Saturday 31 May 2014

Goddess Born by Kari Edren Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Goddess Born Tour

goddess born cover  Goddess Born 

 Pennsylvania, 1730 Selah Kilbrid keeps a dangerous secret: she has the power to heal. A direct descendent of the Celtic goddess Brigid, it’s Selah’s sacred duty to help those in need. But as the last of the Goddess Born living in the New World, she learned from an early age to keep her supernatural abilities hidden. The Quaker community of Hopewell has always been welcoming, but there’s no doubt they would see her hanged if her gift was revealed. When a prominent minister threatens to try her with witchcraft unless she becomes his wife, Selah has only one hope—that her betrothed, a distant cousin from Ireland, arrives as planned. Marrying Samuel would keep her secret safe, preserve her sacred bloodline, and protect her from being charged as a witch. But when news of Samuel’s death reaches the Colonies, Selah is truly on her own. Terrified, she faces an impossible choice—forfeit her powers and marry the loathsome Nathan? Or find an imposter to pose as her husband and preserve her birthright?

2013 RWA Golden Heart© Finalist
2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist

  ABNA Publisher Weekly Reviewer Set in the colony of Pennsylvania in 1730, this riveting novel begins as 18-year-old Selah Kilbrid runs into Quaker minister Nathan Crowley, a man who “labor[ed] under the delusion that [Selah] would soon be his wife” despite the fact that she was betrothed to a man on his way to America from Ireland. Nathan tells Selah that if she refuses him, he will have her “charged as a witch” because of her ability to heal the sick. To avoid Nathan’s plan to marry her the following Sunday, she leaves for Philadelphia to wait for the arrival of her betrothed and marry him before returning home. In Philadelphia, she discovers that her betrothed has died at sea. She then purchases Henry, an indentured servant, and convinces him to pose as her husband and help protect her from Nathan. As the story continues, the reader learns of Selah’s family history and the powers she possesses; Selah is half human, half goddess. It's important that her secret stay safe, because if discovered, she could be killed. The characters are well developed and relatable; the reader empathizes with Selah and her plight. The fast-paced plot is exciting and keeps the reader guessing and in suspense. The end leaves room for a sequel, which, after such a tremendous beginning, would be anxiously awaited. A clear winner!   

Excerpt : 

Quakers throughout the room had put their silence aside, and the meetinghouse began to hum 
with their voices. More than a few people demanded that Nathan reveal the witch. 
 “You’ve given your warnings,” John Lewis called out above the other voices. “Now 
give us her name!” 
 Nathan stared at me with unabashed hatred. “The spirit commands me to reveal the 
witch!” he thundered, pointing a finger in my direction. “It was Selah Kilbrid that I saw in vision, 
selling her soul to the Devil.” 
 A hushed silence fell over the meetinghouse as every eye turned in my direction. I sat 
ramrod straight under their gaze, my chin slightly raised. Nora and Anne kept a firm hold on 
each of my hands. Henry was poised to spring at the first hint of danger. 
 “You’re mistaken, Nathan,” Anne said calmly. “Selah is not a witch.” 
 “The spirit is not wrong!” Nathan cried. His nostrils flared and his eyes blazed like a 
maniac. “Selah Kilbrid is the Devil’s whore!” 
 Confusion and shouting took over the meetinghouse. Several women hurried to get a 
safe distance away from me. 
 “Mark Flanders lost a heifer two days ago,” a man shouted from the crowd. 
 “It died of acorn poisoning,” William yelled back angrily. 
 “Maybe it was Selah and she just made it look like the cow had eaten too many acorns,” 
another shouted. 
 “Maybe you need to shut your mouth before I come over and shut it for you!” William 
shouted, standing to face the man. 
 “Let the witch speak for herself!” the man yelled back.
 During this exchange, Henry came over and pulled me protectively to his side. Nora 
and Anne also stood, keeping close. Allison started to walk toward me, only to be stopped by her 
mother, who looked uncertain. When William joined us, Henry leaned over to whisper 
something in his ear. William nodded and then hurried toward the back door. 
 I stood stone still, my heart pounding painfully as my name spread through the crowd 
outside, bringing more people into the meetinghouse to see me. The space in the middle quickly 
disappeared, taken up by those being pushed forward to make room. 
 “Order!” Gideon bellowed, standing on a bench. “We will have order in God’s House!” 
 One by one, people fell silent, waiting for what the Elder would do next. 
 “Selah, please step forward,” Gideon instructed. 
 I did as he bid me, brushing past Nathan on my way. Henry stayed at my arm, a threat 
to anyone who dared harm me. 
 “Selah, are you willing to answer some questions?” Gideon asked. He was all 
seriousness, but from the concern in his eyes, I knew he meant to help. 
 I nodded and turned to face the crowd. Looking out at the mass of people, I was 
amazed by my complete lack of fear. 

Kari Edgren  Author Kari Edgren Kari Edgren did not dream of becoming a writer. Instead, she dreamed of everything else and was often made to stay inside during kindergarten recess to practice her letters. Despite doting parents and a decent school system, Ms. Edgren managed to make it through elementary school having completed only one book cover to cover – The Box Car Children, which she read approximately forty-seven times. Things improved during high school, but not until she read Gabrielle Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude in college, did she truly understand the power of a book. Ms. Edgren aspires to be a Vulcan, a world-acclaimed opera singer, and two inches taller. She resides in the Pacific NW where she spends a great deal of time torturing her husband and children with strange food and random historical facts. Ms. Edgren hasn’t stopped dreaming, but has finally mastered her letters enough to put the stories on paper.

  Blog Tour Giveaway 

 $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 6/22/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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The Lost by Sarah Beth Durst Review!

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Title : The Lost
Author : Sarah Beth Durst
Pages : 352
Published : June 1st 2014
Publisher : Harlequin MIRA
Source : Netgalley

Lost your way? 

Your dreams?  


Welcome to Lost. 

It was supposed to be a small escape. A few hours driving before turning around and heading home. But once you arrive in Lost...well, it's a place you really can't leave. Not until you're Found. Only the Missing Man can send you home. And he took one look at Lauren Chase and disappeared. 

So Lauren is now trapped in the town where all lost things go-luggage, keys, dreams, lives-where nothing is permanent, where the locals go feral and where the only people who don't want to kill her are a handsome wild man called the Finder and a knife-wielding six-year-old girl. The only road out of town is engulfed by an impassable dust storm, and escape is impossible.... 

Until Lauren decides nothing-and no one-is going to keep her here anymore. 

My Thoughts : 

Lauren gets in the car as usual and drives to work but instead of taking the turn that will take her there, she keeps going straight. Her mother got results back from the doctor and Lauren just wants a few hours escape before she has to hear them. 

When she enters a dust storm Laurens car stops. She decides to wait out the storm and turn back then, but she sees a stranger in the storm. He stares at her before pushing her car to the outskirts of a town called Lost.  Little does she know that this town is no ordinary town but that its a place where lost things or people go. There's no way to leave until you have found what you've lost and then only the Missing Man can help you. 

When Lauren meets the Missing Man he asks her name. When she tells him he turns tail and leaves. He leaves town and doesn't come back and the people of Lost blame her.  Will she survive?  Will she be able to find the Missing Man and go home? 

I'm so glad I got a chance to read this because I loved it!! Sarah Beth Durst has such a flair for writing and she never disappoints. 

I loved Laurens character. She is a normal girl. She just wants a little bit of time before she hears her mothers news so decides to take a few short hours away from everything. When she gets to Lost she thinks the place to be very weird but she has to spend the night before returning home. The place may be weird but the people are weirder. When she is told what Lost is she just thinks she has landed into a town of crazies. She decides to leave and prays her car starts. Thankfully it does and Lauren drives out of Lost and into the dust storm again, but she finds herself constantly driving past the sign for Lost! She knows she drove straight and never turned so what is going on? When she runs out of petrol she starts to believe the people of Lost and realise she may never leave. The whole time she is in Lost she has the spark in her to go home no matter what. She was spunky but also sweet, kind and a really nice girl.

The mysterious stranger that pushed her car is Peter. He is The Finder in Lost and "found" Lauren in the dust storm. Anyone left in the storm too long just fades from existence so its his job to find them. Peter for me was the best character. He was mysterious and handsome but a little weird. Lauren has no idea what to make of this person dressed in a trench with no shirt on. He is covered in tattoos and quotes things to her, yet she knows he may be her only hope of finding the Missing Man and going home. 

Plot wise this reminds me of The Twilight Zone my parents used to watch. You enter a town and every time you try to leave you end up back where you started. Then this town is no ordinary place but a place for all Lost things. I loved the whole mystery surrounding the characters and the town. Each person who enters Lost has to find what they are looking for before they can go home. Each character has a story to tell and we only get a glimpse of some of them. Being book 1 we are left with a lot of unanswered questions like who is the Missing Man? Whats in room 12? Who is Peter exactly? All these questions and more just make me want to read the next book more. 

Overall, I loved The Lost. The authors style of writing and her imagination are phenomenal. This just sucked me in and didn't let go. In Lost you never know whats around the corner nor who you will meet. Its an odd place but there's a dark side to it as well. Between the feral dogs and the people who live on the outside of town, there's always a dark undertow. The author really makes you fall in love with the peculiar characters and the mysterious place. Her descriptive writing grabbed me and made me part of Lost and I cant wait to return to Lost when The Missing comes out! Highly recommend!!! (I still think Lost is real and that's where all the missing socks go :) ) 

The Headhunters Race by Kimberly Afe Interview and Giveaway!

Hi everyone. Today I'm very pleased to welcome Kimberly Afe to the blog. She is the author of The Headhunters Race, which I read and loved!! Check out my review HERE. Kimberly is also hosting a wonderful giveaway on her blog. If you sign up for her newsletter you could win one of 2 signed paperbacks of The Headhunters Race and she is also throwing a surprise giveaway for someone who comments on her post, found HERE!! See, she is full of awesome!! She was kind enough to answer some questions for me too and she is giving away an eCopy of The Headhunters Race to one of you lucky readers :) 


Book Summary
Sixteen-year-old Avene was sentenced to prison at thirteen for a crime she didn't commit. Now she has a chance to win her freedom back – if she enters the Headhunters Race. Second prize isn't so bad either, an upgrade to the Leisure Prison if you make it to the finish line. To win either prize, Avene and the other prisoners must navigate one hundred and fifty miles of dense forest, desert, and worst of all, cannibal territory.
With a mechanical collar timed to strangle the prisoners if they're not back in nine days, Avene allies herself with seventeen-year-old McCoy, another prisoner that insists on helping her at every turn and a boy she's trying hard not to fall for. Together they battle nature, other prisoners, and the timed death collars to win the coveted prize. But when Avene is tested with one deadly conflict after another, she realizes there is more at stake than winning her freedom – first she has to survive.  

Goodreads :

Purchase Links : 

Author Interview : 

1 : Where did the idea for The Headhunters Race come from? 
The idea was born around June 26, 2011 after a Zelda game commercial inspired me.  The commercial was brilliant and I thought why can't they make a movie that cool?  And then I thought, why don't I write a cool adventure myself!  So I did. :)

2 : What research went into the book? 
A few things off the top of my head were how to find a water source, how to avoid bear attacks,spider bites, tattoos, prisons - although I just made up my own and made it a fend-for-yourself one. :) 

3 : What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life? 
(I think my answer will fall under psychological)   :)  I think querying and hoping this was the book that would land me an agent. I'd written 3 or 4 before this and none of those worked out so I was really hoping this was the one. However, many agents over the period I queried it mentioned that dystopian was not selling so I struggled with deciding whether to strike out on my own and I finally went for it.  If you're a writer querying your manuscript, the process can turn quickly from one of excitement and hope to utter heartbreak.  **baring my soul a little here**  I actually quit writing all together (for several months) after this one didn't work out. I think my husband was worried about me because I'd been writing non-stop during any free time I had for years. I think this is the first time I've admitted this openly. But it was devastating - you can only take so much rejection and I did not think I'd be able to go back to it.  Thankfully I got over it because I really do love to write. :)  .

4 : What was the hardest part of writing your book? 
The hardest part is that I always seem to go through this *dumb stage* where all of a sudden I get to a point where I think the story is just so dumb and who wants to read a made up story?  I go through this with every one of my manuscripts and I don't know why and I quit for a day or so (it's been up to a week before) until I realize duh, all fiction is made up! Plus, I realize I like to read fiction myself.  It's just some weird thing that happens to me.

5 : ​Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?  
Yes, how to find water if I'm ever in need!  Not that it will always work but I've kept that in the back of my mind. :) 

6 : What books influenced you to write?  
I think books in general have influenced me, especially when I was a kid because I was a non-stop reader. I read all the time and every chance I got even during times I wasn't supposed to (like in class). I think they influenced me because I love the fact that books can transport you somewhere else and you can experience different lives and worlds through different types of characters.

7 : Do you have any weird writing habits? 
I can't think of anything really weird but maybe referring back to #4. :)

8 : Top 5 favourite authors?  
I don't really have favorites because I pretty much love them all but some that I'll mention are C.S. Lewis, Judy Blume, and J.K. Rowling.

9 : Describe your book in 5 words
Five words, hmmm, this is hard.  Okay, how about: Action, Adventure, Race, Cannibals, Deadly. :)

10 : Finally, What are you currently reading?  
I just finished The 5th Wave and I really liked it.

Quick fire round

Tea or Coffee?  Coffee
Books or Movies?  **cheating** I love both! 
Pepsi or Coke?  Pepsi, Pepsi, Pepsi!
Early Bird or Night Owl?  Night owl
Sci Fi or Fantasy?  I love both but Sci Fi wins!  :)
Spike or Angel? (I don't know if these might be characters?)
Sam or Dean? (Same as above. eek, I don't know them)
Call or Text?  Call
Truth or Dare?  Truth
Asking Questions or Answering Questions?  Asking!

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions. Before you go is there anything you would like to say to my readers? 

Yes, thank you for being readers and book lovers!  And if any of you are considering writing - start NOW.  If you're not considering writing and have another dream - start NOW.  PLEASE don't wait to follow your dream.  :)

Thank you so much, Natalie for having me on your wonderful blog!  I appreciate you and your time so very much!

Author Bio
Kimberly is the mother of two awesome kids, wife of the nicest man in the world, and her dog's best friend. She works by day and writes middle grade and young adult science fiction and fantasy novels in her spare time. She lives with her family in the beautiful Sonoran Desert.

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Kimberly if offering an eCopy of the Headhunters Race!

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Friday 30 May 2014

Take Me On by Katie McGarry Review!

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Title: Take Me On
Series: Pushing the Limits #4
Author: Katie McGarry
Release Date: June 6th 2014
Publisher: MiraInk

Acclaimed author Katie McGarry (Pushing The Limits, Dare You To, Crash Into You) returns with a new story about love, loss and what winning really means...

Champion kickboxer Haley swore she'd never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can't stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she'd stay away from. Yet he won't last five seconds in the ring without her help.
West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping him fighting for her is a shot at redemption. Especially since it' s his fault her family is falling apart. He can't change the past, but maybe he can change Haley's future.
Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they'll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.

Julies Thoughts : 

Hmm, what to say about Katie McGarry’s Take Me On without, yet again, sounding like a blathering fool over one of her books …. because, really, I’ve yet to read anything by this lady that hasn’t swept me along, broken my heart, and made me fall head over heels in love.

Though, let me just add the disclaimer: no matter how much I appear to have fallen in love with West at any point during this review, Isaiah and Noah and still my men. MINE, I tell you!

Anyhoo, moving on. Meet Haley. She’s tough, she’s independent, and she loves fiercely, making her one relatable and admirable chick. From the very first glimpse we get inside Haley’s head, I liked her. Her character, her personality, her attitude. Her family situation pretty much sucked, but rather than create a divide that could create competition amongst siblings/peers, she and her brother and cousin seemed to have formed an incredible bond. This was only one of the refreshing aspects of this book. Too often when there is a bully in the household, the bullying gets mimicked by younger members and one-upping becomes the norm in order to gain the totally wrong kind of glory. However, in Take Me On, we see a solid support structure built from it, and I loved the relationship(s) that have been created from that. So, not only do we connect instantly with Haley, but we also almost want to be a part of her sucky-situated family, just so we can experience this relationship, too. Because (just so you know) her cousin and brother are freaking awesome characters also—Ms McGarry, they NEED their own book!

And running narration around Haley’s side of the story is West. We meet him in Crash Into You, in which he is portrayed as Rachel’s older jerk-face of a brother who is self-centred and whorish and only likable for his roguishness and pretty much nothing else. HOWEVER!!!! As they say, there is always more than one side to a story, and West has a whole lotta sides to his! Because, so often, there can be ugliness marring the depths of a person’s world that those on the outside will never know of, and things often aren’t as they seem. It’s human nature, though, I guess, to preconceive the reasons behind a person’s personality or behaviour or attitude, and those preconceptions can be just as rife when reading. All I can say is, all of those who thought you had West’s number? Trust me, you don’t. He is NOTHING like we thought he was. And everything we thought he wasn’t. To add to that? His inner turmoil over what happened to Rachel in Crash Into You, plus the unfolding emotional torture Ms McGarry has thrust upon the poor dude in this book, is heartbreaking. I wanted to cuddle the poor dude to my bosom, stroke his hair, and promise to make everything right for him again. And his commitment to making himself a better person? Admirable, for sure (even though occasionally idiotic, too). Oh, and he’s hot. Hot always helps us readers to fall in love, right?

So, if you love stories about unlikely pairings, fighting for survival and pride and (mustn’t forget) for love, and couples who meet by happenstance with a bang!, then you will love Take Me On, for surez! If you love Katie McGarry’s other books in this series, then you will love Take Me On, for surez! And if you love tough chicks and impossible situations and heartbreak and family turmoil and strong female leads and HAWT dudes with swagger and attitude, then you will most certainly love Take Me On, for surez!

Read it. You know you want to.

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this title in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way affected my opinion.

Blood Oath by Samantha Coville Book Blitz and Giveaway!

Release Date: 04/29/14

Summary from Goodreads:
Raya Sarian has always known she was different. The water calls to her in a way that isn't human. She has seen things that would scar anyone for life. And her father has been non existent in her childhood.

Because he is a Siren.

A blood drinker.

A monster.

And now she must live with him in a world populated with enemies and dangerous friends. Can she survive the year?

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Excerpts : 

It had seemed like a great idea eleven years ago, but, now, with Elder Eden staring him down like he was a disobedient child, Christopher Sarian feared that maybe it wasn’t as brilliant as he had originally thought. Her aqua eyes bore into his and he shifted in his seat, uncomfortable with the situation he had put himself in.
Her voice was silky smooth and strong, even in her old age. It also had a slight hiss to it when she was angered. That hiss seeped through in her words to Christopher. “No one will accept her here; her kind is not welcome by others. You can try to win my approval all you want, but the others will make her miserable. Is that really the best for the child?”
“She will be seventeen, you know.” In comparison to the Elder’s, his voice was small and quiet.
“I do know, Christopher, and I know that her presence would bring unrest to our already shaky colony.” Her wrinkled and dainty hands rested softly on the large oak table that was usually occupied by the Elders of the area. Now it was just her and him and the uneasy air between them.
He cleared his throat a little. He was usually so sure of himself and his power over everyone, but now he was reminded that the Elders would always be the ones in charge no matter who had the crown. But that had its upsides; they were a great source of advice and information. They hadn’t failed him yet. “I haven’t seen her for eleven years, Eden. She’ll be an adult soon and she’ll leave me behind forever. I want to see her, and claim her as my daughter, for one last time before then.”
Eden sighed and took a seat in her usual high back chair. She rubbed her temples in slow circles and then lifted her eyes to the man she had watched grow over the years. When Christopher had been crowned, she had kept a business relationship between them, calling him by his title and expecting the same back. But they were far more than that, they were family though not by blood. “Fine. You are my Lord after all. But if anything goes awry during her time here,” she threatened.
“Everything will go perfectly, I promise.”
She pointed a firm finger at him accusingly, but a faint smile crossed her full lips. “We’ll see about that, young man!”

About the Author
Samantha Coville is an editor and literary critic at her website, Sammy the Bookworm. She’s been writing short stories for six years and has appeared in magazines, both in print and online. When she’s not doing something book related, she is singing in her church choir or enjoying one of the theme parks in her home state of Florida.

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Thursday 29 May 2014

The Feral Child by Che Golden Review!

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Title : The Feral Child
Author : Che Golden
Pages : 256
Published : June 3rd 2014
Publisher : Quercus Books
Source : Netgalley

“Gripping, mystical and adventurous, young readers will be as hooked as Maddy was the minute she set foot inside that creepy as hell old castle,”Irish World said of The Feral Child
Maddy, an orphan, is sick of her Irish town, and sick of her cousin Danny, one of the nastiest people you could meet. Mad as hell one evening, she crawls inside the grounds of the castle, the one place she has always been forbidden to go. Once inside, she is chased by a strange feral boy, who she suspects is one of the faerie: cruel, fantastical people who live among humans and exchange local children for their own. 

When the boy returns to steal her neighbor Stephen into his world, Maddy and her cousins set off on a terrifying journey into a magical wilderness, determined to bring him back home. To do so, they must face an evil as old as the earth itself.

Che Golden has created a gripping adventure that interweaves Maddy’s modern Irish experience with the vivid fantasy of the region’s ancient folklore. Readers will enjoy the frank and bold heroine of Maddy, and will be dazzled by The Feral Child’s evocative rendering of Irish folklore and richly imagined alternate worlds.

My Thoughts : 

Maddy is an orphan and her grandparents are looking after her. She hates it in Blarney and is fed up with getting bullied by her cousin and ignored by her class mates. Her Granddad has always told her to never go into Blarney castles ground after dark. She has an argument with them one evening and decides to go into the grounds anyway. There she meets a weird boy who tries to get her to go with him. She is freaked and runs away from him.

Later that night she hears a scratching at her window. When she looks she sees the strange boy taking her next door neighbours young son Stephen. She runs and tells her Grandparents that a weird looking savage boy took Stephen but no one will believe her. The next day Stephen is found on the grounds of the castle and everyone is relieved. Maddy goes to visit him only to see that its not Stephen but a feral changeling. Maddy knows she has to venture into the world of Faerie to bring him home. 

Maddy ends up going into the mound with Roisin and Danny. Not the people she would have chosen but circumstances worked against them. Now all three are in a strange and deadly world and have to rescue Stephen.  

Well this was a complete surprise. The cover drew me in but when I read the blurb I knew I had to read it! I'm Irish so love anything to do with Irish folklore and Faeries. I also loved that it was set in Blarney. Its not too far from me so I've been there before and its beautiful. 

Maddy was an awesome heroine. She lost both her parents in an accident and had to leave London to live in Blarney. It was a big upheaval and she still finds it hard. Her cousin Danny is always bullying her and she has no friends. She is angry a lot and at times hard to like but she is also brave, selfless, strong and kind. The minute Stephen gets kidnapped she knows what she has to do no matter the cost.  

What follows is an adventure that the unlikely heroes have to survive. They are thrown into a world where the trees have faces, the horses can eat you and the wolves talk. Its unlike anything they have ever seen but because they know the old folklore tales they realise that if they follow the rules they may just survive. 

The Feral Child is brimming in action and adventure. Its non stop from the first page and I flew through the book. Its a dark and dangerous world they enter but also really beautiful. I loved the lore and the fact that the Faeries weren't the glittery kind ;) Che Golden has captured the beauty of Ireland along with the fascinating tales we have here.  From its vivid descriptions and creepy atmosphere, the Feral Child is a must read. Its a gripping Faerie Tale and I'm really looking forward to the next installment of this trilogy. 

Imposter by Susanne Winnacker Book Highlight and Giveaway!

Title: Imposter
Author: Susanne Winnacker
Series: Variants #1
Genre: Young Adult, thriller

Can Tessa pose as Madison . . . and stop a killer before it’s too late? 

Tessa is a Variant, able to absorb the DNA of anyone she touches and mimic their appearance. Shunned by her family, she’s spent the last two years training with the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities, a secret branch of the FBI. When a serial killer rocks a small town in Oregon, Tessa is given a mission: she must impersonate Madison, a local teen, to find the killer before he strikes again.

Tessa hates everything about being an impostor—the stress, the danger, the deceit—but loves playing the role of a normal girl. As Madison, she finds friends, romance, and the kind of loving family she’d do anything to keep. Amid action, suspense, and a ticking clock, this super-human comes to a very human conclusion: even a girl who can look like anyone struggles the most with being herself.

"An unpredictable page turner with shades of terror reminiscent of a Stephen King novel."—VOYA

"Fresh and inventive. . . . the strongly-written mystery component takes center stage.“—BCCB



I went over to the window and pried it open. The frame groaned but with a jerk the window slid up and cool air streamed in. The fresh smell of rain in the night was one of my absolute favorites.
A shadow shifted on the street. I poked my head out. Even in the rain, the hooded stranger waited on the other side, staring at my window. I grabbed my cell phone from the nightstand and the pepper spray from my purse, slipped into my ballet flats and rushed out of the room and down the stairs. Devon appeared in the hall, his eyes bleary. I didn’t stop to explain.
My feet carried me outside where the rain plastered my hair down and soaked through my clothes. The stranger turned the corner as I crossed our front yard.
I pumped my legs. I heard Devon’s steps behind me and his shouts of confusion, but I turned a corner and then another until it appeared that I’d lost him. I stormed into the forest at the edge of our neighborhood, where the stranger had disappeared just moments before.
From up ahead, the sound of twigs breaking kept me on the trail. Devon must have given up or lost sight of me because I didn’t hear him behind me.
Without streetlights, the forest’s darkness was absolute. Rain rattled the leaves, and twigs snapped under my shoes. Shape-shifting while running was difficult and straining, but with Madison’s short legs I’d never catch the guy. Who was he? The killer? And I was alone in a dark forest with him. Maybe not my best plan.
I let the rippling wash over me. Tearing, stretching, twisting, remodeling. My clothes strained and ripped. I stumbled a few times over my lengthening legs but then, with Alec’s body, I gained on the stranger. Wind howled in my ears and for a moment I lost my bearings as he disappeared from view.
Up ahead, something flashed in the blackness like a beacon. He’d turned around to check if I was still following. My breath rasped in my throat as I jumped over a fallen trunk. The forest was cloaked in mist, concealing the outline of the mysterious figure.


About Susanne

Susanne Winnacker studied law before she became a full-time writer. She lives with her husband, two dogs and two bunnies in Germany. She loves coffee (in every shape and form), traveling and animals. When she isn't writing, you can usually find her in the kitchen, experimenting with new vegan dishes.

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First Impression: A Shadow Maven Paranormal by Pauline Creeden
Genre: YA Paranormal
Published: March 31st, 2014
Published by: AltWit Press

Chira Kelly thought she didn’t need anyone…until she met Ben.
Because of one ugly rumor, Chira lives as an outcast at her school. Which is fine with her, because she works better alone. Always has, always will. And at least she has her one and only true friend, Tasha. When Tasha insists that they join a group to visit a possibly haunted abandoned old schoolhouse, she’s wary, but joins her friend. Because of that decision, their lives are in jeopardy as a malevolent spirit targets the group. Tragedies and accidents pick them off one by one, and Chira finds herself drawn to the one person who can see the truth. But can he protect her?
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Excerpt : 
She rips my hall pass from her pad and points it toward the young man sitting across from her desk. “Chira Kelley, meet Ben Oscuro. He’s new here and needs someone to show him around. It just so happens he’s also a member of class 18B.”
I finally focus on the boy. He doesn’t look up at me, and his disheveled dark hair is just long enough that it hides his eyes. But he pushes himself up from his chair, and his slim form towers over me. He’s at least six-feet-two and his uniform is almost as crumpled as his hair. He swings his backpack onto a strong, square shoulder and nibbles his full bottom lip. His smooth olive skin and dark hair make him look like a foreign rocker, and there’s something about him that seems vaguely familiar.
“Here’s a copy of his class schedule. When you’re not in the same class, I want you to leave a few minutes early and help him find the next class room. That’s your job for today. Got it?”
I swallow back and resist sniffling again. Taking the hall pass and the copy of the schedule from her, I say, “Um…sure.”
“Excellent. Robin, you’re off the hook.”
The office aide pumps a fist in the air before returning to file more papers in the cabinet. The secretary’s chair squeals a dismissal, and Mrs. Campbell picks up her phone, returning to her duties without another word.
Ben pulls open the office door and stands to the side to allow me to go first. The hallway that was empty only a short while ago is now full of students and their continuous conversations. With a shrug, I eye his class schedule quickly. Except for second and sixth period, we have exactly the same schedule. He’s in all of the advanced classes, too. Only he has gym for second period and Latin for sixth – opposite of my schedule, except I take French.
Piece of cake.
I glance up at him again, and his eyes meet mine. My breath hitches. His intense gaze makes me feel like he’s measuring me. The dark pools of his eyes seem deep and bottomless, but there’s something strange about them. They’re brown, but he has colored contacts. Why would anyone color their eyes brown?
My heart flutters. A sniffle escapes me before I can stop it. Ugh. I clear my throat and start in the direction of first period. “Follow me.”
We elbow our way down the freshman hall toward the second floor, but before we start up I point down the way. “Do you know what your locker number is?”
Ben nods and pushes his backpack on his shoulder farther.
I wait for a second and then smile. “What is it?”
“706.” He has a slight accent, and his voice is deeper than I expect. I suppress a shiver at the jolt the musical timbre of his voice sends through my body. I’m resonating like a tuning fork. I really want him to speak again with every fiber of my being. What’s with me?
“Uh…okay.” I swallow, trying to regain composure. I take him to the general area of the locker. “Here it is.”
He looks at it, nods, and returns his hard gaze to me. Is he always so stiff? Probably just nerves from being new.
“I know you don’t have any books to put in it, but do you want to try out the combination?”
He lifts one shoulder in a shrug and spins the combo quickly through the three numbers. I purposefully avert my eyes so he knows I’m not peeking. He opens the locker wide, nods toward me, and then closes it again.
“Great. We have first period over here.”
“You and I have the same first period?”
My body vibrates again, and I blink hard. So glad my back was to him so he couldn’t see the effect his voice has on me. I swallow and face him. “Actually, yeah. Our schedules are very similar. It’s a smallish school, so there’re only a few tracks that juniors can be on.”
He nods, and his eyes are half lidded as if he’s bored already.
I lead him toward our classroom. “We don’t really have assigned seats, so you can pretty much sit anywhere you want. I’ll show you to the gym at the end of class. I have French next, but it’s not too far from there.” 
I lead him to the front of the class, and my friend Tasha gives me a wan smile and raises her eyebrows, looking back and forth between me and Ben. She mouths, Who’s that?
I roll my eyes and put up one finger toward her to let her know I’ll tell her in a minute. Then I turn to the teacher. I hand him the schedule from the office. “Hi, Mr. Scott, this is Ben Oscuro, a transfer.”
Mr. Scott’s kind blue eyes smile at us both. He sets down the Mountain Dew he was drinking and offers Ben a wide grin. He puts a hand out for him to shake. Ben hesitates but takes the hand in what looks like a firm grip. Mr. Scott shakes his hand afterward. “That’s some grip you’ve got there.” He laughs and leans down to the bottom drawer of his desk and hands Ben a geography text book.
With a nod, I return to Tasha and squeeze into the desk next to hers. I’m at Jackson Hall partially on my father’s insurance money partially on scholarship because my stepdad works at the school. What he does, I don’t know, because I’ve never seen him. Because of all this, I’m somewhat of a social pariah. My only real friend is Tasha Brown, a pariah herself, being one of the few African-American kids in the school. Still she tends to be more popular than me, because at least her family has the money they’ve made in the night club and music business. But then there’s that rumor…
“So who is the new hottie?” Tasha hops up and down in her seat.
I shake my head at her. “You are one big hormone, you know that? Sure, he’s cute, but is there any guy in the room you don’t consider a hottie?”
Tasha scans the room with her hand on her chin and a very serious expression on her face. Her hair is in the typical pigtail braids she usually uses to play up the uniform. She has on no sweater, and her shirt is one size too small, the buttonholes at the front  stretched to expose part of her red bra. Finally she returns her gaze to me. “There’s only one guy in here that doesn’t rank hottie.”
“Really? Who?”
She leans in conspiratorially and whispers, “Mr. Scott.”
I nearly choke on a laugh as I eye the middle-aged, balding teacher at the front of the room. But I have to admit, Jackson Hall is a prep school. And there's no one who can afford to make their children look their best more than the wealthy. I guess if I take my father’s words to heart, it’s better to be the poor kid in the rich kids’ school…than the other way around. Right?
Tasha’s smile returns, and I follow her gaze to figure out why. Ben Oscuro walks down the aisle between us and takes the desk right behind mine. The hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. I close my eyes and take a deep breath. He smells like pine and mint, and it reminds me of the outdoors. When I open them again, Tasha’s smile has grown impossibly wider. She leans towards me and whispers, “What was that you said about hormones again?”
I shove my elbow toward her, but she dodges me with a giggle. 

Author Bio:

In simple language, Pauline Creeden creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long. Pauline is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy. Her books have hit #1 on the Amazon Bestseller List and Armored Hearts won the 2013 Book Junkie’s Choice Award in Historical Fiction. First Impression: A Shadow Maven Paranormal is her first mystery. It’s a dark urban fantasy and will be released March 24, 2014.

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