Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Book Review: Warrior Beautiful by Wendy Knight, and a Giveaway!

If you follow my blog, you know that I'm a huge fan of Wendy's writing. Like HUGE fan. Well, I absolutely ADORED Warrior Beautiful! My favorite of her books to date!

Back Cover Blurb
genre: YA fantasy
Working with the ex you secretly love to save the souls of the innocent is almost as bad as working with a mighty battle unicorn who would be thrilled to watch you plummet to your death.

Scout is used to pain. Her body has been broken, her heart has been broken, and the only thing keeping her together is her relationship with her younger sister. Lil Bit be-lieves in unicorns and terrifying monsters she calls soul stealers. But unicorns and monsters aren’t real…are they?

When Lil Bit falls prey to the mysterious disease sweeping the country, Scout has two options – believe the doctors who say it’s a pandemic or believe Lil Bit, who says it’s the soul stealers. She chooses her sister and goes looking for the unicorns who are supposed to save them. What she finds aren’t the cute pastel mythical creatures she expects. Battle unicorns are big and tough and full of attitude. Who knew?

Unicorns are real and so are the monsters. Soul stealers are reaping the souls of the innocent, and the unicorns are fighting to stop them. But to save the world, they need the help of humans – the enemy they’re dying to protect. And first to sign up for the fight is the ex-boyfriend Scout’s heart won’t stop loving, no matter how determined she is to hate him.


Excerpt
“Do I have to avoid your rear feet like I do normal horses? Will you randomly get the urge to kick me?” Scout glanced down at Ashra’s giant hooves. They were sharp, unlike regular horse feet. Made to do damage. She remembered watching Torz attack with his hooves the… day? before. Definitely made for doing damage.

“If I want to kick you, it doesn’t matter where you stand,” Ashra said. She unfurled her wing from her side and knocked Scout away from her.

Scout heard Ashra’s snicker in her head, and if horses could grin, Ashra was definitely doing it. “Watch it, you overgrown bird.” Scout eyed her, thinking about shoving her back, but Ashra was huge. It would be like trying to shove a barn over.

“Yeah, that’s what I thought.” Ashra whinnied, an actual horsy sound, throwing her head around and stomping one hoof. Scout was so shocked to hear such an animal-like sound coming from a legendary unicorn that she tripped over her own feet and landed in the dirt.

My Review
5 of 5 stars
I have to be honest...I heard the word "unicorn" and thought "um this book isn't going to be my thing." But, since I'm such a fan of the author's work, I had to give it a read. And...I LOVED IT! I was sucked in immediately and read the entire book in a day. While I've enjoyed all of this author's books, this one is definitely my favorite.

I think what made this story so compelling, in part, is how broken the characters are. Trey and Scout are so completely damaged, and my heart ached for them from page one. Their relationship felt so genuine and real. And what kept them apart felt completely believable as well--not something that could be solved with a conversation. I also fell in love immediately with Lil Bit, and love the relationship she and Scout share.

Kylin is awful, but even then I saw enough glimpses of a softer side that I couldn't hate her completely. And the unicorns were awesome! Now, I by no means claim to be an expert on unicorns, but this was a take on them I'd never seen or heard before.

I really enjoyed the fight scenes in this book. The soul stealers are seriously creepy! Throughout the whole book, I felt like I was actually there, participating in the story instead of just being told about it. I was sucked into the world and the story the entire book. The author left the book on a cliffhanger note that is killing me, and I cannot wait for book two!

I received a free ecopy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


Buy Links
Amazon * B&N * Astraea Press

About the Author
Wendy Knight was born and raised in Utah by a wonderful family who spoiled her rotten because she was the baby. Now she spends her time driving her husband crazy with her many eccentricities (no water after five, terror when faced with a live phone call, etcetera, etcetera). She also enjoys chasing her three adorable kids, playing tennis, watching football, reading, and hiking. Camping is also big: her family is slowly working toward a goal of seeing all the National Parks in the U.S.
You can usually find her with at least one Pepsi nearby, wearing ridiculously high heel for whatever the occasion may be. And if everything works out just right, she will also be writing. 

Social Media Links
website * Goodreads * Amazon author page * Twitter * Facebook

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blog tour hosted by Team Nerd Reviews
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Friday, November 22, 2013

Spotlight: A Fantasy Christmas by Stephanie Fowers, Cindy C. Bennett, and Sherry Gammon



 What do Witches, Elves, and Greek Gods (Oh My) have in common? They are part of the romantic Christmas anthology, A Fantasy Christmas, written by Cindy C Bennett, Stephanie Fowers, and Sherry Gammon






Banished from the South Pole, Kara tries to carve out a new life among the elves of the North. It’s not easy with a secret to protect—a secret she's cursed with by the unusual circumstances of her heritage: half-elf, half-fairy. In the North, she’s assigned to work with Seb on a special project. He's the most gorgeous elf she’s ever seen - and the orneriest. 
As if being banished wasn’t punishment enough. 
Seb introduces her to Trystin, a fairy from the nearby fairy forest. Trystin discerns her secret right away and promises to teach her how to use the powers given to her by the very thing she’s fighting to keep hidden.

Check out Cindy C Bennett's web page for more information on her.


Nothing is simple for Aphrodite’s daughter, especially love. 
Scorned by society in regency England, Affry longs for romance. Upon encountering a dashing nobleman at her aunty's Christmas' ball, Affry gets caught in a lovely intrigue with disastrous results. Worse, she wins the interest of the gods. 

Now the furies of the underworld and Hades himself are after her. When all is fair in war,  Affry must use love as her weapon—but only for the one who’s stolen her heart. 


Check out Stephanie Fowers' web page for more information on her.



Loving Marigold by Sherry Gammon

Author of Unlovable, Unbelievable, Not So Easy and more)


Young Marigold Yarrow has a secret. She’s also in love with Jack Mahoney. In the middle of her ninth grade year, Jack's family up and moves to Port Fare, New York, leaving the small town of Sugar Maple, West Virginia - and Marigold - far behind.

Nine years later Jack and Marigold meet again. They join forces to weed out the shady Abbott boys. The unscrupulous brothers are illegally selling moonshine near her home on Sugar Maple Ridge. And they'll do anything to get Marigold to leave the ridge. Anything. This time it may be magic that tears Jack and Marigold apart.



Purchase A Fantasy Christmas-Click on links:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Smashwords

A Fantasy Christmas blog
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Monday, November 11, 2013

Spotlight: Spy for a Spy by Jordan McCollum

We're celebrating the launch of Spy for a Spy, sequel to I, Spy! Read on to get a cool spy tip for your daily life, free & discounted reads, and enter to win some great prizes! You can also find Spy for a Spy at the special $3.99 launch discount on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and JordanMcCollum.com!

About the Book

Canada is probably the last place you’d expect to find an American spy. And it was the last place CIA operative Talia Reynolds expected to run into fellow operative Brand Copley. AKA her new boss. AKA her ex-boyfriend.
Just the guy every woman wants to face in the middle of planning her wedding. Once again, Talia’s lying to the man she loves, but this time, to protect his heart. After Brand takes over Talia’s latest case and steals her newest agent, he assigns her to spy on her old boss—who’s suddenly giving her every reason not to trust him. With only weeks until the big day, planning falls by the wayside as she goes into damage control mode. But when Talia discovers Brand’s real motives, fighting him is the only option, no matter what the personal and professional cost. More about Spy for a Spy | Add Spy for a Spy to your Goodreads to-read list!

Hone your spy skills

Spy skills can come in handy in the most unusual situations, like this one . . .
Further hone your spy skills by reading Spy for a Spy!

About the author

An award-winning author, Jordan McCollum can’t resist a story where good defeats evil and true love conquers all. In her day job, she coerces people to do things they don’t want to, elicits information and generally manipulates the people she loves most—she’s a mom. Jordan holds a degree in American Studies and Linguistics from Brigham Young University. When she catches a spare minute, her hobbies include reading, knitting and music. She lives with her husband and four children in Utah.

Join the party & enter to win!

As part of the debut of Spy for a Spy, Jordan is co-hosting a launch party with Julie Coulter Bellon, author of Pocket Full of Posies. Join us November 12 on Facebook (Jordan's and Julie's pages) and Twitter (follow Julie and Jordan) for drawings throughout the day, and enter to win more fabulous prizes here!! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Special deals!

Spy for a Spy is a sequel to the novel I, Spy, available for 99¢ at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Jordan's site this week only! To save her country and her secrets, CIA operative Talia Reynolds will have to sacrifice the man she loves. More about I, Spy. Also, as a free gift this week, Jordan is giving out free e-copies of a prequel novella, Mr. Nice Spy, on Amazon and her site!
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Friday, November 8, 2013

Spotlight: Frogs and Toads by Stacy Lynn Carroll

Back Cover Blurb
genre: YA contemporary romance
One kiss can change the future...for better or for worse.

Belle and her cousins have conquered their fears. Now as they navigate their way through the dating world, they start to see a "happily ever after" on the horizon. But when an unexpected school assignment forces them to examine their past, the Princess sisters realize they have a lot of questions about the fathers they've never met. Secrets are revealed, long lost family members are discovered, and now the girls must decide who belongs in their future and who should be kept in the past.

Frogs and Toads is the sequel to The Princess Sisters. 


Author Bio
Stacy Lynn Carroll has always loved telling stories.  She started out at Utah State University where she pursued a degree in English, learned how to western swing, and watched as many of her fellow students became ‘True Aggies’.  She then finished her BA at the University of Utah where she got an emphasis in creative writing.  After college she worked as an administrative assistant, where she continued to write stories for the amusement of her co-workers.  When her first daughter was born, and with the encouragement of a fortune cookie, she quit her job and became a full-time mommy and writer.  She and her husband have three children, two Corgis, and a fish named Don.


Buy Link
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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Book Blitz: Descendant by Nichole Giles


Back Cover Blurb
genre: YA fantasy
Seventeen-year-old Abigail Johnson is Gifted.

Blessed—or cursed—with Sight and Healing, Abby lives an unsettled life, moving from place to place and staying one step ahead of the darkness that hunts her. When she arrives in Jackson, Wyoming, she is desperate to maintain the illusion of normalcy, but she is plagued with visions of past lives mixed with frightening glimpses of her future. Then she meets Kye, a mysterious boy who seems so achingly familiar that Abby is drawn to him like he’s a missing piece of her own soul.


Before Abby can discover the reason for her feelings toward Kye, the darkness catches up to her and she is forced to flee again. But this time she’s not just running. She is fighting back with Kye at her side, and it’s not just Abby’s life at stake.

Excerpt

When I jerk awake, the full moon bounces above the mountains like a bright ball in the darkening sky, gilding the edges of the distant cliffs. Kye rubs my arm and smoothes my hair. “Nightmare?”

Heat creeps up my cheeks as I lift my head to meet his gaze. The tenderness in his expression makes me long to stay right here, wrapped in his arms and staring into the endless pools of blue for the rest of forever.


I tear my eyes away, feeling silly, and glance at his watch. After only an hour, my crush has developed into something far more dangerous. Kye traces circles up and down my arm, and my chest tightens when his hand slides under my chin and tips it up.


A spark of recognition passes between us, something undeniably strong and just as inexplicable, and I can’t look away. Conversations buzz around us, but we float in our own little bubble, focused and unmoving for what feels like eons. Then his hand moves down my arm until our fingers lace together.


He shifts, pulls me closer, his heart beating a quick, irregular thrum under my free hand. In this moment, I want Kye to kiss me in the same way my lungs want oxygen. The wanting makes me tremble from an ache I swear I’ve felt before, but can’t for the life of me remember where or why or with whom. It is that sensation—the not knowing—that pulls me back, sends me scrambling out of his arms.


He keeps a firm hold of my hand, refusing to completely break contact. His thumb caresses the inside of my wrist, sending vibrations of energy to awaken all my senses. It feels as though time is racing,

dragging me along behind it, and I experience a surge of panic. What if my time with Kye is limited?
What if he’s only a temporary part of my life? Will I be gutted when he leaves? I might.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Stay calm. Don’t freak out again. Not here, on the bus. Not in front of

Kye. Not while he’s holding my hand. The warmth from that hand spreads up my arm, keeping me
grounded, and I realize that it is because I’m holding on to Kye that I’m able to find my balance.

“You okay?” His voice is unsteady.


“Okay?” I shake my head. Of course I’m not okay. I’ve completely lost my mind. “You?”


He shakes his head too.


At least I’m not the only one.

Buy Links
Amazon * B&N * Goodreads

About the Author
Nichole Giles had early career plans that included becoming an actress or a rockstar, but she decided instead to have a family and then become a writer.

She was born in Nevada, the oldest of seven—a number which increased to eleven with the addition of four step brothers—and has lived in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and South Texas. 

Her future aspirations include owning a home on a tropical island, even if it's just a vacation home. For now, she plans to travel to as many tropical locations as possible, scouting for her future paradise.

Currently, she lives with her husband, one of her two sons (the other is in college), two daughters, two golden retrievers, and one lucky bunny rabbit.

Writing is her passion, but she also loves to spend time with her family, travel to exotic destinations, drive in the rain with her convertible top down, and play music at full volume so she can sing along.

Social Media Links

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Friday, November 1, 2013

Spirit of Christmas "All I Want for NaNo" BlogHop

It's NaNoWriMo again, the most wonderful time of the year! I did it last year for the first time, and I absolutely loved it! That's when I wrote the bulk of Wishing on Baby Dust. I'm so lucky to have such a supportive husband, who helps me out those days when he gets home from work and I still need to get in my word count. I couldn't do it without him.

This year for NaNo, I'm hoping to finish the entire first draft of Miss Match--about 75k words. Last year I wrote about 58k during November, so that's stepping it up quite a bit! It's an ambitious goal (for me) but I feel confident I can accomplish it if I just stay focused. All I want for NaNo is 1) for my muse to come back so the words come easily, 2) for the twins to take good naps so I have time to write, and 3) to have a completed manuscript come December 1st! (I said completed. Not polished.) I've been struggling a lot with writing lately, and I need all the help I can get.

To celebrate NaNoWriMo, my friend and fellow critique group member David Powers King, along with authors J.A. Bennett, Cassie Mae, Kelley Lynn, and Jessica Salyer, are releasing The Spirit of Christmas: An Anthology. The cool thing is all the proceeds from sales will go to The Office of Letters and Light, an organization that encourages children in literary and writing ventures. David let me beta read his story in the book, and it was excellent! I'm sure the others are just as fantastic, and I can't wait to read them all!

They're doing a blog hop to spread the word, and giving away some awesome prizes. Check out the other participants at the bottom of this post, and sign up if you want to!

Back Cover Blurb
It's the most wonderful time of the year ... but not for everyone. 
Celebrating the holidays isn't easy when your flight is canceled, or when you're working nights at the big box store, or when you're being haunted by the ghost of a deceased brother. These and other stories await five characters whose lives are about to change for the better when they discover The Spirit of Christmas. 
This collection of five novelettes is our way of saying "Thank You" to the people behind nanowrimo.org. Every purchase of this anthology will go toward their ongoing efforts to help writers achieve their goals each year. 

Individual Story Blurbs: 

MUSIC & MISTLETOE: Gentry Knight wants to spend her Christmas vacation with her headphones jammed in her ears and her guitar in hand. Instead, her mother forces her into community service at the Sunny Dale Rehab Center. Just as Gentry is convinced her vacation is ruined, she meets the super hot Luke Freeman. Maybe volunteering isn’t so bad after all. 

A SIMPLE GIFT: Returning from a visit with their father, Grace, and her older sister, Amber, get stuck at the Detroit airport on Christmas Eve. They take a shuttle to a nearby hotel where the guests refuse to let the fact that they’re stranded get them down. An impromptu Christmas Party is thrown, with lights, music and a special gift Grace never expects. 

BROTHER CHRISTMAS: When Christmas time is near, nine-year-old Evan Emerson is the only member of his family who can see his deceased brother, Maverick. But this year, they are both about to discover why--even if it costs Evan his life. 

THE BEST GIFT EVER: When KeLynn’s family is killed in an accident on Christmas day, she’s left alone to pick up the pieces. As the one-year anniversary of their deaths inch closer, it gets harder and harder to live, let alone celebrate Christmas. That is until, the cute geek next door tries to help. The only problem. . .he says he talks to her dead mother. 

FLIRTING WITH THE PHOTO GIRL: Cash is stuck working on Christmas, but he’s not big on the holiday so he doesn’t mind too much, especially since the girl he’s wanted to ask out is also working. But when Tami tells him all the things she’ll miss about the holiday while they’ll be stocking boxes, Cash does what he can to make it special for her, while finding meaning in the season for him. 





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