3

The Forgetting: I could have SWORN We were on Earth

bookreview

The Forgetting (The Forgetting, #1)The Forgetting
(The Forgetting #1)
by Sharon Cameron
Scholastic Press
403 Pages
YA / Dystopian / Sci Fi
Get a copy here!

BLURB:

What isn’t written, isn’t remembered. Even your crimes.

Nadia lives in the city of Canaan, where life is safe and structured, hemmed in by white stone walls and no memory of what came before. But every twelve years the city descends into the bloody chaos of the Forgetting, a day of no remorse, when each person’s memories – of parents, children, love, life, and self – are lost. Unless they have been written.

In Canaan, your book is your truth and your identity, and Nadia knows exactly who hasn’t written the truth. Because Nadia is the only person in Canaan who has never forgotten.

But when Nadia begins to use her memories to solve the mysteries of Canaan, she discovers truths about herself and Gray, the handsome glassblower, that will change her world forever. As the anarchy of the Forgetting approaches, Nadia and Gray must stop an unseen enemy that threatens both their city and their own existence – before the people can forget the truth. And before Gray can forget her.

addtogoodreads

4.25Penguins
Quick Reasons: wait, this wasn’t set on Earth?! what even?!?!; awesome, well-written characters; interesting, entertaining plot premise; I don’t even know how to handle this book right now; so many unanswered questions, no pages left in this book!

When I first added this book to my TBR, I’m almost certain I’d taken the time to read the book blurb. I remember being super excited about the premise…but time has a way of settling in and making us forget, doesn’t it? When I actually sat down to read this novel, all I remembered of the blurb was that some sort of mass memory loss occurred. So basically, I knew absolutely nothing about what I was getting myself into. Good times, Penguins–as I’m sure you all already know, I am all about going into books blind!

TF Quote1

So if I told you that I knew, when I began this journey, that this book wasn’t set on Earth after some form of apocalypse… I’d have to call myself a humongous liar. Honestly, I was POSITIVE we were on Earth…right up until Nadia and Gray break into the cave and discover the truth. And I might be wrong, but I felt that perhaps this minute detail was left unknown for a purpose. I feel as if it might have been meant to act as a “shocking” revelation–and it worked, for me at least. So kudos to Sharon Cameron if that was done on purpose!

These characters are complex and well-written, though I felt we got a bit short-changed on certain plot points (for instance, Nadia’s dad–what’s the deal with that situation?! what exactly did he change about her/her family’s books?! WHY did he change them?!) Of course, this is probably partially due to who the POV belongs to–Nadia, for obvious reasons, wouldn’t necessarily have ALL the big answers. Still, certain things are left decidedly more vague than I’d like–though perhaps book 2 is meant to shed light on all the dark corners. I certainly hope that’s the case, at least!

TF Quote2.png

This was, overall, a thought-provoking and entertaining read, though a bit vague and gray on certain plot points. I’d recommend this to lovers of science fiction, dystopians set on planets NOT Earth, and spunky characters seeking hidden truths. I cannot WAIT to see where book 2 takes us! Tell me, Penguins; will you Forget, or remember?

Advertisements
4

Gemina: BOOK, HOW DARE YOU End Like That?!

bookreview

Gemina (The Illuminae Files, #2)Gemina
(The Illuminae Files #2)
by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
672 Pages
Science Fiction / Young Adult
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 18th, 2016
Get a copy here!

BLURB: 

The highly anticipated sequel to the instant New York Timesbestseller that critics are calling “out-of-this-world awesome.” 

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminaecontinues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

addtogoodreads

See my review for ILLUMINAE (The Illuminae Files #1) by clicking the cover below:

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)

5Penguins
Quick Reasons: I SWEAR, these books will be the death of me!; super entertaining, snarky, and heart-wrenching; complex, frustrating, endearing characters; the roMESS in this read is SO WORTH IT; OH MY PENGUINS ALL THE PLOT TWISTS OF EVER; someone please tell me you’re buying me book 3 for my birthday?!

AHHHHH. AHHHHHHHHH. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I feel like if I let myself, I could spend this entire review just screaming and none of you would even come close to understanding the amount of feeeeeeelings I’m feeling right now because words just…. they fail me. They fail me so hard core right now I can’t even. I am so…just… GAH, THIS BOOK SERIES! I swear, it’s going to be the death of me–all the plot twists and turny-loops and “you thought you knew what was coming?! you thought WRONG!” ness. Seriously, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff know how to weave a topsy-turvy, confusing, twisty tale…and keep readers enthralled throughout. This installment was absolutely no exception!

19692292_10101068222311173_641352525_n
19749687_10101068381377403_500233038_o

These characters are super entertaining and endearing. While I found myself (inexplicably? or perhaps not, given how much I ADORED him in Illuminae) missing AIDAN through a large portion of this read. Of course, once he made his appearance (and stuck around!) I was a very happy penguin and could focus more completely on the rest of the crew, who were just as vibrantly written and stubbornly AWESOME as I’d been expecting. I don’t quite know how Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff managed it, but they wrote a sequel that both stands apart from it’s predecessor and yet somehow fills in at least a few of the questionable gaps. I just… I am in absolute awe.

19692488_10101068338687953_853206469_n

The plot is fast-paced and so twisty, you’ll find your heart has broken and been mended at least half a dozen times within the span of just a few pages. No, really Penguins–this is not an over-exaggeration at all! I was on the tippity tops of my toes throughout this entire read, begging to know what was happening while at the same time trying desperately to close my eyes to the events because SO MUCH HEARTACHE! I screamed at my book–numerous times. I pleaded, and threw tantraums (over facebook chat, at least), and laughed and rallied and then fell apart all over again. Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman are BRILLIANT at writing intensely entertaining, dramatically realistic, gut-wrenching shotgun reads, and OH MY PENGUINS, I cannot wait to lay my hands on Obsidio next year. I need it.

19622464_10101067633675803_774709960_n
19692602_10101068273204183_1990626261_n

I just… If you haven’t heard me wax poetic about the beauty that is Illuminae, hear me now. Pick up this series! The characters are entertaining and lovable, the plot is action-packed and so full of surprises, and you will–guaranteed!–find yourself flinging the book in anger at least once, but probably more like a thousand times, before the end. I definitely recommend this series to lovers of science fiction, uniquely formatted reads, and super epic world-saving journeys. The wormhole is open, Penguins; the fate of reality rests on your readerly shoulders now!

 

0

Book Blitz, Excerpt, Teasers, Playlist, and Giveaway: Reckoning

 

Reckoning
(The Variant Series, #4)

Jena Leigh
Publication date: June 20th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Alexandra Parker came home from the past only to find herself in the middle of an underground war—one that could affect the fate of Variants everywhere.

Fighting an all-powerful government agency is tough enough, but when a secret from John Grayson’s past comes back to haunt them all, the group’s united front begins to crumble. And when Alex’s own painful memories threaten to push her past her breaking point, the uprising stands to lose its most powerful weapon.

With their lives and their freedom on the line, can Declan, Nate, and the rest of the Grayson family hold it together long enough to bring down Director Carter and derail Brian’s apocalyptic visions?

As Alex struggles to master her most volatile ability yet, only one thing is certain: the uprising’s cold war with the Agency is about to turn red hot.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

“Would you like to continue?” Brandt asked, his tone mocking. “Or do you need a break?”

Alex wiped distractedly at her brow, straightened her posture, and gave a nod. “I’m ready. Let’s keep going.”

Brandt smiled. “As you wish, little girl.”

He split the fiery orb he held in two before allowing each of them to double in size—and then he lobbed one of them directly at her head.

Standing as they were, only a few yards apart, she barely had time to dive out of the way. The fireball hit the ground just behind her, singeing the earth to a blackened char before fizzling out.

Alex got back to her feet. Again, Brandt split the orb he held in two before sending one spiraling toward her face.

This time she was ready and managed to catch the blazing orb just a few fleeting inches from the tip of her nose. She shrank the ball little by little until she was able to force it to blink out entirely.

Distracted as she was by her efforts, she almost failed to notice the next orb hurtling her way. It took everything she had to react in time to catch that one, too, and dissolve it. This time, she glanced up to discover two fiery masses spiraling in her direction.

Again, Alex was forced to redouble her efforts in order to catch both simultaneously and dissipate them.

And then there were three.

Four.

Five.

Soon Alex’s world consisted only of the flames hurtling toward her and the effort it required to force each orb out of existence.

Within another two minutes, the number of orbs being launched simultaneously in her direction had hit double digits.

Drowning beneath the constant onslaught, Alex grew desperate.

“Brandt, stop!” she gasped out. “Please!

Instead of slowing, the speed and strength of his volleys intensified.

Stop?” he repeated, incredulous. “I thought you were here this morning to learn. To train. Are you really going to give up so easily, little girl?”

Exhaustion turned swiftly to rage. Alex growled as she countered orb after orb, dissolving each one with barely an instant remaining to prepare for the next explosive torrent.

“Stop calling me little girl,” she spat through clenched teeth, struggling to hold back the barrage.

“Then stop acting like one,” he replied. “If you just wait around for people to start taking you seriously, you’re never gonna get anywhere. You want to go toe-to-toe with the boys? You want to stand on an equal playing field? Newsflash, little girl. Such a field doesn’t exist. Not for you.”

She could feel the anger burning through her, hotter even than the fire she wielded.

“Don’t ask to be their equal,” Brandt said. “Demand it. Then ready yourself so that, when the time comes, you leave them all behind. Make certain that there will be no doubt that you’re so much more than they ever dreamed.”

Alex could feel her strength—and her ability to focus—waning. She had seconds at most before her concentration gave out and the hailstorm of orbs made contact.

Summoning the last of her willpower, Alex took hold of every lick of fire in the open field, including the ones Brandt still held. Ripping them away from his control, she stretched out her arms, drew the nearly two dozen orbs toward her, and formed a

veritable wall with them… and then she catapulted them all back toward her opponent.

Eyes widening in surprise behind his wire-rimmed glasses, Brandt stumbled backward, unable to stop the attack that was now heading straight for him.

Reck Teaser 1

Author Bio:

Jena Leigh is the author of the Variant Series novels REVIVAL, RESISTANCE, REDUX, and RECKONING. She’s currently hard at work on the fifth novel in the series. Born and raised in the lightning capital of North America, she eventually made her home in the Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina. A shameless geek, she loves coffee, loud music, bad sci-fi movies, Skittles, and shenanigan-filled road trips to faraway concerts.

To find out more about The Variant Series and author Jena Leigh, visit her online at http://www.jenaleighbooks.com or @jenaleighbooks.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

Reckoning Playlist Screenshot

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

0

The Enemy Within: Somehow, this wasn’t Alien ENOUGH?!

bookreview

 

THE ENEMY WITHINThe Enemy Within
by Scott Burn
161 Pages
Science Fiction / Young Adult
Publication Date:  July 24th, 2016
Get a copy here!

BLURB:

Seventeen-year-old Max has always felt like an outsider. When the agonizing apocalyptic visions begin, he decides suicide is his only escape. He soon finds himself in an institution under the guidance of a therapist who sees something exceptional in him. Just as he begins to leave the hallucinations behind, Max discovers the visions weren’t just in his head.

There are three others who have shared those same thoughts and they’ve been searching for Max. Like him, they are something more than human. Each of them possesses certain abilities, which they’re going to need when a covert military group begins hunting them down.

As the danger escalates, Max doesn’t know which side to trust. But in the end, his choice will decide the fate of both species.

addtogoodreads

3.5Penguins
Quick Reasons: slightly confusing premise; I felt some important information was just sort of tossed at us at weird times; interesting, complex characters; the ending felt a bit forced/cliche; I wish this had felt more “alien” than it did

Huge thanks to Scott Burns for sending me a free digital galley of this title in exchange for a (voluntary!) honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

 

EW Quote1

This book was SUPER interesting, Penguins! I was sucked into the story almost immediately, and taken on such a wild journey I don’t quite know where to begin. The characters are well-rounded; their personalities practically leap off the pages and into reality. I felt as if I were, for brief moments, part of the gang–I felt their struggles, I empathized (maybe a little too much for a few). I also really enjoyed that we’re given brief glimpses into the most important players. Each voice is distinctly crafted and easy to tell apart, and each shift brought something new and unexpected.

 

I did, several times, find myself wishing this felt MORE alien. While it becomes apparent early on that the main group are not “human”….I found myself forgetting this fact several times. So far as I can tell, they look human and for the most part act human and have very limited “powers,” which made reading this–especially during those quiet moments of the story–feel a bit more normal and every day than I felt it should. In fact, there weren’t many moments that the main group felt actually alien; throughout this entire read, their reactions to and interactions with the world were weighted more toward “human” than “not,” which sort of disappointed me.

 

EW Quote2.jpg

I did, however, like the way the battle between the sides was written. While I really loathed many of the (actual) humans in the military group chasing these kids, I also found myself being suspicious of and eventually loathing a few of the other characters as well. This balancing act between “good” and “evil”–and the ways each side portrayed themselves as the victims–really validated this journey and helped make it more realistic for me. The fact that each side also has personalities with…questionable morals is the right term, I suppose…only helped to more fully immerse me in the read (and the characters’ mindsets).

 

This was a super intriguing and thought-provoking read, though I do wish it had felt just a bit more “alien” and a bit less “another day in the human world.” The characters are complex and interesting, and there were a couple “laugh out loud” snark moments that I really enjoyed. I’d recommend this to lovers of science fiction, “alien” versus “human,” and fast-paced reads. The Eye is watching, Penguins; which side are you on?

0

Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Review: Scandal

Scandal banner
This is my stop during the blog tour for Scandal by Athena Grayson. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 12 till 25 June. See the tour schedule here.

ScandalScandal (Scions of the Star Empire #1)
By Athena Grayson
Genre: Sci-fi dystopian with romantic elements
Age category: New Adult/ Adult
Release Date: 23 March 2017

Blurb:
They can have anything they want…except a future.

Nothing infuriates Princess Ione Ra more than having someone else take control of her reputation from her, and her old nemesis–gossip journalist Jaris Pulne–is poised to do just that with pilfered pics of her caught in a compromising position with her power-couple partner. As someone who’s no stranger to manipulating the markets on her own social life, Ione knows the wrong scandal means social suicide.

For the other half of the power couple, Den Hades, his survival has depended on staying in his powerful father’s shadow in order to protect his secrets. But on the very night of his one chance to earn a shot at becoming a Scion–and freedom from his father’s ambitions, scandal threatens to tear him from Ione, or worse–force them together before their time.

Damage control turns into danger when their attempts to retrieve the images lead them both into the dark underbelly of the glittering city-planet, exposing secrets of both friends and foes that could lead to more than just social suicide.

You can find Scandal on Goodreads

You can buy Scandal here:
Amazon
B&N
Kobo
iTunes
Google Play
Smashwords
Books2Read

You can also find all the buy links for this book here on the author’s website.

About the Author:
Athena Grayson likes kickass heroines, big-brained and sexy beta heroes who aren’t afraid of strong women or their own feelings, and stories that turn the genre tropes sideways. If you’re looking for something a little unexpected, a little more, and a lot of fun…this is your kinda place.

You can find and contact Athena here:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Amazon
Goodreads
Bookbub

Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Scandal. These are the prizes you can win:
– 2 paperback copies of Scandal by Athena Grayson (US Only)
– 2 $10 Amazon Gift Cards (International)

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


bookreview

 

3.75Penguins
Quick Reasons: I feel I was thrust into the middle of a story I never got; vibrantly detailed, gorgeous descriptors and characters; the complexities of the political intrigue were interesting and enthralling; these are murky, murky waters, penguins; a promising start to a new series!

Huge thanks to Athena Grayson and Lola’s Blog Tours for sending a free egalley of this title my way in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.

 

 

SC Quote1

Alright, Penguins–let’s talk about some things. This book and I? Didn’t QUITE agree about a few things–mostly in terms of story. See, I feel as if I was thrown into the middle of a story that I never really was given, if that makes sense? I was very, very confused–from basically the get go–about what was happening and the reasons why. While answers are found and given throughout, I felt as if there was a bit of disconnect between story line and world-building. In other words…I felt like I was expected to know more about this world/the characters going into this, book one, than I ended up ACTUALLY knowing. And this bothered me a bit, because I was bound and determined to adore this book, and instead found myself struggling to put the pieces together.

 

The descriptors and prose, though! There is so much to take in throughout the course of this read. Athena Grayson went to very long lengths to ensure readers were completely immersed, head to foot, in this journey. While I struggled to connect the dots of the story line, I was almost immediately entrenched in the gorgeous world being painted around me. Every page was filled with sights, sounds, smells–the five senses all came into play and helped to more fully encapsulate me in Athena Grayson’s imagination. This read THRUMMED with the senses, and made it so much easier for me to visualize and feel a part of each page, so kudos to Athena Grayson for such awesome world-building!

 

SC Quote2.png

So, while I was a bit confused throughout–and felt I was thrust into the middle of a story I had no beginning for–I REALLY adored the world-building and vivid descriptors. I was ensnared almost immediately, lusting for more of Athena Grayson’s gorgeously detailed word-paintings. I just wish the fit had been a BIT more snug in terms of story line. I would recommend this to lovers of sci fi/fantasy, uniquely vivid worlds, and curiously enthralling political intrigues. Put your seat belts on, Penguins; we’re about to go off-world!


banner Lola's Blog Tours

2

Book Blitz, Excerpt, and Giveaway: Shag Lake

 

Shag Lake
by Susan McEachern
Publication date: July 11th 2017
Genres: Action, Adventure, New Adult, Romance, Science Fiction

Geri McKenna hasn’t seen her brother’s best friend, Sean Eastman, since he graduated high school. Sean left their little town of Pembroke just hours after she nailed him with a kiss behind the shed, never to be seen or heard from again. No calls, no texts, no social media to stalk online.

Eight years after the awkward incident behind the shed, Geri and Sean meet again. She’s now an ambitious journalist working in a dead end job, and he’s a successful structural engineer working on a classified government project. For different reasons, they’re both interested in a woman who has gone missing midst allegations of a Sasquatch encounter in the vincinity of Shag Lake. Geri is determined to get the scoop on the hottest story to hit the Internet, while Sean is determined to stop her.

Dodging other-worldly creatures and a corrupt shadow government, Geri and Sean struggle to find neutral ground in this debut new adult adventure by author Susan McEachern (who also writes young adult as award-winning author S.M. McEachern).

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Check out the FREE short story, Shag Lake Prequel: The Kiss here!!

EXCERPT:

Where the hell is it? Why can’t I see it?

Keep moving. Don’t look for it. Just go. I’ve run enough marathons to know that distractions, like trying to keep my eye on my opponent, will only slow me down.

A guttural shriek slices through the quiet, and I almost lose it, I almost scream, because the shriek came from somewhere on my right. That means two things are chasing me. I save my scream for later because right now I’m locked in marathon mode, concentrating every ounce of my energy on running.

The trail is just up ahead, and I push harder, trying to remember when the officers said they would be back. An hour? Two? How long have I been out here? Jumping over deadwood and low-lying bushes, grateful for every second that something doesn’t grab me, I head toward the caution tape like it’s a home-free zone. Whatever is running on my right lets out another violent shriek, louder this time, and I’m not sure if that’s because it’s closer to me or just super pissed off.

Clack, clack, clack echoes through the air, the sound of rocks cascading down on other rocks. The noise is coming from up ahead, in the home-free zone of yellow caution tape, where the land ends in a twenty-foot drop-off into the lake.

A third thing is in front of me?

Illogically, I keep running in the direction of the caution tape, back to the crime scene, back to the path that will lead me to the truck, and praying those two RCMP officers are on their way up here now.

I’m almost there; I can see the trampled area of the crime scene and where it abruptly ends at the cliff’s edge. I push myself harder, my lungs burning with the effort. Then something suddenly flies up over the edge of the cliff, as if it had been catapulted.

I stop in my tracks so fast I almost break my ankle, and watch in horrified silence as it lands on two steady feet in a slightly crouched position, arms away from its sides and hands balled into fists in a threatening posture.

The scream I’ve been holding down finally erupts out of me. My eyes wildly dart in every direction, looking for an escape route. I can’t go forward, I can’t go to the right, I can’t go to the left, and for all I know, some thing is behind me too.

Get yourself together, Geri. If I can’t flee, then I have to fight.

Gritting my teeth, I raise the rifle into a ready position, swing it left, and damn near drop it when I almost hit a large mass. It’s just standing there, over eight feet tall, wearing a purple tunic with red writing on it. The thing has a symmetrical face covered in scales with a rigid spine running from its forehead to under its chin, with two large nostrils on either side. Deep yellow eyes with vertical slits for pupils ogle me in what I can only describe as cold interest.

“Geri?”

I barely hear my name being called over the roar of adrenaline pulsating through my ears, but it registers that whatever is crouched by the cliff knows my name. I risk a glance and see a man, naked from the waist up, all rock-hard muscle with sunlight glistening off his wet skin and hair, his chest heaving from exertion.

Am I hallucinating? “Sean?”

I swing my eyes back to the reptile man, but he’s gone. Just disappeared.

Or is he? I couldn’t see him before when he came right up to me and whispered in my ear.

“Are you okay?” Sean calls out to me. “Are you hurt?” Despite the odd mix of concern and wariness lacing his tone, I’m so relieved to hear his voice that I’m weak in the knees. I’m not hallucinating. He’s really here.

“No,” I reply in a breathy voice. “I have my gun on one of them—I think. I can’t see it anymore. And I don’t know what the other one behind me is doing.”

“Geri, lower the gun,” Sean says.

“Are you insane?” I scan the area, looking for any sign of it. “Can you see it? I don’t have eyes on it anymore.” Is it behind me now? I pivot, keeping the rifle aimed.

There’s a light wind blowing the tall straw grass, so it’s hard to tell if anything else is disrupting it.

Suddenly, I’m aware of a rank odor being carried on the breeze. I think maybe the smell has been there for a while but was drowned out by the rush of adrenaline.

“Absolutely nothing is going to hurt you.” The clear underlying threat in Sean’s tone does nothing to calm me. It only confirms that I’m in just as much danger as I thought I was.

Keeping my rifle aimed, I shuffle my feet to do a full sweep around me. Where the hell did it go?

“See? There’s nothing there,” Sean says. “Now lower the gun and walk to me.”

It finally registers that he’s not going to come to me. He’s been standing in the same aggressive stance, using the same threatening tone ever since he flew up over the side of the cliff. And he’s talking to me as if I’m a hostage who has a shot at getting free of her captor if I do everything right.

I don’t know what Sean is doing here at the very moment I need him, at the very place two young women were terrorized and one went missing, but right now I trust him way more than whatever is stalking me.

 

Author Bio:

Award winning author S.M. McEachern (also known as Susan) attended Dalhousie University in the 1990s where she earned an Honours Degree in Sustainable Development Studies, specializing in ocean resources. With a background in international development and resource management, as well as being the wife of a military officer, Susan has had first hand experience in international affairs and policies. She attributes Elizabeth Mann Borgese–daughter of Nobel prize winner, Thomas Mann–as one of the greatest influences on her view of world politics. Susan had the privilege to work and study under Mann Borgese, an author, teacher and political activist for world peace. The first book of a series, “Sunset Rising”, combines Susan’s knowledge of politics and resource management with her love for Young Adult literature and action and adventure. The second book of the series, “Worlds Collide”, was published March 2014. The third book, titled “New World Order” was released January 2015.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

0

Book Blitz, Excerpt, and Giveaway: Fate of the Stars

 

Fate of the Stars
by Arwen Paris
Publication date: September 1st 2017
Genres: Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

When the fate of the world rests upon you…

Allison Delaney wants to spend her senior year healing from the loss of her father, to leave the shadows of his death and her junior year break-down behind. A Labor Day beach party seems like a good place to start…but there’s more danger lurking than anyone could imagine. Death is coming to Earth if the pods of infectious creatures aren’t stopped. But only one human can help…

To live or die is no longer a choice.

Eenoki is a protector of life but must have a sentient host to fight the invasion. A teenage girl would not be the best choice, but out of desperation Eenoki invades Allison’s mind and body, granting her unnatural abilities and strengths – and helping her escape certain death when the first wave of pods land.

As destruction rains down on Earth’s population, Allison realizes to save everyone, she must make the ultimate choice: Reject her human side and bond with Eenoki to become the Earth’s Priestess – or be killed along with the rest of humanity.

Add to Goodreads / Pre-order

EXCERPT:

Why would they come out here?

I stagger back, shaking as I remember my narrow escape from town, and the aliens’ hissing reaction to sound. I hobble to the pilothouse. “Pete!” I shout, twisting the handle. It refuses to turn. “Shut off the engines.” I beat on the door.

“What the hell this yellin’ about?” he shouts, throwing the door open at me. The other passengers scream. Pete turns toward the shore. “Oh my God.” He runs inside. Revving the motor, he swings us back out into the bay. A loud screech jabs my eardrums as metal grinds on metal, and the engines come to an abrupt stop.

“No. No!” Pete shouts, turning the key. There’s no reaction at all.

Over the wind and waves, an odd clicking sound makes my flesh crawl. We all stand motionless trying to identify it. The clicks grow louder, overlapping until they become shrill. Something strikes the hull with a heavy thud, and everyone jumps. Then another pound on the boat, and another. I can’t decide whether to search for the source of the noise or hide below. But I have to know, so I follow the sound to the rear of the ship. Bobbing on the waves is a human, his face streaked with a black oily residue that’s oozing from his nose and mouth. It resembles the oily residue I saw on the back of Bob’s neck. His eyes are opaque and dead. Nausea rises in my gut.

They didn’t die. I’m not sure what they are now, but they’re no longer human.

I’ve put everyone here in danger with my selfish request to go to shore, attracting their attention. I grow limp and drop my head back, staring up at the sky.

So close, a thin voice says, seemingly right in my ear. It’s the voice that warned me to run. Clenching my jaw, I lash out through my mind at the voice. So close to what, dying?

Discordant memories churn in my head. I close my eyes to still the illusions. A glow illuminates the back of my eyelids and warmth spreads through me.

You must see, Allison. The only way left to explain in time.

 

Author Bio:

Arwen Paris is the author of young adult fiction. Her debut YA Sci-fi Urban Fantasy novel FATE OF THE STARS releases September 1, 2017. The actions packed pages of her novels are filled with characters that are forced to face fears they never expected. When she’s not writing, you can see posts of her (too many) vacations that keep her sane. Arwen lives in Washington, has a big crazy family & after the day job, she writes Fiction For the Fearless – #F3Fanatic

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

0

Book Blitz, Author Guest Post, and Giveaway: Darkest Days

 

Darkest Days
(The Last Orphans, #4)
by N W Harris
Publication date: May 22nd 2017
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Young Adult

The ancient slave mongers who killed the adults and enslaved the children have angered a more advanced species of aliens. Composed of pure energy, this superior race has attacked the Anunnaki home world and is now setting a course for Earth.

The energy-based aliens believe in a system of trial by battle. They seek to push Shane and his friends into the arena with the ones who killed their parents. The results will determine if humans deserve to live, or if they should be made extinct as well. It’s up to Shane to keep his friends—and an army of kids who look up to him—alive. They’ll be fighting not just for their own lives, but for the fate of the entire human race. Can the enemy of Shane’s enemy be his friend, or is this just another species determined to exploit and destroy them?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Smashwords

GUEST POST BY N.W. HARRIS:

What would I tell a new author?

What to tell a new author, hmmm… There is so much to tell, though every writer’s journey is different. First off, I’d tell them to write for themselves. If one writes just to get published and make money, I think they’ll go mad and/or quit before they ever get close. Why? It takes years to polish one’s craft enough to be published by a creditable

publisher. I think writing has to be looked at as a hobby that could become a career. A writer has to want to write because there is something that is inside them that needs to get out. Write for a creative outlet. Write like it doesn’t matter if anyone besides you ever reads it. Write almost everyday, but it is important to take days off too.

Much of the education for the profession comes from practical experience. Sure, a writer draws from their experiences and traditional education. My educational background is mostly based in science, biology and anthropology, and it provides a volume of information to draw upon. But, I had to learn the craft of writing by trial and error. Every writer has to find his or her voice. That can take years, and it can only be discovered by hard work.

I’d tell them to persist. It’s my favorite word. You have to write a novel. Destroy it. Rewrite it. Invest countless hours and sometimes even years. Then you have to be willing to let all that work go because it was just the classroom where you polished your craft. You have to swallow rejection after rejection and keep fighting. When you get criticism, you have to listen to it. I’m not saying a budding writer should try to oblige every critic, but growth is critical and growth comes from taking in criticism. Deal with any pain it might cause quickly, and then get into the game again by applying what you’ve learned.

 

Author Bio:

Born at the end of the Vietnam war and raised on a horse farm near small town north Georgia, his imagination evolved under the swaying pines surrounding his family’s log home. On summer days that were too hot, winter days that were too cold, and every night into the wee morning hours, he read books. He lives in sunny southern California with his beautiful wife and two perfect children.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

0

Book Blitz, Excerpt, Teasers, and Giveaway: Rook

 

Rook
(Bridge & Sword: Awakenings #1)

by J.C. Andrijeski
Publication date: April 22nd 2017
Genres: Adult, Post-Apocalyptic, Romance, Science Fiction

From USA TODAY bestselling author, a psychic warfare alternative history set in a gritty version of Earth. Contains strong romantic elements – a book in the Bridge & Sword World. Apocalyptic. Psychic Romance.

“You are the Bridge…”

Allie Taylor lives in a world populated by seers, a second race discovered on Earth at the beginning of the 20th Century. Psychic, hyper-sexual and enslaved by governments, corporations and wealthy humans, seers are an exotic fascination to Allie, but one she knows she’ll likely never encounter, given how rich you have to be to get near one.

Then a strange man shows up at her work –– then another –– and pretty soon Allie finds herself on the run from the law, labeled a terrorist and in the middle of a race war she didn’t even know existed. Yanked out of her life by the mysterious and uncommunicative Revik, Allie discovers her blood may not be as “human” as she always thought, and the world of seers might not be quite as distant as she always imagined.

When Revik tells her she’s the Bridge, a mystical being meant to usher in the evolution of humanity––or possibly its extinction––Allie must choose between the race that raised her and the one where she might truly belong.

Goodreads / Amazon

BS01-Teaser-01BS01-Teaser-02

EXCERPT:

I CHOKE… CHOKED… am choking… caught inside a fisted clutch of light, an egg-shaped pocket that holds me unflinchingly in place.

Inside that heated glow, I birth.

Stars swim past me in a pale swath, sky broken by sharp eyes and lightning flashes, snaking charges of gold and orange and crimson, the late side of the setting sun.

I am with him again.

I have never left him.

Now we lie together on a bed, wrapped into and around one another, alone in a single room in a building full of seers. I know I am supposed to be like them. I know I’m supposed to be the same as those women I met when we came in off the street––yet he is the only one here who feels at all like me. His breath warms my skin, his fingers wrap around me, stroking my face and neck and hair, stroking my arms and fingers and lips.

The pain between us worsens, a spike that arcs, starting as a gentle pull before it keens steeply up, inexorable, becoming gradually more unbearable, until I am sure my insides will be ripped out, torn into so many pieces there is nothing left.

Beyond where I lay, a golden ocean beckons. It is familiar.

Even more familiar than the mountains we share, the grief over our pasts.

He is there, too.

I’m sorry, he says. I did this. I did this to you. I’m sorry––

Shhh. My voice is steady, somehow apart from the lights clashing, the ghosts winging over both of our heads. Revik, it’s all right.

Don’t leave me, Allie. Don’t leave me alone with this.

I feel confusion on him, confusion in his own words, what he means by them. The feeling intensifies though; his hands tighten on my skin.

The pain worsens, too, making it hard to see.

Still, my own words come easily, without thought or regret.

I won’t, I tell him. I never will.

There is a question in this. The question shocks his heart.

I am asking him for something. My light is, anyway. I can’t say it’s a conscious question, not fully, but the intensity behind it is real, and it feels entirely like me.

I am asking him for something.

I want a promise from him. A vow.

I want him to give himself to me.

It is nonsense, what I am asking of him, but I don’t withdraw the question, nor try to qualify it in any way with words. I only wait, seeing what he will say. Before I’ve fully understood either the question or the possible answers he might give, he’s agreed.

A surrender lives in that agreement.

I feel shame there, too, like he knows he should say no, but he cannot––will not. He clasps my fingers, and I see tears in his eyes. They bewilder me, touch me sharply through the pain and he pulls me closer until…

He kisses me. It is a brief kiss. Clumsy. Awkward. Yet it is tender, too. Meaning lives there, more meaning than I can comprehend. I feel him agree again, and it feels final that time. It is absolute. He is certain now.

The vow is set. It is more than a promise.

It feels like an ending and a beginning, all at once.

Even as I think it, the night sky disappears. Above us, light weaves into complicated patterns, in and out like a shuttlecock between silk threads. I have a fleeting impression of time removed. The weaving of the threads grows more and more complicated, more subtle, more beautiful and intimate and more connected to my heart.

I watch a painting form in that vastness of sky, a painting of fiery, diamond light, in a pattern too breathtaking for words. My struggle stops, even as the pain I felt before melts into warm breath, a feeling of ending, of beginning.

I know, somehow. This is familiar to me.

I feel it in him, too, that surge of familiar.

The feeling is so heart-wrenching, so intense, I cannot see anything else.

He belongs to me. He belonged to me before I asked the question.

We know one another here, and a timelessness lives in that knowing, something that lives so far from my conscious mind it feels almost alien. That deep sense of familiar is something I can’t explain to myself, something I understand without words, without really understanding it at all.

Something is… different.

I don’t know it yet, but it will never be the same again.

 

Author Bio:

JC Andrijeski is a USA TODAY bestselling author who writes paranormal mysteries and apocalyptic fiction, often with a sexy, romantic and metaphysical bent. JC has a background in journalism, history and politics, and loves martial arts, yoga, meditation, hiking, swimming, horseback riding, painting… and of course reading and writing. She grew up in the Bay Area of California, but travels extensively and has lived abroad in Europe, Australia and Asia, and from coast to coast in the continental United States. She currently lives and writes full-time in Bangkok, Thailand.

To learn more about JC and her writing, please visit jcandrijeski.com.

If you want an email when JC’s next book is released, as well as special giveaways, offers to read books early and other prizes, join her newsletter, THE REBEL ARMY, at: http://hyperurl.co/JCA-Newsletter

JOIN NOW and you’ll get a FREE BOOK!

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

BS01-Teaser-05BS01-Teaser-03

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

0

Book Blitz, Excerpt, Book Trailer, Teasers, and Giveaway: The Future of Sex

 

The Future of Sex
(The Future of Sex, #1)

Aubrey Parker
Publication date: May 16th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Science Fiction

Love doesn’t matter. Romance doesn’t exist.

In the year 2060, sex is a game of extremes. No desire is unexplored and even the unimaginable is possible.

Alexa Mathis, head of the monolithic O Corporation, has found a prodigy she believes will drive her sex empire to rapturous new limits: Chloe Shaw, a common girl with uncanny gifts that make her a powerful escort.

Chloe doesn’t believe in love. She believes in ecstasy, and her employer’s newest tool to usher “the future of sex”: an intelligent network known as The Beam.

And so it is until she meets Andrew … and the whole world changes.

The Future of Sex is a 12-part romance/sci-fi series exploring the line between today’s conception of love and the sensations that await us in the future.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

0102

EXCERPT:

“Close your eyes.”

Andrew was startled. He’d been listening to music when Chloe entered, and hadn’t heard her approach. His door was unlatched, without a digital lock. He hadn’t been kidding about being poor. His connection was isolated to the terminal playing the music. He lived like a bohemian, and his apartment was little more than masonry and glass. She felt guilty about using her Beam connection to ferret out Andrew’s address, but

once her hands were on his hips, her chest pressing into his back, Chloe no longer cared.

“You surprised me.”

She reached toward the terminal — a simple, no-frills model — and touched his screen to change the music, choosing something soft and lyrical to replace it. Something sappy and lovelorn that her mother would mock.

“Close your eyes,” she repeated.

He hesitated. She couldn’t see his eyes because she was behind him, but Andrew’s body language betrayed a man at attention. His moment of reluctance gave her pause until she realized his doubt was about himself rather than her.

“Chloe …”

“Just do it.”

She sensed his eyes closing. Then she rested her hands on his chest, palm flat. The movement was sensual, but not sexual. Her default would have been to go below the belt, so she kept her hands high.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“Feeling.”

“I wish I worked out more.”

“Not feeling you. I meant that I’m attempting to feel. To emote.”

“How is it going?”

“I don’t know.”

And she didn’t. Chloe was feeling just fine, but it was like an ingrained response to Andrew’s presence. If he were feeling doubtful or down, her chameleon nature would want her to adapt, to touch him in just the right ways and say just the right things. She wasn’t sure if her genuine reaction — if she’d ever felt such a thing — was the same.

“You don’t know?”

“What do you want me to say, Andrew?”

“I’m not sure what you mean.”

“What do you want from me? How would you have me feel?”

Andrew hesitated. “Is this a test?”

He sounded concerned, or even more doubtful than before — the opposite of his usual carefree, playful self. Something had been wrong at the park, and it had occupied Chloe’s mind, heavy like an anchor, ever since. That same thing was still wrong, but had matured into something else.

“No,” she said. “It’s not a test.”

“I don’t want you to feel anything. You feel what you feel.”

It was such a simple thing to say, yet Chloe didn’t know if her body and mind understood.

“How do you feel?” he asked.

“Nervous.” It was the truth, but she wasn’t sure if it was her base or something more meta. Was she nervous for her own reasons, or because she wasn’t sure how she truly felt?

“Me too,” he said.

With her flat palms, Chloe could feel his heart. “I can tell.”

“I don’t know what to make of you, Chloe.” His words were rushed as if he’d been dying to say them.

“Nobody seems to.”

“I don’t know if I like you for you, or if I like the person you’re becoming so that I will like you.”

Chloe turned Andrew around. She didn’t have to tell him to open his eyes. He did so automatically, those usually-playful orbs suddenly so serious.

“So,” she said, “you can tell.”

“I don’t know what I can tell.”

“You’re conflicted. There’s something wrong.”

“Conflicted,” he echoed. “But nothing’s wrong.” Then: “At least, I hope not.”

“But you don’t know.”

“Honestly? I don’t.”

“My whole life is about feeling, but it’s always as a response.” Chloe swallowed, hesitant to voice what was coming. “But I know how I feel about that — about your hesitation.”

“I think I love you, Chloe.”

“But you don’t know.”

He shook his head.

A tear tickled the corner of her eye.

“And I know how I feel about that, too.” He moved to kiss her.

“Don’t.”

“I want to.”

“Because I want you to?” Chloe asked. “And I want you to because you want to?”

Andrew tipped his head a little; he didn’t have to say that Chloe’s double-talk was confusing them both. He pressed his lips to hers, felt her lack of response, then pulled back. “Does it matter?”

03

Author Bio:

I love to write stories with characters that feel real enough to friend on Facebook, or slap across the face. I write to make you feel, think, and burn with the thrill that can only come from getting lost in the pages. I love to write unforgettable characters who wrestle with life’s largest problems. My books may always end with a Happily Ever After, but there will always be drama on the way there.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

0405

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1