Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Losing Track by Trisha Wolfe ~ Blitz: Excerpt & Giveaway!


Losing Track (LivingHeartwood #2)
Release Date: 10/15/14


Sometimes you have to lose your way before finding the right track.


The roar of a bike engine. The vibration between her thighs. The feel of cool darkness kissing her skin as she coasts along twisty back roads at night—Melody Lachlan lives for these things. Ever since Mel and her best friend Darla escaped their small, backwoods town, they’ve traveled the countryside in search of fast rides, tatted bikers, and good times.


A self-proclaimed poet and lover of all things free, Mel views her life as one long bike ride—with pit stops along the way to numb the pain. But she never saw herself as a junkie. Party as hard as you ride. That’s her motto…until a tragic night steals her soul. Then she’s forced to delve below the surface, to where her demons rage.


When she meets recovered drug addict Boone Randall, she’s more likely to deck him than kiss his dimple-adorable face. She doesn’t want his help; doesn’t want to own up to her part in that night. She just wants to do her time and keep her promise to her friend. Yet Boone challenges Mel, and soon she doesn’t mind sharing the road. Only when Boone’s own secret demons threaten their newfound, fragile security, Mel’s course becomes rocky, and she must decide if letting her well-worn track marks fade is worth finding a new path. 


Told from Dual point of view from Melody and Boone, this is a New Adult Contemporary Romance intended for readers seventeen years of age and older.



 



Only $.99 for a limited time only!



Companion to:


The Darkest Part (Living Heartwood )
by TrishaWolfe
Release Date: 08/06/13



Pressing the boundaries of both the psyche and the heart, Sam and Holden embark on a dangerous journey that will test the limits of love.


Sam Wintry’s life used to be almost perfect. She was engaged to her childhood best friend and high school sweetheart, Tyler Marks, planning an amazing cross-country honeymoon during her college break. But after a hit-and-run leaves her in ruin, she begins seeing Tyler’s fractured, ghostly presence, and her family believes she’s losing her mind. Not until she completes their journey, stopping along the way to scatter Tyler's remains, will Tyler be able cross over. Only...is Sam ready for him to leave her?

When the black sheep of the Marks' family, Holden Marks, returns to check on Tyler's case, Sam convinces him to give her his brother's ashes. Despite their shaky history, she needs him...plus, he owes it to Sam and his brother. What she doesn’t count on is Holden’s relentlessness to go on the trip.

On the road, Holden realizes just how unhinged Sam has become. Dealing with her psychosis forces him to confront his dark past, making it harder to keep secrets hidden that should remain buried. Especially from Sam, the only woman he’s ever loved. And as Sam starts to unravel the truth, she begins to question if the brother she's unwillingly falling for again is in an even darker place than her.

New Adult Contemporary coming this year.




Only $.99 for a limited time only!


Melody

"Your friend doesn't like me very much," Boone says, interrupting my weird thoughts.

I shrug. "Jesse's like that. Don't worry about it." 

"I wasn't, really." He ducks his head to find my eyes. "But I am concerned that he seems to think you're his property."

My insides rage. "I'm no one's fucking property," I bite out. "And you don't know him. You don't know the MC. It's just their way...to like, look out for me and shit." 

Boone holds his hands up in defense. "Take it down a notch, Riz. Not looking for a brawl here."

"Funny. I thought that was your MO, fight club." 

This earns me a full-on smile, and my anger takes a dive. "Fair enough. Truce?" He extends his hand. 

With a forced sigh, I take his hand and shake. But he doesn't release it. Instead, he subtly twists his hand so that our fingers align, palm-to-palm, then laces his fingers through mine. My traitor heart kicks my rib cage. 

"How ill am I going to be watching you out there?" he says. 

"What do you mean?"

"I mean, you won't be on a bike you're used to, right? I'm assuming whoever's bike you're going to race is one of the guy's from down there." He nods toward the pit. "Not built for a woman." He eyes me. "A petite one, at that."

"I resent the fact that you think I'd have to ride a chick bike." 

He looks me over slowly, from head, to body, to toes, sending a flood of new heat everywhere. "What did you ride before?"

I attempt to hide my smile, doing a terrible job. "A Breakout, okay?" His smile widens, and I'm tempted to punch him in the shoulder. "I know...I know. But you have to admit that like, even though technically designed for chicks, it's still bad ass." I shrug. "I need a lower model, being vertically challenged and all." 

"I get that. And it is a badass ride. I'm sure it was modded all to hell, too."

"Damn right," I add.

"So what are you riding tonight?"

I nod toward the track, to where Jesse is getting ready to take off down the strip. "Forty-Eight." 

Boone's gaze follows mine to Jesse and his new hog. I take a quick peek at his face, see his brows pull together, before he says, "No. No way."

"Huh?"

"No offense. I'm sure you're an excellent rider...but I can't in good conscience let you drive that beast." 

"It is a beast," I say, having to agree with him. But then my feminine hackles raise. This is the second time in two days that a guy is telling me what's good for me. First, Jesse and his jealous ol' man act, when he reiterated again and again how he didn't like me hanging out with some backyard brawler. And now, Boone's laying it on pretty thick. Though in all fairness, I am taking more than a gamble with Jesse's hog. 

"Ride mine," Boone says.

Surprised, I look him straight in the eyes. "Are you serious?"

A moment of hesitancy pales his face, but to his credit, he checks it quickly. I know how much work he's put into his Bonnie. And I'm sure he doesn't trust me enough not to trash it on the track - he's never even seen me ride.

"I'm sure," he says. "It sits low, and it's also a bobber, very lightweight. It rides pretty close to a Breakout, and you'll handle it a hell of a lot better than that tank down there."

This is actually true. His bobber is customized for speed, and it does sit low, lower than a Breakout, actually. But one thing: "It's not American," I say. "I cannot ride non-American."

He cracks a smile. "How did I know you'd say that?" He gives my hand a pump, reminding me we're still holding hands, and it scares me a little how right it feels, how normal. "I'm serious, Mel. You need to ride my bike if you're going to do this. Don't let your stubbornness get you hurt."

A few weeks ago, him saying something like that would've ended with me telling him where to stick it. That it's none of his business - which really, it's not. But as I look down at our linked fingers, then up into his face, the light bruise covering one cheek, the cut above his eye, I know he also understands pain. Stubbornness. Determination. Want, and everything else I battle.

And truthfully, today is not the day I want to end up careening out of control. Whether on the track or off. 

"Do you know how special you are, that I'm even offering you the chance to ride my baby?" His hand sends another pulse to mine, and it's like a lifeline - his energy, his assurance, flowing from him to me. 

I don't think I would've offered him the same in return. I know what a huge thing it is to let someone else ride a machine you've put so much of yourself into. Really, I could get all misty on him in this moment. Instead, I palm his large hand between both of my small ones. "I'm going to hear so much shit for racing a Triumph." 




I’m the author of the YA Steampunk DESTINY'S FIRE (Omnific Publishing), ASTARTE'S WRATH NA Historical/Supernatural, and the upcoming YA Utopian FIREBLOOD from Spencer Hill Press, October 2013. My NA Dark Fantasy OF SILVER AND BEASTS available May 2013.

I’m the creator of YA Bound, a promotional site for the Young Adult genre. Also a member of SCWW and The Apocalypsies.

A proud business owner, I'm partnered with my partner, my husband. When I’m not busy doing all of the above, I’m a wife and the mother of a gorgeous teen boy who's the sounding board for my male characters.




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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Girl Who Came Back to Life by Craig Staufenberg ~ Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway

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Welcome to my stop on The Girl Who Came Back to Life Blog Tour hosted by CBB Book Promotions. The Girl Who Came Back to Life is a Middle Grade Fantasy (fable/fairytale). Click here for the full tour schedule.

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Title: The Girl Who Came Back to Life 
Author: Craig Staufenberg
Publication date: April 16th 2014
Publisher: Createspace
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy (fable/fairytale)
Source: Copy for review







Purchase: Amazon | B&N



A book about love and loss, and how to live in a world filled with both...

When you die, your spirit wakes in the north, in the City of the Dead. There, you wander the cold until one of your living loved ones finds you, says "Goodbye," and Sends you to the next world. 

After her parents die, 12-year-old Sophie refuses to release their spirits. Instead, she resolves to travel to the City of the Dead to bring her mother and father’s spirits back home with her. 

Taking the long pilgrimage north with her gruff & distant grandmother—by train, by foot, by boat; over ruined mountains and plains and oceans—Sophie struggles to return what death stole from her. Yet the journey offers her many hard, unexpected lessons—what to hold on to, when to let go, and who she must truly bring back to life.
  


Lately it seems like I'm reading books back to back about life and loss. I believe I'm drawn to those topics especially at this time of year when the vibrancy and liveliness of summer gives way to the unforgiving bleakness of winter. The Girl Who Came Back to Life is about both - how do you keep on living after losing loved ones? 

Since Sophie lost her parents, she's decided to find a way to the City of the Dead and bring them back with her, thinking everything can go back to the way it was. Sophie's grandmother has taken in her in, but she isn't emotionally available to Sophie. Since Sophie's grandfather died, her grandmother sleepwalks through life. The only times she allows the sharp edges of her personality to fade are when she reads a mysterious letter that seems to give her comfort. 

I find the idea behind this story oddly comforting, and I say oddly because I like knowing the souls still exist but you don't know what the next plane of existence will be. But you know they're going somewhere. I'm also not sure I could let go. What if you didn't want to Send your loved ones? What if you wanted them to stay with you rather than allowing them to move on to the next stage? 

Once I heard there are some who believe if you don't "let go" of your loved ones and move on from their death, their spirit will remain here and be prevented from going on to Heaven or wherever you believe your soul goes. That always horrified me because I didn't want to let go of them, but I didn't want to prevent them from going to where they could be at rest. The Girl Who Came Back to Life had me thinking about all of this, and I like to think about it as morbid as that might sound. 

I was glued to this book - I couldn't wait to find out if and how Sophie would make it to the City of the Dead and what she would ultimately do when/if she arrived there. And her grandmother intrigued me with the way she has emotionally closed herself off. The sacrifices Sophie makes to get to the City touched me. I'd like to think I would have done the same as she did. She's clever and quick thinking. I'm not sure how much I'm like that, or if I'm like that at all.

The Girl Who Came Back to Life is an amazing story. The pacing was a bit slow for me at times, but I believe it's a personal preference. I think I was impatient, wanting to find out what was going to happen next so badly. Other than this minor issue, I loved reading Sophie's story. 

My Rating:






Craig Staufenberg is a writer and filmmaker living in NYC.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads    





3 signed copies of The Girl Who Came Back to Life by Craig Staufenberg (US)

3 ebook copies of The Girl Who Came Back to Life (INT)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Following Zippy by C.B. Burdette ~ Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway


Welcome to my stop on the Following Zippy Blog Tour hosted by IFB Tours. Click here to follow along with the full tour schedule. 


Title: Following Zippy
Author: C.B. Burdette
Publication date: July 2014
Publisher: Flower Child Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult 
Source: Copy for review






Purchase: Amazon | B&N



At fifteen most kids only have to worry about their homework or the style of their shoes. Gabe Perkins isn't most kids. When diagnosed with a terminal illness, he begins to make friends with a girl so ethereal, he starts to question his own sanity.


"Look at those fish," she said, diverting her attention towards the creek. 

"What about them?" 

"They're just swimming along. Living and breathing. I wonder," she said as she nudged her shoulder against mine, "if they know what purpose they serve."

"Well, they probably don't." 

"Why's that?"

"Because, they're fish?"

"Don't think so low of the marine species."

"Zippy, they're little minnows. They're so little they probably only live a few months. Why worry about their place in life?"

"I don't know. Something of the simplicity of them is nice, though, you must admit." She gleamed ear to ear. "Imagine, if you were a little minnow, swimming down the creek." 

"Oh, crap."

"What?"

"Do you really think there's something out there that really cares about those little fish? Or even, you know, if something out there is looking down at us, talking about us like we're little fish? As if we're just tiny little minnows swimming down a stream, unsure of what fate lies ahead of us?"

"I do." 



Most likely the shortest synopsis I've seen for a novel, Following Zippy only intrigued me even more because so little is given away. I didn't know what to expect, and it was exciting to walk into the unknown. I sensed the book's theme was life and death, and stories with that kind of theme always draw me into them.    

At only fifteen years old, Gabe finds out he has a terminal illness, and his reactions are realistic and heartbreaking. I can only imagine I'd deal with the diagnosis the same way he dealt with it. His wit and candor made me laugh at times and other times I wanted to slap him for hurting his mom's feelings. Around the same time he's diagnosed, he begins seeing a girl with wavy golden hair named Zippy and is the only one who can see her. People think he's hallucinating, and even he begins to think that himself due to the nature of his illness. 

It's hard to have hope while things look so bleak, but Zippy gives Gabe something no one else has - the insight that he could be spending what he has left of his life in a way that gives meaning to him and those around him. My favorite scene between the two of them is when they're talking about whether fish know what purpose they serve, and the conversation turns to whether human beings know their purpose. I thought it was a clever comparison - aren't we like those fish? Couldn't we be like them with someone we might not even be able to see wondering if we know our purpose?      

For me, Following Zippy is really easy to talk about and review, but I struggled with rating it. There are a lot of mistakes editing can fix - such as punctuation errors, you're versus your, and incorrect grammar - but the story was so compelling to me, I flew through the pages. I would have easily been able to give Following Zippy five stars had there not been the mistakes either missed by editing or if the book was edited at all. I wanted, no, I needed to know if Zippy was a hallucination and what was going to happen to Gabe. Just looking at the cover makes me happy knowing what story lies within its pages, and for that, I'm giving Following Zippy four stars.   


My Rating: 






I grew up a gypsy at my parents hands. With a dad in the Air Force, I got to experience life on the road, soaking up culture. After spending 6 years working as a model, I realized that the industry wasn't much of what I was looking for in life. More often than not I felt like Jo Stockton in Funny Face and escaped into the world of film, where your job is based on something more than beauty. Though I do love 12 hour days on set, there's nothing like snuggling up with a warm laptop and letting my fingers dance away to create a whole new world.





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Confessions of a Teenage Rape Survivor by Holly Dae ~ Blitz: Excerpt & Giveaway


Welcome to the promo event for Holly Dae's realistic YA fiction, hosted by IFB Tours! This book sounds intense, but I'm planning on reading it. I'm not afraid of intensity. I imagine the subject may not be for everyone as it could possibly be a trigger. This story, I believe, will bring up many of the issues we face in the society we live in. 

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.






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