Blitz: Lady Of Sherwood by Molly Bilinski

Lady of Sherwood
Molly Bilinski
(Outlaws of Sherwood #1)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: April 24th 2017
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult

Robin of Lockesly was neither the son her father wanted, nor the daughter her mother expected. When she refuses an arranged marriage to a harsh and cruel knight, the deadly events that follow change her destiny forever.
After a night of tragedy, Robin and the few remaining survivors flee to Nottingham. With a newfound anonymity, they start to live different lives. There, she and her band make mischief, robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. But charity isn’t the only thing she wants–she wants revenge.
As the sheriff draws his net closer, Robin’s choices begin to haunt her. She’ll have to choose between what’s lawful and what her conscience believes is right–all while staying one step ahead of the hangman.
Lady of Sherwood is a unique young adult retelling of the beloved Robin Hood legend. Filled with action and romance, this new series follows a teenage heroine through her fantastic, yet dangerous adventures.

EXCERPT:
Other girls—some of the youngest ones from the kitchen—came from the brush. Smoke clung to them like a shroud, and tears had run in rivers down soot-stained cheeks. Ginny, the youngest at six, ran to Jemma and attached herself like a limpet to the older girl’s legs.

“Where is everyone else?” Robin asked, glancing between them and then back at the flaming manor. “Where is—where’s—” Her face heated even as the rest of her body grew chilled, and she stuffed her first in her mouth to muffle her scream.
“We are the only ones.”
Robin looked up at Kitty, surprised to find herself on her knees in the damp grass. She curled her shaking fingers into fists, and then rested them on her thighs. “How—what happened?”
“That man,” the girl went on, absently twisting her skirt in her hands. “The one who’d been courting you… he came for you in the night. When he couldn’t find you, he gathered everyone in the great hall.”
“Except you lot?” Jemma inquired.
“He was hurting her.” Kitty’s eyes took on a glossy quality. “He had Maggie by the hair, and he was hurting her. She had Ginny behind her, protecting her. I—I hit him over the head with a candle stand.”
“We went through the old tunnel,” another voice piped up. Maggie slipped her hand into Kitty’s. “Me and Kitty and Ginny.”
“And my—my mother?” Robin took a deep, shuddering breath.
“She kept her secret. We heard ‘im, shouting. He wanted to know where you was.” Ginny, this time. She wandered away from Jemma, and Robin opened her arms for her to nestle into. She’d helped Jemma look after the younger servants on the sly for years. Whether they’d been orphaned at birth or left to the streets, Jemma had brought them each back to the manor, and she’d given them a home and a hope the rest of the world didn’t offer. “She didn’t tell, Robin. She didn’t tell him where you was.”
“I heard Charlotte say you were gone,” Maggie said quietly. “She’d gone to your mother’s chambers to tell her. Miss Jemma was gone, too, and so was your bow.” She shrugged, a delicate lift of her shoulders. “We all thought you had gone to the field.”
“And she said nothing?” Robin’s heart beat hard against her ribcage.
“Lady was very brave,” Ginny murmured.
“She was,” Robin agreed. “Like you are. You all.” She looked at each of the other girls, who stared back, clearly waiting.
It hit her then—they were waiting for her. With the only survivors of the manor in front of her, and her mother dead—God rest her soul, God hold them all in His hand—it occurred to her in that moment. She was the Lady of Lockesly.


Author Bio:
Molly is a 2013 graduate of William Smith College with a bachelors in chemistry. She puts her science powers to use by day and is a novelist by night (and weekend…and any five minutes she can find). When she’s not writing or working, she’s scoping out coffee shops, exploring her new city (Buffalo, NY), taking day trips to Canada, and putting together puzzles.


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Excerpt: The Laird Of Duncairn by Craig Comer

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About the Book
Title: The Laird of Duncairn
Author: Craig Comer
Genre: Gaslamp Fantasy
The year is 1882 Scotland, and the auld alliance betwixt king and fey has long been forgotten. Men of science, backed by barons of industry, push the boundaries of technology. When Sir Walter Conrad discovers a new energy source, one that could topple nations and revolutionize society, the race to dominate its ownership begins. But the excavation and use of this energy source will have dire consequences for both humans and fey. For an ancient enemy stirs, awakened by Sir Walter’s discovery.

Outcast half-fey Effie of Glen Coe is the Empire’s only hope at averting the oncoming disaster. Effie finds herself embroiled in the conflict, investigating the eldritch evil spreading throughout the Highlands. As she struggles against the greed of mighty lords and to escape the clutches of the queen’s minions, her comfortable world is shattered. Racing to thwart the growing menace, she realizes the only thing that can save them all is a truce no one wants.

AUTHOR BIO:
C:UsersMajankaAppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsINetCacheContent.Wordcraig_author_sm.jpgCraig Comer is the author of the gaslamp fantasy novel THE LAIRD OF DUNCAIRN and co-author of the mosaic fantasy novel THE ROADS TO BALDAIRN MOTTE. His shorter works have appeared in several anthologies, including BARDIC TALES AND SAGE ADVICE and PULP EMPIRE VOLUME IV. Craig earned a Master’s Degree in Writing from the University of Southern California. He enjoys tramping across countries in his spare time, preferably those strewn with pubs and castles.



Excerpt
“What regiment are these soldiers from?” asked Effie. “They don’t appear Scottish.”
Murray’s lips twitched, almost in a grin. “Does it make a difference to you?” She tried to think of a response, but her tongue tied. He couldn’t contain his mirth. “I believe you already know the answer. You strike me as a rather intelligent woman.”
“Don’t let your general hear you say that.”
“The intelligent part, or the use of the word woman?”
Both, she thought. She was woman enough in most men’s eyes, yet her blood was different, and that kept her from ever truly being human. At least in the eyes of people like Edmund Glover and Sir Walter Conrad. And Murray. That thought shouldn’t bother her any more than the others, but it did.
“Newcastle, then,” she said.
“Northumberland Hussars brought up to quell the fey disturbances,” Murray confirmed.
She smirked. The volunteer cavalry unit was well-known for putting down overly-ambitious unions of miners and fishermen. In 1831, it had even fired on its own countrymen. “To protect the interests of the Hostmen, you mean. It is their money that drives this sudden interest in the Highlands, isn’t it? For centuries they have been nothing but barons of the coal trade. Why do they now back a man like Sir Walter Conrad?”
Murray blinked, an expression of surprise crossing his face. “Surely you’ve heard the chatter in the coffeehouses? Coal has had its day. Its supremacy won’t last forever, and the Hostmen want to keep their true monopoly, that on energy. Money and energy drive the world, and there isn’t one without the other nearby.”
“So they fund research into alternatives.”
“And work against other sources they can’t dominate.” He raised an eyebrow. “Namely, stardust.”
The insinuation was clear—the fey were a problem the Hostmen could not control. The hatred of her entire race boiled down to a handful of men who wanted their heirs to live as opulently as they had. A flare of rage swept through her so intense it brought tears to her eyes.

Blitz: The Unseen by Jacob Devlin

The Unseen
Jacob Devlin
(Order of the Bell #2)
Published by: Blaze Publishing
Publication date: May 9th 2017
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult

Crescenzo and his friends may have survived their confounding journey to the enchanted realms of Florindale, but now they find themselves fighting for their sanity and lives while stuck on the other side of the very mirror they set out to destroy.
With their families trapped by a former ally with a crippling fear of the queen, Enzo, Rosana, and Zack must play a deadly game in Wonderland, where shadows are on the move, kings are at war, and one of them wants Rosana dead.
As darkness hovers over the world, the friends must lean on each other and stop the King of Hearts from following through on Avoria’s orders: Break them.

Sequel to:
EXCERPT:
Zack wrinkled his brows. “Who are you? Why have I come to see you? I don’t even know you.”

“You wouldn’t know of Madame Esme. But she certainly knows of you. Lady Fortune keeps painting your name in the cosmos. It would appear there is an important role for you in the journeys of Pinocchio’s son.”
“Enzo,” Zack said quietly.
“Yes.” A chill rippled through the air, and Madame Esme cast a wary gaze around the tent. “Now, Madame Esme has very limited time to speak to you. Please listen carefully.” She lowered her voice, reached across the table, and then seized Zack’s elbow. “I have predicted the death of one of your own . . . the son of Pinocchio. Madame Esme cannot be sure of the circumstances, but it is to take place soon in the realm of wonder.”
Zack yanked his elbow out of Madame Esme’s grip. “What are you saying? Why would you tell me something like that, even if it were true? That’s . . . an evil thing to say.”
The woman edged forward, impossibly calm given the horrible news she delivered. “Madame Esme is never wrong, Son of Pan. Oh, how often she wishes she were! Avoria arrived seven days ago, and what a mess we have become! The lands of Roma are falling to ruins once more. The Grand Canyon crumbles to dust as we speak. Avoria seeks a territory in which to build her citadel, and nothing will ever be the same. But the son of Pinocchio is destined to lead us all to battle. Thus, we need you, Son of Pan. We need you all to dethrone Avoria and restore peace. But if The Carver dies, hope dies with him.”

Author Bio:
When Jacob Devlin was four years old, he would lounge around in Batman pajamas and make semi-autobiographical picture books about an adventurous python named Jake the Snake. Eventually, he traded his favorite blue crayon for a black pen, and he never put it down. When not reading or writing, Jacob loves practicing his Italian, watching stand-up comedy, going deaf at rock concerts, and geeking out at comic book conventions. He does most of these things in southern Arizona.


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Review: The Waterfall Traveller by S.J. Lem

The Waterfall Traveler
S.J. Lem
Publication date: April 19th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

All eighteen-year-old Ri wants is to cure her adoptive father Samuel from his hallucination-inducing illness. Everyone in her village tells her it’s impossible. But when she meets two newcomers in the forest—a gruff rogue with a vendetta against the gods and a charming fugitive who saves her life—she’ll be torn away from Samuel and swept across the sea to an oppressive city governed by a ruthless tyrant. Once there, she’ll not only have to confront Samuel’s unlawful past, but a vicious evil that threatens all mankind.
In this tale of bravery, friendship, and unforeseen love, Ri risks it all to save those she cares for. But if she prevails, she’ll find the one thing she yearns for most—a cure for Samuel.

Review

Weaving fantasy and science fiction together, this booked (aimed at YA readers) takes you on a tale through different realms as the heroine (Ri) attempts to get back to her village and restore the safety of mankind across the kingdoms. The book is well-paced with the action and danger building to a visually stunning crescendo, the author is particularly adept at describing her unusual settings, allowing the reader to feel truly transported with the characters.
The cast of the book is quite large – from un-met tyrants (who I hope we will meet later in the series) to mystery Goddesses and mystical floating spheres, the book hints at a deeper story to be further expanded, and I for one would be keen to read a prequel about Samuel. This book mainly revolves around a core group of Ri, her two love interests, Carter and his sister. Together the group form a motley crew with various talents useful to surviving in strange and unpredictable lands.
The characters grew as the book developed, I found Carter’s lewd jokes and sarcastic tone really livened up the book and he was by far my favourite character, however I am mindful that the nature of these comments may be too mature for some YA readers.  Ri is not the strongest of heroines and I would have loved to see her develop some more independence and needing to be rescued a little bit less, Malory constantly refers to her as ‘girl’ which annoyed me, Ri is sold to us as an 18-year old with the fate of several lands on her shoulders, she should be far beyond being called girl by a renegade misfit who has a date with oblivion. There was scope for Ri to mature into a true warrior but I never felt like she met her potential – however this book hints at being part of a larger series and maybe Ri just needs a few more life and death situations before she becomes a kick-ass protagonist.


Author Bio:
S.J. Lem is a digital art director gone writer in hopes of expanding her creative aspirations. Whether it’s introducing dimensional characters, crafting imaginative worlds, or transporting readers into high-stakes adventures, she strives to deliver an immersive experience.
She lives in Chicago with her husband and son. When not writing, she enjoys pottery, gardening, and volunteering. Connecting with readers and fellow writers is one of her greatest joys.



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Review: Memortality by Stephen H. Provost

Memortality
Stephen H. Provost
Publication date: February 1st 2017
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Paranormal

Minerva Rus can raise the dead. And it might get her killed.
Minerva’s life has never been the same since the childhood car accident that paralyzed her and killed her best friend, Raven. But when the long-dead Raven reappears in her life, now as a very attractive grown man, she discovers that her photographic memory has the power to bring the dead back to life … heal her paralysis … and shape reality itself.
Pursued by a rogue government agent who wants to eliminate her and her talents, Minerva must learn to control her powers to save herself and Raven. Because if she dies, he dies as well―again.

Review
Due to a car accident Minerva finds herself wheelchair bound and in the care of her negligent mother and she lost her best friend (and love interest Raven) She’s down on her luck but not defeated!
I found this action packed novel to be fast paced and exciting! It’s so much more than a story of a life changed forever and a love lost! It’s a story of love (obviously) but also with a healthy dose of mystery and suspense!
The author skillfully draws you to Minerva as a strong character and you can’t help but love Raven to! It’s a tale of determination and grit and one you should definitely add to your list
What I wouldn’t give to be able to do anything that I put my mind to, literally! Although this may be a cautionary tale of what can happen if you could! 

Author Bio:
Stephen H. Provost is an author of paranormal adventures and historical non-fiction. “Memortality,” his debut title on Linden Publishing’s new fiction imprint, Pace Press, is due out in February 2017 and is available for pre-order on Amazon.
An editor and columnist with more than 30 years of experience as a journalist, he has written on subjects as diverse as history, religion, politics and language and has served as an editor for fiction and non-fiction projects. His book “Fresno Growing Up,” a history of Fresno, California, during the postwar years, is available on Craven Street Books, and his next non-fiction work, scheduled for release in June of 2017, will examine the history of U.S. Highway 99 in California.
In addition, the author has published several books as Stifyn Emrys, beginning in 2012 with “The Gospel of the Phoenix” and also including the nonfiction works “The Way of the Phoenix” and “Undefeated.” He also has published three works of fiction: “Feathercap” (children’s); “Identity Break,” (young adult science fiction/adventure) and an accompanying novella, “Artifice.”
The author served as editor of four young adult novels: the “Mad World” series by Samaire Provost – “EPIDEMIC,” “SANCTUARY” and “DESPERATION” – and the award-winning “Lorehnin: A Novel of the Otherworld,” Volume 6 in the Otherworld series by Jenna Elizabeth Johnson. He has worked in journalism as a news editor, sports editor and reporter for four daily newspapers in California, and is currently managing editor for an award-winning weekly, The Cambrian. He has worked as an educator and has been featured at occasional speaking engagements.
He lives on the California coast with his wife, stepson, cats (Tyrion Fluffybutt and Allie Twinkletail) and dogs.


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Blitz: July Lightening by Shannon A. Thompson

July Lightning
Shannon A. Thompson
(Bad Bloods #4)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: May 1st 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

From best-selling author Shannon A. Thompson comes an exciting new duology in the Bad Bloods universe.
Sixteen-year-old Caleb has been called many things: a patient, a musician, even a prostitute…now he has a new name—son. After his identity is uncovered, Caleb bands together with the family he once rejected in order to save the city of Vendona. But it won’t be easy. Enemies wait around every corner—and so do harsh realities. With Violet and Kuthun by his side though, nothing seems impossible. As Vendona sits on the verge of an economic collapse and a massive hurricane threatens the city, Violet and Caleb must show its citizens how to overcome decades of hostility and division to save themselves.
Standing or not, a sea will rage, a wall may fall, and all will depend on immortal pain and sacrifice.

EXCERPT:
Everyone in the Pits called the fifteen-year-old Skeleton, for obvious reasons. Supposedly, the bad blood had been born a normal, healthy baby boy, but, over time, his skin unraveled and revealed pieces of bone. Somehow, defying all science, the boy continued to live. The last time I’d seen him, his right arm and chin showed bone, but now, half his face and all his fingers had contorted to the haunting shape. Even Adam cringed.

“You here to fight?” Skeleton asked, eyeing both Adam and me.
I attempted to answer, but Adam shouted over me. “You work here?”
The betrayal Adam felt was one I would never comprehend, even if I wanted to. Adam was a bad blood. To see a fellow bad blood protect the Pits that killed his kind went beyond my human pain. I volunteered to fight. Bad bloods often didn’t. Moments like this reminded me why Kuthun slapped me when I told him I wished I was a bad blood. Just because I sympathized with them and loved them, lived with them and listened to them, did not mean I would ever be one. I could never feel the same emotions Adam did, and Adam couldn’t comprehend mine.
“The humans aren’t the only ones who see value in bad blood.” Skeleton egged Adam on, and Adam fell for it.
“You mean, your blood.”
The boy’s bony fingers rattled against the door. “Of course,” he said, then smiled. The addition of teeth only made the bony boy look worse.
“You’re one of us,” Adam snapped. “How could you—”
I stepped in front of my cousin. Thankfully, my actions stopped him. “We’re here to talk to Connelly,” I said.
The lanky, crass kid looked me over and stepped aside, but as we passed, he gave in to temptation. “If you need a tag for the bad blood, let me know.”
Adam knocked the boy out cold before I could stop him. That was how fast his powers worked. And, for once, I didn’t feel the need to reprimand him.
“You know you have to fight if you hurt the workers,” I said.
“No one will know,” Adam said as he strode past me. “You’re good at keeping secrets, right?”


Author Bio:
Shannon A. Thompson is a young adult author, avid reader, and a habitual chatterbox.
As a novelist, poet, and blogger, Thompson spends her free time writing and sharing ideas with her black cat, Bogart, named after her favorite actor, Humphrey Bogart. Her other two cats bring her coffee. Between writing and befriending cats, Thompson graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis on creative writing, and her work has appeared in numerous poetry collections and anthologies. Represented by Clean Teen Publishing, Thompson is the best-selling author of The Timely Death Trilogy and the Bad Bloods duology. When she is not writing, she is climbing rooftops, baking cookies, or watching murder shows in the middle of the night, often done with her cats by her side.
Visit her blog for writers and readers at www.ShannonAThompson.com.


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Review: Legacy of the Mind buy H.R Moore

Lux and Legacy of the Mind
H.R. Moore
(The Legacy Trilogy #1)
Publication date: January 2nd 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult

Anita has never been ordinary, she’s stuck out like a sore thumb her entire life; not only can she see the energy of others, a rare skill, but she’s won every Body challenge she’s ever entered. So when the powerful, good looking Descendants, Marcus and Alexander, mysteriously arrive in Empire, her difference attracts and keeps their attention.
Once in Empire, the sudden death of ruling Body Descendant, Christiana, sets in motion a number of events; a quest for the treacherous Austin to find the girl Christiana had been looking for; a challenge where Anita stands out more vibrantly than ever before; a perilous dip in the world’s energy; and a dangerous belief among the people that they will never truly be free. Powerful factions soon form within the ruling elite and when a trusted friend and mentor reaches out to ask for Anita’s help, she has to make a choice; help her friend and betray the one she loves, or do nothing and watch the people starve.

Review
I was really intrigued by the synopsis of this book and I wasn’t disappointed when I started to read
I instantly warmed to misfit Anita and her friends and instantly hated Austin! I loved how she fought against the norm and had a who cares kind of attitude but deep down she had the same insecurities about what people thought and about drawing attention to herself. It made her immediately easier to relate to! 
The only thing I thought that would put me off was the romance factor but actually it was more true to life than you sometimes find in any romance book.
The world building in the book is good and the author is talented at drawing out the readers imagination and I’m pretty sure everyone will have the same image of the impressive temples in there minds eye! 
I’m really interested to carry on with this series! I can’t wait to find out what happens next!
Nat


Author Bio:
Harriet was born in Germany in 1987, the family returning to the UK, to Dorset shortly afterwards. She lived there until she was 5, her grandfather teaching her the basics of cheating at cards and swindling chocolate, her mother starting to instil a (some would argue) unhealthy relationship with cake, and the neighbours demonstrating that some people don’t understand cherry blossom is there to be picked, mixed with mint and water and sold as perfume.
Then there was Scotland; stealthy guinea pig breeding, riding horses, advanced cards, more cake, then to Devon and school in Exeter. She loved maths in the early years, but by the time she got to A Level, Sociology was her favourite subject, opening her eyes to things she’d never before considered, namely, nobody is really right, nobody is really normal and primary socialisation has a lot to answer for.
At the age of about 12, Harriet started rowing for Exeter Rowing Club. This quickly took over her life and before too long she was clad in lycra, training 6 days a week and competing at events around the country.
After finishing her A Levels, Harriet went to university in St Andrews, studying Philosophy for two years, then switching to Management. She was particularly interested in the ‘people’ elements of her course and especially the areas concerning how people create and react to change. After four very civilised years by the sea, she ventured to London, to foray into the strange world of insurance (surprisingly, more interesting than you might think), where she currently works as a Project Manager.
Harriet has recently moved to Hertfordshire with her husband Chris and baby Atia. When she isn’t doing DIY, writing, editing, eating, taking photos, or imagining how much better life would be with the addition of a springer spaniel, she occasionally finds the time to make hats.


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Disclosure: The Pursuit of Bookiness received a copy of this book free of charge in return for an honest review.  All opinions are our own

Blitz: Rise of the Sea Witch by Stacey Rourke

Rise of the Sea Witch
Stacey Rourke
Publication date: June 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Details of the sea witch’s banishment have been exaggerated. The body count that preempted it was not. Once an illustrious princess, her hands and tentacles were stained with the blood of thousands. No one could comprehend how the hooks of madness dragged her down from her life of privilege.
Born Princess Vanessa of Atlantica, the ambitious young royal was one of two children born to the great King Poseidon. She and her brother, Triton, were groomed from birth to rule. Yet only one would ascend that coveted throne. While carefree Triton flits through his training with a cavalier demeanor and beguiling charm, Vanessa’s hunger for her father’s acceptance drives her to push herself to the limits of magic, and combat to become a leader worthy of her people.
When war against the humans ravages their once regal kingdom, political sides are chosen. Factions from the seven seas challenge the existing leadership, pitting Vanessa against her brother in a vicious battle for the crown. Traitors are exposed, dark family secrets revealed, and a once strong sibling bond is strained to its breaking point.
Only when the ink black waters from the ultimate betrayal rescind, will the truth be known of how the villainous sea witch rose with one name on her vengeful lips–Triton.


Author Bio:
RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel
Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012
Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013
Readers’ Favorite Silver Medal Winner for Crane 2015
Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Reel Romance Series. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head.


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Review: Rise of the Branded by Scott Keen

Rise of the Branded
Scott Keen
(Scar of the Downers, #2)
Publication date: November 22nd 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Pursued into the wild by the soldiers of Ungstah, former slave Crik and the other freed Downers encounter the magical and terrifying nature of their world. They face spectral Shepherds, man-eating Rukmush, and the ancient giants of the earth. When two of their group are captured, Crik is distraught and powerless.
Meanwhile back in the city, Durgan, former Captain of the King’s Guard who allowed Crik and his friends to escape from Ungstah, is now a Downer, one of the Branded. Amid the murmurings of an uprising among the Branded, Durgan just wants to be left alone to search for his missing son. But in the process, he discovers how dark the powers of Sulfus the king truly are. Durgan must take a stand in the coming war between the Branded and the powerful armies of Sulfus.
To kill any hope of escape for the city’s Branded, the army comes after Crik and his friends to make an example of them. The answers for Durgan, Crik and freedom for all Downers lie hidden in the dark recesses of the Northern Reaches, in the treacherous places Crik and his companions are about to enter.

Review
This book follows nicely on from book one with the Downers escaping from Ungstah so I think to get the full depth of the novel don’t pick this one up as a standalone 
The author is a very talented storyteller with an excellent imagination! I found the book entrancing and loved the authors attention to detail!
The book is explosive and action packed. It’s full of drama and even a dramatic rescue!
I anticipate that there will be more of the same in book three if this one is anything to go by and am keen to see how Crik’s adventure continues to be explored! 


Author Bio:
Scott grew up in Black River, NY, the youngest of three children. While in law school, he realized he didn’t want to be a lawyer. So he did the practical thing – he became a writer. Now, many years later with an MFA in script and screenwriting, he is married with four daughters, two of whom he home schools.

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Blitz: Immortal Fire by Annette Marie

Immortal Fire
Annette Marie
(Red Winter Trilogy #3)
Publication date: April 11th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult

Once, Emi believed the heavenly gods were righteous and wise, while the earthly yokai spirits were bloodthirsty and evil. But with a traitorous deity poised to destroy her world, and the yokai standing as humanity’s only defense, the lies of her upbringing have toppled to reveal a far more terrifying reality.

Despite the looming threat, Emi can’t escape her greatest distraction: Shiro, the fox yokai who has so deftly claimed her heart for his own. Soon—too soon—she will have to break the curse that binds his magic and memories. And once the ancient power inside him awakens, the yokai she loves will be changed forever.
As the earthly gods gather to wage war against the heavens, Emi and Shiro must gamble everything to turn the tide against their immortal, all-powerful foes. Together, they will find a way to save her world—even if it means losing each other.


Each book in the Red Winter Trilogy includes ten stunning illustrations by award-winning artist Brittany Jackson.
This is an exclusive preview of one illustration featured in Immortal Fire.
EXCERPT:

Violent shivers pulled Emi from the depths of sleep. The chill in the room cut right through the layers of blanket and kimono, and her toes ached from the cold. Curled in a tight ball beneath her blankets, she exhaled harshly, half expecting her breath to fog the air.
Beyond the thin partition that separated her sleeping quarters from the rest of the room, the windows rattled in a fierce wind. A winter storm? A feverish ache throbbed in her muscles, though she didn’t think she had slept for more than a few hours.
Yawning, she forced her tired body off the futon. Cold hit her like a splash of frigid water but even that wasn’t enough to dispel her drowsy daze. A short, fumbling search uncovered no extra blankets in the closet within her small alcove. Wrapping an arm around herself for warmth, she slid a panel open and peeked into the main room.
The remains of Shiro and Yumei’s late dinner had been cleared from the table, and the unlit brazier was devoid of light or warmth. Across the room, a second futon had been laid out near Shiro’s, and dark shapes filled both.
Trust the yokai to sleep right through the freezing cold. Behind their futons was a larger closet where bedding was stored. Surely there would be an extra blanket in there. She stumbled toward it in exhaustion. Her chest felt hollow and empty, and some of the chill that plagued her emanated from within.
As she crossed the room, an icy breeze rushed across her. Jerking back a step, she turned toward the sliding garden doors. A six-inch gap revealed the night-swathed garden beyond, where snow flew almost horizontally in the wind.
Why on earth had they left the door open? With a tired scowl, she yanked it shut. The room immediately felt warmer. Shaking her head, she stopped at the foot of Shiro’s futon, the light from the window glimmering on his white hair. Not that long ago, she had woken him from a nightmare, and he had thrown her into a wall before rousing enough to realize he was about to rip her throat out. Attempting to sneak between their futons to reach the closet was probably unwise.
“Shiro?” she whispered. “Are you awake?”

He didn’t stir. Neither did Yumei, who slept on his back with his head turned away, his hair splayed untidily across his face in a way that was very unlike the usually reserved yokai. He rarely slept when anyone else was nearby, at least as far as she’d seen. Maybe her ki had tired him.
“Shiro?” she tried again more loudly.
When he again didn’t move, not even a twitch of his ears, a nervous prickle climbed her spine. Shiro
wasn’t that deep of a sleeper. And why hadn’t her clumsy banging of the garden door woken them? A spike of adrenaline cut through her drowsiness as she realized how unlikely it was that Shiro and
Yumei would go to sleep with a door ajar. Had the wind blown it open? Or … something else?
She scoured the room, but it was clearly empty. Biting the inside of her cheek, she stepped between the futons and crouched.
“Shiro,” she called. “Wake up!”
No reaction. Hoping he wouldn’t attack her, she touched his shoulder. He slept on, eyes closed, face slack. Her apprehension intensified into real fear.
“Shiro!” She gripped his shoulder and shook it, but he still didn’t wake or so much as stir. Was she dreaming? Was this a nightmare? She spun around and reached for Yumei.
“Yumei, wake up! Please wake up!” She shook him but he was as unresponsive as Shiro. In desperation, she hit his shoulder with her open palm, yelling his name. “What’s wrong with you? Wake up!”
As she turned, intending to grab a handful of snow from outside to shove in Shiro’s face, the air above him shimmered strangely. She went rigid, squinting into the darkness.
A shadow took form. A small body, thin limbs, ragged black hair. The ghostly child crouched on Shiro’s chest, her blank, bottomless stare fixed on Emi.
Her heart thudded in her ears. A kanashibari, the dream-weaving yokai that had been watching Emi in the bath. That was what she’d forgotten to warn Shiro about! And now it was sitting on him, and he wouldn’t wake up.
She lurched back to Yumei. A second kanashibari appeared before her, perched on his torso. The new one, another little girl with short, stringy hair and a pale kimono, looked up at Emi with empty black eyes.
The child’s lips pulled up in a rictal grin, and her tiny arm shot out.
Emi shoved the yokai away, but her hands passed right through the spectral body, feeling nothing but frosty air.
The yokai reached for her face and a small, frigid, solid palm pressed against her forehead. A wave of burning ice surged into Emi’s skull, blanketing her thoughts. Impossible, unyielding drowsiness crashed through her.
Before she could react, before she could even think about resisting, she collapsed on top of Yumei’s unconscious body and slid into darkness.

The complete trilogy:
Available now on Amazon!


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


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