Promo: Smoke and Mirrors by Jess Haines

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A girl who uses her illusions to fool the world into thinking she’s just like all the other magi.

A dragon who sees through her lies.

Together they just might survive a world that wants to control or destroy them both.

Kimberly may wield ultimate cosmic power, but even a mage has to pay the rent. No one will hire her for her magic talents until she’s got the credentials, so she’s stuck in a crappy rent controlled apartment with her mother, yearning for treats she can’t afford at her part time job in a café, counting down the days until she graduates the secret Blackhollow Academy school for magi. Only then will she have the certificate she needs to land her dream job in a coven.

The problem? She needs a familiar to graduate.

As an illusionist, she doesn’t have the ability to summon or create a familiar of her own. Her only option is to convince a supernatural creature to let her bind it instead. Since having a powerful Other at her beck and call would guarantee her a place in a coven after she graduates—and legendary treasure hoards are an added bonus—she thinks binding a dragon as her familiar will solve all her problems…

Because sometimes a girl needs a dragon, not a knight.

ExcerptViper made a soft hissing sound of irritation between his teeth, pulling back from her. “Cormac has no vision. I know what I want and I’m prepared to offer anything to get it. You have but to ask.”

Well. There was one thing. Her cheeks flared crimson and she squirmed a bit before stuttering out another question, swallowing back her embarrassment.

“You keep a hoard like a dragon, right? I don’t suppose you would consider loaning me a little? I swear I’d pay it back.”

His head tipped to one side, and he looked her up and down anew. She suspected he was just noticing her frayed cuffs and cheap shoes. He’d been so intent on getting whatever it was he wanted out of her that he hadn’t paid attention to the package it came in until now. When she caught the very slight curl of his lip, there and gone in a flash, embarrassed heat filled her cheeks.

Feeling both dirty and humiliated, she ducked her head. “Never mind. I shouldn’t have asked. I’m sorry, I don’t think I can do this.”

“Come now, I’m sure it’s not that hard. All it takes is a yes.”

“No,” she said, this time with a bit more vehemence. Cormac was right. There was something off about Viper, and never mind what a perfect ass she’d just made of herself. Worst of all, that flash of disgust showed he obviously had no respect for her. At least Cormac never made her feel tolerated. “Thank you for the offer, but I’ll find some other way of getting what I need.”

He slowly rose to stand, heaving a sigh as he settled back on his heels.

“That’s unfortunate. This would have been much easier if you had agreed.”

Kimberly would have asked what he meant by that, but the look in his eyes froze her in place.

His eyes burned a molten gold as he spread his arms, which were expanding and shifting at an alarming rate. Faster than she might have thought possible, he was growing, his clothing melting and skin disappearing under a layer of metallic scales. Nearby, people were noticing, shouting and screaming in fear as they stampeded in every direction to escape the shapechanging Other in their midst.

When he ceased growing, from the tip of his nose to the end of his tail, he was over thirty feet long, with a wingspan half again that size.

Kimberly sat immobile, unable to so much as squeak in terror as the beast before her lurched back to arch its neck and spread its wings, barbed tail lashing as it growled at her. One thick, talon-tipped paw lashed out, flattening her on the grass and squeezing the air out of her lungs. It gave an awkward, one-legged hop forward to catch its balance before clenching its claws to dig deep furrows in the grass and close around her waist and legs, pinning her.

Then those wide, ribbed wings began to flap, the sun playing off the tones of brass and copper and gold. The ground fell away, people scattering before the airborne monster.

And Kimberly could do nothing but pray, staring up at this great beast that had her in its claws.

She’d gotten what she’d asked for. Now she would have to pay the price.

authjess hainesWebsite/Amazon/Bookbub/Twitter/Facebook/Pinterest/Tumblr/Goodreads

I’m a displaced New Yorker with a penchant for the silly, the obscure, and the fantastical. These days, you can find me in the Tampa area. I’m currently working on the H&W Investigations urban fantasy series and the Blackhollow Academy young adult/new adult contemporary fantasy series. Find out more about my books, drop me a line, or join my mailing list at http://www.jesshaines.com!

Magical reading, 

Jordan

ARC Review: Demon Dialysis by Jennifer Siddoway

Demon Dialysis - Book OneGoodreads/Amazon

synInspired by the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale, Wynnona Hendricks finds herself caught between the realms of Heaven, Hell, and Earth, fighting for her right to live.

The Demon Lord, Aidan, has activated her latent powers carefully hidden behind a mortal facade and now, she must conquer the Seven Deadly Sins or be sent to Hell herself as one of his minions. The only one who seems to believe in her is Caleb, the angel who chose to spare her life rather than risk the shedding of innocent blood, but by doing so, may have started a war between the factions, throwing the Mortal Realm into mayhem.

Follow Wynn as she fights to protect her family from being ripped apart, including her mother, who isn’t what she seems.

review3.5/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via the author  

Here’s What I Liked:

  • Flawed characters who struggle with temptation, morality, and recognize that good and evil reside in all of us. The fight against their inner demons against all-too-real demonic forces is an uphill battle. Wynn makes mistakes, she fights hard, and is not always successful, that makes her relatable and easy to sympathize with. 
  • The premise is tried and true, but has a special twist. It’s taken a step further than your traditional Heaven vs. Hell trope, adding on a whole world of other paranormal creatures and complexities that blend well in both the para and human worlds. 
  • Aidan is a brilliant take on Lucifer. He’s playful, seductive, and yet, surprisingly helpful. It almost seems like he has a heart buried somewhere deep and dark in his chest. The interactions with Wynn were dangerous, foreboding, and amusing, despite the sense that something terrible would happen. Aidan makes good on horrific threats one second and is sweet the next. You’ll never know if you can trust him. Delightfully complex. 
  • The ending. Epic, in your face, violent and sudden. Seriously brutal. You won’t see it coming and it’s so quick it hits harder. Emotional turmoil extreme. This made me, more than anything else, hunger for the next book. 
  • The deadly sin trials were creative and graphic. You’ll be able to picture everything and they really helped Wynn to grow. 
  • Cover love.

Here’s What I Disliked:

  • The pace. After the initial meeting with Caleb and Aidan, it’s achingly slow at times. The space between the first few chapters, the trials, and that explosive ending drag and you’ll wonder what actually happened in those pages. 
  • Instalove. Wynn’s attraction to Caleb is automatic and understandable. He’s super cute and a sweetheart. Plus, the way he vouches for her, serious knight in shining armor. After that scene and the verdict (purposely vaguebooking to prevent spoilers), they don’t have much interaction and what interaction they do have (up until almost the end of the book with the roof scene) feels like nostalgia or a flashback. It’s a lot of telling, not enough showing. I didn’t experience and live through Wynn’s character because there wasn’t the opportunity, at least romantically. There was more lead up to a romance with Aidan. On top of that, Wynn makes offhand comments about how close she and Caleb are that almost feel like a lie because their interactions weren’t that memorable, were far apart, and short. 
  • At the circle ruling where Wynn meets all the paranormal entities, it’s a rush of information that suckerpunches. All of these details at once were a little overwhelming. There’s one description after another of each of these people without names and then they come in and have names and it’s hard to keep track. The world building is also jam-packed in this tiny section. It would have functioned a bit better and been less intense if it had been more spaced out. 

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

Pleasant reading, 

Jordan

Promo & Sale: Between Heaven and Earth by T.J. Rudolph

ON SALE THROUGH 8/28 FOR JUST $0.99 

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AmazonUK/Amazon/Smashwords/Goodreads

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Damascus Knowles knows that he is heading for trouble the day he falls in love with a human teenager, Amelia Donovan.

As an angel sent to earth as a watchman to protect it from fallen, evil angels; he had broken the most cardinal law – falling in love.

His failed attempts to stay away from her, leads to her finding out what he is, which puts Amelia’s life in danger.

After a brief time together, Damascus’s fears come to pass when higher ranking angels find out what he has done and remove him from the earth without so much as a goodbye; leaving Amelia distraught.

Months later Amelia is seized by one of the rebel angels, who also happen to be Damascus’s former brother Demetrius.

This is a deliberate move by Demetrius to draw Damascus out and he is forced to return to the earth.

When Damascus is back on earth he receives word from his brother who challenges him to a duel.

The stakes, being Amelia’s life, starts a great war between Heaven and Earth.
Damascus and Amelia’s story will continue in the second book of the series, titled Between Angels. Coming soon!

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Magical reading, 

Jordan

 

 

Release Day Blitz & Giveaway: The Vrai Domicile by Courtney Ruggles

thevraidomicile2 copyVrai Domicile book 2 ebookAmazon

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Q437B was ready to die for the Second Revolution. Then she entered the Muertre…

Q and B expected death when the Elders ordered their execution. What they discover instead changes everything they thought they knew about their world. Saved by the mercy of the Elders, they awaken in the Vrai Domicile, a mysterious place hidden below the Sixth Domicile housing hundreds of former rebels.

Except these rebels have been brainwashed, conditioned to be blind followers.

Q quickly learns of the Elders’ new plan for her – she is to become their warrior, to reunite the Vrai and Sixth Domiciles with purity, love, and unwavering faith. But to Q, she’ll be undoing everything she and the rebels fought for.

Now Q and B must fight to survive once more, forced to forge new alliances with strangers who promise nothing is as it seems. But surviving comes with a choice – follow the Elders and quash the Revolution, or defy them and free the people, putting B’s and Grandmother’s lives at risk.

In a place where the fire of rebellion is extinguished at every turn, can Q continue to be the spark that fuels the Revolution?

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Enter to win a swag pack from authors Courtney Ruggles, Heather Hildenbrand, & Jolene Buchheit! Enter before August 29!

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Epic reading, 

Jordan

Review: He Found Me by Whitney Barbetti

he found meGoodreads/Amazon

synWhen I was seventeen, I disappeared. I walked out the door of my apartment with a backpack and never looked back. I left the life of Cora Mitchell behind, seeking freedom from my real-life nightmare. But my freedom came with a cost.

I lived a fictitious life for the next six years, never letting anyone close enough to see underneath the facade that was Andra Walker. I was content with my simple little life.

Until I met Julian.

And the moment I started allowing myself to open up, allowing someone to see through the superficial, was the very same moment the Monster from my past would return to find me.

review

3/5 Stars

PROS:

  • The story starts off strong. It sucks you in and fills you with adrenaline. You are flooded with fear and hope that Andra (Cora) will escape her horrific life of abuse and terror. Each move you wait for the inevitable, the foreboding is INTENSE. I appreciated that the author did not get graphic in the abuse scenes. You know what happened, you live in that anxiety and terror right along with Andra, but without getting into too many details. 
  • Andra has built a new life for herself. She’s haunted by her past, afraid to let anyone in because of her huge secret, but incredibly strong. She’s confident, knows what she wants, and is content with her simple living. She has some truly profound lines that will stick with you: “Lies were not tangible things, but they still made an impact. Once they passed your lips, you couldn’t take them back. They settled in the space that trust was built on, rotting the foundation of the human connection. Stacking lies on top of each other meant adding more rot to what could be something good.” OR “There was a darkness in my soul, abused innocence. My darkness was mine alone to carry; I didn’t want to burden anyone else with it.” Andra appreciates things deeply and is incredibly moved by kindness. She’s got so much love inside her itching to be shared, but she’s scared and understandably so. You’ll cheer her on to a happy ending. 
  • Julian sees Andra as a puzzle he can’t help but want to solve. She’s irresistible, a mystery. She’s refreshing, beautiful, different, and takes everything to heart. The way Julian views Andra is stunning. He’s a great guy. Sweet, playful, and oh so sexy. Together Andra and Julian are HOT. There romantic scenes are full of lusty feelings and deep emotions. It’s about more, but the chemistry-sizzling. BUT seriously TAKES FOREVER. Lots of building.

CONS:

  • Six’s role is one of a fierce protector/occasional mobster. What I didn’t understand and wasn’t explained is if Six is such a grey area sort of guy with guns and networks and everything else, what made Andra’s abuser such a big threat? I mean, the guy didn’t seem super scary from an outsiders prospective. To Andra, who suffered as a young girl, he’s a monster, but why not search for other options besides constantly running?
  • The “twist” was definitely a shock, but Andra’s reaction to it was sort of unbelievable. The feeling of betrayal and pain were there and gone too quick to really even sink in.
  • The pacing was slow after that initial intro. The whole middle section fell into a little monotonous string of everyday life without much happening. The last 1/4 of the book was fast-almost rushed. 

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

Keep reading, 

Jordan

ARC Review: The Boyfriend Bet by Chris Cannon

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Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains multiple PDAs, after-school detentions, and gambling on the side. Warning: betting on a boyfriend is bad for your health.

Zoe Cain knows that Grant Evertide is way out of her league. So naturally, she kisses him. Out of spite. Not only is Grant her brother’s number-one nemesis, but he has zero interest in being tied down to one girl. She’s shocked—and secretly thrilled—when they start spending more time together. Non-exclusively, of course, but that doesn’t mean Zoe can’t change his mind, one PDA and after-school detention at a time.

Zoe’s brother claims Grant is trying to make her his “Ringer,” an oh-so-charming tradition where a popular guy dates a non-popular girl until he hooks up with her, then dumps her. Zoe threatens to neuter Grant with hedge clippers if he’s lying but Grant swears he isn’t trying to trick her. Still, that doesn’t mean Grant is the commitment type—even if winning a bet is on the line.

review

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via Entangled Crush

PROS:

  • Zoe is confident, brave, and a spitfire. She loves baking and shotguns. She lives on a farm, and doesn’t take abuse from anyone. She stands up for herself no matter what and always has a mind of silly revenge. Her voice is strong, she’ll pull you in and make you listen. She’s such a tease, she’s constantly keeping Grant on his toes so that it’s always an adventure. What I adored about Zoe is that she puts herself out there. She wants something and she goes out to get it, with very little thought. She’s a girl of action. That first scene is perfect. But at the same time, Zoe has those pestering thoughts that every girl in a new relationship goes through-am I being too clingy, should I try harder on my look, is he going to judge me for where I live or that I like to crochet? These thoughts can drive a girl wild, they do, and they add a very real uncertainty to Zoe’s character. You see that she’s not always confident and that’s okay.
  • Zoe and Delia are hilarious together. Their friendship is built on artistic ventures, mutual love for pranks, and a fierce sisterhood bond. Their banter is engaging and a wonderful blend of playful and threatening. Their scenes are always special. Sometimes friendship falls to the wayside in contemporaries and you kind of forget about the best friend, but Delia’s presence is bold and brilliant. I’d love to read her book!
  • Aiden and Delia ❤ A true tale of opposites attract. I was crazy invested in their on/off flirting. Other secondary characters were also intriguing. Zoe’s grandma. That woman. She’s funny and feisty. She shoots guns and makes threats. She’s a thunderous little lady. Her scenes, though fairly short are always a laugh and occasionally a bit pervy. 

CONS:

  • This book is SO SHORT. It goes by super fast and suddenly it’s over and you wonder what really happened. It cuts off at a good point, but I was left feeling like it should have been taken a little further, that the story was unfinished and rushed. 
  • There are a whole lot of insulting, sexist male characters and that catty jealous ex. The way Jack treats his sister, that one creeper all over Zoe…ugh. Jack puts Zoe down all the time, and while brothers (trust me, I have one, I know) are a little mean sometimes and say harsh things without really seeing you as a girl, how could he not understand the hurt coming out of his mouth? At least he was somewhat redeemable though. You could feel the sibling love through every barbed word, though it wasn’t exactly healthy. 
  • Grant. I was not sold on him. No way. Sure he’s sexy and knows how to flirt. But depth? Grant sees women one way. He knows what he wants, it’s not serious, and he completely disregards feelings until he’s scrambling to fix it with another ridiculous promise that he may or may not make good on. He does make some concessions and changes, but they’re so miniscule it’s like tiptoeing. Even at the end, I still wasn’t quite sure why Zoe put up with it or what she saw in him. 

auth2085c-chris

Award winning author Chris Cannon lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and her three dogs, Pete the shih tzu who sleeps on her desk while she writes, Molly the ever-shedding yellow lab, and Tyson the sandwich-stealing German Shepherd Beagle. She believes coffee is the Elixir of Life. Most evenings after work, you can find her sucking down caffeine and writing fire-breathing paranormal adventures and snarky contemporary romance.

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

Happy reading, 

Jordan

Release Day Blitz: Unbreakable by Liz Long

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synTrue heroes refuse to be broken.

Nova started the fight against Fortune for simple revenge, but now it’s turned into something much bigger. Arcania’s criminals are at each other’s throats, putting the city right in the middle of a warzone. She’ll have to work with a few unlikely allies to end Fortune’s games once and for all. Nova thought she understood what it meant to be a superhero, but will she have to lose herself to truly defeat Fortune?

Fortune has given Cole a choice, one with unbearable consequences. When Cole takes matters into his own hands to save his sister Penelope, he realizes too late he’s another pawn in Fortune’s games. Fortune will use Cole’s gift against his enemies…including Nova. Cole will have to become the hero he always wanted to be if he’s going to protect the love of his life.

Nova and Cole could finally save Arcania from Fortune’s deadly games, but are they willing to sacrifice each other?

Haven’t Started the Series Yet?HoA Trilogy Release Sale

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Liz Long is a proud graduate of Longwood University. Her inspiration comes from action and thriller genres and she spends entirely too much time watching superhero movies. Her day job includes writing for a magazine publisher in Roanoke, VA.

The Donovan Circus series has best been described as “X-Men meets the circus.” Adult horror story Witch Hearts tells the tale of a serial killer hunting witches for their powers. New Adult PNR A Reaper Made is about a teen Reaper who gets caught between falling in love or saving her sister’s soul. All titles are available for paperback or ebook on Amazon.

To learn more about Liz (including more information on her books, plus writing, marketing, and social media tips), visit her website: http://lizclong.com.

Want to Meet Liz?

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Happy reading, 

Jordan