New Releases

Book Blitz: The Alchemist and an Amaretto by Annette Marie

The Alchemist and an Amaretto
by Annette Marie
(The Guild Codex: Spellbound #5)
Published by: Dark Owl Fantasy Inc.
Publication date: October 11, 2019
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy

As a guild bartender, I can handle pretty much anything—mages, sorcerers, witches, the occasional demon. But show me anything family-related and I’d rather run for the hills. It doesn’t even have to be my family.

So I have no idea why I thought spending the holidays with Aaron’s mom and pop was a good idea.

Meeting his famous parents is already terrifying enough, but I’ve got a bigger problem. Students of his family’s renowned mage academy are being attacked on the grounds—and somehow no one has seen a single assailant? Unexplained tracks litter the nearby woods, rumors of forbidden alchemy are circulating the campus…and Ezra has been acting strangely since we arrived.

Something deadly is brewing in the shadow of Sinclair Academy, and the longer we take to uncover it, the more dangerous it becomes. But no matter the risk, we’ll protect the students.

And Aaron’s parents too, I suppose. If we have to.

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Excerpt

Ezra stopped, hands on his hips as he surveyed the lazy slope that swept up to the towering manor. “All right. Time for our final sprint.”

I snorted. “Yeah, uh-huh.”

“I’m serious. We always finish our workouts with something competitive.”

Like competitive pushups. I shivered at the reminder.

“This is the starting line. That tree is the finish. First one there wins.”

“What’s the prize?” I folded my arms, eyeing the distance. Not that far but not twenty yards either. “You, Aaron, and Kai always bet something.”

He rubbed the hint of shadow along his jaw. “Winner’s choice, I guess.”

Ooh, I liked the sound of that. Grinning, I got into a starting position. “You’re on.”

He took the same position. Clearing his throat, he deepened his voice to mimic a sports announcer. “On your mark. Get set. G—”

“What’s that?” I gasped, pointing behind him.

He snapped around to look—and I launched into a mad sprint, arms pumping. Ezra swore and took off after me, but I had a head start. I would reach the finish first and totally win this.

Right as I drew level with the target tree, hands caught my waist. Ezra swept me off the ground, still running—an impossible feat if not for his inhuman strength. He stopped just past the tree, laughing too hard to hold me up. My back slid down his chest and my feet landed in the grass.

“I can’t believe I fell for that,” he said breathlessly. “You’re such a cheater.”

Whirling to face him, I smirked. “I was manufacturing a combat advantage, not cheating. Kai’s been teaching me.”

“A race isn’t combat.”

“Maybe I was running for my life.”

“From me?” He arched a playful eyebrow. “Does that mean you don’t like being chased?” “Depends who’s doing the chasing,” I shot back teasingly.

“Oh? So is it the chase you prefer, or the catch?”

I tossed my hair with pretend haughtiness. “You think you could catch me?”

“Pretty sure I already did.”

My heart did a crazy tumble through my chest and a grin stretched my mouth. I couldn’t hold it back any more than I could stop the blush heating my cheeks.

“Well,” I began dramatically, spreading my arms as I stepped backward, “do I look—”

My heel caught on a tree root hidden in the grass. Squealing, I pitched over, arms wind-milling. My back hit the ground, the air punched from my chest, and I blinked dazedly at the overcast sky.

Damn it.

Ezra’s face appeared above mine. He crouched at my side, his expression drawn into grave concern. “Tori, are you still with me?”

I choked on a laugh and whispered, “Ezra? Is that you?”

“I’m here.” He took my hand and patted it gently. “Just hang in there.”

I fluttered my fingers. “Everything is growing dark.”

“Go toward the light, Tori.”

My eyebrows quirked. “Shouldn’t I go away from the light?”

“It doesn’t have the same ring,” he decided. “You’ll have to go toward the light.”

“Toward the light it is.” I waited a moment. “Now what?”

He took my hands and folded them on my chest in the classic body-in-casket pose—and I lost it. Cackling with laughter, I sat up and checked the grass stain on my elbow.

“Next time, I’ll make you laugh first,” I promised. He grinned as he stood. “You can try.”

Author Bio

Annette Marie is the author of Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, its prequel trilogy Spell Weaver, and romantic fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad) with her husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.

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New Releases

Book Blitz: The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy

The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy
Published by: Blink
Publication date: October 1, 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

In the city of Craewick, memories reign. The power-obsessed ruler of the city, Madame, has cultivated a society in which memories are currency, citizens are divided by ability, and Gifted individuals can take memories from others through touch as they please.

Seventeen-year-old Etta Lark is desperate to live outside of the corrupt culture, but grapples with the guilt of an accident that has left her mother bedridden in the city’s asylum. When Madame threatens to put her mother up for auction, a Craewick practice in which a “criminal’s” memories are sold to the highest bidder before being killed, Etta will do whatever it takes to save her. Even if it means rejoining the Shadows, the rebel group she swore off in the wake of the accident years earlier.

To prove her allegiance to the Shadows and rescue her mother, Etta must steal a memorized map of the Maze, a formidable prison created by the bloodthirsty ruler of a neighboring Realm. So she sets out on a journey in which she faces startling attacks, unexpected romance, and, above all, her own past in order to set things right in her world.

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Q&A with Lauren Mansy:

  • What was it like to write your first book and have it published?

Incredible! It’s been such a wonderful journey filled with many sweet moments. I began writing over seven years ago, and it’s definitely surreal that The Memory Thief is now on shelves! As of late, there have been quite a few teary moments—and I’m totally not a crier! I’m truly overwhelmed by every kind word, the support, and the willingness to walk alongside me as The Memory Thief has gone from something imagined to a real book. I couldn’t be more excited to share this story with readers!

  • What was your inspiration behind TMT?

When I was a teenager, my mom was diagnosed with a heart condition, which led to an unexpected heart surgery. On the way to the operating room, her heart stopped six times, and the doctors warned my family that it was unlikely she’d survive. And if she did, she may not remember us due to the trauma she’d experienced throughout the entire ordeal.

I was sitting at her bedside when she first began to stir after her surgery, and I slipped my hand into hers and told her that it was me. Then she began to squeeze my hand three times, our signal for I love you! That’s my most favorite memory because I’d never felt such fear suddenly overcome by the most incredible joy. That collision of emotions was the moment which first sparked the idea for The Memory Thief.

Ever since then, I always struck by how memories make up so much of our identity and influence our relationships with others. It terrified me that my mom wouldn’t remember me, but I’m so thankful to say that she made a full-recovery. Though it was long and difficult process, she never gave up hope that things would one day get better. Her unwavering courage inspired me to want to share this story.

  • What kind of impact did writing TMT have on you personally?

Writing TMT has had a huge impact on me. I first began writing after completing treatments for Hodgkin’s Disease, a form of lymphatic cancer. It was a very difficult time in my life, and writing fiction helped me express myself in ways that I’d never done before. It helped me process through some of my most difficult memories.

When I first began drafting The Memory Thief, I realized there were still some emotions about being faced with the possibility of losing my mom that I’d yet to express out loud. Writing this book proved to be a source of healing, and a wonderful platform for exploring truth in my own life through a backdrop of fiction.

This story is very dear to my heart, and reflecting back on the process of writing this book is what made the moment of holding it in my hands so amazing.

  • What is your favorite part about TMT?

I think my favorite part is the relationship that Etta has with her mother.

Gwendolyn was one of my favorite characters to write because she’s full of opposites. Because of her coma, she hasn’t spoken a word in four years yet that entire time, she’s been teaching Etta how important it is never to give up, even when all the odds are stacked against you.

On her journey to save her mother, Etta discovers that Gwendolyn’s story is intertwined with Etta’s in ways that she never imagined. Writing this aspect of the plot was so much fun, and definitely one of my favorite parts of the drafting process, as well!

  • What do you hope readers take away from TMT?

The main thing I hope readers take away is that it isn’t the hardships of the past which define us but the strength we find in overcoming them. Etta has been through a lot of difficult things, and she struggles with trusting others because she has a hard time trusting herself. At the beginning of the story, Etta has spent four years hiding from both the people and events which haunt her, but to save her mother, she’ll have to come face-to-face with the past. I hope her journey will inspire readers to never lose hope, even in the midst of impossible odds.

  • How are you reflected in TMT (or, how much of you is reflected in the book)?

Because this story is based on my own journey with my mother, many of Etta’s worries, doubts, and fears are things I also experienced when faced with the possibility of losing my mom. The questions that Etta asks about how to deal with a situation like this are questions that I often pondered myself.

So when I first began writing TMT, I thought, “What if I wasn’t the only one who faced this fear? What if there was an entire society that feared their loved ones no longer remembering them?” It was these kinds of thoughts which ultimately let me to want to explore a world where memories reign over everything. Then writing Etta’s emotional journey also helped me process through a lot of my own memories, as well.

That’s one reason that I love not only writing but reading fantasy novels. Even though these characters live in worlds that are vastly different than our own, what they love, hate, and fear can often be so relatable. That often sticks with me long after I read the last page, and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to share this journey with readers.

  • What is your favorite thing to do to promote your book?

My favorite thing has been getting to know readers. I had the privilege of attending BEA and ALA this past summer, and I loved meeting librarians, educators, fellow writers, bloggers, and industry professionals. Writing can often be a solitary venture, but the publishing process has been filled with creating some wonderful relationships. I couldn’t be more grateful for this community!

  • Why should readers be sure to place TMT on their TBR list?

The Memory Thief is a book full of secrets, lies, and betrayal. It’s set in a world where memories are currency, people are struggling to hold onto their true identity, and nothing is quite what it seems. And Etta is a very flawed character. She has a lot of regret and has made many mistakes, yet she never stops fighting to save her loved ones. If any these things appeal to you, I hope you’ll consider adding TMT to your TBR!

  • What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned while being a writer?

I think the biggest lesson being a writer has taught me is the importance of the “story behind the story”. Though the publication journey is filled with exciting moments (like seeing the cover for the first time and holding the final copy!), the journey of getting here has changed me for forever. There have been highs and lows, moments of uncertainty coupled with unexpected encouragement, and wonderful support from family, friends, and even strangers! Writing fiction gave me a voice when I was still struggling to find mine, and I’ll be forever grateful that even as the last page of The Memory Thief ends, my own life story is still being written

  • Additional thoughts?

If you’re interested in learning more about The Memory Thief, I have more information of my website, and I also LOVE connecting with readers!

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Lauren lives in the Chicago area, where she’s spent years working with youth, from young children to high schoolers. When she’s not writing, Lauren is usually with her family or exploring the city to find the best deep dish pizza. The Memory Thief, which was inspired by Lauren’s own journey with her mother, is her first novel. You can visit her online at http://www.laurenmansy.com.

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New Releases

Book Blitz: Knight Rising by Jason Hamilton

Knight Rising  by Jason Hamilton
(The Faerie Queen #1)
Publication date: September 30, 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Do not wander in cursed lands alone…

Una wants only one thing, to find and kill the dragon that drove her out of her childhood home in the heart of Arthurian Britain.

When a handsome knight frees her from captivity, she learns that she is not the only one who wants the beast dead. The knight is Sir George, a messenger of the Faerie Queen and the man assigned to kill the dragon that still haunts her home.

But the road to get there contains new dangers, long shut out from this world…until now.

Together with her newfound ally, she must survive the dreaded Forest of Arden, return to her homeland, and discover what happened to her family. To get there, she will search within herself and discover an ancient, forbidden magic that is either the key to their survival, or the means to their end.

Knight Rising is a captivating blend of YA fantasy and Arthurian legend. If you like dragons, blossoming romances, and magical showdowns, then you’ll love Jason Hamilton’s fresh take on Edmund Spencer’s classic tale.

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You can read the prequel for FREE here!

Excerpt

If it weren’t for the knowledge of what was about to come through the shining tear in the fabric of time, the Faerie Queen might have called its appearance beautiful. The light streaming out of the tear cast a dancing golden-green pattern across the trees surrounding the dark clearing, the spectacle even more glorious at night. But Gloriana knew that nothing of beauty would come from today’s events.

“When you said you needed help,” said a voice from beside her. “I never knew it was this bad.”

Gloriana glanced to one side, temporarily ignoring the ever-expanding breach. It would still be a few moments before it was large enough for anything to come through. “Alice,” she said to the woman by her side. “Or should I say Vivien now?”

“You should,” said the woman with a nod. Well, she was more of a girl really, with long blonde hair and a lythe body, clothed in white robes. The last time she’d seen Alice, she’d kept her hair short. “I also go by Lady of the Lake these days.”

“How very mysterious,” said Gloriana with a smug expression.

Alice, or Vivien, did not seem to share her smugness. She looked straight ahead at the opening breach. “What can I do to help?”

Gloriana glanced back at the ribbon of light as it slowly expanded. “Just keep them off my back until I can close it.”

“And exactly why aren’t you closing it now?”

“It doesn’t work that way. I cannot heal what has not broken. Once the tear is fully formed, I can begin to sew it back together. But I will need you to assist my armies in eliminating any threats that come through until I can stop the flow.”

“Not much of an army,” said Vivien, turning to stare back behind them.

Unfortunately, it was true. Gloriana’s strength had waned in recent years. Few came to pledge their loyalty anymore, not since the dragon had emerged in the north, and the first tears had begun. Now people would rather avoid the forest of Arden than pass through it. And with this being the latest in a series of breaches to the Otherworld, many of her trusted knights, her friends, had perished at the hands of the supernatural. The Order of Maidenglory was now reduced to almost nothing, which was why she needed Vivien’s help.

Of course, she had other aids at her disposal besides her knights. But would it be enough?

The breach in front of her pulsed slightly and widened. It was almost time.

“They will do their duty.” Gloriana straightened and readied herself, feeling the wind pick up through the clearing and gently whip at her hair. Looking back at Vivien, she added. “Can I count on you to do yours?”

Vivien braced herself, keeping her eyes on the golden-green tear in space. “Gloriana, I know we may have had our differences in the past, but you can count on me to do what I can.”

“Good.” Gloriana began gathering the magics around her. This breach was one of the larger ones she’d faced. She would need all her strength to close it. Raising one arm, she cried, “Prepare yourselves! Defend your queen!”

The clink of armor and the unsheathing of swords was their reply. The Order of Maidenglory was ready.

And with a burst of light and magic, the breach caved open.

Immediately, Gloriana summoned her magic, raising her hands in front of her and mentally grasping for the edges of the tear. She had to close this one as fast as she could.

Her knights rushed forward, the sound of their plate armor creating a chorus of clashes that could inspire songs. If only there were more.

Vivien also darted forward, bereft of any armor, but pulling forth a great sword of exquisite workmanship. If Gloriana had not been so focused on the breach, she might have inspected the sword more closely, or gazed at the ring on Vivien’s finger as it began to glow a bright golden yellow.

But she had no time to dwell on such things. In that moment, the first of the monsters hurdled through the breach.

It was a great serpent, but with giant arms near its front, and what appeared to be hundreds of tiny appendages like smaller snakes attached to its body. Its hissing echoed through the clearing and beyond.

The Order of Maidenglory charged.

Author Bio

Hello! I’m Jason. I like words.

I’m also a huge nerd. On every average day, you’ll find me geeking out about Star Wars, superheroes, Shakespeare, and a lot of other things. It is my ultimate goal to become the world’s leading expert in storytelling.

I’m the author of the Argoverse, a collection of stories all set within the same universe, and I’m the editor-in-chief of ArthurLegends.com and the Arthurian Legends Universe.

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New Releases

Book Blitz: To Kill a Fae by Jamie A. Waters

To Kill a Fae by Jamie A. Waters
(The Dragon Portal Series, #1)
Publication date: September 26, 2019
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

The darkness holds more than just secrets…

Marked for death, Sabine escaped from her home and fled to a human city.

But the Wild Hunt will never give up.

For more than a decade, she’s kept her head down and avoided talking about her past.

Even the best-laid plans eventually fall apart…

When a charismatic stranger arrives, Sabine is unwittingly drawn to him and his power. Keeping her distance is nearly impossible, especially after a life debt is called due and she’s tasked with helping him steal a rare artifact.

In order to break the magical barriers protecting the item and save her companions, Sabine will be forced to drop her glamour and reveal her true identity.

The Fae aren’t the only ones hunting her.

And the most dangerous monsters aren’t always confined to the dark.

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Excerpt

Sabine tensed, scanning the dead-end alleyway for a place to hide. If they climbed the trellis again, they’d be spotted. It was too risky to try to use her magic to shroud them from view, but if the guards turned around, they’d be in clear view. It was unlikely the guards would trouble her too much, but Dax would kill Malek if he found out he’d accompanied her. Not even her mark on Malek’s wrist would stop him.

Yanking off her heavy cloak, she tied it around her waist to cover her weapons and give the appearance she wore a dress. With her hair unbraided and covering her ears, it might be enough for the guards to overlook them. At the very least, they might not recognize her right away and would assume they were two lovers engaging in a quick tryst in the alley. Malek’s expression became quizzical, but she ignored him and gripped his shirt tightly.

“Kiss me,” she whispered urgently, aware they only had seconds to pull off this ruse.

“What?”

She pulled him toward her just as footsteps rapidly approached. Awareness filled his eyes, and he lowered his head, pressing his lips against hers. She put her arms around his neck, listening for the guards.

Malek wrapped his arms around her, drawing her even closer. Focus was critical, but his nearness affected all of her senses. Oh, this was a very bad idea. The taste of his lips and the scent of his skin were heady, threatening to overwhelm her from pure sensation. Despite the danger of the approaching guards, he took his time, tasting and exploring her mouth. Malek did have magic, but she couldn’t tell how much because it was tightly controlled and suppressed.

She whimpered and softened against his body, unable to resist him. Part of her was tempted to claim she was merely playing a part, but she wanted this. She wanted him. Unlocking his magic wouldn’t be difficult, but she wasn’t willing to force him into revealing his secrets before he was ready. This kiss was only a hint of what could be between them, and she suspected this brief taste of him was never going to be enough.

Author Bio

Jamie A. Waters is an award-winning, fantasy and science-fiction writer. Her first novel was a winner of the Readers’ Favorite Award in Science-Fiction/Fantasy Romance and the CIPA EVVY Award in Science-Fiction.

Jamie currently resides in Florida with two neurotic dogs who enjoy stealing socks. When she’s not pursuing her passion of writing, she’s usually trying to learn new and interesting random things (like how to pick locks or use the self-cleaning feature of the oven without setting off the fire alarm). In her downtime, she enjoys reading on her Kindle, playing computer games, painting, or acting as a referee between the dragons and fairies currently at war inside her closet.

You can learn more by visiting: http://www.jamieawaters.com

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New Releases

Book Blitz: Shadow Caster by Debbie Cassidy

Shadow Caster by Debbie Cassidy
(The Nightwatch Academy #1)
Publication date: September 10, 2019
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Murdering humans is a huge no-no and comes with an off-with-your-head sentence. Doesn’t matter if you don’t remember doing the crime.

I killed a human, and no, it wasn’t on purpose, but that shit doesn’t matter to the council. I’m facing death. So, when I’m offered a deal to avoid execution, I’d be a fool not to take it, even if it means leaving the human world and urban life behind to enroll in the Nightwatch Academy – a gothic monstrosity hidden from human eyes, located way too close to the largest tear in the fabric of our reality.

It would be fun if I had any inclination of becoming a member of the Watch or supporting the shadow knights at keeping the Formorian threat at bay. But heck, the monsters beyond the mist aren’t my problem. I have personal demons to deal with.

Once I’m out, the Watch can shove it.

But one sip from the ceremonial goblet and my plans to coast are out of the window as my powers spark to life.

I’m an anomaly, one the Watch won’t be letting walk any time soon.

My only comfort is a man who prides himself on his ability to harness pain. Battle scarred and formidable, he’s my tutor, my mentor, and the object of some super saucy dreams. He’s completely off limits and my only hope of surviving my first test.

I’ll need to harness my powers fast.

There can be no distractions.

But when my fellow cadets start going missing then returning with no memory of who they used to be and my best friend is taken, turning a blind eye is no longer an option.

Allies are limited when you’re a freak. Luckily, I don’t need a cheer squad to get shit done. Whoever is responsible better watch out. I’m coming for them, and I’ll be bringing the pain.

The Vampire Academy meets Game of Thrones in this kick-ass, supernatural academy, Urban Fantasy Romance.

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Excerpt

“Wake up, Indie.”

A hand landed on my shoulder and had the audacity to give it a shake.

Fuck off was the desired response, but the word that came out was harrumph.

“Indie, come on. You promised you wouldn’t miss today.”

Today? Oh, yeah, the team exercise, as in there is no I in team, as in I didn’t give a shit. But the exam was the last lesson of the evening, and my bio clock told me the sun had only just set.

Still, Minnie’s shadow loomed over me, and the heat of her gorgon glare burned holes in the back of my head.

“The whole day, Indie. You promised to do a whole day.” She reminded me with that stern edge to her tone, which told me that ten-inch-thick steel would break before she would.

Me and my big mouth. Maybe if I faked sickness, she’d piss off and leave me be. Going to shitty classes was the last thing I wanted to do tonight.

I coughed and made a gagging sound.

“Nah-uh,” she said. “The whole frickin’ day and the exam. You skip the test, and we all get a fail. And you don’t want me to fail, do you?”

Urgh. Emotional blackmail, which coming from anyone else I’d be immune to. I rolled onto my back and stared at the pixie-cute woman looking down at me. Her crimson bob grazed her delicate jaw as she leaned over me, and her wide jade eyes were hard with determination.

Over the last two months, I’d learned three things about Minnie Faraday. First, that she wasn’t a stuck-up arsehole like the rest of the Faraday family. Second, she had a soft spot for kittens, and anything small and furry, and third—the most important—that she did not take no for an answer.

Trust me, I’d tried to keep her at a distance. I mean, sharing a room with her didn’t mean we had to be friends. I didn’t need or want any friends here. But Minnie had decided that’s exactly what we were going to be, and she’d pursued me unrelentingly until she’d worn me down.

So, here we were. Two friends in a glare off. One I knew I was about to lose, because yeah, I’d promised not to skip out on the simulation today. Team exercises were graded based on team performance, if one member was a no show, the whole team suffered.

I closed my eyes and blew out a breath. “Fine. Give me five minutes, and I’ll meet you in the lobby.

“Five.” She narrowed her eyes. “I’ll be back to get you if you don’t show.”

I flashed my teeth at her. “Have I ever let you down, pixie -boo?”

“Do not call me that.” She crossed her arms. “You know I hate it.” She sniffed.

“Riiight. So, you just wrote it in the back of your notebook and decorated it with tiny flowers for no reason then?”

She opened and closed her mouth a couple of times and then took a deep breath. “Five minutes.”

She grabbed her book bag and headed out of the room.

The door didn’t slam behind her.

Not too pissed off then.

Author Bio


Debbie Cassidy lives in England, Bedfordshire, with her three kids and very supportive husband. Coffee and chocolate biscuits are her writing fuels of choice, and she is still working on getting that perfect tower of solitude built in her back garden. Obsessed with building new worlds and reading about them, she spends her spare time daydreaming and conversing with the characters in her head – in a totally non psychotic way of course. She writes Urban Fantasy, Fantasy and Reverse Harem Fantasy. All her books contain plenty of action, romance and twisty plots.

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Book Blitz: Wonderland Academy by Melanie Karsak

Wonderland Academy: Book One by Melanie Karsak
Publication date: August 27, 2019
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Retelling, Young Adult

Welcome to Wonderland Academy. Don’t lose your head.

Getting into Wonderland Academy is easy:

You must be a little mad.

You must follow the white rabbit.

You must find the key to enter Wonderland.

You must not be named Alice or risk being beheaded by order of the Queen of Hearts.

We might have an issue with that last one.

My name may be Alice, but Wonderland Academy is everything my real life isn’t. Who wouldn’t want to learn how to ride a jabberwocky, train with a vorpal sword, cast spells using a teacup, or shapeshift into a fairy? As long as no one figures out my real name, I should be fine.

The only problem? Aden, the Queen of Hearts’ son, is quickly becoming my best friend. And then there’s Corbin. Brooding, surly, tattooed, and definitely not my type, I can’t stop thinking about him. But Corbin has secrets of his own, and Wonderland and secrets don’t mix.

How I’m going to pass my classes and protect my secret like my life depends on it is beyond me. But I better find a way. Because in Wonderland, no Alice is safe.

Wonderland Academy re-imagines the fantastical world of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland for a fresh, new adventure. Combining whimsy, magic, and a splash of steampunk, New York Times best-selling author Melanie Karsak invites you into this beautifully re-envisioned fairy tale adventure.

* * *

Wonderland Academy is a college-level academy novel. It contains a slow-burn (not rh) romance. The novel is clean aside from mild language. This is Book 1 in a planned trilogy. Book 1 ends on a cliffhanger (Frodo didn’t reach Mount Doom in a day, after all).

Trigger Warning: This novel also includes references to a school shooting.

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Excerpt

Setting my bag in a chair by the window, I pulled on my coat. It was pouring. Drops rolled down the windowpane, distorting the view of the sidewalk below. As I pulled my jacket on, however, I noticed someone on the sidewalk below. He was looking up at the window. I couldn’t make him out clearly, but from what I could see, he was wearing some kind of period costume and a top hat. He had long, pale blond hair that almost looked white.

“You all think I’m a lunatic? There’s some guy standing outside in the rain in a Victorian get-up and top hat.”

“What?” Mom asked. “What are you talking about?”

“I don’t know. Just some rando guy standing in the rain,” I said then turned, zipped up my coat, and grabbed the bag.

Nurse Gilman stepped to the window and looked outside. “It’s really coming down,” she said, eyeing the sky. She then strained her neck to the left and right. “Your mystery man must have gone back inside.”

“He was right there,” I said.

A sick feeling rocked my stomach. No, no, no. He was there. Dammit, he really was there. I edged toward the window and looked outside. I was right. The man was standing right there, looking up at the window.

He waved at me.

“Where?” Nurse Gilman asked, looking up and down the sidewalk.

“There,” I said, motioning hesitantly.

“I must have missed him,” Nurse Gilman said with a shrug.

I stared at the man.

He waved again.

Dammit. Dammit. Dammit.

“Yeah,” I said. “Maybe they’re doing a show in the children’s wing or something,” I muttered then turned from the window.

I didn’t want Nurse Gilman to see my face.

Mom, however, caught my eye. Her eyebrows scrunched together as she gave me a hard look.

I dropped her gaze.

I absolutely, positively, did not want to have that conversation on the way home.

“I’m ready,” I told Mom.

“Good. Let’s get you the hell out of here.”

“Be well,” Nurse Gilman said. She motioned to the nurses’ station. The door to the waiting room unlocked with a click. Nurse Gilman motioned to us that we were free to go.

Mom and I headed down the dim hallway of the fifth-floor psych ward. The narrow hall felt like it was a million miles long. It wasn’t until we were safely inside the elevator that I finally exhaled.

“Your phone,” Mom said, handing it to me.

I had a few missing calls, messages from old friends, but there wasn’t anyone I wanted to talk to anyway. I stared at the screensaver, which had a picture of Nicholas and me. The photo had been taken just before homecoming, before everything went to shit. We’d gone for a hike that day. The autumn leaves in the background were bright orange and burnt red. We were both bundled up, our cheeks red, faces pressed together. We’d spent the entire hike planning a future that would never come to pass.

I turned off my phone and stuck it in my pocket.

Mom punched the elevator button for the ground floor.

I kept my eyes on the lights above the door, praying Mom wouldn’t ask anything.

It wasn’t until we’d passed the second floor that Mom whispered, “Lacey, are you seeing—”

“I’m fine. Really. I’m fine.”

She didn’t answer, which told me she knew well-enough I was not fine.

They’d been popping up in my periphery more frequently for the last two weeks. People who were there then not there. Flickers of light. Shadows that whispered. Otherworldy shapes. Their presence wasn’t anything new to me. While I was more prone to see them during times of stress, they’d been there all my life. I knew that if I really looked, I’d see them. It was better to ignore them.

A mermaid had taught me that.

Mom and I headed to the front of the hospital. I couldn’t wait to get away from the terrible hospital smell. A weird mix of the scents of bleach, chrysanthemums, green beans, and Band-Aids perfumed the place. It was enough to make a person gag.

Raining or not, I was relieved when the hospital doors opened. I inhaled the sweet scent of the rain-soaked air. Mom’s rusted-out Mustang sat waiting just outside.

“Okay. Let‘s run for it,” Mom called, and we sprinted to the car.

Holding my plastic bag above my head, I ran, flinging open the door of the vehicle. But just before I climbed inside, I cast a glance down the sidewalk.

The man was still standing there. He pulled something from his pocket and tapped on it. He waved to me, a broad smile on his face.

“Lacey, you’re letting the rain in,” Mom yelled.

I slipped into the car, slamming the door behind me.

Mom revved the engine then drove off, her nineties rock springing to life. I leaned forward and clicked off the music. The last thing I needed was the dulcet tones of Nirvana shouting at me post suicide watch.

Sighing, I leaned back into the seat and closed my eyes.

Why was I seeing them again?

The white-haired man had been pointing at a pocket watch. A pocket watch.

What in the hell did that mean?

I hadn’t meant to kill myself.

Not this time.

It figured. On the morning I’d been discharged from the psych ward, I was beginning to lose my mind.

Author Bio

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Melanie Karsak is the author of The Airship Racing Chronicles, The Harvesting Series, The Celtic Blood Series, Steampunk Red Riding Hood, and Steampunk Fairy Tales. The author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Southern New Hampshire University.

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New Releases

Book Blitz: The Prince’s Prisoner by Klarissa King

The Prince’s Prisoner by Klarissa King
(Feared Fables #2)
Publication date: February 15, 2019
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Retelling

A dark fae prince. A stolen human girl.

And an unwanted marriage.

Not all beasts can be redeemed…

Callie doesn’t believe in fairy tales. Too bad they believe in her.

The fae whisk Callie and her friend off to be prisoners of an eternal dance. But Callie is stolen again.

Maybe the eternal dance wasn’t so bad after all…

A lethal fae has taken her as his unwilling bride, and she has to balance between life and death in his castle, while finding a way out of the dangerous fae realm. Only, she’s playing games with the Prince of War.

The Prince learns just how far Callie will go to save her friend from a lifetime of torture—and just what she will do to save herself from his clutches.

Callie must escape the wicked prince before she turns from prisoner to prey. But as the prince himself tells her, ‘Sacrifice is no noble thing in the fae realm.

Everything in the fae realm comes at a price…

The Prince’s Prisoner is a Dark Fae Retelling of the original Beauty and the Beast, and is the second book in the anthology series, Feared Fables. Can be read as a stand-alone. Please be aware of themes.

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Excerpt

His eyes touched to hers in the reflection of the mirror.

As he slipped off his shoulder pads, he said, “You should not have touched them.”

Callie shoved forward, away from the arch. Her feet slapped against the floor. “What do you want from me? We made a deal, but I’m still trapped.”

Rain removed metal chains from his torso. He kept his back to her, but his eyes followed her in the mirror.

“I want to go home,” she said. “Tell me how to do that—”

The chains crashed to the dressing table.

Callie flinched, and suspected that he’d meant to throw them down hard.

The danger clutching to his words when he spoke confirmed it. “This is your home now.” He turned to face her and leaned back against the table. “We had a deal. It is final.”

“But—” Callie blinked at him, her brows knitting together. “I promised you something in return for helping me. You haven’t set me free yet.”

“I released you from the dance,” he said. “And while you rested, I took your part in the bargain.”

Thoughts of the shared bed sprung to Callie’s mind. A twist of bile coiled in her belly. “What do you mean you took my part?” she whispered, horror wiping her face clean.

Rain’s eyes flashed with outrage. His chin raised, and he looked down his nose at her.

“It is not what you accuse,” he said darkly. “I made you my wife.”

Callie choked on a gasp. “You—you did what?”

Rain’s face remained impassive. “I married you. That was the price of your freedom from the eternal dance.”

You married me?” shrieked Callie.

Rain folded his arms over his chest. His biceps pressed against the thin black leather of his armour.

Callie’s hands furled into fists.

“You don’t know me! You don’t love me!” Her fingernails cut into her palms. “Are you insane?”

Rain pushed himself from the dressing table and moved toward her.

Callie recoiled and stumbled back.

He might have strolled, but there was a lazy danger in the way he moved, like a tired beast, ready to attack at any moment.

She only stopped backing away from him when she connected with the wall.

He followed, caging her between the wall and his body, his eyes fuelled by a silent fury.

Author Bio

When not writing, Klarissa can be found in bed poring over a great new release, or reluctantly walking her demanding dogs who pretty much run the house.

She is the writer, Isla Jones. Isla uses the pen-name Klarissa for fantasy, while using Isla Jones for her darker, grittier horror works to help separate the styles and genres for her readers.

To contact Klarissa King, find her here: https://www.facebook.com/Klarissa-King-1005484536303985/?modal=admin_todo_tour

For Isla Jones’ author page, click here: https://www.amazon.com/Isla-Jones/e/B07856GGDF

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