Thursday, April 13, 2017

[Review & Giveaway] True Born


 

True Born (True Born Trilogy #1)

by L.E. Sterling


Publish date: May 3, 2016
Genre:  YA Fantasy/Science Fiction
Rating: 4/5



Goodreads summary

Welcome to Dominion City. 

After the great Plague descended, the world population was decimated…and their genetics damaged beyond repair.

The Lasters wait hopelessly for their genes to self-destruct. The Splicers pay for expensive treatments that might prolong their life. The plague-resistant True Borns are as mysterious as they are feared… 

And then there’s Lucy Fox and her identical twin sister, Margot. After endless tests, no one wants to reveal what they are. 

When Margot disappears, a desperate Lucy has no choice but to put her faith in the True Borns, led by the charismatic Nolan Storm and the beautiful but deadly Jared Price. As Lucy and the True Borns set out to rescue her sister, they stumble upon a vast conspiracy stretching from Dominion’s street preachers to shady Russian tycoons. But why target the Fox sisters? 

As they say in Dominion, it’s in the blood.

My thoughts


My first thought about True Born was that it's hard to classify. Is it a fantasy? It is a dystopian? Is it science fiction? In truth, it's all of these things. 

I was pleasantly surprised to find most of my favorite elements rolled up together in the book. Like a beautifully baked cake with buttercream frosting. It was a delicious treat. 

True Born is written mostly from Lucy's perspective. Lucy and her twin, Margot, have that  special connection you hear twins talk about sometimes. But theirs is ramped up on steroids. Lucy can physically feel what is happening to Margot. So, when Margot disappears it doesn't take long for Lucy to feel it, and she takes off trying to find her. 

That's where Jared and Storm enter into Lucy's life and things start to change. Lucy has more questions than answers throughout the entire book, and we learn some things right along with her but there's still a lot left in the dark to keep me coming back for more. What exactly are Lucy and Margot? That's the question of the hour. 

Overall, this book was a very nice read. I enjoyed Lucy's character a lot and Storm and his crew are pretty bad ass. I found Lucy to be very relatable. She's been kept in the dark and she's finally seeking some answers. But the entire time she's scared of letting down her family and what this whole things means for her and Margot.

I would have like to have seen a clearer explanation of True Borns in the books though. After I finished reading, I found myself still confused about what exactly True Borns are and how they come to be about. There's some explanation but I still wasn't clear on the historical origins of True Borns.

True Born was nicely written and I didn't find myself stumbling over any grammatical errors. It get 4 stars and a thumbs up from me, so make sure you check it out. 

** I was provided a copy of this book in return for an honest review

Get it here


About L.E. Sterling

I was a voracious devotee of sci-fi and fantasy novels all through my childhood, so I suppose it doesn’t come as much of a shock that I’ve returned to the genre with a vengeance.

For a while I turned my back on the genre in favour of ‘high-brow’ literary texts. Ironically, it was my doctoral degree that saw me circling back. There’s something about the way postmodern literature plays with the arcane that had me utterly fascinated, and it wasn’t long until I fell headlong back into my old ways and haven’t looked back since.

My first novel, which isn’t in the Urban Fantasy or Fantasy genres, isn’t high literature, mind you, even if it tangles with some serious statements about politics and the way our western world runs. My editor described it as something between Charles Dickens and The Catcher in the Rye: Serious Fun, in other words.

My second novel, Pluto’s Gate, is where I’ve come home to myself: it’s a contemporary retelling of the Demeter-Persephone-Pluto story from Greek mythology. Folded into the mix is a Shaman-in-training, a magical book, Underworld Gods, a world covered in ice, a three-headed dog, and one lousy ex-boyfriend.

But I’ll tell you this much: I believe in the power of words and stories to transform our inner worlds. Whether the characters be vampires or vagabonds, a good narrative sucker punches so-called reality anyhow.

Get in touch

Read the first 6 chapters of True North (True Born #2) here

 

Giveaway

 

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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

[Blitz & Giveaway] Dominion Rising


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.



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
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
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.



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Monday, April 3, 2017

[Review] Justice Calling

Justice Calling (The Twenty-Sided Sorceress Book 1)

By Annie Bellet


Publish Date: July 23, 2014
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: 3/5

Goodreads Summary

Gamer. Nerd. Sorceress.

Jade Crow lives a quiet life running her comic book and game store in Wylde, Idaho. After twenty-five years fleeing from a powerful sorcerer who wants to eat her heart and take her powers, quiet suits her just fine. Surrounded by friends who are even less human than she is, Jade figures she’s finally safe.

As long as she doesn’t use her magic.

When dark powers threaten her friends’ lives, a sexy shape-shifter enforcer shows up. He’s the shifter world’s judge, jury, and executioner rolled into one, and he thinks Jade is to blame. To clear her name, save her friends, and stop the villain, she’ll have to use her wits… and her sorceress powers.


My Thoughts


Justice Calling is a fast-paced read with an episodic feel that I hope continues into the rest of the series. There’s an overarching story line that appears as though it will carry on in the following books, but there was also a satisfying conclusion to book one.

The story gets straight to the action, introducing us to Jade Crow, a more-than-she-appears supernatural being trying to blend in with the animal shifters and other supernatural beings who live in the small town where she runs a comic and gaming store. Jade is strong, independent and keeping a secret. At least, she is until a shifter named Alek comes to town and figures out who and what she really is. The dynamic between Jade and Alek is immediate and I enjoyed their interactions, though I would have liked their relationship to spend more time in the ‘getting to know you’ phase.

The world building is subtle, but effective. The explanations of the shifter hierarchy and the supernatural groups is done through casual conversation rather than lengthy explanations. I got the impression that I knew enough for the current story, but that there would be more revealed as time went on.

A particularly interesting aspect of this series is the role played by gaming culture. These references made throughout the story add an extra element of interest that also gives the secondary characters a common starting point for coming together. There’s also something about outsiders like shifters finding solace in gaming that resonates.

Though classified as urban fantasy, Justice Calling will also appeal to readers of paranormal mystery. The use of profanity, while generally employed to lighten the mood, makes this a series for readers of NA rather than YA fiction. This isn’t a lengthy read, making it ideal for quick reading in one or two sittings. It’s the perfect story to get you through a long commute or a quiet weekend afternoon.

Get it here


*Reviewed by Amanda, Book Nerd Paradise Contributor*

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

[Blog Hop & Giveaway] Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop



While I'm not the least bit Irish, there's always been something about St. Patrick's day that I love. It's a fun holiday where people just set out to have a good time, and the Irish pride is something to behold. You get to meet so many new people and corn beef and hash is the best. 

Without further ado, here are two series with Irish theme's and settings that I highly recommend. 

Also, a special thanks to Bookhounds for always hosting. Happy reading! 

The Falconer Series by Elizabeth May 

One girl's nightmare is this girl's faery tale 

She's a stunner.

Edinburgh, 1844. Eighteen-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, has everything a girl could dream of: brains, charm, wealth, a title—and drop-dead beauty. 

She's a liar.
But Aileana only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. she's leading a double life: She has a rare ability to sense the sìthíchean—the faery race obsessed with slaughtering humans—and, with the aid of a mysterious mentor, has spent the year since her mother died learning how to kill them. 

She's a murderer.
Now Aileana is dedicated to slaying the fae before they take innocent lives. With her knack for inventing ingenious tools and weapons—from flying machines to detonators to lightning pistols—ruthless Aileana has one goal: Destroy the faery who destroyed her mother. 

She's a Falconer. 
The last in a line of female warriors born with a gift for hunting and killing the fae, Aileana is the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacring all of humanity. Suddenly, her quest is a lot more complicated. She still longs to avenge her mother's murder—but she'll have to save the world first.

Find it here

The Fianna Trilogy by Megan Chance 

Grace Knox has grown up hearing the folktales of her Irish ancestors, especially about the warriors who fought for control of Ireland. In 19th-century New York City, however, these legends are far from Grace's mind. She's much more concerned with how to protect her family from debt collectors, and whether her childhood friend Patrick Devlin will propose. Patrick is a member of the Fenian Brotherhood, a group of young Irish American men intent on fighting for the independence of their homeland, whatever the cost. Patrick and the Brotherhood use ancient magic to summon mythical warriors to join their fight to protect Ireland. One of them, Diarmid, finds himself drawn to Grace, and she to him. When Diarmid discovers that, in their desperation, the Brotherhood has also summoned a rival group of ancient warriors, he warns Patrick that there will be bloodshed. Grace is caught in the middle of two men she loves, and discovers she alone holds the power to save Ireland?but at a dangerous price.

Find it here
Amazon | Goodreads

Giveaway
Rules: This giveaway is open internationally to anyone who is able to receive their prize as an Amazon gift. One lucky winner will win a $5 Amazon e-gift card.
 
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See the rest of the hop 


Friday, March 10, 2017

[Cover Reveal & Giveaway] The Girl Who Could See


Today Kara Swanson and Rockstar Book Tours are revealing the cover for THE GIRL WHO COULD SEE, which releases June 1, 2017! Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to win a $5 Amazon Gift Card and a copy of the eBook!

On to the reveal!



Title: THE GIRL WHO COULD SEE
Author: Kara Swanson
Pub. Date: June 1, 2017
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 200
Find it: Amazon | Goodreads

All her life Fern has been told she is blind to reality—but what if she is the only one who can truly see?

Fern Johnson is crazy. At least, that’s what the doctors have claimed since her childhood. Now nineteen, and one step away from a psych ward, Fern struggles to survive in bustling Los Angeles. Desperate to appear “normal,” she represses the young man flickering at the edge of her awareness—a blond warrior only she can see.

Tristan was Fern’s childhood imaginary hero, saving her from monsters under her bed and outside her walls. As she grew up and his secret world continued to bleed into hers, however, it only caused catastrophe. But, when the city is rocked by the unexplainable, Fern is forced to consider the possibility that this young man isn’t a hallucination after all—and that the creature who decimated his world may be coming for hers.

Exclusive Excerpt!


CHAPTER ONE
Present Time

On television, they never tell you how cold it is.

They might show you the dimly lit room or the hard, uninviting chairs—stark reminders that you have no power here. They may depict the lonesome table separating you from the elderly agent with the stone-grey eyes. But those cop shows never depict what a chilly affair an FBI interrogation truly is. If their aim is to make this process as intimidating as possible—it’s working.

I wrap my hands around bare shoulders, fingertips far colder than the skin exposed by my red tank top. Brilliant move, Fern. Wear a scarf, but forget your jacket. Stifling a shudder, I try to meet the sharp gaze of Agent Barstow standing rigidly across from me.

“I don’t know where you’re from, miss Johnson—but in LA, state-of-the-art buildings don’t just crumble.” His voice is gravelly, matching the jagged lines of his dark skin and weathered face. 
“Federal buildings, no less. There one minute and the next…destroyed.”

His tone chills me even more, and I tug nervously on my scarf. His arms slowly unwind from his chest as he takes a deliberate two steps toward me. “We’ve had everyone on the disaster—CIA, local police, firemen…heck, we even called NASA. No one can find a plausible reason why a skyscraper, in excellent repair, would collapse like that. No one, that is, except you.”

I fight the urge to bolt for the door as he leans down, palms flat on the table, so close I can make out the creases on his dark suit. “You warned us of an attack in that area two weeks ago. How did you know?”

I suck in a deep breath as his voice lowers, dark fists tightening on the edge of the table. “Are you involved with a terrorist organization?”

I almost laugh at his words, at how they couldn’t be farther from the truth. I’m here to save LA, not destroy it. To save everyone. And I don’t have much time—none of us do. If I can’t gain this man’s trust, a shattered building is nothing compared to what will come next.

“No, sir.” I shove my shaking hands beneath my legs as I glimpse a pair of lucid blue eyes over the agent’s shoulder. They shouldn’t be there—and I know not to stare. But those eyes that only I can see are the reason I warned the FBI in the first place. Their owner the reason I’m even sitting in this room.

Licking my lips, I keep my attention on Barstow. I’ve wanted this for years. Someone to listen. Really listen. And it’s the FBI, no less. Be careful here.

When I open my mouth, the words are calm and steady. I hope they’re convincing—they have to be convincing. “I knew about the incident, Agent Barstow, because my friend warned me.” Throat suddenly dry, I look away. “My imaginary friend.

About Kara: 


As the daughter of missionaries, KARA SWANSON spent sixteen years of her young life in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped suddenly into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the speculative genre and was soon penning stories herself.

At seventeen, she independently published a fantasy novel, Pearl of Merlydia. She has since published many articles, including one in the Encounter magazine. Kara received the Mount Hermon Most Promising Teen Writer Award in 2015. You can find her on Facebook as Kara Swanson, Author, or attempting to be artistic over on Instagram (@karaswanson_author). When she’s not creating new stories and placing characters in peril, she’s probably binge-watching Marvel movies, playing with her huskies, reading till two in the morning or experimenting with a dairy-free mocha Frappuccino (skills, I’m telling you).

Giveaway Details:
(1) winner will receive a $5 Amazon Gift Card, US Only.
(1) will receive an Advanced eBook Copy of THE GIRL WHO COULD SEE, International.


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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

[Blitz & Giveaway] Daybreak




Daybreak (Girl from the Stars #1)

by Cheree Alsop


Publication date: October 7, 2015

Genres: Action, Adventure, Science Fiction, Young Adult



Synopsis



Liora Day, half-human, half mess-with-her-and-you’ll-die Damaclan, had been thrown onto a rough path at a very early age. But when she is broken out of a cage by Devren, the young captain of the SS Kratos, she is shown that perhaps humanity does have a heart. The Kratos is set on a mission to rescue fallen surveyors from the Revolutionaries, and Liora is given the choice to follow her Damaclan instincts, or trust Devren’s dark eyes and captivating smile that promise an adventure unlike any she has ever experienced.



Get it here (99cents for a limited time only)



About Cheree Alsop



Cheree Alsop is an award-winning, best-selling author who has published over 30 books, including two series through Stonehouse Ink. She is the mother of a beautiful, talented daughter and amazing twin sons who fill every day with joy and laughter. She is married to her best friend, Michael, the light of her life and her soulmate who shares her dreams and inspires her by reading the first drafts and giving much appreciated critiques. Cheree is a fulltime author and mother, which is more play than work! She enjoys reading, traveling to tropical beaches, spending time with her children, and going on family adventures while planning her next book. Cheree and Michael live in Utah where they rock out, enjoy the outdoors, plan great quests, and never stop dreaming. You can find Cheree's other books at www.chereealsop.com


Connect with Cheree


Excerpt


Liora twisted the bent end inward until she felt the teeth slide free. She slipped the bar from the handcuff and let it fall off her wrist. In two more seconds, the other cuff was on the floor.

The lock of her cage proved to be more difficult. Luckily, Liora had the two pieces of the tweezers to work with. She bent the second one to match the angle of the first. Following the same steps the apprentice had done so many times, Liora pushed the bent end of the first piece into the lock opposite the pins. She turned it slowly upward until it was in tension.

Inserting the second piece, Liora raked it slowly along the pins. The small metal on metal sound set Liora’s nerves on end. If Malivian found out what she was doing, she would be tortured again. The voice in the back of her mind whispered that perhaps she wouldn’t survive a second round.

A subtle, metallic click sounded. Liora’s heart jumped. She pushed at the bars. Her breath caught in her throat when the door swung outward. Liora stepped onto the cold floor and stumbled lightheadedly. She caught herself on the next cage, pushed upright, and ran down the hall.

The alarm sounded when she hit the button for the hatch to open. As soon as the gap was wide enough, Liora jumped out. Her feet, then her knees, hit the deck of Gaulded Zero Twenty-One. She shoved up to her feet once more and ran past the other starships.

Even at the late hour, the Gaulded’s landing deck was filled with activity. It appeared the Kratos and Kirkos weren’t the only ships who had been attacked. Blow torches, plasma cutters, and blazers filled the contained air inside the Gaulded’s hold with the acrid scent of metal. The sound of mallets and hand saws sounded from every corner.

Crew members of the ships Liora passed turned to watch her go. She felt conspicuous and alone as she darted between space crafts and around repair gear. A giant pallet of artillery swung over her head. Liora ducked and made her way along the stripped hull of a Copper Crow painted to look like an iridescent fish. The name Space Poseidon glowed near the hatch.

Liora ran around the corner and slammed into Devren.

“I was about to come looking for you—” he began.

Tariq cut him off. “Dev, her face.”

Devren gently pushed her back so he could see her better. Liora dropped her gaze at his gentle probing.

“Malivian did this to you?” he asked.

The anger in his voice made Liora look up. Devren appeared ready to kill someone.

“Calm down,” Tariq told him. “Let’s get her to the ship. It’s the only place we’ll have leverage.”

Devren put a protective arm around Liora. Tariq walked behind them like a bodyguard. Liora felt as though she had entered some different reality. Somehow, even with the thought of Malivian coming after her, she felt safe between the two humans who had entered her life by accident.

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