Guest Post: Operation Child Soldier by Jaci Wheeler

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I was trained from birth to be the best Agent possible. Growing up in a Military Training Academy for unwanted children has its perks. I might not have ever been to a dance but I am a sharp shooter, master at hand to hand combat and best hacker the Academy has ever seen. I trained my whole life to pass the final and become an Elite agent. The only problem? My entire life has been a lie. My father is a monster and I’ve been trained to kill monsters.

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I’ve had a few people ask how on earth I came up with the concept for Operation Child Soldier. I must admit, child assassins do sound a bit extreme but I had stumbled upon on article one day, I can’t even remember where to be honest, and it was talking about how more countries, especially Middle Eastern countries were starting to train women and children to become assassins. I had just watched a movie with my husband that focused on foster care and how horrible some of these homes are and how some kids rather live on the street than end up in foster care and somehow everything just clicked.

I love having strong female leads and Aria just started unfolding before my eyes. I didn’t even outline, I just grabbed my phone and started dictating the entire story to my notes. The idea that training women and children is actually happening and that these other countries are finding success really helped to unlock my imagination. My dream has always been to own an orphanage and to have a safe place for children to come. I guess you can say I merged the two together, and even though the Academy in this first book isn’t what my dream was…it just might end up that way, you will have to read book two to find out.

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Jaci Wheeler lives in the Central Valley of California with her husband and two precious kids.

Her love of literature began in Jr. High when she was introduced to Lowis Lowry’s books. Since then she has had a passion for writing Young Adult books, and creating strong female leads. When she’s not writing, she is advocating for Autism Awareness and involved in the deaf community.

Her favorite things to do are play with her children, craft with her friends, sleep while her husband watches movies and indulge in her favorite addictions: Coffee, candy and shoes.

Epic reading,

Jordan

 

Release Blitz & Giveaway: Solstice by Braxton A. Cosby

synWhat You Believe, Can Destroy You!
             William and Sydney have sacrificed everything to fortify their love, so much so that William dares to brave the depths of space to find a cure for their deadly Supernova bond, leaving both her and Earth vulnerable to Torrian Alliance attack. But with a full scale rebellion in play on Fabricius, the reality of Sydney’s execution from Torrian hands is diminished, only eclipsed by the certainty of a more threats – The Third Faction and The Dagmas Clan – lead by Dominic and his insurgent recruits.
             With overwhelming odds mounting against them, William makes a desperate attempt to find the last of the endangered Star-children only to be captured by a new menace, where he is forced to compete in the dreaded Gauntlet of sport. Allies surge to free Fabricius, seeking alliances across the galaxy while Sydney tries to keep her identity hidden and trains to master the third phase of her Star-child evolution: Solstice.
             With Sarah’s mysterious return home with clues to unlock the future, Noella’s training and Bill’s symbiotic development hope is restored, but will it be enough to unite the galaxy and destroy evil for once and for all?
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Multi-Award Winning and #1 Amazon Bestselling author Braxton A. Cosby is a dreamer who transitioned his ideas on pen and paper to pixels and keyboards. He tells stories that evoke emotions and stimulate thought. PROTOSTAR: BOOK 1 OF THE STARCROSSED SAGA and THE SECT: THE WINDGATE are currently Young Adult/New Adult series he created. He has written over 10 novels, including his new Superhero adventure book, THE CAPE is book three of the Dark Spores Series. He lives in Georgia with his amazing wife and a highly energetic Morkie named StarKozy.
giveawayEnter for your chance to win audio copies of books 1 &2 and an ebook copy 
Exciting reading, 
Jordan

Release Day Blitz & Giveaway: Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin

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Pub. Date: November 1, 2016

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Format: Hardcover, paperback, eBook

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The action-packed, thrilling sequel to Ryan Graudin’s Wolf by Wolf.

There would be blood.

Blood for blood.

Blood to pay.

An entire world of it.

For the resistance in 1950s Germany, the war may be over, but the fight has just begun.

Death camp survivor Yael, who has the power to skinshift, is on the run: the world has just seen her shoot and kill Hitler. But the truth of what happened is far more complicated, and its consequences are deadly. Yael and her unlikely comrades dive into enemy territory to try to turn the tide against the New Order, and there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost.

But dark secrets reveal dark truths, and one question hangs over them all: how far can you go for the ones you love?

This gripping, thought-provoking sequel to Wolf by Wolf will grab readers by the throat with its cinematic writing, fast-paced action, and relentless twists.

bfb-preorderauthor4fa9e-ryanWebsite | Twitter |Tumblr | Goodreads | Pinterest | Blog

Ryan Graudin grew up in Charleston and graduated from the College of Charleston with a degree in Creative Writing in 2009. She is the author of All That Glows and The Walled City. She resides near Charleston with her husband and wolf-dog. You can find her online at http://www.ryangraudin.com.

Review of Wolf by Wolf 

***FIVE STARS***

From the first page, Wolf by Wolf is an addictive, compelling, whirlwind of a story. The history nerd in me reached Nirvana. Wolf by Wolf is one of the best books I’ve read, and those of you who follow know that I read hundreds a year. From the sweeping historical rewrite to the adrenaline rush of the motorcycle race that spans continents, Wolf by Wolf has something for everyone and will leave you with an unshakeable book hangover. 

PROS:

  • The opening page. There’s beauty in simplicity. Ryan Graudin jam packs so much into short, compiled sentences that each word hits like a sucker punch. I fell in reader and writer love with that first paragraph and immediately knew that this book would be one of the greats. 
  • Yael is as fierce, brave, and calculated as the wolves she has inked on her body. The trauma and pain she has suffered seems insurmountable but we learn that through memory and determination that we can overcome even the most horrific of pasts. Yael’s time in the camp, the incredible losses she’s went through, everything is ingrained into her very soul and marked on her body, she’ll never forget and it’s through these reminders that she finds the courage and strength to rebel and take on a task more risky than any other. Yael doesn’t let any setbacks break her down, she’s come so far and has been broken but never beaten. She is a lesson in inner strength and perseverance. 
  • The historical rewrite is ingenious, mainly because it could have been. So many elements of the story are bold and brutal, historically on target and put you right in the mad frenzy that was Hitler’s reign. The policing, the camps, the politics, and the terrifying roots of Hitler Youth become a stark reality that is much more real than what you read in history books. One of the sentiments that stayed with me from this story is the coldness of historical memory, the need to reduce people down to numbers so much that we forget the individual. Through Yael, you see every person, every memory, present and memorialized in her tattoos. 
  • Each character, no matter how small, leaves an impression and has their own unique background. The stories of the wolves added levels to Yael’s character, you see how she was built through her union with others and how their experiences changed her life. 
  • THE moment. The critical seconds when Yael meets Hitler face to face. My heart stopped. The anticipation built into an overwhelming and all-consuming beast of anxiety. The emotion is astounding and poignant, every memory, every ounce of pain culminates in a few short seconds.
  • Motorcycles, nefarious tactics, and honor all reign supreme during the Axis Tour. It’s not simply a race but a legacy of political propaganda and competition. The race is full of perilous terrain, vindictive components, and deadly situations. Though it’s stressful and in some part horrifying, there are scenes on the road that are light and playful, it’s a nice balance. 

CONS:

  • The twist was sort of predictable for me but the sheer rush of the scene itself more than made up for it. Even when you know what’s coming, the actual occurrence is more fierce and tense than you could ever imagine.

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Enter for your chance to win a finished copy of WOLF BY WOLF, US Only. (5) winners!

Ends on November 15th at Midnight EST!

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Intense reading, 

Jordan

ARC Review & Release Day Blitz: Supernova by Liz Long

SuperNova (1)HOA_FINAL-ebooksmAmazon/Goodreads

synThe streets of Arcania are overrun with crime, deteriorating as a madman named Fortune makes himself at home. He shows no mercy, striking down anyone in his path – including Nova Benson’s little sister. Devastated, Nova vows to seek justice for her family, but aside from her freak strength and impenetrable skin, how is she supposed to stop a monster like Fortune?

Cole Warner wants to help people. Entrusted to keep his family’s secret, he’s also frustrated at having to hide his gift. He knows he could do more to help in the fight against Fortune. If he could convince his sister Penelope to join him, they might even have a chance at beating him. When Cole meets Nova, he realizes his whole world is about to change. And he’s going to welcome it with open arms.

Falling for each other wasn’t part of the plan.

Then again, neither was becoming a superhero.

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

Supernova is perfect for readers who like their stories full of feisty heroines, heartache, and a whole lot of buttkicking. Nova is a force of nature. Her determination, strength, and heart make her as admirable as she is fierce. Get ready to cheer her on in her epic battle for justice and closure. 

After the horrific death of her little sister at the hands of a diabolical madman (Fortune), Nova is a shell of who she once was. Devastated and heartbroken, Nova spent the summer in a cloud of pain and guilt, that she could have done something more to protect her sister. After the recent bout of attacks by Fortune, Nova decides to shuck off her sadness and replace it with something else, a hunger for revenge. 

The new Nova is scarred, but her pain makes her compassionate, powerful, and grants her the bravery she never had before. She throws off the trivial drama and nonsense of high school and embraces her Gift. Nova is someone I can get behind. She’s a planner, brave, and throws herself into danger, arms up and ready to fight. From thwarting bank robberies to saving girls from their pimps, Nova learns self-defense and she works it. 

I loved that Nova was best friends with a guy (Henry) and that there was ABSOLUTELY ZERO chemistry or even attraction. Finally a male-female friendship that isn’t rife with cliché angst.

Some of the secondary characters were predictable archetypes of the classic populars, but at least there was no mean girl stuff going on. 

The pacing staggered at points when nothing happened. All of those runs at night with zero activity were a little boring and threw off the action-packed scenes that were spaced far and few between.

Cole and Nova took FOREVER to happen. You’ll want to knock some sense into both of them. For seriously brave characters who run head first into danger and risk their lives to conquer evil, they’re scared little things when it comes to making a move.

The initial bank heist is FULL of tension and anxiety. It’s really scary. The fear and danger take over and serious foreboding. A great intro to the story. Fortune is a worthy and terrifying villain. 

There was a lot of telling. I wanted more graphic, more emotion, instead it was a punch her, and sad face there, I think it needed to be taken a step further. 

Penelope is a firecracker, whirlwind of emotions. She’ll keep you guessing that’s for sure. She is unabashedly herself and that makes her insanely likable. She’s quick-witted, opinionated, and delights in her gift. 

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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.

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

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Cover Reveals: Heroes of Arcania Trilogy by Liz Long

13001310_1080721518653534_7236633590365319623_nHOA_FINAL-ebooksmAmazon Pre-Order/Goodreads

synThe streets of Arcania are overrun with crime, deteriorating as a madman named Fortune makes himself at home. He shows no mercy, striking down anyone in his path – including Nova Benson’s little sister. Devastated, Nova vows to seek justice for her family, but aside from her freak strength and impenetrable skin, how is she supposed to stop a monster like Fortune?

Cole Warner wants to help people. Entrusted to keep his family’s secret, he’s also frustrated at having to hide his gift. He knows he could do more to help in the fight against Fortune. If he could convince his sister Penelope to join him, they might even have a chance at beating him. When Cole meets Nova, he realizes his whole world is about to change. And he’s going to welcome it with open arms.

Falling for each other wasn’t part of the plan.

Then again, neither was becoming a superhero.

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Amazon Pre-Order/Goodreads

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Nova will learn it takes more than sheer strength to be a superhero. Her world implodes when Fortune strikes back for all the trouble she’s caused. His dangerous games put everyone around her at risk, especially when he decides to turn Arcania against its precious Heroes. Nova wants to protect Arcania, but how does she save a city that doesn’t want her help?

Cole has no idea how to deal with his sister Penelope, especially now that she’s learned the truth about their family secret. Thanks to Fortune, she’s headed down a dark path, one with no return. Torn between helping Nova and protecting his sister, Cole will be forced to make a choice. Tensions rise as Cole and Nova discover war will come to Arcania if they don’t get Fortune off the streets…or preferably six feet under.

Nova and Cole might have each other, but will they lose everything else in their mission to save Arcania?

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Amazon Pre-Order

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?

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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.

Fantastic reading, 

Jordan

Review: Breaking Sky-Cori McCarthy

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synIn this high-flying, adrenaline-fueled debut thriller, America’s best hope is the elite teen fighter pilots of the United Star Academy

Chase Harcourt, call sign “Nyx,” is one of only two pilots chosen to fly the experimental “Streaker” jets at the junior Air Force Academy in the year 2048. She’s tough and impulsive with lightning-fast reactions, but few know the pain and loneliness of her past or the dark secret about her father. All anyone cares about is that Chase aces the upcoming Streaker trials, proving the prototype jet can knock the enemy out of the sky.

But as the world tilts toward war, Chase cracks open a military secret. There’s a third Streaker jet, whose young hotshot pilot, Tristan, can match her on the ground and in the clouds. Chase doesn’t play well with others, but to save her country she may just have to put her life in the hands of the competition.

review4.5/5  Stars

***I received this ebook as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Sourcebooks Fire

READ THIS BOOK IF: 

  • You like ballsy heroines with a devil may care attitude
  • You love rollercoaster rides, ups, downs, adrenaline rushes. Total exhilaration
  • You’re looking for a book about so much more than a love triangle, that actually features the triangular things

I love this book. LOVE. I can’t remember the last time-no wait, I totally can-that I felt such a strong connection to the protagonist. There are hundreds of reasons why this will likely be one of the best books I’ll read all year but here are a few: 

Chase (call sign Nyx) is an inspiration and way easy to identify with. She’s confident, fierce, a risk taker, caught up in her goals, and a bit of a free spirit. People look up to her, want to know her, but she’s driven by the need to be the best at what she does. She knows what’s at stake, i.e. the world, and doesn’t have time for pesky things like emotions. Now you may be thinking, isn’t that a bad thing, shouldn’t we look down on Chase (Nyx) for that?

A big resounding no. I’ve never seen a character so free with her choices. She has casual relationships and is in it for enjoyment without taking it to the next level. Chase likes to have fun, she digs making out and she shouldn’t be shamed for it. However, deep inside, Chase (Nyx) is confused and hurt. When it comes to love, she has put up walls and is uncertain of how much she has left to give of her heart. She’s closed herself off from almost everyone, except her commander and best friend, Pippin ❤ and runs when things get too intimate. She’s not about the feels. Of course this has to do with her past and the horrible rejection she felt from her father throughout her childhood. Chase sometimes comes off as self-absorbed and cold, but really she’s oblivious to others because she’s had to rely on herself. 

Chase does what no one else will. She makes rash decisions; she fights for the truth, and pushes herself to the limit, taking the Air Force tech to new levels. Chase is spunky, courageous, and sarcastic. 

Friendships aren’t always easy. Sometimes, the people you think you know best turn out to be strangers or too scared to express themselves to the people that matter the most. Pippin and Chase are wonderful, real, and while sometimes their cold shoulders were a little annoying, the love is out of this world.

That one scene. Rip my heart into tiny pieces, throw so gasoline on it, toss a match and roast some marshmallows over it, why don’t you?

Tristan and Chase. Finally, finally a couple that isn’t ONLY about sexual tension. While there’s a ton of that don’t get me wrong, holy hotness, but Chase and Tristan trust each other. They go to each other when they need to vent and can say things to one another that help them grow as people. They share and they appreciate the other person whole-heartedly. And they aren’t afraid to call each other out on their b.s. 

Each character, no matter how small, has a back-story and distinct personality. All of them are complex. 

The story is a rush. The flying, the fear, the chase. Every second in the air will fill you with anxiety and excitement. 

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

Happy reading, 

Jordan

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: So Shall I Reap by Kathy-Lynn Cross

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So Shall I Reap (The Unseen Series, #1)- Kathy-Lynn Cross

Published:  June 30th, 2015  

Publisher:  Clean Teen Publishing

Genre:  YA Paranormal

Content Warning:  Violence and adult language

cooltext1889161239 copyThere is no protection from the Unseen.

Las Vegas, Nevada can’t contain Alexcia Crystalline Stasis, who is living the ideal teenager’s dream as the school’s elite socialite. That is, until a fatal car accident changes everything. Now Alexcia’s emotions are on the verge of combusting. As if mourning the loss of her boyfriend isn’t enough, she is also dealing with extreme night terrors that leave her wondering if she just might need to be fitted for a straightjacket.

Tevin isn’t your normal daemon. He’s the leader of his clan, and he also happens to be a very active Grim Reaper. He never wanted to be charged with babysitting the one girl who can sway Creation’s Balance. Tevin has known and kept Alexcia safe most of her life. Now that he has to become even more personally involved in her protection, Tevin finds himself having a hard time separating his sworn duty and pure curiosity. What does make Alexcia tick?

Will Tevin be able to keep Alexcia safe from the Unseen? And will Alexcia’s emotions eventually help Tevin attempt to understand what being human is all about? Or will the entities and assassins’ of the Unseen get what they want … her dead.

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Flames and darkness served as a reminder of the future we faced. Resting both forearms around my middle and feeling defeated, I shuddered. Filling in my view with his unreadable stare, he then glanced away briefly and whispered, “I wonder if a soulless creature is worthy to be bound by a heart, tied to a soul? Yet, as you stand there looking at me, I continue seeing the eyes of the child I once knew. Do you still want to offer me your soul?”

Without hesitation, sorrow for him exploded inside my chest. Thin lines of ink trailed down his cheeks, and I reached up to caress this face while pulling him closer for a chance to kiss his lips. Even for a moment, to give him a taste of my soul.

How did I know him?

I hadn’t grasped the words he spoke, let alone the feelings I had for him. Without conscious control over my voice, it answered him for me, “I can only choose what is right and pure. This is my only function. My heart is all the power I can give you right now.” I was unsure what I meant, but he smiled at me. The creatures formed a tighter circle around us and their wings appeared to be dripping hot silver acid that melted into what looked like cloaks made of the same black mist rising from the ground. Without notice, I found myself wrapped within two massive wings.

His wings sizzled as he pulled me into his icy embrace, leaning in to whisper against the inner part of my ear, “They say love knows no bounds. Death only has one boundary, and you cross over it when your heart stops. But written on the Unseen scrolls, it states this one emotion will last even after the breath ceases.”

With his trail of words still lingering against the inside curvature of my ear, my composure disappeared. The blankets were wrapped tight around me like a cocoon. If I didn’t know better, I would have sworn it had snowed in the room overnight. Shadows were thick and barricaded the bedroom and closet doors. No escape from the nightly terrors. Rubbing the grit from each lash, I unwrapped from the cocoon of covers, followed by flopping one leg at a time to the floor. My mind was clouded in the thick fog making it difficult to push off the bed. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever been so weak and chilled from sweating. An overwhelming need washed over me to open the drapes and cleanse the bedroom from the unknown with the glow from the streetlights. His presence remained in the room with me. Turning slowly from the window, it felt as if I were wearing lead shoes. Pushing their weight toward the mirror, I was horrified at the face gaping back at me. I leaned closer to try and comprehend what the glass was telling me. Two small, dried streams of red gleamed on my cheeks. I was frozen in a nonexistent moment of time. My breath caught as I gasped… and woke up.
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Born in Pomona, California, Kathy-Lynn Cross lived there for twelve years until her family moved to Las Vegas, Nevada—where she resides still to this day. Inspired by the backdrop of Sin City, Kathy-Lynn took her English professor’s advice and wrote about the hometown that she knew.

Kathy-Lynn wasn’t always a writer. In 2008, when her niece was hospitalized, Kathy-Lynn decided to do something special for her so she wrote a short tale for her to read. After devouring it in a single day, her niece and the nurses in the pediatrics wing quickly asked her, “What’s next?”

That was when a new chapter in her life opened up, and Kathy-Lynn realized that she wanted to become a Storyweaver.

Kathy-Lynn loves the color red and obsessively uses it in everything, including her bottle-blonde hair accented by red highlights. She has a knack for baking and cake decorating—that is, when her fingers are not busy writing mayhem. When recharging, you could find her curled up with a cup of coffee and a good book or spending time with her hubby of nineteen years, two kids, four cats, and the family dog.

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Clean Teen Publishing Links:
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There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following: A bookmark swag pack, winner’s choice of any Clean Teen Publishing eBook, and a $15 Amazon gift card. Giveaway is International.

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Happy reading, 
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