you communicate like that? It’s freaky.”

“Ask him,” said Aaden, pointing to Ben. “It’s a first for me.”

Tiffany and Fleur stared at Ben. He raised his upturned hands, indicating his own confusion about it.

“I really don’t know,” he said. “I suggested it to Aaden more as an experiment than anything. After those guys in black chased us the other day, I didn’t want to use the phone or email in case the message was intercepted. I’ve had strange experiences with visions, so I thought I’d try to connect with Aaden in thought. I was as surprised as you when it worked.”

Aaden stared fixedly at him. “What do you mean when you say you’ve had visions?”

“Strange visions,” said Ben. “I don’t normally tell people about them because they’re so unusual, but I feel strongly connected to you guys, so I’ll tell you.”

“The visions are of spaceships, aren’t they?”

“Yes!” said Ben excitedly. “Not only space and spaceships, but battles in space. The visions are always the same – I’m in the pilot seat of one of the craft.”

Tiffany and Fleur both looked immediately at Aaden.

“That’s the same visions you get, Aaden,” said Fleur. “How weird that you both see the same things.” She looked at Ben. “How long have you been having these visions?”

“Only for the past couple of years,” said Ben. “It was after I had a fall from a ladder, while painting my parents house.” He fingered the faint scar on his forehead. “I was lucky I wasn’t killed, but when I regained consciousness I had strange dreams. Then I learnt to control the visions through concentration. Later they started to appear on their own, even during the day.”

“That’s the same as Aaden,” said Fleur excitedly. “He had the same things happen after being struck by lightning.”

“Struck by lightning?” said Ben. “That sounds more exciting than falling from a ladder.”

“Whatever,” said Aaden. “The result was still the same. I hope you know why we’re being shown these things?”

Ben pursed his lips.

“I don’t. At first, I thought it might have been some psychological effect connected with the stuff my grandpa had told me about the Roswell UFO incident, but now that I’ve met you I’ve changed my mind. You didn’t have those stories told to you when you were young, did you?”

Aaden shook his head. “It was the opposite. That’s why it was a shock for me when the visions started.”

“I have something to show you,” said Ben. He looked around. “But I can’t show you here. I can’t stay long – the only available return flight is in the early evening. The main reason I came is to show you something special. Where can we go that’s more private?”

“Home is close-by,” said Tiffany. “Only a couple of blocks away.”

“That’s why I suggested we meet here,” said Aaden. He pointed towards home. “Come on, it’s only a short walk.”

When they got to the house they went into the lounge. Aaden and Tiffany’s mother was busy in the kitchen and their dad wasn’t home yet, so they had the area to themselves. Ben pulled a folded paper from his hip pocket and started to unravel it.

“What do you think of this?” he said as he smoothed it out on the coffee table.

Aaden’s eyes widened as he stared at the strange hieroglyphics on the paper.

“This is a pencil rubbing of the hieroglyphics on an I-beam of the crashed Roswell UFO,” said Ben in a matter-of-fact tone. “I told you I had a small piece of the wreckage that my grandpa had got when he was young.”

“Wow!” said Tiffany and Fleur in unison, as they both bent over the paper to study it.

Aaden pulled back, all-the-while staring wide-eyed at the sheet.

“In the service of Belial,” he said flatly.

“Yes!” yelled Ben, looking at Aaden in surprise. “You can read it. I got the same thing. I wasn’t sure if I was interpreting it right, but you’ve confirmed it for me.”

“What or who is Belial?” said Tiffany.

 

Christmas in July Fete Sackful of Giveaways:

 

Grand Prize: $75 USD Amazon Gift Card

Three e-copies of Aaden BlueStar: The Awakening

(plus more prizes…)

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/92db77506/?

Open Internationally

Starts July 1, 2017 12:01 am EST and ends August 1, 2017 12:00 am EST

 

Buy Links:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RIMSS6G

https://www.createspace.com/6550223

 

Author’s Favorite Holiday Food/Tradition:

Strawberries and ice cream

 

DG_140618

 

 

Author Biography:

Born on the same day and month as Mark Twain, this Sagittarius has always been the explorer, not only in world travel pursuits but also alternative fringe subjects. Having climbed the Great Pyramid of Cheops (and getting arrested doing so), some of his other world experiences included riding camels in the Sahara Desert, white-water rafting at the top of the Ganges river, fire walking on a weekend retreat, hot air ballooning in the Cappadocia Region in Turkey and visiting ashrams in Northern India. Much of David’s overseas travel has been fueled by his keen interest in metaphysical subjects. In his earlier years he witnessed, along with three other people, a sighting of a UFO mother ship and four smaller craft, and that was the catalyst for him to research that subject, also in connection with established world viewpoints and how ancient prophecies might hold the clue to our past and future.

 

Social Media Links:

Twitter https://twitter.com/authorgaughan

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13428937.David_Gaughan

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KDZKOM

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/david.gaughan.967

 

Shattering Truths by @KyrianLyndon is a Dark, Disturbing #Suspense! #YA #bookreview


Shattering Truths

 

Title: Shattering Truths (Deadly Veils #1)

Author: Kyrian Lyndon

Genre: Young Adult, Suspense

 

Book Blurb:

She was left fighting her demons alone . . .

 

For sixteen-year-old Danielle DeCorso, the old house in Glastonbury was an eerie place to grow up. Coping with mental health challenges exacerbated by a traumatic family dynamic, Danielle watches from the window for two men in a dusty black sedan who keep circling the house and harassing her with phone calls. The two predators drugged her and her cousin, Angie, and then lured them from Pleasure Beach in Bridgeport to a secluded cottage on Long Beach West. She remembers feeling dizzy, the room spinning. She recalls screaming, crying, fighting, and then slipping in and out of consciousness. Angie, however, has no recollection of the incident.

 

When Danielle attempts to jog Angie’s memory and convince their best friend, Farran, that the two strangers had victimized them, no one seems to believe her. Alone in her pain, Danielle remains guarded, obsessed, and withdrawn. Soon she is sinking deeper into a tumultuous world of adolescent isolation and change. Grief, guilt, and anger send her spiraling into an even darker place.

 

Tormented by terrifying nightmares, she fears she will lose her sanity, or possibly her soul. Is she having post-traumatic stress hallucinations, as one of her friends suggest, or are her recurring nightmares as real as they seem? Trapped in an unyielding emotional bondage, Danielle continues the fight to reclaim her power. Startling revelations awaken her newfound spirit, inspiring a once naïve girl to grow into a woman of defiance and courage.

 

My Review:

Danielle and her cousin, Angie, are spending the day at the beach. They meet two strangers who convince the two girls to come with them. Drugged and sexually assaulted, Danielle is the only one who remembers. When she tries to convince her cousin what happened to them both, Angie has no recollection and Danielle starts to question her own sanity. Did it really happen or did she imagine the whole nightmarish event? And who is stalking her in the dark sedan? The more she uncovers, the more isolated Danielle feels. She has a choice: sink into a pit of guilt and despair or gather inner strength to deal with what’s happening to her. Which path will she choose?

 

Shattering Truths is a dark, disturbing suspense that showcases the emotional turmoil a victim of sexual assault feels. I related instantly with Danielle and while she didn’t make the smartest decisions, she’s honestly portrayed. Her family dynamics made me cringe and at times, I wanted to wring their necks. Their lack of support angered me and I think that’s what the author intended.

 

Well-written with a strong character arc for Danielle, I found the narration a bit shocking. The transitions need to be smoother as I got lost a few times.

 

While this is a young adult, I know both teens and adults will enjoy this book. Fans of 13 Reasons Why will devour this book!

 

Favorite Character/Quote: What had those vile creatures unleashed in me? What beast had they awakened?

 

My Rating:  4 stars

 

Buy it now:

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Smashwords

 

Kyrian Lyndon

 

Author Biography:

Kyrian Lyndon is the author of Shattering Truths, the first book in her Deadly Veils series. She has also published two poetry collections, A Dark Rose Blooms, and Remnants of Severed Chains. Kyrian began writing short stories and fairy tales when she was just eight years old. In her adolescence, she moved on to poetry. At sixteen, while working as an editor for her high school newspaper, she wrote her first novel, and then completed two more novels at the ages of nineteen and twenty-five.

 

Born and raised in Woodside, Queens, New York, Kyrian was the middle of three daughters born to immigrants —her father from Campochiaro, Italy; her mother from Havana, Cuba. She has worked primarily in executive-level administrative positions with major New York publishing companies. She resides on Long Island in New York.

 

Social Media Links:

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / Instagram / Tumblr / Google+

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

 

Top 10 Most Read and Raved About Young Adult Historical #Books #FridayReads #YA #YALit #hisfict


Friday Book Round Up

 

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. So, if you haven’t heard, Amazon has created a bestseller list called Amazon Charts: The Top 20 Most Sold & Most Read Books of the Week. It lists the fiction and nonfiction most sold and most read. It got me thinking about a genre I’m totally in love with: young adult historical. Over the years, I’ve read some incredible books and so, here’s my Top 10 Most Read and Raved About Young Adult Historical books:

 

The Du Lac Chronicles: Book 1 by Mary Anne Yarde

Winner — N. N. Light Award for Best Romance 2016.

 

Bronze Medal Winner — Circle Of Books Ring of Honor Award 2016

 

Finalist — The Golden Box Book Publishing Golden Book Award 2017

 

A generation after Arthur Pendragon ruled, Briton lies fragmented into warring kingdoms and principalities.

 

Eighteen-year-old Alden du Lac ruled the tiny kingdom of Cerniw. Now he half-hangs from a wooden pole, his back lashed into a mass of bloody welts exposed to the cold of a cruel winter night. He’s to be executed come daybreak—should he survive that long.

 

When Alden notices the shadowy figure approaching, he assumes death has come to end his pain. Instead, the daughter of his enemy, Cerdic of Wessex, frees and hides him, her motives unclear.

 

Annis has loved Alden since his ill-fated marriage to her Saxon cousin—a marriage that ended in blood and guilt—and she would give anything to protect him. Annis’s rescue of Alden traps them between a brutal Saxon king and Alden’s remaining allies. Meanwhile, unknown forces are carefully manipulating the ruins of Arthur’s legacy.

 

The Du Lac Chronicles has a recommend reading age of 16+

 

Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George

Two girls struggle with their dark family heritage in this fantasy perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare and Kendare Blake.

As debutantes in 1890s New York City, cousins Dacia and Lou knew little about their mysterious Romanian relatives, the Florescus. Now, upon turning seventeen, the girls must journey to Romania–a journey that seems to be both reward and punishment–to meet their cousins and their tyrant of a grandmother and to learn the secrets of their family. Secrets spoken of in whispers. Dangerous secrets known as the Claw, the Wing, and the Smoke.

But as dangerous as those family secrets might be, even more dangerous is the centuries-old bond between the Florescus and the royal Dracula family, and it seems that it’s time for Dacia and Lou to give up their life in New York society and take their place among the servants of the Draculas. When the devilish heir, Mihai Dracula, sets his sights on Dacia as part of his evil, power-hungry plan, the girls must accept or fight against this cruel inheritance. Do they have the courage to break the shackles of their upbringing and set the course of their own destiny?

 

A School for Unusual Girls: A Stranje House Novel by Kathleen Baldwin

A School for Unusual Girls is the first captivating installment in the Stranje House series for young adults by award-winning author Kathleen Baldwin. #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot calls this romantic Regency adventure “completely original and totally engrossing.”

 

It’s 1814. Napoleon is exiled on Elba. Europe is in shambles. Britain is at war on four fronts. And Stranje House, a School for Unusual Girls, has become one of Regency England’s dark little secrets. The daughters of the beau monde who don’t fit high society’s constrictive mold are banished to Stranje House to be reformed into marriageable young ladies. Or so their parents think. In truth, Headmistress Emma Stranje, the original unusual girl, has plans for the young ladies—plans that entangle the girls in the dangerous world of spies, diplomacy, and war.

 

After accidentally setting her father’s stables on fire while performing a scientific experiment, Miss Georgiana Fitzwilliam is sent to Stranje House. But Georgie has no intention of being turned into a simpering, pudding-headed, marriageable miss. She plans to escape as soon as possible—until she meets Lord Sebastian Wyatt. Thrust together in a desperate mission to invent a new invisible ink for the English war effort, Georgie and Sebastian must find a way to work together without losing their heads—or their hearts….

 

At the Publisher’s request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

 

Spindle’s End by Robin Mckinley

The evil fairy Pernicia has set a curse on Princess Briar-Rose: she is fated to prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into an endless, poisoned sleep. Katriona, a young fairy, kidnaps the princess in order to save her; she and her aunt raise the child in their small village, where no one knows her true identity. But Pernicia is looking for her, intent on revenge for a defeat four hundred years old. Robin McKinley’s masterful version of Sleeping Beauty is, like all of her work, a remarkable literary feat.

 

Johnny Tremain by Esther Hoskins Forbes

Johnny Tremain, winner of the 1944 Newbery Medal, is one of the finest historical novels ever written for children. As compelling today as it was fifty years ago, to read this riveting novel is to live through the defining events leading up to the American Revolutionary War. Fourteen-year old Johnny Tremain, an apprentice silversmith with a bright future ahead of him, injures his hand in a tragic accident, forcing him to look for other work. In his new job as a horse-boy, riding for the patriotic newspaper, the Boston Observer, and as a messenger for the Sons of Liberty, he encounters John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and Dr. Joseph Warren. Soon Johnny is involved in the pivotal events shaping the American Revolution from the Boston Tea Party to the first shots fired at Lexington. Powerful illustrations by American artist Michael McCurdy, bring to life Esther Forbes’ quintessential novel of the American Revolution.

 

Robyn Hood: A Girl’s Tale by K. M. Shea

The ballads lie. Robin Hood, the Bold and Brave Outlaw of Sherwood Forest, is cowardly, spineless, and a girl.

 

Robyn unwittingly starts the Robin Hood farce when she is mistaken for a male while saving her friend, Marian, from two foresters. Forced into hiding, Robyn unwillingly collects “Merry Men” while grudgingly robbing from the rich fools that wander through Sherwood. What starts as small scale robbery blows up into complex heists when Little John and Will Scarlet join her team, and the idiotic Prince John and his legion of soldiers comes to town. However, Robyn can’t stop the theft—not when King Richard is being held ransom.

 

Cowardly Robyn’s best chance to raise money for King Richard’s release is to rob his brother, Prince John. Will she survive the heist, or swing in the gallows?

 

Soldier’s Heart: Being the Story of the Enlistment and Due Service of the Boy Charley Goddard in the First Minnesota Volunteers by Gary Paulsen

Gary Paulsen introduces readers to Charley Goddard in his latest novel, Soldier’s Heart.  Charley goes to war a boy, and returns a changed man, crippled by what he has seen.  In this captivating tale Paulsen vividly shows readers the turmoil of war through one boy’s eyes and one boy’s heart, and gives a voice to all the anonymous young men who fought in the Civil War.

 

Rebel Mechanics: All Is Fair in Love and Revolution by Shanna Swendson

It’s 1888, and seventeen-year-old Verity Newton lands a job in New York as a governess to a wealthy leading family—but she quickly learns that the family has big secrets. Magisters have always ruled the colonies, but now an underground society of mechanics and engineers are developing non-magical sources of power via steam engines that they hope will help them gain freedom from British rule. The family Verity works for is magister—but it seems like the children’s young guardian uncle is sympathetic to the rebel cause. As Verity falls for a charming rebel inventor and agrees to become a spy, she also becomes more and more enmeshed in the magister family’s life. She soon realizes she’s uniquely positioned to advance the cause—but to do so, she’ll have to reveal her own dangerous secret.

 

The Coffin Quilt: The Feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys by Ann Rinaldi

Fanny McCoy has lived in fear and anger ever since that day in 1878 when a dispute with the Hatfields over the ownership of a few pigs set her family on a path of hatred and revenge. From that day forward, along the ragged ridges of the West Virginia-Kentucky line, the Hatfields and the McCoys have operated not withing the law but within mountain codes of their own making. In 1882, when Fanny’s sister Roseanna runs off with young Johnse Hatfield, the hatred between the two clans explodes.

 

As the killings, abductions, raids, and heartbreak escalate bitterly and senselessly, Fanny, the sole voice of reason, realizes that she is powerless to stop the fighting and must learn to rise above the petty natures of her family and neighbors to find her own way out of the hatred.

 

Queen of Someday (Stolen Empire Book 1) by Sherry Ficklin

Before she can become the greatest empress in history, fifteen-year-old Sophie will have to survive her social-climbing mother’s quest to put her on the throne of Russia—at any cost.

Imperial Court holds dangers like nothing Sophie has ever faced before. In the heart of St. Petersburg, surviving means navigating the political, romantic, and religious demands of the bitter Empress Elizabeth and her handsome, but sadistic nephew, Peter. Determined to save her impoverished family—and herself—Sophie vows to do whatever is necessary to thrive in her new surroundings. But an attempt on her life and an unexpected attraction threatens to derail her plans.

Alone in a new and dangerous world, learning who to trust and who to charm may mean the difference between becoming queen and being sent home in shame to marry her lecherous uncle. With traitors and murderers lurking around every corner, her very life hangs in the balance. Betrothed to one man but falling in love with another, Sophie will need to decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to become the empress she is destined to be.

In a battle for the soul of a nation, will love or destiny reign supreme?

 

Special Mention: I love this book and while it’s technically middle grade, I couldn’t help adding it to this list. – Mrs. N

The Callender Papers by Cynthia Voigt (Author), Suzanne Duranceau (Illustrator)

Think carefully. That’s the advice Jean Wainwright always gets from her beloved Aunt Constance, Jean’s guardian and headmistress at the boarding school where she lives. It’s advice that proves valuable when Jean finds herself spending the summer far from home, sorting out family papers for the reclusive Mr. Thiel, a trustee of Aunt Constance’s school and the widower of her childhood friend Irene Callender.

 

At Mr. Thiel’s isolated country estate, Jean is surrounded by bewildering questions from the past. Why is there such hatred between Mr. Thiel and his late wife’s brother? Was her death an accident? And what happened to their child, who disappeared after Irene Thiel’s death? Do the answers lie in the Callender papers? And will searching for the answers put Jean’s own life in jeopardy?

 

 

Have a favorite young adult historical book to recommend? Share in the comments below. Happy Reading!

 

MRS N, Book Addict

 

For Beau: The Sarah Ashdown Story by @simongandossi Blog Tour #historicalfiction #YALit


For Beau tour banner

 

For Beau: The Sarah Ashdown Story
by Simon Gandossi

 

9781524519872_pap.indd
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: December 15th 2016

Summary from Goodreads:

The ground shook with each bomb that fell on London. The night sky lit up, and the sounds of gunfire overwhelmed the city as our brave men fought back. It took so many bombs to fall on this great city to make the Germans realize that England could not be defeated. It took just one bomb to make one woman realize her true destiny.

Sarah Ashdown’s insurmountable guilt and remorse over the death of a young girl sets in motion one of the most unbelievable stories of World War II. An ordinary housewife who defied the odds to become one of the most wanted women in occupied Europe, her story of determination and courage will shock and inspire those who read it.

 

 

Add to Goodreads

 

Inspiration Behind For Beau:

I remember like it was yesterday talking to a holocaust survivor during the writing of my first book “Elsa”. Talking to her and hearing how she wanted a different aspect to such a horrific time written inspired me to do just that. For Beau – The Sarah Ashdown Story my second book I took the same inspiration from a lady who experienced the horrors of WW2. I was privileged to be inspired by those who fought for freedom and who had to hold back tears when they spoke to me about their experiences.

 

When you watch a documentary on TV and listen to personal stories most of us feel something. However experiencing the emotion and sadness from hearing stories up close, I was inspired to take things one step further.

 

We all have definitions of heroes and they inspire us in so many ways. My heroes are slowly passing away but they will never stop inspiring me.

 

 

Book Trailer:

 

Buy Links:

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com.au/d/Beau-Sarah-Ashdown-Story-ebook/B01N6JGBQK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1494053900&sr=1-1&keywords=simon+gandossi

 

Author’s website

www.simongandossi.com

 

Barnes and Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/for-beau-simon-gandossi/1125360929?ean=9781524519872

 

Smashwords

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/for-beau-simon-gandossi/1125360929?ean=9781524519872

 

iTunes

https://itunes.apple.com/nz/book/for-beau/id1188273286?mt=11

 

simon gandossi

 

About the Author:

Simon Gandossi is a historical fiction author who was born and raised in Western Australia. From an early age, Simon discovered a passion for history and writing. It is that passion combined with his desire to bring to light the different aspects of the past that makes him a unique writer. There are a lot of people who give up so much to follow their dreams, and Simon is no different. To become a professional writer is difficult, but his hard work and determination has seen him develop from an amateur to a full-time writer in just a few years. To learn more about Simon, please visit www.simongandossi.com.

“I want everyone to take a step back in time when they read my books. Every book should take the reader on a journey. With my dedication to preserving history, I know that each and every person will begin that journey from the very first word” – Simon Gandossi

 

Author Links:

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

 

 

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Blog Tour Organized by:

YA Bound Book Tours

Lady of Sherwood by Molly Bilinski @MollyLouise10 #YA #fantasy #amreading @XpressoTours


Lady of Sherwood
Molly Bilinski
(Outlaws of Sherwood #1)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: April 24th 2017
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult

Robin of Lockesly was neither the son her father wanted, nor the daughter her mother expected. When she refuses an arranged marriage to a harsh and cruel knight, the deadly events that follow change her destiny forever.

After a night of tragedy, Robin and the few remaining survivors flee to Nottingham. With a newfound anonymity, they start to live different lives. There, she and her band make mischief, robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. But charity isn’t the only thing she wants–she wants revenge.

As the sheriff draws his net closer, Robin’s choices begin to haunt her. She’ll have to choose between what’s lawful and what her conscience believes is right–all while staying one step ahead of the hangman.

Lady of Sherwood is a unique young adult retelling of the beloved Robin Hood legend. Filled with action and romance, this new series follows a teenage heroine through her fantastic, yet dangerous adventures.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

Other girls—some of the youngest ones from the kitchen—came from the brush. Smoke clung to them like a shroud, and tears had run in rivers down soot-stained cheeks. Ginny, the youngest at six, ran to Jemma and attached herself like a limpet to the older girl’s legs.

“Where is everyone else?” Robin asked, glancing between them and then back at the flaming manor. “Where is—where’s—” Her face heated even as the rest of her body grew chilled, and she stuffed her first in her mouth to muffle her scream.

“We are the only ones.”

Robin looked up at Kitty, surprised to find herself on her knees in the damp grass. She curled her shaking fingers into fists, and then rested them on her thighs. “How—what happened?”

“That man,” the girl went on, absently twisting her skirt in her hands. “The one who’d been courting you… he came for you in the night. When he couldn’t find you, he gathered everyone in the great hall.”

“Except you lot?” Jemma inquired.

“He was hurting her.” Kitty’s eyes took on a glossy quality. “He had Maggie by the hair, and he was hurting her. She had Ginny behind her, protecting her. I—I hit him over the head with a candle stand.”

“We went through the old tunnel,” another voice piped up. Maggie slipped her hand into Kitty’s. “Me and Kitty and Ginny.”

“And my—my mother?” Robin took a deep, shuddering breath.

“She kept her secret. We heard ‘im, shouting. He wanted to know where you was.” Ginny, this time. She wandered away from Jemma, and Robin opened her arms for her to nestle into. She’d helped Jemma look after the younger servants on the sly for years. Whether they’d been orphaned at birth or left to the streets, Jemma had brought them each back to the manor, and she’d given them a home and a hope the rest of the world didn’t offer. “She didn’t tell, Robin. She didn’t tell him where you was.”

“I heard Charlotte say you were gone,” Maggie said quietly. “She’d gone to your mother’s chambers to tell her. Miss Jemma was gone, too, and so was your bow.” She shrugged, a delicate lift of her shoulders. “We all thought you had gone to the field.”

“And she said nothing?” Robin’s heart beat hard against her ribcage.

“Lady was very brave,” Ginny murmured.

“She was,” Robin agreed. “Like you are. You all.” She looked at each of the other girls, who stared back, clearly waiting.

It hit her then—they were waiting for her. With the only survivors of the manor in front of her, and her mother dead—God rest her soul, God hold them all in His hand—it occurred to her in that moment. She was the Lady of Lockesly.

Author Bio:

Molly is a 2013 graduate of William Smith College with a bachelors in chemistry. She puts her science powers to use by day and is a novelist by night (and weekend…and any five minutes she can find). When she’s not writing or working, she’s scoping out coffee shops, exploring her new city (Buffalo, NY), taking day trips to Canada, and putting together puzzles.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers #1) by @brendadrake is a 5 Star Gem! #books #YA #UrbanFantasy


Thief of Lies

 

Title: Thief of Lies (Library Jumpers #1)

Author: Brenda Drake

Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy

 

Book Blurb:

New York Times Bestseller

Gia Kearns would rather fight with boys than kiss them. That is, until Arik, a leather clad hottie in the Boston Athenaeum, suddenly disappears. While examining the book of world libraries he abandoned, Gia unwittingly speaks the key that sucks her and her friends into a photograph and transports them into a Paris library, where Arik and his Sentinels-magical knights charged with protecting humans from the creatures traveling across the gateway books-rescue them from a demonic hound.

Jumping into some of the world’s most beautiful libraries would be a dream come true for Gia, if she weren’t busy resisting her heart or dodging an exiled wizard seeking revenge on both the Mystik and human worlds. Add a French flirt obsessed with Arik and a fling with a young wizard, and Gia must choose between her heart and her head, between Arik’s world and her own, before both are destroyed.

 

My Review:

I always knew that libraries were magical places and in Thief of Lies, Brenda Drake makes all my dreams comes true. I’ve been wanting to read this book since months before the release (when the title was Library Jumpers). Last month, I finally had the chance to read it.

 

Gia and her friends are working on a summer project for school when she accidentally bumps into cute boy wearing a leather jacket. Curiosity gets the better of her and she follows him… right through a magical book to another library. Suddenly, Gia discovers a whole new world, one filled with magic and magical beings. The sexy boy’s name is Arik and he leads her on a wondrous adventure, filled with rival wizards/witches, sentinels, vampires and a deep dark family secret. Her feelings for Arik grow, no matter how much he tries to stay away from her. Then she meets her “fiancée” in the magical realm and sparks fly. Her heart wars with her head. Is she really the key to the end of the world or could that just be a typo? One thing’s for sure, she better learn magic quickly or else she could be dead before morning.

 

Thief of Lies is addictive, full of action scenes where magic rules all, not to mention a slow-burning romance between Arik and Gia. The world building Drake achieves is second to none. I mean, I wanted to transport in Gia’s place. The plot moves at a fast pace with several intriguing twists I didn’t see coming. Not all the characters survive and that’s the sad part. Gia’s past (who she is and what she must do) unfolds a little bit at a time so the reader discovers it as Gia does.

 

I can’t say enough good things about this book! If you love urban fantasy, please 1-click today. You’ll love the characters and the backstory, not to mention that there’s more to come in this series. I, for one, can’t wait to read the next book in the series!

 

Favorite Character/Quote: Arik. I love how protective he is of her from the very beginning. They have an instant attraction in the Boston library and while some readers/reviewers despise instant attraction, I really don’t mind. Arik connects with Gia on so many levels and when he tries to distance himself from her, he finds it most difficult. He’s a strong character and takes over scenes but I like that in my hero.

 

My Rating:  5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Thief-Library-Jumpers-Brenda-Drake-ebook/dp/B00YM6RD6M

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Thief-Library-Jumpers-Brenda-Drake-ebook/dp/B00YM6RD6M

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thief-Library-Jumpers-Brenda-Drake-ebook/dp/B00YM6RD6M

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17669243-thief-of-lies

 

Note: It’s available at all retailers so please don’t get discouraged if you don’t see your link here.

 

Author Biography:

Brenda Drake is a New York Times bestselling author of young adult fiction. She grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical. When she’s not writing or hanging out with her family, she haunts libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or reads someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

 

Social Media Links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/brendadrake
Facebook: https://facebook.com/BrendaLeeDrake/
Instagram: @brendadrakeauthor

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

Meet David Gaughan @authorGaughan and Discover the Secret to Writing a Great Book! #FridayReads #SFF


DG_140618

 

I first met David Gaughan when he asked if I would read and review Aaden Bluestar – The Awakening several months ago. After reading it, I wanted to know more about the man behind the inspiring young adult science fiction adventure novel I’d just read. So, I asked David if he’d be willing to sit down for an interview. He said sure and I did a little jig. No, really. See, not only is David a prolific author but he shares the belief that each of us can make a difference in this world. So, without further ado, please welcome David to the POTL Blog. Take it away, David:

 

What is your writing process?

When I first started writing I found the story flowed better when I wrote longhand. I still have the handwritten original journal of my first attempt at writing, which was eventually published many years later as Star Bred Prophecy. However, my first published work was actually dictated and I find that method far more efficient and creative. I’ll sit comfortably in a chair with my feet up while I stare into space. I visualise the scene unfolding before me, like I’m watching a movie and I simply describe what I’m seeing. I’ve had feedback from several readers who say they feel like they’re watching a movie when they read my works.

 

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

Names are definitely important. In the original story that was published as “The Blue Star”, the key character’s son, who played a fairly minor role, was named Ajay. When I decided to rewrite the story from the boy’s perspective the name Ajay just didn’t seem right and it certainly didn’t go well with BlueStar. Even though it was based on the original Blue Star story, the tale took on a new energy and originality, so it seemed appropriate that a name change was needed. Aaden BlueStar emerged as an independent character in his own right. Even his name is spelt with double a, rather than the more commonly spelt Aiden.

 

Have you always liked to write?

My first urge to write was when I was only six years old. I was so enchanted by a children’s story book that I started copying it in long hand. At that young age the hand writing wasn’t that great, but when one of my brothers asked me what I was doing I immediately replied, “I’m writing a book”. It was almost as though I had an inkling of what I’d be doing in later years. Of course it was a huge joke to them, so I didn’t pick up the pen again until many years later. In my early twenties when I went on my first major overseas excursion and I started telling people about my experiences, I often got the comment, “you should write a book about it.” However, it wasn’t until years later I suddenly got the urge and I’ve been writing ever since.

 

Are you a plotter or a pantster?

I’ve always flown by the seat of my pants. There are a couple of occasions where I’ve plotted out the basic outline, but generally I find the story flows and takes on a life of its own when I sit back and watch it unfold. Even I’m surprised at where the story takes me sometimes. Although plotting the outline has helped on a couple of occasions, I find the creative forces flow better when I let it unfold as I go. As mentioned earlier, I tend to be like a spectator watching a movie. It can be quite fascinating at times. Of course, after the initial draft, that’s where the real work begins, with the honing of the story and the many rewrites.

 

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

I always read my reviews. I’ve learned not to take things too seriously because I’ve found that each reviewer has their own perspective and sometimes they contradict each other, where one reviewer sees an area where they take exception and another reviewer might praise that same part. It just goes to show that everyone has their personal likes and dislikes. However, if the same criticism arises with two or more reviewers, then it highlights something I need to consider for future work. In the end, I think any review is good, whether it’s high ranking or not. It’s all a learning process.

 

Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)

I’ve written several books, ranging from fiction through to self help. Having had several friends and family affected by cancer, I researched and wrote an alternative treatment e-book called “Is there a Cure for Cancer”. On a similar vein I’ve written an e-book called the Wisdom Wellness Diet, again targeting self healing through healthy eating habits. With the increase in world weather extreme events I wrote a book called Self Sufficiency Survival, all of which are available via Amazon.com. However, my passion is with the creative writing and the first one published in hardcopy was The Blue Star, later rewritten from Aaden’s perspective and published as Aaden BlueStar – The Awakening.

 

What are you working on now? What is your next project?

What I’m working on now is something totally different. Besides book two and three of Aaden’s story, I’m researching the interpretation of ancient prophecies, some of which are predictions that have already happened and others that are yet to come. I’ve got the basic outline of the stories in the Aaden Bluestar series and they’ll need more work at some stage. However, my current priority is finishing the interpretation of the ancient prophecies, a project that will no doubt be rather controversial.

 

What is your biggest failure?

I don’t look at things so much as failures, but more as learning experiences. Rather than failure, I think my biggest disappointment was when my first published book The Blue Star never really took flight. It wasn’t until much later that I realised it was a bit ahead of it’s time and targeted at the wrong readership group. It wasn’t until years later that I realised the story needed to be told from Aaden’s perspective and targeted to the YA market. Regarding so-called failure, I take my cue from Thomas Edison who, when asked by a reporter how he felt about failing over a thousand times to make a light bulb, replied “I don’t look at it as failing a thousand times – more that I’ve discovered that many ways how not to make a light bulb.” Actually, there are many interpretations of what he actually said, but that’s the gist of his message.

 

Have you ever gotten into a fight?

Yes, when I was young, growing up on the rougher side of town. Although I did my best to stay clear of confrontation I did get ambushed on a few occasions. I learned early on when the adversary is much bigger, it’s better to resort to negotiation and reasoning, rather than try and fight against the odds. If anything, it made me more observant of situations and peoples’ behaviour, which came in handy in later years as a writer.

 

What do you want your tombstone to say?

I don’t really see the point of recording anything on a tombstone. I’ve left instructions for my ashes to be scattered at low tide on a beach – I’ve always received a lot of inspiration from walking the beach so I couldn’t think of a better place to end up. One thing you often see on a tombstone is the date of birth and the date of death, separated by a dash (-). I think it’s more important how you spend that dash while you’re alive rather than recording the dates on a tombstone. The only thing I’ll leave behind is my writing and I hope that will continue to inspire people long after I’m gone.

 

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

I think a great superpower would be having the ability to convince people to use their creative visualization energies solely for positive outcomes. Of course, doing so would override their freedom of choice, so I guess I won’t achieve that superpower until I’m advanced enough spiritually not to use it. In the meantime, I’ll concentrate on my writing to help people make that choice of their own free will.

 

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

I can think of a couple of star systems that would be interesting to visit, but unless our scientists make rapid progress in the short term with their propulsion systems, I guess the only way I’ll make that trip is to hitch a ride on a visiting spaceship.

 

Do you have any scars? What are they from?

I have a scar on my forehead that was more visible when I was young than it is now. I got it at the age of twelve when, riding my bike – I had a head-on collision with a truck. Needless to say, I came off second-best and I spent three days unconscious in hospital. I have another scar on my abdomen where I used black salve bloodroot paste to treat a skin cancer. I’ve always been a bit adventurous with trying alternatives and although I got a little nervous with the pain and the resulting crater it left behind when the plug came away, it healed up nicely, although it left a scar, mainly due to the size of the hole that had to heal. I think scars, both physical and emotional, are evidence of life trials that, if they don’t kill us, tend to make us stronger.

 

 Aaden Cover_titled_sm

 

Title: Aaden BlueStar – The Awakening

Author: David Gaughan

Genre: Sci-fi/Fantasy

Publisher: Astar Print

 

Book Blurb:

Never feeling quite at home in this world, an ordinary boy discovers his extraterrestrial heritage and superhuman powers when he is confronted by an alien foe. Discovering he is here on a time travel mission, his grip on reality is stretched when he realizes his father, who is running for President, is also not of this world. His best friend Fleur and his sister Tiffany are the only two he can confide in. Together with their extraterrestrial friends, they not only have to combat their alien foe, they also have to convince humanity to change their ways to prevent destroying their home through an environmental disaster. With climate change and extreme weather issues increasing in frequency and intensity, the clock is ticking!

 

Excerpt:

With the memories still fresh in his mind of the destruction of the alien craft in his trance the previous night, Aaden struggled to concentrate during the history lesson.

“Okay,” said Brian Masters, catching Aaden’s attention. “We’ve covered the main battle in today’s lesson, but not what led up to this. For your assignment, I want you to research the main events leading to this confrontation. I want that returned by tomorrow.”

‘No!’ Aaden thought in panic, staring at the teacher. ‘I need time to check out Tunguska.’

Masters, who had turned to clean the whiteboard, suddenly turned back and said, “No, you need time to check out Tunguska.”

As soon as he’d said the words, he immediately baulked. The shocked expression on his face showed that he’d had no intention of saying such a thing. Aaden was amazed that he’d repeated his very thoughts. The other students, who were all preparing to leave the room, stopped and looked at Masters.

“Tun … what?” said one of the students. “Is that a hint of what we need to research?”

“No!” said Masters quickly. “I … uh … I’m not sure where that came from.” He shook his head, as though to clear a confusing thought. “Ignore that. Have the assignment ready by tomorrow.”

The students went back to clearing their desks, preparing to leave. Aaden continued staring at Masters, amazed that the man had repeated the words he’d been thinking. He wasn’t sure whether it was some strange coincidence, so he decided to test it. He thought, ‘Make it two days for the assignment.’

Masters immediately said, “Make it two days for the assignment.”

Again, as soon as the words were out of his mouth, his jaw dropped with the surprise of having said them.

“Two days?” one of the students repeated. “Not tomorrow?”

Masters looked around the room, appearing somewhat stunned. The students had all stopped and were looking at him for confirmation.

“Yeesss …” he replied, looking strained. “You can have two days.”

Aaden struggled to conceal his glee. He thought, ‘On second thoughts, make it three days.’

Masters immediately repeated, “On second thoughts, make it three days.”

Astounded by what he’d just said, Masters immediately grabbed his satchel and fled the room. The students filed out after him, all smiles at having gained such leniency on the timing of their assignment.

Aaden was still coming to terms with what had just happened when Fleur joined him as they walked from the room.

“That’s a bonus,” she said. “Three days for the assignment – we only need one.”

“Hey!” said Aaden, raising his hands in mock submission. “Who’s complaining? Have you heard of Tunguska?”

Fleur gave a sideways glance. “Masters mentioned that – what is it?”

“Let’s go check it out in the library.”

“But Masters said it wasn’t anything to do with the assignment.”

Aaden’s eyes sparkled. “Let’s check it out anyway.”

With a shrug, she followed him to the library and watched as he did a search for ‘Tunguska event’ on the computer.

“1908!” Aaden gasped. “It happened over a century ago.”

Fleur leaned closer to the screen. “Who cares?”

Aaden shook his head. “I didn’t know it was so long ago. But it actually happened. I thought it was just a dream.”

Fleur pulled a face. “What?”

Aaden ignored her questioning stare. “Ah … nothing. Let’s see what they say about it.”

“Tunguska is in East Central Siberia,” said Fleur, reading the text. “This has nothing to do with our assignment. What’s so great about Tunguska?”

“I heard there was an explosion there.”

“So? There have been explosions all over the world throughout history.”

“This was a major blast … bigger than the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima.”

Fleur’s eyes widened. She looked closer at the screen. “No way! An atomic bomb in 1908?”

“Not an atomic bomb according to this info,” said Aaden, disappointed. “They think it was a meteorite.”

“There was no crater,” said Fleur, reading. “Meteorites are mainly rock, iron and nickel. Something that heavy would’ve made a massive crater. You reckon it was big enough for an explosion like an atom bomb. How can that be?”

“Because it wasn’t a meteorite,” said Aaden. The words were out before he could stop himself.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RIMSS6G

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00RIMSS6G

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00RIMSS6G

Paperback https://www.createspace.com/6550223

 

Author Biography:

Born on the same day and month as Mark Twain, this Sagittarius has always been the explorer, not only in world travel pursuits but also alternative fringe subjects. Having climbed the Great Pyramid of Cheops (and getting arrested doing so), some of his other world experiences included riding camels in the Sahara Desert, white-water rafting at the top of the Ganges river, fire walking on a weekend retreat, hot air ballooning in the Cappadocia Region in Turkey and visiting ashrams in Northern India. Much of David’s overseas travel has been fueled by his keen interest in metaphysical subjects.

 

Social Media Links:

Twitter https://twitter.com/authorgaughan

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13428937.David_Gaughan

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KDZKOM

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/david.gaughan.967

 

 

Rise of the Sea Witch by @Rourkewrites #CoverReveal! #YALit #Fantasy


Rise of the Sea Witch
Stacey Rourke
Publication date: June 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Details of the sea witch’s banishment have been exaggerated. The body count that preempted it was not. Once an illustrious princess, her hands and tentacles were stained with the blood of thousands. No one could comprehend how the hooks of madness dragged her down from her life of privilege.

 

Born Princess Vanessa of Atlantica, the ambitious young royal was one of two children born to the great King Poseidon. She and her brother, Triton, were groomed from birth to rule. Yet only one would ascend that coveted throne. While carefree Triton flits through his training with a cavalier demeanor and beguiling charm, Vanessa’s hunger for her father’s acceptance drives her to push herself to the limits of magic, and combat to become a leader worthy of her people.

 

When war against the humans ravages their once regal kingdom, political sides are chosen. Factions from the seven seas challenge the existing leadership, pitting Vanessa against her brother in a vicious battle for the crown. Traitors are exposed, dark family secrets revealed, and a once strong sibling bond is strained to its breaking point.

 

Only when the ink black waters from the ultimate betrayal rescind, will the truth be known of how the villainous sea witch rose with one name on her vengeful lips–Triton.

 

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Author Bio:

RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel

 

Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012

Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013

Readers’ Favorite Silver Medal Winner for Crane 2015

 

Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Reel Romance Series. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head.

 

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Immortal Fire by @AnnetteMMarie Book Blitz + #Giveaway! #Fantasy #Romance #FridayReads


Immortal Fire
Annette Marie
(Red Winter Trilogy #3)
Publication date: April 11th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult

 

Once, Emi believed the heavenly gods were righteous and wise, while the earthly yokai spirits were bloodthirsty and evil. But with a traitorous deity poised to destroy her world, and the yokai standing as humanity’s only defense, the lies of her upbringing have toppled to reveal a far more terrifying reality.

 

Despite the looming threat, Emi can’t escape her greatest distraction: Shiro, the fox yokai who has so deftly claimed her heart for his own. Soon—too soon—she will have to break the curse that binds his magic and memories. And once the ancient power inside him awakens, the yokai she loves will be changed forever.

 

As the earthly gods gather to wage war against the heavens, Emi and Shiro must gamble everything to turn the tide against their immortal, all-powerful foes. Together, they will find a way to save her world—even if it means losing each other.

 

Goodreads / Amazon

Each book in the Red Winter Trilogy includes ten stunning illustrations by award-winning artist Brittany Jackson.

This is an exclusive preview of one illustration featured in Immortal Fire.

EXCERPT:

Violent shivers pulled Emi from the depths of sleep. The chill in the room cut right through the layers of blanket and kimono, and her toes ached from the cold. Curled in a tight ball beneath her blankets, she exhaled harshly, half expecting her breath to fog the air.

Beyond the thin partition that separated her sleeping quarters from the rest of the room, the windows rattled in a fierce wind. A winter storm? A feverish ache throbbed in her muscles, though she didn’t think she had slept for more than a few hours.

Yawning, she forced her tired body off the futon. Cold hit her like a splash of frigid water but even that wasn’t enough to dispel her drowsy daze. A short, fumbling search uncovered no extra blankets in the closet within her small alcove. Wrapping an arm around herself for warmth, she slid a panel open and peeked into the main room.

The remains of Shiro and Yumei’s late dinner had been cleared from the table, and the unlit brazier was devoid of light or warmth. Across the room, a second futon had been laid out near Shiro’s, and dark shapes filled both.

Trust the yokai to sleep right through the freezing cold. Behind their futons was a larger closet where bedding was stored. Surely there would be an extra blanket in there. She stumbled toward it in exhaustion. Her chest felt hollow and empty, and some of the chill that plagued her emanated from within.

As she crossed the room, an icy breeze rushed across her. Jerking back a step, she turned toward the sliding garden doors. A six-inch gap revealed the night-swathed garden beyond, where snow flew almost horizontally in the wind.

Why on earth had they left the door open? With a tired scowl, she yanked it shut. The room immediately felt warmer. Shaking her head, she stopped at the foot of Shiro’s futon, the light from the window glimmering on his white hair. Not that long ago, she had woken him from a nightmare, and he had thrown her into a wall before rousing enough to realize he was about to rip her throat out. Attempting to sneak between their futons to reach the closet was probably unwise.

“Shiro?” she whispered. “Are you awake?”

He didn’t stir. Neither did Yumei, who slept on his back with his head turned away, his hair splayed untidily across his face in a way that was very unlike the usually reserved yokai. He rarely slept when anyone else was nearby, at least as far as she’d seen. Maybe her ki had tired him.

“Shiro?” she tried again more loudly.

When he again didn’t move, not even a twitch of his ears, a nervous prickle climbed her spine. Shiro

wasn’t that deep of a sleeper. And why hadn’t her clumsy banging of the garden door woken them? A spike of adrenaline cut through her drowsiness as she realized how unlikely it was that Shiro and

Yumei would go to sleep with a door ajar. Had the wind blown it open? Or … something else?

She scoured the room, but it was clearly empty. Biting the inside of her cheek, she stepped between the futons and crouched.

“Shiro,” she called. “Wake up!”

No reaction. Hoping he wouldn’t attack her, she touched his shoulder. He slept on, eyes closed, face slack. Her apprehension intensified into real fear.

“Shiro!” She gripped his shoulder and shook it, but he still didn’t wake or so much as stir. Was she dreaming? Was this a nightmare? She spun around and reached for Yumei.

“Yumei, wake up! Please wake up!” She shook him but he was as unresponsive as Shiro. In desperation, she hit his shoulder with her open palm, yelling his name. “What’s wrong with you? Wake up!”

As she turned, intending to grab a handful of snow from outside to shove in Shiro’s face, the air above him shimmered strangely. She went rigid, squinting into the darkness.

A shadow took form. A small body, thin limbs, ragged black hair. The ghostly child crouched on Shiro’s chest, her blank, bottomless stare fixed on Emi.

Her heart thudded in her ears. A kanashibari, the dream-weaving yokai that had been watching Emi in the bath. That was what she’d forgotten to warn Shiro about! And now it was sitting on him, and he wouldn’t wake up.

She lurched back to Yumei. A second kanashibari appeared before her, perched on his torso. The new one, another little girl with short, stringy hair and a pale kimono, looked up at Emi with empty black eyes.

The child’s lips pulled up in a rictal grin, and her tiny arm shot out.

Emi shoved the yokai away, but her hands passed right through the spectral body, feeling nothing but frosty air.

The yokai reached for her face and a small, frigid, solid palm pressed against her forehead. A wave of burning ice surged into Emi’s skull, blanketing her thoughts. Impossible, unyielding drowsiness crashed through her.

Before she could react, before she could even think about resisting, she collapsed on top of Yumei’s unconscious body and slid into darkness.

 

The complete trilogy:

Available now on Amazon!

 

Author Bio:

 

Annette Marie is the author of the Amazon best-selling Steel & Stone series, which includes Goodreads Choice Award nominee Yield the Night, and fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast- paced urban fantasy and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad) with her comparatively sensible husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.

 

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Bad Bloods: July Thunder by Bestselling Author @AuthorSAT & @CleanTeenPub #YA #Fantasy




 

July Thunder
Shannon A. Thompson
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: April 10th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

 

From best-selling author Shannon A. Thompson comes an exciting new duology in the Bad Bloods universe.

 

Fourteen-year-old Violet has been called many things: a bad blood, a survivor, an immortal…now she has a new name–citizen. But adjusting to a lawful life is not easy, especially when she must live under the rule of the same officers who justified the killings of her flock only eight months earlier.

 

Segregation of bad bloods and humans is still in effect, and rebellious Violet steps into a school where she is not allowed. When the police get involved, things deteriorate quickly, sparking a new revolution at the wall separating the Highlands from the outskirts.

 

That’s when Caleb steps in. He might appear to be an average sixteen-year-old bad blood, but he has secrets, and Violet is determined to figure them out. Caleb knows who’s attacking the wall and why, but his true identity remains a mystery–and how he relates to Violet could shake the threatened city to its very core.

 

Together or not, a storm will form, a rally will start, and shocking truths will be revealed.

 

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Smashwords

EXCERPT:

While the Northern Flock had to be quiet to survive, the herd played music in order to live.

Caleb’s hand found mine. “Dance with me?” he asked, but I hated my answer.

“I can’t.” My confession came with my wrecked knee. With one gesture, Caleb seemed to understand, but as he turned his eyes to his herd—to Britney prancing around with Plato, to Kat covering her ears, to Yasir holding Hanna with his protective gloves between them—Caleb pulled me up to my feet.

“Let me do it for you,” he said, and then, he lifted me up and placed me on the tops of his boots.

As he swayed, I saw the sunburn on the tops of his cheeks, the sand in his hair, the sea salt on his skin. Then, his chapped lips as he managed a shaky smile. For once, Caleb looked disheveled, and I had never liked him more.

“That’s some crew you have,” he said, but I hadn’t noticed anyone else in the world around us until he spun.

Life-sized shadows—dozens of them—danced all around us, and I recognized their shapes as people I would always know. Blake and his teddy bear. Floyd’s stretched limbs, and Ami’s swinging braids. Even Adam’s speed.

Alive or dead, the shadows of every member of my own flock joined in on the dance of a herd, and my heart fluttered at the sight.

Losing control had never felt so great.

Neither had a storm descending down upon us.

 

 

Author Bio:

 

Shannon A. Thompson is a young adult author, avid reader, and a habitual chatterbox.

 

As a novelist, poet, and blogger, Thompson spends her free time writing and sharing ideas with her black cat, Bogart, named after her favorite actor, Humphrey Bogart. Her other two cats bring her coffee. Between writing and befriending cats, Thompson graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis on creative writing, and her work has appeared in numerous poetry collections and anthologies. Represented by Clean Teen Publishing, Thompson is the best-selling author of The Timely Death Trilogy and the Bad Bloods duology. When she is not writing, she is climbing rooftops, baking cookies, or watching murder shows in the middle of the night, often done with her cats by her side.

 

Visit her blog for writers and readers at http://www.ShannonAThompson.com.

 

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Thirsty for Water is #99cents! #YA #paranormal #KindleUnlimited


thirsty-for-water

 

Title: Thirsty for Water: A Short Story

Author: N. N. Light

Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult, Short Story

 

Book Blurb:

Juliet can’t wait to graduate from high school and finally move on with her life. Five more days and she’s free. She gazes out the window while her history teacher, Mrs. Johnson, drones on about war, famine and lack of water in Africa.

A gong rings, startling Juliet out of her daydream. She looks around to see if it was one of her classmates pulling a prank when a little boy carrying a spear appears. Is he a ghost or something more? He pleads for her help and before she can argue, she is transported to a small village in Africa. History comes alive like never before and Juliet must decide how she can help Noko and his village before it’s too late.

Thirsty for Water tells the story of Africa and the need for water in an approachable way for children of all ages. A great learning tool for teachers, parents and libraries.

 

Excerpt:

“How do you know my name?” She gasped and tried to pinch her arm.

 

“I know all about you.  My name is Noko.” He paused and reached out to touch her arm. “Why are you hurting yourself like that?”

 

His hand felt cool on her arm and she stopped. If he was a ghost, I wouldn’t be able to feel him.  This must be real… but how?  She reached up and touched his thumb with her index finger.  His skin was dry yet very real.

 

“I was m-m-making sure you were real.”  She leaned forward and whispered, “Why are you here?  What do you want with me?”

 

He took his hand away and smiled.  “Your elder there is talking about my country and all you can think about is getting out of here.  Where I come from, there is no school.  Children like me hunt, fish and work in the fields.  You are lucky to sit here all day and not work.”

 

She leaned back in her chair and thought about it.  No school, only working to survive.  It was a sobering thought and she shivered.

 

Praise for Thirsty for Water:

“I loved it. I had no idea just how short short would be when I started it, but what a lovely tale to teach & inspire! I feel strongly a connection being made always holds the best potential to calm, comfort & nourish, to move & inspire hope, to insight change or instill lessons. And for me, I feel any kind of travel…time travel, dimension travel (I’m a big fan of the Twilight Zone!), or even a story with a “real” trip involved always helps to create that connection somehow. It was THAT quick…& true…once Juliet felt a connection to Noko…it was a done deal! So beautiful. The story simple…& short…yet so powerful.” – Amazon Reviewer

 

Buy Links:

FREE April 7 – 9, 2017

 

FREE on Kindle Unlimited all year long!

 

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Thirsty-Water-Short-N-Light-ebook/dp/B00O98EL3Q

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Thirsty-Water-Short-N-Light-ebook/dp/B00O98EL3Q

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thirsty-Water-Short-N-Light-ebook/dp/B00O98EL3Q

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30835342-thirsty-for-water

 

couple N N Light

 

Author Biography: N. N. Light is the husband-wife writing team, commonly known as Mr. N and Mrs. N. Mrs. N. has been creating stories ever since she was little. Her grandfather remembers when she was two years old, she would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with her hands on her hips. Let’s just say she was a born storyteller.

 

They’re blissfully happy and love all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports, trains, history, cooking and baking. Their mantra is to spread the Light.

 

Most of the time you can find them on Twitter or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on Pinterest. They’re a proud member of ASMSG and Independent Author Network.

 

Sign up for their author newsletter and get exclusive content and prizes ow.ly/jWec308TabL 

 

In addition to being authors, they’re also book promoters/reviewers, social media marketers/influencers and the owners of N. N. Light Author Promotions. They both love books, have ever since they were young. Matching up books and readers is something that gives them great pleasure.

 

They’d love to connect with you either via email or via these various social media sites:

 

Website: http://princessofthelight.com

Blog: https://princessofthelight.wordpress.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/nnlight

Bookbub  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/n-n-light

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/NNP_W_Light

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/nnlight

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/n-n-light/90/1a7/902

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/118060034268079734144/posts

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/nnlight

Independent Author Network: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/n-n-light.html

iAuthor: http://www.iauthor.uk.com/princess-of-the-light:10294

Of Glitter and Gold: A Canary Club Anthology by @AuthorSherry #historicalfiction #YA


Of Glitter and Gold: A Canary Club Anthology
Sherry D. Ficklin
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: March 27th 2017
Genres: Historical, Young Adult

Set during the flamboyant anything-goes era of 1920’s America, these three tales are filled with intriguing characters and rich imagery from the time period—with flappers, jazz music, gangsters, and lavish wealth. Escape to a different decade today with the compelling stories of the Canary Club Anthology.

 

Novelette 1- Gilded Cage

Masie, the flaxen-haired daughter of notorious bootlegger Dutch Schultz, returns home from boarding school to find her family in crisis. Her mother is dangerously unstable, her father’s empire is on the brink of ruin, and the boy she once loved has become a ruthless killer for hire. To keep her family’s dangerous secrets, Masie is forced into a lie that will change the course of her future—and leave her trapped in a gilded cage of her own making.

 

Novelette 2- All That Glitters

A dame with brains, moxie, and killer curves, June West isn’t your average flapper. She’s managed to endear herself to the son of one of the most powerful gangsters in New York, earning herself a spot in the limelight that she’s always longed for. With the infamous playboy at her side, June has become accustomed to living the high life. Lavish parties, expensive clothes, sparkling jewels—nothing is beyond her reach. But when her carefully woven web of lies finally catches up with her, she must make an impossible choice… come clean about her past and risk losing everything, or find a way to bury her demons—once and for all.

 

Novelette 3 – Nothing Gold

Dickey has been down on his luck since the day he was born. Flat broke and sick of being looked down on, he meets young socialite Lillian at a wild party. The connection is like a strike of lightning. From a wealthy New York family, this debutante is everything he’s been told he can never have—and the only thing he wants. Determined to win her, he knows the only way to get her parents approval is with cold hard cash. So when a shot at the biggest score of his life comes around, he just can’t refuse…

 

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NOTHING GOLD EXCERPT:

It’s easier than I imagined to sneak into the party. The music is so loud and the crowd so enormous that no one sees me wind my way through the shrubs on the outskirts. The massive estate is far enough away from the city that I had to hitch a ride to get here, and I’ll have to time my exit just right to make the train back to Manhattan.

Brushing off my secondhand suit coat, I enter the party via the back patio. A wide pool is filled with people, most still in their fancy evening wear. My eyes slide past them, searching for the one person at this shindig that I know. I scan past butlers with white gloves holding silver trays covered in champagne glasses, past gleeful dames in short skirts with blood-red lips, and past gents in their glad rags I can tell with one glance cost more dough than I make in a year working at the mill.

When I finally see him, his pinstripe suit, matching fedora, and red pocket square, he’s standing atop the massive staircase on the ledge overlooking the party. Deacon Brewer, the reason I’m here tonight. His hands are stuffed in the pockets of his trousers as he chats up a fella I don’t recognize, along with the dame hanging off his arm. Plastering on an easy grin, I wind my way through the people, helping myself to a glass of bubbly as I head for the stairs. The stone steps are covered in gold confetti, the whole place practically dripping with it. Long, red velvet drapes hang from arched windows, and leafless branches painted gold and draped with crystal beads sit in tall vases in every corner. Nothing has been left un-gilded.

I shake my head at the audacity. Might as well have a neon sign—someone, please rob the joint.

Deacon sees me coming and dismisses himself from his conversation, welcoming me with an open hand.

“Dickey Lewis, glad you could make it, boy,” he offers warmly.

As if I had a choice.

“Of course, Mr. Brewer,” I respond with more warmth than I feel. Truth is that I’m in deep to Deacon after a few bad bets at his club last month, and he opted to make me work it off rather than take it outta my hide. I suppose that makes him clever, but I can’t help the gnawing feeling that this is a debt I may never fully repay. “What’s the score?” I ask, lowering my voice.

Draping an arm across my shoulders, he walks me through the glass doors and into the house. Still crammed with people drinking, dancing, and generally wrecking the joint, he pulls a cigar from his vest pocket with his free hand.

“Upstairs in the den is a lovely Monet, behind which is a very large safe. Cash, some baubles, and a bankbook are inside. I don’t care about the rest; you take what you need. But the bankbook needs to find its way into my hands tomorrow morning by eight am.”

I take a deep breath, rolling my tongue over my teeth before answering, “How am I supposed to get into the safe?”

He barks a deep laugh, slapping me on the back. “Guess you’ll have to get a little creative. Just get in, get out, and don’t let nobody see ya, got it?”

All I can do is nod and watch him swagger away. Sure, I’ve boosted loot before, but always simple jobs, smash and grabs. Nothing like this. What have I gotten myself into this time?

Still, whatever else is in there is mine for the taking, I tell myself. Could be a big pay day, judging by the looks of the place.

I wander casually through the house, trying to look as if I belong while also counting the number of cops and guards watching the area. It’s not as many as I expected. I grab a dark-haired dame by the waist, offering her a charming smile and asking for a dance. We Charleston together for two songs, finally stopping to imbibe more champagne. When I ‘accidently’ stumble into her, she spills the contents of her glass on my jacket, fumbling a wide-eyed apology.

Waving her off with a smile, I hand her my glass, “You take this, and I’ll go find a place to wash up.”

“You could always take a dip in the pool, honey,” she says, batting her eyelashes.

Beside her, a gentleman points up a secondary set of stairs near the front door. “Washroom is up there, I think.”

I mutter a thanks and a promise to return, then make my way up the stairs, continuing to stumble around as if drunk, occasionally opening a door to find a couple necking or a room full of folks smoking the Indian hop in long pipes.

Finally, the thumping of the music fading below me, I make my way to the library. Beyond that, I find the only locked door on the entire floor. Digging into my pocket, I pull out my lock kit, a simple flattened iron jimmy and a hooked pick. Sliding both in the lock, I slide them back and forth, listening for the mechanism inside to release. It doesn’t take long and the door springs open, allowing me to step inside and close it quickly behind me. It’s dark except for the glow of a single lamp atop a massive oak desk, behind which is a tall arched window overlooking the front of the estate. From this spot, I can see the cars lined up along the circular drive, partygoers coming and going in wild abandon. Pulling the pocket watch from my vest, I wipe my fingers across the cracked glass face, checking the time. Only thirty minutes until the train. If I miss it, it’ll be two hours before the next one. Not the end of the world, unless someone notices the lift before I’m gone. That’s a long time to stick around with a pocket fulla stolen goods.

I glance around me, the blood chilling in my veins. Every wall except the one with the window is covered in framed paintings. And I have no idea which one is a Monet.

Scrambling, I begin lifting each, checking the wall behind for any sign of the safe. Finally, on the opposite wall from where I started, I find it. Carefully lifting the heavy canvas free, I set it on the floor and turn my attention to the wall safe. It’s not large, about the size of a bread box with a spinning combination dial in the center. Unsure what else to do, I pull the pocket knife free from my trousers and flick it open, trying to wedge it between the door and the frame. As soon as I do, I know it’s going to be futile. The thing is heavy steel; no way my knife is gonna bust it open. Putting it away, I begin spinning the dial at random, praying I’ll get lucky.

I’m so flustered I don’t hear the door open or the footsteps from behind me until it’s too late.

“It’s my birthday,” a voice offers, making me spin, hands balled into fists to fight my way free from the room.

The dame is tall, her garnet-red hair rolled into bouncy curls and pinned in a messy heap at the back of her neck. Her dress is green, almost the same color as her eyes, and it hugs her slender frame as if it were a second skin. Even the long strings of pearls twined around her neck seems completely natural, not just a decoration but an extension of her. I take a breath, blinking, momentarily stunned. She drapes one hand on her hip, her entire body listing to the side as she points to the safe.

“The combination,” she repeats. “It’s my birthday.”

Finally recovering my voice, I stammer. “I was, uh, just…”

The corners of her mouth turn upward. “Breaking into my father’s safe?”

I don’t know what to say. I feel her in the room, the way one might feel the air change right before a storm, a heaviness that settles in, leaving my soul with a sense of foreboding. My instincts battle inside me. Do I grab her and tie her to a chair, or do I flee? The weight of her gaze makes it impossible to think clearly.

“Relax,” she says, raising a glass I hadn’t noticed her holding to her lips and taking a slow drink. “I’m not calling the guards if that’s what you’re worried about.”

“Oh? You’re just gonna let me crack this safe and walk away with whatever’s inside?”

She shrugs. “It’s not my money. What do I care?”

I lick my lips, sizing her up. A spoiled little rich girl who wants to stick it to Daddy. I’ve seen a few of those in my day. I can work with this—if I can get my head back on straight. It’s not like me to get so flustered by a dame, not even a high-quality one like this.

“Besides…” She sets the glass on the desk and saunters toward me. “It’s not like we don’t have enough.”

I catch a hint of her perfume in the air when she brushes by me, lavender and something else I can’t quite place. Taking the dial in her hand, she spins the knob until the door finally clicks, then she steps back, giving me a go-ahead gesture.

I hesitate, flicking glances at the bare skin where her neck meets her shoulder, at the creamy whiteness of her skin, before settling my eyes on her face. “What’s your name, doll?”

She looks down, sheepishly at first, but then raises just her eyes to look at me with an expression of bold defiance. “I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours.”

I swallow, considering her offer. She’s already gotten a good look at me, enough to rat me out to the cops. The look on her face is one of challenge, I realize. She’s daring me to trust her.

“Dickey,” I say, pulling the flat cap off my head and holding it over my heart as I bow to her. “Dickey Lewis, at your service, Miss?”

“Lillian Rose Duke,” she answers. “But my friends call me Lilly.”

Replacing my hat, I grab the safe handle and twist, pulling open the heavy door. Grabbing a large wooden box first, I hold it out to her. Moving back, I grab two stacks of fresh bills and stuff them in the pockets of my suitcoat. Finding the bankbook last, I tuck it into the back of my pants before pulling my shirt and jacket over it.

I spin to Lilly, watching as she upends the box, spilling jewelry onto the desk in a pile. She picks through it, finally just scooping it all into her hand and sauntering over to me. Getting so close I feel the warmth of her, she grabs the lapel of my jacket, sliding the gold and stones into the inside pocket.

“Give these to your girl, Dickey Lewis.”

She releases my lapel, but doesn’t step away. Instead, she leans forward. Thinking she’s going to kiss me, I straighten in anticipation, but she just trails her fingers along my collar until she’s cupping the back of my neck.

“I ain’t got no girl,” I admit, my heart pounding behind my ribs.

“Well, isn’t that a shame?” she says, her lips a hair’s breadth from mine.

Unable to resist, I close the final distance between us, clutching her by the waist as I urge her lips to mine. I’ve never tasted gold before, but I imagine this is what it would be like—champagne, honey, and nerves of steel. When she finally pulls away, I’m gasping. Tugging tugs the white linen handkerchief from my pocket, she wipes my face, then hers, of her smeared lipstick before returning the hankie to its place.

“I hope to see you around, Dickey Lewis.”

With that, she spins on her heel and heads for the door, listening for a moment before pulling it open and stepping out. The room is instantly colder, the air thinner. I can finally breathe, can think.

As I slink from the party and disappear into the shadows, making my way down the street to the train station, I can’t force the sight of her from my mind, or the taste of her from my lips.

Even if it takes every penny in my pocket and every breath in my body, I will see Lillian Rose Duke again.

 

 

Author Bio:

 

Sherry D. Ficklin is a full time writer from Colorado where she lives with her husband, four kids, two dogs, and a fluctuating number of chickens and house guests. A former military brat, she loves to travel and meet new people. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.

 

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The Wolf Mirror by Caroline Healy @CHealyFiction #bookreview #YA #timetravel


The Wolf Mirror
Caroline Healy
Publication date: February 14th 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance, Young Adult

Changing places doesn’t always help you see things differently.

 

Cassie throws the first punch in a brawl at Winchester Abbey Girl’s School. Her subsequent suspension is a glitch in Cassie’s master plan; Finish School/Get Job/Leave Home (and never come back). As punishment her mother banishes her to Ludlow Park, their creepy ancestral home. In the dark of a stormy night Cassie finds herself transported to 1714, the beginning of the Georgian period.

 

With the help of a lady’s maid and an obnoxious gentleman, Mr Charles Stafford, Cassie must unravel the mysterious illness afflicting Lord Miller. If Lord Miller kicks the bucket the house goes to Reginald Huxley, the brainless cousin from London.

 

Cassie’s task is to figure out who is poisoning the Lord of Ludlow without exposing herself to the ridicule of her peers, getting herself committed to the asylum or worse, married off to the first man who will have her.

 

Cassie must learn to hold her tongue, keep her pride in check and reign in her rebellious nature – because the fate of her entire family, for generations, rests on her shoulders.

 

Meanwhile, Lady Cassandra Miller frantically searches for her smelling salts or her trusted governess Miss. Blythe, whose soothing advice she would dearly love. Instead Cassandra finds some woman and a boy squatting in the Ludlow mansion; her father, her lady’s maid and all the servants have magically disappeared.

 

Tell-a-vision, the In-her-net, horseless carriages and women wearing pantaloons; Cassandra is afraid that she might have inhaled fowl air causing her to temporarily lose her senses.

 

Only when both girls can get over their pride, societal prejudices and self-importance will they be able to return to their rightful century. Until then, they are free to wreak maximum damage on their respective centuries.

 

Book Review:

After getting into a fight with a bully, Cassie is suspended from her prestigious school. Her mother has had enough and Cassie, her mother and her brother take a trip to Ludlow Park. Normally, this wouldn’t be a bad thing but there’s no internet to speak of at their ancestral home and it’s way too creepy.

Cassie goes wandering for a place to sneak a cigarette when she discovers an antique mirror with four wolf heads surrounding it. Before she can take a step back, it sucks her into a vortex and she finds herself in Ludlow Park in the year 1714.

At the exact same time, Lady Cassandra (in the year 1714) discovers the same mirror and is flung forward to the present. Two girls with the same name swap places and once over the Freaky Friday moment, are determined to get back to their retrospective time periods. Will they learn what they’re meant to learn in time or will they forever be in the wrong century?

I really enjoyed this book. The premise and cover intrigued me. I connected immediately with modern-day Cassie while I found it a hair difficult to relate to Cassandra. The historical part seemed, at times, forced and not realistic. The romance, for what it’s worth, was more hype than anything else. The ending, however, was superb and the way the author tied everything together impressed me.

If you like historical fiction with a twist, give this a try. The plot progresses at a fast pace once the time flip happens. Highly enjoyable.

My Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

 

Author Bio:

 

Caroline Healy is a writer and community arts facilitator. She recently completed her M.A. in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre, Queen’s University. She alternates her time between procrastination and making art.

 

In 2012 her award winning short story collection A Stitch in Time was published by Doire Press. Fiction and commentary has been featured in publications across Ireland, the U.K. and more recently in the U.S. Caroline’s work can be found in journals such as Wordlegs,The Bohemyth, Short Story Ireland, Short Stop U.K., Five Stop Story, Prole, Literary Orphans and the Irish Writers’ Centre Lonely Voice.

 

Her debut Y.A. novel, Blood Entwines was published by Bloomsbury Spark in August 2014 and she is in the process of writing the second book in the series, Blood Betrayal, as well as a short story collection, The House of Water.

 

She has a fondness for dark chocolate, cups of tea and winter woollies.

 

(More details can be found on her website http://www.carolinehealy.com)

 

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An Ominous Book by Nancy Foster @drafoxter #bookreview #fantasy #FridayReads


An Ominous Book

 

Title: An Ominous Book (An Ominous Book series, book 1)

Author: Nancy Foster

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Young Adult

 

Book Blurb:

Lord Spaulding’s life seemed perfect. The elusive mortal elf rules the Kasimma Clan and lives in the quaint but pleasant city of Tesafar. His perfectly stable life has ended up in haywire when his best friend Trevilin left two unwanted guests at his doorstep one autumn day: two orphan children from a disgraced noble family that just happen to be his long-lost blood relatives named Richard and Nelida Earlrose.

 

Spaulding must now find the way to bring these two children back to their nation and along the way, destroy a dangerous piece of sorcery that is hidden in his castle before King Salman and the Äimite guard find out.

 

My Review:

This book was a rollicking, fun, good time that is made for kids of all ages to enjoy!

 

You have elves, castles, magic, sword fights, magical beasts, criminals, danger, laughter, fun and adventure.  This would make an exceptional movie series or television show.  There is no bullying of the children and the fun tends to outweigh anxious parts, for the most part.

 

My favorite scene is the rescue of Richard from the criminals.  It is brilliant and I read it twice!  Just fantastic how the Water Sage used the sword to wipe out the criminals.

 

I didn’t care for Froylan or King Salman, for the most part.  The end of the book lost me.  I can’t comprehend how ******* (bleeped character name to avoid spoliers) becomes the most powerful witch/warlock and can destroy everything.  I didn’t enjoy the ending and that took this book from 5 stars to 4 stars.  Still, a fun read overall.

 

 

My Rating:  4 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Ominous-Book-book-ebook/dp/B01M0BZF0E

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32478959-an-ominous-book

 

Author Biography:

I’m probably an oddball among authors because I never studied a liberal arts degree. I never gave writing any interest until I had an amusing concept for a YA fantasy book series and long story short, I started to write for fun. Before I knew it a little over a year later, I finished 6 novels of the series and have a 7th novel that remains half-finished.

When I’m not fighting with busted typewriters and filling out TPS reports, in my free time I go to weird places on vacation and love it!!! 😃

 

Social Media Links:

Blog http://anominousbook.blogspot.ca/

Twitter http://www.twitter.com/drafoxter

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Nancy-Foster/e/B01MF8UFOK/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Goodreads Author Page https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16064085.Nancy_Foster

 

Reviewed by: Mr. N

Every Song is a Possibility… Chasing Eveline by @LHauser27 #YA #YALit #CoverReveal


Chasing Eveline
Leslie Hauser
Published by: Pen Name Publishing
Publication date: July 11th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

 

Sixteen-year-old Ivy Higgins is the only student at Carmel Heights High School who listens to cassettes. And her binder is the only one decorated with album artwork by 80s band Chasing Eveline. Despite being broken-up since 1989, this rock band out of Ireland means everything to Ivy. They’re a reminder of her mom, who abandoned Ivy and her dad two years ago. Now the music of her mom’s favorite band is the only connection she has left.

 

Even though Ivy wavers between anger and a yearning to reconnect, she’s one-hundred percent certain she’s not ready to lose her mom forever. But the only surefire way to locate her would be at a Chasing Eveline concert. So with help from her lone friend Matt—an equally abandoned soul and indie music enthusiast—Ivy hatches a plan to reunite the band.

 

The road to Ireland won’t be easy, though. And not just because there is no road. Along the way they’ll have to win over their Lady Gaga-loving peers, tangle with some frisky meerkats, and oh yeah, somehow find and persuade the four members to play a reunion gig. It’s a near-impossible task, but Ivy has to try. If she can’t let go of the past, she’ll never be able to find joy in the present.

 

Goodreads / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

 

Author Bio:

 

Leslie Hauser is a YA writer and middle school teacher. She has a B.A. in English from UCLA and a Master’s degree in Educational Administration. She was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and currently resides in Los Angeles, California, with her dog Mr. Darcy.

 

When Leslie is not living in fictional worlds inside her head, she runs all sorts of distances, tortures her body at CrossFit, and DVRs entirely too many television shows. She dreams of one day returning to the Midwest to live on a farm. Or perhaps owning a cookie delivery service.

 

Her debut novel Chasing Eveline releases 2017 from Pen Name Publishing.

 

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#FridayReads: Aaden BlueStar by @authorGaughan #YA #scifi #bookreview


Aaden Bluestar

 

Title: Aaden BlueStar: The Awakening (Aaden BlueStar series Book 1)

Author: David Gaughan

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

At fifteen, Aaden Greene is imbued with extraordinary powers after a freak incident. Astounded by his powerful abilities he’s also confused by the terrifying vision of the monstrous apparition that appears before him at the time of his metaphysical awakening. Struggling to blend his ordinary life with visions of other lifetimes in extraterrestrial realms, he discovers his connection with an ET who has come to save our world. What amazes him most is the connection between the charismatic E.T. with whom he has been closely connected throughout the ages and his father, a Senator running for President on an environmental ticket. With each heart-pounding moment, the ensuing battle between the extraterrestrial BlueStar Beings and the formidable entity of Aaden’s earlier vision requires them to join forces to combat that negative energy. With an environmental backlash, the future of Earth and the survival of the human race depend on their success.

 

My Review:

In a flash of lightning, fifteen-year-old Aaden’s life is forever changed. Climbing a tree trying to get a prized baseball, Aaden gets struck by lightning. His friends worry but by some miracle, he’s not dead. Instead, he’s awakened latent powers and scary visions. His powers come in handy at school and home but trying to appear “normal” gets harder and harder.

 

Meanwhile, there’s an extraterrestrial war taking place just north of Earth, somewhere near Mars. A dark force is trying to infiltrate Earth and it’s up to the Bluestar beings to stop it. But they need help to avoid this environmental disaster so they call on Aaden and his family. The future of Earth is in their hands. Can Aaden use his natural abilities and skills to defeat the enemy or is the fate of humanity doomed?

 

I really loved this unique science fiction book. Who knew that lightning could “awaken” alien powers? Aaden and his friends are portrayed realistically yet in modern times. I loved the extraterrestrial dynamics and politics which added to the believability of the plot. Filled with all kinds of action, dramatic tension and meaningful messages, this is a fantastic read! While I found the environmental sub-plot a tad heavy-handed, it made sense considering the rest of the story.

 

I highly recommend this book to ages 12 and up for complexity of the English language as well as situations. Both teens and adults will enjoy this clean science fiction adventure.

 

Favorite Character: Aaden. He’s such a delightful character to read. His witty nature and honest inner thoughts make him come alive off the page. I enjoyed the way he dealt with his school rival (not quite a bully but close). Someone who anyone can relate to and a joy to read.

 

Favorite Quote: “There’s power in numbers,” said Adam. “The more people with the same positive thought, the more powerful the effect.”

 

My Rating:  4.5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Aaden-BlueStar-Awakening-Book-ebook/dp/B00RIMSS6G

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32141790-aaden-bluestar

 

Author Biography:

Born on the same day and month as Mark Twain, this Sagittarius has always been the explorer, not only in world travel pursuits but also alternative fringe subjects.

 

Having climbed the Great Pyramid of Cheops (and getting arrested doing so), some of his other world experiences included riding camels in the Sahara Desert, white-water rafting at the top of the Ganges river, fire walking on a weekend retreat, hot air ballooning in the Cappadocia Region in Turkey and visiting ashrams in Northern India. Much of David’s overseas travel has been fueled by his keen interest in metaphysical subjects. In his earlier years he witnessed, along with three other people, a sighting of a UFO mother ship and four smaller craft, and that was the catalyst for him to research that subject, also in connection with established world viewpoints and how ancient prophecies might hold the clue to our past and future. Having had close friends and relatives affected by ill health, David’s writing incorporates a wide variety of subjects, from natural healing techniques and alternative living guidelines through to fictional works for both young and older readers, his writing influenced by the rich tapestry of life experiences.

 

Social Media Links:

Twitter http://www.twitter.com/authorGaughan

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13428937.David_Gaughan

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KDZKOM

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N