martedì 29 gennaio 2013

Excerpt: A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest

Hey Peeps! Today I'm happy to host one awesome and super kind author, Bella Forrest, who offered to share with us an excerpt of her Paranormal Novel, A Shade of Vampire. Bella has also sent me a review copy of her book so, stay tuned if you want to know what I thought about her book!

A Shade of Vampire
by Bella Forrest

On the evening of Sofia Claremont's seventeenth birthday, she is sucked into a nightmare from which she cannot wake. A quiet evening walk along a beach brings her face to face with a dangerous pale creature that craves much more than her blood. 
She is kidnapped to an island where the sun is eternally forbidden to shine. An island uncharted by any map and ruled by the most powerful vampire coven on the planet. She wakes here as a slave, a captive in chains. 
Sofia's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn when she is the one selected out of hundreds of girls to join the harem of Derek Novak, the dark royal Prince.
 Despite his addiction to power and obsessive thirst for her blood, Sofia soon realizes that the safest place on the island is within his quarters, and she must do all within her power to win him over if she is to survive even one more night. 

Will she succeed? ...or is she destined to the same fate that all other girls have met at the hands of the Novaks?

The Excerpt

I’d been walking along the sea shore for about an hour when I suddenly sensed that I wasn’t alone. Someone was approaching me from behind. My heart leapt. I was so sure it was Ben, that when a stranger showed up beside me, I couldn’t hide my disappointment.
He must have noticed, because a smirk formed on his lips. “Were you expecting someone else, love?”
I eyed him suspiciously, remembering how many times my father told me not to talk to strangers. I looked him over from head to foot, taking in his appearance. I held my breath. I couldn’t find words to describe how fine a man he was. He was almost beautiful. The first thing I took notice of was how his blue eyes were about three shades brighter than any I’d ever seen before. It was such a stark contrast to his pale – almost white – skin and his dark hair. I next noted how he was easily more than half a foot taller than I was. His height, broad shoulders and lean build reminded me of Ben, but he had a presence that was far more imposing than my best friend’s.
My gaze settled on his face.
I realized that he was inspecting me just as closely as I was him. His eyes on me suddenly made me feel uncomfortably vulnerable. I gave my father’s advice a second thought, but quickly canceled out all notions of heeding to his counsel when I reminded myself that he stopped caring a long time ago. I straightened to my full height and mustered all the courage I had to keep myself from running away from this stranger.
Big mistake.
The confident smirk didn’t leave his face for even a moment. “Like what you see?”
I frowned, annoyed by his audacity. “A bit full of yourself, aren’t you?”
He stepped forward, closer to me, and leaned his head toward mine. “Don’t I have the right to be?”
He knew he looked good and wasn’t about to act like he didn’t.
“Whatever,” was my oh-so-brilliant comeback.
My shoulders sagged with defeat as I took a step back, overwhelmed by how close he was. I rolled my eyes and did a one-eighty, not quite in the mood to play whatever game this stranger was proposing.
I would soon realize that I was about to play his game whether I liked it or not. He grabbed my arm and turned my body to face him. The motion alone made every single internal alarm I had go off in a frenzy.
This man was danger and I knew it. I tried to wriggle away from his touch, but I was no match for his strength.
“Tell me your name,” he commanded.
I was about to refuse, but was horrified to find myself blurting out my name in response. “Sofia Claremont.”
He traced his thumb over my jaw line. “Hello, Sofia Claremont. You’re one stupid girl for taking a walk alone at this time of night. You never know what kind of evil a pretty little thing like you could happen to come by.”
I found myself wondering exactly what kind of evil he was. But I was suddenly overcome by the sensations that were surrounding me. My senses took everything in at once. I heard the waves, felt the sand beneath my feet, smelled the ocean salt, tasted the flavor of cherry on my lips and saw the stranger’s manic appearance as he stuck a needle to my neck. The effect was instant. I was barely able to gasp, much less scream. I went from sensing everything to sensing absolutely nothing.
My last conscious thought was that I may never see Ben again.

A Shade of Vampire is now available on Amazon!

Find Bella:
Sign up for personal updates: 

venerdì 25 gennaio 2013

Review: The Exemeus by Folami and Abeni Morris

The Exemeus (#1)
Published: January 3rd 2013
Publisher: Royal Colours Ink
Format: eARC
Source: Received from the authors, blog tour
Purchase: Amazon, B&N,

From Goodreads
Her short life was devoted to love and to hate. Love of the man who stole her heart, hate for the man who stole the world. Murdered by the government she swore to destroy, fate has given her another chance to make it right. But to save the planet, she needs the help of the most powerful mystic the world has ever seen—unfortunately he hasn’t been born yet. 

In a world where fear is the only currency, Dephon has committed the ultimate crime: inspiring hope.

His only goal is to make it safely through ninth grade, but on a post-apocalyptic Earth run by the Treptonian government, it isn’t that simple. Heir to a legendary power, Dephon Johnson is the only threat to the government’s rule. And on Trepton, all threats must be eliminated. When hundreds of assassins are dispatched to neutralize him, Dephon is forced to fight back. His only chance of survival is to enlist the aid of the greatest warrior the world has ever known. The only problem is, she's been dead for 13 years.

My Review
The Exemeus was a great dystopian book full with magical adventures and impossible loves. I was immediately caught up by the plot and I knew this was going to be something great!
I have to say this was not like any other dystopian book I have read before, and despite the fact that it was set up in a different society I would say that the main theme of this book was magic. What I found really interesting, despite the plot itself, was absolutely the idea of the Exemeus. I thought it was great, but at the same time extremely awkward, to have a book (or a series of books) in which there were all your thoughts! I loved the choice of the authors to tell Hyalee's  story by reading her Exemeus because it gave to the readers the chance to understand exactly what she was going through and her feelings. Moreover it gave me the possibility to follow two different stories at the same time, Hyalee's and Dephon's, withouth too much confusion; it was like if you could travel with Dephon among the past and the present! I was also quite surprised by Dephon's character too, finally a male protagonist! I think that one of the things I enjoyed most was the use of magic and in general the magical context in which the story took place; especially, I found  Hyalee's room awesome, the one that changed according to her thoughts and feelings and everytime she was in the moment of opening her room's door, I was always so excited to discover how that place would have changed. Maybe the only thing that I should count as a "con" is the book's lenght, but this is not exactly something negative because the authors did a great job in making the book very easy and funny to read. They also used a lot of irony while writing and, strangely, I did like this aspect of their writing's skills even if usually, I tend to like more a concrete and serious way of writing.

Dephon was such a cute character! I fell in love with him since the first moment! From the beginning he was presented as a shy and insecure boy, who was bullied by his school mates and left alone by the others; he practically had no friends and appearently, not a goal in his life, until the arrival of Mallea. With the discovering of his importance he acquired, day by day, a little bit of confidence in himself and this changement had been such an emotion to me!
Hyalee was on the other hand my favourite character of this book. She was, just like her son Dephon, quite a modest girl, who has always passed unnoticed by everyone, until that day when the handsome Singleton hit her with his football ball. I loved how her powers made her a beautiful and charming woman and yes, I loved how perfect and particular her hair looked everyday! I think her relationship with Singleton was simply amazing and I'm usually the one who always criticizes about love! Theirs instead was gentle but at the same time a burning passion and their conversations and the moments they shared together, just felt so natural.

An incredible dystopian book that every Paranormal lover should read. Love, revenge, loss and magic, what else would you want for the perfect mix?

Rated 4,00

PROMO: Destiny Unveiled by Laura DeLuca

Destiny Unveiled 
Author: Laura DeLuca
Genre: YA Paranormal

Gabriella and Darron thought their magickal battle was over when they defeated the evil warlock, Richard. When her Aunt Donna seeks Gabriella's help in rescuing her catatonic daughter from the Dark Coven, Gabriella discovers that her cousin holds a power within her that would be catastrophic in the hands of the evil witches. Gabriella's coven sets out on a journey that may be their last. Along the way, they meet new allies, face devastating treachery, and battle not only the Dark Coven, but the darkness within themselves. When Gabriella finally comes face to face with the cousin she never knew existed, her true destiny is unveiled, and the fate of the mortal world is in her hands.

Buy Links: Amazon || Barnes & Noble || Smashwords

The Excerpt

After collecting the offering from his followers, the leader returned to the center of the circle and the waiting initiate. With one quick motion, he sliced open his own palm. He held his hand over the cup, letting his blood drip slowly into the chalice, until the wound miraculously healed before Darron's startled eyes. When the chalice was full, he carried it to the eager initiate who took the cup firmly into his hands and tilted it towards his lips.

"As this blood makes you one with our flesh, so your soul follows to become one with the darkness," the English voice intoned.

As the initiate drained the last of the liquid in the chalice, his hood fell away, revealing a blonde ponytail pulled back over a pale white face, made even paler by the outline of bright red blood around his lips. Darron watched in stunned, horrified silence as his own face turned to meet his gaze. Eyes turned as black as coals stared back at Darron with a grim smile of satisfaction.

"Rise Darron," the leader commanded. And as he spoke, he lifted the hood from his head. Rise brother of the Dark Coven."

The Author

Laura “Luna” DeLuca lives at the beautiful Jersey shore with her husband and four children. She loves writing in the young adult genre because it keeps her young at heart. In addition to writing fiction, Laura is also the sole author of a popular review blog called New Age Mama. She is an active member of her local pagan community, and has been studying Wicca for close to eight years. Her current works include Destiny, Destiny Unveiled, Phantom, Morrigan and Player.

Follow Laura: Website || Facebook || Twitter || Goodreads

sabato 19 gennaio 2013

Double Cover Reveal: Taking Shots and Trying To Score by Toni Aleo

Hey peeps! Today we are celebrating the cover reveal for TWO new awesome novels by author Toni Aleo, about hockey hunks and healing hearts! Take a look!

Taking Shots
by Toni Aleo

Expected Publication: May 13, 2013

In Toni Aleo’s exhilarating debut, the first in a series featuring the hockey hunks of the Nashville Assassins, a reformed bad boy helps a charming, willful woman face off against the demons of her past.
No matter how hard she tries, Elleanor Fisher never thinks she’s good enough, from her job to her weight to her love life. After enduring years of abuse at the hands of an ex-boyfriend, Elli has been drifting through life in a daze. Until, that is, she meets Shea Adler on a promotional shoot for the NHL’s Nashville Assassins. Before Elli knows what’s happening, the gorgeous Shea breaks the ice and shatters her world.

A brilliant athlete inside the rink, Shea Adler is tired of the life he’s living outside of it: the girls, the money, the drinking. But everything changes when he meets Elli. After laying eyes on this feisty, witty, beautiful woman, he feels like he’s just taken the hardest hit of his life. No matter how skeptical she is, Shea knows they are meant to be together—if only he can convince Elli to put her insecurities aside  throw her insecurities out the window before she misses out on a shot at love.

Trying To Score
by Toni Aleo

Expected Publication: June 10, 2013

In a captivating novel of hockey and healing hearts, the newest member of the Nashville Assassins pulls a power play to make things right with the one that got away.

Fallon Parker’s dream has always been to turn her family’s wine company into a runaway success and eventually to start a cellar of her own. Since graduating from college, she has worked relentlessly to make that dream a reality, especially after taking a chance on love—and losing. By the time Fallon becomes an official sponsor of the Nashville Assassins, she feels like all her hard work is finally paying off. And then the man who broke her heart skates back into her life.

On the ice, Lucas Brooks is the NHL’s leading scorer—at least when he’s not in the box. Off the ice, he’s a mess, with all his anger and misery bottled up inside. He threw away the most important person in his life and has regretted it ever since. But when Lucas returns to Nashville in a trade, he’s determined to convince Fallon that he’s a changed man. The attraction is still there. The tension is electrifying. But the odds are stacked against them—especially after Lucas finds out that Fallon has been keeping a devastating secret.

Well, I think the covers speak for theirselves, don't they? *w* 

The Author

Toni Aleo is a mother of two and married to her high school sweetheart. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading the latest romance novel, taking pictures, and going to as many Nashville Predators game as she can!


venerdì 18 gennaio 2013

Books Shopping! #2

Hey guys! How did you pass this week? I have to say this year started quite
well, and I'm receiving a LOT of review requests, which is completely exciting and ..awesome! *so proud*

This week I have finally received a book that I had purchase from The Book Depository on December: Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick which was on super-sale and I payed just 3.74 euro, that is VERY VERY cheap considering it was also delivered from UK.

Also, my boyfriend gifted me Club Dead (Sookie Stackhouse #3) even if, poor guy,
he didn't know it was the third book of a never ending series.. now I will force him to buy me all the books :) He payed just 6 euro for it, at our local book shop,
 who sells used books.

This week I spent just : 3.74 euro. Awesome! Isn't it?

Review Requests

giovedì 17 gennaio 2013

Blog Tour: Glistening Haven by Jill Cooper [Review]

Glistening Haven
Glistening Haven #1
Author: Jill Cooper
Published: 20th November 2012
Publisher: Createspace
Format: eBook
Source: Received from the author
Purchase: Amazon

A sexy dystopian novel, The Glistening Haven is set in the future where society's attempt for beauty and perfection nearly destroyed it. Murder, sex, duplicity and drama, join us in the world of New Haven 56.
Susan Monroe doesn't ask for much: good grades from her children, a house with room for a pool, to be the best Tupperware party host in New Haven 56.
But inside her tranquil 1950s styled community, a monster lurks. A monster that lives inside Susan, and every one of her superficially perfect neighbors, held in check by the oppressive police state that rules over them.
Susan's happy life is torn apart when her teenage son goes missing the same night an explosion rips apart the community. Susan knows it’s only a matter of time before the police start breaking down their doors.
Before the reconditioning begins and Susan's identity is lost, she must do one final thing.

Find her son.

My review

Glistening Haven has officially become one of my favourite book of this month, until now! I totally wasn't expecting it to be so amazing! Let's start with saying that at the beginning I was a bit confused by the story, because it is certainly a very twisted book but.. you know how much I love twists! Until the end the book literally kept me with bated breath and I just couldn't relax because everytime I did, something terrible happened.

The book is set in New Haven 56, a "bubble" ( as it is called by those who live there) where the glistenings are controlled and their life constantly monitored by the New Haven's Police Department. All this happened because of the glistenings' nature, because of their thirst for blood; glistenings are kind of dragons who have the ability to take on human appearance and they can easily be confused with them, unless they are tested by electrical discharges, that stimulate their transformation. In the past, glistenings represented a threat for humans and they were forced to live under bridges or in half-destroyed buildings to avoid their fury but nowadays, all that glistenings really want is a normale life. Something they could never have because the government would never allow that to happen. 
That's why when Wendy discovers to be pregnant with Jake, a glistening, she understands that she needs to find a way to get out of New Haven. But unfortunately she will learn soon, that she can't trust anybody and that she, and her baby are just a pawn in the schemes of the government.

The whole world Jill Cooper created was fantastic and it is probably the strongest point of the book. I loved how complicated the government of her society was and how cruel it could become to protect appearance of a perfect world and to ensure the tranquility of mankind. I really enjoyed the idea of those creatures that everyone considered monsters but that were actually a lot more human sometimes, than the humans theirselves. They accepted their condition of being segregated by a human government, just to have the chance of having a normal life, kids and a safe house where to raise them. I know that they have killed a lot of humans before for their nature, but, killing or torturing glistenings just for the pure pleasure of it, isn't just as cruel? Another thing that I though was fascinating is that, in my opinion, the book was so well-developed and breathtaking that it seemed like the characters had only a secondary role. There were many characters, many families, each of them with their own problems and their own ideals but I thought that most of them were completely overshadowed by the magnificence of the context in which they lived. Nevertheless, I think the author succesfully used the characters also to make them spokespeople of some important values: the love for the family, equality, discrimination and also the desperate need to achieve peace in someway or another.

As I said, there were many character in the book and some of them were also great, but the one that I feel most like describing is Jenna Morgan. I can't express how much her character has surprised me because that would mean ruining the surprise to all of you who are planning on reading this awesome book, but I really have to say that her hatred for glistening his certainly not unjustified. She was a very charming woman and a kick-ass fighter, but what fascinated me most about her personality is her determination and her moodiness. I know, they are quite the opposite, right? Well, I told you she was a bit complicated! She had lived a period of her life that has changed her completely and that had also influenced her way of seeing glistenings. Even if she had more than one proof that they were part human, she really can't stop herself from killing them. Want to know why? Read the book!

A well-written, breathtaking (I've already said that, haven't I?!) and mind-blowing dystopian / thriller, a must-read for all Veronica Roth's fans out there.
P.S Insurgent..think about the "bubble" and you will probably understand where the link is!

And aren't you super curious about what will happen to Wendy's half-glistening baby? YES! And me too! So I really recommend you to start this amazing series and purchase your copy of Glistening Haven as soon as possible. I assure you that you will not regret it! To purchase a signed copy of Glistening Haven for just 8$ click here!

Rated 4.75!

Jill Cooper
Author of the YA Dream Slayer series, Jill loves to blend horror, comedy, the supernatural, and love, through her novels. A fan of genre blending, her work strives to cross boundries, but most of all strives to entertain.
She loves soft cuddly cats, warm blankets, and paranormal romances.
Jill resides in Massachusetts, is constantly renovating her home that she shares with her husband, young daughter, and two skittish cats.

martedì 15 gennaio 2013

Teaser Tuesday #4: Glistening Haven by Jill Cooper

Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

"Four p.m in the park on Central Boulevard. A briefcase will be placed next to the water
fountain. Take it. Open it in the privacy of your bathroom at exactly five-fifteen p.m.
If you do not, we cannot guarantee your son's survival."

Glistening Haven really seems to be a great book! At the beginning I was very confused by this one, because the plot isn't exactly easy but now I'm beginning to figure some things out and I think this read will be great! I'm reading this book as part of the blog tour, organised by SupaGurl tours, if you want to know what I thought about it, come back on the 17th

venerdì 11 gennaio 2013

Review: The Girl In The Steel Corset by Kady Cross

The Girl In The Steel Corset 
Steampunk Chronicles #1
Author: Kady Cross
Published: 24th May 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Format: Hardback
Source: Bought
Purchase: TBD, Amazon, B&N

From Goodreads

In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one...except the "thing" inside her.When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no "normal" Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch....
Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of "them." The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.
Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help--and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.
But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on--even if it seems no one believes her

My Review

The Girl In The Steel Corset was the first steampunk book I've ever read, at least that's what I think. I immediately loved the framework in which the story took place: let's say that I love the Victorian epoque so definitely this book earned a point from the beginning, then the whole story about automatons, men and women with strange powers and dangerous secrets that could negatively influence humanity, immediately caught me. From the beginning the author introduced this mysterious protagonist, Finley, a girl who is often submitted by her dark side, that she can't control. Immediately I was amazed and surprised by this problem and it was probably the main reason that kept me reading so fast; moreover when Kady introduced The Machinist, a man who was suspected to be the cause of many incidents that were frightening the town, the story became even more interesting, because it was obvious that he had to do something with Finley's problem. 
Being sincere I am a little disappointed by how things worked out because, as I said, almost everything was introduced from the beginning, but actually, in the end, a little space has been given to these thematics. The mystery of Finley's "desease" was liquidated in just a few pages and also, the long-awaited clash between Finley's group and The Machinist was a little unsatisfying. Another thing that I really missed is the element of surprise! Infact, in my opinion, it was pretty obvious who The Machinist could have been and also the reason why he did what he did.
Nevertheless, there were also some great details about this book that I appreciated much. I really think that this book made me discover a new kind of genre that I really could like in the future;in effect the things I liked the most about this book are those that can be practically defined the main characteristics of the genre: the historical period and the automatons. Something that I really appreciated (I know this could sound ridicoulous) is the importance that Kady Cross gives to the description of the dresses, for example, as when she describes Finley's dress for the party.  Personally, I am a little obsessed with fashion and I really love the dresses that ladies used to wear in the past, so the thing that I could perfectly imagine what women (but also men) were wearing in that period, was something absolutely fascinating. I also like how well-developed the characters were and also the variety of their personalities.  
To conclude, Kadie Cross wisely decided also to tell the story by different point of views, and this contributes to make the story more complete and real because you could actually imagine how everyone was feeling during the course of the whole story.

Finley was actually a great heroine with a strong personality and above all.. a DOUBLE personality! I think it was great when she finally succeed in reconcealing her two sides because she remained quite sweet and kind but with that little veil of provocation and strenght. If there is something I didn't like about her is her indecision in choosing between Jack and Griffin, ( I hate love triangles by the way!) because it seemed like she was playing with both of them. Personally, even if I admired her strenght and her breezy language, she was not one of my favourite character, in the end.

Secondary characters
Griffin was the Duke of Greythorne, and as all of those in his group, he had a particular ability, to govern the Ether, the power which lives in every thing. He was a good character, sweet, generous and caring. He lost his parents in an accident and the most similar thing he had to a family were his friends Sam and Emily, for whom he would have sacrificed his life, if needed. As for Finley, I didn't find him that appealing, he was quite a common character, actually. On the other hand my favourite character was absolutely Jack Dandy, mysterious and very intriguing. I found him very special and I love his way of speaking!He was so funny yet so formal and he was so tender because it was evident he felt something for Finley, even if romanticism was not in his strings; moreover I really admired how patient and helpful he had been with Finley, despite she was clearly more attracted by Griffin. Another character I really liked was Emily, a young sweet girl with a great passion for automatons. She was in Griffin's family and she was the mind behind all tecnological creations: she could disassemble and reassemble anything, despite she was very young. She has never had a normal life and the arrival of Finley is a pleasent surpise for her, that will finally have a female friend to talk to. One aspect of her personality that I enjoyed was how capable she was of imposing her will on the other inhabitants of the house, especially on Sam, and how bravely she was able to get into the game when necessary. This surprised me much especially because she was probably the only one who had no arms for defense since her secret skill was the ability to talk to automaton, which is actually useless in battle. In Griffin's group there was also Sam, a man who had an incredible strenght since he was partly human partly automaton ( he had risked his life in a battle and Emily saved him by replacing some parts of his body, including his heart).

A good steampunk book, filled with velocycles, automatons and telegraphs mixed with love triangles and ancient secrets. What are you waiting for? You definitely should give it a read.

Rated 3.70

Favourite quotes
“Don't mistake me, Treasure. I can offer you many things, but friendship ain't one of them. Now, for once in your life, be a sensible girl and run away.” 

“Griffin had to get to the bottom of these automaton attacks. He couldn’t ignore them just because Finley Jayne posed such an intriguing problem in such a pretty package.
And she was pretty—even when off her rocker. In that respect, she was every bit as dangerous as Aunt Cordelia seemed to think.
It was a good thing, then, that he enjoyed a little danger now and again.” 

mercoledì 9 gennaio 2013

WWW Wednesday and Wishlist Wednesday! #6

Weekly meme hosted @ Pen to Paper

The Girl in The Clockwork Collar
Steampunk Chronicles #2

In New York City, 1897, life has never been more thrilling - or dangerous. 

Sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne and her "straynge band of mysfits" have journeyed from London to America to rescue their friend Jasper, hauled off by bounty hunters. But Jasper is in the clutches of a devious former friend demanding a trade-the dangerous device Jasper stole from him...for the life of the girl Jasper loves. 

One false move from Jasper and the strange clockwork collar around Mei's neck tightens. And tightens.

I'm about to finish The Girl In The Steel Corset and I have to say that I'm really loving it! I find it quite similar for some aspects to The Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare and I'm really curious about the sequel! I think I've never read steampunks before (unless you can consider Clockwork Prince a steampunk novel) and I think this is a genre I will really enjoy in the future.. maybe I should check more books like this one :)

Have you read the Girl In The Steel Corset? What did you think of it?

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?

• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

I'm currently reading the Exemeus by Folami and Abeni Morris, as 
part of the blog tour. My stop will be on the 25th January, don't forget to take a look at my review!!

What did you recently finish reading?

I'm going to finish the last two chapter of the Girl In The Steel Corset by Kady Cross tonight. I will be posting my review on Friday, peeps!

What do you think you’ll read next? 

My next random read is Transfer Student by Laura A.H Elliot; I had this one on my e-reader for such a long time but never had the chance to start it. I won this one in a giveaway and received my copy for review. Isn't the cover absolutely gorgeous?

giovedì 3 gennaio 2013

RDP: The Exemeus by Folami and Abeni Morris

We’re celebrating the release day party of YA fantasy novel The Exemeus. Come celebrate with us and get your chance to win a paperback copy of The Exemeus!
Purchase your copy in paperback or Kindle format. And don't forget to come 
by on the 25th January to know my thoughts about the book!

The Book

Title: The Exemeus 
Authors: Folami and Abeni Morris 
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance

Hyalee Smith is dead, she just doesn’t know it yet.
Her short life was devoted to love and to hate. Love of the man who stole her heart, hate for the man who stole the world. Murdered by the government she swore to destroy, fate has given her another chance to make it right. But to save the planet, she needs the help of the most powerful mystic the world has ever seen—unfortunately he hasn’t been born yet.
In a world where fear is the only currency, Dephon has committed the ultimate crime: inspiring hope.
His only goal is to make it safely through ninth grade, but on a post-apocalyptic Earth run by the Treptonian government, it isn’t that simple. Heir to a legendary power, Dephon Johnson is the only threat to the government’s rule. And on Trepton, all threats must be eliminated. When hundreds of assassins are dispatched to neutralize him, Dephon is forced to fight back. His only chance of survival is to enlist the aid of the greatest warrior the world has ever known. The only problem is, she's been dead for 13 years.

The Authors

Folami and Abeni Morris are a sister-sister writing team. Together they wrote (and rewrote) The Exemeus series, somehow managing to accomplish it without murdering one another. Despite their tendency to finish each others thoughts and stick up for each other constantly, no, they’re not twins and thus deserve their own individual bio.

Folami Morris
Folami grew up in the tiny city of San Mateo Ca, where nothing ever happens and no one ever leaves. She went to Xavier University for undergraduate, getting her B.A in physics and her B.S in Biology. After graduation she returned to California, to live in an even smaller city, where even less happens, Antioch Ca. During this time she escaped the monotony by hanging out with her imaginary friends Hyalee and Dephon, and by writing the Exemeus. She finally escaped to Queens NY and now realizes that quiet and tiny aren’t so bad. 

Abeni Morris
As luck (and logic) would have it, Abeni grew up in the same tiny little town as her sister, then she too escaped to the tinier town of Antioch. She has yet to leave. She received her bachelor’s degree in early childhood development from Cal State East Bay. She is the mom of two amazing kids, who swear that they deserve a percentage of the book proceeds and a ton of the credit. At least she raised dreamers.

The Trailer

martedì 1 gennaio 2013

Tour: Cephrael's Hand by Melissa McPhail [Interview + Give@way!]

Melissa McPhail is the author of the new spellbinding fantasy, Cephrael's Hand, an epic book about revenge, survival and dark secrets. Want to know more about the book and how to win amazing prizes? Read the interview with the author and the following informations!

1. Your debut novel, Cephrael’s Hand was the winner of The Written Arts Award for both the best fiction and the best Sci-Fi/Fantasy categories--congratulations! So tell us, what was the inspiration behind this story, and can you tell us a little bit about it?

I started the first version of Cephrael’s Hand when I was going through a difficult time in my life. I needed the cathartic joy that I’d always found in writing. I didn’t set out to write a novel—just to write. That first draft had no planning, no world-building, no design. It was pure creative inspiration. And it was awful! But the characters… I had brought them into being, and they insisted that they had a story to tell. It took my growing as a writer—and over a million words tossed into the trash—to finally tell their story properly. Cephrael’s Hand is the result of a philosopher’s approach to fantasy. It’s the story of one man’s steadfast determination to save the realm he swore to protect, and his willingness to do anything it takes to accomplish that end—even to betray those he loves. It’s the story of the unlikely pieces (men and women) who unknowingly fall beneath his shadow, and of the players who follow him. Ultimately, it’s a story of salvation. I see fantasy as a metaphor for life in this world. We all face tests of our honor. We’re all working to accomplish our goals and flourish and prosper. Few of us set out to do evil. Yet evil is done. Goals are abandoned. Integrity is compromised. We totter precariously on thin wires as we move through the labyrinth of life. I strive with my series to illuminate those wire-thin paths, that we might find solid ground beneath them.   

2. Without giving away too much, can you reveal what’s in store for the readers when they crack open Cephrael’s Hand? 

 If you listen to my critics—too many characters! But this is an epic fantasy dealing with a conflict that spans multiple kingdoms. It takes a team to save the world. ;) Hopefully you’ll meet interesting characters and a world you can easily find your own place within. You’ll discover pirates, princes, star-crossed lovers and philosopher-soldiers. You’ll see many characters who are not as they appear, and a few who are exactly as they seem. You’ll find adventure on a perilous road with prince Ean val Lorian, and farcical escapades with Trell of the Tides and the pirate Carian vran Lea. You’ll often wonder who is good and who is evil—because most villains in real life are cloaked in shades of gray.   

3. Can you tell us more about some of the key concepts that inspired the world of Cephrael's Hand? 

 The story is crafted out of many of the philosophies I've studied. As I was planning Cephrael's Hand, I had been reading about game philosophy. Game philosophy speaks on the importance of games in our lives and takes a look at their composition (barriers, purposes and freedoms) and their anatomy (pieces, players, maker of games). It's a compelling concept with abundant applications, and I became immediately interested in exploring the ideas more via the story of Cephrael's Hand. Balance is another concept that threads throughout the story. Exploration of this idea comes out of my study and practice of yoga. If ever a concept permeates our lives, the pursuit of balance is one. Whether seeking to balance work and parenthood, our social commitments and our private lives, or even just the juggle of that list of a thousand things we'll never get to, every one of us is seeking balance in some fashion. Placing this concept within the framework of a fantasy story embellishes it with a magical lure.  

4. The Cephreal's Hand constellation plays an important role in the book. Is there a real life constellation that plays a similarly important role in your life?

I can't say that a particular constellation is important to me personally, though I've studied Astrology for many years. But I'm drawn to the idea, both scientifically and philosophically, that we are all connected somehow with each other and the broader universe. String Theory and General Relativity play to this idea from the perspective of science. Certainly, if we are connected to the stars in some esoteric way, then the actions of the stars can impact us. Astrology believes this, and the graphing of natal charts proves an underlying truth in this ancient, mystical and often misunderstood science. Philosophies far and wide declare that we've descended or separated from a universal oneness and teach karmic values with the intent of helping us return or re-ascend to that harmonious state. The concept of Balance in Cephrael's Hand stems from this idea of universal connectivity.   

5. Ever since a linguist named Tolkien came along, language has been a very important aspect of the epic fantasy genre. What inspired the various languages in Cephrael's Hand? 

 The desert languages are based on Farsi or Arabic, depending on the tribe. Farsi is one of the oldest languages still in use today, and its traditions lent themselves well to the Kandori culture, which is one of Alorin's oldest races. Likewise Arabic, being originally a language of the nomadic tribes, seemed the correct base from which to draw the language of the Akkad. Even older than both of these languages in my novel is Old Alaeic, which is the original language of theangiel, the Maker's blessed children, and of the two original races: the zanthyrs and the drachwyr. Old Alaeic draws primarily from Gaelic root words. I chose Gaelic because the language maintains some of the earliest roots of our Indo-European linguistic heritage. Its spellings and pronunciations are almost universally reminiscent of mythological beings from ancient times and are often associated, especially in the fantasy genre, with elves, Druids or other mystical races.  

6. Which other authors have served as influences and inspiration for your own work?

I love lyrical writing, so my bookshelves host an eclectic mix (albeit heavily weighted with fantasy and science fiction). Those who first come to mind from the fantasy genre are Anne Rice, Patrick Rothfuss and Jacqueline Carey, all of whom carry on a great and fabulous romance with the English language, much to the ecstasy of millions. Being able to string words like pearls into a story that reads at times like poetry in motion seems the greatest pinnacle of storytelling skill.   

7. It's been said that one of the most time-consuming processes of writing epic fantasy is world building. Without giving too much away, what are a few of your favorite world aspects and what inspired them? 

As I wrote in a recent guest post, world-building and the magic system developed for the world are intimately connected. We can't really describe a fantasy world without talking about the magic that rules it, because so much of what we understand about the world derives from our understanding of how the physical laws of the world work. In creating my world of Alorin, I established five "strands" of the lifeforce known as elae. These strands are a way of describing and codifying the lifeforce which is the source of energy in the world, but they are only one way of describing it. While most of the viewpoints I am writing from agree with describing the lifeforce in terms of "strands," there are other races in Alorin who have codified it differently, darkly, or with less purity for lack of philosophical simplicity. I love exploring different viewpoints and imagining how each would describe a universal energy. I love examining the cultures that seek to describe this energy and how their ideals might alter their understanding of it. For example, the Adept race believes that Adepts are born with the ability to work one of the five strands, but only one. Yet some of the "Wildling" races are known to be able to innately work more than one strand. The Fhorgs race works blood sacrifice to fuel their magic. Would their magic work without such sacrifice? The Adepts believe that it would. Yet within the Adept philosophy, a working of magic requires faith both in the existence of power and in one's ability to manipulate it. If the Fhorgs don't believe themselves able to wield the lifeforce without letting blood, it follows that magic would become unavailable to them simply because of their lack of belief. Moreover, because the Fhorgs don't limit their ideas of their magical ability to a five strand approach, it's possible they might achieve more through the wielding of it--or not. These are existential questions for these two races, questions which set them at odds with each other. Questions from which derive conflicts and persecutions, intrigues and betrayals. Such explorations fuel both world-building and magic-system building, because their delineation establishes how the world works, how the people of the world interact with the energy that fuels it, how they interact with each other, and how they use the energy itself to work arcane acts.  

8. You grew up in a house full of musicians, but your creativity emerged in the form of writing. Have you always felt called to write?

I always thought I would end up with a career in music like the rest of my family. I grew up harboring such an appreciation of these accomplished, classical musicians all around me, it seemed a natural course to follow in their footsteps. Instead, I stumbled into writing the way one sometimes bumps into providence, colliding with it accidentally. I happened to take a creative writing class in high school. My creative writing instructor believed the best way to teach writing was to send her students out to actually write. So I did—hundreds of pages over the next few years. Writing became both an outlet for my creativity and the escape reading had always provided. I know I share that love affair with many authors.   

9. At one time or another, most writers hit the wall and their work stalls because of the dreaded writer’s block. What do you do to get around or over this mental wall to resume writing?

Usually I turn to music—either composing it or listening to it. If I can find a great new song, sometimes that will help inspire me out of the hole. When a scene just isn’t working, I’ve learned to go back to where I was last doing well in the story and scrap everything that came after. It’s an agonizing process, but often necessary.   

10. The Dagger of Adendigaeth, Book 2 in your series, has just been published. How has your vision expanded from book 1 to book 2, and what kind of creative growth have you experienced in your process this second time around?

We grow as writers with every novel—at least I believe that's the goal. Many of the things I gained in writing The Dagger of Adendigaeth are intangible, ineffable understandings of myself and my creative process. I think of those times of being fabulously, fantastically stuck and the final moment of inspiration that launched me out of that depressing well. I think of the plot twists that came to me completely without warning, and the absolute magic that is the creative process. The thing I loved most about writing this book was being able to explore so many viewpoints—especially the viewpoints of those characters who might be viewed as antagonists. But I don't and never have seen them that way. It's my greatest purpose in writing this series to be able to show the motivations and ideals that mold and shape each character. The more we can understand each other, the closer to a peaceful coexistence we will find, whether in the microcosm of our lives or the broader political and religious zones.

About Cephrael's HandTwo brothers find themselves on opposite sides of a great battle, neither knowing the other is alive... A traitor works in exile while preparing for the disaster only he knows is coming... A race of beings from beyond the fringe of the universe begin unmaking the world from within... And all across the land, magic is dying. Cephrael's Hand is the first novel in the award-winning series A Pattern of Shadow and Light. 
Get it on Amazon || Barnes &Noble.

About the author: Melissa McPhail is a classically trained pianist, violinist and composer, a Vinyasa yoga instructor, and an avid Fantasy reader. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, their twin daughters and two very large cats. 
Visit Melissa on her website || Twitter || Facebook || GoodReads.  


As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Cephrael's Hand eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $450 in Amazon gift cards, and 5 autographed copies of the book. All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment--easy to enter; easy to win! 

To win the prizes:

Purchase your copy of Cephrael's Hand for just 99 cents
Enter the Rafflecopter contest 
Visit today’s featured social media event

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Images by Freepik