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Book Blitz ~ Heart of the Colossus by Nicole Grotepas: Excerpt + Giveaway!


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Heart of the Colossus by Nicole Grotepas

(A Holly Drake Job Book, #3)

Publication date: July 12th 2018

Genres: Adult, Science Fiction, Steampunk

Save them all or die trying.

Holly Drake and her team have seen the evil lurking behind everything the Shadow Coalition does. The last time they plunged into the heart of the shadow empire, they could only rescue one. Now they’re going back for the rest. The crew is ready and willing to put everything on the line. They have a plan, they have the means, this is the job they were born to do.

But time and space are stacked against them.

The mission is a logistical nightmare. How can Holly and her crew save an entire fleet of children? The answer: whatever it takes. Co-opting fuel tankers, recruiting explosives experts, hiring pilots, and revisiting mysterious specters from the past. Some things are too painful, even for Holly Drake, but when it comes to freeing the innocent, not even the ugliest mistakes from her past will hold her back.

Is this the mission that will unveil the true nature of the Heart at the center of the Shadow Coalition? She’s seen the hands, just who is the heart?

Goodreads | Amazon

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~Excerpt~

“I don’t know how you guys talked me into this, again,” Charly Stout said, her voice coming over the comms into Holly’s earpiece. “Last time was a bust. Nearly died. And yet, here I am, again, floating outside the ship in space, my life balanced on the brink.”

“You love danger, that’s why,” Holly Drake said from inside the ship. She was safe and snug, seated next to Trip Taurus, a Centau and the pilot of the Space Cruiser Olavia Apollo. Charly Stout, a human, and Odeon Starlight, a Druiviin, waited outside the ship, clipped in on the underside, out of sight of the Fuel Depot security cameras. There they waited for Shiro Oahu’s distraction to work.

“At least this time I am with you, Charly. You’re not alone.” Odeon said.

“Aw man, Odeon. You know you always pull through, for everyone, always,” Charly laughed. “Thanks bro.”

“If we weren’t parked for the fill, you’d be in here, Odeon,” Holly joked. “I’m barely getting through this without my fix.” The panic attacks about being in space still afflicted her. She could feel the darkness of fear creeping at the edge of her mind, clawing at her sanity. She glanced at Trip who sat silently beside her, watching the instruments on her control panels. The Centau’s head was tilted to the side, the pilot goggles balanced on her forehead, her beautiful pale brown skin contrasting with the white, blue, and orange of her pilot jumpsuit.

“He’s mine this time, Holly. Sorry girl!”

Trip interrupted their banter. “The tank is half full. I hope Shiro is almost ready.”

“Shiro, you in position?” Holly asked, touching her earpiece. The fueling station filled the viewsceen in front of them. Most of what they saw was the giant mechanical arm that pulled in Trip’s ship and kept it secure as the fueling umbilical connected with the ship and filled it with aether. But beyond that there was the central portion of the station where the workers stayed. Inside the station there were a bar, a restaurant, and the people to man those and a few other amenities for commercial ships like Trip’s.

“Nearly there, Ms. Drake,” Shiro said quietly over the comms.

“This is going to cost you, you know?” Trip said, turning to glance at Holly before looking back at the instrument panel.

“We’re going to pay for this fill up, yes,” Holly said. “Don’t worry about it, Trip. You’re practically on the crew at this point.”

“Am I?” Trip asked, leaning back and studying Holly with her bright eyes.

“Don’t get too excited about it. You’re mostly in, maybe still enjoying your trial period.” Holly gave her a measuring glance.

Trip pulled her gaze away from Holly, a smirk touching the edge of her lips like she was disgusted with Holly’s antics. “Just a few minutes more, then she’s full.”

“Everyone be ready,” Holly said.

“In position,” Shiro whispered.

“Ready,” Charly said, followed by Odeon’s affirmation that he too was ready.

There was silence on the comms and in the bridge of the SC Olavia Apollo. Holly could hear the stifled breathing of her crew as everyone waited for the fueling to finish. There was a sound through the ship as the fuel delivery system finished and the umbilical disengaged.

“She’s done,” Trip said.

“Go.”

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~Author Bio~

I’m passionate about human rights, animal rights, and living life with no regrets. I love how becoming a parent has deepened my devotion to making the world a better place. I do that best by crafting stories that attempt to answer hard questions–the ones I think about most–while also being entertaining and fun. I live in a landscape that reminds me of my place in the universe, under an endless sky and towering mountains that are older than human memory, and I love it here.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

 

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~Giveaway~

Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)

$50 Amazon Giftcard
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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{Review} Stripped by Tarrah Anders


35754990Stripped by Tarrah Anders

Kindle Edition, 138 pages

Published November 7th 2017 by Tarrah Anders

Goodreads

~Rating: 4/5 stars~

Acceptance. Trust. Confidence.

Malcolm and I met in an unfortunate way, and he has pushed himself into my life. When my drunk best friend invites him to her wedding as my date, I reluctantly give him a chance. I’m giving US a chance and I’m pleasantly surprised.
Now I need to learn how to accept that he takes his clothes off for women. I need to trust that he’s not wanting to take any of them home. And I need to build the confidence when the green-eyed monster of jealousy rears its evil head.

~Review~

*a copy was provided by NetGalley*

Ooo this was something! This is my first Tarrah Anders book, and I could not put it down, I read it in like 2hrs! I really enjoyed it. There was so much more to this book. It was different.

Malcolm is a dancer, not just a stripper. He is also a trainer at the gym. His goal is to become a business owner as well as behind the scenes of his work. He gets into a car accident, and his real story begins. He is quickly falling for the lady that has refused his charm and his good looks. Now he must prove worthy and try to get the girl.

Rebeckha is strong in her business sense. She is not dating as her work goal is far more important. She works for property management and loves it. One night she gets hit by a truck at a stop light. The driver is gorgeous and she must fight the urge to go out with him. Her trust is challenged, as she begins to fall for Malcolm. Can she trust him enough? Can she believe in herself to fall for Malcolm? Only reading the book can answer those questions.

Malcolm and Rebeckha have so much chemistry. From the unusual meeting to the sexy lap dances to the very sweet ending. Beck’s had to go through what I think every woman and/or man does when they date a dancer.

I loved this quick read, the pacing was great and I loved the humor. These two were made for each other. Once I started I couldn’t put it down until I was done. Tarrah Anders has once again pulled me right in with her writing.

I really hope this isn’t the end of Rebeckah and Malcolm – I would love to see how their story continues!  The two of them together make for an unforgettable story! This is definitely a must read! I highly recommend it!

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~Author Bio~

Tarrah AndersMeet Tarrah. She’s a contemporary romancer who is all about the feels, with the twists of sexy mixed in between. She’s been writing since before she can remember. Writing was always a passion, that was kept it under wraps, stayed on the backburner and never vocalized or followed through with my desire to be a writer, until she read a horrible book and thought: ‘I could do better than that!’ She kept her writing romance from her husband for nearly two years, but finally told him because… royalties and taxes. Now, he lovingly helps with ‘research’ and uses him for his amazing Photoshop skills for her covers.
She is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, but living in beautiful San Diego with her own little family while working during the day as a social worker working with the homeless. She is a hardcore San Francisco Giants fan and anything dealing with cupcakes and Zombies.

Her writing style is that she tries to keep on earth. She tries her best to not be too unrealistic with her characters, what they do and how they live. She wants her books to be relatable and not to create too many eye rolls, when a character starts calling his love interest baby after knowing her for 5 minutes.
She has written and self-published 4 books and one novella. They’re all dual point of view aside from the novella. She is currently working on several pieces but focusing on two mainly. Thematically, the novels are friends to lovers, random hook-ups and office romances mixed with a whole lot of fun in the middle.

Twitter | Website | Goodreads

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Happy Reading!

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Cover Reveal ~ Hunted by Them by Lia Davis


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Hunted by Them by Lia Davis

(Witches of Rose Lake, #3)

Publication date: October 10th 2018

Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Run, Cassia!

I’ve dreaded my sister’s telepathic warning since the day she left me in the care of the Carter Moon Pack.

They’re coming for you.

Now, I’m an animal to be hunted down. All because the Council fears the power that runs in my veins.

Because I’m a hybrid witch and wolf. It doesn’t matter that father is a councilman.

The council’s hunters are closing in, and I’m running out of options. When I stand my ground and face them, I’m no match for the four alpha males that flood my senses with desires too strong to ignore.

I have a choice to make. Stay and fight, or keep running.

Hunted by Them is the third installment of the paranormal, reverse harem Witches of Rose Lake series.

Reading Order

Marked for Them

Fighting for Them

Hunted by Them

more to come…

Learn more about the series here

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

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Previous books in the series:

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~Author Bio~

In 2008, Lia Davis ventured into the world of writing and publishing and never looked back. She has published more than twenty books, including the bestselling A Tiger’s Claim, book one in her fan favorite Ashwood Falls series. Her novels feature compassionate yet strong alpha heroes who know how to please their women and her leading ladies are each strong in their own way. No matter what obstacle she throws at them, they come out better in the end.

While writing was initially a way escape from real world drama, Lia now makes her living creating worlds filled with magic, mystery, romance, and adventure so that others can leave real life behind for a few hours at a time.

Lia’s favorite things are spending time with family, traveling, reading, writing, chocolate, coffee, nature and hanging out with her kitties. She and her family live in Northeast Florida battling hurricanes and very humid summers, but it’s her home and she loves it!

Sign up for her newsletter (http://eepurl.com/mBWx5), become a member of her fan club (https://www.facebook.com/groups/368820509920377/), and follow her on Twitter @NovelsByLia.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

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Posted by on July 10, 2018 in Cover Reveal

 

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Book Blitz ~ Never Fear the Reaper by Ashley Pagano: Excerpt +Giveaway!


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Never Fear the Reaper by Ashley Pagano

(Never Fear the Reaper, #1)

Published by: Inkspell Publishing

Publication date: April 23rd 2017

Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

In a world filled with darkness…

can true love spark just enough light to save it?

When Chase hires the mysterious ghost exterminator, Ryder, to cleanse his house from a pesky poltergeist he gets way more than he’s paying her for…

There’s just something about Ryder that has him mesmerized.

Is it the fact that he’s witnessed her do the unexplainable? Or the fact that she’s absolutely breathtaking? Or perhaps it’s that eerie familiar feeling that they’ve met before, perhaps in another lifetime.

Chase desperately tags along with Ryder on a whirlwind of life threatening adventures in exchange for a few precious moments of alone time with her. With the Grimm Reaper’s Scythe as their defense, Chase developing some supernatural gifts of his own and an intense crush developing between the both of them what crazy supernatural force will target them next?

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

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~Excerpt~

Suddenly, from behind me, a calm, raspy voice breaks the silence. “Are you Chase? I’m Ryder,” she asks rather firmly, extending her long fingers for a professional handshake.

Oh God, please don’t be her, please don’t be her, please don’t be her, I repeat over and over again to myself. This girl is too young and far too beautiful to be a ghost hunter. Inconveniently, she is literally my definition of perfection, dressed all in black. Long, dark brown hair, perfect bronze skin, bright green eyes that are surrounded by the longest eyelashes I’ve ever seen, a gorgeous pearl-white smile, and a slim yet slightly muscular build. I can’t help but let her catch me looking her up and down. Her appearance makes me even more uncomfortable with my situation. I even notice a colorful, feathery angel-wing tattoo that creeps down her left arm, which is ironic, given her profession. Come on, this girl cannot be doing a job like this.

She smirks in response before I can conjure up an excuse for my gawking.

“Not at all what you expected, huh,” she says, while gesturing to the hostess with two of her fingers.

“Honestly, no you’re not…not really.” I figure it’s better to be honest with her right now. Finally, I build up enough courage to return her handshake. I’m embarrassed when my clammy palm touches her soft, cool skin.

As we follow the hostess to a booth at the far end of the dining area, she responds, “Don’t worry, no one ever does. They expect some older, more spiritual looking woman who’s all decked out in crucifixes.”

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~Author Bio~

Ashley Pagano has always dreamed of being an artist both figuratively and literally. Her love of art was instilled by her mother who always inspired her to be creative either with a paintbrush or with a pen and paper. As far back as she can remember her life was always centered around introspection, storytelling, and imagination. Because she is so artistic, she took to the idea of creative writing very passionately. Her ability to describe a scene, person, or place, she compares to painting a picture, where she can describe every detail vividly in order to make the reader feel like they’re truly living in the story. Her works of writing usually center around a powerhouse female protagonist (which reflect her own personality), who progresses through many wild and extreme obstacles. Ashley loves to write stories that end with a cliffhanger, that leave the reader begging for more and questioning what happens next. Her most recent novel sets the stage for the paranormal romance of the century and includes ghosts, poltergeists, and demons who just love to get in the way of true love. Ashley has won awards for her design, art, and writing.

Ashley doesn’t believe in down time whatsoever and actually loves having a full “To-Do”list. Ashley is a wife to her wonderful husband, Eric and a mother to a beautiful little baby girl named Dakota. She is also a Graphic Designer and a health and fitness coach. Her husband and daughter inspire her to be the best person she can be and encourage her to pursue any of her dreams (no matter how extravagant they may be).

Website | Facebook | Instagram

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~Giveaway~

Blitz-wide giveaway (US/CAN)

Signed copy of Never Fear the Reaper + swag
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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{Review} Seven Brothers and a Virgin: A Reverse Harem Romance by Ember Cole


40406775Seven Brothers and a Virgin: A Reverse Harem Romance by Ember Cole

Kindle Edition, 254 pages

Published June 18th 2018 by One-Handed Reads

Goodreads

~Rating: 3.5/5 stars~

They say I’m Texas royalty.

Well, this princess needs a damn break. And an orgasm or ten.

Which is why I’m standing on the doorstep of Broken Creek Ranch in the middle of a thunderstorm, determined to ditch my virginity before my father marries me off to one of his filthy rich business partners.

My plan? Pick one of the Maddox brothers to do the deed. But that was before I came face to face with seven of the sexiest men I’ve ever seen.

I’m desperately attracted to each of them. Even oldest brother, Vance, who’s dead set against my plan. He says I’m too young. Too innocent. Whatever.

Fortunately, his brothers invite me to stay and play before choosing who will take my innocence, but how can I pick? More importantly, will I even get the chance? Because there’s no way my father’s going to let me go…

Seven hot, hard men dedicated to the pleasure of one woman? Yes, please! This naughty, standalone reverse harem story has no cheating, and a HEA is guaranteed! 

~Review~

*a copy was provided by NetGalley*

Well, let me start off by saying, I’m kinda glad I continued reading after 1.5 chapters, but at the same time, I won’t be able to unread this/what did I just finish reading, oh my god.

Honestly, the first chapter will really make you pause and make you consider continuing to read on. I mean, I don’t want to spoil anything but who am I kidding, the title literally spoils it, Seven Brothers and a Virgin!!

My take on 1.5 chapters: ‘virgin girl’ drives to ranch, gets stranded while driving to ranch, walks about mile to ranch in a storm, when asked “Why would you come to the ranch?”, ‘virgin girl’ responds: “I need y’all to take my virginity”, oh but why would you want that!?! Because ‘virgin girl’ is tired of having her rich/powerful daddy control her life, because she doesn’t want to marry her daddy’s friend, who mind you is about 20-30 years older than her.

Honestly at this point after reading all that, I was like instant 2-3 stars. It felt so unrealistic, in my opinion, but whatever. And let me just say, some how it works out in her favour at the end.  Also, I have so many questions like why this ranch? why these specific men? why not some random guy at a coffee shop? or a guy from a club?

Also, the sex was like every two seconds. I mean, sure ‘lets just fuck for 30hrs’ no problem.

*wakes up* fucks one of the brothers, then another joins in, and so on. Honestly, it was basically a gang bang.

The only good thing about this book is the very, very detail sex scenes. There was hardly any character development, but the bit of development was good, I think.

Also, the predicable-ness of the story! I mean c’mon! The foreshadowing when the brothers had the conversation of “When she gets pregnant, what do we do?” Let me just say, the brothers all agreed that it doesn’t matter who the father is, they will all be the baby’s dad. [kinda weird.. and unrealistic IMO. Nothing is that SIMPLE! They are bound to have problems in the future!]. And in the epilogue she brings the brothers news of her pregnancy, she’s freaking out about it, and they brothers are like “OHH don’t worry!!! EVERYTHING will bE FiNe!!!”

Geeez, it sounds like I really disliked this book, I actually quite enjoyed it, but again there were so many things that were just….. ya know…

If you like, mindless/non-developed characters, reverse harem books and complete erotica then this book is for you. I recommend it, but only to those of you who like this sort of thing.

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~Author Bio~

Ember ColeEmber Cole is an erotic romance author, movie addict, and all around nerd girl who is easily distracted by hot fictional characters, Converse, and popsicles. She lives in California with her goldfish and a slew of imaginary boyfriends. Her motto when writing romance? Why only settle for one man…

Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads

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Happy Reading!

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Book Blitz ~ Twelfth Floor by Monica Corwin: Excerpt + Giveaway!


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Twelfth Floor by Monica Corwin

Publication date: July 3rd 2018

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

This isn’t your high school Shakespeare.

Violet Cesario fled the shipwreck of her father’s company to Illyria Pharmaceuticals. As the newly appointed, and untried CFO, the board gave her thirty days to prove her worth. Thirty days to bring up the numbers. Thirty days to fend off the advances of her secretary, Olivia. Thirty days of hiding her submissiveness inside a dominant’s shell.

Thirty days gets complicated when Duke Orsino, the CEO, offers her a deal. Help him win over Olivia and he will sway the board in Violet’s favor. If she agrees to teach him the games behind dominance and submission Violet’s career will be made. As the play turns more and more true to life, the lines blur between fantasy and reality. Can Violet hide her desire for Duke long enough for him to woo Olivia? And if he succeeds can Violet endure it for the sake of her career?

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

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~Excerpt~

Chief Financial Officers didn’t last long at Illyria. Handling billions of dollars seemed to weigh on even those who chose the profession as a career. The appointment of Violet Cesario had gone against the board’s request. I was the one who selected her, despite the impressive and complete collapse of her last company.

However, the research I conducted on the matter showed more than gross negligence on the part of the company’s owner. I wasn’t going to hold that against her, but the board did, and would, if she didn’t survive her first thirty days. They’d try to hold it against me too. Until I’d not so subtly remind them of the last time they went to war with me.

My question, or goading, didn’t cause even a flicker of anxiety to cross her features. When purposefully hiring new executives, I pushed them, pounded them into the ground, and walked across the ashes of who they were before they came to my company. All this in preparation to make them the best at their job. And yet, my usual tactics didn’t seem to faze her. Not the show I put on as she entered the building, not my goading…which made her more than interesting to me. I’d met far weaker men than the woman sitting across from me with the ice in her eyes.

The board controlled my CFO position, until their last incompetent choice lost us a quarter-million-dollar asset. Now, the board submitted to my selection. And I would prove my choices were irrefutable. If not God damn impeccable. “You’re aware of the thirty-day mandate the board put on your employment?”

She shifted her legs, carefully sliding one long lean calf over her other knee. Not even stockings in the way of her smooth skin’s passage. In any one else, I would have considered it a seduction technique, but not this woman. As if her body language screamed two different things at once: ‘come closer’ and ‘back the hell off’. Or maybe that was the point. Draw them in only to crush them under her four inch heels.

“I’m not sure if that was a question or a statement.” She paused briefly before continuing. “The probationary period is a clause in the contract I signed.” Her tone called me a bastard in the nicest way I’d ever heard it. I loved a little fire in a woman. Even more so in a woman forging an intimate relationship with my money. By the second Violet was accruing more respect than I’d been preparing to dole out.

“Of course,” I said, mimicking her caustic tone. Why did I need a reaction from her so badly?

She gave me nothing but a careful blink.

Maybe working with Violet might prove more fun than I originally estimated. I didn’t interview her personally, and there were no pictures with her file, so when I arrived, I expected a thirty-something powerlifting champion in a pinstriped suit. Violet had almost a delicacy about her inviting wariness. Meeting her in person, I wanted her to do well, for her benefit—not only mine. “I’m here to tell you how you will succeed in your goal.”

A line formed in the middle of her forehead as she considered my words. “And why would you do that? Isn’t it in your best interest to choose the right person for the job, not the make the person fit the job?”

“Usually, but I went to bat to hire you. Challenging the board with my choice. If you succeed, it looks good for me, and it keeps me from having to vet and hire yet another CFO.” I didn’t reveal my ongoing clash with the board about new executive hires. Or that the probationary period resulted from my pushing them about bringing her specifically.

She forced out a controlled sigh, and I watched her for any other outward reactions to me, the conversation, the thirty-day time limit on her employment. Absolutely nothing. Incredible.

“I can see the logic in that.”

I glanced over at Olivia to see if she got a reading on Violet that I missed. Olivia was better than most when it came to insight about other women.

Or maybe I just wanted a stolen moment to watch her. The only woman who eluded me. To be fair, I’d never put in much of the chase to catch her.

Even dressed for work, without the skintight dresses and sky-high heels, she looked like an idea.

Something yet for me to discover.

At the club we both attended, secretly on my part, of course, she always looked even better, more like a revelation.

Something I knew all along.

With her head bent over the notepad she held in one hand, she scribbled in quick, precise strokes. I realized Violet had been talking while I’d been gawking. I glanced up to find a silent Violet studying me with her head cocked to the side.

Between seconds, between heartbeats, between her look and my silence…she knew.

We stared each other down, Olivia completely oblivious to the growing tension stretched taut between Violet and me. A tension built precariously on a shared secret.

Violet repeated what I’d missed. “And what did you suggest, Duke, to preserve my place here?”

My name thrown in a gauntlet was not something I could ignore. I narrowed my eyes at her. I didn’t enjoy puzzles. And the five minutes I’d spent with Violet told me she’d be far more difficult to decipher than most.

“Olivia,” I said, not even looking at her, still grappling in the strangest battle of wills with Violet. “Will you give Ms. Cesario and me a moment?”

~~~

~Author Bio~

Monica Corwin is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author. She is an outspoken writer attempting to make romance accessible to everyone, no matter their preferences. As a Northern Ohioian, Monica enjoys snow drifts, three seasons of weather, and a dislike of Michigan football. Monica owns more books about King Arthur than should be strictly necessary. Also typewriters…lots and lots of typewriters.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Bookbub

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~Giveaway~

Blitz-wide giveaway (US/CAN)

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Book Blitz ~ Rival by Arwen Paris: Excerpt + Giveaway!


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Rival by Arwen Paris

(Fate of the Stars, #2)

Publication date: November 1st 2018

Genres: Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

It’s a role she didn’t want…

One deadly week has passed since seventeen year old Allison Delaney realized she must save Earth from the parasitic race of Ma’tiok. But the task is even more complicated than Allison feared, and she’s being set up to fail. Blamed for a fatal blow to the Alliance fleet that killed dozens of soldiers, Allison must face judgment for their deaths. The High Priestess Kiobaan is Allison’s only hope. Kiobaan sees the warrior spirit in Allison, along with her potential both politically and physically and agrees to train her.

And a game she can’t afford to lose.

Meanwhile, though Allison is the human host of Eenoki, protector of life, she’s not yet ready to harness their combined energy. Their bond is unpredictable at best—volatile at worst. Time is running out for Eenoki and Allison to trust each other—all or nothing—or she’ll never gain the power she needs to defeat the Ma’tiok and save Earth. When Allison is marked for death by an unknown enemy, the High Priestess Kiobaan must step-up and fight. But in return Kiobaan extracts a pledge from Allison, one that will compromise her new status and make her a target.

Goodreads | Pre-order

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~Excerpt~

Staring out of the tinted bulletproof windows of the limo, I can’t tell for sure how gray the clouds are that gather above us. I hope it doesn’t rain again. It’s unsettling to come back here. To see the complete destruction of the California ocean side town that I once called home—Avilene Beach. It’s a ghost-like cemetery of charred, crumbling homes and palm trees turned askew and broken apart. Just like me.

This is the direct result of my decisions.

Wind skitters across the surface of black puddles racing by, reminding me of the oily blood of the Ma’tiok. It’s been just one week since my old life, my human life, ended and this new one exploded into existence. Acid rises in the back of my throat, burning hot, and I crush my jaw together hard until my lips press into a thin line. Why did Eenoki pick me?

“Priestess, do you understand what I said?”

Katok’s sharp telepathic tone startles me out of my immersive guilt. “Stick to the speech the High Priestess provided. Yes. I got it.” I swallow hard against the rising bile being pressed there by the trembling in my gut. What if this press conference makes things worse?

“Allison, don’t worry so much. You’ll be safe.” Stephen reaches out to me and Katok snatches his hand midair, crushing it in his huge taloned palm.

“Ow! Dammit, Katok!” Stephen clutches his wounded limb.

I swear, that’s almost a smirk on the massive Vongjar commander’s leopard-like face. Katok’s lips curl back menacingly to reveal his white fangs and piercing resolve. Stephen knows better than to try and touch me.

I sigh, and can’t help but glare at Stephen who sits across from me. His dark muscular arms are crossed hard against his white Navy button up shirt. Even with the blotchy purple and yellow bruises healing across his tense neck and face, he’s still handsome. But his haircut, shaved in military style, makes me miss his longer tawny surfer hair.

“Stephen, if I can’t be the bridge between the Alliance and Earth, our world won’t survive the Ma’tiok. You understand that, right?”

His angry blue eyes lock on me, softening, and he smiles.

I look away and clench my fists on the cold, empty, black leather seats beside me. We can never make it work. He’ll never understand what I am, or what I have to do. I have to serve the Alliance to have any chance of getting them to fight the Ma’tiok on the ground, instead of glassing the Earth like they have so many other infected worlds.

The blue tint to the air thickens as we get closer to our destination. What if I had just gone with Z’iram and left Earth behind? Maybe he would have spared those who died here.

No. If we left, there would be no hope of the Alliance helping this world fight back. Any other choice would have meant the total destruction of Earth without any chance of survival.

I know Eenoki is right, but the truth still hurts.

The High Priestess will arrive soon, aboard the planet killer Star Fire, to judge and test me. This speech is another test, one that I can’t afford to mess up. If Kiobaan doesn’t publicly declare me a Priestess, of Earth, then there will be no ambassador to the Alliance or protection for our world.

I take a deep breath and straighten the pale gown Tarem made me wear, irritated at how ridiculous I look. Not that I own any clothes besides what the Alliance has provided me. Before we left, my reflection shocked me. The way they pinned up my long auburn waves under a small crystalline hairpiece that stands a few inches high, reminded me of my vision of Aakina. The memory Eenoki shared with me from her last day alive, before she and her world were wiped out by the Ma’tiok.

“How much longer Katok, until there are too many Ma’tiok for your troops to handle”

His golden eyes widen. “They multiply too quick. The ground troops struggle to do more than contain them. Our current calculations project ten Earth days at most. We need Alliance support to do any more.” Katok shakes his head.

Ten days left? It’s only been twenty one since the Ma’tiok arrived!

Stephen leans closer. “He’s not telling you the whole story. Admiral Hurst says that there are over ten thousand Ma’tiok and infected humans on the ground, and that combined kills between Katok’s troops and the US military don’t even equal the rate that they’re multiplying at. We are losing every day.”

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~Author Bio~

Arwen Paris is the author of young adult fiction. Her debut YA Sci-fi Urban Fantasy novel FATE OF THE STARS releases September 1, 2017. The actions packed pages of her novels are filled with characters that are forced to face fears they never expected. When she’s not writing, you can see posts of her (too many) vacations that keep her sane. Arwen lives in Washington, has a big crazy family & after the day job, she writes Fiction For the Fearless – #F3Fanatic

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Bookbub | Instagram

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~Giveaway~

Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)

$50 Amazon gift card
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Posted by on July 6, 2018 in Book Blitz

 

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