Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Cover Reveal: A Little Faith by Emma James- Excerpt & Giveaway


Today I'm THRILLED to be participating in the cover reveal for A Little Faith by Emma James! Soon to be released on October 9th, A Little Faith is the debut novel from Aussie blogger Michelle from Novels on the Run written under the pen name of Emma James! Below I have an awesome excerpt to share as well as the cover reveal giveaway for 5 mobi copies of the book, but first lets look at that awesome cover.....
_________________________________________________
 
Title: A Little Faith
Author: Emma James
Publication date: 9th October 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
 
I had no idea a carefree island vacation would tear my life apart.
But now it’s time to put my walls up, make them impenetrable.
It’s the only way to survive.
~Faith

Six Years Later…

Harley, the protector. Retro, the straight shooter.
Keanu, the funny bone. Levi, the model. And Text, who can’t seem to find himself.

All their lives were permanently altered by one event.

With a pact made, these five best friends need something from Faith.

Is she ready now to give them what they have been waiting for?

Join Faith as she goes on an emotional and heartwarming discovery where all may not be what it seems.

But with every ending, comes a new beginning, a second chance.

You just gotta have A Little Faith...

Welcome to Ocean Beach.

“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.”
~ Bob Marley

Add on Goodreads!

 
THE ISLAND
 
CHANCE
It’s a hot and humid night. We’re all looking forward to a beer and some nightlife as we take the short walk from our hotel to the Coconut Club.
At this time of the year, the island is packed with tourists from all over the world. This means lots of beautiful girls in their tiny bikinis with a tan and a smile and everybody looking to have a good time.
Only ten days into our two week surfing vacation with my friends, I’ve been having the time of my life. We’ve met some great locals who have entrusted us with their secret surfing spots, which they keep on the down-low. These are their places to surf, not to be overrun by tourists.
The surf has been awesome. We’ve ridden alongside the locals, our boards attached to our motorcycles as we follow them through the hustle and bustle of the crazy traffic. I shit you not, it almost appears like there are no road rules over here. It’s like dodge ball with motorcycles. It’s been a hell of a lot of fun taking the bikes to the streets, weaving through the ridiculous traffic, honking our horns—quite the adrenaline ride.
Once we make it out of the shit storm of traffic and get on the quieter roads around the island, we're able to put the pedal to the metal and enjoy the scenery.
Fan-fucking-tastic!
Just don’t fucking crash has been our motto because the hospital service isn’t that great over here. You don’t want to wind up in it.
Since Faith would’ve loved to see some of the places we’ve been to and photograph them, Jase brought his camera and saved some of these memories for her. I can’t help thinking he has an interest in my sister. Jase is a great guy, however, so I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.
The locals have showed us the clubs and bars to check out. We know they receive commission for pointing us in the direction of certain places, but these guys don’t have the same opportunities we have been given in life, so why not help a guy out?
The food has been awesome. Keanu only got the shits for a few days—we did warn him about the water. We could smell him from across the hallway, making me glad I wasn’t sharing a room with Keanu. Levi got the short straw for those few days.
We’ve sat on the beach at night while Keanu, Levi, and Jase sang and strummed their guitars, entertaining a small crowd that gathered each evening while the sun sets. It's a pretty awesome way to watch the sun go down if you ask me. This has been such a great trip.
After four years of college, we all just graduated and decided to take this trip as a gift to ourselves for summer break. We’ve all got stuff we have applied for or are in the process of locking down when we get home except for Jase, who is the youngest in the group and our friend Harley’s younger brother. He wanted to come along; therefore, this is his vacation before he starts college.
We weren’t stupid; we all knew life was getting more serious and we were entering the next phase. We have our futures ahead of ourselves, yet who knew when we would be able to all get together and do this again? My only regret is Harley couldn’t make the trip.
He is moving ahead with his dream of owning a business—his college years were more about a backup plan. The guy is so smart. He plans way ahead. Out of all of us, he’s got his shit together the most. He landed himself a job that he couldn’t pass up. The boy is thinking big and has always been like that. He sees his future of owning a security business empire like a blueprint in his mind. I know he will make it happen, as well. He’s just that kind of guy.
Fuck, I love all these guys. My friends mean the world to me, and I would do anything for them.
Any-fucking-thing they asked of me.
The guys are all completely different. Well, maybe with the exception of Keanu and Levi. Those two are hilarious without trying and have this bond which glues them together. They have such a bromance going on that they will be friends for life. Nothing will get between them. They are brothers from another mother, through and through. Although, we all get along incredibly well.
Keanu and Levi have been spreading themselves among the ladies, while Retro seems happy enough just surfing, eating, and drinking. He’s got a lady on his mind back home, so he’s just letting his free spirit enjoy the waves and soak up the atmosphere.
I’ve been keeping a subtle eye on Jase; he’s been throwing back a few beers. The chicks love his blonde hair and mismatched blue and brown eyes. At eighteen, he isn’t technically underage here, only back home; as a result, he’s enjoying it while it lasts. I promised Harley, his brother, I would have his back and not let him get too out of control, however. So far, he’s only thrown up like the exorcist one night. I think that helped cure him of hitting it too hard for a few more days. The waves are more important than getting totally wasted and not being able to surf anyways.
We enter the Coconut Club and make our way to a high-top table with the stools. This place is starting to fill up. The DJ is playing loud techno, and the club is pumping with bodies on the dance floor moving in sync.
Retro offers to buy the first round and takes off to the bar before it gets too busy and you wind up waiting to be served for ages.
Levi and Keanu are already scouting the club for hot chicks, talking in each other’s ear, being each other’s wingman. The next second, they are both shouting, “Challenge. Accepted!” and bumping fists. I roll my eyes. They do this every night once they have locked down their female prey. The girls are here to party, looking for a good time, and these two aim to please.
The tourists are all in party mode on the island. Inhibitions are left at the door. After what I have seen, I don’t think I will be letting my future daughter ever come on a vacation for summer break until she is at least thirty.
Hell. No.
Jase has already been spotted by a group of girls who are all giggling and pointing at him. I can’t help feeling proud of him. He was somewhat of a geek at school and I suppose Harley and my boys rubbed off on him. Now he’s buff and enjoying the female attention. His blonde hair and striking mismatched eyes make him stand out from the crowd.
We are all a pretty good looking bunch. We look after ourselves, and we hit up a fair bit of extreme sports. It keeps us fit. We aren’t the indoorsy type. We study hard, but we play hard, too.
One day, all this carefree stuff will have to be locked down, but at the moment, we are young and single and generally don’t do anything by halves.
It’s all or nothing.
******
We’ve been here for a couple hours now. It’s been a great night of letting loose and jumping about on the dance floor.
“It’s my buy,” I have to shout over the music. I head over to the bar, where the crowd is two people deep all along its length, waiting to be served. This could take a while with only a couple bar tenders serving.
My mind drifts to Faith, my kid sister by eight years. I’m looking forward to seeing her when we get home. I’ve got a week lined up to spend with her and the folks before heading back to San Diego. Today, I bought her a brightly colored sarong, figuring chicks love that sort of thing when they come here. Jase has it packed in his suitcase since I’ve bought quite a bit of souvenirs for family, and my bag is at its weight limit.
I know how much she wanted to come on this vacation with us and loves photography; as a result, I've taken a lot of pictures on my phone to show her.
I bought her a Canon old-school camera when she was nearly eleven, just before we left for college, so she could play about with it. I hoped to keep her busy with a hobby while I was away because I hated leaving her. She hung around with us more than her own friends. Regardless, I loved having her around, and the guys didn’t mind. I knew leaving her was going to leave a hole in her life.
Four years later, she is now nearly fifteen. I think she may have a career as a photographer. She takes awesome photos, and I know she wants a dark room. Our mom and dad have bought her a digital camera for her birthday in just over two months, while I’ve organized for some dark room equipmentthe perfect present for Faith. I can’t wait to see her face when we give it all to her. The best of both photography worlds for her to play around with.
Jase clamps one hand on my shoulder and yells in my ear, “Hey, Chance, thought you might like some company while you’re standing up here waiting. I’ll help you bring the beers over. The wingmen are working the beat, and Retro’s gone to take a piss.”
When I look over and see Levi and Keanu dancing all over a couple of girls, I can’t help laughing at them. They certainly love chicks.
“This crowd is sure thirsty.” I smile at Jase. I’ve been standing here awhile already. “The downfall of summer break vacationing.”
Jase is a nice guy. He’s always thinking about others. He’s seen both sides of the school crowd, popular and unpopular. He was bullied for being a geek at school, so he is sensitive to others and thinks of their feelings. Once he started coming out of his shell and growing, his features started to get noticed by the girls. Luckily, Harley was there to help with his self-esteem. He used to take him out back at their home and get him to pound the heavy bag. Afterward, they’d lift weights and go jogging together.
Jase is a much deeper guy than a lot of people realize. We knew. The stupid assholes at his school, on the other hand, were threatened by what they knew he could become. He had smarts, a personality to match, and his looks were starting to shine through. Harley just helped nudge it along with some brotherly advice and some older brother knowledge of what makes a girl’s head turn.
Jase knew what he was capable of and never got a big head. It was like he was waiting for the right girl, someone with smarts he could be attracted to. Jase was always studying or hanging with his geeky friends. You could give him a makeover, but he always stayed true to his friends. He saw people for who they were, not what they looked like. He looked into people’s souls, not just the pretty face. I think someone was counted very lucky if they were friends with Jase.
Jase’s voice invades my thoughts, “So, how’s Faith? Have you spoken to her lately?”
“I texted her earlier, letting her know how we were all doing.”
I decide to wind Jase up a bit. “I let your dad know you’ve been making up for lost time with the beers.” I’m trying to keep a straight face.
“What the fuck, Chance? I told Dad I have been behaving myself. Mom and Dad only let me come on this trip as long as I behaved.”
I’m laughing out loud. Sometimes it’s too easy playing with Jase. The look on his face, priceless. “I’m only joking. I haven’t ratted you out. Harley was a lot wilder than you, anyway. Trust me, you’re a saint compared to what he was getting up to at your age.”
I finally get served, and we haul the beers back to our table where Keanu, Levi, and Retro are waiting. We do a salute with our beers before taking a drink.
It’s now around eleven-thirty, and the crowd is thinning out a little. We’re all feeling pretty relaxed. We have a crack of dawn surf we want to get in, and we need to drive an hour to get to the spot; therefore, we are keeping ourselves on the right side of sober.
Barely.
Keanu and Levi have wandered off somewhere and Retro’s gone for another piss while Jase and I are chilling and talking when, suddenly, there is a bit of commotion in the club. A young Asian guy with a backpack has climbed up onto a table, screaming like a wild man. I can’t understand what he’s saying; he’s not speaking English.
Jase is standing beside me, shouting in my ear, “What the fuck is that guy’s problem?”
I’ve got no idea. He’s still screaming wildly, his face is dripping with sweat, and he keeps wiping his face on his sleeve. He’s angry and agitated with fear in his eyes, and he’s gulping down air.
The young guy, who doesn’t look much older than us, pulls something out of his pocket, holding it above his head, waving it about. I wish I knew what he was yelling about.
Sensing something isn’t right with this guy, the bar's crowd begins trying to move away, making their way towards the entrance.
Seconds have ticked by.
I grab Jase and move him away from the inevitable crush while I search the crowd for Levi, Retro, and Keanu.
I shout over the music, “Fuck! I can’t see where the others are.” I need to know where they are. Right. Now.
It’s only been about twenty seconds since the guy made himself known. I’ve moved us to the other side of the bar, as far away as we can shuffle through the crowd from the crazy guy.
The front entrance is getting a line up as people shove at others. In the few seconds we’ve grabbed, I keep my eyes on him as we move. The kid is positively shaking. Then, his thumb raises and starts to press down on the device in his hand.
Jesus!
I duck, grabbing a girl near me around the waist and shoving both her and Jase behind a table and some chairs. I try to cover them as much as I can, pushing their heads down.
Boom!
There is a loud explosion that rocks our ear drums.
I look up from our crouched position over the table top. Blood has rained down on us. It’s everywhere. Bits of what I can only describe as flesh have landed on the table we are hiding behind. There is a horrid, burnt smell in the air. People are crying out. The girl with us has gotten up and blended into the crowd. Everyone is moving like a herd of scared cattle towards the club entrance.
“Fuck. The guy blew himself up. Fuck.” I’m talking almost to myself. I feel like I’m in a vacuum. I can’t really hear. I can only stare.
I’m stunned by what just happened. A lot of people tried to take cover like we did, yet I can see bodies lying on the ground. Are they dead? There is blood and bits of flesh covering people like a macabre abstract painting. It’s everywhere.
Where are the guys? I shake a stunned Jase, and we get up from our crouched position. The music has been drowned out by the screams and sounds of fear inside the club. I shake my head, my ears continuing to ring.
As people push and shove past us, I take stock of our surroundings. The explosion was enough to blow the kid up and collect anybody within its radius of fallout.
What the fuck. Was this a joke? Is this some staged prank? I’m having trouble believing what I’m seeing.
Jase and I look at each other.
I have to snap out of it.
What the fuck did this guy do?
Why?
What the fuck!
“We need to find the guys and get out of here,” Jase is shouting at me, the fear clearly evident in his voice.
I rub my hand through my hair, dislodging bits of gunk. I don’t want to think about what it is. “Can you see the others?” I’m probably shouting back at him since I can’t hear myself properly.
The rest of the crowd who are still inside the bar have just woken up from their places of stunned disbelief and are frantically trying to help their friends or the person closest to them. They are as desperate as we are to get out of the club and to safety. They know something is wrong. Very, very wrong. This is no longer the happy place it was a few minutes ago.
I herd a group of crying European girls I noticed earlier hanging out together tonight, splattered with blood and other bits, towards the front entrance. “Go!” I tell the one who looks the most with it. “Take your friends and get out of here. Get yourselves some help. Just stick together.”
She nods slowly at me as she pushes her friends out the door.
I look for Jase, finding him grabbing some other girls, getting them to move and telling them not to look back.
But I did.
Carnage is spread out like a horror movie scene. The lighting in the club is a lot dimmer in parts, and broken glass is everywhere, being crunched under foot. Tables and chairs have been turned over, toppled in the panic. There is a bloody mess where the guy had once stood. I try not to look too closely.
Why would a guy do that to himself? It doesn't make sense
I can only hope the other guys are safe. Where the fuck are they?
As fear fully sets in, the remaining people in the bar are full-blown making a push-and-shove run for it. It's not a good way to get through a narrow doorway. A couple of guys are smashing the glass frontage with bar stools, trying to speed up the evacuation. Everybody wants out.
I’m looking around for a back exit. While there must be one, I can’t see a sign from where I’m standing. When I hear a new wave of terrified screaming and crying, I turn to the front of the club. A blue delivery van has been driven up to where the guys broke the glass front.
“Fuck, what now?” I mumble.
A guy gets out and runs off, leaving the car door open. There are still people trying to escape through the broken windows near the van. If that van has what I think is in it, they won’t stand a chance. This shit is real.
“Fuck. I’m sorry, Faith, Mom, Dad,” I barely hear myself say. I know what’s coming.
I grab Jase and try to get as far from the front of the bar as possible.
I’m sorry, Harley.
Anywhere, but the front.
I throw Jase in front of me, and we push against the crowd. We make some distance, but not enough.
Retro, Levi, and Keanu, please be safe.
Then it happens.
 
 

 

Emma James lives in Queensland, Australia with her smexi husband ,three children and a big black Labrador. Life is busy and most entertaining in the James household. She often bounces ideas off her family and gets very creative responses. She loves to read as much as write. Daytime for writing, night time for reading.

She hopes to surprise you with her debut book, A Little Faith.

Visit Emma:

5 x Mobi files – A Little Faith , up for grabs. Prizes will be sent out on 10th October 2014 a Rafflecopter giveaway

I have to say a BIG CONGRATS to Emma. I know this is such a big milestone for you and I'm so thrilled to be a part of this and help you celebrate this!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Book Shelf: Inheritance (Inheritance #1) by Lisa Forrest

Cirkulatti: a person descended from circus performers of the ancient world, rumoured to have supernatural gifts...

Tallulah has always known she was different. She can communicate without speaking, a secret she shares only with her childhood nanny, Irena, who warns Tallulah that gifts like hers are not always welcome.

When Tallulah begins training at the prestigious Cirque d′Avenir school, it soon becomes clear the troupe is not all that it seems. As Tallulah is drawn deeper into a world of dark, ancient powers and centuries-old greed, she must call on the skills Irena taught her -- and on the protection of the mysterious cuff Irena gave her for safekeeping.

But what is the secret of the power the cuff holds? And why are men willing to die to possess it? Tallulah always knew her gift was dangerous... But will it stop her from accepting her true inheritance?


More info on Goodreads.....


Review:

Inheritance is the first book in Lisa Forrest’s Inheritance series and is a debut novel that explores ancient circus performers like never before in this unique and fresh tale!

I have to be honest; I was really excited to read this novel. I’m always excited to read new Aussie fiction, especially when the novel is set in Australia and Inheritance very much caught my attention the moment I read about its unique concept. Unfortunately, Inheritance didn’t completely live up to my expectations, although I will consider reading the next instalment to see how Forest continues to develop the story.  

Inheritance follows seventeen year old Tallulah, a young woman who has always known she was different. When Tallulah begins training at the esteemed Cirque d’Avenir, a school for budding circus performers and artists, Tallulah discovers that the abilities and secrets she has always shared with her nanny Irena mark her as something special, a Cirkulatti. Drawn into dangerous Cirkulatti politics and a centuries old mystery, Tallulah slowly discovers that her abilities set her apart from even the Cirkulatti and mean she’s even more different than she ever imagined. 

I think the concept within Inheritance is absolutely sensational. I’ve never seen such manner of circus performers explored and linked in the way Lisa Forrest manages to do so in Inheritance. And yet I don’t think it met the potential it displayed when I first began the book. I would have liked to spend a little more time understand all the different performers; clowns, strongmen, flamethrowers and more, rather than focuses so much on Tallulah’s life which in my eyes paled in comparison to the possibilities of the circus folk.   

Overall I didn’t mind Tallulah as the main character, but where were times when I struggled to connect with her too. I understand Forrest wrote Tallulah’s character with the intention of her being powerful and having a huge importance to the Cirkulatti that we still don’t yet understand, but sometimes this came across as too obvious and I felt it was thrown in my face repeatedly when it wasn’t necessary.

I liked the different characters in this book and how they form different friendships with Tallulah. I would have liked to have seen more of certain individuals as they really would have complimented the story more. I was a bit perplexed by Tallulah’s love interests, as I thought one was too obvious and the other almost non-existent, although it was clear Forrest wanted to display a connection between Tallulah and this certain guy. 

Inheritance is a very detailed book and races towards a climactic ending that sees betrayals come to light by some characters you’re simply not expecting. A solid start to a new series but an Aussie author; I may just be persuaded to pick up the second book to see what happens next!

Rating:
Source: Sent for review by Harper Collins Australia (Thank you guys!)
Format: Paperback
Buy it: Bookworld (Paperback) | Bookworld (Ebook) | The NileKobo
My Recommendation: If you're looking for something different this may be it!
Cover: Very pretty; love the cover model's dark look and the yellow--goes wonderfully.
Will I read sequel/continue with series: Yes, I think I'd like to know more.....


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Free Ebooks

Hi guys!

Check out some of the free kindle ebooks I've discovered on Amazon lately! Hope you find something new :)


 
Did you manage to get something new and different?
Be sure to check back for more future freebie posts!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Book Shelf: Luck of the Dragon (Las Vegas Dragons #1) by Susannah Scott

Luciana de Luca has a PhD in sass and gemology—and a problem. Her twin brother’s gambling debts have gotten out of hand, and a mob enforcer is blackmailing her to rob the latest, greatest mega-casino on the Strip. Although Lucy has worked her whole life to get away from her family’s grifter past, to save her brother, she dons three-inch heels and a sluts-r-us dress and struts into Alec’s Gerald’s casino, determined to put her long-forgotten thieving ways to the test again.

Alec Gerald, a shape-shifting dragon, has built the Crown Jewel casino to provide sanctuary for his people amongst the flash and awe of Las Vegas. Unfortunately, the sexy little thief trying to steal his largest diamond exhibit turns out to be his mate, and he must woo her before he loses his dragon form forever. But before he can handcuff her to his bed and explain the details of a mating ceremony, an enemy attacks and threatens to destroy his casino, his people, and his newfound mate.


More info on Goodreads.....


Review:

Luck of the Dragon in the first novel in Susannah Scott’s debut series that follows a bunch of dragon-shifters who own and operate the luxurious Crown Jewel Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and sees king of the dragons Alec meet the human who is set to steal his heart and become his destined mate.

I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t exactly gone the traditional route where this series is concerned; considering I read the second book, Stop Dragon My Heart Around prior to reading this first installment. In my defense, I didn’t know Stop Dragon My Heart Around was a sequel before I read it. I quickly realized I had missed a book though and set out to read Luck of the Dragon as soon as possible. I’ve finally had the chance to read Luck of the Dragon, and I have to say I’m thrilled to admit both books are as good as each other!

As a fan of PNR I’ve read lots of shifter tales, although this is one of the few dragon-shifter series I’ve read. I am however quite impressed with the world and characters Scott has written. They’re fresh and unique and endlessly likable. I’m already very invested in the lives of some of the minor characters and eager to hear their tales.

As far as characters go I really liked Lucy and Alec. Lucy is feisty and brave; willing to put herself in difficult situations to help out the brother she loves, but who continues to get himself in strife. Alec was bold, fierce and so, so sexy. As a leader he oozes confidence and goes after what he wants, which in this instance is Lucy.

I thought as individuals they were strong characters and I really enjoyed the romance Scott wrote where they were concerned. They had lovely chemistry and a great connection. I liked that they kept each other on their toes and that despite the struggles they faced and the mistakes made by one of them (not naming names here!) they managed to find their own happily ever after.

Having already read the second book featuring Leo and Tee, I’m already really excited to dive into the third book. Thanks to a little birdie (Susannah Scott!), I know what the third book will most likely feature Mei and Darius and I’m so ecstatic to read their tale!

Rating:
Source: Sent for review by Entangled Publishing (Thank you guys!)
Format: Ebook
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
My Recommendation: If you're looking for a fun PNR and you'll enjoy this---and it has dragons ;)
Cover: I think the cover is beautiful--love the flowing nature of the models dress
Will I read sequel/continue with series: Yes

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Release Day Launch: Guardian by Courtney Cole- Excerpt & Giveaway


Today I'm participating in the Release Day Launch for Guardian by Courtney Cole. Below you'll find an excellent excerpt & giveaway. Plus to celebrate Courtney’s Birthday, she is putting a bunch of her titles on sale for just $.99 on August 28th ONLY!
___________________________________________

Sometimes, things that go bump in the night are real.

My name is Whitney Lane.  I’m sixteen years old and at first, I thought I was crazy.

I kept seeing shadows move along walls, and hearing whispers around corners, but whenever I looked, there was never anything there. 

Until one day, there was.

Our world isn’t what we think.  There are things around us, good things, bad things, scary things. 

Things that we tell ourselves aren’t real, but they are.  

They’re very real, and they’re terrifying.

I’ve been swept up now, in a battle of good and evil, confused about love and what is supposed to be love, but isn’t.  I don’t know what to think anymore.  I can’t trust my emotions and I don’t know what is true. 

There’s only one thing I know for sure.

Nothing is what it seems.


Purchase
Amazon | KoboiBooks
 
 
From Guardian....
Sometimes the things that go bump in the night are real.


Happy birthday to me.

 
I close my eyes and burrow into my pillow as I try to sleep, as I try to escape this life.

It’s a life I never thought I’d have, a life I most certainly don’t want.

I’m still feeling sorry for myself as the blackness of sleep finally overtakes me.

I don’t know what time it is when I shoot straight upward like a rocket. Something had yanked me from the oblivion of sleep, something loud and shrill scraping my window.

My room is completely dark and I glanceat my clock in confusion.

3:00 a.m.

As my heart pounds hard against my ribcage, I quickly scan every corner of the room.

In the last few hours, dark shadows had migrated onto my pink walls, but they’re familiar, nothing out of the ordinary, although in the night, they seem twisted and scary.

I remain motionless as I allow the sleep-induced fog to clear from my brain.

As I sit, I feel common sense and logic slowly returning.

Of course nothing had touched my window because my bedroom is on the second floor. Nothing can reach it. And there are no trees near enough to brush against it. It was just a dream.


It was only a dream.
I chant it silently to myself like a mantra as I consciously slow my breathing down, hoping that my racing pulse will soon follow. It was only a dream.

But just as I’m calming down, I hear it again.

A high-pitched shrill shriek, reminiscent of fingernails on a chalkboard, scraping down my window. I gasp and pull my feet up to my chest, which is when I notice the temperature.

I notice because I can see my breath.

Timidly, I blow a puff out again, watching the way my breath turns white in the air.

Holy crap. Oh my God.
What the hell?

The sound stops and stillness surrounds me once again, the silence so loud that it echoes in my ear.

Nothing moves around me, the shadows are perfectly still as they twist across my wall. They look like mangled fingers and arms and legs, but they don’t move.

My legs are weak and shaking, but I know I have to move. I have to move off my bed because it feels like something is under it. Something terrifying.

With a leap, I bound across the room, my feet hitting the floor several feet away from the edge of my bed.

The floor is ice cold, as though it had been covered in a blanket of snow.

I’m trembling as I race to the far wall and check the thermostat. Because that’s the only explanation. I must’ve bumped it earlier, I must’ve turned the AC way down.

But the luminous numbers stare at me in contradiction.

74 degrees.

It must be broken. It has to be broken.

My breath is coming in pants now, terrified, anxious pants.

My fear isn’t logical. I know there’s nothing here. I’m the only one in this room.

Or am I?
The air seems to push at me from all around, something dark, something heavy, something real. Something unseen.

My fingers shake, my legs tremble, and then all of a sudden, they can no longer support my weight. I go down like a pile of bricks, collapsing onto the floor. I lie still because I can’t move, because something seems to sit on my chest, holding me down.

The shadows start to move, to slither across the walls, to reach and pull and dance.

I struggle to focus, to see what it is.

But all I can see are the numbers on the thermostat suddenly moving, rapidly counting down from 74 to 20.

Twenty degrees?

The air is frigid as I suck it in, as I try to pull the ice crystals into my mouth so I can breathe.

All of a sudden, there’s a blackness in front of me. It hovers over me, a shapeless mass, sucking in the cells of the air, the atoms and the molecules. It’s darker than the blackness of my room, blacker than the blackest black.

Something is here.

With me.

"Dad?" I whisper in a white puff. Because what else could it be?

I reach out a finger to touch it, and then I can’t see anything else, because the darkness of it surrounds me, bleeding into everything else, even my vision. The shriek is back, screaming into my ears, bleeding into my brain.

Then there’s nothing.

Want more? Get your copy of Guardian today!

Courtney Cole's currently having a $0.99 sale on some of her books for August 28th ONLY!

Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could. She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds. She loves chocolate and roller coasters and hates waiting and rude people.

Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.


Visit Courtney:

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Book Blast: Stolen Moon by Kimber Leigh Wheaton- Excerpt & Giveaway

I'm super excited to be participating in the Release Blast for Stolen Moon by Kimber Leigh Wheaton! I LOVED the first book in Wheaton's Light Chronicles, Shadow Fire and I can't wait to dive into the second book in the series! To help Kimber celebrate I've got a fabulous except seeing the two main characters meeting for the first time and kick-ass giveaway to share with you guys!
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Katarina ~ a Royal Knight bound by honor and duty who steals a powerful relic from a sorcerer in a desperate attempt to save her kingdom from the clutches of a madman.

Ethan ~ a mercenary leader trapped between his growing attraction to Katarina and his responsibility to protect his friends from the evil pursuing her.

Zebulon ~ a malicious sorcerer waging war as though it's a game, caring nothing for the lives he destroys in his quest for power.

Drawn together by a moonstone medallion—an indestructible relic with immense magical power.
Katarina steals the medallion from Zebulon and flees in the dead of night. Together with Ethan and his mercenaries, she struggles to stay one step ahead of the sorcerer and his minions in a race against time to save her homeland. Fierce battles, ravenous monsters, and bloodthirsty brigands—those are no surprise. But Katarina never dreamed her greatest obstacle could be falling in love.

Add Stolen Moon on Goodreads or check out my 5 star review of Shadow Fire!

Purchase:

 
From Stolen Moon.....

He moves to sit on the edge of the fountain in the middle of the square. I follow and join him on the ledge, watching him glare at the gurgling water. His hands play in the water for a few moments before he pulls them out and turns his fake smile to me.

"How can I help you?" he asks, though I get the feeling he has no intention of helping me based on his dark glare.

"I'm looking for Ethan Avalon," I say, gazing at the handsome man.
My eyes lock onto his full, red lips. For a moment I imagine what it would be like to kiss those smirking lips. Warmth floods my body, spreading from my neck up to my cheeks.

"I'd give just about anything to know what you're thinking right now," he says, his voice deep and husky, sending tiny shivers down my arms.
This time the smile does reach his eyes—they sparkle like twin emeralds. My pulse quickens as I continue gazing at his face. His real smile is breathtaking, and my heart flutters within my chest.

"I'm Ethan, by the way."

"I'm Katarina Zamora," I reply while trying to calm my racing heart. If he doesn't stop with the glowing smile, I'll lose all ability to think. "I'm in desperate need of a mercenary's assistance, and a friend told me I should find you."

The words aren't coming out the way I planned. They become garbled somewhere between my brain and my mouth. The amused look on his face isn't helping the situation at all.

"And what kind of help do you need?" he asks in a polite but bored tone.

His face has reverted to the soulless smirk. I kick myself for mourning the loss of his real smile. What's wrong with me? I've been surrounded by stunning male specimens for the last few days, weeks if I include Captain Harris. This is the first time my hormones have spiraled out of control. Finding the resting place for this medallion before Zebulon catches me should be my priority. Yet all I can think about is kissing this gorgeous man. I wonder if he'd think me strange if I slapped myself. Right now I wish someone would.

"You know, that soulless smirk of yours is unnerving," I say, gazing at him. "Your real smile suits you much better."

Did I just say that? Hormones one, Katarina zero.

"Thanks," he replies, tipping his head to the side. I'm pleased to see his eyes sparkling again when his genuine smile returns to grace his face. "Most people never notice the difference."

"Then they're blind fools." I really should start thinking before opening my mouth.


Kimber Leigh Wheaton is a bestselling YA/NA author with a soft spot for sweet romance. She is married to her soul mate, has a teenage son, and shares her home with three dogs, four cats, and lots of dragons. No, she doesn’t live on a farm, she just loves animals. Kimber Leigh is addicted to romance, videogames, superheroes, villains, and chocolate—not necessarily in that order. (If she has to choose, she’ll take a chocolate covered superhero!) She currently lives in San Antonio, TX but has been somewhat a rolling stone in life, having resided in several different cities and states.

Visit Kimber:

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I want to say a BIG CONGRATS to Kimber on her new release---I just know it's going to be as amazing as the first book. I urge you all to read Shadow Fire if you haven't already; you won't regret it!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Book Shelf: No Rest for the Wicked (Immortals After Dark #3) by Kresley Cole

In this next installment in the Immortals After Dark Series, USA Today Bestselling author Kresley Cole delivers a scorching tale about a forbidding vampire who lives in the shadows and the beautiful assassin who hunts him there.

A vampire soldier weary of life...

Centuries ago, Sebastian Wroth was turned into a vampire—a nightmare in his mind—against his will. Burdened with hatred and alone for ages, he sees little reason to live. Until an exquisite, fey creature comes to kill him, inadvertently saving him instead.

A valkyrie assassin dispatched to destroy him...

When Kaderin the Cold Hearted lost her two beloved sisters to a vampire attack long ago, a benevolent force deadened her sorrow—accidentally extinguishing all of her emotions. Yet whenever she encounters Sebastian, her feelings—particularly lust—emerge multiplied. For the first time, she's unable to complete a kill.

Competitors in a legendary hunt...

The prize of the month-long contest is powerful enough to change history, and Kaderin will do anything to win it for her sisters. Wanting only to win her, forever, Sebastian competes as well, taking every opportunity—as they travel to ancient tombs and through catacombs, seeking relics around the world—to use her new feelings to seduce her. But when forced to choose between the vampire she's falling for and reuniting her family, how can Kaderin live without either?


More info on Goodreads....


Review:

No Rest For The Wicked is Kresley Cole's second installment in her Immortals After Dark and is an exciting, sensual tale featuring a brilliant heroine and a brilliant hero!

Having heard so many brilliant things about this series, I've been so excited to finally read it, that I was disappointed to find that I didn't exactly love the first book in the series. In fact, I had a few issues with it, but I was still ready to give the next book a go....and boy am I glad I did! No Rest For The Wicked was a thrilling read, and so much better than the first book in the series!

From the very opening chapter in this book, I knew I was going to like the main characters. There was just something about Kaderin and Sebastian that drew me from the beginning and as the story progressed I only wound up liking them more.

Kaderin the Coldhearted certainly wasn't what I was expecting. We met her briefly in A Hunger Like No Other and I have to be honest and say there wasn't anything about her that stood out then. And yet in this book, she had me wrapped around her little finger! Kaderin was a fierce warrior and more than capable to taking care of herself, but she was also very likeable, and as her emotions and feelings slowly came back to her in this story, it became quite evident that she had a good heart.

As for Sebastian...wow! What a fantastic male lead! It's no secret that I didn't exactly like Lachlain in book one, but Sebastian shines in No Rest For The Wicked with his good nature and attitude. I have to give Kresley Cole props for writing such a fantastic male character in Sebastian--he held many alpha traits I expect from a PNR hero, but he was also very insecure and unsure of himself in a way that lent to him being a softer man at times. He was a gentleman and honorable and truly did have a good soul. Basically he was the perfect blend of strength and power with intelligence and vulnerability.

Together, Kaderin and Sebastian really did have great chemistry. Cole writes their romance perfectly, with their intensity and attraction undeniable, but their relationship also one that grows and deepens over time. They brought out the best in each other and really enhanced the novel with their chemistry together; evident from the opening chapter.

I must say, I'm becoming quite intrigued by the characters we're meeting throughout the series so far. Every time a new character is introduced, I find myself picturing, and hoping for, future stories featuring them and I'm thrilled to know Cole has written some featuring many of the characters I already look forward to reading about such as Bowen, Reign, Murdoch, Conrad, and more.

After a great installment in this series, I look forward to getting my hands on the next few books!


Rating:
Source: I bought
Format: Paperback
Buy it: Bookworld | The Nile | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Recommendation: For PNR lovers
Cover: This one is still quite corny, but still sexy.
Will I read sequel/continue with series: Yes.