New Update!

Hello everyone. All of my Reviews, that I have yet to write, will be posted sporadically during the summer. After the end of this summer, I will not be posting on here anymore, as you will see the info on the right side of the blog.
Thanks for your understanding.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

(Guest Blog & Promo & Review) Katrina The Beginning By: Elizabeth Loraine



Review Quote:


I am a fan of YA novels. I am also a fan of vampire novels. Between my two loves, I had thought I had experienced the majority of what the genre could provide me, until I discovered independent author, Elizabeth Loraine

Blurb:

As a Vampire being hunted was nothing new. Finding out that I had to save those that were hunting us was!

Katrina, a young royal blooded vampire, chronicles her life from the age of seventeen beginning in the 1800's forward in the series Royal Blood Chronicles.

Katrina is thrust into something she never could have imagined growing up in the aristocracy of Europe. Once the fashion of the day, and girlish gossip filled Katrina and her new friends days, but their lives changed the instant their race was threatened and they were chosen as the Five, and the protectors of not only the vampire race, but all the peaceful races of the world!

If you are looking for a new, exciting vampire series, with strong female characters you've found it in Royal Blood Chronicles. It starts here with Katrina, The Beginning!


Guest Blog:

Growing up in the small Minnesota town of Park Rapids, I never dreamed I’d be publishing my twelfth young adult novel. I’d always had stories in my head, but I’d never written them down.


My childhood was full of small town fun, in a carefree age, when you didn’t have to lock your doors, or worry about your children. We went out to play with the other children of the neighborhood and didn’t come home until dinner time.


The streets weren’t paved and we spent time catching butterflies, bumble bees and using our imaginations. Now I use that same imagination to conjure fantasy worlds, and the characters and creatures to fill them.


I wrote my first book for print in 2009, but it wasn’t until September of 2010 that I launched my first ebook. Since then I have sold over 22,000 and had another 24,000 free books downloaded! I find that amazing.


As a reader I always wanted to lose myself in a new world where I could see myself with the characters, so that’s what I wanted to do when I wrote. Of course I included my favorite kinds of beings; vampires, elves, witches and wizards, all in lush, romantic and dramatic back-drops.


If you are missing Harry Potter, Twilight and Hunger Games, give my series Royal Blood Chronicles a try and lose yourself in a new world and fall in love with new characters.



Book Trailer:
*Excerpt*- Chapter 2 - Katrina
The roadway turned, and as we entered a dark forest I suddenly felt the weight of impending doom surrounding us.
“Listen,” I told myself. “Use all your senses.” I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I could feel Quinn and Thomas tense as they realized what I was doing. They slowly drew their swords, and as they did, so did Gunter, Simon, and Father. I could ‘see’ many horses and many humans. 
Then Father’s voice boomed. “Ride!”
As we forced our horses into a gallop, my senses told me the men in the woods to the right of us, outnumbered us by ten. 
“How far? How far were our attackers from us?” I asked myself. A mile maybe less, I detected. 
“How far is the Palace?” I yelled.
“Two miles!” Father shouted back.
“We’ll never make it;’ they’re only a mile away,” 
Thank goodness we had left the wagons in the city with the servants, who would follow us later.
Then I realized that no common robber would risk attacking such a large party. Despite all the care and secrecy with which we had undertaken this journey, someone must have alerted our assailants to our presence. We must have spies amongst us; for only one kind of human would have the audacity to attack us —the Volator—those whose sole purpose in life was to hunt and kill vampires. That they had picked this time to attack, was no accident, I thought.
I could see the Palace now, less than a mile away. We might just make it.
Then out of the darkness of the woods, I detected the distinct whistle of an arrow in flight. 
“Duck!” I screamed.
We instinctively bent down low as we urged our horses ahead. Another arrow came from the right, and a horse squealed and fell, the guard flying off his mount into the ditch.
Suddenly Father, Philepe, and Gerhardt pulled their horses up, jumped off, and ran into the forest.
“Get Katrina into the palace, now!” yelled Gunter. We galloped by as he dismounted to follow Father. 
Suddenly Nulla tripped. Only because of my strength and quick reaction, was I able to cling to the saddle and avoid being thrown. I clung perilously, hanging off the side of the saddle, as Nulla continued thundering down the road. 
“Open the gate!” Quinn yelled. He reached out to help me back into the saddle almost unseating himself. 
I had trained my whole life to be able to save myself, and the time had come to do it. I pulled myself up and into the saddle, just as the gate opened and we galloped through. Guards, swords drawn, pushed past us, ready to aid Father. My heart was pounding as people rushed towards us.
“Are you all right, my Lady?” someone asked.
“Yes. Quinn, Thomas, are you all right?”
“Yes, we’re fine. We’re going back to help,” Quinn panted.
“No!” Thomas insisted. “Katrina is your charge right now. You stay here; she must be safe.”
I dismounted and noticed blood dripping down Nulla’s leg, an arrow jutting from her shoulder.
“Oh, no!” I cried, “Nulla!”
Hearing my cry, Quinn ran over to see what was wrong. 
“She’ll be fine, Katrina,” he assured me as he looked at the wound. The wound is not deep. Stable boy! Here! Now! Take my Lady’s beloved mare to the stable and see to her. Take great care and report back to me.”
The stable boy nodded, and poor Nulla limped away with him.
As if he had read my mind Quinn said, “She’ll be fine. Your father will be fine. It’s those cowards in the woods that ambushed us you should worry about. Your father and Philepe will show them no mercy. The only problem we’ll have is to endure the stories of bravery Gerhardt will tell.”
I rolled my eyes and we both had a laugh. It was short lived however, because just then we heard the gate swing open and Father’s party gallop through, the dust from all the hoofs making it impossible for me to see for a moment, then I heard my father shout. “Katrina! Where is my daughter?”
“I’m here Father.”
He was alive. And just as we had predicted, out of the dust Gerhardt appeared and said, “Did you miss me?”
Philepe, Gunter, and Simon were also unhurt but we’d lost four guards, two from our garrison and two from the palace detail.
“What of the Volator, Father?”
Father had a shocked look on his face.
“You knew?”
“Who else would it be?”
“Five got away, but twenty-five or so were not so lucky. Unfortunately I don’t think their leader was amongst them. But I assure you he’s not far, and we’ll find him. No one is safe until we root out the traitor who has revealed us. Now you get cleaned up and rest, because we must report to the High Regent.”
The thought of a traitor living among us sent shivers up my spine.
A lovely girl named Gretchen showed me to my quarters. Several young ladies would be sharing this large common area surrounded by bedrooms. Tall leaded glass windows on each side of the fireplace filled the room with light and gave the gold, overstuffed chairs and sofa a soft glow. A round table with six chairs sat in the corner. The high, dark-beamed ceiling was adorned with two iron candle chandeliers. My bedroom was the second door to the left, and in it was a large bed with wooden posts, lush green velvet bedding, and an eiderdown so thick that they might not be able to find me in the morning. 
I heard the door to the common room open and my curiosity revived me enough to go and meet the new arrival. She was stunning. Glossy, ebony hair drifted over her shoulders nearly to her waist. She had big brown eyes and skin the color of warm sand.
“Hello,” I said. “I’m Katrina Von Dracek.”
“How nice for you,” she said in a bored voice without looking in my direction.
“I can see this is going to a long week,” I thought to myself. 
“I’m Rosalinda DiPalicio.”
“How nice for you too,” I said, and turned to walk away.
“All right, that was rude, forgive me. It’s just that it was quite an adventure to get here. I’m exhausted, I’m starving, and I smell like a horse.”
The tension broken, we laughed. I knew just how she felt.
“Let’s start again. I’m Rosalinda DiPalicio, but you may call me Rosa.”
“I am pleased to meet you, Rosa. I’m Katrina Von Dracek, and you may call me Kat.”
“There were some delicious morsels standing guard outside. I don’t suppose we’re allowed to feed on anything or anyone we want to?” Rosa grinned and licked her full lips.
“No, I don’t think so.”
Again, the door opened and Gretchen came in carrying a large case. She was followed by a girl of medium height. Her blonde hair was pulled back away from a lovely heart-shaped face, which featured a smile that seemed to light her from within.
“Hello. I’m Eleanor Flanery. We just arrived from England.”
“I’m Rosalinda DiPalicio, and this is Katrina Von Dracek. You may call us Rosa and Kat.”
“I’m glad to meet you, Rosa, Kat. Please call me El.”
“And call me Letta, short for Arletta,” said the girl stepping out from behind Eleanor. 
Arletta Valdesio had traveled from Spain. She had olive skin and dark brown hair pulled back and up in ringlets that were secured with a beautiful jeweled comb. Instead of the brown eyes I was expecting, coneflower blue eyes met mine as we were introduced.
Gretchen showed the newcomers to their rooms.
“Thank you, Gretchen,” said Letta. “Has a bath been prepared?”
“Yes, we could all use a bath,” said Rosa.
“I’ll see to it at once,” Gretchen answered, “and then I’ll bring you some luncheon.”
“Oh, glorious,” El said. “I’m starving,” 
“I am, too,” I said.
Eleanor flopped down on one of the chairs.
“At least I survived the crossing. I really hate sailing. How were your journeys?”
“We were attacked in the forest, about two miles from the front gate,” I said.
“Really? How frightening!” Eleanor’s face showed her concern. “Was anyone in your party hurt?”
“We lost two guards, as did the palace, and, Nulla, my beautiful mare took an arrow in the shoulder, but she’s going to be fine. Father said only four or five of our attackers escaped.”
“Who, was it? Why would anyone do such a thing?” asked El.
“There are many who dislike our kind and despise our way of life,” said Rosa, “They seek to end our existence and take our lands, but they’re fools.”
“It is true that men often seek to kill that which he does not understand, and it seems that as a species man is always fighting someone,” I added.
*End Of Excerpt* 
Review:
This was a wonderful read. I really enjoyed the characters, the settings, the action/adventure aspects...it was all just so refreshing and entertaining. For me, I really liked reading this from Katrina's POV, as we obviously know she is a young vampire, so we read about her daily life, and about her training/feeding, and I found this to be a refreshing paranormal/romance story. And yes, there is romance, a love triangle, between the Human Watcher, Quinn, (very likable character); and Vampire, Damien. You will just have to read on whom she falls far! This is a story not to be missed, as there is a suspenseful plot that will lead you wanting to know more at the end! There is a second book to this, just to let you know, so go on and continue with Book 2 (The Protectors) but read this one first; it's a must! :) *My Rating: 4/5 *My Audience Rating: Between PG & PG-13
Author Bio:           
I grew up in a small northern Minnesotan town married my high school sweetheart, had two beautiful children and as soon as we could we moved to a warmer climate. I have worked with my husband building and decorating custom homes for years. After loving every kind of vampire book, movie and series I decided that I wanted to know more. I can write a book I thought, how hard can that be? Well.... But I stuck to it and finished my first book Royal Blood Chronicles Book One in August 2009. I now have six books in the series and am about to release book two of my new series Phantom Lives.  My parents always told me that I could do anything that I wanted, work hard, study and do it right. 
I believe that and live that way every day.
I started writing this new vampire series for teens and their moms because I myself wanted something different to read. I was tired of all the modern versions of vampire books, there had to be more to these long lived beings. Where had they been what had they seen? I wanted, no I NEEDED to know more so Royal Blood Chronicles was born!  As in Royal Blood Chronicles, Phantom Lives features strong female characters and action and adventure mixed with romance, friendship and a historical backdrop. 
Links:
@bloodchronicles
Buy At: 

Friday, June 29, 2012

(Excerpt & Review) The Carny By: Brooke Moss

Title: The Carny
Author: Brooke Moss
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 7th, 2012
Format: eBook and Paperback
ISBN: Print-978-0-9851483-1-7
Ebook-978-0-9851483-2-4

Hello everyone! Thank you for visiting! Today I am hosting for Enchanted Book Promotions, and today's title is The Carny By: Brooke Moss, and wow this was an incredible story, so please see an Excerpt below, and my Review, along with other Features :) 


Synopsis:



Two people from opposite worlds, one unforgettable kiss. You can't judge a carny by its cover.
At a town fair on the coast of Oregon, handsome Native American carny, Vincent Youngblood, bestows an unforgettable kiss on shy, awkward teenager, Charlotte Davenport. Then disappears without another word, leaving her baffled and enamored.
Ten years later, Charlotte is still living in the small fishing town of Astoria, while being trained to--reluctantly--take over for her philandering hotelier father when he retires. After all, who else will do it? Her two perfect sisters are busy being married to their flawless husbands and having cookie cutter children, while Charlotte remains single, childless, and every bit as mousy as she was a decade ago.
As Charlotte struggles to climb out from underneath her judgmental parents thumb, the carnival rolls back into town, and Charlotte finds herself face to face with Vin again. He's back to run his father's carnival, walking away from a promising career in medicine he started in Chicago. Will her biased and judgmental family accept her relationship with a man who is not only a Native American, but works as a carny for a living? And what unsavory secrets bind the well-educated and seemingly superlative Vin to that ramshackle carnival? After all, you can’t judge a carny by its cover.


*Excerpt*

One of his hands rested on my arm, closing the space between the two of us. “You deserve better friends.”

I didn’t respond. I just stared up at those two shining eyes that were reflecting my own face back at me. His face was coming closer to mine. My knees knocked together, and I wavered in my spot before his other hand came up to anchor my other arm.

“I think I should kiss you.” He raised his eyebrows. “To really drive the point home.”

His lips touched mine before I could agree with him. They were soft and full, and tasted faintly of the soda pop he’d been drinking. The spin cycle in my stomach came to a sudden and abrupt halt, as did all activity of my internal organs.

Everything froze. The music on the loudspeakers faded away, and the crowd around us melted like crayons, blurring into an undecipherable picture. His mouth parted my lips tentatively, and his tongue brushed the inside of my upper lip, sending a shockwave of catastrophic earthquake proportions up my spine. Every hair on my body stood up and the ground swayed under our feet.

When we pulled apart, both of our eyes opened back up sluggishly, as if we’d both been dreaming. I realized that neither one of us was breathing.

“Whoa…” He stepped back, tilting dizzily. He looked at me like I’d just announced the cure for cancer. “Charlotte Davenport.”

I pressed my fingers to my lips. “Vin Youngblood.”

“Hey, can we get this love story finished up?” A kid in line called out. “There’s a line clear around the ride, and you two are sucking face.”

I was suddenly the wallflower again, embarrassed to be in the spotlight. I squeezed through the gate and tromped along the noisy metal tilt-a-whirl floor for the car where Regina and Kasey watched with open mouths. My hair slid out from behind my ear, and shaded my face once again.





Review:

I first just have to blurt out that: I Loved this story! Loved it. :) 
Getting that out now, I have to say, what first intrigued me into reading this story, was the cover. You see above, there's so much color, and it's just really eye catching, beautiful. You see the couple (Vin and Charlotte) above, and down below you see the carnival, and both of those images really appealed to me, along with the synopsis. What really grabbed me though, was Chapter 1, it just sucked me in, wanting to immediately know more! The Excerpt provided is from the first chapter, and when you read where that puzzles together, you will understand, and want to quickly turn the pages; I assure you. The story starts out with an unbelievable first kiss that forever marks both Charlotte and Vin, but they do not reconnect until ten years later. That seems like a lonnggg time, but sometimes that wait could be worth it, and here you will their reunion, and (sigh) their feelings for one another come back again, and it takes off from there. What does unfortunately stand in their way is racism towards Vin, because of his Native American ethnicity and because he is a carny, and that will not do for the Davenport family, especially Charlotte's father. There had to be conflict, obstacles, and the new couple's love is tested through different ways.  One being Racism, and you will see how this bugs and frustrates Charlotte when someone she knows talks rudely about Vin, his friends/family, his ethnicity, his occupation. Some lines here were perfectly written for characters that you probably will dislike; I know I was shocked when a reference was mentioned here and here, and it is just shocking to think that there are probably some that have not moved with the times of change, and here you will read characters that have not changed with the times towards equality. 

What I loved was how hooked I was towards the writing on scenery, making me wanna visit Oregon even more. Next, the 
romance between Charlotte and Vin was just beyond wonderful to read. Moss wrote the story, the characters, everything, just incredibly well.  The feelings were also really relatable, as I found myself to understand and connect with Charlotte's feelings, towards her family, friends, and of course towards Vin. Having this from her point of view was very helpful to understand her story better, and we see her change from an obedient individual to a stronger human being that stands up for herself. Vin was a great developed character, as we read through his conversations what pain he went through in his life, since first meeting Charlotte, and really, you fall in love with him...he's just one character that you will love, as he is what Charlotte envisioned he would be...

So, I encourage you to purchase this novel when it comes out. You will not be disappointed! This was just phenomenal, and I Recommend It!
*My Rating: 5/5
*My Audience Rating: PG-13


Author Bio



Brooke Moss lives in beautiful eastern Washington state, with her nerdy husband, four dirty-faced children, and one dim-witted dog. When she’s not changing diapers and spinning tales, Brooke often changes the color of her hair, fancies herself a cheese aficionado, and as the mother of a child on the Autism Spectrum, enthusiastically supports autism awareness. She loves to write stories that are equal parts hilarious and heart-wrenching, and enjoys finding the love story in every ordinary couple’s past. Now…if she could just climb out from under that pile of dirty laundry. 









Find Brooke elsewhere on the web at www.brookemoss.com and on Twitter at @BrookeMoss4.

 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

(Excerpt, Review & Giveaway!) Thorn By: Intisar Khanani

Hello! Today I'm hosting for Enchanted Book Promotions! The title is Thorn By: Intisar Khanani. This is a YA Fantasy, and wow it was good! Click Here for the full schedule! Down below I will have the synopsis, an Excerpt, my Review, and a Giveaway you will not want to miss, so read down for details! :) 

Synopsis:



Princess Alyrra’s strength lies in silence. Scorned by her family, she avoids the court, spending her time with servants. When her marriage is unexpectedly arranged with the prince of a powerful neighboring kingdom, Alyrra feels trapped. As the court celebrates her match, dark rumors spread about the unexplained deaths of the women of her new family. Alyrra begins her journey with mounting trepidation. Betrayed while traveling, she seizes an opportunity to start a life away from court.

Walking away from a prince whom she doesn’t know should have been easy. But from the moment she sets eyes on him, Alyrra realizes that her freedom could cost him his life. Without any magical defense of her own, she is plunged into a lethal game of sorcery and deceit. Now Alyrra must decide whom she can trust and what she’s willing to fight for—before her silence proves fatal. 




 Excerpt:


“Well, Alyrra, you are off. Are you worried?” I incline my head in assent. “With good cause,” Mother agrees, her voice relaxed, sleepy. “I have devised some help for you against the sorceress, if she is truly a danger. It is a simple but potent spell.”

I nearly choke—magic? Since when has my mother dabbled in magic? And how abysmally little I know her if I do not know this! She unfolds a square of white silk no larger than a kerchief.

“What spell is that?”

She smiles a slow cat smile. “Watch.”

She picks up a needle that glints gold in the lamplight and pricks her finger. As the first drop wells up and falls to spread on the silk she begins to chant:

“Heart’s blood, ruby drop
Bind my love to you;
Mind’s blood, dark drop,
Bind my knowledge to you;
Soul’s blood, last drop,
Bind all strength to you.”

A wave of dizziness passes over me. I stagger sideways, bumping into the edge of the desk. When I raise a hand to my face it comes away damp with sweat.

“What have you done?” 

Review:
This was really a fantastic read! The story itself was enchanting, magical. I have not read a Fantasy story in a while, so this was pretty refreshing. Princess Alyrra is around fifteen, and she is different from what a Princess should be. She keeps to her self, does not get along well with her Mother, especially her brother, whom is pretty mean to her (we get hints on his actions towards her). She spends some of her time in the outdoors, or with the servants. But...then a King from a nearby Kingdom seeks her to be betrothed to his son, Prince Kestrin. Along the way to his Kingdom, something drastic happens to Alyrra, and it's huge; I was surprised! That's what I liked in the story, the unexpected, as it had me turning the pages quickly! This novel was really creatively well written. The language used is as if we are back in Older times, and it was just wonderful, and I felt more connected to the story. Khanani is very descriptive with everything: setting, costume, characters.
 I was more than satisfied on how this ends, and believe me, this is a story you do not want to miss! 
*My Rating: 4/5
*My Audience Rating: PG

*Giveaway*
(This Giveaway is open only for US/CA residents. The prize is a Green Fantasy Cloak/Cape made by the Author herself!) 


Author Bio:
Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and traveler. Born in Wisconsin, she has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She first remembers seeing snow on a wintry street in Zurich, Switzerland, and vaguely recollects having breakfast with the orangutans at the Singapore Zoo when she was five. She now resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and young daughter. Intisar writes grants and develops projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which is as close as she can get to saving the world. Her approach to writing fantasy reflects her lifelong passion for stories from different cultures. She is currently writing a trilogy set in the same world as Thorn. This is her first novel.

Links:



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