Tour Guest Post/Giveaway: Broken Aro by Jen Wylie

Candied Memories

Guest Post by Jen Wylie

There is something about Halloween and memories. My memory is pretty crappy, but I do remember a lot of Halloweens. I remember running up and down village streets and getting excited over whatever got dropped into my pillowcase. (Pillowcases are the way to go- not those silly, tiny store bought baskets) I remember my mom’s smiles as we’d show her our loot and beg to be driven to the next village or group of houses. Yes, we lived in the country. “Oh poor child,” you think. Not so! Though cities you hit a lot more places in a shorter amount of time, in the country you GET more. I’m talking 10 houses will half fill a pillowcase more. You can get brown lunch bags of candy with your name on it. You’ll have houses dump their whole bowls in your bag because they don’t think anyone else will be coming.  Country Trick or Treating is awesome.

Back then we had fun with our costumes too. I never had one fully purchased at a store, though sometimes accessories were. When I was very little Mom hand made a clown costume and a witch another year. My sister and I wore those until we grew out of them. Then we were punk rockers a few years, full of spiked, glitter filled hair and too much makeup. Once I dressed up as Zorro- I think I just wanted the sword. Sadly, I also remember the growing up… of going out with friends, and even dressing up, but not going door to door for candy. Instead came parties and pretending to stay out of trouble.

Now I have kids of my own. Sometimes I think I have more fun than they do when we go out. Since my sewing skills suck, I never made them costumes. The last few years they have been wanting to make their own sometimes. No matter how silly, I’m all for that. I did it too, it’s a learning experience. I have good kids and am glad they aren’t to the partying age yet. As long as they’re still trick or treating, I can still steal their candy… except the candy corn… how can people eat that?


Broken Aro (The Broken Ones #1) by Jen Wylie

Publisher:  Untold PressGenre: YA epic fantasyBroken Aro released September 2012.  You can purchase it on Amazon for US or UK.

Book Description:  Open your eyes to darkness. What do you see? Does the darkness frighten you? Now imagine the darkness being the cargo hold of a slave ship. Your city has fallen. Your family is most likely dead. You don’t know anyone around you, and some of them aren’t even human. Giving up would be so easy to do, but not for Arowyn Mason. Not after being raised in a military family with seven brothers. Every great story should begin with a plan. Aro’s was to escape and to survive.

Escape comes, but at a price. As they reach the shore, Aro and the other survivors learn that freedom doesn’t mean safety. The slavers want their property back and will do anything to get it. The party uses every ounce of their brute strength, a hearty helping of cunning, and even ancient magics to keep themselves alive. Sickness, danger, and even love surprise them at every turn. Dealing with danger becomes their way of life, but none of them ever considered that nothing can be quite as dangerous as a prophecy. Running turns into another race altogether as her world falls to pieces again and again.

About the Author:

Jen Wylie resides in rural Ontario, Canada with her  two boys, Australian shepherd and a disagreeable amount of wildlife. In a cosmic twist of fate she dislikes the snow and cold.

Before settling down to raise a family, she attained a BA from Queens University and worked in retail and sales.

Thanks to her mother she acquired a love of books at an early age and began writing in public school. She constantly has stories floating around in her head, and finds it amazing most people don’t. Jennifer writes various forms of fantasy, both novels and short stories.

Website  |  Blog  |  Twitter  | Goodreads  | Facebook  |  Amazon

Giveaway:

The author is giving away one ebook copy of Broken Aro.  To enter, leave a comment with your favorite Halloween memory or favorite Halloween candy.  This giveaway is opened internationally.  One lucky person will be chosen and emailed November 2nd!  The winner will be selected by random and have 48 hours to respond by email or another person will be chosen.

Please check out the other stops on the tour:

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Book Review/Giveaway: Halo of the Damned by Dina Rae

Halo of the Damned by Dina Rae

Publisher:  Eternal Press

Genre:  Dark Paranormal

You can purchase Halo of the Damned on ebook or paperback from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.  More reviews available on Goodreads.  There is a separate giveaway for a paperback version of this book on Goodreads that you can enter from Oct 1-31st.  You can read my reviews of other books by Dina Rae:  Be Paranoid Be Prepared and Bad Juju.

Giveaway:

Click HERE to enter the giveaway for an ebook version of Halo of the Damned as well as a $10 gift card to Amazon.com.  Giveaway is opened internationally.  There will be one winner.

Review:

Overview:  Halo of the Damned is the third book I’ve read from Dina Rae and she sure does have a very signature way to her writing.  It’s raw, extremely unpredictable, and compelling from the first page to the last.  The dialogue and writing feel over-dramatic at times, and the way her books are written feels like Dan Brown or Tim LaHaye.  I like how each of her books tackle a different genre – this one is a dark thriller.  I like how this book is about a devil religion unique to this book – which means Catholics are spared from the corrupt priest stereotypes.  It’s dirty, but not gory.  A great Halloween read for those who like their “evil” without too much scare.

Characters:  Like in her other novels, there is a huge cast of characters with distinct personalities.  With such a large amount, there isn’t much character development for many of the characters, but they will leave you guessing from scene to scene.  Joanne is the star of the novel and she is both a recovering drug addict and an ex-con.  I like how her view of the world was more jaded than the typical heroine and how she didn’t fall madly in love instantly with the first male who showed interest in her.  There is a little bit of a love triangle, but honestly, one of the men was way out of his league in trying to get her.  The romance is very underplayed and the plot definitely hog most of the spotlight.  One person I couldn’t stand was Marie – as she in no way resembled a 6-year-old in her mannerisms  behaviors, or vocals.  I think her character would have been more convincing if she was at least 12 or 13.

Plot:  It could be viewed as a good or bad thing, but many of the scenes are revisited by different characters.  Scene A might be told in Joanne’s POV and end in a cliffhanger.  A chapter or two later, Marcus will pick up the same scene either explaining the events leading up to Scene A or the events that happened because of Scene A.  Halo of the Damned is definitely a non-linear story, but surprisingly the pacing of the novel is strong even when the information in the book is familiar to the reader.

Ending:  Thankfully this was not a cliffhanger.  I could see the potential for a series involving many of the characters, but even as a stand alone this book has a satisfying ending.  There’s a few twists that happen during the path of the book and I had a general idea of what would happen at the end – but there was no predictability to the actions of most of the characters.  Overall though, it was a good read.  A “light” read for those who like “dark” books.

Grade:  B+

This is great book for those who wants something different in the paranormal genre.

Book Description:

A chain of advertising agencies, a new breed of humans, and a fallen angel to worship… Andel Talistokov is known for his slick advertising agencies across the globe. He is a fallen angel that uses advertising as a weapon for Satan’s work. His growing power emboldens him to break several of Hell’s Commandments. Furious with his arrogance, Satan commands him to return to Hell after finding his own replacement. Yezidism, an ancient angel worshiping religion, quietly expands throughout the West. Armaros appears as a guest of honor during their ceremonies. He mates with young women to produce nephilim, a mixed race of humans and angels. They are alone and unprepared for their supernatural power. Joanna Easterhouse, a recovering drug addict, steps out of prison shortly after her mother’s fatal accident. She and her sister, Kim, unravel their mother’s secretive past. Intrigued, they learn their bloodline is part of a celestial legacy. Both worlds collide. Halo of the Damned is a horrifying tale that weaves research together with suspenseful twists and turns.

About the Author:

Dina Rae is a new author here to stay.  As a former teacher, she brings an academic element to her work.  Her three novels, Halo of the Damned, The Last Degree, and Bad Juju weave research and suspense throughout the plots.  Her short story, Be Paranoid Be Prepared, is a prequel of sorts to The Last Degree, focusing on the James Martin character.  Dina also freelances for various entertainment blogs.

Dina lives with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs outside of Chicago.  She is a Christian, an avid tennis player, movie buff, and self-proclaimed expert on several conspiracy theories.  She has been interviewed numerous times in e-zines, websites, blogs, newspapers, and radio programs.  When she is not writing she is reading novels from her favorite authors Dan Brown, Anne Rice, Stephen King, Brad Thor, George R.R. Martin, and Preston & Childs.

Website | Blog | Twitter: @haloofthedamned Halo of the Damned |

Spooktacular Giveaway: Halo of the Damned by Dina Rae

Check out this guest Post by author Dina Rae and then enter the giveaway to win a copy of Halo of the Damned and a $10 giftcard to Amazon.com.  The Spooktacular Giveaway Hop is hosted by I Am A Reader, Not a Writer & The Diary of a Bookworm.  You can check out a full list of the participating blogs (OVER 400!!!)  by clicking HERE.  Giveaway is open internationally and winner has 48 hours to respond by email or a new one will be chosen.  You can read my full review of Halo of the Damned, which I rated a B+, or scroll down to the bottom of this post to read a mini review.

Click to enter the giveaway

ebook + giftcard = ONE LUCKY PERSON!


Halo of the Damned

Guest Post by Dina Rae

In my recent novel, Halo of the Damned, I used research about the ancient Yezidi religion (spellings vary).  The Yezidis originated from northern Iraq.  The religion spread throughout the Kurdish community, eventually making its way into Europe.

Yezidis worship angels, especially Malak Tawas (spellings vary).  The peacock symbolizes this angel who many believe to be Satan.  Malak’s story in the Koran matches the same stories in the Bible and Old Testament about a rebellious angel who wages war with a third of all of God’s angels against God and the remainder of angels in Heaven.  Once defeated, God sends all of them to Hell.  Yezidis believe God created Malak first, before all other angels, in His image, therefore he is also God.  They also believe the world was first created as a pearl.  Their holy books are Black Book and Book of Revelation.  Their afterlife ideas are vague, but lean towards reincarnation.  I found the religion fascinating and used it as part of the plot.

Book Description:  A chain of advertising agencies, a new breed of humans, and a fallen angel to worship… Andel Talistokov is known for his slick advertising agencies across the globe. He is a fallen angel that uses advertising as a weapon for Satan’s work. His growing power emboldens him to break several of Hell’s Commandments. Furious with his arrogance, Satan commands him to return to Hell after finding his own replacement. Yezidism, an ancient angel worshiping religion, quietly expands throughout the West. Armaros appears as a guest of honor during their ceremonies. He mates with young women to produce nephilim, a mixed race of humans and angels. They are alone and unprepared for their supernatural power. Joanna Easterhouse, a recovering drug addict, steps out of prison shortly after her mother’s fatal accident. She and her sister, Kim, unravel their mother’s secretive past. Intrigued, they learn their bloodline is part of a celestial legacy. Both worlds collide. Halo of the Damned is a horrifying tale that weaves research together with suspenseful twists and turns.

Quick Review:  Halo of the Damned is the third book I’ve read from Dina Rae and she sure does have a very signature way to her writing.  It’s raw, extremely unpredictable, and compelling from the first page to the last.  The dialogue and writing feels over-dramatic at times, and the way her books are written feels like Dan Brown or Tim LaHaye.  I like how each of her books tackle a different genre – this one is a dark thriller.  I like how this book is about a devil religion unique to this book – which means Catholics are spared from the corrupt priest stereotypes.  It’s dirty, but not gory.  A great Halloween read for those who like their “evil” without too much scare.  (B+ rating)

Website | Blog | Twitter: @haloofthedamned Halo of the Damned |

Fall into Fantasy Blog Hop: Guest Post/Giveaway of Arcadian Genesis


I know that many of the other blogs on this hop are giving away teenage Cinderella stories, where a young girl meets a prince (or vampire), they save the world, and then live happily ever after.  Not here.  I have a special dark fantasy (science fiction) novella by Greig Beck.  Arcadian Genesis is currently number one on the iTunes bookstore and top 20 on Amazon’s action/adventure, but two lucky people can win a free ebook copy here!  This is the prequel to the Alex Hunter series.  So it you’re a new fan or old fan of Greig Beck, this book is for you.

In the spirit of Halloween, we also have a guest post by Greig Beck.  Read it and then leave a comment with your email to enter the giveaway.  There are TWO winners and this is an international giveaway (October 16th – 21st).  No need to follow for this giveaway, but I’d love for you to read my review of Arcadian Genesis HERE and check out the official page for this book on the publisher’s website.

DARKNESS

Guest Post by Greig Beck

Darkness.

Not the kind in that back alley with the busted street lamp at midnight, or the night-black forest when the moon has set and just before the sun rises. Something more stygian, mysterious and more impenetrable to even the most dark-adapted eye.

That type of darkness.

When I was just eight years old, my parents took our family to visit the Jenolan caves in the Blue Mountains. They’re one of the largest, deepest and at three hundred and forty million years, oldest limestone cave systems in the world.

After travelling for thirty minutes down and then further down into the wonderful caverns, artificially lit by gothicly placed lighting to best show off the angel wing columns, coral coloured stalagmites dyed blues, greens and reds from different minerals leaking down one small drip at a time for countless millennia, we finally came to a large cathedral like cavern.

Our guide stopped, smiled, and then asked is to spread out so we weren’t touching each other, and then to stand stock-still. He turned out the lights. The darkness was complete – nothing, not a glimmer, glow, or particle of light anywhere.

He spoke softly: ‘now feel the darkness.’

And we did.

It was cold, oppressive, all around us, everywhere, and wrapping itself so sightly it squeezed the chest, and blanketed the senses.

He spoke once again. ‘Listen.’

Almost imperceptibly at first, we could hear it – a slow drip from far away, its echo, plinking ever softer as it bounced softly onwards. Then, a scuttle, something like a low moan, and a stealthy sliding sound – way too close by.

It was unsettling, creepy, and claustrophobic. Even though the logical part of our brains told us we were still in a huge open space, our senses refused to support it.

This was real darkness. This was its world; this sunless place where legends and myths were born and grew strong.  There were things living in it. Things that had found sight redundant a million years before. However, these things still ‘saw’ us and knew we were there.

Even after the lights came back on, I remembered those feelings and sensations – on the way home, weeks afterwards, and still today, decades later.

Many of my stories contain scenes of travelling in that type of darkness – and there are things that lurk in that world that see us clearly even though we are blind. Things that are sentient, hungry, waiting, and not like us at all. That world does not belong to us – never did.

This Halloween, remember that dark when you turn into the street without the light, remember that someone or something sees you, far better than you see it.

A final thought; over two thousand people go missing a day – mostly in that kind of darkness. Look over your shoulder, and remember…

Happy Halloween!


No strings attached for this giveaway.  Enter a comment below with your email address and you’re automatically in.  Giveaway is open internationally and winners have 48 hours to respond by email before another one is chosen.  The fall into fantasy hop is hosted by The Write Path and I Am A Reader, Not A Writer.  You can visit the other stops on the hop by clicking HERE.

Tour Review/Giveaway: The Antithesis by Terra Whiteman


Welcome to the final stop of the Antithesis Tour.  You can check out the full list of tour stops HERE.  On this tour stop I have my review of this awesome book, an excerpt, and a giveaway.  I’m so happy that every book I’ve reviewed this week has exceeded my expectations.  This one is no exception to that.  I was blown away by how intricate the world was in the first book.  Just like with Harry Potter, Star Wars, or Lord of the Rings, the Antithesis isn’t a story…it’s a universe.  You experience the story instead of reading it.  This is a novel worthy of fan-fiction.  And it broke my heart not to give it 5 stars, but read my review to find out why.

The Series’ Covers


The Antithesis (Book #1) by Terra Whiteman

Publisher: 1889 Labs

Genre: Angel/Demon – Science Fiction

Publisher: 1889 Labs

You can purchase it on ebook from Amazon and Smashwords or on paperback from AmazonBarnes and NobleIndigoPowells, and Whsmith.

Giveaway:

  • 1 winner will get paperback copies of all 5 books in the Antithesis series by Terra Whiteman.
  • 3 winners will get ebook copies of all 5 books in the Antithesis series by Terra Whiteman.
  • 5 winners will get any ebook of their choice published by 1889 Labs.

Click HERE to enter the giveaway.

Review:

Overall:  It’s funny that I don’t consider this an angel/demon novel when 90% of the characters are either one or the other.  To me, it felt like a science fiction novel, only the setting was with Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory.  There is no religious bashing, outright preaching, or moral values hidden beneath the ink waiting to subconsciously sink their teeth into your brain and suck out your vices (or was there? *cue Twilight Zone music*).   Atheists and Christians alike can enjoy this novel from Terra Whiteman.  Also like a science fiction novel, there is great emphasis on making the different places and characters feel as comfortable to your mind as your own hometown.  I can picture each scene as easily in this novel as I could if it was a movie.  It doesn’t have the shock value that I like in many of my favorite novels – but I still enjoyed nearly every moment reading this book.

Characters:  It’s clear from the first meeting between Leid and Alezair that these two have met previously, but since Alezair has no memory of his former life, he doesn’t know what kind of relationship he used to have with her.  Throughout the novel, his instincts drive him to both lust and hate her.  Leid rejects him over and over again and yet you can’t help but think each time that maybe this time Alezair might have a chance with this deadly woman.  Leid surprised me in her unique response to each situation.  I adore her more than any heroine as of late.  She’s like a tiger – beautiful, exotic, but dangerous for your health in close quarters.  I have 10 or 15 different texts highlighted in my Kindle of the awesome verbal exchanges between these two characters.  The author doesn’t give into the chemistry sizzling – no, every time they meet is like a hit and you can help but turn page after page looking for that next high.

Plot:  The book begins with Alezair on just another mission from the Nexus to kill people, which he is very good at doing, and with no recollection of who he used to be.  On this mission he meets Leid and he is struck by how familiar she is to him.  After following Leid, she decides to make him into a being like her – and Alezair becomes a nearly invincible enforcer between Heaven and Hell.  Not all is what it seems, as the beings of Heaven and Hell seem to recognize him, but no one will say how.  Alezair’s body draws him instinctively to Leid and he has no idea why.  Although the mystery of who Alezair really is unravels at a snail’s pace, there is plenty of action and a very intricate world to keep you entertained as the mystery unfolds.

Ending:  I don’t get the last 10% of the novel.  I could accept the novel as over (with a sequel expected) when Alezair stops narrating.  I didn’t find out everything I wanted to know, but I was okay with drawing my own conclusions for now.  But, the last 10% is written in various points of view that flash back to earlier scenes in the novel, only from a different perspective.  I didn’t connect with these people.  I didn’t learn anything new about Alezair – only that people were damn scared of him, which I could guess from his point of view.  Without the last 10%, I would have given this novel 5 stars.  With it, I had to knock off a star for killing the mystery and allure of some of my favorite minor characters from the novel.  Regardless, I still am planning on reading the rest of this series.

Grade:  B

This is a great book for those who like books about Angels and Demons without the influence of the author’s religious beliefs.

*I received a copy of this book from a FMB tours in exchange for my honest review.

Book Description:

Justice Alezair Czynri is the newest recruit of the Jury, a group of powerful beings who reside in Purgatory and enforce the Code between Heaven and Hell. However, Justice Czynri could not have come at a worse time. A storm lays just over the horizon…

One that brings with it a war.

This is a story about God and the Devil, but not how you were taught to believe.

This is also a story about love and hate, and the suffering both can bring.

This is about rights and wrongs, and all of the spaces in between.

This is about revenge, courage, death, passion; with no villains, no heroes… only those left scorned.

This is a story about Heaven, Hell, and the Jury that holds them together.

This is The Antithesis.

Excerpt:

The Terabicz Ruins was a collection of towers composed of black rock and sharp peaks, complete with floating circular platforms hovering in the sky like halos. Vines could be seen wedged between surface fractures, though I didn’t understand how any vegetation could survive in this perpetual darkness.

A winding staircase led to the first platform a thousand feet up. As we approached the base, Leid tripped over her own feet, landing on her knees.
I moved forward, but she shot out a hand to stop me. I froze.

Then she lurched, vomiting blood all over the first step.

I reeled back, eyes wide, fear rising in my throat. Leid only crouched on the steps, panting.

I shouted, the confusion and fear now propelling into anger. “Are you dying?!”

“No,” she responded coarsely.

Leid tried to get up, but collapsed. She attempted getting up a second time, made it one more step, but then collapsed again.

I frowned, kneeling in front of her with my back turned. “Get on.”

Reluctantly she crawled over me, wrapping her arms around my shoulders, legs hooking my elbows. She couldn’t protest this time; walking was out of the question.

I began up the stairs, Leid now on my back.

“Thank you,” I heard her murmur quietly.

“Sure thing. Just don’t puke on me.”

The climb was exhausting, seeming to never end. Leid wasn’t heavy in the least, and in fact Vel’Haru could probably lift three hundred times their own weight; but the last four days of almost nonexistent sleep and nonstop traveling had finally caught up with me. I was tired, and it was showing.

I took a breather on the first platform. The second, I’d decided to just keep going. By the apex, I was staggering.

The apex platform was shockingly covered in moss. An iron gate surrounded a stone temple with a courtyard covered in…statues.

“What is this place?” I whispered.

“Civen’s old temple. Since the Deadland’s decline, another has been built in Alatonia.”

I now understood why she’d placed the statue here. It would have blended in perfectly with the garden of others surrounding the temple. My eyes drifted over the platform, a frown pulling at my lips. Something didn’t feel right. It was so quiet, though that had been consistent throughout the entire area. I really couldn’t explain why I had this sense of impending doom.

Slowly, I carried Leid toward the gate.

My hand pushed against it; it opened with a creak.

I stepped inside, eyes surveying the courtyard.

It was isolated, save for the ever still and silent stone army surrounding us. I moved to the side of the wall, kneeling and letting Leid slide off. She collapsed against the ground, limply sitting up.

I had to admit I was a little pissed off for the fact that there weren’t any demons here. All of this for practically nothing? Though I supposed it would have been considerably bad otherwise since Leid could barely move and I currently wasn’t at my best.

“Hurry,” she pleaded.

I nodded, and she hadn’t needed to point out which statue was the target. Despite the clever hiding spot, it stuck out like a sore thumb.

Surrounded in marble soldiers and half-naked maidens, a woman knelt; arm outstretched, eyes wide and lips parted in the beginnings of a despairing cry. She seemed carved out of black glass, shimmering like an obsidian beacon within the otherwise white wash of the garden.

…Obsidian. This woman.

I momentarily forget about my sick noble, slowly moving toward it, seamlessly weaving through the other nondescript statues. My eyes were narrowed, head slightly tilted in curious awe.

I stopped in front of her, drifting over the details of her face; all the while my face had become a contortion of disarray. I spun, pointing at the statue.

“Why does this thing look exactly like you?”

Leid tried to respond but coughed instead. When she was finished, she tried again:

“Will you just kill it, please? We’ll talk about this later.”

“…How do I kill it?”

“With your fists, you genius. Smash it to bits.”

“Exactly how were you expecting to destroy this thing on your own, by the way?”

“Shut up and finish it!”

“Not until you take back what you said.”

Leid stared, falling silent. She knew what I meant.

I waited, silent as well.

Conceding, she looked away shamefully. “I was angry; I didn’t mean it.”

“What didn’t you mean?”

“I would never regret meeting you, Alezair. I’m sorry.”

Though I’d coerced her into saying this, I could tell she was being sincere. Her expression was somber, painfully so.

I grinned. “Thanks. One pile of black sand coming right up.”

I turned, just as a thwump broke through the air. I felt a pinch. My grin faded into a confused wince and I looked down at the source of the sharp pain.

…There was a dart sticking out of my chest.

I looked up at Leid, though my vision was already beginning to blur; the world around me swayed. She was screaming something, pointing behind me, but now everything was moving in slow motion and I was having trouble comprehending.

I was about to turn but was tackled; a group of hands held me down, shoving my face into the moss. I thrashed, snarling, still strong enough to fling some of my assailants off. But each time a pair of hands left, another instantly replaced them. I couldn’t see anything—just a cluster of feet as the crowd scurried around, trying to keep me down.

Another group of feet left the crowd and began for Leid, who at this moment was hopelessly trying to crawl away. As they got further from us I could see them clearly:

Demons. Tons of them; at least two dozen.

Instead of retreating for the gate, Leid deliriously went the wrong way. During the struggle I’d been shoved about twenty feet from the statue. She was crawling toward us.

The demons pursuing her eventually backed off, waiting at the first row of statues. When Leid passed the third row, a shadow slid out from one of them, advancing slowly in a steady, calculated gait.

I squinted, teeth clenched and still struggling, trying to see the demon clearly. And then I did.

It was Caym Stroth, Raith’s second general. Unusually dressed in a black suit, the Obsidian Court insignia on his right shoulder, he held a giant serrated axe, swinging it nonchalantly at his side. He whistled an unfamiliar tune as Leid scrambled toward the statue. It seemed she was too delirious to even see him.

I screamed, though it was pointless because she couldn’t hear me. “Leid, behind you!”

She was now within a foot of the statue. Gasping, she reached toward it with a trembling outstretched hand.

Caym stopped behind her, lifting the axe over his head, his lips curling into a malicious sneer.

About the Author:

Terra Whiteman is a scientist who writes whenever she’s not doing things that scientists do. She loves philosophy, chemistry, biology, classical literature, graphic novels, loud, obnoxious music, frog slippers and beer.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads | 1889 Labs

Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Focus by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Focus (The Crescent Chronicles, #2) by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Focus is expected to be released January 2013.  You can check it out on Goodreads.

Overall Thoughts:

Hocus, Pocus, Focus.  Witches and weather.  I like how this cover focuses on her isolation, instead of romance like the first cover.  I’m not quite sure there’s much snow in New Orleans, but I suppose if it does…it is because hell froze over.

Compare to First Cover:

Blurb:

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

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

Author Bio:

Alyssa Rose Ivy lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children. Although raised in the New York area, she fell in love with the South after moving to New Orleans for college. After years as a perpetual student, she turned back to her creative side and decided to write. 

 

The author is giving away

  • 1 paperback copy of Flight (The Crescent Chronicles #1) by Alyssa Rose Ivy – US Only
  • 1 ebook of Flight (The Crescent Chronicles, #1) – (international)

ENTER the giveaway!

 

Reading Clean Giveaway


Reading Clean Giveaway September 6th – 12th

Hosted by Clean Teen FictionOne Librarian’s Book Reviews

I normally don’t have too much trouble figuring out what to giveaway for these hops, but this one was rather hard.  It’s the “clean read” that stumped me.  Most of the books I enjoy aren’t clean reading.  Well, and then I remembered my special love for MG fantasy.  So I’m giving away 1 paperback book from any of the following MG fantasy series.

Harry Potter
Percy Jackson
Artemis Fowl
Bartimaeus
That’s any one book from any one of those series.  You must have a US shipping address to enter.  Winners have 48 hours to respond by email.  I’d appreciate it if you follow me on twitter, facebook, linky, or wordpress but it isn’t necessary for this giveaway.

To enter the giveaway leave a comment with your email address.

*Giveaway is now closed.  Comments are disabled and winner will be emailed within the next few days.*

Check out the other blogs on the hop.

Lazy Days of Summer – The Magic Warble Giveway

The summer is hot and the days are long.  Now is the perfect time to read.  Author Victoria Simcox is giving away three copies of her debut novel, The Magic Warble.  It is a MG fantasy.  Winners will have 48 hours to respond by email.  This contest is open internationally.  You can read my review of The Magic Warble HERE.

Summary:

Twelve-year-old Kristina Kingsly feels like the most unpopular girl in her school. The kids all tease her, and she never seems to fit in. But when Kristina receives an unusual Christmas gift, she suddenly finds herself magically transported to the land of Bernovem, home of dwarfs, gnomes, fairies, talking animals and the evil Queen Sentiz.
In Bernovem, Kristina not only fits in, she’s honored as “the chosen one,” the only one who can release the land from Queen Sentiz’s control. But it’s not as simple as it seems. To save Bernovem, she must place the gift she was given, the famous “Magic Warble,” in its final resting place. She must travel through the deep forest, climb a treacherous mountain, and risk capture by the queen’s “zelbocks” before she reaches her destination. Guided by her new fairy friends, Clover and Looper and by Prince Werrien, a teenage boy, and an assortment of other characters, Kristina sets off on a perilous journey that not only tests her strength but her heart.

Follow me on Linky or WordPress and then click HERE to head to the rafflecopter.

Check out all the other participating blogs by clicking on the picture below:

Life needs more winners and less whiners

The last few days my little one has been sick with a cold.  This translates to an endless amount of snot over every possible surface and fabric in the house (including the dog’s fur), constant coughing and phlem pointed in my direction, and non-stop screaming when I want to do ANYTHING including sleep.  In the wee hours of the morning, this is what we had in the house:

  VS:  VS 

How he can sleep next to a screaming baby, I really don’t comprehend.  Maybe its harder for me to do when my kid is either yanking at my shirt or ripping out my hair because I’m trying to ignore him.  Normally he sleeps in his crib, but when he’s sick…he’s like a leech.  Must let Mommy know that throat hurts at 4am.  Gah.

At least somewhat brighter news.  I’m getting sick.  I know.  It doesn’t sound like a good thing, but understand my logic.  This means that he’s suffering from a cold and not allergies, because allergies are not contagious.  And this is a good thing because a cold last for a week at most, while allergies can last for months.  So me sick is great news.  Yay!

Anyway, let me move on to happier news.  The winners to the last two giveaways!

Congrats Melissa!  Your signed copy of Vida Nocturna by Mark Diehl is in the mail.

Congrats Elena!  You’re $10 giftcard to Amazon has been emailed to you.

Book Review & Giveaway: A Need so Beautiful by Suzanne Young

A Need so Beautiful by Suzanne Young

Publisher: Balzer and Bray

Available in ebook and paperback.

I purchased this book on a whim and it was the best spontaneous buy all summer.  I honestly can’t stand books that have a guaranteed happy ending and midway through A Need so Beautiful, there were two plausible endings to the book and both were bittersweet.  Instead of the typical instant-love-triangle mess of many YA novels, the heroine starts out already involved in the boy of her dreams.  Charlotte’s problems with her boyfriend arise because of her “Need” to do good things for other people.  As these compulsions become more frequent, she finds it harder to hide it from other people.  I really connected to Charlotte.  Although she liked doing good things for others, she really wanted to have a chance to live her own life.  As the book progresses, Charlotte discovers that she may end up with no life at all.

I can’t say that the characters were unique, as Charlotte’s best friend, Sarah, is a shopaholic who only wants to be loved by her father.  Charlotte’s boyfriend, Harlin, is pretty tame and quiet, since he’s still getting over the murder of his father a few years ago.  I can’t say that I’m a fangirl, but I can see where his sensitive nature can be attractive.

As for the ending, apparently a chapter was added at the very end to transform this stand alone book into a series.  I like the book better without the epilogue, but I also enjoyed reading the second book…so whatever.  It wasn’t a cliff-hanger (well, maybe it was a “bridge-hanger”…you’ll understand after reading) so I’m satisfied.

If you love YA fantasy with a melodramatic twist, this is an awesome book to check out.  The concept of angels “Forgotten” are unique and the book will keep you engaged until the last word.

Characters 4/5

Concept 5/5

Pacing 5/5

Grammar 5/5

Ending 4/5

Summary:

 We all want to be remembered. Charlotte’s destiny is to be Forgotten…

Charlotte’s best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she’s cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what’s really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth, who feels the Need—a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger.

But Charlotte never wanted this responsibility. What she wants is to help her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend’s arms forever. But as the Need grows stronger, it begins to take a dangerous toll on Charlotte. And who she was, is, and will become–her mark on this earth, her very existence–is in jeopardy of disappearing completely.

Charlotte will be forced to choose: Should she embrace her fate as a Forgotten, a fate that promises to rip her from the lives of those she loves forever? Or is she willing to fight against her destiny–no matter how dark the consequences.

Grade: A-

This book appeals to fans of YA fantasy, who enjoy a new twist on angels.

If you’re interested in purchasing this book, you can buy it from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.  More reviews are available at Goodreads.

This book was purchased because I saw that the author was doing a book signing near me.  I loved the books so much, I decided to purchase second copies at the book signing.  You can win signed copies of both A Need so Beautiful and A Want so Wicked by clicking HERE or on the image below:  (Ends July 28th)