Category Archives: Blog Tour

Blog Tour
February 22, 2017 posted by Nichole

Blog Tour: Making Faces by Amy Harmon + Excerpt

Title: Making Faces

Author: Amy Harmon

Release Date: February 21, 2017

Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

Synopsis: The Spencer Hill Press release will have Bonus Content never before available.

Ambrose Young was beautiful. The kind of beautiful that graced the covers of romance novels, and Fern Taylor would know. She’d been reading them since she was thirteen. But maybe because he was so beautiful he was never someone Fern thought she could have . . . until he wasn’t beautiful anymore.

Making Faces is the story of a small town where five young men go off to war, and only one comes back. It is the story of loss. Collective loss, individual loss, loss of beauty, loss of life, loss of identity. It is the tale of one girl’s love for a broken boy, and a wounded warrior’s love for an unremarkable girl. This is a story of friendship that overcomes heartache, heroism that defies the common definitions, and a modern tale of Beauty and the Beast, where we discover that there is a little beauty and a little beast in all of us.

Goodreads link:


About the Author:

Amy Harmon is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of ten novels. Her books are now being published in 13 languages around the globe.

She knew at an early age that writing was something she wanted to do, and divided her time between writing songs and stories as she grew. Having grown up in the middle of wheat fields without a television, with only her books and her siblings to entertain her, she developed a strong sense of what made a good story.

Author Social Media Links:










One copy of Making Faces; open to US only


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Read below for an excerpt:

They weren’t typical love notes. They were love notes because Fern poured her heart and soul into them, and Ambrose seemed to do the same, answering with an honesty and a vulnerability she hadn’t anticipated. Fern didn’t innumerate all the things she/Rita loved about him, didn’t rave on and on about his looks, his hair, his strength, his talent. She could have, but she was more interested in all the things she didn’t know. So she carefully chose her words and crafted questions that would allow her access to his innermost thoughts. She knew it was a charade. But she couldn’t help herself.

It started with simple questions. Easy things like sour or sweet, winter or fall, pizza or tacos. But then they veered into the deep, the personal, the revealing. Back and forth they went, asking and answering, and it felt a little like undressing–removing the unimportant things first, the jacket, the earrings, the baseball cap. Before long, buttons were undone, zippers were sliding down, and clothes were falling to the floor. Fern’s heart would flutter and her breaths grew short with every barrier crossed, every piece of metaphorical clothing discarded.


Lost or Alone? Ambrose said alone, and Fern responded, “I would much rather be lost with you than alone without you, so I choose lost with a caveat.” Ambrose responded, “No caveats,” to which Fern replied, “Then lost, because alone feels permanent, and lost can be found.”


Streetlights or Stoplights? Fern: Streetlights made me feel safe. Ambrose: Stoplights make me restless.


Nobody or Nowhere? Fern: I’d rather be nobody at home than somebody somewhere else. Ambrose: I’d rather be nowhere. Being nobody when you’re expected to be somebody gets old. Fern: How would you know? Have you ever been nobody? Ambrose: Everybody who is somebody becomes nobody the moment they fail.


Smart or Beautiful? Ambrose claimed smart, but then proceeded to tell her how beautiful she (Rita) was. Fern claimed beautiful and went on to tell Ambrose how clever he was.


Before or After? Fern: Before, anticipation is usually better than the real thing. Ambrose: After. The real thing, when done right, is always better than a daydream. Fern wouldn’t know, would she? She let that one slide.


Love songs or Poetry? Ambrose: Love songs–you get the best of both, poetry set to music. And you can’t dance to poetry. He then made a list of his favorite ballads. It was an impressive list, and Fern spent one evening making a mix CD of all of them. Fern said poetry and sent him back some of the poems she’d written. It was risky, foolish, and she was completely naked by this point in the game, yet she played on.


Stickers or Crayons? Candles or Light bulbs? Church or School? Bells or Whistles? Old or New? The questions continued, the answers flew, and Fern would read each letter very slowly, perched on the toilet in the girl’s restroom and then spend the rest of the school day crafting a response.

Author Interviews
February 17, 2017 posted by Nichole

Island of Exiles Blog Tour: Author Interview with Erica Cameron

Island of Exiles (The Ryogan Chronicles, #1) by Erica Cameron

Genre: YA Fantasy

Published by Entangled Teen

To Be Released on February 14th, 2017

In Khya’s world, every breath is a battle.

On the isolated desert island of Shiara, dying young is inevitable. The clan comes before self, and protecting her home means Khya is a warrior above all else.

But when following the clan and obeying their leaders could cost her brother his life, Khya’s home becomes a deadly trap. The only person who can help is Tessen, her lifelong rival and the boy who challenges her at every turn. The council she hoped to join has betrayed her, and their secrets, hundreds of years deep, reach around a world she’s never seen.

To save her brother’s life and her island home, her only choice is to trust Tessen, turn against her clan, and go on the run—a betrayal and a death sentence.

About the Author:

After a lifelong obsession with books, Erica Cameron spent her college years getting credit for reading and learning how to make stories of her own. Erica graduated with a double major in psychology and creative writing from Florida State University and began pursuing a career as an author.

Erica is many things but most notably the following: writer, reader, editor, asexual, dance fan, choreographer, singer, lover of musical theater, movie obsessed, sucker for romance, Florida resident, and quasi-recluse. She loves the beach but hates the heat, has equal passion for the art of Salvador Dali and Venetian Carnival masks, has a penchant for unique jewelry and sun/moon décor pieces, and a desire to travel the entire world on a cruise ship. Or a private yacht. You know, whatever works.

Her debut novel, Sing Sweet Nightingale, released March 2014 and it was the first volume of The Dream War Saga. In May 2015, Erica and her co-author Lani Woodland launched the Laguna Tides series with Taken by Chance. Riptide’s new YA imprint Triton Books will release both books in the Assassins series, Discord and Nemesis, in 2016. The Ryogan Chronicles, a fantasy trilogy set to launch through Entangled Teen, will launch in 2017 with Island of Exiles.

Read below for an excerpt from the book:

I breathe the briny air and try to consider the options objectively. As objectively as I ever can when my brother is involved.

Yorri was the first person to tell me that one day I’d be kaigo, just like our blood-parents, serving the Miriseh and earning high honors in Ryogo. I’d flicked him on the shoulder and said “Of course I will be,” but his faith had been what convinced me I was right.

Yorri gets so excited he stumbles over his own words when he’s explaining how he solved some new, impossible puzzle. He devotes himself with frightening fervor to anything that ensnares his arrow-quick mind, but sometimes needs reminding that the rest of the world exists.

Forget objectivity. It’s worth the risk.

I am going to keep him safe, just like I always have.

“You’re going to be late for the vigil if you stand here staring into nothing for much longer, Khya.”

I tense, keeping my eyes on the angry, dark, blue white-capped waves. I’d heard the footsteps approaching, but several people had come and gone already and left me alone.

Tessen, however, never was able to keep his thoughts inside his head.

“I won’t be late.” I answer without looking at him until he moves into my peripheral vision.

He leans against the wall to the left of me, his forearms crossed on the ledge and his head tilted up. With his arms folded on the ledge and his body held slightly away from the wall, I can make out the lines of muscle under layers of cloth, all of it hard-earned—though I probably won’t ever admit that to him. I don’t look directly at him, but I turn my head enough to get a better look at his face.

He’s taller than me, so looking down on him like this is strange. Seeing him without the hood and atakafu we always wear on duty is stranger. I don’t think I’ve seen his whole face since he became nyshin over a year ago.

His thick eyebrows sit low over his deep-set eyes and the line of his nose is straight, because somehow he was always quick enough in training to avoid all but the most glancing blows to his face. The setting sun highlights the red in his terra-cotta skin and makes his oddly pale eyes flash. Usually they’re limestone gray, but now they’re paler than ever and gleaming almost as bright as the sunlight off the ocean.

“Shouldn’t you be off training? Or guarding something?” I ask before he speaks.

“I am.” He smirks at me. “I’m guarding the mad nyshin girl who’s decided to perch on the walls and imitate a mykyn bird.”

“I’m not planning on attempting flight.” I wave my hand at him, trying to brush him off. “You can go, Nyshin-ten.”

His lips purse; I hide a smile. It was delightful discovering exactly how annoyed he got when I called him by his class and rank instead of his name. The flash of aggravation disappears quickly, replaced by his more usual sardonic smile. “Should I guess what has you lost in your own head the night of a vigil?”

“No. I don’t have that much time.”

“Then I won’t guess. Only your brother puts that look on your face.”

I look at him, expecting to see mockery in his eyes. There isn’t any. He looks almost…serious?

“You’re worried about his herynshi. Unless he’s in trouble again? It’s been a while. He’s overdue.”

“It’s been a while because he doesn’t have to deal with people who point out his every mistake anymore. Like you.” Gritting my teeth, I bend to brace my hand on the ledge and jump down to where Tessen stands. At six feet, he’s only an inch or two taller than me. Our eyes are nearly level when I square off against him. “You’re one of the reasons he ever got in trouble in the first place.”

“And you spent years trying to make him invisible.” Tessen’s lips thin, and the muscles in his jaw clench for a moment. “Even before you found your wards, you shielded him from everything. What he can do now that you’re not there to monitor his every move should be all the proof you need.”

“He would have died if I hadn’t protected him.” Nothing will ever convince me it was wrong to keep him alive. “You can’t seriously be suggesting I should have let that happen?”

“No, that isn’t— You don’t even know what he’s capable of! How long has it been since you’ve seen him fight? It’s been—” He steps back, his lips pressed tight and his hands held away from his weapons. “Bellows, Khya. I didn’t come here to fight with you. This isn’t how this was supposed to go.”

I blink. “What?” Tessen backing away from an argument? This has to be a trick. “How what was supposed to go?”

He shakes his head, a small smile quirking up the corners of his mouth. “I only came to ask if you’d dance with me tonight at the celebration.”

He can’t be serious…but there’s not a single sign that he isn’t being sincere.

I drop my gaze to hide the confusion that has to show on my face. My focus catches on the pendant gleaming against the undyed cloth of his tunic—a two-inch iron disc etched with crossed zeeka swords. Blood and rot, I hate seeing that around his neck. The zeeka is the symbol of the kaigo; the pendant is a symbol of their students.

Tessen is wearing the kaigo-sei pendant that should have been mine.

Out of the whole clan, the Miriseh and the kaigo only choose one nyshin-ten per year. His blood-mother, Neeva, is on the kaigo council. Being named a kaigo-sei isn’t a guarantee of advancement, but it is a sign that the leaders of the clan are keeping an eye on you. The kaigo-sei are given extra training and have to face additional tests of magic, skill, and leadership. Not every nyshin named a kaigo-sei student becomes a council member, but no one who isn’t a kaigo-sei will ever become one. I can still earn one—and I will, sooner rather than later—but it seems like they’re already grooming Tessen to take Kaigo Neeva’s place one day.

Rot take him, it was supposed to be me.

Swallowing the fruitless envy building in my chest, I raise my eyes to meet Tessen’s again. “I don’t make promises I don’t intend to keep.”

“But that’s not a no, so I’ll ask again tonight.” He smiles, inclines his head, and then walks away whistling. I hate that sound, and I’m almost positive he knows that.

Read below for an interview with the author:

Can you tell us about your book, Island of Exiles, in 40 words or less?

Trying to survive on Shiara takes power, skill, and fearlessness, but there are secrets hidden on the island, ones older than the city Khya lives in, and it’s disturbing those secrets that puts Khya in real danger.

What was your favorite scene to write?

There are so many! I love the way Khya and her friends interact, but her moments with Tessen are especially fun to write. They’ve known each other since infancy, basically, and they know exactly how to push each other. In the best and worst ways.

What was the hardest scene to edit out?

I’ve grown used to edits, so although it can be extremely difficult to lose certain scenes, I know it’s almost always moving me toward a better book in the end. Writing scenes, though… That can be painful. There’s an especially grueling scene in the middle of the book, and another one near the end. Not going to say what they are, but they were hard to get down on paper. Or computer screen.

How many books will be in this series?

Three! Book two, Sea of Strangers, should be out either December of 2016 or early 2017, and book three, which doesn’t have a title yet, will release in late 2018. There’s a lot I’d love to tell you about where the story is going, but SPOILERS! 😉

What theme song would you give Island of Exiles?

It’s been unusually hard for me to put together a playlist for this series, partially because I can’t help imagining my characters’ reactions to modern music. They’d be very confused and thrown off by most of it. Zion, a song by Fluke that was on the Matrix Reloaded soundtrack is definitely a fitting song. It always reminds me of Itagami, specifically their monthly celebrations and the tokiansu—the dance they perform with deadly sharp weapons.

What else are you currently working on?

A lot. Right now, I’m editing the third Dream War Saga book, rewriting the second Ryogan Chronicles book, and playing with the worldbuilding and first draft of the first Pax Novis novel! There are three very different stories, which helps a bit in keeping them straight in my head, but it’s an interesting experience to have three mental worlds spinning in orbit at the same time.

Follow the rest of the tour:

February 7th

Bibliobibuli YA – Author Interview

Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – Spotlight Post

February 8th

Mythical Books – Guest Post

The Novel Knight – Spotlight Post

February 9th

RoloPoloBookBlog – Spotlight Post

A Leisure Moment – Spotlight Post

February 10th

The Book Beacon – Guest Post

Roxy’s Book Reviews – Spotlight Post

February 11th

Verbosity Reviews – Review

Literary Meanderings – Spotlight Post

February 12th

Adventures in Writing – Spotlight Post

Sleeps on Tables– Spotlight Post

February 13th

Just One More Chapter – Spotlight Post

Lost in Ever After – Review

February 14th

Book-Keeping – Review

Elizabeth Delana Rosa – Spotlight Post

February 15th

With Love For Books – Review

Book Lovers Life – Spotlight Post

February 16th

A Dream Within A Dream – Spotlight Post

Cozy Little Book Nook – Spotlight Post

Allthingschristine – Review

February 17th

YaReads – Author Interview

PBC – Spotlight Post

February 18th

books are love – Review

The Reading Nook Reviews – Spotlight Post

February 19th

Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Author Interview

Crossroad Reviews – Spotlight Post

February 20th

The Booknerd – Review

Bookishly Thinking – Guest Post

Blog Tour
February 10, 2017 posted by Nichole

Blog Tour + Excerpt: Lessons in Falling by Diana Gallagher

Lessons in Falling Banner

Lessons in Falling coverTitle: Lessons in Falling

Author: Diana Gallagher

Release Date: February 7, 2017

Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

Synopsis: When Savannah Gregory blows out her knee – and her shot at a gymnastics scholarship – she decides she’s done with the sport forever. Without gymnastics, she has more time for her best friend, Cassie. She’s content to let her fun, impulsive best friend plan a memorable senior year.


That is, until Cassie tries to kill herself.


Savannah wants to understand what happened, but Cassie refuses to talk about it and for the first time, Savannah has to find her own way. The only person she can turn to is Marcos, the boy who saved Cassie’s life. Being with him makes her see who she could be and what she really wants: gymnastics.


But Cassie doesn’t approve of Marcos or of Savannah going back to gymnastics, and the tighter she tries to hold on to Savannah, the farther it pulls them apart. Without Cassie to call the shots, Savannah discovers how capable she is on her own – and that maybe her best friend’s been holding her back all along.



Goodreads link:


Amazon link:


 About the Author:

DG author photo

Though Diana Gallagher be but little, she is fierce. She’s also a gymnastics coach and judge, former collegiate gymnast, and writing professor. Her work has appeared in The Southampton Review, International GymnastThe Couch Gymnast, The Gymternet, and on a candy cigarette box for SmokeLong Quarterly. She holds an MFA from Stony Brook University and is represented by Tina Wexler of ICM Partners. To learn more, visit



Author Social Media Links:








“Want to share your own Lessons Learned?? It’s easy! Tell us about a time in your life when you persevered, despite a bad situation, and what lessons you learned from that situation. Share it however you like – on your blog, your social media, wherever! Submit your link to the Rafflecopter below and share the giveaway with your friends to win an annotated ARC!”

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Read below for an excerpt from the book:

As I ease across the intersection, the opening chords of a guitar begin playing over the radio.


“Is this what I think it is?” Cassie straightens up.


“Seventh grade summer anthem? Hell, yes.”


“Remember when we met those kids from Australia down at South Cross?” She’s already grinning. “They were all, ‘We’re pro surfers’ so you challenged them to a swim race?”


“You mean when you volunteered me?” I bet my friend Savannah could take all of you, she’d said, fists on the hips of her mint-green bikini bottom.


They’d eyed me over their sunglasses. Her?


The wind had sent Cassie’s hair flying, yet she’d never budged. Count of three. One…two…


Sprinting into the water, the adrenaline of competition coursing through me, Cassie shouting

from the shore, You got this, Savannah! Show them how we do it in America!


“Either way, I beat their asses,” I say. They’d pretended to chase me out of the water, so I splashed through the foam and back up to Cassie. She’d thrown her arms around me despite the fact that I was soaking wet.


She nods sagely. “I was honored to know you.”


Next thing I know, we’re belting out the lyrics with the windows rolled down, screaming over the frigid air. The infectious beat on the highest volume obliterates any remaining tension. Cassie reaches out her hand and lets the wind bat it back, her curls tangling in her face, too busy singing to push them away.


“Drum solo!” I yell, forgetting my vehicular fear for a moment to bang my hands against the steering wheel.


“Someone get this girl a record deal!” she yells back.


I thrash my hair, completely destroying all of my earlier efforts to straighten it, and she laughs.


“Dammit, Savannah,” she says as the reverberation begins to fade. “What would I do without you?”


“Swim against Australian surfers on your own.”


She whacks my arm and we crack up again.


I wish that we could keep driving. Pass the bridge to South Cross and see where we end up. Montauk for the sunrise. New York City, the opposite direction, forthe lights. The two of us, the way it’s always been.


Ah, but not tonight.

cover reveal
January 20, 2017 posted by Nichole

Cover Reveal: Walking the Divide (The Gray Eyes Series #3) by Martine Lewis

Walking the Divide (The Gray Eyes Series #3) by Martine Lewis

Genre: Upper YA Coming of Age Contemporary Romance with a touch of Paranormal

Published by BMJ Chanapi Press

Elyssa Thompson, wealthy Manhattan upper class girl, wants something more from life, something meaningful beyond the drunken rich kid parties and shallow talk about clothes and makeup. Zander Fredrick, street kid, victim of a broken foster care system, survives with the help of his power to project feelings onto other people. When he sees Elyssa in Central park one day, he feels a pull toward her, something beyond attraction, something that promises of home and happiness.

Can Elyssa and Zander cross the divide of social class to be together?

About the Author:

Martine Lewis is a forty something who was born and raised in the French speaking province of Quebec, Canada. She spent her childhood looking forward to her summer vacations at the farm, which were a nice escape from the suburbs where she lived.

Her first written endeavor was a 200-page handwritten Duran Duran bandfiction which she wrote when she was eleven years old. Of all her written work, this is the only one she no longer has.

All throughout high school, Martine wrote more bandfictions and some original work, then she went to write fanfictions in the Star Wars, Buffy and Harry Potter universes. Her fanficiton in the Potterverse are mostly centered on characters of her own creation and can be found on

Following her viewing of Roswell on Netflix in 2012, Martine wrote book two and three of the Gray Eyes Series, then went on to create the Gray Eyes Series universe in which she has been playing ever since. She writes contemporary coming-of-age romance fiction (young adult/new adult) with a twist.

Martine is an avid reader and rollerskater. She loves sushi, hot chocolate on a cold day, and the beach. But what she loves above all else is to curl on her chair with her computer and write more stories for her readers.

Martine currently lives in Houston TX with her two cats.

Author links: website:




Goodreads author page:

Amazon author page:

Amazon sell link:

Blog Tour
January 18, 2017 posted by Nichole

Promo Post: The Unleashed by Bentz Deyo


the-unleashedThe Unleashed (Book 2 in The Undelightened Series) by Bentz Deyo

Genre: YA Contemporary/Fantasy


Leam Holt has done the unthinkable. He’s saved Harbing from utter destruction by consuming the toxin that was intended for the entire town and he’s rescued Eloa’s father from Darkness Headquarters.

But at what cost? Stricken by the poison and unable to remember who he is or access his Light side, Leam is captured by Gideon. Surrounded by evil, Leam revels in his undiluted Dark power and connects with other violent and corrupt kids, especially the bold and gorgeous Rylan. Still, Leam struggles to piece together his memories, including those of the beautiful Eloa, whom he discovers is in grave danger.

While forces of Light work to free Leam, the world is thrown into turmoil. The battle over the prophet, the person who will lead the world into complete Darkness or Light, is heating up, and Leam’s role in the war grows murkier.

About the Author:


Deyo is a New Jersey native who can usually be found running, writing, jotting new ideas in his million notebooks… or explaining things like “why pee is yellow” and “what is wind?” to his three year old daughter. He’s a fantasy nerd at heart and is currently writing book 3 of The Undelightened Series.

Author website:
Twitter: @bentzdeyo
Instagram: bentzdeyo
Read Below for an excerpt from The Unleashed


for updates on the rest of the undelightened series, visit



the unleashed: a novel

Copyright © 2017 by Bentz Deyo

All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of the publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the author.

The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to locales, actual events or persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

Third Floor Publishing, LLC

First paperback edition: January 2017

Deyo, Bentz

The Unleashed: a novel / by Bentz Deyo – 1st ed.

ISBN 978-0-9911551-3-2

Cover Design Lisa Marie Pompilio

Author Headshot by Elaine Zelker Photography

Visit the website at

Printed in the United States of America

For Dave, my friend, who still teaches me courage every day.

“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.”

edgar allen poe

Chapter 1

A man shot a burst of energy from his palm.

The force hit the boy square in the chest, propelling him through a stretch of woodlands until he was flung out onto paved road. The back of his neck struck asphalt first, as he skidded into the curb, the road curving down a hill out of sight.

The boy could hear footsteps, many of them, scuffling up the hill. Through the haze of dizzy stars, he dragged himself to his feet and stumbled behind a nearby sidewalk garbage can.

Peering through the garbage can’s metal mesh, the boy watched about fifteen figures approach. They were draped in trench coats as black as the sky had surely been an hour ago, although now, from below the horizon, the sun was lending the sky some light and a little color.

“Keep your eyes peeled,” a short, dumpy man growled, glaring at the woods from which the boy had been flung. “Gideon wants this kid found.”

“He wants this prospect found,” a taller man with a razor- sharp goatee said. “But Kavitch is right, everybody, the boy could be nearby.”

“How do we know that?” a third man asked, big and blond.

“The prospect disappeared from his home here in Harbing. Vanished into the air right in front of his brother and a girl of Light. Those two are being brought into headquarters now.”

The boy huddled closer to the garbage can, hugging his knees to keep them from shaking. Could he be this “prospect” these people were talking about? Why the hell couldn’t he remember anything? His home in Harbing? A brother? A …

“Girl of Light, Flint?” asked the blond man.

The man with the goatee nodded. “Daughter of the goon we got locked up in the dungeons. Seems to be a family affair.”

“What’s the prospect look like?” a black-h aired woman with a hoarse voice asked.

“We go by his hands,” Flint said, peering at a spot near the middle of the road. “He’s got white markings on his thumbs and index fingers.”

The boy went straight to his hands and his heart lurched. Identical white, thick- banded scars curved from the tips of his thumbs to the tips of his index fingers. Two things struck him at once: he was some sort of prospect wanted by people in black trench coats, and he had no memory at all, no sense of identity.

He was also losing blood, which he could feel spilling down the back of his neck, running a wet warm trail between his shoulder blades.

“Flin’, wha’ you lookin’ a’?” someone masked by the others asked.

The boy followed Flint’s line of sight as Flint moved to the yellow lines, bent down, and put his finger to a small, shiny, dark pool. With a jolt of panic, the boy grabbed the back of his head.

“Blood,” Flint said, as it dripped off his finger.

The last thing the boy saw peeking through the mesh wiring was a flash of Flint’s palm before the garbage can blasted apart in an explosion of debris and metal shards. When the boy was able to blink his eyes open, he found himself completely surrounded by a circle of black trench coats. Facing him stood Flint.

“Gideon’s looking for you, buddy,” Flint said, his face darkening. “Believes you’re the culprit who foiled last night’s plans.”


Plans? The boy thought, searching for a way out of the circle but knowing it wasn’t there. What plans?

“Was it you?” Flint asked.

The boy shrugged.

“You don’t know?” Flint scratched his razor- sharp goatee.

“What did you do last night?” The boy shook his head.

“What do you know, buddy?”

“Nothing.” The boy’s gaze darted around the faces he could see. No kind eyes. No smiles. Heart hammering, he forced his face calm. “Just what I’ve heard from you.”

A tall black man beside Flint grinned, all gums, no teeth. “Then why aren’t you scared of us, handsome?”

“Quiet!” Flint shouted, drawing his ring finger to the side of his head. His eyes widened. The boy’s extremities went numb. “Another telemast coming in, boys. Seems the prospect’s status has upgraded. Enemy to be taken in alive.” Without a breath, Flint added, “The order’s from Gideon himself.”

The boy felt fear shiver through the group, as each trench- coater raised beam-s traight arms in unison, every palm faced right at him.

“Take him now, boys,” Flint said, “before he vanishes, as he’s apt to do.”

With a quick swirl of dark movement, a hood was stuffed over the boy’s head. Firm hands were gripped around his wrists and ankles.

The boy could see nothing but black.


Chapter 2

Fluctuating in and out of consciousness, back and forth between full darkness and a thick grogginess where she sensed shadows of movement and blanketed light, Eloa tiredly won-

dered not if she was stuck in a dream or a nightmare, but whether this reality would be dreamlike or nightmarish if the fog were to clear.

“How far’d you stick the needle in, Cabus? She can barely open her eyes.”

“She’ll be fine, Samara; it was a pinch.”

Eloa didn’t recognize the voices. She was too sleepy, like her head was full of cotton.

“To the bone?” the woman, Samara, asked with a mixture of annoyance and panic. “Our orders didn’t say induce a coma.”

“She won’t slip that deep. She’ll be fully alert by …”

The voice of the man, Cabus, faded as Eloa fell back into blackness, swimming there until consciousness returned and reality was again weighed down by whatever drug they had administered. She was lying flat, it was dark, and she was moving, one captor by her head and the other by her feet. There was also soft whimpering beside her. She was not the only captive. She flopped her woozy head toward the whimpering, but slipped away again. Something of a memory came to her: a shiny beige oval hovering above her, a face, a large face, with long locks of golden hair.

“Dad,” Eloa muttered. “Where are you? You okay?”

“What’d she say?” the voice by her head asked. Samara. Reality. Moving through the dark.

“Told you it’s not a coma,” Cabus said, gloating. Eloa tried to blink in her surroundings. Was it a tunnel? Where were they? What was this?

“What do you want from me?” a boy next to her screamed. “Wh- wh- what was I supposed to do?”

“Now, now, Holt pup,” Cabus said, his voice grinning. “Be


“Leam was there! I did my job! I was roping him in and next second he was gone. How was I supposed to see that coming if no one else did?”

“Take it up with Gideon, Zach,” Samara said.

Zach? Eloa thought, battling the black clouds of the drugs for clarity. Zach? Zach? The thought of the name tasted bad.

“No one told me he was a prospect, whatever the hell that means!” Zach shouted with desperation. “No one told me he had powers. No one told me he could disappear into thin air. And I’m better than him anyway! Can’t you see — ”

“I said take it up with Gideon, you little shit,” Samara snapped. “Another word and I’ll tear your tongue out.”

They have Zach, too, Eloa remembered. Zach Holt. That’s right — they got us from Holt Manor. Zach dragged me there. I remember now. And Leam … Did he get away?

Leam … Leam …

Blackness took her completely again, reality gone. The memory oval returned, smaller this time, paler, no golden hair. This face, also a man, was her dad’s age, her dad’s friend … “Porlo,” Eloa moaned.

“Did she say … ?”

Samara, even through Eloa’s haze, sounded stunned.


“Porlo,” Cabus said, sounding equally baffled. “I heard it too.”

“Porlo,” Eloa moaned again, opening her eyes. Bursts of red torch flames above her head illuminated patches of stone wall as they moved.

“How would she know Porlo, Cabus? She’s of the Light — by the look of her she might not have even purified yet.”

“Don’t know. But I’m sure Gideon — ”

Pain suddenly rippled through Eloa’s body. She bit back a scream, her teeth digging into her lip.

“Her body’s fighting the injection — can you see it?” Cabus asked, sounding amused. “She’ll sleep hard soon, then come to.

Yes, then she’ll come to.”

“We’re nearly there anyway,” Samara said. “Her first. Cell A.”

Through the pain, fear crippled Eloa’s mind. She could only grasp onto the horrible thought that she was now a prisoner, most likely at Darkness Headquarters, and her dad, since Leam had deserted her, she remembered now, was probably dead.

“And the Holt pup?” Cabus asked Samara.

“To his mother.”

Eloa closed her eyes from the pockets of red fire, trying to turn off her mind. Her pain was abating, as was the little strength she had been able to muster. Soon her eyelids grew heavy, and the brightness of the flames beyond them dimmed. The world went dark, the sounds of her captors’ footsteps faded, and her last thought was that whatever was to be the horror show she’d experience here, she’d wake up to it.


The Giveaway:

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Signed Paperback, notepad, two “stay weird” pencils, acorn bookmark, Celtic acorn money clip and “ramones” t-shirt size Large; US only

(5) 5 runner up prizes of Free Kindle Codes to download The Undelightened (book 1)

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Author Interviews
January 5, 2017 posted by Nichole

In Truth & Ashes Blog Tour: Author Interview with Nicole Luiken

in truth and ashes nicole luiken

through fire and seaThrough Fire & Sea (Otherselves, #1) by Nicole Luiken:


There is one True World, and then there are the four mirror worlds: fire, water, air, and stone. And each has a magic of its own…

In the Fire World, seventeen-year-old Leah is the illegitimate daughter of one of the realm’s most powerful lords. She’s hot-blooded—able to communicate with the tempestuous volcano gods. But she has another gift…the ability to Call her twin “Otherselves” on other worlds.

Holly resides in the Water World—our world. When she’s called by Leah from the Fire World, she nearly drowns. Suddenly the world Holly thought she knew is filled with secrets, magic…and deadly peril.

For a malevolent force seeks to destroy the mirror worlds. And as Leah and Holly are swept up in the tides of chaos and danger, they have only one choice to save the mirror worlds—to shatter every rule they’ve ever known…





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AMID WIND AND STONE 1600x2400 (1)Amid Wind & Stone (Otherselves, #2)

Author: Nicole Luiken

Release Date: Mar. 7, 2016

Genre: YA Fantasy


There is one True World, and then there are the four Mirror Worlds: Fire, Water, Air, and Stone.

Audrey and Dorotea are “otherselves”—twin copies of each other who live on different Mirror Worlds.

On Air, Audrey has the ability to communicate with wind spirits. As war looms, she’s torn between loyalty to her country and her feelings for a roguish phantom who may be a dangerous spy.

Blackouts and earthquakes threaten the few remaining humans on Stone, who have been forced to live underground. To save her injured sister, Dorotea breaks taboo and releases an imprisoned gargoyle. Brooding, sensitive Jasper makes her wonder if gargoyles aretruly traitors, as she’s always been told.

Unbeknownst to them, they both face the same enemy—an evil sorceress bent on shattering all the Mirror Worlds.


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in truth and ashesIn Truth & Ashes (Otherselves, #3) by Nicole Luiken

Author: Nicole Luiken

Release Date: January 2nd, 2017

Genre: YA Fantasy





What she can’t remember could ruin her life.

The Mirror Worlds are but dull reflections of the True World, where magic and technology blend together…

On the True World, Belinda Loring has known from childhood that she must Bond with the son of another noble First Family. Uniting the families ensures hers will hold onto its powerful position, and so she’s always pushed down the tender feelings she has for her best friend—gorgeous, steadfast Demian, who isn’t noble.

But when the ceremonial magic goes disastrously wrong, Belinda becomes a national disgrace. Scorned as Broken, she turns to Demian for help getting revenge on the man who ruined her: the radical Malachi.

But the seeds of Malachi’s murderous plans lie buried in Belinda’s past, in the dark days of her kidnapping—a period of which she has no memory. And Demian may hold the key to recovering all that she’s lost—and saving the worlds.



Ab0ut the Author


Nicole Luiken wrote her first book at age 13 and never stopped.
She is the author of nine published books for young adults, including Violet Eyes and its sequels Silver Eyes and Angels Eyes, Frost, Unlocking the Doors, The Catalyst, Escape to the Overworld, Dreamfire and the sequel Dreamline. Through Fire & Sea, book one of Otherselves, and Amid Wind & Stone, book two of Otherselves, are her most recent releases. She also has an adult thriller, Running on Instinct, under the name N.M. Luiken and a fantasy romance series, Gate to Kandrith and Soul of Kandrith.
Nicole lives with her family in Edmonton, AB. It is physically impossible for her to go more than three days in a row without writing.

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Read below for an excerpt from In Truth & Ashes:


Fire World

Leah wept in her sleep. And dreamed:

She was a dragon, floating on an orange sea of molten rock. Far above her was a hole like an eye, the Volcano Lord Thunderhead’s caldera. At first, the heat felt pleasant, soaking away the lingering chill of death, but then it increased in intensity as the magma invaded every nerve and lit them each on fire. She screamed through her ruined throat and convulsed—

Leah bolted upright and found herself in the Aerie, the top room of Qeturah’s Tower. She must have fallen asleep on Gideon’s bed.

She was shaking, her heart trying to beat its way out of her chest. Her skin felt clammy. What a terrible, awful nightmare.

One whole side of the Aerie opened out onto a large natural stone balcony. Outside, the sun silhouetted Thunderhead’s steep-sided black cone against the red sky. Thin trails of lava trickled down his sides as he erupted again.

The Volcano Lord grieved for the loss of his son, just as Leah grieved.

Leah had met Gideon here in this very room. He’d been feverish, and she’d been spying for her father, Duke Ruben, trying to prove that the evil sorceress Qeturah had something to do with the dragon attacks on their valley. Only, by the time she found out Gideon shape-shifted into the dragon at night and his mother Qeturah used a magic amulet to control him, Leah had already fallen in love with Gideon, and turning him in had been unthinkable.

But in the end, she’d been unable to protect him from her father. Duke Ruben’s army had shot the dragon down with a huge crossbow, and Gideon had died. And his death had signaled the beginning of the end of Fire World.

Gideon’s father, Thunderhead, had erupted and killed Duke Ruben and three other dukes. Their deaths, in turn, had sent the Volcano Lords linked to them into a mindless fury, and they’d all exploded. Those not killed in the eruptions would likely starve in the next year, since falling ash had blighted all the crops.

And Leah could barely bring herself to care.

Gideon was dead. Duke Ruben, her father, whom she’d alternately feared and wanted to please, was dead. Likely so were Jehannah, her half-sister, and her mother, Beulah. Her childhood home was destroyed.

Leah had spent all her time since the cataclysm struggling to stop Qeturah. But now Qeturah was dead, too. And Leah had no purpose.

Oh, the war hadn’t ended: Qeturah had had a mentor named Malachi who had supported her. He was still out there, no doubt still scheming to shatter the other Mirror Worlds, but Leah had run out of energy to fight. Let someone else take him down, someone from the True World.

Malachi wasn’t her problem.

Leah would just stay here with her memories. Alone.

Only the thought of the nightmare returning kept her from sleeping the rest of the day away.


Read Below for an interview with Nicole Luiken:


Can you tell us about your newest book, In Truth & Ashes, in 40 words or less?

When Belinda’s Bonding ceremony goes horribly wrong, she turns to her loyal friend Demian to help her defeat madman Malachi and save the True World and the four Mirror Worlds. Whew! Made it.

What was your favorite scene to write?

The scene where Belinda discovers that Demian, who’s been her best friend since childhood, is a freaking demi-god.

What was the hardest scene to edit out?

Some authors write long first drafts and have to edit things down to a manageable length. I actually write short first drafts and have to add scenes during revision. The hardest revision work I did was writing a new chapter one. The book originally started at chapter two at the beginning of Belinda’s Bonding ceremony, but there was just so much that needed to be explained that I regretfully had to back up a day in the timeline and start with Belinda finding out Warren (her Bonded to be) has been sneaking around with her friend Violet.

What theme song would you give In Truth & Ashes?

I Know Places by Taylor Swift

Will this be the last book in the series or do you have plans for more?

Yes, this is definitely the last book. In the fantasy setting I invented there are four Mirror Worlds and one True World. I structured the books to each focus on two worlds and two girls (who are mirror twins, otherselves, of each other). So Through Fire & Sea is set on Fire World and Water World and featured Leah and Holly respectively. Amid Wind & Stone is set on Air World and Stone World, featuring Audrey and Dorotea. In Truth & Ashes is set on the True World with Belinda and has a subplot returning to Leah and the shattered Fire World. (Leah will finally get her Happy Ever After this book.)

What else are you working on?

My current Work in Progress is tentatively titled Doppelganger and is about a shapeshifter girl who’s being forced by her uncle to assassinate and replace a princess. Once the first draft is done I hope to get back to an older project of mine, Feral, about a girl born into a clan of werewolves who fears she’s a Dud because she can’t shift.

What is currently in your TBR pile?

Heartfire by Kate Boorman (sequel to Winterkill and Darkthaw)

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare (I’m so far behind in this series!)

Front Lines by Michael Grant

Soldier by Julie Kagawa

There’s more–I’m an avid reader and keep long lists of books I want to read–but those are the four YA ones I’m planning to read next.

Follow the rest of the tour below:

January 2nd

For Love of Books4 – Spotlight Post

YA Book Madness – Review Book #3

January 3rd

RoloPoloBookBlog – Spotlight Post

January 4th

Queekie Girl Reads – Guest Post

January 5th

YaReads – Author Interview

Sizzling Hot Books – Review Book #1

January 6th

The Book Beacon – Review Book #3

Pearls Cast Before A McPig – Spotlight Post

January 7th
Just One More Chapter – Spotlight Post

January 8th

Roxy’s Book Reviews – Spotlight Post

January 9th

Mythical Books – Author Interview

The Crafty Engineer’s Bookshelf- Review Book #3- Review Book #3

January 10th

Captivated Reading – Guest Post

January 11th

Crossroad Reviews – Spotlight Post

Splashes Into Books – Review Book #3

January 12th

YA Book Divas – Guest Post

January 13th

Sleeps on Tables – Spotlight Post

Home of Writing – Review Book #2

January 14th

Verbosity Reviews – Review Book #1

January 15th

Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Author Interview

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Blog Tour
December 14, 2016 posted by Nichole

Blog Tour: Cursing Fate (The Fated, #2) by Brenda Drake

cursing fate brenda drake

CF_1600Cursing Fate (The Fated, #2) by Brenda Drake

Series Info: The Fated, #2

Genre: YA Fantasy

Release Date: Nov. 21, 2016


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Book Description:

There’s something strange about the Layne sisters, and Wade Diaz wants nothing to do with them. Especially the one who ripped his heart out and set it on fire before tossing it in the garbage several months ago. Iris. He can’t even think her name without unconsciously rubbing the spot in his chest where she left a gaping hole. But now her sisters are claiming some evil spirit is after his soul, and Iris is the only one who can save him. Well, at least his heart would stop hurting, right? Didn’t sound so bad.

Iris Layne has always been the sweet sister. She’s kind to everyone, including her best friend Wade… Until she makes a horrible mistake and breaks his heart. All she wants is to go back to before ‘the dumping’. Of course, Wade would rather see her in hell first. But then Iris touches her sister’s tarot cards and unleashes an evil curse intent on playing a deadly game where no one Iris loves is safe, especially Wade.

How do you convince someone they need your help when you’re the one who hurt them most?

About the Author:


Brenda Drake grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical. When she’s not writing or hanging out with her family, she haunts libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or reads someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

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The Giveaway:

$25 Amazon Gift Card + a Cursing Fate Prize Pack (US)

(International winners will only receive the $25 Amazon Gift Card.) (INT)


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Read below for an excerpt from the book:

When he steered the motorcycle into the parking lot of the marina, Violet, Dena, and Carys waited by Dena’s Ford Focus. He parked and waited for Iris to get off before unsaddling the bike.

She removed her helmet. “I thought we were going to be alone.”

“It’s a special day.” He opened the seat and put his and her helmets inside.

“Special? How?”

“You’ll see,” he said, crossing the parking lot to the others.

After saying their hellos, the group trekked over the docks until the second-to-last row where Wade’s boat was kept in a slip. After they were all on the boat with life jackets secured, Wade motioned for Dena to untie it from the dock while he turned on the motor. The others found seats around the deck. “So we’re actually taking it out?” Iris said, standing beside Wade in the cockpit.

“Yep.” He steered it through the marina to the open ocean, only having to avoid a few boats on his way. The harbor was nearly empty, with it being a workday.

Iris adjusted her feet to stay balanced with the rocking of the boat. “This will take longer than two hours.”

“We’re just going to head out a little ways for the big reveal,” he said.

“Is the reveal that the boat won’t sink?” Iris laughed.

He flashed a smile at her. “Funny.”

The farther the sailboat moved away from the marina, the more excited Wade got. He couldn’t believe that the boat was almost ready. He spent so much time with Dena and Carys fixing it up. This first run was for Iris. For the big reveal.

When he’d picked a perfect spot, he turned off the motor and looked over at her. “Want to take the helm?”

Wade and Dena rushed around hoisting the main sail. Next, they raised the jib. Carys and Violet clapped and whistled. Wade glanced back to see Iris’s reaction. She squeezed the wheel tight, her hair whipping around her head as she looked up, her mouth wide. On the main sail was a dragon Iris had painted for him. The maker had copied the image and transferred it to the sail.

“What do you think?” Wade yelled over the wind.

Iris held her hair away from her face. Her expression excited Wade. “I love it!” she shouted over the crashing of the waves.

The wind was perfect—not too weak and not too strong— and the boat went out for a bit before Wade brought it back to shore. After the sails were lowered and secured, he turned on the motor and maneuvered it to its place in the marina.

Dena and Wade went about tying the boat to the dock. Wade snuck glimpses of Iris as she took off her life jacket.

You’re only torturing yourself, Diaz. He shook his head and finished off the knot he was tying.

A rope hit him in the face.

“Pay attention,” Dena said, towing the rope back to her.

“I was,” Wade said, grabbing the other end.

Dena shot him a knowing smile. “Not the kind of attention I meant.”