Tuesday, November 25, 2014

FRAGILE REIGN (Mortal Enchantment #2) by Stacey O'Neale release day launch & Giveaway

Fragile Reign Release Day
I'm excited to take part in Stacey O'Neale's release day launch for FRAGILE REIGN! Check out the book below and be sure to enter the amazing giveaway!
Fragile Reign by Stacey O'Neale
It’s been a week since all hell broke loose… Rumors of King Taron’s weakened powers have left the air court vulnerable. Kalin is desperate to awaken her akasha powers, except she doesn’t know how. Tension within the court is at an all-time high. Pressure is mounting for her to ascend to the throne, but a halfling has never ruled over any court. To solidify her position, the council has advised her to marry Sebastian—a high ranking air elemental she’s never met and her betrothed. Will Kalin sacrifice her relationship with Rowan to strengthen her court? Rowan and Marcus return to a fire court in turmoil. Liana’s death has fueled the fire elementals’ distrust against the air and woodland courts. The unbalanced elements have set off natural disasters all over the mortal world. Rowan takes the throne to restore balance, promising to unite the fire court. But not all elementals are happy with his leadership. Many are secretly loyal to Valac, which means Rowan needs to find allies for his cause. Can Rowan unify the court of fire before the elements destroy the world? Goodreads | Amazon
If you haven't read Stacey's Mortal Enchantment series, you can get the first book for FREE on Amazon and Barnes & Noble! The Shadow Prince won GOLD at the 2014 Readers' Favorite Book Awards in the Short Story/Novella category!


Excerpt from FRAGILE REIGN

After Marcus left, the lack of sleep and overuse of my power had finally caught up to me. My lids were heavy, making it hard to keep my eyes open. I laid down on the nearest bed, sinking into the softness of the vanilla scented pillows. I could rest here until tomorrow, and then meet Kalin on the beach at sundown. As I closed my eyes, I imagined her in that sexy sundress with the ocean breeze wafting through her red curls. My lips tingled remembering the raspberry taste of her kisses. With all this craziness going on, she was the one thing that made sense. The only person who could make me forget about everything for a little while. Kalin was the one I wanted. The only one I needed. I shook my head. What was wrong with me? It was too soon to be thinking about this stuff, right? It had only been a few weeks. And what did I know about real feelings, anyway? Had it not been for Marcus, I would never even know what it felt like to care for someone. Love was never part of my life. My mother thought love was a weakness—a totally worthless emotion compared to power and control. But that still didn’t explain how I was feeling. Why everything seemed better when Kalin was around. Why my fingers ached to touch her. Why her pain shattered me to the core. I put my hands over my face. Or, maybe the lack of sleep was making me delusional. With a smirk, I gave in to the darkness that was overwhelming me and fell asleep.

Stacey O'NealeAbout the Author

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads
Stacey O'Neale lives in Annapolis, Maryland. When she's not writing, she spends her time fangirling over books, blogging, watching fantasy television shows, cheering for the Baltimore Ravens, and hanging out with her husband and daughter. Her career in publishing started as a blogger-turned-publicist for two successful small publishers. Stacey writes young adult paranormal romance and adult science fiction romance. Her books always include swoon-worthy heroes, snarky heroines, and lots of kissing. Stacey loves hearing from readers. Follow her on Twitter @StaceyONeale, look for her on Facebook, Pinterest, and GoodReads. You can also visit her blog at http://staceyoneale.com/.


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ANOMALY By Tonya Kuper!

Release Date: 11/25/14
Entangled Teen

Summary from Goodreads:
Reality is only an illusion.
Except for those who can control it…

Worst. Birthday. Ever.
My first boyfriend dumped me – happy birthday, Josie!- my dad is who knows where, I have some weird virus that makes me want to hurl, and now my ex is licking another girl’s tonsils. Oh, and I’m officially the same age as my brother was when he died. Yeah, today is about as fun-filled as the swamps of Dagobah. But then weird things start happening…

Like I make something materialize just by thinking about it.
When hot badass Reid Wentworth shows up on a motorcycle, everything changes. Like, everything. Who I am. My family. What really happened to my brother. Existence. I am Oculi, and I have the ability to change reality with my thoughts. Now Reid, in all his hotness, is charged with guiding and protecting me as I begin learning how to bend reality. And he’s the only thing standing between me and the secret organization that wants me dead…

Excerpt  from ANOMALY by Tonya Kuper
I approached the mat. I’d never done any extensive sparring, but I wasn’t a total newb when it came to self-defense. The tae kwon do I’d practiced for years with Eli had to count for something. I hoped.
A heavy footfall pulled my attention back to Reid.
            An arm came at me from the side. Without thinking, I ducked, punched under the incoming arm, and swung my shin at the ankles in my sights. Reid’s legs swept out from under him, and his hands shot out to catch himself. He landed on all fours.
            I gasped for a breath of air, my chest heaving. Evidently I held my breath whenever I was attacked. Reid’s eyes locked on mine. Finally some eye contact. And then he gave me a shitty smile.
            “What the hell?” I snapped. Reid stood and didn’t stop moving until he was in my face. I didn’t let myself flinch. “Just because you’re pissed at me, did you really need to try and take me out? I know you think insta-immersion works best, but maybe it doesn’t for me. Maybe, just maybe—”
            “Will you shut up?”
            I hitched my hands on my hips. “So rude.”
            “Five days, Josie.”
That shut me up in a heartbeat. What the hell was wrong with me? I hadn’t lost sight of the goal. The awards ceremony was—I glanced at the wall clock in the living room—125 hours and fourteen minutes away. Reid shouldn’t take it easy on me. He couldn’t afford to.
“I’m sorry,” I began.
“Stop.” Reid didn’t budge, but he crossed his arms, too. “I was going to give you a compliment, but you won’t stop thinking or talking long enough for me to get a word in edgewise.”
            Oh, oops. “Proceed.”
            He shook his head, closing his clear eyes for a moment. “You are a piece of work.”
            “That doesn’t sound like a compliment.”
            Reid barked a short laugh. “Because it wasn’t. I was going to tell you that you did a good job earlier, you know, with the whole Pushing Pictionary thing. And this?” He pointed behind him, where I’d taken him down. “How did you know what to do?”
            “My parents made us take tae kwon do. Like, for years and years. I guess it just kind of comes naturally.” A hint of pride fluttered through my muscles. And with that pride, just a smidgen of hope. Like maybe I could do this. Maybe I could actually pull this off.
            Reid stood so close that I had to angle my head up to him. My shirt was already sticking to my sweaty stomach. And he still didn’t have a shirt on. I had to make a conscious effort not to look at his body. I could barely focus on what he’d said.
            In no way, shape, or form had I lost sight—no pun intended—of the big picture. I remained focused on the end goal. Reid was just, well, a wee bit distracting, that’s all. And perhaps that was a good thing. Yes. If I could focus around Reid, then that would only better serve me in a real-world environment, when I faced other distractions.
            Yep, that was my story. And I was sticking to it.
            “Let’s work more on hand-to-hand combat. See what comes not-so-naturally, natural.”
            Giving him a nod, I pivoted toward the mats. Feeling his presence behind me and hearing the swish of his jeans as he moved, I stopped short. I twisted, throwing a punch toward his lower jaw. He shifted out of the way, grabbed my wrist in midair, and twisted it around my back. Thank the moon of Endor I was pretty flexible.
            He yanked my arm farther up my back. His opposite arm wrapped around my waist and tugged me into him, his bare chest pressing into my back.
Pain and exhilaration shot into my nervous system. I was stuck. My heart beat wildly, but I wasn’t scared. It had to be the rush of adrenaline into my bloodstream and the fact that a half-naked guy held me in a death grip.
            Reid’s exhale tickled the back of my neck as he steadied his breath. “Nice try.” His voice came out in a rough whisper. His arm tightened around my waist again, his fingertips singeing my skin through my tank as they dug through the material, drawing me in to his body.
            “What’s the matter, Josie? Can’t move?”
A chill danced down my spine when he pulled in a deep breath and his chest expanded against my back. I should’ve been shrugging out of his hold, but I didn’t. My body had locked up in response to his presence. And it pissed me off, because even though he could be an underwear model, I would’ve rather made out with a Romulan. Similar personalities.
Random Facts About Tonya Kuper
Thank you so much for having me on your blog. I’m excited to be here! I thought instead of me answering the usual author question, readers may enjoy some absolute randomness.
So here is a list of random facts about me:
  • I taught yoga for over three years. I haven’t practiced, let alone taught, in years.
  • I once partied with Keith Urban’s band and road crew until four in the morning. Keith was in his room but his bald guitar player said I had the sexiest hair he’d ever seen. So that was…coo/interesting/weird.
  • My kids have life threatening food allergies. My oldest son went into anaphylaxis when he was just over a year old and was gray by the time we got the ER. It seemed as if people came from the walls, appearing out of nowhere to save his life. Scariest day of my life.
  • I have a reaction to a stomach medication that makes my brain think I have Parkinson’s Disease. Yeah, I found that out the hard way. My speech is slurred, my tongue presses to the roof of my mouth, my bottom jaw slides to the side. It’s pretty crazy.
  • There was a movie, a biographical drama, in 2000 called The Perfect Storm, staring George Clooney and Mark Walberg and nominated for two Academy Awards. I sat next to the friend of the crew members lost at sea that served as one of the consultants for the film on the sailing/fishing elements. It was the most interesting plane ride!
  • Anyone watch 24 starring Keifer Sutherland? Well, my friend and I were in NYC in 2011 and ended up at the same bar as him and Jason Patrick (his co-star in a play and Lost Boys, the vampire movie from the 80’s). And Keifer mooned us. Like, ten feet from us.
  • I’m obsessed with accents. Southern drawl, East coast, Canadian, English, Irish, Scottish, whatever. So…cute men + accents = automatic points from me. It’s probably because I grew in rural Illinois then moved to Omaha, Nebraska after college, which is the call center of America because we have such a flat accent, basically no accent. It’s very…generic American.
  • My family, between all four of us, is allergic to almost every mammal on Earth, therefore we have no hairy pets. We literally can’t be enclosed with most mammal dander. It’s so bad, we can’t even have the “hypo-allergenic” dogs. We had fish. They died. And they were boring. My boys wanted to interact with something – so we got a leopard gecko, a desert dweller. I had no idea they were so cute and have such personalities! I post pics and videos of Mo (short for Mo’o, the Hawaiin word for lizard/gecko) on my Instagram account every once in while.

About the Author
Tonya Kuper's debut, ANOMALY, the first in the Schrodinger's Consortium young adult scifi trilogy, releases November 2014 by Entangled Teen. She lives in Omaha, NE with her two rad boys and husband, is a music junkie, and a chocolate addict. Star Wars & Sherlock fan.

Author Links:
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Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #1) by Amy Engel

The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #1)

Goodreads Summary

After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual.

This year, it is my turn.

My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill the president’s son—my soon-to-be husband—and restore the Westfall family to power.

But Bishop Lattimer is either a very skilled actor or he’s not the cruel, heartless boy my family warned me to expect. He might even be the one person in this world who truly understands me. But there is no escape from my fate. I am the only one who can restore the Westfall legacy.

Because Bishop must die. And I must be the one to kill him…

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Jennifer's Review
A World where you have no choice. If you love dystopian books (like I do) & have read alot of them (like I have) then some things in this book will be predictable (destroyed world ----no choice --- the oppressed plan to fight back) but The Book of Ivy has enough other things that will keep you very intrigued & had me quickly turning the pages of this book (and losing lots of sleep). Amy Engel gives us two very strong and likeable characters - Ivy & Bishop. Their path to each other is realistic (doesn't happen too quickly -- but more of a slow, realistic & gradual build). I really liked them as a couple and you will end up rooting for them to succeed together. Amy Engels's world set up is great -- the world itself instead of being black & white like we normally see, has various shades of gray that will have you questioning things right along side Ivy. And those are the things that make a good story -- strong, likeable characters that you want to succeed in a plot that the reader is so immersed they are questioning the same things right alongside the main character. 

The Plot:
Ivy Westfall lives in a world with no choice (the story is told from her POV). Ivy is destined to marry Bishop Lattimer at her "marriage ceremony". At the age of 16 the girls from the "wrong or losing" side are matched up to marry boys from the "right/winning" side (and the same is true for girls on the right side marrying boys on the wrong side). Why? Well its in a crazy attempt to keep peace in this new world.  Who wants to goto war against their own family right? How did it all start? Mass destruction and then Ivy Westfall’s grandfather was overthrown by Bishop Lattimer’s grandfather in the War. Since that time, those that followed the losing side live in Westside and those that followed the winning side live in Eastglen. Ivy's whole life she has been taught to hate the Lattimer's and their oppressive reign. She has basically been turned into a weapon by her own family. Her mission -- to kill her future husband which will start a revolution & put her family back in power. 

Ivy finds out soon enough that Bishop isn't a bad guy, that he's genuine and caring. At every turn Bishop is surprising Ivy and shaking up her entire belief system. Bishop encourages her to speak her mind, even if it goes against everything his father stands for.  We even see her get to a understanding of why President Lattimer does what he does.

As the story unfolds, we see Ivy starting to question who is the bad guy here? Who can she trust? And how does she remain loyal to her family? Is a different way necessarily the right way?
Ivy's family: I didn't like them at all. I am thinking into book 2 we may get to see more of their side of the story but as for now -- I am not a fan :-)

When Ivy & Bishop realize they can only trust each other its too late. This books ends with a serious cliffhanger and some serious betrayal! I am anxiously awaiting the next book to see what happens with them.

About this author
: Amy Engel

I was born in Kansas and after a childhood spent bouncing between countries (Iran, Taiwan) and states (Kansas, California, Missouri, Washington, D.C.), I settled in Kansas City, Missouri where I live with my husband and two kids. Before devoting myself full time to motherhood and writing, I was a criminal defense attorney, which is not quite as exciting as it looks on television. When I have a free moment, I can usually be found reading, running, or shoe shopping.