Cover Reveal& Giveaway: Ghost Files Volume 3-Apryl Baker

THE GHOST FILES SERIES SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE!!

The Ghost Files Volume 3
By Apryl Baker
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One, two, the ghosts are coming for you…
Three, four, better salt your door…
Five, six, death and hatred mix…
Seven, eight, help will come too late…
Nine, ten, never reap again…

Seventeen year old, Mattie Hathaway, has enough on her plate without having to deal with the latest teenage ghost drama. The ghosts of eight murdered girls are out for her blood. They blame Mattie for their deaths. She has to figure out what happened to them before they make sure she ends up just like them…dead and angry.

Not only that, but she has to face the greatest fear of her young life, the death of someone she loves. Can she let nature take its course or will she interfere and cause the balance of life and death to spiral out of control?

She’s out of time, and doesn’t know if she should trust Silas, the demon who has taken a very disturbing interest in her or her father, a man just as evil as Silas. Either way, she has to make a choice. But what will it cost her and those she loves?

Coming June 10, 2014
From Limitless Publishing
Make sure to enter to win an electronic copy of The Ghost Files!

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I’ve always been a little fascinated (obsessed) with ghosts. As soon as a I read that creepy little song in the synopsis, I was sold! Definitely picking up this series AND soon to be made into a movie. Can. Not. Wait.

Happy reading,

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Cover Reveal: Love After Dark-YA Bundle Various Authors

Love After Dark features nine bestselling authors who create worlds and love within them.

Not only will you find love between the pages but new content relating to their fabulous series!

This bundle will include:

Brina Courtney, Ella James, Melissa Andrea, A.O Peart, Alivia Anders, Heather Hildenbrand, Julia Crane, Melissa Pearl and Beth Shelby

Release Date: June 25th, 2014

Reveal by Brina Courtney ( Ignite Novella included )

Connect with Brina Courtney: Facebook & Twitter

Goodreads: http://tinyurl.com/q84wt5q

Shay could be the key to ending a war that humans don’t know exist. Of a race of beings that aren’t real, or are they?

Shay Tafford’s childhood has been fatherless, filled instead with memories of speaking to the dead. She is forced to hide her unique ability from those living around her. That’s why it’s been comforting to have Jeremy, a child ghost, as her confidante. But recently he’s been absent, perhaps lost as her father is. When Shay meets Hugh, the guy she’s had a crush on for weeks, and finds he can speak to ghosts too she’s just starting to find a normalcy in her life.

But as Hugh reveals the truth to Shay, about who she really is and about what it is she can do, he erases all chances she had at a normal existence. Turns out talking to ghosts is just scratching the surface of her genetically engineered gifts. Shay learns she may be part of an age old prophecy that could save the entire race of cryptids. But can she?

Here by Ella James

Connect with Ella James: Facebook & Twitter

Goodreads: http://tinyurl.com/ov2onag

Milo Mitchell’s life used to be charmed, but that was before her family dissolved, she went a little crazy, and her best friends started acting more like strangers. Spending Saturday morning in a treehouse with a stun gun for company and a herd of deer for friends is the only exciting thing in her life…until she shoots a fawn and finds her dart stuck in a guy.

Her gorgeous victim is dressed in a Brioni tux and armed with a hanky. He has no idea who or where he is. Afraid her dart caused his amnesia, Milo takes him in, names him Nick, and vows to help him solve his mystery. Soon the pair find Nick’s face in a newspaper obituary, and Nick beings to have strange, ethereal memories of Milo–who is sure she’s never met him. Suddenly Nick knows things he shouldn’t know and is doing things he shouldn’t do. When the Department of Defense shows up, Nick and Milo run–toward a shocking conclusion that could destroy both their worlds.

Illumine by Alivia Anders

Connect with Alivia Anders: Facebook & Twitter

Goodreads: http://tinyurl.com/oty84fh

For the past five months Essallie Hanley has been trying to forget about the frightening murder of her boyfriend. Haunted by vivid nightmares and hallucinations of the event she does anything she can to pretend she’s like every other normal girl in High School.

Only Essallie is far from normal. Able to conjure blue fire and a shimmering silhouette of wings from her body, she seeks the only known solace left to her name; her first home in Belfast, Maine.

But she soon realizes that her return home is only the beginning of a long and twisted road taking her as far from her humanity as possible, with Kayden, the demon originally summoned to slaughter her, leading the way. Unable to touch her but oddly curious, he joins Essallie in her search to find out just what she is. But neither of them were prepared for the secrets they’ve begun to unravel, secrets that will change Essallie and everyone around her forever.

Flutter by Melissa Andrea

Connect with Melissa Andrea: Facebook & Twitter

Goodreads: http://tinyurl.com/p3664tp

Sara
Sara’s life is forever changed –
Waking up, buried & hidden deeply in the last place anyone would want to be, will do that. She is determined to find out how she ended up there & why, but when the only person who can help her, continuously lies to her, she finds herself forced to suffer alone. She can’t ignore the strange things that begin to happen to her nor can she hide from the nightmares that haunt her sleep. And when her world collides with Adan – the mysterious boy whom she can’t seem to stay away from, literally – she is consumed by the familiar flutter that sparks whenever he is around and she is desperate to discover the reason why.
But the biggest discovery will come from the secret of what she is…

Adan
Adan’s mission to find Sara has finally approached –
It seemed simple: bring her back to the enchanted world that lives, breathes and survives because of her, but he quickly finds himself faced with an entirely new challenge. Immediately, Adan realizes that staying unknown to Sara is a task he will fail before even attempting. The pull to her is far too strong to refuse, and being with her will defy the very reason he existed. He was the key to her survival and loving her was not part of the plan that he had been born to follow. Can he find it in himself too resist the urge to be with her and follow through with their destiny or will he destroy everything that had been left to Sara to protect and defend –
And the kingdom she is unaware she rules…

Flutter
As Sara and Adan struggle to overcome their own separate battles –
There is a far more determined evil that is stalking the shadows and waiting to annihilate them both.
Sara will figure out that not everything is what it seems and knowing what she can and can not trust will be the key to finding out the truth to what happened to her, the reason why she had been buried alive and who she really is…

Sara and Adan will discover the hidden meaning to why she was the reason he existed and why he would be the reason she survived & together they will fight to change the rules and rewrite their fate.

 

Dirty Blood by Heather Hildenbrand

Connect with Heather Hildenbrand: Facebook & Twitter

Goodreads: http://tinyurl.com/pv89z43

I killed a girl last night. I did it with my bare hands and an old piece of pipe I found lying next to the dumpster. But that’s not the part that got me. The part that scared me, the part I can’t seem to wrap my head around and still has me reeling, was that when she charged me, her body shifted – and then she was a wolf. All snapping teeth and extended claws. But by the time I stood over her lifeless body, she was a girl again. That’s about the time I went into shock… And that was the moment he showed up.

Now, all I can do is accept the truths that are staring me in the face. One, Werewolves do exist. And Two, I was born to kill them.

Anna by Julia Crane – Spin off of The Keegan Chronicles

Connect with Julia Crane: Facebook & Twitter

Goodreads: http://tinyurl.com/paggjln

Follow Anna from Keegan’s Chronicles on her own adventure!

Seventeen-year-old Anna is an unskilled, natural witch still seeking a way to access her magick. When she moves to Seattle for college, she encounters two powerful witches who need her as much as she needs them. For the first time, Anna believes she’s found someone who can help her explore her own magick.

Her dream quickly turns into a nightmare.

Creatures of the Light have gone missing, and the witches she admires so well are a part of the mystery.

Before she knows it, Anna is knee deep in the disappearances and trying to forge a relationship with a certain soldier named Tommy, all while trying to find her way. Will she have time to save the creatures of the light or will she become the next victim?

Forged by Greed by A.O. Pert

Connect with A.O. Pert: Facebook

Goodreads: http://tinyurl.com/pzy5dnd

Two Seattle 16-year-olds, Jatred and Jasmira, are not your typical star-crossed lovers. They are not even your typical Shape Shifters. Sure, they try to live an ordinary life. At least, as ordinary as the Prince and the Princess of the rivaling ancient Races–the Winter wolves and the Summer leopards–can live. But eventually they learn that not much about their existence can be normal. Especially when the Races’ two commanding Goddesses are involved.

One of the Goddesses is on a quest to tilt the scale of power to her side. The other will never let it happen, even if it means kicking Jatred and Jasmira’s love to the curb. Nothing is off limits, including removing Jatred’s memories of Jasmira.

To complicate things even more, there are the Universe’s powers to consider. They are trapped in an ancient Amulet in order to protect the stability of the world. But the Universe has a mind of its own, and when the powers are unleashed, the forces of nature are disturbed; earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions shake the Earth. All Shifters of both Races are summoned by their respective Goddesses to fight in the name of, or against, the normalcy of the world.

Set In Stone by Anna Cruise

Connect with Anna Cruise: Facebook & Twitter

Goodreads: http://tinyurl.com/oxz2kek

Fifteen year-old Valerie is used to losing things–she lost her dad to his job ages ago and her best friend moved with no warning…and hasn’t been heard from since. During a weekend camping trip with her emotionally distant parents, she stumbles upon a hidden, mysterious stone and she finds herself desperate to keep it, to possess it. Two strange and beautiful boys have other plans, however. They follow her home–Leo, warm and seductive, who covets the stone and will stop at nothing to get it; and Noel, dark-haired and wise, who pledges to protect her and keep her safe.

As she delves deeper into the magic of the stone and the Celtic lore that surrounds it, Valerie realizes that she’s losing. Again. But this loss might involve more than a magical stone – this time, she just might lose her heart.

Golden Blood by Melissa Pearl

Connect with Melissa Pearl: Facebook Twitter Website

Goodreads: http://tinyurl.com/nfmtxfq

Gemma Hart never knows when her father is going to whisk her back in time. Her toes start tingling and she has a few minutes to find a secret haven where she can disintegrate and appear in another time and place. While “across the line,” her training and skills are put to the test as she completes a mission that will change history for the lucky few her father has selected.

Gemma’s parents are adamant that secrecy is paramount to her family’s safety. If people knew what they were capable of, they could be “used and abused”, as her mother always says. Afraid she might accidentally utter the truth and break the ancient oath of her people, Gemma spends her school days as a loner. Only one thing can throw her sheltered life askew… Harrison Granger.

Harrison never expected to talk to the strange Hart girl, but after a brief encounter he can’t stop thinking about her. He begins a campaign to chisel away her icy veneer and is met with unexpected consequences. As he slowly wins this girl over, he enters a surreal world that has him fighting to keep his newfound love and his life.

I’ve already reviewed 3/9 of this bundle. For my reviews: Dirty BloodHereReveal. I absolutely love all of these series and have continued them. In the next few weeks I will be reviewing the next 2 books from the Dirty Blood series and the sequel to Here.

Happy reading, 

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Review: Dream On-M. Kircher

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Book Title: Dream On

Author Pen Name: M. Kircher

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy Romance

Age Group: Young Adult

Publish Date: April 22, 2014

Cover by Amanda L. Matthews, Am Design Studios

Publisher: Astraea Press

Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble Nook | Smashwords | Kobo

cooltext1544204149 copyLove is dangerous for Emily, even in her dreams.

Seventeen-year-old dreamwalker, Em, might have to choose—leave her mother forever in the dreamworld or save the life of hot, rebel Gabe.

Emily Dal Monte and her mother, Lily, are special. They’re humans with a glitch in their genetic code that allows them to explore the fantastic, and often terrifying, world of their dreams for as long as they choose to remain asleep. But when Em’s father is killed in a tragic accident and her distraught mother loses herself more and more in the dreams of her crumbling mind, Em is forced to support the two of them the only way she knows how, by writing down her mother’s amazing dreams and selling them as books. Enter Gabriel Sobel, the handsome punk newcomer at Em’s high school who realizes Em is the daughter of his favorite, reclusive author. Gabe can’t figure out why Em keeps brushing him off and makes it his mission to find out what’s really going at the Dal Monte household. He stumbles upon their shocking family secret just as Lily takes a turn for the worse. It’s up to Em, Gabe, and one very nosy book editor to hop from one extraordinary dream to the next to find Lily and convince her to wake up before she loses her mind…and before Em loses her first chance at love.

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4/5 Stars

Dream On invites you into a surrealist dreamscape, exploring the deepest facets of the human psyche through the fascinating stories crafted in dreams. Each dream is like a different world, unique, vibrant, and full of psychedelic imagery and twisted nightmares that bring darkest fears to life. At its heart, Dream On is about a mother-daughter relationship that is falling apart at the seams and the lengths we will go to for love. 

PROS:

  • Dream On is a love story tha transcends reality and gains beautiful life in dreams. What is so compelling about this story is that it’s an unconventional love story and is a multifaceted one at that. There are many forms of love within the story, love between a mother and daughter, love between a husband and wife, and the budding romance between two teenagers.
  • Dream On is a whirlwind journey into the purest form of imagination, where mystery, fantasy, and fear collide, and where fairy tales truly exist. Emily, Gabe, and Evan embark on a rescue mission of epic proportions, navigating through the unpredictable and dangerous confines of dreams. The dreams are colorful, inventive, and fantastical presenting a gripping beauty that speaks of whimsy and magic. Even the most intoxicating visions are shadowed by a sense of urgent desperation and disquieting uncertainty. There’s little to no control and time is very limited, increasing the anxiety and thrill of their quest. 
  • There is an element of fear that’s haunting and targeted. The hellish landscapes of some of the dreams tackle phobias and force the characters to face their fears and their demons, growing stronger and more confident as characters. The bloody, disturbing sections are chilling, nightmares are brought to life and add a twisted and sinister vibe to the plot. The idea of being trapped, of dying within a dream is particularly scary.
  • Gabe is an odd character. He’s pushy, honest, and far too inquisitive for his own good. His presence is loud, he firmly inserts himself into Emily’s life and will not back down. His confidence and fascination with story and Emily’s power is kind of adorable. 
  • Gabe and Emily’s interactions are laced with sarcasm and underlying tension. They tease and taunt each other, Gabe is highly amused with Emily is angered by his audacity. They’re both sort of odd, anti-social and independent protagonists that butt heads but complete each other.
  • Emily’s story is fused with resentment and pain. Her loss is twofold, not only did she lose her father physically but lost her mother mentally. She had to make huge sacrifices, shying away from friends to keep her secret, always protecting her mother and never really having a childhood. Emily is crazy strong, she’s focused and determined to succeed and get through life caring for her mother. Because Emily is so steady and solid, when she breaks down it’s emotionally cutting. Her relationship with her mother is so contaminated by the lifestyle she was forced into and how much she’s had to give up but her love for her mother is fierce and worth risking her life for. 

CONS:

  • Lily is an iffy character. She’s so consumed by her grief that she’s willing to sacrifice her relationship with her daughter and her life as she knows it to live in a fantasy realm where her dead husband is alive in her mind. Lily is blinded, completely and utterly driven by the need to be in the dream world. She ignores everything else, she won’t hear reason, and even when Emily is pouring her heart out, confessing the hurt and betrayal she feels by her mother’s abandonment, she zones out, uncaring and oblivious. Because the story is through Emily’s eyes, her pain is so achingly real and raw that Lily’s actions are infuriating, thoughtless, and make you hate her a little. At the same time, Lily is almost child-like in her grief. She’s fragile and broken, her heart’s shattered and she doesn’t know how to cope or move on with her life because her love was so passionate. It’s heartbreaking. The love she felt was so woven into who she was as a person that when it was lost, she started to unravel mentally and emotionally. Lily inspires compassion and envy simultaneously. That kind of love is part of the soul and without it, you can hardly blame her for being unable to function. But this does not make her neglect anywhere near okay.
  • The insertion of the lit agent/editor as a threat and major character felt a bit random. The scenes at the school were also kind of unnecessary, especially the role of the popular, snobby girl. It felt a little like filler.

 

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Tiny shafts of sunlight stream down from the treetops above us, forming small rings that illuminate the red pine-covered ground below. It’s weird how quiet it is here. There are none of the sounds you’d normally associate with a forest, like the scurrying tread of small animals or the soft breeze rustling through the trees. Everything is completely still.

I rest my forehead against the warm bark of the tree and try to calm my racing thoughts. How do I get us out of this mess? Mom and Evan aren’t here with Gabe and me. At least, as far as I can tell, they aren’t here, and we don’t have any time to find them. Evan and Gabe need to wake up now, or they could die. It’s so simple, yet so complicated. Do I save Gabe’s life? Or do I continue to risk killing him and try to save everyone? If I pull Gabe out, I could risk losing both Mom and Evan inside this dream. I have no idea if Mom’s recognition of me was a moment’s clarity, or something more lasting. I might never be able to locate her and Evan again.

A sob rises in my throat. I can’t help it. I’m so tired and overwhelmed, and we’re all so deeply in trouble. Despite my best efforts, the sob escapes, and then I can’t seem to stop another one from bursting out of my mouth. And then another one. Huge, wrenching cries tear through me, and I double over, my face in my hands, as the tears stream through my fingertips.

It’s all just too much.

I hear Gabe come to stand beside me, and before I can protest, he draws me back into his arms. I can’t seem to stop crying. I’m so embarrassed, but I just can’t stop.

His rough fingers catch the bottom of my chin, and slowly he tilts my face up toward his, so we’re gazing into each other’s eyes. My breath hitches, and it’s not just from all the crying.

“I’m sorry, Em,” Gabe whispers, his soft words loud in the silence surrounding us. “But there’s no one I’d rather be with right now than you.”

Guest Post # 3: 5 Tips for Becoming a Better Writer 

  1. Be ready to learn – Every writer wants a long and successful career, and one of the key components to longevity is the ability to take in constructive criticism. Don’t hold your work too dearly; figure out ways to improve it and try out different techniques in order to grow your talent. Listen to your beta readers when they give you feedback. Listen to those readers who post reviews, both good and bad—sometimes bad reviews can teach you the most!
  2. Treat people with respect – When receiving any kind of feedback or dealing with other writers and readers, make sure you treat them with kindness and respect. You might be bristling from a nasty comment, but nothing is classier than a proper, “Thank you so much for your opinion. I really value your input.” Readers and bloggers really care about their fiction and it behooves you as a writer to listen to them with grace and aplomb.
  3. Always read the guidelines– I can’t tell you how many times I’ve hit the “submit” button and then realized I formatted a query exactly how an agent or publisher requested not to! So now I’m a complete fiend about reading submission guidelines thoroughly. It just makes sense to follow an agent’s rules when asking them to read your work.
  4. Meet your deadlines – If a blogger asks you for your press kit by Friday at noon, make sure it’s in their Inbox by Friday at noon. This is so simple, but I can’t tell you how many compliments I’ve gotten simply because I turn my work in on time.
  5. Marketing is the other part of the writing gig – Whether you sign with a huge publishing house, an indie, or you decide to self-publish, consider marketing something you must address every work day. Keep up on your social media accounts, continue making new review requests for at least a year after your book is released, try purchasing ads through different sites, and listing your book in as many places as you can.

Guest Post # 6: Five Words to describe Dream On

  1. FantasticalEm and her mother Lily are dreamwalkers, people with a glitch in their DNA who have the power to control their dreams and stay asleep for as long as they desire. Em, Lily, Gabe, and Evan (the main characters in the story) spend a good deal of their time hopping from one fantastical dream to the next. They explore worlds that are completely white, with ghost-filled castles and curious owls, desert marketplaces run by monsters, rooms that explode into swarms of bees, deep caves made entirely of diamonds and abandoned tunnels with giant snakes. Some of the dreams are fantasies and some are nightmares…now all they have to do is figure a way out!
  1. FragileTo the rest of the world, Emily Dal Monte appears to be a strong teenage girl. After all, she’s had to take care of herself and half-insane mother since she was twelve years old. It isn’t until Gabe comes into Em’s life, and discovers that she’s a dreamwalker, that Em begins to realize how hurt and angry she really is. Gabe helps Em to let her guard down and begin to repair her relationship with her even more fragile mother, Lily. But will Lily find the strength to put herself back together and save them all?
  1. Passion Em and Gabe start out having a tempestuous relationship. He invades her privacy and learns her closely guarded secret and she can’t stand how arrogant he is—and how much his good looks make her go all fluttery inside. But as a serious of dangerous events unfold; Em and Gabe discover a fiery love that only death has the power to quench.
  1. TerrorA nightmare is something most of us of try to forget, but for Em, nightmares are a way of life. Sure, she can control how long she stays in the dreamworld, but she must first complete whatever dream she’s in so that she can leave. So if Em falls asleep and finds herself face-to-face with her dead father and a mother who’s trying to drown her, she must suffer through every terrifying second until it’s time to wake up.
  1. VibrantThe dreamworld enhances a person’s senses. Food tastes richer, smells are more intoxicating, colors are so bright that they sometimes hurt your eyes. Dreams can be so sharply beautiful you almost want to stay in them forever, but what if their vibrancy made you forget about your life out in the real world?

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M. KIRCHER graduated with a B.A. in Fine Arts from Gordon College. She devours YA, science fiction, fantasy, and romance on a regular basis and is immensely happy to pour her time and energy into creating stories for other people to enjoy. Bob Ross and J.R.R. Tolkien tie for her two favorite people of all time.

M. Kircher lives in Connecticut with her husband, energetic son, and new baby girl.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon Author Profile | Wattpad

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$25.00 Amazon Gift Card

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Pleasant reading,

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Release Day Blitz & Giveaway: Tempted by Brandi Leigh Hall

 

#2 in The BirthRight Series
Out Now!

What if the very thing to save you—is the one thing beyond your reach?

Torn between the two men who have fallen for her–and the evil who wants to possess her–twenty-year-old Chloe Bishop can no longer remember the fatal vision which threatens her future happiness. But when the magical link is severed between Chloe and her Wiccan family, they must find a way to save her before temptation leads her into darkness—-and into the welcoming arms of Mr. Wrong.

A Sweet Upper YA / NA Paranormal Romance, perfect for fans of CHARMED!

CONTENT RATING: (PG 13)
No sex, passionate kissing, moderate swearing

Purchase Tempted for just 99 cents during release week!

Haven’t read book #1- Tethered? Snag it today!

No matter how you try to fight it—Destiny has a mind of its own!

Returning home to her Wiccan roots wasn’t quite what nineteen-year-old Chloe Bishop had in mind for summer break. But when fate makes other plans, Chloe is forced to face her unwanted magical abilities—the destiny she never knew existed—and the handsome stranger who is somehow tethered to both.

Purchase on Tethered on:

Amazon Barnes & Noble IBooks Kobo

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Prizes
2 Signed Paperback copies of Tethered and swag ( US Only )
2 Ebook copies of Tethered ( International )

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Brandi lives in central Pennsylvania with her fur-ball cats (Onyx and Klepto), where she spends most of her time attached to her laptops, reading books, appeasing her sweet tooth, and watching TV for motivation.

Growing up in a haunted house inspired Brandi’s fascination with the paranormal, so it only made sense that she’d write Urban Fantasy books for both teens and adults.

Brandi hasn’t been lucky enough to meet her soul mate (yet), so she writes paranormal tales of those who have. Her stories combine magical elements with real-life issues, strong female characters, semi-old fashioned men and family values, woven together and told from an emotional, first-person perspective. She enjoys writing sweet stories that teach girls it’s okay to speak your mind and be independent, career-driven, and not worry about fitting in to society’s mold.

In addition to the BirthRight Novels, she also has four additional adventures she’ll be writing over the next few years, so stay-tuned.
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This series is right up my alley. Added to my TBR. You can get both books in this series for less than $2. It’s a steal.
Happy reading, 
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Release Day Blitz & Giveaway: Crane by Stacey Rourke

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CraneGoodreads/Amazon/Smashwords/Barnes & Noble

Crane by Stacey Rourke Publication date: May 26th 2014 Genres: New Adult, Paranormal

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The Horseman is unending, his presence shan’t lessen. If you break the curse, you become the legend.

Washington Irving and Rip Van Winkle had no choice but to cover up the deadly truth behind Ichabod Crane’s disappearance. Centuries later, a Crane returns to Sleepy Hollow awakening macabre secrets once believed to be buried deep. What if the monster that spawned the legend lived within you? Now, Ireland Crane, reeling from a break-up and seeking a fresh start, must rely on the newly awakened Rip Van Winkle to discover the key to channeling the darkness swirling within her. Bodies are piling high and Ireland is the only one that can save Sleepy Hollow by embracing her own damning curse. But is anyone truly safe when the Horseman rides? cooltext1543398187 copy

Stacey-2Website/Blog/Facebook/Twitter

RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012 Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013

Stacey Rourke lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant, dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head. Mark your calendars! Her latest literary adventure, Crane, will release May 26, 2014. She is currently hard at work on the continuations of this thrilling Legends Saga, as well as other literary projects. cooltext1543397102 copy “Tonight was meant to be the Harvest Ball,” Katrina said as she slid between the folds of her crimson and taupe gown. “Now the town is meeting, trying to concoct a plan to stop a being that death itself couldn’t tame.” Ichabod sat on the edge of the bed with his back, respectfully, to Katrina while she changed. His loaded musket lay across his lap. In the reflection of the window in front of him he could see the soft curve of her hips as they tapered into her narrow waist. He cleared his throat and shifted his gaze to the floor. His chin tipped to the side, ever so slightly, to ask, “Are you secure in our plan?” “I am to attend the summit on the arm of Brom Van Brunt,” she reaffirmed as she pulled her long, blonde locks out from the back of her gown and began tightening the laces of her bodice. “Then speak with as many people as I can, searching for anyone that may have motives leading to the Horseman.” Ichabod nodded. Mostly to himself, he muttered the remaining details they were depending upon, “Rip will be inside as well. That man can finesse a crowd with a skill that truly baffles. If there are secrets to be found, he will uncover them. Irv will be outside with me, primarily because the Horseman isn’t the only one in this town that would like to see his head on a spike. We will be on horseback, patrolling the grounds with a few other men that have volunteered. You will have nothing to fear.” Her elegant gown in place, Katrina turned to Ichabod wearing an expression equal parts timidity and fear. “What of Brom?” The bed squeaked as Ichabod shifted his weight to face her. “Boorish as his ways may be, he cares for you. If you adopt the guise that you have interest in him, he will do all he can to protect you inside the gathering, while I provide you the same service outside.” “And,” her long lashes brushed the tops of her cheeks as she cast her gaze to the floor, “you aren’t bothered by me being on his arm?” In the midst of the plotting and planning, Ichabod had slipped into the role he knew well of military strategist. He had detached himself from the emotional aspects—until that very moment. The reality of his request sank in like a heavy stone. He had asked her to take another man’s arm, asserting her place beside him. The implications of that dug into his gut like a dull blade, churning and twisting deep. “The mere idea of that makes me ache,” he stated, forcing the words through his suddenly parched throat. “Yet I would endure this hardship, and countless others, to keep you safe.” She moistened her lips with a flick of her tongue, seemingly wrestling with words that gave her pause. “Ichabod, when this is over … w-would you call yourself mine?” Ichabod closed his eyes. The euphoria of that question washed over him, cleansing him of all his sins with the promise of tomorrow. Rising to his feet, he took her velvet soft hand in his. A love he hadn’t known possible illuminated her striking face. “From the moment I saw you, my heart belonged to you alone. If by some miracle you were to give me your love in return, I would need nothing else to sustain me the rest of my days.” Katrina’s palm tenderly brushed his cheek. “You have already claimed that.” Allowing no further hesitation, Ichabod gathered her in his arms. Katrina tipped her head back, the soft curves of her body molding to his. Full lips parted in an alluring invitation it would take a stronger man than him to resist.   cooltext1578446000 copy Free Clipart Illustrations at http://www.ClipartOf.com/

Blitz-wide giveaway Prizes – (prize 1 & 2 are open to US only): 1) Kindle with a ton of eBooks 2) Crane duffle bag filled with signed copies of each of Stacey’s books 3) 10$ Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Additionally, I’m giving away an e-copy of Crane over on the FB blog page. All you have to do is leave a like or comment and you’re entered! FB Page

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I love Sleepy Hollow, it’s so dark and mysterious. I have an eARC of Crane but am participating in a blog tour for the book, expect my review sometime in June 🙂 

Happy reading, 

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ARC Review: Dollhouse-Anya Allyn

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4/5 Stars

Release Date: May 20, 2014

***I received this eARC in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley and The Studio, a Paper Lantern Lit imprint.

Dollhouse is a sinister and twisted read that will haunt your dreams and star in your nightmares. It’s a surrealist funhouse, complete with humans used like marionettes, gigantic, vicious dolls, and a carnivalesque sense of the magical and unreal. Dollhouse is the sort of book that compels you to sleep with the lights on and mistrust the shadows, to dart your eyes around the room, suddenly suspicious and uncertain of your surroundings. Eerie, mysterious, and creepy at its core, Dollhouse is horror at its finest.

Sometimes I wished I could stare down the tube of a kaleidoscope and rearrange the pieces of Ethan and me, and out of every future possibility, find a pattern-a world-in which we fit together.

***

And just like that, the fear that I had always carried with me, that blind terror of darkness, began to bleed away. There were worse things-things thousands of times worse-than darkness. There was being a small child on a dark road, in the grip of a terrifying accident. There was the loss of someone I had loved-a loss so total, I couldn’t even remember it.

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Dress-up turns deadly. . .

When Cassie’s best friend, Aisha, disappears during a school hike, Cassie sets off with Aisha’s boyfriend Ethan and their best friend Lacey, determined to find her. But the mist-enshrouded mountains hold many secrets, and what the three teens discover is far more disturbing than any of them imagined: beneath a rundown mansion in the woods lies an underground cavern full of life-size toys and kidnapped girls forced to dress as dolls.

Even as Cassie desperately tries to escape the Dollhouse, she finds herself torn between her forbidden feelings for Ethan, and her intense, instinctive attraction to The Provider, a man Cassie swears she has known before…

Because Cassie’s capture wasn’t accidental, and the Dollhouse is more than just a prison where her deepest fears come true—it’s a portal for the powers of darkness. And Cassie may be the only one who can stop it.

-via Goodreads


***The Goodreads blurb is a little exaggerated  and not entirely correct. 

While hiking in the woods for a school project, Cassie, Ethan, Aisha, and Lacey never expected that one of them would end up missing. Desperate to capture artistic pictures worthy of acclaim for their assignment, Aisha pushes forward into the woods, off the familiar path, and into the unknown followed wearily by her friends. The teens stumble upon a gigantic mansion, nestled snuggly in the middle of the woods. Cassie is struck by chilling déjà vu. She’s seen this mansion before but has never been to the woods. Disturbed and unsettled by the way the darkness seems to cling to the walls, Cassie begs her friends to cut their exploration short and head back towards the path. Before they know it, bickering turns into full on accusations about the glances between Cassie and Ethan and Aisha runs away from the group, angry and upset. When Ethan goes after her, he comes back after a while with no clue where she disappeared to. Distraught, the rest of the group screams for Aisha but only silence answers back. 

Weeks pass, Cassie, Lacey, and Ethan attempt to lead normal lives but are constantly accosted by stares and whispers in the hallways. Unable to cope, as the days pass by, Cassie and her friends embark on a rescue mission, searching the woods one last time, hoping to find something the cops might have missed. Thoughts keep returning to the mansion and as the teens retrace their steps, they become convinced that something isn’t right about that place and that clues about Aisha’s disappearance might just be inside.

Curious and perturbed, the teens inspect the mansion and quickly discover that nothing is quite what it seems. Hidden doorways, unexplainable movements, and stairways that descend deep underground bewilder and shock the teens. When they find one of Aisha’s belongings, they muster up the courage to dig deeper, sure that somewhere within this labyrinth of a house, Aisha is cold, alone, lost, and scared. They never imagined that the truth was something far more insidious.

LIfe sized dolls act as wardens of a horrendous prison. Trapped and half crazed, Cassie and co. must pretend to submit, giving in to the insane whims of a fanatical girl with superhuman powers, or else face certain punishment. Secrets so vile and twisted destroy all hope as the situation gets more and more dire. With no escape in sight and talk of a mysterious Provider, Cassie must scramble to save her friends, uncover the truth, and beat their captors at their own game before it’s too late.

PROS:

  • The story is downright spooky. The descriptions are a perfect blend of macabre and perversion. They get under your skin. The sheer ingenuity and repulsive attributes of this surreal and bizarre Dollhouse are meticulous. Anya Allyn takes the most innocent of toys and turns them into sadistic tools of madness and suffering. You will never look at teddy bears, dolls, or clowns the same again.
  • A twist so mind-blowing you’ll have to do a double take of the big reveal to make sure you read it right.
  • The ending breaks and mangles emotions as a gut wrenching and explosive decision results in unprecedented and overwhelming loss. The feels consume and strangle, eating away at any residual hope for a happy ending.
  • Jessamine is terrifying. Her quiet control is sociopathic and possessive to the point of insanity. She’s more than unhinged she’s suffocating. Her desperation to love and keep order, her inability to feel true emotions, and her off way of speaking adds an ominous vibe to the story. Her connection to the dolls as mistress, her insistence on keeping up appearances, force feeding, and psychologically damning punishments are enough to shake anyone. Her excursions into the unknown, random appearances, and secrecy enforce this idea of the unexpected, any minute she can pop up from the shadows, ever watchful, ever waiting.
  • The story of the house is an elaborate concoction that combines magic, murder, mythology, and a little circus freak action. The combination is an uncanny and obtuse riddle that is hard to decipher and heightens the overall anticipation and thrill of discovery.
  • The “dolls” are beautifully crafted glimpses into the human psyche. Each girl is unique, bringing something power and heartbreaking to the story. Their imprisonment, the loss of their childhood, and their collapse into themselves is achingly sad.
  • Ethan is a mystifying character. Constantly cryptic and eager to hide his inner most thoughts, you never know if he can be trusted or what he’s truly feeling. Plus there’s a sneaking suspicion that somehow he’s instrumental to their abduction and a piece of the puzzle that sheds light on their captor’s intentions. Ethan is what you would call smudgy, the kind of character that’s cloaked in darkness and ambivalence.
  • Cassie is an honest, thoughtful girl who fights hard to solve what seems like impossible problems. Despite disgusting treatment by her friend, she’s forgiving, open-hearted, and never gives in, through the darkness she’s always searching for light. As a protagonist, Cassie is crafted and real, she speaks her mind and sorts out her feelings while staying focused on the ultimate goal, escape. What’s more striking is how she overcomes her fears and learns about herself.
  • The carnival scenes, the masquerade, and the peculiar role of the adults reads like a disquieting game of hide and seek where those who are caught will suffer a fate worse than death. The grotesque sexuality and stomach-turning interactions at the feast make skin crawl and induce shudders. There’s something Bacchanalian and ritualistic that serves as a turning point in the plot, where darkness starts to win out.

CONS:

  • The final scene feels random and rushed, while it does connect to parts of the plot, it felt like there were many loose ends and subplots left unexplored.
  • The story starts out a bit slow and some sections drag but the thirst for answers pushes the plot forward.

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Happy reading, 

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Spotlight on Brina Courtney

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Brina Courtney is a young adult author obsessed with chocolate, crime shows, and fantasy movies. She’s spent the last few years as an elementary teacher and a high school cheering coach. She lives in a small town in Pennsylvania with her husband and two very loud, small dogs. You can find her on her website, http://brinacourtney.blogspot.com/ or on Twitter, @brinacourtney.

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***Reveal is currently free on all platforms. Pick up your copy today!***

Shay could be the key to ending a war that humans don’t know exist. Of a race of beings that aren’t real, or are they?

Shay Tafford’s childhood has been fatherless, filled instead with memories of speaking to the dead. She is forced to hide her unique ability from those living around her. That’s why it’s been comforting to have Jeremy, a child ghost, as her confidante. But recently he’s been absent, perhaps lost as her father is. When Shay meets Hugh, the guy she’s had a crush on for weeks, and finds he can speak to ghosts too she’s just starting to find a normalcy in her life.

But as Hugh reveals the truth to Shay, about who she really is and about what it is she can do, he erases all chances she had at a normal existence. Turns out talking to ghosts is just scratching the surface of her genetically engineered gifts. Shay learns she may be part of an age old prophecy that could save the entire race of cryptids. But can she?

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One moment can change your life.
One moment to find love.
One moment to lose it.

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Sometimes Dallas gets drunk and doesn’t remember what she did last night. Sometimes she loses friends. Sometimes her mom’s boyfriend beats her until she can’t walk. Sometimes her life sucks, but sometimes it’s beautiful. When Dallas dances her world is her own and she can make it what she wants it to be, she can escape her otherwise horrible life. Dallas now must overcome her past to give herself a future at the Allenwood Academy of Dance in Cape Haven, CT. When her feet are bleeding and her heart is breaking, Dallas must find the strength to go on.

“You only get one shot in the dance world and you have to be strong enough to take it.”
“If I don’t dance, I will die.”

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Promises are made to be kept, never stolen. But that’s exactly what happened to Victoria Blane and Levi Manor. Tragedy strikes their perfect relationship leaving Victoria struggling to overcome the darkness that threatens to bury her.

With Victoria’s life in tatters she decides that running away is easier than dealing with her troubles. But when a friend finds her on the floor in her kitchen, she knows it’s time for a change.

Brighton Hanley knows what it’s like to lose someone. He knows what it’s like to be haunted by things that can never change. When he meets Victoria he recognizes the pain she’s trying to bury deep in her eyes. He knows she’s trying to run away, but he also knows that you can’t run forever.

Victoria is drawn to Brighton in ways she never expected. He becomes her champion, her life line… her sunshine in the darkness. But is Victoria ready to let go of the past and grab on to her future? Or will she run away from Brighton before she can be hurt again?

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Discoveries can be dangerous. Discoveries can be deadly.

Nine months ago, Teagan Matthews’ boyfriend disappeared and took her sense of stability with him. But when the opportunity to live with her aging grandmother in Salem arises, she decides it’s time to get on with her life. A new home, new job, and new friends are adding up to a beautiful summer…

…until a young girl’s body shows up one night in town, wearing a pentagram necklace exactly like Teagan’s.

Now a guy looking remarkably like her missing boyfriend has arrived in Salem along with a mysterious stranger who may have some answers that Teagan has desperately been searching for. Teagan must now decide who to trust. It’s a matter of life… and her death.

*This book was previously published as Summer in Salem. The book has gone through major re-edits and a changed plot line.*

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Discovery is already in my TBR pile as are the rest of the Cryptid series. 

Happy reading weekend,

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