Friday, August 31, 2018

Cover Reveal: Malice by Pintip Dunn

Title: Malice
Author: Pintip Dunn
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: February 5, 2019

Synopsis: What I know: a boy in my class will one day wipe out two-thirds of the population with a virus.

What I don’t know: who he is.

In a race against the clock, I not only have to figure out his identity, but I'll have to outwit a voice from the future telling me to kill him. Because I'm starting to realize no one is telling the truth. But how can I play chess with someone who already knows the outcome of my every move? Someone so filled with malice they've lost all hope in humanity? Well, I'll just have to find a way—because now they've drawn a target on the only boy I've ever loved...

About the Author: Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of young adult fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B., and received her J.D. at Yale Law School. Pintip’s novel FORGET TOMORROW won the 2016 RWA RITA® for Best First Book, and SEIZE TODAY won the 2018 RITA for Best Young Adult Romance. Her books have been translated into four languages, and they have been nominated for the following awards: the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire; the Japanese Sakura Medal; the MASL Truman Award; the Tome Society It list; and the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her other titles include REMEMBER YESTERDAY, THE DARKEST LIE, GIRL ON THE VERGE, and the upcoming STAR-CROSSED and MALICE.



AND NOW, for the cover reveal....


-Kristen ♥

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Trailer Blast: Hidden Pieces by Paula Stokes (Excerpt + Giveaway)


Title: Hidden Pieces
Author: Paula Stokes
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: August 28, 2018

Synopsis: Embry Woods has secrets. Small ones about her past. Bigger ones about her relationship with town hero Luke and her feelings for someone new. But the biggest secret she carries with her is about what happened that night at the Sea Cliff Inn. The fire. The homeless guy. Everyone thinks Embry is a hero, too, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Embry thinks she’ll have to take the secret to her grave, until she receives an anonymous note—someone else knows the truth. Next comes a series of threatening messages, asking Embry to make impossible choices, forcing her to put her loved ones at risk. Someone is playing a high stakes game where no one in Embry’s life is safe. And their last move...is murder.

About the Author: Paula Stokes is half writer, half RN, and totally thrilled to be part of the world of YA literature. She started out writing historical fiction under a pen name and is now branching out into other YA genres. When she's not working (rare), she's kayaking, hiking, reading, or seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. She's petted tigers, snuggled snakes, snorkeled with stingrays, and once enjoyed the suction-cuppy feel of a baby elephant's trunk as it ate peanuts from her palm. Her future goals include diving with Great White sharks, learning Krav Maga, and writing a whole slew of novels, not necessarily in that order.


Paula is running a pre-order incentive for HIDDEN PIECES from now until 11:59PM (PST) on August 28th. Paula will also honor any orders through the Nerd Blast until August 31st. To check out the goodies and how to get them go HERE.


Trailer:



Excerpt:

I get dressed in like three seconds. Grabbing Betsy, I drag her toward the back door. Holden starts opening drawers and cabinets behind the registration counter, probably looking for a fire extinguisher. I put the dog outside. “Stay,” I tell her. She’s smart enough to stay away from the edge of the cliff.

I turn back to where Holden is now in the lobby again, trying to beat out the flames with his black wool coat. The fire has spread across the floor, possibly due to the spilled vodka, and he’s just making things worse. I cough from the smoke that’s starting to fill the room.

“I can’t find an extinguisher,” he says. “Can you look?”

I check the dining area and the kitchen and do a quick skim of the little office behind it, but I don’t see anything. The flames have moved from the carpet to the base of the coffee table. Holden has his shirt up covering his nose and mouth.

I grab a sofa cushion and beat at the fire, sending bits of ash swirling through the air. The bottom of the cushion starts to smolder. “Fuck.” I drop it back onto the frame.

Holden grabs my arm. “We need to get out of here and call 911.”

“We can’t.” I take a step back from the heat. “If this place burns down, they’re going to blame us. We’ll get arrested, or sued for a crapload of money, or—” A glowing ember arcs through the smoky air and lands dangerously close to my foot. I take another step back. The flames start to overtake the coffee table.

“No one needs to know we were in here,” he says. “Let’s just call it in like we were going for a walk and saw the place burning.”

I suddenly remember I left Betsy outside off her leash. I nod grimly and head for the back door. 

Holden braves the flames long enough to grab the bottle of vodka and tuck it into his backpack. The two of us escape out into the night, the brisk air a welcome relief from the heat.

Betsy is pacing back and forth, barking and whining.

I put her back on her leash. “Shh, girl,” I say. “Everything is fine.”

I dial 911 as we hurry around to the front of the hotel. “There’s a fire,” I say. “At the Sea Cliff Inn.” I tell them my name and where I’m located.

The dispatcher advises me to move back from the building but not to leave the scene. “Fire and police rescue are en route,” he adds.

“Okay.” I hang up the phone and turn to Holden. “Cavalry is on its way. You should go. We both don’t need to be here.”

“No way. I’m not leaving you to deal with this.”

“Holden. They just need me to stay so I can give a statement. I’ll tell the cops I was walking Betsy and saw the smoke. Like you said, they don’t need to know either one of us was inside.”

I glance down at the ground. With a twinge of guilt I remember my words to Luke: I think that might be fraud. What Holden and I are doing is different, though. We’re not trying to scam money from the federal government via a sham marriage. We’re just trying to protect our families from having to pay out money we don’t have because I knocked over a candle. Hopefully the fire department will get here quickly and the damage won’t be too bad. Either way, insurance companies are always in the news for ripping people off and being generally evil, aren’t they? And they all make millions in profits. What’s a little extra to one of them? It’s basically a victimless crime.

But I still feel like shit about it. Mostly because I know how disappointed my mom would be if she found out.

I turn my attention back to Holden. “If your mom finds you here, she might put two and two together and realize you made yourself a key. That could be bad for both of us.”

“Good point,” Holden says reluctantly. “Okay, I’ll go . . . if you’re sure.” He reaches out and gives my hand a quick squeeze, his eyes locking onto mine with unasked questions.

“I’ll be fine,” I say firmly.

Holden turns and jogs away from the Sea Cliff, bits of charred ash fluttering to the ground from his burned winter coat as he heads down the hill. He disappears between two currently unoccupied hillside mansions, making use of a set of stairs that leads down to Three Rocks Beach. From there he’ll have to cut back to the main road that goes through the center of town and cross the highway to get back to our neighborhood.

Betsy barks once and tugs hard on the leash, pulling me back toward the burning building. “No, girl.” I pull back. “We have to stay here.”

The flames are lighting up the night now. Smoke pours from the roof, gray against the black of the sky. Tongues of fire dance behind the glass of the lobby’s big bay windows. For a moment, I’m mesmerized by the twisting and swirling of the bright orange flames. It seems wrong that destruction can be so beautiful. I pull out my phone, switch to the camera function, and snap a couple of pictures.
Betsy barks again, and again. “What is it?” I ask. And then I catch a glimpse of the second picture on my phone, and I realize what she’s been barking at. I look from my phone to the hotel. There’s a shadow in one of the third-floor windows. Someone else is inside.

Giveaway:
- 1 Winner will receive a $25 gift card to Amazon, B&N, Etsy, or Society6.
- 1 Winner will receive a Choice of any Paula Stokes YA Novel.
- 3 Winners will receive a Hidden Pieces Swag Pack.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

-Kristen ♥

Friday, August 24, 2018

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


Title: Private Charter
Author: N.R. Walker
Publication Date: August 24, 2018

Synopsis: Stuart Jenner’s job is high stress, high stakes, and everything he’s strived for. So why, when the apex of his career is within reach, does he stumble? At his doctor’s insistence, he books a privately chartered yacht to sail around the Whitsundays for two weeks of sun, surf, and sex. When his friend-with-benefits bails on him at the last minute, Stuart decides to go alone.

Foster Knight left the rat race behind six years ago, bought a yacht, and now calls the Great Barrier Reef his home. Sailing tourists around tropical waters is all in a day’s work, and he’s never been happier. When his next client arrives alone, the two-week charter will be the most private job he’s ever had.

Foster can see how stressed and exhausted Stuart is, and he promises him extensive rest and relaxation. Stuart slowly realises his original plan for two weeks of sun, surf, and sex might not be lost yet. Confined to a yacht, isolated by aqua-coloured oceans and the sweltering sun, Stuart and Foster are about to find out just how hot the tropics can get.

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:

We played around in the water, floating and laughing for a bit, then Stuart grabbed the snorkel gear and we swam for what felt like hours, diving down to look at the reef and the fish.

It was so perfect, and I had to keep reminding myself he was a client.

A client who, I had no doubt, I would be having sex with later that night. As far as sexual tension went, we were now off the Richter scale.

He was back to his grinning self, bright-eyed and enthusiastic about everything he found under the surface. At one point, a fish startled him, and I laughed so hard I had to pull up to the surface for air. He followed up and pulled off his mask just to tell me to piss off and splash me, but he was smiling.

And his demeanour now, his happiness, was vastly different from how he’d been this morning. He’d kind of played it off as being a bit hungover, but I doubted that was it. He’d been pale when he went into his room for a while, and it hadn’t looked like a hangover to me. There’d been something in his eyes that told me otherwise. So I’d left him alone, thinking he just needed some downtime, but by lunchtime, he still hadn’t come out, so I knocked on his door. I hadn’t thought he’d be asleep. As soon I realised he was, I pulled back, but he stirred.

The sheet was covering him, though I could see a partial thigh and hip. He looked peaceful for that briefest second. And absolutely beautiful. Then he sat up, the sheet tangled around his hips, his hair was kind of mussed, and he squinted and scratched his head.

It was adorable.

I’d wanted to climb into bed with him and muss him up some more.

Same when he climbed up the ladder into the yacht before me. I got a glorious view of his arse in those red briefs, and when he met me at the top, he handed me a towel. He scrubbed his towel over his hair, making it stick up all over. His smile was devastating.

And those red briefs were pretty spectacular dry, but wet? I wanted to meet Calvin Klein and kiss him.

“What are you thinking?” he asked, a curious smile in his eyes.

“That Calvin Klein is a genius.”

He looked down at himself, then back up at me and grinned. “Mr Klein can’t take all the credit.”

I snorted. “No, he can’t.”

Giveaway:

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-Kristen ♥

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Release Day Blitz: Renegade by Mallory McCartney (Excerpt + Giveaway)


Title: Renegade
Author: Malory McCartney
Series: Black Dawn, #0.5
Publisher: Clean Reads Publishing
Publication Date: August 21, 2018

Synopsis: “The time for Kiero’s reign in prosperity is over.”

Six years before the Black Dawn Rebellion, Adair Stratton and Emory Fae are following in their parent’s footsteps and living at The Academy, a home for those who are gifted. The pressure to uphold the future of their parent’s dream falls on them. An outcast and feared by most, Adair longs to break away from the expectations dictating his future. Even if Emory tries to make him see differently. An unexpected group of friends keep him there, but as whispers of unexplained disappearances start reaching from the capital, Adair starts to doubt The Academy is all it seems.

An unexpected visit ignites new tensions as the roguish king from across the Black Sea, Tadeas Maher of the Shattered Isles, and his heir, Marquis Maher sail to Kiero. Notorious for their pirating and wrath- for the first time in years, they demand the Fae’s listen to their proposition for a new treaty, holding the news of Nei’s father’s abrupt death over them. Caught in the middle of politics- Adair and Emory, with the help of their best friends Brokk and Memphis search for the one thing that matters most- finding out the truth.

In this gripping prequel to Black Dawn, their world is tipped upside down as unlikely alliances are made. War ravages through Kiero and is torn apart by acclaimed Kings. Through the throes of betrayal, lies, hidden magic and love, Adair is faced with a life changing decision- to fight or to bow to the darkness within him.

About the Author: Mallory McCartney currently lives in Sarnia, Ontario with her husband and their three dachshunds Link, Lola and Leonard. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found day dreaming about fantasy worlds and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.


Excerpt:

Exhaling, the prince took him off guard as he lifted his eyebrow. “What I don’t understand is how the Faes have achieved such loyalty. What did they do?”

He chewed his bottom lip as he hopped over a fallen tree trunk. He looked to Marquis. “They were the dreamers in a time when culture, creativity, and equality were being butchered. The Academy was the foundation of that dream, for desolates, for the people with weaker abilities. For everyone. The people of Kiero followed Roque because they can’t fear him, they can only admire him. How brave he was for standing up to his father, for breaking free of his reign to start his own.”

Marquis chewed his lip. “It sounds like you have a different opinion of him.”

He threw out his hands. “I was born at the Academy. Raised in the Academy. Who am I to doubt the intentions of the Faes? They are practically family.”

Shrugging, Marquis cooed, “Sometimes it is the ones closest to us that betray us first.”

Giveaway:

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-Kristen ♥

Nerd Blast: Ruin of Stars by Linsey Miller (Giveaway)


Title: Ruin of Stars
Author: Linsey Miller
Series: Mask of Shadows, #2
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: August 28, 2018

Synopsis: The thrilling conclusion to the Mask of Shadows duology that weaves a tale of magic, shadows, and most importantly, revenge.

As one of the Queen’s elite assassins, Sal finally has the power, prestige, and permission to hunt down the lords who killed their family. But Sal still has to figure out who the culprits are. They must enlist the help of some old friends and enemies while ignoring a growing distaste for the queen and that the charming Elise is being held prisoner by her father.

But there’s something terribly wrong in the north. Talk of the return of shadows, missing children, and magic abounds. As Sal takes out the people responsible for their ruined homeland, Sal learns secrets and truths that can’t be forgotten.

About the Author: Originally from Arkansas, Linsey Miller has previously worked as a crime lab intern, neuroscience lab assistant, and pharmacy technician. She is currently an MFA candidate represented by Rachel Brooks of Bookends Literary. Her debut novel MASK OF SHADOWS is the first in a fantasy duology out now (8/29/17) from Sourcebooks Fire. The sequel RUIN OF STARS is coming out August of 2018. She can be found writing about science and magic anywhere there is coffee.


Giveaway:

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-Kristen ♥

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Book Tour: The Prince by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Excerpt + Trailer)




Title: The Prince
Series: A Wicked Trilogy, #3.5; 1001 Dark Nights, #85
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Evil Eye Concepts Inc.
Publication Date: August 14, 2018

Synopsis: From #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes a new story in her Wicked series…

She’s everything he wants….

Cold. Heartless. Deadly. Whispers of his name alone bring fear to fae and mortals alike. The Prince. There is nothing in the mortal world more dangerous than him. Haunted by a past he couldn’t control, all Caden desires is revenge against those who’d wronged him, trapping him in never-ending nightmare. And there is one person he knows can help him.

She’s everything he can’t have…

Raised within the Order, Brighton Jussier knows just how dangerous the Prince is, reformed or not. She’d seen firsthand what atrocities he could be capable of. The last thing she wants to do is help him, but he leaves her little choice. Forced to work alongside him, she begins to see the man under the bitter ice. Yearning for him feels like the definition of insanity, but there’s no denying the heat in his touch and the wicked promise is his stare.

She’s everything he’ll take….

But there’s someone out there who wants to return the Prince to his former self. A walking, breathing nightmare that is hell bent on destroying the world and everyone close to him. The last thing either of them needs is a distraction, but with the attraction growing between them each now, the one thing he wants more than anything may be the one thing that will be his undoing.

She’s everything he’d die for….

 

About the Author: # 1 New York Times, USA Today and international bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout 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. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

   

Excerpt:


I opened my eyes, but I didn’t see the sun. I saw a form… a shape of a man. The features blurred, but I knew the man. It was him. 

The Prince…. 

But that also didn’t make sense. None of this made sense. Confusion crept into the fuzz crowding my thoughts. Something was off. I tried to lift my hand, but my arm felt like it was weighted down. Something was wrong, very badly wrong, and I needed to remember— 

Sleep. 

The desire to slip away hit me hard and fast, obliterating the confusion and consciousness, and I slept. I slept for what felt like years and then I heard a steady beeping. It intruded on wherever I was, becoming so loud, so obnoxious to me, that I had to pay attention to it. A part of my consciousness zeroed in on the sound, clung to it, and I followed it back, tethering myself to the rhythm. With each passing second, my surroundings became clearer. Footsteps. I heard footsteps. Whispers. There was the sound of hushed voices. I dragged in a deep breath, and a shock hit my system. The breath hurt. Like my chest and ribs were too tight and a simple deep breath was too much to take— 

Mom. 

I saw her in my mind, as clear as day. 

I saw her lying on her back in the darkness, her eyes wide and fixed on mine. There was nothing behind those eyes. No life. Nothing. 

The beeping sound sped up. 

The horrifying image of my mom faded like smoke, replaced by luminous skin and bloody smiles and taunts and… 

Pools of blood. Actual pools of it. The ruby-red liquid spilled across stone, forming rivulets that ran between the spacing in the pavers. Why had there been so much blood? A vague feeling of wet warmth bubbling up my throat and choking me swept through me. 

“Bri? Are you awake? Brighton?”

 

Trailer:  


   

-Kristen ♥

Friday, August 17, 2018

Book Blitz: Torn by Mia Kerick (Guest Post + Giveaway)



Title: Torn
Author: Mia Kerick
Publication Date: August 7, 2018

Synopsis: Vinny Bucci and Tommy Stecker are almost cousins. (Their mothers call themselves “sisters of the heart,” so that sort of makes them cousins, doesn’t it?) Since childhood, they’ve shared holidays and Sunday services and their passion for soccer. But now they’re eighteen, high school seniors, and what has always been devoted friendship—the next best thing to family—has started to feel like something else. Something more…. 

Unfortunately, the Steckers can’t accept their son’s same-sex romance, and upon recognizing the teens’ mutual attraction, they push Tommy into dating a girl from church, then compel him to attend a Christian College far away from Vinny’s school. The Buccis and the Steckers—once a family of choice—clash over what’s right and go their separate ways. 

Forced into separation, Vinny and Tommy are both devastated, but while Vinny hardens his heart to love, halfway across the country Tommy becomes emotionally and physically ill. Their passion for each other hasn’t diminished, let alone died, but they lose contact, and for the first time in their lives learn what it is to live with a broken heart. 

Will Tommy and Vinny find their way back to each other, or will they accept the rules dictated by family and try to live severed lives, their love forever unfulfilled?

About the Author: Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—one in law school, another a professional dancer, a third studying at Mia’s alma mater, Boston College, and her lone son off to Syracuse. (Yes, there is Atlantic Coast Conference rivalry within the family.) She publishes LGBTQ romances when not editing National Honor Society essays, offering opinions on college and law school applications, helping to create dance bios, and reviewing English papers. Her husband of twenty-five years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about this, as it is a sensitive subject. Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships. She has a great affinity for the tortured hero in literature, and as a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with tales of tortured heroes and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. Now she publishes her work—it’s an alternate place to stash her stories. Her books have been featured in Kirkus Reviews magazine and have won Rainbow Awards for Best Transgender Contemporary Romance and Best YA Lesbian Fiction, a Reader Views’ Book by Book Publicity Literary Award, the Jack Eadon Award for Best Book in Contemporary Drama, an Indie Fab Award, a First Place Royal Dragonfly Award for Cultural Diversity, a First Place Story Monsters Purple Dragonfly Award for YA Fiction, among others. Mia Kerick is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology. Contact Mia at miakerick@gmail.com or visit at www.miakerickya.com to see what is going on in Mia’s world.


Guest Post:

Hello. I’m Mia Kerick, and I’m here with my first in a series of YA/NA “story ballads.” This one is called TORN.

According to Wikipedia…

New adult (NA) fiction, also rendered as new-adult fiction, is a developing genre of fiction with protagonists in the 18–30 age bracket.[1] St. Martin’s Press first coined the term in 2009, when they held a special call for “…fiction similar to YA that can be published and marketed as adult—a sort of an ‘older YA’ or ‘new adult'”.[2] New adult fiction tends to focus on issues such as leaving home, developing sexuality, and negotiating education and career choices…

In its short life, NA fiction has had its ups and downs. Some writers/publishers don’t see it as a valid genre. Others find it to be a much-needed category. Lauren Sarner, in her article The Problem with New Adult books, states “New Adult is a label that is condescending to readers and authors alike. It implies that the books act as training wheels between Young Adult and Adult. For the New Adult books that are particularly childish, the label implies that they are a step above Young Adult—which is insulting to the Young Adult books that are far superior. For the New Adult books that are particularly sophisticated, the label implies that they are not worthy of being considered ‘adult.’ It’s a lose-lose situation for everyone.”


I think NA is an important developing, and hopefully not disappearing, genre, as there are topics, which when dealt with in full detail, are not entirely appropriate for a YA audience. There is also a difference in attitude. Teens who have are sharing their first kiss, experiencing a parental divorce, or experimenting with alcohol for the first time, have a different voice than those who are going off to live on their own to discover who they are when high school ends. In particular, there is a lot more sex in NA books, and the details are more descriptive. But this is where the genre seems to have hit a wall, in my opinion. According to my study of the Amazon Hot New Releases and Best Sellers lists, New Adult has largely turned into a genre that is centered around stories of sexual escapades. (Check out the lists and you’ll see what I mean.)


So when I wrote a novel that truly deals with more mature YA subjects and the transition from high school to college—living as “adults” for the first time—deciding upon a category is challenging. If I go with YA, I run the risk of offering more descriptive fact and detail than 13-18-year-olds need. If I choose New Adult, reader expectations have largely shifted away from “older YA” as it was originally intended, to be stories of a primarily sexual nature.

I’ve put a great deal of consideration into the choice between YA and NA, when it comes to my novella, Torn. As the story begins, Vinny and Tommy are high school seniors. The plot takes them through their final year of high school and into college. And certainly, in the novel they confirm their sexualities and experience passionate moments with each other, but that is not the only thrust of the book. The primary theme is of separating from family—not just physically, but emotionally. The young men go out into the world and develop their adult identities. They deal with being truly alone for the first time, religious conflict, and parental expectations. They make choices that adults make—ones that cause huge disruption and long-term change in their lives.


In the end, I chose to categorize the book as a Mature YA Romance. I placed this in the blurb so those who are selecting a book will realize that it isn’t about a first kiss or fitting in at their high school. The topics are a somewhat more mature, though not out of the scope of YA lit. But my main reason for choosing YA is because of the voice. The two main characters, who are the narrators, possess a YA voice for a great portion of the book.

I hope you check out my Mature YA Story Ballad, Torn, meet Vinny and Tommy, and explore the challenges they face as they journey toward love.

Giveaway:

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-Kristen ♥

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Blog Tour: Girl at the Grave by Teri Bailey Black (Tens List + Giveaway)


Title: Girl at the Grave
Author: Teri Bailey Black
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: August 7, 2018

Synopsis: Valentine has spent years trying to outrun her mother's legacy. But small towns have long memories, and when a new string of murders occurs, all signs point to the daughter of a murderer. 

Only one person believes Valentine is innocent—Rowan Blackshaw, the son of the man her mother killed all those years ago. Valentine vows to find the real killer, but when she finally uncovers the horrifying truth, she must choose to face her own dark secrets, even if it means losing Rowan in the end.

About the Author: Teri Bailey Black grew up near the beach in Southern California in a large, quirky family with no television or junk food, but an abundance of books and art supplies. She’s happiest when she’s creating things, whether it’s with words, fabric, or digging in the garden. She makes an amazing chocolate cherry cake—frequently. She and her husband have four children and live in Orange County, California. Girl at the Grave is her debut novel.


Interesting Facts About Me:

1. I’m a morning person. I wake up at 4 or 5 every morning without an alarm clock and love it. I immediately start writing. I’m sad when the rest of the world wakes up.

2. I melt at 8 pm. I put on pajamas as early as possible.

3. I hate to cook (savory) but love to bake (sweet).

4. I have had more than 15 wedding receptions in my backyard (three last year alone). My husband is a wonderful gardener, and we’re happy to share the garden with friends when their kids get married.

5. I love a house full of noisy teenagers and their hungry friends. This is the hangout house. Gaming laptops and Dungeons & Dragons. Nerds are the best.

6. I love jigsaw puzzles. Once I start, I can’t drag myself away, so I only do them on lazy holidays like Christmas.

7. I love to shop. After turning in my manuscript, my friend said, “Yay! Go to the beach!” I went shopping for shoes instead. My happy place.

8. My husband rides bikes very fast and wins lots of races (amateur not pro). He’s in better shape than his wife who writes books all day.

9. I love to quilt and crochet and sew things.

10. I like imperfection. When I walk into a friend’s house and it’s all clean and perfect, it makes me sad. I want to see signs of life.

11. I’m an optimist. The glass is half full. All things are possible.

12. I didn’t finish college. I had a bad habit of only taking classes that sounded fun. History of costume, creative writing, folk dance, acting. (But my kids are graduating, you better believe it!)

Giveaway:

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-Kristen ♥

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Blog Tour: Embracing the Dragon by K.L. Bone (Excerpt + Giveaway)


Title: Embracing the Dragon
Author: K.L. Bone
Series: The Flames of Kalleen
Publication Date: July 28, 2018

Synopsis: Can a human heart withstand the flames of a dragon’s soul?

For centuries, the dragons of Kalleen have ruled the skies. Blessed by the goddess of fire, those born of her power are destined to exist within two worlds, while fully belonging to neither.

As the youngest daughter of the dragon queen, Amelia has always been torn between her humanity and winged form. In meeting Stephen, she found a blossoming love that gave her hope of finding balance.

A dream destroyed when her sister, and future queen, sets her sights upon the same man.

Forced from her lover’s side, Amelia embraces a self-imposed exile, taking refuge in the northern mountains. In this new life of solitude, she banishes painful memories by retreating to her dragon form, sheltering the wounded girl within.

Yet it is an isolation that cannot last, as the new dragon queen’s cruelty bears down upon the kingdom, allowing an ancient enemy to rise. Drawn from her banishment by the pleas of friends, Amelia must choose. Will she embrace the destructive beast within? Or draw upon the frail humanity that lingers dimly in her soul, in a desperate attempt to help her people, and mend a broken heart?

About the Author: K.L. Bone is the author of the bestselling Black Rose Guard dark fantasy series. The Rise of the Temple Gods fantasy series. And a stand-alone science fiction novel, The Indoctrination. Bone has a master’s degree in modern literary cultures and is working toward her PhD.. She wrote her first short story at the age of fifteen and grew up with an equally great love of both classical literature and speculative fiction. Bone has spent the last few years as a bit of a world traveler, living in California, London, and most recently, Dublin. When not immersed in words, of her own creation or studies, you’ll find her traveling to mythical sites and Game of Thrones filming locations.


Excerpt:

Ash fell from the sky, blanketing the charred ground like cascading snow. Amelia stretched out her fingers, finding the burnt residue cool against her pale skin, lacking the heat responsible for the land’s horrific transformation. As she searched the valley for the conflagration’s source, or any living being, toxic particles coated her lungs with each labored breath.

Normally this lush region would have been filled with the merry songs of chittering birds, and the scattering rustle of creatures hidden amid the tall grass. As she walked the field, the only sounds were the crunch of charred vegetation, and her occasional cough as her chest attempted to expel the smoke-laden air.

She scanned the horizon, seeking flames. Gloomy air surrounded her, with smoke so thick she couldn’t even discern the fire’s glow through its suffocating layers.

Amelia pushed forward, drawing shallow breaths as more particles lined her throat, turning coughs to occasional gags as she reached what should have been the forest’s edge. In place of towering trees, she found blackened stumps. Her heart skipped at the sight, her mind rejecting the ruined vision of the land she had loved.

“What happened?” she asked the desolate terrain. “What, by the gods, took place here?”

She had cherished this land with its lush shrubbery, thick enough to hide even her darkest secrets. A place all were once welcomed to enjoy shaded comfort, perfumed by the sweet scent of fresh grass and wildflowers. Now, only cooling embers remained.

When she reached the clearing’s center, a pitiful squeak drew her attention. She knelt, brushing her hand through ash and soot to find a bird chirping meekly between desperate gasps. Gently cradling the suffering creature between her hands, Amelia closed her eyes.

As though anticipating her intentions, the wren remained motionless against her palms, and its labored breathing eased.

Settling her mind upon the bird, soft-blue light emanated from between her fingers, bathing the unremarkable brown feathers in cerulean light. As Amelia’s power drew out the toxins poisoning the delicate creature, it first flapped its wings, and then flew from Amelia’s hands.

“Fly away,” she urged. “The air remains poisonous.”

The bird chirped in thanks before fluttering away, though Amelia was uncertain as to the safety of its chosen direction.

She resumed her survey of the ruined forest, helping a struggling squirrel in the same manner she had the bird. As it scampered away, Amelia stood and attempted to brush the soot from her hands, but only managed to smudge the fine black powder.

Without audible warning, orange flames surged toward her, forcing Amelia to jump to her left, rolling through the fire’s debris, hands and knees stinging as they encountered hidden rocks.

A roar resounded, shattering the unnatural silence as Amelia glanced toward the sky to face a looming figure.

Above, darker than the choking smoke, hovered an immense beast, its wingspan casting a wide shadow over her curled form. The deep purple wings had a feathered appearance, glowing with what appeared to be golden flames, though they did not burn. Instead the menacing creature’s wings fanned hotter, reminding Amelia of a forge fire amplified by a blacksmith’s bellow. From an ebony body, its back feet were hooved, but its front arms had claws similar to a bird’s, while larger talons protruded from the outer tips of both wings. A terrifying creature of utter destruction.

The dragon stared down with glinting silver eyes, glowing nostrils framing the fire within. With each methodical beat of its wings, Amelia’s blonde tresses were alternately tugged and blown back in the wash of hot air.

Fear consumed her, stole her breath, and froze every thought. She briefly considered running, but knew she would never escape the creature’s wrath.

Shakily, Amelia climbed to her feet, her blue eyes wide as she waited for her inevitable fate. The dragon’s jaws opened, flames spilling to engulf the girl below before she could even utter a scream.

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-Kristen ♥

Book Blitz: The Blood Race Series by K.A. Emmons (Giveaway)



Title: The Blood Race
Series: The Blood Race, #1
Author: K.A. Emmons
Publication Date: July 27, 2017

Synopsis: All Ion Jacobs ever wanted was to be normal. But when you’re capable of killing with your very thoughts, it’s hard to blend in with the crowd.

Running from his past and living in fear of being discovered, Ion knows he will never be an average college student. But when Hawk, the beautiful, mysterious girl next door unearths his darkest secret, Ion’s life is flipped upside-down. He’s shocked to discover a whole world of people just like him -- a world in another dimension, where things like levitation, shape-shifting, and immortality are not only possible… they’re normal.

Forced to keep more secrets than ever before, Ion struggles to control his powers in the real world while commuting between realms -- until his arch enemy starts a fight he can’t escape. Now he has sealed the fate of the Dimension, severing their connection to the real world, and locking himself inside forever. But a deadly threat hidden in plain sight may cost Ion more than just his freedom -- it may cost him his life.

The Blood Race is the first book in K.A. Emmons' riveting new sci-fi/fantasy thriller series. If you like epic urban fantasy, fresh takes on super powers, deep allegories, raw emotions and intricate plots that surprise you at every turn, you'll love the first novel in Emmons' page-turning series. Grab your copy of The Blood Race and delve into a new dimension today!



Title: Worlds Beneath
Series: The Blood Race, #2
Author: K.A. Emmons
Publication Date: July 1st 2018

Synopsis: I used to think that seeing was believing, but now, as I struggle to stay alive below the ravine, I begin to realize that - good or bad - I will see whatever I believe.

“Who are you, Icarus, that the earth opens its mouth to receive your blood?” Sensei’s words were my last thoughts before I fell into the bottomless ravine, plunging toward my own death, and bringing about Hawk’s at the same time. Or so I thought.

I woke up underwater. I awoke in a strange and unfamiliar world, filled with maze-like forest, shadows, and nightmares seemingly as vivid and dangerous as reality. I had no idea who I was, or how I got there - I couldn’t remember anything, until I remembered her: Hawk. The other half of my soul.

I knew that in order for her to stay alive, I had to survive and find a way out. But that’s easier said than done when you’re trapped in a realm as deadly as your every thought - and dominated by a hierarchy of ravenous wolf packs.

Alerted by a dream, I realize that Hawk has left the Dimension to come find me. For an instant, I rediscover hope. But that hope quickly burns to ash when I realize that we may not be the only ones down here. Someone else with a thirst for her blood may have survived the fall too. And I may have just lured her right into the jaws of a predator even fiercer than the wolves.


About the Author: When she’s not hermiting away in her colorfully-painted home office writing her next science fiction, passionate story-teller and adventurer Kate Emmons is probably on the road for a surf or hiking trip, listening to vinyls, or going for a power run. Emmons’ debut novel The Blood Race is the first book in her YA science fiction/fantasy thriller series. Get connected with Kate on your favorite social platform, and be sure to check out http://kaemmons.com/.

Giveaway:
- 3 winners will win an ebook of THE BLOOD RACE
- Open internationally, Ends August 19th

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Tour Recap:
July 1: Author Interview with Jameson C Smith
July 2: Guest Post with Hot Town Cool Girl: Top 5 Tips for Aspiring Writers
July 3: Book Review of World's Beneath on Stories and Soulspeak
July 4: Author Q&A on Plottinger Twist
July 5: Q&A with Author at Unicorn Quester
July 7: Book Review of World's Beneath at Inkwell
July 9: Book Review of World's Beneath at Paper Pizza
July 11: Author Interview at Ivie Writes
July 12: Author Interview at Elly Lily
July 13: Author Interview at Rebecca Morgan
July 14: Guest Post at The Book Sprite
July 15: Book Review of World's Beneath at Totally Graced
July 16: Book Review of The Blood Race at The Red-Hooded Writer
July 17: Guest Post at Christ is Write
July 18: Author Interview at Writings From a God Girl
July 19: Author LIVE at Livy Lynn Blog
July 20: Review of World's Beneath at Rock and Minerals for Him
July 21: Guest Post at Audrey Caylin
July 23: Book Review of World's Beneath on PoeTree
July 25: Guest Post at Musings of a Creative Spirit
July 27: Interview at Authoring Arrowheads
July 28: Book Review of The Blood Race at The Calico Books
July 29: Book Review of The Blood Race on Novels, Dragons, and Wardrobe Doors
July 31: Book Review of The Blood Race and Author Interview at Oh So Priceless

-Kristen ♥

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Release Day Launch: The Prince by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Excerpt + Trailer)

   

Title: The Prince
Series: A Wicked Trilogy, #3.5; 1001 Dark Nights, #85
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Evil Eye Concepts Inc.
Publication Date: August 14, 2018

Synopsis: From #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes a new story in her Wicked series…

She’s everything he wants….

Cold. Heartless. Deadly. Whispers of his name alone bring fear to fae and mortals alike. The Prince. There is nothing in the mortal world more dangerous than him. Haunted by a past he couldn’t control, all Caden desires is revenge against those who’d wronged him, trapping him in never-ending nightmare. And there is one person he knows can help him.

She’s everything he can’t have…

Raised within the Order, Brighton Jussier knows just how dangerous the Prince is, reformed or not. She’d seen firsthand what atrocities he could be capable of. The last thing she wants to do is help him, but he leaves her little choice. Forced to work alongside him, she begins to see the man under the bitter ice. Yearning for him feels like the definition of insanity, but there’s no denying the heat in his touch and the wicked promise is his stare.

She’s everything he’ll take….

But there’s someone out there who wants to return the Prince to his former self. A walking, breathing nightmare that is hell bent on destroying the world and everyone close to him. The last thing either of them needs is a distraction, but with the attraction growing between them each now, the one thing he wants more than anything may be the one thing that will be his undoing.

She’s everything he’d die for….

 

About the Author: # 1 New York Times, USA Today and international bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout 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. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.


  

Excerpt: 

Did it make you a bad friend if you were completely, a hundred percent envious of that friend? Yes? No? Kind of?

I figured it was somewhere in between.

That’s what I was mulling over as I watched Ivy Morgan brush thick, red curls over her shoulder, laughing at something her boyfriend Ren Owens had said to her.

At least I wasn’t envious of that—their love. Okay, well, that wasn’t entirely true. Pretty sure anyone who was as single as me would be envious of all that warm and fuzzy that was passed back and forth with each long look or casual brush of skin. The two could barely tear their gazes away from one another to eat the dinner we’d grabbed at the cute little diner inside the shopping center on Prytania Street.

I honest to God couldn’t be happier for them. They’d been through so much—way more than two people should ever have to go through to be together, and here they were, stronger and more in love than ever, and they deserved that happiness.

But their epic love story wasn’t the source of a current case of the green-eye monster that was sitting on my shoulder.

Ivy was just such a… badass.

Even right now, relaxed in the chair, surrounded by twinkling Christmas lights with her hand in Ren’s and her belly full of a cheeseburger deluxe and crinkle fries and half of my tater tots, she could kick ass and take names along with addresses, telephone numbers, and social security numbers.

If the proverbial poo hit the fan, you called Ivy or Ren.

If you needed to know what streets Royal intersected with, you called… me. Or if you needed coffee or fresh beignets but were currently busy, you know, saving the world, you’d call me.

The three of us were all members of the Order, a widespread organization that was literally the only thing that stood between mankind and complete, utter enslavement and destruction by the fae. And not the super cute fae found in Disney movies or some crap like that. Humans thought they were on top of the food chain. They were wrong. The fae were.

The only thing pop culture got right about the fae was their slightly pointy ears. That was it. The fae were more than just beings from another world—the Otherworld—they were capable of glamouring their appearance to blend in with humans. But all Order members, even me, were warded at birth against the glamour. We saw through the human fa├žade to the creature that lurked beneath. 

   

Trailer:


     

-Kristen ♥

Blog Tour: The Gathering by Bernadette Giacomazzo (Guest Post + Giveaway)


Title: The Gathering
Author: Bernadette Giacomazzo
Series: The Uprising, #1
Publication Date: March 31, 2018

Synopsis: The Uprising Series tells the story of three freedom fighters and their friends in high — and low — places that come together to overthrow a vainglorious Emperor and his militaristic Cabal to restore the city, and the way of life, they once knew and loved.

In The Gathering, Jamie Ryan has defected from the Cabal and has joined his former brothers-in-arms — Basile Perrinault and Kanoa Shinomura — to form a collective known as The Uprising. When an explosion leads to him crossing paths with Evanora Cunningham — a product of Jamie’s past — he discovers that The Uprising is bigger, and more important, than he thought.

About the Author: With an impressive list of credentials earned over the course of two decades, Bernadette R. Giacomazzo is a multi-hyphenate in the truest sense of the word: an editor, writer, photographer, publicist, and digital marketing specialist who has demonstrated an uncanny ability to thrive in each industry with equal aplomb. Her work has been featured in Teen Vogue, People, Us Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and many, many more. She served as the news editor of Go! NYC Magazine for nearly a decade, the executive editor of LatinTRENDS Magazine for five years, the eye candy editor of XXL Magazine for two years, and the editor-at-large at iOne/Zona de Sabor for two years. As a publicist, she has worked with the likes of Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and his G-Unit record label, rapper Kool G. Rap, and various photographers, artists, and models. As a digital marketing specialist, Bernadette is Google Adwords certified, has an advanced knowledge of SEO, PPC, link-building, and other digital marketing techniques, and has worked for a variety of clients in the legal, medical, and real estate industries. Based in New York City, Bernadette is the co-author of Swimming with Sharks: A Real World, How-To Guide to Success (and Failure) in the Business of Music (for the 21st Century), and the author of the forthcoming dystopian fiction series, The Uprising. She also contributed a story to the upcoming Beyonce Knowles tribute anthology, The King Bey Bible, which will be available in bookstores nationwide in the summer of 2018.


Guest Post: Real World Inspirations

In the process of writing The Gathering: Book One of The Uprising Series, I drew a lot of “real world” inspiration. There are too many elements to list here, but here’s a list of my favorite – and most obvious – inspirations.

Trash and Vaudeville 

Trash & Vaudeville is legendary fashion store based, originally, in the Lower East Side of New York City. Its fashion director, Jimmy Webb, is a legend onto himself, and he’s dressed some of the biggest names in rock’n’roll. You can never leave Trash & Vaudeville without looking like a punk rock god, and that’s in no small part thanks to Jimmy.

CBGB 

I wasn’t around in NYC for the 1970s halcyon days of CBGB, but I was around when the final curtain fell on that hallowed stage. I watched, with horror, as the venerated rock venue became a John Varvatos. I recoiled with disgust as Target set up a fake CBGB to promote its debut on the Lower East Side. I curled up my lip as leather jackets – once free, and used to keep the bitter NYC cold out of our skin & bones – were marked up to $500 because safety pins were “ironically” placed in them as a fashion statement. For all that “red states” bitch about New York City – that we’re full of “coastal liberal elites” – nothing could be a symbol of the working man, a will to win based solely on grit and talent, and the champion of the underdog like CBGB. To watch it become commodified beyond recognition was a horrifying joke.

NYC Subway

The NYC Subway system is the conduit between what seems like totally different worlds. No two neighborhoods in NYC are exactly alike, and the Subway is the only way you can really go to all these different worlds without ever really leaving New York.

The Gangs of New York of the 1970s 

The New York City of the 1970s was a completely different city than the city you see today. There was a classic film called The Warriors (and yes, that’s where I got the name of the ‘native’ tribe that Pualani is a part of) that featured all of the different gangs of New York, such as the Savage Skulls, Black Spades, Ghetto Brothers, Deadly Bachelors, Javelin, Dirty Ones and the Tomahawks. The Ouroboros are a conglomerate of all the legendary “gangs of New York.”

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-Kristen ♥
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