Sep 30, 2013

Blog Tour: Reviews and Giveaway -- Returned (#1) & Before (Novella) by Keeley Smith

Returned  (Pendle Hill Series #1)
by Keeley Smith

About the Book
17 year old Cora Hunt has one wish, to live the life of a normal teenager. Her wish never comes true.

After her reluctant move to a sleepy village in the middle of Lancashire Cora's life is turned upside down when she discovers she is a witch. Cora is not just any old witch, she is the daughter of Alizon Device who was one of the most powerful witches of her time.

Dealing with her new found powers is quite a challenge, but when the past she didn't know about unearths new complications in the form of Jack Thomas, her life becomes increasingly dangerous with each waking minute. Jack also has a secret past, a past that clashes with Cora's.

A confrontation between the two results in a life or death situation. The brutal events of 1612 happened hundreds of years ago, but what Jack and Cora face is a definite déjà vu.

The only question is, will their fate be the same as those who perished in 1612?

Review: Returned is the first book in the Pendle Hill series about a girl named Cora who has lived many lives and has no idea. She awakens to her memories in a small strange town and learns that herself and her ancestors are witches, and powerful ones at that.

Book one follows Cora through learning about her history, how she came to be in this place and time, and about how she must learn about her powers. Cora is a bit whiny in the beginning of the book, looking to be a normal teen, but obviously she never gets that. Instead she is thrust into a new town, with new people, and now she has to learn to be a witch. To make matters worse her mother was the most powerful witch ever, so she has a lot to live up to.
Throughout the story, Cora takes most of this news very well, all things considered, and is a strong female character. Tabitha her keeper of sorts is strong too but very mysterious, even in the novella is a bit of a mystery.
I enjoyed this book well enough but it did take some time to read. I felt like there were some lulls in the story that kept the momentum low, especially around the halfway point. The climaxes in the plot that I wanted to see where a little lacking but just interesting enough to hold me not clenching my attention totally. (I felt like I was reading a book versus becoming part of the story and maybe that was just me)
I am interested to see where the book series goes with these characters and the modern world of witches in the coming books.
Before (A Pendle Hill Novella) by Keeley Smith

About the Book
Cora and Jack are childhood friends who have always lived next door to each other in a beautiful, idyllic part of Lancashire. What binds them as lifelong friends are their powers.

As young witches, life is hard. If the commoners find out their secret, they will be killed. But Cora is lucky, she has her best friend Jack by her side.

Having grown up together they know each other, they trust each other, they love each other. However their blossoming relationship is cut short by the events of one day. A date that will bring their perfect worlds crashing down around them.

20th August 1612

Cora and Jack are forced to face the reality of being a witch during these turbulent times, however they don’t know that their lives will become part of one of the most famous witch trials to have ever hit England.
The Pendle Hill witch trials of 1612.

Please note: You can read this book as a stand alone from the series but it does give you a lot of information about Cora the main character of the books, some that you may want to learn through the story versus in this novella.

Before is a Pendle Hill series novella, which chronicles the time before Cora re-awakens in modern time in the first book in the Pendle Hill series. Cora and Jack are destined to be together and their families are fro the same coven, the only problem is, they are living in a time when witch-hunts are normal and it may ruin everything.
I read this novella while in the middle of the first book of the series, and I think it was a good time to do so. I had just learned about Cora and who she is versus who she thought she was and I wanted the backstory. This novella gives you that and so much more. Cora is strong, stubborn and resilient. Tabitha, also a recurring character, is determined, thoughtful, and her plotting goes a long way for the good of Cora. Then there is Jack, I had met him in Returned, and thought he was a butt, and then I read this and it seems his personality issues go way deeper. There is a strong history between Cora and Jack and this novella not only shows the readers of the series, but is full of panic, mayhem, and scheming. I cannot wait to finish book one in the series to see how these elements play out further in the series overall.

At only about 100 pages, this novella is a quick and easy read, especially those interested in witches, and the witch-hunts. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

About the Author
I've always loved reading, it is a common known fact that I pretty much demolish a book a day. Expensive hobby, but a great one! I've dabbled with writing since the day I could actually write. So, it was only fitting that I had my first book published when I was 15.

If I'm not writing you would generally find me reading, creating jewellery, trawling social networking sites and listening to music. I will pretty much listen to any kind of music but I have two favourites, country music which has been with me since I was a little toddler and I also love to listen to movie scores, especially when I'm writing!

I currently live in Yorkshire with my husband.

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Sep 24, 2013

Cover Reveal: After the Kiss (Blood and Snow, Season 2) by RaShelle Workman

I'm so excited for this series to continue! Loved Blood and Snow!









After the Kiss by RaShelle Workman
(Blood and Snow Season 2) 

Publication date: Winter, 2013
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult

About the Book
At the end of Blood and Snow season 1, Snow White kissed her true love and became the Vampire Queen. Life should’ve been perfect.
Except it wasn’t.

<3 This is the story of Snow’s life After the Kiss… <3

Over the course of season 2 in the Blood and Snow series, Snow will unravel the truth about her absentee father, the stepmother who never cared and the treacherous Hunter.

Oh, and don’t forget Snow’s true love.

And the little vampire, Jasmine.

Because in the real world fairytales don’t equal happily ever after. In the real world fairytales don’t even exist.

About the Author

RaShelle Workman is the bestselling author of the Dead Roses series ("Sleeping Roses" is being translated into Turkish, and will be available in print wherever Turkish books are sold in 2014), the Immortal Essence series, and the Blood and Snow series. She's sold over two hundred thousand copies of her novels worldwide in the past year, including Japan, Canada, and Europe. You can find RaShelle all over the web, but the best place to start is on her blog:
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Sep 22, 2013

Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway! -- The Darkest Path by Jeff Hirsch

About the Book

USA TODAY bestselling author Jeff Hirsch once again creates a futuristic world with stunning, dramatic realism.

A civil war rages between the Glorious Path--a militant religion based on the teachings of a former US soldier--and what's left of the US government. Fifteen-year-old Callum Roe and his younger brother, James, were captured and forced to convert six years ago. Cal has been working in the Path's dog kennels, and is very close to becoming one of the Path's deadliest secret agents. Then Cal befriends a stray dog named Bear and kills a commander who wants to train him to be a vicious attack dog. This sends Cal and Bear on the run, and sets in motion a series of incredible events that will test Cal's loyalties and end in a fierce battle that the fate of the entire country rests on.

The Darkest Path is a mix of boy on the run, teenage compound, war, and really, really big cult all wrapped into one book. As I began reading I started to compare it to other books I have read recently about religion and cults, like Gated (Doomsday Cult) and The Outside (Amish community), but it really had many point that stuck out from those books.
The Path is both military and a religious entity and they are stopping at nothing to change the entire US into a Path following bunch. The government is forced to deal with this gigantic threat and whole states have been taken by the Path and are left for goners.
The Glorious Path was supposedly developed by a military man and hero and has become a force to be reckoned with. Upon being given the choice you must become Path or die… so there really isn’t a choice at all.
Cal is the main character in The Darkest Path and he is on the run. Taken from his parents six years ago, he has lived with the Path and become a member, but mostly for self-preservation and now he must continue that preservation, which means getting out.
Cal’s journey is not an easy one and he deals with a lot of emotional obstacles as well as physical ones. There is killing and death, and the loss of family and friends and so as a main character he is strong willed, determined, but also real enough to relate to a reader.
I had a hard time with the cult aspects, this bug militant force that happened to take over most of the country. I can only hope it would never get to that point in real life, but who knows? Hirsch paints an eerie realistic picture of what this type of war might be like through the eyes of a runner and someone experiencing both sides of the mayhem.
The Darkest Path was an interesting and unnerving book to read but if you have interest in dystopian societies this is definitely one of them and the characters are strong and relatable for the most part (minus the killing…).
This book happily surprised me, as I did not really enjoy Magisterium (by the same author). I think realistic/ futuristic/ war times are more his niche than the fantastical universe of Magisterium. 

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About the Author 
I live in upstate New York with my wife and a small passel of animals. I used to write plays (I actually have an MFA in it, which is number 8 on US News and World Report's list of the top twenty most useless masters degrees) and now I write books for teens. I've written three, The Eleventh Plague, Magisterium and The Darkest Path.

A few random facts about me:

  •  I’m incredibly superstitious.
  • I believe in baking as the ultimate stress reliever. I mean, sure, I write pretty good books but have you tasted my Triple Chocolate Espresso Cookies?
  • I’m deeply obsessed with the work of Joss Whedon, Stephen King, Bryan K. Vaughn, Prince and Tom Waits.
  •   I started writing because of two women—Susan Cooper, author of the Dark Is Rising Series and Denise Stewart, my 7th grade English teacher.

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Sep 20, 2013

Release Day Blitz: Through Glass by Rebecca Ethington

Don't Eat The Food
Title: Through Glass
Author: Rebecca Ethington
Genre: NA Dystopian

About the Book
Everyone remembered the day the sky went black. The day the sun was wiped from the sky. They remember the wind as it brought in the darkness; the way the earth shook and everything changed.
Everyone remembered the screams as the darkness ate those who were out in the open, those who had surrounded themselves by light, and those who made noise. Everyone remembered the voice from the sky and the way food disappeared. At least, that’s what I hoped. I hoped that there was an ‘everyone’ that would remember because I am not sure how many are left, how many survived. Or if anyone did. I hoped that I wasn’t alone. I remembered that day. I remembered because it was the day I became alone. It was the day that everything was perfect until the monsters took it away. Then the house went silent and the birds stopped singing. It was the day when everyone disappeared, everyone except the boy, the only person I have seen in two years. The boy I talk to through the glass.

I looked up as the screech of the Ulama ended, as the monster fell to the ground of my room, the dark blood of the two dead creatures spilling over my once white carpet. I stared at the monsters as I panted and my heart beat a frantic pulse against my skin. I stared as my pulse slowed until I could pull my eyes away from the thing that tainted my room to look into the eyes I had dreamed about every night for as long as I could remember. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t make my tongue work. I just looked at him, knowing that tears were sliding down my cheeks; knowing and not caring. I wasn’t sure why I was crying, I wasn’t sure if it was because of the panic that still surged through my body or the joy that I felt at seeing him there. “Alexis,” he said, his voice as deep and rumbling as I remembered it. It shot through me and for the first time in years I felt alive. It was him. I didn’t say anything. I didn’t trust my mouth enough to form coherent words. I just moved. I moved as he moved, our hands meeting for the first time in two years as we hovered over the body of the monsters that had attempted to kill me. I grasped his skin, my heart beating so fast I was sure I couldn’t take it. A shaking breath moved out of me, his own breath moving across my skin. He moved closer as his frantic breaths rolled over me—the heat of his breath, of his touch—igniting a fire across the surface of my skin. His fingers trailed their way up my arms, over my face, across my neck… I had forgotten how good this felt. I had forgotten what touch was like; what it did to my body. Everything felt like it was on fire. I smiled through the tears as he wrapped his arm around me and pulled me toward him. I let him, letting my own arms wrap around him in my desperate attempt to get closer to him, to feel more of him. I felt his lips graze against my skin, the touch dry and foreign, but incredibly welcomed. I turned into it, my fingers digging into his tattered shirt and into his shaggy unkempt hair as the scruff on his chin moved against my face. I gasped at the prickly sensation that cut into me, the gasp deepening into a groan as his lips made contact with mine. The feeling of ecstasy I was now feeling grew into something I couldn’t ignore. I clung to him, I pressed into him. I felt every part of him as he did the same to me. No words had passed between us since he had said my name, but we didn’t need them. I could feel his happiness in the way he clung to me, sensed his relief in the way he breathed and his joy in the taste of his lips. I felt it all and I knew he felt it all from me. He pulled away from me slowly; his hands unwilling to leave my body as he moved back to look at me. His cheeks were stained with tears as he moved my hair out of my face and stared into my eyes. “You have no idea how long I’ve wanted to do that,” he said again, the same words from all those years ago sounding even more beautiful. “Two years, one month, thirteen days and a few hours?” He smiled as I spoke, his fingers running over the skin of my face like he would never let me go. “And a few minutes,” he gasped, the sounds of ecstasy heavy in his deep voice. He smiled and I couldn’t help it, I laughed. I laughed loud and deep and let the sound carry around us. Cohen smiled as his laugh filtered through mine like a silver ribbon. The happy sounds surrounded us and, for that moment, I was happy. I was free. I couldn’t feel the pulse of fear that still beat through me. I didn’t see the monsters that lay lifeless in my room. It was Cohen and me, and everything was perfect. Until the sound that would ring in our death rent through the air. The screech of the Ulama broke through the sound of our laughter and destroyed the perfect peace we had created. The sound left as quickly as it had come, the warning received. We didn’t have much time. They were coming.  
About the Author
64404_411149175642652_615474233_nRebecca Ethington has been telling stories since she was small. First, with writing crude scripts, and then in stage with years of theatrical performances. The Imdalind Series is her first stint into the world of literary writing. Rebecca is a mother to two, and wife to her best friend of 14 years. She was born and raised in the mountains of Salt Lake City, and hasn't found the desire to leave yet. Her days are spent writing, running, and enjoying life with her amazing family.

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Sep 19, 2013

Cover Reveal + Giveaway: The Rising by Terra Harmony









The Rising (The Painted Maidens #1) by Terra Harmony
About the book: 
Fifteen-year-old Serena is the youngest member of a dying race. The increasing acidity of the ocean is destroying her home, slowly eating away at the once thriving underwater landscape. But since the night of Serena’s birth, it is an outside force that most threatens their dwindling population. Werewolves, who once served as protectors for mermaids in the Kingdom of the Undine, now seek to eliminate all who dwell in the ocean — and Serena is about to find herself right in the middle of the deadly conflict.

Given the title of Werewolf Liaison, Serena is determined to make things right for her people. When she ventures to The Dry, she meets Liam, the werewolf with hazel eyes, and her whole world gets turned upside down. As Serena discovers the real history between werewolves and mermaids, she is left wondering who her true enemies are.

 Patchwork Press is allowing the cover revealers to include a giveaway for an ebook of The Rising, so make sure to enter and if you win I will pass along your info!

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Sep 16, 2013

Blog Blitz: Excerpt -- Blood and Bone by Candace Osmond

Blood and Bone (The Iron World Series #2) by Candace Osmond

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

ISBN: 9781301362028
Number of pages: 250 roughly
Word Count: 74,960

Cover Artist: Corey Majeau from Coris Designs

Amazon Kobo Smashwords  BN

About the Book

The stakes are high in the second installment of The Iron World Series as Avery Quinn decides which path her life will take. Become a vampire and be with Jack forever, or pledge herself to the Fey and help save Faerie from the horrible Queen Mabry?

The more she thinks about it the more she wants to remain human. But as she sinks further into the magical world she has come to love, Avery realizes that remaining human is next to impossible, especially when a dark king sets his sights on her. To make matters worse, a secret society of shape shifters have sworn themselves as Avery’s enemy all because of a certain classmate with a caustic temperament.

With a mythical war brewing and Evaine close on her heels, Avery must decide who to give her humanity to before it’s too late

Change has an irrevocable impact on the mind, body and soul. To the fearful it’s threatening—it means there’s a possibility that things could get worse. To the hopeful, however, it’s encouraging because it means things could get better.
Was I fearful or was I hopeful?
I lay in bed, staring at the ceiling in my sunlit bedroom and pondered about that. To most people this wouldn’t be so stressful. To most people change meant a new hair color or a new job.
But I realized a while ago—I am not most people.
I had been left to make a choice that was so life changing that it would alter me completely, forever. I could choose to become a vampire and gain the strength I desperately needed to protect myself. With this choice I could spend an eternity of nights in the arms of the most perfect creature because I too, would be a perfect creature.
Or, I could choose to pledge myself to a monarch, a leader of the fey. Become a child of magic, wonder and beauty and still possess the strength I need for my defense.
Or door number three, choose not to choose. I could remain human, as I’d lived comfortably for the past eighteen years now. But, to choose nothing would still be a choice, and would determine the path my life would take. None of my options guaranteed a smooth path. But I had a lingering a feeling that, no matter what I chose, the path that was unwinding in front of me was going to be very, very rocky.

About the Author

Born in 1985 as Candace Osmond in North York Ontario, I began to travel with my parents at the
very young age of four years old. I had lived all over Canada and seen everything my country has to offer, from the enchanting shores of Newfoundland to the gigantic snowcapped mountains of British Columbia all by the time I was ten. I did, however, spend most of my life in Eastern Canada where I was surrounded by folklore and legends, not knowing how they would shape my personality and imagination for the rest of my life.

Being the only girl of my age in a small group of kids, in an even smaller town, left me spending most of my time by myself and, in result, letting my imagination take over. I would sit by the shore and dream up stories of mermaids and other fantastic creatures to pass the time. Coming from a family with writers and artists dispersed throughout, it was only natural that I spend my time writing, drawing and reading. I dreamed of becoming nothing more than an artist, a creator of any kind. By the age of eleven, I spent most of my waking hours scribbling down short stories, poems and anything else I could think of, while adding my own personal illustrations. By the age of fourteen, I had won numerous local and minor arts and writing competitions.

I excelled at anything art and literature related so, naturally, I planned to attend university for nothing more or less than that. In 2003 I planned to attend university for Creative Writing and Literary Studies. But, with the fear that I would spend all my time and money on an education and end up in a field that I may very well struggle to succeed in, I backed out and attended school for Design instead. Now, a successful Designer specializing in interiors, I met a man and fell in love. His passion and talent for art far exceeds my own, but he motivated me and awakened my old habits of staying up late and waking up early to scribble down dreams and ideas before I had forgotten them and they disappeared forever.

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Sep 15, 2013

Building the Book Pile #66

Welcome to Building the Book Pile! 
A Weekly meme inspired by Stacking the Shelves

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Giveaways Going on NOW!        

Click pic to be taken to the giveaway!
Others may be linked on the right sidebar :) check them out!

What's Happening?!

Well in the what's happening side of things, my husband and I are in a new house in VT and that is great... the downside?... No INTERNET yet :( I am going through withdrawl and haven't been able to do bloggy stuff at home (which is where most of it takes place) So sorry for lack of content and fun things. I should be getting the internet people to come out on Monday, we will see how that goes.


Coming up on the Blog...

Blog Tour and Spotlight: Blood and Bone (YA)
Cover Reveal: The Rising (YA)  + Giveaway :)
Blog Blitz: Through Glass (YA)
Hopefully a few reviews if internet arrives.


What I got this week...


Before Returned (Pendle Hill, #1)  

Covers Link to Goodreads

Before by Keeley Smith for review for blog tour
Returned by Keeley Smith for review for blog tour


Physical Copies

Kinslayer (The Lotus War, #2)
Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff!! OMG OMG yay. I was not able to get a book to review for the Nerd Tours tour but I was lucky enough to win one from Librarything Early Reviewers :)

  Comment and leave me a link to your Round-up post! Happy Reading!

Sep 13, 2013

Blog Tour: Spotlight & Giveaway -- Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff (The Lotus War #2)

About the Book

The mad Shōgun Yoritomo has been assassinated by the Stormdancer Yukiko, and the threat of civil war looms over the Shima Imperium. The Lotus Guild conspires to renew the nation’s broken dynasty and crush the growing rebellion simultaneously – by endorsing a new Shōgun who desires nothing more than to see Yukiko dead.

Yukiko and the mighty thunder tiger Buruu have been cast in the role of heroes by the Kagé rebellion. But Yukiko herself is blinded by rage over her father’s death, and her ability to hear the thoughts of beasts is swelling beyond her power to control. Along with Buruu, Yukiko’s anchor is Kin, the rebel Guildsman who helped her escape from Yoritomo’s clutches. But Kin has his own secrets, and is haunted by visions of a future he’d rather die than see realized.

Kagé assassins lurk within the Shōgun’s palace, plotting to end the new dynasty before it begins. A waif from Kigen’s gutters begins a friendship that could undo the entire empire. A new enemy gathers its strength, readying to push the fracturing Shima imperium into a war it cannot hope to survive. And across raging oceans, amongst islands of black glass, Yukiko and Buruu will face foes no katana or talon can defeat.

The ghosts of a blood-stained past.


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About the Author
Jay Kristoff
Jay Kristoff is a Perth-born, Melbourne-based author. His first trilogy, THE LOTUS WAR, was purchased in the three-way auction by US publishing houses in 2011. He is as surprised about it as you are. The first installment, STORMDANCER, is set to be published in September 2012 in the US, UK and Australia.
Jay is 6’7, has approximately 13870 days to live and does not believe in happy endings.

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