Series Wrap-Up #Review–Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

Contains many spoilers, so read at your own risk

This year, I am making a concerted effort to finish up series that I have started, and then allowed to wallow by the wayside.  I loved Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi, but due to time constraints, wasn’t able to read the follow up, Through the Ever Night.  Then it was on sale for the Kindle (after I had already purchased the hardcover), and because I would be sitting on plane for a few hours, I snapped it up.  Reading it made me remember why I enjoyed the first book so much.  I love the characters, and enjoyed catching up with them.  Aria, Perry, Roar, Cinder – I even developed a new appreciation for those that I disliked at first.  Soren?  Who would have possible thought I could learn to like Soren?  He’s kind of the one that got this whole adventure started.  While there were still times that I wanted someone to clock him, he grew as a character and turned into someone I just might be able to like.  Maybe.

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Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Alliance by Aubrie Dionne

Alliance (Book #3)
by Aubrie Dionne
Young Adult

“Saving him meant saving her colony…”

Lyra Bryan has been saving people her whole life from a chick in the ventilation pipes to her mentally ill brother when his mind drifts back to Old Earth. She meets her match when she finds a gorgeous alien man aboard the arachnid ship. Captured after a failed attempt to save his people, his spirit is broken, craving only vengeance. To save her colony, Lyra must save his body and soul.

Lyra’s lifemate, Tauren, is jealous of her obsession with the alien man and will do anything in his power to break them apart. While they travel to the arachnid’s home world to defeat the mother brain once and for all, they must set aside their differences and work as a team. But, can Tauren be trusted?


Check out the first two books in the series…





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Cover Reveal: Blood Crown by Ali Cross

Meet Ali Cross!  I have a cover reveal for her upcoming release, Blood Crown.  If you are a sci-fi fan, you will want to add this to your TBR pile!

 

 

About Ali Cross:

Ali Cross is the sensei of Novel Ninjutsu where she holds a black belt in awesome. She lives in Utah with her kickin’ husband, two sparring sons, one ninja cat, one sumo dog and four zen turtles.

Ali is the award-winning author of young and new adult fiction and moonlights as Alex Cross when she can write wild middle grade adventures set in the faraway places of her imagination.

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Cover Reveal: The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard and Giveaway!



Seventeen-year-old Riven is as tough as they come. Coming from a world ravaged by a devastating android war, she has to be. There’s no room for softness, no room for emotion, no room for mistakes. A Legion General, she is the right hand of the young Prince of Neospes, a parallel universe to Earth. In Neospes, she has everything: rank, responsibility and respect. But when Prince Cale sends her away to find his long-lost brother, Caden, who has been spirited back to modern day Earth, Riven finds herself in uncharted territory.

Thrown out of her comfort zone but with the mindset of a soldier, Riven has to learn how to be a girl in a realm that is the opposite of what she knows. Riven isn’t prepared for the beauty of a world that is unlike her own in so many ways. Nor is she prepared to feel something more than indifference for the very target she seeks. Caden is nothing like Cale, but he makes something in her come alive, igniting a spark deep down that goes against every cell in her body. For the first time in her life, Riven isn’t sure about her purpose, about her calling. Torn between duty and desire, she must decide whether Caden is simply a target or whether he is something more.

Faced with hideous reanimated Vector soldiers from her own world with agendas of their own, as well as an unexpected reunion with a sister who despises her, it is a race against time to bring Caden back to Neospes. But things aren’t always as they seem, and Riven will have to search for truth. Family betrayals and royal coups are only the tip of the iceberg. Will Riven be able to find the strength to defy her very nature? Or will she become the monstrous soldier she was designed to be?


 
 
Pre-order THE ALMOST GIRL TODAY!
 
 
 
 
We’re at an impasse, staring at each other with stubborn fury. I’m not above using force to get my way but Shae’s just taken out two Vectors. Alone. I’m not about to make any rash and stupid decisions about her combat skills or apparent exhaustion. The silence hangs between us like an impenetrable wall as we stare at each other across the five feet that could well be an abyss between us. After a few tense minutes, Shae clears her throat.

“Do you remember that day? When I left?” Shae asks and I give the barest of nods. It’s a day that etched into my memory so deeply that I couldn’t forget it if I tried. “I wanted to take you with me but you wouldn’t go,” she says. Her laugh is empty. “You remember what you called me?”

Defector.

She doesn’t have to say it; we both know what I said.

“That was the day I realized that you were your father’s daughter. He robbed you of anything close to love,” Shae says. “You chose to stay with him out of fear for him than out of love for me. He owned you then, and he owns you now.”

“I am nothing like him,” I grit out. “No one owns me.”

“He used to say that I could never be a killer because I was too emotional. Said I loved too much. How can someone love too much? He said I was too much like mom. Soft. I proved him wrong even though I died a little bit inside every time I took a life.” At Shae’s words, my eyes feel like there’s sand behind them, and a boulder settles in the pit of my stomach. “But he was right about you, wasn’t he? The stone cold sister? The one who wouldn’t be torn by emotion, the one who kills without feeling a thing? Servant to the monarchy… obeying orders without question… He’s made you into their killing machine. So what? You’re going to kill me now, Riven?”


Enter for a chance to win the FIRST ARC GIVEAWAY of THE ALMOST GIRL by Amalie Howard!


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Seventeen Magazine Summer Club author Amalie Howard grew up on a small Caribbean island where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or being a tomboy running around barefoot, shimmying up mango trees and dreaming of adventure. 22 countries, surfing with sharks and several tattoos later, she has traded in bungee jumping in China for writing the adventures she imagines instead. She isn’t entirely convinced which takes more guts. She currently resides in New York with her husband and three children.

She is the author of The Aquarathi series from Harlequin TEEN (Waterfell and Oceanborn), The Almost Girl from Strange Chemistry, Alpha Goddess from Sky Pony Press, and Bloodspell from Langdon Street Press. She is represented by the Liza Royce Agency. Visit her at www.amaliehoward.comor on Twitter (@AmalieHoward).

 
 

Other books by Amalie Howard




Interview with Brenda Cooper, Author of The Diamond Deep and Giveaway!

Please give a big welcome to Brenda Cooper! She’s visiting the virtual offices to chat about her Ruby’s Song series, and she brought along a copy of The Diamond Deep for one of you to win!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Brenda Cooper] Curiosity, passion, and fear drives me to write and talk about the future a lot.  Techno-geek revolutionary bike rider. Loves dogs.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Diamond Deep?

[Brenda Cooper] Imagine coming from a farm in the hinterlands somewhere that hasn’t been covered by the Internet yet into the middle of New York City.  Only in this case, you’re coming from a starship to the home that you left generations ago.  You’ve struggled to even maintain your level of technology, and without the ship’s systems, you’d be almost feudal.  But when you get home, time and the network effect have turned it into something you barely recognize. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Brenda Cooper] I’ve always been fascinated with the Eva Peron story.  I love the musical and the glittery legend parts of the story, but more importantly, I’m curious about how a girl from essentially nowhere can end up with such influence that she changes the heart of a country.  I wanted to tell that story in my own way.  Ruby is not Eva, and she lives in a very different place.  So I got to play with some of my favorite techno-social ideas and worries while writing about a dynamic woman who uses a combination of grit, courage, sexuality, and performance art to change a society.

Ruby Martin is the primary in the story, modeled a bit on Evita including some of the good and some of the bad bits.  She’s not a kick-ass feminist with three black belts who almost never makes a mistake.  I wanted to write a more complex character than that.  In The Diamond Deep, Ruby is paired with Joel North, the driven leader of his society.

I worked in beats that echo the musical and other research I did on the real Eva Peron as well, but the story is also very different.  It has very classic SF tropes and images, from robotic pirates to genemod humans.  Readers don’t need to know or care about the historical story, and anyone wanting an exact re-telling will walk away confounded.  So Ruby’s story is original, even though it has old roots.  But I think the best stories ever have old roots that run deep into us.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Ruby?

[Brenda Cooper] Determined, Innocent, Passionate

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Joel is never without.

[Brenda Cooper] Worry.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Ruby’s pocket?

[Brenda Cooper] A comb, money, keys.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What has been the most challenging part of writing this series?

[Brenda Cooper] It’s a big story – and I had to fit the big story into two books.  That meant I had to choose really carefully what to leave in and what to leave out.  I think these are faster-paced than my other books because of it, so I think it was good.  But being coherent with so few words to play with was a challenge.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Brenda Cooper] Wow.  I’m going to go with genres here instead of individual people.  I love hard science fiction because it gives me creative ways to read about the future and nice glittery ideas.  I love folk music, especially the kind of rabble rousing slightly rocky music that came out of women’s music movement, like Holly Near and the Indigo Girls.  I also like musicals – we have season tickets to musical theater here and what I love about good musicals is that they compress story down the fine emotional bits.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Brenda Cooper] Time, sleep, and a warm dog at my feet.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Brenda Cooper] Neil Gaiman’s “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” – the audio version where he reads it.  Listening to Neil read his own work is a bit like a good cuddle next to a roaring fire.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Brenda Cooper] I love long bicycle rides (really long – like 100 miles at a time), walking the dog, travel, time with family.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

My website is at www.brenda-cooper.com. I can be followed on Twitter @brendacooper and I’m on FaceBook.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

Purchase link

About the book:

What if a woman as strong and as complex as Eva Perón began her life as a robot repair assistant threatened by a powerful peacekeeping force that wants to take all she has from her?

The discovery ship, Creative Fire, is on its way home from a multi-generational journey. But home is nothing like the crew expected. They have been gone for generations, and the system they return to is home to technologies and riches beyond their wildest dreams. But they are immediately oppressed and relegated to the lowest status imaginable, barely able to interact with the technologies and people of the star station where they dock, the Diamond Deep.

Ruby Martin and her partner, Joel North, must find a way to learn what they need to know and to become more than they have ever been if they are to find a way to save their people.

About the author:

Brenda Cooper writes science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories.  Her most recent novel is THE DIAMOND DEEP, out in October 2013 from Pyr.  It’s book two of a two-book series that started with THE CREATIVE FIRE.  She has seven novels out and numerous short stories.  Brenda is also a technology professional and a futurist, and publishes non-fiction on the environment and the future from time to time.

See her website at www.brenda-cooper.com

Brenda lives in the Pacific Northwest in a household with three people, three dogs, more than three computers, and only one TV in it. 

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