Friday, May 1, 2015

Mother's Day Kindle Fire Giveaway

Kindle Fire Giveaway

This giveaway is for all of you loving mothers out there. This year, I'll be moving on Mother's Day, so it will be endless work. What are your plans for Mother's Day? What does your family typically do to celebrate?

Mother's Day Kindle Fire Giveaway Sponsor List

Giveaway Details Prize Valued at $250. Winner's choice of an gift code to purchase a Kindle & ebooks or alternately winner can choose to receive $250 in Paypal Cash. Ends 5/10/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or an gift code. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author, bloggers and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Review: Ignite the Shadows by Ingrid Seymour

Ignite the Shadows
Ignite the Shadows #1

Ingrid Seymour

YA Urban Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Harper Voyager
April 23, 2015

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Sixteen-year-old Marci Guerrero is one of the best teen hackers in Seattle. However, she’d give up all her talents to know she isn’t crazy.

Marci feels possessed by what she perceives as shadowy spectres that take control of her body and make her do crazy things. While spying on the clandestine group known as IgNiTe, she’s confronted by the leader, James McCray. His presence stirs the spectres inside her brain into a maddening frenzy. Her symptoms and ability to control them don’t go unnoticed by James, who soon recruits her and shows her the awful truth.

Half of the world’s population is infected by sentient parasites. They bind themselves to the human brain and replace the pathways for all thoughts and actions. The creatures then morph their hosts into grotesque monsters with extraordinary strengths. Winged, clawed, fanged half-humans become living nightmares. Now Marci wishes she was crazy, because the truth is worse.

She’s infected.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

It has been a long time since I read something creepy enough to make my skin crawl. Ignite the Shadows has the whole eerie, creep-factor down pat. Ms. Seymour did an amazing job building the suspense with the shadows' effect on Marci, leading up to the big reveal of her true affliction and just what those shadows really were. And boy was it a rather shocking reveal at that. Of course, I didn't read the synopsis prior to reading the novel, so I suppose I deserved to be shocked!

Marci was a truly amazing character. It's really hard to fathom that she managed to live with the shadows plaguing her mind. I loved the descriptions of her turmoil-- they were so well-written that the reader could easily see just how awful the shadow presence was for Marci. I felt an immediate connection to her, even though she was angry, rough, and abrasive at times. With what she endured on a daily basis, it was impressive that she chose to fight and not give in to the shadows.

The secondary characters were odd-- I suppose you could say they all had unique character flaws or perhaps quirks. There were several times when I wanted to hit one of the annoying characters upside the head. It did make for some interesting scenes.

While I enjoyed the plot, found it intriguing, the overall pacing could be a tad uneven at times. I would go from desperately flipping pages to almost boredom at times. There was a lot of suspense and tension as the plot was slowly unveiled, but there were still so many secrets. I spent much of the book wishing the author would reveal just a bit more, for Marci's sake, if not the reader.

There were a lot of action scenes in the novel which were quite engaging. Expect some romance, though it takes a backseat to the creepy monster plot. Ignite the Shadows is book one of a series, so I'm looking forward to learning more about the characters and the creepy Eklyptors in book two.

About the Author

Ingrid Seymour is the author of IGNITE THE SHADOWS (Harper Voyager, April 23rd, 2015). When she’s not writing books, she spends her time working as a software engineer, cooking exotic recipes, hanging out with her family and working out. She writes young adult and new adult fiction in a variety of genres, including Sci-Fi, urban fantasy, romance, paranormal and horror.

Her favorite outings involve a trip to the library or bookstore where she immediately gravitates toward the YA section. She’s an avid reader and fangirl of many amazing books. She is a dreamer and a fighter who believes perseverance and hard work can make dreams come true.

She lives in Birmingham, AL with her husband, two kids and a cat named Mimi.

Author links:

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The City Beneath by Melody Johnson - Excerpt & Giveaway

 The City Beneath
Night Blood #1

Melody Johnson

Paranormal Romance
April 28, 2015

Amazon | B& N | iTunes | Kobo | Publisher

As a journalist, Cassidy DiRocco thought she had seen every depraved thing New York City’s underbelly had to offer. But while covering what appears to be a vicious animal attack, she finds herself drawn into a world she never knew existed. Her exposé makes her the target of the handsome yet brutal Dominic Lysander, the Master Vampire of New York City, who has no problem silencing her to keep his coven's secrets safe…

But Dominic offers Cassidy another option: ally. He reveals she is a night blood, a being with powers of her own, including the ability to become a vampire. As the body count escalates, Cassidy is caught in the middle of a vampire rebellion. Dominic insists she can help him stop the coming war, but wary of his intentions, Cassidy enlists the help of the charming Ian Walker, a fellow night blood. As the battle between vampires takes over the city, Cassidy will have to tap into her newfound powers and decide where to place her trust...


I nearly limped right past him, clouded by my own physical pain and the churning unease in my gut, but the rattling hiss that growled from the alley tripped my interest. I stopped walking.

The night was cool and quiet in the aftermath of sirens and flashing lights. My scalp tingled in response to the noise emanating from the alley, and I thought of all the things I should do: I should return to the main crime scene, I should finish my interviews, I should write my story and submit it to print like a good, reliable, by-the-book reporter. The hiss rattled from the alley again, but as I’d never been one to leave questions unanswered, I slipped a can of pepper spray from my brown leather, cross-body satchel and sidestepped into the alley to find the source of the noise.

What I found was a man, and the rattling hiss was his struggling, gurgling, uneven breathing. His entire body was ravaged by thirddegree burns. Tucked into a shadowed alley between two buildings on the corner of Farragut Road and East 40th, he was crouched down as if warding off an attacker—perhaps in his case a flamethrower—and not moving. I cringed, thinking about the injury that was blocking his throat to produce such a horrible rattling. Maybe he was crying.

Maybe he was just trying to breathe. I couldn’t decipher his expression because his burns were so devastating. His face wasn’t really a face anymore beyond the rough distinctions of a lump for a nose and a hole for a mouth. The unease churning in my gut all night bottomed out. I wouldn’t have imagined that someone so injured could still breathe.

Trading the pepper spray for my cell phone, I dialed for Detective Greta Wahl.

“Wahl here.” She answered on the fifth ring, just before I suspected my call would transfer to voice mail. “I already gave you a statement, DiRocco. Let the other sharks have a bite, will you?”

“I found another victim, G,” I said without preamble. “Alive? Where?” Greta asked, snapping from friend to detective instantly.

“A block up Farragut. He’s still breathing, but he’s different from the others. No bites.” I swallowed the bile that clogged my throat like hot ash. “His entire body is burned to charcoal.”

“Is he wearing a necklace, like the ones from last week? They were gold with a wolf pendant.”

“I remember,” I said. “And no, he’s not wearing a necklace. And he’s not shot execution-style like those victims, either. He’s burned. This is probably a different case altogether.”

Greta sighed. “Stay with him. I’ll send a paramedic to you ASAP. It might be a few minutes, though. We’ve still got our seven victims being stabilized here.”

“Got it. We’ll be waiting.” I hesitated a fraction of a second before asking, “Any one of our victims talking yet?”

“The few that still have throats haven’t said a word. They’re all in shock. It’s not pretty down here, DiRocco.”

“I know. Keep me posted, and send Nathan to me if you can.”

“Will do,” Greta said.

I ended the call and sat gingerly on the ground next to the man to offer what comfort I could and to give my arthritic hip the rest it needed. Injuries were supposed to heal with time, but the scar buildup on mine had only increased in the five years since I’d taken a bullet. The first stakeout of my career had set a high standard for my field performance, but it had also left a permanent reminder to listen to my gut. My hip ached on a regular basis, and lately, it would click and grind when put to excess use. After an entire day on my feet, interviewing officers and tracking down witnesses, my activities had apparently escalated way past excess.

Once I settled on the pavement, I held the man’s left elbow—one of two visible patches of skin not blackened or blistered—and felt an overwhelming, humbling gratitude, no matter my past injuries or current residual pain, that none of these victims had been me.

According to the brief interview I’d snagged earlier in the night from Detective Wahl, my sometimes informant and longtime friend, seven other victims were still alive at Paerdegat Park out of the twelve or so they’d been able to identify. Most of them were in critical condition.

Nights like tonight, when the world was writhing and in pieces, I’d rather feel the pressure to write on deadline than capture a close-up of one of those ragged, bloody bite marks. The victim next to me made another rattling hiss, the same agonized noise he’d been making with every few breaths. He wasn’t visibly bitten like the other victims, but his wounds looked wholly more devastating. The only other body part spared from the burns was the left half of his chin, which, ironically enough, bore an old, healed scar.

About the Author

Melody Johnson is the author of the Night Blood series. She graduated magna cum laude from Lycoming College with her B.A. in creative writing and psychology. While still earning her degree, she worked as an editing intern for Wahida Clark Presents Publishing. She was a copyeditor for several novels, including Cheetah by Missy Jackson; Trust No Man II by Cash; and Karma with a Vengeance by Tash Hawthorne. Book #1 of the Night Blood series, The City Beneath, is her debut novel. When she isn't writing, Melody can be found hiking the many woodsy trails in her Pennsylvania hometown or sunning and swimming at the beach. You can learn more about Melody and her work at, Facebook and Twitter.

Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Review: Witches Be Burned by Stacey Kennedy

Witches Be Burned
Magic & Mayhem #2

Stacey Kennedy

Paranormal Romance
May 19, 2015

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In Stacey Kennedy’s steamy paranormal romance novel, a rookie guardian sworn to combat the undead risks life and love in a world of violence, witchcraft, and seduction.

Nexi Jones has lost her family, she’s been stripped of her guardian duties, and she’s still learning the ins and outs of white magic. At least she has Kyden, the smoldering hot elite guardian who’s been there for her every step of the way. But just as Nexi completes her training, tragedy strikes the Otherworld when a fellow guardian is murdered by a group of rogue vampires. Ready or not, she and Kyden trek into the Earthworld to hunt down a killer—and Nexi alone will be put to the ultimate test.

Although Kyden knows that Nexi must fight her own battles, his guardian instincts are raging as he struggles to keep her close. The ruthlessness of these vampires is like nothing he’s ever seen. And at their helm is the Black Witch Astoria, a demon with one burning desire: to shed Nexi’s blood in the name of vengeance. What troubles Kyden even more, though, is the warlock who covets Nexi’s heart. Let the devil do his worst . . . all Kyden can do is love and protect Nexi until his last breath.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Though this is the second book of the series, I hadn't read the first and had no problem jumping right into the story (there's an informative prologue at the beginning explaining book one). However, I think my enjoyment was not as complete as it could have been, therefore, I recommend reading the first book for character and world building.

The best part of the novel was the supernatural world created by Ms. Kennedy-- I loved the myriad of supernatural creatures. It made for a complex world that really pulled me in. I liked the characters, not just the main characters, but all of the interesting secondary characters that made this an intriguing read.

Down side-- I thought the story started a tad slow, my mind wandered a few times. But about a third of the way through things picked up, leading to lots of action and suspense. I recommend this title to ages 18+ due to the graphic nature of some steamy love scenes. Main characters Nexi and Kyden were both strong, kickass characters with some strong chemistry between them-- just what I like in an urban fantasy.

If you like paranormal romance/urban fantasy, Witches Be Burned is definitely one to check out.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Soaring Through Stars by Rajdeep Paulus - Excerpt

I'm pleased to welcome Rajdeep Paulus today to tell us about her latest release, Soaring Through Stars.

This is Launch Week for the final book in my Contemporary YA Trilogy, and I’m excited to share a little about my latest book, Soaring Through Stars. BUT first, huge hugs to Kimberly for sharing your space with me today.
xoxoxo -Raj

Here are the deets on Soaring Through Stars!

 Praise for the Soaring Through Stars & the Swimming Through Clouds Trilogy

“It is the rare author who can end an emotionally compelling trilogy with the same resounding truth from which it was formed, but turned inside out. In Soaring through Stars, Rajdeep Paulus does exactly that. Crafting her characters’ inner growth at a believable and often heart-wrenching pace across the series, this final book extends an exquisite peace to hearts where extreme fear used to dwell. This series should be on the shelves of every American high school. Soaring through Stars is a beautiful, perfect ending to a truly exceptional series… Don’t miss this one.”
~Serena Chase, USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog, author of The Ryn

“Rajdeep Paulus writes young adult fiction with a new kind of hero…Despair and cruelty haunt its pages. Raj’s most heroic characters find the strength to be compassionate at moments when it would be much easier to stand by and do nothing.”
~Amazon Author Success Story

“Tough and touching, resilient and raw—Rajdeep Paulus has crafted a story of love and abuse with the deft touch of a than real and she never averts her pen from the realities that face far too many women and children. “
~ Tosca Lee, NY Times Bestselling Author of
Havah and The Books of Mortals series with Ted Dekker

“Deep, sometimes quite dark, and very emotional YA story.” ~Once Upon a YA Book Blog

“In Soaring Through Stars, Rajdeep Paulus does what few authors of series are able to do—she stays fiercely loyal to her characters and allows them to find the natural ending to an emotional journey. Something beautiful is created where there had only been chaos.”
--Laura Anderson Kurk, author of Glass Girl and Perfect Glass

"This. Book. . . Nothing has made my heart ache yet sing as strong as Rajdeep Paulus' spectacular, climactic, SOARING THROUGH STARS."

“A raw and heart-wrenching account of abuse, human trafficking, and enduring hope, the Swimming Through Clouds series is an incredible story of the strength of true love and the power of courage. Talia, Lagan, and Jesse will sneak into your heart and stay there long after you read the last line.”
~Amalie Howard, bestselling IndieNext author of Alpha Goddess

In Soaring Through Stars, the final book in her trilogy, Rajdeep Paulus displays an almost magical ability to portray dark and haunting subject matter with her descriptively lyrical style. Her poetic prose not only manages to bring her characters’ devastating struggles vividly to life, but also their singular grace and courage as they fight to wrestle hope from the rubble of epic loss, grief, and trauma.
~ Lisa Amowitz, Breaking Glass, Vision, and Until Beth (Fall 2015)

Back of the Book Summary:

“I live in the in between. Between holding on and letting go. Hurt clings to me. Hope teases me. Home. I can’t explain it, but sometimes, I just want to go home.”

Talia and Jesse Vanderbilt have escaped a childhood full of abuse, and when they have a chance to put their father behind bars, setbacks arise from every direction. The siblings can't help but consider the option to walk away and move on with their lives.

Then someone unexpected brings his own secrets, forcing the Vanderbilt teens to revisit their pasts and rethink their plans. Through it all, Lagan and Talia’s Post-it love story blossoms, while Jesse and Summer hit roadblocks.

From the award-winning author of Swimming Through Clouds and Seeing Through Stones comes a powerful story of freedom and belonging in this final book of the young adult trilogy that began with an invitation on a little Post-it note.

Taste Test of Soaring Through Stars:
I live in the in between. Between holding on and letting go. Hurt clings to me. Hope teases me.
Home. I can’t explain why, but sometimes, I just want to go home.



The concrete steps before me are as inviting as the climb up a volcano. I shake my head at the engravings above the door, promising “Liberty and Justice for All.” Because I’m the girl familiar with more than a pocket full of broken promises. Clutching my blue satchel to my chest like a shield, I march forward, thinking of the contents that I meticulously packed last night: Chapstick, a water bottle, Post-its, and the stories of the women I met at the shelter. Each owns her story. Each told her story. It’s my turn today.
“Talia Grace Vanderbilt.” The boom of the gavel hits the judge’s desk when the crowd rumbles and turns, searching for me. “Please come forward and take the witness stand.”
I swallow a thousand islands and inch my way down the aisle, recognizing many faces. Teachers. Neighbors. Jaya, Ava, Nahida, Sunny—survivors living at Hope Now. Even Diana with her specks and hair tied back in that familiar messy bun. They’re all here. But I’m searching for the one who gave me the courage to be here in the first place. Lagan. Where is he?
My eyes lock with my younger brother’s in the second row. He’s sitting next to a woman wearing a wedding veil, but Jesse shakes his head. What’s he trying to tell me? Don’t testify? Lagan couldn’t make it? Dad’s gonna destroy us, even here in the place where the truth is supposed to be on our side?
Then the woman next to Jesse lifts her veil. Mom! But…but…
“Talia!” The judge’s voice thunders. “Take the stand or be held in contempt.”
I move past the lawyers and the staring eyes of the jury, afraid to look at the defense attorney’s table. But as I turn to sit down, he’s right there, wearing his suit and tie, blond hair freshly trimmed, hazel green eyes piercing into me, a smug grin plastered across his face. Dad nods to me as he drags a single finger across his lips. In that tiny motion, he tells me to keep quiet. Family secrets are called secrets for a reason.
“State your name and relationship to the defendant, please.” The words float past my ears like an echo, and the woman asking me taps her clipboard impatiently.
“Talia Vanderbilt. Daughter.” Pulling at a lock of my long brown hair, I twirl it between my fingers, fighting the urge to pull it over and hide my lips. Broken and ugly, I feel like everyone in the courtroom stares at my lips.
“Do you swear to tell lies, the whole lie, and nothing…” The words fade like someone turned the volume down, and then I can see her lips move as she holds a book out in front of me, but I can’t hear a thing she’s saying.
“Wait, what?” I ask, but she’s now motioning for me to put my hand on the book and swear, but I’m watching her mouth, and she’s laughing. She’s laughing at me.
“Talia.” Dad’s lawyer rises and moves inches from me. “Tell us a little about your childhood. Your days with Daddy. A time when Mom was still around. Wasn’t it a wonderful life?”
“Objection.” My lawyer screams the word I only heard in movies until today. “Counsel is leading the witness.”
“Denied.” I hear the judge say calmly, but I’m trying to look around Dad’s lawyer for Mom. Her veil pulled over her face again, I think I see tears trickling down her cheeks, but I can’t be sure.
“Go on then. Talia, tell us about your little girl years. How your father loved you. Treated you like a princess. Did everything a perfect dad would do.”
“No. I mean. That’s not…” I start to say, but I can’t hear the sound of my words. I clear my throat and try again. “Lies—”
“A little louder, please.” Dad’s lawyer turns to face the jury. “So we can all hear.”
“L- L- L-…” My throat tightens and I can see my father across from me. Smiling and nodding. Nodding and smiling. Lagan. I need you.
“Well, Talia, if you have nothing to say, why did you bother coming today? I’m finished. The witness is all yours.” Dad’s lawyer returns and takes a seat beside my father.
Rubbing my throat with my right hand, I try to call out to my brother who suddenly sits there shirtless, scars dotting his chest, like the burns run so deep, they pushed all the way through from his back. Jesse. Jesse. Look at my brother! I’m trying to scream. That’s the childhood we had! But no sound again, and even as my lawyer steps up to the podium I sit behind, the woman next to Jesse rises and begins to walk toward the exit, her veil trailing behind her. A veil trimmed with tiny red petals. Turned down, the petals appear as tear drops. Blood, red tears.
“Wait. Mom! Wait for me!” I hear the words in my head, but my vocal chords are frozen—my hand in the air goes unnoticed.
“Talia, don’t you want to tell the judge and jury how your father treated you and your brother? Speak up. This is your last chance.”
Hot tears stream down my face, and my hands cover my mouth as I bite down on my lips. No pain. Only blood. And then Mom turns around, and right before she exits the courtroom, she doesn’t say, goodbye. Nor does she say, I love you. Instead, she lifts her veil, with tear-stained cheeks and a voice laden with despair, she says, “Why bother?” and leaves.
I scream, “Wait!” But only hear the screech of my voice in my head. I try again. Unable to produce sound, I leave the witness stand and dash down the aisle after Mom, the judge screaming, “Order! Order in the court!” behind me.
As I pull open the heavy courtroom door, all I can think is, I can’t lose you. Not again. Not now. When I need my mother more than ever. Like someone resisting in a tug of war, the door yanks to a close before I slip through, shutting on my outstretched hand and crushing my fingers alongside my hope.
The sting of my hand hitting the bedroom wall awakens me. It was only a dream. Hugging my throbbing hand on this last morning in the shelter, I remind myself, “It was only a dream.” On the actual day of the trial, everything will be worse. Far worse.

Rajdeep Paulus, Award-Winning author of Swimming Through Clouds, Seeing Through Stones, and Soaring Through Stars, is mommy to four princesses, wife of Sunshine, a coffee-addict and a chocoholic. As of this June 2013, she’s a Tough Mudder. To find out more, visit her website or connect with her via Facebook, TwitterPinterest, or Instagram.

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