Review: Led Astray, by Kelley Armstrong

led astray

 

Kelley Armstrong’s short fiction is often delightfully dark, drawing as much on the horror roots of urban fantasy as it does on the fantasy. The pieces included in Led Astray are no exception–this anthology collects short stories set both in and outside of Armstrong’s established universes, most of them with more surprising twists and horrifying endings than the novels set in those same universes.

The stories range from “Rakshasi,” the story of an Indian demon tied to a master and longing for release, to “Plan B,” a tale of art, infidelity and murder that avoids anything “too expected,” aiming instead for “something more surprising there,” to “Kat,” featuring the more usual urban fantasy fare of vampires, albeit in some unusual ways.

Ultimately, Armstrong’s collection is an excellent companion to her other works for current fans, and a wonderful introduction to the author’s versatility and style for new readers.

Five stars.

* Review copy provided by publisher via Netgalley

 

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Teaser Tuesday: Asleep, by Krystal Wade

 

Happy Teaser Tuesday! Today is the third installment of ten weeks of teasers to get you ready for the release of ASLEEP by Krystal Wade. This spine-chilling YA psychological thriller is the debut novel from Blaze Publishing, set to be released February 16, 2016, and answers the question of what happens when Sleeping Beauty meets Freddy Krueger. If you missed the first teaser, don’t worry! You can still find it and other great content on the Blaze Publishing blog. Pre-orders are available now from Amazon. Mark your calendars, and be sure to add the book to your Goodreads list!

 


“To cure fear, you must use fear.”

Rose Briar claims no responsibility for the act that led to her imprisonment in an asylum. She wants to escape, until terrifying nightmares make her question her sanity and reach out to her doctor. He’s understanding and caring in ways her parents never have been, but as her walls tumble down and Rose admits fault, a fellow patient warns her to stop the medications. Phillip believes the doctor is evil and they’ll never make it out of the facility alive. Trusting him might be just the thing to save her. Or it might prove the asylum is exactly where she needs to be.







ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

AUTHOR. CHICKEN (AND DOG) LOVER. MOTHER. WIFE. DREAMER.

I’m happily married to the love of my life (don’t gag) and raising three beautiful children in the gorgeous state of Virginia. We live just outside Washington, D.C., and every day I wake up to find myself stuck in traffic trying to get there.

The horrid commute gives me plenty of time to zone out and think about my characters in full, brilliant details (I’m a safe driver; don’t worry). Stories give me a way to forget about the sometimes smelly strangers sitting next to me on the fifty mile trek into town (I pick up hitchhikers every day. True story. Check out http://www.slug-lines.com if you don’t believe me).

I’ve been a part of organized hitchhiking for nearly fifteen years, but that’s just one small aspect of my oh-so-large life. When I’m not working, commuting, or chasing after my three children (four if you count the man), you can usually find me outside talking to my chickens like they’re the cutest things in the world (they are), or training my amazing dogs how to herd said chickens (which they love), or curled up on the sofa with a good book (why can’t that be 100% of the time?).

I hope you love my stories (or just like them a little; that would be okay, too). And I hope that one day you find your passion, because there’s nothing in life better than doing what you love while surrounded by people you love.

❤ Krystal

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ABOUT BLAZE PUBLISHING:

Books with Heart for Teen and Young Adults
At Blaze, we’re committed to bringing you high-quality, hard-hitting books full of heart. Whether the story is a mystery, a thriller, horror, steampunk, or some goofy comedy, there will be a message woven into the pages for readers to find and fall in love with. We want you to walk away inspired, in awe, or just happy to be alive. Or maybe you’ll look at other people differently, in a less negative light. Whatever the case, you will find heart in our stories.

Our goal is to bring you four or five amazing works of fiction in 2016, and six in 2017 and each year after. We’ve already lined up a few and can’t wait to see what comes across our desks next!

Do you have a submission you’d like to send us? We’d love to see it! You can find our submissions guidelines on our website.

Want to stay up to date on everything from Blaze Publishing? Sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss a thing! The first 100 subscribers get free Blaze bookmarks (UK, US, and Canada only) AND get added to our Loyal 100 group, which gives you access to exclusive news, teasers, prizes, and ARCs!

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Spotlight On: A Bucket Full of Awesome, by Zainab T. Khan

 

 

A Bucket Full of Awesome
by Zainab T. Khan
Release Date: February 14th 2015

Summary from Goodreads:

“You know, Blake, even though we all know that cancer is a heartless dragon who wants to take everything and everyone into its fiery pit, we still fight with it. We still hope. And we clash again and again with its fire, and even though we get burned, we don’t accept defeat. Humans are the most fragile yet the strongest beings on earth.” 
“And they are the most stubborn.” 
I laughed, “Right. They are stubborn.” 


Summer Wallace is a wild, crazy girl who simply couldn’t care less about her appearance. She strongly believe in the saying, “You Only Live Once”, in teenage subculture also known as YOLO. She plays basketball like her life depends on it. Well, it sort of does, she loses one game and there’s a dent in her ego, not a small one either. 

Meet Blake Walker, her best friend and her partner-in-crime. Although he is just like his childhood best friend in acting-like-a-kid department, he can be a bit saner than her. Though, at times, he can be crazier than her. But a day changes both of their lives which leads Summer to make a bucket list and complete it before her whole life takes a 180 degree. Whereas, Blake is determined to keep her as long as he can. And he is perfect for the job. After all, he knows her more than anyone else. And they have no room for regrets. As Summer Wallace says, “There shouldn’t be any space for regrets in our beautiful lives.” 

Excerpt:

“Hey do you want to dance?”

“Dance?” I burst into a fit of laughter. “Seriously, Blake? We’re on an ice rink!”

“Exactly. Let’s dance.” Without waiting for my response, he led me to the centre of the ice rink and steadied himself first, still holding on to my hand. Then he put his right hand on my waist, while the other had my hand in his grip. “Well, none of us knows how to dance but if I remember right, this is how people do, yeah? So let’s begin.”

And with that we waltzed on the ice like a soft breeze, the chatter of people acting as our music. Once we had done enough flouncing, he led us back to the centre, held me firmly in place, and gave me a devilish smirk. Just by that I had an idea of what he was going to do.

“NO Blake, no…” And then he spun me around. With one arm behind his back and the other holding my finger as I twirled on my skates, like a ballerina. Only this was on ice. My protests soon turned into laughter. Then he gradually took me in his hold back again and “dipped” me, which frankly speaking, scared the bejesus out of me. As risky as it was, it was worth it and when he finally let me up, there was a huge applause for the both of us. Only then did we realise that we were kind of giving people a free show. Blake gave me a half bow.

“And with that we cut off #10 from the bucket list too.”

 

About the Author
 I’m Zainab, a 16-year old faux writer. You can say that I’m more of a reader than a writer. Meg Cabot would be my favorite young adult author. The forty rules of love by Elif Shafak and Making faces by Amy Harmon would be my all-time favorite  books.  Favorite  fictional boyfriends would be Jesse de Silva, Maxon Schreave, Adrian Ivashkov and Flynn Ryder.
 
Update (14/07/15): David ‘Tag’ Taggert replaces all the four guys. Okay, not replaces but he is definitely my dream guy.

Now back to real life, I’m a student in high school and English and Culinary Arts are my favorite courses. It was due to Once Upon a Time the TV show that I stumbled upon the art and the magic of writing. Somehow, among all this, I ended up a publishing a book. I’m working on a new book currently, hoping to publish it by Fall 2015. 

I would like to mention here that English is not my first language, so I request all my readers to excuse me whatever mistakes and errors I make in my writing, though I try to give you the very best version.
Author Links:
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GIVEAWAY:

Midwinter’s Eve Giveaway Hop

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Welcome to the Midwinter’s Eve Giveaway Hop!
For this hop, I’m giving away ecopies of my own books, Fairy, Texas, Waking Up Dead, and Beyond the Count.  I’m also giving away copies of Paranormal Introductions to everyone who signs up for my newsletter–it’s a collection of first chapters from some great books! Finally, I’m also including a link to the giveaway I’m co-hosting with I Love Vampire Novels–it runs through January 8, and includes five signed paperbacks of Sanguinary and a $50 Amazon gift card, plus everyone who enters will get a copy of Siren’s Kiss.

 

So check out my books below and enter to win, then enter to win the ILVN giveaway, sign up to get your own copy of Paranormal Introductions, and HOP to the rest of the participating blogs!

 

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 6c9ca-fairynewfinalcovermargobondcollins-300dpi-3125x4167

 

Laney Harris thinks there might be monsters in Fairy, Texas. 
 
She’s right.
 
When her mother remarried and moved them to a town where a date meant hanging out at the Sonic, Laney figured that “boring” would have a whole new meaning. A new stepsister who despised her and a high school where she was the only topic of gossip were bad enough. But when she met the school counselor (and his terminal bad breath), she grew suspicious. Especially since he had wings that only she could see. And then there were Josh and Mason, two gorgeous glimmering-eyed classmates whose interest in her might not be for the reasons she hoped. Not to mention that dead guy she nearly tripped over in gym class.Boring takes on an entirely new dimension in Fairy, Texas.

 

If she’s going to survive in this small town, she’ll have to learn to wing it.

 

waking up dead cover

 

When Callie Taylor died, she expected to go to heaven—or maybe hell. Instead, when she was murdered in Dallas by some jerk with a knife and a bad-mommy complex, she went to Alabama. Now she’s seen another murder, and she can’t just let it go; she must find a way to make sure the police figure out who really killed Molly McClatchy before an innocent man goes to prison, all the while trying to determine how and why she woke up dead in Alabama.

 

Beyond the Count high resolution cover

 

Long before Dracula, vampires stalked the literary scene.

These early literary vampires are sometimes terrifying, at times melodramatic, and occasionally ridiculous, but they are always out for blood—and their vampiric descendants continue to fascinate and captivate us.

Beyond the Count is a collection of vampire stories, plays, and poems from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This collection gives students, scholars, and vampire aficionados the opportunity to examine works often long out of print and to contextualize the development of vampire legend beyond that most famous of literary Counts.

 

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HOP to the rest of the blogs:

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Christmas Treats Blog Hop

Christmas Treats Hop

 

 What are our favorite Christmas Treats? Books, of course! So check out my giveaways below, then stop by each blog for a chance to win fabulous books & gifties for the Holidays! 

 

My Holiday Reads
For the first time in ages, I will have whole days to read! I am planning to catch up on a big pile of books I’ve been saving on my Kindle from some of my favorite authors. Most of them are urban fantasy and science fiction, but I’ve also got some yummy historical romance and even a non-fiction book or two. Some of the authors whose books I’m catching up on include Anne Bishop, Courtney Milan, Ilona Andrews, Lauren Dane, and Ann Aguirre.

 

For this hop, I’m giving away one ecopy of my own book, Fairy, Texas.  I’m also giving away copies of Paranormal Introductions to everyone who signs up for my newsletter–it’s a collection of first chapters from some great books! Finally, I’m also including a link to the giveaway I’m co-hosting with I Love Vampire Novels–it runs through January 8, and includes five signed paperbacks of Sanguinary and a $50 Amazon gift card.

 

So check out Fairy, Texas and enter to win, then enter to win the ILVN giveaway, sign up to get your own copy of Paranormal Introductions, and HOP to the rest of the participating blogs!

 

Enter to win Fairy, Texas

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 6c9ca-fairynewfinalcovermargobondcollins-300dpi-3125x4167
Laney Harris thinks there might be monsters in Fairy, Texas. 
 
She’s right.
 
When her mother remarried and moved them to a town where a date meant hanging out at the Sonic, Laney figured that “boring” would have a whole new meaning. A new stepsister who despised her and a high school where she was the only topic of gossip were bad enough. But when she met the school counselor (and his terminal bad breath), she grew suspicious. Especially since he had wings that only she could see. And then there were Josh and Mason, two gorgeous glimmering-eyed classmates whose interest in her might not be for the reasons she hoped. Not to mention that dead guy she nearly tripped over in gym class.Boring takes on an entirely new dimension in Fairy, Texas.If she’s going to survive in this small town, she’ll have to learn to wing it.
Margo-Bond-Collins-Pinterest

 

paranormal introductions cover

 

HOP to the rest of the participating blogs!

Cover Reveal: Beautifully Undone, by Susan Griscom

 

Title: Beautifully Undone
Author: Susan Griscom
Series: The Beaumont Brothers (#3)
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Amber Glow Books
Release Date: Jan 20 2016
Edition/Formats: eBook & Print
Blurb/Synopsis:
He was broken.
Full of hate and sorrow.
Asher Beaumont never asked for much in life. All he wanted was to play his guitar, write music, and be recognized and loved by his father. Unfortunately, that last desire was never realized. The bastard died when Asher was just a kid. Then thirteen years later, his mother dies of a brain tumor, shattering him even more and leaving him hating everyone around him, except for his two best friends, Melody Stevens and her brother, Teddy.
Melody Stevens has crushed on her best friend, Asher Beaumont her entire life. But it’s always been a secret passion. Never something she’d act upon. But when she tells Asher she’s prepared—and determined—to lose her virginity to a guy her considers to be nothing more than a cad who sleeps with anything that wears a skirt, her best friend offers her a proposition she can’t really refuse.
When Asher stumbles across a letter left by his mother before her death, begging him to seek out his half-brothers, he and Melody begin a journey of discovery. Their travels lead them to the two brothers he has spent his life despising because they had the life he always wanted. While on their trip, they discover a miracle they never, ever considered.
A stand-alone book 3, in The Beaumont Brothers Series with a HEA for Adults 18+



 

 

Susan Griscom writes paranormal and contemporary romance. She’s hooked on gritty romances and is a huge fan of superheroes and bad boys confronted with extraordinary forces of nature, powers, and abilities beyond the norm mixed with steamy romance, of course.
She loves those days when she gets to sit around in her sweat pants, doing nothing but writing emotionally charged stories about love and violence, and drinking coffee.
She lives in Northern California with her romantic husband and together they have five great superhero kids and eight mini-superhero grand kids, so far.

Learn more about Susan by visiting her website: http://susangriscom.com

Author Links

Other Books by Susan Griscom
The Whisper Cape Trilogy
 The Beaumont Brothers
Beautifully Undone #3 Coming Jan 2016
The Sectorium Series
Immortal Hearts of San Francisco
Standalones

Spotlight On: They Call Me Alexandra Gastone, by T.A. Maclagan

 

Sale Blitz: They Call Me Alexandra Gastone is $1.99 Amazon Holiday Deal
 
They Call Me Alexandra Gastone
Release Date: 05/20/15
Full Fathom Five Digital
226 pages
Summary from Goodreads:
 
When your life is a lie, how do you know what’s real?

Alexandra Gastone has a simple plan: graduate high school, get into Princeton, work for the CIA, and serve her great nation.

She was told the plan back when her name was Milena Rokva, back before the real Alexandra and her family were killed in a car crash.

Milena was trained to be a sleeper agent by Perun, a clandestine organization from her true homeland of Olissa. There, Milena learned everything she needed to infiltrate the life of CIA analyst Albert Gastone, Alexandra’s grandfather, and the ranks of America’s top intelligence agency.

For seven years, “Alexandra” has been on standby and life’s been good. Grandpa Albert loves her, and her strategically chosen boyfriend, Grant, is amazing.

But things are about to change. Perun no longer needs her at the CIA in five years’ time. They need her active now.

Between her cover as a high school girl—juggling a homecoming dance, history reports, and an increasingly suspicious boyfriend—and her mission in this high-stakes spy game, the boundaries of her two lives are beginning to blur.

Will she stay true to the country she barely remembers, or has her loyalty shattered along with her identity?

Praise for They Call Me Alexandra Gastone:
“An intricate, debut spy thriller…readers will keep turning pages, and the surprise ending will have them anxiously awaiting a sequel.” —Booklist
“…the intersection of action, espionage, and drama makes for solid…entertainment: readers will gladly sit back and watch Alexandra navigate the obstacle course that comes with playing her role too well. It’s a strong debut for New Zealand author Maclagan.” —Publisher’s Weekly
“Death-threats, global takeover, double-agents, hidden files and a blown cover—by the time you get to the shocking conclusion of this cliff-hanger, you won’t know who to trust…” Girls’ Life
“A solid debut that has both heart and smarts. Clever, solidly paced, and power-packed with a killer voice. They Call Me Alexandra Gastone is a blast to read. A perfect balance of mystery, romance, and betrayal. Bring on the sequel!” — Lindsay Cummings, author of The Murder Complex
 
 
About the Author
 
T.A. Maclagan is a Kansas girl by birth but now lives in the bush-clad hills of Wellington, New Zealand with her Kiwi husband, son and four pampered cats. With a bachelor’s degree in biology and a Ph.D. in anthropology, she’s studied poison dart frogs in the rainforests of Costa Rica, howler monkeys in Panama and the very exotic and always elusive American farmer. It was as she was writing her ‘just the facts’ dissertation that T.A. felt the call to pursue something more imaginative and discovered a passion for creative writing. They Call Me Alexandra Gastone is her first novel.
Author Links:
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GIVEAWAY:
There’s a $15 Amazon gift card up for grabs today as a thank you for stopping by, so check out the rafflecopter below! And if Alexandra Gastone sounds right up your alley, check out T.A.’s dream movie cast or her blog post on the top 10 butt kicking females that influenced Alexandra Gastone!

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