Sep 12, 2014


Phobic Blitz: Guest Post & GIVEAWAY!!!

And here is yet another book blitz! Just in time for Halloween, too! Maybe a tad bit too early, but here at Marked By Books, we like to keep our followers on their toes! I hope this blitz gets you in the right mindset for Halloween!

Phobic by Cortney Pearson

Fifteen-year-old Piper Crenshaw knows her house is strange. It’s never needed repairs since it was built in the 1800s, and the lights flicker in response to things she says. As if those things aren’t creepy enough, it’s also the place where her mother committed murder.

To prove she’s not afraid of where she lives, Piper opens a forbidden door, which hides a staircase that leads to the ceiling. That’s when the flashbacks of the original residents from 1875 start, including a love affair between two young servants. Each vision pulls Piper deeper into not only their story, but also her house. Piper confides in her best friend, Todd, whom she's gradually falling for, but even he doesn't believe her. At least, not until her house gets axed during a prank, and the act injures Piper instead, cutting a gash the size of Texas into her stomach.

Piper realizes her house isn’t haunted—it’s alive. To sever her link to it, she must unravel the clues in the flashbacks and uncover the truth about her mother’s crime, before she becomes part of her house for good.

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Guest Post

I love teasers, and am so excited to share mine with you! PHOBIC is not only mega creepy with a great mystery surrounding the house Piper lives in…

I’ve played the clarinet for 18 years, and I’ve always wanted to write a character with the same trait because it’s been such a huge part of my life for so long.

Piper plays the clarinet in PHOBIC and music for her provides an escape from the horrible life she’s had. Her mom’s in prison for murder, her dad pretty much ignored her after that (except for the times when he gave all these crazypants rules about places she wasn’t allowed to go IN HER OWN HOUSE), and then he died. Not to mention she’s hoping to win a scholarship that will provide a way to get her out of her creepy house for a while.

But it’s not just Piper. Who here doesn’t love music? *checks for any raised hands*

I don’t know about you, but not only do I love to play music I’ve constantly got music playing. While I work, while I clean, while I write, while I drive.

And this is something I’ve thought about, what my personal theme song would be. It’s so hard to choose just one! I know on the day I announced I’d be publishing PHOBIC it was this song:

But music definitely needs to fit our moods, our current situations.

What about you? If you had to choose, what would your personal theme song be?

About the Author

Cortney Pearson is a book nerd who studied literature at BYU-Idaho, a music nerd who plays clarinet in her local community orchestra, and a writing nerd who creates stories for young adults. Cortney lives with her husband and three sons in a small Idaho farm town.

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Sep 10, 2014


Play of Light Cover Reveal & GIVEAWAY!!!

Another beauty from Okay Creations! Seriously, this may be my favorite one from them yet. For more, check out their newly designed website, it looks great!

Play of Light by Debra Doxer

I lived in paradise, and I loved Spencer Pierce.

At fourteen, my life was perfect. The beach was my playground, and the boy who stole my heart lived just around the corner. But perfect never lasts. In one horrifying moment, I lost it all. My family was destroyed, and the boy I believed in turned his back on me. Paradise became a nightmare.

That was five years ago. Everything changed when we moved from our home by the sea. I’ve changed, and I don’t like who I’ve become. I miss the smiling, carefree beach girl who disappeared that terrible night. I want to find her again. I want to face the people we ran from so long ago. Most of all, I have to face Spencer. So I can prove that when he broke my heart, he didn’t break me.

But when I see him again, Spencer Pierce is no longer the boy from my memories. He’s now a man who could devastate me if I let him. He watches me when he thinks I’m not looking. There’s regret written on his face when he’s near. Each time I see him, my heart aches for what might have been, and I think his does too. How can I convince myself I’m over him when I suspect he never got over me?

~ This is a standalone story. ~

Play of Light releases December 8th!

Debra Doxer was born in Boston, and other than a few lost years in the California sunshine, she has always resided in the Boston area. She writes fiction, technical software documents, illegible scribbles on sticky notes, and texts that get mangled by AutoCorrect. She writes for a living, and she writes for fun. When her daughter asks when she'll run out of words, her response always is, "When I run out of time."

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Sep 8, 2014


The Undead: Playing for Keeps Blitz: Excerpt & GIVEAWAY!!!

I LOVE the idea for this novel! It's been so long since I've read a good reaper/resurrection book, so I'm really excited to check this one out! Don't forget to enter into our exclusive giveaway for the chance to win a copy!

The Undead: Playing for Keeps by Elsie Elmore

When an undead woman with serious de-comp issues stalks sixteen-year-old Lyla Grimm, her hope of rescuing her rock-bottom reputation takes a back seat. Especially once Lyla’s new talent of resurrecting the dead draws the attention of Eric, a Grim Reaper with a guitar and a chip on his shoulder.

While Lyla navigates the gossip-ridden halls, Eric works to gain her trust and discover why Death’s clients aren’t staying down. If she passes on her gift, his death-messenger destiny might be altered. But the closer he gets to Lyla, the less sure he is of his plan. The dead are way easier to deal with than the living.

Gossip explodes, the Grimm family implodes, and desperation sets in. Death wants the gift and a soul. Lyla and Eric face hard choices with hidden consequences. Sometimes life’s choices aren’t really choices at all.

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Elsie Elmore lives in North Carolina with her husband and two kids. She loves the color red, has an appreciation for chocolate and coffee that borders on obsession, writes stories that challenge the laws of nature, and wishes fall temperatures would linger year round.

Elsie is a member of several writing organizations: RWA, SCBWI, and WSW. The Undead : Playing for Keeps is her debut novel.

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Her straw wrapper refuses to tear off in flakes larger than two millimeters. “What are you doing here?” she asks, tearing off tiny pieces. “Having lunch with you.”

“Why would you do that?”

“Once you understand my intentions, you’ll realize that I only want to protect you.” I point to her tray. “You should eat something.” Her blushes show up too easily. She looks tired and thin.

“I can’t.” She eyes the Salisbury steak on her tray and then slides it toward me. “You want it?”

I press my forefinger on the tray’s edge and scoot it back towards her before the smell becomes too clear. “No thanks.” For the first time, the food doesn’t look disgusting and the smell doesn’t bother me, but I might not be able to fake my reaction once I put a bite in my mouth. Repulsion is hard to hide.

“Why do you wear gloves all the time?” She looks at my hands resting on the table. “It’s not even that cold yet.”

“I like the way they feel. I have cold hands.” I watch her eyes as I speak, hoping she’s buying what I’m selling. I’d rather not confess why. My label is hard to live with. “So, what happened with the table of jocks before I walked in? I feel like I missed the main event.”

Her gaze drops to her tray. She rips off a corner of her napkin and rolls it into a tiny ball. “Nothing really. He was making comments about the missing bodies and my family.”

“That bothered you?”

Her expression crumbles when I say that. “Yeah. He was making fun of my family being twisted. I’m not ashamed of what my dad does. It’s a business. He and my mom treat the families who lose people with a lot of care and compassion.”

“I don’t doubt that. Your mom seems like a good person.”

At the mention of her mom, a small smile lifts her lips. I bet she doesn’t realize she did that.

“So the fact that the corpses aren’t staying is bad for your family, huh?”

She nods. “Can we change the subject, please?” Her fingers trace the edge of her tray. “Where are you from?”

I pause. That’s a loaded question.

“Did you forget? You an Army brat that moves around or something?”

“Nah,” I shake my head. “I lived in Miami last.”

“You have brothers or sisters?”

A chill rushes down my back and I zip up my jacket. But the leather is no match for the demons crawling beneath my skin right now. This interaction, this conversation becomes an inquisition, a cross-examination as I sit here. The chill settles in my bones, aching. “Yeah,” I say in a cough. “But I haven’t seen them in a while.” Is that right? Did I?

“I’m sorry. You must miss them.” Her eyes look misty. She’s probably thinking of Ben, who’s somewhere on the campus alive. Her world is near perfect, yet she doesn’t see.

I exhale harder to push away the cold infecting my body, chilling my insides, and churning anger. “We can talk about your gift, if you want.”

“I already told you, this isn’t a gift,” she whispers.

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Sep 5, 2014


Undertow Review by K.R Conway

Luckless Eila is unknowingly the last of her kind: Rare. Gifted. Breakable. Stunning Raef is her kind's historic enemy: Soulless. Lethal. Lost. A legendary death 160 years before would set their lives to collide, forcing a beautiful killer to become a savior, a simple wallflower to become a warrior, and ruthless destiny to become a death sentence.
Seventeen-year-old Eila Walker’s new home has defied the brutal Atlantic for over 160 years. Abandoned since her 4th great grandmother Elizabeth vanished, the town legend declares that she drowned . . . or was struck by lightning.
Unbeknownst to the town and Eila, however, is that someone does know what really happened to Elizabeth, and he has returned, determined to protect the last surviving Walker from a history of violence.

But what starts out as a quest for redemption, evolves into something more and soon young guardian, Raef, is forced to reveal the truth to Eila. As hidden secrets about their warring families come to light, Eila begins to realize that she may be their best shot at survival, even if it means following in her grandmother’s fearless footsteps to save her killer bodyguard.

Every once and a while a reader comes across a book that just speaks to them. Ok, maybe not speak per se, but a book that catches the attention of the reader with just having read the first page. Undertow is that book for me. The summary did not really tell me exactly what the book is about. Personally, I like to know what is going to happen in the book beforehand so I do not get confused. I took a chance with reading this book and I do not regret it at all.
The first chapter was a prologue. That is what hooked me from the start. I had no idea what was going on but the scene itself that I read was impressive. With fresh diction, structural syntax and creative ideas, Ms. Conway did a superb job of capturing my attention.
Now for the rest of the book. Yes, this a supernatural, teenage romance book. However, as with some of my other reviews about there being too much teen romance in the book, this one had just enough to make a person blush, but also not too much to question the genre of the book. All teenagers are going to have romantic notions and Eila Walker is not any different. What I appreciated about this book is that it was not solely focused on the romantic portion of the book, but the supernatural aspect of it as well.
There are many different supernatural creatures that have been written about. I am not going to list them all because I am pretty sure that everyone is familiar with supernatural creatures.
Undertow is so creative because what Raef O'Reilly is not something you hear about in just any book. Neither is that of Eila Walker. The mere idea of what they both are is impressive because they are original, not something that has been written about time and time again. The history of their kind that has been created in this book is also a piece of literature that cannot possibly be surpassed in the supernatural world. Not many authors can create something such as Eila and Raef and have it make sense. Ms. Conway did so and I applaud her.
However, as with all books, there is one little detail that questions the sanity of the author. The end. Sure, in most books, you can predict what will happen. The boy and the girl will end up together and everyone will live happily ever after. I cannot tell you if that is what happens in this book or not because that would be the world's worst spoiler of all time. There would be no point in reading the book, now would there? Despite all the good things I have to say about this book, of which there are many, the end is the one thing that puzzled me.
All in all, I would recommend this book to anyone who is ready to explore a whole new world of supernatural creatures. 

My Rating 

About the Author
I have been a journalist for 15 years and serve on the Board of Directors for the Cape Cod Writers Center. I also drive a 16-ton school bus because I am ENTIRELY NUTS.
In addition to working jobs that should come with a warning label , I hold a BA in Psychos (Forensic Psych), torment the tourists about Jaws, and occasionally jump from the Town Neck bridge in an attempt to reclaim my youth.
I live on Cape Cod with two smallish humans who apparently are my kids, my fishing-obsessed husband, two canines (adept at both flatulence and snoring), and a cage-defiant lovebird that sleeps in a miniature tent. Nope - that's not a type-o. The bird is quite the indoor camper.

Sep 3, 2014


Embers Cover Reveal, Excerpt, & GIVEAWAY!!!

What a beautiful cover! I love the touches of fire coming up from the title!
Embers by Karen Ann Hopkins

There are descendants of angels walking among us. Ember is one of them. And she may be the only hope mankind has as the rapture approaches and evils rises.

Embers is an epic paranormal adventure about an eighteen year old girl who discovers that she's immune to fire and any other injury when she’s in a horrific car crash that kills her parents. Following a violent episode with her aunt's boyfriend, Ember flees Ohio to live with an old relative in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Ember's exuberance at escaping a bad home life soon turns to trepidation when she finds out that she's a Watcher, a descendant of angels. While Ember learns about her heritage and the powers that go along with it, she strikes up friendships with two young men who live in a frightening walled compound in the forest. Inexplicitly drawn to one of the men in particular, an impossible romance develops. But it is cut short when Ember discovers that her new friends are fighting on the opposite side of a war—one that’s been raging between two factions of Watchers for thousands of years. When the compound’s inhabitants threaten the townspeople, Ember takes action, sealing her fate in the ancient battle of good versus evil—and the grayness in between. Ember is up to the challenge, until she realizes that she isn’t only fighting for the lives of the locals and the souls of her new friends. She also might be one of the few champions who will make a stand for all of mankind as the rapture approaches and the end of days begin.

Embers is a dark and gritty YA novel that’s the first book in the series, The Wings of War.

Embers releases October 21st!

A native of New York State, Karen Ann Hopkins now lives with her family on a farm in northern Kentucky, where her neighbors in all directions are members of a strict Amish community. Her unique perspective became the inspiration for the story of star-crossed lovers Rose and Noah. When she’s not homeschooling her kids, giving riding lessons or tending to a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats, she is dreaming up her next romantic novel.

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“How can this be? My hands were closer to the flame than yours, yet mine are all right, and yours are ruined.” I was confused and weak, yet I was still trying to think rationally. “I need to get you to a hospital.”

“My dear child, I know this is going to be difficult for you to accept. You have been conditioned your entire life to not believe the things I’m about to tell you, but the truth is in front of you. You can’t deny it now.” Aunt Ila paused and wrinkled her nose as if she was in pain, but she continued to talk.

“The fire can’t harm you, because it’s inside of you. It’s part of your essence, your soul. Of course you know that humans are made up of water, bones, tissue and organs. And you have all those things in your body, but the fire is in there too, just hiding. But it is in there just the same.” She poked her bloody finger into my belly. “That’s why you weren’t injured during that horrible accident. All the others had to try to explain it away somehow, but you knew the truth in your heart all along. You just couldn’t face it or didn’t know how to. You were in the fire and the only thing it did was make you stronger. You are what you are and you can’t deny it.”

Her voice was soft, yet it boomed in my head.

In a shaky voice I asked her, “What am I?”

“A Watcher, my dear—you are a Watcher.”

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Sep 2, 2014


To the Stars Cover Reveal

I love the plot for this book! Sounds like it belongs on the big screen to me, and the cover is gorgeous! It's very unique and perfectly models the feel for the novel. Great job!

To the Stars by Tiaan Lubbe

One boy. One girl. One world about to end.

When the world finds out its inevitable end will come in sixty years, it seems like all hope is lost. Until a man steps from the darkness. He offers salvation, but demands total control. The world accepts.

Sixty years later, the old saviour’s son is leader and watches over the last proceedings of his father’s plans – Seven Ark ships called the Astrum Portas.

Noah is the next leader. He doesn’t want to be.

Zara is the girl he’s in love with. She doesn’t know it.

Three lives become complicatedly intertwined when a bomb on the Astrum Porta unexpectedly throws them into a whirlwind of secrets, forbidden love and violent clashes all while the looming apocalypse approaches rapidly. The final adventure awaits...

Release information to come.

Tiaan Lubbe lives in Pretoria, South Africa where he spends his time teaching little monsters, directing plays, doing what he calls writing and dreaming up the future. Mostly all at once.

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Aug 27, 2014


Cuts Run Deep Cover Reveal & GIVEAWAY!!!

I just love books like this. When the main character has no memory of her past and wakes up trying to figure out what really happened to get her where she ended up, I feel like it really draws you into the story. There aren't any moments where you have to wait for the main character to mention something that's apparently important; you just get to jump right in and discover it with her.

Cuts Run Deep by Amber Garza

Piper wakes up in the hospital with no recollection of how she got there. Only fragmented memories surface – her boyfriend Jackson on the ground covered in blood, Piper standing over him, her hands slick and red. Then she is told the awful truth: Jackson was killed the night she was injured, and she is the only witness.

If only she could remember what happened.

Piper searches through her memories, recalling her entire relationship with Jackson in order to piece together what happened. Meanwhile, as Jackson’s family is trying to make sense of the tragedy, they find his journal and begin reading through it to find answers.

As the chilling truth begins to unfold, Piper has to face the darkest secrets of her relationship with Jackson and the part she played in his murder.

Cuts Run Deep releases October 8th!

Amber Garza is the author of the Delaney's Gift Series and many contemporary romance titles, including Star Struck, Tripping Me Up and Break Free. She has had a passion for the written word since she was a child making books out of notebook paper and staples. Her hobbies include reading and singing. Tea and wine are her drinks of choice (not necessarily in that order). She writes while blaring music, and talks about her characters like they're real people. She currently lives in California with her amazing husband, and two hilarious children who provide her with enough material to keep her writing for years.

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