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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Blog Tour: Of Sea and Stone by Kate Avery Ellison!

Welcome everyone to the blog tour for:
Of Sea and Stone by Kate Avery Ellison!
Today you can learn all about the book in the book spotlight below. 

Of Sea and Stone 
by Kate Avery Ellison 
Genre: YA Fantasy 
Release Date: February 2014 

Aemi lives in a village carved from stones and surrounded by sea. She wins spear-throwing competitions in disguise and earns slaps from her spoiled mistress by talking back. She hates being a slave. She survives by remembering her mother's tales of home, a paradise called Perilous.

Aemi intends to find it.

But then, black ships rise from the sea in the night. Aemi is captured and taken to Itlantis, an underwater world of cities and gardens encased in glass, dazzling technology. and a centuries-long war.

She is determined to escape, even if it means conspiring with fellow prisoner Nol, who fills her with equal parts anger and desire. Even if it means impersonating her mistress. Even if it means fleeing into the territory of the Dron, the bloodthirsty barbarians of the deep.

But when Aemi witnesses firsthand an attack by the Dron, she realizes not all is as it seems below the sea.

And Perilous might be closer than she thinks.
Purchase at: Amazon / Nook / KoBo / Google Play

I'm the author of the Frost Chronicles, an Amazon bestselling series and source material for the adventure app game Frost by Delight Games, as well as numerous other fantasy and science fiction novels. I love putting a dash of mystery in everything I write, an ode to a childhood spent reading Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie, and Sherlock Holmes. I can’t resist adding a good twist in the story wherever I can.

I wish I could live in a place where it’s always October, but until that’s possible, I make my home in humid Atlanta with my husband, children, and two spoiled cats.
Author Links:

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Friday, February 2, 2018

Book Blitz: The Torc by J.E. Hunter + Giveaway!

Hello and welcome to the 
BOOK BLITZ for The Torc by J.E. Hunter!

The Torc
by J.E. Hunter
Genre: NA Fantasy Romance
Release Date: December 13th 2017

Forgotten Treasures Hold Forbidden Dangers...

Aurora Daniels has just finished her first year of university and is ready for summer fun when she meets Garret, the mysterious older brother of her best friend, Ivy. Garret isn't what Aurora expected, yet her connection to him is undeniable. But something lurks beneath Garret's charming exterior, a danger that Rory isn't prepared for.

As Rory spends more time with Ivy and her brother, she grows closer to Garret, until the undeniable attraction turns into something more. But a relationship with a cursed soul isn't simple. As Garret's mysteries are slowly revealed, Rory learns that she isn't all that Garret wants. He wants something else, too. Something that would mean giving up her family and her future to undertake a dangerous journey through a land lost in mist and fog. A journey that will change her life forever. A journey that might lead her to her grave.

Buy Links: 
Amazon (for ebook and paperback)
Amazon.ca | iBooks | Nook  | Smashwords  | Kobo  

My iPhone directed me to Ivy's place. There was a long gravel drive leading off the highway in the direction of the river. Just as I spotted the house in the distance, I came upon a gate. The gate was made from black wrought iron, affixed on both sides by short brick walls. The gate and wall wouldn’t have stopped anyone from gaining access to the property if they really wanted to, but it looked nice. Official.

The gate was open and I drove straight through, past rows of small hedges. Beyond the hedges were fields of green wheat. I knew that Ivy and her brother weren’t farmers, but they owned all of the land surrounding the estate and rented it out to farmers, keeping only the house for themselves. The house was built well away from the river valley—which I could see curving off in the distance—to ensure that it was built on a solid foundation. As I approached the house, I sucked in a deep breath.  Two stories, bricked exterior—which was practically unheard of in the prairies—and lots of large, bright windows. The brick was grey and the shingles were black, and the porch was small and held up by two columns bricked in the same material as the rest of the house. I pulled up in front, driving around a small, circular roundabout of baby pine trees that weren’t even close to the giants they would be one day. There were a few groups of bushes in the distance, and a bright green, manicured lawn around the house. 

Ivy ran out the front door—a broad, black thing—with a gorgeous smile on her face. "Welcome to Chateau Creepsville!" she said as I stepped out of the car. 

"It does have a certain gothic air about it.” I rested my arm on top of the car and glanced up at the exterior. “But it’s gorgeous. And huge!”

The sun was bright and hot, but the house was like a dark spot in the middle of a spotlight. I'd never seen a house like it before, except maybe the one time my parents had taken me to the United Kingdom. The house was entirely out of place on the prairie, and would have fit in much better somewhere near York—the city I’d visited with my parents. 

“Yeah, some crazy old guy built it. Garret got it on sale. I don't think anyone else wanted it on account of the ghost." Ivy laughed when I looked her. "Don't worry," she said with a wink, "I'm sure it's a friendly ghost. Leave your car here, Gil can move it later." Ivy pulled opened the back door of my car and loaded her arms up with my stuff. 

I opened the other side and grabbed my suitcase while nursing my latte. "Who's Gil?"
Ivy frowned. "I haven't mentioned him? Well, he's our butler, for lack of a better word. Though maybe you would consider him Garret's personal assistant?"

“Your brother has an assistant?" I glanced up at the house again, looking for a face in one of the many windows, but there were none. The house could have been entirely empty for all I knew. "I mean, I’ve never met your brother, and now I find out he has an assistant? He must be pretty important.” 

Ivy ah-hummed as she stepped into the house. The entrance was grand. A black and white checkered floor filled the space between two staircases, one running up each side of the foyer. A chandelier hung from the double height ceiling above. There was a decorative table to my right with a mirror hung above it and fake plants set on top. Not the tacky kind, but the expensive kind that you had to touch in order to know if they were real or not.
"Let's go put this stuff in your room and then I’ll give you the grand tour,” Ivy said. “Garret's still sleeping so we'll have to be quiet. He works with the other side of the world so his schedule’s completely backward.”

 Ivy led me up the staircase to my left. It was covered in plush, heavy carpet that was so clean I thought it might never have been stepped on. It had a Persian rug-type design of deep red and golds, which complimented the white walls with their black trim. It was the kind of house you'd see in a designer magazine. The decorations were slightly eccentric but came off as totally stylish. Not that it was a house, really, but more of a mansion, or an estate. Was there really any difference? No matter what word I used, the house would still be enormous. Up the stairs, the air was crisp and smelled like tropical waterfalls. Plenty of natural light poured in from the open windows. On the second floor, Ivy again turned left. We passed two open rooms, one on each side. The first was a library, filled wall to wall with books. A solitary writing desk was placed directly under the window and in the centre of the room were two armchairs facing each other. The second room was a home gym complete with a pilates machine. At the end of the hall was a large bathroom, with a glittering, white marble floor. 

"This is my room," Ivy said, indicating to the left. Her door was open, displaying a perfect room complete with canopy bed and lilac purple carpet. There were deep purple curtains and a leather chaise in the far corner facing a wall-mounted television. "I've decided you should be in this room," Ivy said, opening the door on the other side. It swung open, revealing a space so blue that I felt like I was underwater. All the walls were a deep, royal navy colour, but the bed was so white and soft looking that it could have been a cloud. There was a papasan chair tucked into the corner, and a small dresser, also white, under the window. 

"It's gorgeous!" I said, rolling my suitcase into the room. "I feel like I'm staying in a hotel, not at my best friend’s house."

"I hope it feels a bit more homey than that!" Ivy said, a touch of sadness in her voice. 
"Definitely homier," I said with a smile. 

Ivy walked over to the bed and sat down, crossing her legs underneath her. Her jean shorts and blue t-shirt matched the room, but the pink streaks she must have painted in her hair that morning did not. 

"Thanks again for inviting me," I said. "I didn't realize how it would feel to drop my parents off at the airport. I thought I would be more excited but..."

"You felt a bit abandoned?" Ivy suggested when I didn't finish my sentence. 

I nodded. 

"I get it," Ivy said. "Come on. Leave your stuff here. I want to show you the garden."
I followed Ivy back downstairs. We didn't go to the west side of the second story, since Ivy said that was where Garret was sleeping. I bit my lip, wanting to meet this mysterious older brother. The one who had raised Ivy since the death of their parents when Garret was seven and Ivy was a baby. Someone must have looked after them before Garret was of age, though it had never occurred to me before. Ivy might understand my current emotional state, because her past had been much worse. My parents were just going on vacation. I couldn't imagine how I would feel if they never made it back. 

From the foyer, we headed to the back of the house and into a bright, spacious kitchen. Cast iron pots hung from the ceiling and deep wooden counters stretched along the walls. I was startled to see an older gentleman cutting up a flank of meat. He looked up and caught me with two sharp, dark eyes. 

“Ah, our guest has finally arrived.” He spoke with a slight accent that sounded upper class—surprising for an assistant. The man placed the long, sharp knife he was holding down beside the raw flesh, and slipped off a blood-splattered glove to hold a hand out to me. He was much taller than I was, which was surprising since I was nearly five-foot-nine. He only smiled with one side of his face, and his eyes remained dark, assessing.

“Aurora, this is Gil, Garret’s assistant. He does most of the cooking.” Ivy indicated the man who could have been anywhere between the age of fifty and seventy-five. She didn’t look at him, however, but stared past him at the set of French doors at the back of the kitchen. 
I was frozen, a little appalled at the idea of taking the hand that had been so recently butchering meat. I reminded myself that he’d been wearing gloves, and shook hands with him to be polite. “It’s nice to meet you,” I said. 

Gil tilted his head down toward me. He was thin, but rigid with sinuous muscle. He had shallow cheeks and short grey hair. “It’s a pleasure, of course.” He spoke slowly, his voice was deep. 

“We’re just going out to the garden.” Suddenly, Ivy was at my side, pulling me toward the sunlight streaming in through the open doors. When had that happened? I felt strangely disjointed, like I’d been staring too long out a window, lost in thought, when I’d only just spent a second shaking Gil’s hand. 

“I’ve put the recliners out by the fountain for you and your guest.” Gil half-smiled at me again. I looked away, a unsettled tingling in my lungs. “There’s a carafe of sangria out there, too, and some snacks, since supper won’t be served until nine o’clock, as per your brother’s instructions.” Gil slipped the glove back on and went back to chopping the meat. 

I stepped out of the kitchen and into the sun, but still I shivered. It was warm enough that I would need a generous layer of sunscreen to keep from burning, but I felt chilled, and decided to forget the lotion for the moment. 

I warmed up quickly enough as Ivy led me through a waist-high maze of hedges, back toward a large, circular fountain. There were rose bushes around the edges of a small gravelled area, a few choice sculptures of cherubs, and two lounge chairs, just as Gil had said there would be. There was also a pitcher of sangria. 

“Gil mixes drinks for you?” I settled into the chair furthest from the house. Out in the country, it was quiet. The prairie sky was blue and peaceful. A few birds chirped from the hedges, and there was the slight burble from the fountain, but that was it for noise. The sounds succeeded in chasing away any lingering feelings of uneasiness.

Ivy laughed and gave me a naughty look. “Of course. Gil does everything. Personally, I could have gone for margaritas, but sangria will do. Before my brother forced me to move here, I was living in Spain. Everyone drinks sangria in Spain. At least, everyone I know does.” Ivy poured me a goblet full of the deep red liquid, and I took a generous sip to steady my nerves. I’d expected Ivy to come from money, she’d never hid that, not exactly. But I hadn’t expected her house to be an amazingly decorated gothic mansion. I laid back in my chair and looked up at the house. I could only see the western half, and the window I imagined was Garret’s. He was six years older than Ivy and a complete mystery. I couldn’t wait to meet him.

J.E. Hunter lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and began writing as an excuse to stay inside during the cold winters. Her favorite season is the fall, and her favorite hot beverage is currently a peppermint mocha. Most recently, J.E. Hunter released The Torc, the first book in the Artifacts of Avalum romantic adventure series. She is also the author of the Black Depths Series, which consists of five books, beginning with Sea-Witch. When not writing, J. E. Hunter can be found reading, walking through spooky woods, drinking coffee and coloring books, or listening to audiobooks at the gym.

Author Links:

Sign up for the author’s newsletter by February 5th to be entered to win one of two copies of the book! https://jehunter.com/

Thursday, January 18, 2018

First Look Celebration for Web of Frost by Lindsay Smith + Giveaway!

Hello everyone! 
Welcome to the First Look Celebration for 
Web of Frost by Lindsay Smith! 
I'm so excited to be able to be part of this celebration and share with you all about this fab new book! 
After reading the post be sure to scroll down to the bottom for a giveaway!!

A too-young queen must learn to control her powers in order to save her empire, but can she trust the man who’s taught her to use her gift?

The saints of Russalka work their blessings in mysterious ways, allowing the royal family to perform miracles for their people. But the young princess Katza fears her powers. She’s seen grave visions of her bloodied hands destroying her family’s empire. When her older brother succumbs to illness, leaving her next in line for the throne, Katza turns to a young rebellious prophet named Ravin who promises to teach her how to control her gift. As unrest grows in Russalka and a foreign monarchy threatens, Ravin understands Katza's fears and helps her find confidence in her gift, and her own heart. Under Ravin’s unorthodox training, Katza learns to hear the saints once more—until revolutionaries claim her father’s life.

Reeling and desperate, Katza draws upon darker and darker powers to stop the revolutionaries, the foreign invaders, and the members of her own court who would see her fail. But the more Ravin whispers in her ear, the more Katza questions whether he—and the saints—have her best interests at heart. She must choose between her love of Ravin and her love of Russalka itself—and decide whether her empire might not be better off without her.
Pre-Order this title at these online retailers:
Amazon | B&N | Kobo

Add it to your TBR today! 

Other Books by Lindsay Smith

Here is an exclusive excerpt from WEB OF FROST:

“An incredible show of power,” Ravin said. “But you are capable of even more.” He paused, and turned his head, almost peering back at her over his shoulder. Again her gaze was drawn to the sharp line of his forehead, his nose beneath a dark sheaf of his hair where it had fallen across his brow. “Show me.”

Katza rolled her shoulders back. She had never before prayed to Saint Morozov; she’d never had reason to. She scanned the icons in the sanctuary, looking for his face—the blue eyes piercing with ice, the gray pallor of his skin as flecks of frost wreathed him. But all the colors were washed out on the ancient icons—he was hard to find. Saint Morozov. Her lips worked as she sought him out. Saint Morozov. Grant me the chill in your bones . . .

“No, no.” Ravin stalked toward her, shoulders bristling with cold fury. “You don’t need to focus on his icon. You must be able to draw the power anywhere. Anytime. Morozov is only a filter for turning the raw power into ice. You must reach past him.” He trembled with intensity. “Seize the power for yourself. It’s already there, just waiting for you to grasp it.”

“I—I’m sorry.” Katza bit her lower lip and looked down. Morozov. Let your cold envelop me . . .

And then she felt it, crawling inside her skin—the faintest threads of ice. If the saints were filters for Boj’s raw power, then Katza imagined herself reaching through that filter to grasp it at the source. Her breath crystallized before her as she exhaled, then twinkled like glass as it fell to the floor. Frost coated her hands, her face, and yet the cold was soothing, hardening around her like a shelter . . .

No. Like a tomb.

Katza thrashed, panicking as her skin became solid, stiff with cold. “O, Boj,” she cried. “I can’t—”

“You have to release it,” Ravin shouted. “Don’t keep it trapped inside you!”

Katza’s throat was closing up, turning into a block of ice. She tried to scream. Tried to move her arms—she had to force the cold away from her—

She flung her arms out wide.

Frost shot out from all around her, spinning fine as a spider’s web. It spread up the chapel walls, crunching and cracking as it went, riming the icons and choking the candles Ravin had lit. Katza’s breathing eased and she felt a tide surging through her. She was one with the ice, letting it into her as she spun it from her, a perfect symbiosis.

Katza’s chest rose and fell as she admired the ice thickening into columns and pillars and intricate lacework all around them. With a command, she could pull it all away. But she wouldn’t. She had made this, and she was in control, and everything was beautiful.

A voice inside her sighed happily and whispered in her ear, Yes.

“Incredible.” Ravin was breathing heavily too as he approached her once more, stepping around a pillar of ice. His dark eyes danced, reflecting the sunlight-kissed frost. “You are truly in control of it.”

Katza tested, fingers twitching; a column of ice thinned, melting, then thickened again at her command. “I am. I can feel that power you were talking about, that well. It’s just below the surface. But it’s rolling through me, a give and take . . .”

“Yes. You are in control of your power. But I, too, am blessed by Saint Morozov.” He drew closer and raised his palm. Ice sheathed his fingers, glinting with the menace of steel. “Can you stop it when someone else is using that blessing? Can you melt it all away?”

Katza staggered back from him, but backed into one of the columns of ice. She tried to melt it, but it was one he’d created—she had no power over it. Frost fringed onto her clothing, her hair, her neck, as if the column were consuming her, swallowing her up. Again she felt that burn in her chest, crystals sprouting and slicing her up, but it wasn’t in her control. She couldn’t push it away.

“Careful, tsarechka.” Ravin laughed behind pressed lips. “Or I’ll make a martyr of you.”

Panic spiked through her, a shard of ice in the warmth of the saints’ gifts. “Please, stop!”

His face loomed before hers. Gray washed over his features; his lips were deathly blue. “You must stop me.”

Katza swallowed. She couldn’t. She would never be strong enough—but she had to. It was what Russalka needed.

It was what she’d been craving, all along.

Lindsay is the author of the young adult novels SekretDreamstrider, and A Darkly Beating Heart, and is the showrunner and lead writer for Serial Box's The Witch Who Came In From the Cold. Her work has appeared on Tor.com and in the anthologies A Tyranny of Petticoats, Strange Romance Vol. 3, and Toil & Trouble, and she has written for Green Ronin Publishing's RPG properties. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband and dog.
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1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card and 3 runners up will receive 1 ebook from Lindsay Smith’s backlist (winner’s choice)


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