Review Coming Soon

Sugar Skulls Blitz Excerpt + #Giveaway

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Sugar Skulls
Glenn Dallas & Lisa Mantchev

 

Publisher: Skyscape
Release Date: November 10th 2015
Genre: New Adult Dystopian Science Fiction
 

Book Description:

Welcome to Cyrene, a city where energy is currency and music is the lifeblood of its young citizens. Everyone lives on the grid, and the residents of the world’s largest playground are encouraged to pursue every physical and emotional pleasure imaginable.

Vee is the lead singer of the Sugar Skulls, an all-girl band that is Corporate’s newest pet project. Micah haunts the city like a ghost after an overdose of a deadly illegal street drug knocks him off the grid. When Micah and Vee forge an immediate, undeniable connection, their troubled worlds collide.

Trading concert stages for Cyrene’s rooftops and back alleys, they have to evade vicious thugs and Vee’s possessive manager as they unravel the mysteries connected to their dark pasts. And before the curtain falls, Micah and Vee will bring the city to its knees in their desperate bid for love, home, and a future together.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25789738-sugar-skulls

 

Excerpt:

M

My shirt’s open in a flash, and her lips are on me, her tongue tracing hot little swirls along my skin. My arms close around her, one hand still buried in her hair, the other stroking along her spine, fingertips trailing along the exposed skin, and she shivers despite the warmth radiating from her.

She’s a whirlwind, a hungry, passionate, desperately fuckable whirlwind, and I’m swept up in her wake.

The only furniture in the room is a little bench against the wall, since you need the space for couples, trios, and other gatherings of willing bodies. I sit down quickly, pull her closer, my hands on her ass as she climbs onto my lap, straddling me. Her afterthought of a shirt brushed aside, her chest against mine, I can feel her heart pounding like a speaker about to blow out.

Grabbing two fistfuls of my hair, she yanks my head back, exposing my neck. She chuckles as she kisses along my jawline, then bites . . . not too hard, but not gently, either, like she’s marking me as hers.

Her hands run down my neck and across my chest, her fingernails grazing my skin, one hand resting on the tattoo emblazoned over my heart. She pauses a moment and whispers the top name aloud— “Bryn”—before her mouth meets mine again. My eyes slam shut as I lose myself in her lips, her tongue, her little gasps for breath before she dives in for more. Our hands roam and grasp and tease, but it’s all background to one endless, ravenous kiss. She’s insatiable, a five-story drop, and I take the plunge, succumbing to gravity and falling falling falling with her.

She tastes like hard liquor and candy and sex and longing and . . . something else. Every brush of her tongue against mine makes it sharper, until it’s all I can think about, until even the promise of a gorgeous girl against me fades.

Apples. She tastes like apples.
Fuck. No.
I tense up and pull away from the kiss, and for the second time

tonight, I think I’ve surprised her. She leans close as if to kiss me again, only to purr in my ear, a rolling seductive sound that gives me shivers.

But the spell is already broken.

Velvet curtains. Bryn. Apples.
Someone in the club is dealing applejack.

Did you take something? Did you take little green translucent tabs of something?”

Her warm breath finds my ear once more. “I’m sorry, love, I only had the one. But I can get more, enough for both of us, and—”

Where? Where did you get it?” I shout with a fury that startles us both.

She leans back and takes a moment before answering. “From Adonis. The guy on the dais. He gave me a taste while we were danc—” “I need you to listen to me.” I stand up, awkwardly dragging her to her feet, and I grab her face with both hands. Locking eyes with her. Hazel. Clear. No ruptured blood vessels, no discoloration. Doing quick calculations in my head: skin temperature, time elapsed since she took the tab. If something bad was going to happen . . . It would’ve by now. Lucky girl. “Take anything, anything you want. Sample anything else in the whole place and get as blissed out as you like, but please, please don’t

ever touch that rancid garbage ever again. It will fuck up your soul.” She looks baffled by my spur-of-the-moment plea. I’m sure I would, too, in her place. I pull her close and kiss her again—a gift for me, an

apology for her—and then I bolt.
Making a beeline for the illuminated dais at the center of the Palace

of Wonders, I have no problem spotting him, even if we’ve never crossed paths before. Shirtless, crowned, grinding against a pair of waify young things wearing bioluminescent body paint and spaced-out smiles.

I hustle up the glowing side stairs and onto the platform, barging in on the soon-to-be threesome. “Hey, apologies, ladies, but I need a moment with His Majesty.”

The glow-in-the-dark sexpots step aside, dazed eyes already looking for a new plaything, and he looks suitably pissed. But three magic words make it all better.

I can pay.”

He sizes me up—torn shirt with no buttons, half-mauled chest, dark jeans with a little bit of roof dust still clinging to the legs—and shrugs, gesturing me toward a side exit. “Fun inside, business outside.”

We step out into the heavy mist of the alley, and the door shuts behind us. Standing with his back to me, he reaches into both pockets. From one, he pulls a handful of silvertip sticks and a lighter; from the other, a stack of green-tinted tabs, individually wrapped and ready to share. “What’s your pois—”

I don’t give him the chance to finish, charging him as he turns and slamming him against the opposite wall. His head bounces off the brick. I’m ranting away in my head, bordering on raving.

That’s for the girl in the alcove and Bryn and Rina and every other person you’ve torn to pieces with this fucking life-ruining shit . . .

He collapses to the ground, drugs still in hand, and I lean close, almost snarling. “Where’d you get this? Huh? Who’s your supplier?” I snatch the whole stack from him, cracking one tab open and sparking the lighter beneath it.

The applejack flares up in an instant, burning hotter than I expect, and I drop it into the garbage can against the wall, dumping the other tabs in after it. Each one bursts into flame with a whoosh, incinerated in seconds. This is some potent shit.

I turn back toward the scumbag dealer. “Who keeps you stocked? Is it Re—”

He punches me in the leg, and pain arcs through me. I crumple to the ground in a heap, twitching.

Fuck. Took too long. My hand still clutches the lighter tight, the nerves frozen and nonresponsive. I can’t even speak.

Standing now, he kicks me in the gut, hard. He leans down and smiles, showing me the glowing set of knuckles on his hand. Brights. Should’ve known. Then two furious kicks to the chest, punctuating them with “should kill you for that” and “wasted all my best shit.” I’m still so rattled by the shock from his modified knucks, I can’t cry out. I wheeze, trying to get my breath back, and he gives me three more kicks, just for good luck, I guess.

The security door swings open, and His Majesty instantly steps away from me. Blinded by the light from the doorway, I can barely make out the shape of the bouncer. “What’s going on out here?”

Slick as bacon grease, His Majesty goes into spin mode. “Guy wanted a hit of riprap and got a little aggressive, that’s all.”

Should I bring him inside and call the greys?”

Fuck.

But saving his own ass saves mine by accident. “Naw, let him sleep it off in the alley. You know how these little tweakers can be.”

Curled up in pain, I’m in no position to argue. I just lie there on the cold, damp asphalt as he spits in my face and struts through the security door. It slams shut behind him, and everything goes dark.

 

 

About The Authors

When not working on puzzles for Penny Press or writing about them for PuzzleNation, Glenn Dallas is an author of short stories and at least half of one novel. After appearing in the acknowledgments of several outstanding novels, he looks forward to returning the favor in the future.

Lisa Mantchev is the acclaimed author of Ticker and the Théâtre Illuminata series, which includes Eyes Like Stars, nominated for a Mythopoeic Award and the Andre Norton Award. She has also published numerous short stories in magazines, including Strange Horizons, Clarkesworld, Weird Tales, and Fantasy. She lives on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State with her husband, children, and horde of furry animals. Visit her online at http://www.lisamantchev.com.

Connect with Lisa & Glen 
 
Lisa: 

Glenn:
Website / Twitter  

Enter The Giveaway Here

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Kiss Kill Love Him Still Book Blitz + #Giveaway

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Kiss Kill Love Him Still
Dawn Rae Miller & Jamie Blair

Release Date: November 10th 2015
Genre: New Adult Murder Mystery

Jackson Landis kept secrets. It’s how he got girls into bed, the grades he wanted, and a reputation for being the life of the party.

But now he’s dead, and no one knows how or why. Especially not the four girls whose secrets he protected. Secrets so scandalous they could cause each girl to lose something valuable. Secrets so dark, someone may have killed for them.

The four girls – a campus drug dealer, an overweight bookworm, a closeted lesbian, and a spoiled princess have one thing in common – they’re terrified the things Jackson knew may not have died with him. As Reggie, Haddie, Val, and Livie try to piece together her own role in Jackson’s death, each girl realizes Jackson had some not-so-pretty skeletons of his own.

Which makes a girl wonder, who really wanted Jackson Landis dead?

Amazon / Amazon UK / B&N / iTunes / Kobo

 

 

About The Author

About Jamie:

Jamie
Young adult author of the Kirkus-starred novel Leap Of Faith (Simon & Schuster 2013), and Lost To Me (2014), featured in the New York Times and USA Today bestselling anthology, Dirty Boys of Summer. Represented by Rebecca Friedman of RF Literary.

Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Google+ / Facebook / Instagram

About Dawn:Dawn

Dawn is a Twitter and fashion addict whose favorite things in life are her family, gorgeous dresses, tea leaf salad, and French macarons. She splits her time between San Francisco and Northern Virginia, and is always up for a trip to Paris.

Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

 

Enter The Giveaway Here

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The Infected (POD #2) by Michelle K. Pickett Cover Reveal

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 THE INFECTED BLITZ BANNER

The_Infected_ebook_coverThe Infected
(PODs #2)

Release Date: October 12, 2015

Synopsos:

From the author of the award winning Unspeakable, and the best selling PODs, comes the highly anticipated sequel to PODs. A world where death stalks the unsuspecting, and this time even the PODs might not save them. 

A virus nearly wiped out humankind…

Months have passed since a human infection has been reported. Survivors of the deadly pandemic have finally started to build a life in a world left devastated by plague. 

Ironically, for nineteen-year-old Eva, life made more sense when she battled the deadly Infected than it does in the serenity of her new home in Rosewood. Separated from fiancé and former POD-mate, David, after an impossible ultimatum, Eva finds her life a little lonely and a lot confusing. 

But as troubled as Eva’s life is, it’s about to take a turn for the worse as untold dangers watch and wait for the right moment to attack…

The virus refuses to die quietly.

Thebite


Book One

 

About the Author

michelle k. pickett

I can’t write without a hoodie. Yeah, I live it Texas. We all have our quirks.

I majored in accounting in college. I was required to declare a major, but I had no clue what I wanted to do, so I picked accounting because it was the first thing listed in the booklet the counselor gave me. Surprisingly, I graduated with a 4.0 GPA. Go figure.

Forget coffee. Hand over the Red Bull or Monster Khaos and no one gets hurt. Seriously, just set it down and step away. I will turn into a normal human after I guzzle my can of caffeine.

I hate to cook, but love to watch cooking shows on television.

I paint my nails weird colors just to see my husband roll his eyes and make my 9 year-old twin girls giggle. Oh, and mortify my 13 year-old son.

I’m a hopeful romantic and love swoon-worthy endings that keep the butterflies going for days, but I don’t believe a HEA always ends with the boy getting the girl. Sometimes a HEA is an ending we don’t see coming, but is still best for the characters.

I write across genres in the young adult and new adult age groups while eating way too many peanut butter M&Ms (but we’ll keep that second part just between us).

I was born and raised in Flint, Michigan, but now live in a suburb of Houston, TX with my very supportive family, a 125lb rescue “puppy” and a 12lb attack cat, also a rescue animal.

And last, (but certainly not least), I love my family with everything in me. Everything I am, is theirs. There are no words in any language known to man to describe my love for them. They are my center.

I’d love to hear from you. So drop me an email! Let’s chat. You tell me what you like in books, what you’d like to see happen in the writing community, what type of books you like to see more of…less of—I want to hear it all! So tell me, please. Because the one thing I wish I could put on my list, but I still haven’t figured out how to do, is mind-reading. But don’t tell my kids. I still have them fooled. 🙂 

Author Links:
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Always Second Best by Release Day Blitz + #Giveaway

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Always Second Best

Broken Dreams
Book #2

Elodie Nowodazkij

Genre: Young Adult Romance
Release Date: October 13, 2015

Synopsis:

Sometimes being first isn’t what you expected.

Seventeen-year-old ballerina Emilia Moretti is tired of always being second best. And she’s going to prove the world she deserves to be first. In her upcoming School of the Performing Arts showcase. In the eyes of her birth parents. And in the heart of the guy she loves. She spends hours rehearsing, hours dreaming about becoming number one, hours imagining how her entire life is about to change. But when nothing goes the way she planned, she’ll need to realize what it really means to be first.


Eighteen-year-old Nick Grawski doesn’t want to follow Daddy Dearest’s rules any longer. He’s going to prove he’s meant to be a dancer—not a lawyer—and he is not going to stay away from Em just because his father demands it. He needs to show Em that—this time around—he’s there to stay and that he won’t break her heart again. Even when her world goes down to shit, even when he finds out his dad may have been trying to protect him all along, even if being there for one another is harder than falling in love.

ALWAYS SECOND BEST is a novel of hope and heartbreak and broken dreams. It’s a novel about falling in love and discovering that being first isn’t always what matters.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26252475-always-second-best
Purchase:

About the Author

Want to read bonus scenes? Sign up for my newsletter (http://bit.ly/1Ddrft5) to get them!

You can also join my Facebook fan group (http://on.fb.me/1J2SYl1) for early excerpts of my upcoming books, giveaways or to just hang out with me 🙂

Elodie Nowodazkij was raised in a tiny village in France, where she could always be found a book in hand. At nineteen, she moved to the US, where she learned she’d never lose her French accent. Now she lives in Maryland with her husband, their dog and their cat.

She’s also a serial smiley user.

Connect with Elodie:
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Enter The Giveaways Here

 

Blitz-wide Giveaway

  $50 Amazon Gift Card
Name a character in Elodie’s next novel

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Blog Giveaway

ECopy of ‘A Summer Like No Other’ & ‘Always Second Best’

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Moonflower by E.D.C. Johnson Interview and $0.99 Sale Promo!!!

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Moonflower

E.D.C. Johnson

Moonflower Trilogy #1

 

Release Date: March 29, 2013
Genre: YA Parnoraml Romance

ISBN: 978-1476232003
ASIN: B00CIE5P4C



Summary:


After Josephine Woods’ father dies of cancer, her mother up-roots the two of them and moves to the city. Josie hates her city life, but her teenage issues are of little consequence when they have a car accident and she wakes up in a strange land (reminiscent of Victorian Europe) alone. Lost, with her school backpack as the only connection to her world, Josie struggles to find her way home. She is found by Lucius Conrí, the son of a Marquess, who possesses royal blood and the gift to shift into a wolf’s form at will. Can the kind-hearted Lucius help her find her way while winning her love, or will she fall for Donovan Conrí his older, more serious brother and heir to the Conrí wealth?

ON SALE JAN. 30rd – FEB. 5th!!!

Starting Jan 30th (12:00am PST) til Feb. 2nd (11:59pm PST) you can purchase this book via Amazon for $0.99. The ebook is normally $4.99 so your looking at a massive discount (about 80% to give you a ball park est.)

Then, on Feb. 3rd at 12:00am PST the price will go up to $1.99 (still a pretty good deal if you ask me). That deal will go on until the 5th of Febuaray. Obviously, the earlier you purchase the book, the more you save!

Interview with the Author

(Interview provided by Author E.D.C. Johnson)


1)     First, tell us about yourself – where you live, your family, and those sorts of details.

I live with my husband and 5 month old daughter in Palm Harbor, Florida.  I’m a transplant from Michigan, but relish in the sunny weather.  Before my daughter arrived my two dogs, a 5lb. Chihuahua and an 75lb. lab mix, had all of my attention.  Well, at least what energy I had left after coming home from hundreds of children as a public school art teacher.

2)    How long have you been writing?

I have enjoyed writing ever since I was in grade school (I even won a Young Author Award).  I was told I had a talent for it by teachers, but never really gave it any consideration as a career—until now.  And, of course, going through college to get my Bachelors and Masters degrees involved a great deal of writing.   Art theory is one of my favorite parts of what I do and expressing your ideas in writing is essential.

3)    Do you have a favorite place to write?

<sheepish smile>

Well, my favorite place to write is in bed.  After all the hustle and bustle of the day is over I can truly focus on what is flowing out of my mind.  Night is the most creative time of the day for me.  The story unfolds like a daydream or movie in my head.  I fell obligated to give public safety announcement though and say that writing in bed is horrible for your neck and back.

4)   Why did you decide to write Moonflower?

It may seem cliche, but it came to me in a daydream.  Right before I was about to fall asleep I imagined this scenario and it began to play like a movie in my mind.  Then I incorporated my favorite necklace into the idea.  It is made of moonstone.  This then made me wonder if there was an actual moonflower, and, well, the rest is history.

5)    Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

I’m going to have to choose someone other than the main characters.  Even though I like them all it just seems so predictable.  That being said, I would have to pick Konrad the old alchemist that acts as mentor and tutor to Lucius Conrí.  I can picture him so clearly.  He is brilliant, yet disheveled.  But when it comes down to it he is like an old oak.  Konrad is wise from his years of life and strong when you need someone to lean upon.  He has such a comfortable demeanor that makes him very approachable, like a grandfather figure.

6)   How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?

My least favorite character is Roderick.  Not that I dislike the poor guy, he is simply an extremely reserved butler.  There isn’t much to get excited about him, but his character is a necessary supporting cast member.

7)    Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

Of course I have read, reread and had my husband read the book.  I go to a writing group and we exchange reading our pages and edit each other’s work.  Finally I did have an editor, a woman who is my writing coach and coordinator of our writing group, yet you may find a sneaky error in there.  It seems almost impossible to win.

8) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Well, as of late I am all about being a mommy.  My 9 1/2 month old takes up a lot  of my time.  My other hobbies are creating my art and gardening.

9)   Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

I don’t get to read as much as I would like.  I have been reading lately to vlog for a review site.  This allows me to keep up with what other paranormal authors are writing and to continue to analyze what makes a good book.  One of my favorite classical authors is Jane Austen.  She is a real inspiration to me.

10)     What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? Write it out here, then answer it.

What do you want readers to take away from reading your book?

I genuinely hope people enjoy reading my book.  Without giving away the end I want people to debate the outcome and what it all means.  Most of all I hope readers think it was entertaining and are left wanting more.

Author Bio  

EDC Johnson grew up in the Midwest, graduating from Michigan State University with her BFA in Art Education and her MA in Art Education from Western Michigan University. She currently lives with her husband in Palm Harbor, Florida. Her decade of experience as a public school art teacher has inspired her to write fiction novels that will entice young readers. You may see some of her illustrations in Renee Mallet’s: Fairies, Mermaids, and Other Mystical Creatures.

Author Links:

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Darkness Watching Book Blitz Giveaway + Excerpt

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Darkness Watching

Emma L Adams

 
Release Date: October 10, 2013
Publisher: Curiosity Quills
Genre: Urban fantasy/paranormal
Target Audience: Upper YA/New Adult

Summary:
 
Eighteen-year-old Ashlyn is one interview away from her future when she first sees the demons. She thinks she’s losing her mind, but the truth is far more frightening: she can see into the Darkworld, the home of spirits– and the darkness is staring back.
 
Desperate to escape the demons, Ash accepts a place at a university in the small town of Blackstone, in the middle of nowhere – little knowing that it isn’t coincidence that led her there but the pull of the Venantium, the sorcerers who maintain the barrier keeping demons from crossing from the Darkworld into our own world.
 
All-night parties, new friendships and a life without rules or limits are all part of the package of student life – but demons never give up, and their focus on Ash has attracted the attention of every sorcerer in the area. Ash is soon caught between her new life and a group of other students with a connection to the Darkworld, who could offer the answers she’s looking for. The demons want something from her, and someone is determined to kill her before she can find out what it is. 
 
In a world where darkness lurks beneath the surface, not everyone is what they appear to be…
 

Buy Links:

Reviews of DARKNESS WATCHING:

 
“Emma is an amazing writer. She has become one of my favorites. I couldn’t put Darkness Watching down.” – Diane at A Creative Mind
 

 

“Darkness Watching provides an original world that is fully complete and from a teens POV. It was dark and entertaining and sometimes teen books don’t go full out, this one did. The world building was truly strong in this novel.” – Lexi at Book Bliss

 

“Like good books should, Darkness Watching left me pondering the story after I’d finished reading AND left me wanting more. Adams built a strong world for readers to be immersed. But the regular world retained full realism.
Normal every day teen situations felt completely believable.” – Erin at 
Erin Albert Books

 

I have to say, I didn’t see the ending coming! … the final showdown left me speechless (You will have to read it!)” – Julia at Never Judge a Book by its Movie

 

“This was entertaining from the start…I didn’t want to put it down, and fans of urban fantasies I think will enjoy this. Darkness Watching was definitely worth the read.” – Jenea at Books Live Forever

 

“This book is unique, fun and interesting. I kept wondering what was going to happen next…I felt that this book was well written and It was hard to put this book down once I started. ” -Jessica at Eat Sleep Read

 

If you are a blogger and would like to request a review copy of Darkness Watching, click HERE!

Excerpt from Darkness Watching

 

David turned to me. “You okay? I saw that girl stand on your foot.”
“I’ll live,” I said, examining the ugly purple bruise already forming. “Ouch.”
Then I saw something that chilled me instantly. Not two feet away from me―one of those dark spaces, a patch of nothingness, like a tear in the universe. I stared helplessly, waiting for the inevitable pair of malevolent purple eyes to meet mine.
But there was nothing there. Just blackness.
“Ash? What’re you looking at?” said
Sarah.
“Nothing,” I said, tearing my gaze away. “Thought I saw someone I knew.”
Out of the corner of my eye, I continued to watch the dark space.
“I think clubbing’s kind of overrated,” said Alex. “Yeah, it’s fun for a bit, but I’d rather be watching a film or sitting in a pub or something.”
“Ditto,” said Sarah.
I shifted my gaze back to the dark space- and I almost stopped breathing. Something stepped
out
of the darkness.
The something was a shadow, black as the gap itself, hunched and shapeless, but as it
moved, it seemed to solidify into an animalistic shape, crouched on all fours. Shadows blurred around it like a long shaggy coat.
This was no demon; it was something else. I could hear its soft footfalls on the pavement. This creature was here, physically, not hiding behind a dark space. Before, I’d always instinctively known the demons weren’t part of the world as I knew it. But this creature was as solidly here as I was.
I backed away, almost tripping over the front step of Satan’s Pit.
“Ash? You okay?”
“Fine,” I said, amazed at how steady my voice sounded, despite the tremors that made my heart rattle against my rib cage. “It’s really cold out here. I think we should go back inside.”
“You sure?” David looked at me doubtfully. “Okay, then.”
Coward. A sharp voice in my head berated me for running away. But I didn’t want this, not now. Not now I’d almost regained a normal life.
But before I could follow Alex, Sarah, and David back inside, someone grabbed my arm.
“It’s sensed you,” a voice hissed. ‘You can’t go back in there.”
I turned. It was the girl who’d knocked into me earlier, the red-haired girl from the car.
Swaying unsteadily on her three-inch heels, she pointed at the creature, which crept closer until its muzzle almost brushed my feet. It looked like a shadowy, oversized fox, but the eyes it fixed on me were crimson, like bloody gouges in its face.
I felt an icy claw grip my heart, rooting me to the spot.
“Shit,” I whispered. “What the hell is that?”
“A shadow-beast. It can’t see you, but it can sense you,” whispered the girl. “Move.”
But I couldn’t move. I was backed up against the door to Satan’s Pit.
The girl swore, stepping back to stand beside me. Dark tendrils rippled across the pavement like a creeping plant. The creature edged forward, raising its head to bare two rows of teeth. Shit, I thought. It’s really going to kill me.
The girl cursed, and moved in front of me, taking something out of her bag so fast her hands appeared blurred. A plain, black Japanese-style fan, patterned with flames. She held it out in her right hand, between us and the creature.
Confusion leaked through my terror. What’s she doing?
For a second, I saw something flicker down her arms to her fingertips, then flames appeared out of nowhere, igniting the fan. She made a threatening motion toward the creature, which let out a high-pitched squeal. Faster than I could blink, it leapt at the dark space, vanishing into nothingness.
The girl flicked the fan, and the flames receded, becoming a simple pattern once again. She snapped the fan back into its case and stashed it in her bag. I couldn’t stop staring at her, speechless.
 

About the Author

 
Emma spent her childhood creating imaginary worlds to compensate for a disappointingly average reality, so it was probably inevitable that she ended up writing fantasy and paranormal for young adults. She was born in Birmingham, UK, which she fled at the first opportunity to study English Literature at Lancaster University. In her three years at Lancaster, she hiked up mountains, skydived in Australia, and endured a traumatic episode involving a swarm of bees in the Costa Rican jungle. She also wrote various novels and short stories. These included her first publication, a rather bleak dystopian piece, and a disturbing story about a homicidal duck (which she hopes will never see the light of day).
Now a reluctant graduate, she can usually be found in front of her writing desk, creating weird and wonderful alternative worlds. Her debut novel The Puppet Spell, published in January 2013 by Rowanvale Books, is a fantasy tale for young adults and the young at heart, inspired by her lifelong love of the fantastical, mythology, and video games. Emma also writes supernatural fantasy novels for older teens and adults. Her next book, Darkness Watching, is the first in the upper-YA/New Adult Darkworld series, and was published in October 2013 by Curiosity Quills Press.

Author Links:

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$10 Amazon GC (INT)
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Bitter Snow Series Review + Giveaway

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“We are the rulers of Midwinter. In the most powerful cold of the winter, in the deepest dark of the year, we hold sway, and all of your hearth fires cannot stand against us. We are the winds that howl down the chimneys and extinguish your candles. We are the northern lights and the hungry wolves; the bitter crack of ice and the killing frost. The raging blizzard and the deep, soft, final sleep of those lost forever in the snow.”

 

Bitter Snow is a modern retelling of the fairy tale “The Snow Queen,” in nine novellas. It’s my all-time favorite fairy tale, about a girl’s quest to save her childhood friend from the evil Snow Queen, through her courage, determination, and the strength of her love for him. Each volume is about 80-90 pages (32,000 words). The next three installments are scheduled for release in spring/summer 2014, with the final three to follow later in the year. 

 

Follow The Tour HERE

 

Bitter Snow

Bitter Snow Vol. #1

Lauren Sweet

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

Release Date: December 5, 2013

ASIN: B00H2XXHVM

Pages: 85

Word Count: 32,000

Goodreads Rating:  4.00

My Rating: 4.5

 

Book Description:

Whatever you do, don’t open the door.

All Gilly Breslin wants for her sixteenth birthday is for her best friend Kai to see her as more than just the girl next door he’s known forever. So when she receives a mysterious, romantic invitation to meet him at midnight, she knows she has to go. 

But it’s St. Nicholas’s Eve, the ancient festival of Bellsnichol, when demons roam the dark winter landscape. Tradition demands that everyone in the tiny town of Bremerton stay inside, doors shut tight against evil.

Gilly thinks it’s just a quaint old superstition. She has no idea that a malevolent power has been unleashed in Bremerton—with Kai as its target. But when she answers her door at midnight, her romantic date turns deadly…and she’s drawn into an ancient web of fear and darkness that threatens everything she loves.

Amazon    BN

My Take On The Book:

 

I am a sucker for a good cover, that’s for sure. I was drawn in by the cover of a girl with these exotic yellow eyes, I scrolled down and read the synopsis. Holy cow, I was hooked, I needed to read this series. I love fairytales (I own a book with the real Grimm fairytales and I was morbidly fascinated with it) and modern retellings but the tale of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen has always captivated me in a creepy sort of way. So anywho, the cover is breathtaking and I definitely saw Gilly and her wolf eyes when looking at the cover.

So since this is a series of  books made up of 9 novellas with very close release dates (Thank God!) I decided to do a basic review on each book until I’ve read all three and can revisit this post with a more in depth review.

As I said earlier, I’m kinda a sucker for a good cover and anything fairytale so I squealed when I got invited to review it. So simply put it was almost perfect. Truthfully, I think the ‘almost’ comes from the unfinished feel. It might not make much sense right now when I explain it but, you can definitely tell it was cut and that there is another part yet to come. It feels more like a t.v. show. Also, there was a bit of description overload… not something I would normal complain about but I got a bit lost when reading the more thrilling scenes and I had to go back a reread it slowly so my mind could sketch out the scenes.

As for what I love, sigh, there is just too much. The intro was amazing and served to give me goosebumps to end all goosebumps and set the mood quite perfectly.  Next we have the characters, in this one we meet them all but the 4 that stand out most are Gilly, Kai (sweet, easily entrances, adorable Kai), Nelson and Annabel… I loved them, I even like Perchta ::shivers:: and Bran. This was a great introduction book, perfect for beginning the series.

 

4.5 Quills

This is a definite must read, compelling and mysterious, creepy and sweet and just a dash of sad. Grab a copy and see for yourself… but be warned, there is a cliffhanger ending. I kind of wish this story was in print because I would love to own a copy 

 

 

Dark Solstice

Bitter Snow Vol. # 2

Lauren Sweet

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

Release Date: December 21, 2013

Cover Artist: Jeanne Gransee Barker

ASIN: B00HFKJDN8

Pages: 85

Word Count: 32,000

Goodreads Rating:  N/A

My Rating: 4.5

 

Book Description:

 

On St. Nicholas’s Eve, the festival of Bellsnichol, Gilly Breslin opened her door to an ancient evil. A demon queen who’s slowly destroying Gilly’s best friend Kai—the only guy she’s ever loved.

But it’s not just Kai. Every guy who falls in love with the Snow Queen turns evil—and every guy who sees her falls in love with her.

Gilly’s only hope is to enlist the secret guardians of Bremerton, who may hold the key to banishing the Snow Queen and her minions. But with the town erupting in violence and the demons’ power increasing as the winter nights grow longer, she’s in a race against time to stop them before it’s too late.

Amazon    BN

 

My Take On The Book:

 

I am completely and utterly heartbroken. January 5th is too far off and I need to read the last book now! Now while I am every bit aware that Kai is under a spell, his words are just devastating and my heart shatters for Gilly every time he speaks to her.

Gilly is an amazing main character, loyal and strong with a good sense of right and wrong and while she does notice the beauty of the other men in her life, she is loyal to her heart and so not wishy-washy like other young main female characters. I love that she isn’t caving because things are getting tough and a pretty boy is showing her some attention. She knows who she wants and who she cares about most and while she appreciates the other men she stay true to her heart.

Niko is another great character. I liked him in Volume One, but know he’s grown on me like a parasite and I want, no need for him to have a happy ending. Preferably with a beautiful blonde that I also love, Annabel. They are both such fierce and loyal friends to Gilly. While Annabel has no idea about the demons running amuck, she is still a great friend to Gilly when it comes to the evil Perchta and Kai.

Honestly, the only reason this one didn’t score a 5 was because the story is unfinished. This is an amazing retelling. Short, fast paced, easily to read, descriptive and most people can finish it within the hour.

 

4.5 Quills

January 5th, hurry up and get here please! I need to see how this story unfolds. Make sure you check back for my review on the final book once it becomes available and I read it.

 

 

Twelfth Night

Bitter Snow Vol. #3

Lauren Sweet

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

Release Date:  January 5, 2014

Cover Artist: Jeanne Gransee Barker

Number of pages: 85

Word Count:  32,000

 

Book Description:

Winter demons have invaded the tiny town of Bremerton, and sixteen-year-old Gilly Breslin is the only one who can banish them. The only problem is, she doesn’t know how.

Digging through the town’s historical archives, she and her friend Niko piece together clues to an ancient ritual to send the demons back to the dark realm they sprang from.

But the Snow Queen has plans of her own. Her power is greatest at the darkest time of the year, and her evil influence is spreading insidiously through the town, leaving Gilly wondering if there’s anyone left who can be trusted.

The demons must be banished by Twelfth Night, or the town will be lost. But to do it, Gilly may have to sacrifice everything that matters to her—including her soul.

 

 

About The Author 

I was born and raised in New Jersey, and books were a big part of my childhood. When I was about three and a half, I became obsessed with a Little Golden Book about a goat that gets a bucket stuck on its head. Since no one would read me the goat book as often as I wanted, I learned to read it myself—and haven’t stopped reading since. It was only inevitable that I turned to writing, so I could create more of the kind of stories that I like to read!

My favorite genres are mystery, sci-fi and paranormal/fantasy. I’ve always been fascinated by myths and fairy tales, and I love incorporating elements of ancient lore into modern stories. I have a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from the University of Alaska Anchorage, and I currently live near Portland, OR, where I am a freelance writer and editor. My other esoteric skills include astrology, figure skating, and the ability to do a perfect split.

Twitter: @writerlaurens

Enter The Giveaway Here

 

Win Gilly’s necklace from Bitter Snow Volume Two: Dark Solstice!

In folklore, iron protects against the influence of evil spirits. Handmade from real horseshoe nails and sterling silver by Connie Pardini of Wirestorm Creations (www.wirestormcreations.com), this necklace is a replica of the one Gilly wears to protect herself from harmful spells and illusions.

 

Open to US Shipping, retail value of necklace $80

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“I received a free copy of the book from the author for my honest opinion. I was in no way compensated for this review and all opinions are expressly my own”