Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Blog Tour with Giveaway: TIED by Laney McMann


Yaaaaay!!!  Super excited to announce today is my blog tour day with
Laney McMann and her fantabulous novel, TIED!
I love TIED!!!  See my five star review here.

There's lots of great stuff here today including an author's TENs list and a GIVEAWAY!
So let's get started, shall we?


Genre:  YA Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

Normal people don't believe their nightmares stalk them. They don’t fall in love with boys who don’t exist, either.

Seventeen-year-old Layla Labelle, though, is far from normal. Her delusions walk the earth. Her hallucinations hunt her, and her skin heats to a burn every time her anger flares.

Or is that all in her head?

Layla doesn't know what to believe any more because if none of that’s true, Max MacLarnon must be an illusion, and her heart must still be broken.

No matter how much she wants to believe Max is real, doing so would mean everything else is, too. How, then, is that possible?

The answers lie in an age-old legend the supernatural aren’t prepared to reveal, and with a curse that could tear Layla and Max apart forever—if it doesn’t kill them both first.

In TIED, book one in the Fire Born trilogy, learning the truth will mean fighting an arsenal of demons, and being with Max will put Layla on a path toward her own destruction.

Just how far will Layla go to protect the one she loves?

The answer may never be far enough ... away.

Add it to your Goodreads TBR!

Purchase your copy:  Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Let's meet Laney......

With a passion for the supernatural and all things magical, Laney developed a voracious appetite for reading fantasy at a young age. A vivid imagination helped set the stage for creating her own worlds and placed her onto the writing path.


By the time she reached her teens, she'd accumulated notebooks full of poems, which led to short stories and finally novels. Young adult dark fantasy, paranormal romance, and mythology are among her favorite genres.

A former classical dancer and chef, she grew up in sultry Florida where she still resides with her family.You can find her occasional ramblings on Twitter, book updates on her author page at Goodreads, her Facebook Profile for inspiration and randomness, updates on The Fire Born Novels at her Facebook Author Page and her interests on Pinterest.  She's also now on Tumblr ,too.  You can also contact her by email at: laneymcmannyaauthor(at)gmail(dot)com.

Laney's Top 10 Sources of Inspiration

Counting down from 10, my top sources of inspiration for writing TIED are:

10. Emotion. Whether it be heartbreak, loss, relationships—love, I like to delve into those emotions and expose them in my stories.

9. Art. Paintings, photography, dance, music, etc ... I've always been inspired by the arts.

8. Movies and books. I'm a lover of both, and am fascinated by other artists imaginations. As a writer, I'm encouraged to widen my scope and think outside the box with my own creations.

7. Nature. I get a lot of inspiration by simply writing outside. Listening to the crickets, watching the sunlight dapple through the trees. ;)

6. Coming up with new 'powers' or 'gifts' for my characters. These ideas are central to the plot and allow me to get crazy if I want. ;)

5. Research. This one probably sounds pretty boring, but researching the histories (and mythologies) behind my stories is something I love to do. Granted, it can also be completely overwhelming at times due the mass of information, but I always learn something new. Maybe an idea I can use later, or a new concept that I can add into my current work in progess.

4. Creating other worlds. For me, this is so much fun. I can let my imagination go.

3. My characters. A central point to any story is its characters, and like most authors, I love mine. Even the wicked ones. ;)

2. Music. Always music. I see the scenes I write like moving pictures, and the music I listen to breathes life into those images. Music is incredibly inspiring for me.

1. The story itself, though, is what inspires me most of all. Ideas and emotions are what keep me writing—the reason I sit in front of the laptop day after day. I wonder what my characters will say next—where they're going to take the story. Most of the time it's somewhere unexpected, and I just love that.


And now onto the Giveaway!!!

Prizes include:

One signed paperback copy of TIED, 
2 E-book copies of TIED,
and 2 signed TIED bookmarks 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Review: Kindred of the Fallen by Isis Rushdan


(Kindred Chronicles #1)
by Isis Rushdan 


A perfect firestorm of desire could save their people…or cost them their lives.

Kindred Chronicles, Book 1

Serenity’s soul-reading ability lets her easily create custom tattoos. Everything else in her life is a struggle, from trying to make it work with her best friend, Evan, to nightmares and visions that make her question her sanity.

Then she meets a man who sharpens her craving for something more, but her commitment to Evan means nothing beyond sparks can exist between them.

Cyrus has been watching Serenity, preparing to claim her as his Blessed mate—the other half of a split soul that, once reunited, is his only chance to break the curse that plagues his people.

One moment, Serenity is confronted by armed militants firing questions she cannot answer. The next, she is safe in Cyrus’s arms, reveling in his burning kiss…and learning she isn’t even human. She is Kindred, blessed with preternatural powers, cursed to suffer the twin horrors of the blood rage and the dark veil.

Their union is the greatest hope for redemption in a thousand years, but not all Kindred want to be saved. A dark secret could snuff out their lives before love has a chance to unite them…and redeem the Kindred for all time.

Product Warnings
 Contains a headstrong, soul-reading tattoo artist, a sexy alpha hero who knows how to get what he wants, adrenaline-packed action, and explosive sex that literally shatters bulletproof glass.


Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
Purchase your copy on Amazon.

Genre:  Paranormal Romance (steamy)
Publisher Type: Small Print/Indie
My Rating:  *  *  *

My Review:
So my feelings run pretty hot and cold on this one.  It's such an interesting premise.  I was excited by this new twist mythology and was interested in reading about a tattoo artist who used a supernatural gift to create the perfect tattoo for her clients.  The world of the Kindred is amazing and although I'm still not clear on some of the details, I love the creativity that went into it all -- I mean, hello, blue angelic beings!!!

There's also a great blend of mystery and action in KINDRED OF THE FALLEN.  I liked the slow peeling apart of truth of Serenity's past and the suspense of the action scenes.  I did feel the book lacked the complexity to merit being 460+ pages and found myself skimming at points.  This was especially true of the copious amount and length of sex scenes.  I enjoy a steamy scene as much as the next girl, but these scenes went on for pages and pages and there were quite a few of these.

What really hurt this book for me was my complete dislike for the main characters.  I can forgive characters that I just don't connect with or characters that just aren't developed fully, but Serenity and Cyrus fell completely flat for me.  If they had shown even a bit of character growth I might've gotten on board, but I didn't see any significant change in these characters and I could not bring myself to like or even respect them.  Cyrus was a complete bull and Serenity was so easily swayed.  I couldn't see her giving up every part of her human life as a good thing.  Their relationship was dysfunctional at best.

I did really love Cassian and Talus, a brother and sister raised by Cyrus.  Cassian is heroic and kind; Talus shows beautiful character growth.  These two are bright rays in a cast of less-than-fabulous characters.

The book concludes well, with a good portion of closure but enough left unfinished to entice a reader into book two.  There's a lot of great romance in this last portion, too, but my dislike for the main characters made it hard to appreciate.  I'm not sure that I'll continue on with the series; I'd like to see what happens with the story line and whether Serenity and Cyrus develop into an emotionally healthy couple, but I'm not sure I want to invest the reading time to find out.

Cover Art:  
Crazy beautiful cover!  It definitely drew me in and made me move on to the blurb that hooked me. 


Friday, September 20, 2013

Review: FIRE COUNTRY by David Estes




In a changed world where the sky bleeds red, winter is hotter than hell and full of sandstorms, and summer's even hotter with raging fires that roam the desert-like country, the Heaters manage to survive, barely.

Due to toxic air, life expectancies are so low the only way the tribe can survive is by forcing women to procreate when they turn sixteen and every three years thereafter. It is their duty as Bearers.

Fifteen-year-old Siena is a Youngling, soon to be a Bearer, when she starts hearing rumors of another tribe of all women, called the Wild Ones. They are known to kidnap Youngling girls before the Call, the ceremony in which Bearers are given a husband with whom to bear children.

As the desert sands run out on her life's hourglass, Siena must uncover the truth about the Wild Ones while untangling the web of lies and deceit her father has masterfully spun.


Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
Purchase your copy here:  Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords

Genre:  YA Dystopian
Publisher Type: Indie
My Rating:  *  *  *  *  *

My Review:
You know those books, the ones that you keep thinking about long after you finish reading them; the ones that the characters feel so real, you find yourself wondering what they're doing right now?  FIRE COUNTRY is so that book!  Yes, I've heard all the ravings about David Estes' writing; I had high expectations and then he just totally blew those expectations out of the water! This book is woo-loo good!!!

The world building is perfection in FIRE COUNTRY with it's troubling society set in a seriously harsh environment.  It takes crazy skill to provide your audience with a balance of all the needed details without boring them with an information dump.  And I LOVE the creativity of this world: our same world, but different, especially their verbiage.  My favorite phrase is now "woo loo" and I find myself thinking "what the scorch?!?" when vexed.

The very best thing about FIRE COUNTRY is the characters.  I love Siena and her quirkiness; her convo with Perry the prickler is priceless!  Her character growth is breathtakingly beautiful.  It made me cry with joy in seeing her blossom.  Much of FIRE COUNTRY is slower paced than my usual read --more almost slice-of-life in it's presentation at times-- but this pace is really needed for what the story is; I wouldn't, couldn't delete a single scene.  It's complex and rich, like a good Malbec, especially in regards to her relationships.

Then there's the mystery, conspiracy and shocking plot twists.  This book truly has it all; I can't see anyone not loving this book.  I can't wait to read more of David Estes' work!!!

Cover Art:
I love when a cover conveys the essence of the book without a word.  This cover does just that and does it as a beautifully done piece of art!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

David Estes' Earth Dwellers Book Blast

 
Your favorite Dwellers and Country Saga characters come together in this epic seventh book!
As President Borg Lecter threatens to annihilate the Country tribes in order to expand his glass-domed empire, Adele ventures into the belly of the beast. Her only hope of survival is the consolidation of Dwellers and Country power before it’s too late. Former demagogue President Nailin is eliminated, yet civil unrest infects every alliance. To save Adele, President Tristan faces his greatest challenge yet: unifying unfriendly Dwellers in the Tri-Realms to raise an army against Lecter. Meanwhile, Dazz must convince the Ice Country leaders to march with Siena and the Tri-Tribes on the gates of the Glass City. The world sits on the edge of a knife. Will Adele, Tristan, Dazz, and Siena defeat Lecter and his army of killers before the Glassies wipe them off the face of the Earth?

See where it all begun with The Moon Dwellers and Fire Country
To celebrate the release of The Earth Dwellers by David Estes, the fourth book in both The Dwellers series and Country Saga, David is giving away UNLIMITED free eCopies of Fire Country, book one in the post apocalyptic, dystopian, Country Saga. A little over a year ago, David published his first young adult dystopian series, The Dwellers, and it has changed his life forever. Since then, he’s gone from struggling Indie author to fulltime writer, he’s watched in amazement as his Goodreads fan group has swelled from 300 members to over 1,600, and growing. He's been featured on Buzzfeed, as one of the '15 Book Series To Read If You Enjoyed The Hunger Games', and has just signed on to Andrea Hurst and Associates literary agency. Andrea will we working with David to expand both the Dwellers and Country Saga, taking David's career to a whole new level.
So before the two series collide in The Earth Dwellers, grab the coupon code below and download your eCopy of Fire Country from Smashwords. Share the code with your family, friends and literary inclined pets. The only thing David asks for in return is that if you enjoy the read and continue on with the series, to please leave a positive review on Amazon.com, Goodreads and blogs for each of his books that you read.
 
Visit: Smashwords
Simply use the coupon code: WM49N and download your FREE eCopy.
Expiration Date: September 15, 2013
 
The Earth Dwellers will cap off an eighteen month journey that has taken me from unknown Indie author to still-mostly-unknown fulltime Indie author. The change is a subtle one for most people, but for me it’s a dream come true. To the hundreds (and now maybe even thousands!) of readers who have come along for the ride with me, either by reading the Dwellers Saga, the Country Saga, or both, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Now down to business. There may be some of you who have only read the three books in the Country Saga or only the three books in the Dwellers Saga, and are now thinking you’ll read The Earth Dwellers, which is supposedly the 4th book in BOTH the Country Saga and the Dwellers Saga. Well, that’s awesome! However, I must highly recommend that before reading The Earth Dwellers that you read the three books in BOTH series. Trust me, doing so will greatly enhance your experience, as The Earth Dwellers will be taking significant characters from both series and crashing them together (yes, like a water country wave) into an action-packed tale of struggle and loss and hope and friendship… And maybe a little love, too.
The Country Saga
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. He grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually he moved to Sydney, Australia where he met his wife and soul mate, Adele, who he’s now been happily married to for more than two years.
A reader all his life, David began writing novels for the children's and YA markets in 2010, and has completed 13 novels, 11 of which have been published.  In June of 2012, David became a fulltime writer and is now travelling the world with his wife while he writes books, and she writes and takes photographs.
David gleans inspiration from all sorts of crazy places, like watching random people do entertaining things, dreams (which he jots copious notes about immediately after waking up), and even from thin air sometimes! Recently he’s been inspired by some of his favorite authors, like Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth, and Maggie Stiefvater.
David’s a writer with OCD, a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), a mad-skilled ping-pong player, an obsessive Goodreads group member, and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table.  He loves responding to e-mails, Facebook messages, Tweets, blog comments, and Goodreads comments from his readers, all of whom he considers to be his friends.
Where you can find David Estes hanging out:
Blog/website Facebook page Goodreads author page Twitter

Other Young Adult Books by David Estes:
Children’s Books by David Estes:
The Nikki Powergloves Adventures: Nikki Powergloves- A Hero is Born    Nikki Powergloves and the Power Council    Nikki Powergloves and the Power Trappers    Nikki Powergloves and the Great Adventure   Nikki Powergloves vs. the Power Outlaws (Coming soon!)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Release Week Review: TIED by Laney McMann


So this Monday a completely awesome-sauce YA urban fantasy
 became available for purchase 
and today I get to share with you just how much I LOVE this book!!!!  
**fan girl squeal**
 And, as if it wasn't enough to get to talk about this fantabulous book, 
The author will be here on September 24th as part of her tour
AND there'll be giveaways!!!  Woo hoo!!!!

So let's jump in, shall we???



Normal people don't believe their nightmares stalk them. They don’t fall in love with boys who don’t exist, either.

Seventeen-year-old Layla Labelle, though, is far from normal. Her delusions walk the earth. Her hallucinations hunt her, and her skin heats to a burn every time her anger flares.

Or is that all in her head?

Layla doesn't know what to believe any more because if none of that’s true, Max MacLarnon must be an illusion, and her heart must still be broken.

No matter how much she wants to believe Max is real, doing so would mean everything else is, too. How, then, is that possible?

The answers lie in an age-old legend the supernatural aren’t prepared to reveal, and with a curse that could tear Layla and Max apart forever—if it doesn’t kill them both first.

In TIED, book one in the Fire Born trilogy, learning the truth will mean fighting an arsenal of demons, and being with Max will put Layla on a path toward her own destruction.

Just how far will Layla go to protect the one she loves?

The answer may never be far enough ... away.

Add it to your Goodreads TBR!

Purchase your copy:  Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Genre:  YA Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Publisher Type:  Small Print/Indie
My Rating:  *  *  *  *  *

My Review:
Oh my goodness is this an incredible read!  It's so engaging!!!  You'll pick this up and forget to pick your kids up from school because you're too busy reading.

There's so much amazing creativity that has gone into the Fire Born world; McMann combines and twist legends and the paranormal to come up with the perfect urban fantasy setting.  She is a skilled story teller with beautifully descriptive writing that somehow never slows the pace of the crazy-sauce action you'll find in TIED.  The plot is chopped full of mystery with major twists and turns, some of which had me gasping out loud.

Layla and Max are great characters and their romance is one of the sweetest I've read.  The supporting characters are all well written with plenty of depth; the only character I didn't really care for was Benny.  I wish that Layla's and Benny's friendship was better balanced so that I could understand why Layla was best friends with Benny when she didn't really seem to like Benny all that much.

The conclusion to TIED is intense and closes with a major cliff-hanger.  I'm dying to find out what exactly will happen in the next two books (TORN and TRUE) in this trilogy.  This is definitely one I recommend getting right away and reading this weekend (thus avoiding the potential disaster of forgotten children and the subsequent child therapist bills).  Drop by on Monday and let me know what you thought of it.

Cover Art:
Wowie-wow-wow!  This cover is so very incredible!  It'd may be my very favorite of 2013 (thus far).  It reflects story perfectly; it's visually stunning; it has layers of details without becoming busy.  I'd grab this baby off the shelf and buy it without even reading the blurb.  Oh yeah, perfection!