The Morganville Vampire’s 10th Anniversary – Guest Post: Regarding Myrnin by Rachel Caine

7th Oct 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Giveaways, Guest Posts

The Morganville Vampire’s 10th Anniversary – Guest Post: Regarding Myrnin by Rachel Caine

I think it’s time to talk about Myrnin. You know, the guy who lurks in the alley next to Gramma Day’s house? In the shack? You might also know him as the adorable/terrifying vampire who’s built a steampunk lab underneath the shack, blown it up a few times, can’t use bookcases worth a damn, invented a computer that runs on blood and requires a real brain, and … wears bunny slippers. Vampire bunny slippers.

These bunny slippers. (FULL DISCLOSURE: Myrnin’s never watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I have. Therefore I can say they are *probably* Killer Rabbit slippers.)

Lots of readers are hooked on Myrnin, and write in to ask for more, more, more Myrnin. Which I love, of course. But I thought I’d tell you Myrnin’s origin story.

The character of Myrnin was a placeholder in the first two books. In my head, I had a slot for the “strange scientist” who helped create and run Morganville’s various weird systems, like the field that makes you forget the town when you leave it, the portals Amelie uses as her own personal express lane, etc. But I didn’t know anything about that guy. He was just a shadow in the dark, which was why, in the beginning, I described him as the trapdoor spider that lurks in the shadows of the alley, and also might be the actual inspiration for the Arthurian legends of Merlin. I wanted to discover him, in a sense, as I wrote him.

Discovering him was more like opening a door and finding a fully formed person on the other side of it.

— Rachel Caine

The Morganville Vampires | Morganville: The Series | Facebook | Twitter

Giveaway

Enter for your chance to win a personal Halloween card from Rachel Caine, a TPU sampler booklet, a photo still from Morganville: The Series, and a Fall of Night lenticular bookmark! 4 runners-up will also receive a personal Halloween card from Rachel Caine! Giveaway ends on 10/14/16

Rafflecopter Link for Blog Giveaway 

 

Scavenger Hunt

There are 10 blogs participating in the Morganville Vampires 10th Anniversary Bash and each blog has a bold, red, hidden buzz word in the body of the post that entrants must find and submit via the Rafflecopter below. Find all 10 buzz words, enter them in the Scavenger Hunt Rafflecopter on any of our 10 participating blogs, and be entered to win 1 of 3 prizes!

2 Runners-up will receive a Morganville Vampires tote bag, a signed paperback copy of Midnight Bites, a TPU sampler booklet , a Fall of Night lenticular, a photo still from Morganville: The Series, a Welcome to Morganville postcard, a Ghost Town lenticular, and a Morganville: The Series poster.

1 Grand Prize winner will receive a Morganville Vampires tote bag, a limited edition UK  Daylighters, a signed paperback copy of Midnight Bites, a TPU sampler booklet, a Fall of Night lenticular bookmark, a photo still from Morganville: The Series, a a Welcome to Morganville postcard, a Ghost Town lenticular bookmark, and a Morganville Resident Survival Kit. Giveaway ends 11/7/16

Rafflecopter Link for Scavenger Hunt Giveaway

 

Stay tuned for more Morganville throughout the month of October!

10/3 Mundie Moms
10/3 Vampire Book Club
10/7: Gone with the Words
10/10: Wicked Lil Pixie
10/14: Pandora’s Book Blog
10/17: Lost in Ever After
10/21: Adventures of a Book Junkie
10/24: Ali’s Reviews and More
10/28 Take Me Away To A Good Read
10/31: Beauty and the Bookshelf

About Rachel Caine

Rachel Caine is a fictional character herself…a pen name of writer Roxanne Conrad. Since 2003, Rachel has written in the adult Urban Fantasy genre (the Weather Warden, Outcast Season, Revivalist and Red Letter Days series) as well as in Young Adult fiction (the Morganville Vampires series and the upcoming novel Prince of Shadows). She is the author of more than forty novels and many short stories, and is regular featured in anthology collections.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Giveaway: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

26th Sep 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Giveaways

Giveaway: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Giveaway: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri ManiscalcoStalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper #1
Published by Jimmy Patterson
Pub Date: September 20th 2016
Buy the book! | Goodreads

Presented by James Patterson's new children's imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion...

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father's wishes and society's expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story's shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.

Happy Monday, friends! I partnered with JIMMY Patterson Books to share this amazing giveaway of one of the most anticipated books this Fall! And with Halloween right around the corner, nows the perfect time to enter to win a copy of Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco!

Here’s a little more about the book from the author herself:

Stalking Jack the Ripper is without a doubt a new take on the legendary mystery of Jack the Ripper. What drew you to the story of Jack the Ripper, and why did you choose him as a villain?

Unsolved crimes and history have intrigued me since I was a teen. I was fascinated by the Ripper case in particular because of the mystery that still surrounds it. There are so many theories and suspects, and as a writer it’s a wonderfully blank canvas for creating your own backstory. Who was Jack? Where did he come from? What were the circumstances leading up to that Autumn of Terror? I think the most interesting villains are ones that fit into that questionable gray area—the place where we understand their motivation, even if we’re horrified by it.

I chose Jack because I wanted this story to focus on a young woman who turned the tables on him. When I researched case details, I immediately thought about the forensic team behind the scenes. It was one of the first times in history forensics were applied to a case with gusto, so I imagined how interesting it’d be if a teenage girl was involved with stopping this notorious killer of women. From there it evolved into Audrey Rose’s story of how her world and Jack’s converge.

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

About Kerri Maniscalco

Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside New York City, where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats. Stalking Jack the Ripper is her debut novel. It incorporates her love of forensic science and unsolved history.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: The Alienation of Courtney Hoffman by Brady Stefani + Giveaway!

2nd Sep 2016 Tamara @ Gone with the Words 2016, Giveaways, Reviews, Reviews by Tamara

Review: The Alienation of Courtney Hoffman by Brady Stefani + Giveaway!The Alienation of Courtney Hoffman by Brady Stefani
Published by SparkPress
Pub Date: 7 June 2016
Pages: 282
Format: Paperback | Source: Author
Genres: Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3 Stars

Fifteen year old Courtney wants to be normal like her friends. But there’s something frighteningly different about her—and it’s not just the mysterious tattoo her conspiracy-obsessed grandfather marked her with before he disappeared. She's being visited in her bedroom at night by aliens claiming to have shared an alliance with her grandfather. And imaginary or not, they're starting to to take over her mind. “Mental illness is a slippery slope,” her mother warns her.

The last thing Courtney wants to do is end up crazy and dead like her grandfather did. But what about the tattoo? And the aliens trying to recruit her? With her new alien-savvy friend Agatha and her apocalyptic visions, Courtney begins connecting the dots between the past, present and future—of her bloodline, and the ancient history that surrounds it. Is she going insane, like her family claims her grandfather did, or is she actually a "chosen one" with ancestral connections to another world? Either way, Courtney has a mission: untangle her past, discover the truth, and stop the apocalypse before it's too late for everyone.

The Alienation of Courtney Hoffman follows Courtney through some crazy and out of this world adventures. When Courtney was seven years old her grandfather tried to drown her in a bathtub. He always spoke of aliens and people being out to get him, and after he died Courtney’s mom wrote him off as crazy. Courtney wants to think her grandfather was crazy too, except she sees the aliens too. Strange things just keep on happening to her, the aliens are visiting her in her dreams at night. So, maybe Courtney and her grandfather aren’t crazy after all. Maybe the aliens are real and it’s up to Courtney to figure out what they want.

This is a sci fi, alien story with some secret society mystery thrown in. Courtney meets a lot of interesting characters along her journey. It’s hard to know who she can and can’t trust. I trusted no one in this story. I thought everyone had ulterior motives, and didn’t know what to believe. Agatha is one of the first people Courtney meets. The aliens also visit Agatha’s brother and she looks exactly like Courtney’s imaginary friend Astra. She is the first one to believe Courtney and not write her off as crazy. All of this can’t be a coincidence.

There is a lot going on in this story and I never knew who to believe or trust. Most of all I felt bad for Courtney, being 15 years old and having to deal with all of this on her own. She isn’t just visited by aliens; she’s also alienated from her family and friends. These events keep her very isolated and alone. It’s hard for her because no one believes her and everyone just wants her to act normal.

The major thing I disliked about this book was Courtney’s mother. I know she’s not supposed to be likable but she was awful to an extreme. She treats Courtney like a nuisance. She believes her daughter is mentally ill and she is constantly shaming her for it or threatening to lock her up in an asylum. She seems to have no desire to actually help Courtney; she just wants her to shut up and act normal. She drove me crazy!

The Alienation of Courtney Hoffman is a great sci fi adventure with some conspiracy thrown into the mix. The bad guys are easy to root against and I found myself rooting for Courtney to figure out this mystery and finally find her place in the world.

I was lucky enough to receive a signed finished copy of this book from the author to giveaway to one lucky reader!

Giveaway

Signed paperback of The Alienation of Courtney Hoffman by Brady Stefani

 

 

Tamara @ Gone with the Words

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Blog Tour: Results May Vary by Bethany Chase | Review + Writing Playlist + Giveaway!

10th Aug 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Blog Tours, Giveaways, Guest Posts, Reviews, Reviews by Jess, Tunes for Books

Blog Tour: Results May Vary by Bethany Chase | Review + Writing Playlist + Giveaway!Results May Vary by Bethany Chase
Published by Ballantine Books
Pub Date: August 9th 2016
Pages: 336
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: Contemporary, Women's Fiction
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

Can you ever really know the person you love?

She never saw it coming. Without even a shiver of suspicion to warn her, Caroline Hammond discovers that her husband is having an affair with a man—a revelation that forces her to question their entire history together, from their early days as high school sweethearts through their ten years as a happily married couple. In her now upside-down world, Caroline begins envisioning her life without the relationship that has defined it: the loneliness of being an “I” instead of a “we”; the rekindled yet tenuous closeness with her younger sister; and the unexpected—and potentially disastrous—attraction she can't get off her mind. Caroline always thought she knew her own love story, but as her husband's other secrets emerge, she must decide whether that story's ending will mean forgiving the man she's loved for half her life, or facing her future without him.

Compassionate and uplifting, Results May Vary is a bittersweet celebration of the fact that in love and in life, we rarely get exactly what we bargained for.

We’ve all heard the stories: after years of marriage, a husband finally admits to himself and to his wife and family that he’s gay. Most recently you may have read about Trey Pearson, a Christian Rocker, who come out as gay and whose story really touched me. The difference here is that in Results May Vary the revelation wasn’t as honest or heartfelt as Trey’s was.

Results May Vary is about the fallout of a betrayal in a marriage. It’s about how Caroline picks up the pieces of a life she was so secure in and how she comes to terms with the realization that she’s never really known the person she loved and married. But it’s also about all the good that will come after such a devastation.

If you’ve visited my blog in the last year, or even the past six months, you’ve probably seen me say at some point that Bethany Chase’s debut, The One That Got Away, was a favorite read last year. This book is really different than that one. I loved Results May Vary in a completely different way. This is one of those books that really made me think about myself and the people I know, about the experiences in my life and how they’ve shaped who I am now. While reading I wondered, “What if that was my man? How would I react?” Devastated, for sure. But I would hope that above all I’d be kind. Caroline’s journey through this was really heart-wrenching at times, but I really admired her in the end. I was glad that we got to see her go through so many ups and downs because it made her character more authentic. I was very happy with where this story left off and felt content, but at the same time I was left feeling like I was saying goodbye to people I knew in real life. They sure stayed in my mind for a long while after.

Results May Vary is easily my favorite book of the year so far, and I think it’s going to be hard to top at this point. The writing is superb and the emotional depth really moved me. I hope you all run out and get a copy! Or you could try to win the extra one I unknowingly purchased, haha.

gwtw-separate-line

And now, here’s Bethany Chase…

Writing Playlist – Results May Vary

This is an interesting thing to write about, because this book has such a different musical personality from my first book, The One That Got Away. When I was writing that, I was listening to a lot of classic soul and 70’s rock (think Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack), and that made its way into the book in many places. Results May Vary’s playlist is a lot more eclectic, both on purpose and by accident.

  • Sugar & the Hi Lows, “Right Time to Tell You”: This song is gorgeous. The melody and harmonies are about as pretty as it gets, and the lyrics are incredibly apropos to Adam’s situation—the narrator has something to confess, has been waiting for the right time to do it, but no time is ever the right time.
  • Fountains of Wayne’s gorgeous “Valley Winter Song”: This is a quintessential New-England-in-winter song for me. It talks about short, dreary winter days and snowstorms and hanging in there till the summer. (True, perfect fact: the Fountains guys are Williams alums just like Caroline and me.)
  • Band of Horses, “No One’s Gonna Love You”: Really sums up Caroline’s feelings toward Adam in the early part of the book.
  • Amos Lee, “Chill in the Air”: Another beautiful breakup song (in this one, it’s the steel guitar that cinches it), and a nod to Caroline’s predilection for mopey singer-songwriters. I think Amos is fantastic, but the man sure can write a good mopey song.
  • The Grateful Dead, “Fire on the Mountain”: This is one of my personal favorite songs that I was delighted to give to a character. I am only an entry-level Deadhead, but the guitar riff on this song is just so mellow and pretty that I could listen to it for hours. Or, you know, 13 minutes, which is the length of the longest live version of it that I own.
  • The Apache Relay, “Katie Queen of Tennessee”: Very pretty little love song from one of Jonathan’s favorite bands.
  • Jo Dee Messina, “Downtime”: Ruby wasn’t kidding that Jo Dee is the queen of upbeat breakup anthems. I’ve always loved this song because it’s about the process of recovering yourself while you get over a breakup, which is really what the book is about. I especially love the line where she says “Your memory’s taking second to a good book and a nice, long bath.”
  • Duke Ellington, “Jeep’s Blues”: this piece gets a very specific call-out in the book because good lord, is it sexy. I’ve always thought blues is the sexiest music there is. (And this stood me in good stead when one of the questions on my online dating survey was “What’s your favorite music to get you in the mood” and I referenced something about one of the Allman Brothers barn-burners, which impressed the musician who is now my husband.)
  • Rodgers & Hart, “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered”: I have an Ella Fitzgerald recording of this song that is one of my favorite all-time pieces of music. Ella’s voice is so beautiful, and the song’s lyrics have this sly, witty charm that—yes, I sound like an old person—you so rarely find anymore. “I’m wild again, beguiled again, a simpering, whimpering child again…” It’s such a great description of being infatuated.
  • First Aid Kit, “Emmylou”: Stunning harmonies in this song, and sweet, upbeat lyrics that remind me of Caroline and Neil. Especially where she says “I’m not asking much of you, just sing, little darling, sing with me” and “Things just don’t grow if you don’t bless them with your patience.”

gwtw-separate-line

Giveaway

Paperback copy of RESULTS MAY VARY by Bethany Chase

 

About Bethany Chase

A native of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, Bethany Chase headed to Williams College for an English degree and somehow came out the other side an interior designer. When she’s not writing or designing, you can usually find her in a karaoke bar. She lives with her lovely husband and occasionally psychotic cat in Brooklyn, three flights up. This is her first novel.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Review: Kings or Pawns by J.J. Sherwood + Giveaway!

8th Aug 2016 Lety @ Gone with the Words 2016, Giveaways, Reviews, Reviews by Lety

Review: Kings or Pawns by J.J. Sherwood + Giveaway!Kings or Pawns by J.J. Sherwood
Series: Steps of Power #1, The Kings #1
Published by Silver Helm
Pub Date: October 1st 2015
Pages: 383
Format: eBook | Source: Author
Genres: Fantasy
Buy the book! | Goodreads
5 Stars

The first book in JJ Sherwood's Steps of Power epic fantasy series. The Kings, Book I: Kings or Pawns is a political intrigue that spirals into an action and adventure series as the final events unfold.

8,994 P.E.—The elven city of Elvorium has become corrupted to the core by politics. With his father dead and the Royal Schism at his back, Prince Hairem ascends the throne as king of the elven world on Sevrigel. Young and bold, Hairem is determined to undo the council’s power, but the brutal murders by an assassin loosed within the city threaten to undermine the king’s ambitions.

As corruption and death threaten to tear Elvorium apart from within, the warlord Saebellus threatens the city from without, laying siege to Sevrigel’s eastern capital. With the elven world crumbling around him, Hairem finds himself in a dangerous political balance between peace and all out war.

This was such an incredible story and start to this high fantasy series. This story had multiple narrators, each telling their story from their own perspective and sometimes taking you into a different part of the map (which is included in the book btw). The tale was gripping, emotional and sucked you into every character’s trials and tribulations. Each character was introduced to you in a way that didn’t have your head spinning like other epic fantasy novels I have read. The pacing of the story was just right, and the world building was one of my favorite parts of this first book. There were some clear good/bad guys from the start that you loved/hated and some plot twists towards the end that I didn’t foresee.

J.J. Sherwood has a great way of describing surroundings and characters that is rich but not overbearing. The images easily manifested in my mind so vividly. All the while I kept thinking what a great movie this would make! J.J. also has an interactive world map on her Steps of Power website that is pretty awesome, and character content coming soon ( I can’t wait! :D).

General Jikum and King Hariem were likeable characters from the start and are our main storytellers in the beginning. The city of Elvorium, which King Hairem has inherited, is being corrupted by those that sit on the council, each an appointed representative of a different elven race. The king soon finds that he holds no real power and the council holds the real control (those jerks!). Meanwhile, their city is at war with Saebellus, a relentless and extremely powerful warlord (with a scary, huge dragon/beast thing). And though General Jikum is a worthy opponent and has been successful in recent battles, there seems to be no end to the fighting and death toll. King Hariem schemes to try and take power back from the council but there is also an assassin loose who has been targeting the Council of Elves, and his efforts seem to only backfire. This story is full of back-stabbing, treachery, heartbreak and mysteries that have yet to unravel themselves. What is that thing in the ice?! Who is this Sellemar character really?! I MUST KNOW!

I enjoyed this book immensely and plan on continuing to read this series. If you are a fan of high fantasy novels go pick this one up immediately!

Giveaway

(This giveaway is run by the author. We are not responsible for choosing or notifying winners, or for the prizes you’re to receive.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Lety @ Gone with the Words

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Blog Tour: Reliquary by Sarah Fine | Excerpt + Giveaway!

20th Jul 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Blog Tours, Giveaways

Blog Tour: Reliquary by Sarah Fine | Excerpt + Giveaway!

Blog Tour: Reliquary by Sarah Fine | Excerpt + Giveaway!Reliquary by Sarah Fine
Series: Reliquary #1
Published by 47North
Pub Date: June 14th 2016
Pages: 280
Format: Paperback | Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Buy the book! | Goodreads

Mattie Carver’s engagement party should have marked the start of her own personal fairy tale. But when her fiancé, Ben, is violently abducted the next morning, her desperate quest to find him rips her away from small-town life and reveals a shattering truth: magic is real—and Ben is hooked. It’s not the stuff of storybooks. It’s wildly addictive, capable of producing everything from hellish anguish to sensual ecstasy almost beyond human endurance.

Determined to find out who took Ben and why, Mattie immerses herself in a shadowy underworld and comes face-to-face with the darkly alluring Asa Ward, a rogue magic dealer, infamous hustler…and her missing fiancé’s estranged brother. Asa has the power to sense magic, and he realizes Mattie is a reliquary, someone with the rare ability to carry magic within her own body, undetected. Asa agrees to help find Ben on one condition: Mattie must use her uncommon talent to assist his smuggling operations. Now, from magic-laced Vegas casinos to the netherworld clubs of Bangkok, Mattie is on a rescue mission. With Asa by her side, she’ll face not only the supernatural forces arrayed against her but the all-too-human temptation that she fears she can’t resist.

I’m so excited to be today’s stop on the Reliquary tour! I have an awesome excerpt to share with you guys, along with a chance for you to win 1 of 3 copies up for grabs! You can also buy it now: Amazon | Barnes & Noble!

Exceprt

RELIQUARY, Chapter one, part one excerpt:

The night before everything fell apart was the best of my life—the last purely happy, uncomplicated hours I would ever have. Looking back, I’m amazed by how lies can soothe the soul, quell every fear, blind you to reality in the most pleasant of ways. Not forever, of course. And only if you really want to buy into the illusion. But back then, I did. Even as the truth sharpened its knives and hunted me down, I refused to see it.

            I was too worried about whether I’d made enough deviled eggs.

 

“We really could have had this catered,” Mom said, stopping to rub my back as I balanced each egg half on the platter and then sprinkled them all with paprika.

I blew a lock of curly hair off my forehead. Outside I could hear laughter and the faint caress of Lake Michigan against the shore. “How many people are out there?” I asked, ignoring her comment. “Should I do another dozen?” It’s my engagement party and I want to feed people, I had said. Just appetizers and beer. I’ll be done with plenty of time to spare.

            Ugh. My mother was right. Again.

Her soft hands closed over my wrists. “We’ll have plenty. But Mattie, you need to be on the deck with Ben, not stuck in the kitchen. Your guests want to congratulate you—that’s the whole point of the party! Let me finish this up.” She held up my hands and glanced at my fingernails, short but coated with a bright-orange polish that set off my mustard-yellow dress and strawberry blond hair. “You’ll ruin these if you keep this up.” Smiling, she grabbed a dishrag and wiped a smear of mayonnaise off my ring finger, and the diamond that now lived there sparkled in the light. “Look—you’ve already done all the prep on the perperoncini wraps and the bruschetta. I’ve got this covered. Go.”

I glanced out to where my fiancé (fiancé!) was standing, a bottle of beer in one hand, flashing that smile that could melt glaciers. His hair ruffled in the breeze off the lake, the sun glinting off golden strands. I bit my lip and stared. Seriously—how had I gotten so lucky? “You sure, Mom? I feel terrible leaving you with all this work.”

She chuckled and shook her head. “Honey, that’s my job.”

My mind skipped through memories of all the times she’d rescued me from my own ambitious schemes. Like when I’d taken on decorations for the senior prom (DIY string chandeliers are harder than they look, damn you, Internet!), or the time I’d decided that I totally had time to make three hundred cupcakes for my sorority’s homecoming party despite the fact that I had to cheer in the actual homecoming game. “I guess I’m the queen of biting off more than I can chew.” I sighed. “Sorry.”

She pulled me into a hug, brushing my unruly hair off my face. “It’s just one of your many charming qualities.” She inclined her head toward Ben, and when I turned, he was watching the two of us, his honey-brown eyes full of affection and invitation. “And clearly Ben thinks so, too.”

“Remind him of that after he takes a look at the supply closet at the clinic, okay?” I nodded as he beckoned me to come outside. “I might have tried to install a new shelving system while he was fishing with Dad yesterday.” Ben had told me that it was my practice, too, even though he was the vet and I was just the lab tech and assistant. I’d wanted to show him I could pull me weight. And I could…but unfortunately, the new shelving system could not.

I explained the catastrophe that had once been Ben’s tidy closet. Mom just said, “We can get Dad over there to take a look at it tomorrow morning. He gets a kick out of fixing other people’s messes.” One of the reasons my dad was the most popular real estate agent in Sheboygan was that he actually seemed to enjoy patching holes and installing crown molding, and it certainly helped with sales.

“You guys are the best parents. I don’t deserve you.”

Mom handed me the egg platter. “Pay me back by making sure Grandpa’s having a decent time, okay?”

“You got it.” I grinned. “I’m a ray of sunshine. I even dressed the part.” I kissed her cheek and scooted through the open sliding door to the deck, where I set the platter on a table already crowded with food.

A warm hand closed over my arm. “Finally,” Ben said, his voice full of gentle teasing.

I leaned my head back and let him kiss me, savoring the taste of taste of beer on his lips. “Mm. I think I read somewhere that anticipation is a fine aphrodisiac.”

He laughed, and it accentuated the adorable dimple in his right cheek. “Is that what this is? I thought maybe you were avoiding me because of the supply closet.”

“You weren’t scheduled to go in until tomorrow!”

His arm slid around my waist, and he pulled me against his muscular body. “I had to go pick up some eyedrops for Barley.” His aging golden retriever was falling apart at the seams, but Ben was determined to give him a good life for as long as possible. “And it’s okay, really. It’ll be easy to fix.”

I buried my face against his shoulder. “You are amazing.”
He tipped my chin up. “And I’m marrying an amazing woman. Come on. Your friend Chelsea’s just gotten here, and I know you haven’t see her in a while. Also, a couple of your aunts and uncles have already asked me when you’ll appear. We need to greet your guests.”

Your guests.

I laced my fingers with Ben’s and looked out over my parents’ sprawling backyard, crowded with my extended family and everyone from my mother’s book club to my preschool gymnastics coach. Chelsea, my best friend from college, lifted her glass and grinned from her spot at the makeshift bar next to the pool.

“They’re not all mine,” I said quietly. Feeling lame, I waved toward Franz, one of a handful of Ben’s patients (or, rather, the family members of Ben’s patients) I had invited to beef up his part of the guest list.

Ben laughed as Franz waved back enthusiastically, looking a little lost and desperate as he stood among a group of my parents’ church friends. “I’m really flattered he decided to come,” Ben said. “He’s much more comfortable surrounded by books and wine.” A professor of anthropology at University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan, Franz had invited us over to his home a time or two, where I spent the evening playing with his dachshund, Lemmie, and Ben and Franz huddled in his library discussing lofty topics they claimed were too boring for me to sit through.

“I’m glad he came, too.” I bit my lip. “But he’s not your family. We could have invited Asa, you know.”

Ben’s grip turned to iron. “You can’t be serious.”

“Come on, Ben. He’s your brother.”

“Listen, even if we could find him, and even if he were sober enough to show up, trust me—you don’t want my brother here.” His jaw clenched over the tremble in his voice. “And I don’t, either. He’s a criminal. A lowlife. He’s—”

“Ben, he’s the only family you’ve got left.” My heart ached for him. His mother had taken off when Ben was only a toddler, and he and Asa had been raised by their father, who died a few years back. “Weddings bring people together!”

“But with some people, that’s more of a curse than a blessing.”

“You don’t think he’d be happy for you?”

“Mattie, the last time we saw each other, he threatened to kill me.”

What?” My eyes went wide. “You never mentioned that before!”

He bowed his head and shrugged. “It was a long time ago, and I don’t like to talk about it. But Asa’s just…he’s messed up. He’s got rage inside of him. And he’s always been jealous of me. Do you think it would help if he got a good look at all of this?”

I leaned my head on his shoulder. “I just wish you two could find your way back to each other. Family is important.”

“I’m building a new family, Mattie. And there’s no one I’d rather do it with.” He shoved his left hand in his pocket, and I knew his fingers were running over his lucky agate. Just one of the odd, endearing habits that had made me fall deeper in love with him. I watched his face as he took a deep breath and closed his eyes. And when he opened them, he smiled down at me. His hand rose from his pocket to stroke my cheek. “You are so beautiful,” he murmured.

I shivered with sudden pleasure. His touch was like a drug to me, and I was the happiest of addicts. As his fingertips trailed down my throat, my entire body tingled, and my hands balled in the fabric of his shirt, barely keeping me from sliding my palms up under it to feel his bare skin. “Do you think anyone would notice if we disappeared for a few minutes?”

My old bedroom was a few steps away, and I was already envisioning myself on the bed. His grip on my hips would be bruising and delicious. My body was already slick and soft and hot. I felt like I was one deft touch away from having an orgasm, right there on the deck. Ben’s hand spread across my back, steadying me, and he glanced down at my flushed cheeks with an appreciative grin. “What were you saying about anticipation?”

“Screw it. Or, wait, screw me. That would be even better.”

“If someone doesn’t bring me a damn plate of food, I’m going to starve!” said a gravelly voice to my left.

Ben released me instantly and clasped his hands behind his back, like a little boy caught stealing. My reaction wasn’t much better—I slapped my hands over my warm cheeks and turned toward the source of the complaint. “Grandpa! I-I was just coming to find you.”

Grandpa looked up at me from his wheelchair. Dad had parked him in the corner of the deck so that he could look out over the lawn. His wide-brimmed straw hat shaded his watery, red-rimmed eyes, and his gnarled hands were clawed over the armrests. “Yes, that much was obvious.”

Great. Grandpa had probably heard every word of my scheme to sneak in a quickie with my boyfriend (fiancé!). I blushed from my forehead to my toes. Could I just control myself for once in my life? “What would you like, Grandpa? Summer roll? Deviled eggs?”

“Surprise me.”

Grabbing a plate and a napkin, I listened to Ben doing his best to make nice—and to Grandpa having none of it. I scooped up a few appetizers from each platter and turned just in time to see Ben reaching out to shake Grandpa’s hand. When my grandfather didn’t let go of the armrests, Ben saved face by giving Grandpa’s hand a friendly pat.

Grandpa jerked away like he’d been burned, first glaring at the back of his liver-spotted hand and then up at Ben. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” he snapped.

Ben blinked down at his fingers, the shock on his face similar to my own. “I’m…sorry?”

“You should be,” Grandpa growled. “Don’t think I don’t know what you’re up to, boy.”

“Try the eggs!” I said, rushing forward with the plate and nearly tripping in my strappy sandals. Stepping between my gaping fiancé and the tight-lipped old man who for some inexplicable reason had chosen the occasion of my engagement party to lose his mind, I put the plate in Grandpa’s lap because hey, snacks can fix nearly anything. (Despite everything that’s happened, I still believe that.)

“Mattie, I think I’m going to…um…I’m going to go make sure Franz is having a good time,” Ben said.

I threw him and apologetic look over my shoulder. “I’ll be there in a few.”

Grandpa didn’t touch the food. His hands were shaking as I knelt next to him, my sunny skirt fanning around me. “Grandpa,” I said gently. “Are you okay?”

“Don’t take that tone with me,” he said, though his voice had lost its edge. “My hospice nurse uses the same damn voice when I dare to express an opinion about anything other than whether I would or would not care for raisins in my oatmeal.” His tremulous fingers clutched at mine, and he sighed. “Never get old, Mattie.”

“I won’t.” My chest squeezed with regret. Just a few weeks ago, the doctors had announced he only had months to live. He looked okay—apart from the rattling couch that kept him up nights and fatigue and pain meds that made him groggy during too many of his waking hours—but lung cancer was taking him down. After the doctors’ verdict, my parents had shipped him all the way to Wisconsin from his home in Arizona so they could take care of him until the end. They’d said it was the best thing for him, and to my surprise he hadn’t objected. But he didn’t seem happy about it—especially because everyone was tiptoeing around him like he was going to keel over any second. I tried to take a different approach. “Hey. In exchange for not using the you’re-a-crazy-old-man voice, I want to know what just happened with Ben.”

He grunted. “It was nothing.”

“Nothing? You refused to shake my fiancé’s hand! I mean, if you overheard us just now, that was as much my fault as—”

“Mattie, how much do you know about him, really?”

“We’ve been together for three years!”

“That doesn’t mean you know his secrets.”

I frowned. “How about you tell me what you’re getting at?”

Grandpa rubbed at his chest as he looked over at the lawn, where Ben was mingling like a pro. “Ask him.”

Frustration began to creep in. Seriously, he had to pick this night to get all protective of my virtue? They’d spoken for two minutes. What could have gone that wrong that fast? “Grandpa, what did he say to you that has you this upset?”

“Find out everything you can about him. You owe it to yourself.” He turned back to me, his chin trembling. “You and I haven’t spoken much since your grandma died.”

I looked away, ashamed. “I’m sorry. I should have written more.” Or called. Or visited.

“Come have lunch with me tomorrow?”
“I have to work.”

“Tuesday, then.”

“Okay.” I’d have to arrange with Jan, our practice manager, to cover the waiting room during what was usually her lunch break, but that wasn’t anything a box of Girl Scout cookies couldn’t fix.

“Mattie?” Ben called from the lawn. “The girl cousins are here.” His tone said, Help.

My aunt Rena’s four teenage daughters were a handful. I stood up and smoothed my skirt. “I’d better get down there before they stick one of their iPhones in Dad’s speaker dock and turn this into a rave.”

Grandpa squinted at me. “Are you speaking English?”

“Never mind.” I rubbed his shoulder. “Enjoy those eggs.”

I floated over to Ben, the incident already behind me. This was my engagement party, and I was marrying the love of my life. Nothing—and especially not my cranky old grandpa—was going to ruin it.

Re-printed with permission from 47North, copyright © 2016 by Sarah Fine

 

Giveaway

3 Finished Copies of RELIQUARY (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

7/17: Polished Page-Turners – Spotlight
7/18: The Eater of Books – Excerpt
7/19: Behind Closed Covers – Spotlight
7/20: Gone with the Words – Excerpt
7/21: Reading is Better with Cupcakes – Excerpt
7/22: Supernatural Snark – Q&A
7/23: Quite the Novel Idea – Spotlight
7/24: The Book Cellar – Review
7/25: Fiction Fare – Q&A
7/26: No BS Book Reviews – Q&A
7/26: Emily Reads Everything – Review
7/27: Stuck in Books – Excerpt
7/27: Reads All the Books – Review
7/28: Ex Libris – Review
7/28: BCS Reviews – Review
7/29: kimberlyfaye reads – Review
7/29: Wandering Bark Books – Review
7/30: Lost in Lit – Review
7/30: Bookish Lifetsyle – Review
7/31: Don’t Fold the Page – Review
7/31: Miranda’s Book Blog – Review

 

About Sarah Fine

Sarah Fine is a clinical psychologist and the author of the Servants of Fate and Guards of the Shadowlands series. She was born on the West Coast, raised in the Midwest, and is now firmly entrenched on the East Coast.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Giveaway: Afterward by Jennifer Mathieu

13th Jul 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Giveaways

Giveaway: Afterward by Jennifer Mathieu

Giveaway: Afterward by Jennifer MathieuAfterward by Jennifer Mathieu
Published by Roaring Brook Press
Pub Date: September 20th 2016
Pages: 320
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads

When Caroline's little brother is kidnapped, his subsequent rescue leads to the discovery of Ethan, a teenager who has been living with the kidnapper since he was a young child himself. In the aftermath, Caroline can't help but wonder what Ethan knows about everything that happened to her brother, who is not readjusting well to life at home. And although Ethan is desperate for a friend, he can't see Caroline without experiencing a resurgence of traumatic memories. But after the media circus surrounding the kidnappings departs from their small Texas town, both Caroline and Ethan find that they need a friend--and their best option just might be each other.

Friends!! Happy Wednesday! Today the wonderful Jennifer Mathieu is sponsring a great giveaway of her upcoming novel, Afterward, along with some cool swag!

 

ARC of AFTERWARD by Jennifer Mathieu Giveaway

 

Good luck!

 

 

About Jennifer Mathieu

Jennifer Mathieu

Jennifer Mathieu started writing stories when she was in kindergarten and now teaches English to middle and high school students. She won the Teen Choice Debut Author Award at the Children’s Choice Book Awards for her first novel, The Truth About Alice. She is also the author of Devoted and Afterward. She lives in Texas with her husband, son, dog, and two cats. Read about her books on her website!

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Bitsy Words: The Devil You Know by Trish Doller + Giveaway!

30th Jun 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Bitsy Words, Giveaways, Reviews, Reviews by Jess, Tunes for Books

Bitsy Words: The Devil You Know by Trish Doller + Giveaway!

Bitsy Words: The Devil You Know by Trish Doller + Giveaway!The Devil You Know by Trish Doller
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Pub Date: June 28th 2016
Pages: 256
Format: Paperback | Genres: New Adult, Romance, Suspense, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
4.5 Stars

From critically-acclaimed author Trish Doller comes a powerful new psychological page-turner perfect for fans of Lauren Oliver and Sara Zarr.

Eighteen-year-old Arcadia wants adventure. Living in a tiny Florida town with her dad and four-year-old brother, Cadie spends most of her time working, going to school, and taking care of her family. So when she meets two handsome cousins at a campfire party, she finally has a chance for fun. They invite her and friend to join them on a road trip, and it's just the risk she's been craving--the opportunity to escape. But what starts out as a fun, sexy journey quickly becomes dangerous when she discovers that one of them is not at all who he claims to be. One of them has deadly intentions.

A road trip turns terrifying in this contemporary story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

The Devil You Know was just released in paperback and since I’ve read AND listened to the audiobook and have yet to post a review for it, I thought now would be a great time to do so, PLUS offer my friends a chance to win a copy!

Trish Doller delivers the perfect Summer suspense beach read in The Devil You Know. Not only is it a page-turner, it’s also SEXY AS HELL. Trish gives us TWO hot guys in this book, but only one of them is a good guy… the other one could turn out to be a straight up killer. DUN DUN DUUUUUN.

I love Trish’s writing. It’s always so lush and atmospheric. I could literally picture the outdoors in this one, as well as feel that humid heat. Grant it, the humidity is not a stretch for me to imagine considering I live in it here in Texas, but she made it to where you’ll feel it anywhere you live.

Audiobook lovers!

I re-read this through audio and OMG, IT WAS FANTASTIC! The audiobook only builds on the suspense in the story. The performance by Susannah Jones was spot on. I highly recommend you listen to this book.

Trish also has some really great visuals and music to go along with The Devil You Know
 

 

Giveaway

The Devil You Know by Trish Doller – Paperback Giveaway!

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Giveaway: Finding Fraser by K.C. Dyer

4th May 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Giveaways

Giveaway: Finding Fraser by K.C. Dyer

Giveaway: Finding Fraser by K.C. DyerFinding Fraser by K.C. Dyer
Published by Berkley
Pub Date: May 3rd 2016
Pages: 368
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads

Escape to Scotland with the delightful new novel that readers have fallen in love with—inspired by Diana Gabaldon’s #1 New York Times bestselling Outlander series.

I met Jamie Fraser when I was nineteen years old. He was tall, red-headed, and at our first meeting at least, a virgin. He was, in fact, the perfect man.

That he was fictional hardly entered into it...

On the cusp of thirty, Emma Sheridan is desperately in need of a change. After a string of failed relationships, she can admit that no man has ever lived up to her idea of perfection: the Scottish fictional star of romantic fantasies the world over—James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser.

Her ideal man might be ripped from the pages of a book, but Emma hopes that by making one life-altering decision she might be able to turn fiction into fact. After selling all her worldly possessions, Emma takes off for Scotland with nothing but her burgeoning travel blog to confide in.

But as she scours the country’s rolling green hills and crumbling castles, Emma discovers that in searching for her own Jamie Fraser, she just might find herself.

Calling all Outlander fans!

The wonderful team at Berkley is giving me the chance to offer our lovely readers a copy of Finding Fraser! Go forth and enter for a chance to win:

 

Copy of Finding Fraser by K.C. Dyer

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Blog Tour: Girl About Town by Adam Shankman & Laura L. Sullivan | Guest Posts + Giveaway!

2nd May 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Blog Tours, Giveaways, Guest Posts

Blog Tour: Girl About Town by Adam Shankman & Laura L. Sullivan | Guest Posts + Giveaway!

Blog Tour: Girl About Town by Adam Shankman & Laura L. Sullivan | Guest Posts + Giveaway!Girl About Town by Adam Shankman, Laura L. Sullivan
Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Pub Date: May 3rd 2016
Genres: Historical, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads

Acclaimed film producer/director Adam Shankman and coauthor Laura Sullivan pen a sparkling, witty, romantic mystery inspired by Nick and Nora Charles and Hollywood glamour.

Not too long ago, Lucille O’Malley was living in a tenement in New York. Now she’s Lulu Kelly, Hollywood’s newest It Girl. She may be a star, but she worries that her past will catch up with her. Back in New York she witnessed a Mafia murder, and this glamorous new life in Tinseltown is payment for her silence.

Dashing Freddie van der Waals, the only son of a New York tycoon, was a playboy with the world at his feet. But when he discovered how his corrupt father really made the family fortune, Freddie abandoned his billions and became a vagabond. He travels the country in search of redemption and a new identity, but his father will stop at nothing to bring him home.

When fate brings Lulu and Freddie together, sparks fly—and gunshots follow. Suddenly Lulu finds herself framed for attempted murder. Together, she and Freddie set out to clear her name. But can they escape their pasts and finally find the Hollywood ending they long for?

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks | The Book Depository

Friends… I’m trying not to freak out too much at the fact that Adam Shankman has written a guest post for my blog. I mean, it’s for his book, but it’s on MY blog. Eeeeeep!!

I’m a HUGE fan of Adam Shankman’s work on movies and tv, and I love anytime he guest judges on So You Think You Can Dance, so OF COURSE I jumped at the chance to participate on the blog tour for his co-authored YA debut!

Both Adam and Laura were kind enough to write up a little something for us today. Thank you both so much! These picks have me very excited about your story.

Songs that represent the book, a scene, and/or character(s)

Adam

  • I Won’t Dance– This is one of those brilliant Fred Astaire classics remixed. We used it in Step Up 2, and it’s one of the best sequences we ever shot, and perfectly illustrates the delightful cat and mouse that Lulu and Freddie play with each other. They act like they don’t like each other, but its clear from the start; they’re going to end up dancing the night away in each other’s arms.
  • Diamonds by Rihanna – Here’s a Lulu and Freddie song that I love that’s all about how beautiful they both are, separately and together! Also, I can’t help feeling like the Hollywood fame ideal is for Lulu to be shiny and glamorous and tough…like Diamonds!
  • Lose Yourself by Eminem – For Ruby. This is my favorite song about blind ambition. That’s all Ruby is about: Blind ambition.
  • It’s All About the Benjamins by Puff Daddy and The Notorious B.I.G. – I’m not sure a better song has ever been written that so audaciously and casually celebrates obscene wealth. The whole experience of this song is about being hypnotized, seduced, and enslaved by material things. Welcome to the world of Jacob Van der Waals, Freddie’s father.
  • Someday by Rob Thomas – This song just so beautifully captures the spirit of hope and optimism that Lulu and Freddie bring out in each other. This is a modern “Over the Rainbow” for a breezy summer day.
  • Puttin’ On the Ritz Club Remix –Freddie and his fiancée Violet’s life in the beginning of the book is all New York society and parties. This song says it all and the remix is fantastic.
  • Big Time by Peter Gabriel is a brilliant song about how shallow fame can be. It’s the monster Hollywood crucible.
  • Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield – This song is so friggin me it’s embarrassing and it perfectly lays out Lulu and Freddie’s optimism about their future and their belief that they have the ability to write their own story of their future…although, that would leave me without a job.

 

Laura

I listened to a lot of period music while I was working on Girl About Town. The era produced so many wonderful songs, from passionate love songs to completely silly numbers. These are some of my favorites from the setting of Girl About Town.

Gershwin’s “Sunny Disposish” has been one of my favorites ever since I heard it in Jeeves and Wooster. (Here’s Hugh Laurie as Bertie Wooster and Stephen Fry as Jeeves performing that version) It captures the brightness and optimism of Lulu and Freddie, and the hope that could permeate Depression-era America even in the darkest times.

Irving Berlin’s “Puttin’ on the Ritz” is Freddie’s song during his billionaire days. Later when he’s a train-hopping bum, he’s more of a “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” or “Big Rock Candy Mountain” kind of guy.

When I think of Lulu, the song “Baby Face” always plays in my head. It is kind of a simple song on the surface, and the core message is about falling in love with a pretty face, but it resonates because of course Freddie (and the reader) knows that Lulu is so much more. It also makes me think of the Barbara Stanwyck film Baby Face, which is my favorite Pre-Code movie. It’s subtle, but the things that happen in that movie are still pretty scandalous.

Though it is a little after the 1930s, Hoagy Carmichael’s “How Little We Know” is the soundtrack for Freddie and Lulu’s early relationship when everything is hopeful but uncertain. (Here is Lauren Bacall singing it in To Have and Have Not, another favorite movie) For the bliss of their relationship in the end, picture Fred Astaire singing “Cheek to Cheek.”

 

Tour Schedule

Week 1:
5/2: Gone With the Words – Guest Post
5/3: Live to Read – Review
5/4: Rebelle Reads – Vintage Lookbook
5/5: Dark Faerie Tales – Review
5/6: The Bookkeeper’s Secrets – Graphic Art

Week 2:
5/9: In Wonderland – Review
5/10: Wandering Bark Books – Top 10
5/11: Here’s to Happy Endings – Review
5/12: One Night Book Stand – Q&A
5/13: The Petite Book Blogger – Review

Giveaway

3 Finished Copies of  GIRL ABOUT TOWN (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Invision by Sherrilyn Kenyon Blog Tour | Series Spotlight + Giveaway!

24th Apr 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Blog Tours, Giveaways

Invision by Sherrilyn Kenyon Blog Tour | Series Spotlight + Giveaway!

Invision by Sherrilyn Kenyon Blog Tour | Series Spotlight + Giveaway!Invision by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Series: Chronicles of Nick #7
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
Pub Date: May 3rd 2016
Buy the book! | Goodreads

***Please note if you haven’t read Instinct, there could be spoilers in the synopsis below.

One boy . . .
Many demons.

Think there’s a lot of pressure on your shoulders? Nick Gautier was born to bring about the end of the world . . . it’s not easy being the heir of a demon overlord.

But Nick is determined to thwart his destiny and get into a good college. To be more than his genetics and prophecy foretell. No one is ever going to tell this stubborn Cajun who and what he really is. Or how to live his life.

Not even the Fates of the Universe. But now that he and his team of ancient gods and demons have claimed the Eye of Ananke and he sees the missteps of the future, he has to battle the demons within that are far deadlier and more treacherous than any he’s battled before. All the while his arch nemesis is back and determined to reclaim his place as the harbinger for Armageddon. Even if it means killing Nick and barbecuing everyone he loves to do so.

Hello, friends! Happy Sunday! Today I’ve partnered with the kind people of St. Martin’s Press to offer you an awesome giveaway!

Invision is the 7th book in the Chronicles of Nick series and it’s set to release on May 3rd. Check out the excerpt below:

Excerpt

Hanging his head, he pushed his chair back to face her. “What do you want me to say, Kode? You saw what I did. It’s hopeless. I’m going to end this world. Whether it’s tomorrow or a thousand years from now. I’m going to lose it all. Break bad and tear humanity apart. . . . Don’t matter what we do. Whatever we try. We just delay the inevitable outcome. So I’m going to sit here with my eats. And just . . .” he let his voice trail off as the full horror of his future played through his mind for the five millionth time.

He was the end of everything.

Everyone.

All he loved.

The entire world would one day fall to Nick’s army of demons.

Yeah, there was something to put on his college applications. That ought to have schools lining up to accept him. Who wouldn’t want that as their alumnus? We have graduated senators, presidents, movers-and-shakers, and the Malachai demon who ate the world whole…

It was the one reality Nick wanted to deny and couldn’t. Everything eventually came back to that one inescapable fact he wanted to runaway from and couldn’t.

I’m only sixteen. Too young to deal with this crap.

He was supposed to be worried about his grades. About keeping his girl happy. Staying out of trouble. His mom finding his friend’s porn magazines stashed in his room. Getting to work on time. Making curfew.

Not hellgates and demons coming for the throats of his family and friends.

Definitely not about the fact that his birthright was to bring on the destruction of all humanity.

 

Trailer

Check out the trailer!

 

Giveaway

AND! Here’s your chance to win a copy!

Copy of Invision (Chronicles of Nick #7) by Sherrilyn Kenyon

 

 

 

But what if I haven’t read the series yet, Jess? DON’T YOU WORRY! Griffin Teen is hosting a giveaway of the first six books! A SERIES GIVEAWAY, GUYS!!

 

To enter, you’ll have to do a little scavenging! Go to the Griffin Teen website and look for the next clue that looks like this one here:

 

Good luck!

 

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Giveaway: The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare by M.G. Buehrlen

20th Apr 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Giveaways

Giveaway: The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare by M.G. Buehrlen

Giveaway: The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare by M.G. BuehrlenThe 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare by M.G. Buehrlen
Series: Alex Wayfare #1
Published by Diversion Books
Pub Date: April 14th 2015
Buy the book! | Goodreads

For as long as 17-year-old Alex Wayfare can remember, she has had visions of the past. Visions that make her feel like she’s really on a ship bound for America, living in Jamestown during the Starving Time, or riding the original Ferris wheel at the World’s Fair.

But these brushes with history pull her from her daily life without warning, sometimes leaving her with strange lasting effects and wounds she can’t explain. Trying to excuse away the aftereffects has booked her more time in the principal’s office than in any of her classes and a permanent place at the bottom of the social hierarchy. Alex is desperate to find out what her visions mean and get rid of them.

It isn’t until she meets Porter, a stranger who knows more than should be possible about her, that she learns the truth: Her visions aren’t really visions. Alex is a Descender – capable of traveling back in time by accessing Limbo, the space between Life and Afterlife. Alex is one soul with fifty-six past lives, fifty-six histories.

Fifty-six lifetimes to explore: the prospect is irresistible to Alex, especially when the same mysterious boy with soulful blue eyes keeps showing up in each of them. But the more she descends, the more it becomes apparent that someone doesn’t want Alex to travel again. Ever.

And will stop at nothing to make this life her last.

Today I’m happy to be working with Diversion Books to offer you a chance to win a copy of The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare! The second book in this series comes out next Tuesday so this is your chance to catch up!

The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare (Alex Wayfare #1) by M.G. Buehrlen

 

About The Untimely Deaths of Alex Wayfare:

Giveaway: The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare by M.G. BuehrlenThe Untimely Deaths of Alex Wayfare by M.G. Buehrlen
Series: Alex Wayfare #2
Published by Diversion Books
Pub Date: April 26th 2016
Buy the book! | Goodreads

Time travel, adventure, and romance come together in the highly anticipated sequel to THE 57 LIVES OF ALEX WAYFARE.

Alex Wayfare is back in Base Life. Her 57th life. She's in Chicago searching for Blue, who travels with her whenever she goes back in time. She's never met him in Base Life, but she's hoping he'll remember her in the present, and that he'll want to be with her like he does in the past.

Their romance is put on hold when she's attacked by henchmen working for Durham Gesh, who wants to harness her abilities for his own ugly purposes. But that threat seems insignificant when she returns home to face her younger sister's deteriorating health. Researching every possible remedy, from ancient herbs to forgotten medical advancements, Alex seeks a cure for her sister's cancer in the past.

The journeys are never simple. From the countryside of eighteenth-century China to a top-secret research lab in 1970s Michigan, Alex is plagued by enemy Descenders who seem to anticipate her every move, and realizes she may have a traitor in her small band of allies.

A traitor who might bring Gesh straight to Alex's front door.

The only person Alex feels she can trust is Blue. But there are secrets Alex doesn't know secrets about Blue, about her team, and about herself. And the biggest secret of all will change her life, or her lives, forever.

Excerpt

Audrey’s hospital room is dark and shadowy, with only the light from a table lamp spilling across the floor. Her signature black stocking cap is pulled over her ears. Mom must’ve brought it from home, and I’m glad she did. I didn’t like that Audrey’s head was bare. It made her look cold. Always cold.

She’s curled onto her side, hands fisted, clutching the threadbare quilt Gran made her when she was twelve, the well-worn satin edging pressed against her chin. Mom must’ve brought that for her too. As a kid, Audrey used to suck on the corners of her favorite blankets. I can remember how she looked as a toddler, curled up in a ball, her beautiful dark blond mop of hair swept over her sweaty forehead, her blanket tucked between her lips, her eyes squished tight so her dreams wouldn’t escape. I used to climb into her bed and curl up behind her. I always seemed to find sleep easier that way, with her breath keeping pace with mine.

I often wonder what her life might’ve been like if I hadn’t created the Variant. What if in that other reality Audrey never had leukemia, never felt this kind of pain and exhaustion, never missed out on taking the stairs two at a time? And if so, does that make her cancer my fault?

I’m too steeped in those thoughts to notice I’m crawling in behind her like I used to, wanting to curl up next to her. The mattress squeaks. I snap out of it and realize what I’m doing. I shouldn’t disrupt her sleep, I shouldn’t chance hurting her. There are tubes snaking across her arms, held on with tape. But before I can stand, she stirs and turns over.

“You’re back from your trip.” She stretches her arms over her head and coughs.

I frown at the sound, wishing I hadn’t woken her. “Go back to sleep,” I whisper, moving to leave, but her slim fingers find my wrist, and she pulls me down onto my back so I’m lying next to her.

“No, I was hoping you’d come see me.” She smiles, her soft gray eyes creased at the edges, her lids heavy with sleep. “Tell me everything.”

I shake my head before images of the last week resurface. I don’t want to think about my trip, and I especially don’t want to think about the hand she’s holding, and how it helped bury two dead bodies. “Later,” I say, staring up at the sphere of soft lamplight on the ceiling tiles. “Tell me about your week. What did you do while I was gone?”

“Besides almost dying?”

The ghostly red ambulance lights. The snow. My frozen feet. I press her hand between both of mine, holding on tight. “Besides that.”

She sends a short, low laugh floating above us. “It was fraught with drama, my dear, let me tell you.” She uses a smoky, dark voice, like an old Hollywood starlet’s. “Let’s see. Gran found raccoons sneaking into her greenhouse and declared war. Pops lost his pipe and found it in the dishwasher, of all places. It’s still a mystery how it got there, but I suspect the Anti-Tobacco League had something to do with it. Hmmmm. What else? Claire lost a tooth so she got dibs on picking the flick for movie night.”

I roll my eyes. “How fun for you.”

“Wasn’t that bad. Some new Cinderella retelling with a lot of twirling and singing. The main guy was hot and made me forget the crushing agony flowing through my veins for an hour, so there’s that.”

I smile to myself, knowing full well the healing powers of Hot Guy Distraction. “What about you? What did you do?”

“Me?” Audrey looks down at her blanket, rubbing the satin edge between her fingers. “Same old. Napped. Puked. Napped some more. Oh, and I decided to quit school.”

I sit up. “What?”

She sits up too and folds her legs. Our knees touch. “I quit the homebound program. Mom said I could. I couldn’t keep up, what with all the napping and puking, so I quit.”

“But,” I say, my mind whirring as the circuits scramble to connect, “you can’t quit high school.”

“Yes I can. It’s one of the universal perks of having cancer, you know. I can do anything. Quit school. Have ice cream for breakfast. Cancel our Scotland trip.”

“Wait, what?” She hands me all this new, huge information so casually, like it’s nothing, and it feels like she jumped onto a moving train and I’m running alongside, reaching, stretching, unable to catch up. “Why would you cancel? It’s your dream to go to Scotland.”

She shrugs. “Doesn’t matter. I can’t go with this stupid clot. Too risky. I have to take it easy.”

“OK. The trip can wait. We can postpone it until you’re better. But what about school? Will you pick back up in the fall?”

She tilts her head to the side with the same expression Levi gave me when he told me Blue was a traitor. Half sympathy, half pity. Like I’m missing the huge, glaring point, but I’m not. I know the point. I just don’t want to face it yet.

Facing things makes them real.

“There’s no guarantee I’ll get a fall,” Audrey says. “I’ve got what I’ve got now, and that’s what matters. I want to make the most of my now. There may not be a later.”

And there it is. Making things real.

My throat tightens. I’m shaking my head, trying not to hear her words, trying to hold back a sudden threat of tears.

How can she say that? That she may not have a fall? Like she has an expiration date stamped across her forehead. Like, hurry up and do everything now because Audrey won’t last until August.

She takes my hands. “I’m all right, Allie. I’ve been preparing for this. Everything’s going to be all right. All right?”

I nod because I’m a liar. I pat her hands and turn away, sliding my feet to the floor, because I can’t have this conversation right now. “Get some sleep.” The words scrape against the knot in my throat. “I’ll come by and see you in the morning.” I don’t look at her because I can’t start crying.

I may never stop.

I try my best to push the sobs down, keep them silent and trembling beneath the surface. I need to disappear, go to a place where I can let all these emotions out, or else I might self-destruct.

Most people—when their worst fear comes crashing into their lives like a freight train, ripping their entire world from their hands—have to face those tragedies head on. Excruciating minute by excruciating minute.

Or die trying.

But I’m not most people.

I have an escape. I can travel to other worlds, slip into another pair of shoes. Time travel, as much hell as it’s given me, provides some relief. It gives me time to regroup, recharge, and resurface once I’ve processed things. And when I return to Base Life? The present day? No time will have passed at all. I get to disappear for a while without anyone noticing I was gone.

I’m thankful for this gift, this power, because as crazy as time travel may seem, it’s the only thing keeping me sane anymore. The only thing keeping me from falling to pieces and scattering across the floor.

I want to talk to Blue, tell him what I’m going through, have him wrap his arms around me, but I can’t risk going back in time without Porter there to make sure I don’t mess up. I’m still new at this. Still green.

But there is one thing I can do. I can disappear into the Black. I can ascend to Limbo and rest there, for as long as it takes, before I come back down and face what’s before me.

Death and more death, everywhere I turn.

In the pocket of my jeans, my fingers close around my Polygon stone, my little piece of déjà vu that helps me ascend. My soul crawls out of my skin and reaches for Limbo. The billowy, familiar ribbons of the Black slink and roll into Audrey’s room. It swirls and wraps around me, taking me as its prisoner. It pulls me into its arms, and I am gone.

 

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Lies I Live By by Lauren Sabel | Harper Summer 2016 Tour + Giveaways!

16th Mar 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Blog Tours, Giveaways

Lies I Live By by Lauren Sabel | Harper Summer 2016 Tour + Giveaways!

It is my pleasure to be today’s stop in the AWESOME Harper Summer 2016 Tour!!

Today it’s all about…

Lies I Live By by Lauren Sabel

Pub Date: May 31st 2016

Romance, intrigue, and action collide in this psychic twist on the classic spy novel.

Callie Sinclair is literally out of her mind; as the government’s youngest psychic spy, she finds valuable information for top-secret missions. Her work keeps her headaches at bay, but it means she must lie to everyone she loves, including her longtime boyfriend, Charlie.

When a new psychic arrives at the office, Callie can’t help but flirt; Jasper already knows her in a way Charlie never will.

But as her love life gets more complicated, so do her visions. People halfway around the world seem to be in danger…and people in her own backyard, too. If Callie can’t find a way to alter future events, she could lose the people she loves—and her mind. Literally.

Lauren Sabel’s enthralling, romantic novel captures the thrill of exploring a unique power in a dangerous world.

Book Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | The Book Depository

About the Author

Lauren Sabel has a master’s degree in creative writing from Naropa University and currently teaches college writing courses online. She has lived in Rome, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and London and currently resides with her husband in Boulder, Colorado.

Find out everything you’d like to know about Lauren, her books, and connect with her online by going to her website!

Facebook Chat

Come and chat with authors Julie Eshbaugh, Lindsey Klingele, Michelle Andreani, Mindi Scott & Paula Stokes TONIGHT from 8 PM9 PM in EDT! Go to facebook.com/HarperSummer2016Tour for details!

 

Giveaway

#1 – A Harper Teen Summer 2016 Catalog prize pack of 45 books*.

*Titles not included: The Crown by Kiera Cass, Escape from Asylum by Madeline Roux, Sing by Vivi Greene, The Countdown by Kimberly Derting, & United As One by Pittacus Lore

In addition to the one massive prize winner, we will also have 4 winners who will be able to select 3 titles they want from the Summer 2016 Catalog.

US Only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#2 – 5 Finished Copies from the Harper Teen Winter 2016 Catalog

5 books are: Front Lines by Michael Grant, Revenge & the Wild by Michelle Modesto, The Lifeboat Clique by Kathy Parks, Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin, & The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig 

US Only 

How to enter:

Collect the daily word from each blog stop during the Harper Summer 2016 Tour (a total of 50). Once you’ve collected them all, email the complete saying to: [email protected]

Prize Rules:

  • Winner must have a valid US mailing address to receive the prize
  • Winner must be over 13
  • Only one (1) entry per person for Prize #2 – duplicates will be deleted.
  • Only a completed phrase will be accepted as an entry – do not email each word/phrase daily. Wait until you have the complete saying and then email in.
  • All email submissions must be received by 11:59 PM EST 3/31/2016.
  • Winners will be selected 4/1/2016 and will have 48 hours to claim their prize before another is selected.
  • Participating blogs and bloggers are not responsible for unsent, damaged, and/or stolen prizes offered by the publisher.

 

Visit the other stops on this tour!



 

 

About Lauren Sabel

Lauren Sabel

Lauren Sabel has a master’s degree in creative writing from Naropa University and currently teaches college writing courses online. She has lived in Rome, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and London and currently resides with her husband in Boulder, Colorado.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Heather Demetrios’s Ten Random Facts About BLOOD PASSAGE | Blog Tour + Giveaway!

1st Mar 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Blog Tours, Giveaways, Guest Posts

Heather Demetrios’s Ten Random Facts About BLOOD PASSAGE | Blog Tour + Giveaway!

Heather Demetrios’s Ten Random Facts About BLOOD PASSAGE | Blog Tour + Giveaway!Blood Passage by Heather Demetrios
Series: Dark Caravan Cycle #2
Published by Balzer + Bray
Pub Date: March 1st 2016
Buy the book! | Goodreads

A jinni who's lost everything.

A master with nothing to lose.

A revolutionary with everything to gain.

When Nalia arrives in Morocco to fulfil Malek's third and final wish she's not expecting it to be easy. Though Nalia is free from the shackles that once bound her to Malek as his slave, she's in more danger than ever before.

Meanwhile, Malek's past returns with a vengeance as he confronts the darkness within himself, and Raif must decide what's more important: his love for Nalia, or his devotion to the cause of Arjinnan freedom.

Set upon by powerful forces that threaten to break her, Nalia encounters unexpected allies and discovers that her survival depends on the very things she thought made her weak. From the souks of Marrakech to the dunes of the Sahara, The Arabian Nights come to life in this dazzling second installment of the Dark Passage Cycle.

Happy March 1st, friends! I’m so happy to be taking part in Heather Demetrios’s blog tour for BLOOD PASSAGE today!

Ten Random Facts About BLOOD PASSAGE

1. It takes place in Morocco.

2. I travelled to Morocco to do research – I slept in the Sahara, went to the souks—all of it.

3. Some of this book takes places in a cave and I checked a gorgeous one in Virginia called Lorraine Cavern.

4. This was the book I was the most scared to write. I didn’t want it to be a boring middle book. I’m really proud of it.

5. When I was in Morocco, my driver told me stories about the jinn, which are a big part of Islamic culture.

6. I have two rings with an eight-pointed star, just like Solomon’s Sigil in the book.

7. The cover for the series changed at the last minute, so Blood Passage has a different cover and came out five months later than it was scheduled to.

8. A lot of the lore comes from an amazing book that has helped me so much with the series: Legends of the Fire Spirits, which has jinn mythology from around the world.

9. I’ll be launching the book with Danielle Paige at Books of Wonder in Manhattan– her last book in the Dorothy Must Die series comes out just a few weeks after Blood Passage.

10. When writing the book, I burned Moroccan amber oil and listened to a lot of Ravi and Anoushka Shankar’s music.

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

WEEK ONE
February 22: Such A Novel Idea REVIEW
February 23: A Dream Within A Dream 10’s LIST
City of Books REVIEW
February 24: The Cover Contessa EXCERPT
February 25: Adventures of A Book Junkie INTERVIEW
Wholly-Books REVIEW
February 26: Falling For YA MUSIC PLAYLIST
Bookaholics Anonymous REVIEW

WEEK TWO
February 29: Swoony Boys Podcast REVIEW
March 1: Gone With The Words 10 RANDOM THINGS
What Sarah Read REVIEW
March 2: Zach’s YA Reviews REVIEW
March 3: Curling Up WIth A Good Book REVIEW
Wishful Endings REVIEW
March 4: Bookfever REVIEW

 

 

About Heather Demetrios

Heather Demetrios

When she’s not traipsing around the world or spending time in imaginary places, Heather Demetrios lives with her husband in New York City. Originally from Los Angeles, she now calls the East Coast home. Heather has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is a recipient of the PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award for her debut novel, Something Real. Her other novels include Exquisite Captive, the first in the Dark Caravan Cycle fantasy series, and I’ll Meet You There. She is the founder of Live Your What, an organization dedicated to fostering passion in people of all ages and creating writing opportunities for underserved youth.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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Giveaway: The Immortals by Jordanna Max Brodsky

24th Feb 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Giveaways

Giveaway: The Immortals by Jordanna Max Brodsky

Giveaway: The Immortals by Jordanna Max BrodskyThe Immortals by Jordanna Max Brodsky
Series: Olympus Bound #1
Published by Orbit Books
Pub Date: February 16th 2016
Buy the book! | Goodreads

Manhattan has many secrets. Some are older than the city itself.

The city sleeps. Selene DiSilva walks her dog along the banks of the Hudson. She is alone—just the way she likes it. She doesn't believe in friends, and she doesn't speak to her family. Most of them are simply too dangerous.

In the predawn calm, Selene finds the body of a young woman washed ashore, gruesomely mutilated and wreathed in laurel. Her ancient rage returns. And so does the memory of a promise she made long ago—when her name was Artemis.

"The Immortals is a lively re-imagining of classical mythology with an engaging premise, a page-turning plot, and an eye for the arresting and uncanny in contemporary urban life." ―Deborah Harkness, New York Times bestselling author of A Discovery of Witches

"Brodsky's writing has claws...They sink in with the first word and don't let go until you are finished with the book." ―Darynda Jones, New York Times bestselling author

"Irresistible...a page-turner that deftly weaves action, romance, and a dash of intellectual heft into one seamless whole." ―Dustin Thomason, New York Times bestselling author

"Plays with more modern mythology, employing New York's own secret places and storied history to great effect. This intelligent, provocative fantasy breathes exciting new life into old, familiar tales." ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Hello, friends!! Today I’ve partnered with Orbit Books to offer this super cool giveaway of a book I’m really looking forward to reading!

There’s a whole series of videos by the author where she introduces the characters. Check out olympusbound.com to see all of them! There you’ll be able to also read an excerpt! Here’s the Introduction video to get you started…

 

Giveaway

The Immortals Giveaway

 

 

About Jordanna Max Brodsky

Jordanna Max Brodsky hails from Virginia, where she spent four years at a science and technology high school pretending it was a theater conservatory. She holds a degree in History and Literature from Harvard University.  When she’s not wandering the forests of Maine, she lives in Manhattan with her husband. She often sees goddesses in Central Park and wishes she were one.

Jess @ Gone with the Words

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