Blog Tour: Hope by Grier Cooper + Guest Post + Giveaway

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00002]   Hope by Grier Cooper

Series: Indigo Dreams series #2

Published by Dancing Poodle Press on April 26, 2016

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

Pages: paperback – 302, ebook – 182

Rating: 4 stars

Source: Goddess Fish Promotions

BUY IT

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Blurb:

Indigo is living the life she’s always imagined at the famed New York School of Ballet. Or is she? Although she hopes she’ll be chosen for the company, her ballet teachers aren’t talking and their silence is confusing.

When Indigo is singled out for a coveted solo she feels her dreams are finally within reach, until she finds out she’s dancing with Felipe Gonzalez, the school’s smolderingly hot rising star. In the days that follow, Indigo questions everything she thought was true and finds herself making surprising choices.

After a fateful piece of paper reveals the truth, Indigo must ask herself the hardest question of all: can she take control of her own future to create the life she wants?


Excerpt:

Maggie plunks her bag down, grabbing the spot next to me. “Ten minutes ‘til the fun begins,” she says. She glances around furtively before adding, “Who knows what torture she’ll dish out today. But inquiring minds want to know: will she reach new levels of cattiness or will we be left sorely disappointed?” She grins wickedly as she finishes tying a ribbon on her pointe shoe.

Neither of us fares well when Alexa Damore teaches class. She’s known for her snide comments and keen ability to pick people apart. “I’ll take disappointment over outright humiliation any day,” I counter. “But who knows. Maybe one of these days she’ll be miraculously transformed.”

Maggie arches an eyebrow. “What?” I continue. “It’s not too much to hope for–a little prayer can’t hurt. Pray with me. ” I fold my hands together and duck my head down. Maggie smacks me.I stick my tongue out at her while I finish tying my shoes. I refuse to climb on the negativity train with her. It’s never a good way to start class.

The door to the studio glides open and a sudden hush sweeps through the room, as if the oxygen has been sucked away. Alexa Damore has arrived–but she’s wearing street clothes–and she’s not alone.

Benjamin Stafford, Artistic Director of Manhattan Ballet Theater, also known as the man who holds our future in his hands, stands in the center of the room. From where I stand, the ambient light behind him illuminates the outline of his body, as if he’s a living embodiment of a god. Then again, he is a god in the world of ballet. The silence is deafening as he slowly rotates around, gazing at each of us in turn. He flashes a brilliant smile and it’s all I can barely look at him. He’s even larger in life than he is onstage with broad shoulders, chiseled features, dark, tousled hair, and blazing blue eyes. On any given day he’s something to look at, but the glowing outline thing further illustrates the glaring difference between him and everyone else in the room.

His eyes fall on me and my heart flutters in my ribcage. I immediately stand a little bit taller and suck in my gut. My breath gets shallower and tighter. I close my eyes and force myself to breath normally. Passing out in class is not the way I want to make an impression.

I may not survive this class.


Review:

*Many thanks to Goddess Fish Promotions for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

This series ended up to be so much more than what I was expecting. I didn’t have very high hopes in the first place, but they were definitely surpassed. Hope was such a light, enjoyable read. I’m always trying to find good books in which the MC is in the dance profession, but for some reason these books tend to be sparse and hard to find. I’m so glad I stumbled upon this book!

The characters were the main thing that I enjoyed about this book. Their interactions with each other took center stage (see what I did there) and it was very interesting to read about all the drama, friendship, and animosity between them. I felt more frustrated with Indigo in this book than in Wish, mostly due to the fact that she was so naive. I hated Felipe from the get-go; it was so easy to spot what kind of guy he was. She made tons of mistakes in this book and was kind of irritating, but I think it was all worth it in the end. I feel like this book was more about the friendships and bonds Indigo formed at her new school, unlike the first book, which was more family-oriented.
I also loved how the author eased the reader into the world of ballet. This book was easy to read, even for a reader who knows absolutely nothing about ballet (like me). The terms and practicalities actually helped the reader effortlessly read along. That’s excellent setting! There’s also a glossary at the back of the book if you ever find yourself struggling, which was extremely helpful.
The plot of the first book, Wish, had more complex problems than this book – dealing with alcoholism and such – so I was afraid this book wouldn’t live up to the first in terms of plot compelling-ness and complexity. However, I needn’t have worried. This was book was as much a page turner as the first. The writing was conversational and made me want to keep turning pages ’till the very end!
In short, Hope features an interesting dynamic between characters and a plot that’ll captivate you until the very end. The writing definitely contributed to all this, along with the fun ballet atmosphere. I really wish I’d read this book earlier!

The Unpaved Road to Success

by Grier Cooper

I’ll never forget the moment when I decided that I was all in as an author. It was 2009, and a friend had somehow convinced me that I needed to go to the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) convention in Los Angeles, probably the biggest convention of its kind. There I stood, cowering in a crowd of Very Important People, otherwise known as Published Authors. These people gave uplifting, inspiring talks each day before hundreds of people and then swished through the hallways liked they owned the hotel. I, on the other hand, felt completely intimidated each time I entered the hallway.

And yet.

I had this feeling somewhere in the middle of my torso (right around the third chakra, if you’re into that kind of stuff) that told me I was supposed to be here, even if I didn’t feel like I belonged right now. Someday I would write a book and it would be published. I didn’t know any of the supporting details like when or how…just…the sense that this was my future.

The convention lasted for five days. We sat for hours upon hours, listening to stories from other authors about the painful uphill climb to being published. They tossed out words like “persistence” and “dedication” and I thought, “Now this I can understand.” After all my years as a professional ballet dancer, I knew the meaning of both of those words all too well.

Or at least I thought I did.

At the time I had no idea that I was barely even on the beginning of the path to becoming published. I set out anyway. I wrote a bunch of stuff. Short stories, articles, essays, a picture book or two. Some of it was publishable, some not so much. I got a lot of rejections. Lots of times there was no response at all, which was even worse because I wondered and obsessively checked email while I waited…and waited. Eventually enough time passed where I realized the lack of response was all I was ever going to get.

Here’s the thing no one ever tells you: you have to be a little bit nuts to choose a career as an author. Really. It takes insane amounts of time to write something decent, then it takes insane amounts of time to get that work polished up to perfection…and still more insane amounts of time to research the proper channels and then submit the work to the proper channels and…you get the point. Everyone likes to gloss over this part, because it’s boring and also more than a little bit depressing. But it happens.

So we’ll leave it there and not go into further details about the boring and depressing parts. Just know that they’re there.

When I’d got to the point of wondering why I continued to put myself through all this I heard the little voice in the back of my mind–you know the one–the calm, sensible, loving voice that talks you off the ledge and back onto your path. That voice gently reminded me of what I heard at that writers’ conference years before: the difference between published writers and unpublished writers is persistence.

Everyone has these moments where you ask yourself what in the world you’re doing–it doesn’t matter who you are or what you do–moments that feel like failure, where you question whether or not you’re doing the right thing, or if you’re even sane. It helps to remember that others have been there, too. The only thing to do is to keep going, to keep moving forward, even if it’s little baby steps. On those days when you feel small, baby steps are all that you can manage. You keep going not just because you have to, but because you need to. You simply decide there is no turning back, no Plan B.

Eventually some of my essays and short stories were published. A bit further down the road I got a couple of publishing contracts for non-fiction titles. In between those projects I wrote novels. I found that writing these young adult novels, the first two of the Indigo Ballet Series, felt like magic, like an answer to the question what am I doing?

I love what I do (most days), and, unlike ballet, I love knowing that writing is something I can do right up until my last breath. That means there are still years ahead to improve, to reach another step closer to perfection, although I don’t believe that journey ever really ends.

This writing journey has held some surprising story twists and unexpected endings. In that sense, the writing life requires living on the edge, being comfortable with getting lost, taking that leap of faith and plunging forward through the dark, spooky forest until you see where you end up on the other side. It’s a little unnerving at times but it’s always an adventure.


Author Bio and Links

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_IndigoDreamsGrier began ballet lessons at age five and left home at fourteen to study at the School of American Ballet in New York. She has performed on three out of seven continents with companies such as San Francisco Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet, totaling more than thirty years of experience as a dancer, teacher and performer.
She writes and blogs about dance in the San Francisco Bay Area and has interviewed and photographed a diverse collection dancers and performers including Clive Owen, Nicole Kidman, Glen Allen Sims and Jessica Sutta. She is the author of the Indigo Dreams ballet fiction series for young adults and The Daily Book of Photography.

Links:

Website: http://www.griercooper.com
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00LPUJWSK
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/grier-cooper
Twitter: http://twitter.com/griercooper
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/griercooper
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/grier-cooper/1a/63/357/
Instagram: https://instagram.com/griercooper/


Giveaway:

Grier cooper will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomely drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $20 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway


Make sure you follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better you chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here.

The Tsar’s Guard Parade “The Crown’s Game Aesthetics” + Giveaway

the crown's game Title: THE CROWN’S GAME

Author: Evelyn Skye

Release Date: May 17th, 2016

Pages: 416

Publisher: Balzer+Bray

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Find it:

 

 goodreadsamazon_buttonb and niBooks

 

 


 

Blurb: 

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love . . . or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear . . . the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.


 

The Crown’s Game Aesthetics

I think the Crown’s Game may be the most aesthetic book I’ve ever heard of… Russians, gowns, gold, a kingdom! The hype surrounding this book is unbelievable and I’m so glad to be a part of this tour to bring you guys aesthetic pictures related to the book! I had so much fun looking for these online! (P.S. Click on the picture for the source.)

  1. http://ninbra.tumblr.com/post/68874834256/saint-petersburg-russia

The contrast of the golden colors and the fog is really pretty! Although I haven’t read the book yet, I can definitely imagine a place like this… So magical!

 

2. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/544020829959274014/

Oh, the grandeur of the grand capital, Saint Petersburg!

 

3. http://travel.allwomenstalk.com/things-to-love-about-russia/3

…. Representing Vika’s snow powers! It’s breathtakingly beautiful.

 

4.bridge

… And Nikolai’s bridge conjuring powers!

 

5. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/555350197780313662/

Self-explanatory enough?

 

6. vika

Red hair as fiery as her personality – it’s no other than Vika!

 

7. enchantress

This isn’t snow, but I really like the cool undertones in this picture. It’s very representative of Vika’s snow power.

 

8.island

This is how I think the forest island of Ovchinin would look like.

 

9. tsar

The orb and scepter of Tsar Alexey I Romanov, Tsar of all Russia and father of Peter I The Great, Tsarevna Sophia, Tsar Ivan, and Tsar Feodor.

 

10. gold

Just because it seems The Crown’s Game is a very fancy book!

 

Here are some extra pictures I wanted to include, too!

extra

extra 2

extra 3

gown

extra 5

extra 6.jpg

 


 

Meet the Author:

Evelyn Skye head shot high res Evelyn Skye was once offered a job by the C.I.A., she not-so-secretly wishes she was on “So You Think You Can Dance,” and if you challenge her to a pizza-eating contest, she guarantees she will win. When she isn’t writing, Evelyn can be found chasing her daughter on the playground or sitting on the couch, immersed in a good book and eating way too many cookies. THE CROWN’S GAME is her first novel. Evelyn can be found online at www.evelynskye.com and on Twitter @EvelynSkyeYA.

Website | Twitter |Facebook | Goodreads | Tumblr | Instagram

 

 


 

Giveaway:

 

Join the rafflecopter giveaway in the link below for the chance to win an ARC of The Crown’s Game! Open internationally!

A Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Also, make sure you check out the complete tour schedule on Evelyn Skye’s website for the chance to enter more giveaways!

 

 

 

 

 

Blog Tour: The Bookminder by M.K. Wiseman + Giveaway

Bookminder-front-500px

The Bookminder by M.K. Wiseman

Published by Xchyler Publishing on January 9, 2016

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Format: ebook

Pages: 444 – paperback

Source: Author (M.K. Wiseman)

BUY LINKS

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About the Book:

Sired by magick and violence, sixteen-year-old Liara is found guilty of witchcraft and banished from her tiny village by the very priest who raised, then betrayed her. However, a mysterious mage steps forward to assume custody of her: Nagarath, the Wizard of Parentino, whose secret spellwork has long protected both Liara and Dvigrad from the ravages of war.

Despite Liara’s best hopes, Nagarath refuses to apprentice her to his craft but tasks her instead with the restoration of his neglected library. Liara gleans what magickal knowledge she can on the sly, determined to learn, come what may. But the first test of her stolen knowledge goes awry and renews an evil wizard’s interest in the people of the Limska Draga valley.

Only by tapping Liara’s inherent magick and joining it with his own can Nagarath protect Parentino from suffering a horrible fate. However, her discovery of his secrets destroys their fragile trust and ignites the darker tendencies of her gift. Now, he must rescue her from the influence of his mortal enemy before their powerful new alliance destroys them all.

 


 

About the Author:

Bookminder_Webkit_Author

Interview:

1. How did you come up with the concept of your story?

In 2004 I had a very vivid dream that, afterward, wouldn’t leave me alone. Said dream basically detailed out one scene from the story, something so different and captivating for me that it stuck. Now, it must be noted that I was not writing at that time, nor did I intend to write in any professional capacity. But as this one nugget of an idea would not let me be, I started to form a story around it – Why were these people doing what they were doing? Who were they?

I think that working in the Preservation Dept of the campus library system had bled into my subconscious and that is where the magick system that rules The Bookminder developed.

2. What was the hardest part of writing your book, and how did you overcome it?

Point of View. Point of View. Point of View. I really love an omniscient narrator. I almost exclusively read omni POV. So to have to convert over to 3rd Person in service of the voice and narrative was a bit of a square peg / round hole issue for me. But the story is better served cutting out that distancing narrator that I so love. As to how I overcame it, I figured that as I’d put myself in the hands of professionals who wanted my book out there for the world, I had better do my part and learn and grow.

3. What is your preferred writing genre?

You know those authors whose work you have trouble finding in bookstores because they might be filed under YA, or maybe fantasy, or maybe even sci fi, or just the catch-all new-release fiction sections? Yep. That is the genre I like to sit in because that is what I like to read. Historical fiction and fantasy get a lot of lovin’ from me, as does light steampunk. As someone trained in librarianship, I value the concept of a genre but I don’t like to think of the walls between them as all that solid.

4. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

That was a sort of slow shift for me. I mean, I started writing pieces of significant length in 2004 but really did so without any specific “I want to be a writer” aim. I was just compelled to try it out, I suppose. At that time, what I really wanted to be (and still do!) was/is an animator. But both are storytellers so it’s not that big a leap. I think I finally knew what I wanted when it came clear to me that my work is actually publishable. Then I found that I had a burning desire to keep going with it, wanting to add to libraries rather than just “worship” them as a reader.

5. Where do you actually write? Do you write on a schedule?

I actually spend a lot of my writing time in a big, orange, overstuffed armchair. Or, if I need a little more ‘action’ around me, I head off to a coffee shop to immerse myself in a slice of Life. As for any sort of schedule, I don’t have set hours or word counts or anything—that tends to mess with my muse’s office hours. Sometimes there are publishing deadlines to keep but that’s as tangibly schedule-y as I get.

6. Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know about you?

Quick rundown here: I’m a lefty. (Represent!) I’ve been known to unicycle about town. I play a Croatian instrument that not a lot of people have heard of. I like to order my huevos rancheros Christmas-style. And I’m just about the biggest Sherlock Holmes fan you could ever have.

Just for fun nerd list:

Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Wars (Though I am a sucker for Voyager.)

Hunger Games or Divergent? Neither? I know that sounds terrible. I just never got into the ‘dystopian’ thing. Too intense for me.

James Bond or Jack Ryan? Erm, *embarrassed blush* I haven’t ever read or seen a James Bond novel or movie and actually had to Google “Jack Ryan” to find out who that was.

Sherlock: Robert Downey, Jr. or Benedict Cumberbatch? Jeremy Brett. 🙂

Spock: Leonard Nimoy or Zachary Quinto? Leonard Nimoy.

X-Men or Avengers? That has changed for me very recently, actually. Avengers now has the lead because of the excellence of the recent movies—great dynamics.

Aliens or Predators? Cue another embarrassed blush . . . Complete and total unfamiliarity here for me.

Minions or Penguins? Penguins.

Batman or Superman? Batman *But only because he has such cool toys!

Harry Potter or Pirates of the Caribbean? That’s a tough one because I never really got into Harry Potter in the way that I’m sure this question is asking about and I loved “Pirates” so long as we stick only to the first movie.

Beatles or Rolling Stones? Beatles.

Peter Jackson or James Cameron? Peter Jackson. But only because I am largely unfamiliar with the main body of James Cameron’s work.

Steven Spielberg or George Lucas? George Lucas.

Vampires or Werewolves? Vampires

LARP or MORPG? LARP – always wanted to try one.


My Review:

[4 stars]

*Many thanks to the author for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion of this book.*

I think this book just cemented my interest in historical fantasy. I never used to like historical fantasy (or any type of historical fiction, for that matter); in fact, I felt weary every time I saw a book with that genre listed. I read ‘His Fair Assassin’ trilogy and actually liked it, but my trepidation toward historical fiction still remained. Then, I read The Spirit Gate and found it to be quite an enjoyable read, and so, I slowly opened up to the world of historical fantasy. The Bookminder just helped strengthen my resolve to give the genre a chance and read more books from it in 2016. When I first started reading the book, I didn’t know I had expectations until it surpassed them. I’m actually disappointed more people don’t know about this book, because it truly was a very enjoyable read. So many things drew me in, which I’ll be discussing below.

The characters were my favorite part of the book; they’re relationships with each other were just so dynamic, particularly Liara and Nagarath! I really enjoyed reading their dialogue and interactions. At the beginning of the book, I wasn’t sure if he was going to be the ‘love interest’ because I thought he was really old, as indicated by the gray hairs on his head, but the cover doesn’t portray him as that old. There were numerous moments when they showed… interest in each other, but I’m still not certain about where they stand in their relationship. Is it a mage-ward one? Or a partnership? The technicalities are so weird; I do wish this point was elaborated on more. Other than that, I thought the other characters were extremely well-developed. I love how they were interconnected with each other and how their stories tied together well at the end – it was very satisfying. It’s generally pretty hard to connect with characters in a fantasy story, but the author succeeded in drawing the reader in and making them feel the characters’ emotions & feelings.

The setting of the story also really helped the characters flourish in the reader’s mind. The world building was extremely well-paced, doing an excellent job in not confusing the reader, AKA me. Seriously, I was never puzzled. I never had to go back a few pages to check what had happened or where we were or what was going on.

The book’s writing itself was also very compelling. The descriptions were descriptive without being too over-the-top, allowing me to perfectly picture what was going on. This factor is also what kept me reading and completely hooked from start to finish – very gripping, indeed! In addition to that, I also love the language created in the book. I love how the book had its own terms and phonological expressions used, immersing the reader even further into the world.

Overall, if you’ve ever been hesitant to read historical fiction, I think this book could be a great starting point – I actually wish I started reading the genre with this! It’s an absolutely compelling read, pulling you into the character’s world very skillfully. The superb writing and descriptions also helped contribute to this. Make sure you get your hands on a copy of this book, since it’s OUT TODAY!


 

Giveaway + Tour Schedule:

We’re celebrating the release of THE BOOKMINDER by M. K. Wiseman with a blog tour and Rafflecopter give-away! Visit each blog each day for more chances to win lots of great prizes. If you like epic fantasy, you’ll love this coming-of-age tale of magic and wizards set in the Renaissance era.

January 9-16, 2016

Saturday, 01-09 Bookwhizz
Sunday, 01-10 M. K. Wiseman
Monday, 01-11 Perpetual Chaos of a Wandering Mind
Tuesday, 01-12 Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Wednesday, 01-13 Belart’s Book Reviews
Thursday, 01-14 Dreams to Become
Semi-short Chic
Friday, 01.15 JD Spero
Books in the Spotlight
Saturday, 01-16 Creativity from Chaos
Rambling Reviews

Don’t forget to enter our blog tour Rafflecopter give-away below,

on the blogs above, on our Facebook page, or on Rafflecopter,

with daily chances to win!

 

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

Blog Tour: Death and Jelly by Cara Doll + Giveaway

death and jelly

Death and Jelly by Cara Doll
Published by Lulu.com on August 22, 2014
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 242
Format: ebook (PDF)
Source: Goddess Fish Promotions

BUY IT

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Blurb:

Violett wasn’t good at meeting people. Then she met him. Markus wasn’t good at not killing people. Then he met her.


Excerpt:

Several hours after the tepid sunset, Bach, the paintmaker, and Gian, the professor of history, appeared together at the painter’s door. In his satchel, Bach carried three bottles of wine. In Gian’s satchel, was a thicket of papers he was likely to begin grading at the table while the meal was still in front of him.

Markus led them to the dining room where supper had already been set out.

As they sat, Bach eyed the painter ominously. “Hello…there.”

“Yes, hello,” Gian repeated, less ominously, already distracted by something in his bag.

Bach emptied his satchel onto the table. The wine bottles rolled until each one precisely stopped at a diner’s plate.

Markus righted his bottle. “What is it?” He asked impatiently.

Bach smiled. “Well, Gian and I were talking on the way here. We were wondering how long it’s been.”

“How long it’s been since what?” Markus asked, though he knew already.

“Certainly that girl in Lisbon wasn’t the last,” Bach chided with a barely disguised smirk. “That was months ago.”

Gian looked up from his bag to scowl at Markus. “That was the worst vacation of my life. I couldn’t get that…smell out of my bathrobe. I had to throw it out.”

“So many casualties…” The words slithered from Bach’s mouth like a snake—a snake that withered and died under the painter’s glare.

“I didn’t kill her.” Markus snatched the corkscrew off the table. “She just died.”

Bach and Gian shared an eye roll as the painter stabbed the cork with unintentional vehemence.


Review: 

*Copy received via Goddess Fish Promotions in exchange for an honest review.*

Wow. This was such a great story. I loved the characters. Their dialogues made me laugh a lot. The story’s plot actually went somewhere and the ending was awesome! I started reading the book with low expectations but it totally pulled me in! Overall, this was an engaging story with intriguing characters and quirky dialogue. Love, love, loved it!


Author:

Cara Doll lives in Austin, Texas.

Website: www.bohemianscream.com


Giveaway: 

The author, Cara,  will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click the link below to enter.

Enter to win a $10 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here.

Blog Tour: Desert Blood by Brian Young + Giveaway

desert blood by brian youngDesert Blood by Brian Young
Series: The Maker’s Mountain #2
Published by Rogue Phoenix Press on August 6, 2013
Genres: Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Pages: 342
Source: Goddess Fish Promotions

                           BUY IT!

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Blurb:

The Dolus invasion rolled over the unassuming Kingdom of Larista leaving ghost towns in its wake. It brought death and destruction in abundance and left the people of Larista without their king or his heirs. It left the kingdom reeling with the realization that they weren’t alone on their isolated side of the Maker’s Mountain but instead part of a world that desperately wanted and needed the life giving water they took for granted.

One of the king’s sons, the Prisoner Prince Alexander, is still alive but held captive on the unexplored eastern side of the Maker’s Mountain known as the Wasteland. The man that holds him is the Emperor of the Free Cities, Jameson. His quest for vengeance and conquest has stirred up the other nations of the Wasteland and made them aware of the riches of Larista. Alexander’s lifelong friends, Percival and Maximus must set out on individual journeys to find their friend, their king and themselves. But they will face a litany of foes along their paths. A horde of Beleick soldiers led by the Dictact threaten to sweep over the land sending everything into chaos while the Sisters of Gnaritas and the Death Stalker assassins weave their own intricate schemes for control of the Wasteland and the water that might flow from Larista.

Amongst so many people blood thirsty for power can Alexander find his way to the Maker’s Path or will he succumb to his own demons and find the Wraith’s Den in Oblivion…


Excerpt:

He looked around as best he could while keeping his head still. The dark cell he was in didn’t have much to offer. He racked his brain, trying to figure out where he was and how he had gotten there. He vaguely remembered an attack and some kind of battle, but the details were blurry. Definitely a concussion.

“I wasn’t sure you were going to wake up,” a small female voice rose from the shadows.

“I almost wish I hadn’t,” Mason answered.

“From the way the emperor and his tool, Valiance, treat their prisoners, you would have been better off not waking up,” the girl offered.

“That doesn’t make any sense.” Mason shook his head and immediately regretted it.

“What doesn’t make any sense,” she asked.

“I’m the…a new lord. I was just rewarded my land as a gift from Jameson.”

“You don’t have to lie to me, assassin. I hear much of what Jameson hides from others. I know exactly who you are.”

Mason strained his neck, trying to look in the direction of the voice. “Why would Jameson let one of his prisoners hear things that shouldn’t be shared?”

“Because he is arrogant and because he has no intention of letting either of us speak to anyone again.”

“Then he is a fool. I guarantee I will not die rotting in this cell.” He got no response from that comment, but he didn’t want to let the conversation die. The words were helping him clear his thoughts. “So you know who I am and yet you speak to me? Are you not afraid of an assassin from the Death Stalkers?”

The girl stepped forward just into view of the light coming from the cell door. She was very young and pretty. He didn’t expect to see anyone so clean in a prison cell. “I’m the emperor’s whore against my will. I have no choice but to let him abuse my body at his pleasure. Death, at your hands, would be welcome.”


Review:

*Copy received via Goddess Fish Promotions for an honest review.*

This was a very fun, action-packed read. Desert Blood has very well-paced POV switches. Also, I love the fact that there are POVs for the villains; it helps us gain an insight into their world and how they think, which is a very good idea. There’s a massive character development arc in just one book! The characters in this book have dimension and their own backstories. I love how throughout the book, each character has a specific subplot and in the end, all these subplots just tie together wonderfully. I like the fact that you feel sympathy for every character — even the villains! I caught myself rooting for them a lot. The author’s writing style is eye-capturing, descriptive and full of action. He has more of a show – don’t tell – style, which I love in books. This book has so many cliffhangers; they kept me up all night reading! Overall, this book is an engaging, tension-filled read with beautiful descriptions and an amazing writing style.


Meet the Author!

Brian was born in Salem, Oregon and currently resides in Eugene, Oregon with his wife, daughter and son. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a BA in English. He squeezes in time for writing in the early hours of the morning and during lunch breaks at work.

Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Brian-Young/209003422499368


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