Thursday, May 29, 2014

Guest Post: Fractured Truth by Rachel McClellan

Fractured Truth
(Fractured Light #3)
Llona is determined to end the fight with the Vykens once and for all. All she needs is to find and destroy the Shadow–the ultimate source of dark power. But when she makes a startling discovery about someone she loves, Llona has to fight the toughest battle yet in this exciting conclusion to the Fractured Light series.
Amazon – Barnes & Noble
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About Fractured Light (Book #1)

Llona Reese is used to living on the run. After the Vykens killed her parents, she knew they would eventually come for her too. She can’t take any chances. But when she starts to make friends for the first time in her life, she gets careless and lets her guard down. Big mistake.
As an Aura, Llona can manipulate light and harness its energy. But if she wants to survive, Llona will have to defy the Auran Council and learn to use her power as a weapon against the Vyken whose sole desire is to take her light. Now she’s caught in something even bigger than she can understand, with a power she can’t wield, and no one she can trust, except, just maybe, a mysterious stranger.
Amazon – Barnes & Noble

About Fractured Soul (Book #2)

Llona will do whatever it takes to protect her new found friends and home, but the dark plot threatening Lucent Academy, a school that’s supposed to be a safe place for Auras, may be too powerful for even Llona to defeat.
This fast-paced tale of love, loyalty, and overcoming the darkness will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page!
Amazon – Barnes & Noble

Rachel McClellan was born and raised in Idaho, a place secretly known for its supernatural creatures. When she’s not in her writing lair, she’s partying with her husband and four crazy, yet lovable, children. Rachel’s love for storytelling began as a child when the moon first possessed the night. For when the lights went out, her imagination painted a whole new world. And what a scary world it was…
Website – Blog
Twitter – Facebook – Goodreads

5 Qualities to Teach Your Children So They Can Become Superheroes

A distinction needs to be made about what really makes a super hero. Is it the costume? Their ability to fly? Run fast? Lift a car over their head? Or is it their inner qualities such as bravery, compassion, their desire to make the world a better place?

What would happen if a superhero didn’t have these good qualities? Despite his super abilities, he’d just be an average person with some cool powers. But no one would look up to him and no one would want to be like them. It’s what a person does with their abilities that make them a superhero.

Superheroes know how to make others feel of value. And, fortunately, every quality a superhero possesses, our children can obtain, too. Let’s go over a few of these.


Life takes courage. Every single day. And it comes in different forms. For some, simply going to school takes courage, or for others, standing in front of a crowd takes courage. Courage is a kind of strength, power or resolve to meet a scary circumstance head on. Teach your children that even in small moments we can be heroes.


Compassion is the ability to understand the emotional state of another person or oneself. It gives a person a desire to reduce the suffering of another. Take your children on walks and point out an unhappy child or maybe a lost puppy. Look for ways for them to show compassion whether it’s to siblings or friends. Unfortunately, there’s suffering all around us if we we’re willing to see it.


This is a hard attribute to teach children. Selflessness means we act without thought for how we will profit or be rewarded. One way to teach selflessness is to show our children how their actions will make other people happy. For example, having an older sister read to a younger sister, even though the older child thinks it’s boring. Teach the older daughter that her actions are to help bring joy to someone’s life. Also, give your children opportunities to help others whether it’s working in soup kitchens, donating their time at a second hand clothing store, basically anything that means they may have to sacrifice something that is important to them, like time or money, for the benefit of someone else.


A superhero would never be a hero if they judged others. Can you imagine Superman choosing not to save someone simply because he didn’t like what they were wearing? We never know how a child was raised, and we never know what type of day someone has had. Teach your children to not automatically assume certain things about others. Teach them to treat others the same way they would want to be treated.


Superheroes are always humble. Win they win a fight, they don’t rub it into the criminals face, they don’t run up and down the streets claiming their victory. They quietly disappear into the night, knowing that tomorrow will bring another battle. Being humble means to do the best job you can, while also respecting those around here. Teach your children to always say “Good Job” to others and to even go as far as helping other kids achieve their goals all without expecting anything in return.

So the next time your child expresses a desire to be like a superhero, explain to them why they, too, can be a superhero – a Real Life Superhero.

Click on the tour banner below to hop on over to the Dark World Books site & enter the tour wide giveaway! Good luck everyone!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Giveaway, Review & Guest Post: Confessions of the Very First Zombie Slayer (That I Know Of) by @FJR_Titchenell

Confessions of the Very First Zombie Slayer (that I know of)
by F.J.R. Trichenell
Debut YA Horror/Comedy
Published May 6 by Jolly Fish Press

*eARC obtained directly from the publisher in exchange for an honest review as part of the tour*

Synopsis via Goodreads:

The world is Cassie Fremont’s playground. Her face is on the cover of every newspaper, she has no homework, no curfew, and no credit limit, and she spends her days traveling the country with her friends, including a boy who would flirt with death just to turn her head. Life is just about perfect—except that those newspaper headlines are about her bludgeoning her crush to death with a paintball gun, she has to fight ravenous walking corpses every time she steps outside, and one of her friends is still missing, trapped somewhere in the distant, practically impassable wreckage of Manhattan. Still, Cassie’s an optimist. More prone to hysterical laughter than hysterical tears, she’d rather fight a corpse than be one, and she won’t leave a friend stranded when she can simply take her road trip to impossible new places to find her, even if getting there means admitting to that boy that she might just love him, too. Skillfully blending effective horror with unexpected humor, this diary-format novel is a fast-paced and heartwarming read.

Grab Your Copy from Amazon

F.J.R. Titchenell is an author of Young Adult Sci-Fi and Horror fiction. She is represented by Jennifer Mishler of Literary Counsel and currently lives in San Gabriel, California with her husband and fellow author, Matt Carter, and their pet king snake, Mica.

The "F" is for Fiona, and on the rare occasions when she can be pried away from her keyboard, her kindle, and the pages of her latest favorite book, Fi can usually be found over-analyzing the inner workings of various TV Sci-Fi universes or testing out some intriguing new recipe, usually chocolate-related.

Confessions of the Very First Zombie Slayer (That I Know of) is F.J.R. Titchenell’s first novel. Her first novel coauthored with Matt Carter, Splinters, will be available fall of 2014.

 Connect with the author:   Website   Facebook   Twitter   Goodreads

My Top Ten Zombie Influences

1: World War Z (book)
This is the ultimate zombie novel. The thought and research that must have gone into it is staggering, and far beyond anything I can imagine attempting. How is that an influence, then? Because it took me deeper into a zombie apocalyptic world than anything else and started my brain really working there.

2: Zombieland
It's a zombie comedy road trip. I think that influence is pretty clear. I wanted to give YA readers the kind of zombie fun this movie offers a primarily adult male audience.

3: Shaun of the Dead
This was the first zombie movie I ever saw, and consequently the first zombie comedy I saw. I have no doubt that mixing zombies with British romantic comedy did a lot to endear them to me.

4: The Walking Dead (TV)
I became a fan of this one too late for it to have much of an influence on me as I was writing Confessions of the Very First Zombie Slayer (That I Know of), but with it being the main work of zombie fiction everyone knows right now, you can't help it influencing how you think about zombies, and every other zombie story must be compared and contrasted with, no exceptions.

5: The Walking Dead (Comics)
For similar reasons to the TV show, the comparison must be made, even though I didn't read them until after writing the book. I'm not as big a fan of the comics as the TV show. They have great moments but tend to devolve into characters having endlessly circular conversations and monologues about how awful their world is and how awful it makes them. That was something I always wanted to avoid overdoing.

6: 28 Days Later/28 Weeks Later
Another of my earliest introductions to zombies, and yes, for all storytelling purposes, that is what the monsters of the 28 series are. They’re my favorite serious take on fast zombies. I'm not an adamant member of either the fast or slow zombie camp. I enjoy them both in different ways, and the speedwalk-shambling zombies of Confessions of the Very First Zombie Slayer (That I Know of) are my compromise.

7: Warm Bodies
I hadn't read Warm Bodies when I wrote Confessions of the Very First Zombie Slayer (That I Know of) either, and even if I had, they wouldn't have much in common. I don’t romanticize zombies, but Warm Bodies is the one work I truly love that does. It made me accept that sentient zombies can be done well, so even though that's not what I do, that has to count as an influence on how I now look at zombies.

8: Night of the Living Dead
Once I knew I loved zombies, I had to watch the classic. Plenty of the zombie storytelling elements that Night of the Living Dead established show up in Confessions of the Very First Zombie Slayer (That I Know of), like the old, slow-acting bites that always scared me most. You'll never meet any Barbaras in my books though. She’s just… just awful.

9: Return of the Living Dead
These zombies are capable of thought and speech and are completely unbeatable. My zombies are far more traditional in nature, but I adore the balance of humor and creepiness this movie achieves.

10: The Forest of Hands and Teeth
I wanted to love this book so much. It's the first book in a YA zombie epic! How could that not be exactly my thing? As you can probably guess, I didn't like it, and it ended up being a strong anti-influence on me. It's not that I don't like dark and/or heavy stuff in conjunction with either YA or zombies. I do. But this one relies so heavily on the awfulness of its dystopian post-apocalyptic world to make the story that the characters get no part in that. Their qualities and relationships are announced rather than developed organically. As much as I liked the ideas in the abstract, I think it's that disappointing disconnect I felt from those characters that made me want to do everything Forest of Hands and Teeth and its following imitators didn't; get close with these teens stuck at the end of the world, explore their relationships and let the fun of zombie slaying in.

Phew... zombie apocalypse! Although the author jumps right into this tale and we don't really end up with a lot of background on why everything has gone bonkers, I felt like the novel started off with a bang. I usually don't read many zombie novels. I've just never gotten into the whole being dead thing... LOL However, if all zombie books cracked me up like this one, I'd totally start reading them all.

The characters were great. I'll admit I wish there was alittle more "meat" to the characters sometimes. I felt like, rarely, they felt a little flat but not to the point where I disliked them. Hearing the tale through Cassie's narration was fun. I have to admit, it took me a while to get used to the format - it's sort of like reading a journal that someone has kept. I liked it once I got the feel for it & settled in. I adored the quirky humor throughout the novel which mixed well with all the gory battle &, well, apocalyptic times...

The action sequences were totally awesome & kept me glued to the pages. The novel is very fast paced & action packed. I snorted a few times in between griping my ereader in a death grip through the fight sequences. Awesome job on the author's part.

The plot flowed well for me. I enjoyed it. Although, I thought it was a little crazy that she went through all the effort to save her friend when they didn't really seem friends anymore.. but whatever. It worked. I did think the ending felt a little rushed but it wasn't a buzzkill. Like I said before, the novel was really fast paced so it worked.

So, overall, great, action packed, hilariously enjoyable zombie novel.

Overall Rating: 4 Stars
Cover Rating: 3 Stars
Characters: 3.5 Stars
Plot: 4 Stars
Climax: There were so many action packed moments that I'm not quite sure where I could pin point an actual climax...
Ending: 3.5 Stars

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Review: Alabaster Nights by Elle J. Rossi

Alabaster Nights
(A Josie Hawk Companion Novella)
by Elle J. Rossi

A Vampire with a soul. A Huntress with a knife.
In Nashville, Blood equals Power. Will one taste of Josie Hawk cost Keller everything?
Add Alabaster Nights to your Goodreads list!

Elle J Rossi grew up in rural Indiana surrounded by great people, a huge family and more animals than she could count. But the sites and sounds of the world beckoned, so she left her small town to escape into a creative world full of music. As a full time singer she was able to lose herself in a thousand different songs in a hundred different places. After meeting the love of her life and settling down, she yearned to find a new and fulfilling creative outlet. Overly fond of the happily ever after, she wondered what it would be like to have her own characters lead her down dark and twisted paths. The very first word on the very first page sealed her fate. She’d found a new love. She’d found her escape. Now along with weaving haunting tales about the journey to love, she’s creating cover art for authors around the world and loving every second of it. For fun, she cranks country music to take her back to her roots, and sings karaoke anytime she gets a chance. Her husband, two children, and a cat that rules the roost keep her company along the way and guarantee she doesn’t get lost in the enchanted forest. She wouldn’t have it any other way.
 Oh my... Keller... Love him & that name. Josie was great too.... You know, for a girl. :) 
This is a great novella & a great introduction to the author's work. I've not read anything else by Rossi before but I definitely plan to now. I want to continue this series! It's one heck of a teaser, taking us through how the characters first meet, etc. 
 I enjoyed the author's pace for the story. It kept me interested and I didn't feel bored. 
The characters... swoon. I loved Keller (if you didn't notice that in the opening sentence of this review) Ha. It's a great vampire tale and I think paranormal lovers could get into this series just from the opener. I liked the spin on the vamp tale. Keller is addicted to blood but wants to curve it so it's not so overwhelming of sorts. Drinking from cups just isn't the same. LOL Ewe... that just grosses me out. It's definitely hotter for vamps to drink from the source in my opinion so I can't blame the guy. Anywho... Josie has a spunky attitude and I liked her as well. However, I have to admit, I wasn't keen on the POV swaps.... I was almost peeved when Josie's POV came about because I just enjoyed Keller's POV so much.
 I look forward to reading more of this series from this author because this novella pulled me in and left me wanting more of the characters & their world. 
 So overall... I'd have to say a 3.5 Star for me.
 Overall: 3.5
Cover Rating: 4 Stars
Characters: 4 Stars
Plot: 4 Stars
Ending: 4 Stars