Tuesday, 26 July 2016

An Average Curse (The Chronicles of Hawthorn #1) by Rue

An Average Curse (The Chronicles of Hawthorn #1)
by Rue
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: June 20th 2016

Summary from Goodreads:

On an island hidden from the rest of the world, Flynn Hawthorn, the ninth daughter of the ninth daughter, lives under a curse.

Her birth fulfills an ancient prophecy. She is destined to inherit the wand of the High Priestess and save her people by reuniting the separated halves of The Book of Shadow and Light.

But in a land filled with magick, Flynn is forced to live her life as a Watcher—born into magick, but unable to wield it.

As the threat from the Shadow Coven of Southeil grows, Flynn must pretend—with the help of her best friend, Hazel—that she actually has magick. Hazel would do anything for Flynn, but the game they are playing may cost them their lives…

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Key to the Journey (The Chronicles of Hawthorn #2)
by Rue
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: June 21st 2016

Summary from Goodreads:

Young Flynn Hawthorn anxiously awaits the return of the initiates to Moa Bend. Normally she doesn't look forward to her training sessions, but she'll do anything to end her "endless" afternoons trapped in Mistress Tamsin's Herb Hut.

Without warning, Flynn's world turns upside down. Her best friend is missing and could be lost in Dreamwood Forest. Her mother, the High Priestess, finally tells Flynn the truth about her father-an outsider, from beyond the mist. And somehow, the falcon she chose to train is triggering strange episodes of time-warped astral travel!

Flynn embarks on a journey to uncover long-awaited answers. Will she find a way to save her people from the growing threat in Southeil, or will she unwittingly put herself directly into the hands of the Shadow Witch?

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About the Author
2015 and 2016 IPPY Award Winner.
2016 National Indie Excellence Awards Finalist.
Rue is an award-winning fiction author and in her limited spare time, she reads voraciously. Her love of the written word led to the pursuit of a B.A. in Journalism from Pepperdine University in California and a lifelong passion for writing. Her respect for indigenous cultures, oral traditions, and the seasonal magick of nature inevitably brought her work to the world of fantasy. The story of Flynn Hawthorn has been part of her heart and imagination for nearly a decade.

Confessions of a Wedding Planner - Michelle Jo Quinn

Confessions of a Wedding Planner
Michelle Jo Quinn
(Bliss #1)
Publication date: July 26th 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
He may be the best man, but he’s the worst man for her…
Wedding planner, Veronica Soto-Stewart believes everyone deserves a fairy tale–even her ex-boyfriend. Unable to refuse his request, and with the help of Bliss Events motley crew, she finds herself creating the most magical event for the perfect couple.
But nothing is ever perfect…
And not all happy ever afters can be planned…
Levi Laurent can’t believe his luck. Thanks to his best friend’s wedding, he finally has a shot at the woman he’s always wanted–Veronica. From San Francisco to Paris, and back, he pulls out all the stops, so she knows where she really belongs–with him. But Veronica wants nothing to do with the rich, sexy, irresistible playboy.
Can Levi convince Veronica that her perfect happily ever after is closer than she ever realized?
I couldn’t make myself comfortable. As I continued to shrug, he clasped my shoulders tighter. If I leaned against my car, his hips would press against me. I sagged in defeat and avoided direct contact with his eyes. This was worse than him thinking we could be friends.
“Since you’re big, bad boss of this whole operation, what’s going on with the bachelor party?” The man wriggled his eyebrows at me when I looked up. It was such a laughable action.
Levi was the ultimate bachelor…and rebel. He kept his hair long, rarely shaved, and often dressed in button up shirts with the first three buttons undone and sleeves rolled up, showing off his constant tan. He exuded bad-to-the-bone. And he loved it.
No doubt he had particular ideas on what Jake’s bachelor party should be like. I had more than enough of a fight to deal with, why would I add a few more in the way of silicon-filled strippers?
“What bachelor party? I’m not in charge of that. I’ve never planned one, and don’t intend to start. It’s your job as the best man to figure it out.” I poked my finger at his chest. Hard, warm chest, with a steady fluttering from his heart.
“Is it?” He took my hand in his and flattened my palm on his chest, halting my ministrations. I stared at my fingertips touching his exposed skin. “Maybe you and I can get together soon, just us, and you can give me ideas.” A number of salacious scenes flashed in my mind. I gulped, realizing my mistake, but the heat had ebbed up my neck and cheeks.
Drawing back my hand, I replied, “If you need help, you can call Chase.” I spun around to the back of my car, reached in and took out a card from my purse, ignoring the blush on my cheeks and hoping he would, too. The hand that was squeezing my shoulder smoothed its way down to the small of my back when I faced him again. I tried not to focus on the sudden, pleasant warmth in my belly. This was Levi, Casanova of the Bay area…and beyond!
He took the proffered card. “She’s the expert on all things…naughty.” Chase would kill me if she found out I gave him her number. “I have to go.”
He removed his hand from my back and held my door open for me. As I settled in my seat, he stuck his head in my car and surprised me with a swift kiss on my cheek, rendering me speechless with how pleasant it felt. Levi had never been this close to me before. I’d never allowed it.
After shutting the door closed for me, he leaned his arms over the opened window and cocked his head to one side. Playfulness washed over his face. “Veronica, you may not like me, but whether you like it or not, I will be around whenever Jake asks me to be there. So you’ll have to get used to us being together…a lot.” It felt like he was trying to say more, but I simply nodded my head, and started the car. I waited for him to back away, before I sped off. I was flustered enough to accidentally run over the guy.

Author Bio:
Michelle’s love for writing blossomed when her father gave her a diary, but instead of recounting her daily life, she wrote stories of fictional people. Like most of her characters, she believes in Happily Ever After. Naturally, she finds harmony in writing romance. She enjoys creating stories that make readers laugh, cry and fall in love.
An unabashed, self-proclaimed foodie, Michelle loves to try new food whenever she travels. She once had triple crème Brie and duck rillette for lunch on top of Grouse Mountain.
She lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband, two kids and a pup named Scarlet.


Thursday, 14 July 2016

The Last of the Firedrakes by Farah Oomerbhoy

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

16-year-old Aurora Darlington is an orphan. Mistreated by her adopted family and build at school, she dreams of running away and being free. But when she is kidnapped and dragged through a portal into a magical world, suddenly her old life doesn't seem so bad.

Avalonia is a dangerous land ruled by powerful mages and cruel, selfish queen who will do anything to control all seven kingdoms--including killing anyone who stands in her way. Thrust headlong into this new, magical world, Aurora's arrival sets plans into motion that threaten to destroy all she holds dear.

With the help of a young far, a magical pegasus, and a handsome mage, Aurora journeys across Avalonia to learn the truth about her past and unleash the power within herself. Kingdoms collide as a complicated web of political intrigue and ancient magic lead Aurora to unravel a shocking secret that will change her life forever.

For a second that felt like a lifetime, everything stopped; I felt like I was floating in nothingness. Then I blinked, and, when I finally opened my eyes and focused again through the tears, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

I found myself standing at the mouth of a small cave situated on a hill and overlooking a quiet, moonlit valley. On my left, a dark forest stretched out as far as the eye could see, treetops glistening silver in the light of the full moon. The hills around us undulated into wildflower-filled meadows that lay sleeping in the dewy night.

Far down in the valley, I could see a little village, its lights twinkling in the distance. To my right, a waterfall splashed playfully into a small river that ran down into a lake, next to which the little village was built. The moon here was fuller and larger than I had ever seen it, and the night sky was awash with a fantastic array of glittering stars.

Had I passed through the tapestry? Where was I?

I looked around, disbelief clouding my judgment. I was still trying to get my bearings after that strange moment when I had been inside the tapestry and nowhere at the same time. It gave me a funny feeling, as though I had been lifted out of my own consciousness and then put back into my body.

A warm breeze brushed past my face and played with my hair. Gone were the cloudy grey mist and the cold, nipping wind of the English countryside. I drew in a sharp breath—the air was crisp and clear, sweet smelling, and fresh. The moonlit valley was filled with fruit trees, wildflowers, and rolling meadows.

“How did we come here? Where are we?” I asked, still confused.

“You really are ignorant,” said Oblek, glancing at me. “I take it your uncle didn’t tell you anything?”

I shook my head and looked down. Oblek had tied my hands with a rope he had with him while I was still dazed and looking around. It was humiliating, and the rough ropes cut into my wrists, rubbing them raw every time he pulled me forward.

I had to find some way out of this. And, at the moment, the only thing I could do was discover more about where I was. Then, when I got an opportunity, I could escape and find my way back up to the cave on the hill, where we had arrived out of the tapestry.

But then what?

Christopher was probably dead, and Aunt Arianna would doubtless blame me for everything since I had disappeared at the same time. I had no idea what to do. I didn’t really want to go back, and, now that my adoptive parents were dead, I had nothing to return to.

I was starting to panic. I had nowhere to go, and my mind was imagining an array of horrible outcomes of my kidnapping. My palms had become sweaty, and my racing heart was thundering in my chest as I half-walked and half-ran, desperately trying to keep up with Oblek’s giant strides.

“Why are you doing this?” I pleaded with my kidnapper.

But Lord Oblek said nothing. He didn’t even look at me. He just kept walking ahead and dragging me along behind him, with no more explanations as to what he was planning to do with me.

I was terrified, and I had no idea if I was going to survive this. But I tried to be brave. Maybe I could talk my way out of this?

“You do know that this is called kidnapping?” I said, trying to reason with Oblek.

He didn’t bother to answer.

“What will happen to me now?” I squeaked, my voice breaking, as I tried not to cry.

“Queen Morgana will decide what is to be done with you,” said Oblek, finally.

Queen Morgana! The woman from my dream? It was not possible that this, too, was a coincidence. It must be the same Morgana, the one who had tried to kill my real mother.

Who the hell was she?

Suddenly all of this seemed extremely scary. I hoped that I was still dreaming and that there was no way I had actually traveled through a magical tapestry into some strange land. It all seemed very exciting in books. But actually being kidnapped and then hauled around like an animal, traveling deep into a land I knew nothing about, was not my idea of fun.

I had to get away from this horrible man, and fast.

Author Bio and Links:
Farah Oomerbhoy, Author's Profile Photo
Farah Oomerbhoy is a young adult writer with a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Mumbai. Farah loves the fantastical and magical and often dreams of living in Narnia, Neverland, or the Enchanted Forest. Her debut novel, The Last of the Firedrakes, Book 1 of The Avalonia Chronicles started on Wattpad where it received a Watty Award in 2015 and over 1.5 million reads. Since publication, The Last of the Firedrakes has gone on to win a silver medal in IBPA’s Benjamin Franklin Awards, become a finalist in the USA Best Book Awards and become an international bestseller. Farah lives with her family in Mumbai, India where she can be found checking for magical portals in every closet.

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