Book blitz – Valiant



Valiant
Merrie Destefano
Published by: Entangled: Teen
Publication date: December 4th 2018
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

The Valiant was supposed to save us. Instead, it triggered the end of the world.

Earth is in shambles. Everyone, even the poorest among us, invested in the Valiant’s space mining mission in the hopes we’d be saved from ourselves. But the second the ship leaves Earth’s atmosphere, our fate is sealed. The alien invasion begins. They pour into cities around the world through time portals, possessing humans, forcing us to kill one another.

And for whatever reason, my brother is their number one target.

Now the fate of the world lies in the hands of me, a seventeen-year-old girl, but with the help of my best friend, Justin―who’s suddenly starting to feel like more―maybe if we save my brother, we can save us all…

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EXCERPT:

There’s a pain in my chest as I remember the first time I stumbled across a man with fists lined with metal spikes. I was walking through downtown Santa Ana with Justin, and it was one of those times when I thought, He’s totally going to kiss me tonight. It was back before I began traveling through time, before I found out just how dark the world could be. We were laughing and heading toward a frozen yogurt shop, and he slid his arm around my waist.

It might have been the first time I thought, This guy is it; he’s the one I could fall for. I knew he was a Genetic and that nobody wanted us to be together. But I didn’t care. He was sunshine on a dark night. He was heat when the cold winds blew.

I put my head on his shoulder.

It was only natural.

It was exactly right.

Then I saw the metal man, his brow furrowed as if his heart held all the anger in the world. He was chaos and destruction and he was walking toward us, eyes like fire, like he wanted to kill us both.

Maybe he was looking at Justin. Metal men hate Genetics, because in a real battle, Genetics win. It doesn’t matter how much metal you’ve grafted onto your skin or bones—it might make you stronger, but you’re slower, too. Nobody can match the speed and natural strength of a Genetic. So, this guy might have been looking at Justin and challenging him, but it felt like I was going to be collateral damage.

One swing of his spike-covered fist and I’d be dead.

But I didn’t have to worry about it for long, because Justin pushed me behind him. I couldn’t see his face, but I could see the metal man. Doubt flickered in his eyes; he paused and glanced to the side. He was probably looking for a way out.

Justin took a step forward, his hands curled in fists. When he spoke, his voice came out like thunder, a loud, low growl that rumbled through my spine.

“Don’t even think about it,” Justin said. “Take one more step and I’ll rip out your metal implants, one by one. They hurt going in, so you better believe it’ll be a mother when I pull them out.”

He paused to laugh, but I’d never heard him laugh like that before. It was chilling, like he was a different person. He continued to warn the metal man. “Especially when I twist those implants sideways and the roots tear off chunks of your flesh.”

The metal man narrowed his eyes, and there was a split second when I thought he was going to tackle Justin.

Maybe he would have.

But he didn’t get a chance. It was like Justin knew the metal man’s plan, like it was an open football playbook. Justin rushed him, grabbed the guy around the waist, and slammed him against the brick wall of a local tattoo parlor. It took the wind out of the metal man’s lungs, and he was temporarily stunned. Justin could have slugged him; he could have broken the guy’s arms; he could have killed him.

All he did was lean close enough to whisper in the guy’s ear.

Then Justin stepped back and let the thug slide to the sidewalk in a heap. The metal man caught his breath, his eyes flickered, and he glanced up at us. Then he floundered to his hands and knees and crawled away as fast as he could. By the time he got to his feet, we were surrounded by a Friday-night club crowd, most of them drunk and all of them laughing at the metal man as he ran away.

Justin didn’t even hit the guy.

Sometimes you can win by intimidation alone.

So, do I melt every time I see this boy, who was willing to fight to protect me?

You better believe it.


Author Bio:

Born in the Midwest, former magazine editor Merrie Destefano currently lives in Southern California with her husband, two German shepherds, a Siamese cat, and the occasional wandering possum. Her favorite hobbies are reading speculative fiction and watching old Star Trek episodes, and her incurable addiction is writing. She loves to camp in the mountains, walk on the beach, watch old movies, and listen to alternative music—although rarely all at the same time.

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Killer among – book blitz

Killer Among
S.E. Green
(Killer Instinct, #3)
Publication date: October 19th 2018
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult

Lane swore never to be like her late mother. But now she too is a killer. One difference remains—Lane only stalks and punishes the guilty.

But while trailing a new killer of teenage girls dubbed “The Strangler”, Lane makes a terrible miscalculation and kills the wrong man.

Now the family of the man she accidentally murdered is hunting the killer, and Lane is forced to cover her tracks by befriending them. Because everyone knows you keep your enemies close.

But are they really enemies? Lane isn’t so sure.

As the plot surrounding “The Strangler” tightens around her like a noose, for the first time Lane is tempted to trust someone with her darkest secrets. But will breaking down her boundaries bring salvation, or doom?

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Author Bio:

S. E. Green is an award willing, bestselling author who writes dark and twisty novels like Killer Instinct, dubbed “Dexter for teens”; Ultimate Sacrifice, a satanic cult novel of suspense; and Vanquished, a gritty survival thriller. She also writes under Shannon Greenland and there you’ll find young adult novels of action, romance, and suspense.

Shannon lives in a small Florida beach town, has one very grouchy dog, and loves to travel. She’s also up for any adventure you might throw her way.

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Book blitz – Alive?



Alive?
Melissa Woods
(The Alive? Series, #1)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: October 30th 2018
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Young Adult, Zombies

Everyone knows the first rule of the zombie apocalypse: Don’t. Get. Bitten.

Too bad Violet has never been great at following the rules. Walking home after a night of partying, she manages to let one of the Dead take a chunk out of her only hours after they’ve begun walking again. Fortunately for Violet, she doesn’t die. Unfortunately for Violet—she’s not exactly alive, either.

Violet’s body is undergoing changes, and suddenly the taste of human flesh is not as revolting as it once sounded. Controlling her new urges will be hard. Living with survivors who have no idea will be even harder. And the real zombies? They still want to eat her, too…

Surviving the zompocalypse is tricky when you play for both teams.

New from author Melissa Woods, Alive? is a heart-pounding adventure with suspenseful plot twists, complex characters, and a dash of dark humor. Gritty and raw, Alive? is sure to keep you guessing, and will delight zombie apocalypse fans everywhere.

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EXCERPT:

A creak of floorboards. Violet opened her eyes just in time to see a woman lunge. She was wearing a white lace nightie, offset slightly by the gaping wound in her stomach. Violet held out her arms, pushing back with all her strength. She barely had any left, but it was just enough to keep the zombie at bay. The woman’s eyes were almost white, and her teeth snapped in Violet’s face. Though she had no idea what caused this or why it was happening, she knew this thing wanted to kill her.

Her arms were hurting, but she continued to fight. The zombie moved her head suddenly, sinking her teeth into Violet’s left arm, just below the elbow. She screamed as teeth tore through her skin.

It was worse than any pain she’d ever experienced—sharp and brutal. She kicked out, catching the woman in the stomach and pushing her back. Violet ran, clutching her bleeding arm against her chest. She had no idea where the back door was, so she ran up the stairs. When she saw the bathroom up ahead, she threw herself inside.

The door slammed shut, and Violet saw a man click the lock into place as she dropped onto the floor by the sink. He was normal, not dead like the others. There was a hammering at the wood, rattling the frame. The man grabbed a towel, hurriedly wrapping Violet’s arm. She wanted to thank him, but her eyes felt heavy. Within seconds, everything was black.


Author Bio:

Writer, primary school teacher, zompocalyptic obsessive.

Melissa Woods is the author of ‘Alive?’, a young adult zombie adventure story, set for release on October 30th 2018.

When she’s not writing or teaching, Melissa can usually be found walking her three dogs, playing video games, or, occasionally, spending time with her husband.

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Book blitz- Sourpuss



Sourpuss
Merricat Mulwray
Published by: Haigh 38 Press
Publication date: January 20th 2019
Genres: New Adult, Dark Comedy, Contemporary, Satire

Sourpuss is a blistering satire of the depraved and entitled culture that pervades college campuses.

Mallory Wahl loathes the campus party scene . . .

She’s sprinting through her senior year obsessed with winning a spot on the US Olympic track team. But she runs straight into a hurdle in the form of fraternity president Graham Patterson, an intern assigned to help her recover from an injury – one she blames on him.

Once Graham’s therapies begin to work, Mallory pretends to fall in love but traps herself in her own scheme and tailspins deep into his debauched world. When a scandal erupts which threatens to shatter her Olympic dreams once and for all, Mallory must finally face the dark truth she’s been running from since freshman year.

In the style of a ’90s dark comedy flick, Merricat Mulwray’s debut brings an insightful and humorous perspective to the reckless behavior college students perpetually get away with. Mallory, herself a flawed heroine, is backed by a self-serving cast of athletes, party girls, townies, and fraternity brothers so hilariously dark that the book will leave you wondering if anyone ever gets what they deserve.

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Author Bio:

Merricat Mulwray is the collaboration of two sisters. They live in Los Angeles where they hatch plans and develop schemes, sometimes these turn into novels.

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Sunscorched – book blitz

Sunscorched
Jen Crane
(Subterranean Series, #1)
Publication date: October 23rd 2018
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult

Death at daylight. Danger at dark.

Life can’t possibly get more treacherous than a violent sun allergy in a solar-blighted world. At least that’s what seventeen-year-old Nori Chisholm thought before news of an impending sunscorch delivered her death sentence.

Desperate to survive the scorch, she’s forced to shelter underground and discovers a secret subterranean world where life is hard, and so are the people. Betrayed and left for dead by the man who pledged to help her, Nori is sold to a gritty pit fighting ring. There she makes a friend—and plenty of enemies.

Speeding by motorcycle through the underground world, Nori makes a shocking discovery that shatters everything she thought she knew. Can she use the knowledge to save what’s left of the world?

Winner of the Rosemary Award for excellence in young adult fiction, Sunscorched is a tale of survival and self-discovery at breakneck speed. Fans of Bella Forrest and Marie Lu, who crave dangerous heroes and dark secrets, will love the Sunscorched world.

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EXCERPT:

A trail of blood disappeared beyond the door of the small foyer. The man Nori rescued lay face-up, the knot near his temple swelling fast. His leg oozed blood, the scarlet pool closing in on the tiny corner of space Nori occupied. When she found the wound—and the gaping tear in his leather riding pants—dread settled in her gut. The bleeding would have to be stopped if he was going to survive, which meant she had to do it.

Nori groaned and scrubbed her eyes, then set to work. She sifted through her backpack for something to tie around his wound, finding both a pocketknife and the thick, sun-blocking canvas she always kept nearby. She ripped a long strip of the fabric and wrapped it several times around the man’s injured thigh.

“Probably a good thing you can’t feel this,” she said to his unconscious form and, catching another look at the knot on his head, grimaced. “You’re gonna have a pretty bad headache, too.”

After tying the two ends together, Nori sat back to admire her work. Blood had soaked through most of the bandage, but it wasn’t seeping onto the floor anymore, at least.

Mom and Dad are probably freaking out by now, Nori thought. Curled in the corner of the foyer farthest from the man, she sat with arms wrapped around bent knees. The man outside hadn’t made a sound. Maybe he hadn’t seen her. Maybe he’d left. Or maybe he was waiting just outside the door.

Nori rocked back and forth, forehead pressed to her knees. Finally, she let out a long breath and stretched her legs. She was leaving. She’d saved the stranger. Twice. He was hidden in the foyer, and when he came to, he could find his own way back to safety.

Bracing herself on the wall to stand, she kept as far as possible from the unconscious body between her and the door. Stretching over him to reach the door, she extended one leg, straddling him only a moment until she lifted the other to join it. But as she raised her back foot, the front one was knocked from under her, sending her roughly down onto her butt. She yelped and looked wildly around, scurrying back to the foyer wall. Hands in front of her face, she prepared to defend herself as best she could.

“I’m not going to hurt you,” he said. His voice was deep, but not threatening. “Where are we?”

Nori flattened her palms to the wall, pushing herself against it to stand again. She didn’t answer.

The steely eyes from the alley focused on her face. He surveyed her hair, her shoes, and her clothes before finding her eyes.

“What did you throw?” he asked.

The question caught her off guard. “Wh-what?”

“What did you throw? To distract him?”

“A book.”

“A book?”

Nori nodded as she edged toward the door—and the street.

“What were you doing with a book?” he asked.

“Reading,” she said, pinning him with a look that seriously doubted his intelligence.

Dark eyebrows lowered over narrowed eyes. “In the dark?”

Nori bit the inside of her cheek. “Of course not,” she said. She’d been running in the dark, not reading, though she often did. But he didn’t have to know that. “It was in my backpack from earlier today.”

He squinted, as if he didn’t quite believe her. “What happened to your face?”

She reflexively touched the pink patches, a fresh new layer where sun-damaged skin had peeled away. The pink was fading, but not entirely healed.

“Sunburn,” she said. “Stayed out too long.”

“That happen a lot?”

“What business is it of yours?” she snapped. “And you can say ‘thanks for saving me’ anytime.”

His eyes shot down for a moment before he lifted them to meet her gaze. “Thank you.” His voice was quieter, sincere. “I know you put your own life at risk. Thank you for saving me.”

“Twice,” she said. “I saved you twice. Once with the book, and the other by hauling you in here when you were unconscious to bandage your leg. Technically, I guess that’s three times.”

“All right.” His lips twitched. “I owe you one. Or three.” As if he hadn’t noticed it before, he looked down at his thigh and then back to Nori. “First time to make a tourniquet?”

She lifted her head. “You were bleeding all over the floor. I did the best I could with what I had. What happened to you, anyway? You must’ve lost a lot of blood to pass out like that.”

“I tried to clear a chain-link fence, but my leg caught.”

Nori looked at the bandage again, but quickly averted her eyes from the exposed skin of his thigh. She cleared her throat. “Why was he chasing you?”

He shrugged.

“You’re not going to tell me?” she asked.

He shook his head, all nonchalance.

“Fine.” Nori huffed a breath. “What’s your name?”

“Cooper.”

“That your first name?” She asked and extended her arm toward the door handle, making sure she could escape if necessary.

“It’s what people call me,” he said. “What’s yours?”

She didn’t answer as manners battled with self-preservation in her brain.

“Oh, come on,” he goaded. “You can’t ask to see mine and not show me yours.”

“Nori,” she said quick and low. The concession pained her.

“That your first name?” he shot back.

She scowled, and he threw up his hands in defense. “Okay, okay. I’m just messing with you. Anyway, thanks again for the help, Dory.”

“It’s Nori.”

Cooper nodded, an amused smirk tightening his lips. “Thanks, Nori.” He rose slowly, hopping on one foot at first, and reached for his backpack in the corner. As he slipped it over a shoulder, he stopped and caught her gaze again. “Why’d you help me—three times? You didn’t have to.”

“I did have to,” she said. The answer came easily. “You were in trouble, and I could help. No brainer.”

“Kindness is not so common as you think,” he said lifting his chin and narrowing his eyes as if trying to get a better read on her. “How long have you been like this?”

“Like what?”

“You burn easy. And you can see well in the dark, right?”

“I’ve been this way my whole life.” The answer was smooth, and without thought. Nori gasped and balled her fists when she realized what she’d revealed. Her condition wasn’t a secret, though it was a mystery. But she didn’t like a stranger knowing so much about her. And she hated that he’d gotten her to talk so easily. Her teeth creaked under the pressure of her jaws.

“Anyone else up here like you?” Cooper closed the distance between them and searched her eyes for an answer. “You know anyone else who burns like you do? Who can see better in the dark?”

She shook her head, blinking in incomprehension. “How do you… What do you mean? What do you know about it?”

“You should go,” he said and pushed open the door.

“No.” Nori pulled the door shut, her heart thundering in her chest. “Tell me how you knew to ask those questions. Do you know someone else like me?”

Cooper let out a long breath, his wary gaze never leaving hers. “It’ll be light soon,” he finally said. “If you want to make it home in time, you’ll already have to run like hell.”

He turned to open the door again, but Nori stopped him. “Wait.” She fumbled for something to say. “Do you live around here?” She threw on her own backpack, wishing to know something about the man who knew so much about her.

“Right under your nose,” he said, and with one last nod, ran from the foyer, into the dark alley, and out of sight with no noticeable limp.

As Nori watched him go the shadows changed, and her heart seized. The sun was on the rise. “Stupid,” she told herself, racing home on shaky legs. “Stupid, stupid, stupid.”

Author Bio:

Though she grew up on a working cattle ranch, it’s fantasy and sci-fi that shine Jen Crane’s saddle. Her latest novel, Sunscorched, received a Rosemary Award for excellence in young adult fiction.

Jen has a master’s degree and solid work histories in government and non-profit administration. But just in the nick of time she pronounced life *too real* for nonfiction. She lives in The South and creates endearing characters and alternate realms filled with adventure, magic, and love.

Book 2 in Jen’s fantasy romance series, Descended of Dragons, was selected by iTunes/iBooks as “Our Pick” in fantasy/sci-fi.

**Sign up for Jen’s newsletter to get release updates and freebies: bit.ly/Jen_Crane_Newsletter**

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If she were blind- book blitz



If She Were Blind
Laney Wylde
(The After Twelve, #1)
Published by: Crimson Tree Publishing
Publication date: October 22nd 2018
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance, Thriller

Not everyone can get justice the traditional way—that’s where Estlyn Collins comes in. A young lawyer in Santa Monica, her “legal” service, After Twelve, works outside the courtroom to tip the scales when the justice system has failed.

For a price.

Thanks to her powerful underground network, Estlyn’s success rate is stellar, and her inbox stays filled with inquires from the desperate and vengeful. But when one of those names is a ghost from her past seeking vengeance against her, she’s shaken to her core. Off balance and scared to be alone, she makes an impulsive move for a guy. He’s a complication she doesn’t have time for, but it turns out he may also be an unlikely—if unwitting—asset.

Treading the rapidly thinning line between personal and professional, Estlyn pursues her target while outrunning the one on her own back—only to find she may be running into a lot more than she bargained for.

IF SHE WERE BLIND is the first book in the engaging New Adult series AFTER TWELVE by author Laney Wylde. Perfect for fans of the television shows REVENGE, SCANDAL, and VERONICA MARS, the AFTER TWELVE Series is a gritty social-issue drama that delivers steamy romance, intrigue, and the most bittersweet revenge plots. Estlyn’s determination to right every wrong is sure to quench your thirst for justice, yet leave you wanting more.

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EXCERPT:

I glance past Dean’s shoulder as a man close to my dad’s age takes nervous steps closer and closer to Dean. Once he’s in his space, he taps his back. Dean whips around to face him. “Excuse me, are you Dean Martinez?”

His eyes are full of suspicion as he studies the stranger. “Um, why?”

“It’s Dwayne. We’ve been chatting on Match.com and are supposed to meet up here at seven.”

Dean’s shoulders slouch and his expression turns sympathetic. “Sweetie, you’ve been catfished.”

“Been what?”

“I’m Dean, but I’m not on any dating site.”

“Really? Because,” the older gentleman displays Dean’s dating profile on his phone for him, “you’re right here.”

Dean grabs the phone and starts scrolling through the profile. “‘Male seeking male, any race or religion, age fifty-five and older.’ Seriously? ‘I love me a sweaty old gay with that curly salt-and-pepper chest hair. The longer and curlier the better. I want it poking above those top shirt buttons. Oh, yeah, let it blow in the wind while we drive down PCH in your Lincoln sedan with the windows cracked. In search of someone I can raise a family of hypoallergenic, small breed dogs with, someone who doesn’t have all their original joints. I’m so over all these sexy twinks who just want me for my hot bod. Looking for a real man to settle down with, preferably in a gay-friendly, fifty-five and older community.’”

I can’t help but give Dean’s blind date a once over. The poor guy is buttoning the second to top button over his ungroomed, grey chest hair as Dean reads. His upper lip looks like the outside of a cold drink on a summer day. Dean gives him back the phone and drops his forehead into his hand. “Cal, did you let Estlyn go to the library?”

“Um…”

He glares at me then chastises, “Cal?”

“Yes?” How was I supposed to know she’d use a computer to catfish unsuspecting old gays?

He turns to the humiliated older gentleman with confident compassion. “Sorry, hon. My friend set you up. Best of luck to finding a man half your age to raise that family of dogs with.”


Author Bio:

Laney Wylde is enamored with all things southern California–the traffic, smog, surprise earthquakes, and nonindigenous palm trees. Consequently, it’s the landscape her strong and sometimes lovable female leads paint their stories on. Her New Adult novels Never Touched and the After Twelve series are bright with provocative themes, steamy romance, and inappropriately timed humor.

When Laney isn’t writing, she’s singing Taylor Swift with her little boy or asking her husband not to tell her about his work as a surgical resident while she’s eating. She daydreams about using her math degree to get into law school, then realizes that would be too much work and that she should just play pretend court on paper instead. While she loves a good book, nothing beats 30 Rock with a bag of popcorn and M&Ms.

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Cover reveal- Piper prince



Piper Prince
Amber Argyle
(Forbidden Forest #2)
Publication date: April 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

All magic is light. If that light be darkened, shadow and punishment come.

Long ago, a curse fell upon the land—a curse of forgetting and wraiths, a curse that ensured no daughters were born to the pied pipers in over three centuries. The pipers were all that stood between the humanity and utter destruction, so they did the only thing they could: they stole the daughters of the nearby kingdom with their hypnotizing melodies. With the sons born from those unions, they continued to defend against the wraiths and fight the curse, even though they were slowly losing.

Larkin was one of those daughters. Stolen by Denan and married against her will, she found herself falling in love with the very man who had taken everything from her, the man who had made her a princess. Together, they discovered that she was the first woman in three centuries to possess the magic of the pipers, and therefore, the only person capable of breaking the ancient curse.

But breaking the curse means unraveling the very past the curse is intent on keeping secret. The answer lies buried in the crypts of the Black Druids, men who consider Larkin a traitor they’ll kill on sight. Embedded in the intrigues of their court, she unearths a dark conspiracy destined to hasten the destructive power of the curse—a conspiracy aimed at destroying her piper prince.  

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Sequel to:


Author Bio:

Bestselling author Amber Argyle writes young-adult fantasies where the main characters save the world (with varying degrees of success) and fall in love (with the enemy). Her award-winning books have been translated into numerous languages and praised by such authors as NYT bestsellers David Farland and Jennifer A. Nielsen.

Amber grew up on a cattle ranch and spent her formative years in the rodeo circuit and on the basketball court. She graduated cum laude from Utah State University with a degree in English and physical education, a husband, and a two-year-old. Since then, she and her husband have added two more children, which they are actively trying to transform from crazy small people into less-crazy larger people. She’s fluent in all forms of sarcasm, loves hiking and traveling, and believes spiders should be relegated to horror novels where they belong.

To receive her starter library of four free books, simply tell her where to send it: http://amberargyle.com/freebooks/

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Book blitz- The fighter of Aldea



The Fighter of Aldea
Kira Weston
Publication date: October 15th 2018
Genres: YA , fantasy

It’s the year 2216, and ever since Lydia Humsworth was little, she’s heard stories about electricity that used to light up skylines and planes that soared through the sky like birds. There were also stories about The Shift, which plunged the world into darkness nearly two hundred years ago and gave some people magical abilities. These people came to call themselves sorcerers.

Now, in the small village of Aldea, sixteen-year-old Lydia is training to be a Fighter in hopes of one day protecting her village. Her best friend, Daniel, spends his days working long hard hours on the farm. Humans and sorcerers have always seemed to coincide peacefully, but when Leonardo Kinch–a deranged sorcerer who blames humans for the death of his family–starts a war against humans, nothing is as they believed.

When war rages across the country, Lydia and Daniel must do everything they can to stop the war and stay alive, or risk the human race falling into extinction.

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EXCERPT:

LYDIA

I jump up and before I’m even back on the ground, I swing out at his face. I nearly get a tap, but Joshua manages to duck away. He groans angrily and jabs at my stomach. I suck it in and jump backward, but I’m closer to the edge than I’d thought and my back slams into the rope.

Joshua smirks. He knows he’s got the upper-hand.

He goes for my stomach again, but I slip out of the way, dive into a roll that takes me behind him, and spin around to face him.

He whirls around and slices his stick down toward the top of my head. I grab my stick with both hands and hold it above me. Block.

I realize he’s holding his vertically like a sword, as opposed to holding it horizontally above his head. Bad form. I push my stick against his, forcing it toward his body. A look of confusion crosses Joshua’s face. Then I give his stick a good shove with my own, thrusting him backward enough that he loses his balance and falls down onto the mat, flat on his back.

While he’s down, I jab my stick toward his neck and tap his throat. The fight is over.

Joshua looks up at me with wide eyes, probably realizing what the result of a full force hit like that would be, and I suddenly become very aware of the fact that I’m glaring down at him. Had I wanted to fight again for revenge? What if I had lost my cool? Then I wouldn’t have been any better than he was.

Except, I didn’t hit him, whether a part of me wanted to or not. And I certainly didn’t cheat. That’s not who I am, or ever want to be.

Finally, the blood from my scratches runs all the way down my face, and just as a single drop of blood falls onto the mat, I hear the whistle.

“Winner! Lydia Humsworth!”

The crowd cheers. I’m brought back to reality. During the fight, it was as if everything and everyone had melted away and become silent. Nothing existed but me, my opponent, and the ring. I look up at the crowd who’s roaring for me. Daniel, Lucas, and my mom are cheering louder than anyone else. It hits me: I won.

I put my stick down and look up at the audience, letting my victory sink in before turning back to help Joshua up. I hold out my hand, but he shoves it away and gets up on his own.

We bow. He looks mad again. So many remarks run through my head. I told you so. Sorry to burst your bubble. Apologies for deflating your ego… But I leave it alone. He’s probably punishing himself enough.

Instead, I bow my head and say, “Good fight, Joshua.”

He seems a little surprised at my humility, but he doesn’t return it. All he does is sneer and bow his head in return. Then we separate to have quick words with our instructors before the final winners are announced.

“Well done, Lydia,” Mr. Neil tells me, handing me a towel to wipe my face with. “You had the upper hand for most of the fight and you did some quick thinking with that final move. It was different, unexpected, and intelligent.”

“Thank you, sir,” I say politely. I’m surprised by his kind words, but I can also tell that he’s holding something back. I sigh. “What is it?”

He shifts his eyes to the side, then looks back at me. “You’re still too slow.” I purse my lips. Of course…


Author Bio:

Kira Weston writes Young Adult fiction, often day-dreaming the what-ifs of magic and science fiction, and how they might affect the world. Her debut novel, The Fighter of Aldea, comes out October 15th, 2018. Kira grew up in Las Vegas, NV under the hot sun and the distant lights of the famous Las Vegas Strip, and now resides in Colorado, which is much cooler—most of the time.

Kira currently works in retail, but hopes to put her main focus on storytelling in the near future, whether it be through books, movies, or something in between. When she’s not writing, she spends her time befriending cats, hoping for rain, drinking mochas, and listening to music.

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Book blitz – Rheia



Rheia
Cassandra Page
Publication date: October 13th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

“Beauty and the Beast” meets Ancient Greece, with a steampunk twist

Every year, Rheia’s father brought home four prisoners of war, sacrifices to keep the demon Typhein bound. Rheia never gave them much thought … until her father’s enemy made her one of them. Now she has two weeks to find a way to escape death at the hands of the Beast and either save her people or condemn them to destruction.

The last thing Rheia expected was to fall in love with the Beast oath-bound to kill her.

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EXCERPT:

Rheia waited, fidgeting, until the herbalist finished tying off the bundle of fennel and counting out her change. Then she tucked the herbs into her basket and followed her brother, head down so as not to attract attention: an unwed, unaccompanied woman. She would kill Aias if his running off resulted in any slight against her name. She swallowed and adjusted her veil, making sure her hair was completely covered.

She found Aias standing in the deep shadows beneath the statue. He couldn’t see into the temple from there, wedged as he was between one huge sandalled foot and an outer pillar, adjacent to the shadowed porch, but his head was cocked as he listened, eyes wide as wine cups. “You just wait until I tell Mammidon about this,” she hissed.

“Shh,” Aias whispered, raking her with a contemptuous gaze. “I’m listening.”

“And if the priests see you out here, lurking like a thief, what will they say?” She grabbed his arm and tried to pull him away, but he eeled from her grip and stepped closer to the entrance. If she tried to grab him again, he might stumble backward, out into the bright sunshine where he would be much more obvious. Grinding her jaw with frustration, she glared at him.

He glared back, head tilted upward to meet her gaze. “Rheia, something is going on. They are stirred up like an ants’ nest. Don’t you want to know why?”

“No,” she whispered, shaking her head emphatically. And she didn’t. She wanted to browse the trinkets at Phidias’s stall, see if he knew her name, see whether Galen was lurking out the back somewhere and might come over to see her.

But she couldn’t do so without Aias. “All right,” she said with a sigh, crossing her arms and looking away towards the harbour as though she was merely taking a moment to shade herself from the hot sun. “One minute.”

Resolved not to listen to the voices inside the great building, Rheia studied the mason’s mark hidden at the statue’s heel as though it were the most interesting thing in the world. She had heard of Myron, even though he’d died when her grandmother was a baby; the huge statue had been his last great work. But a babble of raised voices as they passed close by the inside doorway caught her ear: the words thysia and offering louder than the rest, as the speaker emphasised a point. They fell away, and she wondered what had happened to cause such consternation. Had the helot girl tried to escape again? Had she been successful this time? There would be a city-wide manhunt to find her if it were true. A surge of sympathy for the girl made her purse her lips. How awful it would be, to know you would be dead when next the moon was full.

Aias’s fingers digging into Rheia’s arm brought her back to herself. “Rheia,” he whispered, the sound sharp with fear. “Let’s go.”

“Finally,” she muttered, glancing up and down the street for watching eyes before hurrying him away from the temple, her hand at the small of his back so he couldn’t dart off again. But when she tried to stop at the goatherder’s stall to buy a pottery jar of milk, he dragged her on, out of the agora. “Aias, stop! Wait!”

“You heard what they said.” He shook his head, curls bouncing emphatically as he hauled her along the street, almost at a run. “We have to get home. Father will know more.”

Rheia’s heart felt strange in her chest, anxiety making it flutter. “More about what? I was trying not to listen. As you should have been.”

Her little brother stopped, staring up at her with his mouth ajar. Then he pulled her by the hand into a quiet alley, away from the bustling traffic of the main street. “One of the helots is dead,” he whispered, eyes glittering with excitement. “One of the girls. Suicide, they say.”

Rheia’s eyes widened as she stared at her brother. The flutter in her chest expanded to swallow her belly. “But what will happen now? It’s only two weeks until the festival. The offering!”

“That’s what they were arguing about. One of the priests thought the triremes would be sent back out, while the other said it was too late. Father will know; if the ships are to be sent, he will captain the fleet. Come on. Before he leaves!”

Rheia let Aias drag her up the hill towards their villa, her mind whirling with the implications. The Broken Ones were meant to have the thysies for a full ten days before the ritual. Something about cleansing rituals. But that would only give the triremes three days to get to the helot lands and back again. Would it be enough?

And if not, what was the alternative?


Author Bio:

Cassandra Page is a mother, author, editor and geek. She lives in Canberra, Australia’s bush capital, with her son and two Cairn Terriers. She has a serious coffee addiction and a tattoo of a cat – despite being allergic to cats. She has loved to read since primary school, when the library was her refuge, and loves many genres, all of them speculative fiction. When she’s not reading or writing, she engages in geekery, from Doctor Who to AD&D. Because who said you need to grow up?

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Book blitz – Star crossed by Pintip Dunn

Star-Crossed
Pintip Dunn
Publication date: October 2nd 2018
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

Princess Vela’s people are starving.

Stranded on a planet that lacks food, Vela makes the ultimate sacrifice and becomes an Aegis for her people. Accepting a genetic modification that takes sixty years off her life, she can feed her colony via nutrition pills. But her best friend is still getting worse. And she’s not the only one.

Now the king is dying, too.

When the boy she’s had a crush on since childhood volunteers to give his life for her father’s, Vela realizes her people need more than pills to survive. As tensions rise between Aegis and colonists, secrets and sabotage begin to threaten the future of the colony itself.

Unless Vela is brave enough to save them all…

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EXCERPT:

I break off a piece of raspberry tart, with a crust as light as sunshine, and slide it into the pocket of my caftan. My mouth goes dry in spite of the sweet tang that’s about to burst over my tongue.

Because the hidden bite’s not for me. It’s for my best friend, Astana, and if the royal guards catch me stealing food for a colonist, I could be thrown into the Red Cell Prison. Our laws are clear: actual food, as opposed to nutrition pills, must be reserved for those who can utilize it best.

I shove the rest of the tart into my mouth. It breaks upon contact, littering crumbs across the silver shuttle floor. I’m so nervous the dessert tastes like congealed space dust and raspberries, but I chew and swallow as if nothing’s wrong. As if there isn’t a smooshed-up pie staining the inside of my pocket.

Did anyone see me hide the bite?

All around the Banquet Room, the Aegis dig into their mid-afternoon snack. Pecan-encrusted squash, double-mashed garlic potatoes, barbecued tofu drizzled with a blackberry-port reduction. They sit twenty per table, at sheets of metal which would sag if they weren’t doubly reinforced. Their silverware clinks together in a high, tinny melody, replacing the conversation that might have occurred back on Earth, where eating was partly social instead of wholly functional.

On our new planet, Dion, no Aegis talks during the first twenty minutes of a meal. It would be a waste, since more food can be consumed before the stomach has a chance to feel full. And an Aegis has only one goal: to consume as many nutrients as possible. We have to, in order to take in enough sustenance for the rest of the colony.

I’m about to finish what’s left of the tart when a hand closes over my elbow.

My heart stutters. So it comes to this. After training all my life to eat for my people, I’m caught over a piece of raspberry pie.

Pellets of sweat break out on my neck. I turn to my captor, the excuses ready on my lips. It’s just a single bite. My best friend’s been so down lately. I just want to bring her a little excitement, a little joy. Is that so wrong?

The words melt in my mouth. Because it’s not a royal guard who has a hold of me. It’s my older sister.

“Sweet before savory?” Blanca asks, moving the hand from my elbow and onto her hip. “Is that your secret, Vela? You eat a round of dessert before the main course?”

Of course not. I’m only eating this tart because it gives me an excuse to be near the dessert buffet. But Blanca doesn’t have to know that.

“You got me,” I say. “Sweet and savory foods fill different mental compartments, you know. You can still eat chocolate cake, even though you’re full of ramen noodles and pan-fried dumplings—”

“Save it.” Blanca arches her back, jutting out her food baby. Fifteen minutes from now, after she pays a visit to the Transfer Room, her stomach will deflate once again, but my sister’s always been one to show off her roundness, however temporary. “I don’t need your strategies to be named Top Aegis.”

I’m a shoo-in for the top prize this year. Blanca knows it, I know it. Half of our Eating class has placed bets on it. If I keep eating the way I have for the next two days, no one will even come close.

Vela Kunchai, Top Aegis. I can taste it. Hot and satisfying, like a tray of lasagna with a bubbling soy cheese crust. I’d stretch my stomach lining into gauze to make sure it’s me. My sister, unfortunately, feels the same way.

Author Bio:

Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of young adult fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B., and received her J.D. at Yale Law School.

Her novel FORGET TOMORROW won the 2016 RWA RITA® for Best First Book, and SEIZE TODAY won the 2018 RITA for Best Young Adult Romance. Her books have been translated into four languages, and they have been nominated for the following awards: the Grand Prix del’Imaginaire; the Japanese Sakura Medal; the MASL Truman Award; the TomeSociety It list; and the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award.

Her other titles include REMEMBER YESTERDAY, THE DARKEST LIE, GIRL ON THE VERGE, STAR-CROSSED, and MALICE.

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