Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Book Blitz: The Unbelievable, Inconceivable, Unforeseeable Truth About Ethan Wilder by Cookie O'Gorman (Excerpt + Giveaway)


Title: The Unbelievable, Inconceivable, Unforeseeable Truth About Ethan Wilder
Author: Cookie O'Gorman
Publication Date: April 5, 2018

Synopsis: In the south, everyone has a secret--and murder is served with sweet tea.

The word's out: Ethan Wilder’s coming back to town, and the people of Bowie, Georgia are in a southern tizzy. Everyone knows the story. He shot and killed his sister four years ago, and people say his father, Jim Wilder, the biggest holy roller this side of the Mississippi, sent him packing for just that reason. Even if her death was unofficially ruled a suicide, Ethan’s return has everybody talking. 

Seventeen-year-old Delilah Doherty can’t go anywhere without hearing his name. Born and raised in Bowie, Delilah knows firsthand about the gossipmongers and how they love a good scandal. The daughter of a wild child and niece of the local psychic, she’s also the only one who doubts Ethan’s guilt.

After Ethan saves her life, the two start a slow and steady burn neither can deny. But when Bowie's spiritual leader is nearly murdered, it rocks the small southern town to its core. Delilah and Ethan are caught in the crossfire, their relationship threatened before it's even begun. Someone has it out for Ethan's family. With everyone convinced of Ethan's guilt, it's up to Delilah to unravel the mystery before someone else gets hurt or worse...dead.

About the Author: Cookie O'Gorman writes YA romance to give readers a taste of happily-ever-after. Small towns, quirky characters, and the awkward yet beautiful moments in life make up her books. Cookie also has a soft spot for nerds and ninjas. Her debut novel ADORKABLE is out now! Her second book NINJA GIRL was released March 30,2017!


Excerpt:

“Hey, Wilder,” I said, hoping to break the ice.

All that came back was a muted “Hey.”

He didn’t call me Doherty, didn’t even look at me.

I couldn’t help but be disappointed. It was the first time I’d seen him since George’s party, since our kiss. And yes, even with all that happened afterward, the kiss was what stood out in my mind, a brilliant spark before all that darkness. I wasn’t sure what I’d thought. I knew he probably hadn’t considered it as earth shattering as I did. But his indifference, his absolute silence, I wasn’t prepared for. Was I supposed to just let it go? Try and talk to him again? In this situation, I wasn’t sure what to do.

Then I noticed something.

His book was open. He was looking down, but he hadn’t turned the page in a while. I looked at his face. There was nothing to see; he was blank as usual. But his eyes weren’t moving. He was studiously avoiding looking at anything in particular. I ducked trying to catch his gaze, but nothing. A second later a small note landed on our table, right in front of him. Glancing up, I saw the backs of my classmates. Every now and then someone would look back, but I couldn’t tell who’d thrown it. Wilder didn’t move. Cautiously, I unfolded the paper.

There were four words: BURN IN HELL MURDERER.

I balled the paper up in my fist.

Whispers. They were still whispering.

Wilder sat immobile beside me, but his silence suddenly made sense. He thought this was his cross to bear, his battle to fight. He thought he was alone.

But he was wrong.

At the first touch of my fingers, his head snapped in my direction, but he didn’t pull away. I kept my eyes on his the entire time, as my palm came to rest against his under the table, as I laced our fingers together, gave a gentle squeeze. He didn’t have to feel the same. I just wanted him to know. In this one, he wasn’t alone. There were people who knew the truth, people who believed it wasn’t his fault.

Holding on a moment longer, making sure he got the message, I gave him a small smile and started to take back my hand.

But he caught me. His hand tightened on mine and didn’t let go until the end of the period.

Like an absolute girl, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. How his skin had felt, rough yet reassuring. How his fingers were so much longer. Most of all how he’d stopped me from letting go. That was my favorite part.

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-Kristen ♥

Monday, April 23, 2018

Book Blitz: Evolved by N.R. Walker (Excerpt + Giveaway)


Title: Evolved
Author: N.R. Walker
Publication Date: April 23, 2018

Synopsis: In 2068, androids are an integrated part of human life. Big Brother no longer just watches from the shadows. It’s in every household. 

Lloyd Salter has OCD issues with noise, mess, and he’s uncomfortable with human interaction. When his ex claimed the only thing perfect enough to live up to his standards was an android, Lloyd dismissed it. But two years later, after much self-assessment, Lloyd thinks he may have been right. 

SATinc is the largest manufacturer of androids in Australia, including the Fully Compatible Units known as an A-Class 10. Their latest design is the Synthetic Human Android UNit, otherwise known as SHAUN.

Shaun is compatible with Lloyd’s every need; the perfect fit on an intellectual and physical basis. But Lloyd soon realises Shaun’s not like other A-Class androids. He learns. He adapts. Sure that SATinc is aware Shaun functions outside of his programmed parameters, Lloyd must find a way to keep Shaun safe.

No one can know how special Shaun is. No one can know he’s evolved.

About the Author: N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance. She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn't have it any other way. She is many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don't let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words. She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things...but likes it even more when they fall in love. She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal. She's been writing ever since...


Excerpt:

I studied Shaun for a second. He was completely still, powered down, and he looked peaceful. I reached out and almost touched his cheek, but it felt wrong to do so without his consent.

I took a step back, took a deep breath, and let it out slowly. “Shaun, Power Up.”

He opened his eyes and lifted his head. When his gaze met mine, he smiled. “Hello, Lloyd.”

“Hello, Shaun.” I wasn’t sure what to say next. I looked around the room.

“Are you nervous?” Shaun asked. “Your heart rate is elevated and your pupils are dilated.”

“You can see that?”

“Of course. I am designed to be attuned to you.”

Oh boy. Breathe Lloyd. “Uh, yes. I’m a little nervous. I’ve been waiting for you for a while, and I’m very happy you’re here.”

Shaun smiled. “I am happy to be here.”

He was happy? Was he really happy, as in emotionally uplifted, or was it just a phrase?

I realised then I was still holding the control panel. I walked over to the cabinet and slid it on top. When I turned around, Shaun had turned and was watching me. “Would you like me to show you your new home?”

“Yes, please.”

“This is the main living area,” I said. Waving my hand at the sofas and the dining table. “Kitchen is through there.” The truth was, the kitchen was sleek and state of the art with views overlooking the Yarra River and Southbank, Melbourne, but would he appreciate that? I didn’t think so. “This way is the private quarters.” I slid back a recessed door to reveal a hall. I didn’t often close the door, but given I was expecting the delivery people, I didn’t want them seeing my personal space. Not that I had anything to hide. I just liked my privacy. I needed it. It was my sanctuary, my peace of mind from the chaos, mess, and noise of the outside world. I opened the first door. “This is your room.”

He moved fluidly, humanly. God, he looked so real. “Will I not be staying in your room with you?”

I blinked. “Oh, um. Well, uh… I just thought you might like your own space.”

“If you do not wish me to join you in your room, you only have to say.”

I studied him for a second. God, did he look sad or was that just my imagination?

I opened the door to the walk-in robe. “I bought you some clothes,” I said. “I thought you might like to choose what you wear each day.”

He looked at the clothes hanging, neat rows of sweaters, shirts, and pants. “You bought these for me?”

I hadn’t anticipated he would stand so close to me so he could see inside the closet. It made my heart rate take off. “Yes.”

He shot me a look. “Your heart rate is elevated.” Then he straightened, but he didn’t move back an inch. His voice was deep but quiet, soothing even. “You like me being close to you.”

Oh boy. I stepped away and ignored his statement. If he was going to voice my every reaction… “There’s an en suite bathroom also,” I said, opening the other door. “You can use anything in this house at any time. You don’t need to ask.”

Then I walked back to the hall and showed him the main bathroom. “This is the bathroom guests use,” I explained.

“Do we have guests often?”

We. He said we.

My heart galloped again, but he thankfully didn’t comment. I could only assume he picked up on my earlier discomfort. God, it was bad enough I was awkward with humans, but now I was awkward with androids as well.

“Uh, no. I haven’t had many guests in the past, and not for some time. I like my privacy, and I like things… a certain way.” That was probably putting my OCD mildly. “I prefer things in order and I enjoy quiet.”

I’d said that line a hundred times in my life. To work associates, friends, therapists, and my ex-boyfriend, and they all judged or responded as if I was broken and they could offer advice to fix me. But Shaun smiled at me. “I like those things too.”

My heart raced again, but this time it was from relief, gratitude, fondness even. His quiet, peaceful demeanour was so utterly perfect for me. I blinked a few times to clear my thoughts and showed him to my bedroom. I opened the door and almost reluctantly stepped inside. “This is my room.”

He walked in, taking in his surroundings. My room was quite large, with polished concrete floors, white walls, and white bedding, and charcoal grey artworks above the bed. Shaun did a slow 360, then stopped when he was facing me.

“Do you like it?” I asked, perplexed by his reaction. Did the white and grey bother one of his sensors? Or did he think it was cold and detached.

“It’s very peaceful,” he said.

It felt like the air was sucked out of the room, and I struggled to catch my breath, in a head-rush, remarkable kind of way. No one had understood that. Certainly not Ian. My ex had hated this room. I’d always said it made me calm, but he said he felt like he was in a museum, and that was not a compliment. But Shaun got it. Programmed to like what I liked or not, the relief I felt was unprecedented.

“Thank you,” I whispered.

Shaun studied me for a moment, tilting his head just so. Then, in two very humanlike steps, he stood in front of me. “Do you wish to have sex with me?” he asked.

I blinked in shock and dry swallowed. It took me a few attempts at speaking, but I finally managed to get my answer out.

“No.”

Giveaway:

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-Kristen ♥

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Trailer Reveal: Moonlight Seduction by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Title: Moonlight Seduction
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: de Vincent, #2
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: June 26, 2018

Synopsis: The de Vincent brothers are back—and so is the intrigue that surrounds them—in New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout’s sizzling new novel...

Nicolette Bresson never thought she’d return to the de Vincents’ bayou compound. It’s where her parents work, where Nikki grew up... and where she got her heart broken by Gabriel de Vincent himself. Yet here she is, filling in for her sick mother. Avoiding Gabe should be easy, especially when so much of Nikki’s time is spent trying not to be stabbed in the back by the malicious hangers-on who frequent the mansion. But escaping memories of Gabe, much less his smoking-hot presence, is harder than expected—especially since he seems determined to be in Nikki’s space as much as possible.

Gabriel spent years beating himself up over his last encounter with Nikki. He’d wanted her then, but for reasons that were bad for both of them. Things have now changed. Gabe sees more than a girl he’s known forever; he sees a smart, talented, and heartbreakingly beautiful woman... one who’s being stalked from the shadows. Now, Gabe will do anything to keep Nikki safe—and to stop the de Vincent curse from striking again.


About the Author: # 1 NEW YORK TIMES Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. She spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.


Preorder Campaign:
-Preorder an ebook or print copy of Moonlight Seduction by Jennifer L. Armentrout and get an exclusive de Vincent bonus story sent via email!
-Open Internationally
-You must upload a copy your preorder receipt to be eligible
-The de Vincent bonus story will be emailed after the release of Moonlight Seduction (6/26/18)

Enter your receipt HERE

Trailer Reveal:


Trailer by: Jillian Stein
-Kristen ♥

Cover Reveal: Ruthless Magic by Megan Crewe (Excerpt + Giveaway)

Title: Ruthless Magic
Author: Megan Crewe
Series: Conspiracy of Magic, #1
Publication Date: May 30, 2018

Synopsis: In the contest to keep their magic, the only options may be die... or kill. 

Each year, the North American Confederation of Mages assesses every sixteen-year-old novice. Some will be chosen. The rest must undergo a procedure to destroy their magical ability unless they prove themselves in the mysterious and brutal Mages' Exam.

Disadvantaged by her parents' low standing, Rocío Lopez has dedicated herself to expanding her considerable talent to earn a place in the Confederation. Their rejection leaves her reeling—and determined to fight to keep her magic.

Long ashamed of his mediocre abilities, Finn Lockwood knows the Confederation accepted him only because of his prominent family. Declaring for the Exam instead means a chance to confirm his true worth.

Thrown into the testing with little preparation, Rocío and Finn find themselves becoming unlikely allies—and possibly more. But the Exam holds secrets more horrifying than either could have imagined. What are the examiners really testing them for? And as the trials become increasingly vicious, how much are they willing to sacrifice to win?

The start of a new series by USA Today bestselling author Megan Crewe, Ruthless Magic combines the magic of Harry Potter with the ferocity of The Hunger Games alongside a poignant romance. Fans of Cassandra Clare and Holly Black, look no further for your next urban fantasy fix!

Grab the prequel MAGIC UNMASKED for FREE! 

About the Author: Like many authors, Megan Crewe finds writing about herself much more difficult than making things up. A few definite facts: she lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and son (and does on occasion say “eh”), she’s always planning some new trip around the world, and she’s spent the last six years studying kung fu, so you should probably be nice to her. She has been making up stories about magic and spirits and other what ifs since before she knew how to write words on paper. These days the stories are just a lot longer. Megan’s first novel, Give Up the Ghost, was shortlisted for the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic. The Way We Fall was nominated for the White Pine Award and made the International Literacy Association Young Adults’ Choices List, and Earth & Sky was an OLA Best Bet for 2015. She is also the author of the rest of the Fallen World series (The Lives We Lost, The Worlds We Make, and Those Who Lived), the rest of the Earth & Sky trilogy (The Clouded Sky and A Sky Unbroken), and the standalone contemporary fantasy A Mortal Song.


AND NOW, for the striking cover of Ruthless Magic.....


Excerpt:

Hail pelted us, and the wind lashed at us from all sides. I could hardly breathe. The only solid thing was Finn. I curled my fingers into the damp fabric of his shirt and sang into the stiller space between us. “Como veían que resistía.”

Magic hummed from the vicious air into me. An image swam up of the grate I’d come across in the courtyard, between the buildings. A grate that led to something below.

I knelt down, pulling Finn with me, and pressed my free hand to the spongy ground. The wind tried to steal my next lyrics from my lips, but the magic raced through me all the same—through me and down, down, into an open space I sensed below us like a gasp of fresh air.

I did gasp then, and forced out a verse. I’d never magically transported another person with me before, but I had to. I had to.

The magic rushed up around us with the thrust of my words. I clung to Finn, singing the energy around him as tightly as I could. Then I propelled us downward with a lurch.

We surged through rough blackness that rasped over my skin and landed with a feet-jarring thump. I exhaled in a rush, dizzy in the sudden quiet. My eardrums ached from the pounding of the storm we’d escaped and the effort of the conjuring.

We crouched in total darkness. The surface beneath me felt like concrete. Cold dank air hovered around us with a faintly salty flavor that reminded me of the ocean.

My fingers were tangled in Finn’s shirt. His arm was still around me. In the dark, I was abruptly aware of the rise and fall of his rasping breath, the warmth of his chest, and the answering warmth it sent through me.

He was alive—we were alive—and in that moment, it felt like a miracle.

Giveaway:

Ruthless Magic cover reveal giveaway

-Kristen ♥

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Book Blitz: Everything Under the Sun by Jessica Redmerski (Giveaway)


Title: Everything Under the Sun
Author: Jessica Redmerski
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Publication Date: August 28, 2017

Synopsis: Thais Fenwick was eleven-years-old when civilization fell, devastated by a virus that killed off the majority of the world’s population. For seven years, Thais and her family lived in a community of survivors deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. But when her town is attacked by raiders, she and her blind sister are taken away to the East-Central Territory where she is destined to live the cruel and unjust kind of life her late mother warned her about.

Atticus Hunt is a troubled soldier in Lexington City who has spent the past seven years trying to conform to the vicious nature of men in a post-apocalyptic society. He knows that in order to survive, he must abandon his morals and his conscience and become like those he is surrounded by. But when he meets Thais, morals and conscience win out over conformity, and he risks his rank and his life to help her. They escape the city and set out together on a long and perilous journey to find safety in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Struggling to survive in a world without electricity, food, shelter, and clean water, Atticus and Thais shed their fear of growing too close, and they fall hopelessly in love. But can love survive in such dark times, or is it fated to die with them?

About the Author: Jessica Redmerski is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, and award winner, who juggles several different genres. She began self-publishing in 2012, and later with the success of THE EDGE OF NEVER, she signed on with Grand Central Publishing/Forever Romance. Her works have been translated more than twenty languages. Jessica is a hybrid author who, in addition to working with a traditional publisher, also continues to self-publish. The Portuguese rights to her popular crime and suspense series, In the Company of Killers, have been picked up by one of Brazil’s largest publishers – Suma de Letras; Paikese Kirjastus in Estonia; Ephesus in Turkey; Konyvmolykepzob in Hungary; Niezwykle in Poland; Bragelonne in France; Ahavot in Israel. The series has been optioned for television in the United States by actor and model William Levy, and a film exclusive to the Dominican Republic. She also writes as J.A. Redmerski.



Giveaway:

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-Kristen ♥

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Book Blitz: Wings of Flesh and Bones by Cathrina Constantine (Excerpt + Giveaway)


Title: Wings of Flesh and Bones
Author: Cathrina Constantine
Publication Date: April 13, 2018

Synopsis: An Angel. A Witch. A Demon. And A Choice.

Creatures from outer realms suck, as any gatekeeper worth their salt will tell you. Welcome to Rogan’s life, an orphaned seventeen-year-old who lives and trains with other misfits under her uncle’s roof, keeping Earth safe from non-human realm jumpers. Rogan’s biggest issue concerns her uncle’s short leash with her freedom—that is of course, until she’s taken by a notorious witch, and her life begins to unravel. Soon, the supernatural beauty discovers there’s a reason her uncle kept such a tight lock on her whereabouts, and that she has more than angel blood running through her veins. 

Eighteen-year-old Max is an angel, and Rogan’s mentor and guardian. He’s well aware of her tenacious inability to obey orders, though he also knows she’s a fierce fighter. When he’s involved in a scheme that ultimately gets Rogan kidnapped, he must battle his way back to her in an attempt to save her from the darkness threatening to possess her.

About the Author: Cathrina Constantine is blessed with a loving family and forever friends. Her world revolves around them. She grew up in the small village of Lancaster, NY, where she married her sweetheart. She's devoted to raising 5 cherished children, and now her grandchildren. She loves to immerse herself in great books of every kind of genre, which helps her to write purely for entertainment, and hopefully to inspire readers. When not stationed at her computer you can find her in the woods taking long walks with her dog.


Excerpt:

I’m breaking Castle’s rules. Do I care? Not really—not yet. 

Rogan’s skin prickled as she snuck through the portal leading to the city, exhilarated to be patrolling on her own for once. She walked along the sidewalk on her way to Pink, a dance club for teenagers. Although, her choice in destination would not involve dancing or enjoying the hyperactive ambiance. No, she was primed and ready to release bottled-up steam threatening her peace of mind. Deviants would be mingling with humans, and she’d be there to put a stop to it.

Crisp autumn air stirred. Inhaling its musky scent, she noticed the lengthening shadows, and prayed to be home before she was missed. I’m seventeen, she thought with pride, a gatekeeper. At least, that was what she’d been training for.

Keeping her eyes peeled for anything out of the ordinary, she tossed her braided hair over her shoulder, catching a few heads turning to look at her. You’d think they’d never seen a girl wearing leather and boots before.

A pungent odor pressed in on her, which stopped her in her tracks. Up ahead, blocking the sidewalk, was a giant of a man. The fortuitous encounter took her by surprise, sending her creepster vibes off the charts. With her legs rooted in a rigid stance, she flexed her fingers. As if the giant had been awaiting her arrival, he approached in a blur of motion, whipping his knuckled fist and clipping her on the chin.

Grimacing, her eyes watered as blood pooled over her tongue. She spat a mouthful onto the sidewalk and moved her throbbing jaw from side to side.

She recognized the Vorg towering over her, jutting his demon chin at a superior angle. To humans, he looked like an unnatural hulk of a man, but Rogan saw past his artificial veneer.

“Had enough, sweetmeat?” His sandpapery voice rubbed her the wrong way.

“Screw you.” Fast as a snap, she jerked her elbow, smashing him in the jaw.

Giveaway:

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-Kristen ♥

Monday, April 16, 2018

Blog Tour: Maybe Someone Like You by Stacy Wise (Giveaway)


Title: Maybe Someone Like You
Author: Stacy Wise
Publisher: Entangled
Publication Date: April 16, 2018

Synopsis: Katie Capwell is a bright and accomplished recent law school graduate, and she has her shiny future all mapped out. It's brimming with courtroom victories and creating change. Ryan Brincatt is a tattooed and impossibly cool martial artist, and he’s mastered a fierce roundhouse kick. 

Their paths never should have crossed.

But when Katie lurks outside the kickboxing gym where Ryan works as a trainer, she’s immediately drawn to his casual confidence and playful green eyes. Without making her usual list of pros and cons, she impulsively signs up to train with him.

She never imagined that one decision would change. Absolutely. Everything.

About the Author: Stacy Wise is the author of BEYOND THE STARS (Entangled Embrace, 2016) and MAYBE SOMEONE LIKE YOU (Entangled Embrace, 2018). She has a B.A. in Communication Studies from UCLA and a Masters in Teaching from Chapman University. She lives in California with her husband, four children, three dogs, and an ever-changing number of fish. Before becoming a full-time writer, Stacy worked in television casting on shows including Party of Five, The X Files, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, and Married...With Children. When she's not dreaming up stories, you can find her beating up the bag at a kickboxing gym or walking her dogs, Bailey, Rex, and Luna.



Giveaway:

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-Kristen ♥

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Release Blitz: Beyond a Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake (Excerpt + Giveaway)


Title: Beyond a Darkened Shore
Author: Jessica Leake
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: April 10, 2018

Synopsis: The ancient land of Éirinn is mired in war. Ciara, Princess of Mide, has never known a time when Éirinn’s kingdoms were not battling for power, or Northmen were not plundering their shores. 

The people of Mide have thankfully always been safe because of Ciara’s unearthly ability to control her enemies’ minds and actions. But lately, a mysterious crow has been appearing to Ciara, whispering warnings of an even darker threat. Although her clansmen dismiss her visions as pagan nonsense, Ciara fears this coming evil will destroy not just Éirinn, but the entire world.

Then the crow leads Ciara to Leif, a young Northman leader. Leif should be Ciara’s enemy, but when Ciara discovers that he, too, shares her prophetic visions, she knows he’s something more. Leif is mounting an impressive army, and with Ciara’s strength in battle the two might have a chance to save their world.

With evil rising around them, they’ll do what it takes to defend the land they love…even if it means making the greatest sacrifice of all.

Signed copies available at Fiction Addiction

About the Author: Jessica Leake is the author of the adult novels Arcana and The Order of the Eternal Sun, both with Skyhorse. She worked for years as a psychotherapist, but even though she loved her clients, she couldn’t stop writing. She lives in South Carolina with her husband, four young children, lots of chickens, and two dogs who keep everyone in line. Beyond a Darkened Shore is her YA debut.


Excerpt:

The waves viciously beat against the worn rock, sending sprays of white water into the air. It should have been deterrent enough, but the Northmen were relentless. Their longship had already landed. Men poured from its side like a wave of death. As I took in the square sail—white with a crimson skeletal dragon—my heart beat a furious rhythm in my chest. I’d fought countless Northmen in battles throughout our kingdom, but the sight of that sail still made every muscle in my body clench in warring fear and anger—and memory.

My clansmen’s blood staining the earth red—

 —my sister’s hand in mine as we tried to escape—

 —her eyes wide as the blood trailed down her throat, and me, screaming, screaming—

I shook my head, banishing the memories before they could weaken my mind further. Sleipnir snorted and pawed the ground in response. Like other horses, he could sense my emotions. But unlike other horses, my apprehension only made him bolder.

Fergus wheeled his horse over to me and spat on the ground. “Let us pray the blood of the raiders will flow this day.”

I glanced at the men assembled beside me and frowned. A Northman longship of the size of the one on our shore could hold at least sixty men, far more than our own crew. “The battle can go no farther than this cliff—not this time.”

“I will cover you as best I can,” Fergus said. “You search for their leader.”

I tightened my grip on the hilt of my sword. My arm muscles tensed, and my heart pounded. Anticipation of the battle was always the hardest: the prickling adrenaline, the torrent of memories, the cold dread. I endured it all because my sisters and mother were huddled in fear in their room. We were the only things preventing them from being killed.

I snapped my attention back to the battle. The Northmen had begun the treacherous climb to our stronghold. With any luck, we would pick them off as they emerged at the top of the cliff. The Northman raiding strategy was always to ambush. Instead of recognizing such actions as dishonorable, they seemed happy to live to fight again. They wouldn’t expect us to be waiting for them, and if we could defeat their leader quickly enough, they might retreat. There was no dishonor in retreat in their eyes either, not when their strategy to ambush meant they were usually slinking into a castle and catching its warriors unawares.

Holding the high ground was our advantage. We had to make it count.

With a shout, the first man made it to the top. He showed a momentary flash of surprise that we were lying in wait for him, but he recovered quickly. Battle-axe raised and shield in front of his chest, he charged. More of the enemy followed, their armor and long beards making them indistinguishable from one another. My clansmen made rivers of their blood.

Giveaway:
-1 winner will receive a copy of Beyond a Darkened Shore + $25 Amazon Gift Card
-US only | Ends April 14th

a Rafflecopter giveaway

-Kristen ♥

Monday, April 9, 2018

Book Spotlight: The Summer of Broken Things by Margaret Peterson Haddix (Giveaway)


Title: The Summer of Broken Things
Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: April 10, 2018

Synopsis: From New York Times bestselling author Margaret Peterson Haddix comes a haunting novel about friendship and what it really means to be a family in the face of lies and betrayal. 

Fourteen-year-old Avery Armisted is athletic, rich, and pretty. Sixteen-year-old Kayla Butts is known as “butt-girl” at school. The two girls were friends as little kids, but that’s ancient history now. So it’s a huge surprise when Avery’s father offers to bring Kayla along on a summer trip to Spain. Avery is horrified that her father thinks he can choose her friends—and make her miss soccer camp. Kayla struggles just to imagine leaving the confines of her small town.

But in Spain, the two uncover a secret their families had hidden from both of them their entire lives. Maybe the girls can put aside their differences and work through it together. Or maybe the lies and betrayal will only push them—and their families—farther apart.

Margaret Peterson Haddix weaves together two completely separate lives in this engaging novel that explores what it really means to be a family—and what to do when it’s all falling apart.

About the Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix grew up on a farm near Washington Court House, Ohio. She graduated from Miami University (of Ohio) with degrees in English/journalism, English/creative writing and history. Before her first book was published, she worked as a newspaper copy editor in Fort Wayne, Indiana; a newspaper reporter in Indianapolis; and a community college instructor and freelance writer in Danville, Illinois. She has since written more than 40 books for kids and teens, including the Shadow Children series; the Missing series; the Children of Exile series; the Under Their Skin duology; and The Palace Chronicles. Her books have been honored with New York Times bestseller status, the International Reading Association’s Children’s Book Award; American Library Association Best Book and Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers notations; and numerous state reader’s choice awards. They have also been translated into more than twenty different languages. Haddix and her husband, Doug, now live in Columbus, Ohio. They are the parents of two grown kids.


Giveaway:
-Giveaway is International
-Must be 13+ to Enter
-5 Winners will receive a Copy of THE SUMMER OF BROKEN THINGS by Margaret Peterson Haddix

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-Kristen ♥

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Book Blitz: Death Island by Kelsey Ketch (Excerpt)


Title: Death Island
Author: Kelsey Ketch
Publication Date: December 31, 2017

Synopsis: Her family name tainted by her great-grandfather’s crimes of piracy, Meriden Cummings is far from the typical 18th century woman. A social outcast, she works in a carpentry shop in a small village, where the people barely tolerate unconventional behavior.

However, her life takes a turn after a gang of pirates attack her village and her blood reveals an ancient map adorned with Mayan glyphs leading to Death Island. An island legends say is ruled by the Mayan god of the underworld, Ah Puch. Her great-grandfather had sought after the island before he vanished without a trace. Now, Meriden is about to journey across the sea to understand her family history.

There are only a few problems: her growing feelings toward a mysterious stranger linked to her great-grandfather’s past; a greedy band of pirates after her great-grandfather’s legendary treasure; and a contract she has unwittingly signed in blood with Ah Puch himself.

Goodreads | Amazon


About the Author: Kelsey Ketch is a young-adult/new-adult author, who works as a Wildlife Biologist in the state of North Carolina. During her free time, she can often be found working on her latest work in progress or organizing the New Adult Scavenger Hunt, a biannual blog hop. She also enjoys history, mythology, traveling, and reading.

Excerpt:

I paced the deck with the few men that stayed behind on watch. It was growing late, and Captain Connell’s curfew was quickly approaching. Soon all the crew would return to the ship, stumbling drunk and fucked out of their minds, but calmer than they had been for a while. Some reason, my body twitched in excitement. I’d been anxious since Meriden left with the last group. There was a knot in my gut the moment she stepped off the dock, and the feeling hadn’t gone away since.

I causally walked to the starboard bulwark, catching sight of the harbormaster’s window. The candle still burned as it had been long before night fall. Odd, I thought. The knot in my stomach twisted even tighter. I haven’t seen the harbormaster work his books this late into the night. I leaned against the gunwale and squinted a little, trying to focus my vision. The candle was nearly spent, and underneath the dripping wax laid what possibly could be a hand, but it was too far to tell. As I eased back, my gut squirmed like a bunch of worm snakes. I needed to be sure all was well, for Meriden’s safety and the rest of the crew.

Neglecting to ask Swan’s permission, I slipped down the main deck, across the gangway, and headed straight for the harbormaster’s office. The street was as quiet as the grave when I reached the door. I raised my hand to knock, only for the door to push open on the first tap to the solid oak. I swallowed the lump that crammed its way into my throat. This wasn’t good. I drew my working knife and stepped inside.

“Hello,” I called. “Anyone still here?”

It felt stupid walking into the dark hallway without knowing if I might end up dead or accused of theft, but my gut told me to keep pushing forward. I turned right into the room with the burning candle still flickering inside. The office was clean and uncluttered except for the few stacks of paper on the desk. On top of which laid the harbormaster, as if he merely fallen asleep in his desk chair. My eyes refocused again at his outstretched arm. A trail of hot, liquid wax ran across the flesh of the harbormaster’s hand, which didn’t even stir the man awake. My heart pounded with adrenaline, and I pushed the man up by the shoulder.

A maroon-colored pool poured onto his books from what looked like a dagger wound to the harbormaster’s shoulder. A serious wound, but not one that should have killed. It was the discoloration of the man’s skin and the vomit around the mouth that gave me a better idea what had brought on the man’s demise. I’d seen the signs many times before from men who died in blackish waters as well as a few victims that died at Baker’s hand.

Snake venom.
______________________________________

-Kristen ♥
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