Guest Post: Operation Child Soldier by Jaci Wheeler

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00075]Amazon/Goodreads

syn

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.

teaserOCS teaser 1OSC Teaser

trailer

guest

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.

authorjaciTwitter/Instagram/Facebook/Website/Amazon

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

 

Spotlight & Giveaway: Pretty Fierce by Kieran Scott

prettyAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Kobo | iTunes | Indiebound

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

syn

An action-packed, edge-of-your-seat novel about a teen who, when backed into a corner, fights back, from the author of What Waits in the Woods

Kaia has been on the run her whole life. The daughter of professional assassins, she knows danger—and she’ll do anything to survive. After her parents vanished during a job gone bad, Kaia’s spent the last year in hiding, trying to blend in as an ordinary teenager, and there’s no one who makes her feel more normal, more special, than her boyfriend, Oliver.

But when she’s attacked by someone from her mother’s past and Oliver catches her fighting back, Kaia’s secret is exposed. In a split-second decision, she flees the small town, taking Oliver with her. Stalked at every turn, Oliver and Kaia must protect each other…or die trying.

authorKIERAN SCOTT is the author of several acclaimed young adult novels, including the Non-Blonde Cheerleader trilogy, the He’s So/She’s So trilogy, and Geek Magnet. She also wrote the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Private and Privilege series under the pen name Kate Brian. She is a senior editor at Disney/Hyperion and resides in New Jersey with her family. Visit kieranscott.net.

giveaway

Enter for your chance to win a copy of Pretty Fierce 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
guest

One of my favorite things about writing PRETTY FIERCE was trying to figure out what Kaia would do next. I don’t consider myself to be particularly brave—except for the fact that I don’t mind public speaking which is one of those things that keeps people awake at night. But I imagine that if I were ever in a situation like Kaia is in—being pursued by bad guys, hunted down at every turn, forced to try to protect the man I loved—I’d probably end up a ball of blubbering mush in a corner. So when I was writing her, I would try to imagine the exact opposite of what I would do in a given situation, and then write that. More often than not, it ended up being the thing that I wish I would have the guts to do, but really just couldn’t imagine myself doing. And that’s what I think makes a great kick-butt heroine—someone who allows us to see the possibilities of what we could do—what we could be—if we could find that deep well of courage within ourselves.

Here is one of my favorite kick-butt heroines:

Laia, An Ember in the Ashes, Sabaa Tahir

This book is just one of those reads that completely blew me away. It’s not only full of action and emotion and suspense and a ridiculously well-realized world, but the characters are so believable and realistically flawed. Laia, though an orphan, lives a relatively peaceful life in the military state of the Martial Empire, but when her grandparents are slain right in front of her and her brother, Darin—her only living relative—taken to prison, she rises to the occasion. Though Laia is almost always afraid, she takes on the role of spy/slave under basically the scariest woman in all of literature—the Commandant of Blackcliff Academy—in an attempt to save her brother. Laia’s fierceness is a quiet, but incredibly powerful kind. Sometimes the greatest strength lies where you least expect it.

Excerpt

KAIA

Oliver was bartering with the cab driver, trying to tip him with cans of soup, when we pulled up in front of my house, and their conversation faded into the background. A lump the size of a soccer ball formed in my throat. The house was exactly the same.

Same olive-green siding, same intricate white trim, same yellow and purple flowers bursting from the flower boxes. My parents’ rocking chairs sat on the porch, angled toward each other as if waiting for them to walk out the front door with glasses of lemonade. Next to them was the wicker couch that I’d always laid out on, my knees crooked over the arm, my bare feet dangling down the side closest to my father, so he could tickle them. The door was the same burgundy color and looked freshly painted. The lawn was recently mowed.

Was someone living here?

My heart seized.

Was my mother living here?

What if I walked through the door, and she was sitting on the couch in her old, fluffy pink slippers, waiting for me? What if, all along, all I’d needed to do was come home? The idea made me queasy with excitement and dread.

The taxi’s door opened, and Oliver was there, right in front of me. I blinked up at him. I hadn’t even heard him get out of the car. He offered his hand, but I ignored it and shoved myself out, feeling silly. I walked to the end of the driveway and looked at the garage. I could see the top of my father’s silver SUV through the garage door window. I felt disoriented, as if I’d stepped into a time warp.

“What?” Oliver asked. “What is it?”

“My dad’s car. It’s still here.”

If anyone was living here, it wasn’t a new family.

My pulse raced. I bounded up the porch steps and over to the fourth shingle under the second window, jabbing my fingers up under the crease. A key fell into my hand and the lump in my throat widened.

“You okay?” Oliver asked.

All I could do was nod. Tears were threatening to spill over. I shoved the key into the lock, turned it, and pushed open the door, quaking with pent-up emotions—anticipation battling it out with hope and anger and fear.

No one was home. That was obvious the second I stepped inside. The air was stale with the scent of too many hot days with windows locked tight. A thin layer of dust had accumulated on the table next to the stairs, where my mother’s favorite, framed picture of our family sat. I ran a finger through the dust and swallowed.

Oliver squeezed my shoulders. “So,” he said lightly. “This is where you grew up.”

“Sort of. I mean, we were hardly ever here, but…we were here more than any other place. My parents called it ‘home base.’”

Oliver kissed my cheek and squeezed my shoulders again, grounding me. Reminding me that even though my parents weren’t here, he was. He headed toward the foot of the stairs.

“What’re you doing?” I asked, swiping a hand across my cheek.

His fingers curled around the top of the newel post and he grinned. “I’m going to go see your room.”

Oh crap.

“Oliver! Oliver, no!”

But he’d gotten a lead on me. By the time I made it to the second floor he was already throwing open doors. To the bathroom, the linen closet, the spare room, and then—

“Don’t,” I said, eyeing his hand on the doorknob.

“Oh, but I have to,” he replied playfully.

He opened the door, and a shaft of pink light engulfed him.

“Oh. My. God. It’s like a My Little Pony shrine in here!”

My love of pink had come from my mother. But while she had used the color as a mere accent—a bag strap here, a beaded bracelet there, the occasional stripe on a headband—I had embraced the color with every fiber of my being. When I was four.

“You cannot judge me by this room!” I said, arriving at the door as he flung himself, face up, onto my canopy bed.

Damn. It was even pinker than I remembered. A light pink rug, pink and hot pink striped walls, a pink flowered canopy and pink plaid sheets. There were pink stuffed animals, a pink-framed mirror, pink bookshelves filled with pink and purple and white books and toys and knickknacks. There was no color in the room other than pink and white and purple. Except for Oliver. He was all gray T-shirt and tan skin and blond hair.

“I never had you pegged for a Disney Princess,” Oliver said, pushing himself up on his elbows.

I walked over and sat next to him. The bed gave a familiar squeak. “I thought about changing it when I was thirteen, but we never got around to it. We were rarely here, so it didn’t seem to matter. I never even thought about the fact that a guy might see it one day.”

“Are you saying I’m the first guy you ever invited into your Barbie Dreamhouse?”

“I didn’t exactly invite you,” I pointed out, shoving his chest. “You barreled right in.”

Oliver reached an arm around my waist. He got that look in his eye he only got when we were entirely alone. It made my heart catch.

“Just like the day we met.”

I smiled. The day we met. Probably the single best day of my life.

Now, an entire year of kisses and phone calls and texts and adventures and secrets and whispers and near-death experiences between us, we were sitting in my pink explosion of a room, and I was overwhelmed by the sheer luck I felt at finding him. I leaned down and kissed him. He pulled me to him, pressing the whole length of his body against mine, and slid his hand under my short hair, around the back of my neck. We kissed for a long time, legs intertwining, chests bumping, hands exploring. For those few spare minutes, there was only Oliver.

Then he rolled me onto my back, and I winced as one particular bruise on my spine ached. I sat up, remembering why we were here. Oliver almost fell off the bed.

“What? What’s wrong?” he said.

“Oliver,” I replied, gasping for air. “I have to show you something.”

Fierce reading,

Jordan

Blog Tour, Review, & Giveaway: Blind Trust-Peiri Ann

BlindTrustTourTour: Blind Trust by Peiri AnnGoodreads/Amazon

Blind Trust by Peiri Ann

Publication Date: September 24, 2015

Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance, Thriller

Read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited here.

synLoving someone has never been so deadly.

Valerie Harper has one assignment, one mission. Assassinate her mark and everyone he loves. But what happens when she finds that she loves him too?

Her instructions are simple; do not fraternize with your target, observe at a distance, and never engage with the enemy. However, as things take an unexpected turn in Val’s world, these simple instructions begin to change.

Refusing to be a puppet, Kyle Shultz walks away from his old life and settles into the college routine. But the life of a student is more difficult than he imagined. Making friends and attending parties are as foreign a concept as showing a target mercy.

The lines between the state of the job and the affairs of the heart are blurred as Valerie and Kyle’s worlds collide. With a maze of enemies and hit lists to navigate, will these two young adversaries proceed wide-eyed and alone into the fray? Or will they blindly trust the feelings they can no longer ignore?

review3.5/5 Stars

***I received this ebook as a gift in exchange for an honest review and with participation in this tour.

Blind Trust is a tantalizing, adrenaline-rush of a read. 

READ THIS BOOK IF:

  • You’re looking for ballsy, lovable characters with confidence
  • You’re into thrillers but not anything too gruesome or graphic
  • You’ve been searching for that perfect balance of love/hate chemistry

PROS:

  • The chemistry is HOT HOT HOT. No really, sizzling, spicy goodness. Kyle and Val’s playful banter is an instant spark that turns into much more. Their constant teasing of each other, their fighting words, and denial it only adds to the electricity.
  • Val is a saucy, feisty woman who knows her skills and when to use them. Wicked smart and a BA assassin, she’s as fierce as they come and yet, down to earth. Her heart, though cloaked in antagonism and sarcasm, is on her sleeve and thirsting for connection. Val’s internal dialogue makes her relatable and someone you can get behind. 
  • Kyle, sweet sinful boy. Kyle’s wide grin, his killer body, his heart, the way he goes out of his way to help people and his slight arrogance make him a major catch. Each new scene shows a compassionate, sweet side to him that makes him even more knight in shinning armor…but like with a gun complete with a silencer and a hit list. 
  • Secondary characters each have their own intriguing stories and bold personalities, most are memorable and likeable. 

CONS:

  • It takes a bit for the tension to build and the story to take off but when it does it’s 100% worth the wait.
  • These competing assassins and networks that don’t know of each other were a little too clandestine, if you know what I mean. It didn’t feel like there was as much danger as there should have been, especially when all these rival companies are pitting assassins against each other. 
  • Some characters felt unnecessary and there for the sake of adding more sexual encounters. Those characters were also atypical, you’d expect most of their moves.

teaserBlindTrust2 copyBlindTrust5 copy

authAuthorPeiriAnnWebsiteBlogTwitterFacebookGoodreads

Peiri Ann shares a love in the creation of new worlds, different creatures, and unwritten possibilities.

Writing is a passion. I fell in love with it when i was a child and I am privileged to share it with you. I love writing fun/tragic adventurous novels with strong romantic elements from YA to New Adult. (reachme@peiriann.com)

BlindTrustGiveaway2 copy

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

51VD8dUObSL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_6824e-pieces2bof2brevenge_ebooklg

5cf15-beautiful2bcollision2bcoverKARSinBookCover6x9

Pleasant reading, 

Jordan

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

 photo So-Shall-I-Reap-Tour-Banner.pngSo-Shall-I-Reap

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.

cooltext1921345213 copy
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.
cooltext1889178114 copy
 photo Kathy-Lynn-Cross_1.jpg
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.

 photo CleanTeenPubLogoSm.jpg
Clean Teen Publishing Links:
cooltext1892192940 copy
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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 photo JGBSLogo.png
Happy reading, 
cooltext1754437870 copy

Cover Reveal: The Consequences of Sin-K.A. Robinson

SinFACEBOOKKARSinBookCover6x9iBooks/Kobo/Goodreads Giveaway/Goodreads

Title: The Consequences of Sin
Release Date: January 23rd, 2015

cooltext1602390596 copyWhen the sun disappeared, the world was cast in shadows, hiding the evil that lay in wait. When it was dark, I hunted. The shadows caressed my body as I did things I could never do in the light of day.

Eighteen-year-old Bree Bowen has spent her entire life training and working as one of her father’s assassins. Fear has kept her and her best friend, Wes, under her father’s thumb—until now.

When Wes takes matters into his own hands, securing Bree a new identity and a plane ticket to America, he gives her the one chance she’s been desperately seeking.

Learning to live a new life isn’t easy. Add in her new roommate, Reid, who just happens to be a stripper, and things start to get a little crazy. Falling for a man has never been part of her plan, but she can’t seem to stay away from Reid.

When Bree’s past comes crashing back into her life, secrets that she’s fought to keep hidden are revealed, and she’s forced to choose between Reid and the life she could have with him, or Wes, the one man who has always loved her unconditionally.

Regardless of her choice, she must learn the consequences of sin.

cooltext1607790943 copySinTEASER1SinTEASER2SinTEASER3 (1)SinTEASER4SinTEASER5

cooltext1602388777 copy

Facebook/Tsu/Twitter/Blog/Mailing List

Keep reading,

cooltext1754437870 copy

Upcoming Reviews

I know it’s been an extremely long time since I’ve done one of these posts and I’m still a little behind on reviews but since I can never keep track of when I receive books to participate in Stacking the Shelves, this is the next best thing. I’ve decided to do color as theme. This week is blue 🙂 There will probably be more than just these four but for now…

Coming up:

btl_cover_1563x2500107ed2b3d579a684259496ade910dd6a9ce0e30d12049842381cbMlcShUL

 

 

 

 

Between the Layers by SaraJean Panek

Most fifteen year old girls are trying to figure out who they are; I’m trying to stay alive long enough to figure out what.

I’ve always been on the run. From my guilt about the things I couldn’t change, and from the voice in my head that won’t let me be normal.But yesterday Tommy and I were in a car accident on the way home from school. When I woke up, Tommy was gone, and so was the world I grew up in. Now I’m running less in a metaphorical way, and more in a “pick up the pace if you don’t want to die” way. Why? Because my eyes are blue, and I’m lost in a fantasy world where that means I’m different. It means I might not be human. It means I should already be extinct, and someone called “The Regent” is determined to make me that way.

I need to find the way home, and before I do that, I need to find Tommy. He’s only in this mess because of me. I can’t do it on my own, but it’s hard to know who to trust when everyone keeps trying to kill me.

The Silver Tower by Colee Firman

At eighteen-years-old, Sophie Hayden’s entire life has already been planned out for her. Just like her parents, she’s on the fast track to becoming a Guide for The Silver Tower. In three weeks, she’ll graduate from Slatemore Academy and move away from home—away from her controlling father and spoiled siblings.

When Sophie heads out to do fieldwork required for graduation, she hardly expects to cross paths with students from her school—much less witness them using an ancient relic that’s not supposed to leave the grounds of Slatemore.

Sophie’s decision to find out exactly what they’re up to nearly costs her everything. It seems like a miracle when Leo Emerik swoops in and saves her from disaster. Sophie’s ready to thank him and move on. He has other plans for her.

The minute Leo set his sights on Sophie she knew she was in trouble. Just being in the same room as him has her perfect world ready to spin off its axis. Getting mixed up with Leo is the last thing she needs, and suddenly the only thing she wants.

A catastrophe with Sophie’s name on it seems to be waiting around every corner since meeting Leo. Somehow, he’s always there to bail her out.

Everyone else can see the one thing she can’t—her bad fortune may all lead back to him.

*WARNING* CONTAINS ADULT LANGUAGE. MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR YOUNGER AND/OR SENSITIVE READERS.

Threats of Sky and Sea by Jennifer Ellision

Sixteen year-old Breena Perdit has spent her life as a barmaid, innocent to her father’s past and happily free from the Elemental gifts that would condemn her to a life in the Egrian King’s army. Until the day that three Elemental soldiers recognize her father as a traitor to the throne and Bree’s father is thrown in jail—along with the secrets from his last mission as the King’s assassin. Secrets that could help the King win a war. Secrets he refuses to share.

Desperate to escape before the King’s capricious whims prove her and her father’s downfall, Bree bargains with him: information for their lives. It’s a good trade. And she has faith she’ll get them both out of the King’s grasp with time.

But that was before the discovery that she’s the weapon the King’s been waiting for in his war.

Now, time is running out. To save her father’s life and understand her own, Bree must unravel the knot of her father’s past before the King takes his life– and uses her to bring a nation to its knees.

Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch

Perfection comes at a price.

As soon as the government passed legislation allowing humans to be genetically engineered and sold as pets, the rich and powerful rushed to own beautiful girls like Ella. Trained from birth to be graceful, demure, and above all, perfect, these “family companions” enter their masters’ homes prepared to live a life of idle luxury.

Ella is happy with her new role as playmate for a congressman’s bubbly young daughter, but she doesn’t expect Penn, the congressman’s handsome and rebellious son. He’s the only person who sees beyond the perfect exterior to the girl within. Falling for him goes against every rule she knows…and the freedom she finds with him is intoxicating.

But when Ella is kidnapped and thrust into the dark underworld lurking beneath her pampered life, she’s faced with an unthinkable choice. Because the only thing more dangerous than staying with Penn’s family is leaving…and if she’s unsuccessful, she’ll face a fate far worse than death.

For fans of Kiera Cass’ Selection series and Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden series, Perfected is a chilling look at what it means to be human, and a stunning celebration of the power of love to set us free, wrapped in a glamorous—and dangerous—bow.

If you have a color you’d like to see for the following week, feel free to comment. As always, if you’ve read any of these and would like to discuss them or really would like to nominate another blue book comment as well 🙂 

Pleasant reading, 

cooltext1532217430 copy