Thursday, January 31, 2013

Printed Books Giveaway Hop

Giveaway has ended. Congrats to Holly U!



Printed Books Giveaway Hop
February 1st to 7th

First Visions (Second Sight Book One):

Two years ago, 21-year-old Kate Edwards became deathly ill and slipped into a coma. While unconscious, she crept into the mind of a missing boy and awoke with the knowledge of his location. Friends and family were skeptical and wary of her new ability to see into the minds of others. Their fears prompted Kate to keep her psychic powers a secret. Feeling alienated, she dropped out of college and spent most of her days holed up at her mother’s home.

Now another child has been abducted. Police detective Jared Corbett seeks out Kate for her help in solving the case. Reluctantly, Kate agrees and they must work together to bring 8-year-old Cori Preston home to her family. Although attracted to one another, Jared has a girlfriend with ties to the abduction case and Kate is sarcastic and guarded since her coma. With visions she can’t control and an uncontrollable attraction to the detective, she wonders if she can leave the past behind and finally stop hiding from the world. Otherwise, Cori may be lost forever.

Chasers (Alone #1):

The trip of a lifetime just turned into the end of the world.

When Jesse crawls out of the wreckage of a subway car and emerges into daylight, he’s greeted by a living nightmare. An unexplained force has destroyed New York City, turning skyscrapers into ash, cutting off all power and communication. Jesse and his new friends, Dave, Anna and Mini are dazed but unhurt. The other survivors are not so lucky. Every human being they encounter is infected, gripped by an unquenchable thirst that drives them to monstrous acts of violence.

Somehow, Jesse has to escape. But first, he has to stay alive.


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The Crescent Chronicles by Alyssa Rose Ivy Blitz and eBook Giveaway


Flight by Alyssa Rose Ivy  (The Crescent Chronicles #1) - Publication date: August 2012

Sometimes you just have to take flight.

A summer in New Orleans is exactly what Allie needs before starting college. Accepting her dad’s invitation to work at his hotel offers an escape from her ex-boyfriend and the chance to spend the summer with her best friend. Meeting a guy is the last thing on her mind—until she sees Levi.

Unable to resist the infuriating yet alluring Levi, Allie finds herself at the center of a supernatural society and forced to decide between following the path she has always trusted or saving a city that might just save her.

Purchase: 

Focus by Alyssa Rose Ivy  (The Crescent Chronicles #2) - Publication date: January 31st, 2013

Freshman year of college is hard even when you're not tied to the future king of a supernatural society.

Allie dives into college head first with Hailey as her roommate and the city of New Orleans as her backyard. As things within The Society heat up, Allie realizes that whether she’s with Levi or not, she's in far too deep to turn back.

Purchase: 

AUTHOR BIO
Alyssa Rose Ivy
Alyssa Rose Ivy is a Young Adult and New Adult author who loves to weave stories with romance and a southern setting. Although raised in the New York area, she fell in love with the South after moving to New Orleans for college. After years as a perpetual student, she turned back to her creative side and decided to write. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children, and she can usually be found with a cup of coffee in her hand.

--Author Website: http://www.alyssaroseivy.com/
--Twitter: https://twitter.com/alyssaroseivy


Flight Excerpt
We walked through the French Quarter slowly, and I tried to take it all in. The music, the crowds, and the atmosphere still felt surreal. Music spilled out of the endless bars and clubs. 
“Wow, are those people seriously dressed up as vampires?” I asked, looking in at a dark bar on the corner. Inside I watched a man and woman holding up a chalice and smiling with fangs showing.
Levi laughed. “If you think those people are weird, you’d be freaked out by the real thing.”
“The real thing? Very funny.”
“What, you don’t think vampires are real?”
“No, and I’m glad they aren’t.”
“Why? Do they scare you?” Levi stopped walking, and turned me to look at him.
“Does the thought of blood sucking monsters scare me? Hell yes. Who wouldn’t be scared of that? ”
He laughed again even louder. “Trust me sweetheart, in New Orleans vampires are the least of your worries.”
“What do you mean?” Something about the glint in his eyes made me feel a little uneasy.
Levi’s face turned into a faint smile. “I’m really glad you asked that.”
“What are you talking about?”
“You’ll have to wait and see.”
“Okay, listen, scaring me isn’t a good way to get me interested, so if you have any weird tricks up your sleeve just shelve them.” I wondered if this was the time to tell him I avoided horror movies like the plague.
“No tricks, hon.” Levi pulled his phone out of his pocket and texted a few times.
 I continued my people watching. I’d never seen so many middle-aged people laughing and partying before. It almost felt like the twilight zone.
Levi slipped his phone back in his pocket. “We’re meeting everyone over at Club 360.”
“What’s that?”
“The lounge on the top of the World Trade Center down by the river.”
“Okay, is it a cool view?”
“Yeah, it’s got a good view.” Levi laughed again and I had the distinct impression he was hiding something from me.
“You promise you aren’t luring me into some trap?”
“A trap? No. Let’s just call it a new experience.”
My stomach dropped. What the heck did I get myself into?

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Voice by Jennifer Anne Davis Book Blitz and eBook Giveaway

The Voice by Jennifer Anne Davis - YA Contemporary novel - Publication date: January 29th, 2013

During her abduction and assault, Audrey begins to hear a voice. She hopes she’s not going crazy, because after what she’s experienced, that’s the most logical explanation. However, as she begins to listen to the voice, Audrey realizes that someone may be telepathically trying to help her.

Unfortunately, rescue isn’t all she needs. In order to leave behind the constant reminders, she flees to her Aunt Kate’s house in San Diego, and assumes a new identity. It works—until the eighteen-year-old twin boys who live next door threaten to break through the protective walls she’s worked so hard to build.

Between Caleb going out of his way to befriend her and Justin avoiding her at all costs, Audrey doesn’t know if normalcy will ever find her again. But one thing is certain: When a familiar danger resurfaces, it’s the same voice that she turns to—a voice that is not only real, but a lot closer than she realizes.

Gripping and tastefully told, The Voice is a story of healing, trust, and courage. 



AUTHOR BIO

Jennifer Anne Davis 
Jennifer graduated from the University of San Diego with a degree in English and a teaching credential. Afterwards, she married her high school sweetheart, worked as a legal assistant, and taught high school English. Jennifer is currently a full-time writer and mother of three young children. Her days are spent living in imaginary worlds and fueling her own kids’ creativity.
The Voice is her first novel.
Visit Jennifer online at www.JenniferAnneDavis.com

Author Links:


Excerpt:
Chapter 1

Lying in the dark cabin, I tried not to think about the foul smell of body odor mixed with the stench of urine. I tried not to think about how hungry I was, or when I would eat again. About the plastic zip ties cutting into my wrists, or the spider crawling up my arm. I kept trying and failing. There was nothing to do but think.
Audrey? he spoke in my mind.
“Here,” I replied, still not understanding who or what the voice was, hoping I wasn’t going crazy. Though, after what I had been through, crazy wasn’t too far off. Instead, I focused on what the voice was saying. After weeks of being stuck here, he was the only thing keeping me grounded and giving me hope.
I need you to do something for me.
He sounded drained. “Are you okay?” I asked.
Scream.
“What?”
I need you to scream as loud as you can. Now, Audrey! Scream!
Bill had left the cabin only five minutes earlier, and I was afraid to make any noise. What if he was still outside and heard me? Would he come back in? I was so sore and bruised that I couldn’t handle anymore.
Scream! he urged.
Finally trusting the voice, I sucked in a deep breath, closed my eyes, and screamed as loud as I could. At first I sounded like a cat that was being strangled, the sound barely audible and grating on my ears. But I kept trying, and the noise transformed into something loud and fierce.
Yell the word “help.”
“HELP!” My throat was raw, but that didn’t stop me. I took all of my hurt and anger, and used those emotions for the energy needed to sustain the scream.
Then a thumping came from the other room—maybe the front door. My body shuddered. Shimmying to the edge of the mattress, I tried to stand, but my legs gave out, and I fell to the rough, wooden floor, landing on my knees. With bound hands, I inched my way to the corner of the room, as far away from the door as possible.
Keep screaming!
I wanted to curl into a ball and disappear, but I did what the voice said and let out a shrill, loud cry for help. The sound bounced off the walls, echoing.
Wood shattered in the other room. I kept yelling, wishing that I had the power to destroy Bill with my scream.
The doorknob twisted. Please don’t hurt me again . . . please don’t touch me . . . no more, please. No more.
The door exploded open. Instead of Bill, there stood three hunters dressed in camouflage and bright orange vests. One held a shotgun, and another held an axe. I froze in horror. The men looked at one another and then back at me.
Audrey, tell them who you are. Your name.
“I’m Audrey Marshall. Please help me.”
“The kidnapped girl?” the older guy on the right asked. I nodded. “I’m calling 9-1-1. You’re going to be all right now,” he said reassuringly, his cell phone already at his ear.
“Thank you,” I whispered to the voice. But he didn’t respond.


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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Synopsis and Cover Reveal for Dark Premonitions: Second Sight Book Three

Summary:

Psychic Kate Edwards had her first premonition—a vision of her own murder by a faceless attacker. With very few clues to go on, she has to use her psychic gifts to uncover who wants her dead. Paranoia sets in and Kate wonders if there’s anybody she can trust.

As Kate fears her impending death, she’s desperate to seek comfort with her ex-boyfriend Jared Corbett. As she tries to win him over once again, she worries that he’ll never forgive her for the mistakes she has made in the past. Kate questions whether fate will give her a chance to be with Jared again before her existence is ended.

Meanwhile, a sixteen-year-old girl has gone missing. The police and her family insist the girl is a troubled runaway, but Kate suspects there’s more to the story. Kate is frantic to locate the girl before her own time runs out.

Dark Premonitions is the third book in the Second Sight series.


I used Random.org to generate the winner for the $10 Amazon gift card and (drumroll please) it goes to Kamalot Kids Preschool and Childcare. I'll be emailing you today to find out the address you want me to send the gift card. Thanks to everyone who voted and stop back for more great giveaways I have coming up this week.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Jack Templar: Monster Hunter by Jeff Gunhus Book Blast and $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway


Jack Templar: Monster Hunter



Orphan Jack Templar has no memory of his parents and only the smallest details from his Aunt Sophie about how they died. The day before Jack's fourteenth birthday, things start to change for him. At first it's great: A sudden new strength helps him defend his nose-picking friend "T-Rex" from the school bully, and even his crush, Cindy Adams, takes notice. But then a mysterious girl named Eva arrives and tells him two facts that will change his life forever. First, that he's the descendent of a long line of monster hunters and he's destined to be in the family business. Second, that there's a truce between man and monster that children are off-limits...until their fourteenth birthday! Jack has only one day before hundreds of monsters will descend on his little town of Sunnyvale and try to kill him.



As if that weren't enough, things get even more complicated when Jack discovers that the Lord of the Creach (as the monsters are collectively known) holds a personal grudge against him and will do anything to see that Jack has a slow and painful death. To stay alive and save his friends, Jack will have to battle werewolves, vampires, harpies, trolls, zombies and more. But perhaps the most dangerous thing he must face is the truth about his past. Why do the other hunters call him the last Templar? Why do they whisper that he may be the "One?" Why do the monsters want him dead so badly? Even as these questions plague him, he quickly discovers survival is his new full-time job and that in the world of monster hunters, nothing is really what it seems.






Author Jeff Gunhus



Jeff Gunhus grew up in Cyprus, Greece, and Saudi Arabia where there was a distinct lack of television. He quickly found books were the gateway to incredible adventures, fascinating characters and unbelievable discoveries. Now, with five children of his own (all who watch too much television, in his opinion), he has enjoyed revisiting his old books and reliving those adventures all over again.











Kirkus Reviews



"Gunhus brings young readers a monster-filled romp to read at their own risk. In the first few pages, Jack, the storyteller and main character, warns readers not to read about these real-world monsters that would seem to only exist in fiction. The tone is set--sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek and likable; rooting for Jack is easy...Gunhus masterfully introduces fully realized characters with whom readers can connect almost instantly. The pacing is quick but not rushed, and events seamlessly progress, complete with action, cliff-hangers and surprise reveals. "



Amazon Reviews


Watch out Percy Jackson here comes Jack Templar

Move over Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, there's a new kid in town - Jack Templar, and he will take you on a wonderful adventure of good vs evil, with friends and enemies at every turn. The twists and turns keep the reader on a roller coaster of entertainment in the way of JK Rowling and Rick Riordan. ~ Penny Brein



Fast paced adventure through and through

Written for middle school aged students, this book is action-packed from the beginning and will hold the attention of young readers. Not only that, as an adult reader, it was hard to put down, so parents will enjoy it as an easy read. ~ bluejellybean



Kids will love it!

Not only will kids love it, adults will too! I don't want to give the plot away but this is a book worth reading. This book is creatively written drawing in the reader to be a participant in the story. There is lots of action with enough blood and guts to be interesting without being gross. Girls will like it too with the strong female role models and the hint of romance. Even though this is a children's book, I couldn't put it down. I will definitely be adding this to my classroom library. I am looking forward to reading the book in this series and sharing it with my students. Awesome book! ~ pixiep





Purchase




Book Trailer











WARNING


Yeah, you read it right. I’m a monster hunter. Back before I actually became one, I would have thought that sounded totally awesome. And don’t get me wrong, in a lot of ways it is. But most of the time, I’m either running for my life or hiding in the shadows, praying the monster chasing me doesn’t pick up my scent. And I’m almost always scared to death. In a few pages, I think you’ll see why.

     But there are a few things I need to warn you about before I tell you my story.

     First, this isn’t a cartoon. These are bloodthirsty creatures who will stop at nothing to kill. They are scary. Very scary. Second, the only way to stop them is to kill them first…and that gets gross and messy. Third, this is all real.

     You think I’m kidding, don’t you? I can almost see you smirking as you read this. But this isn’t a joke. Monsters are real and the story I’m about to tell you really happened. If you’d rather walk through life believing that monsters are only found in books or on the movie screen, then you should shut this book right now and go do something else.

     I give you these warnings because the story I’m about to tell you isn’t for everyone. Not everyone can handle it. The blood. The gore. The monsters.

     This life was thrust onto me. I had no choice but to take up a sword and fight. But you can still walk away and pretend this dark world doesn’t exist. Or you can walk through the door that I’m about to open and find out the truth about the world around you.

     But I warn you (and this is a big warning), if you read this book, if you learn about the monsters that roam among us and the hunters who fight them, if you decide to learn the truth, then you will become fair game for the monsters to chase.

     Make sure you understand what I’m saying.

     If you read this book, you will be part of this world and the monsters will come after you too. You will start to see things that no other humans can see. The shadows will move when you walk near them. The creatures of the night will seek you out, testing the doors and windows of your house, looking for a way in.

     And, at some point, they will find you, just like they found me, and you will be forced to defend yourself.

     So, think carefully before you turn the page, because once you do, there’s no turning back.

     Ever.

     Once a monster hunter, always a monster hunter.

     See you on the other side.

     If you’re brave enough.





Tour Schedule













Book Blast $50 Giveaway

Ends 2/15/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.



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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Stacking the Shelves and In My Mailbox #24


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and features books you've added to your shelves, both physical and virtual. In My Mailbox from the Story Siren is another meme that highlights the books that bloggers have bought or received for review.

Boundless is on the way to my house! I sprung for the hardcover (it was only 25 cents more than the Kindle) because I was buying a few other things from Amazon and wanted to qualify for free shipping.

Bought:
Boundless by Cynthia Hand

For Review:
Black Moon by Jessica McQuay

Nightsiders by Gary McMahon

None of the Regular Rules by Erin Downing

Notes from Ghost Town by Kate Ellison

Silencing Breath by Joanne Brothwell

The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen

Friday, January 25, 2013

Interred by Marilyn Almodovar Blog Tour Stop and Review


Interred (Chronicles of the Interred #1)
by Marilyn Almodóvar
Release Date: 01/22/13


Welcome to my stop on the Interred Blog Tour hosted by YA Bound! Click HERE to check out the rest of the tour schedule!


Summary from Goodreads:

Time has never been an issue for Baxter Jacobs, but then she never knew she had the ability to Bend it.

As her sixteenth birthday approaches, Baxter inherits a pendant that will change her life. Connected to the pendant is a dark and mysterious young man named Declan Ashdown. Trapped in a Time loop for the past 122 years, Declan needs Baxter’s help to escape. The only problem is, she has no idea how to do it.

To acquire the power she needs to free him, she’ll become one of the Interred, those whose Magical abilities emerge as they come of age. When she does, she’ll discover that Declan isn’t the only one interested in the fact that she’s a Time Bender.

As the Interment arrives, Baxter knows this will be no Sweet Sixteen. A vengeful relative and ruthless Council are determined to control her. Declan’s powerful and charming descendant, Jack Ashdown, claims he can save her. She’ll soon have to decide who she can trust, and how to master her new abilities before Time runs out.

Goodreads link:
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13450348-interred

About the Author:

Marilyn Almodóvar is the author of a series of YA paranormal novels. Born in Ft. Huachuca, Arizona, Lyn is a lover of words whose reading tastes range from Victorian novels to the books of Stephen King. Her favorite past-times have always been reading and writing, two activities that let her escape to other worlds.

It was this love that propelled her to choose Theater and French as majors in University, with a minor in English Victorian Literature. Lyn lived for almost a decade in England followed by three years in France before returning home to the States. A self-confessed citizen of the world, she is fluent in English, French and Spanish, with basic knowledge of the Italian language.
Lyn could happily exist breathing the clean air of Narnia, trapped in a cupboard under the stairs with Harry, fighting alongside Captain Jack Sparrow, doing an internship in Torchwood, or traveling around time and space with the Doctor…as long as she can have Mr. Spock, Captain Kirk and Captain Mal as companions.

Lyn currently lives in Central Florida with her French husband, English-born eldest son, and French-born youngest son. Her debut YA Novel, Interred, will be published by Iambe books on 01/22/2013.




MY REVIEW:


This was a book that you definitely have to keep reading in order to get fully invested in the plot and characters. To be honest, the beginning wasn’t really holding my interest and I may not have kept reading if I wasn’t part of the blog tour. I’m really glad I gave it a full read though because the second half was much better than the first.

I loved Baxter from the get-go. I liked her relationship with her family and her inner thoughts were laced with humor. She comes across as an everyday girl with the very unique ability to control time. I thought the author did a good job of painting a picture of a normal girl thrust into a supernatural world she didn’t know existed.

The beginning of the book was slow. Nothing really started happening until I reached about forty percent of the book. The first half was her finding out her destiny and then having to deal with a temperamental spirit named Declan. Declan was hard to get a read on which made him an intriguing character.

It was an abrupt change of pace after Baxter and her family arrived in England. As part of a testing process of her magical abilities, Baxter and the other Interred are put in a Hunger Games like scenario where they have to survive magical attacks. I was a little confused at times over what was going on, but I liked the action sequences.

I loved Baxter’s interactions with the romantic interests of the book: Declan and Jack. Their characters were very entertaining and I kept guessing at their motivations. The book does have some twists that I was surprised about and made it worth the read.

Thanks to the author and YA Bound for a copy of this novel for the Interred Book Tour!

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars



GIVEAWAY
The giveaway includes:

- One signed paperback of Interred
- One autographed Interred tote bag
- One onyx pendant inspired by the book
- One angel pin inspired by the book
- Misc. book swag (magnet, wristband, postcard, phone skin)
Open Internationally!

Here is the Rafflecopter code:

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

One-Year Book Anniversary (Sort-Of)


January marks my one-year anniversary of when I started my journey as a novelist. It’s around this time that I started working on my first two releases: Shattered Love and First Visions. I have to say I didn’t know jack back then about publishing, blogging and book marketing. After a year, I’ve learned so much, a lot that has been taught to me by fellow bloggers and writers.

The main thing I’ve taken away from this experience is that you can’t just write a book. This is what I did with Shattered Love. Although I’m glad I wrote this novel before my Second Sight series, my inexperience is one of the reasons I pulled the book from publication. I go back and forth on whether I want to revise the book and put it back out there, but I’m not sure. Although I liked the premise when I wrote it, I’ve lost my faith in the book and I’m uncertain whether it’s worth a revisit. With First Visions, I invested the money in editing and marketing because of my belief in Kate and her story. Without putting up initial money to get my book out there, I don’t believe it would’ve done as well as how it has done.

I’m extremely pleased with how well the Second Sight series has turned out. I don’t judge my success by only sales numbers, but also by reader comments. This is one of the reasons I like the free days on Amazon, I feel it gets my book in the hands of readers that end up loving the books after stumbling upon them. If you’re a writer and you’re unsure about the KDP program, I recommend giving it a go. It has been especially helpful in increasing sales for my sequel New Revelations.

I give props to all of my fellow writers out there. This is a tough business! It has been a year of ups and downs, failures and successes. I appreciate the support and that’s why I’m always open to returning the favor, whether it is a guest spot on my blog or requesting a book review.

I’m glad that I’ve met so many wonderful people through the blogger community because I’ve had almost as much fun book blogging as I’ve had writing. It’s been a crazy year for sure, but not one I’ll ever regret.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Review: The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd


Goodreads Summary:

In the darkest places, even love is deadly.

Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father's gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father's madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island's inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father's dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it's too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father's genius—and madness—in her own blood.

Inspired by H. G. Wells's classic The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Madman's Daughter is a dark and breathless Gothic thriller about the secrets we'll do anything to know and the truths we'll go to any lengths to protect.

Publication Date: January 29, 2013

The Madman’s Daughter was a fantastic read! I loved how the author blended elements of romance, suspense and fantasy to create an unforgettable novel inspired by The Island of Doctor Moreau by HG Wells.

I was drawn in from the beginning by the story of Juliet’s fall from grace after a scandal that forced her father out of London. Juliet and her mother were left with no money and Juliet is forced to work as a maid while staying in a boarding house. The novel had a dark and gothic feel from the get go and it really enticed me to keep reading.

I thought the author did an amazing job of pulling me into her world. Whether the setting was in London, a pirate ship or the doctor’s island, I felt transported to the places she was describing. The descriptions of the creatures made by the doctor were also incredibly well done and I felt squeamish over some of the scenes that took place in the operating room.

Juliet was a wonderful protagonist. She was tough and smart without being too hardened and distant. I was able to relate to her conflicting emotions about her father as well as her childhood friend Montgomery. I liked that the story was told from her point of view and the readers were given the same clues as she was to unravel the mysteries of the island.

It’s hard to talk about the plot without posting spoilers. I’ll just say that the book had some awesome twists! I guessed a couple of the reveals, but a few were definite surprises. What’s crazy is that most of the big revelations don’t occur until the last fifteen percent of the book. However, it didn’t affect the pace of the novel and I never found myself bored to tears while reading.

I know some readers aren’t fans of love triangles, but I actually like them. The only problem with this one was I started out liking one guy, then I liked the other guy and by the end I hated both of them because of events that occur over the course of the novel. I’m excited for the next book and I wouldn’t mind a new romantic interest for Juliet.

This is an amazing debut that I’m certain fans of young adult novels will love!

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this novel for review!


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Daynight Blog Tour Stop and Author Interview with Megan Thomason

Tour Schedule



daynight by Megan Thomason



Meet The Second Chance Institute (SCI): Earth’s benevolent non-profit by day, Thera’s totalitarian regime by night. Their motto: Because Everyone Deserves a Second Chance™. Reality: the SCI subjects Second Chancers to strict controls and politically motivated science experiments like Cleaving—forced lifetime union between two people who have sex.



Meet Kira Donovan. Fiercely loyal, overly optimistic, and ensnared by the promise of a full-ride college scholarship, Kira signs the SCI Recruit contract to escape memories of a tragedy that left her boyfriend and friends dead.



Meet Blake Sundry. Bitter about being raised in Exile and his mother’s death, Blake’s been trained to infiltrate and destroy the SCI. Current barrier to success? His Recruit partner—Miss Goody Two Shoes Kira Donovan.



Meet Ethan Darcton. Born with a defective heart and resulting inferiority complex, Ethan’s forced to do his SCI elite family’s bidding. Cleave-worthy Kira Donovan catches his eye, but the presiding powers give defect-free Blake Sundry first dibs.



Full of competing agendas, romantic entanglements, humor, twists and turns, daynight is Megan Thomason’s debut young adult dystopian novel and first in the daynight series.



Purchase


Praise



“Sure to win over YA readers looking for a dangerous, dystopian adventure story” —Kirkus Reviews

“Gripping young adult dystopian novel; compelling conflicts; high stakes; powerful narrative; surprises keep coming; strong writing; page-turner; engaging characters; Readers will be hungry for the sequels.”—BlueInk Review (starred review)



“The writing is impressive and the story is a real page-turner. So many twists and turns… I’m hooked… I can’t wait for the next installment to come out…4.5 out of 5 stars”—Self-Publishing Review



“Delicious humor, intelligence, and sparkling dialogue” —Amazon reviewer



“Strangely brilliant and imaginative”—Amazon reviewer



“Grips you from the first page and keeps you wanting more”—Amazon reviewer



“Plot twists kept me reading till late at night”—Amazon reviewer



“Every page a thrilling experience”—Amazon reviewer



“Hooked from the first chapter and could not put it down”—Amazon reviewer



“It's like a CW fantasy TV show in a book with a really interesting environment.”—Amazon reviewer



“I'm a little tired of dystopian novels, but Daynight has a unique and fresh story line that didn't have any trouble keeping my interest.”—Amazon reviewer




Author Megan Thomason



Megan Thomason lives in paradise aka San Diego, CA with her husband and five children. A former software manager, Megan vastly prefers writing twisted tales to business, product, and marketing plans. When she isn't typing away on her laptop, she's reading books on her phone—over 600 in the last year—or attending to the needs of her family. Megan’s fluent in sarcasm, could potentially benefit from a 12-step program for road rage, struggles with a Hot Tamales addiction, loves world travel & fast cars and hates paperwork & being an insomniac. Daynight is Megan's first published novel, but fourth written one.







Tour Schedul

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR MEGAN THOMASON

Where did you get the inspiration for your book?

As I hiked through the canyons of San Diego on an unusually hot day, I wondered what would happen if temperatures were so extreme that days and nights had to be switched. This was the impetus for Thera, the main setting for daynight. Quickly, Thera became a fully inverted Earth, with not only days and nights switched, but land and sea, direction of the sun, etc. I researched the extreme temperatures would have on the environment and what a society would have to do to adapt to it. Even the lingo was affected… Monnight, Tuesnight, etc.; daygowns instead of nightgowns; daymares and more… I had a lot of fun with it.
As for The Second Chance Institute, benevolent non-profit on Earth by day and totalitarian ruler on Thera by night, and their unusual agendas and methods… these are all products of my very warped mind ;).

What other novels in your genre would you compare Daynight to?

Unlike other young adult dystopian novels, daynight transpires in a modern day, rather than post-apocalyptic or future setting. Everything The Second Chance Institute does on Thera is meant to test best practices to bring to Earth. As with all dystopias, the extremes presented are meant to make the user think about how perhaps our society is only a hop, skip and a jump away from theirs. The SCI has some Orwellian Big Brother tendencies… perhaps quite loosely some themes from Brave New World or The Handmaid’s Tale.
Cleaving might be compared to the Matching in Matched (Cleaving is forced lifetime union between two people who have sex; at 18 the government assigns a Cleave, if the person hasn’t already done so), but the stories are radically different. There’s a love triangle in daynight, which might make some people jump to a Hunger Games comparison, but there’s little actual similarity in setup or execution of the romantic entanglements.

What are you reading right now?

I have more than 50 books in the queue on my phone, as well as dozens of samples (I always read samples first). I’m currently switching between re-reads of Brave New World (been so long, I’d forgotten how incredibly clever it is; fabulous writing) and The Handmaid’s Tale (also excellent); a sample of Vain by Fisher Amelie (I like) and The Moon Dwellers by David Estes. I read rapidly, extensively, and as often as I can.

What’s your writing process? How long did it take to complete your novel?

To give context, before writing daynight, I’d written a full trilogy of teen romantic comedies for my daughters and their friends: the thin veil, the thin line, and thin skin. With the thin veil, I had a clear idea of what I wanted and pounded it out; the sequels I plotted, but the writing went quickly. However, daynight was a much more ambitious project. Written from 3 point of views, each told in the present and with flashbacks; the complexity of The Second Chance Institute; Exilers (those banished from SCI cities), broken into two factions with a vendetta against the SCI; multiple villains; all characters will very detailed back stories and depth… this all took detailed plotting and notes that I continually revised as I wrote and thought up better ideas.
I completed my first draft of daynight in early 2009. Six full months of writing and another six of editing, rewriting, more editing, more rewriting, proofreading, etc. It still didn’t sit right, so I tabled it for a long time (was busy with other things), periodically doing re-writes as new ideas came. Finally, in the latter half of 2012, inspiration hit, I did a final re-write, editing, proofreading, etc. and I published.
To me, a writing project is like a living breathing entity that requires continual nourishment, adaptation and adjustment!

What was the most difficult part of writing Daynight?

Pleasing the constituents. I had lots of different ‘alpha’ and ‘beta’ readers, and everyone wanted something different. The girls: more romance, less action. The boys: more action, less romance. The classic readers: more deep symbolism. I came across this quote and love it: "If you're trying to please everyone, then you're not going to make anything that is honestly yours, I don't think, in the long run."--Viggo Mortensen. In the end, everything I wrote, I wrote for a reason--because I felt it necessary to fully tell the story and set up for the sequels.

What are your future writing plans?

I am currently writing the sequel to daynight, arbitrate, and targeting a summer 2013 release. In addition, I’m writing B*Lies, the story about a girl who decides to run from her abusive father. If I ever find time between the writing new books and promoting published books, I may do a re-write of my original trilogy and publish them. I love the characters and stories, but the writing isn’t to the level I think it needs to be for mass consumption.

Any advice for aspiring writers?

-  Read! If every author read every book in their genre (or at least the highly rated ones), there would be a lot less rehashed stories, better writing, and fresh concepts. I read 600 books in the last year. You can find my top 50+ favorites here: http://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/3493195-my-favorite-books-of-2012.
-  Plot! Certainly, there have been some successful books written off the cuff, but to have good pacing, story development, character development, building of tension, etc. it typically takes good plotting.
-  Flexibility! Revise, revise, revise. Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. Don’t get so stuck on your initial concept that you reject an even better idea.
-  Edit! Editing is hard. I typically go through my book over a hundred times, looking for something different each pass.
-  Proofread! Yes, I list this separately from editing. Have someone (or even better, many someones)—other than you—someone with a sharp eye and very keen grasp of the English language, proofread your book. The brain compensates for missing words, extra words, etc. and they are very hard to find. If problems are found after publishing, fix and update.
-  Work hard! If you thought the writing was time-consuming and hard, promoting your book takes as much, if not more time. 
-  Start writing the next one. Your chances increase exponentially of having a ‘hit’, the more offerings you have.



Blog Tour Giveaway


$50 Amazon Gift Card

Signed copy of Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Signed copy of daynight

Ends 2/7/13


Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Vote for the Cover of Second Sight Book Three and Win an Amazon Gift Card

VOTING HAS CLOSED. COVER AND WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED TUESDAY 1/29

Happy Monday all! Today I need your help because I'm torn between two covers for the third book in the Second Sight series. I have entitled the latest novel Dark Premonitions and I have two covers I'm trying to choose from. I have the two mock-ups that I'm looking at and I would love help making the final decision. These covers aren't final, but you can see the basic gist of them. Please vote and leave a comment to enter a drawing for a $10 Amazon gift card. Voting ends Friday 1/25/13.

COVER A

COVER B


Persistence of Vision by Liesel K. Hill Blog Tour Stop and Review

Musings on Fantasia
Goodreads Summary:
In a world where collective hives are enslaving the population and individuals have been hunted to the verge of extinction, Maggie Harper, and independent 21st Century woman, must find the strength to preserve the freedom of the future, but without the aid of her memories.

After experiencing a traumatic time loss, Maggie is plagued by a barrage of images she can't explain. When she's attacked by a creep with a spider's web tattoo, she is saved by Marcus, a man she's never met, but somehow remembers. He tells her that both he and her creepy attacker are from a future in which individuals are being murdered by collectives, and Marcus is part of the rebellion. The collectives have acquired time travel and they plan to enslave the human race throughout all of history. The flashes Maggie has been seeing are echoes of lost memories, and the information buried deep within them is instrumental in defeating the collective hives.

In order to preserve the individuality of mankind, Maggie must try to re-discover stolen memories, re-kindle friendships she has no recollection of, and wade through her feelings for the mysterious Marcus, all while dodging the tattooed assassins the collectives keep sending her way.

If Maggie can't fill the holes in her memory and find the answers to stop the collectives, the world both in her time and in all ages past and future will be doomed to enslavement in the grey, mediocre collectives. As the danger swirls around her and the collectives close in, Maggie realizes she must make a choice: stand out or fade away...

*New Adult futuristic dystopian fantasy


Publication Date: January 29, 2013


Sci-fi and fantasy books are usually hit or miss for me. I either really enjoy them or I find myself baffled over the complexities of the plot. Although the Persistence of Vision was leaden with scientific theories, I didn’t feel like I was completely lost and had to refer to World Book every five minutes to figure out what the heck was going on.

The plot had elements reminiscent of The Host, one of my favorite books. The character of Doc reminded me of Jeb and the fact that the characters were part of a resistance hiding out in a cavern designed to house humans. I liked the time in the caves and how Maggie was introduced to the rules of the new society. Although there were big sections of explanation without a ton of action, I felt the concepts were intriguing enough to keep the book interesting.

An enjoyable aspect of the novel was that the plot seemed like it was something that could actually happen. I don’t know where the author came up with the idea that mapping the brain would lead to all of these changes in society and the appearance of supernatural powers, but it was intriguing. The Collectives were also an interesting idea and I loved the fight for individualism within the future society.

I liked Maggie as the main character. She was tough and willing to give up so much to help these “strangers.” I think both Maggie and Marcus needed more physical descriptions because I couldn’t picture either of them in my head while reading. The world building was done so well, it would’ve been great to know more about the characters in this world. The baddies of the book were super creepy. The cover freaked me out before I had even read a word. There were some great twists with the characters too that were unexpected.

I wasn’t feeling the romance of the book. I just didn’t feel a connection to Marcus and thought he came off as very boring. SPOILER ALERT I kind of realized I wasn’t a fan when I kept yelling at Maggie to go for his brother. I thought her chemistry with David was palpable and I’d love to see something come out of it (maybe a forbidden romance?) in subsequent novels. I thought it was annoying how Marcus treated his brother, it made him seem kind of jerky after everything David did to escape and his efforts to help Maggie. END OF SPOILER

There’s plenty of room for so many stories to take place in the world Hill created. I’m very excited to read any sequels about Maggie and the members of the Interchron.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Thanks to the author for a copy of this book for review!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Obscura Burning Book Blitz, Guest Post + Giveaway

Obscura Burning by Suzanne van Rooyen - December 7th 2012 / Etopia Press
--
The world's going to end in fire…and it's all Kyle's fault.

Kyle Wolfe's world is about to crash and burn. Just weeks away from graduation, a fire kills Kyle's two best friends and leaves him permanently scarred. A fire that Kyle accidentally set the night he cheated on his boyfriend Danny with their female friend, Shira. That same day, a strange new planet, Obscura, appears in the sky. And suddenly Kyle's friends aren't all that dead anymore.

Each time Kyle goes to sleep, he awakens to two different realities. In one, his boyfriend Danny is still alive, but Shira is dead. In the other, it's Shira who's alive...and now they're friends with benefits. Shifting between realities is slowly killing him, and he's not the only one dying. The world is dying with him. He's pretty sure Obscura has something to do with it, but with his parents' marriage imploding and realities shifting each time he closes his eyes, Kyle has problems enough without being the one in charge of saving the world...
--

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16060591-obscura-burning


Purchase:
-Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Obscura-Burning-ebook/dp/B00AJP6RIU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354871438&sr=8-1&keywords=obscura+burning
-Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/obscura-burning-suzanne-van-rooyen/1113910054?ean=2940015802986
-OmniLit: https://www.omnilit.com/product-obscuraburning-1013356-145.html



AUTHOR BIO
Suzanne van Rooyen:
Suzanne is a freelance writer and author from South Africa. She currently lives in Finland and finds the cold, dark forests nothing if not inspiring. Suzanne is the author of the cyberpunk novel Dragon’s Teeth (Divertir), the YA science fiction novel Obscura Burning (Etopia) and has had several short stories published by Golden Visions Magazine, Space and Time and Niteblade. Niteblade nominated her short story Where dreams are grown for the Pushcart Prize. Her non-fiction articles on travel, music and other topics can be found scattered throughout the Internet. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When not writing you can find her teaching dance to ninth graders or playing in the snow with her shiba inu.

Suzanne is represented by Jordy Albert of the Booker Albert Agency.

Author Links:
Website: http://suzannevanrooyen.com/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5306442.Suzanne_van_Rooyen
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Suzanne-van-Rooyen/304965232847874
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Suzanne_Writer


Setting a Story Somewhere You’ve Never Been

Of the 13 countries I’ve visited on 3 continents, I have never been to the US. Why my story insisted on being set in New Mexico remains a mystery, but that’s what my characters were telling me so that’s where I set the story despite having never set foot on American soil.

Setting is vital to any story. Setting becomes a character unto itself and should be made as real as possible. This is not easy when you’ve never been to said location. In the interest of verisimilitude, I did extensive research. This involved reading everything I could about New Mexico, specifically the Four Corners where my fictional town is located. I also watched documentaries about the State and its oddities. I even trawled through Youtube to find posts by New Mexican teenagers so I could listen to their accents and slang. (Apparently, thanks to an honest reviewer, I still got it wrong).

Thanks to the online writing community Scribophile, I was able to compile some anecdotes about life in NM as well - what a sunset looked like, which way storms blew in, what storms smelled like, what small town residents did to celebrate the 4th of July, what people typically ate, what the vegetation looked like etc. There was tons of research that went into this book and I still managed to get things wrong. Yup, I mangled the Spanish expletives and used Britishisms where I shouldn’t have.

From this experience, I’ve learned some extremely valuable lessons. 1) Better to write about a place you’ve actually been. 2) Know your stuff inside out - there is no such thing as too much research. 3) Own your mistakes even if you (embarrassingly) refer to the wrong city as the capital.

There’s nothing wrong with setting your story somewhere you’ve never been but brace yourself for backlash from readers when they find your mistakes, which they will because authors cannot get every nuance of a culture they’ve never experienced right without seeing, hearing, tasting and feeling the place for themselves. That said, I don’t think I did too badly writing this book as I did from my spot in the forests of central Finland. 

Giveaway:

-1 autographed paperback of Obscura Burning
-1 ebook of Dragon's Teeth (epub, mobi or pdf)
-1 $10 GC for Amazon
-3 surprise items from each of the main characters

Open internationally and ending January 31st.

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Stacking the Shelves and In My Mailbox #23


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and features books you've added to your shelves, both physical and virtual. In My Mailbox from the Story Siren is another meme that highlights the books that bloggers have bought or received for review.

Why do I pretend that I will limit the number of books I get this week? With weekly trips to the library with my son, it's hard to resist picking up a few titles from my TBR pile.

Library:
Eve & Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate

Pure by Julianna Baggott

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

For Review:
Barbie Girl by Heidi Acosta

Flight by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Stung by Bethany Wiggins