Under the Sea Giveaway Hop! Win Cuttlefish by Dave Freer!


Welcome to my  Under the Sea Giveaway,  hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and The Musings of ALMYBNENR.  This hop runs from September 14th to September 20, and you can win lots of new reads.  Click here for a complete list of blogs participating in the hop.

I am giving away a finished copy of Cuttlefish by Dave Freer.  I enjoyed this seafaring adventure, and I think you will, too!

The smallest thing can change the path of history.

The year is 1976, and the British Empire still spans the globe. Coal drives the world, and the smog of it hangs thick over the canals of London.

Clara Calland is on the run. Hunted, along with her scientist mother, by Menshevik spies and Imperial soldiers, they flee Ireland for London. They must escape airships, treachery and capture. Under flooded London’s canals they join the rebels who live in the dank tunnels there.

Tim Barnabas is one of the underpeople, born to the secret town of drowned London, place of anti-imperialist republicans and Irish rebels, part of the Liberty – the people who would see a return to older values and free elections. Seeing no further than his next meal, Tim has hired on as a submariner on the Cuttlefish, a coal fired submarine that runs smuggled cargoes beneath the steamship patrols, to the fortress America and beyond.

When the Imperial soldiery comes ravening, Clara and her mother are forced to flee aboard the Cuttlefish. Hunted like beasts, the submarine and her crew must undertake a desperate voyage across the world, from the Faeroes to the Caribbean and finally across the Pacific to find safety. But only Clara and Tim Barnabas can steer them past treachery and disaster, to freedom in Westralia. Carried with them—a lost scientific secret that threatens the very heart of Imperial power.


Sounds good, doesn’t it?  Just fill in the widget below for your chance to win.  Earn extra entries by following.  US shipping addresses only, please.

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eBook Bargains for Your Kindle! YA Dystopian Edition!

Here are some cheap YA dystopian reads for your Kindle reader or Kindle app.

Memento Nora by Angie Smibert ($1.99)

On an otherwise glossy day, a blast goes off and a body thuds to the ground at Nora’s feet. There are terrorist attacks in the city all the time, but Nora can’t forget.
In Nora’s world you don’t have to put up with nightmares. Nora goes with her mother to TFC–a Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic. There, she can describe her horrible memory and take a pill to erase it so she can go on like nothing ever happened. But at TFC a chance encounter with a mysterious guy changes Nora’s life. She doesn’t take the pill. And when Nora learns the memory her mother has chosen to forget, she realizes that someone needs to remember.
With newfound friends Micah and Winter, Nora makes a comic book of their memories called Memento. Memento is an instant hit, but it sets off a dangerous chain of events. Will Nora, Micah, and Winter be forced to take the Big Pill that will erase their memories forever?
Angie Smibert’s remarkable debut novel takes readers on a thrilling ride through a shadowy world where corporations secretly rule and consumerism is praised above all.(

The Forgetting Curve (Memento Nora) by Angie Smibert ($1.99)

Aiden Nomura likes to open doors—especially using his skills as a hacker—to see what’s hidden inside. He believes everything is part of a greater system: the universe. The universe shows him the doors, and he keeps pulling until one cracks open. Aiden exposes the flaw, and the universe—or someone else—will fix it. It’s like a game.
Until it isn’t.
When a TFC opens in Bern, Switzerland, where Aiden is attending boarding school, he knows things are changing. Shortly after, bombs go off within quiet, safe Bern. Then Aiden learns that his cousin Winter, back in the States, has had a mental breakdown. He returns to the US immediately.
But when he arrives home in Hamilton, Winter’s mental state isn’t the only thing that’s different. The city is becoming even stricter, and an underground movement is growing.
Along with Winter’s friend, Velvet, Aiden slowly cracks open doors in this new world. But behind those doors are things Aiden doesn’t want to see—things about his society, his city, even his own family. And this time Aiden may be the only one who can fix things… before someone else gets hurt.

Watersmeet  by Ellen Jensen Abbott ($3.99)

From her birth, Abisina has been outcast–for the color of her eyes and skin, and for her lack of a father. Only her mother’s status as the village healer has kept her safe. But when a mythic leader arrives, Abisina’s life is ripped apart. She escapes alone to try to find the father and the home she has never known. In a world of extremes, from the deepest prejudice to the greatest bonds of duty and loyalty, Abisina must find her own way and decide where her true hope lies.

The Centaur’s Daughter  by Ellen Jensen Abbott ($3.99)

Abisina had found a home in Watersmeet–the community her father led until he was killed by the evil White Worm. But now, Watersmeet is as divided as the village she fled as an outcast. The land faces a new threat, and an uneasy alliances between the humans and the creatures will have to be formed to survive. If Abisina doesn’t become the leader Watersmeet needs, she may lose everything. But can she take her father’s place? This powerful and moving fantasy deals with timely issues about identity, prejudice, and war. This is the sequel to Watersmeet, which was an IRA Young Adult Book Award Notable and a YALSA Teens’ Top Ten Nominee.

Review: Slow Dance with the Sheriff by Nikki Logan


Title: Slow Dance with the Sheriff (Harlequin Romance)

Author:  Nikki Logan

Publisher:  Harlequin

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Ex-ballerina Eleanor Patterson is the darling of Manhattan society—until she discovers her pedigree background is a lie. So she heads to sleepy Larkville for answers….

Sheriff Jed Jackson never expected to rescue a stunning woman from a herd of cattle, or to be so fascinated by the vulnerability beneath Ellie’s tough city veneer. Yet watching her unwind is irresistible, and as he helps her learn to dance again he wants to give both Ellie and himself a new beginning….


Okay, so I somehow got sucked into the Larkville Legacy series, and after reading the first two books, I am quite eager for the third.  I don’t remember reading anything by Nikki Logan before, though I do have a few of her Harlequin Romances that I picked up during the final days of Borders’ going out of business sales.  Glad I grabbed them now, because Slow Dance With the Sheriff pushed all of the right buttons with me.  It had some humor, some sizzle, and a whole lot of powerful emotional responses from me.  Why?  There is a dog.  He is damaged.  There are two people.  They are damaged.  Because they both find it in themselves to love the dog, they all get a happy ever after.  How freakin’ cool is that?  There aren’t even any horses in this one, and since it takes place in a small Texas town, I expected at least one or two.  Nope, just a bunch of stupid cattle.

Ellie Patterson is seeking a home.  She needs someplace where she fits in, and in 30 years, she has yet to find one.  It seems that her entire life is one of disappointment.  She quit  ballet after discovering that her wealthy father was making huge donations to the company.  She couldn’t live with the humiliation of knowing that he bought her place with the dance troupe, instead of earning it herself.  She is still single and emotionally detached from any man, much to her mother’s dismay.  If she won’t keep dancing, she should at least marry in the spotlight.  Then, when she discovers her mother’s secret, she’s  shocked, but also hopeful.  Her mother was already pregnant with Ellie and her twin brother when her mother married, and she is doesn’t share one drop of blood with her father.  Even though she has never fit in with her New York family, maybe she will finally find a place to belong in Texas with the Calhouns.  Without a second thought, she rents a car and drives to Texas to meet the family she didn’t even know she had.

Problem?  First, Jess Calhoun is on her honeymoon, and she be gone for a few weeks.  Second, she is ambushed by an errant herd of cattle.  Third?  The oh-so-sexy sheriff who saves her is just as damaged as she is.  He is distanced from everyone and everything but his dog.  He likes things that way, too.  After making a life altering mistake when he was in charge of the canine unit in a big city, he has sworn off emotional entanglements.  He is happy being the sheriff of a small town, patrolling his county and keeping the law and the peace in his little corner of the world.  Life is quiet.  Life is calm.  Life couldn’t get any better.  Until he has to save Ellie from that errant mass of bovine stupidity.

What I liked best about this story is how both characters, despite their overwhelming fear of emotional, and in Ellie’s case, physical, contact,  both pushed each other to take risks.  These were baby steps, but each successful nudge pushed them closer together, until they had developed a strong bond, with trust firmly at the foundation.  Jed’s strength allowed Ellie to feel comfortable and content for the first time in her life.  Ellie’s wariness and vulnerability, coupled with her unbridled joy at finally discovering the courage to get out there and live, gave Jed a  much needed push to start living himself.  Even when he takes the overused plot devices to heart and tells Ellie that theirs is just a  temporary attachment, you know, to the depths of your soul, that Jed is only fooling himself.  Once he and Ellie begin to trust each other, you know that it will only be a matter of time, despite the rages and the denials, before they stop fighting and recognize how perfect they are for each other.  Add the unshakable approval of one traumatized police dog, and Jed and Ellie really had no chance to escape from that devious thing known as true love.  Their chance of escape?  Zero percent.

I immediately connected with the protagonists, and I constantly urged them to overcome their fears, to stop fighting against the inevitable tide that would eventually buffet them together.  Plot devices that normally drive me nuts worked here, without question.  And interwoven through everything was Deputy Dawg, that poor battered soul who needed nothing other than a warm pat and a kind word.  I think that this sliver of the story touched more more deeply than it would have otherwise, because I know how comforting and soothing a dog’s presence can be.  Now that it’s not there, I know how devastating it is when it’s not there.  At the end of this story, when all Ellie and Jed wanted was love and forgiveness, all they had to do was look to Deputy for an example of how that is done.  Nothing can bridge that chasm of unconditional love and forgiveness like a dog. 

I was occasionally jarred out of the story by some unfamiliar, and to my ears, awkward turns of phrase.  Both Ellie and Jed are supposed to be American, but they didn’t always  sound like it.  This is my one nitpick.  Nikki Logan is Australian, and every now and again, her characters sounded like they were too.  I wasn’t expecting this deep in the heart of Texas, so I do feel obligated to mention it. 

So, volume two in the Larkville Legacy has kept me engaged in the continuity of the series.  Curse you , Harlequin!  Check back for my review of the next book in the series, Taming the Brooding Cattleman.

Grade:  B+

Review was purchased from Amazon