Tag Archives: YA
For hundreds of years, dark clouds covered the skies of Adamah, and an ageless king ruled. Those who emerged with one of six extraordinary Shay powers were forced into the king’s army, an unmatched force with inhuman Strength, Speed, Accuracy, Perception, Empathy, and Healing. With the army behind him, the king—a man who wields all six abilities—was invincible and unquestioned in his rule. To most, serving the king was an honor. But for others, it was a fate worse than death.
When seventeen-year-old Nolan Trividar witnesses the transformation of his brother from kind to cruel after entering the king’s army, he vows never to follow the same path.
So when his own power—the Shay of Accuracy—comes upon him at the Tournament of Awakening, Nolan conceals his emergence instead of joining the king’s ranks. For years, he traitorously hides his power, pretending to be only a gifted scribe. But when Nolan comes face -to-face with a deserter, the man discovers his secret.
To evade detection and a death sentence, Nolan escapes with the deserter and flees into a night filled with dark creatures who steal both powers and souls. He joins a resistance, a village hidden deep in the forest, filled with others who secretly wield a Shay. But his peace is short-lived when they discover that the dark clouds, undead creatures, their own decreasing powers, and even the king, are all connected.
“Who is this?” King Alcandor said.
“His name is Alec Deverell,” the general said. “He’s been difficult at the tournament this year.”
“That doesn’t surprise me, considering his display a moment ago.” A purple light glowed from the king’s eyes, and he circled around Alec, examining him.
“Did you say Deverell?” King Alcandor asked.
“Yes, Your Majesty,” the general answered. “He’s the blade maker’s son.”
The king gave a curt nod. “This young man shall be tested next. General, you will conduct his trial.”
Alec’s head jerked toward the king, coming out of his stupor. He wished he hadn’t. When their eyes met, a strange sensation went through him, and he couldn’t pull away.
“Would you like to fight the general, Alec?” the king asked, smiling.
A surge of anger and hatred swelled. Yes, I would. There was nothing Alec wanted more.
“I see this pleases you,” King Alcandor said. “I will enjoy watching you use your skills, young Deverell.”
The general smirked, untied his cape, and flung it off to the side. Then he yanked a sword out of the ground and tossed it to Alec.
Alec caught it easily and swung it back and forth in an arc to get a feel for the blade. It wasn’t one of his father’s swords. The weight was off, and it was too bulky. Still, it felt good to hold steel.
The general unsheathed his sword and lunged in a single, fluid movement. Alec’s trained instincts met his blow. For several minutes, they circled each other, only swinging on occasion to test the reaction of the other. Alec’s nerves twitched at the meaningless duel.
Finally, General Trividar stopped and grinned. “Shall we fight, Mr. Deverell?” And then in a burst of jabs and slashes, the true battle began.
Fighting him was amazing. Alec had never met someone with such natural talent. Father’s swordsman skills were of the highest repute, but this man goaded Alec like none before. Alec fought with every fiber of strength and will and determination he could muster.
As the battle stretched on, it would seem neither could gain on the other. That is, until the yellow fire in the cheater’s eyes began to glow. Slowly and steadily, the general’s Speed increased.
Alec matched him as well as he could. Sweat poured down his face, obstructing his view. Finally, the general struck Alec and his sword arm went limp. Alec cursed and grabbed the sword with his other hand to block another blow.
“You are multi-talented, Mr. Deverell,” General Trividar said.
“Only for you, General,” Alec said between clenched teeth.
Alec barely heard the crowd cheering as the general’s Speed increased even more. Several more gashes appeared on Alec’s body, so fast he didn’t see them come: one on each leg, one across his chest, and finally, one that loosed his sword.
He fell to his knees, trembling with pent up fury. Although Alec couldn’t defend himself, he glared at the general as battle pounded in his blood. General Trividar wiped his sword on the grass, crammed the blade into its sheath, and turned away.
Several Healing Rol’dan ripped open Alec’s shirt, and the all-too-familiar pulse of healing coursed through him. After they finished, Alec fell on his hands, his chest heaving with exhaustion.
“Splendid, young Deverell,” King Alcandor said. “I knew you would not disappoint me.” The king’s eyes glowed purple with Empathy, and that odd sensation shot through Alec again.
“Once more, General,” the king said.
Alec looked up. Another fight? This is too good to be true.
“Your Majesty?” the general said.
“Fight him a second time, General.”
“My pleasure, Lord Alcandor.”
Before the general could make a move, Alec pushed to his feet, grabbed his sword, and sprinted toward General Trividar, swinging with all his strength.
Kristal Shaff grew up with books (and used to drive her mom crazy when she wouldn’t leave the library); her first job was even shelving books at the library. She loves anything creative, and you can often find her exploring strange and fantastical worlds in her choices of movies and fantasy fiction. Kristal resides in Iowa with her farmer husband, numerous pets, and 3 awesome kids (plus one more on the way though the journey of adoption). When she isn’t writing, she is a professional face painter who enjoys making children smile.
Winner will be drawn October 25, 2014
· Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of The Emissary by Kristal Shaff (INT)
Series: The Forbidden Doors #1
Release date: September 8th 2014
Today I have grabby paws for…
Only one witch can rise above the coming storm …
When Tudor witch Meg Lytton receives an unexpected legacy – her mother’s magical wand, ring and spellbook – she has no idea her future happiness is in danger. For the witchfinder Marcus Dent is back in her dreams, and he will use any weapon to gain her newfound powers for himself.
Now Meg must discover the secret of Invictus, her mother’s magical ring. Summoned back to Hatfield, she knows a battle is coming. But Meg is no longer alone in her struggle against Dent. Surrounded by her friends, she faces her greatest challenge head-on: losing Alejandro, her beloved. For it seems the Spanish novice has been keeping secrets from them all.
Powers clash and hearts break in the spellbinding third book of The Tudor Witch Trilogy.
Why I have grabby paws…
So…two of my favorite things? The Tudor Era & witches. Now that the third book is out I can binge-read them all!
Releases September 30th
I also have grabby paws for…
The clock chimes midnight, a curse breaks, and a girl meets a prince . . . but what follows is not all sweetness and sugarplums.
New York City, 1899. Clara Stole, the mayor’s ever-proper daughter, leads a double life. Since her mother’s murder, she has secretly trained in self-defense with the mysterious Drosselmeyer.
Then, on Christmas Eve, disaster strikes.
Her home is destroyed, her father abducted–by beings distinctly nothuman. To find him, Clara journeys to the war-ravaged land of Cane. Her only companion is the dethroned prince Nicholas, bound by a wicked curse. If they’re to survive, Clara has no choice but to trust him, but his haunted eyes burn with secrets–and a need she can’t define. With the dangerous, seductive faery queen Anise hunting them, Clara soon realizes she won’t leave Cane unscathed–if she leaves at all.
Inspired by The Nutcracker, Winterspell is a dark, timeless fairy tale about love and war, longing and loneliness, and a girl who must learn to live without fear.
Why I have Grabby Paws…
All that need be said is this:
But I’ll also add FAERIES and VICTORIAN!
Releases September 30th
A city’s peace is shattered when two university students go missing, and only Daneel and his friends know the shocking truth of what happened. Finding themselves under attack, Daneel leads them in a race to escape the mounting violence.
Mara is willing to kill for the beliefs of the faction that raised her. But as she seeks out her mark, using a rare, mystical form of travel known as the Sending, Mara discovers a powerful connection that challenges the truth of everything she’s been taught.
While Daneel fights to protect those he cares for, Mara must choose whether to cling to the ideology of her home—or open her scarred heart to a searing attraction and the promise of a new life.
Praise for The Sending
The Sending reads like a dystopian Romeo and Juliet where strong, full characters from very different places inevitably collide with passion and conflict. Salguero fills a fresh, vibrant world with a nerve-tingling fast plot. Prepare to be immersed. ~Tamara Ward, author of Hidden Betrayal
The Sending is a thrilling, fast-paced, science fiction-romance that’s impossible to put down. Edge-of-your-seat action scenes, and a romantic attraction so intense that it will make you want to turn down the air conditioning, The Sending is a great read that left me hungry for more. I loved this book!
~Sterling R. Walker, author of The Orphan Ship
Purchase Your Copy
As one of the hawks flew across the tiny plane of space framed by her window, Mara closed her eyes. She envisioned herself there, experiencing the grace and the power of their movements. She imagined the control of that journey and thought that one day she might have that type of power over her own fate.
Mara felt a kinship with the graceful hunter. It knew the thrill of conquest coupled with the need for survival: opposite sides of the same implacable coin. The compound had taught Mara to use that need to a greater advantage than she had before.
Her chest tightened. Before? No, there was no before. Everything was after.
After her home had been raided, after her family had been killed, after she had been forced to fend for herself. She’d had only the passive help of a few others who had suffered the same fate, who had used her as much as she had been forced to use them.
She was a young six years when she lost her family. The memories of their life together had quickly begun to fade into the cruel background of her new life, into an icy, nearly paralyzing bath of hunger and fear.
The fear had covered everything. It had even blanketed the things that had seemed gentle and innocent to her before, so that nothing was safe. For a long time, the fear had ruled her with a cold, hard hand.
Growing up in southern Louisiana, Jandy Salguero’s life was full of friendly smiles, good food and tall tales. She holds a BA in French from Brigham Young University, where she met her husband in the midst of the great Rocky Mountains. She now resides in a small town outside of Raleigh, NC. Her days are full of grade-school antics and underfoot toddler toys– courtesy of her two handsome boys.
She is currently working on Book 2 in the Senitha’s Light series, due out in early 2015.
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
by Leah Cypess
Genre: Young Adult High Fantasy
Series: Death Sworn #1
Source: Won from Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy. (Thank you!)
When Ileni lost her magic, she lost everything: her place in society, her purpose in life, and the man she had expected to spend her life with. So when the Elders sent her to be magic tutor to a secret sect of assassins, she went willingly, even though the last two tutors had died under mysterious circumstances.
But beneath the assassins’ caves, Ileni will discover a new place and a new purpose… and a new and dangerous love. She will struggle to keep her lost magic a secret while teaching it to her deadly students, and to find out what happened to the two tutors who preceded her. But what she discovers will change not only her future, but the future of her people, the assassins… and possibly the entire world.
YES to YA High Fantasy! I loved the setting of the Assassin’s Caves. It was cut off from the wider world, so the world-building happened slowly but surely and kept me curious. The author didn’t have a lot to work with for rich setting descriptions, but she still managed to draw me into the world, and the language was always vibrant. I absolutely loved the magic system! Utterly unique and enthralling, but still authentically high fantasy.
“She was only seventeen, but already she felt as ancient as the stones around her.”
First of all, Illeni is about the cutest name ever. I really felt for her character. She fell so far. The author portrayed her almost fatalistic view of her life excellently. I know I relate, and that many young adults will. The assassins were a bit more difficult. They were essentially brainwashed. It was hard to understand them (I’m just as much a pacifist as Illeni starts out), so I found it very difficult to relate. Still, I felt for Sorin, who never asked to be an assassin, but had no other opportunity to even survive.
I’m not really a fan of the fairly modern “Oh, I can’t admit I love you because that might lead to labels, or feelings, or even a relationship! Gasp.” type of ” romance”. Love should be the greatest experience we can have – don’t treat it like a burden or something to just fool around with. However, with these characters I must admit it made sense. They were both expecting to die soon, or at least had been conditioned to think their lives were not their own. Sorin was sweet and charmingly inexperienced, which I always appreciate. Illeni was a bit cold, but she mostly warmed up. Mostly. Her view of the relationship is half the reason I only gave four stars. She says she loves him, then says she can get over it. Sounds like she doesn’t really love him, then, doesn’t it? Or doesn’t understand the concept. Urgh. So frustrating.
The other reason I took off a star is the violence. Maybe I shouldn’t have read a book about assassins if I didn’t want violence, but it was more the attitude toward it. I get that the assassins are brainwashed into violence, that they’re fighting an evil empire, etc., but what really bothered me was how quick Illeni was to dismiss her morals and decide killing was “easy”. It just didn’t sit right with me. I did like her last decision, which seemed more in line with her principles, and I have hope that she’ll really take a stand against the violence and conditioning in the next book, and that the romance will actually be a bit more, you know, romantic. Overall, I enjoyed the story and recommend it.
>>Add to Goodreads<<
For Chloe, the ocean was supposed to mean safety and for a
time, it almost did. She overcame the Sylphaen’s drugs. She discovered an
unforeseen attraction to Zeke, one that he shares for her. A life underwater
seemed possible, until she learned that nothing was as it appeared.After an unspeakable betrayal shattered everything she
thought she knew about Zeke’s world, she and Zeke have fled the ocean for the
one place Chloe never expected to want to go.Home.But the challenge of living as a mermaid over a thousand
miles from the ocean isn’t the only problem facing her. Home has changed.
Enemies are waiting, ones she never saw coming. Her little Kansas town is full
Including Noah, the guy she left behind.
Romance eBooks | Amazon
which means she spends most of her time not-quite-convinced that the things she
imagines couldn’t actually exist.
travel the world – though in the meantime she’ll take any story that whisks her
off to a place where the fantastic lives inside the everyday. She loves strong
and passionate characters, complex villains, and satisfying endings that stay
with you long after the book is done. An inveterate writer, she can’t go a day
without getting her hands on a keyboard, and can usually be found typing away
while she listens to all the adventures unfolding in her head.
Welcome to the September Sequels Giveaway Hop! I am all about sequels. One book never seems like enough for me, so I strongly prefer series. Second books tend to be my favorites, because the world is already introduced, but you don’t have to say goodbye yet – you can just let yourself be fully absorbed into the world the author has created.
So anyway, what can you win? Grrr, my fluffy white beauty, has kindly consented to be our presenter.
Win an ARC of Frozen (Taken #2) by Erin Bowman.
A bit about the book…
The Heists were only the beginning.
Gray Weathersby escaped from the primitive town of Claysoot expecting to find answers, but what he discovered shook him to the core: A ruthless dictator with absolute power. An army of young soldiers blinded by lies. And a growing rebellion determined to fight back.
Now Gray has joined a team of rebels on a harsh, icy journey in search of allies who can help them set things right. But in a world built on lies, Gray must constantly question whether any ally—or enemy—is truly what they seem…
Click the rafflecopter link below to enter!
This giveaway is US Only. Sorry guys, I just can’t afford the shipping.
Click here to visit all the blogs participating in the hop to win more awesome sequels!
Thanks for visiting!
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!
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.
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?
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’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/.