Wednesday, June 21, 2017

SOLERI by Michael Johnston Official Blog Tour




Synopsis 

Michael Johnston brings you the first in a new epic fantasy series inspired by ancient Egyptian history and King Lear.

The ruling family of the Soleri Empire has been in power longer than even the calendars that stretch back 2,826 years. Those records tell a history of conquest and domination by a people descended from gods, older than anything in the known world. No living person has seen them for centuries, yet their grip on their four subjugate kingdoms remains tighter than ever.

On the day of the annual eclipse, the Harkan king, Arko-Hark Wadi, sets off on a hunt and shirks his duty rather than bow to the emperor. Ren, his son and heir, is a prisoner in the capital, while his daughters struggle against their own chains. Merit, the eldest, has found a way to stand against imperial law and marry the man she desires, but needs her sister’s help, and Kepi has her own ideas.

Meanwhile, Sarra Amunet, Mother Priestess of the sun god’s cult, holds the keys to the end of an empire and a past betrayal that could shatter her family.

Detailed and historical, vast in scope and intricate in conception, Soleri bristles with primal magic and unexpected violence. It is a world of ancient and elaborate rites, of unseen power and kingdoms ravaged by war, where victory comes with a price, and every truth conceals a deeper secret.


Praise for SOLERI

"Soleri is bloody and utterly epic. A huge saga in a rich and deeply original world.” ―Lev Grossman, New York Times bestselling author

“Prepare to be ensnared in a web of ruthless politics and unbridled ambition, where even the authority of the emperor may be based on an ancient deception. Johnston builds an immersive world with elements of Egyptian and Roman history, myth, and religion. This story seethes with twists and turns, betrayals and secrets, and will keep you guessing until the very last page.” ―Cinda Williams Chima, New York Times bestselling author


My Review

Outstanding Fantasy with old traditions, this world created and ruled by the Gods Soleri, will captivate your soul and seduce you on an adventure you will never forget.

This story revolves around the Hark Wadi family, Royals of Harkana. Five members of the family are scattered in different directions, each with a specific agenda, a few not by choice.

This is by far, one of the most amazing reads I have absorbed.  This creative world and strong characters will make you crave more.  There is so much going on, following five people at once, you might feel overpowered, but you don't. It works. It's necessary for the story to build, as each member slowly gravitates to their end game.

There are moments of brutality, darkness, and deception. Two twists, MAJOR twists that left me in awe....awe of the author's creative mind because I NEVER saw it coming. I'm talking totally floored. Characters that you love, love to hate, and just plain hate, are strong, passionate and frustrating.

I want to shout out to the world to read this book. I want to talk about it, but not here.  Stories like this, truly makes it challenging to write a review....you don't want to reveal any spoilers because it demands you to jump right in to fully capture the brilliance of the journey.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Michael Johnston was born in 1973 in Cleveland, Ohio. As a child and a teen he was an avid reader of science fiction and fantasy. He studied architecture and ancient history at Lehigh University and during a lecture on the history of ancient Egypt, the seed of an idea was born. He earned a master’s degree in architecture from Columbia University, graduating at the top of his class. Michael worked as an architect in New York City before moving to Los Angeles. Sparked by the change of locale, a visit to the desert, and his growing dissatisfaction with the architectural industry, he sought a way to merge his interests in architecture and history with his love of fantasy. By day he worked as an architect, but by night he wrote and researched an epic fantasy novel inspired by the history of ancient Egypt and the tragic story of King Lear. After working this way for several years, he shut down his successful architecture practice and resolved to write full time. He now lives and writes in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter.

You can find Michael on twitter @mjohnstonauthor

Photo Credit: Cathryn Farnsworth




--Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

- 10 Winners will receive a Signed Signed ARC Copy of Soleri by Michael Johnston


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 19, 2017

TRANSFORMATION by James Gunn Official Nerd Blast and Giveaway









Synopsis 

Planets at the edge of the Federation have been falling mysteriously silent. The arrogant and recalcitrant bureaucracy running the Federation grudgingly allows two transcended humans, Riley and Asha, to investigate. They join forces with the Earth's Pedia, a global A.I., along with Tordor, a Dorian representative of the Federation, and Adithya, a member of a splinter group vowing to destroy the Pedia. No one on the team trusts one another.

They must find a common ground and the answer to the planetary silences in order to confront an enemy more ancient than the Transcendentals and more powerful than any Pedia.


Praise for TRANSCENDENTAL

“Jim Gunn doesn’t publish a new novel very often, but when he does it’s a whopper. Transcendental is his best yet, and in it he demonstrates his possession of one of the most finely developed skills at world-building (and at aliens-creating to populate those worlds) in science fiction today. Read it!” —Frederik Pohl, bestselling author of Gateway

“James Gunn, after a long, stellar career in science fiction, is a master of the narrative art—as he shows in this Chaucerian pilgrimage through the galactic future.” —Robert Silverberg, bestselling author ofLord Valentine’s Castle

Praise for JAMES GUNN

“Reads more like a collaboration between Heinlein and Asimov. The concept is pure, classic science fiction.” —New York Times Book Review on Star Bridge

“Its characters, at least the protagonists, are drawn with psychological depth. The charm and vividness of Gunn’s prose, plus his deft hand at keeping his plot moving, will keep readers on board through the end. The recent saga of Occupy Wall Street and the other Occupy movements around the country makes many of the events and actors of Kampus feel very current.” —Fantastical Andrew Fox

“One of the very best portrayals of contact with extraterrestrial intelligence ever written.” —Carl Sagan on The Listeners


EXCERPT


The invasion began a million or more long-cycles ago, but the galaxy is bigger than minds can encompass, and information crawls across interstellar space if it moves at all. The Galactic Federation was slow to recognize the nature of the danger.
The Galactic Federation is a misnomer. It actually occupies only a single spiral arm of the local galaxy that humans call “the Milky Way,” although in recent long-cycles explorations began into the neighboring spiral arm in search of what had become known as the Transcendental Machine. So it is not surprising that the invasion went unnoticed until remote worlds of the Federation began to fall silent, sending out no capsule messages through the network of nexus points that made interstellar travel and communication possible, and failing to acknowledge those sent as routine reports or inquiries.
Finally, bureaucracy stirred and dispatched automated survey ships and, when they did not return, ships staffed with representatives of the various species that made up the Federation. They, too, went missing until, at last, a single damaged vessel appeared in a space monitored by Federation Central and remained motionless where it had materialized from a nexus point. When it was finally reached and boarded, investigators found its crew dead except for a single survivor, the captain.
He was a Dorian and his guttural voice was recorded before he died. “They are all dead, all dead,” he said. It wasn’t clear to his rescuers whether he was referring to his crew or the inhabitants of the planets they surveyed. “We brought them into the ship, thinking they were evidence of what had happened, maybe recordings, our science officer said. But they must have been poisoned. They were sterilized, you know, according to protocol. We did everything by protocol. They swarmed out, unseen but we knew they were there by what happened. The crew went mad, you see. The invisible creatures did that, and the crew turned upon each other as if they were trying to get away. But they couldn’t until they all were dead. All dead.”
The investigators found no evidence in the ship’s automated records about invaders, only recordings of the crew killing each other with their bare hands and anything they could tear away from the ship to use as weapons. The ship had returned only because the captain had programmed instructions to be executed automatically in case of emergency.
Finally Federation Central began to take seriously the possibility that something mysterious and possibly invisible had emerged in the unexplored spiral arms of the galaxy, or had entered the galaxy from somewhere beyond the zone of thinning stars and the beginning of intergalactic space. Three long-cycles later the news reached Riley and Asha and the Pedia at the heart of the human world.
Asha sent a message to Riley: “Get in touch about silent stars. Pedia says invasion is 92.4 percent likely.”
Riley turned to a rejuvenated Jak in his subsurface lunar laboratory. Jak was a mad scientist, who had turned his own clones into agents in the quest for the Transcendental Machine. Riley had entrusted Jak with the matter-transmission process that had led to transcendence. It was an act of blind trust if not even hubris—Jak was a mad scientist but he was Riley’s mad scientist. Now, with a copy of the Transcendental Machine reproduced in Jak’s laboratory, Jak had been his own experimental subject, followed by his daughter Jer, and the process had restored Jak’s health if not his youth. He was still mad, only not as desperate.
The laboratory itself was much as it had been when Riley had told Jak and Jer about the Transcendental Machine and left with them the red sphere that he had discovered on the primitive planet where the Transcendental Machine had stranded him, where dinosaurs had survived or avoided the catastrophes that had destroyed their kind, or their evolutionary equivalents, on other worlds. The red sphere had survived the millennia as well, the only known artifact in this arm of the galaxy of the creatures who had created the Transcendental Machine. Perhaps it held their secrets as well.
But now the laboratory was filled with the machinery of transcendence.
“The Pedia thinks the galaxy has been invaded,” Riley said.
“The Pedia doesn’t think,” Jak said. “It calculates.”
“Still—”
“Its calculations are usually accurate, although limited by a lack of imagination.”
“So—you think there is an invasion?”
Jak shrugged. “That’s a matter of definition. The galaxy is big and vast spiral arms are unexplored, even unapproached, like the ‘terra incognita’ of deepest Africa in the nineteenth century. So who knows what may lurk in the vast unknown, like the culture that created the Transcendental Machine, until it bursts into our sphere of awareness.”
“Your point is that it doesn’t matter whether it is native to our galaxy or from another galaxy?”
Jak shrugged again. He was clearly bored with this line of discussion. He bored easily, when it was not his idea.
“But surely what does matter is whether we are being invaded.”
“We?”Jak said. “It’s the Federation’s problem.”
“But what if the Federation is overmatched?”
“We’ll all be long dead before it affects our little corner of the galaxy,” Jak said. “If it ever does. The galaxy is far bigger and its stars are far more distant from each other than any of us—even me—can imagine. Our system is remote and in an impoverished neighborhood. It might easily be overlooked.”
“And that’s reason enough not to be concerned?”
“The Pedia has to be concerned,” Jak said. “That’s its categorical imperative: the welfare of the human species. That’s what I mean by a lack of imagination. We have other choices. And wasting my limited moments of existence on a possible invasion in the remote future by unknown creatures is not one of them.”
“So you think it’s possible?”
“Oh, I think it’s likely. As I said, the Pedia’s calculations are pretty accurate, and it has greater calculating power than anything this side of Federation Central itself. I just choose not to get involved.”
Riley nodded and made arrangements to return to Earth. He would deal with Jak later.

Copyright © 2017 by James Gunn



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


JAMES GUNN is the Hugo Award–winning author of Transcendental, Transgalactic, and The Listeners, and the coauthor, with Jack Williamson, of the classic epic SF novel Star Bridge. He lives in Lawrence, Kansas, where he is professor emeritus of English at the University of Kansas. He is the founding director of the university's Center for the Study of Science Fiction. Gunn is also one of the last living Grandmaster Award winners from the golden age of science fiction. www.sfcenter.ku.edu


Photo Credit: SF Center


--Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

5 Winners will receive a Set of the Trilogy (TRANSCENDENTAL in Trade Paperback, TRANSGALACTIC in Hardcover, and TRANSFORMATION in hardcover).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

WILD CARDS VII: DEAD MAN'S HAND by George R.R. Martin and John Jos. Miller Blog Tour







Synopsis 

Wild Cards now in development for TV! Dead Man's Hand combines the writing talents of George R. R. Martin & John Jos. Miller

Chrysalis, the glass-skinned queen of the Joker underworld, has been found brutally murdered in her popular restaurant, the Crystal Palace. New two men are out to find her killer: Jay Ackroyd, the Ace private investigator who discovered her ruined body, and the vigilante archer known as the Yeoman, who has been framed for the crime.

Their quest leads them on a nightmare odyssey of madness, violence, passion, and political intrigue that will forever alter the fates of Aces and Jokers everywhere.

Experience this gripping tale of mystery and suspense, brought to you from the incredible imaginations of George R. R. Martin and John Jos. Miller in their first collaborative novel.

Rights to develop Wild Cards for TV have been acquired by Universal Cable Productions, the team that brought you The Magicians and Mr. Robot, with the co-editor of Wild Cards, Melinda Snodgrass as executive producer.

EXPLORE THE WILD CARDS UNIVERSE

An alien virus has changed the course of history, and the surviving population of Manhattan struggles to understand the new world left in its wake. Natural humans share the rough city with those given extraordinary--and sometimes terrifying--traits. While most manage to coexist in an uneasy peace, not everyone is willing to adapt.

Wild Cards I
Wild Cards II: Aces High
Wild Cards III: Jokers Wild
Wild Cards IV: Aces Abroad
Wild Cards V: Down and Dirty
Wild Cards VI: Ace in the Hole
Inside Straight
Busted Flush
Suicide Kings
Fort Freak
Lowball
High Stakes

The Wild Cards Are Coming…to Television! Read More About it HERE!


Praise for WILD CARDS VII: DEAD MAN'S HAND

“Perhaps the most original and provocative of the shared worlds books.” —Peter S. Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn

"Delicious...Everything I hoped for in a new Wild Cards book. The character interactions and plot twists have exactly the complexity, surprise, and unsentimental realism I'd expect out of a George R. R. Martin project." —Austin Grossman, author of Soon I Will be Invincible on Inside Straight

“This is a wild ride of good, blood-pumping fun that packs a surprisingly emotional punch for a book that looks on the surface like just another superhero adventure.” —Publishers Weekly on High Stakes

"Martin has assembled an impressive array of writers. . . . Progressing through the decades, Wild Cards keeps its momentum to the end." —Locus

"The shared-world series known as Wild Cards has had a long and illustrious history of contributors and achievements." —SciFi.com

"Highly recommended." —SFRevu on Lowball

“Emotionally powerful. Wild Cards deals up the variety of short fiction without losing the continuity of a novel.”—The Seattle Times

“A delightfully imaginative speculation.”—The Toronto Star



EXCERPT
Monday
July 18, 1988

5:00 A.M.
THE TREES WERE MOVING, though there was no wind.
He did not know how long he had been walking, or how he had gotten to this place, but he was here, alone, and he was afraid. It was night, a night longer and darker than any he had ever known. Moonlight painted the landscape in shades of black and gray, but the moon was obscenely swollen, the color of rotting flesh. He looked up at it once, and for one awful moment it seemed to pulse. He knew he must not look again. Whatever he did, he must not look again.

He walked. On and on he walked. The gray, thin grass seemed to clutch at his bare feet with every step, to slide greasy tendrils between his toes. And the trees moved. Windless, they moved. Long cruel branches, barren of any leaves, writhed and twisted as he passed, and whispered secrets he did not want to know. If he stopped for only a moment, he would hear them clearly, he would understand. And then, surely, he would go mad. He walked.

Beneath that sickly-sweet moonlight, things that did not bear thinking of woke and stirred. Vast leathery wings beat against the air, filling the night with the smell of corruption. Gaunt spider shapes, leprous and rotten, slipped between the trees just out of sight, their legs rustling softly as they moved, never seen but never far behind him. Once a long low moan shuddered across the landscape, growing louder and louder until even the trees grew still and silent and afraid.

And then, when the feeling of dread was so thick he thought he might choke on it, he saw the subway kiosk up ahead.

It stood in the middle of the forest, bathed in that awful moonlight, but he knew it belonged, somehow. He began to run. He seemed to be moving very slowly, as if each stride took an eon. Slowly the mouth of the kiosk grew. The steps descending into the dark, the worn railing, the familiar signs; they called him home.

Finally he reached the top of the stairs, just when he felt he could run no farther. There were sounds behind him, but he dared not look around. He started down the steps, holding the handrail, faint with relief. It seemed as though he descended a long way. Trains rumbled through dark gulfs far, far below him. Still he descended. Now he could taste the fear again. The steps twisted around on themselves, spiraling down and down.

Then, well beneath him, he glimpsed another passenger, descending. He moved faster, bare feet slapping against the cold stone, down and around, and saw him again, a big man in a heavy black coat. He tried to call out to him, but here, in this place, his voice was gone. He ran even faster. He ran until his feet began to bleed. The steps had grown very narrow.

They opened suddenly, and he stepped out onto a long, narrow platform suspended over a vast blackness, a darkness that swallowed all light. The other man stood on the platform. There was something odd about his proportions, something disturbing about the way he stood there, humped and silent.

Then he turned, and Jay saw its face, a featureless white cone that tapered to a single wet red tentacle. It lifted its head and began to howl. Jay screamed …

… and woke, shaking, in a dark room that smelled of piss.

“Goddamn,” he muttered. His heart sounded like a rock drummer on speed, his underwear was soaked with sweat, and he’d wet the bed. This had been a bad one.

Jay fumbled for the bedside lamp, and swung his legs off the side of the bed and sat waiting for the nightmare to recede.

It seemed so real. But it always did. He’d been having the same damned nightmare since he was a kid. When he’d started waking up screaming twice a week, his parents banned H. P. Lovecraft from the bookshelf and threw away his prized collection of E. C. Comics. It didn’t help; the dream stayed with him. Sometimes it went away for months. Then, just when he thought he was rid of it forever, it would return with a fury, and haunt his sleep night after night. He would be forty-five this year, and the dream was as vivid as the first time he’d dreamt it.

It was always the same: the long walk through that nightmarish forest, the old New York City subway kiosk, the endless descent into the earth, and finally the cone-faced thing on the platform. Sometimes, just after he woke, Jay thought that there was more to the dream, that there were parts he was forgetting, but if that was true, he didn’t want to know.

Jay Ackroyd made his living as a private detective. He had a healthy respect for fear that had saved his life a time or two, but he didn’t scare easily, at least not when he was awake. But he had one secret terror: that some night he would find himself standing on that platform, and the cone-faced thing would turn, and lift its head, and howl … and he wouldn’t wake up.

“No fucking thanks,” Jay said aloud.

He looked at the clock. A few minutes past five in the morning. No sense trying to get back to sleep. He was due at the Crystal Palace in less than two hours. Besides, after one of his dreams, nothing short of cardiac arrest would close his eyes again.

Jay stripped the bed, bundling sheets, blankets, and underwear in his hamper to take to the laundromat the next chance he got. He’d be sleeping on Crystal Palace sheets for the next week or two, however long this gig with Chrysalis lasted. He hoped like hell the nightmare went away for a little while. He didn’t think Chrysalis would be too thrilled to learn her new bodyguard had a recurring nightmare that freaked him out so bad that he wet his bed. Especially if she was in the bed when he wet it. Jay had been hitting on Chrysalis for years, but she’d never succumbed to his charms. He was hoping this might be his chance. Her body was so alive. Beneath that transparent skin, you could see the blood rushing through her veins, the ghostly movement of half-seen muscles, the way her lungs worked under the bones of her rib cage. And she had great tits, even if they were mostly invisible.

He opened the window to air out his bedroom, although the odors wafting up the dingy airshaft to his third-floor walk-up were almost as foul as those in the room. After a long soak in his clawfoot tub, he dried himself off in a beach towel decorated with a rather threadbare picture of Opus the Penguin.

In the top drawer of his dresser, Jay found some clean boxer shorts. Black socks in the drawer below. Then he went to the closet and looked at his suits. He had a cool white linen number that was fashionably rumpled, a charcoal gray Brooks Brothers three-piece, a pinstripe from Hong Kong that had been precisely tailored to his measurements. Hiram Worchester had given him all three. Hiram was always after Jay to dress better. He’d get more respect, Hiram promised. He’d get noticed. He might even get girls. The part about the girls tempted him, but otherwise Jay was having none of it. “Hiram,” he had explained, “I’m a PI. I sit in parked cars and donut shops. I shoot Polaroids through motel windows. I bribe doormen and hide in bushes. I don’t want to be noticed. If they made a suit out of Holiday Inn wallpaper, I’d buy six of them.” But every Christmas Hiram gave him another goddamned suit.

It looked like it was going to be hot. Jay picked out a short-sleeved white shirt with a button-down collar, a pair of dark brown slacks to match his hair, and a tan blazer. No tie. He hated ties.

7:00 A.M.

Brennan woke from a deep, dreamless sleep as the light from the rising sun shone through the window and touched his face. Jennifer Maloy turned over, murmuring, as he slipped silently from under the sheet that covered their futon and padded noiselessly to the chair where his clothes were laid out. He put on shorts, T-shirt, and running shoes, and went quietly through the back door that opened to the outside.

The sun was up, the land was half-awake, wet with dew and alive with the smells of a clean country morning. Brennan took a deep breath, filling his lungs with fresh air as he stretched, unlimbering his body for his daily run.

He jogged to the front of the A-frame house, slipping into a slow trot as he reached the looping gravel driveway. He turned left at the mouth of the driveway, scattering the rabbits playing on the front lawn, and passed the sign that read ARCHER LANDSCAPING AND NURSERY. He felt alive and clean, at peace with himself and the world at the beginning of another beautiful day.


Copyright © 1990 by George R. R. Martin and the Wild Cards Trust


Review

I jumped into this story, stiff legged, ready to plunge into a deep pool...my first time reading a Wild Cards novel, I never dreamed of the goose bumps I would receive from this crazy world of Aces and Jokers.

Jay, an Ace PI, is on a mission to find the murderer of his friend, Chrysalis.

Brennan, a vigilante known as Yeoman, has come out of "retirement", to find the murderer of his x-lover and friend, Chrysalis.

Each starting in a different haven, each collecting clues and suspects, they kickoff their own investigation working on different angles that gradually leads them towards the same conclusion.  The battles that each one faces along their quest drives them backwards as much as going forward to apprehend the murderer.  They need to find out the mystery of why, she was killed.  However, when they do, it could change everything for the Ace and Joker community.

Just starting out in this crazy imaginative world, it started out slow while I absorbed all the information my reading eye could consume.  However, as I read and developed a rhythm, I couldn't read fast enough, couldn't consume the creative intelligence swift enough, to satisfy the anticipation of how this story would end.

It's a demented fun read.

Off the wall characters.  

Deranged abilities.

Twists that would make a tornado jealous, this story is overflowing with action and adventure. This alien virus that has impacted the world, has created an entertaining experience that I feel anyone with a creative imagination would enjoy.  Amuse you curiosity with this read....like now.

Jay and Brennan, I can't decide who I liked more.  Don't make me pick.

It left me with a craving for more.

So I discovered  something with this read, it's okay to dive into a series that has six previous stories.  I can't wait to lose myself into those stories!







ABOUT THE AUTHORS


George R.R. Martin was born September 20, 1948 in Bayonne, New Jersey. His father was Raymond Collins Martin, a longshoreman, and his mother was Margaret Brady Martin. He has two sisters, Darleen Martin Lapinski and Janet Martin Patten.

Martin attended Mary Jane Donohoe School and Marist High School. He began writing very young, selling monster stories to other neighborhood children for pennies, dramatic readings included. Later he became a comic book fan and collector in high school, and began to write fiction for comic fanzines (amateur fan magazines). Martin’s first professional sale was made in 1970 at age 21: “The Hero,” sold to Galaxy, published in February, 1971 issue. Other sales followed.

In 1970 Martin received a B.S. in Journalism from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, graduating summa cum laude. He went on to complete a M.S. in Journalism in 1971, also from Northwestern.

As a conscientious objector, Martin did alternative service 1972-1974 with VISTA, attached to Cook County Legal Assistance Foundation. He also directed chess tournaments for the Continental Chess Association from 1973-1976, and was a Journalism instructor at Clarke College, Dubuque, Iowa, from 1976-1978. He wrote part-time throughout the 1970s while working as a VISTA Volunteer, chess director, and teacher.

In 1975 he married Gale Burnick. They divorced in 1979, with no children. Martin became a full-time writer in 1979. He was writer-in-residence at Clarke College from 1978-79.

Moving on to Hollywood, Martin signed on as a story editor for Twilight Zone at CBS Television in 1986. In 1987 Martin became an Executive Story Consultant for Beauty and the Beast at CBS. In 1988 he became a Producer for Beauty and the Beast, then in 1989 moved up to Co-Supervising Producer. He was Executive Producer for Doorways, a pilot which he wrote for Columbia Pictures Television, which was filmed during 1992-93.

Martin’s present home is Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is a member of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (he was South-Central Regional Director 1977-1979, and Vice President 1996-1998), and of Writers’ Guild of America, West.
TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS | WEBSITE |

Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison



John Jos. Miller has published nine novels, and more than 20 short stories and 6 comic book scripts. He also wrote GURPS Wild Cards, a supplement for the GURPS role-playing system published in 1989, and two Wild Cards world books and histories from Green Ronin.
GOODREADS | WEBSITE |

Photo Content from John Jos. Miller


--Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

10 Winners will receive a Copy of Wild Cards VII: Dead Man’s Hand by George R.R. Martin and John Jos. Miller

CODE:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 12, 2017

ROAR by Cora Carmack Official Nerd Blast and Giveaway






Synopsis 

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.


Praise for ROAR

“I am typically not a fantasy reader, but Roar convinced me to read more. Cora Carmack created a beautiful world and I felt like I was transported to Pavan with her vivid descriptions of the city. I was left wanting more and I can't to find out what happens with the rest of her characters.”—Chelsea Riela, New York Public Library

“In her electrifying YA debut Roar, Cora Carmack creates a stormy fantasy full of adventure featuring a charismatic ensemble cast. Roar introduces YA readers to Cora’s signature talent for balancing authentic characters and a captivating romance, this time set in a striking new world that will sweep readers away.”—Mary HinsonIrving Public Library and Mary Had A Little Book Blog

EXCERPT

The Pavanian princess stared at Cassius, her mouth open slightly. When she first walked into this room, Cassius had thought her stunning in her savagery, colder than the depths of winter. Her dress seduced and threatened in equal measure, clinging to her curves and adorned with carved skyfire crystals that jutted from her shoulders and head like the spikes of a warrior’s armor. And yet for all that careful pageantry, it had only taken a compliment to rattle her. She looked very young in that moment, very sweet, which was never a good thing for a potential ruler to be.

She donned an unreadable expression before his curiosity was satisfied, and her lilting voice turned sharp. “Flattery is not necessary. The betrothal has already been set.”

Another blast of that wintery gaze. She had unusual blue-gray eyes—wide and expressive and lovely enough to bring a lesser man to his knees. Her confident demeanor would likely have convinced most, but he had sharpened his instincts in a court little safer than a lion’s den. Tension rode her—something between unease and fear. He gripped her wrist and had the inexplicable urge to drag her somewhere else, anywhere other than the betrothal celebration that waited upstairs with his family. She was a delicate songbird, and his father was a bird of prey. They all were, Cassius included. And he couldn’t help but wonder how long it would be before this little bird had her wings clipped.

She tugged her arm out of his grasp, hard. He was tempted to take it back. That was part of his nature … to take. But she fixed him with a harsh glare, and he smiled in response. Perhaps his little bird had talons after all.

Enough. She was not his little bird. A jungle cat does not care for prey, even if he wants it with a hunger stronger than any he has ever known. He pushed his more ruthless instincts aside. That would be his greatest challenge here—fighting the need to seize, command, destroy. Those were the things he was good at. The things he’d been taught since he could walk. With Aurora he would have to coax and flatter and comfort—that was his path to control.

She said, “We should probably go. They’ll be calling for us soon.”

Cassius offered her his elbow, and her body was tense as she curled her hand around it. But before they even took a step, it became clear that the voluminous fabric at the bottom of her dress wouldn’t allow them to easily walk side by side. Cassius took hold of her hand, sliding it off his arm and lacing their fingers together instead. Slowly, he lifted her hand until his lips dragged across her knuckles. The blacks of her eyes expanded, swallowing up that lovely color and adding just a touch of sin to her sweet. She jerked within his grip, trying to pull away. Chuckling low, he put some distance between them, but he did not release her hand.

It took entirely too long to cross the throne room in her elaborate attire. She had to kick the bottom of her dress out before she stepped so that it wasn’t underfoot. Cassius was willing to bet that the dress and the headpiece weighed a third as much as she did or more, but her posture remained rigidly upright and her steps smooth.

By the time they reached the staircase at the back of the throne room, her lips were open and her breathing quick. He was beginning to hate this dress, even if it did cling to her curves rather spectacularly.

“You know,” he said, “I have a knife. I’m tempted to cut off the bottom of that dress so you can walk like the rest of us.”

A smile flitted across her mouth, small at first, then widening into something playful and bright. It called to the darkness in him. “You could try. But you’d likely find that knife at your throat with my mother on the other side of it.”

“Not you?”

“If I had my way, we’d burn it once you cut it off. The headdress too.”

He smiled, and for the first time in a long while it felt almost natural.

“Perhaps we’ll celebrate our wedding with a bonfire.”

Every time he mentioned the wedding, she tensed. It was, of course, already agreed upon and signed in ink, but he had plans that would not succeed if she remained reluctant.

They ascended the first few steps slowly, the beaded fabric of her dress pulled taut around her legs. He wanted to throw her over his shoulder and charge the rest of the way, but he distracted himself with studying his surroundings instead. The hallway they were leaving behind was filled with paintings and statues of the PavanStormling ancestors. At the hallway’s end a massive, gold-painted statue of the current queen stood in a decorative alcove. Once upon a time, there might have been altars to the old gods—places to pray for good harvest or fertility or even luck—but those days were long past. Too many years of unbridled destruction and unanswered prayers.

No, Stormlings were the gods now. It was Cassius and the people like him who either answered prayers or ignored them.

“You said you faced a blizzard on your journey, but you did it without an affinity.”

He squeezed the hand he still held. “I did.”

She pulled her bottom lip between her teeth, scraping at the white paint that covered her skin. She asked, “Would you tell me about it sometime? The blizzard?”

He angled his head to smile at her again, and she looked away. Shy. So many pieces to her puzzle.“On one condition.”

“Which is?” He had expected her to be like most of the well-born ladies of the court in Locke: sirens with claws and teeth or frightened little mice, made to be gobbled up by this world. Aurora seemed neither vicious nor weak, but she was working so carefully to show him a fa├žade that he could not pinpoint exactly what she was.

He had to know. It was his curse, the reason he thirsted for the thrill of a storm. He had to know how things worked, had to know why. And the girl in front of him was no different. In fact, the need to unravel all her secrets was stronger than he’d ever felt because she would be his. And he had a feeling that conquering her would prove more exhilarating than any storm he had ever defeated.

Rather than giving her his condition, he released her hand and wrapped an arm around the slim circle of her waist. She tried to step back, but her feet tangled in her dress, and she gripped his tunic to stay upright.

There it was. A thread of fear in those eyes. He could have stopped then, but he had little self-control when it came to these things. It was not enough to see a measure of her emotions on her face. He wanted them all. So he pushed a little more. “You might be patient enough to fight with this dress, but I am not. Let me get us to the top of these stairs, and I promise to tell you whatever story you want to hear.”

She jutted her soft chin out and said, “You have a deal.”

The paint had begun to wear away on her lips, revealing rosy skin underneath. Was the rest of her flushed beneath all that powder? He dragged his fingers back and forth over her side, feeling hard ridges beneath the heavy, embellished fabric. “Corset?”

She sucked in a breath, and he knew he had shocked her. Innocent. He collected each morsel of her identity like a scavenger in the jungle. He saw just a sliver of panic before she hid it away and met his gaze.

Brave little bird.

“It will have to be like this.” Before she could change her mind or reason could catch up to his own actions, he bent, winding his arms around her thighs, and lifted. She was tall but slight, and he held her tight against him so that her hips pressed against his chest and her stomach hovered in front of his face. She gasped and braced a hand on his shoulder, reaching up to balance her headdress with the other. He could not see her face like this, but he imagined she was scandalized. He chuckled. “I suppose I should have given you some warning.”

He risked offending her or word getting back to her mother through the guards that followed them. Both of which paled in comparison to the risk of his father hearing of his actions. He was a child, poking at a fish with a stick, rather than reeling it in the way he was supposed to. But he could not seem to help himself.

With some measure of urgency, he started up the stairs. Her body swayed toward him, her beaded dress scraping against his chin. This close, he felt her breathing speed up. The hand on his shoulder migrated to her chest, doing her best to cover the cleavage that was only just above his line of sight.

His instincts said to push again, but this time he reined them in. He kept his head down and quickened his feet. Again, the movement made her sway toward him, harder this time without her hand on his shoulder as a brace. He turned his face to the side, and her belly pressed against his cheek just for a moment before her hand was back at his shoulder, righting her position.

He took the last few steps at a pace that was nearly a jog, and when he reached the top, he looked up at her face. Her mouth was open and soft; he knew by the rise and fall of her body against him that her breaths were ragged, and in her eyes was a gleam. Not fear. Not panic. Not even anger.

Want.

He could work with that.

Copyright © 2017 by Cora Carmack


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Cora Carmack is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult Romance and YA fantasy. Her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages around the world. Cora splits her time between Austin, TXand New York City, and on any given day you might find her typing away at her computer, flying to various cities around the world, or just watching Netflix with her kitty Katniss. But she can always be found on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and her website www.coracarmack.com.

Represented by the fabulous Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary.


Photo Credit: Matt Tolbert





--Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

10 Winners will receive a Copy of ROAR and Swag Bundle (Everything Pictured, Poster and Coloring Sheet) by Cora Carmack.



a Rafflecopter giveaway