Tuesday, July 18, 2017

ARC Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter for a chance to win one of these four ARCs! (US only, sorry! - unless you are willing to pay for shipping!)

It is time for another ARC clean out! As I'm sure many of you know, an ARC aka advanced reader copy is a copy of a book that is released to select groups like bloggers, librarians, and book shop owners to help with early reviews and promotion. ARCs have not gone through the final rounds of editing, so they may differ slightly or have more errors than the finished copy. One thing about ARCs is that they are illegal to sell, so I can't bring them to sell to Powell's like I do with all my other books. Due to this fact, I am giving away four of my ARCs for your reading pleasure! I have included titles and blurbs for all of them below.

A Brave Vessel: The True Tale of the Castaways Who Rescued Jamestown
"At once a penetrating work of literary analysis and a riveting historical narrative." -Nathaniel Philbrick 

Merging maritime adventure and early colonial history, A Brave Vessel charts a little-known chapter of the past that offers a window on the inspiration for one of Shakespeare's greatest works. In 1609, aspiring writer William Strachey set sail for the New World aboard the Sea Venture, only to wreck on the shores of Bermuda. Strachey's meticulous account of the tragedy, the castaways' time in Bermuda, and their arrival in a devastated Jamestown, remains among the most vivid writings of the early colonial period. Though Strachey had literary aspirations, only in the hands of another William would his tale make history as The Tempest-a fascinating connection across time and literature that Hobson Woodward brings vividly to life.

If You Feel Too Much: Thoughts on Things Lost and Found and Hoped For.
In 2006 Jamie Tworkowski wrote a story called “To Write Love on Her Arms,” about helping a friend through her struggle with drug addiction, depression, and self-injury. The piece was so hauntingly beautiful that it quickly went viral, giving birth to a non-profit organization of the same name. Now, To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) is an internationally recognized leader in suicide prevention and a source of hope, encouragement, and support for people worldwide.

If You Feel Too Much is a celebration of hope, wonder, and what it means to be human. From personal stories of struggling on days most people celebrate to words of strength and encouragement in moments of loss, the essays in this book invite readers to believe that it’s okay to admit to pain and okay to ask for help. If You Feel Too Much is an important book from one of this generation’s most important voices.

Lotus and Thorn
A thrilling fantasy adventure perfect for fans of Tamora Pierce and Sarah Maas
Ravaged by a plague known as Red Death, the planet Gabriel, a former colony of Earth, is a barren wasteland. Since being abandoned by Earth 500 years ago, resources are scarce and life is cheap. To stay alive, the survivors, the Citizens, scavenge the remains of a now dead city, trading for food with the resource-rich Curadores, the only other survivors on Gabriel. Every old computer, every piece of wire, every scrap of metal counts. To steal is the ultimate sin. So when tough-as-nails seventeen-year-old Leica is caught doing just that, she's exiled and left to the mercy of Gabriel's unforgiving desert for the rest of her life. 

While in exile, Leica discovers a mysterious shuttle, which may not only lead her home, but even more impossible—reestablish contact with Earth. Then Red Death rears its head again, killing her entire work crew, leaving Leica all alone until a handsome Curador offers her refuge in the Dome—the only place on Gabriel untouched by Red Death, where a decadent and sultry life awaits. But there's a catch: Leica can only enter the Dome as his concubine—his Kisaeng. When a rogue group of Citizens see their chance for revolution in Leica's good fortune, she finds herself unraveling a deadly mystery with chilling answers to the true origin of Red Death and the reason Earth really abandoned them so long ago. 

A richly imagined tale in the vein of Tamora Pierce, Lotus and Thorn is a magnificent, epic fantasy adventure.

Rebel Heart (Dust Lands #2)
Nothing is certain and no one is safe in the scorching sequel to Blood Red Road, which MTV’s Hollywood Crush blog called “better than The Hunger Games.”

There is a price on Saba’s head. She brought down a ruthless tyrant and saved her kidnapped brother. But winning has come at a terrible cost. Saba is haunted by her past—and a new enemy is on the rise, an enemy who searches for her across the Dust Lands.

Saba needs Jack: his moonlit eyes, his reckless courage, his wild heart. But Jack has left. And her brother is haunted by ghosts of his own. Then news comes that tells her Jack can never be trusted again. Deceived and betrayed, haunted and hunted, Saba will need all of her warrior’s strength just to survive. For the enemy has cunning plans of his own…

Disclosure: this post contains links to an affiliate program (Amazon), for which I receive a few cents if you make purchases.  

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Codename: Freedom: Survive Week One

Book Blurb:
War is coming. 
The government must accelerate their super soldier program. They have pushed beyond what was thought possible and developed a new Virtual Reality system; the perfect tool to weed out and train recruits. There is another problem. Every soldier has already been sorted and those found to possess the “talent” are already in training. There just aren’t enough. That is why Codename: Freedom has been developed. It’s time they looked outside the military. Failure is not an option.
Against all odds, Lucius, a semipro gamer who was raised by his Artificial Intelligence Bot named Destiny, is selected to participate in Codename: Freedom, a VRMMO that promises to push Virtual Reality to the ultimate level. 
The Game Developers are kind enough to hide a key feature. 100% pain. There are no pain dampeners. He finds himself among the other participants of Codename: Freedom who are thrown in with hardly any time to get their bearings before the entire player city is attacked. 
With the world watching live, Lucius is faced with the opportunity to gain a following and impressing sponsors. After years of hard work to move up in the gamer ranks, this new game will challenge Lucius to the point of breaking and beyond. Will he quit, go mad, or find the motivation to fight when it becomes painfully clear that this is far from just another game?
Author Bio:
Apollos Thorne’s love for stories comes from many different sources. The original spark began with role playing games. The legendary Final Fantasy VII took this love to a different level, and many other games built upon what it had inflamed. He went to college and got a film degree, where he found his love for writing while writing his own scripts. The novel was a much more natural medium for his tastes, so he began writing more often. It was in college when he picked up the Farseer Trilogy that his love of fantasy fiction really took off. After that, it was rare for him not to finish at least one novel a week. In 11/01/2015 he found the website royalroadl.com. It allowed anyone to publish their writing online and get feedback from readers. He was intrigued. Beginning to post book one of Codename: Freedom, he was drawn into the process in large thanks to a number of fans. He finished eight months later with over 500,000 views. A few more months later and book one of the Codename: Freedom saga, Survive Week One, will be published 07/12/2017.

Disclosure: this post contains links to an affiliate program (Amazon), for which I receive a few cents if you make purchases.  

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Spotlight: DarkSkull Hall

Decades ago, the mages went to war with each other in a destructive, decades-long battle that killed thousands and destroyed entire cities. Now, an uneasy peace lingers. 
Born into the small, peaceful country of Rionn, a place almost untouched by the past war, Alyx Egalion knows little of mages or battles. Yet soon after her sixteenth birthday, the pampered daughter of nobility has her entire world shattered when she learns that she is the daughter of a mage and must travel to the distant country of Tregaya to learn her magic at DarkSkull Hall.
Stripped of everything familiar to her, and surrounded by strangers she cannot trust, Alyx finds herself in a world where courage, magic and wits are the only things that will keep her alive. 
Outside DarkSkull Hall, the fragile peace is beginning to show cracks, and Alyx will soon learn that her wealth and status will not protect her from what is coming…

About the Author:
Lisa was born in Melbourne, Australia, but now lives in the nation's capital, Canberra!

She mostly sticks to novel-length fantasy but occasionally likes to break out with short stories on random things like unicorns and ninjas. When not writing, you’ll like catch her enthusiastically spectating a basketball game (#NewYorkKnickForLife), working for a living, or…well… writing!

Whenever you buy a copy of one of Lisa's books, you will be helping to support One Girl. One Girl is committed to educating 1 million girls across Africa, and Lisa is excited to contribute to this vision. Together they're changing the world, one girl at a time.

Feel free to follow Lisa on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram– she loves to discuss her work with readers!

Check out her website at www.lcasswrites.com
Twitter: @LCass_writes
Facebook: Lisa Cassidy
All the places where her book is available for purchase

Disclosure: this post contains links to an affiliate program (Amazon), for which I receive a few cents if you make purchases.  

Friday, July 7, 2017

Review: Soolie Beetch and the Dying Light

Title: Soolie Beech and the Dying Light (Book 1)
Author: Gypsie Raleigh
Page Count: 350
My Rating: 4 TURTLES: A great read, I definitely recommend.
*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review


A strange woman passing through the village of Hob Glen dies a sudden and violent death, leaving something evil behind. Now young Soolie Beetch is cursed with deadly powers she can’t control and a golden-eyed child haunting her dreams. Fighting for her freedom and her life, an ordinary girl must resort to extraordinary measures to save her family and her town.

Searching for answers, Soolie journeys to the dazzling city of Ravus where the dead walk among the living, and the living have started going missing. Pursued by monsters and racing against time, she must use all her courage and determination to unwind a dark mystery that threatens the lives and souls of everyone she loves.

Fast-paced, daring and vividly written, Soolie Beetch and the Dying Light hooks the reader from page one and provides a breathtaking ride to a shocking climax.


Gypsie is an amazing storyteller, no doubt about it! Her descriptions are vivid, at times beautiful or horrifying, sometimes within a sentence. Her style is captivating and kept me on my toes. Just when I thought I knew what was going to happen, something totally unexpected would happen! I really liked how much the characters lived in a gray area of morality, it certainly made for an original, thought-provoking read. I also really liked how the ending isn't a cliffhanger, but certainly leaves the reader wanting more.

I will say though, that this is dark fantasy, and, as I told someone earlier today "the body count is impressive." And while the main character of the story is a girl, this is definitely adult, not young adult. If you are a person who has trouble with pets/animals dying, children dying, or main characters dying, this may not be the book for you. I was taken aback at times by how violent it was, and if I hadn't enjoyed the writing so much I might have found it more off-putting than I did.

If you do like dark fantasy, I would highly recommend you check out "Soolie Beech and the Dying Light." The writing is beautiful, the characters are memorable, and the story is engrossing. I can't wait to see what else this author has in store!

Disclosure: this post contains links to an affiliate program (Amazon), for which I receive a few cents if you make purchases.  

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Spotlight: The Devil's Backbone

About the Book: 
Through the ethereal window rippling above the sun-scorched pavement, Sadie Bishop would sometimes catch glimpses of a mysterious world, a desert landscape, punctuated by giant fissures that cleaved the land. What wonders haunted that interior world, the visions never revealed, they only tempted her with promises whispered from their depths . . . 
Sadie Bishop was ready to move on from the terrible events that had ripped her away from her job and family, so ready that she was about to indulge a dark compulsion, one that called to her in the night, urging her to hit the road and plunge deep into the heart of the American West. But her country was broken, plagued by cultists, mutants, and a ruthless cartel. 
In a nightmarish future, will Sadie be able to endure those who seek to expose and exploit the enigmatic shadow lurking within her? Or will they open her mind to the awesome power contained within . . . The Empyrean.

About the Author:
L. Kent Gaskill has been imagining new words and re-imagining this one since he was a child. Always on the lookout for new creative tools, be they technology-based or traditional, he has been absorbed with rendering creative realms with anything from the tip of a pencil to the turn of a phrase. He is a professional graphic designer and illustrator who works and lives on beautiful Vancouver Island. He has recently published the first book in his new science fiction adventure series and is in the process of editing the second.

Disclosure: this post contains links to an affiliate program (Amazon), for which I receive a few cents if you make purchases.  

Monday, July 3, 2017

Spotlight: Wildcat

Book Blurb
Rhianwyn of the Caderyn is conflicted about giving up a warrior’s life to become a wife and mother, but her love for her new husband is enough to at least make her consider it.  However, with the conquering Gaians moving ever closer to her homeland a peaceful life may no longer be an option, for Rhia or for any of her people.  With rival tribes, old suitors, and the dangerous General Lepidus to contend with, Rhia soon finds her new family in unprecedented danger, and her choices now must be about more than just herself...  

Author Bio
JP Harker is the pen-name of James Thomas, a former archaeology student, an obsessive martial artist and a committed geek of various types, who apparently didn’t drive his fiancĂ©e mad enough with those things and so took up writing fantasy books as well.  A proud Welshman with just enough Saxon in him to make things interesting, James hails from glamorous Glamorgan in South Wales.

Disclosure: this post contains links to an affiliate program (Amazon), for which I receive a few cents if you make purchases.  

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Spotlight: Angie Dokos

Once upon a time there was a young woman with a passion for writing. When her oldest daughter was a senior in high school, they developed a plan to write, edit, format, and publish a book together as a project. Okay, well since you know the daughter was a senior, you know the woman is not a very young woman. She refuses to grow old, so we'll stick believing she's a young woman. Anyway, the project ended up being a little too complex for the daughter to endure to the end. The young woman had already grown too attached to her characters, so she had to see it through. Two years later, Mackenzie's Distraction was born...I mean published.
Mackenzie's Distraction is a new adult romance novel with some humor tossed in. Mackenzie is a young woman with a rough past and a promising future. Just when her career is within reach, tragedy strikes. A terrible accident and a family secret turn Mackenzie's world upside down. She's sure her new life can't become any more complicated. Then she meets Trevor. Will he be the distraction that pushes her over the edge?
You can order Mackenzie's Distraction on Amazon. She's got some great reviews on there, check it out.
For a limited time, you can get Mackenzie's Distraction as part of a boxed set. It is one of the ten ebooks included in Cocktails For Ten. You get ten full-length novels for $0.99. You can check out the group of authors on Twitter and Facebook @CocktailsForTen. The group includes E.G. FOXElaine Raco ChaseDonna FasanoAshley FontainneDee Dee CovasAngie DokosDiane NelsonLorne OliverMichael CodyAshley Goss Order links are below:

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cocktails-for-ten-eg-fox/1126229869?ean=2940154340929#productInfoTabs

In addition to Mackenzie's Distraction, Angie Dokos has recently published her second new adult romance novel. Roadside introduces you to Zayne, Serena, and their friends. Zayne finds Serena's lifeless body off the side of the road one morning. She has been beaten and left for dead. As she recovers, they become the best of friends. It doesn't take long for Zayne's feelings to grow stronger. Will the fear of ruining their friendship keep them from taking a chance on love? You can check it out on Amazon.

Angie can be found all over social media. She hangs out on Twitter and Facebook more than she should. Her links are listed here: 

Here is Angie's short and sweet bio, in case you're interested: Angie Dokos was born a reader and grew to be a writer. Okay, so the reading took a few years, but in the meantime, she was having someone else read to her. She enjoys hiking and loves to travel. She currently lives in the Atlanta, Georgia area with her husband and children.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Guest Post from Publishizer: Plot Without a Cause

Putting the Readers Back in Charge of Publishing

Imagine a YA publishing process without gatekeepers.  One where editors and agents read the manuscripts that readers love, not vice versa.  One where anyone with a knack for writing, a passion to succeed, and a little flair for self-promotion, has a fair shot at being published.

All too frequently, this isn’t the case.  Books often get rejected for reasons beyond authors’ control.  One editor turned down an ultimately successful book by saying, “The girl doesn't, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the 'curiosity' level.”  The book in question?  The Diary of Anne Frank.  Furthermore, according to the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, only about 10% of all YA books accepted for publication feature “multi-cultural content.”  Clearly, there are some blind spots that need addressing in the publishing industry.

It’s with this vision in mind that Publishizer is launching its YA book proposal contest called Plot Without a Cause.  Publishizer is a startup seeking to fill a hole in the publishing industry through crowdfunding.  It works like this:

You write the book proposal.  You know the book proposal I’m talking about.  The one you’ve been daydreaming about for years.  The one that just popped into your head last week and you haven’t stopped thinking about since.  The one for the manuscript that’s been dearly loved by you but maybe not so much yet by the publishing industry.  That one.  Then you register (for free!) on Publishizer’s website and post your proposal in the Plot Without a Cause section (again—for free!).

Now this is when you’ll have to start hustling.  Crowdfunding runs on pre-orders, so you had better start promoting that proposal.  Reach out over social media, post on your blog, email your old roommates—whatever it takes to start building buzz.  If you get the most preorders by the time the contest ends, you’ll win $1000 dollars.  And if you don’t have the highest number of preorders, don’t worry—you’ll still be queried to major publishers who fit your proposal.

Previous Publishizer contest participants have gotten interest and landed deals with a variety of traditional publishing companies, including Harvard Square Books, She Writes Press, and Weiser.  Publishizer takes a small commission on pre-orders when you choose a publisher at the end.

Every year, thousands of books are rejected by the publishing world for reasons that have nothing to do with the quality of the book—they’re too mainstream or not mainstream enough, too similar to books already being published or too different from books already being published.  Or the literary agent just doesn’t stand to make much money on the deal so they pass on a perfectly good book!  Imagine how many brilliant YA manuscripts go unpublished every year thanks to frustrating rejections.  Imagine how many hugely talented authors quietly give up on their dreams, just because the gate to a traditional publishing path isn’t open to them.

With their new YA book proposal contest, Plot Without a Cause, Publishizer is seeking to level the playing field.  Publishing decisions shouldn’t be based solely on a literary agent’s judgement or how many friends you have in the industry. They should be based on quality of writing and how many readers the book attracts.

Great books get looked over all the time, and this is an opportunity to show acquiring editors that yours is worth paying attention to.  Not to mention the readership and funds you could gain in the process.  Crowdfunding (or crowd-publishing, in this case) is growing in popularity and brings a personal touch back to book sales—for readers and publishers.  Are you in?