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The Last Dragon Rider: Excerpt + Giveaway

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Genre: Fantasy/ Adventure/ Romance

Novella Release Date: August 9, 2017

TheLastDragonRider Cover

Blurb

Trained as an elite warrior from childhood, the elven crown prince Flintathriël fights to bring a stop to a war that began before he was born. With the aid of his betrothed Sairalindë, a skilled mage and dragon rider in her own right, they must find the Book of Souls – an ancient and mysterious tome rumored to have belonged to the god Hath’Raal.

When the missing book turns up in the hands of Mnuvae, the bastard child of the dead king, Flintathriël finds himself fighting to not only save his people from this new threat but also trying to keep Sairalindë safe when Mnuvae takes over the dragons in her attempt to win back the kingdom she believes is rightfully hers.

The love Flintathriël and Sairalindë share shines pure and true, but when the smoke of the battle clears, will their hearts survive the aftermath of war or will their love become a casualty that cannot be revived?

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35090656-the-last-dragon-rider?ac=1&from_search=true

 

Author Pic

Author Bio

Errin Krystal is a fantasy romance writer who has been writing since she was a small child. Her head has always been full of stories. She began work on her first novel when she was sixteen.

She lives with her family in regional Victoria, Australia, and works as a chef. In her quieter moments, she loves to indulge her passion for storytelling, basking in the joy that comes from creating vibrant characters, fantastical worlds and all manner of magical creatures. Dragons and elves, mages and warriors, troubled princes and beautiful princesses, romance, magic, and adventure can all be found in her writing.

Excerpt

She began wrapping the cloth tightly about her, binding her breasts firmly, criss-crossing the gauzy fabric around her torso and across her stomach, tying it off at her hip. She shimmied into a pair of leather leggings and reached for her foot wraps. To other races—like the dwarves and humans—the elves lack of footwear was strange. The elven people had strong ties to the lands, their magic and mystique were inexplicably linked. Even those who did not practice magic felt the connection to nature, and the elven people had maintained the practice throughout their long history.

After binding her feet and leaving only her toes exposed, she tossed an olive green tunic over her head before quickly weaving her tresses into a thick braid.

Sivath was waiting, and Flintathriël was late. Again.

She was reaching for her leather jerkin when he finally appeared in her doorway.

Arms akimbo, he slouched against the frame, all lean muscle and sharp angles beneath his leathers. Silver-white hair fell across his forehead, hiding the dark arches of his brows as he gazed at her with silvery blue eyes. The mop of hair barely touching his shoulders. His coloring typical of the royal family.

Her gaze traced his tattoos. Sweeping vines encompassed runic symbols, curling downward from his bottom lip, winding and weaving their way down his chin and neck. She knew every line that twisted and spread across his shoulders, and across his back. Etchings that disappeared beneath his tunic and reappeared along his arms. She still remembered the day he received the markings, branding him Nuvian. The day she first gave herself to him, the day she truly became his.

Links

Website: http://errinkrystal.weebly.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ErrinKrystal/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ErrinKrystal

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/errin.krystal.bookishwriter/?hl=en

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16828644.Errin_Krystal

Blog: https://errinkrystal.wordpress.com/

Facebook Launch Party: https://www.facebook.com/events/1208794462583723/

Amazon pre-order link:

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_ebooks_1?ie=UTF8&text=Errin+Krystal&search-alias=digital-text&field-author=Errin+Krystal&sort=relevancerank

 

Guest Post

Characters gone wild: How the comic relief became the hero

It’s funny how wildly out of control things can get. I mean, you start out with the intention of simply writing a short 2,000 word character study to help push through the writer’s block you have been struggling with. Short, concise, maybe spend a day or so on it. Just something fresh and new to get the creativity flowing again you know?

That’s not what happened.

What happened was I set aside my novel and spent six months on writing a 30,000 word novella featuring a character who originally only had a small bit part… until I fell in love with him and created a more in depth history.

In his simplest incarnation, Flintathriël, (now the full-fledged hero of The Last Dragon Rider), was basically created to offer snarky and sarcastic comments to the hero and flirt with his love interest. That was pretty much his entire purpose in the beginning. Someone light and fun, someone to stir the proverbial pot.

Until one day his entire past just came crashing through, demanding to be written. So I started jotting down some notes for a short story… It was never meant to be anything serious…

I had this amazing idea, set against the backdrop of an ancient war with love, betrayal, dragons and elves and all those good things. But I only wanted it to be short.

I was determined to finish my other novel in 2015…

I wrote a novella instead…

But Flintathriël was destined to be more than a flat caricature and all too soon he had taken over telling his own story. He wanted more from life so I obliged, turning him into a fully fleshed out character as he demanded, creating something magical in the process.

In getting distracted with my novella, it has enabled me to fill in a few gaps in my novel (which is now book 2). Several characters appear in both stories and writing this novella has allowed me to flesh out those characters and add more depth to a specific story arc.

So while he still maintains that cocky arrogance I originally intended, Flintathriël is now burdened with a few more obstacles and responsibilities (as well as a kick ass love interest), making the transition from comic relief to tortured hero.

 

Giveaway Details:

5 digital copies of the book (Giveaway runs from July 31st to Aug. 9th)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

The Last Dragon Rider Blog Tour Schedule

July 31st

Reads & Reels (Promo) http://readsandreels.com

Nesie’s Place (Promo) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

Didi Oviatt (Review) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

August 1st

WeeBitWordy (Review) http://weebitwordy.blog

August 2nd

Darling Bear Reviews (Review) https://darlingbearreviews.com

August 3rd

Tranquil Dreams (Review) https://klling.wordpress.com

Thoughts All Sorts (Review) https://thoughtsallsorts.wordpress.com

Brizzle Lass Blog (Review) https://brizzlelass.co.uk

August 4th

The Most Sublime (Promo) https://themostsublime.com

August 7th

Literary Dust (Promo) https://literarydust.wordpress.com

Brickley Jules Blog (Promo) https://brickleyjules.wordpress.com

August 8th

The Protagonist Speaks (Character Interview) https://theprotagonistspeaks.com

 

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The Castaways: Excerpt + Giveaway

Book Title: The Castaways

Author: Jessika Fleck

Release Date: April 3, 2017

Genre: YA Contemporary Fantasy

The Castaway Carnival: fun, mysterious, dangerous. Renowned for its infamous corn maze…and the kids who go missing in it.

 

When Olive runs into the maze, she wakes up on an isolated and undetectable island where a decades-long war between two factions of rival teens is in full swing. Trapped, Olive must slowly attempt to win each of her new comrades’ hearts as Will—their mysterious, stoically quiet, and handsome leader—steals hers.

 

Olive is only sure about one thing: her troop consists of the good guys, and she’ll do whatever it takes to help them win the war and get back home. But victory may require more betrayal, sacrifice, and heartbreak than she’s ready for.

 

Goodreads Book Link: http://bit.ly/2mq9DXV

Amazon Buy Link: http://amzn.to/2nCN0QW

Barnes & Noble Buy Link: http://bit.ly/2nlhFXc

iBooks Buy Link: http://apple.co/2mpZR9j

Kobo Buy Link: http://bit.ly/2mH9xNu

Amazon.co.uk: http://amzn.to/2nCCedv

Amazon.ca: http://amzn.to/2lYhctP

Entangled Publishing: http://bit.ly/2lYqJ3U


Jessika Fleck is an author, unapologetic coffee drinker, and knitter — she sincerely hopes to one day discover a way to do all three at once. Until then, she continues collecting vintage typewriters and hourglasses, dreaming of an Ireland getaway, and convincing her husband they NEED more kittens. Her work verges on fantastical and dark with a touch of realism. She is a regular contributor to the fantastic kidlit blog, Kidliterati, and is represented by Victoria Marini of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency.

Author Website: www.jessikafleck.com

Author Twitter: @jessikafleck

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessikaFleck/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jessikafleck

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/czxgUv

 

Giveaway Info:

Prize Pack with The Castaways + swag. An Amazon gift card in the case of an international winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

The Excerpt

 

But everything’s clear. I do know where to go. “I’m going to find that boulder—” I suck in shallow breath. “The…hhh…maze.”

“It’s no use. We’ve tried everything. It doesn’t work! Wait!”

But I’m not listening because it has to work. It’s the only way. If it got me in, it’ll get me back out.

I run until my body, my mind, and, mostly, my lungs give up. Because, problem is, Will’s right. I don’t know how to find it.

I stop.

Will stops.

Bent at the waist, hands on my knees, I cough and spew, trying to catch my breath. The hyperventilation has passed, but my insistence on sprinting like I’m a track star when my

lungs and legs have no business running, has taken its toll.

I look up.

Will isn’t fazed. At some point he took off his shirt and now stands with his hands on his hips, chest rising and falling, barely winded. His abs flex with each effortless breath. “Get

it out of your system?”

It’s when my stomach springs that I realize I’m staring at his body. I quickly glance away and completely ignore his question. “Take me there.”

“I told you. It’s no use.”

“Please,” I whimper. Tears race down my face.

Tucking his T-shirt into the back of his pants, Will walks in another direction.

“Where are you going?”

“I’m taking you. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

With Will now leading the way, I watch his suntanned back, the sweat beading at his shoulders and slowly, one by one, how the beads roll down the center crease. I’m in a daze

or a haze or a trance because all I see is his back, his muscles contracting and tightening with each step, and, like magic, we’re there.

The mossy boulder stands before us and, I swear, it mocks me in all its ordinary, commonplace glory.

 

Follow the rest of the tour here: http://blogtours.yareads.com/2017/03/17/blog-tour-sign-ups-castaways-jessika-fleck/

 

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The Great Pursuit: Excerpt + Giveaway

 

I am so
excited that THE GREAT PURSUIT by Wendy
Higgins is available now and that I get to share the news!
 
If you
haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Wendy Higgins, be sure to
check out all the details below.

 

 
This blitz
also includes a giveaway for some amazing prizes! So if you’d like a chance to
win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
 
Title: THE GREAT
PURSUIT (Eurona Duology #2)
Author: Wendy
Higgins
Pub.
Date: 
March 7, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 512
Formats: Hardcover, eBook,
audiobook
In The Great Pursuit, the
dramatic sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Great Hunt, Wendy Higgins delivers another thrilling fantasy
filled with dangerous enemies, political intrigue, searing romance, and a
princess who is willing to do everything to protect her kingdom. 
One hunt has ended, but the pursuit for love and justice continues.
The kingdom of Lochlanach has traded the great beast that once terrorized
the realm of Eurona for something far more dangerous: the ire of powerful
Lashed woman Rosaria Rocato. Rosaria demands that Eurona overturn the laws
prohibiting magic, or an innocent will be killed each day.
Despite the king’s resistance, Princess Aerity believes they must make
peace with the Lashed, and though she’s accepted a betrothal to the man who
took down the beast, she cannot help thinking about Paxton, the Lashed man who
stole her heart and disappeared.
Aerity soon discovers that Paxton has joined Rosaria’s army in the war
against her family. Though her feelings for him are still strong, her duty to
her kingdom and her family is stronger—especially when her parents are
kidnapped and she has to step up to the throne and once again put aside what’s
best for her in order to do what’s best for her people. Paxton and Princess
Aerity must fight to see what is more powerful: their love or the impending war
between the magical Lashed and the non-magic humans.
 
Grab the
eBook 1 THE GREAT HUNT for just $1.99!

Excerpt


CHAPTER ONEA new beast roamed the kingdom of Lochlanach, killing at will. A second unnatural monster created by the hands of Rozaria Rocato, granddaughter of the most infamous and hated Lashed One of all time. Princess Aerity Lochson’s mind was a blur of piled-up worries as she rushed from High Hall of the castle, away from the frightened commoners and guests who’d come for her betrothal ceremony, and toward the office of her father, King Charles. She turned at the sound of heavy footsteps behind her and found both her childhood friend Lieutenant Harrison Gillfin and her betrothed, Lord Lief Alvi, following. Lord Alvi looked every bit the hero—his broad stature striking, with elk furs about his shoulders and a black kilt to his knees above leather boots. His blue eyes were filled with bright passion and hunger, but those emotions were not for her. They were for the beast. The new hunt.

He had killed the first creature, thereby earning her hand in marriage. The thought twisted Aerity’s stomach with discomfort and turned her mind to the man who’d disappeared weeks before when the beast was killed—the Lashed man who’d taken her heart with him and would likely never return. She clenched her jaw. This was no time to think of Paxton Seabolt or her drowned desires. The kingdom was suffering again—rendering everything she’d sacrificed to have been in vain.

Her eyes shifted from Lord Alvi’s to Harrison’s and found a fierce, protective comfort there. Harrison stood tall, lean, and capable. Never faltering. The thought of her noble friend fighting yet another beast filled her with sharp fear. So many lives had already been lost, including Harrison’s cousin Breckon, who’d been the true love of Aerity’s cousin Wyneth. Half a year was all it had taken to trample the dreams and futures of so many.

Aerity gave the men a nod to follow her. She lifted her long white skirts and moved quickly down the tapestry-lined hallway to her father’s office. Guards and soldiers ran past, shouting orders, fully armed with bows, swords, and lines of throwing daggers strapped across their uniformed tunics.

She opened the door without knocking. No fewer than twenty faces shot toward her. She recognized the burgundy red hair of her mother, along with her aunts and uncles, military elite, and royal advisers. Her father invited them in with a quick flick of his fingers.

When the door closed he asked her, “What is the state of things in High Hall?”

“The people seemed to have calmed for the moment, Father,” Aerity said. “And supper is being served.”

“Your daughter gave a rousing speech,” Lord Alvi pro- claimed in his rumbling voice. “She is to thank for the calm.” Aerity’s face flushed with heat at the unexpected compliment. Then he put a heavy hand on her shoulder and pulled her close. Aerity fought the urge to shrug away. For the sake of the kingdom, she had made a commitment to become his bride, and she would follow through regardless of what her heart wanted, and regardless of the fact that she was certain feelings had grown between Lief and Wyneth.
“Did she?” The king’s eyes softened with pride, and her mother, Queen Leighlane, smiled at Aerity and Lief, no doubt thinking what a lovely couple they were. If she only knew.

Behind them Harrison cleared his throat. “Are we to begin hunting the creature, Your Majesty?”

King Charles nodded, his face lined with anxiety. “Aye. But most of the hunters have dispersed.” Or been killed, Aerity thought with sorrow, remembering the men who’d come from all over Eurona and even a huntress who’d lost her life.

“I can have a message sent to Tiern Seabolt,” Harrison said. “I’m certain he would return with haste.”

Aerity’s abdomen tightened. Tiern was Paxton’s younger brother. He’d nearly been killed by the first beast and had been saved by Paxton’s Lashed magic. It was the very reason Pax had fled the kingdom—using magic was illegal, even to heal. Aerity didn’t want Tiern to hunt again. She didn’t want Paxton’s sacrifice to have been a waste.

“And his older brother?” the king asked.

“Nay.” Harrison paused. “He disappeared after the hunt. We don’t know his whereabouts.”

“Must you call Tiern back?” Aerity asked. When her father’s eyebrows drew together she emended, “He’s . . . so young.”

“He’s the same age as you, Daughter,” the king reminded her. “Seventeen. A man who’s already proven himself in the hunt.” Aerity pressed her lips together and nodded. She could not keep Tiern safe any more than she could force Harrison to stay out of harm’s reach. Their heroic hearts would urge them forward.

“Can we send word to the Zandalee?” Aerity’s uncle Lord Wavecrest asked.

The king shook his head. “I’m afraid not this time. The letter from the Rocato woman stated that her creatures have now been released in all the lands of Eurona. The Zandalee will be needed to fight in their own drylands of Zorfina.”

A fearful silence fell over the room. Each kingdom was on its own with its own beasts to battle now. Lochlanach was a quaint kingdom of fishermen and crop villagers, farmers, that had enjoyed many years of peace. The people had risen together to fight the first beast, but how much more could the king expect from them? It was too much. To imagine this kind of horror inflicted on innocent people all over Eurona sickened Aerity.

“Perhaps another proclamation?” Lord Wavecrest suggested carefully. At this proposal from Aerity’s uncle, the men in the room glanced around at one another, and the hairs rose on the princess’s arms. The queen caught her daughter’s eyes, and they both went still.

The last proclamation had offered Aerity’s hand in marriage to whoever killed the beast. The only thing left to give was the second princess, Aerity’s fifteen-year-old sister, Vixie. Her father stared down at his desk.

“No.” Aerity stepped forward, out of Lord Alvi’s embrace, her body trembling. “You cannot offer Vixie’s hand.”

The king’s hazel eyes, filled with regret, rose to hers. “I have nothing left to give.” With Vixie’s hand would come her dowry of lands. Using Vixie as a prize would surely smother her soul. Aerity wouldn’t stand for it.

“And why should you oppose it?” her uncle Preston asked haughtily. “The first proclamation provided you with a fine match. It can do the same for Vixie.”

Aerity stilled, forcing back the torrent of words that flooded her mind: unfair, poor match, confinement, no joy, no love. She was to endure those things for her kingdom, but the thought of Vixie losing her freedom to choose her future . . . it gutted Aerity. She knew how it appeared to the world—that she’d landed a handsome, noble, brave lord—but the heart didn’t care about appearances. It wanted who it wanted.

“And then what?” Aerity asked. “Who shall we offer for the next beast, and the one after that? Your own Wyneth? Or perhaps six-year-old Merity?”

Lord Wavecrest scowled.

“Enough, Aerity,” Queen Leighlane said quietly. Aerity met her mother’s eyes and felt an understanding there. No one knew better than the two of them how this would crush Vixie’s spirit. These men couldn’t possibly understand.

“Vixie’s nearly sixteen,” Lord Wavecrest pressed. Aerity wanted to claw out his eyes and force him to stop speaking.

“A proclamation offering Vixie’s hand will be my very last resort,” King Charles said, standing taller. “It is my hope that the people will rise of their own free will to protect their families and lands as they did in the last hunt. I will not hinder them with further curfews.”

Lord Wavecrest shook his head and crossed his arms. Aerity breathed a temporary sigh of relief.

“Sire, we should address the other part of the Rocato woman’s letter.” This was from the king’s oldest adviser, Duke Gulfton. This duke had been the closest adviser to Aerity’s grandfather King Leon. His views on the Lashed were legendarily conservative and strict, and he was a proponent of keeping the Lashed lists up to date. All persons with Lashed capabilities and their families were notated in the records and checked regularly for markings.
The stooped man wore a sea-green robe around his shoulders and a perpetual serious frown on his face. He leaned on his cane. “We cannot do as the Rocato woman demands. We cannot burn our records of Lashed Ones in these lands, or give them rein to take over our kingdom.”

A few of the other older men murmured their agreement.

Harrison stepped forward. “What if we made a copy of the list? Then it wouldn’t matter if one was destroyed.”

“I’ve got scribes copying pages as we speak,” the king responded. “But the Rocato woman has called for the records to be burned by sundown. The copy won’t be complete. There are thousands of names.”

Thousands of persons with Lashed blood in Lochlanach. Amazing, Aerity thought. Only a small percentage of those on the list actually had magic, though. Paxton’s family was not on the list. Aerity wondered how many others of magical blood had been able to elude the system.

“How will the madwoman know the difference?” Duke Gulfton asked. “Burn papers to appease her, then kill her and her monsters once and for all. End of story.”

“Here, here!” a few men shouted, as if it were that simple. As if they wouldn’t have done it by now if they could.

The king’s jaw was set. “I have a terrible feeling this woman has eyes and ears everywhere.”

The room quieted and a sense of unease spread as heads turned and everyone eyed the others present. Her father’s council was a small group of family and a mere handful of wise advisers, all landowners, who’d been loyal to the kingdom since her grandfather ruled. She couldn’t imagine this group being compromised.

“With all due respect, gentlemen,” Lord Alvi said to the room, “we will find every beast and even Rocato herself, but we cannot guarantee immediate success. The last hunt took two months.”

“Aye,” Harrison added. “And she’s threatening to kill seven men each week.”

“You’ll have to work faster this time,” Duke Gulfton told them.

The room tensed. During the last hunt they’d had a hundred men. They’d sought the monster nearly ten hours a night and spent the days scouting and preparing. The lands of Lochlanach stretched far and wide. Yet people like Duke Gulfton were expecting a miracle of the sea.

Queen Leighlane cleared her throat. “The fact of the matter is that we’re going to have to at least put on a show of honoring her wishes. We need to buy time as we plan.”

Another elder, Duke Streamson, asked, “What are you proposing, Your Highness? Rocato is demanding that all Lashed be allowed to freely work magic.”

Magic that wasn’t all bad, Aerity thought. Magic that had saved Tiern and could save others. If only she could get them to embrace that.

“I have an idea.” Aerity’s brain whirred as all eyes turned to her. “What if we set up a public area just outside the royal lands and invited Lashed from throughout the kingdom to come, and any Unlashed who wishes to seek their healing can receive it?”

Duke Streamson made a choking sound. “Round up the people of Rocato to turn against us in one place? That’s precisely what she wants!”

Aerity rushed on. “I don’t believe all Lashed are ‘her people.’ The entire area would be heavily guarded so that if any Lashed got out of line, they could be dealt with immediately.” The old dukes scoffed at her.

One of the military advisers stepped forward. “Our numbers are not as large as they once were. Our troop sizes have been modest in the past fifty years. I’ve got to keep men patrolling the seas and borders, and we’ve lost many in the past months. I worry that a large-scale showing of the Lashed will bring crowds.”

The room broke out into fervent debate. Those who were against Aerity’s idea were adamant, passionate in their fears. Those in favor seemed on weak, shaky ground.

“Given permission to put their hands on innocent people, it could be a massacre!”

“What if the Lashed overwhelm our guards?”

“They’ll rise up throughout the lands!”

“. . . commoner revolts . . . war . . .”

Aerity felt a hand on her shoulder and turned to see Harrison, his light brown eyes showing the never-faltering respect he seemed to hold for her. She gave his hand a quick squeeze of gratitude before he released her. Aerity caught Lord Alvi watching the exchange with curiosity, so she turned her gaze forward again—she would let him think what he wanted.

“Enough!” King Charles’s voice silenced the room. “I will think on it. I must put safety first. I’m not ready to overturn our laws—” Aerity opened her mouth to argue that she wasn’t suggesting a complete overturn, but a one-time, enclosed, secure circumstance. Her father held up a hand to stop her. “This blasted parchment from Rozaria Rocato is bound to have our people in terror. If I take the stability of our rules away, it will cause chaos. Tonight on the lawn we will burn whatever pages my scribes have managed to copy, to keep Rozaria satisfied, but the original lists remain with us. I pray to the sea this works.”

He looked at the hunters. “Lord Alvi. Lieutenant Gillfin. Gather as many hunters as you can and begin hunting this new beast immediately.” They nodded and took their leave. Aerity watched them go, swallowing a dry lump in her throat. The king looked to his military advisers. “I want every soldier on duty, and round-the-clock patrolling of royal lands. I want Rozaria Rocato, dead or alive.” He turned to his top castle guard. “Send messengers to the other four lands to let them know of our new foe and to find out their circumstances.”

Without another word, the king swept from the room with Queen Leighlane and a line of advisers close behind.

Aerity felt the brush of velvet on her arm and peered

down at the old man beside her. It was Duke Gulfton, his eyes glistening. “I mean no disrespect, Princess, only a piece of advice. In times of fear and upheaval, absolute routine and stability in the law are called for. Any slight change can set the people off.”

“As I recall,” Aerity said steadily, “Mrs. Rathbrook healed your ailing heart last year.” Mrs. Rathbrook was the royal healer—the only Lashed allowed to work magic.

He grasped the top of his cane with both hands. “Aye.”

“Should we not allow the people of this land to benefit from magic as you have?”

He looked down at his hands, nodding solemnly. “Not all Lashed are as trustworthy as Mrs. Rathbrook. You saw the Rocato woman face-to-face. You know the evil of which she is capable.”

“I suppose everyone is capable of evil, Duke Gulfton. None of us is immune, Lashed or not. But I choose to believe the best in people until they show me otherwise.”

Duke Streamson, waiting in the doorway, cleared his throat. Duke Gulfton peered up at Aerity and patted her hand. “Once they show you otherwise, it is often too late. As a rule it is not safe to take such chances. Seas help Lochlanach in our time of need.”

As Duke Gulfton shuffled away, Aerity whispered in return. “Seas help us, indeed.”

About
Wendy:

 

Wendy Higgins is the
USA Today and NYT bestselling author of the Sweet Evil series from HarperTeen,
the high fantasy duology The Great Hunt, and her independently published Irish
fantasy, See Me. She is a former high school English teacher who now writes
full time, and lives on the Eastern Shore of Virginia with her veterinarian
husband, daughter, son, and doggie Rue.

 
Wendy earned
a bachelor’s in Creative Writing from George Mason University and a master’s in
Curriculum and Instruction from Radford University. She is represented by Jill
Corcoran of the Jill Corcoran Literary Agency.
Giveaway Details:
 
(2) Winners
will receive the grand prizes (The Great Hunt Paperback and The Great Pursuit
hardback from HarperTeen, and signed swag from Wendy Higgins! Plus an ARC of
ROAR by Cora Carmack!), US Only.

 

(5) Winners will receive signed sets of swag – International!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Rash Decisions: Excerpt + Giveaway

RashDecisions_banner_BlogTour

Today we have the blog tour for Rash Decisions by Alex Rosa! Check out the tour and grab your copy today!!

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Title: Rash Decisions

Author: Alex Rosa

Genre: Contemporary romance

About Rash Decisions:

Julia Ferris had it all. A loving a boyfriend, a glamorous city, and a high paying job. What more could a girl want? She’d ask you, “What if all those things weren’t what you wanted … ever?”

Julia’s life has always been defined by everyone around her, but one day she makes the rash decision to finally live life for herself, and it all starts with a pair of shoes. Now it becomes her only guide.

From new jobs, to new boys, and a life in a big city she was never prepared for, she can at least admit one thing now:

It’s all exactly what she wants … kind of.

 

Excerpt:

JULIA FERRIS

My eyes flicker open in unison with my stretch. I feel incredibly satiated and calm, and waking up with a smile is a new thing for me. However, as I gain focus the dark grays of the room confuse me.

Where are my sleek, white brick walls?

I pull in a deep breath, and the smell of woody cologne and sex slams my senses.

I peer down at the navy blue comforter covering me, noting I am very much naked.

I didn’t.

I ogled Troy all night. I remember that. It was hard not to. I drank a lot. That I also know, but how far did I go? I wanted so much, but I tried to stay away. What’s the last thing I remember?

I turn to my right and see the hottest thing I have ever laid eyes on.

A fast asleep Troy.

I sit up on my elbows, holding the blanket to my chest.

My eyebrows angle upward in unfortunate concern as I examine his sleeping state. His face is as relaxed as my body feels. His mouth hangs slightly open —that mouth. I remember that mouth all over me last night; I remember its quiet moans in my ears and its rushed breaths that tangled with mine.

His naked chest is on full display, and all the sinews that indent themselves on his perfect form are revealed, all the way down to those hips —I definitely remember that body now, too, and remember being able to touch and kiss anywhere I’d like.

The memories of the night swarm my mind like an incoming hurricane.

I clench my thighs together feeling well used and aching in the best way.

My hand reflexively comes up, slapping onto my forehead. Oh no.

Then comes the guilt. I run that hand through my hair as I dart my eyes all over the room. My clothes are everywhere. His clothes are everywhere.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

I look at the time on his nightstand. It’s barely eight in the morning and Troy looks —oh Troy looks adorable.

Stop thinking that way!

I lean a little closer to him. I want to wake him, or kiss those sexy, anger-inducing lips, but that feels instantly wrong.

I change my mind. I’m not going to wake him. I can’t. I wouldn’t know how to explain myself.

My cheeks begin to burn, thinking I’ve done something terrible.

No. I know I’ve done something terrible, and the only thing that’s served me any good is escaping.

I regretfully cringe as I slip from his bed. I make sure I’m quiet with each tip toeing step.

This was a terrible idea. This is wrong.

I find my bra and my dress, quickly slipping those on, but for all the love that is holy, I cannot find my panties.

I squint at Troy, not putting it past him that he would hide them away somewhere as a trophy.

My stomach plummets at the thought that I’d be something of a trophy for him. His seduction and stares said differently, but the realization that I barely know the man slams my guts.

I peer over at the time again, this time fuming with embarrassment. It’s 8:15 now.

I look back at Troy once more, taking a step toward the bed, scrutinizing his Greek features, the bastard.

The butterflies caged in my gut flutter erratically, and I know this is such a mess. I can’t tell what I’m feeling.

What about Noah!

I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.

I want to lean over and press a goodbye kiss to Troy’s cheek, but I shake my head instead.

All of this could easily mean nothing to him when maybe it meant everything to me.

Wait, no.

Again, I can’t tell. Maybe we both shared a passionate night, and we’ll be done with it. Maybe we can just blame it on the alcohol and forget it ever happened. Maybe we just needed to get it out of our system?

The fact that I can’t tell which way is up or down is what has me flinging myself in the opposite direction in nerve-wracking fear. I grab my glorious heels on the way, cursing their damned determined sexiness, as if they’re to blame while I make my way to the front door to escape.

Is this what my therapist implied when I told her I was getting up and leaving the state? That I wasn’t really solving the problems and instead I was running away from them?

Is that what I’m doing now?

I feel like shit for so many different reasons, but I can’t stop pawing at my swollen lips as I approach the elevator.

If I don’t know how to justify the night to myself, how can I explain myself to anyone else?

I shoot a glance down the hall and think, what would Troy do in this situation?

That’s when I take a step inside the elevator, eager for the doors to shut behind me.

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About Alex Rosa:

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Alex Rosa lives in San Diego, California. When she isn’t scouring city parks or cafe’s to write she is more than likely trying to convince her friends to join her on her next adventure. A sufferer of wanderlust, she is always looking for a new mountain to climb, a canyon to hike, or a plane to board. Her resume consists of coroner, to working at a zoo, and most recently as an executive assistant, but finds her home amongst words, whether it be in books, or in film. Her obsessions are on the brink of bizarre, but that’s just the way she likes it.

Website: http://www.authorarosa.com/

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Excerpt: Royally Matched

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Royally-Matched-3D-bookSome men are born responsible, some men have responsibility thrust upon them. Henry Charles Albert Edgar Pembrook, Prince of Wessco, just got the motherlode of all responsibility dumped in his regal lap.

He’s not handling it well.

Hoping to force her grandson to rise to the occasion, Queen Lenora goes on a much-needed safari holiday—and when the Queen’s away, the Prince will play. After a chance meeting with an American television producer, Henry finally makes a decision all on his own:

Welcome to Matched: Royal Edition.

A reality TV dating game show featuring twenty of the world’s most beautiful blue bloods gathered in the same castle. Only one will win the diamond tiara, only one will capture the handsome prince’s heart.

While Henry revels in the sexy, raunchy antics of the contestants as they fight, literally, for his affection, it’s the quiet, bespectacled girl in the corner—with the voice of an angel and a body that would tempt a saint—who catches his eye.

The more Henry gets to know Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum, the more enamored he becomes of her simple beauty, her strength, her kind spirit…and her naughty sense of humor.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day—and irresponsible royals aren’t reformed overnight.

As he endeavors to right his wrongs, old words take on whole new meanings for the dashing Prince. Words like, Duty, Honor and most of all—Love.

 

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EXCERPT

 

“Are you a virgin?” I ask.

“Well . . . yes.”

“Then why are you complaining? You qualify.”

Sarah’s eyes flash with annoyance. “Because I’m more than my hymen, Henry! To base the value of an accomplished, intelligent woman on a flimsy piece of skin is degrading. How would you feel if your worth rested on your foreskin?”

I think it over. And then I grin. “I’d be all right with that, actually. I’ve heard it was an impressive foreskin—all the nurses were fawning over it. It’s probably being showcased in a museum right now.”

She stares at me for a beat, then she laughs out loud—a rich, throaty, sensual sound.

“You’re a terrible human being.”

“I know.” I shake my head at the calamity of it all.

“And you’re an even worse feminist.”

“Agreed. That’s something I need to work on. You’ll help me, won’t you? We should spend as much time together as possible—every minute of the day and night. I’m hoping you’ll rub off on me.”

Sarah pushes my shoulder. “You’re just hoping I’ll rub you off.”

Now it’s my turn to laugh. Because she’s not even a little bit wrong.

“But there’s never been anyone? Really?”

Sarah shrugs. “Penny and I were tutored at home when we were young . . . but in year ten, there was this one boy.”

I rub my hands together. “Here we go—tell me everything. I want all the sick, lurid details. Was he a footballer? Captain of the team, the most popular boy in school?”

“He was captain of the chess team.”

I cover my eyes with my hand.

“His name was Davey. He wore these adorable tweed jackets and bow ties, he had blond hair and was a bit pale because of the asthma. He had the same glasses as me and he had a different pair of argyle socks for every day of the year.”

“I am so disappointed in you right now.”

“He was nice,” she chides. “You leave my Davey alone.”

I shake my head. “So what happened to old Davey boy?”

“I was alone in the library one day and he came up and started to ask me to the spring social. And I was so excited and nervous I could barely breathe. And then before he could finish the question, I . . .”

I don’t realize I’m leaning toward her until she stops talking and I almost fall over.

“You . . . what?”

Sarah hides behind her hands.

“I threw up on him.”

And I try not to laugh. I swear I try . . . but I’m only human. So I end up laughing so hard the car shakes and I can’t speak for several minutes.

“Christ almighty.”

“And I’d had fish and chips for lunch.” Sarah’s laughing too. “It was awful.”

“Oh you poor thing.” I shake my head, still chuckling. “And poor Davey.”

“Yes.” She wipes under her eyes with her finger. “Poor Davey. He never came near me again after that.”

“Coward—he didn’t deserve you. I would’ve swam through a whole lake of puke to take a girl like you to the social.”

She smiles so brightly at me, her cheeks maroon and round like two shiny apples.

“I think that’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me.”

I wiggle my eyebrows. “I’m all about the compliments.”

 

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Emma Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the hot and hilarious Tangled series and The Legal Briefs series. Emma lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children and two naughty (but really cute) dogs. She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

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There’s Something About Nik: Excerpt + Giveaway

About the Book:

 


There’s Something About Nik by Sara Hantz

Genre: Standalone YA Contemporary

Published by Entangled Teen

Published on February 13th, 2017

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33224598-there-s-something-about-nik?ac=1&from_search=true

About There’s Something About Nik

Nik Gustafsson has a secret: He’s not really Nik Gustafsson.

He’s not a spy. He’s not crazy.

He’s just the son and heir to one of the most important families in Europe—one where duty always comes first. And his posh, too-public life is suffocating him. So when he gets the chance to attend boarding school in America, pretending to be an average exchange student is too big of a temptation to pass up.

Then he literally runs into Amber on campus. And she hates him at first sight.

It’s kind of exhilarating to be hated for who he is, not for his family name or his wealth. Maybe if he turns up the charm and turns down the aloof mask he habitually wears, he can win her over. Even though a bad past experience has made her swear off dating this year.

But the more he gets to know her, the more uncomfortable he is keeping things from her.

Because Nik Gustafsson has a secret. And it’s a big one.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains a hot boy who’s the strong and silent type, a studious girl who refuses to believe in fairy-tale romance, and one epic secret that could be disastrous if it comes to light.

Excerpt:

Nik drew in a long breath. He was in uncharted territory and didn’t know how to proceed. He’d never met anyone quite like Amber before—specifically, anyone who showed such disinterest in him. Was this what being normal felt like? To be ignored or dismissed like he wasn’t important? Suddenly, he wasn’t so sure if he liked it. He surreptitiously studied her, while she did everything she could to avoid eye contact. She certainly wasn’t his type, if indeed he had a type. His previous girlfriends had all been tall with blonde hair, which would imply that he did. Then again, in his country, most girls he met looked like that.

Amber was small, at least a head shorter than he was. Her dark brown hair seemed ridiculously short as it framed her face. A pretty face with freckles. And what was it with that camera she hugged close to her, like it was something so precious? He’d hoped that in America he’d finally be away from people constantly trying to get a shot of him. Yet, the first day here, he’d met a girl who seemed obsessed with taking photos. No wonder he’d frozen up around her.

“What are you staring at?” Amber’s question brought him back to the present with a start.

“Nothing,” he replied abruptly, feeling like a small child being caught doing something wrong.

She reminded him of his old nanny, who’d always said that he shouldn’t stare at people because it made them feel uncomfortable. Most of the time, he didn’t even realize he was doing it.

“It didn’t seem like nothing to me. You were looking at my hair, weren’t you?” she accused.

“Yes. It’s much shorter than I’m used to seeing.” The words were out of his mouth before he could stop them. He should’ve known better than that. He’d been trained since a child to be circumspect, and here he was, not two days in America, and he was forgetting how to behave.

“Girls don’t have short hair in your country?” Amber challenged, as if daring him to say even more about how she looked.

Which was another thing. All the girls he knew were masters of polite conversation. He had no clue why she was being so unfriendly. He hadn’t been rude to her. Admittedly, he’d been looking at her hair. Well, her hair and also her camera. But surely that wasn’t enough to make her so antagonistic.

Maybe it was a cultural thing. He would check with Josh later whether it was something he’d done by mistake. In the meantime, he couldn’t just stand there in such awkward silence.

“It’s different from girls at home, yes. But it’s very striking,” he added, hoping that would appease her.

She remained silent for a moment, with an expression on her face like he was a bug who had landed on her shoe. “Thank goodness for that,” she finally said, “or I might have had to spend the next several months sitting in my room willing it to grow.”

 

About the Author:

Sara Hantz has been a prolific reader all her life, but it wasn’t until she was an adult that she got the writing bug. She writes contemporary adult and young adult fiction and her debut book The Second Virginity of Suzy Green made the prestigious list ‘New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age’. Sara lectured for many years before deciding to devote more time to her writing and working in the family hospitality business. She has two grown-up children and when not writing, working, or online with her friends, she spends more time than most people she knows watching TV – in fact if TV watching was an Olympic sport she’d win gold.  She has presented many writing workshops with her partner-in-crime Amanda Ashby.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/788620.Sara_Hantz

Website: http://sarahantz.com/about/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahantz

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sarahantzauthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sarahantz/

 

Tour Schedule:

February 13th

The Phantom Paragrapher – Review

Read Love Blog – Promo Post

February 14th

For Love of Books4 – Promo Post

Just One More Chapter – Promo Post

February 15th

Vox Libris – Review

Literary Dust – Promo Post

February 16th

Alice’s Book Vault – Review

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A Leisure Moment – Review

February 17th

Book Briefs – Review

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February 18th

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Sleeps on Tables – Promo Post

February 19th

Addicted to Books – Review

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Excerpt Reveal: Unrest by: Wendy Higgins

Today we’re revealing an excerpt from UNREST by Wendy Higgins! Check it out and grab your copy today!!

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Title: Unrest

Author: Wendy Higgins

Release Day: February 14th

 

About Unrest:

Being on the run in the desert means food and sanctuary are hard to come by, but Amber Tate and her crew are not about to give up. Not after having so many of the things they love brutally ripped from them by an unknown enemy who sent their world into the apocalypse.

Survival takes precedence, but once safe shelter is found, their guards fall and the emotions they’ve been holding in are finally released. Anger, insecurities…lust. In their tight quarters, Amber, Rylen, Tater, and Remy can’t escape it. The past must be faced, and passions run even stronger in the darkest of times.

In the midst of unrest, their worlds are rocked again when they discover the truth about the war that’s ruined their lives. They thought finding out the enemy’s identity would give them the edge; instead it’s revealed terrifying dangers they never thought possible.

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Exclusive Excerpt:

A golden hue of sunrise turned night into dawn. I sat on a small boulder, staring at the sliver of sun through trees of the Nevada parkland, the same spot where I’d been sitting silently in the dark for two hours in the cold. I couldn’t take Remy’s whimpering and soul-crushing cries each time she fell back asleep in the tent, venturing into nightmares of what she’d seen the night before. What we’d all seen. I might never sleep again.

Mom. Dad. Abuela.

I fought back another wave of debilitating grief that made my bones feel like liquid—like I’d never have the ability to stand again. Have to be strong. Have to be strong. I rocked back and forth with my eyes shut tight. I couldn’t afford to give in to the loss. If I did, it would consume me whole and devour my will to live. I took a deep breath in and let it out slowly.

We’d been fired up to leave the nature preserve last night and head north to the base in Utah after hearing the Morse code message, supposedly from other military personnel in hiding, like us. But we decided to wait until morning since we needed more light to plan our trip on the map. Plus, headlights in the night would be too easy to spot, and we were all worthless last night, running on adrenaline and vengeance, one step away from crashing. I never did crash or sleep a wink, even though my adrenaline was long gone.

The soft sunrise was too pretty—too majestic—for the way I felt inside. Raw. Like my heart had been grated. During the night, I’d begun to believe the sun would never rise again, and now that it was I felt as if the Earth were mocking what we’d been through, reminding me just how miniscule and unremarkable we were. A new day was happening despite what we’d lost. The world wasn’t stopping to mourn. It felt wrong.

We’d been so close to the camp yesterday where the Disaster Relief Initiative, the DRI personnel, had taken my parents, my grandmother, Remy’s parents, and Rylen’s wife Livia. We watched in confusion as those DRI bastards fled. Then we’d watched in disbelief as Air Force jets dropped a bomb on that camp, obliterating our family and the people from our town. Oh, God.

I pressed the back of my hand to my mouth and squeezed my eyes shut. Even while the world fell apart around us, I never imagined anything would happen to my parents. I never let myself believe it was possible, even after watching my Grandpa Tate shot and killed by a Disaster Relief Personnel—fucking Derps. Who was I without my parents? I was the daughter of an Army man and a Mexican dancer. A Green Machine and a Señorita. A small bubble of laughter worked its way through a sob in my throat when I thought about my parents’ silly banter with each other. Their relentless love and devotion to me and my older brother, Tater.

The sound of a tent’s zipper wrenched through the morning solitude and I quickly wiped my eyes. I looked over and saw Rylen crouching as he pushed through the opening. The golden hue of sun made his blond hair and the scruff on his face stand out. His eyes met mine and I had to swallow hard at the sight of pain in his expression. I’d already cried so much last night.

Seeing those solemn gray eyes brought back a flood of memories: young, scrawny Rylen Fite, loved and cared for by my parents like he was their own son. And his eyes reflected his remembrance too, as if he felt their absence as prominently as I did. But he’d lost a wife, as well. Maybe she hadn’t been his wife in every technical sense of the word, but he’d been trying to make it right. Every bit of his loss was reflected in the heavy way he sat on the rock beside me and rubbed his face before staring out at the sunrise.

 

About Wendy Higgins:

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Wendy Higgins is a soccer mom and backstage drama mama. Most people in her tiny bayside town don’t know she’s a USA Today and NYT bestselling author of paranormal, fantasy, and science-fiction romances. Wendy is a former high school English teacher who now writes full time in her pajamas, and lives on the Eastern Shore of Virginia with her veterinarian husband, daughter, son, and little doggie Rue.

Wendy earned a bachelor’s in Creative Writing from George Mason University and a master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from Radford University.

 

Reach Wendy Online:

Email: wendyhigginswrites@gmail.com

Website: www.wendyhigginswrites.com

Twitter: @Wendy_Higgins https://twitter.com/Wendy_Higgins

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Instagram: @wendyhigginswrites https://www.instagram.com/wendyhi

 

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