… but I just recently figured out that there’s another book blog out there called To Read or Not to Read! And I thought I was so clever. Oh well. But I’ve switched everything over to a new site, Fangirls Ahead! (which I think is a much better name anyway). So head on over there!
Scroll down for an excerpt from Novus and a giveaway of $100! (Either Amazon gift card or Paypal Cash. In other words: a lot of books, a.k.a. heaven!)
Novus by Crystal Marcos
Series: The Cresecren Chronicles #1
Published: August 18th, 2015 by Cat Marcs Publishing
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | IndieBound | Book Depository | Books-a-Million | AbeBooks
Blurb: Ideal for Hunger Games and Divergent fans, Crystal Marcos delivers Novus, a riveting novel set in a dystopian future of action-adventure, suspense, and romance. Intriguing characters and a g
ripping storyline keep the reader turning page after page.
Being a teenager is hard enough. And what if your life’s path is pre
determined? On top of that, you aren’t even Human?
Cayden was given life as a Cresecren. He expected to live out his days with the dysfunctional Human family he was assigned to serve. One fateful night, however, landed him in Gavaron, the home of maimed, elderly, or defiant Cresecren.
Beyond its borders is the Den, an area much more dangerous than he ever imagined. Now seventeen, Cayden unwittingly becomes involved in a conspiracy and is one of a handful of survivors fleeing a deadly attack. They set off on a perilous journey in search of refuge and the truth. Along the way, Cayden begins to comprehend the difference between fully living and merely surviving, while trying to balance his emotions and a forbidden love.
“You can’t go into the Den to the Supply Depot. At least, I feel you shouldn’t go.” Kayella rubbed her forehead with the sleeve of her blouse.
“Let me get you a drink.” I pulled down a metal can and filled it with water.
Before I turned around, Kayella’s hand was on my arm. Her footsteps were so silent that she startled me. I pivoted to look at her as she spoke a single word hauntingly. “Death.” Kayella looked so serious that I did not speak my initial thought of “nonsense.” Instead, I handed her the can and asked her to tell me about her dream.
“It won’t make any sense to you. How can I explain something I don’t understand? They are bits and pieces of a puzzle.” Kayella became flustered, her hand began to tremble, and water sloshed to the floor. “I came because I felt I needed to warn you not to go tomorrow.” She grabbed my arm tightly. “Have someone go in your place. I have to go and warn Alecander.” She dropped the can into the sink, splashing water along the wall. Before I could stop her, she ran out the door and down the corridor. I stood there, taken aback. The Kayella I knew was timid and sweet. I knew nothing of this Kayella.
Death. Such an ominous word. Is it that I might die? Or Alecander? What exactly had Kayella seen? Did it even matter?
Novus has recently received two book awards! To celebrate the eBook will be on SALE for $1.99 until 5/15/2016!
“Official Selection” Winner in the Young Adult category, 2015 New Apple Book Awards!
Winner Best Books in the Young Adult category, 2016 Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards!
“Novus by Crystal Marcos is one of those gems that make you care about the characters within the story, and while you definitely want to know what happens to them, you can’t help but also not want to get to the end of the book. It’s the kind of book whose characters you miss when you finish the book.”
–Kim Anisi for Readers’ Favorite (5 stars)
About Crystal Marcos:
Award-winning author Crystal Marcos has been a storyteller her entire life. As the oldest of five children, she had to do a lot of entertaining. She lives on the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington State with her husband, daughter Kaylee, and infant son Jaxon. Crystal is the author of BELLYACHE: A Delicious Tale and HEADACHE: The Hair-Raising Sequel to BELLYACHE. Novus, her third book and first Young Adult novel, is Book One of The Cresecren Chronicles.
And now for the exciting giveaway! Kathy from I Am A Reader and Crystal are giving away $100! You can redeem it either as an Amazon gift card or as Paypal Cash, but the giveaway ends on the 19th, in just 10 days! So be sure to enter by clicking here while the giveaway’s still open. And, for anyone who actually likes to read legalese, the official rules & conditions:
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the participating authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
Seeking Sorrow by Zen DiPietro
Series: Guardians of Terath #1
Published: March 25th, 2015 by Soul Mate Publishing
Goodreads | Amazon | IndieBound | Book Depository | Books-a-Million | AbeBooks
Blurb: An earth-like world of high-tech humans faces the reality that their world is not as safe as they thought it was. Five people are thrown together to quietly get to the bottom of an unfathomable mana event that must stay quiet. If the population of Terath becomes aware of the truth, it will spark a civil war. That war would pit the majority of the population against the powerful minority with the ability to harness and manipulate mana. The resulting cataclysm would decimate the population and tear apart the foundation of society.
The five people chosen for this must reconsider everything they thought they knew about mana, even as they learn to trust one another’s abilities. They must embrace everything they never wanted in order to prevent the devastation of their world. One of them will be forever changed. Love will be denied, badassery will be unleashed, and Terath will never be the same.
Even success comes at a price.
My favorite thing about this book: the amount of badass women. Izzy, Kassimeigh, Magistrate Trewe–I loved how they were portrayed as being just as strong as the men. That gave Ms. DiPietro about a million brownie points from my point of view. Ms. DiPietro’s handling of Meli’s predicament was also pretty genius. (Nope, not telling you anymore. You gotta read it yourself!)
Second favorite thing: the relationships between the characters, especially between the aforementioned badass women. As rare as it is to see badass women in a novel, it’s even rarer to see any women have a relationship past “girl, you are stealing my boyfriend!” But Izzy and Kassimeigh’s friendship was so well-developed and sincere! While I was reading, I just wanted to stand up and scream, “This is how you write about women who have real, functional relationships!”
Third favorite thing: the world-building. Terath was different without being completely foreign and unrelatable and, more importantly, there was magic! I especially liked how the mana wasn’t just regular magic; Ms. DiPietro added some twists that made mana infinitely more interesting.
So why only four stars? Seeking Sorrow never quite had that mysterious X factor. I never felt like fanning myself furiously after a one-liner from my favorite angel, a la Susan Ee’s Angelfall. Nor did I ever cry like a baby and get snot all over my pillow at 2 AM, a la Patrick Ness’ A Monster Calls. But there’s no denying that Seeking Sorrow is a very well-written book, and I will be looking forward to the next installment in Ms. DiPietro’s series!
About Zen DiPietro:
Zen DiPietro is a lifelong bookworm, a fantasy/sci-fi writer, a dancer, and a mom of two. Also red-haired, left-handed, and a vegetarian geek. Absolutely terrible at conforming. Particular loves include badass heroines, Star Trek, British accents, baba ganoush, and the smell of Band-Aids. Writing reviews, author interviews, and fun stuff at www.womenofbadassery.com. Very active on Facebook, Twitter (@ZenDiPietro), and Pinterest.
Susan Blunt has spent her life staying put, retreating into her books while her vivacious twin sister, Sara, lives life to the fullest. The start of the war hasn’t stopped vibrant Sara from collecting a throng of beaus in uniform, including Paul Overdone, an RAF pilot heading for the front. When Sara pressures Susan into switching places and going to a dance with Paul, Susan reluctantly agrees. Little does Susan know that a single night is more than enough time to fall deeply in love with Paul—who returns her ardor, even though he thinks she is someone else…
When the Blitz begins and bombs start raining down on London, both RueAnn and Susan must find the strength and courage they never knew they had in order to survive. They form a friendship out of the city’s ashes, one that helps them weather the storm as they wait for news from the front—from the men they love, have lost, and hope desperately to find once more.
Set against the backdrop of a remarkable era, INTO THE STORM brilliantly explores relationships in wartime, when the passion shared in just one day could sustain love for a lifetime and the love borne of one night’s deception could become the truth that saves a life.
I am a sucker for great characters. Melina Marchetta, Marcus Zuzak, Laini Taylor, Susan Ee — they’ve made it onto my list of favorite authors because they make each of their characters pop off the page. And guess what? Lisa Bingham has just made it onto my little list.
Despite the insta-love between RueAnn & Charlie and Susan & Paul, their relationships felt real. I don’t know, maybe I’m becoming a sappy romantic who rambles about love at first sight, but I believed in their love. I also loved how Ms. Bingham took the time to craft every character, from the heroines down to the maid. She even got me to like RueAnn’s mother-in-law! God knows how awful those can be sometimes.
The picture that Ms. Bingham painted of WWII London was also absolutely breath-taking. Yes, of course she’s clearly done a lot of research into WWII, and that’s lovely and all, but that’s not what makes it great. What makes her writing great is how it flows together so much that I can picture it before my very eyes. Even after I stop reading and I rush to my next class (which I was late for, no thanks to Ms. Bingham), I can almost imagine that I’m walking the streets of London. That’s what makes it amazing to me.
So after all this praise, why not five stars? Simple: I wanted more. RueAnn and Susan’s stories would have been better off as separate novels. As it is, crowded into the same novel, their stories feel incomplete. The endings were wrapped up a little too neatly and a little too quickly. But that little worry isn’t enough to stop me from recommending this to everyone reading this review! So go out, look at the cover, fall in love, read the book, and fall in love again!
About Lisa Bingham:
Lisa Bingham was thirteen when she decided she wanted to be a published author, and she reached that goal less than ten years later. Now Lisa is the bestselling author of more than thirty historical and contemporary romantic fiction novels. Lisa has also been a teacher and a professional theatrical and historical reenactment costume designer—she’s considered an expert in those fields. She has been lucky enough to live and study in such exotic locales as Brazil, Mexico, Europe, and the United Kingdom. Currently she lives in rural northern Utah near her husband’s fourth-generation family farm. She is married to her sweetheart of twenty-two years and has three beautiful children, an over-protective dog, a burr-laden cat, and a miniature goat who thinks she’s a puppy.
Hi internet! My name’s Abigail, and this is my first blog post! (If that wasn’t already obvious.) I’m a 14-year-old sophomore at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland, where I’m a part of the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) magnet program. All that means is that first, I do a lot of advanced STEM stuff, and second, I never get to fangirl about books with anyone! Trust me. I’ve tried. They may or may not have silently judged me. A lot. Almost as much as they judged me for knowing all the lyrics to Hamilton.
I absolutely love reading–so much so that I call my Kindle “Abigail’s Life 2.0” only semi-sarcastically. My first Kindle, a Paperwhite I called “Abigail’s Life”, got ruined after I threw it across the room. Oops.
In my spare time, I practice the piano (I’ve been playing for 10 years!), daydream about traveling, shop for clothes I’m too broke to buy, and come up with witty comebacks two days after I should have used them. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with specifically blog-related stuff, or email@example.com with anything!