Cassie Scott ParaNormal Detective by Christine Amsden (Cassie Scot #1) + Giveaway

banner-289_zps746e8b50

Author Spotlight

author

Christine Amsden has been writing science fiction and fantasy for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.

At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a condition that effects the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams.

When she’s not writing, Christine teaches workshops on writing, usually at Savvy Authors. She also offers professional editing services. She maintains a book review blog on her website with occasional writing tips thrown in for the fun of it.

Christine lives in the Kansas City area with her husband and two children. 

Links

Synopsis

Cover

Cassie Scot is the ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers, born between worlds but belonging to neither. At 21, all she wants is to find a place for herself, but earning a living as a private investigator in the shadow of her family’s reputation isn’t easy. When she is pulled into a paranormal investigation, and tempted by a powerful and handsome sorcerer, she will have to decide where she truly belongs.

“When sorcerers call the shots, what’s a girl without powers to do? Get ready for a ripper of a murder mystery full of romance and intrigue, where magic potions bubble, passions spark and vampires are definitely not your friend. Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective grabs you by the heart and won’t let go until the very last page. Well written, immersive and unputdownable. This is urban fantasy at its best. More please!”

–Kim Falconer, bestselling author of The Spell of Rosette, Quantum Enchantment Series

“In this entertaining series opener, Amsden (The Immortality Virus) introduces readers to the eponymous Cassie, a decidedly mundane member of a magical family. …Readers will enjoy Cassie’s fish-out-of-water struggles as she fights magical threats with little more than experience and bravado.”

-Publisher’s Weekly

goodreads-badge-add-38px[1][1]

Review

Cassie Scot ParaNormal Detective is a great story with a unique twist-a normal human in a paranormal world. Cassie is from a family of Sorcerers, but unfortunately she did not inherit any of her parents powers, so she strikes out to prove that just because she is “normal” she can still be successful and useful to the community by being a detective for the paranormal community. When she gets her first case she is excited and ready to put her skills to the test.

Cassie is such an awesome protagonist. Even though she has some self-doubt, she is still confident, independent, and smart. She is a very realistic and dynamic character. Having her first case deal with vampires makes it even better, with all the vampire stories out there, I just found it kinda funny.

This is a very exciting and fast paced Urban Fantasy story that will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time. You feel like you are right beside Cassie looking for clues and interacting with her magical friends and family. For the romance lovers out there, do not despair that is a love story element to the story, it’s just not the main focus. The main focus is Cassie finding her place in a paranormal world.

This story grabs you from page one and holds on until the last page! I cannot wait for the sequel!

Excerpt

Belinda’s collection of potions was extensive and many of her customers believed in the power of her brews. They were probably crap, especially those offering up money and wishes, because if she really could brew them, why would she need to sell them? Others, such as those offering weight loss or hair regrowth, might have been legitimate–I had no real way of knowing.

Then my eyes fell on a tiny vial with the word “MAGIC” on the label. I picked it up and turned it over to read the details: “Tap into magical energies you never knew were there. You’ll be able to cast spells and brew potions. Curse your neighbors and find true love. $15.95”

“Impossible,” I muttered. Surely, if such a thing could be, my parents would have fed it to me years ago.

“That stuff is crap,” Evan said.

I jumped. I had almost forgotten he was there. He stood by a bulletin board, where he had been staring at pictures of Belinda, her friends, and her family. “Belinda mostly knows how to brew love potions, and even then she keeps the strongest ones to herself…the ones that truly ensnare the mind and heart.”

I replaced the vial of MAGIC, with just a tiny twinge of regret, and moved on to Belinda’s love potions. She had one full shelf dedicated to love, decorated with pink hearts and red roses. A lot of these potions were in the form of perfumes, creams, shampoos, and most especially–chocolates. The bottom third of the shelf was dedicated to boxes of chocolate candy in different flavors and potencies.
While a strong love potion will ensnare the mind and the heart, most of the weaker love potions are what you might call suggestive magic. They could cause you to feel affection, adoration, or arousal, but they typically left the higher brain functions intact.

At random, I picked up a bottle of perfume from the top shelf and read: “Induces powerful lust. Spray on your intended and make sure you are the first person they see. Lasts about an hour.”

The thing you have to understand about any magic is that there are good ways to use it, and bad ways to use it. The concept of black magic is a hotly debated topic among sorcerers. Even death, in self defense, is a shade of gray. As I stood there, reading the functions of the various love potions, I thought of all the innocent and harmful ways they could be used. A couple in a committed relationship might have a lot of fun with a spray of lust. On the other hand, using it on an unwilling victim…

I shuddered as I replaced the bottle and accidentally knocked one of the neighboring bottles of perfume to the ground. It shattered, splashing perfume all over my open-toed sandals.

“Crap.”

“What happened?” Evan asked, his voice hard and alert. I could hear him moving closer.

“Stop! I don’t want to see you right now.”

“Which potion was that?” Evan asked, still in that hard-edged voice of command.

I pointed to the row of similar bottles on the top shelf. “Lust.”

One of the little bottles floated away from the shelf, but I did not turn around to see what Evan was doing with it. Instead, I started looking through my purse for a pack of tissues to clean the mess off my feet.

“Cassie, I have some bad news for you.”

“Worse, you mean?”

“This potion doesn’t take affect until you actually look at someone. Your hour starts then.”

“Crap. I don’t suppose there’s an antidote?”

“Sure,, but it will take me about three days to brew, once the moon is full.”

“Okay.” I considered my options as I wiped the mess off my foot and started gathering the tiny shards of glass. “Well, I guess I could-” I stopped, I had nothing to put at the end of that sentence. I kind of hoped Evan would have a suggestion, but to my surprise, he started laughing at me. “This isn’t funny.”

“Come on, it is a little funny.”

Maybe it would be funny in a few days, if I didn’t die of embarrassment first. “I suppose I could call my boyfriend.” I didn’t want to explain any of this to him, and though I trusted him, I didn’t really want him to become the object of my uncontrolled lust for an hour. I just didn’t know what else to do.

“Who are you seeing?” Evan asked, all traces of amusement gone.

“Braden,” I said.

“Who?”

“Braden Walker. He was a year ahead of us in school. He was on the football team.”

“Oh. I think I remember him.” Evan paused for a long moment. “You know you could do better, right?”

“It’s none of your business.” I had to fight the urge to glare at him when I said that. He barely knew Braden, so what made him think he could make any judgments? Besides, I didn’t know why he thought I could do better, when I had done very little dating in high school. I hadn’t known if my family name scared people off, or if there was something fundamentally wrong with me, but Braden had at least restored my confidence that the latter was not true.

“Listen,” Evan said. “I need to do another spell. It’ll just be a few minutes. We’ll figure something out after, just don’t look at me until I’m done.”

“I get that.” I sounded more annoyed at the admonition than I should have, because his quip about Braden still stung.

Within seconds, I smelled candles and incense, and heard Evan muttering under his breath. I found a trash can by a nearby desk, and tossed the damp tissues inside. Then I spotted a black day planner on top of the desk. It was the sort of thing that ancient relatives used to buy me for school, but I never used. Belinda seemed to have liked it, though. Nearly every page through the end of July was covered in notes and reminders.

Over the weekend, she wrote, she had rented a cabin in the woods by the lake. She should have been back, though, because in about half an hour, she had a dinner date at Hodge Mill with Sheriff Adams. I blinked and re-read the name several times to be sure I had seen it correctly, but unfortunately, I had. My old boss and friend had been acting a little strangely that afternoon, but I hadn’t guessed he might be under the influence of a love spell.

“Finished,” Evan said. I heard him gathering up his supplies. “This isn’t good. I suspected it this afternoon, but now I’m sure–there’s no threshold on this home. Which either means Belinda has permanently moved, or else she’s dead.”

“Do you think she had something to do with your cousin’s murder?” I asked.

“I don’t know what to think. I can’t come up with a reason she’d do it, but then again, where is she?”

“I found her day planner,” I said, holding it up over my shoulder so Evan could see. “She was supposed to go to the lake this weekend, and she’s got a date tonight at Hodge Mill. You’ll never guess who it’s with.”

“Who?”

“The sheriff.”

“Huh.”

“I know it’s a long shot, but I figure we should go to Hodge Mill and see if she shows up–or if the sheriff does. After that–”

“Cassie,” Evan interrupted.

“Yeah?”

“How much do you trust me?”

“Er-Why?”

“Turn around,” he said.

“Did you figure something out?” I said, my heart beating a little faster. “Some way to stop the potion?”

“Yes.”

“But you said-” I never got a chance to finish, because just then, Evan moved into my field of vision and I turned to stare at him properly.

In all the years I had known him, I had somehow missed the fact that Evan has the most incredible blue eyes. They sparkle like diamonds when he laughs, and darken like the sea when he’s angry. At that moment, I thought I could swim in those eyes. I had never spent much time looking at his lips before, but I suddenly became aware of just how kissable they were. I started towards him, my focus set on those beautiful, kissable lips.

I couldn’t move. Something was forcing my body absolutely still.

“Sorry about that,” Evan said, not sounding sorry at all. He swung a satchel over his shoulder and started out the door. I found myself following behind him, but I wasn’t the one moving my legs. “Nothing to do but let it run its course. If you want to hate me in an hour, I’ll understand.”

Giveaway

Christine Amsden is giving away 2 Copies of her Debut Novel Touch of Fate!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/408264177/ 

Purchase

Reading Addiction

Identified: The Maya Price Story by Faith A. Rice-Mills (The Maya Price Story #1) + Giveaway

MayaPriceTourBanner

Author Spotlight

Faith

Faith A. Rice-Mills is the author of Identified: The Maya Price Story and a handful of short stories.  She moonlights as a Spanish teacher,  but has wanted to be a writer since she wrote the poem “The Jackowhipp’s Wail” as an eight-year-old.  Her writer’s spirit resides somewhere between Narnia and Mount Doom, but her physical body lives in Texas with her family.

Besides writing, she loves reading (and will take recommendations!), yoga, coloring with her daughter, and watching Parks and Recreation with her husband.  She dislikes snakes, the word “literally,” and teaching double object pronouns in Spanish.  She is currently working on Burdened, the second book in The Maya Price Story series and is writing whatever short story she has to get out of her brain.

Links

Synopsis

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00031]Maya Price is a typical eighteen-year-old girl without much going on in her life. Her biggest problems include getting ready to leave her hometown for college, figuring out how to avoid her ever-so-strange stepmother, and trying to muddle through her feelings for her best friend, Pete. Yet, on one of her last nights in her hometown, she and Pete are in a car accident. A stranger pulls Maya from the accident, leaving Pete behind, and takes her out of this world and into another dimension.

Maya soon discovers that she has been taken to a dimension called Leets by a group of people that call themselves shifters. Shifters are of mixed human and onyx blood and have various abilities.  These shifters are able to travel between dimensions and control the four elements (fire, earth, wind, water) and the five senses (sight, sound, smell, touch and taste). Their leader, Victoria, informs Maya that she, too, is a shifter and that she must choose to join them or risk being sought out by their greatest enemy, a shifter named Leonas.

Maya joins Victoria and her ragtag group of rebel shifters in Leets, where she is teamed up with a group of seven other shifters. Her new “teammates” include a street-smart girl named Luz, who is especially adept at controlling fire, her twin sister Espy, and a nervous boy named Lamar, who can manipulate sound better than any other shifter. Together, Maya’s team trains for the battle that will soon be  inevitable.

However, Maya soon learns that her purpose is not to just move the earth or send water flying into the air. There are rumors of a hidden prophecy and that the prophecy mentions Maya by name. Supposedly, the prophecy says that Maya will one day have to choose a side and will be essential in bringing her chosen ally to power…

goodreads-badge-add-38px[1][1]

Review

Identified: The Maya Price Story  takes place in an alternate dimension named Leets. Maya is essentially kidnapped and taken there where she learns that she is a shifter. A shifter can manipulate the four elements and five senses. Maya is taken by surprise with this news, but in the end she agrees to learn more about her shifter abilities and help the leader of the shifters, Victoria to fight a bad shifter, Leonas.  Then Maya learns that the shifter’s have a prophecy, and the prophecy is about her…

This is a fast paced fantasy story that keeps the action coming! The character relationships are a big part of this story. Seeing that this is the first in a series, those characters will be playing more roles as the story progresses. Luz will make you laugh out loud at her antics, you will share in Paige’s pain and suffering, and you will feel just as protective as Maya for this team of ragtag characters! It reminds me a lot of The Nine Lives of Chloe King.  This is an excellent young adult fantasy book that will have you on the edge of your seat!

Grand Prize Giveaway

  • One signed copy of Identified

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251174/

eBook Giveaway

Win and eBook copy of Identified: The Maya Price Story! Fill out the form below to enter for your chance to win! Giveaway ends July 31st!

Purchase

Xpresso Book Tours

By Blood by Tracy E. Banghart (By Blood #1)

ByBloodBlitzBanner

Author Spotlight

tebTracy E. Banghart is a cheesy movie–loving, fantasy football–playing (go Ravens!), globe-trotting Army wife who began “practicing” her craft at the age of five, when she wrote her first story. She loves visiting the international friends she met while pursuing her MA in Publishing and spends a portion of every summer at her family’s cabin in Canada, where she finds inspiration and lots of time to relax on the dock. She lives with her husband, son, two lazy dogs and one ornery cat. When not writing or spending time with her family, she is on a mission to bake the perfect cupcake.

Tracy’s next novel, Moon Child, a companion to By Blood, will be available this August!

Links

Advance Praise for By Blood

PRAISE FOR BY BLOOD

“By Blood effortlessly transports you to the cobblestone streets and small pubs of Oxford, and Emma’s sassy voice pulls you right into the story with its hot British boys and touch of magic. A must read!” —Susanne Winnacker, author of Impostor and The Other Life

“A five star read from start to finish. Un-put-downable!” —Vanessa Garbin, author of the forthcoming Captivate

“Emma’s sarcastic, biting narrative and the lure of Celtic myth and magic constructs a brilliant book to cosy up with…if you dare!” ~ 21st Century Once Upon a Times blog

“Love this book! It’s a sweet little gem and I am glad that I got to read it! If you are looking for a story that is fun and quick, then I would recommend this book. You will want to know what happens to Emma in the matters of boys, family and adventure!” ~ Sarah, Me My Shelf And I blog

Synopsis

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000446_00073]For 17-year-old Emma Wong, spending a summer in England should be a dream come true. Gorgeous scenery? Check. Lots of hot guys with accents? Yes, please.

Throw in an estranged mom, annoying new stepdad, and drooling baby half-brother, and it’s a disaster even her favorite cherry red leather jacket can’t fix. Even worse, there’s (hot) live-in research assistant Josh to contend with. The only thing more embarrassing than drunk-kissing him hours after they meet? Knowing he’ll be witness to her family’s dysfunction all. summer. long.

But when Emma meets a mysterious girl who happens to be a Druid, her vacation suddenly promises to be far more intriguing than she anticipated. Powerful rituals, new friends, an intoxicating sense of freedom…and Simon, the sexy foreign stranger she was hoping for. It’s all a perfect distraction from dirty diapers and awkward family dinners.

Trouble is, intriguing doesn’t often mean simple. And Emma is about to discover just how not simple her life really is.

By Blood is a novel about the ways that blood can bind us to others – or tear us apart.

goodreads-badge-add-38px[1][1]

Review

By Blood  is a fast paced YA Paranormal story that introduces us to Emma Wong. Emma has gone to spend the summer with her Mother, meaning the women who gave birth to her but did not stick around, and her new family. Emma’s thoughts on staying a summer in Oxford, England are yummy boys with accents and some serious scenery. What she gets is uncomfortable and awkward moments with her Mother’s family, and the constant disappointment in her Mother.  Trying to escape the hell that has become her vacation she meets a strange girl who introduces her to Druidism. That is when her summer really begins…

Tracy E. Banghart created a story full of ancient magic, gorgeous guys (with accents!), forces beyond control, and awkward family drama. The world building and history that is weaved throughout this story is intriguing and well researched, the characters are realistic and easy to care for, even the strange ones! This is an exciting beginning to a new YA series that fans of L.J. Smith will love! 

Excerpt

Probably it was just lack of sleep and not the consumption of cider that made my heels skitter dangerously against the cobblestones as I tottered my way back towards the house. As I walked, my mind flickered aimlessly from thoughts of Colin’s wolfish grin to wondering if the graceful swashes of graffiti on the concrete wall I passed were Arabic. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t make myself concentrate on anything useful. Like walking straight. Or where I’d put my purse.

I got halfway down the block before Josh caught up with me. “Hey, wait up,” he said and grabbed my arm when I stumbled a little.

“So did you punch him?” I giggled. If there had been a fight, I was glad Josh won. He kept his hand on my arm as we walked.

“What?” Josh asked.

For a second I couldn’t remember my question; I was too busy imagining Josh’s fist connecting with Colin’s too-pronounced jaw. Ha.

“You know, all that testosterone back there…” My hand reached over of its own accord and squeezed his bicep. “I thought we were going to have an international incident.” I’d never had a guy fight over me before. Not that Josh had fought over me. Not really. Though he’d had a protective vibe going on that was kind of hot. Not that I thought he was hot. Well, I did, but—

Suddenly my heel caught on the edge of a brick and my ankles wobbled. Josh tightened his grip on me and I tried not to lean on him too heavily as he led me forward.

“Jeez. You don’t hold your liquor very well. Are you okay?” He really did have beautiful eyes: clear cobalt blue with dark rings around the irises.

“It’s not like I’ve had a lot of practice,” I replied. “And yes, I’m fine. It’s just my shoes.”

“Not just. But I see your point. Those heels look lethal.”

There was something sexy about a guy who could appreciate my death-defying footwear. I flicked the boot’s stiletto heel in his direction, showing off a little. And teetered. My arms flailed and my elbow made contact with some portion of Josh’s anatomy. He grunted and I wobbled more. Oh crap. I was going down. Even worse, another of my ridiculous giggles spewed out. Just my luck I’d be the silly giggling girl with a broken ankle.

Before I could do real damage, though, Josh caught me, strong hands on my waist. He held me close, chest to breasts, until I was steady again on my feet, and then let his hands move to my wrists, a final reassurance that I wasn’t going to go toppling over.

My eyes trailed downward, drawn by the pressure of his hands on my arms, and widened when I saw a small sparkly box hanging from his wrist.

“My purse!” I exclaimed with relief.

He hastily handed it to me, as if he’d just remembered that he’d been carrying a lady’s purse around. “Oh yeah. I figured you’d be wanting that.”

I threw my arms around his neck, my exuberance knocking him back a step. “Thank you so much. You just saved my life. Seriously!”

Before my brain had a chance to catch up to my body, which was reveling in the feel of his warm, steadying hands on my waist, I stretched up to give him an enthusiastic kiss on the cheek. And somehow made contact with his lips.

I didn’t even have time to close my eyes and enjoy it.

“Whoa, whoa there.” His hands fell from my sides as if I’d burned him, and he took a big step back. “It was no problem. Really.” He reached out, without moving any closer, and gave me an awkward, brotherly pat on the arm. “I think we need to get you home. I didn’t realize one drink would be such a big deal for you.”

Oh no. What was I thinking? I stood frozen, mouth open.

Josh walked a few steps, but when he saw that I wasn’t following he paused.

“Come on, Emma.” His eyes were shadowed, hiding his expression.

I didn’t want to follow him. I wanted slink to the ground and slither away, find a hole somewhere, someplace where I could die of embarrassment.

Purchase

Xpresso

Ruby’s Fire by Catherine Stine (Fireseed #2) + Giveaway

RubysFireBlitzBanner

Author Spotlight

Catherine Stine promo photo

Catherine Stine writes YA, New Adult and middle grade fiction. Her YA futuristic thriller, Fireseed One, illustrated by the author won finalist spots in both YA and Science Fiction in the 2013 USA Book News International Book Awards. It was also granted a 2013 Bronze Wishing Shelf Book Award and a 2013 Indie Reader Approved notable stamp. Her YA Refugees, earned a New York Public Library Best Book. Middle grade novels include A Girl’s Best Friend.

Fireseed One sequel, Ruby’s Fire is earning advance praise from reviewers and authors:

“Ruby’s Fire, returns to the sun-scorched earth of Fireseed One. In this long-awaited sequel, Stine delivers a thrilling adventure led by a new and exciting cast of characters. Ruby, Armonk, Thorn and Blane are memorable, and the romance is really well handled. Favorite quote: ” It feels wrong to lean on Armonk right now with Blane staring at me, a hungry, lonely look in his eye. It’s as if he’s never been hugged, never been fed, never been loved…” ” -YAs the Word

More and more, Catherine enjoys writing speculative tales where her imagination has wild and free reign. She has taught creative writing workshops at the Philadelphia Writing Conference, Missouri University Summer Abroad, The New School and in her own ongoing NYC writing workshop. She loves her readers, and enjoys blogging.

Links

Synopsis

Ruby's Fire FRONTcov2STINEIf everything about you changes, what remains?

Seventeen year-old Ruby, long-pledged to the much older Stiles from the Fireseed desert cult, escapes with only a change of clothes, a pouch of Oblivion Powder and her mute little brother, Thorn. Arriving at The Greening, a boarding school for orphaned teens, she can finally stop running. Or can she? The Greening is not what it seems. Students are rampaging out of control and as she cares for the secret Fireseed crop, she experiences frightening physical changes. She’s ashamed of her attraction to burly, hard-talking Blane, the resident bodyguard, and wonders why she can’t be happy with the gentler Armonk. She’s long considered her great beauty a liability, a thing she’s misused in order to survive. And how is she to stop her dependence on Oblivion to find a real beauty within, using her talent as a maker of salves, when she has nightmares of Stiles without it?

When George Axiom, wealthy mogul of Vegas-by-the-Sea offers a huge cash prize for the winner of a student contest, Ruby is hopeful she might collect the prize to rescue her family and friends from what she now knows is a dangerous cult. But when Stiles comes to reclaim her, and Thorn sickens after creating the most astonishing contest project of all, the world Ruby knows is changed forever. This romantic fantasy set in 2099 on earth has a crafty heroine in Ruby, and a swoonworthy cast, which will surely appeal to the YA and new adult audience.

goodreads-badge-add-38px[1][1]

Review

Ruby’s Fire is a fantastical journey of mind, body, and soul for Ruby and her brother Thorn. They escaped from a religious cult, but had to leave the rest of their family behind. They make their way to The Greening a boarding school for orphans. From the start Ruby is attracted to Blaine, a burly bodyguard. She knows that he is not the safe choice, but she cannot help what she feels. In secret she is nurturing a Fireseed crops with hopes that she can grow enough to help her rescue her family and friends from Stiles. But when a turn of events has Stiles coming to get her back, she must rely on her own cunning and the help of her new friends to beat back the darkness.

Catherine Stine has truly blended fantasy, romance, and Dystopian genres to create a unique story that has twist and turns, great characters (even the bad ones), a world full of magic, and unexpected romance. This is the second in the Fireseed series, but can be read as a stand-alone. Make is you next great read!

Excerpt

“I didn’t know you cared,” I tease. “Do you?”

He shrugs. I know Blane can’t answer those kinds of questions. Instead of answering, he places the mask on my head. His fingers, fastening the straps at the back of my head shoot fire through me. His body, so close makes my chest swell with confusion and desire. Why am I so sensitive to his presence?

I press him. “Why do you always stare at me from the window? Why do you ask me questions with your eyes and not your mouth? What do you want with me, huh?”

He stands his ground, his boots planted apart. His silent confidence angers me.

“I asked you what you wanted. Do you want to kiss me? Huh?” I ask with more fury than I intended.

He lowers his head and kicks at the sand. “Why are you such a tease? You’re either too remote or flirting in an angry way. What happened to you at that place, Ruby? What did they do to you?”

“What did they do to me? Hah! What didn’t they do to me?” I barrel on, looking over Blane’s shoulder at one of the dunes. “That man you saw claimed me when I was five. He beat me.” I hold up my bad hand. “He cut off three of my fingers. He would’ve assaulted me if I hadn’t run!” I pause to catch my breath. My knees are ready to cave. As at peace as I was before, the memory of what I went through renders me a furious, quaking catastrophe in seconds. “And you have the nerve to ask me why I’m such a mean tease?” That hurts. Armonk has said as much, about me being seductive. But why should I tell Blane that he’s the second guy to tell me this? “I have a question for you,” I fire back. “Why are you such a brute?”

He flinches. Hurt dims the light in his eyes. Is that what we are to each other? Punching bags? No, I won’t play that game. There’s good in Blane. He dragged Thorn and me in to safety when we passed out in the sun. He saved me from Stiles that night. He defended me against Jan. Blane might be a brute but brute force is sometimes what’s required. And I sense that there are more layers below.

“I had to get strong to survive,” he whispers, so low that I need to move closer to hear him. “I couldn’t protect my brother, Percy. I couldn’t protect my family. I vowed to always be stronger after that.”

“You got too strong, too mean,” I tell him.

“You too, Ruby.”

“You helped me get rid of Stiles,” I admit. “And I never really told you what that meant to me.”

“No, you went off with Armonk.”

“You didn’t give me a chance because you stormed off so fast,” I tell him. I raise my head to Blane’s solid neck, to the honey-brown stubble on his chin and up to his eyes—locking gaze-to-gaze, fire-to-fire. “I do like Armonk, as a friend.” Why am I admitting all of this? Why?

I feel Blane’s heart beating out of his suit. Or is it my heart that’s beating out of my chest? He steps closer. His warm sea apple breath drifts onto my cheeks. I breathe him in. This is dangerous madness. He reaches for me, hungrily, desperately. Our masks bump awkwardly against each other as we kiss.

Giveaway

  • $40 Amazon Gift Card
  • Signed Ruby’s Fire Book Illustration
  • Signed Illustrated Paperback of Ruby’s Fire
  • eBook of Ruby’s Fire and Fireseed #1
  • eBook of Ruby’s Fire

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/6500211/

Purchase

Xpresso Book Tours

Never Let You Fall by Michelle Miller + Giveaway

NLYFbanner

Author Spotlight

Michelle MillerHaving grown up in both the cold, quiet town of Topsham, Maine and the steamy, southern hospitality of Mobile, Alabama, Michele is something of a enigma. She is an avid Yankees fan, loves New England, being outdoors and misses snow. However she thinks southern boys are hotter, Alabama football is the only REAL football out there and sweet tea is the best thing this side of heaven and her children’s laughter!

Her family, a doting husband and three awesome minions, have planted their roots in the middle of Michele’s two childhood homes in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Never Let You Fall is Michele’s first novel and she is beyond thrilled to have finally followed up on a dream she has held for over 20 years! God willing there will be many many more books to follow.

Links

Synopsis

17879285Orphaned at 7, with no memory of her past or the family she lost, 17 year old Skye Martin is tired of being alone and afraid. After a hard night of partying, Skye wakes up alone in an unfamiliar hotel. All she can remember is the deep voice of her rescuer and his promise: “I am safe.”

Xander has been tasked with watching Skye from afar for the past two years, in order to keep her safe from the demons that hunt her. An easy job – until a pair of red glowing eyes reveal themselves to Skye, and Xander, in a moment of weakness, is forced to break his cover to protect her.

Never good at trusting people, Skye is inexplicably drawn to Xander and the immediate bond she feels for him. However, Xander is filled with secrets and ties to her past that threaten to thrust Skye into a world she could never imagine existed…

As she begins to unravel the truth about who Xander is and the details surrounding her family, she discovers that she might just be the key to saving everything…

And, most importantly, she finds that there has always been someone by her side who would never let her fall…

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Review

Never Let You Fall  is a captivating and riveting story about a young woman, Skye, who yearns for someone by her side.  Being an orphan, she just wants a family, someone who will love her no matter what. Skye never realized there was a world out there, full of demons. Demons who are bent on killing her. After a party one night she sees one, but the next thing she knows she wakes up in a hotel room. Her rescuer is Xander. He is gorgeous and everything thing inside of Skye reaches for him. She finds out that he has been watching over her for the past two years. Instead of finding that creepy, she is comforted that there has been someone there for her, she has not been alone.

The connection between Skye and Xander is immediate and strong. They both try to fight it, but in the end they cannot out run their feelings for each other. The danger, romance, action, and suspense of this story will have you turning page after page, devouring the words just to see what will happen next. The characters are well written and you immediately start to care for Skye right from the beginning. Never Let You Fall is a story about finding love, meeting your fate, and reclaiming your destiny! A must read!

Selene

Purchase

Guest Post

Ten of the most amazing libraries in the world

I must admit I do NOT go to the library enough. I feel like a horrible horrible parent for not bringing my kids more often. There is something so fun and amazing about getting to scroll through thousands of books and check them out. I lived in tiny town USA as a kid and walked to our library what was housed in an old home. As a teen I spent vast amounts of time in our library usually doing research papers for school- that was back before the internet *gasp*.

My kids and I love going to the bookstore and browsing for hours sometimes but I’m always having to limit their purchases because money doesn’t grow on trees you know. I think summer is the perfect time to get my family into the library again on a weekly basis. So in keeping with that I thought I would share some of the most amazing libraries I could find.

I was inspired to make this list after seeing an article on outdoor libraries. Outdoor?? Amazingly cool idea is it not? Find a few of them below.

1) Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University
clip_image002

2) Salt Lake City Public Library

Salt Lake City Public LIbrary

3) Bondi Beach, Sydney Australia. A one-day only pop-up donation/book exchange thought up by IKEA as a part of their 30th Anniversary.

clip_image005

4) Library of Alexandria Egypt

clip_image007

5) Royal Portuguese Reading Room, Rio de Janeiro

clip_image009

6) José Vasconcelos Library, Mexico City, Mexico. The $100 million library

clip_image010

7) Abbey Library of Saint Gall, St. Gallen, Switzerland

clip_image012

8) Library of Congress, Washington DC

clip_image013

9) Hay-on-Wye in Wales. This town is full of these ‘honesty’ bookshops. It’s a place on my bucket list for sure! Here are two..

clip_image015

clip_image017

10) How about a bar with books? The bookstore bar at the Alexis Hotel in Seattle may be just the place you’re looking for.

clip_image018

I truly wish we had libraries like this here where I live. We do have an AMAZING children’s library in our uptown area. Next time I go I will have to share the trip on my blog. How about you? Do these cool places inspire you to get out to your local library more? You should!

~Michele

Giveaway

clip_image002[7]

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4d198b7/

The Doorknob Society Saga by M.J. Fletcher

Author Spotlight

MJ Fletcher was born in New Jersey and now lives by the beach with his very understanding wife and daughter. He has been writing since he first stapled pages together as a child and called them a book. He finally realized his ambitions when his comic book series Adam Zero The Last Man of Earth was published by Ronin Studios. His other comic book work includes Digital Webbing Presents and The Hero Initiative. His first novel The Doorknob Society released in 2012 was nominated for a Cybil award in the young adult category. He has continued writing the Doorknob Society Saga his rollicking steampunk adventure series as well as working on numerous other writing projects.

Links

The Doorknob Society, #1

SynopsisThe Doorknob Society

Chloe Masters’s world changed in a heartbeat – and all she did was touch a doorknob.

When she was young Chloe’s mother vanished. Wracked by feelings of abandonment and anger she lost herself traveling with her father’s magic act, where illusions were part of her everyday life. Yet everything changes when they are pursued by a mysterious man in black out to kill her father. Touching a doorknob activates abilities she never knew she had and she finds herself thrust into a world of ancient societies and secrets.

When her father disappears it is a race against time to find answers before she loses what is left of her family. Now Chloe must choose who to trust, the man who will do anything for her or the one she can’t stop thinking about.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Review

The Doorknob Society  was an intriguing read that had a mixture of magic, romance, mystery, and suspense. I loved the concept behind this story. It was very refreshing and unique. The world building was great and the characters were brilliant. Chloe is a fierce character that shows a lot of passion and spunk.  Michael and James are both mysterious and gorgeous. This is the beginning or what is sure to be a very captivating series.

The Impossible Engineers, #2

13626082Synopsis

Chloe Masters’s world changes in a heartbeat and all she did was touch a doorknob.

James Nightshade has been on Chloe’s mind since the day she met him. Arrogant and frustrating, she thought she had put him behind her when she chose Michael Slade.

When the secret she is seeking leads to questions about the death of Nightshade’s former girlfriend, she has no choice but to bring him into the investigation. A move she will come to regret.

Danger awaits them around every corner as they search for answers. In the end a choice will need to be made, but is Chloe strong enough to make it?

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Review

The Impossible Engineers takes us deeper into the world of The Doorknob Society.  Chloe thought that she would be happy with Michael, but she cannot stop thinking about James Nightshade. When she is thrown back into his path,  they must find a killer and hope that the killer does not find them first. Chloe will have to make a lot of choices that she would rather avoid by the end of this story. The mystery, danger, magic, and suspense will grab the reader from page one!

The Mapmaker’s Union, #3

16048365Synopsis

Chloe Masters has a death wish, at least according to her friends. Still reeling from the loss of one of those closest to her she is living life on the edge. One by one she is pushing everyone away. Leaving her with the very person who betrayed her… Faith.

Her memories still locked away by the Forget Me Not, can Chloe discover the truth before she loses everyone she loves?

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Review

The Mapmaker’s Union  is a fast paced thrill ride back into the world of The Doorknob Society. Chloe is on a self destructive path, still grieving from the loss of someone close to her.  Everyday she pushes her friends away because she cannot deal with her emotions and her need for revenge. Can she come to terms with the course her life has taken? Or will she lose everyone she loves?

The Detective Inspectors, #4

17252204Synopsis

Chloe Masters life is in disarray. Her best friend Edgar Magnus has been kidnapped by her mother. The Detective Inspectors of the HVO have been compromised and appear to be helping in the crime. All but one that is, Declan Hardcastle, a young DI who is more than willing to help Chloe in her quest. But is he looking for more than just friendship?

Her friends are spread far and wide; Jess has begun her apprenticeship in Paris while Slade is working for the Impossible Engineers. Nightshade has returned but is he the same man? Can he truly be trusted?

When Chloe learns Edgar’s location it’s a race against time. She needs to stop her mother’s pernicious plans and save Edgar while keeping everyone else she loves alive. But the question becomes… does Chloe plan on getting out alive?

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Review

The Detective Inspectors  dives back into Chloe Master’s life. Chloe has been through a lot and just when she thought things were calming down her best friend Edgar is kidnapped by her mother. If that is not bad enough the Detective Inspectors have gone to the dark side and appear to be helping her mother. All expect Declan Hardcastle, a young DI who does not mind helping Chloe. Chloe is a little off her game where Declan is concerned because she thinks he has more then a working relationship in mind. James has returned, but is he the same man that Chloe knew or is that man gone forever?  Chloe will do anything to protect those that she loves, including sacrifice her own life. Can she get Edgar and herself out alive or will this be her last adventure?

The Skeleton Guild, #5

Skeleton Key Guild FinalSynopsis

Her parents dead, her sister missing, and those she loves branded traitors to the Old Kind… Chloe Masters is on the run.

To fulfill a parent’s dying wish she will do anything to save the sister she has never met. Can she learn the secrets of the Artifacts before it’s too late? Surrounded by her friends; Slade, Edgar, Jess, Val and the man she loves James Nightshade, Chloe has never had so much to live for… but will her enemies let her?

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Review

The Skeleton Guild is the newest installment in The Doorknob Society Saga. Chloe Master’s has seen a lot since the day she learned she had certain powers and abilities. With her parent’s dead, Chloe must track down and protect a sister that she never new existed. It is a race against time and Chloe must fight enemies old and new.  Chloe has so much to live for now. James and her relationship could not be better, but none of that will matter is she does not make it back alive. Can Chloe find her sister in time?

Book Trailer

The Wicked by Lisa Campbell (The Wicked #1)

Author Spotlight

Lisa CampellLisa Campbell graduated from the University of Akron with a Bachelor Arts degree in English. She works part-time as an educator in the inner city schools. On the days when she is not working to inspire young minds, she likes to spend her spare time reading, plotting stories in her head, and trying out new recipes. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and young son.

Links

http://lisacampbellblog.com/

Synopsis

The WickedWhen a college student returns home, she encounters paranormal occurrences that lead to a dark family secret…

Traumatized by an experience she once had with her mother in a cemetery, eighteen-year-old Natalie Johnson can no longer bear the impending doom she feels. After having a confrontation with a close friend—whom she had confided in about her haunting experience—she decides to leave college and move back home.

Though once Natalie returns, she becomes troubled by strange occurrences that force her to question her own state of mind, leaving her to contend with the possibility that she may be destined to have the same fate as her mother.

But after one unexpected night of finding solace in the arms of her ex-boyfriend, things become even more complicated when she has to decide between a once cherished friendship, and the renewed feelings for her first love.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Review

The Wicked takes the reader back to the world of Natalie Johnson. We were first introduced to Natalie in Blindfolds, where she was a supporting character. As Blindfolds progresses, we learn that Natalie has a secret. The Wicked tells Natalie’s story.

Natalie experienced a very strange and haunting experience with her mother that traumatized her when she was eighteen years old. She has tried to forget that experience, but Natalie is starting to think she might share her mother’s fate. Natalie returns home from college after she shared her experience with her best friend. The conversation did not go as well as Natalie would have liked. Turning to the comfort of her home, and her ex-boyfriend. Natalie tries to sort out what is going on with her, and what secrets that her family has been keeping.

There is a lot of things that occur in this story, Voodoo and Hoodoo, a love triangle, and family confrontations. Natalie just wanted to be normal, but sometimes fate has different ideas. Will Natalie ruin her friendship with best friend to renew her relationship with Ex? Will Natalie embrace her destiny or run from it? Magic, romance, betrayal, and danger make this story an on-the-edge-of-your-seat, must read book!

Lisa Campbell has created a fast paced story that throws the reader right into a mystery with Natalie. The suspense, danger, and magic keep the reader guessing and wondering what will happen next.  The characters in this story are realistic and the paranormal aspects are not overdone. Natalie’s confusion over her relationships make her a real person to the reader. She is not perfect, but flawed. Being able to relate to the characters, feel what they feel, see what they see, makes this story a fantastic adventure full of mystery!