Saturday, April 30, 2016

Stacking the Shelves (#41)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews to highlight books received each week!

During the week of April 23rd - 29th, I got...

Bought:


I bought this for $1.99 on my Nook! I'm not 100% sure I'll like this. I'm not big into contemporary generally and I just don't know if it sounds like my thing, but I'm really curious about it because everyone raves about it. And for $1.99, I don't think I'll be too disappointed if it ends up not being my cup of tea.



So excited about these two April 26th releases! I accidentally deleted my better picture of The Star-Touched Queen so I just have this one of it's seat of honor with my Alex Bracken collection!

Won:



I'm so excited to have won this duology! Thanks @AphonicSarah! I have read and I loved The Orphan Queen and I can NOT wait to read The Mirror King!

Gifts:



My sister hit up a used book sale and got me a whole bunch of books she thought I might like. These two were in a bag that her friend was bringing, but let her have first dibs on! These are probably the only two in the pile that I would realistically end up reading, but I love that she tries.

Swag:


I got my preorder swag for The Crown's Game! So exciting! :)

What kinds of goodies did you get this week?




Friday, April 29, 2016

Armada Blog Tour


Armada: A Novel by Ernest Cline
Broadway Books • April 12, 2016 • Price: $16.00 paperback 
384 pages • ISBN 978-0-8041-3727-0
Also available as an ebook and on audio from Penguin Random House • Visit www.CrownPublishing.com •  www.ErnestCline.com  

About Armada:

In 2011, writer Ernest Cline penned his wildly original, genre-busting debut novel, Ready Player One. Packed with irresistible ’80s nostalgia, this cinematic novel was immediately embraced by readers, bloggers, geeks, gamers, booksellers, and John Hughes fans everywhere. From the New York Times and Entertainment WeeklytoBoing Boing and Wired, the novel received rave reviews across the board, sold over a million copies in the U.S., and has been published in 40 countries. The book is now being made into a film by Warner Brothers and legendary director Steven Spielberg, set to debut in theaters in March of 2018.


Since Ready Player One’s publication, Cline’s fans were anxiously awaiting his next endeavor—and he delivered another inventive, heartwarming, and completely nerdtastic adventure with ARMADA (Broadway Books; April 12, 2016), his second New York Times bestseller, which is now in paperback.
ARMADA opens as high-school student Zack Lightman glances out his classroom window and spots a UFO. At first he thinks he’s going crazy. A minute later he’s sure of it, because the ship he’s staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada—in which gamers just happen to be protecting Earth from alien invaders.



Zack is sure he’s lost his mind. But what he’s seeing is all too real, and his skills—as well as those of millions of gamers across the world—are going to be needed to save Earth from what’s about to befall it. Yet even as he and his new comrades scramble to prepare for the alien onslaught, Zack can’t help thinking of all the science-fiction books, TV shows, and movies he grew up reading and watching, and wonder: Doesn’t something about this scenario seem a little too . . . familiar?

Called a “must-read summer blockbuster novel” by Mashable and a “a thrilling coming-of-agestory” byEntertainment Weekly, ARMADA is at once an adrenaline-fueled, surprising thriller, a classic teenage adventure, and an alien-invasion tale like nothing you’ve ever read before—one whose every page is infused with Cline’s trademark pop-culture savvy. The book is already being adapted into a film by Universal Studios, with the author himself writing the screenplay.

Excerpt:

I didn’t remember unzipping my backpack, or taking out the tire iron, but I must have, because now I had the cold steel rod clenched in my hand, and I was raising it to strike.

All three of my opponents stood frozen for a moment, their eyes wide. The Lennys threw up their hands and started backing away. Knotcher’s eyes flicked over to them, and I saw him registering that his simian pals had bowed out of the fight. He started moving backward too.

I looked at the curb a few feet behind him, had a nasty thought, and followed through on it by lunging at Knotcher with the tire iron. He lurched backward and—just as I’d hoped—caught a heel on the concrete rise and landed flat on his back.

And then I was standing over him, looking down at the tire iron clutched in my hands.
Off to my left, someone screamed. My head snapped around and I saw that an audience had gathered— a handful of students on their way in to first period. Among them one girl, too young and deer-in-the-headlights to be anything but a freshman, slapped a hand over her mouth and flinched backward as I looked her way. As if she was terrified that I—Zack the school psycho—would choose her as my next target.

I glanced back at the Lennys, who were now standing among the students who had gathered to watch the fight. All of the onlookers seemed to be wearing the same expression of horrified anticipation, as if they believed they might be seconds away from witnessing their first homicide.

A wave of cold shame washed over me as the intensity of my rage faded away. I looked down at the tire iron clutched in my hands and let it clatter to the pavement. I heard a chorus of nervous laughter behind me, along with more than one relieved sigh.

I stepped away from Knotcher. He slowly got to his feet. We stared at each other for a moment, and he looked as if he was about to say something when his gaze shot upward, focused on something in the sky behind me.

When I turned around, I saw a strange-looking aircraft approaching from the east, moving at an incredible speed. The closer it got, the more familiar it looked. My brain still refused to accept what my eyes were seeing—until a few seconds later, when the craft braked to a dead stop and hovered directly over us, close enough for me to make out the Earth Defense Alliance crest stenciled on the side of its armored hull.

“No way,” I heard someone whisper. A second later, I realized it was me.

It was an ATS-31 Aerospace Troop Shuttle, one of the ships used by the Earth Defense Alliance in both Armada and Terra Firma. And it was about to land in front of my high school.

I definitely wasn’t hallucinating this time: Dozens of other people were staring up at the shuttle in amazement, too. And I could hear the rumble of the shuttle’s fusion engines and feel the heat from their exhaust buffeting my face. It was really up there.

As the shuttle began to descend, everyone in my vicinity scattered like roaches, heading for the safety of the school.

I just stood there like a statue, unable to look away. The ship was identical to the troop shuttles I’d piloted while playing Armada, right down to the EDA crest and identification bar code stamped on the underside of its hull.

The Earth Defense Alliance can’t be real, Zack, I assured myself. And neither can that shuttle you think you’re looking at right now. You are hallucinating again, only it’s much worse this time. This time, you’re having a full-on psychotic break.


Reprinted from Armada Copyright © 2015 by Dark All Day, Inc. Published by Broadway Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC.

Q&A:

Q) Let’s get right to the elephant in the room. The news is now out that your debut novel, Ready Player One, will be made into a film by Warner Brothers and legendary director Steven Spielberg (set to debut in theaters March of 2018)! What did you do when you got the news?

A) I pinched myself a few hundred times to make sure I wasn’t dreaming—then I re-watched all of his movies—including the Indiana Jones films, which helped inspire certain elements of RPO’s story, along with E.T. and Close Encounters, two Spielberg films that played a large role in inspiring Armada. His work has influenced me throughout my life and writing career, so it’s a dream come true to have the opportunity to collaborate with him on the film adaptation of a story that his work helped inspire.

Q) What do you think of the casting announcements that have been made already?

A) I think they’re fantastic! I’ve been a fan of Ben Mendelsohn’s acting since the ’80s, and his portrayal of John Daggett in The Dark Knight Rises is all the proof I need that he’s perfect for the role of Sorrento. Olivia Cooke is amazing on Bates Motel and in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. She’s going to make a great Art3mis! And after seeing Tye Sheridan in films like Mud and Joe, I think he’s one of the most talented young actors working today, and that he’ll do an incredible job playing Wade Watts. 

Q) For decades, science-fiction writers have been predicting some of the most incredible futuristic concepts that have become reality, such as debit cards, video conferencing, ear buds, and even accurate details about men landing on the moon. In Ready Player One, the merging of virtual reality technology and social media that you write about is now a reality with the Oculus Rift virtual reality company being bought by Facebook . Are there any similar futuristic technologies in Armada that you think will become reality in the next few years?

A) Yes, but the future is happening so fast now it’s getting more and more difficult to stay ahead of it. Armada’s plotline involves two concepts—quantum data teleportation and 3-D drone printing—that were still science fiction when I started the book, and then became a proven reality before I finished it. I need to write faster.

Q) In the novel, Zack’s Armada pilot call sign is IronBeagle, an homage to the Snoopy vs. the Red Baron album. Did you have fun creating the other various call signs in the novel: RedJive, MaxJenius, Viper, Rostam, Whoadie, AtomicMom, Kushmaster5000?

A) Pilot call signs are always fun to create—like an avatar’s name in Ready Player One; it’s a nickname a person creates for themselves, so it invariably says something about their self-image and their character—like each of the call signs you listed above.

Q) Talk to us about Xavier’s Raid the Arcade mix playlist in the book. How did you choose the songs, which became an essential part of Zack’s Armada gaming ritual? Do you have any rituals of your own when it comes to playing video games?

A) Many of those are songs from the mix tapes I used to make to listen to on my Walkman at the local arcade. Some of the songs are from movies that played a role inspiring Armada’s story, like the song “Iron Eagle” by King Kobra, from the film of the same name.

Q) In Armada, Zack and his father, Xavier Lightman, your novel’s two main heroes, are both big science-fiction fans. The book is filled with references to sci-fi films, such as The Last Starfighter, E.T., Aliens, the Star Wars franchise. Dare to share your all-time favorite sci-fi flick?

A) My all-time favorite sci-film would have to be Star Wars, aka Episode IV—A New Hope. The movie and its sequels created the entire mythology of my youth, and altered the course of my life and career.

Q) In Armada, Zack soon finds out that the EDA (Earth Defense Alliance), a top-secret global military coalition, is not just a fictional agency featured in the videogames he’s been playing. If the EDA were real (and we’re not saying they aren’t) and invited you to join their ranks, would you? Would Moon Base Alpha be your first station of choice, or would you prefer something closer to home?

A) Of course I would join up! If the EDA existed, I would have to pitch in and use my gamer skills to help save the world. But I would prefer to stay here in Austin and telecommute, so I could fight off the invasion from the comfort of my couch, without changing out of my pajamas.

Q) There is a romantic plotline woven throughout the novel, albeit one that is a bit nontraditional (boy meets girl as Earth is under attack from alien invaders, girl is a kick-ass gamer who helps save boy’s butt during attack, you get the gist). Did you feel it was essential to add this element, or did the relationship between Zack and Lex come about naturally as you were writing the novel?

A) It came about naturally as I was writing. I love stories with strong female characters, who kick just as much ass (if not more) than their male counterparts, so the stories I write usually tend to have a few of them. I also believe that every good adventure story also includes a little romance. And some rock and roll, too.

Q) If you could meet anyone from pop culture—actor, singer, game creator—dead or alive, who would it be and why?

A) Carl Sagan. Because he changed my life by opening my eyes to the nature of the world and the cosmos, and I’d love to be able to thank him in person.

Q) The first arcade game you ever played was Space Invaders. Is there a game that you’ve been playing recently that’s become a new obsession?

A) Finishing this book has been my only obsession for the past few years. But during my research, I did play a lot of space combat and flight simulation games, both old and new. The problem with playing videogames as “research” for a novel is that you never want to stop playing to go off and actually write it.

Q) Many people look back at the ’50s and ’60s as a watershed moment for science-fiction writing, but do you see the ’70s and ’80s as an even richer epoch for inspiration with the confluence of all the new videogames introduced and some of the best science-fiction TV and movies ever made (to my mind!)?

A) The ’70s and ’80s are a rich era for sci-fi inspiration (at least, for me) because that was the dawn of the computer, videogame, and Internet age—the one we still live in now. It was also a golden age for movies and television shows, which may be why every property from that time is being reimagined or rebooted right now.

Q) Armada is dedicated to your brother, Major Eric T. Cline. What is your relationship like and why did you choose to dedicate the book to him?

A) My brother and I are very close, and have been our whole lives. He’s always been a huge inspiration to me. He joined the Marine Corps as a lowly private, and over the past two decades he has worked his way up through the ranks to become a major while he traveled all over the world helping people and risking his life for his country and his comrades. Seeing all the sacrifices he and his family have had to make during his various deployments was part of the inspiration for Armada’s story and characters.

Q) There is a rumor you now own not one but two DeLoreans. How on Earth did that come about?

A) I bought a second DeLorean to give away as the grand prize in the Ready Player One Easter Egg Hunt. A few years later, the contest winner decided to sell the car to pay off some unexpected medical bills, so I decided to buy it back from him. Then I gave it to my brother, Eric, so now I’m back down to just one time machine, which is plenty.

Q) Is it true that George R. R. Martin once borrowed your DeLorean to help promote the opening of his new bar (complete with a Back to the Future screening)? There has to be one heck of a story here. Please explain!

A) George and I had met at a convention, where he had sat in my car. So when his theater decided to screen BTTF, he thought of me and asked to borrow my DeLorean. I said yes, of course! 

Q) For your Ready Player One book tour you drove your time-traveling DeLorean across the country. Did you take it out again for Armada?

A) No, I think one Time Machine Book Tour is probably enough to last a lifetime. I discovered that it’s not really safe to drive a tricked-out DeLorean on the interstate highway system, because the people around you are often swerving/driving recklessly while they attempt to snap a photo of your car to post on Facebook. There are safer ways to travel.


Q) It’s been a few years since you were last out on a book tour. Were you surprised by the fan response at your events this time around? Did it feel very different from your initial experience with Ready Player One?

A) Yes, the huge turnout for each of my Armada signings really floored me. It’s incredibly flattering and humbling to see hundreds of people cram into a bookstore just to hear me speak, and then to see all of those same fans wait patiently in line—sometimes for an hour or more—to get their books signed. Taking the time to do that is one of the biggest compliments you can pay any artist. I’m incredibly grateful to have my work reach such a wide audience, and to have so many people respond to it with such enthusiasm.

Q) Are there any particular moments or fan interactions that stand out to you from the tour?

A) This was the first tour where I had fans show up at my signings sporting Ready Player One–themed tattoos. It really blew me away. When someone pulls up their sleeve and they have three keys or three gates tattooed on their arm, I’m always awed by that level of enthusiasm. And moved that something I created could mean that much to them.

Q) We have to ask: As a serious Star Wars nerd, what were your feelings about The Force Awakens? How about the choice to pass the baton to Rian Johnson for Episode VIII?

A) I enjoyed the hell out of that movie. I’d been waiting to see Han, Chewie, Luke, and Leia together again on the big screen since 1983, and living up to 30 years of geek anticipation is no small feat. I thought J. J. Abrams knocked it out of the park. And Rian Johnson is one of the smartest and most gifted writer-directors of my generation—the generation that grew up with Star Wars. He’s such an exciting choice. Kathleen Kennedy really knows what she’s doing. 

Q) What’s your dream Star Wars spinoff movie? Any character or storyline you’re itching to see explored?

A) Yes! How about a whole movie covering the origin story of Saun Dann, the character portrayed by Art Carney in the Star Wars Holiday Special? He was a secret agent of the Rebel Alliance masquerading as a trader on the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk after the Battle of Yavin. You know that dude must’ve seen action during the Clone Wars, too. I’d also pay good money to see a stand-alone Star Wars flick about Willrow Hood."

Praise for Armada:

“…a thrilling coming-of-age-story.” —Entertainment Weekly


“Ernest Cline’s follow-up to Ready Player One, proves he has the ability to blend popular culture with exciting stories that appeal to everyone...Cline’s voice for Zack makes the reader believe a high school senior with a love of video games and sci-fi television and films is narrating the story. And love of popular culture isn't necessary to enjoy this amazing novel.” —Associated Press



“Cline’s debut Ready Player One warmed the hearts of computer nerds everywhere, and similarly the newArmada mixes Star Wars, The Last Starfighter, Independence Day and a really gnarly round of Space Invaders into a tasty sci-fi stew. What really pumps some heart into the book is the coming-of-age tale at its core, a story of a young boy curious about the dad he never had…Cline creates an exciting alternate history for this world, where games, movies and TV shows — and a surprising science celebrity — play a more important part in global events than most people realize.” —USA Today



“I loved Armada. The geekery and the furiously paced plot from Ready Player One are still there, so I imagine it will please most of his existing fans. But I suspect that Armada will garner him an even larger group of fans than the formidable crew he’s already assembled...And that’s the crux of why my love for Armada runs deeply. It’s a joyous, rollicking read. But it’s also a sneaky discussion on xenophobia, miscommunication and what real courage is.” —Boing Boing


“Built like a summer blockbuster…Cline recombines the DNA of Ender’s GameStar WarsThe Last Starfighter, and old-school arcade games like Asteroids into something that’s both familiar and unpredictable. It’s a mutant homage to sci-fi tropes past.” —Gawker

About the Author:

ERNEST CLINE is a novelist, screenwriter, father, and full-time geek. His two novels, Armada and Ready Player One, were both New York Times and USA Today bestsellers, and Ready Player One is currently being adapted into a film by Warner Brothers and director Steven Spielberg. Ernest lives in Austin, Texas, with his family, a time-traveling DeLorean, and a large collection of classic videogames. You can find him online atwww.ernestcline.com, on Twitter @erniecline, and on Facebook at Ernest Cline.

GIVEAWAY:

Giveaway to include a signed READY PLAYER ONE poster, a signed ARMADA poster, AND a copy of ARMADA in paperback!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Cover Reveal: The Chasm by S. Usher Evans

They survived The Island, but can they cross The Chasm?

thechasmebook_600x900

Four months after Prince Galian was discovered alive on a remote island, he's adjusting slowly to life at the hospital under the Kylaen media's glare. His promises to Theo remain unfulfilled as fear of his father keeps him from taking concrete action. And the more he learns about the machinations in Kylae, the less sure he is that it's possible to make a difference. Across the great Madion Sea, Major Theo Kallistrate struggles to navigate the tricky political waters of Rave's presidential staff. To make positive change for her people, she must remain relevant and interesting to the Raven media and to the president. When he asks her to deliver a speech on her supposed two-month imprisonment at Mael, she's not sure she can stomach the lies. The Chasm is S. Usher Evans' breathtaking, fast-paced follow-up to The Island, which readers say is "not to be missed." Buy the first book in the Madion War Trilogy today for Kindle, paperback, and hardcover, and see below for a special preorder promotion for The Chasm, coming July 12th. 


 Buy The Island for Kindle (free for KU Subscribers), Paperback, and Hardcover.

Special SGR-Pub Preorder Promotion

preorderpromo 

 Preorder The Chasm paperback or hardcover through Sun's Golden Ray Publishing and get a signed Madion Trilogy bookmark, a signed map postcard of the Madion world, and a Very Special Surprise for The Union, the final book in the trilogy. Preorder the paperback / hardcover Preordering an eBook? Submit your receipt to SGR-Pub and get a signed bookmark!

Giveaway

Sneak Peek

"Fellow Ravens, my countrymen, my 'neechais and 'nichais. The fifty years since we reclaimed our independence from the Kylaens has been a struggle to keep our great nation alive. Great sacrifices have been asked of every Raven man, woman, and child, and we, as a nation, continue to rise to the occasion."

"Sacrifices, of course, being the conscription of twelve-year-old children," the Kylaen announcer said, cutting off the rest of the speech. "It's just sickening how Tedwin Bayard continues to be heralded as a savior when he's responsible for tens of thousands of deaths a year—"

I tuned out the rest of the conversation, too tired to get my blood pressure up at either Bayard or the announcer. As far as I was concerned, both were liars. Like most of Kylae, I couldn't give a rat's ass about the so-called president of our disputed colony and would've completely ignored the minute-long segment…

…if not for the beautiful Raven woman sitting just behind Bayard.

Her eyes were locked on some unseen point beyond the cameras. When I was marooned with her on an island in the northern Madion Sea, she'd been fiery, full of life and passion. But there wasn't even a spark in her now. Compared to Bayard, who swayed and gestured on the podium in front of her, she looked like a wax doll.

I ran a hand over my face. The Kylaen news had moved on to another story—the trade agreement with Jervan—and I was left with my guilt and a half-eaten sandwich. It was midday, and I'd finally been able to spare a few minutes out of my busy shift at the hospital to eat lunch. Seeing Theo had stolen my appetite.

I couldn't blame it all on the news report as I'd already been in a foul mood. After working the late shift two nights ago, I was now on an early shift. The back-and-forth shift-switching had been going on since since I'd returned to my residency, and I could barely tell if it was morning or afternoon anymore.

To make matters worse, my mother had been hounding me to attend some stupid function at the castle for some person who'd done some thing for Kylae—I couldn't care less. Aside from the fact that state functions were my least favorite part of being the third prince of Kylae, I hadn't set foot in the castle in over four months. I'd stormed out of a family dinner and told the king of Kylae to kiss my ass. It was a miracle I wasn't in Mael, our prison to the north.

I glanced at the television again and wished they'd replay the Bayard segment. Days like today, when I was tired and miserable, all I wanted was to talk to her. In the short months we'd spent together, I'd become addicted to her counsel. Hers was the only opinion I cared for anymore, though I was pretty sure I knew how she'd feel about my progress so far.

Theo was home and she was safe, but the larger issues—the war and the Kylaen death camp at Mael—remained nagging issues in the back of my mind. I was no closer to finding a solution to either of them than when I'd started. To make matters worse, the days were passing too quickly for me, and the more time that slipped through my fingers…

"Helmuth, break's over," came a disgruntled voice from behind me.

Dr. Hebendon was my new attending physician. Dr. Maitland had either been asked or forced to take a six-month sabbatical to a hospital in the country of Herin. In his place, they'd sent Hebendon. Like most Herinese, he was tall and pale with jet-black hair that hung in a curtain around his face. I was pretty sure that despite not being Kylaen, he'd been given a royal decree to make my life miserable whenever I set foot in the hospital. Thus my skewed schedule and, of course, the special privilege of having the best cases.

"Janna needs you in room fifteen for another impaction," he said, a twisted grin curling around his thin face.

I forced a tight smile onto my face so he wouldn't know how completely sick I was of pulling shit out of asses.

Hebendon left, and I pushed myself to stand, tossing my sad sandwich in the trash. When I'd been on the island, I would've done anything to eat so much food.

Now I would've done anything to get those half-starved, beautiful days back.

About the Author

View More: http://ashleyvictoriaphotography.pass.us/whitneyevans

S. Usher Evans is an author, blogger, and witty banter aficionado. Born in Pensacola, Florida, she left the sleepy town behind for the fast-paced world of Washington, D.C.. There, she somehow landed jobs with BBC, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic Television before finally settling into a “real job” as an IT consultant. After a quarter life crisis at age 27, she decided consulting was for the birds and rekindled a childhood passion for writing novels. She sold everything she owned and moved back to Pensacola, where she currently resides with her two dogs, Zoe and Mr. Biscuit. Evans is the author of the Razia series, Madion War Trilogy, and Empath, published by Sun’s Golden Ray Publishing. Check her out on the below social medias:

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: May Releases

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I decided that I'm going to change up Waiting on Wednesday. Instead of doing one every week, I'm just going to do one once a month and feature all the books coming out the next month that I'm salivating for.

Here are the books I'm looking forward to in May!


A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
A Court of Thorns and Roses #2

Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court--but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms--and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future--and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.


The Last Star by Rick Yancey
The 5th Wave #3

We’re here, then we’re gone, and that was true before they came. That’s always been true. The Others didn’t invent death; they just perfected it. Gave death a face to put back in our face, because they knew that was the only way to crush us. It won’t end on any continent or ocean, no mountain or plain, jungle or desert. It will end where it began, where it had been from the beginning, on the battlefield of the last beating human heart.

Master storyteller Rick Yancey invokes triumph, loss, and unrelenting action as the fate of the planet is decided in the conclusion to this epic series.


The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love... or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear... the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.


The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude

Stay on the roads. Don’t enter the woods. Never go out at night.

Those are the rules in Rowan’s Glen, a remote farming community in the Missouri Ozarks where Ivy Templeton’s family has lived for centuries. It’s an old-fashioned way of life, full of superstition and traditions, and sixteen-year-old Ivy loves it. The other kids at school may think the Glen kids are weird, but Ivy doesn’t care—she has her cousin Heather as her best friend. The two girls share everything with each other—or so Ivy thinks. When Heather goes missing after a May Day celebration, Ivy discovers that both her best friend and her beloved hometown are as full of secrets as the woods that surround them.


Ruined by Amy Tintera

Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. Worst of all, she witnessed her parents’ brutal murders and watched helplessly as her sister, Olivia, was kidnapped.

But because Em has nothing, she has nothing to lose. Driven by a blind desire for revenge, Em sets off on a dangerous journey to the enemy kingdom of Lera. Somewhere within Lera’s borders, Em hopes to find Olivia. But in order to find her, Em must infiltrate the royal family.

In a brilliant, elaborate plan of deception and murder, Em marries Prince Casimir, next in line to take Lera’s throne. If anyone in Lera discovers Em is not Casimir’s true betrothed, Em will be executed on the spot. But it’s the only way to salvage Em’s kingdom and what is left of her family.

Em is determined to succeed, but the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Em’s rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.


Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes

As Princess of Wonderland Palace and the future Queen of Hearts, Dinah’s days are an endless monotony of tea, tarts, and a stream of vicious humiliations at the hands of her father, the King of Hearts. The only highlight of her days is visiting Wardley, her childhood best friend, the future Knave of Hearts — and the love of her life.

When an enchanting stranger arrives at the Palace, Dinah watches as everything she’s ever wanted threatens to crumble. As her coronation date approaches, a series of suspicious and bloody events suggests that something sinister stirs in the whimsical halls of Wonderland. It’s up to Dinah to unravel the mysteries that lurk both inside and under the Palace before she loses her own head to a clever and faceless foe.

Part epic fantasy, part twisted fairy tale, this dazzling saga will have readers shivering as Dinahs furious nature sweeps Wonderland up in the maelstrom of her wrath.

Familiar characters such as Cheshire, the White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter make their appearance, enchanting readers with this new, dark take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
 

What May releases are YOU looking forward to? Any on this list?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Island Release Day Blitz

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Prince Galian is third in line to the throne, but prefers his place as a resident at the Royal Kylaen Hospital. When his father urges him to join the military to help reclaim their colony, Galian is forced to put aside his oath to Do No Harm and fight a war he does not believe in. Across the great Madion Sea, Captain Theo Kallistrate dreams of a day when she is no longer bound by conscription to fight for her country's independence. But when the Kylaens threaten, honor and duty call her to the front lines to fight off the oppressors. When an air skirmish goes wrong, both Theo and Galian crash on a remote island hundreds of miles from either nation. Grievously injured, Theo must rely on Galian's medical expertise, and Galian must rely on Theo's survival skills, to live another day in a harsh and unforgiving terrain. Can they put aside their differences long enough to survive? Or will the war that brought them to the island tear them apart? Buy The Island for eBook, Paperback, and Hardcover.
 

Giveaway

The Island Sneak Peek

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Theo

  "Yep," he observed, with a smirk on his face. Up close, he was every bit as handsome as I'd seen in pictures. "You definitely got what you deserved. Shouldn't have shot at me." "You shouldn't have invaded my country." His eyes widened for a moment and I thought I'd finally done something to wipe that smile off his face. To my supreme annoyance, he tilted his head back and let out a throaty laugh. "Oh, you are witty," he said, nodding. "And technically right. But it wasn't my decision. I was, as they say, just following orders." "And I was just following orders when I blew you out of the sky." "Aren't we at an impasse then?" He seemed to be enjoying this conversation. He looked down at the side of my ship and read the inscription. "Theo, huh? Well, you must be a pretty high ranking pilot then. I hear the Ravens only allow you to put your name on your ship after you've survived plenty of battles." I moved out of anger, but the pain in my legs came roaring up my body. "Please let me die in peace," I asked, unable to look at him. "Oh, you aren't going to die today. But it would probably be safer if I pulled you out. I don't like the look of that fuel leak." He leaned into my small cabin. If I'd had half a mind, I could've snapped his neck, but it was hard enough just to breathe. He found my seat strap and unhooked it, then lifted me out by my arms. I couldn't help but scream. "Yeow, buddy," he said, stopping. He put one hand over his ear and muttered. "You sure got a girly scream." "My legs are caught. Just leave me here. I'm as good as dead anyway." "Naw, then who am I going to talk to while I wait to get picked up?" He sounded like he was waiting for dinner. "C'mon, we can get you out of here. Just take a deep breath. One…two…" I didn't hear him count to three as he yanked my legs out of the mess and I screamed again, the pain so bad I almost lost consciousness. But, blessedly, it subsided, and the next thing I knew, he was laying me on the ground. "There, now, Theo of Raven, let's take a look at you," he said, taking my helmet off.

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Galian

Theo was a girl. A pretty girl. I'd always thought Raven women were more interesting looking than Kylaen women—with their olive skin and black hair, they seemed to draw my attention. And this girl, something about her made my head spin. Even with her mangled, bloody legs. They were a sight: dark red staining her gray jumpsuit. "Thank you, Dr. Maitland," I said, cracking open the bag he'd given me and sliding on the pair of latex gloves. She murmured something. The amount of blood she'd lost was a real concern, and she was most likely concussed. I would worry about the head injury later; it wouldn't matter much if she died from blood loss. "What are you doing?" she croaked. "Pardon the invasion of privacy," I said, flashing her my trademark smile. I unzipped her jumpsuit and pulled it down, exposing a white bra and underwear and nothing else. Immediately, her skin puckered with goosebumps as I tossed away the soaked dark gray suit. "Are you still with me, Theo?" She blinked, but didn't respond. "Okay, I'm going to examine you now," I said, leaning over her bare legs. I pressed my hands to her hips, and she reacted, swiftly, sitting up so fast she nearly whacked her forehead to mine. "Get your filthy hands off of me," she hissed, her breath touching my face.

About the Author

View More: http://ashleyvictoriaphotography.pass.us/whitneyevans

S. Usher Evans is an author, blogger, and witty banter aficionado. Born in Pensacola, Florida, she left the sleepy town behind for the fast-paced world of Washington, D.C.. There, she somehow landed jobs with BBC, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic Television before finally settling into a “real job” as an IT consultant. After a quarter life crisis at age 27, she decided consulting was for the birds and rekindled a childhood passion for writing novels. She sold everything she owned and moved back to Pensacola, where she currently resides with her two dogs, Zoe and Mr. Biscuit. Evans is the author of the Razia series, Madion War Trilogy, and Empath, published by Sun’s Golden Ray Publishing. Check her out on the below social medias:

Top Ten Tuesday (#41)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish!

This week's topic is Top Ten Bookworm Delights!

1. Unexpected book mail!

I haven't gotten a lot of unexpected book mail yet, but I have gotten two unexpected book related packages! Both of them totally made my day! One of them being my first physical ARC from a publisher! Definitely didn't think that I, of all people, would get a copy of The Star-Touched Queen!

2. Finding a new fictional boyfriend to swoon over.

There aren't many book boys that can climb even remotely close to the top of the pedestal I have put Liam Stewart on, but there have been several that have come close. Alex Balashov (The Forbidden Orchid), anyone?!

3. The texts I get from my sister when she's being ruined by a book I recommended.

I love when she texts me her pain. It gives me life.

4. Finishing a book in one day.

I love when I find a book that I love enough to want to finish in one sitting, but it has been a long time since I found a book that I could finish in one sitting. Mostly because I don't have the time lately to sit down and read a book in one sitting.

5. Seeing the book title mentioned in the book.

This is about as exciting as hearing the movie title mentioned in the movie!

6. When the release date for a highly anticipated book gets moved up!

Alternatively, it sucks when the date gets pushed back. I'm looking at you, Everland.

7. Finding a book you actually want to read at a garage sale/junk sale.

Most of the used book stores/garage sales/junk stores seem to have an enormous abundance of old Danielle Steele books, but recently I found a nice looking hardcover of Off the Page at a peddler's market or something. I was pretty excited!

8. When the store actually gets in books that you actually want to read.

I don't think that I've actually found this at the only store in my town yet, but I like it when I'm on my way home for the weekend and the Target on the way actually has a new book I want to read. That isn't ridiculously expensive like most of them are!

9. When a book makes you ugly cry.

I love it when books make me bawl like a baby.


10. When I see South Dakota mentioned in a book.

I get pumped anytime I see South Dakota mentioned anywhere because it doesn't get enough love (it probably doesn't deserve it, but I live here and I like to see it mentioned). But I really like seeing it mentioned in a book. I can think of two examples. In The Darkest Minds series there's a camp in South Dakota and I was pumped to see that. Also, the main character of Sleeping Giants grew up in South Dakota, I think. But I didn't like that book.