26 May 2016

When the Reading Bug Bites at the Most Inconvenient Times

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Twice a year, for the last 4 years, I have been bitten by that little reading bug when it is really inconvenient of it to do so.

During my exam periods.

So when I'm just puttering along during the semester and I actually have the time to read - barely a nibble.

The minute the work load starts to pile on and I have some crazy amount of assignments due in one week? The little bugger (see what I did there? Totally unintentional!) is basically chewing on me.

Last year, I was luck enough to have a whole week to prep for one of my exams. What did I do instead? Read the entirety of Jennifer L. Armentrout's Covenant Series - including the novellas! For those of you counting at home, that's 7 books. By some miracle, I managed to not completely bomb that exam.

Take this week, for example:
  • Number of assignments due: 5
  • Their combined total weighting for this semester: 40%
  • What I did instead of working on these assignments? I read A Court of Mist and Fury. Twice. (It was just so gosh dang amazing!).
So not only am I not getting my work done, I'm super-duper tired from staying up into the wee hours of the morning.

I'm trying to get my crap together with only 2 more weeks of classes left of the semester before exams, but it's really hard to choose to do homework over reading...

Have you ever been bitten by the Inconvenient Reading Bug?
Doesn't it suck balls?


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23 May 2016

Cover Reveal: #Swag by Cambria Hebert | Plus Giveaway!

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#Swag
Cambria Hebert

GearShark #3

Coming June 10th 2016

These drivers got #swag…

Racing is in her DNA.

Right alongside money and power.

When you’re the daughter of one of the most powerful men in the country, you have to work harder for success.

Joey Gamble’s a girl on a male-dominated track.

With a daddy who can buy whatever she wants.

But she doesn’t want anything… except to EARN her reputation.

Racing is his passion.

Trouble follows him everywhere. Some even say he invites it.

When you’re nipping at the taillights of the best driver in the new NRR, you have to fight and claw for each and every success.

It’s never been easy for Lorhaven.

That’s why he doesn’t play by the rules.

He’s a man with a serious chip on his shoulder against the pro racing circuit.

We at GearShark want to know what’s up with that.

We’ve also been hearing rumblings…of a pro who wants to go indie.

We’ve invited racing royalty and the driver from the wrong side of the tracks to sit down and talk to us about a possible crossover.

We expected sparks to fly when Joey and Lorhaven crossed paths.

Will those sparks ignite into a full-on inferno?

Full Cover


About the Author

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Email
Cambria Hebert is an award winning, bestselling novelist of more than twenty books. She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair.

Besides writing, Cambria loves a caramel latte, staying up late, sleeping in, and watching movies. She considers math human torture and has an irrational fear of chickens (yes, chickens). You can often find her running on the treadmill (she’d rather be eating a donut), painting her toenails (because she bites her fingernails), or walking her chorkie (the real boss of the house).

Cambria has written within the young adult and new adult genres, penning many paranormal and contemporary titles. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense. A few of her most recognized titles are: The Hashtag Series, Text, Torch, and Tattoo.

Cambria Hebert owns and operates Cambria Hebert Books, LLC.

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20 May 2016

Book Blitz: Working Stiff: Casimir by Blair Babylon | Excerpt + Giveaway

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Working Stiff: Casimir
Blair Babylon

Inheritance Trilogy #1

Published May 17th 2016

Purchase: iBooks | B&N | GooglePlay | Amazon | Kobo
Here’s the problem: when Rox was hired, she told her smoking-hot boss Cash that she was married, but she’s not. Now, three years later, she’s kind of accidentally living with him, and he’s being a perfect gentleman, dang it.

Everybody in the office said that Cash was a heartbreaker, that he’d bump her and dump her, so Rox decided not to become a statistic. She went out and bought herself some rings of the finest cubic zirconia so that she could work with Cash, who was several inches over six feet tall, emerald-eyed, ripped, gorgeous, his tailored suit clinging to his athletic body, sporting a British accent, and loaded.

It had seemed like such a good plan at the time.

But now, three years later, she and Cash have become friends. They travel together for work often, and they’re the best of buddies.When Rox gets thrown out of her apartment, Cash insists that she come live with him until they can find her a place because that’s what friends do.

Now, even though everyone insists that Cash never goes after married women, something about him has changed. There are little touches, little slips, and Rox is more and more tempted to tell hunky, gorgeous Cash that she never was married.

And then he’ll take her and break her, and then he’ll walk away, and then she’ll lose her job, and she still hasn’t found a place to live.

And yet, every time her looks at her with mischief in his dark green eyes, every time they’re teasing and it somehow turns into tickling, every time she swats at him and somehow ends up in his arms, she wants so much to risk everything.

What’s a working stiff to do when she falls in love with her friend, the boss?

About the Author

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter
Blair Babylon often releases ebooks at a special release-day price of 99c.

To never miss a sale, subscribe!

Blair Babylon is the nom de plume of an award-winning, USA Today-bestselling author who used to publish literary fiction. Because professional reviews of her other fiction usually included the caveat that there was too much deviant sex and too much interesting plot, she decided to abandon all literary pretensions, let her freak flag fly, and write hot, sexy, erotic romance, plus wild, suspenseful thrillers, science fiction, and urban fantasy using the super-secret pen name Blair C. Babylon.

Excerpt

Casimir bounced the back of his head softly against the door in time with his thoughts.

She. Was. Married.

It did not matter if Rox would be under his roof for a day or two. It did not matter that sometimes a ghost of other circumstances had flitted through the house and through Casimir’s mind, a ghost that looked suspiciously like her sumptuous dark hair spread on his pillows or her plush body sprawled on his sheets.

She. Was. Married.

Perhaps his attraction for her was merely for forbidden fruit, he consoled himself. If he’d had a chance with her, perhaps he wouldn’t feel so strongly. It was probably an illusion.

Perhaps she wouldn’t walk through his dreams, handing him contracts and then looking up through dark eyelashes with her hazel eyes that reminded him of pale caramels from home before she melted into his arms.

She would only be at his home for a day or two.

Casimir would survive a day or two of her walking around his house, drinking coffee with him in the morning or maybe a cocktail after work, perhaps watching a little late-night television on the deep couches in the media room before they retired, or perhaps, finally, she might steal into his bedroom near midnight—

She. Was. Married.

He rubbed the back of his skull. That last bonk had smarted a bit.

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18 May 2016

Book Blitz: Wednesday by Clare James | Excerpt + Giveaway

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Wednesday
Clare James

Love in Days #1

Published September 27th 2014

Only 0.99c on May 18th 2016
Purchase: Amazon
Her. Him. Alone. Beach house. Every Wednesday. Clothing optional.

Twenty-one-year-old Aria Prince has just moved back to her hometown to start over after a painful divorce. She’s always prided herself on being an early bloomer, but had no idea she’d be married, divorced, and the mother of a toddler by twenty-one. Surely menopause was just a few months away, especially considering the hot flashes and night sweats. Or was that just exhaustion?

Unlike her friends who were at school, going to parties, and sowing their oats—wild and otherwise—Aria’s days were measured in the number of orders she took at her family’s restaurant, the chapters she read in her nursing text, the amount of Cheerios she cleaned up off the floor, and the wet kisses she received from her son.

And that was just fine with her.

But when she began running into her former best-friend Tristan Green—who was home taking care of his sick father—at every turn, she remembered what it felt like to be just Aria. Not a single mother, or sleep-deprived nursing student, or royal screw up. And though she didn’t even have time to shave her legs, let alone consider a sex life, Tristan makes an offer she’d be a fool to refuse.

Each day they’d give themselves to those who needed them. Every day – except Wednesday. Wednesday they’d take what they needed from each other.

Did she forget to mention Tristan was gorgeous?

Or that they hated each other?

Well, you know what they say about the line between love and hate … it’s a skinny-ass bitch. The question was, could they keep their feelings out of it?

About the Author

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter
Clare James writes steamy contemporary romance and new adult stories, penning more than a dozen novels. Her Entangled Brazen debut, CAUGHT, was a #1 Amazon Best-Selling Romance Series, and the touching family drama, WEDNESDAY, also hit #1 as a category bestseller on Amazon.

Clare is fan of spunky women, gorgeous guys, and super-hot romance, and spends most of her time lost in books. When she's not reading, you can find her locked away writing. Clare is also a former dancer and still loves to get her groove on - mostly to work off her beloved cupcakes and red wine. She lives in Minneapolis with her two leading men - her husband and young son - and is always on social media chatting with readers.

Sign up for Clare James's newsletter and be the first to hear about new books, bonus content and exclusive offers!

Excerpt


Tristan

It was a crazy, exciting, brilliant – thought maybe a bit sleazy – idea. But it made perfect sense. We were both stuck here for who knew how long, so why not make the most of it?

Tonight’s the deadline for her decision. Seven o’clock, only twenty minutes from now. Aria said she’d consider my offer, but I’m not sure I can trust her.

Still, I light the candles, straighten the bed, and hope.

And it’s excruciating. Whoever said anticipation is half the fun is a moron.

I need to show her what she missed when she left with him all those years ago. It was my fault, I know that now. I waited too long, and when I finally got the balls to do something about it, I was too late.

That’s when I learned that nice guys finish last. Always. Forget the chick flicks where the nerd triumphs and gets the girl – all that Michael Cera bullshit. Doesn’t happen. Unless you’re Mark Zuckerberg or Jack Dorsey, and are on your way to making billions.

I’m ashamed to admit that’s where my motivation came from. I thought I could erase Aria with another woman. But I knew I needed to make some serious changes to do that. It’s why I went to MIT. It’s also why I quit MIT to start my own company. And I why worked around the clock and spent every cent I had on my latest idea.

For women.

At least that’s how it started out.

And it worked. Once I got out of Dodge, my lanky body filled out and I became confident and successful. Women were no longer an issue.

Not that you’d know that now. As the clock ticks closer to seven, I’m coming undone and clearly losing my cool.

Confidence? Out the window.

Upper lip? Beaded in sweat.

Nails? Chewed down to the quick.

Hair? A big, kinky 1970s bush, after continuously running my hands through it.

Balls? Blue, as they have been since she came back into town.

Yep, in the span of ten minutes, I’ve gone from Magic Mike to Jonah Hill.

Where are the assless chaps when you need them?

Pacing around the room, I listen as the waves crash on the beach outside the door. The door I’m willing to open with my Jedi mind tricks. Forget everything I’ve done over the past three years: the start-ups; the research; the hours behind the computer. None of it matters now because I’ve become a pathetic shell of my former self, like the kid I was in high school. The dorky computer geek who always landed in the fucking friend zone.

In less than a month, I’ve morphed back into that guy. Waiting on that girl. My mind races on an endless loop of insecurities. Will she do it again? Will she stand me up? Will she leave?

I know I shouldn’t care. I have options a-plenty these days. Still, I want her. One day is all I’m asking for. It’s all we need. One day a week. Four days each month. Fifty-two goddamn times each year.

On the other three-hundred-fourteen days, we could go back to business as usual. She would pretend not to notice me in town and I’d pretend that I hate her sweet little ass.

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17 May 2016

Blog Tour: Hatred Day by T.S. Pettibone | Interview + Giveaway

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Hatred Day
T.S. Pettibone

Hatred Day #1

Published January 29th 2016

Purchase: Amazon | B&N
In the year 2052, it’s not love but hate that unites the world. Humanity is unified against the Inborns, an extraterrestrial species with godlike intelligence and abilities whose arrival on earth caused an environmental and biological crisis.

Enslaved and despised even by her own Inbornkind, 18-year-old Snofrid reawakens to the world after having her memories stolen and is certain of only one thing: she will do anything to ensure her freedom. But her resolution is soon tested when the son of a high-ranking human official is murdered and her home city becomes the center of the interspecies war, one that might see the Inborns purged. Desperate to find a way out of the city for herself and her family, Snofrid risks making a deal with the manipulative Inborn Commander, Hadrian, and his brutal cadre of soldiers. Her task is simple: take part in a historic hunt that will bring wealth and fame to all who survive. Unfortunately, Snofrid’s role is one in which survival is rarely seen—the bait.

About the Author

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter
T.S. Pettibone are the authors of The Hatred Day Series. Expected publication for book two, Verdict Day, is 2017.

T.S. Pettibone is the pen name of identical twins, Brittany and Nicole Pettibone. They were born in California, grew up in Kansas, and these days, live and write in California. On the rare occasion that they break from writing, they enjoy taking their dog on night walks, reading books by long deceased authors, drinking too much coffee and tea, traveling the world, making friends out of strangers and trying new things.

Interview

A big THANK YOU to the Perribone sisters for taking the time to sit down and answer some questions for me about Hatred Day and writing.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? Was it something that you both worked out at the same time?
The writing fever struck us as different ages. Nicole was 13 and Brittany was 15. Luckily, we both fell in love with the same project (Hatred Day) and have remained equally dedicated to it since.

How was the idea of Hatred Day born?
We’ve always sought to write about the deepest conflict possible in our stories. And the idea of mankind having to coexist with extraterrestrial beings provided ultimate conflict. It was Brittany who thought of the initial premise for Hatred Day, but the story grew and changed as we did over time—9 years to be exact. Before publication in January 2016, it progressed through several titles and dozens of rewrites. Only two or three original story beats exist in the published novel.

How does the writing schedule work with the two of you?
We sit down and outline together, but we always write separately. Generally, we will each write a character’s point of view, or, if there is only one point of view, one of us will write it and the other will make edits, additions and cuts.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
Coming up with ideas is easy. Executing ideas is difficult.

What do you think makes a good story?
A story that arouses a powerful emotional response in a reader. A story that teaches a reader something about life, about the world or about himself/herself. A story that entertains and uplifts a reader.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Nicole wanted to be an illustrator or a singer. Brittany wanted to be an actress.

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9 May 2016

Book Blitz: A Criminal Magic by Lee Kelly | Quiz + Giveaway

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A Criminal Magic
Lee Kelly

Published February 2nd 2016

Purchase: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo
THE NIGHT CIRCUS meets THE PEAKY BLINDERS in Lee Kelly’s new crossover fantasy novel.

Magic is powerful, dangerous and addictive – and after passage of the 18th Amendment, it is finally illegal.

It’s 1926 in Washington, DC, and while Anti-Sorcery activists have achieved the Prohibition of sorcery, the city’s magic underworld is booming. Sorcerers cast illusions to aid mobsters’ crime sprees. Smugglers funnel magic contraband in from overseas. Gangs have established secret performance venues where patrons can lose themselves in magic, and take a mind-bending, intoxicating elixir known as the sorcerer’s shine.

Joan Kendrick, a young sorcerer from Norfolk County, Virginia accepts an offer to work for DC’s most notorious crime syndicate, the Shaw Gang, when her family’s home is repossessed. Alex Danfrey, a first-year Federal Prohibition Unit trainee with a complicated past and talents of his own, becomes tapped to go undercover and infiltrate the Shaws.

Through different paths, Joan and Alex tread deep into the violent, dangerous world of criminal magic – and when their paths cross at the Shaws’ performance venue, despite their orders, and despite themselves, Joan and Alex become enchanted with one another. But when gang alliances begin to shift, the two sorcerers are forced to question their ultimate allegiances and motivations. And soon, Joan and Alex find themselves pitted against each other in a treacherous, heady game of cat-and-mouse.

A CRIMINAL MAGIC casts a spell of magic, high stakes and intrigue against the backdrop of a very different Roaring Twenties.

About the Author

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter
Lee Kelly has wanted to write since she was old enough to hold a pencil, but it wasn’t until she began studying for the California Bar Exam that she conveniently started putting pen to paper. An entertainment lawyer by trade, Lee has practiced law in Los Angeles and New York. She lives with her husband and children in Millburn, New Jersey, though after a decade in Manhattan, she can’t help but still call herself a New Yorker. She is the author of A Criminal Magic and City of Savages.

What Role Would You Play in A CRIMINAL MAGIC?

Lee Kelly’s A CRIMINAL MAGIC takes place during the Roaring Twenties, the age of guys, dolls, molls and crime bosses. But in this story’s Jazz Age, magic instead of alcohol is prohibited. Sorcerers work hand in hand with gangsters in every aspect of their illegal dealings – from hiding robberies and murders to underground performance magic shows – as Prohibition Unit agents struggle to uphold the letter of the law.

If you were around during the Prohibition of magic, which type of player would you be? Take our quiz and find out!

1. Which one of these vacations most appeals to you?
a. A week at an all-inclusive resort in Hawaii with my family, with beautiful beaches, golf courses and lots of down time.
b. A long weekend in Las Vegas with a handful of my closest friends.
c. A ten-day backpacking trip by myself through New Zealand.

2. Most Friday nights I can be found:
a. On a date with my boyfriend or girlfriend, probably going to a movie or spending a nice night at home.
b. At the biggest party on campus.
c. It totally depends on my mood – sometimes I just want to spend the night reading, other times I want to go to a club or sneak into a VIP party with my friends.

3. Which of these quotes do you most agree with?
a. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
b. “The starting point of all achievement is desire.” – Napoleon Hill
c. “Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.” –Franklin D. Roosevelt

4. Out of the following, what is your favorite color?
a. Blue
b. Red
c. Green

5. The way I’d describe my wardrobe is:
a. Classic, with lots of staples in neutral colors, so that I can mix and match everything.
b. Bold, lots of flair, with a lot of the latest trends represented.
c. Eclectic, I guess -- it’s hard to categorize as I like a lot of different styles.

6. My favorite social media site is:
a. Facebook
b. Twitter
c. Tumbler


RESULTS


Mostly A’s: You’re an Agent.
You’re a go-getter, a Type-A, and someone who generally plays by the rules. You pride yourself on your resolve and determination, even in the face of serious adversity. I mean yes, you’re human, and sometimes you make mistakes (like taking a bribe, or a shot of sorcerer’s shine…), but for the most part you’re committed to upholding the law of the land, and protecting people from the dangers of sorcery, one bust at a time.

Mostly B’s: You’re a Gangster.
You’re bold, clever, and have a real knack for getting what you want – maybe because you take the rules as suggestions. While you’re generally the life of the party, you’ve got a dangerous side and can get a little volatile when things don’t quite work out as you’ve envisioned. Sure, maybe you’re not magic yourself, but you’re the brains AND guns of the operation, and when you believe in something, nothing and no one can stand in your way.

Mostly C’s: You’re a Sorcerer.
There’s something unusual and provocative about you, and people naturally find themselves drawn in . . . not that you’re necessarily easy to know. But if you’re secretive, cagey and maybe a little eccentric, so what? You’re magic. You march to the beat of your own drummer, and you’re confident in who you are and what you can do.

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5 May 2016

Blog Tour: Infinite Dolls by Emalynne Wilder | Interview + Giveaway

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Infinite Dolls
Emalynne Wilder

Published May 3rd 2016

Purchase: Amazon | iBooks | B&N
Born to be the best.

Head of his class.

No strings attached.

The third year of medical school is supposed to be the hardest, but Callum Trovatto has no idea what he’s about to face when Everly Anne Brighton stands between him and a passing grade, shaking up his world with her secrets, and digging into his dark past.

Hopeless.

Trapped by her father’s rules.

Longing for freedom.

Expected to die before her twenty-first birthday at the hands of a rare medical condition, Everly Brighton begins to defy the carefully crafted routine her father enforces to keep her alive, despite the fact that it could kill her.

INFINITE DOLLS is an emotionally charged love story about finding faith, coping with loss and living in the preciousness of Now.

About the Author

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter
Emalynne Wilder is the voice of the Broken-Hearted. The Forgotten. The Unheard. Painfully shy in person. Unapologetic on paper. She’s the girl listening to your dirt from the corner of the room as she plots how to turn tragedy into triumph.

Interview

A shout out to Wilder for taking the time you sit down and answer some questions about writing and her novel, Infinite Dolls.

How was the idea of Infinity Dolls born?

I saw Everly first. I knew her right away. There was a story living inside my mind about a girl who lived on a train. I started there and it just … evolved into something I couldn’t stop writing. I followed the Steven King theory about breadcrumbs. Ideas have to be big enough not to fall out of the sieve when you shake them around. I shook this story for two years and it never fell through the holes.

What genre are your books, and what drew you to that particular one?

I love to write contemporary romance with a lot of angst. I like to see characters start out kind of broken and lost and watch them blossom.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

How much something I wrote could mean to someone else.

What do you think makes a good story?

Strong characters. If I don’t like the people I’m reading about the rest is kind of pointless.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to take ballet. I loved dancing so I probably thought I’d grow up to be a dancer, but my mother was a single mom of three kids and we didn’t have much money. So I sat in my room reading books and scribbling in my journal. Funny how things work out.

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27 April 2016

Book Blitz: Painting Sky by Rita Branches | Playlist + Giveaway

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Painting Sky
Rita Branches

Published April 25th 2016

Purchase: Amazon
Nobody ever said life was easy...

People pleaser, Jane Skylar wants nothing more than to earn her art degree, start her life, and bask in the bliss of living with her boyfriend.

But things don't always go as planned...

Struggling with her creative side, Jane finds herself in turmoil, often confiding in her roommate - another, more talented art student, Keith Hale. Keith just so happens to be her boyfriend's older, brooding brother. After a devastating breakup, Jane turns to Keith for comfort. But when the lines blur between roommate and lover, Jane's life becomes more complicated than ever before.

When Keith's past comes back to haunt him, their lives all get turned upside down, forcing the truth to surface. Now Jane must fight for what she wants--even if it hurts everyone she loves.

About the Author

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter
Rita Branches is an independent YA (young adult) author who enjoys spending every free moment (when she´s not reading) writing emotional stories. Visit her blog.

Playlist

1. “Jump Rope” - Blue October
2. “Nothing Left To Say”, Imagine Dragons
3. “Clear Blue Sky”, Skylar Grey
4. “Not your way”, Misterwives
5. “Blurry”, Puddle of Mudd
6. “Can't Pretend", Tom Odell
7. "Dots and Dashes (Enough Already)", Silversun Pickups
8. “Creep”, Radiohead
9. “The Diary Of Jane”, Breaking Benjamin
10. “Never Let Me Go”, Florence + The Machine
11. “I Won't Let You Go”, James Morrison
12. "I See You, You See Me", The Magic Numbers

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21 April 2016

Blog Tour: Omen Operation by Taylor Brooke | Excerpt + Giveaway

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Omen Operation
Taylor Brooke

Isolation #1

Published January 26th 2016

Purchase: Amazon
After an epidemic spreads through the country, Brooklyn Harper’s high school years come to an abrupt end.

Implanted in a rural camp, Brooklyn and her friends are cut off from their families and the outside world. Each day is filled with combat training to assure their safety against the crazed, belligerent, and deadly— those infected with a mysterious virus.

If the world couldn’t get any crazier, a letter ups the insanity…

After being assured day after day that the world outside their little camp had been compromised, Brooklyn’s cabin-mate, Dawson Winters, finds a letter that turns everything they’d known upside down. There is a world outside the trees that surrounds their camp, and the virus they all feared seems non-existent.

Determined to see it herself, Brooklyn plots with others to attempt an escape…

On the outside, Brooklyn finds the world is as normal as ever. But when they are attacked in the city, they dispose of their attackers far more efficiently than any normal human.. Is there more to Brooklyn and her friends then just being highly trained?

As their exploration continues, the group is faced with impossible feats. Betrayal, love, death, and a powerful sense of camaraderie lead Brooklyn and her friends to fight for their life, their freedom, and most of all, each other.

About the Author

Tumblr | Goodreads | Twitter
Taylor Brooke is the author of the sci-fi adventure trilogy The Isolation Series. She started out as a freelance makeup artist, and quickly discovered her love of elves, zombies, mermaids, kaiju, and monsters of all kinds. After receiving eight professional certifications in special effects makeup, working on countless projects, and fleshing out a multitude of fantastical creatures, she turned her imagination back to her one true love — books. Taylor has had a knack for writing since she was a little girl, and received recognition for her skills throughout grade school and junior college. When she’s not nestled in a blanket typing away on her laptop, she can be found haunting the local bookstore with a cup of steaming hot tea in her hands, scanning the shelves for new reads, or hiking one of the many mountains that surround her home in Oregon.

Excerpt

Brooklyn wanted to cover her ears. She wanted to close her eyes.

The creature turned quickly on its heels, a pot clattered against the floor. Brooklyn yelped a nervous hiccup and panicked. She thrashed against the sudden grip of sweat slicked hands around her ankles and black crusted fingernails scraping her skin.

Brooklyn thought she'd been mistaken, but up close, it still resembled a woman. Same bone structure. Pale skin. Flared nostrils. A wide open mouth revealing rows of blunt human teeth. But something oozed out of the corner of its eye, black like tar, and it stained the sunken space between its cheek and jaw. It dripped from its nose, painted the inside of cracked lips, and bled from its gums. The veins on its neck and shoulders were like splintered charcoal spider webs, bruised and broken shadows pressed under its skin.

Its teeth snapped together, jaw clenching and unclenching as it reached forward with one hand, gangly arm flailing and prominent bones cracking as it twisted around, possessed, unreal... sick.

Brooklyn didn't comprehend her reaction, but something inside her was convinced it was her only option. Fight or flight. Live or die. Kill or be killed. She didn't know what drove her to do it, but Brooklyn gripped the handle of the knife and shoved the blade through the creature's mandible into the roof of its mouth. A disgusting crunch was heard, followed by the slick slide of metal slicing through skin. Bile filled the back of Brooklyn's throat.

Coagulated blood and black secretion stained the low neck of her strapless cream dress. Her phone was smashed, the glass front shattered on the tile floor. She shoved the heavy body of whatever that thing was off of her.

Brooklyn tried to stand, but her knees buckled. She crawled away; kicking back against the limp body slumped in the corner of the kitchen while her satin dress slid against the ground.

It hurt, the tight constriction of her chest trying to gather each breath in. She was confused, battling shock and fear. She wanted to lift herself up and run, to carry herself back home so she could dive under the protection of her father's arms and her mother's reassurance.

It repeated itself, the same memories from start to finish.

While the sound of shouting droned numbly in her ears from the doorway of the garage, Brooklyn could still hear the song that was playing in her friend's car, her mother's voice as she fiddled with the necklace that was now in shambles on the kitchen floor, and her father's gentle 'be careful' as he slid the baby pink lily corsage onto her wrist.

Hands wrapped in blue rubber gripped her shoulders. Brooklyn felt her legs buck and kick.

Don't touch me. Don't touch me. Don't touch me.

The words never left her lips, but they bounced off the walls of her mind in different octaves.

"Have you been hurt? What is your name? There has been an emergency isolation operation set in place. We are taking you somewhere safe. What is your name?"

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19 April 2016

Book Blitz: Broken Fate by Jennifer Derrick | Guest Post + Giveaway

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Broken Fate
Jennifer Derrick

Published April 18th 2016

Purchase: Amazon |  B&N | Kobo | iBooks
Zeus gave her one simple job: Kill every human. Atropos—daughter of Zeus and the third goddess of Fate from Greek mythology —spends her eternal life snipping human lifelines when their mortal lives are over. As if being a killer doesn’t make life miserable enough, she and her Fate-wielding sisters must live amongst the humans on Earth thanks to a long-running feud between their mother and Zeus. Living on Earth means they must mingle with the mortals, attend the local high school, and attempt to fit in—or at least not stand out too much.

Killing and mingling don’t mix, which is why Atropos’ number-one rule is to avoid all relationships with the humans. Caring for the people she has to kill is a fast track to insanity. However, when Alex Morgan walks into her first-period English class, she knows she’s in for trouble. He’s the worst kind of human for her to like—one with a rapidly approaching expiration date. And he makes Atropos want to break all the rules.

About the Author

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Jennifer is a freelance writer and novelist. As a freelancer, she writes everything from technical manuals to articles on personal finance and European-style board games. Her interest in storytelling began when she was six and her parents gave her a typewriter for Christmas and agreed to pay her $.01 per page for any stories she churned out. Such a loose payment system naturally led to a lot of story padding. Broken Fate, her first novel, earned her $2.80 from her parents.

Jennifer lives in North Carolina and, when not writing, can often be found reading, trawling the shelves at the library, playing board games, watching sports, camping, running marathons, and playing with her dog. You can visit her at her official website.

The Easter Eggs of Broken Fate

People often ask, “What elements of your novel come from your personal life or experiences?” Well, I try not to base my characters on people I know in real life, simply because I don’t want to deal with the backlash. “Why did you make me into such a jerk?” is not a question I want to answer. I also don’t include actual events from my life for the same reason. I don’t want to hear from some outraged family member who’s upset that I aired our dirty laundry.

Objects and animals, though, are another story. I frequently include things from my life in my stories. Partly this is due to the fact that things I already know are easier to describe, and partly because it’s just silly fun to stick little bits of my life into a book. Here are just a few of the things in Broken Fate that were culled from my own life.

The shears. Atropos’ shears have alternating rubies and emeralds on the handles. Why? I chose alternating rubies and emeralds for my sorority pin in college. Everyone said it would be ugly and too Christmas-like, but when it came everyone thought it looked great. Several girls ordered their pins to match mine the next year and by the time I graduated, there were probably twenty girls who had pins like mine. Who knew I was so trendy? (My awesome cover artist at Clean Teen Publishing, Marya Heiman, even worked the stones into the cover.)


The car. A friend of mine had a fully restored 1959 Thunderbird that I lusted after. I begged him to give me first dibs on it if he ever wanted to get rid of it, reminding him of my interest regularly. Yet when the day came to sell it, he sold it without telling me. I’m still bitter about that. Since I’ll never get to drive it, I let Atropos enjoy it.


The dog. Maggie, the beagle-corgi mix that Alex adopts in the book, is modeled on one of my dogs. Sadly, the model for Maggie died before I could finish the book. I now have another dog that doesn’t look a thing like Maggie. However, it’s nice that “Maggie” lives on in the book.


The books/bookshelves. Alex and Atropos are both huge readers. All of the books featured in Broken Fate are personal favorites of mine, as well. You can read more about the books of Broken Fate on my website. Alex’s bookshelves are also modeled on those in my childhood bedroom. Like Alex, it’s a wonder I didn’t die young, crushed by books.

These are just a few of the things in Broken Fate that were mined from my life. There are others. I think of them like Easter eggs in movies. If you’re ever reading the book and you find something else that you’re curious about, you can always contact me at JenniferDerrick.com and ask whether it’s real or fiction.

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15 April 2016

Cover Reveal: TAXI by Cambria Hebert

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TAXI
Cambria Hebert

A Take It Off Novel

Coming May 6th 2016
The meter is running…

One night as Rose Crawford steps out of a bar, she gives no second thought to lifting her hand to signal for a cab. After all, it’s the responsible thing to do.

A common occurrence.

Far safer than walking several blocks, alone, in the dark.

A familiar-looking yellow taxi with black, faux-leather seats, running meter on the dash, and a smiling driver pulls up to the curb.

Rose slides in. Gives the driver her address…

But she never reaches her destination.

Instead, she finds herself captive, at the will of a man who isn’t a driver, but a bona fide psychopath.

Trapped in a taxi she can’t escape, Rose begins to panic. As the miles between her and safety grow, hope dwindles. It isn’t until someone else joins her in captivity that her spark of hope is rekindled.

Derek is strong, capable, and surely together they can fight their way to freedom.

Then Rose finds out exactly why she’s been driven into hell. Derek may be an unwilling captive, but he isn’t going to help her.

In fact, he’s there to do the exact opposite.


Full Cover


About the Author

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Cambria Hebert is an award winning, bestselling novelist of more than twenty books. She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair.

Besides writing, Cambria loves a caramel latte, staying up late, sleeping in, and watching movies. She considers math human torture and has an irrational fear of chickens (yes, chickens). You can often find her running on the treadmill (she’d rather be eating a donut), painting her toenails (because she bites her fingernails), or walking her chorkie (the real boss of the house).

Cambria has written within the young adult and new adult genres, penning many paranormal and contemporary titles. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense. A few of her most recognized titles are: The Hashtag Series, Text, Torch, and Tattoo.

Cambria Hebert owns and operates Cambria Hebert Books, LLC.


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Cover Reveal: A Reason to Stay by Julieann Dove

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A Reason to Stay
Julieann Dove

Coming June 1st 2016

Elise Newton has it all—a dream job, a house that’s all hers, and a boyfriend who’s a cardiologist. Darren has been carrying an engagement ring in his pocket for two months, waiting for the perfect time to ask her to be his wife. He has no idea Elise has been waiting for the perfect time as well—to break up.

You see, Elise has a fatal flaw. She cannot commit to love.

An early-morning call from her sister gives Elise hope. She’s needed back home in Kentucky, to care for their mother who’s recovering from surgery. It’s the break Elise has been searching for, a reprieve from the strain of ducking Darren’s declarations of love.

But along with Kentucky comes seeing Ben—her first love, the one who came closest to being her happily ever after. Now a single dad, Ben has moved on with his life. But has his love for her moved on as well?

When Elise discovers a long-hidden truth about her family—and the reason why she can’t commit—she must decide which man will give her a reason to stay.

About the Author

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest
Julieann lives in Virginia, yet longs to live everywhere else. It doesn’t come as a surprise that along with her gypsy soul, comes an active imagination. That’s why she loves to write and invent worlds and people, so that she can formulate their happily ever after. Hobbies include cooking new recipes, sewing, and spending time with her cute boyfriend/husband and five fabulous children. Vacations happen in Nantucket or the Carolina beaches—anywhere there is inspiration for her next book. One day she hopes to travel to Italy, drive one of those little cars around the countryside, and speak the language fluently!


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