Friday, June 22, 2018

Cover Reveal: ONLY A BREATH APART by Katie McGarry

PRESENTED BY INKSLINGER PR
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Only a Breath Apart
by Katie McGarry


Would you dare to defy destiny? Are our destinies written in stone? Do we become nothing more than the self-fulfilling prophesies of other people's opinions? Or can we dare to become who we believe we were born to be?

Jesse dreams of working the land that’s been in his family forever. But he’s cursed to lose everything he loves most.

Scarlett is desperate to escape her “charmed” life. But leaving a small town is easier said than done.

Despite their history of heartbreak, when Jesse sees a way they can work together to each get what they want, Scarlett can’t say no. Each midnight meeting between Jesse and Scarlett will push them to confront their secrets and their feelings for each other.

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Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
• Publisher: Tor Teen
• Pub Date: January 22, 2019
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Pre-order: Amazon / B&N / Kobo
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Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan. Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON, BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine's 2012 Reviewer's Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.



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Thanks so much for stopping by! Happy Reading!

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Release Blitz: BETWEEN THE SEA AND SKY by Chantal Gadoury—Excerpt + Pre-order Giveaway

PRESENTED BY ROCKSTAR BOOK TOURS
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Between the Sea and Stars
by Chantal Gadoury


A Legend
A Magical Shell
A Girl Who Dreamed Of Something More...

Lena, a Merrow girl, lives in the Skagerrak sea with her father, Carrick and her brother, Javelin who tells her of the legend of the Merrow Queen murdered by her human lover when greed takes over. But what’s worth spilling the queen’s blood? Gifted from Poseidon, himself, a magic shell gives any human the ability to control both land and sea.

When Javelin is called to join a clan of Merrow soldiers bent on protecting their waters from human invasion, Lena resists Merrow law and ventures to the shore with no choice but to swim to land.

With newfound legs, Lena is whisked away on a new adventure with new friends and new trouble. Everyone seems to want something from her as intrigue lurks around every corner.

Trying her best to hide who she is and remain safe from the dangers of the human world, will Lena finally find where she belongs, or will she be swept into a strong and stormy current by lust, greed, and jealousy?

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Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: The Parliament House
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Purchase: Amazon / B&N / Kobo

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    “Tell me the legend of the Skagerrak queen.”
Javelin lifted a brow. “It’s hardly a legend, Lena,” he said. “It’s barely been a decade.” His voice was easy, unbothered by the possibility of being overheard. They were alone in this place. There was no need to whisper or scold or shush. Still, he groaned. “I’ve told that one a thousand times. You should know it by heart. Aren’t you tired of it yet?”
“Come on,” Lena urged him. “It’s my favorite. Tell me again.”
He rolled his eyes, but his mouth curved into a grin. “Fine.” His scooped a clam shell out of the sand and began sliding the sharp side of a rock against its grain. “The queen fell in love with a human man,” he began, his strong fingers holding the clam firmly in place. “Every full moon, she used her magic to travel ashore to see him.”
Lena settled onto her elbows, relishing the smooth sound of her brother’s voice as he recited the tale. A dreamy smile spread over her lips.
“I wonder how she met him,” she murmured softly, tilting her chin up and letting her lashes flutter shut.
“Likely the same way any merrow meets a human,” Javelin teased. “Shipwrecked during one of Poseidon’s storms. She should have drowned him immediately.”
“But she couldn’t!” Lena’s eyes pinged open. “For he was devilishly handsome, even soaking wet. The most handsome man she’d ever seen.”
“Devilish is right,” Javelin allowed. “Whether he was handsome or not, I’ll let your imagination decide.”
“Oh, he was.” Lena was smiling widely now. “He was, perhaps, the most beautiful human man in existence, and desperately enraptured by the queen. Each full moon, he waited for her, pacing the beach like a madman. And when she would emerge from the sea, he’d run hip-deep to meet her, unable to spend one more moment apart. He’d wrap his muscular arms around her—”
“For Poseidon’s sake, Lena.”
“And they’d dance together,” she pressed on, giggling, “as only humans can do. They’d dance and dance the hours away, bathed in starlight, humming songs into one another’s ears.”
“Until one night. . .” Javelin prompted smugly, and Lena rolled her eyes.
“Until one night,” she sighed, “something overcame the queen’s lover. Greed.”
“Human greed,” Javelin corrected. “Human nature. It was only a matter of time.”
She glared at him, but didn’t interrupt as he continued. This was the best and the worst part of the tale, and Javelin—damn him, was good at telling it. And he knew.
“That night, the queen swam toward the surface, impatient as ever she was. Ready to be rid of her tail. Ready to be human again. Her magic was a gift from Poseidon himself, contained in a delicate shell which she wore around her neck on a gold chain. It gave her the ability to explore the shore, and to control the storms and seas.”
Lena leaned in.
“As she swam, the queen began to change. Faint sobs faltered over her blue-scaled lips—cries of pain, lost to the rushing lull of the waves and the urgent beating of her fins. Swiftly, her tail separated into two perfectly shaped legs, and she rose out of the sea.”
“Don’t leave out the good parts,” Lena whispered. She knew her brother would skim over the romance just to annoy her.
Javelin gave her a pointed look. Then he grinned. “The moon was high that night,” he said, lowering his voice to a hush for effect. “The land was illuminated by an eerie, silver glow. Beneath its light, the queen’s new flesh was creamy and soft. Her hair became one with the wind, and her body shivered against a violent, uproarious breeze. Perhaps it was a warning from the gods, but the queen didn’t see it as such. The human lands were cold, suffering a new, frigid season, but her heart remained warm. She smiled, though her transition had been agony, when she heard the sound of water splashing and saw her beloved moving toward her through the shallows.
“She sang his name as he brushed chaste kisses against her neck, and relaxed fully against him, trusting him completely. She was blind to the wicked yearning which had wrapped around his heart. Which made his body tense, which crushed his lungs till he could hardly breathe. He wanted her shell, for he’d discovered what powers were locked inside that delicate charm. Powers gifted to whomsoever possessed it. His fingers dipped to her throat, caressing the shell which had allowed her to return to him, again and again. The queen eyed him strangely, and he dropped his hands to her waist, tugging her against him, kissing her deeply.”
Lena sighed, and Javelin smirked.
“She was a fool,” he said.
“She was in love,” Lena amended.
“She was both,” he conceded. “And that foolish love consumed her. Deceived her. Seduced her. Clouded her eyes, so love was all she could see. But that fateful eve, her beloved’s affection was not what it seemed. He’d seduced himself too, with all the prospects of what might be. His own love had been replaced by a lust for riches unknown. For control of the land and sea.”
Lena winced, for she knew what came next.
“He pressed his mouth against the queen’s skin, whispering sweet words, distracting her. She was smiling as he sent a knife into her back. Smiling, even as her eyes went wide with shock.”
Lena shuddered, picturing it. A joyful mouth, frozen in place. Bulging, horrified eyes going dim.
“The queen’s lover twisted his blade, releasing her cold merrow blood to the sand. He reached for the shell, yanking on its golden chain. But in the last throes of breath, the queen resisted him and threw the shell into the crashing waves, bidding Poseidon to wash it away.
“With a promised curse on his lips, her lover trailed back into the night, determined to one day possess the world between the sea and stars, and all who dwell beneath the earth, in the ocean’s depths. Our people.” He glanced sidelong at Lena, his meaning clear. “The merrows.”
“And the queen. . .” Lena murmured, though she already knew how the tale would end.
“He left her to dissolve into sea foam. She was washed away forever by the waves.”
Lena released a long breath and gazed at her hands, trying to imagine what it would be like to watch herself slowly disappear; what heartache and betrayal the queen must have felt in her last moments. She knew this was a gruesome tale, but a part of her thought the better parts, the magic and romance, were worth the gruesome bits.
“What do you think it would be like, to walk?” she wondered aloud. “Would it be like having two tails?”
“I don’t know,” Javelin chuckled. “I suppose it might be.”
“Where do you think the shell is now?”
Javelin shrugged. From a stony shelf above his head, he retrieved a slim, wooden railing he’d found in a ship a few days before and carefully tied his sharpened clamshell to its jagged end.
Lena smiled, realizing he’d made her a hunting spear.
“Poseidon is said to have hidden the shell before the human lover, or any human, could steal it. It could be anywhere.”
“If you could go to the surface, would you?”
Javelin pinched his lips together and didn’t speak. It was a silent reprimand. He knew how Lena longed to break through the waves, to see the human world with her own eyes, to know the uses of all the odd objects they’d collected over the years. But the laws of the sea were strict, and the king’s leniency had all but vanished in recent years.
Any merrow caught peeking at the shore was punished. Some were even struck down by Poseidon and reduced to sea foam, just like the queen.
“This is where we belong, Lena,” Javelin said softly, firmly.
“But how do you know?” She swirled upright and swam along the edge of the grotto, brushing her fingertips over cups and spoons and heaps of sodden fabric. Over small chests and tarnished, palm-sized figurines and other mysterious, unnamed things. “Haven’t you ever wondered what it would be like, to live on the land? To live among them? To be one of them?”
“Not as much as you have, I can see.”
She groaned, and sank to her brother’s side, resting her head on his shoulder. “It can’t be as bad as everyone believes. Humans can’t all be the same. We’re not all the same,” she reasoned quietly.


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Amazon Best Selling Author, Chantal Gadoury, is a 2011 graduate from Susquehanna University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing. Since graduation, she has published "The Songs in Our Hearts" with 48Fourteen Publishing, and “Allerleirauh” with Parliament House Press, with future titles to follow. Chantal first started writing stories at the age of seven and continues with that love of writing today. Writing novels for Chantal has become a life-long dream come true! When she’s not writing, she enjoys painting, drinking lots of DD Iced Coffee, and watching Disney classics. Chantal lives in Muncy, Pennsylvania with her Mom, Sister and furry-‘brother’ (aka, puppy) Taran.




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PRE-ORDER GIVEAWAY:

Enter your Receipt for the chance to win a "Mermaid" Giveaway!
A Mermaid-Themed Tumbler, Notebook, Nail Filer, Face Mask, Hand Sanitizer, Handcream, Makeup Bag, Popsocket and an autographed  Paperback of "Between the Sea and Stars."
Submit Your BETWEEN THE SEA AND STARS Book Receipts HERE!
Any format of this book will qualify: E-Book or Paperback.
It can be purchased at any retailer; Amazon, Kobo, B&N, Parliament House - etc.
Receipts must be dated before June 24th.
You can also submit your receipt by emailing cgauthorgiveaway@gmail.com

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Release Launch: TATTERED by Devney Perry + Excerpt

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Tattered
by Devney Perry


Thea Landry has always known her place in modern-day society. It’s somewhere just above the trash can her mother dumped her in as a newborn but below the class where much comes easy. With her tattered shoes and bargain-bin clothes, her life has never been full of glamour.

So when a rich and charismatic man takes interest, she doesn’t fool herself into thinking their encounter is anything more than a one-night stand. Months later, she’s kicking herself for not getting his phone number. Or his last name. She’s given up hope of seeing him ever again.

Until one day, years later, Logan Kendrick waltzes into her life once more and turns everything she’s built upside down. This time around, she won’t make the same mistake. She’s going to fight to keep him in her life—not for herself.

But for their daughter.
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Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
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Purchase: Amazon / B&N / Kobo

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Thea and I had agreed on just one night. One incredible night. The next morning, we’d walked away from each other with no strings attached. She’d gone back to her life. I’d gone back to my hectic work and social schedule, just glad that I’d had the chance to meet her.

What I hadn’t expected was for Thea to pop into my thoughts so often after that night. I’d think of her smile whenever I was at a hotel bar. I’d think of her laugh when I was at a boring fundraiser. I’d think of her whenever I saw a woman with long, sleek dark hair.

After months of her on my mind, I’d finally given in. I’d gone back to the bar to see her one more time.

Except she’d been gone.

With my child.


I’d waited too long.


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Devney is the USA Today bestselling author of the Jamison Valley series. She lives in Montana with her husband and two children. After working in the technology industry for nearly a decade, she abandoned conference calls and project schedules to enjoy a slower pace at home with her kids. She loves reading and, after consuming hundreds of books, decided to share her own stories. Devney loves hearing from readers! Connect with her on social media.



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Thanks so much for stopping by! Happy Reading!

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Monday, June 18, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: When My Heart Joins the Thousand by A.J. Steiger

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Title: When My Heart Joins the Thousand
Author: A.J. Steiger
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 352
Pub Date: February 6, 2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
Book Source: publisher via edelweiss
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Synopsis: Alvie Fitz doesn’t fit in, and she doesn’t care. She’s spent years swallowing meds and bad advice from doctors and social workers. Adjust, adapt. Pretend to be normal. It sounds so easy.

If she can make it to her eighteenth birthday without any major mishaps, she’ll be legally emancipated. Free. But if she fails, she’ll become a ward of the state and be sent back to the group home.

All she wants is to be left alone to spend time with her friend, Chance, the one-winged hawk at the zoo where she works. She can bide her time with him until her emancipation. Humans are overrated anyway. Then she meets Stanley, a boy who might be even stranger than she is—a boy who walks with a cane, who turns up every day with a new injury, whose body seems as fragile as glass. Without even meaning to, she finds herself getting close to him. But Alvie remembers what happened to the last person she truly cared about.

Her past stalks her with every step, and it has sharp teeth. But if she can find the strength to face the enemy inside her, maybe she’ll have a chance at happiness after all.
 
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*** POSSIBLE SPOILERS ***

As a sort of disclaimer before this review: I just want to say that I am in no way able to review this as someone who personally understands either Asperger's or the medical condition Stanley suffers from, as I have neither. I can only review this book as an outsider looking in. :)

That being said, I loved this book!

Alvie was a lovely character. She is 17 years old and seeking emancipation so that she can avoid being “in the system” until she is 18. She is simple, yet complex. She loves animals and identifies with the rabbit(s) in the book Watership Down. In many ways, Alvie is like them; trying to survive in a harsh world where things are working against you. I can see why she loves and quotes this book so much in When My Heart Joins the Thousand. The story is a big source of strength for Alvie.

We go through a good portion of the book knowing that Alvie isn't like most girls her age, but not having an actual name for what is different about her (I refuse to say "wrong" with her, because it isn't wrong to be different). Ignorant people (kids/teens) in the book refer to her as “retarded” or make fun of her for simply being “weird”. It was apparent to me, personally, that she was somewhere within the autism spectrum, but I don't know enough about it to have pinned it down. This book inspired me to read more about it, and I found out that Asperger's has only recently been considered to be within the spectrum of autism. I will say this: I do work with someone with Asperger's. He's 21 years old, so not TOO much older than Alvie. Alvie portrayed similar characteristics to this person. So, for me, when it was finally unveiled, it all made sense. I don't know everything about Asperger's, but based on my limited knowledge, I thought Alvie was portrayed very well.

As for where her parents went? Well, I am ashamed to say I don't remember any mention of her father. I know he wasn't in the book, but I don't remember if he died or left the family. BUT, there is a lot of flashback on Alvie and her mother. The story is actually quite tragic and sad. Alvie's mother struggled greatly with having an autistic daughter. She couldn't understand it and just decided to medicate the hell out of Alvie and make things worse. Eventually, things take a terrible turn, and this ends with her mother dying and leaving Alvie in search of emancipation. I very much enjoyed the flashback elements of the story. It made me feel so much sympathy and empathy for Alvie that I was in tears. It was so important to the story and so well done on the author's part.

I think it is important to note that, regardless of her having Asperger's, Alvie was able to live independently. She is proof that you don't have to be held back by something like this. She had her own apartment, a job, and eventually, a romantic relationship. Did she have struggles? ABSOLUTELY. But who doesn't? I cry at work at least once a week due to severe anxiety. We all struggle. What matters is what we do when faced with these challenges. So, when Alvie loses her job, she applies at every place she can in search of a new job. She works very hard to make sure she can pay her bills, just like everyone else. She is different, but she is not. I think a bit part of this story was highlighting the fact that she, and others like her, can do anything we can do. They can live a full, productive life.

Let's touch on the romance, shall we? It was realistically awkward and adorable. Alvie first discovers Stanley when she begins to see him in a park she frequents daily. One of these days, he's visibly upset and throws his phone into a pond. Alvie decides to fish it out after he leaves and fixes it. She then ends up emailing him to say HEY, I SAVED YOUR PHONE FROM AN UNTIMELY DEATH. The two talk via internet for awhile and become friends. Eventually the two meet in person. Alvie has a certain proposition for Stanley, and this sparks a more intimate relationship. The two of them struggle through this relationship for many reasons—some of it due to Alvie, some of it not—but they ultimately work it out and it is beautiful. The two of them find comfort and strength in the other. They have a special romance that is unlike any other I've read about before. I loved it and it even brought me to tears when I was nearing the end of the book. Just lovely.

The only negative I have for this book is that the story itself seemed to drag a bit at times, slowing down a lot in places. It wasn't a big deal, clearly, but worth mentioning.

Overall, this book is just amazing! The characters are so very unique and lovable. I was extremely invested in their stories both together and apart. I think this book is a wonderful example of a strong female character overcoming obstacle after obstacle and still coming out on top. The entire story is very emotionally moving and deeply touching. I definitely recommend it for everyone. :)
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