Saturday, May 16, 2015

Children of the Mark by Michael W. Garza

25182001 
 
 
AJ Scott is a typical teenager. The only thing he wants to do is survive high school. Clair Anderson and Dougie Edwards have been his friends since the third grade. The teens stumble across a bizarre ritual and their night of adventure quickly turns to panic as they witness the culmination of the Cult of the Elder’s attempt to pull a monstrous deity from the netherworld into our world. A hasty escape leaves the teens terrified and AJ marred from the event. His newfound malady proves to be much more than a simple mark and the trio are pulled into a world of deceit, monsters, and old fashioned horror
 
 
 
 
 This story reminded me of one of my long time loved movies, The Gate starring Stephen Dorff http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093075/  The Children of the Mark has a different storyline, but the atmosphere and portrayal of true horror was there. 
 
AJ and his friends Clair and Dougie come across a cult summoning one night and AJ comes face to face with a true demon. He is forever marked and can now see and feel things from the netherworld. 
 
Together, along with the help of Mrs Applebottom. They delve more into the cult and it's activities. Learning that the cult intends to use the majority of the towns adults and sacrifices to succeed. 
I found this story to be very entertaining and well written. The plot was exciting, dangerous and ominous. I would recommend this book to kids who enjoy reading monster stories. 

The writing provides great visuals and details for the imagination. The story flows well and keeps the reader turning pages to see what happens. Also leading up to what could lead to a sequel, but stands on it's own.



https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2378359.Michael_W_Garza
Michael W. GarzaMichael W. Garza often finds himself wondering where his inspiration will come from next and in what form his imagination will bring it to life. The outcomes regularly surprise him and it's always his ambition to amaze those curious enough to follow him and take in those results. He encourages readers to peek at his latest work as well as the material he's published in the past. He sincerely hopes that everyone will find something that astonishes, surprises, or simply scares the heck out of you.

www.mwgarza.com
facebook.com/mwgarza
twitter.com/@mwgarza
 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

#Giveaway-Out of Control by Sarah Alderson Book Blitz

Out of Control by Sarah Alderson
Published by: Simon Pulse
Publication date: May 12th 2015
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult

Synopsis:
A girl looking to escape her past in New York City ends up on the run from a dangerous conspiracy in this sizzling, high-stakes novel.
When seventeen-year-old Liva came to New York City, all she wanted was to escape the painful memories of her past and finally find a fresh start. Her hopes for a new future were dashed the moment she became the sole witness to a brutal murder. When she’s taken into police custody—supposedly for her own protection—she realizes something isn’t right, but it’s too late. Soon, bullets start flying, and Liva realizes that she is not just a witness, but the target—and she needs to escape before it’s too late.
With the help of a sexy car thief that she met at the station, Liva manages to get away from the massacre unharmed, but now the two of them are alone in New York, trying to outrun and outwit the two killers who will stop at nothing to find them. Liva and Jay are living on the edge, but when you’re on the edge, there’s a long way to fall.


Purchase:


AUTHOR BIO:
Having spent most of her life in London, Sarah quit her job in the non profit sector in 2009 and took off on a round the world trip with her husband and princess-obsessed daughter on a mission to find a new place to call home. After several months in India, Singapore, Australia and the US, they settled in Bali where Sarah now spends her days writing by the pool and trying to machete open coconuts without severing a limb.

She finished her first novel, Hunting Lila (winner of the Kingston Book Award), just before they left the UK, wrote the sequel on the beach in India and had signed a two book deal with Simon & Schuster by the time they had reached Bali.

A third book, Fated, about a teenage demon slayer, was published in January 2012.

The Sound, a thriller romance set in Nantucket, was published in August 2013 and this was followed by the critically acclaimed Out of Control in May 2014.

She also writes New Adult romance for Pan Macmillan (UK) / Simon & Schuster (US) under the pen name Mila Gray.

You can find Sarah on facebook and at www.sarahalderson.com or follow her blog at www.canwelivhere.com

Author links:
EXCERPT 1

The boy snatches the key from my outstretched hand and jams it into the tiny hole. The cuff springs apart, freeing him.
Instantly, he throws himself on top of me. ‘Get down!’
A bullet smacks itself into a filing cabinet just behind us as we tumble to the ground. His chest presses down on mine, my face is buried in his shoulder. Quickly he rolls off me and pushes me towards a desk. I scoot underneath it, banging the side of my head on the sharp metal corner of a drawer unit. I let out a cry.
‘Shhh.’ His hand clamps over my mouth.
I tug his arm away. ‘What’s going on? What’s happening?’ I whisper.
Before he can answer me, the shooting stops and a silence falls that is even more terrifying than the gunfire. The boy and I both freeze, staring at each other unblinking, just a few millimetres between us. Together, enclosed in the tight space beneath the desk, we strain to listen, and over the radio static and the whir of the air conditioner overhead, I pick out faint cries coming from somewhere in the distance; the unnatural keening howl of a wounded animal.
The boy shifts his weight. His back is pressed to one cabinet, his feet to the drawer unit. Carefully, he peers around the edge of the desk then ducks quickly back, breathing fast. A bead of sweat trickles down the side of his face.
‘Shit,’ he murmurs, resting his head back against the cabinet and closing his eyes.
‘Wh— ’ I begin, but stop when I hear the sly creak of the door being pushed open. A boot crunches on glass. The boy’s eyes flash open and lock on mine, holding me in place, silencing the scream that has risen up my throat and is threatening to tear free. My legs begin to shake from holding still in a crouching position. The boy’s right hand squeezes my knee hard – another warning, his eyes wide and burning fiercely into mine, telling me: Do not move.
Something topples off a desk on the far side of the room and, over the boy’s shoulder, through a gap between two filing cabinets, I glimpse the back of a man’s leg. Whose? Is it a cop? Where is everyone else? What happened to the cops who ran out into the corridor?
No. I shut off the thought, not wanting to go there.
The man in the room is standing stock-still with his back to us. What is he doing? I can’t see. He’s facing the wall – the chalkboard with all the homicide cases listed on it. The seconds seem to extend into whole hours, days, centuries, and I’m holding my breath and the boy’s hand is still squeezing my knee and my heart is bursting, literally bursting, as though too much blood is pumping through it. My leg muscles are on fire and, without warning, my foot slips. Not far. But it bumps the edge of the desk. The man spins instantly in our direction. The air rushes from my lungs and the boy shifts beside me, a single word that I don’t catch, falling from his lips like a dying man’s prayer.
The man starts to head in our direction, is almost on us, when someone somewhere else in the building shouts something that’s instantly swallowed in a storm of gunfire and the man rushes out into the corridor.
The boy darts his head out and then he’s out from under the desk and reaching for me.

‘Move!’ he says, pulling me to my feet.
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Friday, May 1, 2015

Nobody's Goddess by Amy McNulty



ABOUT NOBODY’S GODDESS:

Title: Nobody's Goddess (The Never Veil #1)
Publication date: April 21, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author:  Amy McNulty


In a village of masked men, magic compels each man to love only one woman and to follow the commands of his “goddess” without question. A woman may reject the only man who will love her if she pleases, but she will be alone forever. And a man must stay masked until his goddess returns his love—and if she can’t or won’t, he remains masked forever.

Seventeen-year-old Noll isn't in the mood to celebrate. Her childhood friends have paired off and her closest companion, Jurij, found his goddess in Noll’s own sister. Desperate to find a way to break this ancient spell, Noll instead discovers why no man has ever chosen her.

Thus begins a dangerous game between the choice of woman versus the magic of man. And the stakes are no less than freedom and happiness, life and death—and neither is willing to lose.
                      My Review
If I had to describe this book in one word it would be unique. This book as so many aspects to it that I have never come across in any YA books. I found it very unusual and it has diverse interesting characters.

This is one of those stories that will sweep you away into a world that is very curious and kind of dark. The main plot revolves around this unusual way that couples pair up and the politics of this fantasy land. There are aspects of magic in this world, but not that of your wizarding kind. It reminded me more of a dark grim fairytale type of magic.

When the Lord and Noll are together you can see this battle of the minds. They are both very stubborn, demanding and know what they want. Yet they clash so much it's almost funny. Like in Disney's Beauty and the Beast and the Beast has to keep restraining his rage when she stands up to him.

I would have to say that this story brought out a lot of feminist ideas that got me thinking. Even though the whole story focuses on this idea of "love" it is in no way a fluffy kind of read. Pretty dark and edgy , a true battle of the wills.

ABOUT AMY MCNULTY:


 
Amy McNulty is a freelance writer and editor from Wisconsin with an honors degree in English. She was first published in a national scholarly journal (The Concord Review) while in high school and currently spends her days alternatively writing on business and marketing topics and primarily crafting stories with dastardly villains and antiheroes set in fantastical medieval settings.


Connect with the Author:  Website Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads



 Winner will be drawn May 22, 2015
·         Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of Nobody's Goddess (The Never Veil #1) by Amy McNulty (INT)

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Direct Link: 
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A Chapter by Chapter Tour 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Blog Tour: Forever Julia by Jodi Carmichael




16-year-old Julia falls for a wealthy and controlling boy who leads her to betray her best friend and sacrifice her integrity. Because love and infatuation can turn dark. Fast. Ultimately, she alone must decide what lines cannot be crossed. Forever Julia is full of romance, heart-break, and dangerous secrets.

I found this book to be very informative when it came to giving the reader clues of what a destructive relationship can contain. Here we have Julia who is experiencing some problems at home and in turn throws herself into her relationship with Jeremy. When listing out is qualities there are a lot of pros, he's cute, rich, charming and always knows seems to know the right things to say...except when he doesn't say the right thing and the BIG con, his temper.

Julia seems to be a very quiet and introspective girl. She has experienced the death of her father, her grandmother's illness and being in the lower income bracket than most of her classmates. She is highly devoted to her long time best friend. When Jeremy enters that picture she sees a different life and finds herself doing things that are more adventurous. This guy seems totally devoted to her and at this place in her life she is needing that escape.

We like to think that each new day brings us adventure, or something new. Julia and Jeremy are consumed by this new adventure of first love and compromises. Forever Julia is a reminder that we can get swept away, but check yourself every once in awhile, remember who you are and stay strong.

There are a handful of really great characters in this story. There is a lot of drama, fighting, anger and forgiveness. A story that can help you see some of the signs of an unhealthy relationship, especially young or first loves.

JODI CARMICHAEL lives in Winnipeg where she can often be found dancing in the living room with her two wildly imaginative daughters, her patient and supportive husband, and a scruffy Border Terrier named Zoe. Jodi’s previous book for young readers, Spaghetti Is NOT A Finger Food, won numerous awards and has been a multi-week Bestseller. Visit Jodi Carmichael at www.jodicarmichael.com

Link to Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23140024-forever-julia    

Purchase Links:

Giveaway Information:  Winner will be drawn May 25, 2015
·        One (1) winner will received a physical copy of Forever Julia by Jodi Carmichael

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Excerpt 1
From Chapter 3
Jeremy texted me about an hour ago, asking to meet at the bot- tom of The Barclay Bowl run. I stack my skis and poles in the stand outside the lodge. Quarter-size snowflakes drift through the air. I squint into the sun and follow the well-packed path towards Barclay. The slopes are still crowded—everyone’s trying to squeeze in a few more runs before the sun slips behind the hill.
My heart quivers when I see Jeremy standing in the shade of a thirty-foot Jack pine, leaning on his snowboard. I wave, but he’s too busy texting to notice me. Who is he   texting?
“Hey Jeremy,” I call.
He holds up one finger to me, like my mom does when she’s on the phone. My heart sinks. A minute goes by before he smirks and stuffs the phone in his pocket. He faces me and his smile lifts my spirits.
“Hey Julia,” he says. He sounds serious—or something. I jam my hands into my jacket pockets. I would’ve worn my mitts, but they are soaked from my spills on the hill.
“How were the black diamonds?” I ask.
“Awesome. I smoked everyone up there.”
“Oh. Good. I graduated off the bunny hill. I even did a few greens and only fell twice. And look no broken bones.” I hold out my arms for his inspection. His eyebrows rise as he gives me a cursory glance. “Remember? Last time I went skiing, when I was eight—I broke my wrist,” I explain.
“Right,” he says and clears his throat, resting his snow- board against the pine tree. “Listen, Julia, I wanted to talk to you about something.”
The wind picks up and snowflakes swirl around us, blowing my long bangs across my face. I tuck my curls under the edge of my toque, so I can see Jeremy. I cup my frozen, angry red hands in front of my mouth, blowing hot air into them. It doesn’t help, so I stuff them back into my pockets.
He tugs me into his chest. “Tonight’s the night.” His mouth crashes down on mine. I try to respond, but my lips are so cold they barely move. They ache under the weight of his lips. He pulls back, his smile tight.
“What’s wrong?” “Nothing. I’m just cold.”
“You won’t be for long. Once we’re back at the chalet, I’ll get you hot.” His lips caress my neck. “I need you, Julia. So much.” Shivers rush down my shoulders, spreading over my body.
I toss my head back, close my eyes, and sink into his embrace.
“Tonight, we’re going to finally do it,” he murmurs; his voice is low, husky. My eyes flash open. The tiny hairs at the back of my neck prickle as I untangle myself from his arms, pushing him away.
“Wait,” I say, fighting to comprehend what he’s saying. My hands rise in front of me in the international accepted sign for “stop right there, mister,” preventing him from saying any- thing more.
Jeremy opens a tin of his signature extreme mints and pops a few in his mouth. He crushes and swallows the tiny candies in seconds.
“Jeremy,” I manage to whisper over the voice of panic that’s doing laps in my head, “do you think we’re having sex—tonight?”
“Of course. We’re out here, with no parents, it’s perfect.”
“But Jeremy, I thought you understood.”
“I do, and you wanting to wait to have sex is one of the best things about you. It makes you special, but it’s been a long time. Now we’re all the way out here…” his voice trails off as he runs his hand through his dark blond hair. It stands on end, looking like he just tumbled off a magazine spread. “And you do love me, don’t you?”
“Love you?” I say, pausing. We’ve never said that to each other before. “Of course I do.”
“And I love you.”
He loves me. My breath catches. But I’m still not ready. I blink fast to stop the tears that gather, preparing to spill. My throat aches. I spin around, not able to look at him. Jeremy coughs—quiet at first and then louder, continuing until I turn and face him. He looks impatient. What am I sup- posed to do? Hot tears slip down my face, stinging my wind- burnt cheeks.
I try to speak, but all that comes out is a strangled, “I just can’t.”
“Julia, please don’t cry. Having sex is no big deal, really.
Everyone does it. You need to get over your sex issues.” “I know, but I’m just not—”
“Ready? I know, you keep saying that, but we’ve been dating close to two months and people who love each other have sex. Julia, I’ve been really patient. And generous. Do you know how much this weekend cost?”
“I—I—”
“You know, Julia, people ask me what I see in you, and I always stick up for you, saying how great you are. How we are meant to be together. Maybe you don’t feel the same way I do.”
“Jeremy,” I plead. “That’s not true.” “Maybe we need to take a break.” “What?”
This can not be happening! I’m 165 kilometres from home, being dumped at the bottom of The Barclay Bowl run. How can this be happening?
“No, please Jeremy. You just said you love me.”
He cringes and inhales. He holds it for one, two, three seconds. He exhales and his spearmint breath stings my eyes.
“I do love you, Julia. But I need to know for sure that you love me back. I’ll give you some time to figure out what you’re willing to put into our relationship.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means that you’re on your own tonight.” “But, I’m staying with you—in the chalet.”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea.” His grey eyes darken to near black.
“You can’t be serious?” Oh my God, where am I supposed to sleep? I only have $40. This isn’t happening.
He yanks me close. His face is an inch from mine. He huffs his anger onto me.
“I love you, Julia, but I need you to figure out how much you love me, or we’re done. For good.”
My stomach recoils and then collides with my sinking heart. Jeremy still looks like his usual Tommy Hilfiger self, but I don’t feel those dancing butterflies in my stomach when I look at him. I still feel butterflies, but they aren’t in the mood for   dancing. I turn my head, but those butterflies are too fast. They race up my throat. Macaroni and cheese splashes Jeremy’s brand new, first time worn, Novella snowboarding boots. Four hundred and thirty bucks gone in one KD barf.
Seriously bad day.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Pure Death by Liah Penn Spotlight

Description:

A murdered society debutante, her body sprinkled
with 89 Costa Rican butterflies. A headless, gutted corpse washed up on shore

with a beautiful, dead teenager. The case is anything but straightforward, and
in an uncertain future, where resources are limited and the genetically
defective are banished to a ghetto territory for Impures, Chief Detective Ina
Stone and her partner, rookie detective Sam Fujimoto, must cross into Pure
Territory to find a killer. An Impure herself, Ina must overcome her defect.
And when her life is threatened, she must learn to rely on Sam, whose interest
in her seems more than just professional.

Yet the Pures may have created a world in which even they don’t want to live
anymore. Resources have become too scarce to hide, and a black market for
medicine comes to light. When a third murder is discovered, Ina and Sam know
there’s a connection. With too many suspects and not enough time, they must
find that connection before the killer strikes again.

I had been born Pure, just after the War, a perfect baby, with blonde hair, blue
eyes, and parents who tested in the top one percent of the intelligence
quotient. But I wasn’t perfect. When I was pulled from my mother’s womb my left
hand was withered, damaged, and bent. Now, as I walked home, I pulled the
defective hand out of my pocket and left it out. Just in case. IP Territory was
a dangerous place to live.

The rain had stopped by the time I left the bar, so as I navigated the oily
streets, my ears were alert for signs of trouble. It was nearly two o’clock in
the morning. The mist hung in sheets and my hair was beaded with pearls of
moisture like spider’s eggs on a black widow’s web. I could feel the damp and
cold seeping into my bones. I recalled the glistening of body fluids under the
decomposed body, oozing from the flesh as it fell like parchment from the
sinewy muscle and bones.

I stopped in my tracks and thought. Was the ground under the body dry? No, it was
wet. But not just from the body fluids. No blood. We saw that. But the dirt,
not dry. Moist. Black, silty Mississippi river mud. Had the body been placed
after it had started raining? Or had it washed up on shore? Was that what
Melker meant when he said the person hadn’t died there? I felt the evidence bag
in my pocket. I’d have to log it in on Monday.

I walked on, the street lamps casting an amber hue, burnishing the decaying
buildings with its light. Oil on the streets weeped into puddles creating
rainbows in the grime. The shiny pen-like object on the chain. Why wasn’t it
dirty and oily? Or had it been washed clean by the rain before the body had
been placed at the dump site? Was it even related?

Bio:

Liah Penn is an author and attorney who resides
outside of New Orleans, Louisiana with her husband and two sons.  A former prosecutor, she has worked on an
Indian reservation, on the Mexican border and as a small town lawyer.  She is hard at work on the second book in the
Ina Stone and Sam Fujimoto mystery, “Pure Justice”.
Author Links


Buy Links

and Noble

Monday, April 20, 2015

Tour- THE OUTERLANDS by Jared R. Lopatin



We all loved Alice in Wonderland.

In THE OUTERLANDS, a YA novel by Jared R. Lopatin, Wonderland gets a twist.

It's intense and utterly whimsical!

Release Date: March 31, 2015



About THE OUTERLANDS:
Alex didn’t want to die, but he just couldn’t take it anymore. Dwight’s pills seemed to promise escape… and escape is exactly what he gets. He ends up in a world reminiscent of his childhood Wonderland, but nothing is as it was in Alice’s day. The Outerlands are a twisted version of his favorite story, with strange characters and unnatural dangers. Before he can get used to his new home, it’s threatened by an outside force. Will Alex ever find a place where he feels safe?

Get the book on Amazon and don’t forget to add the book to your TBR pile on Goodreads!

About Jared R. Lopatin:
Originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Jared fell in love with stories at a very young age. This love led him to major in English and Theatre, a decision that brought him many adventures, such as performing in Footloose, Cats, and West Side Story.

His first full novel, Rising Sign, was started backstage during a production of South Pacific in Indiana. Five years later, his debut novel was complete and he headed back to school for his Masters in Special Education. By the time he graduated, he had written the following two books in the trilogy, Ruling House and Returning Planet. He used his school experiences as a base for his standalone novel, Let's Play It By Ear. His newest novels, The Outerlands and The Good Witch are slated for release in 2015.

Jared currently lives in New York City with his cats, Benedick and Beatrice. He works during the day as a high school English teacher and theatre director at a Deaf school.


Connect with Jared on his Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

THE OUTERLANDS by Jared R. Lopatin


Excerpt #4

Alex was fifteen, bookish, and slight of build. He stood on the shorter side of boys his own age, yet he carried himself as though he were much taller. He had a small group of friends at school with whom he shared many classes. Yet, the one class where he felt deserted was Physical Education. For some unknown reason, the Powers That Be that made Alex’s schedule placed him in Physical Education during a time that conflicted with that of his friends. Instead, he was forced to participate in any number of sports with Jay and his league of troublesome companions. (None of these bear mentioning by name; they all form from one stock type. In fact, it has been suggested that cloning was involved.)
For years, Jay and his friends had made Alex’s life as miserable as they could. They tripped him whenever possible. They stole his possessions; on rare occasion, they returned them, completely destroyed. They never referred to him by name, choosing instead derogatory terms or using his middle name. Alex had tried to tell the authorities, but even on those scarce instances where punishment was issued, Alex was blamed as well and after the first few times, he gave up. He kept everything inside where no one knew he was hurting.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Alchemist by Arianna Archer Spotlight

Name of Book: The Alchemist
Author: Arianna Archer
Genre: Romance--Paranormal, Time Travel, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Etopia Press

Is it alchemy that transforms fear into love?
Italy, 1565—Niccolo is a philosopher, a nobleman, and an honorable man. He’s also an alchemist—considered a heretic and an enemy of the church. When his beloved fiancée dies of a mysterious ailment on the eve of their wedding day, Niccolo loses all direction. Maddened by grief, he attempts a desperate, unthinkable act, one from which there is no turning back: transformation of the dead into the living…
Italy, 2015—While excavating a Renaissance-era burial site, Julia discovers a beautiful but mysterious carving. Wreathed in classic period symbols—a cross, a family crest, an open book—the piece contains another symbol she can’t quite place—an alembic—a type of distillation apparatus used in alchemy. Then she finds something else—a burial plaque commemorating the deaths of two people, a man and a woman. Curious, Julia continues to excavate the site, but before she can complete her work, something gives way beneath her and she falls…or is pulled…through the darkness and emptiness of time…
But when Julia turns up in the body of Niccolo’s fiancée, confusion battles with danger. Inextricably drawn to one another, Julia and Niccolo find solace in each other’s arms. But to love again, they’ll have to defy the deadly prejudice of others and the terrifying power of the Spanish Inquisition. Between love, loss, and murderous betrayal, can the alchemy of love create enough magic to save them?

Excerpt:

Niccolo’s heart raced, pounding the walls of his chest. He willed it to calm. He needed to clear the raging blood from his head so he could think. In a soft leather pouch hanging from a thong around his neck and buried beneath his cloth, a small sapphire vial was concealed. Niccolo withdrew it now, never taking his eyes from his lover’s face.
Her perfect cheekbones, the nobility of her nose, and the fine twin arches of her brows combined with the chilly pallor of her skin and stillness of form to suggest she was not a creature of flesh, deserted by spirit, but a goddess sculpted in marble, serene in her eternal sleep.
His fingers trembled as he unstopped the bottle. He parted her lips and held the jewel to her mouth.
“God forgive me,” he whispered and tilted the bottle. The elixir had the color and luster of liquid gold with the capricious consistency of quicksilver. It ran out over her tongue and disappeared into her throat, leaving no trace except for one fine golden bead clinging like a gilded dewdrop to her lower lip. The vial was empty, the hollow sapphire glittered in the candlelight. Niccolo scrutinized the delicate fringe of Carolina’s sable lashes against her pale cheeks. He was close enough to feel her breath, had she any.
“Come back to me, my angel,” he murmured and placed his lips upon hers.