30 April 2015

Dragons Are People, Too by Sarah Nicolas

Dragons Are People, Too by Sarah Nicolas.
Audience/Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy.
Publication: April 28th 2015 by Entangled .
Never judge a dragon
by her human cover...

Sixteen-year-old Kitty Lung has everyone convinced she’s a normal teen—not a secret government operative, not the one charged with protecting the president’s son, and certainly not a were-dragon. The only one she trusts with the truth is her best friend—and secret crush—the ├╝ber-hot Bulisani Mathe.

Then a junior operative breaks Rule Number One by changing into his dragon form in public—on Kitty’s watch—and suddenly, the world knows. About dragons. About the Draconic Intelligence Command (DIC) Kitty works for. About Kitty herself.

Now the government is hunting down and incarcerating dragons to stop a public panic, and a new shape-shifting enemy has kidnapped the president’s son. Kitty and Bulisani are the last free dragons, wanted by both their allies and their enemies. If they can’t rescue the president’s son and liberate their fellow dragons before getting caught themselves, dragons might never live free again.

Reviewed by Kelly

First Impressions: If you are looking for a book with diversity then this is it! We have prejudice, interracial romances and more.

Kate Lung is a were-dragon. When she is on a mission with a greenie, he panics and breaks the Number one rule- don’t let people see you change or don’t let people see dragons! Now Kate who was in charge of this mission is in trouble by her mom, one of the biggest ranking officials at DIC where dragons work and protect humans. Then the next morning she and her work partner and secret crush, Sani, go back to their routine of watching over the president’s son at their school while waiting to hear if the public got wind of the scandal.

During school, they meet an uber beautiful girl who has some gifts of her own when the girl touches Kate she is in a grayness and is entranced. The president’s son invites her over to his home. Then the secret service guys are packing her in the car and leaving Kate and Sani behind. Wait- They all must be entranced too as well as the secret service men because they don’t get the background check before taking off. The next thing that happens is the car carrying them blows up and this girl is pulling the boy out and getting him to this helicopter that appears for them and the secret service guys start shooting at Sani and Kate hitting Sani a few times including one of his two hearts. Dragons heal fast but his heart will take a little longer and he can’t shift until then. What else can go wrong for Kate?

The public did see the dragon and all hell is breaking loose. CIA is now taking control of DIC and the president says that the dragons are being held for their own safety and the president calls Kate and asks her to find his son in time to save him. From there on it is action packed. With betrayals galore and feelings of not sure who to trust.Kate and Sani are the only dragons free at the moment and while it is known that Kate is out there. No one is aware that Sani is with her. Kate and Sani set out to find the boy in time and to save the dragons and her parents from being imprisoned forever. Kate, now having more time with Sani, finds her feelings getting deeper and deeper but Sani who is very sweet to her and helpful never seems to reciprocate those feelings. And they find an unlikely ally in the same secret service man who shot Sani twice!

Time is ticking and they have so much to do!

The story is action packed with plenty of romance, suspense, betrayals, dragons, technology and a kitsune. There is family, heartbreaks, and species prejudice.

I enjoyed the story. I like how the author added a lot of diversity in it. My daughter loves all things kitsune so we talked a lot about the book. Kitsunes are in Japanese folklore.

The ending- well it isn’t a cliffhanger but definitely shows there will be a sequel. I am eagerly waiting to read it!!!

Sarah is a 31-year-old YA author who currently lives in Orlando, FL. She believes that some boys are worth trusting, all girls have power, and dragons are people too.

She's a proud member of the Gator Nation and has a BS in Mechanical Engineering, but has switched careers entirely. She now works as an Event Coordinator for a County Library. She also blogs at YAtopia.

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook

29 April 2015



Fans of Cora Carmack’s Rusk University, we have a SUPER exciting announcement:


ALL CLOSED OFF, Book 4 in the Rusk University Series, is coming!!!


Check out this message from Cora!

*WARNING: This letter contains spoilers for All Broke Down. If you haven't yet read that book, read at your own peril. SECOND WARNING: this letter talks about fictional characters as if they are real people. Sorry I'm not sorry. THIRD WARNING: The letter below broaches a serious topic that could be a trigger for some people*

Hello beloved readers!

The first person who read one of my Rusk University books was my older sister. I gave her All Lined Up when I finished, and her first question was "Are Ryan and Stella going to be together?"

At the time, I told her no. I had plans for both of them that included their own storylines. I thought they were too much alike. They'd make great friends. They might even hook-up, but in the end... I couldn't envision anything serious for them. So I actually rewrote some of their scenes trying to make that aspect of their connection more obvious. And still, when All Lined Up released, amidst the chatter about sweet Carson and sassy Dallas, I had people asking if Stella and Ryan were next. I denied it again (and again and again).

But sometimes in writing, the stars align and a character will become bigger and more real than you could have possibly imagined. It's a wonderful experience, but in Stella's case it was also incredibly heartbreaking. While I was writing All Broke Down, the news was inundated with information about the Steubenville rape trial and other tragedies and injustices like it. Tragedies where women have been violated first by an attacker, then by judgmental and hateful people, and finally by a justice system that repeatedly fails survivors of sexual assault. Having grown up in Texas, where too often football stars are treated like gods and can get away with just about anything, it hit particularly close to home. And since All Broke Down featured a passionate activist heroine, I felt compelled to reference this chronic dark underbelly of elite sports.

I can remember vividly sitting on my couch, brainstorming how I would incorporate such an event into the book. I had thought the assault would happen to an unknown character, and maybe I would focus on the way it divided the team and the school and the town. But like I said... Sometimes a character will become bigger and more human than I anticipated. And it sounds crazy, but in my mind, I felt Stella push her way forward and say, "Mine. This is my story." I immediately began to cry. Sob, really. Because I loved her as a character. She was hilarious and strong and didn't take crap from anyone. She was everything I always hope to be. And I didn't want her to go through that. Even as I cried, my brain began to tell me that it made sense. Stella was vibrant and enjoyed a wild party. She was not afraid of her sexuality, and she had no problem with casual sex. She was the kind of girl that probably had a reputation. The kind of girl who could be heinously and violently taken advantage of, and people would STILL blame her. Because she was in the wrong place, wearing the wrong clothes, behaving in the wrong way. But just because it COULD happen to her, didn't mean I wanted it to. But once again, Stella was there in my head saying, "Someone needs to tell this story. And I'm strong enough to do it. Let me." And when Stella chose her story, she also chose the man I'd been adamant wasn't right for her. Because as it turns out... Those two characters who I thought were too alike aren't so alike anymore. And Stella needs Ryan to help her hold on to that vibrant and strong girl she was before.

So I let go of all the plans I had for her, and allowed her to tell me her story, which is about more than just sexual assault. It's about the aftermath. Depression. Shame. Guilt. Anger. Injustice. Victim-blaming. Slut-shaming. It's about the way that kind of event can change everything-- how you relate to people, how you think, how you dream, how you love. It's about the way the rest of the world moves on to the next big tragedy, and you're still left holding the broken pieces of who you used to be, with no idea how to put them together again or even if you want to. It will be the most difficult story I ever tell. And the most important. Because it’s a story that belongs not just to Stella, but to millions of people around the world. It’s a story that belongs to a new person every 107 seconds*. And that’s just in the United States. Think about that for a moment. 107 seconds. Stella’s story won’t be any easier to read than it will be to write. But I hope you’ll help me drag this story into the light.

So now I’ll step off my soapbox and just tell you about the book…


Stella Santos is fine.

Maybe something terrible happened to her that she can’t even remember. And maybe it drives her crazy when her friends treat her like she’s on the verge of breaking because of it. Maybe it feels even worse when they do what she asks and pretend that it never happened at all. And maybe she’s been getting harassing emails and messages for months from people who don’t even know her, but hate her all the same.

But none of that matters because she’s just fine.

For Ryan Blake, Stella was always that girl. Vibrant and hilarious and beautiful. He wanted her as his best friend. His more than friends. His everything and anything that she would give him. Which these days is a whole lot of nothing. She gets angry when he’s there. Angry when he’s not there. Angry when he tries to talk and when he doesn’t.

When Stella devises an unconventional art project for one of her classes all about exploring intimacy—between both friends and strangers—Ryan finds himself stepping in as guinea pig after one of her subjects bails. What was supposed to be an objective and artistic look at emotion and secrets and sex suddenly becomes much more personal. When he hits it off with another girl from the project, Stella will have to decide if she’s willing to do more than make art about intimacy. To keep him, she’ll have to open up and let herself be the one thing she swore she’d never be again.



ALL CLOSED OFF will be releasing sometime in early 2016. I don't have a date yet for several reasons. The first and most important, is that I want to do this story justice. And as such, I have no intentions of rushing the process. Secondly, I'll be returning to indie publishing for the remainder of the Rusk series. As you can probably tell, this story means a great deal to me. And by having the ultimate control over everything from timing to editing to price, I'll be able to ensure that I'm able to create exactly the story I envision. Unfortunately, that means you won't be seeing the paperback of ALL CLOSED OFF on the shelves in most stores. Nor is it currently available for pre-order. But I hope you'll add the book on goodreads, follow me on social media, and/or join my newsletter. I promise to shout it all over the place when I have a set release date or pre-order links.

Thank you for listening as I told you the evolution of Stella's story. When it's finished, I hope you will feel as passionately about it as I do.

All my best,

Cora Carmack


*Statistic from RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network)


And an opportunity to add your voice to Stella’s…

Stella’s experience is only one story of many. She was with someone she trusted when it happened, and the only memories she has are pieced together from her own blurred recollections and the things people have told her. Not everyone’s experience with sexual assault is the same. Each person reacts, copes, and overcomes differently. And while this book is about one specific character’s journey, I would like to tell as many sides of this story as possible. As Stella grapples with her thoughts and emotions she’ll be searching for advice, for comfort, for a place where people understand her and can identify with what she’s experiencing. There will be room for truth within the fiction, and if you’d like that truth to be yours, this is your chance.

If you have a story like Stella’s, and you want your voice to be heard….

If there’s something you wish more people understood about what you’ve gone through….

If there’s something you’d like to tell people struggling with a story like yours…

I’d like to give you the opportunity to add your voice to Stella’s. Use the hashtag #WhenItHappened and let your voice be heard on your own by posting on your own social media, or if you’d rather I share your words fill out this google document and tell me your story. You can fill out this form anonymously or not. I’d like to begin this discussion now because April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. But my hope is to include as many stories as possible within the book itself.

So many have stories of #WhenItHappened. Your voice and your story deserve to be heard. I’m listening.

#WhenItHappened Google Form: http://goo.gl/forms/4VRjWgZYSW


HeadshotABOUT Cora Carmack:

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something New York Times bestselling author who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She now splits her time between Austin, TX and New York City and spends her days writing, traveling, and spending way too much time on the internet. In her books, you can expect to find humor, heart, and a whole lot of awkward. Because let’s face it . . . awkward people need love, too.




Website ** Twitter ** Facebook **Newsletter **Author Goodreads


28 April 2015

Release Day Blitz & Giveaway: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

I am so excited that AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir releases today and that I get to share the news, along with a special introduction from Sabaa herself!
If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Sabaa Tahir, be sure to check out all the details below.
This blitz also includes a giveaway for a signed copies of the book and some of those awesome sword letter openers we’ve seen around courtesy of Sabaa, Penguin Teen, and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

Dear Readers,

Today, my “baby” AN EMBER IN THE ASHES is finally out in the world! From inception to pub date, this journey took eight years. And what a journey it was: writing, rewriting, revising, editing, querying, submitting; Meeting other debuts, bloggers, booksellers and librarians, and hearing their thoughts on EMBER. There aren’t enough superlatives to describe the radness.

And now, the book is here! I am so excited to see it in the hands of readers. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. To celebrate release day, I’m giving away two signed, first-edition hardcovers of the book. Details below!

All my best,

An Ember in the Ashes
by Sabaa Tahir.
Audience/Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy.
Publication: April 28th 2015 by Razorbill.
Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.

LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.

ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.

When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.

Giveaway Details:
2 winners will receive a signed hardcover of AN EMBER IN THE ASHES. US Only.
3 winners will receive a hardcover of AN EMBER IN THE ASHES and a Sword Letter Opener! US Only.
Ends on May 9th at Midnight EST!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sabaa Tahir grew up in California’s Mojave Desert at her family’s 18-room motel. There, she spent her time devouring fantasy novels, raiding her brother’s comic book stash and playing guitar badly. She began writing An Ember in the Ashes while working nights as a newspaper editor. She likes thunderous indie rock, garish socks and all things nerd. Sabaa currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Instagram

Release Blitz & Giveaway: Life Unaware by Cole Gibsen

Life Unaware by Cole Gibsen.
Audience/Genre: Young Adult, Mental Health.
Publication: April 28th 2015 by Entangled: Teen.
Regan Flay has been talking about you.

Regan Flay is on the cusp of achieving her control-freak mother's "plan" for high school success―cheerleading, student council, the Honor Society—until her life gets turned horribly, horribly upside down. Every bitchy text. Every bitchy email. Every lie, manipulation, and insult she's ever said have been printed out and taped to all the lockers in school.

Now Regan has gone from popular princess to total pariah.

The only person who even speaks to her is her former best friend's hot but socially miscreant brother, Nolan Letner. Nolan thinks he knows what Regan's going through, but what nobody knows is that Regan isn't really Little Miss Perfect. In fact, she's barely holding it together under her mom's pressure. But the consequences of Regan's fall from grace are only just beginning. Once the chain reaction starts, no one will remain untouched...

Especially Regan Flay

Guest Post Video

Rafflecopter giveaway

Cole Gibsen first realized she different when, in high school, she was still reading comic books while the other girls were reading fashion magazines.

It was her love of superheroes that first inspired her to pick up a pen. Her favorite things to write about are ordinary girls who find themselves in extraordinary situations.

Goodreads | Amazon | B & N

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook

Promo & Giveaway: Love So Irresistible by Marquita Valentine

Love So Irresistible (The Lawson Brothers #3)
by Marquita Valentine.
Audience/Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance.
Publication: April 14th 2015.
All former Navy SEAL Mason Lawson craves is solitude. Unfortunately, his new neighbor won’t allow him the peace he so desperately needs. Between the traffic and the music, Mason is constantly on edge—not exactly what the doctor ordered for someone recovering from a bullet to the leg. However, when he finally has enough and confronts his neighbor, nothing can prepare him for how hot he’d get for the teacher next door.

Piano teacher, Skylar Jernigan, loves everything about the town of Jessamine—from the quaint Main Street shops to the people who own them. Unfortunately, once she’s chewed up and spit out by her sexy neighbor, Skylar begins to question her decision to move to a new town. Until, that is, she learns he’s suffering from a war wound and refuses to have anything to do with his family.

Now, Skylar is determined to help Mason recover—mentally, physically and socially—until he turns the tables and sets out to seduce Skylar right out of her meddling ways. Only seduction turns into something more and soon, Mason can’t stop looking for excuses to be with her. But when the Navy wants Mason to reenlist for a dangerous mission, will Skylar be too irresistible for him to leave?

“Did you have a good time?” he asked, curious if she would go out with him again. Wait, did he want her to go out with him?

The answer was yes. His terms, he reminded himself. Honor his brothers by attempting to live. He could do this, starting with Skylar. She was his test.

And if things went well…

“I had a great time. Maybe you could invite your brother, Tristan, and my friend Lemon to go out with us on the boat.”

His eyebrows shot up. “You think there’s going to be a next time?” He decided not to inform her that it would be a cold day in hell before Tristan and Lemon did anything together that didn’t require a court order.

She flashed him a flirty smile, and his gut clenched. What was it about this woman that made him lose his mind? Made him want to try to live again? “I know there will be.”

“What makes you so sure?”

Snatching his sunglasses from the captain’s chair, she settled them on her nose and struck a pose like an old-school movie star. “I’m fabulous company,” she said and tossed her hair. “So fab.”

His lips twitched before he could stop them, and her mouth curved into a satisfied smile. “You’re tolerable.”

“I’m irresistible, sugar,” she replied in an over-exaggerated accent.

Yes, you are. He grunted. “That might be stretching things.”

“That’s not exactly disagreeing with me.”

“Bomber needs company while I swim or dive.”

“You normally go diving alone?” She looked at him over her glasses, green eyes wide. “Isn’t that dangerous?”

“For him it might be.” He rechecked her lifejacket and Bomber’s. “But for me—no.”

“What about sharks?” She whispered the last word.

“I stay away from them, and they stay away from me. Predator respects predator.”

“Oh, good Lord,” she muttered. “Try being serious.”

This time, he did more than allow his mouth to twitch. He laughed, and damn, it felt good.

Skylar, however, didn’t think he was amusing at all. She crossed her arms and turned up the cutest nose he’d ever seen.

“There are no sharks in the sound,” he said, but he didn’t go diving in the sound. The water wasn’t clear enough for his liking.

Her lips flattened. “Hmpf.”

“Okay, so you might run into a sand shark every now and then, but they won’t bite you. Hell, I’m more likely to bite you.” Nibble on you. Kiss the golden skin of her neck and work his way down to—

“I read online the other day that in January of this year, Katharine was practically all the way to Belhaven.”

“They’re still tracking her?” The fourteen-foot, twenty-three hundred pound great white had been tagged a few years back. He’d never seen her, not once, since he started diving. Maybe—

“Mason, you should not look so happy about a shark hanging out where people normally swim.”

“I’m not happy,” he snapped.

“Of course you’re not, but your mouth started doing that thing.” She touched her lips.

He frowned. “What thing?”

“The opposite of what it’s doing now.”

He started the engine and headed to shore, grateful for the excuse not to talk.

The pier came into view and he cut the boat’s engine, letting the tide carry them the rest of the way, with only short bursts of power when the boat went off course.

“You worry way too much about stuff you can’t control,” he said as he stood, grabbing the anchor and dropping it over the side. Then he formed a clove hitch and looped it over a post, securing the boat.

“I don’t have to be in control.”

“Yes, you do.”

“Well, if I’m a control freak, then you are an ultra-to-the-max control freak.”

“Never said I wasn’t, but I can’t control Mother Nature,” he pointed out and turned to his dog. At his signal, Bomber leapt onto the pier.

“Yet, you like to tempt God by going out alone and swimming with sharks.” She grabbed her beach bag, and stuffed her towel in it, then allowed him to help her onto the pier.

“No great risk, no great reward.”

He had lost his damn mind. “No swimming with sharks, get to see another day.”

“You’re cute when you’re angry,” he said to rile her up and managed to somehow piss himself off as the same time. “And I’ll swim anywhere I want, when I want.” Damn woman. He made to walk away, but she grabbed his arm.

“Don’t you dare walk away from me.” Skylar let go of his arm and fisted her hands on her hips. “You will listen to what I have to say.”

A tic started up in his jaw. “You have one minute.”

Go HERE for the Rafflecopter Giveaway

New York Times Bestselling Author, Marquita Valentine, writes sexy heroes that make you swoon and sassy heroines that make you laugh. She’s the author of the bestselling contemporary romance series, Holland Springs, and the new adult romance series, Boys of the South.

Marquita met her husband aka Hot Builder at Sonic when they were in high school. She suggests this location to all of her single friends in search of a good man—and if that doesn't work, they can console themselves with cheesy tatertots. She lives in North Carolina in a very, very small town with Hot Builder and their two children.

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook

Cover Reveal: Implanted (Ascension #2) by Heather Letto

Implanted (Ascension #2)
by Heather Letto.
Audience/Genre: Dystopia, Young Adult.
Publication: June 2015.
After a narrow escape from the city of Impervious, Fran’s heart aches for the ones she left behind. Will her brother ever connect the dots? And, what about Pete? Could he, along with the remaining Rebels, have survived the Council’s violent oppression?

As Fran ponders the fate of her friends, an even more disturbing revelation drops into her world—the knowledge that she, along with anyone who had lived underground remains implanted with the sinister presence of the Council. A fate rendering her powerless to save.

Yet one with pure blood, untouched by the Council’s defiling, lives among them. Could he be the new lifeline of hope? Is salvation of the city worth risking the life of this one-and-only?

Purchase book 1: In keeping with the spirit of celebration--for reveal day only--all IMPERVIOUS (Ascension Series Book 1) Kindle downloads will be .99! This new edition of Impervious includes a Glossary of Terms and thought-provoking Discussion Questions.
Link: goo.gl/plHXqc

I’m a book-writing, selfie-taking, latte-drinking, social media gal. I’m living a good life on the road as a full-fledged Bedouin (Well, except, my tent is actually a fully-equipped RV.) Me and my partner-in-crime (Benj) tend to hunker down wherever the skies are clear and the temps stay in the 70’s. We call ourselves Gypsy Nerds because we aimlessly wander the U.S. with glasses perched upon our noses and faces jammed into computer screens (for the first half the day... The second half of the day is typically devoted to playing because we’re also somewhat immature.)

Like most authors, the characters I create are my extended family. And like most readers, when the story ends, I get a little sad. In real life, I have two handsome, hardworking, grown-up boys who know how to make their Mama proud! *Waves to Joey and Mike!*

The Ascension Series is my debut into the world of YA fiction.

I’m living what I love and loving what I live!

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook