31 October 2014

StoryTime for SDDAS Spirit Fund

StoryTime is a tri-annual event created by Glass House Press.  All proceeds from the StoryTime events will be donated to SDDAS Spirit Fund, a nonprofit society dedicated to giving homeless animals the medical care they need. For more information, visit their website at sddac.com/donations.asp.

In Mary Fan’s second novella from Glass House Press, a teen girl wakes up in an icy cell, alone and frightened. She has no memory of who she is or how she came to be there.

She does know that she must get out, at all costs. And that escape must start with remembering the simple things – her own name. Her place of origin. Her possible powers.

When a group of dark magicians reveal themselves to be her captors, she finds herself in the clutches of those who will stop at nothing to uncover the secrets locked within her lost memories. With her life fading under their merciless spells, the need to escape becomes dire.

But can she get out when she doesn’t even know who she is? Can she count on one unlikely ally for help? Or is it already too late for her, a girl without a name?

Tell Me My Name introduces the main characters in Mary’s new fantasy series, Fated Stars, with the first book, Windborn, due in late 2015.

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Telepaths, torture, mindwipes ... the Institute has it all, and they use each of their brainwashed children as weapons, the way they see fit. To control society, repress its people. To make certain that they stay in power, no matter the cost. Serena’s baby brother Damon is one of those children, and these days he’s so altered that he doesn’t even recognize her.

When it comes to getting Damon away from those who kidnapped him, there's nothing Serena won't do. Even if she has to kill him to save him. First, though, she must prove to her father that she has what it takes to be a soldier against the insidious threat of the Institute. Her first mission has to be perfect.

But with inaccurate intelligence, unexpected storms, and Gav Belias, people’s hero of the Watch, on the prowl, will she even survive? If she doesn't succeed, they'll never let her go after her brother.

And that would be unthinkable, when it was her fault that he was taken in the first place.

Slam is Tash McAdam’s first work with Glass House Press, and serves as a prequel to her series The Psionics, with the first book, Maelstrom, due in 2015.

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Almost a hundred years ago, the Enchanters defeated the Lord of the Underworld in one of the most fearsome wars the world had ever seen. The public thinks that this victory means the people are safe. But they’re wrong. The supernatural beasts the Lord unleashed remain on the earth, multiplying and ravaging what’s left of civilization. As long as these monsters exist, mankind will be in danger. And though the government, ruled by the magic-wielding Enchanters, seeks to protect their people, they are too few in number. They need the Defenders – a special class of non-magical humans – to fight the monsters. The Defenders are an elite force, and mankind’s only hope against the horrors that live beyond their gates.

Fourteen-year-old Aurelia “the Firedragon” Sun has been training since she could walk to become a Defender, and her extraordinary combat skills have earned the attention of the powerful government. In fact, she’s been tapped to represent her nation in an international monster-fighting competition, which pits champions from across the globe against creatures of the Underworld in a violent spectacle. If she wins, she will become a full-fledged member of the Defender force.
But as Aurelia moves deeper into the competition, she realizes that all is not as it appears. There’s something sinister behind the competition, something that could change the way she sees everything … and the Enchanters, it seems, are not the heroes she thought. Aurelia begins to ask questions.

But before she can discover the truth, she is pitted against the most dangerous monster in the competition – one that will take her life if it can .
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Ash never thought going to a party could be dangerous. He certainly never thought it would change his life. But when a man with red eyes begins following him – and his sister – he realizes he was wrong. Soon they’re running, leading the man on a desperate chase over icy roads.

When Ash crashes his car, nearly killing his sister, the red-eyed man offers Ash a choice – save his sister, but pay the highest price possible. Bring Grace back to life, at the cost of his own soul.

Suddenly, Ash is facing a choice he never sought. But will he use that choice to save his sister? And if he does … what will it mean for Ash himself?

 Purchase on Amazon

Fallen Souls Excerpt:

He tried to blink, but couldn’t get his eyes to open at all. There was a ringing in his ears, and a terrible pounding at his temples. I must be hung over, he thought, though this was far worse than any hangover he’d ever had. He groaned and tried to move, but a horrible pain shot through his head and down the entire right side of his body. He’d barely managed to open one eye when he saw him.

            Red eyes stared at him, glowing like embers. Below them, a wide grin stretched across a gaunt face. Ash gasped. He knew this man, but the recognition slipped through his mind like a shadow. There was a solid thought there, but every time he attempted to pull it to the front, it vanished. He tried to sit up, desperate to get away from the man and his never-ending gaze, but his arm gave out and he ended up slamming right back down onto the … pavement? His mind grew fuzzy again at the thought, but he tried to focus, to take in his surroundings. Bright lights appeared, highlighting the landscape around him, and he gasped. The forest. The road.

            He looked up, wiping an unidentifiable liquid from his eyes, and found that the man was now standing right over him. He leaned down, his breath falling on Ash’s face.

The Authors:

Mary Fan

Mary Fan is a hopeless dreamer, whose mind insists on spinning tales of “what if.” As a music major in college, she told those stories through compositions. Now she tells them through books—a habit she began as soon as she could pick up a pencil. Flynn Nightsider and the Edge of Evil follows a well-received debut novel, a space opera titled Artificial Absolutes (2013), and is the first in the Flynn Nightsider series. Mary would like to think that there are many other novels in her bag, and hopes to prove that to the world as well.

Mary lives in New Jersey and has a B.A. from Princeton University. When she’s not scheming to create new worlds, she enjoys kickboxing, opera singing, and blogging about everything having to do with books.

Website * Facebook * Twitter  

Tash McAdam

Tash McAdam’s first writing experience (a collaborative effort) came at the age of eight, and included passing floppy discs back and forth with a best friend at swimming lessons. Since then, Tash has spent time falling in streams, out of trees, learning to juggle, dreaming about zombies, dancing, painting, learning Karate, becoming a punk rock pianist, and of course, writing.

Tash is a teacher in real life, but dreams of being a full-time writer, and living a life of never-ending travel. Though born in the hilly sheepland of Wales, Tash has lived in South Korea and Chile and now calls Vancouver, Canada home.

Maelstrom, the first book in The Psionics, is Tash’s first published work. Visit the website or facebook for news, gossip, and random tidbits about Tash’s adventures.

Linda Foster

Linda Foster was born and raised in Colorado, where she still lives with her (very patient) husband and four (very spoiled) ferrets. Linda became an avid reading enthusiast the moment she picked up her first book, and has grown steadily worse. By the time she was 15 years old, her library had become too big for her shelves, and she was forced to donate all her books to the local school, just to make room for new ones. She started writing short novellas for her friends in middle school, and expanded into full-length novels several years later. Soul Bound is her first published novel.


30 October 2014

The Change (Unbounded 1) Review

The Change - Unbounded #1
by Teyla Branton

What they say: There are only two ways to kill Unbounded, and fire isn’t one of them—as law school dropout Erin Radkey learns the hard way. By fluke of a recessive gene, she has become Unbounded, a nearly immortal being with paranormal abilities. 

Erin’s Change separates her from her loved ones and alters everything she believes to be true. A week earlier she was considering a marriage proposal; now she contemplates the best way to stay alive. Caught in a battle between two Unbounded groups, she is also hunted by a secret mortal society sworn to eradicate the Unbounded gene. Worse, a new identification software could mean death for all Unbounded—or enslavement for the entire mortal world. 

As Erin plunges into this dangerous new life, she must carve out her own place in the madness, protect her mortal family, and decide which group she should join. Her powerful attraction to Ritter Langton, whose family was massacred by opposing Unbounded two hundred and forty years ago, complicates her choices. There are no second chances. Death, life, or love—Unbounded always play for keeps. 

Non-stop action, terrifying consequences, and powerful romance make this an exciting addition to the world of urban fantasy.

At the time of writing my review it is currently FREE in both the US & UK kindle store: Amazon * Amazon UK

What I say: The overall concept for The Change is really clever and I appreciated the different approach to immortality but wasn't totally 100% convinced and won over by the characters.  

MC Erin goes through the change (no not THAT sort of change) into a sort-of-immortal. Think vampires crossed with The Tomorrow People and you get the Unbounded. Erin is suddenly thrust into this strange and dangerous world where everybody seems to have an agenda and are apparently allergic to the truth. After the initial change, the pacing in the first portion of the story is a little slow and I kept waiting for Erin (who by the way is an adult and not a teen) to get on with things. I didn't blame her though because it's the secondary characters who I found hard to engage with.

As much as he's a pain and I wasn't always convinced of him as the hero (or anti-hero depending on how you look at it) Ritter did grow on me and I did (mostly) like his hot-guy, alpha style moodiness. 

One particularly interesting idea was that of the immortality v's the problem of genetics. Would you risk having children who more than likely wouldn't get the Unbounded gene and then have to watch them die? Throw in the idea that due to your super reproductive system (contraception doesn't work) you can't have causal encounters without the risk of babies! Sex = long term commitment!

Although I had some issues with certain characters and the pacing early on, I did enjoy the story and the MANY twists. The story got better as it went along as Branton seemed to find her stride. 

3 - 3.5 Stars in my Sky!


29 October 2014

A Beautiful Purpose Tour & Review

Beautiful Purpose Tour Banner

A Beautiful Purpose (Beautiful #6) 
by Alicia Rae

Genre: Contemporary Romance 18+ 
Publication Date: October 20, 2014
Event Organized By: Literati Author Services, Inc.


~ Synopsis ~

*Book 6 in The Beautiful Series or Standalone*

All Blake Johnson knows is the life of a Marine. After serving his country for eight years, he returns to his family for some rest and rehabilitation. Fighting an internal war, he battles sleepless nights as images of his former military days haunt him.

From the moment Audrey Hampton walks into his life, he is drawn to her. Her beauty leaves him breathless and weak in the knees. She kindles a spark of hope deep within his soul, igniting a part of himself he feared was missing. Her never-ending compassion for others opens his heart in a way he never dreamed.

But Audrey is hiding wounds of her own. Returning to Lake Tahoe to care for her ill mother triggers painful childhood memories of her parents’ loveless marriage, reminding her there is no such thing as true love.

Will Blake’s resolve be powerful enough to open Audrey’s sealed heart? Or will Audrey fear the past and risk losing the man who could give her life a new found purpose?

Can two wounded souls become one?

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Purchase Links:

 Amazon * Amazon UKBarnes & Noble * iTunes

Author Spotlight:

Alicia Rae 

Alicia Rae is a Contemporary Romance Author who lives in Dekalb, Illinois, with her husband and three beautiful boys. Alicia has a passion for reading all types of romance, writing to bring a story to life, and photography.

Thank you to my dear sister, Kels, who showed me a few years ago how much I truly missed reading. And to my loving husband, for not throwing away my Nook, and planting the seed of writing into my mind. I am forever grateful. Xo

Readers, words cannot thank you enough for supporting me along this incredible journey. I hope you enjoy my novels as much as I do writing them. I thank each and every one of you.

Believe in yourself and follow your dreams…

 Facebook * Twitter * Blog * Goodreads


We hopped out of my Ford and began to walk up to Skydive Tahoe. As we neared, Audrey caught sight of the sign that finally came into view, realizing where I had taken her. Her feet came to a dead stop, and her head whipped up to stare at me. A combination of excitement and fear flashed in her eyes.
“Are you one of those secret adrenaline junkies?”
A chuckle escaped from deep in my chest as I realized this could go one way or another. “Hmm…I might have been called something along the lines of that a time or two before.” I gave her a lopsided grin and reached for her hand. “Don’t worry. This place has excellent credentials. In the Marines, most missions required airdrop. I have done this so many times that I can do this in my sleep. I can personally say it’s one of the most exhilarating experiences I’ve ever had.” I hesitated, reading her expression. The interest was definitely winning, so I challenged her. “You with me?”
She bit her lip and glanced between the building and me. Just when I thought fear might take over, she shocked the hell out of me by grinning. “You only live once, right?”
“Hell yes,” I reflected her enthusiasm. “So, every day counts.”
Audrey squeezed my hand while snuggling into me. “Then, let’s do it.” She teasingly pinned me with her eyes. “But if my parachute fails, I’m going to come back as a ghost and haunt you.”
I set my hand on her cheek and tenderly caressed her soft skin. “I would never let anything happen to you, Audrey.” My voice was confident and reassuring as I said, “I have my military A license in parachuting, so you and I will be jumping together. I’ll be strapped to your back with our parachute and an emergency one, not that we’ll need it.” I knew there was no way in hell I would have brought her here and put her fate in someone else’s hands.
“So, if I go into shock and possibly faint, you can pull the cord?” she asked with humor.

“Yep, I got your back.” I leaned forward and kissed her. “Always.”

Top Five Books on my TBR List - Alicia Rae:

1.     Breathe With Me by Kristen Proby
2.     Searching For Someday by Jennifer Probst
3.     Elite by Rachel Van Dyken
4.     Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover

5.     The Passion of Darius by Raine Miller

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review!

What I say: A Beautiful Purpose is the final book in Alicia Rae's Beautiful Series but it can be read as a standalone contemporary romance. If you're familiar with the series then you'll probably remember Audrey and Blake from the brief appearances/mentions of them in previous books. 

The book is told in dual POV featuring both quiet, sweet and under appreciated Audrey Hampton and soldier Blake, who is the eldest Johnson brother. Audrey hasn't experienced many happy relationships and doesn't believe that love can last - Blake is detained to prove her wrong.

To be honest I wasn't expecting to like Audrey because often when a character is labelled as being 'good' then they often become boring but I did like her; she's definitely not boring. Audrey suffers from a lack of self-esteem and belief in herself, but she's always really caring and thoughtful with a hidden sassy side.

I haven't met any Marines (it's a long way from the US to England and I can't really justify trip across the Atlantic to look at hot soldiers) but Blake definitely fits the image I have in my head of what a soldier should be like. He's strong, loyal, brave, sexy, determined and caring. Blake's dilemma is an interesting one, which I imagine many people who serve often have to go though (ok not those exact circumstances but still).

There are certain characters who make me forget about wanting angst and being cynical, these two defo manage it. It's always nice when previous characters make appearances and Alicia Rae always manages to interweave her characters well. The series is super sweet and although I have pointed out in past reviews there often seem to be a lot of coincidences in the series, this also what I enjoy about it. Sometimes it's nice to see things come together in such a way without constant drama. Don't get me wrong Audrey and Blake experience their fair share of drama in this book but the angst seems to be there for a reason. Do such fortuitous events really happen? I'm not sure but it works for the series and made me smile... 

3.5 - 4 Stars in my Sky!


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