Friday, June 23, 2017

ARC Review: Deliciously Bitter (Naked Brews #3)

Deliciously Bitter by KB JacobsAbout the Book:
Title: Deliciously Bitter (Naked Brews #3)
Author: KB Jacobs
Pub. Date: June 23, 2107
Publisher: CreateSpace
Pages: 306
Rating: 5/5 stars


Synopsis:
Three years ago, my perfect life ended. I got trapped inside a burning Army MRAP and watched my friends die. I was the only one to survive, if you can call this survival. 

Now I’m the beast of nightmares. Horrific scars mean I don’t leave my house...ever. 

But my best friend made sure I continued to live when all I wanted was to give up. I owe him everything, and now he needs me for two weeks. 

Two weeks with strangers who I’ll never have to see again. I can do this. I can ignore the stares and revulsion. 

But what I can’t ignore is the stunning beauty next door who sees past my scars. 

She’s Hollywood royalty. I’m a recluse, a hermit. Her life is glamour and paparazzi. My life is NOT. No matter how much I want her, I’m no good for her. 

Beauty and the beast was a romantic fairy tale, but this is real life and she deserves better... 

Review:

I have no words to describe how amazing this book is!! You need to pick it up as soon as it is released! KB Jacobs have written an excellent conclusion in the Naked Brews trilogy by not only wrapping up the mystery that has been plaguing these characters since the very beginning, but also giving us the most romantic love story between Damian and Alex. I've been begging to find out more about these two characters in particular, so it was a bittersweet way to end the series for me. 

Once again, KB Jacobs has crafted excellent main characters and given them so much life you feel as if you're friends with them. Since the get go, both Damian and Alex have been very mysterious characters...Damian more so than Alex however. Which means his character is full of surprises and new discoveries throughout the entire book. My heart broke for Damian and all of the suffering he has gone through, but his change from this hermit/recluse to being open and trusting of others was HUGE. One of his scenes towards the end of the book truly brought tears to my eyes because of how far he had come since the start. And while some of his growth was from his own choices and feeling like he belonged with the Naked Brews crew, a large majority of this growth came from Alex. She was more incredible than I ever could imagine! I loved her for her constant support and caring nature towards Lake and Melissa, but this extends to Damian and is taken to a whole other level. Honestly, the respect, care, and love she showed him is very rare these days, and it was exactly what he needed to break out of his self-made hermit shell. 

I was rooting for Alex and Damian from the very first chapter, but together the sparks fly off the page!! Reading their story was so spectacular and amazing, and I never wanted it to end! Even though Damian is reluctant at first, he can't help but open his heart and home to Alex. And boy oh boy do the pages heat up when they are together. Every scene between them was beautifully written and made your heart melt. 

All loose ends are tied up, and I definitely didn't expect the culprit behind everything to be the person it was!! It was shocking for sure! I highly recommend reading this is book if you are a fan of the series, and while it can be read as a standalone, I think the story means so much more when read the series in order. It's hard knowing that this is the last in the Naked Brews series because I don't want to say goodbye to these characters yet!! I hope it won't be the last we see of them (hint hint KB Jacobs....give us some novellas please), but KB Jacobs definitely went out with a bang and ended this series perfectly!


Happy reading :)

~Cassie

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Blog Tour: Thicker Than Blood

Thicker Than Blood Tour Graphic
Thicker Than Blood by Anne Marie CitroAbout the Book:
Title: Thicker Than Blood (Sistas Book 3) 
Author: Anne Marie Citro
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult Romance
Publication Date: May 5, 2017
Synopsis:

Every paramedic’s worst nightmare is to arrive at the scene of a horrific accident and find out that the victim is someone they love. Or, in Caden Ross’s case, the woman he used to love. It took two years to finally get over Dakota and move on with his life, or so Caden believed, until he has to face the thought of a world without her. Nothing could have prepared the handsome, headstrong off-duty paramedic for the emotional upheaval of keeping the woman he once thought would be his forever alive.
Dakota Martineau appeared to have the world in the palm of her hand. She is beautiful, kind, has an adoring family, including her best friend and identical twin sister. She has a passion for incorporating her love of life, family, and her cultural background into her dream job with special needs kids. Then, in a life-altering crash, she discovers just how fragile life is. Thankful to be surrounded by an incredible group of friends who will help heal, not just her body, but also her soul, she knows she should be happy she is alive and on the mend, but Dakota is still tormented by the loss of her one true love.
How can you feel safe with the one person who hurt you the most? What road will Caden and Dakota take when they discover fate wreaked havoc on everything they thought was true?
I adore all of Citro's books.
This book keeps you reading. It's a journey that takes you through overcoming tragedy, overcoming lots and lots of heartbreak from family and lovers, and it teaches you the power of friendship and trusting with your heart.
- Kristin Campbell, Goodreads Reviewer

Purchase Links

Available now for $2.99 only. Grab your copy today.
Thicker Than Blood Teaser

Other Books by Anne Marie Citro

Don't miss the other books in the Sistas series:
Under Her Wings
UNDER HER WINGS (Sistas Book 1)
Have you ever wondered why you were so lucky? Then you wake up to find every you cherished is gone. You don’t fit into your life without the people who defined it. So, you run. You run as fast and as far as you can. Then you smash into them!
Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks
"This book is for the hopeless romantic, who believes everyone should get their happy ending. Even when happiness seems unattainable."
- Amazon Customer, Amazon reviewer
Related Links
Lyrics Heart & Soul
LYRICS HEART & SOUL (Sistas Book 2)
Can the misfits of society considered substandard and their child/ youth worker teach a broken man that has no heart how to love? Can love and trust be taught? Ryder has what every person strives for yet it isn’t worth having if you have no one to share it with.
Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks
"Beautiful Story...A 2017 Summer Beach Read Not To Be Missed!"
- Annette Cosentino, Amazon reviewer
Related Links

Excerpt from Thicker Than Blood
Caden saw she was about speak and stopped her by placing a bandaged finger to her lips. “Do you love me, Dakota?” he asked, needing to hear only that from her lips.
Closing her eyes, she responded by nodding. “I never s-stopped, even after I thought—”
“No,” Caden stopped her again. That was all he had needed or wanted to hear for tonight. “I don’t want to talk tonight. We have both dealt with enough for today. I want to be with you. If you are strong enough, I want to make love to you. I need to be in your body. I need to reconnect with you on the most basic level, for my sanity and my soul.”
She knew he was struggling as deeply as she was. They had lost so much, hurt so deeply. Was this a gift she could give to him, to both of them? Physically, she was not the same woman he remembered, and she was feeling self-conscious. Her body was no longer strong. Dakota hadn’t shaved her legs or under her arms in months. She was convinced she was half monkey.
Caden saw a look of disgust cross her face. “If you don’t want to make love yet, I get it. We’ll get there. We don’t have to rush. Just let me hold you tonight.”
Dakota saw the look of rejection on his face. He had misinterpreted her reaction. She wanted it so badly. It was her modesty that was the problem.
“I want to … I j-just wish I felt more like myself. My body doesn’t w-work the same way it used to. I’ll be aw-awkward and won’t feel like a w-woman.” Her face was red with embarrassment.
Caden was confused. He had no doubt he could make her feel like a whole woman.
He tipped her head up. “We are starting fresh. No more keeping things to ourselves. We are open and honest about everything. Do you understand there isn’t anything we can’t talk about? Please tell me.”
She knew he was right. They had to move forward. The only way for it to work was with total honesty, even if it was embarrassing as hell.”
“I want you to look at me like you used to. My body hasn’t fully recovered, and I haven’t shaved in “months.”
Caden lowered his forehead to hers and cupped her jaw in both hands, shuttering in relief as he breathed out. “Aw, baby girl, you are the sexiest woman alive. It’s very important to me how you feel about yourself. I’m going to help you. Let’s go.”
Her eyes widened as she tried to dig her feet in. “No, please. I don’t know if I can. I only recently got some of my dignity back. It was awful having to rely on nurses to bathe me, put on my deodorant, or even wipe my butt. I couldn’t do anything about it before, but …”
Giving her shoulders a gentle shake, he said, “Hold on, Dakota. I know you’ve gone to hell and back. Just to remind you, I am a professional and deal discreetly with people’s bodies every day. I understand your need for discretion. Trust me, baby; I’ll be respectful.”
 Review:

When I was given an advanced copy of this book, I wasn't actually aware that it was the 3rd book in the series, however I quickly fell in love with the story, as well as Ms. Citro's writing. Although it is the 3rd book, it can be read as a standalone. It's safe to say I'll be checking out the rest of the books in the series though because I need to find out more about the other characters featured in this book. Thicker Than Blood is a book that keeps you hooked until the end and is one that you never want to stop reading. You instantly fall in love with the main characters and are rooting for them throughout the entire book. Ms. Citro's writing is fantastic and truly sweeps you away.

Dakota and Caden are excellent leads for this story. Both characters are easy to love and extremely relatable. After a devastating accident, Dakota's life is turned upside down, and that is the moment when she (and Caden) realize certain things about their lives. Once upon a time, they were madly in love, but one event shattered that leaving both of them heartbroken. However, when they find their way back to each other and learn that everything that happened is not what it appeared to be, their romance becomes magical. My heart broke for both characters at how much time they lost due to a misunderstanding and petty jealousy. 

I honestly loved Dakota's character. She was very much in tune with her ancestry and heritage, and this added a lovely element to the book. I liked how Ms. Citro wove Dakota's beliefs and ancestry into the story because it made me love the book even more. Dakota is a wonderful free-spirited woman and is the perfect match for Caden. Caden is very swoon-worthy. He's down-to-earth and romantic. Caden is also loyal to a fault and even though at the beginning of the story things aren't very good between him and Dakota, he stays by her side through it all. It was in these beginning moments that you see just how much he still cares for and loves Dakota. 

As I said, I definitely want to find out more about the side characters because they played such important roles in this book and I would love to find out their backstory. However the one character I absolutely hated...Dakota's sister. She is absolutely despicable and I couldn't stand her. You'll understand why I say that when you read the book, but just know that you will hate her from the get go.

I would highly recommend reading this book right away!! With fantastic writing and a cast of characters that is easy to love (with the exception of Dakota's sister that is), you will quickly find a new favorite series!! I do think the story would have meant more to me if I read the previous 2 books prior to this one, however you can definitely read this as a standalone and not be confused. This book takes you on a journey through heartbreak, friendship, and love...and it is a journey that you will want to take again and again.
                                          

Happy reading :)

Giveaway

WIN ON OF TWO
$20 AMAZON GIFT CARD
Thicker Than Blood Giveaway Graphic
Contest runs from May 17 - June 24, 2017.

Anne Marie Citro

About Anne Marie Citro

Anne Marie Citro grew born and raised in the greater Toronto area of Ontario, Canada. She grew up in a large, loving family. Anne Marie is married to a very patient man. He is the love of her life. They have four very cool sons, and the girls they brought into their family that have become daughters of her heart. She has been blessed enough to finally have a beautiful granddaughter after four sons. She has her own personal gaggle of girlfriends, who enrich her life on a daily basis and make her laugh. Caesar Friday is her favorite day of the week. Caesars with the girls and date night with her hubby. She works with special-needs teenagers, that have taught her how to appreciate life and see it through gentler eyes.
Anne Marie was encouraged by her husband to follow her lifelong dream to write. She loves the characters that take over imagination and haunts her dreams. She loves the arts and she has tried her hand at painting, wood sculpting, chainsaw carving, wood burning, metal and wire sculptures. Yes, her husband is a very patient man! Anne Marie is an avid reader and enjoys about three books per week. But nothing makes her happier then riding on the back of her husband's Harley and throwing her arms out and feeling the wind race by. Anne Marie and her husband take a few weeks every year to travel to spectacular destination around the world. Anne Marie is excited and can't wait to see what the next chapter holds for her life.
Official website: http://annemariecitro.com
Connect with Anne Marie Citro on social media:

Book Tour Schedule

Follow the book tour from June 12 - 24, 2017.
Discover more features, excerpts, reviews, interviews, fun facts and other extras on the tour.
To check the latest tour schedule, visit the Thicker Than Blood Book Page at Book Unleashed.


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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #104

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Cassie's Waiting On: 
Venturess (Mechanica, #2)Venturess (Mechanica #2) by Betsey Cornwell
Publication Date: August 1, 2017

Synopsis:
Young inventor Nicolette Lampton is living her own fairy tale happy ending. She's free of her horrible step-family, running a successful business, and is uninterested in marrying the handsome prince, Fin. Instead, she, Fin, and their friend Caro venture to the lush land of Faerie, where they seek to put an end to the bloody war their kingdom is waging. Mechanical armies and dark magic await them as they uncover devastating secrets about the past and fight for a real, lasting happily-ever-after for two troubled countries—and for themselves.

I know that this might not be the most popular of WoWs, but I honestly really enjoyed the first book in this series.  I'm excited to see where the story will go and what's Ms. Cornwell has in store for the characters that I liked so much! Plus, I LOVE the cover of this one!

Jocelyn's Waiting On: 
Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart 
Publication Date: September 5th, 2017 


Synopsis:

The story of a young woman whose diabolical smarts are her ticket into a charmed life. But how many times can someone reinvent themselves? You be the judge.

Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete. 
An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two. 
A bad romance, or maybe three.
Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains. 
A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.


I know that We Were Liars produced some pretty die-hard fans for E. Lockhart, but I actually haven't read it! So, after hearing some great things about her mystery novels, I am definitely ready to give her style of writing a try with Genuine Fraud!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Blog Tour + Giveaway: The Suffering Tree


About the Book:
Title: The Suffering Tree 
Publication Date: June 13th, 2017
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 368 
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal 



Synopsis: 

“It’s dark magic brings him back.”

Tori Burns and her family left D.C. for claustrophobic Chaptico, Maryland, after suddenly inheriting a house under mysterious circumstances. That inheritance puts her at odds with the entire town, especially Jesse Slaughter and his family-it's their generations-old land the Burns have "stolen." As the suspicious looks and muttered accusations of her neighbors build, so does the pressure inside her, and Tori returns to the pattern of self-harm that landed her in a hospital back in D.C. It all comes to a head one night when, to Tori's shock, she witnesses a young man claw his way out of a grave under the gnarled oak in her new backyard.

Nathaniel Bishop may not understand what brought him back, but it's clear to Tori that he hates the Slaughters for what they did to him centuries ago. Wary yet drawn to him by a shared sense of loss, she gives him shelter. But in the wake of his arrival comes a string of troubling events-including the disappearance of Jesse Slaughter's cousin-that seem to point back to Nathaniel.

As Tori digs for the truth-and slowly begins to fall for Nathaniel-she uncovers something much darker in the tangled branches of the Slaughter family tree. In order to break the curse that binds Nathaniel there and discover the true nature of her inheritance, Tori must unravel the Slaughter family's oldest and most guarded secrets. But the Slaughters want to keep them buried at any cost.



The Story Behind the Cover:

Truth?

I cried the first time I saw the final design for the exquisite cover of The Suffering Tree. Not just because it’s so incredibly striking in its contrast, or because the art seems to come alive on the page. But because the cover, like the novel, promises to take readers on a journey. I cried because I could start at the top of the jacket and follow Nathaniel and Emmeline’s tale with the tip of my finger as I traced around the rings of the tree. And because of the seamless way their stories blended into Nathaniel and Tori’s, three-hundred years later, via the pathway through the woods, connecting Tori’s house to Nathaniel’s tree.


The designer, Maria Elias, and the illustrator, Justine Howlett, somehow captured not only the fine details of the plot, but also the arcs and struggles of the characters. Nathaniel is drawn delicately into the roots, at once part of the tree and yet he seems forced to bear the weight of it as he climbs his way out. To me, this image couldn’t be a more perfect representation of the burden of the tree’s curse upon him.


And here, the ship that brought Nathaniel and Emmeline to the colonies as children where they were sold to a plantation under a falsified indenture, is drawn as if connected to the farm by the waves of the sea that carried it. Yet in the same image, his old life lies on the other side of a deep ravine, a gouge so deep in its trunk it seems impassable, perfectly capturing Nathaniel’s sentiments of loss and his longing for home.

“As a boy, I ached to cross it, but even if I dove in and swam, or stowed away with a captain and sailed, the distance was so vast and I was already so changed, it felt like nothing would be the same had I returned.”


Turn the book over, and the back jacket tells an equally powerful story of yearning. Tori and Nathaniel reach for each other across the gap, the curse and the secrets that lie beneath the tree.


And best of all is the finishing. The dark illustrations depicting these struggles are embossed, bold lines and images that stand out from the foreground. And behind them, shining through it all, a hint of pearlescence reveals itself. The stars and clouds and sky seem to shimmer with it, catching the light as if illuminating the scenes from within when you turn them just the right way. I won’t spoil the reason this feels so perfect to the story. Astute readers will spot that small but significant detail in the book, and I hope it will give them a secret satisfaction when they do.


There are other things. . .  other small details in the cover I’m dying to share with you but can’t without spoiling the mysteries inside it. The rest you’ll have to discover on your own.

My countless thanks to the entire team at Disney Hyperion for bringing The Suffering Tree to life through this unforgettable cover.


Follow the Tour!

Follow the The Suffering Tree by Elle Cosimano Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.




Elle Cosimano 

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads 
Elle Cosimano grew up in the Washington, DC suburbs, the daughter of a maximum security prison warden and an elementary school teacher who rode a Harley. She spent summers working on a fishing boat in the Chesapeake Bay, baiting hooks, scrubbing decks, and lugging buckets of chum. A failed student of the hard sciences, she discovered her true calling in social and behavioral studies while majoring in psychology at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Fifteen years later, Elle set aside a successful real-estate career to pursue writing. She lives with her husband and two sons in Northern Virginia and Mexico.
Elle’s debut, Nearly Gone, was a 2015 Edgar Award finalist and winner of the International Thriller Award. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Horror Writers Association, and Sisters In Crime. She was selected for the 2012 Nevada SCBWI Agented & Published Authors’ Mentorship Program, where she worked under the guidance of Ellen Hopkins. She attended the Writers’ Police Academy at Guilford Technical Community College, Department of Public Safety, to conduct hands-on research for her books.



Giveaway (US ONLY):


One winner will receive...

A hardcover copy of The Suffering Tree 

The Suffering Tree sticker & bookmark

a Rafflecopter giveaway


One winner will receive...

(1) of 9 Witch Bottles
a Rafflecopter giveaway


- Jocelyn

Blog Tour: Seeds of Eden

About the Book:
Title: Seeds of Eden (The Concilium, #1)
Author: A.P. Watson
Publication date: January 25, 2017
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Synopsis: 
Haunted by visions of the execution of an innocent man, Evey discovers that the secrets of her past and a mysterious stranger are irrevocably intertwined.
Visions of decapitated corpses, pools of blood, and a masked executioner have haunted Evey for as long as she can remember. Torn between a life in the waking world and dreams of the dead, she realizes her normal existence is nothing more than an illusion. As the veil between reality and her subconscious dissipates, she begins to question her own sanity. Each night as she closes her eyes, she wonders what wrongs she committed to warrant such a curse.
When a handsome stranger suddenly appears in Evey’s life, he is able to provide her with the answers she seeks. However, the only thing more mystifying than Conrad’s appearance in one of her nightmares is the undeniable attraction she feels for him. It is only when he confesses their fates and souls have been intertwined for centuries that an ancient secret is revealed. Now, the two of them must outrun a great darkness or it will claim their lives again.

Author Bio:
A.P. Watson grew up in the small, southern town of Estill Springs, Tennessee. Growing up in a rural town allowed her imagination to run wild, and Paige began making up stories in her head at a young age. This storytelling eventually transformed into a love of writing. She is currently penning her first trilogy, The Concilium Series, and is also planning to write four companion novellas to accompany it. She is an avid reader, enjoying a variety of genres and authors from Jane Austen to Charlaine Harris.
When she isn’t reading or writing, Paige spends the majority of her time dancing. She has been taking pole dancing lessons for the past three years and couldn’t be more in love with the sport. The blend of athleticism, grace, and flexibility required to dance continually challenges her and she strives to not only build strength but defy gravity, as well. Paige has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Nursing from East Tennessee State University. She has been a critical care nurse at Bristol Regional Medical Center for the last five years. She currently resides in Johnson City, Tennessee with her adorable dog, Elle.
Review:

Seeds of Eden was a great start to a new series that puts a unique twist on the idea of demons/heaven and hell/reincarnation. While there were some aspects of the story that I didn't like that much, I did enjoy this book a lot and am interested in checking out the next in the series. The plot is fast-paced and exciting. I loved the world-building and there are a ton of cool historical elements incorporated into the story that made the entire book more fun to read. The story definitely lives up to the genre horror-romance!! There are many twists and turns (some of which are surprising and some which are more predictable) that leave the reader trying to figure out where the story will go next! However, I'll warn you already...there's a big cliffhanger ending!

Evey and Conrad are our 2 main characters and I really liked them. Did they blow me away, no, but I still loved their characterization over the course of the novel. I loved that Evey didn't take everything at face-value, and instead questioned everything Conrad told her. She was smart and while some of her decisions were a little questionable in my book, I can understand why she made the decisions she did. Evey was very strong-minded and I loved her independence. She was pretty relatable and an easy character to like. The addition of several other characters gave the story more depth than I was expecting in the first book, which was a nice surprise. I will forewarn you though, I would classify this as upper YA and not NA. The characters are in high school, and while there are some "racy" scenes, they aren't that bad that would push it into NA territory (at least in my mind). I also liked the strong female friendship that was featured in the story because it added another layer of depth that helped move the story along.

There were several things about this book though that made me give it 3.5 stars instead of 4. First was Conrad's character. While I did like him a lot, I never loved him. And considering he is the male lead, that gave me a bit of a pause when it came to rating this book. I think the thing that bothered me the most about his character was his persistence when it came to Evey. I understand that he remembers everything they have shared together, but I also felt that he never really gave her the opportunity to come her own conclusion about them being together. Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly glad it wasn't insta-love, but I didn't feel like Conrad had the best intentions at times. It almost felt like he was more attracted to what Evey was and that "magical pull" she has toward everyone. And this is something that didn't really sit with me all that well. Additionally, I did think parts of the story seemed choppy, but I was reading an advanced copy so that could purely be the reason for this. Finally, I wasn't totally sold on Aden. He certainly is a terrible person, but as the villain in this book, I found him to be a bit dull and flat. Aden really is only seen in flashbacks (and even these are very brief appearances), and then a quick moment at the end. I know he'll be playing a much larger role in the next book based off of how this one ended, but his character didn't really line up for me in this book. There were a lot of discrepancies I felt, not his feelings toward Conrad...that I understood, but toward other characters. 

Overall, I would recommend checking this book out. It was a good start to the series, and the cliffhanger ending definitely leaves you wanting more. I do hope that the world is built even more in the next book and other characters are more fleshed out. If this happens, the book has the potential to go from good to excellent...and maybe even a 5 star read. Check this out when you get the chance!
                                     

Happy reading :)

XBTBanner1
~Cassie

Friday, June 16, 2017

Book Blitz: Cursed

About the Book:
Title: Cursed (The Price of Magic, #1)
Author: Freya Black
Publication date: June 14th 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis: 
Born of the rare and powerful Crescent bloodline, Fiona Mandrake is no ordinary witch. Because of her ability to divine the future, Fiona has visions of dark Fey who started a war between the realms that killed her parents. Fiona’s visions foretell the deaths of her coven and the destruction of the human world. But the war is not over.
Through clues her mother left behind, Fiona discovers that the Council responsible for magic is corrupt and working with the dark Fey. She seeks the help of her coven and Sloane Blackwell, a Telepath who can see her visions and change her emotions with a single touch. They share a telepathic bond, one that brings them closer.
Sloane’s unique abilities and his link to the Fey aid Fiona in her quest to end the war between the realms. But magic comes with a price. To save her town from destruction, Fiona and Sloane have to defy the Council, using magic that breaks an ancient law punishable by death. With the Council after them and dark Fey on the loose, Fiona and Sloane have to work together to extinguish the dark Fey before it’s too late.
Cursed is the first book in The Price of Magic urban fantasy series.
EXCERPT:
I delivered the drinks on my tray, leaving Sloane for last. In the middle of a heat wave, it was odd that he was wearing a long-sleeved shirt. Black cotton fit snug against his chest while the sleeves were rolled up to his elbows. He leaned over his book with a serious expression on his face, as if cramming for a midterm. Even the parade of girls in skimpy shorts couldn’t garner his attention. I wondered if supernatural creatures could feel human things, like hot and cold, happiness and despair.
When I reached Sloane, I organized the cups on my tray to distribute the weight, attempting to steady my nerves, as the glasses clanged together.
“How was the Magic Mocha?”
He looked up with a crooked smile, and I almost forgot to breathe.
“It was magical.”
Even for a Hexenjager, he was charming. When he handed me his plate, our fingertips collided for a split second. His touch sent a tingling sensation throughout my entire body, similar to an electric shock. It rushed over me like breaking waves, pulling me under. No longer in control, I staggered back as the purple-and-gold damask wallpaper swirled together. Then, my legs buckled beneath me.
Moonlight cast its shadow over the dark street. Lampposts and electrical wires fell with each explosion of thunder that pierced my eardrums. I turned my head, taking in the crumbling scenery and what was left of Pine Street. A sea of people darted toward me with crazed looks in their eyes. I stood in the middle of the street, paralyzed by fear.
And that was when I saw them—monsters so terrifying that they could only exist in nightmares.
As they moved forward, giant beams of light struck the asphalt in a methodical fashion, as if thrown from the sky by Thor and his mighty hammer. The pavement cracked in half and began to collapse under my feet. With the ferocity of a hurricane, wind plowed through the trees. A domino effect sent oak slamming into the concrete, wiping out rows of people in its wake. Jolted by the sheer force, I was about to plunge into the abyss when someone grabbed my hand.
“Hang on, Nona,” the boy said.
A boy the same age as me, no older than ten years old, squeezed my tiny bicep. Steely blue eyes peeked out from a chunk of black hair. He led me through the mayhem, calling out for our parents. No one answered.
Droves of inhuman warriors charged forward, riding black horses. Viking helmets covered most of their faces. The parts of their gray skin not protected by armor were branded with tattoos that had a crimson glow shimmering in the darkness. Soulless pits, eyes like lumps of charcoal, glowered at us. They severed the heads from the bodies of those in their way, blood splattering everywhere, rolling off the red cloaks that flapped behind them.
We dashed down Maple Drive, my heart thumping out of my chest, and we hid under a tree. Cocooned by its low-hanging branches, I failed to catch my breath until the boy wrapped his arms around me. My body stopped shaking, and my pulse returned to normal from his touch. I rested my head on his shoulder. The warmth of his energy circulated through my veins, meshing with my own powers, until the electricity pulsating between us consumed me.

Author Bio:
Freya Black is an emerging fantasy author who loves creating fictional characters and worlds. Her first book Cursed is the start of The Price of Magic Series with other young adult fantasy titles to follow.

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~Cassie

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Book Blitz: Rise

About the Book:
Title: Rise (Coven of Fire, #1)
Author: Sierra Cross
Publication date: June 15th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy

Synopsis: 
I closed the door on magic long ago…the day it made me an orphan.
Ten years ago, the Coven of Fire sacrificed their lives—my mother among them—to hold off an overwhelming demonic force. Now it’s back.
As a poorly-paid bartender, how can any of this be my problem? But Callie, another orphan of that battle, swears I’m the key to reviving the coven. And there’s an incredibly sexy guardian stranded on my couch who’s promising to help me stop the demons and keep the veil between the realms standing.
One problem: I’ve never been able to use magic. Our local bad boy warlock assures me I have the talent, but even if I did, we don’t have enough witches to complete a coven. The only way to survive is to pull together this pack of magicborn misfits, who have more secrets than spells, into a makeshift coven.
Can we—three untrained witches, a sarcastic warlock, and an overly intense guardian—take back the city…before the demongate falls and the forces that killed my mother destroy us too?
EXCERPT:
Startled, I flailed backward. Losing my grip on all six bottles. With a sickening crash they toppled to the stone floor, exploding on impact. The crisp smell of alcohol punctured the dank air.
My heart was still thundering, but I saw no one. “Who’s there?” I demanded.
A figure came into view. Not like he stepped out of the shadows…more like he materialized in front of me. Tall. Powerfully built. With short brown hair and a lean angular face covered in bruises and bloody scrapes. I could have drawn that rugged face, and all its battle scars, from memory.
I forced myself to look into his dark, knowing eyes. The eyes that I’d once allowed to see into my deepest grief. “Matt?” My voice came out higher, younger than I expected. “I didn’t think you were ever coming back.”
“Alexandra…kid, we need to talk.” Matt’s gravelly voice—a voice I hadn’t heard since I was fourteen years old—was low and serious. “I’ve waited over a year for you to come down here. Don’t know how much longer I can hold this form. So listen and don’t interrupt.”
I’d almost forgotten how bossy Matt could be for a ghost. Well, ethereal being anyway. Despite his torn T-shirt and jeans, he had a palpable air of authority, like some kind of rogue commando. The impatient blaze in his eyes would be intimidating, if I didn’t know him. Actually, it still was. But as blown away as I was to see him again, my life had changed since the last time he’d paid me an astral visit. Since then, I’d learned that I had no business interacting with supernatural beings.
“I’m not a kid anymore, Matt,” I said, as firmly as I could. “And I’m not part of your world. Look…you helped me back then, I’ll always be grateful. But I think it would be best if you left now.”
“That’s because you don’t have all the information yet.” He folded his muscular arms, which looked so real and powerful I had to remind myself that they, like the rest of his strapping body, weren’t physically here in the room but in another realm entirely. “Once you’re up to speed on the magical dangers facing our city—”
“Thanks, but I have enough problems to deal with. You know, in the real world.” I couldn’t bring myself to tell Matt that I’d been officially declared magically deficient. Not when he’d always referred to me as “the next coven leader,” after my mother. Instead, I glanced at the shards at my feet and shook my head in despair. Randy was definitely going to make me pay for these broken vodka bottles. Just add it to my tab. “Sorry, but you need to leave me alone, so I can deal with this, okay?”
I started upstairs to get the broom…but didn’t make it past the third step before his form appeared again on the next highest step. Inches between us.
“You have no idea what your real problems are, Alexandra.”
I froze.
Walk right through him, I told myself. You’ve done it before. But Matt’s chiseled face, swathed in desperation, held my full attention. Something had changed there since I last saw him—startling, given that he was incorporeal. In the last ten years, he hadn’t aged one hour. Funny, how I used to think of him as an older guy. Now he looked about my age. The dark purple bruises flowering along his square jaw hadn’t healed. Nor had the bloody gash down his pillowy lower lip—the one part of him that looked incongruously boyish. It was his eyes that had changed.
“I need your help, Alexandra.” His dark eyes, once warm and charming, burned with an urgency that put fear into my heart. “Please.”

Author Bio:
Spells and skyscrapers. Warriors and warlocks. Coven secrets and forbidden romances. Sierra Cross lives for urban fantasy, for modern magic and the bold supernatural beings who stalk our contemporary world. Her Spelldrift universe stars kickass witches and their heroic guardians, as well as vampires, shifters, mages, Fidei, and the dark demonic forces that threaten them all.

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~Cassie