Redemption blog tour: Guest post by Erica Hayes + giveaway!

Wicked Lies blog tour

This week, we have a guest blog from the talented Erica Hayes, author of the Shadowfae Chronicles and the new Seven Signs series. She’s here to promote her newest Seven Signs book, REDEMPTION, the second book in this apocalyptic urban fantasy romance series, as part of her blog tour. She’s put together a lovely guest post for you and there’s also a great giveaway for the tour. Please join me in welcoming Erica back to Tynga’s Reviews!

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Thanks to Tynga and the team for hosting me on the blog today! My new romance series, the Seven Signs, is about an angel vs. demon Apocalypse. Y’know, the kind with plagues and portents, rampaging demon hordes, seven vials of holy wrath and fire raining from the sky. Awesome!

But that’s not the only kind of world destruction. The End can happen in many fascinating ways.

Imagine you want to stage your very own Apocalypse. You’re getting your supervillain on, and you’ve decided this pitiful fleshbag world just has to go. But how to proceed? Naturally, you want to impress all your villain friends with just how destructive and evil you can be. You want your Apocalypse to be the very best, not some cheap imitation.

So here are a few factors to consider when throwing your end-of-the-world shindig:

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1. How will you end it?

Alien invasion, nuclear holocaust, zombie hordes, super-viruses, rogue meteorites, global famine or water shortage, even just a good honest world-wide war. Your options are multitude. Which brings me to question two:

2. Who lives and who dies?

In my Seven Signs series, the villains are a gang of demons intent on busting Satan from the pit where he’s been imprisoned for thousands of years, and creating hell on earth. They don’t really care who lives and who dies. They just want to eat everyone’s soul. So they’ve stolen the Seven Signs of the Apocalypse, and they’re just pouring out the wrath willy-nilly. Death and destruction ahoy.

But your choice of catastrophe will depend on the sort of destruction you’re looking for.

Blowing up the entire planet? Perhaps alien invasion is for you. Call 1-800-DEATH-STAR.

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Or, if you’d prefer some survivors to lord it over? Consider a rogue meteorite (effective, but difficult to arrange on short notice) or a super-bug. Super-bugs can be awesome – fortified enclaves of terrified survivors are brilliant fodder for an iron-fisted authoritarian regime – but ensure you have exclusive access to the cure, or it could be your corpse moldering by the wayside.

For a good all-purpose end, consider a zombie horde. They can be unreliable, but very amusing. And their ugly flesh-munching antics tend to bring out the worst in survivors. If you like the idea of food shortages and rampaging mobs of shotgun-wielding rednecks, definitely try a zombie horde.

How will you establish control?

However you do it, eventually you’ll want to rule over the ashes. Unfortunately, your innate villain’s charm, smoldering good looks, British accent (optional but useful) and fabulous evil laugh will probably not be enough.

So make sure you have something that everyone else wants. Water, food, gas, the cure to the virus, surprise magical powers or the only super-weapon that can defeat the aliens. You might need an army of minions to keep the peasants in line, so brainwash early, brainwash often – there’ll be no time to recruit thousands of greedy followers once the destruction starts. If you’re going to start your own religion and enslave the population that way, sow the seeds early with a few well-staged miracles, before the internet collapses and no one can see you on YouTube.

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Be prepared to wipe out anyone who opposes you. Now is not the time for tedious scruples about human rights and the rule of law. Summary execution is your friend. No one will notice a few thousand illegal guillotinings once the sky starts raining fire.

Also, your fellow villains will try to take advantage of your good work, so have a dastardly plan ready to thwart them. Luring them into a barn with promises of an unholy alliance, and then setting fire to it, has worked well in the past.

4. Who will try to stop you, and how will you deal with them?

The good guys. Sigh. Yeah. Eventually, you’ll have to deal with these do-gooders. Scientists intent on curing your super-bug, political leaders who insist on keeping law and order, or gangs of super-powered warriors who go around killing your rampaging aliens or sending your vicious demon hordes back to hell.

It doesn’t matter what form the good guys take. Whoever that is over there on the soapbox, shouting with the voice of reason? They must be silenced.

So make sure you know in advance who the do-gooders will be, and have a plan in place to discredit them. Failing that, see above on summary execution.

So there you have it. How to build your own Apocalypse.

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So you tell me: if you were a supervillain intent on destroying the world, which method would you choose, and why?

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Thanks so much for visiting us again, Erica! I’m looking forward to the rest of your tour!

Want more Erica? You can find her online at her website or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

You can also see the rest of her tour by clicking on the tour button below.

Redemption by Erica Hayes blog tour

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More about REDEMPTION:

Redemption by Erica Hayes (Seven Signs #2)Japheth the Tainted is on the hunt for a mysterious demon vampire. But meeting her face-to-face might disarm his warrior spirit—and spark an unquenchable passion with apocalyptic consequences.

As a fallen angel, Japheth is determined to make his way back to heaven by staying pure and slaying hellspawn. With a new scourge of vampires unleashed by a blood-drinking demon, the Prince of Thirst, there’s plenty to be done. But Japheth is after one vampire in particular—the one they call the Angel Slayer.

Rose Harley never wanted to be a vampire, but the Prince of Thirst can turn even the kindest soul into a soldier of hell. Feeling abandoned by God, she stalks the West Village taking revenge on his angels—until she meets her match.

When Japheth and Rose encounter each other, the battle is fierce and charged with desire. But when they discover a common enemy—the Prince of Thirst himself—they form a dangerous alliance that could either cost them their eternal lives, or spark a love more powerful than heaven or hell.

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Here’s the scoop on REVELATION, the first book in the series:

Revelation by Erica Hayes (Seven Signs #1)A fallen angel with a mission and a medical examiner who’s lost her faith are fighting for their souls in a glittering, near-future Manhattan…

Blind faith is for fools. That’s what Dr. Morgan Sterling believes. And she’s going to prove it by curing the zombie plague ravaging her city’s slums. She’s certain it’s not a sign of the End of Days, but a nasty disease—until an angel appears in her morgue in a flash of glory.

Luniel is not just a fallen angel. He’s a powerful warrior sworn to fight evil in hopes of a chance at redemption. He’s after the demon princes who are stealing the seven vials of holy wrath which, when perverted, will unleash eternal hell on earth. To stop the plague, Luniel needs Morgan’s help, and her faith. But Morgan believes science is their salvation. If the zombie plague is a demonic curse—and if Luniel is true—he’ll have to prove it. Even if he loses his heart to true love or his soul to Hell…

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

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giveaway

There’s a tour-wide giveaway from Erica Hayes: a Kindle Fire (or an equivalent value Amazon gift card if the winner lives outside the US)

To enter the giveaway, obey the Rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jenn

Angelfall by Susan Ee

ee - angelfallAngelfall by Susan Ee

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Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

When I first received this book, I was a little hesitant because it contained angels, and they’re not usually my thing. I kept putting it off  but Lili kept insisting on how great it was. This last week, she urged me to read as soon as possible, to the point where I folded and removed the dust the cover had accumulated. She even dared all of us to read it in December, but I didn’t listen to her then. However, I should have listened because ANGELFALL ended up being my first 5 star read of 2013. I absolutely adored it and from now on, when Lili tells me to read a certain book or series, I’ll have to listen to her.

That being said, I think I see angels in a totally different way now. I don’t picture them as little cherubs or valentine’s-day-looking cupids anymore. No. These angels can be mean, warrior-like strong and sometimes, even mental. They look down on human beings and that’s proven multiples times as they keep calling humans “monkeys.” For one reason or another, the angels have recently appeared on earth and are slowly killing off the human race. Or at least that’s what it looks like at first. Susan Ee can definitely keep her readers on edge because she reveals just enough information to keep us entertained, yet doesn’t reveal enough to have you guessing the ending.

Seventeen year old Penryn is the type of YA character I love to read about. A strong and self-sufficient teenage girl that admittedly, can sometimes make mistakes and find herself in dangerous situations. The sort of situation that has her kidnap a warrior angel who has just gotten is majestic white wings cut off, and uses the wings as a bargaining chip. This angel ends up being Raffe, a good looking angel that seems to be on the run. Obviously, Penryn makes a lot of assumption about the angels because very little is known about them, especially why they’ve suddenly appeared on Earth. As she slowly befriends Raffe, they join forces to help each other get to their final goal: Penryn wants to find her sister who has been kidnaped by angels, and Raffe wants his wings sewn back on. Their journey eventually leads them to the aerie in San Francisco, but not before encountering “low demons” and a human resistance. Their journey is not only a mission to get from one place to another, but it’s also one of self-discovery and physical challenges.

Please note that the story is quite dark for a young adult book. Some scene aren’t for the faint of heart, especially the one where the angel wing dismemberment is described. Some scenes include gore-y details of wounds and other have awful children-like demons eating their way through human survivors.

It’s safe to say that you can’t always trust your first instincts about books. For a book that I decided to put on standby, I adored every bit of it. Take my word for it (and Lili’s of course) that this is a book you must read. The mix of dystopian elements and vengeful angels definitely works and results in a captivating YA read.  The only thing I regret, is not having read it sooner. Susan Ee has been granted a spot on my auto-buy list.

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Daring You To Read…Angelfall by Susan Ee

Daring You To Read is a weekly feature here on Tynga’s Reviews where we dare you to read some of our favorite older releases (at least 6 months old). All the books/series we choose to feature are titles we adored and think you should give them a shot! We think it’s a super awesome way to discover that special book who might have slipped off your radar!

You’ve already read the book? Let’s us know what you thought!

You are accepting the dare? We’d love to know!

Have a dare of your own? Leave a comment ^^

I’m sitting here contemplating how to honestly describe the sheer amazingness of this novel. It completely blew me away and I loved every minute of reading it, and even now, months later, I don’t believe my review can do it justice. Dark and gritty, this novel is not for anyone, but if you are into darker fiction, like I am, this one comes in high recommendation. Those of you who normally cannot handle darker fiction, this is not for you. Despite this being an angel novel, we’re dealing with some seriously demented and evil angels.

This book takes place six weeks after angels devastate the planet and send it spiraling into an apocalypse with very few survivors. Penryn is one of the few survivors. Only seventeen years old, she puts her amazing martial arts skills to the test when fighting to survive alongside a beautiful yet moody angel she met in the street while watching his beautiful white wings get ripped from his body. Raffe and Penryn make an amazing team and as their relationship progresses in this time of desperation, you can’t help but love him more and more.

While the plot in this novel is completely amazing and the angel mythology was written expertly, what I really enjoyed in this one was the romance. Normally, I’m not one for romance in post-apocalyptic books because the romance can often seem forced and foolish due to a desperate attempt to distract the reader from the world ending. This isn’t the case in ANGELFALL. Penryn and Raffe’s feelings are slow growing and instead prove to be a welcome undertone to the novel, their focus on surviving and saving Penryn’s sister was the main point of the novel. But they’re experiencing a case of star-crossed love due to the fact that Raffe is an angel and angels are forbidden to love Daughters of Men. When Raffe’s true identity was revealed, their already chaotic world gets turned upside down once more.

Ee’s debut is truly amazing. A quick read full of well detailed action that will leave you no choice but to finish in one sitting, it cannot be ignored. I am eagerly anticipating book two in the Penryn & The End of Days series. Believe me when I say that it cannot come fast enough.

 It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

Read my Thoughts 

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Will YOU take this week’s dare?

Entice by Jessica Shirvington

Entice by Jessica Shirvington


Book Stats:

Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks

Release date: September 4, 2012

Series: The Violet Eden Chapters #2

Source: Publisher

Reviewed by: Lili

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Violet Eden is Grigori – part angel, part human. Her destiny is to protect humans from the vengence of exiled angels.

Knowing who to trust is key but, when Grigori reinforcements arrive, it becomes clear everyone is hiding something. Even Lincoln. The only thing Violet does know: Phoenix’s hold over her is more dangerous than ever.

The race to find the one thing that could tilt the balance of power brings them all to the sacred mountains of Jordan, where Violet’s power will be pushed to the extreme. And the ultimate betrayal exposed.

Enticed is the second compelling book in The Violet Eden Chapters.

The second book in the Embrace series did not disappoint! Having fully embraced as a Grigori, Violet struggles to reconcile with Lincoln while keeping life-altering secrets. Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that she will never, ever truly be safe anymore. If anything, this gripping tale has even more secrets than the first. Webs of lies are spun repeatedly and somehow Violet always ends up in the center of them, making the story all the more juicer and enjoyable for the reader.

It’s very easy to get into this book since it picks up directly where book one leaves off. The action scenes are not only plentiful, but intense, and Violet’s journey to discovering her creator brings about many more curiosities! The plot was continuously thickening and its fast pace made it easy to blast through this book without hesitation.

My biggest qualm with EMBRACE was the ever-present love triangle. While it was executed better then some, a love triangle is still a love triangle. The one in ENTICE is much more subtle. It’s still there because Phoenix will never fully be out of the picture, but because Phoenix plays such a little role in this novel, most of the romantic interest is focused on Lincoln despite the fact that him and Violet can never be together because they are partners. And he’s keeping secrets! That’s never a good thing… More or less, this revelation made me really happy as a reader because the love triangle was no longer in my face, though part of me does hope that Phoenix shows up to play a larger part in book three. This aspect of the novel greatly improved from the previous book.

Full of lies and deception and a tiny rocky romance on the side, it’s impossible to hate the second installment to this series with a unique and interesting twist on angels! It’s an exhilarating page-turner that will leave you begging for book three! Once again, Shirvington did not disappoint.


Under Attack by Hannah Jayne

Hannah Jayne Under Attack Under Attack by Hannah Jayne

Book Stats:
Reading level: Adult
Genre: Urban fantasy
Mass market paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Kensington
Release date: November 1, 2011

Series: Underworld Detection Agency Chronicles #2

Source: Review copy from Kensington

Reviewed by: Jenn

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

She’s one of the Underworld Detection Agency’s best. But her job is really starting to bite…

Sophie Lawson is a human immune to magic, which comes in handy for helping paranormal beings transition into everyday life. But fallen angel Alex Grace and his search for the Vessel of Souls is one curse she never saw coming. Suddenly an unexplainable string of killings and destruction has even San Francisco’s demons fearing for their immortal lives. And Sophie isn’t about to trust Alex’s all-too-vulnerable charm or his secret agenda. Now their hunt is revealing dangerous secrets about Sophie’s past, and a malevolent power hellishly close to turning one irreverent human into the ultimate supernatural weapon…

Sophie Lawson is not your typical urban fantasy protagonist. She has a fondness for Pinwheels and sheath dresses, doesn’t know how to fight, doesn’t have powers, and is about as far from tough as you can get. When I read UNDER WRAPS, the first book in the Underworld Detection Agency Chronicles, it took me a while to get used to Sophie because the book cover depicted her as a fierce warrior when she’s really more of a cutesy girly girl. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a cute protagonist but the covers really don’t match the tone of the novels for this series, which is always jarring when you’re not expecting it. So be forewarned: this is one case where you really can’t judge the book by its cover. Yes, Sophie has a tazer, yes, she’s a redhead, and yes, there are black feathers about, but there’s definitely no bra and holster look in the book.

In fact, f I had to choose one word to describe this series, I’d probably go with “fluffy.” Let me be clear, this isn’t a criticism. It’s just quite different from the usual books I read, which tend to have a grittier, darker tone. Hannah Jayne’s books have serious moments but the general tone is more playful than what you’d see in the series I tend to gravitate toward. That being said, I enjoyed UNDER ATTACK. In fact, I thought it was better than UNDER WRAPS. The plot takes us in all kinds of directions. We get to learn a lot more about Sophie and why she’s immune to magic. We also get to see what happens to the UDA in the aftermath of Pete’s disappearance and where Sophie fits into things. There are also some fun scene with Nina, Sophie’s vampire roommate, particularly when she’s at work.

The one downside for me is that the villain of UNDER ATTACK was rather one-dimensional. Ophelia has some nice sneaky moments and she does an excellent job of messing with Sophie’s mind but she didn’t seem as fleshed out as the other characters in the novel, maybe because she’s new and I’m more familiar with the rest of the cast from UNDER WRAPS.

Fans of dark urban fantasy may find this series a little silly but UNDER ATTACK is an enjoyable read if you approach it with the right expectations. I think Sophie and the Underworld Detection Agency Chronicles will really appeal to fans of MaryJanice Davidson’s Betsy books or Janet Evanovich’s (non-UF) Stephanie Plum series so if you like those books, this may be the book for you!

Read an excerpt

Jenn

Wicked Nights by Gena Showalter

Wicked Nights (Angels of the Dark, #1)

Wicked Nights by Gena Showalter

Book Stats:
Genre: Paranormal romance
Reading level: Adult
Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Harlequin
Release date: June 26, 2012

Series: Angel of the Dark #1

Source: Personal shelf

Reviewed by: Tynga

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Leader of the most powerful army in the heavens, Zacharel has been deemed nearly too dangerous, too ruthless—and if he isn’t careful, he’ll lose his wings. But this warrior with a heart of ice will not be deterred from his missions at any cost…until a vulnerable human tempts him with a carnal pleasure he’s never known before.Accused of a crime she did not commit, Annabelle Miller has spent four years in an institution for the criminally insane. Demons track her every move, and their king will stop at nothing to have her. Zacharel is her only hope for survival, but is the brutal angel with a touch as hot as hell her salvation—or her ultimate damnation?

Wicked Nights is the first book in the Lords of the Underworld spin-off series, but fear not, you need not have read the original series to be able to step right into this new one. In fact, I’ve only read the first two Lords books (though I plan to read the rest of them) and I had absolutely no problem to follow the story or understand the world. And for those Lords fans out there, yes some of those demon-possessed sexy boys make an appearance in this novel.

I really liked Wicked Nights for many reasons, the main one being Annabelle. First, I LOVE that she’s of Japanese origin, so few books have main characters of other ethnicities, and that she is actually pictured as such on the cover, another unfortunate rarity in our publishing world. Second, because she is such a strong character, despite her very troubled past. She was accused of brutally murdering her parents and was sent to a psych ward where doctors abused her and where demons lined up to attack her. She had to build a thick shell to survive and keep her sanity and even when Zacharel came in and reluctantly saved her she remained strong and determined to stand-up for herself.

The plot also met my expectations. Annabelle, with Zacharel’s help, launches on a quest to defeat the demon who killed her parents and bound her to him. The mission proves really hard and full of obstacles, providing an interesting read. I honestly never guessed who the big bad might be, and when he was finally revealed I face-palmed because all the hints where there, yet I never suspected. High-five Gena!

I also enjoyed the progression of the complex relationship between the two protagonists. Annabelle has been violated, Zacharel is inexperienced, let me tell you, it’s a set-up for a colourful intimate scene. I particularly liked that the relationship was at times strained between the two of them, making the whole thing that much more believable.

I loved the secondary characters, and just like Showalter did with her Lords series, the main characters of each book will be different, making me really anxious for the following novels.

The only aspect I wasn’t thrilled about is Zacharel’s tendency to over analyse everything. He is very clinical with his feelings, and while its in character with his I-haven’t-felt-a-thing-for-centuries persona, it sat uncomfortably with me. I hoped he would be more in sync with his emotions as the story progress, but it didn’t quite happen. On the other hand, I love how protective of Annabelle he was, and the sacrifices he was willing to make for her. I was really cheering for him during the final scene, and felt for him in this bittersweet moment.

All things considered, Wicked Nights is an amazing debut for this new series by Gena Showalter. Fans will be pleased to find themselves in such a finely woven world, filled with amazing characters, just like Gena accustomed us to. Hats off to an action-filled sizzling romance!

Read an excerpt

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Shadow Rising by Cassi Carver

carver - ShadowRisingShadow Rising by Cassi Carver

Book Stats:

Reading level: Ages 18 and up
Genre: Urban fantasy
E-book: 237 pages
Publisher: Samhain
Release date: September 25, 2012

Series: The Shadow Slayers #2

Source: Review copy provided by the author

Reviewed by: Stéphanie

Purchase: Amazon

When Kara Reed learns her bondmate, Julian, is truly dead, and that Gavin has seemingly skipped town, she figures things have hit rock bottom. But soon, a string of bizarre accidents has her doubting those closest to her. And to make matters worse, the demon-king’s brand carved into her best friend Abbey’s stomach is deteriorating by the day.

Then a powerful coven of witches issues Kara an ultimatum. Bring them the blood of a true fallen angel—the only thing that will heal Abbey—or die. Kara would do anything to help her friend. Problem is, the only fallen angel she’s seen lately is the disoriented black-wing who attacked her scouts. One who looks suspiciously like Julian. Getting his blood might be easier if he was more interested in kissing her than killing her.

Caught between a coven of vengeful witches and a murderous dead lover, Kara must deliver the blood, heal the slow poison of Abbey’s brand, and save Julian from being consumed by the Abyss. But to do this, she may need the help of the one man she swore never to trust again…Gavin.

Warning: This book contains an angry demon returning from the dead, a clan lord hiding a terrible secret, and a hunted heroine cracking open a can of whoop-ass. Watch out for creepy kitties, exploding bad guys, and some very sudsy shower sex.

Rarely do I find myself liking a sequel better than the first book. Yet, that’s what happened with SHADOW RISING. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy reading Slayer’s Kiss and I thought it was a wonderful debut novel, but things just get steamier and more interesting in this second book. There’s simply more action, more adventure, and more curveballs.

One thing that’s very appealing in this series is the main character, Kara. She’s not the perfect heroine—far from it. But I think that’s what I find so interesting. Although she’s not human, she was raised as one and will always have the character traits and morals of a good human being. Her history as an orphan has made her independent and self-sufficient. These qualities get her into a lot of trouble in SHADOW RISING since she refuses the help of many people, when she could benefit from all the help she can get. Her devotion to the ones she loves is obvious in everything she does. From finding the cure for her best friend Abbey’s festering and unnatural cut, to helping her lover Julian, who has risen from dead, remember who he is (even if it might be an evil black wing disguising as Julian), she really tries to help everyone. And as an immature Demiáre female, I think she feels helpless in some cases because she doesn’t have the powers of a fully mature Demiáre.

One person she does accept help from early on, is Tray, a police officer and Abbey’s ex. While he might not be exactly who he says he is, Kara has known Tray for a while and he’s the only human besides Abbey she can trust with her Demiáre life. While I kept asking myself what his true role was in the book was, all was answered at the very end. I’m telling you, you’re in for a surprise when it comes to Tray!

While I’m still not sure who Kara really loves, her heart seems to belong to Julian. The chemistry between these two characters is simply amazing, even if Julian is an amnesiac and remembers nothing of his life before dying and rising as a black wing. I love the funny banter between the two of them, and of course one love scene will have you floating in clouds—literally. On the other hand, Gavin would love nothing more than be a part of Kara’s romantic life, but I think Kara just sees him as someone to lean on and expects him to be there when things go bad. And unfortunately, Gavin wasn’t there when she needed him the most, so I think she holds him accountable for her loneliness and pain.

If you enjoy reading urban fantasies with steamy-hot romantic scenes, this series is not to be missed. Cassi Carver has revealed so much more about her Demiáre world in SHADOW RISING. Information about the Demiáre clan and the witches was missing in the previous book and the author added more depth to her world by revealing just enough to keep her readers interested. Things are heating up (in and out of the bedroom) and I thing something big is about to happen in the next book. Something I really don’t want to miss! 

Read an excerpt

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PSC: Interview & Giveaway with Jocelyn Davies

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I really enjoyed Jocelyn Davies’ first book, A Beautiful Dark, so it only made sense to invite her to celebrate the release of the second book in the series, A Fractured Light. This story about light and dark angels took me by surprise and I can’t wait to see what’s next. Hopefully, this story will help you hold on if you are as impatient as I am!

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1- In A Beautiful Dark, Asher and Devin are really stereotyped in their good and bad roles until the end. Did you write them that way to make the conclusion even more shocking for the reader?

I didn’t set out to write these two characters with the ending of book 1 in mind at all. The characters came first, and then their stories led me to that ending. Believe it or not, it shocked me, too! The thing about Asher and Devin is that they are unique and nuanced characters, but they are also each bound to ancient laws and rules. Devin has no free will, no ability to act on his emotions. Asher is someone who is governed entirely by his emotions–and yet, even though he’s charming, he has a somewhat guarded personality. He falls for Skye, but he’s afraid to fall, too, because love can open you up and make you vulnerable when more than just your own heart is at stake. In A FRACTURED LIGHT, we learn a little bit more about why he’s so afraid. So, when writing Asher and Devin (and the Rebellion and the Order) I was interested in exploring how perceptions of good and bad can change–there are always grey and shadowy areas.

2- I really liked Asher’s family story around the fire on the ski trip (very on point with the event!), where did the inspiration come from?

To me there has always been something magical about sitting around a campfire, and this scene was one of the most vivid in my mind as I wrote. The story of Skye’s parents is so epic and otherwordly that it really does sound like a legend–perfect for telling around a campfire. Throughout the series, it does become legendary in Skye’s mind, and she is determined to find out the truth behind the story–but nothing is ever what it seems.

3- What can the readers expect from the second book, A Fractured Light?

This book is all about self-discovery for Skye. She knows who and what she is now. She’s been hurt and is a little hardened, a little wizened, and is starting to understand that life can never be the same for her. As she learns more about her past, she begins to see just how powerful she is, and her role in the fight between the Order and the Rebellion begins to take shape. She grapples with falling in love while staying true to herself, and how to be a good friend while also protecting them. Skye matures a lot in A Fractured Light–she really takes ownership of who she is.

4- How many books, in total, have you planned for this series?

Three!

Now onto a few Camp related questions!

5- What’s your favourite camp fire treat?

There is nothing better than roasting marshmallows. I like them charred on the outside, gooey on the inside.

6- What do you think are the necessary ingredients for a scary story?

A hint of reality. The more room there is for your imagination to run wild–for you to grasp onto a kernel of possibility that this terrifying thing could happen to you–the scarier a story is. And I think Asher would agree it’s all in the way you tell it. 🙂

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More about A Fractured Light:
A Fractured Light (A Beautiful Dark, #2)

When she wakes up in unfamiliar surroundings, Skye knows something terrible has happened to her. But it’s not until she hears Asher, the dark, rebellious angel she fell in love with, that the memories come flooding back. She tries to put the past behind her, but she knows she’ll be forever haunted by the ruthless betrayal that almost took her life.

Skye returns home, but with the knowledge of who she really is, nothing can ever be the same. As she tests the limits of her newfound powers, Skye discovers that she’s capable of far more than anyone could have imagined. Both the Order and the Rebellion want her for their side as war between the factions looms. She can’t forget the terrifying truth she now knows about the Order, but something holds her back from embracing the Rebellion.

A Fractured Light picks up right after A Beautiful Dark’s shocking cliffhanger ending and is perfect for fans of Lauren Kate’s Fallen and Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush saga.

Pre-order: Amazon | Book Depository

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giveaway

Jocelyn is offering one ARC of A Fractured Light, and Harper Collins Canada a finished copy!

To enter the giveaway, fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

Open Internationally

Ends Wednesday, September 5th, 2012
(like all of our Paranormal Summer Camp giveaways)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
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More books by Jocelyn Davies:
 
A Beautiful Dark (A Beautif...
 
Jocelyn Davies
Jocelyn Davies edits young adult fiction at a publishing house in New York, a job that has allowed her to cultivate a keen interest in all things angsty, hilarious, and/or unrequited. She is a graduate of Bates College, and lives in an apartment overflowing with books. A Beautiful Dark is her first novel.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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The Taken by Vicki Pettersson

Vicki Pettersson The Taken The Taken by Vicki Pettersson

Book stats:
Reading level: Adult
Trade paperback: 432 pages
Genre: Urban fantasy
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release date: June 12, 2012

Series: Celestial Blues #1

Source: Personal shelf

Reviewed by: Jenn

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Griffin Shaw used to be a PI, but that was back when gumshoes hoofed the streets…and he was still alive. Fifty years later, he’s a celestial Centurion, assisting the recently, and violently, dead. Yet just because he’s an angel doesn’t mean he’s a saint. One small mistake has altered fate, and now he’s been dumped back onto to the mortal mudflat to collect another soul—Katherine “Kit” Craig, a journalist whose latest investigation is about to get her clipped.

Bucking heavenly orders, Grif refuses to let this sable-haired siren with hairpin curves come to harm. Besides, protecting her offers a chance to find the truth about his own mysterious death — and wreak some vengeance for the murder of his beloved wife, Evie.

Joining forces, Kit and Grif’s search for answers leads beyond the blinding lights of the Strip into the dark heart of an evil conspiracy. But a ruthless killer determined to destroy them isn’t Griffin’s biggest threat. His growing attraction to Kit could cost them both their lives, as well as the answer to the greatest mystery of his long afterlife …

Who killed Griffin Shaw?

As you know, I’m a big fan of Vicki Pettersson’s Signs of the Zodisc series. It’s dark urban fantasy with dense mythology, characters with murky motives, and an epic scale. THE TAKEN, the first book in her new Celestial Blues trilogy, is nothing like that. It has many of the hallmarks of the author’s writing, like well-developed characters, strong nd engaging plot lines, and, of course, Las Vegas in all of its glory, but THE TAKEN is definitely a 180 in terms of the lead characters, style, and tone. Vicki Pettersson has been very clear about this throughout her promotion for this book, which I appreciate. Don’t get me wrong — fans will enjoy THE TAKEN but you definitely shouldn’t expect the same type of story. There are no comic books or Kairos in the Celestial Blues trilogy (yet?).

THE TAKEN is an appealing mix of hard-boiled detective noir and urban fantasy. I read an interview with Vicki Pettersson where she described the book as paranormal noir (I can’t find the link and I feel terrible about that) and I think that’s really appropriate. There are strong paranormal elements and also a distinctly noir feel, which I love since I have a soft spot for those hard-boiled detective stories filled with trench coats and dames. =) Grif is definitely that 1950’s guy and Kit, with her love of rockabilly, fits into the dame role rather well.

This book is also a departure from Vicki Pettersson’s Signs of the Zodiac series in that there are two points of view. We get most of the story from Grif’s perspective but we also get some insights into Kit and how her mind works. I can only imagine how challenging it was to keep it straight but it definitely adds a lot to the story. THE TAKEN is Grif’s story but it’s nice to get Kit’s perspective on everything since she’s the one thrown into a world she never knew existed. Grif is also thrown for a loop since he has to live in modern times now but Kit eases his transition in ways he can’t really reciprocate.

I have to say, though, that it did take me a while to like Kit. She’s not the type of heroine you usually see in urban fantasy or paranormal romance. She’s exceptionally feminine and oriented toward more traditionally female pursuits, she doesn’t have supernatural powers or gifts, and she often takes a more secondary role to Grif. It all builds her character and I did like her by the end of THE TAKEN but it took some time for her to win me over. Thankfully, she’s got a good brain and a lot of other qualities that make her a good partner for Grif, even if she does need to stop and get her hair pinned to help her think. My slow-to-warm reaction is more a matter of personal preference in what I like in a protagonist than anything else. Kit’s a well developed character with a clear personality and strong sense of self; it just took a little for me to come around to her because I prefer my ladies a little more alpha. =) Grif, on the other hand, I loved from the get-go. There’s something about him that really clicked for me. We learn so much about him in THE TAKEN but there are still big questions that remain unanswered, especially the one that motivates Grif: who killed him?? I have absolutely no idea based on THE TAKEN and can only hope that Grif and Kit make some headway when the next book comes out.

All in all, THE TAKEN is a great addition to the genre. The rockabilly elements combined with the paranormal noir vibe make the Celestial Blues truly unique and I can’t wait to see what happens next. Rest assured, if Vicki Pettersson writes it, I will read it!

Read an excerpt

Jenn

Covet by JR Ward

Covet (The Fallen Angels, #1) JR WardCovet by JR Ward

Book Stats:
Reading level: Ages 18 and up
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Mass Market Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: Signet
Release date: September 29, 2009

Series: Fallen Angels #1

Source: Personal Shelf

Reviewed by: Tynga

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Redemption isn’t a word Jim Heron knows much about-his specialty is revenge, and to him, sin is all relative. But everything changes when he becomes a fallen angel and is charge with saving the souls of seven people from the seven deadly sins. And failure is not an option. Vin DiPietro long ago sold his soul to his business, and he’s good with that-until fate intervenes in the form of a tough- talking, Harley-riding, self-professed savior. But then he meets a woman who will make him question his destiny, his sanity, and his heart-and he has to work with a fallen angel to win her over and redeem his own soul.

Heaven and Hell have been battling in the shadows for control over humanity for centuries now, and God would like to get it over with. To accelerate this never-ending process, one soul was chosen to face seven souls standing at the crossroads. Should the Chosen influence the majority of souls he faces to take the right path, Heaven will win, if not… we will all be damned.

Let me start by saying the prologue of this book is hands down freaking amazing. The book is great of course, but it would be worth buying even if it were only for the epilogue. Really, it was that good!

Now about the book itself, The Fallen Angels series is set in the same world as the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, also in Caldwell, but the focus is completely different. There are no vampires nor lessers involved as far as we know from Covet,  but there are small references. ZeroSum and Revhenge are mentioned, Phury is also seen at some point even though he doesn’t have any active role and the Iron Mask, Revh’s goth club, managed by Trez, his best friend, is in the middle of the action. The focus though, is about a battle between Heaven and Hell, Fallen Angels and Demons, with a human smack in the middle.

JR Ward is an amazing writer and Covet was true to her writing style, which means I was in Heaven. I really like her blunt and raw story telling habits and if you’ve read the BDB series, you’ll definitely feel right at home.  The plot also unfolded in a very interesting manner. We are introduced to a bunch of characters and are left to guess which of them is the Chosen, who are the bad guys and the good guys, and in this world of shades of gray, it’s not easy to effectively identify who’s playing for which team. As the story progresses your opinion of certain characters will change and I really liked that it forced the reader to adapt, committing to the story on a higher level.

The characters themselves were great. Jim, Vin & Marie-Therese, the three main characters, turned out to be very interesting. Each of them has their own shady past, unresolved issues and messed-up present. They fight hard to stay afloat in a world determined the drown them and witnessing their struggles, failures and small victories was great. Ward really made sure she created multilayered characters that would capture our attention, and she succeeded. I also have to mention Dog (yes that’s his name), Jim’s dog. I just don’t know what’s up with the pet, but I’m sure he’ll be important at some point.

The end was an explosion of fireworks to close a crescendo of violence. Not all issues were resolved and the Chosen only took the first step in the ultimate war, but we still got a very satisfying conclusion to this first installment. I truly enjoyed this first book in Ward’s newest series and I can’t wait to start reading the second book! Good thing it’s already released =)

Read an excerpt 

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