Monday, 17 June 2013

By Blood ~ Cover Reveal + Book Blitz

By Blood 
By Tracy E. Banghart 

Series: By Blood #1 
Publication date: February 18th 2013
Genre: YA Paranormal

For 17-year-old Emma Wong, spending a summer in England should be a dream come true. Gorgeous scenery? Check. Lots of hot guys with accents? Yes, please. 

Throw in an estranged mom, annoying new stepdad, and drooling baby half-brother, and it’s a disaster even her favourite cherry red leather jacket can’t fix. Even worse, there’s (hot) live-in research assistant Josh to contend with. The only thing more embarrassing than   drunk-kissing him hours after they meet? Knowing he’ll be witness to her family’s dysfunction all. summer. long.

But when Emma meets a mysterious girl who happens to be a Druid, her vacation suddenly promises to be far more intriguing than she  anticipated. Powerful rituals, new friends, an intoxicating sense of freedom...and Simon, the sexy foreign stranger she was hoping for. It’s all a perfect distraction from dirty diapers and awkward family dinners.

Trouble is, intriguing doesn’t often mean simple. And Emma is about to discover just how not simple her life really is.

By Blood is a novel about the ways that blood can bind us to others – or tear us apart.



“This time we’ll each invoke the element of nature we want to draw strength from. Each of us will make an offering—” Simon pointed to the empty bowl. I swallowed. “—and then I’ll close the circle by submitting our offering to the universe.”
I didn’t have a clue what he meant by that, but the last ritual had been pretty easy to follow.
He opened the Grove the same way he’d done before, flashing the sword at East, South, West, and North, and invoking each of the four elements. Again, I felt the tingle of the living Earth beneath my feet. The air was much clearer tonight; a gusty breeze rustled through the watchful trees and set Simon’s candle flickering.
Again, Simon said, “Now that we have called on the elements, we may proceed with the work of the Grove.” And Harrison, Simon, George and Molly purified the circle by air, fire, water and earth.
We’d started tonight’s ceremony later, and long shadows played against our faces. Bryna’s hair flamed in the glow of the setting sun. Tonight felt different; there was an edge to the anticipation. Ash wasn’t smiling. But we were all waiting, tensed to see what would happen next.
Simon set the bowl with the votive on the ground and held up the flask and the sword. “I invoke the spirit of flame to infuse this Grove with strength.” His voice was strong. He took a sip from the flask and then walked to the center of the circle. “By my blood,” he said and nicked his palm with the blade.
I watched a thin trickle of blood drip into the bowl. My face felt hot. When Diana and I were ten, we made ourselves blood sisters, pricking our palms with needles and squishing the tiny drops of blood together. That had been fun, silly even. We’d giggled through the whole thing.
This—this felt real. There was real power in the words Simon said, in the drops of his blood in that bowl. I breathed deeply, watching in fascination as Simon resumed his place and handed Ash the flask and sword. She wiped the tip of the blade against her bare leg and took a drink from the flask.
When she spoke, she did it with authority. “I invoke the spirit of all warm living, breathing things to give this Grove strength. By my blood.” A few more drops of cherry red blood fell into the bowl.
“I invoke the spirit of unyielding stone.” George hissed when the sword slid against his skin.
“I don’t know if I can do this,” Molly declared, looking askance at the sword. But in the end, she invoked the spirit of spring – rebirth, she said – and made a little cut on her palm with a squeal.
It was my turn next. I felt the weight of the sword in my hand, looked down to see my white dress shimmering in the gloom of twilight. What strength did I want from the earth? What power did I wish I had? As I thought, I stepped to the center of the circle and took a gulp from the flask – the flavor was different this time. Spicy, dark. Like red wine, but sharper. It left a coppery taste, like blood, on my tongue.
Suddenly, I remembered the calm I’d felt Saturday, meditating with Ash. The flow of my breath, inhalation, exhalation like waves. “I invoke the spirit of the sea,” I said, and my voice didn’t shake. “By my blood, I ask the ocean to lend us its strength.”
Quickly, so I didn’t have time to think, I swiped the tip of the sword against my skin. The cut burned, but it was shallow and only a few drops of blood leaked out. I stepped back to my place and passed the flask and sword to Harrison.
“I invoke the spirit of air,” he said, gesturing to the incense in the bowl at his feet. I could smell the sandalwood faintly; it mixed oddly with the spicy dark flavor in my mouth.
Bryna went last, and she cut herself the most deeply. I gasped at the small stream of blood as it flowed into the bowl. She invoked the spirit of thunder.
I pressed my palms together and felt the sting of my cut; it had almost stopped bleeding, but I didn’t want to get blood on my dress.
Walking to the center of the circle, Simon held the blood-filled vessel up to the sky. “By earth, air, water and fire,” he said, his voice ringing, “and by our blood, we invoke the strength of flame, of living, breathing things, of stone, spring, and the sea. We invoke the strength of the very air around us and in our lungs, and we invoke the strength of thunder.”
As he said the words, a great gust of wind blew through the glade, whipping my hair off my face. I could almost feel the earth shift beneath me, almost hear the faint rumble of thunder in the distance. My mouth was full of the taste of blood, and my skin shivered under the touch of the wind.
For a moment, we all stared at each other, our eyes wide.
Did that just—what was that?


"Emma's sarcastic, biting narrative and the lure of Celtic myth and magic constructs a brilliant book to cosy up with...if you dare!" ~ 21st Century Once Upon a Times blog

“By Blood effortlessly transports you to the cobblestone streets and small pubs of Oxford, and Emma’s sassy voice pulls you right into the story with its hot British boys and touch of magic. A must read!” —Susanne Winnacker, author of Imposter and The Other Life

“A five star read from start to finish. Un-put-downable!” —Vanessa Garbin, author of the forthcoming Captivate

"Love this book! It's a sweet little gem and I am glad that I got to read it! If you are looking for a story that is fun and quick, then I would recommend this book. You will want to know what happens to Emma in the matters of boys, family and adventure!" ~ Sarah, Me My Shelf And I blog


Tracy E. Banghart is a cheesy movie–loving, fantasy football–playing (go Ravens!), globe-trotting Army wife who began “practicing” her craft at the age of five, when she wrote her first story. She loves visiting the international friends she met while pursuing her MA in Publishing and spends a portion of every summer at her family’s cabin in Canada, where she finds inspiration and lots of time to relax on the dock. She lives with her husband, son, two lazy dogs and one ornery cat. When not writing or spending time with her family, she is on a mission to bake the perfect cupcake.

Tracy’s next novel, Moon Child, a companion to By Blood, will be available this August!

By Blood ~ Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Grand Prize Giveaway:

 - Giveaway Prize Pack #1 (US only)

  • Signed paperback copy of By Blood
  • Plus (all hardcover):
    • Beauty Queens, by Libba Bray
    • Starcrossed, by Josephine Angelini
    • The Body Finder, by Kimberly Derting
    • Jane, by April Lindner
    • By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead, by Julie Anne Peters
    • Sean Griswold’s Head, by Lindsey Leavitt
    • Under the Never Sky, by Veronica Rossi
    • Slide, by Jill Hathaway
    • Wither, by Lauren DeStefano
    • Imaginary Girls, by Nova Ren Suma

 - Giveaway Prize Pack #2 (Intl)
  • Signed paperback copy of By Blood
  • $50 Amazon Gift Card

To go to the By Blood NEW cover reveal and book blitz go here

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Unhinged (Splintered #2) - Chapter Snippet

Unhinged (Splintered #2) - Chapter Sampler
By A.G. Howard

Rating: 5

"You need a man who knows and understand you, Alyssa. Both sides of you. A partner." He pulls my necklaces - and me - closer. "One who's your equal in every way."


A land of wonder morphs into a realm of decay in the wicked sequel to Splintered...this exclusive excerpt plunging readers back into A.G. Howard's addictive world of magic, romance and adventure. As bitter as the bottom of a tea cup, and as sweet as a biscuit, it's sure to get you hooked!

Will Alyssa take on her burden and save Wonderland? 
Which guy will steal her heart - the knight or the moth? 
Will evil triumph?

Prepare yourself - Unhinged is coming!

*A big thank you to AG Howard and Netgalley for giving me the chance to read this :)*

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Dare to Fear ~ Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton Review

Some Quiet Place
By Kelsey Sutton

Rating: 4.9

'The little girl I see in the pictures doesn't really look like me. The physical details are the same, of course. The wild blond hair, the blue eyes, the smooth, sun-darkened skin. But if someone else hadn't said that the little girl was me, I wouldn't have known. It's not that I don't remember being so young...I just don't know how I became what I am now.

There's something missing in the girl I see in the mirror compared to the one in those pictures: a sort of soul. A light inside.'

She can't weep, lust, cower in terror, or even celebrate. All she can do is pretend.

The only sensation Elizabeth Caldwell is able to feel is nothingness. An ever-present nothingness that consumes her, eating away at her. 

She learns to observe, to give people the reaction they expect and to pretend that she isn't the freak who can't feel...who has never experienced love, anger, denial or fear. 

But though Elizabeth has never experienced any of these emotions she knows they exist all too well. She can see the flesh.

They stand right behind you. They stand nose-to-nose with you. You can't tell...but she can.

Shame, Longing, Jealousy, Courage, Anger - they wander the halls of Elizabeth's school, stand around her dinner table, walk along side pedestrians and hang out at high school parties. But they never bother Elizabeth, having given up on trying to get through Elizabeth's numbness a long time ago. Instead, they target those around her: her dysfunctional and resentful family, nasty classmates, the shy Joshua Hayes. 

But one refuses to give up. One refuses to be defeated. 

Shaking in your boots? Shivers down your spine? Fear must be close.

Fear has always been fascinated with Elizabeth, ever since she was a child. A tantalising mystery, she is the one human who is immune to his touch, unaffected by his powers and the aura of terror he wears as a second cloak. No matter the number of trials, tests and illusions he throws at her, not once does she cave. Not once does she feel. 

Intrigued, and a little irritated, Fear vows to get to the bottom of it - he will discover her secret, and when he does she better prepare herself for the fright of a lifetime. 

Is it a sweet dream...or a beautiful nightmare?

Darkened woods. Screams. Terror. Sorrow. A girl clutching the lifeless body of the boy she loves.

The dream refuses to change, no matter how many nights it plagues Elizabeth - it refuses to give up its secrets. But as the draw to it becomes greater, Elizabeth can't help but sense that it is more than a figment of her imagination. That this dream may hold the key to her past, to her condition and to the menacing shadow that seems to be lurking over her shoulder, dogging her steps.

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I'll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.”*

A tale that explores what it is that truly makes us human, Some Quiet Place is a hauntingly beautiful book that will rattle you, tear you apart and then lovingly put you back together again.

A big thank you to Netgalley and Flux Publishing for giving me the chance to read and review this :)

*quote by Rumi

The Keeper's Curse ~ International Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Keeper's Curse - Experience the Magic!

Author: Diana Harrison
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Magic, Paranormal Romance

The Giveaway is:
  • Open Internationally
  • Winning entrees will be verified.
  • Thirty people will win ebook copies of The Keeper's Curse.
  • Winners must respond to a congratulatory e-mail within 48 hours of receiving it or new winners will be chosen.
  • Once winners have been confirmed, Author Diana Harrison will supply their copies.
Book Blurb:

After fifteen-year-old Emmy Rathers unintentionally summons a strange glowing cloud during a break-in, her mother rips her from her home, her father, and her world, forever.

When she lands in the rustic, militant land of Methelwood, she is told she's a crafter - a person who can perform magic by conjuring souls of the dead. But starting life over normally in the midst of grieving for the life she has left behind, while at the same time attempting to fit
in in her new war-obsessed school, becomes impossible when she begins to hear a voice in her head. Complicating the matter further is the fact that the voice belongs to a boy at school named Breckin, who just also happens to be the most powerful crafter in the world, and the future ruler of Methelwood.

But that's not the worst part - suddenly Breckin's most hostile adversary is coming out of the shadows and trying to kill her. With no other choice, Emmy must travel deeper into this bizarre, dark world she is so unfamiliar with to find out why this is happening to her, and more importantly, how to stay alive.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

An Assassin's Heart. A Will of Steel ~ Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas ARC Review

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2)
By Sarah J. Maas

Rating: 5+

'"Is it done?"

Celaena reached a gloved hand into the sack and tossed the severed head toward him. No one spoke as it bounced, a vulgar thudding of stiff and rotting flesh on marble. It rolled to a stop at the foot of the dais, milky eyes turned towards the ornate glass chandelier overhead.

Dorian straightened, glancing away from the head. Chaol just stared at her.

"He put up a fight," Celaena said.'

'She was a beautiful wraith - and when she looked at him, it was like she didn't even know who he was.'

As the Crown Prince, the son of the King of Adarlan, Dorian has grown up in the cold shadow of his father. He's seen cruel things, watched silently as death was handed out swiftly - and horribly - to those who dared to oppose his father. 

But watching Celaena become the King's Champion is a whole new experience.

Gone is the girl with the teasing grin and the fancy for trinkets and pretty gowns. Gone is the soft-eyed pianist with gentle waves of golden hair falling around her face. In her place stands a woman, made up of edges sharp enough to cut, clothed from head to foot in black. 

The King's Champion...the King's Hand of Death.

And Dorian can't help but wonder if she really has transformed...or whether Celaena is simply showing her true colours. The colours of an assassin. The colours of a cold-blooded, cold-hearted killer.

'Of course Chaol would notice the difference - he noticed everything. She couldn't tell if it pleased her or not.'

Celaena's duties are smothering her, choking her like an iron collar around her neck. Killing off the king's enemies one by one is a gruesome and difficult task. Especially when her trips are not at all what they seem. Though from the outside, it may look like Celaena's nothing more than the king's pet assassin, her iron will is far from broken. 

But she cannot afford for her loyalty to the crown to be in her plans, hopes and efforts remain a secret, locked up away inside of her, behind her cold and hard facade.

Keeping up the charade may not be the death of her. But it could be the death of everyone she loves.

'He's got little to lose and a lot to gain. That makes people dangerous. Ruthless.'

Secrets are not the only things hidden within the castle walls. Enemies hide behind saccharine-sweet smiles. Ancient powers rise to the surface. And above it all, the chess master scanning the board, sits the King of Adarlan - whose every move is deliberate, malicious. All aimed towards one end. The securing of power. Supreme rulership. 

Not only must Celaena deal with physical threats to her safety and that of those who she cares for, but she must face a horrible truth - a supernatural force that threatens to unravel the framework of the kingdom and plunge it into chaos. 

Fate calls. And Celaena isn't convinced that she should answer its summons - the stakes are too high. The price too heavy to pay.

'Do not let the light go out.'

Choices. Loyalties. Sacrifices. Love. Celaena is at the forefront of an epic battle that has the power to change the kingdom forever - for better or for worse. But she must remember who she is. What she is fighting for. 

Or lose herself to the madness and to the darkness that lurks within her, in the depths of her eyes of brightest blue, ringed with gold.

The making of a literary legend, Sarah J Maas' Crown of Midnight is a thrilling sequel which will have you sitting on daggers, awaiting her storytelling magic and more of Celaena's passionate spirit!

A big thank you to Sarah J Maas, Netgalley and Bloomsbury USA Children's Publishing for the chance to read and review an ARC copy of the book :)

Monday, 3 June 2013

Weeping Stars ~ Grasping At Eternity Review

Grasping At Eternity (The Kindrily #1)
By Karen Amanda Hooper

Rating: 4.9

"Saying goodbye to you tomorrow is going to shatter my heart to pieces."
"Mine too. But I've got enough miracle glue to put as back together again."

When it's dark enough, you can see the stars. Or so they say.

Nathaniel's tired of staring up at the fathomless well of stars, wishing for a miracle he knows is impossible. Eyeing the dark hollow in the sky where her star used to be. 

Before she was caught.
Before tears filled her eyes.
Before she mouthed the words 'I love you eternally'.

Before she erased.

The stars will weep for those who have fallen, haunted by the light that once shone beside them. Or so they say.

After a devastating tragedy that turned her world upside down, Maryah's less than ready to uproot herself and step into a house full of strangers, even if it's the home of her mother's childhood friend, Louise Luna. But succumbing to the pleadings of her cousin Krista, Maryah agrees to give Louise and her family a chance.

But the moment she enters their home, something just seemsodd about the Luna family. Maybe its the gorgeous paintings hand-painted by Louise, the charming room they've given her, the hostile looks from some of the Luna kids, the shared knowing looks that they think go unnoticed, or the way everyone there just seems so ready to accept her into their family.

And Maryah can't shake off the sense of déjà vu. Like she's been there before. Like she knows them.

And like they know her.

The older the soul, the brighter the star. Or so they say.

When Nathaniel is forced to come face-to-face with Maryah, it brings a pain like no other. Tortured by her presence, but unable to stay away, he can't come to terms with the bitter truth that stands before him in the form of a beautiful girl with lightless eyes. 

That she really did choose to erase. That she has no memory of who she really is. Was.

Or of the lives she's lived. Or of what she meant to them all. What she meant to him.

The undying love they shared.

And may never share again.

There is a trace of light up there. If you can find it.

Secrets begin to tear at the careful cocoon Nathaniel and the other kindrily have constructed for Maryah - dangers that none of them can control forcing Nathaniel and Maryah to face one another and what lies between them. 

But when Maryah discovers the truth, will she believe it? Can she believe in a love, in a life, that she doesn't remember...that she gave up? 

There is strength in love. If you can find the faith to believe in it.

Lives and hearts collide in a story that will make you believe in a love that last beyond lifetimes.

Kickass. Witty. Magical ~ School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins

School Spirits (School Spirits #1)
By Rachel Hawkins

Rating: 5 

'Mom and I looked for her for six months. Six months of tracking down leads and sleeping in motel rooms and researching other cases like Finley's, and it all led nowhere. My sister was just...gone.

And then one day, Mom had just packed up our things and announced we were going home. "We have a job to do," she'd said. "Brannicks hunt monsters. It's what we do, and what we need to get back to. Finley would want that."

That had been the last time Mom had said Finley's name.'

Strong of mind. Strong of heart.

Izzy Brannick fights monsters - it's in her blood. Dealing with witches, brandishing weapons..she's done it all. Occasionally, she even puts down dorky vamps named Pascal who need to learn how to hold off on the body glitter. 

But what she can't fight are the demons in her head. The memories. The pain. The guilt. 

Missing Finley terribly, Izzy clings to the hope that they'll manage to discover what happened to her older sister, and get her back, safe and sound. But with her mother adamant to keep forging ahead, holding the Brannick flame high, Izzy may have no choice but to let go of the little flicker of hope she keeps buried away.

The hope that the Brannick women will be together again. 

Welcome to Ideal, Mississippi. Watch out for the not-so friendly ghosts.

Izzy and her mum settled down in Ideal, news of what seems like a haunting of a local high school reaching their ears. Izzy's mother insists that the mission will be good for her; it's a chance for Izzy to prove that she's worthy of the Brannick family name, and to deal out justice on her own. 

From daggers to dodgeball.

In order to fully investigate the haunting, Izzy was go undercover as a human high school student. Which seems easy enough, right? Except for a few crucial details.

Izzy has never been to human school.
Izzy has never had human friends.
Izzy has never sat in a maths class.
Izzy has never watched Ivy Springs.

But a Brannick never backs down from a challenge. 

Izzy's fought nasty supernaturals, and managed to hold onto her life by the skin of her teeth on more than one occasion. So how hard can attending a human high school really be?!

Mirror, mirror on the wall.

But the deeper Izzy delves into the mystery surrounding the high school, the darker the case becomes. She's no longer dealing with your cranky, average ghost. Oh no. She may have just stumbled across something much, much worse. 

Something that could cost her and her new friends their lives.

Trust is a fragile trinket.

The lines between mission and loyalty blur as Izzy begins to care more than she should about the friends she makes and the case she's knee-deep in. A Brannick needs a clear head. A Brannick doesn't belong in the human world. But as much as Izzy knows these things, she can no longer deny that the human world has its attractions. 

That she's found people she cares about. Maybe even someoneshe cares about enough to risk everything for.

The mystery thickens. The tension heightens. The action sharpens. The road ahead darkens.

With a case to solve, a sister to find, and a heart to decipher, Izzy will have to trust blindly, disobey the rules she's lived by her whole life, and somehow manage to keep her identity a secret in the midst of the paranormal chaos which the mundane world is oblivious to.

But Brannick's are survivors. And as one of the last of the Brannick's Izzy is a fighter by blood - and nothing will stop her from getting the job done.

Not even the next season of Ivy Springs!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Untraceable. Unforgivable. Unforgettable ~ Untraceable by S.R. Johannes Review

Untraceable (Nature of Grace #1)
By S.R. Johannes

Rating: 5

'Dad used to always say, nothing is untraceable.

Everything that touches this earth leaves a special imprint, a unique mark that proves we existed in some way- no matter how invisible we may feel.'

Sometimes you need to let go. Sometimes you just can't.

Grace knows the Smokies like the back of her hand - all thanks to her forest ranger father who taught her all the ins and outs of tracking, and wilderness survival since she was smaller than a river otter. 

But when her father goes missing, not even the authorities can convince Grace that he isn't coming back. She scours the Smokies day after day, clinging to the flimsy pieces of evidence she finds: bark with blood-like sap, Cheetos bags, empty toilet paper rolls. 

The world thinks she's crazy. 

But Grace can't let go. Not when her father could be out there. Alive.

It takes a village to raise a child. It takes a town to keep a secret. 

Just when she thinks the trail has gone cold, Grace stumbles across a web of deeply-buried secrets that may hold all the answers - from the mysterious going-ons in the woods, to her father's disappearance. Not knowing who she can trust, Grace throws herself into solving the mystery...even if it means putting her own life in danger.

Think with your head. Not your heart.

But secrets are not all Grace uncovers in the woods. Mo - with his "Abso-bloody-lutely"'s and adorable accent - is an enigma, spending his days surrounded by the wild, fishing and cracking jokes. He makes Grace feel things she'd rather not feel. 

He makes living worthwhile. He makes her forget.

But Grace keeps her guard up, not willing to deal with feelings that she's better off without. But both Mo and her ex-boyfriend Wyn aren't willing to let her go without a fight. 

If she's going to find her father, nothing can get in her way. Not even love.

What will people do for love? How far will they go to save the ones they love?

A brilliant action-packed journey of loss, love, betrayal and how to lose and find yourself on the way.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...