Release Day Blitz: Emergence by K.L. Schwengel

Today is release day for a fantasy novel I’m pretty excited about. Not only because K.L. Schwengel is a friend of mine, co-blogger at There and Draft Again, and one of the most awesomesauce people in the blogosphere, but because her writing is incredible. Seriously. Her debut novel, First of Her Kind, reads like some of the best high fantasy out there, and although I haven’t had a chance to finish it yet and write a full review (coming soon!), I think the many five stars on Amazon should give you an idea:

“The author’s use of language is enough to make me want to put my metaphoric pen down. The prose has a poetic nature to it, a cadence, without seeming pretentious at all. The voice is clear and the descriptions are not only solid, but vivid and detailed without weighing down the story.” -Mara

“It had me on the edge of my seat, my stomach and heart twisted into knots by the end. It may have been a little extreme to highlight the whole thing. I can’t wait to read the next book.”

“K. L. Schwengel has a very clear, crisp writing style. Her characters are very intriguing. She seems to excel at writing villains you are loathe to hate. Her character Donovan is dark, conspiring, and nothing short of evil, yet as the reader I found myself almost as drawn to him as Schwengel’s ‘all around good-boy’ hero Bolin, who has an edge of darkness and danger in him as well. I had to chuckle when I compared Schwengel’s heroine to many other ‘damsel in distress’ types I’ve read. Ciara’s reactions to danger and terror are so much more believable to me than what I often find in contemporary literature. She isn’t a kick-your-butt superwoman in Spandex, but she’s far from the weepy, fainting weak-willed wallflower that so many heroes end up needing to save.” – Alana

Right? With that ado in mind, I present the second book in the series…*drumroll*…

EMERGENCEEmergence
Book Two of The Darkness and Light Series
The battle for Ciara’s power has drawn the full attention of the Emperor and the Imperial Mages, forcing Bolin to put duty above safety and take her to Nisair. It won’t be an easy trip, even with an Imperial escort and a Galysian elder accompanying them. Especially since Donovan has found himself some new allies, one of who wields a dark magic that has literally gotten under Bolin’s skin.
For Ciara, coming to terms with the increasingly tangible manifestation of her power could destroy her. Even if they make it to Nisair–something that grows more unlikely by the day–there is no surety of safety for Ciara, or any of them. Not with Donovan willing to gamble everything to achieve his goals, or Bolin’s uncharacteristically reckless behavior, the result of which is the attention of something that has everyone worried.
Loyalties will be tested, lives will be lost, and no one will emerge unchanged as they find things are not always so clear on the line dividing Darkness and Light.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

KLSchwengelAbout the Author:
K. L. Schwengel lives in southeast Wisconsin on a small farm with her husband, a handful of Australian Shepherds, Her Royal Highness Princess Fiona the Cat, and assorted livestock. Growing up as the youngest of nine children, and the daughter of a librarian, Kathi spent many hours between stacks of books, and secluded away in dusty archives, drawn to tales of medieval heroes and conquering knights. With so many characters and ideas spinning in her head, she had to get them onto paper or risk what little sanity she possessed. She has been penning wild tales of magic and mayhem as long as she can remember, but opted to follow her artistic muse first. After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts and spending many years working as a freelance artist, grocery clerk, art teacher, graphic designer, stable hand, advertising account coordinator, dog trainer, and process technician (among other things) she answered the call of her writing muse. When not writing, Kathi trains and trials working Australian Shepherds, still paints, dabbles in photography, graphic design, and anything else creative her assorted muses send her way.
Kathi’s work is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and other on-line retailers in both paperback and e-book versions. Signed copies are available via her blog.

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From Here Onward

Last week on the Knights of Rilch Blog Tour:
On Letting Go of Inhibitions at There and Draft Again
Deleted Scene at BookSquirt.com
Kiss Me, Kill Me Review at Lauren Garafalo’s Blog
Review at Dyadic Echoes
Review at Jessica Rubinkowski’s Blog

This morning I woke up with one impulse running through me: WRITE ALL THE THINGS.

Weirdly enough, it’s been awhile since I felt that. I’ve been in a writing slump for the past month and a half. Probably just because there was so much release work to be done on Knights of Rilch, but I keep feeling like it was more than that. Even on days I didn’t have to do any formatting or emailing or tweaking art, I would sit and stare at the third book and not know where to go. Which is silly, considering I know what the next 20k of this novel should say. It just…gah! I couldn’t focus. Rise of Orion is Mikel’s story, and yet Kierstaz was trying to hijack it at every turn. I kept thinking about every little word and line in Knights, if maybe I could change this or that or add another 20k…about Sark? Or someone. Or something.

There really wasn’t anything to change. It was all done. DONE. I just wanted an excuse to keep working on it. It got so bad that I was messing with the cover art, considering changing the fonts on the spine, just because I couldn’t let go of it.

But once release week happened, it was off of my shoulders. Like letting my kid finally go off to college. Thursday morning I wrote a ton of words on Rise. I started sketching out a possible cotemporary thriller. I daydreamed about picking up my historical again. I’m taking a lot of deep breaths and staring at the final paperback of my second novel and thinking, hey…it actually turned out pretty gorgeous and perfect. I wouldn’t change a word.

In honor of the lovely Damon and Ric gifs gracing this post, I’m giving away one of the last paperback ARCs of Knights of Rilch. It includes a couple of deleted scenes that shall never be seen again, and many an out of place word that was caught in final proofreads. If you want it, simply leave a comment below to be entered.

All done, Kierstaz.

Sophomore Baby: Knights of Rilch (Serengard #2)

Today on the Knights of Rilch Release Day Blitz:
Interview on E.M. Castellan
Deleted Scene on Young Adult Guy
“Darth Vader and the Knights of Rilch” Review at My Random Muse
Review at Darci Cole’s Blog
Review at Amanda Shayne’s Sort-Of-Blog
Review at The Bearded Scribe 

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Today my second book baby goes out into the world to become its own grown-up self!

Throughout all of the excitement of this day, I was overcome with one major feeling: I am so very, very grateful. Being able to publish and share my stories has always been my dream, and to do it well takes a huge amount of hard work. I’ve been blessed to have the best critique partners and editor a person could ask for, as well as supportive friends, betas, and proofreaders who were always willing to read when I needed them.

The Serengard Series started as a sort of fling with fantasy for me, and then it became much more than that. I’ve had my writer fingertips bleed with angst over these novels, the pages hacked up time and again, and finally produced something I’m truly proud of. With Coldness of Marek, it was a heavy, frightening leap. I was scared out of my wits, but I did it. With Knights of Rilch, I’m ecstatic. I know this book is the strongest thing I can write at this point in my life, and that makes me confident and pleased to put it out there.

Everyone who helped produce it, everyone who buys it, everyone who reads it, thank you. Truly.

Available from these booksellers:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

{ Order signed from Author (US) }
{ Order signed from Author (International) }

{ Add to Goodreads }

Nearly a decade ago…Final_WebVersion

When Serengard rebelled and the Orion monarchy fell, former crown princess Kierstaz Orion’s love for her people became a burning desire to set things right. With a price on their heads, Kierstaz and her brother Mikel led a handful of men against the new army, fighting skirmishes all along the border of Dreibourge. But months of heavy bloodshed forced her small band of knights to abandon the border—and all of Serengard—to the rebels.

Nine years and a thousand betrayals later…

Kierstaz and Mikel again find themselves on the run—only this time, they’ve a boy in tow: Malcom, the son of two of the Seren rebellion’s strongest leaders. The new regime wants him dead, Mikel wants him alive, and it’s all Kierstaz can do to keep their tracks covered. Desperate to preserve the innocent life she swore to protect and the brother who has always stood by her, Kierstaz must gamble the last thing in the world she owns: her identity. Secrets are a staple of the Orion family, and those Kierstaz keeps are as dangerous as the ones kept from her.

KNIGHTS OF RILCH is the sequel to COLDNESS OF MAREK, and the second book in the SERENGARD Series.

Mood Board for Knights of Rilch

Today on the Knights of Rilch Blog Tour:
The Playlist Reveal on Darci Cole’s Blog
Writing Craft Guest Post on The Great Noveling Adventure
Review at Madwoman with a Writing Box
{ Full Blog Tour Schedule Here}

I know I haven’t ever done one of these, but with the second Serengard novel coming out tomorrow, I’m kind of crazy pumped and excited and it all just turned into a feels binge. Behold, a Knights of Rilch mood board.

Though she be but little, she is fierce. –Shakespeare





Image credits:
 Beebichu at womenfighters.tumblr.com
iloveeddieredmayne.com
le-petit-francais.blogspot.com
mintysushi.tumblr.com
inspiredromance.tumblr.com
medievallove.tumblr.com

One Week Until Release! First Chapter Teaser

To celebrate the release of Knights of Rilch next Tuesday, I’m putting up the first chapter a week in advance. (Warning! First chapter contains major spoilers if you have not read Coldness of Marek!) AND, the giveaway for four sets of Serengard Trading Cards ends on release day, so if you haven’t entered yet, check it out!

ReleaseBanner

Serengard: Book Two
KNIGHTS OF RILCH

Chapter One

TEV DIDN’T RECOGNIZE THE MAN’S face from this distance. He was a Seren, like many who came through the port towns, but he stopped Malcom in the street and said more than a word to him. That made the hair on her arms prickle, and the instant Malcom turned toward her, the pallor of his skin set her on edge. He hadn’t looked like that since the day they left the cliffs.

“He asked me which month I came here, and I couldn’t remember.” Malcom jerked his nose toward the short little man. “I made one up, but…” He shrugged, petrified fright still stamped on his face.

Tev kept her voice calm. “Have you noticed him anywhere before?”

“No. Wait… Where’d he go?”

“I see him.” Tev slipped around the corner of their tiny flat into the market square—if you could call the sorry mess a market. The man led her through a confusing maze of alleys and stacks of barreled fish, his footsteps fast for someone of his stature. As were hers. Even before she reached him, she knew what was wrong by the few glimpses she caught. His hair was cut close to his head. His fingernails were clean. He was not the kind of man who came here in search of refuge, but he was no slave trader either.

That made him a spy. A hunter.

Tev followed him all the way to the docks, into a narrow passageway between buildings, and grabbed his arm. She was stronger than him and tossed him against the wall without difficulty. He pulled a knife, but she already had one against his throat. She took his with a smile that she hoped gave him chills.

Tev tucked his blade inside her waistband. “Who are you working for?”

He didn’t blink. “Aren’t you forgetting to ask my name?”

“I know your type. I know you’re looking for someone. You can look elsewhere.”

One of his eyebrows raised slowly. “No need to get unpleasant. I can’t think what I did to upset you.”

“You were talking to my son. A man such as you might want to ship him off for the army. He’s too young. Keep your petty fingers off.”

“How old is he?” He was skilled, turning the conversation back on her.

Tev tried a different approach. “You know there’s reward money on most of the people in these parts, but you also know most of us are vicious enough to kill you before you collect, so there’s no reason to be this far west unless you’re looking for family. True?”

A slow grin split his features. “I’m not falling into your little traps, lady.”

Tev let the ghost of a smile drift across her own lips. “Your loss, sir.”

She stabbed him quickly, just below the knee. He cried out in surprise and pain and reached down to grasp at it.

“Should have answered me the first time,” she hissed at him through her teeth.

“You’re a cold woman.”

“You’re not the first to tell me that.” Tev smiled and flicked her long, dusty-auburn hair behind her. She slid an arm under his shoulder. “Not to worry. I’ll have you fixed up by evening, in time for the man to get home. He’ll want to talk to you.”

“Who’s the man?”

“He’s the nicer of the two of us. But he can be mean, too, I promise. Don’t make a sound. Smile and nod. I’ll keep this knife close to your gut all the way.”

No one noticed her limping companion. There were a lot of injured in the moor towns. The only sufficient work was in the mountains, cutting granite, laying road in the cuts, or—if you were lucky—hauling out the scrap. When people were too hurt to work anymore, they came to the moors. Tev had avoided them at first because there were ports nearby—too much access to the world—but she’d soon learned inland was far worse. The Drei had gravitated toward the Four Cities of the former kingdom of Serengard, and those left in the foothills were bitter and suspicious, especially of Serens. And while Tev was slim enough to fit in amongst the slender Drei, her brother had the stocky Seren build and hair far too blond.

Here, there were plenty of drifters and criminals. No one asked, no one told, and no one expected justice for any wrongs done.

She dropped the body of the man on the floor of their tiny dwelling. Malcom’s eyes went wide, and she put a finger to her lips. He had seen a lot in his thirteen years, but he hadn’t seen her let blood the way she was trained to. Not up close, anyway.

“The cellar,” she told him.

He swung open the hatch and helped her lower the man down.

“Are you going to kill him?” Malcom asked.

“Shh.” Tev let the light glint off of her blade. The rest of her was hidden in shadow. She knew she didn’t look all that menacing. She had a tiny frame and a face covered in freckles. They kept her looking younger than her thirty-four years. “I’ll probably have to. He refuses to tell me why he’s here, and we can’t take risks.”

“Can’t you at least wait until he gets home?”

“I might.” She didn’t want to ask Mikel. He came home late every few nights, his deep sword scars well-hidden by a mixture of dried sweat and marble dust. He slipped out with Malcom, and they played at weaponry behind bawdy houses full of patrons too drunk to notice. He didn’t sleep. He didn’t even eat that much. But he seemed happy enough. She didn’t like to disturb his calm.

Besides, it wasn’t his job to protect Malcom. It was hers.

“Did you like the feel of that blade in your leg, Seren?” Tev snapped at the man.

He bit his own lip hard enough to make it white. “I don’t care what you do to me, woman. I’m not here for you.”

“You’re here for the boy.”

“I didn’t say that.”

“Tell me who wants him?”

“No.”

Tev looked up at Malcom. “Go check the windows.”

It was a good distraction for him. She tore the man’s sleeve, stuffed the fabric in his mouth, and made a long, shallow cut up his arm. He didn’t even scream. Not a good sign.

“Did Otreya send you? Are you here to steal him away for the old man? Or have you a more sinister purpose?”

He just shook his head.

“You probably find it quite convenient that you’re in my cellar. If you know who the boy is, you know who had him last. Is it his guardian you seek?”

The flash of recognition was unmistakable. Yes. He was looking for Mikel. And he knew who she was: Kierstaz Orion, alive and well in the slums of Dreibourge. Dermed. Well, she hadn’t meant to let him live anyway.

Tev removed the fabric, leaned close to his mouth, her blade playing on his throat. “Who sent you?”

He smiled, a hideous smirk, and she felt the ripple of instinct run up her spine. “Princess. He’s going to be so happy that you’re still living. We all thought you long dead.”

She gouged his throat quickly, but it still took him a minute to die—a minute in which Malcom completed his task and came back. He saw her hands, wet with fresh blood, and gulped. She couldn’t blame him. His true mother had protected him from the desperate side of life, and his father had been a horrid bastard whom he needed to be protected from.

“We’ll wait until dark to get rid of him,” Tev told him. She climbed out of the cellar and replaced the trap door. It took a few minutes to wash her arms and change her dress. She rinsed the fine dagger as well. It was long and thin with a hitch on each side of the blade, an inch from the hilt. She would have loved to keep it, but it could be recognized.

Malcom stood by the door when she came out of the washroom. He already wore a slight smile on his face. “We should go to the tavern. Blend in. He likely has companions.”

Goblins, the boy was smart.

“He most certainly has companions. Not to worry,” she told him.

It wasn’t quite dark yet, but they had to move. Tev opened the door slowly and slipped out. She reached for Malcom. He took her hand but shook her free as soon as he was in the street.

He was growing tall. It was getting harder to pretend she was his mother. Thank Allel he hadn’t inherited his father’s solid, square jaw or clear, dark eyes, but he did have nicely shaped hands and a swarthy chin that made him look more man than youth. Striking. Everything about Tev was half-tinted—soft freckles, auburn lashes, sandy skin, and a turned-up nose—the look of a girl who would never grow up. Then again, she didn’t look much like her true brother either.

The tavern was filled to brimming with senseless chatter and the tinkling of unskilled musicians, but Tev liked that. It would be easier to hide, and she wouldn’t have to listen to Malcom talk to his friends tonight. The other boys here liked him, and the girls liked him more. The sight of him flirting was always enough to make her stomach turn over. It was the one thing about him that reminded her of his father—his power over people. The boy should be too young to know how to incite that kind of worship from others.

Tonight she tipped her head and led him to a dark corner of the room. Mikel would know to look for them here when he came home. If he did come home tonight. The chance that he might not made her shiver. They might need to run again. Mikel was tired of running, but she didn’t want to leave him here.

“Tell me if you see anyone,” she told Malcom.

He knew how this went. They’d done it in many a village. He was taller, so he watched. She was stronger, so she fought. The hilt of her mid-sized Desert dagger—one she’d taken from an assassin many years ago—slipped into her fingers. She used to think it meant something to her, but like most things she held onto, it failed her much of the time.

“You are sure he would come here?” Malcom said.

“Shh.” Tev frowned at him. She wasn’t sure. She wasn’t even sure Mikel would come back at all this week. He sometimes stayed in the cuts until his food ran out. She didn’t need him; she only needed to know he was safe, and the cuts were as safe a place as any. She suspected that he only came back for Malcom now anyway.

“There,” Malcom said quietly.

“How many?”

“Three.”

“By the Derm.”

“They followed us?”

“Or they were here all along.”

“Who do you think…”

Tev scowled and led the way to one of the back doors. As soon as they were through it, she whirled against a wall. Malcom did not have to be told to do the same on the opposite side. Her heart thrummed. How long had the hunters been searching? These past three years? Would killing all of them force Otreya to start over at the beginning?

The door burst open, and a couple of drunks staggered through. Malcom jumped, threw himself back. He’d almost tackled one of them. Steady, Mal. Tev glanced intentionally away, into the alley, to remind him to watch his back. Malcom was skilled, but he was green, like a man of the long dead and forgotten Guard who hadn’t been blooded.

Another minute dragged past. Waiting was no good. Tev cocked her head to one side and slunk across the alley into the shadows. Malcom followed, his footsteps quiet on the soft mud of the street. Now she had to decide: go north up to the cape, where the shanties were; go west to the sea; or go east, inland—toward the border, the Four Cities, tyranny, and certain death.

East. The only place they wouldn’t expect Malcom to be.

She didn’t have a chance. Twenty feet ahead of her, dressed in black and clothed in shadow. Not three, but five. She turned, and there were two behind them to block the alley

“Tev,” Malcom rasped.

“I see them.”

But there was someone else—a prisoner they pulled out into the road. Mikel. These men weren’t half as tall as him, yet somehow they had him tied with heavy cord and his face shoved into the dirt.

Tev’s hands filled with a rush of blood and her arms throbbed with the new heat.

“Give us the boy and we free him,” one of the dark figures said.

“Don’t do it, Tev,” Mikel said. His head rolled as if he had been drugged.

By the Treacher. Tev blew air through her teeth. She knew how to get out of this. She’d done it before. But people always got hurt. Best plan was to be the one doing the hurting. “I don’t care about the boy. Take him if you like.”

“He’s nothing to you?”

“He’s just a slave boy, has to fight his own battles, same as anyone else.” She spit in the dirt, not sparing a glance for Malcom. “That all you want from me?”

“Yes, that’s all.”

Good. They didn’t know who she was. Her first kill had been fortunate—that one must have been the leader. She sauntered close enough to take in the height and build of each man in front of her, walked up to Mikel, kicked at the dirt under his nose. “Where’d you find this one? Is he drunk? He’s supposed to come home sober.”

“He—”

Tev used the moment to draw her daggers from inside her waist. If the men closest to her saw her move, they realized her intent a moment too late. She drove a weapon through each of their ribs before they could meet her offensive. Those behind had enough time to ready themselves. Three of them were on her in a moment before she’d drawn her sword. Instead she took a knee and turned about in a circle. Her arms twisted and turned fast enough that they couldn’t follow her movements.

Was Mikel up yet?

She heard another moan and knew Mikel was out of the dirt and taking one of them on. Good because there were the two behind Malcom that she hadn’t looked twice at. A haze formed in her vision and helped her focus as she kept her mind on the end of her sword. It was over in a moment, and she whirled to find Mikel standing in the street next to Malcom.

“Is that all of them?” she asked, her voice low. The block was silent, but it wouldn’t be for long.

Mikel nodded and held an arm out. He staggered slightly, but there were two corpses next to where he’d knelt. Another was in the midst of crumpling. Malcom held out a sword, his own. It dripped with blood, as did hers.

Tev slid her arm under her brother. “Can you walk? What did they use on you?”

“I don’t know. Knocked me out. I didn’t even see them.” He shook her free, rolled his head around on his neck. “I can walk, Tev.”

Malcom stood stock-still. The sword in his hand dangled, and then he dropped it. Mikel caught him in his arms just before Tev got to him and took his face between her palms.

“Mal? Speak to me. Malcom.”

His eyes rolled back in his head. She tore open his shirt as his breath grew shallow.

Excerpt Copyright © 2014 by Rachel O’Laughlin.

How Leigh Ann Kopans made me fall in love with Contemporary Young Adult

The title of this post is probably enough to make my sister’s jaw drop, because anyone who’s known me for a long while knows there is no place in my heart for Contemporary Young Adult. I have read (and enjoyed) maybe two contemp novels in the history of ever, and those were adult literary without a hint of romance. What has always fired my mind has been dark, deep intrigue, sweeping epic accounts of desperation and struggle…at the very least, a scary clairvoyant aunt and a tragic arranged marriage must be present. I read every single Dear America and American Diaries book when I was nine, L.M. Montgomery in my teens, and I was a die hard John Grisham and Michael Crichton addict at seventeen. One of my favorite authors ever is Rafael Sabatini, a troubled soul who wrote historical novels in the ’20s and ’30s — always about dastardly characters enmeshed in nearly every event from the 1500’s to 1800’s. Even Sci-Fi and Fantasy has to feel dark and mortal for me to enjoy it.

Unless they loved a girl who randomly stared off into space and couldn’t hold a conversation particularly well, they weren’t gonna want to go out with me.
–Solving for Ex

Today I want to tell you about this book that made my taste flip flop. It’s no secret that I enjoyed ONE and TWO by Leigh Ann Kopans. They reminded me of X-Men and my huge Sci-Fi phase when I was a kid, and the plot was complicated, sinister, and perfectly executed. Naturally, I wanted to read Leigh Ann’s next book, but…it was a contemporary romance. I typically don’t even touch romance unless the book is a few hundred years old and somebody dies. (I mean, Trzl and Mikel don’t get their dysfunctional relationship from nowhere. I love stories where people can’t figure out how to be good to each other.) I tentatively requested the ARC, secretly afraid I might not finish it…like most contemporaries I’ve picked up.

“Shut up,” I said again, much stronger this time. “You have no right to talk to me like that. Fancy parties and truck bed picnics are not an automatic ticket into my pants.”
–Solving for Ex

Unsuspecting, I started into it. Before I’d even made it two chapters, Ashley’s voice grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. I know it will sound weird, but this is the first Young Adult novel I’ve read where I actually related to the emotions of the protagonist on a deep level. Brendan is just the kind of guy I liked in my early teens, but how do you tell a guy you like him if he’s the only real friend you have? Of course you’d be afraid of ruining it. Anyone would be.

Brendan certainly wasn’t trying, and that fact was quickly changing my attitude from sad to pissed off, and it looked like it could head into me not giving a damn.
–Solving for Ex

See, this, this how I remember romance as a teenager feeling. The silence between Ashley and Brendan is deafening. I know that feel by heart. Vincent, on the other hand, is all smooth and doing everything showy — at first — but Ashley has a gut feeling about him that keeps her from getting in too deep too fast. I made many a decision based on that gut instinct. I love seeing that in another character. She’s not perfect by any means, and neither is Brendan. (Oh, gosh, no. He’s not perfect at all. But that’s why he felt so real. Like someone I’m sure I knew.)

Mathletes is everything to Ashley. For her, it’s the only place she gets to be accomplished, admired, and completely in the moment with Brendan. Until Sofia shows up and starts hitting on Brendan and ruins everything. Gahh, Brendan is so blind. Just like many a teenage boy. I can’t stop going on about how freaking true to life these people are. You just have to read this book.

I pictured Vincent there. I’d never seen him even close to dirt, or dirty or sweaty or otherwise disheveled in any way. But I supposed it could happen.
–Solving for Ex

The ending wasn’t what I expected, but that’s all I can say without spoiling it. I loved the whole story so much that I had to buy a few copies of the paperback so I have some to give away, and one for my favorites shelf, obvi, because this is definitely one I’ll be re-reading until it’s dog-eared. I don’t know if there is another contemporary that will pull me in so thoroughly and make me skip meals like this one did, but I have to thank Leigh Ann a million times for making me love something from a genre I formerly hated. I’m reading every single one that Ms. Kopans releases — but I’m sure you already guessed that.

Solving for Ex releases TODAY (!!!) and is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in eBook and paperback. Add it to your Goodreads TBR here, and follow @LeighAnnKopans on Twitter or check out her website for more about her other novels.

1 crush on your best friend +
1 gorgeous, scheming new girl +
1 Mathletics competition =
1 big mess

SIMPLIFY.

Ashley Price doesn’t have much in life after being bullied so hard she had to leave her old school to live with her aunt and uncle in Pittsburgh. But the camera she borrowed from her best friend and secret crush Brendan, and her off the charts math abilities, make things a lot more bearable. Plus, since Brendan is the captain, making the school Mathletes team should be easy.

But when gorgeous new girl Sofia rolls in and steals Brendan, Ashley’s place on the team, and her fragile foothold on the Mansfield Park Prep social totem pole, it’s on. Sofia is everything Ashley left her old school to escape. The only thing Ashley didn’t count on is Sofia’s sexy twin brother Vincent.

Vincent is not only the hottest boy in school, he’s charming, sweet, and he’s got his eye on Ashley. He’s also not taking no for an answer. There’s no real reason Ashley shouldn’t like Vincent, but with the battle lines being drawn between her and Sofia, Ashley’s not sure which side he’s on. Or which side she wants him to be on.

She does know Sofia is trouble with a capital T, and she’s determined to make Brendan see it.

SOLVING FOR EX is a YA contemporary romance that remixes Mansfield Park as Clueless meets Mean Girls in a crazy mix of high school society, mathletic competition, and teenage romance.

Thank You, Every Random Wonderful Person

It just hit me last week.

As I was going over the acknowledgements for Knights of Rilch one last time. Holy crap, I’m actually doing this again. Releasing another book. Thousands of people do it every week, but still. All the planning that goes into it. All the months of plodding through tiny detail work just to get the fonts to line up and the cover saturation just right. All the millions of things that could — and do — go wrong.

It’s massive. I’m feeling extremely humbled to have so much help (you know who you are, and I owe you more than a blog post), but not only that, just to have the support. Everyone who asks me how my day is going. Who cheers me on for writing a few thousand words when I could have spent the afternoon reading or doing the dishes or running errands. You guys, seriously, you’re awesome.

Okay. Just had to say that. If you’re not in my acknowledgements, you’re there in my mind. Every time I see your picture in my Twitter feed or your name in my inbox or your number on my phone, I have a moment of elation and gratefulness that you are in my life, helping me push toward my dreams, and I hope I can do the same for you in some small way. Thank you.

Trading Cards Reveal

HI LOVELY PEOPLE!!!

Yep, I’m shouting today because I am ridiculously excited and thrilled to be revealing eight pieces of artwork based on my novels. I’m not doing it alone — seven of my loyal comrades have agreed to do this with me, and if you don’t know them yet, you should, because they are TOTALLY THE BOMB.

Each character is printed on lovely little 2.5×3.5 trading cards, complete with stats (spoilers!) on the back and a quote that represents them. Four more will be released with the next book, so if you’re looking for a character that isn’t here, s/he is probably coming. These Limited Edition cards are currently available individually or with proof of book purchase while supplies last.

And here they are! Scroll down for a giveaway after you check them out. :)

The Coldness of Marek cards:

The Knights of Rilch cards:

collectorcard-2.5inx3.5in-h-front

Character: Pier

From: Knights of Rilch (Serengard: Book Two)

And now for a giveaway! I’m giving away four sets of cards to three lucky winners. Thanks for stopping by today!
Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

“Waiting On” Wednesday: The Star Thief

I’m going to pick up this nifty little meme hosted by Breaking the Spine and spotlight a book I’ve been looking forward to ever since I heard it was being written. Not sure when I’ll have time to read it, but DUDE! Jamie Grey’s writing makes me fangirl, and hearing that she was working on a New Adult space opera heist/action/thriller or whatever you might call it? Definitely means I’m going off-budget next week to buy the paperback. I’ve been hoping for some expansion in the New Adult category and there’s no one I trust to do that better than Jamie. Watch your feed this coming Tuesday (Feb 4) for buy links!

[Oh yeah, and part of the reason I’m posting about THE STAR THIEF now instead of on release day is because Tuesday is also the day of the artwork reveal for eight original trading cards based on the Serengard Series. Stay tuned.]

THE STAR THIEF by Jamie Grey
NA Sci-Fi
Release Date: February 4th, 2014

She might only be twenty-three, but Renna Carrizal is the most notorious thief in the galaxy. There’s just one problem – all she wants is to get the frak out.

But when Renna rescues an injured boy from the warehouse she’s casing, she finds herself on the run from the mob instead of enjoying retirement on a garden world. Turns out, the kid was a plant to lead her to MYTH, a top-secret galactic protection agency. MYTH needs Renna’s special skills and they make her an offer she can’t refuse – declining will send her straight to a prison ship for the rest of her life.

To make sure she does her job they shackle her with a MYTH watchdog, the handsome but arrogant Captain Finn. A former mercenary-turned-galactic-hero, Finn happens to have his own dirty secrets. Secrets that Renna wouldn’t mind uncovering for herself. Together, they discover the attacks are an experiment to develop illegal cybernetics that will create an unstoppable army.

The intended target? The human star fleet.

Now Renna must use her skills as the Star Thief to pull off the biggest job of her career – saving the galaxy. And herself.

read the first chapter

add to Goodreads

follow Jamie on Twitter

Getting Sick During NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month wasn’t what I expected at all this year. I didn’t have a glowing winning story, so I just slid on through and went on to the next task. But I kind of want to do a little update on it, since I told you guys which novel I was going to work on and was all unicorns and sunshine about it.

Well, it actually went splendidly and terribly at the same time. I got sick in the month of November and didn’t get better until well into December. It seemed like every virus under the sun hit us this flu season. My kids got everything, and there was nothing to do but suffer through and suck down vitamin C. This was, of course, not the best conditions for highly productive writing. I was a sopping mess of headaches and when my head hurts, I don’t do well. I just want to curl up and watch Netflix.

I persevered. I squeaked through November with 50,055 words of novel started. I still owe this baby another 100,000 before it will be a complete draft, but whatever, we’ll talk about that later.

But here’s the thing: for the first November in like forever, I didn’t make my word count every day. I did 3k and 5k days to catch up because I went days with only a measly 150 words or none at all. I felt like a loser. Like I’d never be a serious writer again. But I needed a break, as evidenced by my body breaking down the way it did, and it became more and more obvious that my brain was going to take a break no matter what I thought was okay.

As soon as December was back in full swing, I got my edit letter. And you know what? It didn’t look so daunting. I’d pushed through that crappy month of feeling awful and still got something down on the page. I’d made something of five weeks of couch sitting and stomach clutching and sugar deprivation and I’d made a freaking manuscript, just like I always do. What was 93k of edits? Psssshhh. I breezed through them and have complete ARCs in hand. Just a few proof-reads needed before the final version goes out. BOOYAH.

But those words from November are, surprisingly, not crap. They will need a great deal of revision. I still need to go back and finish the draft. It will probably daunt me like heck to even pick it up again and I’ll wonder again if I’m a failure. But you know, feeling like a failure doesn’t make you a failure. Life is like a first draft…until all of a sudden it isn’t. If you’re learning at all, that is forward motion. You’re going! You’ll get somewhere, even if it’s not where you set out to be. There might be a plot twist, and it could suck for awhile, but then it might turn out to be much nicer than you imagined. And honestly, as I’m about to roll over into full blown release work for Knights of Rilch and sprinty, crazy drafting on the third novel, I’m feeling more and more strength in being agile.

Being able to adjust well has never been my strong-suit, but I’ve been thinking about it and DANNNNGG, if I can bounce back from pregnancy and birthing and breastfeeding at all hours and sleep deprivation and all that craziness happening to my body, I can certainly take what the literary life throws at me. Of course I can. I can take the days when the kids don’t nap and I have to move my writing time to the night or the next day. I can bump a release date if the manuscript just isn’t ready. I can cancel stuff that just isn’t going to work out. And I can take new opportunities as they come.

Happy January, yo. Don’t be afraid to adjust your plans a little in 2014.

Thoughts on the Eve of the Year

Photo by Jenny Kaczorowski http://jennykaczorowski.blogspot.com/

Photo by Jenny Kaczorowski
http://jennykaczorowski.blogspot.com/

I’m an idea person. I dream up far more projects than I can reasonably accomplish. When it comes down to my determination to get things done, I’m terrible. I often don’t get a fire under my butt until the week of–or even the day before–a deadline. With this series, I don’t have that luxury. I have to work on my current novel every single day if I’m to release a quality book in a timely manner. So when I have an occasional day where I sleep in and the kids don’t nap and I’m sick as a dog at bedtime, and I don’t write? I’m a mess. I call myself a loser and weep for the lost hours of writing time. “If I could just write, I would be happy.”

As I’m approaching the end of edits on KNIGHTS OF RILCH right now, I feel like every micro piece of this process is taking forever. Actually, it’s not frustrating me. I’m strangely calm and slow about this. I want to get it right. My attitude is hugely thanks to my charming and brilliant editor, Rebecca A. Weston, who knows how to call me on my dumb stuff and pick on every tiny little word that just doesn’t sit right. I mean, I feel like I’ve been through this manuscript so many times, and she’s still finding a boatload of crap that needs to be combed through and smoothed over. I am ever grateful for her, because I know there is no way I would have the patience or strength to look at this critically for the bazillionth time if she didn’t have mark-ups all over it, forcing me to pay attention.

Final_WebVersion

I’ve had moments when I thought I was behind, but looking at the calendar now, I’m actually right on time. The days just feel like they’re rolling by and I’m not getting anywhere, y’know? But actually, I’m getting everywhere. I’m almost ready to call my second novel done. I’m halfway through drafting my third. I have a cover that just got revealed last week and ARC giveaways up and running. I am so freaking close to being more than a debut author, and I still spend 90% of my time taking care of my family, feeding, clothing, doing laundry, driving, cleaning, changing diapers, and hopefully finding time to shower and take a coffee break now and then. When I’m lucky, I actually get to edit, write, and read for pleasure in one day. Those days are like whipped cream. Fluffy, smooth, impossibly perfect whipped cream. And I get one now and then, on top of my pie and ice cream that is domestic life with two little boys. I should be so thankful and proud of myself.

My New Year’s resolution? Simply to bask in the prettiness and niceness of life. I love everything I get to do with my days. I’m incredibly lucky to be married to an extremely supportive man, who enjoys so many of the same things and shares the same goals. That I can be involved in my kids’ lives and grab an hour here and there to fill pages with words I love. That I have wonderful CPs, betas, and proofreaders who read my entire books multiple times. That I have you, reading this blog and finding my life/books/musings even slightly interesting.

Happy New Year!

Top Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Getting for Christmas

There are dozens of awesome memes around the blogosphere that I’ve avoided thus far because I feel like I don’t have time–I mean, I hardly manage to blog at all. But I couldn’t resist doing something for Christmas, and this version of the Top Ten Tuesday meme (started by The Broke and the Bookish) was just irresistible.

I’m not actually that good about reading new books. Not only do I have two little boys distracting me, I read slowly, I’m an itinerant re-reader, and I critique an awful lot of manuscripts these days. I usually only make it through a measly fifteen new releases a year. But I ALWAYS have a huge wish list of books I am desperate to own and read as soon as I can manage. Here are ten of them:

CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS by Miriam Forster

RUSSIAN WINTER by Daphne Kalotay

TAKEN by Erin Bowman

TIGER LILY by Jodi Lynn Anderson

THE SECRET DAUGHTER OF THE TSAR by Jennifer Laam

FALLING KINGDOMS by Morgan Rhodes

FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS by Diana Peterfreund

THE ASSASSIN’S CURSE by Cassandra Rose Clarke

THE QUEEN’S VOW by C.W. Gortner

THE PROGRAM by Suzanne Young

 

As November Draws Near

I always love to write a post on the eve of NaNoWriMo, and this year I’m especially excited.

I had a harder time than ever deciding what to write. I have the project I SHOULD work on, two that I want to, and one that would probably be easier than any of the other three. This conflict is all pretty unusual for me, because for the past two NaNos I’ve known exactly what I was going to write: a Serengard novel from scratch. But I’ve been working on Serengard non-stop since last November. I rewrote, revised, edited, implemented edits from my line editor and copyeditor, and released my first book. As of right now, I’m in the middle of line edits on the second book and I have 40k of the third book already drafted. I’m afraid I’ll burn out on this series if I don’t take a break.

As silly as this is, I have a chart on my fridge full of pros, cons, and votes. I asked for an opinion from anyone who would give one — family, friends, people I’ve never met — all with a sinking feeling that I would end up drawing straws at the end of it.

But my little [big] chart worked. I tallied up the results and emerged with two victors…and that pushed me into making the decision myself. The pros and cons listed next to a pile of names really put things in perspective for me. The one that I felt would be the most marketable and appealing only got votes from people who know me too well and thought it would be an excellent and relaxing break for me. The other book is so complex and heartbreaking that I’m a little scared to attempt it, yet this is the book that instantly caught people’s attention, even if all I told them was the category and genre. This is the one EVERYONE wants to read.

With my trepidation balanced against everyone else’s overwhelming interest, I’ve decided to try writing my Civil War historical drama, a.k.a. “Sekrit Victorian.”

BUT BUT BUT…if I get into November and decide I just don’t want to do it this month, that I’d rather chip away at my Sekrit Victorian slowly (because some projects are just like that — heck, I already have a 100k draft of it that I’m chucking in the recycle bin), I will fall back on its rating buddy, the spy thriller.

And, of course, I WILL finish drafting the third Serengard novel in December and January, lest it feel neglected and begin to pout.

I’m pumped. Instead of being my whip-cracking, write-til-you-drop month, November is going to be an intriguing dance with some manuscript ideas I’ve had haunting my head for far too long. What’s 1,667 words a day? Piece of cake.

#famouslastwords

Heirs of War Blog Tour: An Interview with the Cynewards

Today I’m turning my blog over to Mara Valderran, a fellow fantasy writer and blogger over at There and Draft Again. Her New Adult fantasy, Heirs of War, is coming out October 13th. I was fortunate to be able to read this novel early, and my favorite part of the plot is the awesome Cyneward characters. It’s their duty to protect the five teenage heroines of the series, and I lurve them. (My favorite is Raemann, in case you were wondering.) First, a bit about the novel.

Seventeen-year-old Zelene doesn’t believe in magic or prophecies. When she’s told she is part of the prophecy foretelling five powerful girls bringing peace to the war-torn worlds, she scoffs. The idea of other dimensions layered on top of the world she lives in is almost as ludicrous as the idea that she might be able to save them. After she is attacked by magic-wielding assassins, she finds she can’t argue with reality.

As their enemies strike, the girls are taken back to their world and discover the ties binding them together. Rhaya has always had an uncanny knack for reading people, but can’t seem to unravel the mystery tying her to Isauria, the new friend she bonded with instantly. For years, Isauria has been dreaming of Terrena, a girl living her life on the run in a magical world ripped apart by the tragedies of war, completely unaware that she is psychically linked to the world she was born in.

Zelene views them all with a distrustful eye, familial bonds or no, and can think of a place or two she’d like to shove the crown she supposedly inherited. When she learns that her long-lost twin Ariana has been captured by the rebels, Zelene’s attitude changes. She doesn’t know how she is supposed to go against an army of magic-wielding rebels when her own ability to manipulate the elements is still locked within her. But can she trust the elders to rescue Ariana when it seems their medieval politics are what brought about the war in the first place? With all that is at stake, the answer becomes clear to Zelene.

Screw the worlds. She’s getting her sister back.

Exciting, right?! So, without further ado, here’s Mara. :)

Mara: Today I am sitting down with the four warriors responsible for watching over the young heroines of Heirs of War. I’d like to introduce the Cynewards. Varrick, the lovably gruff Cyneward to the twins, Ariana and Zelene. Liam the quiet, yet verbose, and terrifying, yet Teddy bear, of a Cyneward to the seer Isauria. Raemann, the always-laughing  and carefree Cyneward to the empath Rhaya. And Kenward, the stoic Cyneward, whose middle name should be Zen, to the healer Terrena. Welcome to your interview, guys.

Raemann: Thank you, Mara. And on behalf of all of us, thank you for creating us. I think you did a great job on me in particular. (winks)

Mara: I’m sure you do. For those who haven’t read the book yet, why don’t one of you describe what a Cyneward is to the audience? Liam?

Liam: Cynewards are the strongest and best of the Athucrean race. We are skilled warriors, trained from a young age to devote ourselves to protecting the Duillaine.

Mara: And how do you know which Duillaine specifically you are meant to protect?

Liam: Whenever a Duillaine gives birth, the four Cynewards of the next generation are present. Once the new Duillaine is born, it becomes evident which warrior is meant to protect her. The bonding ritual is performed, using the blood of the warrior and the newborn Duillaine to seal the connection and awaken the many gifts the Great Mother has bestowed on us so that we might protect the child.

Mara: Your roles are a bit different than the Cynewards before you. What changed?

Raemann: The Prophecy changed everything for us and the Duillaine. When the twins were born, it was apparent that Anscombe was no longer safe for them. They were sent away, and we were sent along with them. We were charged with the task of raising them as our own.

Mara: So you became fathers overnight. Something tells me your training didn’t prepare you for that.

Raemann: No, no it didn’t. Cynewards are taught to be distant and to cut ourselves off from emotions. We are meant to protect the Duillaine until their last breaths, not help them with their boy problems.

Mara: Did you have much of that? Boy problems to deal with?

Raemann: Rhaya went on a few dates here and there, but once her empathic ability developed, she could see through most boys’ intentions. She was always different, so I didn’t have to worry about that much.

Liam: Isauria was much the same. I don’t think she has ever even kissed a boy, to be honest.

Kenward: Terrena only had eyes for Garrett, which was complicated from the start.

Mara: How did you manage to fit Garrett into your lives when you were on the run, Kenward?

Kenward: Not easily, but Terrena insisted. It was lucky that Garrett didn’t ask many questions. His own father was an outlaw, so he was no stranger to keeping secrets and living life on the run.

Mara: Varrick, you were awfully quiet about the twins with that last question. Am I to assume the girls kept you on your toes?

Varrick: Yes and no. Ariana is too trusting and too much of a flirt, so she’s always been a bit boy crazy. But nothing serious.

Mara: Not like Zelene.

Varrick: Kyle’s a good kid. I think he and Zelene will be okay. He’s kept an eye out for her, which helped me out quite a bit.

Mara: How did you balance having two wards when a Cyneward usually has one?

Varrick: I didn’t. I never quite managed it. It would have been easier if I could keep them together, but Sylvanna insisted they all be kept apart. So I did a lot of traveling between the towns they lived in. Ariana’s adoptive parents were treiors, which meant they understood potential threats and tried to keep them at bay. If Ariana wasn’t so damn rebellious and sneaking out all the time, things probably would have been easier. And Zelene…Zelene’s situation with the foster-care system and some of the families she got placed with made things harder.

Mara: She was abused.

Varrick: Yes.

Mara: When your wards feel fear, it triggers something in you. Did you experience this often with Zelene because of her abusive living situation?

Varrick: At first, yes. But after a while, Zelene stopped being afraid. She’s never been one to play victim, so she’d just get angry. Which meant I wouldn’t find out about stuff until after the fact.

Raemann: Congratulations to you on not snapping necks while we were on Dhara, my friend. The amount of restraint it must have taken…

Mara: I agree. Tell me about what it was like living your lives outside of your usual roles as Cynewards?

Raemann: Wonderful!

Liam: (chuckles) Raemann took full advantage of the freedoms Dhara offered us.

Raemann: Like you didn’t, Mr. History Professor.

Liam: I’m fascinated by history. Sue me. You must have owned every business known to man.

Raemann: I invested the startup capital the treiors provided us wisely. I ran a restaurant, opened a skating rink, managed a gas station, and owned my own bookstore.

Varrick: And went on plenty of dates.

Mara: Speaking of…I have one final question, coming from two ladies who have already read the book. Varrick, both Kathi and Jenny would like to know what you are doing for dinner?

Varrick: Eating. Alone. Like I always do and will.

Mara: I can hear the disappointed sighs of women everywhere.

Add Heirs of War on Goodreads

Pre-order Heirs of War on B&N

About Mara:
Mara Valderran has been coming up with stories almost since she could talk, often commandeering her brother’s G.I. Joes to play out her fictional tales alongside her Barbies. Once she hit adolescence and realized playing with dolls wasn’t cool anymore, she started putting her ideas to paper. And she hasn’t stopped since.
Mara has worn many different artistic hats throughout her life. She has dabbled in screenwriting, plucked guitars and basses, toyed with singing, retired from acting, and drawn some pretty mean stick figures in her time. However, writing books seems to fit her best as she finds nothing more fulfilling than creating worlds and characters she can lose herself in.
Mara is more than just a madwoman with a writing box. She lives in the south with her husband and demanding cat. She hopes to one day meet Daniel Jackson from SG1, or at least the actor who played him. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading, playing video games, or spending time at her favorite local coffee shop.

Website: http://www.maravalderran.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormaravalderran
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MaraValderran

Some Books I’m Looking Forward To

I know, I never blog anymore! I’ve turned into a hermit. When I do peek out of the Scrivener doc, it’s to tweet or text a CP and freak out yet again over a missing plot point — which of course wouldn’t be missing if I wasn’t constantly rearranging the events in KNIGHTS OF RILCH. (More on my wild and crazy revisions in this post I wrote for There and Draft Again.)

But today is release day for a book I’ve been excited about, and I thought I’d seize the moment and mention some others I’m looking forward to (once I dig myself out from under all these millions of edits *headdesk*).  And yeah, I realize most of these are Young Adult Sci-Fi. It’s a Sci-Fi year. I’m grooving with it. Because seriously, it’s freaking awesome.

First, Young Adult Sci-Fi ULTRAVIOLET CATASTROPHE by Jamie Grey is out in the world today! I just ordered my paperback and I cannot wait for it to get here. Not that I’ll have time to read something for fun for awhile (nervous laughter), but when I do, eeeekkk!!

Grey_Ultraviolet_web

Ultraviolet Catastrophe by Jamie Grey

Quantum Electrodynamics. String Theory. Schrödinger’s cat. For sixteen-year-old Lexie Kepler, they’re just confusing terms in her science textbooks, until she finds out that her parents have been drugging her to suppress her outrageous IQ. Now Branston Academy, a school run by the world’s most powerful scientists, has tracked her down and is dying for her to attend – as a research subject.
She takes refuge at Quantum Technologies, a secret scientific community where her father works as a top-notch scientist, and begins her new life as girl genius at Quantum High. But the assignments at her new school make the Manhattan Project look like preschool – and Lexie barely survived freshman algebra.
Her first big assignment – creating an Einstein-Rosen bridge – is also her first chance to prove she can hold her own with the rest of QT’s prodigies. But while working with the infuriatingly hot Asher Rosen, QT’s teen wonder, Lexie uncovers a mistake in their master equation. Instead of a wormhole, the machine they’re building would produce deadly ultraviolet rays that could destroy the world. Now Lexie and Asher have to use their combined brainpower to uncover the truth behind the device. Before everyone at Quantum Technologies is caught in an ultraviolet catastrophe.
Next, the sequel to Leigh Ann Kopan’s debut, ONE. I don’t even have to tell you how much I enjoyed that book. I’m even more excited to read the sequel because it’s from Elias’s perspective! Only two more weeks!!!
Two

Coming October 8th, 2013

Two by Leigh Ann Kopans

Elias and Merrin are on the run.
After escaping the Biotech Hub, they thought they could breathe easy, or at least a little easier.  But when bombs slam into the Social Welfare Hub only hours after their arrival, it becomes clear there’s nowhere to hide – and no end to what Biotech will do to get them back.
Their last chance for safety and answers is the Clandestine Service Hub. CS has intel on the real, broader purpose behind Fisk’s experiments , and the newfound knowledge of  the  horrors  hidden  deep within Biotech’s walls sends Merrin back to  recover a secret formula that could ruin the Supers’ world forever—and might just save the lives of the Biotech victims spiraling out of control.
Elias’ sisters are counted among the victims of Fisk’s experiments, and if Elias can’t find and help them, their powers will destroy them–sooner rather than later. Returning to the place it all began terrifies him, but with Fisk ready to make an example out of Merrin, and his sisters’ lives –and the lives of all Supers–hanging in the balance, he might not have a choice. If he can’t find the courage to face his worst fears, Elias might lose more than his newfound powers.
He might lose everyone he loves.
I’ve been following Sarah on Twitter for awhile and I basically love everything she ever says. I’m convinced her book is going to be a treasure trove of all her usual wisdom and wit. Basically, I’m crazy pumped. *grabby hands*
Reclaimed

Coming October 15th, 2013

Reclaimed by Sarah Guillory

Jenna Oliver doesn’t have time to get involved with one boy, let alone two.
All Jenna wants is to escape her evaporating small town and her alcoholic mother. She’s determined she’ll go to college and find a life that is wholly hers—one that isn’t tainted by her family’s past. But when the McAlister twins move to town and Jenna gets involved with both of them, she learns the life she planned may not be the one she gets.
Ian McAlister doesn’t want to start over; he wants to remember.
Ian can’t recall a single thing from the last three months—and he seems to be losing more memories every day. His family knows the truth, but no one will tell him what really happened before he lost his memory. When he meets Jenna, Ian believes that he can be normal again because she makes not remembering something he can handle.
The secret Ian can’t remember is the one Luke McAlister can’t forget.
Luke has always lived in the shadow of his twin brother until Jenna stumbles into his life. She sees past who he’s supposed to be, and her kiss brings back the spark that life stole. Even though Luke feels like his brother deserves her more, Luke can’t resist Jenna—which is the trigger that makes Ian’s memory return.
Jenna, Ian, & Luke are about to learn there are only so many secrets you can keep before the truth comes to reclaim you.
I’ve been hog wild about Cait’s writing ever since I read her debut NA Gothic Romance, Eyre House. I’m not really crazy about New Adult (yet), but I can tell you this: You do NOT want to miss one of her books. You MUST experience her incredible imagination, her knack for nailing descriptions, for amazing characters and beautiful settings.
PW-Front-Cover

Coming October 15th, 2013
Parawars: Uprising by Caitlin Greer

The Paranormal Uprising brought myth and legend out of the shadows and into real life. The war that followed tore the world apart. Two years after the Uprising, twenty-year-old Kendry is learning the hard way that the battle lines aren’t as clear-cut as human versus para. And the hard way means being hunted down by both human militants and para separatists. Trouble is, she has no idea why.On the run with only her mysterious gargoyle guardian, Kendry knows that finding out why she’s on everyone’s most-wanted list will be no easy task. It means charging headlong into a war she’d hoped to avoid, and is woefully unprepared for. So when she realizes that everyone in her life has been lying to her, discovering that she’s somehow the key to ending the war is the last thing she needs. With both sides tearing up the world to find her, it’s decision time for Kendry—keep running, or stand up and fight.

Add to Goodreads | AuthorCaitlinGreer.com

 

And THIS ONE! I’m lucky enough to have an ARC sitting on my Kindle at this very moment, and it’s taking all my willpower not to tear through it.  I need to finish about a kajillion other things before I start a new book, but I read the first two chapters. And ZOMG. You want this book. YOU WANT IT.
Unbreathable

Coming October 29th, 2013
Unbreathable by Hafsah Laziaf

One hundred and fifty years ago, Earth was destroyed, and the remaining humans fled to the dusty red planet of Jutaire, where the only oxygen is manufactured, food is scarce, and death strikes often.
When Lissa’s father discovers Earth still exists, she accidentally inhales the toxic air of Jutaire, and in one breath, discovers she isn’t quite human.
Her father hangs for his discovery, and Lissa knows the Chancellors will come for her, for she saw the Earth that night too. With nothing to lose, she sets out to expose the truth. It isn’t long before she meets Julian, a beautiful boy who can breathe the toxic air like she can – and shows her that the Jute, the original inhabitants of the planet, are more tangled in their lives than she knows.
But the Chancellors are only pawns in a greater game – one where the Jute control everything. Worse, the Jute plan to leave Jutaire for Earth, but to get there, they need her. And they’ll stop at nothing until Lissa is in their clutches, even if they kill every human in the process.
The race for Earth has begun.
Annnnd that’s all for today! But before I go I have to congratulate one of the sweetest, most lovely writers ever, Andrea Hannah, on her book deal! Her Young Adult Mystery, OF SCARS AND STARDUST, sold to Flux yesterday. Gahh, I’m so thrilled for you, Andrea! I’m just…I’m just…THIS MUCH HAPPY:
All right. Enough with the flails and back to revisions. I promise to blog again in the next month. Truly!
–Rachel