Oct 24, 2013


Urban Harvest Blitz: Interview, Excerpt, & TWO GIVEAWAYS!!!

I love New York. The entire state, really, not just the city. It's a shame that when people hear the words "New York" all they think of is the Big Apple when the rest of the state has so much to offer. Upstate is so beautiful, especially in the fall, even if it is a little cold. Okay, well a lot of cold, but trust me, it's worth it.

Still, there's just something about NYC that seems to draw people in. I don't know if it's all of the lights or just that there's so much to see, but it's inspiring. Every piece of it practically exudes energy, and there isn't anything else like breathing that in. The city is always alive and moving. I do admit that sometimes that can be a real pain, especially when you're trying to work or sleep, but being in the middle of all of that is a very unique experience.

Oh, and the people. They're fun. Colorful, even. The only type of person that you can't find in NYC is someone who's never been to NYC. It's sad that they always get such a bad rap for being awful and rude, but you can find people like that anywhere. I'm not going to deny that there are a whole bunch of unpleasant people there all of the time, but there are also tons of really nice ones too.

During my first trip up there, I may have experienced the tail end of a girl tossing her glass of water on the guy sitting behind me who was probably no longer her boyfriend, but the people at the diner were so nice and apologetic about it. And there wasn't one time when I wasn't able to find someone who was willing to tell me which train I had to get on to go where I needed to go or where to find some really good pizza. You haven't lived until you've eaten some authentic NY-style pizza. Slices so big that you have to fold them if they're going to fit inside your mouth and so hot that the first few bites burn the roof of your mouth off but you just can't stop because it's so good! Ugh.... now I'm really hungry.

But why am I laying all of this groundwork to get you into a NYC mood? Seriously, Taylor, this is a blog about books, not pizza (which is my second love, so don't judge). Where are all of the books?

Oh, look! There's one! And what does it say on the bottom of the cover? "Tales of the Paranormal in New York City," why Taylor, you sneaky devil!

Man, I'm good.

Urban Harvest (anthology)

New York City–it’s home to 8 million people trying to make their way through the day–a crop of humanity seething with hopes and fears, dreams and nightmares. Autumn comes, and nine authors harvest nine tales from this unique setting and people. From stories of everyday life in an otherworldly light to nightmarish tales of human darkness, Urban Harvest has something for everyone.

Urban Harvest contains tales of the paranormal from Alex ShvartsmanLaurie Treacy, Donna Ansari, Tara Hill, Laura Wenham, Andrea Stanet, Don Corcoran, Saif Ansari, and Sean Sakamoto.

In keeping with the spirit of harvest, all proceeds from this anthology will go to support City Harvest, an organization that feeds NYC’s hungry.


Seriously, guys, buy this book. If my life changing introduction wasn't enough to get the ball rolling, then the last sentence of that blurb should be. All of the proceeds go to charity. How awesome is that?

The Interview

Now we welcome to the blog Laura Wenham, author of the story "Coexistence" from the Urban Harvest anthology!

Q: Your story, Coexistence, is about dragons who live under NYC. What prompted you to write this story?

A: The idea for my story began when I got my first job in Manhattan and walked every day past manhole covers that were constantly emitting streams of steam and smoke. At first I largely thought how inefficient the steam heating systems were to be losing so much heat. Then, as I kept walking past them, I thought all of that smoke would make a good cover for dragons hiding underground. Then I began to wonder how much evidence you would need to support the idea of underground dragons and what the likely reaction of the rest of society would be if a scientist claimed to have discovered dragons under Manhattan. I couldn’t figure out what might cause a scientist to seriously research this until the various steam pipe explosions began happening in Manhattan. Like the character in my story, I walked right past the hole left by the explosion in front of NYU’s library, which made quite an impression on me. 

Q: What other things have you written/are you writing?

A: I have folders full of stories and poems and songs on my computer. I am very good at coming up with interesting ideas and very bad at figuring out where the plot and characters want to go. I am currently working on two different short stories. One of them is based on the idea that we become able to communicate with our dark-matter doppelgangers and the new rich tourist activity is not traveling into space, but instead meeting their doppelgangers in a room sealed by plasma to keep the universe from exploding – until one of the dark-matter doppelgangers is murdered after the meeting and the detectives on our side of the universe have to figure out the motive without access to any physical evidence. The other story is about these tiny kangaroo-like robots that are built to be used for surveillance of enemy terrain (http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/robotics-hardware/tiny-jumping-robot-finds-room-for-a-tail). When the military figures out a way to also have them radiate to increase the enemy’s feelings of fear, an anti-war group decides to make them broadcast feelings of peace, make them self-replicating, and releases them in the US, with wide-ranging results. I am also trying to write down the amusing anecdotes of my 2.5 year old son’s daily adventures.

Q: Do you have a writing mentor or inspiration?

A: I am extremely grateful to the members of the Mom’s Writer’s Group at the Midshore Mothers’ Center (http://midshoremotherscenter.org/) who, when I described my story idea to them, patiently encouraged me to actually finish and submit it. I would also like to thank my various friends who read the final draft for mistakes, particularly Preston Ray, whose edits were extremely helpful in decreasing my word count without losing content.

Q: What’s your writing schedule? Do you have a favorite place to write?

A: With a 2.5 year old, my writing time is limited – which is why I value the free write time we have as part of the Mothers’ Center group as well as late nights in bed typing (sometimes incoherent) story ideas on my iPad.

Q: What’s next?

A: Our Writer’s Group starts up again in early October, so I intend to keep working on the two stories I mentioned above (as well as the several ideas I will probably come up with between now and then).

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?

A: I love the idea of writing anthologies and donating the profits to charities, particularly when they are local, meaningful charities such as City Harvest. Not only am I now a published author, but as I encourage my friends and family to buy the anthology on Sunday because I want them to read what I wrote, I also do so knowing that they are helping out a great cause! (And I have to confess I am terribly curious about and anxiously waiting to read the other stories in the anthology!)

I knew I had to have an excess of proof in order to not be seen as another Bigfoot or Loch Ness Monster hunter. I spent months, and then years, creating the most thorough maps of the NYC underground. During this time, I became increasingly oblivious to events on the surface. The friend whose apartment I had been using moved during one of my long periods underground. When I resurfaced to shower and pick up my unemployment checks, I was very surprised to knock on his door and meet a nice Asian couple who had no idea who I was. My belongings, and one of my few remaining connections to the surface world, were gone without a forwarding address.

I can’t explain the patterns I saw without my data, which the FBI confiscated when they arrested me. It’s probably collecting dust in an FBI basement now, but back in the spring of 2014 with everything right in front of me, I thought I had developed enough of an understanding of the markings that I was considering altering them to attempt communication with my theoretical life forms. Before I could do anything, however, the decision was taken away from me.

I was camping in a small open area formed by the intersection of two of the marked tunnels when I saw it. This was not a small tube worm or hydrogen-sulfide breathing scorpion. Emerging from the smaller tunnel was what I would best describe as an earth dragon. Not a winged creature like Toothless fromHow to Train Your Dragon, but instead similar to a large worm-snake with a scaly covering of rock in every earth-tone imaginable.

As the dragon stretched to pull itself out of the tunnel, I could do nothing but stare in awe. The tangled asbestos fibers were clearly from a pelt that covered the dragon’s ventral side. As it emerged fully into the room, I realized it had a “head” end which had circular shiny, almost polished areas, and a “mouth” area which had shiny white crystals inside, while its “tail” end came to a sharp point. It was, I would find out later, on the smaller side for a dragon—but at the time the fact that it was probably three feet around and six feet long was impressive enough.

The first giveaway up is just for this blog, but the second one is for the grand prize and spans all of the blogs participating in the blitz.

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Oct 21, 2013


Broken Symmetry Blog Tour: Review & GIVEAWAY!!!

I remember that when I signed up for this tour, I really didn't have a lot of free time. For those of you who have been here before, you probably know what I'm talking about. Those long absences? Yeah, they're not fun.

But I decided to take the tour anyway. Do you want to know why? Because this book looked amazing, and I didn't think I'd ever be able to forgive myself if I'd had the opportunity to read it and then didn't take it. It would have been such a waste.

Rest assured, this book was every bit as incredible as I had hoped that it would be. I would really like to talk about it right here and now, but I am actually supposed to have a more formal review at some point in this post. Which means that I should probably get to writing that right around now. First, though, since many of you may have no idea what I'm talking about, here's a little bit about the book:

Broken Symmetry by Dan Rix

Eleven months after the father of sixteen-year-old Blaire Adams vanished without a trace, he's found wandering outside The Scripps Research Institute vomiting blood and speaking gibberish, his sole possession a worn leather diary filled with an unrecognizable language. He has a message for her.

As he dies in her arms, he claims he never vanished. She vanished.

In a nearby military quarantine zone, scientists are being called in from around the world to sequence a previously unknown strain of DNA. Scientists…and soldiers.

When her father’s autopsy reveals a rare chromosomal disorder—a disorder, it turns out, she inherited—Blaire begins to suspect her father’s last words weren’t induced by amnesia. Like her dad, she has an additional set of instructions in her genes—instructions for what, doctors can’t say. Only one thing is certain: it’s what killed him…and it will kill her too.

But now she’s haunted by prophetic nightmares of the Yellowjacket—a young murderer, eyes the black of charcoal, who lures his victims to suicide without ever paying them a visit. The only clue she has to his handiwork is a lingering feeling of déjà vu. That, and the nagging suspicion that all she knows is a mirage. She is certain of two things—though it may mean confiding in the wrong side of good and evil, he has the answers she needs.

And he is recruiting her.


Dan Rix lives in Santa Barbara, California with his fiancée, paranormal romance author Laura Thalassa. He started writing his first novel in college while procrastinating his architecture studio work.

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“We made it!” I grinned and looked over at Damian, only to find his face grimmer than ever.

“Do me a favor, Blaire.”

“I’m not going to like this, am I?”

“Watch the USS Halsey,” he said. “Tell me if you see a flash . . . toward the bow.”

Behind him, the high cliffs stepped down, revealing a grove of densely packed eucalyptus. “You mean the destroyer?” I said, confused.

“Just watch.”

“Why?” My eyes flicked to the warship, its black hulk blotting out the horizon. “They’re all asleep—” A bright flash near the front of the ship surprised me. “Flash!”

Damian slammed on the brakes, and once again, I was thrown forward and bent around the glove compartment. We lurched sideways.

In slow motion, an entire sandbank beyond the Mustang’s hood swelled from the earth, sand and rocks levitating, and burst into a fireball. The windows shattered. So did my eardrums.

Damian—somehow still in control of the vehicle—didn’t wait for the debris to stop raining. He jammed the stick into gear and gunned the engine, plunging right through the still rising fireball. Flames enveloped the car, swirled inside and burned my hair, singed my skin. We caught air, my stomach rising into my throat, and then the hood plowed into the sand on the other side. The Mustang climbed up the rocks, tires skidding, and darted between the tree trunks.

“We’re fine,” he yelled. “That was just a five inch round. We can hide in the woods.”

The destroyer’s gun flashed again, and I screamed loud enough to tear out my vocal chords.

Damian dragged the wheel to the right, and my rib cage crunched against the door frame.

“Cover your ears—”

I didn’t have time. The forest to our left, just where we had been a second ago, lifted on a bed of fire. The trees shook like rubber dolls, then sprawled flat, as if a rug had been tugged out from underneath them. The blast rippled across my skin, and the shockwave sent our car careening sideways. We tipped up on two wheels, then fell back, landing with a groan of metal. I touched my cheeks. Thank God . . . my face was still there.

I glanced behind me, and caught glimpses of the destroyer between the trees. As I watched, a dozen blinding streaks rose from the ship, burning arcs into the sky and lighting the entire Pacific . . . really? They were launching fireworks?

But what I saw next froze my heart. One by one, the blazing streaks curved inwards, like claws, each one aligning its trajectory with our car. Not fireworks, moron.

Guided missiles.

Ladies and gentlemen, before we begin with this review I would like to issue a warning to you all: THIS BOOK WILL MESS WITH YOUR MIND. It really should come with a warning label plastered onto the very first page of the book. I'm really not kidding, and if you do happen to know me in real life, well first off, I'm sorry about that, but second off, you know that I can be a pretty tough nut to crack. This book cracked me, though. I don't really know how it did, but there's no use in me denying that it happened. Now I'm even crazier than I was before.

Broken Symmetry definitely got me thinking. My mind was whirling around at all kinds of ungodly speeds the entire time I was reading the book, trying desperately to figure out what was going on before the book was able to tell me. Why did I do this? I don't really know. There's just this insatiable need that I have to figure out what's going to happen all of the time, even in real life. (I actually wrote more about that here if you're interested in hearing me drone on even longer). I don't know if it's just because I don't like surprises (which is true), or because I would get too bored if I just sat back and let the story take me wherever it wanted to (which may or may not be true, I'm not really sure yet).

Anyway, enough about me. Let's talk about that book I'm supposed to be reviewing right now.

Needless to say, I really liked it. You already know that it made me think, and to me, that's really important in a book like this. Don't get me wrong here. There are some books that I can read and absolutely fall in love with without my brain having to work one bit. These two are good examples. However, when I can tell that a book is going to be more of a thriller (no, not the kind with zombies, too much fake smoke, and tacky red jackets), it had better not just lead me in a straight line towards the ending. In my opinion, it comes with the territory of taking on a book like this, and if I expect to be kept guessing while I'm reading, it had better throw me all over the place.

This one did, without a doubt. I'm not saying that it was perfect or anything because I do have quite a few questions (which I will get to later), but there wasn't a single moment when my brain was given a break. If you want at comparison, I'd say that the movie Inception comes pretty close. Neither of them were perfectly airtight in everything they tried to execute, but they came pretty close, especially considering the topics they tried to take on.

There were a few moments when I was a little doubtful of the explanations I was given as for how the phenomena worked. I consider myself to be pretty science savvy, and I started getting a little iffy somewhere around the halfway mark in the book. Some of the things that Charles tried to explain to Blaire didn't quite make sense to me, and I think that was my biggest problem with this book.

For example, I do agree with what he said about a photon having two options when it hits glass, but the same thing doesn't work with mirrors, especially not mirrors of the quality he was using. If it did, then we should be able to see some light on the other side of the mirror, just like we do with glass. Also, I have studied the double-slit experiment before, and I'm not completely sure that's how it works. Still, this was some deep physics that Dan Rix took on in writing the novel, so it's completely understandable if there were some disconnects. Even today, we aren't entirely sure about the specifics of what happens when we get into the nitty gritty areas of our universe, so for all I know, everything Charles said could have been right. If he wasn't, nothing he said was going to kill me or anything, but if I had to pick something about this book that could be improved, that would be it.

I really debated about what rating to give this book. On one hand, there were a few world building and plot development errors that stood out to me, but this book still turned out to be one of the most engaging that I've read in a long time. Any problems that I'd had around the middle of the book were arbitrary considering all of the great stuff this book did have to offer.

Damian, for example. He was definitely something incredible that came out of the novel. I didn't really like him for almost all of the book, but once I got to the end and realized what was really going on, he stole my heart away. His acceptance of who he really was and the role that he had to play was mind-blowing, and I'm not so sure that I would have been able to do it myself. We saw what being in that situation did to Charles, and it really wasn't pretty.

If you haven't read this book yet, you might think that I'm just describing another boring incident of troubled bad boy coming to terms with his past, causing all of his sins to be forgiven, but that's not what happened. Trust me, I hate that just as much as you may. What we discover about Damian is something completely different, but I can't exactly explain it to you because then I would be ruining the whole book!

Even when it sucked, the relationship between Damian and Blaire was still pretty great. Take this quote for example:

"You two seem young," said Dr. Anderson, admitting Damian and me into the Immunology building after we'd flashed a half dozen ID cards and name-dropped the entire Scripps Institute roster, his bushy mane bobbing with each bouncy step.

"I'm twenty-four," said Damian. He didn't look the least bit convincing in his fake glasses and white coat. More like Clark Kent. He nodded to me. "She's thirty."

Dr. Anderson did a double take at me but said nothing.

Thanks, Damian. "I'm really into herbal skin cream," I said, covering for his idiocy.

Damian leaned toward the scientist. "Plastic surgery," he whispered, and gave him a wink.

"Oh, and his balls haven't dropped yet," I added. "That's why he looks so young."

Do you see what I'm talking about?

The ending, that was another thing that I really loved. In fact, it may just be the best ending I've read all year. It was the perfect mix of hilarious and character-fitting, not to mention that I know that I couldn't have come up with a better way of closing things up. The place where Blaire was at right before the end was a very dark place, yet this book still managed to have a happy ending. Before you say that dark books can't have happy endings, read Broken Symmetry. I didn't really think that they could either, but I was definitely proven wrong.

I've been seeing a lot of bad reviews for this book, and in a way, I guess I can understand why. There will probably be people that accuse me of only giving this book a good rating only because it's on a promotional tour, and that's okay with me. They're entitled to their opinion just as much as I'm entitled to mine. It may be the wrong opinion in my mind, but that doesn't mean they can't have it.

So to all of you Broken Symmetry haters out there, you can just suck it. This book rocks.

My Rating:

It was so hard to choose my favorite quote from this book, but I picked this one because it's not ridiculously spoilery, and it illustrates one of my favorite parts of the book, even though it hadn't been revealed yet.

His black eyes targeted mine. "I've seen you suffer," he spat. "I've seen you go after what you want, and fail every time. I've seen you make every single wrong choice..." He held my gaze, breathing heavily. "And I've seen you get back up every time. I've seen you become stronger. I've seen you grow up. You're a different person now. You're the Blaire I know."

The fever in his black eyes didn't intimidate me. My heart echoed, beating in some far off place I no longer had access to. "Tell me you love me," I whispered.

"I don't love you. That's not for me to do."


This is your last chance. Okay, here I go.
  • How did reflection Damian know that he wasn't in the source? Did he just come to the same conclusion I did through reason, or am I missing something else?
  • Why was Blaire's dad so sick when he came into the reflection if he was only one level down? Was he already expired? If so, how did that happen without the ISDI being created? Was he up to something else?
  • If the ISDI was only an interior design service to the rest of the world, then why did Blaire get an internship with them through her Biology teacher?
  • What happened to the shadowy figure after Blaire returned to the source?
  • Why did Blaire stop experiencing the symptoms after she stepped out of the artifact? Is it because of her 48th chromosome?
  • What happened to Blaire's mom?
  • What happened to Amy's mom? Is she still alive in the source, or did she die before the symmetry was broken?
  • Where was Blaire's dad's reflection going eleven months ago when he had to be orphaned?
  • Why was the source's side of the mirror in Nevada?
  • What had Damian been up to during the past twelve years?
  • Where did his mom end up?
  • What's in the 47th chromosome that makes it so special?
  • What's at the bottom of the maze? More shadowy figures? Or is there just the one?
  • When did Charles get "possessed?" Was it around the time he went into the fail safe, or was it further into the maze?
  • What was Damian supposed to be doing at Dr. Benjamin's house?
  • Why didn't anyone notice Blaire's dad climbing out of the artifact if Damian and Blaire couldn't get out of Scripps once without someone seeing them?
  • What caused the infrared messaging to screw up when the hard drive was downloading?
  • What happened that made Charles feel the need to create a fail safe? Is was only two months ago that he did it, so it couldn't have been the disappearance of  Blaire's dad.

Wow, that was a lot! Sorry about that, but I'm done now.

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You can check out the rest of the tour here!

A copy of the novel was provided for us in exchange for an honest review.

Oct 15, 2013


Entwine Cover Reveal

Just for the heck of mixing things up today, I'm going to start off with the teaser graphic that Rebecca Berto was kind enough to send our way.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming!

Entwine by Rebecca Berto

Sarah Langham’s life was the epitome of normal until her dad slept with another woman when she was sixteen. It ripped her family apart.

Twenty-two-year-old Sarah has it together, though.

Waiting at the train station to go home from her first day of her first proper job out of university, she spots a man.

He is an enigma to her. She’s drawn to him, with his square jaw; buzz of hair; and his tall, solid frame, seen under the contours of his business suit. And he’s been looking at her, too. Fate pulls them together that night on a whirlwind date, exceeding anything Sarah’s experienced before. He’s even more into her than she’s into him. Finally, she wants to trust a guy for the first time since she was sixteen.

But then they discover something.

Something that meant they were never two strangers at a train station.

And it threatens to tear their future apart before it, really, ever begins.

Entwine releases November 2013!

Rebecca Berto writes stories about love and relationships. She gets a thrill when her readers are emotional reading her books, and gets even more of a kick when they tell her so. She's strangely imaginative, spends too much time on her computer, and is certifiably crazy when she works on her fiction.

Rebecca Berto lives in Melbourne, Australia with her boyfriend and their doggy.

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Oct 14, 2013


I Am Just Junco Cover Reveals

Anybody else creeped out by the first cover? Anybody at all? It really can't just be me. I don't know what it is about young children, but for some reason they have this extremely disturbing capacity to be completely terrifying. You know in all of those Christmas songs where the kids start to sing at the end? That's not cute. That's horrifying. It sounds like something right out of a horror movie.

Now cover number four? That's some pretty kick-butt Photoshop right there. I don't find that one creepy at all, I actually think it's pretty cool. So why is it that I don't want to scroll back up right now and look at the kid on the first cover? Frankly? It's because she scares me.

Oh no, there she is again!

All hysterics aside, these covers are actually pretty amazing. My favorites are the two that have the wings spread out onto both sides of the book cover, though I do really like the colors of The Magpie Bridge and all of the awesome effects on Range.

Series Synopsis

Picture yourself standing at the edge of a dock.

Now picture being lost in your own head, utterly unsure of yourself, surrounded by people who want to use you, take you away, or simply kill you.

This is Junco Coot, aged 19, year 2152, daughter of the Rural Republic’s ranking commander. Assassin, semi-famous athlete, and on the run.

In front of you is your future...

A future filled with secrets so heinous and truths so outrageous, it will push you past the edge of sanity.

…and behind you is a life of lies.

Lies that will rip apart the threads of reality barely holding you together.

Congratulations, soldier. Your life is over, but your mission has only just begun.

Welcome to my twisted, messed-up life. No one’s getting out alive, so we might as well kick some ass on the way down.

I Am Just Junco is a dark, epic SF/fantasy that spans five full-length novels and one novella. It is NOT young adult.










The Magpie Bridge


Return releases December 2, 2013!

J. A. Huss likes to write new adult books that make you think and keep you guessing. Her favorite genre to read is space opera, but since practically no one reads those books, she writes new adult science fiction, paranormal romance, contemporary romance, urban fantasy, and books about Junco (who refuses to be saddled with a label).

She has an undergraduate degree in horses, (yes, really–Thank you, Colorado State University) and a master’s degree in forensic toxicology from the University of Florida. She used to have a job driving around Colorado doing pretty much nothing but shooting the breeze with farmers, but now she just writes, runs the New Adult Addiction and Clean Teen Reads Book Blogs, and runs an online science classroom for homeschoolers.

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Pretty cool, huh? Actually, all of the book trailers for this series are really impressive too. If you want, you can see them here. Normally, I would just embed them here on this post, but for fear of revealing series spoilers and/or crashing this page with all of the video data being shoved through it, I think I'm just going to leave it up to you guys to use the link.

Oh, and look at this! The scary girl is back! But she brings good news. If you want to start reading the series now, you can buy it for 99 cents either here or here.

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Oct 13, 2013


Looking Back.... and Forward #12

It's interesting how this meme has sort of turned into an early warning system for my level of activity that will come later in the week. If the post shows up on time, scheduled for midnight on the day before, then you'll probably see a lot of me, maybe even a review or two. If it does show up on Sunday, but a little later in the day than I would like (like today), then I'm not going to be totally absent, but there will be a few unfortunate, empty days.

Now, if this post never shows up at all, then we know there's a problem. I've probably been taken over by the crazy busy whirlwind of life and am still trying to desperately crawl out of it's clutches. Just picture me dragging myself out of a tornado by my nails, only to be sucked back in. Yeah. That's sounds about like what those weeks have felt like. I can't say that I'm proud, but if I really knew how to "make time" like I wish I could, then I'd probably be the richest person on this great Earth.

Alas, my formula hasn't quite shown the promise that I wished it would, so I guess I'll just have to keep waiting. In the mean time, here is my sort of late but still on time post to start off this week!

No Angel by Helen Keeble

Rafael Angelos just got handed the greatest gift any teenage boy could ever dream of. Upon arriving at his new boarding school for senior year, he discovered that he is the ONLY male student. But what should have been a godsend isn't exactly heaven on Earth.

Raffi's about to learn that St. Mary's is actually a hub for demons-and that he was summoned to the school by someone expecting him to save the day. Raffi knows he's no angel-but it's pretty hard to deny that there's some higher plan at work when he wakes up one morning to discover a glowing circle around his head.

Helen Keeble's debut novel, Fang Girl, has been praised for its pitch-perfect teen voice, and VOYA called it "refreshing and reminiscent of Louise Rennison's Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series." No Angel brings you angels and demons like you've never seen them-complete with the wry humor of Vladimir Tod, sinfully irreverent romance, and some hilariously demonic teenage dilemmas.

Coaltown Jesus by Ron Koertge

When Jesus shows up in Walker’s life, healing triumphs over heartbreak in Koertge’s finest and funniest novel yet.

Walker shouldn’t have been so surprised to find Jesus standing in the middle of his bedroom. After all, he’d prayed for whoever was up there to help him, and to help his mom, who hadn’t stopped crying since Noah died two months ago. But since when have prayers actually been answered? And since when has Jesus been so . . . irreverent? But as astounding as Jesus’ sudden appearance is, it’s going to take more than divine intervention for Walker to come to terms with his brother’s sudden death. Why would God take seventeen-year-old Noah when half of the residents in his mom’s nursing home were waiting to die? And why would he send Jesus to Coaltown, Illinois, to pick up the pieces? In a spare and often humorous text, renowned poet Ron Koertge tackles some of life’s biggest questions — and humanizes the divine savior in a way that highlights the divinity in all of us.

Backwards by Todd Mitchell

An edge-of-your-seat thriller asks: Is it possible to fix a tragic future by changing the past — while experiencing life backwards?

At the moment Dan’s life ends, the Rider’s begins. Unwillingly tied to Dan, who seems to be shuffling through life, the Rider finds himself moving backwards in time, each day revealing more of the series of events that led to Dan’s suicide. As the Rider struggles to figure out what he’s meant to do, he revels in the life Dan ignores. Beyond the simple pleasures of a hot shower and the sun on his face, the Rider also notices the people around Dan: his little sister, always disappointed by her big brother’s rejection, and his overwhelmed mom, who can never rely on Dan for help. Most of all, the Rider notices Cat with her purple hair, artistic talent, and misfit beauty. But Cat doesn’t want anything to do with Dan, paying attention instead to popular football player Finn. As the days move in reverse and Halloween looms, Cat becomes the center of the Rider’s world — until the Rider finds out the shocking reason why Cat is so angry with Dan. Can the Rider make things right before it’s too late?

The Brokenhearted by Amelia Kahaney

A teenage girl is transformed into a reluctant superhero and must balance her old life with the dark secret of who she has become.

Prima ballerina Anthem Fleet is closely guarded by her parents in their penthouse apartment. But when she meets the handsome Gavin at a party on the wrong side of town, she is immediately drawn into his dangerous world. Then, in a tragic accident, Anthem falls to her death. She awakes in an underground lab, with a bionic heart ticking in her chest. As she navigates her new life, she uncovers the sinister truth behind those she trusted the most, and the chilling secret of her family lineage…and her duty to uphold it.

The Dark Knight meets Cinder in this gripping and cinematic story of heartbreak and revenge. From Alloy Entertainment, this inventive new superhero story is sure to captivate any reader.

Blythewood by Carol Goodman

Welcome to Blythewood.

At seventeen, Avaline Hall has already buried her mother, survived a horrific factory fire, and escaped from an insane asylum. Now she’s on her way to Blythewood Academy, the elite boarding school in New York’s mist-shrouded Hudson Valley that her mother attended—and was expelled from. Though she’s afraid her high society classmates won’t accept a factory girl in their midst, Ava is desperate to unravel her family’s murky past, discover the identity of the father she’s never known, and perhaps finally understand her mother’s abrupt suicide. She’s also on the hunt for the identity of the mysterious boy who rescued her from the fire. And she suspects the answers she seeks lie at Blythewood.   

But nothing could have prepared her for the dark secret of what Blythewood is, and what its students are being trained to do. Haunted by dreams of a winged boy and pursued by visions of a sinister man who breathes smoke, Ava isn’t sure if she’s losing her mind or getting closer to the truth. And the more rigorously Ava digs into the past, the more dangerous her present becomes.   
Vivid and atmospheric, full of mystery and magic, this romantic page-turner by bestselling author Carol Goodman tells the story of a world on the brink of change and the girl who is the catalyst for it all.

Premeditated by Josin McQuein

A week ago, Dinah’s cousin Claire cut her wrists.

Five days ago, Dinah found Claire’s diary and discovered why.

Three days ago, Dinah stopped crying and came up with a plan.

Two days ago, she ditched her piercings and bleached the black dye from her hair.

Yesterday, knee socks and uniform plaid became a predator’s camouflage.

Today, she’ll find the boy who broke Claire.

By tomorrow, he’ll wish he were dead.

Red by Alison Cherry

Felicity St. John has it all—loyal best friends, a hot guy, and artistic talent. And she’s right on track to win the Miss Scarlet pageant. Her perfect life is possible because of just one thing: her long, wavy, coppery red hair.

Having red hair is all that matters in Scarletville. Redheads hold all the power—and everybody knows it. That’s why Felicity is scared down to her roots when she receives an anonymous note:

I know your secret.

Because Felicity is a big fake. Her hair color comes straight out of a bottle. And if anyone discovered the truth, she’d be a social outcast faster than she could say "strawberry blond." Her mother would disown her, her friends would shun her, and her boyfriend would dump her. And forget about winning that pageant crown and the prize money that comes with it—money that would allow her to fulfill her dream of going to art school.

Felicity isn’t about to let someone blackmail her life away. But just how far is she willing to go to protect her red cred?

The Eye of Minds by James Dashner

An all-new, edge-of-your seat adventure from James Dashner, the author of the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series, The Eye of Minds is the first book in The Mortality Doctrine, a series set in a world of hyperadvanced technology, cyberterrorists, and gaming beyond your wildest dreams . . . and your worst nightmares.

Michael is a gamer. And like most gamers, he almost spends more time on the VirtNet than in the actual world. The VirtNet offers total mind and body immersion, and it’s addictive. Thanks to technology, anyone with enough money can experience fantasy worlds, risk their life without the chance of death, or just hang around with Virt-friends. And the more hacking skills you have, the more fun. Why bother following the rules when most of them are dumb, anyway?

But some rules were made for a reason. Some technology is too dangerous to fool with. And recent reports claim that one gamer is going beyond what any gamer has done before: he’s holding players hostage inside the VirtNet. The effects are horrific—the hostages have all been declared brain-dead. Yet the gamer’s motives are a mystery.

The government knows that to catch a hacker, you need a hacker.
And they’ve been watching Michael. They want him on their team.
But the risk is enormous. If he accepts their challenge, Michael will need to go off the VirtNet grid. There are back alleys and corners in the system human eyes have never seen and predators he can’t even fathom—and there’s the possibility that the line between game and reality will be blurred forever.

Tattoo Thief by Heidi Joy Tretheway

Twenty-year-old Beryl doesn't know why Gavin Slater trashed his penthouse, abandoned his dog and fled the country. But as his house sitter, she must pick up the pieces for the front man of the white-hot rock band Tattoo Thief.

When ultra-responsible Beryl confronts the reckless rock star, she wants to know more than just what to do with his mess. Why is he running? What’s he searching for? And is he responsible for the death of his muse?

New York newbie Beryl must find her footing in Gavin’s crazy world of the ultra-wealthy to discover her own direction and what can bring him back.

Steamy, sassy and tender, Tattoo Thief is a story of breaking from a comfort zone to find a second chance.

Tandem by Anna Jarzab

Everything repeats.
You. Your best friend. Every person you know.
Many worlds. Many lives--infinite possibilities.
Welcome to the multiverse.

Sixteen-year-old Sasha Lawson has only ever known one small, ordinary life. When she was young, she loved her grandfather's stories of parallel worlds inhabited by girls who looked like her but led totally different lives. Sasha never believed such worlds were real--until now, when she finds herself thrust into one against her will.

To prevent imminent war, Sasha must slip into the life of an alternate version of herself, a princess who has vanished on the eve of her arranged marriage. If Sasha succeeds in fooling everyone, she will be returned home; if she fails, she'll be trapped in another girl's life forever. As time runs out, Sasha finds herself torn between two worlds, two lives, and two young men vying for her love--one who knows her secret, and one who thinks she's someone she's not.

The first book in the Many-Worlds Trilogy, Tandem is a riveting saga of love and betrayal set in parallel universes in which nothing--and no one--is what it seems.

And I'm looking forward to....

Meet Me at the River by Nina de Gramont

We can’t choose who we love…but can we choose to let go?

Stepsiblings Tressa and Luke have been close since they were little…and when they become teenagers, they slip from being best friends to being something more. Their relationship makes everyone around them uncomfortable, but they can’t—won’t—deny their connection. Nothing can keep them apart.

Not even death. Luke is killed in a horrible, tragic accident, and Tressa is suddenly and desperately alone. Unable to outrun the waves of grief and guilt and longing, she is haunted by thoughts of suicide. And then she is haunted by Luke himself.

He visits only at night. But when he’s with her, it’s almost like the accident never happened. Oh, there are reminders, from the way she can only feel him when he touches the scars on her wrist, to how she can’t seem to tell him about life since he’s been gone. As long as they’re together, though, the rest…it fades away.

But during the day it is Tressa who can’t grasp hold of the people around her. The same people who never wanted her and Luke together in the first place are determined to help her move on. Determined to help her heal. They just don’t understand—one misstep, one inch forward, could leave Luke behind forever.

Nina de Gramont, author of Gossip of the Starlings and Every Little Thing in the World, writes of love that is beautiful and poetic, forbidden and radical—and utterly irresistible.

It looks like next week is going to be a lighter one. Then again, considering the nature of this post, I will most likely discover all of the awesome books I just haven't found yet within the next few days, and the post will end up being filled. Who knows? I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Oct 11, 2013


Valkyrie Cover Reveals

People with artistic skills.... they just make me sick. It might have something to do with the fact that aside from using my own camera, I have none whatsoever. Honestly, I'm just jealous. I don't understand how this guy can even.... I mean really, just look at.... How the heck can he...? AAAGH!!!

These things are so gorgeous! Before I ever sign up for any cover reveals, I usually like to check out some of the other work that the artist has done to see what I think about it. I'm pretty sure you can guess what I thought about his. I'm personally rather partial to The Fire Arrow. The artist's name is Eduardo Priego, and if you want to (trust me, you won't regret it), you can check out some of his other pieces here.

Now, on to those books!

Dead Radiance by T.G. Ayer

Bryn Halbrook had always seen the glow. But it is only when her best friend dies that she discovers the meaning of those beautiful golden auras — Death. Alone, lost in the foster system, she struggles to understand who she is and why she was cursed with the ability to see the soon-to-be-dead.

The new foster kid, Aidan, isn’t helping any. Mr. Perfect seems to fit in no matter what, making her feel even more pathetic. But when his affections turn to her, Bryn finds him hard to resist. Impossible actually. A mystery himself, Aidan disappears, leaving behind a broken heart and a mysterious book that suggests Bryn might not be entirely human.

Bryn stands at the threshold of a journey of discovery. Will destiny help her find herself, find her purpose and her place in a world in which she’d never belonged?

Amazon          B&N          The Book Depository          Kobo

Dead Embers by T.G. Ayer

Valkyrie-in-training Bryn Halbrook just can't catch a break. With her boyfriend stuck in Hel and the taunting laughter of Loki still ringing in her ears, she struggles to concentrate on her training and duties in Odin's realm. The last thing she expects or wants is more adventure—but then treachery, a shocking abduction and a chilling discovery send her forth on another perilous, globe-hopping mission.

As the ultimate battle, Ragnarok, draws closer, it's a race against time for Bryn, Fenrir and their team to discover who kidnapped her foster brother from the halls of Asgard and what's causing the mysterious deaths of so many of Odin's chosen warriors.

In the exciting sequel to DEAD RADIANCE, Bryn encounters dwarfs and dragons, new friends and old foes—but worst enemy of all may be the person she trusts most!

Amazon          B&N          The Book Depository          Kobo

Dead Chaos by T.G. Ayer

Valkyrie Bryn Halbrook is faced with her worst nightmare. Bryn struggles to face the truth about Aidan, to understand her feelings, but even as her relationship with Aidan begins to crumble, she refuses to break her promise to help him find his mother and sister.

The Frost Giants have brought Ragnarok to Asgard's door and Bryn and her team must find Heimdall and his special horn before they can summon the gods to fight for Odin. Can Bryn fight what Fate has foretold? 

In the exciting follow-up to Dead Embers, the nine realms are poised on the brink of the great war of Ragnarok- the end of the world as we know it—but will Bryn be able to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the world?

Dead Chaos releases October 30th!

I have been a writer from the time I was old enough to recognise that reading was a doorway into my imagination. Poetry was my first foray into the art of the written word. Books were my best friends, my escape, my haven. I am essentially a recluse but this part of my personality is impossible to practise given I have two teenage daughters, who are actually my friends, my tea-makers, my confidantes... I am blessed with a husband who has left me for golf. It's a fair trade as I have left him for writing. We are both passionate supporters of each others loves - it works wonderfully...

My heart is currently broken in two. One half resides in South Africa where my old roots still remain, and my heart still longs for the endless beaches and the smell of moist soil after a summer downpour. My love for Ma Afrika will never fade. The other half of me has been transplanted to the Land of the Long White Cloud. The land of the Taniwha, beautiful Maraes, and volcanoes. The land of green, pure beauty that truly inspires. And because I am so torn between these two lands - I shall forever remain crosseyed.

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