Sunday, April 23, 2017

BOOK BLITZ - YA Historical - Davenport House Prequel: Debutante by Marie Silk

Davenport House Prequel: Debutante
by Marie Silk
Publication date: April 21st 2017
Genres: Historical, Young Adult
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The family saga begins in Debutante, a prequel to the best-selling Davenport House series. A life of luxury for the Davenports means drudgery for the servants on the grand country estate. This is their story in 1909 America, six years prior to the events of book one.

While her father is away on business, sixteen-year-old Mary Davenport feels confined and alone, despite her privileged life at the family’s mansion. As the day of Mary’s debutante ball draws near, the servants are conflicted by instructions from Mary’s mother to starve her until she fits into a gown that was made too small. Mary is also under pressure to act the part of society while being forbidden from seeing her only friend, the servant boy who works in the stable.

In a shantytown hours away, a young girl called Abigail is hired to sew a gown for a dressmaker’s wealthy patron. Abigail gives up her education in order to provide for her impoverished family. Neither she nor Mary is aware of how connected their futures are destined to become.
Buy Link: Amazon
Special release price of 99¢!
AND: Each book in the series will be on sale for 99¢ between April 22-27!
Author Info
Marie Silk has enjoyed writing stories and plays since childhood. She lives with her family in the United States and travels the globe as often as life permits. She is an admirer of history, antiques, and architecture. Marie is the author of the best selling Davenport House family saga.
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BOOK BLITZ - YA Mystery Suspense - Serenade (The Nightmusic Trilogy, #1) by Heather McKenzie

Serenade
The Nightmusic Trilogy, #1
by Heather McKenzie
Publication date: April 17th 2017
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Genres: Mystery, Romance, Suspense, Young Adult
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Kidnapped and held hostage in the Rockies, a teenage heiress falls for her abductor while her corrupt father and devoted bodyguard fight to get her back. The discovery of true love and dark family secrets turns deadly in this epic coming of age adventure.

Kaya Lowen dreams of living like a normal eighteen-year old, but being heiress to a billion-dollar company has put her life in constant danger. Fiercely guarded by her powerful and corrupt father, she develops close bonds with those who protect her, especially Oliver – a bodyguard who has proven his devotion to her time and again. He wins her heart – until a chance encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning everything she believes in. Haunted by true love and reeling from a guilty conscience, Kaya’s world unravels when she’s kidnapped.

Held captive in a rugged wilderness fraught with raging storms, mystical caves and deadly predators, Kaya’s father scours the forest and her bodyguard fights to get her back. But, the discovery of a dark family secret makes Kaya wonder if staying in the arms of her blue-eyed abductor—a captivating stranger with dark secrets of his own – is a safer place to be. At least, that’s what her heart is telling her, her head is saying run…

An epic adventure centered on a smoldering love-triangle, Serenade sings a timeless tale of courage, self-discovery, and life-or-death love that will leave you breathless.
Buy Links:
Amazon / B & N / iBooks / Kobo
EXCERPT:
This was it, now or never.
I gathered every single ounce of energy I had and steadied my mind to ignore the pain in my foot and the dizziness in my head. Then, with everything I had, I turned and bolted toward the dense forest. The darkness instantly enveloped me. I could see well enough not to run into tree trunks, but branches caught me at every turn. My head felt as if it was spinning like a top, but I forced my legs to keep going. I could hear the men’s voices yelling at each other in an organized manner.
I tripped and found myself on all fours. Get up, girl. There’s nothing wrong with you—get up…
I made it a few more steps before my head connected with a blue spruce, and then I collapsed in a pathetic heap. My arms were so wobbly I could barely wipe at the gash across my forehead. My body was completely failing me. I prayed to God that the dog would just snap my neck and get it over with quickly…
Human footsteps approached. I gulped in some air and tried to push myself up, but the world tipped on its side and I fell with it. Within moments, large hands had my wrists pinned to the ground. I struggled and fought with everything I had left, which wasn’t much.
“Stop fighting,” he said.
His voice created such confusion inside me. I kicked harder.
“Stop… please,” he begged.
His body pinned mine to the ground. I could feel tears welling up in my eyes.
“Please, Kaya, trust me. I won’t let anyone hurt you, I promise.” He leaned forward and pressed his sleeve to my bleeding forehead, dabbing and inspecting it closely while I had no choice but to gaze up him. How could this beautiful man be a kidnapper? It just didn’t fit.
“It’s just a scratch; no stitches required,” he said, voice trailing off as his eyes met mine.
We stayed like that for a while: me on the ground, him kneeling over me, and our line of sight only on each other—until an unmistakable sound broke through the tree tops.
“They’ll find me,” I said softly, wondering if Oliver was in the helicopter circling over our heads.
He positioned his arms under my body, and, in one graceful motion, he picked me up and into his arms. “Just don’t run. Promise me that, please. I’ll keep you safe. You have my word. Okay?”
He held me tightly—protectively—waiting eagerly for my reply with turmoil in his blue eyes. My whole body hurt, and admittedly, I couldn’t have walked another inch. The wolves or that beast would have got to me long before Oliver would have. I was at my kidnapper’s mercy, laying helplessly in his arms and falling harder for him by the second.
“I promise,” I said.
Buy Links:
Amazon / B & N / iBooks / Kobo

Author Info
Heather McKenzie is a Canadian author and Serenade is her first novel. A professional singer/songwriter with five albums to date, she has been telling stories through music for years and pulls from her extraordinary experiences as a musician to fuel her passion for creating Young Adult fiction. A rocker at heart, a mom of three, an aspiring painter, and a lover of animals, she is kept grounded by her husband at their home in Edmonton.
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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Virtual Tour - YA Historical Fiction Fantasy - The Mourning Ring by Sarah Parke

The Mourning Ring
 by Sarah Parke
Publication Date: October 10th 2016
CreateSpace eBook & Paperback
Genre: Young Adult/Historical Fantasy

The Book Junkie Reads . . . The Mourning Ring . . . I was biting my nails on this one. I was not sure what Charlotte would choose family or characters. I was not sure which one I wanted her to choose. The characters were so rich, engaging, and hers/theirs. Her siblings were her blood, family, loved ones. Each set created a connection to Charlotte and throughout the read you find a reason to hold or to let-go of one or other. Charlotte’s connection to her family, well sibling was the stories she weaved and the way she shared them. This was not a read that you could just take lightly. If you have read Brontë’s works before you know that her characters were rich and complex, yet engaging and life altering.

 

There was an element of darkness, danger, conflict, sadness, pain, sorrow, and joy. They each had a place in this read and they each filled that void needed to propel the story further. This was a wonderful adventure. It captivated me and held me. I found the richness filling. I found this to be a wonderful adventure to take the youngest of minds on an adventure to be remembered. I enjoyed this read so much that I have started reading it again with my children. We take it one chapter every Wednesday evening after dinner. The children are so excited and anticipates what’s to come next.

 

I certainly recommend this read to anyone that loved to read young adult fantasy and adventure.  It may be set in a time that most children know nothing about but it will still captivate them to explore their own minds and seek out the possibilities of it all.

 

BLURB

Sixteen-year-old Charlotte Brontë lives to tell stories. She longs to improve her fortunes through her writing. Charlotte’s father expects her to leave behind her childish fantasies in order to set an example for her three younger siblings.

 

But the Brontë children hold a secret in their veins—a smidgen of fairy blood that can bring their words to life.

 

When Charlotte discovers that the characters from their childish stories exist in an alternate world called Glass Town, she jumps at the opportunity to be the heroine of her own tale.

 

The city of Angria teeters on the brink of civil war and Charlotte and her siblings must use their magic and their wits to save its people from a tyrant with magic abilities. But entering the fictional world means forfeiting control of their own creations. If they fail, the characters they have come to know and love will be destroyed.

 

Charlotte is determined to save the city and characters she loves, but when the line between creator and character becomes blurred, will she choose her fantasy or her family?

Buy Links:

Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback) 

B & N | IndieBound

EXCERPT

Emily's bored sigh, the fourth in as many minutes, set Charlotte's teeth on edge.
Her younger sister was determined not to apply herself to her lessons, but Charlotte was just as determined to ignore Emily's attempts to rile her up.
"I don't see what use geometry will serve when I'm an old crone with a dozen chickens." Emily stabbed the dining table with her compass needle and twirled the device in a pirouette.
"How will you build your chicken coop?" Charlotte asked archly.
Emily sighed again.
"I'm sure Keeper could do with a walk," Charlotte said. And I could do with a break from you.
The mutt had been sleeping beneath the table by Emily's feet, huffing in tandem with his mistress. At the sound of his name, he bolted to his feet and rushed from the room. Emily followed.
Charlotte turned her attention back to the letter she had been writing to Ellen. She had lost her train of thought, somewhere in the middle of a sentence about Branwell.
"I'm finished," Anne said, setting down her pencil.
Charlotte leaned over Anne's workbook, fanning herself with the half-finished letter. "See here, your subject and verb do not agree."
Anne bent her face closer to the page and scratched out the offensive pluralizing 's'. Charlotte made a noise of approval and stood up from the table. The afternoon heat and golden half-light were making her drowsy. She gazed out the window to hide her yawn.
Charlotte never thought she would miss the strict routines of the Roe Head School, but she found herself implementing her own daily rituals at home; dividing her time into discrete parcels and mentally striking items from her list.
Each morning began with meditation on the tasks for the day. This list included early morning chores, magic practice (on Tuesdays and Fridays), teaching Emily and Anne their lessons, an afternoon walk (unless the weather was poor), dinner, and writing time before bed.
Sometimes at night, Charlotte heard Branwell skulking around the house like a burglar when everyone was abed.
Her brother continued to be distant and standoffish. He stayed holed up in his room all day long, except when he had lessons with his tutors. Charlotte suspected that his anti-social behavior and the magic accident were linked. Branwell's appetite was a healthy as ever, judging by the trays of food Tabby left outside his door. They were always picked clean.
Hurried footsteps and Keeper's hoarse bark interrupted Charlotte's thoughts. Seconds later, Emily rushed into the room clutching a dirty scrap of linen in her hand. Keeper's uneven gait followed closely behind her.
"Look at this!" Emily waved the handkerchief at Charlotte. Keeper growled low as his mistress handed over his prize. Emily and the dog stared at Charlotte expectantly.
She took the square of fabric between her thumb and forefinger, holding it away from her person as it was dirty and damp with dog saliva. Beneath the muddy streaks, there was a spattering of reddish-brown stains around a row of buttons. It wasn't a handkerchief after all, but an irregularly torn piece of a man's shirt.
"Where did you find it?"
Emily's breaths came in pants. She licked her lips, hungered by this new mystery.
"Keeper dug it up in the garden. I had to wrestle it from him and it ripped."
"Who would bury a shirt in the yard? And what are these stains?"
"What if it’s blood?" Emily whispered.
Charlotte held the scrap in both hands, examining it more closely. She had mended enough shirts to recognize this one.
"This looks like Branwell's shirt, but it's not blood." Charlotte had treated several of her own bloody undergarments in the past three years. The stains on the shirt were stiff and too dark to be blood. She scratched at one of the blotches. A crusty residue flaked off beneath her fingernail.
She sniffed the suspect stains.
"It smells like...paint. Branwell must be painting something."
Charlotte handed the scrap back to Emily, who looked somewhat disappointed.
"If it’s paint, then why would he have buried the shirt in the backyard?"
"I don't know, but I intend to find out."
Charlotte put aside her letter and marched upstairs to Branwell's door, pursued by Emily and Anne. Pressing her ear to the wood she could hear nothing within except the occasional tread of his foot on a creaking floorboard. 
Why was he acting like a character from one of Sir Walter Scott's novels? What was he hiding?
Charlotte rapped her knuckles against the door and was met with a surly "Go away!"
Her attempts to try the handle were unsuccessful. The door was locked.
"Branwell, I expect you to explain yourself! You are being secretive and ruining shirts and making your sisters speculate wildly."
Silence.
"What are you painting that must be kept such a secret?"
More silence.
With a sigh, Charlotte left and ushered her sisters back to their lessons.
Her brother would have to come out of his room and account for himself someday soon.

Buy Links:

Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback) | B & N | IndieBound


Author Info
Sarah Parke writes fantasy and historical fiction (sometimes at the same time) for young adult readers and those young at heart. She has a MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from the University of Southern Maine's Stonecoast MFA program. Her work has been published internationally, most recently in the July 2015 issue of The Writer magazine.

MY INTERVIEW WITH SARAH PARKE
How would you describe your style of writing to someone that has never read your work?
My writing style could best be described as “Literary Snark”. I’ve read a lot of classic nineteenth century British novels (Austen, Brontë, Dickens), so my prose can be a little more formal. However, I love writing dialogue, and I learned to write snappy, snarky dialogue from the King of Witty Banter: Screenwriter Joss Whedon (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly fame). I like to blend historical events with fantasy elements in a way that reveals a new perspective on the past.

What are some of your writing/publishing goals for this year?
My goal for this year is to finish writing my next YA Historical Fantasy project and have it critiqued by my first readers by the end of the year. Writing a novel is like training for a marathon (something I’ve never done). There are a lot of steps and you have to pace yourself or you’ll make a mistake that will cost you in the long run (pun intended).

Do you feel that writing is an ingrained process or just something that flows naturally for you?
I think that the desire to tell stories is instinctual for me...but that’s not really the same thing as being a productive and successful writer. There’s a well-known quote that goes “I hate writing, but I love having written.” That’s how I feel most days. I have to trick myself into sitting at my desk on a regular basis, but once my fingers are moving across the keys, instinct kicks in. Creating a consistent writing habit is a work-in-progress for me.

If you could spend one-week with 5 fictional characters, who would they be?
I think I would enjoy hanging out at Hogwarts with the original HP trio, but only if I could do magic, too. Or maybe I could follow the Bennett sisters around Georgian England and find myself a “single man in possession of a fortune” looking for a wife.

Can you share you next creative project(s)? If yes, can you give a few details?
My next YA novel is another mix of alternate history and fantasy. It follows a teenage girl who is not your typical debutante--more like Buffy in a corset. I’ll leave you with this scintillating tidbit: Napoleon used Black Magic to win the war.
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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

COVER REVEAL - Crowned (Beholder, #4) by Christina Bauer


Crowned
Beholder, #4
by Christina Bauer
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: November 28th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Beauty. Romance. Power. It’s all in the eye of the BEHOLDER.
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At last, Elea has found the love of her life. Unfortunately, the evil Tsar Viktor is about to unleash an army of twisted mages bent on killing everyone Elea cares about… including the man who’s stolen her heart.
So what’s a powerful witch to do? Why, organize a league of magical warriors, of course!

Elea recruits and trains a fighting force to take down the Tsar. That’s challenge enough, but on the eve of battle, Elea realizes that her true enemies may be far more powerful than even Viktor: The deities Oni and Yuri could be out to destroy her as well. With major battles brewing on two fronts, Elea’s not sure that she’ll win, but with true love to inspire her, she’s certainly ready to fight.
Buy Links:
Amazon / B & N / iBooks / Kobo
Previous books in the series:

Author Info
Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers. It is now available as an audiobook on Audible and iTunes.
 
Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

Be the first to know about new releases from Christina by signing up for her newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/CBupdates
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BOOK BLITZ - YA DYSTOPIAN - Forgotten (The Deception Game, #2) by Kristin Smith

Forgotten
The Deception Game, #2
by Kristin Smith
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: April 25th 2017
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
BLURB
The epic tale of Sienna Preston continues in this second installment of the exhilarating Deception Game series.

Seventeen-year-old Sienna is no stranger to heartache and loss. But this time, it’s different; someone―or something―has tampered with a loved one’s memories, and she’s determined to get answers.

The trail leads her to the glittering skyscrapers and modern luxuries of Rubex, the Capital of Pacifica, where she infiltrates the government’s Agency for Intelligence and Genetics. But answers are not always easy to come by, especially when her own memories may have been altered. Luckily, Zane Ryder is there to help her put the pieces back together, his devotion and concern muddying the waters between friendship and something more.

When Sienna gets too close to uncovering dark Agency secrets, she’s framed for the murder of a prominent government official, sending her on the run. Sienna’s heart may be torn about who she loves, but none of that really matters anymore―because the only thing that awaits her now is a death sentence.
Buy Links:
Amazon / B & N / iBooks / Kobo
Grab book 1 for only 99¢!
Amazon / B& N / iBooks / Kobo
EXCERPT:
Zane parks his Aria on the lake side of the dam, and we both climb out.
“Bring back memories?” Zane asks with a wry grin.
“How you thought I was trying to kill myself? Again?” I laugh. “I don’t know why you thought I was so suicidal.”
Zane shrugs. “Maybe I didn’t. Maybe I just wanted an excuse to rescue you.”
My heart trips over itself. “Zane,” I say softly, “you can’t keep saying things like that.”
He moves around the side of the car. “Why not?” When he takes my hand in his, the warmth of his fingers heats up my whole body.
“This isn’t a good idea,” I mutter, but I make no move to extract my hand from his.
He looks down at me, then at our entwined fingers. “But what if it is? What if it’s the best idea in the whole damn world?”
“Because—because you’re engaged. To someone else.”
“But I don’t want to be,” he says, his voice low. He takes a step closer until he’s so close that I could wrap my arm around his back if I wanted to.
“Zane,” I warn, but the warning gets caught in my throat. He’s giving me that look. The same one he gave me before he kissed me that first time on the couch in his house.
“What?” he whispers.

“Please, don’t—” But he’s already leaning down, his eyes focused on my mouth. My breath comes out shaky as his fingers slip from mine and his hands touch my waist, gently bringing me closer. Before I can stop myself, our lips meet, and a thousand nerve endings converge to a single spot. His lips are fire and warmth and need. And that single spark ignites an already-smoldering flame.
Buy Links:
Amazon / B & N / iBooks / Kobo
Grab book 1 for only 99¢!
Amazon / B& N / iBooks / Kobo

Guest Post by Kristin Smith:
Top Ten Reasons to Love Dystopian Novels

After the rise of popular novels like Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Selection, publishers started chasing the next trend. And it was NOT dystopia. I recently wrote a blog post about whether or not dystopian novels are dead. And the consensus is that they are indeed NOT dead. They are still kicking and thriving and readers are enjoying them more than ever.
So if you haven't hopped on the dystopia train yet, why should you? I'm about to give you 10 Reasons Why.

Top Ten Reasons to Love Dystopian Novels
1) Dystopian novels typically take place in a futuristic time period, often after an apocalyptic event. The society is different, rules are different, and this can make for some pretty interesting plots.

2) There WILL be romance, and there may even be two love interests, creating an intriguing love triangle. I mean, come on, who doesn't enjoy a good love triangle?

3) There will most definitely be at least one HOT guy, and he'll probably have great abs and lots of strong muscles. And plenty of excuses to take his shirt off. YUM. :)

4) The heroine will likely be different from everyone else, but also completely relatable. You'll laugh with her, cry with her, and scream with her. She'll be like your best friend—only better—because she's also pretty kicka$$.

5) There will be at least ONE character who provides some comic relief. Because let's face it, when there're bombs going off and buildings are tumbling, you NEED someone to lighten things up a bit. Cue the funny man. 

6) There's never a standalone book. It will most definitely be a series, making you wait and wait for the next one to release so you can finish reading all the epicness. Doesn't everyone love a good wait? No? Well, series are still pretty awesome because you get to be with the characters even LONGER!

7) When you're finished reading, you'll close the book and reflect for at least three minutes on the meaning of life and if anything you've read could possibly come true. Chances are, it could.

8) You'll find yourself comparing your significant other to one of the hot guys (or cute girls) in the book. And thankfully, your significant other will win out every time, especially once you come to grips that these characters aren't REAL.

9) Dystopian novels are often filled with blood, carnage, inhumane acts, and loads of hopeless feelings. My favorite things to read about!

10) Someone inevitably will die, and you'll end up crying big, fat, ugly tears with lots of snot, and you'll go through half a box of tissues. But that's okay. All you have to do is tell yourself that you never really liked that character anyway. That makes it all better!

So that's my Top Ten List! As you can see, it was full of snark. But one thing is certain—I DO love a good dystopia! <3

Author Info
Kristin Smith writes young adult contemporary and science fiction novels. When she’s not writing, you can find her dreaming about the beach, beating her boys at Just Dance, or belting out karaoke (from the comfort of her own home). Kristin currently resides in the middle-of-nowhere North Carolina with her husband and five incredibly loud but extremely cute boys. To read more about her obsession with YA novels or her addiction to chocolate, you can visit her at kristinsmithbooks.com.
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Monday, April 17, 2017

COVER REVEAL - YA Fantasy - Rise of the Sea Witch by Stacey Rourke

Rise of the Sea Witch
by Stacey Rourke
Publication date: June 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
BLURB
Details of the sea witch’s banishment have been exaggerated. The body count that preempted it was not. Once an illustrious princess, her hands and tentacles were stained with the blood of thousands. No one could comprehend how the hooks of madness dragged her down from her life of privilege.

Born Princess Vanessa of Atlantica, the ambitious young royal was one of two children born to the great King Poseidon. She and her brother, Triton, were groomed from birth to rule. Yet only one would ascend that coveted throne. While carefree Triton flits through his training with a cavalier demeanor and beguiling charm, Vanessa’s hunger for her father’s acceptance drives her to push herself to the limits of magic, and combat to become a leader worthy of her people.

When war against the humans ravages their once regal kingdom, political sides are chosen. Factions from the seven seas challenge the existing leadership, pitting Vanessa against her brother in a vicious battle for the crown. Traitors are exposed, dark family secrets revealed, and a once strong sibling bond is strained to its breaking point.

Only when the ink black waters from the ultimate betrayal rescind, will the truth be known of how the villainous sea witch rose with one name on her vengeful lips–Triton.


Author Info
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
Readers' Favorite Silver Medal Winner for Crane 2015
Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Reel Romance Series. 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.
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