Thursday, November 28, 2013

Author Interview + Giveaway: Scion of the Sun by Nicola Marsh

Happy Thankful Thursday my friends! Whether you're celebrating Thanksgiving today, or not, I hope you have an utterly fabulous day!

To aid in that, I'm happy to be featuring Nicola Marsh and Scion of the Sun today! Looking for your next read? Love Fantasy reads? Well then, you may have just found your new favorite read.

When she least expects it, sixteen-year old Holly Burton’s unremarkable life is shaken to the core. A vision of the mother Holly never knew leaves her questioning everything she believes.

Eager for answers, Holly enrolls at a boarding school for highly gifted students in Wolfebane, New Hampshire. But things will get worse before they get better, as Holly accidentally transports to a parallel existence where she's confronted by a dark and ancient evil.

With the help of Joss, a sexy alpha warrior sworn to protect her, and her new BFF, the equally swoon-worthy Quinn, Holly faces her fears and an unlikely adversary in a showdown that is worse than anything she could’ve possibly imagined …

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to interview Nicola Marsh today as well! Please enjoy her answers below, and don't forget to add Scion of the Sun to your reading list.

Purchase Links:
AmazonB&N / KOBO


1) Welcome Nicola! How about we start out by getting to know you a bit? If you had to describe yourself in a tweet (just 140 characters) what would you say?

Thanks for having me. Hmm…okay, here goes: Manic Melbourne mom writing contemporary romance, YA & NA, loves chocolate, books, boots & her boys. Researching hot guys a given.

2) I read in your profile that you write for both adults and young adults! Do you find one easier than the other? Is one a favorite over the other?

I love mixing it up, switching between YA and adult fiction, but I have to say the contemporary adult romance comes easier. It’s fun writing naughty stuff!

3) Where is your favorite place to settle in and write?

My office late at night. The rest of my household is asleep, it’s blissfully silent and I can settle into ‘the zone’.

4) If we were to look at your to-be-read pile right now, what is sitting on top and waiting to be enjoyed?

Yikes! My TBR pile is enormous. And never seems to dwindle no matter how much I read (probably because I keep buying new books!) I have several of Claudia Gray’s YA series waiting to be read, along with Anything But Vanilla by Liz Fielding, Breathe for Me by Natalie Anderson and The War Bride Club by Soraya Lane. So many books, so little time!

5) Final question time! I always love to make this one a challenge, so away we go!
You wake up one morning to find that you've become a character in your favorite novel! What character are you, and who is playing the other leading roles?

I’m Hermione in the Harry Potter series. 

Chris Hemsworth would have to be Ron (because they ultimately get together!)

Daniel Radcliffe can still be Harry because he IS Harry to me.

USA TODAY bestselling author Nicola Marsh writes flirty fiction with flair for adults and riveting, spooky stories for teens.

She has published 43 contemporary romances with Harlequin, Entangled Publishing and indie, and sold over 5 million copies worldwide. Her first mainstream romance BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD was nominated for Romantic Book of the Year 2012. Her first indie romance, CRAZY LOVE, was a 2012 ARRA finalist.

Her debut young adult novel, a supernatural thriller BANISH, released with Harlequin Teen August 2013, and her YA urban fantasy series kicks off with SCION OF THE SUN, November 2013, with Month9Books.

She’s also a Waldenbooks, Bookscan and Barnes & Noble bestseller, a 2013 RBY (Romantic Book of the Year) and National Readers’ Choice Award winner, and a multi-finalist for a number of awards including the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, Booksellers’ Best, Golden Quill, Laurel Wreath, More than Magic and has also won several CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Awards.

A physiotherapist for thirteen years, she now adores writing full time, raising her two little heroes, sharing fine food with family and friends, and her favorite, curling up with a good book!

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Book Review: Ink

Media Type: Ebook
Title: Ink
   *Series: Paper Gods #1
Author: Amanda Sun
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: Paperback; 326
Release Date: June 25, 2013
Source: NetGalley
Content Screening: Mild Violence

HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who quick moving stories and a Japanese setting!

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / BookLikes
On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they'll both be targets.

Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.

I'll be straightforward with you and explain that the reason I picked Ink up in the first place was that it was set in Japan. I love Japanese mythology, and I definitely love Fantasy reads. Needless to say, I was really excited to read this book. I couldn't wait to see where Katie Greene's new life in Japan would take me.

It was so interesting to watch Katie as she settled into her new life. I can't imagine living in another country, much less one where the language is still new. I felt her reactions to everything were really spot on. In fact, I can't deny that I liked Katie immensely. She was kind, honest, and just sarcastic enough to create some lightheartedness for the story. When Tomo came into the picture, I knew things were headed in a fabulous direction. A boy with a dangerous side, who Katie just can't stop thinking about? Yes, please!

Japan was a gorgeous setting for this story. It's really obvious that Amanda Sun did her research on the culture and the mythology laid out between these pages. Katie's new home comes to life on the pages. I could see the cherry blossoms, feel the breeze, and fell in love with the descriptions of her surroundings. If I didn't already love everything about Japan, I know I'd be intrigued after reading this. It was a perfect backdrop for all the dark, menacing events that take place. 

The absolute only thing that I had a problem with was the slow beginning. Some of Katie's reactions to Tomo were a little over the top, but I was willing to forgive them for the most part. Once everything took off, once I learned what Tomo's dark secret was, I was lost in the story. The story is wonderful, the setting is perfect, and I definitely enjoyed reading Ink.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Book Review: Gated

Media Type: Print Book
Title: Gated
Author: Amy Christine Parker
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Pages: Hardcover, 352 pages
Release Date: August 6th 2013
Source: Library
Content Screening: Mild Violence

HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy books on cult communities and their inner workings.

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N

A fast-paced, nerve-fraying contemporary thriller that questions loyalties and twists truths.

Appearances can be deceiving.

In the Community, life seems perfect. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Pioneer invited Lyla’s family to join his group and escape the evil in the world. They were happy to be chosen, happy to move away from New York and start over in such an idyllic gated community. Now seventeen, Lyla knows that Pioneer is more than just their charismatic leader, he is their prophet . . . but his visions have grown dark.

Lyla is a loyal member of the Community, but a chance encounter with an outsider boy has her questioning Pioneer, the Community—everything. And if there’s one thing not allowed in the Community, it’s doubt. Her family and friends are certain in their belief. Lyla wishes she could feel the same. As Pioneer begins to manipulate his flock toward disaster, the question remains: Will Lyla follow them over the edge?

From the outside looking in, it’s hard to understand why anyone would join a cult. But Gated tells the story of the Community from the inside looking out, and from behind the gates things are not quite so simple. Amy Christine Parker’s beautiful writing creates a chilling, utterly unique YA story. Perfect for fans of creepy thrillers and contemporary fiction alike.

If you've followed my reviews for any length of time, you'll know I have a strange obsession with books based on cults. There's something about the thorough brainwashing these people experience that fascinates me. Amy Christine Parker weaves a chilling story. A story about what happens to the children who are raised in this community, and what it looks like from the outside. I'm not going to lie, I absolutely couldn't get enough.

The reason behind Lyla's move to the cult was what first blew me away about Gated. Despite all the other books I've read on this subject, I've never actually seen how the parents were swayed to join. In this case, we see that Pioneer is cold and calculated in his timing. He sees Lyla's mother at an emotionally crippling moment, and takes advantage of it. It intrigued me, the way that Pioneer makes it seem that he is"saving" the people he converts. With such slick and charismatic ways, it was no surprise to me that people chose to follow him.

It's true that the beginning of this book moves a little slowly. However it does so in order to explore the inner workings of the whole community. Lyla's world seems quiet and simple at first. If it wasn't for the constant reminder that the end of the world is coming, it's easy to assume they are just a group of people who want to live off the grid. I was so immersed in the way that this community functioned as a whole, and I can honestly say I was never bored. If you feel the pace is slow at the beginning, please keep reading! The second half picks up considerably. By the time I reached the end, I could have read another entire book.

I could gush on about the romance aspect, and about the way that friendships are portrayed, but I'll end here. If you have an interest in cult mentality, this will be a book you'll enjoy. Go into Gated with an open mind, and keep reading on! This ended up being one of my favorites, and I'm honestly hoping for more.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday Post / Stacking the Shelves (9)

Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves are hosted by Kimba's Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Tynga's Reviews respectively. Click the buttons above to join in the fun!


I've finally come to terms with the fact that I am in a review slump. I've been reading like crazy, but I just haven't had the energy to sit down actually write up reviews. Here's hoping this short, holiday week will lift my spirits! I'm all kinds of burnt out. -.-

Great  book! Totally worth the read if you're a fan of thrillers/mysteries. 

An interesting mix of contemporary fiction and time travel. 

This week I was the featured blogger on F&F and it was awesome :). *waves at new friends*

In which I nerd out about two awesome things I found, wandering around comic con :). Herobear!

Monday 11/25 - Book Review: Gated by Amy Christine Parker

Tuesday 11/26 - Book Review: The Troop by Nick Cutter

Wednesday 11/27 - Books to Watch: Books I'm THANKFUL for!

Thursday 11/28 - Author Interview: Nicola Marsh, author of Scion of the Sun

Friday 11/29 - Book Review: Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

Saturday 11/30 - And....Discuss! Reading Slumps

Physical Copies:

For Review:
Bloodstone (Rebel Angels #2) by Gillian Philip
Fiddlehead (Clockwork Century #5) by Cherie Priest

From the library:
Engines of the Broken World by Jason Vanhee
If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
Legend by Marie Lu

Digital Copies:

Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion #1) by Aimee Carter
Fates (Fates #1) by Lanie Bross
Far From You by Tess Sharpe
The Sowing (The Torch Keeper #2) by Steven Dos Santos
Northwood by Brian Falkner

Thank you to all the wonderful publishing companies who provided these! I've had Pawn and Fates on my wishlist forever. Plus The Sowing is the second in a series that I loved the beginning of. If Northwood is as good as I hope it is, this is going to be one heck of a reading week :).

Thanks for visiting !
I'd love to come visit you, so please make sure to leave a comment.
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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Long Beach Comic Con 2013!

Today I spent most of my day wandering around my hometown's version of Comic Con! I'm a huge fan of comics, graphic novels, and all things horror related. What's not to love? Seriously!

I wandered the floor in a daze. Half caught between staring at things I wanted to buy, and things that were just were created with such insane talent that I couldn't look away. You know that feeling when you wish you had enough money to buy everything you look at? Yeah, that was me.

Anyway I wanted to two of the cool, bookish things I found today!


Today I met Mike Kunkel, author/illustrator of Herobear and the Kid. You can find this cover, and sample pages at his website here. I'll even throw in a Goodreads link for you, so you don't forget.

Let me tell you guys, I'm in love. Seriously and utterly in love with this sweet bear and his kid, Tyler! There's so much heart to this story, so much childhood imagination and goodness. *swoon* I devoured the first book on the bus on the way home, and am so happy I bought the other four. I can't wait to dive further in! 

If you've got even the least bit of heart inside you, it will melt when you meet Tyler and Herobear. Now I just need to get the adorable little plush bear that goes along with these!


I also had the pleasure of meeting Joshua Silverman, author of The Emerald Tablet. This is book one in the Legends of Amun Ra series and I was hooked by the premise! Egyptian lore, adventure and betrayal. What more can a girl ask for? Anyone who has followed me for any length of time knows I'm a sucker for Science Fiction and Fantasy. I'm eager to start this!

You can add this book to your reading list on Goodreads, or check out his website if you so wish. 


I'm hoping I might have helped you find something new to love! I keep going to Comic Cons ever year, and every year I come home with new stuff to be obsessed with. It's worth it :).

Thanks for listening, and happy reading week!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Feature & Follow Friday #176 - I'm a featured blogger!

I am featured this week on Alison Can Read ! I'm really excited! If, you know, you couldn't tell by the use of so many exclamation points. If you'd like to follow me you can choose any of the options over in the left hand side bar, or just click the lovely BlogLovin' button below! Thanks!

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1. When did you start blogging?

Wow, almost four years ago! In April 2010 I stumbled my way into the book blogging world and haven't looked back since. I was fascinated by the fact that there were other people out there who loved books as much as I did! It was like a dream come true!

2. What is your favorite part of book blogging?

I'd have to say it's a tie between being able to share my opinions with other like-minded individuals, and the community that I found since I started up. I know people come and go, but there are always bloggers to talk to. Always other bibliophiles to gush over new titles with and drool over new covers. It's nice to have a set of people who don't run screaming when you babble on and on about your favorite series. I also completely love helping people find favorite new reads or, better still, helping them rediscover why reading is such an awesome pastime. It makes me feel good to share what I love! 

3. What type of books do you mainly blog about?

In truth, I dabble in reading a little bit of everything. I think Young Adult books dominate my blog a lot of the time, simply because they end up being blog tours. However if you take a look at my reading list, you'll see everything from picture books to Historical Fiction. I read whatever strikes my fancy, and blog the same way. Can I just say I mainly blog about good books? ;)

4. What are your favorite books?

Once again, it's a tie! There are two books that I've dog-eared, smashed, torn, and then had to buy another copy multiple times since I was young. The first is The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. I still remember the first time I cracked open a copy and was lost inside. I loved the puns, and the playful writing. To quote my favorite part, “So many things are possible just as long as you don't know they're impossible.” That's just what a young reader needs to hear. The second is more recent, and that's The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I don't know what it is about Gaiman's writing, but I'm drawn to it. Nobody Owens became my favorite character from the moment I met him, and I've happily passed copies of this book on to as many people as I can since then.

5. What has been the best thing that has happened to you because of book blogging?

Honestly? The friends I've made. People who, despite never having met them in person, I've had phone conversations with, laughed with, and totally connected to. It's always funny to me how the people I've met through blogging are such an important part of my life, even though we've never been in the same room together. Social media has really changed the way people interact. I totally love it!


This week's question:

You Are It! We are playing #FF tag this week. Comment on as many blogs as you can, even if they aren't participating in #FF. Just say Happy #FF! At the end of your comment. Keep a running total if you want and update your post with it. The bigger the number the more impressed we will be!

How exciting! I love nothing more than finding new blogs to follow, and new people to chat with! I'll be updating the number below as I skip around and do some visiting. Let's see how many I can get to, shall we? I'm going to set a goal of at least 20, because I'm bad ass like that ;).

Current count:
5! - And counting...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Book Review: Correlation

Media Type: Ebook
Title: Correlation
Author: Mia Grace
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing
Pages: Ebook; N/A
Release Date: November 2013
Source: Publisher
Content Screening: Nothing of note

HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy a mix of a contemporary read and time travel.

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
When the past and the present collide…

Hailey Kent knows how she wants to spend the summer before her junior year in high school: hanging out at the pool with Jenna, her BFF; riding her new trail bike on Vermont’s country roads; and flirting with Jenna’s hot older brother, Cody.

Hailey’s plans are shattered when a post-graduation accident puts her brother into a coma. Feeling guilty for not stopping him from going out that night, she seeks solace in exploring an old house and its overgrown gardens.

A mysterious correlation of events propels her back in time to the Vietnam War era, where she realizes she can use her knowledge of one boy’s fate to save his life.

But first, Hailey needs to convince him of her sanity.

Where to begin with this book? It's true that Mia Grace has found a combination that I've never seen before. The first half of Correlation reads like contemporary fiction, while the second half brings in the time travel aspect. I have to admit that it was the first half that was slow going for me. While I understood that it was setting up what was to come, there really wasn't much going on. I was treated to a look at Hailey's family, her friends, and the way her link to the woman who would soon become so important to the story. I pushed forward, hoping for the action.

There's time travel here, but it skips straight over the why and goes directly into the when. I'm used to most books that have a time travel being a little heavier in the science fiction department. There's generally an explanation, some reason  as to why the travel is a possibility. In Hailey's case, you just have to take it at face value. It happens, and then the story takes off at a crazy pace. I didn't mind so much once I caught up. The twist added a nice element to the story. However I definitely would have appreciated a tiny bit of an explanation.

On a happy note, I loved Hailey and her family. To me, she felt like a "real" teen. Someone who has the problems and mentality that you'd associate with her age, but the strength that you know would be there too. Her love for her brother was real, and I appreciated that. I do wish I would have had a little more time to get used to her life before the time travel twist was thrown in though. No spoilers here, but once it happens things change drastically.

The ending left me wondering if there might be more books coming. Hailey's story has closure, but it is definitely left at a point where more might be possible. In all honesty, I'd welcome it! I'd love to see where she ends up and, most of all, what happens to the other characters in the story. In truth, I think to enjoy Correlation you really just need to take it at face value. It reads much more like contemporary fiction than anything else, but the time travel twist does add something interesting to the mix.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Book Review: Six Months Later

Media Type: Ebook (ARC)
Title: Six Months Later
Author: Natalie D. Richards
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: Paperback; 326
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Contemporary / Thriller

HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy quick moving  plots with just enough twists to keep you guessing!

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / BookLikes
Chloe didn't think about it much when she nodded off in study hall on that sleepy summer day. But when she wakes up, snow is on the ground and she can't remember the last six months of her life. Before, she'd been a mediocre student. Now, she's on track for valedictorian and being recruited by Ivy League schools. Before, she never had a chance with super jock Blake. Now he's her boyfriend. Before, she and Maggie were inseparable. Now her best friend won't speak to her.

What happened to her?

And why can't she remember?

Well, I'm impressed! Six Months Later was quite the book, and it made short work of drawing me in from the very beginning. Is there anything more terrifying than waking up with no memory of the past six months? For Chloe that's a reality. From the moment she awakens, you're right there with her. Terror and all. It was an intense start to a book that wouldn't let me go until I finished. As I said, I'm totally impressed.

What struck me most, besides the amazing opening of course, was how well built this whole book really is. Chloe's life slowly comes to light as the book progresses. You find out the type of person she once was, compared starkly against the person she became when she could no longer control herself. Despite the fact that Chloe was a wreck the majority of the novel (and who can blame her really) she's easy to fall into step with. I had no problem learning about the time she had lost, right along with her.

Even the supporting characters are enjoyable. Adam stole my heart, with his outwardly tough demeanor and sweet heart. He isn't your typical "bad boy" character, and I liked that. He was a perfect fit. Then there was Maggie, who quite honestly is the epitome of the friend we all want. I can't say too much more without spoiling anything, but I can promise you that she plays just as important of a role as the other characters. In fact, that's what I liked most. Each character is just as important to the plot as the next.

I have to admit that I did figure out the plot twist, probably before I was supposed to. However I can happily admit that it didn't take away from my enjoyment of this book at all! It's a solidly built thriller. Even when things slowed down a bit, there were still little clues being thrown out. Pair that with gorgeously built characters, and you have an excellent read. If you're a fan of thrillers, this is a book to check out. I wasn't sure about Six Months Later at first, but it totally hooked me. I know that it will do the same for you!

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Monday, November 18, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (11/18/13)

Click above to join in the fun!

A new week means new reads! I'm super excited that it's almost Thanksgiving, and even more excited that it's almost Christmas! This time of year never fails to make me dance around like a little kid. There's something about the decorations, the scents, and the food that I just can't get enough of. Ah, the holidays. How I love thee. Almost as much as I love reading! Let's see what I've been up to.

Last week was a slower week, but I did get through three books! I finally finished Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris after over a month. It just didn't click with me enough to make me want to read straight through. I listened to The Arrivals by Melissa Marr which, despite having a slow start, I really enjoyed! Finally, to help me out of a reading slump, I picked up Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott from the library. I love her writing, and once again I was blown away :). Totally worth it!

I'm currently reading The Troop by Nick Cutter and it's totally creepy. It's been so hard for me to pull myself away when I have to do other things. His story reminds me so much of Stephen King's writing and I can't get enough! At work, I'm listening to Wither by Lauren Destefano. I've already read it, but it was a while ago and I wanted to see what the audio book was like. So far, so good!

Next up I'm tackling Correlation by Mia Grace and Perfect Ruin by Lauren Destefano! I've slowed down on accepting review books so I can catch up on things I've wanted to read and set to the side. So even though Correlation is for a blog tour, Perfect Ruin is a just because! I can't wait to see how it is.
That's it for me! What are YOU reading this week? Don't forget to leave a link so I can go and visit you too!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Book Review: Renegade Magic

Media Type: Print Book
Title: Renegade Magic
   * Series: Kat, Incorrigible #2
Author: Stephanie Burgis
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Pages: Hardcover; 336
Release Date: April 3, 2012
Source: Library
Content Screening: Nothing of note

HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who love quirky, intelligent characters in a Middle Grade setting!

Add it on: Goodreads / Amazon / B&N
The feisty Kat Stephenson is back in the second installment of the Regency era magical trilogy Kirkus Reviews calls “enjoyable mayhem.”

Nowhere in England is safe from the mischief and magic of Kat Stephenson: Her eldest sister has finally wed, but when a scandalous accusation threatens the marriage prospects of Kat’s second sister, Angeline, Stepmama swiftly whisks the family away to Bath in an attempt to outrun the gossip and betroth Angeline to a respectable suitor.

Meanwhile, Kat’s utter lack of ladylike propriety has prompted the powerful Lord Ravenscroft to expel her from the magical Order of Guardians — before her training has even begun! Anger and exile aside, Kat knows something is not quite right about Lord Ravenscroft.

Her insatiable curiosity and fierce loyalty to her family will have readers rooting for her all the way as Kat attempts to reunite Angeline with her true love and prove that she has what it truly takes to be a Guardian.

Oh, Kat Stephenson! To say this girl is incorrigible is spot on and, quite honestly, the reason I fell in love with her character the first time around. She's back in a big way in Renegade Magic. Kat's sister is finally marrying the man she loves and Kat herself finally has a slight hold over her powers. What could possibly go wrong?

Once again I was drawn in by the setting Stephanie Burgis places young Kat in. She is a young girl surrounded by lectures on propriety and manners. Constantly told to squash her willful ways. For any other character it might be too much, but for Kat it's just the way things are. Her intelligence and her stubborn nature shine in front of this backdrop. It's so easy to fall in love with the way she is simply herself in a sea full of people trying to be someone else.

All of my favorite characters were back, and this time around I had a better glimpse into Lady Graves and Lord Ravenscroft. I thought Burgis did a wonderful job of weaving together the story of a wedding gone awry, and the sinister things these two characters were up to. Better still, the main setting for this book is in Bath. It sets up a perfect place for magic to mix with history, all culminating in an adventure that Kat and her family will never forget. This book moves quickly, and I couldn't get enough of it.

I don't think I'll ever tire of Ms. Kat Stephenson. There's something to be said about the fierce loyalty and love that she has for her family, even when they drive her crazy. Even if you don't generally read Middle Grade books, I can guarantee you'll fall in love with this series. Stephanie Burgis has expertly crafted a way to mesh magic and mayhem into something you won't be able to put down. Get started! Kat and her family are waiting.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Lights of Aurora by Theresa McClinton

It's almost Friday my bookish friends! Hang in there, it's coming :). In the meantime, I'd love for you to check out Theresa McClinton's new book, Lights of Aurora. Have you started the Stone Legacy series yet? Rejoice, here's book two!

After the discovery of her ancient Maya bloodlines, eighteen-year-old Ashley Coreandero is faced with a daunting responsibility. She must protect the stone of Muuk’Ich while Sarian, the underworld general, relentlessly drives her to the brink of insanity.

As the winter solstice approaches, it brings an onslaught of unexpected side effects. Ashley must seize control over her supercharged powers, while dealing with the overwhelming suspicion that her boyfriend, Arwan, is hiding a secret so dark it could destroy them both.

With the arrival of a surprise houseguest, Ashley’s deepest fears about Arwan are confirmed. And when middleworld deities intercede, the group of gifted Maya descendants are confronted with hardships they never saw coming—including an enemy more deadly than they have ever faced.

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned—but when that woman has no soul and a taste for revenge, they will need the powers of every surviving ancestor simply to stay alive.

Haven't read book one yet? Fear not! If you scroll on down to the bottom of this post, you'll be able to enter a giveaway of either The Stone Guardian or Lights of Aurora. So you'll be able to catch up no problem! Before you do that though, read on through this excerpt. I'm certain it will just make you fall in love even more. Enjoy!

Purchase: Amazon


     Ashley readied herself on the mat in the dojo, dressed in her mom’s old training gear. She crouched while Peter circled around her.

     Renato, Hawa, Tara, and her mother stood on the sidelines watching and coaching her through the movements while Jayden and Tara sat on the sidelines. She had never practiced hand-to-hand combat before, but Renato insisted she should learn how to defend herself in case she ran into another situation where her abilities didn’t work.

      “Be sure to stay balanced and light on your feet,” Renato instructed. Ashley leaned forward on the balls of her feet as she pivoted to keep Peter in sight.

      Peter charged toward her with an aluminum training knife clenched in his hand. Her stomach jumped and she threw up an electric shield. Peter smacked into it and flew across the mat.

      Tara stood from her chair and gasped when Peter skidded to a stop. He peered up at Ashley. “No powers, Ashley.” He groaned as he stood. “That’s the whole point of this.”

      She lowered her hands, and her shield instantly dropped. “I am so sorry.” She extended her hands toward him. “I got scared, and it just happened.”

      Peter tilted his head side to side, stretching his muscles, and then snatched the training weapon off the floor. He gripped it in front of him. “Okay. We’ll go again.”

      Ashley nodded and crouched into a fighting stance, distributing the majority of her weight on the balls of her feet to move more quickly. “Okay. Ready.”

      Peter charged again.

      Ashley leapt to the side and glanced at Renato for instruction. “What now? What if I can’t move out of the way?”

     “Then the next course of action should be to subdue your opponent using non-lethal force. We do not kill unless it is our last option.”

     Before Ashley could respond, Peter charged at her again, this time wielding the knife in his opposite hand.

     Her stomach clenched and she threw a kick that landed right between his legs.

     Peter doubled over on the mat.

     Josephine laughed. “Well, he’s down.”

      Peter rolled on the floor, cupping his groin with his hands. Ashley crouched beside him, hovering her hands over his body. “Oh my God, Peter. I’m so sorry.”

     Tara rushed over and knelt beside him. She shot Ashley a glare. “Are you trying to kill him?”

     Ashley stood and backed away. She looked at Renato. “I suck at this. Can we stop?”

     “Absolutely not.” He stepped forward. “But perhaps it is time for Peter to take a break.”

     Tara gripped his arm and helped him get to his feet, guiding him to the closest chair.

     Ashley hung her head. “I can’t believe I did that.”

     “All right,” Hawa said as she stripped off her jacket and dropped it to the floor, grinning while she approached Ashley on the mat. “My turn.”

      “Are you sure you want to do this?” Ashley asked. “I think I hurt Peter pretty bad.” She bit her lip as Tara activated an ice pack.

      Hawa glanced over her shoulder and smirked. “Priceless.”

      Ashley sighed. “All right.” She turned her attention back to training. “What next?”

     “Transporting isn't just about moving fast,” Hawa said. “It’s about seeing everything around you in as much detail as possible while moving too fast to be attacked. You will pick out details others can’t, and then use your knowledge against your opponent.”

      “I didn't see details when I was running through Moscow.”

     “No offense, but that’s because you suck at transporting.” Hawa stretched her legs as she elaborated. “You were moving fast, but not fast enough. Once you hit that sweet spot, you’ll see a whole new side of your ability.” She gestured to Ashley with a wave of her hand. “Come on. Charge me as fast as you can. No holding back.”

      Ashley glanced at her mom, who stood beside Renato.

     “Okay.” She turned back to Hawa and crouched like a sprinter on her mark. “Ready?”

     Hawa stood casually with her arms crossed. “Just go.”

      Ashley burst toward Hawa with all of her strength. It seemed like a split second before she had to screech to a stop so she didn’t crash face first into the mirror lining the back wall. Ashley spun to see Hawa behind her on the other end of the mat.

      “You didn’t even see me move, did you?” Hawa asked.

      Ashley shook her head.

      Hawa glanced around the room. “There’s not enough space in here. We need to move outside for this part.”

      “But it’s raining,” Renato said. “Are you sure it is a good idea?”

      Hawa shrugged. “A little rain never hurt anyone. Besides, it’ll give her some practice in less than ideal conditions. It won’t always be sunny and dry when she needs to transport.”

“I think we’re gonna stay behind,” Tara said, still nursing Peter.

      Peter nodded, his cheeks flushed and the ice pack resting between his legs. He gave her a thumbs up. “I’m good,” he grunted.

      Ashley sighed, then turned toward Renato. “I feel so bad.”

      Her uncle suppressed a smirk. “He’s a healer. He will be back to new by tomorrow morning.”

      She was thankful for that, but it didn’t make her feel any better.


A long time enthusiast of things that go bump in the night, Theresa began her writing career as a journalism intern—possibly the least creative writing field out there. After her first semester at a local newspaper, she washed her hands of press releases and features articles to delve into the whimsical world of young adult paranormal romance.

Since then, Theresa has gotten married, had three terrific kids, moved to central Ohio, and was repeatedly guilt tripped into adopting a menagerie of animals that are now members of the family. But don’t be fooled by her domesticated appearance. Her greatest love is travel. Having stepped foot on the soil of over a dozen countries, traveled to sixteen U.S. states—including an extended seven-year stay in Kodiak, Alaska—she is anything but settled down. But wherever life brings her, she will continue to weave tales of adventure and love with the hope her stories will bring joy and inspiration to her readers


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