Friday, June 22, 2018

Before Dawn, by Author Elizabeth Arroyo: Survival rule number one: eat before being hunted. **Excerpt-Giveaway**

Before Dawn
Elizabeth Arroyo
Publication date: June 12th 2018
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult


Survival rule number one: eat before being hunted.

In a world infected by violent hybrids, survival comes with its own set of rules. Sixteen-year-old Zoe is an expert at breaking them.

While Zoe has abilities she cannot explain, just getting through another day without being killed is a challenge. She has survived since her mother’s murder with help from an unexpected ally, Morph.

Morph is part of the Arcane, an elite force of teenagers from an Alliance of space stations. After the Arcane are destroyed in an explosion, only Morph and his brother survive. They are sent on a new mission to capture a dangerous hybrid.

Morph is torn between duty and his attraction to Zoe. With threats to the planet from above, Morph knows Zoe’s chances are limited. Trying to save her could be a betrayal to the Alliance.

When Zoe recovers memories of her mother’s death that point straight to the Arcane, she realizes Morph might be the real enemy.

As more mysteries are brought to light, telling friends from foes becomes difficult. For Morph and Zoe, the world is more dangerous than ever. And trusting each other is the key to them living to see another day.




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EXCERPT


Her concern at the moment stood out in front of her – movement in the shadows. At first glance they looked like children, though when you got closer they were nothing like children. Not even human anymore. Their heads too large for their bodies, their eyes black slits on their ashen faces, their mouths extended and filled with jagged teeth. Bulbous body on stubbly short legs. They weren’t intimidating, but their numbers swelled in the hundreds and they hunted in packs.

They crowded every ridge, waited behind every rock formation, watching her. One of them charged, and the others followed. Zoe pulled out her pistol and fired, catching the leader in the head. It took three steps before it realized it had no head and fell to the ground. The creatures behind it didn’t seem slightly interested in their dead comrade and ran over it to get to her. She flanked the ridge and ran alongside the tracks, feeling the tremble of a hundred little suckers stomping the ground behind her. A train stood off about fifty yards, half of it hung inside a pit. It looked like the tongue of an overzealous monster had rolled out of its maw and choked to death. She slipped between railcars and shot the first critter that followed her through. It fell, blocking the entrance from those behind it, giving her a few precious seconds to scramble out into the open. Though their heads were large, they weren’t that smart. Lucky her.

Hiding gave her the best chance at survival. She couldn’t outrun them. Exhaustion threatened to drop her, and she didn’t have enough spark to light a match. She regretted letting Jace convince her to kill him. She’d have had a better chance at survival had he been beside her.

The ground rolled under her, lifting dirt and rock into the air. It pulsed, forcing her to slow and balance her footing. She stopped when the ground in front of her caved in, expecting to be consumed by the hundreds of creatures behind her. When nothing happened, she risked turning around to find out why.

They too had stopped as if at an invisible wall. All of them. Spread out in a line, they stared past her. A swarm of gray, small, ugly things, eyes almost swallowing their faces. They’d forgotten about her.

Another rumble underground forced Zoe’s attention back to the sink hole in front of her just as a serpent exploded out of the ground and skyrocketed at least a hundred feet into the air before falling in an arc toward the mass of creatures under it. Including her.

She scrambled back, hightailing it toward the little monsters who decided they didn’t want to eat her anymore. They wanted to live, so they ran. She followed suit. The serpent struck the ground, smashing a dozen or so creatures to her left, causing another jolt under her. It slid along the ground, its massive scales cutting a deep path in the dirt. It snatched one of the creatures in its mouth, tearing through muscle and bone, leaving only stubbly legs on the ground. Pitching right, she turned back toward the pit. Anything would be better than remaining out in the open. If those little suckers ended up avoiding or killing the serpent, they’d remember they wanted to eat her. She had to lay low, hide, and wait it out.

But the snake had other ideas. It circled back and slammed into the train initiating its final descent into the pit. The world shimmered for a second and adrenaline fueled her. She had to get to Mecca and find answers about her life. She didn’t intend on dying before she got them. She jumped into the last railcar, clawing at anything she could use as a hold.

She found nothing but air.




Author Bio


Born and raised in Chicago and the youngest of five, Elizabeth spent most of her younger years as an avid reader with a wild imagination which led her to write her first manuscript at the age of fourteen.

Influenced by the gamers in her household and her love of action adventure, Elizabeth delved into the realm of science fiction and wrote her first full-length science fiction/dystopian YA novel—Before Dawn—acquired by Ellysian Press in 2016.

Elizabeth is the author of the Second Sign and the Second Shadow, a dark YA paranormal romance series, (Sapphire Star Publishing, 2013), and Darkness, a YA paranormal thriller, (Indie-Published, 2014). She has a short story published with SQ Magazine, and advice on her writing journey can be found in The Write Path: A Compilation of Letters, (Amazon Digital Services, Inc.).

Elizabeth enjoys spending time with her family, listening to music, and binge watching her favorite shows.

You can reach Elizabeth at her website www.elizabetharroyo.com, Twitter, and Facebook.



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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Escape Forbidden, by Author Ruth Silver **Excerpt-Giveaway**

Escape Forbidden
Ruth Silver
(Aberrant Prequel)
Publication date: June 15th 2018
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult


Fight to stay alive.

The Gravelands are a dangerous place.

In a world of uncertainty, Cora Manning knows one thing without a doubt: getting into Genesis will offer her a brighter future.

When the intake coordinator agrees to let her in because of her genetic makeup, Cora discovers the promised city of utopia is nothing like she imagined.

The rebellion has begun.




EXCERPT


“Sit,” Noelle said and gestured toward the cot positioned on the floor.

Without much thought I wandered over and stretched out to lie down. Had it not been a trying day and with bombings outside, I’d have opted to go home or at the very least refused special treatment. That was what Noelle offered me, wasn’t it?

“You don’t have to stay here all night,” I said. It felt weird to be watched as I slept. “If I need anything, I can let you know. Or I mean, whoever stays.” I didn’t want to assume she wouldn’t go home either. I shut my eyes and relaxed against the cot. It wasn’t the most comfortable bed I’d been in, but it beat the straw in the barn.

“Toby and I will alternate, unless your fever breaks. Then we’ll both go home and let you sleep in peace.”

Hearing her words was enough to help me relax. “Okay,” I mumbled. If only I had the ability to control my own body temperature.

Noelle shut off the lights which helped ease the throbbing pulse behind my eyes. The distant wail of the siren ceased. Had it ended? Was everyone safe? I took momentary comfort in the quiet of Noelle’s office and allowed myself to fall asleep.

During the night, I heard the door whine and I attempted to roll over, only half cognizant of where I was. The cot groaned beneath me and I felt the warmth of metal against my cheek.

“Wake up, little girl,” an unfamiliar voice said, and I heard the distinctive click of the safety released from a gun.

My eyes flashed open, staring up at the intruder, the gun tight against my skin. How would I get out of this mess?





Author Bio


Ruth Silver enjoys reading, traveling, writing, photography, boardgames, and playing with her dogs.

REFUGE FORBIDDEN (Aberrant Book 4) by Ruth Silver will be available June 29, 2018.

She also writes adult romance under the name Allison West.





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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

A Guest Post by Love Me, Love Me Not, Author, S. M. Koz - Family, abandonment, and forbidden romance are at the core of SM Koz’s powerful and emotionally charged novel about a teen who falls for her foster brother. **Giveaway**

Love Me, Love Me Not
S.M. Koz
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: June 19th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult


Family, abandonment, and forbidden romance are at the core of SM Koz’s powerful and emotionally charged novel about a teen who falls for her foster brother.

When Hailey Brown is removed from her home and put into foster care, all she wants is a safe, comfortable place where she can finish school and move on with her life. It’s not easy adjusting to a new school and a new life, but Mr. and Mrs. Campbell and their teenage son, Brad, welcome Hailey with open arms.

As Hailey begins to adjust to her new life, she and Brad grow closer. For the first time, Hailey feels like she might have a real shot at a future. Soon, however, Hailey realizes her relationship with Brad has crossed the line from friendship into something more. But being with Brad would mean giving up the perfect life that Hailey has waited so long to have.

Can Hailey and Brad resist the feelings that are developing between them—or will they risk it all to be together?

Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, SM Koz delivers a powerful debut about the ups and downs of being a foster child.





Challenges of Dealing with a Broken Home, and the Foster Care System



Being a foster parent is challenging for a number of reasons, ranging from something as simplistic as logistics to something as complicated as the emotional turmoil it can bring to everyone involved.

Imagine this scenario: It’s one in the morning and you get a call from an investigator with DSS. They need an immediate placement for a toddler whose sole parent has been arrested and no other family can be located. You take in the frightened child who is unable to sleep in a new place so you stay by the child’s side until daybreak. Then, with very little sleep, you have to get ready for work, but what to do with the child? Your boss is not sympathetic to your situation, so you need to find yet another new place for the child while you’re at work. Luckily, another foster parent offers to watch the child until you can find daycare. You call dozens of DSS-approved daycares and finally find one that has immediate space for the child. Unfortunately, it’s thirty minutes from your house in the opposite direction of your job. Still, you’re relieved you found a place that seems respectable. You fill out all the paperwork and enroll the child. After two weeks, you and the child have become accustomed to the routine and are growing close. The child is eating and sleeping well, has started calling you Mama, and spends more time giggling than crying. Then, you get another call from DSS. A distant aunt who has never met the child was found, so DSS will pick up the child from daycare and transport her to the aunt in another county. DSS will collect the child’s belongings from you next week. You never even get the chance to say goodbye.

Terribly sad, right? This is not an unusual situation, and I think it highlights the logistical and emotional challenges of foster care, for both the caretaker and the child. Especially at the start of a placement, children may rotate through two, three, even five different places in the matter of days. I can’t even imagine how hard that must be for the child. Then, just when they’re starting to feel settled somewhere, they are often uprooted as DSS finds out more information about the case.

From a foster parent’s perspective, the emotional turmoil comes when you connect with a child and want the best for them but have to allow the system to work the way it’s meant to work, even if you have serious reservations. Sure, you can make your reservations known, but you are always at the mercy of the court. Sometimes, you agree with the court and know the child would thrive elsewhere; sometimes, you know the best place is with you, however, there’s nothing you can do if the court disagrees.

This emotional turmoil is one of the main reasons foster parents (and social workers) burn out. It’s tough to go through this once, let alone every few months. When this has happened to me, I’ve been fortunate to have an amazing husband to lean on. Other foster parents, either from my county or online support groups, have also been great. They always remind me that, ultimately, what it comes down to is trying to help the child as much as you can during the time they’re with you, whether it’s one night or two years. You have very little input into their case, but you can make the most of their time with you and hope that something you’ve done will stick with them and improve their future. It’s not much to hold onto, but for long-term foster parents, it has to be enough to keep going, despite heartbreak after heartbreak.




Author Bio


SM KOZ is a medical writer from North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, two sons, and numerous pets. She has a BS in Biology from Duke University and a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from North Carolina State University. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, photographing nature and her family, gardening, travelling, and attempting, usually unsuccessfully, to decorate birthday cakes. Love Me, Love Me Not is her first traditionally published novel.





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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Character Madness and Musings: Review! Identity Break by Author Stephen H. Provos...

Character Madness and Musings: Review! Identity Break by Author Stephen H. Provos...: Identity Break Stephen H. Provost Publication date: February 12th 2018 Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult How far would you go...

A Character Interview with Thea Scott from the novel Memory Walker, by Carly Marino - Imagine having the ability to walk in a person's memory at the slightest touch of their skin. **Teasers-Giveaway**


Memory Walker
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Release Date: May 18th 2018
Evernight Teen


Imagine having the ability to walk in a person's memory at the slightest touch of their skin. 


High school rumors are the worst. In fact, high school’s the worst. Especially for the school freak who has to avoid human contact.

Freshman year, seventeen-year-old Thea Scott developed the suckiest burden ever. At the brief touch of a person’s skin, she’s forced to walk in their memories. She’d give anything to get rid of this ability—one she can’t control. Well, until the first day of senior year when breathtakingly gorgeous Cole Conway strolls through the auditorium doors and she faints, making an utter fool of herself, again. He acts like he knows her secret, and the last thing she wants is to end up in a lab with her brain in a jar. To protect herself, she decides to do the very thing she runs from, use her ability to enter his memories.

What she didn’t expect to find: out-of-this-world beings who have to “borrow” life essence from humans to survive. Cole unveils dangers she never imagined existed and turns out her own past is her greatest fear. The deeper she falls, the more turmoil and heartbreak crash into her. Dreams of fitting in soon dissolve, and she realizes it was way easier being just a high school freak.


Buy Links





A Character Interview with Thea Scott
from Memory Walker, by Carly Marino


Welcome to Character Madness and Musings, Thea.
What’s it like to view a memory?

Hmm. That’s an interesting question. Well, it’s like falling into a dark hole with rushes of warmth and coldness. As I settle into someone’s memory, I hear, smell, and feel everything around them. I can’t stop the memory until the person breaks our contact, which totally sucks. A six-second arm around my shoulder throws me into an hour-long memory. It’s pretty terrible. Especially after. I’m usually out of sorts and I have to take a minute to ground myself.


Why haven’t you told anyone about your gift?

Gift? Bah! I always saw my memory walking ability as a curse. Can you imagine not being able to touch anyone? People don’t realize how many times we’re touched. A hug from my aunt can reveal conversations she’s had with doctors about me, the debts she’s stressed over.

But to answer your question, I told my best friends and my aunt when my ability first made an appearance freshman year. Of course, they thought I’d lost my mind, had a nervous breakdown. I couldn’t blame them. Who wouldn’t? After that I realized I had to keep my ability to myself. The government would have a hay day with a girl who could read other people’s memories. I think I really would go mad if I had to live the memories of criminals. 


Speaking of that… what’s the worst memory you’ve ever had to walk in?

A murder. Not just because of the violence but because I’m a child hiding in a closet watching everything happen. The worst part is that the memory feels like my own but I knew it isn’t. And the killer. (shutters) I can’t even talk about him.

The second worse is my best friend’s dad accidently shared with me he was having an affair. (sighs) Gosh, it’s so hard to keep a secret like that from my friend and her mom. But how would I tell them? Hey, I read your dad’s memory… Or I walked in on… every version sounded unbelievable. 


When you first saw Cole, what went through your mind?

(laughs) I fainted. Well, shortly after anyway. Before I embarrassed myself, I sat, mouth-dropped, gazing like a donkey at his gorgeousness. I mean, come on. How can anyone “real” be that incredibly hot? Come to find out… there was a pretty crazy reason. I’ll you find that out later. Anyway, he also had this way about him. He looked like he’d be a bad boy, a jerk, but his eyes… they had this sweet sparkle and guess what… eyes truly are windows to the soul. Cole was sweet, thoughtful, funny. He had me at his insult. (rolls her eyes) “Biting your fingernails is a really gross habit.” 
 

Finally: If you could change one of your own memories, what would it be and why?

I wouldn’t. Memory’s make us who we are and changing them, changes us. Erasing tiny details, lost keys, what you had for lunch yesterday, those are really harmless. The big stuff, though… I wouldn’t. Couldn’t do it…

Unless I had to, I guess.


Indeed. Thanks for sharing a little about your ability and your, swoon-worthy guy candy.

Anytime. Thanks for reading our story. (she leans in with her hand folded over her mouth) And don’t worry, the end is just the beginning. Wow, that was cliché?



About the Author


I love writing and reading about love. There’s nothing better than two characters finding each other in unusual situations and conquering all odds to be together. *Sigh* Regardless the genre – paranormal, contemporary, fantasy – if there’s romance—I wanna read it! 

I was born in Hawai’i but grew up most of my life in the sticks of Michigan and the sunny beaches of Florida. After graduating high school, I return to my island ohana for college where I wrote my thesis on how to write a young adult book. (Oddly enough)

Wife, mother, dog owner, and author, my hat constantly changes but I love every minute of the hustle. Writing is my passion and the wonderful nagging voice in my head. I’m blessed to have amazing family and friends who’ve supported me from my first story, written in poor phonics and elementary chicken scratch.

Author Links




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Dethroned: An Inimical Prequel Novella by Author Genevieve Iseult Eldredge **Read Chapter One - Giveaway**

Dethroned
Genevieve Iseult Eldredge
(An Inimical Prequel Novella)
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: June 19th 2018
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult


For eighteen-year-old Rouen Rivoche, being a fairy princess isn’t about fancy parties and happily ever afters.

Rouen’s people are the dark Fae whose powers of lightning, thundersnow, and all things Winter make them cold, severe, and 100% intolerant of rebellion.

Too bad being a rebel is in Rouen’s blood.

Against tradition, she’s teamed up with Syl Skye, the sleeper-princess of the fair Fae—a mortal enemy who Rouen should want to kill but only wants to kiss. Plus, to be with Syl, Rouen’s masquerading as a glam goth-rock star and human high school student. Honestly, Rouen doesn’t think things could get any more complicated.

Then, she discovers she must become Queen of the Winter Court or all her people will die. No pressure.

Now, dark forces are amassing in the Winter Court, turning Rouen’s people against her and blocking her path to the throne. Even Syl with all her powers of white flame and Summer can’t stop this new kind of evil.

Because betrayal cuts close when it’s someone you love… and now it looks like Rouen’s going to be dethroned before she ever becomes queen.



Chapter One

Rouen

There’s nowhere I belong
No home, no hearth
No sing, no song
A princess with no kingdom to rule
– “Nowhere I Belong” – Euphoria

It’s December 24, Christmas Eve in the mortal realm, and you know what that means.

Only fifty-four days to go. Fifty-four days until the Lunar New Year.

Until I take my rightful place as Queen of the dark Fae.

No more being Rouen, princess-assassin and rebel. Once Father steps down—and he said he would—I’ll take his place.

Half of me, my dark self, says he’s lying through his fangs again. But the other half of me remembers the father-before, the man he was before our realm was crippled by our mortal enemies, the fair Fae. That man taught me to fight, to tap into the Winter in my royal blood and hear the wintry nightsong running through our Dark Faerie realm like a secret language.

The Adamant King. He was a good father and a great king—powerful but even-tempered, severe but just.

That’s the man I could trust. That man would keep his word to make me queen.

Even though there’s never been a dark Fae queen. Ever.

I’ll be the first. I can’t wait to rule, to do whatever I want, to be with whoever I want.

In fifty-four days.

But who’s counting?

“Not you,” Syl murmurs sleepily as we lie on the beat-up couch in the dressing room of our local club/hangout, the Nanci Raygun. It’s a snug room wallpapered with faded band flyers and covered in peeling spray paint art. The best thing is the comfy couch that’s ideal for snuggling with your girlfriend.

“Nope. Not me.” I kiss the top of Syl’s red curls. She knows me too well.

Just like I’m the princess of the dark Fae, Syl’s the princess of the fair Fae.

We’re complete opposites. I’m everything Winter—storms and squalls and brutal cold, unyielding ice and thundersnow. My Syl is the epitome of Summer and sun and brightness, with the power to purify dark magic with her white flame.

We met when I tried to kill her.

Technically, we’re mortal enemies. Winter. Summer. You get the picture.

Long story short, I tried to assassinate her. Not my finest moment, but I was controlled by Circuit Fae black-magic—a Moribund infection that stole my will and forced me to hunt her down when she was a mere mortal. Sleeper-princess that she is, though, she Awakened to the fair Fae power inside her.

Hoo-boy, did she give me a hard time. I loved it. Still do.

Syl snuggles in closer. Her nearness sends a spike of warmth shooting through me. She leans her head on my shoulder. “Is it time for your gig yet?”

Ancestors, I hope not. I’d rather lie on this couch with her forever. Lazily, I look past the Euphoria fliers plastered all over the dressing room and check the faded Blue Bee Cider clock on the wall. Almost 11 p.m. “Ten minutes.”

Ten minutes till I step onstage and take on the Euphoria half of my mortal guise. The other half is a seventeen-year-old high school junior, but this is more my style—local legend and goth rockstar violinist. Thanks to my powerful Glamoury, only Syl, her mom, and a few kids at Richmond Elite High have put the Rouen-Euphoria connection together. Otherwise, the human paparazzi would have a heyday with us.

As it is, they mostly leave us alone. Good thing, too, since tonight, I want some peace.

Tonight’s special.

In a little bit, Syl will be headed off on her own. Her task is less glamorous, but far more important. She has to leave to grab our Christmas Eve dinner.

I’ve never had a proper Christmas Eve dinner. It’s a mortal thing and very different from my people’s Dark Yule celebrations (which involve a lot of mayhem and destruction), and I’m looking forward to it.

Syl turns her face into my shoulder and says something like, mumble, mumble, don’t wanna, mumble, mumble, cold outside, mumble.

So. Adorable. I kiss the top of her head, inhaling the heady scent of sunshine and vanilla. My sweet fair Fae princess.

I’d do anything to protect her.




Author Bio


Raised by witches and dragons in the northern wilds, GIE writes angsty urban fantasy YA romance--where girls who are mortal enemies kick butt, take names, and fall in love against all odds.

She enjoys long hikes in the woods (where better to find the fair folk?), believing in fairies (in fact, she's clapping right now), dancing with dark elves (always wear your best shoes), being a self-rescuing princess (hello, black belt!), and writing diverse books about teenage girls finding love, romance, and their own inner power.

She might be planning high tea at the Fae Court right now.

GIE is multi-published, and in her role as an editor has helped hundreds of authors make their dream of being published a reality.

The Circuit Fae series


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Monday, June 18, 2018

Review! Identity Break by Author Stephen H. Provost. How far would you go to find yourself? **Giveaway**

Identity Break
Stephen H. Provost
Publication date: February 12th 2018
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult


How far would you go to find yourself?

Imagine everything you thought you knew about yourself turned out to be a lie, and you didn’t know who was telling the truth. Imagine you possessed a secret so dangerous that, if it were exposed, it would reshape the entire world.
What would you do if that secret were your very identity?

In almost every way, Palo Vista seems like a typical California city, with office buildings, schools, and homes sprawled out across suburbia, filled with families making a life for themselves at the dawn of the new millennium.

But two seniors at Mt. MacMurray High are about to find out that nothing is as it seems…




A Review From Brandy's Book Nook
⭐⭐⭐


In a lot of ways this would make a good dystopian movie. There's a secret organization, lies, manipulation,action, and lots of secrets. I struggled with the book though. There are some formatting issues that were distracting. However, for me the beginning of the book was all over the place, and confusing. I had to really concentrate to figure out what I was supposed to be getting from what I was reading. I think more detail would have helped. It wasn't until I was literally half way through the book that things started to get explained.

Elyse and Jason find out that a giant corporation is controlling everything, and the world outside their city is not what they have been told. They have to find out what is real, what's in their head, and if they can trust anyone but themselves. There is a bit of backstory at the end that may be better at the beginning because it would give some insight into what is going on without really giving too much away. After reading it I felt like it was good to know, but didn't really do much for the story by being at the end. 

I would suggest older teen and up for this one as some of the things going on are a little complex, and there is a bit of violence.



Author Bio


Stephen H. Provost is a veteran editor, reporter and columnists with more than 30 years of experience at daily newspapers in California. He’s currently the managing editor of The Cambrian on the Central Coast, as well as a columnist and assistant city editor for The Tribune in San Luis Obispo.
As an author, he has written historical nonfiction (“Fresno Growing Up” and “Highway 99: The History of California’s Main Street”), novels (“Memortality” and “Identity Break”), while also exploring the realms of mythology, fable and ancient history.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter




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