Thursday, July 31, 2014

Review: Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2) by Laini Taylor


Title: Days of Blood & Starlight
(Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2)
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown
Published: November 6, 2012
Source: Publisher

Purchase:  Amazon | B&N

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world.

Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?


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"Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a new way of living—one without massacres and torn throats and bonfires of the fallen, without revenants or bastard armies or children ripped from their mothers’ arms to take their turn in the killing and dying. 

Once, the lovers lay entwined in the moon’s secret temple 
and dreamed of a world that was like a jewel box without a jewel—
a paradise waiting for them to find it and fill it with their happiness. 

This was not that world.” 


Karou made the mistake of loving her adversary, and look where it’s gotten her. No longer just a battle between her kind and Akiva’s… but a war on the world.  Now she must do whatever she has to in order to avenge her people. Even if that includes playing nice with The White Wolf.  She agrees to build his monstrous army, but doing Thiago’s bidding comes at an exorbitant price not only to herself but to those she holds most dear. 

“‘Good girl.’ She bristled at the words, and the caressing tone in which he spoke them. Am I? she wondered, as she sank to her knees to raise the dead.” 

This is a genre that I have only dabbled in; but after finishing this book, it is one I plan on spending much more time enjoying.  ‘Wow’ would be such an underestimation of this book, but that’s the word that keeps reverberating in my head.  This is an absolutely stunning sequel!  This book started off at what I felt to be a solid pace only to build and gain so much momentum that I was completely engrossed in this world Laini Taylor has created.  I was so caught up in everything that was transpiring – and believe me, there was a great deal happening in these pages – that I tuned out everything around me.  I absolutely love the different perspectives.  They were done so well and brought so much emphasis to the story.

There’s nothing else that can be read after this book, except for the final book – and that is exactly what I’m going to fall into next.  The real world will have to wait until tomorrow for me to rejoin it. 

“Do the thing. Kill the monster. Change the world.” 
                    
A huge thank-you to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
  My Rating: 


Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1) Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2) Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #3)


chelesiggy

Clean Teen & Crimson Tree Cover Reveal: The Wanted (The Woodlands #4) by Lauren Nicolle Taylor

COVER REVEAL: 
THE WANTED by Lauren Nicolle Taylor


We are so excited to share the official cover reveal for the fourth and final book in The Woodlands Series by Lauren Nicolle Taylor. The Wanted is scheduled for release on October 17, 2014. Don't forget to add The Wanted to your TBR List on Goodreads. If you haven't started The Woodlands Series, check out the first book for free! 



What would you be willing to sacrifice to get what you Wanted? 

It’s the question facing both Rosa and Joseph as they are pushed and pulled in unimaginable directions. 

It’s the question Superior Grant answered with a resounding, “Anything and everything.” 

The only thing they want is to be back in each other’s arms. But what will it cost them to get there? 

Separated after a failed mission, they are caught in dual hells. Joseph, sinking as he struggles to face what he did to escape and who he had to leave behind. Rosa, straddling the divide between fighting the evil, calculating Superior Grant and trying her best to stay alive. 

When what they Wanted seems unreachable, can they find the strength—the will—to keep trying? To keep fighting? And find their way back to each other and to Orry?

The Wanted is the stunning conclusion of The Woodlands Series. 

The Woodlands Series by Lauren Nicolle Taylor


THE WOODLANDS by Lauren Nicolle Taylor
(Young Adult Mature- Dystopian Romance)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing

           FREE BOOK:



Rosa never thought she’d make it to sixteen...

When being unique puts you in danger and speaking your mind can be punishable by death, you might find yourself fighting to survive. Rosa lives in The Woodlands, one of eight enclosed cities where the lone survivors of a devastating war have been gathered. In these circular cities everyone must abide by the law or face harsh punishment. Rosa's inability to conform and obey the rules brands her a leper and no one wants to be within two feet of her, until she meets Joseph. He's blonde, fair skinned, blue eyed and the laid back, ever-grinning, complete opposite of Rosa. She's never met anyone quite like him, and she knows that spells danger.

But differences weren't always a bad thing. People used to think being unique was one of the most treasured of traits to have. That was before the bitter race war decimated most of the planet, leaving the Russian wilderness as the only scrap of land habitable for survivors. Now, the Superiors, who ruthlessly control the concrete cities with an iron fist, are obsessed with creating a 'raceless' race. They are convinced this is the only way to avoid another war. Any anomalies must be destroyed.


The Superiors are unstoppable and can do anything they want, after all, they are considered super heroes by the general public. But not everyone see's them this way. When they continue to abuse their power by collecting young girls for use in their secret, high-tech breeding program, they have no idea that one of those girls has somehow managed to make friends even she didn't know she had. And one man will stop at nothing to save her.




THE WALL by Lauren Nicolle Taylor
(Young Adult Mature- Dystopian Romance)
Book 2 in The Woodlands Series





Joseph, wake up, wake up, wake up.

She says it over and over. It’s her plea, her prayer, her mantra. But life doesn’t stop while he’s sleeping. Rosa’s been thrown into a new world, with new rules, and a philosophy that sounds too good to be true. She’s also sure they didn’t rescue her out of the goodness of their hearts.

The Survivors must want something from them… but what?

The Wall finds Rosa eagerly entering a new life, yet struggling to keep the demons and ghosts of the past from dragging her backwards.

She’s left so many people behind and isn’t sure how to start over.

There’s freedom in the Survivors’ world, more than she’d ever dreamed of, but there’s also secrets. The darkest of which pulls Rosa headfirst into a trauma, forcing her to reevaluate her past and pushing her to make a choice that may destroy the tenuous, sewn-together family she’s built on the outside.

Will Rosa make the right choice… or will she lose everything she has fought so hard for?





THE WOUNDED by Lauren Nicolle Taylor
(Young Adult Mature- Dystopian Romance)
Book 3 in The Woodlands Series



You think you’re in control, that you have your hands on the reins. But I’m starting to think either someone else is driving or the reins are attached to nothing. Just flapping and snapping in the breeze. What could be simple, never is.

Rosa doesn’t want to get used to being separated from Joseph, from Orry. But now she must battle her way back to her family, her future, at the same time struggling to come to terms with her father’s past, his secrets and what he means to her now.

With her best friend Rash by her side she feels blessed and cursed. He is her saving grace but will Joseph accept him, and will he forgive her for leaving? More importantly will she manage to return to him? Rosa must pull these threads together. Hold herself in as she hacks her way back to The Wall with the aid of new companions but not the one person she’d planned on saving.

Finding her way back is only the beginning. The biggest changes, the shocking outcomes are waiting. Hovering over the town like a menacing vapour.

The Wounded have waited, nursed, and been dormant for too long and now they’re coming, dragging the ghosts of their lost ones behind them.



About Lauren Nicolle Taylor


Lauren Nicolle Taylor is a 33-year-old mother living in the tiny, lush town of Bridgewater on the other side of the world in Australia. She married her high school sweetheart and has three very boisterous and individual children. She earned a Bachelors degree in Health Sciences with Honours in Obstetrics and Gynecology and majored in Psychology while minoring in Contemporary Australian Writing.

After a disastrous attempt to build her dream house that left her family homeless, She found herself inexplicably drawn to the computer. She started writing, not really knowing where it may lead but ended up, eight weeks later, with the rough draft of The Woodlands.

In 2013, Lauren Nicolle Taylor accepted a publishing contract with Clean Teen Publishing. Her first published novel, The Woodlands, was released on August 30, 2013 and followed shortly by The Wall and The Wounded. The Wanted—the stunning conclusion to the series— is scheduled for release in October of 2014. 


Where to find Lauren: Blog / Facebook / Twitter

More from Clean Teen Publishing:




These covers are stunning! I grabbed the FREE copy of book one, The Woodlands, and can't wait to start this series!

chelesiggy

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

~ Giveaway and Cover Reveals from Clean Teen and Crimson Tree Publishing ~

THREE AMAZING COVER REVEALS AND THREE AWESOME GIVEAWAYS! 

Clean Teen Publishing and Crimson Tree Publishing have both been growing by leaps and bounds. With so many amazing best-selling authors and award-winning books, they decided to create three new digital boxed sets to feed your reading addiction. These boxed sets will include multiple full-length novels, excerpts and sneak peeks at upcoming releases and more! Check out these stunning stories and make sure to enter the giveaway at the bottom! Three winners will be chosen for some amazing prize packs including a $10 Amazon gift card! 



Nothing is as it seems in Worlds Between. There are places where hunger can't be contained and telepathy is possible, where the afterlife brings about more adventure than the living can handle, and sometimes employers might just bite.

Worlds Between features six novels from bestselling authors. Dive into these paranormal worlds that will have you reaching for the safety of your covers and reading well into the night. Check out more about the included stories below: 


Wicked Hunger by DelSheree Gladden

Born with an insatiable hunger for pain and suffering, Vanessa and Zander Roth struggle to hide the truth of who they really are. Keeping their secrets becomes even harder when Ivy Guerra arrives and stirs their hunger into a frenzy. Will their need to feed on others’ agony turn them into villains, or can they somehow find a way to become the heroes of their own dark story?


Haunting Zoe by Sherry D. Ficklin

Logan woke up with a big problem. He’s extremely dead. No one from his former life seems able to see or hear him, making his afterlife little more than a nightmare. That is, until his funeral, when the bitterly sarcastic Zoe, a friend from his childhood, calls him out at his own wake. Now his only chance at moving on means dealing with his sordid past—and the girl he never really got over.


The Mind's Eye by K.C. Finn

A girl with a telepathic gift finds a boy clinging to his last hope during the war-torn climate of 1940s Europe. Kit Cavendish has psychic powers that allow her mind to travel to places her disabled body cannot follow, so when war breaks out across Europe, curiosity gets the better of her. The Mind's Eye is a story of personal triumph and young love set against the harsh realities of life at war.


Reluctant Guardian by Melissa J. Cunningham

She's dead, and would give anything to have her life back. He's alive, but demons conspire against him. Can two lost souls save each other from destiny? Death is nothing like Alisa thought it would be. Rather than peaceful rest, she must become a guardian to Brecken, a dark and dangerous rebel, who hides a terrible secret. When feelings develop between them, everything spins out of control.


Kindling Flames by Julie Wetzel

Fresh from college and with no real work experience, Victoria Westernly considers herself lucky to land the coveted position of personal assistant to Darien Ritter, the CEO and owner of a multibillion-dollar company. His busy schedule and eccentric ways are enough to keep her on her toes. But, all is not what it seems when she discovers the handsome man employing her just happens to be the most powerful vampire in the area. 


And sneak peeks from Aftermath by Sandy Goldsworthy, Hidden Monster by Amanda Strong, The Awakener by Amanda Strong, The Eye of Tanub by M.E. Cunningham, Angus MacBain by Angela J. Townsend and River of Bones by Angela J. Towsend. 





Love can be many things in Worlds Entwined. It's a place where the fate of a kingdom can rest with an unlikely princess, the sea holds more than just dreams, and a heart can be mended amidst a tragedy. While fairytales are few and far away, Worlds Entwined will be sure to keep your blood pumping and your heart fluttering through to the very last page. 

Worlds Entwined features five novels from bestselling authors. Dive into these romantic and light fantasy worlds that show love is cruel, painful, sweet, wonderful and inspiring. Worlds Entwined is sure to keep you reading well into the night. Check out more about the included stories below: 

The Key by Jennifer Anne Davis 

Prince Darmik's kingdom is on the brink of upheaval and at the center is a girl who could be the key to its undoing. When given a choice, will he choose love or the kingdom he swore to protect? Rema's an ordinary girl with an extraordinary past… All she wants is to be free. But it comes at a price. She is forced to accept the proposal of a cruel prince, even though she loves another… his brother. 

Rumors by Erica Kiefer 

Seventeen-year-old Allie Collins would rather hide behind rumors than face the truth—her life will never be the same as it was before the accident. As a star athlete grieving in the shadows, she hopes to find normalcy in boys and basketball. When her best friend sets her up with the popular Shane Moretti, Allie drags her feet, reluctant for added complications. Then she decides that dating Shane would be the perfect shield from last summer’s tragedy. However, what starts as a mere distraction proves much more complex. As Shane leads Allie into questionable situations, gossip continues to swirl. 

Never Forgotten by Kelly Risser 

Life tasks a drastic turn for Meara Quinn. Her mom’s cancer returned, and they are moving to her mom’s childhood home in Peggy’s Cove. Meara has never met her grandparents and doesn’t know much about her mom’s childhood. Dreams of her dad help her realize that all is not as it seems. With her new boyfriend, Evan, and his sister, Katie, she embarks on a journey to discover who—or what—she is. 

Rising by Holly Kelly 

Sara is a criminal with a death sentence hanging over her head, who is being stalked by the deadliest assassin in the sea—only she doesn’t know it. Xanthus’s job is simple. All he has to do is break into her apartment and slit her throat. If only she weren’t so beautiful… so innocent. Will he do his duty and slay her, or will the executioner become the protector, and the hunter become the hunted? 

Finding Willow by Michelle Pickett 

Finding Willow is the prequel to Unspeakable, which will be releasing in 2015. This touching romance between Brody and Willow explores one girl’s quiet strength to survive the unbearable weight of a family secret alone, and the love and resolve of a boy determined to help her. 

And sneak peeks from Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin, Sweet Contradiction by Peggy Martinez, and Moonflower by Angela J. Townsend.



It’s a fight for life in Worlds Undone. The only way to live through these post-apocalyptic times is to stand up against authority, hone in on special gifts, and learn to control the elements. In these stories of survival against all odds, heroes will rise and the evil ones will fall; and amidst the darkness, they might just find hope and love.

Worlds Undone features five novels from bestselling authors. Dive into these dystopian and apocalyptic worlds that will keep you rooting for hope and reading well into the night. Check out more about the included stories below:


The Woodlands by Lauren Nicolle Taylor

In Russia, after a race war has decimated the planet, the Superiors who control the compounds of the Woodlands are obsessed with creating a ‘raceless’ race, convinced it is the only way to avoid war. Collecting troublemakers for use in their high-tech breeding program, they should have lifted the claw when it passed over sixteen-year-old Rosa’s head. She is strong. She is loved. She will fight.


Project ELE by Rebecca Gober and Courtney Nuckels

With millions dying each day from a brutal heat wave, fifteen-year-old Willow relocates to a government shelter—where chaos, romance, and strange new powers await her. A must-read doomsday saga with nearly 100 five-star Amazon reviews! 


Concealed in the Shadows by Gabrielle Arrowsmith

Sydney will escape with her sister if they’re denied the right to be together. Chip implants, the electric barrier, and the interest of two opposing forces amplify the danger. Can she trust the side she fights for? Can she receive unexpected love? When her sister's life is jeopardized, she’ll have to weigh new love against the only one she has known. The cost could be deadly. How will she choose?


The Bionics by Alicia Michaels

All I wanted was to be a normal girl. But the nuclear war that laid waste to our country killed any hope I had. They took everything, including my humanity. I’m now half-human, half-machine, part of the freak show that is the Restoration Project. They hate what they created, fearing us for being strong. What they don’t know is—there’s a Resistance and The Bionics aren’t going down without a fight.


Wind Warrior by Jon Messenger

Xander’s simple life is turned upside down when he discovers he’s the newest Wind Warrior, a race of supernatural men and women who control the air. However, they’re not alone and as their time comes to an end, the Fire Warriors grow more and more eager to claim the planet as their own. 

And sneak peeks from The Last Orphans by N.W. Harris, Wolves of the Northern Rift by Jon Messenger and Voodoo Moon by June Stevens. 

ENTER TO WIN SOME AMAZING PRIZES: 

First Place: $10 Amazon Gift Card and a CTP Prize Pack (Includes Readers choice of any 2 Digital CTP Books, Bookmarks and Swag.) 

Second Place: Readers choice of any 2 digital CTP books and a SWAG Pack (bookmarks, bracelet, fun.) 

Third Place: Readers choice of any CTP Digital Book.



Want to READ MORE from Clean Teen Publishing? 

Check out our huge selection of amazing reads! There's sure to be something for every reader!
BE THE FIRST TO KNOW about our GIVEAWAYS, NEW RELEASES, COVER REVEALS and MORE! 

   

Book and Author Spotlight: Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin

QUEEN OF SOMEDAY by Sherry D. Ficklin 




Release Day: October 7, 2014
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Series: A Stolen Empire Series

Before she can become the greatest empress in history, fifteen-year-old Sophia will have to survive her social-climbing mother’s quest to put her on the throne of Russia—at any cost.

Imperial Court holds dangers like nothing Sophie has ever faced before. In the heart of St. Petersburg, surviving means navigating the political, romantic, and religious demands of the bitter Empress Elizabeth and her handsome, but sadistic nephew, Peter. Determined to save her impoverished family—and herself—Sophie vows to do whatever is necessary to thrive in her new surroundings. But an attempt on her life and an unexpected attraction threatens to derail her plans.

Alone in a new and dangerous world, learning who to trust and who to charm may mean the difference between becoming queen and being sent home in shame to marry her lecherous uncle. With traitors and murderers lurking around every corner, her very life hangs in the balance. Betrothed to one man but falling in love with another, Sophie will need to decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to become the empress she is destined to be.

In a battle for the soul of a nation, will love or destiny reign supreme?


A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:

The true story of Catherine the Great is one fraught with betrayal, intrigue, and romance. While a good deal of my story is drawn from actual people and events, I have been very liberal in the rearrangement of dates, events, and places. Whenever possible I took my cues from her own words, intermixing my own thoughts and ideas. My thought upon the creation of the book was simple. I looked at the woman she was when she claimed the crown and then wondered, how did an innocent girl from Germany become such a force of nature? Most people aren’t born cold or ambitious, but have circumstances that forge them into those people. And that was the story I wanted to tell in this book. I wanted to see the events in her early life that would have changed her into the person she became, and not knowing the truth of that story, I simply made something up. That is what we, as writers, do best.

If you are curious about the real history behind Catherine, I suggest heading to your local library and doing a bit of research. This is not meant to be a historically accurate representation, but a flight of fancy, one that I hope you, dear reader, will enjoy as much as I have.


READ AN EXCERPT:

“If I could, I would offer you my heart, my soul, and make that be enough. But I know it is not. I know that Peter is your destiny. You are going to be the most beautiful, clever, kind empress Russia has ever seen. And I want to be there for that. But I can’t think about that now because today, in this moment, all I want is you. The thought of losing you cuts me to my very marrow.”

I look away, even as he draws me closer. The war rages inside me, one part wanting nothing more than to kiss him until the sun rises, another part knowing why I can’t.

He tilts my chin up gently.

“If you want to send me away, tell me only that you do not love me, and I will go. I will never speak your name again, never touch your hand. I will pretend that the loss of you hasn’t killed me.”

I sigh, my hard-fought resolve fading quickly.

“I could never say those words, because they would be the gravest lie. Of course I love you. I love you so much that I risk everything just to come to you tonight. If anyone knew—I would be ruined, sent away in a cloud of scorn. No one would ever have me, and I would bear the shame all my days.”

He takes my face in his hands.

“I would have you, in shame or sin, I would have you in any way I could, in any way you could give yourself to me.”

He kisses me again, and I know I’ve lost. Reaching up, I wrap my arms around his neck, holding him to me. He smiles against my lips.

“My sweet Helen, for you I would be Paris, and for your love, I would defy God himself and then return to you for a kiss.”

“Peter and the empress will return in a few days. What will we do? Meeting like this… it’s too dangerous,” I say, unwilling to pull away again.

“Do you trust me?” he asks solemnly.

I nod. “I do.”

“And do you love me?”

“With all my heart and my life, I do.”

He kisses my hair. 

“Then trust me. Give me a few days and by the time they return, I will have a plan. In the meantime, if you need me—”

“I always need you,” I interrupt.

He grins.

“If you want to meet me…” I open my mouth to interrupt again, but he puts a finger against my lips, which I kiss. “Leave me a message in a book. John Wilmont’s letters to his mistress.”

I frown. “Am I to be your secret mistress?”

He shakes his head. “No, my love. I will be yours.”


ABOUT SHERRY D. FICKLIN



Sherry D. Ficklin is a full time writer from Colorado where she lives with her husband, four kids, two dogs, and a fluctuating number of chickens and house guests. A former military brat, she loves to travel and meet new people. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.


She is the author of The Gods of Fate Trilogy now available from Dragonfly Publishing. Her previously self-published novel After Burn: Military Brats has been acquired by Harlequin and will be released in 2015 with a second book in that series to follow. Her newest YA steampunk novel, EXTRACTED: The Lost Imperials book 1, co-written with Tyler H. Jolley is now available everywhere books are sold and her newest YA novel, Losing Logan, is due for release in 2014 from Clean Teen Publishing.





Want to READ MORE from Clean Teen Publishing? Check out our huge selection of amazing reads! There's sure to be something for every reader!


BE THE FIRST TO KNOW about our GIVEAWAYS, NEW RELEASES, COVER REVEALS and MORE! Join our VIP Mailing List!


"One girl will bring an empire to its knees."  <----  Wow!  This sounds SO good, and the cover is beautiful.  This is definitely going on my wish list!

chelesiggy

Waiting on Wednesday (44): The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees, and Maureen Johnson

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Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine,
that showcases our most anticipated upcoming releases.

Our pick:
Title: The Bane Chronicles
Authors: Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson
Publisher:Margaret K. McElderry Books  
Expected Release: November 11, 2014
Pre-order:  Amazon | B&N


From Goodreads: 

A Collection of Ten Short Stories centred around Magnus Bane. Each short story is going to be published as an ebook followed by a Full Single Print Coming 2014

Ever wondered about the enigmatic, mysterious warlock Magnus Bane? The only character to appear in every Shadowhunter book, Magnus has a past even more shrouded in mystery than his present. I’ve teamed up with acclaimed YA writers Maureen Johnson and Sarah Rees Brennan to create the Bane Chronicles, the back (and front) story of Magnus told in ten linked tales.

Look for short stories like Vampires, Scones and Edmund Herondale; The Rise and Fall of the Hotel Dumort; Saving Raphael Santiago and What To Buy The Shadowhunter Who Has Everything (And Who You’re Not Officially Dating Anyway). Each story will be available as an ebook on a monthly basis starting April 16 with the tale of What Happened In Peru. 

Each story will be released monthly online for the next ten months — and then for those who don’t read e-books, the full print collection will be available in bookstores and wherever else books are sold after the Chronicles have been finished.


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Pretty, pretty, pretty Magnus.  *swoon*  Our favorite warlock in all the land.  While we've read most of these short stories in ebook format, we can hardly wait to have this gorgeous single print on our bookshelf!

What book are you waiting to get your hands on?