Tag Archives: mythology

The Seal Island Trilogy by Sophie Moss Book Blitz + Giveaway!

1

The Selkie Spell
The Seal Island Trilogy #1
by Sophie Moss
Publication Date: November 6, 2011
Genres:Contemporary, Paranormal, Romance

Blitz and Review: The Seal Island Trilogy by Sophie Moss
Purchase from AmazonPurchase from B&NPurchase from Audible

Synopsis

American doctor Tara Moore wants to disappear. On the run from an abusive husband, she seeks shelter on a windswept Irish island and dismisses the villagers’ speculation that she is descended from a selkie—a magical creature who is bewitching the island. But when a ghostly woman appears to her with a warning, Tara realizes it was more than chance that brought her to this island. Desperate to escape a dark and dangerous past, she struggles against a passionate attraction to handsome islander, Dominic O’Sullivan. But the enchantment of the island soon overpowers her and she falls helpless under its spell. Caught between magic and reality, Tara must find a way to wield both when a dangerous stranger from her past arrives, threatening to destroy the lives of everyone on the island.

Winner of the Best Romance/Fantasy Novel in the 2013 International Book Awards

Add to Goodreads

Also in the Series

The Selkie Enchantress - Sophie Moss The Selkie Sorceress - Sophie Moss

About Sophie Moss

Sophie Profile Pic Square July 2014

Sophie Moss is a USA Today bestselling author of four full-length romance novels. She is known for her captivating Irish fantasy romances and heartwarming contemporary romances with realistic characters and unique island settings. As a former journalist, Sophie has been writing professionally for over ten years. She currently lives in San Diego, California, where she’s working on her next novel. When she’s not writing, she’s walking the beach, testing out a new dessert recipe, or fiddling in her garden. Sophie loves to hear from readers. Email her at sophiemosswrites@gmail.com or visit her website sophiemossauthor.com to sign up for her newsletter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted By


Cover Reveal: Fragile Reign (Mortal Enchantment #2) by Stacey O’Neale + Giveaway!

Cover Reveal

We’re thrilled to help reveal the cover for FRAGILE REIGN (Mortal Enchantment #2) by Stacey O’Neale! Check out the cover below, and let us know what you think in the comments. Then be sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a $100 Amazon or B&N gift card!

Fragile Reign by Stacey O'Neale

Details about the cover, from author Stacey O’Neale:

In case you’re curious about the cover, the model represents Marcus. The background represents the woodland court and the caves at the bottom are where the members of the royal family live. I chose caves because the woodland court protects the forests of the world. I didn’t think they would choose to cut down trees to make a castle, so the massive caves worked out nicely. If you zoom in, you can see where the doors and windows are cut out. The inside is very lavish. If you read FRAGILE REIGN, you’ll learn all about it.

FRAGILE REIGN (Mortal Enchantment #2) by Stacey O’Neale | November 18, 2014

It’s been a week since all hell broke loose…

Rumors of King Taron’s weakened powers have left the air court vulnerable. Kalin is desperate to awaken her akasha powers, except she doesn’t know how. Tension within the court is at an all-time high. Pressure is mounting for her to ascend to the throne, but a halfling has never ruled over any court. To solidify her position, the council has advised her to marry Sebastian—a high ranking air elemental she’s never met and her betrothed.

Will Kalin sacrifice her relationship with Rowan to strengthen her court?

Rowan and Marcus return to a fire court in turmoil. Liana’s death has fueled the fire elementals’ distrust against the air and woodland courts. The unbalanced elements have set off natural disasters all over the mortal world. Rowan takes the throne to restore balance, promising to unite the fire court. But not all elementals are happy with his leadership. Many are secretly loyal to Valac, which means Rowan needs to find allies for his cause.

Can Rowan unify the court of fire before the elements destroy the world?

Pre-Order on Amazon


Add Java Man to your Goodreads TBR!

MESFBCover.v3

Be sure to add FRAGILE REIGN to your TBR on Goodreads, or pre-order on Amazon! The prequel novella, THE SHADOW PRINCE, is currently free on Amazon, and you can also read MORTAL ENCHANTMENT for free if you have Kindle Unlimited.

Stacey O'NealeAbout the Author

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

Stacey O’Neale lives in Annapolis, Maryland. When she’s not writing, she spends her time fangirling over books, blogging, watching fantasy television shows, cheering for the Baltimore Ravens, and hanging out with her husband and daughter.

Her career in publishing started as a blogger-turned-publicist for two successful small publishers. Stacey writes young adult paranormal romance and adult science fiction romance. Her books always include swoon-worthy heroes, snarky heroines, and lots of kissing.

Stacey loves hearing from readers. Follow her on Twitter @StaceyONeale, look for her on Facebook, Pinterest, and GoodReads. You can also visit her blog at http://staceyoneale.com/.

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Review: The Battle of The Labyrinth (Percy Jackson & The Olympians #4) by Rick Riordan

The Battle of the Labyrinth

by Rick Riordan

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians #4

Source: Purchased

Book Summary:

Percy Jackson isn’t expecting freshman orientation to be any fun. But when a mysterious mortal acquaintance appears on campus, followed by demon cheerleaders, things quickly move from bad to worse.
In this fourth installment of the blockbuster series, time is running out as war between the Olympians and the evil Titan lord Kronos draws near. Even the safe haven of Camp Half-Blood grows more vulnerable by the minute as Kronos’s army prepares to invade its once impenetrable borders. To stop the invasion, Percy and his demigod friends must set out on a quest through the Labyrinth – a sprawling underground world with stunning surprises at every turn.

book thoughts

The book opens perfectly, with picked up threads and demon cheerleaders (but PLEASE, fantasy writers everywhere, I implore you, can I kindly get a portrayal of the Goddess Hecate that is NOT negative? Goddess of Magic and Queen of Witches need not automatically equal “bad guy”.)

*rant over. we now return to your regularly scheduled review*

[Edit: Since writing this review, I’ve read subsequent Riordan books in which Hecate gets a proper representation. Yay!]

 
Then we get to camp half blood, and THIS happens:

“You are okay?” he asked. “Not eaten by monsters?”
“Not even a little bit.” I showed him that I still had both arms and both legs, and Tyson clapped happily.
“Yay!” he said. “Now we can eat peanut butter sandwiches and ride fish ponies! We can fight monsters and see Annabeth and make things go BOOM!”
I hoped he didn’t mean all at the same time, but I told him absolutely, we’d have a lot of fun this summer.”

TYSON! Tyson is amazing. Possibly even as amazing as fish ponies.

We get to go into the Labyrinth! I want one. Okay, so it’s super-dangerous, full of monsters, nearly impossible to navigate and makes you go crazy? So what! It connects the whole country and has crazy adventures around every corner.

Annabeth finally gets to lead a quest! Against tradition, she chooses three, not two companions. Percy, Tyson and Grover. Tyson and Grover are both kind of scared of each other, which I found rather adorable. Inevitably they have to learn to work together and mutual respect develops, and it is a nice process to watch unfold. It felt like everyone really grew in this installment. Especially Grover.

Nico is freaking amazing. He got such a raw deal, but he’s so likable and such a bad-ass. I love how much of a presence he has in this book, his personal story-arc. Awesomeness.

Things are rather frenzied (in a good way!) in the Labyrinth. More Gods are met (excellent!), monsters are fought, volcanoes explode…oops, getting ahead of myself. It is neat how they go in and out of the Labyrinth as it transects the country. And eventually they go back in with…

Rachel: You’re a half-blood, too?
Annabeth: Shhh! Just announce it to the world, how about?
Rachel: Okay. Hey, everybody! These two aren’t human! They’re half Greek god!

(Naturally, in NYC, no one bats an eyelash.)

Rachel is great. A mortal who holds her own, and is just an intriguing character in herself. She bothers me as a potential love interest, and the fact that she and Annabeth don’t get along (while understandable) and that her presence causes friction between Percy and Annabeth (also understandable) makes me sad. I hated to see Percy and Annabeth at odds.

The ending was intense. Really sets the stage for what’s to come.

5paperhearts


If Ever I Would Leave You: Arthurian Stories For A New Generation Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway!

If-Ever-I-Would-Leave-You banner

17772-grey-divider-no-background-hi

If Ever I Would Leave You_Cover

17772-grey-divider-no-background-hi

9fc83-addtogoodreads

If Ever I Would Leave You:
Arthurian Stories For A New Generation
by Jessica JarmanBronwyn GreenJenny Trout writing as Abigail Barnette
Release Date: 07/2014
 
 

Surfacing

Bronwyn Green

A year after Tabby Nolan’s sister vanished from the Lake Michigan shore with her boyfriend, Liam, Tabby visits the spot where the two were last seen– and finds herself pulled into the crumbling world of Avalon.

Since his disappearance, Liam has been trapped in the mythical land, with no link to the world he knew. Now, their shared memories of Tabby’s missing sister are all they can cling to as Avalon dies around them.

But Tabby doesn’t want to be a replacement for her sister, and her growing attachment to Liam feels like a betrayal. As Avalon fades around them, Liam and Tabby must rely on each other– or be lost with the ancient kingdom forever.

Albion’s Circle: The Deepest Cut

Jessica Jarman

For nineteen years, Anna has been plagued by dreams of lives lived only in legend. Finally free from the family that believed her hopeless and worthless, she’s ready to start her life over—alone.

When Anna meets an enigmatic stranger claiming to be the legendary wizard Merlin, she is forced to question the very reality she’s struggled to accept. With the mythic figures from her dreams intruding on her waking life, Anna learns that she’s been reborn to fight an ancient evil alongside King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.

Caught in an ages old conflict, Anna is the key to stopping a dark magic that will destroy the world—and Merlin wants to make sure that this time, Anna isn’t alone.

A Choice Fit For A Queen

Jenny Trout

writing as Abigail Barnette

For perpetual overachiever Madison Lane, a summer studying Arthurian mythology in the Welsh countryside with professor Thomas Evans is a dream come true, and the adventure of a lifetime.

Of course, the enormous crush Madison developed on the professor after a semester of his lectures at U of M has absolutely nothing to do with her desire to learn more about the enduring legend of Camelot. At least, that’s what she’s telling her parents.

When Madison meets fellow student Rhys Crewe, sparks fly, throwing her plans for wild fling with Professor Evans completely out of whack—as do her unexpectedly complicated feelings for Thomas. With tales of Arthur and Lancelot haunting her every waking moment, Madison has to make the most difficult choice of her life.

cc84d-am

17772-grey-divider-no-background-hi

Excerpt2

Albion’s Circle: The Deepest Cut

I don’t know how long I sat there, shaking, trying to pull myself together. And failing miserably. Behind my closed lids, images flipped rapidly, almost too fast to distinguish one from another. Almost. But they were as familiar to me as my own reflection. I knew each and every one. Not just faces this time—though, they were there—but places, buildings, events all clouded my mind, tried to burrow in and refused to be shoved aside. It was fierce and brutal, as if these imaginings were fighting back for all times I’d tried to bury them or cut them out of my life.

It didn’t make sense. I shook my head and moaned as the movement sent a wave of pain through my body. God, why was this happening to me? Why was it getting worse? I knew what my mother would say. I’d stopped taking all the medications she and her army of doctors shoved at me my entire life. Well, I’d stopped years ago, so that wasn’t the reason. And those medications… I’d rather be dead than take them again. Ifelt dead when I was under their influence. That was the reason I’d stopped. I wanted to feel, to live, and they made that impossible. So, as soon as I’d left home, I threw out the pills and never looked back. Things had gotten bad then, but I learned how to deal with it and function normally—without killing everything that made me me.

At first, on my own, I did a lot of stupid things. Stupid, stupid things. All I wanted to do was feel—so I partied hard, drank more than my fair share, and took just about every drug I came across. Not my finest moments. I got over that real quick. Waking up every morning in a different bed with a different person, with no idea what I’d done… Not how I wanted to go through life.

After a time, I realized some sleeping pills to help me get a solid night’s sleep—a solid, dreamless night’s sleep—was all I really needed.

Until now apparently.

I fumbled with the zipper on my purse and started digging through the contents. My fingers closed around a bottle, and I looked at it resting in my palm. That was the problem. The pills weren’t working. Fucking Nate. I threw the unlabeled bottle back into the bag as anger joined the constant pain.

Nate was who I got the sleeping pills from. It was easier than trying to get a doctor to prescribe them—they always wanted to talk about why I wasn’t sleeping, and the hell if I was going there with anyone—and cheaper than paying for office visits and all that shit.

My breathing hitched as I felt solid steel at the bottom of my bag. I pulled out the pocketknife with trembling fingers.

The pills I’d gotten from Nate the other night were bad. They had to be. Because the alternative—that I was as crazy as my mother thought I was—couldn’t be. Could it? I wasn’t crazy. I pulled the blade of the knife open and fought against the bile surging up my throat.

I wasn’t crazy. Hitching up my skirt, I stared at my thighs, and the pale thin marks I kept hidden from the world. My vision blurred until I couldn’t see clearly, and I was biting back sob after sob. I couldn’t let Henry hear me. I needed to get control, so I could deal with Nate and his fucking shit-batch of pills.

I wasn’t crazy. I pressed the blade against my inner thigh. I still couldn’t see, but that was okay. I knew just how hard to push, how to drag the sharp tool slowly along my skin. My lids fluttered shut, and my breathing evened out as I felt the initial prick then the soothing sting.

I wasn’t crazy. I just needed to focus. And this…this brought me focus. This made things clear. I opened my eyes and watched crimson well up in thin lines, getting thicker and thicker until it began sliding down, down, down. A few beads dripped onto the floor, and in that moment, everything quieted inside me.

Five. It’d only taken five stripes to come back together again this time.

17772-grey-divider-no-background-hi

About the Author

jessica jarman

Jessica Jarman is an author, blogger, and rather
obsessive fangirl. Having grown up in Upper Michigan and currently living in Minnesota, she is a Midwestern girl through and through. And wouldn’t have it any other way.

When Jessica isn’t working to get words on the page, she passes the time with her amazing husband and four children, attempting to be crafty (and failing miserably), squeeing uncontrollably over her favorite shows or curling up with a good book.

bronyn green

Bronwyn Green is an author, blogger and compulsive crafter. She lives Michigan with her husband, two sons and three somewhat-psychotic cats. When not frantically writing, she can be found helping in her youngest son’s classroom or binge-watching Netflix while working on her latest craft project. Bronwyn loves to talk to her readers and can be found at www.bronwyngreen.com

abigail b

Jenny Trout is an author, blogger, and funny person. Writing as Jennifer Armintrout, she made the USA Today bestseller list with Blood Ties Book One: The Turning. Her novel American Vampire was named one of the top ten horror novels of 2011 by Booklist Magazine Online. She is a proud Michigander, mother of two, and wife to the only person alive capable of spending extended periods of time with her without wanting to kill her.

17772-grey-divider-no-background-hi

Giveaway

Awesome Prize Pack:

DVDs of King Arthur, The Mists of Avalon & Tristan and Isolde

or 2x $25 Amazon Gift Cards

a Rafflecopter giveaway

de0c9-yabounktourbutton


Review: Something Strange & Deadly by Susan Dennard

Something Strange & Deadly

by Susan Dennard

Genre: YA Historical Steampunk Gothic Paranormal

Series: Something Strange & Deadly #1

Source: Purchased

Book Summary:

There’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family as fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walkers by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor… from her brother.

Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including the maddeningly stubborn yet handsome Daniel, the situation becomes dire. An now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.

book thoughts

I loved this book so much more than I thought I would. I mean, it sounded great, and I was hoping I’d enjoy it, but WOW. I LOVE this book! It’s the first thing I’ve read that has even put a dent in my Gemma Doyle withdrawal, even though the stories are quite different, despite both taking place in Victorian times and involving a heroine who can do magic and is attracted to a man below her station. I think that’s pretty much where the similarities end. Aside from the fact that both series are epic, of course. I’ve read a fair amount of books set in Victorian England, but this was my first set in Victorian America. It was great fun noting the differences. Eleanor’s family, for instance, is wealthy because her father ran a successful company; something that in Victorian England would have been looked down upon, since most wealthy English Victorians were born into their wealth and made money simply because they already possessed it. Young Victorian women in America also seemed to enjoy a great deal more freedom than their English counterparts, though both countries were of course restrictive.

The setting of 1876 Philadelphia was refreshingly unique. And I suppose it helps that I lived in Pennsylvania, so I actually know how to pronounce the world “Schuylkill”. I’ve never been all that into zombies, but I do find necromancy fascinating, so I loved that this book came at zombies from a necromancy angle – there was no infectious disease, the tedious “turning” of characters – there were just corpses animated by dark magic. I thought this was a really unique, interesting concept. The author also clearly did her research about necromancy, and about the 1876 International Centennial Exhibit. I think at one point she even referenced what page something was on in the pamphlet. It was this level of detail that made this “alternate history” world feel completely authentic. And I’d rather live in a world where magic is accepted as a normal part of the world, anyway, so these aspects greatly appealed to me. We also get to see a Victorian seance!

I loved the relationship between Eleanor and her brother, even if we didn’t see much of it. They were so clearly devoted to each other. I felt bad for Eleanor that her mother was so hard on her, though it explained her personality in many ways. Eleanor is a likeable heroine, but she has many flaws, and never apologizes for being who she is. I found this refreshing. I appreciated her curiosty as well, since I too have an insatiable curiosity. I also liked that every character had such depth, so many facets to their personality. Clarence Wilcox, Eleanor’s wealthy suitor, wasn’t a bad guy but wasn’t terribly likeable either. Daniel Sheridan, the young Spirit-Hunter with a troubled past whom Eleanor falls for is fiery and stubborn, yet also quite intelligent and emotional. Even Jie, the quintessential tomboy still retains some femininity.
Joseph Boyer, leader of the Spirit-Hunters, is a powerful magic-user, but possesses a quite gentle nature. I loved experiencing Eleanor’s adventures with the Spirit-Hunters as she searched for her brother, and watching the way the four of them worked together was highly entertaining. I definitely recommend this book. It’s a perfect summer read. Not that it can’t be read in another season, but the summer in Philadelphia setting, combined with the general mischief of the plot do seem well-suited to summer.

5paperhearts


Book Tour: Prophecy of the Most Beautiful (Oracle of Delphi #1) Guest Post + Giveaway!

Prophecy-of-the-Most-Beautiful-Banner

17772-grey-divider-no-background-hiprophecy of the most beautiful

6edbf-grey-divider-no-background-hi

9fc83-addtogoodreads

Prophecy of the Most Beautiful 
(Oracle of Delphi #1)
by Diantha Jones 
Release Date: 03/01/12

She has a destiny so great that even the gods fear her.

Constant hallucinations and the frequent conversations with the voices in her head, have earned eighteen-year-old Chloe Clever the not-so-coveted title of “Whack Job” in her home town of Adel, Georgia. Fed up with prescription meds and therapists, she wishes for a life where she is destined to be more than the butt of everyone’s jokes and mockery.

Be careful what you wish for has never rung more true.

After a vicious attack and learning that her favorite rockstar is an Olympian god, she is thrust into her new life as the Oracle of Delphi, the prophesier of the future. Setting out to fulfill the prophecy she has been given, Chloe learns of how great she is to become, all the while fighting mythical monsters and trying to outwit the ever-cunning Greek gods who harbor secrets of their own. While on a mission to discover the Most Beautiful, she strives to uncover the mysteries of the demigod Prince who has sworn to protect her with his life…and threatens to win her heart in the process.

68465-amazonbuybutton df05a-bn

6edbf-grey-divider-no-background-hi

guest post pink

Wrangling the Myths: How I Did It

 

I didn’t really. Wrangle the myths, that is.

 

Greek mythology is so massive, it would take a lifetime to learn everything. Even then, I bet there’d be something you missed. It’s an impossible thing to take on. I’ve studied the myths for the past four years and still feel like a fish out of water at times. There’s just so much of it, so many interpretations, that in the end it all boils down to which tall tale you choose to believe.

 

When researching the myths for my Oracle of Delphi series, I started with…duh, the Oracle. That was easy enough, I guess. Then I moved on to the Olympians. That went well too…at first. Then I realized there was so much more to the big twelve than I had ever known. They are each the god of at least ten different things. They’ve also got a beast or two that is attributed to them, plus plants and other symbols. And let’s not start with the love interests! Out of control, I tell you.

 

But I didn’t stop there. To understand the ways of the Olympians, I had to also study the Titans (Kronos, Rhea, Hyperion, etc.) and the gods of the Cosmos (Uranus, Gaia, Nyx, etc.). Then came the myths themselves. My favorite is the story of Cupid and Psyche and how their romance came to be. But there are other cool myths as well, such as the quest of Jason & the Argonauts, and the twelve labors of Hercules, both which are important to the Oracle of Delphi series.

 

Then there are all of the minor gods and demigods who played major roles in Greek mythology. Really ya’ll…it’s a lot, but not for a moment have I ever felt bored with it. It’s all such exciting stuff! Each time I open one of my books or bring up a website, I’m excited wondering what new, amazing myth I’m going to discover. So have I conquered the Greek myths? Not even close. But I’m sure having a blast trying.

6edbf-grey-divider-no-background-hi

About the Author

diantha jones Diantha Jones was born the day thousands of turkeys sacrificed their lives to fill millions of American bellies on November 22 which also happened to be Thanksgiving Day (Her mother says she owes her a turkey). She is a Journalism graduate who wants to be a career novelist (of books, not Facebook posts). When not writing or working, she is reading on her Nook, being hypnotized by Netflix or on a mission to procure french fries.

The Oracle of Delphi fantasy series is her first series. She is also the author of Mythos: Stories from Olympus, a companion series, and there is another fantasy series in the works. She also writes (new) adult fantasy/paranormal romance under the name A. Star.

 

Author Links:

Website Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

6edbf-grey-divider-no-background-hi

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

34eed-yabounktourbutton


Surrender (The Ferryman & The Flame #1) by Rhiannon Paille Audiobook Tour + Giveaway!

Surrender Audio Book Tour

color-divider-md (2)

Surrender

color-divider-md (2)

c608f-addtogoodreads

Surrender
The Ferryman and The Flame #1
by Rhiannon Paille
 

How far would you go to save everything you ever loved?

Kaliel was warned about her love for the Ferryman. One day he will marry the land and leave Avristar forever. She doesn’t listen, and because of what she is– a Flame– one of nine apocalyptic weapons, she sparks a war. In a desperate attempt to save her home and her love, Kaliel tries to awaken Avred, not knowing she may have to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Listen to an audio excerpt!

color-divider-md (2)

About the Author

Rhi PailleRhiannon is an up and coming Indie Author that writes Young Adult Fantasy books and some non fiction. She has a PhD in Metaphysical Science and Parapsychology. When she’s not writing books she’s reading minds, singing karaoke, burning dinner and sipping iced cappuccino despite her allergy to coffee. Some day she’d like to own a unicorn—as long as it doesn’t eat her. She’s sold over 25,000 copies of her books worldwide.

 Website |Twitter | Facebook Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

color-divider-md (2)Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Cover Reveal: Seamonster (An Aquarathi Novella) by Amalie Howard + Giveaway!

Cover Reveal
e9591-scroll-hi252812529

e9591-scroll-hi252812529

c608f-addtogoodreads
(AQUARATHI NOVELLA)
YOUNG ADULT
AVAILABLE TODAY

They say that love is the death of duty …

Speio Marin is land-bound, tied to the side of the Waterfell queen-to-be, Nerissa. There’s only one problem–she wants nothing to do with any of the Aquarathi or her undersea kingdom, preferring instead the freedom of pretending to be human. Torn between his own desires and his duty to serve his future queen, he spirals into an abyss of malcontent. Speio’s mistrust of humans is no secret, and he sees them only as a threat to the existence of his people.

Until he meets Anya Delmonico–a mysterious and enigmatic girl, teetering on the edge of survival. Anya is sedate and secretive, yet reckless enough to brave a hundred-foot cliff jump. Caught between a dark past and an ex-boyfriend who refuses to let her go, Anya knows that getting involved with anyone new is the last thing she should do. But when her past catches up to her, Speio turns out to be the only one she can trust, refusing to let her face her demons alone.

When Anya discovers the truth about Speio, putting her life in mortal danger from the Aquarathi as well as her own sinister pursuers, will he risk everything to protect her? Or will he choose duty above all?

AVAILABLE ON
e9591-scroll-hi252812529
Check out Book 1
AmazonB&NiBooksKobo
c608f-addtogoodreads
You can pre-order book 2, OCEANBORN today! 
Amazon † B&N  † iBooks
c608f-addtogoodreads
e9591-scroll-hi252812529

AMALIE HOWARD grew up on a small Caribbean island where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or being a tomboy running around barefoot, shimmying up mango trees and dreaming of adventure. 22 countries, surfing with sharks and several tattoos later, she has traded in bungee jumping in China for writing the adventures she imagines instead. She isn’t entirely convinced which takes more guts.

She is the author of several young adult novels critically acclaimed by Kirkus, PW, and Booklist, including Waterfell, The Almost Girl, and Alpha Goddess, a Spring 2014 Kid’s INDIE NEXT title. Her debut novel, Bloodspell, was an Amazon bestseller and a Seventeen Magazine Summer Read. As an author of color and a proud supporter of diversity in fiction, her articles on multicultural fiction have appeared in The Portland Book Review and on the popular Diversity in YA blog. She currently resides in New York with her husband and three children.

Website † Twitter † Facebook † GoodReads
e9591-scroll-hi252812529

Giveaway

And now, to celebrate, an amazing giveaway! Signed copies of Waterfell and Oceanborn, custom book necklace with sea dragon charm, a bracelet + book swag!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Review: Daughter of Chaos by Jen McConnel

Daughter of Chaos

by Jen McConnel

Genre: YA Paranormal

Series: Red Magic #1

Source: Purchased

Book Summary:

Witches must choose the path they will follow, and Darlena Agara is no exception. She’s been putting it off long enough, and in her case, ignoring it has not made it go away. In a moment of frustration, Darlena chooses to follow Red Magic, figuring she had outsmarted the powers that be, since there’s no such thing as Red Magic. But alas, Darlena’s wrong (again) and she becomes a newly declared Red Witch.

Her friends are shocked and her parents horrified by the choice Darlena has made. As a Red Witch, she now governs one third of the world’s chaos. She is the walking personification of pandemonium, turmoil, and bedlam, just as the patrons of Red Magic would have it to be.

But Darlena believes there must be more to Red Magic than chaos and destruction, and she sets out on a journey to achieve balance. Only doing so puts her at odds with the dark goddess Hecate, who simply will not allow Darlena to quit. She encourages Darlena to embrace who and what she is and to leave good magic to the good witches. If only Darlena could, life would be simple, and she would not be the Daughter of Chaos.

DAUGHTER OF CHAOS is the first in a YA paranormal trilogy.

book thoughts

“Slowly, I raised my eyes, sweeping my gaze up her inky black robes that shimmered like water, past the blood-red stone dangling from her throat, and up to her golden eyes. They weren’t human, but from what I remembered of the myths we studied at school, Hecate had never valued humanity. Her eyes were the eyes of a night predator—an owl or fox—and they held me spellbound.

“Darlena. Darlena, I have been aware of you for some time now.” Her words came slowly, creaking into existence and lingering. I was frozen with fear. “Child, you stand at the brink. A choice must be made.”

I had incredibly high expectations for this book and I am happy to report that it surpassed all of them. Here is well-written witchy fiction jam-packed full of accurate mythology, but with its own intriguing twists. As a Wiccan myself, I adored how magic, gods and goddesses, seasonal rituals, etc. were woven in with everyday life. It all just felt so normal but at the same time…well, magical. Witches are portrayed as real people, with lives and jobs and families, who just happen to have awesome powers.

The main character, Darlena, experiences tons of growth. She is slightly frustrating at first (I imagine that was intentional). A bit of a rebel without a cause, perhaps. But she handles the obstacles her declaration of red magic throws at her with more strength than she knew she had, and it is highly satisfying to watch her come into her own. I liked that Darlena’s best friend, the Black Witch Rochelle, and Darlena’s ex-boyfriend, the White Witch Justin, feel like authentic characters, but at the same time represent the struggle Darlena feels within herself. The romance between Darlena and Justin was sweet and never overpowering. It made sense, and though Darlena’s reactions were frustrating at times, I still felt for her, and could see why she cared for Justin, since he was so supportive and really non-judgemental for a White Witch (which to me is how a White Witch should be).

Darlena’s parents play an active role in her life! It is clear that once a witch declares, she is essentially an adult, so while Darlena’s parents give her space, they are still involved and invested in her, something we don’t always see in YA. Darlena’s mother especially feels like the mortal embodiment of her patron, the mother-goddesses Demeter, swearing to help her daughter no matter what.

Gods and Goddesses abound in this book. I loved it. Their portrayal is at once very human and accurate to their existing mythologies. Hats off to the author for that! I was disappointed that once again, my own patron goddess, Hecate, was cast in a negative light, but it worked for the story and since it’s s trilogy, who knows, she may yet be redeemed. It didn’t stop me from enjoying the book. We do get a sympathetic portrayal of Hades that I found incredibly touching. We even see the vulnerable side of Aphrodite. The gods and goddesses were definitely one of the things I loved best about this book, especially when they were helping teach Darlena magic. The magic itself was excellently done. Much of it felt authentic to the way magic is practiced today, but with the author’s own unique flourishes.

The other thing I loved was the way magic, even red magic, chaotic as it may be, was portrayed as neither good nor evil. Darlena is determined to use red magic for good and watching her go about achieving that propels the story forward and makes for a great journey. I would have liked a bit more information on Black Magic – it is said to not be evil, per se, but I’d still like to know more about it. Just to sate my curiosity. Much more magic in general, please! I need more.

This is by far my favorite read this year and I suggest you go pick it up and then, like me, eagerly await the sequel.

5paperhearts


Interview with Fire of the Sea author Lyndsay Johnson!

fire of the sea

black-divider-no-background-hi

fire of the sea cover

black-divider-no-background-hi

c2450-addtogoodreads

Fire of the Sea
By Lyndsay Johnson
Published: March 24, 2014
Publisher: 48fourteen Publishing
Pages: 379

Sharp, sleek, and golden. Like the dagger she has worn since childhood, eighteen-year-old Aeva is all three of these things. But there is something else that this mermaid and her prized weapon share – they are both hunted.

Hidden within the caves off Iceland’s dark shore, Aeva waits to take her place as the next ruler of the Meriads. But when Aeva uses her potent and alluring song to save a drowning human, she disrupts a delicate balance. Realizing she has unexpectedly bound herself to Gunnar, Aeva is torn between duty and love.

Aeva severs one life to begin another, and soon finds herself not only rejected by the sea, but also stalked by an old enemy. As the worlds of myth and man intertwine, Aeva will challenge fate to protect her own sacred relic and the man she loves.

But legends and lies cast an intricate net. With time and safety quickly unraveling for Aeva and Gunnar, there is only one clear course: Find and defeat Delphine before she can shift again.

black-divider-no-background-hi

Fire of the Sea by Lyndsay Johnson (Book Trailer) from Lyndsay Johnson on Vimeo.

black-divider-no-background-hi

lyndsay johnson

About the Author:

Lyndsay grew up in the wide expanses of Texas, where the only thing stronger than the accents was the state pride. An over-active imagination, tale-telling father, and encouraging librarian mother lead to her love of all things creative.

When it comes to books on her bedside table, young adult lit has always been a favorite (Blue Balliett, Libba Bray, and Stephenie Meyer, to name a few.) But it was actually an old, yellowing copy of Scandinavian Folk and Fairy Tales that planted a particularly relentless seed. Shapeshifters and sea nymphs began forming the seed of an idea that would eventually grow into Lyndsay’s debut novel, Fire of the Sea.

When she is not writing, you can find Lyndsay spending time with her family in the Rocky Mountains of Utah. She enjoys sitting in dark theaters, trying new gluten-free recipes, watching breaking storms over the peaks out her window, and secret naps.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

black-divider-no-background-hi

Now for my interview with the author!

1.) Your book is jam-packed with mythology. How much of that is adapted from existing legend and how much did you invent yourself? What was it like melding them together?

The mythology in Fire of the Sea is so intertwined, that it might be hard to pull it apart and distinguish between existing myth, and my own spin on things. I drew on Norse and Greek mythology, as well as Scandinavian folklore and the Icelandic Sagas (and other Norse texts). There are so many small details that are inspired by those sources. It took me over a year of researching myths and legends, before the story started to take shape. But I took it a step further by creating new connections between the Greek and Norse gods. It was fun to create my own class of mermaids, as well. I enjoyed finding ways to make them seem like they could actually exist (they are marine mammals, for example, and their skin functions a lot like a wetsuit).

2.) Iceland is a fantastic, unusual setting. Have you been there yourself? What was the setting research like? Any interesting facts that didn’t make it into the book?

I actually have never been to Iceland. But my husband (a filmmaker and photographer) is passionate about Scandinavia and especially Iceland. He shoots there multiple times a year, and comes home with amazing stories about the people and culture. The photos always blow me away. When I was trying to create a new world for mermaids that hadn’t been done before, Iceland jumped out as the perfect wild and wonderful setting for the story. Iceland is just being born compared to the rest of the Earth. So to have Aeva’s first encounter with the Earth as a human happen in Iceland really worked for me.

With three small children, international travel isn’t always feasible for me at this stage in my life. But setting the story in Iceland gave me a great excuse to do all kinds of research and experience the landscape—even if it was only virtually. Scandinavian culture is something we focus on a lot in our home (my husband’s side of the family has Danish heritage). It was very much a team effort between the two of us when it came to the research side of things. And I was able to learn so much more about a place that is so important to him.

My husband was able to actually shoot the footage for the trailer while on business in Iceland, so be sure to check that out, as well.

I have a whole file of notes on my computer that didn’t make it into the story. But that just means I’ll have a few more surprises up my sleeve if I decide to write a sequel!

3.) What was it about this story that made you want to write it? What is the “heart” of your story?

I had a dream that I was a mermaid. I had rescued a pilot who had fallen from his plane (he was being dragged under by his parachute). I was swimming through all of this billowing, white fabric. It was amazing. I woke up and had to type a rough draft of what would eventually become the second chapter in my book. So that was the initial inspiration for Fire of the Sea. But as I started to develop the idea more, I was so excited to write mermaids in a new way. I think the heart of my story revolves around fate and choice, and how the two intertwine. It isn’t easy or clear to choose our paths as teenagers. And I wanted to write a story that explored the idea of making decisions based on the heart and true passion and drive, rather than based on outer expectations.

4.) Would you be a mermaid if given the chance? What do you think it is that makes mermaid stories so compelling and enduring?

I think it would be fun to have the option to be a mermaid. I like the idea of going between land and sea. But I wouldn’t be lying if I said I had never pretended to be a mermaid while swimming in the ocean.

I feel like mermaid stories are so compelling because the world is so close to our own. It feels just out of reach, yet possible on some level. What’s to say they don’t exist? I guarantee each one of us has stared down into the depths of the sea and wondered—almost willed—a mermaid tail to appear. The bridge between our world and that of the ocean has always fascinated mankind. And it’s wonderful to escape into this hidden world.

5.) What draws you to the fantasy genre?

Fantasy lights a fire in me. I love being able to access the feelings I had as a girl when I read or write fantasy: wonder, delight, magic, mystery, suspense, the impossible made possible. I am also especially drawn to fantasy that is somehow rooted in reality. The idea of something enchanting, terrifying, or fantastical being just out of sight really appeals to me.

6.) What are you influences (books or non-books)? What books have made an impact on you and/or your writing?

I draw inspiration from many things—my dreams especially. I also try to observe the way my children interact with the world, the conversations between friends or lovers. Some of my favorite books and series include The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray, anything written by Suzanne Collins or Blue Balliett, The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, Life of Pi by Yann Martel, and of course the Harry Potter series. I also like browsing through Scandinavian folk and fairy tales when I have a spare moment.

7.) Tell us a bit about your journey to publication.

I knew from the moment I started writing Fire of the Sea that this wasn’t a hobby. I had to publish this book. Of course it wasn’t an easy goal. I spent more than three years researching, writing, seeking representation, then ultimately going with an independent publisher. I searched for an agent for about a year. It was grueling, and I learned a lot about myself as a writer. I revised my manuscript more times than I can count. And I had a few close calls! There were agents who showed real interest. But I also received an offer from 48fourteen that just felt right for me at this stage. I like to call it my “Goldilocks” experience. Self-publishing felt too small. An agent and large publishing house started to feel too big. But an indie publisher that offered eBooks and print options felt just right—especially for a debut novel. (To read more about this, I have written a few posts on my author site www.lyndsayjohnsonwrites.com detailing the entire process from conception to publication.)

8.) Any advice for aspiring writers?

Well, I still kind of think of myself as an aspiring writer. Ha! I think the best thing I could say is to take risks when it comes to creativity. Do something that scares you a little (or a lot), and see how it changes your world!

12ad

sage blog tours