YOU GUYS! My cover reveal is scheduled for 30 August. I MIGHT FAINT!
If you’ve got a blog and would be interesting in hosting the Isla’s Inheritance cover reveal that day (or really any day after that; I’m not fussy) you can sign up here. There will be a giveaway! And a pretty cover! And kittens juggling*!
*Note: Cover reveal will probably not include kittens juggling.
Isla was content to let her father keep his secrets, but now she can’t stand the touch of iron and her dreams are developing a life of their own. She must discover the truth — before it’s too late.
Seventeen-year-old Isla Blackman only agrees to participate in a Halloween party séance because Dominic, an old crush, wants to. She is sure nothing will happen when they try to contact the spirit of her mother. But the séance receives a chilling reply.
SHE IS NOT DEAD.
Isla doesn’t want to upset her father by prying into the family history he never discusses. When the mysterious and unearthly Jack offers to help her discover the truth, Isla must master her new abilities to protect her loved ones from enemies she never knew existed.
I can’t get to ten on this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, primarily because if enough people recommend a book (such as The Fault in our Stars by John Green), I will usually read it fairly promptly…which makes it ineligible for this particular list! I’ve also excluded books that have been brought to my attention by the authors themselves—I don’t mean via spammy advertising here (that NEVER works), but books where I’ve gotten to know the author on Twitter or similar and then decided to buy it.
So, here is my list, such as it is!
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. I’ve lost track of the number of people that have recommended this book to me, and after including it in my list of books I’m not sure about reading, I got even more endorsements. I’ve bought the paperback and it’s on my to-be-read pile.
Everything by Mary Renault. That’s not the name of the book, mind you! But I recently read her book The King Must Die, and a friend, on seeing this via Facebook, insisted I have to read all her other books set in Ancient Greece — which I think is all of them. I’ve been reading a lot about the era recently, both fiction and non-fiction, so I may well do. (Currently I’m a little bit in love with Achilles from The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller.)
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. After I reviewed The Raven Boys, it was suggested that I pick up this book. I will eventually, if Stiefvater’s books keep being as awesome as The Raven Boys was, but I really want to read the rest of The Raven Cycle first — at least, that part of it that is already available in paperback!
Boneshaker by Cherie Priest. A zombie-mad friend recommended this one, and the blurb sounds really interesting: zombies, steampunk technology and an alternate history America? Ok, why not!
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. A couple of friends gave rave reviews to this book on Goodreads and their blogs. On top of that, Jay Kristoff (who wrote The Lotus War trilogy) is co-writing a book called Illuminae with Amie, and he also recommended this. These Broken Stars is firmly on my wish list but I haven’t bought it yet.
Five facts about Tethered
1. Although the story takes place in my Travellers Universe (the main setting for my scifi books so far), the characters in Tethered are completely unrelated to my time-travellers from Keir and Gethyon. But there is a reference to Quin and her companions in the book (spot it if you can!).
2. The major-domo Pevanne is named after a dressage horse I rode in my teens, because of the very precise way he moved, which always made me feel as if he was carefully considering whether to put each hoof down in the mud or not. In my mind, the major-domo was equally precise and a little fussy about his moves. It’s funny the things that come out when you write.
3. Neither Zander nor Tyree were as tall in the original version as they were in the final. But I’d written a lot of short characters (being short myself, so easier to judge how it feels to be small), and I felt Tyree would be quite Amazonian in appearance rather than petite. As for Zander…making him taller than Tyree was just another part of the aggravation for her. And it was all about the irritation factor with them.
4. Tyree’s people are called the Inc-Su – taken from ‘succubus’ for the female and ‘incubus’ for the male. And since they have no gender bias (men and women really are equal in status, aside from Great Mother M’roc who leads the council) the only reason the male version comes before the female version is because Inc-Su sounds better than Su-Inc.
5. The title Tethered actually comes from a song by Elliott Minor that I was listening to at the time, although nothing else in the song relates to the story in any way. I just liked the word.
She can kill with a kiss. But can assassin Tyree also heal one man’s grief, and bring peace to a galaxy threatened by war?
For Tyree of the Su, being an assassin isn’t simply something she was trained for. It’s the sole reason for her existence. A genetically enhanced clone—one of many in Refuge—she’s about to learn her secluded lifestyle, and that of all her kind, is under threat by a race capable of neutralizing their special talents to leave them defenseless.
For Zander D’joren, being a diplomat has not only cost him his appearance, but also the love of his life. Scarred, grieving, he must nonetheless continue in his role as co-delegate to the fearsome Tier-vane or risk a conflict that could only end one way.
Now both of them need to keep each other alive and maintain a perilous deception long enough to renegotiate the treaty with the Tier-vane, or throw their people into a war that could wipe out Terrans and Inc-Su alike. But there’s more at stake than humanity, whether true or modified. Can the love growing between them save them both? Or merely hasten their destruction?
A science fiction romance novella. Add it to your Goodreads shelf HERE.
Enter to win a DNA necklace and a $5 Breathless Press voucher HERE! Open internationally.
After spending twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay is now a stay-at-home mum who writes scifi and the supernatural. Somewhere along the way a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moment playing guitar very badly, punishing herself with freestyle street dance, and studying the Dark Side of the Force. Although happily settled in the historical town of Colchester in the UK with her husband of 21 years and three little monsters, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.
Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade, blogging at Spacefreighters Lounge, Adventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres. Her works include a YA science fiction novel—Gethyon—published through BURST (Champagne Books), two self-published short stories (Terms & Conditions Apply and The Bones of the Sea), and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place).
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Writing With a Partner
About Dream Boy
Annabelle Manning feels like she’s doing time at her high school in Chilton, Virginia. She has her friends at her lunchtime table of nobodies. What she doesn’t have are possibilities. Or a date for Homecoming. Things get more interesting at night, when she spends time with the boy of her dreams. But the blue-eyed boy with the fairytale smile is just that—a dream. Until the Friday afternoon he walks into her chemistry class.
One of friends suspects he’s an alien. Another is pretty sure it’s all one big case of deja vu. While Annabelle doesn’t know what to think, she’s willing to believe that the charming Martin Zirkle may just be her dream come true. But as Annabelle discovers the truth behind dreams—where they come from and what they mean—she is forced to face a dark reality she had not expected. More than just Martin has arrived in Chilton. As Annabelle learns, if dreams can come true, so can nightmares.
Enter here to win $10 Gift Certificate to Amazon or Barnes & Noble (winner’s choice)
PLUS a nifty Dream Boy T-shirt!
About the Authors
Mary Crockett likes turtles, licorice, and the Yankees. Madelyn Rosenberg likes cats, avocados, and the Red Sox. Luckily they both like the weirdness of dreams (and each other) enough to write novels together. The friendship has survived three moves, six kids and countless manuscript revisions. Madelyn lives just outside of Washington, D.C. Mary remains in the mountains near their hometowns in southwestern Virginia.
Cadence awakes in a hospital to find her husband and daughter dead, killed in an earthquake. So when her guardian angel appears and offers her a chance to go back in time with all the knowledge she has, she accepts, desperate to prevent their deaths.
She shoots back eleven years to her fourteen-year-old self, and faces high school all over again. She is determined to do everything better, including preventing the loss of her best friend and not dating any of her original, drama-inducing boyfriends. Her main focus is on her future husband, who she won’t meet for several years.
But James Gordon crosses her path. While she wishes to remain single, the bad boy pursues her. He threatens to disrupt everything that is to come as she begins to develop unwanted feelings for him, and distract her from her original goal: to save her future family.
Born and raised in Australia, Katie’s early years of day dreaming in the “bush”, and having her father tell her wild bedtime stories, inspired her passion for writing. After graduating High School, she became a foreign exchange student where she met a young man who several years later she married. Now she lives in Arizona with her husband, daughter and their dog.She has a diploma in travel and tourism which helps inspire her writing. She is currently at school studying English and Creative Writing.
Katie loves to out sing her friends and family, play sports and be a good wife and mother. She now works as a Clerk with a lien company in Arizona to help support her family and her schooling. She loves to write, and takes the few spare moments in her day to work on her novels.
Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.
This book. I’m really torn about giving it four stars instead of 4.5 or five, because there are parts of it that I really love. But then there are a couple of things that annoyed me, and I deducted half a star for each. (That’s how I rate books, I’ve come to realise; I allocate them full marks and then start taking points off for things that bug me.)
Let’s start with the positive first.
Like anything inspired by Alice in Wonderland — well, anything good — Splintered has atmosphere by the bucketload. Alyssa believes that, like her mother Alison, she is crazy. She hears plants and bugs talk, and is worried that one day she’ll end up in a strait jacket pumped full of sedatives too. Even when she discovers she’s not crazy, she might as well be, because Wonderland’s laws of physics are a few sandwiches short of a picnic, if you know what I mean. Wonderland isn’t cute. It’s bloody, strange and violent. It’s not a sweet, sunlight dream; it’s a nightmare — more Tim Burton than Disney.
Fiery and independent, Alyssa is a little bit punk, a little bit skater and a little bit goth. She keeps her hair long and blond for her father, but then does her damndest to reduce any other resemblance to her mother — whom she loves but doesn’t want to emulate.
And then there’s Morpheus, the childhood “imaginary” friend who taught her everything she needs to know about Wonderland. He’s self-confident, arrogant and presumptuous, but he also trusts Alyssa to be able to handle herself and respects her desire for independence… something you can’t say about Jeb.
Jeb is the first of the negatives. He’s another childhood friend of Alyssa’s, and she’s had a crush on him forever. It’s pretty obvious he’s got a crush on her too, but for reasons that aren’t entirely clear he instead ends up dating the popular blond girl who picks on Alyssa. I suspect his own self-loathing plays a part, as does his completely infuriating desire to treat her like a small child. Maybe he doesn’t want to date her because he still thinks she’s twelve?
Regardless, I wanted to punch him in the nose a few times throughout this book. It wasn’t just that he was protective but that he was physical about it that pissed me off. When Alyssa tries to do something he thinks is dangerous, he doesn’t grab her hand and try to reason with her; he physically restrains her, lifting her off the ground like she’s a toddler. When he sees that she has a knife in her backpack, he appropriates it without even asking. When she’s offered something during the course of the quest, he takes it before she can and puts it in his pocket. WHAT THE HELL, JEB?!
He does redeem himself somewhat throughout the book, which is why it only loses half a point for his bad behaviour.
The other thing I found difficult to contend with at times was Howard’s prose. I didn’t really need a couple of paragraphs to describe each funky new outfit Alyssa wore, or what Morpheus’s hat looked like. I found every time I hit one of these paragraphs I wanted to skip it. Likewise, some of the descriptions of Wonderland itself were a trifle overblown. Not always, mind you — but it was enough that I noticed it and it would pull me out of the story. I realise that something like taste in prose is highly subjective, and others will love it; but this is my review, so nyah! :p
Despite these negatives, I still enjoyed Splintered enough that I’ll read the sequel. (As an aside, if you haven’t already, feast your eyes on that gorgeous cover for a minute. No, two minutes! Isn’t it lovely?)
Eventide (Iron Falls, #1)
by Christine Allen-Riley
Release Date: 10/2014
The driver in a tragic car accident that killed her best friend, Devon Greer is consumed by guilt. When powerful hallucinations convince her that she’s seeing Rachael everywhere, Devon thinks she’s going crazy. But her friend isn’t truly gone.
To save Rachael from the faeries who stole her, Devon must pit herself against the Court of the Sidhe. Once she witnesses the true form of the fey, Devon’s life is in danger—and so are the lives of everyone she loves.
Now, Devon must not only protect herself, but also Jonah Seafort, Rachael’s cousin and the only person Devon can trust to help her. While the Sidhe walk among them, no one is safe…
Lover of books, nature, cats and shiny things. Active disliker of cooking, cleaning and stress. Mom, freelance editor and YA author — also a bit of a nerd.