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Blitz: Flames of Rebellion by Jay Allan

21 March 2017



Flames of Rebellion
Jay Allan
(Flames of Rebellion, #1)
Published by: HarperVoyager
Publication date: March 21st 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction
A group of rebels fighting for independence sows the seeds of revolution across the galaxy in this blockbuster military sci-fi adventure from the author of the Crimson Worlds and Far Stars series.
The planet Haven slides closer to revolution against its parent nation, Federal America. Everett Wells, the fair-minded planetary governor, has tried to create a peaceful resolution, but his failure has caused the government to send Asha Stanton, a ruthless federal operative, to quell the insurgency.
Wells quickly realizes that Stanton has the true power . . . and two battalions of government security troops—specifically trained to put down unrest—under her control. Unlike Wells, Stanton is prepared to resort to extreme methods to break the back of the gathering rebellion, including unleashing Colonel Robert Semmes, the psychopathic commander of her soldiers, on the Havenites.
But the people of Haven have their own ideas. They are not the beaten-down masses of Earth, but men and women with the courage and fortitude to tame a new world.
Damian Ward is such a resident of Haven, a retired veteran and decorated war hero, who has watched events on his adopted world with growing apprehension. He sympathizes with the revolutionaries, his friends and neighbors, but he is loath to rebel against the flag he fought to defend. That is, until Stanton’s reign of terror intrudes into his life—and threatens those he knows and loves. Then he does what he must, rallying Haven’s other veterans and leading them to the aid of the revolutionaries.
Yet the battle-scarred warrior knows that even if Haven’s freedom fighters defeat the federalists, the rebellion is far from over . . . it’s only just begun.
EXCERPT:
“Hey, Grant, let’s go, man.” Tomas Lopez spoke angrily, his face twisted into a scowl. He held a heavy bar of steel in one hand, and the other was raised above his head, curled into a defiant fist. He stared at Jamie Grant for a few seconds, as though he expected his fellow prisoner to leap up and rush to his side. But Jamie just stood next to the exposed rock wall and looked back.
“C’mon, Grant!” Lopez repeated. “It’s time. We’re shuttin’ down this whole damned mine this time. Ain’t nuthin’ gonna stop us. They won’t have no choice. They’ll have to listen to us when the ore stops flowin’!” Lopez stood about two meters away from his workmate, his grimy coveralls almost black from the ore dust that hung in the very air of the mine. There was rage in his face, and it seemed to radiate all around him.
There was activity everywhere in the massive cavern, and more angry yells. Dozens of mine workers, hundreds perhaps, were streaming away from their workplaces. They almost acted as one, grabbing tools, metal bars, anything that looked remotely like a weapon. They were shouting, a riotous cacophony of rebel slogans along with more generic cries and screams. The sound reverberated off the low ceilings of the tunnel, and Jamie could barely hear his friend’s words over the din.
“Not me, Tomas.” Jamie’s voice was grim, somber. He looked around the mine, feeling a wave of surprise at how many seemed to be joining the instigators. There had been work stoppages before, and a few outright riots, but this looked like something bigger, more dangerous. He felt the urge, just as his comrades did, to strike back against the federals, against the system that had stolen so much of his life. Against the guards who too often took sadistic delight in their work. But he couldn’t. He wouldn’t. There was something more important to him, and he struggled to stay focused on that.
“I’m staying right here,” he said finally. He wanted to go; every fiber in his body was twitching to join the riot. But he fought back against the urge. “I’ve been here twelve years, Tomas. Twelve years. I shoulda been outta here two years already. I can’t afford more trouble.”
Jamie had seen his share of disciplinary actions for sure. He’d been fifteen years old the day he was arrested for the third time. He’d gotten off twice before that with a flogging and a reduction in public assistance, but he’d only stolen food those times. The last time he’d taken money . . . and he’d used it to buy a hit of Blast. It hadn’t been for him, but for his mother. But that hadn’t made any difference.
Alicia Grant was a good-natured woman who’d become addicted to the drug when she’d been issued a month’s supply to deal with her grief after Jamie’s father was killed. Harold Grant had been shot when the federal police cracked down on a street rising. He’d lived for almost two hours, lying bleeding on the pavement, but by the time the authorities got around to the wounded rioters, it was too late.

Author Bio:
I currently live in New York City, and I've been reading science fiction and fantasy for just about as long as I've been reading. My tastes are fairly varied and eclectic, but I'd say favorites are military and dystopian science fiction and epic fantasy, usually a little bit gritty.
I write a lot of science fiction with military themes, but also other SF and some fantasy as well. I like complex characters and lots of backstory and action. Honestly, I think world-building is the heart of science fiction and fantasy, and since that is what I've always been drawn to as a reader, that is what I write.
I've been an investor and non-fiction writer for a long time, a fiction author more recently. When I'm not writing I enjoy traveling, running, hiking, reading. I love hearing from readers and always answer emails. I think you stop growing as a writer if you stop listening to readers.
Among other things, I write the bestselling Crimson Worlds series.
Join my mailing list at http://www.crimsonworlds.com for updates on new releases.

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Cover: Chasing Eveline by Leslie Hauser

20 March 2017





Chasing Eveline
Leslie Hauser
Published by: Pen Name Publishing
Publication date: July 11th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Sixteen-year-old Ivy Higgins is the only student at Carmel Heights High School who listens to cassettes. And her binder is the only one decorated with album artwork by 80s band Chasing Eveline. Despite being broken-up since 1989, this rock band out of Ireland means everything to Ivy. They’re a reminder of her mom, who abandoned Ivy and her dad two years ago. Now the music of her mom’s favorite band is the only connection she has left.
Even though Ivy wavers between anger and a yearning to reconnect, she’s one-hundred percent certain she’s not ready to lose her mom forever. But the only surefire way to locate her would be at a Chasing Eveline concert. So with help from her lone friend Matt—an equally abandoned soul and indie music enthusiast—Ivy hatches a plan to reunite the band.
The road to Ireland won’t be easy, though. And not just because there is no road. Along the way they’ll have to win over their Lady Gaga-loving peers, tangle with some frisky meerkats, and oh yeah, somehow find and persuade the four members to play a reunion gig. It’s a near-impossible task, but Ivy has to try. If she can’t let go of the past, she’ll never be able to find joy in the present.

Author Bio:
Leslie Hauser is a YA writer and middle school teacher. She has a B.A. in English from UCLA and a Master’s degree in Educational Administration. She was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and currently resides in Los Angeles, California, with her dog Mr. Darcy.
When Leslie is not living in fictional worlds inside her head, she runs all sorts of distances, tortures her body at CrossFit, and DVRs entirely too many television shows. She dreams of one day returning to the Midwest to live on a farm. Or perhaps owning a cookie delivery service.
Her debut novel Chasing Eveline releases 2017 from Pen Name Publishing

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Promo: In the Prison of Our Grief by S. E Amadis

17 March 2017

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About the Book
Title: In The Prison of Our Grief
Author: S.E. Amadis
Genre: Action Thriller
A harsh prison in England.
The grisly, tragic murder of three babies.
The murderess is on the loose... And Carrie Anne's made friends with her.
Will she be able to find out the truth in time? Or will she become this sadistic murderess' next victim?
Once again, Carrie Anne finds herself in the centre of another terrifying ordeal...

In this exciting sequel to Patricia, we follow seventeen-year-old Carrie Anne Houghton and her new comrades-in-arms in a whirling, dizzying, action-packed adventure that spans two continents, from the glitzy high-rises of New York City to the lonely expanses of rural Canada to the glamour and colour of Mediterranean tourist resorts.
Persecution, murder, lies and deceit. Traps, stormy Gothic settings, abandoned mansions and secret passageways. All of this comes to vivid life in the pages of In the Prison of our Grief.
A gripping, fast-paced, action-packed thriller featuring a strong female protagonist and a quirky male counterpart. This book can be read as a standalone.




Author Bio
I could never write about a happy, conventional couple living in a happy, conventional, suburban neighbourhood with two cars and one and a half children, a dog and a pet bird, working at happy, conventional, uneventful jobs.
My heroes and heroines have to walk through fire (or rather, crawl through fire), get strangled, beaten, shot at, drowned, poisoned, get caught in tornados or earthquakes or get attacked by mutant gnats. Or, they have to strangle, beat, shoot, drown and poison other people.
A story with anything less than these dramatic, hair-raising elements was always too boring for me to even consider telling.
I believe in magic. I believe that the world is full of mystery, and that there are more things in heaven and earth than could ever be dreamt of in our conventional, logic-based philosophies.
Outside of that, as a dry, mundane list of facts about me, I’m a single parent from a village near Montreal, Canada, who now enjoys the freaking great good fortune to live happily with my two sons on the almost-tropical south coast of Spain, basking in summer eight months of the year. Typical activities include running a marathon with the kids to school every morning and cooking frequently for an Always Hungry teenaged son with four stomachs.





Review: ALEX: Perfect Opposite by Zoya Tessi

16 March 2017





ALEX: Perfect Opposite Book One (Extended edition)
Zoya Tessi
Publication date: January 23rd 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Their wishes were simple and modest. Fate had other things in store though, and she can be a real bitch sometimes.
All he wanted was to get the job done and somehow to endure those long months playing nanny to a spoiled little rich girl. Without strangling her with his bare hands in the process. Well, it is going to be much easier said than done.
All she wanted was to escape the past and live like any other girl. Her plan definitely didn’t include the arrogant, tattooed savage, with his awful mohawk and lack of social graces, whose only mission was to stick real close and mess up her life.
But, people aren’t always what they seem to be, are they?


Review

I'm not an avid follow of the romance genre and I did not expect this book to have me hooked quite as much as it did! 

The dynamic in this book is electric! A real hate you but love you relationship

It's not too serious as the banter between Sasha and Alex is light and comical

The cliches I expected to find weren't there and it was really well written! A part of me is gutted that Alex is just a character in a book!!

If you love Romance novels but are tired of the usual cheese fest that can sneak into this genre then check this one out!





Author Bio:
Zoya spent years doing volunteering work all across Europe, from cleaning school basements in Northern Russia to excavating Stone Age artifacts in Euskadi (the Basque country) and renovating castles from the middle ages in Southern France. She always dreamed of working with ‘Doctors without borders’ somewhere out in Africa, but ended up doing an ‘ordinary job’ in one of the smaller European countries.
Her greatest passion is devouring each and every book that comes within her reach.

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Blitz: Bellamy and The Brute by Alicia Michaels

13 March 2017





Bellamy and The Brute
Alicia Michaels
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: March 13th 2017
Genres: Fairy Tales, Retelling, Young Adult
A fresh twist on a classic story, Bellamy and the Brute proves true love really is blind.
When Bellamy McGuire is offered a summer job babysitting for the wealthy Baldwin family, she’s reluctant to accept. After all, everyone in town knows about the mysterious happenings at the mansion on the hill—including the sudden disappearance of the Baldwin’s eldest son, Tate. The former football star and golden boy of Wellhollow Springs became a hermit at the age of sixteen, and no one has seen or heard from him since. Rumors abound as to why, with whisperings about a strange illness—one that causes deformity and turned him into a real-life monster. Bellamy wants to dismiss these rumors as gossip, but when she’s told that if she takes the job, she must promise to never, ever visit the third floor of the mansion, she begins to wonder if there really is some dark truth hidden there.
Tate’s condition may not be the only secret being kept at Baldwin House. There are gaps in the family’s financial history that don’t add up, and surprising connections with unscrupulous characters. At night there are strange noises, unexplained cold drafts, and the electricity cuts out. And then there are the rose petals on the staircase. The rose petals that no one but Bellamy seems to be able to see. The rose petals that form a trail leading right up to the 3 rd floor, past the portrait of a handsome young man, and down a dark hallway where she promised she would never, ever go…
As Bellamy works to unravel the mysteries of Baldwin House and uncover the truth about Tate, she realizes that she is in way over her head… in more ways than one. Can her bravery and determination help to right the wrongs of the past and free the young man whose story has captured her heart?

Author Bio:
Ever since she first read books like Chronicles of Narnia or Goosebumps, Alicia has been a lover of mind-bending fiction. Wherever imagination takes her, she is more than happy to call that place her home. With several Fantasy and Science Fiction titles under her belt, Alicia strives to write multicultural characters and stories that touch the heart. V-Card, the first book of the Sharing Spaces series, was her first Contemporary Romance.
The mother of three and wife to a soldier, she loves chocolate, coffee, and of course good books. When not writing, you can usually find her with her nose in a book, shopping for shoes and fabulous jewelry, or spending time with her loving family.

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Audiobook Review: The Onion in the Stew by Betty MacDonald

12 March 2017

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Audiobook Title: Onions In the Stew
Author: Betty MacDonald
Narrator: Heather Henderson
Publisher: Post Hypnotic Press
Length: 9 hours 40 minutes
Audio Release Date:
Synopsis: The bestselling author of the American humor classic The Egg and I continues the adventure with this collection of tales about life on the fringe of the Western wilderness. Writing in the 1950s, Betty MacDonald, sophisticated and urbane, captivated readers with her observations about raising a family on an island in Puget Sound. As usual, humorist MacDonald is her own favorite target. She manages to get herself into scrapes with washing machines set adrift in rowboats, used cars, and a $25 Turkey Squasher. And then there's the scariest aspect of island life -- teenaged children.
Buy on Audible

Review
Another enjoyable journey through the life of Betty MacDonald in which we are educated in the ways of island life, the highs... and the lows.
This is the third of Betty MacDonald's books that I have listened to and I, still, do not tire of the stories of the early to mid-1900's.  The enjoyment of the audio books is aided by the retention of Heather Henderson as the narrator thus ensuring consistency across the series.  But better than that, Henderson's voice is well matched to the book, indeed if I now think of Betty MacDonald she talks with Heather Henderson's voice.  The production, too, remains top class and means that the book can easily be listened to in any environment and you are automatically whisked back in time to not only hear about Betty's life but to live it with her.
Initially I struggled more with this book than I did the others, and I think this was because I had such high expectations.  I found myself judging the book harshly for the first half an hour; however, once I allowed the story to immerse me I found that I enjoyed it just as much, if not more, than the other books,

Author Bio

Betty Bard MacDonald (1907–1958), the best-selling author of The Egg and I and the classic Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle children’s books, burst onto the literary scene shortly after the end of World War II. Readers embraced her memoir of her years as a young bride operating a chicken ranch on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, andThe Egg and I sold its first million copies in less than a year. The public was drawn to MacDonald’s vivacity, her offbeat humor, and her irreverent take on life. In 1947, the book was made into a movie starring Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert, and spawned a series of films featuring MacDonald’s Ma and Pa Kettle characters.
MacDonald followed up the success of The Egg and I with the creation of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, a magical woman who cures children of their bad habits, and with three additional memoirs: The Plague and I (chronicling her time in a tuberculosis sanitarium just outside Seattle), Anybody Can Do Anything (recounting her madcap attempts to find work during the Great Depression), and Onions in the Stew (about her life raising two teenage daughters on Vashon Island).
Author Paula Becker was granted full access to Betty MacDonald’s archives, including materials never before seen by any researcher. Looking for Betty MacDonald, the first official biography of this endearing Northwest storyteller, reveals the story behind the memoirs and the difference between the real Betty MacDonald and her literary persona.
Post Hypnotic Press: WebsiteTwitterFacebookYoutubeLinkedInSoundcloudPinterestSoundCloud

Narrator Bio

Heather Henderson is a voice actress and audiobook narrator with a 20-year career in literary and performing arts.  Her narrations include the NYT bestseller (now also a feature film) Brain on Fire;  and Sharon Creech’s The Boy on the Porch, which won her an Earphones award and was named one of the Best Children’s Audiobooks for 2013 by Audiofile Magazine.   She earned her Doctor of Fine Arts degree at the Yale School of Drama, and is co-curator of AudioEloquence.com, a pronunciation research site for the audiobook industry.  In 2015, Heather was a finalist for a Voice Arts Award (Outstanding Narration, Audiobook Classics), for her narration of Betty MacDonald’s The Egg and I.

Grand Prize
Onions In the Stew Giveaway #1

1st Runner-up
  Onions In the Stew Giveaway #2

2nd Runner-up
Onions In the Stew Giveaway #3

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Post Hypnotic Press, Inc. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Excerpt: Venus & Lysander by Yoshiyuki Ly

11 March 2017

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Title: Venus and Lysander
Author: Yoshiyuki Ly
Genre: Historical Romance / Fantasy
Living as a nobleman and as a woman, Valerie of Lysander is sick of waiting for the world to change. The discrimination she suffers as an outcast builds into resentment. Once Val takes matters into her own hands, the whole Empire of Tynan feels her brand of justice. The Emperor’s adviser, Lucrezia of Azrith, wants more of Val’s ruthlessness—for revenge against the unjust, and for her own desires. Venus and Lysander is an intricate romance set in the fictional Victorian city of Eden, 250 years after the events in The Scorpion’s Empress.
Lucrezia is Lady Chancellor for the Emperor and a sorceress-in-hiding. She is forced to conceal her identity from the religious public for fear of death. As she learns to trust in Val’s chivalry and affections for her, they both fall for the softer sides behind their similar bulletproof personas. Lucrezia receives a mysterious warning about a sadistic enemy threatening the Azrith and Lysander families. Once they discover their nemesis’ true motive, Val and Lucrezia’s tyrannous devotion for one another is all they can count on to survive.

Author bio

Yoshiyuki Ly was born in San Diego, CA. She lived there until moving away to college. In high school, she began writing fanfiction as a serious hobby. Her pen name represents her multiracial heritage and a unique, diverse outlook that reflects in her work. She is a writer and a gamer.

Excerpt
Valerie had nothing to say. She stared at the ground, breathing harder than before. Hunger no doubt clawed at her stomach. She kept licking her lips as a poor quench for her thirst. Valiantly, she resisted her weakness, jaw clenched in concentration. I shifted in my seat, moved by her efforts. Her breaths in particular echoed through the small cell, clouding my ears with my imagination. Was her need for food and drink the only reason she was like this?
“Well?” I asked.
Still nothing.
“Such a difficult woman you are,” I said with a sigh.
I noticed then that she was distracted by her thoughts. Valerie appeared fixated on the images in her mind, staring at the ground to give a canvas to the colors. Now I was curious. I waited until she looked into my eyes. The intensity there acted as the avenue for my exploration. Non-intrusive, undetectable, I weaved my way into her mind to see her thoughts for myself.
There I saw Valerie’s fantasy: of her ripping the chains from the ground, of her grabbing me by my waist, shoving me against the wall and kissing my neck, hard. The suddenness of it all startled me. I fought not to recoil or react in any way. In her thoughts, I cried out in mixed want and denial; tried and failed to push her away. She overpowered me. She pinned my wrists to the wall over my head, hissing in my ear:
“How I’ve wanted to rip this control from you…”
Fantasy and reality blended together the longer I watched her ravage me. Never had I allowed anyone to touch me like this. To have me in such a way. My ego had kept me away from that. Yet here I watched Valerie do what I’d denied myself for so long. I watched and watched; wanted to keep watching; wanted to keep burning in this building heat. But it was too much—too much for me to handle.

Cover: Rogue in Love: Thea and Lex by Inger Iversen

10 March 2017





Rogue in Love: Thea and Lex
Inger Iversen
Publication date: March 28th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Sports
Missing Teal and Trent from Inevitable: Love & War? Check out Rogue in Love, the beginning of a series of standalones featuring Trent Reed’s new employees!
Ten years ago, Lex made the difficult choice to skip town, abandoning the young girl who’d offered him her innocence and a place in her heart. However, when Lex is called back to Blackwater to say goodbye to his dying confidant, he is confronted by the broken-hearted woman he left behind and given the task of helping her mend the gaping hole his absence created.
When Thea and Lex reunite, sparks fly and secrets are unveiled.




Author Bio:
Inger Iversen was born in 1982 to Anne and Kaii Iversen. She lives in Virginia Beach with her overweight lap cat, Max and her tree hugging boyfriend Joshua. She spends 90 percent of her time in Barnes and Noble and the other ten pretending not to want to be in Barnes and Noble.

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