Thursday, 31 October 2013

Winter Sparrow by Estevan Vega Book Blitz, Guest Post and Giveaway!



Title : Winter Sparrow 
Author :  Estevan Vega
Published : September 13, 2012
Published by : Stonehouse Ink


“I’ll grow wings all by myself.”

Mary is a young artist about to enter a new chapter in her life. After years of waiting and searching, she has finally found true love. She’s also just discovered that her fiancĂ© Joshua has inherited his father’s rundown countryside mansion. To add to the rising pressure, her wedding day is so close she can practically hear the music. All she has to do is accept what the future holds. Accept…and be happy.

But something’s missing.

As the seasons change, her doubts turn to fears, and her fears become reality. Through struggle and loss, the love she once possessed for Joshua transforms into contempt. When Mary is confronted with a magical escape, the life she has and the life she dreams of will collide, awakening a mysterious change within. But no choice comes without cost, and each one will draw her closer to the truth.

At times both beautiful and haunting, Winter Sparrow dares you to step into a world where eternity is a moment and every breath is a second chance. The fantasy begins…





The Author:
I’m a writer. Well, technically an author, because they say that you magically become an author (i.e. true creative) if you’ve published something, and you’re a writer if you haven’t (you know those closet aspiring geniuses who just scribble stuff into notebooks and hide it from the world?). But I still call myself a writer. I’m one of 4 brothers. The middle son. I guess that’s supposed to make me uber weird and dysfunctional, but the jury’s still out on that one. I love mint chocolate chip ice cream. Like, really love it. Watching movies and going to rock shows are 2 of my favorite pastimes, and I am addicted to telling stories.

It all started because a 5th grade teacher decided to become a meddler in my life. That’s right, one of my least favorite authority figures at the time assigned us to write these 1 page short stories for class. We had the freedom to create whatever we wanted (within reason), but the assignments were do every day, and upon completing the school year, the plan was that we’d all bind them to compile a book. Well, at the time I hating reading, hated writing, and wanted to be a comic book artist. I figured I’d one day work for Marvel or Disney or something. And I was pretty good at sketching too. But I always found it hard to create my own characters, and I often just settled for copying somebody else’s masterpiece.

Something was missing.

Well, then a 2nd meddler enters the picture. My pops. He starts helping me with the stories. And by helping me, I really just mean I was there more as a consultant and a constant nuisance, ensuring proper grammar was employed. He was the real writer, in my mind. I just wished I could be him. My teacher started grading the stories, and I was floored to see A+ after A+. And she liked my stories enough…ahem, our stories enough, to read them in front of the class. The response was terrific. My classmates actually gave a crap. They wanted to know what happened next. So I turned 1 story into about 12 or so, and made a little book out of it. Looking back, it’s probably terrible. But the point is…I was hooked on the game.

My father and I began discussing book concepts until finally, in 6th grade, I set out to write a “real” book, all by myself. 3 years later, Servant of the Realm was born. It was so under the radar it wasn’t even funny, but I was just stoked to have my book searchable on the internet. It’s a pretty cool feeling when you’re 15. 3 years later, I released The Sacred Sin, a much darker story about a detective on the hunt for a serial killer who can steal souls. (THE FORSAKEN is the revamped version. I literally rewrote every page, and added about 100 more pages to the story. So if you haven’t picked that baby up, you might wanna.) 3 years after that–I know, 3 is the magical number, it seems–ARSON was unleashed. This story is closest to my heart because it came from a very unique place and time in my life. It’s like I grew up while writing it.

Well, sorta…

Flash forward to now. I’ve got 5 novels and several short stories out. I’ve been interviewed on TV, radio, and the internet. I’ve done several blog tours, have my own Youtube channel, twitter page, FB page, so quite frankly, there’s really no reason for you not to stalk me. I’m still that sort of college kid looking for his path while already on a path. I love to write. I love to ask the big questions, to create raw, flawed characters who do incredible things. And I’m reminded every day why I do what I do, why I write, why I tell stories…because of you. Because of something greater than myself. Because if I didn’t, I’d probably go insane.

Welcome to my dysfunctional world.


And now the guest post
Behind the scenes of Winter Sparrow

So…this was supposed to be simple….

I wanted to tackle a story about love. But not the 50 Shades kind of love. The real deal. The kind that endures whatever comes. I thought it was just gonna be about a husband and wife who would somehow come to the realization that their love was valuable after a few hiccups had enlightened them. Oh, and I wanted there to be a “deeper meaning” as well, because with me, that’s sort of a given. 

So I went to the library and wrote, about 10 or 12 pages. I figured it would be a short story, and it couldn’t end up being much longer. But then I wrote again, and more just kept coming. I realized that maybe this story was bigger than even I thought. I was beginning to get a glimpse into Mary and Joshua’s life, and I understood I had a lot to learn. I think sometimes people tend to think that writers have it all figured out. Maybe that’s true if said writer used to be an engineer, but my reality is a lot more like this: 


Bradley Cooper from Limitless

Disorganized, a little unkempt, but full of awesome. Beneath this dangerously attractive exterior lies a creator who can empathize, sympathize, and recognize what binds us all together: our humanity. I never really bothered with outlines. Maybe I will someday, but so far, my blasĂ© attitude has allowed me to write 6, going on 7, novels, and they’ve turned out okay. 

(On a side note, I was actually talking today to someone about my process, and he was shocked I didn’t have an outline to which I adhered. He viewed it as slightly chaotic. I shrugged, thinking that on the contrary, I wasn’t sure I could perform under such intense structure.) I prefer to let the story guide me, and with Winter Sparrow that definitely happened. 

Once I “got the big picture,” I broke up the story into seasons. I thought it’d be cool to have a themed plotline. I explored this without even knowing it in my When Colors Bleed collection. But the seasons are actually a mirror into where Mary and Joshua are at in this season of their lives. It sort of foreshadows the experiences to come. 

It was so fun trying to capture each sentiment, but the challenge was in figuring out which emotions, and how much of them, could go in which particular season. Fall and winter were where I had to get most creative. I had not intended the story to be as grand as it had become, so I knew the ending had to fit into the world I had created. I also threw in some deliberate twists, which you know is how I do. 

The story is very intense, and you get that raw, uninhibited emotion most in fall and winter. Everything before it is set up into who these characters are, and everything that transpires during these seasons defends the foundation and allows for a glimmer of hope to pierce through the darkness. But there will be consequence, and there will be sacrifice. 

Enter the world of Winter Sparrow. But be careful…you may discover it looks quite like your own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Secret of the Corpse Eater (Undertakers #3) by Ty Drago Cover Reveal!


Title: THE UNDERTAKERS: SECRET OF THE CORPSE EATER
Publication dateMarch 25, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Ty Drago



TEASER:

The Corpses are up something.

U.S. Senator Lindsay Micha had been kidnapped and replaced with a “dead” ringer, the sister to Lilith Cavanaugh, the Queen of the Dead. Now Will Ritter must go undercover in our nation’s capital to ferret out the truth and try to stop this ambitious deader. But his mission becomes even more dangerous when he learns of a mysterious ten-legged monster that prowls the halls of the Capitol Building — a lethal monster with a taste for Corpse flesh.

Can such an alien “enemy of his enemy” truly become Will’s friend?


Link to Goodreads:





ABOUT TY DRAGO:

In addition to the first two books in UNDERTAKERS series, RISE OF THE CORSPES and QUEEN OF THE DEAD, Ty Drago is the author of PHOBOS, a Science Fiction whodunit and THE FRANKLIN AFFAIR, an historical/mystery about Benjamin Franklin. His short fiction has appeared in numerous venues, including the 2009 anthology YESTERDAY, I WILL ..., and he has written articles for WRITERS DIGEST. His first UNDERTAKERS novelette, NIGHT OF MONSTERS, is currently available for FREE on Smashwords.com andbarnesandnoble.com.


Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads



Book 1 : Rise Of The Corpses

"On a sunny Wednesday morning in October, a day that would mark the end of one life and the beginning of another, I found out my grouchy next door neighbor was the walking dead. When you turn around expecting to see something familiar, and instead see something else altogether, it takes a little while for your brain to catch up with your eyes. I call it the 'Holy Crap Factor.'"

Forced to flee his home and family, twelve-year-old Will Ritter falls in with the Undertakers-a rag-tag army of teenage resistance fighters who've banded together to battle the Corpses.

Praise for Ty Drago:

..".The author hardly sets a foot or a word wrong."
"-Publishers Weekly"

"More, if you please, Mr. Drago."
"-Booklist"



Book 2 : Queen Of The Dead

Twelve -year old Will Ritter and his rag-tag army of teenage resistance fighters may have triumphed over the Zombies last time, but that's the thing about the dead: they keep coming back. 

A new Corpse leader has crossed the rift and taken command of the invasion: The Queen of the Dead is even more brilliant and ruthless than her predecessor, and her ambitions are even deadlier. Will and the crew must somehow rescue his mother, prevent an assassination, and show FBI Agent Ramirez the truth about the Corpses-and the danger the world faces.

But how do a bunch of kids prove to a grown-up that monsters are real?



Wind and Shadow (The Talbot Trilogy #1) by Tori L. Ridgewood Review


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Title : Wind And Shadow
Author : Tori L idgewood
Pages : 230
Source : From Author for Review.
Published : June 2013 by Melange Books

Rayvin Woods, photographer and natural witch. She just wanted to start her life over again after a series of misadventures. She didn't count on rekindling a lost love when she came home to Talbot...or battling a malevolent vampire and his coven for her life.

Grant Michaels, police officer. He thought Rayvin was a murderer. He will do whatever it takes to protect the community he loves from danger...but will he learn to trust his heart, and the word of a witch, before it's too late?

Malcolm de Sade, cunning vampire, imprisoned underground for a year by Charlotte Fanning and Pike Mahonen ("Mist and Midnight", Midnight Thirsts). His accidental release unleashes his hunger and ambition on a small, sleepy town…

***

Facing the past can be a nightmare. It's worse when a vampire is stalking you


My Thoughts

Rayvin Woods never thought she would have to come back to the place of her childhood. She left Talbot in a hurry after being accused but acquitted of attempted murder. Now after some harrowing circumstances she has no choice but to return to a place she knows she wont be welcomed.

Grant Michaels is the best friend of the person Rayvin was accused of hurting. He is an officer now and a pillar of the community. He has always pined for Rayvin since high school. Even though he knows he should hate her, he finds himself drawn to her. 

Malcolm de Sade had been imprisoned but finally has escaped. He is fixated on a certain girl but wants Rayvin to be his as well. He has a plan that involves her and will do anything to get his way. He is handsome (when he wants to be), blood thirsty and evil but still Rayvin feels drawn to him. 

The second Rayvin comes back to Talbot things start happening. Between sink holes, animals dying and people missing, the town of Talbot suspect Rayvin. She has always been different and they call her witch. Rayvin knows the truth and must fight to keep her loved ones safe. 

Ok, I went into this not knowing anything about this. The author approached me to review it and once I saw it was about witches I jumped at the chance. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed it. 

The plot is fast paced. Once Rayvin gets to Talbot things keep happening. There's was times when I was reading it that I couldn't put it down because I had to see what happened. 

Rayvin was an awesome character. Strong, sure and capable, she is well able to look after herself. She knows not alot of people will welcome her back but keeps her chin up because she knows what really happened that night. She has had a hard time since she left but she hasn't let it affect her. She is proud to be a witch.

Grant was my favourite. He is strong, handsome, kind and someone you want on your side. He has liked Rayvin since high school and has many a dream about her. The sexual chemistry between him and Rayvin was Hawt!!!! Both feel the pull and both fantasize about each other but will they do anything about it??

Overall I really liked Wind and Shadow. Its a strong start to the trilogy. It was fast paced and well written. The author wasn't afraid to play with our emotions. At times I was reading it and going NOO that cant happen, but it does!! I loved that the author took the risk and did things to certain characters that wasn't expected. It paid off. I will definitely check out book 2 to see what happens. 

Recommend for 18+ because of language and sexual situations. 




Wednesday, 30 October 2013

A Sleep So Dark by Inara Scott Blog Tour and Review!




Book Info-

Title : A Sleep So Dark
Author : Inara Scott
Genre : YA
Expected Publication Date : October 7th, 2013


Blurb-

Haunted…

After watching her mother die in a car accident, sixteen year-old Tandy McIntyre is plagued by violent dreams. Terrified to sleep and losing her grip on reality, she agrees to attend an experimental group retreat with Dr. Robert Gillman, an expert in lucid dreaming.

Trapped…

In the bitter cold of a Colorado winter, Tandy follows Dr. Gillman and his enigmatic son Cade as they lead a group of troubled teens into the wilderness. There, Dr. Gillman claims he will teach them to control their unconscious minds and master their dreams. But when the dreaming and the waking collide, will Tandy ever be safe again?

Don’t Fall Asleep…

Here's some quotes from the book!!






About the Author-

I read my first romance when I was twelve, hiding in a storage closet among hat boxes and old shoes. When I was in high school, I wrote a my first novel, a pirate romance called "A Wild and Stormy Passion." (The heroine was the pirate, in case you're wondering.) Since then, I've written young adult novels and romance in almost every category.

I am a dabbler and an emotional sponge. I can't read scary books or anything with an unhappy ending. I reserve the right to love country music, puppies, true love, and happily ever after.

I review books I want to share the word about.

Life's too short to read something you don't enjoy!

Links-



My Thoughts : 

Since the accident in which her mother died, Tandy suffers nightmares every night. Its gotten so bad that she tries everything not to fall asleep. As a last resort her father signs her up for an experimental sleep retreat where a doctor will monitor a group of teenagers for a week in a remote cabin. Four other teens are signed up, Bodie, Julian. Ione and Katelyn. Dr Gillman, along with his son Cade, takes them to the cabin to start treatment. Unfortunately things don't go as planned and someone ends up dead. The rest are trapped in the cabin because of a freak snow storm. Will any survive and what happens when the dreaming world and the real world collide!!

I went into A Sleep So Dark not knowing anything at all about it. There wasn't a blurb nor had I heard of it before. I've previously read other works by Inara Scott and really enjoyed it, so I jumped at the chance to read this. Well I loved it!!

I really liked Tandy. She tries her best to deal with the nightmares but they are getting so bad that she has no other choice but to go to the retreat even though the idea of staying in a remote cabin scares her. Its her last chance to save and fix herself. She finds herself attracted to Cade but he is very stand offish with her and I loved seeing their friendship progress. It wasn't a case of instant relationship, she had to work to get Cade to open up. 

I loved Bodie straight away. He is the kind of friend that puts everyone at ease. He was awesome. He is snarky but has a vulnerable side and I was so sad when I read why he has nightmares and also when I read what happened to him!! 

The story itself hooked me. The idea of the dream world being real was something I've never read before. I loved the word building and the atmosphere the author created with her words. It was definitely weird but wonderful. 

The only thing that bothered me about the book the only other story we heard was Bodies. We didn't get to see why the rest were having nightmares. Also Cade story wasn't tied up so I'm hoping there's another book coming out!! 

Overall I loved A Sleep So Dark. If you want a book that's shrouded in mystery, that's chock full of chills, thrills and suspense, then this book is for you. Its the perfect read for Halloween! Id highly recommend!!






Saturday, 26 October 2013

Parasite (Parasitology #1) by Mira Grant Review


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Title : Parasite
Author : Mira Grant
Pages : 512
Source : Netgalley
PublisherOrbit Books/Hachette Book Group
Published : 29 Oct 2013


A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.

We owe our good health to a humble parasite - a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the tapeworm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system - even secretes designer drugs. It's been successful beyond the scientists' wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them.

But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives...and will do anything to get them.

My Thoughts


A decade into the future everyone has a genetically engineered tapeworm in themselves to keep them healthy. Its designed to improve the immune system and stop disease. 


"Parasite" starts by us seeing Sally Mitchel wake up from a coma just as the doctors are about to turn off the life support. She was in a car accident and unfortunately doesn't remember anything about her life before she wakes up. Shes like a new born baby and has to re learn everything. 

SymboGen Corporation take her under their wing and pay for her medical care, rehabilitation and tests. She has tests every 6 months or so. 

6 years later and Sally has found love with Nathan. She is getting much better and trying to live her life until one day she goes to the mall with her sister and sees a little girl acting strange. The little girl is walking as in a daze and not reacting to nobody. So begins a rollercoaster of a ride for Sally as she learns about the sleeping sickness. She is thrust into a world of Parasitology and doesn't know who she can trust or who is telling her the truth. How and why is the sleeping sickness spreading so quick? How do the people who succumb to it know her name? Sally's quiet life is upended when she has to find the answers when people close to her are catching the sickness. 

Okay firstly I'm going to say EWWW. Reading about how people have worms inside them and think its normal was just icky!!! I was squirming thinking of it. I think I now have a fear of worms and cat poo!!! Secondly Mira Grant sure knows how to spin a tale. While the first 45 percent of Parasite was really slow going, I still utterly enjoyed it. Its spent learning about Sally and seeing her journey to get better, her relationship with Nathan and her family (whom I thought were horrible to her) and her relationship with SymboGen. I know the first book in a series is usually introducing characters etc. but I just found alot of needless information in the first half of Parasite. 

At a certain point Sal meets someone that can answer her questions and from then on the story gets faster and more happens. There are twists and turns and revelations that leave you saying wow. I do have to say though that the BIG twist I had figured out at the start of the book. Its fairly obvious but there were some wow moments for me. 

I loved the story but found myself getting bogged down and lost with all the medical jargon when they were explaining about the parasites. I liked Sally's character but my favourite character was Tansy. She is like a psychopath that has ADHD. It was so funny reading her and I hope there's more of Tansy in the next book. 

This was my first Mira Grant book and even though its a bit slow, Im looking forward to book 2 to see where the story goes from here.


Friday, 25 October 2013

Relic (The Books of Eva I) by Heather Terrell Review!


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Title : Relic
Author : Heather Terrell
Pages : 288
Published : 29 Oct 2013
Source : Netgalley

The truth will test you...

For fans of Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games: high fantasy and dystopia meet in this high-stakes tale of a civilization built on lies and the girl who single-handedly brings it down.

When Eva’s twin brother, Eamon, falls to his death just a few months before he is due to participate in The Testing, no one expects Eva to take his place. She’s a Maiden, slated for embroidery classes, curtseys, and soon a prestigious marriage befitting the daughter of an Aerie ruler. But Eva insists on honoring her brother by becoming a Testor. After all, she wouldn’t be the first Maiden to Test, just the first in 150 years.

Eva knows the Testing is no dance class. Gallant Testors train for their entire lives to search icy wastelands for Relics: artifacts of the corrupt civilization that existed before The Healing drowned the world. Out in the Boundary Lands, Eva must rely on every moment of the lightning-quick training she received from Lukas—her servant, a Boundary native, and her closest friend now that Eamon is gone.

But there are threats in The Testing beyond what Lukas could have prepared her for. And no one could have imagined the danger Eva unleashes when she discovers a Relic that shakes the Aerie to its core.

My Thoughts

In New North everyone follows The Lex. After the floods wiped out the rest of the world, apart from The Chosen, everyone in New North is bound to The Lex and its rules. Anyone found breaking them is harshly punished.

Eva knows The Lex inside out. She is a Maiden and her dad is Chief Archon. When her twin is killed in a climbing "accident", Eva decides to take his place in The Testing! The Testing is something all men take part in when they reach 18 to become an Archon. There is no rule per se that a woman cant take part but no woman has ever done it. Eva is the first.

The Testers have to travel through barren icy places to reach their goal. They are to get no help from anyone, nor can they even talk to each other. If they get there, they have to climb down a cliff and dig out Relics.

Relics are things from Before. The New Northers history tells them that the people before worshiped a false god named "Apple". They used false remedies like "Tylenol" and "Coke". The better the Relic the more chance the Tester has to win. If someone is lucky enough to find the False God "Apple"s alter then they usually win. Eva doesn't find that but what she does find is something that will change her view of everything.

This book was awesome!!! I really enjoyed it. The whole concept of the False God Apple and what the people were told to believe was so unique and different. They believe that everyone prayed to this false god through the "altar" (laptop or tablet) They believe that the floods were sent to wipe out these people because they worship a false god and are too reliant on their false remedies. 

Eva was a character I immediately liked. She may be a Maiden but she questions what is true. She does the Testing knowing its a perilous journey. Even when Jasper ,whom her parents have deemed her betrothed, tells her he loves her she still goes through with The Testing and keeps focused on what has to be done. She does it to honour her brother. When Lucas, Evas friend, hands Eva her brothers journal she finds surprising stuff in there. Is everything as it seems in New North? What and who should Eva believe?

Overall Relic was fast paced and well written. I loved the concept and found myself devouring it. The world Heather Terrell has created is unique and I cant wait to jump back in when book 2 comes out. 

One thing I will say is that I've seen this compared to The Hunger Games and I've seen reviews slating this book because when they went into it they were thinking in terms of The Hunger Games. This is nothing like THG!!! Relic should be enjoyed for what it is, a great story, and not compared to any book. Every story is different and should be enjoyed for its own merits! 


Rapture (Elfin Series Book 2) By Quinn Loftis Cover Reveal!!


I am so excited to be taking part in the cover reveal for Quinn Loftis new book. She is an awesome writer!! Take a look at the pretty :)


Rapture (Elfin Series Book 2)

By Quinn Loftis



Synopsis


Triktapic, the deadly dark elf assassin, has been restored by the Forest Lords to his rightful place as king of the Elven realm. Now, he must face his former comrades as he attempts to stop Lorsan, king of the dark elves, from enslaving the human race. Lorsan has already begun distributing Rapture, the irresistible drink that destroys those who unknowingly become addicted to it. Will Cassie, his Chosen, be able to give Trik the strength he needs to face his dark past?

Meanwhile, Cassie’s best friend, Elora, is in a fight for her own life. Elora, her mother, Lisa, and a small band of light elves have traveled deep into the dark elf realm in hopes of rescuing Cassie and Trik. But their mission quickly turns into a battle for their own lives as they are surrounded by Lorsan and his warriors. Though outnumbered ten to one, the humans and elves fight heroically. They fight for a King once lost, but now found. They fight for the human realm that doesn’t yet know it is in need of saving. They fight for love; a love that has already been discovered and a love that is waiting to be revealed. Despite their valiant efforts, the band is captured and held captive by the dark elf king.

The peaceful world that Cassie and Elora knew is long gone, shattered by their realization that elves walk secretly among them, and are bent on their destruction. Soon, each of the girls will be forced to choose her own path. Cassie must decide to which world she belongs and Elora must decide if she will fight for a warrior hell bent on keeping her from his side.

Two species, human and elf, stand on the precipice of war, united in one goal; shatter the dark elf king’s plan, and unite a divided race under the rule of the one true King.

Coming December 2013


About The Author


Quinn lives in beautiful NW Arkansas with her husband, son, Doberman and cat (who thinks she is a ninja in disguise). She is beyond thankful that she has been blessed to be able to write full time and hopes the readers know how much all of their support means to her. Some of her hobbies include reading, exercising, crochet, and spending time with family and friends. She gives all credit of her success to God because he gave her the creative spirit and vivid imagination it takes to write.



Links




Add to GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18457506-rapture?from_search=true


**I love this cover!! I love the vines around the title and the little bird. Cant wait for this to release :)

 
Imagination Designs
Images from the Meadow of Dreams kit by Irene Alexeeva