Cover Reveal: Concealed in the Shadows

 

I recently stumbled upon Clean Teen Publishing and some of their books. If you are fairly new to my blog, you may not know that I prefer clean books (little to no swearing and sexual content). I was excited to see that they have similar tastes. ;) They contacted me regarding posting a cover reveal and I was more than happy to do so.


Conceled in the Shadows by Gabrielle Arrowsmith
 
Sydney Harter has long awaited September 12th, 2033—her eighteenth birthday. She can finally apply for guardianship of her sister, who is her only family and entire world. She hopes they will be lawfully reunited, but is prepared to defy authority and risk everything to escape the captivity of Miles County so that they can be together.

Escaping will be difficult and dangerous. Citizens are bound to their county by sophisticated chip implants that deliver shocks to those who dare to cross the electric barrier. Sydney is very clever, but her trickery is limited against the all-seeing eyes of technology. Even if they were to survive the escape, disappearing into the forgotten forests and towns of the past seems an impossible task.

What Sydney doesn't know is that she is the particular interest of two opposing forces. With deceit, fear, and warfare surrounding her—can she trust the party that aims to help with her fight against the other? Can she open her heart to receive and return unexpected love? When her sister’s life becomes jeopardized, Sydney will have to weigh a new love against the only enduring love she has known. The cost could be deadly…

How will she choose?

  
 
 

Book Blitz: Taking Back Forever


 



TAKING BACK FOREVER
(Book 2 of The Kindrily series)
May 31st 2013 by Starry Sky Publishing



Forever is worth the fight.

Maryah erased all memory of her past lives, but she couldn’t erase her soul mate Nathan, or his undying love. Now, Maryah and Nathan have a second chance at a future together, but first Maryah must remember the person she used to be and embrace her supernatural gifts—more than one kindrily member’s life depends on it.

Maryah’s power is Harmony’s best hope of finding her kidnapped soul mate, Gregory. But Harmony isn’t big on asking anyone for help, and she’s tired of waiting, so she’s taking matters into her own hands. Heaven help anyone who stands in her way.
 





Excerpt from Taking Back Forever:

In the short week since Maryah’s momentary remembrance of him, Nate had come alive again. He smiled all the time. His eyes were brighter. I was happy for him, but it left me feeling more alone than ever. He had been my partner in suffering over our lost soul mates. But not anymore.

I gazed at the landscape of Sedona behind him. To myself, I could admit my jealousy of his and Maryah’s reunion, but I’d never say it out loud. “How’s it feel? To have her back after all this time?”

“I don’t have her back. She hardly remembers anything. But I don’t have to hide who and what I am anymore, or that I love her. She knows who she was and where she belongs. I’m patiently waiting for her to figure out who she is now, and what she’s capable of.”

“She loves you. I can see it.”

“I am ecstatically grateful for that. But I still feel the loss of her, of all the time we shared together. It’s like we’re getting to know each other for the first time all over again. We haven’t had to do that for hundreds of years.” His head drooped. “What if she doesn’t like what she discovers?”

“Oh, please. You two light up around each other. That girl is smitten, and so are you.”

His cheeks flushed. “It’s amazing how much more you appreciate someone after you’ve lost them. Her happiness means everything to me. I want to give her the world, the magical and beautiful one she can no longer see, but I worry that’s no longer possible."

"Give it time. If there’s one thing Mary proved over and over, it’s that anything is possible.”
 

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GRASPING AT ETERNITY
(Book 1 of The Kindrily series)
May 25th 2012 by Starry Sky Publishing

 
Leave it to Maryah Woodsen to break the one rule that will screw up eternity: Never erase your memories.

Before entering this life, Maryah did the unthinkable—she erased. Now, at seventeen years old, she’s clueless that her new adoptive family has known her for centuries, that they are perpetually reincarnated souls, and that they have supernatural abilities. Oh, and she's supposed to love (not despise) Nathan, the green-eyed daredevil who saved her life.

Nathan is convinced his family’s plan to spark Maryah's memory is hopeless, but his love for her is undying. After spending (and remembering) so many lifetimes together, being around an empty version of his soulmate is heart shattering. He hates acting like a stalker, but has no choice because the evil outcast who murdered Maryah in their last lifetime is still after her.

While Maryah’s hunter inches closer, she and Nathan make assumptions and hide secrets that rip them further apart. Maryah has to believe in the magic within her, Nathan must have faith in the power of their love, and both need to grasp onto the truth before they lose each other forever—and discover just how lonely eternity can be.

X-MEN meets MY NAME IS MEMORY in Karen Amanda Hooper’s latest young adult release.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Karen was born and bred in Baltimore, frolicked and froze in Colorado for a couple of years and is currently sunning and splashing around Florida with her two beloved dogs. She's addicted to coffee, chocolate and complicated happily-ever-afters.

Karen has been making up stories for as long as she can remember. In high school she discovered her passion for putting her thoughts onto paper, but it wasn't until her late twenties that she wrote her first novel. Due to her strong Disney upbringing, she still believes in fairytales and will forever sprinkle magic throughout all of her novels.

You can find Karen here:

 

GIVEAWAYS

Giveaway for an ebook bundle of Grasping at Eternity and Taking Back Forever (INT).


Giveaway for a Kindrily Prize Pack (US/Canada), which includes:
 
Paperback of Grasping at Eternity (Signed)

Paperback of Taking Back Forever (Signed)

Don’t Be a Luna-tic nail polish by China Glaze

When Stars Collide nail polish by China Glaze

Harmony candle handmade by the real life Krista who inspired the character Krista in the Kindrily series.
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday Favorites #5: Crown Duel and Court Duel


Friday Favorites is a weekly meme hosted here, that spotlights a favorite author, book, series, publisher, cover, blog, etc. Basically whatever bookish thing that you love, recommend, and want to tell others about. Just pick one and link up to my post each Friday to share. You can use the graphic I used above, the other one here, or your own.


I was looking through my favorite books to see which ones I wanted to give away for The Best Book Ever giveaway hop that begins Monday and came across this one:


Crown Duel
(Crown & Court #1-2 revised)
by Sherwood Smith
June 10th 2002 by Firebird (first published March 1st 1997)


Goodreads summary:
Young Countess Meliara swears to her dying father that she and her brother will defend their people from the growing greed of the king. That promise leads them into a war for which they are ill-prepared, which threatens the very people they are trying to protect. But war is simple compared to what follows, in peacetime. Meliara is summoned to live at the royal palace, where friends and enemies look alike, and intrigue fills the dance halls and the drawing rooms. If she is to survive, Meliara must learn a whole new way of fighting-with wits and words and secret alliances.

In war, at least, she knew in whom she could trust. Now she can trust no one.



I LOVE this two-in-one book! It includes both Crown Duel and Court Duel. I added it to my Goodreads shelf before I wrote full reviews, so I basically just have a one-liner on there. I will have to eventually write a full review after reading it again.

Why is it a favorite of mine? The writing is fabulous! The plot is original and exciting. I LOVE the characters, especially our main heroine and hero who are both very strong and likable characters. There is also some great banter and tension, which makes it an even better read.

I know it's a little bit of an older book (originally published in 1997), so if you've recently begun reading you may not have heard of it. I will say that I think it is definitely worth picking up and having a copy on your shelf. I've read several other books by the same author (not all of them are as clean as this one is), but this remains my favorite of hers. I'll continue reading her books because her writing, characters, and plots are all fabulous. To me it will remain one of my most favorite YA reads!

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About the Author
(from her website)

I was born in 1951 and recently retired after twenty years of teaching. I have been married for over thirty years. We have two kids, three dogs, (two of them rescues) and a house full of books. That's because my husband is a professor, and I studied history in graduate school, and we both love reading!

I started writing novels about another world when I was eight, but the work was so hard I switched to making comic books of my stories. (I actually began making little books when I was six and seven, out of paper towels taped together.) I went back to novel writing when I was ten, and I never stopped. I tried sending out my novels when I was thirteen. I typed them on a manual, and wow, did that take a long time, especially since I was (and am) a terrible typist. I got letters saying "We almost bought this…but;" and "Try us again!" but nothing sold, so when I got to college, I figured I needed to learn something about writing that I just didn't yet grasp. It took fifteen more years to gain some skill, but meantime I went to college, lived in Europe, came back to get my Masters in History, worked in Hollywood, got married, started a family and became a teacher.
I discovered that studying history was a good thing for an author. One begins to see how cultures are shaped, how people thought, acted, ate, and lived.

Is Sherwood Smith your real name?

Yes. That is, I was born a Smith, and adopted Sherwood when I started writing about that other world. (The gang of girls I wrote about had Sherwood as their last name—has nothing to do with Robin Hood. When I was little I had this vague idea that you couldn't change your last name until you were married, so I replaced the unwanted first name as my way of belonging.) All my contracts are signed with Sherwood Smith and my checks come made out to Sherwood Smith, so as far as I am concerned it is my real name. I can't help that it seems like a man's name—when I was eight years old, such things never occurred to me.

You can find Sherwood here: 
 
 

Have your read Crown Duel or Court Duel? If you have, what did you think? If you haven't, do you think you will?
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase of any type using these links, I receive a small kickback.

 

Book Tour and Dream Cast: The Battle for Princess Madeline


On Tour with Prism Book Tours...


The Battle for Princess MadelineThe Battle for Princess Madeline
by Kirstin Pulioff
156 pages
Published May 29, 2013

The Kingdom of Soron bustled with activity as preparations for the Fall Festival began. Lively merchants, hardworking farmers, and musicians eagerly awaited this event of harvest and joy. This year’s festival was even more important, as they celebrated Princess Madeline’s betrothal to her knight champion, Daniel. 

Celebration quickly turns to disaster as Prince Paulsen returns with curious demands, either Princess Madeline will be his, or no ones. Rejection turns to obsession and battle is declared.

In a tense struggle to decide her future, Princess Madeline must choose where to put her trust… in the king’s tried and true plan, the wizard’s cryptic messages and maps, or her own sense of bravery. Follow Princess Madeline on this adventure as she battles evil in an attempt to create a future of love and magic.




The Dream Cast

Part of the fun of reading a new book is discovering the characters and imaging them in your mind.  This is my dream cast for the Princess Madeline series, and who I envision playing the roles.  I hope you agree.
 

Princess Madeline was a fun character to create.  It was important to try and make her as realistic as possible, balancing out the hard and soft- her stubbornness with creativity, her defiance with vulnerability, and her rashness with intelligence.  For this role, I see Emily Rossum.
 

Every Princess deserves an equally charming and devoted hero and knight champion.  Knight Daniel has fought his way to the top, refused to give up hope, and travelled the kingdom to find his princess.  With his longer hair, his chiseled jaw, and his huge heart, this is a knight in shining armor.  Even this picture makes me swoon, Jared Padalecki, is the perfect Daniel.
 
The cornerstone to a wizard’s life is teaching, learning, and mystifying.  Elias the elder wizard may be a resource of information, but Emmett, the apprentice wizard wins us (and someone else) over with his charm and whimsy.  This picture of Adam Brody is exactly how I picture Emmett.
 
 
Sophia is a fiery character.  She is loyal to those that hold her heart.  As Princess Madeline’s oldest and closest friend, she has been the rock to support her adventurous spirit, while reminding the princess of her duties and responsibilities.  Smart and aware of her actions, she rarely makes a move without knowing the consequences.  Emma Stone captures her perfectly.

Waiting on Wednesday #13

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, Throne of Glass. It has a fabulous MC who is an assassin and a very good one at that. It also had some twists in it and I love it when a book can surprise me. I also didn't mind the love triange, which is so rare for me. So, I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on this second book:


Crown of Midnight
(Throne of Glass #2)
by Sarah J. Maas
Publication: August 27th 2013 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens


Goodreads summary:
An assassin’s loyalties are always in doubt.
But her heart never wavers.


After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king's contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.

Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king's bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she's given a task that could jeopardize everything she's come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon -- forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice.

Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?


Pre-order from:
   

I'm curious what or who the "more dangerous forces" are. I know about the king and the issues there, but this sounds like a new threat. Doesn't this sound good? I also love the cover! What do you think? Did you read Throne of Glass? Will you be reading this?








Disclosure: This post contains a link to an affiliate program. If you make a purchase of any type using this link, I receive a small kickback.

Book Tour, Review, and Giveaway: The Tale of Mally Biddle

 
mally biddle



The Tale of Mally Biddle
by M.L. LeGette

When Mally Biddle agreed to spy upon the King of Lenzar and his overbearing knights she knew she was heading into danger. She didn't know she'd find a family unlike any other. Posing as a servant in Bosc Castle, Mally serves tea and tends fires for the most dangerous men in the kingdom. Her goal is to learn the truth of what happened sixteen years ago, when the infant princess met her death ... a death that is surrounded by more questions than answers. Along her search for the truth, Mally meets the energized Lita Stump, the strict and matriarchal Meriyal Boyd, and the opinionated Archibald Diggleby. Then of course there are the knights: Leon Gibbs who is slicker than a greased hog, Adrian Bayard, hot tempered and violent, and the worst of the lot: Sir Illius Molick, Captain of the Knights. And then there is Maud, a mysterious woman who just might know everything...

 
 
My Review
 
I am so glad that I signed up for this tour! I would have probably never picked this book up otherwise, at least not for some time. I have to say that I really enjoyed reading this! From the first chapter, I knew I would.
 
The writing was really good. The author gives you some descriptions, but the characters and surroundings mostly come alive as Mally's story is told. I also loved that the author gives you hints or partial descriptions of some things (i.e. the conspirators in murdering the queen and king), but not exact details so that you have to guess a little. It adds a little suspense. I figured a lot of things out early on, but didn't know the journey the story would take toward its conclusion.
 
I really liked the characters! Mally was fabulous! She was a realistic teenager, but was true to her background. I got a little frustrated with her in a few spots because she was so naive and trusting, but this did fit in with the way she was raised and her experiences up to those points. Basically I just wanted her to make a different choice. You know as you're reading and you're trying to tell the character "Don't do it!" "Think first!" So silly. I also really liked the other characters. There is a slue of them and they are all individual and strong enough that I wasn't confused who was who and the role they played. So well done!
 
I also really liked the plot. It is a sweet story and somewhat of a fairy tale. I did wish there had been just a little bit more romance and maybe some more conversation/development at the end, but that would be all. Overall, this was a very enjoyable read for me! I will definitely be looking up this author's other book and reading her books in the future.
 
If you enjoy historical or medieval fiction, with knights, a castle, and a hidden princess, then definitely pick this up!
 
 
Praise

"To say I loved this book is an understatement. Mally is a wonderful character and she encounters so many quirky folks on her assignment. Very well written and engaging story! And an added bonus of a love triangle! I enjoyed it from beginning to end!! I will definitely be looking for more from this author!" ~April Holgate  



Author Melissa LeGette

Melissa LeGette lives in Georgia where she helps run a family farm, so her nails are a fright. The Tale of Mally Biddle is her second novel.
 
 
 
 
Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 6/5/13

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Review: To Dance in Liradon

To Dance in Liradon
by Adrienne Clarke
YA Fantasy
September 19th 2012 by Soul Mate Publishing
Source: From author for review


Goodreads summary:
Seventeen-year old Brigid O'Flynn is an outcast. A chance encounter with the Faerie Queen left her tainted in the eyes of the villagers, who blame the Faerie for the village’s missing women and children. Desperate to win the village’s acceptance Brigid agrees to marry her childhood friend: Serious, hardworking, Connell Mackenna. But when Connell disappears before their wedding Brigid's hopes are shattered. Blamed for her fiancĂ©’s death, Brigid fears she will suffer the same fate as the other village outcasts, the mysterious Willow Women. Lured into Liradon by their inhuman lovers, and cast out weak and broken, the Willow Women spend their lives searching for the way back into Faerie. When Connell suddenly reappears Brigid is overjoyed, but everything is not as it seems. Consumed by his desire for beauty and celebration, Connell abandons his responsibilities, and Brigid soon finds herself drawn into a passionate, dangerous world of two.

When Brigid discovers the truth behind Connell's transformation she’s forced to choose between two men and two worlds. Brigid’s struggle leads her into glittering, ruthless Liradon where she must rescue her true love from a terrible sacrifice or lose him forever
.


What I thought:
I never know what I'll find when I review an Indie book. I have read some that have had a good premise, but no execution and lots of grammar and spelling issues. Those just frustrate me. I had seen To Dance in Liradon positively reviewed on another blog, although I can't remember where. When the author asked if I would review it for her and that it was clean, I was more than happy to do so.

I have to give kudos to the author. There are some missing words here and there, but nothing that you don't find in main stream published works as well and they didn't distract from the story. The writing flowed nicely, making it easy to read and get into the story. Her characters were also fairly well flushed out.

My favorite characters were actually Connell and the faerie prince. They each had strong roles and characters. They are also completely different from each other, so it was a nice contrast. I liked Brigid, but she frustrated me at points when I felt she should have been more confident and follow through on a decision. She was so easily misled at parts and succumbed at others when I didn't want her to. Although, I guess that is the way it normally goes when you're dealing with faeries.

I really liked the story-book world Clarke created. She did a great job of describing it through the characters and their experiences. There are a lot of contrasts: between the various members of the town, the lord and lady of the manor and their servants, the outcasts (Brigid and the Willow Women), and the faeries.

If you love tales about faeries, then I would recommend picking this up! Currently it is available as a Kindle book for $2.99.

Content: There is some suggestive content, where you know what went on, but there are no details.

 
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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase of any type using these links, I receive a small kickback.

Book Tour and Review: The Siren's Secret





The Siren's Secret
(The Shapeshifter's Secret #2)
by Heather Ostler
YA Fantasy/Paranormal
June 11th 2013 by Cedar Fort
Source: From author for review for tour



Goodreads summary:
Julia’s life has gone from complicated to nearly impossible! When Julia loses her shapeshifting powers and her appearance changes in alarming ways, she flees to Sirenity, where she learns an incredible secret about her mother. In this thrilling sequel, Julia must take greater risks and make bigger sacrifices as she discovers who she really is and what she can really become.

What I thought:
I didn't read the first book in this series, but I didn't feel lost at all reading this. There were a couple of things that I know I missed out on, but the author gives quite a few reminders about what occurred in the last book.

I thought this was a very interesting fantasy world. There are various types of beings, although the ones that I remember are the sirens, werecats, and the water nymphs. The story begins with Julia, her father, and some soldiers hiding away in New York, but when they feel it becomes unsafe they move back to the school where Julia will be attending soon anyway and where she can be safe. Most of the story takes place here as well as an island where the Siren's live. I liked the contrasts between the places and that Ostler doesn't give so many descriptions that it overwhelms the story.

Julia is definitely a teenager! There is plenty of drama! A couple of times I was a little confused because I thought she had thought or decided one thing, but would go in a different direction. I really liked Sierra and Gabe, Julia's friends. They were very supportive and loyal. There is a love triangle involving Terrence (Julia's boyfriend) and Caleb (who wants to be her boyfriend). I didn't completely love either guy, but I would say that I liked Terrence the best. I won't say who Julia chooses.

There are a couple of things that are definitely unresolved and I'm guessing that a certain evil lady will make another appearance in the next book. I really appreciated that this was a clean read. :)
 
 
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About the Author

Heather Ostler grew up near the mountains with a rambunctiously entertaining family. She majored in English at Utah Valley University and soon began composing stories about masquerades, water nymphs, and shapeshifters. She and her husband, Kellen, reside in Highland, Utah with two remarkably pleasant pugs.

I like fortune cookies, lucky pennies, shooting stars, and implausible coincidences. I’m always cold and have at least 5 different flavors of hot cocoa on hand at all times. I’m a sucker for happy endings and like to eat dessert first. I think Muppets Christmas Carol is one of the best movies ever, along with The Parent Trap. English accents, cloudy days, and family inside jokes make me smile. I am a writer, and I love finding inspiration in art, music, nature, seasons, and relationships.

You can find Heather here: