Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Book Blitz: Fire & Bone

Fire and Bone
Rachel A. Marks
(Otherborn #1)
Publication date: February 20th 2018
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
“Gossip Girl meets Percy Jackson in the glitz and grit of L.A….”
In Hollywood’s underworld of demigods, druids, and ancient bonds, one girl has a dangerous future.
Sage is eighteen, down on her luck, and struggling to survive on the streets of Los Angeles. Everything changes the night she’s invited to a party—one that turns out to be a trap.
Thrust into a magical world hidden within the City of Angels, Sage discovers that she’s the daughter of a Celtic goddess, with powers that are only in their infancy. Now that she is of age, she’s asked to pledge her service to one of the five deities, all keen on winning her favor by any means possible. She has to admit that she’s tempted—especially when this new life comes with spells, Hollywood glam, and a bodyguard with secrets of his own. Not to mention a prince whose proposal could boost her rank in the Otherworld.
As loyalties shift, and as the two men vie for her attention, Sage tries to figure out who to trust in a realm she doesn’t understand. One thing’s for sure: the trap she’s in has bigger claws than she thought. And it’s going to take a lot more than magic for this Celtic demigoddess to make it out alive.
I try to hide my shivering as I wait before the altar, in my position as the Bonding begins. Around me, shadows dance over the cairn walls from the restless flames licking up the ram’s body—the sacrifice on the pyre behind me—and the smell of sweat and burnt flesh smother the smoky air.
The King of Ravens paints an alarming image, standing almost naked across from me on the other side of the blood circle. He wears the corona radiata, the golden laurel-leafed crown, on his head of onyx hair. His short beard is neatly trimmed, combed with lavender oil for the ceremony. His sharp silver eyes study me beneath a heavy brow.
I try not to think about the past. Or future. I try not to think about what those hard hands will feel like on my skin when he seals this Bond.
I study the stone floor rather than look in those metallic eyes. I feel them on me, though, the same way they have been for the fortnight I’ve been here preparing for the ceremony. He hasn’t touched me; he’s only brought me gifts and insisted I sit with him beside the greatfire in the evening before he goes out for his hunt. Sometimes I smell him in the hallway outside my rooms. But he never comes in, thank the goddess. The scent of blood is heavy on him in those moments. I’m not sure what I would’ve done if he’d attempted anything.
After this is done, it won’t matter. My bed will be his. As will my life.
A druid walks back and forth behind me, tossing rosemary and lavender onto the pyre after each stanza of his spell. He calls to the wind from the east, he calls to the waters in the west, and he pulls the spirit of flame and earth into the cairn with us, asking the Penta to approve the Bond set to be made between the two most powerful Houses, as he pleads for a blessing from our mothers, Brighid and MorrĂ­gan, and thanks the Cast for their permission to seal the Bond between the two very different powers.
A female druid comes to my side with bowl and brush, beginning to paint my skin in blue woad, tracing patterns of knots and runes across my back, then baring my chest and continuing.
The king’s gaze follows the woman’s strokes, and when she’s finished, he raises his chin at me in approval but says nothing. What does he see when he looks at me? My wild copper hair? My simple features? The awkward birthmark just above my heart? I’m round of cheek and hips and not much of a beauty. But however I look to him, I will belong to him.
Determination is set in hard lines on his face, and I wonder if the torque on his neck is working properly. I can see his dark energy lifting in silver and black curls over his shoulders now. It should be tight inside his skin, as mine is. The iron shackle should be holding it in place so that we don’t harm each other in the first merging, before we can get used to the feel of each other’s powers.
The female druid moves to the king next and begins painting the woad in circles over his torso. The druid chanting behind me recites the final section of his spell, walking the ram’s-blood circle painted on the floor. He holds a rowan stick aloft, flicking rosewater over the king and then me as he passes by, mumbling, “A price paid, a covenant sealed, in earth and blood and ash, in spirit and flesh and fire.”
The price is my will, my soul, in payment for the life of the human prince that I took.
In the center of the circle, between the king and me, is an altar with two bowls set atop, one full of salt, one full of rye.
The iron union dagger rests between them.
I stare at it, imagining the blade cutting into my flesh. And I can’t help when my gaze moves to the king. I want to blink and make this moment a dream, perhaps find myself in the thicket with Lailoken, among the bluebells in the Caledonian wood.
I should run from this son of MorrĂ­gan, deny him, deny our mothers, and let the world burn. But my heart twists at the thought. I was running from duty when fate took my heart from me, when the prince succumbed to my fire’s will. It was the childish notion of freedom that tore him from me.
Now it’s time to accept my punishment for allowing the humans to glimpse our world. Time to atone.
The druid’s voice fills the room again. “When moon gives birth to stars,” he says, in a droning hum, flicking more rosewater over us with the rowan stick, “let this Bond be sealed in blood.”
My skin prickles with fear as the king takes the cue, reaching out to pick up the ceremonial dagger by the leather-wrapped hilt. I focus on not moving, not making a sound, as I watch him bring the blade to his chest, tip pricking his left breast. A drop of crimson pearls up at the spot.
With a slow hiss of breath, he cuts across.
Dark blood slides down his abdomen in a thick swath of red. “My blood with yours,” he says. And he turns the knife, holding out the hilt for me.
My hands clench into fists at my side, and I force my shaking limbs to still.
I breathe in slowly again. Then I reach out, taking the ceremonial dagger from him, careful not to touch his fingers.
I pretend not to care about the cage I’m about to be locked in. About the pain in my soul from loss, from the goddess Brighid abandoning me to this darkness, pain from the reality of everything in front of me.
I press the tip of the blade to the center of my chest, the point breaking the skin. I look into the silver eyes of the king in front of me. And consider my fate.
One deep plunge to the heart and the pain will end. One plunge.

Author Bio:
Rachel A. Marks is a cancer survivor, a writer and artist, a surfer and dirt-bike rider, chocolate lover and keeper of faerie secrets. Her four kids and amazing hubby put up with her nerdiness with tremendous grace, even when she makes them watch Buffy or Smallville re-runs for days on end. She was voted: Most Likely To Survive A Zombie Apocalypse, but hopes she'll never have to test the theory.


Friday, February 16, 2018

Cover reveal: Nocturnal Meetings Misplaced

Nocturnal Meetings of the Misplaced
R.J. Garcia
Publication date: May 1st 2018
Genres: Suspense, Young Adult
Mystery surrounds the town of Summertime, Indiana, where fifteen-year-old Tommy Walker and his little sister are sent to live with relatives they’ve never met. Tommy soon makes friends with his rebellious neighbor, Finn Wilds.
Finn invites Tommy to late night meetings in the woods, where Tommy gets to know two girls. He forms a special and unique connection with both girls. The meetings become a place where the kids, who don’t fit in at school, or home can finally belong. As the group of friends begin to unravel clues to a cold case murder and kidnapping— they learn the truth is darker and closer than they ever imagined. Even if they live to tell, will anyone believe them?

Author Bio:
R.J. Garcia is a wife and proud mom. She earned her MSW and worked with foster children and as a school social worker. Writing has been her other great love. She has published several non-fiction pieces. She has been writing short-stories for as long as she can remember. To her amazement, those short stories became novels!


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Cover reveal: Alive

Melissa Woods
(The Alive? Series, #1)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: October 30th 2018
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Young Adult, Zombies
Everyone knows the first rule of the zombie apocalypse: Don’t. Get. Bitten.
Too bad Violet has never been great at following the rules. Walking home after a night of partying, she manages to let one of the Dead take a chunk out of her only hours after they’ve begun walking again. Fortunately for Violet, she doesn’t die. Unfortunately for Violet—she’s not exactly alive, either.
Violet’s body is undergoing changes, and suddenly the taste of human flesh is not as revolting as it once sounded. Controlling her new urges will be hard. Living with survivors who have no idea will be even harder. And the real zombies? They still want to eat her, too…
Surviving the zompocalypse is tricky when you play for both teams.
New from author Melissa Woods, Alive? is a heart-pounding adventure with suspenseful plot twists, complex characters, and a dash of dark humor. Gritty and raw, Alive? is sure to keep you guessing, and will delight zombie apocalypse fans everywhere.

Author Bio:
Melissa is a Primary School teacher by day and a writer by night. She grew up in a small town in the UK, and spent of her time with her nose in a book. Her childhood was filled with R.L Stein, Jacqueline Wilson, and J.K Rowling, and they inspired her to begin creating her own worlds. Melissa has always been fascinated with stories about living through an apocalyptic event, and with characters who feel so real that they become part of the reader long after the book was put away. She wrote the first draft of Alive? at sixteen, and has been hooked on writing ever since.
When she's not writing, Melissa enjoys reading, playing video games, crocheting, and spending time with her two dogs (and occasionally her husband).


Friday, February 2, 2018

Book Blitz: Angel of Shadows

Angel of Shadow
D.H. Nevins
(Wormwood #2)
Publication date: January 13th 2018
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, New Adult
D.H. Nevins hurtles you into a world of half-angels, demons and tormented love in this driving, dystopian sequel to Wormwood.
Half-angels, known as Nephilim, have all but destroyed the surface of the Earth. Yet for Kali Michaels, her life is now much more complicated than simply surviving. Grappling with her own powerful identity, she worries her connection to the world of Shadows could destroy those around her.
And what if she hurts Tiamat Wormwood, the Nephilim outcast who has given everything to save her? Tiamat and Kali know they have no future—not when outside forces and Kali’s own power push both the humans and the Nephilim to the brink of extinction.
As she fights to stop the inevitable, she is led to question who her real enemies are, and whether the ultimate threat may actually be herself.
“Do we have to go back?”
“No way. We’re not going to be stopped by a few branches,” I said. Keeping one hand on his back, I reached over him and broke off a few more of the limbs that were directly in our way. I grabbed a thicker branch for balance and stepped around Bram, positioning myself in front of him. “I’m going to sit down here. Just put your arms around my neck and your legs around my middle, okay?”
I lowered myself onto the log and he obeyed silently. I could feel his small frame quivering as he latched onto my back. “Stop looking down,” I told him. “It’ll be easier.”
“How’d you know?”
“That you were looking down?” I felt him nod his head against my back and I laughed quietly. “You know you’ve been staring down there almost constantly. It wasn’t hard to guess.”
“Well,” he said in a soft voice, “it’s scary down there.”
“I know, kiddo.”
“And,” he continued, his voice even quieter, as though he hoped it would fade into nothingness, “your Shadow is down there.”
I stilled. “You don’t ever have to worry about my Shadow. I control it … and I wouldn’t hurt you with it, Bram.”
“Yeah. Alright,” he said softly.
I couldn’t see the expression on his face, but he sounded like he believed me—a tentative belief, perhaps, but it would do.

Author Bio:
D.H. Nevins was born in Toronto and currently lives in a quiet area of Ontario, surrounded by forests and lakes. By day, she is a personable, friendly school teacher. By night, she silently chuckles as she writes about destroying the world. When she isn't writing, she enjoys world travel, hiking, camping, flying around on her motorcycle or dabbling in live theatre.