Mar 24, 2013


Review of Mastiff by Tamora Pierce

So I had a bit of a Tamora Pierce fan-girl moment when writing my review for Fraction of Stone a few days ago, in case you didn't notice. I kind of feel bad for taking the spotlight away from Kelley Lynn and her AMAZING debut novel, but I still think that my comparison was relevant, and I stand by my decision. And I really, really needed that fan-girl moment.

The Hunt is on!

Three years have passed since Beka Cooper almost died in the sewers of Port Caynn, and she is now a respected member of the Provost's Guard. But her life takes an unexpected turn when her fiance is killed on a slave raid. Beka is faced with a mixture of emotions as, unbeknownst to many, she was about to call the engagement off.

It is as Beka is facing these feelings that Lord Gershom appears at her door. Within hours, Beka; her partner, Tunstall; her scent hound, Achoo; and an unusual but powerful mage are working on an extremely secretive case that threatens the future of the Tortallan royal family, and therefore the entire Tortallan government. As Beka delves deeper into the motivations of the criminals she now Hunts, she learns of deep-seated political dissatisfaction, betrayal, and corruption. These are people with power, money, and influence. They are able to hire the most skilled of mages, well versed in the darkest forms of magic. And they are nearly impossible to identify.

This case - a Hunt that will take her to places she's never been - will challenge Beka's tracking skills beyond the city walls, as well as her ability to judge exactly whom she can trust with her life and her country's future.


The end is here. 

No, it's not the apocalypse, but it feels pretty darn close right about now. I still can't believe this is the last book in the Beka Cooper trilogy. It felt like there was a huge hole in the center of my heart as soon as I turned the last page because I was so not ready to let go of anybody yet. I'm still not! In fact, I'm probably going to have to reread more Tamora Pierce books pretty soon to fill that gap because, writing this, I feel like I'm about to split in two.

Not cool, Tamora Pierce!

I'm just kidding, I love you. So here's to the first review on this blog of a book by my very author, Tamora Pierce! Yay!

But now on to what I'm actually supposed to be talking about: Mastiff. While I'm obviously not too fond of the fact that this is the last I'll being seeing of Beka, I am pretty happy with how things ended up. Of course I was devastated by the betrayal she faced by someone that should have been too close to hurt her, and I also wish that I could've seen a little more of Rosto, Kora, Aniki, and Goodwin before everything ended, but I'm very proud of Beka and glad that she finally got her happily ever after.

Even though I didn't get to see as many of Beka's old friends as I had hoped, I really enjoyed all of the new faces. First off, Gareth. I know that I didn't get to meet him until the very end, but I have to say, that kid's a boss. Seriously. The little guy's only four years old, but he handled being kidnapped better than many people ten times his age would have. He's so kind to everyone too, especially considering his lineage. He is one of the sweetest, bravest, most determined little boys I've ever had the pleasure of reading about, and I only wish that I could have had more time to spend with him.

I really liked the queen as well. It was very obvious how much she loved her son, and that none of wanting to get him back was a political battle; I know she would have turned over the entire kingdom if she thought it would mean getting to see him again. Their reunion was so sweet, and she always treated Beka like an equal, regardless of whether or not Beka thought she deserved it.

Then there's Farmer. There's no way I could have talked about this book without mentioning him. He's just that awesome. Like Beka, he'll play up the stupid Lower City Dog act to make people underestimate him before completely blowing their minds. Unlike Beka, however, Farmer does it with style. I'm not picking on Beka here, but she just tends to slip into a bit of an accent and act really shy around nobles, whereas Farmer goes full throttle with the whole country bumkin act. I swear, if he said, "Ma allus said...." one more time, I don't think I could have contained the laughter.

And then we have Pounce. Oh, Pounce, Pounce, Pounce, Pounce, Pounce, how I adore you. After Salem from Sabrina the Teenage Witch, I never thought I could love another talking cat so much again, but you completely blow him out of the water (sorry Salem). You are the best character in this book, and you know it. Thank you so much for your meddling, even if it did confine you to the stars for a hundred years. Your smugness will forever live in my heart, and I'm so glad that I at least didn't have to say goodbye to you, Pounce (or should I call you Faithful?).

Overall, the first half was a little slow at times, but still enjoyable, mainly because I loved spending time with all of the characters so much. I probably would have only given this book four stars if it continued on like that, but what came later more than made up for it. By far, the most exciting parts of the book came a little after halfway through. That was when things really started to pick up, and it felt like I had been thrown in the middle of a whirlwind of excitement and suspense. It really never calmed down from there until the very end, and even that may be stretching it. The ending was certainly something huge, but I can't say anything else without spoiling the book for you. I really felt like everything had finally come full circle, especially after going back to George Cooper in the epilogue. It seemed very fitting for him to close things up, especially since he and his mother started Beka's story off in the beginning of Terrier. Oh, back when she was just a Puppy.... it's making me sad just thinking about it. Goodbye Beka! I'll never forget you! Probably because I'll end up rereading your books every year!

Rating: 5 stars

And here are my two favorite, non-spoilery passages because I just couldn't choose between them:

"Lady Sabine's mouth twisted in a bitter smile. "They would rather their women go pure and gentle to the grave than sully themselves with an enemy's blood," she told me.

I gawped at her like a countryman at the fair.

My lady grimaced. "My family had me attend three of the Gentle Mother's services four years ago. Then I threatened to become a prostitute at the Temple of the Mother of Delight. After that, I was left of be ungentle."

"Goddess be thanked," Tunstall said, and spat."

"What do I care if he is a baron? I asked as a priest in Mithran orange and a mot in pale pink robes walked in to stand before the dais. Tortall is lousy with barons. Every time a king wants to thank someone for saving his arse somehow, he names him baron and gives him an acre of rocks.

Did I raise you to be this cynical? Pounce asked me as we all stood for the Mithran's prayer.

You told me it was "worldly," I replied, looking at the floor so as to seem devout. Pounce and I had entertained each other through prayers at Lord Gershom's for years, and had begun again when out Hunts took us to noble houses. You said I needed to be worldly."

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Mar 23, 2013


Fraction of Stone Blog Tour: Review & GIVEAWAY

I'm really, really excited for this book's tour. Fraction of Stone was such an incredible read, and I'm dying right now having reached the end. The next book can't come soon enough!

There is only one among the Tarmack nation with the ability to wield magic, eighteen-year-old Rydan Gale. He lives like a prince, cherished for his talent to bend the fabric of the universe to his will. In the war against the Liasam, he is their ultimate weapon.

The Liasam have a source of magic as well, but Akara’s mastery of her power is rudimentary at best. With a brilliant display of fire-rain Rydan’s side wins the war, giving the Tarmack sole control over dwindling resources due to the natural disasters ripping apart the earth.

When Akara is sentenced to death, Rydan questions the motive, and discovers the leaders of the newly unified nation fear magic above all else. With war a memory, his skills no longer needed, Rydan suspects he is next. Throwing away every comfort, he pulls Akara from the flames of her execution and their lives as fugitives begin.

Both have a tattoo on the back of their neck, the mark of an extinguished tribe. They discover the natural disasters plaguing the world are due to the tribe’s demise and only Rydan and Akara can save the crumbling world.

But the greatest obstacle for saving mankind isn’t the bizarre creatures and determined men hunting them.

It’s that Akara doesn’t believe the world is worth saving.

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For When Words Just Aren't Enough

During Kelley Lynn’s last year at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, while pursuing her degree in Chemical Engineering, the voices in her head got the best of her. Surprisingly, they didn’t want to talk about process flow diagrams and heat capacity. They preferred the fantastical. So instead of turning to her Thermodynamics book, Kelley brought up a blank page on her computer screen and wrote.

Come graduation, not only did Kelley have a diploma and, thankfully, a wonderful job, but she had a new obsession as well. Amidst the order and exactness that came with the nine to five, Kelley found a way to create; to determine the rules of a world and take her characters to the limits of what was possible. Perhaps she has a slight control complex.

The first in the series, Fraction of Stone, was born on an airplane and took ten days to write. It probes the question, should the world be saved if there’s no one in it worth saving?

When briefly managing to quiet the voices, Kelley participates in softball, soccer and volleyball. (You probably don’t want her on your volleyball team. Unless you want to laugh.) She lives with her sister and her dog who can attest to the chair that has Kelley’s butt print permanently pressed into it. Depending on the weekend, you might be able to hear Kelley sing for an area classic rock band.

Kelley Lynn is a member of the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators.

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My Review

For those of you who have been watching what I've been reading lately, you may have noticed that I just finished Mastiff by Tamora Pierce, the third and final book in the Beka Cooper series. Now you might be wondering why I'm even bringing that up. You'd say to yourself, "But Taylor, this book isn't written by Tamora Pierce!" And you would be correct.

The reason that I brought it up was to lead into the idea of epic fantasy. And when I say "epic," I really do mean "EPIC." It's not called "boring fantasy," or "ho-hum fantasy," but "epic fantasy." It means that throughout the whole novel, the characters drag you along on an adventure that is too fantastic to exist in our own world so an entirely new one has to be created so that they may tell their story. Just like what Tamora Pierce writes, and just like this.

Now if you don't know me that well, you may not understand the gravity of what I just said. When I compare a book to something that Tamora Pierce has written, it is not to be taken lightly. She is pretty much my favorite author. EVER. Her books transport me to a world that I never want to leave and introduce me to characters that I refuse to say goodbye to. And now I can say all of that again for Fraction of Stone.

This book is good. And I mean really good. I completely loved it. The writing is absolutely beautiful, and the story is amazing, not to mention that all of the characters are awesome. Well, the nice ones are anyway.

It really shows that Kelley Lynn put a lot of hard work into this book. The characterization of the two main characters is unbelievable, and their development is even more so. Both Akara and Rydan go through incredible changes throughout the novel, but all of them are completely seamless. I probably couldn't even pinpoint exactly how each of the changes occurred because it just felt like they flowed from one version of themselves to another.

In the beginning, Akara wanted nothing more than to be free of the pain caused by those who forced her to kill in the name of "freedom." Rydan just wanted to keep living the high life, unaware of those who had to suffer for him to succeed. Neither of them knew who they really were, just that the one thing that made them different from everybody else was also what united them.

They didn't even like each other at first. Sure, Akara was eventually grateful for what Rydan had to give up to save her, but both of them knew he only did it for selfish reasons. He treated the whole thing like a game, the key he needed to return to his place of honor. But soon those who he used to think respected him treat him like a monster, and he starts to understand why Akara believes that humanity doesn't deserve a second chance on life.

It takes a pretty strong person to be willing to save the people who've tried to kill them. When you witness firsthand all of the horrible things people are able to do, you start to wonder why they even deserve to live. Suddenly, the apocalypse isn't  just the end of the world, it's the end of everything bad that comes along with it. It's like the universe's ultimate version of karma. And when all you've ever seen is the dark side of humanity, you can't help but think that maybe it's the right thing after all.

Rating: 5 stars

""Why wouldn't you let me heal you?" If she wasn't going to pick the course of the conversation, he would. Rydan brushed the ground clear of debris and took his seat again.

"Because I deserve the pain."

The answer hit him in the gut, the next question on his mind flew away with the forced exhale, and Akara continued.

"And because it's a reminder of how cruel the world is. If I'm to live, I want to make sure it's etched in my brain."

"So, in your mind, everyone is evil."

"That's a simplified version, but yes. To one degree or another."

"Including yourself?" The girl was full of surprises. Nothing that came out of her mouth was what he expected. His frustration turned to fascination and utter confusion.

"Especially myself.""

The Giveaway

The Tour

March 21st 

March 22nd

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March 24th

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March 26th

March 27th

Mar 19, 2013


Blood and Snow Blitz: Excerpt & KINDLE FIRE GIVEAWAY!!!

Okay, I'm not going to play stupid. I know why most of you are reading this. You saw the words "Kindle Fire Giveaway" in the title and decided it might benefit you to check it out. I'm pretty sure that's how it works.

Well, whether that's what got you here or not, I know the book will be what keeps you. Because it looks pretty darn awesome:

Every thousand years the Vampire Queen selects a new body, always the fairest in the land, and this time she's chosen Snow White.

Snow isn't an ordinary girl. She doesn't know that yet.

When Snow gets bitten by a Hunter, her life is thrown into a whirlwind of change where instead of worrying about what to eat, she has to fight not to drink the blood of fellow high school students. She becomes a revenant - not quite human, not quite vampire.

With the help of an eccentric old Professor, his seven adoptive sons, and her best friend, Snow learns to control her blood craving. Sort of.  She drinks a bloodlust tea, but she'd rather drink from her Hunter.

Or, a human.

She also discovers a whole other realm, one filled with fairies, dragons, and magic. And not only does the Vampire Queen want her, but there's a pendant called the Seal of Gabriel created for Snow by the Vampire Queen's twin sister. And Snow's supposed to use it to restore balance to all magical creatures. Including vampires.


RASHELLE WORKMAN lives on a mountain with her husband, three children, and three dogs. From her back porch she can see the city lights and imagine... She's the bestselling author of the Dead Roses series (Sleeping Roses is being translated into Turkish, and will be available in print wherever Turkish books are sold in 2014), the Immortal Essence series, and the Blood and Snow series.

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The Excerpt

"“I’ve had several seriously sexual day dreams about the new guy. Have you seen him?”

“Cin, I didn’t need to know that.” I jammed my math book into my backpack, and slammed the locker door. Cindy rested her petite frame against the locker next to mine. Her radiant baby blues twinkled. “No, I haven’t seen him. Apparently he’s . . . cute?” I asked.

She snorted. “Cute? No! He isn’t a kitten. He’s hot, sexier than hell, and has a voice that could melt chocolate.”

I had to laugh. Cindy had a way with words. It’d been like that since first grade. We met our first day of school. She’d traded me her Twinkie for my apple with the line, “I don’t think you should eat the apple, Snow White.” We’d been friends almost ten years.

She was different than me in every way, except our blue eyes. She was the epitome of a waif, while I towered over her at five foot eight. She had blond hair that hung long, and was always perfectly styled, mine was a boring dark brown, and came to just below my ears. Her clothes were the latest fashion, as were her nails, makeup, and jewelry, including the heart shaped stud in her belly button. Me, well let’s just say I didn’t own any makeup, and my clothes consisted of baggy jeans, and large old t-shirts, thanks to my seven best friends, and their hand-me-downs. My nails were stubby, and my ears weren’t even pierced. Honestly, I wondered if Cin found me embarrassing sometimes, but I gave her points for sticking around.

“Melt chocolate, huh? He sounds nice.”

“Snow!” She stomped her foot. “Nice isn’t even a proper word. It’s in the same arena as fine, good, okay, and pure.” She shuddered.

“What’s wrong with pure?” I asked, unable to help a laugh, and started toward the gym.

She jogged next to me. “Nothing if you’re Snow White.” "

And one final thing! The author included this really cool comic to go along with the excerpt, so here it is!

The Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mar 15, 2013


Release of Afterlife Academy: Excerpt

Look who's back! Remember when I posted the cover reveal for Afterlife Academy about a week ago? Well it's time for the book to come back into the stoplight because today is its official release!

Thanks to the wonderful author, Jaime Admans (she's so nice!) I'll be reading and reviewing Afterlife Academy soon, and I'm really excited! Doesn't the blurb just sound awesome?!

Even being dead isn’t enough to get you out of maths class.

Dying wasn't on sixteen-year-old Riley Richardson's to-do list. And now, not only is she dead, but she's stuck in a perpetual high school nightmare. Worse still, she's stuck there with the geekiest, most annoying boy in the history of the world, ever. In a school where the geeks are popular and just about everything is wrong, Riley has become an outcast. She begins a desperate quest to get back to her perfect life, but her once-perfect life starts to unravel into something not nearly as perfect as she thought it was.
And maybe death isn’t really that bad after all...

Welcome to Afterlife Academy, where horns are the norm, the microwave is more intelligent than the teachers, and the pumpkins have a taste for blood.

Amazon          Amazon UK

Jaimie is a 27-year-old English-sounding Welsh girl with an awkward-to-spell name. She lives in South Wales and enjoys writing, gardening, drinking tea and watching horror movies. She hates spiders and cheese & onion crisps.

She has been writing for years, but has never before plucked up the courage to tell people. She writes mostly chick-lit and young adult. Kismetology is her first novel and there are plenty more on the way!

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Here's the entire first chapter for you to read as a sneak peek!

The Excerpt

"I have always been a good girl. I’ve always been a girl who never gets into trouble. In fact, the one and only time that I do something even vaguely wrong, do you know what happens?

I die.

At least, that seems like the most logical explanation, given the circumstances.

I remember impact.

And then nothing.

I open my eyes and look around. I am standing in front of the school gate.

Of all places.

It’s freezing. Something feels wrong. I’m just pulling my jacket further around myself when I hear a voice to my left.

“You,” it says angrily.

It startles me and I spin around to see Anthony.

Of all people.

Somehow I have gone from being in the car with Wade to standing in front of the school gate with the geekiest, most boring, weirdest nerd boy from my form.

“You,” I snarl back at him.

He sighs.

I huff out a breath, which appears in front of my face because it’s so cold. It’s the middle of April. It shouldn’t be this cold.

I look around and realize something is really wrong with this place.

We’re standing on the road outside our school gate.

Except we’re not.

On the road, that is.

I mean, we’re outside the school. Our school. And we’re standing on a road. But this isn’t the road. There are no cars. No houses. No sandwich shop opposite. There’s nothing but an endless country lane. There is nothing in either direction. Just a plain tarmac road. And trees. Lots of trees.

I glance back at Anthony to see if he’s seeing this too. Obviously he is because he’s looking around, clearly just as bewildered as I am.

“What happened?” I say, more to myself than to him.

I don’t usually talk to him. Sophie, my best friend, would laugh at me for even looking at our school’s biggest geek.

“Oh, so I’m allowed to speak to you now?” he snaps.

“Are you even seeing this?” I snap back. “What the hell happened?”

“How am I supposed to know?”

“You’re the one so enthralled by chemistry classes.”

“There’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve your mind. I happen to find science interesting. Probably in the same way that you find painting your fingernails interesting.”

“Oh, shut up. Don’t you think we have more important things to worry about at the moment? Like where the hell we are, for instance?”

“We’re at school, genius.” He scowls.

“Yes, but look…” I indicate wildly with my hands. “Do you think there’s been some kind of nuclear war or something?”

“I find that highly unlikely,” he says, but he does look a bit freaked out.

I look up at the school that looms in front of us. And then I notice something else wrong.

The school is grey. Everything is grey. The building itself, which is usually a shade of ancient red brick, is grey. Even the grassy hill outside is an unhealthy-looking shade of grey.

This is wrong.

I look at Anthony. He’s staring at the school too. Even he looks a bit dull. Not that he isn’t dull anyway, but even he doesn’t usually look this washed out.

There’s a low cloud hanging everywhere. It’s shrouding the school. It’s covering the tops of the trees that line the road. It looks like an ordinary foggy morning. But really, really foggy and grey.

And again, that doesn’t follow because it’s late afternoon. I know it is because Wade and I just cut last class.

“Do you have the time, please?” I ask Anthony.

“Check your own watch,” he mutters.

“Like a watch goes with this outfit.”

“Fine.” He makes a big show of pulling his sleeve up and looking at his wrist. “Oh,” he says, sounding surprised. “It’s stopped. This watch never stops. It’s radio controlled.”

What a loser. Who cares if their watch stops occasionally?

I’m about to say something to that effect when he talks instead.

“What’s with all the mist?”

“Like I’m gonna know.” I shrug.

“Maybe there’s been some kind of holocaust. What’s the last thing you remember?”

“I don’t…” I trail off as I think. “You,” I say suddenly. “You… In the car… Wade… He…”

Memories flood my mind and make me shudder. “What do you remember?” I ask as I try to shake the cold feeling that has crept down my spine.

He shrugs. “I was on my way home. You and that idiot boyfriend of yours were speeding around in some car that obviously didn’t belong to either of you. I yelled at him to slow down, there’s a nursery school just down the road, he could have killed someone…”

The cold feeling intensifies.

I think he did.

“We hit you,” I say suddenly. “I know we did.”

It was his brother’s car. Wade had grabbed me at lunchtime and persuaded me to meet him outside just before last lesson. And really, who needs to learn French? So I had cut class, hiding behind the exam wing until the coast was clear of roaming teachers, then snuck out through the fence and met Wade down a side street. We are experts at cutting class now. At the end of the day, as long as you’re not failing, I don’t see the need to attend every single class. Unlike some geeks.

I cast a sideways glance at Anthony. His hair is too long and now a shade of charcoal instead of the usual dull brown, and he has a faraway look in his grey eyes. I know he’s thinking about what happened.

I suddenly realize that the blood is gone. The last time I saw Anthony, he was covered in blood.

Because of Wade.

Because of me.

Wade had borrowed his brother’s car. I use the term borrowed loosely because I doubt his brother knew he had borrowed it. We’d cut the class and gone for a drive. Not very far and nowhere that would attract attention, because neither of us has a driving license. We were on the way back to school so I could jump on the bus with Sophie and arrive home as usual, that way my parents would never know anything about it. It’s not like they approved of Wade anyway. They certainly wouldn’t approve of skipping school and riding in cars without a licensed driver.

I remember that Wade sped up as we approached the school. He had to show off. We flew past the nursery school, gaining a few angry glances from mothers picking up their kids. I had the window down, my head leaning out of it, hair flapping around in the wind and feeling like a rock star. Wade had the music cranked up as high as it could go and was thumping his hands on the steering wheel to the beat.

And then we saw Anthony. Head down, trudging along the pavement. His usual stance.

“What a prick,” Wade had yelled to me over the music.

I nodded.

“Hey!” Wade rolled his window down and yelled at Anthony. “Been to after-school maths club, dude? Off home to see Mama?”

“Get lost,” Anthony muttered.

“Oh, it speaks, it speaks,” Wade mocked him.

Anthony turned to face us. “You shouldn’t be driving like that. There are kids around here.”

“Why don’t you go and tattle on me to a teacher, little baby?” Wade yelled. “You’re good at that. But see how many teeth you have left when I get my hands on you.”

“Sod off,” Anthony said and carried on walking.

“Stupid little twit,” Wade said to me. “We’ll show him.”

He put his foot on the accelerator. We shot off down the road, almost reaching the school before Wade braked so sharply that I was sure I’d have a seatbelt-shaped indentation across my chest. He spun the car in a perfect circle, complete with screeching brakes and the smell of burning rubber.

“What the hell are you doing?” I screamed.

“I’ll teach that geek to tell me to slow down.” Wade grinned.

We flew back up the road, approaching Anthony again within seconds.

“Wade, don’t,” I said, but he didn’t hear me over the music. “Slow down!” I yelled at him.

“Don’t be such a baby,” he said dismissively.

I groaned. We were going too fast. We sped past Anthony again before Wade slammed on the brakes and did another screeching turn.

“Stop it!” I yelled at him.

He ignored me.

“Hey, you!” he’d shouted as we passed Anthony again. He slowed down this time to taunt him some more. “Where’ve you been? Extra-credit science class, because A-plus grades just aren’t enough?”

“You’re only jealous,” Anthony shouted to him.

“Oh yeah. Jealous of you. The stupid little bastard whose granny makes him sandwiches every morning in case he gets his lunch money stolen.”

“Screw you.”

“Wade, stop,” I said again.

“Why?” He snapped his head in my direction. “Tell me you don’t feel sorry for this geek?”

“We should go home,” I said, avoiding the question. “I’ve already missed the bus. You’re going to have to drive me.”

“Then there’s no rush.” He smirked.

“Hey, freak,” he yelled at Anthony who was hurriedly walking away. “Going home to see Mama and Daddy? Oh wait, that’s right. You can’t, can you? They’re both dead! Probably killed themselves because you’re such a prat!”

“Wade, don’t,” I said as he accelerated again and we sped off.

“Why not?”

“Because it’s cruel.”

“Cruel, my ass. Making me sit next to that moron in form room is cruel.”

“They only make you sit by him because you cause too much ruckus with your own friends.”

“If you like him so much, why don’t you sit by him?” Wade slammed his foot on the brake so the car spun around again. We came dangerously close to the side barrier and I screamed.

“Stop being such a girl,” Wade told me.

“Hey, Anthony,” he yelled as we came up to him again. “Going home to see your… Oh, shit!”

This time we didn’t slow down as we approached Anthony. This time there was a noise under the car and we swerved. We more than swerved. We careened across the road, and Anthony stood there frozen as we went right into him.

I remember the sound of his head as it cracked against the windscreen. Blood spilled everywhere. It splattered through the passenger window that was still open. I screamed. I couldn’t see where we were going. The lifeless body blocked the view and bright red blood poured over the glass.

Wade screamed beside me.

“Do something!” I shrieked at him.

Then there was impact. Anthony’s body was crushed right in front of my eyes as we hit something else head-on.

There was the loudest bang I’ve ever heard in my life.

Then there was blackness coming towards me.

Then I was here."

So is anybody else as excited as I am yet?

Mar 13, 2013


Runes Cover Reveal

I'm really excited to be a part of the cover reveal for this book! I've always thought that cover reveals were absolutely awesome to see, and now I know they're even more fun to be a part of. There's just something about seeing such a crucial part of the book early that's so cool.

And now on to the cover. What do I think of it? Overall, I'd say it's pretty good. The font may seem a little generic (especially for the author's name), but I really like the design behind the title, and the little half circle of symbols that continue down beneath it.

There is one thing that's really bothering me, though. It's my biggest pet peeve in any sort of a visual representation of a book, be it through a cover, a trailer, or whatever. I really hate it when the actors/models don't look nearly young enough to be the characters they're playing. Ever since the casting monstrosity that was Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, I've been extremely high strung about stuff like that.

The blurb says that Raine is supposed to be seventeen. And as I scroll back up to look at the cover, I'm just not seeing it. Yes, I know, there's all kinds of horrible hoops to jump through if you want to cast a minor in anything that could ever be considered mildly sexual, but it couldn't have been that hard to get a little closer to the right age.

And now I'm ranting, which means that I should probably shut up. Just in general, though, I think the cover is wonderful. I'm just not sure how well it matches this book that drew me in from the moment I read the summary.

Seventeen-year-old Raine Cooper has enough on her plate dealing with her father’s disappearance, her mother’s erratic behavior and the possibility of her boyfriend relocating. The last thing she needs is Torin St. James—a mysterious new neighbor with a wicked smile and uncanny way of reading her.

Raine is drawn to Torin’s dark sexiness against her better judgment, until he saves her life with weird marks and she realizes he is different. But by healing her, Torin changes something inside Raine. Now she can’t stop thinking about him. Half the time, she’s not sure whether to fall into his arms or run.

Scared, she sets out to find out what Torin is. But the closer she gets to the truth the more she uncovers something sinister about Torin. What Torin is goes back to an ancient mythology and Raine is somehow part of it. Not only is she and her friends in danger, she must choose a side, but the wrong choice will cost Raine her life.

Runes releases May 20th!

EDNAH WALTERS grew up reading Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys and dreaming of one day writing her own stories. She is a stay-at-home mother of five humans and two American short-hair cats (one of which has ADHD) and a husband. When she is not writing, she’s at the gym doing Zumba or doing things with her family, reading, traveling or online chatting with fans.

Ednah is the author of The Guardian Legacy series, a YA fantasy series about children of the fallen angels, who fight demons and protect mankind. AWAKENED, the prequel was released by Pill Hill Press in September 2010 with rave reviews. BETRAYED, book one in the series was released by her new publisher Spencer Hill Press in June 2012 and HUNTED, the third installment, will be released April 2013. She’s working on the next book in the series, FORGOTTEN.

Ednah also writes New Adult paranormal romance. RUNES is the first book in her new series. She is presently working on book 2, IMMORTALS.

Under the pseudonym E. B. Walters, Ednah writes contemporary romance. SLOW BURN, the first contemporary romance with suspense, was released in April 2011. It is the first book in the Fitzgerald family series. Since then she has published four more books in this series. She's presently working on book six. You can visit her online at or


Apology Letter

Dear Deobrah,

My name is Gabriela Ramos, but you might know me better as Gabby from the Marked by Books blog. I was the one who plagiarized the review you did of the Anna Claiborne book. 

I figured just stating it would be better than beating around the bush. I would just like to apologize from the bottom of my heart for doing what I did. I was planning to read the book, but I suppose I never got around to it. I know that there is no excuse for what I did, and I am not going to make an attempt to make it seem as though what I did has any excuse. I know that what I did was wrong, and that I should have never done it, and for that, I apologize. 

I would also like to express the fact that Taylor, my partner, had NOTHING  to do with what I did. It was all me, and I ask for you to not be upset with her. It was all my fault, and I take complete blame for my actions. 

Gabby Ramos 

Mar 11, 2013


The Truth About Letting Go Blitz: Guest Post & GIVEAWAYS

I'm really excited to get to be a part of the blitz for The Truth About Letting Go! The first time I ever saw this book was on this Xpresso Reads "Stacking the Shelves" post, and the cover for this book looked so well done that I just had to find out what it was about. About five minutes and a couple Goodreads reviews later, I decided that I really needed to read it. Next thing I know, I see the blitz on Xpresso Book Tours, so of course I signed up for it! And now here we are!

I've got a guest post here from Leigh Talbert Moore where she talks about her playlist for The Truth About Letting Go. And then we've got a couple copies of the book to give away, but first, here's a little bit of what it's about:

Ashley wants to smash everything in her once-perfect life.
Charlotte wants to walk in Ashley’s seemingly charmed shoes.
Colt wants to turn Smalltown USA on its ear—with Ashley at his side.
Jordan wants to follow his heart…
But Ashley’s the one sacrifice he never expected to make.

Up until now, Ashley Lockett’s followed the rules. She’s always done the right thing, played it safe, gone to church. Then her ideal life is torn apart when her dad dies suddenly.

Now she’s miserable and furious, and she makes a vow not to believe in anything. She’s on a mission to do everything opposite of how she lived before—rejecting safety, the rules, faith…

And then she meets Jordan.

Jordan has big dreams, he’s a great kisser, and he wants to help her through her grief. He also believes in everything Ashley now claims to  hate.

Then she meets Colt. He is not safe. And he’s ready to help Ashley fulfill her mission.

Amazon          B&N          Kobo          Smashwords          iTunes

Guest Post

When it comes to music, I'm like that dog in the movie Up... Doug!

Most songs tell a story, so when one I like comes on, I start singing or tapping along. Then I'm off imagining the story the musician is telling and not mine.

So basically, I can't write while music is playing.

BUT! I often use songs to help me remember certain scenes or to put me in the mood for a scene. If it's angry or happy or sassy. You know.

When I started writing The Truth About Letting Go, I had several songs swirling in my head. So I put them all together in an order that made sense, loaded them onto my iPod, and voila!

The Playlist for The Truth About Letting Go

This first set all have that driving feeling that put me in Ashley’s frame of mind. Especially “Breakdown…” by Ryan Adams. Certain phrases in that song make me think of her angry despair and just her inner turmoil, her questions.

"Breaking the Habit" by Linkin Park

"Breakdown Into the Resolve" by Ryan Adams & The Cardinals

"Thnks Fr Th Mmrs" by Fall Out Boy

"Here Comes Your Man" by The Pixies

(This is for Jordan, obvs)

In the story, Jordan has to drive his mom’s ancient Toyota, and he and Ashley are forced to listen to her old music. "Zanzibar" by Billy Joel and "Missionary Man" by The Eurythmics are directly referenced.

"I Knew You Were Trouble" by Taylor Swift 

(This is for Colt, obvs)

"Play With Fire" by The Rolling Stones. This one could be Ashley + Jordan or Ashley + Colt. Both of those couples are playing with fire in different ways.

"A Little Bit of Everything" by Dawes. This song could be Ashley's theme for the whole book. It sounds like an old hymn, which to me felt like the soundtrack of her ultimate realization and finding peace. Plus, the message is just so great. It’s a realization that it takes “a little bit of everything” to make a life.

"Strangers" by The Kinks. Ditto above, and it's the soundtrack to Ashley’s “walkabout.”

"Fireflies” by Fleetwood Mac. This one sounds like being at the creek to me and the things that happen there, which is a lot.

And there you have it! Happy reading and listening~ 

Leigh Talbert Moore is a wife and mom by day, a writer by day, a reader by day, a freelance editor when time permits, a chocoholic, a caffeine addict, a lover of any great love story, a beach bum, and occasionally she sleeps.
Leigh’s debut novel The Truth About Faking is available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Kobo.

Her second book, Rouge, is a mature YA/new adult romantic suspense novel set in New Orleans. It’s available on Amazon.

Website          Goodreads          Facebook          Twitter

The Giveaways

Mar 9, 2013


Radiant Blitz: Excerpt & GIVEAWAY

Thanks to Xpresso Book Tours, we get to tell you a little bit about Christina Daley's new novel, Radiant. We're going to share an excerpt from the beginning of the book. Then we're going to give away a copy of the book, but first, here's what it's about....

Mary is part Vietnamese. Carter is a complete jerk. Normally, they don't talk much.

But when Mary's in an accident on the way to school one morning, Carter nearly dies saving her life. The doctors say his chances of living are slim, and Mary's feeling the full weight of survivor's guilt.

However, Carter's back at school in a matter of days, as if nothing had happened. Although, he is a little "glitchy," and he's developed a sudden and intense interest in Mary. She thinks he's suffering from major brain trauma from the accident. Or that he's been possessed.

As it so happens, Carter really is possessed. And the thing controlling him is having the time of its life learning to be human.

Featuring a diverse cast of characters, RADIANT is a funny "paranormal-lite" story about being human, being in love, and being healed.

 Amazon          B&N          Smashwords

Christina Daley made her first book with neighborhood friends when she was four years old. They "wrote" out some semblance of lettering with crayons, cut up a cardboard box for the cover, and bound it all together with clear adhesive tape. It was brilliant.

Quite a few years later, Christina is trying her hand at writing "real" books. She lives in Dallas, Texas, with a pet plant named Herb.

Website          Goodreads          Facebook          Twitter

The Excerpt

"The bell rang again, and Mr. Hubert began the Pre-Calculus lesson. But Mary hardly paid attention as she thought about what Sienna had told her. Was Carter really here at school? Now? She only had her last class with him—Physics. He normally sat in the back with some of his friends, while Mary took one of the lonely desks near the front. She'd have to wait until then to see if he was in a body cast or something.

When Pre-Cal was finished, Mary gathered up her stuff and headed for the door with the others as usual. But the moment she stepped outside, she collided with another person. "Gah!" she cried as waves of pain surged through her bruised side, bringing her to her knees.

"Mary!" Sienna said as she came over to her. "Geez Carter. What's wrong with you?"

Mary looked up. The person she had run into was Carter Maxwell. He wasn't in a body cast and he didn't have crutches or anything. He looked normal, actually. Except for the thick black sweater he wore over his school uniform.

"I am sorry," he said. "I did not mean to cause harm." He then knelt down and looked Mary in the eyes. There was a subtle spark of life in his green irises. "Are you all right, Mary?" he asked.

She didn't say anything for a moment. Mary didn't know that Carter knew her name, and she had never noticed he had green eyes before. Nor how nice they looked when he was concerned.

She shook her head quickly to break off his gaze. "No. I mean, yeah. I'm fine."

The corners of his mouth curled into a half-smile. "I am glad."

People were staring at them. Mary blushed under the added attention, and she quickly got to her feet.

"Need help carrying your stuff?" Sienna asked.

"Thanks," Mary said. "But I'm just gonna swing by my locker. I'll be fine."

"All right. See you in Art." Sienna shot one last warning look at Carter before heading down the hall.

Mary picked up her bag and turned the other direction. As she walked, she realized people were still looking at her. That's when she noticed Carter was walking next to her. And he was doing it in a really weird way. He made each step deliberate, like he was doing mini-lunges.

"What are you doing?" she asked.

"I am walking," he said.

"Um. Okay." Mary looked forward again, thinking that when she got to her locker, he'd go away. But he didn't. He stopped with her.

"I'm all right, Carter," she said. "You don't have to help me."

"Okay," he said.

Mary looked at him from the corner of her eye as she put her Pre-Cal stuff away and got her Art things. "Are you all right?"

Carter smiled. "I am. Thank you for asking."

Sienna was right. Carter was acting weird. That bus sure did a job on his brain.

"Don't you have to go to class or something?" she asked.

"Yes," he said.

Mary closed her locker and headed towards Art. Carter followed. The halls were emptying as kids got to their rooms, but it was still embarrassing with him lunging next to her. Mary stopped and faced him. "Listen, Carter. I really am all right. You don't have to walk with me to class." In fact, she preferred that he didn't.

He smiled. "You said that already."

"Yeah," she said. "So…stop following me."

Carter wrinkled his brow. "Do I make you uncomfortable? Walking with you like this?"

Give the man a prize. "Uh, yeah," Mary said. "Very."

He looked a little sad suddenly. "I am sorry. I will leave you alone." He turned and walked down the other hall.

Mary felt bad. She didn't mean to make him sad. She just wanted him to stop following her. She sighed and headed down the same hall to apologize. But when she got there, she didn't see him. "Carter?"

He was nowhere. Despite the weird lunges, he apparently could move quickly.

That's when she remembered. For days, Mary had put herself through a series of guilt trips, thinking Carter was going to die or end up a vegetable. She had never considered everything going back to normal. Or, relatively normal. This was the first time she'd seen Carter since the hospital, and she had forgotten to thank him for what he had done."

The Giveaway