Release Blitz: The Official Gryphon Series Coloring Book by Stacey Rourke


Cover Designer: Broken Arrow Designs
Illustrators: Crystal Ord and Robert Immings
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
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Journey into the fantastical world of The Gryphon Series, written by Stacey Rourke, with original artwork that brings to life pivotal moments from the beloved Young Adult series!
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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 is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Adapted for Film. She 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. 

BOOKS IN THE SERIES

#Free with #KindleUnlimited
Adventurous reading, 
Jordan

 

ARC Review: Poison’s Kiss by Breeana Shields

poisonsGoodreads/Amazon/B&N/iBooks

Release Date: Jan 10, 2017

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A teenage assassin kills with a single kiss until she is ordered to kill the one boy she loves. This commercial YA fantasy is romantic and addictive like– a poison kiss– and will thrill fans of Sarah J. Maas and Victoria Aveyard.

Marinda has kissed dozens of boys. They all die afterward. It s a miserable life, but being a visha kanya a poison maiden is what she was created to do. Marinda serves the Raja by dispatching his enemies with only her lips as a weapon.

Until now, the men she was ordered to kiss have been strangers, enemies of the kingdom. Then she receives orders to kiss Deven, a boy she knows too well to be convinced he needs to die. She begins to question who she s really working for. And that is a thread that, once pulled, will unravel more than she can afford to lose.

This rich, surprising, and accessible debut is based in Indian folklore and delivers a story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

review

4/5 Stars 

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Random House Books for Young Readers

Poison’s Kiss is a sweeping and thrilling journey into rich Indian folklore. Full of mystery, intrigue, a reluctant assassin, and gods, Poison’s Kiss is an adventure that will leave you hungry for more. 

PROS: 

  • Poison’s Kiss is a blend of Northern and Southern Indian legends, with a twist. In this world, based on India, the gods of folklore are spoken of in whispers, they’re on coins, they’re known by the masses, but more of as a hazy bedtime story. As someone who knows very little of Indian lore besides the main stories related to religion, this was epic. It’s whimsical and dark. There’s a sinister and revered undercurrent that runs throughout the story that keeps you on edge for the unexpected. I loved that the culture was just present. It wasn’t knock-you-over-the-head, explanations all over the place. From the food, to the clothing, to the bustling markets and snake charmers. You become immersed fast and it will consume you. 
  • Visha kanya. Poison maidens. This takes the idea to a whole new level. The poison becomes a vicious and deadly part of the maiden’s body. A kiss that kills. The process, how the poison takes hold, the connection to snakes, everything is elaborate and terrifying and absolutely addictive. 
  • Marinda grew on me. At first, I wasn’t sold on her. She takes forever to figure things out, she is defiant, she puts herself in danger, she doesn’t think and rushes in. There’s nothing that drives me nuts worse than someone who doesn’t take a second to think. But Marinda is incredibly brave, compassionate, and will do anything for her brother, who is not even hers by blood, but he’s the only thing that helps her keep her humanity after so much death and destruction. The guilt consumes her. The toll of killing, knowing what the poison does, it breaks her despite the knowledge that she is doing something for the greater good. Marinda doesn’t want to be what she is, but she has no choice. The danger is so high and she knows the consequences of trying to escape her keeper. Marinda has a beautiful heart. She genuinely loves and gives that love to her brother, no matter how down she is. Scenes from her childhood and how she became a visha kanya are brutal and heartbreaking. 
  • Not all villains are wholly evil. The characters are complex. Their beliefs are deeply rooted and not everyone is what they seem. Gopal is a true villain. He’s sadistic, horrible, and the carnage he leaves behind, it’s the stuff of nightmares. Kadru, she’s super creepy, otherworldly, and vicious. Those snakes, chills. 
  • Devin’s charm is in how much he cares. It doesn’t matter that he’s hot, it’s his heart. The way he treats Mani is enough to make any girl fall for him. 

CONS:

  • I wish there would have been a more in-depth look at the various gods and how they featured in the culture at their height. The main character knows pretty much nothing about them because she was so sheltered, so that’s a big blank for the reader as well. A little more world building would have solidified each of these figures, their strengths, their weaknesses, and how they relate to the world as it is now. 
  • The romance was so-so. On one hand, I liked that it wasn’t so centered on the falling. On the other hand, I would have liked more build up. Near the end it feels rushed and clumsy. I mean the surge of emotion. Sure after everything they’ve been through emotions are off the charts, but it bordered on instalove because of how it’s slammed into the story at the end. There were some cute interactions before everything fell apart though.

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

Epic reading, 

Jordan

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Dark Goddess by Amalie Howard

GoodReads | Amazon | B&N

EXPECTED RELEASE: JULY 4, 2017

by Sky Pony Press

synAfter an epic struggle that unseated the Asura Lord of Death and placed Serjana Caelum’s best friend, Kyle, on his throne, the Mortal Realm is peaceful and the balance between good and evil—which Sera is sworn to protect—has been restored.

But signs of a new threat to the world of men quickly begin to appear: A scourge of demons descends on the Mortal Realm, and Sera is beside herself trying to locate their source. She sends word to the gods for help, and their answer comes in the form of Kira, the living incarnation of Kali, goddess of destruction.

Stunning and dangerous, Kira plans to protect the heavens at all cost, even if it means destroying the entire Mortal Realm. Soon Sera and Kyle find themselves fighting not just the demon plague, but Kira and her twin. But when an even more sinister threat arises—putting not just the human world but all planes of existence in jeopardy—they must all learn to work together or lose everything they sacrificed so much to save.

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Without a backward glance, she closed her eyes and jumped into the midst of the blue-black pool, the sticky fluid sucking her body down to its depths like some kind of ravenous beast. As it devoured her, Sera’s mind emptied of all thought…and of all memory as she plummeted into the space where love would be nothing but weakness. She’d learned that the hard way. She stripped away all emotion, all empathy.

It was time to become the monster. 

BOOK ONE IN THE SERIES: ALPHA GODDESS
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author

 Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

AMALIE HOWARD grew up in Trinidad & Tobago where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or running around barefoot, shimmying up mango trees, and dreaming of adventure. 25 countries, surfing with sharks, and several tattoos later, she has traded in bungee jumping in China for writing the adventures she imagines instead. She isn’t entirely convinced which takes more guts.

An aspiring writer from a young age, Amalie’s poem “The Candle,” written at age twelve, was published by the University of Warwick press. At fifteen, she was  a recipient of a Royal Commonwealth Society Essay Award (a global youth writing competition). A Colby College graduate, she completed dual Honors Theses in both French and International Studies, and graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. At Colby, she was cited for her research contribution to Raffael Scheck’s article, “German Conservatism and Female Political Activism in the Early Weimar Republic,” and his subsequent book, Mothers of the Nation. She also received a distinction in English Literature from the University of Cambridge (A-levels) as well as a postgraduate certificate in French Literature from the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, France. Traveling the globe, she has worked as a research assistant, account executive, and global channel sales director for a Fortune 500 company.

She is the award-winning author of several young adult novels critically acclaimed by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, SLJ, VOYA, and Booklist, including Waterfell, The Almost Girl, and Alpha Goddess, a Spring 2014 Kid’s INDIE NEXT title. Her debut novel, Bloodspell, was a #1 Amazon bestseller, and the sequel, Bloodcraft, was a national silver IPPY medalist and a silver Moonbeam award winner. She is also the co-author of the adult historical romance series, THE LORDS OF ESSEX. As an author of color and a proud supporter of diversity in fiction, her articles on multicultural fiction have appeared in The Portland Book Review and on the popular Diversity in YA blog. She currently resides in Colorado with her husband and three children.

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Mythic reading, 

Jordan

Cover Reveal, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Choosing Eternity by K.T. Webb

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The Evolved (Book 1)

Thatcher Kline has a fiery personality. His life sucks and he isn’t interested in talking to anyone, let alone helping them. Despite his thoughts on the matter, fate has another plan; Thatcher has a secret but when he meets a handful of others with similar secrets he’s catapulted into a dangerous and ancient battle.

The Evolved are the final descendants of the Old Immortals. Their super powers not only make them freaks but also make them the only people who can save the world. Together with their remaining ancestors they must discover who they are, the prophecies that guide their lives, and face a terrifying enemy.

Growing Hope (Book 2)

Tahlia is a mystery, she has no memory of her life before she joined the Old Immortals, but they begin to remember a life before her.

The legend is that she was locked away in the golden sphere with the evils of the world. When Pandora released the Maladies on an unsuspecting world, she also released Tahlia, the spirit of hope personified, and altered the course of humanity forever.

Despite their still-healing wounds, the Evolved have embraced their mission. They’ve spent the last five years cleaning up after their battle with Absalom, but now they are discovering that new enemies are stepping out of the shadows. In order for the Maladies to drown humanity in their darkness they must first snuff out the light.

Choosing Eternity (Book 3)

Nora never asked to lead an army. She never asked to risk everything to ensure the survival of the world. But, when a bloody battle is inevitable and everyone looks to her for guidance, she realizes her decision is easy.  

As they face the return of the strongest evil ever to exist, the Evolved must expose long-held secrets and forge alliances to strengthen their cause. They quickly discover this is an enemy they are not meant to fight and have to overcome the obstacles he puts in their way to keep them from bringing back the only person who can.

The final prophecies are coming to pass, death is all around them, and they face uncertainty at every turn. 

guest

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who preferred to spend her time reading a book rather than socializing with other kids. That little girl dreamed of becoming a writer. She had so many fun ideas but never decided on a story that felt like it really needed to be told, until one morning when she was twenty-two.

A crazy dream led to multiple crazier conversations with her mother. The dream eventually began to take shape into a story…..and I’m bored now.

So, that’s me in a nutshell. I was never a social person. I actually got in trouble in high school for skipping lunch to read in the library. The first book in my series, The Evolved, was inspired by a dream I had about a guy who could control mechanical devices with his mind. Oddly enough, you won’t meet any characters in these books with that particular ability.

The characters who have been talking to me for the last eight years are a quirky bunch. Many of them share personality traits with me or people I know. One of my favorite things about these characters is that they tell me how the story is supposed to go. I know, that sounds completely nuts, but it’s the truth. I can sit down and write an outline, but when I start writing, anything goes.

My books incorporate many mythological, historical and religious stories. I had a blast weaving those things together and creating an all new take on familiar figures and legends. Many of the supporting characters are representations of the gods and goddesses of every religious or mythological tradition. I have always been fascinated by the similarities found in the stories told in very different parts of the world. There has to be a common thread that ties them all together. That’s where my story began.

The Evolved sets the stage for the rest of the series by giving just enough background information to make readers wonder what’s going on. The characters discover who they are and what they’ve been tasked with. Growing Hope dives deeper into where they came from and what they’re fighting for. Choosing Eternity pulls it all together and brings them to the ending they’ve been working towards.

I made the decision to re-brand and relaunch the first two books in the series because I didn’t feel like the covers were attracting the young readers that the books were written for. I took a look at the covers that make me want to read a book and realized how very different my covers were from the ones that attracted me. I hired a fantastic cover designer and we made covers that I think really fit the feeling I was looking for!

I can’t wait to share this wild ride with new readers!

authKT Webb

KT Webb is a big city girl living in small town South Dakota. Although she was born in Michigan, most of her younger years were spent between the suburbs of Chicago. Moving to South Dakota was a big change, and she never would have guessed she’d fall in love and decide to stay. She has been married to her wonderful husband since 2006 and they have two beautiful children ages 7 and 4.

KT has been writing for as long as she can remember and always dreamed of becoming a published author. She loves to create stories that make readers look at things differently and question reality; which is probably why she tends to write paranormal or fantasy novels.

She is a firm believer in the power of redemption, second chances, and that magic surrounds us every day if we know where to look. KT is a goofy and fun-loving person and is often described as snarky, bold and brash.

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In order to enter to win the giveaway, sign up for K.T.’s newsletter. Anyone who signs up between August 2nd and August 6th will be eligible to win. The winner will be chosen randomly.

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Magical reading, 

Jordan

Review: The Hollow Sun by D.L. Wainright

the hollow sunGoodreads/Amazon/B&N

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Lucy Kincade’s biggest concerns in life are her widowed mother, her college apps, and her grades…until she stumbles upon an insidious secret not meant for mortal eyes. When nightmares stalk the waking world and a cannibalistic serial killer is carving a path across America, Lucy and her friends decide to stand against the darkness. But with all the secrets, it’s not easy to know whom to trust.

review

3.5/5 Stars

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

PROS:

  • These are not your typical paranormal creatures despite the vampires. There’s an elaborate system of subspecies and distinct regional divisions. On top of that, there are mythical creatures I’ve never heard of before. Spanning the globe with references to cultural creatures rich in myth and diversity, the folklore is wicked cool. 
  • The creepy factor is alarmingly high in some scenes and almost like you’re looking in from the outside in others. Lucy’s dreams of the shadows are terrifying in the best way. You’ll feel that spine-tingling R.L. Stein vibe. Cue the scene with her brother about the shadows-OMG horrifying. 
  • Diversity galore. I love that these characters are unique and yet charmingly familiar. They’re the characters that don’t normally have voices. I LOVED that the author featured what could have been a clichéd, beautiful, popular girl as nerdy, LARPing, and nowhere near catty. We need more of that. We need more of all of these characters. Badass female characters reign in this story. They’re not afraid to get dirty and murderous when necessary. ❤
  • I adore Ren. He’s flirty, sexy, mysterious, occasionally brooding, and knows just how to get under Lucy’s skin. 

CONS:

  • You’re kind of punched in the face with all of the politics, the creatures, the ways they’re monitored, the sheer variety. It feels like a lot at one time, almost overwhelming. Lucy and co. jumped right on into the fold of policing wily paranormal creatures with hardly any hesitation and Lucy accepted their existence so quickly it was shocking and felt off. It’s like she shrugged it off. That and her mad axing skills. It felt borderline psychotic at points in the story. It made me skeptical of Lucy. 
  • Some twists weren’t exactly clear. Especially in terms of the serial killer. It took me a little to fully grasp what it meant. I think if it were a but more blatant, it would have helped the shock factor hit harder. The serial killer aspect got lost in the other complexities of the story. There is SO MUCH going on. The story pulls you in 10 directions at once. 
  • Lucy’s obsession with Kyle. I don’t get it. It makes zero sense and makes her seem foolish that she can’t see what a tool he is and how self-absorbed. For someone who really sees people and generally reads the situation and subtle clues really well, she’s oblivious to this. As a love interest, it put me off. The same with Venny. 

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

Keep reading, 

Jordan

Cover Reveal: Hypnos by Eva Pohler

Release Date: August 9th, 2016

synHypnos and Jen aren’t married long when they realize something’s missing: they both want to have a child, especially when they see how happy Therese and Than are with their twins. But the creation of new gods is against the rules, and they aren’t willing to give up their immortality. So Hypnos goes to Mount Olympus to offer Zeus a deal. He’ll make it his mission to find out the source of the recent attacks on Gaia–horrible earthquakes that have already released one monster from the Titan Pit–if Zeus will agree to let him and Jen have one immortal child.
 
Because the attacks are getting humans killed and none of the other gods have been able to discover a lead, Zeus, in his desperation, agrees. But this new quest just might get Hypnos swallowed and trapped for all eternity.
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Eva Pohler recently retired from a twenty-year position teaching writing and literature at a university in San Antonio, where she lives with her husband and three kids. Now a full-time writer, she’s the author of The Mystery Book Collection and three series for young adults: The Gatekeeper’s Saga, The Purgatorium Series, and The Vampires of Athens. Her books have been described as “thrilling” and “addictive.” A Kirkus reviewer said of The Gatekeeper’s Sons that it was “sure to thrill Hunger Games fans.”
A reader herself, Eva writes in multiple genres, but all of her stories blur the line between reality and fantasy, truth and delusion, and draw from Eva’s personal philosophy that a reader must be lured and abducted into complete captivity in order to enjoy the reading experience.
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Magical reading, 
Jordan

Guest Post & Giveaway: Trial by Charm by Jolene Buchheit

syn       Seventeen-year-old Julia Wright doesn’t understand her friends’ obsession with boys. She proudly maintains her composure no matter who is in her presence – though some annoying and rude boys still manage to grate her last nerve. Then she is blackmailed into being the manager of the men’s
swim team, and finds herself face to face with the worst of them all.
       Team Captain Vander Thelxinoe is the typical self-assured jock. He has the ability to change people’s minds at will, only his charms don’t work on Julia. Now he’s anxious to figure out why, and the closer he tries to get, the more desperate she is to stay away-especially when he somehow awakens a side of her she never knew existed.
       Their unexpected friendship puts Julia in the middle of a quest she doesn’t quite understand. As her familiar world begins to unravel around her, Julia must partner with the one person who knows how to push her buttons-and, in doing so, discovers the unbelievable truth about who she really is.
       Can Julia and Vander survive the trial set before them, or will they face the extreme consequences of failure?
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       As a substitute teacher, Jolene spends her days in high school classrooms harvesting material for her Young Adult novels. She also uses it as an outlet for fangirling by showing upcoming book-to-movie trailers at the end of class, or discussing vital issues like whether Katniss should have picked Gale or Peeta.
       She is committed to helping Special Education teenagers become independent adults and helping them find a way to focus on the positive especially when life gets hard. At home, Jolene loves to cuddle with her husband, two kids, and three cats-sometimes all at once-while reading Young Adult books or repeatedly watching movies based on them.

Excerpt
       I study his profile. His chiseled jaw and dark, floppy hair are like something out of a magazine advertisement. His eyes, too—they aren’t dark to match his hair, like mine—they are parts of green and blue, much like the painting of the sea in the other room.
       “Who painted that piece above the couch in there?”
        He shrugs, not answering me in any concrete way. Then he shifts his weight from one foot to the other and his awkwardness makes it clear to me.
       “You did it, didn’t you? You’re a painter.”
        He shrugs again. I hop down from my stool to go take another look at the painting. The artist must have signed it, and I will get my answer that way.
        I go down the hall, past the bathroom, the stairs, and the front door until I’m standing in the parlor, looking at Vander, who is blocking the painting from my view. He must have gone through the dining room next to the kitchen to end up in here before me. He’s staring at me and chewing on his lip while flexing and balling his hands. He’s more nervous than I have ever seen him—not before a swim meet, not in class when he didn’t know an answer, not when he told me how he felt in the bathroom a little bit ago. This is where his heart lies, in this painting of this island.
        I try to look around him, and he leans over.
        “Don’t.” He is stern, but gentle. He clears his throat. “Please don’t touch it. You will want to, but don’t.”
        He’s right. I do want to touch it; I want to climb inside of it. I’m seeing it, and somehow it’s seeing me, and it’s making me feel pulled apart. I want to dive into the waters, to swim to that far-off land, and I also want to turn the boat around and sail as far and as quickly as I can in the opposite direction. Meanwhile, the light from the sun is dimming, laughing at me for thinking I can have any control here.
I want in!
        Vander grabs both of my arms, which are currently outstretched toward the painting. My knees are on the seat of the couch, and I don’t even remember moving forward. His voice startles me. “You can’t.”
        I blink hard and turn to look him fully in the face. “I can’t what?”
        “You can’t go there, and you can’t go away from there. It’s just a painting.” Was I talking out loud, or can he read my mind? How does he know what I was thinking? I let him lead me through the dining room, back into the kitchen, where the timer is going off. I shake my head to let loose the feelings that painting stirred in me.
        “It’s more than that, and you know it. How?” I don’t even have to finish the sentence. He knows exactly what I’m asking.
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Enter for your chance to win a signed paperback of Trial By Charm, bookmark, and an evil eye necklace
Magical reading, 
Jordan