Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Teaser Tuesday (#45)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB @ Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!
- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share 2 “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

He might be her patient, and she might be the therapist, but he was still a man.
And she still had a great ass that was going to be hard for him to ignore.

Page 116 - "Thrown By A Curve" by Jaci Burton

What do you think?
Leave a comment with a link to your TT so I can stop by and be teased by them all! ;)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Stormling Tour: Excerpt & Giveaway!

Today I'm happy to host a stop for Stormling Tour, organized by Dark World Books!
(Click on the banner above to see the schedule.)

(Stormling #1)

In an age when Stormlings have only known peacetime, one man’s desperate action threatens not only the stability of the mystical world of Mordana, but Earth as well.
Teenager Ophelia Drewe discovers a jewel that has been lost from its homeworld, and whilst she thinks she can keep it, demonic forces believe otherwise.
She’s not alone, but who can she trust? The head Stormling, Anadyr, hasn’t been to the Earth in 500 years, but go there he must—if the jewel is not returned, it will destroy both Ophelia’s world and his own…

“Father, we can go, can’t we? Please? Don’t you want to see who will win today?”
Aldyr Veroynne knelt down in front of his son, and placed his hands on the boy’s shoulders, squeezing them gently with firm hands.
“Anadyr, please, give it a rest. That would be six days in a row. We know who is going to win, anyway. You don’t need to come along. Just know that the winner is always someone from Mill’An Draythe.”
“Still, the Easterners come,” said Anadyr. “I must go to see how they fight, so that when I have the glory to represent my land, I know how to win.”
Anadyr had been just ten years of age when he became involved in his first fight, against another young Stormling, as it happened. At first, it seemed like the bigger and older Stormling would win, and had far too much strength for Anadyr.
During the fray, Anadyr connected with few blows, but could not knock his bigger opponent down. Then, with a swift kick to his mid-section, Anadyr’s strength left him, and he rolled into a ball on the ground, one hand clutching his stomach, the other, keeping his hair from covering his eyes.
The sun was blocked out by the shadow of the Stormling standing over him, who must was five years his senior.
“Loser?” he inquired.
“You wish,” replied Anadyr, who sat up, and clapped his hands three times together before placing them on the ground, one hand either side of him.
“I don’t need applause from a loser,” said the bigger Stormling.
“That wasn’t applause,” replied the young Anadyr.
Suddenly, the ground started to shake all around them, the bigger Stormling’s smug look of apparent victory was erased by the tremors on the ground, and the almost instantaneous appearance of black clouds that filled the sky.
A few moments later, the clouds burst and soaked only the bigger Stormling and his crew of friends, whilst Anadyr stood laughing at them. The group started to run, but the rain lashed them in every way, from both sides, from above, and even as they ran into the ground which became ever more sodden, until they fell face forward.
“Why isn’t it raining on you?” the biggest one screamed. “You’re in league with the Lord of Monus! Say it isn’t so, for Stormlings don’t lie.”
Anadyr smiled and leaned over his sodden nemesis, who he was merely toying with.
“That’s right, Stormlings don’t lie, and I am not in league with anyone. So! Are you a loser?”
The bigger Stormling seethed. “So it would seem. Just make the damned rain stop. Who are you, boy?”
Anadyr clicked his fingers and rested his fists on the top of his hips.
“I am Anadyr Veroynne, and I command the Storms. The wind, the rain, the clouds all answer to me, and as for you….I will have your allegiance.”
The other Stormlings mumbled, saying they would not answer to some preppy brat, but the one who had hit Anadyr, stood up and bowed to him.
“I am good with a sword, but my true prowess lies with the double daggers. My skill is such that I could skim the sweat off a faerie’s wings. If you ever need my help, you shall have it, although…one who can bend the Storms to his will, surely has no need for an edged weapon.”
“Not so,” said Anadyr. “In fact, I practise with a longsword twelve hours a day. What is your name?”
“Kirnosst. Though my sword wielding days are at an end. I’m being sent to Firetop to learn, watch and ultimately take over from Aynara. Unlike us, she’s not an immortal, but I suppose your father told you that already.”
Anadyr nodded emphatically to show he knew about Aynara’s supposed mortality, but no-one knew when her time would end. There were none like her on Mordana.
Aldyr Veryonne was none-too-impressed with his son’s handling of things. “You wanted him to knock you down, so that you could show off, isn’t that so? The truth now, Anadyr.”
“I just wanted to show I wasn’t afraid of them. If I can instil fear into the heart of my enemies, maybe I can bend them to my way of thinking, as easily as I do the storms.”
“You are just a boy, Anadyr. You are too young to have enemies.”
“Didn’t you say that those East of the Wisty River are our enemies?”
“Well, yes, but I don’t see what that has to do with anything.”
“It’s got everything to do with it,” said Anadyr. “That’s why I want to go see the fight today. The Lord of Monus sends a Tryer from the Mordis Mountains, or from the heart of Caldreah itself.”
“Yes, Anadyr, but the point is-”
“The point is, Father, that today’s Tryer is from AnnanGhorst, and that makes things very interesting. I have never seen a ShadowWraith, much less seen you fight one. Tell me you’ll take me, please!”
Aldyr sighed. Putting combatants from the East out of their misery is something he loved to do, but a ShadowWraith of AnnanGhorst was different. Even the weakest of their kind were not to be taken lightly. Even if the Wraith lost, it would be most likely sent to the Island of Dead Skin, where Andus Rey, ruler of Caldreah Monus and a Stormling himself, ran his own sick tournament, where combatants often had to fight to the death.
Having a Wraith enter the fray was no battle at all. Under Rey’s watch, they would win, and win easily. Aldyr let out another sigh. He was considering throwing the match, even though this was illegal.
“Alright Anadyr, I’ll take you. But whatever happens, you come straight back home. That’s an order.”
“I will, Father. I will,” said Anadyr, who could not believe there would be any other outcome but a clear and decisive victory for his father, who was a skilled swordsman and had been known to dabble in magic.
ShadowWraiths were difficult adversaries for all sorts of reasons. Although they were scary to look at, it was more a case of what you couldn’t see, rather than what you could.
There were all sorts of rumours about them, which, outside of AnnanGhorst, became the very fabric of legend.
Some would say that there actually were no ShadowWraiths, but that it was Rey himself, who would come to test himself against the foes of Monus.
Others believed the Wraiths did have a face, but it was one so terrible to view, that one would die of fright from resting innocent eyes on their hateful faces.
Still others believed that the ShadowWraiths could not be killed, and one had to have a death wish if standing against them. But everyone who knew Aldyr Veroynne believed that he must know how to defeat a ShadowWraith.
As expected, there was a great throng of people in the town centre. They gathered round the platform, which stood some twenty feet from the ground. The ShadowWraith was already on the platform as Aldyr and Anadyr arrived.
As they walked, Aldyr beamed smiles and waved to everyone. They had come to see him triumph, which would be his thirty-eigth win in a row. The ShadowWraiths had triumphed every time to date, but the locals felt it was time one of their own succeeded.
The Wraith extended a bony finger towards Aldyr, and beckoned him to stand on the platform with him.
“Remember Anadyr,” whispered his father, “whatever happens, you will return home. Understood?”
“Yes Father, of course,” said Anadyr, who was surprised his father was making so much of this battle. Winning fights is what Aldyr Veroynne was all about. ‘He’s just more fodder from AnnanGhorst, who will slink back to that hellhole when my father’s through with him,’ thought Anadyr.
Whilst Anadyr watched the two men line up, a third man, the one who usually judged the battles, pulled himself up onto the platform, and from underneath his robes he produced a rather large wooden box. An omnious gasp came out from the crowd. “What? What is it?” said the young Stormling. Anadyr craned his neck to see what the commotion was.
The judge extended his arms to the crowd. “Today’s battle is a red match. In this box are two weapons from the challenger’s province of AnnanGhorst. The fighter who represents us has agreed to the terms, and will use the weapon provided to him.”
Anadyr nudged the man next to him. “What is it? What is a red match?”
The man solemnly shook his head. “It means that this is not for children’s eyes. They will fight to the death.”


John Hennessy is a young adult / new adult novelist whose works to date have been Dark Winter (published 2013), a paranormal horror thriller, and Stormling, an epic swords and magic (and cookies) fantasy. The first short story he ever wrote brought together Fagan, Lizzie Bennet, Sherlock Holmes and Dracula, which despite impressing his long suffering English teacher, thankfully remains unpublished. For recreation he will visit paranormal hotspots, but prefers to write about ghosts rather than meet them. He also believes almost any problem can be overcome so long as there is an inexhaustible supply of tea and biscuits. He has also written the non-fiction title The Essence of Martial Arts (published 2011), and released The Essence of Martial Arts: Special Edition, in 2014.


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Friday, July 18, 2014

Life of a Blogger: Tattoos

Life of a Blogger is a weekly feature hosted by Jessi @ Novel Heartbeat.
Every week we talk about a non-bookish topic, so that we get to know each other on a more personal level.

This week's topic: TATTOOS

I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I'm a tattoo virgin...

I do like them and I thought many times to get a tattoo, but then always refrained myself. It's not because I'm afraid (even though needles are not the best of friends to me), it's just that I want a design that really means something to me. I don't want to have something permanent on my skin that I will regret at some point and, since I'm a tiny bit of a perfectionist, I'm taking my time. I already have some ideas, of course, I just need to elaborate those and decide once and for all if I'm going to design it myself or ask a friend to do that for me. *The beauty of not to just being an artist yourself but knowing other talented ones*

What I know for sure is that I would like one either on my lower back or on my wrist. Perhaps both, who knows? Better start making my mind up, huh? ;)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

"A Rose In Flanders Fields" by Terri Nixon


SERIES: The Oaklands Manor Trilogy #2
GENRE: Historical Romance
SOURCE: ARC received from the author

Driving an ambulance through the mud in Flanders, aristocrat Evie Creswell is a long way from home. At Oaklands Manor all she had been expected to do was to look pretty and make a good marriage. But with the arrival of World War One everything changed… And Evie, to the horror of her family, does not choose a husband from her blue-blooded set; instead she weds artist Will Davies, who works as a butcher’s apprentice. Soon she is struggling nightly to transport the wounded to hospital, avoiding the shells and gas attacks—her privileged home life, and her family’s disappointment at her marriage, a lifetime away. And while Evie drives an ambulance in Belgium, Will is in the trenches in France. He withdraws from her, the trauma of his experience taking hold. Evie has the courage to deal with her war work, but it breaks her heart to think she is losing Will’s love. Can their marriage survive this terrible war? That is, if they both get out alive…


"A Rose in Flanders Fields" may not have had the same big emotional impact that hit me as much as "Maid of Oaklands Manor" did, but it made an impact nevertheless. Besides the first part of the book—where through some unpleasant turn of events we also see the development of Evie and Will's relationship—the rest of it keeps you in the fields with your heart racing, and not just for the main couple. Brutality and injustices make war horrors even harder to live in and, if they touch someone close to you, the reality of it all makes your already difficult living practically unbearable. But Evie is a very strong heroine, she does everything in her power to help others and she constantly fights for love and justice. So, what if something stands over it? Light certainly must be done over a mystery that in the end could surprise the reader...

Even though I felt like sometimes the pace went too fast and I wouldn't have minded seeing (and perhaps getting) Will a bit more, I really enjoyed the read. If you're new to The Oaklands Manor Trilogy, I would definitely recommend to start from the first instalment, "Maid of Oaklands Manor" (which is amazing!). Doing so, you'll get additional helpful details to follow the first part of this story better, and you'll also be able to create a stronger connection with the characters.

Terri Nixon pushes my curiosity at the point in which I can't stop reading once started! I've been left wondering over the third main young woman, Kitty, and I really can't wait to see where she goes from here...

RATING: 3.5/5

Monday, July 14, 2014

"Come Alive" by Karina Halle


SERIES: Experiment in Terror #7
PUBLISHER: Piatkus Entice
GENRE: NA Paranormal
SOURCE: Review copy received from the publisher

It's one thing to bring the woman you love back into your life. It's another to try and keep her there. For Dex Foray convincing Perry Palomino to open herself to their burgeoning relationship has been more challenging than hunting ghosts battling demons and stalking Sasquatch combined. Add in the fact that the only way they can keep their Experiment in Terror show running is to take on a third partner in the form of the mysterious Maximus Jacobs—all while investigating a sinister voodoo sect in New Orleans—and you've got the perfect Southern storm and a recipe for disaster. Luckily Dex has never been one to back down even when his life—and heart—are on the line.


Although I missed Perry's voice—especially in certain crucial situations—I totally fell (and hard) for Dex's pov in a full novel. This man can't help astounding the reader every time a bit more with his infinite love for Perry, but he also drives you crazy with the most hot thoughts and sexy actions you could ever hope for. Still, dark clouds are always in the horizon and uncontrollable tears accompany the inevitable thunderstorm...

Bets are officially closed, cards are on the table and the game is on. The winner? The story will announce that after some exciting encounters and agonising events... If you're an EIT fan, you may already have a few things sorted out, but that doesn't mean your mouth still won't drop an inch or two during some big revelations. Indeed, we get some brand new information setting off a what-the-hell-is-going-on? reaction that led me to a non-stop reading marathon ended at 4am. Believe it or not, this was the first time in my life I went to bed so late to finish a book, hence a huge applause to the author for such a scary, superb read!

As usual, Karina Halle turns your worst fears into terrifying nightmares and, from ecstasy to pure agony, she puts you on the very edge until it's not possible for the adrenaline to run faster in your system. Unputdownable and unforgettable, this book is by far my personal favourite in the series!

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