Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday #138: Through The Dark, by Alexandra Bracken

This is a weekly event hosted by
It showcases future releases which
we book bloggers
are eagerly anticipating!!

Here's my choice for this week!

Through the Dark 
 (The Darkest Minds 1.5, 2.5, 3.5) 
Hardcover, 416 pages
October 6, 2015
Dystopian Fiction,  Science Fiction, 
Short Stories, Young Adult Fiction

Don't miss this breathtaking collection of stories set in the world of the New York Times best-selling Darkest Minds trilogy. Featuring ebook original novellas In Time and Sparks Rise, available in print for the first time, and a gripping, brand-new novella, Through the Dark is a must-have for fans of the Darkest Minds. This collection contains the three novellas mentioned above, as well as Beyond the Night, PLUS a sneak peek at the first novel in Alexandra Bracken's new series, Passenger.


Gabe's life has been devastated in the wake of the economic crash. The only option left for someone like him to escape his tragic past is to leave his small town behind and to attempt to become a skip tracer. This already almost-impossible task is made all the more difficult by his first "score,"a young girl who won't speak, but who changes his life in ways he could never imagine.


Sam didn't think things could get worse at Thurmond rehabilitation camp. Then the Reds arrive. Everyone assumed the kids with firepower had been killed years ago. Instead they were taken away, brainwashed, and returned as terrifyingly effective guards. To her horror, Sam recognizes one of them: Lucas, the one spark of light in Sam's dark childhood.

Lucas has a deadly secret--he beat the brutal training that turned his fellow Reds into mindless drones. When Sam defends herself against an attack by a vile PSF guard and faces a harrowing punishment, Lucas must risk everything to save her.


The government-run "rehabilitation camps" have been shut down, but kids with Psi powers are anything but free. Sam would rather be on her own than put in the care of a foster family and given the "cure"--a dangerous procedure that unclaimed kids across the country are being forced to undergo. But there's more at stake than just her own safety. Sam once made someone a promise, and the time has come to fulfill it.

Now that she's out of her camp, Mia only has one thought in her head: finding Lucas, her beloved older brother. She hasn't seen him since they were separated and taken to different camps years ago, before Mia even became Psi. When Sam, Lucas's childhood best friend, rescues Mia from the government's inept care, Mia learns that nothing is as simple as she thought--and the past that she's so desperate to salvage may not be possible to recover...

Why I'm waiting on this one!

This is part of yet another series I really
need to catch up on -- the Darkest Minds series!
While I haven't read it yet, I am
thrilled that these stories, which originally
appeared as e-book novellas, 
have here been gathered into print for
the very first time!!
Although I have been reading and buying
Kindle editions of late, I will still
and always prefer printed books, yes,
until the end of Time!!
I have to start adding this series to
my actual (not virtual) shelves,
and I might very well begin with this book!!

What do you think of my choice?
Leave your link below, so I can
come check out your pick(s)!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Christmas Kisses Cover Reveal/Blast/Giveaway!!

Christmas Kisses is a collection from five bestselling and award-winning authors. Set in the snowy town of Echo Ridge in upstate New York, these inspirational romances are sure to delight while you sip cocoa by the fire and listen to Christmas carols.

***Pre-order now for only $.99***

Win amazing books by each of the authors. Enter below to win!  Nine different books will be given to nine lucky winners!

  Christmas Makeover by Cami Checketts, 
Amazon bestselling author 

Chelsea Jamison has been infatuated with Drew Stirling longer than she's loved playing basketball, high-top sneakers, and the Knicks. Unfortunately, all Drew sees is the kid who kicked his trash in the high school free throw contest and not the girl whose heart breaks into a fast dribble when he's near. Drew makes an unexpected visit home to Echo Ridge and their friendship picks up where they left off as they scheme to make a teenage boy's Christmas dreams come true. When Chelsea realizes she's fallen for her best friend, she wonders if there is any hope of a relationship with Drew or if she's stuck in buddy-status for life. 

 The Candy Counter Heiress by Lucy McConnell, Amazon bestselling & award-winning author 

Someday Reese Gates will own The Candy Counter at Kenworth's, but someday can't come fast enough when the manager threatens to bring in a national candy provider. Reese secretly takes matters into her own hands hoping to save her parents from additional worry and prove herself capable of running the company. Her deception deepens as she ropes computer guru Andy Edwards into helping her expand the business. Reese wanted to shake things up, but she wasn't planning on her heart getting caught in the mix by Andy's stolen kisses. If she can hold it together until after Christmas, then she can reveal her successful online company and her feelings for Andy. Unfortunately for Reese, even the best laid plans can melt like chocolate. 

 Soda Fountain Christmas by Connie E. Sokol, Amazon bestselling author 

Keira Kenworth has one focus this holiday season: save her father's old-time department store from bankruptcy. She is not focused on Tayton Wells, the tall, dark, and genius marketing guru from downtown New York, hired to make it happen. He is as doubtful that her nostalgic connect-the-town ideas will succeed as she is about his numbers-first plan. However, it's not just their different approaches that cause sparks to fly. Working together on a fast deadline to save the store before Christmas, the unspoken connection between them grows. But will the tough decisions they face drive them back to their separate worlds, or will they lead to the beginning of love? 

 Christmas Makeover by Heather Tullis, Amazon bestselling author 

 Jonah Owens thought moving to Echo Ridge to open his art gallery would solve all of his problems. The need to sell his grandma's house adds an unexpected complication. It would be easier if his neighbor didn't have all those farm animals. Kaya Feidler's family has owned their land for nearly a hundred years--long before the neighbors were there. There's no way she's giving up the animal therapy business she's been struggling to make profitable. She gets a temp job helping Jonah in the gallery. Spending time together is a recipe for romance, but can they overcome their own hangups to be more than friends?  

Hope for Christmas by Rachelle J. Christensen, Amazon bestselling & award-winning author 

 Anika Fletcher hates Christmas--its promises of good tidings and hope for the future are as tinseled as the ornaments on Kenworth's Hope Tree. Despite her feelings, Anika wants to maintain her daughter's faith in the magic of the season and gladly accepts a second job working with the handsome Carlos Rodriguez to restore Kenworth's old-fashioned soda fountain. Carlos is no stranger to hard times and slowly shares his life of light and joy with Anika as they work together. Just as her fragile soul begins to feel hope again, an ill-timed act of charity changes everything. Anika isn't sure who she can trust or if hope is worth nurturing--especially at Christmas when it's easy to enjoy a kiss and believe love can last longer than the season.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Feature & Follow Friday #10: A Quote From My Current Read

Welcome to Feature & Follow Friday!!

This weekly hop is hosted by  
Rachel @ Parajunkee's View, and 
Alison @ Alison Can Read!!

You can find the rules at the links above.
Join in the fun and make new blogging friends!

Every week, 1 or 2 new blogs 
are featured!

This week's featured blogs
Books Are Life

One Book Two!

Here is this week's question:

Share a random quote from the book
you are currently reading.

Contributed by
Journey Through Fiction

A Court of Thorns and Roses
(A Court of Thorns and Roses, Book 1)
Sarah J. Maas
Hardcover, 432 pages
Bloomsbury USA Children's 
May 5, 2015
Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retellings, Romance,
Young Adult Fiction

I've just started reading this book, which everyone is simply raving about! Since I love fairy tale retellings, and the "Beauty and the Beast" story happens to be one of my favorites, I decided to check this book out. And now I'm greatly enjoying my very first Sarah J. Maas novel!

Right from the start, I was hooked. This is a vividly told story, with solid characters and a great writing style. 

I found this prose gem on page 3:

"Once it had been second nature to savor the contrast of new grass against dark, tilled soil, or an amethyst brooch nestled in folds of emerald silk; once I'd dreamed and breathed and thought in color and light and shape."

I just love the flow of words in this beautiful passage. The pictures Maas conjures, the interesting contrast between an image from nature and one from objects crafted by humans, make this sentence a special delight to read. I also love the idea of dreaming, breathing and thinking "in color and light and shape". 

Sarah J. Maas is truly an awesome writer!

Next Week's Question

Name a movie you would have loved to read as a book (that is not a book already, obviously).

Contributed by
Go Book Yourself

These are my follow preferences.
The links are in my sidebar.

 Be sure to visit the rest of the
participating blogs!!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Book Review: Eden's Creatures, by Valerie Zambito

Welcome to this stop in the
Eden's Creatures blog tour,
sponsored by 
Reading Addiction Virtual 
Book Tours!

For my stop, I'm featuring a review!

Eden's Creatures
Valerie Zambito
Kindle Edition, 208 pages
Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
July 2, 2015
Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, New Adult

Cal Taylor hates his life. A neglectful mother, an abusive stepfather, and town thugs all conspire to tear him down. But, he never could have imagined that his dreams of striking out on his own would take him to a whole different world.

When he stumbles into the mystical Faedin, he can’t help but be drawn to the beautiful girl who captures him. Stassi is everything he’s not. Confident. Strong. Ruthless. More animal than human really. Before he knows it, they’re caught in a dangerous struggle for survival and neither are prepared for the cunning of the serpent that slithers just out of sight.

Reviewer's Note
Although the tour company offered 
complimentary copies, I decided to buy my own, 
so I could put it on my Android phone.
(I have a Kindle app. on the phone.)

This novel is a very unique and creative take on the Biblical story of the Fall and the serpent, Satan, who is here known as Gai'tan. In this very imaginative novel, he's trapped underneath "The Tree That Will Not Die". If he gets free, it will be a terrible calamity for all of humanity....

Stassi's people, the Faedin, are similar to angels, as they have large, white wings. They are, in fact, the guardians of the human race. Theirs is a strange world governed by very primal rules, separated from the human world by a thin veil that can only be crossed under very special circumstances.

I really enjoyed the author's world-building! The Faedin really come alive, as does their beautiful world, and their purpose in the universe is one that is readily believable. There are several memorable characters among them, too, such as Julius, who is patient and kind, and yet, a very strong, determined leader, and Gilad, a warrior who is very jealous of Cal, as he is a rival for Stassi's affections.

Of course, the most memorable characters of all are Stassi and Cal. Their relationship begins in a rather abrupt manner, and Cal at first has a hard time adjusting to the Faedin ways. But Stassi enchants him from the very beginning, and it's clear right away that they're meant to be together.

What I especially like about their romance is that Cal never treats Stassi as anything but an equal partner (she's a future warrior, after all), and doing so does not negate his romantic feelings for her. In fact, he's a very sweet, sensitive young man, and it's his gentle love that awakens tender feelings in Stassi. They eventually participate in warrior training together, learning the necessary skills to fight the Fallen, who are demonic beings allied with Gai'tan.

Stassi's personality is an interesting combination of fierceness and yet, innocence. From the very beginning, even before Cal arrived in Faedin, she was intrigued by him, and felt empathy for his situation. He awakens feelings in her that she had never felt before. It was great to see her growing emotionally!

I also enjoyed seeing Cal grow in self-confidence as his body changed and matured. He's such a good guy! He's always thinking of others -- such as his endearing little brother, Landon -- before himself. He deserves someone who can love him totally!

There's some predictability in the first few chapters, as Cal is the typical downtrodden hero, bullied by his classmates, as well as his stepfather. It's when he meets Stassi that his life starts to improve, and the novel's originality emerges.

The pacing of the novel is a bit too fast at the beginning, in my honest opinion. I think the reader needs more time to get to know Cal and his family. More character development is therefore needed here. However, the pacing gets faster from about the beginning of the third part of the book to just before the epilogue -- there's a lot of action, with unexpected surprises, and so the more rapid pace is absolutely perfect.

The ending was explosive and had me riveted to my Android phone, as literally all hell broke loose. Just when it looked that all was lost, though, Zambito threw in a totally unexpected twist that not only took me by surprise, but also brought a big smile to my face. I can say no more without spoiling the entire story. Suffice it to say that it satisfied my romantic heart!

While this story is based on the Genesis tale, the author does her own thing with it, and a very interesting thing it is! The only real reference to the original tale is that the Faedin refer to every human male as "son of Adam". (Come to  think of it, since no human females interact with the Faedin, no "daughters of Eve" are mentioned, but that's fine; I don't want to split hairs.)

In spite of its Christian underpinnings, the novel is not in any way 'preachy'. It's just a great fantasy tale, with a fascinating variation on an ancient Bible story, and some sweet romance expertly mixed in.

The book reads like a YA novel, except that there are some aspects of it that would be better suited to older teens. There's a very romantic sex scene which is very tastefully handled. Nothing overly graphic, which is just the way I like it.

I highly recommend this book to lovers of fantasy and paranormal romance, as well as to those who love to speculate about the grand scheme of things. It's a great adventure, with an unusual romance, and an unforgettable villain you love to hate. Nor will you be able to forget the fierce yet innocent Faedin, whose destiny is so inextricably entwined with the fate of the human race. 


Heroic fantasy author Valerie Zambito lives in New York with her family. A great love of world-building, character creation, and all things led to the publication of her epic fantasy series, ISLAND SHIFTERS, in October, 2011. The first book in her paranormal fantasy series, ANGELS OF THE KNIGHTS, followed in 2012. Visit her website for all the latest information regarding upcoming projects.

To access the complete tour schedule,
simply click on the button below!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Lemorian Crest, by Hannah L. Clark: Mini-Review/Excerpt/ Giveaway!!

Welcome to the blog tour for
The Lemorian Crest,
sponsored by
YA Bound Book Tours!

I'm featuring a mini-review 
with excerpt,
and there's a tour-wide 
giveaway, too!

The Lemorian Crest
(Cobbogoth, Book 2)
Hannah L. Clark
Trade Paperback, 436 pages
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
August 22, 2015
Fantasy, Romance, Science Fiction,
Young Adult Fiction

After being raised from infancy in Boston, Mass., Noria (a.k.a Norah Lukens) has no idea what to expect upon entering New Cobbogoth, where she never would have guessed that paths of light can make you vanish; doors can lead to realms both near and far; myths and legends are actual history; a mere kiss can seal two souls as one, and, of course, a stone is never “just a stone". Her Uncle Jack’s stories never could have prepared her for the magical and dangerous place her native realm is turning out to be.

When the Gihara’s promises begin to crumble, her best friend and soul-mate Jamus (a.k.a. James Riley) is in more danger than ever. Then when his father Lylend abandons her to search for an ancient relic called "The Lemorian Crest" and she is taken captive by the very people she’s risked everything to save, Noria begins to lose faith in the Cobbogothian gods and the mission they sent her home to accomplish.

Only when a series of new friendships and loyalties are forged in the most peculiar of places, does Noria dare hope again. Hope for Jamus’s safety, for their future together, and for the survival of the entire Cobbogothian race.

Book 1, Uncovering Cobbogoth, was published in 2014 by Cedar Fort Publishing.

Amazon US/Amazon UK

Just from this short excerpt, I know I want to buy and read this book! The concepts introduced here are totally fascinating and mind-blowing. The characters are very engaging, and the world-building amazing! I like how Clark has interwoven fantasy and science fiction. Dark matter is a hypothetical scientific concept, first postulated by Jan Oort in 1932, then Fritz Zwicky in 1933. Vera Rubin again postulated it in the 60s - 70s, based on more solid evidence. So it's great to find such a creative use of this concept in a fantasy novel!
(Source: Wikipedia)

At her wit's end where James's safety is concerned, Noria and two new friends set out to rescue him. Before they can too far, they are intercepted by an old acquaintance -- a figure that Noria's friends believe to be dead. But Noria soon learns Totherma's interception is a godsend! She has a much less dangerous way to locate James.

Dark Matter Doors

Totherma waved her hand, and suddenly three circles of light appeared on the ground on either side of us.

"I've seen those before!" I said.

"Do you know what they are? she asked.

"They look like the Venn diagram," I shook my head. "But I don't know what they're called here. They just appeared before one of my visions of James. And was like -- well, I saw myself over there, but then I was here. It was like I was...."

"In two places at once?"


Totherma nodded, as though being in two places at once was exactly what she expected me to say. "These," she said, gesturing to the circles, "are a dark matter door. And yes, they are exactly what their name implies -- a door that opens a passage into dark matter."

"Dark matter?" I breathed. Samir, my old Physics tutor, had taught me about dark matter in our lessons. Dark matter was the space between space. Earth's physicists still weren't exactly sure what it was or did, but Totherma was most likely about to tell me. After being here a while, I thought I might already know.

"Is dark matter what you call the matter between realms?" I asked.

Totherma beamed down at me, like a proud teacher admiring her favorite pupil. "Yes. That and everything else. There is dark matter all around us right now; we just can't see it because it's in a metaphysical sphere."

"Like a spirit world?" I asked.

"Some in the Olden Realm have called it that. You may have also heard it referred to as the Fairy Paths, or the Underworld, or Ley lines. In a way it's all of those things. Right now, all you need to understand is that it's a way to get from one place to another very quickly."

"Like a hoption hole," I said.

Totherma nodded slowly. "Similar, but hoption holes can only be used within the sphere of a single realm. Dark matter doors have the ability to take you to different realms entirely."

"So James is in a different realm?" I asked, alarmed.

"I didn't say that."

"But if he was, a dark matter door could take me there?"

"Precisely." Totherma smiled. "The other difference between a hoption hole and a dark matter door is that you cannot through a hoption hole without your body, whereas with a dark matter door you can't pass through with it."

I realized what she was saying. "So the other day, when I saw myself in two places at once," I began, trying to wrap my mind around what she was saying, "it was because my soul had separated itself from my body?"

Totherma nodded.

I shivered in spite of the warm night. It was what I'd suspected that night in my neutralocite cell.

Finally, Totherma moved over to one of the circles of light. "Now watch carefully so I don't have to do this twice."

I nodded, keeping my eyes fixed on her.

She floated into the circle. As soon as she was directly over its center, she vanished.

I blinked at the circle. "Totherma? Totherma, where are you?" I called.

Can you hear me, Noria? It was Totherma's voice.  I jumped spinning around to find her, but no one was there.

I'm in your head, libkin. Traveling through dark matter allows me to speak to your soul.

I turned back to the circles of light. For the first time, I noticed there was a peculiar design inside one of the circles. It was simple, but elegant and something about it reminded me of the crop circles "aliens" left in barley or cornfields back in the Olden Realm.

I'd just completed the thought, when Totherma was back. She floeated out of the circle with the design, and hovered in front of me again.

"I apologize for not asking permission first," she said, "but I find the first time goes easier that way."

"I don't understand," I said. "Is this how you were able to meet Uncle Jack outside the Caves of Aegissida all those years ago?" A dozen questions flooded my mind. "Is this how you were able to help me stop Cifer from figuring out I had the Haven?"

"Yes. What you see before you -- this image of me -- it is not really me," she said. "Or I should say, it is not really my body standing before you. It is my soul, correct?"

I nodded.

"And my body is back in my own rodaor, safe and sound."

"But why not come in the flesh?" I asked, still confused.

"Because my body cannot pass through the dark matter. Only metaphysical matter can."

"Like the Dogrils without Cobbogothian bodies? I asked.

"yes, and if you still wish to see James," Totherma explained, "I can take your soul to see him through a dark matter door."

"Really?" I asked. "You can do that.....right now?"

"Libkin, I am the Opalian Eye; there is very little I cannot do." Her proud words hung in contrast to the self-deprecating twist of her mouth.

I smiled up at her. She gave all the appearance of a "Grand Lady", and yet, it was refreshing to see that she was able to make light of her power, in spite of her position. I liked her more and more.

"So how does it work?" I finally asked.

Totherma paused a moment, as though she was carefully mulling my question over. "Let's see, I could keep you here for years and years, trying to explain it to you, or, for the sake of what's at stake, I could just show you."

I hesitated a moment. I didn't love the idea of leaving my body here in the open while Totherma took my soul through one of these dark matter doors. But I closed my eyes, picturing James -- saw him writhing, broken and burning up as though I was right there in the room with him.

It was all I needed to make up my mind. "Show me," I said.

Totherma smiled and then reached out, as if to take my chin in her hand. "First, I need permission to help your soul out of your body."

"Permission?" I asked.

"Yes. Whenever a situation warrants it, I like to ask permission before I enter another's body. It is your body, after all. Only the Dogrils and Cifer invade others' minds and bodies so thoughtlessly."

"You have my permission," I said, my voice shaking a little. It was one thing for Totherma to randomly show up in my mind; it was quite another to wait, knowing that she would any second.

The first book in the series!

Hannah L. Clark lives with her husband and two children in the Rocky Mountains. She has always known she would be a storyteller. In 2006, she graduated from Utah Valley University with a bachelor's degree in English, and immediately began to write her first novel.

Uncovering Cobbogoth was Clark's first book in the seven-book Cobbogoth series, based on her mythological brain child, "The Legend of the Cobbogothians". It was released in May, 2014, through Cedar Fort Publishing. Book 2 in the series, The Lemorian Crest, was released in August, 2015.

Clark loves running, mythology, singing while playing the guitar, herbal tea, escaping into imaginary worlds, and being with her peeps. Like her heroine Norah, she also kind of believe that trees might have souls, but must clarify that she has never actually hugged a tree. The closest she has ever come to that kind of bizarre behavior was the time she hugged the pillars outside Harry Potter Land. Which, all things considered, is not bizarre at all, if you take into account how exquisitely happy she was to finally be there. ;-)

To access the complete tour schedule,
simply click on the button below!