Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Book Blitz + Author Interview: Escape from Witchwood Hollow by Jordan Elizabeth


How far into the hollow would you go?

Escape from Witchwood Hollow by Jordan ElizabethAfter losing her parents in a terrorist attack on the Twin Towers, fifteen-year-old Honoria escapes New York City to Arnn—a farming town with more legends than residents, and a history of witchcraft and secrets best left buried.

Everyone in Arnn knows the story of Witchwood Hollow: if you venture into the whispering forest, the witch will trap your soul among the shadowed trees. In the lure of that perpetual darkness, Honoria finds hope when she should be afraid, and a past of missing children and broken promises.  To save the citizens of Arnn from becoming the witch’s next victims, she must find the truth behind the woman’s madness. How deep into Witchwood Hollow does Honoria dare venture?

ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW is Jordan Elizabeth’s first novel.  This young adult fantasy, published through Curiosity Quills Press, is now available for purchase.  

Find The Book: 
Curiosity Quills )

About The Author:

Jordan Elizabeth, formally Jordan Elizabeth Mierek, can’t get enough of the woods, be it splashing through a stream, sitting beneath an ancient oak, or following a path up a hill.  Some of those adventures have led to abandoned foundations.  Exploring the rocks and crumbling bricks sparked Jordan to imagine who might have lived there before, and that train of thought carried her to a wicked legend and an enchanted hollow.  You can contact Jordan via her website, JordanElizabethMierek.com.



Author Interview with Jordan Elizabeth

Question: Have you always dreamed of becoming an author? 
If not, what inspired you to become one?

Answer: I did always dream of becoming an author.  My mother read to me since the moment I could lift my head and it just took off from there.  I used to make up stories and my grandmother would record them on a tape-player.  To me, authors were even greater than movie stars.


Question: Did you enjoy reading books as a child?
If yes, what books were your all time favorites?

Answer: Every time I went somewhere with my grandmother, be it grocery store or mall, she would buy me a book.  My favorites were the Berenstein Bears when I was really little, and as I got older, novels by Bruce Coville and Tamora Pierce.  I feel honored to have been able to meet them in real life.  They actually live near me.  If I’d known that as a child, I probably would have swooned or squealed.



Question: Are any of your characters based off of people in real life? 
Like yourself or friends?

Answer: There is always one character who reflects bits of me.  As for my friends, definitely!  There is no one character who is strictly so-and-so; I take pieces of my friends and family, and I sprinkle them across.  


Question: When you’re writing a novel, do you ever get distracted by sparkly things on the Internet and end up doing something else?

Answer: I wouldn’t say “distracted.”  It is more like life gets in the way.  I work a full-time job and then I go to the nursing home to visit my grandmother.  I’m also president of the Utica Writers Club and I teach writing workshops at a local library.  Throw in time I spend with my fiancĂ©.  Oh yeah, don’t forget housework and yard work.  I can usually only squeeze in an hour – two hours if I’m lucky – of writing a night.  My biggest hindrance in that hour is exhaustion.  I’ll write it a little bit, feel too tired, and kind of collapse on my bed.  

Question: If you had to recommend a book, or series, what would it be?

Answer: POISON STUDY by Maria V. Snyder.  I haven’t heard from anyone that they hated it.  I’ve read it so many times and each reading is amazing.  Plus, Maria is an incredible person.  She’s helped me so much on my journey to becoming an author.  I’ll write to any author I can – they usually have an email address on their website – to let them know what I thought of their book.  She actually wrote back all those years ago.

Question: What are some of your hobbies? 

Answer: Jewelry making, photography, and painting.  Currently I’m painting my front deck, but my true calling in that regard involves painting pictures on canvas.  My specialty is orange-and-blue.  The person is in shades of blue and the background is orange.

Question: If you were to one day wake up with magical powers, what powers would they be and what would be the first thing you’d do with them?

Answer: Fly!  I would feel so safe.  My first thing to do?  Jump off my balcony and soar to the floor!

Speed Run:
Question: Rain or Sun?
Answer: Rain.  There is something soothing about falling asleep to rain on the roof and windows.  
Question: Coke or Sprite?
Answer: Coke.  
Sprite has sodium benzoate in it.
Question: Hardcover or Ereader?
Answer: Hardcover.  
I need to feel it in my hands and be able to flip the pages.
Question: Vanilla or Chocolate?
Answer: Vanilla.  Chocolate sometimes hurts my teeth.
Question: Cat or Dog?
Answer: Dog for me.  My mom is allergic to cats, so I grew up with a dog.  My fiancĂ© loves cats and wants a whole house of them, sooo….

Giveaway:

Jordan Elizabeth is offering up a free eArc of ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW.  To enter for your chance to win a copy of ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW, you will need to share the cover.  This can be on your blog, Facebook, Twitter… Each time you share the cover image, log it into Rafflecoper to record it.  It will give you more chances to win.  There are other ways to enter.  You’ll have to take a look to see what those are!  The drawing for the winner will be held on November 16.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Book Blast + Giveaway: Catalyst by S.J. Kincaid

Catalyst by S.J. Kincaid

About The Book:
 Add To GoodreadsRelease Date: October 28, 2014
Genre: Dystopia, Young Adult
Series: Insignia #3

The explosive conclusion to the series reviewers 
have likened to Ender’s Game and “Hogwarts-in-Space”

Catalyst by S.J. Kincaid
This exhilarating, explosive, and heartrending conclusion to the Insignia trilogy brings Tom and his intelligent, passionate, and brave young friends stunning tests and dangerous confrontations and through to an impossible future they could never have predicted.

Tom Raines and his friends are eager to return to the Pentagonal Spire to continue training for the elite Intrasolar Forces, but they soon discover troubling changes: strict new regulations and the revelation that the Spire is under new military control. What begins as an irritating adjustment soon reveals a dangerous shift in reality. Those now in control are aligned with corporate sponsors and their ruthless agendas. And when the military academy begins welcoming new cadets with suspicious neural processors, the first step in a plan with horrifying worldwide ramifications, Tom is desperate to stop it, even if that means keeping secrets from his closest allies.

Then a mysterious figure, the other ghost in the machine, begins fighting against the corporations, but with methods even Tom finds shocking. And when the enemy comes for Tom, how much can Tom endure in the battle to save himself? He must decide if he can still fight when the odds of success seem to be sliding from his grip.

Find The Book: 
Amazon ! Barnes & Noble ! Book Depository )

About The Author:

S.J. KincaidS.J. Kincaid was born in Alabama, grew up in California, and attended high school in New Hampshire, but it was while living beside a haunted graveyard in Scotland, that she realized that she wanted to be a writer. Her debut, Insignia, came out in July of 2012. The second book in the series, Vortex came out in July of 2013. The final book in the INSIGNIA trilogy will come out in Fall of 2014.

Find The Author:
Goodreads ! Website ! Twitter ! Facebook )

Giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder by Marissa MeyerAppropriate For: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 390 Pages
Release Date: January 3, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Narration: Third Person: Cinder
Genre: Fairytale Retelling/Futuristic
Trailer: Click Here

The Lunar Chronicles
Book One: Cinder
Book Two: Scarlet
Book Three: Cress
Book Four: Winter (2015)

Order On Amazon: Paperback
                               Kindle
Order On Barnes and Noble:
Paperback and Nook

Author's
Goodreads  Website  Twitter

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. 

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

My Review:
I can't freaking believe that I gave up on this a year ago.

At the time, when I was still horrifically naive to the world, I decided that Cinder wasn't worth my time because it sported a very creepy picture of a metal leg on its cover. Cyborgs have never interested me before, and quite frankly, they scare me. Never has a book changed my opinion so fast. After I got over my initial cringe at the robotic part of things, this book was smooth sailing. 

I absolutely loved Cinder's character. She had such a strong, courageous personality, and despite her machinery, she was undeniably human. She had her doubts, she over thought things, yet in the end, she followed her heart. It was so fun and great watching her be a fumbling, awkward teenager. Her entrance at the ball almost killed me. I literally tossed my Kindle on the couch and started jumping around, waving my hands in the air while simultaneously hitting myself in the face because of the inevitable mortification to come. I felt for her. She was real and full of depth.

Another strike for my initial repulsion for this book was that it was a fairy tale retelling. I've never read one and enjoyed it. In fact, I have some less than savory experiences with that particular genre of books. However, Cinder threw all those reservations to the wind. This was an AWESOME retelling. It had a huge amount of references and events from the original Cinderella story, yet I never felt bored, as if I was reading an old, worn out tale. It had its parallels, yet it also stood out in stark contrast with it's fairytale counterpart. 

The romance was nicely written. Although the attraction sparked quickly, it was definitely not insta-love in the slightest. In the beginning, it was really only Cinder's infatuation with the prince. I mean, come on, if a prince arrived at my shop, I would definitely be making googly eyes at him. However, as their interactions became more commonplace, their relationship grew as well. I fell in love with Kai every time he made an attempt to court Cinder in his own cutesy way, and I laughed obnoxiously whenever Cinder answered with sarcasm and jabs to get him to leave her alone. I'm really looking forward to seeing how their relationship develops. 

If you're new to this series, you might be wondering how Cinder and Kai's relationship might develop since each book is focused on a different fairytale. Although each book does introduce a new person, all of the books in the series are told in alternating third person perspectives from everyone. In the end, all of the stories will intertwine into one package of awesomeness. Slightly like Game of Thrones, though not nearly as messy with all the backstories and whatnot.

In conclusion, I'm ecstatic that I decided to pick Cinder up, despite my initial cringe reaction. The writing style was beautiful, and I absolutely adored Cinder's dialogue and inner commentary. It was action packed, so much so that I read it in one sitting, never allowing my attention to wander. Filled with an familiar yet unique storyline, a sarcastic mechanic, an adorable romance, and a fast-paced adventure, Cinder is definitely a book you want to check out.

Heroine- 5/5
Romance- 6/5 ADORABLE! Another plus was that it was there, but it wasn't overpowering.
Action- 5/5 Couldn't stop reading!
Humor- 5/5
World-Building- 5/5 She made a futuristic, robotic world that didn't terrify me. That in itself is a huge feat.
Writing- 5/5
Overall- 5/5

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

The Young Elites by Marie LuAppropriate For: Ages 13 and up
Hardcover: 368 Pages
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Narration: First Person: Adelina
Third Person: Raffaele, Teren
Genre: High Fantasy
Trailer: Click Here

The Young Elites Trilogy
Book One: The Young Elites
Book Two: Untitled (2015)
Book Three: Untitled (2016)

Order On Amazon: Hardcover
                               Kindle
Order On Barnes and Noble:
Hardcover and Nook

Author's
Goodreads  Website  Twitter

 Add To Goodreads
Goodreads Synopsis:

I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all. 

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen. 

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.

My Review:
My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.

I finished this book mere minutes ago, and I am flabbergasted, cowed, stunned, and any other synonym that comes to mind. My feelings are in such a form of disarray that John Green is the only man who could describe them. The fantasy, the characters, the worldbuilding, it all tied together to produce this wonderful package of epicness. Marie Lu is a talented dytopian writer, undoubtedly, but she is a phenomenal fantasy writer.

So if you didn't already know, The Young Elites takes place in a fantastical world where kids with paranormal abilities run rampant. Where did these powers come from? Actually, the process is pretty similar to that of The Darkest Minds. An epidemic, called blood fever, spread across the land leaving a death count in its wake. However, this disease affected children differently from how it affected adults. Some kids survived with no marks, some with marks, and others with marks and abilities. The latter category was dubbed, "The Young Elites." In Kenettra, the Young Elites are considered abominations by the majority, because the public fears them as much as they are awed by them. They have powers like control over the elements, affinity to animals, invincible skin, things like that. In the next book, I think we'll see an even bigger variety.

This book definitely had a much darker theme than Lu's Legend series. So much so that I felt like, "Woah, this is some deep stuff man." There was so much pain and suffering and Adelina couldn't exactly be described as a ray of sunshine either. 

We're used to our heroines being all about helping others, self-sacrifice, and fighting for what's right. Adelina does have that to an extent, but she also has another side to her. In fact, her dark side is far more dominant than her light counterpart. She dwells on fear and hatred, revels from it really. It is only when she is brought to her lowest that she can accomplish her greatest feats. She loves her sister, but at the same time, despises her because of all the love she received when Adelina herself was isolated and abandoned. She's not a Mary Sue. Like all humans, this protagonist has her flawed moments, her dark thoughts, thoughts that we ourselves might shame-facedly have. Adelina embodies a true heroine. Someone who has suffered through abuse and hasn't emerged perfectly from it. Someone who understands that she has darkness in her, tries to fight against it, but doesn't always succeed.

The supporting characters were very well written and played much stronger roles than they usually have in YA novels. All of them differed in personalities, which was nice to see as well. None of the Dagger Society were quite so eager to trust Adelina completely when she first joined. They weren't hostile, at least not most of them, but they still kept everything under wraps and stayed cautious. As she continued to train with them, they opened up to her a little bit and tentative friendships grew. I'm hoping to see more developments in the friendship area in the next two novels. Adelina certainly needs it.

I'm thrilled that Marie decided to take a different route with her books. Some authors are too nervous to go out of their genre or comfort zone, but Marie took a leap, and pardon my corniness, she definitely soared. The Young Elites had a dark atmosphere, yet she still kept it afloat from the depressing feels even without the help of humor, which is quite a feat. Adelina wasn't a picture perfect heroine. Her thoughts weren't always good, yet she tried her best to fight against them and remind herself what was right. The romance was there, but it was underlying and didn't overpower the plot itself. Action was nonstop, and I read it in one sitting. Overall, The Young Elites was an awesome read, and it's definitely a series to look out for. If the wait for the sequel doesn't kill you first.

Heroine- 5/5
Romance- 5/5
Action- 5/5
Humor- None
Very dark themes
World-Building- 4.5/5
Writing- 4.5/5
Overall- 4.5/5

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Trailer Reveal: Invisible Wings by Janell Rhiannon



About The Book:
 Add To GoodreadsRelease Date: January 8, 2014
Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult
Invisible Wings by Janell RhiannonLife seldom unfolds the way you expect. Despite our best efforts, it can wind up in a tangled mess. We lose hope. Faith fades. And then suddenly, in the midst of despair, a door opens, an answer is given, or a new path is cleared because we’re not alone…sometimes angels walk among us.

Arabella’s mother already thinks she’s a little crazy, so when a mysterious Presence fills her with a blinding light, she keeps it to herself. She’s given a heartbreaking mission. She spends her days among her fellow classmates, listening to their secret prayers and waiting for the moment of intervention.

Arabella understands that life is messy, complicated, and beautiful. The way she guides her fellow classmates will ultimately surprise you.

Love emerges from the mess. Hope emerges from the chaos. 
Faith emerges from the strength to endure.

12 destinies
12 twilights
12 lives that will never be the same

Find The Book: 
Amazon )

About The Author:

Janell RhiannonJanell has been writing since she was in grade school. In high school, her 9th grade English teacher suggested she consider a career in writing. After a decade in college and a Master's degree in history, she settled into teaching.

Writing never stopped. Stories never stopped. READING fiction never stopped. Now, she writes and publishes on-line. Invisible Wings is her first YA novel, a compilation of short stories centered on teenage life triumphs and tragedies. She believes being a teenager is difficult and wrote Invisible Wings to let teens know they aren't alone. That they matter. That even though life is rough, they can still find beauty and love. 

Beside the YA stories close to her heart, she adores Mythology and Fairy tales. Anything magical and mystical. And dragons. And gargoyles. 

She currently lives in CA. 

Visit her at Facebook @Janell Rhiannon Author. If you want to see what projects are in the works or find out more about the her, visit

Find The Author:

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Book Blitz: Frost by Kate Avery Ellison

Frost by Kate Avery Ellison

About The Book:
 Add To GoodreadsRelease Date: March 28, 2012
Genre: Dystopia, Young Adult
Series: The Frost Chronicles #1


Frost by Kate Avery EllisonIn the icy, monster-plagued world of the Frost, one wrong move and a person could end up dead—and Lia Weaver knows this better than anyone.

After monsters kill her parents, Lia must keep the family farm running despite the freezing cold and threat of monster attacks or risk losing her siblings to reassignment by the village Elders. With dangers on all sides and failure just one wrong step away, she can’t afford to let her emotions lead her astray. So when her sister finds a fugitive bleeding to death in the forest—a young stranger named Gabe—Lia surprises herself and does the unthinkable.

She saves his life.

Giving shelter to the fugitive could get her in trouble. The Elders have always described the advanced society of people beyond the Frost, the “Farthers,” as ruthless and cruel. But Lia is startled to find that Gabe is empathetic and intelligent…and handsome. She might even be falling in love with him.

But time is running out. The monsters from the forest circle the farm at night. The village leader is starting to ask questions. Farther soldiers are searching for Gabe. Lia must locate a secret organization called the Thorns to help Gabe escape to safety, but every move she makes puts her in more danger.

Is compassion—and love—worth the risk?

Find The Book: 
Amazon ! Barnes & Noble )

About The Author:

I live in Georgia with my wonderful husband and two spoiled cats. When I'm not writing, I'm usually catching up on my extensive Netflix queue, reading a book, giggling at something funny online, or trying to convince my husband to give me just ONE bite of whatever he's eating.

Learn more about my writing and books at my blog (http://thesouthernscrawl.blogspot.com/), find teasers for upcoming works on my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/kateaveryellison), and subscribe to my new releases newsletter to be notified of new novels as soon as they hit stores (https://tinyletter.com/kateaveryellison)!

Find The Author:

Excerpt:

He came out of nowhere, hitting me hard from one side and knocking me over. We rolled together across the floor and he came out on top, his hands on either side of my head, holding my wrists down against the stones. His burning eyes bored into mine. 
I couldn’t seem to find my breath. The whole world slowed down, and I realized with perfect clarity that he might kill me.
“Don’t scream,” he hissed.
I shook my head.
“How far is the village?” He whispered it, the words harsh and raspy in the air between us. I could see his mind working behind his eyes—was he calculating how long it would take him to try to struggle away on his own, how long before they found my lifeless body?
I was neither brave nor stupid. I told him what he wanted to know. “The village is less than a mile.”
He grimaced, and I realized he must be half-mad with the pain. Maybe if I moved suddenly, I could throw him off and get to the door...
He must have sensed my plan, for he pressed down harder on my wrists, keeping me pinned. “And the gate?”
“What gate? You mean the village gate?”
He didn’t explain. “The mountains, then.”
“The farm sits in its shadow,” I gasped. His hands were cutting off my circulation. “But killing me does nothing to help you. You are too weak to get far, and the Watchers fill the woods.”
His eyebrows drew together sharply, and he coughed. He was weakening—I could see it. “Kill you?”
His grip on my wrists slackened. I saw my chance, and I took advantage of it. 
I slammed my elbow into his face. The Farther cried out, falling sideways like a puppet with its strings cut. I scrambled up for the door and yanked it open.
“Stop—wait—”
I turned. He was crumpled on the ground, his limbs shaking. I could see that he had no strength left.
“I’m sorry if I hurt you,” he gasped. “I just needed answers.”
I lingered, not running but not relaxing, either. “You would kill me for information, then?”
He pressed a hand against his side and wheezed a bewildered laugh. “I’m not a murderer of farm girls. Not even those who plan to harm me.”
“Harm you?” My words were sharp. “I’m sticking my neck out for you. I’m putting my family in danger for you. I’m sheltering and feeding you—and for what? It’s you who just tried to harm me.”
“I just needed information about my location,” he said, wincing at my words. He struggled up into a kneeling position and raised his dazzling blue eyes to mine. Blood colored his lip red. “I won’t try anything again, I promise, even though I know you want me dead.”
It was my turn to laugh, breathlessly. “You make no sense.” I grabbed the herbs from my pocket and brandished them at him. “I came to bring you these for your wound. I’m not going to kill you. I just want you gone before you can cause any more trouble.”
His expression turned inside out—the planes of his face softened in surprise, and his eyes widened slightly. But then they slitted shut, and I could tell he didn’t believe me. “You’re lying.”
“Why would I lie?” I snapped. “If I wanted to kill you, I’d have done it by now. I could have simply left you in the snow, or refused to clean your wounds, or refused to feed you.”
He was silent, considering this. Some of the wild terror on his face eased at the logic of what I’d said. “Why haven’t you? Left me to die, I mean?”
I didn’t answer that, because I didn’t know how to put my reasons into words. I didn’t even quite know what the reasons were.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Snow Like Ashes by Sara RaaschAppropriate For: Ages 12 and up
Paperback: 432 Pages
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Narration: First Person: Meira
Genre: High Fantasy

The Snow Like Ashes Trilogy
Book .1: Icicles Like Kindling
Book One: Snow Like Ashes
Book Two: Untitled (2015)
Book Three: Untitled (2016)

Order On Amazon: Hardcover
                               Kindle
Order On Barnes and Noble:
Hardcover and Nook

Author's
Goodreads  Tumblr  Twitter

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

My Review:
The concept was super interesting. I loved how Snow Like Ashes focused on a mythical land centered on the seasons themselves. I mean, how can you get cooler than that? Winter 24/7? Sign me up. I've always had a bit of Elsa in me. (Frozen reference if you didn't catch that. xD) Plus, it's not an idea that's been overused, which is saying something in this YA era. I have to admit, I was a bit confused at first by the explanations and world-building, but after awhile it clicked.

I wasn't too big a fan of Meira. I found her whiny, irritating, immature, and reckless. 16 is definitely old enough to stop throwing foot-stomping, arm-waving tantrums, especially when those tantrums are completely idiotic and have no merit. For example, one time, Meira's little refugee group was discovered by a couple of scouts and one escaped to tell the bad guys of their position. What's her first reaction? I AIN'T GOING, MAN! I'VE HAD ENOUGH RUNNING FOR A LIFE TIME. Common sense impaired thought. Even she realized it later, telling herself that the scout could easily send back enough numbers to overwhelm them. Well gee, I wonder why you wasted the time at all to hiss about it when you were in possession of a smidge of common sense after all. 

She also loves yelling the word No and Stop, as if those words alone had the power to stop whatever horrific event was happening. A couple of times, I even felt like she was surprised that her order wasn't obeyed. Another thing that irked me was how she needed so badly to be needed. I have no issues with protagonists having insecurity. In fact, I find it gives a character more depth. If she basked in the glow of praise or if she felt disappointed when she was ignored, understandable. However, when you're sole need is to be wanted and when you put that need over the lives of other people....we've got a problem.

Snow Like Ashes also sports a love triangle that is or is not a love triangle? I was a little confused by Meira's sudden change in emotions for a certain someone. I felt like certain things were rather abrupt and unrealistic, but since I'm still not sure where Sara is going with that relationship, I'll keep my mouth shut. Not going to delve deeper than that for fear of spoilers.

Overall, this wasn't a bad read; it just didn't meet my overly high expectations. I try hard to not get too excited for a first book in series, because I'm scared of how it's going to turn out. Unfortunately, with a cover as epic as that, I had no choice in the matter. The writing style was smooth, transitioned nicely, albeit some ideas were explained weirdly. Although many events happened throughout the span of this book, I never felt truly involved or gripped by the story. It was alright; nothing more nothing less.

Heroine- 2/5
Romance- 2.5/5
Left me a tad confused...
Action- 2.5/5
World-Building- 3.5/5
I adored the theme! Worldbuilding was average.
Writing- 3.5/5
Overall- 3/5

Friday, October 10, 2014

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Bound By Duty by Stormy Smith

Bound By Duty by Stormy Smith

About The Book:
 Add To GoodreadsRelease Date: July 24, 2014
Genre: Fantasy, New Adult
Series: Bound #1

Bound By Duty by Stormy SmithAmelia grew up in a world of half-truths. She knows she’s an Elder but has no idea what that means. Her father reminds her daily that she must maintain control but he refuses to explain why. Even worse, she’s betrothed to the prince of the Immortals and she doesn’t even know his name.

Finally breaking free to live a few normal years at a community college, the last thing Amelia expects is to find her best friend in a cheeky Southern girl and to fall for a self-assured human who sees her for who she is and not what she’ll be.

As she learns more about herself, Amelia realizes the line between love and duty is a thin one. As her power continues to increase exponentially and her questions are slowly answered, Amelia must make the ultimate choice. The question is, will her head or her heart win the battle?

Find The Book: 
Amazon )

About The Author:

Stormy SmithStormy Smith calls Iowa’s capital home now, but was raised in a tiny town in the Southeast corner of the state. She grew to love books honestly, having a mom that read voraciously and instilled that same love in her. She knew quickly that stories of fantasy were her favorite, and even as an adult gravitates toward paranormal stories in any form. 

Writing a book had never been an aspiration, but suddenly the story was there and couldn’t be stopped. When she isn’t working on, or thinking about, her books, Stormy’s favorite places include bar patios, live music shows, her yoga mat or anywhere she can relax with her husband or girlfriends.

Find The Author:
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Guest Post: Meet the Cast of Bound By Duty

I’ve had a very strange relationship with the cast of Bound by Duty. I had no idea I even wanted to write a book and then BOOM, one day there four people were living inside my head. (Yep, authors are a crazy breed…)

They started out looking a lot like people I knew in my real life, but as I kept writing and I started trusting both myself – and them – more, I saw them for who they really were. They frustrate me to no end when they refuse to play by my outline but they surprise me constantly as they grow and change before my eyes. I’m already well into Bound by Spells (book two in the Bound series) and I’m so proud of who they are becoming. 

Each of these characters have so much backstory that I can’t give you right now. But know that if you decide to dig into Bound by Duty, you’ll learn a lot about how family impacts the person you become – like it or not – and how friends have the ability to change your entire outlook on life. And love…well, it makes you do crazy things. But, we all knew that.

This is Amelia Bradbury. She grew up in Gualala, California but currently calls Brighton, California home. She’s got an older brother, Cole, who treats her too much like the ten-year-old she was when he left home, and her dad, Nathaniel, who’s a little bit nutcakes. She likes Cherry Pepsi, caramel lattes, The Civil Wars, Florence and the Machine and a certain smokey-eyed mysterious boy who just won’t leave her alone. 




This is Aidan Montgomery. He’s a little quiet, a little cocky and lot persistent. He loves alternative, hates country and has an affinity for local restaurants and his own space. He’s a foster kid, but that hasn’t stopped him from trying to get an education, from spending time in the local MMA gym or setting his sights on one Amelia Bradbury.





 
Meet Bethany Jackson. Formerly a pageant queen and barrel racer. Currently a connoisseur of frozen yogurt, collegiate California surfers, DIY decorating her first apartment with her new bestie and watching romantic comedies. She wants everyone to know that no matter what life hands her, she'll choose to be happy and make the best of it. She doesn't need anything but good friends and killer pair of heels to make it through. That said, she'd take Prince Charming as long as she had control of the white horse.



Micah tends to be the odd man out. His speech is oddly formal, he doesn’t get America pop culture and his accent is a bit hard to place, while still being utterly adorable. He always seems to be a step ahead, but a certain blonde still keeps him on his toes.



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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Cover Reveal + Giveaway: Gears of Brass

Gear up for GEARS OF BRASS!  


A world like ours, but filled with gears of brass, where the beating heart is fueled by steam and the simplest creation is a complex clockwork device.  

Within this tome, you’ll find steampunk fairy tale re-tellings, as well as original stories that will send your gears turning.  

Welcome to the steampunk realm, with eleven authors guiding your path.
GEARS OF BRASS is a steampunk anthology published through Curiosity Quills.  It will be available for purchase on November 10, 2014.  Within the pages, you’ll come across clockwork inventions and steampunk-ified fairy tale retellings.  Eleven authors will guide you through worlds filled with airships, top hats, and corsets.

Meet the authors:

Jordan Elizabeth writes young adult fantasy for Curiosity Quills, including ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW which was published in October and the upcoming TREASURE DARKLY; she’s represented by the Belcastro Agency.

J. Million is the author of Last of the Giants and can always be found reading or writing. 

Lorna MacDonald Czarnota is a professional storyteller and author of several books including, Medieval Tales That Kids Can Read and Tell, Breadline Blue, Legends Lore and Secrets of Western New York, Wicked Niagara, Native American and Pioneer Sites of Upstate New York, and Dancing at the Crossroads: Stories and Activities for At-Risk Youth Programming.

SA Larsen is represented by Paula Munier of Talcott Notch Literary and is the author of published short stories, community-interest stories, and magazine articles focused on children. 

Grant Eagar is an Engineer who would take the tales he told his children at bed time, and transform them into fantasy stories. 

Clare Weze is the author of The House of Ash (forthcoming) and the co-author and editor of Cloudscapes over the Lune.

Eliza Tilton: gamer, writer and lover of dark chocolate; author of the YA Fantasy, BROKEN FOREST, published by Curiosity Quills Press.

Heather Talty's stories have been featured in Enchanted Conversation, as well as her own fractured fairy tale site, Mythopoetical (www.Beatrixcottonpants.com).

W.K. Pomeroy is a third generation writer who has published more than 70 short stories/articles/poems across many genres and styles, which now includes Steampunk.

Christine Baker is the author of Lana's End, The Guild of Dagda, and many more. 
Natalia Darcy: a bookilicious reader, tea drinker and Zumba aficionado who enjoys playing cards against humanity and washing her hair with ice cold water. 


Giveaway:
You can get your steampunk fix before GEARS OF BRASS is released in November.  To enter for your chance to win a copy of GEARS OF BRASS, you will need to share the cover.  This can be on your blog, Facebook, Twitter… Each time you share the cover image, log it into Rafflecoper to record it.  It will give you more chances to win.  The drawing for the winner will be held on October 27th.
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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Ice Massacre by Tiana Warner

Ice Massacre by Tiana Warner

About The Book:
 Add To GoodreadsRelease Date: September 18, 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Series: First in a Trilogy

A mermaid’s supernatural beauty serves one purpose: to lure a sailor to his death.

Ice Massacre by Tiana WarnerThe Massacre is supposed to bring peace to Eriana Kwai. Every year, the island sends its warriors to battle these hostile sea demons. Every year, the warriors fail to return. Desperate for survival, the island must decide on a new strategy. Now, the fate of Eriana Kwai lies in the hands of twenty battle-trained girls and their resistance to a mermaid’s allure.

Eighteen-year-old Meela has already lost her brother to the Massacre, and she has lived with a secret that’s haunted her since childhood. For any hope of survival, she must overcome the demons of her past and become a ruthless mermaid killer.

For the first time, Eriana Kwai’s Massacre warriors are female, and Meela must fight for her people’s freedom on the Pacific Ocean’s deadliest battleground.

Find The Book: (Free during Blitz!)
Amazon )

About The Author:
Tiana Warner

Tiana Warner was born and raised in British Columbia, Canada. She enjoys riding her horse, Bailey, and collecting tea cups.

Find The Author:
Goodreads ! Website ! Twitter )

Guest Post:

Finish your story: 3 Tips for Getting that Book Done

To make a ridiculous understatement, writing a book is hard. Few people actually finish the task—whether because they can’t find the time, or they get stuck in a story rut, or they lose inspiration once they realize how difficult it is. Let me tell you, there is nothing more rewarding than a finished and published book! Here are three tips to help you get that story done.

1. Write down your dream and look at it daily

Writing down a goal is a magical thing. When you make it tangible, it’s like you’ve transformed your dream into a prophecy.

Write “I am a bestselling author” (or whatever your goal is) on an index card. Look at it every day. Live it and believe it. Work at that dream every single day, even if only for twenty minutes.

Because I have a full-time job and hobbies, the only time I had to write Ice Massacre was between 6am and 7am. I’m not a morning person, but by putting that index card over my alarm clock, I gave myself the motivation to leap out of bed and get to work on my dream. I promise you, it’s effective.

2. Understand that your first draft will suck

All right, I’m going to be honest with you. The first draft of anything I write is like, the worst thing ever. It’s like someone gave a chimpanzee a dictionary and a pen and wouldn’t feed him until he scribbled out enough words to form a full-length novel.

The second draft, however, is better. The third and fourth are pretty darn good. My point is, don’t be discouraged when your novel sucks after the first go-around. You can’t possibly make a fantastic story in only one draft—you need time to get to know the characters, to identify plot holes, to fix the fact that you used the word “sighed” eighty times in one chapter. Personally, it takes me at least seven drafts to get a novel right.
3. Study the craft of writing

A common reason why writers get stuck is that they hit a roadblock in their story. They’ve dug themselves into a plot hole, or they don’t know where to go next. I’ve probably read a thousand blog posts about writing over the last few years. There are endless resources to help you learn the craft, and I recommend that you subscribe to a few writing blogs and read at least one post every day.

Here are a few of my favourites:
http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/ (She also has a podcast, which makes it easy to study writing while you're doing other things!)
http://terribleminds.com/ramble/blog/
http://thewritepractice.com/
http://writershelpingwriters.net/
http://moodywriting.blogspot.com/

Finishing your book comes down to working hard and believing in yourself. You don’t need to be the best writer in the world in order to write a good book—you just need to have a story to share and the drive to write it!

Do you ever find it hard to finish a story? What tips and inspiration can you share?

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