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Friday, February 19, 2016

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Revolution by Jessica Frances

Jessica Frances
Publication date: January 26th 2016
Genres: Dystopia, New Adult

I was raised in a world where humans no longer rule.

In the past, we made a terrible mistake by creating a new species we thought would serve us as our army, which led to our downfall.

There was a war, we lost, and many lives were massacred. It was the end of life as we knew it and the beginning of a hell we were now trapped in. We became enslaved to what we now called Superiors, becoming pets to them, simply there to entertain.

In a world so miserable, I managed to do the unthinkable: I fell in love. But even that was doomed, because to love a Superior was forbidden.

What the rest of the Superiors didn’t know was how deeply a human could love or how resilient we became when we were hurt.

The Superiors never could have imagined an uprising, which was why they never saw it coming.

Humans deserved to be free, and I would stop at nothing to deliver that promise.

My name is Tilly, and I am still alive with one sole purpose: to begin a revolution.

I had been raised to believe humans were worthless. We owned them and controlled them, and when we were done with them, we threw them away. Therefore, I never thought I would ever feel more for Tilly than disinterest. I never expected to want to save her.

It was forbidden for a Superior to love a human. No one had ever crossed that line, but I did. I fell madly in love with her, so it was no surprise how we ended up.

I was raised to be a soldier, and that was what I was always going to be. However, I was not a soldier for the Superiors, not anymore.

I became a soldier for humans, and I would stop at nothing to help them. They deserved to be free, and I would die protecting them.

My name is Johnny, and I am here with one sole purpose: to finish a revolution.

“How can you do that to these humans? This is beyond cruel!” I demand of her, not as afraid of her as I am of Jax.
She saunters over to me, her expression one of someone feeling carefree. “Many reasons, one being I make a lot of money doing this. Another is it is great entertainment.” She shrugs. “You humans are beneath us. I think it is disgusting that you are allowed into Superiors’ homes. You deserve to be in cages and in gutters. You are genetic mistakes that I would love to completely wipe out.”
“You wouldn’t even exist without us!” I yell, angry at her words.
“You humans stupidly created a species superior to you in every way, and then you tried to exterminate us when you realized you were no longer at the top of the food chain. You failed, and now you are forever destined be our slaves, our pets, our playthings. You are weak, disgusting, disease-ridden beings who deserve every ounce of pain I give you.”
Without warning, she shoves one of the sticks at me, zapping me with an electric shock powerful enough to send pain coursing through my entire body, forcing me against the back of the cage.
I scream, shocked and scared at how painful the experience is.
She doesn’t stop, and I swear my heart gives out. But then she pulls back, her laughter slowly filtering through my ears as I begin to calm down.

“Pathetic,” she mutters to me, turning around and moving past the cages, randomly choosing humans to zap.

Author Bio:
Jessica lives in Adelaide, South Australia. When she is not writing, you can find her reading, napping or watching excessive amounts of TV. Connect with her on Facebook and Goodreads.

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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Blog Tour, Review, & Giveaway: Marked by Laura Williams McCaffrey


by Laura Williams McCaffrey

Publisher: Clarion Books

Release Date: February 16th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia

Rating: 3


Sixteen-year-old Lyla lives in a bleak, controlling society where only the brightest and most favored students succeed. When she is caught buying cheats in an underground shadow market, she is tattooed—marked—as a criminal. Then she is offered redemption and she jumps at the chance . . . but it comes at a cost. Doing what is right means betraying the boy she has come to love, and, perhaps, losing even more than she thought possible. Graphic novel–style vignettes revealing the history of this world provide Lyla with guidance and clues to a possible way out of the double bind she finds herself in.

I received this book for free from Clarion Books via The Fantastic Flying Book Club in exchange for an honest review.

Marked is a different kind of dystopian book. In Marked, criminals are marked with tattoos when they commit even the smallest infractions. These marks all but leave the offenders as outcasts in this society. It is hard for them to find work even have a place to live with the marks so visible. There is a very political aspect to the story, but of course it is told in a very riveting way.

What I liked
The thing that I liked most about this book is the interesting premise. The very idea that criminals are marked with tattoos on their wrists the moment they are caught is so thought provoking. It brings into question the types of situations this can leave someone in, especially, as in Lyla's case, when the law that was broken was minor. The mark left her an outcast, and without many options as far as a career/work are concerned. 

I really like how vividly the author portrayed the treatment of the marked by the rest of society. Once Lyla is marked, everyone immediately starts treating her like less of a person. At work, her boss all but fires her. The rich people that are patrons where she works, the barons, laugh at her and treat her as if she is dirt. Her classmates at school stare and single her out. 

I very much loved the comic strips included in the book. In the story, Lyla is fond of reading short comic strips about a duo that fights against an unjust group. During the story, we also get the see these comic strips and they seems to vaguely correlate with the story in the book as well. It is a very interesting idea and I loved it!

The relationship between Lyla and her sister, Hope, was very touching. They were so very close and cared for one another immensely. 

I really loved how unpredictable the book was. Going into the book, you assume that Lyla will join with the rebels and revolt against their government. But, there is so much gray area in this book. I loved that Lyla was always true to herself regardless of the choices that she made. The government may be unjust, but the rebels may not exactly be the answer either. It is a good twist.

What I didn't like
There is so much unknown terminology thrown out at you at the beginning of the book that it seemed a little overwhelming. You have to keep reading without fully understanding things. As the story unfolds, the terminology becomes easier to follow, but there is quite a bit at the beginning that can leave a reader unsure.

The romance in the book was barely there. I liked how Lyla and Gill came together in the book. They were childhood friends that had not seen each other in years. Their coming together seemed too slow, and when they finally did come together it kind of petered out. I think that the author could have done so much more with their romance. It was so disappointing to me because they were so great together. 

I was also disappointed by the lack of Gill at the end of the book. I was expecting him to show up and save the day, or at least show up. But alas, he did not. 

The ending really threw me for a loop. I enjoyed the comic strip, but there was no sense of time. We know that Lyla and Gill meet after everything, but we don't know how long it has been or what occurred during that time. It was kind of disconcerting. On one hand, we get to see that they reunite. On the other hand, we don't know the important details that could make or break the reunion. 

Would I Recommend It
Yes. This book is very enjoyable and the premise is strong. Although the story is very engaging, there is also a backdrop of political issues. The pacing is great and the reader can relate to all of the characters easily.

Sneak peek — the first episode of Threatened Alchemyks, the serialized story Lyla reads in Marked. Illustrations by Sally Cantirino. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)

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Follow the Marked by Laura Williams McCaffrey Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

I read, I write, I teach. I've published short stories in Cicada, YA Review Network, Solstice Literary Magazine, and Soundings Review. Clarion Books will release Marked, my YA dystopian fantasy, in February 2016. My other fantasy novels are WATER SHAPER and ALIA WAKING (both published by Clarion Books). For more information, it's best to visit my website: http://www.laurawilliamsmccaffrey.com

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: The Prophecy of Shadows (Elementals #1) by Michelle Madow

Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows is the first in a new series that fans of Percy Jackson and The Secret Circle will love!

About Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows:

Title: Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows
Author: Michelle Madow
Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Series: Elementals #1
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: eBook and paperback
ISBN: 2940152448849

Filled with magic, thrilling adventure, and sweet romance, Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows is the first in a new series that fans of Percy Jackson and The Secret Circle will love!

When Nicole Cassidy moves from sunny Georgia to gloomy New England, the last thing she expects is to learn that her homeroom is a cover for a secret coven of witches. Even more surprisingly … she’s apparently a witch herself. Despite doubts about her newfound abilities, Nicole is welcomed into this ancient circle of witches and is bedazzled by their powers—and, to her dismay, by Blake—the school’s notorious bad-boy.

Girls who get close to Blake wind up hurt. His girlfriend Danielle will do anything to keep them away, even if she must resort to using dark magic. But the chemistry between Blake and Nicole is undeniable, and despite wanting to protect Nicole from Danielle’s wrath, he finds it impossible to keep his distance.

When the Olympian Comet shoots through the sky for the first time in three thousand years, Nicole, Blake, Danielle, and two others in their homeroom are gifted with mysterious powers. But the comet has another effect—it opens the portal to the prison world that has contained the Titans for centuries. After an ancient monster escapes and attacks Nicole and Blake, it’s up to them and the others to follow the clues from a cryptic prophecy so that they can save their town … and possibly the world.

Buy Links:  Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  iBooks

Add to your TBR List:  Goodreads


Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows is an interestingly distinct paranormal story that weaves Greek mythology into the mix. I have to say, I haven't come across a premise quite like it before. I thoroughly loved the elemental aspect of the story. If you love stories about witchcraft or mythology then I would pick this one up!

What I liked
I think that the best thing about this book is the interesting premise. I was really intrigued by Madow's interpretation of magic and mythology. I haven't read anything quite like it before, so it was refreshing. 

The dialogues are fantastic! Most of the characters in this book are in high school, and they talk like they are. I hate reading books where the young characters in the books talk in sentences resembling college essays or network news anchors. Teenagers talk like young people. Madow's characters are young, they talk like young people. They don't speak as though they are unintelligent by any means, but at the same time not at all like adults. 

The main characters are very relate-able. You get where they are coming from and nothing feels iffy as the story develops. 

I like how addicting the story became the longer that I read. I seriously finished this book in ONE sitting. It was really that good. =D

I really enjoyed the romance. It was fairly subtle because of the situations in the book, but I thought that it was lovely. I don't know that I have Blake completely figured out though, so I can't wait for the next book! I am rooting for Blake and Nicole! (Also, how cute are Kate and Chris?! I think that they would be adorable together!)

What I didn't like
I would have liked to have seen more about Kate and Chris. They have large parts of the story, but I didn't feel as though their personalities and backgrounds were covered enough. I would have liked to have known them a little deeper. Especially since they were so integral to the story.

There were a few things that were fairly predictable in the plot. Once my suspicions were confirmed, it didn't necessarily take away from the story. I still very much enjoyed the outcome of the book. Alas, the predictable factor is still there and worth mentioning. 

While reading I felt like the story was progressing a little quickly for my taste. I think that adding some more background information would have also been beneficial. Again, it doesn't necessarily take away from my enjoyment, but I do think that these things could have made the book that much better.

Would I Recommend It
Absolutely! Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows is a breath of fresh air! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I can't wait to read the next book in this series! Gah! Why can't it be April yet? I need Elementals: The Blood of the Hydra now!

About Michelle Madow:
Michelle Madow grew up in Baltimore, graduated Rollins College in Orlando, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida. She wrote her first book in her junior year of college, and has been writing novels since. Some of her favorite things are: reading, pizza, traveling, shopping, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Michelle has toured across America to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.

To get instant updates about Michelle's new books, subscribe to her newsletter and follow her on Amazon!

Connect with Michelle:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Goodreads


Michelle is offering up a fabulous prize during her Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows Virtual Tour event. One (1) lucky winner will receive a Kindle Fire 7”! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Starflight by Melissa Landers

STARFLIGHT Launch Blitz & Giveaway

Hey there, booklovers!

I’m author Melissa Landers, and I’m thrilled to announce the release of STARFLIGHT, the first in a brand new sci-fi series from Disney-Hyperion. I originally pitched this story to my editor as “Overboard” (one of my favorite romantic comedies) meets “Firefly” (an amazing show that was tragically cancelled after one season). STARFLIGHT follows the misadventures of Solara Brooks, a penniless felon who indentures herself to her high school nemesis, Doran Spaulding, in exchange for passage to a new world. But when Doran’s memory is temporarily erased, Solara convinces him their roles are reversed—that she’s the master and he’s the servant—and leads him onto a renegade spaceship, where intergalactic shenanigans ensue. STARFLIGHT is very different in tone from the Alienated trilogy, but the story is still filled with all the things I love: humor, heart, and adventure.

What do reviewers have to say?

“Get ready for blast-off! Action-packed and utterly addictive, nobody writes like Melissa Landers. A smart, satisfying romance set in a vividly detailed world, Starflight was just plain fun!” –New York Times bestselling author Amie Kaufman

Teens will be bracing themselves during the swashbuckling action scenes. A great choice for fans of raw sci-fi action, reminiscent of the lawlessness presented in the television series Firefly.” –School Library Journal

“A lively tale of romance, space pirates, conspiracy, and made (as opposed to genetic) families.” –Booklist

If you like your sci-fi adventure served with a side of romance, I hope you’ll pick up a copy of STARFLIGHT today. It’s now available in stores and online.

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1MKVTwt
Book Depository (free international shipping): http://bit.ly/1OoN2WD
Indie Bound: http://bit.ly/1IIMPx7

To celebrate my book birthday, I’m offering one lucky winner a STARFLIGHT swag pack, complete with custom nail wraps, bookmarks, and a mini poster! The giveaway is open internationally. Due to sweepstakes laws, entrants must be 18 years or older to participate.

Best of luck, and happy reading!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Melissa Landers is a former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds. A proud sci-fi geek, she isn’t afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public—just ask her husband and three kids. She lives outside Cincinnati in the small town of Loveland, “Sweetheart of Ohio.” For more information or just to say hello, visit www.melissa-landers.com.

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