Cover Reveal for Eve Silver’s RUSH

Over at IceyBooks, they had the honour to reveal the cover of RUSH by Eve Silver, the first in her new YA/SF series. Head on over there to enter the giveaway of an advanced copy:

Cover Copy:  So what’s the game now? This, or the life I used to know?

When Miki Jones is pulled from her life, pulled through time and space into some kind of game—her carefully controlled life spirals into chaos. In the game, she and a team of other teens are sent on missions to eliminate the Drau, terrifying and beautiful alien creatures. There are no practice runs, no training, and no way out. Miki has only the guidance of secretive but maddeningly attractive team leader Jackson Tate, who says the game isn’t really a game, that what Miki and her new teammates do now determines their survival, and the survival of every other person on this planet. She laughs. He doesn’t. And then the game takes a deadly and terrifying turn.

Coming May 2013!

Available for pre-order: Amazon CA | Amazon US | Kindle

[Guest Post] A Sleepy Hollow Inspired Chase Scene by P.T. Michelle

A Sleepy Hollow Inspired Chase Scene
by P.T. Michelle

If you don’t remember anything else from the short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, you remember the chase scene! Irving sets the scene with a quirky, flawed character in Ichabod Crane who fully believes in the supernatural. Painting Ichabod into an interesting backdrop of a small, sleepy town full of old legends and a rivalry for a woman’s affection, Irving sets up the perfect scenario for Ichabod’s inevitable run in with the Headless Horseman on a lone dark road sprinkled with creepy night sounds, shadows around every corner, and patches of dense woods.

When I write a chase scene, especially one that takes place in darkened woods, the Headless Horseman scene is usually in the back of my mind. Whether the Headless Horseman was real or not, Ichabod’s fear certainly was: will he be able to out run his pursuer? the fear of learning the villain’s identity–is he real or supernatural, and what will happen to him if he’s caught? I try to incorporate all those emotions within my own characters.

Check out the chase scene below from my YA BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS. 

Shit!” One of them yelled as I disappeared into the bank of trees.

“She’s just a girl. She can’t get far. Go around, I’ll follow her!” a gruff voice ordered.

I entered the forest on a well-worn path, running straight ahead. When I saw that the woods only went so far in the direction I was headed, I veered off the path. Staying within the thick protection of the trees, I alternately cursed and praised the darkness. I’d run a quarter mile in when I heard the blond guy’s gruff voice sing-song “Narrr-ah”, then deepened in a growl of anger, “Come here, you little bitch!”

Panic shot through me, but my lungs were on fire, so I quickly stopped and threw my back against a thick oak tree, doing my best not to pant or make any noise.

I thought back to the day Ethan had helped jumpstart my car. I’d assumed I’d left my headlights on, but now with these two psychos chasing me, I realized those guys probably turned my lights on to drain my battery so they could “offer” me a ride. That’ll teach me to lock my car.

Why were they after me? And why did the names Kurt and Jay sound so familiar? I wracked my brain trying to remember, but the fear pumping through my veins scattered my thoughts like the leaves falling from the trees around me.

The blond one had stopped running. The underbrush rustled as he walked a few steps, then stopped. Probably listening for my footsteps in the thick leaves.

I heard the dark-headed guy running through the woods too, but he’d run the opposite way from me and had apparently doubled back.

“Jay, that you?” The blond, not more than ten feet away from me, yelled out in the dim light.

“Yeah, I haven’t seen her yet,” Jay answered from afar.

“Go to the edge of the woods and make sure she doesn’t come out that way,” Kurt said. His friend immediately headed off to his right, away from us.

Rustling kicked up once more. Every leaf-crunching step brought him closer, making my stomach twist. He was less than five feet away now.

“I know you’re in here, somewhere between Jay and me,” he said. “You’ve already cost me fifty bucks. Don’t piss me off any more.” His footsteps stopped, then thumped the ground hard, followed by a grunt of annoyance.

I can’t believe he’s after me over fifty dollars. So the “pretending to be offended that I’d dissed them” was just an act? Still, I had no clue why I’d cost him any money at all. I scanned the woods, looking for a path I could take that would allow me to work my way around toward the soccer field and my car in the lot beyond.

BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS, BOOK 1

Nara Collins is an average sixteen-year-old, with one exception: every night she dreams the events of the following day. Due to an incident in her past, Nara avoids using her special gift to change fate…until she dreams a future she can’t ignore.

After Nara prevents a bombing at Blue Ridge High, her ability to see the future starts to fade, while people at school are suddenly being injured at an unusually high rate.

Grappling with her diminishing powers and the need to prevent another disaster, Nara meets Ethan Harris, a mysterious loner who seems to understand her better than anyone. Ethan and Nara forge an irresistible connection, but as their relationship heats up, so do her questions about his dark past.


Read an excerpt | Watch the Book Trailer

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LUCID: BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS, BOOK 2

Once Nara combines her prophetic ability with Ethan’s power to outsmart Fate at his own deadly cat-and-mouse game, she’s more determined than ever to help Ethan learn the meaning behind the raven sword tattoo that suddenly appeared on his back after their confrontation with Fate.

During her quest to uncover the tattoo’s secrets, Nara enlists the help of some new friends and discovers her own surprising connection to Ethan.

While Nara digs deeper into the mystery, her desire for answers leads her down a dangerous path full of powerful and ruthless enemies. Swept into an age-old battle, Nara quickly learns that keeping one’s enemies close can be a necessary evil, making an intangible enemy she can control far more preferable to the human enemies she can’t. 

Read an excerpt

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ABOUT P.T. MICHELLE

P.T. Michelle is author of the young adult series BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS. When P.T. isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading or taking pictures of landscapes, sunsets and anything beautiful or odd in nature.

LINKS: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Newsletter

[Review] BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS by P.T. Michelle [YA]

BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS
P.T. Michelle (Patrice Michelle)
YA

Cover Copy: Nara Collins is an average sixteen-year-old, with one exception: every night she dreams the events of the following day. Due to an incident in her past, Nara avoids using her special gift to change fate…until she dreams a future she can’t ignore.

After Nara prevents a bombing at Blue Ridge High, her ability to see the future starts to fade, while people at school are suddenly being injured at an unusually high rate.

Grappling with her diminishing powers and the need to prevent another disaster, Nara meets Ethan Harris, a mysterious loner who seems to understand her better than anyone. Ethan and Nara forge an irresistible connection, but as their relationship heats up, so do her questions about his dark past.

My Thoughts: BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS tells the story of Inara Collins, a girl with a serious case of deja vu. Every morning she wakes up having dreamed the events of her day and where most people would promptly forget their dreams, Nara remembers them. She lives out her days knowing exactly what’s going to happen.

I’ve had moments of deja vu, I’ve even had those deja vu moments and remembered them from my dreams, but Nara’s gift/curse would be something pretty difficult to live with. Imagine never having any surprises. Sometimes it might be nice to know what’s going to happen so you could prepare for it (like chemistry tests), but other times it would be horrible. You’d know every Christmas and birthday gift before you ever opened it.

Nara’s dreams were never a big problem, mostly just daily spoilers, until she dreams about a bomb inside the school. She decides to call in the tip, thus saving several students from death and harm. But at what cost has she crossed Fate? Soon she starts having dreams in which more and more students are injured. She continues to try to interfere to save the students from injury, but a mysterious force seems to be acting against her.

That dark force could be the new guy, Ethan Harris. He’s dark, mysterious, and he seems to have uncanny timing. But Nara’s instincts tell her she can trust him. Nara and Ethan even strike up a relationship, but soon Nara begins to suspect Ethan has something to do with her dreams disappearing. And Ethan does seem to be more than he’s letting on with a past he doesn’t want to talk about . . .

The book starts out a bit rocky in the opening pages, but it doesn’t take long to figure out what’s going on. The pacing is quick, the tension builds steadily. The romance is sweet but complicated by Nara’s trust-issues with Ethan. But mostly it was an enjoyable, engaging read. The bad guy turns out to be very bad. I can’t wait to read the sequel, LUCID.

BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS is perfect reading for fall. Put on a pair of boots, a warm sweater and settle down with a pumpkin spice latte on a fall afternoon with BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS.

Cover: The cover is gorgeous. I’ve always loved fall colours and pretty dresses.

Rating: A
Series: Brightest Kind of Darkness, #1
Publisher: Patrice Michelle, 2011
Acquired: Author

Get it — Amazon CA | Amazon US | Goodreads | Kindle | Kobo
[At the time of this review – Kindle price: $0.99; Kobo price: $0.95]

Happy Release Day! FALLING TO ASH by Karen Mahoney

FALLING TO ASH
Karen Mahoney

Cover Copy: You can’t choose your family… living or dead.

Trapped between two very different worlds, newly made vampire Moth is struggling to find her place in either. Not only does she have to answer to her strict Irish-Catholic Dad, but her over-protective maker, Theo, is intent on making her the star attraction in his powerful Boston vampire clan. Moth will have to pull off the double-act of the century to please both of them…

Adding to her problems is the dangerously attractive Jason Murdoch, a trainee vampire hunter who loves to play cat and mouse in his spare time (Jace = cat; Moth = mouse). But when the teenagers of Boston’s wealthiest families start to disappear, it forces Moth and Jace into an uneasy truce. Will they be able to solve the mystery behind the disappearances—before someone winds up undead?

AvailableAmazon UK | Kindle UK | Goodreads

Don’t miss the Moth web comic!

View a new page each week at www.mothtales.com.

Click on image to view at website.

[Review] THE IRON WITCH by Karen Mahoney [YA]

THE IRON WITCH
Karen Mahoney
YA

Cover Copy: Freak. That’s what her classmates call seventeen-year-old Donna Underwood. When she was seven, a horrific fey attack killed her father and drove her mother mad. Donna’s own nearly fatal injuries from the assault were fixed by magic—the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. The child of alchemists, Donna feels cursed by the magical heritage that destroyed her parents and any chance she had for a normal life. The only thing that keeps her sane and grounded is her relationship with her best friend, Navin Sharma.
When the darkest outcasts of Faerie—the vicious wood elves—abduct Navin, Donna finally has to accept her role in the centuries old war between the humans and the fey. Assisted by Xan, a gorgeous half-fey dropout with secrets of his own, Donna races to save her friend—even if it means betraying everything her parents and the alchemist community fought to the death to protect.

My Thoughts: Karen Mahoney has created a unique urban fantasy with a steampunk feel from the addition of alchemy, iron tatoos, and flying mechanical birds in a modern London that has wood elves and faeries leaking out of their hidden land.

Ms. Mahoney’s main character is a teen girl, just trying to be an ordinary teen girl. She wants a boy to like her, she’s confused by boy behaviour, and she has to deal with the bitchy behaviour of other school girls. All very relate-able experiences for any teen today.

But not every teen girl has to take alchemy lessons from eccentrics, hide her arms from the elbows down, or save her best friend from otherworldly creatures.

Kind of makes living our ordinary lives seem so much easier.

THE IRON WITCH isn’t heavy on teen romance and doesn’t have as much action as I normally like in a story, but it is rich in imagination, and it was refreshing to step into a world this genre hasn’t seen.

I’m looking forward to more in this series.

Rating: A-
Series: The Iron Witch, #1
Publisher: Flux
Acquired: purchase

Get ItAmazon CA | Amazon US | Chapters | Goodreads

[Review] CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein

Note: Cover Copy is after my thoughts because it does contain what some would consider spoilers. Avoid the cover copy if you can.

My Thoughts: I don’t normally read historical fiction. I’ve found it tends to get bogged down in the details, and I feel like I’m reading a textbook. Sometimes textbooks are less boring than historical fiction. Too often the authors have learned all these details and are bound and determined to shove them down my throat. But when I got an opportunity to get an early look at CODE NAME VERITY, I knew I had to give the book a chance. It’s got some great buzz and a great premise, so I had to see what the hype was about. Soon into the first few pages, I found it also has a intelligent and engaging unreliable narrator. I was hooked.

This is a story about a most unlikely friendship. I don’t want to give away any of the fabulous plot twists, but I do want to say that I couldn’t even guess what might happen in this story. The twists are good. Now that I’ve read it once and know all the secrets, I want to go back and read it again with this new perspective.

This book made me cry. I figured it would from the premise, and because I’m a softie. When a plane gets shot down in enemy territory, and the story essentially is the girl’s confession of secrets having been captured and tortured, I knew enough not to expect sunshine and rainbows. However, the story has this fairy tale quality to it, and hope is so tightly woven throughout that I think the reason this book haunts me, and will continue to haunt me, is because I keep thinking, “If only…. If only….”

World War II buffs will love this book. Wein has woven a lot of research, lots of great details, seemlessly into the story.  Though it’s entirely fiction, I feel like this story could have actually happened. The characters are each unique, clearly defined people. The details are rich and realistic. This book will have a lot of book clubs talking.

Expect to hear a lot more about this book.  A lot of folks will be talking about it.

[SPOILERS]

Cover Copy: I have two weeks. You’ll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.

That’s what you do to enemy agents. It’s what we do to enemy agents. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and cooperation is the easy way out. Possibly the only way out for a girl caught red-handed doing dirty work like mine — and I will do anything, anything, to avoid SS-Hauptsturmführer von Linden interrogating me again.

He has said that I can have as much paper as I need. All I have to do is cough up everything I can remember about the British War Effort. And I’m going to. But the story of how I came to be here starts with my friend Maddie. She is the pilot who flew me into France — an Allied Invasion of Two.

We are a sensational team.

Rating: A
Series: N/A
Publisher: Egmont Press, 2012
Acquired: Publisher via NetGalley

Get it– Amazon | Chapters/Indigo | Goodreads | Kobo | Sony

[Review] THE IMMORTAL RULES by Julie Kagawa

Cover Copy: “In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.”Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of “them.” The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked–and given the ultimate choice. Die…or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend–a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn’t easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what–and who–is worth dying for.

My Thoughts: I’m having the hardest time figuring out how to review THE IMMORTAL RULES.  It’s not a horrible book, but it’s not holding my attention either.

The book is split into parts. The first part is great.  Allison Sekemoto survives in the outer Fringe circle of a city controlled by vampires. Outside the Fringe, zombie-like contagion-infected creatures called Rabids run rampant. Allie lives in an abandoned school with a few friends. Every day is a struggle to find food. They can’t go out at night for fear of the vampires. Beyond the walls are abandoned houses full of food, ripe for scavenging, but that area is populated by Rabids.

This part was great. Chockful of tension and excellent world building. But then Allie gets wounded by a Rabid and the only way to live is to make a deal to turn into a vampire. Part 2 finds Allie waking up, realizing she’s a vampire, and learning how to live as one. This is where the book falls apart. The tension thread is completely lost. It’s like starting over with a brand-new story — a very dull one with lots of info dumps. I realize Allie has lots to learn as a vampire, but there was a lot for us to learn about the world in part one. Part two could have been done with more action and fewer scenes of talking heads.

I love Kagawa’s action scenes. She has a real gift for tension and dramatic action. It’s the in-between stuff she needs to either eliminate or improve upon, because that’s where I was skimming to get to the next scene.

Sadly, this was not a book for me. This realization is very disappointing because there was so much potential to love it.  (I mean, who wouldn’t love a katana carrying vampire?)

I have a feeling I’m in the minority with my opinion. I think there will be plenty who will love this book, even those who’ve grown tired of vampire stories.

Rating: C, DNF
Series: Blood of Eden
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Acquired: NetGalley

Get it– Amazon | Chapters/Indigo| Goodreads | Kobo | Sony