Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Cover Reveal: Tone Deaf by Olivia Rivers


Tone Deaf by Olivia Rivers

Genre: New Adult (16+), Romance
Release Date: November 4, 2013

His world is music… 

…Her world is silent.

Ali Blinde was a prodigy destined to become one of the greatest musicians of the 21st century.

Until the brain tumor struck. 

Now seventeen, Ali lives in a soundless world where she gets by with ASL and lip-reading. So when she meets Jace Beckett, she thinks he’s her worst nightmare come true. Jace is the lead singer in the wildly popular band, Tone Deaf, and he’s exactly the kind of success-story Ali hates and resents.  

Nineteen-year-old Jace has it all: fame, money, and any girl he wants. Every night on tour brings a new performance and a new girl, which is just what he needs to avoid the pain of relationships.

But when Jace learns Ali is being abused, he reluctantly proposes a solution: Run away with him and his band as they tour the country. With freedom in sight, Ali takes the offer. Immediately, she’s swept into a world filled with wild punk music, wilder musicians, and maybe—just maybe—love.




About the Author

Olivia Rivers is the author of six novels, ranging in genres from Epic Fantasy to Contemporary Romance. Along with being a writer, she’s a freelance digital artist, a literary agent assistant, and a high school student.  She’s a nerd at heart, and is a hopeless fan-girl for Doctor Who and Arrested Development. Olivia lives in California with a dog who thinks he’s a cat, a cat who thinks he’s a dog, and a kitten who is just generally confused.

Facebook   /   Goodreads   /   Website
Amazon   /   Twitter





Sunday, July 28, 2013

Book Blitz: Bittersweet Junction by Ivy Sinclair



     Bittersweet Junction by Ivy Sinclair


Publication date: 2013
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Best friends once, lovers never, yet an attraction that can’t be ignored.

Five years ago, Julia Bell walked away from her life the moment her high school diploma was in her hand. She left her family and friends behind to start over and escape the chokehold of small town life in Benton Hill. But an urgent call from her little sister brings Julia back to her hometown wholly unprepared for what awaits her.

Ben Miller was always the nice guy. Just before high school graduation, he stepped out of that role hoping to capture the heart of the woman he loved. Instead, in quick succession he lost the girl, and the future he worked so hard to achieve.

Even though Julia and Ben are drawn to each other, echoes of the past block them at every turn. Secrets are exposed, and reality needs to be dealt with if they can ever hope to move past the bittersweet junction that ripped them apart.




An Interview with Ivy


About the book:

Describe Bittersweet Junction in one sentence.
Fate gives two former best friends a second chance at romance, if they overcome old misunderstandings and deceit.

Give a quick blurb about the book and why readers would enjoy it.
Bittersweet Junction picks up with the main characters, Julia Belle and Ben Miller, five years after high school graduation. Julia left the small town of Benton Hill right after graduation because she was faced with some grown-up kind of decisions that she couldn’t make. Ben, one of Julia’s childhood best friends, was left confused and hurt after her departure. Julia’s sister Clary lures Julia back to Benton Hill under false pretenses, and that’s when Julia realizes it’s impossible to outrun the past.

I think what readers will enjoy most about this story is the way that Julia and Ben eventually overcome the obstacles in their path to have a shot at their happy ending. I found it very satisfying to write, and I believe that will resonate with readers.

How did you come up with the idea for Bittersweet Junction?
I’ve had several ideas for stories that revolve around the idea of a five year high school reunion. The idea for Bittersweet Junction started there, although in the end, there is no actual high school reunion in the book. That wouldn’t have been a good enough reason to drag Julia back to Benton Hill.

If Bittersweet Junction were made into a movie, who would you want to play the main characters?
I’ve thought a lot about this. I could see Emma Roberts playing Julia and Chris Pine, with his gorgeous blue eyes, would make the perfect Ben. Emily Browning would play Julia’s little sister Clary, and Max Thieriot would round out the casting as Mike.

About you as writer:

When did you begin writing?
I started writing the summer between sixth and seventh grade. I kept all of my teenage angst in a journal and experimented with poetry as well. I think that helped me start finding my writing voice.

When did you first think, wow I have made it as a writer?
My senior year of high school I won a state newspaper award for a piece of hard hitting journalism in the school paper. It was an article on how a teacher in a local junior high had gotten in trouble for showing an R-rated movie in the classroom. The day I received my award, I knew that writing was part of my life’s journey.

Do you have any special rituals you do when you sit down to write? 
I usually have an idea of how many words or chapters that I want to get written that particular writing session. It helps to have a goal because I am easily distracted.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers out there?
Take an active interest in reading about what’s going on in the publishing industry today so that you can make informed decisions about your writing destiny. The landscape of publishing is changing faster than anyone could have imagined, and it affects all of us.

Silly questions:

Favorite color? 
I am digging orange right now. I have an orange purse, loads of orange tops, and even my toenails are orange at the moment.

Salty or Sweet? 
I am 50/50 on that. My favorite snack right now is a handful almonds mixed with a handful of dark chocolate chips.

Favorite author?  
Stephen King. I can’t think of another author out there who has influenced me and my writing as much as he has, and I have enjoyed almost every single book he’s written.

Favorite book? 
I still remember discovering Intensity by Dean Koontz. It seriously blew my mind and scared me to death (which I love in a good book btw.)







About the Author

Ivy Sinclair cut her romance teeth on classics like Gone With the Wind, Casablanca, An Affair to Remember, and Sabrina. She is a firm believer in true love, a happily ever after ending, and the medicinal use of chocolate to cure any ailment of the heart. Ivy’s guilty pleasures include sushi, endless Starbucks lattes, and wine. Readers of Ivy’s stories can expect smoldering sweet stories of romance that tug at the heartstrings.
Website          Goodreads







Saturday, July 27, 2013

Book Blitz: The Immortal Circus: Act Two by A. R. Kahler




     The Immortal Circus: Act Two (Cirque des Immortels #2) by A.R. Kahler


Release Date: June 11, 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Goodreads

Vivienne is almost content with her new life in the Cirque des Immortels. She has moved up from selling cotton candy to telling fortunes, she has a gorgeous, magical boyfriend, Kingston…and no one has been murdered since the clash between the otherworldly Courts. Her life under the faerie big top would be perfect, in fact, if not for the nightmares and visions that compel her to seek and confront her half-remembered past. But for Viv, not knowing her past may well be a blessing. There’s a reason she ran away. But can she truly escape herself?

The second act of the fantastically evocative Cirque des Immortels series, The Immortal Circus: Act Two draws readers further into a world that’s at once wonderful, seductive…and deadly.







Giveaway!




About the Author

Alex is many things, but first and foremost, he’s a Sagittarius.

In the past few years he’s taught circus in Amsterdam and Madrid, gotten madly lost in the Scottish wilderness, received his Masters in Creative Writing from Glasgow University, drummed with Norse shamans, and even spent a few months as the assistant to Holly Black and Cassandra Clare.

The Immortal Circus, book one in his Cirque des Immortels series, is now available from 47North.

Martyr, the first book in his post-apocalyptic YA fantasy series, the Hunted, is set to be published October 28, 2014 by Spencer Hill Press.

 When he’s not writing or climbing in the rafters, he’s probably outside, staring at the clouds. And seeing as he now resides in Seattle, there are clouds aplenty.


Friday, July 26, 2013

Book Blitz: Radiant by Christina Daley




     Radiant by Christina Daley

Release Date: February 12, 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Goodreads
Amazon

Mary is part Vietnamese. Carter is a complete jerk. Normally, they don't talk much.

But when Mary's in an accident on the way to school one morning, Carter nearly dies saving her life. The doctors say his chances of living are slim, and Mary's feeling the full weight of survivor's guilt.

However, Carter's back at school in a matter of days, as if nothing had happened. Although, he is a little "glitchy," and he's developed a sudden and intense interest in Mary. She thinks he's suffering from major brain trauma from the accident. Or that he's been possessed.

As it so happens, Carter really is possessed. And the thing controlling him is having the time of its life learning to be human.

Featuring a diverse cast of characters, Radiant is a funny "paranormal-lite" story about being human, being in love, and being healed.



Excerpts from Radiant



A voice called to her. It seemed close, and it was getting louder as the pain got sharper. "Hey? Hey! Are you all right?" it asked.

Mary blinked several times before she could finally see again. She was in the middle of the street. The cars had stopped and people on the sidewalk were staring.

"Are you all right?" the voice asked again. It was coming from a man wearing some type of uniform.

"What…?" Mary tried to say more, but her voice suddenly stopped working.

"Careful," he said as he helped her up. "Looks like you can move all right. Here, let's get you out of the street."

He helped her over to the sidewalk. "Stay here. Someone's calling the paramedics." And then he was gone.

Mary sat there, still in a daze. She started noticing familiar stuff all over the ground—an open book bag, books, folders, unused tampons, a shoe, and an apple with one bite mark. Her eyes followed the trail of debris to a brilliant red sports car, half of which was smashed in by a city bus.

What had happened? Mary studied the whole scene, trying to puzzle together the pieces. Then it dawned on her. The car had hit her. Not intentionally. She had run in front of the bus without knowing it. It was about to hit her, but the car had gotten in the way first. It had saved her life.

Mary thought about looking in the car. Then her feet sorta moved without her meaning them to, and she made her way to the passenger door. She recognized the person inside. Carter. She knew his last name, but she couldn't think of what it was. He was slumped over the seat with blood oozing all over his face. His eyes were shut.

Mary knocked on the window. The tears in her hand stung.

No response.

She beat the window with her fist.

Still nothing.

Mary stared. She couldn't believe it. On any other day, she wouldn't exchange two words with this guy. Just yesterday, he nearly mowed down an elderly couple while driving out of the school lot. Mary had secretly wished he'd be taught a lesson. But she didn't mean this.

She tried the door handle, but it was still locked. Suddenly, Carter's eyes flickered opened. He looked straight at her.

Mary gasped and pressed her face against the window.

Carter's eyes closed.

She stared at him, waiting for him to open them again. Waiting for any sign of life. But he was still like he was before.

Hands suddenly took hold of Mary, pulling her away from the car. Her feet moved on their own again. Someone was yelling "Miss" a lot. Parts of her brain found other noises too, like sirens, voices, beeping, and other things. The hands directed her to sit on something hard and cold.

"Miss? Can you hear me? Can you tell me your name?"

Mary didn't answer. She still hadn't found her voice, and her mind was fuzzy, too.

"Is that her bag there? Does she have a driver's license?"

A different person spoke. "No license, but I found a student ID. Her name's Mary Phan. She's seventeen and a junior here at Lewis Prep."

Mary heard a third voice. "I just talked with some of the kids on the sidewalk. One of them said her mom's a nurse at the memorial hospital."

"Find out how to contact the mom. Anyone see what happened?"

"Cops are questioning witnesses right now. Looks like she ran in front of the bus. It would've nailed her if that sportster hadn't gotten in the way."
"Anything on the bus or the driver of the car?"

"Everyone on the bus looks fine. The car belongs to a kid named Carter Maxwell. Also a junior." A sigh. "I wouldn't hold my breath. He looks really bad in there."

Mary tuned out everything else. All sights. All sounds. The only thing she could see in her mind was Carter staring at her.


*     *     *     *     *


"What about the kid the red car?" Mary asked.

The doctor took off his glasses. "I'm sorry. He didn't make it."

Mary stared at him. "But he looked at me."

Mom and the doctor exchanged concerned glances. Mary looked down at her bandaged hands, trying hard to remember. A lot of details still weren't clear, but she did remember Carter opening his eyes. If only for a quick moment. "Can I see him?" she asked.

"I don't know if that's a good idea," Mom said.

"Mom," Mary said. "Please."

Mom's brow wrinkled. Then, she sighed. "We can see if his parents will allow it."

The doctor released her, and Mary left the room with her mother. When they got to the end of the hall, they saw a homely couple speaking with one of the ER surgeons. The woman was crying, and the man clutched her as if he was keeping her from falling apart.

"I'm very sorry Mr. and Mrs. Maxwell," the doctor said.

"We're not the Maxwells," the man said. "I'm Marcos Romero, and this is my wife Linda. We're their housekeepers. Carter's father and stepmother are out of the country right now."

"I see," the doctor said. "Have either of you contacted his parents? Or his mother?"

"I called and left a message for Mr. Maxwell," Mr. Romero said. "Carter's mother past away several years ago from cancer."

Mrs. Romero wailed. From the way she was crying, she might as well have been Carter's mom. Mary wished that she could cry with her. Mom once joked that Mary was born with the tiniest tear ducts in the world, so she didn't cry often. Now, she wished she could drum up a couple tears, if anything to not seem so unsympathetic.

Mary looked at her mother, who nodded. Then, she cautiously approached them. "Excuse me. But I'm Mary. I'm the…what I mean is…." She couldn't find the right thing to say. Mary had always been terrible with words. Especially the sensitive ones needed for things like this.

Mrs. Romero looked at her disheveled school uniform and her bandaged hands and knees. "You were the girl who was almost hit by the bus," she said.

"Are you all right?" Mr. Romero asked.

Mary nodded. "I am, thank you. But I was wondering if I could see him? Carter, I mean."

"I would advise against that," the surgeon said. "The body…I mean Carter…is not—"

"Please," Mary begged.

The stout couple looked at one another. At last, Mrs. Romero said, "Let her."

The doctor looked at her. At last, he sighed and gestured for Mary to follow him.

Mary was used to hospitals, ever since Mom became a nurse. But she had never seen an operating room occupied. Instruments and equipment were still in the places where the doctors and nurses had left them when they were trying to save Carter's life. At the center was the operating table with a still figure on it, covered with a bloody sheet.

The doctor took part of the sheet. "Are you sure about this?"

No, Mary thought. But she nodded nonetheless.

He pulled the sheet down to Carter's neck.

Mary stared at the broken, pale face of a boy she hardly knew.

"I'll give you a few minutes." The doctor left the room to wait outside.

Mary studied Carter's closed eyes. Maybe when they had opened in the car, it was because of an involuntary spasm. Or maybe she really had just imagined it.

Mary bowed her head, once again wishing she could cry now. But all she could offer was a meager, "I'm sorry."

Mary took one last look at Carter as she turned to leave. But she stopped.

A single tear slowly fell from the corner of Carter's right eye.

Mary rubbed her eyes, making sure her vision was clear. Then she looked again.

Another tear escaped from the corner of Carter's eye.

Mary bolted from the room. "He's crying!"

Everyone looked at her like she was a lunatic.

"Mary, calm down," Mom said.

"But Mom, he's crying!" Mary repeated. "He has tears coming from his eyes."

The doctor looked at her curiously. "Are you sure? Maybe the tears came from you?"

Mary frowned. Couldn't he tell she wasn't crying? "You have to check him again," she said.

The Romeros looked at the doctor, like they had seen a glimmer of hope struggling through the sorrow. He sighed and shrugged, but he turned and went back into the operating room.

A tense few minutes passed. Suddenly, the doctor burst from the door, calling for his team. Several nurses rushed in and the door closed again.

Mary and the others hardly breathed, let alone spoke, as they waited in the hall.

Finally, after what felt like ages had passed, the doctor came out again, followed by the undeniable sound of the heart monitor beeping.

Carter was alive.


*     *     *     *     *


The bell rang again, and Mr. Hubert began the Pre-Calculus lesson. But Mary hardly paid attention as she thought about what Sienna had told her. Was Carter really here at school? Now? She only had her last class with him—Physics. He normally sat in the back with some of his friends, while Mary took one of the lonely desks near the front. She'd have to wait until then to see if he was in a body cast or something.

When Pre-Cal was finished, Mary gathered up her stuff and headed for the door with the others as usual. But the moment she stepped outside, she collided with another person. "Gah!" she cried as waves of pain surged through her bruised side, bringing her to her knees.

"Mary!" Sienna said as she came over to her. "Geez Carter. What's wrong with you?"

Mary looked up. The person she had run into was Carter Maxwell. He wasn't in a body cast and he didn't have crutches or anything. He looked normal, actually. Except for the thick black sweater he wore over his school uniform.

"I am sorry," he said. "I did not mean to cause harm." He then knelt down and looked Mary in the eyes. There was a subtle spark of life in his green irises. "Are you all right, Mary?" he asked.

She didn't say anything for a moment. Mary didn't know that Carter knew her name, and she had never noticed he had green eyes before. Nor how nice they looked when he was concerned.

She shook her head quickly to break off his gaze. "No. I mean, yeah. I'm fine."

The corners of his mouth curled into a half-smile. "I am glad."

People were staring at them. Mary blushed under the added attention, and she quickly got to her feet.

"Need help carrying your stuff?" Sienna asked.

"Thanks," Mary said. "But I'm just gonna swing by my locker. I'll be fine."

"All right. See you in Art." Sienna shot one last warning look at Carter before heading down the hall.

Mary picked up her bag and turned the other direction. As she walked, she realized people were still looking at her. That's when she noticed Carter was walking next to her. And he was doing it in a really weird way. He made each step deliberate, like he was doing mini-lunges.

"What are you doing?" she asked.

"I am walking," he said.

"Um. Okay." Mary looked forward again, thinking that when she got to her locker, he'd go away. But he didn't. He stopped with her.

"I'm all right, Carter," she said. "You don't have to help me."

"Okay," he said.

Mary looked at him from the corner of her eye as she put her Pre-Cal stuff away and got her Art things. "Are you all right?"

Carter smiled. "I am. Thank you for asking."

Sienna was right. Carter was acting weird. That bus sure did a job on his brain.

"Don't you have to go to class or something?" she asked.

"Yes," he said.

Mary closed her locker and headed towards Art. Carter followed. The halls were emptying as kids got to their rooms, but it was still embarrassing with him lunging next to her. Mary stopped and faced him. "Listen, Carter. I really am all right. You don't have to walk with me to class." In fact, she preferred that he didn't.

He smiled. "You said that already."

"Yeah," she said. "So…stop following me."

Carter wrinkled his brow. "Do I make you uncomfortable? Walking with you like this?"

Give the man a prize. "Uh, yeah," Mary said. "Very."

He looked a little sad suddenly. "I am sorry. I will leave you alone." He turned and walked down the other hall.

Mary felt bad. She didn't mean to make him sad. She just wanted him to stop following her. She sighed and headed down the same hall to apologize. But when she got there, she didn't see him. "Carter?"

He was nowhere. Despite the weird lunges, he apparently could move quickly.

That's when she remembered. For days, Mary had put herself through a series of guilt trips, thinking Carter was going to die or end up a vegetable. She had never considered everything going back to normal. Or, relatively normal. This was the first time she'd seen Carter since the hospital, and she had forgotten to thank him for what he had done.



Giveaway!





About the Author

Christina Daley made her first book with neighborhood friends when she was four years old. They "wrote" out some semblance of lettering with crayons, cut up a cardboard box for the cover, and bound it all together with clear adhesive tape. It was brilliant.

Quite a few years later, Christina is trying her hand at writing "real" books. She lives in Dallas, Texas, with a pet plant named Herb.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Book Blitz: Nomad by J.L. Bryan




     Nomad by J.L. Bryan


Release Date: July 26, 2013
Genre: New Adult, Dystopian, Time Travel

A new dystopian novel from the author of Jenny Pox - coming July 26.

They took everything: her family, her home, her childhood.

By the age of nineteen, Raven has spent most of her life in the sprawling slums of America, fighting as a rebel against the dictatorship. When the rebellion steals an experimental time-travel device, she travels back five decades to the year 2013. Her plan: assassinate the future dictator when he is still young and vulnerable, long before he comes to power. She must move fast to reshape history, because agents from her own time are on her trail, ready to execute her on sight.






An Excerpt from Nomad


Her hands were red with blood, but the cold rain washed it away. Whose blood? She couldn’t remember. 

She became aware of pain throughout her body. Freezing water and tiny hailstones lashed her face as she stumbled through a storm. Dying thunder echoed in her ears, and crackles of lightning faded in the night around her.

A pair of lights rushed toward her through the darkness, but her brain couldn’t interpret what her eyes saw. A long screech ripped through her ears, followed by shrill bleats.

Car horns, she realized as the lights loomed closer. Through her thick, fuzzy brain, it dawned on her that she was staggering along a multi-lane road, seconds away from getting splattered across the oncoming grill of an eighteen-wheeled truck.

She discerned a dark space off to her left and moved into it, stepping from hard pavement into squishy wet earth. The truck that had nearly killed her squealed past as the driver braked, dousing her with a wave of cold mud. Horns blew at the stopped truck blocking up the left lane.

She rubbed her eyes and tried to grasp her surroundings—a grass median dividing an interstate highway, up to her ankles in frigid mud.

She couldn’t remember where she was, or how she’d come to be there. After a moment’s reflection, she realized she wasn’t entirely sure who she was, either.

Raven, she remembered. She clung to that word like a lifeline. My name is Raven. It is now, anyway. She’d once had a different name, but that original, scribbled-on-the-birth-certificate name no longer mattered.

She wore black boots and a long black jacket. A backpack weighed down her shoulders, but she didn’t know what it contained. She trudged on weak, trembling legs toward an overpass bridge ahead. Once she was out of the downpour, she could gather her brains and figure things out. She didn’t seem to be bleeding, so the blood on her hands must not have been her own.

“Hey! Hey there, girl! You all right?” shouted the truck driver who had almost flattened her. More cars honked and swerved to avoid crashing into the back of his trailer, which was decorated with puffy pink sheep.

Raven squinted up at him. The man was in his forties, severely overweight, with a handlebar mustache and scratchy, graying beard stubble. His blue and white cap read: MoonPie: The Original Marshmallow Sandwich!

“I’m fine!” she shouted through the downpour. “Keep going!”


“You got a car?” he asked.


“No,” she told him. “I don’t think so.”


“Where you headed?”


“I don’t know.”


“The troopers gonna lock you up if they see you! You drunk or what?”


“I don’t think so.” She raised a hand to her mouth to check her breath. Not drunk.


The trucker eyed her up and down, a soaking wet girl stumbling along the interstate alone at night, and then he swung open the passenger door.


“Best climb on up in here with me,” he said. “Gonna freeze your pants off out there.”


Raven looked at the gruff, obese man and the warm, sheltered transport he was offering, and then at the overpass bridge in the distance. Her legs were rubbery. She might not make it to the overpass before she collapsed.


“Lady, I got to get moving,” he said. “You want a ride to the exit or what?”


“Yeah,” Raven said. She had no reason to trust him, but he seemed soft-bodied and slow. If he tried to get rough, she would break his wrists. Even in her current state, she knew she could take him if he pushed her to it.


Raven stumbled around to the passenger side and struggled to climb with her weakened limbs until he took her arms and pulled her up.


“Thanks,” she whispered, still shivering. She was almost too weak to pull the door closed.


“Just glad you ain’t tore in half.” He settled back into the driver’s seat, and it groaned under his weight. “You musta been one, two, three, four inches from me. Or less. Just popped up outta nowhere when that lightning hit.” He drove cautiously through the storm. “Didn’t seem like no normal lightning, you ask me. What was you doing out there? That big flash hit the road, then you come stumbling out....Did the lightning get you?”


“I don’t know,” she said. The interior of the cab smelled like cigarette smoke and old hamburgers. A collage of small objects was glued to the dashboard—action figures, an old watch face, postcards, salt and pepper shakers. Hail clattered on the cab’s roof.


“You don’t know?” he asked.


“Sorry.” Raven shrugged off her backpack and set it on the floor between her wet boots. She wanted to see what was inside it, but not while he was watching.


“It’s Jebbie, by the way.” He offered his calloused hand, and she hesitated a moment before taking it. “Jebbie Walters. From Yazoo City, Mississippi. You got a name, darling?”


“Angela. That’s my name,” Raven said. She knew not to trust a stranger with data about herself. He might be the enemy, and she felt informants and spies were everywhere, looking to report those who resisted.


“Huh. Where you from, Angela?”


She tried to remember, but finally shrugged.


“You ain’t gotta tell me,” he said. “You going north? Cause that’s where I’m going, way up north of here. You might want to hop out quick if that ain’t your plan.”


“I’m not sure.”


“You ain’t sure about much of nothing, are you?”


“Not right now,” Raven said.


“I guess I ought to drop you up at the exit.”


“You can.” Raven shrugged. “I think I’m lost.”


He looked her over again. “Tell you what. About three, four, five miles from here’s a good spot, the Big Porcupine Travel Plaza. Got showers, motel rooms, an all-night-you-can-eat place. We could stop there, get you a place to sleep. Maybe in the morning you’ll start to remembering things. I figure you just need to sleep it off. You’re on drugs or something, ain’t you?”


“Maybe,” Raven said.


He laughed. “It’s okay by me. I don’t do drugs, myself. Just pills and booze. Well, you think about what you want to do.”


He turned up the radio, where a woman sang a slow, gentle song that Raven gradually recognized. Someone—her mother?—had once played it on the piano. It was an old song called “The Rose.”


“Uh, sorry.” Jebbie blushed pink and spun the radio knob. “I, uh, usually find a good honky-tonk or country gold station. Don’t know how my radio ended up on that soft-rock junk, or whatever that was. Yeah, here we go.” He found a song with a steel guitar and a man singing about his wife leaving him for his boss.


Raven looked at herself in the rain-streaked side mirror. She was about twenty years old, maybe nineteen. That felt right. Her black hair was pulled into a short ponytail with a rubber band. She wore all black: boots, fatigues, blouse, backpack, jacket. The knee-length jacket was made of a stretchy artificial material with a texture like a crocodile’s back. She felt a web of metallic fibers between the layers of leathery fabric. That’s armor, she realized, and she wondered why she might need armor. Her only jewelry was on her left wrist, a thin silver bracelet with a large moonstone.


She tried to reach back in time with her mind. She’d been stumbling along the highway. The moment before that: what? It was a solid blank slate, as though a giant magnet had wiped her brain clean. Perhaps the trucker was right, and she’d been struck by lightning.


Raven, she reminded herself. I know my name.






Giveaway!



About the Author

J.L. Bryan studied English literature at the University of Georgia and at Oxford, with a focus on English Renaissance and Romantic literature. He also studied screenwriting at UCLA. He lives in the metro Atlanta sprawl with his wife Christina, where he spends most of his day servings the toddler and animal community inside his house. He is the author of the Paranormals series and the Songs of Magic series.

His novel Jenny Pox is currently free on KindleSmashwordsAppleSonyKobo, and Nook!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Book Blitz: Epiphany by Christina Jean Michaels



     Epiphany by Christina Jean Michaels

Publication date: July, 2013 
Genre: New Adult/17+, Romantic Suspense

“I had my first psychic dream when I was nine. Psychic implied power, and powerful wasn’t a word I’d use to describe myself. I couldn’t foretell the future or conjure visions at will, but I couldn’t think of a more fitting word to describe what I sometimes saw in my dreams.” 

For 23-year-old Mackenzie Hill, tossing her life down the garbage disposal is easy after a painful incident shatters her life. Her heart is bleeding, and moving to Watcher’s Point is a chance to start anew, only she isn’t prepared for the guy who walks out of her dreams and into the flesh. Literally . . . because she’s been dreaming about this sexy stranger for years.

Mackenzie is even less prepared to face the dark nature of her dreams. They’ve turned disturbingly gruesome, full of blood and murder, and when they begin to coincide with the media’s headlines, she and Aidan realize her visions might be the key to stopping a madman from killing again.

Only Aidan has painful secrets of his own, and perhaps the biggest danger of all is falling for him.






An Excerpt from Epiphany

Something inside me cracked right along with Aidan’s expression. Everything he’d been hiding spilled from his eyes.

“Aidan . . .”

“I need a drink.” He strode away, leaving me glued to the spot where he’d trapped me. A crash resounded from the kitchen, followed by splintering glass. I willed my feet to move, ignoring the little voice of reason pointing out that maybe I should leave him be for now.

He was sweeping broken glass into a dustpan when I walked in. “Are you okay?” Instantly, I wished I could cast a net and pull back the stupid, inconsiderate question. Of course he wasn’t okay. “I’m sorry. I know you’re not . . . okay.”

“Don’t worry about it. I know what you meant.” He emptied the dustpan into the trashcan and then opened a bottle of Jack Daniel’s, all the while refusing to meet my eyes.

“Mind sharing?” I asked. If there was ever a time for drinking, it was now.

“I thought you were beyond corruptible.”

I recalled how he’d said something similar on Halloween. “You remember more about that night than you let on, don’t you?”

He pulled two tumblers from a dark cherry wood cabinet. “I remember you.” Amber liquid sloshed into both glasses as he poured, and a moment later he closed the distance between us. “Straight up?” The question sounded like a challenge.

“Sure.” I gulped down the whiskey and ignored the burn as it slid down my throat. Heat ignited low in my belly, though whether from the alcohol or Aidan’s scrutiny, I wasn’t sure.

He leaned against the kitchen sink and finished off his own drink before pouring another. “I’m sorry I blew up on you. I didn’t come here to make friends . . . to complicate things.”

“I’m a complication?”

His laughter was empty, cold as a morgue. “You’re about as complicated as they come.”

I stared at the bottom of my glass. “Why’s that?”
“You look at me as if you see right through me. It’s unsettling.”

“I don’t mean to unsettle you.”


“Consider me unsettled. Problem is, I think you’re using more than eyesight.”



Epiphany Playlist

 



About the Author

Christina Jean Michaels was born in Paradise, California, but she has found the true home of her heart in Eugene, Oregon where she finds plenty of inspiration for storytelling.

When she was young, her mother said she hated words. Now she can't imagine not writing. She became an avid reader when she was thirteen and discovered the world of Sweet Valley High. About a year later she realized she could play God and write about her own characters. She has been writing in some form ever since.

She lives with her husband and their four children—three rambunctious UFC/wrestling-loving boys and one girl who steals everyone’s attention.

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Book Blitz: Charmed by Cambria Hebert




     Charmed (Death Escorts #2) by Cambria Hebert
NOTE: you do NOT have to read Recalled (Death Escorts #1) to understand Charmed. Reading Recalled will give you a little more background info though.


Release Date: July 22, 2013
Genre: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Goodreads

***Due to adult content and some graphic language this book is not recommended for younger readers.***

Life or Death? Not many people would choose death. But what if death chooses you? What if death doesn't mean the end of your life, but the beginning?

For a Death Escort, death is life. Death is your paycheck. Death is your job.


And Charming is the best Escort the Grim Reaper has ever had.


But when you piss off the Reaper, being the best doesn't matter. So Charming is assigned a Target who is practically impossible to kill. He knows the Reaper hopes he fails—that he's counting on it. So Charming vows to prove him wrong. He vows to make the kill.


But someone else vows to get in his way. Someone with a big mouth, a sugar habit, and blond hair. Someone who makes his heart start beating again.


And so Charming is left holding more than one person's fate in the palm of his hand. He thought the choice would be easy, that there really wasn't a question at all.


He was wrong.


Life or Death?






Excerpt from Charmed


Frankie

Sugar. I needed more of it if I was going to make it through this day. The chocolate croissant and caramel latte I had this morning wasn’t near enough to combat the massive lines, the noise, and disgruntled people that filled the DMV. Whatever in hell made me think that working at the Department of Motor Vehicles, here in Alaska, was a good idea?

Maybe it was the good pay. Maybe it was because I got weekends off. Or maybe it was because I had a moment of temporary insanity that unfortunately coincided with me saying, “I accept,” when I got offered this job.

Besides the fact that the lines were permanently out the door, the computer systems were temperamental at best, and my boss was a complete broom rider, my stash of chocolate and Sour Patch Kids was empty.

That meant someone was going to die today.

I glanced back up at the ninety-year-old woman whose head barely cleared the insanely high counters we stood behind and tried to hold on to my patience. “Mrs. Eldridge,” I said extremely loudly. “Like I told you last week, you have to go and get new glasses before I can renew your driver’s license.”

“I have new glasses,” she insisted.

Lord, save me now.

“You got those ten years ago. You need some from this year.” Or decade I finished silently.

She shuffled out of the line like a turtle and I took her slowness as a chance to really search beneath my station and chair for a long-lost piece of sugar. Anything. Even a stray jellybean would likely find its way into my blood stream at this point. Of course there was nothing. I briefly considered hiding beneath my desk until five o’clock. My car. I had an emergency stash in my car. I glanced at my watch. I had another hour until I was able to take a fifteen-minute break.

A pair of black pumps appeared before me and I inwardly groaned. Just what I needed—a run-in with the witch. But instead of being greeted by her condescending, screechy tone, an icy-cold red can appeared before me.

Hallelujah, praise the Lord, it was caffeine and sugar!

I snatched the Coke out of her hand and popped the top, taking a large, satisfying chug. The bubbles crowded down my throat, slightly burning, and I took another swallow.

“I love you,” I murmured to Lela, the girl who worked right beside me.

She laughed. “I know that look when I see it.” Then she straightened and whispered. “Witch alert.”

I shot up, my head bumping into the counter on the way. I wanted to shout out in pain, but I clamped my mouth shut, not wanting to draw the attention of my boss, Satan’s assistant.

I turned back to my line, my eyes colliding with a broad chest. I looked up, and the can slid out of my hand, hitting the floor with a thud while fizzy liquid poured over my favorite boots.

I didn’t even notice.

“What the hell are you doing here?” I growled as I looked around for something sharp I could stab him with.

A thick brow arched. “So is this where you spend your days? As if the DMV isn’t a horrible enough place to visit without the poor people of Alaska having to tolerate you.”

There wasn’t enough sugar on this planet that would save him. I reached out and picked up the black phone. If I couldn’t bludgeon him to death here at my place of employment, then I could at least call the cops. I began dialing, but he reached over and cut the connection.

I slammed the phone down on his hand, which was still pressed on the hang-up button. Breath hissed between his teeth and his green eyes shot to mine. “Careful, George, you’re pissing off the wrong man.”

“My name isn’t George.”

He shrugged, pulling his hand away from the phone. “When you have a man’s name, does it really matter?”



Book Trailer 


About the Author

Cambria Hebert is the author of the young adult paranormal Heven and Hell series, the new adult Death Escorts series, and the new adult Take it Off series. She loves a caramel latte, hates math and is afraid of chickens (yes, chickens). She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband and children (both human and furry) where she is plotting her next book. You can find out more about Cambria and her work by visiting her website.

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Review: Shift by M.R. Merrick


     Shift (The Protector #2) by M.R. Merrick - 5 of 5 stars


Release Date: January 29, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Length: 348 pages
Goodreads
Amazon


***Warning: If you haven't read Exiled, there will be spoilers.***


Devastated by a terrible loss, Chase is trying to balance the life he’s been left with, a family he’s still getting to know, and power he never thought he’d have. He doesn’t understand why the Goddess has named him the Protector and granted him two gifts: the Mark, a tattoo that now covers his back, and the ring. But between getting interrogated by the Circle and psychic attacks from Riley, the Mark is the least of his concern. There’s a demon inside Rayna that’s fighting to be released, and it’s not her inner witch. It’s something else—a monster threatening to tear her apart. 

As Chase struggles to control his magic, his enemies are closing in. Everyone has staked a claim on his ring, and destroying it may be his only chance to stop Riley. But Chase must decide if stopping him is worth risking the lives of everyone he cares about, or if protecting the ring will be enough to save his world.




In a lot of ways, I liked Shift even more than I liked Exiled, the first in this series. The focus on Rayna's mysterious shifter heritage from the beginning served as an immediate hook in what could have been a very stilted transition into this second installment. When Exiled ended, it was on a tragic and unresolved note, with Chase's mother's death at the hands of his father and the question of whether Riley and the Dark Brothers had survived the showdown in Drakar. While Chase has his friends, it's easy to see how much he's reeling, and a lot of those emotions were manifesting in revenge lust, which always means bad things.

The book opens on an abrupt note, as Chase finds Rayna in the midst of what is revealed as a series of recent partial shifts that are creeping closer to completion and the possibility of killing her. I loved the increased focus on Rayna from the start found the shifter politics in general to be a great addition to the story line.

I loved the build in tension between Chase and Rayna. It took her almost dying (multiple times), but this is the book where the chemistry begins to boil over. Because seriously, those two are adorable. And kick-ass. Basically the epitome of a power couple.

There's even more action and dimension-hopping to keep the pace of the story interesting, and I never wanted to put it down. This whole book did an excellent job of developing the characters and showing their growth. From Chase to Willy, every single player is different by the end of Shift.

This book will be a winner for anyone who was a fan of the first in the series. It has the action, emotion, and magic you want from such a series in spades. And it has Chase. Enough said.


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