Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Torn about what to read? Have I got the fiction feature for you!

 Ahoy, lovely readers!

It has been a good while since I had a new release on my blog! Don`t get me wrong, I love gushing over books that have been on the e-shelves for some time, as all books deserve to be talked about and read, but it is nice to have some fresh pages on today`s fiction feature.

So, it is my honor to tell you all bout Ashley Stambaugh`s Torn which is out today!

Three months have passed and Melina thought she was safe. Safe from the effects of the angel powers and safe from the Noxin demons. But she thought too soon.

Just as she’s starting to enjoy her new powers and her new relationship with Lee, the slight pain she still experiences after using the powers starts to grow worse. As the pain becomes more and more unbearable, she finds herself lashing out at innocent people with unexplained anger and hatred. Then to make matters worse, she sees a Noxin demon again.

No one, not even the elders, seems to know what’s happening to Melina, or how a Noxin demon found her. And when she’s introduced to Dean, another unique human like herself, she learns that his pain is completely gone, which only makes her situation even more confusing.

Grasping for any type of answer, Melina throws out one possible explanation after another. But as her angry feelings intensify, and her angel powers grow weaker, she begins to think there might be something malevolent inside her that’s trying to take over. It’s not long before her internal struggle spirals out of control, and her body is turned into a battlefield that’s torn between good and evil.

Melina fears that if no solution is found, then she might lose all the people she loves, especially Lee. But what scares her even more is that she might lose herself to evil.

If you like urban fantasies and want something new with the angels vs demons theme, this is the book for you! You can buy Torn today at the following links!

Now, let`s learn a bit about our lovely author:

Ashley Stambaugh grew up in a small town in Illinois where she and her two siblings created some of the best memories playing on their family’s farm. She stayed in the southern region of the state to attend college where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and also met her husband.

Now, she and her husband live in central Illinois and spend their time creating new memories with their two rambunctious boys and their comical black Pug. She also enjoys reading, taking long walks, and finding great bargains. When her sons are a little bit older, she has a great desire to travel with her family. Oh, and she also has a slight obsession with chocolate.

When she’s not busy chasing after her two young children or losing herself in a good book, you can find her curled up on her couch with her laptop, writing.

You can contact Ashley at the following links:

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Fiction Feature First with Laurel A. Rockefeller!

Ahoy, lovely readers!

The nights are getting slightly more bearable up in the mountains of Japan. I hope the same is true for all of you. It’s still chilly, though, so I’m bringing you a wonderful way to warm up!

The thrilling sci-fi Peers of Beinan series by Laurel A. Rockefeller will keep you curled by the fire/heater rapidly turning your e-pages! Today, for the first time in this blog’s history, I will be introducing a series by featuring the sequel: The Ghosts of the Past
Mysterious paranormal forces are at work as the ghosts of the past pursue their bloodthirsty quest for revenge against the descendants of Princess Anlei and her allies. Caught up in their web is Lord Knight Elendir of house Ten-Ar, the son of two healers murdered in terrorist strikes against Beinarian healing centers. But Elendir’s youth and pain is his weakness, making him prey to the sexual manipulations of his enemies. Now it is a race against time to save the people he loves most before all hope is gone forever and Beinan falls to the blood thirsty monster his own failings helped create.

The lives of billions hang in the balance in this exciting middle chapter to the Legacy of Princess Anlei Trilogy.
It’s rare to have a sequel hook me onto a series, but I’m telling you, The Ghosts of the Pasts is a good time of a read! It also includes 6 original songs, so you can be serenaded while you read. Neat, huh?

Enough of my gushing, though. You know I always let the books speak for themselves, and The Ghosts of the Past definitely holds its own!
RM7 led Princess Constance to the throne room and towards the memorial alcoves built to honor notable kings and queens of Beinan.  She stopped in front of King Lyr III’s memorial.  There, on the floor, lay her father, King Kendric, surrounded by a pool of greenish-yellow blood, his favorite schlager sword enveloped by his blood.  Five crossbow quarrels pierced his chest.  Constance’s eyes widened, “Just like Lyr III.”  As comprehension slowly reached into her mind who the man on the floor was, tears began to swell in Constance’s eyes.  Her father was dead.  Her father was dead?  By the same means as her forefather?  How could this be?  Why here?  Why now?  Why in the throne room?  Why with a crossbow when Beinan possessed dozens of more effective and more silent weapons over the last twenty thousand yen-ars?  Regular crossbows were more for parades and heritage lessons than for real use in war.  Why?  Why kill him this way?
Constance looked at the sword at her feet and picked it up, soaking the sleeves of her sapphire blue kirtle in blood. No blood clung to the blade itself, only its hand guard and hilt. Memories flashed before her of watching her father duel with Lord Elendir for fun. Her father taught laser épée at the Ten-Arian monastery she remembered suddenly.  He knew how to handle a blade, both heritage and laser versions.  Killing him by blade would be almost as difficult as killing a knight of Ten-Ar or knight of Gurun with a sword. Understanding filtered through the shock that still filled Constance’s mind and body. 
Tears fell from the princess’s eyes. Looking up and wiping tears off her face, her eyes caught more of the scene around her.  Kendric was not the only casualty.  Following the path of blood on the floor she found twelve heavily cloaked palace guards sprawled on the floor.  Some were pierced with laser spears still stuck through their bodies.  Others were slashed by some sort of sword from the looks of the wounds she could see. With so many protectors in the throne room, how could her father fall to any weapon short of a bow or crossbow, weapons used across Beinarian history, even on original home world, to kill the strongest of Beinarian leaders?   
Finally, Constance gaze fell upon the single woman among the dead.  Kneeling, she turned the body over and gazed into the lifeless eyes of her mentor and friend, Lady Healer Fëawen. Fëawen dead?  How? Looking carefully Constance noticed bruises on Fëawen’s neck – finger shaped bruises. Had she fallen intercepting whoever killed them?  Beside Fëawen lay Lord Knight Lytsar, King Kendric’s knight-protector and champion, his bodypierced with crossbow quarrels like her father.  Constance gasped.  Lytsar was a good man, one of the king’s most faithful servants and her father’s favorite dueling partner.
Not knowing what else to do, Constance raised her voice in song, her notes cracking at first from grief, then growing stronger with courage and regal resistance,
“He was a strong and noble lord with piercing eyes of grey.
He sat upon his noble throne shining like the dawn.
His sword flashed like the brightest star.
He led our people well.
Yet here and now he lays in blood pierced with arrows. 
He was the friend of many knights.
He loved the warrior games.
His heart was won by a lady fair for marriage they did wait.
A kindly prince, his duty carried him to another's bed.
And on her death true love returned, finally they wed. 
He felt the grief of children lost to murder and to pain.
I was the youngest of his blood.
I'll never be the same. 
Here lays my father and my lord. 
I know not what to say.
Except my father and my lord was slain here on this day.
Here lays my father and my lord. 
I know not what to say.
Except my father and my lord was slain here on this day….”
As the last note faded from her voice, Princess Constance looked up.  Twelve courtiers stood four zhang  from her, drawn by the sound of her voice.  Constance looked into their eyes.  The gathering knelt respectfully.  Her father’s head court herald stepped forward, “All hail Constance, Queen of Beinan.”
“I am not yet come of age, my lord.  How can I be queen?” asked Constance fearfully.
“Queen you must be, my liege – or the Great Council will choose someone else, someone who craves power, not service to our people,” cried one of the courtiers, his jet black hair and metallic blue eyes twinkling from among the crowd.
“Summon High Priestess Aina and Lord Knight Elendir.  We will perform the coronation ceremony as soon as they arrive.  RM7, summon healers of Gurun to bring our honored dead out of this place.  Let High Priestess Aina perform their funerals as soon as I am crowned.  Prepare no reception.  This beinor is dark and my heart is filled with sorrow.  Let all of Beinan mourn with me, even as I accept the Gurun throne,” commanded Queen Constance.
I don’t know about you, but I’m eager to find out what happens next! You can find The Ghosts of the Past on the e-shelves at these links below:

Before you go off to snag yourself a copy, let’s learn a little about our author!

About Laurel A. Rockefeller:
Born, raised, and educated in Lincoln, Nebraska USA, author-historian Laurel A. Rockefeller educates while she entertains, encouraging readers to think about current events and history in a completely new way. Using exhaustive and comprehensive research across dozens of academic disciplines, Laurel's stories come alive so vividly it is easy to forget you are learning something new.

Talk to Laurel and join the conversation on twitter at https://twitter.com/laurelworlds, follow Laurel on pinterest athttp://www.pinterest.com/peersofbeinan, then check out Laurel's blog at http://peersofbeinan.wordpress.com.

That’s all for now, y’all! Stay tuned for more fiction features and all things Lucid.

Until then, keep readin’ and dreamin’!


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Under Ariella Moon's spell: Fiction feature gets witchy!

Ahoy, lovely readers!

Welcome to the world of 2015! I hope the first week of the new year treated you kindly. Let’s make sure the second week is even better by bringing you some new good reads!
As I’m sure most of you know, I am a huge fan of Ariella Moon’s Teen Wytche series. The fourth installment in the series came out during my hiatus. So, it is my honor to bring to you Spell for Sophia!

Sometimes the worst scars are the ones you cannot see.

Sophia Perez-Hidalgo’s survival depends upon her mastering magic and the supernatural before her lawless parents and their vengeful boss catch up to her. How far must she flee to escape them forever? Sophia runs until she’s out of stolen money, then…Fate delivers her into the arms of Louisiana teen Shiloh Breaux Martine, and his grand-mèrea voodoo priestess living deep in the bayou.

Breaux knows Sophia is trouble — but he’ll travel through time, battle zombies, and risk his bright future to protect her. While Ainslie, best friend extraordinaire, will jeopardize her sanity to find and aid Sophia. When friendship, magic, and love are not enough, Sophia will have to save herself. But first, she must believe she’s worth saving. 

I am digging so many things about this book. First, the protagonist is named Sophia, one of our own favorites in the Lucid series. Though she is not an old man, I am sure Moon’s Sophia is just as clever! Second, this story takes place in my homeland of New Orleans. Reading about my hometown, especially while I’m abroad, always brings a tear to my eye.  One thing Ariella Moon has mastered is doing excellent research on the settings of her stories. I personally know she did extensive research about New Orleans, even taking a swamp tour and the like, to bring you an accurate and compelling tale. Don’t believe me? Check out who’s mentioned in the acknowledgements ;)

But enough of my gushing, let’s let Spell for Sophia do the talking, as if you really need any more convincing that this is a must-read!

Um…Sophia?" Worry tinged Breaux's voice as he rose to his feet.
I lifted my chin. The pain over my right eye resumed stabbing. I blinked several times to clear the wobbly vision in my left eye, and a fresh wave of nausea crashed over me. An elongated white light shimmered in my peripheral vision. Seizing the other oar, I stood and faced it. The white light glittered and assembled into a shaky form. "Mam'zelle?"
We lowered the oars to our waists. Though Mam'zelle's features were no longer distinguishable, I recognized her essence. In my mind's eye she shook her head and wagged her finger at me. Child, didn't I teach you anyt’ing? What did you forget?
Panic seized me. "We forgot something. Something important."
Breaux's eyes rolled upward, then back to center. "We purposely skipped some steps because we didn't have time—"
Mam'zelle vanished. My arms tingled. A luminous red mist gathered along the bayou's edge. Corpses — men, women, and children — rose from the blood-colored vapors.
Breaux hefted the oar. "Do you see them?"
"The zombie army?" The boat rocked as we assumed a back-to-back stance and raised the oars to chest level. "Why are they here?"
Breaux shifted his stance. The boat groaned and creaked. "Maybe a portal opened—"
A gasp convulsed my throat. "I forgot to ask Papa Legba to close the gate!"
I dropped my oar and dove for my backpack. The zipper slipped from my sweaty grasp. I found it again and pinched the tab between my thumb and forefinger. Nylon teeth unthreaded with a ripping sound. I shoved my hand into the pack and dug through its contents. "Where's the pencil?"
Breaux fingered the top of his ear and his oar clattered to the floor of the boat. Along the bayou banks, a contingent of undead rocked from side to side. Breaux reached into his front jeans pocket, withdrew the pencil stub, and thrust it into my hand. "Hurry."
The lantern illuminated the edge of the seat bench. Between the migraine and the magic, I had difficulty focusing. Working half-blind in the meager light, I sketched a crossroad onto the wood.
"Will it work?" Breaux asked. "Using a different crossroad?"
"We'll find out."
Breaux swore under his breath and cast a nervous glance at the shore. His eyes widened and he retrieved his oar — sure signs the undead had grown in number or were on the move. Something tumbled down the slight incline and plopped into the shallow water.
"Any time now." Breaux's fingers twitched against the oar.

Swamp zombies got you hooked, yeah? How about we seal the deal with this epic book video?

You can buy Spell for Sophia as an e-book at the various links:

Since it’s been a long time since I’ve had her, or anyone, on my blog, let’s get reacquainted with Ariella Moon! 

(Ariella Moon with her new Louisiana friend!) 

Ariella spent her childhood searching for a magical wardrobe that would transport her to Narnia. Extreme math anxiety, and taller students who mistook her for a leaning post, marred her youth. Despite these horrors, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Davis. Ariella is a Reiki Master, author, and shaman. She lives a nearly normal life with her extraordinary daughter, two shamelessly spoiled dogs, and an enormous dragon.

Connect with Ariella Moon

That’s it for now, y’all!! I suggest you get to reading Spell for Sophia at an early hour because it will keep you up all night! I’ll leave you to that for now!
Until next time, keep readin’ and dreamin’!


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Killer Feature to Bring in the New Year!

Ahoy, lovely readers!

A new year means a new weekly feature! I am happy to kick off this wonderful feature with a great YA romantic thriller. Without further ado, I give you Pema Donyo’s The Innocent Assassins!

There are three rules to staying an assassin at the corporation of Covert Operatives: (1) your parents must be deceased, (2) your contracts must remain confidential, and (3) you must be under the age of eighteen.

After a murder mission goes awry a month before her eighteenth birthday, Covert Operatives assassin Jane Lu finds herself caught by the federal government and forced to spy for the CIA while remaining in Covert Operatives. Once her spying mission is over she will be allowed to live a civilian life without facing criminal consequences, a life she’s only dreamed of having.

As Jane leaks information to the CIA, she uncovers secrets with enough power to both destroy Covert Operatives and her own boyfriend, Adrian King, who’s next in line to be CEO of the company. When her identity as a double agent for the CIA is discovered within Covert Operatives, she must decide where her allegiance, and her heart, truly lies. 

Juvenile spies, a conflicted heroine, and a potentially deadly romance? What’s not to love! But you know I’m not going to leave you fully convinced until I provide an excerpt:

Rough cloth slid across my face and pulled down against my shoulders. I screamed. Someone yanked my wrists behind my back and tied them together with coarse rope. Another set of hands bound my legs. How many were there?
I struggled to make contact with a body, swerving from side to side with wild abandon in spite of my inability to see anything. What worried me most weren’t the people trapping my body or the sudden needle injected into my neck which slowed my thoughts and faded away my consciousness.
It was the voice next to my ear—cold, hard, and determined.
“You’re right on time,” Adrian whispered.
Freezing ice water snapped my eyes open.
I blinked away the unconscious haze, my hair and face dripping from the unwelcome drench. The first thing I noticed was the boardroom, similar to the ones I negotiated contracts in. But there was no contract here—only a long, empty rectangular table and looming executives and agents on either side.
In front of me stood Adrian, his expression unreadable as he studied me.
“I tried to stop you.” His voice reminded me of the cold water dripping from my clothes. “I warned you.”
“By hiring assassins to scare me? I thought you knew me better. Nothing scares me.”
“Death should.”
“You know I never wanted to be…” I swallowed hard. “This.”
“I changed Covert Operatives for you.” Emotion leaked into his voice, brimming with frustration. “I tried to give you what you wanted.”
“And force others against their will to work for CO their entire life?” I spat. “I think not.”
“When did you switch sides?”
“When I was arrested, Adrian. It was after our mission went wrong. The CIA gave me a choice. Go to prison and face the death sentence or work for them.”
He gritted his teeth. “The CIA? You’re afraid of the CIA? You know as well as I do CO can keep you away from them. I can keep you away from them.”
I glared at him. “And hide away for the rest of my life?”
His shoulders stiffened. “No one would be hiding.”
“I want a life removed from murder. The CO job was always temporary! It was never what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.” I averted my gaze. “Don’t you know there’s only one way this can possibly end? Kill me or let me go.”

Now tell me you’re not going to close this blog and immediately start reading The Innocent Assassins.

Wait, don’t go!!! Let me at least tell you about our author and give you the buy links first!

Pema Donyo is a coffee-fueled college student by day and a creative writer by night. She currently lives in sunny Southern California, where any temperature less than 70 degrees is freezing and flip-flops never go out of season. As a sophomore at Claremont McKenna, she's still working on mastering that delicate balance between finishing homework, meeting publisher deadlines, and... college.
Pema’s debut novel, The Innocent Assassins, is a thriller/romantic suspense published by Astraea Press. Her second novel One Last Letter is a western historical romance published by Crimson Romance.
You can contact Pema at the following links:

And you can buy The Innocent Assassins at the following links:

You can now finish the first week of the year with a great read! Get to it!
And, as always, until next time, keep readin’ and dreamin’!


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guess Who's Back!

Ahoy and long time no see!

     At last, the much-needed hiatus is over! You know what that means? It means I’m writing again! Well, I’m actually editing and rearranging the mostly-finished sequel to Lucid. Yes, dear readers, I am happy to announce that Devon and his crew’s story will continue in another full-length novel! Want to know the title? Ok, I guess I owe you one.
    The evil overlord Phobio has set his plans in action, and it’s up to Devon, a 15 year-old with untapped magical ability, and his ragtag group of friends, relatives, and allies to stop the Nightmare king from enslaving both the dream and real world. Add a power-hungry slave driver of a CEO, a young boy with secret motives, and ancient tribes in the mix and Devon and his crew have a pretty serious situation on their hands. Can they unite the Dreamer tribes and prevent both worlds from crumbling in time? The answer lies within your dreams!

    Sounds gripping and such? I hope so. Right now, my little crew left me tons of plot twists and romantic vibes to sort through, but I hope to have a finished draft of Reverie by this time next year. That means that the sequel will come out around the 2 year anniversary of Lucid. How neat!

    I will keep you all updated on all things Lucid of course, but also stay tuned for some more giveaways, author spotlights, and some great fiction features!

It’s good to be back, y’all!

Until next time, keep readin and dreamin!