Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Cover Reveal for Veiled by Stacey Rourke


Veiled by Stacey Rourke
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Cover Designer: Wicked Book Covers
Publication Date: Nov. 7th, 2017

Blurb: 
Political propaganda would have us believe vampires are our friends. Fanged teddy bears misunderstood thanks to archaic lore. Activists picket for them to be welcomed into our society.
They claim vamps don't kill.
They preach we are safe.
They ... are dead wrong.
One year ago a hive slaughtered my family and left me for dead. Found by a team of scientists with their own agenda, I was forged into an unstoppable weapon.
I possess their strength, with none of their weaknesses.
I can move among them free from their crippling hunger.
I am their greatest threat.
Armed with this arsenal, vengeance will feed my desire to penetrate the seedy underbelly of their fetishized lifestyle and expose them for the monsters they truly are.
RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel
Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012
Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013 
Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Adapted for Film. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head. 

Visit her at www.staceyrourke.com
diaryofasemi-crazyauthor.blogspot.com
Facebook at www.facebook.com/staceyrourkeauthor
or on Twitter or instagram at Rourkewrites.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Updates and Workshops

Hello there lovelies!

I've pretty much taken the last week or so off. Sometimes you need to take a little time off social media and everything, in order to recharge yourself. And well I tanked the #LetteringPotterLines challenge on Instagram. I just didn't want to do anything. I did take two pictures but I still haven't posted them.

I found that doing something new just for myself really helps. With no expectations, and no need to take pictures to post on the social media, it made me relax and just wind down basically. Trying on something new doesn't necessarily mean that you need to break your bank for it. There are plenty of things that you can try that won't cost as much. The two things that I'm trying this month are watercolours and an online webinar/workshop. Then next month I'm trying on basics of Calligraphy!

(Lemme know in the comments below if you would like to see which workshops and events I'm participating in.)

I participated in a super fun Show Me Your Florals Workshop that I ABSOLUTELY LOVED! Thank you Stephanie and Becca for organising this. This was my first ever time using water colours. And it was so fun! I didn't take a single picture during the whole challenge week, but did take pictures after to thank Stephanie for hosting the workshop. 


Even though the challenge is officially over, you can still access the FREE workshop materials and learn basics of watercolour by signing up for a free one week challenge HERE.

I also signed up for a FREE live online seminar or "webinar" -
"FIGHT PROCRASTINATION WITH POSITIVE THINKING" by Shelby from Little Coffee Fox and Kara from Boho Berry
This workshop is today (17th August 2017) at 11 Central (9:30PM here in India), so there is still time to sign up for it.

By now you know I struggle with procrastination and positive thinking, so this workshop is PERFECT. And I want to do it with all of you lovelies. Join me and let's prepare to kick some procrastination ass!
Read more about it HERE and Sign up for it HERE or right from Shelby's Blog. 

Another thing that I'm looking forward to is the Show Me Your Drills Challenge by Becca at The Happy Ever Crafter. I absolutely loved the Show Me Your Florals Challenge and I'm really looking forward to the Show Me Your Drills Challenge. This challenge will focus on the basic drills for calligraphy. I think this will be the perfect way to start with calligraphy and lettering, which is something that I've wanted to do for a long time. The registration closes on September 3rd 2017 and the challenge starts the very next day. 
You can sign up for the challenge HERE.

PS: This post is in no way sponsored, I just wanted to put this out there and share the love. ♥
PPS: Comment below and let me know if you want me to post more about workshops and challenges and such. ♥♥♥

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter to keep in touch and see snippets of what I'm up to.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Cover Reveal for Fragile by Diana Nixon

Fragile by Diana Nixon

Blurb:
She was off the limits for many reasons: too young, too naΓ―ve, and too beautiful to resist. But most of all – because she was my best friend’s little sister. She was like a taboo that should have never been broken.
But we crossed the line together… We gave in to the temptation and made a mistake that changed us forever.
Years passed, but for some unknown reason, the memories of her never stopped haunting my dreams.
I was even more obsessed with her than I was years ago, while she hated me to the bone. And she had a very good reason to feel that way…
“I owe you a lifetime of us, and I will not let you down, not again…”

Author Bio:

Diana Nixon, an International Bestselling Author of contemporary and paranormal romances, is a woman of contradictions. She was born in Minsk., Belarus. She has a Master of Law degree and speaks several foreign languages, including English, Polish and Spanish.

Diana’s writing career is like a roller coaster ride. It started with a fantasy novel named Love Lines, that was originally written in Russian and only later, it was translated into English. Since then, Diana has published 18 more books, both of contemporary and fantasy genres. Her books are being translated into Spanish, French and Russian.

Diana Nixon is the founder of Inks & Scratches, a literary magazine intended to help authors of all genres find readers and spread the news about their writing all over the world. 


LINKS:

Official page: www.diana-nixon.com
Twitter: @DianaNixon9 https://twitter.com/DianaNixon9
Instagram: @authordiananixonhttps://www.instagram.com/authordiananixon/

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Review for TS901: Anomaly by Stacey Rourke and Tish Thawer


TS901: Anomaly by Stacey Rourke and Tish Thawer

Blurb:

Tainted water for the good of the people. Fluoride and vitamins to sustain the health of the human race. Added ingredients to extend and elevate the quality of life. All good things, right?

Wrong.

Thia Kelly has been changed by the TS901 chemical in the world’s water supply. Now, forced into hiding with the other inflicted outcasts, she struggles to survive as her powers emerge.

Evan Daniels hunted for others like himself, and finding Thia suddenly brought meaning back into his life. Love blossomed between the strange couple while they searched for a way to reverse the effects. Unfortunately, the Government had something else in mind.

Super-soldier creation on a mass scale was their end goal, and thanks to an unfortunate family tie, Evan became Patient #1.

Good-guy? Bad-guy? The world isn’t sure, but Thia is left with only one choice––save the ass of the world’s first Anomaly who just happens to be her boyfriend.

TS901:Anomaly - Rise of the Rebels

Review:

A post shared by TJ πŸ“– (@thecuriositykey) on

TS901: Anomaly is a gritty dystopian novel by Stacey Rourke and Tish Thawer. I've loved books by Stacey Rourke and when I read the blurb for this book, I knew I just HAD to read this one too. I thought the book would be a bit chaotic because two different authors were writing it, but when I read this book, I have to say that the writing style blended together beautifully. 

TS901: Anomaly does not have the same feel as I've come to expect and love by Stacey Rourke, its grittier and a little bit more serious I guess? Nevertheless, it was a great read. It did have its sassy moments and was pretty entertaining. 

The Malies were my favourites, obviously. I loved how all the characters were so different and had a distinct voice. I feel I enjoyed this book more because it was pretty fast paced and the descriptions of the characters and their powers were pretty great. It was like watching a mini movie in my head.

The scene with the lab is still giving me nightmares. 


I just wish that this book was a little more polished. I was waiting for a wow moment in the book and maybe because I guessed one of the major reveals in the plots, I didn't really get that impact? I dunno.

Overall, I think that TS901: Anomaly was a pretty good start to a series. This series has a lot of scope to grow and become a fan favourite. I can't wait to see where the authors take it!

Dystopian and Sci-Fi lovers will enjoy this book. 


Friday, 4 August 2017

Cover Reveal for ISAN by Mary Ting



ISAN
Mary Ting
Publication date: May 1st 2018
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Blurb:
The world has changed.
Scientists warned it would happen.
Meteors devastated the Earth. World Governments developed plans to help surviving citizens. The United States disbanded and salvageable land was divided into four quadrants—North, South, East, and West—governed by The Remnant Council.
Struggling to survive, seventeen-year-old Ava ends up in juvenile detention, until she is selected for a new life—with a catch. She must be injected with an experimental serum. The results will be life changing. The serum will make her better. To receive the serum Ava agrees to join a program controlled by ISAN, the International Sensory Assassin Network.
While on a training mission, she is abducted by a rebel group led by Rhett and told that not only does she have a history with him, but her entire past is a lie perpetuated by ISAN to ensure her compliance. Unsure of who to trust, Ava must decide if her strangely familiar and handsome captor is her enemy or her savior—and time is running out.


Author Bio:
International Bestselling Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children's chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.

XBTBanner1

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

TS901: Anomaly by Stacey Rourke and Tish Thawer + Giveaway


TS901: ANOMALY by Stacey Rourke & Tish Thawer
Genre: NA Dystopian

Blurb: Tainted water for the good of the people. Fluoride and vitamins to sustain the health of the human race. Added ingredients to extend and elevate the quality of life. All good things, right?

Wrong.

Thia Kelly has been changed by the TS901 chemical in the world’s water supply. Now, forced into hiding with the other inflicted outcasts, she struggles to survive as her powers emerge.

Evan Daniels hunted for others like himself, and finding Thia suddenly brought meaning back into his life. Love blossomed between the strange couple while they searched for a way to reverse the effects. Unfortunately, the Government had something else in mind.

Super-soldier creation on a mass scale was their end goal, and thanks to an unfortunate family tie, Evan became Patient #1.

Good-guy? Bad-guy? The world isn’t sure, but Thia is left with only one choice––save the ass of the world’s first Anomaly who just happens to be her boyfriend.













RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel

Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012

Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013

Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Adapted for Film. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head.



Visit her at www.staceyrourke.com
diaryofasemi-crazyauthor.blogspot.com
Facebook at www.facebook.com/staceyrourkeauthor
or on Twitter or instagram at Rourkewrites.




Award Winning Author, Tish Thawer, writes paranormal romances for all ages. From her first paranormal cartoon, Isis, to the Twilight phenomenon, myth, magic, and superpowers have always held a special place in her heart.

Tish is known for her detailed world-building and magic-laced stories. Her work has been compared to Nora Roberts, Sam Cheever, and Charlaine Harris. She has received nominations for multiple RONE Awards (Reward of Novel Excellence), and Author of the Year (Fantasy, Dystopian, Mystery), as well as nominations and wins for Best Cover, and a Reader’s Choice Award.

Tish has worked as a computer consultant, photographer, and graphic designer, and is a columnist for Gliterary Girl Media and has bylines in RT Magazine and Literary Lunes Magazine. She resides in Colorado with her husband and three wonderful children and is represented by Gandolfo, Helin, and Fountain Literary Management.

Author Links:

Website: http://www.tishthawer.com/
Blog: http://tishthawer.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTishThawer/(Fan page)
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TishThawer/ | @TishThawer





https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0a59996f15/







Monday, 31 July 2017

My Harry Potter Story

I did a post like this a while back about The Hunger Games. So in honour of Harry's Birthday, the Queen's birthday and this year being a pretty special year for Harry Potter books (It completed 20 Years #HarryPotter20). I thought I'd share my HP Story.

I got into Harry Potter fairly late. I still remember the first time I heard of Harry Potter.

A little backstory, I was on an extended reading hiatus. I used to read books when I was younger but for some reason, I had taken a break and hadn't read anything for years.

I was visiting my cousin and was just waiting for her to get ready so that we could leave. Me and another cousin of mine were just passing time and surfing through the different channels on the TV. Suddenly I saw something that caught my eye. There it was a scene in a movie that would change everything. Okay that was overly dramatic. But it did change things.

I caught a brief glimpse of the Quidditch scene from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.



I asked my cousin which movie it was, and she said, "Its just Harry Potter, come on lets go." I was pretty fascinated by it already and I just knew the movie's name.

When I got back home, I asked my mom about it. Then we found out there was a series of books that the movie was based on. The next day my mom got a copy of it from her Library's Children's Library section. I was over the moon!

I finished reading the book and I was completely in love. In love with the characters, the words and in love with the Wizarding World. I proceeded to talk to everyone who would listen to me about the book and how wonderful it was.

My uncle, bless him, must have been amused by my tiny little obsession. He told me that he'd check the local bookstores and see if he could find the books for me. The next time I went to visit him, he got me all the books of the series that had been released. I had my first proper paperback copies of books 1-5.

I read all of the books multiple times. By then the first three books were made into movies already. I sat down to see all of them whenever they came on TV (I still do).  I also dragged my mom to see all the movies from Goblet of Fire to Deathly Hollows Part 2 when they released. I became a Potterhead.

Harry Potter has been a truly wonderful escape for me. It bought back my love for reading. And for that I couldn't be more grateful. Harry Potter books and movies have saved me, more than once. They have taught me what true friendship should look like, they have taught me about courage, and they have taught me more about myself.

I would truly not be the person I am today without them. I still am hoping to forge friendships like the books. But for now, I've found comfort between the pages of these books and in the scenes of the movies.

Thank you JK Rowling for a wonderful childhood, for the great stories, and for the best escape a lonely little girl could ask for.

Happy Birthday Queen! And Happy Birthday Harry!

Your Potterhead,
TJ oxox

Friday, 21 July 2017

Yesterday a musician that I've loved passed away. Many of you out there loved him and I just needed to share a little about him.

Last night just before I headed off to bed, I saw a notification from Facebook. I checked the notification and as I was backing out I saw an article that said that Chester Bennington  (of Linkin Park fame) had passed away. I grabbed on to the table next to me because I was afraid I'd fall down. I read the headline again, and quickly dismissed it. Then I scrolled down. I saw article upon article reporting his demise. I couldn't believe it. I refused to.

I closed the app and just went off to bed with his songs stuck in my head.

He was a part of one of the first bands I loved. I discovered Linkin Park through my then close friend. We listened to Numb, the first song I'd ever heard from Linkin Park, and we were done for; fans for life. It spoke to me on a different level entirely.

As I woke up I didn't remember about what I'd read last night. Then as I logged in to aimlessly scroll through Facebook it hit me again like a ton of bricks. Chester Bennington was gone. How could he just be dead? I was expecting tears, instead I was just numb.


A post shared by TJ πŸ“– (@thecuriositykey) on

I read two amazing articles by Buzzfeed India. You can check them out HERE and HERE.


I'll end it here. I just need to listen to his words and drift off to sleep. Chester, you'll forever be missed. I hope you are in a better place now and I hope that you know that in the end it did matter. You've touched the lives of thousands of people everywhere, and we'll sorely miss you. RIP ♥

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Cover Reveal for 19 Marigold Lane by R.M. Gilmore

19 Marigold Lane (Prudence Penderhaus #2) by R.M. Gilmore 



Blurb:
New foes and old come together in this second episode of Prudence Penderhaus's wild ride called life. Cassius, Bonnie, Heego, Mom, and the douche bags of Flintlock are back to tie up loose ends and dig up more than they ever bargained for.

**Release date TBA



Excerpt from 19 Marigold Lane

Consciousness was a fleeting thing. In and out. In and out. Without Cassius and Bonnie to keep me motivated, the exhaustion from healing mixed with the pain meds and swept me quickly into dreamless sleep. It wasn’t real sleep. Not that deep, restful sleep that comes naturally when the sun goes down and your body has had its fill of humaning. It was shallow and in the end really only perpetuated my exhaustion. I did snore, however. Apparently.

“You snore loudly, Prudence.”

My eyes were hardly open and my brain still foggy from sleep refused to comprehend what I was looking at. I jarred awake, startled, shoving myself away from the thing beside me, and yelped both from pain and fear.

“What. In. The Hell. Are. You. Trying to kill me?” I said, words stunted around panting breaths and raging heartbeat.

His black eyes stared deep into mine. “Why would I do that?” Cassius, in his innocent glory, asked in a tone that questioned my sanity instead of his own.



Catch up on the series now with 17 Marigold Lane! Check out my Review for 17 Marigold Lane the first book in the series HERE.

SO EXCITED FOR BOOK 2!!!



Check out R.M. Gilmore on the interwebs:

www.RMGilmoreAuthor.com

www.Facebook.com/rmgilmoreauthor

www.Twitter.com/rmgilmoreauthor

www.Instagram.com/rmgilmoreauthor

Friday, 14 July 2017

Atheists Who Kneel and Pray by Tarryn Fisher

SURPRISE! #AWKAP is LIVE!!! Who's ready for Yara and David? Available NOW on

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA | iTunes | B&N



Yara Phillips is a wandering muse.
She dates men who need her, but always moves on to something new, never staying in one place for very long.
David Lisey is in need of a muse.
A talented musician lacking lyrical inspiration. When he first sees her, he knows he's found what he's been looking for.
Yara believes she can give David exactly what he needs to reach his full potential:
A broken heart.
David’s religion is love.
Yara’s religion is heartache.
Neither is willing to surrender, but religion always requires sacrifice.
 
Yara’s Yesterday Spotify List:
 
Dear Yara, The bands in London, November 12th. Want to catch up? David So casual. So nonchalant. You’d think we were only acquaintances, that we’d once sipped a couple of beers together instead of tattooing love on our skin and reciting marriage vows. I read the e-mail again and analyze the shit out of it. How can I not? I count out the words: thirteen. The punctuation: four. His name, my name. A flippant, casual turn of phrase: catch up. In the end, there’s only so much psychoanalyzing you can do to a thirteen-word e-mail. I move on with my life, feeling rather pathetic. But not before I e-mail him back. And okay, sure, I don’t move on with my life. What does that even entail? Forgetting? Forgiving? Being happy? Besides, I know what he wants to talk about. I know why he’s coming. Hi David, Yeah, sounds good. Let me know when and where. Yara My e-mail is a word shorter. I’m that petty.  
Tarryn was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. She immigrated to America with her parents when she was thirteen, and spent the next eighteen years in South Florida where she earned her degree in Psychology, wrote her first novel, and had two children. In 2012, on a whim, she moved her family to Seattle, Washington where she currently makes her home safely away from the sun. Tarryn is the founder of Guise of the Villain, a fashion blog, and has written eleven published novels. Tarryn is a Slytherin.
Website: www.tarrynfisher.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authortarrynfisher Instagram: https://instagram.com/tarrynfisher/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/Tarryn__Fisher        
 

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Review for Rise of the Sea Witch by Stacey Rourke




Rise of the Sea Witch by Stacey Rourke

Blurb: 

 Details of the sea witch’s banishment have been exaggerated. The body count that preempted it was not. Once an illustrious princess, her hands and tentacles were stained with the blood of thousands. No one could comprehend how the hooks of madness dragged her down from her life of privilege.

Born Princess Vanessa of Atlantica, the ambitious young royal was one of two children born to the great King Poseidon. She and her brother, Triton, were groomed from birth to rule. Yet only one would ascend that coveted throne. While carefree Triton flits through his training with a cavalier demeanor and beguiling charm, Vanessa’s hunger for her father’s acceptance drives her to push herself to the limits of magic, and combat to become a leader worthy of her people.

When war against the humans ravages their once regal kingdom, political sides are chosen. Factions from the seven seas challenge the existing leadership, pitting Vanessa against her brother in a vicious battle for the crown. Traitors are exposed, dark family secrets revealed, and a once strong sibling bond is strained to its breaking point.

Only when the ink black waters from the ultimate betrayal rescind, will the truth be known of how the villainous sea witch rose with one name on her vengeful lips--Triton.

Review:
Who here loves Disney?! You do? Do you love The Little Mermaid? Of course you do! 

I also love The Little Mermaid. I'd sit up glued to the TV whenever it would come on. Even back then I'd wonder what happened to Ursula? What made her "her", you know? Worry not, for here's an answer for you in an amazingly well written book format! (Wow, I'm feeling super hyper today. Tone it down TJ!)

Lately,I've been on a re-telling and anti-heroes kick. And you know I love a good back story. So OBVIOUSLY, this book hit just the right spot! I absolutely love books by Stacey Rourke. She has a way to just pull you in and keep you hooked. I expected no less from this book and it absolutely delivered. 

Rise of the Sea Witch is the back story for Ursula, or Princess Vanessa as she was known back then. I absolutely LOVED it. The characters were amazing and the writing style, as usual, was brilliant. There was a little surprise character that I totally did not expect to see in this particular story, but I hope he/she comes back in the next instalment. (No, I'm not telling you which character. Because SPOILERS!)

I particularly loved how Stacey Rourke just incorporates these little bits that are reminiscent of the characters we know. It actually felt like the character you know? But at the same time, manages to make the story her own. She created a book world around a few characters we know and love, and gave it her own distinct voice. (That was confusing, wasn't it?)

Finally, lets take a moment to appreciate the gorgeous cover! How cool does that look?!

Overall, just get this book if you love The Little Mermaid, or just mermaids in general, or re-tellings. Absolutely loved this book!

PS: I don't know how she will top this book, but I have no doubt the next book will still blow me away!

Read the Prologue for Rise of the Sea Witch in my last post HERE.



Summer Reads Book Reviews!

Hello lovelies!

Here are a few reads I loved in the summer. These reviews are way overdue so I thought I'd just combine it here in one nifty little post!

Adjournment by Emersyn Vallis
Blurb:

When I chose to leave home I knew what I was giving up. I knew I was walking away from life as I knew it and the plans that we had made.
We…us…him and I…
It’s funny to think of him in a different light…or life.
That’s what it feels like, a lifetime ago.
But I’m a different person now. I have rules and goals. And if it wasn’t for my parents' vow renewal I would have successfully evaded him for the rest of my life. This is not by choice, I can tell you that.
I just need to focus and remember the key to this weekend is avoidance…and alcohol. But if anyone can pull that off it’s me, Sidney Chandler, queen of avoiding anything that will make me feel.
It’s just one weekend, right?
One very long weekend with my family…friends…my sisters and me…together, and our nemeses, the McAllister triplets.
What could possibly go wrong?
Everything.
They say you never forget your first love, now just imagine how hard it is to forget your only.
This is going to suck.

Review:
Adjournment was a book about a girl desperately trying to run from her past and leave it behind but love has different plans. This was a fun read, with relateable characters and an intriguing story line.

I quite enjoyed the book, but in some places I felt like the story didn't flow as well. I wish that this book was a little more polished. I still have some questions unanswered, but I suppose that it will be answered in the upcoming books.

Overall, it was an enjoyable read.


The Seer's Lover by Kat de Falla
Blurb:
For years, Calise Rowe has been able to sense unusual energy from people, making her believe she is different. Pulled into an ancient war raging for centuries between demon hunters and seers, she's about to find out she's right.

Her search for the truth leads her to Lucas Rojas, a seer of angels and demons who walk the earth shrouded from normal human eyes. He's hidden his gift for years and refuses to endanger Calise by sharing it with her.

In the sultry Costa Rican Jungles, their worlds collide. As their passion and desire ignite, so does the ancient war between demons and seers. Will their combined efforts be enough to save themselves and the entire human world, or will their new found love be their downfall?

Review:
I will admit, I judged the book by the cover. I did not expect that I would be so invested in the story. But I was! This book had me at the edge of my seat. 

There is just SO MUCH happening in the book that you are constantly left wondering what will happen next. My only complain would be that in some places it felt like the book dragged on and in some places it felt like the scenes were being stretched out unnecessarily. 

I don't think I've read a book in this genre lately and I have to admit I really enjoyed it. Now I'm looking forward to the next book in the series!

Overall, a great paranormal read.


Crashing Tides by Casey Peeler
Blurb:
You can predict the tides but not the changes they make. Gunnison Del Valle was the current in the tide that was about to change my life.
Crash one we met.
Crash two we fell in love.
Crash three changed our perfectly planned lives forever.

Review:
Let's just start by saying that I have mixed feelings about this book. I liked it but I didn't like it as much as I wanted to.

I liked the fact that the book was a quick summer romance. There wasn't much drama, but there were real emotions in there. 

But I felt like the book was too fast paced. (Is that even a thing?) 
I felt like everything went by too fast. I love the build up, the will they won't they, the chase. But in this book it was a story of insta-love, which I've realised that I'm not a big fan of. I would have loved for the story to have a little more depth and build up. Come on! Sweep a girl off her feet!

But again, the book had its sweet moments too. Hence the mixed feelings.

Overall, I think this is a perfect summer romance.


Till later lovelies!
oxox

Monday, 19 June 2017

Rise of the Sea Witch by Stacey Rourke: Excerpt + Giveaway!



Rise of the Sea Witch by Stacey Rourke

Blurb: 
Details of the sea witch’s banishment have been exaggerated. The body count that preempted it was not. Once an illustrious princess, her hands and tentacles were stained with the blood of thousands. No one could comprehend how the hooks of madness dragged her down from her life of privilege.
Born Princess Vanessa of Atlantica, the ambitious young royal was one of two children born to the great King Poseidon. She and her brother, Triton, were groomed from birth to rule. Yet only one would ascend that coveted throne. While carefree Triton flits through his training with a cavalier demeanor and beguiling charm, Vanessa’s hunger for her father’s acceptance drives her to push herself to the limits of magic, and combat to become a leader worthy of her people.   
When war against the humans ravages their once regal kingdom, political sides are chosen. Factions from the seven seas challenge the existing leadership, pitting Vanessa against her brother in a vicious battle for the crown. Traitors are exposed, dark family secrets revealed, and a once strong sibling bond is strained to its breaking point.
Only when the ink black waters from the ultimate betrayal rescind, will the truth be known of how the villainous sea witch rose with one name on her vengeful lips--Triton.
Release Party:
RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel
Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012
Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013 
Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Adapted for Film. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head. 
Visit her at www.staceyrourke.com
or on Twitter or instagram at Rourkewrites.
Prologue
I admit that in the past I was a princess. They weren’t kidding when they called me … well, a spoiled twit.” Tentacles rolling and churning beneath me, I turn to the newest member of my little garden with effortless grace. Arms thrown out wide, I grant the shriveled polyp a beguiling smile. Those around him tremble in fear, pulling as far away from him as their roots deep within the ocean floor will allow. “Through rather unfortunate circumstances it became mandatory I mend my ways. And, yes, some of the techniques I employed earned me the title of villain.”
“Never, my Queen,” Floteson murmurs. Coiling around my upper arm, he drapes himself across my shoulder.
Jetteson’s oily scales lovingly brush my cheek. “Every one of them was deserving of your wrath.”
Shoulders curling in, I pucker my lips which are freshly glossed by a crimson sea-flower and tenderly scratch each of them under their chins. “How horrible can I be to be so adored by such sweet babies?”
“She shows us nothing but love,” my darling zebra sharks chorus.
Their unwavering dedication soothes me, allowing me to expel a calming breath that bubbles in a wreath around my face.
“I am not the horrible beast many think me to be. Yet I feel it is your own misconceptions that brought you here, and led to … well, you know.” Floating passed my ornate vanity mirror, which seems out of place in the dreary cave I call home, I suck in my cheeks. Turning my head one way and then the other, I inspect my reflection. A smug smile curls the corners of my lips. The woman staring back at me is positively voluptuous with power, mayhem swirling within her clay-gray eyes. “Undoubtedly, you’ve heard rumors of my banishment.”
Hitching one eyebrow at my newly planted polyp, I watch him squirm under the weight of my attention.
“Do you even know my true given name, I wonder? Before hateful whisperings from the farthest reaches of the Seven Seas dubbed me The Sea Witch, I went by another name: Princess Vanessa of Atlantica. I harbored dreams of bringing peace and happiness to the kingdom … as their noble queen.”
Jabbing my hands on to my ample hips, I turn in a swirl of black and purple. “I’m not sure if that pitiful pout is caused by your deep longing to hear more, or if you’re mourning the loss of your shriveled limbs. But,” with a theatrical roll of my wrist, I snap my fingers—my cauldron sparks to life, an ethereal green glow simmering from within, “I choose to think the former because it’s about me … and all of my favorite things are.
“It would be predictable for me to say it all began with the death of my mother. Predictable and false.”
Water rushes beneath me with one mighty flap of all my tentacles. The power of the act propels me over to my alchemy shelves, where my fingers flick over the exposed vials. Some days I seek to terrorize my captives, calling out each ingredient or dangling it over their heads before tossing it into my brew.
Tongue of porpoise.
Eye of cuttlefish.
Shell of sea turtle.
I won’t lie and say watching their complexions green and bug eyes bulge isn’t a guilty pleasure of mine. For the moment, however, a wave of generosity—brought on by the mention of my mother—prompts me to toss them in without my usual theatrics. Each is received into the cauldron’s wide-mouth drum with a puff of smoke and spray of sparks.
“As much as I loved my mother, losing her didn’t drive me to madness as some would have you believe.” Hearing the melancholy in my tone, I bristle. “Far from it, in fact. I would have subjected myself to an abysmal existence of the mundane in honor of her memory. No, it was after the black flags of mourning had been strung through the kingdom, after the spectacle of her funeral procession had passed, that my descent began.”
Throwing one final ingredient into the cauldron, a veil of greasy smoke wafts from its rim. Images begin to form within the haze: the king’s regal quarters, and a formidable frame seated in a high-backed chair behind a massive stone desk.
Crouching down, I position myself eye level with the miniscule scene unfolding. My tentacles coil into tight knots beneath me. “This was the night … the night when I was touched by magic for the very first time … and loathed it to my very core.”
Within the ghostly image, the curtain to the king’s quarters is pushed open. A heavy set nursemaid with stripes of gray in the messy twist of her bun swims in. On one hip she balances a cherub-faced baby that’s only two months shy of his second birthday. Blond ringlets halo his head. Both his eyes and cheeks are ruddy from crying. The frazzled servant’s other hand clings to that of a raven-haired princess who rubs at her tired, violet eyes with a chubby, toddler fist.
“If you aren’t following along yet, that princess is me,” I explain to my captive audience. “The maid softly shushing my younger self is Loriana. Oh, how dear she was to me. She was a servant in the castle, tasked with tending to my brother and I. That little sunset orange tail poking out from behind her belongs to her son, Alastor. He was Triton’s best friend and would become much more than that to me ...”
“Sire,” respectfully bowing her head, Loriana readjusted her hold on Prince Triton, “I hate to interrupt.”
My father, King Poseidon, pushed his chair back from the desk in a swirl of water and sand, and rose in greeting. To the rest of the kingdom, he was known as simply the supreme ruler of Atlantica. To me, and my juvenile ignorance, he was the God of the Sea who towered over us all. I envisioned all of his enemies, and anyone that ever wished me harm, falling to their knees and trembling before his commanding presence. His hair and thick beard were the red of Precious Coral. Muscle rippled over every inch of his exposed torso. His narrow waist tapered into an emerald green tail that perfectly matched the shining jewels of his eyes. Countless times I had examined the lines of his face in search of some similarity between the two of us. None could be found. Triton had his smile, and later—when adolescence hit—he would inherit his strong chin. Me? Every inch of me was a lackluster shadow of my mother’s regal beauty. Where her eyes and tail sparkled like freshly polished amethyst, mine seemed dull by comparison. Or, perhaps the lighting from the pedestal I’d built for her in my mind shone for her with a more flattering shimmer.
“The hour is late. I welcome the interruption.” Poseidon set his fish bone quill onto the desk top, and positioned its stone cradle on top of it. “How can I be of service, Loriana?”
 “It’s the children, Your Highness.” Her face a mask of maternal sorrow, Loriana gave my hand a quick pulse of comfort. “This is the first night they have ever tried to go to sleep without a lullaby from their dear mother. I’m afraid I can’t seem to calm their troubled little hearts.”
Poseidon’s broad chest expanded with a deep inhalation, and tipping his head he exhaled a flurry of rushing water and bubbles. “This is a troubling time for us all,” he agreed. Crossing the room with one stroke of his tail, he extended his hands to receive Triton. My brother waved his arms in eager delight, wriggling into the security of Father’s strong embrace. Inching forward, I blinked up at the mighty king. He floated past without so much as ruffling my hair. “I’m afraid I don’t have your mother’s gift of song, but perhaps we could sit a spell and find peace in our togetherness.”
Honoring her position outside of the room, Loriana gave me a gentle push forward to follow my father. Casting a tentative glance over my shoulder, I did just that. Poseidon swirled Triton around, eliciting a giggle that crinkled the corners of his ocean blue eyes, before the king collapsed on the sea sponge sofa with his darling son on his lap. I perched on the very edge of the far cushion, uninvited and unnoticed.
Before that moment our father had been more of a … hmm, how to put this delicately? A figurehead in our lives. We knew of him and regarded him fondly, but unfortunately his kingly duties allowed our primary interactions to be those staged for political potency. Our mother, the lovely Queen Titonis, spent her days caring for my brother and I with only Loriana to aid her. Now, Poseidon had no choice but to pick up the yolk. For Triton this transition seemed to be going swimmingly. I, however, was getting as much attention as the Orca-bone end table.
Hands under the little prince’s pits, Poseidon turned Triton to face him. “I was so proud of how you behaved during the processional today,” he gushed. “You honored not only me, but your mother’s memory when you clasped your tiny fist over your heart and held your head high as her carriage passed.”
“Follow Nessa.” Triton looked to me with love, his tailfin a muted clap when connecting with Father’s lap.
“Your sister has two whole years of further training and experience than you, my boy.” Poseidon’s shoulders raised, his voice dropping to a conspiratorial whisper. “You exhibited the poise of a true leader.”
My lips clamped shut to stifle a sob, his words stinging like a slap. I had just as much right to the throne as Triton, but this was the first moment I became painfully aware of who he longed to see succeed him. It would not be the last … or the most painful.
“She held her curtsy so long, merfolk threw flowers!” Alastor, a year and a half older and far more eloquent than Triton, darted into the room to brazenly interject. Mahogany waves curled over his earlobes, adding dimension to his round little face that resembled a bubble. The boldness of his gesture quickly shriveled under Father’s menacing glare.
“The son of a servant entering the king’s quarters?” Father boomed, one eyebrow raising in question. “One might question your upbringing, lad.”
“A thousand apologies, Your Majesty!” Loriana blushed from her neck clear up to her earlobes and snapped her fingers at her wandering boy. “Alastor, come here at once!”
Shoulders sagging like a stone cast to the depths, Alastor returned to his rightful place in the hall. The heat of his topaz stare bore into me as he paddled along, searching for even the slightest acknowledgement of his noble deed.
I had none to offer.
My own gaze had drawn away from my brother, laughing while Father tickled his cheeks with his beard, to scan the items neatly arranged on father’s desk. Inanimate objects which earned his attentions daily just by being. On the right side, closest to his scrawling hand, sat the quill. Its fat little ink pot was perfectly positioned perpendicular beside it. In the center of the desk, weighted by stones carved with the royal crest, rested a stack of scrolls awaiting the king’s notice. On the left-hand corner, Poseidon’s late night snacking needs were met by a plate of rolled and seasoned seaweed puffs.
The ink pot lured my attention back as if calling to me.
I had never had to work for attention in any capacity. My mother had always given it freely, and in limitless supply. Since she had been taken from me, I had unquenched needs: hugs, stories, and all of that … drivel. So, yes, I thought about acting out. I toyed with the idea of knocking over that little clay pot and letting the ink flow to ruin the staged perfection of father’s space. More than that, I wanted to. I wanted to hear him shout out my name in his menacing vibrato, because at least then he would have to acknowledge me. While my hands stayed folded neatly in my lap, as the good little mergirl I was, something within me I had never felt before reached out. Palpable energy, only I seemed privy to, crackled through the water to cradle the pot in its hold. I could feel it, poised and ready, awaiting my command. Biting my lower lip to fend off a threatening grin, my essence gave barely a nudge and the ink pot tumbled. A thick black cloud exploded over my father’s desk, staining the scrolls and ruining the once delectable wraps.
“Vanessa!” thundered my father, rocketing off the sofa. “Look what you’ve done!”
I turned toward him with feigned remorse … and screamed. The howl of terror tore from my chest until my gills ached and my throat was raw.
There was a buzz of activity: Poseidon calling to the nursemaid, Loriana swimming in as fast as her fins could carry her, Triton wailing in fear, Alastor trying to shush his friend from the doorway to which he’d been banished. I neither saw nor heard any of this.
Floating in the center of the room, bobbing with the current, was my mother.
Not the serene vision of loveliness I had known her to be that was full of life and love. Heck, I even would’ve happily settled for the slumbering beauty she appeared to be during her funeral. In vast contrast, the entity hovering before me had chunks of flesh gnawed away by assorted sea beasts. Cracked, ashen lips curled into a snarl. Black ooze bubbled through her teeth, dripping from her chin and clouding the water. My scream reached a fevered pitch, spots dancing before my eyes. The ghoul, who in life sang me to sleep, reached for me with one hand that had been gnawed to bone.
You see, by using magic I opened a door and allowed the darkness in. The cost being more than I could bear, I vowed to myself—as my consciousness waned—never, ever to dabble with such things again.
Oh, the lies we tell ourselves …