Pre-Order Promo for Thrill Ride by Julie Ann Walker and Giveaway!

Sourcebooks is sponsoring a fun promotion for the release of Julie Ann Walker’s next book, Thrill Ride!  Check out the email I just received for all the deets on how to score an exclusive Black Knights Inc. bandana:

A Gift for You, for Pre-Ordering THRILL RIDE by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julie Ann Walker

For US and Canadian Black Knights Inc. Lovers!

We have a special offer going on for the release of THRILL RIDE by Julie Ann Walker—in stores in a little over two weeks! If you pre-order the book, we will send you an exclusive Black Knights Inc. Bandana—perfect to wear under your own motorcycle helmet! You have until March 31 or until quantities run out. Here’s how to get your bandana:

1. Pre-order the book (print or eBook) through any retailer (Barnes & Noble, Amazon, your local independent bookseller/Indiebound, Books-A-Million, Hastings, etc.)

2. Email your proof of purchase (receipt or picture of the receipt) to sbpublicity@sourcebooks.com. Don’t forget to include your home address (US & Canada only please) so we can send you the Black Knights bandana! If you’ve already pre-ordered this book—not a problem! Send us your receipt!

3. You will get an email back confirming when the items have been sent out. 

4. Enjoy Thrill Ride when it arrives in April!

Optional: take a pic of you and your bandana and share it with Julie Ann Walker or Sourcebooks on Twitter and Facebook! You can find Julie @jawalkerauthor and http://www.facebook.com/jawalkerauthor , and Sourcebooks @sourcebooks and http://www.facebook.com/sourcebooks.

Didn’t they turn out great? Below are all the details, which you can also see on the Sourcebooks Facebook page.

About the book

He’s Gone Rogue
Ex-Navy SEAL Rock Babineaux’s job is to get information, and he’s one of the best in the business. Until something goes horribly wrong and he’s being hunted by his own government. Even his best friends at the covert special-ops organization Black Knights Inc. aren’t sure they can trust him. He thinks he can outrun them all, but his former partner—a curvy bombshell who knows just how to drive him wild—refuses to cut him loose.
She Won’t Back Down
Vanessa Cordova hasn’t been the team’s communication specialist
very long, but she knows how to read people—no way is Rock guilty of murder. And she’ll go to hell and back to help him prove it. Sure, the sexy Cajun has his secrets, but there’s no one in the world she’d rather have by her side in a tight spot. Which is good, because they’re about to get very tight…

You can pre-order Thrill Ride from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the links below;

In addition, Sourcebooks is giving away a copy of Hell On Wheels, the first book in the Black Knights Inc series!  Just fill out the widget below to enter!  US and Canada only, please.

About the book:

Black Knights Inc.–Behind the facade of their tricked-out motorcycle shop is an elite special ops team assigned the jobs too hot for anyone else to handle.
Hold On Tight…
Ex-Marine Nate "Ghost" Weller is an expert at keeping his cool–and his distance–which makes him one hell of a sniper. It’s also how he keeps his feelings for Ali Morgan in check. Sweet, sexy Ali has always revved his engine, but she’s his best friend’s baby sister…and totally off limits.
Rough Road Ahead
Ali’s never seen anything sexier than Nate Weller straddling his custom Harley–or the flash of danger in his eyes when she tells him she’s in trouble. First something happened to her brother, and now she’s become the target of a nasty international organization. With Nate, her life is in the most capable hands possible–but her heart is another story altogether.

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Win Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black!

 

Thanks to Bloomsbury USA, I have a copy of Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black to give to one of you! Just fill out the widget below for your chance to score a copy of the book.  US addresses only, please.

About the book:

Dancing with someone is an act of trust. Elegant and intimate; you’re close enough to kiss, close enough to feel your partner’s heartbeat. But for Vanessa, dance is deadly – and she must be very careful who she trusts . . .
Vanessa Adler attends an elite ballet school – the same one her older sister, Margaret, attended before she disappeared. Vanessa feels she can never live up to her sister’s shining reputation. But Vanessa, with her glorious red hair and fair skin, has a kind of power when she dances – she loses herself in the music, breathes different air, and the world around her turns to flames . . .
Soon she attracts the attention of three men: gorgeous Zep, mysterious Justin, and the great, enigmatic choreographer Josef Zhalkovsky. When Josef asks Vanessa to dance the lead in the Firebird, she has little idea of the danger that lies ahead – and the burning forces about to be unleashed…

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Review: Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black

 

Title: Dance of Shadows

Author: 

Yelena Black

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Vanessa Adler isn’t so sure she really belongs at the School of American Ballet. But dance runs in her family. It’s been a part of her life for as long as she can remember. Her grandmother and mother were prima ballerinas, and her older sister Margaret was, too. That is, until Margaret mysteriously disappeared from school three years ago. Vanessa is heir to the family’s gift and the only person who can fulfill her sister’s destiny. She has no choice.

But she never could have guessed how dangerous the school is. The infamous choreographer, Josef, isn’t just ruthless with his pupils, he guards a sinister secret, one in which the school’s dancers-prized for their beauty, grace, and discipline-become pawns in a world of dark, deadly demons.


Review:

I struggled with Dance of Shadows, and finally threw in the towel at 72%.  I hate not finishing books, especially books that I have been anticipating with great enthusiasm.  A paranormal romance with ballet dancers?  That sounded intriguing, and like something new, something that I haven’t read before.  It was with great dismay that I discovered how wrong I was.  This book reads like so many other YA PNR that it’s one big, yawn inducing cliché.  Boarding school setting? Check.  Distant, self-absorbed parent? Check.  Mysterious boys?  Check.  Dreaded insta-love at first sight. Uh, yup, there’s that overused trope, too.

Vanessa has enrolled at the School of American Ballet, determined to discover the fate of her missing sister.  Margaret has been missing for three years, and her family is desperate to find her.  Everyone assumes that she caved under the stressful demands of the elite dance school, but Vanessa is skeptical that she would just disappear without a word.  Once she’s at school, however, she begins to wonder.  The instructors are demanding, there is more competition than she expected, and she learns that numerous other girls have disappeared just like Margaret.  Still, Vanessa isn’t totally convinced that her sister had a breakdown and ran away.

As she settles into the daily routine at school, weird things start happening.  Her new friend disappears.  Vanessa zones out when she’s dancing, and sees shadows moving eerily around her.  There are those strange blood stains on the dance floor, and every time the school tries to put on a production of The Firebird, something happens to the ballerina cast in the lead.  When Vanessa is cast as the firebird, she starts to fear for her safety and sanity, too.

The pacing of Dance of Shadows is slow, slow, slow.  It didn’t hold my attention.   I felt like I’ve this story a hundred times already, which wouldn’t have been such a big deal if something  actually happened.  Vanessa is a tedious heroine who doesn’t speak her mind and just goes along with the crowd.  She’s a sheep who has fallen instantly in love with Zeppelin Black, big man on campus.  Without ever speaking a word to him, she has fallen under the spell of his long, lean good looks.  Ugh.  Really?  When he does start paying attention to her, he is so hot or cold that any girl with an ounce of self-respect or common sense would have realized that he’s a jerk and moved on to greener, friendly pastures.  But no, every time he snaps his fingers, Vanessa has to run to him and relish in every scrap of attention he flicks her way.  Because he’s gorgeous.  Dislike.

The secondary characters were all one-dimensional, cookie-cutter stereo-types, bland and without personality.  Not one of them memorable or even worth mentioning.  The same can be said about the older students and Zep’s  ex-girlfriend, who are Vanessa’s rivals.  Because there is no development for them, I didn’t care about them or understand any of their motivations.

Unfortunately, this story about ballerinas and the mysterious school they attend left me disinterested and hard-pressed to keep reading.  Dance of Shadows had a lot of potential, but for me, it fell short of expectations.

Grade:  DNF

Review copy provided by publisher