Saturday, March 25, 2017

A to Z Challenge 2017 Theme Reveal









So once again I am participating in the A to Z challenge! 

This year I will be posting a book review for each letter of the alphabet From A to Z.

If you would like to join, there's still time! 

Be sure to let me know in the comments, so I can check out your alphabetical adventure as well.

If not, that's ok too. Just be sure to stop back and check out my reviews, as well as check out the other blogs that are participating this year!



Thursday, March 23, 2017

Cover Reveal: Scandal (Scions of the Star Empire #1) by Athena Grayson

Today is the cover reveal for Scandal by Athena Grayson. This cover reveal is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The cover is designed by Jennette Marie Powell.



ScandalScandal (Scions of the Star Empire #1)

By Athena Grayson

Genre: Sci-fi dystopian with romantic elements

Age category: New Adult/ Adult

Release Date: 23 March 2017



Blurb:

Nothing infuriates Princess Ione Ra more than having someone else take control of her reputation from her, and her old nemesis--gossip journalist Jaris Pulne--is poised to do just that with pilfered pics of her caught in a compromising position with her power-couple partner. As someone who's no stranger to manipulating the markets on her own social life, Ione knows the wrong scandal means social suicide.



For the other half of the power couple, Den Hades, his survival has depended on staying in his powerful father's shadow in order to protect his secrets. But on the very night of his one chance to earn a shot at becoming a Scion--and freedom from his father's ambitions, scandal threatens to tear him from Ione, or worse--force them together before their time.



Damage control turns into danger when their attempts to retrieve the images lead them both into the dark underbelly of the glittering city-planet, exposing secrets of both friends and foes that could lead to more than just social suicide.




Scandal is only 0.99$ for a limited time!

You can find all the buy links for this book here.



Excerpt Fool’s Gambit

©2016 Athena Grayson

Denaat Hades held his blade extended, his arm outstretched. He held the lunge on one burning thigh muscle while he stood in near-complete darkness, waiting for the spectacle to begin. The landscape of the party had given way to the evening’s main event—an exhibition duel and bladework demonstration between himself and the Academy’s Blademaster with a twenty-five year record.

Gone were the ornamental topiary plantings that created nooks and alcoves for socializing, and gone was the impressive display of fine foods and the waterfall made from champ-ale bubbling and fizzing over cut-crystal held under pressurized glass until it burst out of the pursed lips of a crystal nymph into glasses for guests. They’d been discreetly cleared away for anti-gravity pods holding comfortable seating for up to a dozen guests. The pods jockeyed for position along x, y, and z axes based on the credit amounts donated by their occupants, except for the single, stationary pod holding his instructors and closest classmates, fixed to the floor at the edge of the ring of drones generating the light field for the dueling area.

Gone also was his shiny, holo-patterned suit and the starsilk shirt beneath it, and the ornamental lights in his hair. His finery—picked out by his class’s style consultant to display his status and wealth—was stuffed into a storage container in favor of light, form-fitting carbon-fiber armor, with a matching face mask. Gauntlets secured to his wrists generated power for the sensors emitting an electro-mesh shield around his body that shifted with the movements of his off hand. His weapon, an elegant blade of wire and light, derived its power from his main hand gauntlet and the glove that protected his hand. Tuned to full, the blade could melt steel or puncture the transparent alloy that made up the dome above his head.

Thankfully, this was an exhibition duel. The blades would sting, but not incapacitate or kill.

He waited, holding his ready position, as the banners came down, displaying his family’s banner, with the twinkling ribbons of support from classmates and other interested parties, and the Academy banner, under which Master Kenndar dueled. Tradition kept the Academy banner free of ribbons, but his neural interface told him the odds of his loss were just under fifty percent. The markets were calling this a close thing and the players in the markets were nothing, if not savvy odds-players.

The lights came up around the ring, plunging the shifting observation cars into darkness as Master Kenndar entered from the other side of the oval. He took his cue to step forward, meeting his opponent in the center of the ring. He executed the formal bow, hand-grip, and blade salute deserving of a worthy opponent and prayed his master’s teachings weren’t wasted. He returned to his ready position to await the chime beginning the match, but not before he glanced towards the stationary box and spotted her in the front row, the lights in her hair twinkling in time with the flashes of crystal on her dress.

Ione wore a small smile of bored amusement, echoing the expressions of probably everyone in the audience, and he knew their thoughts. Yet another Academy student, ready to show off for status and praise, as if the privileges of his born position didn’t already come with their own accolades. His gaze flicked to the VIP box and he saw another bored, slightly amused expression, only he knew this one masked keen interest. As if the man sensed his scrutiny, Invicti Hades lifted one eyebrow and Den heard the words as surely as if they’d been broadcast for all to hear. What new way have you found to disappoint me?

The lurking paranoia he’d lived with for ten years summoned itself to the forefront of his awareness as the lights in the arena changed to a soft blue. The chimes sounded for Ready and Arm, and his blade flared to golden life. Across the ring, Master Kenndar assumed his own ready position. Den felt the eyes of the spectators crawling over him, adding weight to his protective gear. Waiting for him to fail.

The last chime sounded. Engage!

He leapt forward, his awareness extended out to the blade’s end, as he’d been taught and trained by Kenndar to do for ten years. And knew he’d made a mistake.




Series Blurb for Scions of the Star Empire:

They can have anything they want...except a future.



The children of Landfall's powerful nobility have all the wealth and privilege of their family status, but there's only one thing that will give them true freedom--the title of Scion. The only way to earn it is by carefully managing the social influence markets that rank them according to their accomplishments. At the exclusive Landfall Cultural Academy, the heirs compete to elevate their status high enough for the Cultural Trust to grant them the title and the freedom to make their own way, and scandal is as good as scholarship.




About the Author:

Athena Grayson likes kickass heroines, big-brained and sexy beta heroes who aren't afraid of strong women or their own feelings, and stories that turn the genre tropes sideways. If you're looking for something a little unexpected, a little more, and a lot of fun...this is your kinda place.



You can find and contact Athena here:

- Website

- Facebook

- Twitter

- Amazon

- Goodreads

- Bookbub



Giveaway

There is a cover reveal wide giveaway for the cover reveal of Scandal. The giveaway is open international. These are the prizes you can win:

- a galaxy pendant (picture below)

- a $5 Amazon gift card

Galaxy pendant



For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Monday, March 20, 2017

I'm sorry...

So I realized that I've pretty much become a non-internet presence

I mean I wasn't a huge one before but I knew enough people that I felt I was at least on the fringe of certain circles. And I worked really hard getting to those fringes too...

Then everything kinda fell apart. I got burnt out on reviewing. I felt like I was just saying the same thing over and over and over. Not ever using different words, it felt like I just copied and pasted and changed a few words for EVERY book I read just based on what star count I was giving it. Yeah, yeah, I know, that would be my own "voice" I got sick of reading. The same voice that pulled people in to read what I wrote to begin with. But if you've ever suffered burn out from anything hopefully what I just said made sense.

Things looked up after getting the surgery. I did the A to Z challenge in April 2016...

But by June I was working and busy trying to play catch-up IRL. *8 years to catch up on... It was, and still is, daunting.

Then the nerves started to grow back when I wasn't paying attention. I didn't notice I was literally just sleeping and working on work days and recovering from work on my days off.


I mean seriously, I had over 40,000 unread emails in gmail alone when I finally signed in on my laptop the other day. And my other email? yeah, it's gone into hibernation mode. It's refusing to receive any more emails until I get rid of some. *A note on my 2nd email... Just discovered because I hadn't signed in in over 180 days that ALL my emails had been deleted and my account put on hold. That one is hard. I had emails from 1996 in there. I made that email in high school... I had gone over 20 years without not checking it. Yes, I've already checked, no way to get ANY of it back. Can't think too much on that though or I just want to close my laptop and go back to sleep.

All because I just kinda let everything I cared about fade out.

So I'm kicking myself in the butt. I'm gonna restart on my blog and stuff and I hope I haven't completely imploded the bridges I made before I ghosted out.

I think the only people who didn't think I walked off the face of the earth were the ones who I'm friends with on Facebook. So if you know of any upcoming events, or any books that need reading, reviewing, etc. Let me know. Comment here or email me. I'm planning on jumping directly in the deep end and participating in this years A to Z Challenge. I also have a cover reveal scheduled for Thursday.

Obviously after April I won't be posting EVERY day. But I do plan to at least set a goal for myself of at least 2-3 reviews a month. At least one tour/cover reveal/etc. Maybe after I get back in a routine then adding in more weekly posts.

I AM potentially getting back surgery in late May early June. So if I disappear for a week or two I'll at least let you guys who are still out there loyally following my blog know what's going on. I won't just ghost out again. I know I let a few people down by disappearing. One of them being me. Hopefully I can make it up to them.


Saturday, April 30, 2016

Z is for The Z-Day Trilogy Book 0: Creation of the Living Dead by Mark Cusco Ailes









Ted Hollman, the son of Professor Nicholas and Kathy Hollman, has a plan more ingenuous than his parents. Instead of creating a legion of zombies and zombiefied animals for a small zombie park, he wants to build a massive zombie theme park on a remote island. He believes he cracked the formula for making the perfect smart zombie soldiers which his parents failed to achieve. He leaves the United States for an island that his backers purchased where he can continue his parent’s research. The mystery of where the bodies came from that were made into zombies for the zombie park will be revealed. 


My Review:


Creation of the Living Dead is a prequel to Zombie Park.   Even if you haven't read the other books in the trilogy it is still a really interesting book. Even though the ending leaves a lot of unanswered questions, I kind of expected it to happen since it is a prequel, so I wasn't upset by it.  It helped that the author did a good job of setting up a story that pulled me in and makes me want to find out what will happen in the rest of the trilogy. 

I'm not sure if I actually like any of the characters yet. From what I've seen of them all of them are pretty crappy people. No one of them really stood out as being better than the rest. Even the one character who actually cared about the people being experimented on I'm still not sure about.  But the way the story was written it made me interested in finding out if any of them deserve to not get eaten.

Overall even though the book is short and is a lead in to the series it kept me interested and made me want to read more. It's currently free for Kindle so I definitely recommend picking it up.












Friday, April 29, 2016

Y is for Y: The Last Man #1






Written by Brian K. Vaughan (Lost, EX MACHINA), this is the saga of Yorick Brown – the only human survivor of a planet-wide plague that instantly kills every mammal with a Y chromosome. Accompanied by his pet monkey, Yorick searches for his lost love…and the answer to why he’s the last man on earth.



My Review:


I liked reading Y: The Last Man #1.   

The artwork was well drawn and the font was easy to read. Also none of it blurred when I zoomed in on my Kindle, which I've had happen before.

The story was intriguing as well.  It starts off at the present and then goes back to the recent events leading up to the opening. Yes, it jumps between locations as it advances towards the present moment, but I think it builds a steady lead in to when the virus suddenly hits. 

I think if I have any problem with this episode is that I felt that it was cut short.  This volume of the comic ends as it began, right when the virus hits.  It does a good job of introducing characters and setting them up for the rest of the series.  But then it ends. I read the summary before I started reading so I thought there was going to be more of what happens after the virus killed the men on the planet. 

Honestly that was my only issue. Even with the sudden ending it didn't turn me off to the series. I'm putting the other volumes on my wish list and I hope to pick them up in the very near future so I can see what happens to the characters that were introduced in volume 1.  Y: The Last Man looks to be a really interesting series and I'm glad I decided to start it.


















Thursday, April 28, 2016

X is for X: A Collection of Horror by C.M. Saunders






This is what happens when you ‘wake up’ inside a dream, when the urban myth you heard turns out to be so much more, and when that hottie you pick up in a bar springs a terrible surprise. But what do you do when your wife gives birth to something not entirely human? When your past discretions come back to haunt you? Or when a serial killer moves in next door? 


My Review:

X is a very interesting collection of horror stories, ten total, hence the X for the title.  All the stories are short, some only a few pages, and self contained. The authors descriptions are amazing. I'd be curious to see how they meld into larger works. Also the stories have a twist that adds to their creepiness.   Between the graphic descriptions and the adult situations X  isn't for the kids. Strictly 18+. But if you're into horror and looking for a new author I definitely recommend picking up X. It gives you a chance to get to know the author in bite size pieces. Bites that will leave you  wanting more, but in a good way.  











Wednesday, April 27, 2016

W is for The Wild's Call by Jeri Smith-Ready









It is seven years after the collapse of modern civilization, and the world is entering a new Dark Age. Can best friends Elysia and Darien trust the animal spirits that are beckoning them to escape into the wilderness and create a new way of life? And will they give in to the mutual passion they've always denied?



My Review:


One more series I've added to my wish list. Unless I win a million dollars I'm never going to have the money to get everything on it!

The Wild's Call is a prequel to the Aspect of Crow series. If the series is anything like this book it will be amazing!

The world Smith-Ready has created drew me in. I want to explore all of it.  I want to find out what happens to the characters introduced in this story. I want to find out about the rest of the world and the other groups that the spirits brought together. I want to find out what other animals are out there as well as what their powers are.

I really enjoyed Elysia and Darien. I fell in love with them. I really wanted to see them succeed. I can't wait to find out more about them in the rest of the books.

 Overall I think the book is a great jumping off point for the series. It pulls the reader in and holds their attention til the last page. The Wild's Call is currently free on Kindle so I definitely recommend picking it up as soon as you can.