Monday, December 31, 2012

Blog Tour {Excerpt & Contest}—Cephrael's Hand by Melissa McPhail

Hi, everyone! As part of the special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Cephrael's Hand eBook edition is just 99 cents this week, and by purchasing this amazing book—which truly is amazing if my foaming-at-the-mouth review is any indication—you can enter to win awesome prizes by sharing some LUV.

♥ Autographed copies of Cephrael’s Hand, the award-winning Epic Fantasy debut of Melissa McPhail (5 prizes)
♥ $50 — Rafflecopter (2 prizes)
♥ $50 — Google+ sharing contest
♥ $50 — Facebook sharing contest
♥ $100 in the special author contest
♥ Kindle Fire in the special author contest

The LUV'NV could also win $100 in best/most creative entry and $50 in the Random blogger award, which would go to an awesome V Giveaway!

Blog Tour {Review}—Cephrael's Hand by Melissa McPhail

by Melissa McPhail
Book #1 of A Pattern of Shadow & Light
** ForeWord Reviews 2010 Book of the Year Finalist **
** Winner of Best Fiction, The Written Arts Awards **
** Winner of Best Science Fiction/Fantasy, The Written Arts Awards **

Book Depository Amazon B & N Goodreads

“All things are composed of patterns …” And within the pattern of the realm of Alorin, three strands must cross:

In Alorin … three hundred years after the genocidal Adept Wars, the realm is dying, and the blessed Adept race dies with it. One man holds the secret to reverting this decline: Bjorn van Gelderan, a dangerous and enigmatic man whose shocking betrayal three centuries past earned him a traitor’s brand. It is the Adept Vestal Raine D’Lacourte’s mission to learn what Bjorn knows in the hope of salvaging his race. But first he’ll have to find him.

In the kingdom of Dannym … the young Prince Ean val Lorian faces a tenuous future as the last living heir to the coveted Eagle Throne. When his blood-brother is slain during a failed assassination, Ean embarks on a desperate hunt for the man responsible. Yet his advisors have their own agendas, and his quest for vengeance leads him ever deeper into a sinuous plot masterminded by a mysterious and powerful man, the one they call First Lord.

In the Nadori desert … tormented by the missing pieces of his life, a soldier named Trell heads off to uncover the truth of his shadowed past. But when disaster places him in the debt of Wildlings sworn to the First Lord, Trell begins to suspect a deadlier, darker secret motivating them.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

V Wicked Tease – 12/27

— Regular Teasers —
Submit your teasers for an upcoming chapter. Can be E/B or non-canon!
Chapter 17 of "The End, The Beginning" by starpower31 **Edward & Bella**
Chapter 6 of "Merry Christmas, Stranger" by starpower31 **Edward & Bella**
Chapter 57 of "Monster" by The.Bloody White.Wolf.xoxo **Emmett & OC**

— V Wicked Teasers —
A different kind of pimpage. Give the fandom a taste of your fic in 125 words or less.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

V Wicked Tease – 12/20

— Regular Teasers —
Submit your teasers for an upcoming chapter. Can be E/B or non-canon!
Chapter 8 of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" by chocaholic123 **Edward & Bella**
Chapter 16 of "The Beginning, The End" by starpower31 **Edward & Bella**
Chapter 3 of "Merry Christmas, Stranger" by starpower31 **Edward & Bella**
Chapter 5 of "Simply Fate" by Vampgirl79 **Alice & Bella**

— V Wicked Teasers —
A different kind of pimpage. Give the fandom a taste of your fic in 125 words or less.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Vouched Books! The Night's Masque series by Anne Lyle

When Tudor explorers returned from the New World, they brought back a name out of half-forgotten Viking legend: skraylings. Red-sailed ships followed in the explorers’ wake, bringing Native American goods – and a skrayling ambassador – to London. But what do these seemingly magical beings really want in Elizabeth I’s capital?

Mal Catlyn, a down-at-heel swordsman, is seconded to the ambassador’s bodyguard, but assassination attempts are the least of his problems. What he learns about the skraylings and their unholy powers could cost England her new ally – and Mal Catlyn his soul.

Available on: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository
Find Anne Lyle on: Her Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Angry Robot
Genre and Content Rating: Historical Fantasy, 18+

A wonderful combination of fantasy, mystery, and revised history, The Alchemist of Souls was a surprising and highly enjoyable read. Though the setting is Tudor England, Queen Elizabeth is a widow with two sons; instead of the Church and Continent relations, trade between England and the New World are of dire import—and not with Native Americans in the traditional sense but with skraylings (or skræling), the mysterious, northernmost America people from Norse legends; and, of course, theater is the highlight of the season, shared between the social classes, but serving as a backdrop for political schemes, in which the players are the pawns, playwrights like Christopher Marlowe were the spies, and the theater location and name aren't as important as the theater attendees.

Mal Catlyn, a mercenary with questionable family and religious ties, is only on the lookout for his next paycheck so he can provide for his insane twin brother. When he's recruited as a bodyguard for the skrayling ambassador judging the next set of plays, Mal must get over his understandable aversion to the little-known foreigners to avoid surmounting debts ... and the noose, for he must also spy on the skraylings for any hints of the "demonic." His growing respect for Ambassador Kiiren skews his mission as well as values he never knew he had, and he learns about a connection with the skraylings that no man—English or not—would like.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

New Stories from V Featured Authors

Check out the new Twilight fics from V featured authors that you might have missed.

"Looper" by Mrstrentreznor

Tyler & Bella, AU-Twilight, M, One Shot
Summary: What if Bella's future self came back to warn her off?

"Set Fire to the Rain" by kerigocrazy

Paul & Seth, Slash, Romance, Angst, MA/NC-17, One Shot
Summary: After a decade spent tied to an imprint who wants anything but what she's been given, Paul has hit an emotional rock bottom. Can Seth change the course of his future? Is it even possible to get past the imprint? My entry for the "C'mon Baby Light My Fire" O/S Contest on JBNP.

"Quiet" by idealskeptic

Esme, Tragedy, MA/NC-17, One Shot
Summary: There's a big scene in Breaking Dawn: Part 2 that's just a vision. But what if it wasn't? What if it actually happened? What would Esme hear, see, think, and do? ... obvious movie spoilers, so you've been warned.

"Crazy Perfect" by TwilightMommyof4girls

Bella, Drama, Romance, MA/NC-17, Completed
Summary: This story was written more than a year ago but was lost in a computer crash before being posted. It was just recovered so I decided to share it in my effort to get everything updated and completed. There are three chapters and an epilogue.

"Long Ride Home" by Mrstrentreznor

Claire & Quil, Romance, K, One Shot
Summary: How does grown up Claire cope with being told that Quil is her soul mate? Drabble fic. less than 500 words.

"The Beautiful Girls" by Kyilliki

Sulpicia and Athenodora, Family, T, One Shot
Summary: The end of Breaking Dawn, from the perspective of the Volturi wives. An AU where Didyme lives, written for a request.

"Long, Tall Sally" by LJ Summers

Angela & Garrett, Romance, AU-Eclipse, T, Complete
Summary: Nomad Garrett Sawyer happens upon traces of his old friend Carlisle Cullen. Wary, he eventually follows the entire Cullen Coven to none other than a high school graduation ceremony and his existence is profoundly re-directed. An Eclipse AU, written for The Edge Girls.

"Definitions" by meliz875

Wolf Pack, MA/NC-17, WIP
Summary: "When a defining moment comes along, you define the moment, or the moment defines you." Glimpses into the lives of the Twilight wolf pack. A place to keep my drabble fics, prompts and other misc. writing. Rated M to be safe. Will likely span multiple characters/genres

"Time Heals All Wounds" by Speklez

Demetri & Bella, Romance, Hurt/Comfort, MA/NC-17, WIP
Summary: Tragedy introduced them, common ground brought them closer and heartbreaking circumstances will tie them together. A/U A/H OOC and all that fun stuff. Normal disclaimers apply.

"Bonfires and Burns" by Mrstrentreznor

Bella, AU-New Moon, K, One Shot
Summary: An unnamed wolf tells his child a story to distract him when he is hurt. Second prize JBNP Fall Festivities 2012 anon one shot competition.

"Up to My Neck" by Kyilliki

Kate & Garrett, Hurt/Comfort, Romance, MA/NC-17, One Shot
Summary: Kate, Garrett, and a romance at the margins.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

V Wicked Tease – 12/13

— Regular Teasers —
Submit your teasers for an upcoming chapter. Can be E/B or non-canon!
Chapter 23 of "Corporate Affairs" by chocaholic123 **Edward & Bella**
Chapter 10 of "Spinal Cord" by Midnight Ariel **Jasper & Alice**

— V Wicked Teasers —
A different kind of pimpage. Give the fandom a taste of your fic in 125 words or less.
Chapter 44 of "Monster" by The.Bloody White.Wolf.xoxo **Emmett & OC**

Vouched Book! "Falling Kingdoms" by Morgan Rhodes

In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power--brutally transforming their subjects' lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:

Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.

Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished--and finds himself the leader of a people's revolution centuries in the making.

Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past--and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword...

The only outcome that's certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

"Falling Kingdoms will gut you emotionally. It will make you ache, cry, and beg for the sequel as you turn the last page. I absolutely loved it." — Julie Kagawa, New York Times bestselling author of The Iron Queen

"This triple-layered tale of bloodshed, heartbreak, and tangled court intrigue kept me turning pages very late into the night." — Lesley Livingston, award-winning author of Wondrous Strange

Find it on: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound | The Book Depository
Find Morgan Rhodes on: Her Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin Group)
Genre & Content Rating: YA Fantasy, 16+

This is the first book I've picked up from PenguinTeen's Breathless Reads Collection. While I wasn't breathless, Falling Kingdoms has vivid battle scenes and a couple heart-tugging moments.

Kingdoms do fall. The young are left to grow up fast and pick up the pieces while their hopes and dreams are crushed. Death, secrets, and betrayals are abundant—throat-slicing being the choice death-blow, though don't expect cloak-and-dagger assassins (and plot twists) like the book cover leads one to expect because there are none, sadly.

I think that was my main issue with the book—there was no stealth, no mystery. I knew what was going to happen; the twists and "secrets" were obvious. I anticipated the characters' reactions and the outcome—and it wasn't in a good way. It made the buildup a bit slow for me. I also thought there was more "telling" than "showing" in the beginning. With the exception of one character (Magnus), I didn't see what the characters saw in another character. Though I knew their personalities in a general sense, I didn't feel Cleo, Jonas, or Lucia in my gut.

But once I got to the climax (about three-quarters in), I couldn't put the book down, and the character growth was fantastic. Every character made some kind of leap, some kind of change, that is rare in YA.

Falling Kingdoms was good, not great, but I'll definitely check out the rest of the series, hoping for a similar pace to the last quarter of the book. A solid three-and-half stars bumped up to four because of the ending.

LUV'NV Rating: Rating as 12/13/2012: 4.3 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Guest Review by Read 'n Love 2Gether — "Monster" by The.Bloody White.Wolf.xoxo

"Monster" by The.Bloody White.Wolf.xoxo
Emmett & OC, Angst, Romance, MA/NC-17
Summary: I am a monster—born to protect, yet living only to kill. My humanity is gone, all until one harmless glance changes everything. Just one glance has bound two sworn enemies together. But is it fate or a joke? Can one who has lost herself be found again by another? Or is this another dark, dirty, trick of my own mind? A forbidden passion, heat, and intense anger—this is no fairytale.
Content Warnings: Alcohol abuse and graphic violence

The.Bloody White.Wolf.xoxo's "Monster" is a gripping tale of action, angst, romance, and fluff that teaches a common lesson: sometimes the biggest obstacle in our lives is ourselves.

My first encounter with "Monster" was late in the night when I caught the attention of it, and I started the first chapter in a half-awake stage. I was interested, and something kept me reading. Before I knew it, I was on chapter 20. I was awake by then, as the fantastic attention to detail kept me reading. I saw that the first four chapters of the second part were an exposition and thought I would stop. But, just my luck: I got to the 25th chapter and the happenings had me hooked. Hours passed as I read all the way through to the 50th, and I was awed by this fic.

This isn't your common fic, and I believe that because of that, this undiscovered gem has yet to be discovered. "Monster" is the tale of a Quileute woman by the name of Jordan Uley. She has struggled through her childhood filled with hardships, which eventually build into a stunning fury that's bottled up into her until she explodes and ends up losing herself to the 'monster' within herself.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

V Wicked Tease – 12/06

— Regular Teasers —
Submit your teasers for an upcoming chapter. Can be E/B or non-canon!
Chapter 22 of "Corporate Affairs" by chocaholic123 **Edward & Bella**

— V Wicked Teasers —
A different kind of pimpage. Give the fandom a taste of your fic in 125 words or less.
Chapter 52 of "Monster" by The.Bloody White.Wolf.xoxo **Emmett & OC**