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Friday, October 24, 2014

{Blog Tour} JUST GIRLS by Rachel Gold -- with giveaway


About the Book - About the Author - Prizes!!!

About the prizes: Who doesn't love prizes? You could win one of two $50 Amazon gift cards or an autographed copy of Just Girls! Here's what you need to do...
  1. Enter the Rafflecopter contest
  2. Leave a comment on my blog
That's it! One random commenter during this tour will win the first gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win--the full list of participating bloggers can be found HERE. The other two prizes will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on the official Just Girls tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

About the book: Jess Tucker sticks her neck out for a stranger—the buzz is someone in the dorm is a trans girl. So Tucker says it’s her, even though it’s not, to stop the finger pointing. She was an out lesbian in high school, and she figures she can stare down whatever gets thrown her way in college. It can’t be that bad.

Ella Ramsey is making new friends at Freytag College, playing with on-campus gamers and enjoying her first year, but she’s rocked by the sight of a slur painted on someone else’s door. A slur clearly meant for her, if they’d only known.

New rules, old prejudices, personal courage, private fear. In this stunning follow-up to the groundbreaking Being Emily, Rachel Gold explores the brave, changing landscape where young women try to be Just Girls.Get Just Girls through Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About the author: An award-winning marketing strategist and author, Rachel Gold also spent a decade as a reporter in the LGBT community where she learned many of her most important lessons about being a woman from the transgender community. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English and Religious Studies from Macalester College, and a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Hamline University. When she’s not “translating English for English-speaking people” or working on her novels, you can find Rachel online checking out the latest games.
Connect with Rachel on her website, Facebook, Twitter,or GoodReads..

*****I cannot get the Rafflecopter code to load a widget, so please visit the tour page to enter*******


Disclaimer: I received an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book encompassed many different trains of thought that can be summed up in one glossy phrase: human rights. I really enjoyed this read as it exposed me to different view points and things I take for granted, being born a heterosexual female. While there are several loathsome characters in this novel, I think the one I found the most appalling was the TA who is centered on women's rights and yet is so vehemently against the rights of one born in the wrong body and casually wishes to throw that transgender to the wolves by insisting she use a men's bathroom, putting her at risk when we women are already at risk EVERY DAY.

I thought it was brilliant how Ella took control and gained confidence thanks to Tucker's defense of her before Tucker even knew that Ella was transgender. I love how Ella fiercely protected her new friend in the only way she knew how and was totally effective at it: utilizing her social companions by turning the protection of Tucker into essentially a MMO in real life.

I think this kind of book should be required reading in school. While at an age where you are learning about racism and sexism, we should address ALL concerns and be forced to think about it in our teenage years when our opinions are not set in stone and we're rebelling against the train of thought our parents and grandparents and other adult figures in our lives are trying to lay out for us. JUST GIRLS is written in such a way that you are enthralled, sympathetic, empathetic, and wondering why the hell this topic is not covered sooner in your life, especially in this day and age. 


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

{Book Blitz} PROFILE by JA Huss --- with review and giveaway!



{Spotlight} NEW WORLD: RISING by Jennifer Wilson


Title: New World: Rising
Author: Jennifer Wilson
Series: New World (Book 1)
Genre: YA/Dystopian
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: Aug 14 2014
Edition/Format Available In: eBook
Blurb/Synopsis:
Since witnessing her parents’ murders at the age of eleven, Phoenix’s only purpose in life has been to uphold her mother’s dying words- to be strong and survive. But surviving outside of The Walls- outside of The Sanctuary- is more like a drawn-out death sentence. A cruel and ruthless city, Tartarus is run by the Tribes whose motto is simple, “Join or die.”
Refusing to join and determined to live, Phoenix fights to survive in this savage world. Trusting no one, she lives as a rogue, fending only for herself. Then in a moment of rash judgment, she breaks all of her rules to save a child, and in that moment her life is turned upside down. When the rescue mission goes awry, Phoenix is captured by an underground group who claims no allegiance with neither the Tribes nor The Sanctuary. She finds herself in the most dangerous game of survival she has ever played.
In her captivity, only one person- the handsome and oddly sympathetic Triven- shows Phoenix something she has never before experienced: kindness. While warring with unfamiliar emotions and still skeptical of her captors' motives, Phoenix quickly realizes that these people may just hold the key to her lost memories. But who can she trust, when no one can be trusted? Not even herself.

As a child Jennifer loved getting lost in the stories of others, but struggled greatly with reading. A notoriously slow reader who stumbled with words and spelling, Jennifer shied away from books, leaning heavily on musical theater and movies to get her inspirational fix.
It was not until in her mid-teens, when a persistent friend convinced her to read the Harry Potter series, that Jennifer found her love for the written word. J.K. Rowling’s books opened doors not only to the fascinating world of a young wizard, but to a life filled with a multitude of literary friends and fantastical worlds. Once a timid reader, Jennifer now devours books and loves getting lost in a new series.
Jennifer had wanted to write her own novel since her early twenties, but unfortunately inspiration doesn’t always strike on command. Her first book, The Chosen, was completed in 2013. But as most first attempts go, it was a flop. While looking through a multitude of rejection letters, inspiration struck again, putting Grace’s story got on hold as Phoenix’s began.
New World: Rising began to fill Jennifer’s brain, flowing like a fully opened valve from her fingertips. What was once such a struggle in her early years suddenly became a passion.
When Jennifer is not writing, she is enjoying life in Colorado, rock climbing, camping, exploring new foods, playing with her golden retriever, Duke, and sharing her life with her handsome and wonderful husband.
     
Author Links

Author’s Other Works
New World Series
New World: Ashes Coming Soon
The Chosen Series
The Chosen  Coming Soon

The Lost Coming Soon


I awoke with a start, my arms flailing outward, as the scream caught in my throat. It only took seconds to recognize my surroundings, to calm my racing heart. This was how I awoke every morning, every morning since my parents died. After years I managed to restrain the scream, awakening before it escaped my lips. Screaming in the night could get you found, screaming during the daytime would get you killed.
I checked my father’s watch in the green light. It was nearly three in the afternoon. There were still hours until dark. I knew I would have to stock up more food before I left for my next refuge, but scavenging during the daytime wasn’t an option.
Thumbing through my book collections, I felt uninspired and bored, having already read them so many times. I thought about trying to sleep longer but my mind was too awake. After eating a breakfast of dried apples, I made a plan to grow my personal library. Aside from needing something else to distract my mind, books always proved a good source of trade. Those few of us who defied the Tribes kept to ourselves and stayed quiet. We never gathered, nor really ever trusted one another. But when goods ran scarce, trades were not uncommon. It was finding the right recluses to trade with that was key. One wrong choice and you could easily find yourself with empty hands and a knife in your back. A select few of my merchants knew how to read and those that didn’t, never turned down good kindling.
Rifling through my few belongings, I decided to leave my larger backpack behind. It was too heavy and often cumbersome while crawling through the vents. I would only need a small tote big enough to carry books. My revolver lay on the mattress in its holster. I eyed it, speculating if it was needed. I always took it with me outside or to hunt for food, but no one ever came in the library anymore. I had seen a few rats and the occasional wild dogs on the floors below, but none of them ever bothered me. Instead I slid my knife into my hip sheath and climbed up the shelves to the vent.
As always, I moved with great caution, careful to never make a sound and always listening for others. But like usual, the building was empty. After nearly ten minutes of crawling, I saw light shining up through the galvanized steel. Cautiously I pressed my ear to the vent while holding my breath.
Nothing.
I smiled and pushed open the grate before sliding out onto the top of a bookshelf. Before descending I scanned the rows, my keen eyes looking for any trace of movement, foreign color or moved shelving. Nothing had changed since I was here last. Several of the books I had discarded still lay on the floor where I had dumped them, uninterested.
Relaxing a bit, I took a deep breath. The room was massive, filled with rows upon rows of abandoned books. It smelled like aged paper, and earth from the destroyed floors below. I loved that smell. Soundlessly, I climbed down the metal shelf I had perched on and headed for my favorite sections.
First I stopped by the romance section— business first, then pleasure. These were my least favorite kind of book. People fell into whirlwind romance, swept up with sex and passion. I didn’t believe in love, it was a wasted emotion that could get you killed. People did foolish things in the name of love. While I detested these books, they were generally thick and most of my allies didn’t care about the content as long as they burned.
I never made friends, not even with my allies. There were those I could barter with safely, and those I couldn't, I stole from. I never stole from the dead. Rationally it made more sense to take from the dead; after all it wasn’t like they would be using anything anymore. But the thought made me nauseous, reminding me too much of watching my parents’ murders. Instead I traded with a few recluses and targeted the Tribes’ storage facilities for the rest. I never felt guilty stealing from them.
Blindly grabbing a few thick books, I tossed them into my bag and moved on to the educational section. I browsed the titles looking for books on survival and warfare. After skimming their backs I took two of the most promising titles before moving on to the fiction section. I loved this section the most. The books here provided an escape, a place to let my mind wander free and find friends. Not real friends, but friends I could care about without having to commit to. Once I had opened a book and read its pages, those characters could never be taken away from me. Even if the books were burned, they would still live on in my mind. They couldn’t die or betray you, friends on paper proved much more lucrative than real ones.
This section was also the largest, and after years of perusing its shelves I had only just scratched the surface. Leisurely, I moved through the rows looking for authors I recognized or titles that called to me. Upon finding one of interest I would pull it from the shelf and read the back cover or the first few pages. Anything of interest was added to my collection. Everything else got added to the growing pile on the floor. I was so immersed in the pages of a potential gem that I almost didn’t hear them.
Two voices were making their way toward me, speaking in hushed tones.
“Shut up. I swear I heard something up here.”
“If I scaled that damn rope for nothing, I swear I will slit your throat myself.”
Every muscle in my body tensed as the distinctly male voices drifted through the aisles. Careful not to make a sound, I slipped the book into my bag and peeked through a gap in the books. Their backs were turned to me, the black leather of their coats splattered in red. Both men were hulking in size, my head probably even with their chests. The taller one had a red mohawk with feathers dangling from it. The other was bald with deep scars that covered the entire left side of his head like angry red fissures. Both of them had an obscene amount of metal piercings protruding from their skin. My hair rose on end.
Ravagers.
What the hell were they doing here? Panic prickled in the pit of my stomach. The vent leading to safety was nearly five rows over across the aisle; there was no way to make it there without being seen. Why hadn’t I brought my gun? I cursed myself as their eyes scanned the empty rows.
“I smell fear.” One of them taunted, his gruff voice no longer whispering.
They cackled with delight.
I swallowed hard. Even if it was just a farce to scare me, it was working, my pulse accelerating. Punching the other in the shoulder, the one with the mohawk motioned for them to spilt off. My ears began to ring as they moved to either side of my row and progressed towards me. I was trapped. My eyes instantly searched for another route of escape or a place to hide. As their footsteps moved closer, I began to silently climb. 


Saturday, October 18, 2014

{COVER REVEAL} ALTAR OF REALITY by Mara Valderran!



Today is the cover reveal for Altar of Reality, the first book from Shifted Realities--a brand new series by Mara Valderran. This YA dystopian is set to be released January 31st, 2015 by Curiosity Quills Press. Mark your calendars, and be sure to add the book to your Goodreads list! Want to stay up to date on all things Altar of RealitySign up for Mara's newsletter so you don't miss a thing!



And now...the moment Mara's we've all been waiting for...





When sixteen-year-old Madeline suffers her first grand mal seizure, she finds herself in an unfamiliar reality, surrounded by strangers wearing familiar faces. Her best friend, Brandon, tells her that the world has fallen to chaos, the aftermath of World War III ten years ago. Madeline doesn’t remember anything from this life— especially not the explosion four years ago that killed her parents and landed her in a coma, or the Lord Commander; a zealot leader of the Southern Territories now searching for her.



Madeline barely has time to process everything before waking up to the life she’s always known. As soon as she dismisses it all as a strange and vivid dream, she finds herself back there once more. Unsure if she’s truly caught in the middle of a brewing rebellion, or teetering on the brink of insanity, she finds herself flipping between the two lives. Her heart becomes torn between two versions of the same boy and the lines between her realities begin to blur as she struggles to save her lives in both worlds.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 



Mara Valderran is an author of young adult and new adult books, but she's more than just a madwoman with a writing box. She is an avid reader and fan of all things sci-fi and fantasy. She loves roller skating and movies, though typically not together. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and demanding cat. She hopes to one day meet Daniel Jackson from SG1, or at least the actor who played him. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading, playing video games, or counting down the days until DragonCon.



Find Mara Online: 


Be sure to check out the Heirs of War, Crown of Flames blog tour going on right now! There are excerpts, interviews, a giveaway, and more. You can find the tour calendar here.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

{Blog Tour} MIRRORED TIME by JD Faulkner


Title: Mirrored Time
Author: J.D. Faulkner
Series: A Time Archivist Novel (Book 1)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: May 7 2014
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
Blurb/Synopsis:
First it was water.

Then blood.

And finally smoke.

Gwen Conway never knew there were so many ways to die. Honestly, it was something she would have been happy not knowing.

Maybe, they really are just dreams. Nightmares. But they won't stop. And dreaming of her death is getting old. Then there's the sleepwalking. She'd like to pass on that too.

Gwen's pretty sure the dreams have something to do with her new job. Which of course, is definitely not just a 'job.'

Don't get her wrong, working for the Archiver of the Time Streams has its perks. Having the power to travel to any past or future time is fantastic. Plus, there's Rafe, the ex-gladiator from the future. She'd like to keep him around too. Not that she would tell him that. It'd go straight to his head.

But she's less than pleased to find herself in the middle of a time travelers' war. Especially against a crazed half-god who has the power to obliterate the existence of any time or place. And the Guardians, her so called allies? All the help they offer are strict rules and smug superiority. Plus, they seem convinced she's already lost, that she's already died.

Gwen is starting to wonder whether she should have read her employment contract more carefully.

Borrowing themes from Greek and Roman legends such as Pandora and the war between the Titans and Olympians, lovers of mythology and fantasy alike will enjoy this mind-bending romp through different times and universes. Well-grounded in the world of today, this urban fantasy stands out from the pack with its complex theories on time travel and unique brand of quirky humor.

Book Links

Author Information
J.D. Faulkner lives in Seattle, Washington. She spends her time reading anything she can get her hands on; studying Greek and Roman mythology; and avoiding the rain whenever she can. MIRRORED TIME is her first novel and book one of the Time Archivist Novels. Currently, she is working on the second book of the series, FRACTURED TIME.



Author Links
    



What a marvelous debut novel! If you liked that TNT movie THE LIBRARIAN with Noah Wylie, you'll love MIRRORED TIME as it has a similar start. Instead of The Library, it's The Archives, and instead of Noah Wylie, you have this lovely, caring, slightly lost young woman named Gwen who is about to discover that all she thought about her world is not necessarily true and not necessarily set in stone...

I always try to keep my reviews spoiler free and it's very hard not to gush about something that took you by surprise or a character whom you utterly adore or a love interest that you swear is your new book boyfriend, etc. From Cappuccino the Cat to Alistair to Gwen, the characters are incredibly faceted and show wonderful depth, and Faulkner did a wonderful job building the world.

There's a nice twist that you won't see coming and you'll be happy to spend your hours in the pages of Mirrored Time! 




Time crept by, and her one accomplishment was listening to the steady ticking of her clock. With a huff, she shoved away the legal files and rubbed her temples. She peeked at Alistair’s desk from underneath a curtain of hair, but he still hadn’t magically appeared. The main office was empty. Just like it had been a few seconds ago.
Going home would be better than sitting here and obsessing. She slipped on her coat, planning to leave. Her feet stayed rooted to the floor. Honestly. It couldn’t hurt to check the mirror before bringing it up to Alistair. She could figure out how Rafe had tricked her. Then she would have an answer. So I can stop obsessing.
 “Sorry, Alistair,” she whispered to his desk before stepping into the dark hallway of the Archives. Pausing outside the room, her thumb ran over the cool metal of the door handle. Whatever happened, it would be the end of the mystery—maybe the end of her hope. Her aunt’s words echoed in her mind. I would live, my girl, live.
This time there was no glowing light. With more effort than she would care to admit, she stepped into the darkened room. She needed to know the truth. And whatever happened, she would never forgive herself for running away. Lying to herself was no longer an option. As crazy as it was, she wanted the possibility to be real. What if everything she knew about life was a lie? What if magic did exist?
The room was silent as she stared at her reflection, her eyes wide but determined. She raised her hand, watching her reflection reach up to meet her. Her fingers encountered the cool, and solid, surface of the mirror.
The stab of disappointment was sharp. So, the world was as she always had imagined it. It didn’t hide any secrets involving magic mirrors. Mirror, mirror, on the wall, you’re not so special after all.
Her fingers ran over the glass. She didn’t know how Rafe had done it, but she would figure it out. At the very least, she had revenge. She smiled at the idea of paying Rafe back. Her reflection’s smile widened with her own, fingers following the opposite path. There would be hell to pay, that’s for sure. Didn’t they always say ‘hell hath no fury like a woman scorned?’ She laughed, palm pushed flat against the mirror. Magic mirror, indeed. Now she needed to find Rafe.
With her thoughts so centered on Rafe and her revenge, it took a moment for her to notice the light. When her palm sank into the mirror, she stared as liquid silver lapped up her arm. She tried to jerk back but the mirror wouldn’t let her. It continued to pull her in. Gravity lurched with a dizzying shift, and she fell into the mirror with a scream.
It echoed in the empty room.  


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

{Blog Barrage} Felicity Heaton

Her Avenging Angel, the seventh book in New York Times best-seller Felicity Heaton’s hot paranormal romance series, Her Angel, is now available in ebook and paperback. To celebrate the release, she’s holding a FANTASTIC GIVEAWAY at her website.

Find out how to enter the Her Avenging Angel international giveaway (ends October 26th) and be in with a shot of winning a $75, $50 or $25 gift certificate at her website, where you can also download a 6 chapter sample of the novel: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/her-avenging-angel-romance-book.php

 Here’s more about Her Avenging Angel, including an excerpt from this paranormal romance novel.

{SPOOKTACULAR HOP}


I'm going HOP CRAZY this month! So here is another chance to win something from me! :)
But first, there are MANY blogs who will be participating on Kathy's SPOOKTACULAR GIVEAWAY HOP! All are family friendly, so check out the linky below and Hop Along!

For my stop, you will have a choice of prize! 
One winner will receive a print copy of 
RETURN OF THE LOVING DEAD (HORROR HIGH SCHOOL #1)  
by Araminta Matthews & Stan Swanson. 
(Winner just has to be able to be shipped to from The Book Depository)
OR ... 
If you already own a copy, I can substitute an amazon.com gift card in the amount of $10 instead! 

Below is a description of the book up for grabs! I chose this book because it has to do with zombies and it happens to be published by one of my favorite publishers, CURIOSITY QUILLS PRESS! =) 

Happy Halloween and good luck in the drawing! 




Being in love with a zombie bites, but that won’t stop true love. Can it? Horror High School: Return of the Loving Dead is unlike any zombie book you’ve ever read. Meet Amber Vanderkamp, senior at Stephen E. King High School. Amber is poised to be class valedictorian when she graduates this year and has her sights set on the New York Center for the Performing Arts for college. Everything is wonderful in Amber's world. She always gets the lead in her high school's plays and is counting on the lead role in the school’s upcoming production of Romeo and Juliet. That is until her well-ordered world is thrown into chaos when her boyfriend, Zach, dies and comes back as a zombie. But how can she turn her back on the love of her life? How does she deal with the pressure? And will she remain committed to the boy she once considered her soul mate? Especially when her mother (with secrets of her own) is encouraging her to wait and experience more of the world. And her flighty best friend, Jasmine, is acting more peculiar than ever since Zach has become a member of the undead club. Add in the class bullies, Caleb and Darla, who seem to be doing everything in their power to ruin Amber's life and everything is here for a page-turning romp through a world where zombies are a part of everyday life.