Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Blog Blitz & Giveaway: Merged by Jim Kroepfl & Stephanie Kroepfl

Merged
Jim and Stephanie Kroepfl
Published by: Month9Books
Publication date: September 17th 2019
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Seven of our country’s most gifted teens will become Nobels, hosts for the implantation of brilliant Mentor minds, in an effort to accelerate human progress.

But as the line between what’s possible and what’s right, draws ever blurrier, the teens discover everything has a cost.

Scientists have created an evolved form of living known as Merged Consciousness, and sixteen-year-old Lake finds herself unable to merge with her Mentor.

Lake, the Nobel for Chemistry and Orfyn, the Nobel for Art, are two from among the inaugural class of Nobels, and with the best intent and motivation. But when Stryker, the Nobel for Peace, makes them question the motivation of the scientists behind the program, their world begins to unravel.

As the Nobels work to uncover the dark secrets of the program’s origins, everyone’s a suspect and no one can be trusted, not even the other Nobels.

As the Mentors begin to take over the bodies and minds of the Nobels, Lake and Orfyn must find a way to regain control before they lose all semblance or memory of their former selves.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

EXCERPT:

Depending on your point of view, I’m either famous or infamous. I’m called by many names: Ward of the State, Orphaned, Foofool (only by Sister Mo), and Kevin. That last one makes me feel like I’m wearing someone else’s clothes. Tight and loose in all the wrong places. So, I came up with my own name, though no one has ever connected it to me. The identity of street artists should never be revealed.

I flick turpentine at a rat that’s getting a little too curious about my brushes. The alley smells like something died, making me wonder if there’s a body in the dumpster. Michelangelo cut up dead people to better understand how we’re built. If he was willing to do that for his art, I can endure this stink for one night. I breathe through my mouth and get back to work.

After four straight hours, the painting is coming along great, and I know I can finish it before people start heading out for their nine-to-five jobs. I paint madly, getting lost in the scene, moving from figure to figure, jersey to jersey. It’s my best work yet, and I want this one to last.

At least, for a few days.

Author Bio:

Jim and Stephanie Kroepfl are a husband-and-wife team who write YA novels and stories of mystery and adventure from their cabin in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Their debut novel, Merged, will be released by Month9Books on September 17, 2019.

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Blog Blitz & Giveaway: Dark Water by Lia Davis & L.A. Boruff

Dark Water: A Collective World Novel
Lia Davis & L.A. Boruff
(Academy’s Rise, #2)
Published by: September 13th 2019
Publication date: New Adult, Paranormal, Reverse Harem, Romance
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

As firstborn, my sister, Meda, will be High Alpha to all the lycans and vampires in the world—The Collective. She’s just found her mates and one of the three is heir to a huge witch Circle, which will one day unite the three major paranormal races.

I dodged a major bullet there. Thank Lucifer. I’m not a leader. I’m not someone to look up to. I like to do my own thing and go my own way.

Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure I’m fighting a mating bond myself. As if I needed three guys hanging on to my every freaking word.

And now, I’m having visions of what’s to come. It isn’t pretty.

My sisters and I must race against time to figure out what the vision means and how to stop the pending evil from destroying everyone we love.

Failure isn’t an option.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Halfway through the lecture, which I normally enjoyed, the door opened.

His scent hit me first since I had my forehead resting in my palm, propped up on the desk. I jerked, knocking my notebook off of my desk with a clatter.

Half the room turned to look at me, the other half looked at the hunk of sex appeal that had walked in the room and knocked me over with his scent.

“Holy shit.” A whisper from my right drew my attention, but I couldn’t manage to look away. I knew the speaker from school.

“Andee, you ain’t kiddin’.” We hadn’t been close, but anyone could bond when someone that bad-boy hot walked into the room.

That asshole heard me, and as he inhaled, his head swiveled from greeting my Paw to looking for me. He’d scented me.

The Tall Glass of Fuck Me stared at me as I fought the urge to jump up and claim him in front of the entire class. And my Paw.

Lucifer’s leg hair, the last fucking thing I needed was a third mate. And a vampire, to top it off. Just like Meda. What kind of fated mate, romance novel, made-for-tv bullshit were my ancestors thinking?

The only open seats in the room were up front, directly in front of Paw, and right be-fucking-side me. “Don’t you sit there,” I warned him under my breath. All heads swiveled to me. Everyone but the witches, anyway. The vamps and lycans all heard my warning with their excellent hearing.

The stranger, my mate, smiled. He knew exactly what was going on. I leaned slightly out into the aisle so I could see him from head to toe. Mainly, I wanted to see if he had a boner to rival the lady-boner I had.

His fucking black fucking jeans were so tight on his Adonis-belt style body that the entire room could see the outline of his dick as it pushed against the material.

Everyone except Paw, who walked around the desk and stood slightly behind the blonde. The hollows of his cheeks deepened as Paw introduced him. “This is Kevin, everyone. Kevin, this is pretty much the whole school. I teach history to everyone at once, like it or not.”

“Pleasure,” he said in a British accent.

Every woman in the room, and a couple of the men, sucked in a breath at the sound of his sultry voice, myself included.

Those bitches could breathe as hard as they wanted, this hot motherfucker was mine. As hard as I wanted him, equally, I didn’t. He sauntered forward, the buckles on the leather of his coat jingling softly as he moved his cocky self to the seat beside me.

“Don’t.” I raised my eyebrows at him.

“Don’t what?” Paw asked.

As an empath, this was my idea of torture. The room was a big ball of anticipation, curious what was happening between me and the new sultry, sexy, slender… son of a bitch I couldn’t take it.

Jumping up, I finally looked away from Kevin and straight into the eyes of Randell. His fury and confusion pelted my emotions. Nope. Nuh-uh. I noped it right out of the room, using every ounce of speed I possessed.

Author Bio:

In 2008, Lia Davis ventured into the world of writing and publishing and never looked back. She has published more than twenty books, including the bestselling A Tiger's Claim, book one in her fan favorite Ashwood Falls series. Her novels feature compassionate yet strong alpha heroes who know how to please their women and her leading ladies are each strong in their own way. No matter what obstacle she throws at them, they come out better in the end.

While writing was initially a way escape from real world drama, Lia now makes her living creating worlds filled with magic, mystery, romance, and adventure so that others can leave real life behind for a few hours at a time.

Lia's favorite things are spending time with family, traveling, reading, writing, chocolate, coffee, nature and hanging out with her kitties. She and her family live in Northeast Florida battling hurricanes and very humid summers, but it's her home and she loves it!

Author links:
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Newsletter

--

L.A. Boruff lives in East Tennessee with her husband, three children, and an ever growing number of cats. She loves reading, watching TV, and procrastinating by browsing Facebook. L.A.'s passions include vampires, food, and listening to heavy metal music. She once won a Harry Potter trivia contest based on the books, and lost one based on the movies. She has two bands on her bucket list that she still hasn't seen: AC/DC and Alice Cooper. Feel free to send tickets.

Author links:
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Monday, September 16, 2019

Audiobook Tour: The Smallest Thing by Lisa Manterfield

Audiobook Blog Tour: The Smallest Thing by Lisa Manterfield

Author: Lisa Manterfield

Narrator: Charlie Sanderson

Length: 8 hours and 28 minutes

Publisher: Lisa Manterfield

Released: Aug. 9, 2019

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

The very last thing 17-year-old Emmott Syddall wants is to turn out like her dad. She’s descended from 10 generations who never left their dull English village, and there’s no way she’s going to waste a perfectly good life that way. She’s moving to London and she swears she is never coming back.

But when the unexplained deaths of her neighbors force the government to quarantine the village, Em learns what it truly means to be trapped. Now, she must choose. Will she pursue her desire for freedom, at all costs, or do what’s best for the people she loves: her dad, her best friend Deb, and, to her surprise, the mysterious man in the HAZMAT suit?

Inspired by the historical story of the plague village of Eyam, this contemporary tale of friendship, community, and impossible love weaves the horrors of recent news headlines with the intimate details of how it feels to become an adult - and fall in love - in the midst of tragedy.

Q&A with Author Lisa Manterfield
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • Not at all. I first started playing around with the idea for THE SMALLEST THING several years ago, before digital audiobooks started gaining popularity. I’m not sure it even crossed my mind that it might become an audiobook someday. It was a fascinating process to hear the book read to me by someone else and to hear her interpretation of the characters and story. I’ll definitely be keeping this in mind with future books.
  • How did you select your narrator?
    • I auditioned several narrators but as soon as I heard Charlie, I knew she was the one. She was born in Yorkshire, the region of England that I am from originally, and she grew up not far from the real-life village of Eyam, where the book is set. It wasn’t just that she was able to do the regional accents; she understood the quirky supporting characters on a personal level. There’s a nosy old lady in the village, a fairly minor character in the story, and Charlie brought her to life and made her so real and authentic, she almost steals the whole book!
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • This book was inspired by the real-life events that happened in the village of Eyam. In the 1600s, the plague ravaged London, killing more than 100,000 people. A tailor inadvertently carried the disease to the tiny village of Eyam 150 miles away. As people started dying, the village elders decided to quarantine their community to prevent the spread of the disease. The people of Eyam made the courageous decision to risk their own lives to save thousands of others.
    • I grew up not far from Eyam and was always fascinated by this little-known story of courage and self-sacrifice. I wanted to find a way to retell it, and eventually decided to bring it into contemporary times and focus on the story of one young woman trapped there. My Em is based on the real-life character of Emmott Syddall.
    • If you visit Eyam today, you’ll find Emmott’s home and many of the cottages where the victims lived and died. People still live in those houses today. You can also visit graves and a boundary stone where people from outside the village would leave supplies. It’s very moving to be there and think about what happened there more than 400 hundred years ago. I always wondered what it would be like if that story happened today … so I wrote THE SMALLEST THING to find out!
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • I really enjoy audiobooks. I was fortunate to have stories read to me as a child and there’s still a part of the grown-up me that loves that. Also, I am looking at written words on the page all day, so it’s very restful to be able to close my eyes and hear a story. I listen to audiobooks at night, so yes, I am still having bedtime stories read to me.
  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
    • When I read, I always do the voices in my head, so hearing my characters speak was an amazing experience. I think the humor in some of the personalities really came out in Charlie’s hands (or mouth). For example, Aiden, the relief worker that Em befriends, was always charming, but he becomes utterly irresistible when he speaks! And the nosy neighbor, Mrs. Glover, really brings some comic relief to the story. I suppose that must have always been there in the writing, but hearing their voices brought them to life.
  • If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
    • I’m fascinated by Ancient Egypt, so I’d love to go to see what it was really like. I think I’d end up getting into trouble though. You’re not supposed to do anything to change the course of history when you time travel, but I’m not sure I’d be able to stop myself from inviting certain historical villains for a cup of tea and a little chat about their appalling behavior.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • I fully admit that I still love to pick up and read paper books, but I don’t consider audiobooks to be cheating at all. If you go back to the origins of storytelling, it was all verbal. We sat around our cave fires telling stories of sabre tooth tiger attacks and wooly mammoth conquests. Early humans shared stories to pass on wisdom, and that’s still true today. A good story teaches us something about ourselves, or others, or the world around us. Whether we consume stories by reading, listening, or watching them performed, the end result is still the same.
  • What gets you out of a writing slump? What about a reading slump?
    • Walking gets me out of a writing slump. I have a beautiful wooded park not far from where I live. I have walked miles there as I’ve tried to noodle through writing problems. Just being out in nature, hearing birds and the wind in the trees, helps clear my head.
    • I read a lot of books because I “need” to read them, either to write reviews or to study other authors, so sometimes I burn out on reading. When that happens, I find something to read just for fun.
  • Have any of your characters ever appeared in your dreams?
    • My next novel is almost ready for publication (and yes, there will be an audiobook edition!) That story came to me in the most vivid dream I’ve ever had.
    • I was staying at a friend’s house and slept in her room. She had all these stuffed toys and a big net full of rubber ducks. It was a fun room, but quite claustrophobic for sleeping. Anyway, I had this crazy dream. I was a little girl in the backseat of a car. Through the rear window I watched a man, who I was sure was my dad (my dream dad, not my real dad), drop a body into a lake. And I knew that the body was my sister. (I don’t have a sister IRL, thankfully!)
    • It was so vivid and real and it stuck with me for months. My husband said, “You have to write that story” but I couldn’t do it. It was too horrible. It was quite a few years before I figured out how to use that dream to tell a story I actually wanted to write. It became THE PERFECT SISTER. It’s a psychological suspense, but not as terrifying as the dream.
  • What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
    • Keep writing. Make time in your life, even if it’s only a few minutes a day, to write something. If your mind is overflowing with ideas, pick one and focus on finishing a draft. Then put it aside and start something new. You learn so much from finishing a project, whether it’s a novel, short story, or something else, and understanding where it hangs together and where it falls apart.
  • What’s next for you?
    • My next novel, THE PERFECT SISTER is finished and being shopped around. While I wait the eternal wait, I’m working on a Historical YA set in World War II, which I’m really enjoying. I’m also in the process of producing my first novel, A STRANGE COMPANION, as an audiobook. I’m narrating it myself, which is a very different experience, but really fun. It should be available later this year. Hopefully, I’ll get to come back and tell you all about it.

Lisa Manterfield is the award-winning author of Adult and Young Adult fiction.Her second novel,The Smallest Thing, was a finalist in the 2019 American Fiction Awards. Her work has appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, Los Angeles Times,andPsychology Today. Originally from northern England, she now lives in Northern California with her husband and over-indulged cat. When not at her treadmill desk, she can be found pulling weeds and daydreaming in her vegetable garden. Learn more at LisaManterfield.com.

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Sep. 12th:

Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author

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Locks, Hooks and Books

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Country Road Reviews

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Reading A Page Turner

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Smada's Book Smack

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Review: The Devouring Gray (The Devouring Gray #1) by Christine Lynn Herman

Book Blurb:

On the edge of town a beast haunts the woods, trapped in the Gray, its bonds loosening…

Uprooted from the city, Violet Saunders doesn’t have much hope of fitting in at her new school in Four Paths, a town almost buried in the woodlands of rural New York. The fact that she’s descended from one of the town’s founders doesn’t help much, either—her new neighbours treat her with distant respect, and something very like fear. When she meets Justin, May, Isaac, and Harper, all children of founder families, and sees the otherworldly destruction they can wreak, she starts to wonder if the townsfolk are right to be afraid.

When bodies start to appear in the woods, the locals become downright hostile. Can the teenagers solve the mystery of Four Paths, and their own part in it, before another calamity strikes?

Find out more about the book on Goodreads

My Review:

4 Out Of 5 Stars

Genre: Another-World, Heart-Wrenching, Mystery, Scary, Supernatural, Suspense, Teen, Witches--

I felt that the mystery element of the story was awesome, surprising and twisty as well as terrifying and I loved everything about it. The world that the author created was so different from anything I have encountered and secrets kept getting revealed causing me to doubt everything! I had guesses about what was going on, but there was no possible way I could ever have predicted what was really going to happen and I love that about the book! This review is short and to the point so I don't give anything away, just know this was engaging, scary, interesting and addictive.

If you are looking for a scary paranormal mystery that has LGBT representation this is the perfect choice. A large majority of the characters in the story are openly bisexual, which added some relationship drama (in the form of unrequited love and potential love triangles) on top of the spooky problems. 

The ending was not really an ending, but instead opened up a ton more conflicts and questions that I will look forward to delving into in the next book in the series.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Helix (International Sensory Assassin Network #2) by Mary Ting

Helix
Mary Ting
(International Sensory Assassin Network #2)
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: September 10th 2019
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Alliances are forming. The resistance is growing. Everything is about to change.

With her memory still fragmented, Ava returns to the International Sensory Assassin Network (ISAN) to find the twin sister she never knew she had.

But as Ava hunts for information, she finds herself tangled in a web of yet more lies and conspiracy. The Helix serum may not be required to access her superpowers, and the number of male assassins—previously considered too volatile to tolerate Helix—is growing in every territory.

The more Ava uncovers, the more of a threat she becomes to ISAN. Her only salvation may be to join the rebels—if she isn’t killed first.

Add to Goodreads / Purchase


The lively tune from violins, flutes, clarinets, saxophones, and horns bounced from wall to wall as everyone formed into lines, women in one and the men in the other. I followed suit and eyed Brooke doing the same toward the front.

With my right hand slightly raised, I matched to my partner with a smile. We made a circle around each other and moved on to the next. Then I did the same with several more partners.

One thing good about having a mask on, it was easier to trick others into thinking I was paying attention to them while I scanned the perimeter. Mr. San remained where he had made his speech, with guards surrounding him.

When I spotted a familiar man down the line, I forgot to breathe. My heart ricocheted and no amount of air in my lungs seemed enough. There was always a possibility, but why take the risk? Was I just seeing what I wanted?

The man, a crisp, black tuxedo hugging his muscular form, held my attention. Fitted over his sleeked-back hair was a unique black mask with a layer of complex embellishments—sharp angles, gears, and knobs. The half-face mask revealed high cheekbones, the masculine curve of his jawline, and lips that would make any woman jealous.

I swayed to the side with my current partner and as we turned, he delivered me to my next. My pulse raced faster. The mysterious man was next, but he didn’t seem to notice me. My heart sank at the thought that he might not be Rhett.

Maybe I had imagined the similarity. Maybe I wanted that man to be Rhett, even if his being here would be a disaster.

The tempo slowed and harps played the lead. My partner bowed and backed away to give space to the next. The man with the cool mask bowed, and I curtsied. My palm touched his, and a warm, electric tingle traveled through my center.

His earth-and-citrus scent filled me when our bodies touched after one complete turn. We pulled apart, and then I dared to look at him directly. Those amber sunburst eyes locked with mine.

I stared and stared, afraid if I blinked he would disappear. It seemed perhaps he felt the same from the intense way he looked at me.

My pulse quickened, and I forgot the dance and why I was here. I had felt this before—so raw and powerful—it knocked the breath out of me. The ache began in my chest, growing, stretching, tearing through every layer until it robbed me of sight.

Rhett’s final cry after he jumped into the trash chute without me echoed in my ear, and I felt the depth of his pain, for it was mine too. Rhett was here. My Rhett was here.

My face flushed. I shuddered a breath and almost sobbed with relief. He was fine. Alive and well. I wanted to hold him tight and never let go, but the other part of me wanted to slap him for making me worry.

-----------------------------------------

Author Bio:

International Bestselling, Award-Winning Author Mary Ting writes soulful, spellbinding stories that excite the imagination and captivate readers all over the world. Her books run a wide range of genres and her storytelling talents have won her a devoted legion of fans and garnered critical praise.

Becoming an author happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she had in high school. After realizing she wanted to become a full-time author, Mary retired from teaching after twenty years. She also had the privilege of touring with the Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children's chapter book: No Bullies Allowed.

Mary resides in Southern California with her husband, two children, and two little dogs, Mochi and Mocha. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub


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