Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Book Blitz: Monsters Among Us (Excerpt + Teaser Image + Giveaway)

Monsters Among Us 
Amanda Strong
(Monsters Among Us #3)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: June 26th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
What if the fate of the world lies with the monster—not the hero?
The world is shifting, and Sammy has complete control. But as hidden truths surface, she starts to doubt everyone who is close to her. The Ancients and Kory have been harboring dark secrets, and it could mean war between the Dragon Fae and the Irukas. With the Defenders as her devoted soldiers, Sam must make some difficult decisions. Should she save the world… or save herself?
Blake won’t give up on Sam. He knows he can’t trust Tonbo anymore, or the web of lies he’s been thrown into. If he hopes to save Sam, he must find the real reason Kory created the bug army. Turns out there could be something far worse than bloodthirsty bugs buriedon the islands, and Blake will have to fight his own inner demons if he wants to save those he loves—including Sam.
In a world filled with mistrust and lies, Blake and Sam must unearth the truth and face their own fears and weaknesses. If they don’t, their lives—and the fate of all humanity—will hang in the balance.
The complete series:

EXCERPT:
Rounding a corner, I flew right into a pair of bright aqua eyes. I knew those eyes, and the recognition felt like a slap to my face. I halted, not just to avoid collision but because of absolute shock.
Impossible. How’s he here?
“Blake,” Mack gasped.
I remained stunned, still hovering inches from his face. Where were all the Defenders? How did he just waltz in? Why wasn’t he bound? I couldn’t process what I was seeing.
Trying to recompose myself in those milliseconds we both remained in a locked gaze, it dawned on me that Jaxon had not rushed his brother. I only heard heavy breathing behind me, and I wanted desperately to turn around to see what Jaxon was doing. Was he preparing for an attack, or was he awaiting my command?
Yet, I couldn’t peel my eyes away from Blake. Those aqua pools pulled me closer, beckoned me nearer even though our faces were mere inches apart. Frustrated, I commanded myself to move. Show some strength. Straighten your back, for heaven’s sake. I’m like a freaking hunchback, practically bowing to him. What’s wrong with me? Back up… now.
I didn’t move. I couldn’t. It was like my bedroom all over again, when I’d found myself moving toward him, longing to be near him against my will. Only this time, it was worse. He was too close, the magnetic pull reinforced by his nearness. I felt helpless against it, which panicked me more.
He didn’t say anything, his eyes raking my face, searching for Sam. But I’m not Sam, I wanted to shout, though I didn’t. I just kept on gazing into his eyes like a dunce.
You’ve got to be joking, Sam. I heard and felt nothing. I know you’re here. You must be, because I’m freaking stuck in place.
Again, there was nothing to betray her presence until I did the unthinkable. I closed the gap and kissed Blake.
I kissed him like my life depended on it, like I couldn’t get enough of his mouth, like he was the only person in the room, never mind the others’ audible gasps. I wrapped my hands around the back of his neck, pulling him to me. Blake seemed just as shocked as I was by my actions. He stiffened at my touch, groaned under my lips, and then, before I could feel remorse, pulled back from me as fast as I’d come at him, untangling himself from my embrace.
There were those eyes again, probing my face, questions forming but not spoken.

Author Bio: Born in Dekalb, Illinois, Amanda Strong has called Utah, Arizona, Hawaii, Virginia, and now New Mexico home. She has loved to spin tales since childhood. It was not uncommon to find her hiding in some random corner, scribbling away in her spiral-bound notebook, with her bright pink glasses. You could say some things have not changed.
Amanda signed with Clean Teen Publishing in the fall of 2013. She is the author of two paranormal, YA series: The Watchers of Men and Monsters Among Us.
The first novel in The Watchers of Men series, The Awakener, debuted in October of 2013. It has been an Amazon number one best seller in three Young Adult categories. Book two, The Holy and The Fallen, released May 12th of 2015. She is currently working on book three, The Watcher’s Mark, releasing spring of 2016.

Hidden Monster released November 4th of 2014, and it finished as a Finalist in the 2014 USA Best Book Award: Young Adult Category. It is book one of a brand-new young adult, sci-fi thriller series called Monsters Among Us.

When Amanda isn't writing, you can find her chasing her three rambunctious children around the house and spending time with her wonderful and supportive husband. On some occasions, you can still find Amanda with her not-so-pink glasses, hiding in a corner reading her favorite young adult fantasy novels or working out only to blow her diet by eating ice cream.

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Sunday, June 25, 2017

TV Review: Riverdale Season One

Title: Riverdale (Season One)
IMDB Summary: A subversive take on Archie and his friends, exploring small town life, the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale's wholesome facade.
Review: The town of Riverdale has many mysteries. The most recent of these: the disappearance of Jason Blossom. Police search for all clues as to who abducted Jason and whether or not he was murdered.

Riverdale starts off at a high point, with high tension as viewers scrabble to guess who did it. A few episodes in, and the drama slows to a tiny trickle, the focus on relationships rather than mystery. Further down the track it does get better, mystery once again the focal point. To end the season it's one mystery closed, two opened.

Excitement doesn't stay for the whole season, disappearing and reappearing throughout but I suppose it isn't really possible to make every moment interesting. Overall Riverdale's first season has provided a great introduction to the drama that I now know can easily be generated.
IMDB Page

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Stacking the Shelves (67)

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews

Books:

Mission Atomic by Sarwat Chadda
He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly

TV/Movies:

Pretty Little Liars S7 Ep19
Gossip Girl S4 Ep15-18
Shadowhunters S2 Ep13

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Blog Tour: Scandal by Athena Grayson (Top Ten List + Excerpt + Giveaway)

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This is my stop during the blog tour for Scandal by Athena Grayson. This blog tour is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 12 till 25 June. See the tour schedule here.

ScandalScandal (Scions of the Star Empire #1) by Athena Grayson
Genre: Sci-fi dystopian with romantic elements
Age category: New Adult/ Adult
Release Date: 23 March 2017
Blurb: They can have anything they want...except a future.
Nothing infuriates Princess Ione Ra more than having someone else take control of her reputation from her, and her old nemesis--gossip journalist Jaris Pulne--is poised to do just that with pilfered pics of her caught in a compromising position with her power-couple partner. As someone who's no stranger to manipulating the markets on her own social life, Ione knows the wrong scandal means social suicide.

For the other half of the power couple, Den Hades, his survival has depended on staying in his powerful father's shadow in order to protect his secrets. But on the very night of his one chance to earn a shot at becoming a Scion--and freedom from his father's ambitions, scandal threatens to tear him from Ione, or worse--force them together before their time.

Damage control turns into danger when their attempts to retrieve the images lead them both into the dark underbelly of the glittering city-planet, exposing secrets of both friends and foes that could lead to more than just social suicide.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Release Day Blitz: Something Beautiful (Excerpt + Giveaway)



Something Beautiful
Amanda Gernentz Hanson
Published by: Pen Name Publishing
Publication date: June 27th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Cordelia and Declan have been best friends since they were three years old. By the time they hit middle school, Cordelia—Cord, to Declan—is already feeling the blackness in her life as depression takes hold. Their mutual attraction to each other leads to a serious high school relationship, one with their foundation of friendship at the forefront. Cordelia seems to have her mental health under control. All appears to be well.
However, when Declan starts to accept his own fluid sexuality, it sets something in motion in their lives that is both beautiful and tragic as they learn to love each other for who they are.
EXCERPT:
Chapter 1—Now

October 2014
“Fresh off of her book tour, I have here an advocate who is actively involved in fighting inequality in her daily life. I give you, Cordelia Quinn!” The rally organizer steps aside, and I can finally see the crowd. I wave, and the rally organizer gives me a dazzling smile before she continues. “Cordelia Quinn is the bestselling author of The Yellow Wood, a coming-of-age story about a boy and a girl who are best friends as children but choose different paths as adults and then come together later in life. She is also an award-winning screenwriter and one of the most outspoken LGBTQ allies in publishing. Please join me in welcoming her to the podium!” The crowd breaks into thunderous applause that echoes through the cold air, and a smile pulls at the corners of my mouth.
I can’t lie—I’m nervous. I’m not good at hiding my emotions, so I’m afraid that people might be able to tell. I hate crowds, and I hate public speaking. I’ve managed to avoid it ever since I spoke at high school graduation.
“Hello, Topeka,” I begin. My voice is shaking. God, I hope no one notices.
The crowd is rumbling below me, waiting for me to say something good. I’m not even sure I have anything good to say. I’m so bad at this. But I’ve learned that being honest is usually the best way to go, so I decide to veer away from my prepared speech and try for candor.
“I’m going to admit something to you,” I say, gripping the sides of the podium to keep my hands from trembling. I can’t be trusted to hold papers or they’ll be shaking so much that I can’t read them. “I’m not a fan of public speaking, and I don’t usually speak at rallies like this one. But this issue… it’s really important to me. Those of you who have read my book know that. So, when my publicist asked me to come here and talk to you, I couldn’t really turn her down.”
The crowd cheers, and I smile and take a deep breath. With each breath, I feel more at ease, more comfortable speaking up here in front of everyone. I close my eyes for a second, trying to center myself. I see my children’s faces, and my grin widens.
“Honestly, I don’t have a lot to say,” I continue, gaining confidence. “I believe in equality. I believe in love. And I believe that the government should not tell us who we are allowed to love and marry.” At this, all I can think about are the people I left at home—the people who I love, the person I married. I’m lucky. I’ve never had to fight for those rights. “The politicians who are fighting against marriage equality are all active in their conservative churches—well, ladies and gentlemen, I find two issues with that. First, this country was founded on the separation of church and state—it’s in the First Amendment of the Constitution. What ever happened to that?”
I’m on a roll now. My hands have stopped shaking and everything.
“And second, marriage isn’t just about love. Anyone who has made that kind of commitment to someone can tell you that. There are legal rights that come with marriage that should be available to everyone, no matter who they love!”
I can’t help it. I start looking for him. He’s here. I can feel it.
And then I see him, and my face breaks open into the giddy sort of smile I wish I could contain. I knew he’d come. We’ve been apart for weeks now while I’ve been on my book tour, and I’ve missed him so much. Almost as much as I’ve missed the kids. God, I wish they were here with me.
As I make eye contact with him, an idea strikes. I decide to roll with it. “I’m very pleased to tell you that the person who inspired my book is with us tonight. I’d like to call him up here, so that you can meet the first man I ever loved—Declan MacLeod. Come up here, Dec!”
People turn to look at him as he shakes his head and starts moving toward me. I can nearly feel my body vibrating. I can’t wait to be next to him again, to feel his warm hand in mine. My smile is so big it feels like it’s going to split my face in two.
“I’m going to kill you,” he whispers in my ear as he wraps his arms around me. I want him to hold me forever, to never let go of me, to keep me safe and warm wrapped in his strong arms. But we’re in front of all of these people. He has to let go.
“No, you’re not,” I murmur back. “You’re better at this stuff than I am. Tell them something. Anything.” He starts chewing on his bottom lip as he thinks, and I throw him a sharp look. I’ve been on him about that since high school, but he always slips back into the old habit when we’re apart.
He makes his way to the podium and clears his throat. “Hello,” he starts as he waves at the crowd. “I had no idea that I was going to be speaking here tonight, so I apologize if what I say doesn’t make any sense.” He takes a deep breath and glances back at me. “As Cordelia mentioned, I’m Declan MacLeod. I grew up across the street from her in Hamden, Connecticut. Now, I spend most of my time in New York, performing on Broadway.”

The crowd is hypnotized, and I don’t blame them. I’ve been told that, together, Dec and I are hypnotic. We have an energy. I’m not sure I agree—I think he’s the one who radiates energy and charisma, whose skin feels electrifying, no matter how many times I touch it.
As I watch him look out into the crowd, I know one thing—he’s everything. He’s my reason, my why. He’s it for me. I’d be nothing without him.


Author Bio: Amanda Gernentz Hanson has been writing stories since the third grade, when she entered a five-page story about talking dogs into a local youth arts contest. She is an instructional designer by day and an everything else by night. Amanda is a proud Latina who earned her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Hope College and her Master’s degree in Technical Communication from Minnesota State University. You can find her on the internet at browneyedtwentysomething.com, diverseladybookproject.tumblr.com, and on Twitter and Instagram @amandamariegh. If you see her in the wild, she probably has a book in her purse.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Book Blitz: All That Glitters by Tracy Krimmer (Giveaway)

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This is my stop during the book blitz for All That Glitters by Tracy Krimmer. This book blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 19 till 25 June. See the tour schedule here.

All That GlittersAll That Glitters (All That #1) by Tracy Krimmer
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Women’s Fiction
Age category: Adult
Release Date: Summer 2017
Blurb: Country-music star, Dory Walker, never wanted to come back to the small town of Sycamore Bay. But after her fairy-tale life is flipped upside down, and her marriage becomes a casualty, she has no choice.
Harris Malone is a man with few commitments. He keeps a low profile most days while he cares for his young daughter and helps run his dad’s hardware store.

But when he and Dory run into each other at the local gas station, all either can think about is the searing kiss they shared many years ago.

Can a woman who only wants to rekindle her career and a man who enjoys a no-strings attached lifestyle find everlasting love?
You can find All That Glitters on Goodreads

You can buy All That Glitters here.

Tracy KrimmerAbout the Author: Tracy's love of writing began at nine years old. She wrote stories about aliens at school, machines that did homework for you, and penguins. Now she pens books and short stories about romance. She loves to read a great book, whether it be romance or science fiction, or any genre in between, or pop popcorn and catch up on her favorite TV shows or movies. She's been known to crush a candy or two as well. Her loves include fitness, reading, coffee, dogs, and naps (not in that order), and her dislikes are blue cheese, cold weather, and burpees.

You can find and contact Tracy here:

- Website
- Twitter
- Facebook
- Goodreads
- Amazon
- Bookbub
- Instagram
- Newsletter

Giveaway

There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of All That Glitters. One winner will win a $10 Amazon gift card!

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Review: Keeping Kyler by Siobhan Davis

Keeping Kyler (The Kennedy Boys #3) by Siobhan Davis
Goodreads Summary: The captivating third book in the Kennedy Boys series concludes Faye and Kyler's love story.

Nothing or no one will keep them apart…

Kyler Kennedy is in the wind.

Shocked and upset, he has taken off on a solo mission—to track down his mom’s ex and demand answers.

Faye understands what it’s like to have your world turned upside down. Determined to support her boyfriend, she gives chase, yet nothing could prepare her for the ugly truth. Ky has always been plagued with inner demons, and as he falls apart, Faye finally discovers what he’s been hiding from her—from everyone.

When serious accusations arise, Kyler’s future hangs in the balance. But Kennedys stick together in times of crisis, and they rally around him now.

At least there is nothing to prevent Faye and Ky from being together. They go public with their relationship, but not everyone is thrilled for them. Bitter enemies reappear, and fresh battle lines are drawn, but Faye is ready to fight back.

No one is taking her new family from her.

Especially not a manipulative ex.

With time running out for Kyler, Faye takes matters into her own hands.

But when you play with fire, you risk getting burned.
Rating: 5 Stars
Review: "Why does it take the threat of loving someone to make you appreciate them the way you should?"


Set directly after the events of Losing Kyler, Keeping Kyler sees Faye and Kalvin teaming up to find Ky. Told from the dual perspectives of Kyler and Faye, this style creates an interesting contrast. The Kennedy family aren't in the clear yet, with many enemies still out to get them. A combination of mystery, romance and intrigue, Keeping Kyler won't disappoint.

"Your scars, your flaws, your fears, your pain - they're mine too."

Faye and Kyler have both endured so much, but it doesn't stop now. They still have many challenges to get through and must rely on each other to surpass the pain. Trauma has tainted them both, but they are survivors through and through. Step by step, they build foundations of trust with those around them and walk down the long road of recovery hand in hand.

"I feel like I'm breathing for the first time in years."

At one stage there is a momentary pause in the avalnche of discord, a reprieve as the Kennedys relax and begin normal habits again. But soon we are reminded that the story isn't over yet, and there's more to come. A murder, arrests, past revelations... All will be revealed at a cost not all may be willing to pay.

"He's here. He's alive. He's mine. He's all I'll ever want. All I'll ever need."

Faye and Kyler are more in the spotlight, their relationship a welcome change from all the drama. They've both grown so much since they first met and I love the development each has received from Siobhan Davis. Keeping Kyler concludes Faye and Kyler's story peacefully as justice is finally served. The Kennedy Boys is a scandalous kiss you want to pretend never happened but can't stop thinking about.
Purchase Location: ~I received a copy from the author and willingly reviewed it~
Edition:
 e-ARC
Buy the book:
Amazon
Recommended for: Fans of NA Contemporary Romance.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Book Blitz: Rise (Excerpt + Teaser Image + Giveaway)



Rise
Sierra Cross
(Coven of Fire, #1)
Publication date: June 15th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy
I closed the door on magic long ago…the day it made me an orphan.
Ten years ago, the Coven of Fire sacrificed their lives—my mother among them—to hold off an overwhelming demonic force. Now it’s back.
As a poorly-paid bartender, how can any of this be my problem? But Callie, another orphan of that battle, swears I’m the key to reviving the coven. And there’s an incredibly sexy guardian stranded on my couch who’s promising to help me stop the demons and keep the veil between the realms standing.
One problem: I’ve never been able to use magic. Our local bad boy warlock assures me I have the talent, but even if I did, we don’t have enough witches to complete a coven. The only way to survive is to pull together this pack of magicborn misfits, who have more secrets than spells, into a makeshift coven.
Can we—three untrained witches, a sarcastic warlock, and an overly intense guardian—take back the city…before the demongate falls and the forces that killed my mother destroy us too?
EXCERPT:
Startled, I flailed backward. Losing my grip on all six bottles. With a sickening crash they toppled to the stone floor, exploding on impact. The crisp smell of alcohol punctured the dank air.
My heart was still thundering, but I saw no one. “Who’s there?” I demanded.
A figure came into view. Not like he stepped out of the shadows…more like he materialized in front of me. Tall. Powerfully built. With short brown hair and a lean angular face covered in bruises and bloody scrapes. I could have drawn that rugged face, and all its battle scars, from memory.
I forced myself to look into his dark, knowing eyes. The eyes that I’d once allowed to see into my deepest grief. “Matt?” My voice came out higher, younger than I expected. “I didn’t think you were ever coming back.”
“Alexandra…kid, we need to talk.” Matt’s gravelly voice—a voice I hadn’t heard since I was fourteen years old—was low and serious. “I’ve waited over a year for you to come down here. Don’t know how much longer I can hold this form. So listen and don’t interrupt.”
I’d almost forgotten how bossy Matt could be for a ghost. Well, ethereal being anyway. Despite his torn T-shirt and jeans, he had a palpable air of authority, like some kind of rogue commando. The impatient blaze in his eyes would be intimidating, if I didn’t know him. Actually, it still was. But as blown away as I was to see him again, my life had changed since the last time he’d paid me an astral visit. Since then, I’d learned that I had no business interacting with supernatural beings.
“I’m not a kid anymore, Matt,” I said, as firmly as I could. “And I’m not part of your world. Look…you helped me back then, I’ll always be grateful. But I think it would be best if you left now.”
“That’s because you don’t have all the information yet.” He folded his muscular arms, which looked so real and powerful I had to remind myself that they, like the rest of his strapping body, weren’t physically here in the room but in another realm entirely. “Once you’re up to speed on the magical dangers facing our city—”
“Thanks, but I have enough problems to deal with. You know, in the real world.” I couldn’t bring myself to tell Matt that I’d been officially declared magically deficient. Not when he’d always referred to me as “the next coven leader,” after my mother. Instead, I glanced at the shards at my feet and shook my head in despair. Randy was definitely going to make me pay for these broken vodka bottles. Just add it to my tab. “Sorry, but you need to leave me alone, so I can deal with this, okay?”
I started upstairs to get the broom…but didn’t make it past the third step before his form appeared again on the next highest step. Inches between us.
“You have no idea what your real problems are, Alexandra.”
I froze.
Walk right through him, I told myself. You’ve done it before. But Matt’s chiseled face, swathed in desperation, held my full attention. Something had changed there since I last saw him—startling, given that he was incorporeal. In the last ten years, he hadn’t aged one hour. Funny, how I used to think of him as an older guy. Now he looked about my age. The dark purple bruises flowering along his square jaw hadn’t healed. Nor had the bloody gash down his pillowy lower lip—the one part of him that looked incongruously boyish. It was his eyes that had changed.
“I need your help, Alexandra.” His dark eyes, once warm and charming, burned with an urgency that put fear into my heart. “Please.”


Author Bio:
Spells and skyscrapers. Warriors and warlocks. Coven secrets and forbidden romances. Sierra Cross lives for urban fantasy, for modern magic and the bold supernatural beings who stalk our contemporary world. Her Spelldrift universe stars kickass witches and their heroic guardians, as well as vampires, shifters, mages, Fidei, and the dark demonic forces that threaten them all.

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Stacking the Shelves (66)

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews

Books:

Ragdoll by Daniel Cole

TV/Movies:

Pretty Little Liars S7 Ep18
Gossip Girl S4 Ep9-14
Shadowhunters S2 Ep12

Review Copy Arrived:

The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham

Friday, June 16, 2017

Utopia or Dystopia? (Forum Friday #9)

This debate came up in my english class awhile back, and I thought, why not bring it to the bookish community? Surprisingly, the class was actually quite responsive with this question and many brought forth their own viewpoints, many of which were not what I expected.

Utopia or Dystopia?

I'll admit, I'm not a believer in Utopia. Dystopia though, certainly. For isn't Dystopia just a "failed" attempt at Utopia? Perhaps I focus on negatives too much?

I'd like to know what you think. Can Utopia exist?