Thursday, September 27, 2018

Blastaway by Melissa Landers Cover Reveal


Today Melissa Landers and Rockstar Book Tours are revealing the cover and an exclusive content for BLASTAWAY, her new Middle Grade Sci-Fi which releases Summer 2019! Check out the awesome cover and the excerpt!

On to the reveal! 


Title: BLASTAWAY
Author: Melissa Landers
Pub. Date: Summer 2019
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Find it: Goodreads

Pitched as "Home Alone in space," a young science prodigy who runs away in his family spaceship must team up with a plucky mutant to save the Earth from destruction.

Scheduled for publication Summer 2019.

Exclusive Excerpt!
At some point, I must have fallen asleep.

I say that for two reasons. First, my chin was wet with drool, and I hardly ever slobber on myself when I’m awake. And second, I was no longer on Earth.

I sat bolt upright and stared out the window as distant stars whizzed past in a blur. There were no planets in sight, and judging by the swirling purple nebula ahead of me, this wasn’t the way to Nana’s house. I checked the navigation screen and felt my mouth drop open. The flashing beacon that represented my ship was halfway between Earth and Fasti.

(So you see, it is totally possible to steal a spaceship on accident.)

I guess my hand hit the EXECUTE button when I fell asleep. And because it would take just as long for me to turn around and go home as it would to finish my journey, it made sense to keep going, right? Either way, my parents would ground me into the afterlife, so I might as well earn the sentence, right?

Right.

An electric thrill rushed through my veins when I thought about the possibilities that lay ahead of me. Anything could happen on this trip. Literally anything. I could discover a brand-new element. Or meet a secret race of aliens. Or invent a new energy source. Or eat so much chocolate that I puked. Either way, I had complete freedom to make this journey into whatever I wanted, and once I realized that, there was no freaking way I could turn back. It was like the universe had dropped a gift in my lap, a gift I had no intention of returning.    

I wiped the drool off my chin and smiled.

“Hold onto your stars, Fasti. Here I come.”

About Melissa:

Melissa Landers is a former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds. A proud sci-fi geek, she isn’t afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public—just ask her kids. She lives just outside Cincinnati in the town of Loveland, “Sweetheart of Ohio.”


Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Brightest Stars by Anna Todd Giveaway!

Today I'm excited to be partnering with Anna Todd for this giveaway!

The Brightest Stars
Author: Anna Todd
Publisher: Frayed Pages Inc.
Publication Date: September 18, 2018

Synopsis: 
Internationally bestselling author Anna Todd returns with a gripping novel about a young woman’s quest to keep her family together, despite the lies that are tearing them apart.

Karina knows the harsh realities of military life. And like anyone who has grown up around an army base, she knows the background noise that follows a soldier home from war. That’s why she’s forging her own quiet life in her own little house. But she hasn’t turned her back on her family. She’s the glue that holds them together—when her father is deployed, when her brother, Austin, has another brush with the law.
Karina knows that she has to look after herself, that she can’t always fix what’s broken. But when Austin’s behavior worsens and her father’s reactions grow more extreme, Karina feels her own edges beginning to fray. That’s when she meets him—a closed book she’s desperate to open.
At just twenty, Kale is a handsome, brooding soldier struggling with the aftermath of two tours in Afghanistan. He’s emotionally damaged and closed off. Quiet doesn’t begin to describe him. But as Karina gets used to his stable presence, she finds it hard to ignore the way he makes her feel. In their time together, she finds the stillness she has always wanted and never found. She lets down her guard. And she lets herself fill in the blanks about this mysterious man.
But illusions quickly made are quickly shattered. That’s when Karina has to find her own courage—to untangle the truth from the lies, and decide what she’s going to do about it.
A riveting story about the love and lies, THE BRIGHTEST STARS will stay with you long after the last page has been turned.

Click here to download chapter 1 of The Brightest Stars
About the Author
Anna Todd is the New York Times bestselling author of the After series, The Spring Girls and the upcoming The Brightest Stars. Always an avid reader, she began writing stories on her phone on Wattpad, the reading and writing multiplatform for original stories, with After becoming the most read series on the platform with over 1.5 billion reads. The print edition was published in 2014. It has been published in over 30 languages, with more than 11 million copies sold worldwide, and is a #1 bestseller in Italy, Germany, France and Spain. The film adaptation, which Anna is co-producing, is set to be released in early 2019. Anna and her husband currently live in Los Angeles.

Find her at AnnaTodd.com, on Twitter at @imaginator1d, on Instagram at @imaginator1d, and on Wattpad as Imaginator1D.

Visit the Official Website | Twitter | Instagram | Find the author on Wattpad

Giveaway

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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Dark Beneath The Ice by Amelinda Bérubé Blog Tour + Giveaway!

Title: Dark Beneath the Ice
Author: Amelinda Bérubé
Release Date: August 7, 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Synopsis:
Black Swan meets Paranormal Activity in this compelling ghost story about a former dancer whose grip on reality slips when she begins to think a dark entity is stalking her.
Something is wrong with Marianne.

It’s not just that her parents have finally split up. Or that life hasn’t been the same since she quit dancing. Or even that her mother has checked herself into the hospital.

She’s losing time. Doing things she would never do. And objects around her seem to break whenever she comes close. Something is after her. And the only one who seems to believe her is the daughter of a local psychic.

But their first attempt at an exorcism calls down the full force of the thing’s rage. It demands Marianne give back what she stole. Whatever is haunting her, it wants everything she has—everything it’s convinced she stole. Marianne must uncover the truth that lies beneath it all before the nightmare can take what it thinks it’s owed, leaving Marianne trapped in the darkness of the other side.

Excerpt 
1
The silence still clings to me.
If I close my eyes it’s there waiting for me, filling my mouth, heavy as water. Ready to swallow me again.
I rest my forehead against the window, willing the ordinary sounds around me to wash the memory away: the windshield wipers, the spatter of the rain, the rattle in the wheel well. In the driver’s seat beside me, Mom breathes in little hitches, trying not to sound like she’s crying.
I risk a glance at her; she’s wiping her eyes. Her hair is usually tied up in a neat sweep of gleaming black, silver threads glinting through it. Today she’s yanked it through an elastic, pieces straggling dull and stringy around her face. Before I can look away again her gaze meets mine and she attempts a half smile.
It hurts to see it. I study the flowers in my lap: lilies—big, splashy orange ones. The smell is giving me a headache. They’re for Aunt Jennifer, for taking care of me. It’s not like I haven’t been to Aunt Jen’s overnight before, not like it’s some huge favor. How long is she planning to leave me there?
Mom slams on the brakes, and I clutch the bouquet to stop it from sliding to the floor. She grates out a few choice swear words at the car ahead of us.
“I left your father a message,” she says. “I sure hope he calls you.”
I take the words in like water—like an icy lake, swallowing their impact without a splash, letting them sink. I turn back to the window, watch my reflection slide over the river and the low-slung clouds. My face is thin and pale, my eyes dark hollows. I look like a ghost.
Mom heaves a sigh, yanks a tissue from the box sitting between us. She won’t tell me where she’s going. She won’t tell me why. Not that I’ve pressed her for details. There’s a traitorous piece of me that’s relieved. Mom’s always been unpredictable, prone to wild mood swings she apologizes for later, and Hurricane Laura, as Dad puts it, has been howling full blast these past couple days. We used to joke about battening down the hatches, waiting out the storm. But this time, Dad’s the reason she’s in pieces.
And he left me to pick them up by myself.
I won’t think about it. Just like last night—whatever happened last night. It’s a stone, and it’s vanishing into the water, leaving me serene. Unmoved.
Aunt Jen’s building is long and low, brick and stucco, a little shabby at the edges. It’s a strange contrast with the palatial homes on the next street, but that’s what this whole neighborhood is like. The boat launch at the end of the road is barricaded and piled high with sandbags to keep the river from swallowing the pavement. Right beside it, half a dozen two-story row units are surrounded by a high cedar hedge. Aunt Jen’s is the last one before the water. As the car crunches to a stop in the driveway, the sun comes out, as if from behind a veil. Suddenly, over the seawall, the river is all blue glitter, the trees drooping over the end of the street glowing golden-green, the last drops of rain sparkling as they drip from the leaves.
We sit silently in the car for a long moment. Seagulls wheel overhead, crying.
“Wait here,” Mom manages eventually, taking the flowers. She slams the door without waiting for me to respond and hurries over to Jen’s gate in the hedge, where a flush of pink roses shine in the sun.
I get out more slowly once she’s disappeared behind it. Their voices drift toward me: Mom’s barely muffled wails, Jen’s reassurances. I can’t make out words from here, though. I kick at a rock, following it down to the end of the road toward the seawall.
The river shouldn’t be this high. Behind the seawall—a chest-high barrier that zigzags behind the imposing homes lining the waterfront—the water is brown, choppy, slapping at the concrete a foot below the top, an occasional wave sending spray sloshing over onto the grass. By now it’s usually fallen low enough that the boat launch stands open to the river; later in the summer it drops all the way down to a stony outcropping that makes for a great place to skip rocks. It’s hard to imagine that now.
The rain hasn’t stopped for more than a couple of hours at a time this past week; I can’t even remember the last time the sun was out for this long. It won’t last. The news has been talking endlessly about record precipitation and the threat of flooding, images of picnic tables standing in the water and empty outdoor swimming pools with their surfaces pocked with raindrops. The DJs hosting the radio morning shows, in between laughing at their own jokes, moan about how summer is never going to come. Usually I love the peace and softness of rain, its soothing murmur on the roof. But it’s starting to feel oppressive lately. Inescapable.
I turn my back on the water, breathe in its green, weedy smell, and tell myself to relax. Aunt Jen’s place has always been cozy, a haven of good memories going back to when I was little. I used to play “inflatable Auntie” with her, pretending to blow her up like a beach ball. She would puff up obligingly and then deflate again, sagging in her chair and making a loud raspberry noise for full effect. I tried that game once with my mom, but she put on a pained smile and told me she didn’t like it. I think she was worried I was implying she was fat. Aunt Jen, comfortably plump compared to Mom, doesn’t seem to care about that sort of thing; she keeps her graying hair cut short, doesn’t wear makeup, and lives in jeans and sweaters unless forced to dress up, when she just drapes herself in something long and flowy.
The gate creaks, and Mom hurries out toward me, folds me into a tight hug. She’s not even trying to hide that she’s crying now. Aunt Jen follows behind her but heads to the car, popping open the trunk, although she casts a worried look our way.
“It’s only for a little while,” Mom whispers. “Just a little while. It’s not you, sweetie, I just can’t deal with this, not on top of everything else.”
“With what?” My voice breaks too, and despite my resolve, they come bubbling up: all the questions I haven’t dared to ask. “Mom. Please tell me. Did something happen last night?” She lets me go, half turns away, wrapping her arms around herself as if I punched her, her face crumpling. “Mom, what happened?”
“Nothing,” Mom sobs. “Nothing. Nothing.”
She draws a fierce breath, then another, and grips my shoulders, fixing me with a tearful glare.
“Nothing happened, Marianne!” Her fingers dig into my arms. “Understand? It’s not you. I just need to get some help. I’m going to get some help, all right? I’ll come and get you as soon as I can, and…and we’ll figure everything out. Okay?”
I nod. There’s nothing else I can do. The sun is gone again. I’m cold from the tips of my fingers to the hollow of my back, despite my sweater.
“Okay,” Mom repeats. Her lips tremble. “I love you.”
She pulls away, takes long steps back toward the car, and yanks the door open. She folds her arms over the steering wheel and rests her head on them for a moment while her shoulders shake. With the glass between us, I can’t hear her sobbing.
“Come on, Mare-bear.” It’s Aunt Jen’s arm around me now, a band of warmth, pulling me close. “Let’s go inside.”
***
We step into Aunt Jen’s living room, a cool, leafy cavern. Gray light filters through plants that spill from shelves and dangle from hanging planters. The piano, a mass of dark, carven wood, is the only surface that isn’t draped with fronds or vines. The little radio on the side table next to the old maroon couch fills the room with earnest, thoughtful conversation.
“I’ve set up the spare room for you,” Aunt Jen says, pulling the patio door closed behind us. “You can get yourself settled in a bit, and then we’ll have a cup of tea.”
Hugging my pillow, my laptop case banging against my leg, I follow her up the stairs. There are empty spots on the wall where pictures of my parents used to hang. I feel for my phone in my pocket. Dad hasn’t called. I hope he will. I hope he won’t.
The room hasn’t changed: the window looking down onto the garden and the river beyond it, a twin bed with a threadbare quilt, moss-green walls, a white dresser topped with a menagerie of little china animals—a tiger, a monkey, a turkey, a horse. Mom told me they belonged to my grandmother, who died when I was still a baby. I used to play with them when I was little.
“There’s plenty of space in the dresser if you want to unpack,” Aunt Jen offers tentatively. “It’s never fun living out of a suitcase.”
I set down the laptop case and fluff my pillow a couple of times before arranging it on the bed, trying to avoid her gaze.
“Well. I’ll go put the kettle on, Mare-bear, okay? Take your time.”
“It’s Marianne, please, Aunt Jen.” But she’s already out the door.
I sink down on the bed, which creaks under me. The rest of my life is unrecognizable, but everything here is the same. It’s like I’ve stepped into some parallel universe. Like any second I’ll hear my parents laughing downstairs as Jen pours glasses of wine, and none of this will have happened.
There is one thing that’s different. Usually there’s a picture of me and my parents on the wall beside the mirror. Now a much smaller frame hangs a little crookedly in its place, holding a snapshot from some distant summer: just me, striking a ta-da pose beside a leaning sandcastle. I remember that red swimsuit.
The photo must be from the beach right down the street from here, so close that we used to go there all the time. I remember those trips in flashes: Mom’s smile as she glanced back at me from the front seat, strings of hair whipping around her face in the gale from the open window. Dad’s hand on her bare knee. My sandaled toes tipping up toward the jewel blue of the sky at the apex of a swing. Dad diving for a volleyball and sprawling in the sand, making me laugh so hard my sides ached. The sparkle of the water, its delicious chill when I waded in. Swimming out as far as I dared, diving as deep as I could, reaching for the murky bottom.
I took yoga classes with Mom after I quit dance. To help me calm down, she said. Like she thought it would fix me. The studio must have been nice during the day, with sunshine pouring in through the wall of windows at the front. At night the fluorescent lights made everyone look tired and cold. At the beginning of each class, as we lay on our thin, hard mats, the instructor asked us to picture a place where we’d found tranquility, and every time that’s what I called up: the water, cold and green. It’s second nature now, the one useful thing I learned in those six weeks. I can summon it easily, lower myself into chilly weightlessness, the absence of sound, and hang suspended between worlds for a few long breaths until I’m cool and reasonable again. Lately I’ve frosted the surface over with a layer of ice, a shield keeping me submerged.
I close my eyes. The memory of silence, an empty horizon, rises around me, but I push it aside, force it down into the depths where dark water belongs. I’m not letting a bad dream spoil this for me, the one place where I’m truly safe. Around me I summon sunlight filtering down through the waves, a translucent, icy ceiling inches thick. Perfect, thoughtless peace closes over my head.
And then a noise like a firecracker, like a gunshot, yanks me back to reality. I leap to my feet, fear splashing through my chest.
It was the mirror above the dresser. Breaking. From a smashed, spiderwebbed epicenter, it’s split side to side, slicing my reflection in two with a thread of silver, frozen lightning. The two halves of my dislocated image slide past each other as the frame trembles into stillness.
“Marianne?” Aunt Jen appears in the doorway, frowning. “Is everything—”
Her words disappear into an indrawn breath. I follow her stare back to the mirror, and then to the floor, where the wooden cat from the bedside table is lying on the linoleum next to the dresser.
“Oh, sweetheart,” she says. The words are gentle; horrified. I shrink away from them. What just happened? She thinks I threw it. I open my mouth to protest—but I didn’t!—but the words wither, half-formed.
Did I throw it?
Aunt Jen looks at me for another long moment, her lips pursed in consternation, then comes over to wrap an arm around my shoulders. She ushers me downstairs, leads me to the couch like I might break, pours me a steaming cup of some herbal tea that smells like flowers. The orange lilies stand in a vase on the dining room table, brassy and loud as trumpets.
I wrap my hands around the warmth glowing from the teacup to stop them from shaking. My heart is made of moths, fluttering against my ribs, in my throat.
“Are you going to tell Dad?” I blurt out as she sits down next to me. “About the mirror?”
“I don’t know, Mare-bear.” She eyes me over the rim of her own cup. “Do I need to?”
I shake my head, obviously. But I can’t remember picking up the figurine, much less throwing it. It’s a hairline crack in the day, a thread of blank space. Just like last night.
“Well. Listen, sweetie. I’m not mad. Honestly. I know this is hard. It’s awful, and I just want you to know you can talk to me if you need to. Okay?”
“Okay.”
Silence descends while she waits for me to continue. Eventually she gives up and clears her throat.
“So,” Aunt Jen says in a sprightly, let’s-talk-about-something-else way. “You’ll need to take the bus to school tomorrow. Just exams left after that, eh?”
“Yeah.” Just two weeks. Just forever.
The radio chimes to announce the news. More rain in the forecast; they’re piling sandbags in the East End.
“Well, I took some vacation days to look after things, so I’ll have all the time in the world. You just let me know what you want to do. Or maybe you’d rather get together with some friends, you know… That’s fine too.”
I shake my head. Ingrid’s the only one I want to spend time with. But San Francisco might as well be the moon. I slurp my still-too-hot tea and burn my tongue.
There’s not really anywhere left for the conversation to go. Aunt Jen watches me for a while and finally sighs, perches her glasses on her nose, and picks up her crochet needle. I sip my tea a couple more times and then murmur an excuse about checking my email before escaping back to my room.
No notifications, of course, when I pull out my phone. I start a text to Ingrid for the hundredth time, and for the hundredth time I sit motionless, my fingers hovering over the screen until it goes dark. The words won’t condense, somehow, from the formless worry and grief. Music drifts up from downstairs: Aunt Jen’s flying through the twinkling notes of a Chopin waltz on the piano. I think she means it to be comforting.
I used to dance to this when I visited, twirling around the tiny living room on the tips of my toes, my hair swinging out behind me, my arms swept over my head, fingers poised to pluck butterflies from the air, just like they’d taught us. Mom always applauded earnestly. I was her star. Dad would be watching us both, smiling.
Water can stop bullets if it’s deep enough. The memory can’t touch me. I just have to breathe, breathe, and let it sink. Like everything else.
Like my silent phone.
Call me, I want to type, but how many ways can you tell somebody you miss them before you end up sounding hopelessly needy? If I could talk to Ingrid about all this awfulness, it would lose its weight, disappear. If I confided in her, maybe I wouldn’t feel so alone. But maybe—probably—it would just be oversharing. And I can’t think of a way to tell her about the things that scare me most. Strange things.
Like the mirror. Its broken face keeps twinkling in the pale afternoon light, catching my eye, drawing it back. Eventually I grab the quilt folded at the end of the bed and throw it over the frame. Was it me? It must have been me. How else could that happen, glass simply breaking, out of nowhere?


About the Author

Amelinda Bérubé has been a writer and editor with a small department in the Canadian public service. She holds a bachelor of humanities from Carleton University and a master of arts from McGill. Amelinda is also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Monday, July 23, 2018

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince
Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Little Brown
Publication Date: January 2, 2018
Goodreads

Review:
This book gave me serious anxiety! This is a novel of political intrigue, espionage, and loyalty. The Cruel Prince has a Game of Thrones meets scary-faerie-world vibe. And honestly, that's exactly what I showed up for. 

The story centers around Jude who, after her parents were murdered, was taken to live in Faerie along with her two sisters. She's grown up the daughter of nobility and has been educated with other Faeries but she is not considered one of them. This really bothers Jude. She is determined to win her place at court.

Carden was my favorite part of this story. He began as the best kind of villain and morphed into someone tolerably relatable. I liked the bits that included him the most. I also relished in Jude's hatred of him. Holly Black does a great job of describing Jude's dislike of Carden and how he has shaped her opinion of Fey nobility.

The world building in this novel was utterly magical I haven't read a good book with Faeries as the main element in a long time. I usually find the stories slightly unbelievable and they just don't pull me in. This novel pulled me in and never let me go. From the outset, it is fast-paced forcing you to never truly trust anyone, even the world around the characters. It felt like everything was out to get Jude. Some of which Jude brings on herself.

Overall, this was a fantastic book. I was sad when I finished reading because I wanted to know more about Jude, Carden, and the throne. If you haven't had the chance to read any of Holly Black's work I think The Cruel Prince would be a splendid introduction.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Like Never and Always by Ann Aguirre Release Day Blitz + Giveaway!

I am so excited that LIKE NEVER AND ALWAYS by Ann Aguirre is available now and that I get to share the news! If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Ann Aguirre, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a Kindle Oasis & 5 finished copies of the book, courtesy of Ann and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
LIKE NEVER AND ALWAYS
Author: Ann Aguirre
Pub. Date: July 17, 2018
Publisher: Tor Teen
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Pages: 336
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksTBD

On a hot summer night, a screech of brakes and shattering glass changes two lives forever.
Liv wakes in the hospital, confused when they call her Morgan. She assumes it’s a case of mistaken identity, yet when the bandages come off, it’s not her face in the mirror anymore. It’s her best friend Morgan’s.
Morgan always seemed to have the perfect life, yet Liv must navigate endlessly disturbing secrets of the criminal and murderous variety—and a romance that feels like a betrayal. Torn between the boy she loved as Liv and the boy she’s grown to love as Morgan, Liv still has to survive Morgan’s last request.
Excerpt
“Just let this be the second secret you keep for me,” I say then. “Thanks for not telling Nathan, by the way.”

Clay leans his arm along the door frame, tilting his head slightly out the open window as if he needs the air. “You couldn’t pay me to talk to that jackass lately.”

“You two fighting?”

“No. He’s just . . . Nathan.” He hesitates. “I wasn’t going to tell you this . . .”

“What?” Anything that could divert me from my precarious situation, even momentarily, seems like a welcome distraction.

“He brought a girl home last night.” From his tone he expects this to destroy me.

And sure, there’s a twinge because before, I thought Nathan and I had a soul-deep connection. Fact is, he’s a little immature, a lot selfish, and I just never noticed. They say love is blind, but I’d say that infatuation is blind, and love is tolerant. When you really love someone, it’s not that you can’t see the flaws; you’re just willing to forgive them.
Belatedly I realize he’s expecting a reply. “I’m not surprised. Nathan is used to getting what he wants just like you’re using to giving things up. Oh, I was going to ask him to drop this off, but since you’re here . . .” I fish in my backpack for his hoodie.

Yes, I’ve been carrying it for like four days. First I hesitated to wash it, but I didn’t want to be a sad girl who’s still smelling her ex’s clothes a month later. Then I didn’t return it because that felt like final acceptance, —superstitious, I know. Over is over, and random articles of clothing don’t change anything.

“You didn’t need to bother with that. I’ve had it forever.”

“All the more reason for you to have it back,” I say.

“Do you need to be this cool about everything?” he bursts out. “I know you have to be scared and hurt—”

“Yeah, I am, all those things. And yes, I have to be this way, or I can’t function. Why are you even here anyway?” The pain and frustration cracks my voice, and I really wish I was anywhere else.

“Because I’m worried about you.”

“Then stop. I accepted your decision, now respect mine. It’ll be easier if I don’t have to see you.”

His jaw clenches, showing the force he’s exerting to bite back whatever he wants to say.

Finally he just takes his hoodie but he pauses with his hand on the door. “You know you can call me, right? Even if we’re not together, I’d never let anyone hurt you. One call and I’m there.”

My heart feels like it’ll crack in two, but I’m resolute; I have to be. “I already deleted your number.”
About the Author

Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. She likes books, emo music, and action movies. She writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens.


Giveaway
1 winner will win a Kindle Oasis, US Only.
5 winners will win a finished copy of LIKE NEVER AND ALWAYS, US Only.


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Sunday, July 15, 2018

Housekeeping!


It's been a while since I gave this blog a thorough re-design and made sure all my links are working the way they are supposed to. Over the next couple weeks, I'm going to be doing exactly that. If you happen across something that doesn't belong or looks odd, I apologize.

Today I made sure all of my past reviews are fully linked under the "Reviews" tab. Check out some of these fabulous fresh-linked reviews including my original review of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas and Warcross by Marie Lu under Reviews!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Review: A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Frost and Starlight
Author: Sarah J. Maas 
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: May 1, 2018

Review:

I know why you’re reading this review. You want to know, is this book worth it? You’ve read the first three in the series. The first two were great, the third either left you feeling amazed or it was just mediocre. I get it. Novella’s aren’t really my favorite thing and the only reason to browse the reviews is to see if it’s worthwhile. And I’m gonna tell you up front, it kind of is? Maybe. 

This novella was nice. Just nice. It was about a group of friends celebrating winter solstice and reeling from the events at the end of A Court of Wings and Ruin. If you haven’t read book three don’t read this novella because there are spoilers. If you have read book three there are just enough subtle hints and gentle nudges to remind you what happened in the other book. I appreciated these because it’s been a long time since I read the last book and it took me a while to re-orient myself. 

The best part of this story was the multiple points of view it offered. It was great to get inside a variety of characters heads and see exactly how they’re feeling. I also really enjoyed Rhysand and Feyre’s relationship. They’re why I keep reading this series. 

The only thing I disliked bout this novella was that nothing happened. Because it is a novella, it is a part of the story while not being integral to the larger storyline. That means that all of the characters are in exactly the same place emotionally and physically as they were at the end of the last book. That made for a rather unsatisfying read overall. 

To answer the question I posed at the beginning of this review, is it worth it? Yeah, I guess so. I enjoyed the story overall but it wasn’t very satisfying and it wasn’t truly necessary. Still, it was nice to return to the world Maas built and there is a chapter excerpt from the upcoming book included at the end of this one so that might sway your decision.


Thursday, June 21, 2018

Between the Sea and the Stars Release Blitz

I am so excited that BETWEEN THE SEA AND STARS by Chantal Gadoury is available now and that I get to share the news!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Chantal Gadoury, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a pre-order giveaway courtesy of Chantal. So if you’d like a chance to win, check out the giveaway info below.

Title: BETWEEN THE SEA AND STARS
Author: Chantal Gadoury
Pub. Date: June 19, 2018
Publisher: The Parliament House
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: ?
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooks
A Legend, A Magical Shell A Girl Who Dreamed Of Something More... 
Lena, a Merrow girl, lives in the Skagerrak sea with her father, Carrick and her brother, Javelin who tells her of the legend of the Merrow Queen murdered by her human lover when greed takes over. But what’s worth spilling the queen’s blood? Gifted from Poseidon, himself, a magic shell gives any human the ability to control both land and sea. 
When Javelin is called to join a clan of Merrow soldiers bent on protecting their waters from human invasion, Lena resists Merrow law and ventures to the shore with no choice but to swim to land. 
With newfound legs, Lena is whisked away on a new adventure with new friends and new trouble. Everyone seems to want something from her as intrigue lurks around every corner. 
Trying her best to hide who she is and remain safe from the dangers of the human world, will Lena finally find where she belongs, or will she be swept into a strong and stormy current by lust, greed, and jealousy?
Excerpt:
“Tell me the legend of the Skagerrak queen.”

Javelin lifted a brow. “It’s hardly a legend, Lena,” he said. “It’s barely been a decade.” His voice was easy, unbothered by the possibility of being overheard. They were alone in this place. There was no need to whisper or scold or shush. Still, he groaned. “I’ve told that one a thousand times. You should know it by heart. Aren’t you tired of it yet?”

“Come on,” Lena urged him. “It’s my favorite. Tell me again.”

He rolled his eyes, but his mouth curved into a grin. “Fine.” His scooped a clam shell out of the sand and began sliding the sharp side of a rock against its grain. “The queen fell in love with a human man,” he began, his strong fingers holding the clam firmly in place. “Every full moon, she used her magic to travel ashore to see him.”

Lena settled onto her elbows, relishing the smooth sound of her brother’s voice as he recited the tale. 
A dreamy smile spread over her lips.

“I wonder how she met him,” she murmured softly, tilting her chin up and letting her lashes flutter shut.

“Likely the same way any merrow meets a human,” Javelin teased. “Shipwrecked during one of Poseidon’s storms. She should have drowned him immediately.”

“But she couldn’t!” Lena’s eyes pinged open. “For he was devilishly handsome, even soaking wet. The most handsome man she’d ever seen.”

“Devilish is right,” Javelin allowed. “Whether he was handsome or not, I’ll let your imagination decide.”

“Oh, he was.” Lena was smiling widely now. “He was, perhaps, the most beautiful human man in existence, and desperately enraptured by the queen. Each full moon, he waited for her, pacing the beach like a madman. And when she would emerge from the sea, he’d run hip-deep to meet her, unable to spend one more moment apart. He’d wrap his muscular arms around her—”

“For Poseidon’s sake, Lena.”

“And they’d dance together,” she pressed on, giggling, “as only humans can do. They’d dance and dance the hours away, bathed in starlight, humming songs into one another’s ears.”

“Until one night. . .” Javelin prompted smugly, and Lena rolled her eyes.

“Until one night,” she sighed, “something overcame the queen’s lover. Greed.”

“Human greed,” Javelin corrected. “Human nature. It was only a matter of time.”

She glared at him, but didn’t interrupt as he continued. This was the best and the worst part of the tale, and Javelin—damn him, was good at telling it. And he knew.

“That night, the queen swam toward the surface, impatient as ever she was. Ready to be rid of her tail. Ready to be human again. Her magic was a gift from Poseidon himself, contained in a delicate shell which she wore around her neck on a gold chain. It gave her the ability to explore the shore, and to control the storms and seas.”

Lena leaned in.

“As she swam, the queen began to change. Faint sobs faltered over her blue-scaled lips—cries of pain, lost to the rushing lull of the waves and the urgent beating of her fins. Swiftly, her tail separated into two perfectly shaped legs, and she rose out of the sea.”

“Don’t leave out the good parts,” Lena whispered. She knew her brother would skim over the romance just to annoy her.

Javelin gave her a pointed look. Then he grinned. “The moon was high that night,” he said, lowering his voice to a hush for effect. “The land was illuminated by an eerie, silver glow. Beneath its light, the queen’s new flesh was creamy and soft. Her hair became one with the wind, and her body shivered against a violent, uproarious breeze. Perhaps it was a warning from the gods, but the queen didn’t see it as such. The human lands were cold, suffering a new, frigid season, but her heart remained warm. She smiled, though her transition had been agony, when she heard the sound of water splashing and saw her beloved moving toward her through the shallows.

“She sang his name as he brushed chaste kisses against her neck, and relaxed fully against him, trusting him completely. She was blind to the wicked yearning which had wrapped around his heart. Which made his body tense, which crushed his lungs till he could hardly breathe. He wanted her shell, for he’d discovered what powers were locked inside that delicate charm. Powers gifted to whomsoever possessed it. His fingers dipped to her throat, caressing the shell which had allowed her to return to him, again and again. The queen eyed him strangely, and he dropped his hands to her waist, tugging her against him, kissing her deeply.”

Lena sighed, and Javelin smirked.

“She was a fool,” he said.

“She was in love,” Lena amended.

“She was both,” he conceded. “And that foolish love consumed her. Deceived her. Seduced her. Clouded her eyes, so love was all she could see. But that fateful eve, her beloved’s affection was not what it seemed. He’d seduced himself too, with all the prospects of what might be. His own love had been replaced by a lust for riches unknown. For control of the land and sea.”

Lena winced, for she knew what came next.

“He pressed his mouth against the queen’s skin, whispering sweet words, distracting her. She was smiling as he sent a knife into her back. Smiling, even as her eyes went wide with shock.”

Lena shuddered, picturing it. A joyful mouth, frozen in place. Bulging, horrified eyes going dim.

“The queen’s lover twisted his blade, releasing her cold merrow blood to the sand. He reached for the shell, yanking on its golden chain. But in the last throes of breath, the queen resisted him and threw the shell into the crashing waves, bidding Poseidon to wash it away.

“With a promised curse on his lips, her lover trailed back into the night, determined to one day possess the world between the sea and stars, and all who dwell beneath the earth, in the ocean’s depths. Our people.” He glanced sidelong at Lena, his meaning clear. “The merrows.”

“And the queen. . .” Lena murmured, though she already knew how the tale would end.

“He left her to dissolve into sea foam. She was washed away forever by the waves.”

Lena released a long breath and gazed at her hands, trying to imagine what it would be like to watch herself slowly disappear; what heartache and betrayal the queen must have felt in her last moments. She knew this was a gruesome tale, but a part of her thought the better parts, the magic and romance, were worth the gruesome bits.

“What do you think it would be like, to walk?” she wondered aloud. “Would it be like having two tails?”

“I don’t know,” Javelin chuckled. “I suppose it might be.”

“Where do you think the shell is now?”

Javelin shrugged. From a stony shelf above his head, he retrieved a slim, wooden railing he’d found in a ship a few days before and carefully tied his sharpened clamshell to its jagged end.
Lena smiled, realizing he’d made her a hunting spear.

“Poseidon is said to have hidden the shell before the human lover, or any human, could steal it. It could be anywhere.”

“If you could go to the surface, would you?”

Javelin pinched his lips together and didn’t speak. It was a silent reprimand. He knew how Lena longed to break through the waves, to see the human world with her own eyes, to know the uses of all the odd objects they’d collected over the years. But the laws of the sea were strict, and the king’s leniency had all but vanished in recent years.

Any merrow caught peeking at the shore was punished. Some were even struck down by Poseidon and reduced to sea foam, just like the queen.

“This is where we belong, Lena,” Javelin said softly, firmly.

“But how do you know?” She swirled upright and swam along the edge of the grotto, brushing her fingertips over cups and spoons and heaps of sodden fabric. Over small chests and tarnished, palm-sized figurines and other mysterious, unnamed things. “Haven’t you ever wondered what it would be like, to live on the land? To live among them? To be one of them?”

“Not as much as you have, I can see.”

She groaned, and sank to her brother’s side, resting her head on his shoulder. “It can’t be as bad as everyone believes. Humans can’t all be the same. We’re not all the same,” she reasoned quietly.

About Chantal:
Amazon Best Selling Author, Chantal Gadoury, is a 2011 graduate from Susquehanna University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing. Since graduation, she has published "The Songs in Our Hearts" with 48Fourteen Publishing, and “Allerleirauh” with Parliament House Press, with future titles to follow. Chantal first started writing stories at the age of seven and continues with that love of writing today. Writing novels for Chantal has become a life-long dream come true! When she’s not writing, she enjoys painting, drinking lots of DD Iced Coffee, and watching Disney classics. Chantal lives in Muncy, Pennsylvania with her Mom, Sister and furry-‘brother’ (aka, puppy) Taran.



Giveaway Details: Pre Order Giveaway!
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A Mermaid-Themed Tumbler, Notebook, Nail Filer, Face Mask, Hand Sanitizer, Handcream, Makeup Bag, Popsocket and an autographed  Paperback of "Between the Sea and Stars."
Submit Your BETWEEN THE SEA AND STARS Book Receipts HERE!
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