Archive | September 2019

The Heights of Perdition: Excerpt + Giveaway

The Heights of Perdition

updated+perdition1+cover+frontThe Heights of Perdition

Publication Date: December 20, 2019

Genre: Sci-Fi/ Fantasy/ Romance (Christian Themes)

There is nothing Aeris St. Cloud wants more than to win her father’s love and the acceptance of her family unit by joining the Military Academy at New Hope. But after she is captured by the fearsome space pirate, Captain Chainsword, Aerie is certain falling in love with her nation’s arch enemy is the last possible way to earn their coveted esteem.

Driven by vengeance, Exton Shepherd never set out to save anyone. As he circles the war-torn world in his pirated starship, the Perdition, he only sees his father’s ghost lurking around every corner and the looming darkness on the horizon. When Aerie unexpectedly tumbles into his life, he finds he cannot trust her, anymore than he can ignore her. But just like the raging war down on Earth, it’s tempting to think he can …

When the war ascends to the heights of the Perdition, Aerie’s loyalty, and Exton’s heart, are put to the test. But will love be enough to save them – and others – from certain destruction?

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Excerpt

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Etoileon smiled as he pulled out his special gift for Selene—having taken Ronal’s earlier advice, he had a tiny bouquet of deep red ekedlets, small minuscule flowers that smelled like sweet fruit. The ekedlets were tied together with a small yellow ribbon. He’d thought that the small gift would be perfect for her. It had taken him a while to get them, too. He was only allowed into the city, along with the other members of the Palace crew, only twice a month. Etoileon was lucky that he’d known the streets well enough to know where to go so he could get back in time to escort Selene down to the ballroom entrance.

The city was crowded for the opening of the reception. Etoileon had run into more than one person trying to reach his destination, Madame Flora’s Shop. Though he had meant to hurry up, Etoileon slowed down to look around, amazed to see just how the streets had changed to him in so short a time.

He’d been raised on the streets, mostly all alone.

It had been a miracle that he had survived there, let alone to manage to get a job in the Diamond City Palace, considering a job at the palace was a highly coveted position in society. Middle class children often took jobs in the palace, using their connections to be introduced into the flashy world of riches and wealth. After a number of years, they were able to use their earned capital to be educated in the way of society. Using the skills they would acquire from training and teaching of their instructors and parents, the now young adults would be able to be placed in a position where it was likely for a marriage to be arranged or sought after.

Etoileon had none of this.

He had no parents, no real family, few allies … there were plenty of untrustworthy people, enemies, and dangers around every corner. All he had were survival skills, and the good fortune to happen to be in the right place at the right time. As Etoileon leaned back on the tower wall, he thought about the night that he’d met Selene. He did not get too lost in his memories. The Palace was beginning to feel more like home to him as time went on, and his memories of the darker times of his life were beginning to fade.

It was a moment later that the door opened and Selene walked into the Tower room as well.

“Etoileon,” she greeted him, her eyes quickly losing their flicker of surprise and replacing it with an expression of warmth. “I did not think you would be up here this early.”

“You are,” he pointed out, a small smile forming on his face.

“Well,” Selene blushed, “There was something I wanted to do before later.”

“You mean before I came?” Etoileon asked. “What was it?”

“Well … ” Her face had turned even redder, and she looked away as she reached behind her and pulled out a small bag. “I wanted to give this to you later, but I have no objections to giving it to you a little early.”

Etoileon looked down at the bag she placed delicately in his hand. It had been carefully prepared for him, he could tell. The bag was all dressed up, tiny curls of ribbons surrounding the drawstrings of the sack, and made from cheerfully colored fabric.

Selene nodded. “Open it, Etoileon. It’s for you.”

Inside the bag, he found a small silver-framed photograph of Selene and him from a few years ago. It was when he had first undergone his training for the Fighter squad. Selene was sitting in front of him in the picture, while he was standing behind her. He could tell that his eyes had been focused on her; Etoileon figured that he must have missed the camera. His eyes examined the picture closely, running over Selene’s face again and again.

“I don’t remember this picture,” he said slowly.

“It’s from the time that you came storming out of the Fighter’s training room, remember? You were not too happy, I recall. My memory of the reason has faded, but I remember thinking you needed me there,” she said in a hushed voice. “I still come to watch, sometimes.”

I still need you there, he thought. But he could not say that. So instead, he looked over at her intently, and said, “Thank you.”

“So you like it?” Her smile seemed to brighten up the entire evening sky.

“Very much,” he nodded. “That must’ve been the day that Master Norio told me in front of everyone that I had been poorly trained and it would be a miracle if I amounted to anything.”

Selene’s sad smile flitted to her lips. “Poor Master Norio. That has to be the most incorrect he’s ever been.”

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About the Author

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C. S. Johnson is the award-winning, genre-hopping author of several novels, including young adult sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me

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October Reads 2019

This month I have two for sure reads and I’m so excited for Reveal Me and Rebel! I’ll also be buddy reading them with Book Dragon Girl!

 

Other October Releases!

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What are you reading this month?

Cover Reveal: Veiled By Desire

Publisher: The Parliament House

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In Laith, when the moons are high, Tavarra is allowed to walk the land as a human for one day, losing her seahorse-like tail. But should she remain out of the water, a curse will overtake her, turning her into a beast with sharp fangs and long claws. A beast that, on some nights, takes the shape of a rampaging, uncontrollable monster.

Rhona, along with her village, are under a sinister leader’s control. Their leader has taken Rhona from the boy she loves, stripped away her abilities and, under the threat of killing everyone she loves, forces her on a dangerous task to retrieve a dark prism that will increase his already massive powers.

When Tavarra and Rhona cross paths, they discover they need each other. Rhona knows how to help the cursed sea creature, while Tavarra knows where to find the dark prism. They embark on a mission that could help them break Tavarra’s spell and save Rhona’s family and village. But with an untamable beast inside Tavarra, nothing is certain…

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Veiled By Desire 3D Mockup

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Did you add Veiled By Desire to your Goodreads shelf?

Review: Dark Celebrations

Title: Dark Celebrations

Author: Calvin Demmer

Date of Publication: October 2019

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Goodreads Summary:

Each year, people all over the world celebrate special festivals and days, shining light on what they wish to remember and revere. But sometimes, inhabitants of the dark arrive with the desire to disturb proceedings. Dark Celebrations is a collection of twelve short stories. And the holidays will never be the same.

My Review:

This was a great collection and I loved that I could read through each story quickly! My favorite would have to either be Prom Screams or Trick or Death! There was true imagination that went into these stories and the writing, along with the dialogue, was excellent!! Wonderful and horrific descriptions! My favorite kinds of things!

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Do you read short stories?

Review: Capturing the Devil

Title: Capturing the Devil

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Date of Publication: September 10th, 2019

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Goodreads Summary:

Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell have landed in America, a bold, brash land unlike the genteel streets of London they knew. But like London, the city of Chicago hides its dark secrets well. When the two attend the spectacular World’s Fair, they find the once-in-a-lifetime event tainted with reports of missing people and unsolved murders.

Determined to help, Audrey Rose and Thomas begin their investigations, only to find themselves facing a serial killer unlike any they’ve heard of before. Identifying him is one thing, but capturing him—and getting dangerously lost in the infamous Murder Hotel he constructed as a terrifying torture device—is another.

Will Audrey Rose and Thomas see their last mystery to the end—together and in love—or will their fortunes finally run out when their most depraved adversary makes one final, devastating kill?

My Review:

This is the fourth and last installment in the Jack the Ripper series and I did a buddy read with the awesome Shannon @ Reads & Reels!

The last book had me slightly on edge in certain parts due to the sort of love triangle thing going on, so I was hoping this one would be smooth sailing with my favorite duo, Thomas and Audrey!

Thomas is probably one of my favorite male book characters ever, and he was his normal witty and awesome self here! I loved the banter between him and Audrey! At times, I did get frustrated with Audrey but it’s been like that this whole series, but I really do like her!

There was some great mystery here and some neat reveals! My favorite part was the swoon, though! Oh, and there was some serious swoon! I also hated Thomas’s father, and hate is probably a nice word about that gent!

Kerri just has such wonderful writing and description that keep me captivated page by bloody page! And yes, there was plenty mention of blood! Overall, I adored this one so much and can’t wait to read more books from Maniscalco!

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Have you started this series yet?

Review: Cold Falling White

Title: Cold Falling White

Author: G.S. Prendergast

Date of Publication: November 19th, 2019

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Goodreads Summary:
Humans. Clones. Aliens. No one is safe anymore. It’s the end of the world.

Xander Liu survived the alien invasion—just barely. For more than a year, he has outsmarted, hidden from, and otherwise avoided the ruthless intruders, the Nahx, dodging the deadly darts that have claimed so many. When the murder of his friend leaves him in the protective company of August, a rebellious Nahx soldier, Xander is finally able to make his way back to human controlled territory and relative safety. But safety among the humans is not what it seems.

When Raven awakes on a wide expanse of snowy sand dunes, she has many questions. What has happened to her and the other reanimated humans gathered around her? What is the meaning of the Nahx ships that hover ominously above them? And most pressing of all, where is August, who promised to keep her safe?

In the shadow of an unforgiving Canadian winter, Xander and Raven find themselves on opposite sides of an alien war. Left with little choice about their roles in the looming battle, they search for answers and allies all while being drawn back to the place where their respective fates were determined, and to the one who determined them: August.

My Review:

I really loved the first book, Zero Repeat Forever so much! And it felt like forever, literally, for this next book to come out! So I was pumped to get an ARC of Cold Falling White.

Let me just say this book is super long! I felt like it could have been scaled back and this was due, for me, to Xander’s POV. For me, it bogged down the book because I just was not interested in him. I was hoping for it would have had the two POVs of just August and Raven AKA Dandelion! Not only was I a little disappointed with Xander, but it took so very long to get a POV from August and for him to even pop back up in the story! Why???????????

But I will say once he did, things picked up for me because Raven and August just bring the light into my life every time they are on pages together! Loved them so much! There was also some interesting things we uncover along the way with the addition of some new characters. There were some intense action scenes, sweet scenes, awesome dialogue, and excellent sci-fi elements. But I still wish there would have just been the POVs of August and Raven! There is a cliffhanger at the end but not a super bad one!

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Did you read Zero Repeat Forever?

 

Review: All Your Twisted Secrets

Title: All Your Twisted Secrets

Author: Diana Urban

Date of Publication: March 17th, 2020

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Goodreads Summary:

“Welcome to dinner, and again, congratulations on being selected. Now you must do the selecting.”

What do the queen bee, star athlete, valedictorian, stoner, loner, and music geek all have in common? They were all invited to a scholarship dinner, only to discover it’s a trap. Someone has locked them into a room with a bomb, a syringe filled with poison, and a note saying they have an hour to pick someone to kill … or else everyone dies.

Amber Prescott is determined to get her classmates and herself out of the room alive, but that might be easier said than done. No one knows how they’re all connected or who would want them dead. As they retrace the events over the past year that might have triggered their captor’s ultimatum, it becomes clear that everyone is hiding something. And with the clock ticking down, confusion turns into fear, and fear morphs into panic as they race to answer the biggest question: Who will they choose to die?

My Review:

First, I’m big into thriller, mystery, and horror movies, but it’s very hard for me to connect to those types of books. I’m glad I found one that broke through that barrier! What I really liked about this one was that it was like the Breakfast Club meets Saw but not bloody or with crazy contraptions!

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Even though the story is told from Amber’s perspective, I felt that each character was well developed. I felt bad for some, wanted to slap some, and wanted to hug some of them. I don’t always read books fast, but I flew through this one!

I especially loved the timeline of the story going back and forth between past and present to get the full story. I can’t say too much because I don’t want to give the story away, but I will say it was fun yet also with life lessons that make you think about things, especially bullying and mental health. Loved it!

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What is your favorite thriller?