Blog Tour Stop: Joined

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Title: Joined

Author: Mara Gan

Genre: YA/NA Sci-fi/Romance

Release Date: September 12th 2017

Inkspell Publishing

 

Duty and prophecy get in the way of everything. All I ever wanted to do was read my books, play my sports, and help people. Life and prophecy had other things in mind. Helping people is what I do; as an empath and semi-frequent telepath, I can easily sense and understand people’s needs and emotions. Sometimes even before they do. Being able to read everyone’s thoughts and feelings all the time can drive me crazy with anxiety, but that moment when I can finally make someone’s life better makes everything worth it.

Unfortunately, I’m also the next in line to rule the galaxy, I’m the only diplomat most planets will listen to, assassins try to kill me on an annoyingly regular basis, and a much-vaunted Prophecy has decreed that I’m going to die. Oh, and someone blew up my home planet. Kind of a lot to deal with, right? Too bad I just got another problem: a big, irritating, overbearing bodyguard with serious anger management issues. And I think I’m falling for him.

 

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Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/joined

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0748VYHDR

Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1263748434

 

 

Excerpt 1

It was a rather startling revelation to note that planetwide destruction was, objectively speaking, gorgeous.

I couldn’t even be bitter about it; bitter was a bland and wise emotion, one that involved thought and careful consideration. I had no such coherence. All I had was awe and fear, in no particular order, all blended together like a merry go-round that had spun out of control.

I was well aware that I was in shock. But really, how were you supposed to react when the sky was throwing volcanoes at you? Was there a rulebook for this sort of thing? I’d been trained in all sorts of political and diplomatic scenarios, but this was hardly any of those things. I even knew quite a bit about interstellar law, which was pretty good for an eleven-year-old. But genocide… genocide was new, even for a galaxy as screwed up as ours was. A species here, a race there, but never a planet. Did the word genocide even apply when a whole planet was being eradicated? Did we need to invent a new word for what was being done to my home? Somehow planetocide sounded ridiculous and insufficient. But then, I doubted a word would ever exist that could quite convey the present situation. Language just didn’t have that kind of depth.

Emotions, though; images, feelings… that could do it. Except my species was the only one in the galaxy capable of sensing another’s emotions, but that wouldn’t matter much once this destruction was over. Words would be all that were left.

About the Author:

A Pacific Northwesterner by birth and disposition, Mara has lived in Washington DC, Oregon, Japan, and most recently the beautiful Pacific Grove, California, before returning to her roots in Seattle. By day she teaches history to unsuspecting teenagers, and by night she writes books and travels to far-flung places. She loves to be with animals, read, play sports, and drink more London Fogs than is likely good for her.

Connect with Mara on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maraganbooks

 

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Blog Tour Organized by: YA Bound Book Tours

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Book Review: Winged Reaper

Winged Reaper

Title: Winged Reaper

The Reaper Series, Book Two

Author: Shelley Russell Nolan

Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/Paranormal

Twenty-five-year-old Tyler Morgan is only alive–technically reborn–because the Grim Reaper offered her a job. Now she has to find a way to stop her ‘boss’ from starting a war that threatens the survival of mankind.

Weak and in need of fresh souls, the Grim Reaper has sent his Wraiths to Tyler’s hometown, Easton, and by the time he gets his fill, it could turn into a graveyard.

Tyler’s resolve is tested when old secrets surface and a new betrayal has her questioning where her loyalties lie.

Supported by the intriguing detective, Sam Lockwood; the handsome, wealthy Chris Bradbury; and sources she never expected to come to her aid, Tyler must fight her way to the truth if she is ever to find the strength to harness the powers she has inherited, and vanquish the Grim Reaper forever.

Check out my review of Book One: The Lost Reaper here!

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Winged Reaper is a great continuation of Lost Reaper. Dive deeper into the realm of the dead with suspenseful twists and turns.

The story continues from where the previous book left off. Funerals are in order for those that didn’t make it through the first book and unresolved threats get stronger, harder to solve. Tyler comes home to find a stranger that looks almost identical to her at her doorstep. Turns out Tyler’s family is growing while get smaller at the same time. Emily is her cousin that she didn’t even know she had, Emily didn’t know she had a cousin either until seeing Tyler on the phone. She then felt the need to track Tyler down to introduce herself as her cousin. Tyler accepts it easily because they look so alike.

The love triangle between Tyler, Chris, and Sam gets a little less tangled as Tyler truly picks who she wants to be with, but with her impending death she has to have both men in her. The threat of Almorthanos and his sister Malia being released is her top priority, and with her scorning the grim reaper her enemy list is growing bigger and bigger.

When the big war against good vs evil happens it’s more than just her life that’s at stake and some people are meant to change sides while others aren’t meant to get out of it alive.

The entire plot of the story was intriguing and keeps the reader at the edge of their seat. The main reoccurring characters have a purpose and stick true to their beliefs and personalities that have been given to them. However, there were times that certain things seemed to be in there just for the sake of the story working in its favor and there were also bits toward the end involving the police that didn’t seem realistic enough. I can’t do spoilers, but someone is missing and the police come around (after Tyler come back…from where? Not telling!) and they seem unqualified for their jobs in the circumstance or the whole fingerprint issue…I don’t think it would end so easily like that. There was also things that weren’t said that you have to assume were going on, such as the scenario involving a body magically getting heal. There was no mention of it, you just have to assume ‘certain’ people were responsible for it.

Overall, it was a good read. Shelly Russell Nolan’s reapers and underworld was unique and exciting. It doesn’t end with a cliffhanger, but Tyler’s story could continue on because there’s more souls to reap.

3 Stars

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Blog Tour Stop: Swim

Swim
M.E. Rhines
(Mermaid Royalty #2)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: August 29th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

A mermaid has no fear of the deep…

Angelique is not your typical fairy tale mermaid. She’s edgy, with a quick temper and intense personality that sometimes leave her feeling like an outsider even among her own clan. Reeling from the recent changes in the Mer-world hierarchy, Angelique is struggling to find her place in the ocean. But a chance encounter with a handsome two-legged Fin-man will leave her questioning more than just her place in the underwater order.

Packed with adventure, romance and drama, Swim continues the compelling story of life and love in the magical underwater realm of Atargatis.

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EXCERPT:

Would they serve me on a platter, or just toss me in tank and use me as an exhibit? Some of the humans Mother captured spoke of places where even the ocean’s greatest predators were put on display for the amusement of the young and hardened of heart. An aquarium they called it. Manatees, dolphins, sharks. All subject to the degradation of living in a box for the rest of their days.

Oh, Poseidon help me, I’d rather die right now.

Almost as soon as my body contacted the sea floor, the rope connecting me to the human vessel tightened. An illusion of weightlessness befell me as it pulled me up. Despite already feeling drained, I swam against the pull right up until my entire body left the water. Suffocating aridness strangled me. I danged inside the net a good ten feet above the water, swaying along with the howling wind as if it was dancing with me.

I scanned the rough waters below, desperate for a trace that Lennox was around. But the sea was fuming. Furious, whether at me or the fisherman I didn’t know. Already turbulent waters intensified, until waves the size of small squalls slammed into the boat from all sides.

Even if Lennox was down there, and I doubted he was, there would be no way to see him through the chaos on the ocean’s surface. I didn’t waste much time searching. He’d said it himself; he was a warrior, a killer at heart. It wasn’t in his nature to go around saving anyone or anything unless it served his king. He was long gone, left me for dead.

“You see,” I heard the horrible man shout. “Look at that tail.”

“I’ll be damned. You weren’t seeing things after all, Reggie.”

“Yep. Heard stories about mermaids in this area. Didn’t much believe them. Until now, of course. She’s awfully pretty, too. Prettier than I ever imagined a mermaid could be.”

“What should we do with her?”

“Are you kidding? People would pay a fortune to just take a quick look at her. Mortgage their own houses, I bet. We’re gonna be rich!”

The blond man tapped his chin with his index finger, pondering the idea. A small, naïve part of me hoped he might listen to that slight little voice in his head, the one that should tell him I was a living thing. A sentient, conscious, and intelligent living thing and should be treated with common decency. His conscience should’ve told him to put me back in the water and drive his boat far out of here and leave me be.

Then this human, the one who moments ago seemed so kindhearted and eager to help me until my tail was exposed, reminded me of that one ever-important detail I managed to allow myself forget:

Humans have no conscience.

 

Author Bio:

ME Rhines a southwest Florida native currently living in North Port with her two beautiful children and a third, much larger child whom she affectionately calls husband.

She writes young adult paranormal romance to feed her belief that fairy tales are real and

nonsense is necessary.

She also writes adult romances under her edgier alter-ego, Mary Bernsen.

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Blog Tour Stop: To Tame A Wild Heart

To Tame a Wild Heart
Gwen Mitchell
Publication date: June 21st 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Audrey Taylor has carved a living out of society’s fringes using her supernatural abilities and street smarts. Freedom—sleeping beneath the open skies and under the radar—is all she’s ever needed. But when an ancient council of witches discovers her powers, Audrey must submit to their training or be stripped of her gifts and her memory. Audrey knows better than to trust anyone, and she’s never worked well with others, so it’s just her luck to be assigned a withdrawn and irritable falconer as her mentor. Even more disturbing is her desire to tear through his brooding façade and bare the man beneath when she should be focused on escape.

Corvin Wright values the solace of his duties and only finds peace among the birds entrusted to his keeping. But the council no longer sees a use for his unique gifts, and his sanctuary is in danger unless he can earn his place by babysitting a fledgling witch. The task becomes daunting when his apprentice turns out to be wilder and more broken than any creature he’s ever cared for. Her fiery spirit and dangerous beauty challenge every ideal of the life he’s built. As Audrey wrestles with her captivity and the bonds of responsibility laid upon her, Corvin must find a way to tame her wild heart before she breaks his.

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Excerpt:

An hour later, the bait basket was empty, but Honey had caught a fifth wind and was happily chasing butterflies around the meadow while he and Audrey lounged in the thick grass.

“We should have packed a basket of treats for us,” Audrey said when her stomach rumbled loud enough to catch the eagle’s attention.

Corvin smiled to himself. He loved her enthusiasm for food, even if it stemmed from going hungry for too often. The extra weight she’d put on suited her—not just filling out her ample hips, but her face looked healthier and more youthful too. Though it was still easy to forget how young she actually was, since her eyes told a much older story.

“Would you like a peach?” He nodded at the far edge of the tree line, where a large peach tree sat like a squat decoration among the towering cedars.

“There’s no fruit on that tree,” came her logical reply.

He winked and strode past Honey—who barely paused in her chase—to stand at the foot of the giant tree. He held his palm under the lowest branch and pulsed magic into it. The branch shivered, and buds burst forth in a froth of fluffy pink. As his magic flowed into them, the flower petals rained around him, and two large pieces of fruit bulged, causing the branch to drop the heavy fruit right into his palms. He twisted them free and sauntered back to Audrey to hold out the largest and ripest one.

“If you had three, I could juggle for you.”

He settled next to her as she took an exaggerated bite and moaned in pleasure, closing her eyes.

“Oh, god.” She grinned as a bit of juice dribbled down her chin.

He took a bite himself to avoid leaning in to sip the sweetness right from her lips.

“Why is there a peach tree out here in the middle of the woods?”

“I planted it. I found this place when I was a boy. The plants led me here. I was eating a peach at the time—they’re my favorite. So, I decided to plant the pit. I used what little magic I had, and it took root that day. Whenever I wanted to run away, I would come here, and I always had food. Since then, I’ve woven my own magic into this place. The plants and animals know me. They let me pass, while they help keep others away.”

Audrey tilted her head, studying him with a teasing smile.

“I know what you’re thinking—even then I was antisocial.”

She set her half-eaten fruit aside and wiped her hands on her thighs. “I wasn’t going to say that. The first time I ran away, it was to a tree fort. Well, sort of. It was the hood of an old Chevy, an umbrella I found at the dump, and some fallen branches. I hadn’t thought ahead to pack any food though. If I’d had a magic peach tree, I might still be there.”

 

Author Bio:

Gwen lives a life of romance and adventure with her very own hero in Seattle. She’s a nature lover, science geek, and kitchen witch, with a nose for well-aged tequila and a pin-up fashion obsession. When not hiking to hidden waterfalls, taking in a burlesque show, or otherwise cavorting through the Emerald City, Gwen can be found in her favorite cozy chair brewing tales of magic, murder, and romance.

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Blog Tour Stop: The Woodlands Series

The Woodlands Series Box Set
Lauren Nicolle Taylor
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: August 7th 2017
Genres: Dystopian, Romance, Young Adult

Do you dare enter the Woodlands?

As the last livable spot on Earth, it’s the only home Rosa and Joseph have ever known. But now they need to escape, or Rosa will be trapped forever in a horrific government program. A dystopian page-turner with over 750 five-star ratings on Goodreads. The Woodlands Series is perfect for fans of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth, and The Jewel Series by Amy Ewing. Readers can purchase this boxed set at a significant discount over the cost to purchase each novel individually. This is a complete series boxed set.

The Woodlands is an Award-Winning Finalist in the “Fiction: Young Adult” category of the USA Best Book Awards, as well as a Semifinalist in The Kindle Book Awards by the Kindle Book Review.

“Lauren Taylor’s writing is powerfully descriptive; she is a master of words and similes.” – Author Erica Kiefer

“It seems so rare these days to find a dystopian with an original vein in it. The Woodlands Succeeds.” -Author Pauline Creeden

“I went into this story with my own ideas, but they were obliterated by what I found instead. I was so happy to be wrong because this story touched my heart deeply in a way that I never expected.” – Reviewer Amber Douglas Mcallister

“This book was fantastic! Spectacular! It had everything I look for in a book: Action, Adventure, and even romance!” – Reviewer Jocelyn Sanchez

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

The helicopters were stationed at the rim of Ring One, just inside the low, sandy-colored wall that surrounded the center podium. They were waiting, crouching like black angels ready to lift us from this place, this hell, into an unknown world. A Guardian in black uniform with gold trim walked to the front of the choppers and signaled for us to come forward. Another one threw the bags in the cargo hold as he read from his list. Three girls and eight boys. Joseph’s name was not on the list. I felt a flood of relief that was washed away by panic. I was barely holding myself together as it was, seeing him was liable to make me fall to pieces. But he was supposed to be here.

Paulo’s hand was on my back, pushing me towards the helicopter like I was an uncooperative apple on the conveyor belt. I was trying so hard to muster up some courage. Today I was leaving the only home I had ever known. I would never see my mother again. I felt the anxiety rising, the crushing pain of the separation I was about to suffer. Suddenly the grey-washed town didn’t look so horrible. It was home after all, I guess. I told myself it was fear that was making me feel this way. It didn’t help.

My mother, who had been quietly following us around like a dazed puppy, pulled me to her in a tight embrace. She whispered, “Sorry,” in my ear before stepping back, fists clenched, showing the appropriate restraint. Some other mothers were crying and holding their children as the Guardian wrenched them away and led them onto the aircraft.

My mother’s face was my own, the way she moved mirrored my own movements and mannerisms, but that’s where the similarities ended. Although raised by this woman, I was nothing like her. For the first time, I saw things from her perspective. Getting into trouble all the time, never showing Paulo anything other than contempt. I must have been such a frustration to her.

They called my name. Paulo put his hands firmly on my shoulders, holding me in my place. His intense stare was impossible to look away from. “Don’t shame your family,” he spat at me. And with that, he made it easy to leave. I could feel the blades starting to move, my hair whipping around my face. I stripped away the fear and anxiety, leaving a girl that was fierce, empowered by his hatred.

“Don’t worry, Paulo, I’ll stir it up, make a little noise!” I shouted through the wind. The Guardian that let me sign up was watching me, probably regretting his decision. My mother was standing rigidly, her handmade skirt billowing as the air churned around her, her hand outstretched, pleading. I could see it in her eyes—please Rosa, don’t cause more trouble. She couldn’t stop me, no one ever could. Paulo was already walking away, his back to me. Behind my mother stood a man, one blue eye, one brown, smiling. He lifted his hand to wave. I raised my hand, confused. The chopper lurched awkwardly and I was knocked back into the cargo hold.

“Sit down!” the Guardian snapped at me. I quickly found a spot and strapped myself in. The others were staring at me, eyes wide. The Guardian tapped the pilot on the shoulder. “Wait, there’s one more.”

He bounded in, bag in hand, and casually threw it on the pile and scanned the seats. There was plenty of room on the other side but he squeezed his bulky form between me and the boy I was sitting next to.

Suddenly we were in the air. When the Guardian wasn’t looking, Joseph slipped his hand over mine. Warmth calmed the agitation I felt, like pouring gold over lead, glowing. We stayed that way the entire ride. Eyes forward. Impossibly trying to anticipate what may lie ahead.

 

Author Bio:

Lauren Nicolle Taylor lives in the lush Adelaide Hills. The daughter of a Malaysian nuclear physicist and an Australian scientist, she was expected to follow a science career path, attending Adelaide University and completing a Health Science degree with Honours in obstetrics and gynaecology.

She then worked in health research for a short time before having her first child. Due to their extensive health issues, Lauren spent her twenties as a full-time mother/carer to her three children. When her family life settled down, she turned to writing.

She is a 2014 Kindle Book Awards Semi-finalist and a USA Best Book Awards Finalist.

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Blog Tour Stop: Royal Replicas

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Blog Tour Stop: In Her Blood

In Her Blood
Janice Jones
(The Dagger Chronicles #1)
Published by: Amberjack Publishing
Publication date: May 1st 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Supernatural

Alex Stone wants to pretend the supernatural doesn’t exist.

As the owner of a hot new clothing line, the only thing she’s killing is her competition – until she gets a phone call from her past. As the Dagger, she was a member of the covert ops team tasked with hunting threats of the supernatural kind. For the super soldiers of Night Command, the rules were simple: take the pills, fight the bad guys, and live to tell no one. After putting a bad-ass vampire on ice landed her in a padded cell, Alex thought she’d left the hunting game for good. Now she’s in the orbit of a handsome vampire with a problem. And sometimes keeping secrets bites.

Jason Stavros has the best of everything and life eternal. To the human world, Jason was just a poor boy who made it to the top. For a human turned vampire, the fight for a place in the inner circle of the ruling class hinges on one task: convince the best ex-vampire hunting assassin to become his personal bodyguard and save them all.

Join Alex, Jason and a new team of young hunters as two worlds unite against a common enemy. As the body count begins to rise, Alex and the Tracker Team fight friends and enemies to find the answers they seek.

What’s been happening in the dark will finally come to light.

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EXCERPT:

She enjoyed seeing those chains of pure silver wrapped around the vampire’s scrawny arms like tattoos. He barely resembled the picture of the old parish priest the Cardinal sent them two weeks ago. His brown skin hung from his bones like an ill-fitting suit. His paunch bounced up and down as he struggled to get loose. It took longer to catch him, much longer than it should have, but all’s well that ends well.

Alex Stone, call-sign Dagger, ran her fingers through her dark hair. Flakes of dried blood and sand fell as she pulled the dirty mess into a ponytail. Benjamin Palmer, Team Commander, snatched her wounded hand back down and tightened the field dressing as he griped at her about how dumb it was to try to catch the sharp end of a knife with her hand. She knew that . . . now.

“Who do you think you are,” he said as he gave the knot one last yank, “Superman?” Ben checked her busted lip with a shake of his head. “That’s gonna hurt like hell till morning.”

Alex just nodded, taking the pills in her good hand and swallowing them with a quick sip of warm water from his canteen.

Under normal circumstances, Alex would be pulled from the field, evaluated and possibly scrubbed from the next assignment for that stunt. But time was running out and this wasn’t normal, not even for the top vampire hunting team in the country.

Author Bio:

Graduating with a Masters in Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University, Janice’s first novel, In Her Blood, is the first book in her vampire adventure series The Dagger Chronicles. This series introduces you to the world of Alexa “Alex” Stone, ex-vampire hunter and assassin turned fashion mogul. Hiding in plain sight, Alex must return to the world of the supernatural in order protect a handsome vampire and her own secrets. Look for Book Two, By Blood Sworn to hit online outlets soon. Janice is looking forward to readers of New Adult Fiction and Vampire lore to embrace a new kind of action adventure hero, a woman with many secrets and many stories to tell.

(Author photo courtesy of Omar Ramos Photography http://www.omarramosphotography.com/Makeup by LaChandra Middlebrooks)

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