Review: Ice Massacre by Tiana Warner

Ice MassacreIce Massacre by Tiana Warner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars (Really Liked It)

***Disclaimer: I received a copy in exchange for a review.***

Synopsis: A mermaid’s supernatural beauty serves one purpose: to lure a sailor to his death.

The Massacre is supposed to bring peace to Eriana Kwai. Every year, the island sends its warriors to battle these hostile sea demons. Every year, the warriors fail to return. Desperate for survival, the island must decide on a new strategy. Now, the fate of Eriana Kwai lies in the hands of twenty battle-trained girls and their resistance to a mermaid’s allure.

Eighteen-year-old Meela has already lost her brother to the Massacre, and she has lived with a secret that’s haunted her since childhood. For any hope of survival, she must overcome the demons of her past and become a ruthless mermaid killer.

For the first time, Eriana Kwai’s Massacre warriors are female, and Meela must fight for her people’s freedom on the Pacific Ocean’s deadliest battleground.

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Cover Reveal: Lifer by Beck Nicholas

M9B-Friday-Reveal

Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!

This week, we are revealing the first chapter for

Lifer by Beck Nicholas

presented by Month9Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

BNicholas_M9B_Lifer_1800x2700

Asher is a Lifer, a slave aboard the spaceship Pelican. A member of the lowest rung of society, she must serve the ship’s Officials and Astronauts as punishment for her grandparents’ crimes back on Earth. The one thing that made life bearable was her illicit relationship with Samuai, a Fishie boy, but he died alongside her brother in a freak training accident.

Still grieving for the loss of her loved ones, Asher is summoned to the upper levels to wait on Lady, the head Official’s wife and Samuai’s mother. It is the perfect opportunity to gather intel for the Lifer’s brewing rebellion. There’s just one problem—the last girl who went to the upper levels never came back.

On the other side of the universe, an alien attack has left Earth in shambles and a group called The Company has taken control. Blank wakes up in a pond completely naked and with no memory, not even his real name. So when a hot girl named Megs invites him to a black-market gaming warehouse where winning means information, he doesn’t think twice about playing. But sometimes the past is better left buried.

As Asher and Blank’s worlds collide, the truth comes out—everyone has been lied to. Bourne Identity meets Under the Never Sky in this intergalactic tale of love and deception from debut novelist Beck Nicholas.

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Title: LIFER
Publication date: December 16, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Beck Nicholas

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Excerpt

Chapter One
[Asher]

I mark my body for Samuai.
My right hand is steady as I press the slim needle into my skin. It glints under the soft overhead light of the storage locker, the only place to hide on Starship Pelican. Row upon row of shelving fills the room. Back here I’m hidden from the door.
It’s been seventeen days since Samuai passed. Seventeen days of neutral expressions and stinging eyes, waiting for the chance to be alone and pay my respects to the dead Official boy in true Lifer fashion. With blood.
The body of the needle is wrapped in thread I stole from my spare uniform. The blue thread acts as the ink reservoir. It’s soaked with a dye I made from crushed feed pellets and argobenzene, both swiped from farm level. The pungent fumes sting my eyes and make it even harder to keep the tears at bay. But I will. There will be no disrespect in this marking.
My slipper drops to the floor with the softest of thuds as I shake my foot. I raise it to rest on a cold metal shelf. Samuai always held my hand when we met in secret, but I can’t bear to examine those memories now. The pain of him being gone is still so fresh.
The first break of skin at my ankle hurts a little. Not much, since the needle is nano-designed for single molecule sharpness, and it’s not as though I haven’t done this before. Recently. The tattoo for my brother circles my ankle, completed days ago, a match for the one for my father. My memorial for Samuai had to wait for privacy. The blue spreads out into my skin like liquid on a cloth. The dot is tiny. I add another and another, each time accepting the momentary pain as a tribute to Samuai. Soon I’ve finished the first swirling line.
“Are you mourning my brother or yours?”
My hand jerks at the familiar voice, driving the needle deep into the delicate skin over my Achilles. Davyd’s voice. How did he get in here so quietly? I wince, clamping down on a cry of pain. No tears though. Nothing will make me disrespect Samuai. I remove the needle from my flesh and school my features into a neutral expression before I turn and stand to attention.
“Davyd,” I say by way of greeting. Despite my preparation my throat thickens.
My response to him is stupid because he looks nothing like Samuai. Where Samuai radiated warmth from his spiky dark hair hinting of honey and his deep, golden brown eyes, there is only ice in his brother. Ice-chiseled cheekbones, tousled blond hair, the slight cleft in his chin, and his gray eyes. Eyes that see far too much.
But he’s dressed like Samuai used to dress. The same white t-shirt and black pants. It’s the uniform of Officials, or Fishies, as they’re known below. He’s a little broader in the shoulders than his older brother was—to even think of Samuai in the past tense is agony—and he’s not quite as tall. I only have to look up a little to meet his gaze. I do so without speaking.
I shouldn’t be here, but I’m not going to start apologizing for where I am or his reference to my forbidden relationship with his brother, until I know what he wants.
“Is that supposed to happen?” He points at my foot, where blood drips, forming a tiny puddle on the hard, shiny floor.
His face is expressionless, as usual, but I can hear the conceit in his voice. I can imagine what the son of a Fishie thinks of our Lifer traditions.
Today, I don’t care. Even if his scorn makes my stomach tighten and cheeks flame, I won’t care. Not about anything Davyd has to say.
“It’s none of your business.”
One fine brow arches. Superior, knowing.
He doesn’t have to say the words. The awareness of just how wrong I am zaps between us. Given our relative stations on this journey—he’s destined to be a Fishie in charge of managing the ship’s population, and me to serve my inherited sentence—whatever I do is his business, if he chooses to make it so. He’s in authority even though we’re almost the same age.
In order to gain permission to breed, Lifers allowed the injection of nanobots into their children. These prototype bots in our cells give our masters the power to switch us off using a special Remote Device until our sentence is served. At any time we can be shut down. I’m not sure how exactly, only that each of us has a unique code and the device can turn those particular bots against us. It’s an unseen but constant threat.
I keep my face blank and my posture subservient, but my fingers tighten around the needle in my hand. How I long to slap the smooth skin of his cheek.
For a second, neither of us speaks.
“Your brother or mine?” he asks again. Softly this time. So low, the question is almost intimate in the dim light.
I inhale deeply, welcoming the harsh fumes from my makeshift ink. The burning in my lungs gives me a focus so the ever-present emotional pain can’t cripple me. My brother and my boyfriend were taken on the same day, and I’m unable to properly mourn either thanks to the demands of servitude.
I can’t let it cripple me. Not if I want to find out what really happened to Zed and Samuai.
“Does it matter?” I ask. Rather than refuse him again, I twist the question around. He would never admit to having interest in the goings-on of a mere Lifer.
“No.” His voice is hard. Uncaring. He folds his arms. “But it’s against ship law to deface property.”
It takes a heartbeat, and then I realize I’m the property he’s talking about. My toes curl because my fists can’t. I see from the flick of his eyes to my feet that he’s noticed. Of course he has. There’s nothing Davyd doesn’t notice.
It’s true though. The marks we Lifers make on our bodies are not formally allowed. It is a price we pay for the agreement signed in DNA by our parents and our grandparents. They agreed to a lifetime of servitude, and their sentence is passed down through the generations for the chance at a new life on a new planet. I am the last in the chain, and my sentence will continue for twelve years after landing.
We Lifers belong to those above us, body and soul, but no Fishie or Naut—the astronauts who pilot the ship—has ever tried to stop the ritual. In return we are not blatant. We mark feet, torsos, and thighs. Places hidden by our plain blue clothing.
If the son of the head Fishie reports me, it will go on my record no matter how minor the charge, and possibly add months to my sentence. A sentence I serve for my grandparents’ crimes back on Earth after the Upheaval. Like others, their crime was no more than refusal to hand over their vehicle and property when both were declared a government resource.
I swallow convulsively.
I don’t want that kind of notice. Not when we’re expected to land in my lifetime. Not when I hoped to find answers to the questions that haunt me.
The first lesson a Lifer child learns is control around their superiors. I won’t allow mine to fail me now.
“Did you want something? Sir?”
If there’s a faint pause before the honorific, well, I’m only human.
He lets it pass. “The Lady requires extra help at this time. You have been recommended.”
“Me?”
His lips twist. “I was equally surprised. Attend her now.”
The Lady is the wife of the senior Official on board the Pelican, and both Samuai and Davyd’s mother. She’s a mysterious figure who is never seen in the shared area of the ship. I imagine she’s hurting for her dead child. Sympathy stirs within me. I’ve seen the strain my own mother tries to hide since Zed died, and I don’t think having a higher rank would make the burden any easier to bear.
It’s within Davyd’s scope as both Fishie-in-training and son of the ship’s Lady to be the one to inform me of my new placement, but I can’t help looking for something deeper in his words. There should be a kinship between us, having both lost a brother so recently, but Samuai’s death hasn’t affected Davyd at all.
“Who recommended me?”
He shrugs. “Now.Lifer.”
I nod and move to tidy up, ignoring the persistent pain in my ankle where the needle went too deep. My defiance only stretches so far. Not acting on a direct request would be stupidity. I will finish my memorial for Samuai, but not with his brother waiting. It’s typical that Davyd doesn’t use my name. I can’t remember him or his Fishie friends ever doing so.
It was something that stood out about Samuai from when we were youngsters and met in the training room. It was the only place on the ship us Lifers are close to equal. I was paired to fight with him to first blood, and he shocked me by asking my name. “Asher,” Samuai had repeated, like he tasted something sweet on his tongue, “I like it.”
In my heart there’s an echo of the warmth I felt that day, but the memory hurts. It hurts that I’ll never see him again, that he’ll never live out the dreams we shared in our secret meetings. Dreams of a shared future and changes to a system that makes Lifers less than human.
When I’ve gathered the small inkpot and put on my slippers, I notice a smear of blood on the slipper material from where I slipped earlier. It’s the opportunity I need to let my change in status be known below.
“Umm.” I clear my throat. Please let the stories I’ve heard of the Lady be true.
“What?” asks Davyd from where he waits by the door, presumably to escort me to his mother. The intensity of his gaze makes me quake inside. It’s all I can do not to lift my hand to check my top is correctly buttoned and my hair hasn’t grown beyond the fuzz a Lifer is allowed.
“My foot attire isn’t suitable to serve the Lady.” I point to the faint smudge of brown seeping into my footwear. It is said by those cleaners who are permitted into the Fishie sleeping quarters that the Lady insists her apartment be kept spotless. She’s unlikely to be pleased with me reporting for duty in bloodstained slippers.
Davyd’s jaw tenses. Maybe I’ve pushed him too far with this delay. I hold my breath.
But then his annoyance is gone and his face is the usual smooth mask. “Change. I will be waiting at the lift between the training hall and study rooms.”
He doesn’t need to tell me to hurry.
He opens the door leading out into the hallway and I expect him to stride through and not look back. Again he surprises me. He turns. His face is in shadow. The brighter light behind him shines on his tousled blond hair, which gives him a hint of the angelic.
“Assuming it’s my brother you’re mourning,” his voice is deep and for the first time there’s a slight melting of the ice. “You should know. … He wasn’t worth your pain.”

 

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author

Beck-Nicholas-head-shot-248x300

I always wanted to write. I’ve worked as a lab assistant, a pizza delivery driver and a high school teacher but I always pursued my first dream of creating stories. Now, I live with my family near Adelaide, halfway between the city and the sea, and am lucky to spend my days (and nights) writing young adult fiction.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Giveaway

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Book Blitz: Kasadya Hellhound Series by Karen Swart

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Kasadya- Hellhound Awakened: Kasadya Series Book One by Karen Swart

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
Audience: YA/NA – 14 years and up.  342 pages

Publisher: Karen Swart
Cover by: Melody Simmons
Edited by: MAI-Editing-Services, There for you Editing Services&Blue Butterfly Editing

Book Description:  In a constant battle between good and evil, evil is dominating the battlefield and leading mankind to its destruction. With our Creator’s intervention, a creature destined to conquer and destroy is created. He gives mankind hellhounds to fight back and reclaim freedom.

Join seventeen year old Kasadya Levourne as she fights against evil to protect us. With each step, she faces destruction, and yet she has the talent to give it back tenfold. Stubborn and hard-headed she makes her mark in the Fallen world and starts a battle none can escape. Not even her trainer, the very attractive Chax de Luca, was prepared for her presence.

Will evil prevail? Or will Kas and her Fallen friends succeed in protecting us against it? Hold on to your seats, this is going to be one hell of a ride.

Special Note: The Kasadya Series should be read back to back as Books 1- 3 each end with a cliff hanger.

Find it at: Amazon / Goodreads / Smashwords

Prologue: There was a time when heaven was filled with peace and serenity. God, Jesus Christ, and all the Angels lived in harmony; no evil and no sin existed. Until one fateful day…
With all gathered to hear their Sire speak, God rose and addressed his Angels. Before all, he proclaimed His Son, Jesus Christ, was equal to Him. That Christ’s words should be obeyed as if they were His own. Christ would command the heavens, with the same authority as Him. All the Angels bowed down before Christ and accepted their Sire’s proclamation, all except for one…
An Archangel was furious with this proclamation. He was his Sire’s right hand, the deliverer of justice, the commander of many legions. He had served his Sire for centuries, and never failed him. It should be to him that God bestow power, not a Son whom had never even seen battle.
With his heart filled with hatred and jealousy, he gathered all the angels in secret. He told them that their days of sweet liberty were at an end. That God has now placed Christ as their ruler and that they should now obey his wishes. Many angels were angered at such a false statement, but many also agreed with the Archangel. He had led them for many years; why should they now question his leadership?
The faithful Angels fled to God and told Him what was happening, and together they prepared for war. With the sun rising on a new day, God and his Angels stood ready for battle against the Archangel and his followers. The battle only lasted a day, the Archangel and his followers defeated before the sun set for the night.
Seeing the angels on their knees before Him, He gave them one final chance… “Repent and declare your loyalty, and I will forgive you, my children.” He told his beautiful angels, tears falling with each word. This was His family. This was His love. How could they betray Him? Some of the Angels cried their penance, begging Him to forgive them for their deceit. They claimed that the Archangel deceived them, and they followed him into battle, as they have done for centuries.
God took pity on them, but still believed that their deceit must not go unpunished. He had spoken many times about the importance of punishment, that lessons learned must be earned… “I herewith grant you mercy, but as punishment you will be sentenced to an earthly realm. I will take your beauty as payment for my children lost today. In the place of your beauty, I will give you purpose. In mercy, and because I love you still, I give you life in this realm. Let this be known, that I was merciful this day,” God finished.
He placed them in an earthly realm, and called it Exsilium. In this realm they would carry their deceit, and earn their place with him. He took their beauty and replaced them with elements of his earth. Half would be of animal and element, and would resemble punishment. The other, in a humanoid form, and would resemble mercy. He called them his Fallen.
The Archangel, and those whom did not repent, were not that lucky. God looked into the eyes of His once faithful angels and only saw destruction, hatred, jealousy, and heartache. He knew that His beloved ones had died this day, and that others needed to be protected. But how could you destroy one you loved? He placed the Archangel, and his followers, in another earthly realm, but where Exsilium was above the earth, this one was in the center. With one wave of His hand, their beautiful forms were replaced with forms as ugly as their hatred and deceit. Using His word and blood, He sealed this realm from any other.
As He looked into the many eyes of hatred, He spoke his final word… “This realm will be called Hell, and you will be called demons. You, my once faithful Archangel, you will be called the Devil. Your angel name will be erased from the past, present, and future. You will be forgotten,” He proclaimed and left them to their demise.
Many years have passed since that day. God created mankind and cherished his new children. The male and female were his new hope; in them he would find peace again. But the Devil had grown strong through the years, and somehow managed to enter God’s garden. Here, he found the female God created, using her to strike back. He whispered words of deceit in her ears, and watched as God’s new children stepped into sin. With her first bite, a crack appeared in the seal around Hell, and demons escaped to earth.
From that day onward, the Devil and his demons created chaos amongst God’s new children, leading one after the other into sin. God looked upon this and decided to fight for his loved ones. He went to Exsilium and spoke to the Fallen… “You, my children, have proven your loyalty in the years that have passed, and so I came to offer you another chance at Heaven. If you slay the Devil and his demons to protect mankind, I will give you a place in my Heaven once again. With your last breath on this earth, you will join me and your brethren in Heaven,” He finished. The Fallen agreed and God gave them the power to move in and out of Exsilium to battle the demons. The war between Good and Evil began.
But as mankind spread over the earth, sin became their followers. And with each sin, the demons grew stronger and created more demons to torture mankind. The Fallen were now fighting against millions; they needed assistance to ensure victory. God had watched the battle from Heaven and saw that they were failing because of their numbers. He also saw that the demons grew stronger than the Fallen. He intervened and created a new creature. This creature would have features encompassing the best of both worlds. One half was as strong and loyal as the Fallen, while the other was as hard and enduring as a demon. This was His ultimate weapon. This would be His greatest creation. To ensure that these creatures could not be swayed, He placed Heaven’s soul into them. He called them His hellhounds.
The hellhounds delivered justice swiftly, as strong and just as the Fallen. Yet hard and durable like the demons, they conquered the earthly realm and the demons retreated. Not one hellhound could be swayed. All stayed true to their calling. God, knowing that the Devil and many more demons had retreated, gave His hellhounds life, and offered them a place among the Fallen.
Until this day they still watch over mankind, protecting them from evil. Will we be worth it?

Kasadya- Hellhound Twisted: Kasadya Series Book Two by Karen Swart

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Audience: YA/NA – 14 years and up. 251 Pages

Publisher: Karen Swart

Edited by: There for you Editing Services &Blue Butterfly Editing
Cover by: Melody Simmons

Book Description: She fought against all odds and became the warrior she was meant to be … or so she thought. In a world where the rules have changed, can she embrace her destiny and become the hellhound she was meant to be?

Kasadya is back in Exsilium and finds her world a little different. Her half-breed fallen friends join her, and they are ordered to complete their apprentice training in order to obtain the right to be guardians. She must learn that her own fate cannot be denied and that others are set to follow. But most of all, she must learn that to trust is the greatest battle of all.

The tables are turned and Kasadya is put to the test. Will she be able to prevent her own death, or that of a friend? Or will her actions call forth the destruction of Earth and Exsilium?

For a Phoenix to rise, it must first die. —Chax De Luca

Amazon / Goodreads / Smashwords / Barnes & Noble

Kasadya- Hellhound Born: Kasadya Series Book Three by Karen Swart

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Audience: YA/NA – 14 years and up.  235 pages

Publisher: Karen Swart
Cover by: Melody Simmons
Edited by: MAI-Editing-Services&Blue Butterfly Editing

Book Description: In a world filled with evil, the Fallen prepare for the ultimate battle against the demon world!

Kasadya is ordered to unleash her crazed born transformation to complete her divinity. But there is a chance that her born will be uncontrollable, and she will be destroyed. There is just one person that can save her; her charm, her destined mate. Left without a choice, she must surrender, and place her life in his hands.

In a race against time, the Fallen must stand together and fight the evil threatening to invade earth. If her divinity was in reach, victory would be theirs. That is until she starts having visions of the final battle, and her true destiny is revealed. She just found her love and place in the Fallen world; will she be able, and willing, to sacrifice it all?

Amazon / Smashwords / Goodreads / Barnes & Noble

Excerpt:

“Kasadya, don’t do this to me,” Chax spoke, using Corra.
I stopped completely and looked at him. Reaching for my necklace, I held it.
“I am so sorry, Chax. This is the only way; we can’t win any other way. I know; I have seen the end too many times,” I replied.
His face fell even more and he looked around, searching for a way out.
“I want to thank you… for being there for me. For searching for me when I went missing. For enduring all of my crap. I am sorry I messed up so many times. But not this time; this I promise. But most of all, thank you for loving me.” Even my mental voice broke down on the last part.
Chax started to scream and pound at the invisible wall, while others joined him. I looked at Nanini, shocked that she couldn’t get out.
“Take care of Max for me,” I sent to her.
Tears formed and ran down her cheeks, but she nodded.
“Kas, let us help you!” Lotan yelled. My friends, my family were still trying to save me. Tears ran down my own face now.
“I love all of you. Thank you for always being there for me.” Finally my mental voice began to a sob.
I turned away, afraid that the sight of them would stop me.
“Kasadya! Don’t do this to me. I beg you!” Chax yelled at me.
Demons were closing in around me, but my heart was so broken I just let the tears and heartache spill out of me.
“I am so sorry, Chax. Forgive me.” With that, I stormed forward.
I used my g-force punches to clear the masses out of my way. When that stopped working, I started shifting. Demons grabbed at me and some got in a slice or two. But I wasn’t stopping.
I saw Ballen trying to flee from me. He thought I was heading for him. Good. I needed him on the other side when I blew it up. Using my wings for momentum, I sent a massive g-force punch into the horde that remained between me and my target. They flew backwards, clearing the way for me to advance. I swiped at a few too close and took their heads. Blood sprayed all over me. Searching for the hole to make sure I was heading in the right direction, I saw the shoulders and arms of something freaking big, already beginning to breach.
I need to move faster!
I lifted up with my wings. They were tired, but I had no other option. Now I had the flying demons to contend with. We fought and sliced and I sent a few down to earth without a head. At last, I was advancing on the hole. Pain shot through my left wing and I tumbled to the ground, hitting hard. At the last moment I made sure that the front of my body hit the ground and not the back. Demons jumped me all at once. Ballen was yelling at them to stop me. I used everything I had left and flung out with my wings and arms. They went flying and just in front of me was the hole with the devil stuck in it. Ballen was standing at the entrance watching me, his face a mask of shock.
With a deep breath, I reached for the pouch and took hold of the balls. Now armed and ready, I just had a few feet to go. I stormed through the demons, not caring if they sliced me open. I wasn’t stopping for a fight anymore. I held the balls to my chest, sealing them from any other impact. Then, finally, I was at the entrance of the hole. With the last of my strength, I leaped into the air and went flying straight for it.
There were many things that go through your mind that moment before you die. I remembered my first step into Exsilium. Meeting Lada and Nanini. Meeting Chax and hating my first day. I remembered our fun at the beach, the Hellhouse and the grub spot. Seeing Lada and Lotan kissing for the first time.Meeting Max and Ryan, and then all of the rest. My heart no longer troubled by Kali or Seth or all the others who had betrayed me. I remembered finding Chax and the Fallen again. Seeing my parents again. So many memories bombarded me at that last moment. I remembered my day and night with Chax, and how it felt to be loved.
“I love you,” I sent a final message to him.
He was still screaming my name, begging for me to stop.
I remembered why I was doing this. For them I gave my heart, my life. Ballen’s shocked face was in front of me, right in my path. Just when I reached him, I dropped the balls and slammed into him.

Kasadya- Hellhound Defined: Kasadya Series Book Four by Karen Swart

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Audience: YA/NA – 14 years and up.  135 pages

Publisher: Karen Swart
Cover by: Melody Simmons
Edited by: Blue Butterfly Editing

Book Description:  For centuries his only reason for existence was to destroy evil. But when he finally found his mate, that all changed for the deadly Chax De Luca. When the hellhound Kasadya captured his heart, he surrended it to her, thinking he’d finally found what he’d been looking for. Little did he know that his mate would sacrifice herself to save them all.

His fury is legend. His wrath, merciless.His love for his mate, undeniable. He’s going to hell to retrieve his heart, and if that means that he must destroy hell itself, then so be it.

Kasadya awakes to a world in peril, her mate forever changed, and a war filled with evil creatures intending to enter Earth’s realm and destroy all that she holds dear. Can she complete her divinity in time to save her loved ones and mankind? Will she have to choose? Or will all be lost in the final battle?

The final battle is here, and with it, secrets are revealed and worlds are changed forever.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Smashwords

I am a complete book addict, and really proud of it. My entire world is made of books. From reading to writing to blogging to helping other authors. A day without my world of books would be impossible. I am a mother of three, two boys and a little princess. Happily married for 8 years with my high school sweetheart. I live in South Africa, just on the rims of the Kalahari Desert in a small town with one shop and friendly faces.

Connect with Karen at her: Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Blog / Amazon

Tour Wide Giveaway: Enter to win one of 5 E-Copies of The Kasadya Hellhound Series – Complete Edition or 1 $10 Amazon Gift Card

Bewitching Book Tour Host

Book Blitz: Confessions of a Teenage Rape Survivor

 
Welcome to the promo event for Holly Dae’s realistic YA fiction, hosted by IFB Tours. Check out the excerpt and giveaway below:
 
22754329Release date: October 16th 2014
Purchase:Amazon | B&N | IBooks | Kobo
 
Synopsis via Goodreads:
Before she was raped, almost sixteen-year-old Allison Sommer knew exactly what she wanted and was in total control of her life. Get through high school, go to college to appease her dad, somehow stay fit, lithe, and athletic through all the stress and become a professional cheerleader. Normal teenage stuff. Simple. At least it was simple before she was raped. 
 
Now Allison’s whole life is out of her control. She can’t trust in her own choices, can’t rationalize anything anymore, so she just goes through the motions, hoping that eventually she’ll go back to normal, can stop pretending. That doesn’t happen, especially when she’s forced to reveal what happened to her family and closest friends.
 
On the MTV commercials and reality shows that emphasize that she has nothing to be ashamed of and guide viewers to some website like don’t-be-a-victim.comand a support hotline, no one warns her that the aftermath is more difficult than the rape itself, that her family’s efforts to be supportive make her feel more alone and confused. 
 
And being raped has more devastating consequences than Allison ever imagined, forcing her to make one of the most difficult decisions she’s ever had to make. It should be a no-brainer, everyone says, but being raped makes Allison question everything and everyone she thought she could trust.
 
Either way, Allison won’t let anyone force her to do anything again, not like her rapists did, even if it makes her already difficult enough circumstance more difficult. Uncensored and unflinchingly honest, these are the confessions of a teenage rape survivor.
 
EXCERPT
 
 
“Are those your brother’s sleeping pills?” Gene asked.

Allison nodded. No use denying that.

Gene looked at her again, then at the pills, and then at Allison again. His eyes widened.
“Were you going to take all of those?” Gene asked in an incredulous tone. He didn’t wait for an answer, already having assumed the worst. “How many have you taken already?”
Allison opened her mouth to reply, forgetting that one of the pills was sitting under her tongue. Gene saw it as she started to try to explain.
“Oh shit! Spit that out!”
Gene reached across the counter to squeeze her cheeks and force the pill out her mouth causing Allison to have two instantaneous reactions. First, she spit out the pill. Second, she punched Gene straight in the jaw, which caused Gene to let go of her and grab his face.
“What the—”
Allison gasped as she shook her hand out. She shouldn’t have done that. She didn’t mean to do that. Gene wasn’t a rapist. Well, she hoped he wasn’t. The guy who asked her for directions to distract her didn’t look like a rapist either. Either way when Gene grabbed her so suddenly, she couldn’t help it.
“I’m sorry,” she said quickly.
“Are you insane? What is wrong with you?”
“I didn’t mean to punch you. It was an accident. I swear.”
Gene rolled his eyes, stilling rubbing his jaw. “Not the punch. I probably deserved that for scaring the hell out of you, grabbing you like that. I’m talking about those sleeping pills. That many of those things at once can kill you.”
Allison blinked. He thought…
“I wasn’t trying to commit suicide!”
“Could have fooled me,” Gene said sliding the pills off the counter and into his hand. He threw them down the garbage disposer.
“But I wasn’t,” Allison said, heart racing in panic. If Gene thought she was trying to kill herself, he’d tell her brother, and her brother would tell their dad, and she’d never be left alone, and she’d have to tell the truth. Then they’d make a big deal out of it and want her to report it to the police, and the police would want a description and account of what happened, and then she’d never be able to forget. “I just wasn’t thinking.”
“The hell you weren’t,” Gene snapped as he snatched the bottle with the remaining pills off the counter and put them in his pocket.
“I was just so tired and the bottle said one pill was mild and good for four hours of sleep, so I decided to take enough to knock me out for a day,” Allison tried to explain.
“Six pills would have knocked you out all right,” Gene said as he began to dial a number into his phone.
“What are you doing?” she asked apprehensively.
“Calling your brother,” Gene said and then cursed. “Damn it. I have his phone in my pocket. Do I have your dad’s number in my phone?”
Allison lunged for the phone. In all likelihood, he probably didn’t have her dad’s number, but she didn’t want to chance it.
“You can’t call tell them,” Allison said grabbing onto the phone.
Gene tried to pull it out her grasp as he said, “Sure. Not telling your brother and father that you’re suicidal is a great idea.”
“I’m not suicidal.”
“Says the girl who was about to take six sleeping pills,” Gene said getting the phone out of Allison’s grip and holding it out of her reach.
Allison all but tackled him into the counter.
“I told you!” Allison screamed, exploding in anger. “I’m tired! I just wanted to go to sleep without the nightmares! You can’t… You can’t tell them,” Allison finished, all her anger dissolving as a sob escaped her throat. She hadn’t even noticed she started crying.
She stopped trying to get the phone then, falling onto the floor as her body shook with sobs of fear at what Gene would do and anger at herself. When did she get so weak?


 
About the Author
Holly Dae is a recent college grad with a B.A. in English who, instead of putting on a suit to work at a desk 9-5 for five figures and a lifetime of misery and crushed dreams, decided to write YA novels about the taboos concerning contemporary issues like rape, abortion, drugs, teen pregnancy, and sometimes sex with the hopes that someone will pat her on the back and say she touched their life.

 

Book Blitz: Excerpts from Burden of Souls by Andy Monk

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the Burden of Souls coverTHE BURDEN OF SOULS BY ANDY MONK

Synopsis: 
Small Town, Dark Heart…

A long way from anywhere, on a road going nowhere, lays a small, unremarkable town. It seems a peaceable, prosperous little place, on the surface at least. Away from prying eyes however, in the shadows and the forgotten corners, there is a web being weaved through the lives of its inhabitants by the town’s urbane and mysterious Mayor. A man prepared to make a deal for your heart’s desire and, maybe, for your very soul…

Welcome to Hawker’s Drift, a town where nothing is quite as it seems…

Buy at Amazon.  Find it on Goodreads.

 

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Book Blitz: Tears of the Rose by Jeffe Kennedy (Twelve Kingdoms Book 2)

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The Tears of the Rose: The Twelve Kingdoms Book Two by Jeffe Kennedy

Paperback: 336 pages

Publisher: Kensington

Release Date: November 25, 2014

Book Description: Three sisters. Motherless daughters of the high king. The eldest is the warrior-woman heir, the middle child is shy and full of witchy intuition and the youngest, Princess Amelia, she is as beautiful as the sun and just as generous.

Ami met her Prince Charming and went away to his castle on the stormy sea-cliffs—and that should have been her happily ever after. Instead, her husband lies dead and a war rages. Her middle sister has been taken into a demon land, turned into a stranger. The priests and her father are revealing secrets and telling lies. And a power is rising in Ami, too, a power she hardly recognizes, to wield her beauty as a weapon, and her charm as a tool to deceive…

Amelia has never had to be anything but good and sweet and kind and lovely. But the chess game for the Twelve Kingdoms has swept her up in it, and she must make a gambit of her own. Can the prettiest princess become a pawn—or a queen?

Preorder at Amazon: ebook or paperback

Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author with a writing career that spans decades. Her works include non-fiction, poetry, short fiction, and novels. She has been a Ucross Foundation Fellow, received the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry, and was awarded a Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award. Her essays have appeared in many publications, including Redbook.

Her most recent works include a number of fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns; the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion, and an erotic contemporary serial novel, Master of the Opera, which released beginning January 2, 2014. A fourth series, the fantasy trilogy The Twelve Kingdoms, hit the shelves starting in May 2014 and a fifth, the highly anticipated erotic romance trilogy, Falling Under, will release starting in July.

She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.

Jeffe can be found online at her website, every Sunday at the popular Word Whores blog on Facebook, and pretty much constantly on Twitter.  She is represented by Foreword Literary.

Website / Blog / Facebook / Twitter

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Review: Mortal Kombat Legacy II

Mortal Kombat Legacy II officially drops tomorrow, picking right up where the first season left off and despite the many casting changes and slight shift in direction it doesn’t miss a beat. This season brings us Liu Kang, Kung Lao, Cyrax, Ermac and the younger Sub-Zero. Not appearing this year are Jax, Sonya, Shao Kahn, Baraka, Kano, Quan Chi and Queen Sindel. New actors for this season include Casper van Dien (Johnny Cage), Eric Jacobus (Stryker), Michelle Lee (Mileena), David Lee McInnis (Raiden) and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Shang Tsung).  All told you get ten episodes of high-octane enterainment.  Not to mention blood, broken bones, a few cuss words and lots of fatalities.

MK Legacy II is still full of the energy and spark that revitalized the franchise and continues to breathe new life into it. The gritty realism spin that superheroes, et al, undergo in this new millennium is exactly what’s needed: no more cartoonish stylings with a wink and a nod to the audience. Liu Kang is no longer the Noble Hero, instead portrayed as a borderline sociopath hell bent upon vengeance. Kung Lao is more akin to what Liu Kang’s character used to be- noble and self-sacrificing yet no longer living in Liu’s shadow. He’s the big brother in the relationship, and their conflict pushes Liu Kang towards the one person we’d never thought to see him with.

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Looking at the Bill of Rights – Part Four – First Amendment – The Amendment as a Whole

Originally posted on All Things Rabyd:

Ok, now that I have broken it down this amendment piece by piece, lets look at some of the issues it presents as a whole.  For me this is important because as a pastor I use these rights in this country fairly regularly.  I mean every Sunday it is the right to practice my religion without government interference. freedom of speech and freedom to assemble peacefully.  I personally feel church is supposed to be a place of freedom so I am glad to live in a country that echoes this.

The thing about these rights of the first amendment is that you cannot violate one for the sake of the others.  It does not make sense if you think you can indeed do this.  There is little points in saying a person has for instance the right to free speech but to maintain that right you have to violate others rights to practice their religion…

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Research: What Counts as a Source?

Originally posted on Writing Possibilities:

I’m enrolled in Rowan University’s Master’s in Writing graduate program. I’m currently working on my master’s thesis project, a project which represents the bulk of my final year’s work. The requirement of the thesis is a 30,000 word written work (or equivalent, as some students are pursuing research-heavy academic projects that will come in at lower word counts for the same amount of effort). The type of project is open-ended; some students are writing memoirs or nonfiction pieces, others are doing academic research, and others are writing novels. I’m using the thesis project to write the sixth book in the Arcana Revived series, following the stories of Gabby Palladino and Tock Zipporah, who made their debut appearances in my first novel, Manifestation.

Part of the thesis project, in addition to writing the novel itself, is creating an annotated bibliography of the sources that informed or inspired my work. In…

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