Classy Cat Books has Moved!

I’ve officially kicked off the new site. Please visit classycatbooks.com to view the most recent post:

Night Watch (Watch #1) by Sergei Lukyanenko

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Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015

2014 came with a lot more challenges than I’m used to. Several of those were health-related, but most were a lesson in time management. 2014 was the first year I was the prime person in my role at work (and what a role!) — with a more than full-time job, it was a struggle to tack on grad school with up to 2 classes at a time. Once the boyfriend and the health issues and the other interests (blogging, orchestra, etc) were thrown into the mix, I was hitting unprecedented levels of stress.

The theme of 2015 is going to be time and stress management. Here are my goals:

  • Less overtime at work
  • Only 1 class per semester (and I’m taking the summer off!)
  • Read 50 books (that’s less than 1 per week; should be totally doable, and it’s half of what I read in 2013)
  • At least one post per week
  • Get my new blog location up and running
  •  Organize the apartment (I seriously feel like we haven’t finished moving in yet, and we’ve been here almost a year already)
  • Make serious headway on saving for a down payment on a house

I kicked it all off with a road trip with the boyfriend. We drove from Washington to North Carolina by way of California and Texas (ie, the LONG route, but the one without snow). In total, we put about 8,900 miles on the car — you remember that nice new one I bought a couple months back? This is why I decided to get something new. I met the other half of the boyfriend’s family (his mom’s side lives locally, so I’d already met all of them), and I got to spend a couple of days with my grandparents down in Texas.

And the best surprise from the trip was that I got to listen to audiobooks the entire way. Normally the boyfriend isn’t thrilled with audiobooks in general, and he certainly doesn’t care for most of the ones he’s heard me listening to. But with a few compromises on genre, we found some great books we both thoroughly enjoyed, and reviews for them will be going up shortly. Since I didn’t get a chance to write my reviews while we were driving and visiting with family, these will be shorter than normal; after all, it’s been two weeks since I finished the first one.

That said, as I ease back into work and school over the next week or two, I’m going to ease back into blogging. Goodbye hiatus!

 

2014 in Review

Happy New Years! I’m on travel and not able to spend the time to make a pretty post or anything, but I did want to share some 2014 stats with y’all (yes, I’m in the South). WordPress was kind enough to put together a summary, so I’ve just made it public for everyone to see. Take a look if you’re interested. What I think is most fascinating is that a post from July of 2013 was my number 1 viewed post in 2014 — crazy!

A quick reflection: I basically took off the first half of the year or so, during which time I wasn’t even really reading. I basically took off the last quarter or so of this year — work and school have been insane, so I’m pretty proud of how much I DID get posted around here. I’m only taking 1 class at a time in 2015, and I’ll even have the summer off, so hopefully my activity will be more consistent coming up.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,400 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 40 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Chandrea by Marlene Wynn

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Chandrea Averill thinks she’s just like any other normal young woman. But, on the day of her 23rd birthday, her life changes forever.

Surrounded by magical creatures, dangerous sorcery, and insidious political intrigue, Chandrea desperately wants to return to Earth and the only life she’s ever known. But, the longer she stays, the more she realizes that she may be the only one with the power – both magical and political – to save the people of Lyrunia. Will she find the courage to remain and fight for her home world?

EXCERPT

The assassination changed everything.

On the day Crown Princess Chandrea Averill was born, the entire Kingdom of Averill celebrated. The streets of Cellia, her capital city, were overflowing with people honoring the birth of the new heir. Food and drink were plentiful and the mood of those gathered was joyous. Songs and laughter echoed gaily off the walls of the great stone buildings.

Those in the know speculated on what powers the crown princess would eventually develop, as no female born of the queen’s lineage ever had the same powers as those who came before her. The form and strength of the magic varied from female to female, but – without fail – magic was present in some form.

The merrymaking went on for hours into the night, and all at the Llireva Palace celebrated. Wrinkled old men sat in the corners, smoking their pipes and spinning grand and fanciful tales of the Averill family. Small children gathered at their feet, listening raptly to tales of magic and bravery. Gaily dressed dancers spun and swirled as the eager audience clapped to the rhythm. Jewels glittered and gleamed in the warm candlelight as they moved, dazzling the eye.

As the night eased into the early morning hours, those who should’ve retired long ago still remained. Sleepy-eyed and =yawning, they nevertheless continued with the celebration even as the moon set on the horizon and dawn approached. Drinks were handed out generously, and drunken, happy people roamed the palace. Staggering about, their laughter filled the hallways of the grand palace. Guards became lackadaisical about their duties, laughing and drinking with their friends as they came wandering by.

This made the attack on the Llireva Palace and those inside exceedingly simple.

The assault was ruthlessly calculated and seamless. Having been there for hours, posing as drunken guests, the invaders easily overtook and dispatched the inebriated guards. Thousands of the enemy swarmed over the palace, slaughtering all in sight, whether guest or staff. Swords and knives flashed in the candlelight, and terror-filled screams filled the warm night air.

Taken completely by surprise, the guests and staff were easily overcome. Some tried to fight back, but were ruthlessly cut down where they stood. Stepping carelessly over the bloodied bodies of the dead, hard-faced officers ordered their men to look for the king, queen, and the newly-born crown princess. The enemy soldiers scattered, each keen to be the one to find the royal family and draw first blood.

One loyal servant – Adelaide – was tasked with caring for the new crown princess while the queen recovered. Like the queen, Adelaide was a powerful sorceress, and served in the capacity of royal advisor and friend to the queen.

After giving birth, the queen had been exhausted and was resting peacefully in her chambers, while the king attended to her. Princess Chandrea was in the nursery, being cared for by Adelaide. So, when the assassination of the king and queen occurred, the princess was nowhere to be found. Enemy soldiers then spread out in search of the newborn.

Unknown to the intruders, in the days prior to her birth, protective spell webs had been cast by Adelaide and the queen in the hallways of the family wing. These spells prevented unauthorized access to the nursery by causing an agonizing death. The magic also alerted the creator of the spells of anyone entering the space. Unfortunately, the queen had been too wearied and depleted from giving birth to act upon the warnings that had been sent by her spells, and thus, she and the king soon perished. But Adelaide was not at such a disadvantage. As the assailants crossed her protective spells, she was alerted immediately by their piercing screams as the magic seared the flesh from their bones.

Adelaide quickly picked up the baby, and with an urgently muttered spell, opened a hidden passageway known only by the royal family and their most trusted advisors. Slipping out of the nursery, she turned and sealed the door with a wave of her hand, eliminating any chance that any marauders lucky enough to have a sorceress strong enough to penetrate the defensive spells could follow.

Rushing down the stairs, holding the princess close to her bosom, she finally reached the bottom. There she entered the back of a large cave. Moving quickly forward to the front, she found herself looking out at the dark expanse of the Averill Bay, named after the royal family who ruled the bordering land. She turned and gently laid the baby in a small depression in the rock, sat beside her, and allowed herself to momentarily succumb to her grief and fear. Adelaide knew that for the invading soldiers to have gotten as far as her protective shields, they would have had to defeat the queen first— and she would have been in no condition to fight them off.

Sitting quietly for a few moments to collect herself and her thoughts, she was able to form a plan of action, and to gather the resolve for what she knew would be required from her.

Taking a deep breath, she stood and faced the now-orphaned crown princess lying on the rocks. Adelaide knew without a doubt that if this tiny child were killed, all hope for Averill, and the surrounding kingdoms and cities that made up Lyrunia, would be lost. The freedom and peace they’d known under the reign of the Averill family and the Triad would make way for a dark and violent time. Above all else, Princess Chandrea must survive not only this night, but also grow safely to adulthood so that she could take her rightful place on the throne.

Raising her hands into the air, Adelaide urgently weaved them back and forth as she cast her spells. Many hours passed as she chanted through the night, knowing that in the palace above her, an intense search for the princess was being conducted, and that she and the baby could be discovered at any time. Her voice grew hoarse and her arms weary, but still she labored on, until, finally, only one more spell needed to be cast.

Sweat-soaked and exhausted, she reached down and picked up Princess Chandrea. Expecting that this would be the last time she held this dear, tiny child, Adelaide cuddled her close for a few moments. Then, looking at the precious little wrinkled face, she gazed directly into the princess’s eyes, and cast her last spell.

Bright, white light blazed forth from the infant, transforming the cave into a dazzling, glittering chamber. Princess Chandrea slowly rose from Adelaide’s hands until she hung suspended in the air. The soft blanket covering her fell unnoticed to the floor. Adelaide’s hands moved in harmony with her voice as she chanted the final spell that would transport the crown princess from Itova—the world into which she’d been born—to another one. The only place that she would truly be safe until she reached adulthood and her powers had fully manifested.

Air swirled madly about the infant and the light grew brighter and stronger. Then, with the sound of a massive thunderclap and a final burst of brilliance, the crown princess vanished.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Marlene Wynn is a Utah native – fondly referred to as “Utonian” by a friend.  She transplanted herself in 1992 from the majestic Rocky Mountains to the beachy shores of sunny Virginia Beach, Virginia and has been there ever since.  Though she has worked in the Benefits field for several years, she finally worked up the courage to chase her dream as an author.
Author links:

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Reread: Shadow of Nights (All Souls Trilogy #2) by Deborah Harkness

 IT BEGAN WITH A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES.

Historian Diana Bishop, descended from a line of powerful witches, and long-lived vampire Matthew Clairmont have broken the laws dividing creatures. When Diana discovered a significant alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library,she sparked a struggle in which she became bound to Matthew. Now the fragile coexistence of witches, daemons, vampires and humans is dangerously threatened.

Seeking safety, Diana and Matthew travel back in time to London, 1590. But they soon realise that the past may not provide a haven. Reclaiming his former identity as poet and spy for Queen Elizabeth, the vampire falls back in with a group of radicals known as the School of Night. Many are unruly daemons, the creative minds of the age, including playwright Christopher Marlowe and mathematician Thomas Harriot.

Together Matthew and Diana scour Tudor London for the elusive manuscript Ashmole 782, and search for the witch who will teach Diana how to control her remarkable powers…

Rating: 5/5

The first time I “read” this book was listening to a copy from Audible. I loved it then, but I love it even more now. 16th century England/Europe is in no way my forte — in fact, I know very little of it, aside from watching shows like the Tudors, and I’m never quite sure how much I should actually take away from that kind of thing. One of my best friends in middle and high school was a history fanatic, and she absolutely loved reading and learning more about England in that kind of time-frame. I’m not sure that she was specific to Elizabethan England, but she was at least interested in all things Henry VIII, so I figure that’s pretty close.

So the point of all of this is that when I listened to the audiobook, I knew that certain people were important and were names that I should recognize, but I couldn’t place any of them for the life of me. For example, it wasn’t until well after a TON of clues were dropped by Diana that I finally made the connection between Sir Walter Raleigh and the English explorer who disappeared at Roanoke. And I never really did place most of the other members of the School of Night.

This time, however, I understood so much more of the context of what I was reading, and it made me respect Harkness’ skill as a writer that much more. I instantly recognized and placed the historical significance behind most of the characters that Diana meets in 1591 England, and even kept up with most of the references made about events going on in the rest of Europe. I don’t know if it was just that I was being exposed to them for a second time by re-reading, or if actually seeing the names written down helped that much (entirely plausible).

Harkness has a way about her writing that makes everything feel real. I felt like I was living in 1591 right alongside Diana. One of the things I was most impressed with was the attention to detail she demonstrated in having Diana adapt to her new environment. The time spent describing her experiences learning to use a quill pen and learning how to use the currency. Hell, even Diana’s difficulties in learning the right English to blend in the times. I’m not normally wow-ed by vivid detail because, to be honest, if it’s not conveying vital information, I often skim over it. But in the case, it was all of the context that forced Diana (and Matthew) to change and grow as a character(s). The development that the two under went, both independently and in their relationship with one another, was remarkable, well paced, and impossible to ignore.

I love the rules governing the development of magic in Harkness’ world. The whole witches, vampires, and daemons thing is simple enough, and well constructed, but it isn’t until Diana starts learning more about what makes her such a special witch that things really get interesting — not to mention fairly unique. As a weaver, Diana sees the world differently than most witches, and I absolutely love the way a highly conceptual topic (weaving threads in the world) becomes more and more tangible as Diana learns how to use her power.

There were a few things that had seemed a bit extreme in the first book — almost as if everyone in the world were overreacting to little sequences of events. This book helps make all of that make more sense, and the danger posed upon the two main characters feels more real than ever.

And I haven’t mentioned anything at all yet about the host of supporting characters. I absolutely love Gallowglass, and Jack and Annie added something special to the relationship between Matthew and Diana.Tack onto that Philippe, the members of the School of Night, Mary, “Lizzie,” and Father Hubbard, and you get a very colorful view of England circa 1591.

Overall, this was a spectacular read, and I highly recommend giving the series a go if you haven’t already.

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Walled (The Line #2) by Anne Tibbets

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Freedom means making brutal choices.

Rebel lovers Naya and Ric have survived one year in hiding, raising Naya’s twins from infants to toddlers in the shadow of the brutal Auberge dictatorship. They’re alive, and they’re together, but the city is crumbling around them and the haunting memory of Naya’s dark days on The Line have never fully left them. Living in isolation won’t be an option forever.

When a mysterious revolutionary seeks their help to infiltrate Auberge’s electronic heart and shut it down, it’s an opportunity—it’s risky, yes, but if it works they’ll get out of the city and taste freedom for the first time. Naya needs this. They need this.

Beyond the broken walls of Auberge, Naya and Ric find the paradise they’ve always longed for. But with anarchy reigning and Naya’s children lost amidst the chaos, they’ll need to forfeit their post-apocalyptic Eden…or commit an unspeakable act.

Book two of two.

Excerpt

He turned to me and his eyes flared. “I wish you hadn’t told her.”

I waited just a fraction of a moment to choose my words. He meant Anj. “As I said, she has the right to know.”

“She’s in danger now.”

“She was in danger before she knew the truth. Now, at least she knows why.”

“And that’s better?” he challenged me.

This stopped me. In my mind, the truth was always the preference. I couldn’t imagine ignorance was better. Having lived much of my life with an unawareness pressed upon me, I believed the whole truth was tantamount to living. I couldn’t fathom not telling Anj all that I knew. Or why Sonya and Ric thought it best to keep her in the dark.

I’d been in the dark before. The light was always best.

Even if it was blinding.

“I’m sorry,” I said in an attempt to defuse his temper.

He saw through that ruse. “No, you’re not.”

“Okay, maybe I’m not,” I admitted. “But you’ll never convince me otherwise.”

Ric turned his head in disgust and stalked toward the door of the building. “You can’t make decisions like that for all of us.” He paused to take the handle. “This isn’t just about you.”

I almost laughed at that, even though it wasn’t funny. “Really? You and Sonya waged war against Auberge to try and erase the identities of freed girls from the Line. This whole thing started with survivors like me. It kept going because of girls like me. If this isn’t about me, then what is it about?”

He didn’t have an answer to this, but I saw his jaw relax and he tossed his hands in the air as if admitting defeat.

“Knowing is best,” I said, unable to let it go.

He shook his head and licked his lips. “Let’s agree to disagree on that one, okay?” He yanked on the factory door. It was locked. We heard the bolt snap. The door slid open from the inside. From the opening, the barrel of a gun appeared and pointed at Ric’s face. He walked backward slowly, raising his palms into the air.

“What’s the password?” a gruff voice asked from inside the dark factory.

Ric took another step back until he stood in front of me. All we could see was the tip of a revolver, gleaming in the flickering light from the overhead lamp above the door. I waited, ready to run.

“We’re here to see Sonya,” I said.

“What’s the password?” the voice repeated. A man took a step forward. He was wide and muscular, dark-skinned. The handgun looked puny in his enormous hands.

“Tell Sonya that Doc and Naya are here,” I said.

“That’s not the password.” He cocked the hammer of the gun with his thumb. “Move along.”

Ric flushed. “We didn’t drive all this way for the scenery. Sonya asked us to come!”

“And she didn’t mention any password,” I added.

“Move. Along,” the man repeated, and he took another step toward us.

I took a shot in the dark. “Bunny slippers!”

The man shook his head quickly as if he wasn’t sure if he’d heard me correctly. “What’d you say?”

“No? That’s not the password? How about pickpocket?”

The barrel of the gun dipped slightly as he eyed me with suspicion. “Are you nuts? I said move along.”

“Nose ring?”

He lowered the gun to his side and pursed his lips. “What’s the matter with you? I point a gun at your boyfriend’s face, and you guess nose ring?”

“How about belts?”

The man shook his head and turned to go back inside. “Wait here.” He disappeared through the door.

Ric let out the breath he’d been holding. “Either belts is the password, or he’s coming back out shooting. What made you guess that?”

“The first time I met Sonya, she loaned me one of her belts,” I explained.

“That’s random.”

“It’s a little odd she asked us to come and didn’t tell us the password,” I said.

“Well, we did tell her to get out.”

“True.”

The factory door opened again. The big man came first, his gun tucked into the front of his jeans, and behind him was Sonya.

She took one look at us and grinned. “I’ll be damned.”

 

About the Author

Anne Tibbets is an SCBWI award-winning and Smashwords.com Best Selling author. After writing for Children’s television, Anne found her way to young/new adult fiction by following what she loves: books, strong female characters, twisted family dynamics, magic, sword fights, quick moving plots, and ferocious and cuddly animals.

Along with CARRIER, Anne is also the author of the young adult fantasy novella, THE BEAST CALL and the young adult contemporary, SHUT UP.

Anne divides her time between writing, her family, and three furry creatures that she secretly believes are plotting her assassination.

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Transformed by E. V. Fairfall

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TransformedThea, all-mighty Mother Earth, only had one rule to follow above all else, one promise to keep to her brother: never take a human form. She would’ve kept that promise if it weren’t for Brice. He’s handsome and confident, but above all he’s merciless.

He’s also a hunter who has tormented Thea for years. She believes if she could teach Brice compassion, she might finally be able to save her creations and herself from his savage ways. Then she meets Chamber: another hunter.

She soon finds herself fascinated by−and torn between−the two boys: Brice and Chamber. Lost within a torrent of human emotions, Thea starts to lose who she is as she falls in love with the one thing that she’s always hated: a hunter… a human.

 

Excerpt

A bang broke the forest air, sending a tremble down her backbone. Birds flew from the trees with warning cries under their wings. Once again it grew quiet, only her hoofs thudding over the ground disturbed the stillness. She picked up speed as the trees became scarce at an approaching meadow, a death trap. Fresh blood lined the edge of the grass ahead. An animal had been shot. A hissing sound shot through the emptiness above her shoulders, and then came the echo of another bang. She kept her legs moving, willing them faster. The scarlet color came back into view, lining the grass tops like bloody fingers. She saw it now: an antelope lay a few feet away, blood pumping onto the ground. I can fix this, she told herself. As long as my creature’s light still brings blood through its veins, this can be fixed.

Thea slowed to a stop behind a tree, the antelope motionless on Earth’s floor, its heartbeat waiting to whimper into oblivion. Thea wouldn’t let it happen. Her gaze locked on the open flesh and the shattered bone hidden beneath the torn muscle. She let her light flow through her, collecting only part of it in her chest. She breathed, and the light escaped her lips. She watched as the glowing specks found leaves and filled them with a deep, yellow pulse. She willed the leaves to swirl in and out of one another in perfect harmony before resting on the ripped flesh. The leaves shook as the yellow in their veins flowed into the fur-covered skin crumbling above the healing wound. It wasn’t perfect, but it would have to do. For a second everything went still, motionless except for the wind, the leaves. The antelope kicked a bit on its side before finding its feet again. Thea watched as it ran into the woods without looking back.

A twig broke behind her, taking Thea out of the moment. She could smell the sweet, artificial scent; the hunter had found her. Thea turned, letting herself stare at him; there was a strange beauty in the light that hung on his skin from the trees above. She glanced at the meadow surrounded by tightly woven trees. She had given away too much light to change her form.

Today could have been so wonderful, and yet she couldn’t help but think it was a good day to die. Twisted branches reached toward her with open arms. She glanced around once more, taking in the silver pine needles and green foliage.

She turned to face the gun’s barrel, now level with her eyes and much too close for a rifle; she’d be blown apart. She looked past it at the young man’s face. She felt his chest rise and fall as if she were against him, their heartbeats in sync. His hair gathered the light, shining like amber. Each strand took on a deeper, darker orange and turned it into a rich auburn. His eyes pulled her in, strangely familiar as she looked into the deep sapphire swirled with thin emerald lines. A faint, purple line under his dark lashes made the blue even more powerful. His hands showed light scars healed time and time again. His jaw set his mouth into a thin line, and his strong neck flooded into his broad shoulders.

She watched the barrel of the gun lower, her body still frozen in shock. A cruel trick, she thought, and she lowered her head. She didn’t wish to see the satisfaction in his eyes as he pulled the trigger. She didn’t want to feel the pain or the ringing in her ears. She placed her legs apart to steady herself. The blood from the antelope she’d saved only moments ago drenched the grass beneath her.

The crunching of leaves started again, but she didn’t hear a click. Looking up, she saw that the hunter, the young, beautiful man with amber curls, was backing away.

“Shoo,” he said.

The sound was enough to startle her to her senses. Staring down death when she had no alternative was one thing. Waiting around for it a second time was stupid. She leaped away on weak legs as fast as she could.

 

About the Author

I love to write just as much as I love to read. I try to read a book per week, which doesn’t always work out, but it’s the thought that counts. Aside from all that I am a huge animal person.Transformed is my first novel, but it isn’t my first publication; I’ve had several short stories published over the last two years. My main goal as a writer is to explore humanity and to give people something fun to read.

Author links:
TransformedTourBanner

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Kymzyn by BC Powell

Chase was twelve the first time he arrived in a strange land where dark, ominous clouds never move, ancient trees violently spring to life during Darkness, and people seem to live without emotion. Doctors tell him they’re hallucinations, but he knows his visits are real. She’s there-Sash-and she’s more real than anyone he’s ever known.

His visits stop but, as years pass, the memories haunt Chase. Without warning, the young man suddenly finds himself again in a world called Krymzyn. Arriving during Darkness, he’s rescued from death by the extraordinary, beautiful but terrifying young woman he first met when he was twelve.

When Chase is thrust into the war of balance against vile creatures who threaten all who live there, Sash helps him understand his purpose in Krymzyn. A dark secret from the beginning of time reveals he might be able to stay there forever. To prove he belongs in Krymzyn and be with the only woman he can ever love, Chase will have to risk his own life in the ultimate battle.

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EXCERPT:

We’re within a hundred yards of the bridge when two black-veined beasts slam into the transport behind Miel. Metallic thuds resonate through the Barrens. The cart flips high in the air before crashing into the wet dirt beside the road.

Miel spins from the impact, no weapon in hand. Another Murkovin flies into her, drives her off the road, and tackles her to the ground. Claws rake across her face while the two grapple in the mud.

Sash flashes in behind the creature with every muscle in her body coiled. A wrath is unleashed when the tip of her spear splits open the Murkovin skull. We jolt to a stop after we pass them, and Larn drops my feet to the road.

“Tela! Take Chase!” Larn screams.

Sliding to a halt, Tela releases the handles of the tube and darts towards us. Larn pushes me in the direction of the bridge before he bursts towards Sash and Miel.

Red eyes flaming through the tempest of rain, four Murkovin descend upon Sash. Miel struggles on the ground at Sash’s feet with blood smeared across her face. Clangs of steel shrill through the storm while Sash defends Miel from the onslaught.

Sash impales a gruesome head on her spear, releasing a spray of blood-soaked beams. Another brute leaps past her towards Miel. Soaring into the fight, Larn smashes him to the ground. Miel staggers to her feet and wobbles towards the bridge. When she stumbles, a fifth Murkovin blasts out of the dark.

I start towards Miel, but a hand grabs my shirt, jerking me in the other direction.

“Run!” Tela screams. “We don’t have spears!”

She points to the two Murkovin who crashed into the cart. With weapons clutched in their hands, they charge at us from fifty feet away. Tela yanks me into a sprint towards the bridge.

I look over my shoulder at Miel as we run. A creature stabs his spear down at her. She tries to deflect the blow with her hands but the point rips open the side of her head. He throws himself on top of her. They wrestle on the ground with his face at the gash, her blood streaming to the dirt.

In one fluid motion, Larn springs to Miel’s side, rams a spear through the head of the beast, and grabs her by the shirt. Bolting towards the river, he drags Miel by his side. The two Murkovin chasing Tela and me cut towards Larn and Miel.

Hard metal pounds against my feet when Tela and I reach the bridge. She pulls me by the shirt as I desperately try to keep pace. Straining my head to the side, I spot Larn running towards us with Miel’s limp body still in one hand. Sash sprints at his heels, four corpses on the ground behind her, four Murkovin alive and in pursuit.

 

 

AUTHOR BIO:
BC Powell is a fantasy author from Los Angeles, CA. “Krymzyn” is his debut science fiction fantasy novel, the first book in a series titled “The Journals of Krymzyn.”

Powell has a diverse background, having held several creative positions in the entertainment industry, including executive roles at ABC-TV and Technicolor. In recent years, he’s authored several non-fiction works, primarily educational books and training programs for trading the financial markets. He dual majored in journalism and philosophy at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.

Writing fiction has been his lifelong passion and goal. “Krymzyn” is his first published novel and represents, in his words, “finally finding the story I want to tell with characters that are able to bring that story to life.” He’s an avid reader and lists Ernest Hemingway, Frank L. Herbert, Stephen King, Jane Austen, and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. as his favorite authors.

Brad, as he prefers to go by in personal communication, lives with his longtime girlfriend, three sons from a previous marriage, and their rescue dog and cat. He enjoys hiking, ocean kayaking, spending time at Southern California beaches, movies, and reading.

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Fissure (Chronicles of the Interred #2) by Marilyn Almodovar

This book is on tour via Xpresso Book Tours. Check out of the rest of the schedule here. And don’t forget to the enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Baxter Jacobs just survived the worst Sweet Sixteen in history: buried in a coffin, hunted down by assassins, and losing almost everything that mattered to her. She’s ready for some normalcy, but “normal” won’t play any part of this Time Bender’s future.

Now that the immediate threat is over, Baxter learns just how much the English Council expects of the newest Interred. The pressure has her seriously considering her uncle’s offer to take her to New York, especially since she thinks it will keep her Healer, Jack, from overusing his abilities. Knowing the New York Council’s ranks are filled with beings using dark powers, however, makes her hesitate.

Before she can choose, the decision is wrenched from her. Fissures in Time result in a new battle with an old enemy. Someone she thought she’d lost reenters her life, and she’ll discover a web of lies woven into the fabric of Time…lies only she can unravel. Baxter will have to use her growing abilities to try and reveal the truth, even if it forever changes the reality she knows.

There are lies in the fabric of Time only she can unravel…

 

My thoughts so far:

I’m about a third of the way through Interred, the first book in the series, and so far I’m enjoying myself. Haven’t had much time to read lately, so a review will go up once I’ve finished.

 

About the Author:

 MarilynMarilyn Almodóvar is the author of a series of YA paranormal novels. Born in Ft. Huachuca, Arizona, Lyn is a lover of words whose reading tastes range from Victorian novels to the books of Stephen King. Her favorite past-times have always been reading and writing, two activities that let her escape to other worlds.It was this love that propelled her to choose Theater and French as majors in University, with a minor in English Victorian Literature. Lyn lived for almost a decade in England followed by three years in France before returning home to the States. A self-confessed citizen of the world, she is fluent in English, French and Spanish, with basic knowledge of the Italian language.

Lyn could happily exist breathing the clean air of Narnia, trapped in a cupboard under the stairs with Harry, fighting alongside Captain Jack Sparrow, doing an internship in Torchwood, or traveling around time and space with the Doctor…as long as she can have Mr. Spock, Captain Kirk and Captain Mal as companions.

Lyn currently lives in Central Florida with her French husband, English-born eldest son, and French-born youngest son. Her debut YA Novel, Interred, was be published by Iambe books on 01/22/2013.

Author links:
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Month9Books Birthday Bash: Guest Post & Giveaway

M9B-Bday-2

So first off: Happy Halloween! I hope you’re all out having fun tonight; I know I certainly am!

Did you know that Month9Books is celebrating their birthday today? I’ve read and reviewed several great books published through them, and I’ve been overall pretty pleased with the content they produce. I highly encourage visiting their website and taking a look at what books they have to offer.

So, without further ado …

Welcome to Month9Books Birthday Bash! We’re so excited you’re all stopping by!

This is going to be an awesome event with many tour stops featuring our authors! The full schedule is below and make sure to stick around for the EPIC Giveaway taking place!

Here’s a quick note from Georgia McBride, owner of Month9Books:

Month9Books is turning 2 this year and I could not be happier. We are living proof that if you have a dream to write, create and inspire, you should follow that dream and let nothing keep you from realizing it. Thank you to all the readers, writers, agents, partners and friends who have made this possible. We write for you.

–Georgia McBride, Publisher and Owner of Month9Books

While all of the posts are from our authors that have books out already we also want to look forward to some of the 2015 titles we can’t wait to share with you:

Cover-Slideshow

I am pleased to have Pab Sungenis with me today as a guest poster. Pab, take it away …

 

An English professor once told me that every single word of a manuscript, and every single letter of every single word, should be dedicated to moving your plot forward.

But where’s the fun in that?

My favorite scenes to write are humorous side-steps, where I take my characters out of the main action and throw them into something different and unexpected, the results of which will have little or no impact on how the story ends, but are fun for the reader and lighten the mood when things are getting a little too serious.

Like a cracker or small plate of sherbet served between courses at restaurants I will never be able to afford looking at, let alone eating in, these little side-steps cleanse my readers’ palates of what has gone before and get them in a good mood for what comes up next. This is really helpful if I need to build toward a big emotional moment; if you make an audience laugh before you punch it in the proverbial gut, the shock will have more impact.

These scenes are one of the reasons I especially love writing the Sidekick series, since the nature of the stories I tell lend themselves to these side-steps. When I think things have gotten too serious, or will need to get too serious in a few pages, I can just throw in another battle against a super-villain. Take a few pages away from moving the plotlines forward and just have a little fun.

Creating the villains for these scenes is also part of what makes them so much fun to write. I get a chance to come up with a villain that sounds absolutely ridiculous, but could end up being a real threat if handled correctly. A villain who acts like he’s in one of those old cupcake ads they used to put in comic books back in the 1970’s? Actual threat if his sweet treats explode. Giant squid-like creature bent on destroying civilization? Give him a completely inappropriate name and let the laughs ensue. Have a villain who forms hard-sound holograms that can cause mass destruction? Call him “Doc Bollywood” and make him use those holograms through elaborate vocals and choreography. It becomes a challenge to keep upping the stakes with weirder, funnier, and deadlier villains, and the action in those scenes gives me a chance to keep the readers engaged while they are (hopefully) laughing.

Best of all, while these side-steps may avoid moving the plot forward, they give me a chance to explore my characters a little by having them handle these ridiculous scenarios. I get a chance to take my characters out of their comfort zone (sometimes literally, if the scene involves them being bashed over the head by a stuffed and mounted fish or something like that) and see how they respond to the ludicrosity. Their dialogue and interior monologues in these scenes can let me tell the reader more about them than any expository scene I could drop in as part of the main plot, and the humor of the situation can entertain the reader while keeping me from getting bored and frustrated during the writing process.

So if you’re writing a story and feel you’re getting bogged down, try throwing a monkey wrench at your characters and take them off on a little side-step that has nothing to do with your plot. You’ll enjoy it, and you’ll bring out more of your characters’ true natures. And if you’re reading a book and the characters are wandering off down a side road that doesn’t seem connected to the rest of the story, buckle in and enjoy the ride.

Thanks Pab!

About Sidekick: The Misadventures of the New Scarlet Knight:

Author: Pab Sungenis

Release Date: March 12, 2013

Pages: 225

Publisher: Month9Books

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Goodreads/Amazon/Barnes & Noble

Bobby Baines is in high school, which is bad enough. When his hero, Scarlet Knight, dies, Bobby is forced to take up his mantel. Only Scarlet Knight never had to deal with eking out a passing grade in math, keeping his fellow sidekicks in check, or stopping a giant squid from bearing down on his school and crushing everyone inside. After all, Bobby Baines is no super hero, he’s a Sidekick!

 

 

About Pab Sungenis:

Pab SungenisBorn in the swamps of Southern New Jersey, Pab Sungenis developed a childhood fascination with cartooning and drew a daily strip for his own amusement for two years before realizing he couldn’t draw. He wound up in broadcasting, worked for numerous stations including WSBU, WOND, WMGM, WSKR, WBNJ, WWBZ, and WKTU. He describes his drawing ability as like that of “a mentally challenged rhinoceros on a Ny-Quil bender”, but thanks to the wonders of photo-manipulation and computer image editing, on February 8, 2006 he found himself creating The New Adventures of Queen Victoria, which has appeared ever since, first on Comicssherpa.com., and now in online syndication with gocomics.com. Pab Sungenis is available for quotes, signings, video or podcast appearances, and all opportunities relative to SIDEKICK: THE MISADVENTURES OF THE NEW SCARLET KNIGHT.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

 

 

Giveaway Details:

(1) New Kindle with touchscreen (US only) loaded with all our Month9Books titles. US Only.

(1) Paperback prize pack of 5 Month9Books Titles. US ONLY.

(2) eBook Prize Packs of 5 Month9Books titles. International

Rafflecopter Link

Meet the Authors and amazing host Blogs!

All posts will be live on October 31st!

Jessica Arnold will be hosted by Read for your Future
Vanessa Barger will be hosted by Pretty Little Pages
Lisa M. Basso will be hosted by In Vogue with Books
Sarah Bromley will be hosted by A Book and A Latte
Steve Bryant will be hosted by Jump Into Books
Brynn Chapman will be hosted by A Backwards Story
Nicole Conway will be hosted by Two Chicks on Books
Scott Craven will be hosted by Books and Ashes
Ty Drago will be hosted by The A P Book Club
Dorothy Dreyer will be hosted by Her Book Thoughts!
Dorothy Dreyer will be hosted by Oops! I Read A Book Again
Jennifer M. Eaton will be hosted by Book Briefs
Kit Forbes will be hosted by Book Lovers Life
Janice Gable Bashman  will be hosted by All Things Urban Fantasy
Amanda Gray will be hosted by Aspiring Joy
Kelly Hashway/Ashelyn Drake will be hosted by Book Geek Review
Elizabeth Holloway will be hosted by Tales of a Ravenous Reader
Missy Kalicicki and Abi Ketner will be hosted by Once Upon A Twilight
Nicola Marsh will be hosted by ReadWriteLove28
Georgia McBride will be hosted by YA Sisterhood
Jen McConnel will be hosted by A Dream Within A Dream
Jackie Morse Kessler will be hosted by Dark Faerie Tales
Beck Nicholas will be hosted by The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club
Michelle E. Reed will be hosted by Doodle’s Book Reviews
Heather Reid will be hosted by Bookish Things & More
A. Lynden Rolland will be hosted by Fiction State of Mind
Kristal Shaff will be hosted by Chicklit vs Fantasy
Pab Sungenis will be hosted by Classy Cat Books
Rachel Tafoya will be hosted by Jessabella Reads
Vicki L. Weavil will be hosted by Magical Urban Fantasy Reads

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