Friday, October 31, 2014

Evernight by Candace Knoebel, an Excerpt and a Giveaway!


Evernight
Night Watchman #2


Evernight by Candace Knoebel 
(Night Watchmen #2) 
Publication date: October 31st 2014
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult

The stunning sequel to the thrilling paranormal romance novel Everlasting!

One lie will change everything.

Faye Middleton has secured the Dagger of Retribution for the High Priesthood, but in doing so, she’s opened the door to more demands set by them. She now has to break the Holy Seal, and soon. Trapped in the alluring Ethryeal City, Faye is pushed to the breaking point trying to discover just what she is truly capable of, even if it means destroying herself in the process.

With the clock ticking down to the war between both Covens, and the truth about her parent’s mysterious disappearance within her reach, Faye is faced with tough choices that will forever change her. Will Faye be able to handle the demands from the Priesthood, and still be able to continue her search for her parents?

But more importantly, can she survive the truth she finds?


 Excerpt

Prologue
PEOPLE LIE. EVERY SINGLE DAY.
In fact, most of our world was built on the foundation of lies, some with the intent to serve the greater good, and others with the intent to serve one person’s giant ambitions. But the root of every lie is exactly the same. They’re all equally deceitful, treacherous propositions spewed from the mouths of men and woman alike.
Lies have the power to sound right, yet feel wrong. They have the ability to confuse your heart and twist your mind. The problem is, sometimes these lies become easier to believe than the truth. They become a sort of safety net from reality, a way to avoid what lingers in the back of your mind. And some say that over time, if you believe them long enough, they become real.
At least, that’s what my mother had hoped would happen in my case. But just like every lie ever told, all it takes is one small crack in that foundation for the whole thing to come crashing down.
And it did.
Because everything I thought I knew about myself was a lie. A beautiful and heartrending lie. I wasn’t the Defect my parents would regretfully see off to college before turning their backs on me. I wasn’t the weak friend who didn’t have enough backbone to stand up for what’s right, nor was I the loner without a purpose or a chance at real love. And I sure as hell wasn’t the weapon Bael and the members of the Darkyn Coven intended me to be.
But I am the weapon the Primeval Coven needs me be. Or so they keep saying.
In my Coven, there are two kinds of people: The Hunters and the Witches. They used to hate each other, even though they were on the same team, back in the old days when cars didn’t exist and time was tracked on a sundial. They hated each other so much that eventually a war was brought on by one of the original Witches—a Divine named Mourdyn.
The war was known as the Great Battle of the Covens. It was meant to wipe out the existence of every Hunter, and it devastated the population of my people, the Primevals. It annihilated the population of the Darkyns—the Witches who abandoned our Coven to follow the whims of Mourdyn and his persuasive lies.
But even though a lie can be struck down—imprisoned even—it can’t ever be fully erased. The scars it leaves behind on this earth and in our hearts are eternal, and somewhere along the way, someone will pick that lie back up and breathe life into it once more. Give it the wings it needs to rise again. Only, this time, that lie will be stronger, with an even greater purpose.
And that’s the part that scares me the most.
I glance down at my leg. The burn marks left behind from Bael’s wrath still tingle with echoes of the scorching fire he sent after me after I escaped with Weldon, reminding me that I’m nowhere near ready for the fight that’s sure to come.
And that has to change.
That’s part of why I agreed to come here to Ethryeal City—to the heart of our Coven. It’s where Hunters and Witches in an affinity bond enter as Night Watchmen and leave as Elites. Where those who have broken our Coven laws go to face the High Priesthood. Where those who need refuge… those like me… come to hide.
The only thing is, I never agreed to being separated from everyone I know. They call it debriefing, but with every day that passes, I’m beginning to wonder… to question how long it actually takes.
It’s been seven days and fourteen hours since my unfortunate and unplanned encounter with Bael—the Demon King of the Underground. In these last seven days, I’ve made more promises than I can count on two hands. And in those promises, I think I’ve told more lies than I ever have in my life.
Honesty seems to have slipped out of her bedroom from inside my integrity and, in her place, deceit has crept in with the offer of survival. If I just nod along with the many blending faces all interviewing me, then maybe somehow, I’ll make it out of this phase in my life alive. I’ll make it back into Jaxen’s arms and back into the graces of the friends I’ve come to trust.
But what deceit doesn’t offer is solace, because you can’t fool deceit. It knows every trick in the book.
Every day, twice a day, for the past four days, I’ve recounted in specific order how my friends and I nearly lost our lives in hopes that we’d gain an advantage on the Darkyn Coven and intercept them from taking the Dagger of Retribution. The one that has the power to initiate the removal of the Veil that separates the Underground and all its evil from the humans. The very Dagger that only I have the power to touch.
I’ve been singularly interviewed by every member on the Priesthood, and then by every general and Elder within the hierarchy of our Coven.
And I’m so very tired.
For the past four days, since I left the safe house beneath the church owned by the Night Watchmen, when I haven’t been in a laboratory undergoing strenuous testing, I’ve spent the remaining hours kept in a holding cell stripped of all personality. Chained down by claustrophobia. Shackled to the fears given free rein to destroy my hope.
I don’t have a home anymore. I have four white walls, one white jumpsuit, a white bed, white sheets… the color was bleached from my life the moment I crossed into the legendary Ethryeal City. I keep trying to remember the last time I saw Jaxen’s face, but my soul has fed so often on the happiness of that memory, I fear it’s disappearing. And I don’t know when I’m going to see him again.
They took everything away from me just to keep me repressed. Controlled. But what they don’t know is they cannot control what they do not own, and they do not own me. I can’t trust anyone. No one but myself, because all I know is I am more of a threat to them than I thought.

And the High Priesthood doesn’t know what to do with me.


Everlasting 
(Night Watchmen, #1)


What if your destiny lay on the other side of death? 

The annual Culling ceremony is a day every coming-of-age novice looks forward to within the Primeval Coven. It’s the start to being initiated into the Night Watchmen, humankind’s protectors, and it’s the long-awaited day when novices discover if they’re a Hunter or a Witch. 

But this day is not a happy one for Faye Middleton. Not when she’s known her whole life that she’s a Defect and is about to face banishment in front of her fellow novices. She’s forced to attend the Culling with little hope for her future, but what she discovers about herself is far worse than she could’ve imagined. And far more dangerous. 

Thrown into training and separated from her friends, Faye must learn to adjust. She struggles to find her place within the Coven, and with Jaxen Gramm, the darkly handsome and extremely unnerving man assigned to watch and protect her. Emotions run high, and when she discovers a deadly secret about him, her struggles deepen. As corruption within the Coven begins to unravel, Faye pieces together her role in saving the future of her people, and within Jaxen’s life...but will the truth save her, or be her undoing?


The Gramm Curse 
(Night Watchmen, #0.5)


Set before Everlasting, the addicting start to the Night Watchmen Series, The Gramm Curse is a novella told from Jaxen Gramm’s perspective.

How far is one willing to go for love? 

Before finding a love that shakes the entire foundation of his world, Jaxen Gramm only had his Witch, Jezibelle Beaumont, to worry about. He’s her Hunter, and he will do whatever it takes to keep her safe from the curse placed on his bloodline, even if it means keeping her far from his heart. 

But when a spell is offered that has the power to remove the curse, temptation clouds the ethical judgment of the Gramm brothers and their Witches.

In this action-packed novella, enter the dark recesses of Jaxen’s mind as he battles with himself over a decision that could not only cost him his life, but the life of fellow Coven members. Reunite with Gavin, Cassie, Mack, and Jezi as they dance around the dangers of a civil war on the brink of beginning.


About the author


Candace Knoebel is the award-winning author of Born in Flames - book one in a young adult fantasy trilogy. She discovered in 2009 through lunch breaks and late nights after putting her kids to bed, a world where she could escape the ever-pressing days of an eight to five Purgatory. And an outlet for all the voices residing in her head.

Published by 48fourteen in 2012, Born in Flames went on to win Turning the Pages Book of the Year award in February of 2013. In January of 2014, the last book in the trilogy, From the Embers, was released, thusly completing the trilogy. She now works on the Night Watchmen Series, while guzzling Red Bulls and pretending to be a ninja on Heelys.

Connect with Candace




Blitz wide giveaway! 
Here's what you could win!!

    Paperback copy of Evernight signed by the characters (US)
    e-Copy of the entire Night Watchmen Series (INT)
    e-Copy of the entire Born in Flames trilogy (INT)
    Night Watchmen button swag pack (US)
    5 bookmark swag packs (US)
    Bracelet with charms (US)
    5$ Amazon gift card (INT)



Be sure to check the sidebar for my current giveaways!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

WWW Wednesdays October 29, 2014


WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading

To play along, just answer the following three questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Clicking on the book covers will take you to Goodreads for more information about the books listed below.

What are you currently reading?

Christmas in Snow Valley by 6 authors


Menace (Debt Collector #12) by Susan Kaye Quinn


Duma Key by Stephen King (audio-book)

What did you recently finish reading?

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

The Telepath Chronicles by 14 authors

What do you think you will read next?

The Right Design by Isabella Louise Anderson

What's on your WWW this week?

Leave me a comment and
I'll stop by to check out your reads.


Be sure to check the sidebar for my current giveaways!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Book Blitz: Kate Triumph by Shari Arnold, an Excerpt, a Guest Post, and a Giveaway!


Kate Triumph


Kate Triumph by Shari Arnold 
Publication date: October 16th 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Normal is so overrated. At least that’s what seventeen-year-old Kate Triumph tells herself everyday. But the truth is she lives in constant fear that someone will discover how not normal she really is. With her startling speed and her unusual ability to heal, Kate believes she’s something of a freak.

Then Andrew Shore arrives.

He claims he’s her father, sticks around for a few days and leaves her a plane ticket. “Come to Mercer Island,” he says. “Give me a chance to get to know you.”

Soon Kate is floundering in a world of new: new address, new car, new high school and, of course, new father. Not to mention Zack, her intriguing new neighbor, who makes her want to abandon her steadfast rule of never allowing anyone to get too close. But when she discovers someone is trying to kill her, life for Kate gets a bit more complicated. And a lot less normal.



Excerpt

I’m not used to the wetness of the road, the slick gravel under my feet. I concentrate on the neighborhood around me, memorizing each street sign I pass so I can find my way back to Andrew’s house. But soon the fog moves in, swallowing first the houses and then each and every last street sign. It closes in on me like a cocoon of white and my chest tightens with alarm.

I have no idea where I am. Or how to get home.

I pull my cell phone out of my pocket but it’s dead. I forgot to charge it last night.

I’m cursing my stupidity when just off in the distance I hear it.

Footsteps.

I turn around and wait for a figure to arrive — hopefully someone who might know where Andrew lives — but the footsteps stop.

All I can hear is my breathing and a bird chirping somewhere in the neighborhood.

I take a few more steps and when I hear them echo back I pause again.

Tiny tingles of unease trickle down my back but the fog continues to keep its secrets.

I wait for the footsteps to catch up, still convinced they’re helpful rather than dangerous. They’re moving slowly, almost hesitant, as they close the gap between us.

I have to admit as much as I want to see whoever is out there, the idea of someone breaking out of the fog so close to me kind of freaks me out.

I start walking faster this time, almost a jog, but with each step I take, the footsteps echo back twice. Finally, when our steps are in sync I stop and peer through the fog.

“Hello? Is anyone there?” I call out. I grip my arms around me, suddenly cold.

But no one answers me.

I imagined it. That’s the only explanation. I shake it off and start running again, my pace much slower than normal. Then I stop. Nothing. I take four more steps. Silence. A couple more. More silence.

I take a deep breath and relax. This was a stupid idea, running in fog. Next time I’ll know better.

Something sharp is poking my foot from inside my shoe and when I bend down to investigate I find a small white pebble has wedged itself between my shoe and sock. It only takes a second to dig it out and toss it into the road, but when I straighten up I hear it again.

Footsteps. Slow at first and then they quicken to a run.

Are these footsteps new? Or are they the same ones from before? I decide to wait it out before I start moving again.

A twig snaps directly behind me and then the footsteps stop.

I spin around. Nothing. No face, no motion in the fog.

I open my mouth to call out once more but something tells me to stay silent.

A low guttural laugh breaks through the fog directly behind my right ear and my heart stops altogether.


Guest Post 

There is always a story behind the story when it comes to writing a novel. With KATE TRIUMPH I was actually working on something completely different when her name popped into my head. The name was so strong and intense I knew she had to be something special. My husband thought the name sounded like some kind of super hero but I didn’t want to write a super hero. I wanted her to be amazing but I also wanted people to be able to relate to her.  
And then it hit me. What if James Bond had a daughter? What if she was stronger and quicker and all the things you’d have to be to do the things a spy would do, and yet she’s living in the real world. Oh, and she’s seventeen. I knew she’d have an overprotective parent, one who wouldn’t want anyone to know about her abilities, and that Kate herself would feel like a freak.
And once I knew these things I immediately had to abandon what I was originally working on and move on to KATE. She was that insistent. When I finished the book I thought I was done. But that wasn’t the case at all. She made it clear she was edgier and a bit more vulnerable. Her sense of humor needed to come through as well. Kate is definitely one of my favorite characters I’ve written. All those years of watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Veronica Mars definitely paid off. She’s spunky like Veronica and intense like Buffy. Not to mention she will always win in a fight.
About the author


Shari Arnold grew up in California and Utah but now resides in Connecticut, with her husband and two kids, where she finds it difficult to trust a beach without waves. She writes Young Adult fiction because it's her favorite. And occasionally she takes photographs.

Connect with Shari






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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Specter (Debt Collector #11) by Susan Kaye Quinn


Specter
Debt Collector #11

Specter by Susan Kaye Quinn
Series: (Debt Collector #11)
ebook, 48 pages
Expected publication: October 27th 2014

This is Season Two of Debt Collector*
Recommended: start with Season One.
*pre-order of the full season available

What's your life worth on the open market?
A debt collector can tell you precisely. 

Wraith’s first encounter with Gehenna is not going to be her last. Her attempt to keep the two sides of her life separate is about to be stress-tested to the breaking point.

Contains mature content and themes.

My thoughts about Specter ~~ 

Oh my word, I don't know how Susan does it. Each episode of the Debt Collector serial just gets better and better. The intensity of each installment escalates and takes the reader on a ride like no other. And the end of each book leaves me wanting more. Who can imagine stuff like this?

I am so glad that I don't have to wait too long to get the next episode, it's that good. I highly recommend this series whenever any one will listen to me.

****************************
Specter is approximately 12,000 words or 48 pages, and is the second of nine episodes in the second season of The Debt Collector serial. This dark and gritty future-noir is about a world where your life-worth is tabulated on the open market and going into debt risks a lot more than your credit rating.  
It is recommended that you start with the first season, but each season is a complete story for that debt collector and can serve as an entry point to the series. There are five planned seasons in the Debt Collector series, the first four each from the perspective of a different debt collector with the fifth season bringing all four together. 
Reading Order

Season One - Lirium


Episodes 1-9: Delirium, Agony, Ecstasy, Broken, Driven, Fallen, Promise, Ruthless, Passion

Season Two - Wraith


10 - Wraith (10.20)
11 - Specter (10.27)
12 - Untitled (11.3)
13 - Untitled (11.10)
14 - Untitled (11.17)
15 - Untitled (11.24)
16 - Untitled (12.1)
17 - Untitled (12.8)
18 - Untitled (12.15)
BOX SET (Vol 10-18) - (12.15) 

About the Author


Susan Kaye Quinn grew up in California, where she wrote snippets of stories and passed them to her friends during class. Her teachers pretended not to notice and only confiscated her stories a couple times.

Susan left writing behind to pursue a bunch of engineering degrees, but she was drawn back to writing by an irresistible urge to share her stories with her niece, her kids, and all the wonderful friends she’s met along the way.

She doesn’t have to sneak her notes anymore, which is too bad.

Susan writes from the Chicago suburbs with her three boys, two cats, and one husband. Which, it turns out, is exactly as a much as she can handle.

Connect with Susan



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Saturday, October 25, 2014

My 1000th Post Ginormous Giveaway Celebration Winners!


The winners have all be drawn and emailed. 
(check the original post here to see the winners) 

Congrats to all who won! 

I want to shout out a huge 


to all the wonderful authors who contributed 
to make this a wonderful celebration.

Here is the list of these amazing authors. 
Thank you all so much!!

Deanna Lynn Sletten
Kelly Cozy
Susan Kaye Quinn
Catherine Hyde
Bette Lee Crosby
Joanne DeMaio
Stephanie Elliot
Catherine McKenzie
Jason Sandberg
Theresa Rizzo
Lori Verni-Fogarsi
Gaelen VanDenbergh
Victoria Simcox
Lisa Becker
Heidi Garrett
Billie Limpin
Karen Amanda Hooper
Cami Checketts
Aaron Paul Lazar
Dina Silver
Phoebe Fox
Elana Johnson
Candace Koebel

And another huge 


goes out to all of you out there 
who have supported and followed The Book Bag! 

You make me want to keep going 
on this wonderful adventure! 


Be sure to check the sidebar for my current giveaways!

Hidden by Catherine McKenzie and a Giveaway!


Hidden

Hidden by Catherine McKenzie
Hardcover and e-book, 304 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by New Harvest

While walking home from work one evening, Jeff Manning is struck by a car and killed. Two women fall to pieces at the news: his wife, Claire, and his co-worker Tish. Reeling from her loss, Claire must comfort her grieving son as well as contend with funeral arrangements, well-meaning family members, and the arrival of Jeff’s estranged brother, who was her ex-boyfriend.

Tish volunteers to attend the funeral on her company’s behalf, but only she knows the true risk of inserting herself into the wreckage of Jeff’s life. Told through the three voices of Jeff, Tish, and Claire, Hidden explores the complexity of relationships, the repercussions of our personal choices, and the responsibilities we have to the ones we love.



My thoughts about Hidden ~~ 

I have been a huge fan of Catherine and her books since I read her very first one, Spin. And she just gets better with each book. Hidden is a story that captured me from the very first page. I was immediately swept up in the worlds of Jeff, Clare, and Tish.

Hidden is told from the alternating viewpoints of the three main characters. I love stories like that because I love getting more than one perspective of the situations that the characters find themselves in, the point of view is always different depending on who is experiencing it. Catherine does a wonderful job of presenting this story in three ways.

I loved everything about this book and these characters. It was an emotional story to read with twists that I was not expecting. But then, life is full of surprises and twists, isn't it?

I love each new book of Catherine's more than the previous one. Her newest book is always my new favorite. I can hardly wait to see what's next from her. I know I am going to love it!

About the author


Catherine McKenzie was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. A graduate of McGill University and McGill Law School, Catherine practices law in Montreal. An avid runner and skier, she's the author of the international bestsellers Spin, Arranged, Forgotten, and Hidden. Hidden was a #1 Amazon bestseller. Her latest work, Spun, a novella sequel to Spin, released on April 29, 2014. 

Catherine is currently working on her next one-word entitled novel.

Connect with Catherine


Catherine is donating 2 print copies
of her wonderful book, Hidden

Thank you, Catherine!! 



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