Friday, September 11, 2015

Cover Reveal: Sugar Skulls by Lisa Mantchev & Glenn Dallas

Sugar Skulls

Lisa Mantchev & Glenn Dallas

New Adult Urban Sci-Fi/Dystopian
November 10, 2015

Welcome to Cyrene, a city where energy is currency and music is the lifeblood of its young citizens. Everyone lives on the grid, and the residents of the world’s largest playground are encouraged to pursue every physical and emotional pleasure imaginable.

Vee is the lead singer of the Sugar Skulls, an all-girl band that is Corporate’s newest pet project. Micah haunts the city like a ghost after an overdose of a deadly illegal street drug knocks him off the grid. When Micah and Vee forge an immediate, undeniable connection, their troubled worlds collide.
Trading concert stages for Cyrene’s rooftops and back alleys, they have to evade vicious thugs and Vee’s possessive manager as they unravel the mysteries connected to their dark pasts. And before the curtain falls, Micah and Vee will bring the city to its knees in their desperate bid for love, home, and a future together.

About the Authors

When not working on puzzles for Penny Press or writing about them for PuzzleNation, Glenn Dallas is an author of short stories and at least half of one novel. After appearing in the acknowledgments of several outstanding novels, he looks forward to returning the favor in the future. 
Lisa Mantchev is the acclaimed author of Ticker and the Théâtre Illuminata series, which includes Eyes Like Stars, nominated for a Mythopoeic Award and the Andre Norton Award. She has also published numerous short stories in magazines, including Strange Horizons, Clarkesworld, Weird Tales, and Fantasy. She lives on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State with her husband, children, and horde of furry animals. Visit her online at

Author links (Lisa):

Author links (Glenn):

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Review: The Body Institute by Carol Riggs + Giveaway

The Body Institute
Release Date: 09/01/15
Entangled Teen

Summary from Goodreads:

Meet Morgan Dey, one of the top teen Reducers at The Body Institute.

Thanks to cutting-edge technology, Morgan can temporarily take over another girl’s body, get her in shape, and then return to her own body—leaving her client slimmer, more toned, and feeling great. Only there are a few catches…

For one, Morgan won’t remember what happens in her “Loaner” body. Once she’s done, she won’t recall walks with her new friend Matt, conversations with the super-cute Reducer she’s been text-flirting with, or the uneasy feeling she has that the director of The Body Institute is hiding something. Still, it’s all worth it in the name of science. Until the glitches start…

Suddenly, residual memories from her Loaner are cropping up in Morgan’s mind. She’s feeling less like herself and more like someone else. And when protests from an anti–Body Institute organization threaten her safety, she’ll have to decide if being a Reducer is worth the cost of her body and soul…

Buy Links:
AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo Books

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

Unique urban sci-fi with a very intriguing premise.

I was hooked the moment I read the blurb. The idea of uploading someone's mind into another's body is fascinating... it also has the implications for so much abuse. For main character Morgan, what she originally saw as a dream job turned into something all together different.

I liked Morgan. She was opinionated, and her opinions about weight and body image were made known throughout the story, especially at the beginning. As she experienced life through her obese loaner body, she began to realize how awful being overweight in a weight obsessed society could be. She stepped up when it mattered and did what she thought was right, and I admired her for it.

I could see this book really bothering some people-- even acting as a potential trigger. Those of us who have never really dealt with obesity or body image issues may not understand. But as someone who has counseled some with eating issues, I worry that Morgan's attitude might hurt. It wasn't just Morgan either. Jodine's (the loaner body) mother was a tad on the crazy side. So if weight/body issue is a potential trigger for you, I recommend staying away from this one.

The premise was fascinating-- I really wish the author had gone a bit more in depth into the science of the procedure, but that's the geek in me. While the second half of the book was fast-paced and hard to put down, I felt the first half moved a tad slow for my taste. I didn't really feel the romance at all so that was a miss for me. While I loved the fact that everything wrapped up in one book, it ended so quickly and rather conveniently as well. Given the moral and legal implications, I just wanted more.

Overall: intriguing premise, interesting main character, unique concept all wrapped up in one book. If you like urban sci-f with a bit of romance, this one is definitely different.

About the Author
I'm a YA writer represented by Kelly Sonnack of Andrea Brown Literary. My sci-fi novel THE BODY INSTITUTE explores the themes of society, identity, and body image. I live in the beautiful, green state of Oregon and have a Studio Arts degree; I'm an SCBWI member. 

You'll usually find me in my writing cave, surrounded by my dragon collection and the characters in my head. I also enjoy reading--mostly young adult novels--as well as drawing, painting, and quilting. I also attend writing conferences, walk with my husband, and enjoy music and dance of all kinds. 

Author Links:
 photo iconwebsite-32x32_zps1f477f69.png  photo icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png  photo icontwitter-32x32_zpsae13e2b2.png  photo iconfacebook-32x32_zps64a79d4a.png

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

New Release Alert: The Foxglove Killings by Tara Kelly - Excerpt & Giveaway

The Foxglove Killings

Tara Kelly

YA Thriller
Entangled Teen
September 1, 2015

Gramps always said that when the crickets were quiet, something bad was coming. And the crickets have been as silent as the dead. It started with the murdered deer in the playground with the unmistakable purple of a foxglove in its mouth. But in the dying boondock town of Emerald Cove, life goes on.

I work at Gramps's diner, and the cakes―the entitled rich kids who vacation here―make our lives hell. My best friend, Alex Pace, is the one person who gets me. Only Alex has changed. He's almost like a stranger now. I can't figure it out...or why I'm having distinctly more-than-friend feelings for him. Ones I shouldn't be having.

Then one of the cakes disappears.

When she turns up murdered, a foxglove in her mouth, a rumor goes around that Alex was the last person seen with her—and everyone but me believes it. Well, everyone except my worst enemy, Jenika Shaw. When Alex goes missing, it's up to us to prove his innocence and uncover the true killer. But the truth will shatter everything I've ever known about myself—and Alex.


Alex saw it first.
We were cutting through Neahkahnie Park, the morning sun warm on our backs. I was telling him we should take his grandpa’s El Camino SS and drive down the coast to California for the summer.
“He left that car to you,” I said. “You know he did.” I reached over to muss his light brown hair. It always stood straight up afterward, as if he’d been electrocuted.
“We can’t, Nova. I—” He stopped walking, his eyes widening at the playground.
Clumps of fur blew across the grass, like the cotton blooms did in July. I didn’t think it was real at first. Some kid’s stuffed animal, maybe.
But the stench was unmistakable. I’d practically been raised in my grandpa’s diner. I knew the smell of meat past its prime. Raw. Metallic. Even a little sweet.
A deer’s carcass was a twisted heap in the playground, its legs jutting out like winter branches. Bits of flesh, ranging in color from pink to dark red, were strewn across the wood chips. The head of the deer sat on the middle bucket swing. A misty film covered its eyes, and its mouth was open, as if it were gasping for air.
My stomach muscles began to knot.
I saw a dog get hit by a semi once. The scene replayed in my mind for months. The thud of the impact, the way he’d yelped. The last second of that dog’s life seemed to echo forever.
This was worse. Someone planned this. Put it on display, like it was entertainment.
“What the hell…” Alex said, his voice barely above a whisper.
“Don’t look.”
Alex had been on an animal-saving crusade since birth. He’d tried to bring a rabbit back to life the day I met him.
In fifth grade he’d called the police on his neighbor for yelling at her cat.
This wasn’t something he could handle. Especially not now.
“There’s nothing you can do,” I said, the words slipping out automatically.
“I know. I’m not nine anymore.” He glanced down at his busted Vans. Years of skateboarding had turned them from black to gray.
“I didn’t mean it like that.”
“Yeah, you did.” He held my gaze this time. His eyes looked almost yellow in dull light. Usually they were green.
I knew whatever came out of my mouth wouldn’t be the right thing to say. He’d been so weird since his grandpa died last month. Happy one minute. Pissed off the next. Sometimes he didn’t talk at all.
I slowly moved toward the deer, wishing I could ignore its vacant eyes, the drone of the flies pecking at its belly. My gramps used to clean up crime scenes back in the day. He swore by downing a few dozen peppermint Tic Tacs, claiming it obliterated his sense of smell. He was also a chain smoker…
A handful of mints wouldn’t take this image out of my head. Nothing would.
“We should call someone,” Alex said behind me.
Neither of us had a cell phone. He couldn’t afford one, and my mom thought they caused brain cancer.
I held my breath, trying not to gag. If I wanted to be a detective one day, this was the crazy shit I’d be dealing with. Too bad I’d inherited my mom’s weak stomach.
Something bright purple sat on top of the deer’s limp tongue. Darker spots peppered the inside, like a rash.
As I leaned closer, I realized it was a wilted foxglove. Or deadmen’s bells, as Mom called them. They were bell-shaped flowers that grew all over coastal Oregon. When I was little, she told me not to eat them or I’d end up like Sleeping Beauty. I used to think they belonged to the fairies. The evil ones, anyway.
A chill swept across my skin, the kind that came from inside.

About the Author

Tara Kelly adores variety in her life. She’s an author, one-girl-band, graphic designer, editor, and photographer. She lives in Sin City with her beloved guitars, sound design master husband, and a fluffy cat named Maestro.

Author Links:

Tour-Wide Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 7, 2015

Meet the Characters from Time Shifters by Myra Nour

Happy Monday, everyone! I'm so excited to welcome author Myra Nour to the blog today. I met Myra at the Author & Reader Con in NOLA last month. We had an fantastic time, and I have to say-- Myra is an amazing woman :)

Are you ready?
Let's meet the characters from Time Shifters!

Meet the Characters:
Tell us more about Briana & Raynor

Briana was adopted when she was young, so she has no idea that she is a shifter. She is on vacation and is drawn to an isolated park where she first meets Raynor.

Raynor is a shifter, primarily a werewolf. His people are aliens who crash landed eons ago on Earth. They study the history of planets, fitting in to the indigenous animals via their shapeshifting abilities. They can shift to any create they have encountered.

Many of Earth’s legends are based on sightings of one of these shifters – werewolves, vampires, unicorns, fairies, etc.
Raynor has been calling to his mate for years, with no result. He is unaware of Briana’s state of ignorance about her people or her shifter self. When he reveals his true self to her, the werewolf, he is shocked when she flees in terror.

Briana accidently stumbles through her peoples’ time portal. Raynor must jump back to Medieval England to rescue her. She cannot return to the future if they are not mated as a couple. In the process Raynor must teach Briana about being a shifter.

Briana must not only deal with the crude times of the medieval period she jumps to, but the handsome Raynor who insists they be matched in body and mind as soulmates.

She learns that her shapeshifting kin are influenced by historical periods, so they can shift into beings other than their “normal” shapeshifter self. Briana is horrified by the shifter she metamorphoses into, and it takes Raynor’s patience and understanding to help her through the ordeal.

Time Shifters

Myra Nour

Paranormal Romance w/ Time Travel Elements
May 1, 2015

Briana has heard his voice for years in dreams. Calling to her. She hears that same voice in the handsome stranger she meets on vacation. Captivating and so familiar. When he unexpectedly transforms into a werewolf, Briana flees in horror. She knows him … he is the wolfman who haunts her dreams. More than anything else, it is her lustful response to the beast that terrifies her.

When Raynor finally meets his mate, he is confused by her reaction and even more so by her response when he shifts. She doesn't recognize him. In an attempt to escape, Briana jumps through the time portal of his people, landing her in Medieval England. Raynor must rescue her, which requires bonding with Briana as her mate. But first he must teach Briana that she is a shifter, then convince her not to be repelled by her other self, an ancient, powerful shifter. A snakewoman.

About the Author

Myra has published 14 books with Ellora's Cave & New Concepts Publishing. She enjoys writing romances with paranormal, fantasy & S/F elements, creating believable characters, and is known for her vivid imagination. Recently she has been writing horror; one short story was published by Undead Press in the House of Terror anthology.

Since 2012 she started Book & Trailer Showcase with her husband Simon. She is CEO of the company and BTS Book Reviews Magazine. Her EC novels have been released to her this year with the goal of turning them into Indie books.

Visit Myra's at

Check out BTS Book Reviews at

Author Links