July 26, 2016

The Angel's Share by J.R. Ward (Excerpt & eBook Giveaway)

The Angels' Share
by J.R. Ward
Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Published July 26th 2016
by NAL


#1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward delivers the second novel in her Bourbon Kings series—a sweeping saga of a Southern dynasty struggling to maintain a façade of privilege and prosperity, while secrets and indiscretions threaten its very foundation…

In Charlemont, Kentucky, the Bradford family is the crème de la crème of high society—just like their exclusive brand of bourbon. And their complicated lives and vast estate are run by a discrete staff who inevitably become embroiled in their affairs. This is especially true now, when the apparent suicide of the family patriarch is starting to look more and more like murder…

No one is above suspicion—especially the eldest Bradford son, Edward. The bad blood between him and his father is known far and wide, and he is aware that he could be named a suspect. As the investigation into the death intensifies, he keeps himself busy at the bottom of a bottle—as well as with his former horse trainer’s daughter. Meanwhile, the family’s financial future lies in the perfectly manicured hands of a business rival, a woman who wants Edward all to herself.

Everything has consequences; everybody has secrets. And few can be trusted. Then, at the very brink of the family’s demise, someone thought lost to them forever returns to the fold. Maxwell Bradford has come home. But is he a savior...or the worst of all the sinners?



July 08, 2016

Blog Tour: The Game That Breaks Us by Micalea Smeltzer



The Game That Breaks Us by Micalea Smeltzer
Genre: New Adult
Series: Us #3
Release Date: June 27th


Hockey’s bad boy needs to clean up his reputation…

Bennett James has built his career at being the best, on and off the ice, and now it’s come back to bite him. The media has turned against him, and with a near career-ending injury, he needs to clean up his act and prove that he’s serious about the game. For Bennett, working with his old coach at his alma mater feels like a step back, but it might be just what he needs.

…and she’s going to help him do it.

Grace Wentworth has always been the good girl, and she’s tired of that stigma. She wants to prove that she can get down and dirty with the best of them. The problem? She doesn’t know how.

Bennett will teach the good girl how to be bad, if she pretends to be his goody two-shoes girlfriend in front of the media.

But what happens when the game becomes real?

PRE-ORDER
(on sale for a limited time)

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About the Author

Micalea Smeltzer is a bestselling twenty-something author. She started scribbling stories before she even knew her alphabet. She currently resides in Virginia with her doggie side-kick Ollie. 

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter
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Interview

1. Do you read reviews of your books? What do you do when you read a not-so-nice one?
I have to admit that I usually do. I’ve written so many books now that bad reviews don’t really bother me anymore and when they’re critical bad reviews I appreciate them because that’s something I can grow from.

2. If you could switch places with any of your characters, who would it be? Why?
I’d have to say Emma from Last To Know. We’re sort of similar (quiet bookworms) but I mean…she’s with Maddox Wade and who wouldn’t want to be the girl with him. Ha!

3. Describe your main character in six words.
Grace: fierce, intelligent, surprising, sassy, girly-girl, loving Bennett: athletic, sarcastic, funny, daring, sexy, dirty

4. What's your favorite thing to do when you're not writing?
Read. Haha. I’m not a big TV watcher but lately Netflix is taking over my life. I think I like being able to binge watch something since I’m not very patient and don’t usually stick with shows. My current obsession is Dexter.

5. If you could meet anyone and spend an hour with them alive or dead who and why?
J.K. Rowling—because she is THE Queen of writing in my opinion. Harry Potter is one of my favorite series and she’s on my bucket list of authors to meet. I’d love to pick her brain for an hour and see what else she has in there.

6. What scene was your favorite to write?
Hmm, I have several but I really like the scene where Grace and Bennett go to Boston and spend the night at his apartment. I feel like that’s a turning point in the book for them beginning to realize they have feelings for each other.

7. What scene was the hardest for you to write?
I think everyone will know once they read the book. ;)

8. If there is one genre that you have not written in yet, but would love to try writing a book in that specific genre, what would it be?
Mystery or historical.

9. What's the one piece of technology you can't live without?
My laptop. If something would happen to it I’d be beside myself.

10. What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on When Stars Collide which is a spin-off from Rae of Sunshine.


Thanks for stopping by, Micalea! Congratulations on the release of
THE GAME THAT BREAKS US!



July 07, 2016

Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Illuminae
by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Hardcover, 599 pages
Published October 20th 2015
by Knopf Books for Young Readers


This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.






Space Opera anyone?!  What about a Romantic Space Opera?!

If someone had told me last year that I would read (and love) a space opera book, I likely would have laughed and even asked what the heck a space opera genre was. Little did I know that Illuminae was waiting for me with its spellbinding storyline and incredible concept.

I’ve never read a book like Illuminae. It takes the reader on a new and incredible journey as it is more than just mere words on a page, it’s an experience. Within the pages of this adventure, you experience disbelief, shock, fear, awe, heartbreak and love. The journey begins before you even open the book as the covers are like nothing I’ve seen before. Before reading the book itself, I’d encourage readers to remove the dustjacket and read the front and back covers. Beautiful, right?!

The journey of Kady and Ezra are told through hacked emails, medical reports, instant messages, schematics and more. While there is romance between Kades & Ez, it is not at the immediate forefront of the story. I actually adored the cutesy, playfulness between these two. You could tell they love each other and could see a progression within their relationship throughout the story; it’s a young love that matured with each page. I’ll be the first to admit that I had my doubts as to whether I’d be able to follow along with the storyline and if I’d actually get a STORY from this method. To my surprise, not only was I able to follow along easily, the story continued to intrigue me with each page. 

Illuminae is a spectacular ride that should not be missed. Book 2, Gemina, is scheduled to be released October 18, 2016. I highly recommend pre-ordering now so that you don’t waste a single day in continuing the adventure of Kady and Ezra. 

This book is written by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. I’ve not read their previous works (separate works by each) but they have garnered themselves a new and loyal fan. I plan to check out their other books soon.


Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Illuminae:

“Am I not merciful?”

“”Perhaps bravery is simply the face humanity wraps around its collective madness.”

“You have me. Until every last star in the galaxy dies. You have me.”

“He presses the triggers. And like roses in his hands, death blooms.”

“She runs. Not away, but toward.”


Available on...
AmazonB&NKoboiBooks


5 Stars!








July 01, 2016

Cover Reveal: CLANLESS by Jennifer Jenkins & GIVEAWAY!


Today Jennifer Jenkins and Month9Books are revealing the cover and first chapter for CLANLESS, book 2 in the NAMELESS Series which releases October 4, 2016! Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to be one of the first readers to receive a paperback of NAMELESS or an eGalley of CLANLESS!!

Here’s a message from the author.

Clanless is Gryphon's story in the way Nameless was Zo's. It encompasses the struggle of self discovery and taking the hard road to find happiness. At its heart though, this book is a love story, with two people determined to fight overwhelming odds, even death, to be together. Clanless provides readers a view of the world outside Ram's Gate, exploring both the Raven and Kodiak Clans in more depth. 

I LOVE THIS COVER. I love the way Gryphon is depicted and the symbolism of of the white background in contrast to the black of the Nameless cover. I personally think the series only gets better with every book, and I hope readers agree.On to the reveal! 



Title: CLANLESS (Nameless #2)
Author: Jennifer Jenkins
Pub. Date: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Paperback & eBook
Find it: Amazon | B&N | TBD | Goodreads



Striker Gryphon has lost his position of honor among the Ram, and is now a hunted man. A traitor.

Zo, the object of his affection, was murdered by members of his former clan. To honor her memory, he journeys to the highly secretive Raven “Nest” to warn strangers of their impending demise—though it could cost him more than just his pride.
He doesn’t know that Zo is very much alive and in another part of the region assisting Nameless refugees over a mountain swarming with wild men known as “Clanless.”

As each struggle to make sense of what their lives have become, they fight and claw to reach the Allied Camp, their last hope in bringing peace to the region.

But the road back to one another is treacherous and uncertain. And freedom will come with a price.







Excerpt


Gryphon never thought he’d die at the hands of the Ram. Of course, he never thought he’d become a traitor to his clan, either.

He awaited a likely public execution, sitting in a patch of mud outside the walls of Ram’s Gate, his clan’s stronghold, as rain filtered through the trees overhead. Bristled ropes rubbed raw his bound ankles. Iron manacles secured his wrists behind his back. Gryphon clutched the hidden key to his restraints inside a bloody fist and glared at a man he never thought he’d call an enemy.

Zander, Gryphon’s captain, stood at attention as the rain rolled off his brown hair and banked along the harsh angles of his cheekbones and jaw. He held a seven-foot spear like a walking stick, the blunt end buried in the mud at his feet. His short sword was sheathed at his hip, his round shield slung across his back. The perfect Ram warrior, and one of the best swordsmen Gryphon had ever known.

The fifteen members of his mess sat like stones in a field, unmoving but hard and very present. Most of Gryphon’s former mess, including his best friend, Ajax, kept their backs to him, as if his treason were contagious. Some slept under thick wool blankets that repelled the rain while others stewed with the restlessness that plagued so many warriors.

No one bothered to light a fire. Whether they were too impatient to find something dry enough to burn or felt they deserved the cold, Gryphon didn’t know. Ram were experts at self-discipline—not to be confused with self-control.

Inside Ram’s Gate, Gryphon grew up training every day until his body ached. On days he struggled to do everything his leaders asked of him, he would sentence himself to mountain sprints until he literally passed out from exhaustion. Like every other Ram boy, he willingly walked into scheduled yearly beatings that were meant to train his body to block pain, making him nearly invincible on the battlefield.

A little rain was nothing.

Sitting cross-legged in the mud with his hands chained behind his back, Gryphon let the rain muffle the sound of his struggle to insert the small key into the unseen lock of his manacles. Each metallic scrap wound his nerves that much tighter. His wrists burned from bending at an awkward angle and his shoulders strained as he struggled to keep his face a mask of indifference.

Zander watched him, barely blinking. Gryphon needed to distract him—to break his intent focus.

“Why do you think they haven’t let down the rope ladder?” Gryphon asked, speaking as though his impending execution meant little to him.

Zander’s lip raised in a snarl. “Barnabas has the Raven invasion to prepare for, the gate to repair. He will deal with you in his own time.”

Gryphon adjusted his grip on the key to approach the lock from a different angle.

“It seems Barnabas is content to let you sit out in the cold for the night. Do you think you’ll lose your command over this?” Gryphon raised his chin and smiled.

Zander drew a knife so fast Gryphon fumbled with the key.

“Barnabas ordered you brought back alive, but I don’t think he’d mind if I took out your tongue.”

Gryphon had been trained to use the emotions of his enemies against them. People made mistakes when they weren’t stable. Plus the conversation muffled the sound of the key scraping futilely against the metal lock behind his back.

A few of the heads in the wet camp turned to watch the exchange.

Zander leaned back, battling with his composure. “I might lose my command, but I’ll return to my bunk with our brothers of the mess and rest well after seeing your body hang from a noose.” He shook his head. “I knew you had a strange fascination with that slave—that Wolf. I just didn’t realize your treason extended to all the Nameless inside the Gate.”

Just yesterday, Gryphon had inadvertently helped hundreds of Nameless slaves flee the massive walls of Ram’s Gate. To slow the Ram pursuit, he disabled the only exit—a gate so large it required forty Nameless to open it. Even though only a fraction of the Nameless slaves escaped, it would be days before the chain connecting the gate to the counterweight could be repaired.

The key finally slipped into the lock. Gryphon let his head fall back, just a fraction, and closed his eyes in relief. Zander’s hate-filled gaze greeted him as he opened his eyes, but that didn’t stop him from turning the key. The lock clicked open, the sound lost in the rain.

With one hand free, Gryphon still kept both hands behind his back, though he relaxed his shoulders some to alleviate the ache from being bound. The metal key in Gryphon’s hand was warm. The grooves pressed uncomfortably into his palm, but Gryphon didn’t loosen his hold, refusing to let go of the hope Ajax had given him.

Not only was the key his only chance of escaping the certain death that awaited him inside the giant walls of his clan, but it also represented a dim hope that Zo was still alive. That Ajax—Gryphon’s best friend—hadn’t followed through with Zander’s order to find and kill her and the others after Gryphon’s capture.

The vivid scenes of the morning replayed in Gryphon’s mind again and again. Everyone asleep under the tree, except Zo and Gryphon. Ram circling the perimeter of the giant fir like bloodhounds sniffing out prey. Zo taking his hand, pretending to be brave even though her eyes—they were always so easy to read—proved it a lie. Her warm lips. The feel of her body pressed against his . . .

A shudder that had nothing to do with the cold ran up Gryphon’s back. He’d been captured not far from the tree, trying to lead the Ram away from the people he cared for most.

If only he could ask Ajax if they were alive, though the chances were as likely as staying dry in this storm. Ajax had a family to protect, and the penalty for deceiving his captain was as deadly as deceiving Chief Barnabas himself. Dangerous.

Lightning struck not far away, brightening half of Zander’s face in the fast-approaching darkness.

“Come back to me,” Zo had said, just before she’d leaned into him, touching her soft lips to his.

Gryphon slid the key into the second lock.

He chewed on the inside of his lip until he tasted blood. He fought the urge to spit in Zander’s face, to unlock the chains binding his wrist and strangle him with his bare hands. He was sure he could finish the job before he took a spear to the gut. It felt like the only way to quench the hungry blackness that consumed his insides.

Gryphon hung his head, remembering the promise he made to Zo before they separated. Whether Zo was alive or not, he needed to survive to warn the Raven Clan of an impending attack. Countless lives would be spared if the Raven had time to flee the Nest before the Ram arrived. Getting himself killed wouldn’t serve them, even if it meant an escape from the overwhelming ache in his chest.

Thunder rolled again. Zander stared. Gryphon prayed for a miracle . . . and hoped he deserved one.

He turned the key.

The lock clicked open.

But his manacles clattered to the ground before he could catch them.

***

“We’re not waking him.” Zo’s head throbbed as she held Joshua’s wrist to check his pulse for the tenth time in as many minutes.

The boy lay unconscious, but his heart beat a steady rhythm. Zo needed to feel that pulse; it was her tether to sanity. The sound of Ram fists connecting with Gryphon’s body . . . the muffled grunts betraying his pain . . . they still echoed in her mind when she didn’t check her thoughts. From her hiding place, she hadn’t seen Gryphon’s capture, but she had heard. She’d wanted to run out and fight alongside him. Even though she had Joshua and Tess to think of, her inaction tasted like betrayal.

Rain fell all around them, but they’d managed to stay mostly dry beneath the skirt of a giant fir tree.

“This is insane,” said Eva. She had the long nose of her Ram ancestors, set off by a thin mouth. “Do you have any idea what will happen to us if the Ram come back here?” Eva lay flat on her stomach—all leather and long legs—as she scanned the ground outside their fir tree haven.

Even with a full moon, it was impossible to see far beyond the confines of their shelter. “They have Gryphon. They’ll know you and Joshua are close.” Eva ran her hand over her cropped hair, oblivious to the action. “If I were tracking us, I would have found us hours ago.”

Eva was a Ram, just like the soldiers she feared. She’d fled the Gate with Zo for the sake of her unborn child. A baby who would have been killed at birth because it belonged, not to her betrothed, but to a man in the Ram’s slave class known as the Nameless.

Zo gazed up at the tree trunk, hoping to inhale a bit of patience along with the strong scent of pine. “We wait until Joshua’s ready, Eva. Not a moment sooner.”

“But the Nameless will be miles away by now.”

Zo conceded the point. At that moment, hundreds of escaped slaves traveled to get as far from Ram’s Gate as possible to protect their newfound freedom. They didn’t know how to find the Allied Camp. Zo had told Stone, Eva’s lover and the leader of the Nameless rebellion, it was south of Ram’s Gate, but that was the extent of their knowledge, and it wouldn’t be enough to find the slot canyon that led to the Allies.

The Nameless needed her. So did her little sister Tess, Joshua, and even Eva. None of them would survive without Zo’s ability to lead them to the Allies. But it didn’t change the fact that all Zo wanted to do at the moment was sprint up the mountain to Ram’s Gate—the place from which they’d just escaped—and demand the release of the young man she’d come to care for. The man who’d saved her life and the life of her sister, even though doing so had caused him to lose everything.

Gryphon.

Zo’s little sister, Tess, sat like a watchdog beside Joshua’s head, playing with the boy’s red hair. In the low light, she looked even smaller than her eight years.

“Zo’s smart. She knows what to do,” said Tess. She was blond with dirt smeared across her nose and cheeks. She glared at Eva with her giant blue-green eyes, almost daring her to contradict her big sister.

Zo hugged her knees to her chest, fighting a sudden surge of nausea, hoping Tess was right to trust her so completely.

“Someone’s coming,” Eva hissed. She pushed up onto her knees, wielding two deadly looking knives. At the same time, Zo yanked Tess to the ground and threw herself over her and Joshua’s body. It was a futile effort to save them, but fear took over all rational thought.

Soft footfalls crept outside their shelter, each step marking the final moments of their lives. Zo glanced around for some kind of weapon or stick to help defend the two people—two children—for whom she was responsible. All she found in the darkness was a bed of dry pine needles and her medical satchel—nothing to defend them against fighters from the deadliest clan in the region.

The footsteps came closer, muted by the soggy earth. Eva moved from her knees to the balls of her feet, a compressed spring ready to fly into an attack. She adjusted her grip on her knives.

Hope fled. Zo couldn’t catch her breath. Tess. Joshua. Eva. The Nameless. Dying today under this tree meant the deaths of so many others as well. Gryphon’s sacrifice had been in vain.

Large boots stopped mere feet from Zo’s hiding place. Boots she’d recognize anywhere.

“Don’t,” she cried, trying to stop Eva before she attacked.

But her warning was too late.

Eva sprang, blades in hand, aimed at the intruder’s chest.






With her degree in History and Secondary Education, Jennifer had every intention of teaching teens to love George Washington and appreciate the finer points of ancient battle stratagem. (Seriously, she’s obsessed with ancient warfare.) However, life had different plans in store when the writing began. As a proud member of Writers Cubed, and a co-founder of the Teen Author Boot Camp, she feels blessed to be able to fulfill both her ambition to work with teens as well as write Young Adult fiction.

Jennifer has three children who are experts at naming her characters, one loving, supportive husband, a dog with little-man syndrome, and three chickens (of whom she is secretly afraid).

Visit her online at jajenkins.com


Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest |Instagram







1 winner will receive a paperback of NAMELESS, US Only.


3 winners will receive an eGalley of CLANLESS, International.


a Rafflecopter giveaway




June 23, 2016

Cover Reveal: The Great Pursuit by Wendy Higgins!

HEY GCREADERS!

I am so excited that THE GREAT PURSUIT by Wendy Higgins finally has a cover!!! I loved the first in the series, THE GREAT HUNT, and am dying to read this one!

THE GREAT HUNT had everything I LOVE in a young adult novel! Higgins out did herself with this one. I love Wendy Higgin's SWEET EVIL series, but I think I like THE GREAT HUNT just a tad better. Yes, I said it! LOL!

Anyway, check out the beauty below!!!


Hardcover
Expected publication: March 7th 2017
by HarperTeen


Lochlanach has traded the great beast for something far more terrible, a Lashed enemy veiled in beauty, deception, and a vengeance passed down through generations: Rozaria Rocato. And she’s offering the hunter Paxton Seabolt power and acceptance he could never receive in his homeland. Pax must decide how far he’s willing to go under her tutelage, knowing she is the opponent of Princess Aerity Lochson.

In a land where traditionalists dread change, the Lochlan throne must contend with mysterious foes and traitors, while attempting to keep revolt at bay. As dire circumstances strike the royal family, matters of the castle are left in Aerity’s hands. It's time to put aside her fears and grasp the reign, taking actions that have the potential to save or destroy her people.

One hunt has ended, but the pursuit for love and justice continue. In this sequel to The Great Hunt from New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins, political intrigue and romance intensify in another thrilling fantasy. Princess Aerity embraces a quest for identity and passion before making the ultimate sacrifice for her kingdom.


Pre-order today!
AmazonBN † iBooks



New to the series? You can start THE GREAT HUNT today for only $3.99!!


AMAZONBN




What are you thoughts on the cover? Do you think it matches the first in the duology?