Hiro Loves Kite (Paper Stars #2)
by Lauren Nicolle Taylor
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing | Publication date: August 27th 2018 | Genres: Historical, Young Adult
Synopsis:We offer our wounds and scars. Understanding that’s part of what makes us beautiful.
Nora finally has her beloved sister Frankie back but that’s just the beginning of their struggles. She must now become Kite. A stronger, more independent version of herself. A King. A guardian.
And Kettle has Kite’s heart. She gives it freely. But as he holds it, dear and close like a lost treasure, something holds him back: A feeling that he doesn’t deserve good things. A looming shadow that threatens to separate them. Kettle must accept that he is also Hiro: A Japanese American with every right to happiness and freedom.
Because Hiro loves Kite. And Kite won’t wait forever for him to tell her.
But they’re standing on icy ground. As the leverage they had on Kite’s abusive father wavers and life on the street affects Frankie’s health, the challenges threaten to break their bond.
Snow is gathering at the station doors and doubts are piling high. They must rely on each other. Believe in the magic that got them this far. If they don’t, it’s not just their future in jeopardy but the fates of all the street kids in their care. All the Kings.
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Meet Kin (Katsutoshi), a supporting character in my new novel Hiro Loves Kite, which continues the story of Nora and Kettle. Kin is confident, funny and loyal.
Raised by a loving mother and father as a Japanese-American, Kin doesn’t have the same doubts about his background as Kettle (Hiro) who never knew his parents. He’s proud of his heritage and stands tall, both physically and mentally, despite his difficulty in walking.
Many of the young Japanese-American men interned during World War Two enlisted to prove their loyalty to the government. Kin’s father was one of those men and was sadly killed in action. This layered more pride across Kin’s shoulders and solidified his surety that he deserved his place in American society.
When Kin’s mother died of tuberculosis in the camps, his anger towards their treatment fuelled a fire that has never stopped burning. But where Kettle has always feared authority, Kin defies it openly. Looking the men who throw insults his way right in the eye and throwing those insults back. It gets him in trouble. It got him in a fight that nearly killed him. But he’s a survivor and a sweet talker and his rehabilitation is going well at the returned servicemen’s home he managed to talk his way into.
Kin’s humor in the face of adversity has always got him through and it’s lifted his best friend up in the worst of times. He considers it his job to get Kettle to lighten the hell up and he takes it very seriously.
But underneath the jokes and bravado is a guy with a big heart. Kin may pretend to be self-absorbed but he wants nothing more than for Kettle (Hiro) to be happy. And if that gets him a little extra something in the process, well, he wouldn’t say no to that.
Lauren is the bestselling author of THE WOODLANDS SERIES and the award-winning YA novel NORA & KETTLE (Gold medal Winner for Multicultural fiction, Independent Publishers Book Awards 2017).
She has a Health Science degree and an honors degree in Obstetrics and Gynecology. A full time writer, hapa and artist, Lauren lives in the tucked away, Adelaide hills with her husband and three children.
Author links: Website | Goodreads | FACEBOOK | TWITTER |
Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
Queen of Iron and Blood (Shattered Realms #2)
By Melissa Wright
YA, NA Urban Fantasy, SciFi
ebook, 148 Pages | August 20th 2018
The storm was only the beginning…
Mackenzie Scott is trapped in another realm, but that’s the least of her problems. Magic runs through her veins, and even now she can feel herself changing. She’s managed to help her brother, but in exchange, she’s turning into one of them. Worse, Mackenzie’s not just a monster. She’s their queen.
Hunter had one job: open the gateway between worlds to keep his realm alive. He hadn’t counted on betrayal. He hadn’t counted on being saved by a human girl. And he’d never guessed he couldn’t trust his own king. Now he’s trapped in a world to which he can never truly belong.
Separated by realms, Mackenzie and Hunter must save the other’s world. But the divide isn’t the only thing working against them. Beasts and men fight a dangerous battle that pits Hunter and Mackenzie against those they’re trying to protect.
And the clock is ticking.
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Book Tour Grand Finale
Queen of Iron and Blood By Melissa Wright
We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:
Launch - Note from the Author
Welcome to the tour for Queen of Iron and Blood, book two in the Shattered Realms series! It was a thrill to continue the story of plucky heroine Mackenzie Scott, her younger brother Riley, and the complicated creatures who invaded their world...
It's All About the Romance - Excerpt
A black-winged bird slammed into the glass inches from Hannah’s face, the noise making her fingers tighten around the stock of her M4. She wanted to turn away from the window, from the disingenuousness of that promising sky, and cross the darkened room. But Hannah was on watch. She straightened, eyes narrowed against the light of a hidden sun, and another bird smacked into the glass with a dull thud.
Thud. Thud, thud, thud.
SilverWoodSketches - Review
"Wright has a true gift for telling compelling stories with intriguing characters. Shattered Realms is no exception. In many ways, this may be my favorite story she's told to date. With enough stakes and action to keep you guessing, this is the fairypocalypse amalgamation dystopian fans didn't know they were missing."
An Indie Adventure - Excerpt
Hannah pulled the gun up to her shoulder, leaving a good ten feet between her and that glass.
She’d never wanted to join the army. She never would have.
Now she didn’t have a choice...
Declarations of a Fangirl - Excerpt
“Captain!” she yelled a third time, irritation clear in her voice as she pushed her helmet away from her brow. The captain came up behind her, finally, his boots muted against the damp concrete floor.
“What is it, Mitchell?”
“Birds,” she told him.
He shifted, coming into her peripheral as two more bodies slammed against the glass. He nodded. “It’s happening at East Creek, too. Nothing to be alarmed about.”
My Life, Loves and Passion - Review
"I loved how it was written. You can actually picture the scenes as you read them. You feel like you are right there breathing the air, feeling the anxiety.
I am definitely going to reading more by this author."
Letters from Annie (Douglass) Lima - Guest Post
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in the dying lands that we don’t see on Earth?
The Iron Bound are a race of chimeras, each varied and unique, though many resemble a patchwork of creatures akin to those on Earth. In addition to stealing this realm’s energy, the Iron Bound also bring over flora, which transforms into something otherworldly when exposed to the dying lands power.
Andi's Young Adult Books - Excerpt
Weeks after the original invasion, after the Breach and all that followed, Hannah had been in one of the trucks sent to ground zero. She had known the other soldiers for only a matter of days, but they were not easy days. She and a seventeen-year-old redhead named Riley had become close. She’d relied on him, she realized later, in a way she’d never meant to. And when Riley had told her what happened, when it had turned out he needed her, Hannah could not keep herself from promising she would help. She didn’t think she regretted it, but it was hard to be sure.
Wishful Endings - Review
"QUEEN OF IRON AND BLOOD is another thrilling adventure as war continues between two realms, risking not only humanity on earth but also those who live in the other realm. Non-stop action, endearing and fierce characters, and an uphill battle with everything at risk makes for an engaging story from start to finish. A fantastic sequel that will leave readers hoping for more to come in this magical world! . . . I enjoyed every single minute."
Angel's Guilty Pleasures - Excerpt
Her fingers tightened around the M4 at the memory. She’d never shot a man before, but her mother and father had shown her how it was done. She had hit a target enough to know she’d aimed correctly. But the bullet had missed. Hunter, that being from a hole in the sky, had curved its trajectory around him. Her gun was useless, she knew it, and yet Hannah stood in this darkened room and gripped it like it was the end of the world. Because it was the end of the world.
Reading On The Edge - Excerpt
She hadn’t told them about, Hunter, who had brought them to safety before he’d opened the gate. She hadn’t told them about how he’d saved Hannah and the others, how he’d gotten countless men to run and hide and stay safely out of the way. The creature had brought them here, behind the shelter of this reinforced glass, his eyes glowing with a light so blue that each of them could see it was unnatural, and they’d been so terrified they’d followed him anyway. No one had included it in their report. Hannah didn’t know if it was because the creature had saved them...
Getting Your Read On - Excerpt
Riley had kept the wound a secret, hidden from everyone so he could join the troops and fight. But when the gateway started to pull, she’d seen him moving toward it, trying to leave the safety of their shelter. She’d misunderstood at first, thought he’d been going after his sister, to help her escape the storm. Hannah’s fingers had clawed into Riley’s shirt as he fought her, tearing the material to reveal a duct-tape-covered arm. It had been hot, buzzing, and suddenly she’d known what he’d been hiding all along. Riley had been Marked.
Colorimetry - Excerpt
“I remember thinking, ‘This is it,’” she told her captain. “‘This is where they drop the bomb. Where we all die.’” She swallowed hard, waiting for the next bird to hit the glass like a child counting the seconds between lightning and thunder. It didn’t come.
“They didn’t drop a bomb,” he said.
Stacking My Book Shelves! - Excerpt
For one brief moment, there had been pure hope. Rejoice. Relief. Weeping. An effort to regroup.
And then came the attacks. Systematic. Orderly. Pointed. They hit strategic targets: power plants, tech firms, supply routes. It was the worst thing they could imagine, the scariest turn of events. These were not the initial attacks. The monsters weren’t merely beasts playing with their prey. This was intelligent. Deliberate.
Nicole's Book Musings - Excerpt
“Captain,” Hannah asked, “what do you think happened to them?”
She didn’t have to say it. The Marked had been heavy on the minds of everyone since the first night: why had they been chosen? Were they picked at random, just to die? Once they’d been taken through the gateway, it was clear it wasn’t anything like rapture. It had been an otherworldly hole in the sky, gaping and huge and glittering like stardust. Not heaven. Not angels.
A void. And monsters.
Don't forget to enter the giveaway below, if you haven't already...
Other Books in the Series
King of Ash and Bone (Shattered Realms #1)
By Melissa Wright
YA, NA Urban Fantasy, SciFi
Paperback & ebook, 216 Pages | February 2nd 2015
When flying monsters break through the veil into her world, Mackenzie Scott has nothing left to lose. Her brother has been taken, her future has vanished, and all that remains is a desperate need for revenge. After discovering the breach the creatures used as a gateway, Mackenzie devises a plan to stop them, whatever the cost.
When she finds an injured stranger in the street, he just might be the key she needs to succeed. What Mackenzie doesn't know is that this stranger isn't the helpless boy he appears to be. He's one of the monsters. And he's got plans of his own.
Thrown into a dying city in another realm, Mackenzie is powerless to get back. With the gateway closing, time is not on her side. But the stranger is, and if they can escape execution, this girl and her monster might be able to save both their worlds.
Grab an ebook of the first book in the series for FREE!
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About the Author
Melissa Wright is the author of the Frey Saga, Descendants Series, and Shattered Realms Series. She is currently working on the next book, but when not writing can be found collecting the things she loves at Goodreads and Pinterest. Contact her through the web at www.melissa-wright.com.
1 winner will receive an awesome prize pack with "survival" gear: print copies of The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey, Angelfall by Susan Ee, and King of Ash and Bone by Melissa Wright, plus Be Your Own Hero bracelet, lip balm, compass, playing cards, emergency blanket, and other fun stuff - US only
Ends August 29th
Broken Arrow (Darkened Destiny Saga #1)
by Azaria M.J. Durant
Publication date: July 29th 2018 | Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Synopsis:An ancient power long kept dormant stirs in the shadows once more as one boy embarks on a quest to earn his freedom and the freedom of his world!
Magic has turned to myth, the Vaelhyreans of old to legend, and the power wielded by the ancients has long been forgotten. However, with Ealdred, a mere half-breed slave boy, myth becomes real, the forgotten remembered, and the power of legend is reborn within him.
Ealdred is merged into a world of mystery, brimming with deceit, where the remaining Vaelhyreans are in a desperate fight for their very survival. When Ealdred is kidnapped by the power-mongering dark lord Zeldek himself, he must make a choice; to commit his newfound magic to Zeldek’s service or die. But when he meets Bellator, clever yet treacherous servant of Zeldek, an alternative is presented to him: to escape from Zeldek’s stronghold and embark on a quest to find a cursed arrow and free the Vaelhyreans from the spell that keeps their powers at bay.
Yet how can he survive in a world where magic is illegal, half-breeds are hated, and the four countries are on the brink of war?
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On Darker Waters – Uri’s Story
Uri hadn’t seen the sun for days.
It had been a long voyage as it was. They’d been at sea for months, after making that detour to steer clear of the Isle of the Damned. But they were s’posed to have gotten to port at least a week ago. Instead, they were heading into the middle of nowhere, low on food and fresh water. Of all the bad decisions Captain Stavery’d made, this was by far the worst.
A loud screech echoed through the mist that cast a thick veil all the way to the surface of the waters, which were swirling and foaming all strange like. It weren’t the first one; the screeching was becoming more of a constant thing the deeper they got into the mist. But Uri cringed all the same, trying to peer for the source of the sound from the railing of the crow’s nest, where he was leaning. All he could make out was the dark cliffs that loomed to the right of the ship. They were sailing unusually close to them, which even he knew was dangerous. The odd screeching from the top of the cliffs and the occasional falling rocks weren’t helping to ease his nerves.
It weren’t normal; none of it. He just wanted to go back to where the sun was shining and he could watch it glinting off the waves like a bunch of glittering crystals. Or actually feel the breeze. That’d be nice.
There was a sudden commotion down on deck, and Uri peered down the mast. The crew was drawing anchor and preparing to lower one of the row boats. He barely had time to wonder what was going on when there was a shout of, “Captain on deck!”
The crew all clambered to salute, but Uri only scowled. He was up in the crow’s nest anyhow. It weren’t like they’d see him if he didn’t fall over himself to pretend respect he didn’t feel.
“Hurry it up!” Captain Stavery shouted, then took a swig from the bottle that rarely left his hand. He cast a glance at the cliffs all worried like, and then turned all the sudden, his gaze landing straight on Uri. Uri ducked back, hoping he hadn’t been seen.
“Boy! Get down here!” the captain’s course voice echoed in the still air.
Uri had no choice but to do as he was told. He scrambled down the rigging and approached cautiously, ready to high-tail it back up the moment he saw there was any trouble.
“Get in the boat,” the captain snapped. “You’re comin’ with me.”
Uri moved his bare toe over a knot in the wood of the deck. “Why for?”
“‘Cause I said so! I don’t want no back-talk from you, ya hear? Get in the bloody boat!”
Uri glanced nervously to the cliff. “Where we goin’?”
“It ain’t your concern! Get in the boat before I throw you over the side.”
The boy high-tailed for the rigging, but two of the crew members grabbed him, dragging him to the boat. He struggled against them, but it was no use. They tossed him into the boat. Pain vibrated up his leg, and he swore loudly.
The captain climbed into the boat after him and it was lowered into the churning waters below. Uri glanced down. He didn’t trust this sea.
Captain Stavery shoved an oar into his hands. “Start rowin’,” he ordered, sitting down across from him.
Uri noticed no one else was coming with them, but he didn’t dare ask why not. He took the oars and started rowing. His orange hair stuck to his forehead with sweat. The air was unbearably warm.
Their destination soon materialized from the mist in the form of a dark fortress, which rose above a narrow pass between two cliffs. The pass led to the harbor they were in. There was a strange glow around the fortress, almost like it was on fire. Only there were no flames that he could see.
They reached the docks at the edge of the rocky shore, and Captain Stavery stepped out, the boards creakin’ under his feet. He was greeted by a whole lot of fellows in black outfits. They seemed not to like people lookin’ at them, ’cause their faces were all covered up. After a few words with them that Uri couldn’t make out, Stavery turned back to him.
“Don’t just sit there, boy. Get up!”
Uri quickly scrambled out of the boat, tripping over the edge and falling down. Got a splinter in his hand from the rough wood of the wharf, but the captain grabbed his arm, jerking him to his feet. He shoved him to walk in front of him as they followed the guards up a steep pathway toward the creepy castle. They were led up to the front door, which they reached by climbing up a long flight of stairs and then crossing over this pit filled with this spitting, glowing gold liquid fire stuff. Uri was relieved when the front door was opened for them, until he saw inside. Everything was all black: the walls, the floor, and the ceiling. There seemed to be designs carved on the walls, but he couldn’t make them out because there were hardly any lights in the place neither.
A squad of even more of the guards with covered faces came to meet them. At their head, there was this short girl near Uri’s age. She approached Captain Stavery, folding her hands behind her back, and Uri could swear he saw the captain flinch.
“This way,” she said, all stern like, and the captain followed. Uri trotted after them.
They were led to a large room where there was this red carpet and a throne, and lots of big stone statues of people holding torches on either side of the carpet. Oh, and big metal bowl things that had fire in them up in front of the throne. Uri was too busy looking at it all that he didn’t notice the others had stopped, and ran into the captain from behind. Captain Stavery grabbed his arm and made him stand beside him.
“Stavery,” a soft, chilling voice resonated in the room. “It has been a while.”
“My liege.” Stavery bowed, shoving Uri onto his knees while he was at it. “I’ve come as always to show my loyalty to you, and to make a request. That request bein’ that which I’ve always wanted: a better way to serve you, master.”
“And I have told you,” the controlled voice responded, and Uri thought he saw a person on the throne in the shadows now, “that I cannot give you the fleet of ships you desire unless you give me something valuable in return.”
“Well,” Uri piped up, “if its gold you’re after, the captain’s got tons of it.”
Stavery cuffed him upside the head.
“It is not gold that I require, boy,” the voice said from the shadows. “I need something more precious than that.”
“I have another offer to make,” Stavery said, shoving Uri forward. “My son. You can have ‘im. He’s the most precious thing I got.”
There was a long and dreadful pause. Uri wasn’t sure exactly what was going on, but he didn’t like it.
“You would trade your own son?” the voice said at last.
“Yeah, I would.”
“No he wouldn’t!” Uri cried, starting to panic. “P-pap, I’ve been good! I’ll be better! You can’t-”
“I can do what I want,” his father replied gruffly. Then he turned back to the man on the throne. “Is it a deal?”
“No! I ain’t gonna stay here! Please-”
He was cut off as Stavery struck him, knocking him to the floor. “Is it a deal?”
Again, there was silence. Uri lay still, tears wetting his face. He shoulda known. His pap had never wanted him. Never really…
“If this is a bargain you are willing to make,” the voice said slowly, “than yes. You shall have your ships. But you must know that there will be no going back on this trade.
Stavery glanced at his fourteen-year-old son. “I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
Azaria M. J. Durant is a young, passionate writer of fantasy with plans to branch out into sci-fi and dystopian. She enjoys writing stories with action, adventure, unexpected plot twists, and fleshed out characters that challenge gender roles and expectations.
Azaria lives in Atlantic Canada with her family, cats, and dogs, and her big dreams to travel the world. In the moments when she isn’t writing, she is sketching concept art for her stories, participating in community theatre, or curled up with a good book and a bag of mint chocolates.
Author links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter |
Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
Harbinger (Dragonrider Legacy#2) by Nicole Conway
Publisher: Month9Books | Publication Date: August 14, 2018
Victory is written in the blood of the brave. As the armies of the Tibran Empire continue to march across Maldobar, a path of scorched destruction and despair is left in their wake. Even with the formidable princess, Jenna Farrow, leading the charge, the strength of the dragonriders is waning. Tibran victory appears inevitable—especially after Princess Jenna and Prince Aubren are taken hostage by the infamous Lord Argonox. Separated from her brother and tortured for information, Princess Jenna refuses to bend to the iron will of Argonox. But her strength and resolve may only last so long. Held prisoner in his dark tower, it would take a miracle to set her free—or perhaps a pair of demigods and their dragons. With revived dragonrider legend, Jaevid Broadfeather, at his side, Reigh must now make a choice: face the truth about the origin of his dark powers, or turn his back on world in need. But throwing off a lifetime of shame and self-doubt is not so easily done—especially when the cost of failure means the destruction of the world. The long-awaited hero has awakened. The ancient spirits are stirring. The dark goddess has chosen her champion. But is he ready to embrace that rite and become the HARBINGER Maldobar needs him to be
Goodreads | ~ Purchase Links Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks |
OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES : Goodreads |
ABOUT the AUTHOR:
Nicole is the author of the children’s fantasy series, THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES, about a young boy’s journey into manhood as he trains to become a dragonrider. She has completed the first two books in the series, and is now working on the third and final book. Other works include MAD MAGIC (Sept 2017), FAULBENDER (tbd), SCALES (tbd), and THE DISTANCE BETWEEN STARS (May 2017).
Originally from a small town in North Alabama, Nicole moves frequently due to her husband’s career as a pilot for the United States Air Force. She received a B.A. in English with a concentration in Classics from Auburn University, and will soon attend graduate school.
She has previously worked as a freelance and graphic artist for promotional companies, but has now embraced writing as a full-time occupation.
Nicole enjoys hiking, camping, shopping, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. She also loves watching children’s movies and collecting books. She lives at home with her husband, two cats, and dog.
Website • Twitter • Facebook • Goodreads
* One (1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a digital copy of Harbinger (INT)
The Royal Order of Fighting Dragons by Dan Elish
Published by: Vesuvian Books | Publication date: August 7th 2018
Genres: Middle-Grade, Urban Fantasy
Synopsis:Born To Fight?
Ike Rupert Hollingsberry is haunted by the past because complete strangers won’t let him forget when his famous father died on the set of The Fighting Dragons, a cult favorite that still has people talking.
But when he’s attacked by a large locust, like the one that killed his dad, Ike is helped by the geekiest nerd of all, Elmira Hand.
Killing the giant locust was only the beginning of the surprises in store for Ike as he is whisked away from New York City to an isolated Florida compound to assume his role as the next in line to lead the Royal Order of the Fighting Dragons—that are NOT supposed to exist—and learns his dad’s death was a cover-up for a far greater purpose…
Goodreads | ~Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Kobo |
“… destined to be a kid-pleasing classic. Readers will be captivated as Ike is drawn into the mysterious and dangerous world … I dare any fan of Harry Potter, Roald Dahl, Wonder Woman, Superman—any rollicking adventure story—to pick up The Royal Order of Fighting Dragons and not get hooked.
~Deborah Heiligman, Award-winning author of Vincent and Theo
Potential Scene Three (743 words)
Ike laughed. Leave it to Elmira to get in the last word. For soon, Ike had the great creature back in the sky. When he looked over his shoulder, Ike saw his three Order-mates finally sprinting toward their respective dragons, climbing three separate ladders. Alexandro was the next to get his into the air, zooming straight up on Kansas City. A moment later, Elmira on Seattle, and Lucinda on Pittsburgh, took off at the exactly same time. Soon the four dragons were flying in formation, close enough for the kids to shout back and forth.
“I love this,” Alexandro cried. “Even easier than riding a lion.”
“You never rode that lion,” Lucinda said.
“Did too. I’ll show you the pictures later.”
“I never realized the force of the wind would be so strong,” Elmira yelled. “The G forces must be close to five hundred and forty.”
The best was yet to come. To his left, Ike saw Alexandro give Kansas City a small pinch. The dragon released a blast of fire that left a trail of smoke one hundred feet long. Ike smiled. What was he waiting for? He gave Detroit a pinch of his own and the dragon let loose a whoosh of flame that spiraled a good two hundred feet into the sky. As the fire blew out of his mouth, the beast jolted forward so powerfully Ike had to squeeze hard with his legs to keep from falling off.
“Yee-haw,” Ike cried.
“Quite a kickback, eh?” Alexandro yelled.
“Sure is,” Ike called.
“Take that, locusts!” Lucinda exclaimed.
Again, Pittsburgh proved female dragons were every bit as powerful as their male counterparts, letting fly a gust of flame that spiraled out a good two hundred feet in no more than two seconds.
Finally, it was Seattle’s turn.
“Death to the bugs,” Elmira called.
With a powerful whoosh, her dragon proved that he had the goods as well.
“Who is the best Order, eh?” Alexandro cried, whooshing by Ike.
“The Tenth Order,” Ike replied.
“You’re bloody well right it is.”
Ike laughed. The next thing he knew, the dragons were swooping this way and that, weaving in and out and around each other, flaming at anything and everything.
Suddenly there was a stealth military helicopter flying soundlessly by their side. A soldier was at the controls and another was leaning out the side with a camera.
“Hey,” he called to Ike. “Over here.”
Ike grinned widely. Holding the reins with one hand, he reached for his sword and pressed the button, exposing the blade and waving it over his head.
“I love it,” the photographer yelled.
Suddenly, Ike loved it, too. All of it. The dragons. His new friends. The thrill of standing up for himself as the rightful leader. Even the prospect of being on TV. Being “the next in line” wasn’t half bad. He retracted the sword’s blade, tucked it back in his belt, and swooped below the helicopter as the dragon let loose a thunderous blast of fire. Once he had gotten his shot, the cameraman gave Ike a thumbs up but then pointed back toward the Order.
Ike looked back over his shoulder. These dragons were even faster than he thought. After what had felt like a short ride, the Order was already a distant dot of green in the middle of a vast swath of brown. The cameraman held up six fingers. Ike understood. At the six mile radius of the no-radar zone, he tugged on the left rein, bringing the dragon on a slow arc back toward the Order.
But there was a problem. Kansas City and Pittsburgh hadn’t gotten the message. Instead of slowing down to turn back, the two dragons thundered forward, gaining speed.
“You think you can outrace me, mi compadre, eh?”
“Sure do, mate,” Lucinda cried. She was holding onto her hat with one hand and the reins with the other. “This dragon of mine’s got raw power.”
“Raw power? Your dragon? He is slower than my nonna—and she uses a walker.”
“Pittsburgh is a she. And she’ll destroy your mangy beast any day of the week.”
“Hey,” Ike yelled. “Stop.”
In a blur of light lavender and dark red, Kansas City and then Pittsburgh rocketed by.
“Wait. The no-radar zone.”
It was too late. Before Ike could stop him, Detroit had wheeled around. Flapping his mighty wings like mad, he accelerated rapidly away from the Order.
The race was on.
Dan Elish is the author of nine novels, including The School for the Insanely Gifted, BORN TOO SHORT: The Confessions of an Eighth-Grade Basket Case, an International Reading Association Students’ Choice Award Recipient (Simon & Schuster), the book for the Broadway musical13, slated to be a movie by CBS Films, and The Worldwide Dessert Contest, which was recently optioned for TV. In addition, Dan is a writer of TV shows like PBS’s Cyberchase.
Dan has received fellowships and scholarships to the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences and is represented by Matt Bialer at Greenburger Associates. He lives in New York with his wife and children.
Author Links: Website | Goodreads |
Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
Courting Carlyn by Melissa Chambers
Publication Date: August 6, 2018 | Publisher: Entangled Teen
Vaughn Yarborough is ready to trade the fame and glory of the international junior pro tennis circuit for college and a more settled life. First stop: spearhead a summer camp for underprivileged kids. The girl who’s agreed to run it with him has Vaughn more intrigued by the minute, but with the strict no-fraternizing rules, he’s got to figure out how not to fall for her.
When the boy Carlyn Sadowski has crushed on for years asks her to work with him for the summer, she has to pinch herself. When his world-famed coach offers her training for free, she can’t believe her luck. He could actually help her follow in her mother’s footsteps by playing college tennis. But when she finds out the catch is she’s got to convince Vaughn to go pro, Carlyn will have to decide between her dreams and the boy currently stealing her heart.
Link to Goodreads:
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ABOUT the AUTHOR:
Melissa Chambers writes contemporary novels for young, new, and actual adults. A Nashville native, she spends her days working in the music industry and her nights tapping away at her keyboard. While she’s slightly obsessed with alt rock, she leaves the guitar playing to her husband and kid. She never misses a chance to play a tennis match, listen to an audiobook, or eat a bowl of ice cream. (Rocky road, please!) She serves as president for the Music City Romance Writers and is the author of the Love Along Hwy 30A series and the Before Forever series (YA).
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Cradled (Beholder #4.5) by Christina Bauer
Published by: Monster House Books | Publication date: July 31st 2018
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
An Epilogue NovellaAt last, Elea and Rowan are settling in to their new lives. Trouble is, Rowan is spending a lot of time cleaning up messes from his childhood. And considering the nightmare that was his mother, those are some ugly messes indeed. In fact, the experience is enough to make Rowan vow that he never wants children of his own.
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REVIEW by Vickie:
Beholder Series- Christina Bauer (Cursed, Concealed, Cherished, Crowned, Cradled)
Christina Bauer has done a wonderful job bringing excitement and intrigue to this series of fantasy books. They are a great read. I enjoyed all of the fun new ideas she has for demons and other characters. The romance in these books is just another added bonus.
The characters are well-developed and easily visualized. I love Elea and Rowan. My other favorite character is Jicho.
The stories grabbed and held my attention. They have a lot happening throughout the story to keep you interested. The story flows well from chapter to chapter and is easy to follow.
I highly recommend this series to other readers. It is a fun, exciting read.
I give this series a literary rating of 5/5
written by vickie
Christina Bauer thinks that fantasy books are like bacon: they just make life better. All of which is why she writes romance novels that feature demons, dragons, wizards, witches, elves, elementals, and a bunch of random stuff that she brainstorms while riding the Boston T. Oh, and she includes lots of humor and kick-ass chicks, too.
Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.
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The Geek and the Goddess by Allie Everhart
Publication date: August 7th 2018 | Genres: Romance, Young Adult
People always say they wish they could predict the future. But not me. I already know my future. I’m going to lose my sight. I don’t know exactly when, but it’s going to happen. And it’s the reason I’ll never fall in love.
At least that’s what I thought. Until one day a guy walks into my chem class and changes all that.
I thought for sure he’d avoid me after he saw how people at school treat me. The teasing. The nicknames. Just being seen with me is enough to ruin his reputation, yet this guy still wanted to date me. And he wouldn’t take no for an answer.
That’s how it began. How it ended is not at all what I expected. Ours is an unlikely love story.
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A guy appears at the door. He looks back at it, like he’s double-checking the room number, then says something to a girl up front. She nods and he closes the door.
Everyone looks up and stares at him. He’s tall and thin, wearing jeans and a button-up white shirt with a blue blazer over it. And he has on a tie that’s blue and green plaid.
Who dresses like that for class? A blazer and a tie? Maybe he transferred here from a prep school.
“Greetings, earthlings,” he says in a deep voice. He smiles and a few people chuckle.
“Wesley,” Mr. Henderson says. “Welcome.”
“Thank you,” he says in a cheery tone, not seeming to care that people are staring at him.
“We have a seat for you back here,” Henderson says.
He sees me and smiles. “Guess it’s my lucky day.”
Lucky day? What is he talking about?
Everyone watches as he makes his way to the back. As he approaches my table, I notice he’s carrying a briefcase. Like one of those hard covered briefcases men used to carry to work. He sets it down and opens the metal hinges. The briefcase pops open and inside is his laptop, a notebook, and some pens. He takes out the laptop, then closes the briefcase.
“Everyone, this is Wesley Deckle,” Mr. Henderson says. “He moved here last summer from Sacramento, California. Please welcome him to Wisconsin by introducing yourselves after class.” He walks over to his desk. “I want phones put away and books out. We’ll begin shortly.”
Wesley holds out his hand to me and smiles. “Hi. I’m Wesley. And you are?”
“Luna,” I say as I get a better look at his face. He’s kind of cute. His eyes are a swirly mix of blue that reminds me of those pictures of Earth taken from space. He has dark brown hair that’s a little long with curly waves that make it look messy but in a good way. And he has good skin. Not a single zit, which is rare for people our age.
“Luna,” he repeats, and I wait for him to follow that with whatever rude comment he’s going to make about my unusual name. But instead he says, “That’s the coolest name ever.”
I stare at him, skeptical of his words. It’s quite possible he’s being sarcastic. He looks like someone who uses sarcasm.
“Are you being serious?” I ask.
“Luna. Roman goddess of the moon,” he says, smiling. “You were named after a goddess. That’s cool, don’t you think?”
“Not really.” I look away from him. “I’ve never liked my name.”
“Why don’t you like it?”
“Let’s start by reviewing the syllabus,” Mr. Henderson says.
I open my laptop, not answering Wesley’s question. Because answering it means telling him the history of my name and how it’s been used to tease me, ridicule me, make me an outcast. There’s no need to explain all that. He’ll find that out soon enough.
“What are you doing?” I ask.
He gives me a confused look. “What do you mean?”
“Why are you sitting up here?”
“Because it’s where I felt like sitting.” He sets his briefcase on the desk and opens it.
“Don’t you want to sit in the back?”
“Not really. Do you?”
“Yeah. I mean, no. Here is fine.”
“Why’d you sit in back for chem?”
“Because it was the only seat left.”
He nudges my arm. “Must be your lucky day.”
“What do you mean?”
“By getting the last seat, you ended up with me as your partner. Just think how jealous everyone is of you.”
I grin at him. “You’re really full of yourself, you know that?”
He takes out his laptop. “I’m just stating the facts.”
And yet I know he’s just kidding. I can tell by that crooked, yet sexy, smile on his face.
“So you’re usually a front rower?” he asks.
“Front rower. Someone who always sits in the front.”
“I guess I am.”
“You don’t know?”
“I’ve never really thought about it.”
“Sure you have. Everyone does. When you walk in a room, you have a decision to make. Front, back, or middle. If you always choose front, then you’re a front rower.”
“Okay, fine, I’m a front rower. What difference does it make?”
“Where you sit says a lot about you.”
The bell rings as people continue to find seats. The teacher waits for them to sit down then says, “Welcome to American History. I’m Mr. Combs. I need to get something from the teacher’s lounge. I’ll be back in a minute.”
Looking over at Wesley, I see him typing on his laptop. He’s good at tuning things out. People are talking all around us, really loud, and yet he’s completely focused on what he’s doing, like he doesn’t even hear them.
I’ll probably regret asking this but I do anyway. “So what does it say about me?”
He stops typing and looks at me. “What are we talking about?”
“Being a front rower. What does it say about me?”
“That you’re smart. That you like to learn. Or it could just mean you have a crush on your teacher. Mr. Combs IS pretty hot.”
I laugh as he goes back to typing.
“So what are you?” I ask. “Also a front rower?”
“I don’t fit in a category. I mix it up. Sometimes the front, sometimes the middle, sometimes the back.”
“You have to have a reason for choosing your seat. You just said everyone has to make a decision when they walk in the room. So how do you decide?”
“I sit wherever the prettiest girl is. If she’s in front, I sit in front.” He says it casually, his eyes on his laptop.
Is he saying I’m the prettiest girl in class? Is he kidding? I’m nowhere near the prettiest, especially today. My hair is even more staticky than normal. And since Wesley made me walk him to class, I didn’t get a chance to stop in the bathroom to run a dryer sheet through my hair, so now it keeps sticking to my face.
“What’s taking the teacher so long?” I ask, pretending I didn’t hear Wesley’s comment. I’m not comfortable with compliments, if that’s what he meant it to be. Or maybe he was just joking. It’s hard to tell with him.
“You don’t believe me,” he says as he takes off his blazer.
What is with this guy? Does he have a mind reading program on that laptop of his? He always seems to know what I’m thinking.
Choosing not to respond, I open my history book and pretend to read.
Then suddenly, I feel a rush of warm breath by my ear as he says in a low voice, “You’re definitely the prettiest.”
(no author photo)
Allie Everhart writes romance and romantic suspense and is the author of the popular Jade Series, Kensington Series, Wheeler Brothers, and several standalone titles. She’s also a freelance health writer and has worked on several New York Times bestselling books. Allie's always been a romantic, as evidenced by her early years as a wedding singer, her obsession with dating shows, and the fact that she still watches reruns of The Love Boat. When she’s not writing, she’s outside running, which is when she gets her best book ideas.
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My Review: (LAWonder10)
Rose's once fond memories of Feldstone Manor and of it's heir, William, were no longer pleasant. When pressure was put on William to become engaged within six months, Rose decided to earnestly become available to another suitor in the "ton". She would not appear as "the rejected one"!
This first novel of Esther Hatch's debut is a delight to read. Although mostly predictable, it is well-written with a few "twists".
It reinforces some of the hurt, pressure and expectations were put on those in the elite "class" of society, in not only England but many counties, were expected to endure, without regards to either the man's or woman's personal feelings.
What I felt it lacked was substance. It felt slightly drawn out. Additionally, although the ending was complete, it occurred too abruptly
The characters were very endearing and captivated the reader.. The scenes were portrayed well
The Book Title and Cover image were attractive, eye-catching and chosen well.
I offer a Four Stars rating.
*This book was gifted me with no expectations for a positive review. This is my honest review.
Esther Hatch grew up on a cherry orchard in rural Utah. After high school, she alternated living in Russia to teach children English and attending Brigham Young University in order to get a degree in archaeology. She began writing when one of her favorite authors invited her to join a critique group. The only catch was she had to be a writer. Not one to be left out of an opportunity to socialize and try something new; she started on her first novel that week.
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