Saturday, July 22, 2017

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Veritas by Quinn Coleridge

Veritas
Quinn Coleridge
Publication date: July 13th 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Historical

The ghosts are angry, thinking I’ve neglected them.
Do not forget us, they call out from the grave.
I won’t, I promise them. Upon my life, I won’t.

Being a demigoddess in 1892 Stonehenge, Colorado isn’t all one might suppose, especially when the dead are involved. Yet as Veritas of the Rocky Mountain sovereignty, it is Hester Grayson’s calling to help restless spirits cross over by bringing their killers to justice. Blind and pale as an albino, she dwells on the fringes of the nouveau riche, working with her telepathic beau Tom Craddock to catch the guilty.

When a young woman is brutally murdered, Hester and Tom are determined to solve the case as they have every other. But this one demands more. The killer wears many faces and wields greater magic than even Hester possesses. All sleuthing stops, however, when Tom is gravely wounded, and Hester is cast out of her parent’s mansioninto the brutal squalor of an asylum.

At the mercy of an insane doctor, surrounded by agitated ghosts, Hester fights to maintain her own sanity by planning her escape and the downfall of her enemies. Can she achieve her goal and expose the madman who sent her to hell? Or will he continue his bloody reign in Stonehenge?

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

My prayer for relief goes unanswered, and faces flash through my mind. Those I saw in my last vision, the one initiated when the doctor touched my skin. Men, women, old, young—they appear and blur a moment later, shifting into the next person. All of Faust’s victims are deep-branded inside me. They are angry, thinking I’ve neglected them.

Do not forget us, they call out from the grave. I won’t, I promise them. Upon my life, I won’t.

The ghosts tell me to find the Book and steal it. Escape the asylum and expose Faust to the world. Let him answer for every crime, they say, condemned by his own words. If only these spirits could be a bit more specific. How exactly do I escape to do their bidding? Have they any suggestions? But the dead only wail and cry for justice. Blasted ghosts always leave the finer points of the plan for me to figure out.

Further enraged by my hesitation, they cause me to burn hotter. All right, all right, I reply through my psyche. As you wish, I so promise. Truth vibrates through the Pit, and the dead finally set my body free. They have accepted my vow, for the moment, but might be less forgiving tomorrow if I don’t take action. I work for a very impatient crowd.

Most people belong to another in some capacity, as a daughter or son, a sister, spouse, or neighbor, but the inmates of this place have been forgotten. They have no one to speak for them, or to avenge their wrongs. And so I’m here, dumb and blind, to serve as the mouthpiece of the wretched, whether I like it or not. That brazen hussy Fate does love a paradox.

Ironically, serving the dead gives me a reason to live, to go on breathing each day. It answers Hamlet’s eternal question of whether to be or not to be with an affirmative. That is why I crawl about the Pit on my knees, searching for a palm-sized piece of metal. It has been hidden and used many times by the inmates before me. I find the broken iron strip and turn toward the northern wall. The rough surface is covered with spider webs and dirt, but something else as well.

Words.

Hundreds of them have been scratched into the crumbling stone with this strip of iron. I trace the curves and the straight lines of the letters, as I did with my alphabet stencils at home. Of sound mind, one inmate wrote, never insane. In another place, I find Hungry, God Sees, and Died Alone. I scrape the iron against rock. Over and over, until each letter is formed, perfect and smooth. Wiping the sweat from my brow, I blow the dust away from my masterpiece, my call to arms.

LEX TALIONIS

YOUR DAY OF RECKONING AWAITS, FAUST


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Cover reveal: Caged Trilogy by H.G. Lynch

Run
H.G. Lynch
Publication date: March 19th 2015
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

Tilly is a witch…at least, she thinks she is. All she really knows is that she has powers she shouldn’t, and that the cruel women she escaped from – who definitely are witches – will stop at nothing to make her their
prisoner again because of those powers.

But Tilly has fallen in with a strange group – a pack of werewolves. The pack wants to protect her; none of them more so than Dominic, the alpha’s kind-hearted son. Tilly thinks she might be falling for him, but she can’t help being fascinated by his brooding, mysterious half-brother Spencer.

Caught between the two, Tilly isn’t sure anymore what she’s most scared of: the witches hunting her down, or her own heart betraying her.

Goodreads / Amazon

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Fight
H.G. Lynch
Publication date: March 19th 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

Tilly and Dominic are prisoners of the witches, and Spencer will do anything to rescue them, even as his dreaded wedding day gets nearer.

What he doesn't know, is there's a traitor in their midst, and she's determined to make him hers.

With her eighteenth birthday approaching, Tilly is in serious danger of becoming host to a demon, while Dominic suffers every time she leaves his side.

Time is running out for all of them, and the only way any of them will make it is if they fight.

Goodreads / Amazon

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Howl
H.G. Lynch
Publication date: July 19th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

Having left the pack behind, Tilly and Spencer, along with Desmond and his boyfriend, must seek new territory and a new home. With Halloween fast approaching, the certainty that Arakael would return on the night that the veil between worlds is thinnest looms in all of their minds. Tilly struggles with her new lycanthropy, and discovers more about herself and her family than she ever wanted to know. With secrets being revealed and relationships tested, they're going to have to come together to survive their biggest battle yet.

Goodreads / Amazon


Author Bio:

H.G. Lynch is a Paranormal Romance author from Scotland. She is an avid reader, and cat-lover. She spends most of her days writing, while wrestling her cat off her laptop. She loves horse-riding, Star Trek, and snow.
Her books are dark paranormal romances.

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Friday, July 21, 2017

Review: The Fire Queen (The Hundredth Queen #2) by Emily R. King

Book Blurb:

5 Out Of 5 Stars

Genre: Another-World, Ghosts, Heart-Wrenching, Mystery, Romance, Royal-Court, Scary, Supernatural, Suspense, Witches--

This is book 2 in the Hundredth Queen trilogy, picking up the story with the group on the run after the events of book 2. Kali and her small but loyal group were on the hunt for the hidden away Prince, the true ruler of the people, while trying to stay one step ahead of the Rebels coming for them. When the prince is located, Kali finds that she has to participate in another kind of challenge to save her people, one full of magic and danger that she is uncertain if she is ready for.

I did not think it was possible, but the Fire Queen is even better than the Hundredth Queen (which sets the bar pretty high for the last book in the trilogy, but I am sure Emily is up for it). I think that I liked this book so much was predominantly due to Kali. She was such a great character in this book, so strong and competent, making me root for her hard core. In book one she was introduced as a sickly girl with minimal talents who grew into herself through the course of the book. But here, she knew who she was and what she wanted, as well as the lengths she would go to get it, and I wanted to stand up and cheer her on!

I also really liked the dual perspective this book used, where Deven was introduced as a narrator, it helped to give the story a well rounded feel where the reader was left out of nothing. It probably didn't hurt that I love Deven, so getting a peek in his head to see his motivations and ideas didn't hurt. I will admit that I found him a little irritating with his self-sacrificing attitude at times, but I understood where he was coming from. I hope the next book continues to show his perspective because he really helped to make the story more well rounded with almost an "outsider" point of view since he is not magical or royalty, but still trying to make the country the best it can be.

There are so many new characters added to this book, creating even more intrigue and depth to the plot and the world Emily has created. I of course love Kali, but I ended up liking the side characters just as much since they were so well fleshed out, with distinctive personalities and motivations. I hope that there is more Brock to come though, because I did miss his sarcasm and bravado. And Natessa hold a spot in my heart, which I find surprising due to how awful I originally found her at the start of the Hundredth Queen. I am really conflicted by the Prince, and I need the next book to see how I really feel about him though.

Did I mention a fire dragon? No? Well, yeah, there is a fire dragon. That's all you get from me because finding out and expereicning it is half the fun, but yes, a fire dragon exists within the pages of the book and it was surprising and epic. Fair warning.

​I received this title in return for my honest review, but I will be purchasing myself a physical copy as soon as it is available to keep my copy of the Hundredth Queen company on the shelf and so I can reread my favorite parts as I like to do with books I love.​

Review: And I Darken (The Conqueror's Saga #1) by Kiersten White

Book Blurb:

No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

My Review:

2.5 Out Of 5 Stars

Genre: Another-World, Historical, Teen--

Lada has wanted nothing more than to make her father proud and rule her people in Wallachia, but instead she finds herself and her younger brother Radu abandoned to the Ottomans, basically political prisoners. The siblings end up befriending a boy, just to find out that he is a prince of their enemies, but maybe they don't have to be enemies... In a world full of politics and war strategies, a young girl and boy must find their places.

I went into this story with the highest of expectations because I love Kiersten White as an author and as a person, the cover is so gorgeous (my favorite book cover of 2016) and the idea of a female Vlad the Impaler filled me with (dark) joy. I may have set myself up for failure because this story was not even a little bit like I thought or hoped it would be. Keep in mind that I have a lot of friends that LOVED this book and counted down the days until they could read book 2, but I struggled here.

I wanted an action-adventure type story, but instead I got a book that was a very slow political historical novel. The first half of the VERY thick book dealt with the siblings growing up, skipping through the years to show the kind of negligent abuse they dealt with, which sure, it played a role in shaping them, but I was super bored. I kept putting down the book and reading more exciting stories and then picking the book back up because I am compelled to finish every book I read. In this situation that worked out, because the second half had a lot more action than the first, but it was still really slow political actions and super depressing. I had no idea that these were real people in history, just with some creative spin on it, until after I read the book so if you are a history fan this might be right up your alley- I am not a history seeker, so I was only moderately interested in any of it.

I respected the beejezus out of Lada, I thought she was capable, skilled, shrewd, loyal, and would make the best leader her people could have ever have hoped for. She went against the grain and trained hard as a soldier, being able to hold her own against most men. My favorite part of the book was when a high ranking very feminine woman accused her of wanting to be a man and Lada told her she was wrong, she was happy being a woman she just wanted to be the strongest, best version of herself. If that is not girl power (especially in a time where women basically did not exist) I don't know what is. But here is the thing, I did not necessarily like her. She was my favorite person in the book, but that is not necessarily an endorsement.

The other two main characters were Radu (who I actively despised) and Mehmed which I attempted to ignore. Radu was a big whiny cry baby, wearing his emotions on his sleeve and needing others to help him, and I just wanted him to go away. As he got older he became more interesting to me and his character was great at smoozing and politics, but then he went and betrayed Lada when she needed him most, and I totally wrote him off. Lada would have, and consistently did, so much to help Radu, and he didn't care because his loyalty was to another, who really just used him. Which brings me to Mehmed, who felt more like an idea than an actual person to me. Sure he was a prince, soon to be in power, but he did not feel fleshed out and I could have cared less about anything pertaining to him. The whole love triangle in the story was super awkward, and I wanted to cheer when Lada refused to be second to someone else's power.

I heard book two has more exciting things happen so I may pick it up to read, I am still conflicted on that idea though. This book was not for me, but I love the author, and I am sure others will really enjoy this kind of story.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Blog Tour: The Perfectly Imperfect Match (Suttonville Sentinels #3) by Kendra C. Highley

Book Blurb:

Pitcher Dylan Dennings has his future all mapped out: make the minors straight out of high school, work his way up the farm system, and get called up to the majors by the time he’s twenty-three. The Plan has been his sole focus for years, and if making his dreams come true means instituting a strict “no girls” policy, so be it.

Lucy Foster, needlepoint ninja, big sister to an aspiring pitcher, and chicken advocate, likes a little mayhem. So what if she gets lost taking her brother to baseball camp…at her own high school? The pitching coach, some hotshot high school player, obviously thinks she’s a hot mess. Too bad he’s cute, because he’s so not her type.

Problem is, they keep running into each other, and every interaction sparks hotter than the last. But with Dylan’s future on the line, he has to decide whether some rules are made to be broken…

Disclaimer: This book contains a crazy night of moonlit skinny-dipping, a combustible crush, and kisses swoony enough to unwind even the most Type A athlete.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Entangled

My Review:

5 Out Of 5 Stars

Genre: Romance, Teen--

Lucy is a free spirited girl who has always marched to her own beat but would do anything for her family. Dylan is a very strict, dedicated guy getting over his recent crush gone bad, not interested in dating for fear it would get in the way of his goals. When Dylan ends up being the summer baseball camp coach to Lucy's beloved little brother Otto, sparks fly between Lucy and Dylan, but are they sparks of lust or hatred? The two could not be more different from each other, yet there is a pull, and they both find themselves having a hard time staying away...are such opposites really a good choice for a relationship?

Yet again, Kendra hits it out of the park (ha, like what I did there??) with book 3 in the Suttonville Sentinels series. All the books are about different characters and their challenges in finding love, but the one common factor is that the guys in each book play baseball on the Suttonville Sentinels High School team. They can be read as independent stories no problem, but it has been the best for me reading them in order. Each book will have a reference to the previous book, which fills me with happiness because I love the tie ins. That being said, this was an incredibly engaging, fast read that I sped through in one day because I did not want to put it down.

The plot was fun, with a few twists and dilemmas thrown in, but for the most part this was a character driven story, which I feel works the best for a romance story- you care about the characters so therefore you care about their relationship. I was a little uncertain about Lucy at the beginning, with her hot temper and take what you want personality, but I really liked her. She was willing to take chances, stand up for what she wanted and felt was right, yet she refused to be a doormat to anyone which I think I appreciated the most (and where can I get a chocolate amaretto cupcake??). Dylan was a little harder to crack though with his stiff demeanor and awkward personality, the few moments where he relaxed I was waiting for the shoe to drop and him to go crazy without structure. I think they worked so well as a couple since they both understood hard work, had goals and were not demanding of the other. Without them even realizing it, they complemented the other with their strengths and weaknesses balancing and learning from the other what they need. Yin and Yang at it's finest.

The ending of this book was absolutely perfect. This book overall was so sweet, making me feel all warm and fuzzy in my heart, and I wish it was a physical book in my hands so I could hug it to me. Can I just say how much I loved that this was not an angsty teen problem book: no gossip, no ​misunderstandings, no love triangles, but instead it was more about self discovery and learning how to pick the important battles and be a well rounded person.

I would have loved to see or at least hear about Kyle and Faith, but it was nice to see how well Tristan and Alyssa are together and how they interact with Dylan. It is 100 confirmed that I will read any book in the Suttonville Sentinels series and now I need to find Kendra's other books because I absolutely love the people she creates and how she puts her stories together so full of heart.

I received this title in return for my honest review.

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Lucy watched Dylan cut through the water with a precise breaststroke. Even his swimming was neat and tidy. She slumped against the bench as he pulled himself onboard and untied the boys’ boat. He stood there, dripping, while their friends cruised away.

“Um…” He swallowed hard and wiped water out of his eyes. “Look—”

“Don’t bother.” She slumped as far as she could without falling off the bench. “I know what you meant. Just because our friends set us up doesn’t mean we have to do anything about it.”

“Hey.” He sounded irritated now. “You don’t understand, and that’s why I’m here. I’m not dating because I’m focused entirely on baseball right now. I have a shot at the minors next spring after we graduate, and I’m putting all my energy into that. It’s not you.” He rubbed his face, shifting his balance like he was going to jump out of the boat any second. “You’re…you’re…well, you’re someone I would definitely chat up under different circumstances.”

Lucy slowly sat up straighter, noticing how his ears had turned red. The little devil on her shoulder, the one that made her impulsive, talked her into pulling her shoulders back and pushing her chest out ever so slightly. Just to see what he’d do. When his eyes drifted, then snapped back to her face, she smirked a little. “Chat me up, huh? Even though you think I’m a hot mess?”

“Did I ever say that?” He crossed his arms over his life vest. “Maybe I questioned your ability to drive places, but I never said you were a mess.” “Uh huh.” She relaxed against the seat, unable to believe it. “You seemed really annoyed that I stayed for camp today. I could almost see the thought bubble over your head, ‘this one’s brought his crazy sister.’”

“I didn’t…” He squeezed his eyes shut and ground his jaw. After a deep breath, he tried again. “I just thought you were a little overprotective. Otis is nine, not two.”

“And who are you to decide that?” Lucy sat up straighter, daring him to look her over. “But, if you want, I’ll stay away from your precious camp. You better take good care of my brother, though, or we’ll have more than words, Coach Dylan.”

She sighed, furious that she’d taken the bait and engaged with this jackass. “You don’t have to stand there like you’re about to jump in the lake if I twitch in your direction. I wouldn’t touch you if you paid me.”

Dylan’s eyes narrowed. As if he was calling her bluff, he unbuckled his life vest and dropped it to the floor. Oh, shirtless boy alert.

Yep, she was right…he was cute. And cut. His blond hair was tinged gold by the setting sun, but her gaze kept straying somewhere else…somewhere tan and muscular. As she watched, his forearms tensed, showing off a pair of arms that demanded her attention.

She met his eyes and found him smirking back at her. Right. “I appreciate the effort, but you’re not my type.”

He rolled his eyes. “You’re not exactly mine, either, Princess.”

She rose, standing with her feet wide apart to compensate for the rocking boat. “And what type is that? Bubble headed? Simpering? Compliant?”

He glared at her. “Disciplined. Smart. Driven.”

She laughed coldly. “I think that’s the wrong kind of girl for you. Too much like-knows-like. You need someone to shake you up, make you live for now instead of a year from now.”

“Oh, and you think you’re the person to do that?”

For some reason, both their voices had risen, but she couldn’t back down. Mom would tell her the passion was getting the better of her, and if only she took a second to breathe, she’d see it. Too late for that now. “I might be, if you removed the stick from your ass.”

He took a step toward her. “Yeah, and you need someone to untangle your hot-mess self.”

She took a big step toward him, pointing a finger at his chest. “I knew you thought I was a hot mess!”

He took another step, but she wasn’t afraid of him. No, she didn’t think she’d ever felt so alive, honestly. Her heart pounded in her chest, and her fingertips tingled. Like she’d been in a dim room, and someone had turned on a floodlight.

“Fine! I did think it, and I’ll say it, too,” Dylan snapped. “You’re a hot mess, Lucy Foster. What are you going to do about it?”

Her mouth dropped open, and her whole body flushed with heat. The next step she took brought her an inch away from him. Close enough to see he was shaking. Rage? Fear? All she knew was that she was shaking, too, but it was from neither of those things. “You know what I think? I think you’re a jackass!”

Then, before she could decide whether this was the worst idea she’d ever had, she swayed closer, so that her chest brushed his just barely, and went up on tiptoe, stopping short of kissing him…waiting to see what would happen.

They stared each other down, each of them breathing hard. Lucy’s gaze dropped to his lips then back to his eyes, daring him to make a move.

He growled, this frustrated, almost anguished sound, before closing the distance. He pulled her close, his wet torso sliding slick against hers. Then his mouth was on hers, and she forgot everything—about being angry, about being stuck in the middle of the lake with a guy who pushed her buttons, about Dad being gone. Nothing mattered but his warm breath against her cheek and his strong arms holding her tight despite the rocking boat beneath them. Good thing, because she was lightheaded, but didn’t want to come up for air.

They clung together, the kiss frantic and disorganized. Somewhere in the back of her brain, she recognized this guy hadn’t let himself go for a long, long time…and that he’d been hurt recently. All of it was there in the depth of this kiss. His chest was warm, heaving against hers, and his fingers traced the line of her bare spine, sending shivers across her back.

She didn’t even hear the other boat approach. No, she didn’t notice a thing until Serena called, “Sweet baby Jesus! I said apologize, not act out a movie star kiss in the middle of my boat!”

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Other books in the Suttonville Series

Check out the series on Goodreads

Author Bio:

Kendra C. Highley lives in north Texas with her husband and two children. She also serves as staff to four self-important and high-powered cats. This, according to the cats, is her most important job. She believes in everyday magic, extraordinary love stories, and the restorative powers of dark chocolate
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