Book Blitz + Sale Alert ~ ‘Dark Prophet’ by K.N. Lee.

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Dark Prophet by K.N. Lee
The Chronicles of Koa #2
Genres: Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal

Dark Prophet by K.N. Lee

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 SYNOPSIS

Book Two of the Best-Selling Novel, The Chronicles of Koa: Netherworld 

Not all vampires are created equal… 
Koa is a half-blood vampire with not only the ability to fly, but survive in the sun’s light. She will do anything to protect her mother, and break her curse. The demon, Bund, wants more than her mother’s life. He wants something from Koa, a power that she doesn’t even know she has, and will rip through as many humans as he can to get her to surrender.

Agent Koa Ryeo-won, and her boss, Halston, formed a crew of supernatural agents to stop Bund. But is a prophet, a temptress, a War-Breeder, a half-blood with an enchanted sword, and a few angels enough to stop what Bund has planned?

In the midst of a war between the humans of the mortal world, and the creatures of the Netherworld, Koa discovers the truth of her past. She finds herself torn between two men, and in the center of everything. Faced with all of her returned memories, Koa also finds herself more powerful than ever. Being a half-blood is hard enough, but what exactly is Koa’s other half?

The truth can save…or destroy everything.

Will the Netherworld Division stand behind Koa once they learn her secret?

**Bonus Material** 
Chapter 1 of K.N. Lee’s young adult fantasy, Academia of the Beast! 

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Dark Prophet is FREE for a limited time!

Vampires, and angels, and demons…oh my! Download the international bestseller by award-winning author, K.N. Lee for free today. And don’t keep this fantastic event a secret. Share it with your friends!

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Exclusive Excerpt:

Koa frowned down at her body. A red dress. Koa hated red, but she did not have a choice. Like the blood that Koa had spilled the night before when she had been cut with a glowing dagger, the dress was dark and rich.

Ceremonies such as this were normal in the Netherworld. The wound on her white wrist healed before her eyes. Within minutes, the ceremony was complete, the tests were run, and it was confirmed that she was indeed the daughter of Alsand Vangelis, the vampire king of Elyan.

Only hours ago, Koa was awakened by a team of violet-eyed women tugging at her limbs. They washed her in scalding hot water, scrubbed her raw with oils, and slathered creams onto her snow-white skin. They straightened her thick black hair and painted her face with colors that Koa only thought older women were allowed to wear. Then, she had been dressed.

In a gaudy red wedding gown… at the age of twelve.

Koa wanted to run from the black temple that she and her father had slept in. On the side of a mountain, the temple faced the back of the dark kingdom that was meant to be her prison for an eternity. She wanted to break free from the parade of attendants sent to accompany her and fly home.

The human world seemed so far away.

No one understood just how much she did not want to do this. This wasn’t to be a human wedding, but a Netherworld wedding… a vampire wedding.

Koa scrunched up her nose as she looked down at the billowing gown, littered with sparkling crystals and black taffeta. She looked like a gothic spin on a Disney princess.

Vampire Barbie, she thought to herself.

Even at such a young age, Koa knew she did not fit the role of such a character. She was not a doll or a character from the books she read. She closed her eyes and tried to calm her nerves.

Like boiling acid, anxious feelings churned within her stomach, making her feel like she might faint, or worse… vomit at any moment.

How embarrassing that would be, Koa thought as she chewed her lip. She grimaced. Her lips tasted horrible, like tar. She’d almost forgotten that she was covered in makeup like a clown. Her small hands shook and she wanted to cry. It took all of her strength to keep the tears from escaping and causing an even bigger scene. With hot cheeks she held her breath, and prayed for an escape.

Koa was afraid of this dark place, where neither the sun nor moon existed. The entire population was composed of millions of creatures that would have given normal girls nightmares. “Nephilim” is what her father called them. The spawn of fallen angels. King Alsand was a nephilim. Koa was as well.

She was glad that her father was by her side. He never let go of her hand. With her free hand, Koa tugged at the high collar of her gown. She groaned. The black lace made the skin on her throat itch.

Koa looked up at her father. She was small, and her father always looked like such a giant to her. King Alsand walked regally by her side. He commanded such attention. With his head held high, his face depicted an air of authority. Together, they walked at the head of the procession through the wide streets of Lyrinia, while the citizens watched in uneasy silence.

Netherworld vamps, War-Breeders, Jems, Syths, and even ghouls came out of their hiding spots to catch a glimpse of the mysterious half-blood princess.

Koa tried not to stare back at the horrific creatures all around. The sound of metal and robotic buzzing noises caught her attention as a quad of Scayors entered the crowd. Everyone stepped aside to let them through to the front. Like metallic giants, slim, and sleek, the Scayors patrolled the event like silent police. Their eyes cast a dim green glow over what they scanned.

She shuddered when their gaze lingered on her. She feared that they were reading her thoughts and knew that she was afraid of them. That was one thing that Koa hated, the admission of fear. Even the monk-like Syths scared her. They were big, pale, creatures with bald heads and faces covered in tattoos.

Lightning broke out and everyone looked up to the sky. Koa clutched her father’s arm and paused.

He smiled down at her. “Don’t worry, Koa. It’s not a real sky, my love. That is simply the ground of another Netherworld level. I believe they are having a battle up there.”

Koa’s eyes narrowed as she looked at the dismal black sky. Lightning struck again, but it wasn’t the kind of lighting that she was used to. It was green and took the shape of various symbols as it faded into the dark. To think that they were only on one of the many levels of the Netherworld, and that entire civilizations and kingdoms were going about their business with little to no care about what an important day this was for Lyrinia was too much for young Koa to grasp.

When she looked back down, she saw that everyone had returned their attention to her. Vampire women and men stared at her. They were the only creatures that she wasn’t fearful of. Father had various vampires over at the manor from time to time, but none of them looked as picturesque as these Netherworld vamps.

Painted faces stared at her. The vampire women were the most beautiful women that Koa had ever seen, and yet none compared to her mother’s simple and natural beauty. These women were like painted dolls who she imagined tipping over and watching crack into pieces of porcelain.

Koa noticed how they seemed to be separated into groups. The red lipsticks on the left and the black lipsticks on the right. Koa didn’t know if it was simply a fashion trend or something more, but all of the women wore the most elaborate gowns and jeweled arrangements on their perfectly sculptured hairdos.

They watched her, unblinking, unsmiling. She could see the judgment in their eyes.

“Father,” Koa breathed. She looked away from their violet eyes and clutched her father’s arm.

King Alsand looked down at her. His green eyes were serious today. “What is it, darling?”

Koa looked ahead at the sparkling golden palace before them. The golden plates along the palaces walls shimmered and reflected all of the light from the Disc Moon, the artificial moon of the Netherworld. Her voice was caught in her throat. Something felt odd and yet she felt drawn to the palace. It stood out like a candle in the dark and pulled her in, as if by magic, like a moth to a porch light.

Koa’s face paled. This was the place that would be her new home. King Greggan’s teenage son, Prince Jax, would be her new husband.

Koa stopped. The guards that were leading them looked back and seemed ready to seize her and force her forward.

King Alsand leaned down to her ear. “What’s wrong?”

“I want to go home.”

Her father patted her hand and when one of the Syth guards stepped forward, he whipped out the Lyrinian sword with lightning speed. Everyone drew in a breath and stepped back as they beheld its power. The ring of steel rang throughout the air. It pulsed, audibly, and visibly as the red glow made the air heat and crackle.

Even Koa held her breath as her eyes shot to the Lyrinian blade.

King Alsand’s raptor-like glare burned into the guards, warning them to keep their distance. He didn’t have to say a word. The red glow of the black blade was enough to make the large brutish creatures rethink their actions.

King Alsand waited a moment longer, making sure that they knew how serious he was. Koa had only trained with that sword once. The power was too great for her now, but one day it would be hers.

She flinched when her father’s glare landed on her. “Koa, this is your home.”

Koa shook her head, but avoided his eyes. She looked around. The air was stale, not like the fresh, fragrant air of France. The sky was dark, lit only by the Disc Moon that cast different colors across the land whenever the hour changed.

She missed the moon of Earth. She missed the sun, the trees, and the flowers. The Netherworld felt like a nightmare from which she would never awaken. No matter what color the day was in the Netherworld, it was always too dark for her. Koa’s father didn’t understand her love for daylight, for he had never seen real daylight.

The sun’s rays would kill him just as surely as it would kill any vampire, Netherworld or New World. Koa was the only exception and she wished that he would at least try to understand.

“You are half Netherworld vamp, Koa,” her father gave her hand a squeeze. “This is where you belong, amongst your people.”

“I am also half human.”

King Alsand looked down at her and pursed his lips. His eyes hid something from her.

Koa tried to soften her voice and sound as sweet as possible. “Bring mother here, and maybe I won’t feel so homesick,” Koa reasoned, her green eyes hopeful.

King Alsand shook his head, but his features softened for her. “My darling girl. You will see that this is the place for you. You belong here with your people. The treaty has already been signed.” He leaned closer to her ear and whispered. “Your mother cannot come here Koa. She is safe in the mortal world. If we do not fulfill our side of the treaty, she will be in danger. Now, is that what you want?”

Her lips trembled. She shook her head quickly. Just the thought of someone harming her mother made her feel sick. She didn’t know what she would do if she lost that sweet, loving, woman.

She looked into her father’s eyes.

“Do you understand what I am telling you?”

Koa nodded. She understood, but she still didn’t agree with what was happening.

Alsand smiled and stroked her pale white cheek.

“But I don’t want to do this,” Koa whispered.

Alsand’s smile faded, but his eyes didn’t turn cold on her as she expected. He knelt down to her level and cupped her cheek.

“I know, my dear girl, but sometimes we have to do things that we don’t want to… to protect those that we love.”

“May I?” Faun asked of Alsand.

Alsand nodded and Faun gathered her white skirts in one hand and scampered over to fix Koa’s long black hair. Koa didn’t take her eyes from her father’s. She hoped that he would see how miserable she was.

Koa ignored Faun as she examined her face with violet eyes. She was adamant about making sure that Koa’s part was perfectly straight and that her hair fell in long ringlets.

“Smile,” she said.

Koa twisted her mouth. “I don’t want to.”

Faun put her hands on her bony hips. She scrunched up the space between her thin brows as she narrowed her eyes at Koa. “Just do it. It’s only for a second.”

Koa rolled her eyes and faked a quick smile.

“That wasn’t so hard, now was it?” Snickering, she gathered her skirts in her hand. “You have red lipstick on your teeth,” she said and returned to her place in the procession behind Koa and her father.

Frustrated, Koa rubbed her teeth with her finger. She knew just how ridiculous she looked. Black liner, red lips, and rosy cheeks.

Alsand locked arms with Koa. He leaned close and gave her a kiss on the cheek. He lowered his voice into a whisper. “Remember, never mention that you can walk in the sun. Never.”

Koa swallowed and squeezed her eyes shut. “I know, father. You don’t have to keep reminding me.”

“Good,” he stood back to his full height. His eyes widened and he leaned down again. “Or that you can fly.”

Koa nodded, her head down. “Yes, I know.”

He pinched her cheek. “Good. Shall we continue, darling?”

“I don’t know, father.” Koa couldn’t bring herself to look at her father again. “Is there anything else that you want to remind me not to say or do?” Her eyes were burning from the tears that threatened to gush forth.

Alsand noticed and simply shook his head. He patted her hand.

She hung her head. Once again, they were walking down the black stone walkway that led to the gate and stone doors of the Lyrinian palace.

Koa’s heart pattered against her ribcage. She felt like she might have an anxiety attack. So many eyes staring. So much anticipation in the air.

Those golden gates that she’d been staring at for the past hour, as they walked through the entire kingdom, were held open for them and heavily guarded.

When Koa stepped through the gates and entered a massive courtyard of stone. Their path was lit for them. On either side of the carpet were artificial trees of stone and black clay. They weren’t real, but they were beautiful. Art.

Even Koa could appreciate the mastery. She examined the sculptures as she followed her escort through the courtyard and to the stone doors that led into the palace. Once inside, light seemed to fill every dark space. Chandeliers, torches, candles, mirrors reflecting the light, and light discs were positioned all over the wide corridor.

It was then that Koa contemplated flying away. She’d thought of it often. It would be her last chance. She took a peek over her shoulder. She could still see the door. She’d just promised her father that she would keep her abilities a secret. She wasn’t sure why such things were so important.

She could simply lift herself into the air, and head for the Gate, but visions of her mother being harmed kept her firmly planted to the purple carpeted floor.

Koa felt numb, like she was walking to her prison cell.

Each corridor led to another corridor of a different theme. From one of light and mirrors they stepped through grand archers to a corridor of dim candles and artificial flowers in vases painted with paint that seemed to have a light of its own. There was a corridor with walls filled with paintings and soft music played by a small creature that resembled the one at the Gate. Tunes was what her father called him, but all Koa remembered was how creepy he was. She shuddered as she recalled Tunes’ bulbous eyes.

Koa watched it buzz around with short black wings as it blew eerie melodies out of its flute. She tapped her chin and furrowed her brows as she tried to remember what kind of creature it was.

With bat-like wings and rubbery, yellowish skin, she was sure she’d seen that creature in a book from her father’s study. Koa spent hours in there, reading anything that she could get her hand on. The Netherworld tomes always intrigued her. Now she was faced with the creatures she’d studied.

“An imp!” Koa shouted triumphantly. She covered her mouth with her hand and looked around in horror. She hadn’t meant to say that aloud. Everyone glanced at her with disapproval, but the imp continued playing its flute until they went into the next corridor.

Koa was relieved to find that the maze of corridors had finally ended, and that they were finally in the main ballroom where the prince and the royal family awaited them.

She stepped into the room, from carpet to shiny granite floors and a flood of light and decorations overwhelmed her senses. She didn’t want to admit how beautiful it was, but her eyes widened at the spectacle. Hundreds of chairs draped with gold silk lined either side of the alleyway that led to the dais where the thrones stood.

Her heart thumped. She felt something she hadn’t expected. Koa’s face flooded with blood as her eyes met those of the prince.

No one else mattered. Nothing else existed as Koa’s eyes cut through the crowd and down to the set of five thrones as Koa and her father stopped before the platform.

“Princess Evina, 1st Queen Katya, 2nd Queen Lera, your highness, King Greggan, and Prince Jax, behold King Alsand of Elyan and Princess Koa.”

Koa heard the introductions but something odd was happening. She stared at Prince Jax with her mouth agape.

He was the most attractive person she had ever seen in her life: piercing dark blue eyes, dark blood-red hair, and a perfectly sculpted chin and nose. Koa felt her face flush as he looked her up and down. Then, he did something that made her grin, despite her previous fears and doubts.

Prince Jax winked at her.

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5 out of 5 stars

Amazon verified editorial review

The Best Sequel Novel I’ve Ever Read–Period

“When I finished reading K.N. Lee’s “The Chronicles of Koa: Netherworld,” I remember the anticipation which began to build from that moment for the story I knew was coming.

Well, “Dark Prophet: Book Two of the Chronicles of Koa” certainly did not disappoint. Koa and Halston are back, better than ever. It sets a precedent for me to finish reading fictional works the very same day I start them, but that’s EXACTLY what happened this afternoon. An original, detailed plot–unique characters a reader finds themselves investing in readily–true hang-on-for-dear-life action–this book has it ALL. Lee writes in such a way she engages her audience from the opening sentence. I’m thrilled to say I’ve seen it happen twice now.

At this point, allow me to make something crystal clear: I’m not the type of reader who simply decides to review written material with the coveted 5-Star Rating just because others have before me. That’s just not “how I roll”. But, as I mentioned above, I’d already seen Lee’s talent with her first Koa publication; Dark Prophet validates my anticipation. Five stars? By all rights, there SHOULD be a 5-Star PLUS designation specifically for K.N. Lee.

There’s already a legion of fans out there who share my opinion.

Join us, and get this book, folks.

It’s that simple.”

Michael Holman, the author of Resolve and Retribution

Available on Amazon

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K.N. Lee

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Book Review ~ ‘Trial by Fire’ by Josephine Angelini

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Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini
The Worldwalker Trilogy #1
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Release Date: 28th August 2014.

Trial by Fire (Worldwalker #1) by Josephine Angelini

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SYNOPSIS

The exhilaratingly seductive new series from the author of the bestselling Starcrossed series

Love burns. Worlds collide. Magic reigns.

This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying many of the experiences that other teenagers take for granted…which is why she is determined to enjoy her first (and perhaps only) high-school party. But Lily’s life never goes according to plan, and after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly Lily is in a different Salem – one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruellest of all the Crucibles is Lillian . . . Lily’s identical other self in this alternate universe. This new version of her world is terrifyingly sensual, and Lily is soon overwhelmed by new experiences.

Lily realizes that what makes her weak at home is exactly what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. It also puts her life in danger. Thrown into a world she doesn’t understand, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can’t hope to shoulder alone, and a love she never expected.

But how can Lily be the saviour of this world when she is literally her own worst enemy?

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Book Review ~ ‘Trial by Fire’ by Josephine Angelini ~ 5+ Stars!

Well Wow, Wow and WOW!

I’m not ashamed to admit that what drew me to this book was originally the cover, because honestly the cover is so gorgeous it deserves all the credit it gets, but I also connected straight away to the synopsis. I’ve had a bit of a lull with books in the fantasy genre recently, finding a lot of them to be predictable and all too often just the same story written in different words. I can’t even express how ecstatic I was when I started reading this book, because I knew straight away that this story was going to be very different.

Josephine Angelini has created a stunning and incredibly moving story which has taken a special place in my heart. I couldn’t even write this review immediately after finishing it because I just couldn’t find the words to express what it was about this book that I loved so much. There was so much about it that spoke to me, and it has a message running throughout that is so powerful and poignant.

One of the things that made this book such a winner for me, was the absolutely fantastic characters. They didn’t feel like fictional beings at all to me, as the author did such an incredible job at giving them so many layers and dimensions that you could see the hopes, fears, good and bad in all of them which made them so real to me as a reader. It made me connect so much to the story that when I put my kindle down, it would take a minute for me to return to reality. In my opinion this is the sign of a really powerful author. Lily was also such a unique heroine, and I loved her for her strength, but also her despair, as it reminded me that before she was anything else, she was human with human emotions which can easily overwhelm you. Her slow-burning relationship with Rowan was something that I was so invested in, and I was so in tune with them that I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see how their story would progress.

Even Lillian, the nemesis of this book is more than just that. Even after all the things she had done I still felt for her, and really could understand where she was coming from when it came to her persecution of scientists. She was conflicted, was a real emotional being and really did believe that what she was doing was the only way to save those she loved, and I have no doubt of the love she had for her sister, Rowan and even in some ways, Lily.

The world that Josephine Angelini created in ‘Trial by Fire’ was so clever. It constantly went around in my mind the differences between reality and the new Salem that Lily was trapped in. In some ways it was almost a poignant message that things could have so easily been different in our world’s history. Where Witches were persecuted in history due to fear of their powers and science has taken over our world, it was so exciting to read of a world where scientists were persecuted by witches because of the fear of what Science can do to the world. Absolutely brilliant.

I don’t want to spoil any of the story for potential readers because it really is something that you have to experience yourself, but this is by far one of the best books I have read this year in this genre, and after that cliffhanger I am already goodreads stalking the author in the hope of any teasers for the next book in the series!

5+ Stars!

*Review copy was provided by the Publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

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Available to Pre-Order

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Josephine Angelini

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Book Review ~ ‘A Gifted Curse’ by K.N. Lee.

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A Gifted Curse by K.N. Lee
Tales of Darkness
Genre: Fantasy, Short Stories.

A Gifted Curse by K.N. Lee

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SYNOPSIS

Two tales of fantasy, darkness, and magic by award-winning paranormal fantasy author, K.N. Lee

The Last of the Jinn
Pregnant and enslaved by her own husband, Malah must find a way to steal her powers back and escape.

The Ticking Ring
Ella is an American woman that has found true love in Ireland. She never knew that the man of her dreams had a secret, or that his secret could remove her from the mortal world…

Bonus Material
Chapter One of Netherworld: The Chronicles of Koa Book One.

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Book Review ~ ‘A Gifted Curse’ by K.N. Lee ~ 5 Stars!

Once again K.N. Lee has managed to astound me with her raw talent for creating such well developed fantasy worlds in such short word count. Having adored the first two books in the ongoing ‘Chronicles of Koa’ series, I knew that K.N. Lee has a incredible way with words, and these two stories showed the same fluidity of character speech and development.

It’s always difficult in short stories to bring the same level of depth to characters as you would in a full length novel, but K.N. Lee makes it look so easy. In ‘The Last of the Jinn’ I connected so deeply to heroine Malah, and really felt as though I knew her, despite only seeing a small part of her life and journey. I mournedd with Malah for the loss of her children, and I too felt the utter betrayal as he husband enslaves her to benefit from her powers. This story had my mind whirring long after I finished it, and I kept thinking back to Malah and her incredible strength.

‘The Ticking Ring’ was an absolute gem of a short story and I loved the take the author used on this well-known character, giving the story a twist that you wouldn’t initially expect from a story showing the strength of love. It was heartwrenching but still beautiful to see desperately Ella wanted to accept the man she loved, but how real life and the responsibilities she had to her family and life in America ended up enroaching in her dreams of happiness. This was a poignant and beautifully written story that will have tears in your eyes.

K.N. Lee is a fantastic author who is at the top of my to-read list with every new release.

5 Stars!

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K.N. Lee

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Cover Reveal ~ ‘AlibiZ’ by Karice Bolton.

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AlibiZ by Karice Bolton
(Afterworld #2)
Publication date: October 2014
Genres: New Adult, Post-Apocalyptic
kariceindustrial red-2
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SYNOPSIS

Rebekah vows to expose the truth behind the RecruitZ that are killing the innocents. These creatures must be stopped, but so should the people controlling them. When Rebekah uncovers who is behind the uprisings, her own life becomes in danger.

Rebekah knows that she is not alone in this fight but vengeance alone won’t help her and the others to victory. Forced to build a battalion with the very creatures she needs to destroy, it is up to her to uncover the truth for the public before the world is turned over to an elite few.

Regardless of what may happen to her, she knows it’s a race against time to destroy these creatures and the monsters controlling them before there is no one left worth saving.

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Karice
Karice Bolton
Karice received an MFA in Creative Writing from the U of W. She has written fifteen novels and has several exciting projects in the works. Karice lives with her husband and two English Bulldogs in rainy Washington.
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Books currently available:
Luke Fletcher Series: Hidden Sins (Book 1), Buried Sins (Book 2) – coming soon
Beyond Love Series: Beyond Control (Book 1) Beyond Doubt (Book 2) Beyond Reason (Book 3) Beyond Intent (Book 4) Beyond Chance, Beyond Promise, and Beyond the Mistletoe coming soon
Afterworld Series: RecruitZ (Book 1) AlibiZ (Book 2) – October 2014
The Witch Avenue Series: Lonely Souls (Book 1), Altered Souls (Book 2), Released Souls (Book 3) Shattered Souls (Book 4)
The Watchers Trilogy: Awakening (Book 1), Legions (Book 2), Cataclysm (Book 3), Taken Novella (Watchers Prequel)
The Camp
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Cover Reveal organised by Xpresso Book Tours.
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Book Review ~ ‘I’ll Be Watching You’ by Beverly Barton.

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I’ll Be Watching You by Beverly Barton
Genres: Adult, Crime, Thriller, Mystery
Pubisher: Avon
Publication Date: Kindle ~ 28th August 2014
Paperback ~ 9th October 2014

I'll Be Watching You by Beverly Barton

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SYNOPSIS

Ella, sweet Ella, you were meant to be mine. You can’t begin to imagine all the things I want to do to you. When the time is right, I will come for you . . .

A series of hand-delivered letters leaves Ella scared for her life.

Someone is watching her. Wanting her. Someone promising revenge.

Desperate for the nightmare to end, Ella will do anything to discover the truth.

Even join forces with a man who comes with his own danger warning . .

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Book Review ~ ‘I’ll Be Watching You’ by Beverly Barton ~ 5 Stars!

There’s nothing better than getting lost in a really good thriller, and that is what ‘I’ll Be Watching You’ is, a really good thriller. Beverly Barton interwove the romance, crime, mystery and suspense of this story to perfection and made me feel like I was reading a real life account, not just a story. It is the sign of a very good author that you forget whilst reading that the story is purely fictional, and with the brilliant development of both the main and secondary characters and the slow building storyline, ‘I’ll Be Watching You’ felt very real to me, making me feel the suspense even more than I would have reading any old thriller.

I loved the development of the characters in this book, especially the way that Barton was able to write a romantic storyline between two characters who could not have been more different. I loved the personality clashes between Reed and Ella, which made me root for them even more, as both of them were so stubborn that when they were together, they began to see the world in a different way. The way that there storyline entwined with the suspense that was woven throughout the story was fantastic, and there were moments when I felt my head doubting Reed’s innocence, even though I knew in my heart that he was telling the truth. Having the hero of this story being an ex-convict who’d been imprisoned for 15 years for a murder he stoutly denies having any involvement in was a clever move as we were able to see how prison affected an innocent person as he started his life again outside. It was also wonderful to see the strong family network Reed had with his mother and sister, which was beautifully contrasted with the loving relationship Ella had with her Father, and she also believes with her mother.

Any good thriller has to have the reader on the edge of their seat, and I was definitely on the edge of mine when I was reading ‘I’ll Be Watching You’. So much so that when at 70% through the book at 1AM, I stayed awake to finish it as I just had to know what would happen to the characters that I had come to care about so deeply. What made this book even better was the tiny clues we were given throughout the novel as to who the true killer of Reed’s stepfather was. It was brilliant because the clues, whilst giving away so much information, also gave away so little, as my mind jumped constantly from one suspect to another, making a case against all of the main and secondary characters before finding out in the next chapter that my case was flawed. It was exceptionally well written and I loved feeling that as well as a reader, I was also an investigator of the crime.

What really made this novel stand out for me was the wonderful development of the secondary characters. They felt just as real to me as the main characters, and it made me so happy to see how their storylines unfolded alongside Reed and Ella’s. It was great to see how it was not just Reed who had been so badly affected by his mother’s relationship with their stepfather, as his sister was still badly scarred from her trauma, something that hadn’t lessened in the fifteen years her brother was in prison. Seeing her blossom into a more confident woman was so beautiful and I loved her relationship with Mark that I had at one time worried was one-sided.

This was a superbly written book, with perfect pacing, character development and a suspense that will have you shivering.

5 Stars!

*Review copy was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

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Available for Pre-Order.

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Book Review ~ ‘Since Forever Ago’ by Olivia Besse.

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Since Forever Ago by Olivia Besse
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary

Teenager Carrying His Girlfriend

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SYNOPSIS

Fresh off the heels of a devastating breakup, Riley Benson is a mess. But with her ingenious plan to become a ball-busting heartbreaker herself, she’s pretty sure she’ll survive. After all, what better way is there to get revenge than to move on?

Riley’s determined to become the perfect bachelorette—she’s going to drink like a bro, belch like a beast and swear so much that she’ll make even the most seasoned sailors blush. After all, those are the qualities that every guy’s secretly looking for…. aren’t they?

Max Fletcher is in love with the girl who gave him chicken pox and his first broken leg. When his best friend seems to finally be out of the picture, he can’t help but want to keep Riley all to himself. And, after coaching her with the very best of the very worst love advice, it seems as if he might actually get what he’s wanted after all those years. But just as the two come to the realization that they’re actually kind of perfect for each other, along comes a secret that threatens to tear them apart.

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 Book Review ~ ‘Since Forever Ago’ by Olivia Besse ~ Unrated

Since Forever Ago is a fresh, unique read within the New Adult Genre. I started this book unaware of any of the previous reviews of this book, so I was not influenced before I read this in anyway. For one, the cover is stunning and I’m not ashamed to say that this drew me in, as it’s all too often there are terrible covers on really good books which mean that it just won’t get the credit it deserves, so I was super pleased with the obvious care the author had put into the marketing side of this novel.

The storyline was a promising one, I loved the idea of Max sabotaging Riley’s dates in the hopes that he could win her over to himself, and I liked that there was some tension and obvious doubt when it came to Riley understanding what exactly her feelings for Max were, especially when her ex-boyfriend Noah begins to try and win her back. I also absolutely adored how the entire book was based on realistic elements of life approaching the end of college. All too often we see characters in New Adult books who are very mature for their age, which I love personally, because I felt like I could identify with them more, however in real life, college students aren’t always mature. They make stupid decisions, get drunk, party, act in a way that is far from how they should when they enter the adult world. I should know, after all I spent my first year of University sharing a flat with four very loud party-goers who represented a very stereotypical view of Students.

And it is for this reason that I myself couldn’t connect with this book, therefore think it would be unfair for me to give it a rating. I had a very stressful and traumatic university experience where I was shunned for not being like main character Riley. I felt too strongly that Riley was just everything I wasn’t, and therefore just couldn’t connect with her as a main character. The idea was so fresh, and the storyline so promising though that I made myself finish this book in order to give it a fair review, and in no way should my feelings about the main character in this book have any influence on any potential readers, because the author is obviously a very good one, who writes fluidly and creates a unique character base who I feel many young readers might identify better than I did. So I urge you to give this book a read, and make your own mind up, because as with every book, not everyone will like it, and with this one, I’m sure there is a group of readers out there who will find everything they are looking for with the characters in this story.

I will definitely read more from this author in the future, because I loved the writing style and the way the story flowed, so I look forward to seeing where this author will go next.

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*Review copy was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

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Olivia Besse

~ Facebook ~ Goodreads ~ Website ~

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Book Blitz ~ ‘Double Negative’ by C. Lee McKenzie.

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Double Negative by C. Lee McKenzie
Published by: Evernight Teen
Publication date: July 25th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Double Negative Cover

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SYNOPSIS

“My life was going, going, gone, and I hadn’t been laid yet. I couldn’t go into the slammer before that happened.” Hutch McQueen.

Sixteen-year-old Hutchinson McQueen is trapped between an abusive mother and an absentee father. Shackled by poor vision and poor reading skills, he squeaks through classes with his talent for eavesdropping and memorizing what he hears. After another suspension from school and suffering through one of his mother’s violent attacks, he escapes to a friend’s house that turns out to be a meth lab. The lab is raided and Hutch lands in juvenile detention. When the court sentences him to six months in a new juvenile program, he meets a teacher with Alzheimer’s who will change his life and hers.

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Three Things YA Fiction Writers Should Avoid

If you’re not writing historical fiction, there are three things YA fiction writers should avoid.

Including Identifiable Technology:

I wrote a story a few year ago called The Princess of Las Pulgas, and by the time I’d finished it, and it was ready to submit to publishers, I had some major changes to make. One big change had to do with technology.

In the original story, I had a flip phone—remember those? They were the latest in cell phone technology a few years ago, but not in 2010 when Princess came out.

This writer can’t keep up with the changes that Intel or Apple or whoever, comes up with. They spew new software and new devices faster than a high powered automatic.

I now try to make my techie references as generic as possible and hope those won’t be outdated before publication.

 

Using Current Slang:

Slang comes and goes about as fast as techie stuff, so finding something fresh, but not soon to be on its way out is difficult to impossible. I often approximate slang with what I call “loosely correct” grammar, or I just stay away from it entirely. It doesn’t necessarily add to character. In fact, I sometimes think it detracts. Still I do resort to some when it suits the character and I can’t come up with another way to express something.

Including Well-known Celebrities:

I took a big chance in Double Negative when I mentioned Lady Gaga. I knew I shouldn’t use a well-known celebrity, but I did anyway because the scene and the elderly character of Maggie begged for it. Here’s a snippet to give you an idea of how I trapped myself and probably will date my book within a few years.

The scene takes place at Thanksgiving dinner. Dixson Wang’s mom is Chinese and doesn’t speak English well. Hutch is the pov character.

I look over at Wang who’s leaning close to his mother. I guess he’s telling her what people are saying because sometimes he translates what she says to him. “Mom says the peas are delicious,” or “My mom has never tasted this kind of salad, but she likes it very much.”

Moss keeps shoveling food into his mouth as if his elbow’s set to a timer, and Meeker’s already taking seconds. Like me, they don’t talk, but they look around at the others.

That’s when Maggie says, “We should talk about sex or Lady Gaga. The boys are bored.”

Heather chokes and grabs her water glass.

Maggie asks Liz, “What is it about that singer that makes her so popular in the gay community?”

Dixson Wang isn’t translating anymore.

I hope Lady Gaga stays in style for a while.

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CLee

C. Lee McKenzie 

 

In my other life–the one before I began writing for teens and younger readers–I was a teacher and administrator at California State University, San Jose. My field of Linguistics and Inter-cultural Communication has carried me to a lot of places in the world to explore different cultures and languages. I can say, “Where’s the toilet?” and “I’m lost!” in at least five languages and two dialects. Go ahead. Pat me on the back.

My idea of a perfect day is one or all of the following: starting a new novel, finishing writing a blockbuster novel, hiking on a misty morning trail in the Santa Cruz Mountains, saying Namaste after a great yoga practice, sipping a cappuccino topped at a bustling café, reading in front of a fire with snow outside, swimming in an ocean someplace.

I’ve just set out my perfect life. Day after day after day.

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Book Blitz organised by Xpresso Book Tours.

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