30 April 2015

Bring on the Dragons: ROGUE - Review

Rogue - Talon #2
by Julie Kagawa




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What they say: Deserter. Traitor. ROGUE.

Ember Hill left the dragon organization Talon to take her chances with rebel dragon Cobalt and his crew of rogues. But Ember can't forget the sacrifice made for her by the human boy who could have killed her—Garret Xavier Sebastian, a soldier of the dragonslaying Order of St. George, the boy who saved her from a Talon assassin, knowing that by doing so, he'd signed his own death warrant.
Determined to save Garret from execution, Ember must convince Cobalt to help her break into the Order's headquarters. With assassins after them and Ember's own brother helping Talon with the hunt, the rogues find an unexpected ally in Garret and a new perspective on the underground battle between Talon and St. George.
A reckoning is brewing and the secrets hidden by both sides are shocking and deadly. Soon Ember must decide: Should she retreat to fight another day...or start an all-out war?
Released April 28th (UK) by Harlequin UK/Mira Ink


Buy Links:

Amazon US * Amazon UK

I received a copy from the publisher (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review!


What I say: *Note* This review may contain potential spoilers from book one Talon.

I really enjoyed Ember's story and reading about the dragon and hunter adventures in Talon. I couldn't wait to start Rogue (book two in Julie Kagawa's Talon series) and am glad the pace and drama is kept from the first instalment. If you want a recap then my review of Talon is here.


Rogue picks up right after the events of Talon, with Garret arrested as a traitor to St. George. Dante has been firmly indoctrinated by Talon and Ember is on the run with Riley. I'm not going to lie, I do have a hard time deciding between the human hunter Garret and the rogue dragon Riley/Cobalt. I think this is down to Kagawa's writing. She makes it difficult for Ember to decide between her human and dragon side, so the reader cannot easily pick either. At this point I'm swaying more towards team Garret (I can't say why without posting spoilers).

I really like Ember. Even more so this time because she's not held back by the restrictions of Talon (in the sense of having to behave in a certain way). She's bolder and more bad ass. I liked seeing her dragon come out more, but appreciated her inner struggle, and how she has a very human side too. 


I honestly wanted to smack Dante. He's certainly in the running for 'worse twin award' at the moment. I'm sure there is more story here and it'll be interesting to see the route Kagawa takes him. Dante is a good example of how blind obedience can be really dangerous.  

It seems that pretty much everybody has an agenda in this series, so it is really difficult for Ember to know who to trust. Just like Ember, the reader need answers...


4 Stars in my Sky!



SAVOR - Release Day Launch

Savor RDL Banner

Release Day Launch

SAVOR - by Alyssa Rose Ivy

SAVOR is a New Adult Paranormal Romance and the fourth book in The Empire Chronicles Series. Grab your copy today!


Savor - Cover


Amazon * Barnes and NobleiBooks * GooglePlay * Kobo


SAVOR Excerpt:

“I’m glad you don’t want me dead.” He smirked. Even his smirk was sexy.

“I’d be on my own if you were.” I put my hands behind my head.

“And you don’t like being alone?” He studied me in the darkness. Sometimes I wished neither of us had night vision. It left you so naked, never having an opportunity to hide.

“I do most of the time.”

“But not always?” His eyes raked over my body. The fact that he could make such a platonic conversation feel sexual gave me even more reason to resist him.

“Why does it matter?” Often the best way to avoid a question is to ask your own.

“It matters because I asked it.” And there went his mouth again.

My annoyance gave me back my will power. “Put a shirt on.”

“Why?” He grinned. “Am I distracting you?”

“No, but we should go. The sun will be up soon enough.”

“Maybe I shouldn’t go with you.” He sat up, swinging his legs off the side of the bed.

“No way.” I moved to standing. “You’re not backing out.”

“Why do you care?” He stood with his back to me. “You can do this alone.”

“Of course I can.”

He turned to me. “Then why does it matter if I go my own way?” He pulled on his t-shirt, and a little part of me missed the view.

“Because we agreed to help each other out. I stick to my promises.” That was one of my good traits. The not so good traits weren’t worth reflecting on.

“Maybe I don’t.”

“You do.” I put a hand on my hip. I didn’t have time for Jared’s games.

“How do you know?”

“I just do.”

“You’re infuriating.”

I groaned. “And what are you?”

“Charming.”

If I’d had liquid in my mouth I would have spit it out. “Not exactly the word I’d use to describe you.”

“Says the girl begging me to stay with her.”

“I never begged.” I crossed my arms over my chest.

“Would you beg?” His grin was his undoing.

“Is that how you like it, Jared? With your women begging?”

“I wasn’t talking about how I like my women.”

“Are you sure about that?” I grabbed my backpack and headed into the cabin’s small bathroom.

“Where are you going?”

I paused with my hand on the door. “To shower.”



About SAVOR:

Jared is Vera's perfect man—until he opens his mouth. An incredible body and set of wings can only go so far when everything he says seems designed to make her mad. Still, she can't deny her intense attraction or the fact that he is the closest thing she has to a friend.

Jared doesn't go for bear shifters, especially ones that are related to his ex, but he can't resist Vera's charm or the way she understands him better than anyone else.

As suspicions build and loyalties are tested, Vera and Jared realize that they may not be able to trust anyone but each other.



Savor - Teaser


And don't miss the previous books in The Empire Chronicles!

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Author Spotlight: 


Alyssa Rose Ivy- Author Photo


Alyssa Rose Ivy is a New Adult and Young Adult author who loves to weave stories with romance and a southern setting. Although raised in the New York area, she fell in love with the South after moving to New Orleans for college. After years as a perpetual student, she turned back to her creative side and decided to write. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children, and she can usually be found with a cup of coffee in her hand.


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29 April 2015

Special Announcement From Cora Carmack

HERE’S THE SCOOP!

Fans of Cora Carmack’s Rusk University, I have a SUPER exciting announcement:


ALL CLOSED OFF Coming 2016

ALL CLOSED OFF, Book 4 in the Rusk University Series, is coming!!!

Check out this message from Cora!

*WARNING: This letter contains spoilers for All Broke Down. If you haven't yet read that book, read at your own peril. SECOND WARNING: this letter talks about fictional characters as if they are real people. Sorry I'm not sorry. THIRD WARNING: The letter below broaches a serious topic that could be a trigger for some people*


Hello beloved readers!

The first person who read one of my Rusk University books was my older sister. I gave her All Lined Up when I finished, and her first question was "Are Ryan and Stella going to be together?"

At the time, I told her no. I had plans for both of them that included their own storylines. I thought they were too much alike. They'd make great friends. They might even hook-up, but in the end... I couldn't envision anything serious for them. So I actually rewrote some of their scenes trying to make that aspect of their connection more obvious. And still, when All Lined Up released, amidst the chatter about sweet Carson and sassy Dallas, I had people asking if Stella and Ryan were next. I denied it again (and again and again).

But sometimes in writing, the stars align and a character will become bigger and more real than you could have possibly imagined. It's a wonderful experience, but in Stella's case it was also incredibly heartbreaking. While I was writing All Broke Down, the news was inundated with information about the Steubenville rape trial and other tragedies and injustices like it. Tragedies where women have been violated first by an attacker, then by judgmental and hateful people, and finally by a justice system that repeatedly fails survivors of sexual assault. Having grown up in Texas, where too often football stars are treated like gods and can get away with just about anything, it hit particularly close to home. And since All Broke Down featured a passionate activist heroine, I felt compelled to reference this chronic dark underbelly of elite sports.

I can remember vividly sitting on my couch, brainstorming how I would incorporate such an event into the book. I had thought the assault would happen to an unknown character, and maybe I would focus on the way it divided the team and the school and the town. But like I said... Sometimes a character will become bigger and more human than I anticipated. And it sounds crazy, but in my mind, I felt Stella push her way forward and say, "Mine. This is my story." I immediately began to cry. Sob, really. Because I loved her as a character. She was hilarious and strong and didn't take crap from anyone. She was everything I always hope to be. And I didn't want her to go through that. Even as I cried, my brain began to tell me that it made sense. Stella was vibrant and enjoyed a wild party. She was not afraid of her sexuality, and she had no problem with casual sex. She was the kind of girl that probably had a reputation. The kind of girl who could be heinously and violently taken advantage of, and people would STILL blame her. Because she was in the wrong place, wearing the wrong clothes, behaving in the wrong way. But just because it COULD happen to her, didn't mean I wanted it to. But once again, Stella was there in my head saying, "Someone needs to tell this story. And I'm strong enough to do it. Let me." And when Stella chose her story, she also chose the man I'd been adamant wasn't right for her. Because as it turns out... Those two characters who I thought were too alike aren't so alike anymore. And Stella needs Ryan to help her hold on to that vibrant and strong girl she was before.

So I let go of all the plans I had for her, and allowed her to tell me her story, which is about more than just sexual assault. It's about the aftermath. Depression. Shame. Guilt. Anger. Injustice. Victim-blaming. Slut-shaming. It's about the way that kind of event can change everything-- how you relate to people, how you think, how you dream, how you love. It's about the way the rest of the world moves on to the next big tragedy, and you're still left holding the broken pieces of who you used to be, with no idea how to put them together again or even if you want to. It will be the most difficult story I ever tell. And the most important. Because it’s a story that belongs not just to Stella, but to millions of people around the world. It’s a story that belongs to a new person every 107 seconds*. And that’s just in the United States. Think about that for a moment. 107 seconds. Stella’s story won’t be any easier to read than it will be to write. But I hope you’ll help me drag this story into the light.

So now I’ll step off my soapbox and just tell you about the book…




ALL CLOSED OFF:

Stella Santos is fine.

Maybe something terrible happened to her that she can’t even remember. And maybe it drives her crazy when her friends treat her like she’s on the verge of breaking because of it. Maybe it feels even worse when they do what she asks and pretend that it never happened at all. And maybe she’s been getting harassing emails and messages for months from people who don’t even know her, but hate her all the same.

But none of that matters because she’s just fine.

For Ryan Blake, Stella was always that girl. Vibrant and hilarious and beautiful. He wanted her as his best friend. His more than friends. His everything and anything that she would give him. Which these days is a whole lot of nothing. She gets angry when he’s there. Angry when he’s not there. Angry when he tries to talk and when he doesn’t.

When Stella devises an unconventional art project for one of her classes all about exploring intimacy—between both friends and strangers—Ryan finds himself stepping in as guinea pig after one of her subjects bails. What was supposed to be an objective and artistic look at emotion and secrets and sex suddenly becomes much more personal. When he hits it off with another girl from the project, Stella will have to decide if she’s willing to do more than make art about intimacy. To keep him, she’ll have to open up and let herself be the one thing she swore she’d never be again.

Vulnerable.



ALL CLOSED OFF will be releasing sometime in early 2016. I don't have a date yet for several reasons. The first and most important, is that I want to do this story justice. And as such, I have no intentions of rushing the process. Secondly, I'll be returning to indie publishing for the remainder of the Rusk series. As you can probably tell, this story means a great deal to me. And by having the ultimate control over everything from timing to editing to price, I'll be able to ensure that I'm able to create exactly the story I envision. Unfortunately, that means you won't be seeing the paperback of ALL CLOSED OFF on the shelves in most stores. Nor is it currently available for pre-order. But I hope you'll add the book on goodreads, follow me on social media, and/or join my newsletter. I promise to shout it all over the place when I have a set release date or pre-order links.

Thank you for listening as I told you the evolution of Stella's story. When it's finished, I hope you will feel as passionately about it as I do.

All my best,

Cora Carmack




*Statistic from RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network)



#WhenitHappened banner


And an opportunity to add your voice to Stella’s…

Stella’s experience is only one story of many. She was with someone she trusted when it happened, and the only memories she has are pieced together from her own blurred recollections and the things people have told her. Not everyone’s experience with sexual assault is the same. Each person reacts, copes, and overcomes differently. And while this book is about one specific character’s journey, I would like to tell as many sides of this story as possible. As Stella grapples with her thoughts and emotions she’ll be searching for advice, for comfort, for a place where people understand her and can identify with what she’s experiencing. There will be room for truth within the fiction, and if you’d like that truth to be yours, this is your chance.

If you have a story like Stella’s, and you want your voice to be heard….

If there’s something you wish more people understood about what you’ve gone through….

If there’s something you’d like to tell people struggling with a story like yours…

I’d like to give you the opportunity to add your voice to Stella’s. Use the hashtag #WhenItHappened and let your voice be heard on your own by posting on your own social media, or if you’d rather I share your words fill out this google document and tell me your story. You can fill out this form anonymously or not. I’d like to begin this discussion now because April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. But my hope is to include as many stories as possible within the book itself.

So many have stories of #WhenItHappened. Your voice and your story deserve to be heard. I’m listening.

#WhenItHappened Google Form: http://goo.gl/forms/4VRjWgZYSW



Author Spotlight:

Headshot


Cora Carmack is a twenty-something New York Times bestselling author who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She now splits her time between Austin, TX and New York City and spends her days writing, traveling, and spending way too much time on the internet. In her books, you can expect to find humor, heart, and a whole lot of awkward. Because let’s face it . . . awkward people need love, too.

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Heir

The Heir (The Selection #4)
by Kiera Cass








What they say: Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won Prince Maxon’s heart. Now the time has come for Princess Eadlyn to hold a Selection of her own. Eadlyn doesn’t expect her Selection to be anything like her parents’ fairy-tale love story. But as the competition begins, she may discover that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she always thought.

Expected publication: May 5th by Harper Teen.

Pre-order:

Book & Author links:



Why I'm waiting on The Heir:



  1. Come on surely everybody wants to see America & Maxon?!
  2. The drama!!
  3. Will everybody get their HEA? What happens after the HEA?


28 April 2015

An Ember in the Ashes - Release Day Blitz



I am uber excited that AN EMBER IN THE ASHES
by Sabaa Tahir releases today and that I get to share the news, along with a
special introduction from Sabaa herself!



If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Sabaa Tahir, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a signed copies of the book and some of those
awesome sword letter openers we’ve seen around courtesy of Sabaa, Penguin Teen,
and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the
Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.


A letter from Sabaa Tahir.


Dear Readers,

Today, my “baby” AN EMBER IN THE ASHES is finally out in the world! From inception to pub date, this journey took eight years. And what a journey it was: writing,
rewriting, revising, editing, querying, submitting; Meeting other debuts,
bloggers, booksellers and librarians, and hearing their thoughts on EMBER.
There aren’t enough superlatives to describe the radness.

And now, the book is here! I am so excited to see it in the hands of readers. I hope you
enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. To celebrate release day, I’m
giving away two signed, first-edition hardcovers of the book. Details below!

All my best,

Sabaa




Pub. Date: April 28th 2015
Publisher: Razorbill


Pages: 464
Buy links:

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * iBooks * 

Add to Goodreads


Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy
debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his
freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.

LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her
brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the
empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel
Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.

ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering
deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a
ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.

When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more
intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change
the future of the empire itself.


Check out the book trailer!





Author Spotlight:






Sabaa Tahir grew up in California’s Mojave Desert at her family’s 18 room motel. There, she spent her time devouring fantasy novels, raiding her brother’s comic book stash and playing guitar badly. She began writing An Ember in the Ashes while working nights as a newspaper editor. She likes thunderous indie rock, garish socks and all things nerd. Sabaa currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.








Giveaway Details:


2 winners will receive a signed hardcover of AN EMBER IN THE ASHES. (US Only).


3 winners will receive a hardcover of AN EMBER IN THE ASHES and a Sword Letter Opener! (US Only).


Ends on May 9th at Midnight EST!




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27 April 2015

Carter Reed 2 - Release Day Blitz


Carter Reed 2
by Tijan





More Carter Reed?  Yes, please!  





Blurb:

Carter bought his way out of the mafia to protect Emma, but when an old ghost returns to the Mauricio Family, a chain of events starts that can harm everyone. While Carter must decide to return to the Mauricio Family or not, a face that is oddly familiar to Emma comes into her life. She’s given the chance to discover more about her family while tensions between the rivaling Mauricio and Bertal Family comes to a head in an explosive way. The truce is officially off, and when the two worlds collide, Carter’s decision is made.

He didn’t start this war, but he will end it.

He will do anything to protect Emma.





Excerpt:

We’d been learning how to shoot for a couple of months now. It had been Theresa’s idea, and these sessions had started to replace our wine nights. It had also been her idea to have Noah be our instructor. Carter was the better shot, but Theresa still liked to keep her distance from him. He still made her uneasy.
Amanda had asked her about it one night at their apartment when I’d gone to the bathroom. I stopped in the hallway when I’d overheard Theresa explain, “It’s not that I don’t like him. It’s just…he’s a killer, Amanda. He’s dangerous. I know he loves her, and I know if anyone is going to protect her, it will be him, but…” She’d sighed. “I don’t know. He’s known as the Cold Killer. It’s hard to get past that, even though I know Emma loves him so much.”
Amanda had asked, “Are you worried for her?”
“No.” She’d hesitated. “I mean…maybe. I’m not worried for her from him, but because of him. He’s with the mafia.”
“She said he’s out.”
“Yeah, well, is anyone really out?”
Amanda had replied, “She wasn’t in trouble before because of him. Emma and I did that all on our own.”
“I know. I really do, and I feel bad, but I’m just on edge with the guy. He’s deadly. Can’t you see it in his eyes?” Theresa got up for the kitchen. “I need a refill. You?”
I had melted backward, back into the bathroom. When she’d crossed the hallway, the bathroom door was shut.
Glancing over at her now, I remembered how her smiles had seemed more forced that night, her laughter a little louder, and the secretive looks she’d sent Amanda’s way. They were roommates. They were going to talk about me. That was obvious, but I’d been hurt, though I knew I shouldn’t have been.
Theresa worried about me. I tried to keep telling myself it was as simple as that.
I tried. 




Series Reading Order:

Carter Reed (Book One):

Carter Reed 2 (Book Two):






Author Spotlight:



I didn't begin writing until after undergraduate college. There'd been storylines and characters in my head all my life, but it came to a boiling point one day and I HAD to get them out of me. So the computer was booted up and I FINALLY felt it click. Writing is what I needed to do. After that, I had to teach myself how to write. I can't blame my teachers for not teaching me all those years in school. It was my fault. I was one of the students that was wishing I was anywhere but at school! So after that day, it took me lots of work until I was able to put together something that resembled a novel. I'm hoping I got it right since someone must be reading this profile! And I hope you keep enjoying my future stories.






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