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Opposition RDL Banner

IT’S HERE!!!!  I am so very excited to share with your the Release Day Launch for Jennifer L. Armentrout’s OPPOSITION!

OPPOSITION is a young adult Paranormal Romance being published by Entangled Teen and the fifth book Armentrout’s her LUX Series!

 

Opposition Cover

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | IndieBound | Others via Entangled

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About OPPOSITION:

Katy knows the world changed the night the Luxen came.

She can’t believe Daemon welcomed his race or stood by as his kind threatened to obliterate every last human and hybrid on Earth. But the lines between good and bad have blurred, and love has become an emotion that could destroy her—could destroy them all.

Daemon will do anything to save those he loves, even if it means betrayal.

They must team with an unlikely enemy if there is any chance of surviving the invasion. But when it quickly becomes impossible to tell friend from foe, and the world is crumbling around them, they may lose everything— even what they cherish most—to ensure the survival of their friends…and mankind.

War has come to Earth. And no matter the outcome, the future will never be the same for those left standing.

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EXCERPT:

Katy

I still stared at Daemon, completely aware that everyone else except him was watching me. Closely. But why wouldn’t he look at me? A razor-sharp panic clawed at my insides. No. Thiscouldn’t be happening. No way.My body was moving before I even knew what I was doing.

From the corner of my eye, I saw Dee shake her head and one of the Luxen males step forward, but I was propelled by an inherent need to prove that my worst fears were not coming true.

After all, he’d healed me, but then I thought of what Dee had said, of how Dee had behaved with me. What if Daemon was like her? Turned into something so foreign and cold? He would’ve healed me just to make sure he was okay.

I still didn’t stop.
 Please, I thought over and over again. Please. Please. Please. On shaky legs, I crossed the long room, and even thoughDaemon hadn’t seemed to even acknowledge my existence, I walked right up to him, my hands trembling as I placed them on his chest.

“Daemon?” I whispered, voice thick.

His head whipped around, and he was suddenly staring down at me. Our gazes collided once more, and for a second I saw something so raw, so painful in those beautiful eyes. And then his large hands wrapped around my upper arms. The contact seared through the shirt I wore, branding my skin, and I thought—I expected—that he would pull me against him, that he would embrace me, and even though nothing would be all right, it would be better.

Daemon’s hands spasmed around my arms, and I sucked in an unsteady breath.

His eyes flashed an intense green as he physically lifted me away from him, setting me back down a good foot back.

I stared at him, something deep in my chest cracking. “Daemon?”

He said nothing as he let go, one finger at a time, it seemed, and his hands slid off my arms. He stepped back, returning his attention to the man behind the desk.

“So . . . awkward,” murmured the redhead, smirking.

I was rooted to the spot in which I stood, the sting of rejection burning through my skin, shredding my insides like I was nothing more than papier-mâché.

“I think someone was expecting more of a reunion,” the Luxen male behind the desk said, his voice ringing with amusement. “What do you think, Daemon?”

One shoulder rose in a negligent shrug. “I don’t think anything.”

My mouth opened, but there were no words. His voice, his tone, wasn’t like his sister’s, but like it had been when we first met. He used to speak to me with barely leashed annoyance, where a thin veil of tolerance dripped from every word.The rift in my chest deepened.
For the hundredth time since the Luxen arrived, SergeantDasher’s warning came back to me. What side would Daemon and his family stand on? A shudder worked its way down my spine. I wrapped my arms around myself, unable to truly process what had just happened.

“And you?” the man asked. When no one answered, he tried again. “Katy?”

I was forced to look at him, and I wanted to shrink back from his stare. “What?” I was beyond caring that my voice broke on that one word.

The man smiled as he walked around the desk. My gaze flickered over to Daemon as he shifted, drawing the attention of the beautiful redhead. “Were you expecting a more personal greeting?” he asked. “Perhaps something more intimate?”

I had no idea how to answer. I felt like I’d fallen into the rabbit hole, and warnings were firing off left and right. Something primal inside me recognized that I was surrounded by predators.

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Don’t miss the books that started it all…

LUX Special edition cover

 LUX: BEGINNINGS:

Amazon US | Amazon CA | Barnes and Noble | BAM | Powell’s Books | Book Depository

LUX: CONSEQUENCES

Amazon US | Amazon CA | Barnes and Noble | BAM | Powell’s Books | Book Depository

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Author PhotoAbout Jennifer L. Armentrout:

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Website ** Twitter ** Facebook ** Author Goodreads ** OPPOSITION on Goodreads

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And make sure you enter the GIVEAWAY! 

You could win:

a Lux Series Basket with Lux themed jewelry

a signed set of the Lux Series

and a $50 gift card to a retailer of the winner’s choice (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Indiebound).

LUX Giveaway

Click HERE to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Under Different StarsFrom Goodreads: All she wants is a home, but can she find one…UNDER DIFFERENT STARS

Kricket Hollowell is normally not one to wish upon stars; she believes they’re rarely in her favor. Well versed at dodging caseworkers from Chicago’s foster care system, the past few years on her own have made Kricket an expert at the art of survival and blending in. With her 18th birthday fast approaching, she dreams of the day when she can stop running and find what her heart needs most: a home.

Trey Allairis hates Earth and doubts that anyone from his world can thrive here. What he’s learning of Kricket and her existence away from her true home only confirms his theory. But, when he and Kricket lie together under the stars of Ethar, counting them all may be easier than letting her go.

Kyon Ensin’s secrets number the stars; he knows more about Kricket’s gifts than anyone and plans to possess her because of them. He also knows she’s more valuable than any fire in the night sky. He’ll move the heavens and align them all in order to make her his own.

When everything in their world can be broken, will Kricket rely upon love to save her under different stars?

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There really are no word to convey just how much this amazing novel means to me. I am in awe of Bartol’s sheet writing capabilities; her story is so intricately woven and beautiful, drawing me in from the very first page, wrapping me up tight, and transporting me into Bartol’s amazing world of Etharians. So much love.

The characterization in Under Different Stars is amazing. Kricket is a spunky, no-nonsense, strong, capable young woman, and I loved her from the get go. Her response to her situations were amazing and plausible, and I hold her in esteem… where I would have fallen to pieces and given up, she holds fast and does everything in her power to make her own choices and follow her heart. I want to be her when I grow up.

And let’s not forget about Trey. My dear, dear Trey, who is my newest book boyfriend. Swoon. I actually hated him in the beginning; he, Jax, and Wayra were obnoxious and I was angry at them for abducting Kricket, but their humor and true, caring nature came forth as the novel unfolded, and as I got to really see their hearts and understand their purpose, as infuriating as it was, I fell hard for Trey, and his sidekicks are just the best.

This novel gave me ALL the feels. Crying, screaming, swooning, hating, loving. The entire gamut, and I connected with the characters on such a deep, beautiful level. Yes, I hate Kyon and the Etharian ruler, but even so, Bartol did such an amazing job making them real scum—and I just loved to hate them.

And I’m so glad this novel is clean. It’s actually HOTTER because it is clean, and Kricket’s virtue stays intact throughout it all, which made me such a happy girl, because I was ready to ugly cry again a few times when I thought terrible things were going to happen to her…

Speaking of which, I nearly died at 80% in the novel when Bartol wrote in a scene that had me screaming aloud (seriously, my cat was startled and ran out of the room after scratching me); my heart was in my throat and I was so very upset. Thankfully, Bartol isn’t as mean as I thought in that brief by never ending scene that scarred me.

Where is book two? It needs to be in my fat little hands right now. Right. Now.  Thankfully, it’s coming out SOON.

This is definitely a must read novel—scoop it up now, you won’t be disappointed. Five amazing stars.

5 stars

I purchased this novel from Amazon.

 

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes and Noble



NEW RELEASE!

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Rout of the Dem-Shyr

Rout of the Dem-Shyr by Raine Thomas (Ascendant #2)

Genre: New Adult Sci-Fi Romance

Audience: Ages 17+

 Cover Design by MaeiDesign

Review:

From Goodreads: Touted as the future ruler and savior of worlds, Ascendant KyrVawn is ready to put her growing power to good use. She intends to begin with her home planet of Alametria, where hints of corruption have infiltrated the highest levels of the palace. It’s a monumental task, but one she won’t undertake alone.

By her side is her personal bodyguard and secret lover, Dem-Shyr TaeDane. Together, they’re determined to uncover the truth behind the changes that occurred while they were off-planet…changes that violate long-standing Alametrian laws.

But it’s hard for them to champion the rules when they don’t live by them. Their love is forbidden by official decree, and with every illicit touch, they edge closer and closer to discovery and disaster. Despite their good intentions, they’ll find out that sometimes love doesn’t conquer all.

In fact, it might just be the very thing that destroys them.

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If you’re looking for an intense, sexy, powerful series that will leave you breathless, look no further. Raine Thomas’ Ascendant series is the perfect blend of action, romance, thriller, and mystery as readers are taken on a ride throughout the galaxy.

Fraught with tension, Rout of the Dem-Shyr definitely made my heart hurt as I read—especially with the opening of the story, a jaw-dropping revelation that put me on pins and needles through to the conclusion! Thomas is indeed a master storyteller, building up each scene in a way that grips readers and holds us on betted breath, and I found myself 100% invested in the storyl and its characters as it unfolded. Though my heart broke on numerous occasions, rest assured that Thomas has a rhyme and a reason behind every seemingly closed door, and in order to become stronger and ultimately win against evil, both Ty and Kyr must endure unspeakable evil and heartache.

At one point, I threw my kindle down, frustrated that the world was crashing down on my two most favorite characters in the world—evil is triumphing in this novel, and it’s a hard pill to swallow, especially because everything that Ty and Kry stand for is beautiful. Of course, I picked my Kindle back up immediately because this novel is so drawing that I just HAD TO KNOW what would happen next for Ty and Kry.  They are perfect together in every single way, and their society’s prejudices and backlashes drove me insane with hatred, and yet, it had to happen. While I wanted nothing more than for everything to work out perfectly for my hero and heroine, it just isn’t feasible, and the story would not have been as realistic should only good triumph. I had to repeat this mantra as I read, knowing that ultimately Thomas would fix it all, but the wait almost killed me.

The last few pages of this novel did, indeed, having me rejoicing, pumping my fist in the air, and squealing because… though Ty and Kry aren’t out of the woods yet, the sun is rising in the distance, and I am so excited to see them come back in book three, Rise of the Faire-Amanti, and kick evils butt once and for all. Five glorious, amazing, gut-wrenching, perfect stars.

5 stars

If you haven’t yet read book one in the series, Return of the Ascendant, be sure to scoop it up and read it first. It’s a must!

  I received this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Buy the Book:

Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ B&N ~ iBooks ~ Kobo

AddtoGoodreads

And be sure to check out my 5 star review of book 1, The Return of the Ascendant!

The Ascendant SeriesBook 3, Rise of the Faire-Amanti is coming FALL 2014

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Watch the Ascendant Series Trailer:

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Excerpt:

“Welcome back, Ma’jah Kyr,” Zasha greeted her as she and Ty entered her chambers.

Kyr smiled. Per her request, the Wrym who worked with her every day had recently started speaking to her, though they only did so if Shaya wasn’t around. Zasha seemed the most comfortable with this change.

“Thanks, Zasha. I’m ready to get refreshed after that training session.”

“Would you like some tea, Ma’jah?”

“No, thanks.” Kyr headed straight to the bathing chamber. “I really just want to have a bath.”

Zasha hurried ahead, signaling to Heshi and J’li, the Wrym waiting to draw the bathwater. They added scented foam that filled the air with musky hints of wild tilly blossoms as the central cascade of water filled the pond-sized tub. Kyr stood compliantly so the Wrym could help her remove her lightweight armor. She noted that Ty was the only Mynder keeping watch over her bath and barely contained her smile.

“Thank you for preparing my bath, ladies,” she said once she had been completely disrobed. “But now I would like for you to give me some privacy.”

The three Wrym in the room looked at her with wide, unblinking eyes. They obviously didn’t know how to respond.

“As I’ve mentioned,” Kyr explained as she entered the scented water, “I still retain my memories from my time on Earth. I’ve found that I miss taking care of certain personal tasks on my own, including bathing. Since it’s my Day of Life celebration today, I would like to ask that you please give me the gift of privacy. I’ll call you back in here the moment I’m ready to be prepared for today’s event.”

The silence stretched for so long, she didn’t think they’d do it. Zasha was the first to recover.

“Of course, Ma’jah,” she said with a bow. “As you wish.”

She took the arms of her still-befuddled companions and hurried out of the room, closing the door behind them. Ty watched them go before turning back to her.

What was that all about?

Rather than answer him, she walked back out of the water. She had only gone in far enough to reach her waist, so it didn’t take more than a few steps to leave the water and cross the room to him. He showed no reaction as she stood naked before him, but she sensed his uncontrollable surge of desire.

It’s your Day of Life celebration, too, Dem-Shyr, she thought, reaching for the fastenings of his tunic. Others may wish to ignore that, but I refuse to. We were born on the same day, at the same time, under the same star. We’re fated to be together. That deserves celebrating.

He held her gaze as she bared his chest. This is a risk, he warned.

We live every day with risk. If we were still on Earth, we’d be celebrating with my college friends, enjoying some drinks and having a good time. I don’t see why we can’t enjoy ourselves at least a little just because we’re on our home planet.

She didn’t have to convince him any further. He took over for her, disrobing in swift, efficient movements that made her lips turn up at the corners. There was no denying he was just as excited about this daring tryst as she was. Even if his body didn’t betray him, she could read his thoughts loud and clear.

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About the Author:

Raine ThomasRaine Thomas is the award-winning author of bestselling Young Adult and New Adult fiction. Known for character-driven stories that inspire the imagination, Raine recently signed with multiple award-winning producer Chase Chenowith of Back Fence Productions to bring her popular Daughters of Saraqael trilogy to the big screen. She’s a proud indie author who is living the dream.

When she isn’t writing or glued to e-mail or social networking sites, Raine can usually be found vacationing with her husband and daughter on one of Florida’s beautiful beaches or crossing the border to visit with her Canadian friends and relatives.

Follow Raine

Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon Author Page ~ Pinterest ~ Linkedin ~ Website ~ Blog

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 And now for the giveaway:

You could win:

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ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE!

 



It’s time for some awesome double cover reveals!!!

Titles: Rout of the Dem-Shyr and Rise of the Faire-Amanti by Raine Thomas

Series: The Ascendant Series, Books 2 and 3

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Rout of the Dem-Shyr (Ascendant Series, Book 2)

Rout of the Dem-Shyr

Rise of the Faire-Amanti (Ascendant Series, Book 3)

Rise of the Faire-Amanti

Publisher: Iambe Books, LLC

Cover Designer: Regina Wamba of Mae I Design

Genre: New Adult Sci-Fi Romance

Recommended Audience: Readers 17+

Projected Release Dates: Rout of the Dem-Shyr (July 2014) and Rise of the Faire-Amanti (Nov 2014)

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Check out the covers all together. Don’t they look amazing??

The Ascendant Series

Did you miss the first book in the series, Return of the Ascendant? Grab your copy today!

Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ Barnes and Noble ~ iBooks ~ Kobo

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And now, it’s Trailer Reveal Time! Turn those speakers up!!!

Trailer created by Flatline Films

And Check out my 5 star review of Return of the Ascendant HERE!



ShadowsFrom Goodreads: The last thing Dawson Black expected was Bethany Williams. As a Luxen, an alien life form on Earth, human girls are…well, fun. But since the Luxen have to keep their true identities a secret, falling for one would be insane.

Dangerous. Tempting. Undeniable.

Bethany can’t deny the immediate connection between her and Dawson. And even though boys aren’t a complication she wants, she can’t stay away from him. Still, whenever they lock eyes, she’s drawn in.

Captivated. Lured. Loved.

Dawson is keeping a secret that will change her existence…and put her life in jeopardy. But even he can’t stop risking everything for one human girl. Or from a fate that is as unavoidable as love itself.

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I picked up this novella after reading Obsidian, because Shadows is the prequel and I was curious to know more about Dawson and Bethany’s ill-fated relationship. I have to say, had I known there was a prequel available before reading Obsidian, I would have read it first, but as things turned out, I ended up reading the first full novel prior to reading this prequel.  That being said, I already knew the outcome going in, and yet, I almost feel like reading these stories backwards made me care even more about the characters than had I read them in the correct order.  Would I recommend reading Shadows after Obsidian?  Well, yes, I think I would, because even though I knew the ending going in, I had a healthy respect for all the characters and knew so much about them that I already loved the story before I even started reading.

And just like Obsidian, Shadows is an extremely well written novella.  Armentrout ties the novella and novel together seamlessly, giving the characters I loved, like Daemon and Dee face time, even though this isn’t their novella.  She also gives readers more background information about the Thompson triplets, characters readers tentatively meet in Obsidian, but don’t obtain much information about them as they’re extremely minute.

I will say that knowing the ending of Shadows was hard, especially as I’d gone and fell in love with the characters right away.  It killed me to know bad things were going to happen to them, and yet, I also feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel here.  Based on the wording that Armentrout uses at the very end of this novella, I’m not 100% sold on the idea that what the DOD said happened really happened, so I do have hope as I go into Onyx, book two in the series.  Likewise, I’m very curious about this bond that seems to keep happening between the aliens and their human lovers… having seen what happens to Dawson and Bethany, I am worried for our characters Daemon and Katy as they seem to be in a similar situation at the end of Obsidian.  Which is another reason I’m not 100% sold on the end of Dawson and Bethany…

To be quite honest, it doesn’t really matter what order your read these two books in—Obsidian before Shadows, or Shadows before Obsidian… they’re both beautifully written and captivating, and you should read them both.  Four stars.

4 stars

I purchased this novella from Amazon:

Kindle | Nook



The Hunt Project Paper DollsFrom Goodreads: Ariane Tucker has finally escaped GTX, the research facility that created her. While on the run, Zane Bradshaw is the only person she can trust. He knows who-and what-she is and still wants to be part of her life.

But accepting Zane’s help means putting him in danger.

Dr. Jacobs, head of GTX, is not the only one hunting for Ariane. Two rival corporations have their sights set on taking down their competition. Permanently. To protect Zane and herself, Ariane needs allies. She needs the other hybrids. The hybrids who are way more alien and a lot less human. Can Ariane win them over before they turn on her? Or will she be forced to choose sides, to decide who lives and who dies?

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In an inhospitable world where aliens are hidden away in the depths of research facilities, experimented on and treated terribly, Ariane has escaped. Away from GTX, proving her mentors wrong about her ability to feel emotion and love, Ariane falls even harder for swoon-worthy Zane. But with her newfound emotions and fierce loyalty to Zane, she can’t shake the feeling that she needs to let him go in order to truly save him. Luckily for us, Zane is just as stubborn as Ariane, refusing to let her leave him by the wayside, even if it is the best course of action.

In this intense game of cat and mouse, with Ariane and Zane versus GTX, who will come out on top? Filled with action packed sequence and anxiety promoting events, I couldn’t help but be drawn into the novel as it unfolded. Picking up immediately after the conclusion of The Rules, Ariana and Zane share some steamy romance while also attempting to protect themselves from the incoming threats on all sides. And though it seems that Ariane and Zane are always one step ahead, GTX slowly bides it’s time only to come forth with a most amazing and sinister plot to draw Ariane back to them…

I really enjoyed the first novel in the Project Paper Dolls series, The Rules, and The Hunt turned out to be just as fun. With the advent of the other hybrids, Kade spurs readers on as we learn about the other threats to Ariane’s safety. And though I didn’t agree with all Ariane’s plans to free herself once and for all, I liked her guts. My one complaint of her, though, is that she needs to be a little more trusting of those who love her, (aka. Zane). As it all comes to a head, this lack of trust is what will cause Ariane’s plans to fizzle at the worst opportune time. But in doing so, other events are set in motion concerning Zane’s person and, even though left with a little cliffhanger, evidence points to Zane coming out of this altogether different—a feat I am dying to read about in the next installment.

Overall, this is a great middle novel, full of intense moments, deadly games of hide-and-seek, and ultimate betrayals… but who’s? Four stars.

4 stars

In exchange for an honest review, Disney-Hyperion has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel prior to it’s release tomorrow, April 22, 2014.

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes and Noble

 



Ascendant Banner for Raine Available Now

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Return of the Ascendant

 

From Goodreads: Expecting to enjoy another typical college night at a frat party with friends, Kyra Vaughn’s plans derail when she’s almost killed…twice. Her savior, a tall, sexy stranger who calls himself TaeDane, claims that he’s the personal bodyguard for the Ascendant of Alametria. She’s convinced he’s crazy.

Especially when he insists that she’s the Ascendant.

With dark enemies hunting her down, Kyra has no choice but to trust her supposed bodyguard. Ty vows to help her remember her past and return her safely to Alametria, but someone seems intent on interfering, challenging his abilities at every turn.

As Kyra’s memories emerge, she remembers that Ty is more to her than he’s let on…much more than he’s allowed to be. She’ll also discover that there are many things about her planet and herself that she’d rather forget. In the end, she’ll have to make a choice: cling to the life she knows, or risk it all to become the person she’s destined to be.
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Fast-paced and full of heart-pounding adventure, Thomas takes readers on a ride they won’t soon forget as Kyra learns the truth of her heritage in Return of the Ascendant. I am in awe of Thomas’ sheer writing ability, in love with Ty, and dying to know what happens next. Thankfully, Thomas does not make it a habit of leaving her readers on a cliffhanger, and while this novel is the first in a series, it does have an epic conclusion that helps tide readers over as we await the next installment of this amazing alien series.

Currently residing on earth, the only planet Kyra consciously knows she’s ever lived upon, her world comes crashing down as a handsome and mysterious stranger enters her life, carrying her away as the shadows creep down upon her and her friends. Complete with romance, epic battles, and a plot that thickens at every turn, Kyra’s story is sure to entice readers from the very beginning, drawing them in and not releasing until the very last page.

As Kyra slowly begins to remember her past and accept her future as the Ascendant, the ruler of worlds, she must battle the rigid and unforgiving etiquette of a society she wants nothing to do with, and a group intent on stopping her from accepting her right as the Ascendant. It’s heart-pounding fun, and I will admit that there were multiple times that my entire body tensed as Kyra and Ty found themselves up against the odds, facing difficult, dangers, and even heinous situations.

This one is a MUST read; I highly recommend it to all NA lovers 18+–reader beware, there are a few hot hot scenes, hence the age warning.

There is also a short novelette prequel to this novel called” The Ascendant,” which focuses on the memory Kyra shares with Ty concerning a car accident. While explained well enough in Return of the Ascendant, this short novelette is well worth the read as it is more specific and sheds light on the story. I read the novellete first and was dying to read The Return of the Ascendant by the end–“The Ascendant,” too, is indeed a must read. Find it in the Take Me To Your Reader Anthology.  Five stars all around.

5 stars

I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

AVAILABLE NOW for just 99 cents!!!

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

iBooks–Coming Soon

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Raine ThomasAbout Raine Thomas:

Raine Thomas is the award-winning author of a series of YA fantasy/romance novels about the Estilorian plane, including the Daughters of Saraqael trilogy and the Firstborn trilogy. She is also the author of the bestselling New Adult Contemporary Romance, For Everly, and the much-anticipated spin-off, Meant for Her.

She is a proud member of Romance Writers of America and is a contributing blogger to The Writer’s Voice. When she isn’t planning weddings, writing, or glued to social media, she can usually be found on one of Florida’s beautiful beaches with her husband and daughter or crossing the border to visit with her Canadian friends and relatives.

Ways readers can connect with Raine:
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads
Pinterest
Linkedin
Website
Blog

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Giveaway

WinClick this Rafflecopter Link to enter!!

 



DangerousFrom Goodreads: Maisie Danger Brown just wanted to get away from home for a bit, see something new. She never intended to fall in love. And she never imagined stumbling into a frightening plot that kills her friends and just might kill her, too. A plot that is already changing life on Earth as we know it. There’s no going back. She is the only thing standing between danger and annihilation.

From NY Times bestselling author Shannon Hale comes a novel that asks, How far would you go to save the ones you love? And how far would you go to save everyone else?

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This is a very fast read, but the plot itself moves much too quickly, in my opinion.  We meet the main character, Maisie, and almost immediately, she’s whisked off to astronaut camp, meets a boy, they make out, he dumps her, they get injected with alien DNA on “accident”… and on and on it goes, with little to no character or plot building to ease the reader through it all.  And because of this, I personally found all five main characters to be bratty and stuck up; I didn’t care for any of them because I never had time to get to know them—the novel moved so quickly that we were off on the next adventure/mishap before I had time to wrap my head around the last.  And since there was no real time to make any connections with the “fireteam,” as they so aptly name themselves, it was doubly hard for me to get into the novel.  So while the premise was interesting enough, as were the effects the alien substances had on the five, it just moved too quickly to be enjoyable or hold my interest.

Truthfully, I didn’t find much of the novel plausible, and with so much happening and the characters constantly speaking in a “scientific manner,” I had a hard time following some of their conversations–like those about the changes their bodies were going through, or how Maisie was able to take apart and rebuild things so easily.

Now, the novel did get a little better as it unfolded, but even so, it was still choppy in its execution and just didn’t hold my interest due to its lack of plot development.  Unfortunately, this novel just wasn’t for me.  Two stars.

2 starsBloomsbury USA Children’s Books has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release tomorrow, March 4, 2014, in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes and Noble



I cannot express how excited I am that the cover for Invaded is already out, just a few weeks after book one in the epic series, Alienated, released!!  Alienated is definitely an amazing 5 star read for me, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel, Invaded!!!  Look at all the pretty!!!

InvadedInvaded Synopsis: (spoilers ensue for those who haven’t yet read Alienated–read on with caution)

Cara always knew life on planet L’eihr would be an adjustment. With Aelyx, her L’eihr boyfriend, back on Earth, working to mend the broken alliance between their two planets, Cara is left to fend for herself at a new school, surrounded by hostile alien clones. Even the weird dorm pet hates her.

Things look up when Cara is appointed as human representative to a panel preparing for a human colony on L’eihr. A society melding their two cultures is a place where Cara and Aelyx could one day make a life together. But with L’eihr leaders balking at granting even the most basic freedoms, Cara begins to wonder if she could ever be happy on this planet, even with Aelyx by her side.

Meanwhile, on Earth, Aelyx, finds himself thrown into a full-scale PR campaign to improve human-L’eihr relations. Humans don’t know that their very survival depends on this alliance: only Aelyx’s people have the technology to fix the deadly contamination in the global water supply that human governments are hiding. Yet despite their upper hand, the leaders of his world suddenly seem desperate to get humans on their side, and hardly bat an eye at extremists’ multiple attempts on Aelyx’s life.

The Way clearly needs humans’ help . . . but with what? And what will they ask for in return?

AddtoGoodreads

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AlienatedAbout book one, Alienated:

“In a nutshell, Alienated is the story of valedictorian Cara Sweeney, who gets more than she bargained for when she agrees to host the nation’s first intergalactic exchange student, the gorgeous but emotionally-stilted Aelyx (pronounced A-licks) from planet L’eihr. The tone is light and humorous, but [Landers explores] some deeper themes as well.”

What do reviewers have to say?

“The storyline is out of this world and character development paired with authentic voice is superb. Filled with intrigue and suspense, this book will appeal to both sci-fi and contemporary YA fiction fans.” –VOYA

“Interstellar relations heat up in this start to a new romantic science fiction series. Landers [explores] larger social, ecological, and ethical issues in this tense, fast-paced read.” –Booklist

“The perfect blend of sizzling romance, action, and suspense.” –#1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout

“Smart, funny, and epic. I am now awaiting contact from planet L’eihr.” Julie Cross, bestselling author of Tempest.

“Intergalactic exchange students? Yes, please! I fell in love with this story and couldn’t put it down.” Jodi Meadows, author of Incarnate.

Amazon Kindle | Amazon Paperback | Barnes & Noble | Book Depo (free international shipping) | Indie Bound

Check out A Book Vacation’s 5 star review of ALIENATED HERE!

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M.L.About Melissa Landers:

Melissa Landers is a former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds.

A proud sci-fi geek, she isn’t afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public—just ask her husband and three kids.

She lives outside Cincinnati in the small town of Loveland, “Sweetheart of Ohio.”

For more information, or just to say hello, visit www.melissa-landers.com.

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Swoon, swoon, swoon–both covers are amazing! And guess what?  YA Book Central has an EPIC giveaway going on on their blog, where you could win a signed ARC of Invaded–this book isn’t set to release until 2015, so hop on it!!  This is awesome, and even though I really want to win it, I wish you all good luck!!

Enter HERE!!!



Today is the OFFICIAL RELEASE of the first ever UtopYA anthology, complete with NEW, original short stories from these authors: Tiffany King, Heather Hildenbrand, Amanda Havard, Amy Bartol, Sarah M. Ross, Tammy Blackwell, Raine Thomas, and C.A. Kunz!

Take Me To Your ReaderAll proceeds go directly to UtopYA Con to help with future endeavors, and I can’t wait to read my copy, especially at such a low price of $2.99!

Buy on Amazon

Hurry and scoop up your copy today (and come to UtopYA 2014 in Nashville June 20-22–it’s the best book conference out there!!!

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And join the Facebook Party going on now through February 20, 2014.

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AlienatedFrom Melissa Landers: Hey, fiction lovers. I’m author Melissa Landers, and I’m thrilled to announce that my debut YA sci-fi romance, ALIENATED, is finally available from Disney-Hyperion! Cue the dancers and toss the confetti, because it’s been a long wait!

In a nutshell, ALIENATED is the story of valedictorian Cara Sweeney, who gets more than she bargained for when she agrees to host the nation’s first intergalactic exchange student, the gorgeous but emotionally-stilted Aelyx (pronounced A-licks) from planet L’eihr. The tone is light and humorous, but I explore some deeper themes as well.

What do reviewers have to say?

“The storyline is out of this world and character development paired with authentic voice is superb. Filled with intrigue and suspense, this book will appeal to both sci-fi and contemporary YA fiction fans.” –VOYA

“Interstellar relations heat up in this start to a new romantic science fiction series. Landers [explores] larger social, ecological, and ethical issues in this tense, fast-paced read.” –Booklist

“The perfect blend of sizzling romance, action, and suspense.” –#1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout

“Smart, funny, and epic. I am now awaiting contact from planet L’eihr.” Julie Cross, bestselling author of Tempest.

“Intergalactic exchange students? Yes, please! I fell in love with this story and couldn’t put it down.” Jodi Meadows, author of Incarnate.

If you like hot, swoony science fiction as much as I do, I hope you’ll give ALIENATED a try. It’s now available in stores and online.

Amazon Kindle | Amazon Paperback | Barnes & Noble | Book Depo (free international shipping) | Indie Bound

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Nook Giveaway:

To celebrate my book birthday, I’m offering one lucky winner a Nook Simple Touch. I’ll even throw in a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble so you can fill your new e-reader with whatever you want!

Now for the fine print: This giveaway is open to US residents only. (Sorry, international friends, but you need a US billing address to buy digital content on the Nook.) Due to sweepstakes laws, entrants must be 18 years or older to participate.

Best of luck, and happy reading!

To enter Melissa’s awesome giveaway, click this Rafflecopter link!

Check out A Book Vacation’s 5 star review of ALIENATED HERE!

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M.L.About Melissa Landers:

Melissa Landers is a former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds.

A proud sci-fi geek, she isn’t afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public—just ask her husband and three kids.

She lives outside Cincinnati in the small town of Loveland, “Sweetheart of Ohio.”

For more information, or just to say hello, visit www.melissa-landers.com.



AlienatedFrom Goodreads: Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara’s classmates get swept up by anti-L’eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn’t safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara’s locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she’s fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet

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I picked up this novel late at night, around 1am, because I couldn’t sleep and I planned to read until I was tired enough to go to bed. What ended up happening is a sleepless night for me as I tore through this novel, unable to put it down. The story of Cara and Aelyx was extremely intriguing, and I just adored it. It was awesome to see this alien planet and its people attempt to make an alliance with the Earth, and to see just how both the residents on L’eihr and Earth responded–especially because their thought process was similar: no.

From the get go readers know that neither the people of Earth nor Aelyx and his team want this alliance–the Earth is scared for its safety and the L’eihr’s are highly advanced beyond humans–so neither humans nor Aelyx and his team understand the purpose of an alliance. That being said, animosity and tension fills the story as Aelyx and his team come to earth in a good will gesture–staying for an exchange program that will end with Cara going to L’eihr with Aelyx for her own exchange program… should the alliance actually work.

The novel really takes a look at what would happen should aliens ever make contact—if they exist. And, it shows that even though we believe ourselves to be extremely advanced, should fear strike our hearts, we very well could have another civil rights movement on our hands. Aelyx is not welcome, and as tensions rise, so does the risk. It reminded me a lot of the Little Rock Nine as I read, with Aelyx going to school amid the picketers and violence, with the shunnings and threats against any who supported him.  In truth, it shows just how bigoted a fearful nation can become when met with change.

Now, to be fair, Aelyx and his team are not innocent bystanders in this. With the truth hidden inside the government, a truth Aelyx doesn’t even know, he and his team are indeed trying to sabotage the alliance, but it’s not made clear how until the middle of the book, when other truths are made know.  And when they are?  Well, everything is put into perspective fairly quickly and we learn that nothing is as it seems… and, should the alliance fail, it means dire circumstances for not only earth, but also L’eihr as well.

Shrouded in mystery, this novel kept my attention from start to finish, and finish I did, right in time for my work alarm to begin blaring. It’s mysterious with a slow budding romance, and I really liked that all my questions were answered, especially when it came to the romance between Aelyx and Cara.  As Aelyx points out many times, love is not really a part of his culture, but the way Landers weaves together the story and the hidden answers is perfect.

I adored this novel and can’t wait for the next installment, though I have some reservations about the newest character we meet at the very end, Jaxen–who I foresee becoming a problem for both Cara and Aelyx.  Five amazing stars.

5 stars

 Disney-Hyperion has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on February 4, 2014.

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes and Noble



18054394From Goodreads: Space is not as endless as Humans thought. In fact, for our kind it all ends at Pluto where the elements of the Greater Drahgosian Empire keep watch to ensure no one leaves the reservation. We are free to explore our own system, to expand and colonize, but to look out beyond our system is forbidden.

Iago has a plan, and if it works he just might be the first human to walk under an alien star. All he needs is a hairless dog, a vindictive Commander, and a Drahgosian starship capable of breaching the vast distance between star systems. Picking up a beautiful alien female like Eema would just be bonus points.

But there is more going on with the reservation than Iago realizes, and his dream may very well be the death of all humanity.

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Those who really like Star Trek and other space intense movies/novels should definitely pick up The Starrunner.  Set in the distant future, this novel begins with the revelation that extraterrestrials have indeed made contact with earth, only to set a rule in place: do not explore outside earth’s solar system.  But why?  Iago, our main character, has spent many years wondering what exists beyond the solar boarders, and in his attempt to see more of the universe,  our story takes off.

Iago is somewhat of a trickster, intent on sticking it to the higher ups from the very beginning of this novel.  And, as the commanders and higher ups don’t take jokes and such very well, Iago soon finds himself in a predicament that could end with his death.  Always resourceful, though, he is able to use his circumstances to his advantage, breaking out of the confines and, indeed, seeing more of the universe, but at what cost?

As this novel unfolds, readers are introduced to many different alien species, many of which have very human characteristics in either looks or actions.  One in particular, Eema, a beautiful alien woman, is not what she seems upon first meeting, and I loved her kick-butt presence, illegal antics and all.  Although she is far from what Iago expected in his cross-universal search, they become companions more out of desperation than true friendship, and watching them banter and learn to work together was a lot of fun, as was learning the reason for the Drahgosian rule against human exploration of the universe.

Overall, I really liked the characterization, especially of Eema and Iago, and the story itself was very good, but it seemed to jump from scene to scene a little less fluidly that I would have liked.  There were times that I would have loved more intricate information about an alien people, or a circumstance Iago and Eema found themselves in, only to be whisked ahead a few months instead, which left me with a few questions here and there, but nothing too vast.  This is a very intriguing novel, and though I’m not really a space or scifi fan myself, as I said before, those who really enjoy Star Trek and other space movies and novels should definitely pick this up, because I think they’ll love it.  Three stars.

3 stars

I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

 



17948772From Goodreads: When Hugh wakes up in a smoldering crater—no memory, no clothes—a single thought echoes in his head…trust no one. Frightened and alone, with no memory of who he is, he stumbles upon a grisly murder scene and is fatally shot. He wakes, only to find he can heal himself. He has superpowers, and he’s going to need them.

Desperate and bleeding, Hugh stumbles upon fifteen-year-old Cece, who’s got enough troubles of her own. Between caring for her bipolar mother and trying not to get evicted from her run-down trailer, Cece may be the only person struggling as much as Hugh. Drawn to Hugh, Cece finds a love she’s never known. But when the real killer—a man-hunting beast—chooses another victim, Hugh and Cece realize they must unlock the clues to their past if they have any chance at a future.

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This is a very short novel.  At just under 200 pages, it is a quick read for those looking for something on the shorter side.  Overall, I think it had a great concept and premise, but the execution just wasn’t my style. Don’t get me wrong, the writing was well done, but as I’ve found with many shorter novels, I just didn’t have time to connect with the characters on that deep level that I enjoy so much.  Hugh and Cece are both interesting in their own right, and God knows they’ve been through hell and back, with Hugh’s inability to remember the past and trust a soul, and Cece’s home-life in a hoarding situation with her bipolar mother, but I wanted more.  While I felt badly for them throughout the novel, that’s about as far as my feelings were able to extend because I just didn’t get to know either of them well enough.  A little more fleshing out of character and an explanation and slowing down of the “whirlwind romance” would have been preferred for me, personally, but to each his/her own.

One aspect that I had a very difficult time with was that of the aliens.  I am intrigued by stories of this nature and wanted to understand more about Hugh and his people right away, but French gives very little information in terms of Hugh’s background, and I never did figure out why all the murders were taking place or what the purpose was behind them.  Obviously it’s connected to Hugh, but why it’s happening escaped me.  Perhaps I just missed it, or maybe it’s something that will be addressed in the next book, but overall, I finished the book with more questions than answers.   Two stars.

2 stars

Katie French Books has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read this novel via Netgalley.



UtopYA Banners

UtopYA 2013–let me tell you–was one of the most epic, amazing experiences of my life. Not only was I able to fangirl over dozens of authors I read and adore, but I was also able to connect with them alongside fellow readers and bloggers on a more personal level in a completely laid-back setting.  The conference brought us all together, and what amazed me the most was that it really made everyone feel like we were equals, sharing knowledge with one another in order to help everyone from published authors to aspiring authors, readers to bloggers, editors to designers, and the list goes on.  It was a wonderful experience and I highly suggest that you come to UtopYA 2014 in Nashville in June—you won’t regret it! And I’ll tell you why:

Hanging OutI’ve only ever been to one other big yearly convention (100+ authors present), and that is NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English).  Because I had nothing to compare the convention with, I really thought NCTE was the icing on the cake.  I walked around from booth to booth, stood in long lines, purchased books, and got them signed by the authors.  But what I didn’t know I was missing at the time was commodore.  We, the fans, stood in long lines, but we didn’t talk to one another.  It was a very quiet function actually, now that I think back on them.  Publicists had us write our names on sticky notes and put them on the title page so authors could quickly sign.  We were then ushered away from the table—no time to talk to the authors or tell them just how much their books touched our lives.  It was a “get in, get signed, get out” mentality that I thought was normal, and probably is normal in the regular signing world.  2013-06-29 10.38.40However, UtopYA is different.  Authors and aspiring authors, publicists and publishers, bloggers, and readers alike spend three days in close succession at UtopYA, and everyone is equal.  There was never any feeling of authors and publishers on one side and everyone else on the other, and there was never any feeling of inferiority, either.  There were relatively no long lines, and authors took the time to talk to their readers, really personalizing their books after getting to know the person they were signing for.  We all went to the panels together, picking and choosing which ones we wanted to attend (and there were so many amazing ones), and the best part was that I could sit right next to my favorite authors, and we, as the audience, were asked to interact with those on the panels.  It wasn’t a sit and listen to the speakers type deal like so many panel discussion tend to be.  The audience not only asked questions throughout, but also offered their own insight as we all had something to bring to the table, and there was no discouraging of it, but rather pure encouragement from the very beginning.  Panel rooms were packed to the max, and they were fun!  Not only did I learn some amazing things about the authors I love and the publishing world in general, but I also laughed hysterically.  I got to see how candid the panelists were—no frills and no cliques, and the fact that they were made up of authors, bloggers, publicists, editors, designers, and readers gave the topics more insight.  And then?  We ate dinners together, hung out in the hotel lobby together, took hundreds of pictures together, put twitter handles with faces, and all around connected in a very real way.  What other book conference can say that?  I had all my books personalized, listened to authors, bloggers, editors, and designers speak about their journeys on multiple panels, ate meals and attend gatherings with my heroes, met fellow bloggers I’ve been following, and connected with many people I didn’t know, making long-lasting friendships… it was just amazing, and I cannot, cannot, cannot wait for June 2014, which is going to be even more epic as founder Janet Wallace and her amazing assistants roll out their changes.  It’s going to be even bigger, and I just can’t wait.

Now, you might have just read all that and thought to yourself, “that sounds great, but I have no one to go with,” or “I’d love to go, but it’s probably too expensive.”  So, I just want to break that mentality right now, because I’ve been there and am so glad I didn’t listen to my inner monologue…

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Event Pricing:

First of all, the conference itself isn’t expensive at all!  Right now, there are advanced tickets selling on eventbrite.  Here’s the price range you’re looking at to attend some or all of the conference.

  • $55* (for the awards and after-party ONLY—does not get you into the conference itself) *Pricing may change as we get closer to the conference

  • $75  February 1 – May 31, 2014   •   $90 June 1 – event   •   $95 at the door

    • 3-day pass to the utopYA convention (utopYAcon)
    • Fan admission to the Friday Public Signing Event
    • Admission to Saturday Pre-Awards Cosmic Cocktails hour (Appetizers included. Cash bar for those 21 and up)
    • General Admission to the Third Annual utopYA Awards
    • Admission to Post-Awards Dance Party
    • Admission to the Sunday Write-in
  •  $105 February 1 – May 31, 2014   •   $120 June 1 – event   •   $125 at the door

    • 3-day pass to the utopYA convention (utopYAcon)
    • Front-of-line Fan admission to the Friday Public Signing Event
    • Admission to Saturday Pre-Awards Cosmic Cocktails hour (Appetizers included. Cash bar for those 21 and up)
    • Preferred Admission to utopYA Awards (you enter and pick your seats before General Admission ticket holders are allowed in)
    • Admission to Post-Awards Dance Party
    • One commemorative utopYA 2013 women’s cut T-shirt (discounted t-shirt price)
    • Two lunch tickets – lunch provided on premises both Friday and Saturday
    • Admission to the Sunday Write-in

I highly, highly suggest you attend the whole conference, but act fast as these prices continue to rise as we get closer to the conference date!

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Where and When:

 

Friday, June 20, 2014 at 7:00 AM – Sunday, June 22, 2014 at 3:00 PM (CDT)

Nashville, TN

 Panels

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Hotel:

In 2014, UtopYA is moving to The Millennium Maxwell House Hotel and the group rates are just $105 a night for a room with a King or two double beds!!! This is even cheaper than this past year’s price at the Holiday Inn Vanderbilt!  The group code to reserve this price is 1406UTOPYA.  Do it!

Oh, and they offer a FREE shuttle service roundtrip to the airport.  Even better!

For UtopYA 2013, I roomed with the amazing Tiffany King, and it was epic.  She’s an astounding author, and I’m a blogger.  See what I mean about connecting with everyone on a deeper level at this conference?  I was ecstatic to room with her and her lovely daughter!  And next door to us?  Heather Hildenbrand, Heather Self, Angeline Kace, Chelsea Fine!  And the next few rooms? Carol Kunz, Adam Kunz, Raine Thomas, Sarah M. Ross… and the list goes on and on.  EPIC.

In other words, you won’t be alone in the hotel, and if you need a roommate to help cut costs, you can easily find one!  The more the merrier in a room, as I found this weekend, and I’m actually a really quiet, shy person who is socially awkward and doesn’t speak in situations where I don’t feel comfortable.  Are you like me?  Then you’ll thrive at UtopYA.  I didn’t have trouble speaking to anyone at all, I loved my roomies, I hung out with the rest of the people on my floor… all around amazing time.

Yeah, so don’t let the hotel situation stop you from coming.  Need a roomie?  Join the We are Going to UtopYA Facebook Page and easily find one!  Think about it: if you split $105 by two it’s just $52.50 a night for three nights, a total of $157.50 plus tax to stay at the hotel where the convention is held!  That’s a GREAT PRICE!

OR, find three roommates for a price of $26.25 per night… a total of just $78.75 plus tax for three nights to stay at the hotel where the convention is held!  That’s a GREAT PRICE, TOO!  Don’t worry, you won’t be spending much time in your hotel room, anyway, so multiple people in a room, though it may sound scary, really isn’t bad at all.  Trust me.

So PLEASE don’t let the price of the hotel or the need of roommates, etc.,  STOP you from coming!

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Books and SwagTravel:

If you can drive to Nashville without getting car sick (like I do), then do it!  But, if you’re like me, or if it’s just too far by car, then fly, and by fly, I mean TAKE SOUTHWEST.  Why?  I’ll tell you:

Southwest is the only carrier I’ve found that doesn’t charge for luggage.  This is a book conference, so that means you’ll have LOTS of books to take home.  You could mail them, technically, and spend a lot of dollars doing it, OR, you could fly Southwest, which allows you TWO FREE CHECKED BAGS UP TO 50 POUNDS EACH!  Yeah.  This.

I flew Southwest this year based solely on the free checked luggage.  It’s a three days conference, so you don’t need to bring much in terms of clothes and such (which I’ll talk about next).  But you DO need lots of space for your books.  I checked two bags for the conference, and one was completely empty on my way down to Nashville.  Hey, it’s free right?  And it saved me a ton of cash when I left the conference because I checked all my books… my combined weight with books, swag, and clothes was about 80 pounds between the two bags.  And about 70 pounds of that was book weight.  Imagine the price tag on mailing home 70 pounds of books?  Yeah.  Don’t.  Take Southwest.  Oh, and make sure your carry-on has wheels.  You might want it for the conference to transport all your books and swag (plus, it’s gentler on your body).

ALSO, if you have the chance, do what I did: On your flight home, if they’re asking people to standby and take another flight because your flight is full, DO IT!  Southwest asked me to take the next flight out, which was just four hours later than my original, and they GAVE ME A VOUCHER FOR DOUBLE WHAT I PAID FOR MY ROUNDTRIP TICKETS.  That means my flight to Nashville next year is ALREADY PAID FOR! 

In other words, if you don’t have any pressing engagements, take the voucher on any Southwest flight if they’re offering (free bags, remember), and it’ll add up to some awesome free flights.  For real.

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Mailing Books:

If you DO decide to mail books, make sure you send it USPS (regular mail)  and tell them it’s MEDIA MAIL (if you’re mailing in the USA–media mail doesn’t exist for international mailing)!  I highly suggest avoiding FedEx because it’s mad expensive.  USPS is the least expensive, and media mail makes is even less so.

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What To Pack:

Pack light.  You’re only at the conference for three days, and you don’t need to change your outfit multiple times a day.  I hardly packed anything to wear, and I still didn’t wear it all.

What you need:

  • 1-2 pairs of comfortable pants (or dresses)

  • 1-2 pairs of comfortable tops

  • Comfy sandals (shoes if you want)

  • 1 “formal” outfit for the awards ceremony with shoes to match (seriously, by “formal” I mean sundresses.  You don’t need anything more, but if you want something more flashy, think PROM)

  • Pajamas2013-07-01 19.24.18 (we’re talking pajama parties, here)

  • Undergarments (socks optional)

  • Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, nail file, perfume, hairbrush, women stuffs, straighteners, etc.—they have hairdryers in the rooms)

  • ANY BOOKS YOU ALREADY HAVE THAT YOU WANT SIGNED

  • Heavy wrapping paper (you will want to double wrap your books in stacks for the travel home so they don’t flop all over the suitcase and end up damaged)   ====> Newspaper is NOT a good idea, though, as it leaves black ink on things and is too thin.

  • Cash for books—some authors take credit cards, but it’s just easier with cash on hand.

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Shuttle:

Just in case you missed it in my hotel information tidbits, the hotel offers a COMPLIMENTARY ROUNDTRIP SHUTTLE SERVICE TO THE AIRPORT.  Call ahead to let them know you need them to pick you up, for FREE (but don’t forget to tip the driver).  #Epic.

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Keynote SpeakersThe Conference:

I’ve already said it in my opening statements, but this conference is epic.  I adored it and the laid-back nature of it all.  Janet Wallace, the founder of UtopYA, has made it an unforgettable event that you just cannot miss!

In 2013, our keynote speakers were Jennifer Armentrount and Jen Sincero, two amazing authors, and their speeches inspired us all!  There were also amazing giveaways to start the morning, so make sure you’re at the conference on time!  So many people showed up late, missing the opening statements and, therefore, lost out of their prizes!  Hey, more for me!  But seriously, you don’t want to be late for the opening announcements each morning.

In June 2014, the keynote speakers are Gennifer Albin and Sylvia Day!  Whoot!  You don’t want to miss this.  Have you purchased your tickets yet?  Do it ==> eventbrite

The schedule of events for 2014 is now up…. CHECK IT OUT!

We’ll also have an author signing event on Friday night this coming 2014 UtopYA!  This is a great addition for which I can’t wait!  This will allow a set time for authors and fans alike to get their books signed, making it easier to pinpoint your particular author’s whereabouts.

I HIGHLY suggest that you bring as many books as you can TO the conference as many authors only bring limited quantities.  Though, there will be a bookstore on site this year–a new addition.  But, in 2013, I contacted all my favorite authors and asked them if they’d have all their books with them, or if I should bring my own for signing, and most recommended I bring my own to guarantee that I have them. Some authors brought copies just for my purchase based on my query too, so they might tell you they’ll reserve some for you, but I definitely recommend double checking prior to the conference.  There is nothing worse than planning on buying a book from your favorite author to find they are sold out.  So, plan ahead. Books tend to be about $10-12 on site from authors, FYI, but I’m not sure what things will look like with the bookstore in 2014.  So, I’m going to contact my MUST HAVE author’s again for 2014 just to be certain I can get their books…

Likewise, you will acquire much swag and meet tons of authors you haven’t read yet.  So bring cash in case you decide you want to buy their books as well—I met so many new authors and after connecting with them and learning about their books, I just had to have them!  Set a budget and plan accordingly.

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The Awards:

The awards were phenomenal this year (2013).  I loved every minute of it!  It’s like a red carpet event and it was so awesome to be a part of it.  Right now it’s not a sit down dinner event, so eat a light meal ahead of time, but also keep your ears open as food may become part of the awards at some point down the line.

What to wear?  Well, really it doesn’t matter.  Since it’s like a red carpet event, most people were dressed to varying formal degrees—from sundresses to prom dresses, I saw them all.  I also saw slacks and jeans, so don’t feel like you have to dress up!  It’s not mandatory.  The only thing that is mandatory is that you have a good time, and that’s a given.

And, in 2014, there will be a cocktail hour AND an after-hour dance party as well… oh heck yes!

The Awards

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Need to know more about the conference before you commit?  Click the links below to learn more and read real testaments from those who attended UtopYA 2013:

UtopYA 2013: What You Need To Know and Why You Need to Go in 2014

UtopYA: A Fantasy Conference Grows in Nashville—From Publisher’s Weekly

UtopYA Official Website

UtopYA: A Note To People Who Don’t Get It

Lift and Pull and Tug For That Spectacular UtopYA View

UtopYA: Why It Should Already be on Your Calendar for 2014

Impromptu Cups Song—You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone

UtopYA 2013 and Special Announcements!

Quinn Loftis and Tiffany King UtopYA 2013

UtopYA 2013! How awesome was it? This is how awesome…

Why you should attend UtopYA 2014

UtopYA, UtopYA, UtopYA

Reminiscing about UtopYA 2013

UtopYA 2013: Author Sarah Ross: Inspirational Video

Author Heather Hildenbrand talks UtopYA 2013 Video

UtopYACon…My Take Aways

My Trip To UtopYA 2013

UtopYA Con 2013 + Announcement + Ramblings

UtopYA / Quirky Chick Conference Report

UtopYA

What else? 

Questions, comments, concerns?  Let me know and I’ll do the best I can to answer them, or put you in touch with someone who can.  Also, make sure you check out UtopYA online as they’re already updating their site for next year’s event.  See you there!!

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AND–make sure you pick up a copy of the first ever UtopYA anthology, complete with NEW, original short stories from these authors: Tiffany King, Heather Hildenbrand, Amanda Havard, Amy Bartol, Sarah M. Ross, Tammy Blackwell, Raine Thomas, and C.A. Kunz!

Take Me To Your ReaderAMAZON | Barnes and Noble



et cetera
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