Thursday, January 29, 2015

MARK OF THE BEAST by Adolphus A. Anekwe Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway

Hey everyone! Hope you are all having a fantastic week thus far. Only one more day until the weekend, woohoo! Today I've got a great blog tour stop for you guys for a novel that sounds incredibly interesting! Today I'm promoting Mark of the Beast by Adolphus A. Anekwe, check out all the fun!

Mark of the Beast: A searing medical thriller by Adolphus A. Anekwe, a renowned doctor, about the ramifications of isolating a gene that causes violent behavior

Dr. Regina Dickerson is a Catholic physician in San Diego who has discovered that there is a certain genetic marker that indicates the carrier is prone to psychotic violence. Working on blood from prison inmates, her theory begins to prove itself time and again with violent offenders. The variety of crimes is diverse: one couple murders their children for organ money, another man kidnaps young girls to seduce and kill them, yet another has a penchant for cyanide.

As Dickerson's work begins to show results and catches the attention of the media, people begin to fear that witch hunts and Spanish Inquisition–style mayhem will result if forcible testing is carried out. Meanwhile, a race begins to find a cure. With science and religion at odds, Dickerson must find her own answers while trying to escape those who want to put an end to her inflammatory research.

ADOLPHUS A. ANEKWE, MD, is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Indiana University Northwest Medical Center, and is also an active staff member at five area hospitals, a Board Certified Diplomat and Fellow in two medical specialties, and an active community leader. He resides in Schererville, Indiana, and is the author of Mark of the Beast.


Dr. Regina Dickerson was sitting on the aisle side at St. Stephen’s

Catholic Church on Mount Pleasant Street in La Jolla, California, listening

to Father Yarderos delivering the sermon on a cloudy Sunday

morning. “In the letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians from today’s second

reading, St. Paul teaches us one thing”— Father Yarderos’s piercing

voice interrupted Dickerson’s deep thoughts—“that there are people

who rejoice at others’ misfortunes. We see this every day in our daily

life, especially in this competitive world. Mind you, there is nothing

wrong with competition— after all, competition is the fabric of American

society, but the Lord will not take kindly to those who feel glee

when their neighbor is suffering. What ever happened to Christ’s teaching

of loving thy neighbor as thyself ?”

Immediately Dickerson thought about Dr. Peter Millons. That jerk.

She remembered the conversation they had had on Friday, when

Millons appeared to be rejoicing at her misfortune.

“How is Manuel?” Dr. Millons asked in the crowded doctors’ lounge at the

university hospital.

“Peter, I’ve told you for the tenth time, we are no longer together,” Dickerson

responded, while still fl ipping through the morning newspaper.

“I didn’t know you’re divorced.”

“We’re not divorced yet, but we’re planning on it.”

“I like that guy; I thought it was a marriage made in heaven.” Millons

smiled sarcastically.

“Well, then, you should have married him.”

“Come on, Dickerson, I am strictly pusa- bagged,” Millons answered, using

the new California subtle slang for a nonhomosexual male.

“What ever that means . . . and for your wife and children’s sake I hope

you remain that way.”

“I thought you were a Catholic?” Millons persisted.

“So . . . and . . . ?”

“They don’t believe in divorce, do they?”

To mask her obvious anger, Dickerson very noisily sipped the hot coff ee she

was holding, and then replied, “You know what, Peter, if they sell brains at

Sears, yours must have been purchased from the Idiot Department.”

She got up to leave, heading back to fi nish rounds with the residents.

“Well, I’m still married.” Millons was hoping to sneak in the last word.

“You call that marriage?” Dickerson replied, in obvious reference to the

rumor circulating around the hospital that Mrs. Millons enjoyed one- night

stands with young residents.

Dickerson couldn’t help but ask how Millons could be so na├»ve— or did he

just surreptitiously choose to ignore it?

Driving home from church, Dickerson thought about her life.

Here she was, a forty- something, still- attractive medical doctor,

and one of the top research scientists at the University of California,

La Jolla Medical School; she had no children, no obligations, yet her

life appeared to be in shambles. However, she got along very well with

her patients. She had long fi gured out that her patients were the key to

her success.

Treating patients the way you would like to be treated, regardless of

each patient’s status in life, she thought, was the key. She could communicate

with patients in ways no other doctor could.

Those diffi cult, know- it- all, Internet- educated, question- every- test

patients were her most trea sured. She delighted in explaining to

them in her most simple verbiage the hard- to- comprehend medical

terminologies and tests, and those patients loved her for that. They

knew they could talk to her and be able to get an understandable


Her marriage to Manuel was wonderful for a while, but then a major

crisis had erupted.

Manuel was the se nior sales representative for Atira Pharmaceutical,

in the San Diego region. Mike Smith, the drug representative who

normally called on Dickerson, had brought his se nior manager along

on one of his details.

Dickerson always liked to challenge the drug reps on the merits of

what ever article they quoted in support of the use of a par tic u lar drug.

Dickerson, a published researcher herself, loved these exchanges. That

day, however, Manuel volunteered to answer all Dickerson’s questions.

The exchange was a little testy at fi rst, but fi nally, Manuel asked,

“Can I invite you to an eve ning at a medical conference in the Hilton La

Jolla hotel, sponsored by University of California, Los Angeles Medical

School? The conference may shed light on some of your concerns.”

Dickerson accepted.

At the conference, Manuel was surprised to see Dr. Dickerson drink

as much as she did without getting drunk. Eventually the conversation

turned personal.

“Are you from San Diego?” Manuel asked.

“No, I’m from Vermont,” Dickerson said, “a little town called Bellows


“I’ve heard of it,” Manuel said, excited.

“How?” Dickerson asked, looking at Manuel askance.

“When we were at the company headquarters in New Jersey for

training, one of the guys came from that town, and they used to tease

him by calling the town . . .”

Dickerson did not let Manuel fi nish, for she had heard that joke several

times. “Fellows Balls,” Dickerson matter- of- factly fi nished. “Yeah,

we know.”

“I’m sorry, go ahead,” Manuel urged.

“After my medical school training at Tufts University in Boston,

Massachusetts, and residency at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Boston, I did

a fellowship in Immunology and Ge ne tics at San Francisco General

Hospital. From there, I was hired in San Diego.”

“You like it here?” Manuel asked.

“Yeah, I love it.”

“What do you do for fun?”

“Oh, nothing. I had my marriage annulled after sixteen months because

my ex- husband, who wasn’t Catholic, refused to convert, and 

like a typical man, no off ense intended, also refused to zip up his

pants.” Dickerson paused. “Since then, I’ve buried myself in my work,

and I’m near a breakthrough in a new HLA- antigen and its linkage.”

“That sounds interesting,” said Manuel.

“Yeah, it is.”

“Do you like Mexican food?”

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Alright folks, that's all I have for you on the topic of Mark of the Beast by Adolphus A. Anekwe! I hope you guys have found a new read to add to your TBRs! Be sure to enter that giveaway before you head off! Have a great weekend!

Special thanks to the author and to Jean at Jean Book Nerd for allowing me to participate in this awesome your!

Until next time, Happy Reading!


Courtlight and Crown Service by Terah Edun Book Blitz + Giveaway

Oh man, I hope you guys are ready for some awesome promotion! I don't think I've ever had a more promo-packed blitz to post before. You guys are in for a treat. Sit back, relax, and read on to learn all about the Courtlight and Crown Service series' by New York Times Bestselling author Terah Edun!

The Courtlight Series

When peasant girl Ciardis is chosen for a position at court, she travels across the empire to begin a new life. To survive, she’ll need to master intrigue, befriend a crown prince, and learn to control magical abilities she never knew existed.

The Crown Service Series

As an unstoppable war breaks out between the mages of the Algardis Empire, young Sara Fairchild enlists in the empress’s army to find out exactly what everyone’s trying to hide. But there are secrets on both sides of the battle that will make her question everything…

Terah Edun

Terah Edun's next YA Fantasy novel, BLADES OF MAGIC - Crown Service Book #1 (set in the Algardis Universe), will release on March 31, 2014. Book Five of Courtlight, SWORN TO DEFIANCE, will release in April 2014.

Her favorite writers include Mercedes Lackey, Tamora Pierce, Kristin Cashore, Robin Hobb and Maria Snyder.

Check out Terah's author website ( for more information about her books, find her online @TEdunWrites and subscribe to her newsletter ( to be notified of upcoming releases.
Find Terah Edun

Now that you know all about these awesome series, check out this graphic to find out how you an get your copies for FREE! Purchase links for other books are located below graphic!

In addition to all the awesome you guys have seen so far, our author is really pulling out all the stops with an incredible giveaway! Up for grabs is a Kindle Fire HD 6 and EVERY person who enters will receive a FREE audiobook from the author via! Do NOT leave without getting your name in this drawing!

Alright readers, that's all I have for you on the awesome topics of the Courtlight and Crown Service series' by Terah Edun. Wan't that an awesome post? Huge thanks to Giselle and the team at XPresso Book Tours as well as our author for allowing me to participate. Thanks so much for stopping by. Until next time, Happy Reading!


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

An Angel Torched My Homework and Other Lies by Miche Sipes Nerd Blast

Hey readers, I've got another awesome promo post for you guys. This time in the form of An Angel Torched My Homework & Other Lies by Miche Sipes. Lots of promo and a great giveaway! Be sure to read to the end, here we go!

Carrie Philips just wants her junior year at Clement Academy to go smoothly. Sure, it’s the first high school in the nation to integrate Norms like her with the Differents. But the Diffs are just typical teenagers with “tiny” genetic anomalies. They’re not really vampires or werewolves or angels or zombies like you see in old movies. The Diffs just have special dietary needs and some unusual abilities. They’re certainly not dangerous or anything—at least that’s what Carrie has always believed, since her dad is a doctor of Different medicine.

But when several of her fellow students are mysteriously assaulted, cracks form in Carrie’s worldview. Cracks she tries to ignore while defending her friends from anti-Diff backlash and solving the mystery of who’s really behind the attacks. Meanwhile, she’s distracted by two criminally cute guys who both seem to like her (and hate each other). Then Carrie uncovers a bombshell that could forever change how Norms and Diffs see each other. So much for a quiet school year.

"What happens when you combine vampires, angels, werewolves and zombies with normal humans? Supernatural insanity! Miche Sipes has created a clever world, filled with lovable characters, unexpected plot twists and lots of humor. I loved this book. 5 stars!" --Lynda Hilburn, author of the Kismet Knight, Vampire Psychologist series

"A refreshing, hilarious blend of every paranormal creature under the sun (or moon), heavy on the fun and light on the angst!" -- Helen Keeble, author of Fang Girl and No Angel

About the Author and Giveaway!

Miche Sipes wrote her first play at the age of six and has been writing creatively ever since. Well, if you don’t count the occasional decade-long lapse. Miche has lived in Maryland and Florida, but now calls Colorado home. Whenever she’s not writing—or finding ingenious ways to procrastinate like ironing shoelaces or flossing her cat’s teeth—she can be found hiking in the mountains. Then again, there’s a good chance you won’t find her because she’s probably lost.

Find Miche Sipes

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How fun does this all look? Be sure to enter that incredible giveaway! That's all I have for you guys on this read! Thanks so much for stopping by! Huge shout out to the author and the team at Jean Book Nerd for allowing me to participate! Until next time, Happy Reading!


Waiting on Wednesday {21}

Hey everyone and welcome to my weekly Waiting on Wednesday meme post! This is just a once a week deal where each Wednesday I post about one book I am looking forward to reading and then link it up to the host blog, 
Breaking the Spine, where I can be connected to over 200 other readers and bloggers who are looking for a new read! My friend Kim from kimberlyfayereads participates in this meme each week and it has always looked like a great time. Below you will find the book cover, synopsis, Goodreads link and my reasons for waiting on this read! Enjoy!

This week's WOW  is... The Wizard Returns by Danielle Paige!

Series: Dorothy Must Die
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: March 1, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Fairy Tale, Fantasy

The Wizard left Oz in a hot air balloon—or did he? This digital original novella is the third installment in the prequel arc to the edgy and exciting New York Times bestseller Dorothy Must Die.

Dorothy Gale is back . . . and she's not the sweet little heroine of Oz anymore. She's power-hungry and vicious, and she leaves a trail of destruction beneath her spike-heeled, magical shoes. But she wasn't always in charge. There used to be a different ruler of Oz. Someone who also came from the Other Place, and who stole power for himself. They called him the Wizard.

The story goes that when a young Dorothy revealed the Wizard as a fraud, the man behind the curtain fled Oz in his hot air balloon. But in The Wizard Returns, he wakes in a field of poppies to find out that not only had he never left, but that he has no memory of who—or where—he is. As he undergoes a series of tests to uncover his memories, he finds that the very girl who threw him from the Emerald Palace is in control. And that Oz may be his destiny after all.

Why am I waiting?

Do I even have to answer this question anymore? Out of 21 Waiting on Wednesday posts I have done, 4 of them have been for Danielle Paige. Seriously people. Are you seeing a trend? If it says 'Danielle Paige', it's an immediate 'add to TBR' for me. Not only that but... IT'S MORE OZ! Have you guys heard how much I love Oz? Let me tell you again... AHH!! Haha. Everyone has their favorite literary world: Neverland, Wonderland, Narnia, Middle Earth, Harry Potter, etc. Mine has always, and will forever be Oz. I can, and have, written entire posts about my love of all things Oz, but I won't go into that here. Just trust me, I'm an Oz-freak. Also, to add to my flails, this one is all about one of my absolute favorite characters from Oz, The Wizard! The Great and Powerful WoO! Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkle Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs and I go way back. Yeah, I used his full name! Haha. Seriously folks. If you are an Oz fan in ANY capacity, you are definitely not going to want to miss this third installment in the Dorothy Must Die prequel arc!

What are YOU waiting on this week?

Thanks for stopping by, Happy Reading! 


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Amber Smoke by Kristin Cast Cover Reveal + Giveaway

Hey everyone and Happy Tuesday! I've got an awesome cover reveal for you from an author all paranormal fans will know, Kristin Cast, co-author of the House of Night series! Today we're unveiling the cover to her newest upcoming release, Amber Smoke! Without farther adieu, here's the cover and some info about our author. Drum roll please.....

Amber Smoke by Kristin Cast
(The Escaped #1)
Published by: Diversion Books
Publication date: June 9th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal

The door to the massive New York Times bestselling HOUSE OF NIGHT series has closed. Now, Kristin Cast kicks down a new door to welcome her millions of fans to her latest sizzling series.

There is a world that runs parallel to our own, a world in which the souls of the damned are caged, where they are looked over by the Furies, and where they spend eternity in torment, mirroring the devastation and mayhem they created when alive.

Someone has opened the cage.

The worst of terrors has crossed the barrier that separates our world from theirs, and the Furies send a great, albeit untested warrior—their only son, Alek—to try to bring those souls back. He is young and handsome, headstrong and impulsive, and he won’t be able to do it alone.

Eva has grown up, beautiful and beloved, but surrounded by secrets. First, she will be hunted in an ancient feud that will threaten her life. Then, she will become the hunter.

With the police closing in and two worlds on the verge of crumbling around them, Alek and Eva must find each other, discover the limits of their powers, and work together to save everything they hold dear, including one another. Blending elements of mythology with the dazzling storytelling that her fans have devoured through the HOUSE OF NIGHT series, Kristin Cast weaves a spellbinding and passionate tale that starts a thrilling new series with an explosive charge.

Pre-Order Links
Kristin Cast

Kristin Cast is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author who teamed with her mother to write the young adult House of Night series. She has stories in several anthologies, as well as editorial credits, and a thriving t-shirt line. The first book in her new adult paranormal romance series releases June 9th, 2015!

Find Kristin Cast


On top of all the other awesomeness in this post, our author is also giving away an ARC to this awesome read! I know I'm excited! Everyone be sure to enter this giveaway before you leave!

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Alright folks, that's all I have for you today on the topic of Amber Smoke by Kristin Cast. I know that all of my paranormal readers are going to want to add this to their TBRs. I know it's already on mine! I cannot wait for this one, it sounds incredible! Huge shout out to the author and the incredible Giselle over at XPresso Book Tours for allowing me to participate in this incredible cover reveal. I LOVE this cover! Woohoo! Thanks so much for stopping by. Until next time, Happy Reading!


Monday, January 26, 2015

Past Heaven by Laura Ward Release Day Launch + Review

Happy Monday everyone! I have a very special post for you guys today! Last week, I sat down and read an ARC from one of my new favorite authors. An author who absolutely blew me away with her debut novel last summer, Mrs. Laura Ward. Today Laura is releasing her newest novel, an adult contemporary romance that I enjoyed WAY more than I expected to. Everyone get your party hats on, today we are celebrating the Release Day Launch of Past Heaven by Laura Ward! Here's a bit about the novel and our author, as well as the purchase links to get you ready:

Past Heaven
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: January 26, 2015
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Not every love story has a happy ending. Some just change your life.

Liz Atwater’s happily ever after was torn from her the instant her husband, Jack, was murdered. She is forced to pick up the shattered pieces of her life and raise her three young sons alone.

Reynolds Carter’s picture perfect Hollywood life ended the moment the paparazzi got hold of his girlfriend’s cheating scandal. As he watches his life unfold in the tabloids, he comes to a crossroads in his career and his purpose.

When Reynolds takes on the challenge of a new project, his world collides with that of Liz. Neither of them expected their professional relationship to evolve into friendship, or love.

But life is never simple.

Faced with complications from family, friends, and colleagues, Liz and Reynolds are left to decide whether two people from such different worlds can find happiness together.

Can they get past the pain, fear, and guilt and risk their hearts to love again?

Not every love story is just a happy ending. Some completely change your life.

Laura Ward

Laura Ward lives in Maryland with her loud and very loving three children and husband. She married her college sweetheart and is endlessly grateful for the support he has given her through all their years together, and especially toward her goal of writing books. When not changing diapers, driving to lacrosse practice, or checking spelling homework, Laura is writing or reading romance novels.  

Find Laura Ward

My Thoughts:

I feel like this is becoming a more and more common way to start out my posts, but I'm actually not complaining: I am not a fan of the romance genre, but this read made me a believer. I feel like I should start my posts with a new statement, how about: As a male, the romance genre is not my first pick, however, after reading some incredible reads as of late, my thoughts on the genre are slowly, but surely changing? How does that sound? Haha.

I don't hate romance, I just don't want to read it. I'm a guy. That should make sense to most people. I have said numerous that I make exceptions on a case-by-case basis. When I make an exception for romance novels, it has to be something that sounds amazing to me. Something that I truly think will change my views on the genre. I'll be doggoned if Laura Ward hasn't done just that, twice. TWICE.

You guys may remember a few months ago where I read and reviewed Not Yet and it ended up being one of my favorite NA reads ever. It was equal parts mind blowing and emotional. Seriously, Laura hit me hard with that read. It should come as no surprise that when she messaged me to ask if I;d be interested in reviewing her second novel, Past Heaven, that I said yes without hesitation.

Before I get too far into specifics, I will say that this was the first 'adult' romance novel I have ever read. I have to say that I actually liked it a whole lot more than more NAs I have read. The story line was so much more mature and relatable than others I have read. It was a refreshing experience for me all the way around! Let's jump into it:

Plot. I have to say that the synopsis for this story really does not do it justice. From the very first chapter, I was hooked. Out story is told in a dual-POV format in one of the most unique ways I have seen. I'm not really sure what made it so different, but it really was unlike others I have read. The prologue and epilogue are told from the POV of a very important secondary character, which really gave the story an 'outsiders' POV at the two most important times. A very interesting twist.

Now when I was finally able to decipher what the book was about, I had this moment of this is def not realistic. Well, I was wrong. Maybe I've never seen the glamour of the Hollywood life that Reynolds Carter experiences, but I can tell you that this is exactly how I pictured it. Honestly, it's so hard to describe any of this without giving away the themes/tone of the novel.

One thing that really worked well for me in the story was the way the lot eventually shifted to revolve around the changed in the Atwater's lives, particularly the lives of the Liz's three young sons. As the oldest of three children raised by a single parent, that really hit home for me. Ward does an incredible job of placing all of her characters in interesting places within the plot to bring forth maximum feels. And let me tell ya, I caught the feels. SEVERAL times.

Characters. I'm not married. I'm not a parent. I'm not a Hollywood superstar, and I never will be. That being said, was still able to relate to the characters in this novel? Hell yes I was. It's been a long time since a cast of characters touched me the way those in Past Heaven have. Through heartbreaks and triumphs, I was able to feel every emotion Ward wrote.

While I, again, can't say much, I will say without hesitation that Liz's three sons were the best part of the novel for me. Wow. I can't even begin to describe how pivotal they are to this novel, I really do not believe it could have worked without them. Cindy was a phenomenal addition to the cast and really played the best friend/comedic relief role to perfection. Liz has literally been through hell and back in her life and it was so refreshing to see a novel where she wasn't facing all of her hardships completely alone. Liz is a very strong character emotionally and extremely mature, I had so much respect for her in this film. Reynolds was a character that really surprised me. Normally characters such as his are the ones I detest, but in this instance he ended up being one of my favorite parts of the entire novel. He grows so much as a character and by the end of the novel, I was completely blown away at his character development.

Another thing Ward has done that has really opened my eyes and given her a special place in my bookish-heart is her inclusion of individuals with Intellectual Disabilities. She did it first with Not Yet and has now done it again in a HUGE way with Past Heaven. The way Laura weaves these unique and amazing individuals into her seamless storytelling is just one of the many amazing kudos I can give to this incredible woman. Laura isn't just an author, she an advocate for a better world and for that, I give her the highest of praises both on the page and off.

Setting. This books jumps between several places. Liz's small town life on the east coast and Reynolds busy life in bustling Hollywood are the two main settings, but we see so much more than one would expect. Instead of seeing the negatives of all the settings as you do in most novels, Ward really does her best to show the positive sides of all walks of life. I think one of the most special parts of this read for me was seeing that celebrities, no matter how big, are still just people. They feel the same emotions and go through many of the same hardships as the average Joe. They just have more money! Seriously though, that was such an interesting take on superstardom and I really appreciated that insight. From the cities the story weaves between other fun settings including western ranches and Atlantic beaches. Ward's setting are so intricate that it takes little to no effort to place yourself right within the story. Particularly that of the Atwater home. Wow, I feel like I lived there by the end of the story, I could see it all so perfectly!

Theme/Tone. I have a whole lot of thoughts to add in this category, but after rewriting what I have already written, I think I've touched on most of them. I would like to add a few of the overarching themes. Family- Liz and Reynolds both have vastly different family. It was so interesting to see how their dynamics and definitions of the term changed over the course of the novel. It was really great. Survivors Guilt- Liz has massive survivors guilt and depression after the loss of her husband. It was definitely to be expected, but I have a feeling this story will really hit home to those who have been in similar situations. The innocence of youth- Liz's children go through a lot in this novel, especially with the sudden inclusion of Reynolds in their lives. Seeing their development in this story really touched me. It was incredible to witness. This is not a happy novel. I mean, think about it. What do you expect? It's an awful thing that has happened to this family, but I can tell you that they pull through their hardships in the greatest way possible: together. Seriously.

The one last thing I'd like to touch on in this novel was the overall maturity of the story. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, this is the first adult romance I have ever read. I am so used the NA genre, that I forget there is an entire genre dedicated to life post-college. You know, real life. I have always strayed away form these reads for a number of reasons, but after Past Heaven, I have decided to open my eyes a bit more to the genre. I do love a good YA or NA story, but to be completely honest, they are some of the most unrealistic and immature novels that I read. It was so incredibly refreshing to read about real people with real life problems. People with issues and who's number one source of rectifying them isn't sex. How great is that? Mature adults who are seeking adult solutions to life's problems? I can get on board that train any day of the week.

All-in-all, it should come as no surprise to anyone who is reading this that I am giving Past Heaven by Laura Ward a near-perfect 5-star review. Note that I didn't have a single negative critique of this read. I really just didn't. By the time I closed the final pages, I felt complete. Laura Ward has truly delivered a literary masterpiece. Kudos to you Laura Ward and thank you for another absolutely incredible novel. I cannot wait to see where you go from here! You are slowly, but surely, changing my mind about the romance genre and for that I thank you. Thanks for adding class, not trash, to a genre that have severely gone downhill in the past few years. Authors like you are forever changing the landscape for the better and I couldn't be more excited! Keep up the amazing work!

Alright everyone, that's all I have for you on the topic of Past Heaven by Laura Ward, one of my top reads so far this year! If you guys are looking for something refreshing to pull you out of your reading slump, definitely check this one out! I know that I cannot wait for this read to hit the masses! Everyone join me in wishing Laura Ward the greatest release day yet! Have you already gotten your copy of Past Heaven? Let me know in the comments below!

Special thanks to our author, Laura Ward, for supplying me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. You are awesome lady!

Until next time, Happy Reading!


Crushed by Kasi Blake Cover Reveal + Giveaway


Check out the cover for Crushed by Kasi Blake. Crushed is the first exciting release in a new young adult series called The Witch Game Novels. The Witch Game Novels are filled with mischief, romance, witchy games and trouble. Kasi Blake does an excellent job of capturing high school life and giving it a fun twist as told through the eyes of a teen witch. Enjoy this cover reveal and an exclusive excerpt. Plus, don't forget to enter the Twitter Giveaway!


Tell us what you think of the cover or excerpt on Twitter by using #GetCrushedbyKasiBlake and @CleanTeenPub. One lucky winner who tweets using this hashtag will receive a bookmark prize pack from Clean Teen Publishing. A random winner will be chosen on February 5, 2015!


Release Date: August 4, 2015
Genre: Young Adult
Series: The Witch Game Novels
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing

The Noah girls have beauty, powers, and brains.
They use all three to play their games.
They blow the dust,
the boys are crushed,
and no one is ever the same.

Each year the Noah girls play a secret game— Crushed. The rules are simple.

1. Use wisdom to pick your target. The boy can't be too weak or too strong-willed. 
2. Blow the enchanted dust into your target's face to enchant (Crush) him. 
3. Give verbal commands and assign them tasks to perform throughout the year. The more tasks completed, the stronger the witch's power grows. 
4. At the end of the year, the witch with the most power wins cold, hard cash. 

As if being a witch in high school isn't complicated enough, Kristen picks the wrong boy to Crush. Zack is tall, handsome, and a little scary. Her Crush spell isn't working on him like it has with the others. In fact, he is behaving the opposite of every other boy she's Crushed, hating her instead of adoring her. Something is definitely wrong. After someone attempts to kill her, Kristen realizes there is more at risk than a few hundred dollars. She may be betting with her life.


She wanted his jacket? 

Zach blinked at her, completely thrown by her softly spoken command. The little witch had obviously lost her mind. He didn’t like for anyone to touch his jacket, let alone wear it. It had been the last gift his mother had given him before she died. Kristen Noah could pry it out of his cold, lifeless fingers if she wanted it. He certainly wasn’t handing it over to her like an idiot. 

He’d planned to play along with her silly game, but now he didn’t think he could. He wasn’t going to pretend to date her. She was taking things a little too far. If she continued to push, he was going to push back. 

Gina spoke in a loud, cutting voice. “You are not dating Bevian, you total loser. What a joke! He wouldn’t touch something like you with gloves on.” 

“He is my boyfriend!” She looked directly at Zach, locked eyes with him, and repeated the command. She seemed to be trying her best to keep it from sounding like an order, but that’s exactly what it was, and they both knew it. “We can let everyone know we’re together now, be a real couple just like we talked about. Give me your jacket.” 

There was a quiet desperation in her wide eyes along with a heavy fear that made him think of Morgan. That was the only thing about this girl that reminded him of his sister. For the first time he noticed Kristen Noah—really noticed her. She wasn’t his type, not really, but there was something extraordinary about her. 

Her golden hair fell over her shoulders in soft waves and it shimmered in the sun, producing a halo effect around her head. She had wide, generous lips that seemed to curve at the ends in a secretive smile even when she wasn’t happy, and her eyes seemed to change color with her moods. At the moment, they were a stormy grey, dark like a thundercloud. 

Then there was her body. 

Her sisters were too skinny for his taste, but Kristen had nice curves exactly where they should be. He wondered what it would feel like to hold her close and kiss her. She had a reputation for being tough as leather when it came to the opposite sex. The girl could take care of herself. Would she want to dominate the kiss or would she melt like ice cream on a hot day? 

What was he thinking? 

Kristen Noah was the most selfish, heartless witch he’d ever stumbled over. There was no way he was attracted to her. She played games with people’s emotions. He was a firm believer in ‘what goes around, comes around.’ The universe should be ready to take her down a notch… and if not, then he would be glad to help the universe out. 

Everyone stared at him, obviously waiting for him to confirm or deny. 

All eyes were on him, forcing him to make a quick decision. 

Zach shrugged out of the jacket. He would play along… for now. He walked around Kristen Noah and placed the jacket on her shoulders. Then he continued around until he was standing in front of her. Taking both sides of the jacket in his hands, he pulled them together. 

She stared at him with wide, unblinking eyes. The distrust in them was like a neon sign. She had expected him to blow her dreams apart. In fact, she still seemed to be waiting for him to pull the proverbial rug out from under her. 

She’s waiting for me to smack her down, he thought with a tinge of satisfaction. He wished he could do it, flatten her on the spot, but Morgan’s face floated through his mind. He had to protect his sister no matter what it cost him. 

“It looks good on you.” He almost choked on the words. 

Relief stole over her features. “Thank you.” 

“No way,” Gina said, shaking her head. “I don’t believe it. This is a set-up. No way have you been dating him without everyone in the school knowing about it.” 

Kristen shrugged as she snuggled close to him, arm around his waist. She relaxed against his side and played her part to the hilt. A smug smile parted her lips. “I guess we’re better at hiding our feelings than most.” 

Left without a choice, Zach draped an arm around her shoulders as if he’d done it a million times. He hated giving into her. The arm around her showed they were together, but his hand dangled on the other side rather than touch her. It was a small display of rebellion, one he was sure no one would notice. 

The crowd had grown to about a quarter of the school. Several students began to text the juicy news to their friends. Others blatantly started calling people. A few used their camera phones to take pictures of Kristen in Zach’s arms. She smiled for the photos. 

Zach didn’t smile. His jaw tightened instead. There were grenades exploding inside of his stomach. If he didn’t squelch his temper fast, a massive quake would turn the parking lot into a giant sinkhole. He took a few deep, slow breaths. His hands itched to rip the little witch’s head off. She was going to be very sorry she’d picked him to mess with. 

Gina’s eyes reluctantly shifted to Zach. He recognized the fear and awe in her gaze. It was the look he’d worked hard to receive from his fellow Titan Warriors. She swallowed, obviously uncomfortable in confronting him, but her notorious hatred for Kristen pushed her to the extreme. Last year he’d watched this girl make problems for the little witch, and he had secretly cheered her on. They were on the same side, but he couldn’t let that show. 

“When did this happen?” Gina asked. She stared straight into his eyes, demanding answers. “Why do you glare at her all the time if you’re dating? It doesn’t make any sense. Why would you date her when you only date older women? What is so special about her?” 

Kristen Noah is a witch! The words waited at the back of his throat. He wanted to shout them at the top of his lungs. Hands clenched, he took another deep breath. It would be so easy to let go and yell the accusation, but then someone would alert the council. Witches weren’t accused that often these days. They’d become geniuses at hiding in plain sight. So when it happened, the council demanded every last detail. If he accused her of being a witch, the council would discover his secret, and Morgan would die. 

Even if it cost him his sanity, he had to keep his mouth shut. 

He hit Gina with a hard glare, turning his fury on her since he couldn’t blast Kristen with it. The dark-haired girl folded in an instant. He imagined she was remembering the stories about him blowing up houses and killing people. Her survival instinct won out over her hatred for Kristen. 

She stormed off without another word. 

Zach’s murderous stare went to the spectators. Laughter died. Smiles faded. The kids scattered like cockroaches at night when the light is turned on. Unfortunately that left him alone with Kristen, his arm still around her shoulders. What now? What was he supposed to do in order to keep up the charade? How would an ‘enchanted’ boy act under these circumstances? 

Kristen sighed, a wistful sound. She rested her head against his shoulder for a moment. The small token of intimacy pushed him over the edge. He couldn’t do it. There was no way in hell that he was going to be nice to this little witch. 

He stepped aside, and she lost her balance. She almost fell. Almost. When she looked up at him with a question in her eyes, he grabbed the jacket sleeve closest to him and gave it a vicious yank, stripping the jacket off her in one quick motion. 

She gasped. 

He walked away, leaving her to stare after him while mentally giving himself a point on the invisible scoreboard in his mind. Bevian-1. Noah-0.


If you ask Kasi Blake how old she was when she started writing, she will probably say twelve. That's when she wrote her first short story. But it started long before then. Her first characters were invisible friends she played with as a child. In the third grade she wrote a one-page story about a mummy for an assignment, and the teacher read it to the class. Even though she was embarrassed, the other kids laughed in all the right places, and she realized she could affect other people through her writing. She loves to get lost in emotional stories, crying and laughing with the characters, so she thinks it's the most amazing thing in the world to be able to do this for other people.

Kasi is a hardcore Supernatural fanatic and practically has the shows memorized line for line. If you want to see her freak out, tell her you've never watched an episode. Then be prepared to listen to a long list of reasons why you should. In her spare time, when she's not reading or writing, she does nail art, engages in day-long shopping trips with friends, and takes care of her many animals.

Originally from California, she resides in the Midwest on a farm with cows, chickens, ducks, a dog, and two cats.

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