Tuesday, January 16, 2018

New Releases

It's Tuesday and you know what that book releases! 2018 is off to an amazing start with some fantastic new titles. Let me tell you we are starting the new year off with some amazing books! The weather has also rewarded me with some much needed reading time. I mean, who wants to get out in the cold? So here are the new releases we have for today.

You Won't Know I'm Gone

(The Black Angel Chronicles #2)

Going rogue in an effort to rescue her kidnapped parents has cost Reagan Hillis her automatic ticket to the Training Academy. But becoming a Black Angel is the only way Reagan will be able to exact revenge on her mother’s merciless killer, Santino Torres.

When Reagan is given a chance to prove that she’s worthy of training to be a Black Angel, she also gets the first chance she’s ever had to be her true self. No aliases. No disguises.

But when her friend Luke joins her at the Black Angels training compound, Reagan finds herself once again torn between the person she was and the person she wants to be. Reagan has to prove that she's as good as her parents trained her to be, because she’ll never find Torres without the Black Angels’ help.

Poison's Cage (Poison's Kiss #2)

A single kiss could kill. A single secret could save the kingdom.

Iyla and Marinda have killed many men together: Iyla as the seductress, Marinda as the final, poisonous kiss. Now they understand who the real enemy is—the Snake King—and together they can take him down. Both girls have felt as though they were living a lie in the past, so moving into the King's palace and pretending to serve him isn't as difficult as it sounds. But when you're a spy, even secrets between friends are dangerous. And each girl has something—or someone—to lose. Does every secret, every lie, bring them closer to the truth or . . . to a trap?

Zenith (The Androma Saga #1)

Most know Androma Racella as the Bloody Baroness, a powerful mercenary whose reign of terror stretches across the Mirabel Galaxy. To those aboard her glass starship, Marauder, however, she's just Andi, their friend and fearless leader.

But when a routine mission goes awry, the Marauder's all-girl crew is tested as they find themselves in a treacherous situation and at the mercy of a sadistic bounty hunter from Andi's past.

Meanwhile, across the galaxy, a ruthless ruler waits in the shadows of the planet Xen Ptera, biding her time to exact revenge for the destruction of her people. The pieces of her deadly plan are about to fall into place, unleashing a plot that will tear Mirabel in two.

Andi and her crew embark on a dangerous, soul-testing journey that could restore order to their shipor just as easily start a war that will devour worlds. As the Marauder hurtles toward the unknown, and Mirabel hangs in the balance, the only certainty is that in a galaxy run on lies and illusion, no one can be trusted.

Iron Gold (Red Rising Saga #4)

They call him father, liberator, warlord, Reaper. But he feels a boy as he falls toward the pale blue planet, his armor red, his army vast, his heart heavy. It is the tenth year of war and the thirty-second of his life.
A decade ago, Darrow was the hero of the revolution he believed would break the chains of the Society. But the Rising has shattered everything: Instead of peace and freedom, it has brought endless war. Now he must risk everything he has fought for on one last desperate mission. Darrow still believes he can save everyone, but can he save himself?

And throughout the worlds, other destinies entwine with Darrow’s to change his fate forever: 

A young Red girl flees tragedy in her refugee camp and achieves for herself a new life she could never have imagined.

An ex-soldier broken by grief is forced to steal the most valuable thing in the galaxy—or pay with his life.

And Lysander au Lune, the heir in exile to the sovereign, wanders the stars with his mentor, Cassius, haunted by the loss of the world that Darrow transformed, and dreaming of what will rise from its ashes.

Red Rising was the story of the end of one universe, and Iron Goldis the story of the creation of a new one. Witness the beginning of a stunning new saga of tragedy and triumph from masterly New York Times bestselling author Pierce Brown.

Love, Hate & Other Filters

A searing #OwnVoices coming-of-age debut in which an Indian-American Muslim teen confronts Islamophobia and a reality she can neither explain nor escape--perfect for fans of Angie Thomas, Jacqueline Woodson, and Adam Silvera.

American-born seventeen-year-old Maya Aziz is torn between worlds. There’s the proper one her parents expect for their good Indian daughter: attending a college close to their suburban Chicago home, and being paired off with an older Muslim boy her mom deems “suitable.” And then there is the world of her dreams: going to film school and living in New York City—and maybe (just maybe) pursuing a boy she’s known from afar since grade school, a boy who’s finally falling into her orbit at school.

There’s also the real world, beyond Maya’s control. In the aftermath of a horrific crime perpetrated hundreds of miles away, her life is turned upside down. The community she’s known since birth becomes unrecognizable; neighbors and classmates alike are consumed with fear, bigotry, and hatred. Ultimately, Maya must find the strength within to determine where she truly belongs.

Truly Devious (Truly Devious #1)

New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson weaves a delicate tale of murder and mystery in the first book of a striking new series, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and E. Lockhart.
Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place,” he said, “where learning is a game.”
Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym “Truly, Devious.” It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.
True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder. 
The two interwoven mysteries of this first book in the Truly Devious series dovetail brilliantly, and Stevie Bell will continue her relentless quest for the murderers in books two and three.

Blood and Sand 


The action-packed tale of a 17-year-old warrior princess and a handsome gladiator who dared take on the Roman Republic―and gave rise to the legend of Spartacus...

For teens who love strong female protagonists in their fantasy and historical fiction, Blood and Sand is a stirring, yet poignant tale of two slaves who dared take on an empire by talented debut author C. V. Wyk.

Roma Victrix. The Republic of Rome is on a relentless march to create an empire―an empire built on the backs of the conquered, brought back to Rome as slaves.

Attia was once destined to rule as the queen and swordmaiden of Thrace, the greatest warrior kingdom the world had seen since Sparta. Now she is a slave, given to Xanthus, the Champion of Rome, as a sign of his master’s favor. Enslaved as a child, Xanthus is the preeminent gladiator of his generation.

Against all odds, Attia and Xanthus form a tentative bond. A bond that will spark a rebellion. A rebellion that threatens to bring the Roman Republic to its end―and gives rise to the legend of Spartacus...

The story continues in Fire and Ash, coming in 2019 from Tor Teen.

All That Was

Piper and Sloane were best friends. They grew up together, from childhood to first love, and in spite of how different they were, their friendship was supposed to last forever. That is, until Piper caught Sloane kissing her boyfriend—and just days later, Piper was found dead, washed ashore on a beach. Sloane was torn with grief and guilt. How do you make amends for hurting someone you love, if that person is no longer around? And how can you ever move on and love again?

That's all I have for today.  Lot's of reading to do, so I'm off to finish my book. Happy reading!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Mad World at Swoon Reads

Here's something I'm trying...

During one of my searches to find yet more books to read, I stumbled across the website SwoonReads. Not only did I find some upcoming releases to add to my Wishlist, but I learned that writers could submit their manuscripts for a possible book deal with Macmillan. Basically, writers submit unpublished works for readers to read, rate and comment on. If the writer receives enough reviews, the manuscript is considered for publishing. I thought this was pretty amazing.

From the Swoon Reads “FAQ” page

“Swoon Reads publishes young adult and new adult romance novels. Writers can submit their original, unpublished manuscript to the Swoon Reads website, and readers who sign up can rate and comment on manuscripts to help us [editors] choose which titles we want to publish. Swoon Reads is an imprint of Macmillan publishing under Feiwel & Friends and was founded by Jean Feiwel.”

Swoon Reads is all about finding swoonworthy titles, so I decided to submit MAD WORLD. Below you'll find the description along with the first chapter. If you find yourself intrigued, I hope you'll visit the  
MAD WORLD page and continue reading. It's totally free!

Ruby Grismer has been raised in the shadows. Kept hidden from the world in order to keep her safe. And to keep others safe from her.

All Ruby wants is to be like everyone else. Normal. Human. So one night Ruby sneaks out. And she is seen. Her innocent outing leads to her first meeting with Sebastian Blackwell. The handsome new boy in town with a family secret of his own.

A secret that could destroy Ruby.

Like a moth to a flame, she can’t stay away from Sebastian. Torn between her safety and the need for his company, Ruby must decide...will she continue to walk with danger? Or will she fight the pull toward this boy and ultimately sacrifice her heart?

Chapter One

There is a large picture window in my house. It is located upstairs, centered at the end of the hallway. Everyday, while my guardian, Drusilla is napping; I sit at that window and stare at people as they walk by. Some straight to their homes if they are close, others to their cars, which dot the street. Regardless of their means of transportation, I watch them. Wishing that I too could escape the confines of home each day and mingle among them.

But I don’t. I can’t.

Drusilla says I’m different. Special. She home-schools me and insists that I learn much, much more than I would at the local high school. So I settle for sitting at the window, curled up like an old house cat, staring outside. Seeing others while remaining unseen.

Today is a dark day. The usually casual saunters are more purposeful as they break for shelter. The sky opens up and releases its worst. The rain glitters against the passing car lights. And then, just as quickly as it all begins it is over. The streets are once again still and all is quiet. Save for the lone clap of thunder and the splashing of raindrops against the lawn. My stomach quivers with excitement. How I long to run outside and tip my head toward the sky. To feel the rain against my skin just once. But I am not allowed outside.


Movement in the mirror catches my eye. My breath tangles in my throat and a teardrop of cool fear races up my spine. I step closer, squinting in the half-light cast across the room from the window. The figure moves with me. I breathe out a sigh of relief.

It’s only me.

I look toward the glass knowing what I will see. Bright burgundy blinks back at me through porcelain skin. An off sort of eye color, but then again what do I have to compare it with? Thick ribbons of raven black hair twist from the crown of my head down to the middle of my back. Not a scratch can be found. Not a hair is ever out of place.

Perfect. Just like Drusilla expects.

A stirring in the hallway reaches out and swipes my attention. Drusilla is coming. My time is up sooner than I would like. Just like every other day. I bolt away from the window, swiping my copy of Grimm's fairy tales from the small table as I drop into my designated armchair.

The one located beyond the reach of the window.

Drusilla appears at the end of the hall. Her face is pinched into a forced smile; her hair is as it always is. Long locks, smoothed to perfection. One side is tucked behind her ear. No nonsense. She is wearing a plain white blouse secured in smart black trousers. The only adornment visible is the emerald-green pendant thrumming at the hollow of her throat. A separate entity, yet something she is never without.

“You should be finished with your reading.” She doesn’t ask if I am ready, simply turns on her heel and expects me to follow.

I do.

It’s the same routine every day. She leads me back to my room, just like I’m a small child that needs to be watched at all times. From their photos on the wall, her ancestors’ eyes follow my every step. I’m an unwelcome stranger in their beloved daughter’s life. The occasional sconce lights our way as we continue. Drusilla remains silent.

After a few beats she turns to me and smiles. It’s that same far away, head in the clouds smile she gets sometimes. It can be a little frightening. “Do you like your new reading area? I thought it would be a nice change for you to get out of the basement.” A small giggle escapes her lips. “It has been days now and you have not said a word.” She doesn’t seem right. Something small that I can’t quite put my finger on seems to be off about her today.

I count to three and shake it off.

One. Two Three.

“I love my new space,” I begin. She doesn’t understand. I can’t remain locked up. Not anymore. “It’s so dark in the basement…I wish--”

“What darling?”

“I wish I could stay out all of the time. Have a room upstairs? I need fresh air, sunlight, other people--” I realize my mistake the moment the words tumble out of my mouth.

All manner of calm is gone now. Siphoned from the air. Drusilla reels on me. Her face is that of a ghost. Pale and pallid. Her hands find purchase on my own. She squeezes. Hard. The heat of her skin on mine should be a welcome change from the customary chill. She never touches me. And when she does-it’s like this…suffocating. At the same time intoxicating. The edge of her anxiety scrapes at my sanity. I can’t bear it.

But her grasp is relentless. “Did you go outside?”

“No, Drusilla.”

“Go to the window?”

“Of course not.”

A sigh escapes her and the color returns to her face. Her eyes soften and her cheeks brighten. “I’m sorry to be so bothersome, my darling, really. But you have no idea what dangers lurk outside the walls of this house. Not one single clue. Were something to happen to you--” She rubs at her temple. “I cannot even think about the consequences were someone to find you.”

“I know –you’ve told me.” Repeatedly. I lower my eyes. I don’t dare look at her. I hope I’m convincing. She can’t find out that I have broken one of her cardinal rules. I must remain hidden away like some skeleton in her closet. A deep dark secret that would ruin her if I was to be discovered.

I wish I knew why.

We resume our forward movement and arrive at the staircase. After wrapping my fingers around the wrought-iron banister, I place one foot in front of the other. Nice and steady. Just like I’ve been taught. Drusilla follows a few beats behind me. Always watching.

“I hope you know how very important you are to me. I couldn’t bear it if anything were to happen to you.”

Lucky me, I’m as important as an antique doll tucked away in a cabinet. “Nothing’s going to happen to me.”

“Of course not because you will stay inside at all times. No matter what.”

“Yes, Drusilla.”

I risk a glance behind me. Her head is shifted to the side. A thoughtful expression clouds her face. “That’s my good girl.”

Before I know it, we reach the bottom of the stairs. The door to my bedroom lurks in front of me. Large wrought iron and dark chocolate oak that blends with the rest of the castle-like ambiance of the house. With a curt nod Drusilla beckons me forward.

“Go on now. I need to run to the store,” she urges, tossing me a pasted on smile. “I’ll see you at supper.”

She waits for me to step over the threshold. I only have time to set one floor on the ground beyond before the door closes behind me and the sound of the lock sliding home echoes off of the walls.

She just wants to keep me safe. That’s all there is to me remaining under lock and key. Safety first.


I can’t rid myself of the feeling that there is more to her actions. Some method of obsession I’m unaware of. Not all girls are hidden away from the rest of the world like a stain on the good linens.

I look around the large expanse of my room. I know Drusilla cares because it’s adorned with the finest of everything. Lavishly decorated like something I would see in the pages of my favorite magazine. My room boasts beautiful satins and silks in various shades of purples and plums that drip from the ceiling and surround my bed. There is even a small seating area with plush couches covered with beaded throw pillows. On the wall rests a huge flat screen TV surrounded by built in bookshelves, displaying rows and rows of poetry books as well as novels by my favorite authors. I cannot ask for more.

And still. I do-want more. So much more. I fall down onto the couch, chewing at my nail. A nasty little habit that Drusilla has vowed to break. Though she does not mean it, her actions are cruel. Does she actually think she can just lock me away in the basement? Only letting me out when she wants company?

I curl up in a ball and close my eyes as the loneliness sets in once again. It’s an awful feeling that bites away at me. Makes me feel empty. It’s as though someone has taken some sort of sharp instrument and hollowed me out.

I just want a friend. Someone to talk to.

Time moves slowly here. How long I remain in my pathetic cocoon I can’t say. But enough is enough. Desperate for a distraction…an end to my little pity party, I separate myself from the couch.

Crossing the room I begin by straightening my books. They’re already in perfect order, faced even across the entire shelf. Each one exactly where it should be. And that is how they must remain, along with everything else in my room. A place for everything and everything in its place. I can’t function otherwise.

I move on to my small workspace. The shell of a necklace I have been working on lays flat against its bed of velvet. Each jewel has already been hand-selected and waits nearby to be placed in its new home. It’s an odd little hobby, but aids in the long passing hours when I’m locked away in my room. Creating something beautiful also calms my jagged little nerves when the devil inside threatens to run astray. Thank goodness Drusilla is more than happy to indulge me.

My workstation is located in the far corner of my room. It’s nothing fancy. But I have everything I need whenever inspiration hits. My eyes glance over the desktop and I notice my sketchpad is shifted the wrong way. I straighten it, along with the pastels that sit next to it. It’s not until I reach the jars housing my crystals that I notice it. My bedroom door. There is just the smallest sliver of light peeking through. To me it’s like a gleaming beacon welcoming me home. How is this possible? I am certain Drusilla locked the door.

Quiet feet lead the way. The door creaks as I open it. Just a little, but enough to make me think twice. The promise of freedom, however short-lived far outweighs the risk of being caught at this point. I keep going. Up the dark stairs I go until I reach the top. It’s there that I wait. And listen.


Golden, gleaming silence.

Drusilla is gone. Thunder claps and the rain continues to taunt me. With hope fluttering in my chest, I head for the back door. I grasp the handle, turn it and smile.


Just as I had hoped. Drusilla’s confidence in her ability to keep me locked away is working to my advantage-beautifully. The door swings open with a soft groan. I pull in an anxious breath and step over the threshold.

At first I stand under the canopy of the lower deck, happy to enjoy what this experience has to offer. And then I throw caution to the wind and walk to the middle of the yard. Raindrops whisper against my cheeks, coil down my arms, like newly found acquaintances excited that I have finally come out to play.

The air out here is ripe with moisture, filled with the heady perfume of rainfall. I have only caught glimpses of the fragrance and those tiny snippets didn’t do it justice.

I throw my arms out to my sides and let my head fall back. My hair is nearly drenched at this point, but I don’t care. A giggle escapes my lips and I spin around and around until my legs threaten to give way.

“Didn’t your mother ever teach you not to play in the rain?”

A cry leaps from my chest. I turn and hit a wall-no I run into the owner of that voice. It’s like nothing I’ve ever heard-rich and velvety. The ground rushes up fast and furious. My hands splay out to break my fall, but just as I brace myself for impact, strong hands twine themselves around my waist and pull me to my feet. It’s like being attached to some sort of bungee cord. One second I’m heading toward the ground and the next I find myself back on my feet.

Where his hands touch me a trail of sizzling heat sears straight to my core. The trees and everything around them turn to smears as a dizzying buzz resounds in my head. I pull in a ragged breath. Release it. The world rights itself and he comes into view.

He is huge. Thick muscle cords his arms where my hands are clutching on for dear life. At well over six feet tall, he towers over my measly five foot three frame. A force not to be reckoned with. And yet there is something sweet in his demeanor. His eyes are kind. Soft chocolaty brown. Lovely. He continues to stare. A lazy, crooked smile that could melt ice-caps spreads across his face. Oh my goodness. There are dimples. Heaven help me he is perfect.

His beautiful, handsome face. His cheekbones and jawline are sculptured to perfection and his lips are full and dark pink, the bottom one slightly larger than the top. “Are you okay?” I’m unable to formulate words. I’ve never seen another living being-not this close. Aside from Drusilla.

Fear surges then blends with my curiosity as I stare up at him and nod. I know I should turn and run back to the house before this creature has the chance to hurt me. Forget this ever happened. But as I turn to leave I cast another glance at the stranger. Something in me changes. It’s small, unrecognizable but altered all the same. He is just so pretty.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to frighten you. I just-my family just moved to town and when I saw you out here--”

His words jar something loose. Drusilla. She will be home soon and here I am soaked to the bone talking to a stranger. A--a boy! “I--I have to go.”

“No wait-please.” He reaches for me and I cower away.

“I’m sorry,” I say. I move back toward the house with erratic haste. What started out as a small infraction of the rules has now blown up into a full-fledged disaster. Drusilla is adamant that no one finds out about me. The consequences could be disastrous. So she says.

Slipping back into the house, I pull off my shoes and lock the door. Weakness in my knees forces me into a kitchen chair. My head falls against the table and I pull in several ragged breaths. Wait for the beating of my heart to slow. When it does, I stand, creep back to the window. I peel back the curtains, just a crack-and stare into the yard, hoping to catch one last glimpse of the beautiful stranger. He’s gone. A dark abyss of loneliness creeps into my subconscious.

It’s for the best I tell myself.

Careful not to tread any water on the wood floors, I return to my room where I ready myself for dinner with Drusilla. All the while hoping that this little mishap does not come back to haunt me. Even though I would give anything to see him again. Consequences be damned.

Drusilla follows the same routine everyday. Dinner. Wine. Bed.

Dinner is a scheduled event in which I am required to attend. I do not complain because it is one of the few times I am permitted to leave my room. And I do enjoy Drusilla’s company. The food is always amazing too. The downside is the wine. Oh, my goodness the wine-her sauce as I like to call it, is to numb the pain or stress of some unseen burden Drusilla has yet to share. And of course bed will follow. Once she has had her fill of both food and drink there is no other course.

So every day we follow the script. Always in that order. Never deviating in the slightest. I have watched her. And waited. Waited for the moment when I’m certain I can get away. Not to be missed. Undetected.

At least for a little while.

I enter the room and take my seat at the long dinner table. Just like yesterday. And the day before that. Drusilla enters the room. She’s a vision in lavender. The dress she wears fits her perfectly. Just like the clothes she chooses for me.

She takes her seat and the wait staff begins to serve. Dinner is delicious. As usual. The salad arrives first. There are bits of fish and slivers of almond with a hint of creamy dressing.

We talk of current events and she fills me in on the bits of her day that I’ve missed. Inside me the battle of loyalty and jealousy surges on. I do love this woman that has cared for me, but a part of me cannot help but feel that slight twinge of envy when she talks about her little outings to the book store, the mall, and for goodness sake coffee. If I didn’t know any better I would swear she was purposefully trying to hurt me.

But I do know better and she would not be so callous.

Before I realize, the final course has been cleared and dessert has arrived. Double chocolate cake. Like a sweet, creamy dream, it melts in my mouth, pulling a smile at my lips. I don’t dare eat the entire piece. It would not do to lose my girlish figure.

Whatever. Who is it that I need to impress? Soon I will be escorted back to my room. The moment the last dish is cleared. The last morsel of food eaten I will be returned to my cage for the remainder of the evening. The thought sends a shudder down my spine. The bite of cake I’ve just taken tastes like ash in my mouth souring my mood.

Drusilla’s forehead wrinkles. “Is everything okay?” Her fork hovers in the air mid-bite.

I nod. A customary response. “I’m fine. Just a little tired.”

“Are you sure? I had cook make this cake especially for you.”

As if that alone could chase away my loneliness. I will not be consoled by food. The sudden urge to be away from her slashes through me like a razor. “Can I be excused?”

She watches me. Really watches me as if my face holds every answer she is seeking. “Okay,” she says with uncertainty. “Goodnight.”

“Goodnight, Drusilla.” I throw the comment over my shoulder as I exit the room. I don’t look back as I hold tight to the railing and descend the stairs to my room. Without a second thought, I throw myself onto the bed and cry myself into a hazy stupor.

Sometime during my fit I must have fallen asleep. I open my eyes and my sheets are all askew, my clothes a mess. Pushing myself out of bed, I cross the room to my closet. Might as well put on something more comfortable.

When I get to the closet I notice something off. It escaped me at first because I just didn’t look that way, but after a second glance I see it.

The door to my bedroom, open. Again.

I smooth my hair into a low pony as I walk. With innate caution I move. The only sound in the vast stairwell is the rustling of my hoodie and the scuff of my shoes against the ceramic tile. When I reach the top of the stairs I find the house dark, uninviting even. Not a thing is out of place. This alone should bring me comfort. But something is not right.

I amble through the living room taking in every insignificant knick-knack. Every ornamental frame. Not one single picture of me exists in the entire house. There are pictures of every other relative Drusilla has ever had. Pets. Her dad even. But not one single picture of me. It should not bother me. But it does.

I shake off the feeling of neglect that has webbed its way through my veins and move toward the stairs. As customary I grip the rail with all my might. Walking I have down pat, stairs however are another chapter in my unfinished book.

By the time I reach the top and relinquish my grip, my knuckles are a morbid white. Drusilla’s room is the last door on the left. Slowly, slowly I creep down the hall. The door is cracked open and the muted light from the television echoes on the walls. For a minute, all I do is listen. When all that greets me is the mumbling of an infomercial and silence, I push the door open and slip inside.

Drusilla is in bed. Fast asleep. Her hair, which is usually scraped into perfection, is cast wildly across her pillow. A sheet of ebony ribbons draped in a haphazard manner. The peace that shrouds her beautiful features makes the shame in my heart ghost over me. I wonder how I could ever have such selfish thoughts about this woman.

The guilt almost drives me back to my room where I should have stayed. I know better than to wander the house unchecked. Drusilla is after all only looking out for my best interests. But as I look between the open door and the sleeping form before me, an idea fires to life in my mind. Small at first, but gaining momentum as the seconds tick by.

I could slip out again. Go for a short walk this time and return before I’m missed. Drusilla would never dream me capable of doing such a thing. There lies the beauty of this very rare and intriguing situation.

Do I dare? Excitement gurgles in my stomach, tingles clear to the tips of my fingers. Yes. I think I do.

Crossing the room, I grab a spare down comforter from the divan. Drusilla often speaks of growing cold in the night and her covers have already been kicked free. Piled on the floor like silken rubble. I spread the blanket over her and move to the door. Sparing one last glance at my creator, my caregiver before I progress into the hall and pull the doors closed behind me. There is a whisper and a click and I’m as good as alone. My hand rests against the oak grain of the bedroom door.

“Sleep well, Drusilla,” I whisper.

The excitement in me mounts as I walk down the hall toward the front door. Momentary freedom is so close I can taste it. The lock slides free with silent effort. Thank goodness. I slip over the threshold and into the night. The moon hangs overhead as if welcoming an old friend home at last.

I smile and close the front door.

What harm will a little outing do?


Want to know what happens next? You can find all of MAD WORLD on my page at Swoon Reads. I will be forever in your debt if you leave a rating and a review!  

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

New This Week...

It's Tuesday and you know what that book releases! Let me tell you we are starting the new year off with some amazing titles! The only downside? We go back to school this week which cuts into my reading time. But enough about my sad story, here are the new releases I stumbled across for today:

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

From Amazon:

By #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black, the first book in a stunning new series about a mortal girl who finds herself caught in a web of royal faerie intrigue.

Of course I want to be like them. They're beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him--and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Everless by Sara Holland

From Amazon:
"Sara Holland is a fierce storyteller. Everless gives new and terrifying meaning to the phrase running out of time." —Stephanie Garber, New York Times bestselling author of Caraval
In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.
No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.
But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.
Fans of Victoria Aveyard, Kendare Blake, and Stephanie Garber will devour this lush novel's breathtaking action, incredible romance, and dangerous secrets.

A Conspiracy of Stars by Olivia A. Cole

From Amazon:

Enter the vivid and cinematic world of Faloiv in the first book of this dazzling YA sci-fi/fantasy series, perfect for fans of Carve the Mark, Red Rising, and These Broken Stars.
Octavia has always dreamed of becoming a whitecoat, one of the prestigious N’Terra scientists who study the natural wonders of Faloiv. So when the once-secretive labs are suddenly opened to students, she leaps at the chance to see what happens behind their closed doors.
However, she quickly discovers that all is not what it seems on Faloiv, and the experiments the whitecoats have been doing run the risk of upsetting the humans’ fragile peace with the Faloii, Faloiv’s indigenous people.
As secret after disturbing secret comes to light, Octavia finds herself on a collision course with the charismatic and extremist new leader of N’Terra’s ruling council. But by uncovering the mysteries behind the history she’s been taught, the science she’s lived by, and the truth about her family, she threatens to be the catalyst for an all-out war.

Pretty Dead Girls by Monica Murphy

From Amazon:

Beautiful. Perfect. Dead.
In the peaceful seaside town of Cape Bonita, wicked secrets and lies are hidden just beneath the surface. But all it takes is one tragedy for them to be exposed.
The most popular girls in school are turning up dead, and Penelope Malone is terrified she's next. All the victims so far have been linked to Penelope—and to a boy from her physics class. The one she's never really noticed before, with the rumored dark past and a brooding stare that cuts right through her.
There's something he isn't telling her. But there's something she's not telling him, either.
Everyone has secrets, and theirs might get them killed.

You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon

From Amazon:

A moving, lyrical debut novel about twins who navigate first love, their Jewish identity, and opposite results from a genetic test that determines their fate—whether they inherited their mother’s Huntington’s disease.

Eighteen-year-old twins Adina and Tovah have little in common besides their ambitious nature. Viola prodigy Adina yearns to become a soloist—and to convince her music teacher he wants her the way she wants him. Overachiever Tovah awaits her acceptance to Johns Hopkins, the first step on her path toward med school and a career as a surgeon.

But one thing could wreck their carefully planned futures: a genetic test for Huntington’s, a rare degenerative disease that slowly steals control of the body and mind. It’s turned their Israeli mother into a near stranger and fractured the sisters’ own bond in ways they’ll never admit. While Tovah finds comfort in their Jewish religion, Adina rebels against its rules.

When the results come in, one twin tests negative for Huntington’s, and the other tests positive.

These opposite outcomes push them farther apart as they wrestle with guilt, betrayal, and the unexpected thrill of first love. How can they repair their relationship, and is it even worth saving?

From debut author Rachel Lynn Solomon comes a luminous, heartbreaking tale of life, death, and the fragile bond between sisters.

Well, that's it for today. As you can see I have a lot of reading to do. And this is just the beginning! I'll be back next week with more new releases.

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

It's hard to believe another year has gone by and we have arrived at 2018. Time has a way of sneaking away from us. As most of you know, it's been quite some time since my last post. You could say I let life get in the way. But, I won't bore you with the details. I'm just happy to be back, posting about two of my favorite things, books and writing!

Now, I'm not big on making resolutions, (I always break them) I did however, set a goal to write. Sweet and simple. No more excuses, whatever is going on, I will make time to write. That means I will definitely dedicate time to blog about all the amazing books coming out in 2018! 

That's all I have for today. I'll be back tomorrow with a list of new releases I can't wait to read! In the meantime, what about all of you? Have you set any goals for the new year? I'd love to hear them!

Happy New Year everyone!

Monday, March 5, 2012

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. Anyone can participate in IMM and you are not limited to only sharing books that arrive via your mailbox. You can also share books that you've bought or books that you've gotten at the library. You can find more information on how to participate in the In My Mailbox meme by visiting The Story Siren.

This week In My Mailbox...

A Touch Morbid (A Touch Trilogy #2) by Leah Clifford

Goodreads Description:
Eden won the battle-she saved her true love from the darkest evil. But the war has only just begun. With secrets swirling around her, powerful allies unraveling, and life-and death-as she knows it eroding, Eden and those she loves tread dangerous ground. Can she trust anyone? Will her unearthly powers be her salvation or her downfall? A sweeping, dark, and sexy paranormal romance that will haunt readers with an inventive mythology and a cinematic New York City filled with shadows and longing.

Pandemonium (Delirium #2) by Lauren Oliver

Goodreads Description:
I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.

Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Delirium. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.

Faery Tales & Nightmares by Melissa Marr

Goodreads Description:
Dangerous promises and beguiling threats swirl together in a dozen stories of enchantments dark and light by New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr. Uncanny and unexpected creatures appear from behind bushes, rise from beneath the seas, or manifest from seasonal storms to pursue the objects of their attention—with amorous or sinister intent—relentlessly.

From the gentle tones of a storyteller’s cadences to the terror of a blood sacrifice, tales of favorite characters from Marr’s Wicked Lovely novels mix with accounts of new characters for readers to fall in love with...or to fear.

Lush, seductive, and chilling, Melissa Marr’s stories revel in the unseen magic that infuses the world as we know it.

Table of Contents:
"Where Nightmares Walk"
"Winter's Kiss" (Fairy Tales)
"Transition" (Vampires)
"Love Struck" (Selchies)
"Old Habits" (WL World)
"Stopping Time" (WL World)
"The Art of Waiting"
"Flesh for Comfort"
"The Sleeping Girl and the Summer King" (WL World-ish, the short story that started the series)
"Cotton Candy Skies" (WL World)
"Unexpected Family" (WL World)
"Merely Mortal" (WL World)

So I did get a Kindle for Christmas and don't get me wrong, I love it. But with such gorgeous covers, how could I pass these up? I'll find room somewhere on the bookshelf for them. So tell me...what's in your mailbox? I'm always looking for new reads!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

String Bridge by Jessica Bell

Today is THE day to help Jessica Bell's debut, STRING BRIDGE, hit the bestseller list on Amazon, and receive the all-original soundtrack, Melody Hill: On the Other Side, written and performed by the author herself, for free!

All you have to do is purchase the book today (paperback, or eBook), November 11th, and then email the receipt to:


She will then email you a link to download the album at no extra cost!

To purchase the paperback:

To purchase the eBook:

To listen to samples of the soundtrack, visit iTunes.

If you are not familiar with String Bridge,
check out the book trailer:

Rave Reviews for String Bridge:

Jessica Bell’s STRING BRIDGE strummed the fret of my
veins, thrummed my blood into a mad rush, played me taut until the final page,
yet with echoes still reverberating. A rhythmic debut with metrical tones of
heavied dark, fleeting prisms of light, and finally, a burst of joy—just as
with any good song, my hopeful heartbeat kept tempo with Bell’s narrative.
~ Kathryn Magendie, author of Sweetie and Publishing Editor of Rose & Thorn Journal

“Poet and musician Jessica Bell's debut novel String Bridge is a rich exploration of desire, guilt, and the difficult balancing act of the modern woman. The writing is lyrical throughout,
seamlessly integrating setting, character and plot in a musical structure that
allows the reader to identify with Melody's growing insecurity as her world
begins to unravel …
String Bridge is a powerful debut from a promising writer, full of music, metaphor, and just a hint of magic.” ~ Magdalena Ball, author of Repulsion
and Sleep Before Evening

Jessica Bell is a brilliant writer of great skill and depth. She doesn't pull back from the difficult
scenes, from conflict, pain, intensity. She puts it all out there, no holds
barred, no holding back. She knows how to craft a scene, how to develop
character, how to create suspense. This is an absolutely brilliant debut novel.
I look forward to reading her next novel, and next and next.” ~ Karen Jones
Gowen, author of Farm Girl, Uncut Diamonds and House of Diamonds

And for a very special treat, a word from the author herself:

Check out my interview with Jessica...

Was there ever a time when you felt like giving up?

Actually no. I’ve never ever wanted anything so much in my life. Not even music. When I discovered I wanted to write, something clicked. I finally had a goal I was so passionate about that I finally stopped sticking my fingers in too many different pies. When I was younger, I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do. I loved to sing, play guitar, play piano, dance, make jewelery, study archaeology, and plus some. There were so many things that I wouldn’t spend enough time perfecting any one craft. I finally found the craft I wanted to perfect and so I pushed forward with everything I had and didn’t let anything stop me.

What have you learned about promoting books in your publication journey?

That you sometimes have to bite the bullet and toot your own horn no matter how intimidated you feel. Gosh, I’m loving the clichés today …

What has worked well for you?

Hmm, I think I’m going to keep the clichés going and say … the fact that being with a Small Press meant that the promotion ball was pretty much in my court. Of course, I had to keep my nose to the grindstone, but having such an amazing support system full of people like yourself, Renae, really helped me shoot for the moon and all that jazz.

Aww, you are too sweet! Now was there anything that was a waste?

Absolutely nothing. All is as good as gold!

Fantastic! So tell us...what is your perfect writing situation?

Beats me … any place, any time, really, as long as I’m not banging my head against a brick wall.

Do you have any pearls of wisdom for aspiring authors?

Oh look, you got a cliché in there too! Awesome! Let’s see, pearls of wisdom … Batten down the hatches, lower the boom, raise the mizenmast: full speed ahead!

Ha! I just had to work my own in didn't I? Now, since I'm always looking to add to my TBR pile, what upcoming releases are you dying to get your hands on?

I’ll be all bent out of shape if I don’t get the latest releases written by Marilynne Robinson, Margaret Atwood, Anne Lamott and Raymond Carver … wait, he’s dead … wanna help me dig him up? Because I’m having minimalist withdrawals …

You are too funny! Okay now tell us something about yourself that would surprise us.

There aren’t any clichés in String Bridge. Seriously …

She's right people...and let me add that String Bridge is amazing! Thanks Jessica for answering my endless stream of questions!

To Connect further with Jessica:

String Bridge:







Please TWEET and/or FACEBOOK this post using #StringBridge!

Let's all help author, Jessica Bell, top the Amazon charts today with her debut novel String Bridge, and receive the soundtrack, Melody Hill: On the Other Side, for free! Visit her blog for more details:

Good luck Jessica and thanks everyone for stopping by!