Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Enhanced by Courtney Farrell Release & Giveaway

About Enhanced

At the Institute, they breed people like livestock. One powerful doctor decides which children get to grow up, and which will die. Losers are dumped in the savage slum outside Institute walls. Those kids never come back. Sixteen-year-old Michelle is a perfect specimen, destined for a luxurious life as a breeder. When her brother and her boyfriend are both mysteriously culled from the breeding program, she jumps the wall to find them. Alone in the ghetto, she’s in trouble until handsome, streetwise Dillon stakes a claim to her. She’s mortified by her attraction to a Normal. But the doctor is using the missing boys in a twisted experiment, and she needs Dillon’s help to stop him. Michelle must rescue the boys, but a plague is spreading, the doctor is after her, and Dillon isn’t thrilled to help find her lost boyfriend.

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   A creaking sound came from outside, and Michelle realized that was the noise that woke her. She lay still, listening. Another creak raised goose bumps that tingled their way down her spine, and then a man’s heavy boots thudded slowly across the balcony. A shadow ghosted past the draperies. It’s a robbery. Some crazy Norm snuck over the wall, looking for valuables. Or worse, girls.

   Michelle pushed off the covers and got out of bed as quietly as she could, suddenly aware of the ridiculously low cut neckline on her sheer thigh-length nightgown. Buying her first sexy nightie had seemed fun at the time. Now it was just another stupid thing to add to the list. Terror made her heart thud, but she forced her feet to carry her across her bedroom to the double doors that opened onto her private balcony.
    A spark of anger caught fire in her chest and burned there. Filthy Norm. How dare you? In the dark, her hands balled into fists. Three steps to the door. Two. The night breeze toyed with the hem of her gown, but she ignored it. One. Michelle reached for the latch, her body tense, ready to run or fight. The door suddenly flew open in her face and the intruder’s huge shoulders filled the doorway, blocking the faint moonlight. In her shock, Michelle forgot to scream.
   “Michelle,” a deep voice hissed.
   It took a heartbeat for her to recognize him. “Brian! What are you doing here?”
   “Shhh.” In a stride he closed the distance between them and placed a finger softly on her lips. His arm slid around her waist and pulled her to him. She felt tiny beside him. His big hand wrapped halfway around her waist. 
   “Sorry I scared you. I…I just needed to talk to someone.”
   “Someone.” Michelle repeated frostily. “At two in the morning.”
   You, I mean. You.” Brian’s voice was hoarse with pain. “Things have been so awful lately…”
   His agonized tone melted Michelle’s heart, so she reached up with both hands to touch his face. The stubble under her fingers made him feel like a stranger. Even his scent smelled musky and foreign, but it sent heat down her body to the core.
   “Okay, but we have to be quiet so we don’t wake my father.” Michelle took Brian’s hand and pulled him outside onto the balcony, where two chairs and a little round table stood beside her cushioned recliner. Brian surprised her by taking her in his arms and lifting her a few inches off her toes. When he sat down on the recliner, he brought her with him, so she ended up straddling his lap in her white lace panties. Michelle flushed, completely distracted by the feeling of his body beneath her. With an effort, she put both hands on his shoulders and looked him in the eye. “So, you came here to talk?”
   “Yeah, but you look amazing,” Brian rumbled, pulling her into a kiss.
   A moment later, he stood up, still holding her, and turned around to set her down lightly on the cushion. When he turned his back to stare into the darkened grounds of the estate, Michelle leaned back with a sigh. Damn. He really did come here to talk.
   “What’s wrong, Brian?”
   He flopped face down on the recliner beside her, nuzzling her neck lightly with his lips. “Nothing. Everything.”
   “You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to,” Michelle whispered.
   Brian rolled over onto his back and pulled her head onto his shoulder. One of his hands twined with hers. “I wish we could connect like we did before.”
   Michelle smiled. “I think you have to be born with the gene for that to work.”
   Brian squeezed her hand a little harder before he gave up and ran his fingers down her bare arm instead. Michelle gasped a little when he pulled up the white nightgown to stroke her sleek flank.
   “Sorry,” Brian murmured, taking his hand away. “I forget how young you are.”
   “Don’t. I mean do, forget it, please.”
   He kissed her again, but then stopped and stared into space. “You know, I fought so hard just to survive here.”
   “Survive?” Michelle repeated apprehensively.
   “You know. Beat the tests,” Brian said bitterly. His great chest heaved under her hand as he took a deep breath. “I made it, Michelle, and nothing changed. They didn’t even mark the event. You’d think they’d be like, hey, Brian, you made it to eighteen without getting culled, you can relax now. But we’re all still here, still being tested, still trying to hang on.” He buried his face in her curls. “When does it end?”
   “I don’t know, Brian. I don’t know.” Michelle held him in her arms and stroked his back until he left her in the gray light of dawn.

a Rafflecopter giveaway About the Author

Courtney Farrell is a biologist who turned her love of books into a career as an author. She has written fourteen nonfiction books for young people, mostly on social and environmental topics. The first two books in her science fiction/romance series Enhanced were nominated for the 2015 BTS E-Mag Red Carpet Awards in the YA division. Courtney lives with her husband and sons on a Colorado ranch where they enjoy a menagerie of horses, dogs, cats, and chickens.

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Godforsaken Daughter by Christina McKenna (4 stars)

About The Godforsaken Daughter

Paperback: 360 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (March 17, 2015)

When Ruby Clare’s father was alive, they happily toiled together on their small dairy farm in Northern Ireland. Since his death seven months ago, Ruby—thirty-three years old, plain, and plump—has become a veritable drudge for Martha, her endlessly critical mother. Then comes the day when Ruby finds her late grandmother’s old suitcase in the attic. Among its strange contents: a slim, handmade volume called The Book of Light.

The deeper Ruby delves into its mysterious pages, the more confident she feels. But Martha, convinced that her newly empowered daughter must be possessed, enlists the help of psychiatrist Henry Shevlin. Henry is unflappable on the surface, yet inwardly he’s reeling from his wife’s unexplained disappearance the year before. As Ruby undergoes therapy alongside other local patients, including lonely bachelor farmer Jamie McCloone, all their lives intersect in unexpected ways. And Ruby, alone for so long, finds the courage to connect—with Jamie, with Henry, and with her own loving, indomitable spirit.
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Ruby Clare is at a crossroads, unsure where her life will go. After losing her father, she's stuck taking care of a mother who seems to want nothing more than to ruin her own daughter's life. Then, Ruby finds a book among her grandmother's things in the attic. This book might hold the key to Ruby taking control of her life.

As she explores her inner strength, and experiments with her grandmother's ways, many secrets are revealed. Will she be strong enough to come out on the other end a better person?

From page one, I was captivated by Ruby's story. She was hurting and lost, not sure where she fit in in the world. Her father had supported her, and he was gone; he left her with a hyper-critical mother and little hope for the future. When she does start standing up for herself, her mother threatens to have Ruby committed. That's when she meets Henry Shevlin, a psychiatrist with her own story and secrets.

Henry's story is interesting, but it took me a while to get into the alternating point of views and stories being told. Too often, the transition between the two seemed abrupt. Plus, the two stories felt too separate and disconnected. Then there was Jamie, a character who could offer Ruby so much. Unfortunately, his story felt rushed and his connection with Ruby not given enough attention. And I wanted more insight into her grandmother--that storyline wrapped up too quickly.

All in all, I found myself engaged and interested. I just wish more focus had been on Ruby, because I adored her story. 

Rating: 4 stars

Christina McKennaAbout Christina McKenna

Christina McKenna grew up on a farm near the village of Draperstown in Northern Ireland. She attended the Belfast College of Art, where she obtained an honors degree in fine art and studied English in postgraduate studies at the University of Ulster. In 1986, she left Northern Ireland to work abroad. She has lived, worked, and painted pictures in Spain, Turkey, Italy, Ecuador, and Mexico.

Thanks to TLC for my review copy.

Note: I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own.
Please visit other stops on The Godforsaken Daughter blog tour page.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Bound By Spells by Stormy Smith Promotional Event

Thank you for joining us in the promotional event for Bound by Spells by Stormy Smith, hosted by Wordsmith Publicity. 

We have excerpts, teasers, a giveaway and more! Thanks for stopping by.

BOUND BY SPELLS (Bound 2) by Stormy Smith
Mature YA Paranormal Romance
Release: March 19, 2015

Aidan Montgomery hadn’t been prepared for Amelia Bradbury to walk in and then out of his life. He also hadn’t expected to find the powerful magic hidden deep within him for the last nineteen years, but he’s embracing it — finding more control and more answers every day. Now, with the help of Amelia’s best friend, Bethany, Aidan is on a quest to understand his destiny and find Amelia.

Amelia decided to stand by her duty, which meant walking away from her first chance at love. Trapped in Cresthaven at the Queen’s mercy, she spends her days with Micah — an ally she still holds at arm’s length — struggling to manage her heartbreak while keeping her mind focused on the task at hand. As she continues to unlock the secrets of the Keeper power, Queen Julia’s true motives reveal themselves, forcing Amelia to decide, yet again, how much she’s willing to sacrifice.

Will Aidan get to Amelia before it's too late, or will the very power that sustains them keep them apart?

"Featuring a cast of mages and shapeshifters with unique magical abilities, one destiny-shaping prophecy, a genocidal megalomaniac, and a budding, heated romance (or two!), this book is paranormal gold! Read the first book in the series first, of course, but once you finish this one you're sure to be salivating for the next release in this not-to-be-missed romantic paranormal series." ~Serena Chase, USA Today's Happy Ever After blog, author of The Ryn

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Bound by Spells, in Five Words

Action – Bound by Spells drops you right into the action and basically doesn’t quit. You’ll follow Amelia and Aidan separately, but meet a lot of new faces and never stop learning along the way.
Growth – Both Amelia and Aidan are young, just eighteen and nineteen. They are still figuring out who they are and what they are capable of. As the story progresses, you’re going to see some significant change out of both of them.
Connections – As a reader walking along with Amelia and Aidan, you’ll make a lot of connections between what you learned in Bound by Duty and what the realities of their situations truly are. You’ll also find the ties between some of our central secondary characters.
Friendship – If you were hoping to see Bethany again, of course I brought her back! But, there are also a lot of new friends introduced, and the whole story is impacted by friendships that were forged (or broken) years ago.
Love - Because at the heart of every good story and complicated ending is love. Sometimes it is between hearts, and sometimes it is the bond between people who are simply tied together by the will of another. But love changes everything.

Bound by Spells - Book Trailer

Book One, Bound by Duty
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About Stormy Smith

Stormy Smith calls Iowa's capital home now, but was raised in a tiny town in the Southeast corner of the state. She grew to love books honestly, having a mom that read voraciously and instilled that same love in her. She knew quickly that stories of fantasy were her favorite, and even as an adult gravitates toward paranormal stories in any form.

Writing a book had never been an aspiration, but suddenly the story was there and couldn't be stopped. When she isn't working on, or thinking about, her books, Stormy's favorite places include bar patios, live music shows, her yoga mat or anywhere she can relax with her husband or girlfriends.

Connect with Stormy
On her website  |  Facebook  |  Tumblr  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Amazon  |  GoodReads

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Heroes' Welcome by Louisa Young (4 stars)

About The Heroes' Welcome

Paperback: 272 pages
 Harper Perennial (March 10, 2015)

April 1919. Six months have passed since the armistice that ended the Great War. But new battles face those who have survived.

Only twenty-three, former soldier Riley Purefoy and his bride, Nadine Waveney, have their whole lives ahead of them. But Riley’s injuries from the war have created awkward tensions between the couple, damage that threatens to shatter their marriage before it has truly begun.

Peter and Julia Locke are facing their own trauma. Peter has become a recluse, losing himself in drink to forget the horrors of the war. Desperate to reach her husband, Julia tries to soothe his bitterness, but their future together is uncertain.

Drawn together in the aftermath of the war, the two couples’ lives become more tightly intertwined, haunted by loss, guilt, and dark memories, contending with uncertainty, anger, and pain. Is love strong enough to help them all move forward?

The Heroes’ Welcome is a powerful and intimate novel, chronicling the quiet turbulence of 1919—a year of perilous beginnings, disturbing realities, and glimmerings of hope.

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As I sit to write this review, I am trying to process all my emotions; this story is so intense and powerful. Two couples, greatly affected by the war, struggle to find their way during peacetime. Riley and Peter are the wounded soldiers, and Nadine and Julia are the women trying to figure out how to love their men without further damage occurring.

War isn't pretty, but it gives men purpose. Without that purpose, returning soldiers--particularly those wounded, whether physically or mentally--languish in everyday life. Riley and Peter don't know what path to take after the war is won. Kudos to the author for bringing life to their pain, although I found it was almost too much to bear at times. 

For every glimmer of hope, there is also the reality of sadness and despair. I'll be honest... I desperately wanted more happiness, although I knew it couldn't be. So much is awesome about this story: beautiful writing, intense emotions, memorable characters, historical relevance. But I couldn't get past my own desire for a bigger slice of hope. 

Another note: My understanding is that this is the second book in a planned trilogy. At times, I felt like I was missing out on some very important back story. Story, I'm sure, was captured in book one.

So, I'm a bit torn about the rating. 5 stars for pulling me in and commandeering my emotions. But, I selfishly needed something to cling to in the end. My hope: I'll find that something in the next book.

Rating: 4 stars

About Louisa Young 

37025Louisa Young was born in London and read history at Trinity College, Cambridge. She lives in London with her daughter, with whom she co-wrote the best-selling Lionboy trilogy, and is the author of eleven previous books including the bestselling novel My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You, which was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award and the Wellcome Book Prize, a Richard and Judy Book Club choice, and the first ever winner of the Galaxy Audiobook of the Year.

Learn more about Louisa at her website and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks to TLC for my review copy.

Note: I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own.

Please visit other stops on The Heroes' Welcome blog tour page.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Hunted by Liz Long Release Day


I'm so excited to have you be a part of my release day for HUNTED, Book 3 of the Donovan Circus Series! Sometimes it feels like I just released the first book, GIFTED, a few days ago; other times, it feels like more years than it's actually been! :) 

Thank you to the amazing bloggers, authors, and readers who have helped make this such an awesome release day. Also a special thanks to my cover designer, Kate at Dwell Design & Press for her amazing cover work! 

I hope you all find the third adventure as exciting as the first two - and perhaps much darker, as there are many underlying things bubbling to the surface, secrets coming unveiled, and a death that will shake the troupe in a terrible way.


About Hunted

Lucy Sullivan finally belongs with the gifted Donovan Circus. Members are finding their rhythm, even the new folks from the Grayson Circus who joined after the last attack. Lucy feels like a trusted leader who can win the gifted battles and prevent humans from discovering their existence. 

When tragedy strikes camp, a distraught Sheffield sends Lucy and her gifted team to hunt down the enemy – Alex, a Chameleon with a wicked ability for war. He’s out for blood and won’t stop until Lucy and her friends are dead. 

This time, it won’t be Lucy’s gift that is tested – it will be her morality. To save her circus, the price will be greater than she ever expected. This time, she will lose someone she loves. And it will change everything.

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Haven't read the first two in the series? No problem! You can get the first adventure, GIFTED, for only 99 cents on Amazon, B&N, and iBooks!

Gifted A Donovan Circus Novel cover image 

In Gifted, meet Lucy, a Firestarter who just wants to be normal amongst the freaks. She can control fire, though she’s quick to discover that power doesn’t always bring good things. Her famous father may have created a fiery legacy, but their good name is threatened when Lucy’s framed for murder. Felix Hardy, an old “friend” of the show, offers another side of the Donovan Circus story, one her father never told her. As she struggles to clear her name, Lucy will discover that maybe some things are better left in the past.

amazon74196-b26nIBooks_logo _________________________________________________________ BURNED is just $2.99 on the same platforms. Get it for your e-reader today!


Burned picks up right where Gifted left off, in a new city and ready to get back to work. When Lucy is attacked on the grounds, it’s discovered her enemy had friends – big ones. Medved, a Shapeshifter known as “the Bear,” is intent on the gifted world’s exposure to humans. To build his army, he needs Sheffield and Lucy out of his way. Sheffield sends Lucy and her friends to form an alliance with the Grayson Circus members, who have as many quirks as the Donovan group. Not all are who they seem and Lucy must choose who to trust before Medved kills them all.

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About the Author:

Liz Long, indie author

Liz Long is a ridiculously proud graduate of Longwood University with a BA in English. Her inspiration comes from action and thriller genres and she spends entirely too much time watching superhero movies. Her fabulous day job as a Social Media & PR Strategist includes writing for LeisureMedia360 (Roanoker, bridebook, Blue Ridge Country magazines) in Roanoke, VA. The Donovan Circus series has best been described as "X-Men meets the circus with a murder mystery thrown in." 

Her second book Witch Hearts, is a story about a serial killer hunting witches for their powers. Her newest title, A Reaper Made, is a fantasy about a Reaper who must work a little magic to save her family's souls from demons. 

All titles are available for paperback or ebook on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks. To learn more about Liz, visit her website: http://lizclong.com

Author Links: 
Website: http://lizclong.com 
Twitter: (Handle: @LizCLong) https://twitter.com/LizCLong 
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/lizclongauthor 
Amazon: http://amazon.com/author/lizlong 
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/LizLong