Tuesday, April 30, 2013

BLOG TOUR: [EXCERPT] Queen and Commander by Janine A. Southard


Title: Queen and Commander 
  Author: Janine Southard 
On a world where high school test scores determine your future career, six students rebel. A pair of star-crossed lovers plot to stay together, rather than be separated by the system's college plans. A former off-worlder instigates: there's a ship in orbit, he says. We could take it and run away. But to take the ship, the three conspirators need more friends. Enter Rhiannon, the girl who set herself up for the ultimate success on this planet. She made sure her test would give the desired result: Queen. But her best friend begs her to take control of this plan to run away. So she drafts a would-be doctor who believes in following his Queen with all his heart. She finds a genius who can't seem to make the system work for him. And then she gets them qualified for the ship in orbit. The ship to freedom. Now what will they do with it? And was freedom what they really wanted?  

 Winning a ship means surpassing the competition  
 The three competing Queens swiveled their heads, hare-quick, to home in on new prey. They’d ignored her until she’d made that noise. Now they had the scent of fresh insecurity and would peck away until they laid her meager confidence bare for the massacre. “What a sweet little girl,” gushed the one in red. “Where’s your mother?” Dead, actually. Well, if this Queen planned to come after her for her age, she’d show her appreciation in the way only a younger person could. She raised her eye­brows and furrowed them down the middle, then pulled her head back onto her neck as though repulsed or doing a proper sit-up. From the way the older woman cringed back, Rhiannon knew she’d succeeded in making the derisive Did you seriously just say that to me? face that she’d seen on her more critical peers. A teenager can out bitch-face you any time, Queenie. Don’t try that tactic with me. The eldest cocked her head, more curious than cruel. Perhaps she found it as difficult to gauge Rhian­non’s age as the other way around. As far as Rhiannon knew, this woman had been one of Dyfed’s first Queens, self-made and just as untrained as herself. “Why do you think you deserve Ceridwen’s Cauldron?”

About the Author


Janine A. Southard writes speculative fiction and videogame dialogue from her home in Seattle, WA. She sings with a Celtic band and is working on the next book in the Hive Queen universe. She’s also been known to read aloud to her cat. The cat appreciates all of these things. Maybe. 

Amazon - US UK 
 B&N Nook- US UK
iTunes- US UK 
 Kobo- US UK

BOOK BLITZ & Guest Post: Siege by Rhiannon Frater (As the World Dies, #3) + GIVEAWAY

Series: As the World Dies, #3
by Rhiannon Frater
Publication date: April 30th 2013
by Tor Books
Genre: Adult Horror

Siege is the conclusion to Rhiannon Frater’s As the World Dies trilogy, which should appeal to fans of The Walking Dead. Both The First Days and Fighting to Survive won the Dead Letter Award from Mail Order Zombie. The First Days was named one of the Best Zombie Books of the Decade by the Harrisburg Book Examiner.

The zombie illness has shattered civilization. The survivors who have found tenuous safety in Texas defend their fort against the walking dead and living bandits.

Katie has made peace with the death of her wife and is pregnant and married to Travis, who has been elected Mayor. Jenni, her stepson, Jason; and Juan—Travis’s righthand man—are a happy family, though Jenni suffers from PTSD. Both women are deadly zombie killers. In Siege, the people of Ashley Oaks are stunned to discover that the vice president of the United States is alive and commanding the remnants of the US military. What’s left of the US government has plans for this group of determined survivors


Zombies—Texas Style
Rhiannon Frater

When I wrote the AS THE WORLD DIES zombie trilogy (THE FIRST DAYS, FIGHTING TO SURVIVE, SIEGE), it was as an online serial.  It took me nearly two years to complete the epic story and during that time I had scores of fan feedback.  As the readership of the story grew over time, I slowly became aware of the fact that it was being read not only by people in my own country, but countries across the world.
AS THE WORLD DIES was later self-published, grew an even bigger following, won awards, was optioned by Hollywood, and ended up being bought by one of the premiere publishing houses in genre, Tor.  THE FIRST DAYS has also sold to several international markets: Poland, Denmark, and Italy.  
What I have found amusing and annoying at the same time, is that the book hasn’t sold to other international markets. I am well aware of the fact I have fans scattered across the globe. I hear from them on a regular basis.  I’m asked often why the books are not available in certain languages or in particular markets.  I always have to tell them the same thing.  The publishers in their country or region don’t believe that a story that takes place in Texas will appeal to readers in that area.
“But I like it!” the fan usually responds. “My friends would like it!  I don’t understand.”
Originally, I thought the fact that two strong female protagonist, Jenni and Katie, are the main characters in the book would be a stumbling block for some publishers.  The perception of males being the main zombie fans has slowly started to dissolve in past years despite being told by a few people that men wouldn’t like my books because of Jenni and Katie.  I have found this to be wrong over and over again when I receive fan emails from both men and women.  
But to discover that Texas may be a major stumbling block for some publishers really surprises me. I guess it is because I am Texan and love where I live. The state is beautiful, the people are friendly, our history is exciting, and there is a wonderful diversity not only in the geography, but people.  In many ways AS THE WORLD DIES is my love story to Texas.
And besides, if the zombies do rise, Texas is one place where there will be many survivors. Not only do we have plenty of room to hide and fortify, a ton of natural resources, and an independent spirit that will spur us on to save ourselves (and not wait for the government to step in), we also own a whole lot of guns.  In fact, the major reason the zombies in AS THE WORLD DIES had to start out fast in the beginning (though they do slow down over time) is because most Texas households do own at least two guns.  And we know how to use them.  I had to figure out how to have Texas fall and fast to set the stage for the series.
I honestly believe that it’s the Texas independent spirit that is so prevalent in the series that appeals to its international audience. The idea that you can survive, you can persevere and you can rebuild is very appealing.  I think it’s also universal. People all over the world like the idea of ordinary people overcoming terrible circumstances, or at least attempting to do so.
In Italy, IL Primo Giorno has been doing quite well.  I’ve been inundated with emails from Italian fans who loved the story of Jenni and Katie and the small “fort” in the Texas Hill Country that struggles to survive against incredible odds. My Polish fans have also been very enthusiastic and have even sent me photos of their books. Hopefully, other international publishers will take note.
I’m incredibly thankful to all my international fans.  I have heard stories about fans paying a lot of money in shipping just to get copies of the books.  I have had many send me stamped self-addressed envelopes so they could get signed bookplates for their novels.  In one case, I had two female fans send me a picture of them posing as Jenni and Katie.  
It definitely proves that zombies in Texas has world-wide appeal.

Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of the As the World Dies trilogy (The First Days, Fighting to Survive, Siege,) and the author of three other books: the vampire novels Pretty When She Dies and The Tale of the Vampire Bride and the young-adult zombie novel The Living Dead Boy and the Zombie Hunters. Inspired to independently produce her work from the urging of her fans, she published The First Days in late 2008 and quickly gathered a cult following. She won the Dead Letter Award back-to-back for both The First Days and Fighting to Survive, the former of which the Harrisburg Book Examiner called ‘one of the best zombie books of the decade.’ Rhiannon is currently represented by Hannah Gordon of the Foundry + Literary Media agency. You may contact her by sending an email to rhiannonfrater@gmail.com.

Author Links:

BLOG TOUR: Project Five Fifteen by Samantha Summers + GIVEAWAY

First Light
by Samantha Summers
Series: Project Five Fifteen #1
Publication: May 12th 2012
Genre: YA Romantic Thriller

A government experiment. Sixteen teenage boys on the run. An innocent young girl caught in the middle. When Ronnie Rose meets the handsome and alluring Kalen Smith, she can tell there's something he's hiding - something dangerous. But in trying to uncover his secret, Ronnie is plunged into a terrifying world she isn't prepared for... and the consequences could be deadly. Can we choose who we fall in love with?

As You Were
Samantha Summers
Series: Project Five Fifteen #2
Publication: December 14th 2012
Genre: YA Romantic Thriller
For every choice, there is a consequence.

Ronnie and Kalen are finally together, living their life in secret under the radar of the people who want Kalen dead. But when a visit from an old friend sends Kalen away on a rescue mission, Ronnie finds herself plunged back into the world of Project Five Fifteen quicker than she ever thought possible.

It’s fast becoming clear The Agency will never give up their hunt for the boys, and a betrayal closer to home starts a chain reaction that will change everything. Now, caught in a deadly web of lies and deceit, Ronnie is forced to question who she can trust; even the person she once trusted most.

As enemies close in, Kalen’s past threatens to destroy the happiness they sacrificed so much for, and it’s only a matter of time before the ultimate choice must be

Top 5 songs on your playlist?
Red - Break Me Down
Red - Fight Inside
Linkin Park - Crawling
The Moxy - Save You
Black Lab - Sun & Moon

How much time do you spend reading each week?
It depends, if I’m writing I don’t read as much as I’d like. When I get into a book/series though I can’t put them down until I’ve finished so I can spend days lost in the pages of a good book.

What is the last thing you Googled?
Directions to a wine bar I think ;)

Favorite places to travel?
Anywhere I haven’t been before, I absolutely love to travel. One of my favourite cities to write in, however, is Paris.

What is your favorite way to spend a rainy day?
Writing! We don’t get many rainy days in Sydney so I get a little over excited. Most people think I’m mad, but I love writing when the weather is bad outside.

Favorite TV Shows?
True Blood & NCIS (right now).

If you had a time machine, where would you go (past or future) and who would you like to visit?
I go back in time and visit some old relatives; I don’t want to know what the future holds!

What’s next on you TBR Pile?
The last book in the Hush Hush series by Becca Fitzpatrick and a book called No Easy Day, by Mark Owen. Very different genres, but both down my alley! 

Where is your favorite spot to read?
A warm café, surrounded by books.

If you were on Death Row what would your last meal be?
Haha, wow okay… maybe my mum’s Shepherds Pie.

M&M’s or Skittles? 
Peanut M&Ms

Can we get a hint on what you are working on? What are your future plans?
I’m currently writing the final book in the Project Five Fifteen series. I do have plans for my next novel; it will be the first thing I’ve written with a paranormal element so I’m pretty excited about it.

You’re AWESOME!!

Thanks for having me!

Born in London, an only child with an overactive imagination, Sam spent much of her childhood telling ghost stories to her younger cousins and dreaming about far away places. She graduated university with a BA in marketing, but it wasn't long before her passion for storytelling and travel got the better of her. She currently lives in Sydney, Australia, where you'll probably find her hidden away in the corner of a park somewhere - writing, reading, dreaming or watching movies on her iPad. She loves everything spy and assassin and has a slightly unhealthy obsession with Star Wars, mainly Darth Vader.

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BOOK BLAST: Have No Shame by Melissa Foster + GIVEAWAY

Book Synopsis:
The racially-charged prejudice of the deep South forces eighteen-year-old Alison Tillman to confront societal norms—and her own beliefs—when she discovers the body of a hate crime victim, and the specter of forbidden love turns her safe, comfortable world upside down.
Alison has called Forrest Town, Arkansas home for the past eighteen years. Her mother’s Blue Bonnet meetings, her father toiling night and day on the family farm, and the division of life between the whites and the blacks are all Alison knows. The winter of 1967, just a few months before marrying her high school sweetheart, Alison finds the body of a black man floating in the river, and she begins to view her existence with new perspective. The oppression and hate of the south, the ugliness she once was able to avert her eyes from, now demands her attention.
When a secretive friendship with a young black man takes an unexpected romantic turn, Alison is forced to choose between her predetermined future, and the dangerous path that her heart yearns for.
HAVE NO SHAME is an emotionally compelling coming of age novel featuring a young woman who cannot reconcile the life she wants with the one she’s been brought up to live.Have No Shame will resonate with anyone who has ever fallen in love, and those who have been forced to choose between what they know in their hearts to be true, and what others would like them to believe.

“A gripping and poignant novel dealing with a subject once taboo in American society.” Hagerstown Magazine
“Have No Shame is a powerful testimony to love and the progressive, logical evolution of social consciousness, with an outcome that readers will find engrossing, unexpected, and ultimately eye-opening.” Midwest Book Review
“A historical novel of love and its triumph, told with a unique and compelling voice.” Bestselling Author Kathleen Shoop
“Have No Shame is a delightful eye opener and a rather poignant book that everyone everywhere should put on their must-read list.” Readers’ Favorite
“A dynamic and heartwarming tale of young love, giving testament to those who struggled so we can live in an integrated society.” Author Rachelle Ayala
“…a stunningly impactful read.” Rabid Reader Reviews
“A book that brings the evilness of racial bigotry to light, through the eyes of one awakening to its reality.” Cindy Smith, avid reader
“[HAVE NO SHAME] Perfectly catches the South at the dawning of the Civil Rights Movement. Melissa Foster takes us on an adventure that twists and turns unpredictably to a tense climax that renders this novel a true page-turner. This is undoubtedly the best novel I have read in a long time.”  Roderick Craig Low, Author of ‘Promises of Love and Good Behaviour’
“This book is not just a story; it’s an experience.” Author G.E. Johnson

Melissa Foster is the award-winning author of four International bestselling novels. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women, the World Literary Café. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on  Fostering Success. Melissa is also a community builder for the Alliance for Independent Authors. She has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine.
Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.
Visit Melissa on The Women’s Nest, Fostering Success, or World Lit Cafe. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event.

1 Winner will receive a gift bag full of goodies, including:
- Signed copy of CHASING AMANDA
- Signed copy of COME BACK TO ME
- Signed Copy of MEGAN’S WAY
- 1 Pink Journal
Shipping in US Only, No PO Boxes. Must be 13+ To Enter

BOOK TOUR [SPOTLIGHT] The Wonderful Times of Godfrey and Chucky: Hot Spring by Daitoku Daiichi + GIVEAWAY

The Wonderful Times of Godfrey and Chucky: 

Hot Spring

by Daitoku Daiichi

Genre: Drama/Teens/Young Adult Fiction
Publisher: Daitoku Daiichi
Release Date: January 2013

The Wonderful Adventures of Godfrey and Chucky

Godfrey is young, wealthy and able-bodied. He has all the women you can imagine, and unbelievably deep pockets. But Godfrey wants more. His Great Greatness wants to rid the world of a menacing scourge, and restore what is truly superior to an elevated position. Why would anyone stop him? Who could possibly stop him?

Chucky arrives as the new assistant, and tries to perform every duty that is handed to him. What challenges for a dull servant! Look at him muddling through! With passports of exclusive privilege, the two adventurers make a splash in tropical Langkawi, where the water is blue and the girls are brown. Then they rendezvous with the locals in Singapore, where pleasures are plentiful and multicolored. Food and money are found in piles. Life in a global city should be, possibly, one of uninterrupted leisure…shouldn’t it?

Desire is a seductively red piece of jade, which resides even in our dreams.

"I am a healthy, strong and sexy male with a life, most of it sex life." - Godfrey Mann

"I did not know how to reply, since the words were difficult to speak." - Chucky

About The Author:

Inspired by English and Japanese gardens, Daitoku Daiichi is committed to sharing scenes of beauty with his readers. He hopes that through the mansion-like device of the novel, he can host a tea party to serve his readers exotic delights. In the day, he is a tutor, essayist, gourmet and world traveler. People somehow love to share their secrets with him, and he wants use his gifts of perception to tell innovative stories.

Readers are always welcome to chat with him at ddaiichi@gmail.com

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COVER REVEAL: Shudder (Stitch Trilogy, Book 2) by Samantha Durante

Shudder (Stitch Trilogy, Book 2)
by Samantha Durante
-- Book 2 in the Stitch Trilogy --

It's only been three days, and already everything is different.

Paragon is behind her, but somehow Alessa's life may actually have gotten worse. In a wrenching twist of fate, she traded the safety and companionship of her sister for that of her true love, losing a vital partner she'd counted on for the ordeal ahead. Her comfortable university life is but a distant memory, as she faces the prospect of surviving a bleak winter on the meager remains of a ravaged world. And if she'd thought she'd tasted fear upon seeing a ghost, she was wrong; now she's discovering new depths of terror while being hunted by a deadly virus and a terrifying pack of superhuman creatures thirsting for blood.

And then there are the visions.

The memory-altering "stitch" unlocked something in Alessa's mind, and now she can't shake the constant flood of alien feelings ransacking her emotions. Haunting memories of an old flame are driving a deep and painful rift into her once-secure relationship. And a series of staggering revelations about the treacherous Engineers - and the bone-chilling deceit shrouding her world's sorry history - will soon leave Alessa reeling...

The second installment in the electrifying Stitch Trilogy, Shudder follows Samantha Durante's shocking and innovative debut with a heart-pounding, paranormal-dusted dystopian adventure sure to keep the pages turning.

Haven’t read the first book in the series? 
Check out my review here! =)
Buy Stitch on Amazon or Borrow Free from Kindle Owners' Lending Library!

Samantha Durante lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband, Sudeep, and her cat, Gio. Formerly an engineer at Microsoft, Samantha left the world of software in 2010 to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams and a lifelong love of writing. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology, Samantha is currently working full time for her company Medley Media Associates as a freelance business writer and communications consultant. The Stitch Trilogy is her debut series.
Learn more about Samantha at www.samanthadurante.com.

COVER REVEAL: Unbreak Me by Lexi Ryan

Unbreak Me 
by Lexi Ryan
Publication date:  May 27th, 2013 
Genre: New Adult Romance

“If you’re broken, I’ll fix you…”

I’m only twenty-one and already damaged goods. A slut. A failure. A disappointment to my picture-perfect family as long as I can remember. I called off my wedding to William Bailey, the only man who thought I was worth fixing. A year later, he’s marrying my sister. Unless I ask him not to…

“If you shatter, I’ll find you…”

But now there’s Asher Logan, a broken man who sees the fractures in my façade and doesn’t want to fix me at all. Asher wants me to stop hiding, to stop pretending. Asher wants to break down my walls. But that means letting him see my ugly secrets and forgiving him for his. 

With my past weighing down on me, do I want the man who holds me together or the man who gives me permission to break?

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Ryan writes romances with humor, heat, and heart. Her books are described as fun, flirty, and wickedly sexy. A lover of learning, Lexi has been in the classroom all her life and currently holds the title of assistant professor of English at her local community college. Lexi is a proud member of Romance Writers of America. She lives in rural Indiana with her husband and two children.

Author links:

COVER REVEAL: Skinless by L.M. Davis

by L.M. Davis
Looking at Luca, who’s just saved my life, I can’t respond. No explanation I might offer will satisfy after all of the extraordinary things he’s just witnessed. —Ankh
All I can say is when the girl I like looks at me with wide, freaked out eyes and then runs away, the only thing that I can do run after her. Even if she didn’t ask me, even if she told me not to, I’m not superman enough to fight the instinct to protect her — Luca
AnCaela Murphy's body is a ticking bomb that only her mom can defuse. The problem: her mother is missing and presumed taken by the Skinless, bogeymen from Ankh’s home world who've been hunting her family ever since they fled that world and certain death. With help from Luca, a boy whose touch confuses and who refuses to back down, Ankh races against time to find her mother before the bomb inside of her detonates, taking her life.  Tracking the Skinless across the country, the pair search for her mother and uncover the horrifying truth behind the generation's old war.

A little about the author...
M. Davis loves great storytelling. She needs nothing more than a good book and a comfy chair to be happy. She was born in the south, raised in the north, and has a few degrees under her belt. She doesn't like to admit it, but she may have something of a "shifter" fetish. She still hasn’t gotten her black cat, but she thinks about it everyday. Her thoughts go something like this: "I really should get a cat." For now, she contents herself with spoiling the pets of her friends and family.
She is the author of Interlopers: A Shifters Novel, Posers: A Shifters Novel, and skinless.