Saturday, October 5, 2013

Choosing You Blitz & Giveaway!

Out from Under You
Choosing You
Allie Everhart
(The Jade Series #1)
Publication date: September 23rd, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
When Jade is given a scholarship to an elite private college in Connecticut, she sees it as a chance to finally escape her painful past and get a fresh start. She’s determined to succeed and that means keeping her focus on school and not guys. But her plan falls apart her first day on campus when Garret, a rich prep school boy with swimmer abs and a perfect smile, offers to help her move in.
Jade tries to push him away, but she can’t deny her attraction to him and Garret won’t let her. Things quickly heat up between them, but then come to a sudden halt when reality hits and Jade realizes that a relationship with Garret may never be possible. He comes from a world of wealth where there are rules, including rules about who he can date. And not following those rules has consequences.
As the two of them try to overcome the obstacles working to keep them apart, Jade is confronted with another challenge. On her 19th birthday, she receives a letter that her now deceased mother wrote years ago. In it are revelations that explain her traumatic childhood but also make her question the past she’s been running from.
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Allie Everhart writes about dating, love, and romance. She’s also a freelance writer for magazines and websites. Before freelancing, she was a book editor for a publishing company where she worked on several NYT bestselling nonfiction books. She loves to read as much as she loves to write. And when she’s not reading or writing, she’s outside running, which is when she gets her best book ideas.

Author links:


The Darkest Path Tour & Review!

The Darkest Path by Jeff Hirsch
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Scholastic Press; 336 pages

A civil war rages between the Glorious Path--a militant religion based on the teachings of a former US soldier--and what's left of the US government. Fifteen-year-old Callum Roe and his younger brother, James, were captured and forced to convert six years ago. Cal has been working in the Path's dog kennels, and is very close to becoming one of the Path's deadliest secret agents. Then Cal befriends a stray dog named Bear and kills a commander who wants to train him to be a vicious attack dog. This sends Cal and Bear on the run, and sets in motion a series of incredible events that will test Cal's loyalties and end in a fierce battle that the fate of the entire country rests on.


Review by Scott

The Darkest Path
by Jeff Hirsch
Jeff Hirsch’s third novel with Scholastic, The Darkest Path, a YA dystopian adventure, is a descent into hell for young Callum Roe, who flees the fanatical Path Army that sweeps across the United States like a dark shadow. America is in the grips of a second Civil War. The 1% are even richer, and more untouchable than before, and the poor are poor, and forced into situations that aren’t safe or pretty. The Federal Army is weakening, the infrastructure crumbling. The young Cal is attempting to return home, and must travel through a fractured America with only his scrappy dog, Bear, as his only trusted companion.  The Path Forces are close behind, a fanatical sect of America led by Nathan Hill, a religious and military bully who looms over the narrative, unseen, a dark magic man pushing buttons from behind the curtain.

The Path loosely resembles a religious right sect, with strict Middle Eastern inspired gender roles enforced by law, and a fervor that matches the best of Sunday salesmen. If you are “on Path,” you follow God’s will, and Nathan Hill’s will, and seek to remake America into a beacon of light and hope. They are brutal, strict, and when they crush over your land they offer you “The Choice,” join their belief or die, or so everyone believes. What The Choice is, no one is sure and The Choice becomes a ringing motif in the novel, the theme extending beyond the Path’s brutality into Cal’s life as he makes choices, many of the split second decisions, that alter his path as he and Bear pushes East.

In the first section, Cal’s brother, James, haunts the Path camp. He’s asthmatic, spiritual, and moving up Hill’s ladder.  Cal has made a choice to give up his body for Path plans, allowing the Path army to beat him nearly to death so he can crawl into Federal camps, and like a human Trojan Horse, set up a trap for the Path soldiers. One day Cal, on dog detail, spots Bear in the middle of a ruined town. Cal can’t bear to see Bear turned into a vicious weapon, and is forced to kill his commanding officer, setting in play a series of events where James betrays Cal and sets Cal and Bear full throttle into the wilderness to return home to the East Coast. To family. To what Cal hopes is normalcy.

But nothing is normal anymore, except war, unless you are rich and influential in the Path or Federal territories. For most Americans, life is a struggle against things you can’t really control. The Darkest Path is of course about more than a scrappy teenager being chased by nefarious forces, it’s also a platform for Hirsch to explore contemporary issues such as religious and military fascism, family, and more topical issues such as drone attacks, which are responsible for havoc in the American west during this second Civil War. Cal witnesses the death of innocents first hand and is powerless.

In fact, Cal is powerless throughout most of the novel. Hirsch grinds Cal up, making him suffer as he tries to work his way back to Ithaca, like a teenage Odysseus with a dog companion instead of a host of mighty warriors. He gets beaten, almost sold out, thrown into cells, and thrown to the ground dozens of times in his quest to go home. If action is your cup of tea, Path packs it in. Fist fights, RPGs, fumbled rifles, helicopter attacks, and even a contemporary Wolverines--a group of teenagers fighting Red Dawn style against their ex-countrymen, keep the action rolling, rolling, rolling.

Cal’s a thoughtful protagonist, despite the violence he contributes to, and his on-going feats of deception, which is mostly a by product of Nathan Hill’s Path training, and his natural ability to find trouble; he’s able to manipulate the situation to his benefit, without malice. Hirsch sets up Cal as a dehumanized figure in the Path regime.  And in many ways The Darkest Path is a young man’s journey towards humanization again. He has to learn to trust himself, to trust others, even though he is burning from his younger brother’s betrayal. He gets to learn a little about love, too, from the equally broken Nat, who gets tangled up with Cal after she leads an explosive raid against Path forces.  But mostly Cal learns that life throws punches, and that there are consequences for your actions, and that memory is not always reality. Alec, one of his transient friends, and a member of the rich elite (his father is a Hollywood big shot) confronts Cal's notions about returning to an America that no longer exists. “The future is coming whether you like it or not . I promise you, in a few years, we’ll all wonder what it is we got so worked up about.” Hirsch could easily be talking about American politics, or the American Dream, or even how Generation X’s middle class America is falling apart in the wake of economic crisis, political ineptness, and general apathy towards serving one's country, community, or even family. One of the covers Cal uses to explain why he and his dog are out in the wilderness is that he is camping with his father, something the Path would approve of, fostering self-reliance and male bonding. It’s a good cover for the young protagonist, and an open yearning for parental structure and love, something Hill’s Path forces want to provide, but fail to do.

One of the more touching motifs in the novel is the songs Cal remembers from his childhood, and like a homing beacon, the song's memory pulls him deeper and deeper into a country torn to shreds, "Moonlight road/Why don't you turn me on around?/Moonlight road/Why don't you light my way home?" And that's the exigency of the novel, of the conflict, a yearning for security, love, and warmth. A place where one isn't judged by the path one takes, or has taken. The theme echoes through the characters, teenagers, and parents Cal meets on the way, particularly the aforementioned Nat, one of the cute girls Cal gets to spend some close time with.  And these orphaned kids are not unlike the children of poverty that is resting in the real cradle of America. In the end there isn't much difference between Cal and Nat and the children of broken homes and broken families who struggle to make ends in a country where the one percent control the power.

As the novel chases towards the end, Cal and James are reunited as the military action focuses its beam towards the Lighthouse, a recurring symbol through the book, where Cal is confronted with Nathan Hill, and his own choice, to either allow further death to occur or to be a force for life, for light. Hirsch doesn’t offer an easy conclusion, the novel concludes, like most good speculative fiction, with more questions, plenty of what if scenarios, candy for the mind, indeed.

Scott - Share My Destiny Book Review Crew  

About the Author:

I live in upstate New York with my wife and a small passel of animals. I used to write plays (I actually have an MFA in it, which is number 8 on US News and World Report's list of the top twenty most useless masters degrees) and now I write books for teens. I've written three, The Eleventh Plague, Magisterium and The Darkest Path.

A few random facts about me:

• I’m incredibly superstitious.
• I believe in baking as the ultimate stress reliever. I mean, sure, I write pretty good books but have you tasted my Triple Chocolate Espresso Cookies?
• I’m deeply obsessed with the work of Joss Whedon, Stephen King, Bryan K. Vaughn, Prince and Tom Waits.
• I started writing because of two women—Susan Cooper, author of the Dark Is Rising Series and Denise Stewart, my 7th grade English teacher.

Website - Twitter - Facebook - Goodreads

Friday, October 4, 2013

Hot Flashes Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Hot Flashes
The Drakkon Volume 1
Leila Gaskin

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Number of pages:  300
Word Count: 85,988

Cover Artist:  Tatiana Vila

Book Description: 

“Dragons do not exist.” Ella Hixson shrieked as the mythical beasts dive from the sky shredding her car with their impressively long talons and sending her careening across the road in an attempt to avoid the being flambéed. Escaping her car, she grasps the car door in order to prevent herself from tumbling down the slippery embankment. Pouring rain soaks Ella’s interview suit and her dress shoes as she searches the sky for the attacking beasts to find nothing but clouds heavy with their payload of rain.

Hallucinations, relationship destroying fights with her only surviving relative-her mother, and, thanks to a bodaciously bosomed, bottle-blond, jobless, Ella needs the universe to cut her a break.

Be careful what you wish for.

Circumstances conspire and Ella’s mundane existence evaporates when she discovers she is Drakkon, the hidden heir to an ancient dynasty, and she has an enemy who would see all the Drakkon race enslaved or dead.

No more ordinary days for Ella as learns what it is to be Drakkon, tries to save a world she knows nothing about, and still be home in time to feed her dog.

Upstairs, chaos ruled; Nathan lay across the thrashing, shimmering form of their guest. Kaie sat at the foot of the bed hissing. Ella dashed across the room to the other side of the bed, grabbing an arm and a leg. She struggled to help keep the man still. His scorching skin made Ella want to pull her hands back, but her touch seemed to sooth the man. A golden web of scales covering his body glowed brightly.
Her touch should not have had any effect on the man. Nathan had called her on a hunch.
“Ella, I need you to trust me.”
“Like I haven’t already?” Nathan reached across and grasped Ella’s head, she stared into his swirling silver eyes. For the first time, she noticed that he had a slit pupil like the man on the bed. Her eyes widened with alarm as she tried to free her head from his grasp. Nathan tightened his hold.
“Učit se!” Nathan commanded.
Visions of places she had never been filled the crevices of Ella’s mind. She screamed with the weight of the knowledge and language forced into her mind. Nathan let go, and she collapsed like a rag doll at the foot of the bed.
Her ‘self’ struggled to maintain its dominate place in her psyche as she tried to catalogue and comprehend the new information. Ella flinched from the helping hand Nathan extended. She rose to her feet and faced him. A burning flush swept through her body. She struggled to form a coherent thought. “Trust you?” Ella spat. “What the hell did you do to me?”
“What was necessary so you could help,” Nathan replied without remorse.
“You violated my mind!”
Nathan waved off Ella’s histrionics.
“I gave you the knowledge needed to help me care for our guest and deal with matters of the House.” Looking at the man on the bed, he added, “Your training time table has been accelerated.”
Ella was enraged at being dismissed. “I don’t care! You went into my mind uninvited! That constitutes violation!” Ella jumped to her feet, her body tense and ready to strike at something or someone. “What, you were going to go over inter-dimensional vortexes next week? I don’t care what you’re trying to justify!”
Nathan lost his patience. “I need you to think beyond yourself! You said you’d heard his language before. Where?”
The question was more of a statement.
Ella’s eyes narrowed at Nathan’s tone. “I told you, in a dream.”
The scene from the foyer crashed into Ella’s memory; this time she understood the language with perfect clarity.
“Where am I?” Gasped the man. “Do you know Mellanei?”
Nathan stiffened as the man grasped his arm. “I know her. She is no longer here.”
“No! I must find her! Warn her!” The man arched in agony.
“Warn her about what?” Nathan held the man still as Ella covered him. In an effort to keep the man conscious, Nathan gave him a hard shake. “Tell me!”


About the Author:

Born on a dark and stormy night on the other side of the world from Richmond, VA, Leila Gaskin began a life full of imaginative wanderings. Inspired by her journey, Leila takes inspiration from the places she’s lived. She is the author of several short stories ranging from horror, speculative fiction, and science fiction. HOT FLASHES is her debut novel.

With her dog as her co-pilot and the cat as the navigator, Leila explores her world and tells her stories.

Twitter: @leilagaskin

Corruption of the Soul Cover Reveal & Giveaway!

Corruption of the Soul 
(A Guild Series Novella)

By JL Vallance

Book Blurb:

It's a story that's been told since the dawn of time.
Boy meets girl.
They fall madly in love, for happiness is written in the stars.
Their one true fate is to have happily ever after at their fingertips.
But what if it's not?
What if every chance encounter is really a carefully orchestrated meeting
pushing you toward a greater purpose? A purpose that you've spent your entire
existence fighting against?
Boy meets girl.
They fall madly in love.
But they'll never come close to happily ever after,
for pain and devastation is what is truly written as their destiny.
All he wants is to feel power and all she wants is to feel complete.
Together, Aedan and Evangeline create a love big enough to bring about the
destruction of Humanity, as well as themselves. 

Released Date: December 10, 2013.

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Author’s Bio:
J. L. Vallance is a wife, mom, and nurse by day, while posing as a writer by night. Plagued with an overactive imagination, a lover of all things supernatural in nature, she has an extraordinary flair for the dramatic that adds flavor to life. There’s little in her world that Otis Redding and buttercream icing can’t fix. And of course, coffee always helps too. True story.

Author Links: