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Friday, 31 May 2013

Book Blitz ~ Taking Back Forever by Karen Amanda Hooper {Giveaway}


Welcome to the Book Blitz for

Taking Back Forever

by Karen Amanda Hooper

hosted by XPresso Book Tours

Taking Back Forever

by Karen Amanda Hooper 


Series: Kindrily Series #2
Release Date: May 31, 2013
Publisher: Starry Sky Publishing


Synopsis


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.


“Every lifetime,” he continued, “each body has been different. It’s always a challenge to relearn you, but I enjoy each and every drawn out moment of it, and in the past, you did too.” He kissed the crook of my arm and my breath caught. I didn’t even know people kissed each other there, but it should be on way more top ten lists.

As enchanting as Nathan’s words were, it was still hard for me to comprehend that I had lived in other bodies. He set my arm down and I forced my eyes to open. “What was your favorite version of me?”

“What do you mean?”

I spun my ring around my thumb, avoiding eye contact with him. For some reason it was easier to talk about it if I wasn’t looking at him. “I’m sure I was prettier and sexier in my other lives. Is there a past version of me that was your favorite?”

Nathan put the book on the nightstand and adjusted so he was sitting directly facing me. “Let me explain this again. It’s your soul I’m in love with. The package it comes in makes no difference to me. Your inner beauty and the energy of your being are what attract me to you.” He touched my cheek then his fingertips drifted down my neck and shoulders. “But to answer your question, this is my favorite version of you.”

Book 1 of The Kindrily Series 



About The Author

Karen Amanda Hooper 



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.






~ Giveaway ~

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Thursday, 30 May 2013

Cover Reveal ~ Angels of the Knights: Nikki by Valerie Zambito {Giveaway}

Angels of the Knights - Nikki (Book 3)
Coming Soon!

Summary not available yet...
***

Angels of the Knights - Fallon 

Summary from Goodreads:
When Fallon Angell died at the age of sixteen, her life changed forever.

The hallowed world of Emperica is everything she had ever hoped for as a mortal—immeasurable beauty, unconditional love and light. But, with affection for humankind still burning within her, she joins the Knight Caste to train as an angel warrior. As a Knight, she will give up her wings and return to the place that killed her to use her unique powers to search out and destroy the evil Kjin that roam the earth. As a Knight, she will stop at nothing to protect the mortals in her care.

The elders warn her that the path she chose will be a solitary one. That she will not have the same bond with humans as she once did. But, as far as she knows, the elders had never met Kade Royce.

When her duties place her in the path of this handsome former cop, emotions buried long ago rise to the surface and she is powerless to ignore the depth of her feelings for this young man. She knows instinctively that she has found what most people search their entire lives for.

Ignoring the risks, she invites him into her world of danger, but soon their lives collide with explosive consequence. As a result, Fallon realizes with heartbreaking despair that she can no longer hide from the painful truth. In order for Kade to live, she must destroy him.


E-book is currently free!
 photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg  photo 111AD205-AA04-4F9E-A0F4-C1264C4E9F30-1855-000001A1E8CEB6D7_zps9b730b94.jpg


Angels of the Knights - Blane 
(Angels of the Knights #2)

Summary from Goodreads:
Once the hunter, now the hunted. As the war with the Kjin rages, Blane Romero must lead the Paladin Knights against their mortal enemy while trying to protect the young, Juliet Hunter, who unwittingly finds herself entangled in their sinister schemes. Juliet cares only about shielding her young sisters from harm, but finds herself drawn to the enigmatic man who offers her much more than either he or she was prepared for.

Ostracized by the families they loved, Blane and Juliet find they have more in common than they thought as they battle demons both real and personal to stay together. But, will it be enough when the powerful Cesar Grant decides he wants Juliet for his own?

Book Two in the Angels of the Knights paranormal fantasy series.



Buy Links:
 photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg  photo 111AD205-AA04-4F9E-A0F4-C1264C4E9F30-1855-000001A1E8CEB6D7_zps9b730b94.jpg


About the Author
Thank you for visiting my Goodread's profile. I am Valerie Zambito, and I live in upstate New York with my husband and three sons. After having been involved in a busy sales career for fifteen years, a great love of world building, character creation, and all things magic led to the publication of my first adult epic fantasy series, ISLAND SHIFTERS, in October of 2011. Since then, I have added two additional books to this series and wrote the first book in a new teen paranormal series called ANGELS OF THE KNIGHTS.

My reading preference is fantasy as well and I devour in copious amounts. In my opinion, there’s nothing like it! Great fantasy grants us entry into a world beyond our own that is filled with adventure, mystery and danger. How exciting to enjoy a front row seat to human struggles of epic proportions. Struggles that tug at our heartstrings and elicit real emotion.

I gravitate to fantasy with heroic elements. I like strong, confident men who never back down from a fight against evil. The kind who will not hesitate to throw himself between a woman and a fire-breathing dragon. I like strong women, too. The kind who will appreciate the offer, but is more inclined to push the man out of the way and take care of the dragon herself. ;)

***GIVEAWAY***
(1) Print or e-book copies of books 1 & 2 in this series plus $25 Amazon Gift Card
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This event is presented to you by 

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Blast ~ Night Chill by Jeff Gunhus {Giveaway}

From the author of middle grades spine-chilling horror series The Templar Chronicles comes a supernatural thriller for his adult fans


Night Chill

by Jeff Gunhus


Publication Date: May 12, 2013
Publisher: Seven Guns Press
Genre: Adult Paranormal Thriller


Synopsis


Emotionally scarred from a car accident in which a little girl was killed, Jack Tremont moves his family from Southern California to Prescott City in the quiet mountains of Western Maryland. At first, the small town appears to be the perfect place to reconnect with his family and to cure his troubled conscience, but Jack soon discovers he has left one nightmare only to walk into another. When a stranger who has been struck by lightning dies in Jack's arms, a child's voice comes from the man's smoldering body to issue a warning:  

They're coming for your little girl, Jack. . . you better run. Take your family and run. 

The warning turns prophetic when a local cult targets Jack's five year-old daughter Sarah and Jack finds himself in a fight against dark, supernatural forces that he cannot begin to understand. With the help of a mysterious Native American, Jack uncovers more than just a conspiracy that extends into the small community, but an ancient mystery larger than anything he could have imagined. Suddenly, he's not only fighting for his family, but also to stop a devastating evil from escaping into the world. Above all, he must rush against the clock to save his little girl.


"Gunhus delivers a taut supernatural thriller...all the chops of an action-packed horror tale." - Kirkus Reviews


Learn more at JeffGunhus.com

Buy the book at Amazon!

Night Chill

Enter the giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card & Signed Paperback


a Rafflecopter giveaway

A GWR Publicity event paid for by the author. Giveaway is sponsored by the author.

Review ~ Prophecy Girl by Cecily White

Prophecy Girl

by Cecily White


Series: Angel Academy #1
Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Source: Publisher


Synopsis


Amelie Bennett. . . . Ending the world, one prophecy at a time. 

I was born to slay Crossworld demons. 

Big black flappy ones, little green squirmy ones. Unfortunately, the only thing getting slain these days is my social life. With my high school under attack, combat classes intensifying, and Academy instructors dropping right and left, I can barely get my homework done, let alone score a bondmate before prom. 

Then he shows up. 

Jackson Smith-Hailey. Unspeakably hot, hopelessly unattainable, and dangerous in all the right ways. Sure, he’s my trainer. And okay, maybe he hates me. Doesn’t mean I’ll ignore the wicked Guardian chemistry between us. It’s crazy! Every time I’m with him, my powers explode. Awesome, right? 

Wrong. 

Now my teachers think I’m the murderous Graymason destined to bring down our whole race of angelbloods. Everyone in New Orleans is hunting me. The people I trusted want me dead. Jack and I have five days to solve the murders, prevent a vampire uprising, and thwart the pesky prophecy foretelling his death by my hand. Shouldn’t be too difficult. 

Getting it done without falling in love. . . that might take a miracle.

Paperback Princess Review 



Prophecy Girl by Cecily White is an edge-of-your seat, nail-biting, action packed novel that had me sitting through the wee hours of the night trying to cram as much of the story into my reading time as I could. I couldn't flip through the pages fast enough as each surprising revelation came one after the other. Cecily White had me hooked from beginning where we went straight into demon slaying mode! Add that to the beautiful cover, the promise of a prophecy (I love stories with prophecies) and a major kick-ass heroine with attitude, sarcasm and wit, I was just sold.

Amelie Bennett and Jackson Smith-Hailey are both Guardians, Guardians are descendants of angels, brought to Earth to fight the demons to keep the innocent safe. When the pair meet there is an unexplainable connection between them. Whilst Jack seems to ignore this magnetic connection and chooses to pull away from her at every turn, Amelie is determined to find out why she feels this way about him, but that must take a back seat when Amelie is wrongly accused and convicted of the murders that was taking place at St Michel's Academy. Now the both are fugitives and they must ensure that they aren't caught before they figure out who are behind the murders and the truth behind the prophecy that seems to glue them together. What the pair didn't realise was that both problems seemed to intertwine together and by solving one they would have solved the other.

I really enjoyed the characters within the book. Amelie is not your usual likeable heroine, some readers may even dislike her for her sarcasm and attitude but I liked her and I found her wit, sarcastic remarks and carefree attitude to be quite refreshing. There was quite a lot of her dialogue where I just laughed out loud. Despite these traits she was a strong heroine that fought till the end for the right. I was also amazed with how well she took all the shocking and life-changing news throughout the book, this really showed me her internal strength as a character.
The next day, I gave him some animal crackers out of my lunch to say thank you. He smiled this awesome, crooked smile, then bit the head off each animal cracker, one by one. That's how he gave them back to me, slobbery and decapitated.

Jack was not my favourite character at the start, whilst he was swoon worthy and heroic from the beginning, he was also confusing and threw a lot of mix signals to Amelie, which in turn confused me as a reader. However, as the book progressed and he manifested the true Jack with his guard down I fell in love with him and really loved the interaction between them too. It would seem to some readers that Amelie and Jack had instant-love but I personally felt this at the beginning, but as the story unraveled and we are provided with the history and the truth, I understood and did not feel that they had the annoying instant love that most YA novels have today. They are definitely going into my favourite couple list.
I wrapped my legs around his waist and inhaled deeply. As usual, he smelled amazing. 
"Are you sniffing me?"
"No" I lied. "That would be weird."
Speaking of characters, this is where I felt the Author really excelled in. Her characters, not just Jack and Amelie but those around them was well written, really likeable and they each had depth and character. Each of her characters were entertaining and loveable in their own way. My favourite secondary characters included Bud, Amelie's Father, Henry, one of the Faculty workers at St Michel's who helps Amelie and Luc, Jack's "cousin".

My rating doesn't do halves so I had to give it a 4 despite my original rating to be 4.5. I gave it a 4.5 and not a 5 because I didn't get enough explanation into the whole bonding, Channeller vs Watcher, just more background info/history, just so I could understand what's happening more. However, I find this is the case for most "first books" in a series but the lacking part is provided in consecutive books, so White has time to redeem herself in this department.
I'd barely made it past the Guardian monthly feature, Ten Ways to Romance your Watcher...
Prophecy Girl is a heart stopping story which was not only entertaining but exciting and explosive all rolled into one. There was not a part in the book where I wasn't holding my breath awaiting for the next charged manifestation. Prophecy Girl is not for the faint hearted, its one of the books that you want to skip to the end to see what's going on because you simply just can't wait to see what's going on, but be patient and don't wreck the surprise. I absolutely loved how White progressed with the story, there was not a boring part throughout. The story didn't simply redeem itself at the end, which many stories do, the story was terrific from beginning, to middle through to the end. The love story had me enthralled and definitely swooning, but most of all laughing at their interaction. I am eagerly anticipating book 2 in the Angel Academy Series and I certainly hope it lives up to Prophecy Girl's high expectation.


Cover Reveal ~ Steel Lily by Megan Curd


Steel Lily 

by Megan Curd

Series: The Periodic Series #1 
Expected Release Date: Fall (US) 2013
Publisher: Raven Key Press 
Genre: YA Dystopian/Steampunk
Cover Designer: Regina Wamba from Mae I Design



Synopsis 


AVERY PIKE is a commodity. No, more than a commodity. Her existence is guarded at all costs. 

She’s a water Elementalist, the strongest of her dwindling kind. She creates steam to provide energy to fuel Dome Three: the only thing standing between humanity and an earth ravaged by World War III. No steam, no Dome. No Dome, no life. 

Or so she thinks. 

That is, until a mysterious man offers her a way out of having to donate steam. A way to escape the corrupt government of Dome Three. While the offer seems too good to be true, Avery is intrigued. 

But when she arrives to her new home, she realizes the grass isn’t any less dead on this side of the fence. Instead, the lies are just hidden better. 

…Which means digging deeper. 

When Avery enlists the help of her friends to uncover the truth, it may make her wonder if she was better off being a government tool than searching for freedom. 

Some secrets are better left concealed, but humankind was never meant to live in a cage. And when you can control the most sought after resource, you can learn to control anything…including the fate of your world.

About The Author 

Megan Curd 



Megan began her journey into writing as a college junior during winter finals at the encouragement of a friend. What resulted was Bridger, Megan's first full-length novel. Since then she has written the second book in the series, Traitor, and a stand-alone novel (which will hopefully become a series!) called The Guardian Chronicles: Forbidden. 

When not writing, Megan enjoys spending time with her husband, son, and Great Dane, aptly named Dozer. She enjoys snowboarding, playing xBox, and crocheting. Music is a huge part of her life and drives her writing. Her favorite bands are Muse, Bon Iver, Florence + the Machine, and The Civil Wars. 

Megan resides in Kentucky, near two of her writerly tweeps Hope Collier and Beth Isaacs, and swears it's Hope's fault she's living in the land of the banjos, but wouldn't have it any other way.




Monday, 27 May 2013

Tour ~ The Golden Couple by Stephanie Karpinske {Giveaway}


Welcome to my tour stop for

The Golden Couple

by Stephanie Karpinske

hosted by ATOMR Tours

Please follow the remaining stops: tour schedule can be found here or by clicking on the tour banner

I'm so excited to participate in The Golden Couple's tour as I participated in a book blast for the first book in the series, The Samantha Project, click here for more info on book 1. A Chosen Destiny, book 3, was also released last month, so for those that haven't started the series this is the perfect time…no waiting for the consecutive books! Don't forget to enter the amazing tour-wide giveaway, courtesy of Author, Stephanie Karpinske and ATOMR tours.

The Golden Couple

by Stephanie Karpinske


Series: The Samantha Project #2
Publication Date: February 23, 2013
Publisher: Crazy Dream Publishing LLC
Genre: YA Sci-Fi Thriller/Romance


Synopsis


In this action-packed second installment of The Samantha Project series, Samantha and Erik go on a search to find a way to save themselves from the genetic time bomb ticking away in their cells. Along the way, they discover a shocking secret--one they wish they were never told! 

Although Samantha's boyfriend, Colin, is back now, her feelings for Erik are getting stronger by the minute. It isn't long before she finally learns the real reason why she can't resist Erik. But only after she's gone too far with him! So far that Colin may never forgive her. 

GlobalLife Genetics continues to pursue Samantha and they'll stop at nothing to get her. Sam still doesn't understand what GlobalLife's plan is for her but she knows it's something big. And she knows it isn't good.


Excerpt 


A few minutes later, a black limo pulled up. “A limo!” Brittany yelled. “Oh my God! I’ve never been in a limo! I’ve gotta see this!” She ran outside and into the limo.

“Brittany! Wait!” I ran after her, followed by Erik. We poked our heads into the limo and found her already seated at the far end. Erik and I stepped in to grab her. “Brittany, get out,” I yelled at her. “You don’t even know—”

The door slammed shut behind us. “Erik, open the door,” I said, pulling on Brittany. “The wind must’ve slammed it shut.”

Erik went to open the door but it was locked. He pressed the unlock button but it didn’t work. I tried the door closest to me. It was locked, too. We both tried the remaining doors. All locked. Then just outside the limo we saw a man in a dark coat and hat who appeared to be the driver.

I banged on the side window to get his attention. “Hey, we need to get out! There’s two other people back there!” I pointed to the airport building.

The driver saw us but didn’t react. We watched as he walked to the front of the limo and got inside. Erik pounded on the piece of dark glass that divided us from the driver. “Wait! We need to wait for two more people!”

The driver ignored him and started driving away from the airport with the three of us trapped in the back.

“Erik, make him stop!” I screamed. “This is the wrong car! They didn’t even ask for the code word.” 

Erik banged even harder against the glass divider. “Hey! Stop! Let us out!”

Brittany and I kept trying to open the doors and windows but they were all locked. We heard a loud bang and looked back to see a bright, fiery light in the dark night sky. It was coming from the airport building. Part of the building had exploded, leaving fire and plumes of smoke in the air.

I moved closer to the back window. “Oh my God! Erik, look!”

“What the hell? This can’t be happening!” Erik beat on the glass again, trying to get the driver’s attention. “Who are you? Let us out! I swear I’ll break this thing!” But the glass wouldn’t break. It didn’t even crack. If we still had our abilities, Erik would have broken the glass without a problem. But now both he and I had normal strength, which wasn’t enough to help us.

“They’re in that building!” I screamed. “Colin and Jack are in there! We have to go back!” Brittany and I pounded on the back and side windows.

Erik sat back. “You can’t break it, Sam. It’s reinforced glass.”

I stopped, frozen in disbelief as I watched the airport get farther and farther away. “It was a set up. The whole thing was a trap.”

Books in the Series 

(linked to Goodreads) 

About The Author 

Stephanie Karpinske



A former editor for a publishing company, Stephanie Karpinske has worked on several bestselling nonfiction books. Now she freelances full-time, writing for a variety of books and national magazines. The Samantha Project is her debut YA novel and is the first in The Samantha Project series. Stephanie lives in Des Moines, Iowa.

~ Giveaway ~  

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Cover Reveal ~ The Cindy Chronicles by Rashelle Workman


The Cindy Chronicles

by Rashelle Workman


Series: 6 Volumes
Publisher: Polished Pen Press
Genre: YA Paranormal
Cover Designer: Mae I Design


Synopsis 


Life sucks. 

Possessing magic sucks. 

What doesn’t suck? Fashion, Cindy's boyfriend Gabe, and her best friend, Snow White. 

Cindy (Cinderella…shhh, don’t tell) was born a witch. It’s part of who she is. But there’s more to her than that. She loves deeply. And has a big heart. She’d do anything for those she cares about, including risk her own life to save theirs. 

When her fairy godmother demands she leave Salem, Massachusetts and return to the land she was born to rule, she has two options. Tell her fairy godmother no, and seal a death sentence on complete strangers. Or, leave all she’s ever known behind, including the love of her life, for an unknown land she’s fated to save. 

So, yeah, life sucks. 

But Cindy is determined to change that.



About The Author

Rashelle Workman



RASHELLE WORKMAN lives on a mountain with her husband, three children, and three dogs. From her back porch she can see the city lights and imagine... She's the bestselling author of the Dead Roses series (Sleeping Roses is being translated into Turkish, and will be available in print wherever Turkish books are sold in 2014), the Immortal Essence series, and the Blood and Snow series.

Summer Lovin Read-a-thon


The Summer Lovin’ Readathon is a week-long readathon event hosted by seven independent bloggers! (Oh, Chrys!, Tumbling Books, Effortlessly Reading, Love Life Read, Shelf Addiction, Read Sleep Repeat, and Reviewing Wonderland)

Spend the week reading at your own pace, when and how you want too. There will be daily challenges for awesome prizes and opportunities to get points toward the Grand Prize Packs.

As if that weren’t enough – the week will end with a 24-hr marathon readathon! Twitter parties, mini-challenges, games, prizes given EVERY HOUR, and more chances to get points toward the Grand Prize Packs.

Sign-ups will be open through July 6th. I’m in, are you?!

I'm so excited to be participating in my first ever readathon hosted by the wonderful Pink Ladies at Readathon Central. This is fast becoming a favourite readathon for me as I'm loving all the challenges that they have posted for participants to do. I love this because it allows a lot more interactions between readathon participants, which, let's face it, is half the fun.

So in other previous readathons, I've done ONE post for signup/wrap-up, challenges, goals and updates, however, because of the so many activities that I'd like to participate in, this post will end up far too long so...I've decided to dedicate most of the week's posts on this readathon! So check back for my Participation posts, challenges and updates! 

I've set the goals below, you may notice that it's a step down from my previous readathon goals but that's only because I want to participate in alot of the other activities and I've got to work a bit more this week than usual, I like to set realistic goals. The book list, as per usual with me, is subject to change. 


Participation Post topics schedule

Tell us a little bit about yourself – Where are you from? What’s your favorite genre? What got you reading? – Be creative and show your individual personality! We’d also like to know – What are your goals for this read-a-thon?


About Me 



My name is Angelica and I'm a not-so-young lover of  YA books, residing in Sydney, Australia. Initially I created a personal blog which I found had 3/4 of book related posts anyway so I decided to create a dedicated book blog, hence Paperback Princess was born. Paperback Princess is quite a young blog, started only at the beginning of this year. I also overtook the organising for a YA book blogging directory, YA Blogosphere.

From as long as I can remember I've always loved reading. It may have stemmed from my Mum reading to me when I was a baby, I still own one of those books she used to read from, an A4 sized hardback cover which was a compilation of nursery rhymes. I used to devour books when I was young, some favourites include the Nancy Drew series and the Sweet Valley High series. I also enjoyed reading RL Stine and Christopher Pike books.

Goals

  • Read at least 3 books OR 50 pages daily 
  • Do at least 4 participation post
  • Participate in at least 3 challenges 
  • Black out the Bingo! 
  • Visit and comment on as many blogs as I can

Book List 


Linked to Goodreads , click for Synopsis and other Book Info



Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell



Synopsis


"Bono met his wife in high school," Park says. 
"So did Jerry Lee Lewis," Eleanor answers. 
"I’m not kidding," he says. 
"You should be," she says, "we’re sixteen." 
"What about Romeo and Juliet?" 
"Shallow, confused, then dead." 
''I love you," Park says. 
"Wherefore art thou," Eleanor answers. 
"I’m not kidding," he says. 
"You should be." 

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.
I absolutely adored this book there were six pages of highlighted quotes on my Nook but I've narrowed it down to two...enjoy! 

Girls who don't want to be looked at don't tie curtain tassels in their hair. They don't wear men's golf shoes with the spikes still attached.

He laughed and stepped back. 'Who are you?'
'I'm your girlfriend,' she said. 'Ask anybody.'
'No...my girlfriend is sad and quiet and keeps me up all night worrying about her.'
'Bummer. Sounds like you need a different girlfriend.'




Sunday, 26 May 2013

Review ~ Venom by Fiona Paul

Venom


by Fiona Paul
Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Series: Secrets of the Eternal Rose #1
Published: December 6, 2012
Publisher: Harper Collins Australia
Source: Publisher



Synopsis


Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice’s lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, her own lady’s maid, and a wealthy fiancé, she has everything a girl could desire. Yet ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape. 

When Cass stumbles upon a murdered woman—practically in her own backyard—she’s drawn into a dangerous world of courtesans, killers, and secret societies. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a mysterious artist with a mischievous grin... and a spectacular skill for trouble. Can Cassandra find the murderer, before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiancé, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco? 

Beauty, love, romance, and mystery weave together in a stunning novel that’s as seductive and surprising as the city of Venice itself.

Paperback Princess Review 

The main thing that attracted me to this book was the cover, I mean this cover is absolutely stunning! I love the masquerade mask and the Australian/New Zealand version is just as stunning. I'm also a sucker for anything set in Renaissance Venice. I love the whole historical lady's maid life and all the glitz and glamour that is depicted in such settings. Venom by Fiona Paul, whilst not terrible, wasn't my favourite read and it did disappoint me somewhat. It took me a long time to read it, as I just didn't feel the urge to keep turning the pages. 

Cass is from a well-renowned family but one that is no longer as rich. She is betrothed to a childhood friend, Luca, despite her not having seen him for several years. Cass feels restricted and confined in her current lifestyle, she wants to be released and free to do as she pleases. When one of Cass' friend passes away and her body stolen, she is thrust into a whole new world within her own that is filled with deceit, secrets and lies. 

Venom by Fiona Paul is indeed an intriguing story that has you wondering at each page turn what's around the corner. It's a mystery, thriller YA novel written in a historical setting which makes it all the more interesting. Venom seemed well researched and it truly transported readers to the time and the place in which her story belonged in. I'm a lover of this era so I really enjoyed reading about it and Fiona Paul's descriptive writing on the setting was very eloquently done.

Venom however, fell a bit flat for me in the characters department. I did not find Cass to be a character that I really enjoyed reading about. I certainly didn't feel her attraction towards Falco, it could also be because I did not like the boy at all! He's meant to be one of the leading men within the love triangle, but I did not feel that there was any competition at all between him and Luca. Falco was just not a good character and I felt throughout the book that he was just shady and was looking for the revelation where we are told this, however, it unfortunately never came around. I actually enjoyed the secondary characters more so than the main characters, I really liked Luca and Cass' Aunt. The Aunt was multi-dimensional, she had this armour where she seemed harsh, rude and not at all agreeable in any way but then the real her peeks out every now and then for us to see and love. Luca was not the most likeable character that I've read, but he was one of the characters that I did like in Venom and I did like him over Falco.

Venom by Fiona Paul has an appealing premise with an astonishing historical setting within an era that is very captivating. Fiona Paul also excelled in expressing Renaissance Venice in the time period that Venom is set in. Venom had a lot of potential but whilst the execution didn't fall flat for me, I don't really know what did as I did enjoy the mystery and the premise of the story, I just wasn't invested in it. I had read and put Venom down for weeks at a time and came back to it, so it didn't give me the urgency of finishing the novel. Having said that, I really enjoyed the setting and the story itself, if I was to guess why it didn't entertain me as much as I had hoped it would, I'd probably say the characters were not as likeable and I didn't relate to them well nor was I invested in their lives, therefore making the story not as enjoyable. I will still persevere with the consecutive books in The Secrets of the Eternal Rose series, and I do have high hopes for the remaining books in the series. 



Friday, 24 May 2013

Guest Post ~ In Darkness We Must Abide by Rhiannon Frater {Giveaway}


Welcome to the book blitz for

In Darkness We Must Abide

by Rhiannon Frater


Today I'd like to welcome Rhiannon Frater to talk to us about the origin of In Darkness We Must Abide and of course an excerpt to sate your appetite. 

About The Author

Rhiannon Frater




Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of over a dozen books, including the As the World Dies zombie trilogy (Tor) , as well as independent works such as The Last Bastion of the Living (declared the #1 Zombie Release of 2012 by Explorations Fantasy Blog and the #1 Zombie Novel of the Decade by B&N Book Blog),and other horror novels. Her next novel for Tor, Dead Spots, will be published in 2014. She was born and raised a Texan and presently lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and furry children (a.k.a pets). She loves scary movies, sci-fi and horror shows, playing video games, cooking, dying her hair weird colors, and shopping for Betsey Johnson purses and shoes.


In Darkness We Must Abide 
The Origin of a Supernatural Serial 


At the end of last year, I stumbled across an old manuscript lurking in the badlands of my hard drive. I was shocked to unearth the story, having forgotten I had it converted to Word years ago from my old word processing format. For years I had considered it trunked and lost somewhere in the storage in the garage. Opening the file, I rediscovered a story I had sank most of my heart and soul into a very long time ago when I was just starting to write horror novels. 

In Darkness We Must Abide was my first full-length original work. I spent hours at my old typewriter creating the first draft of the manuscript. Later, I bought a word processor and retyped the entire manuscript, saving it onto floppy discs. Yes, this was a long time ago! 

As I read over my old work, I realized several things. One, I still absolutely loved the two primary leads, Armando and Vanora; and two, the story was solid, but needed some revision. I was very young when I wrote the story, inexperienced in life, love, and long lasting relationships, and this clearly showed. Also, I was under immense pressure from people in my life to write something “nice and normal,” so I struggled quite a bit with certain themes in the story. Reading over the manuscript, I saw exactly the changes I needed to implement to make it a stronger, vibrant read. I set it aside, considering reworking it into a trilogy at a later date. 

At the beginning of this year, I began toying with the idea of doing a serial. As The World Dies was originally written as an online serial, and I’d missed the immediate feedback that came with the release of each new part. I had an idea for a whole new fresh work, but was intimidating by having to fit it into my already overloaded writing schedule. Then I saw an article about taking an old manuscript and converting it into a serial. Instantaneously, I knew that In Darkness We Must Abide was the perfect story to be converted into a serial. It was already divided into three distinct parts and it was huge! In fact, one of the reasons I couldn’t sell the book in its old form was that it was one massive book that far exceeded the word count limits of most publishers. 

I instantly divided the first third of the story into the five episodes that make up season one. Extremely nervous, I started the revision process with the intention of each part reading like a television show in the reader’s mind. I was shocked at how easily the story fell into an episodic format, but was thrilled at the same time. Also, the voices of the characters readily reawakened in my mind, much to my relief. 

In my youth, I had made several big mistakes. When a test reader had an adverse reaction to my lead character being an albino, I altered her appearance. I even changed her name to something I thought sounded fancier. When I started revising, the first thing I did was give Vanora her name back and restore her albinism. I had robbed my lead character of an important part of not only her physical appearance, but her life experience as an albino. I also embraced all the themes I had skirted around in the earlier drafts, out of fear of criticism. 

Side note: Humorously, I spent a lot of time trying to avoid overt sexual themes out of fear of offending my mother. This is the same woman who would later call me up to tell me how much she loved the sex scenes in Pretty When She Dies because they were “hot.” 

When I finally sent the first episode off to my beta readers, I was terrified. How would they react to a gothic horror novel I had conceived so long ago? When the rave reviews started flowing in, I was so relieved. My story had officially risen from the grave. 

Since the release of the first episode of In Darkness We Must Abide, I’ve been having a great time discussing the story with readers. A serial feels much different from a trilogy or series because the installments come out much quicker and there is less waiting for the readers. As a writer, it’s a challenge to give the readers something they can enjoy in small increments, but also instills in them the desire to read the next episode. The immediate feedback is also a great way for me to gage what is working, and what’s not. Though the fan reaction will not affect the overall story arc, to some degree it does affect the presentation of it. Because of the mad love for Armando, I have expanded his role significantly in the first season. 

I have enjoyed my serial experience so much. I’m already anticipating doing one next year! This time it will be a whole new writing project, but it was definitely worthwhile digging up In Darkness We Must Abide and sharing it with my readership.

About The Book 


In Darkness We Must Abide

by Rhiannon Frater


Series - Supernatural Series: The Complete First Season (Ep 1-5)
Genre - NA Modern Gothic Horror
Publication Date - May 24, 2013


Synopsis 


In Darkness We Must Abide is the epic saga of one young woman caught in the dangerous world of the creatures of the night. 

Already living in the shadows due to her albinism, Vanora is just a little girl when her older brother inadvertently unleashes a terrible evil from the family crypt that changes their lives forever. 

As she grows up in a world where beautiful deadly beings hunt by night, one captures her eye and her heart. Yet, can she trust the mysterious Armando? For there is a powerful entity plotting to claim her when she reaches adulthood in order to fulfill an ancient prophecy, and her enemy has enveloped her in a web of deceit, casting doubt on all she believes to be true. Soon, she will have to fight not only to save those she loves, but also for her very soul. 

Rhiannon Frater delivers a chilling adventure once again with this multi-part epic serial with a dynamic cast, old school vampires, bloody action, a smoldering forbidden love, and a terrifying villain set against the backdrop of a modern day vampire war. 

This paperback includes all five episodes of the first season of the serial.

Excerpt 


With his presence still sizzling on her skin and his hazel eyes still haunting her thoughts, Vanora pondered the words that Armando had spoken in his silky Spanish accent. 

You must go home, he had said. 

Hugging herself, she gazed into the darkness surrounding her, wondering if Armando still lingered in the shadows observing her. That he had sought her out both thrilled and terrified her. When she had first seen him standing on the lighted path of her apartment complex, the mere sight of his enigmatic smile had set her heart aflutter. But now that he had slipped back into the darkness, her heart beat with fear. 

Could she go back to Houston and face all she had run from? Could she forget the evils she had beheld on her eighteenth birthday? Could she just abandon the life she had meticulously created for herself over the last two years and return to the mansion that was haunted by death and pain? 

You must go home. 

Armando’s words echoed in her mind. 

Vanora lifted a hand to brush away her white-blond hair and turned to face the dark waters of the swimming pool that glimmered in the moonlight. 

To go home meant she would at last cast aside her trepidation and face the monsters of her nightmares. Was she strong enough to do so? Was she strong enough to go home and save the ones she loved? 

With a surrendering sigh, she admitted to herself that it was time to return to her childhood home. It was difficult to concede, but her reluctance to return was partially because she feared allowing Armando into her life once more. Though the creatures that dwelled in the darkness were terrifying, it was Armando who surely frightened her. 

Only he could truly steal away her heart and soul…

 

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