Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Book Blitz: Athena's Ashes by Jamie Grey - Excerpt, Interview & Giveaway




Athena's Ashes
Star Thief Chronicles #2

Jamie Grey

New Adult Sci-Fi Romance
August 26, 2014

Amazon



It’s Renna’s biggest job yet – convincing MYTH leadership that she’s put away her lock picks and is ready to save the galaxy, despite the dangerous implant in her brain. But with the Athena on the run, she’s working solo and facing her most ruthless enemy, the traitor Pallas, who’ll go to any lengths to destroy the MYTH organization. Including framing Renna for a devastating assault on MYTH HQ that leaves their defenses crippled and hundreds dead.

Now that MYTH believes she’s a dangerous double-agent, Renna escapes their firing squad before they put more holes in her than a pair of fishnet stockings. But the ticking time-bomb in her head is the one thing Pallas needs to complete his master plan and he’s not about to let her get away. Even worse, he’s discovered the only thing that will bring Renna to her knees – threatening Captain Nick Finn.

Out of time and options, Renna’s got one shot to take down the traitor before he annihilates everything she loves, even though winning this battle may cost her everything.


Excerpt

Renna jolted awake as a warm hand brushed against her face. She’d been dreaming again. Of ships and stars and men she’d thought long dead. And right now, she had no idea what was real and what she’d made up in her head.
Renna licked her cracked lips and opened her eyes. It took a moment for them to focus on the face hovering above her. A face from her dreams.
“Finn,” she croaked.
“Shhh.” He smiled down at her, expression full of concern. “Don’t talk, just take it easy. You’re going to be fine.” His fingers brushed a strand of hair away from her cheek, and her skin erupted in goose bumps.
If she wasn’t so weak, she’d have thrown herself at him. Instead, she ordered her own hand to touch his. It resisted at first, but eventually it moved and Finn curled his fingers around hers.
The touch lent her enough strength to ask, “Are you really here? How are you here?”
He gave her one of those heart-twisting half-smiles of his. Maybe she’d died and this was heaven. Maybe this was just another dream. But damn, if that was the case, she never wanted to wake up.
Her tongue felt like a wad of cotton in her mouth. Gods, when was the last time she’d brushed her teeth? She gestured to the glass of water on the table beside her bed. Finn helped her hold it to her lips, and she drank thirstily.
When her hand started to shake, Finn gently took the glass from her and set it on the table. “I was hoping you could tell me that,” he said, brushing back another strand of her hair. His gaze softened, making him look young and vulnerable.
An electrical jolt shot through her with an emotion she didn’t want to name. Putting her feelings into words would make them too real.
“The Athena brought us here on her own,” he said. “But Gheewala said she could sense your electronic signature on the ship. We didn’t have much choice but to believe her. And then we arrived in the space port and saw the Eris.” He studied her for a long moment, his expression curious but wary. “How did you do it?”
Renna frowned at him. “I don’t understand. Do what?”
           “Control the Athena. You brought us here.”

Interview with Jamie Grey

What's your favorite aspect of writing science fiction?

The freedom to create a new world or play with our current world and explore different themes and ideas you can’t do in contemporary books. Seeing how someone reacts to a completely alien culture or world, or putting them in a situation no one has ever had to deal with before is really satisfying. But there’s also the ability to show that people are the same no matter when/where they live. Plus it’s just fun!

What does Renna consider worse: the fate of the universe in her hands, or the relationship issues she’s dealing with?

I think Renna’s biggest problem is trying to balance the fact that she’s spent all of her life trying to look out for herself and do what’s best for her, and now suddenly she’s in a situation where she has to look out for other people and she has no idea how to react.

She’s been careful to keep her relationships superficial to protect herself, but somehow she’s gotten sucked into this complicated situation where she has to face her feelings and be responsible for other people and all sorts of things she doesn’t like. So yes, she’s fine with the action of saving the galaxy, not so much with having to figure out her emotions and feelings.

If you met Renna at a bar, how would you interact?

I think I’d be totally intimidated by Renna. She’s gorgeous, charming, and self confident. But I think once we started talking, we’d get along pretty well. I think we both have a sarcastic sense of humor and similar outlook on life. (Which may or may not be a good thing LOL)

If you could live in any literary universe, which would it be?

How to choose just one!? I think I’d have to go with Narnia. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe series was my favorite growing up, and they’re still comfort reads today, so getting to live in Narnia would be amazing!

About the Author

Jamie Grey spent most of her childhood writing stories about princesses who saved the day and pretending to be a daring explorer. It wasn’t until much later that she realized she should combine the two. Now, as a tech-obsessed gamer geek, her novels mix amazing scientific developments, future worlds, and the remarkable characters that live in them.

Jamie lives in Michigan with her boyfriend and their pets, who luckily tolerate her overspending on tea, books, and video games. You can learn more about her at www.jamiegreybooks.com, or follow her on twitter via @jamie_grey.



Blitz-Wide Giveaway

--Paperback of Star Thief Chronicles book 1 & 2 + ebook of the novella
--25$ Amazon Gift Card
--Athena's Ashes postcards and tote bag

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Book Blast: The Ashes that Remain by A.M. Griffin - Review & Giveaway




Against the Darkness
Cimmerian Moon #1

A.M. Griffin

YA Urban Sci-Fi
June 4, 2014


Download the free prequel
Cimmerian Moon - Prequel

Amazon * B&N



Seventeen year old Sinta Allen has one objective, to get from Tallahassee, Florida to her mother in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Seems simple enough right? Wrong. Hostile aliens have invaded Earth-and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that we're losing the fight. While the aliens bring devastation and destruction and take people away to God knows where in their spaceships, Sinta, along with some of her classmates must rely on their survival instincts, a little luck and each other if they want to survive the venture across the country. The last thing she needs is for Wade, her school friend and Jason, her rescuer, to distract her along the way.


The Ashes that Remain
Cimmerian Moon #2

A.M. Griffin

YA Urban Sci-Fi
August 6, 2014

We’re at war against the aliens that have invaded Earth, fighting the only way we can—by surviving. I have more than most people do, but although I know it’s stupid to hold on, I can’t let go of what might have been—can’t help dreaming of something more. No matter how I tell myself it would be easier to do what everyone else wants me to, there’s a part of me that can’t give in.

Making the best of the situation is one thing. Settling, even to make other people happy, is something else.

Then we hear the alien mother ships have disappeared. Of course we have to go and investigate. What we find lands us in a huge mess that we somehow have to clean up and, as our little enclave is rocked to the core with even more changes, I’m learning a hard lesson.

The more things change—for the better or the worse—there’s no fighting human nature, and building on the ashes that remain will take everything we have. And maybe more.

**This book is written in first person. Young Adult, but some scenes may be too intense for younger readers.**

In Danger's Embrace
Cimmerian Moon #3

A.M. Griffin

YA Urban Sci-Fi
Fall 2014









My Review: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

Against the Darkness is a fast-paced YA action adventure about a group of students trying to make it back home after a violent alien invasion. This book is about the students and their trials and tribulations as they travel the ravaged country. We know little about the aliens, other than they are reptilian and seem to be taking as many humans captive as possible.

This novel is written in first person from main character Sinta's point of view. She is seventeen, but a very young seventeen. Her innocence is apparent from the beginning. This makes the novel read like young YA which can be at odds with some of the violence presented. There are many scenes that might be disturbing to younger readers. The young voice coupled with graphic violence created a dichotomy that prevailed from beginning to end.

I liked the plot, found the idea intriguing. Teenagers at camp separated from their families during an alien invasion. Like never turned into more, however. There was action, excitement, even a bit of romance, yet I always felt like I was held at arms length, unable to completely get into the story. I liked the characters but never felt the connection I need to love a book. I would have liked more information on the invasion. Granted that would be difficult given the fact that teenagers are fleeing across the country. But without that information, I never felt suspense or even fear for the characters. The aliens weren't terrifying because they never seemed real.

Against the Darkness featured likable characters in an intriguing plot. Though it didn't blow me away, I did like it. It's definitely a solid three star novel. If you like urban sci-fi and alien invasions, consider adding it to your TBR list.

About the Author

A. M. Griffin is a wife who rarely cooks, mother of three, dog owner (and sometimes dog owned), a daughter, sister, aunt and friend. She’s a hard worker whose two favorite outlets are reading and writing. She enjoys reading everything from mystery novels to historical romances and of course fantasy romance. She is a believer in the unbelievable, open to all possibilities from mermaids in our oceans and seas, angels in the skies and intelligent life forms in distant galaxies.

Instagram: amgriffinbooks


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GRAND PRIZE:    "This one time at band camp...aliens invaded Earth" t-shirt, Stone Soup designs handmade bookmark, signed print copy of Against The Darkness and Cimmerian Moon trading cards
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RUNNER-UP:   $10.00 gift card to Amazon (OPEN INTERNATIONALLY)

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Book Blitz: Lost To Me by Jamie Blair - Excerpt & Giveaway


Lost To Me
Release Date: 08/19/14

Summary from Goodreads:

Lauren Kelling’s prom night is a memory she’ll never forget—in her nightmares. She had the dress, the hair, and romantic first time plans with her boyfriend, Kolton Seidel. But what should have been the best night of her life bleeds into terror when she’s brutally attacked.

Now, Lauren relives the events leading up to prom, unraveling the clues that should have warned her of the trauma to come. Like Kolton ’s malicious ex-girlfriend, who’ll do anything to rip them apart. Or Kolton’s mentally unstable brother.

After the tragedy, Lauren wants to hide, disfigured inside and out, while Kolton drowns in a sea of guilt. Only together can the two of them lay rest to the past and heal each other, through a love too strong to break.



Buy Links:
Amazon * Barnes & Noble



Excerpt

I chased after him, laughter spilling from my throat. I could hear him laughing, too. I wasn’t far behind. When I got to the dune and climbed up behind him, my legs ached. He clasped his hands around my wrists and tugged me up beside him.
Two higher dunes on either side sheltered us, giving us our own private spot to sit. I rubbed my calf, trying to get a knot out of the muscle.
“Cramp?” Kolton stretched my leg across his lap and rubbed. It was a little awkward at first, but I liked him touching me. “Is that good?”
“Getting better.” My face grew hot. My hand found my cheek on instinct. The moon gave the crests of the waves silver tips. The ocean roared as it crashed onto the sand. I took a deep breath of the warm air. It smelled of seaweed and Kolton, making me shiver.
“Cold?” he asked.
“No, I’m fine.” I was more than fine. The shiver was from total relaxation, from being immersed in the moment.
His head tilted to the side, and his eyes studied mine. Then, he reached up, took my hand, and lowered it from my face. “It bothers you, doesn’t it? Your birthmark?”
I blinked a few times and focused on a patch of sea grass by my foot. “I guess.”
“It shouldn’t. It’s not like a big, hairy wart or something.” He squeezed my hand. His laugh was tender. “It’s actually cute—like a beauty mark.”
“Right.” I rolled my eyes. The last thing I could accept was compliments on my birthmark. “It’s gorgeous.”
He put my leg down and wrapped his arm around me. “Lauren?”
“Yeah?”
“I want to kiss you.”
        Before I could see it happen, he’d cupped my chin, and his lips were against mine. They felt amazing, full and soft. His kisses were gentle. He didn’t overwhelm me, and I liked him even more for that.


About the Author
Jamie Blair lives in Northeast Ohio with her husband, their two kids and a cat that broke into their house and refused to leave. She won a young author's contest in third grade, but it probably shouldn't count since her mom wrote most of her entry. LEAP OF FAITH is her first novel. She promises her mom didn't write one word of it. 


Author Links:
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GIVEAWAY:
1 - Bracelet with charms that go with the book, a $20 Amazon card and a signed, dry erase, cover magnet (INT)
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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Blog Tour: My Tethered Soul by Dorothy Dreyer - Review & Giveaway




My Tethered Soul
Reaper's Rite #2

Dorothy Dreyer

YA Paranormal
August 19, 2014
Month9Books




It’s been months since Zadie faced her sister’s Reaper, months during which she’s been under her mentor’s magical protection. But now that she’s turning seventeen, that protection is about to run out.

When dark forces lure Zadie to wander at night, she’s manipulated into committing unspeakable acts. With her friends and family at risk, Zadie must try to use her powers to break free from the Reaper’s grasp, or surrender to the Reaper’s Rite, which can only lead to death.

My Review: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

First things first-- My Tethered Soul is book two in the Reaper's Rite series. It isn't a standalone, so I highly recommend reading My Sister's Reaper first or you'll be lost. My Tethered Soul jumps right in without too much rehashing of the last book, which I appreciate.

This is a very fast-paced book like the first. There were really not any lagging moments in this story. As in the first book, the characters are really what make this a good read. Not only the main characters but also the secondary characters. They all have distinct personalities that make them shine as individuals.

I really can't go into the plot without spoilers from both books, and I don't want to ruin this series for anyone. The action and suspense kept me on the edge of my seat and kept the pages turning. I also enjoyed the ending, found it quite satisfying. If you like character-driven YA paranormal, this is definitely a series to check out.



About the Author

Dorothy Dreyer has always believed in magic. She loves reading, writing, movies, and spending time with her family and friends. Half-American and half-Filipino, Dorothy lives in Germany with her husband and two children.

Author Links:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads








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Friday, August 22, 2014

Book Blitz: The Right Song by Shane Morgan - Excerpt & Giveaway


Check out Shane Morgan's The Right Song promo event, hosted by Itching for Books Blog Tours. Continue below for an excerpt and the international giveaway.

18077865Genre: YA Contemporary
Release date: July 31st
Publisher: TSW Books
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Synopsis via Goodreads:
Pain never truly goes away, until you find something deeper and meaningful that cures the heart and fills it with love.
That is what Aurora desperately wants to believe. That somehow her music can save her, or even touch the unreachable heart of the guy she has liked for years.

Rora yearns for his attention and wants to experience this so-called love that could possibly end her long suffering and inspire her to chase after her dreams.

In deeply understanding the feelings of others and herself, will Aurora give up on ever finding true happiness, or will an intriguing soul teach her about the greatest song ever written?

 


About the Author
Shane Morgan is a twenty-something bestselling author of Young Adult and New Adult Fiction. She currently resides in the beautiful town of Narragansett, Rhode Island with her amazing partner and best friend. Shane spends her days blogging, reading, and escaping in her stories.



EXCERPT
============================

“The First Performance”

Daegan mouths to me that I’m next. An onset of nervousness engulfs me. I say a silent prayer that I don’t screw this up and embarrass myself.
Walking over to the side of the stage, I smile at the singer as she makes her way off. She doesn’t look too pleased by her performance. She sounded okay to me.
The MC hops up to the microphone in a jolly manner. He asks everyone how they’re doing so far and then after a little chit-chat and some failed jokes, he finally looks at his cue card.
“All right, put your hands together for Aurora Law!”
Huh? He chopped off the rest of my last name.
I swallow the stiffness in my throat, clutch my guitar, and head up the steps.
Everyone claps as I make my way to centerstage. Daegan’s right—you can’t really see the faces of the audience with all the light focusing on the stage.
I glance behind at the band and ask if they know Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Walk Away’. The drummer is the only one familiar with the song, so I tell the others to let me lead with my guitar and just fall in with the beat.
It’s an up-tempo song. I figure it’ll give the energetic crowd something to rock to. Hopefully, I can pull this off.
Edging back to the microphone stand, I inhale a soft breath and try to spot his face for motivation. I didn’t think I’d be able to make him out in this dark room, but somehow I do. Daegan’s on his feet behind the audience. His eyes lock with mine, eagerly waiting for me to deliver something great.
I don’t want to let him down. I don’t want to disappoint myself. My chest relaxes. Melodies float around in my head. I hear the harmonies. I can do this.














Book Highlight: Edge of Falling by Valia Lind - Excerpt & Giveaway


Title: Edge of Falling
Author: Valia Lind
Series: Falling, #2
Genre: Contemporary YA
Publication: August 1, 2014

For Chance, there's always only been Dakota.

He's been in love with the girl since the day they met. He's tried everything to get her to notice him and nothing has worked. So when things suddenly start moving in the right direction, Chance can't believe his luck.

Until Kyle comes along.

Kyle is like a new shiny toy and Dakota loves new and shiny. She falls for the tall, blonde and gorgeous fast and without looking back. Dating the summer before college wasn't in the plans, but come on, Kyle is perfect. So why does Chance and his snarky grin keeps popping up in her mind now that Dakota has found her happiness?

When Chance's world comes crashing down, Dakota proves the strength of their friendship, surprising herself and everyone around her, by helping him pick up the pieces. In return, Chance is finally able to crack her hard shell, discovering that not everything is sunny in Dakota-land. Her world is not what it seems on the outside, and together, they're able to pull each other to the brink of safety and sanity.

Dakota likes that things are simple with Kyle, so why does she feel more like herself around Chance?

As graduation grows closer, both Chance and Dakota learn that the plans you make for your life don't always play out the way you expect them and sometimes, everything starts to make sense when you find yourself on the edge of falling.



Purchase

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Excerpt
It doesn't take me long to reach the cabin. Grayson greets me as I run up to the house. The girls are already inside, getting settled. So is Kyle. I can see them inside the main room, the one with all the large windows.
"You guys are here early."
"Well, you know how Brooklynn loves her early mornings." I roll my eyes at my friend, because Brooklynn is not the morning person of the group. Dakota is. And now, apparently so is Kyle because he comes bouncing down those stairs with a huge smile on his face.
"This place is sweet!" He grabs one of the bags, and heads back into the house without another word.
"He's very cheerful in the mornings." Grayson comments.
"Grand."
The girls walk out then, coming down the porch stairs. Brook heads toward me, but before she can hug me, she crinkles her nose and frowns. I know Dakota is standing next to her, but I'm keeping my eyes strictly on Brook.
"Really, Chance? This is how you greet your guests?" She waves her hand over my sweaty body.
"Yep. Come here, darling." I reach for her, but she drags Dakota to block the path, nearly making us collide. Dakota is wearing her usual annoyed expression and the simplicity of practiced interactions make me braver. With a gleam in my eyes, I lunge at the girls, wrapping Dakota in my arms as I reach for Brook hiding behind her. Both of them squeal, trying to wiggle out of my embrace.
The movement does weird things to my insides as Dakota's frame fits so perfectly against mine. Brook manages to escape, and now it's just Dakota and me, locked in an embrace. I look down at her, my eyes crashing into hers and it's like everything I've ever imagined. Time stands still for one perfect moment, before I'm bending over and gasping for breath.
"Did you seriously just punch me in the stomach?" I rasp, glaring at Dakota's smug smile.
"You're lucky that's all I did." Oh is this how we're going to play it? Good thing I know this game. Right then and there, I decide that I'm going for it. Just for this weekend, I won't hide from Dakota and my feelings for her. I'm going to rebuild the awkward friendship we've established last year and see where it takes us. I know she sees the change as my eyes light up, mischievously.
"You know, Dakota. You stink a bit of sweat. Maybe you should take a little bath." I reach for her, my intentions clear. She smacks at my arms, turning to run back into the house and away from the hot tub that's a lot closer than she'd like. I haven't been running all my life for nothing. I catch up to her easily, grabbing her from behind and lifting her clear off the ground.
"Chance! Don't you dare put me into that water. I swear I will get you for it."
"Awe, honey. Promises, promises."


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About Valia

Author. Photographer. Artist. Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, Valia Lind always had a love for the written word. She wrote her first full book on the bathroom floor of her dormitory, while procrastinating to study for her college classes. Upon graduation, she has moved her writing to more respectable places, and have found her voice in Young Adult fiction. Falling by Design is her debut young adult novel. You can visit her online at www.valialind.blogspot.com or follow her on twitter, where she spends way too much time, @ValiaLind.



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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Blog Tour: Lore: Tales of Myth & Legend Retold - Excerpt & Giveaway




Lore
Tales of Myth & Legend Retold

An Anthology of Six Stories

YA Fantasy
March 2014

Amazon * B&N



A collection of six folklore retellings that will twist your mind and claim your heart.

SHIMMER: A heartbroken boy rescues a mermaid… but is it too late to save her?

BETWEEN is about a girl, a genie, and a ton of bad decisions.

SUNSET MOON: Eloise doesn’t believe in Native American magic–until the dreamcatcher spiders spin her down an unknown path.

THE MAKER: An incapacitated young man bent on revenge builds a creature to do it for him.

A BEAUTIFUL MOURNING: The story of a Maya goddess torn between duty and love, and the ultimate sacrifice she must make to achieve true happiness.

THE BARRICADES: When a human girl risks everything to save the life of an Eternal prince, will their feelings for each other change the world they know, or tear it apart?


Excerpt

Between by Karen Y. Bynum:

God, what had Lucy done? She rubbed the butterfly charm at her throat. She should never have ignored Natasha’s calls. If Lucy had just sucked it up and broken up with her, Natasha wouldn’t have shown up at Gaston. And Lucy wouldn’t have belittled her in front of the Royals. Her stomach churned, and she clutched the charm. Natasha’s grandmother had given it to her, and she hadn’t ever taken it off—until the day she gave it to Lucy. She swallowed her own shame and ripped the chain from her neck. She couldn’t look at it anymore. Couldn’t stand to feel its guilt weighing her down.

“I wish I could just forget you!” She threw the necklace into the abyss of the closet. Holding herself, she wept with her head pressed back against the wall. Slow, gasping tears quickly turned into sobs so gut-wrenching they made her teeth hurt.

“You can’t wish to forget.”

She froze mid-sniff. The blood must have drained from her face because her tears scorched as they rolled down her icy cheeks. A shadow moved in her peripheral vision.

Slowly, she lifted her head. Gasping, she pressed her hands to the floor, ready to jump up and haul ass. But in car-wreck fashion, she couldn’t look away. Fire floated in front of her. Her heart pounded painfully against her ribs. Was the house burning down? Surely not. The flames didn’t seem to be spreading. Instead, they drew down, drew together until they had a distinctly human shape. And eyes. Oh, God, the eyes. They glowed a frightening green, dark and bright at the same time.

This was just like every horror movie Lucy had ever seen. Her time had come. Either this thing would drag her to Hell or she’d be acting out The Exorcist any second. She wiped away a streak of tears.

Forcing herself to stand, to acknowledge what she’d done, she said, “This is about Natasha. Isn’t it?”

The figure didn’t move forward. It just lowered its arms, smaller flames sparking away from the movement. Why didn’t the closet catch fire?

“I’m here,” it said, “to grant you three wishes.”



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