Release Day Blitz: The Lilac Sky by Diana Gardin

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“Do you hear me, Isla? Survive.”

Those are the last words seventeen-year-old Isla hears from her parents. She’s placed into a cylinder craft and catapulted through space, saying goodbye to them and her precious, dying Earth.

Crash-landing on a foreign planet, Isla stumbles into a striking Troman warrior, Rygen. He is shocked to discover a human deep in the jungles of his planet but with his home in political turmoil, he has no desire to assist the weak creature.

Knowing that she’ll never survive without them, Isla convinces Rygen and his comrades to escort her, but she has no time to catch her breath. The dangerous journey navigating the rugged, lush terrain of Troma with the strong and brooding Rygen is only the beginning of Isla’s battle.

Isla never dreamed her very existence would threaten to throw the foreign planet into a gruesome revolution. Hunted by radicals as she discovers her dormant powerful Gift, Isla fights not only for survival but also for the her heart’s true desire. But only time will tell if she can truly endure on a hostile planet where her kind just doesn’t fit.

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Excerpt“Where are we?” Curiosity coats my tone as I glance at Ebin.

He’s staring at the doors. “This is my family’s apartment.”

Surprise causes me to reel back a step. “And why are we here?”

His eyes narrow as he scans my face. “I am not sure.”

Placing my hands on the doors, I trace the ornate markings with my fingers. The doors capture me, pulling me toward them with the force of their very being. I move closer as I feel vibrations beneath my fingertips, a song that only the bronze metal knows.

I lean my cheek against the cool metallic covering, feeling the rhythms under my skin.
Inside my soul.

My lips part and I whisper a song I never even knew I had inside me.

The words flow seamlessly from my lips to the doors, as if I’d known the lyrics all my life. And when I’m done, the door disappears, giving me entrance into Ebin’s apartment.

I step back, astonishment filling me up until I’m in danger of bursting.
“What the heck did I just do?” My whisper drifts around in the fog of my unexpected accomplishment.

Ebin steps up beside me. When I look at him, the expression on his face is one of wonder. Of shock. Of awe.

“You just gained un-permitted entry into my home. With your voice.”

authorDiana GardinFACEBOOK/TWITTER/GOODREADS/WEBSITE

Diana Gardin is the author of Romance in a multitude of age ranges and genres. Her works include the Ashes Series, the Nelson Island Series, and the Battle Scars series. Upcoming works include the Rescue Ops Series (Battle Scars spinoff coming in June 2017) and The Lilac Sky (The Troma Chronicles Book 1).

Diana loved writing at a young age, but decided to try and make a career out of it in 2012 while staying home with her first child. When she’s not writing, you can usually find Diana watching one of her Netflix Obsessions, spending time with her family, or drinking wine with friends.

Magical reading, 

Jordan

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Blitz & Giveaway: Trapped by Amanda Lance

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On the way to investigate a fugitive sighting, 21-year-old news intern Aubrey Kent is injured when an unexpected storm destroys the newscopter—along with the rest of the crew.

Now, stranded in the Canadian wilderness and on the brink of death, Aubrey is rescued by a handsome stranger whose cold disposition is as frightening as the remote cabin in which he lives. With no way to reach civilization before spring, Aubrey becomes Jack Gordon’s unwanted roommate. Her hope for rescue is much more desperate when she sees his hostile attitude and violent behavior.

Aubrey and Jack wait out the winter, they grow closer—their delicate friendship blooming into feelings neither of them could have anticipated. But the weather and the wolves aren’t the only dangers in the mountains. As Aubrey uncovers the reason for Jack’s self-imposed isolation, she realizes she’s closer to the story than she imagined—a story that might cost her life.

Romantic couple standing on path in misty forest

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A native of New Jersey and lifelong nerd, Amanda Lance completed her Master in Liberal Arts at Thomas Edison State College after her BA in English Literature and AFA in creative writing.

She currently resides in Easton Pennsylvania with her boyfriend and their spoiled dogs. She is a cliché booknerd who is terrible at math, clinically obsessive, and prone to addictive behavior. She may or may not be a recluse.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Romantic reading, 

Jordan

ARC Review: One Was Lost by Natalie D. Richards

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Release Date: October 4, 2016

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Damaged. Deceptive. Dangerous. Darling. Are they labels or a warning? The answer could cost Sera everything.

Murder, justice, and revenge were so not a part of the plan when Sera set out on her senior camping trip. After all, hiking through the woods is supposed to be safe and uneventful.

Then one morning the group wakes up groggy, confused, and with words scrawled on their wrists: Damaged. Deceptive. Dangerous. Darling. Their supplies? Destroyed. Half their group? Gone. Their chaperone? Unconscious. Worst of all, they find four dolls acting out a murder—dolls dressed just like them.

Suddenly it’s clear; they’re being hunted. And with the only positive word on her wrist, Sera falls under suspicion…

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3.5/5 Stars

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

One Was Lost is a spine-tingling thriller that will have you on the edge, fumbling to discover the killer just as quickly and desperately as these terrified teens. 

One Was Lost is chaotic and packed with suspense. The power of suggestion is strong; There’s just enough there to get you to fill in the blanks and the picture, when it comes together is grotesque and oh-so-bleak. Some scenes are blunt and graphic, others are powered by mystery and creepy clues that will have your heart beating straight out of your chest. 

The twist is hardcore. Never saw that coming. And the reasoning behind everything-just insanity. The clues are subtle and sinister. Get ready to be on edge. 

Some sections were a little slow and may make you want to skim until the next big thing.

Each character is developed, they all have their own back stories that will send up red flags and leave you guessing if anything has extra meaning.

As a main character, Sera  is a little lacking. She’s so consumed with this deep fear and sense of loathing whenever it comes to anything relating to her mother. She’s terrified of becoming a lovesick, free spirit and whenever she starts to give into her feelings, she pushes then far, far away. Between this weighing on her and this blown out of proportion thing with Lucas, she seems a tad too dramatic. On top of that, her choices are suspect. A little too B movie. 

The tension is high. Everyone is a suspect. No one can be trusted. The paranoia grows fast and everyone is on alert. It’s amazing how the smallest things can turn so dark, and so creepy so fast. 

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

Stay in suspense,

Jordan

Release Day Blitz: Will of Fire by Yasmin Fazli

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Elle knew that unraveling the secrets on Acryen would be difficult, but she didn’t know that it would be deadly. She knew this from the scars on her body and the heat in her eyes.
Three months have passed and what was meant to be an easy journey across the ocean has turned perilous as she’s come to realize that they’ve boarded the wrong ship—a slaver’s ship run by a cunning and devious man known only as Captain Red. Elle can’t help but find herself drawn to him and repelled at the same time. Yet, when a powerful hurricane hits the ship and Elle’s life is in danger, Peter’s hidden powers awaken, and now, they’re in trouble. The stakes are much higher than before, and Elle’s afraid that the only way out is with blood.
 
Elle must find the necklace awaiting in Gyoar before an elf meets her end, a quaid falls prey, a mother commits treason, and a king masks his mistake.
 
But above all, she must find it before her fate is sealed in ashes.
  
Because where hope lies, fire breathes.
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author
Yasmin Fazli was born and raised in Southern California, changing schools her whole life. Now, she is an undergraduate college student studying biology to satisfy her love for the sciences. Yet, another part of her started to show more and more: her love for writing. She often dreams of mystical places and the perfect bad boy/prince charming who will come sweep her away. Until those happen, she continues to write away, living her fantasies through typed words with all kinds of sweets in one hand and a cup of chai tea in the other hopeful that one day her words could inspire even just one person.
Adventurous reading, 
Jordan


Spotlight & Giveaway: One Was Lost by Natalie D. Richards

CVR One Was Lost by Natalie D. Richards.jpgAmazon/iBooks/Goodreads

Release Date: October 4, 2016 

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Damaged. Deceptive. Dangerous. Darling. Are they labels or a warning? The answer could cost Sera everything.

While on a mandatory senior field trip, a flash flood cuts off Sera and three classmates from their group with no way to call for help. But they’re not as alone as they thought…

Someone is stalking them through the woods. Someone who drugged them, stole their supplies, and wrote on their skin. Is it a judgement? A warning? If Sera doesn’t uncover the truth, it’s only a matter of time before the hunter finds her.

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Excerpt

“Everyone, quiet. We need to move.” Mr. Walker’s voice is tight. Something’s wrong. But he’s halfway across, and the water is still below his knees. It’s moving quickly, but it seems OK. So why is Mr. Walker scanning the horizon like a soldier?

When he’s on the other side, he relaxes. “All right, let’s move. You’ll get to test those waterproof boots here. Emily, you first. Then Jude and right down the line.”

I stumble to the edge of the stream, rocks slipping and scatter­ing under my boots. Jude’s next to me, earbuds in and his chin tipped up like we need a reminder that he’s better than us.

Emily begins to cross with Jude behind her. Then me and Lucas and the rest of the group after. I can’t help but think about what we must look like, this conga line of plastic-wrapped hikers splashing its way through the river.

Jude gasps ahead of me. Before I can ask, cold water gushes over the tops of my boots, then past my ankles. I stop when it reaches my knees. It’s higher. We’re not even halfway across.

Lucas splashes up from behind, rising over me. “Need me to carry you?”

I don’t dignify the question with a response. Behind me, Hayley and Madison shriek. I turn to see a glimpse of all three of them, Hayley on her butt in the water and Madison and Ms. Brighton rushing back for her. The girls are laughing hysterically.

“We’re almost halfway,” Lucas says, ignoring them. “Keep going.”

“Should we help?”

“They’re fine. Move.”

“Stop playing around back there! Get them up, Ms. Brighton,” Mr. Walker barks, then more softly to the ones climbing out, “Good job, Emily. Jude! Earbuds out!”

Mr. Walker looks downstream, and his expression hardens. “Sera, speed up now.”

I look up and wish I hadn’t. I don’t like the urgency in his tone any more than I like the rushing sound of water I hear off to the east.

“Is that rain?” I ask because I want it to be rain. Or hail. I want it to be anything other than what I already know it is.

Mr. Walker’s eyes flick upstream, his face going pale. “It’s flooding,” he admits.

My hope snaps like a rubber band. Fear billows out in its place, making me woozy.

“Sera, move!” Lucas says, prodding my backpack.

“I got it!” I snap, plowing ahead.

Hayley screams again behind us. They’re all three shouting. Something about a shoe. Someone’s stuck. Mr. Walker is yelling at Emily and Jude to back up, back up! And then the rain changes, the shower shifting into a driving roar with drops so hard they feel like sand spraying down. Everything is garbled. Muffled. Fear pushes the hair up on the nape of my neck.

We’re not going to get across.

“Go, Sera!”

Lucas. His voice right behind me, his wide hand just under my backpack, urging me forward. I stumble, spreading my arms wide for balance.

“Lucas, help!” Madison’s cry filters through the rain, but Mr. Walker shakes his head.

“No!” he bellows. “Move, Lucas! Ms. Brighton, pull Hayley and Madison back to shore!”

The water is moving quicker and higher, and my boots are sucking down into the mud at the bottom. The current pushes back at me. Steps turn into half steps. Quarter steps.

“Forget her shoes!” Mr. Walker screams. Someone’s coughing back there, but I don’t look, though I can hear their garbled cries. They’re struggling.

“I can’t get her!” Ms. Brighton’s voice is suddenly young and small, nothing like the serene woman from before. This is scared little kid voice. “Help! Hel—”

authorAfter years as a professional paper-pusher, NATALIE D. RICHARDS decided to trade in reality for a life writing YA fiction. She lives in Ohio (Go Bucks!) with her husband, three children, and a ridiculously furry dog named Yeti. This is her third novel. Visit her on Twitter @natdrichards or at nataliedrichards.com.

Website/Facebook

***

Dear Reader,

It’s hard to believe One Was Lost is finally here. It feels weird to admit that I’ve been desperately looking forward to scaring you all and keeping you up way past your bedtimes, but it’s the truth. And now that it’s finally out in the world, I just can’t wait to hear what you all think! I mean, after you get some sleep of course. I’m not that impatient.

As a writer with my fourth book hitting the shelves, I can say each new release has its own special brand of excitement. Each story has elements that you cherish and characters you love. But One Was Lost wasn’t like any of my other books. Writing this book was a whole new ball game.

The truth behind One Was Lost is that my father died a few months before I started writing it. He was my inspiration for writing as a child and easily one of my closest friends throughout my life. Losing him was like having my foundation knocked sideways. My grief felt oceans deep and I was lost in the roll of every wave. It was brutally difficult.

For anyone who’s met me and knows what a class clown I am, I’ll confess 2015 was one of the least funny years of my life. Still, when I sat down to write One Was Lost, I knew I had something special. These characters were speaking to me like characters never had. This story was at a roiling boil in my head—but, could I really write it?

Doubt plagued me in those first days. Could I still remember how to get lost in a story? Could I get it right when I was still struggling so much? Most importantly, could I still be the writer I used to be?

The answer was quick and a little terrifying. No.

I couldn’t go back to the writer I was before. Losing someone incredibly important to you changes you. There is a new normal you must adjust to, and that new normal doesn’t fade away after the funeral is done and over.

My new normal proved to be a very powerful force in my writing life. One Was Lost forced me to face fears I might have danced around in other books. I had no choice but to dive more deeply than ever before. My new perspective had me spend more time than usual learning about these new characters. Trying to understand them. Hurting with them and fearing with them.

I didn’t just lose myself in One Was Lost, I drowned in it. I fell so deeply into this book that at times it was difficult to resurface to do normal, mundane not-lost-and-terrified-in-the-forest things. I’m not sure I’ve ever been more in love with characters in any of my stories, and I’m absolutely sure I’ve never been happier with the way a book has turned out.

It is my dearest hope that you’ll all get a little lost in this book too. Sometimes even the scariest things can bring out strength and goodness we never believed possible. And it is just that reason that One Was Lost is a book I’m so particularly proud of and excited to share with you.

Happy Reading!

Natalie

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Happy reading and check back closer to the release date for my review!  

Jordan

Promo & Giveaway: Storm of Arranon by R.E. Sheahan

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A forbidden birth. A remarkable young woman. A marauding alien society. The battle begins.

A brutal alien society invades Korin and Arranon, intent on destroying the two worlds that make up Cadet Erynn Yager’s home. Forced to expose her strange abilities and reveal her forbidden birth, a guarded web of secrets unravels.

Stranded on an unfamiliar planet of eternal winter and predatory wildlife, the mysterious living consciousness of Arranon intervenes, leading Erynn on a mystical journey.

Aware of Erynn’s potential, the alien enemy pursues her. She struggles to gain control of her growing powers while in a constant race to elude the invaders, and join the forces preparing to fight a mounting occupation.

Erynn’s secret may be her worlds’ only hope, but at the cost of her life. Swept up in a chain reaction of events, Erynn’s dedication extends far beyond service and duty. She learns the true meaning of sacrifice.

Along with courage and hope, Erynn finds something unexpected on her journey of awareness and growth.

Love.

Excerpt

Jaer sighed. “I will get you there, Erynn.” His hand stroked her hair.

I’m Erynn again. She angled her face to see him. “Why do you do that?”

He tipped his head. His hand stopped its soft movement and dropped. “I am sorry. I will not do it again.” His arms stiffened.

“No. I mean sometimes you call me Lieutenant, or Lieutenant Yager, but rarely Erynn. Why?”

“I guess the same reason you call me, sir, and not Jaer.”

She stared at the dark outline of his face, quiet for a long moment. “So if I call you Jaer, you’ll stop calling me Lieutenant?”

He laughed quietly. “Yes, Erynn.” His hand moved back to her hair, sliding around to hold her face. His lips brushed hers, tentative at first, then with more pressure, but still gentle.

Erynn put one arm around him and the other up to his jacket, grasping the collar and pulling him, returning the kiss. Electric blue tendrils wove around, slow and graceful, encompassing them in a soft light.

authorI have always been a reader. I’d come home from grade school with stacks of books every week, and during the summer, I’d get my fix from the library. I love books. Later, while working every day outside at the ranch, I’d listen to audio books on cassette with one of those Sportswalk players I’d hook to my belt. I could go through three or four books a week.

I started writing while working as a Paramedic/Firefighter in Northern California.
Trust me, it’s not always like it appears on TV. There was plenty of time for reading.

Writing got serious for me when I moved to my ranch in Oregon. While waiting for lambs to be born in the middle of the night, I would head back to the house for an hour or two and sit down at the computer. Before I knew it, I had a manuscript. One hundred and twenty-two thousand words that desperately needed help, but it was a start.

The characters demanded their story be told, so I joined critique groups and attended writer’s conferences. I was on the fast track to learning what I needed to know to write well, and tell, show, an engaging story.

In 2013, I received an honorable mention in Writer’s Digest’s Self Published book awards for MG/YA, so I guess I had learned something! BTW, I’m still learning.

Ideas from dreams follow me into warm sunny days or the quiet of falling snow. “What ifs” feed a vivid imagination. Even mistyped phrases may lead to an “aha” moment. Brain storming sessions standing in dark, windy parking lots with fellow writers release thoughts that pry at the corners of my mind, grasping for purchase. Sometimes the ideas pursue me, with persistence.

Website/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest

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Enchanting reading, 

Jordan

 

Cover Reveal & Goodreads Giveaway: Unrest by Wendy Higgins

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Release Date: Feb 16, 2017

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Being on the run in the desert means food and sanctuary are hard to come by, but Amber Tate and her crew are not about to give up. Not after having so many of the things they love brutally ripped from them by the unknown enemy who sent their world into an apocalypse. 

Survival takes precedence, but once safe shelter is found, their guards fall and the emotions they’ve been holding in are finally released. Anger, insecurities…lust. Amber, Rylen, Tater, and Remy cannot escape it in their tight quarters. The past must be faced, and passions run even stronger in the darkest of times.

In the midst of unrest, their worlds are rocked again when the truth is made known about the war that’s ruined their lives. They thought finding out who the enemy was would give them the edge; instead it’s revealed terrifying dangers they never thought possible. 

CHECK OUT BOOK 1 IN THE SERIES 

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Amber Tate believes the worst thing she’ll suffer in life is dealing with the unrequited love she feels for her brother’s best friend, Rylen Fite. She also believes war is something unfortunate that happens places far, far away from her rural Nevada town. She’s wrong on both counts.

When an unknown organization meticulously bombs major cities in the United States and across the globe, a trickle-down effect spreads to remaining towns at an alarming speed—everything from food and water sources to technology and communications are compromised. Without leadership, the nation is split between paralysis and panic, but Amber isn’t one to hide or watch helplessly. She’s determined to put her nursing skills to use, despite the danger, even if it means working alongside the man she can never have.

In this first installment of NY Times bestselling author, Wendy Higgins’s debut New Adult series, a frighteningly realistic apocalyptic America is brought to life, entwined with searing romantic tension that will leave you eager for more.

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Unknown by Wendy Higgins

Giveaway ends October 10, 2016.

Apocalyptic reading, 

Jordan