Friday, February 26, 2021
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
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USA Today bestselling author Krystal Pena resides with her four children near Boston, MA. She writes paranormal romance, urban fantasy and fantasy, and enjoys writing stories about strong women who overcome the greatest obstacles to achieve their dreams or goals. Many of her characters reflect her and the adversities she has overcome, which she wants to relay in her writing to empower the young women of generations to come. Many of her stories have roots in ancient ideals and folklore, and she loves hiding alternate meanings or symbolism in her writing.
Aside from writing, Krystal enjoys photography, archery, horseback riding and MMA. She loves history and art, and frequents historical sites and art galleries in her spare time. Above all else, she loves being at home, baking and cooking with her children, visiting her family and reading bedtime stories.
She works as a personal assistant to other authors by day and writes late into the night, a strong cup of coffee always within reach.
Krystal is also one-half of USA Today bestseller KM McKenna, which she shares with New York Times bestselling author Margo Bond Collins in writing YA/NA fantasy. She enjoys working alongside Margo as both co-author and PA.
Amazon Author: https://www.amazon.com/Krystal-Runkis-Pena/e/B01G470KPM
Blitz created by YA Bound Book Tours
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Fans of YA horror and science fiction, read the excerpt from Reaper: Aftermath and then download your own copy! Be sure to check out the rest of the tour for even more. Best of luck entering the giveaway!
Five years have passed since the Reapers invaded Earth and tore it asunder. Gregory, his mother, Trent, and their group of scavengers hunt the decimated wastelands for survival.
But when a sudden Reaper attack forces Gregory through a Reaper door, he finds himself in a bizarre place, one that may provide answers to the Reapers’ past and where they came from.
Can Gregory put together the pieces of the past and find his way home, or will he just become another human casualty in the lost war against the Reapers?
Inside the grocery store was just as run-down as it was outside. The late afternoon sun did little to illuminate the space, but our flashlights revealed uneven aisles with busted shelves, dirt and litter-caked tile floors, and thick layers of dust everywhere.
There was a foul stench like rotting flesh that I attributed to the Reapers that had been hiding here. They’d most likely come charging out because we’d unearthed their nesting spot, but their bravery to reveal themselves in daylight was still unnerving. I’d never seen that happen before.
Mom had me stay with the noncombatants while she and the other sharpshooters scoped out the store for signs of Reaper offspring. Female Reapers laid large basketball-sized eggs in nasty gray-veined sacs. The slightest sound could awaken them, and they were formidable due to their size and speed.
Luckily, Mom and the sharpshooters came back momentarily and gave us the all clear. She had us split up in pairs of two, and we each took an aisle to stash supplies. I got paired with a mousy girl named Meredith who pretty much lived at the library back home. We rounded the corner of aisle four, canned goods, and I groaned when I saw its meager contents.
Cans sparsely populated the slanting shelves in tiny rows, a few dozen or so on each side. This was it? After risking our lives to get in here? I wondered how much of the food would still be good. Preservatives or not, it had been five hellish years. Nothing was exempt from that.
“I’ll take the right side,” I told Meredith. I walked ahead of her to my side of lopsided racks as I unzipped my large supply bag. I shone my light on the first can I saw. Sliced Beets. I recoiled. Grandma food. I begrudgingly threw the can and a few identical ones behind it into my bag, then moved on to the next row.
Dinty Moore beef stew. I chuckled to myself. More like dog food. After a couple minutes of scrounging I was done with my side, and boy was it depressing. Turnip greens, diced rutabaga, menudo. What the hell happened to carrots and green beans, peaches and pineapple? I didn’t even want to think of what monstrosities the cooks would make out of this stuff back home.
I glanced back at Meredith. She was looking over the cans meticulously, taking her time before placing each one in her bag. Geez, what was her damage? Our job was simple; put the goods in the bag and go. At her speed, we wouldn't get out of here until nightfall when the Reapers came out in droves.
I tried waiting for her, but my patience wore out. In my frustration, I noticed the back aisle of the store. Several rows of knickknacks laid virtually untouched, and I weighed my options.
What was the harm? The others weren't that far away, and with Mom's birthday just weeks from now I had to find a present for her. I walked ahead in slow cautious steps, entering the back aisle. No one else was here. In front of me and panning to my left were the racks of trinkets I’d seen. This side of the aisle ended in a back room separated by tall, thin sheets of plastic. To my right was a freezer section. Whatever was in there had long since spoiled without electricity.
I rummaged through rows of untouched doodads, clouds of dust rising as I went. Most of it turned out to be junk: small stuffed teddy bears, fake jewelry, pinwheels, and other cheap crap. When I unearthed a small globe-shaped object, I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but as I brushed it off I couldn’t help a small squeal of excitement.
Mom always had a fascination with snow globes. I guess she just thought they were beautiful. This one said Billings, Montana and had a small, insignificant skyline. When I shook it, little flurries inside stirred to life. I smiled. She was going to love it.
I set my supply bag down on the ground, shuffling cans around to make room for the trinket down below so no one would see it. As I sorted through my supplies, one of the cans fell out and rolled down the dirty tiled floor to the entrance of the back room before settling. I groaned to myself and walked over before picking up the can. Sliced beets. I shook my head and chuckled. Fucking beets, man.
Suddenly, all the hairs on my body stood on end. I jerked my head up just in time to see a tall dark silhouette lurking behind the thick lines of plastic. Fuck, fuck, fuck!
As I backed away, the Reaper emerged from the back room into the aisle. This one was just like the other two we’d killed, boils, teeth, foul odor, and all. But unlike before, there was nothing between it and me.
“Reaper!” I spun around and bolted, only to catch my feet on my own supply bag. I went plummeting to the ground, cushioned by trash and dirt.
The monster gave a horrendous howl of rage just feet away, and I scrambled forward futilely. It was all over. At this range, there was no way I could esca--
Several thunderous gunshots sounded ahead of me, followed by a wail of pain from the Reaper. I looked up. It was Carlos, one of the only noncombatants with a gun.
“Get behind me!” he shouted.
I double-timed my crawl to him as he fired several more shots at the Reaper, the last one ending in a click from his gun. Carlos’s face went white. Oh shit, he was out of bullets! I closed my eyes in defeat, expecting the Reaper’s long claws to rake into my back and through my body at any moment. Instead, all I felt was a rush of air as the Reaper leaped over me and charged Carlos.
He punched and kicked fruitlessly as the Reaper grabbed him and lifted him into the air. It gave a hideous screech as it shoved Carlos headfirst into the glass door of the refrigerated section, keeping its grip on him. As it removed Carlos, I fought the vomit that lurched up my throat.
Large glass shards embedded in his face jutted out in all directions, blood flowing freely from each wound. He gave a gurgled cry before the Reaper threw him down to the floor.
Loud footsteps echoed closer to us.
“Over here!” I called out.
As Mom and several others entered the aisle, the Reaper lifted its razor-sharp claws, bringing them down on Carlos.
A deafening hail of bullets pounded all around me. I sank to the ground, covering my ears and closing my eyes until the carnage quieted. When I opened them again, the Reaper was in front of me, lying on the floor in a pool of its own black blood. As I set my eyes on Carlos, I gaped in horror. We were too late. Carlos was dead.
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Friday, February 19, 2021
By: Shirley Anne Edwards
About the Author:
Shirley Anne Edwards is a Northeast girl who first found her love for books when she read Nancy Drew’s The Secret of the Old Clock Tower at thirteen. Shirley found her love for writing at a very young age, and since then has let her imagination run wild by creating quirky characters and vast worlds in her head.
Shirley lives in New Jersey and works in the entertainment industry in New York
In the immortal words of Mark Twain: “Life is short, Break the Rules. Forgive quickly, Kiss SLOWLY. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably and never regret ANYTHING That makes you smile.”
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
by Keelan Storm
February 15-19, 2021
Buy on Amazon
I love the relationship that these characters have with each other. Naturally, Annie and Izzy are going to be close because they are twins. But there's so much more than that. They have grown up together and their lives are very intertwined. And isn't it every girl's dream to fall in love with her best friend?
It's a coming of age story in the sense of first love, first loss, first time. There are a lot of emotions as the twins and their family are still mourning the loss of their father the previous year. Friendships are multidimensional and we don't always like everything that our friends do, leading to feelings of betrayal, even when their concerns are for our benefit.
Relationships are complicated. Being a teenager sucks. You are still a kid and yet you have to make a lot of adult decisions, especially in this story. I could really feel the conflicts within these characters as they had to make difficult decisions.
I think what I appreciated most about this book was its length. Too often, books are written in shorter formats and move along very quickly to wrap up everything in a pleasing ending. This one took the time to really show the ups and downs of the situation the kids find themselves in so that it couldn't all be wrapped up in 120 pages. It felt more real to me that way. I also felt like it touched on a lot of real situations that teens can find themselves in. I will say that I wish there had been better resolution with Wesley, though.
I really became invested in these characters and their story. I'm glad to know that their story continues in future books and will have to check those out as well.
Thank you to YA Bound Book Tours and the author for a requested review copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Three things to describe yourself…
Patient, Laid Back, ObservantWhat do you like to do in your free-time?
My best friends all live in my neighborhood, so hanging out with Tucker and the twins is always at the top of the list. Parties are great, too. I do the sports thing like a lot of guys. Football team. Captain of the wrestling team. But surfing beats either of those any day.When did you first know you were in love with Annie?
I’m also really into cars. My dad’s a mechanic, and he’s been teaching me everything he knows for a long as I can remember. It’s not just a skill for me, it’s a passion. My biggest passion, though, would have to be my girlfriend, Annie. She’s like no girl I’ve ever met… my perfect match.
If you ask anyone else, they’d say it was probably sometime during junior high because that’s when we started dating, but in reality? I’m that sucker that fell in love with the girl next door the first time I laid eyes on her. We were only four years old, so my concept of love was way different back then, but the moment I saw her, I knew she was something special. The hardest part was waiting for her to see me the same way.
Three things to describe yourself…
Impatient, outgoing, athletic, protective, loyal, awesome, smart… Okay, so that’s more than three, but they’re all true. Ask me to start a list, and I’ll just keep going.What are some of your interests and goals?
I love pretty much anything outdoors…surfing, swimming, jet skis. I live near the beach, so the water thing is kind of a theme. But running beats all of it. There’s nothing better than the wind in your face and the ground beneath your feet with your favorite music blaring in your ears… Seriously the best.You mentioned awesome girlfriend as a goal. Can you tell us about you and Jet?
Sports aside, I love to party, but school’s really important, too. I’m shooting for class Valedictorian, and I’m involved in all kinds of activities. Track and student counsel being the most important. That and putting Tucker in his place when he screws up could probably be listed as a hobby. But that’s just part of being a good friend.
I don’t have a lot of girly interests. That’s really more my twin Izzy’s department, but I do like a good chick flick or rom com, and I’m not one to turn down a good mani-pedi. Not only are they good for time with my sister, but gross feet are just…gross.
Oh, my God, Jet…that boy is seriously my other half. He’s literally the calm to my storm. I go off the rails, and he brings me down. He centers me. I can’t ever imagine not being in love with him. Doesn’t hurt that he’s hot either.
The honest answer? Or the one everyone wants that keeps things from getting awkward? Kidding. I don’t have to take it there. I’d say the three main things to describe myself would be that I’m a good friend and sister, that I’m comfortable spending time alone…really, sometimes I prefer it, and while I’m pretty introverted, I have no problem standing up for myself if needed. Also…all things purple and glitter, lol.Do you have any interests or goals you’d like to share?
Interests…I love kids. I’ve been babysitting for a few years now. And as much as I like peace and quiet, I’m obsessed with dancing. Like, life would be empty and weird without it.Tucker…I’m glad you brought him up. With Annie and Jet dating, that probably leaves the two of you paired up at times. Is there anything more there than meets the eye?
Life would be empty and weird without my friends, too. Annie really is the best sister. We’re different in so many ways, but she’s my best friend. I don’t know what I’d do without her. Just like I don’t know what she’d do without Jet. Any time I miss stepping up to the plate, he’s there for her. They’re the real deal.
Sometimes, I wonder if I get a little jealous of what they have, but no. It’s not like that. I mean, I’d love to have that with someone one day. That all-encompassing love that you never have to doubt. Finding that person that just being in their presence makes breathing easier. That would have been pretty helpful this past year when my dad died.
Ugh. Sorry, I don’t know why I’m complaining. I had so much support. Especially from Tucker. He was a lifesaver sometimes. People don’t always give him enough credit. He might be girl-obsessed, but he can be deep when he wants, and he’s better at reading people than you’d think. At least with me, he is.
Anything more? Like as in feelings? Ha! I’m sorry, I’m really trying not to laugh. Tucker is hot, yes, okay, freaking gorgeous, and flirty, and pretty much the guy every girl around can’t keep their hands off of. God bless whatever girl eventually ties him down, but no. I have no interest in being another one of his fan-girls. He’s my best friend and someone I know that I can always turn to, but that’s all.
Even if that ever wasn’t the case, I have no interest in dating someone who can’t make a commitment, and Tucker’s too in love with playing the field.
Three things to describe yourself…
Athletic, friendly, determinedAny interests or goals you’d like to tell us about?
Interests… Girls. Girls. And I repeat, girls.
Okay, I’m not really that shallow. Getting attention from girls is great, but I swear there’s more to me. For example, I have no problem dropping a sure thing if a friend needs me. And I’d never let one distract me from my main goal. Letting a girl distract me, that is, not my friends.
Basketball’s my main goal, by the way. I’ve been captain of my high school team since sophomore year, and the college deal is already pretty much a set thing. Next step, keep working hard to go pro.
Training, parties, and hanging out at the beach are my main go-to’s for free-time. Not much to share other than that; I’m a pretty straightforward guy. My friends know I’ve got their backs, and girls know I just want them on theirs. All girls except the two that live across the street, at least. Jet’s my best friend, so Annie got stuck on a ‘don’t even think about it’ list years ago. And Izzy? She’s just…too good for anyone we know.
Uh. Yeah, that includes me. Izzy’s a-whole-nother level of girl. Not that I see her that way or anything. I mean, yeah, she’s gorgeous and incredible, but she’s been through so much, being her friend is more important than anything else. She’s always had my back when I mess up, and I’ve got hers. That comment just meant that it’s hard for me to imagine a guy that’s actually good enough for her. She deserves the best. Someone who can really make her happy.
Author Website: www.keelanstorm.com
Newsletter Link: https://bit.ly/introducingfatenl
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Friday, February 12, 2021
Billie thinks stopping her fellow students from committing murder and almost getting kicked out of the Realm is as bad as it gets, but she should know better. Not only are seven of the most powerful students out for her blood, but Sedna —her former enemy turned ally— turns her enemy again when Billie refuses a part in her revenge scheme. What’s more, Alpha Administration’s refusal to address the injustice in their school is sparking a full-on rebellion, and a lot of innocents are going to be caught in the crosshairs. It isn’t just the school either, the Realm itself is overrun with violence and hatred, which will have deadly consequences. Lucian, her self-imposed magical guru, insists Billie’s extraordinary magic is the key to stopping the flood of violence coming their way. Billie knows her magic is extraordinary, but she also knows its destructive power. It might do more harm than good.
“Leave her alone.” The words were out of my mouth before I could stop them. It took about a half a second for everyone’s eyes to swivel towards me, Sedna’s included. She looked like she wanted to tear my limbs off, one by one. I gulped.
And then she chuckled. “Billie, the hero, is here to save the day.”
I ignored the flush in my cheeks as I said coolly, “We both know she’s not the one you are mad at.”
And just like that, the smirk slipped off her face as her glower returned, like my candor had reminded her how much she hated me.
“It’s really cute how protective you are of your roommates,” she said coolly. “There’s one you might want to be a little more concerned about. She’s in the hospital. Her name is Artemis.”
I could swear my temperature dropped at the icy way she said Artemis’ name. I also couldn’t stop myself from looking down. My voice was small as I said, “I’m sorry for what—”
“Don’t,” her voice sliced through mine like a knife, “you dare apologize to me.”
For a moment, I really thought she was going to tear my limbs off, but she seemed too angry to move. No one else dared move either, even her friends. They just stared between the two of us, waiting to see who would break first.
It was me. “You want to pick a fight with me, fine.” I lifted my chin, trying to look more confident about that statement than I felt. “But leave her out of it.”
Hey humans. My name is Sedna Nightlock, and I’m a Warlock currently in her senior year at Alpha Academy. My role in Piper’s Song is … not what you would expect when you meet me at the beginning of the story, but what can I say? I like to keep things interesting
For some reason Sara has chosen me to describe her, even though she knows I won’t say nice things. If I were five years older she’d totally have a thing for me. Isn’t that adorable?
Now, how would I describe Sara? She’s on the naïve side so it’s really entertaining when she tries to write someone as woke as me. It usually takes her a few tries, but eventually she gets it right. She does love to create characters so she usually ends up with a large cast. She still manages to shine the spotlight on the more important ones, like yours truly. That being said, I deserve more screen time(page time?) than I get. I keep telling her I should get my own spin-off series, but she won’t listen.
When it comes to writing, she really needs to cool it with the forbidden romance and unrequited love triangle thing. I might be the only character in the book who’s not bogged down with that stuff, but that’s just because I’ve got way more important things to do. Like starting a rebellion.
Her insane obsession with playlists can be a little annoying, albeit entertaining. For example, she spent an hour updating the playlist of a character that was closest to my personality so she could listen to it while writing this. It was insane, though I do have to agree with a lot the music choices. It’s a lot of Led Zeppelin and fem power songs.
Another thing. She’s become obsessed with whiteboards. Sure it beats wasting all that paper and killing trees but she’s constantly updating all her little goals on that whiteboard and making sure every little event is on her whiteboard calendar. What a nerd.
Though speaking of nerdiness, wait until I tell you this. She’s obsessed, like OBSESSED, with Batman comics. Pretty sure she’s in love with this character named Jason Todd, who was a former Robin who decided to break the one superhero rule of not killing and is now an actual interesting character with a personality. Anyway, she writes a ton of fanfiction for Batman and other DC comic books. She also writes Harry Potter fanfiction. The girl needs to get a life, am I right?
Alright, Alright, so she does get outdoors and go skiing, hiking, and road trips through the US. She also does this thing where she works in Yellowstone every summer, world pandemics permitting. And the dancing! People are always surprised when the find out she used to be a club rat(Another relic of the pre-pandemic world). Now she gets her kicks in by dancing down the aisles at grocery stores and having raves in her living room, by herself. You’d probably think with all that practice she’d actually have some decent moves, but you’d be wrong. Still, she doesn’t let that stop her.
Oh, I remembered another thing to add to the nerd list. Board Games. She plays them all the time. Usually with her family and cousins which is really sweet, but still nerdy. I don’t know why she doesn’t just play video games like a normal person. Oh wait, actually I do. It’s because she’s too intimidated about buying all the equipment since she never has before, and rather than ask for help she’s just decided to avoid that particular time-wasting activity. Don’t worry. She’s got plenty of other time-wasting activities. Like rewatching Buffy: The Vampire Slayer for the fifty billionth time.
Maybe I am being too hard on her. After all, she did create me. And I’m a version of one of her absolute favorite characters, meaning regardless what happens to me in Piper’s Song, I get to live on in her other stories. I’m basically immortal. Which is good, because Piper’s Song has some dark things in store for me.
Well, that’s a wrap. I actually enjoyed this more than I thought I would. Roasting your creator is fun. But like I said, I’ve got things to do. Societies to crumble, schools to burn down, revolutions to start, obnoxious, self-righteous, over-powered Misfits to circumvent. It’s going to be an exciting year.
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Thursday, February 11, 2021
by: Lance S. Taylor
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: Feb 4, 2021