Saturday, March 30, 2013

BOOK BLITZ & GIVEAWAY: A Different Blue by Amy Harmon

Book Blurb:  Blue Echohawk doesn't know who she is.  She doesn't know her real name or when she was born.  Abandoned at two and raised by a drifter, she didn't attend school until she was ten years old.  At nineteen, when most kids her age are attending college or moving on in life, she is just a senior in high school.   With no mother, no father, no faith, and no future, Blue Echohawk is a difficult student, to say the least. Tough, hard and sexy, she is the complete opposite of the young British teacher who decides he is up for the challenge, and takes the troublemaker under his wing. 
This is the story of a nobody who becomes somebody.  It is the story of an unlikely friendship, where hope fosters healing and redemption becomes love.  But falling in love can be hard when you don't know who you are.  Falling in love with someone who knows exactly who they are and exactly why they can't love you back might be impossible.
Author Bio:   Amy Harmon knew at an early age that writing was something she wanted to do, so she divided her time between writing songs and stories as she grew. Having grown up in the middle of wheat fields without a television, with only her books and her siblings to entertain her, she developed a strong sense of what made a good story. Amy Harmon has been a motivational speaker, a grade school teacher, a junior high teacher, a home school mom, and a member of the Grammy Award winning Saints Unified Voices Choir, directed by Gladys Knight. She released a Christian Blues CD in 2007 called "What I Know" - also available on Amazon and wherever digital music is sold.  She lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband and four kids, and doesn't plan to ever move somewhere, because nowhere is sublime.  She has written Running Barefoot, and the Young Adult books Slow Dance in Purgatory and the sequel, Prom Night in Purgatory.  A Different Blue is her fourth novel.  

Where to find Amy:

I love being creative with my chapter titles.  If you've read any of my other books, you already know that!  This book has titles that are all related to one word.  It is not obvious, at least it wasn't to me!  When you download the book, scroll through the chapter titles to figure out what each title has in common with the others.  Once you think you've got it figured out, write your answer in a message.  No one will be able to see anyone else's response.  The winner, selected by rafflecopter, will get a beautiful necklace AND charm bracelet with charms that represent different elements in the book OR a $20 Amazon gift card, whichever the winner chooses, and a runner up will get the remaining prize.

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COVER REVEAL & GIVEAWAY: Of Silver and Beasts (A Goddess Wars Novel) by Trisha Wolfe

Of Silver and Beasts (A Goddess Wars Novel)
Release Date: June 1, 2013
Genre: New Adult Dark Fantasy
Cover Reveal Organized by: YA Bound
Cover Designed by: Steven Novak

Summary from Goodreads:
In the sand-covered queendom of Cavan, the goddess once saved a young Kaliope’s life, preventing the mercury her father attempted to hide in her blood from reaching her heart. Now, a cybernetic clamp filters it, but the silver streaks swirling faintly beneath her skin are a constant reminder that she’s different.

When nineteen-year-old Kaliope is chosen as head of the Nactue Guard, she becomes the sworn protector to her empress. In the midst of an invasion on a neighboring land, Kaliope is placed in charge of guarding Prince Caben, the last heir to his kingdom. But when they’re attacked by the feared Otherworlders, Caben and Kaliope are abducted and taken below to a realm where they must fight for their life in a caged arena. 

Kaliope struggles to protect her princely charge, keeping him and herself alive while battling inhumanly opponents, and trying to save the stolen, sacred relic that will restore her empress’s life force and all of Cavan. And if she can somehow awaken the goddess within her, she may save what’s most important.


I open my mouth to say something comforting, but I’m unsure of what. In this moment, I’m reminded that I know little about him. Other than the sarcasm and desire to understand nothing of my queendom, he hasn’t allowed me past the surface. But then, I have my own walls, hiding things I’d never want him or any other to know. And I understand that need to hide them. You can’t trust anyone. “Caben…” I start, but still can’t find the right words. He lowers his hand from his face, never taking his eyes off the glinting water top. “You’re right,” he finally says. “Let’s find the access to Lilly’s section.” A hollow pang hits my chest, and I’m not sure why. Something in his voice sounds lost, broken. I imagine the gears around my heart spinning faster, trying to keep up with my racing heart. When he sidesteps me, I reach out and grab his arm. “Caben, I didn’t mean—” “It’s fine, Kal,” he snaps. “We have work to do.” “No, I’ve said something to offend you.” I drop my hand, but keep close to him, not allowing him to leave my side. Goddess, trying to understand the male brain is harder than anything in protector training. I’ve heard people say that you have to tip-toe around a woman’s emotions, but a man’s ego is every bit as fragile, if not more so. He releases a heavy breath through his nose and walks back to the pool. He sits down along the edge and rolls up his pants, then slips off his boots. “I honestly don’t think Bax or his goons will be returning tonight.” He sinks his bare feet into the water and sighs. Glancing at the back of the cave, I plant my hands on my hips. We don’t have time for indulgencies, but the prince is still my charge. If it were my empress, I’d give her anything she’d ask for. Allow her as much time as she needed to collect herself. I have to watch over his mental state as well as protect him, so I try to push the pending need to find Lilly aside and sit down next to him. “Here,” he says, turning his hand out near my crossed feet. “You have to feel this.” A smile tugs at the corner of my mouth. “I can remove my own—” “Have you never been pampered a day in your life?” he asks, lifting an eyebrow. “I know that the Nactue are fierce and will put a hurt on any man for touching them. But try to relax.” “Is that the rumor in Perinya?” “What?” I bite my lip, suddenly regretting my blurt. “Nothing. Never mind.” From the corner of my eye, I see his lips pucker into a pinched smile, as if he’s trying not to. “Ah,” he says, like he’s made some great universal connection. “Well, there are many whisperings about the Nactue. Some I dare not repeat for fear I’d leave here missing a limb, but that’s one, yes.” He takes my booted foot and begins to unlace it. “I’ve heard that the empress’s protectors are untouchable—forbidden to give themselves to men. And that they’ll snap a man’s neck just for making an advance.” My mouth drops open. Appalled, I counter, “That’s not true.” “All right,” he says, as if he hasn’t just insulted my very existence. “It’s only rumors. Things men jaw about in pubs. The unattainable woman is a fantasy, Kal. Don’t be offended.” “Unattainable?” I grit my teeth, trying to maintain my composure. “Tell me, prince. Do men in your country just go around bedding every woman they can in order to keep them compliant?” I shake my head. “If their fantasy is a woman that would have nothing to do with them, it seems to me it’s their way of feeding their egos after being rejected.” His eyes widen. “No! How does your brain come up with these—” He bites off his words, his lips thin as he presses them together. “Look, it was a joke.” I nod, many times. “Another joke. I’m glad that our hard work and sacrifice is amusing to the men of Perinya.” Caben lets out another sigh and slowly pulls off my boot. His warm fingers skim my calf as he inches up my pant leg. “Just stick your foot in,” he says, then adds lower, “while I stick mine in my mouth.” Unexpectedly, I laugh. “At least it’s now clean,” I say. “Would you like some help getting it to your face?”

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

BLOG TOUR - EXCERPT, REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Between Micah and Amos by Alan Oakes

Like a flash, the discharge from the gun lit up the inside of the dimly lit, filthy trailer Ashleigh called home. Ashleigh sat curled up on the stained pink carpet next to the pull-out bed in the living area where she slept.  The victim lay dead, slumped against the wall of the trailer.  Ashleigh looked at the motionless body.  She was petrified.

Meet Ashleigh Mae, a seventeen year old high school senior living in the small town of Micah, Texas.  Her boyfriend Billy calls her a wild child.  Her momma is always telling her she makes bad choices.  No matter what, no one really understands her.  

Ashleigh dreams of a life with Billy.  Their love is true, she thinks. When her mother forces them to leave Micah in the middle of the night and move in with her momma’s old boyfriend Casey, on the outskirts of a town called Amos, Ashleigh’s life is torn apart.  

This is her fight to get it back….

“Good night,” Billy said to Ashleigh as the two were sitting in the parked truck. She held onto him tightly as he kissed her.

            “’Night,” she murmured, sliding across the seat and opening the door. “Call me,” she added, her heart filled with sadness that she would be left alone again.

            “Yeah,” Billy said with a half-cocked smile.

            Ashleigh closed the rusted door to the pickup. Billy turned the truck around and drove off. Ashleigh was left alone again in the silence of the night. She made her way to the trailer, looking down so as not to trip on any of Casey’s debris.

            “Where the hell have you been?” Jo Lynn bellowed, scaring the crap out of Ashleigh. Her mother was sitting imperiously on the half built deck in front of the trailer in a plastic chair, like a queen on her throne.

            Ashleigh walked up to her mother and could see a half-finished bottle of Jack sitting on an old apple crate by her side. Jo Lynn took a drag from her smoke.

            “I asked you a question… Come closer,” Jo Lynn demanded.

            Ashleigh took one step closer. “I was out with Billy,” she answered apprehensively.

            “You smell like sex!” Jo Lynn said, taking another drag from her smoke.

            “While you were out whoring, guess who came by to visit?” Jo Lynn said dramatically.

            “Who?” Ashleigh asked.

            “Child Protective Services, that’s who!” Jo Lynn took a swig of her glass of Jack.

            “Out of nowhere, too!” she continued. “Casey’s ready to beat the tar out of you! He had to flush all his stash down the toilet!”

Alan Oakes is a Graduation Coach and Counselor at a Texas High School.  He is a featured writer for Green Building and Design magazine and a contributor to other magazines including Texas Architect and New American Luxury.  In the past, he served as Associate Pastor of Saint Austin Catholic Church and Director of Catholic Campus Ministry at UCLA.  

Alan holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas and a Master of Arts degree from the Washington Theological Union in Washington, D.C.

To learn more about the author, feel free to go to his website: 

Author Links: Website l Whiskey Creek Press l Facebook

My Thoughts:

"Sometimes in life you gotta step up, you know?"

Seventeen year old Ashleigh lives with her mother Jo Lynn. Jo Lynn is possibly one of the worst role models a young girl could have. Her and her latest boyfriend Casey dont work, they drink to excess on a daily basis and they openly use and abuse drugs in front of Ashleigh. They also provide no basic care for her. Jo Lynn is constantly belittling Ashleigh and for the most part she is left to fend for herself. Ashleigh is in love with her boyfriend Billy. She pictures a future with him. A happier life. But Billy's actions will cause Ashleigh to question him.

After starting at a new school Ashleigh meets Manuel. He is a true ray of light in this book. He is the complete opposite of everyone and everything in Ashleigh's life. He radiates kindness and goodness. He is caring and compassionate. And he falls hard for Ashleigh. He would do anything to make things easier and better for her. 

"How the heck do you think a boy from a family like that gets mixed up with a girl the likes of Ashleigh Mae?"

"Cupid's arrow is painted blind."

Whenever I read stories like Between Micah and Amos, I'm always conscience of the fact that, whether by choice or by circumstance there are people in this world who have lives exactly like the ones depicted in this book. And that is a horrible and tragic part of the world that we live in.

The story starts in the present time as an incident has unfolded and we as the reader are then taken back to see what lead us to that point.

Ashleigh wasn't an easy person to like. There were times that I questioned exactly what it was that Manuel was attracted to. At times I didn't feel that she gave a lot back to him. I without a doubt felt compassion and sympathy for her. Her daily existence is horrid. But by the end of the book we see how strong she really is. She has dealt with so much in her short life. 

"Ashleigh, I've got the feeling you're a star that's fixin' to shine. I got a good feeling about you."

The words sank deeply into Ashleigh's heart. No one ever told her that before.

Another of the very rare people on Ashleigh's side was the school counselor Gladys Brown. Without being told any details she could pick up immediately on the hardships that Ashleigh was facing and tried her hardest to help and be there when she was needed.

This was quite a quick read and there was more than enough intensity to keep you invested in what was going to happen next. Alan Oakes writing style was incredibly easy to read and Between Micah and Amos was a well written and gripping book. 

4/5 Stars!

Alan will be awarding gift cards to three randomly drawn commenters during the tour. The characters are always going to Sonic – so he is giving away gift cards in the names of the main characters: Grand Prize: Billy-sized $25.00 2nd Prize: Manuel-sized: $15.00 3rd Prize: Ashleigh-sized: $10.00 If the winner prefers, they can get either an Amazon or gift card instead of the Sonic card. 

You can follow along with the rest of the tour HERE. The more you comment, the greater your chances of winning!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

BLOG TOUR - REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Shattered Soul by Jennifer Snyder

Title: Shattered Soul
Author: Jennifer Snyder
Release Date: May 14, 2011
Genre: Young Adult Romance

Hellish Nightmare...

If seventeen-year-old Seth Bradson were to describe his life in two words, those would be the two he’d choose. Seth prefers to cope with his crappy existence by spending his days in a drug-induced haze. But when Ali Carson steps into his life, Seth finds something he’s subconsciously been seeking—a new drug, one that consumes his mind unlike any other. 


In a moment of unforgivable weakness, Seth allows Ali to try crystal meth, his most addictive temptation. This single event begins the unraveling of both their lives and forces Seth to learn the definition of regret the hard way.

Book Links: Goodreads l Amazon l Barnes & Noble l Smashwords l Paperback

Author Bio:
Jennifer Snyder lives in North Carolina were she spends most of her time writing young adult fiction, reading, and struggling to stay on top of housework. She is an instant coffee lover with an obsession for spiral bound notebooks and smooth writing pens. Jennifer lives with her husband and two children, who endure listening to songs that spur inspiration on repeat and tolerate her love for all paranormal, teenage-targeted TV shows.

Author Links: Twitter l Website l Facebook

My Thoughts:

This was how I dealt with my life. Every time I snorted a line, popped a pill, or smoked a bowl I was dealing with it, coping with it the only way I knew how.

OH. MY. GOD. My poor, poor heart!!! Why do I do it to myself? Why do I read these books that send me on such an emotional roller coaster? I'll tell you why. Because despite my heart getting ripped to shreds, I love books like this. Books that scream reality. Books that you can picture so clearly in your head. Books that make you think. Books that make you feel. Let me tell you, Shattered Soul ticked every one of those boxes and then some!!

And I wasn't just some bad boy who was nothing but a punk kid looking for trouble. I was raised around trouble and because of it, I was troubled to the very core.

To say that Seth has a tough life would be an understatement. It fact it's incredibly crappy!!! Although his mother is there physically, she offers nothing of what a mother should. He receives no love and no care whatsoever. But he has his older brother to take care of him right? Wrong!! His brother is a bigger disaster than his mum. Calvin is an addicted drug dealer. He is controlling to the extreme and takes great pleasure in the pain that he causes Seth. 

And so Seth seeks to numb that pain and take refuge from his life with a mix of drugs. And then Ali enters his life. Seth see's her beauty and her goodness and knows that there is no way someone like her could ever be interested in him. But they start spending time together and she makes Seth want to be a better, stronger person. But Maybe Ali's life isn't as perfect as it looks. 

I absolutely loved Seth. Did I find him swoony? Hell yes!! But more than that, I wanted to hug him and have him as part of my family so that he could experience all the things he should have experienced but missed out on. I wanted to offer him comfort and show him that there is good in the world. I wanted to protect and care for him. And I wanted him to not think so little of himself. He was capable of so much good and had so much love to give.

Being around Ali had become intoxicating. She had become my new drug of choice, the one that I preferred above all others. 

I loved that Ali could see the good in Seth. I loved that she brought some happiness to his life. But there were times when I wanted to shake some sense into her. And then the next minute I wanted to help her and stop her from heading down the path she was on.

This book shows how quickly addiction can take hold. How even though you may think that you can handle and control it, it doesn't work that way. Before you know it you're in too deep.

Shattered Soul is not a fluffy read despite there being moments of light. It is deep and there is darkness, but it is a book that you won't be able to put down. Jennifer Snyder is an exceptional storyteller. A truly amazing book!!!

5/5, gripping, heart wrenching, soul shattering stars!!!

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