Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.
(Coming September 2014)
After spending the summer away from each other, Titus and Iolanthe (still disguised as Archer Fairfax) are eager to return to Eton College to resume their training to fight the Bane. Although no longer bound to Titus by a blood oath, Iolanthe is more committed than ever to fulfilling her destiny—especially with the agents of Atlantis quickly closing in.

Soon after arriving at school, though, Titus makes a shocking discovery, one that makes him question everything he previously believed about their mission. Faced with this devastating realization, Iolanthe is forced to come to terms with her new role, while Titus must choose between following his mother's prophecies—and forging a divergent path to an unknowable future.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20359719-the-perilous-sea?ac=1
 I fell in love with the first book of this series, The Burning Sky, and have been eagerly anticipating this sequel for months! Sherry Thomas did such a phenomenal job with introducing this world and the characters. I can't imagine what is in store of us with this next installment...
 What are you waiting on? 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Blog Tour: Promo Post

Synopsis
Bliss knows all about bad choices but has yet to make them herself. With an innocent heart, she searches for freedom and finds it in the delinquent down the hall.

Dusty is a foul-mouthed troublemaker, tear-maker and heartbreaker. The boy with summer sky-blue eyes knows to stay away, but he can't resist the girl who made his house a home.

She's his reason, but he might not catch her when she falls.

She loves him. He loves her crazy. 

This is what happens when a love made of secrets is kept with rules instead of promises.

Buy Now



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Excerpt
Front windows cracked, we’re relaxed in the back of his parents’ old Audi and it feels good again.

“Caffeine isn’t good for you, you know,” Thomas says, glancing over. 

The sun has set and the purple sky and the Yaquina lighthouse paint my temperamental troublemaker in soft hues. The scent and sounds of the sea drift in with the breeze, mixing with smoke from the blunt he’s relit and the low melodies of Citizen Cope singing about a girl that won’t give in and he’ll never let go of.

Taking another drink of the coffee he bought me, I shrug. I don’t know what he said to get the baristas to make a pumpkin spice latte in February, but cinnamon and caffeine fill me with warm relief. 

Under his breath and around a hit, Thomas chuckles.

“It’s bad for your bones and skin,” he says, smirking as I tuck my toes under his leg. “And your heart. Uncontrolled beats are a prelude to heart attack, princess.”

I roll my eyes and laugh some, because I do feel them. I felt them earlier in his bed, and before that, when I was thinking of him. My unsteady heartbeats have nothing to do with coffee.

“Bring on the palpitations,” I say before taking another drink, letting Dusty lecture me about bad habits, as if I’m too young to understand irony.

“I’m serious,” he continues, smoking up and blowing out. “Your body will build a tolerance. When you feel it’s becoming bad for you, you’ll want more. You’ll need more. Caffeine’s a drug, Leigh.”

I laugh. I can’t help it. Maybe I’m still high.

“Oh yeah?” I ask. “Like pot?”

This boy blows a cloud of smoke up, and I watch it swirl-spread out across the car’s ceiling.

“Pot’s from the earth,” he says, puffing smoke rings while I wrap both hands around my cup, absorbing its warmth through my palms. I inhale the cream-sweet scent of cinnamon and nutmeg and ginger, and it may be full of stimulants, but I feel calm.

Thomas’ presence is the best Valentine’s Day gift. Candy is nice, and candy flavored blunt wraps were thoughtful, but this is what I wanted most. Just us.

“Pumpkins are from the earth,” I say. “And coffee beans.”

“You think there’s real pumpkin in that?” he asks. When I can’t do more than smile and stare at his lips, he sits up straighter.

“Caffeine’s an analeptic. It fucks with your impulse control and your insulin resistance.”

I laugh because, “What?”

He pulls a hit. “That shit will give you stress hormones, Bliss.”

“How do you know all this?” 

“Baseball.”

We’re quiet for a second, looking at each other. His carefreeness is back, but his smile is understated.

“You sure you’re not worried it’ll stunt my growth?”

Between licking his bottom lip and bringing the blunt back up, Dusty glances at my chest without a stitch of modesty.

“You’re growing up fine, girl.”

My cheeks heat, and I hide my smile with another drink. 

After I’ve finished my coffee, Thomas offers me the blunt. When I decline, my actual addiction leans into me, nudges his hood from my head, and exhales his smoke all over my neck. 

The playful punk that was lecturing me is gone. This honest to a fault, recklessly unflinching, too-beautiful, fated youth is a person only I know. This is my person. 

He tosses the blunt out the window while I drop my empty cup to the floorboard, and we shift together. We kiss open and deep, claiming and binding. We kiss the way I wanted to earlier, with eyes closed and hearts open, and I know the real drug is here. It’s between us and inside us.

It’s the way he opens my lips with his lips to kiss me deeper, and the way my pulse feels like his name is in my veins.

It’s the way I can’t stay hurt or mad or jealous, and the way he can’t stand for me to.

It’s the craving that never goes away, the need for more that grows as we feed it. It’s the tolerance he was talking about and knowing he’s right. 

It’s this, our secret.

We’re the drug.

Teaser




MeetTheAuthor

 

Mary Elizabeth is an up and coming author who finds words in chaos, writing stories about the skeletons hanging in your closets. Known as The Realist, she is one half of The Elizabeths—a duo brave enough to never hide the truth. Born and raised in Southern California, she’s a wife, mother of four beautiful children, and dog tamer to one enthusiastic Pit Bull and a prissy Chihuahua. She’s a hairstylist by day but contemporary fiction, new adult author by night. Mary can often be found finger twirling her hair and chewing on a stick of licorice while writing and rewriting a sentence over and over until it’s perfect. She discovered her talent for tale-telling accidentally, but literature is in her stranglehold. And she’s not letting go until every story is told. 

To follow Mary’s upcoming solo and collaborative projects, she can be found at her website http://www.maryelizabethlit.com/.

Brought together by their love of storytelling, Mary and Sarah Elizabeth are a pair of dedicated writers with complementary strengths who’ve cultivated a literary style that captures a Realist’s brutality with a Poet’s grace, uncovering the self-seeking side of tenderness and the undisguised truth of honesty. Inspired by the lyrics of a song, Dusty was born between emails and long G-chats before a single chapter was ever typed. A short story turned into a monster, and more than four years and several edits later, the first half of their collaboration, Innocents, will be released on July 14, 2014. And its conclusion, Delinquents, is set to release on October 23, 2014. 

If you’d like to contact The Elizabeths, they can be located on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheElizabethsDusty?ref=hl.

MeetTheAuthor
   

Listener, messenger, secret keeper, Elizabeth, and TrueLove, Sarah works two jobs by day so that she's able to really work by night. She's written since she was old enough to hold a marker, and her writing bridges the sacred and profane, from first love to forbidden, with a longing for truth and a passion for hearts. She is currently based in Kansas City where her army is comprised of one little buffalo. Her best friends are girls named Moses and Bunny. Her hero is a boy named Bishop, and the one she loves has ocean eyes. In addition to Dusty, Sarah also has a collaborative novella, Light and Wine, due to be released on June 8th, and her solo work will be featured in the anthology Branded, this August.

Brought together by their love of storytelling, Mary and Sarah Elizabeth are a pair of dedicated writers with complementary strengths who’ve cultivated a literary style that captures a Realist’s brutality with a Poet’s grace, uncovering the self-seeking side of tenderness and the undisguised truth of honesty. Inspired by the lyrics of a song, Dusty was born between emails and long G-chats before a single chapter was ever typed. A short story turned into a monster, and more than four years and several edits later, the first half of their collaboration, Innocents, will be released on July 14, 2014. And its conclusion, Delinquents, is set to release on October 23, 2014. 

If you’d like to contact The Elizabeths, they can be located on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheElizabethsDusty?ref=hl.





HOSTED BY:
EJ Button

Blog Tour: Innocents by Mary Elizabeth and Sarah Elizabeth


Innocents

Dusty 1

Author: Mary Elizabeth, Sarah Elizabeth 

Genre: NA, YA, Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: July 14th 2014
Review Source: Author/Tour

The girl with an innocent heart knows all about bad choices, but has yet to make them for herself. Searching for freedom, she finds it in the delinquent down the hall.

The troublemaker with summer-sky blue eyes knows he should stay away, but can’t resist the blissful wonder who makes his house a home.

She’s a hopeless romantic. He’s just hopeless.

She’s his reason, but he might not catch her when she falls.

She loves him. He loves her crazy.

This is what happens when a love made of secrets is kept with rules instead of promises.


I was so excited for the chance to review this book for these ladies and am thrilled to be a part of the blog tour. Both Mary and Sarah bring something beautiful and unique to the table with their writing, and they pulled me in further to this world with each chapter and their wonderful characters. 


Bliss and Dusty's story started out for them as children and I loved how seamlessly these ladies handled that. Everything from the narration to the conversations between the characters felt so accurate to kids that age and I was hooked. We got to watch the two of them grow up throughout the book and see how their different choices would change them.


We also got to see both Bliss and Dusty's perspectives which I really enjoyed. Questions that couldn't get from Bliss were answered by Dusty and vice versa. Both perspectives were clear and easy to distinguish between. They offered different tones to the story as well. Giving you the hopeful innocence of Bliss, and the dark hopelessness of Dusty. Both were so well done.


And with the way this first book has ended, I can honestly say that I cannot wait to get my hands on the next one. Mary and Sarah have hooked me and I am ready for the rest... I hope you are too!

Waiting on Wednesday: Everblaze by Shannon Messenger


Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.
(Coming November 2014)
Sophie Foster is ready to fight back.

Her talents are getting stronger, and with the elusive Black Swan group ignoring her calls for help, she’s determined to find her kidnappers—before they come after her again.

But a daring mistake leaves her world teetering on the edge of war, and causes many to fear that she has finally gone too far. And the deeper Sophie searches, the farther the conspiracy stretches, proving that her most dangerous enemy might be closer than she realizes.

In this nail-biting third book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Sophie must fight the flames of rebellion, before they destroy everyone and everything she loves.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13260668-everblaze?ac=1
 I have been in love with this series from the very beginning and can't wait for the next book (crossing my fingers there will be more) from Shannon Messenger. Sophie is adorable and I absolutely love this world. It's fun, exciting, and one of my favorite series ever (just saying).
And how gorgeous is this cover!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Cover Reveal: The Raven by Sylvain Reynard


The Raven 
by Sylvain Reynard

Blurb: 

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Gabriel Series comes a dark, sensual tale of romance in a city shrouded in mystery…

Raven Wood spends her days at Florence’s Uffizi Gallery restoring fine works of Renaissance art. But an innocent walk home after an evening with friends changes her life forever. When she intervenes in the senseless beating of a homeless man, his attackers turn on her, dragging her into an alley. Raven is only semi-conscious when their assault is interrupted by a cacophony of growls followed by her attacker’s screams. Mercifully, she blacks out, but not before catching a glimpse of a shadowy figure who whispers to her…

Cassita vulneratus.

When Raven awakes, she is inexplicably changed. She returns to the Uffizi, but no one recognizes her and more disturbingly, she discovers that she’s been absent an entire week. With no recollection of the events leading up to her disappearance, Raven also learns that her absence coincides with one of the largest robberies in Uffizi history – the theft of a set of priceless Botticelli illustrations. When the baffled police force identifies her as its prime suspect, Raven is desperate to clear her name. She seeks out one of Florence’s wealthiest and elusive men in an attempt to uncover the truth about her disappearance. Their encounter leads Raven to a dark underworld whose inhabitants kill to keep their secrets…




Release Date:
Early 2015


About the Author

I'm interested in the way literature can help us explore aspects of the human condition - particularly suffering, sex, love, faith, and redemption. My favourite stories are those in which a character takes a journey, either a physical journey to a new and exciting place, or a personal journey in which he or she learns something about himself/herself. 


I'm also interested in how aesthetic elements such as art, architecture, and music can be used to tell a story or to illuminate the traits of a particular character. In my writing, I combine all of these elements with the themes of redemption, forgiveness, and the transformative power of goodness.


I try to use my platform as an author to raise awareness about the following charities: Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation, WorldVision, Alex's Lemonade Stand, and Covenant House. For more information, see my Twitter account.

You can find Sylvain at 

         

Monday, May 19, 2014

Empower by Jessica Shirvinton

Empower

The Violet Eden Chapters 5

Author: Jessica Shirvington 
Pages: 472 pgs
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Release Date: May 6th 2014
Review Source: Purchase

It has been two years since Violet Eden walked away from the city, her friends, her future and - most importantly - her soulmate, Lincoln. Part angel, part human, Violet is determined to stand by the promises she made to save the one she loves.

Living in the perpetual coldness of a broken soul she survives day to day as a Rogue Grigori in London.

But when an unexpected visitor shows up at her door, the news he bears about someone she swore to protect leaves Violet with no choice.

Even worse, she fears that this might all lead back to the night she tries hardest to forget. And what was taken without her permission.

Violet is going back to New York ... and she knows exactly who is going to be there.

With Phoenix in her dreams and Lincoln in her heart she knows it is only a matter of time before the final choice must be made.


Once again, Jessica has completely blown me away with this last book in her series. Each one has been better than the last and the conclusion was everything that I could have hoped for and more. Even though it's come to an end, I'll be thinking about these characters for a long long time.

Violet is stronger and even fiery than she's been before, and with good reason. Everything that she went through leading up to the point of the last book had been pretty crazy, and left a gaping hole in her. The fact that Jessica was able to pull out the emotions that she did, leaving me as a reader feeling raw right along with her characters just proved to me how phenomenal she was as a writer.

Putting Empower down for even a second was almost impossible, and reaching the end was bittersweet. Not only did we get to meet new characters, but we got visits from old ones and conclusions that will hopefully leave everyone satisfied. I couldn't have asked for a better ending and only wish that we could continue along with Violet, Lincoln, Steph, and the rest of the gang on their journey.

I've said it before, but I definitely can't wait to read more from Jessica and I hope you guys will join along with me!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Guest Post: Linda Cunningham- The Nature of Romance






                                                                        The Nature Of Romance


            According to the dictionary, the word “romance” is defined as “an emotional attraction or aura attached to a specific era, activity, adventure, or individual”.  This is, succinctly put, why I am enamored of the genre and why I write it.  I have an emotional attraction to romance and all that it symbolizes.  I enjoy the aura of romance.  I find it everywhere.
            Romance embraces all the facets that come together to make the story.  People, place, and circumstance are woven together to form the fabric of each specific story.  I write about romance in a small town because small town life fascinates me.  I was born and grew up in the same small town where my father was born and grew up.  The air there fairly crackled with romance.  Around every corner there were stories that would break your heart, curl your hair, make you laugh, or warm your soul.  To this day I could drive you down the streets of that town and tell you a story worth telling about the people who live in every house we would pass.  Some of the stories are generations long, some only vignettes, but all of these stories attest to the same fact.  Ordinary life in a quiet, small town is anything but ordinary or quiet.
            I live in a small town now, not far from where I was born, and about the same size.  The romance quotient is the same.  The things that happen in the daily life of a population of 3,000 are astounding.  Nothing gets lost in a small town.  The stories of individuals live on in family lore, in town records, on grave stones, in the very architecture of the buildings.  In a small town, somebody can always help you find what you're looking for, from your car keys to your true love.
            When I examine the fabric of these romances, woven of linen circumstance, woolen places, and silken love, the one aspect that seems to stand out most clearly to me is the fact that there are no coincidences.  The trite phrase, “things happen for a reason” is proven over and over again.  When I was growing up, a woman in town pined for a baby.  She and her husband were still childless after ten years and it was breaking her heart.  Then, her younger sister had an affair with a married man and became pregnant.  The pregnancy was kept “secret” and the baby was “adopted” by the childless sister.  Everybody knew the circumstances.  Nobody judged.  The married man succeeded in obtaining a divorce, rare in those days.  He married the younger sister and they subsequently had two children together.  Meanwhile, the childless sister raised her niece as her own daughter.  The girl grew up, married, had multiple children and formed a veritable real estate dynasty.  The childless sister had the big family she and her husband had always dreamed of.
            Another story is of the wife of the local mailman.  Because of her personal religious beliefs, she had one baby after another, even at the risk of her own life.  After the birth of the tenth child, her husband contracted the mumps and became sterile.  Nobody in town doubted for a nanosecond that it was divine intervention.  The mother raised her children, and went back to school herself.  She ended up with a doctorate in history and went on to become head of Archives at the state university.  That's a romance!
            This is the foundation upon which my Small Town Girl series is based.  I write about the triumph of true love and of dreams coming true.  I write about people who discover themselves in their heritage, who overcome daily struggles to forge a decent, even flourishing, quality of life in often overlooked and unlikely places.  I write about the real people who will never be on television, but contribute every day of their lives in quiet, dependable, and even heroic ways.  I write about self-discovery without self-centeredness.
            The Small Town Girl series is a narrative embracing the nature of romance, the resiliency and resourcefulness of the human spirit, and the power of love that is ongoing and thriving in our own back yards.  Picket fences and all
           

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