Wednesday, January 18, 2017

[Giveaway & Blog Hop] Best of 2016

2016 was a good year for me. I accomplished so many things and make some awesome new friends. Naturally, I read a good book or two in there. 

So I'm giving one winner the chance to choose from the e-books published last year that I rated 5 stars. I'm a bit stingy with my 5-star giving so there are only three, but they are all excellent. Also, a special thanks to Bookhounds for always hosting. Happy reading! 

The Vanishing Throne (The Falconer #2)
by Elizabeth May 

Trapped. Aileana Kameron, the Falconer, disappeared through the fae portal she was trying to close forever. Now she wakes in an alien world of mirrors, magic, and deception—a prisoner of the evil fae Lonnrach, who has a desperate and deadly plan for his new captive. 

Tortured. Time after agonizing time Lonnrach steals Aileana’s memories, searching for knowledge to save his world. Just when she’s about to lose all hope, Aileana is rescued by an unexpected ally and returns home, only to confront a terrifying truth. The city of Edinburgh is now an unrecognizable wasteland. And Aileana knows the devastation is all her fault. 

Transformed. The few human survivors are living in an underground colony, in an uneasy truce with a remnant of the fae. It is a fragile alliance, but an even greater danger awaits: the human and fae worlds may disappear forever. Only Aileana can save both worlds, but in order to do so she must awaken her latent Falconer powers. And the price of doing so might be her life…

The Shadow Queen
by C.J. Redwine 

Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.

In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.

But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.

by Amy Tintera

A revenge that will consume her. A love that will ruin her.
Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. Worst of all, she witnessed her parents’ brutal murders and watched helplessly as her sister, Olivia, was kidnapped.
But because Em has nothing, she has nothing to lose. Driven by a blind desire for revenge, Em sets off on a dangerous journey to the enemy kingdom of Lera. Somewhere within Lera’s borders, Em hopes to find Olivia. But in order to find her, Em must infiltrate the royal family.

In a brilliant, elaborate plan of deception and murder, Em marries Prince Casimir, next in line to take Lera’s throne. If anyone in Lera discovers Em is not Casimir’s true betrothed, Em will be executed on the spot. But it’s the only way to salvage Em’s kingdom and what is left of her family.
Em is determined to succeed, but the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Em’s rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.


Rules: This giveaway is open internationally to anyone who is able to receive their prize as an Amazon gift. One lucky winner will receive their choice of one ebook of the three listed above.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

See the rest of the hop


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Kick-Ass Females #Giveaway

Kick-ass females .jpg 

Authors: Aoife Marie Sheridan, Sharon Stevenson, M.H. Soars, Lindsey R. Loucks, Mary Fan, Kory M. Shrum & Alicia Michaels.
Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy/Romance
Dates: 16th - 18th of January

Hosted by: Ultimate Fantasy Book Tours

Eden Forest

Sarajane Anderson is your regular twenty-one year old with family, friends and a normal job. She also happens to be the only person who can save Saskia, a parallel world to earth.

When Sarajane is taken to Saskia, she could never have imagined the reality of the world that she is stepping into- a world where magical abilities are in everyone's possession. She must face a father she never knew, a world that is beyond her belief, a guardian who captures her heart; and a darkness that wants to take it. On her journey, Sarajane discovers her magical abilities, and realizes too that they come with a price. She is truly tested as her own loved ones are put at risk- the ultimate question she is forced to ask herself is, how do you choose who lives and who dies?

Get it on Amazon here 

Blood Bound
Blood Bound is the Amazon bestselling Scottish urban fantasy novel that combines a breakneck plotline with flawed characters and a wicked sense of humour. "It's a read that grips you from the beginning, and keeps you enthralled until the very end." – Ashley, Fae Books

19-year-old twin demon trackers Shaun and Sarah Gallows are used to running into trouble—mostly the kind with fangs—but while Sarah embraces her powers to their fullest extent, trusting her instincts implicitly, Shaun distances himself from his abilities and can do little more than despair at his sister’s reckless nature and idly back her up.

When they come across 17-year-old Melissa Carling, a demon tracker who’s been torturing innocent super-naturals, they know they have to stop her. Sarah is desperate to punish Melissa for what she’s been doing but Shaun’s instant attraction to the girl points to a soul-mate bond stronger than anything he’s ever had to fight before… 

Get it on Amazon here

The Prophecy of Arcadia
Being a teenager is tough, especially when you have to pretend to be something you’re not, and you’re in love with someone you shouldn’t. 115 years ago, a small planet called Arcadia was invaded by a vicious alien race and nearly destroyed. Cut off from their resources, the Arcadians turned to Earth for help. A group of Arcadian explorers discovered a Prophecy that claimed their salvation lay in the hands of two children from Earth. To ensure their safety, the Arcadian Council sent their most gifted youngsters to Earth to act as protectors. Samantha is one of them.

To succeed in her mission she must learn to control her Arcadian powers and keep her true identity from her best friend, and the girl she swore to protect, Alexia. But Samantha will soon realize that nothing is as it seems. Someone is trying to prevent the Prophecy from taking place and the prophecy boy hasn't been found yet. There is also a new drug circulating at school that is turning students into freakishly strong menaces.

To make matters worse, distractions keep getting in her way. Such as her love/hate relationship with her “cousin” Matthew. Or her confused feelings toward popular and mysterious Julian. She wants nothing more than to be free to live her life. But the survival of Arcadia depends on her and her friends. Free will is not an option.

Get it on Amazon here

Petrified City
Welcome to Petrified City, where the dead don’t stay in the ground. Ten years ago, an accident at the city chemical plant leaked toxins into the soil of the historic Brookwood Hill Cemetery. From the poisoned ground emerged the wraith – ghosts of the long dead who gorge on the energy sucked from the city’s dwindling population. Desperate to contain the threat, the government enclosed the city in a giant dome, trapping the wraith and the residents inside. Now, there’s almost nothing left. Sydney Cale – a thief with a strange and secret power – attempts to escape from the city’s jailers, only to find herself facing off against the wraith. She teams up with Alain, a raven shapeshifter who is a member of the Order of the Reapers, a powerful force who work to banish the wraith back to the underworld. Alain agrees to protect Sydney and her friend Diana in exchange for her help. She must enter the Citadel – the wraith compound in the center of the city – and steal back his kidnapped daughter. But what Sydney finds inside the Citadel will change everything. The wraith are evolving, drawing energy from the decaying city itself. Soon, they will be powerful enough to break free of the dome. Sydney and Alain must stop the wraith before they escape and infect the world, even if that means dooming themselves, and everyone they love, to petrifying inside the dying city. 

Get it on Amazon here

Artificial Absolutes
Jane Colt is just another recent college grad working as an Interstellar Confederation office drone—until the day she witnesses her best friend, Adam, kidnapped by a mysterious criminal. An extensive cover-up thwarts her efforts to report the crime, shaking her trust in the authorities. Only her older brother, Devin, believes her account.

Devin hopes to leave behind his violent past and find peace in a marriage to the woman he loves. That hope shatters when he discovers a shocking secret that causes him to be framed for murder.

With little more than a cocky attitude, Jane leaves everything she knows to flee with Devin, racing through the most lawless corners of the galaxy as she searches for Adam and proof of her brother’s innocence. Her journey uncovers truths about both of them, leading her to wonder just how much she doesn’t know about the people she loves.

Get it on Amazon here

Dying Breath
"I always knew I was going to die. I just didn’t know it was going to be today."

Maisie won’t live to see her seventeenth birthday. Her mother and sister are locked in a war over the world, and Maisie is stuck between them. She must decide if she will join her sister’s cause, or defend her mother. In the face of her mother’s demands, Maisie doubts herself and what she truly wants. But her only alternative is to be murdered by the person she loves most.

Jesse wants to find her father’s body and finish him before he can resurrect. If she succeeds she will save millions, if not billions, of lives. But first, Jesse must defeat the woman protecting him.

Will Maisie stand with her? Or fight by her mother’s side?

One decision will make all the difference in the world. 

Get it on Amazon here

Daughter of the Red Dawn
On the outside, seventeen year-old Selena McKinley is like any other teenage girl. Yet, Selena has always felt as if she doesn’t belong and is counting the days to graduation and her freedom from the small town that makes her feel so out of place, when the arrival of a stranger turns her world upside down. Selena will learn just how different she is and the truth of where she comes from.

A lost princess, they call her, the catalyst for a war involving a world that she was taken from as a child. An evil queen obsessed with her own beauty with a plan to enslave the human race.…the notion seems so silly, yet Selena knows in her heart that it is true. Then there is Titus, the shape shifter whose blue eyes and claims of destiny hold her heart captive. Can Selena find the strength to do what she must while following her heart? 

Get it on Amazon here 


Win a $35 Amazon gift card, three signed paperbacks and four eBooks!

Totally Addicted to Books has teamed up with seven must-read authors to bring you our Kick-Ass Females Giveaway. These books feature amazing female characters in the fantasy, paranormal and science-fiction genres.

ONE (1) lucky winner gets all of the following:
$35 Amazon Gift Card
A signed paperback of Artificial Absolutes by Mary Fan.
A signed paperback of Daughter of the Red Dawn by Alicia Michaels.
A signed paperback of Demon Divided by Sharon Stevenson.
And eBook copies of:
The Prophecy of Arcadia by M.H. Soars
Dying Breath by Kory M. Shrum
Petrified City by S.C. Green & Lindsey R. Loucks
Eden Forest by Aoife Marie Sheridan

Go here for the giveaway:

Monday, January 16, 2017

#WintersRespite Readathon

My TBR list has gotten out of control. It's so long it's giving me anxiety. That's why I was so excited when I found the #WintersRespite Readathon, a two week long event hosted by Seasons of Reading. The weather here in the Midwest is going to be freezing rain throughout the entire day... which makes it perfect weather for a readathon. After work, I plan to tuck myself on the couch with a cup of coffee and my pup and get at least one book out of the way. 

My goal is to read 8-10 books, not sure what all of them will be yet, but I plan to start with Murdered Gods by Marina Finlayson, followed by Alpha by Karina Espinosa. 

My progress

Day 1 (Jan. 16): 

What I read today: Murdered Gods (finished), Theta Waves (finished), and Taste (started)
Pages read: 718
Total finished books: 2

Day 2 (Jan. 17): 

What I read today: Taste (finished) and The Firethorn Crown (started)
Pages read: 145
Total finished books: 3

Day 3 (Jan. 18): 

What I read today: The Firethorn Crown (continued)
Pages read: 0
Total finished books: 3

Day 4 (Jan. 19): 

What I read today: The Firethorn Crown (continued again)
Pages read: 20 (measly, I know)
Total finished books: 3

Day 5-7 (Jan. 20-22):  No reading got done

Day 8 (Jan. 23)

What I read today: The Firethorn Crown (finished), The Dark Huntsman (DNF @ 40%), The Glass Gargoyle (started)
Pages read: 327
Total finished books: 4

Day 9-10 (Jan. 24-25)

What I read today: The Glass Gargoyle (finished)
Pages read: 346
Total finished books: 5 

Day 11 (Jan. 26)

What I read today: Birthright (started)
Pages read: 96
Total finished books: 5

Thursday, January 5, 2017

2016: A look back and what's coming up in 2017

Hey all,

Well, it's that time of year again. You know, the one where I come back from an unexpected and unplanned hiatus. The one I went on with no notice whatsoever. I tend to have this problem every single year where I can't seem to schedule my life to fit it all in. 

So, for 2017 I have one single goal: To get my shit together. But first, let's recap on what I've been up to for the past six months or so and why I let my blog fall to the wayside. 

The recap

For those who need a refresher on my life, because even though I know most of you remember everything I've ever written about myself you just can't remember it all, I came to the QC, located in the Midwest, about four years ago. I was pretty fresh out of college and found a great job that I decided to take. 

One of the scariest things in life is moving to a new place where you don't know a single person. It's especially scary if you're a quiet bookworm who finds it hard to be the one who starts a conversation. I soon found out that while my job itself was great, I had a hard time relating to most of my coworkers. Half of them were middle-aged, married, with kids (while I was over here being 24, single, with two cats.) The half that were my age had all grown up around here and had their own group of friends they'd grown up with. 

So, I spent a lot of time reading and starting this blog. Then, I realized something that most college graduates realize eventually: Student loans are a bitch. I really didn't want to be in debt for the rest of my life, and it was getting hard to feed my book addiction. Something most of you know a little something about. 

I did what anyone who's tired of not having money to do anything would do. I got a second job as a server in a restaurant. In the beginning I was working about five nights a week on top of my full time day job. As you can probably guess, I did little more than sleep and work. That was the first time Book Nerd Paradise went dark. 

While it was a hard time in my life, I'm proud to say that I've managed to pay off four student loans, my credit card and I'm well on my way to getting my car loan paid off by this summer.

But I find that no matter what I do, the urge to write has always needled me into coming back. I switched to a different restaurant and cut my hours down to two to three nights a week and Book Nerd Paradise was back. During that time I'd actually managed to make some pretty good friends. It took a while but I eventually found my band of fellow misfits. 

At this point, it's the spring of 2016 and I had been managing to juggle my job, friends and this blog for a good while now. Then, I decided to do something I'd been missing for a long time. I joined a co-ed softball league. Well, that's where I started to go wrong the second time. One softball league turned into two, which turned into a volleyball league as well. Eventually, by the time fall rolled around I was playing in four softball leagues and two volleyball leagues... while also working full time and part time two nights a week... while also finding time to take my pup to the park during the hours in between. And I loved every minute of it. 

As you probably guessed, something had to give. That something was this blog. I had no time to read and therefore nothing to post anyway.

Then things got even more hectic

Since I've been able to pay off a lot of my debt in the past few years I decided to make a really big investment. I decided to buy a house. 

Let me tell you, searching for a house was more tedious then I ever thought it could be. I looked at house, after house, after house. About three dozen over the course of two months. All the while I was growing more and more depressed at my options. I'm pretty sure the basement at one house was used on the set of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre." But finally, after all that searching, I finally found the one. It was perfect. It even has a giant fenced-in yard for my dog to run around in and make friends with the neighbor dogs. 

I closed on the house and move in over Thanksgiving week. Things have finally slowed down for me. I'm still working both jobs and I'm only playing on two volleyball leagues this winter but now I have some free time to get back to what I love... reading. 

What's coming up in 2017

To tell you the truth, I don't know what 2017 holds for me. I'm hoping to be able to be more consistent with the blog. Sometimes I might just post a life update when I haven't had the chance to read anything. I'm definitely going to be changing the design and layout of Book Nerd Paradise. It's gotten a little stale for me. 

What I want to know from you guys is what do you all want to see other than reviews? (I can only read so much in a given time.) What makes you come back to someone's blog again and again? I love the giveaway hops and discussion posts, so I'm going to have plenty of those. And I'm determined to give that TBR list a good 'ol 1-2 punch. I still consider myself a new blogger so any insight is welcome. 

I'd also love to know what everyone else has been up to and if you've got anything coming up for 2017. 

Until next time y'all. Happy reading. 
- Ashley @ Book Nerd Paradise. 
My latest project with recycled books because I also like to make things.