Monthly Archives: June 2013
Welcome to Evernight Teen’s Summer Kick-off Blog Hop!
It’s a great opportunity to get to know Evernight Teen: Gritty Fiction for Today’s Young Adult. Our stories include fresh teen fiction that’s raw, gritty and real.
My spotlight is on Slayer for Hire by P.E. Cunningham
Nineteen-year-old Billie Eshleman loves the TV show Slayer for Hire, and has a major fangirl crush on its hunky star, Dylan Garber. When the show comes to her home town to film a movie version, it’s her greatest dream come true. Unfortunately, she’s not the only fan trying to crash the set. A real vampire has fixated on the fictitious “slayer,” and is determined to make Dylan her mate—like, for the rest of eternity.
With help from Dylan’s co-star, Matt—an actor with vampire-related secrets of his own—it’s up to Billie to keep her idol from joining the ranks of the undead long enough to finish the movie. And, incidentally, keep herself alive in the process.
14+ for adult situations
The guy with the cross tattoo shook himself all over like a dog. Then he grinned at me with those big prosthetic teeth. His B.O. hit me with a stench like three-week-old hamburger. “You look tasty,” he said. He started toward me.
All of a sudden my sight of those scary teeth was blocked by a shapeless wool poncho. I never heard Dina run up. She just appeared between me and Tattoo Boy. They started to circle like dogs. I backed out of reach, but didn’t run. I’d just seen this skinny guy toss Rolly like a basketball. Dina would need help. What I could do with no weapons, I had no idea. Kick, maybe? Worked on the hockey field.
That’s when I noticed Tattoo Boy’s eyes. When he’d grinned at me, they’d been blue. They were red now. I don’t mean bloodshot. I’m talking solid scarlet, with a black pit of pupil in the centers. He hadn’t had a chance to slip contacts in. My gut did a ten-story plummet. Reality had just run off the rails here.
He bared his pointy teeth at Dina and hissed.
She bared her own pointy teeth and hissed right back at him.
Okay. Totally freaked now.
In a move almost too fast to follow, Dina whipped off her poncho and flung it in Tattoo Boy’s fangy face. Under the poncho she had on a scoop-neck top, jeans, and a bandolier full of wooden stakes. She yanked one free. Once Tattoo Boy untangled himself from the poncho and flung it away, she dove in and rammed her stake into his chest.
He looked at the stake. Then he looked at her. His lips started to move. Before any words could form, lips, face and everything else cracked and crumbled and collapsed on the mall’s worn linoleum with a little puff.
I kept waiting for Rog to yell, “Cut.”
Dina calmly plucked another stake from her bandolier. She looked over at me. Her eyes were solid crimson.
“You might want to run now,” she suggested.
She left me before I could speak or scream, or do anything other than pant. I stared around at everything except that pile of ash on the floor, and realized our part of the mall was almost deserted. I glimpsed Matt, recognizable by his height, up at the other end, herding people toward the exits.
What about Dylan? Surely they’d gotten him to safety when this disaster started, right?
I ran, but not for the nearest exit. I headed for the spot where I’d last seen Dylan. Matt seemed to have his own safety under control, but I couldn’t cut out until I knew for sure Dylan was all right. What kind of fangirl would I be if I did?
But first, I detoured for the sporting goods store. I needed a weapon. I grabbed a hardwood baseball bat from the front-of-the store display. Not my first choice, but it was handy. Then I plunged toward the junkyard of abandoned cameras, dollies and cranes where Dylan had last been filming.
I didn’t see anyone around. Maybe they’d all got out. Then two shapes buzzed past me, so fast I only saw blurs, like the vampires on Slayer for Hire, just without the SFX.
Trust me, I did not like how the evidence was mounting up.
The blurs slowed enough to resolve into two of the fang-faced attackers. They grabbed two people struggling to wedge themselves out through an emergency exit. One was Rog. The captain of this flick had stuck with his sinking ship past the last minute. He had Dylan with him, at least until the leather boys yanked them apart. I hefted my bat and pelted toward them.
“Hey, I know you,” one of the Fango Brothers said to Rog. “You were on Leno. You directed RoboSoldier II. Man, that movie sucked.” He swooped in close. He looked like he was biting Rog’s neck.
The other one had hold of a struggling Dylan. “Relax, pretty boy. We’re part of your fan club. Our president wants to meet you. She sent us to pick you up, seeing as how you won’t answer her letters.”
“I don’t see her letters or emails or anything. We’ve got people who do that.” Dylan abruptly stopped struggling. He’d finally noticed the guy sucking on Rog’s neck. “What the hell?”
His captor shrugged one shoulder. “He skipped breakfast.”
“Are you friggin’ insane?” Dylan exploded. “Slayer’s not real! It’s a goddamn TV show! It isn’t real!”
The guy showed his fangs. Dylan shut up. “It’s real enough, bucko.”
“So’s this,” I quipped, and swung the bat. Go for the legs, that’s what they taught us in field hockey. Okay, no, not the coaches. Sarah McClosky, our team captain. She could trip an opposing player six different ways and make ’em all look like an accident. Her dad was a cop, so she knew what to aim for. Her tricks were also effective against grabby dates who wouldn’t listen to “no.”
I cracked the bat against the guy’s knees with all the strength I could muster. Considering the weight of the trays we have to lift at the dinner rush, that’s a lot more than you’d think.
He let go of Dylan and staggered back. He should have gone down, but he didn’t. I retreated a couple of steps. Dylan whirled toward the exit door and clawed at the unyielding bar, totally ignoring the “Push” sign.
I took another swing at Fango’s legs. I thought I was fast, but he beat me. He caught the bat on the downswing and yanked it out of my hands. He tossed it away. It clattered and rolled across the floor, too far away for me to make a dive for. Fango grinned at me, and licked his lips.
“Come to think of it,” he said, “I could do with a bite myself.”
Slayer for Hire is available here!
What’s up for grabs?
- One lucky hopper will win a KINDLE PAPERWHITE eREADER sponsored by Evernight Teen.
- Every book blogger/reviewer site is giving away one free eBook from Evernight Teen (winner’s choice of any eBook from Evernight Teen’s website).
- Plus, each author offers their own unique prize! So visit each blog hop stop for a host of fabulous prizes to win.
How to enter? Leave a comment answering the question below, along with your email address to be eligible to win a prize. Copied and pasted entries will be disqualified — so make your answer unique in some way, so I know you didn’t just copy someone else’s response. (Sorry I have to do this, but you’d be surprised how many times this actually happens)
Question: What is your favorite Vampire book or movie character of all time?
Don’t forget to continue hopping to the next stop!
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Welcome to my stop on the Remember Me Blog Tour. I’m so excited to finally have a chance to lend my support to one of my favorite authors, as well as having an advanced look at her new release, REMEMBER ME so I could write the review. It’s really one of the best things about reviewing books. All that great literature (you hope) for free. What’s not to like?
I fell in love with Ms. Ison’s work with her first solo release, THE TROUBLE WITH NIGHTINGALE. If you haven’t read this one, folks, you really need to get on that right after you finish picking up this latest endeavor.
But, we aren’t talking about that story today. Today is ALL about the newest tale to spawn from Ms. Ison’s fanatically creative mind.
Before we get to my review of the tale, let’s have a closer look at the book beyond its spectacular cover.
by Amaleen Ison
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Release Date: June 11th, 2013
Cover Artist: Scott Carpenter
Blurb: Sera isn’t living. She’s existing—barely. Bedbound by illness, she has no memory of life before the freezing barn she now calls home. A mournful song haunts her dreams and hints at a past not completely buried—one she’s desperate to uncover. Yet Father’s whirlwind visits to draw blood and administer medication don’t provide answers. He only confirms the one thing she already knows; she’s dying.
A lonely death without ever knowing her past seems inevitable until a sudden, mystifying return to health coincides with the arrival of a boy in the opposite out-building. The inextricable pull to the stranger, and the broken memories that storm her mind when he’s near, warn of a history quite different to any she could have imagined. If she’s to uncover the truth she craves, she’ll have to decide whether knowledge of the past is worth forfeiting her second chance at life.
Father snatches the cover away and yanks my bare arm straight. Angry-looking bruises and red track marks riddle my paper-thin skin from wrist to elbow crease. He flicks a spidery-looking vein. “Dammit. Next.” My sluggish movements prove too slow for his liking, and he grabs my other arm. “We’ll give this one a try.”
I turn to Noah. Although younger than Father and not yet graying, his straggly black beard and tired-looking eyes make him appear older. He wears a worried expression and avoids my gaze. Perhaps he pities me, or my condition embarrasses him. Probably both.
The fog of medication descends in my mind and sends its glacial water surging through my veins. The barn wobbles, and my head lolls back on the pillow, giving me a view of the rafters. When it comes, the prick of the needle doesn’t hurt. Only the beautiful, melancholy song that plays constantly in my mind accompanies the odd sense of draining life.
Minutes, hours, days later—I can’t tell—Father holds up a full vial of blood to a shaft of sunlight streaming through the hole in the roof. “Thank you, my angel.” He kisses my forehead and squeezes my hand at the same time. I smile at the show of relief in his eyes, before my heavy lids close.
“She’s sleeping,” he says.
Footsteps draw near.
“She looks worse.” The disembodied comment comes from somewhere near the foot of the bed.
“Her blood isn’t working anymore.” Noah’s voice sounds tight.
“We ought to let her die peacefully.”
Yes, they ought to let me die peacefully.
“No!” Father’s breath comes in heavy gusts. “I won’t give up on her. We’ll capture the other one.”
“We’ll be damned.”
“Too late.” A loud clunk and something metallic skitters across the floor. “We’re already damned.”
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The descriptions are so vivid, as if Ms. Ison is painting a portait in your mind. So clear you can just sit back and watch the story unfold. I just love when a story can do that. Make the words disappear and you are left watching a film — a mental movie of the book you’re reading. I really felt IN the story beside Sera throughout her struggles to understand what is happening to her.
The characterizations are just as strong. Each of the characters in the story, from the more prevalent, Sim, Father and Noah, to the less seen, Martha and Angela — each one completely flesh out and three dimensional.
I don’t do spoilers in my reviews, so the excerpt and blurb will have to give you enough clues to go by. I’ll not be adding any. Sorry, folks. You will have to just content yourself with knowing how much I enjoyed the short read, and how highly I recommend it to all the YA fan out there, as well as anyone who just enjoys a great, well written story.
5 Enthusiastic Pirate Skulls for this well woven YA tale.
Amaleen Ison is offering a giveaway as part of the Blog Tour. You could snag yourself an eCopy of Remember Me as well as a $20 Amazon Gift Card. The giveaway is open to International entrants.
Since I can’t host Rafflecopter on a free wordpress blog, you will have to swing over there to enter. The link is below. Good luck!
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Author Bio: Amaleen Ison is a married mother of one. She lives with her family in Hertfordshire, England, along with her cats (Oscar and Winston), guinea pig ( LouLou), and gerbils (Blackberry and Pumpkinseed). She writes Young Adult fantasy stories that meander into a variety of sub-genres.
As a child, Amaleen lived most of her life in her head. She imagined herself in mystical lands populated by the weird and wonderful. She still spends way too much time daydreaming, but now she writes about her imaginings and weaves them into stories. The fantasy element is always important, but more so the hodgepodge of emotions that arise from her characters first time experiences.
Those of you who follow the blog regularly, know how much I have enjoyed the stories in Jocelyn Adams’ Lila Gray Urban Fantasy series. Well, today is the day I get to share my review of the last installment, RISE OF THE MAGI, which released from J. Taylor Publishing on June 4th.
It has been KILLING me to have to hold my tongue on what I thought about this final Lila Gray tale, but for all of us — the wait is finally over.
Excited, right? Yeah, me too!
Before I get to the actual review, here is a bit about the novel.
Rise of the Magi
by Jocelyn Adams
Series: Lila Gray, book #3
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: J. Taylor Publishing
Release Date: June 4th, 2013
Keywords: fae, faeries, elves, selkies, fantasy, urban fantasy, romance, romantic, dryads, paranormal.
Blurb: In a battle of wills, who is strongest? The one who hates or the one who loves?
In a test of faith, who will fight the hardest? The one who has everything to lose or the one who believes only in herself?
For Lila Gray, the answer is both. For the Magi, the questions are pointless since they can’t lose, and they’ve been waiting since before Lila’s birth for this one moment. Lila only needs to find them to understand her entire purpose in life. This time, though, instead of protecting her people, Lila may be leading them all, including her unborn child and the man she loves, to their deaths — and not by accident.
In the ultimate trial of heart and soul, and the conclusion to the Lila Gray series, Lila will learn that the greatest weapon of war is herself, with one ultimate unknown. For which side will she fight?
Rise of the Magi on Goodreads:
You want it now, don’tcha? Don’t even need to read my review now. Do ya? It’s okay, you can admit it. *grins* I left the links below for you — you know, just in case I’m right.
For those of you who are still with me and not over at one of the above sites buying your copy…
I’m going to start this review off by stating for the record, I consider the author, Jocelyn Adams a good friend. But, saying that, you should also understand she is one because I met her on a writing site and LOVED her stories, so started to post critiques of them on the site. We got to know each other and became friends, but I loved her stories first.
Now that we have that out of the way.
Rise of the Magi is the final installment of Ms. Adams’ Lila Gray stories, and while I have to say The Glass Man is still my favorite of the three novels in the series, Rise of the Magi comes a close second. The series’ main character, Lila Gray has become one of my favorite literary heroines. I’m just a sucker for a tough female lead. Lila started out spunky in The Glass Man and that spirit and sarcastic determination is evident in the second book, Shadowborn. It still exists in this story.
I make it a point to not give spoilers in my review, so I won’t discuss the plot itself — as much as I want to. I will say I cried in some places, and for a book to get me that way doesn’t happen often.
I also have to say I am completely impressed by the authors ability to carry the tale through three novels and tie things up so succinctly at the end of it all. So many twists and turns, things I never saw coming, clues missed in Book #1 or Book #2 that gave me such “A-ha” moments while reading Rise of the Magi. I love when that happens.
The story is character rich and the “voice” is stellar. I highly recommend the read, in fact, the whole Lila Gray series.
5 Pirate Skulls from me for this wonderful, urban fantasy tale.
Oh! I almost forgot… I promised you all a giveaway. I can’t actually host the giveaway here on my free wordpress blog, so I have just given you the link below. Good luck!
Jocelyn Adams grew up on a cattle farm in Lakefield and has remained a resident of Southern Ontario her entire life, most recently in Muskoka. She has worked as a computer geek, a stable hand, a secretary, and spent most of her childhood buried up to the waist in an old car or tractor engine with her mechanically inclined dad. But mostly, she’s a dreamer with a vivid imagination and a love for fantasy (and a closet romantic — shhh!). When she isn’t shooting her compound bow in competition or writing, she hangs out with her husband and young daughter at their little house in the woods.