Thursday, July 31, 2014

~Book Review: Before You by Amber Hart~


Before You (Before & After #1)
Amber Hart
Publication Date:  July 29, 2014 by K-Teen


BUY BEFORE YOU Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iTunes | Kobo Goodreads


Some say love is deadly. Some say love is beautiful. I say it is both.

Faith Watters spent her junior year traveling the world, studying in exquisite places, before returning to Oviedo High School. From the outside her life is picture-perfect. Captain of the dance team. Popular. Happy. Too bad it’s all a lie.

It will haunt me. It will claim me. It will shatter me. And I don't care.

Eighteen-year-old Diego Alvarez hates his new life in the States, but staying in Cuba is not an option. Covered in tattoos and scars, Diego doesn't stand a chance of fitting in. Nor does he want to. His only concern is staying hidden from his past—a past, which if it were to surface, would cost him everything. Including his life.

At Oviedo High School, it seems that Faith Watters and Diego Alvarez do not belong together. But fate is as tricky as it is lovely. Freedom with no restraint is what they long for. What they get is something different entirely.

Love—it will ruin you and save you, both

Faith is the perfect daughter.  Beautiful and charming, she says the right things, has the perfect boyfriend and is captain of the dance team.  Too bad no one knows the truth.  Her best friend Melissa is the only one who knows the real Faith.  The one who is living a lie and trying to make everyone else happy even if it means sacrificing herself.

Enter Diego.  A brand new transfer student from Cuba.  With all of his scars and tattoos, Faith is intrigued and finds herself drawn to the handsome and mysterious bad boy.  Just as you suspect, though, Diego has some secrets of his own.  Why did he really have to leave Cuba?  Why does he never let his guard down?  

I really enjoyed reading this new book.  I have been reading so many books lately where the bad boy with the heart of gold gets the good girl.  It kind of reminded me of Perfect Chemistry (which I loved) but it has so much more.  Diego is such a complex character.  He realizes how much he loves Faith and wants to be with her but that will never happen until she breaks out of her perfect mold.  Faith's father is a preacher and she sets herself in high standards even though her father thinks she is too hard on herself.   And the ending, OH NO!  I was so mad and about to throw something but somehow it all works out.  True love will always prevail.

All in all this is a first great novel from an up and coming amazing author.  I am glad this is going to be a series and look forward to the next book.  I definitely would recommend this book. 

I received a copy of this book  for a fair and honest review.  This in no way influences my thoughts or review.


 ABOUT AMBER HART Amber Hart grew up in Orlando, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia. She now resides on the Florida coastline with family. When unable to find a book, she can be found writing, daydreaming, or with her toes in the sand. She's the author of BEFORE YOU, AFTER US, UNTIL YOU FIND ME, and sequel to UNTIL YOU FIND ME (untitled as of yet). Represented by Beth Miller of Writers House. She lives outside Washington, DC with her family and English Bulldog.

  CONNECT WITH AMBER HART Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads

~Promo and Giveaway: Branded by Abi Ketner~


Get-Branded-banner
Welcome to the GET BRANDED promo for
Branded (Sinners #1)
by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki
presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post.
Branded-Cover
Fifty years ago The Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society.
To punish the guilty, he created the Hole, a place where sinners are branded according to their sins. Sinners are forced to live a less than human existence in deplorable conditions, under the watchful eye of guards who are ready to kill anyone who steps out of line.
Now, LUST wraps around my neck like thick, blue fingers, threatening to choke the life out of me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit, and the Hole is my new home.
Constant darkness.
Brutal and savage violence.
Excruciating pain.
Every day is a fight for survival.
But I won’t let them win. I will not die in the Hole.
I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter. My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.
add to goodreads
Branded (Sinners #1) by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki
Publisher: Month9Books
Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Excerpt

CHAPTER 1
I’m buried six feet under, and no one hears my screams. The rope chafes as I loop it around my neck. I pull down, making sure the knot is secure. It seems sturdy enough. My legs shake. My heart beats heavy in my throat. Sweat pours down my back. Death and I glare at each other through my tears. I take one last look at the crystal chandelier, the foyer outlined with mirrors, and the flawless decorations. No photographs adorn the walls. No happy memories here. I’m ready to go. On the count of three. I inhale, preparing myself for the finality of it all. Dropping my hands, a glimmer catches my eye. It’s my ring, the last precious gift my father gave me. I twist it around to read the inscription. Picturing his face forces me to reconsider my choice. He’d be heartbroken if he could see me now. A door slams in the hallway, almost causing me to lose my balance. My thoughts already muddled, I stand waiting with the rope hanging around my neck. Voices I don’t recognize creep through the walls. Curiosity overshadows my current thoughts. It’s late at night, and this is a secure building in High Society. No one disturbs the peace here—ever. I tug on the noose and pull it back over my head. Peering through the eyehole in our doorway, I see a large group of armed guards banging on my neighbors’ door. A heated conversation ensues, and my neighbors point toward my family’s home. It hits me. I’ve been accused and they’re here to arrest me. My father would want me to run, and in that split second, I decide to listen to his voice within me. Flinging myself forward in fear, I scramble up the marble staircase and into my brother’s old bedroom. The door is partially covered, but it exists. Pushing his dresser aside, my fingers claw at the opening. Breathing hard, I lodge myself against it. Nothing. I step back and kick it with all my strength. The wood splinters open, and my foot gets caught. I wrench it backward, scraping my calf, but adrenaline pushes me forward. The voices at the front door shout my name. On hands and knees, I squeeze through the jagged opening. My brother left through this passage, and now it’s my escape too. Cobwebs entangle my face, hands, and hair. At the end, I feel for the knob, twisting it clockwise. It swings open, creaking from disuse. I sprint into the hallway and smash through the large fire escape doors at the end. A burst of cool air strikes me in the face as I jump down the ladder. Reaching the fifth floor, I knock on a friend’s window. The lights flicker on, and I see the curtains move, but no one answers. I bang on the window harder. “Let me in! Please!” I say, but the lights darken. They know I’ve been accused and refuse to help me. Fear and adrenaline rush through my veins as I keep running, knocking on more windows along the way. No one has mercy. They all know what happens to sinners. Another flight of stairs passes in a blur when I hear the guards’ heavy footfalls from above. I can’t hide, but I don’t want to go without trying. Help me, Daddy. I need your strength now. My previous desolation evolves into a will to survive. I have to keep running, but I tremble and gasp for air. I steel my nerves and force my body to keep moving. In a matter of minutes, my legs cramp and my chest burns. I plunge to the ground, scraping my knee and elbow. A moan escapes from my chest. Gotta keep going. “Stop!” Their voices bounce off the buildings. “Lexi Hamilton, surrender yourself,” they command. They’re gaining on me. I resist the urge to glance back, running into what I assume is an alley. I’m far from our high-rise in High Society as I plunge into a poorer section of the city where the streets all look the same and the darkness prevents me from recognizing anything. I’m lost. My first instinct is to leap into a dumpster, but I retain enough sense to stay still. I crouch and peek around it, watching them dash by. The abhorrent smell leaves me vomiting until nothing remains in my stomach. Desperation overtakes me, as I know my retching was anything but silent. My last few seconds tick away before they find me. Everyone knows about their special means of tracking sinners. I push myself to my feet and look left, right, and left again. Their batons click against their black leather belts, and their boots stomp the cement on both sides of me. I shrink into myself. Their heavy steps mock my fear, growing closer and closer until I know I’m trapped. Never did I imagine they’d come for me. Never did I imagine all those nights I heard them dragging someone else away that I’d join them. “You’re a sinner,” they say. “Time to leave.” I stand defiant. I refuse to bend or break before them, even as I shiver with fear. “There’s no reason to make this difficult. The more you cooperate, the smoother this will be for everyone,” a guard says. I cringe into the blackness along the wall. I’m innocent, but they won’t believe me or care. The next instant, my face slams into the pavement as one guard plants a knee in my back and another handcuffs me. A warm liquid trails into my mouth. Blood. Their fingers grip my arms like steel traps as they peel me off the cement. The tops of my shoes scrape along the ground as I’m dragged behind them until they discard me into the back of a black vehicle. The doors slam in unison with one guard stationed on each side of me, my shoulders digging into their arms. Swallowing hard, I stare ahead to avoid their eyes. My dignity is all I have left. The handcuffs dig into my wrists, so I clasp them together hard behind me and press my back into the seat, unwilling to admit how much it hurts. Did they need so many guards to capture me? I’m not carrying any weapons, nor do I own any. I don’t even know self-defense. High Society frowns on activities like that. The driver jerks the vehicle around and I try to keep my bearings, but it’s dark and the scenery changes too fast. Hours pass, and the air grows warmer, more humid the farther we drive. The landscape mutates from city to rolling hills. They don’t bother blindfolding me because they escort all the sinners to the same place—the Hole. Twenty-foot cement walls encase the chaos within. There’s no way out and no way in unless they transport you. They say the Hole is a prison with no rules. We learned about it last year in twelfth grade. To the outside, I’m filth now. I’ll never be allowed to return to the life I knew. No one ever does. “All sinners go through a transformation,” one of the guards says to me. His smirk infuriates me. “I’m sure you’ve heard all kinds of stories.” I don’t respond. I don’t want to think about the things I’ve been told. “You won’t last too long, though. Young girls like you get eaten alive.” He pulls a strand of my hair up to his face. Get your hands off me, you pig. I want to lash out, but resist. The punishment for disobeying authority is severe, and I’m not positioned to defy him. They’re the Guards of the Commander. They’re chosen from a young age and trained in combat. They keep the order of society by using violent methods of intimidation. No one befriends a guard. Relationships with them are forbidden inside the Hole. Few have seen the Commander. His identity stays under lock and key. His own paranoia and desire to stay pure drove him to live this way. He controls our depraved society and believes sinners make the human race unforgivable. His power is a crushing fist, rendering all beneath him helpless. So much so, even family members turn on each other when an accusation surfaces. Just an accusation. No trial, no evidence, nothing but an accusation. I lose myself in thoughts of my father. “Never show fear, Lexi,” my father said to me before he was taken. “They’ll use it against you.” His compassionate eyes filled with warning as he commanded me to be strong. That was many years ago, but I remember it clearly. My father. My rock. The one person in my life who provided unconditional love. “Get out,” the guard says while pulling me to my feet. The vehicle stops, and I’m jerked back to reality. The doors slide open and the two guards lift me up and out into the night. A windowless cement building looms in front of us, looking barren in the darkness. The coolness of the air sends a shiver up my spine. This is really happening. I’ve been labeled a sinner. My lip starts to quiver, but I bite it before anyone sees. They shove me in line, and I realize I’m not alone. Women and men stand with faces frozen white with fear. Some are hardened criminals; others, like me, are innocent. A guard grabs my finger, pricks it, and dabs my blood on a tiny microchip. I follow the man in front of me into the next room where we’re lined up facing the wall. Glancing right, I see one of the men crying. “I didn’t mean to hit the guard. I swear it!” he pleads. I turn my head when I see a guard whip out his baton. The thumping sounds of his beating unnerve me. “Spread your legs,” one of the guards says icily. They remove my outer layers and their hands roam up and down my body. What do they think I can possibly be hiding? I press my head into the wall, trying to block out what they’re doing to me. “MOVE!” a guard commands. So I shuffle across the room, trying to cover up. One.
Two.
Three.
Four.
Five of us sit in the holding room. A woman clings to a man sitting next to her. She grips his arm and I can see the whitening of her knuckles. Her eyes meet mine and then she quickly turns away. He’s bent over his hands, defeated. “I’m not the criminal they say I am,” he whispers. His voice breaks. One by one, they pull people into the next room, forcing the rest of us to wonder what torture we’ll endure. I hear screaming from somewhere inside. An agonizing amount of time passes. I lean my head back and try to imagine a place far away. The door opens. “Lexi Hamilton.” A guard escorts me out of the room, and I don’t have time to look back. The first thing I see is a large photo of a regal-looking man on the wall. His frame is wide and he has cobalt blue eyes and a shock of black hair. He’s handsome, middle-aged, and wears the uniform of the Commander. My jaw drops open. It can’t be… Then the door slams closed. I feel their strong arms pick me up and place me on a table. It’s cold and my skin sticks to it slightly, like wet fingers on an ice cube. They exit in procession, and I lie on the table with a doctor standing over me. His hands are busy as he speaks. “Don’t move. This will only take a few minutes. It’s time for you to be branded.” A wet cloth that smells like rubbing alcohol is used to clean my skin. Then he places a metal collar around my neck. Click. Click. Click. The collar locks into place, and I struggle to breathe. The doctor loosens it some as I focus on the painted black words above me.
The Seven Deadly Sins:
Lust — Blue Gluttony — Orange Greed — Yellow Sloth — Black Wrath — Red Envy — Green Pride — Purple
“Memorize it. Might keep you alive longer if you know who to stay away from.” He opens my mouth, placing a bit inside. “Bite this.” Within seconds, the collar heats from hot to scorching. The smell of flesh sizzling makes my head spin. I bite down so hard a tooth cracks. “GRRRRRRRRR,” escapes from deep within my chest. Just when I’m about to pass out, the temperature drops, and the doctor loosens the collar. He removes it and sits me up. Excruciating pain rips through me, and I’m on the verge of a mental and physical breakdown. Focus. Don’t pass out. Stainless steel counters and boring white walls press in on me. And that large, gilded photo stares at me like it’s watching. A guard laughs at me from an observation room above and yells, “Blue. It’s a great color for a pretty young thing like yourself.” His eyes dance with suggestion. The others meander around like it’s business as usual. I finally find my voice and turn to the doctor. “Are you going to give me clothes?” A burning pain spreads like fire up from my neck to my jaw, making me wince. He shrugs and points to a set of folded grey scrubs on a chair. I cover myself as much as I can and scurry sideways. Grabbing my clothes and pulling the shirt over my head, I try to avoid the raw meat around my throat. I quickly knot the cord of my pants around my waist and slide my feet into the hospital-issue slippers as the doctor observes. He hands me a bag labeled with my name. “Nothing is allowed through the door but what we’ve given you,” he says. I hide my right hand behind me, hoping no one notices. A guard scans my body and opens his fist. “Give it to me.” His eyes turn to slits. “Don’t make me rip off your finger.” He crouches down and I turn to stone. I don’t know what to do, so I beg. “My father gave this to me. Please, let me keep it.” I smash my eyes shut and think of the moment my father handed the golden ring to me. “It was my mother’s ring,” he’d said. “She’s the strongest woman I ever knew.” With tears in his eyes, he reached for my hand and said, “Lexi, you’re exactly like her. She’d want you to wear this. No matter how this world changes, you can survive.” I turned the gold band over in my palm and read the engraving.
You can overcome anything… short of death.
“You’re going to take the one thing that matters the most to me?” I say, glaring into the guard’s emotionless eyes. “Isn’t it enough taking my life, dignity, and respect?” A hard blow falls upon my back. As I fall, my hands shoot out to stop me from smashing into the wall in front of me. The guard bends down and grabs my chin with his meaty fist. “Look at me,” he commands. I look up and he smiles with arrogance. “What the hell?” He staggers a step backward. “What’s wrong with you? What’s wrong with your eyes?” “Nothing,” I respond, confused. “What color are they?” “Turquoise.” I glower at him. “Interesting,” he says, regaining his composure. “Now those’ll get you in trouble.” Reality slaps me across the face. I have my father’s eyes. They can't take them from me. I twist the ring off my finger and drop it in his hand. “Take the damn ring,” I say. I walk to the door. He swipes a card and the massive door slides open to the outside. “You have to wear your hair back at all times, so everyone knows what you are.” He hands me a tie, so I pull my frizzy hair away from my face and secure it into a ponytail. My neck burns and itches as my hand traces the scabs that have already begun to form. Squinting ahead in the darkness, I almost run into a guard standing on the sidewalk. “Watch where you’re going,” he says, shoving me backward. His stiff figure stands tall and I cringe at the sharpness of his voice. “Cole, this is your new assignment, Lexi Hamilton. See to it she feels welcome in her new home.” The guard departs with a salute. “Let’s move,” Cole says. I take two steps and collapse, my knees giving out. The unforgiving pavement reopens the scrapes from earlier and I struggle to stand. A powerful arm snatches me up, and I see his face for the first time.

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author
 Courtesy of authors' website
Abi and Missy met in the summer of 1999 at college orientation and have been best friends ever since. After college, they added jobs, husbands and kids to their lives, but they still found time for their friendship. Instead of hanging out on weekends, they went to dinner once a month and reviewed books. What started out as an enjoyable hobby has now become an incredible adventure.
Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Giveaway
Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

~Review: Zomburbia by Adam Gallardo~

Zomburbia
Adam Gallardo
Publication Date:  August 26, 2014 by K-Teen


My name is Courtney Hart, and I'm here to tell you about things that suck. Being born in a podunk town like Salem, Oregon, for one. Living in a world infested with zombies? That, too. And the meat heads I go to school with? I think I'd actually take the undead over them most days. But I have a plan to get out of here and move to New York. I just have to keep selling Vitamin Z along with your fries at The Bully Burger. The secret ingredient? Zombie brains.

I've noticed things are getting even worse lately, if that's even possible. The zombies seem to be getting smarter and faster. If I can avoid being arrested, eaten by shufflers, or catching the eye of some stupid boy, I should be able to make it through finals week still breathing. . .


Courtney is just your regular high school kid.  Living in a small town and working at the local burger joint is as exciting as her life gets.  Did I mention the Zombies?  Zombies have infested the large cities of the United States but living out in the suburbs they are not that bad.  They still take extra precautions but this is the only life Courtney has ever known.  Hoping to get out of this town and move out of state, Courtney has opened her own side business selling Vitamin Z to fund her way to New York.  

After some really bad decisions Courtney looses some people that were most important to her.  She has to rethink her whole life plan.  She also meets Brandon, the super hot football player who has a huge crush on her.  Spending her life being the wallflower, will she be comfortable hanging with the popular kids?  

This was a wonderful book.  I love Zombie books and this is a fresh approach to that genre.   The storyline was well written and different;  unlike any zombie book I have read before.  Courtney is cynical and critical to those around her.  She can be self centered and unlikable to most.  To me, that just makes her more interesting.  She tries to be one thing while inside she is struggling with her decisions.  I am very excited this is a series and look forward to the second book.  If you like zombies or if you are looking for something different to read I would definitely pick up a copy of this book.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for a fair and honest review.  This in no way influenced my thoughts or review.

Meet Adam Gallardo
Adam Gallardo is a writer who lives and works in Oregon. Mostly known for writing comics (Star Wars: Infinities -- Return of the Jedi, 100 Girls and Gear School volumes one & two), his debut YA novel, Zomburbia, will be published by Kensington in August.

~Cover Reveal: Let Me In by Erin McCarthy~

Let Me In by Erin McCarthy 
(Blurred Lines #3) 
Publication date: September 25th 2014 
Genres: New Adult, Romance



A girl in danger…
Aubrey Walsh never dreamed that she would find herself in an abusive relationship, but after her boyfriend hits her so hard he breaks her tooth, she flees the University of Maine to hide on a remote island with her best friend.  Only to discover that she is pregnant.  Terrified of what will happen if Jared finds out, she is walking along the rocks, deciding her future, when she slips.
A guy with a secret past…
After a job gone wrong, Riker has left the assassin business and is incognito as a ferryboat operator off the shores of Maine.  It’s a lonely life, and when he sees a young woman almost fall off the rocks, he doesn’t hesitate to save her and take her in, though he’s determined to stay unemotionally uninvolved.  But when the truth about her situation is revealed, he will do anything to protect Aubrey and her unborn child.
Even marry her. Even kill for her.
When Jared comes looking for the only girl who has ever rejected him, Riker won’t allow it.  And Aubrey is torn between protecting herself and her child, or protecting the mysterious husband she has come to love.
And when chance brings them together but fate tears them apart, can their love survive the storm?
USA Today and New York Times Bestselling author Erin McCarthy sold her first book in 2002 and has since written almost fifty novels and novellas in teen fiction, new adult, and adult romance. Erin has a special weakness for New Orleans, tattoos, high-heeled boots, beaches and martinis. She lives in Ohio with her family, two grumpy cats and a socially awkward dog.

Author links:



~Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Cinder & Ella by Kelly Oram~

Cinder & Ella
Kelly Oram
Expected release date:  October 1, 2014


It’s been almost a year since eighteen-year-old Ella Rodriguez was in a car accident that left her crippled, scarred, and without a mother. After a very difficult recovery, she’s been uprooted across the country and forced into the custody of a father that abandoned her when she was a young child. If Ella wants to escape her father’s home and her awful new stepfamily, she must convince her doctors that she’s capable, both physically and emotionally, of living on her own. The problem is, she’s not ready yet. The only way she can think of to start healing is by reconnecting with the one person left in the world who’s ever meant anything to her—her anonymous Internet best friend, Cinder. 


Hollywood sensation Brian Oliver has a reputation for being trouble. There’s major buzz around his performance in his upcoming film The Druid Prince, but his management team says he won’t make the transition from teen heartthrob to serious A-list actor unless he can prove he’s left his wild days behind and become a mature adult. In order to douse the flames on Brian’s bad-boy reputation, his management stages a fake engagement for him to his co-star Kaylee. Brian isn’t thrilled with the arrangement—or his fake fiancĂ©e—but decides he’ll suffer through it if it means he’ll get an Oscar nomination. Then a surprise email from an old Internet friend changes everything.

Teaser excerpt:
“You do have someone who cares,” he said softly. “No matter how bad things are at home or at school or whatever, you have me. You’re my best friend, too. You have my number now. Save it in your phone and call it anytime—day, night, the witching hour—it doesn’t matter. Okay?”
It took me a moment—and a series of deep breaths—before I could respond. “Okay.”
“Promise?”
“I promise. As long as I always have you, I’ll be fine.” I kicked myself internally and laughed.“Wow, that sounded really cheesy. You see? That’s why I didn’t want to call you. I can filter my stupid mouth so much better when I have to type out my thoughts.”
Cinder laughed again. “Ah, but then you would miss out on all the sweet nothings I plan to whisper in your ear now that I know how much you like my ultra-sexy voice.”
I blushed but refused to let him know that his flirting rattled me. “I never said ultra, you egomaniac. But you should definitely consider recording audiobooks for a living.”
“Hmm. That’s not a bad idea.” Cinder’s voice dropped to that slow, seductive purr again as he asked, “Would you like me to read to you, Ellamara?”
I thrilled at the thought and couldn’t quite mask my excitement. “Seriously?”
“Why not? Before you called, I was getting ready to have a Top Gear marathon all by my lonesome.”
“You are such a liar. Tonight is Friday night, and it’s Halloween. There is no way you don’t have plans.”
I don’t have important ones. It’s just a stupid party that my sort-of girlfriend wants me to go to.”
Your ‘sort-of’ girlfriend?
“Yeah.” Cinder stretched the word out in a long breath. “It’s a long story, but I’m not that into her. I’d much rather stay home and read with you. Besides, I can’t hang up on you when you’ve had the worst day ever. What kind of best friend would that make me?”
I almost cried again. The offer was so sweet. And thoughtful. Reading was a passion Cinder and I shared. We read and discussed books all the time. We’d even decided to read the same book at the same time before, but we’d never read one together. Cinder had to know how much that would mean to me.
“It has to be The Druid Prince,” I said.
Cinder laughed. Its already in my hands.





Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen–a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and loves to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and four children.








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~Excerpt Tour and Giveaway: Reign Of Shadows by Melissa Wright~

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Happy release day to
Reign of Shadows by Melissa Wright!

We hope you enjoyed getting to read the frist eight chapters of Reign of Shadows!! If you missed any of the excerpts, you can go back (click on each stop to read the full excerpt) and read them now or you can purchase a copy of the book for yourself!

Launch
What do you hope readers will take with them when they read this last book in the series? 
To me, things really come full circle with the characters, their relationships, and the dilemma of facing their lot in life. I think they've learned a lot, they've definitely been through some trials, but it was nice to give them that sense of understanding and the chance to see how things truly are. They had to either accept it or fight to the end, but it was nice to give them the choice.

Letters from Annie (Douglass) Lima - Chapter One

Heat pulsed through the warehouse, liquid fire pushed by some unseen force. Metal screamed and block crumbled, tearing away every protection she had from the gale. But it was not the light of fire that accompanied the wind, not the brightness of a flame. It was dark beneath the haze of fog.

It was a shadow...

Kelly P's Blog - Chapter One Cont'd
“No,” she whispered. “I’m sorry for what’s about to happen.” She tilted her head, drawing it from beneath his chin to look again at the amber of his eyes, the glow that was within them before suddenly stronger than she’d ever seen it. “I’m sorry for what I’ve set into motion...”

BookSkater - Chapter Two
“I’m ready,” the dark-haired man said, hands fisted at his sides. He was a complete contradiction to his audience, but he didn’t care. He wanted her. He would take her himself. “Let me at her before she has the chance to get any stronger...”

My Life, Loves and Passion - Chapter Three

Aern’s weight shifted, unconsciously moving toward her. He’d known the battle with Morgan was not the end. He’d seen it in Brianna’s eyes, felt it in her apology. They’d set some new chain of events into motion, brought some new fate down on them all...

Prism Book Tours - Chapter Three Cont'd

And here was the more Aern had thought he’d seen in Brianna’s expression. Because she’d known, once she’d found the connections to free herself and Emily, that they were not in place from centuries ago. Those binds, the ones that had kept their powers hidden, were put in place after they’d been born. And the only thing strong enough to do so would have been another shadow...

Book n Blog - Chapter Three Cont'd
“The thing is,” Brianna said, shifting just enough that her admission was directed to both of them, “the thing that doesn’t make sense is that she permitted us to be bound, chose this path for us, brought us to you.” She hesitated, eyes falling first to Aern and then lingering a heartbeat too long on Logan. “Because the shadows are the reason,” she wet her lips, “the ones who took the power from the Seven Lines to begin with.”

Mythical Books - Chapter Three Cont'd
Aern stared at her, everything that he’d learned in his youth rolling through his mind. The Seven Lines had once been powerful, able to do much more than simply use sway. Something had happened, something they’d called a thinning of the blood, that had slowly weakened their powers until no more than this remained. He wanted to not believe her. He wanted to keep thinking the stories they’d been told were true...

Christy's Cozy Corners - Chapter Four
But that slim blonde was gone now, taken when these men had invaded Westlake and destroyed the right half of her body. All that was left of her was the warrior, the daughter of a council elder with the blood of Sky. She was strong. She’d downed seven of their men before they’d strapped her into a truck and drove away from the fire and destruction that was the Division headquarters...

Book-Marks the Spot - Chapter Four Cont'd
His head hung, but he looked at Ellin from beneath his brow, swollen and bruised, cut and bleeding. She could still see the unhealed scars from the day he’d released Morgan. The day he’d tried to save their prophet. He wouldn’t give her now, not any single bit of information that would help them. He would never turn on Brianna...

Simplistic Reviews - Chapter Four Cont'd
He crouched beside her, fingertips rolling over his thumbs, and cocked one brow. “You know the rules Miss Walker. If you want to stop me from hurting Mr. Samuels, you’ll need to give me an answer in return.”

She swallowed against the thickness in her throat, new blood working free of her wounds. Her chest ached, fear and panic and unadulterated adrenaline.

Still, she managed to say, “Please, call me Ellin.”

He laughed. A short, shallow huff of air that said she’d surprised him, but it couldn’t have been true humor...

Wishful Endings - Chapter 5
He sighed. “We can’t leave him to …” He broke off, frustrated at their lack of information, and said, “Whatever he’s doing, Brianna, it’s wrong. We have to find him. He held you captive. He was working with Morgan.” His list stopped as he realized they had the key...

Katie's Clean Book Collection - Chapter 5 Cont'd
Brianna stood as well. “That’s not why you can’t go after him.” She’d been thinking about this for days, since before she’d known about Brendan. Since she’d realized what she and Emily were. She didn’t know if it was right, if it was the plan her mother had laid in place, but she wouldn’t be able to live with doing anything different. She had to protect them...

Nocturnal Predators Reviews - Chapter 5 Cont'd
Her eyes were closed, but she could feel him watching her as his hands stilled. A thumb rolled slowly up the side of her neck and she breathed deep, relaxing into the feel of his fingers as they came higher to trail feather-light over her cheek, her temple, barely brushing her eyelid. Logan's breath came out in what might have been a whisper, and then she felt him move, lips touching hers so gently that she couldn’t resist reaching for him, to pull him closer where he leaned over her...

Mary Terrani.com - Chapter 6
Aern stood in front of Brianna, hands clasped with hers as she searched his connections. He could feel Emily behind him from her spot on the edge of the sofa. He didn’t need to look to imagine her, hands twisted as she watched her sister work to restore some long-gone power within him. The bond was changing, becoming stronger—more real every moment—and it was as if he could sense her distress. This wasn’t some experiment to work toward a vague prophecy. This was Brianna’s last-chance gamble to try and save them from a vision she knew was true, a fight that was coming to them. A war they couldn’t escape...

My Devotional Thoughts - Chapter 6 Cont'd
“We think she’s trying to tell us about Brendan,” Eric said from behind them, his voice quiet. 

Aern watched as Ellin’s eye closed tighter. “No,” he said. “Brianna. She’s trying to warn us about Brianna.” A grateful breath escaped her and she opened her eye to close it again, in a long blink. A yes...

His thumb slid over her cheek. “Don’t worry, Ellin. We have her. She’s safe.” Her gaze moved to his, another warning, and he answered, “We know they’re coming for her, but she’s safe...”

The Written Adventure - Chapter 6 Cont'd
“And if they find us?” Eric said.

Aern glanced at the door that Ellin’s cart had disappeared behind, remembering her broken body. As if they had played with her, taken their time. Brianna’s face when she’d described Brendan, when she’d said the others were coming.

His gaze met Eric’s, tone even. “Pray...”

The Wonderings of One Person - Chapter 7
It was time. She was getting stronger, finding her own answers, and it was going to be too late. He couldn’t go to her, the shadows had warned him against that, but there would be no call for issue if Brianna found him. If she initiated the contact. Come to me, Brianna, he thought. Come to me and I will show you why your kind is hiding...

Dalene's Book Reviews - Chapter 8

Logan’s lips pursed. “Hot dogs are over rated.”

She shook her head, shifting so that her denim-covered leg touched his. “You’re cooking them wrong.”

He laughed, turning to see her. “How’s that?”

“You have to smother them in chili and that radioactive-yellow cheese sauce, and then you cover the whole thing with a bag of corn chips...”

Deal Sharing Aunt - Chapter 8 Cont'd
She smirked. “They’re going to be a bit like Morgan, I’m afraid. They’re very proud of their power.” Her eyes went unfocused as she studied the visions, a set of futures where the lesser shadows sought her out. She couldn’t see them, exactly, but she could glimpse the events, knew the way things would unfold. She was hunting in the darkness, searching for bits of light in fog. These shadows weren’t as quick and ruthless, not like the others, but she knew that was coming, too. “Not all of them,” she said. “The men behind this, they aren’t in it for the glory.” She shivered, finding the last of the visions, the scenes too hard to relive. “They only want the outcome...”

Reign of Shadows
(Descendants #3)
By Melissa Wright
YA/NA Urban Fantasy

Brianna can see her future, but it’s the past that haunts her. Plans laid in place centuries ago are threatening not only her and her sister, but all of the Seven Lines. As the shadows plot their way to old rule, the visions shift again. Her power has led to some hard choices—and the occasional stab wound—but this set of futures holds nothing but darkness.

Unable to bear the idea of losing the footing they've so recently gained, she turns the soldiers of the Seven. But with shadows hidden among the ranks, can she overcome the path they've set in place, or is she blindly following their lead?


The other books in the Descendants Series

Shifting Fate (Descendants Series, #2)Shifting Fate
(Descendants #2)
by Melissa Wright
YA/NA Urban Fantasy

According to prophecy, Brianna Drake was born to save the world. The trouble is, she doesn't have the slightest idea how. Her visions should have given her the answer, but they’re beginning to shift, making the danger too unpredictable, even for a prophet.

If she can just help her sister restore their hidden powers, she might be able to stop what’s coming. But an old enemy returns, and he’s got plans for Brianna and her visions.

What neither of them knows is that fate has given a stranger one chance to find her. He was trained to protect the chosen—but if he fails, the future will crumble.

Shifting Fate is the second book in the Descendants Series (following Bound by Prophecy) and focuses on Brianna and Logan.

There is a teaser posted here and the first chapter posted here, but beware, it's full of spoilers from the first book.

Purchase from Amazon , Barnes and Noble, and the Book Depository. Can also purchase in audio at iTunes and Audible.

Bound by Prophecy
(Descendants #1)
by Melissa Wright
YA/NA Urban Fantasy

Twenty-two-year-old Aern is done watching his brother destroy the only thing that matters. He never wanted to take Morgan’s place among council, never wanted to rule their hidden world. But when the key to the prophecy is found, a young girl named Brianna whom Morgan will destroy, Aern knows he has to take action.

What he really wants, is for things to go back to normal. But now he’s kidnapped a girl, and his brother’s men are after him. His only hope is to join with the Division, but they have plans of their own, and it’s the last thing Aern is willing to do.


Emily just wants her sister back. She doesn't care about the prophecy, or realize what’s at stake. But when she goes after Aern, the truth of the matter uncoils, and Brianna isn't the only one who’s in danger.


Suddenly, they’re at the center of a secret war, and unless they can work together, they’ll both have a sacrifice too big to make.


You can read an excerpt of Bound by Prophecy here.


Get the ebook for FREE on Nook and Kindle. Can also purchase from the Book Depository, and in audio at iTunes and Audible.


About the Author

Melissa Wright is the author of the Frey Saga and the new Descendants series. Melissa spends her time working on novels, but when not writing she can be found on Goodreads and Pinterest.


Tour-Wide Giveaway

Grand Prize: $15 Amazon Gift Card and ebook copies of all three Descendants' books
3 - ebook copies Shifting Fate or Reign of Shadows (winner's choice)
Open internationally
Ends August 7th

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~Blitz and Guest Post by Adi Alsaid author of Let's Get Lost~

~Book Blitz and Giveaway: Street Food and Love by H.A. Enri~


Street Food and Love by H.A. Enri 
Published by: Martin Sisters Publishing
Publication date: Summer 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult


AMAZON          B&N

Sole Eaby, seventeen, has a few complaints he’d like to lodge against life, the main one being that his dad, Cedro, has recently quit his job and withdrawn his entire life savings, which included Sole’s college fund. Why? To launch a food truck business he knows nothing about.

To cope, Sole uses his knifelike wit to moonlight as a stand-up comedian, and so far, it’s paying off. He’s not only replenishing his college treasury, he’s making people laugh; but it’s one person in particular he performs for. Her name is Ava. When the fated bond of humor joins the two, and they begin a sort of quasi-romance, things begin to seem somewhat bearable. Of course, that’s when an ill-timed event decides to put another spin on things. Just when Sole is ready to move on with his own life and disconnect himself from his father and the family business, he suddenly finds himself in charge of the food truck he desperately loathes. Here is where Sole must realize that the answers to love and life are not to be found apart but, rather, are more like a savory recipe: only by combining the ingredients will the wonderful flavors reveal themselves. When comedy isn’t enough, the future seems ever bleak, and a fledgling love has barely had a chance to bloom, where will Sole turn?
Q and A with Author H.A. Enri
Would you actually want to own a food truck, and if so, what would you serve and what would you call it?
Owning and operating? Hmm. Perhaps, with a capital P. In conducting the research for this book, I came to understand a) it’s no easy task to keep a successful food truck running; b) success does not always have to do with the ability to deliver big on taste; c) concept and branding i.e. marketing are huge aspects to the business and, like many artists, that whole part of it is not always where the passion of it all lie; d) a little luck never hurts. Does this sound like someone trying to be a writer? Surely does. I love to cook and do at least four days out of the week, but to make my livelihood out it...I’d have to be pretty hungry to commit anytime soon. Lot’s of love to food truck owner operators.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I've actually known I've wanted to be a writer since I was twelve. The brief excerpt of that mini epiphany is on my website’s FAQ's. As for YA, I didn’t know I actually wanted to write for young adults until about eight years ago. This book made it through the publication portal, but there are other predecessors on my hard drive, many young adults megabyte format wondering why they never got to graduate from being mere Word docs to full blown, bound, edited and printed books.

If you were a dish on a food truck, what would you be called?
I would be a patty of thick, ground, kobe beef, topped with cheese, caramelized onion, tomato, guacamole and a special sauce, all between buttered and toasted, thick sourdough. I’m simple, like a burger, but I am also not just your regular driver through or diner burger either (does this sound like some dating site profile? Ha!). In any case, it would be called the Soul Melt because more than deeply satisfying the palate, it would penetrate the soul of anyone who ate it. P.S. I really am into the world “soul” and all it connotates.

Novelists who inspired you?
The list is long. In YA we have Sarah Dessen, Gary Schmidt, Caroline Cooney, Ned Vizzini, I will add that not many people mention Vizzini—God rest his talented soul, and it’s shocking. He’s been considered a pioneer of the modern YA lit genre, and I agree. Hopefully, I see him on the other side and we can collaborate.

Talk about YA Lit. 
It is summarily different than it used to be even twelve years ago. And pre 2000’s—forget it. That was like reading Homer. Seriously, I mean you have to practice writing effective scenes during commercials (do don’t delete them, you aspiring YA writers, from your DVR. They may prove to be useful yet) in order to match the pace of the current ideal YA. Secondly, don’t forget the lingo the characters used in your favorite sitcom right before the commercial. It should be transposed to your novel. Remember they used to teach, “Don’t write how you speak”? Not so anymore. Those teachers, apparently, were wrong. And no, I haven’t perfectly mastered the art of copy-matching-and-pacing at commercial speed in my writing style. you remember reading with a dictionary handy? Hey, with apps now, it should be easier, except that rarely do YA books require readers to have to use one anymore. Remember when you read something and went WTF? Even after three reads! And it wasn’t because you checked out. Sometimes it was like the writer just wrote and invited you to his house but said, “There’s the fridge and stove. If you’re hungry, do your best.” I’m not saying I don’t appreciate what is happening now and don’t get it, I do and am not against it. But something in my writing approach still doesn’t mind if readers are expected to sort of work through certain language tones and aspects.

Love and romance aren’t depicted the way the YA genre seems to be going in your novel. Why?
Have you been around a high school aged lately? Till death do us part, mad love isn’t en vogue. Most young adults aren’t really sure where love fits into their lives, and to begin to truly to answer that is scary enough for many people, let alone young people. I wanted Sole to reflect a kid who didn’t just zero in on one girl and know she was the one. That’s usually not how it works anyway, at least not when your age still has “teen” as a suffix. As for Ava, many young girls with allure have older guys after them, and that’s why I wanted to show that in the first chapters. That’s reality for many young adult girls of her capacity. Sometimes, too, they chose those guys. I don’t think this makes my book not YA. Upper YA? Sure. But still YA definitely.

I sense an intentional avenue in your book carved out, specifically referring to your focus of a father and son conflict. Explain that.
Well, it’s got nothing to do with my own relationship with my father. We have an outstanding and close one. But you’re correct about the father and son aspect. Many fathers take a backseat in literature or are two dimensional caricatures who are hands off and don’t really permeate the minds of the young adult protagonist. Really? That is most dads? Huh... Anyway, I wanted to write not for guys, but so that guys could related to the literature as easily as girls could and do. Let’s face it: girl readers vastly outnumber young males, and I sort of wanted both to equally relate here. I can say I’ll probably continue to develop that in other novels.

You have a lot of comedy in your book.  What’s the best joke (keep u clean) that you’ve ever heard?
I heard Dennis Miller onstage and, though I’m not saying this is my favorite, I’ll mention it because it just came to mind: he was speaking of the past and with subtlety, in his verbal memoir, he said, “It was hot back then...” and he paused. It was all about the way he said it. The audience slowly got it. Then he said, “The sun was still hot then, right?” He was comparing it to the way people think the past happened in black and white. The genius was, he didn’t even have to say that part to get audience in on it. Brilliant.

Are any of the characters in the book based off of someone you know?
Most characters are concoctions of many people in various forms—those we know, those we’ve heard about, those we’d like to know and those we knew. Once you put all that together, my answer, like a writer, would technically be kind of but not really. Not very technical, is it...

Why did you write this book?
I wrote this book because this idea had never been pursued in YA lit, let alone fiction.th When the idea came to me, I thought it was worth telling for others out there. Of course, now there’s a film about a food truck owner operator, but not when I wrote the novel. I wanted to explore the concept of the food truck operator as a person with issues, so that’s when it turned YA because my teenage protagonist Sole became the focus. You can watch The Great Food Truck Race or Eat St. if you just care about someone and their food truck, but life as an owner operator is not the star idea of this narrative.

How’d you pick the title of the book?
It’s the material clashing with the existential. The truck is a symbol for all things wrong with the world for Sole, the novel’s main dude. Street food is what the truck is all about, so I used that terms versus “food truck.” Since the food truck or “street food” are always at odds with Sole and his heart (yes, it’s okay to sigh and say “aw.”), I chose to capture that with “love.” Until these two opposing forces learn to coexist, neither of them has a chance to make it. The title, in a simple way, somewhat epitomizes those novel’s major motifs.

Why did you pick LA as the setting?
My character, as an aspiring comedian, inspired all that is L.A.—someone who wants to get into showbiz and has the chops to do so. Sole thinks, like many, that achieving his celebrity plan is his exit card from all things painful. From  there, I wanted to unveil of a story of someone whose greatest obstacle is not external—abuse, violence, etc.—but rather is the soft issues of the heart that are sometimes more detrimental than the obvious ones. There is this individual surrounded by the giant of possibility that is L.A., and his world is just this tiny, fading echo. I liked the contradiction.

How often do you write?
As often as I can but not as often as I’d like. This is where you probably want to hear my writing process and such. Really, some days it feels like I’m hacking away like a lumberjack at a petrified tree other days it feels like I’m driving up the 101 outside of L.A, ocean to my left, top down, music son, and the sun holding back some of its heat just because I’m on the highway. Do I go at it daily? At least four days out of the week, but I aim for seven. Writing doesn’t currently foot the bills fully, so I have another gig. I know, I know: when I say that I leave myself open for comments like, “Good thing, then I don’t have to worry about reading too much of your work,” or, “I can see why you  keep your day job.” Sure, I get that I’m vulnerable to those criticisms, but it’s just the reality of most writers’ lives. Want to buy a thousand copies and change that? Ha, ha. Kidding.

What kind of books do you read?
I’m a social science junkie. I’m talking an obsession beyond obsessions. As for other genres, I do read lots of YA, of course, lots of it. And, I take in about four literary adult novels a year, one per quarter. I read that in parts between my others.

How important are names to you in your books?
Sometimes too much, so I try to back off. Many of my first drafts start off with names looking like this: ________. Yes, really. Then, when I finally give them a name, it’s nothing as potent and floral and full of atmosphere and meaning like I thought it would be. Someday, I’ll name my characters Jim, John, Jen and things like that.

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
I’m sort of just lifting off the launch pad. That’s a flattering question, but  I’m not quite in a position to answer that yet. One might say, “I’ll take his advice and do the opposite.” Ha. I’m kidding about the mini joke. But really, I feel like I’m still aspiring. I’ll answer better when I’m past the aspiring level.

What secret talents do you have?
You mean writing isn’t one of them?

Your main character’s defense mechanism against pangs of the soul is comedy. It seems like you can relate.
That is maybe one trait the novel’s main dude and I share.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Time travel with knowledge retention. I would continually perfect my life, constantly updating it with the new life lessons I am learning.

What is the biggest lie you've ever told?
If I answered that, then that would be it. The biggest one hopefully was my best and hopefully I got away with it (last time I checked, that was still the case). So, yeah...

Is there a certain type of scene that's harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?
That’s up to the reader to decide. If it doesn’t work, they’ll probably say that scene is my trouble spot. As for love and romance: I like to trace the scene and use allusion. Most writers, if honest, probably like scenes that the editor said, “Eh.” So, I just go where the character needs to and try not to worry about the words, like real people do in real life in difficult situations.


 H.A.'s love for all things caffeinated is what keeps him awake and alert so he can pursue that glorious tyrant called Nostalgia. And after all, isn't that what provokes most adult authors to write stories about the teenage years they long ago left behind (referring to Nostalgia, not the caffeine...he hopes)? When he isn't writing, H.A. can be found quaffing coffee (Yes, he might be addicted--don't judge) reading, riding his bike, snapping photos, making music, working on his theory of everything, and, on rare occasions, attempting to discover the elusive, and maybe impossible, secret to time travel. H.A. lives in So Cal. Street Food and Love is H.A.'s first novel.


Ends August 12th - open INTL

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