Top Ten YA Releases of 2019

I’ve read so many great books this year! These are my top ten YA releases of 2019! In no particular order!

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What are some of your favorite books released this year?

 

 

Add Tin (Faeries of Oz, #1) to Goodreads!

Amber R. Duell and I have a fun announcement! We’ve been working on the start of a series, Tin (Faeries of Oz, #1)! We’ve been discussing the idea for a long time and finally started writing it! It will release toward the end of 2020, but you can totally add it to Goodreads here!

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Tin is a dark and intriguing romance with Dorothy’s return to the fae world of Oz.

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Did you add Tin to Goodreads?

 

Author Interview: Audrey Grey

Author Interview with Audrey Grey:

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Tell us a little about your Kingdom of Runes series. What inspired you to write it?

The Kingdom of Runes saga first started as a gender swap Beauty and the Beast retelling with all the focus on the male Bell’s friend who saves him. From there it just grew until it became its own thing entirely.

Do you have a favorite book you’ve written and why?

That’s such a tough question! I think my favorite book would be Curse Breaker, book two in the Kingdom of Runes series. For me, that book was the most challenging to write because there were so many pieces I had to fit together to make the ending work. But I love the story arc, how the team gelled together despite their many differences to fight for what they believe in.

If you were stranded on an island, which character of yours would you take with you?

Um, I would absolutely, without a doubt take Stolas with me on an Island. Not only is he nice to look at, but his dark sarcasm makes me laugh. Plus he has wings so he could fly us to safety.

Can you tell us a little about Winter from your Evermore Academy? The cover is seriously so pretty!

I had so much fun writing book one of Evermore Academy! The story was in my head for a while but I wasn’t sure about writing an academy book since I hadn’t read many. When I talked about it to my PA, she laughed and said, “If you do an academy book, I want to see all the tropes thrown in.” She was kidding, but I definitely had a good time mixing tropes and making the book incredibly humorous, while keeping the dark elements my readers expect.

What made you decide to become a writer?

To be honest,  I’ve wanted to be an author since I was four or five. I did wait until after I received two degrees and had my first child before I started seriously pursuing publishing, but I regret not starting sooner.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Definitely a pantser! Sometimes out of desperation I’ll jot down a page of plot points, but I work better letting the story flow naturally.

What’s your favorite color and why?

I’ve always loved green. The color soothes me, plus green reminds me of nature.

What is a favorite book that you’ve read this year?

My favorite book is probably Queen of Nothing by Holly Black, but Laura Thalassa’s Pestilence is a close second, along with Feather by Olivia Wildenstein.

What do you find to be the hardest thing about writing?

Probably the not knowing. Because I don’t plot, I have no idea how the book will turn out. That’s a bit terrifying. I’ve slowly learned to trust that I’ll make the story as epic as it is inside my head, but I still always somewhat doubt myself until my PA, who reads all my books first, tells me it’s good.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

The most important thing I would tell other writers is to keep writing. I can’t tell you how many successful authors I know that almost quit before becoming successful. Being an author will always be hard; that’s the nature of the business. But I truly believe that, if you study the craft and the market and continue improving, you’ll find success doing what you love.

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Do you have a favorite author?

Download Lullaby of Flames for Free!

Hey guys! I have a dark and fun novelette that you can download for free on Amazon from December 21st – December 25th, so check it out!

Download for free HERE!

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Cover Lullay of Flames

Cori has always been a bit on the strange side, but when a gate to Hell—literally—pops up in her backyard, she tumbles down, down, down in to a place filled with beasts waiting to reap her soul for the Devil himself.

Lucky for Cori, she meets Rigel and his gang of misfits who have been trapped for quite a bit. Together, they must formulate a plan to escape, or risk remaining down below for all eternity and burning forevermore.

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Did you download your free copy of Lullaby of Flames?

Last to Love: Excerpt + Giveaway

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Today we’re celebrating the upcoming release of Last to Love by Alexa Whitewolf! Read on for an exclusive sneak peek, and a chance to win a signed copy of the book!

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Last to Love (Moonlight Rogues #4)

Expected Publication Date: December 31st, 2019

Genre: Paranormal/ Shapeshifter Romance

He’s the last one standing… So they sent the best one to break him.

Lucas

Love is for fools. I left all that wuss shit behind, and no fairy-like, smiling godmother will change my mind. I’ve got enough on my mind with a beta pushing my buttons and a town to keep safe. Never mind these urges inside me surfacing again, when I thought I’d buried them for good.

My wolves are falling in amore like bowling pins, and no amount of reasoning will make them stop. Now the third one’s gone over the moon, and they all expect me to be the last to love.

Only, they’ve got another thing coming. ‘Cause the only way I’m falling in love? Is over my dead body.

Monica

One more job, they said. One tiny thing I have to do, to bring the prodigal son back home in the warm arms of his beloved family. They said it would be easy. They gave me all the tools. But the minute I’m facing Lucas, I know all those plans have just failed. Burned, thrown out the window, type of failed. And I fully expect he’ll throw me out on my ass. So why is it he’s suddenly more interested in getting me in bed, rather than exiled? And what happens when I fall for it, but it’s too late to stop the events I’ve set into motion?

*Book IV in a paranormal shifter series filled with werewolves of all kinds, feisty females who stand up to them, and enough suspense to make it interesting. Can be read as a standalone for the romance, but for a better experience it’s suggested you read the full series first.*

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Excerpt

Monica

Damn it, but they could have warned me what to expect!

Luciano Conti is nothing like I pictured. He’s gorgeous, and fine as hell, sure. But he’s also cold, and unsettling. And in control. I didn’t miss the way his wolf responded, that flash of interest quickly squashed as soon as he realized who I am – nor did I miss the pack outside of here. Clearly, I’ve walked in the middle of a warzone.

The question is, how much more chaos can I cause before Luciano – or Lucas, as he calls himself now – throws me out of here? I bite my lower lip, noticing his gaze drop to it. My instructions were clear. Ruin the life he built here, and force him to come back home. If I do, I’d be free, and Alessandro Conti would ensure it.

Only problem is, as I’m standing opposite Luciano, it takes all my will to ignore the hum of electricity between us. I’ve always been the one in control – always. And yet his dark gaze does something to my insides that makes me feel almost…shy.

Basta! Don’t be a fool.

In an effort to distract myself, I look around. “You’ve done well for yourself, Luciano. Your parents will be proud.”

A noise escapes him, and I meet his unnerving gaze just in time to catch a glimpse of amusement. Then he schools his expression once more. I’ve known men who are good at that, but he makes it into an art. He is a piece of art.

Focus…

“What was so funny?” He clearly doesn’t like my question. But it’s his words that unsettle me more.

“What’s funny, cara, is you keep mentioning parents as if I have two of them. My mother died years ago. Matter of fact, she committed suicide after my brother died in a failed deal – all thanks to my father. But surely Alessandro Conti told you all this, before sending you into the wolf’s den?”

His grin is nothing short of predatory. And that dangerous glint in his onyx eyes causes a low tremor to start in me.

Merda! I’ve been had, that’s for sure. Only question is, how the heck do I get out of this now?

Will be available on Amazon December 31st!

The Moonlight Rogue Series

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*Note for bloggers/ and or book reviewers: The entire series is available for review. Contact the author for details!

About the Author

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Alexa Whitewolf is a fiction writer, newspaper columnist of daily issues and author of the critically acclaimed Moonlight Rogues shifter series.

Alexa has been a lifelong writer and first began creating other worlds and characters at the ripe age of 12. Growing up in the Transylvania region surrounded by epic mountains and a never ending stream of legends and stories was bound to create an overactive imagination. This shines through Ms. Whitewolf’s writing by creating worlds filled with unique folklore, life wisdom and plenty of furry creatures.

An avid traveler, Alexa writes under a penname and spends her days between an office job and writing, in Canada’s capital when she’s not flying somewhere with lush landscapes and plenty of hiking trails.

Her series focus on strong heroines, kind yet sexy men, fights of good and evil and the never-ending learning curve of humanity’s strong – and weak – points. Romanian folklore is intertwined with her writing, more notably in her shifter romance series, the Moonlight Rogues. Her other series draw on world mythology, such as the Avalon myth and Arthurian legend (the Avalon Chronicles) and Ancient Egypt (The Sage’s Legacy).

You can follow her blog at http://www.alexawhitewolf.com/blog or on social media. Her column in Observatorul also tackles various issues, including health, technology, and a writer’s life.

If you want up to date releases, make sure you sign up for her newsletter www.alexawhitewolf.com/contact

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For a chance to win a signed copy of Last to Love, click the link below!

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As Much As I Ever Could: Cover Reveal + Excerpt

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Seventeen-year-old CJ Ainsworth doesn’t drive—not because she can’t, but because she won’t.

She’s been living with the guilt of being the sole survivor of the head-on
collision that claimed her mother’s and sister’s lives. It’s the reason she refuses to get behind the wheel. It’s the reason her father has nearly abandoned her. It’s the reason she’s sent to piddle the summer away at her estranged Memaw’s house in Edisto Beach.

All CJ wants to do is isolate herself and make it to the trial at summer’s end, where she’ll testify against the stranger who couldn’t keep his car in its own lane.
She doesn’t expect to fall for a boy, especially not Jett Ramsey, a hotshot racing champion destined for greatness on the NASCAR circuit.

CJ’s resolve crumbles when she loses a bet that puts her squarely in Jett’s
driver’s seat. While he patiently reintroduces her to driving, they confide in each other, and CJ learns she’s not the only one silently suffering through a loss.

As their connection deepens, Jett’s focus on the track is called into question. CJ can’t be the cause of another car crash, but her heart is broken either way. Can CJ learn to put her heart in drive? Or will she throw it in reverse?

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Excerpt:

CHAPTER 1

A summer away at Memaw’s can’t rectify everything that fell apart in a single minute, but that won’t stop my dad from forcing it on me.

My fingers wrench tighter around the handle grip of Dad’s Ford Explorer as he hugs the center line, tires thumping over golden reflectors in waves and shooting vibrations through my seat. I glance over my shoulder to make sure the door lock is crammed to its neck into the tan vinyl interior. Not that it’d make a difference if he were to flip this thing head-over-end into the muddy goop of tidal flats along either side of the road. If a body’s going to exit a car in a hurry, it sure as hell won’t wait for an unlocked door.

These kinds of thoughts never shoved their way into my brain before the accident. Now they circulate like a washing machine stuck on the spin cycle.

I sigh and yank my phone off the dashboard. 4:15 PM. Only ten more minutes to get my summer of hell underway.

A notification blinks on the home screen. One new email from Trent Casey and all I can see of it is “CJ, things have changed so much this last year that I think…” Inbox preview cruelty at its finest. A little sneak peek of my on-again, off-again boyfriend kicking me to the curb because I’ve been too screwed up to screw him the past year. Not that I’d screwed him before, or anyone else for that matter.

I toss the phone in the cup holder and stare over at my dad in the driver’s seat, his eyes fixed and hooded as if in a trance. He hasn’t spoken in over a hundred miles, but I’ve strategically coughed from time to time to make sure there’s at least a reaction to the noise, and he’s not comatose or something. Plus, it’s easier than actually talking, and it warrants no response from him. Win-win.

Dad flips on the blinker, its dink-doonk, dink-doonk, dink-doonk signaling a right turn. Into where I have no idea, and unless Memaw has taken up living in a dilapidated open-air shack, he’s seriously misguided. He pulls into one of the ten open parking slots, demarcated by rows of conch shells instead of actual painted-on lines. How beachy of them.

Dad lets the engine idle, sliding his phone from the pocket of his polo and pecking out a text message without so much as a word or glance in my direction. I unlatch my seatbelt and open the door, easing out onto the hot, gritty sand, which creeps into my sandals and scratches at the skin.

“Where are we?” When he doesn’t respond, I step beside the open door, banging my hand on the window. “Dad, where are we?”

“Edisto Island, of course,” he mumbles, never looking up from his phone, his fingers still moving furiously over the screen.

I point to the rectangular banner draped atop the entrance with what looks like a hand-stenciled Welcome to Edisto Beach, SC! in blue paint. “No shit. I mean, what is this place?”

“Watch your mouth, CJ. I’m still your father.” He finally looks up long enough to glare across his steering wheel at the banner, squinting as if it’s written in some foreign language before looking back at me. He waves his hand around. “We’re obviously at the market.”

The entrance isn’t a single open-close door but one of those garage-style deals that pulls down from the ceiling. Oyster shell wind chimes tinkle in the breeze. I take a deep breath, the briny air expanding in my lungs and coating my skin, and somehow start imagining myself as one of those slugs we used to find on the back porch at home and pour salt over. Almost immediately, their slimy little bodies would foam up and implode, turning into a dried-up crispie we’d flick off in the grass the next day. Maybe that’ll happen to me, and I can simply shrivel up and disappear.

Dad gets out and lifts the back hatch, and I walk to meet him, giving an extra foot shake on each step to loosen the stowaway sand from my sandals.

“But why are we here?”

“This is where Memaw’s picking you up.” He hauls out my two large suitcases and sets them under the overhang. “She’s running late, but she’ll be here within the next twenty minutes.”

“And you’re just gonna leave me here?” I thumb over my shoulder.

He stares at me as if I’ve just asked for an explanation on the meaning of life, standing like a statue except for the front flip of his thinning auburn hair that tousles with the breeze. That hair, along with his chocolate brown eyes and freckles, are the only things we even share anymore. Everything else is gone. Evaporated.

“Don’t be dramatic, CJ. I have a long drive home.” He slams the hatch, walks to his still-open driver door and slides in behind the wheel. The passenger window rolls down part-way. “I’ll see you at the end of summer. Bye.” The words scarcely exit his lips before the window’s rolled up and he’s peeling out of the parking lot on two wheels as if he’s off to a five-alarm fire.

Wow. Truly heartfelt. I think he might miss me. I lock my jaw, forcing my quivering stomach back in its rightful place. Part of me loathes him for just dumping me here. The other part understands, though. He hates me for what happened and wants me gone too.

I can’t blame him for that.

About Brandy Woods Snow:

Brandy Woods Snow is a Young Adult author, journalist, wife, mama of three, Christian, and proud Southerner. Born and raised in the area of Greenville, South Carolina, she still resides in the rolling foothills of the Upstate region, though she plans to one day retire to the state’s famous Grand Strand. Brandy has a Bachelor of Arts in English and Writing from Clemson University. While creative writing pursuits have always held her heart, she’s built a career as a journalist and editor. Brandy has more than 19 years’ experience and a strong platform that includes articles and columns published in Delta Sky Magazine, Greenville Business MagazineColumbia Business Monthly and Home Design & Décor Magazine (Charlotte and Raleigh). Currently, she also works as the Marketing Manager and an Acquisitions Editor for Filles Vertes Publishing.

Her first novel MEANT TO BE BROKEN was published by Filles Vertes Publishing in May 2018, and she has a short story featured in FVP’s LOVE ON MAIN anthology, forthcoming in February 2020.

When Brandy’s not writing, reading, spending time with her husband or driving carpool for her three kids, she enjoys kayaking, family hikes, yelling “Go Tigers!” as loud as she can, playing the piano and taking “naked” Jeep Wrangler cruises on twisty, country roads.

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What’s your favorite contemporary novel?

 

Review: The Vanishing Deep

Title: The Vanishing Deep

Author: Astrid Scholte

Date of Publication: March 3rd, 2020

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Goodreads Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Tempe was born into a world of water. When the Great Waves destroyed her planet, its people had to learn to survive living on the water, but the ruins of the cities below still called. Tempe dives daily, scavenging the ruins of a bygone era, searching for anything of value to trade for Notes. It isn’t food or clothing that she wants to buy, but her dead sister’s life. For a price, the research facility on the island of Palindromena will revive the dearly departed for twenty-four hours before returning them to death. It isn’t a heartfelt reunion that Tempe is after; she wants answers. Elysea died keeping a terrible secret, one that has ignited an unquenchable fury in Tempe: Her beloved sister was responsible for the death of their parents. Tempe wants to know why.

But once revived, Elysea has other plans. She doesn’t want to spend her last day in a cold room accounting for a crime she insists she didn’t commit. Elysea wants her freedom and one final glimpse at the life that was stolen from her. She persuades Tempe to break her out of the facility, and they embark on a dangerous journey to discover the truth about their parents’ death and mend their broken bond. But they’re pursued every step of the way by two Palindromena employees desperate to find them before Elysea’s time is up–and before the secret behind the revival process and the true cost of restored life is revealed.

My Review:

What a unique and interesting world! I loved the whole world drowned by water concept! It had a tinge of Waterworld but a hundred times better!

These characters! I especially loved Lor. He had so much guilt going on and he just needed some love! Elysea was seriously a wonderful side character! She was sweet, genuine, and unselfish! Tempe, you couldn’t help but feel for her, especially after being alone for the past two years and struggling to survive!

I swear, Scholte has the coolest worlds, best twists, and excellent writing! I can’t wait to see what she has up her sleeve next!

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What do you imagine your ideal world to look like?