Divergent Series: Allegiant.


Divergent Series




Allegiant


  • EditionEbook
  • ISBNB00BKZUVGM
  • Genre:- Science Fiction Fantasy
  • From
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  • Length10 000



Blurb


What if your whole world was a lie?

The thrillingly dark conclusion to the No. 1 New York Times bestselling DIVERGENT trilogy.

What if a single revelation – like a single choice – changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered – fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature – and of herself – while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.





Biography


An Amazon Best Books of the Month, October 2013: Veronica Roth had her work cut out for her, ending a trilogy that had fans rabid for the final book, and she pulled it off like a champ. Allegiant kicks off right where Insurgent ended, so if it’s been a while since you read that one you might want to re-read the last couple of chapters to orient yourself. The first surprise in Allegiant is that Roth has switched to using alternating narratives of Tris and Four. At last readers get to see Tris as Four sees her and if, like me, you’ve been dying to get inside his head, you finally get your chance. One of the best things about this trilogy is the messy, passionate, and wholly authentic love story between these two. For Tris and Four, there is no love triangle, there are no sides to take—as in life, it’s only a matter of how their relationship will play out. Allegiant answers a lot of questions and also delivers some jaw-dropping twists—readers will go outside the fence, learn the origin story of the factions, and, of course, see how it all ends in a finale that packs a wallop and confirms Roth as a writer to watch for a long time to come. —Seira Wilson

Goodreads Reviews











Author Interview
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Nothing to Lose Release Day Blog Tour.



Nothing To Lose




Nothing To Lose


  • EditioneBook
  • ISBN
  • GenreRomance
  • From
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  • Length1



Blurb


Choices Are Easy When You Have Nothing Left To Lose
Kennedy O’Connell had all the happiness she’d ever dreamed—until someone stole it away. Now on the run for her life, she has a choice to make—disappear forever or make those responsible pay. Her choice is easy.
Two men want to help her, each with their own agenda.
Detective Nick Gallagher is accustomed to pursuing killers within the law. Targeted for death, his life turned inside out, Nick vows to bring down those responsible, no matter the cost. But the beautiful and innocent Kennedy O’Connell brings out every protective instinct. Putting aside his own need for vengeance, he’ll do whatever is necessary to keep her safe and help her achieve her goals.
Billionaire philanthropist Grey Justice has a mission, too. Dubbed the ‘White Knight’ of those in need of a champion, few people are aware of his dark side. Having seen and experienced injustice—Grey knows its bitter taste. Gaining justice for those who have been wronged is a small price to pay for a man’s humanity.
With the help of a surprising accomplice, the three embark on a dangerous game of cat and mouse. The stage is set, the players are ready…the game is on. But someone is playing with another set of rules and survivors are not an option.





Biography


Christy Reece is the award winning and New York Times Bestselling author of dark and sexy romantic suspense. She lives in Alabama with her husband, four precocious canines, an incredibly curious cat, a very shy turtle, and a super cute flying squirrel named Elliott.
Christy also writes steamy, southern suspense under the pen name Ella Grace.

Excerpt


Nick opened his apartment door and headed straight to his bedroom to change into a pair of shorts and an old sweatshirt. About the only way he had to battle the hopelessness inside him was to beat the hell out of his boxing bag and work himself into exhaustion. He was halfway to the kitchen for a bottle of water when he realized he wasn’t alone. The dark figure of a man sitting in a chair in the corner caught his eye.
Cursing his inattentiveness, he grabbed the closest weapon—a bust of Sherlock Holmes—and turned toward the intruder.
“Before you allow Mr. Holmes to bash my head in, wouldn’t you like to know why I’m here?”
The crisp British voice sounded familiar, but he couldn’t place it. Nick replied coolly, “I’m more of an attack-first-and-ask-questions-later kind of guy.”
“Pity. You don’t seem the type to go off half-cocked.”
“Depends on the situation. Having some asshole break into my house is the type of thing that pisses me off.”
“Understandable, but you can often learn more things if you wait awhile.”
“Or you can get yourself killed. Now, tell me who the hell you are and why you’re here.”
“Let’s talk first. Then we’ll decide if we want to exchange personal information.”
If the man was going to shoot him, he would’ve done so by now. Nick lowered the statue to his side but held on to it just in case. He reached for the light switch on the wall.
“No lights.”
“So I’m not allowed to know your name or what you look like?”
“Not yet. Have a seat.”
Despite the aggravation of having a stranger break into his house and the man’s numerous rules, Nick was intrigued. He pulled his hand back from the light switch. “I’ll stand. Now tell me what the hell you want.”
“I want what you want—to bring Mathias Slater and his goons to justice.”
If he hadn’t captured Nick’s attention before, he sure as hell had it now. “What do you know about Slater?”
“That he’s into more shit than anyone could ever imagine.”
“And why do you care?”
“Let’s just say that seeing bad guys get what’s coming to them is a hobby of mine.”
“And how can you assist me in seeing that Slater gets what’s coming to him?”
“By giving you access to information you can’t get through your channels.”
“You mean illegal channels.”
“Semantics. What you see as illegal, I see as creative license.”
Still wary but more interested than ever, Nick returned the statue to the end table and dropped down onto the sofa. “Okay, you have my undivided attention.”
“Excellent. However, we need to come to an agreement before we go further.”
“Such as?”
“If you decline my proposal, this discussion never happened.”
“Agreed.”
“Excellent.”
“You’re just going to take my word for it?”
“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t already know you can be trusted, Mr. Gallagher.”
Where and how he’d gotten information on Nick could wait till another time.
“Okay, I’m listening.”
“Mathias Slater and his antics hit my radar several years ago. I’ve tried penetrating his tight-knit circle. Unfortunately, I’ve gotten only so far before someone ratted out my informant.”
“And how can I help? If you know that much about me, then you already know that I’ve run into a road block in every avenue I’ve taken against Slater.”
“That’s true. However, you have an avenue you don’t even know you can take.”
“And what’s that?”
“There’s a folder on the table in front of you. Take a look inside.”
Nick didn’t move…considered what could be inside.
“I’m glad to see that my informants were correct. You have a short fuse, but it’s tempered with a deliberative cautiousness.”
“I’m assuming that I’ll be allowed to turn on the lights to look at the folder.”
“That’s correct. Another reason why your deliberation is important. You turn on those lights, you will have information that could destroy not only me, but negatively impact the lives of thousands.”
Nick reached up and flipped on the lamp beside him. Light illuminated the man sitting in the corner and he knew why the voice had sounded so familiar. This was a man known to millions. And he was right—if anyone discovered the truth, thousands of lives would be affected.
Deciding to mull over the man’s identity later, Nick grabbed the folder and opened it. The instant he saw the first photograph, everything within him froze. He looked up at the man who sat so calmly across from him and whispered hoarsely, “What do I need to do?”



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Veronica Roth’s Trilogy :- Book One


Veronica Roth’s Trilogy:- Book One




Divergent


  • EditionEbook
  • ISBN978-0062024039
  • GenreScience Fiction_and_Fantasy
  • From Book One
  • To
  • Length11



Blurb


In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves … or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the YA scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.





Biography


Veronica Roth was born in a Chicago suburb, and studied creative writing at Northwestern University. She and her husband currently live in the city that inspired the setting of the Divergent Trilogy.

Question and Answer with Veronica Roth


Q: What advice would you offer to young aspiring writers, who long to live a success story like your own?

Roth: One piece of advice I have is: Want something else more than success. Success is a lovely thing, but your desire to say something, your worth, and your identity shouldn’t rely on it, because it’s not guaranteed and it’s not permanent and it’s not sufficient. So work hard, fall in love with the writing—the characters, the story, the words, the themes—and make sure that you are who you are regardless of your life circumstances. That way, when the good things come, they don’t warp you, and when the bad things hit you, you don’t fall apart.

Q: You’re a young author—is it your current adult perspective or not-so-recent teenage perspective that brought about the factions in the development of this story? Do you think that teens or adults are more likely to fit into categories in our current society?

Roth: Other aspects of my identity have more to do with the factions than my age. The faction system reflects my beliefs about human nature—that we can make even something as well-intentioned as virtue into an idol, or an evil thing. And that virtue as an end unto itself is worthless to us. I did spend a large portion of my adolescence trying to be as “good” as possible so that I could prove my worth to the people around me, to myself, to God, to everyone. It’s only now that I’m a little older that I realize I am unable to be truly “good” and that it’s my reasons for striving after virtue that need adjustment more than my behavior. In a sense, Divergent is me writing through that realization—everyone in Beatrice’s society believes that virtue is the end, the answer. I think that’s a little twisted.

I think we all secretly love and hate categories—love to get a firm hold on our identities, but hate to be confined—and I never loved and hated them more than when I was a teenager. That said: Though we hear a lot about high school cliques, I believe that adults categorize each other just as often, just in subtler ways. It is a dangerous tendency of ours. And it begins in adolescence.

Q: If you could add one more faction to the world within Divergent, what would it be?

Roth: I tried to construct the factions so that they spanned a wide range of virtues. Abnegation, for example, includes five of the traditional “seven heavenly virtues:” chastity, temperance, charity, patience, and humility. That said, it would be interesting to have a faction centered on industriousness, in which diligence and hard work are valued most, and laziness is not allowed. They would be in constant motion, and would probably be happy to take over for the factionless. And hard-working people can certainly take their work too far, as all the factions do with their respective virtues. I’m not sure what they would wear, though. Overalls, probably.

Q: What do you think are the advantages, if any, to the society you’ve created in Divergent?

Roth: All the advantages I see only seem like advantages to me because I live in our current society. For example, the members of their society don’t focus on certain things: race, religion, sexual orientation, political affiliation, etc. I mean, a world in which you look different from the majority and no one minds? That sounds good to me. But when I think about it more, I realize that they’re doing the exact same thing we do, but with different criteria by which to distinguish ourselves from others. Instead of your skin color, it’s the color of your shirt that people assess, or the results of your aptitude test. Same problem, different system.

Q: What book are you currently reading and how has it changed you, if at all?

Roth: I recently finished Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma, which I would call “contemporary with a paranormal twist,” or something to that effect. It’s about a girl whose sister has a powerful kind of magnetism within the confines of a particular town, and how their love for each other breaks some things apart and puts other things back together. It was refreshing to read a young adult book that is about sisterhood instead of romance. It’s one of those books that makes you love a character and then hate a character and then love them again—that shows you that people aren’t all good or all bad, but somewhere in between. Imaginary Girls gave me a lot to think about, and the writing was lovely, which I always love to see.



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joey2711:



Turning Curse Blog Tour





Turning curse





Blurb



Irresponsible was one word used to describe Prince Liam. Liam preferred fun-loving. After years of pulling pranks on his fellow nobles and ruining balls, Liam’s prospects for a bride are looking dim….

Turning Curse Blog Tour


Turning Curse Blog Tour




Turning curse




Blurb


Irresponsible was one word used to describe Prince Liam. Liam preferred fun-loving. After years of pulling pranks on his fellow nobles and ruining balls, Liam’s prospects for a bride are looking dim. At his wits’ end, Liam’s father arranges a marriage between Liam and his best friend Cordelia. She is the last person in the world Liam wants to marry. When Liam confesses this to her, she transforms Liam with a curse.

Now Liam must escape her clutches while breaking her spell, but he is trapped in her castle with no way to escape. His only hope is to persuade Cordelia’s servant Gabrielle to help him. However, Gabrielle has a secret of her own, and helping Liam is something she cannot do.



Biography A.C. Harrah


A.C. Harrah has a B.A. with an Emphasis in Creative Writing and Japanese. Due to her love of writing, A.C. tends to chain herself to her computer, but when she does sneak out it’s usually to frolic on the beach or see the latest super hero movie. Oh, and travel. She would happily live out of a backpack if it meant exploring the world.

One of her favorite authors is Lewis Carroll.



Excerpt


The rain misted. Gabrielle held out her hand, letting the water kiss her palm. She looked up at the night sky and closed her eyes. The soft touch of the rain against her skin was refreshing. For a few moments there was nothing but Gabrielle and the cool night. She smiled then dropped to her knees. She buried in her hands in the moist earth as she hunted worms.

Something pink wiggled between her fingers, and she pinched it. The worm squirmed. She dropped it into her blue jar. She corked it as she continued to search for more. Liam hadn’t jumped higher than the ball, but after his collision and Cordelia’s temper, he deserved a little treat. She just wished the fireflies were out tonight. He never said it, but she had a feeling that he liked those best.

She found two more worms and pocketed the jar. She stood and looked around. Her eyes rested on the stable.

Liam’s words echoed in her head.

She knew she shouldn’t…but she couldn’t resist.

She hurriedly tiptoed toward the stables. She unlatched the front doors and pushed them aside. A horse neighed. Her shoulders pressed together. When no one jumped out to stop her, she went inside. She searched a wall for a sack and found one for feeding. She snatched it then entered one horse’s stall.

The horse shook its head, causing its mane swipe the air. It snorted and edged away as Gabrielle ventured into the back of the stall. The stall was clean, so she went to another. It wasn’t until her fourth try that she found a horse with a fresh deposit.

She pinched her nose and turned the sack inside out. She stuffed her hand into the bag and dove into the feces. A lump of disgust formed in her throat. Even through the sack she could feel that the waste was still warm. It broke apart easily in her hands. She shoved down her nausea and turned the sack inside out again, trapping the dung inside while keeping her hands clean. She tied a knot at the top of the bag and erased any sign that she had been in the stables before she left.

She entered the castle and took the left stairs to the servants’ quarters. Laughter escaped the common room where the servants went after work to relax and have fun. They shared stories and tips for cooking and cleaning with the occasional gossip. Excitement raced through her; she couldn’t wait to join them.

She went a little farther down the corridor to Lucinda’s room. There was nothing remarkable the door, so Gabrielle had to count off the plain, wooden doors to make sure she had the right one. She opened the door to Lucinda’s room; she knew the woman would either be cleaning up after supper or would be eating her own meal.

Lucinda’s room wasn’t very different from Gabrielle’s. Every servant had a small room with a cot. Some servants bought dressers, but others kept their things in baskets; she had learned the basket owners were the ones who didn’t stay long. Lucinda had a dresser with a straw doll and a bible on top.

Gabrielle picked up the doll. She would have never guessed Lucinda had such a toy. She returned it to the dresser.

She grabbed Lucinda’s pillowcase. With two vigorous shake pillow flopped out. She opened the bag of feces and gagged on the putrid smell. Lucinda would probably smell it before her head touched the fluffy head cushion. Even so, Gabrielle was certain Lucinda wouldn’t check the pillow; no one ever suspects the pillow. She shook the excrement into the pillowcase then stuffed the cushion inside.

She dashed out the bedroom and into the common room. The fireplace burned, casting shadows against the walls. Ronan, Albert, and Daniel laughed boisterously in front of the fire. Melinda and Warren chatted in the corner—lovebirds. Fiona, Isabella, and Mackenzie huddled together, drank ale, and sang a song about a man shipped off for a murder he did not commit. Thomas sat in a rickety, old chair, teaching Samuel how to read. Marina danced with Eric, and Oliver played a jaunty tune on his flute.

“Gabrielle!” Marina gasped and twirled out of Eric’s hold.

“Come join us.” She took Gabrielle’s hand and spun her into Eric.

Gabrielle laughed, laid her hands on Eric’s chest, and pushed away. She hiked up her skirts and jigged to the upbeat tune. Marina mimicked her.

“Now that isn’t very nice,” Eric chuckled, his cheeks flushed from dancing. “I thought you and I were having a wonderful time.”

“You’re being too sensitive, Eric,” Marina said as she pranced toward him, taking his hand in hers. He spun her around then latched their elbows together. They bounced and twirled.

Gabrielle hopped on the balls of her feet. She jumped into the air with a kick and clapped her hands. She spun, and Thomas was suddenly there. He linked his elbow wither hers. More of the servants joined, and she passed between them. The older ones lined the room and clapped out the beat. They laughed whenever someone fumbled, but then were quick to cheer the person on.

Gabrielle was breathless and hot. Sweat dripped down her forehead and armpits, but she loved the thrill of the dance too much to care. She brushed her bangs out her face as she was passed to Ronan.

A scream pierced the air.

Everyone stopped.

Lucinda burst into the room. Her plump cheeks were ruby with fury, and her brown strands whipped around her face like snakes. The thin, blue veins on her neck throbbed. She thrust her pillow up for all to see and pinched her nose.

“Who did this?” she shrieked.

“Did what?” asked Albert. He walked up to her and stopped two steps short of her. He covered his nose and waved his hand. “What is that stench?”

“Shit!” Lucinda screeched.

A few of the younger servants snickered, including Gabrielle.

“It’s not funny.” Lucinda stormed up to Eric and pinched his ear. “How would you like it if you just finished working, wanted to go to bed, and then found shit in your pillow?”

More snickers.

Eric yanked free of her and rubbed his ear. “Use your spare clothes as a pillow. You can wash it tomorrow.”

“I want it washed now!” Lucinda stomped her foot. “Now who did it?”

No one answered.

Lucinda scanned the room. She looked at them as if they were all murderers. Her gaze landed on Gabrielle and narrowed. She shoved her way to Gabrielle. She shook the putrid pillowcase in Gabrielle’s face. “You.” She seized Gabrielle’s arm. Sharp nails dug into Gabrielle’s skin.

Gabrielle winced.

Lucinda tugged her forward. “You clean this up now.”

“Stop it, Lucinda,” Marina pushed her way out of the crowd. “You’ve been picking on Gabrielle, and you are just using this as an excuse to do it again.”
“She’s the one who did this.”

Warren pulled himself away from Melinda. “What’s your evidence?”

“Who else would do it?”

“That’s not evidence,” Marina rebuked.

Lucinda looked between Gabrielle and the crowd of angry faces. She released Gabrielle. “Fine.” She spun, slamming the door behind her as she left.

Gabrielle rubbed her abused arm.

Murmurs about Lucinda’s pillowcase floated in the air. The older servants looked at her suspiciously. Some of the younger ones also eyed her with curiosity, but most chattered amicably with one another.

Marina approached Gabrielle. “Are you all right?” She reached to touch Gabrielle’s arm. Gabrielle jerked away.

Gabrielle forced a smile. “It’s a little sore, but should be fine by tomorrow.”

Marina frowned. “Are you sure?”
Gabrielle nodded.

Marina lowered her hand and tossed a glance at the servants eyeing Gabrielle. She stepped closer to Gabrielle and whispered, “If it was you, you should avoid doing anything else to Lucinda. She is not the most well liked, but some people are a little too high on their moral horse. You might get in trouble.”

Gabrielle nodded. “I think I’ll go to bed now.”

Marina stepped away. “Goodnight then.”

Gabrielle smiled and waved. “Goodnight to you too.” She ignored the stares of others and gently closed the door behind her as she left. Once outside, her knees felt weak. She gripped the doorknob for support. She collapsed against the door and raised her head to the ceiling. Giddiness danced through her veins. She grinned like a fool. Lucinda would make her life miserable for the next few days, but the look of absolute horror and disgust on her face had given Gabrielle a high she hadn’t felt in months. The rush and thrill was worth it.

She pranced down the hall and twirled.

She had to do it again.



Excerpt


“Those don’t look like riding clothes.” Lord Kenneth examined his horse’s saddle and patted his steed’s side. Cordelia hadn’t changed out of her simple blue gown from breakfast. Her father would have preferred her to switch into a more regal dress, but even he acknowledged what a terrible idea that would be. She forced a smile on her face and giggled like a fairy, just as she had been instructed to do once she became eligible for marriage.” I hope you don’t mind, I wanted to look my best for you.”

Lord Kenneth leered at her. His lips curved up. He stepped toward her. “I’m honored that you would try so hard to impress me.”

"Who said it was difficult?" She grinned but then mentally kicked herself. It was comments like that one that had gotten her in trouble before.

Lord Kenneth blinked then shook his head. He was probably brushing aside her comment as the result of nerves.

She breathed a sigh of relief.

He held out his hand, and she took it. He led her to her horse. “I noticed your family’s orchard as I rode in today. I thought we could explore it.”

She nodded and kept her teeth pressed against her bottom lip. If she didn’t speak then she couldn’t insult him. He helped her onto her horse. She internally groaned at the prospect of riding sidesaddle. She was certain her father had specifically told the stable hands to put the sidesaddle on. She waited for him to climb onto his steed. He did so with ease.

He clicked his teeth and moved the reigns. The horse trotted away. Cordelia rubbed the neck of her horse and gave the reigns a tug; it pranced after its brethren. She rode up beside Lord Kenneth. He glanced at her and smiled. “I’ve heard that you are the adventurous sort. How about a race to the orchard?”

A race? Warm glee tickled Cordelia’s insides like a feather. Other suitors had scoffed at the notion of racing against her. They became furious when she took off and left them behind. It was one of the first things her father had told her not do. Even the few who were willing to race got offended when she won. Lord Kenneth, however, Perhaps it was his face that still had its baby fat, or maybe it was his soft blue eyes, or even his brilliant grin, but something about him radiated the same aura that Liam gave off right before they raced. He didn’t seem to care who won or lost; he just wanted to have fun.

She nodded and whipped her reigns.

Lord Kenneth mimicked her action.
They blasted around the corner toward the front gates. Guards rushed and stumbled to open the gate. They barely parted the doors in time for Cordelia and Lord Kenneth. The two were neck and neck.
< Cordelia pressed herself closer to her horse and kicked its side. She gritted her teeth as the horse rocked beneath her. She felt like she was sliding off her horse; this was why she hated sidesaddle.

They charged down the dirt path toward the orchards. An old man with a cane flung himself off the road as they rounded a corner near him.
< Cordelia peeked at Lord Kenneth. He kept his gaze focused on the orchard. It made Cordelia grin; it would have been upsetting if Lord Kenneth turned out to be one of those overly sensitive types that would stop their race just because they startled someone.

The wind slapped her hair in her face as they rounded the last bend. She shook her head and gave her horse one firm kick.

The horse jumped and flew over the orchard gate. It landed with a thump and ran a few more paces until she pulled on the reigns. Cordelia made soothing sounds and rubbed her horse’s neck. “That’s a good horse.”

Lord Kenneth’s horse snorted behind her.

Cordelia beamed and turned to face Lord Kenneth. Her smile toppled.

She could see it in his squinted eyes, his white-knuckle grip, and his clenched jaw: he was furious. Her heartstrings knotted, and her stomach churned. Was there any way to recover from this?

A strained smile formed on Lord Kenneth’s lips. He chuckled drily. “Well, it seems you won. I should have expected your stable hands to give you the best of your horses.”

"Actually, your horse is the better of ours." Internal cringe. She’d said too much again.

His smile looked so forced that it made her cheeks ache in sympathy. She sighed and shook her head. There was no making the situation better.

"Ah, well then, good for you. If my steed hadn’t needed rest, I’m sure I would have won this match."

Cordelia’s skin itched with irritation, and the hair on her arms bristled. “I’m sorry, but do you realize how silly you sound?” There was no point in playing the docile female anymore. She was ecstatic to rip off the uncomfortable facade. “If your horse didn’t need rest? Ignoring the fact that every animal has its limitations, and that you’re basing your assumption on a possibility that does not exist —and that you have no evidence to back up your assumption —the fact is, you lost. Nothing you say or do changes that.”

"The fact is," he stressed his words, "I could have won."

"The fact is, you’re an ass."

"How dare you? Do you know who I am?"

"Of course." She raised her head high. "You’re a lord, and I am a princess."

His cheeks reddened then turned purple. His tongue tripped over half-formed words. He looked every which way, as if he could find a witty retort on the ground.

She snapped her reigns. The horse dashed toward the orchard’s fence and jumped over it. She eased the horse into a trot and went home.

She hoped her father could forgive her.



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30 Days of No Gossip Blog Tour

20140310-041243.jpg

Blurb



Can a middle school gossip queen change her ways, or will she lose her BFF for good? Find out in this M!X original novel.
Maddie Evans prides herself on being the gossip queen of Troy Middle School. She is the first person her classmates go to when they need the latest news on the ins-and-outs of TMS—and Maddie never disappoints.
Her best friend since birth, Vi, isn’t crazy about Maddie’s penchant for passing on rumors, but it’s never been an issue in their friendship. Until the day Maddie lets slip who Vi is crushing on—in front of her crush.
Vi is furious, and she confronts Maddie with an ultimatum: no gossip for 30 days, or twelve years of sisterhood goes down the drain.




Biography Stephanie Faris



Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing. When she isn’t crafting fiction, Stephanie is indulging her gadget geek side by writing for online technology sites. She lives in Nashville with her husband.



excerpt



CHAPTER ONE
The key to being a good gossip is timing. You have to get the story before anyone else and tell everyone you can before it becomes news.
I’m always the girl who knows first. As editor of The Troy Tattler, Troy Middle School’s unofficial gossip newsletter, I consider it my job. I get the scoop, write it up, and hand it out in front of the cafeteria before school. My BFF Vi—short for Vivienne—thinks I’m just asking for trouble. She prefers to stay to herself. But I can’t help but notice she always sticks around whenever I have news to report.
“Kelsey is mad,” I said at lunch. Sydney and Jessica were hanging on my every word. Vi was spooning applesauce into her mouth while pretending not to listen. “Kelsey told Emma in secret that she likes Aiden, but now everyone knows.”
“Wait,” Jessica said, setting down her roll. It landed on her tray with a thunk. “Who likes Aiden?”
“Emma,” Sydney interjected. She rolled her eyes and turned back to me. “Go on.”
“Actually, Kelsey likes Aiden,” I continued. “Emma told everyone. That’s why Kelsey’s mad.”
I didn’t add the words ‘keep up’ because that would be rude, but sheesh. Did I have to draw a road map for these people?
Ooh, what a great idea! I grabbed my pen, opened my notebook and hastily jotted an idea for a cute drawing in the next issue of The Troy Tattler. Maybe it could even become a regular thing. A gossip cycle. I could draw arrows and cartoon stick people to illustrate the whole ‘Kelsey likes Aiden who likes Sarah who likes Trevor’ thing. I wasn’t a very good artist so I might need to get someone to help—
“Maddie?”
That was Sydney, calling me back to earth. I slapped my notebook shut, set my pen on top, and turned my attention back to my tuna sandwich. We were only allowed thirty-five minutes for lunch so I had to make it count. That meant I had to squeeze at least one piece of gossip in between each bite of sandwich.
Today I’d have to take smaller bites.
“So what’s the deal with the field trip?” Sydney prompted.
Oh, that. I chewed as quickly as I could and swallowed. I needed a drink of water but I had to get this one little piece of info out first.
“It’s still on, but Kelsey’s sitting at the back of the bus.”
Vi shook her head. I saw it out of the corner of my eye. She had to do that, though. It was her job. I gossiped and she played the disapproving best friend. It had been like that since elementary school.
That, in a nutshell, was why Vi and I were so good together. Our moms were in the same room at the hospital when we were being born and we ended up in bassinets next to each other in the nursery. I guess the whole thing bonded our moms to each other because they became BFFs in the way moms become BFFs, which basically means they get together every weekend and talk about mom stuff while telling us to go outside and play so we can’t hear what they’re saying.
Anyway, Vi and I ended up being like sisters. So even though she’s quiet and shy and not at all into being part of the whole gossip thing, she’s still the best friend I’ve ever had. Besides, being friends with me means she gets to hear everything that’s going on before anyone else.
“How on earth do you find out all this stuff?” Jessica asked. I could hear the awe in her voice.
I shrugged. “I’m good” was all I said. That’s all they needed to know.
The truth was, all I did was listen. You’d be amazed what you can find out just by watching and listening. Most of the time, people were surprisingly unguarded about what they said, especially when they were upset. I could stand at my locker and overhear six juicy conversations without even trying.
“So,” Vi broke in, drawing everyone’s attention to her end of the table. “Is everyone ready for the math midterm?”
Midterms. The very subject I didn’t want to talk about right now. It was the biggest exam so far that year and I’d done my best to study. But I’d also been working on the Tattler, which meant splitting my attention between studying and writing gossip. So, the answer was no. I wasn’t ready.
“Yeah, yeah, whatever,” Sydney said. “I want to know what Kelsey thinks sitting at the back of the bus on the way to Four Cedars Park will do. Aiden will be in the front with Sarah—”
“And Emma,” I broke in to say.
“But Aiden likes Sarah,” Sydney corrected.
“Sarah’s taken.”
Vi was the one who said that. We all turned to look at her.
She sighed and set her sandwich down. “Sarah’s going out with Trevor Finn.” She looked at me. “Remember?”
Of course, I remembered. It was the first piece of gossip I’d delivered to the school at large. It was the very thing that had given me the ‘queen of gossip’ title for which I was now unofficially known.
I’d found out about Sarah and Trevor the same way I found out about everything: I paid attention. It was at the spring social, where everyone was more interested in what kind of ice cream was being handed out than what was going on in the bleachers just a few feet away. But I was watching.
Toward the back of the bleachers, I saw Sarah and Trevor talking and holding hands when they thought no one was looking. By the next morning, thanks to me, Sarah Dooley and Trevor Finn were officially a couple.
I consider it a favor, really.
“Can we get back to the exam?” Vi asked, even though she had to know none of us would want to talk about math when the subject of Trevor Finn, the number one cutest guy in seventh grade, was so much more interesting.
“I say we get on the bus before Trevor does and get a seat near him,” Jessica suggested.
“How can we do that?” Sydney asked. “He’s not on there yet, so we won’t know where he’ll sit. Right?”
She looked at me for that last word. I should have an answer for that. They’d expect me to know some dirt on Trevor at this point. I didn’t have anything on him. I made a mental note to try to catch up with him after fifth period to see if I could overhear anything.
“Easy,” Vi said.
Again, we all turned to look at her. She was chattier than usual today. I figured this time she’d start talking about math again.
“Maddie and I have been riding the bus with him since first grade,” Vi began, frowning at her sandwich before setting it down, folding her hands in front of her, and looking at us. “Based on his past behavior, he’ll sit in the front two rows. We’ll be safe by staying in the third row. The second row would be too far forward.”
See? Math.
After a long, awkward silence, Jessica took a deep breath and continued. “So what’s the deal with Travis Fisher?”
That loud gulp we all heard came from Vi’s direction. Jess and Syd turned to look at her, but I kept my gaze firmly planted on the two of them. They weren’t supposed to know Vi liked Travis. It was the one secret I’d been pinky-sworn to since third grade, when he’d rescued her lunch sack from the hands of a couple of bullies and become her real-life superhero. I had a feeling Jessica and Sydney had figured it out, though. The way Vi was always staring at him all moony-eyed when he passed, they’d have to be blind not to have noticed.
“I don’t know anything about Travis Fisher.”
They both turned and looked at me. Hey, at least I’d taken their attention from Vi. Now I had to scramble to come up with something else to say.
“I heard he might be kicked off the football team.” Jessica shrugged. “He has to pick his grades up in history or he’s…”
“History,” Sydney added. They both giggled.
I glanced over at Vi. She was good at disguising what she was thinking, which was completely the opposite of me.
People could read my thoughts right on my face. Kimberly Browning had told me that about Travis in first period, but I’d been keeping it to myself. My goal had been to tell Vi at the right time, but I guess it was too late now. Jessica and Sydney had delivered the bad news in their own cutesy way.
At the end of lunch, Jessica and Sydney took off ahead of us out of the cafeteria, giving me a few much-needed minutes alone with Vi. I had to get a feel for how she was feeling before I rushed off to my next class, otherwise it would be bugging me for the next hour.
“You okay?” I asked as we tossed our trash into the nearby garbage and wove our way through the exiting crowd.
She broke out into a smile and nodded.
I stopped walking and turned to stare at her. “Wait, you’re happy?”
She nodded again, this time even more enthusiastically. Maybe there was some other piece of news I’d missed. I waited for her to clarify. In typical Vi style, though, she just kept walking with that big cheesecake-eating grin on her face. I’d have to dig it out of her.
I chased after her, following her through the cafeteria doors and out into the hallway. If there was one thing I could do well, it was dig information out of people. But Vi wasn’t like ordinary people. Vi was secretive.
All the way to her locker, I tried to get it out of her. She was still smiling, but not talking. I tried guessing, begging, and reminding her that I was her best friend in the whole wide world. Finally it became clear. I’d have to go for bribery.
“Fine,” I snapped, crossing my arms over my chest and leaning against the locker next to hers. “I’ll help you with your room.”
I knew that would do it. Vi lit up. She turned and looked at me, her eyes all sparkly.
“Really? You’d do that?”
She seemed to realize what she’d have to do to get me to do that and deflated a little. Not completely, though.
Decorating was important to Vi. You could say it was her hobby, like The Troy Tattler is my hobby. She somehow turned decorating into smart stuff, though, carefully calculating every square inch of her bedroom and drawing exactly what she’d be doing with that inch. It meant so much to Vi, helping her with her room would be like her writing a column for the Tattler.
I felt a little stab of guilt that I was only offering to help Vi to get some info out of her. But, seriously. We’re talking weeks of listing to words like “geometric design” and “optimized space.” Compared to other people, I was average, but compared to Vi and her ten-ton brain, I was completely clueless.
“Okay,” she agreed. “I’ll tell you. But you can’t tell anyone.”
There was a reason Vi said things like that. One of the downfalls of being the gossip queen of Troy Middle School was that sometimes I got the feeling people didn’t want to tell me things. Actually, it wasn’t even a feeling. People stopped talking when they saw me walking by and even my friends—the people who were supposed to trust me more than anything—would start to say something, look at me, and clamp their mouths shut.
Which is why I had to be extra-good at eavesdropping.
“I don’t tell anyone anything you tell me,” I told Vi. That wasn’t entirely true and she knew it. I just hoped she wouldn’t point out the time I let it slip that she still slept with her childhood teddy bear in front of everyone in gym class.
Luckily, she was too caught up in her excitement to worry about that. She closed her locker and leaned in close to tell me her secret.
“I figure it’s like this.” Vi‘s voice was barely above a whisper. “Travis is off the football team, right?”
I nodded, even though we weren’t sure about that. Sometimes you just had to go with a rumor.
“If he’s off the team, I might have a chance,” Vi said. From the look on my face, she probably got that I wasn’t following. “He might like me back.”
I looked around. The halls were crowded, reminding me just how hard it was to stand out around here. It didn’t help that Vi was so shy. She barely talked to anyone but me. Any friends I had became friends of hers, too.
There was no way Travis would just start noticing her, even if he was off the football team.
Which was silly, because Vi was pretty. Even a popular guy like Travis Fisher would like her. If only he knew she existed. It was like a light bulb went off inside my head. That was my job. As her friend, it was my duty to get through to Travis for her.
I knew she’d freak out if I told her I planned to say something. But I could already imagine the look on her face when I told her he liked her too. At that point, she’d forgive me for giving her secret away.



Interview

  • Tell us a little about 30 Days of No Gossip. What makes Maddie’s story so special?
  • I think gossip is a topic we all grapple with, no matter how old we are. We think it’s something that will end once we reach adulthood, but then we find ourselves gathered around the water cooler at the office, talking about our co-workers or last night’s episode of our favorite reality show.
  • Do you think reading 30 Days will cause young girls to stop and think about what they’re saying about others?
  • I do. During the course of the book, Maddie is forced to face some harsh realities about the things she says about other people—and why she says them. When she has information no one else has, people like her. It makes her more popular. But her best friend gives her a real reality check about the things she’s saying about other people.
  • What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
  • After nearly two decades of writing books and trying to get them published, I think I’ve become the poster child for perseverance! Every writer’s journey is different, so I think it’s important for a writer to follow her own heart and try not to pay too much attention to what other writers are doing. But it’s also important to keep trying, no matter how many rejections pile up or how many editors and agents say, “no.” It just takes one “yes!”
  • What advice do you give young readers who want to write someday?
  • Read, read, read. I know every writer says that, but it couldn’t be more true. I’d tell adult authors the same thing! The more we read, the more we are able to learn the basic elements of a story. When you combine avid reading with daily writing, eventually the process of creating a novel becomes to feel natural.
  • Did you know you wanted to be a writer from a young age?
  • I always wanted to become a writer, but I wasn’t sure I had the talent. Like acting, singing, or painting, natural talent is part of it. You can hone that talent by working hard, but it’s important that the natural ability be there. Looking back, though, I was spending more time reading than doing anything else when I was in elementary school. I also began writing poetry when I was twelve. It was bad poetry, but I can look back now and see the passion behind the words I was writing.


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Chasing The Star Garden by :- Melanie Karsak - Review

Chasing The Star Garden

Melanie Karsak

eBook

Blurb

An opium-addicted beauty.

An infamous poet living in self-imposed exile.

An ancient treasure about to fall into the wrong hands.

Melanie Karsak’s Chasing the Star Garden takes readers on a thrilling adventure from the gritty opium dens of gaslamp London to the gem-colored waters of the ancient world. Lily Stargazer, a loveable but reckless airship racer with a famous lover and shattered past, reluctantly plunges into a centuries-old mystery in a romantic adventure best described as Dan Brown meets Mary Shelley.

It all begins on one of the worst days of Lily’s life. She just lost the London leg of the 1823 Airship Grand Prix. To top it off, a harlequin fleeing from constables shoved a kaleidoscope down her pants, told her to fly to Venice, then threw himself from her airship tower. What’s a girl to do? For Lily, the answer is easy: drink absinthe and smoke opium.

Lily’s lover, Lord Byron, encourages her to make the trip to Venice. Lily soon finds herself at the heart of an ancient mystery which has her running from her past and chasing true love and the stars along the way.

*Due to steamy scenes and depictions of drug use, this novel is intended for mature readers.Review

There is a lot of writing out there—in fact, it seems to fill reams of virtual paper—a lot of it is descriptive, even mildly entertaining, but seldom is it powerful, engaging and vivid enough to pull the reader thoroughly into the story. Seldom is it evocative enough to leave a permanent mark on the reader. The Chasing the Star Garden, falls, hard as a feather, into the latter category. It is a risque, fantastical romp featuring a reckless, substance abusing adventuress— at times I found myself so drawn it literally stole my breath—clean knocked the wind out of my ballon(the one I could imagine sailing across the skies in with Lily— yes! the writing was that clear to me. )

Like the steampunk objects so imaginatively described—and so central to the tale—this work is an intricately designed fiction, it ‘ticks’ on many subtle levels as to create a marvelous timepiece of a novel.

Lily, the main protagonist, is a determined, damaged and wholly believable character. There is magic afoot— an ancient tale of love an loss, an enchantment and a prophecy rich, entangled and totally charming. It snakes through Lily’s personal history joining it to the history of the ancient Mediterranean gods of love and voyaging. Despite it mythical roots, this book is truly an adult one, since alongside the engaging fable lies Lily’s dark personal path, a path leading from betrayal, though pain and barely bearable suffering, to self-management in a brittle, drug-infused existence, which nevertheless, cannot dampen her spirit for life or tarnish her natural enthusiasm and skill as a pilot.

This book is an adventure about an adventure. A truly mind-spinning, exciting and ultimately satisfying story.

Obviously I enjoyed the tale immensely—Lily, will be with me for quite some time to come. Gladly, I set aside my first impression, based on the disturbing sex scene between Lily and Lord Byron at the beginning of the book—I was in two minds after reading it, one of which prompted me to lay it down least I find myself reading a thinly veiled ‘Shades of Grey’ dressed as an airship adventure. It is not, it is a romantic adult fairly tale and I cannot wait for the sequel.

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