Cover Reveal: A Touch of Darkness by Yelena Casale & Tina Moss

So I’m about two days late in posting this cover reveal (day job stuff, yada yada), but I could not NOT post this reveal. Yelena and Tina are two of the nicest, sweetest, kindest authors I’ve ever met and I’m absolutely thrilled about the new cover for their book, A TOUCH OF DARKNESS.

 

If you’ve visited my site before–or maybe your new? *smile*–you can read my review of ATOD here, and a special excerpt here. And be sure to check below the cover to read ATOD’s list of awards (thus far), a teaser, and learn a little about the authors, Yelena Casale & Tina Moss. Oh, and the giveaway, of course. 😉

 

And now… here’s the fun you came to see. 😉

Title: A Touch of Darkness
Author: Yelena Casale & Tina Moss
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: March 2, 2015
https://gum.co/muxG
 

A Touch of Darkness 

Key Series, Book One

Cassie Durrett dreams of the darkness. And lives the nightmare. She’s working for a tightwad boss at a pretentious NYC diner,
dealing with paralyzing pain that doctors can’t diagnose, and trying to
hide her hands that glow purple whenever she …well, whenever. 

So, when mystery man, Gabe, walks out of her dreams and into her life to
spout some nonsense about her being a mythical creature, she chalks it
up to one more crazy thing to add to her it’s-a-crappy-life list. Yet,
when his predictions start to come true, she’ll need his help to beat back the darkness-spawned creatures invading her reality.

Pretty soon Gabe has her running half way across the country in search of answers. As a bond grows between them, Cassie worries not about losing her mind to the paranormal madness, nor her life to  hellish monsters. Rather her deepest fear is surrendering her heart to a powerful man fallen from grace.

Pre-Order | GoodReads

A TOUCH OF DARKNESS has already won the following awards (and I’m sure there’ll be more):

FIRST PLACE in the Readers’ Crown Award
for urban fantasy.

FIRST PLACE in Central Florida RWA’s Touch of Magic
contest for paranormal romance.

Teaser

 

 

 

 

About the Authors

Yelena Casale is an award-winning author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Being very curious and inquisitive, she has been a devoted reader
and writer since childhood. As a 2nd degree black belt and instructor in
Shotokan karate, an avid traveler and history and art enthusiast, she weaves
universal themes with martial arts philosophies into her stories.
She
lives with her amazing, super supportive husband. In her spare time, she reads, paints, watches cool shows on TV and
tries to get more sleep.
Like
the samurai of the old, as well as the ultimate Renaissance man and
Yelena’s favorite historical figure, Leonardo da Vinci, she believes
that nothing is greater than mastery of oneself.

Tina Moss is an award-winning author of urban fantasy, paranormal
romance, romantic suspense, and New Adult novels.  She lives in NYC with
a supportive husband and alpha corgi, though both males hog the bed and
refuse to share the covers. When not writing, she enjoys reading,
watching cheesy horror flicks, traveling, and karate. As a 5’1″ Shotokan
black belt, she firmly believes that fierce things come in small
packages.

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Review: A Touch of Darkness by Yelena Casale & Tina Moss

I’m SO excited to share my review today for Yelena and Tina’s debut novel, A TOUCH OF DARKNESS!

A Touch of DarknessBook Blurb:

Cassie’s working for a tightwad boss at a pretentious NYC diner, dealing with paralyzing pain that doctors can’t diagnose, and trying to hide her hands that glow purple whenever she …well, whenever.

So, when a mysterious stranger walks out of her dreams and into her life to spout some nonsense about her being a mythical creature, she chalks it up to one more crazy thing to add to her it’s-a-crappy-life list. Yet, when the stranger’s predictions start to come true, she discovers a world that could shake up her humdrum existence.

My Review:

Ask any writing friend who knows me and they will tell you that I am picky, picky, picky about my urban fantasies (well, any book in general, but this genre even more so). Paranormal Romances are my thing because of the … well, the romance. So when I switch over to Urban Fantasy, the story, characters, and writing needs to be spot-on in order to keep my attention.

AND THIS BOOK DID JUST THAT! 😀

Wow! Ok, so Cassie has a huge problem–her hands glow purple whenever she becomes emotionally stressed. And to make matters worse, whenever the purple-glow comes about, she also experiences debilitating pain. So when A TOUCH OF DARKNESS opens, we’re immediately drawn into the mystery of why this happens to Cassie.

Then we meet Gabe.

Gabe comes to the city from another realm in search of Cassie … and he can help Cassie find the answers she seeks. But there’s one problem–Gabe isn’t from this world, so he has NO idea how to socialize with women of this world. So you I’m sure you can imagine the delicious tension that happens between these two upon their first meeting. 🙂

Yelena and Tina have given us a new, unique urban fantasy world with vibrant settings, worldbuilding, true-to-life character personalities, and intense conflict and tension. I’m definitely excited to get my hands on the next book in the Key series. 😀

4 Stars

A TOUCH OF DARKNESS released on October 31st–just in time for Halloween! Be sure to add this great entry into the Urban Fantasy genre to your TBR list on Goodreads. 😀

Yelena and TinaAbout the Authors:

Yelena Casale was born in Kiev, Ukraine and came to New York when she was 13, which, gave her a great perspective into two very different cultures. Being very curious and inquisitive, Yelena has always been an avid reader with a wide range of literary interests. Writing has been her passion since she first learned to write, and it only grew over time. Yelena is especially fond of reading and writing urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Yelena can follow Yelena on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Tina Moss is a writer of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and historical romance. She lives in NYC with a supportive husband and alpha corgi, though both males hog the bed and refuse to share the covers. When not writing, she enjoys reading, watching cheesy horror flicks, traveling, and karate. As a 5’1″ Shotokan black belt, she firmly believes that  fierce things come in small packages. You can follow Tina on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

About the Giveaway:

Yelena and Tina are giving away a copy of A TOUCH OF DARKNESS and a $10 gift card! So don’t forget to enter for your chance to win!

Good luck!

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Be sure to check back next Thursday! We’re going to have both Yelena and Tina on the blog with an excerpt from this fantastic book. 🙂

Happy Reading and Writing, everyone!
Melinda

Where in the World is ARCHETYPE?

 

ArchetypeSo there’s this publisher called Dutton Books, who decided to publish this book called ARCHETYPE by M.D. Waters.

GREATEST. DECISION. EVER!

No joke. There’s a reason why there’s been an insane amount of buzz in the publishing world about this book.

Check out the blurb from Goodreads:

Introducing a breathtakingly inventive futuristic suspense novel about one woman who rebels against everything she is told to believe.

Emma wakes in a hospital, with no memory of what came before. Her husband, Declan, a powerful, seductive man, provides her with new memories, but her dreams contradict his stories, showing her a past life she can’t believe possible: memories of war, of a camp where girls are trained to be wives, of love for another man. Something inside her tells her not to speak of this, but she does not know why. She only knows she is at war with herself.

Suppressing those dreams during daylight hours, Emma lets Declan mold her into a happily married woman and begins to fall in love with him. But the day Noah stands before her, the line between her reality and dreams shatters.

In a future where women are a rare commodity, Emma fights for freedom but is held captive by the love of two men—one her husband, the other her worst enemy. If only she could remember which is which. . . .

The first novel in a two-part series, Archetype heralds the arrival of a truly memorable character—and the talented author who created her.

Although ARCHETYPE doesn’t release until February, I got the chance to be a part of the “Where in the World is Archetype” blog tour that M.D. Waters’ Writing Wife, Charissa Weaks, put together.

So what does that mean? Well, it means I got to spend some time reading an ARC of this fantastic, can’t-put-down novel! But first, I had to receive it in the mail from another writer: Melissa Chambers.

To say I was giddy while opening the box is an understatement

To say I was giddy while opening the box is an understatement

Then, I had to read it. 🙂 🙂 🙂

do-not-disturb-im-reading-archetype-by-md-waters

When I finished, I cried, smiled, laughed, jumped for joy, texted Charissa Weaks, and went a little nuts on Facebook with nothing but raves about this book.

Then I sat down an wrote my review:

OMG! There are almost no words for how much I LOVED this book. And there’s no doubt whatsoever that you WILL LOVE it, too!

I’ve never been much of a science fiction reader, but I do enjoy any and all genres that have fantastic characters, amazing story lines, and delicious tension — and that is exactly what this book gave us! Action, romance, mystery, tension, likeable heroine from page one, plot twists so good that you’ll scream aloud, “Oh, my God!”

M.D. Waters has given readers such a treasure with this novel, and there’s no doubt its follow-up, Prototype, will be just as amazing and unforgettable.

Fantastic writing, unforgettable characters, and heart-wrenching, Archetype is sure to find itself at the top of the NYT Bestseller list upon release.

Then, ARCHETYPE and I took a little field trip to the Bicentennial Gardens in Greensboro.

Archetype in Greensboro, NC

Archetype in Greensboro, NC

Archetype and "The Student"

Archetype and “The Student”

And now, ARCHETYPE is on it’s way to the next stop on this little tour. 🙂

Wanna join in on the fun and read ARCHETYPE before it hits bookshelves on February 6th, 2014? Here’s how:

1) Possess your own blog and be willing to post about the book
2) Email Charissa Weaks about joining the tour: cweaksblog (at) gmail (dot) com
3) Read ARCHETYPE in the allotted time frame
4) Take a picture of you with the book
5) Write a note to Charissa inside the cover (this is her ARC, so tell how much you LOVED it)
6) Mail the book to the next lucky recipient
7) Blog about your experience

Not able to join the tour? No worries! You can always pre-order your copy of ARCHETYPE now:

Amazon / Barnes and Noble / iTunes / iBook / Indiebound / GooglePlay

Next stop for ARCHETYPE will be next week with Author Kristi Helvig.

Where in the World is ARCHETYPE? Current Blog Tour List
9/8: Author Melissa Chambers
9/16: Author Jodi L. Henry
9/26: Author Melinda S. Collins
9/30: Author Kristi Helvig
10/7: Author Ash Krafton
10/16: Author Jessica Lemmon
10/25: A Bookish Affair
10/31: Author Tracy Buscemi
11/11: Jessica E. Subject

Happy Reading and Writing!
Melinda

And The Winner Is…..

 

As most of you know, on Monday, I posted a review of Chosen by Blood by Virna DePaul, and held an author giveaway for a $10 Amazon gift card.

So, without further ado: per Random.org, the winner is ….

Danielle W.

Congratulations, Danielle!!!

 

Thank you again to everyone who participated! I had so much fun hosting a giveaway, so keep your eyes open for more in the near future! Winking smile

Also, don’t forget to check out my Song of the Week: Over and Out by Alkaline Trio.

Happy Reading!

Melinda

Review & Author Giveaway!! Chosen by Blood by Virna DePaul

Chosen by Blod
Chosen by Blood by Virna DePaul
Pub. Date:  May 3, 2011
Published by: Berkley
Format: E-book, 310 pages
Synopsis from Virna DePaul’s Website

Synopsis

United by fate. Bound by desire.

Five years after the Second Civil War ends, humans and otherborn – humanlike creatures with superhuman DNA – still struggle for peace. To ensure the continued rights of both, the FBI forms a Para-Ops team with a unique set of skills.

CHOSEN BY BLOOD

Leader of an Otherborn clan, half-breed vampire Knox Devereaux would do anything to find a cure for the anti-vamp vaccine slowly starving his people into extinction. When the FBI contacts him about leading a team of hand-selected Others on a mission to reclaim the stolen antidote, Knox accepts. His new assignment places him in direct contact with Special Agent Felicia Locke, the beautiful human he’s craved since their very first meeting.


Review
“Every human and Otherborn for himself.”

Chosen by Blood, the first book in the Para-Ops series, opened quite shockingly. After reading the prologue, I could tell that the romance in this book was not going to be ‘generic’. Knox Devereaux and Felicia Locke open this world with such intensity, that it’s hard not to overlook the circumstances surrounding them. When these two first met, they literally knew they were soul mates. But, between them stood Felicia’s best friend –  and Knox’s wife – Noella. Forbidden love? Yes. Typical? No.

A few years later, Knox steps right back into Felicia’s life as the half-born leader of an Otherborn vampire clan. After the humans created a vaccine that keeps their blood from nourishing the vampires, Knox’s mother, Bianca, had to step down from her role as the Vampire Queen due to the weakness her body has suffered. As a dharmire, Knox’s human blood kept his body strong, unlike the full-blooded vampires in his clan.

Given the opportunity by the FBI to save his clan by securing an antidote to the vaccine, Knox agrees to lead the Para-Ops team, but under a few conditions. One in particular in regards to Special Agent Felicia Locke – the woman of his heart that has been avoiding him like the plague even though her best friend no longer truly stands between them, and her feelings ran just as deep for him.

Against Knox’s wishes, Felicia joins the team. As a human, she stands along-side an absolutely wonderful cast of characters, known as the FBI’s Para-Ops Team: Dex Hunt, a bad-ass werebeast, Wraith, a ghost, Lucy, a powerful mage, and Caleb O’Flare, a fearless mountain-climbing, human-psychic medic.

Immediately after being introduced to these individuals, I could tell this diverse group was going to be fun to watch. Most of them are not too happy with working for the FBI, which is why they were baited with something that they each desperately wanted or needed. But eventually, they begin to grow on one another – even Felicia begins to let down her wall that has kept her feelings for Knox at bay all these years.

As the discovery and location of the antidote, and a hidden agenda is uncovered, the individual relationships between the Para-Ops team members grows by leaps and bounds – none more so  than that of Felicia and Knox (though Caleb O’Flare and Wraith begin to have you wondering).

I started reading Chosen by Blood knowing that it most definitely was a romance, but I soon discovered that this particular romance was only the beginning in a strong series set in a world that was built beautifully by Ms. DePaul. Every character has been fleshed out among the pages exceedingly well, and every detail made this book extremely interesting and the wonderful flow kept me enthralled so I couldn’t miss a single one of those details.

While Ms. DePaul closed Chosen by Blood in a manner where it ‘could’ be a stand-alone novel, she did leave a few loose ends open for future books. Those loose ends are exactly what has me counting the days until the next book, Chosen by Fate, is released on October 4th. And, to hold me over until then, a prequel novella, Wraith’s Awakening, is available for download from Virna DePaul’s website.

As you may know by now, any author who pulls me into their extraordinary world and keeps me immobile for hours with a need-to-know hunger for what happens next, has officially earned themselves a loyal reader. Well, I can not only say that about Ms. DePaul, but I can also say that I am now a true fan of her writing since I felt it push me further with my own.


Author Giveaway!
Ms. DePaul has graciously offered to giveaway a $10 Amazon gift card to one commenter!
How to Enter: Enter your comments on the book review below (and remember to keep them clean and respectful). Please include your email address in your comment.
Deadline: All comments made/entered by 8pm on Wednesday (6/22) will be entered to win.
The winner will be chosen via Random.org and announced on Thursday morning’s blog post.

Good Luck & Happy Reading Everyone! Open-mouthed smile

Review: Graveminder by Melissa Marr

 

Graveminder

Graveminder by Melissa Marr          Pub. Date: May 17, 2011          Published by: William Morrow     Format: Hardcover, 324 pages    Synopsis from Melissa Marr’s Website

 

Synopsis

Three sips to mind the dead . . .

Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the attention her grandmother Maylene bestowed upon the dead of Claysville, the small town where Bek spent her adolescence. There wasn’t a funeral that Maylene didn’t attend, and at each one Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual: She took three sips from a silver flask and spoke the words “Sleep well, and stay where I put you.

Now Maylene is dead, and Bek must go back to the place she left a decade earlier. She soon discovers that Claysville is not just the sleepy town she remembers, and that Maylene had good reason for her odd traditions. It turns out that in Claysville the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected; beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled by the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D. If the dead are not properly cared for, they will come back to satiate themselves with food, drink, and stories from the land of the living. Only the Graveminder, by tradition a Barrow woman, and her Undertaker—in this case Byron Montgomery, with whom Bek shares a complicated past—can set things right once the dead begin to walk.

Although she is still grieving for Maylene, Rebekkah will soon find that she has more than a funeral to attend to in Claysville, and that what awaits her may be far worse: dark secrets, a centuries-old bargain, a romance that still haunts her, and a frightening new responsibility—to stop a monster and put the dead to rest where they belong.


Review

What happens in Claysville, stays in Claysville….

Graveminder is the first book I’ve read by Melissa Marr…and it will not be my last. Her Wicked Lovely series – set it in the YA world – is going to be added to my ‘to read’ list.

The world of Graveminder is like no other I’ve visited before: a small town where anyone who’s born there, never leaves – and if by chance they ever do, they always return. Claysville’s citizens never question the strange/scary events that happen, and a council strives to maintain order by working with the two individuals whose shoulders bear the weight of the town’s safety. Hidden underneath the town lies the land of the dead – an intricate world run by the mysterious ‘Mr. D’ (aka Charles). Because of the deal the town’s founders made with Charles, the Graveminder (Rebekkah) and the Undertaker (Byron) must ensure that the dead stay in their grave. If a grave is not minded, the dead rise and begin to feed on humans. The more they kill, the stronger they become and the harder it will be for the Graveminder and the Undertaker to lead them to the land of the dead.

Rebekkah is a strong main character, yet beautifully flawed like the rest of us. When we first meet her, you can feel that she’s been in search of her place in the world. By the time the story ends, you leave Graveminder with a smile on your face, knowing she has not only found it, but she’s happy with where fate has taken her.

The concept of Graveminder took me a bit by surprise, but delivered every hope I had of an exceptional read. It’s a fresh, fascinating, mind-boggling, insanely-genius and beautifully written page-turner. Ms. Marr has built a truly extraordinary world. Any author who can pull me in and keep me sitting there for hours, immobilized by the need to know what’s going to happen next, has earned themselves a loyal reader.

This is a must for your summer reading list!

Favorite Line/Quote:

“Part of being strong is knowing when to hide your weaknesses, and when to admit them. When it’s just us, you can cry. In front of the world, you keep that chin up.”

Favorite Character: Byron Montgomery

Byron surprised me throughout Graveminder. He’s handsome, quiet, strong-willed, patient, caring, smart, and a bit of a romantic. He loves Rebekkah profoundly, but has never been able to hold onto her throughout his adult life. Part of his journey with her reminded me of the old saying: “If you love something, let it go. If it’s yours, it’ll return to you.” He’s known what he’s wanted for most of his life, and with patience, he’s waited until she’s ready to accept the love and support he has to offer. Only time, and hopefully another book in this series, will tell whether or not his love for Rebekkah will be fully reciprocated.