Thursday, May 23, 2013

Trailer Reveal: Branded by Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki

I know I'm late to the party for this trailer reveal, but better late than never right? This trailer was made by the uber awesome Regina Wamba of Mae I Design and Photography. I seriously can't wait to read this book. I've been dying to read it since I was sent a smaple chapter months ago! The wait has been killer, but it's almost here. If you haven't put Branded on your TBR DO IT NOW! Abi and Missy are going to be the next BIG THING in the dystopia circle. Now watch the trailer!

Fifty years ago the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society. He created the Hole where sinners are branded according to their sins and might survive a few years. At best.
Now LUST wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit and now the Hole is my new home.

Darkness. Death. Violence. Pain.

Now every day is a fight for survival. But I won’t die. I won’t let them win.
The Hole can’t keep me. The Hole can’t break me.
I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter.
My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Cover reveal: Icarus Rise by Frankie Rose

Title: Icarus Rise
Author: Frankie Rose
Release Date: Autumn 2013
Genre: New Adult

Iris Breslin is on a mission with only one goal: escape Breakwater, Wyoming, where her family’s horrific history is common knowledge. New York couldn’t be more different to her small town upbringing, but better still, absolutely no one at Syracuse University knows of the brutal murders her father committed before taking his own life when she was fourteen years old. For the first time, Iris has friends, a career plan, a regular life.

Until Jake.

Jake Stafford grew up in Breakwater. Discovering Charlie Breslin’s body on his first day as a cop may have snared Jake in the Breslin family nightmare, but the truth is that he was already involved long before. Now a part of the NYPD, Jake remains entangled in the five year old mystery—a mystery he intends to solve. That isn’t going to be an easy task, especially with Iris back in his life. Jake must fight to convince the girl he loves that his feelings are genuine, and not some sick obsession with a man who once helped him when no one else would. His hidden secrets are darker than Iris can possibly imagine, but can she drop her guard long enough to uncover them?

About the Author-

As a child, I was always accused of being bookish because I wore glasses- big, horrible, ugly ones with too-thick lenses. Those kids, the super smart ones who always know which tender insecurities to poke at in order to provoke life-long complexes, used to accuse me of reading too many books and that my eyes were going to rot out of my head (their words, not mine!)

The truth of the matter was a little more embarrassing: I used to sit too close to the T.V. That was the reason why I had to wear glasses, but kids don’t really care about small, insignificant details like the truth, and so I was labelled a nerd. The label kinda stuck, and after some sage advice from my awesome nana (nana, you rock!) I decided that if I was going to be abused for my supposed literary obsession, I might as well develop one.

I guess that’s how I got into books and reading at an early age. Since then, I’ve been ripping through books like they’re going out of fashion, which, thankfully, they’re not. Good thing, too, because I’m a writer now, and books are my business!

Thank you to everyone who has supported and encouraged me on my journey- look for your names in the acknowledgements!


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Cover reveal: Promise Me This by Sarah Ashley Jones

Cover reveal for Sarah Ashley Jones' new adult contemporary Promise Me This. Isn't it pretty? 

Promise Me This by Sarah Ashley Jones
Cover Design by Okay Creations.
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 17, 2013

Welcome to the South - where the tea is sweet and the accents are sweeter. This Southern way of life is all Charlie has ever known. It’s not until she loses the only person who pushed her to break free of the Southern Belle mold that she starts living the life she needs and not the life her parents forced on her.

Jhett has lived on the edge for as long as he could remember - constantly teetering back and forth between being a rock star and living a normal life. His rebellious and sometimes arrogant attitude is known to get him into trouble, especially with the girls who hang on his every move.

Charlie never thought that a trip to pack up her brother’s apartment would leave her feeling even more unsettled about the grainy details of her brother’s death. Her quest for information leads her straight to his old hangout and into arms of Jhett, who suspiciously knows more about her situation than he ever should.

Only a few questions remain - Can you trust someone based on their word alone? And if you make a promise, how far will you go to keep it?

About The Author
Sarah Ashley Jones was raised in San Diego, California, but currently wrangles her husband and four dogs in Clarksville, Tennessee. When she's not writing she works in a pottery studio and comes home covered in paint on a daily basis. She has a slightly unhealthy obsession with cupcakes and chapstick. She is an eternal optimist and can often be found dancing and singing to music at any given time. It's rare to see her not smiling or laughing, but if you do, just bring her a cupcake and it will cheer her up.

Promise Me This is her first novel and is a story that weaseled its way into her heart and wouldn't leave her alone until she typed it up on the computer. She already is hard at work on ideas for her next book and hopes that the characters never stop coming to her. Her huge imagination was always in overdrive as a child and now she is beyond excited to put it to good use as an adult. She plans to write as long as she has stories that need to be told.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Review: Raksha by Frankie Rose

Title: Raksha
Author: Frankie Rose
Age Group: Young Adult
Release Date: 30th March 2013
Publishers: Self published
Available from: Amazon

Source: Author
She has no name. She has her knives; her training; her halo. The first and second give her the tools and the skill to defeat the opponents she is pitched against each month. The third frees her from pain and fear. From any kind of emotion at all. Everything is as it should be. Everything is as it should be, until… 
When a newly-named Kit escapes the Sanctuary after killing her best friend, the last thing she needs is another knife in her hand. Or Ryka, the damaged, beautiful blonde boy, who she refuses to let save her. Still learning how to process the onslaught of her new feelings, the sights and sounds of Freetown are overwhelming and strange. There are a hundred differences between her old home and her new one, but one thing remains starkly similar: the matches. Yet where the blood in the Sanctuary landed only on the colosseum floor, Kit will quickly learn that a river of red runs through Freetown’s very streets. Freed from the oppression of a society who stole her right to feel, the true horror of her old life leaves Kit wondering if she really has been freed at all. Would she be better off without the crippling horror of all the blood on her hands, or is the love of one boy worth living through all the pain? Raksha is the call of the dead. The rumbling chant for fresh blood from the other side, the demand for sacrifice. The colosseum is behind Kit. The fighting pits await.

I love Frankie and her books, so I jumped at the chance to be able to beta read Raksha, plus I love dystopias. I thought it was good then, but the finished product is awesome! She has created a compelling dystopia that rivals the many already out there; with a futuristic version of ancient Roman Gladiators. The Coliseum where Kit fights is as brutal as you'd expect. Fighters are almost revered, but are still socially marginalised because they have to wear halos that clearly defines their place in Sanctuary. If they fight, or even, die well they are admired especially if they make a lot of money for their House. While reading Raksha, I found it incredibly easy to 'see' the world Frankie has created. Scenes jumped out at me and it felt almost as if I was right there alongside Kit.

Kit has spent her life training and fighting, but she only really lives half a life with her halo on. A halo is a device that is affixed around her neck and releases a drug to control her emotions. When that's gone she has to experience a lifetimes worth of emotions and feelings, which gives her an intensely vulnerable side. Reading about her experiences without her halo is sometimes funny, refreshing and heart breaking. She deals with them as best as she can but they sometimes get the better of her. Kit is the sort of female character I love to read; she's got a core of steel so she can always rescue herself and a determination to right the wrongs she now understands. After fleeing the Sanctuary, Kit meets Ryka. She is immediately suspicious of him and goes out of her way to avoid him. In the end though she agrees to go along with him to Freetown. 
Ryka is just as badass as Kit, having grown up training and fighting as well. In the beginning he thinks Kit's claims of being the best fighter Sanctuary are ridiculous. He informs her that Freetown isn't like where she's from, females don't fight and they certainly do not carry knives. Although Ryka isn't as tragic as Frankie's other book boys, he is definitely a keeper. He can be incredibly frustrating, and has a smart mouth. Ryka is fiercely protective of those he loves and has a stubborn streak to rival Kit's. The interactions between them have to be some of the best parts of the book. 

Then there's Falin Asha; Kit's sparring partner for ten years and almost friend. You don't understand his motivations straight away, but when you realise what he went through to set Kit free, it will tug at your heart strings. Because you learn alongside Kit, you get to experience how raw her emotions are and that she would never get to know him like she should have. 

Raksha's secondary characters will also warm your heart, especially Ryka's younger sister Olivia. She made a decision that left a crater in their lives and I'm hoping her story isn't over yet. Overall Frankie has created a heart pounding book full of action, violence and romance. It will leave you wanting more. If you're a dystopia fan then grab a copy of Raksha!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Cover Reveal & Excerpt: One by Mari Arden

Check out Mari Arden's new cover reveal and read on for an intriguing little excerpt of ONE. You'll want to add this to your TBR! It sounds fantastic.

Jules Hendricks has had a string of bad "firsts."
 Embarrassing first kiss. Traumatic first date. An obsessive first boyfriend she can't understand.
It's taken her years but she's finally able to leave her small town life behind for a new start as a freshmen at UW- Madison. For Jules this chance to be independent and rebuild her life is an opportunity she won't ever let anyone take from her again. She's determined to make something of herself without a man by her side, in front, behind or anywhere near her.
Reid "Pax" Paxton is the star quarterback for the UW Badgers. His brush with death makes him understand how precious life is, and how important it is to take life by the horns, unafraid. Jules knows he's dangerous for her. Dark hair. Smoldering eyes. Killer smile. That dimple. That body. Those arms. Pax is everything she's trying to run away from, but she can't help coming back for more. Slowly he begins to show a life together can be more than just a dream. It can be their reality. The truth about reality is it's not always sunshine and butterflies.
Sometimes it's a wasteland.
Sometimes secrets can't stay buried.
Sometimes your past will find a way to hunt you down. 


**Warning: the contents of this book are intended for readers 18+ and older due to explicit adult situations.      

            "Do I make you nervous?" His husky drawl drips like chocolate covering a ripe, round strawberry. Does he make me nervous? Does a simmering volcano make an ant nervous?
            I swallow. "Nervous? I'm not nervous," I babble, refusing to look at him. I'm in physical pain. What's that thing I do where I take in air, and then let it out? Oh yeah, breathing. I need to do that.
            Like right now.
            I make a strangled sound and inhale through my nostrils, taking in the smoky air like a ravenous puppy finding milk. Instantly I feel Pax's heat next to me. Soon I'll be immersed in it, wrapped in it.
            Wrapped around him.
            So does that make me nervous? Only a hundred kinds of nervous.
            "Time to begin!" Cade yells, as he jogs back to Pax and I, flashing his pearly whites. He pounds Pax on the back. "Don't drop the ball," he grins.
            "As if I ever do."
            Cade turns to me. I see the second he registers my cleavage is exposed to the world. His eyes appraise me slowly. He gives me an appreciative grin. "Well, hello there."
            "Hi," I reply. "Um, should we start now?" I don't mean to be rude, but I'm a second away from vomiting every cell inside me, and call me crazy, but I'd prefer not to start off my year known as the Vomiter.
            "Yes," Pax glares at Cade. "Let's start." He inserts himself between us, blocking Cade's view of me. His firm, half naked body is next to my face. Pax's musky cologne combined with a sweaty scent unique to him assails my nostrils until my senses are reeling out of control.
            Cade chuckles, looking amused. I want to glare at him. I don't find anything amusing about this. "Ready when you are."
            Pax turns to me, his emerald eyes dark pools in the sunlight. This close I see every glorious inch of him, from the tiny stubbles of black hair covering the lower part of his face to the rippling six pack decorating his stomach like a tattoo. I don't dare look any lower. My pulse skitters. I forget to breathe. Something hard and hot unfurls in my belly. Unable to tear my gaze from him I watch helpless as his mouth drifts closer, until he's so close his breath mingles with mine.
            "Ride me."

Excerpt copyright 2013 Mari Arden

I'm Mari Arden (Mari rhymes with safari). Teacher by day, author by night. When I'm not living my double life I like to hike and try foods from all over the world. Up until recently, I used to be scared of dogs. Even puppies. True story. Now I'm just afraid of anything with more than six legs. I write to soothe my soul and to, hopefully, entertain YOU. 

Adventurous? Come join my double life!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Cover Reveal: Touching Fire by Airicka Phoenix

One of my favourite indie authors Airicka Phoenix, has a cover reveal for the second book in her Touch series Touching Fire! I love this woman and her books so much, if you haven't read her yet you need to! I am so excited to see where Fallon & Isaiah's story is going. How pretty is the cover? LOVE his eyes.

Book Name: Touching Fire
Author: Airicka Phoenix
Series: Touch Saga, book 2
Publisher: Airicka Phoenix
Release date: June, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance.
Warnings: Strong language and mild sexual content
Formats: ebook & paperback

Touching Fire Synopsis

Fallon’s on the run again, but this time, she’s not alone and she has a direction — she’s going to meet the man whose blood runs through her veins, the only man who can finally tell her who… what she is and why Garrison wants her so badly. But the truth may be more than she can handle when she falls from one world into another, one that shouldn’t exist and learns truths about herself that she may wish she never knew.
Faced with a reality so beyond comprehension, Fallon must accept the destiny she’s given because Garrison will stop at nothing to insure the success of The Amalie Project, even if he must do the unthinkable and become just like Fallon.
Touch Vengeance. Touch Malice. Touch Fire.

Other Novels:
Touching Smoke (Touch Series, book 1) ebook -

Whispered Beginnings: A Clever Fiction Anthology (ebook) -
Whispered Beginnings: A Clever Fiction Anthology (Paperback) -
<strong>Social Networks:</strong>
Twitter (@AirickaPhoenix) -!/AirickaPhoenix
He was still waiting when I joined him again, composed. He stood with his back against the wall, his hands lost deep into the folds of his pockets. He was studying his shoes, his hair falling in thick fringes over his eyes. Those blue eyes rose, crystalline pools of electricity, and met mine, and my world stopped. My breath stopped. My heart would have stopped if it wasn’t drumming a tempo of pure elation at the sight of him. It ached, so desperate for the need to be closer. God, it was never close enough. I could crawl into him, burrow into his soul and it wouldn’t be enough.
I took a step closer, as unsteady as a new born calf. He caught my hand, reeled me to him without ever pushing away from the wall. I was pulled into the space between his feet, held there as he bent my arm and twisted it around my own waist. I was pressed into him, his thighs hard against mine. I felt his heartbeat through the fingertips he traced over the curve of my cheek.
“Stop touching me,” I gasped, cotton-mouthed, half-crazed by the possibility that he might take me seriously.
“Why?” His breath fanned over my dry and already parted lips.
I opened my eyes, surprised to find them closed. “Because I won’t want you to stop.”
The band of steel around my waist tightened until I was supported only by him, by his arm, his chest, his heat, his scent… God, I was home! My fingers curled into the soft material of his fresh, clean shirt. He must have changed, but it was yet another black t-shirt.
“I can’t.” His lips wrote each word against mine in the caress of butterfly wings.
My bones liquefied. I nearly fainted.
“Why?” The single word was a mere movement of my lips.
His free hand shackled my chin, guided my face up, held me prisoner to eyes much too animal to be human. “Because I don’t want to stop.”
If there was ever any possibility of remembering to breathe, it was gone. I was barely conscious, barely even sane as I sunk into blissful madness cured only by his lips… his touch.
“Touch me!” My desperate plea was met with a fierce growl.
His eyes, dark, feral, bore into mine. “Not here!”
I opened my mouth to protest, to beg, but his finger against my lips became a barricade, trapping the words on my tongue.
“Don’t!” he hissed. His finger drew back, traced the curve of my bottom lip. His eyes followed the slow caress the way a cat watches a canary. “I can’t promise I’m completely in control right now.”

                                                                                    Author Bio
Airicka Phoenix is the best-selling author of the Touch Series with short stories in Whispered Beginnings: A Clever Fiction Anthology and Midnight Surrender Anthology. When she's not hammering away at the keyboard, she can be found banishing pirates or crawling through the attic looking for lost treasure with her kids. She loves baking, gardening and reading. She also likes to travel and take pictures of everything she comes across. When asked, Airicka describes herself as a sarcastic basket case that has an unhealthy addiction to chocolate, old movies and really bad jokes. She loves to laugh, make friends and write. If she could have one wish granted, it would be to spend one day as a fly-on-the-wall inside Stephen King's mind. If she could have two wishes granted, she would ask for a castle dedicated entirely to her overwhelming collection of books.

For more about Airicka, also on how to win giveaways, read author interviews and reviews, visit her website at:

Friday, May 3, 2013

Raksha Blog Tour - Guest Post & Excerpt by Frankie Rose

People ask me what genre my new book is, and I tell them it’s dystopian. This often leads to raised eyebrows and the inevitable question--what the heck is dystopian?

I tell them this: Imagine a future setting in which everything is technically perfect, a utopia. Now, imagine that there is, in actual fact at least one, or many flaws in this new imagined future, which have the opposite effect on the reality, creating a dark mirror of a perfect world. This is an inversion of a utopia, a dystopia.

That may not clear the matter up for many people, but it’s the closest I’ve ever come to explaining the idea satisfactorily.

So why write a dystopian? The dystopian genre seems to be really popular at the moment, and there are scores of books coming out left, right and center by some seriously talented authors. I’m sure a lot of writers might take a look at the burgeoning sales figures in the genre and think, ‘People are gonna want to read that. Why not, I’ll give it a crack,’ but that’s not actually how I came to write Raksha.

I’d had an idea.

There was a knife fighting scene in my first book that I absolutely loved writing. Every time I thought about what my next series would be based around, I knew it had to be knife fighting. The story developed of its own accord, and I ended up writing down notes on scraps of paper everywhere I went, and that’s how the world Raksha is based around came into life-- on the backs of receipts and till roll and napkins and business cards. I’d dreamed up this weird future where there were technological advances, but the feel to the book was very much set in the past; a simpler existence in some respects, but definitely more complex and dangerous in others. Gypsies and gladiators, politicians and priestesses.

I’ve been asked to compare Raksha to other dystopian novels, and that’s actually very tough for me to do because I haven’t read that many. My love for the dystopian idea actually came from watching movies. 1984, Death Race 2000 (the original from 1975! Classic!) Soylent Green, Total Recall and Mad Max...all of these films were favourites of mine when I was a kid. I remember watching Logan’s Run when I was tiny and being terrified. I used to dream that I would wake up and there would be a flashing red crystal glowing in my palm, and I would have to escape or be sacrificed. Terrifying stuff to an eight year old.

The dystopian novels I have read, such as Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, or The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (both amazing books) contain themes which Raksha brushes over, too. In Atlas Shrugged, the greatest minds in America decide to simply not participate in society because of the government’s increasingly oppressive regulations. The Handmaid’s Tale is similar in that the government is an oppressive force again, restricting the lives of fertile women when the post-nuclear world contains very few people who can procreate. It’s the same in the majority of dystopian stories. There will always be an oppressor, and a society or individual who rebels against it. The Hunger Games is, of course, the most common young adult book that people will recognise as dystopian. It most definitely follows this rule. I’m sure I don’t need to give anyone a head’s up on that storyline!

I wanted Raksha to be different than most of the common YA dystopian novels out there and I went about that in a few ways. I wanted there to be a dictatorial government aspect for a part of the book, but then I wanted there to be another kind of oppression. I used the priestesses to accomplish that. There is an element of religious fanaticism that powers various characters in the story, and a very dark hidden side to the supposed holy leaders.

Another dystopian rule that I tried to step away from is the technological aspect of the stories. Typically, because dystopians are set in a future environment, there’s always a lot of technology involved. There are elements of technology in Raksha, i.e. Kit’s holostick, the betting screens etc, but for the majority of the tale I wanted to portray a world that would be more likely if society did collapse. No gadgets, no fancy vehicles or elaborate buildings. Just people surviving.

Of course, Raksha’s a young adult novel, and while I’ve explained some pretty political and religious underlying tones to the book, it’s still the story of a girl finding herself in an unexpected, complicated mess and trying to get out of it, while simultaneously falling in love a boy she really shouldn’t!  That’s the backbone of most young adult novels, after all. ;)

I loved writing this book, and I have such epic plans for the sequel, Radicals! I’m hoping to get the next installment out in September, but that depends on the timing of other projects I’m working on, of course. I’m going to be finishing up the third book in the Hope Series this year and also releasing another dystopian novel, Stone, which is stepping well and truly out of the box. I can’t wait to release that one! 

Title: Raksha 
Author: Frankie Rose
Genre: YA Dystopian
Release Date: April 30th 2013
Purchase: Amazon

She has no name.

She has her knives, her training, and her halo.

The first and second give her the ability to defeat the opponents she is pitted against each month. The third frees her from pain and fear. From any kind of emotion at all. Everything is as it should be. Everything is as it should be, until…

Fear… Pain… Anger… Happiness… Desire… Guilt…


When a newly named Kit escapes the Sanctuary after killing her best friend, the last thing she needs is another knife in her hand. Or Ryka, the damaged, beautiful blond boy, whom she refuses to let save her. The sights and sounds of Freetown are new, yet one thing is familiar: the matches. The only difference? Where the blood in the Sanctuary landed only on the Colosseum floor, Kit will quickly learn that a river of red runs through Freetown’s very streets.

Without her halo, the inhabitants of Kit’s new home consider her saved, but is that really the case? Would she be better off free of the guilt associated with all the blood on her hands, or is the love of one boy worth living through all the pain?

Raksha is the call of the dead. It is the rumbling chant for fresh blood from the other side, the demand for sacrifice. The Colosseum is behind Kit. The fighting pits await.

I mmm doubtfully, scratching Jada behind her ears. She seems to like that. Cai’s face is gone now, although who knows how long the reprieve will be. When I look up, Ryka is watching me pet Jada.
“She likes you,” he says.
“You sound surprised.”
“I’m not. My sister’s a good judge of character. If Liv likes you that pretty much means everyone else will. Including my fickle dog.” He whistles softly and Jada pricks her ears at the sound.
“And you?” I ask.
He smiles. “Seriously?”
I nod, and Ryka’s mouth pulls up to one side in a way that makes my heart race. He looks wicked.
“Well, we’re friends. In that weird way where you’re eternally mad at me, and I’m eternally imagining what you look like naked.”
“What!” I go to slap his arm but he ducks out of reach, grinning. From the way my insides react to his words, it feels like I’ve swallowed something entirely too hot. Is this normal? Is this what liking someone feels like? It’s confusing and frustrating and frankly—okay, I’ll admit it—kind of wonderful. But what the hell am I supposed to do with that? How do I change who I am, sixteen years of fighting, a life of blood? How do I trade in all that confrontation for something a little sweeter? I think it’s probably too late.
“I really didn’t do myself any favours when I met you, did I? You still don’t trust me?” Ryka tips his head forward, smiling ruefully at his feet when I shake my head. “In that case I suppose it’s pointless asking if you’ve fallen in love with me yet?”
The boy is determined to make me die a death this evening. It’s all I can do not to choke as I shake my head. “Sadly, no. I don’t think I want to kill you anymore, though. So there’s that.”
In the moonlight, Ryka’s eyes bow as he smiles broadly. “There is that. We’ll have to see what we can do to change your mind, though. I’ve never been very good at waiting for anything I want.” He shoves me gently with his shoulder and my heart stumbles.
“You want me?”
Ryka’s smile is devastatingly sharp. “You own me, remember. And now, after the other night…well, I guess I kinda own you, too.”

Frankie Rose is a British expat, who is currently enjoying the perks of living in Australia- her awesome husband, sunshine, and vitamin D. She spends her time creating fictional universes in which the guy sometimes gets the girl, the heroes occasionally die, and the endings aren't always happy. But they usually are. 

You can find out more about Frankie and her books by checking out all these links:
Twitter:      @byfrankierose