[Book Blitz] The Castle by Skye Warren

The Castle
Skye Warren
(Endgame #3)
Publication date: April 4th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

I’m safe in the ivory tower Gabriel Miller made for me. That’s what he says. Enemies lurk outside, waiting to strike. An army of enemies held back by these walls.

Except some animal instinct warns me the danger is much closer. It’s already here. Is Gabriel Miller my protector or my enemy? Is this house a castle or a cage?

There’s nowhere for me to go, no one left for me to trust.

No escape from a past determined to capture its prize.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

 

Author Bio:

Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance such as the Chicago Underground series. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, two sweet dogs, and one evil cat.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / YouTube / Pinterest

 

GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

[Book Blitz] Dominion Rising Collection

Dominion Rising Collection
Publication date: August 8th 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction

Dominion Rising: 22 books. 99 cents. #DominionRising

Find the Science Fiction and Fantasy reads you’ve been craving! Whether it’s alien invasion or dark fairy tales, heart-pounding galactic adventures or cyberpunk romance, Dominion Rising will satisfy with a thrilling mix of 22 BRAND NEW FULL LENGTH novels set in fantastical realms.

Sword and sorcery, far-flung galactic empires, alternative history, epic magic, slipstream futures: this collection of carefully selected, exclusive novels is sure to please and delight readers of speculative fiction.

Over five thousand pages packed with aliens, faeries, vampires, gargoyles, warriors, telepaths, space pirates, starship captains, hapless mercenaries, street urchins, robots, cyber-enhanced humans, badass heroines, and lost princesses. These award-winning, New York Times, USA Today and International bestselling authors have left no stone in the science fiction and epic fantasy universe unturned to bring you the very best escape from planet Earth.

All the novels are only available in the Dominion Rising collection.

Authors:

The Dominion Rising collection includes new novels from New York Times bestselling authors Gwynn White, Erin St. Pierre, Margo Bond Collins, D.K. Holmberg, Felix R. Savage, Tom Shutt, Melanie Karsak, and Erin Hayes; and USA Today bestselling authors P.K. Tyler, Anthea Sharp, Lisa Blackwood, S.M. Schmitz, and K.J. Colt.

The set also includes new work from award-winning and international bestselling authors S.M. Blooding, D.S. Murphy, Timothy C. Ward, Daniel Arthur Smith, Tony Bertauski, Rebecca Rode, Cheri Lasota, Ann Christy, Becca Andre, Logan Thomas Snyder, Dean F. Wilson, and Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy notable author Samuel Peralta.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

Pre-Order for only 99 Cents!

Q&A With the Dominion Rising authors:

We asked some of the authors of Dominion Rising to share a little about their upcoming releases. In this interview, we asked the authors to tell us about the protagonists of their Dominion Rising Novels:

Tell us about the protagonist of your Dominion Rising Novel:

Author: Rebecca Rode

Dominion Rising Title: Flicker

Ember is a gypsy on planet Earth. All she wants is to pay off her father’s medical bills and avoiding a forced marriage. Getting kidnapped and sold to the empire wasn’t exactly the plan.

*

Author: Melanie Karsak

Dominion Rising Title: Curiouser and Curiouser

My novel is a steampunk retelling of Alice in Wonderland. In my novel, Alice is an ex-thief who is trying to escape her former life in London’s seedy criminal underbelly. Unfortunately, when the Hatter gets himself in trouble, Alice is pulled back exactly where she doesn’t want to be—working a job for the Queen of Hearts with a man she despises so much that she might still love him.

*

Author: Tom Shutt

Title: Iron Tamer

Mal is a young, cursed boy who grows up in the isolated mountain town of Pointe, which has been disconnected from the rest of the Empire for at least a generation. When he accidentally gets the local “police” force, the Brigade, nearly killed by a raging forest spirit, Mal is forced to take the Walk—a one-way ticket to death in the caved-in mine shaft that once connected Pointe to civilization. He makes it out alive, though, and soon discovers that he has an incredible gift—the ability to manipulate metals. And at the behest of an unlikely new friend, he starts on a journey to become an iron tamer. Mal is a spirited, kind, and sometimes overly trusting young man who wears his heart on his sleeve and more than once gets the wool pulled over his eyes, but his dedication to his friends and belief in himself sees him through many dangers.

*

Authors: Erin St Pierre and Gwynn White

Dominion Rising Title: Reign of Bones and Embers

A young woman with something to prove, freedom to fight for, and a whole lot of sass.

*

Author: Daniel Arthur Smith

Abernathy “Abby” Squire is an Indiana Jones turned detective. He’s forever young, due to anti-aging technology common in the future. But his youth is only aesthetic. Over the centuries he’s been a university professor, an agent for the Homeland, and most recently a proprietor. He’s uncomfortable with his role in the Plane Wars and is reluctant when called back to help with a case because many aspects remind him of his past.

*

Author: Tony Bertauski

Title: The Waking of Grey Grimm

There are three protagonists in The Waking of Grey Grimm. Figuring out who they are and where they are is the story arc. Each of them is in search of something deeper in life and the relationships that bind them together. In the end, they discover that reality is not confined by our five senses.

*

Author: Samuel Peralta

Title: “Labyrinth of Steel”

The protagonist of any of my stories is you.

*

Author: Erin Hayes

Title: Touching Infinity

Clementine is a cyborg, more machine than human, but she’s dealing with an identity crisis of where she fits in. She’s a master hacker, the leader of her space pirate crew. She doesn’t have many scruples, but she’ll put her life on the line to save her crew.

*

Author: Anthea Sharp

Title: Star Compass

Diana Smythe is an orphan, a pickpocket… and a mathematical genius. My novel, Star Compass, follows her journey from the gutter to the stars and is set in a Victorian Spacepunk universe, where an eternally cloned Queen Victoria has ruled for centuries and the British Empire spans the galaxy.

 

 

GIVEAWAY!

Dominion Rising Pre-Order Celebration

XBTBanner1

March Bookish Month in Review & April Goals

Truth be told, I wasn’t anticipating on March being as productive of a reading month as it was, but there’s really no reason for me to be complaining about that! However, between the work travel, the return to Metroing to work, and generally taking more time for myself during the week to read, I was able to finish quite a lot of books this month. Like…far more than I had anticipated. That’s never a bad thing, really.

This month, I need to actually stick to what I said I was going to read instead of veering off course. The Willow Summers books that I listed both this month and last month are Xpresso Book Tours PR that I received last year before I went on hiatus. There are a few other books in that vein that I need to reread and review, as well. Gradually, I’m working through this back log — and what better time to do some spring cleaning, right?

Books Completed:

  • Defy the Stars – Claudia Gray
  • We’re Home: Fandom, Fun, and Hidden Homages in Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Valerie Estelle Frankel
  • A Rey of Hope: Feminism, Symbolism and Hidden Gems from Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Valerie Estelle Frankel
  • Husbands – Jane Espenson
  • After You – Jojo Moyes
  • Gilded Cage – Vic James
  • The Truth About Happily Ever After – Karole Cozzo

Currently Reading:

  • A Little Something Different – Sandy Hall
  • The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women – Kate Moore

To Be Read:

  • Groupie – C.M. Stunich
  • Yes, Please – Willow Summers
  • Now, Please – Willow Summers
  • Sunstone Vol 1. – Stjepan Šejić
  • Arclight – Brandon Graham, Marian Churchland

Reviews Written:

Reviews to Write:

  • Defy the Stars – Claudia Gray
  • The Truth About Happily Ever After – Karole Cozzo
  • Husbands – Jane Espenson

[Cover Reveal] Fate of the Stars by Arwen Paris

Fate of the Stars
Arwen Paris
Publication date: September 1st 2017
Genres: Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

When the fate of the world rests upon you…

Allison Delaney wants to spend her senior year healing from the loss of her father, to leave the shadows of his death and her junior year break-down behind. A Labor Day beach party seems like a good place to start…but there’s more danger lurking than anyone could imagine. Death is coming to Earth if the pods of infectious creatures aren’t stopped. But only one human can help…

To live or die is no longer a choice.

Eenoki is a protector of life but must have a sentient host to fight the invasion. A teenage girl would not be the best choice, but out of desperation Eenoki invades Allison’s mind and body, granting her unnatural abilities and strengths – and helping her escape certain death when the first wave of pods land.

As destruction rains down on Earth’s population, Allison realizes to save everyone, she must make the ultimate choice: Reject her human side and bond with Eenoki to become the Earth’s Priestess – or be killed along with the rest of humanity.

Add to Goodreads

 

Author Bio:

I’m the YA Author of Sci-Fi, Urban Fantasy & Fantasy novels. Fate of the Stars, my debut young adult sci-fi urban fantasy, was the Second Place winner of the 2016 Pages From The Heart Contest.

I’m excited to announce Fate of the Stars will be available on September 1, 2017!

The action packed pages of my novels are filled with characters who are forced to face fears they never expected. I live in Washington state with my amazing husband and five fantastic kids and work full time in sales, writing in all my spare time.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

XBTBanner1

[Mini Review] We’re Home by Valerie Estelle Frankel

28460575
We’re Home: Fandom, Fun, and Hidden Homages in Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Valerie Estelle Frankel
Published: January 5th, 2016 by LitCrit Press
Genres: Nonfiction, essays, listicle, media analysis
Trigger Warnings: None, phew
Pages: 94 pgs.

Goodreads

***I received a copy of this book free from the author in exchange for my honest review.***

 

 


Synopsis:

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is crammed with delightful references – there are stacks of easter eggs, famous cameos, nods to the Extended Universe and computer games. Here they’re all listed and described for discerning fans. There’s also summaries – not just of shows and films but of the universe’s history after Return of the Jedi covering thirty years of new canon in painstaking detail. Big questions from the film get answered, in-jokes get explained, and Star Wars love definitely gets celebrated in this book, exploring the ultimate fannish film.


Review:

As one of over thirty analyses of major pop cultural touchstones, We’re Home: Fandom, Fun, and Hidden Homages in Star Wars: The Force Awakens delivers a painstakingly detailed list of interesting tidbits about the latest installment in the Star Wars saga, including pieces that might have bypassed even the most discerning fan. It pairs best with Frankel’s other, more substantial work, A Rey of Hope in providing a full fandom experience.

Unlike A Rey of Hope, however, this work is really a glorified listicle (list-article, for the uninitiated) rather than nuanced, well-rounded analysis and commentary. While I definitely see its merit in some applications, and major kudos to Frankel for taking the time to put this all together, I don’t see why this couldn’t have been included in any other overarching Star Wars essay collection in her bibliography.

Overall, I really do appreciate We’re Home for the great side information that it provides, it does seem a little bit extraneous as its own separate entity. Great idea, but needs better execution.


Amazing Pug Scale:

f897e2e871ed90d572f23b0539397432f897e2e871ed90d572f23b0539397432f897e2e871ed90d572f23b0539397432

Whatcha Readin’ Wednesday: March 29th, 2017

It’s that time of the week again where we ask the lovely blog owner: WHATCHA READIN’? In this weekly segment, I give a brief glimpse into the books that are currently occupying my spare time, as well as a little recap of the past seven days, overall.

So, Amber, whatcha readin’?

#Sorrynotsorry for skipping last week’s update: I, unfortunately, succumbed to an awful late-winter flu. It was the absolute worst. However, I did use the time away from my computer (and work…and social life) to get quite a bit of reading done, as well as lay the groundwork for breezing through two more books! AND I got a few more graphic novels that I need to try to read this week/weekend for an extra Goodreads boost toward my goal of 60 books in 2017! Futhermore, I’m already close to finished on one of the books I started last week — my first book for Xpresso Book Tours since coming back from hiatus! Hooray! Also, fun fact, I saw a real-life copy of Gilded Cage in a local bookstore over the weekend, which made me get some sense of pride for having been an early reviewer of the book.

31423196It took a month, but I finally completed Defy the Stars over the weekend. Wow wow wow, what an ending on this one. While I’m still a little blindsided with how quickly everything was resolved at the end of all of the action, I can easily say that this book has totally turned me on to reading more space operas like this one in the future. Furthermore, the book isn’t even published until April 4th, so I’m hoping I can sit down this weekend to write my review and release it on the Book Birthday! It’s always great to read a book that’s out of my usual genre comfort zone and be pleasantly surprised at how it can change my perception of a whole group of stories I’d otherwise overlook. I’m so pleased with this book and I hope y’all pick it up on the 4th when it comes out.

25041504As mentioned previously, I read Me Before You to help pull myself out of a depressive period, only to pick up After You this year after another depressive period. (Yay, chronic major depression!) However, reading Louisa gradually come to terms with losing Will, striking it out on her own, and learning to love again. One of my favorite things about Jojo Moyes’ writing is that her characters get involved in some pretty extraordinary circumstances, but the characters themselves — Louisa, Treena, Lily, Sam, the Traynors, Mrs. & Mr. Clark — feel like they could step off the page as fully-realized people. This approach makes it such an enjoyable trip through the course of the story — and lends itself to being the perfect bubble bath time read.

 

16292157I, more or less, picked up Husbands on a whim at my favorite comic book shop, when I was told that I could get a discount on my purchase if I got the book and attended Queer Book Club the following week. Hell yeah, I’ll take it. QBC took place on Saturday, the 24th, so while I’ve already analyzed and scrutinized this book and back with my fellow queer peers, I’m probably going to write a mini-review about it to go up this weekend or so. Husbands follows Cheeks and Brady, a newlywed couple who got drunkenly married in Vegas after 6 weeks of dating, as they travel through various dimensions to learn more about themselves as a couple. It’s cute, it’s fluffy — and it doesn’t need to be anything more than that.

 

31145157 Alas, my most recent project! After the heaviness of both Defy the Stars and After You, getting to The Truth About Happily Ever After is a nice palate cleanser to get into the groove of some cute, predictable contemporary romance — just in time for my anniversary with my partner. This follows Alyssa, a Cinderella face character for Enchanted Enterprises, as she navigates her second summer at the Enchanted Dominion. Up until this point, her life has been nothing short of a fairy tale — but now she has to start working to juggle life with and without the tiara. Romance bursts, tempers flare, and wigs get stuck with lollipops by bratty children, but Alyssa can handle the stress. It’s what princesses do, right?

 


So, whatcha readin’ this week? Any interesting updates or books you want to start soon? Let’s chat in the comments below!

[Teaser Tuesday] The Truth About Happily Ever After by Karole Cozzo

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by The Purple Booker!

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This Week:

31145157

The Truth About Happily Ever After – Karole Cozzo

“But…he didn’t tell me.

We had dinner together last night, we talked extensively about our days, and he didn’t tell me. He didn’t mention Harper at all.”


Does the teaser pull you in? What’s your book teaser for the week? Let’s chat in the comments below!

[Mini-Review] A Rey of Hope by Valerie Estelle Frankel

28460460A Rey of Hope: Feminism, Symbolism & Hidden Gems in Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Valerie Estelle Frankel
Published: January 5th, 2016 by LitCrit Press
GenresNonfiction, essays, feminism, media analysis
Trigger Warnings: none, phew
Pages: 98 pgs.

Goodreads

***I received a copy of this book free from the author in exchange for my honest review.***

 


Synopsis:

The new Star Wars: The Force Awakens offers a world of diversity – its heroes span the races and genders. Yet under this, there’s much to explore – Rey is a butt-kicking heroine, but some might say she’s so overpowered she has no challenges left. Others might observe that from her clothes and skills to her friends and enemies, she’s excelling more at the hero’s journey than the heroine’s. Does Finn undergo the classic hero’s journey, or is his too subverted? There are fascinating symbols as well, as Kylo Ren’s lightsaber is as unstable as he is, while perception and sight dominate the story arc. From themes to novels and comics, this book explores the hidden depths of the series, revealing them for fans to enjoy. An unauthorized guide.


Review:

One of many pop culture analyses by Valerie Estelle Frankel, A Rey of Hope serves to provide a little bit more insight behind the character development and motivations of Star Wars’ newest installment to the main story line. In this, readers are presented with many short essays following a wide range of topics surrounding the saga’s break-out heroine, Rey.

These essays, however brief, present varying degrees of depth: the standard surface good vs. evil arguments are made, as well as more substantive arguments of whether or not Rey herself is a Mary-Sue. It’s basically like reading someone’s extra credit essays for their Feminism and Pop Culture class.

While some of these essays tend to get repetitive and reference the same pieces of the movie over and over again, it’s important to remember that we have limited source material surrounding Rey at this point: the movie, a few novels, a few comics. I don’t think Frankel set out to become the next major pop culture analyst, but it certainly was a fun time to revisit this universe and these characters with which I’m quickly falling in love.


Amazing Pug Scale:

f897e2e871ed90d572f23b0539397432f897e2e871ed90d572f23b0539397432f897e2e871ed90d572f23b0539397432

[Book Blitz] A Star to Steer Her By – Beth Anne Miller

A Star to Steer Her By
Beth Anne Miller
Published by: Entangled Embrace
Publication date: March 20th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance

I’m scarred. Broken. I’ll never be the same.

But I will take this journey.

Ever since my last dive ended in bloodshed, I’ve been terrified to go back into the water. But the opportunity to spend a semester at sea is too good to pass up. I need to get my life back.

I never expected to love it this much. And I never expected Tristan MacDougall.

Rugged, strong, and with demons of his own, Tristan helps me find the courage I thought I had lost and heals me with every stolen moment we share. But the rules of the ship mean we can’t be together.

When a dive excursion goes terribly wrong, our only hope for survival is each other.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

EXCERPT:

I was standing alone at the helm, under full sails and a glittering sky, guiding the ship unerringly across the endless black sea with only the stars to guide me, like the sailors of old. It was amazing. This was why I was here, why I’d gone ahead with this semester at sea, even after everything that had happened. Because I loved the sea, and wanted it to be a part of my life.

I returned my gaze upward, focusing on my guide star.

“‘And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.’”

The low voice came out of nowhere. I spun to the right, where I could just make out the vague outline of someone leaning against the stanchion that held Speedy the motorboat suspended at the stern.

“Tristan?” As soon as the question left my mouth, I rolled my eyes in the darkness. Of course it was him.

“Aye, it’s me.”

“How long have you been standing there?” I hissed. “And where the hell did you come from?” I’d been at the helm for at least half an hour, and I knew he hadn’t been there the whole time.

There was a flash of white in the darkness as he grinned. “I’ve been here for about five minutes. You were so focused on staring up at the stars that you didn’t see me. I didn’t want to disturb you.”

“So instead, you just lurked in the dark until you could scare the hell out of me. Makes sense,” I muttered, trying not to be too thrilled that he’d chosen to hang out up here with me. “What was it that you said, anyway?”

“It’s from a poem. The full verse is:

“‘I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,

And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,

And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.’”

His lilting accent gave the lines a musical quality, and a shiver ran down my spine. “It’s beautiful,” I said, “and perfectly describes the way I feel. You didn’t write that, did you?” Because it would be supremely unfair for him to be kind, gorgeous, athletic, musically brilliant, and a poet, too.

 

Author Bio:

My first book, written in elementary school, was bound in pink fabric and was about—what else?—a girl and her horse. I soon began cheating on horses with the sea, becoming an open water scuba diver at age 14. That love of the sea led me to a college semester aboard a schooner. I returned with fond memories of the exhilaration of being on a ship under full sail, less fond memories of hurling over the leeward rail on a daily basis, and a sailing bug I couldn’t quite shake.

In addition to horses and the sea, I have a fascination for all things Scottish (including, but not limited to, men in kilts), which I explored with my first novel, INTO THE SCOTTISH MIST (The Wild Rose Press, 2011), and carried into my new novel, A STAR TO STEER HER BY (Entangled Embrace, 2017). A native New Yorker, I work in the publishing industry and am always looking ahead to my next voyage, whether a short one on a dive boat or whale watch, or, with luck, a longer one on a tall ship. You can find me on the web at http://www.bethannemiller.com

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

XBTBanner1

[Book Blitz] One S’more Summer – Beth Merlin

One S’more Summer
Beth Merlin
(The Campfire Series, #1)
Published by: Ink Monster LLC
Publication date: May 30th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary

Since that first bus ride to Camp Chinooka twenty long years ago, Gigi Goldstein has been pining for her best friend’s guy. She knows her crush is wrong and has to stop, but her heart won’t listen to reason. To escape the agony of their impending wedding, Gigi accepts a summer job at the only place she’s ever been happy.

But working at Chinooka isn’t all campfire songs and toasting marshmallows. Gigi’s girls are determined to make her look bad in front of the boys’ Head Counselor—the sexy but infuriating Perry—and every inch of the campground is laced with memories.

When Gigi realizes she can’t fix the present by hiding in the past, she’s forced to reexamine her choices. Maybe everything she thought she wanted wasn’t what she actually needed… But if she can get her act together, Gigi might have one last shot at the summer love of her dreams.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

 

Author Bio:

Beth Merlin has a BA from The George Washington University where she minored in Creative Writing and a JD from New York Law School. She’s a native New Yorker who loves anything Broadway, rom-coms, her daughter Hadley, and a good maxi dress. She was introduced to her husband through a friend she met at sleepaway camp and considers the eight summers she spent there to be some of the most formative of her life. One S’more Summer is Beth’s debut novel.

Website / Facebook / Twitter

 

XBTBanner1